Thursday, August 30, 2007

Steve Gillmor vs Jonathan Schwartz - live ?

looking forward to it...
Steve Gillmor’s GestureLab � BRIC Schwartzhouse

ISBN cross referencing

A couple of weeks ago, posted a rant, on how Amazon webservices don't have a consistent ASIN accross amazon stores. He gave a book example, where I retorted in my comment on this blog, that this was not Amazon's fault, but simply the fact, that different editions of the very „same“ book simply have to have different ISBN (and Amazon relies on the ISBN for book, and I'm glad they do).

Now I just discovered a service, that cross-links the various ISBNs for what we consider the „same“ book:

OCLC Openly Informatics

The service is quite simple – you pass in an ISBN and get a list of ISBNs that reflect related editions of this book. There's a nice FAQ ( pdf) for it.

Try this link for the latest (and hopefully last) Harry Potter.

It is not a total solution to m³'s problem, but seems to be an incredible useful service by the OCLC – the Online Computer Library Center.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Do get Arrington'd

When I said "Don't ge Arrington'd" I - of course - implied "without being prepared."

So here the perfect example of getting on Techcrunch and have Michael Arrington drop his jaw.

Adobe Hires Co-Inventor of Image Resizer Technology - the technology that amazed me as well.
(Thanks m3 for the pointer)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Content aware image resizing

This is just incredible - when can we see this in webbrowsers...

via go2web2

Friday, August 24, 2007


So, here's an update on the Thumbalizr service I could not report on earlier - see IT conservations: Don't get Arringtoned.
Whatever the reason for the failures earlier today (CET) was, the service now runs - and I'm to humble to attribute this to my rant... ;-)

The purpose of Thumbalizr is to enable you to make "screenshots" of web pages of virtually any size. You can choose between 2 modes:
  1. screen - you only get that portion of the page/document, that would fit on a screen
  2. page - you get the whole page/document

IT conservations would look like this (screen) or this (page).

From the latter you can tell that blogger and my list of tags don't make a great layout...

Don't get Arrington'd

As a new (Web 2.0) service usually the best thing that can happen to you is to get on Mike Arrington's Techcrunch - and get a good review there.

However, you should to be prepared for this.
Yesterday saw a review of a very promising sounding service called Thumbalizr, that make screenshots / thumbnails from web sites; you just provide the URL of the site and pick the resolution you want. That easy.

Alas, it does not seem to be able to cope with the load it gets, since its review. It constantly fails even to bring up the start page within a reasonable response time, let alone give me a thumbnail of yours truly blog site here.

Well I guess the author on Techcrunch chose the title "Thumbalizr: A Really Good Idea, If It Worked" not by chance.

Well, I'll give it another try in a couple of days.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Paul Graham: Holding a Program in One's Head

The latest essay buy the wonderful, always insightful Paul Graham:
A good programmer working intensively on his own code can hold it in his mind the way a mathematician holds a problem he's working on. Mathematicians don't answer questions by working them out on paper the way schoolchildren are taught to. They do more in their heads: they try to understand a problem space well enough that they can walk around it the way you can walk around the memory of the house you grew up in. At its best programming is the same. You hold the whole program in your head, and you can manipulate it at will.
Read the whole essay Holding a Program in One's Head.

Correcting false statements by Microsoft

Erwin Tenhumberg corrects a couple of statements Microsoft usually brings forward against ODF as their common ODF/OOo FUD in Erwin's StarOffice Tango.

Sun Microsystems to Change Stock Ticker Symbol to JAVA

As Jonathan Schwartz (CEO) announced earlier on this blog and Sun official PR confirmed a bit latter, Sun will change their stock ticker symbol from SUNW to JAVA. Just to make that point that Sun is no longer about Workstations (the W in SUNW still means workstations, today).
JAVA is a technology whose value is near infinite to the internet, and a brand that's inseparably a part of Sun (and our profitability). And so next week, we're going to embrace that reality by changing our trading symbol, from SUNW to JAVA. This is a big change for us, capitalizing on the extraordinary affinity our teams have invested to build, introducing Sun to new investors, developers and consumers. Most know Java, few know Sun - we can bring the two one step closer.
And no, it is not April 1st.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Spolsky says no to Vista

Right from the office of Excel and Microsoft defender #1 Even the Office 2007 box has a learning curve - Joel on Software:
"I've been using Vista on my home laptop since it shipped, and can say with some conviction that nobody should be using it as their primary operating system -- it simply has no redeeming merits to overcome the compatibility headaches it causes. Whenever anyone asks, my advice is to stay with Windows XP (and to purchase new systems with XP preinstalled)."

New vs old media

Common (if not so recent) wisdom says, that the „old media“ (esp. newspapers) don't like the „new media“, esp. everything that brags about „ user generated content“.

Today, however, I noticed that my favorite newspaper, Der Standard, uses the Flickr Camera Statistic to pimp up an article about the new Canon dSLRs.

No that bad after all, the Web 2.0, right ?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sun to integrate Synchronica SyncML solution

Sun and Synchronica just announced that they are about to add Synchronica's SyncML solution to their communications software portfolio ... at least that's how I read the press release:

Sun plans to use the core SyncML synchronization engine and the back-end connectors of the Mobile Gateway product to synchronize SyncML enabled devices with the Sun Java System Communications Suite or Sun Java System Application Platform Suite. Furthermore, Sun intends to use the provisioning module (OMA CP) enabling over-the-air configuration of mobile devices, reducing the need for manual device configuration. In addition, Sun is planning to use Synchronica's SyncML clients for Windows Mobile/Pocket PC and Palm OS enabling industry-standard synchronization on Smart phones that do not support SyncML out of the box.

That would be great, especially given the huge installed base of the Sun communications products (mainly the Mail Server) with ISPs and Telcos.

The man who collects Apples -

The man who collects Apples - "The man who collects Apples"

should spell "freak" not "man"...

"[...] they are always gonna be making new stuff, so I'm always gonna be buying new stuff."

Sun IBM Solaris Deal again

Why is it that a good share of the media coverage of the Sun IBM Solaris deal got it wrong.

E.g. Der Standard (my favorite print newspaper) talks about a „server alliance“ between „rivals Sun and IBM“ ...

Others do as well (maybe Der Standard just copied from AP, with a similar line

„Two longtime rivals in computing, IBM Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc., plan to cooperate on server technologies, a move that could put pressure on their joint competitor Hewlett-Packard Co.“

If you haven't read of the agreement before, you probably think hardware... right ?

But its not about HW, its only about IBM reselling („OEMing“) the Solaris Operating System for its x86 line of servers. It is a big deal, but not a HW collaboration. And it will put preasure on HP (at least I hope so).

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Path Copy

Thanks to Gernot for suggesting this great tool the other day.
Ninotech Path Copy
What it does is soo simple but it really helps. I've just been using it for a couple of days and can hardly imagine myself living without it.
Well, no, not that bad, I do still have a life (he said while posting to his tech-blog on a weekend ... nudge, nudge). Yes I do.

Anyway, here's what PathCopy does:
Ninotech Path Copy is a shell extension for Windows 95, 98, NT4, 2000, and XP that enables to copy the path of a file or directory to the Clipboard. You can then paste the path in to your document, e-mail, etc. You copy the path of a file or directory by right-clicking it in the Windows Explorer and choosing Copy Path from the context menu. The context menu then offers nine standard ways of copying the path, in addition to the user defined copying methods that you create yourself:

and you can pick whether you want to shortname or longname of the file, or the full path, or the full network path (UNC), ... Great.

Thanks, Gernot.

Friday, August 17, 2007

IBM to OEM Solaris

Yesterday Sun and IBM announced, that IBM is going to OEM Solaris on System X and BladeCenter, so its Solaris x86.
Jonathan Schwartz's Weblog: Momentous Day for Solaris

This is great news for Solaris, and frankly for IBM. Bad news for HP (IMHO). I wonder if we will ever see a Solaris on Power...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Review of the Austrian ID system

Found a good review of the Austrian Identity system, a.k.a. "Bürgerkarte" (="citizen card").

Austrian ID system � Identity and Privacy Blog

A good point (with a false assumption) is at the end:
Finally, as with all smartcards used for online authentication, the need for smartcard readers to access the digital certificate. However, it may be that widespread availability of smartcard readers (one for every computer) is not a problem in Austria.
Given the current acceptance of the Bürgerkarte with citizens (or rather lack there-of), one can easily see that the burden of the card reader is indeed still a problem in Austria.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Citrix to buy XenSource

The week of (HW) virtualization (companies) ?

Hm, too many brackets for a good title, ... anyway, just hours (ok, I'm still exaggerating) after the VMware IPO, Citrix (of all) announced that they are to by XenSource, maker of Xen, which is a rival to VMware and favored by like half of the techies. It's one of those tech-religious things, I guess.

Citrix to buy virtualization company XenSource for $500 million | Tech news blog - CNET "Citrix to buy virtualization company XenSource for $500 million"

I wonder, why Sun haven't bought them....

Windows: add cmd to folder

Yet another windows customization reminder:

Since I frequently have to open a command prompt right from the folder that I'm on in explorer, I'd like to have a context menu entry for folders that does this.

Here's the way to do it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Folder\shell\Command Prompt]

@="Command Prompt here"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Folder\shell\Command Prompt\command]

@="Cmd.exe /k pushd %L"

Other ways to do it and more tipps in that category can be found here.


is that still true ? what size projects are people working on these days ...

from xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language - By Randall Munroe

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

URL Fixer update

There is an update to URL Fixer that
a) seems to handle the .gov not more correctly when it is part of a national TLD, i.e. used to be "fixed" to by the default .gv -> .gov rule, which was wrong, at least for Austria.

but more importantly
b) you can now control it better.

"By right-clicking on the address bar, you can set it to auto-correct your errors, or you can have it ask you before making any corrections."


Monday, August 13, 2007

Customize Placesbar (Folderlist) in Windows File Dialog

And while I'm in the "knowledge preservation" mode - this is some piece of information I was look for years (well, not constantly, but every once in a while). I simply did not google for the right thing.

Task: How do I get any (arbitrary) folder into the short-cut bar in the Open/Save-As Dialog in Windows (XP) ?

Not just History, My Documents, My Computer, ... no one needs those.

Answer: First of all, one has to know (i.e. find out) that this short-cut bar is referred to as "places bar" and those folders listed there would then be places.

This way it is much more effective to google for.

The places bar is defined in the registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ Policies\ comdlg32\ PlacesBar
and consists of 5 entries (this seems to be fixed in the code, I could not find any reference to changing the number of entries),
called Place0-Place4.

For each place you can (read: have to) define its location in the filesystem or a handle to well known or pre-defined windows places.

You must enter the predefined places as numeric values (DWORD), e.g. My Pictures=39, Desktop=0, etc.
There are places on the web, where those values are listed.
I show an excerpt from here. at the end of this post.

Now I'm pretty sure that - like me - you don't just want to have any of those folders there, but something
else, like "D:\download" or whatever. In that case you make a String (instead of the DWORD) and just enter the name of the folder ("d:\download") as the value.

My placesbar at home looks like this (on my business laptop I have more "personal" places defined than just one) and the
registry (ready to import ;-)) like this:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00







There are also tools on the web that help you create the respective registry entries. All you have to do then is, copy/paste those to your computer and import the resulting file into the registry.

There you go, quite easy actually.

Here are some of the folder definitions:

My Computer\Control Panel33
My Computer\Printers44
My Documents55
My Musicd13
My Videose14
My Computer1117
Network Neighborhood (My Network Places)1218
All Users\Start Menu1622
All Users\Start Menu\Programs1723
All Users\Startup1824
All Users\Desktop1925
Application Data1a26
USERPROFILE\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\CD Burning3b59

Enabling directory listing in Tomcat

One and for all --- this is mainly for myself, because I tend to forget it and have to google it everytime I need it:

To enable/disable directory listings in Tomcat (5.x at least) I have to change the property listings of the default servlet in conf/web.xml


Tomcat FAQ - Miscellaneous Questions

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Google Pack now comes with StarOffice

This is great - google nows includes StarOffice in their Google Pack.
Not just a copy of OpenOffice, but specifically Sun's StarOffice...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Summer of storage

Seems to be the week of network storage: both Google and Microsoft launched storage related services; with Google it is just the option to buy (!) extended storage for Gmail and Picasa. Microsoft's Live SkyDrive is a „regular“ network storage offering, like XDrive and others already offer – just smaller.

Sounded more promising when I read the headlines ... ;-)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Burton interop report on user centric identity

Burton Group Identity Blog: Recapping the Catalyst user-centric interop:
The Burton Group hosted a User-Centric Identity Interop at the Catalyst Conference in San Francisco during the week of 23 - 29 June 2007; a public demo session was held on the evening of Wednesday 27 June to showcase the accomplishments of the participants in this event.

Read the whole story here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

eWeek reviews Sun ODF Plugin

Sun Plug-in Brings ODF Support to Microsoft Office: "Sun Microsystems' ODF Plug-in for Microsoft Office won't usher in an era of universal document interoperability, but eWEEK Labs believes it is the best option currently available for adding Open Document Format support to Office's massive installed base."

Update for Nokia 6233

Finally there is a new software version for the Nokia 6233 out: V 05.10 (check it at

This fixes my problem with the previous release (4.91) which would not allow Google Maps Mobile to connect to the network. Now it works again...

Details on upcoming PDF changes in OOo

GullFOSS: "Completing PDF support in OOo"