The Blog

Code, design & inspiration.

Yesterday I started a small experiment in preparation for a class I'm teaching about building simple web apps. Because I like to keep things stylish - you know me - I've created Loo Me! , a simple web app that will help you find a public toilet in Antwerp the day after visiting your not so favourite Indian restaurant or on any other day for that matter. Used resources If you're experimenting with something similar, here are a few of the resources I used to get the app up and running quickly. I hope they come in handy for some of you. Subtlepatterns for the background Sketch for mocking up the SVG logo Antwerp's Open Data for the data of course jQuery for the interaction http://placeit.breezi.com for the picture below …

Usability fail: car radio volume control

Jan 09, 2013 · 1 min read

For some reason, it's easier to write about what bothers you or what you would call a fail, than it is to write about wins! I've decided to look out for what delights me in the real world, but until then ;), here's what I found frustrating the other day. My girlfriend was driving the car and I wanted to put the radio volume up. After 30 years of crancking up the volume, my mind got tricked into thinking I just needed to look for a round centrally located knob. That's the volume-crancking-button on any other device right? Not on this radio it wasn't. Instead, you will be changing the GPS destination or even radio station, depending on what preset the device is set at that point. The volume control appeared to be a push button on the left side of the radio, no biggy if it …

If you earn a living by working behind a computer most of the day, it's definitely important to keep in mind that you are prone to suffering from RSI. Wikipedia describes this modern side effect of working with computers as follows: "Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) are injuries of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems that may be caused by repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression (pressing against hard surfaces), or sustained or awkward positions" My definition would be something along the lines of: "A tingling sensation and sometimes even painful feeling in the wrists, fingers or elbows as a result of too much clicking, typing and sitting behind a computer." CSS hero Chris Coyier mentions "the claw" as one of the main causes of …

You need a backup strategy and you need one now. Not tomorrow. Now. My Backup Strategy Many of us have had their hard drives failing, operating systems crashing or even people stealing their computers and hard drives. Murphy wasn't lying when he said "Anything than can go wrong, will go wrong". Unfortunately for me, Mister Murphy proved to be right more than once already. The importance of a good backup strategy can't be stressed enough . Because every month or so, somebody asks me how they should back up their data, I've written down what I personally do to try to avoid data loss. Of course, my backup strategy isn't the only one and it probably isn't the best one either, but it's a method that has worked for me in the past, so you might find it useful as well. Let's get …

Mobistar simply doesn't get it I've been a Mobistar business client for many years and never had any real problems with them. That is of course, not taking into account the fact that I didn't have an affordable mobile data plan and there was nobody to speak to when I had questions about their services. Sure, you could give the Mobistar call center a call, but let's not get into that, unless you want me to play a piano and radio hit compilation for the next 35 minutes or so. I don't think I'm asking for much either. I make the occasional phone call, send a few text messages a day and I like to surf or check emails from time to time when I'm out and about. Where Mobistar really pushed me over the edge Like I said, I never really hated Mobistar. I could make phone calls, …

Home offices and co-working spaces are growing in numbers. To me, it comes as no surprise that large corporations are losing workers to the freelancing and startup lifestyle. More and more people realize that there's only one life to live . Yes, that includes a professional life as well. You have one career ahead of you and you better make it into something you really enjoy doing. Otherwise, why do it? With freelancing comes the responsibility of marketing yourself. Traditionally that includes printing business card and setting up a cool portfolio website. Okay, we should also be on Twitter , Facebook and maybe even Google Plus, but we're doing that anyway aren't we? There's always the question of how we can market ourselves in a classy, yet preferably cost-effective way. Here's …

Today I was trying to set up my iPad so that I can connect remotely to my Linux servers in case of emergency. My servers only allow password-less connections via SSH keys , so I needed to set up those key pairs on my iPad and servers. When trying to connect from the iPad through iSSH or Prompt , I always got the message "Server refused our key", while I was sure I put the correct key into ~/username/.ssh/authorized_keys. But of course, when we thing we're right, Linux shows us we are not. Whenever you are having problems setting up SSH keys, make sure you tail or view the log file /var/log/secure. There you'll see that sshd is throwing up errors that can be pretty useful. This is what I found out: First, I got: Authentication refused: bad ownership or modes for directory …

It's true. Life moves pretty fast and that applies especially to anyone working in the web design space where new interesting frameworks and techniques pop up every hour or so. I love creating applications and websites. But I also love teaching about what I've learned to aspiring web designers and developers in school. There's so much to do and so little time in a day. That's why it's important for me to slow down from time to time. Here are five things I do that help me balance my days. These activities purposely slow me down nd if you ask me, that's a good thing, not a bad thing. 1 - Use a Straight Razor This one is only for the manly males among us. Instead of using one of those silly safety razors, I decided a few years ago to order a classic or straight razor on ebay. …

I've been playing around with Appcelerator Titanium lately and wrote a tutorial for the Dutch edition of Web Designer Magazine on how you can use the framework to build native apps for iOS and Android. The code I used throughout the tutorial is based on what I used to create the Pakfriet app , an app for iPhone that lets you locate places that sell typical Belgian fries. If you're interested in getting started with Titanium, check out the tutorial in Web Designer Magazine issue 49 . Happy reading!

Great things come from small countries and besides an overdose of tasty beers, waffles and Brussels sprouts, we're still quite proud of our fries here in Belgium. A frituur or frietkot as we call it here, is a place where you go to grab a freshly baked portion of fries. You don't find those friet-places like we have them here in Belgium in other countries, definitely not as often as you can find them here. For anyone fond of good Belgian fries (that's right, we don't call them French fries here), we've created a simple and free app for iPhone and iPad that will help you locate the nearest frituur around you. Download it for free here