Archive for October, 2008

Update-Zeit sparen mit Raubkopien.

Man lernt ja nicht aus! Und heute habe ich etwas ganz ganz wichtiges gelernt: Unter Zuhilfenahme von zusammengewürfelten CD Images aus zweifelhaften Quellen (die nächste Piratenbucht zum Beispiel) kann man wertvolle Zeit sparen!

Zeit ist Geld! Und das Geld rechtfertigt so manches.

Nunja genug der Satire – ich bin ja nun auch von der softwareschreibenden Zunft und letztlich wie jeder andere darauf angewiesen dass eben keine nicht lizensierten oder nicht zweifelsfrei von mir selbst stammenden Kopien meiner Produkte im Umlauf sind.

Das geht schon los bei so Sachen wie Support – den zu leisten ist nämlich schwer wenn man nicht weiss was der nette Herr von der CD-Image erstellenden Zunft so alles noch mit dazugemischt hat – und endet bei so Sachen wie den Raubkopien.

Berichten gestandener IT-Servicedienstleistern zufolge bedient man sich selbst auch gerne mal am “All-you-can-Eat” Buffet. Natürlich hat das dann nichts mit Raubkopien zu tun sondern dient nur dazu ein wenig Zeit einzusparen. Ohje – die Satire kommt schonwieder durch. Gut gut Zeit für ein Zitat:

“Jede Raubkopie ist in der Regel eine unerlaubte Vervielfältigung oder Verbreitung von urheberrechtlich geschützten Werken. Gemäß § 106 Urhebergesetz mit Freiheitsstrafe bis zu 3 Jahren oder mit Geldstrafe bestraft. Auch der Versuch selbst ist strafbar. Heftiger werden die Strafen bei einer gewerbsmäßigen unerlaubten Verwertung. Eine gewerbsmäßige Verwertung liegt immer dann vor, wenn dies in Gewinnerzielungsabsicht erfolgt. Hier droht gemäß § 108 a Urhebergesetz eine Freiheitsstrafe von bis zu 5 Jahren oder Geldstrafe. Selbstverständlich bestehen zivilrechtliche Ansprüche neben der Strafbarkeit.”

So kommt man dann – obwohl man natürlich nur die besten Absichten hatte – in Teufels Küche. Meines Erachtens ist etwas was man nicht eindeutig aus einer vom Hersteller abgesegneten Quelle bezogen hat ersteinmal eine unerlaubte Kopie. Das wird dann je nach Einzelfall – im Falle eines IT-Dienstleisters – schneller als einem lieb ist zu einer unlizensierten “Raubkopie”. Auch wenn man noch soviele Lizenzen im Schrank liegen hat wird aus dem kopierten Datenträger und der damit erstellten Installation rein rechtlich kein Original. Jedenfalls nicht gezwungenermassen.

Source: http://www.internetrecht-rostock.de/raubkopierer.htm

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Der erste Schnee …

Heute ist für diesen Winter das erste mal Schnee gefallen.

IMG_3470

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Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 CTP available

Unexpected news: Obiously the first CTP of the upcoming Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 is available for download.

“Welcome to the Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 Community Technology Preview Feedback page! You can now get an early look at the new features we are working on for the next release by downloading the CTP from the Download Center. The CTP release is available in English only as a Virtual PC image.”

2010

Source: http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/content/content.aspx?ContentID=9790

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Microsoft Small Basic – a learning by doing programming environment

Microsoft just released a small tool with the name “Small Basic”. It’s a all-in-one programming environment for beginners:

smallbasic

“Small Basic is a project that’s aimed at bringing “fun” back to programming. By providing a small and easy to learn programming language in a friendly and inviting development environment, Small Basic makes programming a breeze. Ideal for kids and adults alike, Small Basic helps beginners take the first step into the wonderful world of programming.”

Source: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/devlabs/cc950524.aspx

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elastic windows

Amazon has done it’s thing and you can now order Windows based machinery based on EC2. That’s great news for us since we’re definitly planning to make our software also available on EC2.

“Amazon EC2 running Microsoft Windows Server® 2003 is a fast and dependable environment for deploying applications using the Microsoft Web Platform, including ASP.NET, ASP.NET AJAX, Silverlight™, and Internet Information Server (IIS). Amazon EC2 enables you to run any compatible Windows-based solution on AWS’ high-performance, reliable, cost-effective, cloud computing platform. Common Windows use cases include website and web-service hosting, high-performance computing (HPC) and data processing, media transcoding, distributed testing, ASP.NET application hosting, and any other application requiring Windows software. Amazon EC2 also now supports the SQL Server® Express and SQL Server Standard databases, and makes those offerings available to customers on an hourly basis.”

Source: http://aws.amazon.com/windows/

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DIY PMR Gateway

In my case it’s just partly do-it-yourself: Michael and Peter did the cable soldering and I wrote the software that controls the serial interface to the PMR sender/receiver.

My gateway is on PMR channel 5 with no CTCSS configured in the Campus area of the TU-Ilmenau. A gateway is only just a PMR radio connected to a PC which is logged into a Teamspeak server which is connected to several other gateways (citizen radio / PMR / …)

So if you talk within the range of my gateway you’ll be heard in more than 24 areas across germany over PMR and citizen radio.

Capture

One toolset which was particularly useful is the VU-Meter tools. You can use them to monitor your input/output ports and tune them for perfect modulation. You can get them here and they look like this:

vumeter

Since the cable soldering was one piece of craftsmanship a picture of the radio and the cable:

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the computer side of the interface

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the radio side of the interface

If you want to connect from outside the range of the PMR you should go to the homepage of Freies Funknetz and get all the necessary information there.

Source 1: http://www.darkwood.demon.co.uk/PC/meter.html
Source 2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PMR446
Source 3: http://www.freiesfunknetz.de/index.html

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the new VMWare Server 2.0…

…is such a great product.

It was easier to install than the 1.0 version and since the VMWare Server Console is gone and the WebAccess is revamped it got a great new user interface.

vmware2

Source: http://vmware.com/products/server/

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How to create an m4b iTunes compatible audiobook from a cd

Let’s say you’re like me: You got several audiobooks on CD over the years and you even ripped several of these to listen to them in your MP3 player/car.

So what I have is a number of audiobooks ripped as mp3s on my harddisk looking something like this:

crnan1

If you only have the CD what you would like to do is rip the whole CD as ONE large m4a AAC encoded audiofile. We need it to be an m4a because we later want to inject chapter marks. If you have this big AAC file just skip the next few steps. But if you got those several small mp3 files – one for each chapter you want to merge them together and reencode them as m4a AAC.

There is a great free tool to merge these mp3 files together. It’s called (who would have thought) Merge MP3 and is available completely for free. It’ll create one big mp3 file out of your several small ones.

mergemp3nan

After you got that huge mp3 file you want to convert it into a m4a file with AAC encoding. I recommend using iTunes.

itunesconvertnan

When you got that one huge m4a file you want to load it into a tool called Chapter Master. It’s not free and will set you back $15 but it’s worth as I did not find anything else that was a) that cheap b) that comfortable c) working.

chaptermasternan

Load the m4a file into Chapter Master, add the chapters in the right order and at the right time. Eventually you want to add an album art picture. Click save and you’re done.

The resulting file is a m4b file recognized by iTunes as an audiobook with chapters.

Source 1: http://www.shchuka.com/software/mergemp3
Source 2: http://www.rightword.com.au/products/chaptermaster/download.asp

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Our Jack-o-Lanterns

Halloween is due in a few weeks and we had the time to cut our Jack-o-Lanterns today. After buying them last weekend at the “Kürbisfest Alterndorf” (see pictures of this at my wifes site) we decided to do 3 different ones this year.

So… here are the three Jack-o-Lanterns of this year:

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and in the dark at the house entrance:

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Source: Kürbisfest Altendorf at dreikiel.de

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How to make it hard to read the EULA

Microsoft did a fairly good job hiding the end user license agreement in the .NET Framework 3.5 installer dialog:

netframeworklicense

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How to fix a “Maximum length exceeded” error message in ASP.NET

Since I had to fix it for more than hundred times before – here is once and for all the solution:

Add to the httpRuntime section of the web.config file of your ASP.NET application or webservice:

and you’re done.

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Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

If you ever asked yourself how many visualization methods are there und how do they look like you may want to take a look at this cool website:

periodic

Source: http://www.visual-literacy.org/periodic_table/periodic_table.html

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Mono 2.0 released!!

“Mono 2.0 is a portable and open source implementation of the .NET framework for Unix, Windows, MacOS and other operating systems.”

  • Compiler
    • C# 3.0 compiler implementation, with full support for LINQ.
    • Visual Basic 8 compiler.
    • IL assembler and disassembler and the development toolchain required to create libraries and applications.
  • API
    • ADO.NET 2.0 API for accessing databases.
    • ASP.NET 2.0 API for developing Web-based applications.
    • Windows.Forms 2.0 API to create desktop applications.
    • System.XML 2.0: An API to manipulate XML documents.
    • System.Core: Provides support for the Language Integrated Query (LINQ).
    • System.Xml.Linq: Provides a LINQ provider for XML.
    • System.Drawing 2.0 API: A portable graphics rendering API.

mono2

Source: http://www.mono-project.com/Main_Page

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When in need of an engine: built it yourself with Legos!

Someone built himself a (actually not working) modell of a V8 – infact if you click on the related videos in youTube you’ll find working ones… I never knew that this would be possible with lego…

leog-engine[1]

Source: http://hackedgadgets.com/2008/09/29/lego-v8-engine/
Source 2: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8ut5ND3agI

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iMac downgraded to 486

Hmm… maybe something in the current Menu Meters version is wrong:

80486

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the Hyper-V Server 2008 is available… for free…

I virtualization heaven! I am currently using VMWare Server on most of the machines I am doing virtualization on – but the fact that the Microsoft Hypervisor “Hyper-V” is available for free now is really cool:

“Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, a bare metal hypervisor-based server virtualization product, is now available as a no-cost Web download at http://www.microsoft.com/Hyper-VServer. Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 provides a simplified, reliable and optimized virtualization solution for customers to consolidate Windows or Linux workloads onto a single physical server or to run client operating systems and applications in server-based virtual machines in the data center. Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 allows customers to leverage their existing provisioning, updating, management and support tools, processes and skills.”

hypervsetup1

Source: http://hypervoria.com/

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HandBrake is now a full blown video converter…

Turns out that a new snapshot (unofficial) version of my favourite DVD to iPod Converter is available. With the new version came new features like the one that allows me now to convert almost anything to wonderful iPod compatible movie files.

handbrake093

“HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded DVD to MPEG-4 converter, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows.”

I tried anything in my library, including some matroska movie files. Just everything worked – amazing!

Source: http://handbrake.fr/?article=snapshot

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Gimp got a new UI

And another great software release of last week was the new GIMP version. GIMP is a free open-source image manipulation program that offers 99% of the functionality you’ll ever need.

augegimp

P.S.: This is my wife’s eye… 🙂

Source: http://www.gimp.org

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trying a SONY AVCHD camera…

Today I received a mysterious box with a SONY HDR-SR12E camera in it. I was expecting a camera but not one in HD (1080i) and with a humongous hard disk (120GB).

sony3

Since it’s for several projects I am working on so stay tuned for HD stuff. Thank god there’s soapbox and vimeo.

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real life is not a video game

Almost every video game company emphasizes the realism in their racing games. In at least one case this marketing lead to strange consequences: Carl Edwards hits a wall with is NASCAR racing car on purpose.

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“Carl Edwards did everything he could Sunday, including purposely bouncing off the concrete wall at Kansas Speedway, but it wasn’t quite enough to beat two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.”

“I planned on hitting the wall, but I didn’t plan on the wall slowing me down that much,” Edwards said. “In video games, you can just run into the wall and run it wide open. That’s what I did, but it didn’t quite work out the same as the video game.”

Source: http://hamptonroads.com/2008/09/johnson-wins-edwards-hits-wall-purpose

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While…

“While we moan about the world turning to slow,

many people seem to moan about the world turning to fast.”

(ahzf :-))

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SpaceX’ Falcon 1 reaches orbit

On September 28th the Falcon 1 rocketship reached orbit:

orbital2

“In an era when most technology based products follow a path of ever-increasing capability and
reliability while simultaneously reducing costs, launch vehicles today are little changed from those of
40 years ago. SpaceX aims to change this paradigm by developing a family of launch vehicles and
spacecraft which will ultimately increase the reliability and reduce the cost of space access by a factor
of ten. Coupled with the emerging market for private and commercial space transport, this new model
will re-ignite humanity’s efforts to explore and develop space.”

faclon1

Source: http://www.spacex.com/webcast.php

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