02 Mar 2009

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Frank Silye: Walking home from work

Today I woke up to it snowing again, and we ended up with another 10 cm with snow. Luckily I brought my camera with me to work, so I quitted early and walked home. From Blindern to Sagene, and then a long Akerselva (the river) to Grünerløkka, and then through the Botanic Garden at Tøyen:


About two weeks ago I bought myself a new camera, a Nikon D60, and these pictures are some of the first pictures that I take outside with it.




The waterfall at Mølla, Grünerløkka is the perfect place to try shutter times. I wish I had brought a tripod with me too!


The spectacular waterfall located next to the small, red house "Hønse-Lovisas hus" and the Beier bridge.


How did you manage?

I guess your question is like mine: How on earth did you manage …? I found the car like this on a street corner quite high up in Markveien.


This last photo was taken up in Tøyen Botanic Garden, outside the Manor house. Normally the Botanical Garden is a green oasis, but today it was covered in snow:

Tøyen Botanic Garden

I can't wait for the spring to arrive.


02 Mar 2009 8:50pm GMT

01 Mar 2009

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Frank Silye: Aftenposten application for iPhone

aftenposten-iphoneThe iPhone application for the newspaper New York Times, is one of my favorite. I have not often read their paper or traditional Internet edition. Sadly, I didn't notice that also Aftenposten released such an application two weeks ago.

I have now installed it and find there to be pros and cons with this application. Two big pros: Reading the main news is easier then ever and including business news from E24.

I don't care about the Soccer news section, but I think it should be included. What I don't understand is why they have included a Gallery section. I don't think iPhone users view pictures to much on their phones. Bandwidth costs, but more important I have turned off 3G support most of the time, simply to have the longest possible battery time. What Aftenposten rather should do with their fourth news section in this application, is news based on geolocation awareness. Readers should simply get newsstreams from the biggest cities/towns in Norway.


01 Mar 2009 11:15am GMT

26 Feb 2009

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Frank Silye: Changes in Windows 7 RC

Today I read through an impressive list of improvement/features for the upcoming Release Candidate of Windows 7. Microsoft has really changed and gotten both speed and power behind it's development of Windows.

Most surprising that Microsoft is included native support for .mov and AVCHD content. Imagine that you will now be able to play Quicktime movies in both Windows Media Player and Media Center! Who would have thought we know longer will have to be nagged with pop-ups from the Apple update software prompting you to install yet another of the many security updates that Quicktime lately has had.


26 Feb 2009 6:05pm GMT

25 Feb 2009

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Frank Silye: The Finance crise is doing it’s spring cleaning

I wasn't a frequent user of Zattoo, as the channels available and their quality were simply to poor. Today I was cleaning up my app folder on my Mac, and decided that I would give it a try. A link appeared in the application window:

We're sorry to have to inform you that we have temporarily closed access to Zattoo in Norway as of February 13. Here are the reasons for why we're taken this step:

In Norway, Zattoo is not yet big enough to allow us to make enough revenues from advertising to cover the costs of running Zattoo there. In the current economic climate we don't have the resources to grow the service sufficiently to make it more attractive for advertisers. This is unfortunately no time for losses and for experiments. Rather, it's a time to calculate one's earnings and expenses and consolidate. We calculated and realized that keeping our service up and running in Norway would cost us too much money for the time being. Just like all other companies we plan to get through this difficult year intact, in order to bloom again in 2010 and do all the things that we are so excited about doing, which includes offering online TV in your country.

To our users from Norway.


25 Feb 2009 9:49pm GMT

Frank Silye: The perfect reading device? We are getting close …

Amazon released Kindle 2 yesterday. I must say that it is a bit to expensive, US $ 359. The price makes it compete with small laptops, like the popular "netbooks". But having said that, you have free wireless with Verzion. Yepp, you read correctly, Amazon pays the bill. Reviews seem to conclude with it is close to perfect! CrunchGear has published an unboxing video in high quality worth seeing:

Funnily enough, more or less at the same time as Kindle 2 gets released, one of my professors, Karen O'Brien, publishes a book that it is also available in the Kindle-format. A book about environmental change and globalization, that is actually available in an environmental friendly format! It's on my list of books I would like to read. The collection of content available for Kindle is impressive: Over 240,000 books plus U.S. and international newspapers, magazines, and blogs available. I would love to have one, but they are sadly not sold in Europe.


25 Feb 2009 8:01am GMT

24 Feb 2009

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Frank Silye: Julia got baptized Sunday Feb 22

Last Sunday my niece, Julia, got baptized in Torshov Church. I brought a video camera with me, and my father did a recording of the happening.

A short note: Julia is not the one crying! Not this time …


24 Feb 2009 3:39pm GMT

David Reid: Django & Apache Auth

Over the last week I've been working on another small django site. It's mainly the usual stuff but one aspect that proved trickier than I expected was using the django maintained authentication system to control access to another service. The other service is run via an apache2 installation and so I figured that mod_authn_dbd configured to use mysql would be all that I needed. Bzzzzt.

Django stores the passwords in a different format than mod_authn_dbd expects. It also uses salts for it's SHA1 generation, which further complicates the simple password matching that APR does (and is the checking implemented in mod_authn_dbd). I tried a few different ways round it using mysql queries, but all to avail.

The eventual solution I came up with was to adapt mod_authn_dbd into mod_authn_django, with a password checking routine that understands how django stores the passwords and can do the correct things to compare them.

Not sure if it'll help anyone else, but if there's any interest I can make it available :-)

24 Feb 2009 11:22am GMT

22 Feb 2009

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Frank Silye: When cables become a problem

My parents have just moved to a new apartment, and asked me to set up their Internet connection (cable modem, wireless router, VoIP adapter and telephone). In their previous apartment, the cables were not a problem as the equipment fitted on a shelf in a wardrobe in the hall. But in the new apartment the equipment had to be placed in the living room. Not a pretty sight …


How could this best be solved? By using HomePlug/Powerline adapters. I had only heard about the technology, and never seen it in use. So I guess my experiences should be written down as a blog entry. I visited Komplett, Norway's biggest online store for computer hardware, and found several brands and that there was a standard.


I ended up with Devolo dLAN 200 AVeasy Powerline Starter, as it complies with the new HomePlug AV standard and that it came with a 128 AES encryption. The HomePlug/Powerline technology lets you connect network-enabled devices such as PCs, modems, routers, game consoles and set-top boxes via your household power grid, with data speeds up to 200 Mbps.

HomePlug/Powerline adapter

Devolo dLAN 200 is real plug 'n' play, no pray needed! Setting up the network was done in a minute. Far easier then setting up a wireless network. Just plug the dLAN 200 AVeasy adapter into an electrical outlet to turn your power grid into a convenient data network. All you need is two adapters to take advantage of the full range of services. Your home network can later be extended with more adapters, but if ever you decide to use a room for a different purpose or rearrange your office, that is no problem either. Simply move the network with you, without the need for laying new cables, just plug the adapters into different electrical outlets. That's it!


22 Feb 2009 7:10pm GMT

21 Feb 2009

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Frank Silye: Thief caught again at age 83

The notorious 83-year-old Hungarian thief, Kosztor Sandorne, dubbed "Flying Gizi" with a criminal record dating back six decades, was caught by police Thursday at the scene of a break-in.

"Flying Gizi" has been convicted more than 20 times and first came to the attention of the police in the 1950s. She was already under investigation for an alleged theft in Szentendre, a town near Budapest, before her latest detention.

Full story at Reuters.


21 Feb 2009 11:20pm GMT

17 Feb 2009

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Frank Silye: Finally: CyBook is soon getting ePub (and better PDF) support

Bookeen today announced that they have signed an agreement with Adobe to license the Adobe Reader Mobile SDK for its products.

The new software engine delivers support for reflowable PDF technology, Adobe's content protection technology, as well as the EPUB file format. The Bookeen products will be compatible with Adobe Digital Edition Desktop application (compatible both on PCs and Macs) enabling users to acquire and download their content from a variety of sources. Both the PDF and EPUB support will become available through a software release scheduled in quarter 1 2009.

Finally my CyBook will get decent PDF support and more importantly, support for the open source ePub format. And that in 1-2 months! The Adobe announcement could also very well be the biggest news regarding ePaper in 2009. Very exciting …


17 Feb 2009 9:29pm GMT

15 Feb 2009

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Frank Silye: Notes Pro for iPhone

I've always been in favor of group calendar solutions, and therefor often written about Notes products. Recently the annual Lotussphere took place, and a lot of new stuff got announced. LinkedIn and IBM announced a partnership, in the future we will be able to use a LinkedIn add-on very similar to Xobni in Lotus Notes. Another partnership was with Skype. And Lotus Live is on the way. Yepp, this is the year of cloud computing. I can't wait.

At the same time as Lotussphere I started upgrading my department's computers with the latest Lotus Notes, version 8.5. I chose to install the standard version of the client and not the basic one. And ta-ta, users were quite impressed with the upgrade. I also bought a license of Notes Pro for my iPhone, and this is what the article is all about. This is my review. Notes Pro is an alternative for iNotes Ultralite.

Notes Pro

Notes Pro costed me about 85 NOK on iTunes Music Store. From the application's web page you can read that Notes Pro is an all-in-one Lotus Notes solution for the iPhone, that lets you access your Notes mail, calendar, group contacts and todos directly from Notes Pro. Before you can run Notes Pro on your iPhone, some basic Lotus Notes account configuration is required. So before purchasing the application, please read the Lotus Notes Server Setup Instructions and ensure your Lotus Notes server is compatible with Notes Pro.

Notes Pro

You need to be able to to drop a simple script into your Agents folder in the Lotus Notes Application. Four versions of the script are available, among the things the script sets is where to look for your contacts. I tried both versions of the International version, Global and Local. I guess Local would only give you the Contacts you have in your local address book, but I did not get Local working. Global on the other hand was working, but I must say poorly with a global address book including all our 3.000 users. But as you can see from my screenshots, I also ran in to other problems. The appointments that appeared on Notes Pro, were the ones first taking place in December this year (screenshots were taken in the end of January!).

Notes Pro

So with a not really working global address book and calendar, I was left with Mail and ToDo. I was able to send new mails access my list of todos, but not add new todos. The graphical user interface on the application is rather poor and not what we expect from an iPhone application, and with the limited of functionality included you are better of using the free Lotus iNotes Ultralite.

Notes Pro

But …, I saved the very best news from Lotussphere to the very end. Notes Pro for the iPhone will in the future not be needed, as IBM plans to add support for ActiveSync (please have a look at my Google Sync article). What will this mean for us endusers? We will use the synchronization application EasySync less and sync wirelessly on-the-fly. The ActiveSync protocol is becoming a de facto standard for wireless synchronization. Another thing is that in the future we will not need iNotes Ultralite and Notes Pro.

I will test future versions of Notes Pro. Hopefully my problems will be solved.


15 Feb 2009 8:22am GMT

27 Jan 2009

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David Reid: Rotten Apple

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Edmund Burke

The US PTO really does make some dramatically poor decisions.

Of course, the patents have to be filed in the first place, so some of the blame must lie with the companies or individuals that make the applications. Surely an organisation like Apple has done a lot of work on the possible ramifications of being granted the patent - otherwise why would they have taken the time and effort to file it?

This patent screams of protectionism and a desire to make money while placing obstacles in their competitors way.

I believe the quote from Edmund Burke sums up my feelings nicely. If you're contemplating buying anything from Apple, which side of that equation do you see yourself on?

27 Jan 2009 9:48pm GMT

David Reid: The River House

We went for lunch today at "The River House". It's a restaurant in Stirling that is part of the chain that owns and runs "The Doll's House" in St Andrews.

It was a great meal, with a nice atmosphere, superb food and great value for money. Parking for their St Andrews locations can be tricky, but The River House has a large car park.

If you're in the area and want a meal, I'd highly recommend it!

27 Jan 2009 9:39pm GMT

23 Jan 2009

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Bezilla Blog: One final hoo-rah for 1_8_BRANCH (?)

Lately, I've been doing some Mozilla work inside Haiku.

The dependencies(autoconf-2.13, glib-1.2, and libIDL-0.6) have been ironed out. I even made a script to download, patch, build, and install them.

Eventually, the script will be posted somewhere and the portlogs for the dependencies will be added to HaikuPorts

tqh's cross-compiling patch has been improved to allow native compiling inside Haiku with gcc2.
The updated patch : Bug: 418487

So at this point, fairly vanilla versions build and run in Haiku.

My goal is to build some very nice packages for use with R1/Alpha1 , which includes:
-Built with Haiku's native gcc (currently gcc2)
-tqh's NSPR : Bug: 300595
-native color fixes : Bug: 475050
-native binary launching : Bug: 425962

Any idea where the patch for the launch-kill fix is ?
edit: launch-kill fix is Bug: 44633

edit: since this build won't be able to use trademarks, should i include tigerdog's HaikuFox
or Franxico's Haiku 404
Are there any other patches that could be included?
-apprunner-beos.rsrc for Sunbird :Bug: 423359

23 Jan 2009 6:44pm GMT

12 Jan 2009

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David Reid: LNT Battery Change

After a long period of running out of time, the sight of the moon as we drove home this evening was enough to drive me to change the battery in the LNT module sitting atop my Meade LX90. It didn't take long and was easier than the instructions had led me to think it would be. The change was followed by some recalibration (as required) and all seemed to work quite well.

The alignment wasn't perfect, but it was done in a rush and I hope it'll get better as I'm able to take more time.

I also tried attaching the D300 to the scope. The proved to be a huge improvement over the D70 as the exposure metering works - which proved useful in saving time and wasted images :-) Once again, the biggest problem was getting the focus spot on - but that's something I need to work on.


12 Jan 2009 10:57pm GMT

10 Jan 2009

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David Reid: Considerate & Supporting

Those are the two words that I'd use to sum up the response of work to the family problems I've been dealing with for the last few weeks. It's been an enormous relief and they have been as supportive as I could have hoped for :-)

10 Jan 2009 4:42pm GMT