October 2006 Archives
[Sun Microsystems:Project Blackbox] And The #1 Reason Why Project Blackbox Is Bound For Success Is...
While its easy to see the simple genius of Project Blackbox (the simple genius represented by the “why hasn’t somebody already thought of this?!” statement when you first see something of this nature), there was one question that I had in the back of my mind that left me wondering if this would become a *nix niche market leader, or a true pioneering platform bound to take the Lions Share of the data-center market.
The question: What are my operating system options?
The answer is contained in the following 2minute:22second clip from Jonathan Schwartz,
From Oracle OpenWorld 2006: Sun President Jonathan Schwartz discusses his company’s new movable server and supercomputer, the Sun Blackbox.
For those of you who don’t have the same mentioned 2:22 to spare (though when you do, it’s worth every second of your investment to watch)…
Here’s the weekly summary of a mix of Windows Mobile and general mobile tech related items from my personal blog.
LifeHacker: 11 Killer Freebies for Your Pocket PC
The LifeHacker article 11 Killer Freebies for Your Pocket PC lists, as the title implies 11 free applications for the Windows Mobile Pocket PC. I have tried just two of the applications from that list (ADB Idea Outliner and Skype for Pocket PC). I didn’t see anything I have a burning urge to try. But, you might find something useful in the list of freebies. And, hey, the price is right :-)
The Official Google Blog noted that the Google Mobile relaunched last week with a new layout and simple access to Google’s mobile products. You can find it at…
For some reason, though, Google Mobile thinks my T-Mobile SDA is a MiTAC Mio 8390. The Mio is an older (Windows Mobile 2003) flip-style smartphone while my SDA is a Windows Mobile 5 based non-flip phone. And, it still says that the Java-based Google Maps for Mobile doesn’t work on the SDA.
Comparing Video from a Pocket PC with a Digital Camera
I’m a huge fan of cameraphones. Most Smartphones and Pocket PCs with an integrated camera can record video as well as still photographs. I recorded some video earlier this year using an i-Mate JasJar Pocket PC Phone Edition and a Canon SD200 digital camera (still camera that can record 640×480 video). You can see the result of this video comparison test here.
The original comments attached to this video were: I wanted to compare the video from a Pocket PC Phone Edition recording at 320×240 10fps to a digital still camera that also records video at 640×480 30fps. I’m using an i-Mate JasJar Pocket PC Phone Edition and Canon Powershot SD200 digital camera to make the recordings. The scenes are from Kahala Mall near Honolulu, Hawaii. The mall experienced a freak flood last week and re-opened a few days ago.
Excel Mobile on Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PCs
When Microsoft changed the name of their keyboardless Windows CE devices from Palm-size PC to Pocket PC, the platform gained the much appreciated Pocket Excel and Pocket Word applications that were subsets of their desktop Office counterparts. However, the applications remained frozen in time as the Windows Mobile Pocket PCs evolved. No new features, no round trip format protection, and file formats unique to the Pocket PC without translators available on the desktop side continued to be the norm for years. The introduction of Windows Mobile 5 not only changed the names from to Excel Mobile and Word Mobile. It also brought some much needed functional changes.
Earlier this year, I wrote an article for Microsoft.com that highlighted some of the changes in Excel Mobile. You can find the article linked below:
What’s New in Excel Mobile?
PHM Pocket PC PowerToys (Freeware)
PHM Pocket PC PowerToys have not been updated since April 2004. But, you know what? They still work with Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PCs. The two freeware powertoys I use are the PHM Suspend and PHM Reset PowerToys. Why? Years ago, the power button on my Compaq iPAQ 3650 broke. I decided not to tempt the fates after that and started using Suspend to turn off the remaining Pocket PCs and the other buttons to turn on the Pocket PCs.
In my last blog, I wrote that Microsoft has abandoned the power user. But there’s also some possible good news: The company says the next version of Internet Explorer will include features dear to the hearts of power users.
Here’s the weekly summary of a mix of Windows Mobile and general mobile tech related items from my personal blog.
Business Card Scanner for Windows Mobile?
Just noticed a blog post by Microsoft’s Jason Langridge: Business Card Scanner for Windows Mobile. In he asks: Is anyone aware of a solution to allow you to take a picture of a business card and then import the details into your contacts? I’ve seen a solution for Symbian but haven’t been able to track something down for Windows Mobile…. anyone know of such a solution?
The scanR Business Cards web application looks like it fits the bill. I haven’t tried this service. But, I did try their earlier Whiteboard webapp that cleaned up photos of whiteboards, turned them into PDFs and emailed them to you. It worked pretty nicely Their business card web application appears to be able to use a photo taken using a Windows Mobile Pocket PC or Smartphone with an integrated camera, clean it up, translate the bits into text, and then deliver a vCard you can import into Outlook.
Spb Insight RSS Newsreader for Windows Mobile
Spb Software House has created a lot of amazing software for Windows Mobile Smartphone and Pocket PCs. Spb Insight is their new RSS reader for the Pocket PC with a difference: It is not limited to the summaries usually provided by many RSS feeds. This means that you will get full articles downloaded to your Pocket PC. This differentiation gives a great disconnected experience such as having full articles with images to read when on flights or other times you can’t get to the net. It also means, though, that there is a lot of data that needs to be downloaded. I’ve been using Spb Insight with WiFi on a Pocket PC. It looks like over a megabyte of data comes down when I refresh the five feeds I selected. This takes a reasonably long time over WiFi. A conventional RSS reader that just gets the summary doesn’t require such heavy bandwidth requirement. That said, it is great to get full articles for each feed. My recommendation is to buy and use Spb Insight if you plan to sync over WiFi and to take a look at Ilium Software’s NewsBreak if you want an RSS reader for the Smartphone or Pocket PC Edition and plan to obtain feed data over the relatively slower (and more costly) mobile phone data services.
You can find a detailed review of Spb Insight by Clinton Fitch at:
Clinton Fitch Reviews: Spb Insight 1.0
You can find my review of Ilium Software’s Newsbreak at:
Microsoft.com: A Breaking News Breakthrough
T-Mobile Access Point Names & Wireless Modem Usage
One of the nice things about T-Mobile’s GPRS/EDGE data service compared to others (such as Verizon Wireless) is that it lets you use your phone as a wireless modem. And, it worked fine until this past April. Up until this past April, I used internet2.voicestream.com (NAT) Access Point Name (APN). It stopped working at that time and I switched to internet3.voicestream.com (public IP). However, when using my phone as a wireless modem using a Bluetooth connection to my Pocket PC with a nice big QWERTY keyboard, I had to drop the connection from 115.2Kbps to 38.4Kbps. I had to use my phone as a wireless modem a bit over the past week. I played with the settings and verified that I was limited to 38.4Kbps. Then, I switched the APN back to internet3.voicestream.com. And, yep, I was able to set the Bluetooth serial connection speed back up to 115.2Kbps.
Microsoft Windows Mobile + LEGO Mindstorms NXT = WiMo
Ever wonder what would happen if you mashed up a LEGO Mindstorms NXT robotics kit and a Windows Mobile Smartphone? Apparently so did Microsoft’s Brian Cross. You can find his source code and other information about his work on…
WiMo: The Windows Mobile Robot
You can find a video demonstration of an early version (May 2006) of this project by Mel Sampat and Brian on MSDN Channel 9 at:
Mel Sampat and Brian Cross - Microsoft Mobile App Compat
DISCLAIMER: Can you really blame me for not taking FULL ADVANTAGE of the various connections between John Lam (his personal site is IUnknown.com), Ruby (John Lam is the developer of RubyCLR), the fact that the area that used to be south of the Kingdome is called SoDo (actually, the area south of of where the Kingdome *used* to be is still there (e.g. Starbucks corporate headquarters)… But as per the video embedded below, The Kingdome is not), and a few of the lyrics behind Rancid’s song Ruby SoHo**** which include “Destination unknown… Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, SoHo?
Or maybe the better question would be, are you really all that surprised that I chose just such a title?
Pick one and go with it ;)
via a post from one of my more favorite Microsoft bloggers, Steve “Say It Like It Is, But Don’t Be A Prick About It Either” Maine***, we discover that John Lam, the RubyCLR guy, has decided to take a position with Microsoft.
I’ve decided to stage a friendly takeover of Microsoft. As of January, 2007 my new work address will be Building 42 at Microsoft. I’ll be working in the CLR team to help bring the love of dynamic languages out to the statically typed heathens :)
You know, maybe I need to look a bit deeper into the Ruby language… Not that I haven’t played with it a bit, and not that after playing with it, I wasn’t impressed, and instead that the work of the IronPython team coupled with encouragement from Sylvain, Uche, and the underlying fact that a majority of the best software developers I know at a personal level are nearly all Python developers has led me down the road to learning Python. Don’t get me wrong, I *LOVE* the Python language, and when you couple IronPython + Saxon on .NET + XSLT 2.0 + XSLT 2.0 Extension Functions the result is like pure magic sprinkled with sugar.
That said, I wonder what Ruby + Saxon on .NET + XSLT 2.0 + XSLT 2.0 Extension Functions would taste like?
I bet it tastes *YUMMY* and without a doubt, soon enough… We will most definitely be finding out. :)
NOTE: To those with interest, and those willing to move forward without any documentation nor promise of *ANY* support from me, you can access the Xameleon and/or PyPod.NET Click-Once apps that provide an IronPython console with direct access to the fixed version of Saxon on .NET that allows the ability to implement .NET-based XSLT 2.0 extension functions (the current release of Saxon on .NET had a bug and as such extensions functions didn’t work, but Dr. Kay fixed the problem soon after I reported it and as such, if you build out from source, it will work just fine. How do you build directly from source? How ’bout I just give you the fixed version via the Click-Once app and we call it good? That, or look over these directions I posted to the ExtensibleForge.net Trac interface a while back, check out the source from the repository, and build it doing so with the knowledge that there is *ZERO* support available (read: I wish I had the time right now to launch all of the projects I have long sinced finished out, supporting each and every one of them as a result… But, at the moment anyway… I don’t, so they need to wait for release until I do.)
Microsoft today released Beta 1 of ASP.NET AJAX, its new Ajax framework for building richer web clients that play well with ASP.NET 2.0 applications. The downloadable package, formerly known as “Atlas”, was announced by Scott Guthie — Microsoft general manager of “all things web” — on his blog (http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2006/10/20/ASP.NET-AJAX-Beta-1-Released.aspx). Scott’s writeup provides, as usual, an excellent overview of key package features and is well worth a read.
You’ll find the everything you need to install and start using ASP.NET AJAX at the new ASP.NET AJAX web site (http://ajax.asp.net/Default.aspx?tabid=47) including a migration whitepaper and list of “Atlas” to Beta 1 changes.
Christian Wenz, author of our just published Programming Atlas (see http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/atlas/index.html) is also tracking developments and was the first to alert me to the new site this morning, hours before Microsoft posted the actual downloads. He’ll be reporting his findings at his own site (for starters, check out http://www.hauser-wenz.de/s9y/index.php?/archives/210-Microsoft-) over the next couple of days. Be sure to tune in.
Let us know what you think. What’s to like or hate about ASP.NET AJAX? Will you use it? How can O’Reilly help you get up to speed?
I’ve already posted my congratulations and overall thoughts in regards to this release, so with that, the official release announcement from Dean Hachamovitch,
Today we released Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP. I encourage everyone to download the final version from http://www.microsoft.com/ie.
We listened carefully to feedback from many sources (including this blog) and worked hard to deliver a safer browser that makes everyday tasks easier. When I first posted publicly about IE7, I wrote that we would go further to defend users from phishing and malicious software. The Phishing Filter and the architectural work in IE7 around networking and ActiveX opt-in will help keep users more secure. IE7 also delivers a much easier browsing experience with features like tabbed browsing (especially with QuickTabs), shrink-to-fit printing, an easily customizable search box, and a new design that leaves more screen real estate for the web site you’re viewing. IE7’s CSS improvements are incredibly important for developers as many of you have made quite clear. I also think IE7’s RSS experience and platform are important, powerful, and innovative.
In addition to our release of IE7, Yahoo! has a customized version of the browser available today and over the next few days partners such as Weather.com and USA TODAY will offer their own customized versions. These versions will tailor the user experience with specific toolbars, additional search engines, favorites, and RSS feeds.
I want to thank everyone who provided feedback as we developed and fine-tuned Internet Explorer 7. Over the 20 months since Bill Gates first announced our commitment to deliver IE7, we released five betas and a release candidate to millions of users worldwide. With each release, your feedback helped us make IE7 better. Your contributions, ideas, and direct comments were crucial in helping us prioritize and focus our work. I can’t imagine delivering this product without the tremendous cooperation we enjoyed from so many of you as well as developers and partners.
That said, we’re not done. Even as we put the finishing touches on Windows Vista and release all the remaining language versions of IE7, we have already started work on the next versions of Internet Explorer. We’ll post more here soon about our plans for the product and our plans for listening to you.
[iApple:iSupport] iPod iNoculation : iT iS iNconceivable iT iS i iNstead oF tHey iN wHom iNstigated tHis iSolated iNcident
Attribution Lineage: Dare Obasanjo < PaoloM < Some Genius @ Apple Support < Some BlackHat Hacker @ Some Contract Manufacturer Somewhere Else In The World (if I had a link I would provide it.) < Some BlackHat Hacker(s) Who Wrote The RavMonE.exe virus (ditto)
In communication theory, the inoculation effect refers to a strategy of prejudicing one’s audience against an opposing argument they may hear in the future.
The application to persuasion is apparent. If we want to strengthen existing attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, inoculation theory suggests that we should present a weak attack on those attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Again, the key word here is, “weak.” If the attack is too strong, it will cause the attitude, belief, or behavior to get weaker or even move to the opposite position. The attack has to be strong enough to challenge the defenses of the receiver without overwhelming them.
Here are the steps of effective inoculation:
Warn the receiver of the impending attack.
Make a weak attack.
Get the receiver to actively defend the attitude.
Small Number of Video iPods Shipped With Windows Virus
We recently discovered that a small number - less than 1% - of the Video iPods available for purchase after September 12, 2006, left our contract manufacturer carrying the Windows RavMonE.exe virus. This known virus affects only Windows computers, and up to date anti-virus software which is included with most Windows computers should detect and remove it. So far we have seen less than 25 reports concerning this problem. The iPod nano, iPod shuffle and Mac OS X are not affected, and all Video iPods now shipping are virus free. As you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it.
So here’s my question,
The upcoming final releases of Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 7 make one thing exceedingly clear: Microsoft has abandoned the power user, allowing fewer and fewer customizations and tweaks. By doing this, they’re leaving behind a very loyal audience.
[Sun Microsystems:Innovation] Project Blackbox : Startup-esque Data Center Innovation From A Not-So-Much Startup
So this might be the coolest (pun only partially intended ;) idea I have seen come out of Silicon Valley in a VERY LONG TIME.
I don’t know what Jonathan Schwartz is putting in the coffee at Sun these days, but whatever it is…
Please be careful… It’s *HOT*. ;)
Inside Sun’s Project Blackbox
October 16, 2006 9:00 PM PDT
Sun Microsystems believes many customers will prefer to buy data center equipment in convenient shipping container-sized modules rather than building more expensive and elaborate buildings on their own. It plans to show off the idea, called Project Blackbox, at its Menlo Park, Calif., facilities on Oct. 17.
Componentized, Lego-like Data Centers. Now *THATS* innovative!
Photo Credit: Sun Microsystems
Here’s the weekly summary of a mix of Windows Mobile and general mobile tech related items from my personal blog.
Q&A: Windows Mobile 5 Printer Support?
Reader OdL asks:
As a simple programmer of our laboratory, i’ve made a handy PDA application for our fieldworkers so they can:
* retrieve projectinformation from our database
* walk through a wizzerd to fill in information
* make a CAD-drawing, saved as WMF
* print report including the drawing “on the spot” (HP Deskjet 450, IRDa)
* transmit information & drawings, so the server can generate certificates for authoriation
This all works as a charm, except for the printing part.
We were using “HP Mobile Printing” software, which is now discontinued.
Now comes the time we have to purchase new printers that are not supported by “HP Mobile Printer” software, and so we’re looking for a new solution as well.
The current reports we use for mobile printing, are basically generated HTML-templates with jpg’s, printed from InternetExplorer.
What I wanted to ask from a PDA-expert, what can be the best mobile print solutions for our situation?
I was thinking about using PIEprint from fieldsoftware.com, but the quality kind’a sucks.
Hmm. I haven’t looked at that issue in a long time (since Windows Mobile 5 came out, basically). Here’s what I found after a quick look-see this evening though.
* Bachman PrintBoy 7.0
* Westtek JETCET
Please let me know if either of this work (or not) for you. I think other people will be interested to learn your findings.
Q&A: Windows Mobile Pocket PC Web Database Interaction
Reader R.L. asks: came across your Blog and similarly O’Reilly articles. Wonder if you
could help please. Looking for a PDA Application (Mobile Windows) that
has the potential to push and pull data to and from a Web Server based
Database. Effectively allowing such aspects as ‘Search’ (via some nice
GUI tools) that then checks Server (assuming WIFI and/or GPRS enabled)
and brings relevant data about that ‘Object’ to the PDA App screen.
Hope you can help; much appreciated.
You are going to have to build it yourself. Here are a couple of Windows Mobile database tools that might do the trick for you.
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition
Syware’s suite of mobile development products
MSNBC’s Krakow Raves about the T-Mobile Dash
MSNBC’s Gary Krakow gave the soon-to-be-released T-Mobile Dash (AKA HTC Excalibur) a rave review in…
T-Mobile’s Dash: Head-turning smartphone
I’d like to make a correction to his article though. He says Dash runs on the latest version of the Windows Mobile operating system. That means you get the portable versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and lots more.
Dash is a Windows Mobile based Smartphone, not a Pocket PC Phone Edition. So, it does not have features like Excel Mobile and Word Mobile.
You can find more information about the Dash on T-Mobile site at…
The first things you’ll notice about it is its QWERTY thumb-keyboard and QVGA landscape format screen (320×240). I sure hope it is affordable because I now want to replace my T-Mobile SDA smartphone with the Dash. Its scheduled availability date is October 25.
Bye Bye ActiveSync, Hello Windows Mobile Device Center
Bye bye, ActiveSync! Hello, Windows Mobile Device Center (at least for Vista). If you plan on using a Windows Mobile based Pocket PC or Smartphone with Windows Vista, you will need to learn a new and more unmemorable name for the software that syncs with mobile devices. You can find the download for it at…
Microsoft ® Windows Mobile ® Device Center Beta 3 for Windows Vista™ (x86)
Microsoft Explains Why X Doesn’t Exit Windows Mobile Applications
You wouldn’t think a simple X in the upper right hand corner of a Microsoft Windows Mobile Pocket PC/Phone Edition would cause so much heated discussion. But, it does. The reason? A Windows Mobile Pocket PC somewhat resembles its older and larger sibling: Microsoft Windows. In all its various versions (from 1.0 to Vista), clicking the X in the upper right hand corner causes the application to close (most of them, anyway).
This doesn’t happen on a Windows Mobile Pocket PC. Clicking the X on a Pocket PC simply leaves the application running in the background and brings the previous application placed in the background to the foreground (makes it visible). Mike Calligaro, of the Microsoft Windows Mobile Team, explains the rationale behind this design choice in his blog entry…
The Emperor Has No Close
Microsoft released the Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 Beta today (Oct. 11).
This beta release supports the virtualization hardware built into current generation AMD and Intel processors. It can be installed on Windows Vista as well as run Windows Vista as a Guest OS.
I installed it on a Windows XP Professional PC that had been running Virtual PC 2004. The CentOS 4.4 (Red Hat Enterprise Linux community version) and Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition virtual machines I built earlier using Virtual PC 2004 ran fine under Virtual PC 2007 Beta.
Parallels (best known for their Parallels Desktop for Mac) released a new version of their own virtualization product today.
I haven’t tried this product yet but plan to do so in the near future. I was very impressed by their Parallels Desktop for Mac product.
Did you know Microsoft built a Mimesweeper game, in which the goal was to blow up annoying mimes — but at the last minute decided to leave the game out of Vista? There’s more weird facts like that in the Microsoft shell blog entry Features that didn’t make the cut.
Microsoft ActiveSync Troubleshooting
A reader posted the following question on my O’Reilly Windows DevCenter blog. My response includes a bunch of llinks which might be a bit much for the blog response box there. So, I’m posting a reply here.
I just bought a Treo 700wx from Sprint. I cannot get ActiveSync to recognize the phone (when the phone is connected via USB cable).
The error says “Active Sync cannot connect to the Windows Mobile powered device. To troubleshoot the problem, click ok.”
I spent about 8 hours yesterday along with many (10+) calls to Sprint to get the phone working with the Activesync software that came standard with it. I went through levels 1,2 and 3 of Sprint support. I was connected this morning to Sprint’s special “TREO Activesync” department. No one could get the software running so that I could sync with the Treo 700wx.
At this point, I am at a total loss regarding what to do. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
The first thing you should check is whether you have a software firewall (e.g., Zone Alarm) running. If so, check out my blog item:
ActiveSync 4.1 for Microsoft Windows Mobile 5 devices released
If that is not the case, check out the following ActiveSync troubleshooting guides.
Microsoft.com: What Does the Troubleshooter for ActiveSync Do?
PocketPCFAQ.com: ActiveSync 4.x Troubleshooting Guide - General
There’s also an item specifically focused on the Treo 700w (one generation older than the 700wx) at:
Microsoft.com: ActiveSync Troubleshooter More Options
Engadget: How-To: Use your EV-DO Pocket PC phone for internet access
Engadget has a step-by-step illustrated tutorial showing how to use a Verizon Wireless Pocket PC Phone Edition (Windows Mobile 5) XV6700 as mobile modem for a notebook. You can find the article at…
How-To: Use your EV-DO Pocket PC phone for internet access
HP iPAQ rx5915 Travel Companion
HP’s web site shows their soon-to-be-released GPS, WiFi (802.11b and 802.11g!), Bluetooth, music/photo/video playing, Windows Mobile 5 powered handheld device with a 3.5″ LCD screen (bigger than the Zune’s) with a price of $599.99.
HP iPAQ rx5915 Travel Companion
So, whatever happened to the $500 GPS-enabled UMPC anyway? In any case, CNET has a video review of this new GPS-enabled iPAQ available at the link below.
HP iPaq rx5900 Travel Companion
Too bad it doesn’t have a QWERTY keyboard of some kind…
Smartphone shipments up 75.5% for first half of 2006
Techweb reports that an unnamed market research firm (might be Gartner since it is mentioned later in the article) says that Smartphone shipments were up 75.5% in the first half of 2006.
Smartphone Market Booming
The article says the report shows that North America is the only region where PDAs outsold Smartphones. Personally, I find that hard to believe even assuming that the popular Palm Treo line is considered a PDA instead of a smartphone.
Upgrading a Windows Mobile 2003 2nd Ed. Pocket PC to Media Player 10 Mobile
Zack Whittaker over at MSBlog.org asks how to upgrade a Windows Mobile 2003 2nd Edition Pocket PC to Media Player 10 Mobile. And, the answer is: Not from Microsoft. Windows Mobile devices are more like applicances than computers. The large ROM-based applications like Media Player must be burned-in rather than simply installed on top of whatever is there. These firmware based applications are updated by the device manufacturer (not Microsoft). It tends differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. My Dell Axim X50v device, for example, got its Media Player 10 Mobile upgrade with the large AKU2 upgrade Dell made available last year. HP and other firms provided similar upgrades.
T-Mobile USA Talking about Apple?
Found this PC Magazine news item via the MacRumors site.
T-Mobile Talks Up 3G Network–and Apple?
The article reports Dotson singled out Apple’s efforts on the desktop as a “great precursor of where I think the marketplace is headed in 3G,” leading to speculation that T-Mobile, not Cingular, will host Apple’s much-rumored iPhone project.
Yet, it also says that Dotson focused on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and not the iPod. So, maybe Apple is going with T-Mobile instead of Cingular? Why? Although Cingular has the largest US mobile footprint, T-Mobile has a larger worldwide footprint.
Release 1.01 Production
The motivation of this release is to add a small feature that enables the community to create new built-in modules more easily. Additionally we’ve included a small set of minor bug fixes to the IronPython modules and engine. You can see the more complete list of changes below.
The new support for community written built-in modules enables loading the .NET DLLs on startup and adding them to the built-in module list. This feature was implemented by updating site.py to check for a “DLLs” directory and looking for the PythonModuleAttribute point to an assembly. Now users can create built-in modules by simply adding this attribute to their assembly and re-distributing only the new assembly which the user can add to their DLLs directory.
Microsoft sent out email early today (Friday, Oct. 6) that 2007 Microsoft Office (note the new word order) testing is complete and will be released to manufacturing (RTM) in a few weeks. The Beta 2 Technical Refresh clients will expire on the Ides of March 2007. So, we can probably expect the shrinkwrapped release sometime before that date.
Microsoft also released Windows Vista Release Candidate build 5744 today. I just started to download my copy and am told I will have to wait another 12 hours (I have a reasonably fast broadband connection) for it to finish.
So, it looks like the pumps are being primed in Redmond…
The biggest skeptic about Vista shipping on time has finally thrown in the towel and said it looks like Microsoft will make its ship date. Goldman Sachs analyst Rick Sherlund, who previously has said Vista wont make ship date, has backed off, and sent a note to clients saying that Microsoft will most likely hit its November enteprise ship date, and January consumer launch.
Here’s the weekly summary of a mix of Windows Mobile and general mobile tech related items from my personal blog
Fossil Bluetooth Watch Talks to Your Phone
The USA Today article Bluetooth watches to show who’s calling reports that Fossil and Sony-Ericsson teamed up to create a Bluetooth watch that displays Caller-ID information on the watch and lets you send the call to voice mail if you don’t want to pick up the phone to answer it. It looks like the watch only works with Sony-Ericsson phones that it says that support for other Symbian based phones is planned. The watches will be available by the end of October under Fossil’s “Mobile Wear by Abacus” brand, the regular Fossil brand, and a Sony Ericsson-branded version. Prices will range from $200 to $250.
Visual Studio vs. Windows Mobile Software Development
Mel Sampat, a Program Manager in the Microsoft Windows Mobile product group tells us there is nothing to worry about if you plan to use Visual Studio 2005 SP1 and Windows Vista to develop software for Windows Mobile devices. A link to an 8 minute video demonstrating using Visual Studio with Windows can be found at the end of the blog entry…
Wampad Mobile Portal
Got a note from Shawn McCollum letting me know about his mobile portal site tuned for web-enabled phones (work on PDA format screens too). Its set up to help you find information and display in a mobile friendly format using the Google mobile transformation service. You can search for specific web formats/services such as websites, news, and flickr. You can find it:
NPR reports about GPS for Cell Phones
NPR has two overlapping (shares content) streaming audio reports about GPS for Cell Phones…
GPS Is Smartening Up Your Cell Phone
…about GPS being an open resource on Nextel phones but not phones from other US mobile phone companies.
Power of GPS Phones Locked Away from Most Users
…adds a bit more focus about why the phone companies have not opened up the ability to develop services for the GPS in many cell phones.
I have recently been working with Gal Zsolt of CalmoSoft on improving several of the Vista Smalltalk tools.
As I have noted in previous blogs, almost all Smalltalk scripts have now been moved to the Vista Smalltalk Wiki, and load streams are generated dynamically from code contained in Wiki pages. Because of this change, it is now practical to do widely distributed code development. When CalmoSoft makes a change, I can test the code immediately - and vice versa.
The Wiki software has features like “access control lists”, “user account management”, and version control. It is also free, as are the Php programs that I have created for it.
And it is not only the Smalltalk code that can be developed in this way. All of the Xaml files used in Vst applications are also dynamically loaded from the Wiki. The Wiki technique should be ideal for graphic artists to participate in creating applications or games.
Vista Smalltalk is capable of distributed development and realtime deployment.
So I have been using DokuWiki for a good year and half and LOVE it for LOTS and LOTS of really good reasons such as those outlined above. Syvlain, Uche, and myself have been chatting on and off for much of that same time span about how much potential DokuWiki holds in regards to distributed application deployment, integrated distributed documentation deployment, etc… so when I read the above post from pfisk I thought “huh… Cool! It looks like another wiki engine has “seen the light.”
DokuWiki ROCKS! :D
NOTE: There are simply too many reasons why DokuWiki ROCKS!, and not enough time at the moment to list them. As soon as time allows I will try and update accordingly. In the mean time, here’s a large chunk from a related post** from a while back entitled,
[PHP:.NET] Phalanger 10-01-2006 Nightly Build [MS.NET, Mono, and VS.NET Integration Support] Now Available
Release 10-01-2006 Nightly Build
Fixed bugs. Added SimpleXML support (included in the XmlDom managed extension).
Phalanger-2.0-nightly-100106.zip - 2 Downloads
Phalanger-2.0-nightly-100106-Mono.zip - 1 Downloads
VSIntegration-2.0-nightly-100106.zip - 2 Downloads
No, it is currently not possible because some parts of Phalanger are mixed assemblies written in Managed C++, which is not supported in Mono. Although we are planning on rewriting these components to C++/CLI as we switch to FW 2.0, one of them - the Extension Manager - will always contain some native code. So it is likely that Phalanger will run under Mono in the future but without the Extension Manager. However, if Mono supports C++/CLI in the future we would probably port the Extension Manager to Mono.
Some quick research showcases the fact that since 09-01-2006 this has now changed.**
** though whether or not the extension manager is available is unknown at this stage as I haven’t downloaded and played with it yet. Thats next. ;)