Forza Motorsport for the XBOX

In only a few days you can buy the most realistic and fantastic looking racing simulation for your XBOX. It’s called Forza Motorsport and is there to beat Gran Turismo 4.
I had the chance to play a little bit with it…and it’s insanely great! More than 50 cars. Dozens of tracks. And a realistic driving model I never experienced before.

Here are some ingame screenshots to tease you for the 3rd May:

I strongly recommend buying this game!

Source: Forza Motorsport

HDTV…you don’t have enough cpu power…

It’s great that more and more movies are broadcasted in HDTV. But it’s disappointing how much CPU power you need to get smooth video playback. Especially when it’s MPEG4 and not MPEG2.

This graph shows it: a 2.8 Ghz Pentium 4 is not really enough to handle high quality MPEG4 compressed HDTV. Almost 50 percent CPU usage when playing a 720p movie… don’t expect 1080i/p to run fluently…. this sucks.

The Premiere of “OPERation Rossini”

reply2all VJ Justus Rogman wrote about the premiere of “OPERation Rossini” in which he took part in:

“The premiere of “OPERation Rossini” was a complete success. Endless applause from a nearly sold out audimax took alot of load off our shoulders. Everything went well, just a small softwarecrash, but nobody noticed that and I was there for this emergency case and calmed down everybody so we could continue as nothing would have happened. First reactions from students on the opera & our visuals were positive after the first act so that we could do our job in second act a little bit more relaxed :)

It was just great!! They even forced me to come on stage while applause, so it’s me in background on the very right of following pic. But the applause of course is due to the actors infront. They really earned it! Like the orchestra. Was a great performance, especially in this cultural less-developed town :-p…”

text: Cesare Sterbini / Music: Gioacchino Rossini
musical adaption: Juri Lebedev
text adaption: Maximilian Ponader
staging: Maximilian Ponader, Hamburg
conductor: Juri Lebedev, Weimar

Opportunity stuck in martian sand

Bad news for all the mars rover fans:

“A note to all you Opportunity fans: Get used to the current scenery, because we’re going to be here awhile,” said Steve Squyres, lead scientist on the Mars Exploration Rover effort at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. “We are very optimistic that we’ll be able to get out of here, but we’re really going to take our time doing it.”

So let’s hope the best for the little rover.

Actually it’s great to see both rovers in good health so far. Remember: Officially their mission is over since more than a year…

Source: Opportunity Mars Rover Stuck in Sand

even more technical eBooks…Digital Signal Processing

At the moment I’m reading several technical books in preparation for the exams. Especially the Communication Systems and the Digital Signal Processing exams are known to be very hard. My mate Christian gave me the hint for this outstanding Digital Signal Processing eBook:

You can download the eBook for free. So if you want to know (or you’re expected to know) anything about Digital Signal Processing, get this eBook.


free technical eBooks for your pleasure

It’s quite a time since I found this website where you can download several technical eBooks for free. One very interesting eBook is this:

A Programmer’s Guide to the Mind

“We will try to explain how the mind works, and we will also show how a person can make it operate more effectively. If we compare the task of developing the mind to that of taking a journey, then this volume could be described as a combination road map and tourist guide. While there are many similarities between a brain and an electronic computer, there are also several factors which make the human ‘computer’ unique: First of all, it is rather large. The electronic chips which are contained in the computers of the 1990s are constructed from flat little squares of silicon, no bigger than postage stamps. In contrast, the human thinking apparatus is a three pound, three-dimensional, solid chunk of neurons and interconnections. The average human brain contains about one hundred billion neurons and around one hundred trillion connections. Compare this to today’s computer chip with its total of about ten million transistors, and you can understand why, at present, we have about sufficient technology to simulate the brain of a slug.”

Source 1: A Programmer’s Guide to the Mind
Source 2: TechBooksForFree

accepting the challenge: developing a server based multi instant messaging client

I’ve written about my views and demands on the future Instant Messaging Client world several times. It’s a fact for me that the common Instant Messenger protocols and applications are not suitable for my needs. Maybe I represent the power-user group, maybe not. But without doubt the limits of ICQ and MSN are reached.

1. The Problem

Every available Instant Messaging protocol was designed to be used by one user at a time on one machine at a time. Since mobility is becoming more important these days slowly but surely everybody will reach this protocol given limit of one login at a time.

For example: When you log into ICQ on one machine. And then on your smartphone you do the same. Only the last client that logged into ICQ stays logged in. But why? Because the protocol and the server infrastructure is not designed to handle multiple logins.

2. The Goals

The goals are:

  1. design a comprehensive architecture to extend given instant messaging protocols (ICQ,MSN,…) with multi client capabilities

  2. implement the architecture platform independent

  3. create a specialised platform independent client to make it feel good (*g*)

3. The Team

Daniel “bietiekay” Kirstenpfad,
Markus “namenlos” Brückner,

If you want to join us. Feel free to mail.

4. The Architecture

I told namenlos about my problems with the instant messaging world during a dinner last week. And he came up with several great ideas. We took the chance, went to the office and started the brainstorming.

First we looked at all the protocols once again. And Jabber seemed to provide a quite good base for further thinking. But there was another idea. More simple. Maybe even easier to implement.

4.1 Plan A

in few words:

  • take Jabber as initial point
  • create some kind of Jabber “NAT” / Jabber Proxy which represents a Jabber client to the rest of the Jabber Network

we scribbled it on the whiteboard:

4.2 Plan B

The second plan is based on the IRC (Internet Relay Chat) idea which is described in RFC1459. Namenlos had the idea we could take a standard IRC Server and implement the Instant Messaging Protocols like ICQ,MSN,… as Modules.

After some brainstorming we realised that it should be possible to map all the Instant Messaging Features like Buddy-List, Chat, Chat-Conference, Filetransfer,… to the IRC idea. Query for Chatting, Channels represent the Buddylist. Even the synchronised chat across multiple clients would be possible. Filetransfers would become DCC….you get the idea.

This is our Whiteboard for this idea:

5. Implementation

Shortly after the brainstorming I started the Implementation of an IRC Server. Because we wanted a platform independent Implementation I decided to use .NET and C#. Since there is a .NET Framework for all Windows Operating Systems and Mono for all unixoid Operating Systems we got what we want. Even more: With Visual Studio we have a great development environment. (Well actually Namenlos won’t use Visual Studio…but at the moment the major part of the code is made in Visual Studio 2003)

When I started to write the first lines of code I thought about possible names. We started on the whiteboard with “Projekt Buffen” (don’t ask!) … I thought that “Jabbernaught” would be a great name… and after some Skype-Sessions we both thought that “multeem” would be a great name for the baby.

After some days of implementing I am proud to present the first sourcecode package: (61,54 KB)

This version of multeem implements an IRC Server without any Server 2 Server Communication and a load of bugs especially in the Channel Management. See it as a first prototype for the IRC Implementation and as a base for the future development.

7. The License

We release this and the following sourcecode packages under a BSD-like license (see license.txt).

8. What now?

Please comment and criticise our plans and ideas. Feel free to ask anything you would like to know. If you are interested in helping us in any way feel free to contact us.

Source 1: Instant-Messaging in the multi-client world
Source 2:

Formula Student

Uhh it seems that there’s some racing stuff going on at my university:

“Formula Student is the biggest and best of its kind in Europe. Run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), in partnership with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), it promotes careers and excellence in engineering, by challenging university students to design, build, develop, market and compete as a team with a small single seater racing car.”

Today evening (1900) there will be a meeting in ZHS201. I hope I can make some good pictures.

Source 1:
Source 2:

Apple screwed it!

Okay. Here’s the list what’s really driving me mad with Tiger:

  1. Pivot is not working correct. It flips the screen but it’s unusable because it’s far away from smooth… stuttering crap!

  2. the program icon in the dock is not filtered, pixel salad?!

  3. you cannot configure spotlight noteworthy… it just indexes your local hard drive. That’s it. You even cannot configure when and what. You just can define exclusions.

  4. Dashboard Widgets are crap. What the hell do I need a dictionary for when I cannot even select the language? Anyway: Konfabulator did it far better.

  5. many programs crash or run out of memory. For example: iPulse. I used it about 12 hours… first the iPulse graphics screwed up. Then the system ran out of memory resulting in an excessive swap orgy

  6. Quicktime 7 is far from smooth playback. Stuttering on a Mac where Quicktime 6 worked absolutly smooth. Even the new Fullscreen Zoom-Animation isn’t playing smooth. When you minimize the Quicktime Player to the dock the movie isn’t playing in the dock. Even worse when you do this the player crashes.

  7. the newly added RSS Screensaver just “exploded”… after one hour of use it came up with a… well bright cyan color which just hurts the eye. Of course: You cannot configure anything…

  8. Safari has some serious bugs. Sometimes it “forgets” to draw the scrollbar… The RSS Implementation is well…why no stand-alone App. Why integrated in Safari?

  9. Rendezvous=Bonjour. Well I wrote about that issue some months ago. And now it’s time to forget about Rendezvous. It’s now called Bonjour. (it’s not really something Apple screwed up ;))

  10. Apple changed for some strange reason the security settings so that Virtual PC isn’t able to install the “Virtual Network Switch”

I will complete the list when Panther is back running on my Mac.

want one: MicroNet Mini Mate

MicroNet presents the mini mate. A feature rich and cool looking add-on for your Mac mini. (and mine! ;))

The miniMate, MicroNet’s new external disk drive and port replicator, is created specifically to complement Apple’s new Mac Mini. With available storage up to 400GB, 4 USB 2.0 ports and 3 FireWire ports, the miniMate extends the capabilities of your new Mac to match the most capable workstations, all in a stylish aluminum and plastic enclosure that perfectly complements Apple’s Mac Mini!

  • up to 400GB additional storage

  • 3 FireWire ports
  • 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • Attach power, USB and FireWire cable and you’re ready to rock! “

  • Source:

    huge Xbox 360 party planned?

    The following information is not confirmed:

    For the upcoming launch of the Xbox 360 on MTV Xbox3000 and Xboxfront are going to present a huge event. With MTV on the big screen and over 300 guests and VIPs they’re going to celebrate Xbox-Lifestyle at it’s best.

    Reportedly there are tickets available… When I know more or the information is confirmed I’ll write again.

    Source 1:
    Source 2:

    Good Morning Linux!

    It’s so “funny” to read something like this:

    “Seiner(Andrew Morton) Meinung nach komme bei der Kernel-Entwicklung dem Testen nicht genug Aufmerksamkeit zu. Da die Tester weder Dank noch Geld für ihre zeitraubende Arbeit erhielten, würden neue Funktionen nicht genug geprüft. So könnten sich immer mehr Fehler in den Kernel einschleichen.”

    Oh. Finally the Linux Kernel Developers noticed that they do their work for free. And finally they must have noticed that some big companies are selling their work for real money.

    I don’t want to bash linux or the idea behind. I just want to say that you have to give up some principles to grow. What priniciples. I don’t know for sure.

    Performance in .NET and Scientific Computing

    I want to inform you that my colleague Matej Ciesko will present two Webcasts in the next days.

    Sorry. The Webcasts are in german language. So if you don’t speak it. Nevermind.

    MSDN: Performance von .NET: Schnell oder langsam?
    am 25.04.2005 von 16:00 bis 17:00 Uhr

    In diesem Webcast wird die Microsoft .NET Architektur aus dem Blickwinkel der Performanzaspekte betrachtet. Für ein besseres Verständnis werden einführend “Hardware Counter” sowie betriebssystemspezifische Mittel zum Erfassen von Performanzereignissen erklärt. Die Performanzeigenschaften der .NET CLR sind der Schwerpunkt dieses Webcasts. Anhand von Beispielen lernen wir kennen wie man performanz-orientiert Applikationen für Microsoft .NET entwickelt und optimiert.

    zum Webcast anmelden.

    MSDN: Scientific Computing mit dem .NET Framework
    am 30.05.2005 von 16:00 bis 17:00 Uhr

    In den letzten Jahren gewinnen die virtuellen Laufzeitumgebungen wie MS.NET auf dem Gebiet des wissenschaftlichen Rechnens immer mehr an Bedeutung. MS.NET in der Welt des wissenschaftlichen Rechnens und des HPC (High Performance Computing) ist der Schwerpunkt dieses Webcasts. Code Analyse, Optimierung, parallele Middlewares, wissenschaftliche numerische Bibliotheken, Win64 – das alles und mehr wird behandelt, um Ihnen ein Gefühl für das Potential dieser Plattform beim Einsatz im “Scientific Computing” Umfeld zu geben.

    zum Webcast anmelden.

    Seamless Windows with Microsoft Terminal Services…and without ICA

    I’ve searched quite a time for this solution. So take it with the same pleasure as I did. (it’s an order!). The best about this solution is that you don’t only get the compiled binary. You get some sort of short tutorial and the source. It’s far more than a crash course to Terminal Services. It extends the field of applications of the Terminal Services and on top you get knowledge for free.

    Microsoft’s terminal services client (also called ‘Remote Desktop Connection’) has one main thing against it. Remote applications do not appear as if they are running on the local desktop, instead they appear in a separate window which represents the server’s desktop. This is fine if you just want to work exclusively on the server, but can be a pain if you want to switch between applications on the server and the local desktop or want to run applications on different servers. What is needed is a way to display the remoted applications as ‘Seamless Windows’ on the client.

    Commercial products have been written to achieve this in a Windows environment, the most well known would be Citrix. Citrix uses its own protocol (ICA) to publish applications to the client. Others have used Microsoft’s protocol called RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) with additional software to achieve the same effect (the most notable of these is Tarentalla’s Canaveral IQ – I suspect they use a similar, but more sophisticated, method to the one presented in this article).

    While these products provide a lot more than just seamless windows, they are also quite expensive. It would be nice to have this feature in a regular RDP client without having to buy a whole application publishing product.

    This article provides a possible solution to this problem by extending Microsoft’s RDP client using virtual channels to communicate between the server and the client. This option has been chosen over writing or extending an existing open source RDP client (such as rdesktop) because we will still be able to take advantage of all the features in Microsoft’s client (and presumably all new features they add in the future). Also, an advantage to using Microsoft’s client is that we can get some rudimentary application publishing over a web page since their terminal services client has an ActiveX component to do this.”

    Source: Codeproject

    Xyle scope CSS Analyse- and Authoring

    There are not many great CSS Editors. But there seems to be a new one that is really cool. Xyle scope. Because I will need a good CSS Authoring Tool in the near future this is quite helpful.

    “Einer der Gründe, warum ich Websites teilweise auf Firefox entwickele, ist der Live-CSS-Editor der Web Developer Toolbar. Ein geniales Ding, wenn auch ziemlich hässlich und manchmal ein bisschen buggy. Xyle Scope ist gewissermaßen die extrem aufgebohrte, native OS X-Variante dieser Grundidee.

    Xyle ist jedoch keine Safari-Erweiterung, sondern eine Standalone-Applikation, die auf dem Apple WebKit basiert und Seiten somit genauso rendert wie Safari. Hinzu kommt jedoch eine Seitenleiste, in der man sich allerlei CSS- und HTML-Strukturen anzeigen lassen kann. Dabei ist es egal, wo sich die Seite befindet, ob auf dem eigenen Rechner oder irgendwo im Web.”

    Source 1:
    Source 2:

    the viral marketing trap aka Xbox 360

    the speculations about the upcoming Xbox 360 increase rapidly. It’s fun to see everything going nuts these days ;) And so does engadget:

    “So what are we looking at? A power button? A removable hard drive? A slideout tray for the optical drive? The only thing we know for certain is that we’ve all fallen into Microsoft’s viral marketing trap, that’s for damn sure.”

    Source: engadget

    the perfect working environment

    Okay. It’s done. I’ve managed to create the perfect working environment for me.

    sorry for the distortions but the room is to small
    to avoid them with my camera…

    From left to right:

    • Mac mini 1.42 Ghz+Bluetooth 1GB RAM + Samsung 910T + Apple Wireless Keyboard

    • custom built PC P4 2.8 Ghz 1GB RAM + Belinea 102580 + Highscreen 19″

    • HP compaq nc8000 centrino notebook (1.5 ghz) 1GB RAM

    All three machines are hooked up to the FeM-Net which connects over 1500 machines across the campus with 100 Mbit and is connected to the university uplink with 1 Gbit.

    One floor below in the server-room is the fileserver located where I store most of my data(about 800 GByte at the moment). This machine is connected with 1Gbit to the P4 and 100 Mbit to the other machines.

    The best of this: it’s absolutely silent.

    PS: okay it’s a bit of a show off… but I needed it because I really like my working environment now

    How to enable Remote Desktop remotely

    Oh how often did I sit in my office and tried to log into a newly installed server. It’s always the are in the server-room … installing the operating system … it’s cold and loud … and the one thing you’ve forgotten: enabling the Remote Desktop.

    Here’s a short howto to get this done remotely:

    Set fDenyTSConnections to 0 to enable Remote Desktop.”

    and of course there’s a long version…

    Source: How to enable…

    recordings of the 21c3 Congress are online…

    The recordings of the 21c3 are online. Unfortunatly only the audio. No video so far. You can download them via bittorrent (it’s a 2.2GByte lump of data)

    Malte from treehugginpussy splitted this big download into the several pieces. You can get them here.

    All the recordings are in .ogg. You can grab the handouts here.

    “Vom 21c3 wurden jetzt die Audiomitschnitte veröffentlicht, man kann sie mit BitTorrent herunterladen (2,2 GByte). Wer nur einzelne Beiträge sehen will, kann diese hier herunterladen, ich hab mir mal ein Verzeichnis mit den einzelnen Dateien online gestellt. Die Dateien liegen im .ogg-Format vor.
    Mitschriften, soweit vorhanden, gibt es auf dem
    Fahrplan zum Congress.”

    Source: treehugginpussy