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I added the CAPTCHA module to this site's Drupal install and configured it to be used to make comments to new articles. Hope it will allow visitors to write comments again without me getting a lot of spam again.

Is this the secret to life?

After an extended period of contemplation and reading too many self-help/-improvement materials, I begin to wonder if I finally got the point to life and living.

My conclusions:
* we need to experience fulfilling sensations to feel good and alive
* we experience sensations the best when they get our complete attention (flow state)
* giving our full attention goes best when we master the skill required to achieve something (which takes time and practice, but is the best investment of your time)
* creating (support to the needs of others) gives one of the best emotional experiences
* we achieve happiness when we can share these experiences (at least on an emotional level)

I started implementing these realisations in my life and there are considerable improvements. I am improving the skills I need to create what I want. The creative processes which occur while improving these skills are very inspirational and positive experiences. Being able to share them with the woman I love just completes it.

The above points seem to work for me. Curious to hear what works for you.

New favourite iPhone app: ForeverMap2

I had been looking for an offline 'slippy map' browser for my iPhone for a while. I wanted an application which would provide me simply the maps, similar like the Google or Apple Maps applications, but then with the possibility of using them offline without having to cache whatever part of the map which you might use first. I do not want or need turn-by-turn navigation most of the times. It makes me unaware of where I am and it makes me feel like a slave of some higher power which frequently does not allow me to take the route I enjoy taking more.

Having used Waze for a while, partially enabled by having a databundle, I became interested in 'open source' maps. I believe in the concept of creating a data source with a large number of inputs which make sure not only that the data is correct, but also that it stays up to date. Wikipedia is a good example of this development model for a knowledge base. The OpenStreetMap project seemed to have the most mature product, especially the maps of NL and CZ seemed to be certainly good enough for my use case. So I started to look for an offline 'slippy map' browser for my iPhone using OpenStreetMap map materials.

Somehow I never found a good one, with DirectU Europe being the closest to what I wanted. For a 2GB download though, it did not have that good maps (outdated and not clear looking) and the browsing experience simple can't match the intuitive one from the default maps apps. My frustration from not finding a map that really did what I wanted, even made me plan for a crowdfunded development app that would do this. Of course the same day I decide that I will start that project, I run into ForeverMap 2 by skobbler GmbH on a last search before starting the adventure. €1,79 and a free in-app download of some maps later I was very happy indeed. It does exactly what I wanted, but also much more than that and in such a way that it is beneficial rather than disturbing. The interesting bit is that I noticed a feedback button and it got me thinking: which features would I want in addition to the great set that is already there. I came up with a few, but nonetheless I would like to recommend this app to anyone looking for a decent map viewing application. It is already great as it is.

MacBook Air WiFi

My Retinabook is having rather good WiFi performance, but the 13" MacBook Air of my girlfriend not always. I ran into http://osxdaily.com/2012/08/02/fix-os-x-mountain-lion-wireless-connection-problems/ via http://osxdaily.com/2012/11/30/resolving-stubborn-wi-fi-connection-problems-in-mac-os-x/. Tried what was described and it seemed to work. No idea if things as changing the MTU value (whatever that may be) really helps, but it seems to.

3D Connexion SpaceNavigator in Blender 2.67b

I never managed to get the SpaceNavigator working in Blender as I was used to in Catia/SolidWorks/NX. Now via a remark by Blender lead developer Ton Roosendaal on a development forum I got close. Turns out that in "User Preferences > Input > NDOF device" the Trackball rotation style has to be selected.
Furthermore in "User Preferences > Input > 3D View > 3D View (Global)" both "NDOF Orbit View with Zoom" and "NDOF Move View" must be modified to change the default panning mode (Move View according to Blender...) to be activated by the SpaceNavigator only rather than by a combination of keyboard and SpaceNavigator.

The Mac driver version 10.0.11 for the SpaceNavigator has a bug which causes all the remaining free disk space and RAM to be consumed by the 3DxRadialMenu app within the preference pane. A 3D Connexion employee gave me the suggestion to kill that process via Activity Monitor, remove the app from the PrefPane package (//Library/PreferencePanes/, right click on 3Dconnexion.prefPane, "Show Package Contents" -> Contents -> Resources -> 3DxRadialMenu to the trash) and reboot. It worked for me.

UPDATE:
* newer 3D Connexion drivers don't have this bug anymore.
* http://spacemice.wikidot.com/blender describes how to make any NDOF device work in Blender (the way you'd expect it to work).

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