January 23, 2009#

Still in shock!

FSX_Cover I probably shouldn’t have given Microsoft that much credit in yesterday’s post. What I’ve just learned nearly gave me a heart attack. Microsoft is canceling Flight Simulator. This may not be very tragic news from a general user’s point of view and doesn’t really change anything I wrote about Microsoft’s change yesterday, but from a very personal view this is probably the worst thing Microsoft could ever do. Microsoft Flight Simulator is probably the best simulation game out there and unfortunately it’s not like there’s many replacements I could go to now. So I’m really sad to here that this Flight Simulator X DVD box I bought more than two years ago is probably the last one I’ll have ever bought.

January 23, 2009#

Is that really you, Microsoft?

“Change is the only constant.” I think it was Einstein who once said that. I also think it was Microsoft who tried to prove him wrong over the last years by constantly looking the other side whenever users did complain about their operating system. The ultimate proof I guess was Windows Vista. I don’t really hate it as much as most other people out there and I’m actually quite fine with it, but it took Microsoft way too long to get it released, the update, version and compatibility lists were way to complicated, it took them months after the initial release to get the system really stable and usable and finally, it’s hard to neglect the fact that Vista’s needs regarding memory, hard disk access and CPU load are quite a bit over the top, which is especially problematic for notebooks or even more netbooks. While I’m still quite ok with Vista though not particularly fond of it, I can absolutely understand everyone sticking with Windows XP for the time being. Microsoft never really admitted that Vista might have been a mistake, but obviously they must have taken note of that. Otherwise it’s inexplicable how they come to do so perfect with their next operating system, Windows 7. Continue Reading

January 22, 2009#

It’s been a while…

logo3[1]since I wrote my last blog post here. The date of my last post tells me, that it’s been almost exactly six months. Quite some time! That’s why I’d like to clarify a few things to hopefully prevent some of the emails I get asking about THE STATE OF FSXGET.

I’ve been quite busy writing my master thesis over the last months. That’s basically why neither my blog nor the FSXGET project did receive much attention. Since the other developers on FSXGET are currently inactive, too, the application didn’t receive any updates at all. But YES, I’m definitely planning on continuing and updating the tool. I’m still facing my final exams, so don’t expect any news on the project before the middle of the year, but rest assured the project isn’t dead.

By the way: I’d be happy to have some people taking part in the job, helping to push forward the project. So if you’re interested and have some programming skills, don’t hesitate to mention that! ;-)

July 26, 2008#

Magellan Triton & OpenStreetMap. Perfect Duo?

000095 I’ve recently been doing some research on current GPS devices since I broke my own about year ago. I used to use a Magellan Meridian which I’ve been extremely satisfied with. Still, it’s probably not worth a repair intent as it’s the display that is damaged. Besides, the map material available for the device is of course totally outdated as is the hardware itself. So I currently looking for a new device.

getProdImage.asp Long story short, I’ve never been to fond of the Garmin devices and as I’m looking for an outdoor GPS for hiking, mountain biking, etc., I found the Magellan Triton series to be particularly interesting. Color touch screen, rugged, nice interface, support for Geo Caching and depending on the model flashlight, camera and many more features make this device really interesting. BUT it has one very large drawback! Magellan doesn’t seem to interested in Europe too much, meaning, there’s only country boundaries and large streets on the device’s integrated base map and no detailed maps available to buy and / or download (besides some special maps like waterways and topographic maps for Norway). Since I’m planning to use this thing mainly in Europe that would be an absolute no-buy reason. Continue Reading

June 1, 2008#

Update: What OpenStreetMap doesn’t have…

I didn’t actually think about this when I “rediscovered” OpenStreetMap the other day and wrote my blog post about it; there’s yet another feature that OpenStreetMap doesn’t offer… routing! I didn’t really notice that as I’m hardly using this feature on Live Maps or Google Maps, but in fact, there’s no from-to route finding service on OSM.

BUT luckily there is OpenRouteService, a free routing service that is based on (as you may guess) OpenStreetMap. Another great example of what to do with a free worldwide street database ;-)

May 26, 2008#

OpenStreetMap! A great idea!

Mag_map-120x120I’d like to help and spread the word about a project I actually came across quite a while ago but which I’ve rediscovered recently: OpenStreetMap (German version here). In short, this project is a community effort to create a copyright-free world map.

The look and feel is basically the same as with Google Maps (without the satellite coverage of course) but the big difference is, that OpenStreetMap maps are completely free. Not like Google’s maps which are “free” as in “you can do this and that with our maps BUT YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO …………………. <LONG TEXT FOLLOWING> …………”.

osmOf course they don’t have all the features of the big players like Google or Microsoft; there’s no Street View, no Bird’s Eye View and sadly but understandably  no satellite coverage but the maps (and the data behind them) are completely free and you can use them for practically anything. You can even download the world database which the maps are based on onto your computer and use it for whatever you like. Besides, in some of the more crowded areas, OpenStreetMap maps are even more accurate then Google’s version, as you can see in the following picture. Continue Reading

April 29, 2008#

Tablet PC users, input language and special characters in your name – my way out!

For those who read my post on tablet pen input regarding your name that possibly has a non-English character in it, e.g. German or French, here’s my current solution to the problem!

Doesn’t matter if you’re surfin’ the web or just writing an email to an English colleague. There’s many times when it makes perfect sense for a non-English user to set the Tablet PC input panel to English language. Unfortunately this makes it a total pain in the a.. to write down your name on your Tablet PC since Vista doesn’t give you the slightest chance of writing non-standard characters such as ä, ö or ü or any characters with accents. Continue Reading

April 29, 2008#

Outlook 2007: Auto-assign categories on outgoing replies and forwards based on original message

Are you a hardcore user of Outlook 2007′s new color categories feature? Maybe even using it instead of folders and maintaining a single giant inbox using color categories as I do? Then you’re probably as annoyed as I am by the fact that Outlook can’t be taught to label replies and forwards to received message with the same labels / categories as the original message. Not even that Outlook can’t do this automatically, you can’t even do it manually in an efficient way as Outlook doesn’t offer any category button in the ribbon for replies and forwards. You can of course always type your reply, hit send and go to the ‘Sent Items’ folder afterwards to categorize your message but that’s soooooo inefficient and annoying!


Long speech, short conclusion: Here’s the solution!

  1. Add a new DWORD type registry key using regedit.exe at the following location:
  2. Name it “SendPersonalCategories” and set its value to “0×00000001” (1).
  3. Restart Outlook!

That’s it! Now Outlook will tag replies and forwards with the same categories as the message you’re replying to.

Thanks to the guys at http://www.tutorials-win.com for the hint!

April 29, 2008#

The Museum of Modern Betas

Yet another short spread-the-word post. I just came across the Museum of Modern Betas which basically is a list of the 100 most bookmarked (del.icio.us) software projects in the field of online Web 2.0 style applications.

The range is from file conversion, video encoding, web analysis to business travel and groupware tools. It’s a nice long list with a lot of entries on it you probably already know but I’m pretty sure there’s some projects on it you haven’t ever heard of but which you might find pretty interesting. It’s worth a visit!

April 29, 2008#

Mindmapping: Free and web-based!

Mindmap I’d like to point out the blog post found here. It’s about free mindmapping software. Since I’ve known and been a user of Mindmanager for years now, I was quite surprised by this blog post. I didn’t know either of the two pieces of software. An open-source freeware alternative to Mindmanager called FreeMind as well as an online Web 2.0 style alternative at www.mindmeister.com.

I don’t have much more to say about it. Just wanted to help spreading the word. Give it a try for yourself!