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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
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:
allocate my inbox and obtain a listing of messageIDs
get the complete messages out of my inbox
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…)
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
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.
Source 1: e-book
Source 2: demos
Maybe he’s just stupid…
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…
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.
“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.
“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
…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!”
“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
… 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 :-/
Hmm.. maybe you would have missed it:
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…
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…
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
We finally had the time to get to the FIWAK 07. I made these pictures:
Source: FeM Blog
Since my girlfriend has a turtle website she often stumbles upon turtle related websites… just like this one:
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.
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:
… 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:
… remember when I had the exact same location pictured before in Project Gotham Racing 3:
“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!!!
Today FeM did one important part of the preparations for the ISWIsion TV and radio shows. More in a few days…
I can remember that from a CES Keynote in 2006 or even 2005…in your face apple!
It’s available now!
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:
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
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.
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!”
“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
Der zweite Video-Podcast von den Gadget-Geeks ist da.
I did not write about that one time when Sony made the mistake to use a Project Gotham Racing 3 Screenshot in their advertisements for Gran Tourismo:HD (the PGR3 thing is a racing game by Microsoft exclusively for the 360 and GT:HD is the Sony exclusive racing game). They pulled it just hours after it went up and we all had a good laugh.
Oh… it looked like that:
Just today the car maker KIA decided to start his PS3 related marketing campaign. And guess what? Someone did it again. They used a PGR3 screenshot in a Playstation 3 advertisement.
Have a look:
There we have it: Two advertisements for the Playstation 3 doing all the same: Advertising the fact that you’ll better buy a 360. Priceless.
Do it again Sony, Kia, or whoever would like to make my day…
“Gadget Geeks” is a new video podcast show made by some guys from Berlin. Just wanted to point you to that Give it a try.
P.S.: this is episode 0. Hopefully that does not mean that they’re going to argue why they did not start with episode 1 in the next episodes…
P.P.S.: I like the Schäuble picture
P.P.P.S.: Oh… what about more… NOT OSX specific stuff? It’s not as if there are no OSX only podcasts available…
It seems that tomorrow “Lascif Corpse” going to do a gig in Ilmenau and I want to encourage you to see them live on stage in the BI-Club(admission is 2€ reduced /4€ full).
If you cannot drop by you also can tune into the live stream the FeM Streaming Team is going to send out over the intertubes. Yes that’s right: the complete concert is available through a live stream.
Tune into the live stream around 2200 CEST and watch a great concert…
Until that go to their mySpace site and listen to some songs…
Source 1: http://www.lascif-corpse.de/
Source 2: http://bi-club.de/
Source 3: http://www.myspace.com/lascifcorpse
Source 4: mms://streaming-internet.fem.tu-ilmenau.de/bi-club
Yeah you probably know that: You got the idea, you start the coding and you stop at that same point you stopped last time because you run out of talent. It’s that art thing you’re not into. I for myself have to admit that I cannot draw. Well to be precise I can draw technically but nobody every recognized what I was drawing so I suppose …
Well to make a point: Someone who can actually draw took a heart and created what a person like me wanted for years: A proper tile set for prototyping.
The author wants to tell us this:
“The PlanetCute set attempts to wiggle past many of those problems.
- Building blocks, not tilesets: Instead of having complex tilesets, each block stacks nicely with pretty much any other block. If you can understand Legos, you can understand how to put together these graphics. These tiles should be useful to children, not just uber-elite game gods.
- Standardized format: All the graphics are uniform sized PNGs. The graphics will also work in almost any graphics engine out there that can do 2D sprites. Once you get your offsets right once, you never have to change them again.
- Source files included: If you do need to make changes, I’ve included the source files. If you really need to change a color, go for it. If you need a big gem, just scale up the original. Everything is a vector so you’ll alway end up with clean results.”
And yet it does look very very good:
You can grab them and:
“The next time you make a prototype, use these graphics. If you can reduce the time you spend on futzing with graphics from 40% to 5%, you can put more time into those fun game mechanics you’ve been dreaming about. The magic is that your graphics will now look good enough to get you through the first 15 seconds of your demo. Your friend will perk up and stay engaged long enough to give you feedback all the wonderful work that you’ve put into your prototype.”
To complete this article: They are available as pixel graphics and Silverlight/Expression compatible .design files…hurray!
I was forced to do other things yesterday evening when my friends of FeM e.V. decided to take out their big-ass tv and play a some WiiSports on a house…
Of course that little game had a purpose: They wanted to test if the Sanyo projector is bright enough for the upcoming drive-in cinema season…
You can read more (in german however) on the official FeM blog.
…it’s also the name of a german transport company. I saw one of these trucks several times but I never had a camera handy. This time an informant sent me this picture:
thanks to THINK for the picture.
The trailer for this years FIWAK is done:
Oh joy! Seems like ahzf took out an ad and guess for what? Yeah, for our unfriendly neighbourhood Herr S..
Oh you could search for this…or for “Tino Seeber”
After about a week of “thinking about it” she bit the bullet and got herself a Nokia 5300. She wanted to have something that has some dedicated buttons for music playback control and she needed a new mobile phone. So the 5300 seemed the perfect match.
She wanted to sync her new phone with our Mac so we had to look for something that would allow that to happen. Apple iSync does not support the 5300 out of the box but there are several plugins available on the intertubes. One of them is free and does the job just like all the other ones that need to be bought. It’s called “iSync-Plugin 2.4″ and is available here. Just grab it, drop it to the ~/Library folder and restart iSync. iSync should now recognize the phone…just like it did in our case:
Just about a month and Forza Motorsport 2 hits the shelves. I cannot wait!
This is the tv-commercial:
Video: Forza 2 TV spot
This post is more of a reminder for myself. I need to remember that obviously great multi-track audio application that just became available.
“Ardour is a digital audio workstation. You can use it to record, edit and mix multi-track audio. You can produce your own CDs, mix video soundtracks, or just experiment with new ideas about music and sound.
Ardour capabilities include: multichannel recording, non-destructive editing with unlimited undo/redo, full automation support, a powerful mixer, unlimited tracks/busses/plugins, timecode synchronization, and hardware control from surfaces like the Mackie Control Universal. If you’ve been looking for a tool similar to ProTools, Nuendo, Pyramix, or Sequoia, you might have found it.
Above all, Ardour strives to meet the needs of professional users. This means implementing all the “hard stuff” that other DAWs ( even some leading commercial apps ) handle incorrectly or not at all. Ardour has a completely flexible “anything to anywhere” routing system, and will allow as many physical I/O ports as your system allows. Ardour supports a wide range of audio-for-video features such as video-synced playback and pullup/pulldown sample rates. You will also find powerful features such as “persistent undo”, multi-language support, and destructive track punching modes that aren’t available on other platforms.”
I wrote about geomerics approach on realtime radiosity lighting less than a year ago. They now have something to show and be proud of: Enlighten is there and they are working on porting it to the 360 and PS3.
Watch what’s possible:
Oh damn. So Apple said that Leopard – the next iteration of OS X – is coming in October instead of spring. I planned buying a macbook early this year but now I have to wait … Damn! I wanted to reorganize my hardware…
To make one thing clear: I do not buy a macbook because of OS X. I am buying it because it also runs Windows. Diversity is a good thing. I currently already own a PowerPC mac just because I wanted to see what all the fuss is about two years ago.
I had a talk yesterday about Windows Vista for developers. You can grab the slides here:
FeM e.V. – which translates into “Forschungsgemeinschaft elektronische Medien e.V.” which then translates into “research community for electronic media” – is now officially 10 years old. Happy Birthday!
And to celebrate this birthday there will be some great events:
25.04., 2100h: iSTUFF – FeM Geburtstagssendung (Public Viewing im BC-Club – entrance free!!!)
26.04., 2100h: hfc Sondervorführung – “12 Monkeys” (Helmholtz-Hörsaal – entrance free!!!)
28.04., entrance 1930h – starts 2000h: Spezial Chillout Lounge (Mensa der TU Ilmenau – entrance free!!!)
Source: FeM e.V. blog
I finally made it!
I tried for more than 2 years to get this done: A new design and layout for this website. And now it’s finally done!
I hope you enjoy the new colors and elements like the nice tagcloud there. Feel free to tell me what you think!
I did some research and some tweaking on the servers that are hosting schrankmonster yesterday. I hope your experience is faster now.
Well I always wanted to have something like that: An archive for old versions of software. Comes in very handy. Did you know that an old version of Winamp only takes 0.5mbytes of your memory to do the job?
“Sometimes upgrading to a newer version can be a good thing. Other times, your computer may not be compatible with the new version, the new version is bloated, or all the options you liked are no longer available. OldVersion.com has been supplying the online community with old versions of various programs since 2001. The service is utilized by thousands of users every day and has been featured in newspapers and magazines as well as on radio and television.”