April 2003

Who says ads are boring?

by Esther Schindler

A great Rube Goldberg contraption as part of a Honda commercial.

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vowe.net

CD Covers now in iTunes

by Volker Weber

itunesartworktn.jpg

Still have some work to do. Currently I have 286 albums in iTunes. 400 CDs are sitting in the big bad machine. While I relegated the CD jewel cases of those 400 CDs to storage , with iTunes I can actually look at the covers when it is playing a song. Neat.

From the Google referrers:

ituneswindows.jpg

iTunes for Windows? Not yet, but you can apply here:

Apple Computer is looking for a Senior Software Engineer to design and build one of our newest Consumer Applications, iTunes for Windows.

[via it&w]

vowe.net

Canon Digital IXUS 400 reviewed

by Volker Weber

ixus400.jpg

DPReview has an excellent review of the new Canon Digital IXUS 400. This is it, if you want to buy your next camera.

vowe.net

Apple Music Store nails it

by Volker Weber

musicstoretn.jpg

Prediction: The Apple Music Store will be a huge success.

I browsed the new Apple Music Store yesterday and it was an excellent experience. The only downside is that I cannot buy anything today since my credit card billing address is not in the US. They are working on fixing that so I will let this aside for now.

You can browse and search by keywords. Find all the songs they carry with the word "Dreams". Bingo. The Cranberries. Double click. Plays instantly in CD-like quality. Only a 30 sec preview but that is fair enough. U2? Got it. Ah, there is a video, play it. Now that takes somewhat longer. Never mind. What did Steve Jobs play during his keynote? Radar love. Man, that was long ago. Let's hear it again. Wham bam bam ...

This is so great, I spent two hours there. Would I have bought anything if I could? You bet. Maybe only a few tracks. Three tracks, 3 bucks? That would buy me a beer at the bar. Sure, I could have it cheaper at home. But would I hold off my thirst until then? Surely not. It is the instant gratification that does the trick.

The Apple Music Store only works with iTunes. That won't be available for Windows until the end of the year. Which gives everyone else 8 months to build something equally rewarding for Windows in the meantime.

To all the others who cannot wait: The store is so good, that you should stop holding off your purchase of a Mac. Just do it.

vowe.net

Palm Desktop 4.1 for Mac

by Volker Weber

palmdroplet.jpg

Palm has the current version 4.1 now also available for the Mac. Nice addition: This droplet is a drop target for files you want to send to your handheld at the next hotsync operation.

Note to self: Test new Palm Desktop software for the Mac and see how it cooperates with XTND Connect Server. Don't want to miss any data because of two different sync schemes.

vowe.net

Apples Music Special Event available as Quicktime webcast

by Volker Weber

applemusicevent.jpg

If you want to see a "live" account of Apple CEO Steve Jobs presenting yesterday's announcements from the Moscone Center in San Francisco, you can view an MPEG 4 stream in Quicktime now.

vowe.net

Having fun with Google referrers

by Volker Weber

Today seems to be "Daemon Tools" day. Someone must have noticed that they are actually pretty cool because you can mount CD images in Windows - for free. That is not exactly news to the Mac crowd but you can easily please a Windows user with that. They are on vowe's choice.

I already know that I seem to be the authority on how you can join a Windows domain with XP Home, which has that feature deliberately disabled by Microsoft. It's only in the best interest of the customer, I am sure.

Recently somebody started playing with the Google referrers to put little messages in there. Hey, we have comments here on this blog, and if you need a tag board, I will be happy to install one. :-)

vowe.net

So isset

by Volker Weber

Aus der Mail eines lieben Freundes:

Ich liebe die Software-Marketing Abteilung .....
.. besonders die von Siemens.

Aus der Ankündigung eines Software Updates für das S55:

"Improved overall software stability through technical enhancements"

auf deutsch:

"Wir haben ein paar ganz dicke Bugs gefunden, sind aber noch nicht sicher, ob alle raus sind ("improved"). Im übrigen hatten wir noch jede Menge schwachsinnigen Code in der Firmware, den man eigentlich nicht brauchte ("technical enhancements")."
Mit diesem Filter liest man auch Pressemitteilungen. Ich weiß nicht, warum die PR-Leute diese ganze Soße immer über den Braten schütten, aber wir duschen den sofort wieder ab. vowe.net

Session handouts from IBM developerWorks Live 2003 in New Orleans

by Volker Weber

Get them here while supplies last.

No, they are not available in one file. But that should not be a problem. For those who never used an ftp client, open a command prompt and enter these commands:

ftp ibmftp.dwlive.confnav.com
ibmftpuser
password
prompt
bin
mget *
vowe.net

Someone is really, really happy

by Volker Weber

powerbookarrives.JPG

He is actually so happy, he even made a movie. Don't want to link there but you can find it at http://www.clearcloud.com/images/17.mov

vowe.net

Thirteenthousandsevenhundredfiftyeight messages and counting

by Volker Weber

Now that is an overflowing mailbox. To really f*ck things up, you need a computer.

vowe.net

Brand new iPod, iTunes 4, Quicktime 6.2, MusicStore

by Volker Weber

ipod2.jpg

Lots of updates @ Apple. I like the new iPod. It looks slimmer and lighter than Woodstock and seems to have much smoother edges. With iTunes 4 you can buy tracks from the MusicStore. The tracks don't come as MP3 but 128 kb/s AAC (mpeg4). With Quicktime Pro updated to 6.2 you can create your own AACs.

The software on the old iPods can be updated to 1.3 which can play those AAC files. One nice touch is that Apple moved the useless About from the main menu to the Settings and added a new Backlight item to the main menu instead.

The new iPods have a major release 2.0 of the iPod software which adds an On-the-go playlist that you can edit on the device itself, two more games and a few other gimmicks.

Quick math: 499 for the 30 gig iPod, 7500 songs @ .99 a pop, that's almost 8000 bucks. :-)

Pictures from the presentation. Apple misses one major trend: OggVorbis.

vowe.net

Wie man fachgerecht Bilder verkleinert ...

by Volker Weber

Stefan hat eine ganz wunderbare Anleitung geschrieben, die in klaren, einfachen Worten beschreibt, wie man mit Photoshop Fotos oder andere, viel zu große Bilder fachgerecht verkleinert. Sowas gibt man seinem Webredaktör, dem sonst nichts zu schwör ist.

Merke: A fool with a tool is still a fool. :-)

vowe.net

Space Station Moon Movie

by Esther Schindler

Astronaut Don Pettit looked out the window of the International Space Station earlier this month and saw the full moon setting behind Earth's edge-on atmosphere. Using a handheld digital camera, he captured a rapid-fire sequence of images. The resulting movie reveals a moonset like nothing you've seen on Earth.

More >

vowe.net

Beware of incoming Google traffic

by Volker Weber

I have been tracking incoming referrers for some time now. It gives me an indication of who links here. Early on I had blacklisted referrers from my own sites so those would not "spam" my referrer listing. Luckily Chief PHP Wrangler Stefan has implemented this as a list of substrings so I could easily avoid referrers spamming once the offending sites were known. For a long time I have blacklisted everything that looks like make money fast or nekid ladies scam.

All of the Google search sites where also blacklisted since they account for a lot of incoming traffic. The search terms are very amusing however and so I have decided to put the last 50 incoming Google referrers into a separate subsection on the side bar. Scroll down and have fun.

I expect a very high turnover for this list. I get one referrer from Google every 5 minutes so it will be interesting to check this once in a while. Thanks to Stefan for this nice hack. :-)

vowe.net

An amazing number of Macs ...

by Volker Weber

I have to correct myself. A few days ago while talking about NetNewsWire I casually mentioned that Ray can't use it because he is locked into the Windows platform. It now looks like he actually can. :-)

A sea of WiFi laptops ... and an amazing number of Macs. Not unexpected given the crowd, but still impressive. Steve Gillmor amongst others continued to prod me for a Mac version of Groove - particularly since he knew that I've recently been using a Powerbook to rediscover what's been going on in that software community.

More>

vowe.net

Weblogs around the world

by Volker Weber

geoblog.jpg

Today I spotted my first referrer from Geoblog, a service that interfaces with weblogs.com. It shows you the latest weblogs posts with their location around the world. It requires two things from the weblog: a RSS feed where it pulls the latest post from and a GeoURL.

Somewhat related: When looking at your logfiles did you ever wonder, where certain visitors where originating from? Here is a nice interface from GeoBytes which help you spot the location of an IP address. I found it quite interesting that I have many readers in the Seattle area. :-)

vowe.net

Novel use of CSS

by John Keys

Block unwanted ads using a CSS-capable browser

(via kottke.org undesign)

vowe.net

Open Standards and Domino

by Volker Weber

Read IBMs marketing communications and find "open standards" in every second paragraph. I think it is about time to eat that dogfood. Mike Golding shows that can be done. His site validates nicely as HTML 4.01 Transitional. How about your site?

vowe.net

A Windows user spends a week with a Mac

by Volker Weber

Steven Garrity writes about the Mac OS from a Windows user's perspective. And he sees a number of things that I did not see in months. One example:

osxreview_closesave.gifI came across a few particularly nice touches in OS X. When working on a document that has been changed since last saved, the window-close control (the little red orb), has a dot in the center. This indicates that if you click the close button, you will be prompted to save or discard your changes. This is a smart and unobtrusive feature that proved very useful (I happened to be working with a lot of HTML files this week).

Excellent reading.

More >

vowe.net

Ouch

by Volker Weber

Just wanted to check out the website for the Admin 2003 conference in Munich next week — no, this is not The View running this one. Sadly I had to turn down my second invitation due to some scheduling conflicts. Since I did not know the conference web address I checked with Groupware Magazin first, where I hit this error message:

gwmagde.jpg

First I thought they would be running on Domino but then I checked it again at Netcraft.

Regarding scheduling conflicts, I will also miss the DNUG conference in Hamburg next month altough I was asked to speak there since IBM chose to run their Software Symposium at the exact same time in Munich.

Attention IBM: You can check DNUG conferences all the way through to 2006 here. Sandra, do you hear me?

Update: Just received my schedule for Munich and it looks like I can make it to Hamburg as well, just in time for the party Tuesday night. Now everything depends on travel management and room availability. :-)

vowe.net

Having fun with RSS

by Volker Weber

When Ray Ozzie posted his first entry in months on his resting weblog yesterday, he made this remark:

as I dramatically increased my effective consumption thanks in particular to Syndirella, SharpReader and .NET.

I have great respect for Ray but I could not help but laugh out loud after this plug for .NET. I have tried a number of RSS aggregators (Haiko has a wonderful comprehensive list). A number of those came out for .NET after a C# implementation was published on MSDN. Both programs that Ray mentioned require this framework. That is why it takes so long to load them.

So what made me chuckle? I was looking at NetNewsWire:

netnewswiretn.jpg

This program runs rings around the .NET aggregators, both in terms of elegance and implementation. But Ray can't use it. :-)

vowe.net

Dick und durstig

by Volker Weber

cayennes.jpg

Stefan Alsen beschreibt in der ZEIT den Porsche Cayenne kurz und knackig:

Gegen dieses Auto kann man nichts einwenden - nur Grundsätzliches: Es kostet ein Vermögen, und es säuft 20 Liter.

Stimmt.

More >

vowe.net

Say hi

by Volker Weber

vowe20030424.JPG

We haven't had a current image in ages. This one was taken 2pm today. :-)

vowe.net

Acer Bluetooth USB dongle

by Volker Weber

Acer_BT_500_1.jpg

I just love this device. It is very small, lightweight and adds Bluetooth capability to PCs and Macs. On the Mac it is pure plug&play. On PCs you have to install the Bluetooth stack that comes with the device.

I already own two of these sticks and will most likely buy more.

vowe.net

Site news: RSS feed for comments

by Volker Weber

I have quietly added a new feature to this site: A second RSS feed containing all comments. Look in the lower right hand margin for this link:

http://vowe.net/comments.rdf

This may be a good way to stay on top of the discussion, so you don't have to come back and see whether someone has answered your post.

In related news, the site now strives to conform to standards, especially XHTML 1.0 Transitional, CSS 2.0, RSS 1.0. There will be an occasional slip since the body of the posts are free form HTML, but we try. :-)

vowe.net

The Personals

by Esther Schindler

Forwarded to me by my brother-in-law:

The following ad in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution received numerous calls:

SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a very good looking girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. Rub me the right way and watch me respond. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Kiss me and I'm yours. Call (404) 875-6420 and ask for Daisy.

Over 15,000 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society about an 8-week old black Labrador... we men are soooo easy!

vowe.net

Kubi Software Ships Kubi Client

by Volker Weber

Quoting from their press release:

Kubi Software today announced the general availability of its highly anticipated first offering, Kubi Client. The first ever Collaborative Email solution, Kubi Client provides structured team spaces for individuals and teams to collaborate spontaneously and securely, within familiar Microsoft Outlook or IBM Lotus Notes Email clients. It combines the power of collaborative software with the familiarity and ease of use of Email.

Kubi Software was founded in 2001 to create a new class of business software called Collaborative Email that enables employees, customers, and partners to collaborate easily and securely. Collaborative Email combines the power of collaboration with the familiarity and ease of use of Email. Founder and CEO Julio Estrada has extensive experience in developing commercially successful software, including chief-architect roles for Lotus QuickPlace and Lotus Domino Web Server - collaboration solutions used today by tens of millions of users. Kubi Software's world-class executive team brings management expertise from enterprise software companies, while its blue-chip investors include Lazard Technology Partners and Venture Investment Management Company LLC (VIMAC).

More >

vowe.net

Madonna.com hacked

by Volker Weber

Boing Boing:

After Madonna rudely planted fake tracks from her new record last week on the P2Pnets (see Cory's post below), a prankster responded on Saturday by hacking madonna.com and posting MP3s of the entire album four days before it hit stores.

Whatever Madonna was thinking, it shurely backfired. P2P networks now are flooded with tracks from her new album. There is hardly anything else shared by more people.

vowe.net

Palm introduces two new PDAs today

by Volker Weber

tungstenczire71.jpg

Palm has two new handhelds that are really great. Tungsten C, 400 MHz (!), 64 MB, WiFi, keyboard, no Bluetooth however. And a new Zire 71 with fix focus VGA camera, 144 MHz and 16 MB.

Man, I have been NDA'ed for weeks now on this. :-)

vowe.net

Ray's weblog no longer resting

by Volker Weber

Well, I'm back. It's been so, so long. Today I received enough e-encouragement as a result of this c|net piece that I realized it's about time that I take another run at the blog.

More >

vowe.net

MySQL without MySQL

by Volker Weber

Note to self: Need to test SQLite

SQLite is a C library that implements an embeddable SQL database engine. Programs that link with the SQLite library can have SQL database access without running a separate RDBMS process. The distribution comes with a standalone command-line access program (sqlite) that can be used to administer an SQLite database and which serves as an example of how to use the SQLite library.

SQLite is not a client library used to connect to a big database server. SQLite is the server. The SQLite library reads and writes directly to and from the database files on disk.

More >

vowe.net

Hotfix for Domino wanted

by Volker Weber

I want the hotfix for this problem on Windows 2000. This seems to be SPR #SKIN5EZK4G. Fixed in 6.0.2. Anybody out there who has a hotfix? Please mail it to me. Thank you !

More >

vowe.net

Bitstream Vera fonts

by Volker Weber

Ned Batchelder writes:

Vera is a collection of typefaces from Bitsteam for use in open-source projects. They look good, and should provide relief from the never-ending clones of Times and Helvetica.

Get Vera here.

vowe.net

Wie macht man eine Leerzeile in HTML?

by Volker Weber

Die Homepage der Fakultaet fuer Wirtschaftswissenschaften an der RWTH-Aachen empfiehlt:

<body TEXT="000000" BGCOLOR="C0C0C0" LINK="000000" ALINK="000000" VLINK="000000">
...
<br>
<font SIZE=2 COLOR="C0C0C0" FACE="Arial">Leerzeile</font><br>
<br>
<font SIZE=2 COLOR="C0C0C0" FACE="Arial">Leerzeile</font><br>
...
</body>

Und jenseits geht es dann mit Domino weiter. Liebe Kinder, gelbe Seiten ...

[via heise online News-Forum]

vowe.net

Die Kleinkind-Diät

by Volker Weber

Viele Leute sind stets auf der Suche nach einer neuen Diät. Das Problem mit den meisten Diäten ist jedoch:

1. Man bekommt nicht genug zu essen.
2. Man hat nicht genug Abwechslung.
3. Man ist hinterher pleite.

Also
- mogeln die meisten Leute bei ihrer Diät.
- Hören nach drei Tagen auf oder
- Sie stopfen sich hinterher wieder voll.

Gibt es wirklich keine andere Lösung, als aufzugeben und den Freunden zu erzählen man habe eine Stoffwechselstörung?

Doch, es gibt eine: Die Kleinkind-Diät!

Haben Sie schon bemerkt, dass die meisten Zweijährigen ziemlich schlank sind?

Nach Rücksprache mit Kinderärzten, Röntgenologen und verzweifelten Müttern ist man jetzt in der Lage, diese neue Diät zu formulieren. Sie ist preiswert, bietet abwechslungsreiche Mahlzeiten und ausreichende Mengen.

Bevor Sie mit der Diät beginnen, konsultieren Sie Ihren Arzt, sonst müssen Sie ihn möglicherweise hinterher aufsuchen. Viel Glück!

More >

vowe.net

Chandler Release 0.1

by Volker Weber

chandler01tn.jpg

OSAF releases first version of Chandler.

The purpose of releasing version 0.1 Chandler source code is to provide an architectural and technical overview of Chandler, give the community a chance to review a skeletal framework and tentative APIs, and to provide more details about future Chandler plans including a few cool features to give a glimpse of what is possible. In general, this is a chance to show that OSAF is "for real".

The UI designer has not started working yet. This is what you get if you let developers create user interfaces. :-)

More >

vowe.net

Material Girl

by Esther Schindler

Madonna has been clamping down on P2P sharing of her upcoming album, American Life, by flooding file-sharing networks with decoy sound files. Those who download tracks from such services as KaZaA are greeted by the voice of Madonna asking, "What the f ---- do you think you're doing?"

More >

vowe.net

Use SonyEricsson mobile phone as remote

by Volker Weber

arbomenu.jpg

Romeo is a little program which makes a recent SonyEricsson phone, combined with Bluetooth, into an all-purpose remote for Mac OS X. Use the built-in menus for iTunes, DVD Player, or even as a mouse; or create your own menus using Applescript, key, or mouse emulation - and export them and share them with the Mac community.

And in contrast to Clicker it is free.

vowe.net

Tungsten C turns up on eBay

by Volker Weber

tungstenconebay.jpg

Someone on eBay is selling what looks like to be the Tungsten C, a new handheld from Palm that hasn't even been announced yet and that's supposed to come with built-in WiFi.

Someone is going to be very angry. Either someone at Palm, or the buyer who paid more than 800 bucks to get this thing.

[via Gizmodo]

vowe.net

How to make Notes look good on MacOS X

by Volker Weber

withoutsilktn.jpg withsilktn.jpg

Notes on MacOS X looks plain ugly. Not only are the fonts way too small (which can be fixed) but they also have awful jaggies. Now click on both pictures above and compare them side by side! And remember: These are jpegs that already have lost a lot of clarity.

How does one do that? Simple. Notes is a Carbon application that runs on MacOS 9 and MacOS X. Carbon applications do not have font smoothing on OS X. But you can make it avalaible with the free Silk haxie from Unsanity. Highly recommended. Install the haxie and add Notes to the list of applications in the Silk preference panel. Done.

vowe.net

Kill that rabbit

by Volker Weber

hasentoeter.jpg

Just in time for easter.

vowe.net

Hands-on lab: Developing Collaborative Portals and Portlets for Domino Developers

by Volker Weber

Our Intent in this lab is to demonstrate all the different ways to integrate Domino Data and Applications in IBM WebSphere Portal.

Interestingly enough this lab is hosted on Jetspeed.org. :-)

More >

vowe.net

SNAPPS releases AnyPlace Administrator

by Volker Weber

Quoting from their white paper:

With the release of QuickPlace 3.0 in October 2002, IBM removed and did not replace a web-based tool called the QuickPlace Admin Utility that was available in QuickPlace 2.08 (the one point release only, which was current from July 2001 to October 2002). The reason for this is that IBM exposed a new Java XML API (QPAPI for short). This QPAPI exposed these and many additional commands to developers, the idea being that developers could then program interfaces for XML-based instruction sets. However the skill set to create an interface like this is very high end, requiring multiple programming language skills and a deep understanding of Team Workplace administration. This is a fairly rare combination.

SNAPPS AnyPlace Administrator is the answer to this problem. Through a web-based interface, AnyPlace allows the Team Workplace administrator to perform over 95% of the command-line functions exposed by the QPAPI, and 100% of the functions required for day-to-day management of a Team Workplace service.

More >

vowe.net

Almost done

by Volker Weber

Valid XHTML 1.0!

Haiko was right. The Validable plugin did the trick. However MT does not behave nicely with block constructs that span paragraphs. It recognizes the opening <blockquote> tag but not the closing </blockquote>. So it encloses that in paragraph tags and thus the code is no longer wellformed XML. Bummer.

There is a workaround: Avoid empty lines in block constructs and put two <br /> tags there, joining all lines.

Instead of doing this:

<blockquote>text text text text text text text text text

text text text text text text </blockquote>

You have to do that:

<blockquote>text text text text text text text text text<br /><br />text text text text text text </blockquote>

As I am not going to fix all previous posts, this site will only validate from now on.

vowe.net

Hydra revisited

by Volker Weber

hydraeditortn.jpg

I have talked about Hydra before because of its collaborative editing capabilities. Since I am currently not a Rendezvous user that was not really important to me. It now turns out however that Hyrda is a very decent editor with exactly the capabilities I expect from a lightweight editor.

It is now my preferred editor on Lucy and shall be rewarded with a vowe's choice award soon.

vowe.net

Early LED Watches

by Volker Weber

PulsarP2DateIIx.jpg

Just stumbled across this site with a comprehensive collection of early LED watches. My father bought this watch in the early 70s and it must be around our house somewhere. The Pulsar is not one of the el cheapo watches you could buy at bargain prices. I think I have to go look for it and wear it. Probably way cool today. Anyone remember Theo Kojak?

vowe.net

Who was Playmate of the month when you were born?

by Volker Weber

PoM

Another classic has been reborn. I wonder how long it takes until this one burns through the traffic limit.

vowe.net

Not yet compliant

by Volker Weber

I worked a little bit on my templates tonight in order to make the site compliant with the XHTML specification. That is almost done. I do need to work on one item and that is the HTML entity for ampersand. This character is often used in URLs and I don't want to handcode those when linking somewhere else. MT has to do that for me. Once I figured out how I can do that, I will fix the archive templates as well and regenerate the site.

vowe.net

Banderielo di pace

by Volker Weber

pace_small.jpg

When I first saw this flag, I laughed and thought somebody forgot a letter. Now my neighbor has the same flag hanging out of her window and that got me thinking again. It turned out I was just ignorant. Brushed up a little bit on my Latin. And italian for that matter. :-)

Update: Manual Salzunger had a nice one from Titanic:

startcartoon.jpg

vowe.net

Notes/Domino 6.5 beta 1 available

by Volker Weber

IBM opens beta program for next version of Notes and Domino. Major features of Lotus Notes/Domino 6.5 include:

- Improved usability, expanded functionality, and platform support for IBM Lotus Domino Web Access (formerly iNotes Web Access)
- Quick rules for junk mail management
- Drag-and-drop support of mail documents for creating pre-populated calendar entries
- Enhanced printing flexibility
- Domino support for zLinux.
- Lotus Enterprise Integrator (LEI) version 6.5, which offers a powerful suite of advanced real time and data management activities

More >

vowe.net

Safari Beta 2

by Volker Weber

tabbedsafari.jpg

I have been missing tabbed browsing badly since I started to use Safari on Lucy. I could have used Mozilla but Safari is so much faster and renders fonts nicer that I did not want to go back to Mozilla (and other lizards). Internet Explorer was completely out of the question.

Now tabbed browsing is here (as is Autofill) and I am a happy camper. Oliver tells me that Safari does not seem to use the proxy for HTTPS connections. I can't help since Lucy is a free lady unrestricted by a proxy. Any hints?

vowe.net

Captain's Dinner

by Volker Weber

Steve Mills

Last Wednesday I got to sit next to Steve Mills for two hours giving us plenty of time to chat. It was only the second time we did that. The first time had been seven years ago at the IBM OS/2 Technical Interchange Conference in Nashville, TN. I did not like him at all then, while I enjoyed working with his boss. Since Mills took over in 2000 we did not have much contact. But I have made up my mind this time. This is a very intelligent man, and a powerful one, I might add.

More >

vowe.net

Unböring.TV

by Volker Weber

unboring.jpg

Who says all commercials are boring?

vowe.net

Tomcat in a box

by Volker Weber

schroedinger.jpg

This works for Windows, MacOS X and Linux:

For those who are interested in setting up a simple yet effective JSP development environment, or if you just want to learn JSP: A company called Micromata has released a free application entitled Schrödinger. This small 11MB program just needs to be launched, and there you have it, a great little JSP (Java Server Pages) environment.

Download >

[via MacOSX Hints]

vowe.net

Corporate blogging with MovableType

by Volker Weber

This hack is a big step towards enabling a large number of people to run their own blogs in a corporate environment without the need for a separate user management:

This is a hack for Movable Type to use LDAP when looking up Author records. Every reecord of inetOrgPerson class below a given branch of the LDAP tree will be treated as an MT author, and if necessary a blog will be created for each LDAP-based author.

Authentication depends on using basic authentication on your webserver - ie. using mod_auth_ldap - since LDAP author objects in this hack heck to verify the REMOTE_USER of a webserver-authenticated user, instead of verifying the password stored in MT's author records.

User beware: This is very much a raw hack and will likely require some experience with perl and MT, as well as with LDAP and web server configuation.

More >

vowe.net

Usage of a tool...

by Markus Nolte

bildA_C1_16_03_mpx_magpix.jpg


I have no idea how and for what to use this tool ... Any ideas?

vowe.net

In search of a better Notes portlet

by Volker Weber

WebSphere Portal comes with a Notes view portlet that leaves a lot to be desired. We have a number of requirements it does not meet so we want to create a better one.

We need a capability to render a view in other ways than multicolumn. Each entry would render over multiple lines in a single column for instance. I assume that is easy to fix with some ReadViewEntry code and clever XSLT. Anyone done that and wants to share his code? IBM keep their stuff closed source so we cannot start from there. I have a theory why they cannot share their code. :-)

We need to able to proxy Notes forms through the portal. Currently the Notes view portlet chickens out and links directly to the Domino http-Port. When you click on a link you open a new window, whose content is rendered directly by the Domino web engine and deliverd through the http task. This is a definite no-no, since you need to expose the Domino server (model layer) to the web user (view layer). However, building the missing layers is not trivial because Notes documents can contain lots of MIME stuff after they have been rendered by the web engine. It would be even more daunting to go directly to the notes documents and then try to figure out RT fields.

Suggestions welcome ...

vowe.net

Quote of the Day

by Volker Weber

Every woman needs the following: her "fuck me" shoes and her "don't fuck with me" shoes.
—Heather Champ

More >

vowe.net

Patterns: Custom Designs for Domino & WebSphere Integration

by Volker Weber

In this IBM Redbook we describe the Application Integration patterns, and how, together with one or more of the other Patterns for e-business, they form Custom designs. We first discuss the application integration methods, how IBM Lotus Domino 6 and IBM WebSphere Application Server V5 can be integrated, and then move into Hybrid Runtime patterns, where both Domino and WebSphere Application Server exist. We then expand our discussion of Hybrid Runtime patterns to include Directory integration as well as Collaboration patterns.

In the second half of the book we describe three real-life scenarios where Patterns for e-business are applied and Domino and WebSphere Application Server are part of the runtime topology. We start from the business requirements, then identify and apply the applicable Business, Application, and Runtime patterns to get to our own runtime topology. We start with a simple scenario, and then increase the complexity in the following scenarios. We discuss technology options, and provide design and development guidelines for the solutions as well.

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vowe.net

Safari Beta 2 available

by Volker Weber

safaribeta2.JPG

New: Tabbed browsing, AutoFill forms & passwords, Privacy reset, Available in English, Japanese, French and German, Import Netscape and Mozilla bookmarks

vowe.net

Hold the Phone, It's a Sex Toy

by Volker Weber

Vibelet.com's Purring Kitty software, launched last week, turns certain Nokia cell phones with vibrating ring capabilities into a "discrete, vibrating massager." The software, which costs UKGP 1.50 (about $2.35), is downloaded straight to the phone via a WAP link. Once installed, it has just two controls: Start and Pause. While running, an image of a contented cat is displayed on the phone's screen.

"The reaction has been pretty good," Walsh said. "There's a clear 50/50 split. Half the girls know immediately what it's about. The other half look at the kitty and say, 'Aw, that's cute, but why is it vibrating?' Then the penny drops."

More >

vowe.net

Twisted pictures

by Volker Weber

savingryansprivates.jpeg monstrous.jpg gladiator.jpg

vowe.net

IBM Plans Sneak Attack On Microsoft Office

by Volker Weber

Computer Reseller News had this story last Friday:

There will soon be another entrant in the lopsided Office wars.

IBM, not exactly a powerhouse in desktop applications, has its own attack on the desktop planned for later this year. IBM Software and its Lotus Software Group have built J2EE-based spreadsheet, document and presentation graphics "applications" that will be bundled for free with the company's WebSphere portal, sources said.

It's not a full-frontal assault on Microsoft Office, which controls an estimated 90 percent or more of corporate desktops. Rather, channel players and other observers see the move as something of a Trojan horse. The applications are served up "on demand" from the server.

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vowe.net

Impressions from developerWorks Live 2003

by Volker Weber

Diningtent1tn.jpg Diningtent2tn.jpg

1. There would have been space for a lot more people in the dining hangar.
2. Some folks can make you feel really thin.

vowe.net

Is Apple's New PowerBook Too Large to Be 'Mobile'?

by Volker Weber

Walter Mossberg in Wall Street Journal:

How large can you make a laptop's screen without making the overall computer too unwieldy to be described as "mobile"? Apple Computer, famous for its slick designs, thinks it knows the answer. It's in my hands right now.

More >

vowe.net

Back from New Orleans

by Volker Weber

neworleans.jpg

Now I have a good idea why they call New Orleans the Big Easy. This is one place where they don't rush you to free up the table. There is a certain slowness in everything. The French Quarter Fest was going so, so one could sit in the evening outside on the lawn and listen to a number of excellent bands. On Friday night we really had a good time out there.

Air travel from New Orleans to Frankfurt via Cincinnati was uneventful. Got some sleep in the night and watched Femme Fatale for the second time. This is one twisted movie and I did not get all the hints the first time, especially not those where they speak French. :-)

vowe.net

Interesting cultural artifacts ...

by Volker Weber

I learned in New Orleans:

vowe says: Of everything that is important in your body, you have two of those.
Bob says: Or a really big one.

[Silence]
[Laughter]

vowe.net

Funny hats

by Volker Weber

funnyhats.jpg

Work during the day and then make a fool out of yourself at night :-)

vowe.net

How cheap can software be?

by Markus Nolte

Recently I got an email about cheap standard software.

The Link lead me to a page where some standard software is provided as OEM versions for about 20% of the price of the cheapest reseller I know.

Ok. Lets try to get some infos about the reseller on the page.
This is not available. There is no post address where to reach the company.

Since the prices are really attractive I searched for the owner of the site.

Registrant:
Mourad Shakhbanov
Bebelya 118-33
Ekaterinburg, Ural 620034
RU

I expect the money will help to make some guys really happy in Ural ;-)

vowe.net

Living on a tight schedule

by Volker Weber

ibmdw03schedule.gif

This turns out to be the usual conference schedule. Lots of appointments, lots of things to digest. And as always, having a hard time to find the gold nuggets in a huge stream of sand and rocks.

And there is still some time on Friday to collect a few trinkets at the exhibition floor.

vowe.net

RIP, Anita Borg

by Esther Schindler

Anita Borg was instrumental in breaking through the silicon glass ceiling.

Borg, whom admirers described as a brilliant engineer, worked for Digital Equipment Corp.'s groundbreaking Palo Alto networking lab for more than a decade before leaving in 1997 to found the Institute for Women and Technology (IWT) at another celebrated research facility, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).

I never met her, though we corresponded a few times. And now I've lost the chance.

More >

vowe.net

Art immitates life

by Esther Schindler

War-related spam accounted for 10 percent of all junk email compiled last month in the anti-spam database of anti-spam software firm SurfControl.

More >

vowe.net

vowe on tour

by Volker Weber

flightinfo.png

I am not much of a traveller. Most of the times I'd rather stay at home. But this is going to be my fourth trip in four months. Luckily I was able to upgrade my flights from monkey class. I am confirmed on all flghts but the third leg for the upgrade. That wil only be a two hour flight so that is not going to be too much of a problem if I won't make it. I looked for the movies and it seems I will be able to see Star Trek: Nemesis today.

I am feeling a bit strange this time. Being away from home while there is a war going on. So please keep your fingers crossed for me.

vowe.net

Keep it stupid, simple?

by Volker Weber

Follow the instructions on the screen for downloading to your PDA. 1. Place the device in front of the IR FTP "beaming" adapter. 2. Download the IBM developerWorks Live! application. The link will call the IRFTP program which will beam the application to the device automatically. 3. You will be prompted on your device to accept the file. Select yes. 4. To launch the IBM developerWorks Live! application in the future, go to the launchpad and click on the icon for IBM developerWorks Live!.

IBM, please. How hard is it to just put the application in a ZIP file and have it available for download, so I can actually install it on my Tungsten without moving my sorry 455 in front of your IR FTP beaming adapter?

Software written by administrators for administrators, huh? And while we are at this: There does not seem to be much going on in terms of conference highlights.

vowe.net

Travelling without a keyboard this time

by Volker Weber

thinkeyboardtn.jpgA keyboard is one of the things that I miss once in a while with Clyde. This week will be another one of those occasions. I will be going to attend IBM's developerWorks Live event in New Orleans. So I will be lugging around a notebook the whole week to write stories and take notes. When I was still using my IBM-branded Palm V, I had a keyboard that attached to it. And all the things I needed for a field trip fit into my pockets. The Tungsten now has the new universal connector so I had to part with the old keyboard. I liked that a lot.

I am somewhat undecided what I should think about the new keyboard. It is incredibly light and thin. But I doubt that Palm will be making a German keyboard layout. I think that the market for these devices is actually very small so it may not make sense for them to invest in this kind of venture.

keyboard_accordion_170.gifHowever the old keyboard that I used to have is also available with the universal connector. And Palm has one with my preferred keyboard layout. What would you trade? A really small and light one or one with your preferred layout? I am leaning towards the latter.

However it turns out. Having one of them will spare me from carrying a notebook computer in many cases. If the Tungsten would also have WLAN capability I could probably do most of my reporting with this setup. Does anybody hear me? :-)

vowe.net

iPod + backpack = amp pack

by Volker Weber

amppack.jpg

vowe.net

At least it isn't Windows

by Volker Weber

palmpilot.jpg

Oh, dear. Need to be on two flights tomorrow.

[Thanks, Vesey]

vowe.net

Small change, big improvement

by Volker Weber

Pepino just told me that I have a double slash in my RSS link. Thanks! That was an easy fix:

Old: <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" href="<$MTBlogURL$>/index.rdf" />
New: <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" href="<$MTBlogURL$>index.rdf" />

That should take care of it. Bummer.

vowe.net

The infamous 345 files bug

by Volker Weber

Question: How many files can you have in a Tungsten T?
Answer: 344.

As soon as you get to 345, the Launcher will bomb as soon as you try to categorize, send, beam, delete ... It fails when it enumerates the files. Usually you don't hit that limit with regular programs. But as soon as you start to use the Web browser you fill up the device rather quickly with cached files. I was not aware of this bug, which has obviously been documented long ago, until I got my Bluetooth connection working with the Mocha PPP kludge and started to use that browser.

If you have not encountered the bug and you do have more than 344 files, then you may not have the EFGIS version. EFGIS? EnglishFrenchGermanItalianSpanish. That is the version where you have to select your language after a hard reset.

Until Palm fixes that bug you have two choices: Delete the browser cache once in a while (read: after each use) or use a different launcher.

vowe.net

Tungsten T paint chips off

by Volker Weber

TungstenPaint1tn.JPG TungstenPaint2tn.JPG

I first noticed this in the upper left corner and now it starts developing all over the front: Clyde loses its paint. Interestingly that only happens on the front that is always covered with the plastic shield and not on the back. I assume it is actually caused by the cover. Maybe it is evaporating a substance that softens the paint?

I am not worried about my Tungsten since I actually like it when my devices have some indication that they are being used. But I can imagine that other folks might have a different view ...

vowe.net

Reviewing XTNDConnect Server, part 3

by Volker Weber

[continued from part 2]

xtndconnectintra.png

Brushed my teeth and was ready to go to sleep and then I had a good idea. It most likely was not a DNS problem but rather a sloppy setup at the server. So I looked it up and there it was: a localhost entry instead of a fully qualified name. Fixed that and I was able to sync back to the server via PPP over Bluetooth. So this is the real thing: Connect the Palm over the internet without a local PC. I can write my report tomorrow then.

Now I can go to sleep. Have a good night. :-)

vowe.net

Tungsten-Surfing

by Volker Weber

While I am busy testing the XTNDConnect Server I really needed to go via a Bluetooth/Internet connection to the server. Did not want to pay extra for a connection via my mobile carrier so I really needed to get the Bluetooth access point going. Since Clyde bombs right away when you connect to the BT LAN access profile — as reported before — I needed a workaround using Mocha PPP:

mocchappp.png

After some tweaking that worked OK. If you select Windows CE as your device type then you can go up to 115000 bps, not exactly the speed you would expect from BT, but then again better than the Palm setting in this somewhat ancient software. It is nice for test purposes but Palm really, really needs to fix the Tungsten BT stack.

I had some difficulties connecting to the XTNDConnect server, most likely due to user error on my part; I have a really weird DNS setup inside my LAN. Don't want to get into details here, but I am spoofing a few addresses. Anyway, I first checked the ol' WAP browser that comes with the Tungsten T and then also the web browser. It turned out that the Yahoo site is done very well. I think I will refer to that again in the future:

yahoo1.jpg yahoo2.jpg

I think I will retire for today and work out the DNS issues tomorrow.

vowe.net

ZOË - my favorite browser-based mail tool

by Volker Weber

zoemac.jpg

Written in Java, runs as a local server on any operating system with a Java runtime. Find out more here.

vowe.net

What's on your Palm launcher?

by Volker Weber

palmmain.png

I am shifting my categories once in a while so that my Main category contains the applications that I have to use most often. All the buttons on Clyde launch the default applications (names, dates, to do, memo, voice memo and calculator).

So what is on Your launcher?

vowe.net

Has Groove fallen from grace?

by Volker Weber

Many people have asked me whether Groove has fallen from grace at vowe's magic flying circus. It has not. I still like it a lot. There is only one simple problem: It is bound to Windows. As I am not using Windows a lot these days, you won't see me in Groove.

My requirements for software are rather simple. I need to communicate with e-mail and instant messaging. After years of proprietary protocols e-mail has gravitated around the same protocols and standards: SMTP, POP3, IMAP, RFC822, MIME. [Microsoft still has IMAP all mixed up, they insist on MAPI. :-)] So you are free to mix and match servers and clients. My choice of server happens to be Lotus Domino 6, my clients range from Mail.app over Mozilla to Notes. Instant messaging is a different story. Protocols are a mess. "Free" IM networks are basically gated communities and therefore do not interoperate. You can find your way around that limitation with multiprotocol clients like Trillian (Windows) or Fire (Mac) but in the end it turned out that most of the people are on AIM anyway so I am using iChat on the Mac and Trillian on Windows (because I dislike the AIM client).

So I have a rather primitive way to collaborate. How do I connect various users in a better fashion? Well, I want to use Groove but I can't. For the reason stated above but also since I have to communicate with people who do use Windows but are not allowed to install client software because they work in a controlled corporate environment. In these cases I have to use either the corporate environment, im my case often Notes, or fall back to a Web-based collaboration environment.

As far as gerneral purpose applications are concerned the world has standardized on Microsoft Office. So that is what I am using there. If anyone insists on getting their stuff in Powerpoint file format so be it. You have to dumb down some thoughts seriously to fit them on a slide, but one can do that as requested.

When I am writing manuscripts, I do not use office. I need to create simple, unformatted text. The only help I need is a simple editor, conveniently called Textedit on the Mac, and a spell checker. Mac OS has a system wide spell checker that can do multilingual text so I can actually type away in Germish :-) and still have the help of a spell checker. This is how that looks:

textedittn.jpg

As far as the more sophisticated multimedia applications are concerned: I am happy with everything that is built into Mac OS X. There are also cross platform development tools, there are screenshot utilities and simple graphic editors. In the end there are only two programs I am missing on the Mac: Visio and Groove. Since they are both firmly in the Microsoft camp, I need to look elsewhere. Stay tuned.

vowe.net

Not switching, am I?

by Volker Weber

Jake Howlett writes today:

When I bought the iBook last year I said I had no plans to switch from Windows and I still don't. Having said that, I do find myself turning to the Mac whenever I can.

The same is true for me. Lucy is by and large my primary computer when I am at home. I am still using Charlie throughout the day when I am at a client's office but eventually that may be replaced by a PowerBook as well.

So what is drawing me to the Mac? It is mostly visuals and applications. I can't remember whether I compared screenshots here. Can't seem to find them anyway. Most of the times I am using Safari. Look at this screenshot to get a better understanding and take into account that you will see a compressed JPEG image that has already lost some clarity.

Applications are somewhat harder to explain. They just work the way you would expect them to. You have to actually use iPhoto or iTunes to get an understanding how easy and at the same time powerful they are. I have never seen anything like them on the PC.

I have been using PCs for 21 years now. I owned dozens of them for 20 years and I know my way around DOS, Windows and Linux ever since they have been created. But Apple had to get to version X (10) of their OS, until I started using their gear. How does it feel: Imagine you have been driving Yugos and Ladas for years and you finally get to drive an Audi. Ah, and don't get me started about Woodstock.

If it were not for Ute, I would still be oggling a Macintosh instead of taking the plunge. Thank you.

vowe.net

T minus 3 days

by Volker Weber

neworleansweather.GIF

Looks like it is going to be my kind of weather again. Nice.

vowe.net

Microsoft makes a good argument for open source

by Volker Weber

Joe Brockmeyer thinks Microsoft wants to force the NT user base to upgrade by denying security fixes:

Take the recent decision by the folks in Redmond not to issue a patch for Windows NT 4.0 systems that are vulnerable to a denial-of-service (DoS) attack. According to Microsoft, Windows NT has "architectural limitations" that "do not support the changes that would be required to remove this vulnerability."

Some mistook Microsoft's "admission" that it could not generate a workable patch as candor. It is a rare thing for Microsoft to display humility of any kind, and when it does, it can usually be attributed to a desire to hide something else.

Here, Microsoft's claim that it cannot patch NT 4.0 is a tactic to move the stubborn NT 4.0 user base on to Microsoft's new systems. By some estimates, 35 percent of Microsoft server customers are still using Windows NT. That's a pretty hefty chunk of change for the company's coffers if it can persuade those users to migrate to Windows 2000, XP or 2003. Since new features don't seem to be an incentive, it will just refuse to fix security holes -- thereby creating a brand-new "feature" to drive upgrades.

More >

vowe.net

Groove 2.5c Build 1748 available for download

by Volker Weber

groove1748.gif

Groove released a silent update. Again. No notification, no changelog, no information about bugs that have been fixed. Some of the issues can be found here and here. Please note this permanent address for the latest build:

http://components.groove.net/Groove/DailyBuilds/latest/GrooveWorkspacePreview.exe

vowe.net

Weird link of the day department

by Volker Weber

shophsg2_1733_4819349.gif

vowe.net

Collaborative editing in real time

by Volker Weber

hydrascreenshot.gif

Editing documents in groups can be a challenge. Versioning systems like cvs or subversion can help your group to keep a consistent copy of your document, but don't go that extra mile. Wouldn't it be great to edit the same document, live, in realtime, together with everyone in your group?

With Hydra you can. The idea of collaborative editing has been researched for years, with notable results. But now for the first time it has been implemented in a way you actually want to use: While doing complex calculations under the hood to ensure correct behavior with mulitple users, to you Hydra is just as easy to use as a traditional text edtior.

More >

vowe.net

Relativität

by Volker Weber

Das aber ist nur der unbedeutendere Teil der Wahrheit, der objektiv messbare. 1.05.02 Minuten können lächerlich wenig sein, wenn man seinen Kindern den Mechanismus in all seiner Eleganz vorführt. 28 Sekunden und 75 Hundertstel dagegen können sich zur Ewigkeit dehnen, wenn man sich, überrascht durch einen plötzlichen Regenschauer, beim Ampelstopp zum Schließen des Verdecks entschließt und hinter einem ein cholerischer BMW-Fahrer hupt.

Wolfgang Lechner in der Zeit über die Zeit.

vowe.net

Economists

by Volker Weber

banksim.jpg

Jens thinks they are bankers. But clearly they are not. Wrong colors. They must be economists.

vowe.net

Mesopotamia. Babylon. The Tigris and Euphrates.

by Volker Weber

Must. Read.

vowe.net

A different kind of network sniffer

by Volker Weber

EtherPEG is a free program for the Macintosh that shows you all the JPEGs (and GIFs) going by on your network.

EtherPEG works by capturing unencrypted TCP packets off your local network, collecting packets into groups based on TCP connection (determined from source IP address, destination IP address, source TCP port and destination TCP port), reassembling those packets into order based on TCP sequence number, and then scanning the resulting data for byte sequences that suggest the presence of JPEG or GIF data.

More >

vowe.net

Reviewing XTNDConnect Server, part 2

by Volker Weber

[continued from part 1]

With a little help from Extended System I was able to map my custom fields in the Palm Names application to the appropriate fields in the Notes Personal Directory (names.nsf). The very helpful engineer sent me a screenshot (!) with a snippet of code that I had to tweak just a wee little bit:

<X_NotesReadFormulaContacts>
  FIELD XCSCustom1:=XCSCustom1;
  @SetField("XCSCustom1";@Text(StreetAddress));
  FIELD XCSCustom2:=XCSCustom2;
  @SetField("XCSCustom2";@Text(City));
  FIELD XCSCustom3:=XCSCustom1;
  @SetField("XCSCustom3";@Text(State));
  FIELD XCSCustom4:=XCSCustom1;
  @SetField("XCSCustom4";@Text(Zip));
</X_NotesReadFormulaContacts>
<X_NotesWriteFormulaContacts>
  FIELD StreetAddress:=StreetAddress;
  @SetField("StreetAddress";XCSCustom1);
  FIELD City:=City;
  @SetField("City";XCSCustom2);
  FIELD State:=State;
  @SetField("State";XCSCustom3);
  FIELD Zip:=Zip;
  @SetField("Zip";XCSCustom4);
</X_NotesWriteFormulaContacts>

This new custom setting allows users to modify the way various Notes fields are mapped. This is implemented as custom read and write Notes Formulas that can be added to the notessettings.xml file. Any valid notes formulas can be entered. When reading a notes record the server will first run the Read Formula and when writing a record the server we will run the Write Formula after making the changes, but before saving the record. Please be aware that this only works if you have at least version 3.6.2003.305.

That turned out to work very well and I can now sync both the company address as well as the private address from the Notes database and the Palm Names application. However there is still a little glitch, very similar to the problem I was facing with the client product. Look at the Other field in the screen below and you will find that it contains the Fax number:

faxbroken.GIF

The Extended Systems engineer told me that they are aware of this bug and it will be fixed in a subsequent release.

vowe.net

Safety first

by Volker Weber

SafetyOfficer06tn.JPG

vowe.net

Nagano ==> NextGen Mail ==> Lotus Workplace Messaging

by Volker Weber

So it is Workplace Messaging. Does anyone remember Workplace OS or Workplace Shell? :-)

Interviews with Michael Harer and John Banks-Binici on LDD.

vowe.net

Interesting referrer

by Volker Weber

Stefan has an interesting referrer.

watchlistTN.GIF

vowe.net

Men are from Mars ...

by Volker Weber

beaver.jpg

[via it&w]

vowe.net

Let's get our priorities in order

by Esther Schindler

Members of PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, don't want dolphins used in the war effort. Nor do they want chickens and pigeons used to detect chemical attacks.

A friend of ours owns a t-shirt that says People for the Eating of Tasty Animals. I wonder if he knows where I can get one of those?

More >

vowe.net

Boys need toys

by Volker Weber

veocam.jpgToday I played with the Veo Photo Traveler, a camera you can get through a Palm promotion for free (US residents only, how stupid is that?) when you buy a new Tungsten T.

As I mentioned in vowe's choice the quality of the images is not very good. Think Webcam instead of Digicam. The camera also seems to draw a lot of power from the Palm handheld. After you used it only for a few minutes you think: What, only 20 more images? At 640x480 an image can be as large as 200k. Multiply that by 20 and you get 4 meg. Well, I have a 128 meg SD card, but that has to be taken out of the SD slot to make room for the camera. Catch 22.

If a camera is supposed to be any useful, it has to be inside the Palm device without taking up a slot. I am sure Palm Solutions knows that already. :-)

vowe.net

Giga ExperNet program to be discontinued

by Volker Weber

Just received this by e-mail today:

Dear ExperNet Expert,

Please note, the Giga ExperNet program will be discontinued effective April 30, 2003. Your GigaWeb ID will expire on April 30, 2003. All information pertaining to ExperNet (including all ExperNet bios) will be removed from GigaWeb by this date as well. We thank you for your participation in the ExperNet program. Your contributions played an important role servicing Giga clients. If you have any questions, please contact Client Care at (781) 792-2600, extension 2.

Sincerely,

Giga Information Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Forrester Research, Inc.

That was always a fair deal. Access to most of the Gigaweb content, and in return answer customers' questions. Thank you, Giga Information Group.

vowe.net

Apple 12in PowerBook G4

by Volker Weber

Tony Smith of The Register has a very good review of Apple's smallest PowerBook:

apple12pb.jpgIt's easy to be impressed by a new computer when you've only had it for a few days. It still smells fresh, nothing's been spilt on the keyboard, it still looks shiny. And none of the idiosyncrasies and glitches haven't had time to emerge. Unless there's something spectacularly wrong with the machine, it will get the thumb's up.

That's fine for most reviewers, but not much help to anyone who's bought a highly rated system only to find that said idiosyncrasies really get in the way.

So rather than bash out 500 words on Apple's new 12in PowerBook a few days after receiving it, we thought we'd use it for a month or so and then give our verdict. Our initial impressions of the machine have, by and large, been proven right, but some issues have emerged that might have been missed by a quick once-over.

More >

vowe.net

Messages to the dead

by Esther Schindler

Got $5? These folks will arrange to have terminally ill patients memorize your message and attempt to deliver it after their death.

With the help of terminally ill volunteers, our service is sending telegrams to people who have passed away.

And you thought the dot coms had weird business models.

More >

vowe.net

Strafzettel

by Volker Weber

Heute morgen war ich beim Bäcker. War fünf Minuten im Laden drin. Als ich wieder rauskam, war da eine Politesse und schrieb gerade einen Strafzettel aus.

Also ging ich zu ihr hin und sagte: "Ach komm, Puppe, kannst du einem Kerl wie mir nicht mal eine Pause gönnen?" Sie ignorierte mich und schrieb das Ticket weiter aus. Also nannte ich sie eine ganz sture Beamtenschnalle. Sie sah mich an und begann ein weiteres Ticket für abgefahrene Reifen zu schreiben! Also nannte ich sie eine blöde Kuh. Da begann sie ein drittes Ticket zu schreiben!

So ging es die nächsten 20 Minuten weiter. Je mehr ich sie beleidigte, desto mehr Tickets schrieb sie aus. Mir war das egal. Mein Auto war ja um die Ecke geparkt.

vowe.net

Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

by Volker Weber

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid term. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law, (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

More > (German & English)

vowe.net

Excellent quote about data quality

by Volker Weber

I almost lost this quote because I forgot to blog it. So here goes:

"We have a suspicious amount of 98-year-old Albanian millionaire grandmothers with Hotmail addresses who own 200-plus computers and head up a tech firm who are interested in reading our newspaper," Anterro said. "We can extrapolate some information when they sign on, throwing up ads that suit whatever they are reading that day, but everyone knows these databases are polluted with lies."

Source: Wired News, 17.03.2003

vowe.net

IBM starts production of the Universal Business Adapter

by Volker Weber

ibmuniversalbusinessadapter.jpg

vowe.net

Reviewing XTNDConnect Server, part 1

by Volker Weber

extended_systems_logo2.gifI have been using XTNDConnect Client (a.k.a. EasySync Pro) for a while now. Today I started testing the XTNDConnect Server which gives you many more ways to sync the mobile devices with the server. So far this is going very well. I set up the server within about 15 minutes and then built a custom client installer. I was able to sync Clyde, the Tungsten T, about 10 minutes later.

That also went very well with one exception: The address book did not sync particularly well with the Domino server. All the custom fields did not sync and those contain my private address entries and the birthdays of my contacts. I need to find out whether I can set up a field mapping there. I assume so, but have not yet found it in the settings. If you have any experience in this field, please let me know. Also, the fax numbers seem to map into Other fields but the mobile phone numbers synced OK. That is broken in the client product.

I have recovered my address db from backup for now and will give it a new try tomorrow after I talked to Extended Systems about these issues.

Once I get these things sorted out I can start to sync Clyde in many other ways: via the mobile phone from abroad, via Bluetooth access to networks and so forth. I should also be able to sync it through desktop connectors on any of my Windows machines without worrying about lost updates. Unfortunately XTNDConnect is a Windows only solutions. No other servers besides NT and Win2k and no client connectors other than Windows 98 through XP.

I think after about one week of playing with the server I will have gathered enough knowledge to wrap it up in an article.

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