WinFS Beta 1 short after-install look…

So what’s the deal: Actually it’s the first release of the WinFS SDK. As I don’t have the time at the moment to review the SDK itself (got a approx. 1000km trip tomorrow) I just made some screenshots … later on there will be a review – not only because WinFS is one of the most promising features/products in the future of Windows:

Mission accomplished: Linksys Router is now “evilgate”

After some minutes the job was done – and openwrt instead of the original firmware was flashed into the two new linksys routers.










Please welcome OpenWrt – “White Russian RC2”.

Since the documentation is quite good it just leaves me with this citation:

“With the release of the Linux sources for the Linksys WRT54G/GS series of routers came a number of modified firmwares to extend functionality in various ways. Each firmware was 99% stock sources and 1% added functionality, and each firmware attempted to cater to a certain market segment with the functionality that they provided. The downsides were twofold, one – it was often difficult to find a firmware with the combination of functionality desired (leading to forks and yet more custom firmwares) and two – all the firmwares were based on the original Linksys sources which were far behind mainstream Linux development.

OpenWrt takes a different route, instead of starting out with the Linksys sources, the development started with a clean slate. Piece by piece software was added to bring the functionality back to that of the stock firmware, using the most recent versions available. What makes OpenWrt really unique though is the fact it employs a writable filesystem so the firmware is nolonger a static compilation of software but can instead be dynamically adjusted to fit the particular needs of the situation. In short, the device is turned into a mini linux PC with OpenWrt acting as the distribution, complete with almost all traditional linux commands and a package management system for easily loading on extra software and features.”

Source: http://openwrt.org/

there it is: WinFS (test)

Today the first test version of WinFS – the new and said to be revolutionary filesystem – was released by Microsoft.

“The beta version released on Monday works with Windows XP. Both Home and Professional editions are officially supported. It should also work on Tablet PC and Media Center editions of the OS, but Microsoft has done limited testing of WinFS with those flavors.”

So! If you have a MSDN Subscription… go and get it!!

Source: Cnet News

it’s all about power

hmm…seems like I have some things to optimize… the “old” server really was more powerful…

Believe it or not: That 15%-20% load there is just the Remote Desktop… I’ve never seen something like that…even on my P3-500 machine which is my mail-server at the moment it’s not more than 5%…

…Strange. I’ll have to find a reason for that behaviour…

update W2k3 Web Edition to W2k3 Standard Edition pt. 2

So this is part 2 of my little “how to transform a Windows Server 2003 Web Edition into a Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition if you only have Remote Desktop and limited “physical” keyboard access to the machine…

Since some hard-drive imaging experiments did not work today I decided to try the straight-forward way. Mounting the CD and installing…

I came across several problems and had to find a workaround or them. The first problem showed up: Since we would like to have Remote Desktop Access after the installation finished successfully installing a Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition WITH Servicepack 1 is not an option. One of the new features of Servicepack 1 is that after a clean Install you cannot access the machine from the network anyhow – You have to update the machine and then this “feature” disables itself.

So it is important that you have a non-SP1 Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition Install-CD…

Another problem occurs now if your currently running Windows 2003 Web Edition has Servicepack 1 installed already…

If you start the setup something like this will show up:



“Setup cannot continue because the version…”

So we’ll have to trick a little bit to fake a pre-SP1 environment for the setup: When you start the setup the “winnt32.exe” is launched which loads the “\Windows\AppPatch\sysmain.sdb” file and reads the version number that is stored there.

The trick is to replace the running systems “sysmain.sdb” with the one from the setup CD. (don’t get confused that the path is “C:\noSP1\” – just replace that with your CD-Drive name).

Anyway…just do this:



One note to the things above: the file is deleted from the dllcache first to trick the Automatic System File Protection…

Once you have completed this you can start the setup and it’ll run as desired. Ensure that you select the following advanced options:



Copy all installation files from the Setup CD

Now start the setup, fill in the product key and wait until the machine reboots.



If you had KVM access you’ll see this after the reboot:



Now it’s going to be fun! My ISP allows me to send keyboard commands to the machine… so this are the commands you’ll have to send (blind!) to finish the installation:

Enter (Welcome to Setup)
Escape (don’t repair)
Enter (Install)
C (Continue Setup)
L (Delete Windows folder)

After about 25 minutes and a reboot

Enter (Regional Configuration Dialog)
Username (Username)
Enter (Username>
Enter (Licensing Modes 5 concurrent connections)
Tabulator (passwords…)
password (your actual password…I recommend to leave it “password” or any other simple thing…
Tabulator (retype the password)
password
Enter(confirm the passwords)
Tabulator(that’s the password warning “Password to simple” if you’re absolutely sure this won’t come up…skip this and the next one)
Enter (password warning)
Enter (Timezone settings)
Enter (Typical Network Settings)
Enter (Workgroup name)

After about 30 minutes the machine reboots

After the machine rebooted it should be pingable…if so you should enable Remote Desktop Access remotely:

Step 1: start “regedit” on your local machine
Step 2: connect to the IP of your machine and login with username+password
Step 3: Change HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\fDenyTSConnections from 1 to 0
Step 4: connect with your Terminal Service Client.



Now you should have this…

And that’s it as simply as it could be B-). One way to get Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition on a Windows Server 2003 Web Edition machine…

QMail for Windows Mobile

There is a quite good POP3/IMAP4/NNTP/RSS Reader/Editor for Windows Mobile available…it’s called QMail2 or QMail3 (actually I don’t get the idea behind the numbering…maybe you can read japanese…)



Since QMail is free everyone who is searching for a client for above mentioned protocols should take a look. The homepage itself is not really helpful since it’s in japanese…


Source: http://q3.snak.org/wiki/

update W2k3 Web Edition to W2k3 Standard Edition pt. 1

okay…the straight “insert CD and start the setup”-Way to update from Web Edition to Standard Edition is dead end…:



This is okay so far…


but after some minutes the machine reboots and you see:



…and that’s the point where you would need physical access to the machine – or at least have KVM-access to the machine…so…we’ll try another strategy…

first multeem commands…

This is meant to be a short note for myself and the rest of the multeem people. So if you’re not into the multeem development – just ignore.

to add a new account: / add [account-credentials – plugin dependent]

logs into a new IM identity and creates the needed channel(s), by default the user autojoined into these channel(s) while logging into multeem


to remove an account: / remove [accountname – plugin dependent]


removes a specific account and the associated channel(s).


to list the plugins: /listplugins

no..you cannot update a W2k3 Web Edition…

You know the case: You have a machine which runs on Windows Server 2003 Web Edition and you need it to run at least a Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition…I asked some people if it might be possible to update the Web Edition in-place without actually having physical access to the machine but nobody knew it…I just tried it…looks like I’ll have to find another way in…

You might say: What’s the deal! Just get to the machine and install the Standard Edition… but the problem is that you usually don’t have access to the servers – for example in a hosting environment. So I really need to find a way to “replace” the Web Edition with a Standard Edition…needless to say that I do own a legal license for both editions…

collaboration with a whiteboard

It seems that there’s a great and multi-platform whiteboard application which is definitly worth a try:

“Share a common window on your computer with two or more other Coccinella users. Some of its features:

  • Write text with any font, size, normal, bold, etc.
  • Toolbar with basic drawing capabilities Flexible editing of each item in the canvas window
  • Support for foreign language character sets, from swedish å, ä, and ö, to Chinese (Unicode)
  • Extended functionality via plugins, see Extensions. This includes mp3’s on all platforms, video, synthetic speech of written text etc.
  • Full QuickTime support on Macs and Windows
  • Open source with the Gnu public license.

It runs in two different network topologies, each with its specific feature. The peer-to-peer mode allows client to connect directly to each other, without an intermediate server. The Jabber server system of instant messaging (IM) contains central management of user resources, such as buddy lists, gateways to other IM systems (ICQ, IRC, MSN Messenger, …), and much more.”



As soon as I have some experiences to share I will write an article… so far: try for yourself…looks promising.

Source: http://hem.fyristorg.com/matben/

the perfect working environment part 2

It’s been some time since I made a picture of my workplace…and since that time one more display arrived… so here are two up-to-date pictures:



as usual from left to right: Mac mini (Samsung TFT 910T), custom P4 (Samsung TFT 910T+19″ Highscreen), HP compaq nc8000 (Belinea 108025, built-in 15″ TFT).

Source: The perfect working environment part 1

weird castings and the “solution”

So I was bugged by some kind of weird error message from Visual Studio and the .NET Framework… I even tried to debug it in Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2… and I got this “funny” error message:




“Unable to cast object of type multeem.IRC.IRCServer to type multeem.IRC.IRCServer

After trying this and that the whole day without any progress I got a tip from Alex here…

“The problem results of the fact that IRCServer.dll is located in the program folder (bin\Debug) and in the plugins folder (bin\Debug\Plugins). If you delete IRCServer.dll from the plugins directory it will work.
Seems like .NET is confused by a type that’s defined in two assemblies that are loaded at the time of the cast/assignment.”

Thank you Alex!!

invalid typecast that drives me mad…

So I was writing some code for a project – and it happened again: An error which makes no sense even after two hours of starring at it and triple-checking everything… and a call to a colleague…. The error stays and nobody understands why there even is one…

Let me tell you the complete story:

I was writing the Plugin-Interface for multeem and I had to pass several already instantiated classes to the plugin. So I added a property to the PluginInterface and implemented it this way:



As you can see…there’s the local IRC_Server_ which is of type multeem.IRC.IRCServer. Because I don’t want any other libraries in the PluginInterface definition I defined the IRC_Server in the PluginInterface as an object to make it as generic as possible.

When the plugin is initiated the already instantiated IRCServer is passed through to the plugin’s IRC_Server object…



and there it is…the typecast error…



To say it again: IRC_Server_ is of type multeem.IRC.IRCServer and value is of type System.Object and contains a multeem.IRC.IRCServer

but…



Something is going wrong…and I don’t have any clue what it might be… do you?

If you want to take a look at the whole sourcecode…fire up your Subversion Client and checkout your own work-copy from https://vcs.slash-me.net/multeem

what’s the deal with Sonys UMD and why a portable Media center is far better


I don’t want to compare anything else but the media playing capabilities of the devices. Since Sony is working together with many movie studios these days to make more and more movies available on it’s own proprietary format UMD.

The Sony UMD is simply a standard DVD with 60 mm diameter and 1.8 GByte of storage space. The fact that the disc itself is in some kind of caseing and the fact that there are legal issues if you would try to burn your own UMDs makes it not the media of choice if you want to burn your own movies or recordings to watch them with the PSP. The second media type you could use with your PSP is the Sony MemoryStick. One disadvantage of the MemoryStick is that it’s quite expensive. Around 90 Euro for a 1 GByte MemoryStick DUO is quite a lot money.


Sony UMD


The PSP can play some MPEG4 formats and there are tools/encoders available to create your own movies. But you’re limited to the size of your MemoryStick. Actually there are no tools that allow you to “syncronize” automatically with your video recorder/media center/whatever-media-recording-device. I don’t want to compare the possible video resolutions because they depend on that Portable Media Center you are buying/using.

A different storage idea is behind the Portable Media Centers. These devices commonly use harddisks with about 20 to 40 GByte of space which makes more than 20 to 50 hours of video. The medias are stored in the Windows Media formats like Windows Media Audio (WMA) or Windows Media Video (WMV) (there are some more formats like AVI…but the codecs are very limited…but more to this issue later…). There is an automatic synchronisation software available for the Portable Media Centers. This software even transcodes your media files to WMV/WMA while synchronizing. For me this is the strong argument for the Portable Media Centers: I can sync a PMC with my own recordings for example from my PVR… – I don’t need to buy expensive MemorySticks and do everything manually. I just put the PMC into it’s cradle and it’s going to sync my latest tv recordings for example… It’s the same thing like podcasts and the iPod. The more comfort you get the more you will use the product…

A big advantage of the PSP is that Sony tends to be more open to codecs and new codec developments. For example: The latest Firmware update for the PSP enables H.264 on the PSP… that’s one thing only future versions of the PMCs would have (as far as I know).

Another type of device – the normal Windows Mobile Devices – is not part of this article – but as I wrote some hours and weeks ago there is the same sync functionality built into current devices using the Windows Media Player 10. But if you want to play other formats with other codecs (like MPEG4) you have to use other Software Players like The Core Pocket Media Player.

One last thing: I really don’t get the idea behind the Movie UMDs. Who wants to buy a movie for about 15-30 Euro in a format he can only play in his PSP when you can get the DVD for about 8-15 Euros…I don’t think that this will work for Sony…actually it does not work for me.


BTW: I know…it’s mostly illegal to copy the movie from the DVD to your PC to copy it onto the PMC… but life is not a tickling competition…


Source 1: Sony PSP
Source 2: Microsoft Portable Media Centers
Source 3: Automatically sync Windows Mobile Devices with Windows Media Player
Source 4: The Core Pocket Media Player

Betaplayer is now The Core Pocket Media Player

“The Core Pocket Media Player” is the new name for the well known BetaPlayer. The BetaPlayer was a free allround media player and in this tradition TCPMP offers a quite impressive list of supported media formats:

Supported file containers

  • AVI (*.avi)
  • Matroska (*.mkv, *.mka)
  • MP4 (*.mp4, *.m4a)
  • Ogg Media (*.ogg, *.ogm)
  • ASF (*.asf)

Supported audio codecs

  • Mpeg 1 Layer III
  • Ogg Vorbis
  • Musepack
  • Windows Media Audio (on Windows Mobile devices)
  • AC-3
  • AMR
  • Adpcm, uLaw

Supported video codecs

  • DivX
  • XviD
  • MPEG4-SP (plus B-frame support)
  • MPEG1
  • M-JPEG
  • Windows Media Video (on Windows Mobile devices)

Impressive… did I say that it’s free?

So if you have a Palm or Windows Mobile device… go and get this Media Player…

Source: http://tcpmp.corecodec.org/about

and the officiel pricing for the Xbox360 in europe will be…


€ 299,99

“Ending weeks of speculation about which upcoming video game platform will give gamers the most bang for their buck, today at the German Games Convention, Microsoft Corp. revealed that consumers can get their hands on Xbox 360™ — the most powerful and feature-packed next-generation video game and entertainment system — for as little as $299.99 U.S./€299.99/

teh keyboard for teh coders

Yesterday the sixth keyboard I possessed just died – it was a keyboard from cherry – one with all those buttons on it that nobody seems to use. I never did actually… but now it’s gone and the “new” one was already waiting:



this one was manufactured 14.10.1994 which makes it more than 11 years old…


YES! It’s one of those very very old IBM keyboards whose original design is from 1985. The one that has a very enjoyable “key-klick” not speaking of the comfortable typing experience…

So you may say: This keyboard is more than 11 years old – that’s quite old… yeah! But it’s new!!

How comes that? I got my hands on a quite old IBM Netserver which worked for over 10 years for a company here…and this keyboard was attached to the machine. It even had a dirt cover attached and was not used for all the time… So it’s almost new. After all a real pleasure to code with this gadget.

Charlottes first TV appearance since months…

So there it was! The first TV appearance of Charlotte since months. And it was great to have her back. Since she presented(together with Matthieu Culleron) a great rock festival she really seemed to be “back in her favourite business”… Now please a new show for Charlotte!!



Source: http://www.laroutedurock.com
Source: http://www.arte.com

Charlotte Roche back on TV in two days!!!


Together with Matthieu Culleron Charlotte Roche will present the TV Show for this years “la route du rock”-Festival.


On 13th of august (so in just two days) at 2235 you’ll have to tune into the german/french tv station “ARTE”…


I think there will be more information+pictures after the show…


Source 1: http://www.laroutedurock.com/
Source 2: Arte Homepage