Posts tagged use

NightCap for iOS

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I just wanted to briefly share my first experience with an app called NightCap which promises to take better pictures in low-light situations than the standard iOS Camera-App through the longer exposure time it uses to take them.

Here you can see a picture taken with the standard app for taking photos at almost night-time:

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And here’s a picture taken under the same conditions using NightCap:

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Looking at this light source in the upper right of the pictures it seems obvious that this single-purpose app wont be suitable for use in normal, let alone sunlighted situations because the app makes light sources look much brighter than they really are but overall the second picture seems far more usable than the first one, especially considering that these pictures have been taken with the rather crappy rear-camera of an iPad 2.

ARM-Chip cuts OLPC-XO Power Consumption in Half

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“While the availability of power in certain regions of the world cannot be solved by the OLPC, it can improve upon the power use of the XO Laptop. And with v1.75 they have managed to half that power use. The reason this has been made possible is the move to use an ARM rather than an x86 processor. So now rather than drawing 4 watts of power, the XO-1.75 draws 2 watts. The new chip being used is a 1GHz Armada 610 from Marvell.”

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Windows Server 2008 On-the-fly Memory Expansion

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Since I had a Windows Server 2008 x64 Virtual Machine configured in my VMware Workstation and a Product Key from MSDN that I didn’t use I decided to try one of the cool features Server 2008 brings to a wide variety of new and even some old motherboards out there. I’m talking about its “Hot-add-Memory” feature.

So as I start this Virtual Machine up I have it configured with 1024MB (or 1GB) of RAM (click on image for original):

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And now I want to expand this Server’s RAM without having to restart the whole system. I honestly don’t know if that’s that common of a use case out there in the real world but nevertheless it’s something that’s possible technology-wise and I think Linux has had it far earlier than Windows so here goes:

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Hot-Swapping RAM is something that’s also included in more expensive versions of Server 2008 (like Datacenter) but in the Enterprise version which we have here all we can do is expand the RAM, not reduce it (see red box). So I pull the slider up to 2048 MB (or 2GB) to double my RAM and click “OK”.

What happened then wasn’t entirely what I was hoping for. VMware Workstation saved the Virtual Machine’s state first, then the Screen went black for a second and then it came back immediately and everything was exactly as I left it, so I guess this was just a precaution of VMware rather than something that was absolutely necessary. Then it took another few seconds for Windows to recognize the additional RAM and this was what I ended up with:

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As you can tell from the red boxes in the first and the last picture (and the immense drop of the blue curve in the last picture) the RAM has been added without any shutdown of the system.

For Companies who need this, Windows Server 2008 Enterprise is definitely not too expensive to buy although it could be cheaper of course. This feature is not exclusive to the latest and greatest hardware either so the additional cost in hardware shouldn’t be too high either. Contrary to a Linux Server it offers an Administrator the possibility of deploying Microsoft Exchange Services natively and it enables them to install the wide variety of Software that’s out there for Windows.

Apple User Accounts, iPhone Development

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So for my day off after yesterday’s “C# for Windows Mobile” exam I decided to join some colleagues of a higher semester as they start a brand-new course – which has its premiere here at University of Applied Sciences Hagenberg right now and maybe among all Univeristies of Austria – concerning iPhone Development.

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When I entered the laboratory in which the entire course will be held, I encountered some new hardware which was acquired by the University some time in February already and obviously has found its primary use now. During the lecture I realised that all the students who are signed for the course could log in to the Mac Minis with their Active Directory Accounts the University provides them. As we all either know or can find out from the Link, Active Directory is a service by Microsoft that enables you to store user accounts including their files on a Windows Server so the respective users can log in from any computer and use them alike.

Prior to my research on the internet I did not know that Active Directory and Open Directory (from Apple) can interact with eachother at all. I was scared that some Administrator actually created those accounts one by one including their passwords, which would mean that I am not the only one who has legal access to my password (assuming that the Administrators of a System I use can do whatever they want with my data). My Research however showed at least some calming results. Active and Open Directory can be used in combination but there have to be both a Windows Server and a Mac OS X Server running on the network. It does seem to be very complicated to accomplish the wanted results though. What I also know is that others at University have already used Macintosh Computers for video cutting or other creativity related things, so it only seems logical that they have been using the possibility to log into their accounts from both Operating Systems all along.

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When I tried it out myself the login went smoothly as you’d expect it. I still hope that no one has access to my password in plain-text but in the end I also know that I can be the only one held responsible for my own security, so how far I want to go with my paranoia defines how vulnerable my digital personality is.

And of course the conclusion of all this is that everyone who uses Computers without exception has to be aware of this.

have a nice weekend

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