It’s a digital world

op 12/09 door | 1 comment

Sony Bluetooth Headphones

Definitely quite a while ago, Sony offered us some wireless bluetooth headphones + headset DR-BT101 to test. While they looked gorgeous and were very portable, for some or another reason they didn’t connect well with my iPhone for which I found the headphones a perfect fit.

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op 10/08 door | 2 comments

Hipstamatic

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The hipstamatic for iPhone is an application that brings back the look, feel, unpredictable beauty, and fun of plastic toy cameras from the past. Talking about a cool iPhone app for Urban Nomadz!

op 11/06 door | 10 comments

The GF-1 — my camera for travelling / nomadic lifestyle

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As a photographer, people often ask me my opinion on camera’s.
Any camera is a good camera’ is a fairly accurate statement these days*.
So, giving good advice on cameras isn’t easy— it always depends on what you want to do with it.

I personally love the idea of ‘The best camera is always the one you have with you’; and for this reason, I like the portability of camera phones**. Many phones now have sufficient resolution for nice snapshots and small prints. But the quality is often what I don’t like — and they absolutely suck in low light.

I have a Nikon D700 myself, and while it is the best camera I’ve ever used, I hate the weight. I hate the fact that after only half-an-hour or so, my neck starts to hurt. And although the quality is stunning, I hate dragging it around on trips.

So, I started looking for something portable that gave me similar quality to a DSLR and would be equally wonderful to take along on trips. It turned out to be a difficult search.***

I tried the Canon G7, and hated it. The DOF sucked and low light performance was awful. I read dozens of reviews, and every camera lacked something. Most of all, I wanted good DOF. I was tempted to buy the Panasonic LX-3, because of the number of good reviews I had read about it. But I didn’t like the way it worked; I wanted the possibility of a ‘manual’ mode. So I waited with baited breath until the GF-1 was released.

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op 01/04 door | schrijf een comment

Your Own Film Library. Anytime, Anywhere.

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Talking about the perfect internet project  for the lifestyle oriented nunomad.

Although still in beta (and struggling with some minor issues) it’s been ages since I’ve been so enthusiastic about anything.

The Auteurs is an online cinema/community for film lovers. Your own film library. Your own little cinema. Anytime. anywhere. Their strong focus on quality productions, combined with their sense of style, makes them unique in their field. In short, The Auteurs rule!

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op 09/03 door | 1 comment

Sony e-reader, perfect book for nu-nomads

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When on the road and living out of one or two bags, minimizing what you take can be one of the biggest challenges.

We managed to get our stuff into three bags, although this was only achieved after rearranging our luggage at least twice…. One way is to throw stuff out, another is to find the best solution. No-one would think of bringing a portable CD player and CDs any more, whereas everyone would gladly take an iPod or mp3 player.

One way to limit your luggage is by tossing things out; another way is to think efficiently and look for the best possible solutions. After all, no one in their right mind will think of packing a portable cd-player and a selection of compact discs. Instead of that, it’s a no-brainer to reach for your iPod or mp3-player. And while it may not come to mind immediately, there is a similar solution when it comes to the books you want to read while traveling.

For books, an e-reader would seem to be a similar type of solution. I admit that taking the e-reader was Catherine’s idea; “We’ll save tons by taking this one device”. I wasn’t convinced; I like reading books – real books. But I had to admit that my ‘paper’ versions added a lot of weight and volume to the luggage, especially when you consider you’re only allowed to take one suitcase along.

So when our friends at Sony offered us one to test, Catherine jumped with joy, while I was secretly happy that I’d have the chance to test such a device. Now I’m totally convinced and I don’t miss the paper at all. “Convinced” as in ‘Catherine didn’t get the chance to read on the e-reader yet as it’s in my hands all the time’. Some forty-two books came along, and I have already devoured two of them.

I think of it as the iPod for books. (I know Apple is featuring the iPad for this, but I’m not convinced the iPad is really the best device for reading.) Sony offered us the Touch Reader. In fact we had to choose between the Pocket version and the Touch, and I chose the Touch because, being used to an iPhone, I was convinced I’d try to touch the screen all the time.

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op 17/02 door | 1 comment

Internet around the globe: iPass and TelenetConnect tested

telenet1One of the things that worried us the most when leaving for a year of  location independence was the internet.
We tried our best to choose locations which had reliable internet access, but I have to admit that South Africa wasn’t giving us good vibes.

Did our destinations have high speed internet available? And if so, was it affordable? Thailand didn’t pose any problems, as we found out in September, nor will Argentina. But South Africa was worrying us. We got two opposing kinds of report. People saying the speed was fine, and others saying it was amazingly slow…

There is the great story of the pigeon; a company tried to send 512mb over the internet, and at the same time released a pigeon with a USB stick. It turned out that the pigeon was the faster….
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op 31/01 door | schrijf een comment

A local number worldwide: VOIP does the trick.

3022339998_921a370972One of the things I feared a bit before leaving was losing communication with clients. Back in Belgium, the simplest way to communicate was by phone, followed by email and in person. The last option wasn’t possible anymore, the second remained, and the first, well…..that would become an very expensive solution. At least that was what I thought at first… Read the rest of this entry »

op 24/01 door | 4 comments

What is the best online collaboration service for nu-nomads?

sugarsync-mainCloud services are not new. They come in very handy for a digital, nomad lifestyle, and luckily for us, they have become better and better.

Yet finding the ‘perfect’ tool isn’t always simple. Personally, I don’t believe in ‘working in the cloud’; I need all files offline and stored on my laptop. An online copy is a nice extra and a way to be sure there is a backup available on the server. As a nunomad, however, these online files become almost a necessity, or else I wouldn’t be able to respond positively to client questions like ‘Can you send me this or that right away?’.

At this moment, I’m using Dropbox, a great tool for sharing stuff with other freelancers and clients, while for sending those large files on the spot, I use Yousendit. But there are better solutions that have better online collaboration tools. In this post I’ll try to compare some of those solutions.

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op 14/12 door | schrijf een comment

Our nomadic office

3909319300_b2e62ac514Before starting our nomadic journey we definitely checked whether is was possible to run our little company from abroad.

Basically in my job as a webdesigner I need:
-a decent portable + a bigger screen (which is pretty cheap these days) + pc to check IE6/7/8 + installed software
-internet
-mobile number to be in touch with my clients
-backup disks to ensure all is saved when the harddisk fails on me or the computer gets stolen.
-a place to set all this stuff up (called office)
-an account to get paid on
-an accountant that takes care of the taxes
-insurances
-a website to promote myself
-networking opportunities to sell my services

As a nomadic webdesigner I need… all the same.
Except: I need some solutions to make things portable or cuts costs down (like on telephony)

Our solutions specially adapted for abroad:
-A Macbook (13inch) + VMware to run PC + installed software
Wireless internet all around the world thanks to Telenet and their iPass-solution
-A local number through Nomado.eu. Which gives us a local Belgian number and sends it to our SIPphone (through Fring on the iPhone / Softphone solution on the computer) or to a local number in the country we’re residing. (at a local rate, which makes it very affordable)
Outgoing talks can be done through Nomado as well. But we’ll probably use Skype too.
-Online backupping through Backblaze.com + cloud service like Nomadesk or SugarSync & several small HD’s to have a spare one when a disk fails on us.
-The office space is probably just the appartment we’ll rent, or maybe nomadic office services abroad, like The Hub.
-Internetbased bank for payments
-Incoming invoices are channeled to the accountant, thanks to mom, while outgoing invoices are pdf’s which are sent by email to the clients and the accountant.
-International insurance instead of only local ones.
-The website stays the same.
-Networking opportunities are explored abroad through interesting events + contacts by the embassy.

I’ll go into dept on each of these subjects in a series of posts…