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Archive for category Work
“A number of amateur astronomers and Space Station enthusiasts regularly take photos as ISS rises above the horizon in westerly direction and sets towards the East. In response to a recent article on this website, you sent us some of your ISS images. A selection of your photos is presented below.”
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)
3: byte outbytes = new byte;
4: int headersize = 12+4*((b >> 0) & 0x0f);
5: Array.ConstrainedCopy(b, headersize, outbytes, 0, inlength - headersize);
6: inlength = inlength - headersize;
7: return outbytes;
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)
“Whether Microsoft virtualization technology is an important component of your existing infrastructure or you’re just a Virtual PC enthusiast, you can now download Virtual PC 2004 Service Pack 1 absolutely free. Microsoft is also offering the free download of Virtual PC 2007, with support for Windows Vista in 2007.”
The 2007 version of VPC is not available yet and of course the Mac version is not available for free.
Wait until the case modding scene finds out about that… color changing heatsinks…omg!
“Eclipse is a single event heat reactive basecoat that changes from Black to White or from Blue to White. Eclipse can be sprayed through any standard paint equipment.”
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 “
The americans managed to crack…well they call it different but the fact remains that they cracked the PRN codes of the european global non-military positioning system called “Galileo”
“Because GPS satellites, which were put into orbit by the Department of Defense, are funded by U.S. taxpayers, the signal is free — consumers need only purchase a receiver. Galileo, on the other hand, must make money to reimburse its investors — presumably by charging a fee for PRN codes.”
“Microsoft Private Folder 1.0 is a useful tool for you to protect your private data when your friends, colleagues, kids or other people share your PC or account. With this tool, you will get one password protected folder called ‘My Private Folder’ in your account to save your personal files. Download and have your private folder today!”
Source: Download Link
“The “theory of reality” that I advance on this website and in the book “Imagining the Tenth Dimension” is not the one that is commonly accepted by today’s physicists. Anyone wanting to know more about the currently established thinking behind string theory and the tenth or eleventh dimension should refer to such excellent books as “Parallel Worlds” by Michio Kaku, “The Fabric of the Cosmos” by Brian Greene, or “Warped Passages” by Lisa Randall.
I invite you to think of this as an entertaining diversion that for some people will have a strong and thought-provoking connection to their impression of how the world really works. If you click on “The Forum”, you will be taken to a page that gives readers an opportunity to debate the concepts presented in the book and this website more fully. Enjoy!”
See you there.
What these guys created is just stunning:
Hmm…did you ever wonder why your network access is so slow? Have you ever experienced some kind of “network-hickup”? Did your pc ever smell strange? Well you would like to check the cableing:
We had a great campfire and I played again with my Powershot… here is the High Dynamic Range campfire:
UPDATE: I added the full resolution versions of the HDR pictures.
During FIWAK I had the chance to play a bit with a Canon EOS 20D. It’s proper DSLR and you can do many great things with it. All the pictures below where done without a tripod. As you can see there are a few ghost pictures but less than I expected in that mode. Nevertheless my Canon PowerShot A400 is better for panoramic views – the EOS is way to big and heavy, you surely need a tripod to do proper panoramic views whereas you can do quite good panoramic views with the A400 without a tripod.
After last years FIWAK, FeM is back in the forest. This year with even more hardware, even more people and even more tents.
The first lecture starts in just a few minutes so stay tuned for more news on the FIWAK 06.
Source: FeM FIWAK Homepage
“The .NET framework provides a powerful class
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
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”
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:
A couple of months ago we got us a Canopus ProCoder 2.0 educational version. Because we, well had to convert a shitload of MPEG2 and DV movies into several different formats. And because Canopus is telling us that their product is by far the best you could probably get on this planet, we were in.
There is a free demo version available which does not require the red glowing, blue plastic HASP hardware USB dongle key’i thing we got with the full version. Those kind of dongle stuff is really nasty. First of all it bugs you right after you got your Windows started up with an error message, just because you probably haven’t plugged the dongle in. The point here is though: Why checking this at the system start, why not when ProCoder 2.0 is started. And heck! Why a dongle key’i thingy anyways?
ProCoder 2.0 has a neat little feature, the only feature why I would use ProCoder personally, which is called “Watch Folders”. You take a ProCoder 2.0, set it up to watch a folder on a network storage or anywhere you like, and after you setup’d some target movie formats it’ll start to convert everything that appears in those Watch Folders and transcodes it to whatever you configured as a target. Great feature!
But here comes the dongle right back in: You need to go to the server room, find your powerful number crunching server park and stick the… well dongle… into… great. After you recovered from the headache and tinnitus (dramatisation!) you got your ProCoder “server” up and running. The point here is: Why all that fuss with that dongle usb stuff. What’s wrong with serial numbers which are necessary anyway for ProCoder 2.0? Piracy can’t be the answer here. Maybe they want to pretend that it’s worth even a dongle, like AutoCad was back when we called our operating systems DOS.
So back to the Canopus ProCoder 2.0 test: After the setup it comes in two different flavours: The fast and the furious, called “Canopus ProCoder 2.0 Wizard” and the all-inklusive one, called…you get the idea.
So first of all let’s cover the Wizard because the workflow of the Wizard is likely the same as in the ProCoder 2.0.
Step 1: Welcome dude!
oh there it is…Watch Folder!… but we want to convert a single file…
Step 2: Load a Source
I used the current Halo 3 Trailer for demonstration…it’s a WMV HD.
Step 3: Set Source In and Out Point
You can specify where the movie starts and where it ends. So you have some kind of cut-editing capability…well not really. I flinch from calling it cut-editing actually.
Step 4: Advanced Settings
Well Canopus things that Crop-Settings are advanced. But hey, there is a “Select Settings” button which opens a dialog where you can specify alternat audio, specific aspect ratio and so on. Nothing to yell about there.
Step 5: the fantastic and well thought of… ProCoder 2 Wizard Wizard (!!!1!)
Why hasn’t anybody else thought of this before? Use a wizard for the wizard. A master to teach the apprentice. A … oh well, it’s nothing special really. Because if you choose to use it just another dialog box comes up:
Step 6: Select Target
Tricky decision here. We want it HD!
Step 7: a question of format.
[don’t forget to put some text here]…
Step 8: High Definition Format…
Again the very tricky format decision. Rather than recommending a format you have to choose. I did not try what’s going to happen when my source has 29,97 fps and I select 25 fps here (or the other way around). Canopus says ProCoder can do a 3:2 pulldown. Great…
Step 9: Saving your file
Save the day.
Step 10: Job Summary
In the end the wizard sums everything up and you can press some more advanced output setting buttons. And if you’re done, you click “Convert”, finally.
And the evil boffins in your number crunching server park are starting to convert your source movie into whatever target you selected. If it doesn’t do this. Well you will never know why it didn’t do it. Because Canopus choosed to not use any error messages or logging. You can be lucky if you get a dialog box telling you that it just won’t do it. In 9 out of 10 cases it just wasn’t telling anything.
It’s not particularly slow. In fact, if you just transcode something and you’re not using any additional filtering it’s as fast as any other transcoding tool (which come sometimes without dongles, you might have heard that).
So that’s quite everything what’s to be told about the Canopus ProCoder Wizard. Finally let’s take a look at the one feature I love: Watch Folders.
So let’s fire up the ProCoder 2 (watch out to have the dongle plugged in!):
I just want to say something about the GUI of ProCoder 2. About GUI design in general. And I want to start with a simple question: What is wrong with standard system controls?
Why are many software companies are writing their own scrollbards, buttons, dialogboxes, tabs. Why can’t they just use the system wide available ones? The ones that actually work. The ones that draw correct on any machine. The ones that I’ve never seen blinking or be drawn incorrect. In case of Canopus ProCoder 2.0 the custom-made scrollbars sometimes even disappeared and you could see that they where just drawn above the system scrollbars. You software companies. If you take an advice from me: stick to doing the user software and leave the multi-purpose GUI elements to the operating system.
Back to ProCoder 2 and to the precious Watch-Folders. If you click on the “Watch” button you get this dialog box:
Nothing really to write more about than: Everything is intuitive and works out of the box. Select a folder. Select a target. And you’re done. It just works as promised. And if you’re in luck and your movies are in a format that ProCoder 2.0 can read without hassle it even will work with your movies.
The target in this case, if you are curious, is a pre-configured format specification. You can use the wide variety of available pre-configured targets, or you can configure your own. (this is quite tricky and not so intuitive)
Since there’s nothing to complain about the pre-configured formats you are certainly not going to have much fun setting up very very custom things. Like the time when I wanted to just setup my own MPEG-4 target. Which isn’t that easy because when you select the MPEG format you only can choose from MPEG-1/2 formats. Or the other time when I wanted to do it in H.264. That format is available, but you have to find it. It’s deeply burried into the third dialog-layer.
In the end you get quite a good transcoding application with this neat Watch-Folder feature. You also get an awfully rubbish GUI with no error messages at all. If something goes wrong you’ll never know why.
In our case everything went fine and in only one case in my testing I found something that the Windows DirectShow could decode but ProCoder 2.0 could not. I really recommend it for video encoding servers. It’s one of it’s kind when it comes to that discipline and the money is well spend.
“C# supports parallel execution of code through multithreading. A thread is an independent execution path, able to run simultaneously with other threads.”
I am playing with my camera and that’s what resulted today…
For the next picture my apologies…I just don’t have a tripod…
What happens when an API uses guessing to identify which character encoding is actually used in a text file:
- Open Notepad
- Type the text “this app can break” (without quotes)
- Save the file
- 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”, “
I don’t own a 600 Euro digital camera. Mine was cheap and does the job well so far. And now I’ve found something more to play with. I like to do panoramic views, as you might have mentioned before. But the technique I am now discovering is far more interesting. It’s called High Dynamic Range imaging.
Here’s an excerpt of the wikipedia article on that subject:
Since it’s night here at the moment I could only experiment in the dark, where my camera creates, beside dark pictures, very much picture noise.
So, what to do, you may ask. Well grab a camera where you can control at least the exposure time. Than take at least 2 (the more the better) pictures with different exposure times. I started with 3 pictures per HDR image. As you can see above:
When you have those pictures you need a software to combine them to an HDR image. There are many sites that can provide such tools, I recommend hdrsoft.com. They provide a tool called “Photomatix” which is specialized on HDR imaging. If you have a Photoshop CS2 available, well, that will do the job as well. Just go to the “File->Automate->Create HDR” dialog.
If you downloaded the tools, throw the pictures inside and let the magic happen. You get a 16 or 32 Bit per pixel image. You can control the exposure and saturation, the white and the black levels and so on. To save the picture as a standard-JPG like I did, you have to do some Tone-Mapping. Photomatix can do that as well.
Expect more on that subject here tomorrow. Then with some pictures of the sunny nature…well if there is sun tomorrow…Till than: Enjoy the HDR images I’ve got so far:
First the 3 source pictures:
And then the HDRI:
First the 3 source pictures:
And then the HDRI:
Source 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_dynamic_range_imaging
Source 2: http://www.hdrsoft.com
“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:
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.”
We like surveilance cameras, don’t we? Well sort of: Only if we can use them for fun purposes. Dalini sent me the link to this great piece of having-fun-technology:
- Full range frequency scanning from 900-2520MHz
- 2.5 Color TFT high resolution monitor
- Full range video protocol auto switching for PAL/NTSC, CCIR/EIA
- Dual internal power (4 x AA batteries not included)
- External power supply
- Auto and manual scanning mode
- LCM indicator shows the frequency allocation and setting details
- Alarm signal out put for more extended applications
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 🙂
Although there seems to be an interesting side of mathematics (well, beauty is on the eye of the beholder) I am not so sure that everything else is as interesting as these great pictures, entirely created from mathematical algorithms by Peter Miller.
Especially for our reply2all team…:
Wow this looks awesome compared to any holographic display technology I could take a look on to this date. Now I do know what 50 Gbytes of storage space could be useful for…
“Invented by Tibor Balogh, these flat panel “holo TVs” are capable of displaying images in 3-D — or so it seems.”
As of this weekend the beta version of ActiveSync 4.2 is available for download.
“Microsoft ActiveSync provides a great synchronization experience with Windows powered PCs and Microsoft Outlook right out of the box. ActiveSync acts as the gateway between your Windows powered PC and Windows Mobile powered device, enabling the transfer of Outlook information, Office documents, pictures, music, videos and applications from your desktop to your device. In addition to synchronizing with a desktop PC, ActiveSync can synchronize directly with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 so that you can keep your e-mail, Calendar, Notes, and Contacts updated wirelessly when you’re away from your PC.”
No change-log so far. So please try for yourself on a non-production machine with a non-production Windows Mobile device. Thank you.
“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.”
Tomorrow the US TechEd takes off. If you cannot attend personally you can attend it virtually.
Microsoft hosts a website called “Virtual TechEd” where you can watch talks and keynotes via streaming video.
Beside watching the talks you can listen to the TechEd radio livestream.
Source 1: http://virtualteched.com/
Source 2: TechEd radio livestream
Virtually silent and vibration free, quietrevolution is ideally suited to both urban sites and exposed locations.
The simple and robust design (patent pending) has just one moving part, maximising reliability and minimising maintenance requirements.”
Vertical-axis wind turbines not only look very sci-fi, but when you add LEDs to the border of the turbine you can use them as a display:
So I leave you with a patent pending revolution which produces power and is virtually silent…whatever that means.
MSDN Wiki site experiments with ways we can integrate community
contributions into the Visual Studio 2005 and .NET Framework 2.0
documentation.This is phase one. On
the current site you can add content and edit other people’s
contributions in a wiki-like fashion around the official
Microsoft-authored docs.In the future we want to take this further by allowing people to edit the Microsoft-authored docs directly.Let us know what you want to see!”
— Molly Bostic, MSDN Wiki PM
Hurray! The MSDN has it’s own wiki… I personally really like the wiki idea, when it’s used properly. So let’s hope it is used properly in this case.
technologies being delivered as part of the product. The .NET Framework
3.0 is still comprised of the existing .NET Framework 2.0 components,
including ASP.NET, WinForms, ADO.NET, additional base class libraries
and the CLR, as well as new developer-focused innovative technologies
in WPF, WCF, WF and WCS:
In den heutigen, von Terrorgefahren verunsicherten Zeiten, passen sich die Menschen auch an ganz unerwarteten Stellen den Gegebenheiten an.
Aus dem aktuellen Statistik-I-Übungsskript, Aufgabe 20:
“Unter den 20 Passagieren eines Charterfluges befinden sich zwei Bewaffnete, die das Flugzeug entführen wollen. Zehn Passagiere werden zufällig ausgewählt und genau untersucht. Wie groß ist die Wahrscheinlichkeit dafür, dass die beiden Bewaffneten unentdeckt bleiben?”
Na dann, frohes Rechnen…
We invite you to be among the first to experience the clarity that Windows Vista can bring to your world. The Windows Vista Customer Preview Program makes a pre-release edition of Windows Vista Ultimate broadly available to the public for the first time.
This version now is time-limited:
“Windows Vista Beta 2 (and RC1) is time-limited, pre-release software that will expire on June 1, 2007.”
You can also order Beta 2 and RC1 DVD kits there.
A 1.6l Ford Focus is quite fast indeed. It screams at you: SHIFT! SHIFT NOW!… I would have shifted if there was another gear left…
So our test-drive 6509 is setup-and-going in the local
junk server room. As you can see the room is obviously used for two different purposes. On the one hand it’s a windowless central network service point…and on the other it’s… oh dear…take a look for yourself:
When you come closer…you see…:
And to raise some pulses -a module listing:
Mod Ports Card Type Model Serial No.
— —– ————————————– —————— ———–
3 48 CEF720 48 port 10/100/1000mb Ethernet WS-X6748-GE-TX xxxxxxxxxxx
4 24 CEF720 24 port 1000mb SFP WS-X6724-SFP xxxxxxxxxxx
5 2 Supervisor Engine 720 (Active) WS-SUP720-3B xxxxxxxxxxx
7 6 Firewall Module WS-SVC-FWM-1 xxxxxxxxxxx
Mod MAC addresses Hw Fw Sw Status
— ———————————- —— ———— ———— ——-
3 0000.0000.0000 to 0000.0000.0000 1.0 12.2(14r)S5 12.2(18)SXD7 Ok
4 0000.0000.0000 to 0000.0000.0000 2.3 12.2(14r)S5 12.2(18)SXD7 Ok
5 0000.0000.0000 to 0000.0000.0000 4.4 8.1(3) 12.2(18)SXD7 Ok
7 0000.0000.0000 to 0000.0000.0000 3.0 7.2(1) 2.3(4) Ok
Mod Sub-Module Model Serial Hw Status
— ————————— —————— ———— ——- ——-
3 Centralized Forwarding Card WS-F6700-CFC xxxxxxxxxxx 2.0 Ok
4 Centralized Forwarding Card WS-F6700-CFC xxxxxxxxxxx 2.0 Ok
5 Policy Feature Card 3 WS-F6K-PFC3B xxxxxxxxxxx 2.1 Ok
5 MSFC3 Daughterboard WS-SUP720 xxxxxxxxxxx 2.3 Ok
Oh…something that raised our pulses… a 6513 in one of the other Network Service Points…yummi:
At the moment the ahzf and cosrahn are playing with the machine…so more stuff is definitly to come soon.
I have to quote:
“You end up with a console with half the triangle setup rate of the 360, a crippled CPU that is a bitch to program, and tools that are atrocious compared to the 360. To make matters worse, you have an arrogant set of execs telling us that twice the price is worth it for half the power, a year late. If it isn’t already too late, Sony had better do something about this recto-cranial inversion or it may very well sink the console.”
Source 1: http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=32171
Source 2: http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=200449#200449
If you not have known yet: Mentos and Cola is a great combination for some explosive fountains.
There’s a short video you shouldn’t miss on that:
As of today the 6bone IPv6 testbed is phased out…
The 6bone was established in 1996 by the IETF as an IPv6 Testbed network to enable various IPv6 testing as well as to assist in the transitioning of IPv6 into the Internet. It operates under the IPv6 address allocation 3FFE::/16 from RFC 2471. As IPv6 is beginning its production deployment it is appropriate to plan for the phaseout of the 6bone. This document establishes a plan for a multi-year phaseout of the 6bone and its address allocation on the assumption that the IETF is the appropriate place to determine this.”
I really like the new Office UI. And I especially like it when it’s used in future development applications. Great!
“I promised that I would deliver the new Office UI that NStatic uses this morning. Unfortunately, I am currently redoing the icons on the ribbon, so you’ll have to wait another day or two. For now, I’ll give you a partial glimpse.”
Source: .net undocumented
When you played and enjoyed the LucasArts Adventure “Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis” then this is great news for you:
“Fountain of Youth is a fan-made adventure game by a team of both Indiana Jones and computer game enthusiasts. A playable demo has been in development and has experienced quite a few delays, but is expected to be available soon – and the design of the full game, (after much revamping) is nearly complete – for development to begin by Fall 2005.
The project has been running almost 5 years, and has suffered several major setbacks. This website contains information about the game we are developing plus information on the developers, screenshots, downloads and much, much more. Just use the navigation bar on the left to find your way around.
We’ve had thousands of offers for translations of the game, thanks!!! Its great to have so much interest and help to hand (believe me, we will contact a lot of you – there’s lots of languages!!) If you CAN offer a translation we are very greatful – but please wait for the release of the demo before you decide how well a translation you can provide 🙂
We also hope to send out free DVD-cased editions of the demo and full-game once they are available to anyone who donates enough to cover the shipping. We also hope to create a special boxed edition of the game with a printed manual in the future.”
There is a demo available and the full game is expected soon.
Of course every single one of you knows how to do this: connect to a 802.1x network with Windows Vista (beta 2 in this case). But I just want to give you a short slideshow of how it’s done:
I got the new Community Server platform up-n-running now on slow-backward.de. But with the help of the dasBlog developers I am able to tweak dasBlog a little bit for speed. You should have noticed a dramatic improvement on front-page loading-times…