Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pocket Informant and Handango "Free App Friday"

I discovered this last week that handango has this "Free App Friday". Put simply, every friday (considered in Central Standard Time), they will offer for free a mobile application from their (huge) catalog.

This last Friday the chosen app was Pocket Informant 2007, a very good time management application for Windows Mobile. I downloaded it, now it's running on my mobile, and I'm really happy with it.

Some time ago I bought Agenda Fusion 8, so I can try a comparison between the two.

And after my first two days of Pocket Informant, I can say that PI2007 is faster than AF8, both in terms of first load and using it (for example I can access my long contact list in a fraction of time, and this is really a good thing).

Maybe AF8 wins in terms of graphical details and rendering, but PI2007 views are effective and clear. There are a couple of functionalities that are present only in AF8 (the project view is not present in PI2007, or at least until now I did not find anything of the like), but what is needed is there, and works.

AF8 is a good product, don't take me wrong; but on my device (not a cutting edge one, WM5 with a lot of installed software) PI2007 works better... and I'm happy with it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Squace beta - mobile content in a new, squared, way


Squace. Beta. (what else?!?!?)

It's a new way to collect contents, coming from different sources, on your mobile (java-enabled) device.

I'm trying it on my WM5 pocket pc (an "old" i-mate k-jam), and I have to say that it works without any problem.

The idea here is that you have a grid of little squares, each representing a link to a site, an rss feed, a post, whatever. You will collect all your contents in a page named "My Stuff"; in the following screenshot you can see my initial page, on it I clicked on a particular square:


That particular square represents a link to a "site" I created. This site is simply a container to a couple of blogs I write; obviously you can reach a very big array of content already present, searching in it thru keywords or navigating tags that other squace users gave to content pages.


Here below I'm clicking on a square representing a post in the blog you're reading:


And here is the post:


I have mixed feelings on this app. I like the idea, I think it is actually new and from a mobile user perspective it's also easy to use; I have still to make an opinion on its future, but I think I still need to use it for some time before I understand this... :-)

Monday, December 10, 2007 - private beta, but... where do I live?

Ok, I've been invited in the new private beta. I'm really interested in this new ways to deliver contents to the (web) public, so on my pc I have both joost and babelgum clients, and also Miro.

Enter Hulu: in this case I don't need any new client, everything is delivered thru the standard browser. The layout and dynamics of the interface is quite cool, I like this site.

Ok then, let's go and try to access some content. I see an episode from "The Simpsons" highlighted in the first page, I click on it.

Uhm... the player returns a message stating that: "Unfortunately this video is not currently available in your country or region".

Ok, I'll try with some other clip. House? ok, let's give it a try.

...same message. And also the same message pops up with every single choice I try.

Now I'm asking: is it caused by the fact that I live in Italy? and probably they cannot "broadcast" those content due to a DRM problem or something of the like? The support pages tell me that "For now, Hulu is a U.S. service only."

Ok, fine. But in this precise moment I could be anywhere in the world, I'm in the "internet" country... or I could be a US citizen, living temporarily in Italy, or again I could be an italian citizen, temporarily living in Iceland, or Morocco, or even USA.

So please explain this to me: I know I could simply go on YouTube and look for that Simpsons episode, and probably I'll find it; and there are many other way to access that video, but... but yes, I liked the Hulu idea, site, and contents, and I was excited to use it.


p.s.: no, I cannot modify my profile, the site doesn't permit this at the moment... I already checked ;-)


Sunday, December 02, 2007

GMaps for Windows Mobile

It's amazing: the new version of Google Maps for Mobile is able to determine your position based not on GPS signal, but using the relative position of GSM cells around you.

And it works!

Here is a screenshot of "me" in my office, in Milan:


It's a really good program, until now I found only a minor problem: during setup, even if you ask to install GMaps on your memory card, the setup will install the app on the main memory; so that you then have to move everything by hand and recreate the shortcuts... then it works.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

ClearContext IMS

If you use Microsoft Outlook and like me receive a huge load of emails during your work day, give a look to ClearContext - it's not free, but it's really a great software, helps a lot in clearing and sorting tour inbox, and "getting things done".

I'm in the 30 days trial period, but I think that I will buy this one.

What you get after setup is a new Outlook toolbar that will help you categorize your email and file single mails or threads to folders (that ClearContext will create for you), and give you shortcut to new functions like prioritizing your contacts (so that email from high priority contact will display with greater emphasis), or turn off email notifications for - say - 30 minutes or an hour... but actually the things that ClearContext can do for you are many, and you will get e netter service :-) if you jump to their site and give a look to some of the very good video tutorials offered!

Rural mailbox

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Palringo - IM for mobile and desktop

Today I read this post on LifeHacker and I decided to give Palringo a try: it's an IM app that runs on Windows Mobile - powered devices and on Symbian (but Palringo has also a desktop Windows version, and if I understand well a java mobile version is planned), and I find it really good.

In order to work you need to register on palring's own site, and then use those credentials on your mobile device to login; then you start adding your identities on the various protocols and networks Palring knows about: Msn/Live, GTalk, ICQ, Yahoo, AIM. And its proprietary network too.

I used it and I find Palringo fast and reliable... A little screenshot here:


NetMeeting on Vista?

yes, I already know: NetMeeting is obsolete, vulnerable, no more cool, and whatever. But, you know, life is strange, and a customer needs me to connect with him thru NetMeeting... but I moved to Vista, and NetMeeting (the good old "conf.exe" in other windows flavours) is no more available. But to my surprise I discovered that a hotfix is available (with many big different disclaimers) in order to bring NetMeeting back to me!

Find it on (a site that's really amazing, but this is another story), register there and then make a search for NetMeeting.

Hope this helps!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

If Outlook doesn't open web links anymore...

On Windows Vista, open Control Panel, click "Programs", then "Default Programs".

There, click "Set program access and computer defaults", open the "Custom" section. You should then choose "Internet Explorer", then close everything , Control Panel, Outlook, Internet Explorer... this worked for me.

Hope this helps!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Rush Hour!

After I sent the link to the download of this game, a friend of mine told me that now I owe him some... hours of life that he lost after the traffic jams of this tiny but really addictive game.

Your task is to let the red "car" move outside the diagram, just like it was locked in a parking and you're in charge of solving the problem...

Go and download it - but this time don't tell that I didn't warn you!!!

It's for Windows Mobile.

Did I mention that's also free?

New York

Thursday, November 01, 2007


At last I have an account on Powerlabs!!! Great, I'll keep you informed... :-) For now I'm still trying to understand how to "move" in Powerlabs and how to use this (great) site!!!

Until now I'm simply trying the demos, in which i'm asked to compare the results from PowerLabs vs. "The Other Guys". Then you can "vote" on who gave the better results.

The query are something like "What did ____ write?". You complete filling in the blanks, launch the query, then compare the results. Queries in the demo are launched against Wikipedia.

Ok, I'll go on trying, then I'll tell you! Bye.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Planning Poker anyone?

I stumbled upon ;-) this "Planning Poker" tool.

I think that it could be used, it can be seen as a mean to a better effort estimation, that runs through a group discussion; each member "plays" her/his estimation (picking a card from a deck) and when everybody has played you can start discussing the result - probably you will notice some sensible differences between various estimations, and so people will start talking and eventually correcting...

It can also be funny. I read that there are also real card deck sold somewhere, but the web version is simple and quite good.

What do you think of it?

full deck

Sunday, October 07, 2007

MSN Messenger - the credit card message

I'm stealing this from a dozen web sites around the web, but I need this hint periodically, so I put it also here.

When you start a chat in MSN Messenger a warning is shown that says
"Never give out your password or credit card number in an instant message conversation"
This tweak allows you to customize this message for example to display your company chat policy
Open your registry and find or create the key below:
Create a new String value, or modify the existing value, called "IMWarning" and set it according to text you want to display
You may need to restart or log out of Windows for the change to take effect.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Gps Speed Sentry - windows mobile app

I'm having a lot of fun using this "Gps Speed Sentry" app, that you can download from

This app features a series of screen showing, for the trip you're having:

- a graph on you speed

- a graph on altitude

- a compass

- some general information on actual speed, average speed, top speed, trip duration

- data on GPS satellite in sight

I find it really funny: try it if you have a gps-enabled windows mobile (or and external bluetooth gps antenna like me). The app will cost you $10, the trial version will disconnect from GPS monitoring every 10 minutes (not losing data, anyway).

Here's a screenshot, but please visit the developer's site for many other.

Friday, August 03, 2007


This blog post will benefit of a Flickr photo taken from a LiveWriter Plugin, Flickr4Writer.

The plugin allows to choose an image from Flickr, given a subject, a tag set, a flickr photo album...

A step towards something I'd like, that is having the blog system choose a random photo for me every time, using the post's tag set to query Flickr.

If I only had some time... :-)


Thursday, August 02, 2007

BrowserShots - Test your web design in different browsers

Ever wondered how will your site render on browsers like Galeon 2.0 or SeaMonkey 1.1? Or on Safari 1.3? Or maybe on GranParadiso 3.0 (does such a thing really exists?) ?

Well, you can, even not installing the browsers. Visit and submit the site URL, choose between 44 different browsers... and then after some time (even more than 30 minutes for some browsers) you'll obtain all the screenshots related to all the selected browser's rendering of your site.

Really useful, isn't it?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Human Brain Cloud

You know, I'm a big fan of this kind of things... this Human Brain Cloud "game" is really funny.

Quoting from the site: "The idea is that given a word, a player types in the first thing that comes to mind and the results are combined into a giant network".

Friday, June 15, 2007

Powerset and PowerLabs

Uhm.... this is promising; is going to go live after summer with a sarch engine capable to "understand" natural language queries.

Have a look to this Flickr image collection, and read the Powerset's blog entries to understand something more.

PowerLabs will be a sort of web app built "over" powerset's search engine.

This blog (from Steve Newcomb, powerset's founder) is also really interesting for it shows an "internal" point of view on the "making of" this new search engine. 

Friday, June 08, 2007

Texter - a text substitution app

On Lifehacker I found some weeks ago this little app, Texter.

It's a text substitution application; in other words you configure some shortcut that, when typed, are substituted in longer strings (commands, scripts, and so on). It's still "young" (release 0.3) but quite stable.

For example you could tell texter that when you type "zgg" you want him to replace that string with

Or you could use it to avoid typing everytime your mail address, something like "zem" that turns in

The possibility are endless; the blog post on lifehacker shows some clever ways to use Texter.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

TimeSnapper - "Your Life: The Movie" :-)

TimeSnapper ( is self described in this way:

"TimeSnapper is an Automatic Screenshot Journal - It runs in the background of your computer, taking screenshots of your desktop every few seconds all week long."

Then it can "replay" (like a movie) the screenshots sequence, and the result is impressive. I'm trying this app in these days and it's really useful to "fill in the blanks" when I have to compile my work timesheet...

SpaceTime 3D Browser

This is really a beautiful app. SpaceTime is a "3D" web browser, that shows search results or pages in a 3D way that's really amazing.

It's better if I simply give you the URL, thre you can find every information or screenshot, go and see...

Customizing Sharepoint 2003, the next step...

Customizing Sharepoint 2003, the next step...

Maybe you saw this other article I posted some weeks ago... after that, my job went on, but eventually I decided - actually my customer decided for me ;-) - to try to use a new site template in order to solve the customization problem I'm facing.

What I have to manage is something I cannot solve "simply" hacking the CSS or modifying the .aspx pages... so I'll try to have a new "MPS" (the WSS Multi Page Site) template different from the original one.

Unfortunately looks like this cannot be done; I managed to "clone" the MPS structure in a new one, but when I go and use it to create a new site I get a series of errors in the WebParts stating that "This Web Part was designed for use on a Microsoft Meeting Workspace". And reading around I found that yes, you can have your site template that originates from another one, but you CANNOT use the Multipage Meeting template as the starting point.

I have to find another way.

I'll try also to share with you the steps I'm taking to do this.

First: I make a copy of the STS directory to a new STSNEW directory. All this happens under
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\TEMPLATE\1033\
and as I think that all the action will happen there... I won't repeat that path anymore, for reading simplicity I'll substitute it with [PATH].

So I have this STSNEW! What I do with it?
Uhm... open the [PATH]XML folder, and take a look to the two files:

Interesting stuff!!! So there are the correspondances between folders names and sharepoint usage of the templates...
In my case the interesting one is the WEBTEMP.XML (the WSS one).
First, I make a copy of the file, and name it WEBTEMPSTSNEW.XML.
In it I leave only the "STS" node, renaming it to "STSNEW" (as the containing folder I created before); to this new node I give an ID over 10000 (Microsoft's hint...). Then I change in some way the descritpions, so that later I will be able to choose between the STS and STSNEW styles. Save. Let's see...
No, it's not going well: when I open the main page in Sharepoint I get an "Exception occurred" error, that it's not very esplicative, I'd say. But after a iisreset /restart "magically" Sharepoint is back with us. Good.

Now let's see if our STSNEW can be of any use.
First: I try to create a new WSS site based on this site template.
Everything works fine, I can find in the site structure list the new description I inserted in the XML file, and use those templates to create my site.

So this first part is ok.

Now I have to find a way to "mimic" the tabbed, multipage structure of the "Multipage Meeting Workspace" template here in this "simple" WSS site I created. I'll use the "Team Site" structure (taht in my new site template I named as "New Team Site"), so that I will be able to modify also the the home page (default.aspx).

Let's try this way: create a document library that contains a list of web part pages, so that I can have all the single pages I need. For a good explanation of this, see this blog post from Daniel McPherson.

Then I'll try to create a web part for the "tabbed" navigation.

Maybe I can find something ready on the web... First I try this one from GotDotNet.
Looks great, there is also the code. Downloaded, and installed with the command:
stsadm -o addwppack -f "C:\EasyTabPartsDeployment.CAB" -force -globalinstall

And it works!!!
From now on the path is (more or less) clear: I haev to modify the new site template layout, develop all the new webparts I need, and so on.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Windows Desktop Search: how to index uncached exchange items

With Windows Desktop Search (I'm running 3.01) you cannot (by default) index you email if it is not configured to run in cached mode.

Well, you can change this through a group policy modification or thru this registry mod:

Create a DWORD registry key in:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search
called “PreventIndexingUncachedExchangeFolders” and setting it to a value of 0.

Regarding the group policy: read this document and use this .adm file (for some reasons the file is not linked in the document).

That's all. I tried both ways, and both worked.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

from CNET: Promising antispam technique gets nod

Something interesting about spam... It's called DomainKeys, and is supported by Yahoo, Cisco, SendMail and PGP Corporation. Read more here:

QTTabBar - tabs on Windows Explorer

I downloaded and installed QTTabBar, and after some weeks I have to admint that I cannot even think to work without!!!

The reason to try it was originally to have "tabs" (like those you have on IE7 or Firefox) also in Windows Explorer, but now I think it's a must. The website doesn't give the "real feeling" of all the features the tools has, but I guarantee that you will be impressed.

Now, I will not try to explain all the things you can do wit QTTabBar, read this page for a list of features.

If you decide to try it, follow the installation steps described (also the uninstall procedure is someway tricky - but nothing impossible).

Friday, May 11, 2007

Windows update lasting forever

I had to completely rebuild my Windows XP machine, and after a lot of setup and reboot, and setup, and reboot (imagine Office, Visual Studio 2003, its SP, then Visual Studio 2005, its SP, then a lot of other packages, and then... a nigthmare!!!) I found that Windows Update was not responding anymore.

After some research I found this post, and given that it solved my problem I'm sharing it with you: problem connecting windows update - CPU 100% svchost.exe in Windows Update.

The symptoms I had wew exactly those described in the post title: a svchost.exe process using continuously near 100% of CPU, and nothing more for long time.

Now I can update my pc without problems...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sql Server, remove duplicate records

Sometimes I need to remove duplicates from a table, given a particular column to be checked.

This few lines of transact-sql code will help, I hope:

CREATE TABLE #tmp_tableCleanDup (id int, email varchar(200))
CREATE UNIQUE INDEX removeduplicates on #tmp_tableCleanDup (email) WITH IGNORE_DUP_KEY


 INSERT #tmp_tableCleanDup
 FROM OriginalTable e

 DELETE OriginalTable
 WHERE 1=1
 AND id NOT IN (SELECT id FROM  #tmp_tableCleanDup)


 DROP TABLE #tmp_tableCleanDup

Monday, April 16, 2007

don't read this.

ok, you're reading. well, I expected this... but please, DO NOT click on this link...

the game you'll reach is reaaaallly addictive... so if you're working now don't click.

the name of the game is Desktop Tower Defense. simple, easy at the beginning, hard to leave when you start.


bye! ;-)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

DeepFish, from Microsoft Labs

Still in a closed beta stage, DeepFish is a mobile browser that mixes a server-side elaboration of the web pages in order to render web pages on the mobile screen just as they would be seen on a standard "non mobile" browser.

When you navigate to a page, DeepFish first of all generates (server-side) a sort of screenshot of the needed page, and sends this image to the mobile client; there with some client functionalities like panning and zooming the user will read the page... obviously things like form submission and client caching are present. Take a look at this presentation to understand better.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sharepoint 2003: customize the webparts zones

I know, today we can use the new Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server (MOSS), but there are a lot of Sharepoint 2003 installation around, and recently I had to face some request from a (french, Paris-based) customer that asked me to make some "deep" customizations for their intranet, both in terms of look&feel and of webparts disposition on the page.

This request was both for the Sharepoint Portal pages and for the Windows Sharepoint Services sites and pages.

I'm not discussing here the "layout" modification, maybe I'll collect some good links that explain this task, let's say here that this was in my case solved mainly with some (not so easy) CSS modifications.

Let's focus on the webpart zones disposition, and how it can be changed.

First of all: I assume in all the samples below that your Sharepoint is installed in the default folder on drive C:\, and that you have the english setup (so in the paths you'll see the \1033\ folder, if you have other language packs you will have to deal with other paths).

The standard, "out-of-the-box" placement of the webparts in the page is ok for a lot of us; but sometimes you want to have some particular disposition of the webparts, in order to make a better use of the page space for your particular needs.

To reach this goal you will have to make some HTML coding in some .aspx pages, located in different paths. These paths correspond to the various "kind" of pages that Sharepoint 2003 offers to us: The Sharepoint main pages, the pages for the various Areas, the News pages, the Topics pages... and on and on down to the Windows Sharepoint Sites pages, both the simple and the Multi Page one.

All the .aspx pages you'll want to modify reside under this path:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web server extensions\60\Template\1033\

Down that folder you'll find 13 subfolders. Each folder corresponds to a particular "kind" of page template on the Sharepoint portal or in the WSS sites. Below I'll give you a pair of lists that shows this correspondance.

The main file you'll find under the folder (let's say the first, the \SPS folder) is default.aspx.

This file, at run time, is used by Sharepoint as a template that is "filled" with the webparts you'll have decided to place in the various web part "zones". These zones are explicitly defined in the html of the default.aspx page, and have this look:

<WebPartPages:WebPartZone runat="server" Title="loc:Left" ID="Left" FrameType="TitleBarOnly" AllowPersonalization="false"/>

I will not enter in the details of the various tags; here we'll on ly note that the "ID" tag is the one that gives the name you will see in the sharepoint page, when in design mode.

There are many of these WebPartZone already in place in your default.aspx, go and look for them; you'll see that they are inside an html structure that you can easily hack for your needs; you can alse define more WebPartZones around the page, only be careful to give them unique IDs.

The following list shows each SharePoint Portal Server 2003 area or subarea and the corrisponding folder:
- Root site: \SPS folder
- My Site: \SPSMSITE folder
- News: \SPSNHOME folder
- Company News, External News and Press Announcements, and all areas that are under the News area: \SPSNEWS folder
- Site Directory: \SPSSITES folder
- Topics: \SPSTOC folder
- Divisions, Human Resources, Locations, Marketing, Operations, Projects, Resources, Sales, Strategy and Support, and all areas under the Topics area: \SPSTOPIC folder
- Community Template: \SPSCOMMU folder

Then there are some other folders that are relating to the Windows Sharepoint Services side of the coin; the two main folders are:

- \STS: all the pages for the WSS sites
- \MPS: for the Multi Page Template pages under WSS sites

This last one is a little more tricky, because when you modify the default.aspx page... this modifications will show up only in the main page, and not in the various subpages. To have also these pages modified you'll have to edit another page, in the folder:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\TEMPLATE\1033\MPS\DOCTEMP\SMARTPGS

The file is named spstd1.aspx. modify and save it... and you're done.

Now: I'm not saying that all this process is easy and safe;  you'll want to have backup copies of all the files you modify, and you'll want to make a lot of experiments before deploying all this in production... but as soon as you make the first test you'll find comfortable with the other.

Hope this helps...


Friday, March 30, 2007

Windows PowerShell

uhm... I didn't try Windows PowerShell until yesterday, but now I'm becoming addicted!!!

Some links...

Windows PowerShell on Wikipedia - a general intro, and some "fundamental" links.

On Microsoft's site, the main page for PowerShell (from here the link to the download pages - if you use XP sp2, here's the direct download link).

some Sample Windows PowerShell Scripts on Microsoft's site

and the CodePlex repository for Windows PowerShell scripts

Then a little article (on on PowerShell customization, that introduces some interesting arguments through maybe "basic" yet well written. Read it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

ZenZui - a mobile widget browser

ZenZui is a brand new entry in the "mobile widget browser" ecosystem, in which you can also find other players like BluePulse and Widset (from Nokia), and some others.

ZenZui was intially developed from Microsoft, now is an independent spin-off.

Actually ZenZui is not yet a real downloadable solution, but I think it will soon. Reading here and there I find interesting the business model they are going to implement - nothing so revolutionary, but it can work. Quoting from the site: " using well-established advertising principles like CPA and CPM (we call it CPZ – Cost Per Zoom)".

I will not try to explain how the interface will be, I prefer to redirect you this YouTube Video showing the ZenZui app working.


Monday, March 26, 2007

from Roberdan's blog: Web Content Management with Sharepoint 2007

I found today this new blog entry in the Roberdan's blog (read more from here if you are interested in microsoft technologies and in communities): it's a collection of links on Sharepoint technologies, on Web Content Management in particular.

Actually in Roberdan's blog you can find much more than this, but in this precise moment this post is really useful to me... :-)

Thanks Roberto!!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

maybe you do not know that I wrote about this

These are the very first lines of a thing I wrote some times ago...

Pervasive, Decentralized Information for the Lookaside Buffer

Andrea Ilari


Many system administrators would agree that, had it not been for write-ahead logging, the understanding of model checking might never have occurred. In fact, few mathematicians would disagree with the study of robots [13]. In this position paper we disconfirm that the acclaimed constant-time algorithm for the theoretical unification of the memory bus and redundancy by Suzuki is in Co-NP.



Ok, ok... it's a fake!!! It was produced from this site: SCIgen - An Automatic CS Paper Generator

Go and try it... it's incredible!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

i'm making a difference

from the Windows Live Messenger's "i'm" initiative":

i’m is a new initiative from Windows Live™ Messenger. Every time you start a conversation using i’m, Microsoft shares a portion of the program's advertising revenue with some of the world's most effective organizations dedicated to social causes. We've set no cap on the amount we'll donate to each organization. The sky's the limit.

I knew about this from kfra, who pointed me at this blog entry

the GORB

The Gorb presents as an "online community of professionals where real life reputations are earned and viewed by others".

The idea is to "rate" and comment on other people, but anonimously. In other network of this kind (say in LinkedIn for example) the comments and ratings are public and "signed"; so maybe they are not fair, in the sense that tend to be "too good".

Thru anonimity GORB wants to produce a more objective judgment on people.

I'll try to "rate" someone here around :-) let's see what happens...

Monday, March 12, 2007


 In my long and exhausting ;-) journey towards the best RSS reader for Windows Mobile (Pocket PC) I found this great app, pRSSReader (a question for me: why did I find it only now???).

SImple to use, at the same time it offers a lot of functionalities; I uninstalled all the similar tools I tried in the past, now I use only this.

Some screenshot follow; there is only a single thing missing, in my opinion, a thing that I found really useful in other similar apps: the ability to send the content of a particular post thru email, without having to go all the way long thru copy&switch-to-email-app&paste&send&back.

Apart from this pRSSReader is really worth a try; it's freeware but you'll find that a PayPal "donation" to the author, David Andrš, could be a good idea.

a "low ranking nerd"...

I am nerdier than 61% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!, I'm a "Low Ranking Nerd. Definitely a nerd but low on the totem pole of nerds."

don't know if this a good or bad news :-)

Sunday, March 11, 2007


In a recent comment in this blog I was "pointed" to Qode's web site.

Qode is similar to ShotCode, but both work in a different way than MoBeam (I talked about MoBeam here some days ago).

What I mean is that with Qode (as with ShotCode) you use the mobile device's camera to grab the barcode (or similar object) in order to be transferred to a web site. With MoBeam - as far as I have understood - the mobile device is used to show the barcode to the "real" world; for example to the laser scanner at the discount cashier...

Anyway Qode is interesting, like Shotcode is.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Texter - a little but useful utility from Lifehacker

Texter is a text substitution application; it stays resident in memory and "hears" what you're typing. When a certain key combination is hit, it performs the related action.

For example you can have Texter substitute the string "ema" with you email address, or you can type "hre" and have a complete href tag written, with the URL you copied in the clipboard at the right place, and the cursor ready just before the </a> closing tag...

Here is the link!!!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Mobeam: "Mobile" Barcode Scanning With the Screen Backlight

MoBeam is a technology that can be used to have your phone's screen laser-scanned in order to show (for example) a discount coupon.

See a flash demo here.

Saturday, March 03, 2007 !

I'm in the beta. Really amazing, I have to say...

Joost is the new name of the "Venice Project", and it's a web-based interactive TV project. Even if in beta, and with a (well, not so) limited choice of channels to watch, it works very well.

Go and see some screenshots!

a couple of dictionaries

two great ideas: - "the social dictionary" combines new web 2.0 concepts to the good old dictionary. - a "slang dictionary", edited by the site's visitors

use them, you'll be surprised! - search engine is an interesting search engine.

when you input your query and start the search, quintura returns results both in a traditional (list-syle) way and in a new "cloud" way; it filters the main terms in the search results and shows them in a cloud, thus showing also the "proxymity" of a particular term relating to your query terms (centerd in the interface).

Then, when you click a term in the cloud, quintura concatenates it to your original query terms, and searches again...

Try it: when you are searching around to gather new info, and not to find a specific web site, it can be useful.

WM6 for developers?

Check this post, contains some interesting links to windows mobile developers resources.

Monday, February 26, 2007

iPhone spot

The brand new Apple iPhone spot has been presented during the last Academy Awards ceremony (the "Oscar" prize).

StopWatch v1.2 for PPC

This weekend I had a problem: my 7-years old daughter was going to participate in a swimming contest, and I had no stopwatch :-)

Luckily on PocketPc Freeware I could find this simple yet almost perfect Stopwatch app, that fit my needs completely.

What you get with StopWatch 1.2 quoting from author's website:
- Up & Down counting
- Preset time values
- 7 segment display
- Accuracy: milliseconds
- Portrait & Landscape mode
- Context Menu
- Lap times
- Styling

Here are a couple of screenshots:

Sunday, February 18, 2007

System.Web.Mail and System.Net.Mail... Complete faqs for ASP.NET

Useful links:

the first is a "Complete FAQ for sending email in ASP.NET", covers framework 1.x, while  the second is a "Complete FAQ for the System.Net.Mail namespace found in .NET 2.0"

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Microsoft ActiveSync 4.5 released

At this url you can download the latest sync software release for Windows Mobile-powered devices.

Microsoft says that this release performs better in terms of data transfer, that tey removed (for security reasons) remote pc sync functionality through WiFi or Lan, and that Exchange 2000 is not supported anymore.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Web Trend Map 2007

 See this: a web trend map for 2007 - in "Tokio Metro" style!

Available in different formats, from Information Architects Japan.

Monday, February 12, 2007

How to backup a Blogger blog

If you want to have a backup of your Blogger-hosted blog, read this:

Métro - "The ultimate public transport guide for your PDA or Smartphone"

Do you already know Métro? If not, please go to and see what this mobile app can do for you - for free.

It is available for Windows Mobile, Symbian, Palm OS.

Its main goal is to guide you in the public transportation system of some hundreds of cities around the world. I tried the Windows Mobile version, and I find it really useful, fast, and well designed.

I'm publishing some screenshots here, showing the first screenshot, the list of my downloaded cities, a couple of calcolated routes (one in Milan, one in Paris), and a screenshot of the route building page:

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Windows Mobile 6 is coming!!!

Ehi, I was out for a few days and when I come back... breaking news - At the 3GSM show in Barcellona Microsoft will announce the official release for Windows Mobile 6...
Now you all already knew about this - but maybe you do not know this great post by Jason Langridge on the new fuctionalities of the new mobile OS!!!
Read it... really interesting!


Wednesday, January 31, 2007

a different post

this is "out of scope", but this video is impressive.
if there were only 100 people in the world...

Sunday, January 28, 2007 - site monitoring, also from mobile is a free uptime monitoring service for your website.

It can perform many different tests, from http to ftp and imap.

If you insert in your site a code snippet provided from, you can also have a visits traffic report, but the site has a lot of services available.

When you register, you can have your alerts delivered also to your msn messenger / GTalk / ICQ account (you need only to add to your buddy list a new contact).

But the one very thing that caught my attention is the possibility to access those reports and data from Windows Mobile devices: simply reach and read all the fundamental site stats on the go. Works!

Here's a screenshot of the mobile web page:

Saturday, January 27, 2007

midomi - a music search engine

Ehi try this: on you can sing or hum a melody and the site will search for it... returning the best matches and letting you hear the returned (musical) results!!!

Now, it's fun - even if the results are not always what expected!!! I tried with different melodies... but the site managed to get only "It's the end of the world as we know it" from REM - then went on maintenance.

The question: the problem is in the software or in my poor singing abilities? ;-)

VH PocketPC Capture

At this URL you can find this freeware app that allows you to get screnshots out of your Windows Mobile device, but thru Active  Sync from your desktop pc.

Actually it will do also another couple of things for you... you will be able to "remote control" your device, or take control of the camera output...

Nice utility.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Spamdemic Map

Interesting, and a huge work:The SpamDemic Mapp... a map of the spammers world!!!

...and what about your email address? which of those spammers know it? :-)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Getting Things Done with Remember The Milk

The first reason for this post is in its own title: I always dreamt to be able to title a post in a similar way... :-)

No, I'm joking; actually I want to drive your attention to this post on the "Republic of GeekTronica" blog (I read about this on LifeHacker).

It's about the integration of the Remember the Milk 's site functions in your "Getting Things Done" system. 

It's really interesting, I'm tempted to switch to this solution to manage my tasks.

want a preview for next Windows Mobile 6.0? in your hands?

if the answer is yes... read this, on GizModo.

as for me... I'll wait some more time :-)


WikiSeek is a new Search Engine ("obviously" marked with the ubiquitous BETA word) that queries WikiPedia - and all the external links that WikiPedia references.

In this way the results it gets are better (or at least more complete) than the results you get from WikiPedia itself. And it features another web 2.0 thing: the tag cloud, in this case built with WikiPedia Categories resulting from your query. This category cloud fills up with suggested categories as you type your query - I like this feature.

Finally there is a plugin you can run in order to add WikiSeek to your search providers (in IE7 or Firefox, at least). 

Not bad at all. I'll use it a lot, I think.

Monday, January 15, 2007

ClearTemp for Windows Mobile - free utility to clean temp files

A good and really useful utility to clean up temp files, with a lot of possible customization.

Here's the link to the developer site. There you can find screenchots, install instructions, and everything you need.

I tried it and immediately appreciated some 3 Mb of freed space :-)

Vicott Wong (the author) has writtem other good utilities, here's the list.

cLaunch - a great Windows Mobile Today Screen PlugIn

cLauncher is a freeware Windows Mobile Today Screen PlugIn that allows you to have tabs containing icons you choose and configure.

A screenshot here:

It's a really great plugin, allowing you to speed up apps usage. Try it!!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

WM5, iPhone, Apple, and bloggers

Referring to the previous post, regarding the "iPhone skin" for Windows Mobile, I want to add something.

In the picture below you can see the two layout, compared... left WM5, right iPhone. Now, the look & feel is great, no? But it's only a joke... I'm sure that anybody with some Photoshop skills and Windows Mobile knowledge has already done again the "skin". And I', sure that Apple has more to it that the simple layout of the "home" screen... so why put all this money and energy in suing bloggers?

Please read this TechCrunch article for a better coverage of the whole matter.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Windows Mobile 5 can look like the iPhone ;-)

yes, yes, we all know... it's not only the look, but this is cool anyway.

I'll try it on my WM5 asap!

Actually it looks like Apple's lawyers are out there making sure that nobody can download anything of that kind... bah! It was (simply) fun!

I found this "interesting" url - it's from an italian blog, "geekissimo blog", apparently not yet sued... ;-)
There you can find everything you need for the iPhone skin.

Friday, January 12, 2007

iPhone - a more "weighted" post from mobilecrunch...

A really interesting post on iPhone, from MobileCrunch.

amAze - free mobile GPS navigation application

On amAze's web site you can download and install a free GPS software for java-enabled mobile devices.

Now, that's really interesting... but I couldn't try the software yet, my iMate k-jam is not in the list... when I understand which version to try, I'll let you know everything!!!

*** EDIT ***
I had a feedback from amAze... their software is not compatible with Windows Mobile devices!!!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Windows Mobile 6.0 Video

Want to have a preview of the next mobile OS from Microsoft? Here's where!

Actually the video is not so good, as the man "behind the stylus" doesn't do nearly anything but browsing ALL the Ringtones and Sounds... Yes, they're not bad, but maybe... :-)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

the Tiny Icon Factory

wow - from MIT's PLW, The Tiny Icon Factory!!! so maaaany tiny and cute little icons, and you can create your own!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

A Google Home personalized homepage clone - in .Net

At this link ( you can find a clone of the Google personalized Homepage, built using ASP.Net Ajax, .NET 3.0 and the .NET Linq extensions. And here at codeproject you can download sourcecode and read a tutorial.


Friday, January 05, 2007

Survival: Sql Server, grant on all stored procedure and shrink db and logs

1) Stored Procedures: to grant execute permission on all the stored procedures in a database, use this (quick and dirty) solution:


select 'grant execute on ' + specific_name + ' to [LOGIN_NAME] '
from  information_schema.routines
where routine_type = 'PROCEDURE'

executing this after the obvious substitutions of LOGIN_NAME and DATABASE_NAME will return a bunch of lines like

grant execute on stored_procedure_name to [LOGIN_NAME]

if you copy and execute those lines, you're done.

2) Stored Procedures: another (less dirty) way to obtain the same result:

DECLARE @sql   VARCHAR(4000)
DECLARE @username  VARCHAR(255)

SET @username = 'LOGIN_NAME_HERE'
SET @proc_name = ''

   -- Only user stored procedures here!
    AND ROUTINE_NAME > @proc_name
  IF @proc_name IS NULL BREAK
  SET @sql = 'GRANT EXECUTE ON ' + QUOTENAME(@proc_name) + ' TO ' + @username
 EXEC (@sql)
 --Print (@sql)

3)  Shrink database and transaction log: Just a couple of instructions that sometimes are useful to shrink databases log files:

DBCC SHRINKFILE (  databasename_Log  , 1)

DBCC SHRINKDATABASE (databasename, 10)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ehi, mobile user :-) , do you already know about
It's a new service, completely web-based (no installation of anything on your device) that acts as a gateway between you and the web resources, rendering them in a "mobile-compliant" way.
After a brief setup phase (I did this part on a desktop pc) you can point your mobile browser to your "mdog home" (in my case it is and start browsing.
You can choose from a variety of information sources, that will be presented in a "My Web" tab; a few screenshot will make this more clear.

The really interesting feature, though, is the ability to read and post to blogs; here is this blog opened thru mdog:

So I think this is an interesting web tool. Try it!

...and there is also

Just a moment after having published the previous post, I found another command line interface tothe various web searches around.

It's, and it's really similar to sugarcodes, probably older.

The two samples of the previous post in youbnub would be:

wp moleskine


wls moleskine

Well... I personally prefer the layout of sugarcodes, and really appreciate the auto-completion feature. But the main difference between youbnub and sugarcodes is that on youbnub you have the chance to integrate in your browser the funcionality of the site, and you can choose from a wide array of browser plug-ins, for IW, Firefox, Safari, Camino, Maxthon... there is even the chance to integrate youbnub with Emacs!!! Actually the "Installing youbnub" page is really interesting.

Sugarcodes is a web gateway to all the search engine of the web, thru the use of a command line interface.

You can for example write on the sugarcodes command line:

wiki moleskine

and obtain that sugarcodes brings you to

but you could also try

m moleskine

and be teleported to the Live Search result page for moleskine,

The commands available are really a lot, and you can add yours; and you do not need to remember all the commands you need... while you write there is an auto complete feature that will "bring you there" :-)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Virtual Earth Mobile 1.69

Jason Fuller has published a new release, 1.69, for his Virtual Earth Mobile app. You can download it here, from the Windows Mobile Team Blog.

The main feature Jason added is the ability to drag maps using the stylus, but there are others things added.

Obviously you can also download the "official" Windows Live Search for mobile beta, described here and downloadable from your mobile here (there are both a Windows Mobile and a J2ME editions).

Your choice!!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

from Google: 2006 Zeitgeist

interesting read: The 2006 Year-End Google Zeitgeist, and the related post on the official Google blog.

Monday, January 01, 2007

AdbWeather - Free Win Mobile Today Screen Plugin

How could I live without this? :-)

Seriously, I really like this great (and free) today screen plugin, that shows weather condition and forecasts on your pocket pc screen; it has a lot of features, like downloading and showing of weather radar images, or scheduled refresh of weather data, and more.

It can be configured to retrieve wether info both for US and International cities.

Here's the URL for this great app:

And here are a few screenshots from my mobile:

The same screen, but with a white background on the plugin:

The plugin responds to user clicks, opening this menu:

The app has lots of features... just an image: