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Here are the items Tim posted on his Blog in March. The current home page of the Blog can be found here.

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Monday, March 29th

Taking a shine to the canteen

The WV-HEDW Canteen

The canteen of an Amsterdam football club might seem an unusual location for me to recommend as somewhere to visit for a great evening of music, but amongst local followers of excellent but less-well-known singer-songwriters, it’s already got a well-earned reputation. ‘WV-HEDW’ may not have the same ring to it as ‘Ajax’, but its roots go back almost as far as their rather more illustrious ex-neighbours, and it celebrated its 100th anniversary last May. And although the acronym is a tongue twister for a non-Dutch native to pronounce, it’s a bit snappier than Wilhemina Vooruit – Hortus Eendracht Doet Winnen.

A good friend of mine is a long-time WV-HEDW member and shares my interests in both football and singer-songwriters of quality. For some years Jos has been carrying on the club’s long tradition of staging musical performances, and during each football season he works wonders in attracting some great musicians to play at the club canteen. The acts typically represent the so-called ‘Americana’ genre, and Jos has managed to attract the likes of Steve Earle, David Olney and Calvin Russell to the canteen over the years. These guys might be expected to turn their noses up at the idea of performing in such a venue, but they've always been pleasantly surprised. After his first gig at the canteen nine years ago, David Olney said: "When I heard I was supposed to play in the canteen of a soccer club, I was very sceptical. It turned out to be the best gig of the tour".

Josie Kuhn

The last part of the WV-HEDW 2009-2010 musical season kicks off (sorry) on Friday 9th April, with two acts that promise another great evening. Singer-songwriter Josie Kuhn (above) from Nashville has been called "one of the original leaders of the Americana movement" by more than one admiring music critic. Ms Kuhn has shared the stage with artists such as Albert Lee, Steve Earle, the Mavericks and Emmylou Harris and has toured with the late Rick Danko (of The Band), Todd Snider, Steve Forbert and Lee Clayton. To describe her music, Jim Ridley wrote in the Nashville Scene: “If you can imagine a cross between Patsy Cline and Buffy St. Marie you’re not far off the mark."

Shiner Twins

The second act on the bill hail from the south of the Netherlands, but by all accounts they sound more like they're from a mix of the southern states of the USA. The Shiner Twins (above) are a quartet led by Richard van Bergen and Jack Hustinx, who also share the songwriting credits, vocals and guitars. The rhythm section comprises Dick Wagensverld on bass and tuba (great combination...) and Jody van Ooijen on drums. I've yet to see them, but their mix of southern gospel, New Orleans grooves, heart-rending ballads and straight-ahead Rock 'n' Roll sounds pretty cool.

As usual, the evening is free, and starts at eight-thirty. WV-HEDW is in Amsterdam's Watergraafsmeer district. Turn right after the Jaap Edenhal on the Kruislaan into Radioweg. Once you've entered the sportpark through the gates at the end of Radioweg, it's a 5-minute walk to the WV-HEDW canteen. The atmosphere in Sportpark Middenmeer is sure to be as warm as always, and I can heartily recommend it as a great start to a spring weekend.

Tuesday, March 23rd

Reverting to type

Eight years ago, when I couldn’t consider bringing in a proper graphic designer to do a proper job, I was looking for a program that would enable me to easily manipulate text to create some attractive headings and other display objects for websites and newsletters. The only application I could find that fitted the bill was ‘Typestyler’, a popular product that had been around for some time.


The first version of Mac OS X had just been introduced, which meant that the OS 9-only Typestyler could only be run in what used to be called the ‘Classic Environment’ on the Mac. Back then, however, I still had a number of other programs that could only be run under OS 9, so switching between environments was something I often had to do.

Gradually but inevitably OS X took over. After a year or two I didn’t install its predecessor any more, and after a while longer it wasn’t supported at all. For almost all purposes I didn’t miss OS 9, especially after 10.4 ‘Tiger’. But although Typestyler had promised a native OS X version was being developed, after a few years of hearing this no one believed them any more. Like many old Typestyler fans, I bought a copy of ‘Art Text’, a pretty good program that provided some of its functionality.


So like many old Typestyler fans, I was amazed to hear the announcement a few months ago that the OS X version had finally been released. I’d upgraded to a new version of Art Text that had added some of the functionality I’d been missing, but now I’m happy to have both on the Oake Communications Macs. If you’re a Mac user who’s looking for a way to create great text effects without becoming a Photoshop or Illustrator expert, you can download trial versions of both so you can decide which you prefer.

Thursday, March 11th

‘We Choose the Moon’ chosen as Site of the Year

We Choose the Moon

Perhaps the greatest voyage of exploration in history was reenacted in a manner befitting the Internet age for Apollo 11’s 40th anniversary in July last year. Sponsored by Boston’s JFK Presidential Library and Museum, ‘We Choose the Moon’ reenacts the Apollo 11 voyage, with animated videos, audios from the capcom, and all in real time. Along the way, pop-ups contain graphics and other information about the epic journey.

We Choose the Moon

The recently redesigned Favourite Website Awards (FWA) site, already itself worthy of a least a few site-of-the-year awards, unsurprisingly made ‘We Choose the Moon’ its site of the day and month when it went live. Earlier this year it wasn’t a great surprise that, following more than 28 million site visits, it was also awarded with their coveted Site of the Year award for 2009.


This engrossing real-time recreation of the historic mission to the Moon complete with round-the-clock audio transmissions and 3D animations representing each step along the way and much more, was conceived, designed and developed by The Martin Agency and Domani Studios.

We Choose the Moon

“We are especially thrilled for our friends at the JFK Presidential Library, our generous hosts at AOL, and the uncompromising talent at Domani Studios,” said Brian Williams of The Martin Agency. “We set out to honour JFK’s vision for our space effort, and to bring back to life a spirit of optimism from a bygone era.” On behalf of SOTY sponsor, Nokia, Arto Joensuu said the site is a great illustration of how well crafted digital work can allow us to immerse ourselves and relive an important moment in history.

We Choose the Moon

Both informative and fun, the site uses Flash without being too flashy to recreate the tension and atmosphere of a defining moment in history. Although I’m old enough to have been able to enjoy following the mission on TV as it happened, experiencing this site 40 years on did much more than bring back memories. When the current economic woes are far enough behind us for another space mission of this scale to be considered, I hope I’ll still be around to follow it in real time on the Internet.

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