21. June 2005 00:35
This is a follow up on my post about Listening to Podcasts
. I went ahead and developed a small application that grabs the podcast files and moves them to the removable media card. Here is a little idea on what it does.
- Tests to be sure the destination folder (removable media card) is available
- Looks for files of type MP3 in the source folder walking all the directories
- If a file is found verifies that enough room is on the destination folder
- Copies the file to the destination
- Removes the file from the source
- When all files are processed it looks for empty directories in the source directory and deletes them
All I have to do when I am done with listening to the podcast on my Dell is delete it. The only problem I have left is that the Windows Media Player does not support bookmarks.
Room for improvement:
Currently the application must be launched manually and pass into it the source and destination directories. It would be nice to have a service that just watches the source folder for new files and process them as they come in. The program looks for mp3 files only. It would be nice to add support for other media files.
5. March 2005 06:27
I have been listening to several podcasts over the last couple of months. I have to say I am hooked on some of the technical shows. Whenever I am in the car I listen to a podcast. The radio in my car is rarely tuned on. I use a Dell Axim x50v
with Media Player 10 and iPodder
1.1.4. I have been spending a lot of time trying to get the content to synchronise correctly. I am not sure if it is iPodder, Media player or my Active Sync program that has problems with this. But for some reason at times I noticed podcasts that are on my PC but are not on my Pocket PC. I think there is an update to Active Sync I do not have so I am going to try this first to solve my problem.
I have a few grips on this setup
- There needs to be a purge podcasts after x days setting.
- Finding new podcasts on the device is a real pain. Need a playlist that can be settup to show podcasts added in the last x days.
- Organizing podcasts with playlists is a real pain.
- Deleting podcasts on the Pocket PC should delete it from the PC. I don't want the podcast once I hear it and I listen to 90% of them on the Pocket PC.
- I need bookmarks. Stopping a podcast and starting it later is a pain.
- The media center interface is clunky. I have to click too many menu items to get to a playlist.
- The buttons and the screen on the Pocket PC are way too easy to bump while listening to a podcast.
I found one product that made finding podcasts on the pocket PC while driving real easy. Voice Command
from Microsoft. However I am not convinced I want to stick with Microsoft Media Player just yet, so I have not purchased Voice Command. The trial version worked out very well. I could ask the device to play music and it would come back with questions that would lead me down to a particular play list. Once in a play list I could easily skip ahead to next tracks without taking my eyes off the road.
3. March 2005 06:07
Well I signed up for the CodeCamp
that is coming to Charlotte, NC on April 30th 2005. Early registration was opened to Developers Guild
members. There are only 200 seats so I was glad I got in early. I have never attended a CodeCamp
before but as I look at the Session Lineups of other CodeCamp
s I think I will not be let down. It was announced at the Developers Guild
meeting this month that Design Patterns was the top track requested so far on the polls they did.
18. February 2005 18:20
Well I finally got around to checking out Vault by SourceGear. I used to be an avid source safe user for a long time. I have even used SourceGear's SourceOffSite for a while on a project for BattleBots. However I have been forced to use PVCS at my day job. I have never liked the client for PVCS and now that I work virtual I dislike it even more. I won't go into details about why I dislike PVCS because this post is about Vault.
Some reasons I chose Vault:
- Free for single users
- Works on SQL Server
- Built on .Net Built with remote users in mind
- Seems to be getting good reviews from users
- Works a lot like source safe (from a functionality perspective). Have I mentioned how much I hate PVCS :)
- Integrated with a Bug Tracking program also authored by Sourcegear
You can see some other good reasons why to use Vault over Source Safe from Eric Sink CEO of Source Gear.
Installing Vault on my local machine was a real breeze. Installing it on WebHosts4Life was a little trickier, but not that bad at all. Using the client application has been a real joy. I have used it off and on for 2 weeks now and I have to say it has some cool built in features. It is also very responsive as far as I can tell. I don't have any real big projects under source control yet, but just using it with what I have is very fast.
Some of the coolest features I like:
- Adding new files by folder with file extension filtering (already tailored for .Net development).
- Showing what source is out of sync due to changes made localy or in the repository.
- Merging local files with repository files is a breeze when local changes where modified without the source being checked out. All you have to do is check out the files and an automatic merge can be done.
- Searching for files by many options
- Treating check ins as one complete transaction (although I don't see how to place new files in this transaction, but that is not really necesary)
All in all I would highly recommend Vault to anyone. If I ever get a project that requires multiple developers I will definantely be using Vault as my source control program.
I am in the process of adding NAnt tasks for Vault command line operations. I know I can do this already by using the NAnt exec task but I wanted to capture the errors and success state that comes back as xml from the Vault command and expose them as properties that can be acted appon within NAnt build scripts.
30. December 2004 07:16
I think the Creating Desktop Application Remote Controls with the .NET Compact Framework (Part 1) article will prove to be helpful when I begin to build my Home Automation project. The Pocket PC can act as a remote for my entire system.
Couple things I might have it do:
- Play audio
- Control video equipment
- Turn on/off lights
- Enable/Disable the security system
10. December 2004 04:33
I have run into the "Failed To Enable Constraint" exception many times while using datasets. I always find it to be a very tedious job to determine what the actual error is. Here is a good post
that shows how to trouble shoot this problem.
10. December 2004 04:25
I like to have one solution with multiple projects that compile DLL's to a common folder that all other progects reference. The problem is that VS.Net locks the DLLs. Well this article
tells how to get around this.
10. December 2004 03:47
I got a chance to try out SendMSN just a few minutes ago and I wanted to pass along my input.
The binaries are built on .Net 1.1 so I was unable to use it on my work machine since we are stuck on 1.0 Framework for now. I suppose I could have recompiled it on 1.0 but I wanted to give it a spin right from the download.
The configuration is very simple. All you need is your screen name and MSN Messenger login information.
The command line options are easy to use also. /m:"my message" /r:firstname.lastname@example.org
You can even use the Emoticons in the message. The recipient must have you on his/her buddy list or else the message will not get to them.
- Caller ID notification for Home Automation
- Stock Allerts
- IP Address change notification
- Home Automation Alerts
- The door bell rang. A URL could be sent along in the message that can take me directly to my video camera pointing at the front door.
- The Home Security detected a break in My home
- Video cameras detected motion
- The snail mail arrived
- Build notifications
- Message was left on my answering machine
Since SendMSN needs to log into the Messenger, send the message and log out of Messenger there can be a delay before the message actauly reaches the destination. I might want to create a Windows Service that stays logged into Messenger to speed up the notifications for things like Security alerts.
I noticed that SendMSN can detect if the recipient is online or not. I may want to change the code so that a message can be guaranteed delivery. If the recipient is offline wait for him/her to come online and then send the message. I may also want to email the message if the recipient is offline.