Category Archives: Software

Software

Remember to register for UK MaD Meeting – October 21st 2008

A quick reminder to any developers focusing on Mobile Development. If you were planning to attend the UK MaD Meeting tomorrow remember to register for the event by sending an email to UGadmin@flashmobilegroup-uk.org with the subject “I want to attend the UKMaD Meeting oct 2008″ include your name, contact email & contact number . If you dont you will not be entered into the software prize draw to win Adobe CS4.

Full details of the event have already been posted bt Mark Doherty at flashmobileblog.com.

Nokia N95 Firmware Update to 21.0.016 and adds FlashLite 3 Support

As many people will have seen yesterday Nokia release a fairly major update to the N95 firmware. One of the major bonuses for flash developers is the inclusion of FlashLite 3 as standard onto the device, both as a standalone player and within the browser. For those using detection scripts the player version reported in the browser is:

PlayerVersion: FL 8,1,55,0

You can see a FlashLite version test movie here..

Related to this I found myself in the situation where the Nokia Software Updater would not allow me to install the new firm ware, my t-mobile branded phone was just such a device. A quick search and it seems that devices on certain service providers are locked from the update. However there are always round such restrictions. Below is how to modify your Nokia N95 product code so that it is unlocked for applying new firmware updates.

WARNING THIS PROCESS MAY BRICK YOUR PHONE, VOID YOUR WARRANTY AND ANY NUMBER OF OTHER TERRIBLE THINGS. DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU ARE IN ANYWAY UNSURE OF THE CONSEQUENCES. I ACCEPT NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY NASTY THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO YOU, YOUR DEVICE OR ANY ACTION YOUR SERVICE PROVIDER TAKES AFTER FOLLOWING THESE LINKS AND INSTRUCTIONS

That said, I only had one minor hiccup in the whole process, and it seems I am not the only one to have experienced it. I for got to mention that to Mike on MSN 😀

Right with that out the way, on to the fun.

1. First off BACK UP YOUR DEVICE! make sure you have a back up of the memory card and also the device memory.
2. In order to install the new 21.0.016 firmware you will also want to make sure you have the following software.

* Download the latest version of Nokia PC Suite.
* Download the Nemesis Service Suite.

3. Next read this post, it provides a list of the available product codes for the N95.
4. Finally you should make sure you read this post, it covers how to update the product code on the N95.

As I began to progress through the steps outlined on changing the product code of my Nokia N95 mobile phone there were a couple of items where I was left to ‘take a leap of faith’.

  1. When installing Nemesis Service Suite I left the device connection as the default virtual USB device. And that seemed to be the right thing to do.
  2. When deciding on a new product code for the device I chose the one for EURO1 Plum, this appears to have worked fine for my location and device. I have a silver/grey Nokia N95 and am based in the UK.

Once the product code was updated on the mobile phone the Nokia Software Updater worked fine to allow me to upgrade to the latest 21.0.016 firmware.

Curse my slow blogging skills, beat to the post. 😀

Sneak Peak of WordPress 2.5 available for download

Anyone looking in the WordPress dashboard today will see the news that there is a sneak peak of the WordPress 2.5 Release Candidate 1 availible. From the dashboard comments this new version of WordPress will feature.

A customizable dashboard, multi-file upload, built-in galleries, one-click plugin upgrades, tag management, built-in Gravatars, full text feeds, and faster load times

If you are interested in giving the release candidate a test run, probably in a test environment I would think at this stage, You can download WordPress 2.5 here.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.4 and Camera Raw 4.4 updates

[[** UPDATE **]]
Currently the Lightroom 1.4 update has been recalled after bugs were discovered all links to the Lightroom 1.4 update are redirected to the older 1.31 update for now. As per the comments from Adobe, you should avoid installing the Lightroom 1.4 update until a newer 1.41 update is availible that fixes these bugs Thanks for bringing this to my attention in the comments.
[[** UPDATE **]]

The Lightroom team have posted an announcement that Lightroom and Camera Raw have both been updated. According to the post the update wont filter through the Adobe Update system until next week, so if you want to get the update early you can find them on the adobe site and download them manually.

download Lightroom 1.4 Update for Macintosh
download Lightroom 1.4 Update for Windows
download Camera Raw 4.4 Update for Macintosh
download Camera Raw 4.4 Update for Windows

The full post detailing the changes in the updates to Lightroom and Camera Raw are here

How to create a portable, cross platform encrypted drive using TrueCrypt

I posted a few days ago regarding the release of the new Macintosh OS X version of TrueCrypt. For those that don’t know, TrueCrypt is a free, open source application that enables you to create an encrypted files that, using the TrueCrypt application, can be mounted as a drive on a host machine. The exciting thing is that this new version of TrueCrypt makes it possible to create a cross platform encrypted volumes! This post is a step by step instruction on how to create a portable, cross platform, encrypted volume that will allow you to carry your data securely and access it on any Windows, Mac and I assume Linux based computers.

Before we get into the main instruction, I want to highlight some points.

  1. [[** UPDATE **]]
    See this comment Sorry I was wrong, thank you for clearing this up
    [[** UPDATE **]]
    Currently the Mac version of TrueCrypt does NOT support hidden volumes, so if you need data to be available on Windows, Mac and Linux, you will have to forgo hidden encrypted volume functionality for the time being. Remember hidden TrueCrypt volumes you have previously created will NOT work on Macintosh computers.
  2. Currently the Mac version of TrueCrypt only seems to support the FAT file system. This is actually pretty logical . There is no native support for NTFS on Macintosh computers yet. If you already have a Windows based NTFS formatted encrypted volume, you may want to set up a new encrypted volume and format it to FAT so that you can mount the volume on multiple operating systems.
  3. Remember you will need to download the latest version of TrueCrypt

Below the fold is the full step by step instruction on how to create a free, portable, cross platform encrypted drive using TrueCrypt. The encrypted volume you create should allow you to move a secure encrypted file across windows, macintosh and linux computers. As long as you have the TrueCrypt application with you on something like a USB drive or TrueCrypt is pre-installed on your target computer you should be able to mount your encrypted file as a standard drive.

So off we go!!

Continue reading How to create a portable, cross platform encrypted drive using TrueCrypt

Free, Portable, Cross Platform Encryption Solution with TrueCrypt 5

True Crypt 5a was released on a few weeks ago on February the 12th, one of the major new features is the release of a Mac OS X version of this free encryption application. A quick test confirms that creating a TrueCrypt 5 encrypted volume as a FAT32 formated volume using the new OS X 10.5 Leopard release of produces an encrypted file that can be mounted and used on a Windows XP machine that also has the new version of true crypt installed or availible.

Personally I find this new version wonderful. My previous cross platform encryption solution was to use bcrypt a command line application availible for both Windows and Mac OS X, however this was really only useful for file encryption. Alternatively I could use an encrypted drive image in OS X, But then this was no use if i needed the files on my Windows machine.

True crypt 5 allows a user to set up an encrypted volume that can be mounted as a drive, in the same way as an OS X drive image, only now of course its cross platform, and if you run truecrypt in traveler mode, its portable too! Bonus!

In addition if you happen to have a Linux box, or maybe one of the shiny new Nokia Internet Tablets you ‘should’ also be able to run TrueCrypt 5 on those as well, TrueCrypt has supported Linux for a while I believe.

You can Download TrueCrypt here.

Google Gears for mobile & Nokia Silverlight Support

First up is the announcement yesterday from Google thats Google Gears is making a move onto Mobile devices.

Initially available for Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices, mobile web app developers have already started integrating Gears for mobile into their online services.

also

if you’re not a Windows Mobile user, stay tuned — we’re working to roll out Google Gears for other platforms with capable web browsers, including Android.

you can find out more at the Google Gears on Mobile Devices developer site.

Separately, today came news from Nokia that they are to add support for Silverlight on S60 and Series 40 devices on Symbian OS and Nokia Internet tablets.

This is an important relationship on so many levels. Working with Nokia means we are easily able to reach a huge number of mobile users, including customers of all S60 licensees. This is a significant step in gaining broad acceptance for Silverlight and ensuring it is platform agnostic. This is critical since we want to make sure developers and designers don’t have to constantly recreate the wheel and build different versions of applications and services for multiple operating systems, browsers and platforms

said S. Somasegar, Senior Vice President of Microsoft’s Developer Division.

Exciting times ahead 😀

credit where its due:

New Fring Version 3.3, Now with Flash Presence Widget.

This evening I received an email from the mobile change service Fring announcing the new version is availible. As well as great new file swapping, Yahoo and AIM support and a host of other improvements, there was news of a new Flash based widget for websites that would allow people to contact you from your website while you are on the move with the Fring Mobile Client.

Get more from your handset with fring’s new flash fringME! widget and stay connected with your internet communities while on the go! With the fringME! widget placed on your website or blog (i.e. myspace page), your web visitors can fring you at anytime, enabling you to stay connected even when you’re away from your PC.

With fringME!, your online buddies will now be able to:

  • chat with you from fringME! on the web direct to fring on your mobile – even if they don’t have fring
  • see where you are. You can choose for fringME! to show your location via Google Maps using your GPS-enabled phone
  • view your online presence status – and see if you’re online, offline or in a call

Download the new Fring version 3.3 for mobile chat

Flash Lite 3 Update

I have still getting people sending me the IMEI numbers asking me to send them the Adobe FlashLite 3 player. For those that missed the announcement FlashLite 3 is freely availible as a Developer Edition on Symbian based mobile devices. The release notes on the Adobe Labs site explain that the player has only been tested on the Nokia N95.

So why you waiting? download FlashLite 3 for N95 Already 😀

I hope that clears up the confusion.

Ultra-Edit Text Editor Goes Portable, But at a price.

In previous posts I have espoused the virtues of portable applications, and provided a list of applications I keep installed on my USB Drive. One application I have used for a number of years is IDM Computer Solutions Ultra Edit. This feature rich text/hex editor has now been updated to be compatible with the U3 portable drive system. I haven’t installed it yet though. Why? Well I think the price is a bit steep, especially since I currently hold an unlimited upgrade license for Ultra-Edit, Ultra-Compare and Ultra-Sentry. I just cant justify the extra expense for another copy of Ultra-Edit, just for the privilege of having it run from a USB Drive. Since switching to a Mac I guess I feel spoiled by all the fantastic free software that is availible. The idea of paying for 2 copies of one application seems a little alien now. 😀

AirPress. Desktop video blogging comes to WordPress thanks to Adobe AIR

The Weblog Tools site has a link to an AIR application aimed at blog authors, its called AirPress. AirPress seems to offer similar functionality to other blogging tools I have seen such as the ScribeFire add-on (used to be called Performancing) for FireFox. The major interesting addition in AirPress is the inclusion of webcam support to allow authors to publish FLV formatted video to there WordPress blog. AirPress still seems to be in an early stage (betr) but could be worth keeping an eye on.

Rather amusingly “AirPress requires Adobe AIR beta (Download Adobe AIR)”. Thats a Beta that needs a Beta to run. Beta2

Adobe Unveils Technical Communication Suite

I stumbled across this on the Adobe.com press area. The suite looks like it contains all the products you could need from Adobe if you are required to produce Technical Documentation, Training Material, Help files for products and even E-learning courses.

Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced Adobe® Technical Communication Suite software, a first-of-a-kind, integrated solution for authoring, managing, and publishing technical information and training content across multiple formats and languages

The Full Press release can be found on the Adobe.com Website.

Adobe Unveils Technical Communication Suite

Renaming 13,000 photographs and XMP Files. LightRoom Wins.

As I mentioned not long ago I have always been a huge fan of Adobe PhotoShop LightRoom (Although its full name can be a real mouthful!). I Love the non-destructive transforms and its great at organising my photos straight from the camera. I read today of a different challenge from the National geographic digital photography blog. The author had been sent the following challenging set of files.

  • I received 13,000 images from a photographer. The files are named incorrectly and many hundreds of images have the same name.
  • All files need to be sorted by the time they were created and renamed from 1 through 13,000.
  • The files are located within more than 140 sub-folders by file category and in no apparent date order.
  • Each of the images has an XMP file containing the caption information and this file needs to be renamed exactly as the file is named.

The Author seemed to think LightRoom is the only program up to the job. Understanding XMP Files, and allowing the user to sort by date. One thing I didn’t see mentioned was its ability to remove suspected duplicates.

Read the full ‘task-off’ over at National Geographic.

Also this evening Ihave fallen on a couple of use full links that offer some free Presets for LightRoom users to make use of.

LightRoom-Extra.com – Has everything from templates, to presets.
lightroompresets.com – Only seems to provide downloads for development presets in LightRoom

WordPress 2.3 Released

I have just seen on my WordPress dashboard that the new release WordPress 2.3 was released today. Code named “Dexter”.

This release is named for the great tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon

Download WordPress 2.3, “Dexter”

Also today I found this useful article on using Subversion for managing your WordPress installation.

Installing/Updating WordPress with Subversion

Adobe Releases ‘Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’ 1.0

Found on the Adobe.com home page is the announcement that Adobe Photoshop Lightroom has moved from Labs and beta status to Lightroom 1.0 Release.

I have been using the beta version of Light Room to manage the images from my recent trip (some 3000+ images in various formats) and have really found it an incredibly useful application for organising, sorting and preparing images for print.

The ability to search, filter and sort images via shoot, category and or key words is brilliant. I have also found the simple ‘Develop’ tools great for quick adjustments to Raw images prior to exporting for print.

the full product details are available from the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom product page.

Gliffy, web based diagramming application.

Many developers will be aware of Grant Skinners fantastic flash based UML application GModeler. Well while looking around the interweb at diagramming application options on the Mac, other than OmniGraffle, I stumbled accross this great example of a Flash RIA that seems to offer all the functionality you might need. Enter Gliffy.

Not only does it offer UML, but also floor plans, network diagrams, user interfaces. Add to this the export to SVG, JPEG, PNG, Print options and collaborative options as well. Gliffy seems to offer most of what I need from any full price diagramming application. Omni Graffle can wait for now I think.

powered by performancing firefox

Balthaser patent .180 reexamination

As Mike over at Flashgen.com and also Aral Balkan reports it seems someone is looking to contest the ridiculous Balthaser RIA patent that was reported a while ago by a number of Flash developers. I have also been contacted by Oliver Lorenz with regard to providing more information and certainly urge anyone that wants to beable to continue RIA development without the potential of infringing on this patent.

The issue I have with the patent is its broad and sweeping coverage of very common interface and application GUI design systems. As an example reading one portion of the “Summary of The Invention”.

When editing a component, the user may modify a number of features associated with a component including, but not limited to, the volume of an acoustic component, the link between a menu entry and an associated component, the font, font size, color, or effect of a text field, or the layout, size, transparency, rotation, color, position, or level of any graphical rich-media component. The user may modify these components by means of a slider bar or a textual input field. In addition, the user may modify the volume of a sound component by means of up and down volume buttons. The user may undo modifications made to a component’s parameters. The user may also modify the position of a graphical rich-media component by a graphical input field, by clicking and dragging said component, or by text fields. When the user modifies the position of a graphical rich-media component by means of clicking and dragging said component, said component may align itself to a grid point or a guide line. The user may also modify the style and the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of a component linked to a menu entry.

Unless I am mistaken the recently posted link to Netvibes would actually infringe on this part of the patent. In that the user can select ‘panes’ or ‘graphical rich-media components’ of the netvibes application and alter there position within the application by clicking and dragging them to a new position.

In this example, because there is no specific technology linked to the patent claim, any RIA in any technology, Flash, Ajax, Appolo, XUL Runner, HaXe, Sparkle, add any other future technology here….. These systems would all be in break of the patent claim.

And this is just ONE of the EIGHTY THREE different claims in this patent.

Very worrying I think any developer would agree. Everyone involved in Internet application development, in my opinion, should take a serious look at this patent. Think about ANY work they have done or seen in past. The work they are doing today. Then consider the possible implications of future networked development. If you know of anything that has been posted, exhibited or shown publicly that can bring this patent down, it is in every ones interest to make it known to strengthen the Magix reexamination.

And remember we are not just talking about flash applications or work here. If you remember or are aware of ANY online application, in any technology, be it DHTML, Director, Java or anything else. If it used any, all or even one of these systems to allow user interation then it may well be enough to show that Mr Neil Balthaser did not invent these systems, and certainly has not right to lay claim to doing so as he has in his patent application.

Portable Apps Updates and Links.

This morning while burning a little time I did a quick scan over the Portable Application I have been carrying around with me on my USB drive and did a quick compare with the latest versions that are available. PortableApps.com carries allot of the Portable Apps that I use but not all of them so this is what I “wax my stick” with right now.

  • KeyPass – This is a password manager that runs very nicely from a USB Key; It�s just recently been updated to v1.05. One lovely thing this Free Portable App allows is the ability to attach and encrypt files into the password file. So it also acts as a bit of a back up program as well 🙂
  • Portable FireFox – No real description required here, other than to say I find there are some key extensions worth using with Portable FireFox from USB. Sage, MozImage and Calendar. I like them just because I don�t have to install alternative, RSS readers, Image Viewers or the Portable SunBird. Simple really.
  • Portable ThunderBird – Again it�s a no brainer, a great free Portable email client. And now available with. OpenPGP/GPG Support. See now? KeyPass is an ideal place to store your PGP Keys 😀
  • Portable AmbiWord – This got updated to v2.4.4 and I missed it. I have had compatibility issues with some of the styling, but it�s a useful word replacement all the same, and not as bulky as Portable OpenOffice
  • Portable ClamWin – This is an Portable version of the Open Source Antivirus/Virus Scanner and has just been updated to v0.88.2.3
  • Portable FileZilla – Portable FTP Application, now on v2.2.23a
  • NotePad++ – Great portable NotePad Replacement, also great code editing tool. Plus it has native Support for ActionSctipt Syntax Highlighting. Bonus.
  • Portable Gaim – Portable version of the Gaim chat client. It has been updated to v1.5, also there is a test for Portable Gaim v2.0. Gaim has support for all the major networks. The more Security conscious of you may be interested in how you can also se SimpLite from USB as well
  • Ifran View – Ok when I recommended MozImage I said I didn�t need another image viewer, not entirely true as Mozimage only does Web Image formats. Ifran view does pretty much EVERY Format.
  • IZArc – This compression tool can be installed and then copied to a USB Key to run portably. Alternatively….
  • hjZip – can just be unzipped to your USB to be run
  • Foxit PDF Reader – Does what you would expect. A Portable PDF Application

And just because I like to think I am security more inclined(/paranoid) I also make use of these additional Portable Apps

  • SimpLite – This is a chat proxy that allows your Chat conversations to be encrypted. Not a true portable App, but I have found a way to run it in a portable manner. Instructions Here
  • Blowfish Advanced CS – I use this mainly for cleaning up after myself on any given system, it has up to 35 pass data deletion. In addition it is a nice quick way of encrypting files if the need ever arises
  • TorPak – This is a modified Portable FireFox that automatically runs a Tor Privoxy to mask/anonomise your web browsing I.P. This has the added benefit of bypassing some web filtering software that gets run.
  • TrueCrypt – TrueCrypt is a great encryption utility that offers mountable encrypted files/drive. The portable aspect comes from the traveler mode that this program offers

couple of links….

PortableApps.com

Also this Blog has a great set of Freeware application Alternatives.

Running SimpLite on USB Dive

Those of you that are users of MSN or one of its many alternative clients may or may not be aware of the fact that every conversation you have is clearly readable by any interested party that might monitor your goings on. In fact a simple Google search will throw up a fine list of methods and programs that will allow you to see exactly what I mean (EtherBoss).

Others of you will be aware there are a number of ways you can achieve some level of privacy in said Instant Message conversations, Gaim has a number of plug-in that offer some level of encryption to your messages. As a former user of the stock MSN client I had already decided to make use of SimpLite from Secway and as a result had convinced a large portion of my friends and family that they should also install and use it.

However once i had moved as many of my daily apps to a USB drive (read PSP. Overkill? You betcha!!) and swapped to using Gaim I was left with all Instant Messaging being transported in plain text again. After an Exhaustive search I didn’t find any information describing that SimpLite could be installed to USB or that it would work. In actual fact it is possible to run SimpLite from a USB drive. In addition you can install it in this way without administrator rights on the system you will use it on. The solution is really quite simple. Here is how I managed to Install SimpLite on to a USB drive to encrypt my Gaim messages.

Continue reading Running SimpLite on USB Dive

PortableApps.com launches

While I am waiting to pick up a decent Lappy to work from I have been making use of my PSP as possibly the most expensive 1Gb USB Drive Available. This has allowed me a temporary backup drive for my development work and also the client work i have been involved in.

Also it has provided a nice method for me to take some core applications with me where ever I go. These include, image viewers, code editors, email, ftp, and document viewers.

Now most of these applications can be found in one handy place instead of requiring visits to a number of places scattered all over the net.

check them out here