Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Logitech H330 headset noise

Yesterday, I had a problem with my Logitech H330 headset. Out of nowhere the microphone started producing a static noise. What eventually solved my problem is to change the sample rate from 16 kHz (Tape Recorder Quality) to 32 kHz (FM Radio Quality). Here are the steps:





Monday, February 4, 2013

Embrace Tools

This blog post is a reply to Mark Seemann's warning: Beware of Productivity Tools. I suppose I fall in the category of those that "feel passionate about ReSharper" and I simply couldn't resist the temptation to share my passion.

My background is Java and in that environment there are plenty of IDEs a developer can choose from. Given that, you're encouraged to try them all and to select the tool that best does the job. Talking about an IDE (not Notepad), one of the smartest IDEs out there is IntelliJ IDEA by JetBrains. The guys at JetBrains have never left a Java developer breath, I think. With their constant improvements, there was always something to read about and learn. Simply amazed by their innovation and still waiting for some of the goodies to come to Visual Studio, like Auto-Save and Local History.

I switched to .NET only recently (1-2 years ago) but I still remember the initial frustration with Visual Studio. It was like using the good old Delphi IDE, where although you could do a lot of stuff pretty easy, there was some plumbing and manual coding of parts that can so easily be automated. At least from my experience with IntelliJ IDEA. Luckily, after a while I gave a try at ReSharper and found that the intelligence in the IDE can be found even within Visual Studio.

From my point of view, there aren't 100 best ways to program a piece of functionality. If you really look inside every different solution, one would always be better suited for the problem at hand. This is why Perl felt strange to me. I still remember how the teacher was excited that you can say the same thing in 4-5 ways. This isn't programming for me. This isn't optimized. It's more of poetry and language, and in this sense is more related to literature than to mathematics and physics. I don't say it's bad to want options and diversity, I just say I don't think this is the target of programming or engineering.

In this sense, when you write code, it's best to have tools that help you correct errors and prevent bugs. At first, Resharper is actually making you spend more time on your code. Because it tells you that this and that is not good. It asks you to refactor parts of the code, because there is a problem. It's productivity in the sense of quality, not quantity.

My guess is that this is the reason why Visual Studio 2012 got so many "productivity" features. It's just becoming outdated as an environment if they don't put them in.

Onto the final thoughts, learning Resharper as a productivity tool will first give you a better understanding of some of the inner-workings of the language. At some point, you always stumble upon a strange construct where Resharper will instruct you to do something. It's like a Senior Software Developer looking over your shoulder and giving you a hint. Because that's what it actually is. The guys at JetBrain, or even a normal Resharper user, finding a pattern and suggesting a good intention that can help out developers. If you haven't been to JetBrains bug tracking system, you wouldn't know. Complaining about Resharper is like complaining about the laws, or the cops. It's a system that by definition is there for good. Instead of waiting for the compiler to bomb out, you can get a warning instantly.

I like the ending phrase though. Good developers are not defined simply by the tool they use.

Now my post is not as polished as Mark's but I hope my point will be understood.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sitecore Social Connected 1.3.0 Add Account issue (fixed)

While configuring the Sitecore Social Connected module (v1.3.0 rev.121016) in a new installation, I bumped into the following problem. When I try to add a new network account, the wizard page that allows me to select the application is empty:



After struggling for a while, I figured out that the form is not initializing well and noticed that the Back button is enabled. It turns out that the option to  "Always skip the first page of wizards" is interfering. You need to click the Back button and you're taken to the Welcome page:   


Now you click Next and the form initializes correctly with the network selected and applications drop down loaded:


Update Dec 4, 2012:
The issue is fixed in Sitecore Social Connected 1.3.1 rev. 121129 released on Nov 29. The bullet states:
A network account couldn't be created using the wizard if 'Always skip the first page of wizards' check box was selected (375796). 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Evolution of Evolution Theory

It was a pretty big revelation for me to find out that Evolution Theory is not something that popped up a few hundred years ago. Darwin's role is much more recent and as the American zoologist and paleontologist George Simpson stated, "Darwin... finally and definitely established evolution as a fact."

Before this fact being acknowledged by a modern scientific community, a lot of men of science have written about their observations. This comes only to confirm the saying that all new is well-forgotten old. The detail that old men have managed to reach is amazing. They went as far as recognizing apes as our closest relatives.

The first source that came into my sight to support all this is interestingly enough of Arabic origin, The Muqaddimah. Here's an excerpt:

This is the case with the simple material elements; it is the case with palms and vines, (which constitute) the last stage of plants, in their relation to snails and shellfish, (which constitute) the (lowest) stage of animals. It is also the case with monkeys, creatures combining in themselves cleverness and perception, in their relation to man, the being who has the ability to think and to reflect. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muqaddimah#Biology)
A quick search on Wikipedia will get you to an article with a History of evolutionary thought. So we currently know that as far as Anaximander of Miletus (c. 610 – c. 546 BC) goes, there has been something close to evolutionary thought. I hope we find even older sources but even this is enough to see the emergence of thinking, free of the supernatural in relation to human beings.





Thursday, July 21, 2011

Evolution of intelligence

I just read an interesting article covering a project for artificial neural network created from DNA.

What is even more interesting is a slide from the presentation of the research:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgGBZZYEm_Y&t=3m59s

It's fascinating that intelligence is "devolved" to simple molecule interactions. This reminds me of how the computer is brought to life by one of nature's tools: the human.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

В крак с времето

Направете си фланелка, PSD и EPS файловете са достъпни тук:
http://www.bulblog.com/?p=3410

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nokia 6120 classic with Nokia (Ovi) Maps 3

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this article is strictly for educational purposes! I cannot guarantee that the described files work for everybody.


My Nokia 6120 classic has just regained its smartphone title in my eyes :) After installing iON BatteryTimer FREE v1.05 (which I recommend to everybody) from Ovi Store a month ago, today I managed to update the very limited Nokia Maps 2.0 software to Nokia (Ovi) Maps 3.01 :)

The sudden impulse to look again for an update of the Maps software, although several unsuccessful attempts to update it through Nokia Ovi Suite, came after reading the following discussion:
http://discussions.europe.nokia.com/t5/Maps-Navigation-and-GPS/Nokia-Maps-2-0-3-0-Install-Error-Nokia-6120-Navigator-DENY/td-p/462375


Someone has managed to update the program by changing the certificate with a self-signed and going around the limitation imposed on Nokia 6120 classic.

The first step was to get the .sis file. I didn't want to bother hacking Ovi Suite and extracting the file from there so I looked directly on the Internet. After playing for a few minutes with the Maps support page I concluded that there were a lot of versions of the software. There was also Nokia Maps 3.0x for S60 3.1 devices which sounded nice. I found an interesting devices_ovi_maps-support.xml file giving the download URL of each version.

My original install package was:
http://nds1.nokia.com/files/support/global/phones/software/Nokia_Maps_2.0_4503_3.1.sis

There were several candidates for updating to 3.x. I tried to get the latest version but the certificate didn't match. Here is the URL:
http://nds1.nokia.com/files/support/global/phones/software/nokia_maps_3.03_10wk11_b04_s60_3.1_rom.Nocs.sis (for Nokia E71)

I then tried 3.01 and bingo:
http://nds1.nokia.com/files/support/global/phones/software/nokia_maps_3.01_09wk44_b01_s60_3.1_lm.sis (non-rom)

I don't know what is the difference but there is also a rom version.
http://nds1.nokia.com/files/support/global/phones/software/nokia_maps_3.01_09wk44_b01_s60_3.1_lm_rom.sis (rom: E90, N95 8GB, N95, N82, N81 8GB, N81)

The installation of nokia_maps_3.01_09wk44_b01_s60_3.1_lm.sis started. It asked as usually for confirmations, also if I want to update my v2.0 to v3.01, and in the end it said it's done. I started Nokia Maps 3 and it said that it will delete my old maps, I confirmed. Maps started with a blank map. I connected the phone to Ovi Suite and it showed a link to update the maps and navigation on the phone. Once this process  was over I downloaded the new Bulgaria map (~31 MB) on the phone. I started Nokia Maps again et voila :)

Now I have not only Sofia but Plovdiv and other Bulgarian cities and even villages. It's also a lot faster! :) Nokia Energy Profiler shows 42 MB idle vs 45.4 MB with Nokia Maps 3.01. I read that I shouldn't run other programs together with Maps 3.01 as it can block the application but I don't see a problem for now.

Ah, what a beautiful night for science :)