For one of my .NET Compact Framwork applications I needed some self-auto-update functionality, simliar to what Sparkle does on OSX. Unfortunatly, I couldn’t find any libraries that would help me achieve this goal. The only thing I could find was an outdated article in the MSDN library. But that, like many Microsoft examples, presupposed an IIS with ASP.NET on the server side, which I neither had, nor wanted to use.

So I took the weekend and coded a little library, which I call “WmAutoUpdate” (freely available on Github). It can easily be integrated with your .NET Compact Framework app and works with any webserver that is able to serve files on the server side.

Lately I had to do some image scaling for a .NET compact framework project. While the actual scaling can easily be done by means of the Smart Device Framework (OpenNETCF), the process of deciding whether to adjust the image to the screen’s height or the width takes a  little more effort than on a regular (landscape) computer, due to the multitude of possible screen/picture aspect-ratio combinations (most phones let the user switch between landscape and portrait mode). The following code solves theses issues (IBitmapImage and ImageUtils are OpenNETCF classes):

private IBitmapImage scaleImageToDisplay(Image img, Stream s)
float ScreenRatio = this.targetWidth / (float)this.targetHeight;
float ImgRatio = img.Width / (float)img.Height;
if (ImgRatio > 1.0f)
if (ScreenRatio > ImgRatio)
return ImageUtils.CreateThumbnail(s, new System.Drawing.Size((int)Math.Round(this.targetHeight * ImgRatio, 0), this.targetHeight));
return ImageUtils.CreateThumbnail(s, new System.Drawing.Size(this.targetWidth, (int)Math.Round(this.targetWidth / ImgRatio, 0)));
if (ScreenRatio < ImgRatio)
return ImageUtils.CreateThumbnail(s, new System.Drawing.Size(this.targetWidth, (int)Math.Round(this.targetWidth / ImgRatio, 0)));
return ImageUtils.CreateThumbnail(s, new System.Drawing.Size((int)Math.Round(this.targetHeight * ImgRatio, 0), this.targetHeight));
return null;

Bahncard Photo

April 22nd, 2009

So you apply for a Bahncard 25, send in photo number 1 and what do you get?!? They crop the hell out of it until it only shows the stupid guy with his stupid beanie next to you! Since Shrek, donkeys have not been taken serious anymore! Damn you, humans!



I released a new iTunes plugin on today: NightTunes, a simple plugin for iTunes that can automatically shutdown, hibernate or send your PC to standby at the end of a playlist.

If you, like me, enjoy listening to a good audiobook while dozing off to dreamland, but don’t want to leave your computer running throughout the entire night…

NightTunes is for you!

No more harddisk clatter noise or blowing CPU fans disturbing your sleep …plus you’re reducing your your energy bill and your carbon footprint :-)

I don’t know if this goes for all the GeForce 8 and 9 series graphics cards, but getting the S-Video tv-out of my brand new Gainward 9800GT Golden Sample to run seems to be a real hassle. In the following, I wanna how I got it to work:

Hardware setup:

Starting from the video card’s s-video outlet, I use a standard s-video/cinch adapter as depicted below. Please notice that this is not the adapter that came with the card, but instead one that only has four jacks on the s-video side.

Ich muss sagen, dass ich seit gestern insgeheim auf diesen Moment gewartet habe. Die Welt fragt sich, was Tim K. aus Winnenden zu seinem Amoklauf getrieben hat. Dabei scheint sich die Antwort auf diese Frage in vielen (alten wirren) Köpfen längst gefestigt zu haben. Wie in einem Video in Spiegel Onlines Mediathek zu sehen ist, gab heute ein Sprecher der Polizei folgendes Statement ab: “Wir haben während diesen Abends seine Computer noch sichergestellt und auch analysiert, grob analysiert, die Feinanalyse läuft aktuell, und auch daraufhin sich die typischen Spiele, die auch in das Raster eines Amokläufers passen, wie Counterstrike (…gefunden?)”.

You got AIM-Fish-Bot-ed!

March 11th, 2009

Today I got AIM-Fish-Bot-ed (not that that verb exists). As Nixie explains in her article, Fish-Bots do exactely what you may have done as a child: call two total strangers, then hold the two phones together and listen in on how they accuse each other of doing a prank call. Only Fish-Bots do it via AIM or ICQ. While the whole thing seems to upset a lot of people, I found the idea hilarious and would love to read more chat protocols of “victims” :-) Here’s mine (the first message is from the bot (RolyPolyCoho), the following come from the person I got connected to):

Wrestling safety

March 5th, 2009

After watching “The Wrestler” (a totally awesome movie by the way) the other day I went online to research, whether the story was biographically or not. After some time I came across “Wrestling Obituaries” and was shocked to learn that most of the (former WWF) guys I watched doing their showy thingy on TV more than 20 years ago have already passed away, most of them due to heart attacks….in their mid-40s!!!. The following names rang some bells and brought back some childhood memories for me:

  • Jerry “Crusher” Blackwell–January 22, 1995–Died of complications from injuries sustained in a road accident.

Contact Alarm v.1.0 released

February 25th, 2009

Today I released version 1.0 of my Skype plugin “Contact Alarm”. Amongst many new features like audio/video alarms and logging, it integrates with Snarl and allows for nice fade-in/fade-out status notification windows.

Check out for details.

For a while now I’ve been working on a platform to publish some of the software I’ve developed in the past (and that I will be developing in the future:-). Well, it was a long path, some people even doubted that, given my tendency to perfectionism, I would ever finish up on this…but after way too many several re-writes, platform switches and logo changes (big thanks to Tobi for the final one), today I proudly present to you (*drumroll*):

Come in, take a cookie and browse through the, yet, sparse exclusive product list!