ik versta een beetje nederlands, maar ik wil MSN in het engels zijn*

MSN is smart. At some point they detected that I was living in the Netherlands, probably by my IP, and since I lived in NL I obviously perfectly understand Dutch. For the first few weeks it was cool, I really felt like I was on a foreign adventure. Then it just got in the way. Have you ever tried to put a comment on someone’s blog, and not known which button was ‘submit’, and which ‘cancel’? I have, and I didn’t like it. I still don’t like it.

Luckily, I know enough Dutch to know that taal is the word for ‘language’. So I clicked on the ‘taal’ link in MSN. Ah. My taal was set to Nederlands, when I really wanted it in Engels. I set it to Engels. Oh, what sweet relief, the next page was in English, and the one after that. It was that easy. So if you get stuck in Dutch, go to the ‘taal’ page and set your language to Engels and all future MSN pages will be in English.

Until your next session.

I knew that MSN was big, but I did not realise how frequently I visit MSN sites. After frustration multiplication it would easily be 20% of my internet use. Do you know that ‘gekke kikker’ is Dutch for Crazy Frog? I do. At least, when I leave the country it will detect by my IP that I am in an English country, and I will be assumed to be an English speaker.


I have been back in Australia for 3 weeks now and MSN is still in Dutch. I have changed it back to English four times now, and four times it has reverted to Dutch. People tell me that MSN Search is getting pretty good these days, but I can’t tell.

    darryn is searching for:


MSN Search finds:


English – De officiĆ«le KNVB website


Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) – Engli


More Results …


*translation: I understand a little bit of Dutch, but I want MSN to be in English.

MSN Spaces Architect on AJAX

Scott from MSN (the SiteExperts space) is running a fascinating series on the technology behind the AJAX-y MSN Spaces, with interesting and compelling insights into bringing software engineering back into web-enabled design.

But that’s only half the story – the comments in each post to /siteexperts/ seems to bring out the crazies like no other!

Recommended reading, both for the design patterns and the crazy people in the comments.

When Bugs Become Patterns
Event Handlers
Why AJAX is so 1999, Part 2
Why AJAX is so 1999, Part 1

You may have noticed that Pinkjoint is 99.9% AJAX- (and hype-) free. That’s a design choice. We still thought deeply about it.

Google Talk: Day One

Google today released a beta of their IM applet, Google Talk. It is currently available for Windows 2000+ only and requires a gmail account. It is a thin client, offering only basic chatting and voice. It has a very clean interface, with no bells and whistles (unless you count the sounds as whistles, or bells).

Although many of my readers would think that Open Stndards are the best feature, for me it is the ability to put bold and italic words mid-sentence, by typing *bold* and _italic_. The worst feature would have to be that my computer loses the ability to display dialog boxes while GT is running. When I minimise GT to the tray, I get error messages instead of dialogs and as soon as I exit GT all of my dialogs work again. Do No Evil indeed.

If you do not have a gmail account, and want one, comment below and I will invite you. The GT software can be downloaded from Google Talk.