What you should know before moving to Amsterdam

Amsterdam houses

This post is a bit unusual for this blog: a few months ago I moved from Milan to Amsterdam (curiously, four years after my first visit to the city) and gathered some advice from friends and websites in the process. That information helped a great deal during my first weeks here and ensured that my move was a smooth one. I believe others in the same situation may benefit from the notes I gathered, so I decided to post them here.

As an EU citizen with a job offer from a company that has an office in the Netherlands, my transition was quite easy, but there were still some aspects that took me a while to figure out: I will try to cover most of them within this post. For everything else, you may find a lot of useful information in the links at the end of this article.

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DVI port no longer working

I’m sharing this story because it may be useful for someone else, as well.

This morning I found out that my monitor (a Packard Bell Maestro 220wdv) was not working anymore. After messing with the cables for a while, it turned out that I wasn’t able to connect anything using DVI, while the two VGA ports were perfectly functional.

I was ready to buy a new DVI cable (hoping that it was not the monitor’s fault) when I found out this forum thread, which stated:

Alright, I had a similar problem to this on a Viewsonic 20″ LCD with exactly the same symptoms you’re describing.

Try this if you haven’t already, UNPLUG THE MONITOR FROM THE WALL.
LEAVE UNPLUGGED FOR 5mins and PLUG IT BACK IN AT THE WALL.
Power up and I hope you have the same luck I had about a year ago.

To make a long story short, I unplugged the monitor’s power cable and plugged it back a few minutes later, and it started to work again.

Technology is like magic, sometimes…

Hello world!

Any of you who own a WordPress blog should recognize this post title as the one that comes out by default when you create a new blog.

The post itself is an encouragement, an example and, possibly, a clever trick to deal with the infamous writer’s block, and therefore you are suggested to edit or remove it to start blogging.

But just as my career as a coder started with a program that didn’t anything but printing Hello world! on a text console, I liked the idea of starting a blog with the very same message.

Let’s just hope it will bring good luck as it did the first time. :)

Although I earn my living as a coder, though, I don’t plan to run a technical blog: I’ll write about whatever it comes into my mind (well… almost), but I’ll keep strictly technical stuff on my corporate blog.

I just resumed blogging just for selfish reasons: I enjoy writing, and I want to improve my English. Blogging just seemed to be a fun way to do both, although most of my friends aren’t likely to appreciate the choice of the language.

That said, I can’t exclude you might actually be interested in something of what I’ll write. Time will tell.