Sunday, December 31, 2006

ToDoList - a free to do list manager (windows desktop)

ToDoList, from AbstractSpoon software, is self-defined as "A simple but effective way to keep on top of your tasks".

I like this app a lot, and I'm using it (following the continuous new releases) from a year or so, and I'm happy with it.

You can read about it both on the Abstract Spoon site and on the codeproject page.

The app is free, under a creative commons license, and you can also download the source code, also hosted on codeproject.

MyLife Organized - desktop and mobile app

I found this Time Management software, and I'm interested mainly because it features both a desktop and a Pocket PC version.

For Desktop exists also offer a completely free release, but it's not "feature complete" (I think it's an older release of the product).

Here's the link:

And here are some mobile screenshots:

The feature list is impressive, and the whole thing is based on the GTD - Getting Things Done "technology" (see here on wikipedia).

The app is capable to sync with Outlook/Exchange, and the Pocket Pc can sync with the (Professional) desktop edition thru Active Sync.

But the cost of the software is high... and even if I'm interested, I know that I will not spend $77.95 fot it (in this price both versions of the program - pocket pc and desktop - are comprised).

Anyhow, if you're looking for a good time management software, give a look to MyLifeOrganized.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Have fun with this creative use of google maps and of letter-shaped buildings around the world... :-)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Google Notebook

I just discovered Google Notebook, and it looks promising.
To use it you need a (for IE) 170kb browser addon, and if you want to give a look to a tutorial, you can go here.
The main use of Google notebook is to collect information ("web clips") from differente sources, mainly web pages. Then you can access what you collected, and organize them as you like.
The main thing to observe here is that this useful feature is... google-based!!! I mean that every single byte you insert into your notebooks is stored on Google computers - I do not mean that it can be considered "public", but I will not send my credit card number out there... ;-)

Let me know if you decide to use it, and your opinion!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

.Net vs J2EE

Interesting read from David Chappell's blog.

just a quote from this post:
"(...) His firm, like all the big software houses, is happy to build the solution using either .NET or J2EE--it's up to the customer. But if the customer chooses .NET, the price is 28% less than if the customer chooses to build the same solution on J2EE."

Friday, December 22, 2006


kdice is an online multiplayer game, similar to Risiko!

be careful, it's quite addictive...

have fun!

Free screen capture from Ilium Software

Here you can find a simple (yet useful) screen capture program, From Ilium Software.

Here's a sample of a catptured screen from my device:


The use of this app is really straightforward; you can choose which key will be used to take screenshot, and the number of seconds before the screenshot will be taken.

Then the program remains in the background. When you're done, you can find your the screenshots in the device's file system root, in .bmp format.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

blogger - no more in beta!

well, maybe you already know this - but has completed the switch to the new release, after some months of beta testing.

so... this blog is no more in beta! :-)

I found only today, and it's a pity.

I used for a while for sharing some ideas (written in a document) with some friends of mine, and it looked cool - but now that I discovered zoho I really think that all my sharing will happen there!

Zoho has a unique (as far as I know) range of (free!!!) services: a word processing (capable to publish on main blogging system, like blogger), a wonderful wiki, a spreadsheet, planner, a chat, a presentation tool... probably I miss something.

I think that quality of all this is far superior to google's - but how many of you did hear anything on zoho in the past months? Ehehe, it's a strange world...

I like zoho - you will too! Try it!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

On you can have access to tons of free ad-supported games for your mobile platform.
They have games ported to hundreds (I read somewhere 8 hundreds) of different phones.

happy (free) playing!

Monday, December 18, 2006

smaato - windows mobile apps

On you can find a couple of really good - and free - Windows Mobile apps.

Smaato Cost is a mobile cost tracking software, with tons of features, fully configurable, even with csv export of traffic data... really well done, please go and test it, you won't be disappointed.

Smaato News is a mobile RSS reader, and it works; it has a good and well designed user interface, I like it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Microsoft releases ASP.NET Ajax 1.0 RC

Microsoft released a few days ago the RC for ASP.NET Ajax 1.0.

Here's the link:

And if you do not know this, this is the link to a very interesting ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit sample website:

Apollo (from Adobe Labs)

Hey, I didn't know about this (I admit)

But this Apollo thing... I don't understand yet if it will be a hit or not.

Read the Apollo FAQ - the main description tells us that:
"Apollo is the code name for a cross-operating system runtime being developed by Adobe that allows developers to leverage their existing web development skills (Flash, Flex, HTML, JavaScript, Ajax) to build and deploy Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) to the desktop"

So what? Give to web client developers the chance to develop for the pc - even if they don't know anything of windows applications, c#, .net, or c++ ?

Let's see what comes out. I suspend my judgement ;-) 

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Pitagora Suicchi (Pitagora's Switch)

Have some fun looking at these video - some Rube Goldberg's Contraptions, but from Japan!!!

For an explanation... see Wikipedia:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Anti-Google FAQ

This is funny. Answers to questions like "I have a hard time spending all my AdSense income... what to do?"


Windows Live Writer - a desktop app for your blog

Recently I started using Windows Live Writer (Beta) to create the post you're reading.

It's a desktop application for Windows, and the main characteristics are:

- works with windows live spaces, but also with Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress, and others

- wysiwyg editor

- you can post images and "live local" maps

It works, I have all my blogs fed with this app, and i'm happy with it. You can have a "web preview", or modify html directly.

Yesterday I switched my blogs to, and Live Witer didn't manage to write anything on them... so I checked and actually they posted a new release that works with the new api spec from

Thanks... :-)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Another interesting site (thanks kfra for inviting); the idea is to have a single web links repository, searchable (every link is taggable). And you can share your links (or parts of them) with other users of the site.

You can also have a button on IE toolbar to "Dot This" - in other words you can post any link to bluedot as you visit a site.

I'm going to use it for a while, and I'll invite other friends... At present it looks useful and interesting, let's see...

on BlueDot I'm here:  

Swivel, another graph

Here we go again...


Saturday, December 09, 2006

My first Swivel graph!!!

Here it is...


But I'll make others!!! It's really fun !!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Adobe Flash Lite 2.1.1 for Mobile Devices

On this page: you can find the latest releases of the Flash Lite 2.1 player for various mobile platforms, including Windows Mobile 5.0 (bot smartphone and PocketPc) and Symbian.

Swivel - it's online!

Yes, I really like this site.

Go to and see how some temperature data in Fresno correlate to profits in electric utilities!!!

In these first days it looks like the server's site have some problems... and I hope that there will be some way to select useful data from useless uploads - but the idea is really good!!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

This is quite difficult... but!!!

The title is "How Google Finds Your Needle in the Web's Haystack" - and it's about the Google Pagerank algorithm. hard to understand for me, but it's interesting.

Here is it:

from Francesco Balena's blog

A wonderful regular expression tester!!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Windows Live Search Beta for Mobile

This is cool. I installed it and it work perfectly; it's a pity that traffic coverage is not present on the area I live in... that's Milan, Italy.

But if you have a Windows Mobile phone or a Java J2ME enabled one, go and get it!!!

Let me know... :) - mouseover href preview

You'll have noticed that if you pass your mouse over the links in this page, a little site preview shows up; it's a (free) functionality offered by

I think it's really nice. Don't you?

The service is described here. - keep an eye on this, look promising and interesting :-) is going to have an important place in my links collection.
The "YouTube for Data" is a good claim, but read here - TechCrunch says it all.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Survival: sql, update a table with values from another table

Often I have to update a table column with values taken from another table.

Since everytime I write this from scratch, and I'm lazy, I write it down here!

UPDATE table_one
SET column_one = ( SELECT table_two.column_two
 FROM table_two
    FROM table_two
    WHERE =;

Survival: c#, calculate Age given a Birthdate

Need a c# function to calculate an "age" (number of full years) given a Birthdate?
Since I find it really useful... here it is:

public static int GetAge(DateTime BirthDate)
    // get the difference in years
    int years = DateTime.Now.Year - BirthDate.Year;
    // subtract another year if we're before the birth day in the current year
    if (DateTime.Now.Month < BirthDate.Month || (DateTime.Now.Month == BirthDate.Month && DateTime.Now.Day < BirthDate.Day))

    return years;

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Survival: sending mail using telnet

This is useful, and I'm not able to learn the command sequence correctly... so I'm writing this post for the next time I'll need this!!!

1. Open a telnet connection to a mail server:
telnet mail.domain.ext 25
If the server is reachable and ready, it should reply something like:

Trying ???.???.???.???...
Connected to mail.domain.ext.
Escape character is '^]'.
220 mail.domain.ext ESMTP Sendmail ?version-number?; ?date+time+gmtoffset?

2. Now let's define the domain from which you'll send this email:
It's better if you use you exactly qualifid domain name. The answer should be:
250 mail.domain.ext Hello [], pleased to meet you

3. Now your email address:
MAIL FROM: mail@domain.ext
Should yield:
250 2.1.0 mail@domain.ext... Sender ok
If not, there could be possible problems.

4. Now let's give the recipients address:
RCPT TO: mail@otherdomain.ext
This Should yield:
250 2.1.0 mail@otherdomain.ext... Recipient ok
If not, there could be possible problems.

5. To start composing the message issue the command DATA:

6. If you want a subject for your email type
Subject:-type subject here-
then press enter twice.

7. You may now proceed to type the body of your message

8. To tell the mail server that you have completed the message enter a single "." on a line on it's own.
The mail server should reply with:
250 2.0.0 ???????? Message accepted for delivery

9. You can close the connection by issuing the QUIT command.
The mailserver should reply with something like:
221 2.0.0 mail.domain.ext closing connection
Connection closed by foreign host.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Survival series - Sql Server, Stored Procedures with non mandatory parameters

With this post I begin the "Survival Series", i.e. some post with answers to little recurring problems that recurringly make many people waste a lot of times "reinventing the wheel".
Really little things, but useful, that I encounter in my programming life :-).

Let's start with this: How can I have a stored procedure with sime parameters that are actually "non-mandatory" ?
Well, this is really easy... but often I see people crash their heads on this "easy" subjects.
Let's see an example: I have the need to call a "search" stored procedure, that accepts 3 parameters (2 varchars and 1 integer) and based on these 3 values must query some tables and return the corresponding resultset; but from the calling app I can have only one, or two, or three values on these parameters.
What I write is (say we have a "Pubs" table):

@txtCriteria VARCHAR(30),
@txtYear VARCHAR(4),
@idArgument INT

where 1=1
AND (@txtCriteria IS NULL OR Content like '%' + @txtCriteria + '%')
AND (@txtYear IS NULL OR PubYear = @txtYear)
AND (@idArgument IS NULL OR Argument = @idArgument)
ORDER BY PubYear desc


As you can see in the Where part, with the three "OR" I can easily manage calls like:

EXEC dbo.SearchPub NULL, '2006', NULL
EXEC dbo.SearchPub "searching for this", NULL, 3

Hope this can be useful... Bye

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Search engines with graphic snapshots: PageBull and Snap

Recently I read about this and
Both this two search engines show a preview of the page returned by the search, a graphinc one. A sort of snapshot.

This is interesting; sure they will not become my main search engine, but I'm sure that I'll use them quite often. I work in the web development field, and having a fast way to compare different sites, or to have a fast look at competitive sites could be a quite good resource.

pagebull has less "textual" information and fills the entire browser window with snapshots; snap is more "traditional" and shows a links list (with textual info) on the left, and a single graphical preview (related to the focused result) on the right.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Google Master Plan

This is really fun: the zoomable Google Master Plan

Also have a look at this list of "ideas" read out of the Plan:

Doppler: podcast (rss) aggregator for Mobile

Doppler is another rss aggregator for Windows, both Desktop and Mobile. Actually the Mobile version is in Beta right now, but since it looks promising, I'll keep an eye on it.
Today I installed the Beta 3 reease and it works, but it has some problems: it goes nuts with posts containing images - it starts rendering, then after a wile it goes random refreshing over and over the screen.
Anyway, here's the link to the download page:

I'll post again any news on this software.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

.Net Framework 3 released

.Net Framework 3 has been released,
read here.

need free software?

every day a commercial licensed software package - only for 24 hours...
uhm... I like presents, I think I'll give a look :-)

mozilla minimo, browser for windows mobile

From you can download Minimo, a Mozilla porting for Windows Mobile devices.
I have it, and actually I use it a lot (even if I still have IE as the default browser).
What I like about it:
- tabbed browsing
- some sites are rendered in a better way than IE (for example the google adsense site, on IE I cannot login...)
- a better use of the display space.

Looks a bit slow on the first startup... but it's a good app.


I'm using HubDog from some time, and I'm quite happy with it.
It delivers a sort of RSS feed reader, with a good user interface, it's stable, and it can consume also audio/video *casts.

Hundog is "hubdog - centric", in the sense that you must have an HubDog account to have it working, and the list of your feeds is (actually it "can be") shared with others. And this is both a bad and a good thing.
A bad thing because maybe you're not happy to have HubDog know about your chisen feeds - a good one because you can search between other HubDog users feeds, thus discovering new interesting feeds you didn't know about.

Any way, HubDog is now at the 2.0 release. Link:

vxUtil: this is a great utility

If you need to run some network utilities, like ping, ping sweep, DNS lookup, port scanning, and others, give a look at vxUtil, free for personal use:

Really good!

WM5 Network Analyzer Power Toy

Useful: a network analyzer tool, from Microsoft. It runs some basic network test and produces a log file. Here's the link:

Saturday, November 25, 2006

game - syberia for windows mobile

I know that this is an "old" game - but I didn't play it on pc. Instead, I bought it for my i-mate k-jam, end I have to say that this game is really amazing.
Hours and hours of well planned and wonderfully designed gaming. Worth the $24.95.

Go have a look at the game site:

Thursday, August 17, 2006

is there anybody who still doesn't know?

at this url you can find a playable demo for FSX... try it!!!


Monday, April 17, 2006

Fs Earth

Another Google Earth --> Fs2004 utility:

Looks really good!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

LIMC 2005, from ISDProject !

A great freeware scenery for Milan Malpensa, LIMC:

It's from ISDProject (, and it's the second release of this airport.

Great work, give it a look...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Flight Simulator X announced !!!

I'm sure you all already know, but yesterday Microsoft announced the official release of FSX in the 4th quarter of 2006, in time for the holyday season.

Please read about all this on AvSim and FlightSim:
AvSim Q&A on FSX:
AvSim, FSX screenshots:


Flight Keeper

Lately I downloaded and tried the trial version of Flight Keeper.

And I was amazed from the really huge variety of functions of that app; actually after some setup and understandings, and after three or four "test flights" I decided to buy it; it's really a great add-on, and my personal suggestion is to give it at least a try.

The web site:

FSUIPC Version 3.53 Released

From Peter Dowson's web site you can download the latest release (3.53) of the FSUIPC dll.