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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Google Maps for Mobile - Impressions Day 2

I just took a 60 mile trip and was checking My Location on the Google Maps for Mobile. To my surprise, it was pretty accurate during the whole trip. The map would place me on the highway or within a 50 yards of the highway along the route.

Another interesting detail, I didn't have to request the location all the time, the position would adjust as the car was moving - very much like the it does on the GPS.

That brought an interesting thought - Now Google has not only the locations where their devices are being used, but the movement patterns as well. That's a lot of information that can be used for both good and not ...

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Google Maps for Mobile - now with My Location

Today, Google made a new Google Maps for Mobile available on their site. The new beta version includes a My Location functionality that places your location on the map based on the information received from the cell phone towers.

I've installed the app on my Blackberry Curve. The My Location function is great, even though it is not as good as a GPS. While in my office, Google Maps placed my location within around 100m of my real location. That was great. The neat trick is that positioning works even when you are inside a building, something that GPS can not do.

However, near my house, it around 1 mile off (1.5 Km). Still good, considering makes it easier to request directions since its a lot easier to select the source point on the map.

I am sure they will be improving the app as time goes on as well.

Get the application from http://www.google.com/gmm

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Subversion pre-commit hooks

I am using a wonderful source control product Subversion. More information is available on http://subversion.tigris.org

A great future of subversion is an ability to run a server script before the check-in is committed . The script has the ability to rollback the check-in. We are using this functionality to enforce comments for every check-in.

To create a script, place any executable file into a hooks folder in the repository. You can start with a pre-commit.tmpl template file that is located there already. The template is a perl script that accomplishes exactly that functionality.

Our subversion runs on a windows system, so we converted the perl script into a batch file

"c:\Program Files\Subversion\bin\svnlook.exe" log -t %2 %1 | FindStr [a-zA-Z0-9]
IF %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 0 GOTO OK
echo "Commit Comments are Required" >&2
exit 1
:OK
exit 0

Place the code into a pre-commit.bat batch file in the hooks directory.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

VS 2008 Wait is over

VS 2008 is RTM on November 19th

Get it now...

http://microsoft.com/vstudio/

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Slacking around with slacker.com

A great music service is Slacker.com

Slacker.com provides an Internet radio with a few great twists.

  1. It is customizable. You can create your own radio stations by flagging favorite artists.
  2. You can play it through the Web Page or via a installed music player
  3. It lets you take the radio with you by letting you buy a portable music player.

This is definitely something that I am looking forward. Some things from my wish lists are

  1. Ability to tap into an ITunes music library for extended selection
  2. Ability to use a cell phone network for data transfer, so I am not tied to the WiFi or their proprietary DJ Technology (Can someone please explain that to me)
  3. Bluetooth in the portable device

So far, I am loving it.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Windows Live Writer is out of Beta

The excellent tool that I am using to write blog entries is finally out of beta. Get it now.

http://windowslivewriter.spaces.live.com/default.aspx

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Compiling an empty project from Command Line (Compiler Error CS2008)

I've encountered an interesting issue compiling a WebSite Project from command line using msbuild.

The project did not have any .cs source files because the pages referenced assemblies from a different project. Compilation was successful in Visual Studio, but using msbuild, I was getting a compiler error CS2008 - No inputs specified

Apparently, Visual Studio handles an empty project properly, but command line csc compiler does not. To solve the issue, just add a blank .cs file (I actually placed the comment explaining the issue in the file)

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