universal connections

“this is an example of technology being clearly understood and accepted by the general public. something democratic evolves and develops and therefore often even receives a totally different usage than was originally intended. given the current, often exotic use of USB, it would even be argued that there is a ‘USB subculture’!”

Source: http://www.dialog05.com/

24 display Quake 3 session…

It’s not the cutest… but holy moly!!

“The system is driven by 12 linux servers (2 monitors per server) using Distributed Multihead X (DMX) and Chromium. Chromium distributes the OpenGL rendering from the head node to all of the servers. The game runs fairly fast, though some lighting effects had to be turned off and Chromium is having some trouble with the mouse.”

Source: hackinthebox

Online Collaboration

Still in the testing phase the instructables step-by-step how-tos are quite a good concept for online collaboration….

Instructables is a venue for showing what you make and how others can make it.

Making things is part of being human. Whether you make bikes, kites, food, clothing, protocols for biology research, or hack consumer electronics, good instructions are critical.

Instructables is a step-by-step collaboration system that helps you record and share your projects with a mixture of images, text, ingredient lists, CAD files, and more. We hope to make documentation simple and fast. Show your colleagues how to operate a machine, show your friends how to build a kayak, show the world how to make cool stuff.

Source: http://www.instructables.com

LED throwies…or: How to add color to your neighborhood

“LED Throwies are an inexpensive way to add color to any ferromagnetic surface in your neighborhood. A Throwie consists of a lithium battery, a 10mm diffused LED and a rare-earth magnet taped together. Throw it up high and in quantity to impress your friends and city officials.”

Beside the list of the needed parts you can even watch a video of the throwies, beautifying some-ones neighborhood:

Source: http://www.instructables.com/ex/i/7DBB34EAEDFF1028A1FC001143E7E506/

one multi-monitor idea implemented: Synergy2

So nearly a year ago I wrote about my multi-monitor ideas. And after that article a reader commented that there is a software called “Synergy” – which is just perfect solving at least three of my demands on a perfect multi-monitor working environment:

  • use ONE keyboard+mouse – regardless how many machines I want to control
  • I want to copy-paste across the machines – clipboard sharing!
  • platform independent – I’ve got at least one Mac, one Windows and one Linux I want to control

So here it is. And it’s working like a champ. To make it more clear what I am talking about I made a short movie for you:

click to watch

And all this with just a small text config file that tells synergy2 which machine is next to which one…

You can get this video also via our podcast rss feed.

Source: http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/

deskloops – reinventing task switching and window management

It’s good to see that there are at least some people on this planet that innovate the things we are working with each day. One innovation for today is “deskloops” – a great application that reinvents the way we switch tasks and organize the windows of the applications we use for our daily work.

Since Deskloops is currently in beta state you can download it for free at Xilokits website.

“Imagine yourself at the center of a virtual loop where all the windows you use are spread out around you. Whichever window you need to view can be centered in front of you with a click of a button.

Take this idea and zoom into your pc environment. With Deskloops, all the windows you have open are aligned side by side in a loop-like order. No more countless windows arranged one on top of the other in a confusing manner. You can access all the information you need and navigate through it easily.

The loop can be rotated clockwise and counterclockwise simply by moving the cursor to the edge of the screen and using right click.

Think of the loop as a dynamic rubber band; with each newly opened window the loop automatically grows. With every closed or minimized window, the loop becomes smaller.

Anytime you want to return to the desktop, double click on Deskloops tray icon and the windows will shift aside in one swift motion.”

Deskloops in action on my notebook

Source: http://www.xilokit.com/deskloops/deskloops.html

MDA 3 / Blueangel with Linux…

The linux guys are making progress in porting Linux to the current HTC devices. Apparently they mark their current version of linux for the Blueangel as “not ready for the user” – but it runs and it does make progress.

My experience with linux on such PocketPC / Windows Mobile devices is that you can do all the neat things you can do with your linux pc – when enough space is available – but you can’t do all the neat things you normally do with such a devices like managing appointments, send/receive SMS, place calls… and so on.

At the moment you simply render your device into a brick with linux on it – but time will tell if and when that will change.

Source: http://www.handhelds.org/moin/moin.cgi/BlueAngel

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/

What Stardock does on Windows Vista and how XAML and Avalon is involved…

Everyone should have heard about the official name of the upcoming Windows version: Windows Vista. And if you’re a frequent reader of this website you probably know about Stardock – a company which makes some really cool applications to ensure my personal productivity. But this article is not about the old apps it’s about the new ones.

And there are some really interesting apps coming up the next weeks especially for the Windows Vista Beta 1 which is going to be released on the first days of august.

“Windows Vista may be the most extensible version of Windows yet. With its rich new set of APIs that allow users to create unique applications quickly and that the interface has been moved away from GDI (the old drawing method) to a whole presentation system that makes use of 3D hardware acceleration, developers will be able to make Longhorn shine very so brightly.

Stardock’s goal on Windows Vista will be much the same as it was on Windows XP — to enhance and expand the feature set of the OS. The difference this time is that Microsoft is giving us a lot more tools to play with.”

“In Windows Vista, our goal will be have DesktopX generate XAML code and hence, on a Avalon-enabled system to make use of everything Avalon has to offer.”

“We hope to make DesktopX one of the premiere Avalon/XAML authoring environments.”

“We are also working in conjunction with TweakXP on a program called TweakVista. TweakVista will let Windows Vista users tweak the heck out of their new OS.”

So as you can see: Really cool things are going on for us desktop modding fans. And I am sure that some eyecandy always is good. My opinion is that eyecandy often raises the productivity more than you would expect…just try it.

Source: Stardock & Windows Vista

Source: TweakVista

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

dyne.org 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: http://www.dynebolic.org
Source 2: http://effectv.sourceforge.net/
Source 3: http://www.skureal.de/?id=reply2all

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: http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/index.html

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. “


Multiplicity – taking the multiple displays idea to the next level

Most of us know Stardock as the company that creates the ultimate eye-candy tools like Windowblinds, and Objectdock. And now they’ve come up with a tool that makes it possible to control different computer with one mouse and keyboard. Think of that: you have 3 displays and 3 pc’s. You used to have 3 times keyboard+mouse. That’s going to change with Multiplicity. This tool switches your mouse+keyboard when you leave the display to another machine… so to switch: drag your mouse cursor right to the edge of the display …virtually to the next display… oh you get the idea! ;)

  • Greatly increase your productivity!

  • Easy to use interface! Get your machines working together in minutes!

  • Copy and paste images and text between computers seamlessly.

  • Great for graphics designers, 3D animators, developers, or other professionals who want or need the resources of multiple computers at their disposal but want to work with them as if they were a single unit.

  • Also great for gamers (particularly MMORPGs) who might want to keep an eye on other things on one monitor while the game runs on the other without any slow-down (or control two characters at once).

  • Terrific for users with a desktop PC and a laptop who want to control both from a single keyboard and mouse.

  • OS X client in development.

I would compare Multiplicity with Maxivista , which does similar things… BUT the fact that Stardock takes this whole idea to a new level… AND the fact that they’re working on an OSX client… makes it irresistable for the power-user of today.

I’ll give it a shot next week. So stay tuned for the complete test.

Source 1: http://www.stardock.com
Source 2: Maxivista article

use your Xbox Controller with your PC games

XBCD is the name of the driver that makes it possible to use the standard Xbox Controller with your PC games. Finally you have a real joypad for your PC… ;-)

“Exports ~32 controls to Windows:

  • Up to 24 digital buttons.
  • 7 axes(X, Y, Z, RX, RY, RZ, Slider) in Windows 2000/XP.
  • 6 axes(X, Y, Z, RX, RZ, Slider) in 98/ME.
  • POV hat switch with 8 directions Controller buttons, axes, and the digital pad can be mapped to any of the controls exported to Windows.
  • Supports up to 8 different configurations. The active configuration can be selected by pressing both Analog Sticks simultaneously. Controller can be reported to Windows as a gamepad or a joystick.
  • Threshold settings for Buttons, Triggers, and Axes.
  • Deadzone settings for Analog Sticks.
  • Scaling of axes for sensitivity.
  • Gamepad settings can be saved to a file for later use.
  • Rumble support.
  • Adjustable maximum force for each actuator.”

Source: http://www.redcl0ud.com/xbcd.html

mod the sun!

it’s been quite a long time since they did this modification…but it’s cool ;)

“we received these new sunfire 15ks and an adic scalar 10k tape library and decided upon initial inspection that the lights they come with stock would just not do.. the 15k is an amazing machine, and deserves a much nicer presentation, in our opinions.. the enterprise 10k has some cool LED’s that chase when the cpus are active, but the 15k only has a few lights that sit there or blink to a standard rhythm.. we have some grand plans for sprucing these machines up in the spirit of the old thinking machines CM-5 or the mythical W.O.P.R., but for now we just put some cold cathode tubes on the inside of the machine’s doors..”

Source: http://www.rm-r.net/~bri/casemod/

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?

Force Dynamics Racing Simulator

Oh this is soooo crazy… for just $20.000 you get a force-feedback Seat and Wheel that deserves the name:

“The Force Dynamics 301 is a high performance, commercial quality motion system. It is one of a tiny handful of motion simulators designed from the ground up for racing simulation, and its performance far exceeds that of systems costing many times more.”

click to watch the video

Source: http://www.force-dynamics.com/index.shtml

not perfect but they try it anyway: Logitech’s Harmony 880

That’s a remote control. A huge big-ass one of a remote control. But it’s the right way anyhow: It’s unsustainable that you have 3-4 maybe even 5 remote controls in the high-tech-palace some call their living room.

Look, it even has a full customisable color display:

“The Harmony 880 Advanced Universal Remote puts you in control of your entire audio-video system with just one button. It´s home entertainment the way it should be—simple.

Optimized for complicated HDTV and PVR systems, the Harmony 880 helps you tame tough configurations like switching your television between video aspect ratios depending on the program source. The interactive color display lets you quickly choose a 16:9 ratio for movies and HDTV, or a standard 4:3 ratio for basic television programming.”

Source: Logitech

enhancing the Orbs

I brought these nifty glowing orbs from CeBIT – and now i’ve found a minute to disassemble one of them:

you have to unscrew only three little screws to open the battery

the bottom side of the battery compartment
can be pulled out of the white plastic orb easily

Okay that was easy. Now the next step would be to solder an external power supply to the battery compartment so I get rid of the batteries.

Source: The Orbs

teh orbs

look what i got from CeBIT ;) – Those little gizmos can glow in thousands of colors…you can switch between the colors (well.. not all..yet.. i think i’ll modify them)… and a mode that cycles seemlessly through all the colors.

its blue.

its red and green.

its from Microsoft…

I just thought about modifying them – because they are battery powered i like to get them an appropriate power supply and maybe an usb interface … would be great to see them pulse when an eMail or instant message arrives….

hax0ring the linksys (run cisco, RUN!)

While we had some racing fun Atze was working on the newly modded Linksys WRT54G Wireless LAN Accesspoint.

Yes it runs Linux now… and hopefully he got the little gizmo working… because when we were there he was cursing all the time because some routing and NAT did not work…

By the way: isn´t this colorful network equipment…i´m sure we would have even red TP cable.

what about a new Mac mini case? ..maybe in black

As you may know there is only a white version of the Mac mini. Today 123Macmini.com has shown some more colorful paintjobs from ColorWare for the mini:

“Mac mini owners who already have their Mac mini can send in their case to be painted for $99 dollars.” – So its not a new case – they just take the existing case and paint it.

Quelle 1: http://www.123macmini.com/news/story/24.html
Quelle 2: http://www.colorwarepc.com/

wir feilen uns einen Kühlkörper

harhar… vorhin habe ich damit begonnen die Kühlkörper für meine Slot-Pentium 3 Xeons zurechtzusägen…

Da ist der Platz, da sollen sie rein… am unteren Bildrand ist der schon eingebaute Xeon zu sehen

Die “neuen” Xeons haben leider einen für HP Einschübe zu gross dimensionierten Kühlkörper… also muss ich ran mit der Säge….


hier ist gut zu sehen das der Original-HP Kühlkörper etwas schmaler als der nicht-HP Kühlkörper ist…

Und so wie es aussieht werd ich die Kühlkörper entsprechend zusägen lassen müssen… weil ich mit meiner Mini-Säge nich wirklich weit komme

Avedesk 1.2 verfügbar

Endlich ist die neue AveDesk Version verfügbar…mit einigen wirklich lang erwarteten Features..

“Ever since it bursted on the scene in 2003, AveDesk has become synonymous with Aqua customizing, excellent coding and resource friendly approach.

At first a mere docklet-on-desktop, AveDesk has evolved into a full fledged customizing application with SysStats and ObjectDock docklet support, full scripting support and the best resources usage among its competition.

Summer of 2004 brought a first major revision of AveDesk. Effects, revamped GUI and engine revision were among the numerous improvements AveDesk 1.1 brought to the public.

However, since a genius never sleeps, Andreas Verhoeven, the magician behind AveDesk, now teamed up with the docklet/coding guru, Hakan Edruman (aka herd), had much more in store for us.

Today, February 20, 2005, marks the release of the largest AveDesk update in its history.

ShowCase, modules, multiple account support, Tools, themes, all mark the birth of a new, more powerful AveDesk. Fullfilling user’s request and incorporating AveFocus into AveDesk, DeskThemes, new, easily installable desklets, full scripting support and minimal resource usage, crown AveDesk as the leader among desktop customizing applications.

AveDesk is not freeware, but donation-ware. If you use AveDesk, please consider donating to keep its development alive.

AveDesk is now available for download

Support AveDesk development, Support AveApps

Quelle: http://www.aqua-soft.org/board/showthread.php?t=23384

Linux auf dem Nintendo DS

Engadget berichtete heute:

“Using a passthrough and some homebrew demos, someone has Linux running on Nintendo’s new dual-screen portable gaming unit. It appears to use some external hardware, which makes the whole thing currently not-so-portable, but the idea is that all the hardware could be put on a single cartridge.”

Ja. Linux auf dem DS. Nicht schlecht soweit – also nicht das es nun gerade Linux ist, vielmehr das die Hardware damit anderweitig nutzbar wird.

Quelle 1: http://www.engadget.com
Quelle 2: http://www.dslinux.org

den Mac mini öffnen

Okay..endlich ein Video wie der Mac mini zu öffnen ist… sieht prima aus muss ich sagen – ergo: dem RAM Upgrade steht nichts im Wege, schon garnicht die lange Autofahrt zum Händler.

“Apple doesn’t want you to open up your Mac mini on your own, but judging from this video it looks pretty darn easy. This video, in fact, slightly changes my opinion of the Mac mini. Apparently all you need is a putty knife and a light touch, and the path to user upgradability is clear!”

Quelle 1: Taking apart the Mac mini
Quelle 2: http://apple.weblogsinc.com/entry/1234000103028190/

SETI ist der Name der Krankheit

Okay. Ich bin entschiedener Gegner der Rechenzeitverschwendung – der Kreuzritter der sinnvollen Anwendungen – und nun das:

“My seti farm is constantly growing/changing (as do most home farms !!), it started off by using all the bits I had lying around to make up as many pc’s as possible (I used to be a trader, so had a “few” bits around the place) The next step was ordering parts to go with what was left , eg shuttle boards to use the spare athlons I had Then as the bug bit even harder I started ordering parts to make more and more machines (crunchers). I now favor the caseless cruncher stacks , which have the advantage of taking up less space , but the disadvantage of being more hassle if you have to move them.”

Da hat sich so ein halbwegs Irrer gleich Palettenweise PCs in die Bude gekarrt um nichts sinnvolleres damit zu tun als SETI zu rechnen. – Das ist… BAH!

mal ein paar, dann doch, eindrucksvolle Bilder:

Quelle: http://shadyshack.dyndns.org/farm/future.html