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New feature: Webslice
· 2009-04-20 14:31 by Thijs Kroesbergen for Brokenwire.NET

Brokenwire.NET now has it’s own webslice. You may wonder what a webslice is. Remember 1997 ? That’s when we had snippets of web pages on our active desktop! Well a web slice is just that, it’s a piece of information from a site inside a small window in your browser. Internet Explorer 8 is the only browser that supports these things right now.

When you have installed the slice on you browser’s favorites bar it will look like this:

So if you have IE8 you can click on the small link in the right sidebar on this site to add the Brokenwire.NET webslice to your own browser.

Creating such a slice is very easy, with some help of this blogpost about webslices I was able to do this in 10 minutes.

The basic HTML structure:

<title>Page Title</title>
<div class="hslice" id="techologynews">
<h2 class="entry-title">IE 8 web slice</h2>
<div class="entry-content">
<p><a href='#'>Link 1</a></p>
<p><a href='#'>Link 2</a></p>
<p><a href='#'>Link 3</a></p>

The basic rules:

    1. The WebSlice must use the class name hslice in the container.
    2. Each WebSlice must contain an ID in the container. This is how the WebSlice will be differentiated from others on the page.
    3. The WebSlice must have at least one entry-title element defined. This will be displayed both in the page and in the feed button that appear in the Favorites Bar when a user subscribes to the WebSlice.
    4. While not required, each WebSlice should contain at least one entry-content element. This is the information that will appear when the user selects the WebSlice from their Favorites Bar.

There is also an official Microsoft whitepaper about webslices.

I wonder if anybody is actually going to use this, but it was a nice thing to play with for a bit.


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Today is special
· 2009-02-13 10:19 by Thijs Kroesbergen for Brokenwire.NET

Why? Because today is Friday 13th? Yes, and did you know there is a larger chance that the 13th of the month is a Friday? Now that's creepy.

But today is special in another way:

Today is the day on which Unix time will hit 1234567890, this will happen tonight at precisely 23:31:30h UTC.

Unix time (POSIX time) represents the number of seconds since the "epoch" which is defined as on 00:00h, January 1st 1970. The 1000000000 mark already passed by on 01:46:40h 2001-09-09 UTC.

Many people take advantage of this well-balanced number to throw 1234567890 parties. (And why not, any reason is a terrific reason to party!)

Working in an Microsoft SQL Server world you may wonder why 1-1-1753 is the smallest date in the regular datetime datatype. Some very good reading about that can be found in The ultimate guide to the datetime datatypes.

Although watching these numbers rise is great fun, there is a new Y2k problem looming ahead. on January 19th 2038 at 03:14:08h UTC the world as we know it will end. Because at that exact moment the number of seconds will exceed the value a 32-bit signed integer can hold (2^31). If that doesn't end the world there is another chance on February 7th, 2106 at 06:28:16h UTC, when the POSIX time will reach 2^32. But using a positive-only integer to store the timestamp would be stupid because then we would loose the possibility to store date before 1970, so we're doomed anyway. The only chance of survival we have is to start storing the timestamp in signed 64-bit integers, because that will extend the problem for... uh... some 300 million years. (Don't worry too much, most modern operating systems store the timestamp in an 64-bits unsigned integer already)

So, what will you do to celebrate this great moment in history? I'll probably be watching TV, and not playing any games.

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Oh no!
· 2009-02-03 22:25 by Thijs Kroesbergen for Brokenwire.NET

kb907534 Sigh...

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Kill the *beep*
· 2009-01-16 10:12 by Thijs Kroesbergen for Brokenwire.NET

The PC Speaker on my laptop also plays through the headphones, on maximum volume. So if you are listening to music the beep plays incredibly loud and straight into your ears.

To kill the beep run the following commands from an command prompt (with administrative privileges)

net stop beep

sc config beep started= disabled

I tried this on both Vista and Server 2003. A nice way to test if this worked for you: in the command prompt type:

echo ^G

(echo and ctrl+G) then Enter. With the beep on this destroys your ears, with the beep of you won't hear a thing.

Happy listening!

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Cool Tool: Royal TS
· 2008-10-10 09:43 by Thijs Kroesbergen for Brokenwire.NET

Yesterday my attention was brought to this tool "Royal TS".

Because I often work on projects involving more than just a handful of servers I use remote desktop a lot.

At first, with not too many machines around, remote desktop just works great. But as the list of machines grows I just can't remember all server names, the usernames needed and what the server is used for.

This is where Royal TS kicks in! With this (small!) application you can manage your remote desktop sessions. It will keep a list of all the servers, you can add descriptions and it will remember usernames and password.

And when running multiple sessions your task bar won't get cluttered because all sessions can run within one application. (this is optional, you can still have a window for each session)

Of course Royal TS isn't the only tool out there. I've been using Terminals as well. This open-source project may have more features, but the feel just isn't right. (The menu bars and windows do wacky things every once in a while)

So, if you ever use remote desktop, try one of these tools. I'm sure you'll never use  "Win+R -> mstsc" again ;)

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PhotoSynth into the Matrix
· 2008-08-26 17:18 by Thijs Kroesbergen for Brokenwire.NET

I couldn't resist, I just had to make a Photosynth of the famous "Trinity Kick"

As source for the images I used a .avi file with DivX compression (that's why you see those mpeg artifacts, sorry about that). Using the .avi file instead of the DVD made the next step a lot easier: I used a nice tool named FastVideoIndexer to grab all frames of this particular scene. I used a 0.1 second interval and used frame numbers instead of running time for the file names. This resulted in 102 images for the entire "Jump & Rotate". Next I made a Photoshop batch job to "Auto Level" all images because the scene is very dark and Trinity doesn't stand out very much. The last (and easiest) step was to put all images through PhotoSynth.

Nice :)

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