Facebook and Google Plus Pages

While I’d still like to see RSS make a big comeback, rather few people use it today, compared to subscribing to feeds via Facebook or Google Plus. To accomodate that, I’ve created pages on both platforms that will get updated along with entries on this blog.

Consider subscribing to one of those if you want to know when there’s new content available here. Or course the RSS feed still works, too.

Motional desktop and the last tweak

This is a guest post by my friend Tobi, on how to create a fancy custom animated desktop wallpaper. —Jörn

Ever wondered if it is possible to create an animated background for Windows 7, since ActiveDesktop has been removed? The answer is: YES, IT IS.

Lets start with the last tweak and then putting the results to the desktop. With last tweaks I mean to put pictures with alpha channels to your movie. All you need for that is Avisynth, a “tool for video post-production”. You can edit your movie and play it with a media player without having any temporary files.

© Copyright dreamscene.org - All rights reserved.

Here is a short sample of what I have done to place a transparent picture as overlay in a movie located at the given x / y coordinates – from beginning till end:

wmv = DirectshowSource("Test.wmv",fps=24.665)
png = ImageSource("Test.png")
pnga = ImageReader("Test",pixel_type="RGB32").ShowAlpha(pixel_type="RGB32")
Overlay(wmv,x=545,y=-20,png,mask=pnga) 

All files are located relative to this .avs.

After this you have to convert and store the video with Free Video Converter by simply dragging the avs file into the videos space of this application.

Now it is time to put the video on your Windows 7 desktop. There are six simple steps to provide this functionality to Windows 7:

  • Download (DreamScene)
  • Copy the DreamScene.dll to %systemroot%\System32
  • Copy the DreamScene.mui to %systemroot%\System32\de-DE
  • Copy the DreamScene.mui to C:\Windows\System32\en-US
  • Execute the Dscene.reg
  • Restart Windows

That’s it.

If you want to have some nice precreated movie desktops check out dreamscene.org.

Extracting work reports from Freshbook timesheets

From the (just created) category of the “Public Notebook”, aka things I don’t want to write again and may come in handy for someone else.

Here I needed to extract a column of text from a table in Freshbooks, to copy the timesheet descriptions into another document. A little bit of jQuery helps to get the job done quickly:

$('tbody td.text_wrap').map(function() {
    return $(this).text();
}).get().join("\n")

If we’d use text() directly on the selection, we couldn’t insert the line breaks.

That’s all.

Problem Factory

With some background in Java, this is a lot of fun:

And also very sad, considering that there’s code with an actual ProblemFactory (that extend’s a DefaultProblemFactory):