Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Grand Design

Just finished "The Grand Design" by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. Have to say, I was not that impressed. I read "A Brief History of Time" and a re-read in "A Briefer History of Time" and felt much of the time the reading of "The Grand Design" was like reading the same material for the third time. Then, in the end I found the conclusions less perfect than I had anticipated from the author. His next book will have to have some really good critics for me to buy it.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Go NASA Go !

Last summer, just before the final Space Shuttle mission, Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator, held a remarkable talk where he outlined the NASA future of human spaceflight. Firstly, he firmly confirmed NASAs commitment to human space flight.

He then outlined his believe that privately owned american companies should be transporting astronouts to the ISS, instead of foreign governments, and from there NASA will continue its deep space explorations. For this to be possible NASA will be providing the Commercial Orbital Transportation Service to their partners. Sounds smart, why continue to spend money on something we have done many times? Lets go further.

Then for the future, one of NASAs goals is to orbit Mars and eventually land on it. Another one, asked for by the president, is a mission to an asteroid, which, I guess, they are starting to plan. Finally, he mentions the Moon as one of their ambitious human destinations. What a set of goals.

"To boldly go where no man has gone before" - thats more or less it! :-)

Exciting news from NASA will contain the Juno mission to Jupiter, Dawn satellite orbiting asteroid (july 2011), The GRAIL probes studying the Moons interior (september 2011) and The Curiosity rover heading for Mars (november 2011).

Looking forward to it.

For the complete transcript of his talk see here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Windows 8 coming features

Just learned about Windows 8 new features at CIO. In his great compilation Howard Wen claims the following features are coming:

1. Windows Phone 7's theme and UI - this is a really big change. Take a look:

2. Ribbon User Interface in Explorer - not really a biggy, always expected the next versions of Microsoft products to have the ribbon user interface.

3. Cloud Integration - using Windows Live Mesh to move files between my computers already, but no SkyDrive yet. Of course it will be cool to get better integration but I always thought the Cloud to be more, much more, than the Mesh and SkyDrive. :-)

4. Windows Live Integration - more? Using my Windows Live account to log into my computer, how will that work in a domain? Intriguing.

5. Built-In PDF Reader - this will be done using Microsoft Modern Reader. Good, but where is XPS?

6. ISO Mounting - been using a third-party solution for this for a long, long time. It will be great to get an integrated solution.

7. File Download Verification - more malware security

8. Aero Auto-Colorizaton - no need.

Then Howard Wen mention the rumored features of Windows Store, ARM Processor Support, Factory Reset, History Vault, Instant-On, IE 10, Multi-Touch and Really Fast Install. You should take a look at these, this is great compilation.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Unable to get Microsoft Dynamics NAV Application Server Manager (NASMSnapIn.msc) to run

Every time we ran the NASMSnapIn.msc we got the "MMC could not create the snap-in" error message (see image).

In order to fix this we tried to install the NAS from the Dynamics installation media (remember to run Setup.exe with Administrator Rights). However, doing that, we ran into another error, we got the "Error 1935.An error occurred during the installation of assembly component {98CB24AD-52FB-DB5F-A01F-C8B3B9A1E18E}. HRESULT: 0x800736CC." ...and the installer rolled the installation back. Bugger.

After careful searching (and quite a lot of trials) we figured out that we were missing the "Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package" (these are the runtime libraries installed by other installers from the Dynamics installation media). If you search for it, it should be easily found (look for vcredist_x86.exe).

After that we install it's service pack, that is the "Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable Package" (the download we found for SP1 was called the same name vcredist_x86.exe like its predecessor).

Then the NAS installer worked...

...and the NASMSnapIn.msc worked!

Monday, March 7, 2011

WP7 and International Caller IDs

Windows Phone 7 is really not very good when it comes to international caller IDs. This is because WP7 has a difficult time identifying the contact from different caller IDs that may be provided by the mobile network operator. Unfortunately the mobile network operator I use has a bit of a problem with caller IDs, which puts my WP7 to a test in this matter – and it miserably fails!

Here is the scenario: my Icelandic mobile network operator, Nova, doesn't provide the same caller ID when a contact calls me as when he texts me. For example, if the contact’s mobile phone number is 855-0505 and he gives me a call, the caller ID is 8550505, contact is found and his name is displayed – all is well. However, when the same contact then sends me a text message, the caller ID is +3548550505 (the country code +354 is added). And this results in WP7 not finding the contact and the SMS conversation is created using the number instead of the contact’s name.

Normally, with other phones I have used, this has been OK because the phones are able to automatically add/remove country-codes as needed in order to find the contact calling (or texting in this case). But WP7 doesn’t realize that the two numbers refer to the same contact. This is obviously one of the more irritating international problems with WP7.

Anyway, trying to work around this problem, I put +3548550505 as the contact's pager-number and the contact is then found when he calls me (from his mobile number 8550505) and when he texts me (from the pager-number +3548550505). Great! Irritating to setup, but still, one step forward.

But then a problem with this “solution” hits me... if I look up the contact, it says 'call mobile' (and the mobile number 855050 is there) and right below that it says 'text mobile' (and the mobile number is there, not the pager-number, of course not, why should it?).

Then, if I use the 'text mobile' function to send a text to the contact, WP7 creates (or adds to an already existing) conversation using this 8550505 number. Then, when my contact gets the text and replies, and the reply is received by my WP7 phone, it will start yet a new conversation using the Caller ID +3548550505.

When this happens I may miss it because I have the 8550505 conversation on my screen waiting for his reply. When I figure this out, I realize I now have two conversations going on. What a bug.

What do I do now? How do I work around this problem? Is it possible?

The answer may be: Wait for the Windows Phone 7 update to reach your phone. Period. Wait. So, I will.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ellen er aftur á leiðinni til Svíþjóðar

1. mars var undankeppnin fyrir Stora Daldansen haldin af félagi íslenskra listdansara í óperunni. Ellen mín tók þátt aftur og í þetta sinn stóð hún uppi í fyrsta sæti og vinkona hennar, hún Gunnhildur, í því þriðja sæti. Kalli var svo í öðru, en hann vann í fyrra þegar Ellen lenti í öðru. Sem sagt, Ellen er aftur á leiðinni til Falun til að taka þátt fyrir íslands hönd. Fyrir þá sem vilja þá er hægt að lesa meira á heimasíðu Listdansskóla Íslands.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Discovery has launched on its final mission - STS-133

Spaceshuttle Discovery left earth at about 21:50 GMT this evening on its way to the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS is travelling at 5 miles / seconds with 6 crew members on board. But the ISS crew will not meet with the Discovery crew of STS-133 until in two days from now. Good luck, Discovery.

Beautiful image from the NASA TV during the lift-off !

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Nokia surrenders and enlists Microsoft in smartphone war"

Very good news.

It will be easier to be a developer in the mobile market when the players are Google, Microsoft and Apple. For more information watch the Reuters video about the announcement.

This is especially true for Rue de Net, as our products are developed for the .NET platform, WPF and Silverlight, and this will make it quite easier for us to deploy our software to a larger audience.

Changing my Windows Phone 7 (WP7) Ringtone

In the beginning of this year I got my new Windows Phone 7, the HTC Trophy. And just recently started to configure it to my own liking and developing software for it.

Firstly, I wanted to change the ringtone. This turned out to be a challenge :-) Unbelievable. Buy yes, WP7 is delivered with a set of ringtones for you to choose from and there is no way to get your own custom ringtones onto the phone.

The solution I found was to jailbreak the phone using the ChevronWP7 utility and then use the ChevronWP7 Ringtone Installer. After jumping through the necessery hoops this is working quite fine.

For further instructions you can take a look at the TechHackz's How to Jailbreak Your Windows Phone 7 Device and TheTechJournal's ChevronWP7 Ringtone Installer Has Released[How To] blogs.

Don't know how long this solution will work because Chris Walsh et al. have discontinued the ChevronWP7 unlocker. But, it is good as long as it lasts.