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.

Some wise lessons...
Wednesday, December 1, 2004, 03:40 - Humor
A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold, the bird froze and fell to the ground in a large field. While it was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on it.
As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, it began to realize how warm it was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.
A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him!

1) Not everyone who drops shit on you is your enemy.
2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
3) And when you're in deep shit, keep your mouth shut!

Trackback enabled SPHPBlog
Sunday, November 28, 2004, 19:38 - Software
Today I released a Trackback enabled version of SPHPBlog!
More info can be found here.

Mobile cranes
Saturday, November 27, 2004, 16:55 - Personal

For some reason I have an incredible fascination with mobile cranes. Yesterday I came across "Giant Cranes" on Discovery Channel, and I was hooked right again. Especially the Spierings Folding Cranes are absolutely totally awesome!
I started looking for some miniatures on the internet. Apparently they are called diecast models and with that search term I found some models. The most interesting one is this one. But I'm yet undecided whether I am really interested in buying a diecast model. The real life ones are so much more impressive!

Virtual Bartender Game
Wednesday, November 24, 2004, 21:25 - Humor
Here is a funny Virtual Bartender. You can give her commands that she then will perform. Not all commands are beer related...
Some examples: phone / play / dance / shoot / hold / love / jump / serve / crush / flash / sing / fight / kick / swirl / handstand / push up

Spoiler: overview of all commands that are implemented :)

Exit VCR - enter DVD and harddisk
Tuesday, November 23, 2004, 23:46 - The News
Due to lack of demand, the Dixons chain has decided to stop selling VCRs. Here is a nice story about the history of the VCR.

While the film industry in the sixties feared the recorder (like they now fear the internet...) it turned out that in the end they made more money out of selling tapes then the made in movie theaters.
The recorder also improved the quality of late night programs, as there now was a larger potential audience.

Nowadays, DVD and harddisk recorders are extremely popular. I myself am still undecided on what exact solution I want for harddisk recording. I'm not really keen on introducing a PC in the living room, as I am afraid the noise will annoy me, even with the silent solutions that are available nowadays.

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