Talented kids

May 4, 2008

Sometimes kids are better than adults ūüėČ

Dedication for NATO

March 30, 2008

NATOThis week Bucharest will host the NATO summit. I would like to dedicate the following movie to all the participants. I wish they would consider to do at least half of what the video is sugesting.

After all NATO is an organization that (at least on paper) aims to keep the peace of the world.

Surface … another point of view

March 21, 2008

In my opinion, Microsoft Surface is the future of computers. The interaction becomes simple and intuitive. The possibilities of usage are countless. For more details, I invite you the see the web page.

Impressive as it is, the technology is still expensive. This video shows it.

Do you use Open Office?

March 21, 2008

Do you use Open Office? I don’t. Why? It is not practical,¬†it¬†works slow and it’s kind of hard to use. Will I ever use? Maybe when it’s developers will learn something from Microsoft.

Everybody complains that when it comes to office software, all that is thought in schools is Microsoft Office. Even if there exists several other software for office work, it is not widely thought or used. Moreover, I think this software is know more or less only by computer specialists.

At server conferences that I have attended in the last years, there was a request to send the documents in an open format. Formats like .doc, .xls or .ppt where not accepted, as not being standard. Well, lucky for me, they accepted pdf. Creating a document in Open Office (as that was the only alternative, html was out of the question) is challenging. Let aside that Open Office’s interface is counter-intuitive, it works very slow.

Surfing around Microsoft’s websites, I came across Office:mac 2008. This is the version of¬†Microsoft Officefor Macintosh. I placed here a commercial about it. Forgetting about the functionality problems of Open Office and focusing only on the ease of use and the way of promoting it, it’s no wonder that people prefer to use Microsoft Officerather than Open Office.

Do you think it is hard to use? In my opinion, Microsoft Office is and will be many years a milestone for the office software.

If you are a computer scientist, you will say that I am mad or I promot Microsoft. You will also give me a classic example. If I write a larger paper, Word will mess around my page, it alwas does that!. My answer to that is simple. Word is for writing simple docemnts, like invoices, reports, memos, etc. If you whish to write a professional document (newspaper for example), use a software designed for that (Adobe PageMaker or QuarkXpress will do the job).

Microsoft Office:mac 2008 web page.

A cute character

March 20, 2008

Browsing through older projects has been a state of mind these days. You’ll be surprised how many things one can find when he is looking for something. This project is cute, really cute.

Last year, I was eager to change the Windows user interface. I wanted to change explorer to¬†with else, something more animated. Not knowing how to draw and create animations, I asked a good friend of mine to do it for me. The only problem, he could do it … in Flash. Very well, but there is no¬†component¬†for importing Flash movies into any programming language (not transparent).

After a some days of studying the problem, I managed to change a program that I found on-line for importing Flashinto a window. I added some interaction with the movie and I imported the thing transparently. In order to use it in more than one programming language, a dynamic link library (dll) was ideal. You may download an example written in Delphi. In order to run it, you need Macromedia Flash Player installed as ActiveX. 

Personajul

Fereastra din Delphi

You may download here the Delphi or Visual C# sources.

If you enjoyed it and want to use it, just leave me a comment. 

Radio station … in the pocket

March 19, 2008

After playing with the self-writing penI skipped to mobile devices programming. As I haven;t done it in a long time (since teaching it at the summer school), I had to take a look at some older projects that I wrote. Searching around, I found another project that I did some time ago, just to test the limits of Windows Mobile.

What if you had a radio station on your pocket? In order to test the performances of C/C++ and C#, I wrote a small Shoutcast streaming server. For now, you may downloadthe C# just version, the other one being hard to use. The purpose was to see if it is possible.

What do you think the result was? Actually, it is possible and it works very well. Even if C# is an interpreted language, it performed fairly well (still, it had to run alone, no other programs would be able to perform). The C/C++ version, did run much faster and with much lower system resources, but … there is always a but, it was really difficult to create a user interface.

We tested the two programs on a Wireless (802.11b) connection, using 10 connected clients and one we connected client (the servers has web interface for control).

The conclusion that we got to is that programs for processingshould be written in C/C++ and the user interface for them should be written in C#.

You may download the streaming server as CAB for Windows Mobile 2003 or newer.

PocketStream

Details (Romanian)

The pen writes …

March 17, 2008

What if you had a pen that writes by it self. It would be really nice, all you’d have to do is to type¬†a text on the computer and the pen would hand-write it for you. Children in school could watch a live demo on writing lessons, not just a simulation software.

For a few days I’ve been playing with a haptic¬†pen. The device sends to a computer the coordinates where the user puts it. Moreover, it can generate some¬†force feedback.¬†Usually devices like this are used for¬†interacting with virtual¬†spaces.¬†The specialists at IRIT(Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse) Toulouse,¬†the institute where I currently¬†practice¬†thought of doing the reverse.Using an earlier IRIT written software, that generates hand writing, we succeeded to move the pen in order to make it do something that only humans used to do before: hand-write.

How did we do that? We glued a pen to the arm of the haptic device (tape was an excellent solution), we placed a paper underneath it, and voilla.

PenMover (IRIT‘s program for simulating hand writing)
PenMover

SimWrite (the program that moves the pen)
SimWrite

Modern music …

March 15, 2008

I was wondering around youtube today,¬†browsing movies.¬†I stumbled upon a very nice movie (see below), that I really loved. Looking at the¬†¬†author‘s profile, I saw some other nice videos.

Reading the information about the author, I remember the Eurovision Song Contest¬†in 2004. It took place¬†a few days after MTV Video Music Awards (which was really depressing, no good music what so ever, and sadly this hasen’t changed since than).¬†The song in the following movies is sung by¬†Cory Spedding¬†repesenting Great Britain (13 years old, in 2004). No comment.

Something for Winamp …

March 14, 2008

When you search something, it is sure that you won’t find id, but you will definitely find something else.

This saying is so true. Searching among for some documents about win32 programming, I found a very cute project that I wrote some time ago. I never had time to put it on-line, but better later than never.

I am sure that¬†each of you uses (or has used) Winamp. Moreover, I¬†confident that you have a very long playlist. This little plug-in will help¬†organize you playlist …¬†different.¬†Curious to see it? You may¬†download it from here.

Songs Menu