Archive for category Software

XNA got a new website…

“We’re delighted to offer you this place where you can learn and share experiences with the XNA family of products. Whether you’re using XNA Game Studio Express or the native DirectX tools and APIs, this is the place to come to!…”

I really do love the pivot function of my display…

Source: http://www.xna.com

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Remote Control your presentation… or music … or …

It’s almost a year now since I bought a tool named Salling Clicker. Since Salling Clicker is available for OS X and Windows and the fact that I am maintaining my Music Library on my Mac I went with the OS X version of the tool. Sad but true: You have to pay twice if you want it for Windows and OS X.

I now stumbled across a tool for Windows called “Bluetooth Remote Control for Windows Mobile” which seem to does the trick – not as cute and extensible as Salling Clicker but useable.

“With this software, you will be able to control remotely applications like Winamp, the Windows Mixer, the Windows Media Player, PowerPoint, Media Player Classic, PowerDVD, with more coming… such as the Vista’s Media Center.”

The downside is that the author says it’s not working with the WIDCOMM Bluetooth stack at the moment – but maybe in the future he’ll/they’ll update the support.

Source: http://jaylee.org/RemoteControl/

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XNA is tracing rays…

I had this very same idea just a week ago and now someone has done it: A Raytracer written entirely in C# and running upon XNA.

“Ok, I’ve got most of what I want done on the Ray Tracing project — enough at least to publish some code and do some blogging. This first article describes the overall coding structure, and how to use the project. I’ll get into some of the more difficult aspects of ray tracing in future posts.”

It obviously doesn’t run on the 360 yet – so keep on watching this project. (due to some limitations on the 360 XNA Implementation I would also recommend waiting for the next run)

Source: http://www.bespokesoftware.org/wordpress/?p=18

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anyone in need of a joost invitation?!

I’ve got two joost invitations left. So if you want one just comment on this one and leave your eMail. The first two ones will get it.

What? You don’t know what joost is? Take this:

“Joost™ is a new way of watching TV on the internet, which uses new and established technologies to provide the best of both the internet and TV worlds. We’re in the process of making it as TV-like as we can, with programmes, channels and adverts. You can also see some things that we think will enhance the TV experience: searching for programmes and channels, for example, as well as social features like chat. There are many more new features to come!”

Source: http://www.joost.com/

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interested in next-gen coding for mobile devices?

For those of us who want to write software for phones/pdas there’s also something new available for download. The Windows Mobile 6 SDK!

“Using the Windows Mobile 6 SDK you can test your application using the emulators in the Windows Mobile 6 SDKs. The SDKs together with Visual Studio 2005 mean you have everything you need to build and test applications for both Windows Mobile 5.0 and Windows Mobile 6. Read the “What’s New” guide to learn why your Windows Mobile 5.0 application should work on Windows Mobile 6, what to expect from new screen resolutions and why Windows Mobile 6 makes it easier to build and deploy Line of Business applications.

Don’t forget that around May 1st we’ll release the Windows Mobile 6 SDK Refresh featuring new documentation, the latest emulators, support for basic AJAX applications and links to Line of Business frameworks, samples and documentation.”

Source: Download

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speedup Mail.app (or at least try to)

“As everyone knows, it is possible to get quite a speed boost out of Mail.app by stripping all the bloat out of its Envelope index, an SQLite database Mail uses to store senders, recipients, subjects and so on.”

It can lead to a speedup of Mail.App. Despite the fact it decreased the Envelope Index for me it wasn’t really noticable… but your mileage may vary.

Source: hawkwings

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take a look at how far virtualisation will go on the next window server operating system

In this demo you will see:

  • Windows Server Virtualization running on Server Core managed from another Windows Server Longhorn box
  • 64-bit hosts and 32-bit hosts and a Linux running on the same server core box
  • An 8-core virtual machine
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager
  • System Center Operations Manager
  • Monitoring the VMs on the Server Core box
  • Fire off a PowerShell script to hot-add another NIC to a SQL VHD Image

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GTA 1 + GTA 2 + Wild Metal downloadable for free

“In 1999, Rockstar Games and Rockstar North (then known as DMA Design) furthered the groundbreaking gameplay concepts established just two years prior in the original Grand Theft Auto – with the release of GTA2. GTA2 expanded on the top-down, open-ended crime world gameplay formula with a host of new features including the advent of multiple rival gangs – seven, to be exact, including the Yakuza, Scientists, Looneys, Rednecks, Zaibatsu, the Russian Mob and Hare Krishnas. Earn your respect with each gang. Reap the benefits with all manner of shady work-for-hire gigs contracted your way. And climb your way to the top of the criminal pile.

Now, longtime Grand Theft Auto fans can revisit this classic entry in the series – and new jacks who missed out on this early franchise title can further discover Grand Theft Auto’s roots – absolutely free. GTA2 has been completely optimized for play on modern PCs and is available gratis for all registrants to the Rockstar Games mailing list (rest assured your information will not be shared with any third parties, you will only receive information from Rockstar). Simply fill out the form below and check your email for a direct link to the file (353 MB .zip file, includes install .exe, readme .txt file, and a .pdf of the original PC game manual).”

Source: http://www.rockstargames.com/classics/

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writing a raytracer

SuperJer just had some time to spare and before getting bored he started to write a raytracer from scratch and write about it on the intertubes:

“Ray-tracing works sort of like a camera in real life, but in reverse. With a camera (or your eyes, for that matter), rays of light from the environment enter the lens and hit the film/digital chip/meaty eye cells. Something magical happens where the light hits and we get an image!
With ray tracing, we start at each point on our “film” or image, and blast a ray out of our camera lens and see what it hits. What it hits determines the color and brightness at that spot on the film. Of course by “film” I mean digital image, and by “spot” I mean pixel.
I decided my entire program would be centered around one function, called raytrace(). The idea is this: You give raytrace() a starting point and a direction, and it follows that ray until it collides with something in my virtual environment. It returns the color of the object it collided with.
When generating a 3D image, raytrace() will find the color for just ONE pixel in the result image. By running raytrace once for each pixel, we can get the whole scene! Ray-tracing is kind of slow because, for example, in a 1 megapixel image you’d have to run it 1 million times.”

He even has put up some pictures and videos:

You can even get the whole sourcecode (C++ with no dependencies whatsoever) from his site. Continue at source…

Source: http://www.superjer.com/pixelmachine/

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Reflector 5 is here…

Lutz Roeder just released version 5 of the fabulous .NET Reflector tool. Go and get it!

Source: Reflector

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rewire the web…

The internet comes up with new ideas of information transformation and management every day. Yahoo now came up with a great idea of how the users could almost freely transform syndicateable data to anything they like.

Yahoo says this about it’s new baby:

“Pipes is an interactive feed aggregator and manipulator. Using Pipes, you can create feeds that are more powerful, useful and relevant.”

If you ever wanted to connect NY Times articles to Flickr, you can do this and many other things now. You even get a decent editor:


(yes, that’s in a webbrowser…)

Go and give it a try.

Source: http://pipes.yahoo.com/

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begging for money.

“In a rather extraordinary example of begging for money, Florence Devouard, Chairwoman of the Wikimedia foundation has told an audience at the Lift07 conference that Wikipedia has the financial resources to run its servers for another 3-4 months, and that without further funding Wikipedia “might disappear”.

Oh what an interesing find today. Seems like the Wikipedia already backed away from the statement but the damage is done.

Scott Water writes:

“…, but to me this is just dumb.

They are sitting on an advertising gold mine. To even say it may be close to running out of money is inexcusable. Think about all the time individuals have dedicated to that site. Because of a lack of funds all that work could disappear? I understand businesses come and go, but to not even attempt to be a business…ehh..”

I don’t think that advertising would solve anything here. Way to many religious thoughts have gone and will go into that. Just because of that: the inability to agree in any possible way because of contradicting beliefs has and will always be in the way of such projects. I don’t say that there should be a dictatorship that guides the way – but not even trying to agree on such simple things is the problem of many many $open projects. I came across such inabilities several times in the last months. It ended in all cases with the worst solution for everyone, just because the open-guys/girls were not able to compromise for the sake of the best solution.

(goddamn! I just used that $lame placeholder statement for the first time, getting old…)

Source: http://scottwater.com/blog/archive/no-cash-for-wikipedia/

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the .NET Micro Framework is out

“The Microsoft .NET Micro Framework combines the reliability and efficiency of managed code with the premier development tools of Microsoft Visual Studio to deliver exceptional productivity for developing embedded applications on small devices.

The .NET Micro Framework brings a rich, managed-code environment to smaller, less expensive, and more resource-constrained devices. Requiring only a few hundred kilobytes of RAM and an inexpensive processor, the .NET Micro Framework was built from the ground up to let you build applications using familiar Visual Studio development tools.

With .NET Micro Framework SDK, you can develop your embedded solutions in C# using a subset of the .NET libraries focused on embedded applications. Your development environment is Visual Studio, where you can take advantage of its powerful editing, object browsing, project management, and debugging capabilities. These capabilities are available when using the .NET Micro Framework SDK’s extensible device emulation system or on real hardware.”

Source 1: more info
Source 2: Download

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a tool you might need some day: emulated smtp server for debugging purposes

“It monitors port 25 and emulates an Smtp server dropping the files in a directory which you can read using Windows Mail (Outlook Express).”

Source: get it here.

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Flip3D replacement – Split3D

“It’s not actually an Expose clone, because the window thumbnails are placed on a circle. You can cycle through them using the mouse or the keyboard. It has keyboard and mouse triggers, and in a future version it will include also speech recognition. You can even replace Win+TAB so that SmartFlip appears when the key combination is pressed.”

“You can download a beta version here: http://smartflip.110mb.com/SmartFlip.zip”

The author writes that you should experiment with the options dialog (which looks quite nice):

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.NET Usergroup Meeting: Gadgets and Tools for .NET/VS2005

Here are my slides of my talk:

And I said that I would link to the article about .NET Reflectors impact on “Serial Keygen”, go and read it here.

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PC vs. Mac – the return of the clips

Uhh, seems someone took the time to create some clips that show the world the other way around as the well known Mac vs. PC clips did… Oh well as with all “point-of-view” things, just enjoy and start loving each other 😉

Oh and there’s plenty of them here.

Source: OurPicks

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there’s a world of sand…

Oh boy I just discovered a very addictive piece of software/game that even runs on my Nintendo DS. You can try it right now:

Source: http://enigmasand.com/pyro2.html

3 Comments

9.6 kbit/s video conferencing for Windows Mobile 5

“Microsoft Portrait is a research prototype for mobile video communication. It supports .NET Messenger Service, Session Initiation Protocol and Internet Locator Service on PCs, Pocket PCs, Handheld PCs and Smartphone. It runs on local area networks, dialup networks and even wireless networks with bandwidths as low as 9.6 kilobits/second. Microsoft Portrait delivers portrait-like video if users are in low bandwidths and displays full-color video if users are in broadband. In low bandwidths, portrait video possesses clearer shape, smoother motion, shorter latency and much cheaper computational cost than do conventional video technologies. Microsoft Portrait pursues providing presence notification, chat/voice/video functions anytime, anywhere, on any device.”

Source: http://research.microsoft.com/mcom/portrait/

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XNA Game Studio Express (final) 1.0 is here…Creators Club founded!

The long awaited XNA Game Studio and it’s XBOX 360 game launcher counterpart is available for download. Hobbyist game developers rejoice!

“XNA Game Studio Express enables hobbyists, academics, and small, independent game developers to easily create video games for Windows and the Xbox 360 console using new, optimized cross-platform gaming libraries based on .NET. This official release enables the creation of games for Windows XP SP2-based PCs. Combined with an active membership in the XNA Creators Club (available from Xbox Live Marketplace), you can also create, debug, and play games on your Xbox 360 console.”

Oh. You have to have Windows XP SP2 at the moment to run XNA Game Studio Express:

“Only supported on Microsoft® Windows® XP SP2 (all editions) at this time. Windows Vista support will be available in an update to version 1.0 next year.”

Source: XNA Game Studio Express Download

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free VM with XP SP2 pre-activated + IE 6.0

The Internet Explorer Team just released a free, downloadable, pre-activated Windows XP SP2 image with Internet Explorer 6 installed. Grab it here. The image is time-bombed to expire in April 2007, but new versions (including images where Internet Explorer 5 is installed) are expected to be released.

“Many of you have asked how to run IE6 and IE7 in a side by side environment. As Chris Wilson blogged about early this year, it’s unfortunately not so easy to do. There are workarounds, but they are unsupported and don’t necessarily work the same way as IE6 or IE7 would work when installed properly. As Chris said, the best way to use multiple versions of IE on one machine is via virtualization. Microsoft has recently made Virtual PC 2004 a free download; we’ve taken advantage of that by releasing a VPC virtual machine image containing a pre-activated Windows XP SP2, IE6 and the IE7 Readiness Toolkit to help facilitate your testing and development. The image is time bombed and will no longer function after April 1, 2007. We hope to continue to provide these images in the future as a service to web developers.”

Source 1: Download
Source 2: IE Team Blogpost

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How to setup and configure a Sharepoint 2007 Server and migrate content from SPS 2003 [Part 1]

Once again it’s update time – this time the Sharepoint Portal Server 2003, installed in April 2006, needs to be upgraded to the brand new “Office Sharepoint Server 2007“.

I think the best way to get a clean installment is to start from the beginning. So I’ve created a new virtual machine and installed the OS, using the newly available R2 release of Windows Server 2003. Since the whole authentication stuff is Activedirectory based I did not need to bother with local users and groups. I’ve installed the .NET Framework 3.0 right away and so everything starts after the OS installation and the mandatory windowsupdate.com visit.

First, ensure that you’re currently logged in with Administrator privileges. Then check if IIS 6 is actually configured to use ASP.NET 2.0.50727:

Enable ASP.NET 2.0

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  2. In the Internet Information Services tree, click the plus sign (+) next to the server name, and then click the Web Service Extensions folder.
  3. In the details pane, right-click ASP.NET v2.0.50727, and then click Allow.

Install SQL Server 2005

When you’re planning to use the SQL Server Express Edition you can just ignore this step since Office Sharepoint Server 2007 comes with it. If you’re, like me, want to use SQL Server Standard Edition you just install it as you normally would.

The default configuration of SQL Server 2005 is that the local BUILTIN\Administrators usergroup also got the sysadmin role assigned. This is important for the next steps.

Install Office Sharepoint Server 2007

The first thing you have to enter is the product key. Just enter it and Continue…

Actually read and accept the license terms for Office Sharepoint Server 2007 and continue…

Choose “Advanced” installation type:

On the next screen you should choose “complete” which installes all components of the product.

You can now safely click the “Install Now” button which will start the automatic installation process.

After some seconds you should be seeing this:

And yes, of course we want to run the “Sharepoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard“. So click “Close” and the wizard opens (of course…)

Click “Next” to get rid of the welcome message and click “Yes” when you’re asked if it’s okay that things that need to be done are done (restart of services)…(why are they asking anyway?)

You are then asked if you want to connect to a currently existing server farm or if you would like to create a new one. Of course in my case I need to create a new one.

I’ve already created an user account in the AD domain called fem\sharepoint_admin2007 which I am going to use as the main administrator account for the sharepoint server. On the next page you’re asked for the configuration database settings.

Enter the database server, the desired database name and enter the user account name+passwort. You don’t actually need to add the fem\sharepoint_admin2007 account to the SQL Server 2005 logins since you’re currently logged in with a user with sysadmin role on the SQL Server 2005. That means: the new databases are created with the user account you are currently using and the username you entered is assigned administrator role for these databases.

After clicking on “Next” you’re asked which port you want the Central Administration Website to use. If you don’t choose something a random port number is chosen. We choose port 34474. You can also configure which authentication provider will be used for the Central Administration Website.

After clicking on “Next” you’re presented the whole settings you made. You just go on with “Next“.

And now the magic starts. Office Sharepoint 2007 Setup installs the server, configures the databases and web applications and starts/restarts the services that need a start/restart.

If everything worked (and it should) you’re once again shown the settings you’ve just made. Click “Finish” and your default browser should open http://moss2007:34474/. You should now see the “Office Sharepoint 2007 Central Administration:

Now you should configure/check you’re browsers security settings to ensure everything will work in the next steps.

Add the SharePoint site to the list of trusted sites(Internet Explorer 7)

  1. In Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  2. On the Security tab, in the Select a Web content zone to specify its security settings box, click Trusted Sites, and then click Sites.
  3. Clear the Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone check box.
  4. In the Add this Web site to the zone box, type the URL to your site, and then click Add.
  5. Click Close to close the Trusted Sites dialog box.
  6. Click OK to close the Internet Options dialog box.

Since there is a copious amount of “Administrator tasks” which is Sharepoint speak for “you really really should work through that list“. Just click on “Administrator Tasks” headline on the homepage of the Central Administration website and you should get the complete list. Work through it, you’ll need everything to be properly set up to continue through this howto.

Since we’re working with just one single machine and not a complete server farm we read fast through the quickstart guide and ignore the server farm related stuff. We go directly to the “Services on Server” configuration screen which looks much like this:

So we select “Single Server or Web Server for small server farms” and take a closer look at the services listing on the bottom of that screen. You can start the services in the following order:

  1. Document Conversions Load Balancer Service
  2. Document Conversion Launcher Service
  3. Excel Calculation Services
  4. Office SharePoint Server Search
  5. Windows Sharepoint Services Help Search
  6. Windows Sharepoint Services Web Application

As a next step we need to configure the shared services of the new Office Sharepoint Server 2007. You can find the page here: “Central Administration > Application Management > Manage this Farm’s Shared Services > New Shared Services Provider”

Since we did not create a Webapplication yet we can do it now: just click on the “Create New Web Application” link and fill out the fields accordingly. You can choose the database name here. Just use the names you’ll remember.

For security reasons please create a new account which will be used for the IIS 6 application pool and the SQL Server 2005. This user must only have the permissions he needs for the job. (see Office Sharepoint Server 2007 security articles on MSDN) When you now click on the “Create” button your web application, database and application pool will be created.

After the successful creation you’ll be forwarded back to the “New Shared Services Provider” page. This time the web application fields are filled in with the web application data you just entered.

You now need to specify the credentials for the SSP Web services to use for inter-server communication and for running SSP-scoped timer jobs. Don’t use a local administrator or domain administrator account. This user must only have the permissions he needs for the job. (see Office Sharepoint Server 2007 security articles on MSDN). You could now click the “OK” button but you’ll end up with a warning telling you that it’s not recommended to host the MySite on the same web application as the Sharepoint Services Provider administration site. So I recommend creating another web application for the MySites.

I did this in my case using a new hostheader “http://mysites.moss2007“.

By clicking on the “OK” button you should get the already familiar “Operation in Progress” animation showing you that the magic happens now. After a short while you should see this:

Hurray! It seems that everything worked out. Now the only thing we should do is to restart the IIS 6 server to ensure every configuration change is actually propagated.

To do this right-click your IIS 6 server in the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager select “All Tasks” and click on “Restart IIS…”. Click on “OK” and IIS 6 should restart.

When you now access “http://mysites.moss2007” you’ll asked for user credentials and since the only user for this moment that has access is the one you entered during the creation process, use this user. And you’ll end up with this:

And after a short waiting period you can browse through your brand new MySite. Last we need to create a new Site Collection. You can achieve this through the following path: “Central Administration > Application Management > Create Site Collection”.

Fill in the fields and select from the “Template Selection”: Enterprise -> Site Directory. After your click on “OK” once again you’ll see the “Operation in Progress” animation and after this you’re Site Directory is set up. Now you can access the your Top-Level Site in this case “http://moss2007“.

At this point we successfully installed and configured a Office Sharepoint Server 2007 on a brand new machine. And since we’re essentially done with the base Office Sharepoint Server 2007 installation process we’re now going to migrate the databases of the Sharepoint Portal Server 2003 version to our new installment. So stay tuned for Part 2 of this HowTo.

Source 1: Install Office Sharepoint Server 2007 on a stand-alone machine

1 Comment

dont get confused: "Cider" November CTP = RTM

yeah. I was confused when I tried to find the RTM (release to manufacture) version of the WCF, WPF VS 2005 RTM Extension aka “Cider”. I got confused because there is no downloadable package that has “RTM” in it’s name/version number.

So I made a quick search and found this:

“The November CTP of Cider is the final release of the Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for .Net Framework 3.0. It is compatible with the RTM release of the .Net Framework 3.0, which includes WPF.

From this point forward Cider will only be released as a part of Visual Studio “Orcas”.”

The Cider Wiki is telling you this:

“The November CTP is the last planned release of Cider as an extension to Visual Studio 2005. Future CTPs of Cider will be available in the preview releases of the next full version of Visual Studio which is currently code named “Orcas”. Features in Orcas will come online at various points during the development cycle so you may see differences from the features available today by installing the VS 2005 based CTP of Cider. The November CTP of Cider for Visual Studio 2005 will remain available to hold developers over until all the hard work we are doing today in Orcas is ready for prime time. We will continue to post announcements of our future Orcas Based “CTP” releases here on this site and at our MSDN forum.”

So. If you want the Visual Studio 2005 WPF, WCF templates and designer codenamed “Cider”. Just go ahead and download the November CTP which is indeed the final version for Visual Studio 2005.

Source 1: http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=929870&SiteID=1
Source 2: http://channel9.msdn.com/wiki/default.aspx/Cider.HomePage
Source 3: Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for .Net Framework 3.0

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want to get Windows Vista + Office 2007 for free?

“You’ll have to sit through three Microsoft webcasts or virtual labs on the products, but that’s a small price to pay considering you’ll actually learn about the software features. There are some relatively minor restrictions, however this is an offer you just can’t refuse. These packages can cost you upwards of $300 or more out-of-pocket, so I’d consider this time well spent.”

Oh and there’s the downside: only for US residents… well…

Source 1: http://www.powertogether.com/
Source 2: jkontherun

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currently uploading to MSDN AA servers of Ilmenau, Weimar, Erfurt

Since Windows Vista will be available on the 1st of December I am uploading the newly available 2007 Office Application Updates.

The following products will be available within the next hours/days on the maniac/MSDNAA download servers of TU-Ilmenau, Bauhaus Universität Weimar and Fachhochschule Erfurt. Enjoy!

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currently installing…

Oh well, it’s time to update. The Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007) is available now. Grab your trial and install 🙂

Source: Announcing MOSS 2007

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Sharepoint Server 2007 eBook for free

“Ahead of the release of the 2007 Microsoft Office system, Microsoft Corporation has fre- quently referred to what it calls the “new world of work” – a business environment and econ- omy characterized by mobility; a worldwide network of customers, partners, and suppliers; new compliance and regulatory requirements; and a need for broad visibility into business processes and the information that supports and governs them. Together, factors such as these drive the need for organizations to integrate business applications, documents, and workflows and transform the content of documents into business information they can act on. These factors make plain the essential link between knowledge workers, business informa- tion, business processes, and software. This free 236-pages ebook focuses on a critical element of Office development – Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, plat- forms that developers can use to create collaboration applications as well as applications and features that support business intelligence, workflow, data calculation, team workspaces, document life cycle management, content management, knowledge discovery, and project management.”

Content:

  • Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
  • Building Solutions with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
  • Building a Basic SharePoint Site
  • Organizing Lists and Documents with Site Columns and Content Types
  • Working with Features in Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services
  • Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services Core Developement
  • Creating Worklfows …

Source: eBook Download

3 Comments

FeM 23c3 opening credit generator…

At the moment I am writing the opening credit generator which will most likely be used (maybe not… who knows) at the 23. Chaos Communication Congress

As far as I am informed last year an Apple Keynote + DV Video export was used to create the openings and endings of each recording. This time hopefully most of this gets automated and way more comfortable for everyone involved.

Oh, I almost forgot: I am going to release the sourcecode(C#, .NET 2.0)+binaries as soon as possible. But don’t expect too much, in the end it’s just an application that lets you enter or import the lecture data and it then creates a MPEG-2 video file…that’s all folks.

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What Windows has really lacked

Hear, hear!


“What Windows has really lacked, besides pervasive and effective security controls, of course, is an emotional attachment with users. Unlike rival computing platforms such as Linux and the Mac, there aren’t fanatical groups of Windows enthusiasts roaming the Internet and striking down non-believers with unnecessary religious zeal and bias. In fact, if you think about it, the closest we have to that scenario in the Windows world are guys like me, and I couldn’t care less if you choose not to run Windows. Instead, Windows guys tend to be more pragmatic than Linux and Mac fanatics. First, we’re not fanatics, and while I can’t speak for the rest of the community, I completely understand why someone might want to run Mac OS X, and I’d never ridicule them for making that choice.”

Source: http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/winvista_04.asp

2 Comments

PhotoSynth

It’s quite some days since SIGGRAPH’06 and the article I wrote about Photosynth. But here it is: You can testrun the photosynth viewer by yourself or you can watch this short video:


Video: Microsoft Live Labs Photosynth screencast

Source 1: synthesize your photography
Source 2: http://labs.live.com/photosynth/

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Vista hits 30 November

“ActiveWin is reporting that Windows Vista launches on Nov. 30 along with Office 2007, confirming that Microsoft is going to hit their promised delivery of Vista in 2006.

That being said, the consumer versions of Vista are still planned for a January 2007 release, with ActiveWin saying it will likely be Jan. 30.”

Source: http://www.activewin.com/awin/default.asp

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SyncToy updated…hurray

“There are files from all kinds of sources that we want to store and manage. Files are created by our digital cameras, e-mail, cell phones, portable media players, camcorders, PDAs, and laptops. Increasingly, computer users are using different folders, drives, and even different computers (such as a laptop and a desktop) to store, manage, retrieve and view files. Yet managing hundreds or thousands of files is still largely a manual operation. In some cases it is necessary to regularly get copies of files from another location to add to primary location; in other cases there is a need to keep two storage locations exactly in sync. Some users manage files manually, dragging and dropping from one place to another and keeping track of whether the locations are synchronized in their heads. Other users may use two or more applications to provide this functionality.
Now there is an easier way. SyncToy, a free PowerToy for
Microsoft Windows Vista, is an easy to use, highly customizable program that helps users to do the heavy lifting involved with the copying, moving, and synchronization of different directories. Most common operations can be performed with just a few clicks of the mouse, and additional customization is available without additional complexity. SyncToy can manage multiple sets of folders at the same time; it can combine files from two folders in one case, and mimic renames and deletes in another case. Unlike other applications, SyncToy actually keeps track of renames to files and will make sure those changes get carried over to the synchronized folder.
We listened to your
feedback. SyncToy was released as a beta in early August 2005 for Windows XP. We collected feedback from the discussion forum on the Windows XP Professional Photography web site, from customer feedback surveys, from a large number of professional and hobbyist photographers at Microsoft, and from various world-wide forums, sites, reviews and blogs on the web. Most of you (55%) asked for the ability to type in a UNC path to select a folder. We added this feature between the beta release and the v1.0 release. Features we added in response to customer feedback include:

  • The ability to type in a UNC path;
  • Support for longer folder pair names and ability to widen the left pane to see those longer names;
  • The ability to support the maximum length for folder paths, and documentation was added to the help file about how to set up a share to be able to sync deep folder pairs;
  • Better handling of the difference in precision between NTFS and FAT timestamps;
  • More discoverable link to the help file for information on how to schedule SyncToy using the Windows XP Task Scheduler;
  • Support for 800×600 screen resolution;
  • Added a warning for users if the selected action will take some time to complete;
  • Added brief explanations of the actions in the user interface;
  • Improved behavior when choosing folders to include or exclude when there are large numbers of folders involved;
  • Improved support for accessibility modes. “

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granny in space, what’s it to live 10 times longer than supposed?

Do you remember the landing of the two mars exploration vehicles calles Spirit and Opportunity in 2004? Well I think you do. They were built to last 90 days. But it’s now more than 1000 days – more than 10 times the timespan.

Well well, the two sneaky space travellers are kind of tattered – ones wheel isn’t working anymore and the other one had to get his brain “reformated” several times…but all over all they are in good shape for very old fellas.

Source: http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/home/

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Microsoft Internet Explorer Team sends a cake for the Firefox 2 shipping

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jollyjake/278562314/

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Vista and Office University Roadshow 2006

The event is over and it was great! More than 7 hours of new information compressed into 8 talks were presented today. If you missed the event, don’t worry: you can download the slidedecks here and of course if you like, you can participate in another University-Roadshow 2006 event in another german city (complete list and subscription here). If you like to attend some more talks at the TU-Ilmenau you can watch out for the local community website: www.dotnetcommunity.de – Since we’re in the process of building a INETA .NET Community here in Ilmenau we’re planning several events in the next months. Oh, to name one: on the 25th and 26th of next month there’s a ASP.NET workshop, held by my colleague Nico Orschel. More information on that can be found on dotnetcommunity.

The Slidedecks are available in three different formats(german language versions only):

Windows Vista für Jedermann (Daniel Kirstenpfad):

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we just released Internet Explorer 7

It’s there; It’s final and it’s got a huge number of new features, paired with a new UI.

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.mspx

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new Mediaplayer for Windows Mobile…not.

What once was free is now for sale. Yes, the well known TCPMP player for Windows Mobile is now called “CorePlayer”. And it’ll set you back $24,99. Quite an amount for this app…

Decide for yourself it some new codecs and a new UI is worth the money…it’s not for me.

Source: http://coreplayer.corecodec.org/

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Adventures in .NET land…

Sven brought up the idea to start a “DotNetUserTaskGroup” – which, to simplify the explanation, is a group of .NET interested people who once in a while get a task to solve. Everything is for fun and educational purposes only. No commercial background whatsoever.

To kick off the idea Sven opened up a website where you can find more information on the subject (german only at the moment). Don’t miss our .NET Community site.

Source 1: http://www.dotnetadventures.de
Source 2: http://www.dotnetcommunity.de

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Read and search what’s been said

Imagine the possibility to search for keywords in Podcasts. Imagine that integrated into every next generation podcast application: Wouldn’t it be great? There’s a company that does that right now:

“HearHere™ lets you quickly find the portions of an audio or video podcast that interest you.

Pluggd’s HearHere allows people to jump to the exact position in audio or video, such as podcasts and video casts, where there is something they want to hear. People have come to expect this instant return with web pages, but up until now audio and video have failed to deliver the same searchability. Now, you will no longer have to listen to five minutes of an NPR podcast before you reach the topic you care about. HearHere changes everything.

Source: http://www.pluggd.com/demo

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you need a fast, small and free (as in beer) SQL Server? Read this!

Here it is from Microsoft: Currently in CTP, The SQL Server 2005 – Everywhere Edition is a compact database (5MB memory footprint, approx. 2MB!! disk footprint)

  • Full referential integrity with cascading deletes and updates
  • Multiple connections for foreground and background operations
  • Single data file with password protection and 128-bit file level encryption
  • Transaction support to commit and rollback grouped changes
  • A wide range of data-types, such as UNICODE character data types, IMAGE, MONEY, and IDENTITY
  • Supports database size up to 4 gigabytes
  • SET Functions (aggregates), INNER and OUTER JOIN, subselect, and GROUP BY and HAVING clauses
  • Scrollable and updatable cursors to provide fast and easy data access

So. Take a look at it. There is also the slightly bigger SQL Server 2005 Express Edition, which gives you nearly all the functionality of a large scale multi-user database. But when you need to do small tasks (e.g. small websites) you need to try that one.

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/sql/ctp_sqlserver2005everywhereedition.mspx

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low latency network audio…JACK

It’s been some days when I wrote about my wish and need for low latency network audio solutions. And now it seems that there is something to help the situation: JACK.

“Have you ever wanted to take the audio output of one piece of software and send it to another? How about taking the output of that same program and send it to two others, then record the result in the first program? If so, JACK may be what you’ve been looking for.

JACK is a low-latency audio server, written for POSIX conformant operating systems such as GNU/Linux and Apple’s OS X. It can connect a number of different applications to an audio device, as well as allowing them to share audio between themselves. Its clients can run in their own processes (ie. as normal applications), or can they can run within the JACK server (ie. as a “plugin”).”

This alone isn’t what I was searching for…but there is NetJack – the network extension for JACK.

Netjack is a Realtime Audio Transport over a generic IP Network. It is fully integrated into JACK.”

Source 1: another nerd wish- low latency network audio
Source 2: http://jackaudio.org
Source 3: http://jackosx.com
Source 4: http://netjack.sf.net
Source 5: http://www.grame.fr/~letz/jackdmp.html

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still using VMWare…

I am still using VMWare for some of my virtual machines – not because it’s faster… Just because the one feature that VirtualPC just doesn’t offer: USB Passthrough.

The other thing about VMWare is the number of great tools that are available. For example this one which is coming up soon:

“VMware Converter is a highly robust and scalable enterprise-class migration tool that reduces the time that IT managers spend converting physical machines to VMware virtual machines. Using a snapshot based cloning mechanism that is extremely fast and reliable, VMware Converter enables remote conversions without disrupting the source server during the conversion process.”

Source: http://www.vmware.com/products/beta/converter/

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it’s done: dasBlog version 1.9 is there…

Omar pulled the trigger and we released DasBlog 1.9.6264. Why 6264 you ask? Because it’s 2006 and the 264th day, that’s why. Download it.”

  • Much better multi-user/blogger support including a Top Posters macro and total comments – from Christoph De Baene
  • TagCloud Support – from Scott
  • Support for Mobile Browsers like Blackberries and SmartPhones – from Scott
    • Note the large section in your web.config and the mobile theme that is required for this support.
  • Huge (100x+) speedup in Macro execution – from Scott
  • Support for If-Not-Modified to speed up execution, improve RSS bandwidth and CPU cycles – from Scott
  • Direct Feedburner Support with 301 redirection for RSS and Atom feeds. Don’t lose a single subscriber. We’re the only blog with direct support for Feedburner and Feedflare I believe. – from Scott
    • I encourage you to check out FeedBurner. You can add FeedFlare to your posts, and modify your feed in ways DasBlog can’t. They also handle your Feed bandwidth and provide rich statistics. It’s free ($ for advanced stats) and it’s very powerful. Do be aware that when you make the decision to move over to FeedBurner your existing feeds will start redirecting folks to FeedBurner immediately. That’s part of the power of the whole thing, but be warned.
  • Delete comments directly from your mail reader – from Omar
  • Comment moderation option
  • New themes out of the box, 18 at last count – from Many Folks
  • New XML-RPC support for newMediaObject and new version of XML-RPC.NET from Charles Cook – from Omar and Giuseppe Dipietro
  • Macros for Next Post and Previous Post – Justice Gray
    • Check the DasBlog theme or add this line to the top of your itemtemplate.blogtemplate.
      <%PreviousLink("« ",25)%><%MainPageEntryLink("Main", "|")%><%NextLink(" »",25)%>
  • A few security and XSS fixes
  • Support for Gravatars, images of your choosing that appear next to your comments – John Forsythe
  • Support for limited HTML markup in comments – Alexander Groß
  • Emails removed to avoid having email addresses stolen from Feeds
  • Added an Email page for leaving comments to the author, includes Captcha
  • New support for RSD so client software can autoconfigure itself – from Omar
  • Pluggable Rich Text Editor, choose from the latest version of FreeTextBox or FCKEditor or write your own adapter – from Josh Flanagan
  • Support for alternate SMTP ports
  • We work with Windows Live Writer out of the box – from Omar
  • Support for CoComment – from Scott
  • Microsummary support for Firefox 2.0 Beta – from Scott
  • Organized source, build, and packing for clarity – from Josh Flanagan
  • New Feed Icons – from Omar
  • Autometic generation of Google SiteMaps – from Scott
  • Automatic disabling of Comments after a certain number of days. Also manual “close comments” support – from Omar
  • ContentLookAhead show future dated posts – from Josh Flanagan
  • Other fixes and suggestions from Tomas Restrepo, Jason Follas, Rene Lebherz and Steven Rockarts. Added entry CPU usage optimizatons from George V. Reilly.
  • Ajax Autosave Drafts support from Steven Rockarts and Justice Gray.
  • Better strings and support for German, Portueguese, Turkish and Vietnamese from Ph?m Ð?c H?i.
  • Many great new themes
  • Updated readme.rtf from Tim Sherill
  • Single-handed support of DasBlog.info and DasBlog.us to the enthusiastic and tireless Tom Watts!
  • Welcome to new team members Alexander Groß, Paul Van Brenck, and John Forsythe who really did a lot of work to make this release possible! Thanks to Jacob Proffitt for doing some crazy debugging of caching on FireFox that will be in a point release soon.
  • New DasBlog Badges/Artwork from Alexander Groß…download them here: File Attachment: DasBlog Artwork.zip (1015 KB)

Source: DasBlog 1.9 Released

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Copytunes…

So, wasn’t it Apple who claimed that Microsoft is copying almost all features from Mac OS X? Where’s the Innovation Apple when it comes to your own products?

Almost a year ago a guy named “Jonathan del Strother” released a nice tool called “Coverflow”. Now Apple bought the Coverflow Intellectual property. It’s common sense in the IT industry to do such things. But Apple is one of the few companies that blame other when they are doing that…

“We are pleased to announce that all CoverFlow technology and intellectual property was recently sold to Apple. It has been incorporated into the latest version of iTunes.”

Source: http://www.steelskies.com/coverflow/

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YAPS TV-Browser Plugin

After using the “Web-Search”-Plugin of TV-Browser to program new recordings into YAPS, ello came across with the idea to use the “Capture”-Plugin instead.

And after doing so: It’s incredible what that Capture Plugin can do!


in the context menu: the “Record”-Button


specify the title..and you’re done…

The Capture Plugin does several things:

  • making the programming of new recordings as easy as possible
  • showing visually that this particular episode will be recorded
  • allowing you to remove the recording from the schedule

And all you have to do to add this functionality to your TV-Browser is:

  1. download: YAPS TV-Browser Plugin
  2. import the YAPS.tcf file into the Capture-Plugins Device Listing (Import Button)
  3. configure the server name and the channel-name mappings

When you’re done with that everything should work. Oh… I have to admit: The record delete functionality is not quite working as it should…but it will in some of the next builds…

Thanks to the TV-Browser team for creating such a great application!!! Keep on the good work!

Source: http://www.tvbrowser.org

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YAPS bug fixing and daily build access

I just configured the build system to generate daily builds straight of the subversion repository. You can grab the daily build archive here.

Dailybuild (Microsoft.NET): http://www.slow-backward.de/yaps_daily_build.zip

Dailybuild (MONO): working on that

Dailysource: http://www.slow-backward.de/yaps_daily_source.zip

The changelog since I wrote the last YAPS news:

04.09.2006

  • fixed a PlayCount bug
  • removed unnecessary files for Daily Build support

03.09.2006

  • changed all text messages and web-templates to english
  • added correct mimetype handling to the http server
  • fixed a bug in the 404 error handling when a file was not found
  • aded a verbose mode to the ConsoleOutputLogger – disabled by default; only logging to console html page
  • fixed a bug that caused a complete crash when a wrong/unknown adress/channel was requested for streaming
  • added more error handling to the http server (streaming and vcr)
  • added license.txt (BSD license)
  • added Settings Loading and Saving (to be extended…)

01.09.2006

  • fixed a bug in the Usage_Bar HTML Template Processor that could cause a lockup in the HTML page rendering process
  • fixed a bug in the HTTP Server error handling that caused “Saving Settings” everytime a 404 occured…
  • added a startup check to the VCRScheduler that sets unfinished recordings after a YAPS restart to done

You can find the changelog in the daily build archive “Documentation and Misc” folder. Also a build logfile and svn checkout logfile can be found in the “logs” folder.

In the next days I am going to implement the Settings System and GUI.

Tell us what you are YAPS using for, which features are great, which ones not, which ones do you you need in the future? What would make YAPS a great tool for you?

1 Comment

1000 cars at once…

Ever wondered what 1000 cars at once might look like? Wonder no more!

Source: http://www.gametrailers.com/umwatcher.php?id=12321

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why not take 13 displays and…

…build yourself a “just-like-the-original” power consuming flight simulator. I am not sure what would be more expensive. This setup or the ultra-light aircraft which is currently simulated…

Follow the link and see other home-cockpit-setups.

Source: http://www.shorttext.com/z0gv5

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mounting ISO CD/DVD Images in Vista RC1

I had this problem mounting ISO Images in Vista RC1 – the usual suspect “Daemon Tools” wouldn’t install due to compatibility issues. But “Virtual CloneDrive” is the one to take care of that problem.

Source: http://www.chip.de/downloads/c1_downloads_13012545…

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Switching to Vista…

I just installed Windows Vista RC1 (Ultimate) on my main working machine (beside the Mac) and since there’s no space left on the drive for any legacy Windows XP I am going to stick with it as long as it takes to get the RTM onto the silver discs…

As far as I can see everything is working nice and smooth. I had a bluescreen right after the first startup but as the logfiles show it was the graphic drivers fault.

The only thing that bugs me right now is that I cannot mount any ISO files. The Daemon Tools Setup is blocked with the following message:

Strange…

2 Comments