# Sunday, 30 November 2008

A new version of the Microsoft Deep Zoom Composer has been released, one of the cool things that it can now do is generate a Javascript Deep Zoom viewing client! Which is great when you want to allow people to view Deep Zoom images when you can't install a Silverlight client. The Javascript version is a bit slow though but I guess that's mainly because it's displaying images with the web browser's IMG display algos. But hey.. it's an alternative if you want to use it.

The other interesting tidbit is that the image generation tools is now a .Net ASSEMBLY!!! So no more hacking command line tools to generate your DeepZoom images, this opens up a LOT of doors for future integration and expansion.

Let me just insert this into my Deep Zoom Album creator program... hmmm.. oh oh.. what's the redistribution rights of the DLL?


Sunday, 30 November 2008 22:00:02 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [1]  | 

It started out normally enough, during my cousin's wedding WZ notices the confetti strewn on the stage and wanted to go play with it, no harm there.

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Then the performers started giving him a little attention.

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WZ started clapping a little cause of their song.

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And then he gets up...

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And gets jiggy!

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If there ever was a time where I wished my Sony A350 had video capabilities I guess this would be it. But since it doesn't I made do with my Diamond to catch this rare moment of WZ entertaining everyone.


Sunday, 30 November 2008 18:03:33 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

My cousin got married last yesterday, and before hand he was asking me to take care of playing all the usual wedding montage videos, music and other usual things you play during a wedding. He wanted me to help him do it but I told him since WZ was around there was no way I can be free enough to handle that for him. Also there was some interesting AV equipment challenges of splitting the VGA input signal. Then it dawned on me, the PS3 he had uses a bluetooth controller which in an open area like a restaurant should have pretty decent range and also it is capable of playing videos and music. Therefore we ended up with this.

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Because the outputs came out as standard composite plugs the AV guys were able to jury rig a connection to fit their equipment easily enough. The videos and music were played off a USB hard drive connected to the system. And his brother handled the controls from where he was sitting thanks to the wireless controller.

So while the GREATEST BEST CONNECTED ONLINE GAMING EXPERIENCE is what the Xbox 360 offers, the PS3 is great for everything else other than games.

While the videos and music of the hard disk played fine, when it came to playing a DVD movie of the morning proceedings, the video started to stutter and jerk causing the sound to appear broken up. The DJ at the station noticed the problem did a fantastic save and muted the audio while playing music from another source. That was a great save on the part of the DJ, hope my cousin gave him some extra tips.

So as long as you don't have video on a DVD-R, The PS3 can serve your media broadcast needs at a wedding. But if you wanna play games, the Xbox 360 is still the better choice!


Sunday, 30 November 2008 17:43:14 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 25 November 2008

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This is the first external DVD drive I bought, I think it was about 2003 after I got my first tablet PC which didn't come with a built in optical drive. 5 years later I get this.

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It's slightly wider and thicker than the external drive, but is about the same length. But this is not an external optical drive.

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This is a case for the mini-itx form factor, and in it is of course the Intel D945GCLF2. It's a very small cramped case that just barely has enough space for a 2.5" hard disk, the case also supports the use of a slim optical drive but I have no need for that... nor do I know where to find one!

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It's VERY cramped inside the case, as it usually is the case for generic cases, you can see the board's power cable is literally pressed up against the front top of the case. I really don't know how they intended for a slim line optical drive to fit!

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With the drive mounting panel in place you can see that there really isn't much space for anything else, and just remember beneath the plate is a whole bunch of wires.

This system's main purpose is to serve as a video player unit that I can take along with me and connect it to the TV's in the hotel rooms when I go out with WZ (cause mommy doesn't feel that WZ can stare at the eeePC without wanting to destory it) This can theoretically serve the purpose well because

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The board has a built in S-Video out, so theoretically I can just plug it in to any TV... that has an S-Video port. Which I don't think most hotel TVs have. So I thought I could just use a converter that looks like this

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To convert the signal to fit through a composite plug. Unfortunately, with the above 2 converters, the single unit plug type one gives me a black and white picture, but it's so old I can't remember where I found it so I don't know if it's because of dust on the plug or wheter the converter just isn't working well. The wire type converter doesn't even make the video card register that there's a video connection. So I'm hoping to find a proper usable one soon.

It was also when assembling this machine that I realized...

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DIMM RAM now comes in half the height now!

Anyway.. if you're looking for a small ass case for your Mini-ITX project in Malaysia, I'd have to say this has got to be the smallest and cheapest (relatively) one you can find.


Tuesday, 25 November 2008 23:37:20 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 

I was helping a friend control his wedding slides at his wedding dinner when I noticed that the sound was intermittent. Checking the audio cable connected to the notebook I noticed the cable was tight and had no slack in it. So I gave it some slack by pulling more from underneath the table. But still the problem persisted.

That's when i realized that the body of the audio plug had cracked, and seemed to be tugging on the internal wires causing the interference. With one hand on the cable I fished out my wallet and splayed it open on the table, then I reached into one of the card compartments and pulled out my duct tape stash, I managed to pull a strip out but I was unable to tear it with one hand.

So I bit into the tape to steady it and rip it out with my free hand!

Then I wrapped the tape around the plug to secure it. Boy am I lucky I have that tape around in my wallet!


Tuesday, 25 November 2008 14:04:35 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 22 November 2008

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The Swiss Army Knife and Duct Tape, two symbols of a great man. And if you don't know who I'm talking about, you have my sympathies.. and please go and read up on him now.

As I mentioned before I already carry around a Leatherman Squirt with me nearly everywhere I go.

But a few months ago I finally decided that maybe I should carry around some duct tape around too. But the problem here being that while it's simple enough to carry around a small multitool in my pocket, how the heck am I supposed to carry around a roll of tape? Flattening the roll seemed like the obvious choice but that still wasn't portable enough for my tastes.

Finally I figured out I could do this.

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Essentially I just pull out the tape and carefully flatten it together over itself. The main risk here is that while the tape will not stick to the smooth side, it's very messy if the glue bits touch! So now I have tape that fits in my wallet!

So in the few months that I was carrying tape in my pocket what fun did I have?

  • Used it to make an improvised wire puller system
  • Used it to mark one server among a dozen
  • Held a power extension bar to the wall of a cabinet

Hmmm.. that was fun, should have done this sooner!


Saturday, 22 November 2008 22:35:47 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 20 November 2008

I picked up yet another small form factor system again yesterday.

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And boy is this one SHINY!!! Size wise well... it's a small form factor unit for generic parts (instead of custom made ones) so here's a size reference shot.

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I basically needed a system for file archival purposes, so I threw in the cheapest 160GB Seagate SATA drive I could find, an added plus of the Seagate HDD is that it's slimmer than other 3.5" drives... or maybe that's how big they are right now?

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The casing (and motherboard) that I got from Ifician has enough space for one 3.5" hard disk, a floppy drive and a 5.25" drive.

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The board I got is an Intel D945GCLF2, it's one of those boards with everything built in and all you need to get it running is to plunk in a stick of ram and a drive.

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The board is interesting because it has the Atom 330 processor on it, which is essentially a DUAL CORE Hyper threading enabled Atom processor. Which means you get to see 4 processor bars when you bring up Task Manager in Windows. Which is cool.

The Atom 330 is more than capable of handling your typical day to day computing tasks of web browsing, office work, etc. etc. But I was also interested in checking out video performance. Cause the board comes with a S-Video out port which means it is possible to build a simple media playing PC from this unit.

After a few tests, the 330 seems to be adequate to play most 720P HD quality videos (as long as you're not pulling them from the network)  Just forget about 1080P videos and you'll be ok. Then if you need better sound outputs, well... there IS a PCI slot on the board.


Thursday, 20 November 2008 13:33:37 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 16 November 2008

Bought a new toy to play with today, I guess you can call them building blocks but not in the usual sense. Basically they look like this.

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A bunch of ball joints, connectors and beams. Put a few of the basic parts together and you can get something simple like this.

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So you end up with something looking like a Stikfas figure without the personality since the parts are generic. But of course, because this is basically just LEGO for making figures. You can go wild and make weird things such as.

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What the heck is this supposed to be?

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I guess I wanted it to be a ship of some kind but guess that didn't work out too well. But my main creation is this little guy.

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A chicken walker mech with an auto cannon for the right arm and a (out of focus) beam canon on it's left. And because the beam canon needs to be oversized and menacing.

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It can open up in ATTACK MODE!!! God I need to get that sheet of white foam so I can take pictures with a cleaner backdrop...

Anyway? What is this thing that I bought?

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They're called ASOBLOCK, and while they cost a lot I considered it a little birthday present for myself since I couldn't find a Rovio this time around...


Sunday, 16 November 2008 17:04:32 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [6]  | 
# Wednesday, 12 November 2008

How much it sucks that WZ has still not understood how to blow his nose. He caught a little bug going around and was waking up every 2 hours at night due to the clogged nose.

Vaporrub helps... a bit. Trying to suck the mucus out was a totally futile action, it's hard enough trying to get the temperature through his ear.


Wednesday, 12 November 2008 10:00:55 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 02 November 2008

Finally!! The Silverlight Streaming Service is now ready and compatible with Silverlight 2.0 Release version! To celebrate.. let's have a quick deep zoom album…. hmmm.. maybe I should just throw images in without worrying about how well they look?

Hmmm.. maybe I should make one of the panoramas I made. So here they are.


Sunday, 02 November 2008 20:48:25 (Malay Peninsula Standard Time, UTC+08:00)  #    Comments [4]  |