Aus dem Archiv…

Beim Aufräumen kamen mal wieder einige interessante Sachen zum Vorschein:

26.11.1942, kurz nachdem die Sowjets die 6.Armee in Stalingrad einschlossen (hier natürlich nicht so dargestellt)

19.11.1976, Honecker auf Staatsbesuch in Guinea-Bissau

10.11.1989, die erste Wende-BILD

12.11.1989, die erste Wende-BILD am Sonntag

Ein Nachtrag zum Fernsehprogramm von 1989:

Damals liefen noch keine Talkshows, aber dafür die Lindenstraße um 18.40 Uhr, Transformers im Nachmittagsprogramm und Apocalypse Now am Abend. Aber ansonsten hat sich seitdem nicht viel geändert.

Jens Heymann

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uhh… me wants that coffee table…

FeM is in need of one… for more than two years now… maybe this will do the job? It’s bright, nerdy and cat-compatible (needed for keeping certain Mr. S’s out of the office)

Source: http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/tablekits

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it’s Talk like a Pirate Day, arrr!

“Once upon a time — on June 6, 1995, to be precise — we were playing racquetball, not well but gamely. It wasn’t our intention to become “the pirate guys.” Truth to tell, it wasn’t really our intention to become anything, except perhaps a tad thinner and healthier, and if you could see our photos, you’d know how THAT turned out. As we flailed away, we called out friendly encouragement to each other -“Damn, you bastard!” and “Oh, jeez, my hamstring!” for instance – as shots caromed away, unimpeded by our wildly swung rackets.

On this day, for reasons we still don’t quite understand, we started giving our encouragement in pirate slang. Mark suspects one of us might have been reaching for a low shot that, by pure chance, might have come off the wall at an unusually high rate of speed, and strained something best left unstrained. “Arrr!,” he might have said.

Who knows? It might have happened exactly that way.

Anyway, whoever let out the first “Arrr!” started something. One thing led to another. “That be a fine cannonade,” one said, to be followed by “Now watch as I fire a broadside straight into your yardarm!” and other such helpful phrases.

By the time our hour on the court was over, we realized that lapsing into pirate lingo had made the game more fun and the time pass more quickly. We decided then and there that what the world really needed was a new national holiday, Talk Like A Pirate Day. “

Source: http://www.talklikeapirate.com/about.html

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free Racing Simulation to promote the new BMW M3

BMW just released a free racing sim for your Windows PC. It’s based on the same GMotor 2 Engine that poweres GTR 2 and RFactor.

m3challenge

Source: Downloadlink

2 Comments

a replacement software for your UMTS/3G card…

With every UMTS/3G card comes a tool that tracks your connection information, your traffic and everything… and it looks like this for a Vodafone UMTS card:

That’s not even close to cute and well useable. So someone took the task and created this:

screenshot3

A small tool that is compatible with almost any available UMTS/3G hardware on earth and has these features:

tiny executable: 0.3 MB, very little CPU load

  • permanently displaying:
    • up- and download speed in kBytes/s, used data volume in kByte (with round option), used online time (with round option), mode of operation UMTS(3G)/GPRS, signal strength in percent and dBm, network name and cell id (if provided by pc card), homezone status
  • movable mini window with information display:
    • sitting on the task bar, at upper screen border, in front of the start button, as dynamic tray icon with gauges
  • warning when exceeding data volume or online time
  • optional beep output for signal strength,network change and cell change
  • manual or automatic selection of network and mode
  • optional warning when using not listet networks
  • determination of receivable networks
  • retrieve and charge prepaid credit
  • automatics:
    • start/terminate connections,start extern programs such as Browser or Ping, reconnect after errors/freezes, generate network entry, dynamic com port determination
  • adjustable connection error tolerance
  • connection test by “smart Ping”
  • SMS reception can be activated
  • PC remote-control by SMS
  • SMS transmission by batch job
  • logging of data volume and connection information
  • connection statistics as semigraphics
  • timer for program end or shutdown
  • deactivate graphics compression (some networks)
  • scriptable
  • service terminal for data card commands
  • shows data card netlocks
  • service log for data card control communication
  • for Windows 2000/XP/Vista/embedded

And the best of all is that this is a freeware tool. Unfortunately it’s not available for OSX.

Source: http://www.mwconn.com

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WLAN’s Labyrinth

So the Telekom finally managed to bring DSL to my home region. Immediately new stuff was bought to establish a WLAN-network inside the house. When I went home of course I wanted to add my laptop ( a Medion MD 41100, 4 years old) to the net to gain access. But after never having used the WLAN-functions before (yes, there are such people…) no one could know that this would end up in such tremendous trial and error.

The router was a Speedport W 900V and working. It took me about an hour to find the add-new-user-option in the router-menu. After filling in the MAC of my Intel PRO/Wireless LAN 2100 card and creating a new WLAN-connection I was ready to go but nothing happened (yet).

Speedport W 900V

From now I tried several ways to get it done:

1. Get your drivers updated

This was strongly recommended because my card didn’t know the WPA-coding yet, only the older WEP-standard. OK, done. Now I was able to type in some data required by the router. But still no connection.

2. Get your Windows updated

Somewhere I read that there is a support-patch for WPA by Microsoft. Downloaded and installed. Still no access.

3. Use the cards firmware

Intel programmed a software called Intel PROSet for doing some adjustments if needed and adding a new connection which I did. But again without any success.

Here an important thought crossed my mind: Maybe the card is deactivated (The problem had to be clearly somewhere in my laptop because I was using another one for researching in the Internet, so there was a WLAN available and it was working.).

Some clues:

PROSet-configuration (hardware deactivated)

Tray-icon (no network, no connection, transmitter OFF)

Good! So I narrowed down the problem. But how to activate the transmitter?

4. Try the Windows-network-configuration

Many options but nowhere the one I was looking for.

5. Try the firmware

Look above to the PROSet-configuration image: The option to activate the transmitter is simply disabled. Hmm…

6. Try the tray-icon

No, not here.

7. Check your BIOS

Yes, there is a WLAN-entry. But my Phoenix-BIOS has only two modes: card always deactivated on every start or card activated only if activated prior to the system shut-down. So no solution here.

8. Remove the card from your profile

Done and the same as before.

9. Deep-looking in windows

As you know there is a life under the desktop. Typing in %systemroot%\system32\services.msc brought up a nice menu about the systems local services. Here you look for network-connections as follows:

The way to start already has been “automatic”. OK.

10. Look for a hardware-button

Some of you might mention here that this could have happened much earlier: simply looking for an activation-button. And you are right, this button exists. However, pressing it changed nothing.

The solution:

The hardware-button proved to be a good hint. Next I checked the program for controlling the programmable buttons (EzSystem).

Hey, there is an option for WLAN. Activated and one system restart later it was like it was before: the card still deactivated. Then I checked out the directory of this EzSystem-Software.

wbutton.exe –> nothing happened

wirelesscontrol.exe –> peng! WLAN activated and access to the Internet.

Finally it worked. Let’s review it: Obviously you cannot activate WLAN neither through Windows nor the cards firmware; you need a third party’s software. This is (in my opinion) a very weird way.

So I guess that simply some links between components got lost and you have to re-engineer that. A hard task, especially if you have formatted the harddisc right after the purchase, do not knowing anything anymore about the original state and with the support disc hundreds of kilometers away.

Jens Heymann

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this is what Flip3d should have been…

Switcher is the name of the tool that is available since some months and if you ever used Flip3d in Windows Vista you maybe know what it means when I say: Switcher is the Flip3d that should have shipped with Vista.

There are several usability issues with Vistas built-in Flip3d, take a look:

feat_UX_09

First of all you just don’t see the content of the windows… then you don’t see their name… then… who came up with that layout?

Compare that to the UI of Switcher:

switcher-1984-1

Neat, isn’t it? Try it, love it.

Source: http://baostuff.spaces.live.com/default.aspx

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Windows Eventlog Client/Server Application to monitor your servers…

When I first saw a review of “Microsoft Windows Home Server” I was impressed by several features. One that I never thought about is that little icon on each Home Server client that shows you the overall status of your home network:

128073458_b451f2821f

This little icon can look like this, depending on the status:

128073457_f5531306fb

As you can see – it’ll give you a clean and fast status by telling you that everything is okay on your network or that anything needs your, maybe immediate, attention.

I am administrating round about 12 Windows servers and I always looked for a clean and easy to use tool to monitor them. So I came up with a plan: Build my own tool.

Since I am extensivly using Windows Communication Foundation in the last weeks I was intrigued to try it on that matter. So I built a WCF selfhosting service that makes the eventlog of the machine it is running on available. Then I built a small client that fits nicely in your tray. I am not quite done yet but it’s a good start.

vs_overview_eventlog

As you can see. There is the Host, running on the server and making all Eventlogs of this machine available. Then there is “SmallClient” – being exactly this: a small client for testing purposes only. And thirdly there’s the EventLogClient – giving you the full blown user interface…

This is how it looks when you add a server to the client:

eventlog_sources

And this is how it looks when you configure a filter:

eventlog_filters

I thought it would be nice to have this workflow:

  1. configure/add the server and select the eventlog that you want to monitor
  2. create and configure a filter that is matched upon the particular eventlog source

For the icons (see above) I used one of the icons from the Tango Icon Gallery as a starting point and added some color and stuff.

So why do I even talk about all this? I want YOU to take the code and use it…add more functionality…I am releasing the code(except the icons) under the BSD license. So you can do almost whatever you want with it – but I would love to hear about the things you’re doing with my code and idea.

You can download the sourcecode of my little project here. (200 Kbytes)

Source 1: Home Server Homepage
Source 2: http://tango.freedesktop.org/Tango_Icon_Gallery
Source 3: Sourcecode.

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Olive is WCF for Mono.

Finally someone started to port the Windows Communication Foundation to Mono. That’s great news because the only thing that keeps some of my newest works from running under anything different Windows is the WCF.

monoolive

“Implementing peer-to-peer (P2P) communication was the main objective. WCF ships, by default, with predefined bits for making P2P connections in an easy way, being possible to build services which hosts a mesh of nodes (a node represents a potential client), taking care of everything related to registration of new nodes, message flow over the mesh, etc.”

You can get the plan as pdf here.

Source: Mono Olive

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Beim ersten Mal (Film-Review)

Da habe ich sie also gesehen, DIE Komödie des Jahres. Tolle Kritiken hier und in Übersee, dazu hohe Einspielergebnisse an den Kinokassen. Vermutlich werden die Preise auch nicht lange auf sich warten. Nur – ich verstehe absolut nicht, warum.

Alle, die sich diesen Film ansehen wollen und eine heftige Komödie erwarten, sollen gewarnt sein. Der Humor ist überwiegend (sehr) tiefsinnig, und wenn er mal brachial herauskommen will, kann man damit nichts anfangen. Ganze Szenen ergeben irgendwie keinen Sinn (ja ja, Charakterentwicklung) und im Kinosaal herrschte dementsprechend minutenlang bedrückte Stille. Sicher funktioniert der Film an sich, aber für mein Verständnis nicht als Komödie, sondern eher als etwas aus der anspruchsvollen Romanzenecke.

Wer also richtig ablachen möchte ohne schwerdrückenden Realismus, der ist bei einer Komödie wie demnächst “Chuck und Larry” garantiert besser aufgehoben.

Jens Heymann

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Beware of the serial (port) killer

Uhh it seems that someone got hold of a power cord … and did a bad bad thing:

IMG_7858

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Rote Thai Krabben

Wir haben uns vor kurzem 2 rote Thai Krabben gehohlt.

IMG_7744

Das Weibchen “Isabell”

IMG_7740

Das Männchen “Gregor”

Wir haben im moment als Landteil “nur” eine Wurzel. Der qm Styropor, das Epoxidharz und der Sand für den neuen Landteil liegen schon bereit. Wenn er fertig ist gibts natürlich Bilder von dem Bau und dem Ergebnis.

Source: http://blueturtles.schrankmonster.de

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Team Foundation Server 2008 final Feature List

vs2008

The Team Foundation Server 2008 Feature list is finalized and available… read it here:

“Administration, Operations & Setup

  • Share Point 2007 support
  • Enable use of Sharepoint on any server and any port
  • Support for MOSS 2007
  • Enable support for Reporting Services on any server and any port (new) (RTM)
  • Support for SQL Named Instances – This will allow customers to share a SQL server between multiple TFS instances, or with other applications. This has been a commonly requested feature by enterprises.
  • “Longhorn” server support – TFS will support the next version of the server (and corresponding new version of IIS) that is currently under development.
  • Sync Large Groups – This is a set of work to improve the performance and robustness of TFS’s handling large groups of users (~30,000 or more) granted permission to a TFS instance. Today this can result in a support call to recover from it.
  • Non-default ports – We’ve gotten a bunch of feedback from enterprise customers about TFS’s limited support for alternate web sites and ports running afoul of data center policies. We are going to be improving TFS’s configurability in this respect in Orcas.
  • Simplify installation – In Orcas, we will be doing a variety of things to attempt to make installing TFS easier and quicker than it is now. Improvements include eliminating the separate data-tier installation, simplifying the requirements around required domain accounts by supporting the built in machine accounts (like Network Service) where we can, etc.
  • Official testing and support for more configurations – This includes clustering, mirroring, log shipping, Virtual machine deployment, and more.
  • Support for client certificates
  • Upgrade from TFS 2005
  • Support for SQL 2008 (aka Katmai) (new) (RTM)
  • TFSDeleteProject now permanently deletes (destroys) version control content (new) (RTM)
  • New role for many operations activities (new) (RTM) – You don’t have to be server administrator to run many of the admin utilities any longer.
  • Enhancements to tfsadminutil (new) (RTM) – New capability to configure accounts, connections, etc on both TFS and the TFS proxy.

Build (more detail)

  • Support multi-threaded builds with the new MSBuild.
  • Continuous Integration – There are many components to this, including build queuing and queue management, drop management (so that users can set policies for when builds should be automatically deleted), and build triggers that allows configuration of exactly how when CI builds should be triggered, for example – every checkin, rolling build (completion of one build starts the next), etc.
  • Improved ability to specify what source, versions of source, and other build properties.
  • Improved extensibility of the build targets – such as ability to easily execute targets before and after each solution/project is built.
  • Improved ability to manage multiple build machines.
  • Stop and delete builds from within VS.
  • .NET Object model for programming against the build server.
  • Simplified ability to specify what tests get run as part of a build.
  • The ability to store build definitions anywhere in the version control hierarchy.
  • Scheduled builds – You can schedule builds to happen at specified times.
  • Improved build agent communication – We replaced .NET binary remoting with WCF web services, simplifying some configuration and security aspects.
  • Ability to run GUI tests as part of a build – Automated builds used to run tests in such a way as to prevent access to a GUI desktop.
  • New checkin policy for broken CI builds – Preventing checkin while the CI build is broken.
  • Support for HTTPS communication to the TFS server (new)
  • Continuous Integration build checkin policy (new)
  • Support for incremental gets and builds (new)

Data Warehouse

  • Add support for checkin policy overrides to the warehouse – an oversight from V1.

Migration

  • Migration toolkit – A toolkit for building conversion and mirroring solutions between TFS and other systems. In addition, we will release one or more new tools to integrate with popular alternative systems.

Version Control

  • Annotate – This is based on the TFS Annotate Power Tool but includes numerous improvements.
  • Folder Diff – Also based on the TFS Tree Diff Power Tool with numerous improvements.
  • Destroy – The ability to permanently delete version control files/folders from TFS. It can also be used to destroy the file contents while preserving the change set history.
  • Get Latest On Checkout – There have been many requests for this feature (which was a change in behavior from SourceSafe). There is now an option that allows you to specify that you want TFS to download the latest version of files when you check them out.
  • Workspace improvements – Workspaces will now support mapping a folder or file under a cloaked folder and wildcard mappings so that you can map all files in a folder without mapping sub folders. Based on experience with large projects, this will simplify workspace definitions for many people.
  • Performance improvements – A variety of Version Control performance enhancements that will improve virtually all aspects of version control performance. The gains for smaller servers/projects (< 10,000 files) will be modest. The gains for larger projects (particularly where the file count approaches 100,000’s) will be substantial.
  • Scale improvements – Fixed out of memory problems on the server when operating on more than a few hundred thousand files at a time.
  • Offline improvements – We’ve signficantly improved the experience going offline and integrated the tfpt online capability into the IDE for going back online.
  • Extranet support for the TFS Proxy – allowing you to access a local TFS proxy with a different set of credentials than the TFS server.
  • Command line help – You can now type “tf command /help” and get a console dump of the usage of that command. This is much more convenient than always being launched into the richer GUI hypertext help when you just want to remember what the options for a command are. You can still launch the GUI help by running “tf msdn”. You can get a console dump of available commands by just typing “tf help”.
  • Source Control Explorer refresh improvements – This includes less redrawing and reloading but even more important it enables updates based on changes made in other instances of TeamExploror or the command line. That’s right, if you checkout a file from the command line, any instances of TeamExplorer you have running on the same machine will automatically refresh.
  • Async loading of the Source Control Explorer (new)
  • The SCE local path can now be selected and copied (new)
  • Merge improvements (new) – Improved the logic that detects merge conflicts to generate fewer false positives and handle more scenarios.

Work Item Tracking

  • Performance & Scale improvements – A variety of improvements that will make both the work item server and client faster and able to handle larger servers.
  • Query builder usability improvements – Drop down filtering based on current project, better MRU lists, column drag & drop, shift-click mouse based multi-column sorting, etc.
  • Attachments improvements – Save button, drag & drop for adding an attachment, multi-select for attaching files.
  • Tooltips on field names contain the field name used for querying
  • Server side support for deleting work items & work item types – We didn’t have time to do client UI support for it but we plan to release a Power Tool that will take advantage of the new server side feature.
  • Support for security on the iteration hierarchy (new)

Web Access

  • Adding Web Access UI to TFS – As you’ve seen many places, we acquired devBiz and their TeamPlain Web Access product. We are releasing it as a Power Tool in the next few months and plan to release it as an official product in the Orcas timeframe. We have not figured out how the release date will line up with the Orcas date but it will be in the same general timeframe.

Bug fixes

  • In addition to all of the feature work, we’ve spent months testing the product and fixing any bugs we’ve found. We expect Orcas will have even better stability and robustness than TFS 2005.

Compatibility (no change since last time)

As Orcas is an adoption focused release, we have put a lot of emphasis on compatibility with VS2005. We are striving for near 100% compatibility. The Orcas client will be able to work with a VS2005 server and a VS2005 client will be able to work with an Orcas server. There are only a few compatibility issues.

  • Client side VS add-ins will need to be recompiled (or have policy changed) because the TFS OM assembly versions will change and add-ins will need to bind to the new assemblies. The APIs themselves are generally not changing, so we don’t expect much in the way of code changes – just recompilation.
  • Build is the only area where we plan to have some compatibility disconnects. In general, most build operations – listing build definitions, starting and stopping builds, examining build reports, etc. will work both with 2005 client -> Orcas server and Orcas client -> 2005 server. However, here are a few caveats:
    1. An Orcas TFS server will only work with an Orcas build server – so you’ll need to upgrade your build server when you upgrade your TFS server.
    2. For an VS2005 client to start a build on an Orcas server, the build definition needs to be stored at $//TeamBuildTypes/. In Orcas, you have more flexibility as to where to put them.
    3. Changes made to properties in the .proj file that are in the database in Orcas will not be updated in the database and will no longer be in sync.
    4. VS2005 will be able to start a build, but it can’t queue a build, see the list of builds in the queue, see the list of build agents, etc.
    5. An Orcas client will not be able to create a new build definition on a TFS2005 server.
    6. When starting a build, an Orcas client will not be able to change any parameters in the dialog for a TFS2005 Server.”

Source: http://blogs.msdn.com/bharry/archive/2007/08/08/final-tfs-2008-feature-list.aspx

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When things seem to take forever…

I just started the formating of a 3 Tbyte truecrypt volume which is located on a Promise Vtrak m500i connected via 1 Gbit/s iSCSI…

when_things_seem_to-take_forever

This is some serious big truecrypt volume, isn’t it? (at least today it is…)

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some panoramic views from the CCCamp07

Ahzf took some pictures… coooooool:

3CCCamp2007-ahzfp03

Source: blog.ahzf.de

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FeM at the Formula Student FSG07 Event at the Hockenheimring

Everybody needs more than one job these days and so does FeM. One team at the Chaos Communication Camp 07 and one at the Hockenheimring, recording and live streaming the events.

You may ask what “Formula Student” is…:

formula_student

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

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

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

9ac8e20f0e
Overview map of the event

As soon as the Live-Streams are available I will keep you updated…

Source 1: http://www.formulastudent.de

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Wer möchte gerne Spieletester werden?

Die Koch Media GmbH sucht ab sofort Studenten und interessierte für Testvorführungen neuer Video- und Computerspiele:

kochmedia

“Wenn Sie bereit wären, natürlich gegen eine kleine Gegenleistung, die Entwicklung eines neuen Spiels (plattformunabhängig) zu verfolgen und zu beeinflußen und dies auch mehrmals in den kommenden Monaten machen würden, melden Sie sich bitte unter der Telefon-Nummer: 089-24245196.”

Source: http://www.kochmedia.de

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CCCamp 2007 streaming overview…

As ususal here’s the schematic overview of the things behind the curtain:

CCCamp-Drawing

Source: http://www.implementierungsdetail.de/index.php?n=Main.TeamStreaming

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Chaos Communication Camp 2007 – watch the livestreams FeM is broadcasting

Once again FeM is recording and live streaming a Chaos Computer Club event. The Chaos Communication Camp starts today and you can watch everything live:

“The Chaos Communication Camp is an international, five-day open-air event for hackers and associated life-forms. The Camp features two conference tracks with interesting lectures, a workshop-track and over 30 villages providing workshops and gettogethers covering a specific topic.”

Chaos Communication Camp 2007
The International Hacker Open Air Gathering
8|9|10|11|12th August 2007
Finowfurt near Berlin, Germany (Old Europe)

“You can participate! Bring your tent and join our villages. The Camp has everything you need: power, internet, food and fun. The 100.000 square meter areal features enough space to camp, cozy places to hang out and a nice pool and lake to swim and do nautic experiments.”

vlcsnap-2146979

There are two lecture halls called “foo” and “bar”:

Live Stream (WMV) “foo”
Live Stream (WMV) “bar”

Of course like at every CCC event you can grab an up-to-date schedule called “Fahrplan” here. The only thing I did not mention yet is the FeM-Village Wiki page…oh well..done 🙂

Source 1: http://www.fem.tu-ilmenau.de
Source 2: http://events.ccc.de/camp/2007/Streams
Source 3: http://events.ccc.de/camp/2007/Fahrplan/
Source 4: http://events.ccc.de/camp/2007/FeM_Village

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today (at least) one 360 died

There was this update. My 360 died right after it. Well: Coincidence?

IMG_7842

The support / repair experience is quite good so far – besides the fact that I have to get a coffin by myself and that they won’t add the lost Xbox Live Subscription Time to my account….

Now this is my second 360 that craps out. If you want to know what happened in 2006 to my first 360 go here.

Source: http://www.schrankmonster.de/PermaLink,guid,944f2bb2-696b-48fb-b06a-d8734f5a6f44.aspx

2 Comments

Software Transactional Memory

I am currently involved in a very interesting project which utilizes a massive load of threads and in-memory data structures. The downside if this is of course: how on earth do I make that thread-safe?

Along the journey I stumbled upon Ralf Westphals thoughts and code on that matter. Ralf comprehensively writes about a technology called “Software Transactional Memory“. “What’s that?” you may ask. And here’s the answer provided by the wikipedia:

“In computer science, software transactional memory (STM) is a concurrency control mechanism analogous to database transactions for controlling access to shared memory in concurrent computing. It functions as an alternative to lock-based synchronization, and is typically implemented in a lock-free way. A transaction in this context is a piece of code that executes a series of reads and writes to shared memory. These reads and writes logically occur at a single instant in time; intermediate states are not visible to other (successful) transactions. The idea of providing hardware support for transactions originated in a 1986 paper and patent by Tom Knight. The idea was popularized by Maurice Herlihy and J. Eliot B. Moss. In 1995 Nir Shavit and Dan Touitou extended this idea to software-only transactional memory (STM). STM has recently been the focus of intense research and support for practical implementations is growing.”

It seems that this different approach to in-memory data management could a solution for most of the difficulties I and maybe you might have with thread safe programming. Even better: it make the code easier to read and is completely written in C#.

Since I am still in the evaluation phase if or if not to use the NSTM implementation, I will keep you posted on that matter in future updates.

Source 1: http://weblogs.asp.net/ralfw/archive/tags/Software+Transactional+Memory/default.aspx
Source 2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_transactional_memory
Source 3: http://www.codeplex.com/NetSTM

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Using the Exchange 2007 Web Service for Mail retrieval…

exchange07

So here’s the problem I had: There is an Exchange 2007 server I am forced to use for some of my daily work and that’s where the problems start: Due to the work of some evil geniuses there’s a load of user and security policies associated with that server. That’s not a problem per se: It’s just that things like “forward all mails to this account” don’t work. You have to use Outlook Web Access or the heavyweight Outlook to get to your mails… Till today I had an Outlook 2007 running on my private IMAP mailserver machine just for the purpose of downloading all the mail from the Exchange server to the local harddisk. I had setup a client-rule to copy all the mail to my IMAP server but despite the fact Outlook is running on the exact same machine as the IMAP server it just did not work for more than 1-20 messages… connections were lost and stuff screwed up. So I had to move all the messages manually (Select-All -> Drag-n-Drop onto the IMAP folder inside Outlook) which took me quite some time each month.

Two days ago I read an article where namenlos wrote about his journey with his employers Exchange server. He wrote a Python script that did the job for Exchange 2003 by using the WebDAV features. These features unfortunatly are deprecated in the current 2007 release of Exchange. So I decided to write a tool in C# that does the trick and uses the brand-spanking new Exchange 2007 Web Service.

The Exchange 2007 SDK is a wasteland to say the least when it comes to documentation. It took me some time and a good search engine to get to something useful out of it. But I think it’s worth the pain: When you got over the first annoying steps you’ll just like me will start to love the possibilities this Web Services give you.

In my case I am using the webservices to do these things:

  1. allocate my inbox and obtain a listing of messageIDs
  2. get the complete messages out of my inbox
  3. reformat the messages and send them via smtp to my own mail server

What I’ve written is not feature complete (as in: no attachements, …) but it’s a great and working start and does the 3 point-trick from above quite well. I will refine the code and add the missing features (e.g. attachements and stuff) in the future… or maybe you are faster than me. In that case it would be well appreciated if you send me your code/a link to the code (find my email in the sourcefile…)

code
get the code here. (90 kbytes)

Source 1: http://blog.slash-me.net/archives/235-fetchmail-fuer-MS-Exchange.html
Source 2: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa562613.aspx
Source 3: http://www.schrankmonster.de/content/binary/Exchange2IMAP.zip

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free Windows PowerShell e-book

There’s an interesting Windows PowerShell e-book available for free download. You can grab the e-book and the associated demos at Microsoft Switzerland.

powershell_ebook

Source 1: e-book
Source 2: demos

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Bluescreen on your arm…

Maybe he’s just stupid…

Source: http://modblog.bmezine.com/2007/07/26/best-windows-tattoo-ever/

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Skype scares me…right now.

I had a Skype call today with a colleague and we came across the remaining 1,40 Euros on his SkypeOut balance… As many of you will know this SkypeOut balance is limited to 180 days. So when you’re not using it for 180 days it’ll be deactivated. We didn’t know this at that very moment we just talked about it what would happen.

And minutes later this happens:

I did not do anything with skype. I did not search on skype.com nor did I do anything else except talking about the subject with my colleague over skype. And there it is: The information we just talked about… you have to do a call once every 180 days to keep your SkypeOut activated…

Am I a bit to paranoid on that matter? It just matches a bit too well … and that would explain why Skype is using that much CPU cycles while calls are made…

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what would you do with a brand new CISCO 6509 ? Right. Have a tea break on it.

Oh well. Just after the 43 thousand Euro pile-of-metal arrived some of our office-technicians just thought: It’s tea time, we got a new toy, would that blend?

So they got the tea set and the digital camera out:

We don’t just think of our new hardware as the core equipment of a enormous network. We think of it… well… in a different way.

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

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Visual Studio "Orcas" 2008 Beta 2 is publicly available…

Hmmm… yummy.

“Orcas” represents a major evolution for Visual Studio and our suite of .NET languages. Who better to talk about what’s new in “Orcas” than our friends S. Somasegar (Everybody calls him Soma), VP of the Developer Division (the group that makes all of our development technologies), and Scott Guthrie, General Manager and one of Microsoft’s most prolific employees (now a senior manager, but he keeps his hands in the technologies he and team build and innovate).”

Get the video and all here.

Source 1: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/aa700831.aspx
Source 2: http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=329443#329443

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Echochrome… just for the PC and right now.

“OLE Coordinate System is trompe-l’oeil interactive software that enables characters to wander along blocks and staircases in impossible ways. While M.C. Escher is famous for his “trick of the eye” works, this piece enables users to create and experience their own Escher-esque worlds. Examples of such animation expressions are: character movements based on a 2D interpretation of attached blocks which are not contiguous in three-dimensional space; falling motions on a single plane, etc. You don’t have to do anything special to create “trick of the eye” images like these. The user just clicks to position the block, staircase or character and change the angle.”

For a better understanding, look at the pictures and the video:

Source: OLE Coordinate System

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Ze Germans are on the road….

…on their journey to Mongolia…

“Ze Germans …are coming! We’re taking on the Mongol Rally 2007. 13.000 kilometers, 5 mountain ranges, 2 deserts, some of the worst roads in the world and all this in car most people wouldn’t trust to get them to the local shops.”

And as of today they are on the road doing the rally:

“If you read this after about 8am, then we are on the road and on our way to London. Thanks to Mirko, all our SMS Updates will also be posted here, so stay tuned! And for God’s sake, wish us luck!”

Source 1: http://www.mongolrally.de/
Source 2: http://mongolrally.theadventurists.com/

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sitting on the Roundtable…

FeM is in need of a decent conferencing system for years now. And it seems that there’s something really cool showing up in the next days. As of now Microsoft is going to put it’s Roundtable on sale.

“Microsoft RoundTable is a very cool videoconferencing system featuring 360° panoramic views powered by its 5 built-in cameras.”

“The RoundTable actually installs two USB camera devices. The first is the Active Speaker which uses the RoundTable’s 6 microphones to locate where in the room the active speaker is and then focus one of the 5 cameras onto that person. I suspect it may actually use 2 cameras to focus on a person, since it always appears that the speaker is “centered” which probably would require at least 2 camera images and then the images are “spliced” together, processed, and then transmitted over the USB cable. The second USB camera device is the panoramic camera which combines the 5 camera images into a single panoramic image.”

Source: Roundtable Review

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If you have dropped connections in Vista…

… you’ll probably can solve this problem by activating your integrated Firewall.

It seems that Vista just like Windows XP SP2 enforces the same stupid so called “worm restricting measure”. To make it short: If you disabled the integrated Windows Vista Firewall you’ll have a connection limit. And you probably will run into this limit resulting in strange network behaviours, dropping VPN connections and so on.

Beside activating the integrated Windows Firewall you can disable the TCP/IP “Autotuning” feature:

Click on the Start menu and type cmd in the search box. Type CTR+SHIFT+ENTER to tell the command prompt to open with elevated privileges.
In the command prompt window, type netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disable and hit Enter
After getting the OK returned in the command prompt window, restart to activate the change.

Way to go when it comes to networking :-/

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Channel 8 starts next week…

Hmm.. maybe you would have missed it:

Source: http://channel8.msdn.com/

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workload rising…

Oh well…it’s getting more and more work in the last days. Since I cannot speak yet about the things I am doing lately I just can tell you it involves a trip to Vienna and a whole lot of coding work…

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Visual Studio Team Foundation Test Host crashed…

I wrote some test code for a project and after running that Test locally the Test Host process crashed. Oh well… seems I’ve written a Test for the Test…

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my talk: IP-TV at FeM-Net (german)

Today I had a talk about IP-TV in our local research network – a project I am involved in the past year. And since I did some of the legal and coding work (YAPS) I was the one who wanted to talk about it the most…

First here’s the slidedeck:

The talk was recorded and you can watch it as soon as the post-production team has finished working on it – I’ll keep you posted.

Source: Slidedeck as PDF

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FeM FIWAK 2007 started…

We finally had the time to get to the FIWAK 07. I made these pictures:

Source: FeM Blog

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Turtle Kamasutra

Since my girlfriend has a turtle website she often stumbles upon turtle related websites… just like this one:

Source 1: http://www.lostgarden.com/turtle_main.htm
Source 2: http://blueturtles.schrankmonster.de

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I just finished a paint job on my new car…

Look what I got here:

Painted from scratch just with the original game as a guideline. I’ll put some of these up in the auction house soon. So keep an eye out for them… Any sort of comment is appreciated.

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how (almost) everything works at ISWIsion

Namenlos wrote about how almost everything is held together at this years ISWI technically. Well he even draw something neat to look at and say “Look, that we did!”

“Die Audiostrecke wird mittels 6 Behringer Ultragain Pro-8 Digital ADA8000 aufgebaut. Diese Geräte nehmen 8 Kanäle Audio via XLR entgegen und setzen die auf eine ADAT-Verbindung über ein TOS-Link-Kabel um. Da die TOS-Links nur 10m weit gehen hängt an jedem Behringer ein ADAT-Extender, der das ganze gleich auf Glasfaser umsetzt. So kommt der Ton vom Studio zur Regie und zurück. Zusätzlich liegen noch 5 Strecken Video (so ein Fernsehsender ganz ohne Bild is ja auch nix.). Zum Abschluss verteilt in der Fischerhütte nochmal ein HP Procurve 2524 ein bischen Netz an die Surfterminals und die Leute vom ebenfalls dort beheimateten L.i.g.h.t. Projekt.”

And then deka came and created another drawing of the Live Streaming infrastructure:

Source: http://blog.slash-me.net/archives/225-ISWISION-2007-hat-begonnen.html

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another Forza Motorsport 2 panoramic view

New York this time… hmmm looks sweet…

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Forza Motorsport 2 arrived…

… it seems that there people at the Nürburgring do have a problem with tree decimation… the over one year old Project Gotham Racing 3 Nürburgring had significantly more trees…

This is the Forza Motorsport 2 Nürburgring:


(Forza Motorsport 2)

… remember when I had the exact same location pictured before in Project Gotham Racing 3:


(Project Gotham Racing 3)

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ISWI 2007 is NOW!

Today ISWI starts for the ISWIsion and ISWIradio team!!

From June 1st to 10th, a group of approximately 50 students of the university daily presents a TV show about this get-together with all its events and participants. Most of them are members of the student broadcast station called iSTUFF, a department of the Forschungsgemeinschaft elektronische Medien e.V. (FeM e.V.).
The ISWIsion studio is located in the Fischerhütte at Langewiesener Straße 22. The former glass manufactory is being remodeled into our media centre for the traditional ISWI. All shows will be broadcast live and in English via internet stream, campuscable on channel 3 and – for the first time – via DVB-T on channel 23 in the whole city zone of Ilmenau.”

You can get the always up-to-date schedule here.

ISWIsion starts in a few minutes…check it out via live stream!!!

Source 1: http://www.iswiradio.de/
Source 2: http://www.iswision.de/

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FeM moves in.

Today FeM did one important part of the preparations for the ISWIsion TV and radio shows. More in a few days…


the ISWIsion Broadcast Center entrance

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Microsoft Surface

I can remember that from a CES Keynote in 2006 or even 2005…in your face apple!

Source: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/317737_msftdevice30.html

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Gadget Geeks episode 2

It’s available now! 😉

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ISWI – ISWISION Radio and FeM DVB-T parts coming together…

There’s something great going to happen this summer. After the great experience we had with the DVB-T TV Station of the Maintech guys at the 23c3 Achim decided that it would be great to have such a DVB-T TV Station for FeM e.V.. He went through the hassle of getting a license and organized the needed hardware. Today one of the important parts arrived… but first a teaser:

Yes! FeM is going to broadcast 24 hours a day from June 2nd to 10th the ISWISION and ISWIradio via DVB-T on channel 23 (490 Mhz). Today the antenna arrived… this thing is humongeous:

Achim wants me to shout out to the partners of this DVB-T FeM e.V. project: Maintech GmbH and SR-Systems. Consider that done.

If you want more information stay tuned on technology-ninja. In the meantime you can read the press feedback:

Forschungsgemeinschaft elektronischer Medien e. V. veranstaltet erstmals Ereignisfernsehen

Anlässlich der traditionellen Internationalen Studentenwoche Ilmenau 2007 (ISWI 2007) wird die Forschungsgemeinschaft elektronische Medien e. V. vom 1. bis 10. Juni erstmals Ereignisfernsehen veranstalten. Im Stadtgebiet von Ilmenau wird das Programm als DVB-T-Signal (Terrestrial Digital Video Broadcasting – digitaler Fernsehempfang über Antenne) ausgestrahlt. Zu sehen sein werden Live-Sendungen aus der Fischerhütte in Ilmenau, Übertragungen von Veranstaltungen sowie eine Sendeschleife mit Veranstaltungshinweisen und Wiederholungen. Zusätzlich wird die DVB-T-Frequenz genutzt, um das Programm vom Ilmenauer Studentenfernsehfunk und von Radio hsf zu verbreiten.” (Press release, Thüringer Landesmedienanstalt)

Source 1: http://www.fem-dvb-t.de/index.html
Source 2: http://www.fem.tu-ilmenau.de/index.php?id=69
Source 3: http://www.maintech.de/
Source 4: http://www.sr-systems.de/
Source 5: http://www.tlm.de/tlm/aktuelles_service/presse/index.php?pm_id=272

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now nothing can go wrong this summer… Club-Mate delivered

This is just one of the 40 bottles now in my possession. They’ll probably will last just a few weeks but this time somethings different!

Thanks to the heroic work of some there’s now a distributor in Ilmenau for Club-Mate. That makes is a whole lot easier to get the beloved stuff.

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Student Technology Conference 2007

We spent the last two days in Duisburg attending the Student Technology Conference 2007.

“From Software Architecture, User Interface and Robotics to Games Development with the XNA framework: in use and brand new technologies of the IT – industry will be presented and demonstrated at technologically advanced level. Microsofts Student Technology Conference is the perfect opportunity to engage with potential employers and to get in touch with Microsofts .NET technology. Additionally the German Finals in Microsofts premiere technology competition, the Imagine Cup 2007, will have its final in the Software Design invitational right here!”


the keynote


view from our hotel room…nice, eh?

Source: http://www.studentconference.de

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the solution for the Windows Vista Event ID 4226 problem (TCP/IP security limit)

“Apparently in Windows Vista, Microsoft still enforce and hard-limit (hard coded in tcpip.sys) the maximum simultaneous half-open (incomplete) outbound TCP connection attempts per second that the system can make, as in Windows XP SP2, in order to protect the system from being used by malicious programs, such as viruses and worms, to spread to uninfected computers, or to launch distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). When the limit is hit, in Event Viewer, there will be such an entry:”

How to fix that and the needed tools can be read and downloaded here.

Source: Patch for EventID 4226

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the second episode of gadget-geeks is available…[german only]

Der zweite Video-Podcast von den Gadget-Geeks ist da.

Source: http://gadget-geeks.de/2007/05/19/gadget-geeks-episode-1/

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