Thursday, May 31, 2007

Google Maps with Street View

Google has done it again! First with GPS maps of countries, now Google Maps has a new feature called Street View. With this new feature you can actually check out the what the street you're looking for looks like! Included here is a sample of street view's capabilites. I zoomed in into New York city and clicked Catherine St., and indeed, a picture of Catherine St. pops up! Unfortunately, Street View is currently limited to select cities in Google Maps. To check if your country or city is included in the list of available Street Views, zoom out of Google Map until you see a camera icon in the Google Map browser. This indicates that your city is included in Google Map's Street View.

Click here to try Google Map!


Starcraft 2! Return to Addiction!

Click me for a better view, I'm hi-res!

Here it is, Starcraft is making its presense known again! Never has any game gripped gamers so tightly like Starcraft. It is almost like a drug for some! Also known as the unoffical national game of Korea, Starcraft makes it comeback with a visibly improved graphics engine (gasp! 3D!), AI, and some new units for all three races!

From the screenie I posted, the units look like they aren't sporting textures but instead are base models with some spiffy magic I don't know about! Which seems almost crazy because almost all 3D games models are textured to replace additional polygons for the model's details in place of textures. I'm really looking forward to this! I can't wait to continue where Brood War left off, and maybe even try multiplayer for once! Now all I need is a brand new computer!

Visit Starcraft 2's site here!


The Future of USBs

Ever wondered if your USB port can be used for more than just transferring files and connecting typical peripherals like MP3 players, printers, etc.? Well check these out:

1. USB AIRDARTS - You can use your mouse to take aim, and click to shoot the darts.
2. USB Self-Destruction Button - a weird button used to limit access to some applications in your computer, or so they claim!
3. USB Vibrator - Yes, a VIBRATOR! And not just any vibrator, you can change the "probes" with 5 available probes each with different shapes and 10 vibration rhythms to suit your "desires".
Click here for more details on the products shown.


Microsoft Vs Linux... Again?

Microsoft is at it again capitalizing on yet another Linux weakness, but this time, it's boasting on how former Linux (server flavors) users are migrating to Windows Server 2003. Microsoft may have the advantage with its Windows Server Systems, especially with the Windows Server 2003 edition. I've tried configuring a small LAN using Windows Server 2003 and it was a breeze with Server 2003's many configuration wizards! Almost everything from DNS setup to setting a VPN can be done by the wizrads. Windows Server 2003 can make a Network Administrators job obsolete!

Click here to view Microsoft's "facts" about the Windows Server System.


Fix some issues with Flash ActiveX in Visual Studio 2005

I've encountered problems in the past where the Shockwave Flash Object is included in the toolbox, but when you try to drag it to a form, you get a "ActiveX control not registered" dialog box. Visual Studio 2005 has some problems wrapping the Flash ActiveX control. The following are also generated in the Error List Window under the Warnings tag:
  1. Could not resolve dependent COM reference "stdole, Version=7.0.3300.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a".
  2. Failed to create the wrapper assembly for type library "AxShockwaveFlashObjects". Exception of type 'Microsoft.Build.Tasks.ComReferenceResolutionException' was thrown.
  3. The referenced component 'AxShockwaveFlashObjects' could not be found. Failed to create the wrapper assembly for type library "AxShockwaveFlashObjects". Exception of type 'Microsoft.Build.Tasks.ComReferenceResolutionException' was thrown.
To fix this problem you'll need the following file: AxInterop.ShockwaveFlashObjects.dll, which can be downloaded here. Once you have a copy of the file, copy-paste to your Project's obj/Debug folder, close and restart your project then try to add the control again. That should help with the problem.


Integrating Flash Objects into .NET forms

If you guys ever want to embed your flash objects into .NET forms using Visual Studio 2005, you can do the following:

1) Open the toolbox and right click on it.
2) Select "Choose Item". You will be brought to a window where you can select components you can use in your tool box.
3) Select the COM tab, and search for Shockwave Flash Object in the list.
4) Click the checkbox to select the object and click on OK.
5) You will now see within the toolbox, your newly inserted Shockwave Flash Object.
6) Drag the flash object control to the form and right click the control.
7) You'll see a URL textbox, enter the flash object's location within your drive.

*Please note that your computer should have the ActiveX Control for the Latest Flash Player for this to work. This is because Visual Studio needed the Flash9.ocx(this can be Flash.8ocx or whatever Flash Player ActiveX you installed). You can get your copy here.

And that's it! You can modify most of it's properties in the properties window.

Some of the most helpful properties to check in the properties window checkboxes are the following:
  • Embed Movie - This property allows Visual Studio in create a .resx file to store your flash object and is automatically linked to your source file.
  • Play - This property allows your flash object to play its contents.


First Posts and What Nots...

I'm here yet again creating more posts, but instead on focusing on my usually self-centered self, I'm going to be posting content on interesting computer science news and maybe some code snippets I found useful during my lowly existence as a software developer.