Developing on a Microsoft Surface Table

At sones I am involved in a project that works with a piece of hardware I wanted to work with for about 3 years now: the Microsoft Surface Table.

I was able to play with some tables every now and then but I never had a “business case” which contained a Surface. Now that case just came to us: sones is at the CeBIT fair this year – we were invited by Microsoft Germany to join them and present our cool technology along with theirs.

Since we already had a graph visualisation tool the idea was to bring that tool to Surface and use the platform specific touch controls and gestures.

surface_visualgraph
the VisualGraph application that gave the initial idea

The good news was that it’s easier than thought to develop an application for Surface and all parties are highly committed to the project. The bad news is that we were short on time right from the start: less than 10 days from concept to live presentation isn’t the definition of “comfortable time schedule”. And since we’re currently in the process of development it’s a continueing race.

Thankfully Microsoft is committed to a degree they even made it possible to have two great Surface and WPF ninjas who enable is to get up to speed with the project (thanks to Frank Fischer, Andrea Kohlbauer-Hug, Rainer Nasch and Denis Bauer, you guys rock!).

surface_simulator
a Surface simulator

I was able to convice UID to jump in and contribute their designing and user interface knowledge to our little project (thanks to Franz Koller and Cristian Acevedo).

During the process of development I made some pictures which will be used here and there promoting the demonstration. To give you an idea of the progress we made here’s a before and after picture:

Surface_Finger2
We started with a simple port of VisualGraph to the surface table…

Surface_Finger
…and had something better working and looking at the end of that day.

I think everyone did a great job so far and will continue to do so – a lot work to be done till CeBIT! 🙂

Source 1: http://www.sones.com
Source 2: http://www.microsoft.de
Source 3: http://www.uid.com/

3 Comments

sones GraphDB Visualization Tool

We want to show you something today: Not everybody has an idea what to think and do with a graph data structure. Not even talking about a whole graph database management system. In fact what everybody needs is something to get “in touch” with those kinds of data representations.

To make the graphs you are creating with the sones GraphDB that much more touchable we give you a sneak peak at our newest addition of the sone GraphDB toolset: the VisualGraph tool.

This tool connects to a running database and allows you to run queries on that database. The result of those queries is then presented to you in a much more natural and intuitive way, compared to the usual JSON and XML outputs. Even more: you can play with your queries and your data and see and feel what it’s like to work with a graph.

Expect this tool to be released in the next 1-2 months as open source. Everyone can use it, Everyone can benefit from it.

Oh. Almost forgot the video:

 

(Watch it in full screen if you can)

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expect podcasts from sones :-)

Since sones will be at some community events, conferences and trade shows this year we thought it might be a good idea to have some hardware to document these events.

Since we wanted to have video and we did not want to cope with the rather complex subject of DSLRs we bought a full-hd-camcorder.

IMG_4669 Panasonic HDC-SD300

IMG_4672Touchscreen… hard to find anything without a Touchscreen these days.

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developing a command line interface for the sones GraphDB

As you may know, my team and I are developing a graph database. A graph database is a database which is able to handle such things as the following:

510px-Sna_largesocial graph

So instead of tables with rows and columns, a graph database concentrates on objects and the connections between them and is therefore forming a graph which can be queried, traversed, whatever-you-might-want-to-do.

Lately more and more companies start realizing that their demand for storing unstructured data is growing. Reflecting on unstructured data, I always think of data which cannot single-handedly be mapped in columns and rows (e.g. tables). Normally complex relations between data are represented in relation-tables only containing this relational information. The complexity to query these data structures is humongous as the table based database needs to ‘calculate’ (JOINs, …) the relations every time they are queried. Even though modern databases cache these calculations the costs in terms of memory and cpu time are huge.

Graph databases more or less try to represent this graph of objects and edges (as the relations are called there) as native as possible. The sones GraphDB we have been working on for the last 5 years does exactly that: It stores and queries a data structure which represents a graph of objects. Our approach is to give the user a simple and easy to learn query language and handle all the object storage and object management tasks in a fully blown object oriented graph database developed from the scratch.

Since not everybody seems to have heard of graph databases, we thought it might be a good idea to lower barriers by providing personalized test instances. Everyone can get one of these without the need to install anything – a working AJAX/Javascript compatible browser will suit all needs. (get your instance here.)

Of course the user can choose between different ways to access the database test instance (like SOAP and REST) but the one we just released only needs a browser.

standard_cli

The sones GraphDB WebShell – as we call it – resembles a command line interface. The user can type a query and it is instantly executed on the database server and the results are presented in either a xml, json or text format.

graphdb-webshell

Granted – the interested user needs to know about the query language and the possible usage scenarios. Everyone can access a long and a short documentation here.

Source 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_graph
Source 2: http://www.sones.com
Source 3: Long documentation
Source 4: Short documentation

2 Comments

sones GraphQueryLanguage and GraphDB Quick Reference

Since we all need documentation I thought it would be a great idea to create a one-pager which helps every user to remember important things like query language syntax.

You can download the cheatsheet here:

cheatsheet 

Download here.

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draw Sequence Diagrams by writing them on a website

Since we are developers we do need tools to note and draw what we think would solve the problems of this planet.

One way to draw a sequence of actions would be a sequence diagram. There are a nbumber of tools to draw them but now I came across a web service that would allow me to write my sequence diagram in a easy textual representation and then it draws the diagram for me. Great stuff!

webseqdiagram

Source 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequence_diagram
Source 2: http://websequencediagrams.com/

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Turning Linux ISO Images into bootable USB sticks

Today was Linux-Distribution-ISO-Install-Day. And it turned out that the only existing external DVD drive was fubar.

So what to do? We had a spare USB stick and it turns out that you can quite easily convert that USB stick into a bootable Linux-Distribution-Install-USB-Stick. Awesome!

Just download the tool called “UNetbootin”, start it and you can turn virtually any ISO Distribution Image into an USB Stick that boots and installs that ISO:

 screenshot

Source: http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/

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Windows 7 GOD Mode

godmode Create a new folder, rename it to:

GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

After hitting <return> the folder will be a shortcut to the Windows 7 Administration GOD Mode. Enjoy. (Thanks Damir)

Source: http://tomicic.de/2010/01/03/Windows7GodMode.aspx

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Happy New Year!

A new year started and it’s time once again for the best wished to all readers of this weblog.

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Source: http://www.kirstenpfad.de/2010/01/03/happy-new-year/

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Nine Inch Nails – another version of the truth – fan blu-ray release

“12 months,
a core team of dozens (with a network of thousands)
spanning 3 continents,
4 languages,
5 specialist teams,
countless sleepless nights…

It’s finally here.

Filmed in Sacramento, Portland, and Victoria by the Nine Inch Nails team, edited and produced by their fans, The Gift is a stunning work in 1080p High Definition video with 5.1 Surround Sound, multi-language subtitles, and artistically-driven ethics.”

You’re reading it right: the final production is ready to be downloaded. I am downloading it right now.

Capture

It’s a complete Nine Inch Nails live concert in full-hd. Free for all / Not for sale. Get it while it’s hot!

Source: http://thisoneisonus.org

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Frohe Weihnachten !!!

IMG

Wir wünschen frohe Weihnachten und einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr 2010.

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If you want to determine if your code is being compiled by Mono…

… you can use the “__MonoCS_” pre-processor flag.

mono-ifdef

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How to shut off Outlook 2007 Security Questions

I had the task to make my Outlook Task List appear on my iPhone. As everyone knows Apple did not do anything about todo lists or tasks on their phone… well there’s an app for that: Most of the task applications on the iPhone use Toodledos services to sync task lists with the desktop.

To sync the Toodledo service with the desktop you need another tool. This tool uses your Toodledo account and your locally running Outlook to sync between both. So this little desktop sync tool needs access to the Outlook data: This means you will maybe be bugged by Outlook that some program wants to have access to the data. You can allow it for a number of minutes but not forever.

Okay one solution would be to install appropriate antivirus tools to suit the operating systems security needs. Because this wasn’t a solution in my case I needed something more sophisticated to solve the problem.

Now that’s the point where “Advanced Security for Outlook” from MapiLab comes into play. This Outlook Plugin extends Outlooks Security Dialog and adds things like “always allow”:

security_outlook2

 

Source 1: http://www.toodledo.com/
Source 2: http://www.mapilab.com/download/

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small tool to filter iCal / iCalendar / ICS files

I am managing my appointments using Outlook on windows and iCal on OS X. Since I am not using any Exchange service right now I was happy to find out that Outlook offers a functionality to export a local calendar automatically to an iCalendar compatible ICS file. Great feature but it lacks some things I desperately need.

outlookg

Since I am managing my private and my business appointments in the same calendar, differentiating just by categories, I had a hard time configuring outlook to export a) an ics file containing all business appointments and b) an ics file containing all private appointments. It’s not possible to make the story short.

So I fired up Visual Studio as usual and wrote my own filter tool. I shall call it “iCalFilter”. It’s name is as simple as it’s functionality and code. I am releasing it under BSD license including the sources so everyone can use and modify it.

icalfilter_1

It’s a command line tool which should compile on Microsoft .NET and Mono. It takes several command line parameters like:

  1. Input-File
  2. Output-File
  3. “include” or “exclude” –> this determines if the following categories are included or excluded in the output file
  4. a list of categories separated by spaces
  5. an optional parameter “-remove-description” which, if entered, removes all descriptions from events and alarms

Easy, eh?!

Grab the Source and Binary here: https://github.com/bietiekay/iCalFilter

UPDATE: You can now access the source code on github! You can even add your changes!

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that’s a seriously huge display

While setting up a new machine I got this message:

hugedisplay

45056 x 19207 pixel… not that bad…

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Unser erster Presse-Artikel im heise Newsticker

Was für ein Tag. Nachdem wir vor ein paar Tagen nach viel harter Arbeit die “Technical Preview” unseres Babys “graphDB” gestartet haben hat nun auch der heise Verlag – namentlich die iX die frohe Kunde aufgegriffen und einen entsprechenden Artikel im Newsticker veröffentlich.

Wenn man sich auf jede Instanz die im Moment für Tester läuft ein Login geben lässt sieht das übrigends so aus:

hosting75instances

Wundervoll zu sehen dass die Arbeit von exzellenten Entwicklern entsprechende Würdigung durch Kunden erhält. Interesse ist gut und ich denke in Zukunft wird man noch viel von der sones graphDB hören!

Source: http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Objektorientierte-Datenbank-als-Webservice-866041.html

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One step closer to digital nirvana…

Thanks to a podcast I found a great software for my iPhone and iPod touch. It’s a small tool which does cost less than 3 Euro and it’s served by a server tool which runs on Windows and Mac OS X.

It’s called Air Video and it’s frikin’ awesome! ™

What you do is you install the server software and point it to all your directories / drives that might contain video material. You then take your iPhone and install the client app. If you configured the server to be available over the internet you can now connect from anywhere you want using a pass-pin (which is generated) and a password (which is set by you). And by “from anywhere” they mean “anywhere”. WLAN or 3g didn’t make any difference in my test. You start the client, point to a video file and most of the time you are asked if you a) want to directly play is (if the file is ipod-compatible) or b) if you want to live-convert it and play it (when the file isn’t compatible and needs to be re-encoded live for you) or c) if you want to add the file to a conversion queue which will off-line convert the video for you.

In terms of “finding your video” it does look like this:

Air Video

Simple, eh? Taping a video will bring up this screen:

IMG_0388

As I said – Play directoy, Play with Live Conversion and Offline-Conversion-Queue…

It did work with EVERY Video I tried. When I tried Full-HD Movies my serving PC wasn’t able to handle the load but everyhing in SD worked great which is perfect for me.

onwindows

Therefore I can highly recommend this tool – it really does work better than anything I’ve seen before.

Source: http://www.inmethod.com/air-video/index.html

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So what exactly is Microsoft Research doing?

I am proud to anounce that there’s a video publicly available which shows parts and projects Microsoft Research is working on currently. It’s great to see theses projects, concepts and ideas become publicly available one by one:

“Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer of Microsoft, presents “Rethinking Computing,” a look a how software and information technology can help solve the most pressing global challenges we face today. Part of UW’s Computer Science and Engineering’s Distinguished Lecture Series, Mundie demonstrates a number of current and future-looking technologies that show how computer science is changing scientific exploration and discovery in exciting ways. He discusses the role of new science in solving the global energy crisis, and answer questions from the audience.”

uwtv

Source: http://www.uwtv.org/programs/displayevent.aspx?rID=30363&fID=6021

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How to unleash the “Virtual WiFi” feature in Windows 7 in C#

Great stuff ahead – this is just the thing I would want to write if it’s not been written already. This tool is free and open source and it’s the perfect workaround for those usual cases when you want to download a podcast in your holiday and your apple branded device tells you “You can only download files up to 10 Megabyte over 3G connections” – You take your notebook, log into 3G, create a WiFi Hotspot with this tool and off you go.

“Over the last week some of you may have heard about Connectify. It’s an app that unleashes the “Virtual WiFi” and Wireless Hosted Network features of Windows 7 to turn a PC into a Wireless Access Point or Hot Spot. Well, I looked into what it would take to build such an app, and it really wasn’t that difficult since Windows 7 has all the API’s built in to do it. After some time of looking things up and referencing the “Wireless Hosted Network” C++ sample within the WIndows 7 SDK, I now have a nice working version of the application to release. I’m calling this project “Virtual Router” since it essentially allows you to host a software based wireless router from your laptop or other PC with a Wifi card. Oh, and did I mention that this is FREE and OPEN SOURCE!”

VirtualRouterScreensshot

“The Wireless Network create/shared with Virtual Router uses WPA2 Encryption, and there is not way to turn off that encryption. This is actually a feature of the Wireless Hosted Network API’s built into Windows 7 and 2008 R2 to ensure the best security possible.
You can give your "virtual" wireless network any name you want, and also set the password to anything. Just make sure the password is at least 8 characters.”

Source: http://virtualrouter.codeplex.com/

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Finally Aero Glas!

Hurray for VMWare! – I am using their products for years now – both private and on my job. It’s a blast to work with the Workstation and Fusion. Now they brought a major update to version 7 for VMWare Workstation and version 3 for VMWare Fusion. I upgraded my VMWare Fusion installation and finally the one feature that I missed the most on my Windows Vista and 7 virtual machines is available now: Aero Glas!

aeroglasOh… and it’s faster too 🙂

Source: http://www.vmware.com/de/products/fusion/index.html

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Forza Motorsport 3 arrived!

After a very very long wait finally Forza 3 arrived! The first panoramic view of a 1-series BMW in Forza 3:

forza_stitch

Finally a game where I can drive that car!

Source: http://www.forzaclans.com

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music of the weekend: Ladyhawke

Great find this weekend. I haven’t heard of Ladyhawke until Saturday. Now it’s the soundtrack of this weekend and the upcoming week!

ladyhawke

Great pop music with a touch of rock. Powerful and fast. One of my favourites in the album is “My Delirium” – a song that has a subtle feeling of the Cardigans song “My Favourite Game”.

Ladyhawke writes in her blog about it:

“I wrote the song a year and a half ago after days of no sleep due to terrible jetlag. I felt like I was going out of my mind. I was missing my friends and family back home, and I was basically living to hear my phone ring in hope that it would be one of them calling. So my delirium came out of me thinking I was going crazy from lack of sleep!

I always knew this song had the potential for a really imaginative video, considering the general theme of the song is me going crazy. So when I read the treatment sent in by the Frater guys, a duo of London based directors who specialise inanimation, I knew it was the one!”



Source: http://www.ladyhawkemusic.com/

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Microsoft Press offers a free eBook “Deploying Windows 7”

Just in time for the launch of Windows 7 Microsoft Press offers a free eBook download. These 332 pages are there to give you the essential guidance regarding topics like Planning the Deployment, actually Deploying the Platform and additional Applications, Migration, Windows PE and a ton of stuff I did not mention here.

deploying-windows-7

Source: Download

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If you ever needed Box-Shots of your product for a presentation…

If you – like us – need a picture of a shiny product box of a soon-to-be-released product for your presentation you may want to consider buying several tools to create such shots. But you can also just use a small tool and Windows Presentation Foundation.

There’s a great article on CodeProject where a almost everything is pre-set-up for our needs. And everything is written in C# – great stuff!

In action it looks like this:

sones-boxshot

Source: http://www.codeproject.com/KB/WPF/BoxShot.aspx?display=Print

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what would you do with 1 million frames per second?

This is just beautiful:

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newly found artist

Imogen Heap is obviously an artist I have missed in the past years. More precisely Imogen Heap is a singer-songwriter whose newest album just became available. I found it due to one very special song called “Bad Body Double” which was played in an episode of the tv show “Heroes”.

imogenheap-ellipse

Imogen Heap - Ellipse

Great thing is that it’s available right now. And it’s available in two flavours. You can have the single-cd version which holds all the great songs. And you can have the deluxe version which holds all great songs + the instrumental version of each song.

Great stuff! It seems I have to catch up some great tunes from this artist in the near future!

UPDATE: Before you need to buy that album, just listen to it first:

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Kürbisfest Altendorf 2009

Wir sind dieses Jahr nicht direkt auf dem Kürbisfest, das ja heute stattfindet, sondern bei der Kürbisnacht gewesen. Da kann man entspannter Kürbisse kaufen und kommt mit den “Kürbisbauern” auch leichter ins Gespräch um nach Rezepten oder dem Verwendungszweck der einzelnen Kürbisse zu fragen.

Es gab wieder unzählige Kürbisse in zahlreichen Farben und Formen:

IMG_9462

IMG_9466

IMG_9470

IMG_9471

IMG_9493

IMG_9495
Das ist doch mal eine Idee für den nächsten Weihnachtsbaum
IMG_9499

IMG_9500

IMG_9503

IMG_9505

IMG_9509

IMG_9512

IMG_9515

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Da kann ich nur zustimmen !!!

IMG_9590

kürbisfest-panorama

Source: dreikiel.de

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Jugendhelden

Es ist schon extrem erstaunlich was in einem vorgeht und welch erstauntes Gesicht man macht wenn man durch Zufall einmal ein Video von den Sprechern der “Drei Fragezeichen” findet.

Hand aufs Herz: Klingen die Stimmen so wie die Personen aussehen? Also ich komm immer wieder aus dem Staunen nicht heraus wenn ich die Stimmen höre und die Gesicher dazu sprechen sehe. Da muss doch ein Trick dabei sein!

Ach übrigends sind heute auch noch zwei neue Folgen der “drei Fragezeichen” erschienen…

5 Comments

and another Dell laptop just died…

this time a XPS M1330 blue-screened and only shows colored lines if you restart it:

Foto

If only the hardware would be as great as their service is!

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Musik zum Piratenpartei-Wahlkampf 2009

cover

“Und ein weiterer Schritt im Free! Music! Contest wurde getan: Der Sampler steht nun zum Download zur Verfügung! Da die Rückfrage kam: Natürlich sind alle Stücke unter Creative Commons lizenziert.

Fast vier Stunden Musik waren eingereicht worden und am Ende stand eines fest: Mit einer einzelnen CD wären wir nicht in der Lage gewesen, die Qualität der Einsendungen entsprechend zu würdigen. Also verzichten wir auf ungefähr 70% des Gewinns und haben dafür 100% mehr feinste freie Musik. :)”

Capture Track-Listing

Source: musik.klarmachen-zum-aendern.de

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LUA is not only for WoW

It’s also suitable for anyone who wants to develop iPhone Applications.

hello-lua

“I started investigating how I might wire up — and then write native iPhone apps from — a scripting language. Lua was on my radar already. It’s compact, expressive, fast enough, and was designed to be embedded. Took only about 20 minutes to get the Lua interpreter running on the iPhone. The real work was to bridge Lua and all the Objective-C/CocoaTouch classes. The bridge had to work in two directions: it would need to be able to create CocoaTouch objects and also be able to respond to callbacks as part of the familiar delegate/protocol model.”

Source: Announcing iPhone WAX

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a Visual Studio documentary

There’s a great Visual Studio documentary on CH9. Highly recommended to anyone who wants to see what happened from the start till now.

“Welcome to the first installment of the Visual Studio Documentary.This is an hour long documentary that is split into two parts, roughly a half hour each. Welcome to part one, where we take you back to the days of MS-DOS and Alan Cooper who originally sold Visual Basic to Bill Gates back in 1988.  Next week we will feature Part Two but for those that would like to watch it sooner, here is Part Two. In addition, each week we will post a longer and more in-depth stand alone interview from the interviewees that were featured in the documentary.”

Source 1: Part I
Source 2: Part II

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Oh my gosh! How could I miss that?

The news: Amanda MacKinnon aka Mandarin is back! After BIS and Data Panik it’s time for some more internet coverage and new songs!

Brave young Manda has moved out to once again fill our music players with great songs.

mandarin

 

Source 1: http://www.planetmanda.com/

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Is it Exel or Excel?

Just stumbled upon this funny context-menu entry:

exel

Well… it should be spelled: Excel

excel

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BOMB IT

It’s been quite a few years (since 2005) when elGono came up with the “Obey the Giant” stuff.

This campaign was subject (not only this campaing…) to a documentation called “BOMB IT The Movie”

BOMB IT BANNER1

“Featuring street artist and top graffiti writers from 5 continents the acclaimed documentary.
Bomb It is the first film to update the story of graffity with a truly international perspective. Each month we will presenting portraits of the artists from around the world in never before seen footage and interviews.”

You can watch the whole documentation online now! For free!

Source 1: http://www.babelgum.com/bombit
Source 2: Obey the GIANT

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want some more expresso?

Almost three years ago I wrote about this nice little Regular Expression Tool which provides not only a RegEx-Builder but also a clean and nice interface to test and play.

It was a CodeProject sample project in that time and as it turns out it became a full blown version 3!

Obviously the user interface was revamped completely:

expresso3 So you now not only get the Testing and playing but also a Regular Expression Library, a cool How-To, a more useable design mode and you can even output your final regular expressions to C#, VB.NET or managed C++!

Great stuff! Even better is the fact that it does not come at any costs. Despite the fact that there’s a registration you can just get your free license on their website.

Source 1: http://www.ultrapico.com/Expresso.htm
Source 2: want some espresso?

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dasBlog to WordPress migration

If you – like me – want to migrate from dasBlog to WordPress by using the great BlogML Export and Import you might want to take this advice:

After exporting the BlogML you should replace all “&nbsp;”s in the XML file. If you don’t do that WordPress won’t import anything in the article after the “&nbsp;"s.

andnbsp

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a new version of Notepad++ is available.

Great stuff this week: Notepad++ was released in  a new version 5.5. Nice new features all around:

notepadplusplus

Source 1: http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/site.htm

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How to sell a car

Mission accomplished. I successfully talked a co-worker, who needed to buy a new car, into buying a gadget-packed BMW 1 series.

He calls it his “cluster on 4 wheels” – because obviously there is some processing “horse-power” in this machine 🙂

img_7539s

May he always have a safe ride!

Source 1: http://blog.ahzf.de/index.php/2009/09/21/mein-cluster-hat-vier-rader/

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this new Windows Resource Monitor…

…is just great! A cool tool to find bottlenecks and the cause why your machine is just slow right now.

love_monitor

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APC PowerChute Business Edition and VMware Server…

I’ve run into several problems while trying to install the current 8.1 version of the APC PowerChute Business Edition.

Basically I get this error message when I am trying to install it:

powerchute-novmware

So you can simply not install this version of PowerChute on this machine – OR you could go here and follow the link to the Download of the 8.0 version of the software. This will start the setup with this screen:

powerchute-novmware2

Great! Just get the “old” version and use it.

Source 1: APC PowerChute and VMWare

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this is the kind of musicians the world needs…

I just found out that Jason Mraz – this singer songwriter guy with the nice smooth melodies – is doing some things different.

For example Jason and his management encourage bootleg recordings by even offering several spots near the mixing desk. Yes you’re reading it right: You can go to his concert and record it! You can even download several concerts in excellent quality (flac’n’stuff) on archive.org. How cool is this!

I just have to go to a record shop and buy something made by this guy!

By the way: his current album isn’t bad at all… it’s great!

Source 1: http://www.archive.org/details/JasonMraz
Source 2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Mraz

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Welcome to the world of tomorrow!

So here we are on a new blog engine. It took me the better part of two days to do the Migration of 2,869 posts and 2,732 comments, a lot of pictures and movie files.

I will write an article on this but for now only two captures images from the migration:

php-xpath
yeah PHP rocks!

regex-magic 
had to do some regex action to do the url rewrites

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maybe I should…

…switch this website to another weblog software in the future. The dasBlog development isn’t exactly what I would call fast-paced. It even seems that there was no movement at all for the last year at all regarding new features.

I took a short look at a current WordPress installation we did for our Developer Website at sones – and I have to admit that feature-wise this WordPress is way beyond anything I could achieve in dasBlog anytime soon.

sonesdev 

Additionally the fact that the skin of this site seems to be broken (especially for older browsers) I would have to do a skin-redesign – turns out that this is way easier in WordPress than it is in dasBlog.

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iTunes 9 is Windows 7 compatible

Hey it’s great to see that Apple thinks some of the ideas of the new Windows 7 UI (like the new Task Bar). With iTunes 9 you get things like this:

jumplist

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In case of low performance: check your systems latency

I ran into some strange problems with a notebook that leaded to sound drop-outs or things like sluggish UI and HDD performance. So I tried almost everything troubleshootig the problem. That worked for some problems but there are occasions when I want to have a more systematic approach to those kinds of hardware / driver related problems.

One tool that can help to find hardware / driver problems is the DPC Latency Checker. This tool measures and displays the latency of your system. All you have to do is watch as the measurements scroll by and remove / disable one device after another from your machine. As soon as the latency turns green again there’s a high probability that the device you removed last has a problem of some kind.

dpclatency

On my machine everything is in the greens now – after some BIOS and driver updates. If your system has some issues you would see something like that:

cdrom 
(courtesy of Gnawgnu’s Realm)

Source 1: http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml
Source 2: http://gnawgnu.blogspot.com/2009/01/dell-latitude-e6400-sound-problem-fixed.html

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Useful tools: OnTopReplica

Normally I am using a notebook and a 24” Widescreen TFT as a Dual-Monitor solution. In fact I am mostly using the 24” TFT for work and the notebook 14” TFT for all the things that don’t need to be in focus right now like Instant Messengers.

Now in those few cases when a video needs to be played I want it on the main monitor but I want it to take as little of space as possible. And I want it On Top of everything else… maybe sometimes I even want to control it’s opacity a bit…

Now there’s this cool tool called “OnTopReplica” – It’s available for free on Codeplex and works out of the box without installation.

After you start it you’ll end with a small glas window where you can right-click to get a menu. You choose a Window which needs to be replaces – for example the YouTube Browser Window. After that you can even control which region of this Window should be displayed. You can resize, move and of course control the opacity of this window.

ontopreplica 

It’s also great for presentations because it allows you to simply resize any window you like. It will resize it and while it does that the window always is “live” – so everything you’re doing in the original window will be displayed in the replica.

ontopreplica2 

Source: http://ontopreplica.codeplex.com/

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rule the world

“Welcome to your life
There’s no turning back
Even while sleep
We will find you
Acting on your best behaviour
Turn your back on mother nature
Everybody wants to rule the world”

Tears for Fears,

Everybody wants to rule the world

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Up-Grayed

Last week I upgraded my iPod touch to an iPhone… well actually I got a new iPhone 3GS aside the iPod.

IMG_7392

It’s a fast device – even noticeably faster than the 2nd gen iPod Touch. It’s got almost the same battery life like the touch for me and it was a plug-and-play experience to use it the first time.

What I wasn’t expecting is that the smooth experience suddenly came to a stop when I tried to plug the iPhone into my car – just where the iPod touch did the job for about 5 months (including that the touch got charged by the car along the way).

With the iPhone I got two error messages simultaneously:

IMG_0010

“Charging not supported by this accessory”

IMG_0009

“This accessory is not supported by iPhone”

Damn you Apple! What’s the problem? There’s a standard USB port which powered 2,5 inch hard disk drives previously and the iPhone just states that it cannot be charged with this accessory (e.g. the car).

On the other hand everything else just works as it was working with the iPod. I can browse my music library on the iDrive I can listen to music – everything works, beside those two error messages and the not-charging iPhone. Thank you Apple B-) Maybe I need to up-grayed my car too?

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making things up…

While trying out the new Mozilla Weave I came across the nice interface the guys built into their sync service. Funny messages included.

tehcloud 

Source: http://labs.mozilla.com/weave/

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