Archive for category Development

WPF/E on a Mac

Oh that’s interesting. WPF/E is running on a Mac which leads to the new platform independent approach for Microsofts Windows Presentation Foundation technology…booyah!

You want to take a look on WPF/E by yourself? Well, go ahead.

Source 1: http://blogs.msdn.com/webnext/archive/2006/12/05/i-m-a-mac-and-i-run-wpf-e.aspx
Source 2: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=A3E29817-F841-46FC-A1D2-CEDC1ED5C948&displaylang=en

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good news

“CONGRATULATIONS! Your group (DotNet Community Thüringen) has been approved to be an INETA member based on your dedication to the .NET user group community.”

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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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Windows SDK is available…

Hurray. Today the Windows SDK was made available.

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*UPDATE* dotnetcommunity INETA usergroup successfully founded

Yesterday the first usergroup meeting took place in the computer pool of the faculty of mechanical engineering. Sven and Nico had their lectures for which you can get the slides as soon as possible on the website of the usergroup.

Update:

Windows Presentation Foundation (Sven Hubert)

AJAX with ASP.NET (Nico Orschel)

Source: http://www.dotnetcommunity.de

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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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YAPS Update

For me YAPS becomes more and more the vcr application I was always searching for. I’ve fixed a lot of bugs since the last article about YAPS and added a lot of features. It did not crash for about a month on my production system and the daily build access seems to work better than I thought it would (since it’s only a quick .cmd script).

Since the settings page is quite hard to implement I started with some other things that lead their way to get the settings page done – one of which is the dynamic template keyword feature where you can add options to .html pages which can be used in the page itself. (documentation to be written).

The settings page should be ready within this week hopefully as all the needed parts are coming together right now (like those options and stuff).

What I want from you:

  1. Feedback! – Keep the feedback coming. It’s good to hear from people using this software. It’s even better to hear feature wishes.
  2. HELP! – If you are a HTML guru, graphic artist, .net coder or TVR car dealer, then write a comment, leave your contact data and you’re in the team. I need help in every mentioned way and in some not mentioned…hrm…

Here’s the changelog since the last version I wrote about…oh..we do have a build version now…it’s 1.0.30 for the Processor and 1.0.2474.1263 for the application as I am writing this.

10.10.2006

  • added the %settings_*% keywords to the TemplateProcessor
  • changed the MapNames Class to ChannelMapper
  • added ChannelAddress Settings, Settingsfile
  • added %buildversion% template keyword
  • added Misc Settings and Channel Adress Mapping Settings Icon
  • added Misc and Channel Settings to the Settings HTML Page
  • some cosmetic changes to index.html and the LoadSettings console output
  • added automatic categories to the To-Be-Recorded Listing

09.10.2006

  • changed the HTTP Servers file buffer size to 20480 bytes; increased the HTTP performance by factor 4
  • changed the Multicast Cached Reader/Writer buffer size to 150 RTP packets per client-loop-run

07.10.2006

  • implemented AddSearchTerm and DelSearchTerm functionality
  • added editcategory_step4.html for Searchterm deletion (changing that in future versions!!!)
  • added AutomaticCategoriesForRecording functionality to the CategoryProcessor
  • added Category Listing to the RecordedListing Template Processor
  • added RenderOneLine Method to the RecordedListing Template Processor
  • added CategoryFilter functionality, just click on the category in the Recorded Listing to filter
  • added SortAscending/SortDescending Keywords to recordings.html handling – you can now switch between those sorting schemes; default is Descending
  • added Querystring.cs
  • known bug -> when CategoryFilter is active SortAscending/SortDescending wouldn’t work; currently fixing

03.10.2006

  • fixed a bug in the http method calling tree

29.09.2006

  • fixed a bug in the Managerecording-Deleterecording methods
  • changed the RemoveRecordingFile Forwarder to the /recordings.html instead of the last page in browser history
  • fixed a bug in the ForwardToPage method
  • updated the TV Browser Capture Plugin Configuration (/Documentation and Misc/TV Browser Capture Plugin)
  • added settings page
  • added settings_categories page
  • added settings category and addcategory icons
  • changed Design Vector file format to CorelDraw! X3
  • added Category Adding functionality
  • added Category deleting functionality
  • added Searchterm adding functionality (partly)

28.09.2006

  • added the deleterecording functionality for managerecordings (delete recording without knowing the ID)
  • changes to the Category data structure
  • added category.cs to the repository
  • added CategoryProcessor
  • added AddCategory HTML Page
  • added EditCategory HTML Pages
  • added Category listing Template Processor
  • added ForwardToLastPage HTTP Response
  • added ForwardToPage HTTP Response

21.09.2006

  • changed the Settings data structures
  • fixed a spelling error in the DoneRecordings table
  • added category listing to the RecordedListing table
  • added channel image for german br
  • added several category management specific changes

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

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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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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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Play PACMAN with Excel…

“This software works on Excel 97 and 2000. I was absorbed in video game named *pacman* when I was a schoolchild. I would like to reproduce that on Excel. I’ve held the thought from two years before,
and finally…It’s realized.

All actions are expressed by rewriting of a cell background color. Each one of cells as a dot, and move it by make cell’s background color high-speed rewriting. Although I did not think it’s possiblele, but now it’s possiblele by the favor of the improvement in a performance of a personal computer. The window zoom is 10%, so the each cell can not be seen. But it is A CELL.”

Oh…of course Space Invaders is available too…

Source: http://www.geocities.jp/nchikada/pac/

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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 your corporate blog, not your private one…

There’s the professional business behavious that reminds us to divide between our job and private life… but there’s always someone who did not get it:

Yeah; of course the Nintendo DS is awesome and everything. But come on, that’s not the kind of news I want to read on developer web pages by Microsoft.

Source 1: http://msdn.microsoft.com/netframework/
Source 2: The Nintendo DS is awesome!

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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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Disco Dance Floor

“Our flagship product, the Disco Dance Floor Controller Board is capable of controlling up to 192 LEDs (with 4-bit intensity control) and 64 binary switches via a USB interface. Using the included source code, a refresh rate of 17 frames per second is easily achieved. With some environment specific modifications to the software, rates in excess of 30 frames per second may be achieved. Multiple boards may be connected together using USB hubs to control additional LEDs and switches.”

Source: mit.edu

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Your brain will explode from information overload…

“This material represents thousands of man-hours of work, and was presented during last month’s Gamefest 2006 conference (when we announced XNA Game Studio Express).

Good news: These content files represent a colossal amount of up-to-date knowledge, delivered right to your computer. Your brain might explode from the information overload, but you’ll die happy. (FYI: Most of the content is PPT slide decks and audio recordings. You’ll have to page the deck yourself as you listen. There are also a few movie demos and a couple of white papers)

Bad news: These are big honking files. Some exceeding 500Mb. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.”

Gamefest 2006: Graphics Track

  • Introduction to Direct3D 10: Coming to a PC Near You
  • Using Direct3D 10: Getting the Most from Your Direct3D 10 Engine
  • Effects 10: Driving the New Effects System
  • Exploiting Direct3D 10: Advanced Techniques Using Direct3D 10
  • Advanced Lighting and More from Microsoft Research
  • Xbox 360 Direct3D and GPU Performance Update
  • HLSL Shader Compiler Update for Xbox 360 and Windows
  • Under the Hood: Revving Up Shader Performance
  • Seven Ways to Skin a Mesh: Character Skinning Revisited for Modern GPUs
  • HDR the Bungie Way
  • Cross-Platform Graphics Engine Development

Gamefest 2006: Windows and Xbox 360 System Programming Track

  • Designing Multi-Core Games: How to Walk and Chew Bubblegum at the Same Time
  • Multi-Core Memory Coherence: The Hidden Perils of Sharing Data
  • Sublime C++ for Games
  • Games as Malware: Why Security is Your Problem Too
  • Hardening the Box: The Xbox 360 and Windows Vista Security Models
  • Supercharging I/O: Hard Disk, DVD, and Memory Unit
  • Memory Management Internals: Allocation Strategies for High Performance
  • Power Debugging: Nasty Bugs and How to Find Them
  • Taming the CLR: How To Write Really Fast Managed Code
  • Windows Performance Topics for Games
  • Xbox 360 CPU Performance Update
  • Developing Games for Windows and Xbox 360: Stories from the Trenches

Gamefest 2006: Developer Tools: XNA and Visual Studio Track

  • Working Smarter and Building Faster with Visual C++ 2005
  • Managing Content Builds with XNA Build
  • An Introduction to Agile Development
  • Creating Games with the XNA Framework
  • A Closer Look at the XNA Framework Content Pipeline
  • Managing Content Builds with XNA Build

Gamefest 2006: Visual Arts Track

  • Dynamic Animation in Next-Generation Games
  • Exporting SOFTIMAGE|FACE ROBOT into a Real-Time Engine
  • Procedural Texturing Using ProFX: 2K Textures in 2KB
  • How’d They Do That? Graphics Samples Explained
  • Creating Captivating Visual Content for DirectX 10
  • Shaders and Shader Tools for Artists
  • Pushing the Pipeline: Creating a Next-Generation Art Pipeline in Less Than Six Months
  • Photorealistic Lighting Solutions for Next- Generation Games using Turtle 3
  • Strategies for Coping with the Demand of High Def Art

Gamefest 2006: Cross-Platform Xbox Live Track

  • Live Anywhere: Bringing the Live Experience to Windows
  • Session Enhancements: Host Migration, Improved TrueSkill™ and More
  • The New Xbox Live Server Platform: Opening up the Network
  • Community Extensions: Further Options to Customize Your Game’s User Experience
  • Achievements and Stats: Adding to the “Just Five More Minutes” Factor

Gamefest 2006: Casual Games Track

  • Developing Games for Xbox Live Arcade
  • Developing Web-Based Games for MSN Games
  • Preparing Casual Games for Windows Vista
  • Developing Casual Games for MSN Messenger
  • Future Platforms and Opportunities for Casual Games

Gamefest 2006: Audio Track

  • Full Service Audio: A Comprehensive Guide to Tools, Libraries, and Services for Audio on Xbox 360 and Windows Vista
  • The Fundamentals of Audio Rendering on Xbox 360 and Windows Vista
  • XMA Implementation and Aesthetics (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Compression)
  • Using the Top Rear Left-of-Center Low Frequency Speaker: How Multi-channel Audio Works on Xbox 360 and Windows Vista
  • Distributed Composing: Managing Audio Collaboration and Cross-Platform Deployment for XACT Projects
  • An Analytical Study of Audio Implementations for Existing Windows and Xbox 360 Titles

Gamefest 2006: Game Middleware Track

  • Adding Camera-Based Gesture and Face Tracking to Games
  • Making Your Game Sound More Cinematic
  • Extensible .NET Tools for Game Development – Guidelines and Lessons Learned
  • An Overview of Voice Recognition Implementation
  • Meshing AGEIA and Granny
  • Combining Different Middleware Solutions to Create a Customized Platform
  • The Convergence of AI, Physics and Animation
  • The Dos and Absolutely-Do-Nots of XLSP: A Middleware Perspective
  • Advanced Tools and Techniques for Shipping Your Game On-Time
  • Creating a DirectX 10 Shader Authoring Sandbox Using SOFTIMAGE|XSI
  • The State of the (Audio) Nation: A Conversation with Leading Audio Content Middleware Solutions

Gamefest 2006: Producer and Business Development Track

  • Games for Windows Vista: Nail the Essentials, Showcase the Innovations
  • Marketplace: Future of Digital Distribution
  • Making your Windows Titles Come ALIVE Anywhere!
  • Expanding Your Audience Through Accessibility
  • Rise Above: Improving Your Game’s Chances for Success by Focusing on What Players Want

Gamefest 2006: Quality Assurance and Certification Track

  • Introduction to Windows Error Reporting as a Service
  • Games for Windows Vista Compatibility: The Essentials
  • Microsoft Games Testing Organization: Testing Evolved

Source 1: http://www.microsoftgamefest.com/
Source 2: http://letskilldave.com/archive/2006/09/11/Gamefes…

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switching to dvorak keyboard layout

While cleaning my keyboards the idea came up to actually use dvorak keyboard layout I wrote about more than a year ago.

After creating the “dovrak german type 2” keyboard layout file with Ukelele I am now slowly learning the new layout… quite hard after more than 16 years on QWERTZ/QWERTY…

Well… both Apple Keyboards are now dvorak-layouted… looks a bit strange when you’re only known to QWERTZ/QWERTY

If you like you can download the OS X keyboard layout here.

Source 1: dvorak article(german)
Source 2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvorak_Simplified_Key…
Source 3: Ukelele
Source 4: btk_Dvorak.zip (3,21 KB)

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finally, Windows Vista RC1 has working Media Center functionality…

I had very disappointing experiences with all the previous builds of Vista when it comes to Media Center Extender functionality, since I own a german XBOX 360 and the previous Vistas only allowed connection to a US 360.

But now with RC1 this problem is solved. And everything works as designed…great!!!

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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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Building Visual Studio projects/solutions without having Visual Studio installed – MSBuild howto

Did you know that you can build almost every Visual Studio 2003/2005 Solution/Project without even having Visual Studio installed? You only need to have the Microsoft.NET Framework v2 (or better) installed. The Framework brings a great tool named “MSBuild” which helps you to build, for example, YAPS on your own machine.

  1. Download the YAPS sourcecode (or any other project…) and extract to a folder
  2. open a commandline window (Start->Run->”cmd.exe”) and change to that folder
  3. run MSBuild in that folder. Normally MSBuild is in \WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\MSBuild.exe
  4. When no errors are reported, you’re done. If there were errors, check the source and/or the folder. You need to run MSBuild where the sln/csproj files are…

This is what compiling the YAPS daily sourcecode looks like on my machine:

Source 1: MSBuild at MSDN
Source 2: MSBuild Team Blog

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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

Infinity evolves…

“Infinity is a massively multiplayer online game set in a futuristic persistent universe. Players can discover a huge galaxy with billions of planets and can explore, combat, trade, socialize.. the possibilities are endless!”

Infinity is an open-ended game in which you control a spaceship throughought the entire galaxy, trying to make a name for yourself. You connect to an online server on which thousands of people are playing, 24/7. The game does not stop when you log off, but continues to evolve: it is a persistent universe. The game mechanics do not emphasize any particular gameplay style. Combat, trade, exploration, social relationships.. you are free to choose your own carrier path and goals. The only limit is your own imagination!


Infinity is not a traditional role playing game. Although all players are expected to act in concordance with their avatar’s motivations, there are no classes or skills to restrict your choices. Combat between spaceships is in true real-time, and the outcome is determined by your own intelligence and reflexes. Forget turn-based action and experience the great excitement of a first person experience!”

If you want start playing right now? Well… it’s current development status:

  • Generic 3D engine: ~75% (kernel, textures, scene graph, mesh/objects, shaders, etc..)
  • Planet/Space 3D engine: ~60% (terrain, planet textures, starfield, nebulaes, water, clouds, vegetation, etc..)
  • Astrophysics: ~55% (galaxy generation, system gen, planets heightfields, orbits, parameters, etc..)
  • Newtonian physics: ~35% (spaceships physics, collision detection, flight navigation)
  • Sound engine: ~60% (3D sounds and musics)
  • Networking: ~30% (TCP/UDP, network protocol, login/out, databases, etc..)
  • User interface: ~10% (user input, widgets, windows)
  • Gameplay: ~5% (actual game logic)
  • Content: ~15% (spaceships/stations/cities 3D models and textures, misc. 2D art, sounds & musics)

So think again: If you’re a developer…well get in touch with them!

Source: http://www.fl-tw.com/Infinity/index.php

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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

KDE on MacOS X

Well nice description what this could do:

“They may not work. They may not even install. They may make your monitor explode in a shower of glass. EVEN LCDs! They may make your children grow horns, and cause the people in your neighborhood to explode spontaneously while doing the Macarena. They will rip out your eyeballs, and eat your soul with a really dull spoon, laughing and cackling while forcing Cheerios up your nose. They will make your intestines explode in a rain of confetti, while evil clowns bite your feet.”

But what it really will do is slightly different:

Source: http://ranger.users.finkproject.org/kde/#about

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udp multicast to tcp unicast proxy and vcr updated..(YAPS)

Today I am releasing a current build of YAPS to give you the chance to take a look at it during the development process. There are a number of new features and bug fixes in this version, the most noticable enhancement is the brand new user interface:

One of the new features is the Space-Usage-Bar:

For a complete overview of all fixed and added things, take a look at the changelog below. Everyone who is waiting for some particular feature to be implemented: it’s on the list and soon in YAPS. Everyone who wants to see a feature in YAPS which isn’t there or planned, please comment this article and tell me what you would like to see.

changelog:

31.08.2006

  • fixed a bug in the HTTP Processor where only lower case AddRecording calls were accepted
  • added ManageRecording function call to the HTTP Processor to allow better TVBrowser Integration (remove should work now) (added type=add or type=del)

30.08.2006

  • fixed a bug that caused the HTTP server to malfunction

29.08.2006

  • added Recording PlayCounter which shows how many times each recording was downloaded or streamed directly from the YAPS server
  • fixed a bug that caused a crash when a wrong formated URL was requested…
  • changed the default port to 80
  • fixed a bug in the RecordedList TemplateProcessor which produced not working Streaming URLs
  • fixed some of the html templates
  • added some more data fields to the recording data structure (activated)
  • added a simple sorting algorithm (Sorter.cs) used for RecordingTable and DoneRecordingTable HTML Template Processor Rendering
  • added a resume-streaming feature: Once you started streaming and stopped, YAPS resumes at the last position you stopped it; the next time it starts at the beginning of the recording

25.08.2006

  • changed file information of the YAPS assemblies…
  • added addrecording.html (new design)
  • added default page when / is requested
  • added some commented-out extensions to the Recording Data structure; to be activated when a Recording File Converter is available

23.08.2006

  • added addrecording.html to the Design Project (to be updated soon)
  • added TVBrowser (tvbrowser.org) Capture Plugin Definition File (YAPS.tcf)
  • mono compatibility in TemplateProcessor.cs via Mono.Unix.UnixDriveInfo
  • better recognition of the mountpoint for the videodirectory
  • fixed some bugs in HTML Templates where Firefox had some issues with the top toolbar of all pages (ello)
  • added live-streaming support for recordings, should be possible now to read recordings while recording…
  • added blue bar to space usage bar – blue bar shows how much space would be used when all recordings are done successfully
  • added blue bar and exclamation mark graphics
  • minor todo addition to TemplateProcessor.cs

22.08.2006

  • first checkin
  • import in MonoDevelop
  • fixed path-bug in http.cs
  • added MonoSocket.cs for better compatibility betwenn mono and microsoft
  • modified multicast_vdr.cs to use the MonoSocket class in case of mono (define preprocessorvariable “MONO” in case of compiling for mono)
  • fixed the /vcr/AddRecording Encoding bug which created some weird recording names
  • fixed the warning in MonoSocket
  • added console page
  • added help page
  • added percentage bar template keyword and html generator
  • finally fixed the UTF8 URL Handling

Download the current build: YAPS310806.zip (577,92 KB)

Read on: udp multicast to tcp unicast proxy extended to be a vcr

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XNA (beta) available!!!

“What is not in this Beta (but coming soon)

While we’re very proud of this Beta milestone, it does not represent all of the great features we are enabling in XNA Game Studio Express which will be available in final release form by this holiday. Some of the key feature areas that were not able to make it into this beta include:

  • The XNA Framework Content Pipeline feature is not present in this release of XNA Game Studio Express (Beta). It will be made available in a future beta release of XNA Game Studio Express
  • Support for retail Xbox 360 game development. This feature will be made available upon final release of XNA Game Studio Express later this holiday
  • Additional starter kits and tutorials will be made available upon final release of XNA Game Studio Express”

Source: XNA Game Studio Express (Beta) Readme Page

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Do (almost everything) by yourself website…this time: building a Segway

I am running into several Do-it-yourself websites these days; and one of them is zedomax.com. This website tells you very interesting electronic tales, like this one:

Once upon a time, I wanted to get me a segway. But since I didn’t want to bite the bullet I just made one myself…

“The author says, “The current software, now in C running in an onboard 8-bit microcontroller, is only 500 lines of code.””

Source 1: DIY – Build your own Segway
Source 2: http://www.segway.com/

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quite a fast revival: OS9 on Windows/OSX

Since my MacMini has some kind of OS9 Classic mode which is quite slow, I am not using it on this machine – actually the emulated PowerPC G4 in SheepShaver feels a bit faster…

Source: http://www.uneasysilence.com/archive/2006/08/7352/

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Teasing the new YAPS UI

Now, does this look good or not? I worked the whole day on the graphics…hopefully everyone will like it

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program your YAPS VCR recordings from within tvbrowser…

I recently wrote about the progress I made with YAPS – the multicast to unicast proxy that suddenly became even a vcr. And today I found “TVBrowser“:

“TV-Browser is a free electronic program guide. It offers more than 140 mainly german stations.”

You get everything you might expect from an electronic program guide with TV-Browser and even more. It’s extensible and fast. The extensibility is exactly the reason why I am using it as the EPG frontend for YAPS/VCR.

I used the WebSearch Plugin of TV Browser to actually do a http-request on the YAPS/VCR webserver. This request adds the recording to the schedule list…easy as it could be…

It looks like this:

right click on the programme and you’re about to
program the recording…

Infact the only thing I had to do is to add one line to the WebSearch Plugin config, which looks like this:


Simple, isn’t it… one webrequest and the recording is added.

Finally I’ve got a great EPG to program my recordings…yeeehaaa!

Source 1: udp multicast to tcp unicast proxy extended to be a vcr
Source 2: http://www.tvbrowser.org

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udp multicast to tcp unicast proxy extended to be a vcr…

Some weeks ago I wrote about that UDP to TCP Proxy I wrote. And since I am mainly using it for DVB-S tv watching I always wanted it to be a VCR as well. So I extended YAPS to be a VCR.

At the moment I am redoing the Web-Interface of the VCR to give it a shiny and sleek finish, but in the meantime I want to give you the chance to take a look on YAPS+VCR in action, and of course an even deeper look into the sourcecode:


this is the “Add new timer…” screen

this is the home page of the vcr…showing one programmed timer..

So apparently some things happened the last days. I would appreciate any comments on the application and the sourcecode. So feel free to download and use. I am releasing it, as usual, under the BSD license.

You can download the sourcecode here: YAPS12.zip (375,35 KB)

Source: udp multicast to tcp unicast proxy YAPS revisited…and bugfixed

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freeware photorealistic pinball simulator/editor/…

Pinball fans rejoice! I just found a obviously longer available pinball simulator with integrated editor. Yes, you can create your own pinball tables. There are plenty of them freely available on the internet so you don’t have to create your own – instead just start a nice pinball game… The graphics are fantastic and so is the sound… That’s probably the best pinball I’ve ever played on a pc… Oh, did I mention that this is available for free?

“Future Pinball is a real time Pinball Development System. It allows you to design and play your very own pinball simulation in True real time 3D. It uses Advanced Physics to provide the best possible Simulation of a true to life pinball machine. Tables are built up out of Standard components (Plastics, Pegs, Bumpers, Lights etc..) which are placed onto the playfield via the Editor. Objects like Surfaces, Lights and Rubbers are shapeable within the Editor and generated real-time when the table is played. Other objects (Bumpers, Flippers, Gates, Triggers, Targets etc..) use pre-made 3d Models (of which there is a nice selection of each type).

The Table logic is scripted in Visual Basic Scripting (via the Microsoft Scripting Technology’s built into Windows XP). Scripting is designed to be simple but flexible enough to allow a wide vararity of Original Games to be created. Only a limited subset of the Visual Basic Scripting Language is used as a lot of extra functionality is provided by the game engine. Full Sound / Music Support is also provided with multiple Music Channels to allow cross fading. Future Pinball uses the Newton Game Dynamic Physics Solution (link) for the real time simulation of a Pinball’s Physics Environment. This allows the ball to behave correctly on the playfield and interact with other objects as it does in the real world. Newton has allowed Future Pinball to take the next step into truly realistic play. As Future Pinball is a Game Construction Program it contains some advanced concepts which may require a little bit of time (and patience) to learn and fully understand (such as computer graphics and scripting concepts).”

And here are two screenshots of one of the downloadable pinball tables:

Source: http://www.futurepinball.com/

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develop your own games for the XBOX 360

Even more great news from Microsoft:

“XNA Game Studio Express is a new offering, targeted at students and hobbyists for game development. XNA Game Studio is based on Visual C# Express 2005 and lets developers target both Windows and Xbox 360. XNA Game Studio Express contains the following:

  • The XNA Framework, a set of managed code development libraries which will allow game developers to be more productive when creating games for Windows and the Xbox 360.
  • The XNA Framework Content Pipeline which is a set of tools that allow developers to more easily incorporate 3D content into their games.
  • XNA Game Studio Express also contains a full set of documentation, how-to’s and starter-kits that demonstrate how best to utilize the content pipeline and XNA Framework. “

Source: http://msdn.microsoft.com/directx/xna/faq/

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MSDN-Solve starts in Germany…

“MSDN Solve ist die Lösung für alle Entwickler, die praxis-orientierte Hilfestellungen bei typischen Programmier-Herausforderungen suchen. MSDN Solve liefert verständliche Antworten auf immer wiederkehrende Fragen aus dem IT-Alltag und sorgt dafür, dass Sie Stolperfallen in Software-Projekten künftig leicht umschiffen.”

Source: http://www.msdn-solve.de/

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What Windows Vistas voice recognition really can do…

There was a video of a presentation some days ago showing that the build of vista that was used in that presentation had some serious bugs handling the voice recognition. After all here is a movie showing how the current build of vista is doing the trick:

Source: istartedsomething

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the MSDN Library is freely available for everyone (no subscription needed)

Hurray, the stream of good news continues:

“MSDN Library provides access to essential programming information, including technical white papers, software development kits and code samples necessary to develop web services and applications. This is an updated version of the MSDN Library for Visual Studio® 2005.”

Source: MSDN Library May 2006 Download

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you want to get your hands on the Windows Kernel, don’t you?

the UK Academic Team Blog writes:

“The big kahuna – a source-code release of the Windows Kernel. The WRK is useful in design projects that let your students explore OS principles using the Windows kernel sources, the WRK enables advanced teaching and research by facilitating building experiments and projects based on modifying the Windows kernel, as well as by promoting better understanding of the Windows architecture and implementation.”

More info on that when I have more info on that…

Source: http://blogs.msdn.com/ukacademia/archive/2006/07/31/684325.aspx

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a ready to go VMware Image for MONO…

The Mono team (well, Novell) created a mono-development-environment-in-a-box as an VMware Image. You can grab it at the source.

“The image is a SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, and it includes the latest version of Mono, the development tools, documentation and samples for Windows.Forms and ASP.NET.

The MonoDevelop IDE is included in the image for developers, and Postgress and MySQL are installed to test your application with a database.”

I’ve made some screenshots:


explore the WinForms implementation of mono

Source: Mono VMware Image

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real time radiosity lighting … soon in a game near you?

It seems that a company called Geomerics has developed an algorithm that allows real time radiosity lighting in fairly complex environments. They support nearly all the things you would expect, like soft shadowing, infinite light bounces, colour bleeding:

If you don’t know what radiosity is:

“Radiosity is a global illumination algorithm used in 3D computer graphics rendering. Unlike direct illumination algorithms (such as ray tracing), which tend to simulate light reflecting only once off each surface, global illumination algorithms such as Radiosity simulate the many reflections of light around a scene, generally resulting in softer, more natural shadows”

Since you of course know how radiosity works you can imagine that it’s dead slow. And getting it up to real time is the important thing about the new algorithm.

They demonstrate their technology in a short movie:

“Geomerics real-time lighting technology incorporates all of these effects in an ‘infinite bounce’ setting. Lights can be moved dynamically, so characters exploring a scene with a torch, for example, can now experience the scene being lit as it would be in the real world. Furthermore, artists can create lights dynamically to ensure that scenes are lit the way they intended, in a similar manner to movie sets.

Our technique also supports real-time area light sources, smooth soft-edged indirect shadows, projected lighting, spot lights, colour bleeding and texture-based lighting effects such as normal and bump mapping.”

Source 1: http://www.geomerics.com/index.php?page=lighting
Source 2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiosity

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Microsoft released the Windows Mobile Device Emulator (ARM CPU) Sourcecode


Once again an very interesting piece of software made it to the Shared Source family.



“The Device Emulator is a software simulation of a CPU and motherboard, that runs the Windows CE and Windows Mobile operating systems. The emulator is a single Windows .EXE file that contains:



  • A CPU emulator that executes the ARM instruction set by JIT-compiling to x86
  • An MMU emulator to support virtual memory and page protection
  • A motherboard emulator that contains emulated RAM and NOR flash memory
  • A collection of peripheral devices attached to the motherboard: serial ports, LCD controller, touchscreen, keyboard, interrupt controller, programmable timers, real-time-clock, network cards, audio, etc.
  • A “DMA” interface which allows a Win32 application running outside the emulator to communicate with a WinCE application running inside the emulator, using a simple socket-like programming model. “

Source 1: Device Emulator Sourcecode Download
Source 2: License

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how Google Map/Earth works…

I want to share with you a fantastic page where Pascal Buire discusses his investigations on Google Earths tiling and algorithms:

“This is my analyse about how google map works, et specially how the tiles are encoded. Google map uses pre-rendered tiles that can be obtained with a simple url. This article explains how to build the url for a tile from its geo coordinates (latitude/longitude)”

Google Earth mirroring anyone?

Source: http://www.codeproject.com/useritems/googlemap.asp

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udp multicast to tcp unicast proxy YAPS revisited…and bugfixed

Yesterday I had an idea how I could fix the last remaining problem in my udp multicast to tcp unicast proxy server (YAPS).

The last time I had to report this:

“There are some glitches I am afraid to say: one known bug is that there are 12 bytes to much in the outgoing data stream which corrupts the picture. If anyone here can fix it: Do it please 😉 I tried one day and I could not find a solution for the problem.”

My idea was now, that those glitches are possibly there because some bytes of the header remain in each packet and therefore the movie stream itself is destroyed. MPlayer was able to display something, but as I said…glitches.

So I made a method that actually calculates the size of the header of each RTP packet and then removes this header:

   1:  public byte[] killRTPheader(byte[] b,ref int inlength)
   2:  {
   3:  byte[] outbytes = new byte[1600];
   4:  int headersize = 12+4*((b[0] >> 0) & 0x0f);
   5:    Array.ConstrainedCopy(b, headersize, outbytes, 0, inlength - headersize);
   6:    inlength = inlength - headersize;
   7:  return outbytes;
   8:  }

The results speak for themselves: A perfect sound and picture.

Beside that I added some additional features. Read the source and you’ll find out.

You can grab the source and binaries here: YAPS.zip (24,74 KB)

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because he could…3D renderer in PHP

People do almost anything just because they can, and this guy is no exception:

“This evening I remembered an idea I had a while ago to make a 3D renderer in PHP (and if anyone’s tempted to ask – “because I can” ). I did a bit of reading on old 3D engines, as I didn’t want something modern and slow, and found out that the “raycaster” rendering used in Wolfenstein 3D is ridiculously easy to implement. A few hours later and it’s up and running I’ve not run any proper speed tests yet, but the images load up pretty much instantaneously. I have a couple of ideas of what this could be used for, so watch this space “

Source: http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=116224

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want some espresso?

“The .NET framework provides a powerful class Regex for
creating and using Regular Expressions. While regular expressions are a
powerful way to parse, edit, and replace text, the complex syntax makes
them hard to understand and prone to errors, even for the experienced
user. When developing code that uses regular expressions, I have found
it very helpful to create and debug my expressions in a separate tool
to avoid time consuming compile/debug cycles. Expresso enables me to do
the following:

  • Build complex regular expressions by selecting components from a palette

  • Test expressions against real or sample input data

  • Display all matches in a tree structure showing captured groups, and all captures within a group

  • Build replacement strings and test the match and replace functionality

  • Highlight matched text in the input data

  • Automatically test for syntax errors

  • Generate Visual Basic or C# code that can be incorporated directly into programs

  • Read or save regular expressions and input data”

It’s available as binary and source download.

Source: http://www.codeproject.com/dotnet/expresso.asp

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let’s pile it all together…

There are often some new ideas of graphical user interfaces. Especially when you have to organise a number of documents you would instantly fall in love with this new idea:

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Threading in C#… a free eBook

“C# supports parallel execution of code through multithreading. A thread is an independent execution path, able to run simultaneously with other threads.”

You can grab the eBook “Threading in C#” as HTML or PDF on Joseph Albaharis website.


Source: http://www.albahari.com/threading/

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I guess… I guess I am wrong…


What happens when an API uses guessing to identify which character encoding is actually used in a text file:





  1. Open Notepad

  2. Type the text “this app can break” (without quotes)
  3. Save the file
  4. Re-open the file in Notepad


And the explanation: Notepad uses as windows system method called “IsTextUnicode()“. In the MSDN Library article on this method you can read:


“This function uses various statistical and deterministic methods to make its determination, under the control of flags passed in the lpi parameter. When the function returns, the results of such tests are reported using the same parameter.


The IS_TEXT_UNICODE_STATISTICS and IS_TEXT_UNICODE_REVERSE_STATISTICS tests use statistical analysis. These tests are not foolproof. The statistical tests assume certain amounts of variation between low and high bytes in a string, and some ASCII strings can slip through. For example, if lpBuffer indicates the ASCII string 0x41, 0x0A, 0x0D, 0x1D (A\n\r^Z), the string passes the IS_TEXT_UNICODE_STATISTICS test, although failure would be preferable. “


That simply means, that the method fails on detecting the correct character encoding. Aftermarket Pipes tells us:


“It actually runs a couple of heuristics over the first 256 bytes of the data and provides its best guess. As it turns out, these tests aren’t terribly reliable for very short ASCII strings that contain an even number of lower-case letters, like “this app can break”, “


Source 1: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/intl/unicode_81np.asp?frame=true
Source 2: http://apipes.blogspot.com/2006/06/this-api-can-break.html

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Windows Mobile 5 Starter Kits available…

“Windows Mobile Starter Kits are fully functional sample applications. Each sample is complete and contains its documentation, so you can get started right away.”

And the Starter Kits for Windows Mobile 5 is available for download. Featureing this three samples:

DexMobile, a game. A tabbed web browser and a today plugin that displays the mediaplayer status. Go and grab it and start coding.

Source: http://msdn.microsoft.com/mobility/windowsmobile/howto/starterkits/default.aspx

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Persistence of Vision is not only a raytracer…

Yesterday I wrote about the bike mounted POV display. And today? Well. It’s a real huge display:

“Spin uses Persistence of Vision to create the illusion of a cylindrical
digital display (computer screen), 12 feet tall and 12 feet in diameter. Vertical
columns of multi-color LED (light emitting diode) clusters spin around a vertical
axis at 90 revolutions per minute. At a radius of 6 feet, they move at 41 miles
per hour. 2880 LEDs are turned on and off by a computer in precise synchronization
with the rotation of the columns, creating the illusion of a cylindrical digital
display. Spin has a vertical resolution of 16 pixels (picture elements), each
of which can display one of 8 colors. As horizontal position is determined by
time in Spin, the horizontal resolution is theoretically infinite, but for the
sake of data manipulation efficiency it is be limited to 360 pixels all the
way around the cylinder.”

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IIS6 and Apache syscall graph

SanaSecurity created these two graphics:



Apache syscall graph


IIS6 syscal graph

What’s this? You may ask…it’s an API dependency graph of the current Apache webserver and the current IIS webserver.

As some people try to interpret those graphics to the favor of their loved one. I cannot see anything discussable about these graphics, so I leave it to you to just enjoy them as they look quite nice 🙂

Source: http://www.sanasecurity.com/

1 Comment

Microsofts Robot Invasion

“Microsoft is challenging developers worldwide to create conversational robots, or BOTs, for MSN® Messenger and Windows Live™ Messenger. The most original, useful robots collect $40,000 in total prizes.”

“Robots or “BOTs”, are software programs that you can add to MSN® Messenger and Windows Live™ Messenger. If you add a robot to your contact list, it can chat, give you customer service support, perform searches, make suggestions, play games and more.”


Source: http://www.robotinvaders.com/main/Default.aspx

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