Prince Bernhard buried in Delft
Saturday, December 11, 2004, 19:30 - The News
Today Prince Bernhard, the father of the Dutch queen was buried in the Royal Tomb Cellar in the New Church here in Delft. He died on December 1, 2004, age 93.

Even though this is the third royal burial in just over two years (Prince Claus, the husband of the queen died in October 2002 and her mother, Queen Juliana died in March of this year), it still is a very impressive ceremony, which we are not very used to here in The Netherlands. Especially now there were extra military honors as Prince Bernhard played an important role for Dutch resistance in World War II and attended the capitulation of the Germans on May 5, 1945.
The Royal Netherlands Air Force performed a fly-past in a Missing Man Formation, where a Spitfire broke out of the formation with three F16 fighter aircraft as they flew over the coffin on the Markt in Delft.
Prince Bernhard also helped to establish the World Wildlife Fund in 1961.

I work in The Hague, adjacent to the route the horses take, in this case with the coffin on an undercarriage of a canon used in WWII, from The Hague to Delft. So last two times we stepped out of the office to watch the cortege pass by. Very impressive.
Today I stayed at home, because it is very crowded in the city of Delft, and it is very hard to see anything. I watched it all on TV.

After a remembrance service in the New Church, the coffin was brought into the cellars, to find its final resting place next to his former wife, the previous Queen Juliana. Afterwards the cellars will be closed again. The only thing the public can see there is the mausoleum of William of Orange, the "Father of the Fatherland".

I wish Queen Beatrix and the Royal family much strength in handling these losses in such short time.

Thursday, December 9, 2004, 02:29 - Programming
Today I continued with my Outlook plugin in .NET project. All required features are now present and there even is a configuration screen to edit the settings and store them in the Windows Registry. So now I have two buttons in the Outlook standard bar: one to perform the actual action and one to display the configuration screen.

I thought it would be cool to combine these into a so called msoControlSplitButtonPopup, just like e.g. the New Mail button in Outlook or the font color selection in Word: when you press the button the default action occurs but when you click the little down arrow on the right hand side of the button, a menu pops up and you can select other actions.

After a lot of experimenting and googling I unfortunately came to the conclusion that this is not possible. This specific button type is only available to Microsoft itself, they did not make it available through the addin API. The customer doesn't mind because he is already happy with the functionality I offered him, but it would have been very cool to have it under a single split button popup....

I'm still thinking about what other possible MS Office addin I could make, because I am very enthousiastic about it and would love to play around with this material some more. I'm also interested to play around with .NET Remoting so perhaps something challenging will come up involving a client-server setup.....

Virtual Bartender Commands
Wednesday, December 8, 2004, 03:06 - Humor
The link to my Virtual Bartender Commands page seems to be quite popular, according to the hits I get from Google / Yahoo / MSN, so I made it into a static SPHPBlog file instead of the loose HTML file that it was.

Now people can see that there is more to this site than just that single page :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2004, 05:57 - Humor
Look closely at below image for about 15 seconds and you WILL see a giraffe. It really works always!

Maarten Nijhoff
Sunday, December 5, 2004, 21:05 - Personal
Today I came across a great website of a fellow Dutchman: Maarten Nijhoff. I especially liked his photography section, with albums of all kinds of trips he made. But the website itself is made beautifully as well.
Have a look at it, and see if you love it as much as I do!

Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0 RC1
Sunday, December 5, 2004, 04:18 - Software
Today I saw an announcement for the first 1.0 Release Candidate of Mozilla Thunderbird, an email reader. Besides a POP3 and IMAP email client it also is a RSS feed reader, so I can use it to easily monitor my main sources of news (both in Dutch): for general news and for the technical news.

So far, I like it. It seems to do everything one would expect from a modern email client and the RSS reading is going fine as well. Haven't tried out newsgroup reading yet.

I also use Mozilla Firefox nowadays as web browser and like it as well. I especially like the tabbed browsing windows, e.g. when googling for something and clicking on a few links so they can all load before I start reading them.

Outlook plugin in .NET
Friday, December 3, 2004, 14:32 - Programming
Yesterday at work I created an MS Outlook plugin using Microsoft Visual Studio .NET! The basics are incredibly simple, just create a new addin project and select which Office application you want to create the addin for.
Then came the harder part: adding a button to the toolbar. I found an example, but somewhere along the way it stopped removing the buttons when I shut down Outlook, so now I have over half a dozen of stale buttons that cannot be deleted anymore :(
I finally found out that you can also add buttons non-permanently. So everytime Outlook shuts down, this button is removed again. Just what I want!

Then came the actual business: connecting to a database, fetching data from it, creating new emails with attachments and marking the emails as sent in the database. In my case the emails need to remain in the Drafts folder as they must manually be signed with PGP , but you could also send them immediately. Then you could also add a timer to the project and have emails sent comletely automatically as long as an instance of Outlook is open....

The more I work with .NET, the more respect I gain for it... In the early days I was skeptical about MS duplicating Java in their own way: limiting a cross-platform environment to Windows only. But now that I have worked with it some more, and also came across some limitations of Java, I think they did a pretty good job! For Windows application development it definitely is very decent.

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