Archive for July, 2008

So writing a filesystem in .NET isn’t a bad idea after all :-)

Ever since we started writing a complete and cutting edge filesystem in C# and only managed code we are confronted with questions like

“Why C#? Why .NET? Why not in a more low-level language? Why a filesystem after all?”

I don’t want to talk just yet about our reasons but we can’t be that wrong if even Microsoft Research is trying to get their .NET Operating System research project Singularity ready for customers:

“Midori is an offshoot of Microsoft Research’s Singularity operating system, the tools and libraries of which are completely managed code. Midori is designed to run directly on native hardware (x86, x64 and ARM), be hosted on the Windows Hyper-V hypervisor, or even be hosted by a Windows process.”

This would be an Operating System 100% in managed code – hey Microsoft – maybe you want to talk with us about our 100% managed code filesystem?! 🙂

To prevent rumors: no – we are not working on anything Microsoft related, yet.

Source 1: Microsoft Research – Singularity
Source 2: Codename Midori

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Anatomy of the Linux kernel

Another linux related IBM article:

“The Linux® kernel is the core of a large and complex operating system, and while it’s huge, it is well organized in terms of subsystems and layers. In this article, you explore the general structure of the Linux kernel and get to know its major subsystems and core interfaces. Where possible, you get links to other IBM articles to help you dig deeper.”

Source: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-linux-kernel/index.html?S_TACT=105AGX03&S_CMP=ART

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your office chair: right out of your race car

If you ever wanted to sit on a real fast office chair… you probably want to consider buying one of these:

rc128-2
built from a Lamborghini Diablo GT chair…

“Race Chairs brand office furniture is the perfect collection for the performance minded or motorsports obsessed individual. Our offerings are unique conversation pieces that give a subtle yet distinctive high tech atmosphere to any room.

Our chairs are made from the authentic high performance seats from exotic racecars such as Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, and Porsche. From our unique connection to the motorsports world, we are able to acquire a unique and everchanging inventory. Our Carbonfiber desks are an industry first and our accessories collection and one-off motorsports memorabilia pieces truly complete the decor while acting as functional pieces in the room.”

It’s not cheap but it has style 🙂

Source: http://www.racechairs.com/default.asp

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bootie – bootleg mashup music

What is a mashup? Wikipedia:

“A mashup or bootleg[1] is a song or composition created from the combination of the music from one song with the a cappella from another (also mash up and mash-up). These songs may be considered part of the European bastard pop musical genre. “A mash-up is a song created out of pieces of two or more songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the music track of another… Mash-ups are incredible fun and a fascinating way to reexperience some of your favorite tunes.””

And there is this website – offering over 200 tracks and extras around the mashup theme – even best-of-samplers are available:

BestOfBootie BestOfBootie2006_CD

BestOfBootie2007_CD

Source 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mashup_(music)
Source 2: http://www.bootieusa.com/

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How comes…

I am reading through the normal gadget blogs and I stumble upon this:

“Hailed as the “planet’s first on and off-site backup solution to use ZFS,” these units provide up to 1TB of local and off-site storage, optional RAID 1 local redundancy, twin gigabit Ethernet ports, OS X / Windows / Linux compatibility and the obligatory rock-solid stability that ZFS is known for.”

Why is ZFS known for anything like rock-solid stability? The last thing I know was that a certain consumer OS manufacturer released his ZFS implementation to the public in read-only-configuration.

Source: Engadget

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NASA opens it’s picture library

It’s just great to see more and more big archives are getting available online. This time the National Space Agency of America opened it’s picture library:

“NASA Images is a service of Internet Archive ( www.archive.org ), a non-profit library, to offer public access to NASA’s images, videos and audio collections. NASA Images is constantly growing with the addition of current media from NASA as well as newly digitized media from the archives of the NASA Centers.
The goal of NASA Images is to increase our understanding of the earth, our solar system and the universe beyond in order to benefit humanity. “

nasa

Source: http://www.nasaimages.org/

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Version 2 (final) of my Dropbox Tool

Some days ago I wrote about a 10 minute hack of a tool I always wanted to have – now I was using it quite often so I decided to upgrade it a bit – besides of the usual bugfixing I added these features:

  • unlimited filesize – if the file is >4 Megabyte it’ll split into smaller portions and uploaded one by one
  • Progressbar 🙂 When uploading severel hundred Mbytes you just want a progress indicator.
  • new Icon (curtesy of my wife – she did not like the old icon…)

dropboxv2

You can grab the source here.

Source 1: DropBox-v2.zip (92,77 KB)
Source 2: a selfmade web drop box in 10 minutes

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Anatomy of the Linux file system

Since Filesystems are another technology we are currently working on I want to point everyone to an article by IBM:

“When it comes to file systems, Linux® is the Swiss Army knife of operating systems. Linux supports a large number of file systems, from journaling to clustering to cryptographic. Linux is a wonderful platform for using standard and more exotic file systems and also for developing file systems. This article explores the virtual file system (VFS)—sometimes called the virtual filesystem switch—in the Linux kernel and then reviews some of the major structures that tie file systems together.”

Source: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-linux-filesystem/index.html?S_TACT=105AGX03&S_CMP=ART

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.NETAsm – inject native x86 code into your .NET apps

It may come in handy some time to have this functionality available. Unfortunatly it does not support 64 Bits – on which I am mainly developing now – but it’s cool:

NetAsmLogo

“NetAsm 1.0 is released. NetAsm provides a hook to the .NET JIT compiler and enables to inject your own native code in replacement of the default CLR JIT compilation. With this library, it is possible, at runtime, to inject x86 assembler code in CLR methods with the speed of a pure CLR method call and without the cost of Interop/PInvoke calls.”

  • Runs on x86 32bit Microsoft .NET platform with 2.0+ CLR runtime (x64 may be supported in the future).
  • Provides three different native code injection techniques: Static, DLL, and Dynamic.
    • Static code injection: The native code is stored in an attribute of the method.
    • Dll code injection : this method is similar to the DllImport mechanism but CLR methods are directly bind to the DLL function, without going through the interop layers.
    • Dynamic code injection: you can generate native code dynamically with a callback interface that is called by the JIT when compilation of a method is occurring. It means that you can compile a method “on the fly”. You have also access to the IL code of the method being compiled.
  • Supports for debugging static and dynamic code injection.
  • Supports for different calling conventions: StdCall, FastCall, ThisCall, Cdecl. Default calling convention is CLRCall.
  • NetAsm can be used inside any .NET language.
  • Very small library <100Ko.

Source: http://www.codeplex.com/netasm

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Graph theory: How to visualize a network

Since I am a bit familiar with graph theory and building technologies around graphs I came across this neat little library originally developed by Marc Smiths Team at Microsoft Research. It’s now up on Codeplex for your own study and research:

“.NetMap is a pair of applications for viewing network graphs, along with a set of .NET Framework 2.0 class libraries that can be used to add network graphs to custom applications.

A network graph is a series of vertices (sometimes called nodes) connected by edges. See this Wikipedia article for an overview of network graphs.”

Graph6 Graph1

Graph12

It even integrates into Excel…well if you need that… more interesting is:

“The Windows Forms control is one of several graph “visualizers” that are packaged in a Microsoft.NetMap.Visualization assembly. There is also a Microsoft.NetMap.Adapters assembly for reading and writing graph data in various formats, a Microsoft.SocialNetworkLib assembly for analyzing social networks, and a Microsoft.NetMap.Core assembly that implements the low-level vertex, edge, and graph classes. The framework for a Microsoft.NetMap.Algorithms assembly is also provided, although most of the graph algorithms are still work items as of May 2008.”

Source 1: http://research.microsoft.com/~masmith/
Source 2: http://www.codeplex.com/NetMap

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What about the user interface? UI guidelines all together now!

You may have heard about things like “guidelines for user interfaces” – Sometimes I tend to think that there is no such thing as a design guideline for a better user interface because some applications are just plain unusable for a normal human being.

But there are guidelines for almost everything and I wanted to give an overview:

Microsoft:

Apple:

Linux:

  • KDE Standards User Interface Guidelines
  • GNOME Human Interface Guidelines
  • Motif Style Guide

interesting ones:

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trueSpace 3D 7.6 is available for free

I used trueSpace years ago when a demo version appeared on one of those CDs that often came with computer magazines… it must be more than 10 years now. I was pleased to read about the availability of the current version of trueSpace as a completely free tool:

“trueSpace7.6 is a fully-featured 3D authoring package that will let you model, texture, light, animate and render 3D content. As well as traditional images and movies, you can also make 3D content for online shared spaces, and for Virtual Earth.”

truespace76

Source: http://www.caligari.com/Products/trueSpace/tS75/brochure/intro.asp?Cate=BIntro

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self replicating machines

When I thought of self replicating machines I thought of end-of-time scenarios and a robot armies conquering the world and enslaving the human race… it’s not that bad right now but we’re getting to it… sort of 🙂

pc-va

“Adrian Bowyer (left) and Vik Olliver (right) with a parent RepRap machine, made on a conventional rapid prototyper, and the first complete working child RepRap machine, made by the RepRap on the left. The child machine made its first successful grandchild part at 14:00 hours UTC on 29 May 2008 at Bath University in the UK, a few minutes after it was assembled.”

“RepRap is short for Replicating Rapid-prototyper. It is the practical self-copying 3D printer shown on the right – a self-replicating machine. This 3D printer builds the parts up in layers of plastic. This technology already exists, but the cheapest commercial machine would cost you about €30,000. And it isn’t even designed so that it can make itself. So what the RepRap team are doing is to develop and to give away the designs for a much cheaper machine with the novel capability of being able to self-copy (material costs are about €500). That way it’s accessible to small communities in the developing world as well as individuals in the developed world. Following the principles of the Free Software Movement we are distributing the RepRap machine at no cost to everyone under the GNU General Public Licence. So, if you have a RepRap machine, you can make another and give it to a friend… “

Source: http://reprap.org/bin/view/Main/WebHome

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speaking of Augmented Reality

It seems that I missed that Augmented Reality Toolkit all the way until now. It’s ARToolKit and it’s completely OpenSource.

As a matter of fact there are a ton of demos available… HOW could I possibly miss that for so long?

“ARToolKit is a software library for building Augmented Reality (AR) applications. These are applications that involve the overlay of virtual imagery on the real world. For example, in the image to the right a three-dimensional virtual character appears standing on a real card. It can be seen by the user in the head set display they are wearing. When the user moves the card, the virtual character moves with it and appears attached to the real object.

One of the key difficulties in developing Augmented Reality applications is the problem of tracking the users viewpoint. In order to know from what viewpoint to draw the virtual imagery, the application needs to know where the user is looking in the real world.”

Here is a short video demonstration of what you could start with:

…not talking about the things that would be possible if someone had a great idea 🙂

Source: http://www.hitl.washington.edu/artoolkit/

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new physics games … better than “world of sand” :-) and more

Small games that simulate real-world physics are just fantastic – I already wrote about a very similar game but this one has far more options 🙂

powder

“This sandbox contains a variety of elements which the player can scatter at a mouse-click. Ice, water, fire, the titular “powder” (which serves as the sand). The heart of Powder Game is the way these elements interact. Water that touches ice will freeze. Ice that touches fire will melt. Drop a seed onto some powder and a plant will sprout. Water the plant and it will grow. Touch a flame to it and it will catch fire and burn.

The other key element that defines Powder Game is wind. Powder stacks in neat piles, but a click of the mouse (a right click by default, but this can be changed) sends it spiralling into the air. Currents coalesce, rub against each other, create eddies in the air. Fire creates wind, as does exploding gunpowder. Wind turns ice into snow, creates rivers of particles in the air. When the background effect is set to “BG-shade,” it becomes entrancing to watch.”

There is even a whole website around those physic games:

funmotion

Source 1: http://dan-ball.jp/en/javagame/dust/
Source 2: World of Sand-old article
Source 3: http://www.fun-motion.com/

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Augmented Reality Game soon available (full source!)

You may have heard about Levelhead – an augmented reality game made by Julian Oliver – if you did not hear about it? No problem:

Augmented reality (AR) is a field of computer research which deals with the combination of real-world and computer-generated data. At present, most AR research is concerned with the use of live video imagery which is digitally processed and “augmented” by the addition of computer-generated graphics. Advanced research includes the use of motion-tracking data, fiducial marker recognition using machine vision, and the construction of controlled environments containing any number of sensors and actuators.”

So – Augmented reality mixes the reality and the computer graphics and creates a new reality for you. That’s a lot of theoretical…so let’s talk about Levelhead:

It’s a game where you have to move plastic cubes with printed-on patterns in front of a camera – the computer now renders a new world inside of the plastic cubes – when you move the cube, the world inside the cube moves too… it looks like this:

lh_4_med

“levelHead uses a hand-held solid-plastic cube as its only interface. On-screen it appears each face of the cube contains a little room, each of which are logically connected by doors.
In one of these rooms is a character. By tilting the cube the player directs this character from room to room in an effort to find the exit.

Some doors lead nowhere and will send the character back to the room they started in, a trick designed to challenge the player’s spatial memory. Which doors belong to which rooms?

There are three cubes (levels) in total, each of which are connected by a single door. Players have the goal of moving the character from room to room, cube to cube in an attempt to find the final exit door of all three cubes. If this door is found the character will appear to leave the cube, walk across the table surface and vanish.. The game then begins again.
Someone once said levelHead may have something to do with a story from Borges.. For a description of the conceptual basis of this project, see below. “

If you are not amazed now? You should watch this:

The thing is – this cool game and technology will be available at the end of this month as full open-source. I suggest to check Julians site back at the end of the month at last.

Source 1: Augmented Reality @ Wikipedia
Source 2: Levelhead homepage

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How to play a shooter in 16 pixel by 16 pixels space

It’s really a piece of art with only 256 pixels space – it’s the remake of the Defender game you won’t be able to play in Full HD:

DEFENDER of the favicon is a JavaScript remake of Eugene Jarvis‘ brilliant arcade game Defender written by Mathieu ‘p01’ Henri and inspired by Scott Schiller‘s experiment with generated favicons VU meter. The idea was to push the concept of generated favicons further and pack a thrilling retro shooter in 16×16 pixels using JavaScript, canvas and data: URIs.”

“Each frame of the game is generated on the fly in JavaScript into a 16×16 canvas element, then converted to a 32bits PNG image and used in place of the favicon.”

To be clear: This is not a joke – it’s an actual game… the size of:

16x16defender

Source: http://www.p01.org/releases/DHTML_contests/files/DEFENDER_of_the_favicon/

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hurray, Mono fully supports C# 3.0

“I am pleased to announce that Mono C# compiler (gmcs) has now full C# 3.0 support. Most of the features has been available since Mono 1.2.6 release. However, with the upcoming Mono 2.0 release we will also support complex LINQ expressions and mainly expression trees which is fairly overlooked new feature with a lot of potential.”

Source: http://mareksafar.blogspot.com/2008/07/mono-c-compiler-gets-full-c-30-support.html

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a selfmade web drop box in 10 minutes

I often have to share files with people – files which most of the time can be publically accessible – the problem is though that it’s far to much copy-n-paste involved to get the file uploaded and the URL of the file put together. I just made my life a bit easier and invested some minutes to write a small “DropBox” application that uses a custom webservice hosted on one of my machines to upload, list and delete files and to allow users that have the correct URL to download files.

paths

The path scheme is obviously just that I added a dropped folder in which the files will be stored and the webservice itself – that’s all on the webserver machine (having this folder setup as a website using ASP.NET 2.0)

For the client I wrote this little app:

dropboxapp

It’s no rocket science but it’s a good example for a small app that utilizes a webservice. If you want to use it you have to configure the webservice and the Client Application:

for the webservice:

wsconfig

You have to adjust the paths, URLs and the Password.

for the application:

appconfig

You just have to set the right Password.

If you’re set everything up correctly you should be able to drop files onto the Client Application window and get them uploaded to your webserver – the URL is automatically in your clipboard when everything worked.

If you click on the “Manage” tab in the Client Application you can get a list of all files on the server – clicking on the name of the file will automatically add the url to that file to your clipboard – if you want to delete a file – just click on it and click “delete selected file”.

The code can be considered public-domain and can be downloaded here.

I used the open-source icons from the Tango Desktop project to make a simple icon for the client application.

Source 1: DropBoxService-v1.rar (94,09 KB)
Source 2: http://tango.freedesktop.org/Tango_Desktop_Project

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what typing 4 words a second sounds like

Okay – the ones who are frequently using a keyboard know that they are getting faster and faster as time goes by – so it’s normal to type fast but FAST is not enough to compete in the national speed-typing contest in the states:

“Who’s the fastest typist in the land? If you’re talking about the Land of Lincoln, it’s arguably Melanie Humphrey-Sonntag, who has won the Illinois court reporters speed contest for the past three years. At last year’s event she transcribed the contest’s blazing dictation—averaging 245 words a minute—with a 99.193 percent accuracy.
That’s about 4 words a second.”

Source: Chicago Tribune speed typing (with video)

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How to use the intertubes to display music videos along your ordinary music

If you got a Mac (and that’s the platform it’s only running on) and if you’re using iTunes to listen to your music you probably want to give this Dashboard Widget a try – it automatically searches the music video which supposedly belongs to the music you’re currently listening to and plays it in a small window on the dashboard:

“YouTube has stacks and stacks of music videos on their website. I have written a little dashboard widget called iTube. iTube gets the artist and title of the song you are playing in iTunes. It then performs a search on youtube and plays the first hit in the widget window. Once installed iTube works by itself in the background, so start a song up iTunes then look at your dashboard and with a little luck you’ll be watching what you are listening to.”

itube

Source: http://philipandrews.org/blog/itube/

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a tool to convert a Windows Server 2008 machine into a useable workstation without loosing anything

a similar tool is available for Windows Server 2003 and now for 2008:

“Probably you are thinking at the moment: “Why the heck should I use Windows Server 2008 as my Workstations Operating System?? Vista works fine for me…”.

The answer is clear: Windows Server 2008 has almost exactly the same features as Windows Vista (SP1), but is remarkably faster and more stable!

converter_general

I cannot talk about the “more stable”-part since my Vista machines do not crash but if you’re one of those who just cannot live without the newest cutting-edge kernel version go ahead install Server 2008 and convert it into a useable workstation with Sound and stuff 🙂

Source: http://www.win2008workstation.com/wordpress/2008/07/17/windows-server-2008-workstation-converter/

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SONES is nominated by the german Internetworld Business

Since we are working hard and therefore – NO TIME – I just want to inform you:

“we were noticed that the INTERNET WORLD Business newspaper has nominated SONES as one of the most important (german) start-ups. As a reader of this newspaper you can vote for SONES till 30. September 2008. The winners of the contest will receive an Onlinestar during the INTERNET WORLD Congress in Munich in October.”

Source 1: http://www.pressebox.de/pressemeldungen/neue-medien-ulm-holding-gmbh/boxid-191947.html
Source 2: http://blog.ahzf.de/index.php/2008/07/22/internet-world-business-nominates-sones/

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How much memory can you put into one giant x64 machine and actually use it?

The answer is: 2 Terabyte.

“You can see physical memory support licensing differentiation across the server SKUs for all versions of Windows. For example, the 32-bit version of Windows Server 2008 Standard supports only 4GB, while the 32-bit Windows Server 2008 Datacenter supports 64GB. Likewise, the 64-bit Windows Server 2008 Standard supports 32GB and the 64-bit Windows Server 2008 Datacenter can handle a whopping 2TB. There aren’t many 2TB systems out there, but the Windows Server Performance Team knows of a couple, including one they had in their lab at one point. Here’s a screenshot of Task Manager running on that system:”

image_thumb_1

P.S.: Thx boonkerz.

Source: http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2008/07/21/3092070.aspx

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Wie die Karten in das Navigationsgerät kommen

Wer schon immer mal wissen wollte wie die Karten eigentlich erstellt werden die in so ein Navigationssystem den Weg weisen der sollte sich mal folgenden Artikel und höchst interessante Bilder anschauen:

“Navteq fährt mit speziell ausgerüsteten Fahrzeugen rund 7,5 Mio. Kilometer ab, und das Jahr für Jahr. Denn auch wenn auf der Verpackung steht: 7200 neue Kilometer, dann bedeutet das nicht, dass der “Rest” nicht auch unter die Räder genommen wurde. Und das lohnt sich immer: Hier steht mal ein neues Schild, da ist eine neue Einmündung und dort wurde vielleicht die Straßenführung geändert.”

Source: http://www.ksmichel.de/?p=289

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FFN Switcher – Erstes Release

So nachdem ich heute den Abend zusammen mit der Verwandtschaft einige Bugs im Switcher gefunden und – so denken wir – auch beseitigt haben will ich heute mal alle auf einen Stand bringen und ein Gesamt-Kunstwerk-ZIP File für an die Öffentlichkeit zerren.

ffnswitcher10069

Download FFN-Switcher-Release-1.zip (1,47 MB)

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Radioheads “House of Cards” music video + raw data released under CC license

I seriously don’t know why they are doing that – it’s not as if any material released previously came to any notice so far – but what the heck – Radiohead decided to put their current music video (which isn’t bad) and the raw data that was used to create it to the public using the Creative Commons license:

“The animation data used to make the video are licensed to the public under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license at Google Code. This means you are free to use the data to make your own video projects, as long as you abide by the CC license’s conditions. (To be clear, the song and its accompanying video are not under CC license; the data used to make the video are.)”

houseofcards_radiohead

Source: http://code.google.com/creative/radiohead/

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Hyper-V vs. Virtual Sever 2005 R2 – a “benchmark” using Sharepoint

Michael O’Donovan has a great benchmark-comparison of the brand new Hyper-V and the older Virtual Server 2005 R2:

“I have done a fair amount of SharePoint demos and developement over the past few years, and have always done this on my laptop using Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 or Microsoft Virtual PC, to host and run a SharePoint environment. Last year at Tech-Ed, while I was doing a demo, I had a comment from someone in the audience “Why is SharePoint so slow?” To some degree it makes sense, the specific SharePoint virtual environment which I was using at the time had almost every product known to man installed (the virtual hard drive size was 40GB), as well as being a domain controller and running on a laptop which only had 1GB ram assigned to the virtual machine. However, with the RTM release of Hyper-V (on Windows Server 2008), I wanted to see if performance was better now.”

One graph from his article:

image_2

Guess now – which color is which product?

Source: http://blogs.msdn.com/modonovan/archive/2008/07/09/sharepoint-under-hyper-v-versus-virtual-server-2005-r2.aspx

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Meet the C# 4.0 design team…

Channel 9 has the bits and pieces:

“What’s the C# team up to these days? Who’s on the C# 4.0 design team, anyway? With the looming problem of manycore facing developers now and certainly in the near future (to a much greater extent – programming for 80 core (asymmetric to boot) processors, anyone?). I thought it was time to find out what Anders et al are working on to get a clear sense of C#’s near (and not-so-near) future so I asked if I could come to one of their design meetings to have an informal chat (are we ever formal on C9?) and meet the people behind the next iteration of the most popular .NET programming language.”

csharp4c9

Source: http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/Charles/C-40-Meet-the-Design-Team/

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RAW digital photo codecs for Windows Vista

If you got a digital SLR camera you probably do RAW shoots from time to time…so this could probably be interesting:

Many photographers—especially those with digital SLRs—shoot in ‘RAW’ mode, which outputs a file format that is proprietary to their camera make and model (for example, .CR2, .NEF). These RAW formats preserve more of the original information from the camera than the JPG file that most other cameras output. This extra information provides greater quality, but it comes at a price of convenience. JPG is a universally supported image file format, but as anyone who has used RAW files can tell you, they are anything but universally supported.

In the past, RAW shooters had to either rely on RAW conversion software provided by their camera manufacturer, or put their fate in the hands of the myriad of software makers who have attempted to reverse-engineer these formats for support in their software applications. This led to a number of problems: compatibility issues, varying quality or inconsistent results from one application to another, and holes in the user workflow where RAW support is lacking.

Windows Vista attempts to solve these problems by providing an extensible platform that allows support for these (and other) new file formats to be added to Windows by the owner of the file format. This support comes in the form of a codec, which users will get from their camera manufacturer, either by downloading it, or provided with a new camera body. The Photo Gallery will even detect the presence of these files and help you download a codec when it exists.

Microsoft has been working with the major camera manufacturers so that they can provide codecs for their various RAW formats to their customers. Once these codecs are installed, users will find that they can view their RAW files and thumbnails throughout Windows Vista.

There are Codecs available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax and ArdFry

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/downloads/codecs.aspx

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HowTo: FFN Switcher Quellcode editieren

Wenn man den Quelltext nun dann mal auf der Festplatte hat wäre es natürlich nicht schlecht wenn man ihn auch einigermassen komfortabel ändern könnte: Nichts leichter als das!

Es gibt ja die segensreichen Express Editionen von Visual Studio – und genau die ist vollkommen ausreichend um den Quelltext auf sehr komfortable Weise (Onlinehilfe, Syntax Highlighting, usw.) zu erkunden und zu ändern.

Benötigt wird die Visual C# 2008 Express Edition und bekommen kann man sie hier.

Und weil ich gerade so gut bei Laune bin ein kurzes Video:

P.S.: Die Fehlermeldung die beim Öffnen der FFN-Switcher.sln Datei erscheint ist darauf zurückzuführen dass ich mit einer “größeren” Version von Visual Studio arbeite – man braucht sich davon nicht verrückt machen zu lassen.

P.P.S.: Natürlich gibt es auch das Video in HD – einfach zu Vimeo gehen.

Source 1: http://www.microsoft.com/germany/Express/
Source 2: http://vimeo.com/1329422

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HowTo: FFN-Switcher selbst compilieren

Da im Moment schon einige den FFN-Switcher verwenden dachte ich ich schreibe mal wie man sich den Switcher selbst kompiliert ohne dass man eine ganze Entwicklungsumgebung installieren muss. Das hat den Vorteil dass man sehr schnell Änderungen am Code vornehmen kann und sich mal eben fix eine eigene Version daraus übersetzt – sollen die Änderungen allen anderen Nutzern auch zur Verfügung gestellt werden sollten sie natürlich an mich geschickt werden – ich werde sie dann nach Prüfung in den Quelltext einbinden bzw. auch in Einzelfällen Zugriffsrechte auf den Quelltext direkt verteilen. Idealerweise kann man per Skype (siehe Kontaktinformationen rechts) oder per Kommentarfunktion an diesem Artikel Kontakt mit mir aufnehmen.

Zuersteinmal braucht man folgende Dinge:

  1. installierter .NET Framework 3.5 und .NET Framework 2.0
    Um den Switcher zu benutzen reicht 2.0, nur zum kompilieren braucht man 3.5.
  2. einen Subversion Client um den Quelltext zu downloaden
    Im Beispiel verwende ich TortoiseSVN

Das war es eigentlich auch schon. Wenn man das alles installiert hat verwendet man den Subversion Client um von der Adresse http://www.dotnetcommunity.de:6667/ffn-switcher den Quelltext zu downloaden.

Mit TortoiseSVN geht das so:

  1. Verzeichniss erstellen
  2. Rechts klicken auf Verzeichniss
  3. im Kontextmenü “SVN Checkout…” wählen
  4. in die Adresszeile die obige Adresse eintragen
  5. OK klicken

tortoisesvn

Nach dem Klick auf OK downloaded TortoiseSVN dann den kompletten Quelltext in das angegebene Verzeichniss.

Der nächste Schritt ist nun schon das eigentliche kompilieren – das Übersetzen des Quelltextes in ein lauffähiges Programm. Hierzu muss man wissen dass das notwendige Tool namens “MSBuild” zusammen mit dem .NET Framework installiert worden ist. Das Tool selbst befindet sich normalerweise im Verzeichniss: “C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\MSBuild.exe”.

Im Grunde besteht das Compilieren nur daraus dass man die Kommandozeile öffnet und in das Verzeichniss wechselt in dem die FFN-Switcher.sln Datei liegt.

ffnswitcher_directory

So nun wie gesagt – in der Kommandozeile sieht das dann so aus:

compilercommandline

Nach dem Druck auf Enter wird der FFN-Switcher kompiliert und im Unterverzeichniss bin\Debug abgelegt. Um das ganze komplett zu machen habe ich ein kleines Video (720p, am besten per Vollbild zu betrachten) erstellt in dem alle Schritte gezeigt werden:


FFN-Switcher selbst kompilieren from Bietiekay on Vimeo.

P.S.: Um das Video in HD zu schauen einfach “HD” einschalten…Leider kann ich es nicht in HD hier auf der Seite direkt einbinden.

Source 1: http://tortoisesvn.tigris.org/
Source 2: .NET Framework 3.5
Source 3: http://vimeo.com/1329156

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TVR is back in business and they just presented the 2008 Sagaris 2 *drool*

That’s the best news for months!! After TVR being out of business for some time they seem to be back in business now – they even presented the new Sagaris 2008 modell yesterday.

“Announced this morning by TVR Managing Director, David Oxley, at an exclusive preview event held at the new TVR development works in Lancashire, England – TVR Production has resumed!

Upon the momentous occasion, which included invited members of the TVR Car Club, TVR staff presented the TVR Sagaris model year 2008. Exterior design has remained the same except for new 5 spoke wheels, while the interior receives a new center console with satellite navigation.

As promised back in 2006 by TVR owner, Nikolai Smolenski said “My intention is to expand the sales and distribution of TVR cars throughout Europe, the rest of the world and USA markets is a key part of the business strategy of the company.” Built as a left hand drive model, the 2008 Sagaris confirms it will be exported internationally.

Preliminary pricing puts the 2008 TVR Sagaris just below 85.000 Euros.”

So now the only thing I need is the money to buy one of these beasts… I’ll have one in black or white 🙂

IMG_1956-1024
the re-designed interior included satnav…touchscreen…

back3
…and re-designed exhausts… I actually liked the side-exausts better…

IMG_1945-1024
the new bonnet … and the gorgeous speed six…*raaawwr*

Source 1: http://www.worldcarfans.com/9080710.012/page1/tvr-production-restarts—2008-sagaris-presented
Source 2: http://www.tvr-car-club.co.uk/tvrpreviewevent.asp

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Say goodbye: Windows 3.11 reached end-of-life

Amazingly enough OEMs could license WfW 3.11 for this long period of time…

“we recently announced that effective November 1st, 2008, OEM’s will no longer be able to license Windows for Workgroups 3.11 in the embedded channel.”

wfw311logo

but it’s time to say goodbye.

Source: http://blogs.msdn.com/jcoyne/archive/2008/07/09/it-s-the-end-for-3-11.aspx

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new single from Emiliana Torrini – (free download)

emiliana

“Following on from her critically acclaimed sets ‘Love In The Time Of Science’ and her first for Rough Trade ‘Fisherman’s Woman’, the forthcoming ‘Me And Armini’ (released 8th September) sees her working once again with her long time producer/collaborator Dan Carey resulting in what we feel is destined to be one of the albums of 2008.

‘Me And Armini’ is a hugely ambitious and aspirational pop record with Emiliana’s soaring voice centre stage, bolstered by a rich gamut of musical styles. From the summery skank of the title track to the surging, breathless, first single ‘Jungle Drum’ (released 29th September) and yearning, spine-tingling ‘Big Jumps’ and much more in between ‘Me And Armini’ is a truly fantastic album.

‘Me And Armini’ will be released as a digital single in the US exclusively via iTunes on 19th August, with the album of the same name to follow on 9th September. “

Download the song “Me and Armini” here.

Source 1: http://www.arjanwrites.com/arjanwrites/2008/07/free-download-e.html
Source 2: http://www.myspace.com/emilianatorrini

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Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Improvements for .NET 3.5 SP1

Servicepack 1 for the .NET Framework 3.5 is coming out so there are many new features and improvements… like this list of WCF Improvements:

  • New Hosting Wizard for WCF Service projects.
  • Enhancements in Test Client such as support for RM Sessions, Message Contract and Nullable types enables testing of broader set of WCF-based services.
  • Expanding reach of DataContract Serializer by relaxing the need of having [DataContract]/ [DataMember] on types and by supporting an interoperable mechanism for dealing with object references.
  • Improved Partial Trust Debugging Experience with support for Event Log.
  • Support for ADO.NET Entity Framework entities in WCF contracts.
  • Improvements in writing REST based services ranging from easily supporting ServiceDocuments publication and consumption to providing greater control and usability of UriTemplate.
  • Significant performance improvements on large workflow-based projects in Visual Studio.
  • Considerable scalability increases for hosted WCF services in IIS7-integrated mode.

Source: http://hyperthink.net/blog/we-are-pleased-to-bring-you-new-features-in-net-3-5-sp1/

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Writing an application a day keeps the doctor away… a new Windows Mobile application each day

Chris Craft has did a very interesting project – He wrote a new application every day. The “Application Calendar” is now available:

“I have put together a calendar of applications for the 30 Days of .NET [Windows Mobile Applications]. Here you can get a quick feel for all the applications we’ve created so far, and will write in the coming days.”

anappaday

The best is – these are actually useful applications – like Trippr – a tool that displays all Flickr pictures that are tagged with your current location (gps based)… how cool is that? There are many more… Callblocker, GPS Clock, GeoCash and there’s one I sure will take a look at:

speedo

That’s a GPS based Speedo! 🙂

Source: http://www.cjcraft.com/blog/default.aspx

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TechEd Online

Like every year I want to point to the tech-ed online website where you can get many useful information around the tech-ed developer events this year…

techedonline08

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/techedonline/default.aspx

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Cheat Sheets for all things web developing

“Cheat sheets are helpful to have around because they allow you to quickly remember code syntax and see related concepts visually. Additionally, they’re nice decorative pieces for your office.”

There are more than 20 cheat sheets available – heck even I found several ones that could come handy in the future.

Source: http://sixrevisions.com/resources/cheat_sheets_web_developer/

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Hyper-V RTM is now available for Windows Server 2008

As of today Microsoft offers the KB950050 update for Windows Server 2008 – which means: Hyper-V – the hypervisor of Windows 2008 is now available in the final release version.

image_2

“The update to the Hyper-V role provides improvements to security, stability, performance, user experience, forward compatibility of configurations, and the programming model. All users of the Hyper-V role should apply this update. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer. After you have installed this update, it cannot be removed. This update is provided to you and licensed under the Windows Server 2008 License Terms. With this update, you can now use Hyper-V in a production environment for supported configurations. Please see Windows Server 2008 Licensing and Support terms for more information.”

Source: KB950050

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How to turn an old notebook into a very stylish Arcade / MAME Cocktail Cabinet

You would need:

  1. an old yet powerful enough notebook to play MAME games
    300px-MAME
    MAME is an emulator application designed to recreate the hardware of arcade game systems in software, with the intent of preserving gaming history and preventing vintage games from being lost or forgotten. The name is an acronym for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator.”
  2. an IKEA RAMVIK sideboard
  3. go to the homepage of the project to get the details how to build it 🙂

IMG_0599_2

Source 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAME
Source 3: http://www.ikea.com
Source 2: http://mamebook.blogspot.com/

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a cross-team blog about the Windows Foundations

The .NET Endpoint is a new blog of several teams inside Microsoft that work on the Windows Foundations (you know… WCF, WFF…)

“This is a Microsoft cross-team blog – meaning that multiple groups here at Microsoft will be posting, including the WF/WCF development team, testing team, .NET product management, and some of the more influential folks in our field. Additionally, this blog will be consolidating a couple smaller team blogs into one place, and adding a few link collections to help WF/WCF novices and experts alike locate content. The goal is simple: this will be the one blog to subscribe to if you want to stay on top of WF and WCF stuff.”

Source: http://blogs.msdn.com/endpoint/

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Xbox Media Center for OSX renames itself to PLEX

It’s not as many of those fance company-blogs like gizmodo have written: not the Xbox Media Center project (which makes XBMC for Windows, Linux, Xbox 1 and OSX) renamed itself – infact only the fork of OSXBMC renamed itself to PLEX.

“The one name that stuck was Plex. I like it because it evokes “cineplex” and the suffix means “comprising a number of parts” which the application certain does. In mathematics, you use the suffix to mean “ten to the power of the number” (e.g. oneplex = 10).

Because there are no four-letter domain names left (seriously, try to find one!) we decided to square the plex, so to speak. Think of either plex^2 or plex squared (the beta logo below tries to connote the word “plex” inside a square that might represent a TV screen). The domain names are plex2.com, plexsquared.com, and plexsquare.com for good measure. They are not active yet.

In the coming days, we’ll be working on the rebranding process, including the application packaging, logo, web domains, etc. In the longer term, we have some exciting things in the skin department as well. Stay tuned, and thanks for all your support; we really are lucky to have such an great community.”

Along with the new name comes a new logo:

plex2

Source: http://www.osxbmc.com/
Source 2: http://www.plex2.com

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Notepad++ version 5 is out! hurray!

There is a new version of Notepad++ – my number 1 choice of text editor on Windows – available for download. It’s version 5 of the great tool bringing us more performance, many new features and even more fixes:

“Notepad++ is a free (free as in “free speech”, but also as in “free beer”) source code editor and Notepad replacement, which supports several programming languages, running under the MS Windows environment.”

npp

Source 1: Download

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A .net web debugging proxy tool

If you’re frequently debugging web traffic (http/https) you may want to take a look at Fiddler:

“Fiddler is a Web Debugging Proxy which logs all HTTP(S) traffic between your computer and the Internet. Fiddler allows you to inspect all HTTP(S) traffic, set breakpoints, and “fiddle” with incoming or outgoing data. Fiddler includes a powerful event-based scripting subsystem, and can be extended using any .NET language.

Fiddler is freeware and can debug traffic from virtually any application, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and thousands more.”

fiddler

Source: http://www.fiddler2.com

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great Nintendo game themed decals available for your wall…

Blik just announced that they as of now offer official Nintendo game themed wall decals. I was sold with the first picture I saw of it – I know it’s a bit pricey but hey – it sure looks great.

smbbrosdecal

Actually they have more than this Super Mario Bros. 1 theme – they even got the “New Super Mario Bros.” theme which is more of a 2.5d than 3d version of the brothers.

“In late 1985, Super Mario Bros., created by the highly revered Shigeru Miyamoto, came to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) making a splash by ending the two year slump of video game sales in the US. As of 2008, it is the highest selling video game of all time – 40 million copies to date. Its theme music is recognized by gamers and non-gamers alike.

Made with blik Re-Stik™, these movable and reusable decals are based on the same 8-bit graphics from the original Super Mario Bros. game. This is an official Nintendo licensed product.”

Did I mention that it has the official Nintendo seal?… Yeah I did.

Source: http://www.whatisblik.com

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Congratulations Sony

In the newest Firmware update of the Playstation 3 there’s support for “Trophies” – which plain and simple are a copy of the Achievements available on the 360.

Create your own Achievements with the Achievement Generator.

Source: http://achievements.schrankmonster.de

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If Windows XP updates fail more than one time…

… like on two of my machines – try this:

regsvr32 wuapi.dll
regsvr32 wuaueng.dll
regsvr32 wuaueng1.dll
regsvr32 wucltui.dll
regsvr32 wups.dll
regsvr32 wups2.dll
regsvr32 wuweb.dll

– At least on my machine it now installed the updates flawlessly.

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just updated blog software

I just updated the blog software on schrankmonster / technology-ninja to a more current version hopefully resulting in faster page loading times and less cpu usage on my webserver.

If you experience any problem from now on, please talk to me – comment this article.

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now this is a good looking 360 dashboard mockup…

The thing with the current XBOX 360 dashboard is that there’s obviously more unused space than there is really used space… there are now and for some time rumors that the user interface will be revamped completely…

Now there are people who know how to do it and they just made a mockup of what a dashboard with more used space would look like:

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