A couple articles/reviews of mine published this week. First back on Monday a look at what PowerShell for Windows let’s you do on Windows.AppStorm.
Also my first article for Mac.Appstorm reviewing SideEffects, a program that puts color icons back into the sidebar in Finder.
My article on Creating HDR photos with Luminance is up on Windows.AppStorm. A preview:
HDR attempts to compensate for the lesser dynamic range of a camera by taking multiple images that together cover the entire dynamic range of the scene and combining them together to produce a photo that better presents the full dynamic range in the original scene. Many high end graphic processing packages such as Photoshop contain the ability to create HDR images. Other specialty programs designed only to create these images also exist. Creating these images does not require expensive specialized software. Here we’ll look at using the free open source Luminance to produce HDR images.
Read the rest on Windows.AppStorm
Understand that I’m a reader. I love books, have books, and will often buy a book that looks interesting knowing that I probably won’t be able to get around to reading it for weeks or months. When I travel I love to find a used bookstore and can spent a couple hours going through and leave with a stack of books so large that they have to be shipped home instead of packing in my luggage.
When I read the news that Borders is expected to file for bankruptcy this week it surprised me then my reaction was largely, “Meh.” It’s not that I dislike Borders, but honestly I just don’t go there for books that often. A lot of blame for the demise of Borders is being placed on the “Internet” much like it’s some vague evil force. In truth I’ll expect in the end management mistakes and being late to get into the online sales routes did most of the work to take Borders down this road. For me Borders never competed against the Internet. For me Borders competed against the fact that the nearest store is about an hour’s drive from my house and to be honest if I want a book it’s only about a fifty-fifty chance they’ll have it unless it’s the newest Stephen King or latest hot business book. Sure they can order it, but I can do that myself from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Books-A-Million and have it at my home in a few days.
In fact since I got a Kindle about a year ago, unless it’s a book I expect to reference certain ways, I’m just as likely to just buy the eBook and have it in a few minutes. I enjoy the book experience, but I’m finding more the ability to carry an entire library with me anywhere is just too much of a benefit to ignore. The ability to reference a book any time without having to remember where I’ve stored it means I’m re-visiting books that I’ve already read more than before. The ability to take time that otherwise felt wasted (waiting on an oil change or at the doctor’s office) and read instead makes me feel more productive and I am getting more read thanks to these small moments. Now that my phone has a Kindle app, I expect I’ll do this even more and not just when I expect to be waiting.
I don’t think books will go away and I don’t want them too. The truth is though that a lot of books are read, digested, and then simply shelved or resold. Something is lost perhaps in the move to eBooks, but I think more will be gained. I hope the used bookstore with the musty smell and surprise finds never goes away. I do think that the traditional bookstore will change, but I don’t think that they will all go away. Some will thought and it appears Borders might be the first.
I tried to watch a recorded screencast yesterday only to keep getting an error that the correct codec wasn’t available. After some checking I figured out the video had been recorded using GoToMeeting and I did not have that installed on my new machine. If anyone else ever runs into that problem, you can download the codec at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/codec.
Sorry the spam had gotten a little out of hand. It should be cleaned up now. I’ve been tied up with some changes at work involving adding a new area to the one I already managed and had neglected the blog a bit. Also updated the blog software and made a few changes that I hope will keep things under control better in the future.
I bought a Kindle about six months ago. I’m a big reader and the idea of having a large number of books available along with the convenience of instantly delivery appealed to me. I live in a town with only one small bookstore and frankly they often don’t have a book that I may want so often I have to travel an hour to larger bookstores nearby to find things in stock or order online and wait days for delivery. For a lot of books I’ve found that it’s not worth the hassle of either option so the books gets stuck onto a list to look at some later time. With the Kindle, I can get the book right now and read immediately. It’s like having a large bookstore right next to my house.
I’ve come to enjoy my Kindle more over time as I get more familiar with the convenience of having a large number of books I can take anywhere. It’s surprising the downtime during the day where you have enough downtime to pull it out and start reading. I still buy plenty of real books and don’t plan to stop as some books work better in paper, but I’m starting to move more of my purchases to the Kindle.
So tonight I looked for a book online and found the following pricing. Note that the Kindle price is the highest of all the options on Amazon. In fact the Kindle version (set by the publisher) is $8.87 more than the bargain price and $4.72 more than the standard hardcover price. Apparently the paper for the printed book has a negative cost to produce.
I ran into an issue this evening and wanted to document it for my own future reference and anyone else who might run into the problem. I had installed ASP.NET 4 onto a Windows 2003 64 bit server. I uploaded a test version of an application that is a port of an existing application converted to take advantage of some of the new features of .NET 4. After loading the application and setting it as an application I noticed that the ASP.NET tab where one would normally change the version wasn’t there.
After some false starts, I came across this blog post which describes much the same issue though my server was not running on VMWare, but another virtualization system. The fix it suggests is:
- Stop IIS
- Edit the MetaBase.XML file in %WINDIR%system32inetsrv to remove a line reading
- Start IIS
I did this and the tab did appear, but the result caused more problems that it solved. Several components on the web site refused to load under 64 bit only and as a result the server was useless. After changing the settings back to where they had been to start I looked some more and found another blog post that gave an alternative solution to “manually” change the version on a directory using the aspnet_regiis tool. To do this you use the –s or –sn options along with the path of the application. The path is not the path to the application on disk, but a application path that goes something like W3SVC/[x]/ROOT/AppPath where [x] is the number of the web site (shown on the listing of all the web sites in the IIS Manager) and the AppPath is the path from the root of the site to the application you want to set. The difference between the two options is that –s applies the change to the path you specify and any applications located below it while –sn only changes the settings of the application at the path and does not affect applications below it.
A good note is that an MVC 2 application no longer requires the wildcard mapping “hack” under IIS 6 with ASP.NET 4. Also make sure to allow ASP.NET 4 in the Extensions for your new web application to work too.
Today I read some articles about the changes to the agreement for the iPhone SDK that basically seems designed to keep Flash off the iPhone at all costs. I’m more annoyed that it might knock out MonoTouch, a product I was starting to look at with the idea of doing some iPhone/iPad development, though the company still seems optimistic.
If Adobe really decides to push it, here is an interesting thought. Adobe’s new Creative Suite 5 debuts in on Monday. What if Adobe was to decide that if Flash can’t go onto the iPhone, then Creative Suite won’t be released for the Mac? It’s a nuclear option to be sure as it would get the Mac creative community up in arms, but I can’t think of a better weapon they have in their arsenal if they really wanted to push the fight. It’s probably too late for CS5 even if they wanted to, but imagine if during the debut they mentioned that they were reevaluating their support for CS6 on the Mac platform given the current relationship with Apple.
I think it would be a bad idea in the long run for Adobe, but it’s an interesting thought.
I woke up this morning to a rather odd issue on my phone. I have a Windows Mobile phone and use it to check several email accounts. This morning one showed up on the list, but didn’t seem to have synchronized since late last night. So I went into Pocket Outlook and the account doesn’t even show up. I then go to Messaging and do not see the account. Thinking it one of those odd errors or that I’d accidently deleted it the night before while changing some settings, I started to add the account back in only for the phone to tell me it already existed.
So at lunch I began searching for the problem and most solutions said just hard reset the phone. That’s basically means erasing it and reinstalling everything. Right now I just don’t have that kind of time. So I looked a little more and found a link to a tool called MailAccountRepair at http://nicolasmauri.blogspot.com/2007/01/wm5-utility-recover-your-lost-mail.html. It was written for Windows Mobile 5 and isn’t supported in any way, but given the alternative was to reset the phone and spend a few hours reinstalling and reconfiguring it this evening, I decided to give it a try. It worked for me so it appears to at least fix the problem in some cases.
I found out tonight that my site has been down for much of the last week because of a server move by the host. I made the mistake of believing them when they said all my settings should move over instead of checking myself. I lost a post along the way that I’ll get back up tomorrow, but for now I think all is well again.