Archive for category Media

Auf der Suche nach einem CMS…

In unserer kleinen Firma sind wir zur Zeit auch auf der Suche nach einem brauchbaren Content Management System und da kommt natürlich so ein Artikel wie gerufen: Eine Übersicht über einige der großen CMSe. Im moment favorisiert der Verantwortliche für die Webseite das Typo3 – das hab ich dann auch mal per VM zur Verfügung gestellt – aber wirklich überzeugt hat es zumindest mich nicht – nungut, ich muss damit ja auch nicht klar kommen.

“Wenigstens bin ich nicht der einzige! Und neu ist meine Problematik auch nicht: Bereits Anfang 2004 war der große Dave Shea auf der Suche nach einem geeigneten CMS, das seine (wirklich nicht besonders exotischen) Forderungen erfüllt. So ähnlich fühle ich mich auch gerade, jedoch fast 5 Jahre später. Und wie es scheint, hat sich gar nicht soviel verändert :-)”

typo3

Source: http://praegnanz.de/weblog/subjektiver-cms-einkaufsfuehrer

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create panoramic images with a free tool

There was the Digital Image Suite and several other tools like Hugin and Cool360 which I used over the last years to create panoramic images. Now there’s a new tool available in 32 and 64 bit (for really really huge images!) from Microsoft Research. It’s free at this point and if you’re on Windows it’s definitely worth the try.

msice

“Microsoft Image Composite Editor is an advanced panoramic image stitcher. You shoot a set of overlapping photographs of a scene from a single location, and Image Composite Editor creates a high-resolution panorama incorporating all your images at full resolution. Then save your stitched panorama in a wide variety of formats, from common formats like JPEG and TIFF to multi-resolution tiled formats like HD View and Silverlight Deep Zoom.”

Source: http://research.microsoft.com/ivm/ice.html

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Color IQ

Uhh… I ususally don’t do that stuff but in this case I just was curious how it would work for me. Quite well I think:

yourscore

Source: http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?PageID=77

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When did RAID became independent?

Once upon a time I was told about that cool technology that lets you take several hard drives and glue them “together” to a single big volume. This technology was called RAID – Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks – and that it was. It brought us greater levels of reliability and performance – and it was inexpensive compared with other technologies and since hard drive prices are falling for years and storage space is growing along with that it’s getting even cheaper than anything else you could use to store data securely. Some of us even backup to a independent RAID system.

In the beginning of this all there were several hard drive interface technologies used – mainly it was Parallel ATA and SCSI. It was widely accepted that the SCSI drives are specified for 24/7 server usage and were almost everytime faster than their consumer PATA relatives. It was accepted that if you want to build a reliable industry grade RAID you would want to use SCSI drives – the SCSI bus system even had advantages like up to 7 drives per bus compared to just 2 drives with PATA or hot-swap capabilities.

Over the last years it turned out that SATA is the new interface technology that replaces the old SCSI and PATA. There are several server grade SATA drives available now – these drives are getting cheaper, faster and bigger by the minute. So there’s not a real purpose for anything “more server than server-SATA” you might think. Again if you want to build inexpensive and redundant storage arrays there is nothing cheaper than standard or even server SATA drives. They are fast, reliable and huge.

So some years ago the industry presents: the SAS interface. It’s called “Serial Attached SCSI” and is the “new cool thing in hard disk storage”. There are some niche features that may or may not justify the existence of SAS. A fact is that SAS hard drives of the same size and speed are more expensive.

“SATA is marketed as a general-purpose successor to Parallel ATA and is now common in the consumer market, while the more expensive SAS is marketed for critical server applications.(Wikipedia)

It’s getting worse: The industry started to offer fast hard drives (15000 rpm) only for the more expensive SAS interface. The few 15k rpm SATA drives are not slower in any way than their SAS versions – but they are not widely available and all of a sudden the same price like the SAS version.

But back to the definition of RAID:

So over the years the technology made a giant leap forward and all of a sudden you find yourself using very expensive hard drives while glueing them together to giant volumes (it’s now terabytes…petabytes…). While consumer hard drives are available for about a third (at least) the price of the server version of the same drive. It seems that the widely accepted definition of inexpensive is replaced by independence. I do know that there are use cases when you want to use the fastest spinning drive available regardless of the price – but I also think that there could be affordable fast spinning drives if we shouldn’t be bothered to pay the marketing-fee that SAS brings. It’s plain marketing to make new 15k rpm drives only available for SAS and not for SATA. Marketing and nothing more.

As it turns out many industry (marketing) brains (hey, even wikipedia) are switching to a new definition of RAID. It’s now a Redundant Array of Independent Disks – which I think is a definition that could not be worse. It’s not independence we gain with the new definition.

Source 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID#cite_note-1
Source 2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_Attached_SCSI

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FFN Switcher – Zweites Release

Nach ein paar Wochen ist es nun Zeit für eine weitere Version des FFN Switchers. Dank der mühevollen Tests vieler fleissiger Helfer des Freien Funknetzes gibt es eine bugfreiere Version inklusive neuer GUI.

Den Sourcecode und alles zugehörige gibt es wie immer auf dem Subversion Server.

ffnswitcherr2_3

ffnswitcherr2_2

Download: FFN Switcher Release 3

Source: FFN Switcher Release 3

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Building Earth

Steffi and I made our own version of earth some years ago using 3D Studio and NASA Images – we even made an animation. But this guy does a way better job – creating a photorealistic earth:

“For some time now, I’ve been studying how to build Earth in Blender. I’ve read quite a few tutorials, studied NASA’s Blue Marble images, and received critique from other Blender enthusiasts. I now have some satisfactory results, which I’d be happy to share.

I’ve put together a 21-page tutorial which explains how I achieved my Earth renders. I know there are already a lot of Earth tutorials out there – but none that I found helped me get quite the effect that I wanted. My tutorial combines what I gleaned from all the other tutorials, with what I learned on my own through hours of experimenting. I’m sure it’s not perfect – but I think it will be helpful for anyone interested in the subject.

The tutorial focuses on three different models of Earth – a photographic-style Earth, a Blue-Marble-style Earth, and a night Earth. It demonstrates how to render details such as proper specular shading and ray-traced cloud shadows.”

There’s a free pdf tutorial available that shows how to create these 3D renderings with blender.

Earth Poster

Source 1: http://chamberlinproductions.110mb.com/mappedearth.html
Source 2: “what’s the size of the earth compared to”
Source 3: http://web.olp.net/wildernesslodge/Earth%20Tutorial.pdf

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XAMLpadX – a free and powerful editor for XAML

A new version of the great XAMLpadX is available. It’s an editor with many features you want to have in Visual Studio and Blend but you don’t get them.

xamlpad

Source: XamlPadX 4.0

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Software .NET managed DSP for Audio and …

As you may or may not know I am working on a gateway tool for citizen band radio. For this tool I was asked if it would be possible to build a tone detection, maybe more, into my software. And on the way of finding out how to accomplish this I stumbles across several very interesting things.

Like this peakmeter control which uses a software digital signal processing or a software dsp library – everything written entirely in managed code (C#) and both open source. Both examples show that you can use digital signal processing for audio and image content… and for more.

The peakmeter control:

micsourcediag

“DSP processing is very interesting subject to learn and work with. This block receives digital samples from the source. It approximates the original waveform and finds its peak magnitudes.
Since I would not be able to go in details about how FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) works in this article, I recommend the interested reader to visit some of the links in the reference section to increase his/her knowledge about this process.”

The software DSP library:

“A C# open source library that provides fully featured (1) single and double precision complex number data types, (2) complex number math library, (3) 1D, 2D and 3D complex and real symmetric fast Fourier transforms, and (4) highly accurate statistical routines. The library is optimized for both speed and numerical accuracy. The reason that this library is called a “Digital Signal Processing” library is because complex numbers, FFTs and statistical functions form the basis of any DSP library — although it is the hope that this library will continue to evolve to a more full fledged DSP library.”

image

Source 1: http://www.codeproject.com/KB/audio-video/PeakMeterCS.aspx
Source 2: http://www.exocortex.org/dsp/

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free graph paper generator…

…if you do have a decent printer and if you haven’t got any graph paper – you could print it yourself.

graphpaper

thx to Kristian.

Source: http://www.incompetech.com/graphpaper/plain/

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you don’t understand what’s been said: download subtitles!

If you are frequently watching foreign language TV Shows you might be interested in subtitles for your TV shows:

“Here you can find subtitles for the most popular TV Shows and TV series. Subtitles are available in multiple languages. All subtitles here are packed with WinZip, you must unpack to use it. To watch DivX/XviD movies with subtitles you first need to install a DirectShow filter for Windows Media Player which is called DirectVobSub.”

subtitles

Source: http://www.tvsubtitles.net/

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What could have been: Full Throttle sequel

AdventureClassicGaming blog has a very cool article about the could-have-been Full Throttle sequel:

376_9_medium[1]

“Playing Full Throttle is like tasting a rich bowl of roadhouse chili filled to the rim with biker gangs, chick mechanics (covered in engine grease too), and truckers with badass tattoos. An action packed, comical (albeit short), animated graphical adventure set in the backdrop of an apocalyptic future, Full Throttle touches on the subculture of motorcycle gangs and their steel horses. It is also a story about Ben, a renegade biker who lives and dies by his own rules. Ben’s voice (played by the late Roy Conrad) is every bit as gravelly as the Old Mine Road where he does battle. In this alternate world, cars hover, transport trucks are armored, and desolate towns like Melonweed are sinking fast into the sand. It is a land with many strange locales and even stranger inhabitants.”

Source: http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/features/376/

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And this Airfoil thing even works with my remote control…

… oh even more joy!

IMG_2679

IMG_2680

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I finally got my low latency network audio solution

In May 2005 I wrote about a wish I had for years:

“As usual I’ve got a very strange wish what nobody else seems to have on this planet. I have several computers of different platforms. And on one of this machines there are speakers attached…I want to have the possibility to output from any of the machines to the speakers. And please loss-less and low latency!”

It took more than 3 years to fulfill this particular wish. But now it’s done. In 2005 I mentioned the Airfoil software that could run on MacOS X and forward sound from almost every application to an AirTunes compatible device. As it turns out Rogue Amoeba did their homework and created a free “Airfoil Speakers” application which can be used on Windows and MacOS X.

So the things are simple: Start the speaker application on a machine that is in the same network/subnet as the Airfoil master. The virtual speaker is then displayed on the master machine and you can assign a sound source from that machine to the speaker. Hmm… Simple Setup sample: One machine is in my kitchen (Windows XP machine) and one machine is on my desk – an iMac. In the kitchen only the speaker application is started and the iMac instantly “sees” the speaker. One click and the sound output of my desk machine is forwarded through the network to the kitchen… Easy and cool. One can think of any other combination of Speaker/Master application – even multiple speakers can be powered by one master…oh joy!

So here is what the master looks like:

airfoil

and this is what it looks like on a client (speaker):

airfoil2

Source 1: nerd wish of 2005
Source 2: http://rogueamoeba.com/airfoil/

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free eBook galore: Python

There are more than 10 free eBooks available about Python:

… like “Dive into Python”:

1590593561.01._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_V1110519742_

“This is a fantastic book that is also available in print. It covers everything, from installing Python and the language’s syntax, right up to web services and unit testing. This is a good book to learn from, but it’s also excellent to use a reference. I frequently find myself visiting the site! If you only read one book on this list make it this one.”

other eBooks:

An Introduction to Tkinter
How to think like a Computer Scientist
The Standard Python Library
Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python
The Django Book
The Pylons Book
Data Structures and Algorithms with Object-Oriented Design Patterns in Python
Building Skills in Python
Building Skills in OO Design

Source 1: Dive into Python
Source 2: An Introduction to Tkinter
Source 3: How to think like a Computer Scientist
Source 4: The Standard Python Library
Source 5: Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python
Source 6: The Django Book
Source 7: The Pylons Book
Source 8: Data Structures and Algorithms with Object-Oriented Design Patterns in Python
Source 9: Building Skills in Python
Source 10: Building Skills in OO Design

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free eBook: Data Structures and Algorithms

“This book written by Granville Barnett and Luca Del Tongo is part of an effort to provide all developers with a core understanding of algorithms that operate on various common, and uncommon data structures.

Data Structures and Algorithms: Annotated Reference with Examples is completely free!”

The first draft is available now – and it’s 97 pages.

dsa

Source: http://dotnetslackers.com/projects/Data-Structures-And-Algorithms/

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“Unix is a user hostile operating system”

I found the almost complete “Computer Chronicles” recordings on archive.org – and boy this is fun!

I picked some episodes and found very interesting things – like this particular episode from 1985. It’s about Unix and obviously one of the presenters has his very own opinion about Unix.

Source: Computer Chronicles 1985 “Unix”

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Spacetime Math tools

If you searching a tool for Windows, Linux, OSX and your windows mobile device…you may want to take a look at this:

“SpaceTime 3.0 by SpaceTime Mathematics is a revolution in mathematics software with 2D, 3D, and time graphing with MobileCAS® for algebra and calculus. With features only available in Mathematica and MATLAB, SpaceTime is the most powerful cross-platform mathematics software ever developed for computers and mobile devices.

spacetime

Source: http://www.spacetime.us/

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turn new pictures into old ones…the Bakumatsu picture generator

“Bakumatsu were the final years of the Edo period in Japan. It was a turning point in Japanese history as it was the end of the period of isolation in Japan. The feudal way of governing was coming to an end, and the start of the Meiji government, which would later take Japan to the world power status.”

This is a very cool picture effect free to use which turns this:

original

into this:

stvhzvzz-20080825040823

Source: http://labs.wanokoto.jp/olds

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das FeM Blog fest in Skripte-Hand

Offenbar spielt da gerade ein von mir nicht zu verantwortendes Skript verrückt – Schrankmonster wird zur Zeit nämlich 1:1 schamlos kopiert 🙂

femblog2

femblog

Ich freue mich natürlich darüber und habe direkt mal die Google FeedAds eingeschaltet…

P.S.: Bitte bau noch einer von den Blog Administratoren dass die Umlaute richtig übernommen werden – so ist das ja alles nur halb so hübsch.

Source: http://blog.fem.tu-ilmenau.de/

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Rechte-Kleinstaaterei

Da surfe ich hier und da mal herum – schaue mir ein paar Internetseiten über Bamberg an und da werde ich Zeuge einer ganz seltsamen Darbietung.

Bislang wusste ich dass Verbreitungsrechte im Internet auf Länder vergeben werden können – also dass man beispielsweise einen Webseiten Inhalt oder Livestream nur innerhalb der USA abrufen kann.

Nun scheint diese Art der Gängelung auch innerhalb von einzelnen Staaten Mode zu werden. Offenbar kann man in Deutschland nämlich die Rechte nur für ein bestimmtes Bundesland erwerben… Leute Leute wo wird das noch hinführen?

bamberg2

Source: http://www.bamberg-guide.de/bamberg/magazin/artikel.php?id=20080809201222

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futuristic user interfaces…

This is a very impressive overview of new user interface ideas. It’s a fact that we need new userinterfaces for all kinds of use cases – and as it turns out there are unbelievable cool things going on in the UI research.

Good user interfaces are crucial for good user experience. It doesn’t matter how good a technology is — if we, designers, don’t manage to make user interface as intuitive and attractive as possible, the technology will hardly reach a breakthrough. To gain the interest in a new product or technology, users need to understand its advantages or find themselves impressed or involved.

And here is where creative ideas and unusual interface approaches become important. Innovative doesn’t mean usable and usable hardly means innovative. As usual, it’s necessary to find an optimal trade-off. And some user interfaces manage to achieve just that.”

1

Source: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/17/10-futuristic-user-interfaces/

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how to create your own photosynth

Photosynth is publicly available and it’s time to give it a try and play with the technology. Before starting you should be aware of some facts about the public photosynth technology-preview:

  1. all synths are uploaded and only available online (broadband needed)
  2. all synths are public, everyone can access them
  3. the synther tool runs only on Windows
  4. you’ll need a Live ID

When everything is checked you can go and upload up to 20 Gbytes of image data – my test synth takes up 200 Mbytes of the available space – so you have plenty of space to play with.

To start just install the photosynth application to view – and click “create” on the website. After the obligatory login you immediately can upload your pictures. Give it a name, ssome tags and a license and select your pictures.

createsynth_step2

Your pictures should show the same scene from different perspectives – photosynth is all about matching perspectives. After clicking on “Synth” the process starts.

createsynth_step3

And after a surprisingly short period of time your synth is done. Click on “View Synth” and you’re taken back to the website and you can browse your synth. That’s it – easy!

createsynth_step5

Source 1: my first photosynth
Source 2: Photosynth is open for the public
Source 3: create a synth

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Lebkuchen

Okay. Offensichtlich ist bald Weihnachten denn wie ich eben lesen musste gibt es wohl schon Lebkuchen zu kaufen… so langsam aber sicher verliere ich komplett den Bezug zu Weihnachten überhaupt.

hnmhgmghj

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Photosynth is open for the public

Believe it or not – it’s been 2 years since I first wrote about Photosynth technology. Today Microsoft made it available to the public. It’s not a tool (yet) – like I wanted – right now but it’s built into this website – so you have to upload your pictures, they are processed and then you can browse on this website… well it’s a start for a really great technology.

“We’re pleased to announce the first full release of Photosynth, available now at photosynth.com. Photosynth takes a collection of regular photographs and reconstructs the scene or object in a 3-D environment. For those of you who have seen the videos or tried our tech preview, you could experience synths that we made in the lab and get a feel for what Photosynth is and how it works. But now, for the first time ever you can create synths from your own pictures and share them with your friends. Explore great synths from others or create a few of your own.”

halo3photosynth

It’s not going to work on anything different than Windows. So stick to the movies if you’re on anything else. But as far as I know it’ll run o

Source 1: http://photosynth.net/Default.aspx
Source 2: http://www.schrankmonster.de/PermaLink,guid,fdc3d1fb-4966-418b-83ea-1e0c12aae833.aspx

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giving better looking presentations: pptPlex

There’s a new free tool available from officelabs:

“pptPlex is a plug-in that explores an alternate method for presenting a PowerPoint slide deck. Using pptPlex, you can present your slides as a tour through a zoomable canvas instead of a series of linear slides.”

pptplex

Source: http://www.officelabs.com/projects/pptPlex/Pages/default.aspx

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how to push an INN NNTP newsserver dump to a new newsserver…

I happen to have this ginormous archive from a local newsserver – more than 14 gigabytes of text and more than 8 years of history. Now this archive is a dump from the INN NNTP server that was previously used. It’s one folder per newsgroup and one file per article.

So I now want to integrate that archive into my own new newsserver – so what I am going to do is: Writing a small client application that can push all the articles from the folders to the new newsserver via nntp procotol.

Since the NNTP protocol is trivial to code and to explain I won’t reimplement it once again – instead I am going to use Randy Charles Morins nice article about accessing NNTP servers with C#:

“NNTP is an older fading protocol in the Internet protocol family. The protocol is used to retrieve news from news server, a.k.a. NetNews servers. The protocol works by posting messages into various forums, a.k.a. newsgroups. Then other end-users can read the recent posts in the forums. There also exist protocols for distributing NetNews contents amongst various NetNews servers, allowing thousands of servers to share news and forums. The most popular news server is of course Microsoft’s [nntp://news.microsoft.com]. More often than not, you can launch your NetNews client by typing the nntp URL in your browser’s address bar.”

I just made a quick-n-dirty addition of NNTP USER/PASS Authentification because my new server needs a username/password authentification. (NNTP Authentification is specified in RFC 4643)

The tool is easy to use since it’s command line and only takes simple parameters:

pushtonntp

Grab the source and compiled binary here: PushToNNTP.zip (32,82 KB)

I release all of this under cc-by-nc-sa license.

Source 1: http://www.developerfusion.co.uk/show/4472/1/
Source 2: http://www.rfc-archive.org/getrfc.php?rfc=4643
Source 3: PushToNNTP.zip (32,82 KB)

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Paper Replika: Wall-e, Eve and…

…almost everything else. You’ll have to print it, fold it, glue it… and then it’ll eventually become:

“WALL-E Paper Model. WALL -E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth Class) is programmed to clean up the planet, one trash cube at a time. However, after 700 years he’s developed one little glitch, a personality. He’s extremly curious, highly inquisitive and a little lonely.

  • Solar Powered Regeneration Unit
  • Size 33 All Terain Modular Treads
  • Twin Hydraulic Arm Shovels
  • Digital Audio Recording/Playback Module
  • Low Convergence Head Mounted Laser”

walle_9

Source: http://paper-replika.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=54&Itemid=30

1 Comment

+++ Breaking News +++ Arbeitslosenzahl in Deutschland nahe 0% +++ Arbeitsagentur schaltet Webseiten ab +++ Breaking News +++

arbeitsagenturdown

Hmm… dabei wollte ich gerade nach Arbeitssuchenden suchen…

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“Virtualization for Dummies” free eBook is available for download

Thanks to Sun and AMD there’s now a free eBook available for download:

“Virtualization for Dummies – Sun and AMD Special Edition is now available! Published by the same folks who create all the “Dummies” books – this special edition version showcases Sun and AMD virtualization offerings, how they work together, and how they can benefit businesses. Learn about the latest virtualization technologies with this brief and easy-to-read booklet.”

virtualfordum

Source: Virtualization for Dummies Download

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the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire

Google Streetview is bad. It’s just unbelievable what you can see and since the StreetView Vans are currently here in germany I don’t think I want to get captured…

In this case they captured…well…:

gmapsliveview

Source: Google StreetView

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Widelands – an opensource Settlers II clone

Logo

Widelands-Screen

From the wiki about section:

“In Widelands, you are the regent of a small tribe. You start out with nothing but your headquarters, a kind of castle in which all your resources are stored. In the course of the game, you will build an ever growing settlement. Every member of your tribe will do his or her part to produce more resources – wood, food, iron, gold and more – to further this growth. But you are not alone in the world, and you will meet other tribes sooner or later. Some of them may be friendly and trade with you. However, if you want to rule the world, you will have to train soldiers and fight.

Widelands offers a unique style of play. For example, a system of roads plays the central role of your economy: all the goods that are harvested and processed by the tribe must be transported from one building to the next. This is done by carriers, and those carriers always walk along the roads. It is your job to lay out the roads as efficiently as possible.

Another refreshing aspect of the game is the way you command your tribe. There is no need to tell every single one of your subjects what to do – that would be impossible, because there can be thousands of them! Instead, all you’ve got to do is order them to build a building somewhere, and the builders will come. Similarly, whenever you want to attack an enemy, just place an order to attack one of their barracks, and your soldiers will march to fight. You’re really a ruler: You delegate in times of war and in times of peace!

Widelands offers single-player mode with different campaigns; the campaigns all tell storys of tribes or Empires and their struggle in the Widelands universe! However, settling really starts when you unite with friends over the Internet or LAN to build up new empires together – or to crush each other in the dusts of war. Widelands also offers an Artifical Intelligence to challenge you.

In the end, Widelands will be extensible, so that you can create your own type of tribe with their own sets of buildings. You can create new worlds to play in, and you could even create new types of worlds (who says you can’t build a settlement on the moon?). ”

Source: http://xoops.widelands.org/

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When a site redesign isn’t accepted by your users…

…they eventually start making their own layout of your site… And you cannot do anything about it but listening to them!

A few days ago a big it-news site in germany relaunched it’s site with a new fixed-with-all-left layout. And more than 3000 comments by users had one and only thing to say: We don’t like it.

They disliked it that much that a few sat down and created their own site layouts by using firefox plugins like “stylish” – where you can create your own styles for sites.

beforeafter

I always wanted to see what these style-altering plugins can do but I never had the drive to think me into it…

Source: http://userstyles.org/styles/9589

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Munich in 3D …

OMG! I just realized that the better part of Munich is available in Google Earth in 3D mode – which means real real 3D buildings like this. I thought that the birds eye view of Virtual Earth is cool – but this is a different animal.

googlearth

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Indlebe Radio Telescope made by students detects (natural) radio signal

“Last week, the Indlebe Radio Telescope, situated on the Steve Biko campus of the Durban University of Technology, successfully detected its first radio source.
The Indlebe Radio Telescope is a transit instrument that operates at the Hydrogen Line frequency of 1420 MHZ and uses a very sensitive radio receiver to detect extraterrestrial radio signals.
Stuart MacPherson, project leader in Electronic Engineering at the university, said he and his students were amazed when they realised the telescope had picked up a signal.
“We had made significant changes to the receiver to increase its sensitivity. When we went in that morning to check the data, we found that it had detected a source,” he said.”

It’s unlikely to be from an unnatural alien source but if you take in account that all the equipment was built by students on the campus of Durban Universit… that is just astonishing.

skyeyes

Source 1: http://www.thirdeyeconcept.com/forums/index.php?page=258
Source 2: http://indlebe.dut.ac.za/

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read the MSDN Forums with a cool client interface

I often read in the MSDN Forums but I will read more often because now there’s a client application available:

“After many months of hard work we are proud to announce the availability of our first CTP of the Microsoft Forums Client. Much of the work for this CTP is in foundational code that will let us build the rest of the application, but we hope that this first preview will let you see what direction we’re heading in, and also give you a chance to give us feedback!
Things that work in this CTP:

  • Getting the list of available forums
  • Subscribing to forums you’re interested in
  • Manually (by right click menu) synchronizing the Question and General Discussion threads in a forum
  • Reading posts that have been synchronized
  • Hierarchical (threaded) view of conversations”

CTP Main Screen

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

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the Visual OpenType Layout Tool

If sometimes you need to just create your own font… well maybe that’s a bit too much theoretical – but it’s interesting to play with a tool like VOLT. It’s out now in a new Version and I suggest taking a look:

“The Microsoft Visual OpenType Layout Tool provides an easy-to-use graphical user interface to add OpenType layout tables to fonts with TrueType outlines. It is licensed free and can be downloaded from the online community set up for it. The community hosts an active discussion forum, version history information, a wish-list and related downloads. Links to VOLT’s release notes, as well as tips and tutorials are also posted.”

glypheditor

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/typography/VOLT.mspx

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a concept map of everything “distributed systems”

Apparently someone had some time to kill:

“The other day I had this idea, what if I were to take all the concepts I write, speak, and consult about and turn them into a concept map. That might help me explain how things like messaging, unit of work, and exception management work together and why. It also shouldn’t be too much work. Or so I thought.

I started out with a blank piece of paper, and this is what happened:”

concept-map

Source: http://www.udidahan.com/2008/08/04/distributed-systems-concept-map/

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Olympic livestream

German public tv is doing almost 24h livestreams of the olympic games…

olympiclivestream

encoder.olympia.geo1_ola_vh.mov (,76 KB)
encoder.olympia.geo2_ola_vh.mov (,77 KB)
encoder.olympia.geo3_ola_vh.mov (,77 KB)

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Visual Studio Color Theme Generator

Oh boy that is cool! Ever since I read that article about Changing your colors in Visual Studio.NET I wanted to create my own theme but never had the time and creativity to do so. Now since there’s this cool generator website everyone can create their own Visual Studio Color Themes:

vstudiotheme

Source 1: http://frickinsweet.com/tools/Theme.mvc.aspx#
Source 2: Changing your colors in Visual Studio.NET

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Augmented Reality Project “Levelhead” – Sourcecode is available

I wrote about Levelhead and it’s stunning concept not long ago. Now you can play with it’s code and try it for youself:

floorplan_lg2

“First thing’s first, this is a developer release and needs to be compiled. It has many third-party dependencies from the renderer to the video capture context. As yet there is no lovely statically linked binary of levelHead or automagical build script for a folder of dependencies. Nonetheless, I’ve installed levelHead on many (Ubuntu) systems now and what’s listed below should work fine for you.
levelHead is known to build on Ubuntu 7.10/7.04 and Debian Etch systems against the following external dependencies. It’s adviseable you adhere to these versions if you want to avoid going spontaneously mad”

The site goes on:

Code and assets are provided under two differing licenses: the code is governed by the GPLv3 and the art is covered by the GPLv3 compatible CC-BY_SA 3.0. Make sure you understand what that implied before downloading this project. For the rationale as to why I chose this configuration, please read the comments in the top of the levelHead.cpp file itself. Both art and code are available in a subversion repository, aquired with the following command:

svn co http://www.inclusiva-net.es/svn/levelhead "

Since I will try it myself (installing Ubuntu now) – I will give a detailed tutorial about it in the future…at least I hope so.

Source: http://julianoliver.com/levelhead

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Formula Student 2008

Since last year FeM is recording and live streaming the annual Formula Student Event in Germany:

“Screeching tires, smouldering heads and impressive technical innovations – welcome to the Formula Student Germany 2008!
Join the Brunel Race at our stand. As a virtual race driver you’ll be able to win the Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring. The fastest driver gets the chance to win 2 tickets for the Formula 1 Event at Nürburgring 2009.”

If you don’t know what Formula Student is…you may want to read this:

“Students build a single seat formula racecar with which they can compete against teams from all over the world. The competition is not won solely by the team with the fastest car, but rather by the team with the best overall package of construction, performance, and financial and sales planning.

Formula Student challenges the team members to go the extra step in their education by incorporating into it intensive experience in building and manufacturing as well as considering the economic aspects of the automotive industry. Teams take on the assumption that they are a manufacturer developing a prototype to be evaluated for production. The target audience is the non-professional Weekend-Racer, for which the racecar must show very good driving characteristics such as acceleration, braking and handling. It should be offered at a very reasonable cost and be reliable and dependable. Additionally, the car’’s market value increases through other factors such as aesthetics, comfort and the use of readily available, standard purchase components.

The challenge the teams face is to compose a complete package consisting of a well constructed racecar and a sales plan that best matches these given criteria. The decision is made by a jury of experts from the motorsport, automotive and supplier industries. The jury will judge every team’s car and sales plan based on construction, cost planning and sales presentation. The rest of the judging will be done out on the track, where the students demonstrate in a number of performance tests how well their self-built racecars fare in their true environment.”

fstudent

Starting this friday there will be a livestream available (Flash and Windows Media). Great stuff!

Source 1: Livestream
Source 2: http://formulastudent.tv/
Source 3: http://www.formulastudent.de

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a matter of perspective

It’s a piece of art in a carpark:

“In Melbourne I developed a way-finding-system for the Eureka Tower Carpark while working for Emery Studio. The distored letters on the wall can be read perfectly when standing at the right position. This project won several international design awards.”

et1

3d_parking_garage_2

Source: http://de-war.de/eurekacarpark.html

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“I ain’t afraid of no quake!” – classic Duke Nukem quotes

If you – just like me – played Duke Nukem 3D excessively in times when there was “CompuServe” instead of “Internet”, mailboxes instead of social websites and when there was 1on1 dial-up modem multiplayer instead of MMOs you may recognize those cool quotes you could hear while playing Duke Nukem 3D in single player or the ones you could say to your multiplayer opponent… there’s a list of many of them:

“Uh, Uh, Uh. Where is it?”

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0228246/quotes

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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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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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