Installing HP MicroServer Gen8 G1610T

At home I needed an upgrade for my Network-attached server. A colleague suggested the HP MicroServer, as we were both working for HP in Belgium, this sounded like a very good idea. So I did some investigating in how I could set up everything, what I would need to make it working etcetera.

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Posted in Installations

Google – not using its full potential

Google used to be all about the search engine, but then it started going into other side businesses. Among others Google started with Gmail, Android and many others. By dividing its attention it was harder to really succeed in that specific business branch. Some say this is a good thing, others don’t; what follows is my personal opinion on the matter.

Google was founded as a simple search engine, but has grown into the best known and most used search engine in the world. Many other search engines have tried to copy the idea, but all have failed so far. Very soon Google known as a company that could mean something for you.

After a couple of years, Google started to go into other businesses too. At Google they saw there where a lot of ways they could improve the internet experience of their users. Starting with Gmail, which in my eyes, revolutionised the electronic mail industry. I had a Hotmail account before I got my hands on a beta account on Gmail. Although in the beginning it lacked some major features, I could immediately see the potential. There were different reasons for that. For one, the mails you sent, were truly yours. There were no advertisements at the bottom of every mail like there was in Hotmail. Besides that,you also had the search capabilities of Google itself, which means you had no problem finding that one mail you thought you lost. That meant of course you couldn’t delete any mails that could later be important. But Google solved that storage problem by giving you a lot of free space. This of course meant they had more information about you (from the mails you send), but that is a different discussion.

By focusing a lot of its attention to Gmail, Google created a very useful tool that has been working perfectly since the beginning. Even now, there haven’t been that much improvements for the user. If you think about what major features you had in the day, that you still use now? Or the other way around, what features you have now, you hadn’t in the first year of public Gmail beta? I can’t think of a lot: labels and folders. And even those were available soon, if u remember correctly. Others features were already available soon after the release. But the integration with Google’s other technologies has since improved massively.

Later Google started working on Web clients to replace your local desktop clients. Google Drive, as we know it now, was born. It started with a minimum amount of editing options for simple documents, as you would expect of a beta version. But in my opinion, this hasn’t really changed now. After all these years, Google Drive still lacks some important features. I would have expected those features a long time ago. This compared to the support you get from the een client of Outlook. The Outlook Web client has the same features as the desktop client, and this something I expected from Google too. For example editing simple documents and adding some formatting isn’t really possible on Google Drive, at least not in the way you/I would expect.

The reason Google Drive still lacks so much, is because Google has become too big. Is focusing on to many different areas, so it can’t focus its attention in one direction anymore. For example you can take Android. Google still focuses a lot of its energy on Android, like it should. Just enough energy to keep it one of the major mobile operating systems available. Fighting in the ring most of the time with iOS, the mobile operating systems of Apple. Because it’s not using its full potential, Google still has a lot of competition. Because of this competition a lot of new ideas and technologies are born every day. Would Google have decided to go all-in on Android, there wouldn’t have been a lot of competition. This would probably mean that those ideas would die out. The best ideas are born when there is a competition you have to beat. This is the natural instincts of humans to be better than the others.

So actually, by not going all-in, Google is saving the industry. That means that Google can go over to the next technology that it can improve, and become one of the best in. That being said, in some things Google should put more energy though.

For example Google Calendar (integration), why is this still not up there with other calendar clients. It has been steadily improved over the years with small updates every time. But none that really stand out. I would have expected a better integration with Gmail. For example creating appointments from a mail you received. This is a feature that is available in other mail clients for years now.

A couple of months ago, Google released Inbox, currently still being invite only. In my opinion it started with a good idea, but is still missing things I would have expected in the first release. The main thing I’m thinking about is mail signatures. I know they probably first wanted to find out what the general public thinks about the concept of Inbox. But who at Google would have thought we would use the app for sending mails without signatures. For that reason I’m still using Gmail 90% of the time. Sending mails happens from the Gmail application on my phone, and not from the Inbox application. It wasn’t long after Inbox was released in public beta that I got my hands on an invite. And ever since I’m using the application and website, I haven’t seen a single major update. That is once again the problem with Google focusing its attention in too many things.

To conclude, I’m still a big fan of Google, and I understand they don’t focus all their attention on one point. But sometimes I would love it if a little more focus was used on their inventions.

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Posted in Opinions

BlackBerry Z10 (Limited Edition)

I got the device as a BlackBerry app developer, and I have had the chance to test it for a while now. So I thought it was maybe time to write a review about it.

2013-03-29 10.45.31

BlackBerry Z10 Limited Edition (front)

2013-03-30 09.28.14

BlackBerry Z10 Limited Edition (back)

The Limited Edition — only 12’000 were made, and mine was #01002 — I received was a red edition. In stores, only the black or white edition is available for sale.

BlackBerry was previously a very esteemed manufacturer of phones and PDA’s, but lately it is considered as a minor OS. Less important than other operating systems like Android, iOS or Windows Phone. But in my opinion, it shouldn’t be considered as another minor OS. It is worthy in competing with the others. And in some cases, I find it even better than the others.

BlackBerry Hub

The most amazing thing you notice first when you start using the BlackBerry Z10 is the BlackBerry HUB. It is amazing how much information is collected in just one application. All of your social media accounts, mail accounts have a place in this special application. All your notifications, of every app you are using, are located in the app. With some crafty techniques BlackBerry enables users to filter out the information they really need. You don’t even have to leave the app you are currently using, to view this hub; you just have to use the correct gesture (move your finger from the bottom up and right) to view how many new notifications you got, and what they are for.

You can see all your notifications of your social media, for example Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and many others; in one place. No need to go through all these different applications to see what is new. All the action happens in the hub, you can directly reply to your messages you received from for example Facebook. Of course there is also the option to open the notification in the app itself, if you want to know even more about it.


Second thing you notice is the browser, which is terribly fast. It scores better than some desktop browsers on the HTML5 test. Even when you are just browsing the websites, you can feel the power behind the browser. Even sites which use a lot of CSS and JavaScript are no problem for this application. You don’t even feel that you are actually on a phone, the browser makes it feel like you are running these websites on desktop pc.


Then we have the keyboard. Some people wouldn’t care about a keyboard, because that can’t be that special worth mentioning in a review. But it is amazing how much you will be love this keyboard when you have used it for a while. The keyboard has some magnificant predictions of what you are probably going to say. It learns what speech patterns you often use, and will use this information to predict your next words. By a little flick of the finger you can then selected a suggested word.

Another rather similar thing I used rather often is the “word substituion” functionality. How many times do you have to type your email address or name when you are browsing the web or answering mails. In my case that is quite often, so it would be nice to have some way to be able to this really fast. That is where the word substition comes in play. The word substition lets you change some keyword you specified yourself to a full text. For example you can use “myver” to let the keyboard replace it by your complete version of the OS and the device you are using. So in my case, where I didn’t want to type my email address every time, I made a substition of the keyword “mym”, which would replace this by “my mail” address. I did the same for my name (myn) and some other phrases I often use. Of course the keyboard will only suggest this if you type this keyword, then it is up to you to actually use it, by doing a flick of your finger.


For those who haven’t worked with a BlackBerry PlayBook yet (also a fantastic device by the way) will probably have to get used to using the device. For navigation no buttons are used (except maybe the occasional back button), it all happens through “gestures” on the screen, each with its own meaning. It works much faster than with a button, but you have to start by going through the tutorial so that you know the different gestures mean.

The BlackBerry Peek feature allows you to watch your new notifications without having to leave the app you are currently using.


The camera is also very good. It has convenient features such as the ability to recognize faces and to go back in time to when a person in the picture was smiling back. This is an amazing feature that has been copied to some other operating systems already. But none have the same functionality as on the BlackBerry Z10. Because the BlackBerry Z10 will recognize the faces in the pictures, and will let you change them all seperately from each other. This while tools on other operating systems will only let you go back in time for the whole picture.

Holding the device

A small drawback I found is that the device is that the device doesn’t always feels comfortably holding, since the edge of the device is quite sharp. But you will only notice this if you are holding the device for a long period of time. You can certainly solve this by one of the beautiful covers that are available for use (as I did).


The battery will last a long time, not only in standby, but also when you use it to call all the time. And this while my Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi and continuous data connection are turned on. The battery itself is better than other recent devices I tested.


You can use this device also for “real” multitasking. This means that the device will not pause applications when they aren’t actively used, but they just keep on running. This doesn’t mean that your phone keeps using battery, while you are not using the apps. The device will only pause the app while it isn’t doing anything useful.

On most other mobiles and smartphones, applications are paused if they loose focus. This is especially annoying if you are downloading files, or doing other things that take some time. Because then you have to stay in the device while that action is being completed. On some other recent devices on the market, files are paused when the application / browser loses focus, this is not the case for the BlackBerry Z10. You can safely play a movie while you just go to another app. The movie will continue playing in the background (and you keep hearing the sound) so that you can return if you just look further. This is useful, if for example you are in a boring piece of a movie and you quickly want to say something to someone on BBM.

Of course you can select for yourself how the phone should react when you lose focus of an app. You can choose between pausing the application, or keeping the application running. This is up to you to choose what you prefer. If you choose to keep applications running, you can run up to 8 applications together. This means that you can have up to 8 movies playing at the same time. This seems not a lot, but this is something that isn’t possible in other operating systems.


Overall I think it is a very good device and the perfect device for everyone who wants a fast, safe and easy to use device with a good battery life. The price is not very low, but it’s worth it!

Test Environment

Test device: BlackBerry Z10 Limited Edition (BlackBerry 10, version
Time testing app: 1+ month

Also tested on BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha C (BlackBerry 10, version

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Posted in Device Review

SwiftKey vs Swype

I have been testing out the latest version of SwiftKey and Swype since some time now, trying to find out which of them I wanted to use full-time. But it was a rather hard decision, because both have their pros and cons.

SwiftKey Flow Beta

I started testing the latest version of SwiftKey in the beginning of February 2013 SwiftKey Flow Beta 4. Which is the version that is now renamed to SwiftKey Flow 4. This was the first version of SwiftKey that had the swiping feature to type, this means that you don’t have to lift your finger while typing. Me as a big fan of swiping, didn’t bother testing previous versions of SwiftKey because they didn’t have this feature.

SwiftKey can be downloaded here for €3.99 at the time of this writing. There is also a free version, but this is limited to one month, and it is not the latest version of SwiftKey, which doesn’t support swiping yet.

Swype Beta

After SwiftKey, I started using Swype Beta for a couple of weeks. Swype can be downloaded for free here. This is still the beta version, but even for a beta version, it has some major features that are very useful.

Preparation of the review

Both keyboards have the functionality to connect to some social networks, gmail, and your smses to learn how you type. I connected all possible ways to the keyboards, so they were optimized as much as possible to the way I type. I am an non-English speaker at home, so in those there are certainly some non-English words which could have been confusing.

The typing experience

To start of this app review, the typing experience is compared. In ‘typing experience’, no swiping is used, just the typing of one key after another.

Both keyboards say that they have the best typing experience. When you start with SwiftKey, you see that it has a very powerful prediction tool. After some time you really see which words you say a lot, or which sentences you use a lot. After some more time, you don’t even have to type a lot anymore, because the prediction tool is that good. I had the same experience with Swype, but it takes longer to learn your words and sentences you use a lot in combination with each other. I also had the feeling that SwiftKey did a better job at predicting my text.


Now comes the part of the keyboard I use the most of all. In SwiftKey the swiping is very good, because you don’t have to lift your finger to press on spaces. If you look at Swipe, you have to keep lifting your finger after every word. Though, Swype will also tell you when words should probably be split if you swipe to words after each other which shouldn’t be connected. But as far as I know this is limited to only two words, and even then some words are not recognize to be split.

When you swipe a word in SwiftKey, after each word SwiftKey will introduce a space. This seems like a good point, but I kindly find it frustrating if the word you swiped was not the word you wanted. You should know that you can only change that word when you are at the end of that word. So what you have to do then is to remove that space (or use your finger to put your cursor behind the word) so you can change the word. If you swiped a word in Swype, no space is introduced. This means that you can immediately change the word you have just swiped to another similar word that you could have meant.

Another thing I don’t always like is the feature that SwitfKey puts your cursor at the end of that word if you tap on the word with your finger. The reason behind this is that you can then easily change the word to a similar word. But sometimes I just want to change one small letter in the word, so that means that I have to tap twice on that location. I sometimes forget this, ending up in trying to aim my cursor on the right place twice.

In SwiftKey you can select up to three languages at the same time, so you don’t have to switch between the languages you use often. As already told, I am a non-English speaker, but I write a lot of text in English, so this means I have to switch between languages often. This problem is solved by SwiftKey, because SwiftKey will better predict in which language you are typing. In Swype you can select favorite languages, which you can switch between in only two taps. But even those two taps are a lot compared to no taps at all. This is a feature missing in Swype.


I ended up staying with Swype as my major keyboard on my phone. The main reason for me is that the price is still too high for the features it is missing. Compared to Swype, which is currently still free. But if Swype would change from a free keyboard to a paid keyboard, I would probably choose for SwiftKey. The SwiftKey keyboard has a better way in predicting what you are going to type. Although SwiftKey also has some things I don’t like at all (spaces at the end of each word).

Test Environment

Version: SwiftKey Flow Beta and Swype Beta 1.4.5
Test device: HTC One X (stock Andoid 4.1.1, HTC Sense 4+)
Time testing app: 2+ weeks

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Posted in App Review

Chrome for Android

To start of the first series of app reviews, I choose to test an application that is probably used by a lot of people these days. It happens to be one of the best browsers I have tested on mobile devices: Chrome. I will be using ‘Chrome for Android’ and ‘Chrome for PC’ from now on, to make the difference between the mobile and the destkop version.

Possible improvements

But even though it is one of the best applications I have tested and used, I am still lacking some functionality you already have in other browsers. These functionalities would be good additions to the already superb browser.

  • For starters, a functionality I would use really often is to go in Fullscreen mode. There is currently no way to remove the two status bars (the default Android notification bar and the Chrome status bar) at the top of the page. Even though I have a rather large phone (HTC One X) I could still use some more space. Because when you are browsing the web on your phone, most of the time you don’t need the URL bar, because you will be navigating on one website at a time.
  • I have connected my Chrome for Android and Chrome for PC. This allows me to send URLs from my PC to my phone (with the help of Chrome to Mobile), but not the other way around. I have been in situations where I would find it very useful if I could do such a thing.
  • In most browser you have something like a history, but not in Chrome for Android. I don’t know why this feature isn’t yet implemented, but I’m sure this is one of the features that we will soon see in updates of Chrome for Android.

Favorite features

And next to the features that I miss, there are some features I really like and use a lot:

  • One of those features is that you can swipe between open tabs by swiping from left to right, or the other way around. At first it was some getting used to, because you have to swipe starting from the edge. Because swiping inside the screen will just pan the current page.If for example you want to look something up, you just type in the URL bar, Google shows you the results which you then can open by holding the link and choosing ‘Open in new tab’. Most of the time I then open several sites at once, so I just can swipe between them to find the best site.
  • I have mentioned it before, but I use Chrome to Mobile to send URLs to my phone from my PC sometimes. You could also use the built-in functionality of Chrome for Android to see your open tabs in Chrome for PC, or your last opened tabs. This is probably not a feature that you will use that often (at least not for me), but when you do need it, it is there for you.

Chrome for Android has of course the usual features you would expect in modern browsers: sharing, search in page (a feature that was missing in previous versions of Chrome for Android, but has been implemented now), bookmarks, viewing desktop sites and much more.

Test environment

Version: Chrome 18.0.1025469
Test device: HTC One X (stock Andoid 4.1.1, HTC Sense 4+)
Time testing app: 6+ months

Posted in App Review

New Year’s Resolutions

This first post will just be to explain why I am creating a new blog.

I actually created this blog as part of some New Year’s resolutions I made for 2013. I’ve always wanted to write some app reviews for mobile and desktop applications I use frequently, but I have never came to the point on which I actually did it. So now I decided to put this in my New Year’s resolutions, to write app reviews as frequently as possible. This just to let people know what I think of these applications.

As a developer myself, I like to get feedback from people that use my applications frequently. This gives me some advice on points for improvement, for next releases. Because when you are continuously developing and improving your application, you don’t see some flaws or ways of improvement that are clear for other users.

But next to the fact that I always love feedback from others, I have – because of my experience as a software developer – a very good eye for detail. I always try to develop my applications according to the best practices of the operating system I’m building for, so I expect the same from other applications. I love applications that are nice to look at, have the necessary features, and most importantly: do not crash!

Posted in Uncategorized