News of the world

This blog is in the first case meant for myself so I don't forget interesting stuff. So you will find lots of useless topics, but there will certainly be also readings that might interest you. Lots of the items will go about my family, things we do or don't do but also about software, cars, gadgets, music, etc ... .

28 jan. 2006

New Scientist Breaking News - Invention: The moody media player

Patents, patents, patents!!! Aparently this is the only way to earn money these days. I work for a research department of a big telecommunications company and we also have to write lots of patents, which is not always easy because you don't always have bright ideas.

But it seems that at Disney they have still some bright folks running around, especially those new Pixar employees. This aside Disney has filed a patent that couples mood to selecting music on a media player. So if you feel sad you will most probably hear some music to cheer you up. But you have to put some sensors around your wrists to do so.

Actually it's a nice idea, because I always have a hard time to find the correct music for the mood I am in. But will it ever become available, if it does Disney will get better of it.

New Scientist Breaking News - Invention: The moody media player

Click here if you want to read the patent, but if you're not used to reading patents you will have a hard time understanding it.

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27 jan. 2006

Visual Studio 2005 cannot compile .NET 1.1

In november of last year, I installed VS 2005 on my machine because it was such an improvement over VS 2003. And we started experimenting with writing code for .NET framework 2.0.

Lat week we came across a Microsoft Research project called ConferenceXP. ConferenceXP is a framework that should make it easier to develop colaboration applications and tools. After test-driving it we saw it had great potential for building a collaboration tool of our own. So we downloaded the source code and opend VS 2005, it asked us if we wanted to convert the project to 2005 so we accepted that. But apparently it's not possible to build ConferenceXP to .NET 2.0 without too much changes. So we thought OK no problem we build it to the 1.1 framwork but there is no way in VS 2005 to do this. Although I found that they are working on a plugin to let this happen.

So I looked into another IDE, free one of course, and I found SharpDevelop. This is a promising IDE made by a guy who wanted to learn C# before there was even a MS IDE to support it. It works alright, although it has quite some bugs in it. But we tried to put the ConferenceXP code beneath it, because with this IDE you have the possibility to select the framework you want even Mono. But there was one big problem we faced. We want to expand ConferenceXP with our own capabilities and for this we have to create a windows form that extends the ConferenceXP CapabilityForm and SharpDevelop is not able to show this form in Design mode. It's complaining about the reference he cannot find although we added it. Maybe I will look into it one day, to fix this but since we are on a tight schedule I have to find another option. So I installed Virtual PC with a Win XP virtual machine running Visual Studio 2003 and this seems to work quite alright.

I am really impressed by Virtual PC, because it has some advantages over VMWare and the most important one I found was the drag and drop mechanism from the host running Virtual PC to the virtual machine.

Have to work on the ConferenceXP capability now.

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23 jan. 2006

Firefox ignores me

On my laptop from work Firefox is really bugging me. It seems that the beast has a mind of its own, it totally ignores me.

I'm not able to move through text fields using the arrow-, home- or end- keys. Copying links from one program to another is also a big hastle, first I have to copy the link location into notepad or wordpad or whatever editor and then I can paste it into the the addressbar. I don't have to make a copy from the URL in notepad but I only have to copy it there before copying it in the addressbar. Really don't know what's happening here. Deinstallation, another version nothing works. And at home Firefox is just doing fine!

Maybe I've installed the wrong software? Maybe I installed Firedonkey instead, have to check :-)

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20 jan. 2006

Playing DIVX movies on Daewoo DV-700S with no hastle

A couple of months ago I bought a Daewoo DV-700S DVD player, but today I rediscovered that it is able to play DIVX movies. So at first I was looking for the manual to find out how to burn the movie on the CD/DVD but I could not find it anywhere. I just copied the movie together with the subviewer file for subtitles into the root of the disc, I was pretty convinced that it wouldn't work but I tried anyway.

I've loaded the disc into the player and saw a menu appearing containing the movie, which had a Microsoft logo, and the srt file which had a question mark as a logo. So I just selected the movie file and selected play, saw "creating index..." appearing on the screen and after a few seconds the movie started with no subtitles of course. Just pressed the subtitle button on the remote and voila I could read the subtitles.

Actually I was already pretty impressed because it's a very good machine for it's price (less than 100 euros). But now I had this experience with it I am very happy I bought it. Now I can watch my collection of DIVX movies with subtitles without the hastle of hooking up my PC to my TV.

12 jan. 2006

Consumption Junction: Six Months with the Borg: First Impressions

Hate Microsoft? Then you should read the following blog about an intern working at Microsoft. It seems that they aren't bad at all.

Consumption Junction: Six Months with the Borg: First Impressions

Your house takes over the control

I once saw this movie where a young couple bought a really high-tech house. Everything in it was controlled by a intelligent computer. But after some time the computer takes control of everything and tries even to kill the couple. So ever since I saw this movie I am against putting to much electronic intelligence into my own house. But if it depends on Philips that might change in the near future where everything in the house like TV, radio, light, central heating, walls, etc. could be used to give some experience to the habitants of the house.

networked_performance: Physical Markup Language

I'll never play Doom again... arrrrgghh!