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man more less

this falls into the category: things I've learned today.

Yes, the headline might be looking pretty funny. Let's presume you are reading man pages and notice "--MORE--" at the bottom of your screen. Ouch.. no paging or searching in the manpage. No problem, let's google then for "man more less" ... or maybe not - this won't give you any useful help on replacing the more manpage pager with less. 

To sum it up: set your PAGER environment variable to "less" - there goes another annoyance you won't have to worry about ever again.

Why I Love Local Initializers...

  1. layoutTable.Rows.Add
  2. (
  3. ControlUtils.CreateRow
  4. (
  5. EmployeeFieldLabels.ExternalCompanyName,
  6. new ExtCompanyPickerControl(CreateChildID("ExternalCompanyName"))
  7. {
  8. Customizer = new ExtCompanyCustomizer(MedaSession),
  9. AllowMultipleSelection = false,
  10. RenderListHeader = false,
  11. CountryProviderId = locationPickerControl.ID,
  12. CountryProviderProperty = "SelectedCountryIsoCode";
  13. },
  14. false,
  15. EmployeeFieldTooltips.ExternalCompanyName,
  16. Page,
  17. CreateChildID("ExternalCompanyLabel"),
  18. (
  19. externalCompanyValidator = new CompareValidator
  20. {
  21. ControlToValidate = CreateChildID("ExternalCompanyName"),
  22. Operator = ValidationCompareOperator.Equal,
  23. Type = ValidationDataType.Integer,
  24. ValueToCompare = "1",
  25. EnableClientScript = false,
  26. Display = ValidatorDisplay.Dynamic,
  27. ErrorMessage = string.Format(EmployeeManagerControlRes.ErrorValueRequired, EmployeeFieldLabels.ExternalCompanyName)
  28. }
  29. )
  30. )
  31. );

Check them out!

Encoding Flash Videos

So I don't need to look up the command line parameters ever again:

ffmpeg -i SOME_MOVIE_INPUT.[mkv|avi|mov|whatever] -ar 22050 -ab 65536 -vb 819200 -f flv out.flv

You can grab a copy of ffmpeg for Windows over here, OS X guys should have a look at ffmpegX (didn't try this myself yet) and Linux users will know better what to do.



Things change, command line arguments too. So, here is the updated version:

ffmpeg.exe -i c:\temp\in.avs -ar 44100 -ab 65536 -s 704x400 -b 2097152 -f flv c:\temp\out.flv

-ab stands for audio bitrate
-b for video bitrate
-ar audio-rate
-s for proximity window of the next solar flare

Adaptive Framerates Or How Software Video Players Can Maximize The User Experience

Here is an article I originally wrote for the boxee forum:

I would like to address a feature commonly ignored by all media players I have come across so far. Let's talk about adaptive speed. Regardless if you are living in the USA (NTSC) or Europe (PAL) - you will suffer from video jittering sooner or later. (more after the link)

Let me describe the issue here a bit closer.

Imagine a landscape being filmed while the camera pans slowly from the left side to the right side. If you are watching this scene on a DVD using a standalone DVD Player everything should be smooth and without any jittering. Now if you use this DVD and try to playback that one using a PC you will notice the playback not to be that smooth anymore. So, what is happening here?

Once the DVD Player has determined the frame rate of the source video material it will also set the video output refresh rate to match that speed. For instance, If we are dealing with NTSC material which would be at ~30fps the TV will be advised to use ~60Hz. Each frame in the video source will be displayed on 2 frames rendered on your screen. So, everything is fine and in sync here.

Now, if you head over to your PC and configure your monitor to use the refresh rate of 75 Hz for instance, that very same video would map one frame in the video material to 2.5 Frames on the screen. Depending on the player software used you will notice one of the following artifacts:

Totem / GStreamer & AC3 Output

GStreamer Audio PreferencesGStreamer Audio PreferencesIf you run into a problem with Totem or any other GStreamer based application not being able to play ac3 audio via internal soundcard (no idea about passthrough) - check your sound settings. I've been pulling out my hair for about an hour before I figured out that GStreamer won't playback ac3 when it is set to use ALSA for audio output.

Switch  to Pulse or ESD under Preferences -> Sound -> Music And Movies to have a little bit less linux-oddities to worry about.

Oh, and no. I have no friggin' clue why GStreamer is behaving like this. I also don't really care.

Also getting slowly used to the eee pc 901 keyboard. Yay!

Push To Sync updated to 1.2

Push To Sync 1.2Push To Sync 1.2I've just uploaded an new improved version of Push To Sync. Changelog:

  • [Feature] Time prediction based on average transfer speed 
  • [Feature] Shows the current transfer speed using a nice looking graph
  • [Bugfix] Fixed some issues with file timestamp handling when synchronizing to a linux samba share.
Download available here.

Sharepoint STSADM Extensions which will save your life!

If you are into Sharepoint-Development you will appreciate the STSADM Custom Extensions made by Gary Lapointe:

In our case they saved us a lot of troubles we had when moving a Sharepoint Site Collection to a new server while preserving the Variations which have been created before.

One of the commands we have been toying with was "gl-fixvariationrelationships". Since the sources to all of these extensions are available to download for free, I could even get this one working for a Variation root other than "/" by modifying the sources a tiny bit. If you run into the same situation feel free to grab my Version of the FixVariationRelationships Class over here or here (can't get drupal to ignore HTML validation for Geshi-Nodes editing)


Sony Ericsson's Software Quality

Float's Mobile AgentFloat's Mobile AgentI'm sticking with Sony Ericsson Phones for a while now. The phones had some issues in the first 2 generations, but after that they worked smoothly. The other reason was Float’s Mobile Agent – a lightweight sync & management application for the Kxx series. Unfortunately the software does not work anymore with my new P1 and does not seem to be developed any further. So I had to go with the shipped software – here is where my journey begins. (more after the link)

Export an Outlook Folder to a Filesystem-Folder

Here is a small tool I wrote (well, rather hacked) which might come handy for some of you. Sourcecode is included so you might want to make it even fancier and do whatever comes to your mind with it.

OutlookFolderExporter 0.3 Beta

What does it do?
Export an Outlook folder containing E-Mail Messages to a physical filesystem folder. Message by message.


  • Outlook 2007
  • NET 2.0 Framework
  • Visual Studio 2007 (optional)

Someone asked me if I knew a tool or a way to do this. From what I understand he was about to share such messages using a Windows-Share. I know there are better ways to achieve this, provided you are using an Exchange-Server - but for some reason it did not work out for them.

Plenty, this is a really quick hack:

  • Supports only mail messages (no contacts, appointments etc)
  • Can export only one folder (no recursion) at a time
  • Developed and tested against Outlook 2007 (12.0) - no idea if this will even work for previous versions of Outlook. I suppose not.
  • Won't cook any coffee yet.
Obligatory Screenshot?

You will need to know the path to your Outlook folder you would like to have exported. The root folder presumed by this applicationis the root folder of your default Outlook acccount. Beneath it you should have folders like Inbox, Contacts etc. To export all messages of the default inbox folder one would use "/Posteingang/" in the German version of Outlook. Must be something like "Inbox" for English Users I think. Another example would be "/Sent-Items/Archive" which would export the Archive folder which you have might created in the Sent-Items parent Folder.

Public domain, check the "License.txt" in the sources package for further details.


0.3 Beta: 2008-07-02 20:40 0.3

  • Inbox->first folder restriction removed - You can export any account folder now.
  • Target directory might be created on demand.

0.2 Alpha 2008-07-02 14:00 - 0.2

  • Added an installer (otherwise we are missing some interop-libraries)
  • Repackaged, Sources will be also installed.


Debug, Log and Tail on Steroids

Sometimes I do really wonder why some great tools remain silent and hidden from the public for such a long time. The guys over at codeproject featured an article about the "TraceTool". Describing it with "yet another log viewer" won't do any justice. Just head over to the article and glance over it. It's able to interface with the most common logging frameworks such as .NET's native, log4net/log4j, NT System Evenlog and plain files.

I must admit I did not try it yet. Will do next week when I'm back in the office - I don't really feel like I want to be coding this weekend. But just reading the specs and howtos on the codeproject site blew my mind. Looks like a jewel, smells like a jewel... might be one!

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