Killer iPhone app from Apple: Keynote Remote

iTunes Appstore for iPhone and iPod Touch has a numerous list of great applications, but recently I discovered one that really rocks my world: Keynote Remote.

When giving presentations I used to have a separate pointing device that I could use to move through the slides, but now with Keynote Remote I can see what is up the screen having my speaker notes right there with me. Flip the display in a horizontal position, I can see my current slide and the next one.

Fig. 1: Current slide with speaker notes.

Fig. 2: Current slide with next slide display.

This way I can move around the floor while giving presentations without having to stay behind my laptop to see what's next. This is especially good when you're co-presenting something, because now you can see the notes of your fellow speakers as well.

  • You need to have Keynote '09 which is part of the new iWork '09 where you can set up your iPhone or iPod Touch for connecting with the computer.
  • You need to have a wifi network where both the Keynote computer and the iPhone/iPod Touch are on.

Keynote Remote costs $ 0.99 at the iTunes Appstore.


Mapping Seven Things

Trying to get a bit of overview of all people who have put up their "Seven Things" list, I created a little map that shows who tagged who with an overview of the most tagged persons.

Check out the Seven Things map at


Seven Things - Tagged by Rob Allen

I was surprised that I made it to the Seven Things thread started by Tony Bibbs, but Rob Allen was so kind to "tag" me and now it's my honor to find seven more victims.

Seven Things you might not know about me:
  • When I was 16, I had a private pilot license (PPL) learned at the Airport of Antwerp. The first year I managed to have enough flying hours to keep my permit but the second year I just couldn't find time to have the minimum required hours to keep my permit. Looking back at this moment in time, I do find it sad I didn't made the effort in maintaining this.
  • I graduated high-school as an accountant and had a job as a junior accountant at the Benelux head office of Century21, but after one month I was already convinced being an accountant was something I didn't wanted to do for the rest of my life. And never spoke of this part in my life again.
  • I never finished college. I was studying IT at the "Hogeschool Antwerpen" and after college hours I worked at the customer care center of an European ISP called World Online (no longer exists). When doing my second year IT they offered me a job as developer and I accepted the offer.
  • I met my wife during a LAN party at Telenet (Belgian Telco), where I was working as an in-house developer and my wife was on her last day as security guard (student job).
  • I'm Dutch, although I'm living in Belgium.
  • My wife told me we were pregnant on the last evening of ZendCon07 and I celebrated this news in a StarBucks shop just around the corner of the Motel6 I was staying at.
  • Our son was born on Father's day being the best gift a dad could wish for.
 Now it's my turn to tag people:
For my tagged victimes, do follow the following rules:
  • Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post - some random, some wierd.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.


Looking back to 2008

First I want to wish everyone all the best for 2009 ! 2008 has been a very wonderful year and makes us looking positive to the future. To cope with the challenges we have to face in 2009, it doesn't hurt looking back to the past year and see where we can improve or act differently.

Let me go over a few keywords that had importance in 2008.

2008 was the year both Felix De Vliegher and I founded PHPBelgium, a PHP user group for PHP enthusiasts in Belgium. We had a slow start, but as the months passed by the popularity and importance of PHPBelgium grew. Not only for PHP enthusiasts but also for companies as Microsoft, O'Reilly, Ibuildings and AUSY. In October, Patrick Allaert joined our management team.

Besides providing best practices and presenting advanced programming topics, we also try to do as much as possible for the community by giving away elePHPants, books and tickets to PHP conferences (like ZendCon, php|works and phpnw).

Besides a good start up for PHPBelgium, the Dutch counterpart phpGG had also a very successful re-start in 2008. With more meetings, activities and combining forces with PHPBelgium to organize two very succesful theme-days (PHP Test Fest and BugHuntDay), they now are the most important PHP user group in the Netherlands.

Baby Xander
For me personally, 2008 was the best year ever with the birth of our son Xander. In the past 6 months he has grown into a very curious, enthusiastic and happy baby boy. Both my wife and I enjoy each day we can spend with him, seeing him discovering new things, learning new stuff and becoming very familiar with his surroundings. It's like watching a million years of evolution taking place in only a few months.

2008 is also the year for Ibuildings, becoming Europe's leading PHP professional services company. They first started in 1999 in Flushing, the Netherlands and extended their reach to the UK at the end of 2007. They are internationally credited as being an expert in PHP and related technologies, raising the bar on professional services and quality assurance. To quote the international PHP community: "Ibuildings is the new black", and I have to admit it's true.

Job Changes
I think 2008 is also the year where a lot of people changed jobs, including myself. But I think the most thrilling news was that Cal Evans changed shirts, from Zend to Ibuildings.

PHP 5.3 is about to reach its final stadium, but there was a HOT discussion for it's namespace implementation. I didn't follow the whole discussion, so I'm only reflecting here what the buzz was on almost all PHP channels.

Yes, we can !
2008 is also the year that an African-American won the presidential elections in the US. Although it has nothing to do with PHP, it sure is worth mentioning it here in my 2008 overview.

Obama's quote "Yes, we can !" does not only reflect on his mission in the White House but also for all PHP developers in the world. "Yes, we can !" will also be our default answer in regards to web application development, rich internet applications, social community projects and so much more. Yes, we can !

Zend Framework
I think it's fair to say that 2008 was also the year for Zend Framework, with over 10 million downloads (and counting), becoming the leading framework for enterprise web application development (and also large scale websites).

With the introduction of a certification exam for Zend Framework (ZFCE), Zend has enormously boosted the professional level of this powerful framework and with initiatives like BugHuntDay, the community involvement has increased a lot.

Also books like "PHP|Architect's Guide to programming with Zend Framework" by Cal Evans and "Zend Framework in Action" by Rob Allan, have boosted Zend Framework's popularity. And of course the many blogs and presentations that are too numerous to mention here have added their share to it's popularity.

Credit Crunch
We cannot neglect the fact that we're right in the middle of a financial crisis, refered to as the "credit crunch". I wish I could say it was something of 2008, but it will have effects in 2009 as well.

The credit crunch has effects in many industries, including the IT industry. Many large IT companies are faced with layoffs and this will continue to be a reality in 2009 as well.

But given the nature of PHP, being an open-source programming language, with a non-expensive nature and a rapid deployment history, this financial crisis might become a lucrative moment for PHP development in general. This thought is also shared by Ivo Jansch, CTO of Ibuildings who mentioned it in a blog post reflecting 2008.

Thank you !
Of course, 2008 has been a wonderful year for me, mostly because of you. Giving me constructive comments on my blog posts, meeting me at conferences and congratulating me on presentations that I share on So, thank you for all the love !!!