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Paul(admin)
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Installing S60 Platform SDK under SP3

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Saturday, June 7 2008, 16:33
On my Windows XP SP2 notebook, Carbide C++ and S60 3rd Edition SDK for Symbian OS work marvelously, but when trying to install the SDK on my Windows XP SP3 machine, the installer crashed without any error or message.
S60 Platform SDK installer
The installer crashes within a few seconds of copying files
This can often fairly easily be fixed by creating a new, empty file in the directory from which setup.exe is executed, called S60_3rd.xml.
S60 Platform SDK installation fix
Create a new, empty file called S60_3rd.xml
If this doesn't solve your problem, read the long discussion on Nokia's Developer Discussion Board that's full of helpful pointers.

Also bear in mind that under SP3, if you intend to use CMdaAudioOutputStream, you need to modify the following header file:
\epoc32\include\mmf\common\mmfcontroller.h
Change the following line:
#include <mmfPluginInterfaceUIDs.hrh>
To:
#include <mmf\plugin\mmfPluginInterfaceUIDs.hrh>
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Utrecht University's Motion Capture Lab (cont.)

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Thursday, June 5 2008, 21:14
My experimentation project in the motion capture lab is really proving to be a lot of fun. Earlier this week I captured one of my test subjects operating a Nokia N95 and post-processed it in Vicon iQ. The resulting 3D model can be seen in the video below.
Please view this video using a HTML 4.01-compliant browser.
Music: © 2006 Matti Paalanen
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Outlook 2003 has problems opening Mac binaries

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Thursday, June 5 2008, 2:13
My father recently asked for my help opening a Word document he had received from a colleague using a Mac. Evidently Outlook corrupts the file when saving it to disk, making it impossible to open it in Word without getting a File Conversion dialog similar to the one displayed below.
Word's File Conversion dialog
Symptoms of KB951679

Problem

Opening any kind of Macintosh binary attachment from Outlook 2003 results in an error. JPEG images (.jpg) and Word documents (.doc) are affected in particular.

Solution

After looking long and hard, I discovered that the culprit is a Microsoft security update (MS08-15). There are two solutions:
Solution 1: Install the corresponding hotfix
Knowledge Base article 951678 provides a link (top of the page: "View and request hotfix downloads") to an irritatingly long procedure of requesting a hotfix, getting an e-mail, downloading the fix, inserting a password, unpacking it once, unpacking it again and finally installing it.
It's a pain to install, but it worked perfectly straight off the bat.
If you don't want to give your e-mail address to Microsoft, free anonymous e-mail solutions like Mailinator.com work, too.
Solution 2: Uninstall the guilty update
I urge you to apply the hotfix described above, but if for whichever reason you can't or don't want to, you can simply uninstall security update for Outlook 2003, MS08-15. (See this Knowledge Base article for information.)
Open the Control Panel, select Add or Remove Programs, and scroll down the list until you find "Security Update for Outlook 2003 (KB945432): OUTLOOK". Hit Remove to uninstall the problematic update.
Add or Remove Programs window showing Microsoft Office 2003 updates
Uninstall procedure for KB945432
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Utrecht University's Motion Capture Lab

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Wednesday, June 4 2008, 21:25
Since Monday, I've been working in the motion capture lab here at Utrecht University's Center for Geometry, Imaging and Virtual Environments (GIVE). We have eight fancy Vicon motion capture cameras set up in a specially furnished room in the Centrum Gebouw Noord on university campus De Uithof.
L-shaped origin marker
I've been getting acquainted with the system and have already performed various motion capturing takes. All in all, I am very impressed with the Vicon hardware I have to my disposal. Although newer software is available, setting up the cameras, calibrating them, performing motion capturing, modeling and post processing is made fairly easy using Vicon iQ.
The learning curve is steep, but with some help from fellow students and documentation built up over the years I'm learning how to work with the system fairly quickly.
Presently I am doing an experimentation project that looks into the viability of using a user-facing camera on a mobile device to determine its relative position to the user. As a ground truth, I will be performing motion capturing on several test subjects holding a Nokia N95 smartphone.
Friday I will perform an initial experiment and I hope to get more subjects recorded by next week Wednesday.
Motion capture suit
Motion capturing suit, demonstrating reflective markers
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Vandalism on Google Translate?

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Saturday, May 24 2008, 18:01
Just the other day, I was experimenting with Google Translate's new Web 2.0-inspired feedback form. Users can contribute to better translations by simply clicking on a sentence and changing the translation.
Google Translate
It does a pretty good job of turing a Dutch page to English, as you can see if you visit this translated page about me.
Evidently, this technique is sensitive to vandalism. I had to laugh when I read the translation of the following bit of text:
Google Translate
Here, I'm telling about how I moved to the Netherlands at the age of 11. Google translated this to:
Google Translate
Apparently, some joker made Google think "Nederland" means "Canada." Har, har.
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Wisse: That's weird.. Because in the next...Post reply Show 3 comments
max: Apparently this problem is more widespread...
Paul: That's very strange indeed. Could it be a...
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Site make-over

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Monday, May 19 2008, 2:54
I finally got around to doing a pretty big redesign of the website. About a year-and-a-half ago, I showcased a conceptual design that I intended to use.
In retrospect, it seemed to bubbly and childish for my liking. I considered simply trying to fix it up a little, but eventually decided that I'd stick with the original color scheme and make some minor modifications as time progresses.
May 2008 site redesign
Over the course of the years, I have come to realize that if I don't construct the website in a maintenance-friendly fashion, I never actually get around to making any favorable changes. Hopefully the new construction is open enough the transgress this procrastination and bridge the gap between regular modifications and the major improvements I have spoken of previously.
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Thom: Sleak! En dat sterretje met 'new design'...Post reply Show 3 comments
Thom: Oh, blijkbaar schrijf je 'sleek' met...
Paul: Ja, ik ga sowieso het contrast van de site...
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Photo viewer fixed up

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Thursday, May 15 2008, 5:33
I typically don't get around much to fixing up this website, but there were some big problems with the photo viewer that I had always intended to fix. The reason I don't fix this site up often, is because it's bulky and slow, and I've been meaning to replace it entirely with the Luminos CMS that's been evolving over the past few years.
For registered members, you can head to the members tab and click on the Photo link to get an overview of all images blogged about on this website. This is a nifty way to see a nice line-up of all photographs on the site.
Perhaps someday I'll add folders, but that would mean modifying all posts in some clever way; not something I'm really looking forward to.
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Eric: I get a 404 on the Photo link but I'm sure...Post reply Show 2 comments
Paul: Whoops, there was a problem with caching....
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Data Execution Prevention crashes Windows Explorer

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Tuesday, May 13 2008, 1:53
Just after installing SP3 on Windows XP, the brand-new Windows Data Execution Prevention (DEP) feature began to systematically drive me absolutely mad.
When browsing to a folder containing various video files, I am confronted with a DEP message informing me that it suspects nothing less than Windows' very own Explorer of virus-like behavior.
Data Execution Prevention terminates Windows Explorer
Note that this only occurs when browsing to folders containing video files. I suspected that Windows' native video thumbnail generator was the culprit. More specifically, Windows' gathers all sorts of information about video files the very moment you enter the directory, regardless of viewing thumbnails or not.
Indeed: by disabling this functionality I solved the problem.

Disabling media and video thumbnail preview

Open a command prompt or the run dialog and enter the following command:
regsvr32 /u shmedia.dll

Restoring media and video thumbnail preview

If for whichever reason you wish to restore the original functionality, enter the following command:
regsvr32 shmedia.dll
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Hacking your PowerShot

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Friday, May 9 2008, 17:20
There a bit of a hype right now about hacking Canon PowerShot model cameras. Evidently, a software package known as CHDK (Canon Hacker Development Kit) has been ported for most models, which extends the functionality of the camera. Presently, the feature list is as follows:
  • Save images in RAW format
  • Ability to run scripts to automate the camera
  • Live histogram (RGB, blended, luminance and for each RGB channel)
  • Zebra mode (blinking highlights and shadows to show over/under exposed areas)
  • An "always on" full range Battery indicator
  • Ability to turn off automatic dark-frame subtraction
  • Higher compression movie mode, and double the maximum video file size
  • Exposure times as long as 65 seconds
  • Exposure times as short as 1/10,000 of a second
  • Ability to use the USB port for a remote trigger input
  • Depth-of-field (DOF)-calculator
  • File browser
  • Text reader
  • Calendar
  • Some fun tools and games
My own gripe with my PowerShot SD900 is that the battery indicator only shows up when the pack is practically empty. Presently, there is no port for this model.
I thought I might take a look at what I could do. First, I checked which version of firmware I had. I created a file called ver.req on the memory card and inserted it back into the camera. In playback mode, I powered it on, and held set and disp down. My SD900 has firmware GM1.00C.
SD900 firmware
Then I dumped the firmware from the camera. After some experimentation, I found a nifty tool called CardTricks.
CardTricks v1.25
I chose "VxWorks 1" and carefully followed the on-screen instructions. In a few minutes I had obtained the dumped firmware. In Hex Workshop, I trimmed away all 00 and FF bytes.
Firmware dump in BinText
I still have to look into modifying and compiling CHDK for the SD900, but if this helps anybody in getting to it before I do, please share your results here or on the respective CHDK wiki page.
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Fufeng: http://chdk.setepontos.com/index...
Paul: Ah, a beta version of the CHDK firmware...
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Don't steal my focus!

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Monday, April 21 2008, 19:49
Whether you use Windows, Mac or Ubuntu, one of my foremost complaints is focus stealing. On every operating system I've used to this very day, I've at least once been confronted with a window popping out of nowhere.
There is nothing that aggravates me more than that. I work very efficiently on my machines, like most computer-savvy people do, and losing control of what you're doing is something that pisses me off like nothing else. For me, it is reason enough to remove software (one of the reasons I threw out iTunes and Quicktime) or perform O/S hacks (such as removing the Windows Update reminder).
What's worse is Microsoft's peculiar approach to performing Windows Updates. Instead of postponing installation until the user requests it (or at shutdown, for all I care), by default, installation happens automatically, prompting the user to reboot upon completion.
Windows XP: Automatic Updates reminder
The terrible, horrible, mortifying thing about this particular dialog is that if you are per chance typing something when the dialog appears, you may very well press "N", causing your computer to reboot. This has happened to me. I had no time to abort the shutdown, and it aggravated me something awful.
But things can get worse. Consider the following screenshot I made on a Windows 2000 machine. Just moments later, the unavoidable reboot was executed.
Windows 2000: Automatic Updates reminder
So, developers, listen up. If your application dares steal my focus, I will hate you. I will do everything in my power to trash the reputation of you and your product for the arrogant and self-centered pricks that you are.
Instead, have your program politely indicate that the user's attention is needed. Blink in the task bar. Show a balloon in the notification area, for all I care. I'll even tolerate an ugly slider in the corner of my screen, so long as it doesn't disrupt what I was doing. Be nice and I'll be nice, too!
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Paul: Ik zal eens kijken wat er tegen gedaan...
pixeldoc2000: your absolutly right!!! focus stealing is ...

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