The perfect presentation remote

Logitech Remote
I like to use a remote control when doing presentations. I have used different remotes and experimented with this even back when my computer was running on Windows NT, the remote was communicating through an infrared reciever on the RS232 port and it was one week of work to get the remote up and running.

So through the years I have put together a simple requirement specification for a presentation remote:

1. Stable wireless connection through radio and not IR
2. Good design and not too many buttons
3. Absolutely no drivers or software installation
4. Battery indicator to warn low power
5. A range of at least 10 meters

The question about drivers and software is important for the situations where you can’t do the presentation from your own computer. It should be possible for you to just connect your remote and have it working in seconds.

The good news is that I have found it. The Logitech Cordless Presenter 2,4 GHz. It fills all my requirements and adds a couple of extra features as well:

A built in timer that will also quietly and briefly vibrate the presenter when you have 5 minutes and 2 minutes left. Meaning that you know when your time is running out without even looking at the display.

A volume control that also worked with no drivers on the computers I have tried.

A button to blank the screen and an escape button to leave the presentation.

A laser pointer
At this point I have to mention that I don’t really like laser pointers. I like to design my slides so simple that I don’t need a laser pointer to guide people. But who knows, it might come in handy…

I have tested the remote on two different computers running Win XP and on a Macintosh PowerBook G4 running OS X. It worked fine on all three. No installation. Just reliable control of PowerPoint immediately.

Presenter and a Mac

The perfect presentation remote

It’s official. Yahoo has bought Meedio.

As discussed here. It’s not rumors anymore. Meedio is now a part of Yahoo. Welcome MeeHoo, Yahoodeeo or whatever. Meedio is IMHO one of the best media front ends out there. The platform is very solid and flexible. It has a very strong user community and huge amounts of possibilities. Now Yahoo has to play their cards carefully.

This is on the home page of Meedio today:

Important News About Meedio

Today is a big day for the team here at Meedio; we have sold most of our technology to Yahoo!

David Brott, Jeff (beergeek), Kenny (fasttech), Pedro (flea0) and I are joining Yahoo!’s Digital Home team. We’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Yahoo! in the past few months and we love the way they are developing the best, most user-friendly services for the Digital Home.

As I said before, behind Meedio LLC the company, is Meedio the idea and all of us want to see it succeed. The sad truth is that we had recently hit a brick wall and did not have the resources to make it flourish. But, Yahoo! has a great team that is just as dedicated and passionate as we are in this space and, of course, they carry the content and might of an early Internet pioneer. Together, the combination can be nothing but a winner. We are thrilled at the opportunity to put the Meedio idea together with the Yahoo! experience and bring it to millions of people all around the world!

To be perfectly honest with you, before I wrote the first line of Meedio code, I envisioned a day when it could be used as the “new browser”; to bring all the content goodness that Yahoo! can provide to the 10 foot world. It is really exciting seeing it actually happen.

– Let’s hope that Yahoo keeps the platform open
– That they take good care of the strong existing user community
– That they integrate Meedio closely with their existing content
– That they start delivering proper EPG data for more than the US
– That they understand that digital capture cards and HD give them a competetive edge

…and let’s hope that Pablo and the team just got stinkin’ rich!

Now, when will Yahoo buy YouTube and integrate it into Meedio? And what will Google do regarding our living room and the very intense battle that the other big players are having regarding that space?

Video content still feels very comfortable on the big screen in front of the couch. If Google want to compete with Apple and their FrontRow, Microsoft and their Media Center Edition and now Yahoo and their Meedio front end they have to do something with the available fornt ends for Google Video.

It’s official. Yahoo has bought Meedio.

How to roast your own coffee

Lady in market at Sumbawa
Years ago while travelling the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia I found a lady selling green coffee beans in a market. As you can see from the picture she was also selling wonderful spices, but it was the raw coffee beans I was interested in.
Green beans
I instantly decided that this is something I have to try. Roasting my own coffee. I bought one kilo. The lady did not speak any english and kept repeating “goreng, goreng!” At that point I didn’t understand what she was trying to communicate, but later on I learned that “goreng” means roast or braise. Like in “Nasi Goreng” wich means fried rice, or “Flied Lies” as they pronounce it in southeast asia. She was obviously not confident that this blond backpacker with the red beard knew what he was doing.

Beans in oven
This time I did. After carrying this coffee in my backpack around Kommodo, Lombok and Bali we travelled home and I could start experimenting.

Because you are intelligent enough to read this blog you will not have to experiment when you get hold of some green beans. Recently my good colleague Astrid returned from Cuba with some very good green beans. She was kind enough to give some of it to me! When roasting them today I took some nice pictures and made these simple guidelines:

1. Turn off your fire alarm / smoke detector
2. Preheat your electric oven to 250 degrees celcius (482 F)
3. Spread the beans in an even layer on a plate only one bean deep
4. Roast the coffee for 15 – 25 minutes

250 degrees 15 minutes

The beans will start turning golden and swell, after about 10 minutes they will start making a popping sound as the inner part of the bean transform during roasting. When you open the oven after about 15 minutes to check on the beans it will smoke heavily. Turning off the smoke detector is no joke!

During the last minutes you have to check on the beans regularly. Use a flashlight if necessary. Depending on your taste, you can roast the beans all the way to the darkest italian roast. At this stage the beans turn slightly glossy because some of the essential oils in the bean leaks out to the surface.

Italian roasted beans
When finished take the beans out and cool them as fast as possible. If I do this during winter I put them outside. Transfering them to a cool plate is also good.

Chaff Chaff
When they have cooled down you can remove as much of the chaff as possible. The chaff is parts of the inner skin on the bean. You don’t have to remove all of it, but by tossing the beans around in a colander you will get rid of most of it.

Store the beans in an air tight container. Grind only minutes before you are going to brew your coffee. Now you can enjoy the freshest coffee you have ever tasted. If you decide to make espresso you will experiense an insane amount of crema.

And yes, something like Pantone Colour 470M or 730M on the crema is an indication of a good espresso.


If you want to take it a step further these are some resources: Sweetmarias, Ongebrand, Coffeegeek

And you can support if you decide to buy the same book that I am using as my detailed guide through this link: Home Coffee Roasting

How to roast your own coffee

Yahoodeeo – coming soon?

Screenshot of Yahoo TV

Edit, it’s official! From, April 18, 2006:

Important News About Meedio

Today is a big day for the team here at Meedio; we have sold most of our technology to Yahoo!

David Brott, Jeff (beergeek), Kenny (fasttech), Pedro (flea0) and I are joining Yahoo!’s Digital Home team. We’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Yahoo! in the past few months and we love the way they are developing the best, most user-friendly services for the Digital Home.

Yahoo announced their Yahoo! GO – TV at CES in Las Vegas in January. I have been following some rumors about Yahoo buying Meedio. This could be interesting for the media center comunity. Yahoo buying such a powerful desktop application for presenting media on your TV will strengthen their position as a media distributor. And it actually makes sense. Why build it from scratch if you can buy a very good solution?

If you look at the screenshot from this page at Yahoo you’ll see that there is a “Flickr”-choice on the page. Cool. Seems like we can expect a tight integration into Flickr. Now when will Yahoo buy YouTube? Or when will we see a proper plugin for YouTube in Windows Media Center Edition?

Meedio is extremely powerful, fast and configurable. They also have some nice possibilities for advanced home control through HouseBot. If Yahoo buys it and throw some money on it you will have serious competition for some of the other platforms. The web is turning into a very good platform for delivering rich media like music and video. With podcasting and download services like TVTonic, Democracy and Akimbo you can start to deliver some high quality video as well.

Follow the rumors at the Meedio forum here, here and here. And they’re discussing over at HTPC News as well.

(Thanks, Trond A)

Yahoodeeo – coming soon?

More on my Talkr podcast experiment

Thanks to some readers I have been made aware of the fact that the “Listen to this podcast“-link does not work for old posts in my blog.

The guys at Talkr have made a reasonably good job on trying to explain the problem when you click on a podcast-link in an old post:

We have encountered a problem with your request

Apologies, but we cannot find a post with the permalink:…this old post…

This often results from one of the following timing issues:

* If the RSS feed is generated by FeedBurner, it is possible that the post was published so recently that FeedBurner hasn’t found it yet. FeedBurner’s pretty fast, so if that’s the cause, this will probably be fixed within a few minutes.

* On the other hand, it is possible that you are requesting an audio file for an old article — one that was not present in this blogger’s RSS feed when they first created their Talkr account. In this case, Talkr has no way to create the audio. We’d like to apologize for this inconvenience.

Unfortunately I haven’t found a way to include the podcast link only on the posts that are working in Talkr. Of course all posts from now on will work, but my site has a lot of good articles way back in time, and people keep reading them as well.

Can’t say much more than what they do on the info page over at Talkr. I apologize for this inconvenience!

More on my Talkr podcast experiment

The Amen Break


Pearse points me to an excellent little story about a very familiar drum beat:

You might also want to listen a great peice by Nate Harrison on the Amen break (you definitely have heard this, unless you’ve been living in a sound proof cave for years)

It’s also a real nice example of bringing a great story alive in a simple yet compelling way.

Indeed! If you’re interested in music this is mandatory information. Thanks!

The Amen Break

Apple’s Intel ad gets a new ending

Because I just told you about the BSOD. Because I just tol you about BootCamp. Because I need to appologize to the important readers that follow this blog through RSS. Last thing first. The funny commercials from YouTube that I linked to in my last post did not show up in my RSS feed. Here are the plain links:

Volkswagen I
Volkswagen II
Volkswagen III

So that was the excuses to post another video. You have to be above average interested in computers, but I find this very funny:

(Via TUAW)

Apple’s Intel ad gets a new ending