Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Schools of Aikido - Tradicionalni i Realni Aikido?
"Stare škole" - Aiki-Budo, Yoseikan, Yoshinkan
"Moderne škole" - Realni aikido
"Tradicionalne škole" - Aikikai, Iwama-ryu
"Ki škole" - Shin-shin Toitsu Aikido
"Sportske škole" - Tomiki-ryu

The list of schools of Aikido.


Index of /TollToday

Here are Toll newsletters shedding some light on the company activities.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Along with the bailout of Wall Street companies, there is another issue that went along with it but has not received as much publicity.
$25 Billion has been awarded to auto makers in the USA to reconstruct the factories and focus on more fuel-efficient cars. There's rumor that GE would get involved in creating the new EV (Electric Vehicle) of some sort.
The future is here. Only, the news of it are not as interesting as the unraveling of the End of the World scenario at Wall Street. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

IE Cache to the Rescue

IE cache is dearer than Firefox's. I had some CSS classes linking to a couple of images on the web. These disappeared yesterday and the pages containing those CSS classes started to look ugly. I did not bother previously to save those images locally or on the web site and now I could not find them online.
One way to find them was to search local browser cache. These are the pages I have browsed almost every day and these images just had to be there somewhere on my local hard drive. I knew that Firefox cache gets artificial names and it is very hard to find something. Maybe there is an easier way that I am not aware of? Anyway, knowing the names of two image files I simply could not find them in the cache.
Later, I remembered that I also used Internet Explorer to browse these pages and I decided to look into IE cache, as well. Well, this was much better. Simple search through the cache folders found the two image files I needed. Had I remembered to search the IE cache this morning I would have saved hours of searching the internet for the same two files and browsing through Firefox browser cache.
I have to admit I prefer IE browser cache to Firefox for pure usability outside it's main purpose.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fake Progress Bar

Digital Volcano - Fake Progress Bar

Hahaha, this is a great thing. Goes along with the "Wally attitude" (the best character from Dilbert).

Windows PE 2.0

Windows PE 2.0: a tiny version of Windows for system maintenance

A new "boot floppy disk". This is something every system administrator should have. Well, everyone who could ever even try a recovery off a failed system. One of those things one doesn't need until it's too late. Just like backups.
Treat your computer as if its going to die tomorrow. :)

Ultimate Virtualization (for now)

VMware planning to make your OS irrelevant

This would be the ultimate virtualization of the desktop. A desktop independent of the hardware it is used to run on or the very operating system that runs it. This would be great as users need more and more of virtualization. Our desktops are becoming ever more important parts of our lives. My Documents is probably the most important folder ever, containing ever increasing part of our existence - sound files, pictures, documents, resumes, mail history, licence keys, what not... This is the folder that gets backed up and that has to survive whatever might happen to the operating system or the computer it is used on.
I'm using Microsoft's Mesh to backup and synchronize parts of My Documents folder but the service is not ready yet for the real thing. Subfolders are still creating problems and there are other glitches around. But eventually it will get there.
Now, the question is whether it will be there on time. :) Probably will as VMWare strategy is to develop in that direction in the coming years. Besides, the description of the vision goes along Microsoft's efforts to establish Mesh as exactly the same thing, more or less.
Obviously, Microsoft is too big to focus on one thing only. There is the new Windows (7) being announced and presented in its pre-beta form next month.

Looking forward to initiatives like this as I really need my personal things to be accessible anywhere and backed up.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Midwest, damn it - Travian?!

midwest: Do you write it or not?!

Ha, what a development. Yesterday I asked Midwest to write a few lines on his blog and so he did. The interesting part goes a little deeper. I've had some time after I came from holidays. I decided to slow down a bit and make more room for relaxation and recreation. So, I was more on the lookout rather than actively looking for a video game I would play. I haven't done that for a really long time so now I'm kind of missing it. The last thing I played was the Elder Scrolls IV - Oblivion and that was at least a year ago.
So, Midwest goes ahead and writes the post mentioning Travian. The initial description is just what I was looking for. With high internet availability it makes more sense to play a simple game online. So, the dice has rolled.
Here is the description on Wikipedia. I see there are domains in different parts of the world, so here is the Australian one.
OK, let's see what it's like... :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tracing SQL Queries

Tracing SQL queries using Profiler displays the queries that get actually sent to the SQL Server.
To see the SQL queries sent by a dataset or a data adapter turn on
- Stored Procedures, RPC:Starting
- TSQL, SQL:BatchStarting

Useful columns are
  • TextData, displays the SQL query
  • SPID
  • StartTime
  • HostName, the name of the computer which sent the query

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Clustered and Non-Clustered Index

An Introduction to Clustered and Non-Clustered Index Data Structures

I've found a good description and samples demonstrating clustered and non-clustered indices in SQL Server.
Generally, clustered index combines index and data into a single record while non-clustered index creates index separately, which links to the data page.
Practically, clustered indices are preferred if many rows are to be retrieved and if a range of data is to be retrieved (i.e. using BETWEEN).

As usual, one of the best theoretical sources is Wikipedia. See the page on index here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Code Access Security (CAS)

CodeProject: Code Access Security (CAS) and Design Patterns. Free source code and programming help
Code Access Security (CAS)
Code Access Security is a (relatively) new buzzword. The issue is that .Net framework offers code security, authentication and authorization of the executable code. A good article. This is something I need to look more into.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

O/R Mappers

I can't believe I'm working at a company that does not use ANY type of O/R mapping tool. Everything has to be done manually, through stored procedures. Makes me wanna cry. I feel like being back in the stone age...

.Net XML Best Practices

.NET XML Best Practices - Choosing an XML API

A good overview of XML processing support in .Net.

An Intro to XPath, XQuery, and XSLT

Comparing XSLT and XQuery

XSLT and XQuery are two parallel technologies that use XPath as an underlying language. Their functionality overlaps and they are targeted to different needs of developers.

XML Query - W3C page on XQuery. Good general overview.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Unit Testing ASP.Net with Visual Studio 2008

Joe Chung: Unit Testing ASP.NET with Visual Studio 2008

Here's something I'm looking into. There are testing frameworks included in .Net platform (unit testing, database testing, web testing). While I've used unit testing, the other two should be pretty interesting to investigate into.
I'll be looking into ASP.Net unit testing first.
From a short glance at the page the link above points to, I see that the testing framework is pretty simple and, seemingly, effective. I enjoy writing unit tests but also tests that represent real user behavior. This framework looks interesting.
I guess the database testing framework has its aces in the sleeve as well. Some database scripting capabilities would be useful, for example.
These three together should offer some amazing opportunities to test complete products, their data, and web presentation.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Here is a link to a brief overview of COM+. I have worked with Microsoft technologies, hence COM and COM+, but I never formally knew what the definition of COM+ was. There was Microsoft Transaction Server, DCOM, COM, ActiveX, .Net (as COM 2.0), the products exchanged names, were created, closed, resurrected, and so on. It's been confusing, to say the least.
Apart from the article on Wikipedia, I've found a nice and brief description of COM+ so I decided to post a link here. Also, here is Microsoft's COM page.

Probably the best short description would be the following:

"COM+ brought together the technology of COM components and the
application host of Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS). COM+
automatically handles difficult programming tasks such as resource
pooling, disconnected applications, event publication and subscription
and distributed transactions." (from Microsoft COM Page)

Friday, September 12, 2008


Codecs can create a nightmare if you want to watch movies. Before going on a holiday, I installed a codec pack so that I could watch any video without trouble. While this was the case, it also created different problems with Windows sound system and programs would crash at random. Uninstalling the codec pack helped and all the programs produce sound without problems and are not crashing anymore.
But, coming across a new video file encoded, Media Player does not play video but only sound. GSpot says codecs are there but still cannot render video. Partial render failure results.
Hence, here is the link to a site that contains links to different codecs and codec packs. In case someone needs something similar... :: Download latest audio codecs, video codecs, codec packs and tools, FREE!

Now I'm going to look for a free XVID codec and see if the video will render.

I installed the free XVid codec from and everything was OK.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ado.Net Data Services, Entity Framework, etc.

Using Microsoft ADO.NET Data Services
Playing around with the Entity Framework... Trying to expose the data model through a web service. Turns out that scenario is supported out-of-the-box. Using Ado.Net Data Services, the whole model is exposed as a web service in about a few minutes.
.AttachTo is the method should one wish to implement a custom interface. This is what we were trying to do until we found what we were missing the previous years.
This is quite amazing stuff and requires a bit of thinking of the best way to utilize the technology. At the moment I don't see too much use for it right now, unless one is building Ajax/JavaScript clients. I mean, all those features are available through proper set up of the database server, creation of tables, views, etc. Building a data model is one more step towards abstraction and the creation of business layer.
Spending some more time on research will be fun, I reckon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

SyncToy 2.0

There is the final version of SyncToy 2.0 available for download. It includes the Sync Framework installations. At the first glance it runs smoothly and behaves much better compared to the Beta version. Hm... I will run it in parallel to Unison in the following period and see if it returns as my sync tool of choice.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

SQL Statements or Stored Procedures

The eternal question. Here are a couple of recommended articles, though...,289483,sid87_gci1214541,00.html

and a useful discussion
stating that in the case I'm interested in, having parametrized queries produced by a generator (like Entity Framework), SQL statements work as well as stored procedures.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

SyncToy Replaced with Unison (again)

After coming back from holidays I found something has happened to the sync in my Mesh account. My files and folders were being deleted in the synchronization. There was also an updated version downloaded but the mess continued. That lasted for a few days. I had my backup copy on a spare drive so I was trying to get through the sync mess and get to a point where all the locations were in sync with the correct files from the backup.
Then the update came out, stating there was a bug in the previous version. Installed that and started handling conflicts. Some folders kept being deleted after I copy files back from backup. I found that it is easier to go to an online desktop and then rename one of the folders with the same name (which is what happens if there is a conflict) and then delete one of them on a PC, since they can not be deleted on the online desktop.

Along with all that mess I, then, wanted to get my PC and the external drive back in sync for backups. That was even messier. Both platforms use Microsoft Sync Framework so the mess continued. The initial settings were Echo but the problem is that, it appears, all the changes get propagated. Meaning, if I replaced some files with a backup copy I'd get a delete action for the backup copy. :S That would delete my only valid copy of the files. So I tried to set the action to Sync but then there was even more weird choices and half the files would get overwritten for no reason. I wonder why is there no binary comparison done and then only the date can get updated rather than to copy all the files over. I liked none of the options.
Also, some of the files were copied to the target directory with .1 being added to the name, adding to the confusion.

I, then used Total Commander, to sync the folders where dates did not matter as the files were not updated for some time now. This was quick and easy. But the sync solution was not working anymore. Fixing things with other software just made SyncToy useless now.

So I went back to using Unison. It was so comforting to go back to a tested and proven solution that I can't describe my joy. Simple config files providing total control over what gets or does not get copied. Control over what happens to each individual change. These are all life savers.
Maybe, when I get the files back in sync, I can continue with SyncToy's Echo option as I'd like to copy changes from my PC to the backup drive and not do an actual synchronization. That's one option missing in Unison. Actually, this can be achieved with forcing changes from the left to the right. And I would not even have to preview the changes. This could all be set up in a batch file. Hmmm. That seems even better than SyncToy. Well, the case is up for the Unison (again) and SyncToy is out once again. Maybe some next version will be more usable than the current 2.0 is.
Unison, wellcome back. Unison is not being actively developed but it works and there is no need to develop it further as it already contains a nice feature set expected from a sync program. Hope I can get my files back in order now.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


EDMS - Electronic Document Management System
Looking for some information on EDMS with SharePoint. Some related links to be contained here.

There are enough resources available on SharePoint online while now I'd like to see some solutions for EDMS.
Interwoven is a publisher of an EDMS product called WorkSite.

Wireless Future

Evolution to turbocharge wireless broadband

Just as I was reading the news on new wireless standards, my colleagues turned my attention to a recent news on wireless power transfer.

IDF's Coolest Demos: Robotics, Wireless Power, and More - Forward Thinking by Michael J. Miller

While I was on holidays I did not read or watch any news. That was the most refreshing aspect of holiday, right? Well, that's why I missed on this Intel's announcement. It appears this is a continuation of the work announced last year by MIT scientist with a Balkans origin. This time the power, transferred by using magnetic resonance, was used to power a 60-Watt light bulb. This looks more useful than what last year demonstration showed.

To anyone who is so excited by these news of wireless power transfer I'd recommend to research on Tesla's work and findings as people have been talking for a long time that Tesla has managed to transfer the power without wires long time ago but there are no known written traces to show that was done. There goes the whole conspiracy theory after that but I'd be inclined to believe he did it since it appears he was a natural-born genius in the field of electro-magnetic waves.

As for wireless networks and data transfer, I'm quite amazed to hear a forecast that the wireless technologies will advance faster than fiber technologies. This goes against the current Australian government's tender to create a fiber-optics network across Australia. Obviously, it would be better, in light of current announcements, to invest in wireless technologies to achieve Internet coverage in Australia.