Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Sudden Death Of My iPhone

Today, my iPhone suddenly got hotter than usual and drained its battery within four hours after being fully recharged overnight. I thought nothing of it, but when I got home and tried to recharge it, a message was displayed stating I should restore the phone using iTunes.

A bit annoyed at the inevitable loss of all my data, but otherwise not worried, I went about restoring my three month old iPhone 3GS 32GB. And failed. Three times.

Every time I ran the restore it ran, slowly but surely, all the way up until the end of the progress bar on my iPhone. Only to return the message in iTunes "The iPhone 'iPhone' could not be restored. An unknown error occurred (1002)."

At first, I thought it might have something to do with the firewall. So I turned it off. But turning it off had no effect.

Then, I created a new Administrator account with a fresh copy of iTunes and unplugged all peripherals except the iPhone cable. Still no effect.

So now my iPhone is dead and I'm effectively phone-less, sad, and sorry I bought a phone that lasts for three months with a two year contract. I'll take it to the T-Mobile store tomorrow where I fully expect to be charged €50 for them to tell me they can't help me either.

Up until now, I was such an Apple fan-boy my cognitive dissonance took care of issues like flaky connectivity and short battery life. But now the phone has stopped working altogether it finally dawns on me: the iPhone is a beautiful wanna-have piece of technology that sucks. Big time.

And I still have to pay for it for another 21 months... Yay!

Friday, October 30, 2009

FiRe Field Recorder

After reading lots of reviews, I decided to buy FiRe Field Recorder from AudioFile Engineering today. It won out over the also excellent iProRecorder from Bias, the creators of Peak, because of its integration with SoundCloud. I'm amazed with the sound quality and the ease of use. My very first recording came out good enough to post here. I didn't even have to put it through Levelator!

20091030 FiRe Field Recorder Review  by  laurensbonnema

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Favorite iPhone and Mac Photo Apps

I had lunch today with a friend who's a bit of a photography-nut (which is a Good Thing mind you) so naturally we ended up discussing iPhone photo apps. He recommended CameraBag to me to do some sweet image post-processing on the iPhone. Trusting his judgement, I downloaded it as soon as I had a chance to, i.e. ten minutes after lunch. And it rocks! With CameraBag, you can add filters to you photos before you upload them or send them. It's a simple and fast way to improve you plain vanilla iPhone pics.

Of course, using CameraBag got me thinking what else I'd been missing out on so far. After some googling and review reading, I've come up with the following must-have iPhone photo apps in addition to CameraBag:

  • Photogene, for on-phone editing and filtering beyond CameraBag.
  • ColorSplash, which lets you quickly and easily give photos a dramatic look by converting them to black and white, while keeping your chosen details in color.
  • AutoStitch, a fully automatic image stitcher for the iPhone.

Of course, I do most of my post-processing and editing on my Mac. For that, I use Photoshop Elements for post-processing of RAW files and correcting stuff like lighting and red eyes, Pixelmator for all edits I can't do with Photoshop Elements such as advanced filtering, and Photomatix for creating HDR images.

And now, let's go take some photo's...

UPDATE 2009-10-16: In addition to the aforementioned iPhone photo apps, I've completed my collection with the following apps:

  • Darkroom, for taking steady shots.
  • Photo fx, to complete my set of filters by adding everything but the kitchen sink. I don't need all of this, but boy do I want it!
  • TiltShift, simulates a tilt-shift lens that tricks your mind into viewing a photo as a miniature scene like a model railroad for example.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Agile Open Holland 2009

Last week, I attended the Agile Open Holland 2009 Conference. It was my first conference following an Open Space format and I loved it. At first, first-timers like me were a little uneasy with the whole co-create the conference dynamic, but the presence of experienced Open Spacers like Marc Evers and Willem van den Ende ensured a quick run up the learning curve.

Open Space is the simplest meeting format that could possibly work. And man does it work! I think I learned more in this €80 two-day conference than at some other more expensive ones. Also, I found myself actively contributing to some of the discussions where normally I'm content to sit back and observe. If you've never attended an Agile Open Conference before, do yourself a favor and attend the next one.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Saving up for a Flevobike Versatile

After a rather heroic commute last Friday on my Fietsfabriek transportbike from Dordrecht to The Hague, I'm seriously considering doing that more often. Intrigued by reclining bikes, I googled some this weekend and have selected what I think is an excellent commuter bike: the Flevobike Versatile.

Flevobike Versatile

Looking for resellers of this bike brought a smile to my face. As luck would have it, there's a reclining bike specialist right around the corner from where I live. So this weekend, I think I'll pay Maia Ligfietsen a visit.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

NLScrum with Jeff Sutherland

nlscrum_20090624_012, originally uploaded by laurensbonnema.

Yesterday, I was at the NLScrum in Hilversum, The Netherlands, together with approximately 65 other Scrum enthusiasts. Jeff Sutherland, inventor of Scrum and Agile Manifesto original signatory, worked his magic on the audience explaining what Scrum is, why and how one should implement it, and then went on to answer all (yes ALL) questions from the audience.

It was an absolutely great gathering of Scrum enthusiasts. If you're doing Scrum, or if you're interested in doing so, and you live/work in The Netherlands, you should attend NLScrum's meetings.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Interdependency Injection, Turnaround Strategies For Troubled Waterfall Projects

On Thursday, June 18, 2009, I presented at the Integrating Agile Conference from The Agile Consortium Benelux in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands.

IT projects are infamous for delivering late and way over budget if at all. Studies show this is due to a fundamentally flawed development process. For IT projects to deliver on time and on target, a radically different development process is required. Over the past two decades an impressive array of improvement strategies have been suggested, hyped and eventually integrated into the ever expanding body of knowledge available to us. To date, the most succesful strategies appear to belong to a distinct group of development processes known as Agile. A full-blown agile approach will reduce your time to market by 40%.

In the first part of my talk, I explained why and how to implement agile methods in an organization.

So you've heard about agile, and are intrigued by it. You hope that someday soon you'll get the chance to participate in one of those supposedly hyperproductive projects. But you're stuck in a "normal" project with defined process control, gantt charts, decision gates, and project boards. How do you break free from that? Well, you actually don't have to.

In the second part of my talk, I explained how one can inject agility into your existing waterfall project. That will not make your project textbook agile, but it will cure it from an acute lack of common sense. Better yet, it will set you free to try some easy turnaround strategies in your current project that will work in any project, be it agile or waterfall, enabling you to reduce your time to market by at least 20% within six months.

Check out the video of my presentation on YouTube:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dead Simple Guide to Beating Procrastination

I am a daily reader of by Leo Babauta's excellent zenhabits blog. He's just posted a "Dead Simple Guide to Beating Procrastination" that's worth reading if, like me, you're prone to checking email, twittering, and other stuff to avoid actually doing something.

After his 10-point plan to get you out of your rut, Leo Babauta notes that if all else fails, just take a nap or go outside and enjoy the outdoors or do nothing. Life isn’t all about productivity. Do less. Which is to say, if you are procrastinating, enjoy it!

Follow Leo Babauta on Twitter.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hanlin V3 eReader rocks!

Today, I treated myself to a Hanlin V3 eReader from, and man does it not suck! It totally rocks, displaying my entire library of ebooks, including some old copies of Crosstalk and Soundview summaries. It even displays the content of the Powerpoint presentations I accidentally copied over to the SD card.

The only thing I don't like is the crappy way the SD card slot is manufactured. It works allright, but when you want to remove the card you have to really pick it out with your finger. It doesn't do a satisfactory click-and-slide thing like most SD card slots.

Update Saturday, March 21, 2009: The SD card slot issue somehow miraculously disappeared today. I wanted to take out the SD card to put it into an external card reader, forgot all about the aforementioned card issue, and low and behold: it did a satisfactory click-and-slide-thing!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Must-read Agile Journal Column by Esther Derby

I've just read Esther Derby's excellent column on "The Three Pillars of Executive Support for Agile Adoption" in the Agile Journal. It describes the executive support required to successfully implement agile methods in your organization. In the process of doing just that? Read Esther's column!

Monday, March 9, 2009

My new job?

A friend pointed out to me recently that, as jobs go, the newly created position of Caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef might quite possibly be the very best job in the world. Reading the site, I have to agree. Check it out at

My Favorite Mac Apps

Last December I switched to Mac and have since entered a very, very happy period in my personal computing experience. I'm running a clone of my corporate laptop in VMWare Fusion for my remaining Windows needs, and must admit to using a Palm Treo Pro running Windows Mobile 6.1 to stay connected to HQ whilst on the move. For everything else, I use my 15" unibody Macbook Pro. Which means I had to find alternatives to my favorite Windows programs. And you know what: some of the alternatives are actually better!