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#  Wednesday, 05 January 2005

TrueCrypt is a free open-source disk encryption software for Windows 2000 thru 2003 (and this indeed includes XP). You can create virtual disks, which, as the application name implies, are encrypted: mount with the correct password - you magically see another volume. Don't have the right password? Enjoy looking at gibberish. A recommended application for laptop users, especially the British public (and secret) services should take note as they tend to loose quite a few laptops per year.

The second application is KeePass, which is nothing more or less than a nice password safe which keeps your secrets locked away (even from you, should you forget the master key). Cool features: it simply runs (no installation required), has a password generator, and does support importing.

Wednesday, 05 January 2005 14:55:28 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0]

 

A friend of mine asked me today "Do you know a software / service to (centrally) maintain bookmarks across browsers and machines?". No, I didn't, but I went straight to Sourceforge and did a search which turned up SiteBar (the marchitecture name is ":: SiteBar :: The Bookmark Server for Personal and Team Use", but you already know that from the title). Of course I took them up on the "test on public servers" offer, and here are screenshots for both Firefox and Internet Explorer:

SiteBar for Firefox is an extension, the IE screenshot only shows the "quick & dirty" solution, not the fully integrated one (hey, I don't use IE that much any more, so why bother?). So far, SiteBar looks very promising. Oh, and btw unless you already guessed it from the marchitecture name: you can set up your own SiteBar server in your company!

Categories: Administration | Cool Download | this
Wednesday, 05 January 2005 14:27:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1]

 

I simply couldn't resist: Yes, I am again|still MVP for Visual Developer - ASP/ASP.NET. Admittedly, this doesn't quite reflect on this blog for a couple of reasons, the main one being that my MVP-worthyness stems from the time I do (bad pun intended) on German mailing lists and Web sites (see "Deutsche Resourcen" in the left-hand navigation bar to get an idea). In other news, I of course don't do community because of the award - it is a really nice recognition of my work on part of MS, and there of course is one  benefit of the MVP award that stands out: getting access to other community people around the globe as well as MS product teams, which allows me to get better information to my communities.

Categories: Community | this
Wednesday, 05 January 2005 09:59:29 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0]

 



#  Monday, 03 January 2005

I'm not a CS student nor trying to give advice to CS students, but Joel's article Advice for Computer Science College Students has some bits and pieces that are close to my heart. The section I am refering to here is Learn how to write before graduating. A quote is in order:

"The difference between a tolerable programmer and a great programmer is not how many programming languages they know, and it's not whether they prefer Python or Java. It's whether they can communicate their ideas. By persuading other people, they get leverage. By writing clear comments and technical specs, they let other programmers understand their code, which means other programmers can use and work with their code instead of rewriting it. Absent this, their code is worthless. By writing clear technical documentation for end users, they allow people to figure out what their code is supposed to do, which is the only way those users can see the value in their code. There's a lot of wonderful, useful code buried on sourceforge somewhere that nobody uses because it was created by programmers who don't write very well (or don't write at all), and so nobody knows what they've done and their brilliant code languishes."

I am inclined to say "Amen!"

Categories: this
Monday, 03 January 2005 15:55:33 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0]

 

Following is an installation recipe for Subversion (a free and very powerful source code control system) plus additional files for a post commit hook (so you know immediately when someone else checked something in; currently implemented as a batch file) and a backup script (so there are no excuses for not backing up your installation!). Assumptions for this recipe:

  • We are creating a new repository named Corsavy
  • c:\repositories is your repository root
  • Backups will be located in d:\subversionbackups

Now for the recipe:

1) Install Subversion (WIN32 download). Modify the PATH environment variable so that it contains the path to your Subversion installation (usually c:\Program Files\Subversion\bin).

2) Create a repository

mkdir c:\repositories
svnadmin create c:\repositories\corsavy

Details can be found here.

3) Edit svnserve.conf (do not forget to uncomment [General]). Details see previous link, however, svnserve.conf does come with plenty of instructions itself.

4) Install Subversion as a service using the SVN Service Wrapper (Note: you have to place it in the bin directory where svnserve.exe is located)

SVNService -install -d -r c:\repositories

5) Optional: a commit hook, post-commit.bat

Put it into c:\repositories\corsavy\hooks, it will be picked up automatically

SET REPOS=%1
SET REV=%2

SET LOG_FILE=%TEMP%.\svnfileR-%REV%
SET LOG_FILE1=%TEMP%.\svnfileR1-%REV%
SET LOG_FILE2=%TEMP%.\svnfileR2-%REV%
SET AUT_FILE=%TEMP%.\svnfileA-%REV%

svnlook info -r %REV% %REPOS%>%LOG_FILE1%
svnlook changed -r %REV% %REPOS%>%LOG_FILE2%
copy %LOG_FILE1%+spacer.txt+%LOG_FILE2%+spacer.txt+%LOG_FILE%

svnlook author -r %REV% %REPOS%>%AUT_FILE%

REM SET THE AUTHOR FROM THE FILE.
FOR /F %%A IN (%AUT_FILE%) DO SET AUTHOR=%%A

blat "%LOG_FILE%" -to "toaddr" -f "fromaddr" -server localhost -s "[svn-corsavy] rev %REV%, %AUTHOR%"

DEL %LOG_FILE%
DEL %LOG_FILE1%
DEL %LOG_FILE2%
DEL %AUT_FILE%

Note that I did remove toaddr and fromaddr in this script (put in the ones you'd like to use instead), and you need a file named spacer.txt (mine simply contains four newlines). For mailing out the change log, blat is used (Note: the line with blat must not wrap). I placed blat into the bin folder of my Subversion installation, so it is automatically in the search path.

6) Optional: backup, a VBS script

Set objWsh = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

strCmdLine = "cmd /c rmdir d:\subversionbackups\current /s /q"
nRetVal = objWsh.Run(strCmdLine, 1, True)

strCmdLine = "cmd /c mkdir d:\subversionbackups\current"
nRetVal = objWsh.Run(strCmdLine, 1, True)

strCmdLine = "svnadmin hotcopy c:\repositories\corsavy d:\subversionbackups\current --clean-logs"
WScript.Echo strCmdLine
nRetVal = objWsh.Run(strCmdLine, 1, True)

strFilename = """d:\subversionbackups\"
strFilename = strFilename &  Year(Date) & Month(Date) & Day(Date) & ".zip"""
strCmdLine = "zip -r " & strFilename & " ""d:\subversionbackups\current\*.*"""
WScript.Echo strCmdLine
nRetVal = objWsh.Run(strCmdLine, 1, True)

The Zip component in use is Info-ZIP, which is free. The VBS file is run from a scheduled task each night.

That concludes the recipe for installing Subversion - well, almost: the port used by svnserve is 3690 (TCP as well as UDP), so you might need to change the IPSec policy of your server to allow those incoming ports. Same thing client-side, but this time outgoing.

Monday, 03 January 2005 08:22:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1]

 



#  Tuesday, 28 December 2004

My "USB BOfH Stick" now has a few new additions - Portable Firefox and Portable Thunderbird (Portable Sunbird didn't make it). Those are USB stick-optimized versions of the respective desktop versions, especially well-received on my end is the optimization to extend the stick's live (Flash memory does indeed have a limited life when it comes to the number of r/w operations).

Categories: Administration | this
Tuesday, 28 December 2004 14:46:37 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0]

 



#  Monday, 27 December 2004

This can be pretty useful to get an idea which open source projects are available, and today I did it (again) for C#. Of course you will see the usual suspects (NUnit, NAnt, RSS Bandit, NHibernate and a lot of others), as well as ones you haven't yet heard of, such as dotLucene (I knew of the Java one) or Report.NET. And on occasion you stumble upon something really wacky, such as Pr0nspider, which is a multithreaded sample for the WebSpider library... this sample definitely drives home the concept!

Categories: .NET | C# | Use the source Luke
Monday, 27 December 2004 09:29:19 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0]

 

The article U.S. leads the dirty dozen spammers shows that the US has a comfortable lead when it comes to sending out spam. This indigestible rendition of Hormel's rightly famous SPAM is my favorite least favorite topic because I manage two mail servers, one of which serves mailing lists for the German .NET community. The time spent administering (because of spam) could be better spent helping my colleagues on the lists... kismet.

Categories: Newsbites | this
Monday, 27 December 2004 08:07:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0]

 



#  Thursday, 23 December 2004

This is the most current version of the Team Foundation Installation Guide for the December 2004 CTP release of Visual Studio Team System. It contains any changes that were made to the guide since the public release of the December 2004 CTP release of Visual Studio Team System.

Categories: .NET | 2 Ohhhh | Team System | Visual Studio
Thursday, 23 December 2004 08:36:04 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1]

 



#  Monday, 20 December 2004

I previewed the search feature last week with a couple of screenshots. Today I did what I promised to do (review the new code thoroughly), and now I'd like to invite you to download the latest version of the registry editor (0.8.2 dated 12/20/2004).

Note on the search feature: it is pretty intuitive in Tree View mode which node is the search root. However, in List View mode, things are inferred in a way that I hope is intuitive enough: when no subkey is selected, then the search root is the current key whose subkeys / values are currently displayed.

Also of note: deployment to the SmartPhone is now easier, please see the PDF for details (I am now using RapiDeploy).

Monday, 20 December 2004 12:13:17 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [3]

 



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