iOS7 hidden features

Saturday 2013-09-28

ios-7-logoIf you’ve just installed iOS7 and like it as much as I do, you are probably interested in all the new features of it, and where to find them. On behalf of Apple, I’ll be happy to point out where all those neat new features are, and share my happiness about this wonderful new magical market-leading mobile OS.

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Non-Java Binary Dependencies in Maven

Thursday 2013-07-18

binary-pillowSuppose you have a Java Server application, and some of the runtime binaries in that application are external to your application. Generated image files, compiled Silverlight components in your pages, or resource files which are managed by an external team.

Much like the jar files used by your application, these external binaries can be seen as dependencies, with versions. This blogpost assumes your project is built with Maven 2, because the real world isn’t always a greenfield project.

Because Maven is designed around jar file dependencies, and a lot of it’s internal decisions are based on file extensions, it looks like this problem can not be tackled with Maven. But there is a way to do this. It will decouple your sub-projects and make version and dependency management much better.

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How big is 5 Zettabyte?

Sunday 2013-06-23

Spy vs SpySince the interview of Edward Snowden with the Guardian, the discussion about privacy and companies storing and sharing unencrypted private data is picking up. Particularly Americans are worried about what it does for their National security and their private data. But that’s actually a naive thought, given the NSA stores worldwide data.

In a recent coverage on theblaze.com (a rather tabloid-looking news station in the U.S.), the interviewers are shocked to see that the NSA spies on “every American”.

This is a limited view of the world and failing to see the importance of spying on people outside the U.S., but lets start with technical side of things first. What data are they storing and how big is their hard-disk?

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Script: Text-to-NATO-spelling

Monday 2013-05-27

Straight KeyIn my morse training adventure on lcwo.net, I hit a slight bump in the road. At Koch lesson 33 (of 40 lessons total), I can’t seem to copy with 90% accuracy, which is the criterea for moving to the next lesson. See my downward trend here. It is partly because of gradually speeding up the Farnsworth timing from 10wpm to 12wpm so I can be on 20wpm at lesson 40. It is also because of shorter, less focussed daily training sessions, I must confess.

LCWO.net progress

I experimented a bit, and it seems I can recognize characters easily at 37wpm, but I can’t form the words and recognize letters at the same time. More accurately: I can’t seem to be able to remember 3 to 5 characters, form a word and listen to new characters at the same time.

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BaseCamp Import problem [fixed]

Friday 2013-05-03

route.gdb not foundOn Mac OSX, when installing Garmin BaseCamp 4.1.2 from the Appstore, there is a chance that importing downloaded routes in gdb or gpx files from your local machine will not work. The error you’ll get is “[filename].gdb not found”, in a popup much like the one shown here. If you open the console app, you’ll see the following error in the logfile:

sandboxd[28092]: ([27931]) Garmin BaseCamp(27931) deny file-read-data /Users/rolf/Desktop

This means that the OSX Sandbox mechanism does not allow Garmin BaseCamp to read files in that folder. I have briefly searched documentation on how to grant BaseCamp the rights to read files there, but I couldn’t find anything that would work. I did find a way to work around this problem though: Garmin BaseCamp does have rights to read your Garmin device. So here we go:

  1. Temporarily copy the files you want to import in Garmin BaseCamp onto your device (or in my case: the extra SD card in the device).
  2. Start Garmin BaseCamp, and select “File” -> “Import…”.
  3. Browse to the Garmin SD card and select the gdb file to import. Voila. That will get it into BaseCamp.
  4. Delete the gdb file from the Garmin. We don’t need it anymore, the Garmin was just a place where BaseCamp could read the file.

From here on, everything should work as normal. This is just a workaround. If anybody finds out how to really fix this problem let me know.


Morse Code is not dead (yet)

Tuesday 2013-04-09

International_amateur_radio_symbolNot everybody understands why I am trying to learn morse code on lcwo.net. Maybe I’m not even sure myself. But most people seem to think morse code is absolutely dead. I could tell you that’s not the case, but it is far better to find out for yourself. To be able to do that you need access to a radio which can receive CW (continuous wave) signals somewhere between 8MHz and 15MHz. This is the place where HAM Radio Operators hang out and try to talk to eachother. Morse code is still used there, mainly for DX-ing.

So how do you do that? With the power of the internet and a few very enthusiastic people in Dwingeloo, you can now receive radio signals right on your computer using radios all over the world. Lots of links in this article, have fun!

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Open letter to Keith Lang about Skitch

Thursday 2013-01-03

Skitch 1.0.2Dear Keith,

I read your letter about Skitch and would like to respond to all that has happened from my end-user perspective.

I am a long-time Evernote user and fan. Evernote changed note taking by being truly searchable. I can confidently drop all the websites, receipts, todos and ideas in there, and clear my mind of the “I must remember that” burden. The OCR of Evernote works beautifully on photos of whiteboards, making even my whiteboard notes searchable.

In 2010, I discovered Skitch. The simplicity and razor sharp focus on anotating a screencapture and share the anotated image by dragging it anywhere was sheer brilliance. My daily work includes making annotated screenhots and mailing them to team members to discuss improvements. Skitch changed this ugly capture-save-edit-save-attach-send cycle to pure poetry in motion. Dragging images into Evernote even made my screenshots searchable. It instantly became second nature and my go-to image tool.

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