to Magneto or not to Magneto that is the question

Lately Microsoft started an internal dogfood test for Magneto – the next generation Operation System for Mobile Devices (aka Windows Mobile 2005). Iam thinking about taking part in this dogfood test…but:


As Iam very very excited about this new version I also have my doubts playing with it on the only MDA2 I have. There are some rumours about an earlier version of Magneto on the net (sadly one Release Candidate leaked to the net) which does not sync correctly and does not run certain applications. Even more important: There are reportings about the fact that you will have problems returning back to Windows Mobile 2003 or upgrading/downgrading to any other Windows Mobile version.


And that is the last thing I need at the moment…a non working phone.


Any suggestions?

Radiation Gadget-o-rama

I found this very interesting website today: Smart Elements. You can order almost every element of the periodic table and even some isotops of elements. And there are some very interesting elements to play with… for instance those Tritium Trasers. Actually this is a gadget I probably really need because I can’t count the times I searched for the keys in the darkness…



“Traser is the generic name for glass tubes with a phosphor layer in them and Tritium gas inside the tube. They are most often seen as a type of glowing novelty keychain and in self illuminated exit signs. They are also favored by the military for critical applications where there must be illumination regardless of circumstances. They were invented in the 1960s as a reliable self powered light source for NATO. A traser consists of a section of tubular borosilicate glass, coated on the inside with a colored layor of phosphor. Borosilicate is preferred because it is a type of glass noted for its strength and resistance to breakage. In theory one could use any beta emitting gas. In practice Tritium is preferred because it is the least hazardous.”


The second cool “toy” that I found (with the help of cosrahn) on the site is Gallium. A metal whos melting point is 30 degree celsius…so indeed it will melt in my hand… I really have to get this just to play with…



Christian mentioned that they also sell Neodym NdFeB-magnets. I personally did not know what they are, but the site enlightened me and created some respect for them ;-)


Source 1: http://www.smart-elements.com
Source 2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traser
Source 3: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallium
Source 4: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritium
Source 5: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neodymium_magnet

night hike

We (cosrahn,namenlos,me) took a night hike to the local food supplier. Beside the fact that I discovered places I never would imagine to be near the Campus we had some fun with namenlos’ always-handy-“EOS 300D”…



this is me…laughing and glowing


Actually I had a LED torch…and because it was to bright I used my thumb to dim the brightness…so it’s red because of my thumb




a train passing by…


Actually it was pitch black… only some lights from the … I call it town … and from the train.

retouching the planet

What do you think Colorization would be? – Well take a picture, a greyscale one for instance and dye it. When you do this manually it’s a pain-in-the-ass. As far as i know there’s no working automatic solution for this problem. But there is this research project:


“Colorization is a computer-assisted process of adding color to a monochrome image or movie. The process typically involves segmenting images into regions and tracking these regions across image sequences. Neither of these tasks can be performed reliably in practice; consequently, colorization requires considerable user intervention and remains a tedious, time-consuming, and expensive task.

In this paper we present a simple colorization method that requires neither precise image segmentation, nor accurate region tracking. Our method is based on a simple premise: neighboring pixels in space-time that have similar intensities should have similar colors. We formalize this premise using a quadratic cost function and obtain an optimization problem that can be solved efficiently using standard techniques. In our approach an artist only needs to annotate the image with a few color scribbles, and the indicated colors are automatically propagated in both space and time to produce a fully colorized image or sequence. We demonstrate that high quality colorizations of stills and movie clips may be obtained from a relatively modest amount of user input. “


What does that mean? – Well this algorithm automatically creates from this:



that:



Isn’t this awesome? The biggest problem is that it’s just a research project – it’s implemented in Matlab and not available as stand-alone software…too bad. Because it even works with movies.


For more information take a look at their website.


Source 1: Dinge, Zeugs und Sachen
Source 2: Paper: Colorization Using Optimization

European Installation Bus (EIB) Research

Deka and ThamThon started to play with the brand new EIB Installation in our Office. And they really seemed to have fun B-). Well the light was switched on and off several times – if they intended that… I don’t know – but the EIB configuration looked kinda complicated.


Oh, a few words what EIB is:


“Here’s how the “intelligent” home works: The EIB system serves as the automatic controller of devices and systems in homes and apartment houses, and functional and commercial buildings. Sensors, such as motion detectors and thermostats, send impulses over a transmission medium to so-called actuators, for example. Sensors and actuators communicate with each other via four alternate transmission media.”


This is the main controller and the serial interface of the EIB. You can see the serial cable (btw: 13 Euro for 3m serial cable is dailight robbery!) and the Battery.




The switch-modules…


This is the other side of the wall:



There are numerous actuators and switches connected to our bus. But when I left nothing worked so far ;) The problem seems to be that the Software is not that logical – or we just don’t get it ;)




And THIS is a switch… okay… 4 switches… but damn isn’t that a nerds dream! ;)



A complete review and description of the offices’ EIB installation will be available shortly.


Source: EIB Wikipedia Article

IMAP Act 1 Final Scene

After some very disappointing experiences with Mercury, Lotus Domino and Exchange I was almost ready to even use OpenSource Software B-) – Just kidding! But the experiences were very very disappointing. Mercury does not have the needed features, Domino is to complicated and not what I would expect from an IMAP Server and Exchange, wuh… I wasn’t able to test it because: In order to install Exchange you have to have an ActiveDirectory (DC). I do not have that. I tried on a testing machine and the direct effect was: After promoting the Windows 2003 to a DomainController I could not access any file-share on that particular machine with MacOS X. That’s sad because the Exchange would run on one of my fileservers: You see the problem?!


Then I looked at the website “The IMAP Connection” and I found several other commercial IMAP servers. So I took the first one whos website and feature-list looked promising and gave it a shot: MDaemon from Alt-N.



It’s a relativly small Application and MDaemon does not require any 3rd Party Software like a SQL Server or ActiveDirectory or something.


After a quick Installation you get this:



The Feature-List of MDaemon appears like a listing of everything a great Mail-Server needs – even groupware features like calendar and contacts. And as if this wasn’t enough it’s completely configurable via the Webbrowser and the WebMail Feature is well… do i have to mention it? ITS GREAT! ;)


Because I don’t use all the features I cannot give a complete overview of MDaemon… but I’ll do my best with the features I’m useing…



First the most important feature: Encryption and Security. With MDaemon you can encrypt almost any connection. I didn’t had the time to get an official certificate so I used the CA that comes built within MDaemon.



And everything works just as easy as possible: One click and a connection is encrypted.


Of course all the IMAP Features I was looking for are available with MDaemon: Subfolders, Encryption, Server-side Filtering, Spam-Filtering, Antivirus, Archiving…. to just name a few important ones.


And as if this wasn’t perfect enough: MDaemon stores all Messages in an easy convertable and backupable format: Textfiles.


One feature I tried out because I was curious: The WebMail Server called “WorldClient”. And this is how WorldClient looks like:



That does me remember of the Outlook Web Access Feature ;)


and this is how you compose messages:



Actually this WebMail Feature replaces a complete client: Remember that the two pictures above are screenshots of the Internet Explorer. Unfortunatly my server is short on memory – so I’m going to disable that particular feature.


The conclusion: I’ve found the “perfect IMAP” Server for Windows. But there’s always a contra. And the contra is that it’s about $330 for the smallest version (6 users). I only need 1 user… so whats the point ;-(. Until I find an alternative Iam on the trial version of MDaemon…in the worst case I have to swallow the pill and put the 330 bucks on the table.


Source: http://www.altn.com

Moby and the rediscovery of melody

After some really great style mixture albums Moby is back to enlighten our lifes with even better music. Since some weeks Mobys new album “Hotel” is available in stores – time enough for me to grab it and take a hear.



I called this article “rediscovery of melody” – and it’s a fact: It’s been ages since Moby gave us such canorous songs. As usual each one is great and greater ;) I personally fell instantly in love with “Raining Again”, “Lift Me Up” and “Very”. Awesome tracks!


Just one thing: PLEASE USE LESS FILTERS. The vocals and some samples on the album are constantly hissing, swooshing. This is annoying because in the first place I thought my stereo broke.


Source: http://www.moby.com