Archive for the 'Life' Category

 

Eroica 2015

apr 23, 2015 in Cycling, Life

Eroica is the name of a vintage bike event that started in Italy and now also has a California edition, a few weeks ago in Paso Robles!

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Rrrrrr-Tack!

Ah that sound an analog dérailleur makes, no index shifting, just move the handle until it falls into the next gear. The bike I rode made that noise, all bikes around me made that noise except for a few single speeds and a few with a Simplex 3-speed. And one of them rode up the steep unpaved hill in the lowest of his three gears where the majority of us had to walk our bikes, on a heavy steel bike, and he didn’t even appear out of breath. Toeclips. Clipless pedals were not allowed. Luckily my bike had toeclips with straps and Jon also lent me his brother’s cycling shoes. Getting into the toeclips never was a problem during the ride. My feet still remembered how to do this. I didn’t manage to get the cleat to catch on the pedal’s ridge and so I had to learn not to pull on the pedals but just push. This made the steeper climbs a bit tricky especially with the high gearing on the bike: 44×26 was the lowest I think (have you seen my thighs? Not Tony Martin material I tell you).

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The bike.

A forty-something year old Mondia Special, Reynolds steel frame, Campy Record. Borrowed to me by Jon on behalf of his brother. The lesson: it’s okay to have short friends as long as their siblings are tall! A great bike. It got a lot of looks and I heard many a “oh a Mondia!” as I rode along. It handled very well on the unpaved roads and descended really nicely.

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The shirts.

I rode in replica jersey and shorts of the Peugeot team of the 80-ies. There were many Molteni jerseys of course and Bianchi. I also saw several Atala’s, Raleigh and some Look jerseys. A few went further back for their outfits and wore woolen jerseys from the 20-ies and 30-ies; some with the spare tube wrapped around their shoulders.

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The scenery, the route.

Gorgeous. Hey, we’re in California, so duh. The route out Paso Robles was via a bike path, followed by the first unpaved road and climb, and then we were out in the country. The rest stops were at wineries (hips. pardon.) and the route meandered over their property, over their unpaved service roads. The pace of the ride was unhurried. You’re here to see and be seen, to chat, to admire, to encourage. The miles just flew by.

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The verdict.

You have to participate in one. These so-called Eroica rides are becoming more popular. There’s the original one in Italy of course but there’s also one in Spain, in Japan and here in Paso Robles! It’s fun, it’s a trip back in time, it’s nostalgic, it’s delightful.

Kids, guns, whatever.

feb 01, 2015 in Life

While sipping my latte and searching the web for about 20 minutes already I composed a too long list of kids involved in gun shootings in the last year – either getting hurt or killed themselves, hurting or killing others.

In almost all of these cases no charges were filed; no parents or police officers were deemed accountable for what happened, nor laws changed to make these cases less likely to happen in the future.

Toddler shoots parents: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/01/toddler-shoots-father-pregnant-mother

Toddler shoots parent: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/12/31/woman-accidentally-shot-and-killed-by-2-year-old-in-walmart/

Toddler shoots sister: http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/04/_11_year_old_west_philly_girl_killed_by_gun_fired_by_2_year_old_brother.html

Toddler shoots self: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/breaking/Delaware-Child-Shot-277595301.html

Police shoots child: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jan/31/detroit-aiyana-stanley-jones-police-officer-cleared

Police shoots child: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/nov/26/tamir-rice-video-shows-boy-shot-police-cleveland

Nine year old shoots instructor: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/uzi-shooting-death-in-arizona-raises-questions-about-children-and-guns/

Toddler shoots brother: http://www.azfamily.com/video/featured-videos/Payson-mom-speaks-after-child-killed-in-gun-accident-288779651.html

Dad shoots baby son: http://fox59.com/2014/10/24/baby-dies-after-being-shot-in-head-during-gun-cleaning-accident-in-kokomo/

Four year old shoots self: http://www.wpr.org/accident-involving-4-year-old-boy-brings-child-gun-safety-issues-fore

Friend shoots pregnant mom and unborn child: http://www.wetpaint.com/teen-mom/articles/2014-07-29-pregnant-woman-unborn-child-die-gun-accident
Two year old shoots self: https://www.hillsborofreepress.com/news/2-year-old-marion-boy-injured-in-gun-accident

Three year old shoots mom: http://www.tulsaworld.com/newshomepage1/police-identify-woman-fatally-shot-by–year-old-son/article_e3cd6f52-c6a7-5d6f-9601-1dc8aec19f37.html

Macintosh turns 30

jan 22, 2014 in Life

This week it is 30 years ago that Apple introduced the Macintosh computer. First, by means of the famous 1984 Super Bowl commercial and then the unveiling itself at Flint Center in Cupertino. While I was unaware of those events when they happened, they did nonetheless greatly influenced me a few years later and are the key events that led to where I am now.

In 1987 I was working as a PC software engineer for KMG in Amsterdam, one of the big accountancy firms in Europe. That year the company merged with Peat Marwick becoming KPMG Peat Marwick. KMG had standardized on MS-DOS, Peat Marwick was a Macintosh environment. As part of the merger a calculation was made of what was more efficient/effective: port the company’s Mac apps to MS-DOS, or porting the MS-DOS apps to Mac. The outcome? Port to Mac. And thus, late that year, I wrote my first app for the Mac Plus.

It was thrilling and new: writing windows, drawing dialog boxes, tracking mouse clicks, implementing copy & paste, menus, buttons. I became interested in the Apple culture. I read John Sculley’s book Odyssey and learned about Bill Atkinson, Andy Hertzfeld, Steve Capps, and Steve and Steve. In 1989 I attended my first Apple WWDC in San Jose. That was it, I was hooked and I had to become part of Silicon Valley. One way or another this had to happen. I had to find a way.

The next year KPMG started a project to rewrite all its Macintosh auditing software. There were going to be two development centers, one in Amsterdam and the other in Montvale, NJ. Montvale was where KPMG’s headquarters were so it was clear that the gravity center of the project would be over there. And, while not exactly California, that was much closer to Silicon Valley than Amsterdam was. So, with some skillful elbowing, I inserted myself in the project as the lead engineer and KPMG agreed to relocate me to Montvale.

In order to make that come true I needed something called a work visa. Not something I had given any thought and not something I thought would really be a big deal. It’s just a piece of paper. With great enthusiasm I threw myself into the project. Spent a couple of multi-week trips in Montvale to help get the team off the ground, start drafts of the design, look for apartments. In The Netherlands the movers were coming by putting my furniture into storage and I gave one cat to my parents and the other to Marja in eager anticipation of my imminent move. Slowly it started to dawn that this work visa thing was a tad tricky. KPMG knew how to move accountants from country to country but not software engineers. The US Immigration Services asked KPMG to explain why it is not a franchise of national companies (like McDonald’s for example) but rather a single integrated multinational firm. And there was the little detail of me not having a college degree which made qualification for visa that much harder. After nine months, and six of those with my stuff in storage, I gave up, had the movers return my furniture to my apartment in Amsterdam, informed the partner in charge of the project of my change of mind. With pain in my heart I canceled the option I had on a 12th floor apartment in Fort Lee with a view over the Hudson onto Manhattan.

The next two years I picked up life again in Amsterdam and moved on from this failed attempt. We did a crazy project for Cargill involving smart cards, digital signatures and Secure PS/2 workstations that greatly helped in distracting me from how to get to Silicon Valley.

Then, in March 1993 my ex-colleague Jeroen, who was now at Apple, whispered via an email that they were looking for an evangelist on their team in London. A few phone calls later both parties were interested in taking this further. The team organized a developer event in London which gave me the excuse to attend and visit with the team. At the end of the week I accepted the offer. London, much closer to Silicon Valley than Amsterdam, and I’d be working for Apple! At least half of the dream was being realized!

In June of 1993 I relocated across The Channel and moved into my funky apartment in Ealing, West London.

While I missed the Macintosh launch itself, wasn’t really aware of it, I was there for another one. In 1994/5 Apple was switching from the Motorola 68000 chip family to the PowerPC architecture. Leading up to the launch of the new machines and for some time after, a period of about a year and a half, I travelled the UK and much of Europe with the so-called pizza box (what would become the Mac PowerPC 6100) under my arm doing insanely great demos and helping developers port their apps to this new architecture. It was exhausting but I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun professionally.

In early 1996 I started to interact with the Copland (one of the code names for Apple’s next operating system) and OpenDoc developer evangelism teams in the US. I learned of an opening on the Copland team and got myself invited to a series of interviews. This was going quite well with the manager of the group and I reaching agreement on my role on the team and the relocation to Cupertino. Then, a week later I got a phone call. He told me that there was a rather large re-org over there and the position disappeared. Darn. So close.

I was now in the education team in Apple UK. In November we organized another series of Apple Days for universities. We brought over Marc, a group manager in the Mac OS product marketing team, to do some of the presentations. Kate, my manager, whispered to Marc of my desires of moving to Cupertino. A month later he offered me an OpenDoc product marketing position in Cupertino. I accepted.

On January 3 1997 I landed at San Francisco airport. January 6th was my first day in the office at Infinite Loop. A few weeks later, very briefly I met Steve Jobs.

I can now confirm the existence of the Area 50 page

aug 17, 2013 in Life

Such important news this week! The CIA declassified documents that confirm that Area 51 does exist! It does!

Seeing this example of transparency I feel I must act in kind and confirm that, yes, Onno.Com does have a web page called Area 50. We, the editors of Onno.Com, that is me, apologize for any anxiety and discomfort this necessary act of deception may have caused.

In August 2000 I was for a business trip in Las Vegas. I took a day off to go find Area 51. Below is the story of that road trip that I posted on onno.com afterwards. Enjoy!

———

Area 50

Announcement, please read!

It has been rumored that Onno.Com has a page called Area 50. We want it be known that such a page does not exist. Anyone found browsing that page will be summoned to leave Onno.Com immediately!

Rachel, Nevada

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In mid-August I attended a developer conference in Las Vegas. Before official business started there was some time to look around. Being an X-Files fan, I drove up north to a tiny village called Rachel, Nevada. Village is perhaps overstating it, it is really a handful of trailers and the Little Ale-inn. Rachel lies east of a huge Air Force base, called Area 51. According to the conspiracy theories here is where the aliens found at Roswell are kept and where the Air Force tests planes based on UFO technology. Part of the fuel to all this is that the Air Force (still?) denies that Area 51 exists. Little Aleinn is both a diner and a souvenir shop with pictures of alleged UFO sightings covering the walls. One of my favorite t-shirts reads “Area 51 is real, the Air Force does not exist!”. Another conspiracy theory is that because of all this attention, caused in part by the X-Files, the Air Force has moved any kind of secret stuff that took place here to somewhere in Utah. Which may well be true and by keeping doing suspicious about this place they keep attention away from that site in Utah. The truth is out there?

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In the souvenir shop you can buy, for a mere 33 cents, a guide of how to get to Area 51. Click on the image to see an enlargement of the text and the map. With the guide in hand and the map on the back I drove the 19 miles back to the mailbox and turned onto to the dirt road. Following the instructions I came indeed upon those orange posts and the signs with very stern language at either side of the road. The rather amusing part of all this is that there is NOTHING to see. You’re in the midst of Nevada desert and hills. The only thing you see are the signs and indeed a white jeep appearing on the hill before you a few hundred yards away. I stopped the car and wandered around a bit. By that time I trust the two guards in the jeep used the internet to their benefit and retrieved that the license plate on the car was for a rental car and currently being rented by a Dutchman living in California on a H1B visa…

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So somewhere behind those hills on the horizon is Area 51.

“Are you sure you want to turn onto that dirt road?”
“Why? It is perfectly fine!”
“Well, it is not a four-wheel drive that we’re renting…”
“Oh, as if I ever got stuck. I know what I am doing!”

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Driving from Las Vegas to Rachel this is mostly what that’s like for most of the 2 1/2 hours it takes. A long empty road through very dry, very hot terrain. So it is no problem to stop the car in the middle of the road, climb in the back and fiddle with the headrest and the mirror to take this picture.

It has its own beauty though.

Finally cut the cable

dec 01, 2012 in Life

wpid-cablecut-2012-12-1-14-10.jpgToday I finally brought the two cable set-top boxes back to TimeWarnerCable. My bill is now lower by about hundred dollar to around $60/month. I’ve been playing to do this since the summer so my laziness donated some $400 extra to Twc. Oh well, but now it is done.

The first steps were taken almost a year ago by first canceling the phone. I was hardly using the home phone anymore. Previously it was useful because phone calls to The Netherlands were a lot cheaper than via my iPhone. When AT&T greatly improved its pricing, that advantage went away and I was basically paying $75/month for no particular reason.

I already had an AppleTV connected to the living room and bedroom televisions. Via iTunes and Netflix I watch tv-series and movies. I added a Roku in each room which gave me BBC World News, CNN International, NOS Journaal and Politiek24 to provide for a selection of news. These four stations come courtesy of the NowhereTV private channel. Streamfree.tv is an excellent source for Roku private channels.

Between iTunes, Netflix and Amazon.com I have plenty of choice in tv-series and movies. Netflix and Amazon may not have the most recent season yet of say Breaking Bad but that doesn’t matter much. The Roku box does a good job in covering the need for news. What remains then is sports.

Cable TV (and satellite) currently still beats the internet in availability of live sports. While much is streamed on-line too, in most cases you need a cable-tv subscription in order to watch the stream: NBC and the winter/summer Olympics to name one example. However, most of the sports on American television doesn’t interest me: baseball, football. I have a passing interest in basketball and hockey but not enough that I stay home to watch. The sports that do interest me – cycling, Dutch soccer, speed skating – I am either not able to see it anyways due to international copyright issues or there are on-line options. Steephill.tv has pointers to live streaming of most/all of the cycling spring classics. The Tour de France is provided through an excellent iPad app. And on my iPad I can see the NOS’s live stream of the speed skating events. I can see this stream on my iPad but not on my MacBook. This is a big secret, you must promise not to tell anyone.

Via Airplay I can then stream this from my iPad or my MacBook to an AppleTV and watch it full-screen on the tv.

The main casualty of ending the cable subscription then is the ability to watch Dutch soccer. ESPN’s iPad app, ESPNWatch, streams a few of the Eredivisie games each weekend. This requires a cable-tv subscription (you log in to the app via your service provider account) so that will go away. But then, seeing how Ajax is playing this season…

I did get an HD-antenna (AntennaDirect CMS1 from BetsBuy) so I have access to over-the-air tv-stations. What with a north-facing apartment and Lake Ontario straight ahead I am pleased with what I receive. Eight stations which include the local affiliates of ABC, CBS and CW, and a couple of PBS stations. And all of them in HD.

An article in the New York Times a little while back introduced the terms “lean back tv” and “lean forward tv”. The first referring to cable-tv, the second to on-line watching. These are very accurate characterizations. Watching cable-tv you just zap around the channels pushing the button on your remote or by scrolling through the guide. After cutting the cable, you can still get much of the same content but their sources are separate (different web sites etc) and are accessed through separate devices (AppleTV, Roku, computer) and so requires more activity.

My dad, Gerard Kluijt, 1923 – 2012

aug 06, 2012 in Life

wpid-P8300013-2012-08-6-16-22.jpgFriday night my dad passed away due to heart failure and other complications. He was, in his own words, almost 89 years old. He was a difficult man, I didn’t have a close relationship with him, often I didn’t really know how to relate to him and I think it was the same for him. But still, he was my dad and I will miss him nonetheless.

I like to share some of my memories of him with you. I don’t think I have often talked about any of these.

My dad was not one to show his affections easily. Not that I do so either – hey, we’re Kluyts. But he did in different ways show his solidarity. When I was 10 or so my football team was playing Ookmeer. I was the goalkeeper. The whole match I did not get a single ball; we won easily. The whole match it poured rain. I was soaked. The whole match my dad stood next to my goal. He didn’t have a raincoat nor umbrella. He was as drenched as I was.

wpid-195727-1-2012-08-6-16-22.jpgAround that time, it might have been a year earlier, my dad and I learned to play chess. I joined the school’s chess club for a bit. During vacations he would buy a Dutch newspaper, often De Telegraaf if we were abroad. The sports section would report on recent matches between grandmasters. At the camping table we would replay to those matches and try to play on from where one of the players offered a draw or defeat. We would talk through the moves then switch the board around and try again only to discover 15 moves later that the masters were right about how it would end. I enjoyed those moments. No, I never told him this.

After I moved abroad, one time my dad came to pick me up from Amsterdam Airport. He drove, I sat next to him. I looked over and noticed how he sat behind the steering wheel, how he held it, the back of his hands. I realized that I sit so too, I hold the wheel that way, the back of my hands look like his. 

wpid-1962VacantieTexel-2012-08-6-16-22.jpgWhen we were young my dad would take books with him on summer vacations about the Club of Rome and other rather serious books on economic policy. My dad left school when he was twelve. My sisters and I would joke about this behind his back wondering, doubting if he understood what he was reading. One of my great pastimes is to read nonfiction books; a short list of books I read recently include a Robert Oppenheimer biography, a book on quantum mechanics, Six Easy Pieces by Feynman, Plato’s Republic and some of Karen Armstrong’s books. 

There was one thing that for many years I wanted to do together, and that took too many years to finally fulfill: have a beer with my dad in a pub, just he and I, just talk and hang out. Or as in Jeffrey Gaines’ song: “Did all the things that good friends do, Worked together and talked about girls, Talked of dreams and traveling the world.”

I only managed to achieve this just a few years ago. I visited our mom in the nursing home. A while later Ger, my dad, arrived too. When we left we walked back together to my parents’ home. Halfway is the Buikslotermeerplein shopping center and a cafe with a terrasse and it is nice weather. I stopped and said: “Let’s have a beer.” He looked at me, nodded. After we were seated and had our beers in front of us, I told him that this was something I wanted for a long time. He smiled.

wpid-1989DDuinen01-2012-08-6-16-22.jpgThe last time I saw my dad was when I was back home last year September for his birthday. As usual he took the family for dinner to the Chinese restaurant he goes every week. I sat across from him, not everybody had arrived yet, he and I chatted a bit. I told him that one of things that surprised me about life as I got older is that when I was, say, in my twenties I expected people in their forties, okay fifties, to feel that age and to, well, feel old. “I still feel 24,” I said. He was looking at me, nodded a bit. “What age do you feel you are on the inside?” I asked. He thought a bit and said: “35 or so?”

Waar ik vandaan kom

jun 07, 2012 in Life

Ik heb mijn DNA laten testen voor voorouderlijke analyse. Ik moet toegeven dat ik vergeten ben wat precies de prikkel was om dit te laten doen behalve dan ik hier altijd al een milde interesse voor had sinds wetenschappers genetische analyse gebruiken om het ontstaan van de moderne mens te bepalen.

Mijn vader en anderen in de familie hebben onze familieboom getraceerd met de meer traditionele manier van het achterhalen van geboortestukken. Dit traceert ons terug naar Zeeland zo rond halverwege de 17de eeuw. Yvonne heeft tijdens haar vakantie in Utah laten uitprinten wat de Mormonen van de Kluyt familie weten. Dat beweert dat we in Romeinse tijden in Duitsland waren. Dat laatste is interessant maar omdat de methode en de bronnen van de Mormonen niet duidelijk zijn is dat een beetje een curiositeit (de praktijk geboorte-akten bij te houden is niet zo oud tenzij je blauw bloed hebt. Hetgeen niet het geval is ondanks de kindertijd verhalen van mijn vader over koffie met de koningin).

In de meeste gevallen is de genetische research gebaseerd op mitochondrieel DNA wat via het X-chromosoon wordt door gegeven. Voor een prive-persoon is dat onderzoek duur om te laten doen; zo nieuwsgierig ben ik nu ook weer niet. Na enige internet gezoek kwam ik bij DNA Tribes terecht (http://dnatribes.com). DNA Tribes gebruikt een andere methode. Zij gebruiken 15, 21 of 27 (jij kiest de precisie waarmee het onderzoek gedaan wordt en dus hoeveel je wilt uitgeven) genetische markers waaruit ze een DNA profiel bouwen. Dit profiel is uit zowel het X- als het Y-chromosoon opgebouwd. Dit profiel wordt vervolgens vergeleken met bevolkingsgroepen op twee manieren. Eerst met groepen die feitelijk al eeuwen in hetzelfde gebied wonen en dan met bevolkingsgroepen waar ook migratie in mee is genomen. Het eerste resultaat geeft wat DNA Tribes de Native Population Match noemt, de tweede de Global Population Match. DAN Tribes’s beschrijvingen zijn ietwat moeilijk te volgen voor leken (ik ga mijn neef Martijn inschakelen om sommige termen uit te leggen). Hoe ik het zie is dat de eerste test laat zien hoe mijn profiel zich vergelijkt met groepen die voor al lange tijd in hetzelfde gebied zijn en het tweede resultaat hoe mijn profiel zich verhoudt tot de bevolking die nu in een bepaald gebied woont. Samen genomen kom ik dan tot conclusies hoe mijn voorvaders en -moeders over duizenden jaren gemigreerd zijn.

Goed, de resultaten! Ik heb twee testen laten doen. Naast de algemene tests zoals hierboven beschreven heb ik DNA Tribes ook specifiek naar Europa laten kijken. Nu ik de uitkomst heb laat ik ze misschien ook naar Zuid-Azië kijken maar daar later meer over.

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Wat je hier ziet is dat mijn DNA profiel het meest overheen komt met gemiddelde profielen in wat nu Oost-Rusland en de Kaukasus is, en dan verder terug het gebied dat nu Pakistan is. Er is een relatief hoge match met Venezuela dus misschien is een voorouderlijke tak lang geleden daarheen gemigreerd of dat is gewoon toeval. Wat is intrigerend is de lage score met Noord- en West-Europa.

 

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Deze chart geeft de nummers achter de cirkels op de wereldkaart. Dit laat zien dat de hoogste match met de Hazara regio in het huidige Pakistan. Je ziet twee getallen in de chart. Het getal rechts van de balken heet de ‘Match Likelihood Index’. Dit getal geeft het gebied en etnische groep aan waar mijn profiel het meeste voorkomt. Het getal tussen haakjes is de TribeScore. Dit is het percentage dat de MLI score voorkomt in een bepaald gebied of voor een bepaalde etnische groep. Ik zie al dat het wat cryptisch is.

Een conclusie die getrokken kan worden is dat het lijkt dat mijn voorouders hun oorsprong hebben in wat is nu Pakistan en India vele duizenden jaren geleden. En sindsdien langzaam westelijk zijn getrokken via Kazachstan, Rusland, Oekraïne en Polen. Grappig genoeg komt dit overeen met de gegevens van de Mormonen dat de familie Kluyt in Duitsland was in de Romeinse tijd.

De Europe-test die ik heb laten doen bleek minder interessant te zijn behalve dan dat het de migratie vanuit het oosten bevestigt. Ik ben DNA Tribes een aantal vragen aan het emailen om mijn interpretatie te bevestigen. Afhankelijk van de antwoorden laat ik ze misschien verder de Centraal- en Zuid-Azischie connectie onderzoeken.

Onno.Com is 15 jaar oud!

mrt 15, 2012 in Life

wpid-welcome-onno-com-2012-03-15-16-25.pngWe zijn een tiener!

Ik veroverde het domein op 3 maart 1997. De eerste webpagina’s gingen live een paar dagen later.

In het begin had ik een specifieke behoefte voor de site. En onno.com als adres was goed voor het ego. Maar terug naar het originele doel. Begin januari ’97 verhuisde ik van Engeland naar de VS om voor Apple in Cupertino, California te gaan werken. Mijn nieuwe positie was OpenDoc Product Marketing Manager – een technologie voor software-ontwikkelaars om applicaties uit kleinere onderdelen te bouwen die dan al naar gelang de behoefte van de gebruiker op verschillende manieren gecombineerd konden worden. Rond die tijd had Apple Next opgekocht (of zoals het grapje binnen Apple ging, Next had Apple gekocht). Vrij vlug na het landen en het in gebruik nemen van mijn nieuwe kantoor op de 4de etage met mooi uitzicht over Mount Hamilton waren twee dingen duidelijk:

– binnen een aantal weken zou er een substantiële reorganisatie met ontslagen zijn, en

– OpenDoc ging dat niet overleven.

Een teamlid en ik, ben de man’s naam vergeten, besloten om de tijd tot dat moment te gebruiken om ons voor te bereiden op de volgende stap in de carrière: we liepen naar de Computer Bookstore op de begane grond en kochten Java In A Nutshell en Symantec’s Visual Cafe. Om Java te leren schreef ik een damspel applet. Toen dat eenmaal redelijk werkte had ik een plek nodig om dat voor mijn beoogde nieuwe collega’s van Sun Microsystems ten toon te stellen zo dat zij ermee konden spelen en mijn Java kennis konden bewonderen. En dus: onno.com.

Daarna werd het een persoonlijke web site waar ik foto’s plaatste en schreef over de reisjes die ik deed, het fietsen en wat mij maar verder interesseerde. De eerste paar jaar was dit allemaal met de handgeschreven html. Stukje bij beetje verving ik dat met standaard hulpmiddelen: de foto’s gingen naar MobileME en van daar kortgeleden naar onno.smugmig.com, en de content wordt nu beheerd door wordpress op onno.com. De hosting ging van pacbell.net naar yahoo naar lunarpages.

Een paar keer per jaar informeert er iemand of onno.com te koop is. Een t-shirt bedrijf in Colorado probeerde het meerdere keren; het was nooit duidelijk wat de relevantie van “onno.com” voor hun bedrijf had. Verschillende andere Onno’s waaronder Onno Tijdgat die bekend was als hacker tijdens de tachtiger jaren en de Chaos Computer Club tijd. Het meest recente verzoek was een maand of wat geleden: een Pools bedrijf die een portal op onno.pl aan het bouwen is. Ik betreur het een beetje dat ik toentertijd niet ook de .nl en .org domeinen heb gepakt en dus wonen nu andere Onno’s op die adressen.

De site was thuis voor Rachel’s fotobedrijf voor een tijdje voor we dat naar z’n eigen thuis verhuisden: rachelgracie.com. Het heeft mijn consulting business ondersteunt gedurende het jaar dat dat actief was. Vorig jaar was onno.com gehackt en heb wat lange nachten besteed aan het checken van elk bestand om te controleren of die gecompromiseerd was.

Jammert genoeg heb ik geen backups van de eerste dagen van de site. De foto die je hierboven ziet toont de welkompagina zoals die in april 2002 was. Webcawlers hebben het domein regelmatig bezoekt en de ‘wayback machine’ het een paar leuke aardigheden in het archief. Zoals mijn december 2000 trip naar San Diego en Las Vegas: http://web.archive.org/web/20010216193812/http://www.onno.com/travel/newyearseve.html en de Thanksgiving 2000 treinreis met Amtrak naar Colorado en New Mexico: http://web.archive.org/web/20010422061814/http://www.onno.com/travel/allaboard.html. Ik pluk die en een paar andere verhalen misschien uit het archief en post ze opnieuw – er zitten lollige herinneren in die verhalen.

Prettige Kerstdagen!

dec 23, 2011 in Life

wpid-christmas003-2011-12-23-19-57.jpg

Dat al je kerstwensen in vervulling gaan!

Mijn kerstwens is dat je lid wordt van een organisatie zoals Kiva.org en iemand in nood helpt.

Zwarte Piet, wie kent hem niet?

dec 18, 2011 in Life

Gisteren las ik een erg interesante opinie over het Sinterklaasfeest en dan met name Zwarte Piet op Slate.com. Het is interesant omdat het een niet-Nederlandse blik werpt op onze traditie. Een paar weken eerder las ik een krantenartikel over de Nederlandse organizatie in Ottawa die een geplande Sinterklaasparade afzegde vanwege racisme en discriminatie protesten ten aanzien van de rol van Zwarte Piet.

In eerste instantie was mijn reactie één van: “Ach, laat het toch. Het is gewoon een onschuldig kinderfeest”. Vrij behoorlijk zoals Jessica Olien beschrijft in dat opiniestuk als ze met Nederlanders hierover wil praten. Dat deed me een stap terug nemen en dit wat objectiever te bekijken.

Ik weet de context niet waarin onze traditie geschapen was aangaande Zwarte Piet maar het is toch waarschijnlijk dat het bouwde op de prevalerende mening van die tijd dat zwarte (of eigenlijk elke niet-blanke) personen kinderen van een mindere god waren; niet zo intelligent, slim, ondernemend, welsprekend, goed gemanierd (nu ja, voeg je eigen favorieten in) als de blanke. Als ik op mijn eigen kindertijd terugkijk in de 60-er en 70-er jaren dan was zeker een deel van dat nog aanwezig in de uitvoering van de rol van Zwarte Piet. Sindsdien, zoals ook het artikel aangeeft, is de rol wel wat gelijker gemaakt maar zeker het visuele beeld is er nog steeds: de Goed Heilig Man is blank en wijs, de helper is zwart en onderdanig.

Ik ben van mening dat het tijd is om de traditie de volgende stap te laten nemen en dit deel los te laten. Het zal moeilijk zijn om de rol te hernoemen en te rebranden. Aan de andere kant als we gewoon “Zwarte” wegnemen en vervangen met zoiets als “Goede”, “Sterke”, “Grote”? Pik een positief motief. Dan rijmen alle liedjes nog steeds. En de zwarte gezichtsverf moet weg. Je kan op geen enkele manier beargumenteren dat iemand er geen racistische of discriminerende intentie in moet lezen. Het maakt niet uit wat onze intentie nu is met de personage van Zwarte Piet, het gaat erom hoe het wordt ervaren.

Laat Zwarte Piet met pensioen gaan en breng de traditie de moderne tijd in.

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