This has been quite a week for Microsoft; Scoble leaving, share prices going down and than now Gates leaving!

Robert Scoble;

I have been reading Roberts’ Blog for some time. Him leaving Microsoft was not really a suprise to me. There were some signals in his writing; the time he stopped blogging, the moment he unsubcribed to all his RSS feeds (wooh!), his questioning what to use of blogging was, which indicated to me that he was looking for something new something fresh. The passing away of his mother might have made the step easier. Whether PodTech will provide him with the new stumula, we will see. Good luck Robert.

Microsoft stock prices going down. Everybody could have seem that comming; the success of Google, Flickr and all those ‘small’ new firms, Vista being delayed, etc. It is just the short term vision of the stock market, they are just looking for a quick buck.

Today Bill Gates announced that he was leaving Microsoft ( I didn’t see that one comming but I think it is a good thing for Microsoft. Microsoft has always been to much Bill Gates and not enough Microsoft. There are so many talented people working at Microsoft, maybe they can dust off the ‘old’ image and move Microsoft into new areas.

Robert Scoble

From Mambo to Joomla

Recently I moved one of my sites from PHPnuke to Mambo. I did not know whether I made the right move and instead of Mambo I should have moved to Joomla as it is a split off of the Mambo CMS.

The last couple of weeks I have been looking at the development around both CMS’s. Finally I made the decision to move to Joomla now or stick with Mambo. Migration to Joomla is easy is you are running Mambo 4.5.2. Once Flambo and Joomla have moved up a full version (4.6 and 1.5), migration will be less easy.

So I tested it out on a test website and as it did not prove to give any problems I then moved the main website. Let’s hope I made the right decision.

Mambo experience

So, I finally made the decision and moved one of my websites from PHPnuke to Mambo [link].
I have all the basic functionality and kept most of the data and users from the old site. I’m pleased with it.

How did I do it?

First I did some research on the functionality of Mambo and Joomla. How easy can I customize it, what about add-ons. Are there add-ons like photo gallery, bulletin board, attendance record, etc. Answer; Yes, but a lot of them are still in Beta and a lot are moving from Mambo to Joomla, there are also a lot of site templates available. Most of them are fixed width and I am looking for a variable width version.

Next I tried it out on a test website. I migrated the old data, tried bulletin boards, photo galleries and other add-ons.

  • There is a add-on available for if you want to migrate data from PHPnuke to Mambo (ezPHPnuke). It worked good, it’s still Beta.
  • As a bulletin board I used Simpleboard, that is good and stable.
  • As a Photo Gallery I used Zoom. That is also still in Beta.
  • Other add-ons I tried were a newsletter add-on, an attendance record, other bulletin boards and all kinds of site templates.

The only question is; shouldn’t I have moved to Joomla? Well, I don’t know. I tried Joomla and the version I tried didn’t work. Instead of trying to get it to work I tried Mambo and that worked in one go.
Joomla originates from Mambo and at the moment most of the add-ons work on both versions. That will change in the future and maybe I will move to Joomla if the add-ons are no longer supported.

Mambo testtrack

As I wrote in the previous entry, I am in the process of testing Joomla and Mambo. I want to replace the PHPnuke software I use for a couple of sites. Joomla didn’t work for me so I moved to Mamboserver.

Yesterday I tested the 4.6 RC1 version. I dumped that one quickly because it complained about safe mode settings. As I didn’t wanted to change that in this stage of the process I moved back to 4.5.3.
That seems to work. There are still some things like; finding a good variable based template, keeping a welcome message fixed as first message on the website, finding some good components for a gallery, a forum, a league table, etc. There is tons of stuff but it is all close but no cigar.

Move from PHPnuke to Joomla


I run a couple of website of which some are based on PHPnuke. As PHPnuke is not very safe plus development is slow, I’m now testing Joomla.

Conversion is a problem, installation is not easy. But it is promissing

Benjamen Walker is podcasting again!

In January I wrote that Benjamen Walker was missing [link]. He has a blog and radio program which you can listen too as a podcast [wikipedia podcast]. A lot of comments came in on this blog and it seemed that more people were worried about his wellbeing.
He has surfaced again and new programs are available on his site The only problem I have is that since he has moved his feeds to the NPR alt.npr offering we only get excerpt of his program. They use to be 29 minutes, now it cut short to something like 14 minutes.

This is like drinking Diet Coke instead of the real stuff. I want the whole program!

You have got to read this!

Goto this link.

Client: We don’t want to do this full-page newspaper ad in color. It’s not about the money. We just don’t want the ad to attract too much attention.”

Customer calling book and video store where I work… Hello, I am a high school teacher here in town. I am looking for a video of the Gettysburg address. And I do NOT want a reenactment! I want the REAL Lincoln!

Below is a call I placed to a tech support line for for an issue with a piece of mission critical hardware. Me: Thanks for calling me back. Tech: No Problem. Me: We are having issues with your virtual network adapter drivers. For some reason when I enable the network adapter all the COM ports on the system lock up. Tech: Oh yea, we know about that issue. Me: Ok, is there an updated driver? Tech: Nope. But we are working on that now. Me: What is the estimated date of arrival? Tech: hold please…music…Sir? We really don’t know. Me: Ok, is there a workaround? Tech: Definately! Me: Ok, what is it? Tech (dead serious): Don’t use the network adapter if you want to use your other COM ports!

“can you guys make it more like a power-point presentation, you know, with the sliding text stuff and all?”

Health care in the Netherlands

One of the blogs I read on a regular basis is Dooce by Heather B. Armstrong. She and her husband are writing, on their individual blogs, about their problems with getting healthcare coverage now that they are not working for ‘the boss’ anymore. It is scary to read how people are being denied access to a service which should be basic for everybody, especially in ‘the greatest nation on earth, the USA’. It makes you think whether this could happen in the Netherlands as well. As we restructured our system this year and became more dependent on the private health insurance companies, this question has become more apparent than ever.

The healthcare system in the Netherlands has always had a complicated structure. By the first of Jan of this year, after 30 years of discussion, it has been restructured. We use to have a two way system; partly government and partly private. If your income was below a certain amount you were automatically covered by the government system (ziekenfonds as we called it). If you earned to much you went into to private system but you still had to pay for the government system. The solidarity principle as we called it.
In the new system everybody is eligible for a basic health coverage package (which is controlled by the government) which you can get from all the insurance firms. They say that you cannot be refused for basic coverage. You can only be refused for additional insurance coverage (like mental health service or a dental plan). As there is already talk of razing the insurance premium for next year, the next thing could be kicking people out who are too expensive.

As the famous Dutch soccer player Johan Cruijff always said; ‘Every disadvantage has it’s advantages’. The new health system has an advantage especially for the people who are their own boss. For instance all bloggers can form an organisation, and that organisation can make health coverage deals with the insurance companies including rebates. There is an example of groups of active Catholics who have form an organisation and have closed a deal with one of the insurers.