May 27, 2009#

You’re welcome, RTL! Gern’ geschehen, RTL!

I think this is worth a post on my blog. Apparently a Windows Vista Sidebar gadget that I designed quite a while ago to follow a live Formula 1 news ticker has been good enough to serve as a template for German TV station RTL; a CLONING TEMPLATE!!!

RTL just put the same gadget on their own website. All they did was change a label move two buttons and change the gadget’s color from red to green. Nice job! I think you guys at RTL owe me some credit for that. You copied the overall gadget design and even the fly-out window. You didn’t even bother to change the settings dialog! This is a copy and paste job!!! I guess some intern then was asked to change a thing or two, right? A color, a label, even a button… I guess at least someone in the copy-cat company has heard Einstein’s wise words before: “Real creativity is knowing how to hide your sources”

Can you tell the difference?

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April 8, 2008#

Website Update: Formula 1 Sidebar Gadget, Rendering Smoke & Clouds

Just wanted to point out two recent updates to my website.

presentation-page-01 A few days ago I finally uploaded a short description together with the slides and paper of a talk I gave a few weeks ago on the topic of “Rendering Smoke & Clouds” in the context of a game design university course. Have a look at it here.


ranking The second update is a Windows Vista sidebar gadget, my first one actually. It displays the content of a (German) Formula 1 live text ticker (sport.rtl.de) in the Windows sidebar and includes features like a flyout window for detailed view, automatic refresh, quick access to the original website and a Formula 1 live stream. Feel free to give it a try here and please leave your feedback!

February 12, 2008#

FSXGET 0.1 Beta 2 Released

logo Just released FSXGET Version 0.1 Beta 2 which contains a new feature, allowing you to select display units (meters or feet) and several bugfixes. Checks for the operating system and service pack version now as well as for SimConnect installed and instances of the application already running, to give better user feedback if the application encounters a problem at startup instead of crashing with some cryptic error message.

As always, more info and download here.

February 11, 2008#

Planes’ and Trains’ Locations! Live!

As I myself already got some experience with using Google Maps and Earth to display things such as stars (Web-based Planetarium) or Flight Simulator X aircrafts (FSXGET), I really like those two applications I’ve came over yesterday:

They’re both based on Google Maps, with the first one showing the realtime positions of Swiss trains…


… and the second doing the same for planes over Zurich.


Absolutely awesome! The latter one comes really close to FSXGET just for the real world and looking at the technique behind reminds me of a passive radar I’ve seen in action during a visit to INDRA‘s plant in Madrid.

Besides, since my internship at AENA, I somehow just enjoy looking at realtime maps with planes moving around ;-)

February 11, 2008#

.NET Programming: OS and Service Pack Version

Yet another short article about how to programmatically detect the version of the operating system and installed service pack version in a .NET application (C#).

Basically I found three ways how to determine these version number in a C# application:

  1. Using the System.Environment.OSVersion class
    - Fast and easy, perfect to get Windows version including major, minor, revision and build section of the version number.
    - Problematic to get the service pack version: Gives you a string like e.g. ‘Service Pack 1, v.744′ which you’d have to parse then. Not an ideal and very stable way (regarding future service packs) to get the service pack version number.
  2. Using the WMI Interface
    SelectQuery query = new SelectQuery("Win32_OperatingSystem");
    ManagementObjectSearcher searcher = new ManagementObjectSearcher(query);
    foreach (ManagementObject mo in searcher.Get())
    int iSPVersionMajor = int.Parse(mo["ServicePackMajorVersion"].ToString());

    Allows to retrieve numeric (major and minor) version number of installed service pack

  3. Using native Win32 API: GetVersionEx

    I didn’t try this solution myself but it seems quite promising, too. More details can be found here.

Last but not least, some information about Windows Version and Build numbers:

February 2, 2008#

FSXGET 0.1 Beta 1 Released

logo Today I’ve released version 0.1 Beta 1 of FSXGET. It’s the direct successor to version RC4. The change in naming is to make the version numbers more readable and manageable.

Remote Connection – Run FSX and FSXGET on different computers

The new version includes a new configuration dialog that facilitates setting up FSXGET to connect to Flight Simulator X running on a remote computer, i.e. a configuration where Google Earth AND FSXGET run on one computer but Flight Simulator X runs on another. I’ve also released a new tool called SimConnect Config Tool which helps changing Flight Simulator X configuration to allow remote access (e.g. from FSXGET). A howto article about setting up FSX and FSXGET for remote connections can be found here.

January 30, 2008#


logo Just released a new update for FSXGET correcting bugs regarding x64 and non-English systems. Download and more information here.

January 18, 2008#

Homepage Update

As you can see, there’s gonna be an update to my website. This is mainly to simplify things a lot and use only one CMS, namely WordPress. I still have to figure out whether it does the job or not but I’m pretty positive on that.

Till migration is complete, you can still visit my old website at http://www.juergentreml.de/joomla/.

Update 2008-01-28:

Migration is complete. The old website has been taken offline and is no longer available.