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Steve Ballmer Live in Zurich October 4, 2007

Posted by theoxymoron in Computer.

Today I attended the “The global designer conference – Expression around the Clock” which takes place in 10 major cities worldwide (Auckland, Bangalore, Kairo, Mailand, Mexico City, Moskau, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Toronto) and luckily also in Zurich in the Swissotel. One can say that the event in Zurich was special compared to the other cities because the keynote speaker was Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft.

Read more about the keynote of Steve Ballmer in Zurich


BlogRush – A new syndication idea September 19, 2007

Posted by theoxymoron in Computer.
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Probably you have already heard of BlogRush the last days. The idea is pretty cool and it seems that it works because the site BlogRush.com had tremendous traffic increases based on current alexa statistics.

The basic idea is to drive traffic to your site and in an ideally way this increase could be exponentially. All you have to do is to include the BlogRush widget – which is completely free – on your site and register. During the registration you have to give your name, email, URL of your site and most important a category for your blog and your RSS feed. There is a nice tutorial video on their website.

After you have included the widget you see 5 posts of other blogs which are in the same category as your blog….

BlogRush is the brainchild of Internet entrepreneur John Reese from income.com.

Read full Article “BlogRush – A new syndicatoin idea

Blogging as a full-time job ? July 17, 2007

Posted by theoxymoron in Computer.

A few bloggers have monthly incomes that are far beyond your imagination. I found an article in BusinessWeek about 14 top bloggers who make a lot of money with their blog. Check out the four most impressive blogs.

DotNetNuke for my site ? May 16, 2007

Posted by theoxymoron in Computer.
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Recently I “converted” my website www.oxymoron.li from ASP.NET 1.1 to the new version ASP.NET 2.0 with the DotNetNuke Framework. It wasn’t that easy as I expected. Setting up a new site was quite easy but transfering the site from the developing server to the production server was more tricky because the security settings were different. I also switched from MS SQL Server 2000 to the MS SQL Server Express 2005 version where all my users and permissions were different. But now the site is running and I am satisfied with the result. Most of the free modules of DNN are quite good and flexible but the gallery module is for me inefficient. I like to see the EXIF information and also the GPS tracks of my trips which is not support in the DNN module. So I had to use my own module which is integrated with a iFrame. I am looking forward to develope my own DNN gallery module in the near future…

Agloco discussions April 16, 2007

Posted by theoxymoron in Computer.

I’ve read so much about Agloco the last days to do some extended research on this topic. There are so many articles about this concept and also so many different opinions.
Most of the things I’ve read are positive and people are looking forward what will happen the next months. There is a very interesting report about the expected money one could earn with a moderate network of people.
However there are some critical points about the concept. They are not really negative but at least not defined enough. For example it is hard to say when people can expect the first money because on the website it says that they have to wait first until there is a balance between income and expenses. Sounds good but it would be helpful to know more about this time period. We will see what happens when the toolbar is released the next days…hope they will do so. 

All in all I think I will give it a shot. If it works out it’s great and otherwise who cares ? One has nothing to loose.

Increase passive Income April 15, 2007

Posted by theoxymoron in Computer.
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Agloco It’s always interesting to find new ways to increase your passive income. The first method I started was the integration of Google’s Adsense on my website www.oxymoron.li . It’s a nice way to earn some money without actively doing something (except waiting ūüôā ) .

Now I found another very interesting concept from the company Agloco. They will start these days their new toolbar which counts the number of hours the users are in the internet and shows content specific ads on the bottom of your browser.
The cool thing is, that you participate of the success through company shares. For a certain amount of internet-surfing you get shares of the company. And if the company does fine your income increases. Even better is that you can refer people and you participate also on their activity and their referrals.
This goes four level down so you can increase you network of people pretty fast. So just sign up now and tell all friends !

If you sign up directly please use my MemberID as referral Code: BBDF8048

VirtualDay 2007 March 27, 2007

Posted by theoxymoron in Computer.
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Today I was at the VirtualDay 2007 conference in Zurich to learn more about the concepts of virtualization of servers, storage and operating systems. All in all I have to say that the location and organization of the event was good but the delivered content of each session didn’t meet all of our expectations. I tried to take one page of notes of each session to recall the content later.

The introduction was made by Dennis Zimmer from Mightycare Solutions. He spoke about why virtualization is so important and mentioned reasons like cost reduction, less administrative work  and easy backup procedures. Most active on the market are currently VMWare with others like Xen (Source) or SWsoft and Microsoft but there are some more. Further we heard about trends and technologies in the future like the “virtualization grid”.
For me this keynote speech was a little to detail orientated. Especially the first talk of the morning should be a more general overview of all topics covered by the event and so it would have been more helpful to start the day :-).

The second session I attended was from Christian Morf (HP) “Solutions and Trends for the virtualized data center“. It was about the expectations of HP, expectations of customers, about trends and risks in technology and the blade architecture in detail. He talked about differences and advantages of blade vs. rack or 2 vs. 4 socket architecture. In the end he introduced the new virtual connect system from HP which makes it more easy to change hardware in a running environment by using a “server profil”.
Again this talk was very detail orientated (a large part was about 2/4 socket architecture and CPUs and which is faster) and I think because of the title of this session “Solutions & Trends for the virtualized data center” many people expected a general overview of different strategies or trends as a whole.

The third session “PlateSpin: Disaster Recovery” by Christian Ellger was about the interesting concept of using virtual machines as backup servers. Their philosophy is “anywhere to anywhere”.  With the software it is possible to migrate from a physical to a virtual server and also the way back to the physical server. So if it turns out that the virtualization doesn’t work as expected it is possible to go back to the physical machines. It’s also possible to make images of physical and virtual machines and migrate them in any “direction”: P2P -> V2V -> I2I -> P2P
The software is independent of any hardware manufacturer and helps to find the servers which are most likely the ones you should consider to consolidate.

After that I attended “Windows Virtualization” by Sommerhalder and Pitrof. The speech was about the new concepts of Microsoft and the roadmap of Microsoft Virtual Server and the System Center. Pithof talked about Longhorn in detail and the new installation alternative “Server Core” which is nothing more than a command line box. The core server comes with the four roles DNS, DHCP, File and AD and the size is less then 1 GB. On top of that the virtualization should be installed with the parent-partition with Longhorn and different virtual machines which work as “children”. These could be windows or other operating systems. The system center is on top of all virtual machines and manages all resources and workloads. Some advantages are scalability, hot add hardware, page sharing, scripting the boot order.

After lunch I went to the session “DataCore: Basics and Concepts of storage-virtualization” by J. Schweinsberg. The idea was : “Storage On Demand” or “Storage as Shared Business Resource” because it is hard to define the amount of storage you need in the future so it would be nice to add or allocate storage on demand. If you buy new harddisks 25% of the costs are for the disk, 70% for the software and the controller and 5% for cables. If you invest in a upgrade of your harddisks you always buy the controllers again which increases the costs. So the idea is to separate the disks with the help of a virtualization-layer. This layer or “virtual disk” is between the actual storage and the server. The good thing is that the virtual disk doesn’t have to be of the same size as the actual physical space. So it is possible to do some overbooking for example your virtual machines could use in total 12TB even if there is only 1TB of physical disk space (I have to recheck how this works exactly).
See http://www.storageperformance.org/home for some benchmarks or datacore.com for case studies.The price range for the solutions are from $8000 to $100000 (unlimited licence).

The last two session were case studies. The first one was from the Klinikum M√ľnchen by O. Sch√ľtz which uses a Datacore solution with VMWare and a SAN. The second one was from Allianz Suisse by Alex Weber. This solution was implemented on a HP Blade system with VMWare ESX Server. Interesting is that both are using the virtualization software VMWare however the hardware and storage/backup solutions depend on the different requirements. 

All in all it was an interesting and informative day although we thought we could gain more from the event. I can say now that there is no single solution for the questions of how, If and what to virtualize or backup and restore. One has to carefully evaluate which solution fits the specific requirements best and of course it also depends on the budget.

Nintendo Wii contest March 14, 2007

Posted by theoxymoron in Computer.
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Sounds curious, but this post is part of a contest to win a Nintendo Wii game console. It says that all I have to do is make a post with a link to the original idea , namly to John Chow root of all evil, the post and of course the sponsor 1234Pens.com which makes the promotional pens ! Maybe it works.

Optimizing my RAW workflow January 21, 2007

Posted by theoxymoron in Computer, GPS & Geotagging, Photography.

What is the best way to convert, select, organize and geotag lots of RAW images from a trip ? What tools should I use ? At the moment I’m trying to figure this out because in about one week I’m starting my journey to Australia and then I will need a effective technique.

Normally I shoot 150 to 200 pictures during a day trip , most of them in RAW format which gives me the greatest flexibility. For downloading the pics from the camera I use ZoomBrowser, a tool that comes with the camera. In ZoomBrowser is my fist step of the selection process. Pictures which have exposure or sharpness problems will be deleted. This is a rough quality check and I only delete pictures which I’m sure about.

The selection process in detail

The second step is are more detailed selection process. I often shoot several pictures of the same motif but different camera settings. This gives me the opportunity to learn which settings are best in different situations. The downside is that I have for example 5 pictures which look almost the same and I have to decide which of them I have to delete. For that decision I use the free beta version of Adobe Lightroom, which is a great product. It was designed from photographers for photographers and you feel this when you use the software. It’s intuitive and very fast in handling the large RAW files. By looking at the RAW files at an 1:1 zoom I can quickly decide which ones are sharp and which one I have to delete. The result is a set of pictures I want keep for further processing.

In Adobe Lightroom I can also mark the files with stars. I mark the very best pictures with four to five stars. After that I make some image editing where it is needed like correcting exposure, saturation or sharpness. Then I generate JPG files of all RAW files. The JPG files will have the corrections I made just before to the RAW files so I get good quality pictures for my web album on www.oxymoron.li and my local archive.

Now the star marking comes into play. I order the pictures in Lightroom by descending star rating so that the best are first. Now it’s easy to delete all RAW files with no rating at all. RAW files are very large and therefore I only want to keep the very best. Normally I keep about 10% in RAW quality of a trip. I have to limit myself here so that I really only keep the very best. These pictures could be sold (if some want’s them :-)) or printed on A4 or A3 in best quality.

Metadata and Geotagging

On day trips I always take my GPS (60CSX) with me to record the positions where I made the shoots. To map the pictures and the gps track later you have to be sure that the time on your camera is the same as on your gps device. So after your trip you can download the track from your device in a gpx format and use the great free tool Location Stamper from Microsoft. You load your pictures and the track into the program and you get all pictures with the gps information in the header. Even the sea level is stored in the picture.

Now I have the finished jpg pictures to organize. I use Adobe Bridge to edit the EXIF Information like copyright data, author and location. In Adobe bridge it’s very convenient to edit exif information from all pictures at once. So after that step all my pictures have the correct metadata in their header. It’s also possible to add keywords and comments to the pictures. I only use these metadata tags to describe my pictures because the information is stored in the picture itself. So when I copy the files no information is lost and there is no dependency on other programs.

The last step is to open Picasa and import the new trip. They should have all a little blue icon in the corner which indicates that they are geotagged. Now you can use the function “Show in Google Earth” to see exactly where every picture was taken.

A lot of work but I think that should be the way to archive your pictures. Otherwise you end up with a huge amount of pictures with no information and no extra value. I think programs to organize pictures especially integrating gps information and maps will play a major role in the next years.  

Blog juice site popularity calculator October 12, 2006

Posted by theoxymoron in Computer.

Although the rating is not that good I gained from this calculator I would like to share this link with you. I got 0.2 points out of 10 which motivates me to improve my blog structure and the popularity. I think the reason for this bad rating is that there are almost no blogs which have cross references on my articles. The more links you have from other sites the more popular your blog will be and therefore the rating should increase. The first step to improve was to register at the dmoz project and after that I will check the blog juice points again.

 Check out this link to get your own calculation.

Windows Live Writer August 14, 2006

Posted by theoxymoron in Computer.
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Das ist der erste Eintrag den ich direkt √ľber das neu erschiene Windows Live Writer gemacht habe. Es ist eine Desktopapplikation die √§hnlich Word eine komfortable Oberfl√§che zur Erstellung von Blogeintr√§gen bietet. Zus√§tzlich k√∂nnen auch Bilder, Links und was neu ist Virtual Earth Karten eingebunden werden. Ein Beispiel folgt an dem ich das ausprobiert habe: Der Ausschnitt ist von New York mit der BirdsEye Ansicht, die noch genauer ist¬†als die Detailluftaufnahmen der Satelittenbilder. Anscheinend werden sie aus Fotografien von Kleinflugzeugen die knapp √ľber der Oberfl√§che die Aufnahmen machen, zusammengesetzt.

Die Software funktioniert nicht nur f√ľr Windows Live Spaces sonder auch f√ľr Blogger, WordPress und viele andere !


Besucher und deren Herkunft August 7, 2006

Posted by theoxymoron in Computer.
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Es ist immer wieder interessant zu sehen, woher die verschiedenen Besucher meines Blogs kommen. Mit Sitemeter.com¬†hat man eine einfache M√∂glichkeit eine solche Karte zu erstellen. Die Abbildung zeigt die ungef√§hren geografischen Orte von wo aus die Besucher¬†den Blog aufgerufen haben (weisse, gr√ľne und rote Punkte).

 Besucherlokationen des Blogs, 7. Aug 06

Aufgezeichnet wird dabei der Ort des Providers von dem aus man sich ins Internet verbindet. Dies kann nat√ľrlich vom tats√§chlichen Wohnort/Einwahlpunkt etwas abweichen, wodurch eine gewisse Unsch√§rfe entsteht. Dies¬†beeinflusst aber¬†nicht die grobe Zuteilung wie L√§nder¬†oder Kontinente auf Grund dessen auch¬†Trends abzuleiten sind. Bei¬†meiner Seite¬†sind das zur Zeit¬†Nordamerika und Europa.¬†

Es¬†kann¬†zum Beispiel durchaus wichtig sein, ob mehr englischsprachige oder deutschsprachige Besucher auf der Seite sind, denn davon h√§ngt auch ab, ob die Seite zweisprachig oder nur in Deutsch oder Englisch gef√ľhrt werden sollte. Wie man bei meinem Blog erkennt, habe ich mich bis jetzt¬†noch nicht festgelegt und so werden auch in Zukunft einige Eintr√§ge in Deutsch und dann auch wieder in Englisch (so gut es geht; soll ja auch eine √úbung sein) folgen.

Urspr√ľnglich wollte ich eigentlich das Google-Analytics einbauen, aber leider kann bei wordpress.com noch kein javascript inkludiert werden und so bin ich auf sitemeter gestossen¬†welches ebenfalls – in einer HTML Version – diese Auswertungen in einem kleinerem Umfang anbietet.

Windows Live Spaces (Blogeskapaden) August 3, 2006

Posted by theoxymoron in Computer.
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Heute habe ich mir das neue Windows Live Spaces angeschaut und testhalber einen Blog erstellt. Ich muss sagen, das System hat mich nicht sehr √ľberzeugt. Es ist relativ umst√§ndlich neue Blogeintr√§ge zu machen, da man immer zuerst auf den Bereich “Blog” in Spaces bearbeiten und dort dann “Blog hinzuf√ľgen” klicken muss, um einen neuen Eintrag zu erstellen. Was jedoch besser ist, ist auf jeden Fall die M√∂glichkeit eines eigenen Fotoalbumes das gleich als Gadget auf der rechten Seite eingebunden werden kann. Laut Microsoft kann man bis 500 Fotos pro Monat uploaden. Das ganze Spaces-Projekt ist keine reine Bloganwendung sondern der Blog stellt vielmehr nur einen kleinen Teil der Philosophie dar. Man hat die M√∂glichkeit auch Musik, Videos, Fotos und diverse anpassbare Listen in seinem eigenen “Space” zu erstellen. Einer der Gr√ľnde warum ich wordpress.com f√ľr einen Blog gew√§hlt habe war die M√∂glichkeit der kompletten Sicherung aller Daten als XML/RSS. Schliesslich will man nach mehreren Jahren des Schreibens nicht die ganze Arbeit auf irgendeinem fremden Server hosten sondern die Daten auch bei sich abgelegt haben. Diese Option hab ich bei spaces.live.com nicht gefunden und auch in der Hilfe konnte ich keinen Hinweis auf eine solche M√∂glichkeit entdecken. Ich werde daher noch abwarten und sie Sache weiter verfolgen.

Organizing photos August 2, 2006

Posted by theoxymoron in Computer, Photography.
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There are a lot of considerations you have to think about if you start archiving all your personal photos. Before I use Picasa as my primary tool for organizing the pictures I add some EXIF information about the place where the picture was taken, names of people who are on that picture, owner/copyright information and sometimes even additional facts about the lens I used. Later (and thats why I need all this)  I will use this EXIF information to display it in the gallery of my website. I have read that Canon has allready a special tag for the lens-type and I could even see the information in the software from Canon (like Zoombrowser EX) but I was not able to access this tag with ASP.NET and C#. Perhaps someone has found a solution and can leave me a note how to do this.

After I added the EXIF information I use Picasa to geotag the images, which I think will be more and more important as the GPS devices are getting cheaper and the Google Earth support for GPS location is quite good and simple (in the Pros version). You can find this feature in the Tools menu. You can even geotag multiple pictures at once and Google Earth integrates them right at the clicked location. Important is, that these coordinates are also stored in the IPTC tags of the picture itself. So when you copy your pictures all the additional information will be in the picture itself and not in an external database. The newest version of Picasa offeres searches in some of these EXIF tags like ISO and focal length.

The next step for me will be to read these coordinates from the pictures in my gallery. Then I can offer a link directly to a google map where one can see where this particular picture was taken.