Nerd Herd

Clay's Personal Nerd Herd

My new eyes

By Clayton

First thing I did when I arrived in Holland was order contact lenses. You may or not remember an old blog post from 2014 where I stated that I did some research on Lasik eye surgery or contact lens implants. Both were advised not to do so, as they would not work for me. However they did advise me to try hybrid contact lenses. Hybrid contact lenses are a blend between hard contact lenses and soft contact lenses. Since I have very bad eyes I can’t (or couldn’t) get soft contact lenses when I first tried contacts back in 2004. I got subscribed hard lenses and I simply never could get used to them.

After I booked my trip to Holland for this year I went on Google and searched for places in Holland where I could purchase them. I eventually mailed a supplier of these special contact lenses here in Holland and they referred me to an optician, as they do not deliver directly to customers.

The day after I arrived I had my appointment. The supplier of the contacts also came with his kit full of contacts. Together with the optician they checked my eyes and finally decided upon the best solution. Not a cheap one, but I wanted them.

These contacts are custom made in the US and would arrive within 1-2 weeks from the day they were ordered. Well they actually arrived 4 weeks later on the very last day in Holland.


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Second bite of the Apple

By Clayton

applelogo-150x150It now has been 3 months since I purchased my new iPhone and it’s time for the second bite of the Apple…. Or in less cryptic words: time for a second review 😉

If you’ve read my first review, my list of cons appears to be quite long, but it turns out that a few of those points were based on lack of usability knowledge. Okay, at least one of those points is. I am talking about the search option. I found it to be utterly stupid that a smartphone didn’t provide a simple option like a search bar. However, the search bar seems to be hidden and is visible as soon as you pull down on the screen. I have noticed that Apple works with layers of screens. So it’s like a new menu opens on top of another, which is why you have to swipe right to go back to the previous screen.

As for the rest of the cons, I have learned to live with and they are not of annoyance to me anymore. Actually when I was using my company phone, which is a Samsung phone, I needed to get used to that operating system again.

Having said the above, I still do believe that it’s just a phone and it does what is supposed to do, but I do not understand the religion that has developed around it, and I prefer not to be a follower… read: sheep 🙂

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My first iPhone

By Clayton

Last Friday my Samsung Galaxy S4, which I used for the past 18 months decided to die out on me. The phone has been showing some signs of I’m-about-to-die-soon since the beginning of this year and in February it almost did, but somehow it revived itself and besides a few special instructions it worked perfectly again. However, last Friday it completely stopped working and it was time to buy a new phone.

2015-04-22 10.00.57Since all of my Apple using friends have been talking highly (read: religiously) about how amazing and dependable Apple devices are– in this case the iPhones – I’ve decided to buy my first iPhone. I’ve purchased the latest Apple phone: iPhone 6.

Now, I am very skeptical, but also very open-minded. I know that’s a contradiction, but let me explain. I am open-minded to all thoughts, ideas and opinions, but as soon as I have opened up my own mind and formed my own thoughts and opinions, I become skeptical. I hope that makes any sense.

I have finally had my own experience with Apple’s iPhone since Tuesday and I have to honestly say that I am kind of disappointed with it so far. I mean, it’s a smartphone and it works. And it does exactly what you expect from a smartphone, but… IT’S JUST A BLOODY PHONE!!!!! IT’S A GAWDDAMN PHONE AND THERE IS NO NEED TO BECOME ALL EGOCENTRIC ABOUT IT!!! SERIOUSLY!!

I seriously think that Apple users need to stop with the idea that they are better than everyone that does not own an Apple device. Yes, an Apple device cost a lot more than another brand, which is ridiculous and unneeded in my opinion. And congratulations, you are able to afford one, but seriously get of your high horse. Some people like blue, some people like black, some people like red wine, some people like beer; it’s a personal choice and Apple users need to stop acting like gigantic douchebags.

This is not a personal attack, it’s just seriously the reaction what you get from Apple users when they state why they bought an Apple device.

Of course as an Apple user (read: sheep), you will probably do not even realize this or maybe even stopped reading and are searching for the biggest rocks now to stone me down, but trust me this is a real thing and has to stop. (more…)

Nerd Herd

Back the F up!!!

By Clayton

Everyone working in the IT knows that the most number one rule is to always create a backup before making any changes. This is not only something you should do when working in the IT, but be sure to do this with any digital form of data that you own. Trust me. Do this or else you will be sorry!

Frau ärgert sich über ComputerAfter 2 of my external hard drives crashed within 1.5 years I’ve learned the hard way what it is like to lose everything you’ve worked on so hard. It doesn’t matter if it’s your school essays, your precious vacation pictures or your favorite music, losing something hurts. So after having experienced that I basically back up everything I own digitally on more than one device. I think I have online backups, an external hard drive, my laptop’s regular hard drive and also everything burned on plain ol’ DVD’s. You can never have too many backups.

However…. No matter how precautions you are, you sometimes still slip up.

Let me tell you the story of how I lost a client of mine 2 months (or more) of hard work, with a simple click, which could have been prevented if I had made a backup.

For the past few months I have been working on revamping the website of a friend. It has been basically done for months now, just a few minor adjustments and it is ready to go live. The biggest task of this website that was holding up the Go-live date was the huge amount of pictures that needed to be uploaded. Since that part was up to my friend, I made sure I made the website ready so he could work in his own spare time and I simply would wait for his confirmation that he was finished and that the site was ready to go live.

Well that date was scheduled for today. Today I was supposed to the switch from the old site to the new one. And in the morning fix the broken links and make sure that everything was ready.
However yesterday as I was making some final adjustments to the website, I decided to also clean up some user accounts that are no longer needed when the website goes live. As I wanted to delete the user account of a freelancer whom I had hired to help me out with a huge amount of work, I realized too late what the system meant when it asked: “Do you want to delete the folder that user has worked in”.

I clicked on the check mark and clicked on delete.
As I clicked on delete I thought… wait, do they mean…. SHIT…. Noooooooooo!!!!

Those were the thoughts swirling through my head. Sadly, this action was irreversible.
I did manage to download the database that this site is linked to and was able to recreate the structure of the website images folder, but the actual images that are stored on the server were all gone.

I first tried to get some help with the help desk of the web host. They made it clear that it was impossible for me to get the files back. The only way they could do this was to do a disaster recovery, but they charge a fee of $150. I was of course not pleased by this and also asked what other options I have. They said I should make sure to do a backup on the site.


Yes, DUH. I could have figured that one out myself. I asked where the auto backup option was for the server, because there is a notification saying that this is not enabled. Of course they were not able to do this for me and each time I want to do something I need to backup. Well thanks for nothing.

I had no other choice than to tell the bad news to my friend, who happens to be in the role of client at this point. How do you tell someone that you’ve just lost 2 months of hard work that someone has done? Of course he was not pleased I cannot express how sorry felt and angry I was with myself. I cannot stand the feeling of defeat and don’t like to let people down.

Certainly not, because I didn’t think through what the effects of my actions would have been. And all of this could have been prevented if I had simply thought about creating a backup, before doing any other changes.

So readers please remember to always PRESS THE FUCKING BACKUP BUTTON!!!


Nerd Herd

Smartphone Photography

By Clayton

It’s quite amazing the wonders you can do these days in photography with a simple-but-advanced smartphone – I have a Samsung Galaxy S4. Today I took the below pictures, opened them with a photo editing app, played around with the brightness and other settings a bit, slapped a filter on it and VOILA!!!

Suriname’s Presidential Palace


Date: April 13, 2014
Location: Paramaribo, Suriname

More information on this building can be read on Wikipedia!

2014-08-13-15.33.23 2014-08-13-15.33.40

The photos here untouched and original. The only reason why it looks so blurry is, because it was raining and it was taken behind the glass of my car window. Another simple trick. Haha

Nerd Herd

How to change your YouTube account

By Clayton

youtube_150x150If you’ve found this blog post that means that you’ve probably faced the exact same problem which I had to face today: you want to change your YouTube account name and you are wondering how exactly to do this.

The answer is very simple: You can’t!!

Trust me, you can’t. I spent almost an entire (work)day trying to figure this out and the only solution I could find for when you want to change your YouTube account(name) you will have to close it down. BUT keep in mind that once you close it you (nor someone else) can’t open a new account with the same account again.


Nerd Herd

Samsung Galaxy S3 – My new phone

By Clayton

Samsung Galaxy S3I’ve decided that after almost 3 years it was time to trade in my Blackberry 9700 (Bold 2) for a much more modern phone. I went with the Samsung Galaxy S3, because it’s the hottest Android phone currently out there. I’ve had my eyes on this phone for months and only started desiring it more when my friends started being this same phone. Finally I bought the phone with my Christmas bonus salary.

And I have one thing to say: I LOVE IT. 🙂

Samsung Galaxy S3 - Cover case which I bough separatelyIt’s amazing. It’s everything you could want in a phone. I admit, the size was something to get used to. Also this is my first touchscreen phone. I always refused to buy a touchscreen phone. I don’t like them. But since this is the future of mobile phones I had to step over to a touchscreen phone sooner or later.

As I already mentioned, the phone is everything you could want in a phone. Customizable with tons of apps, the camera is amazing too and it’s very fast. I am very content with his purchase. 🙂

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External hard drive crashed AGAIN!

By Clayton

External Hard driveIt appears that my external hard drive has crashed AGAIN. Little over a year the same happened to my old hard drive. This time it’s less dramatic, because most of my pictures are on my Facebook, all the series and movies I haven’t watched yet are on my laptop and all the music that I mostly listen to is on my personal laptop, work laptop and mp3 player. Also I have backups of my school stuff.

But this still is very annoying, because I didn’t invest in an expensive 3TB external hard drive, only for it to crash on year later. This sucks big time. From now I will be going back to “old school” and start saving my things on CD/DVD. Yes, in this day of modern technology I often forget that this is still an option.

Sure is funny how history has a strange way of repeating itself.
And certainly NOT a pleasant way to kick off the New Year.


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Sunday morning with the techno-n00bs

By Clayton

anti-noobsFor the subject Project management which we get at school, we are placed in groups of 5 students. Each student represents his/her own mayor. The idea is to stimulate the collaboration between people from various study backgrounds. Quite a nice initiative if you ask me. HOWEVER… In practice this is not as easy as it seems in theory. It’s far from it actually.

I am in a group with people who don’t read their emails for weeks, who don’t even know how Google Docs works, who don’t have a Skype account, who don’t know how to insert a new row into MS Excel, who feel the need to meet up on the Sunday morning at 10 AM.

Okay, I know I may come of a tad arrogant or whatever you want to call it, but I can’t believe that in the 21st century college students still don’t know how to properly work with a personal computer. I find this to be a tragedy upon the highest level.

During these meetings I am mostly silent and just listen to the conversations, which I can’t participate in. is seriously don’t know anything about building houses. I hear words and have no idea what they mean.
Today one of the group members asked if I felt out of place, because I don’t participate. I replied with the words that I can’t, because I know nothing about this stuff. I prefer to write the piece on how an IT-company could be helpful in this project and that’s it for me. He said that I could use the internet to look the things up. Which is true, BUT does he really expect me to learn what he has been studying for 3 years now in a few weeks? It’s not like I would be able to teach him how to develop an application within a few weeks, right? It’s impossible. I didn’t even go into further discussion, because I refuse to take “research advice” from someone who types with his index finger and has to search for the letters on a keyboard. Oh and also doesn’t have anti-virus software on his laptop. Seriously!!! The first thing I saw when inserting their memory stick in my laptop was a warning from my AVG anti-virus software.

*extremely annoyed*

Nerd Herd

Data recovery in full process! – UPDATE

By Clayton

Yesterday I got my desktop PC back from the repair shop. It has been there ever since I had brought it to the shop, as I had mentioned in my blog post: Data recovery in full process!

They told me I needed to replace my hard drive, but they didn’t have any in storage, so I had to wait until they got new ones. Which I think is totally pathetic. Seriously! An IT company that doesn’t have hard drives in storage? Pathetic!

External Hard driveAnyway, they told me none of my data would be lost and after the hard drive was replaced I could get my computer back. I agreed to that… that was until they told me the total costs of the new hard drive. When they told me that, my jaw dropped and I told them, I have a better idea. My idea was not to replace the hard drive, but instead they could extract the data out of the computer and put it all my new external hard drive. This costs me a lot cheaper and I got my computer back at home.

The computer is still functional, but the problem will most likely occur very soon again. But no worries I’m buying a new computer at the end of December. The costs of a new hard drive where too much and I’d rather buy a new, more advanced one.

Meanwhile, I had been able to recover a lot of data from my crashed external hard drive, which I threw away last week by the way. But sadly a lot of folders were too corrupted to recover.
So I got MOST things out, except all photos I got off the internet from celebrities, bands and singers, which I used to make my fanart. But those things I can download again and I haven’t made any fanart in ages, so maybe that’s not a big deal.

What really does hurt is, is the music I’ve lost. I just went through my list of albums I had, and counted the numbers of albums I’ve lost is 211. :’-(
I lost THAT much music. All from a various range of genres: from metal to pop, to classical and soundtracks. I could simply download it all… although some were really hard to find demo albums.

This totally sucks.