Freeware

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Is It Dark Outside

So, here it is. Thanks to http://isitdarkoutside.com you will never have to trouble yourself with the question "is it dark outside?" anymore. This super-advanced Android application will let you focus on more important questions such as "which shoe goes on which foot?" from now on. Thank us later.

Is It Dark Outside QR Code
download APK file here

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Version 0.1 - 2010-02-07,

  • New icon
  • Public release

Version 0.0.1 - 2010-02-05,

  • better errorhandling (missing location status, no network)
  • Added sunrise and sundset hours to the information dialog

Version 0.0.0 - 2010-02-05
N/A - Dev-Snapshot, link removed

Blurry & Shaky Cam version of XBMC SVN runing on Nvidia ION

Woohoo! SVN builds of XBMC are getting pretty smooooooooth and stable. I think that Acer Revo box I purchased some time ago will be able to replace the rockstabe Popcorn Hour A-100 in no time.

Oh, in case you have been wondering what's so special about this: What you see is an Intel Atom based SFF PC powered by the NVidia ION chipset. Yes, 1080p decoding on the GPU. And yes, It's running on Linux, the Windows version of XBMC is not doing a great job regarding offloading video decoding onto the GPU yet.

So far I have found 2 issues with the current build. The decoder uses 16-235 colorspace instead of 0-255, so you will be missing some contrast. Does not apply to all videos though, old DIVX files decode correctly. The other issue is really a minor one, XBMC won't run when you use compiz at the same time.

There is also a new feature in the current dev snapshot I could not give a try, XBMC does support some fancy SD upscaling on the GPU. Unfortunately the ION Chipset does not support the "VDPAU Featureset C" - only newer cards like the GT2XX series do.

And here is the updated video. A bit less blurry / shaky but still crappy.

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialise correctly.

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialise correctly.

tested version: xbmc_9.04.3+svn23321-jaunty1

Convert a RSS / Podcast Feed to a .pls Playlist

X-Mas time...
I just got my wife a nice WiFi Radio (yes, she does not give a sh** about this blog). She loves to listen to internet radio stations so it seemed like a cool gift. We'll know for sure in less than 4 days.

Anyway. I unwrapped it to make sure it works and to preinitialize it with some presets she likes. But wait! What about my presets? Yes, I love to listen to podcasts. While the device itself has some support for RSS feeds (browsing my genre, country etc.) - it won't allow adding a RSS feed to your favorites / bookmarks. Here it will only accept playlists.  

A minor inconvenience you can fix with some PHP and SimplePie. Here is a small script which will convert any arbitrary RSS Feed to a PLS ... well, playlist :)

  1. <?php
  2. require_once("simplepie.inc");
  3.  
  4. function getFeedItems($rss, $numberOfFeedItemsToFetch = 50)
  5. {
  6. $feed = new SimplePie($rss);
  7. $feed->init();
  8. $feed->handle_content_type();
  9. if ($feed->error()) die ($feed->error());
  10. return $feed->get_items(0,$numberOfFeedItemsToFetch);
  11. }
  12.  
  13. $url = urldecode($_GET["url"]);
  14. $numEntries= $_GET["numEntries"];
  15. if (!$numEntries) $numEntries=50;
  16. if (!$url) $url = "http://feeds.feedburner.com/cnet/buzzoutloud?tag=rtcol";
  17. $items = getFeedItems($url,$numEntries);
  18. $plsItems = array();
  19. foreach($items as $item)
  20. {
  21. if ($item->get_enclosure())
  22. {
  23. $plsEntry = array();
  24. $plsEntry["title"] = $item->get_title();
  25. $plsEntry["link"] = $item->get_enclosure()->link;
  26. $plsEntry["length"] = (int) $item->get_enclosure()->length;
  27. $plsItems[] = $plsEntry;
  28. }
  29. }
  30.  
  31. header('Content-type: audio/x-scpls; charset=utf-8');
  32. header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="playlist.pls"');
  33. ?>[playlist]
  34. NumberOfEntries=<?= count($plsItems) ?>
  35.  
  36. <?
  37. for ($i=0; $i<count($plsItems); $i++)
  38. {
  39. print("File".($i+1)."=".$plsItems[$i]["link"]."\n");
  40. print("Title".($i+1)."=".$plsItems[$i]["title"]."\n");
  41. if ($plsItems[$i]["length"] > 0) print("Length".($i+1)."=".$plsItems[$i]["length"]."\n");
  42. else print("Length".($i+1)."=-1\n");
  43. print("\n");
  44. }
  45. print("version=2");
  46. ?>

The usage is quite simple. Call the script like this:

http://myserver/the_script.php?url=[encoded rss url]&numEntries=[optional: max number of entries in the pls]

If you don't know how to encode a URL properly, try this:

  • open a new tab in firefox
  • enter
    javascript:document.write(escape("http://your.friggin.url/feed.xml"))
    into the address bar
  • copy & paste the result

If the Feed-URL does not contain any parameters (chars such as &, ? or =) you probably won't need to encode it. Won't hurt though!

You also might want to add a fake URL part (path info) if your client needs that .pls ending in the url. so the script-call would be like:

http://myserver/the_script.php/fake.pls?url=...&numEntries=...

Oh! And you will need a copy of SimplePie for the script to work. Grab it over here

download the script bundled with SimplePie

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.

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.

Requirements?

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


Why?
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.

Limitations?
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?


Usage?
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.

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

History

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.

Download?

Port Redirection with Windows

Today I have been asked for a copy of a discontinued port-forwarding and proxy tool I have been once recommending. Unfortunately the program page did disappear quite a few years ago and I was not able to find that tool (bouncer from r00ted.co.uk) in my backup files.

After poking a few minutes at google I came across a Port of "rinetd" which I use a lot on my linux boxes: http://www.boutell.com/rinetd/ - a very simple daemon for port redirections. Just feed it with a config file like this:

  1. #bindaddress bindport connectaddress connectport
  2. 192.168.1.145 80 192.168.1.254 8080

Obviously, the config above will redirect all traffic arriving at the "192.168.1.145:80" to "192.168.1.254:8080". Unlike the bouncer tool, rinetd can handle more than one redirection per process. You can define as many forwarding rules in that config as you like.

Last but not least, I have made a tiny change to the source by altering the default location of the config file. Hardcoded location was "/etc/rinetd.conf" which does not make much sense on windows. The attached binary will look for the rinetd.conf next to the executable itself. I have also provided a sample config for that matter:

Fun with VirtualDub

I've been toying with the recent version of VirtualDub today. I have managed to capture my Desktop at 30 FPS using a resolution of 768x576. Very nice. Perhaps cheap solution for tutorial videos. Have a look:

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The Flash Movie has been re-encoded using Riva FLV Encoder 2.0. Bitrate was set to 1600 kbps - which produces a lot of artifacts as you can see. I've been using a motion jpeg codec for the live recording which looks just perfect. I wonder how to encode flash videos using h264, wasn't the latest Flash 9 update supposed to support that format?

PushToSync

Push To Sync 1.2Push To Sync 1.2

Description

Directory synchronization utility. Copies contents of directory A into a directory B. That's it.

Key Facts

  • It's is Freeware
  • Meant to be a "Portable App" (just an exe file, no setup required)
  • has been designed to synchronize a source directory (with sufolders) with a target directory
  • Only copies what is really needed. Updates older files, copies new ones and skips newer and identical.
  • Will let you pause or abort the copy process in the middle of a 30gb big file. Of course you can resume copying a big file in a new session.
  • Is fault tolerant. Unaccessable files such as the Recycler or system files in your profile directory will not abort the entire copy operation. Failed transactions will get logged so you can investigate missing files afterwards.

Current Status

Right now PushToSync is still in development and may (read: will) contain bugs or issues which might (read: will) drive you crazy. To put it simple: you loose data - you don't bitch and moan over here. Bugreports are VERY appreciated though!

Changelog

1.2 2008-07-27, Second Release

  • [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.

1.1 2007-11-09, Initial Release

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