# Monday, 28 July 2008

Already managed to take WZ to the park a few time and finally during the weekend I send him down a tube slide.

This video was supposed to be much longer and include footage of how I actually manage to get into the slide with WZ, but mommy's Nokia N95 decides to crap up and die whenever it records video for longer than 15 seconds. You know how difficult it is to diagnose a faulty gadget when your spouse needs it? Try doing that with your son screaming and yanking on your pant leg to have another go in the slide!

Later when I got back home, it seems like the phone doesn't want to take videos longer than 15 seconds in the SUPER HI QUALITY mode and usually resets itself when it does that. Dropping the video quality down to HI QUALITY seems to work though.

Hey... isn't the N95 supposed to be some sort of premiere DVD quality video recording camera? Can't do that with 15 second clips. But I will say that it is the sharpest and LARGEST (4MB for 12 seconds!) video I've seen from a cameraphone.


Monday, 28 July 2008 16:10:54 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 27 July 2008

This is one of the things that I MUST get before the year it up.

But... my house's many staircases might be a challenge for it... ramps perhaps?


Sunday, 27 July 2008 17:04:00 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 26 July 2008

After I got my HTC Touch Diamond, again I visited PDAir to get a case for it. (the price is actually very competitive when compared to what you can find in the retail shops as long as you know... nothing happens during shipping)

This time though... I succumbed to that voice in my head that was screaming "aluminium is COOL!!" and I clicked the complete order button as the voice that was screaming "what the heck would aluminium do to the signal strength?" got beaten down by the aluminium supporter.

Less than a week later.. I got this in the mail.

diamond-aluminium

An aluminium case which fits like a glove around the TD, the keypad is exposed but the screen is protected behind a piece of plastic. Which.. as I was contemplating wheter or not to get a screen protector for the screen protector.. I got it banged up in my pockets with my keys so... never mind.

An interesting thing to note on the rear of the case is this.

diamond-grills

VENTALATION GRILLS!!! I know the TD can get quite hot at times, but to need a GRILL? Or maybe this is a standard feature among aluminium cases?

So.. how's the signal reception? well... it seems to affect normal cellphone operation a *little*, but recently Maxis hasn't exactly been in it's best shape so I can't say what's really wrong.

But I did notice recently that... THE INTERNAL GPS SEEMS TO BE ADVERSLY AFFECTED!!! With the TD in the case the position reported by the GPS went ALL OVER the place, I still haven't been able to run any specific tests.. but it does seem that while an aluminium case might not affect normal phone operation, it does seem to wreck havoc on the internal GPS


Saturday, 26 July 2008 23:37:01 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 16 July 2008

And the major players have revealed the plans for the gaming landscape for the upcoming months.

Microsoft - Good show, can't wait to see how the new UI errr... XBOX Experience, works out. Gears Of War 2 looking good. Would really like to get excited about Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero 4, but hmmm... that all depends on wheter or not we can actually get it here. Other things really didn't matter to us over here in Asia since it had everything to do with movies and other licensed products. Surprisingly the one thing that I'm most looking forward to Geometry Wars 2, wasn't even shown during the keynote, but at least I got a date.. Aug 6th 2008. Mmmmmm... more polygonal destruction. Final Fantasy XIII on the 360 was an interesting announcement, too bad.. unless there's a RADICAL CHANGE to the turn based combat system.. NOT GETTING IT!

Nintendo - New Wii Motion Plus adapter is VERY interesting, this is perfectly shown through the sword fighting demo where to block an attack you hold the Wiimote against the direction of attack. Lucasarts... we'd like that Lightsabre dueling game now please. Wii Music and Animal Crossing both should make some pretty interesting things to play with when they launch. But... nothing was announced from Nintendo which made me want to play on the Wii. But.. like they slogan.. every game put a smile on my face when I saw it and, while I might not have a heavy urge to play on the Wii. I know I DO want to play with WZ on the Wii.

Sony - They showed an impressive line up, but nothing that has yet to give me that I need to get a PS3 like RIGHT NOW!!!! reason. Little Big Planet? Sure... let's wait for it to be released then let me figure out how I actually play it before I make the decision. The big news to come out of the Sony conference was of course the announcement of "MAG : MASSIVE ACTION GAME" which promises online FPS action for 256 players. While I do not doubt the console's capability of rendering a battle between 128 people on each side, I DO doubt that the majority of gamers will have the bandwidth to deliver player data of 256 people, along with their ordinance. But since this is just an announcement, we'll see how things turn out when it's released.


Wednesday, 16 July 2008 10:22:08 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Yes I realized it's a bit late to make a first look video, but there's a lot to talk about the device so I'm going to break it down into a few areas starting with of course.. the physical appearance of the device.


Tuesday, 15 July 2008 10:16:23 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 14 July 2008

As I was feeding WZ yesterday night, his hand reached up and grabbed my hand that was holding the bottle. At first I thought he just wanted to hold my hand, then I realized the tugging motion he was putting on my hand, he wanted to throw my hand away! Then he reached both hands up beside the bottle and I realized what he wanted, I let go of the bottle as his hands closed in on it.

Usually 2 seconds later he'll let go, but this time... this time he hung on, this time he actually tilted the bottle to drink, this time he was actually drinking himself!

He pulled out the bottle from his mouth, and then with a quick motion he stabbed it back into his mouth.

But he missed and stabbed it into his nostril instead.

I pulled it out before too much milk got in. :P

But he actually managed to finish the bottle ALL BY HIMSELF!!!

It's ABOUT DANG TIME!! :P


Monday, 14 July 2008 13:44:36 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 09 July 2008

Is so that you don't have to ask someone if a particular element is needed or not.


Wednesday, 09 July 2008 23:14:18 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 07 July 2008

You basically have 2 options of uploading files to the Silverlight Streaming services, either you use the application management page over at silverlight.live.com or you could use the WebDAV API and upload files via your own code.

To upload through the website you need to zip up the contents of your application and upload the entire zip file in one go. It's an absolute nail biting experience when trying to upload a 50MB file from my connection cause I know that all it takes is one little hiccup and I have to reupload EVERYTHING again.

Using the WebDAV API you can basically write a program that can upload all the files in your Silverlight application one by one onto the services, the advantage of doing so is of course you only have to reupload failed files in case of failure.

But one problem which I was having was that I kept getting an idle disconnection error whenever my upload took more than 5 minutes, and since I'm now uploading video files which are much much bigger than 2MB this was a problem. I thought it was my code but after refering to the WebDAV sample I realised that my code was similar to the sample.

Finally after testing out some more fixes and theories I think I finally found out what the problem was. So in relation to the sample provided I did the following changes.

  • Instead of reading the entire file and then writing it to the request stream in one go, I pushed chunks of it say... 64kB chunks at a time.
  • Set readwritetimeout  and timeout of the HTTPWebRequest object to integer.maxvalue (which basically means infinite timeout..... somehow I don't think this is such a good idea or really has anything to do with the actual problem, will test it with a more practical value and see)
  • and most importantly HTTPWebRequest.SendChunked  was set to true.

Setting SendChunked to true immediatelly allowed me to spend 80 minutes uploading a 25MB file so I think that should be the main thing to concentrate on.

UPDATE

After some discussions with Bill Reiss over at the Silverlight forums it seems like SendChunked is not the best way to get it to work. Setting AllowWriteStreamBuffering to FALSE and Preauthenticate to TRUE seems to work just as well, and seems to be faster too!


Monday, 07 July 2008 10:10:17 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 06 July 2008

The last time I did this I told myself I'd tried to make it last for more than a year this time. See... I even wrote it down in a new year resolution. But... on June 9th 2008... I broke that resolution... And I was so close to actually making the C730 last a year...

DSC02890

Meet the HTC Touch Diamond. Yes I've come full circle back to a Pocket PC device again.... oh well.. On paper the specs for the device sound very impressive.

  • Windows Mobile 6.1
  • VGA Screen
  • First WM device to carry Opera 9.5 browser, which enables almost full desktop like browsing on the device.
  • Tilt sensor (I HATE AutoRotation features!)
  • 3.2MP Opticial Focus camera

And it sports some nifty tricks too. EPIC video review to come... once I work out the script. :P


Sunday, 06 July 2008 23:07:12 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

Here's the 1st of the 2 pieces of gear which I wanted to talk about. The Logitech Dinovo Mini Bluetooth keyboard... thumbboard. Silverlight needed to watch this video review.

I wonder, do people prefer higher quality video, but at the cost of having to wait for the video to download or do they just want to watch things as fast as possible?


Sunday, 06 July 2008 02:24:10 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 05 July 2008

DSC03086

No, WZ cannot yet write words, even though he does recognize certain alphabets already. Now he just scribbles on the pad.

DSC03076

Grandma again has done an incredible job at teaching WZ how to properly hold the pen. When we see him holding it the wrong way we're supposed to tell him to hold it properly and he'll correct himself.

DSC03090

Unfortunately his word of correcting his grip on the pen is the push the tip with his left hand...

DSC03091

Which means a VERY DIRTY left hand!


Saturday, 05 July 2008 21:36:58 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
As I was following WZ around with the camera for a while I managed to capture one of the little adventures that WZ has around the house.

Saturday, 05 July 2008 21:18:50 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [1]  | 

Another interesting thing that happens during work. We receive some content to be entered onto a webpage from our copywriters, we copy the text from the mail, and paste it into our webpage. It looks fine when we pasted it in Visual Studio but then when other people look at it they see SOMETHING like this.

image

So you take a close look at the file and notice that where all the weird symbols were appearing is basically where an approstophe.. (Damn I can't spell it.. the ' in 's and 're)  is supposed to be, so the correct text should look like this.

image

So... what went wrong? Let see another example.

image

See the difference now? Still not yet? Look at the ', doesn't it look different between the 2 lines? Even the double quotes are actually different but they don't seem to be affected that much.

So... why is there a weird ' in the sentence? It's a very simple answer, just ask the person who prepared the document did he do it in MS Word? Now... dig into Word's auto correct options and you'll find something like this (varies depending on which version of Word you're looking at)

image

See the part about "Straight Quotes" with "smart quotes"? With that option on, basically when you use a non interesting " or ' Word will replace it with more pleasant looking ones, curvier ones, ones that look nicer when you print. But of course doesn't always work when you put it on a webpage, or a page designed to be viewed from a phone.

Just another one of the weird things you learn after developing web sites for a while


Saturday, 05 July 2008 01:32:50 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 04 July 2008

When you work with designers, it's very likely that sooner or later they'll come up with a web page design that uses multiple images that need to be joined together to form a display say something like this.

image

Where the yellow cell is actually where your content goes, and the cell below it is supposed to perfectly join up to the cell above to form a single unbreaking image. (Why does my sample suck? Because I can't draw! :P) But sometimes you'll end up with something like this. (The image below is simulated cause I can't get the error to show when I WANT it to! :P)

image

You'll see a gap between your supposedly perfectly joined cells (Usually about 1 pixel, I deliberately enlarged it so it's more visible right now).

Your HTML seems to be fine, with no additional cells, and the fact that you've already turned off cellpadding and cellspacing.

<table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="300">
        <tr>
            <td>
                <div style="background-color: yellow">
                    I'm in a TD
                </div>
            </td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td>
                <img src="footer.jpg" />
            </td>
        </tr>
</table>

So you're scratching your head wondering what went wrong. The next time you see a problem like this, remove ALL spaces between the TD tags. So essentially make your HTML look like this.

<table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="300">
    <tr>
        <td><div style="background-color: yellow">
                I'm in a TD
            </div></td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
        <td><img src="footer.jpg" /></td>
    </tr>
</table>

Why does it happen? I have no idea, but to fix the problem it's always the same thing. Remove all whitespace from the TD tags. If that still doesn't fix it or you're feeling paranoid, close up the TRs as well.

<table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="300">
    <tr><td><div style="background-color: yellow">
                I'm in a TD
            </div></td></tr>
    <tr><td><img src="footer.jpg" /></td></tr>
</table>

Again.. I have no idea why it just happens sometimes, but it does, and here's how I fix the problem. More little tips from the trenches to follow.


Friday, 04 July 2008 00:45:36 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  |