MSDN Nuggets

The UK MSDN Site provides a alternative to 1 hour MSDN webcasts:

“Don’t have the time to read a 10 – page how-to article or watch a full length webcast? Try an MSDN Nugget, a webcast that takes you step-by-step to discovering new functionality or exploring a hot developer topic, all in 10-15 minutes. View them online now or download for later reference. To view MSDN Nuggets you need Windows Media Player 9 Screen codec support on WMP 7 and above.”


Darwinia…retro graphics that remind me of TRON

My colleague bereal told me about a new game for Mac and Windows. Not only that this game has a really innovative interface (you draw the commands with the mouse and manage them as “tasks” in a big computer-like task manager) it also has really great graphics. Not that they are very detailed or something. It’s just that their retro-look that makes it cool.

“The world of Darwinia is a virtual themepark, running inside a computer network built by a computer genius named Dr Sepulveda. Darwinia is populated by a sentient evolving life form called the Darwinians. They are the product of a decades worth of research into genetic algorithms.
Unfortunately, the systems of Darwinia have been overrun by an evil red Viral Infection. This Virus has multiplied out of control and must be stopped. Your task is to destroy the Viral Infection and save the Darwinians from extinction.”

Source 1:
Source 2:

dynebolic 1.4.1 codename LUMUMBA

I am proud to announce that there’s a new version of dynebolic. Well it’s there since march 15th… but better now then never productions proudly present:

8 8 8 o
8 8 8
.oPYo8 o o odYo. .oPYo. 88 8oPYo. .oPYo. 8 o8 .oPYo.
8 8 8 8 8′ `8 8oooo8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 ‘
8 8 8 8 8 8 8. 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 .
`YooP’ `YooP8 8 8 `Yooo’ 88 `YooP’ `YooP’ 8 8 `YooP’
:…..::….8 ..::..:…..:..::…..::…..:..:..:…..:
:::::::::…:::::: version 1.4.1 :: codename LUMUMBA :::

Dynebolic is the linux distribution that is used by the reply2all Team of FeM e.V. for interactive video installations based on effecTV.

Source 1:
Source 2:
Source 3:

Celestia – the universe at your fingertips

hmm…today must be the “show me teh starZ”-day…

“… The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

Unlike most planetarium software, Celestia doesn’t confine you to the surface of the Earth. You can travel throughout the solar system, to any of over 100,000 stars, or even beyond the galaxy.

All movement in Celestia is seamless; the exponential zoom feature lets you explore space across a huge range of scales, from galaxy clusters down to spacecraft only a few meters across. A ‘point-and-goto’ interface makes it simple to navigate through the universe to the object you want to visit.

Celestia is expandable. Celestia comes with a large catalog of stars, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and spacecraft. If that’s not enough, you can download dozens of easy to install add-ons with more objects. “


Gravit – simulated galaxies

I love colorful pictures… especially when they are generated by computers…

“Gravit is a gravity simulator which runs under Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. It’s released under the GNU General Public License which makes it free. It uses simple newtonian physics using the Barnes-Hut N-body algorithm. Although the main goal of Gravit is to be as accurate as possible, it also creates beautiful looking gravity patterns. It records the history of each particle so it can animate and display a path of its travels. At any stage you can rotate your view in 3D and zoom in and out. Gravit uses OpenGL with SDL, SDL_ttf and SDL_image.”


working with Multiplicity – nextgen multimonitoring

I tested Multiplicity like I promised some days ago. And I would like to show you the results. Because I tested the Trial-Version of Multiplicity I was unable to use it with more than two machines. In fact if I had the full version of Multiplicity I would also be unable to test it because the Mac OSX Version of Multiplicity is not ready… and there are only 3 machines in my Office.

So I took my main development machine and my notebook and installed Multiplicity. The notebook was client and the big-one was the server.

As you can see:

…there’s an overall of 3 displays after Multiplicity found the client machine (escaflowne). You can configure Multiplicity to append the clients to the left or right side of the servers’ physical displays (1,2). As I said: In the trial version only one client is allowed.

The Installation ran quick and without any problems but it failed to configure my Windows XP SP2 Firewall correctly. The problem is the following: by default Multiplicity configures the XP Firewall to only allow access to the Multiplicity network port within the same subnet. The machines I’ve tested on did not reside in the same subnet. So in the first attempt the machines were unable to talk to each other. After I manually configured the XP Firewall to grant access from other subnets it worked instantly.

Another curiosity with Multiplicity is the fact that it’s not the client that accesses the server. It’s the exact other way. You tell the server the name/IP of the client and there it goes. Confusing…

After this relatively small problem it worked just perfect. I used the servers keyboard+mouse to control the two machines without manual switching. Just move the mouse to the screen you want to write or click.. and voilá.

The only problem I had was caused by different mouse-speed and acceleration settings in the two Windows XPs. This is surely something that needs to be fixed. But when you got the correct settings it works perfect. I was even able to play games with the “virtually switched” keyboard+mouse… and I did not notice any lag or something.

But anyway. This tool is just breathtaking. After some hours of use you’re asking yourself why this wasn’t available ealier. I am surely going to buy Multiplicity because it’s not only simplifying my work but also helped me to gain more space on my desk. Because one keyboard+mouse is gone… and as soon as the OSX version is available… even more space would be freed on my desk. Well let me think about the things I can buy now to use the space…hmmm

In the comments of the last article about Multiplicity Uwe Husmann told us that there’s a similar tool available which is called “Synergy2“:

“Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).

Redirecting the mouse and keyboard is as simple as moving the mouse off the edge of your screen. Synergy also merges the clipboards of all the systems into one, allowing cut-and-paste between systems. Furthermore, it synchronizes screen savers so they all start and stop together and, if screen locking is enabled, only one screen requires a password to unlock them all.”

So as you can see Synergy2 does quite the same but it’s available for more operating systems (Windows, Unices, MacOSX). I did not test it for myself, but mape2k and nornagest tested it yesterday. Well and they liked it a lot. It seemed to work without any problem.

(WARNING) Synergy2 is GPL. ;-)

Source 1: Multiplicity Homepage
Source 2: Multiplicity – taking the multiple displays idea to the next level
Source 3:

whip and route

This is Atze. He wants to show us what makes him somewhat horny. Its…

…a 12 connector “whip” for a chipcom 96 port switch. *Rawr* Doesn’t that sound hot?

This is the monster chipcom. You can estimate how old this thing is if you can read the inventory-number… its…#1

the official team logo…

Why did they play with the chipcom? Because on Saturday we will show this antique piece of technology to the public… the guys played about an hour to get the switches twinkle like it’s their last thing before they are dumped in the junk press… ;)

vacuum inferno

Damn. Am I to normal? I do not understand why the hell somebody would need something like this:

Think of a house. With many many tubes… and in the cellar … a hughe vacuum cleaner. You don’t have to carry the vacuum cleaner arround the house…just plug in and do the job. You get the idea.

Source 1:
Source 2: Staubsaugeranlage

so you were pissed by HTML Mails?… We got something new for ya

Ink it baby! As more and more people are using tablet pcs it’s going to get really really – oh well – confusing.

I personally really like the idea of handwritten notes on webpages or especially like in this case in a web forum. BUT only if the information of the handwritten text is also available as machine readable, not to say searchable text. Because the tablet pc incorporates a really great handwriting recognition it wouldn’t be that hard to get that done…

And now take a look at Channel9. They lately added the Ink-Feature to their forum. And it looks great.


3D graphics on a Pocket PC… a technology demo

“I wrote a demo app, really intended for my own interest to see just how good the hardware 3D graphics is on the x50v. I’ve shown it to a few folks internally, and had requests to grab the app, so I thought I’d throw it out there (no source currently, maybe to follow). It’s basically a technology demo that enables you to rotate a protein cartoon in real time, but I’d like to develop it further (hence the ambitious name for the app). This is the first OpenGL program I’ve written, so be lenient. Remember that this app is only for the Dell Axim x50v.”


OBEY THE GIANT – Propaganda engineering.

it’s quite been a time since I noticed this campaign. And I don’t want to keep it back from you:

The Obey campaign can be explained as an experiment in Phenamenology. The first aim of Phenomenalogy is to reawaken a sense of wonder about one’s environment. The Obey campaign attempts to stimulate curiosity and bring people to question both the campaign and their relationship with their surroundings. Because people are not used to seeing advertisments or propaganda for which the motive is not obvious, frequent and novel encounters with Obey propaganda provoke thought and possible frustration, nevertheless revitalizing the viewer’s perception and attention to detail.

The Medium is the message.

elGono told me that there two Icon Sets available…groovy:

click to download

Source 1:
Source 2: The Icons

a thriller a day keeps the doctor away

You may not know Pacific Tech’s Graphing Calculator but if you read this article and follow the link you’ll certainly know what it is and how it became what it is. And all this is packed into a very strange story:

“Pacific Tech’s Graphing Calculator has a long history. I began the work in 1985 while in school. That became Milo, and later became part of FrameMaker. Over the last twenty years, many people have contributed to it. Graphing Calculator 1.0, which Apple bundled with the original PowerPC computers, originated under unique circumstances.

I used to be a contractor for Apple, working on a secret project. Unfortunately, the computer we were building never saw the light of day. The project was so plagued by politics and ego that when the engineers requested technical oversight, our manager hired a psychologist instead. In August 1993, the project was canceled. A year of my work evaporated, my contract ended, and I was unemployed.

I was frustrated by all the wasted effort, so I decided to uncancel my small part of the project. I had been paid to do a job, and I wanted to finish it. My electronic badge still opened Apple’s doors, so I just kept showing up.”


how corporate culture develops

Sorry, it’s in german and i don’t have the time to translate this whole text:

“Nehmen Sie einen Käfig und setzen Sie fünf Affen hinein. Knüpfen Sie eine Banane an ein Seil und hängen Sie diese in den Käfig – so hoch, dass die Affen die Frucht nicht erreichen können. Stellen Sie nun eine Holzkiste darunter, damit die Affen die Banane ergreifen können, wenn sie sich auf die Kiste stellen.

Es wird nicht lange dauern, bis ein Affe auf die Holzkiste klettern will, um sich die Banane zu schnappen. Sobald er die Kiste berührt, spritzen Sie alle anderen Affen mit kaltem Wasser ab. Nach einer Weile wird ein anderer Affe versuchen, sich auch eine Banane zu holen. Sie wiederholen das Prozedere – alle anderen Affen werden mit kaltem Wasser bespritzt.

Schon bald wird ein weiterer Affe versuchen, auf die Holzkiste zu klettern und die Frucht zu ergreifen. Aber: die anderen Affen werden ihn daran hindern.

Lassen Sie jetzt das kalte Wasser weg. Nehmen Sie einen Affen aus dem Käfig und ersetzen Sie ihn mit einem neuen. Der neue Affe sieht die Banane und will auf die Holzkiste klettern. Zu seiner Überraschung greifen ihn die anderen Affen an. Nach einem erneuten Versuch und einem weiteren Angriff realisiert er, dass er angegriffen wird, sobald er auf die Holzkiste klettern will.

Tauschen Sie nun fortlaufend einen der ursprünglichen Affen im Käfig durch einen neuen aus. Es wird immer wieder das selbe ablaufen: Der Neuling geht zur Holzkiste und wird angegriffen. Der vorhergehende Neuling wird jeweils mit Begeisterung an der Bestrafung teilnehmen. Die neuen Affen haben aber keine Ahnung, wieso es nicht erlaubt ist, auf die Holzkiste zu klettern und weshalb sie den neuen Affen schlagen – sie tun es aber trotzdem.

Fahren Sie fort, bis Sie alle fünf ursprünglichen Affen im Käfig durch neue Artgenossen ersetzt haben. Keiner der Affen, die jetzt im Käfig sitzen, ist jemals mit kaltem Wasser bespritzt worden. Dennoch wagt sich keiner mehr in die Nähe der Holzkiste.

Warum nicht? Weil sie gelernt haben, dass “es” hier so gemacht wird.

So entsteht Firmenkultur …”

Source: Wie entsteht Firmenkultur?

data Panik by Air Mail

It seems that today is one of those days where the things come together ;) So I checked my mailbox and look what I’ve got:

The newest and finest from John, Steven and the beautiful Amanda. It’s a limited 7″ record and available only through their website.


And what a great record. It’s just like abi_girl said in dataPaniks flickr photostream: “you never fail to completely and utterly blow me away, you’re maturing musically in the most fantastic’re ace at what you do. don’t ever stop”.

I don’t know if there are any of the 7-inches left – but you can buy the two songs via download on their website…it’s really really worth the money.

two A-Sides…of course, it’s dataPanik!


Don’t miss dataPaniks flickr photostream. Amanda is almost daily putting new pictures up there…

Source 1:
Source 2:

TechEd Europe 2005 – I’ll be there

Great news! I’ll be at this years TechEd in Amsterdam to…

“..find out about the latest information on Microsoft technologies and tools, whilst networking with industry leaders. Take part in four days of in-depth technical training and evaluation on current and soon-to-be released technologies. “

If you want to meet me there, drop me a line.


EIB in the Office – a short documentation Part 1

After the EIB installation is working the next step is to documentate the whole stuff as detailed as possible. So I start the game with this little article:

Whats the EIB

Wikipedia says:

“European Installation Bus (EIB) is the world’s leading system for “intelligent” electrical installation networking. The bus cable installed in addition to the supply cable combines devices and systems (e.g. heating, lighting or ventilation), which previously functioned separately from one another, into an economical system optimally adapted to individual requirements. Both now and in the future, this domotic network provides new functions which previously were either very difficult to implement or could not be implemented at all. For example, a turn of your house key can switch off forgotten basement light or the power supply to the iron. The result: EIB improves customized home living, security and efficiency – day for day – an entire life.”

What for?

Well and what we are doing with it is:

  1. switch light on/off

  2. dim light

  3. lower/raise the silver screen

and we want to do this via

  1. the switches

  2. a computer interface / web site / application

So we got this requirements so deka started to get a schema of what’s needed:

TLN: the number of the module
AT/S: the switch itself, in our case 4-way
SA/U: is an actor+sensor module integrated into a switch
BA: is a bus coupling module
SU: is the uninterruptible power supply
UD: dimmer module for the light

And now let me show you a floor plan of the office itself:

Each cross is a light that can be controlled over the EIB you can see power outlets, ethernet ports and switch modules.

We even made some sort of drawing on the whiteboard to make clear what this is all about and how it’s structured.

And because this is just part 1 ;) Iam stopping right now. So tune in when EIB comes back for more.

Source 1:
Source 2: working EIB
Source 3: EIB research

strange OSX behaviour

I wanted to reorganize my “Drop your Download here”-Drive today… but I was unable to move some of the folders. And I figured out why: You know that “last visited”-Feature of the generic OSX “Open file”-dialog. So here’s one:

As you can see, there’s the “multiplicity” folder. But who would expect that OSX will defend this folder with everything it has. Because when I try to move the folder I get the “indentify” dialog.

No problem. But when I authenticate myself it fails anyway…. So I am unable to move or delete that particulat folder. ;-(

this is a big-ass multi monitoring solution

What would you do when you have one Apple Cinema 30″ display? Well. Get another one and twiddle it to a G5 or a PC…This guy got two of them (the little display next to them is a 20″ Eizo!)… and he really really means it:

“On my experiments about switching from Windows to OS X with my main work machine I came across the Apple 30″ Cinema Display. Fully switching to OS X did not work out for me, not so much for Software reasons (I love Aqua) but for the fact that the Apple Dual G5 workstation is simply too loud! Even though it has water cooling it still has a lot of fans and especially the graphics card makes a lot of noise. My PC workstation from Deltatronic has no fan and is not only quiet but unhearable – so the G5 was just too much. “