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Query results for : December 2014

Surviving the next Polar Vortex - Retro Computer Games for Apple iOS (iPhone/iPad)- 22 December 2014 - (0) Comments

Thomas Hampel
 22 December 2014

Warning: This is an off-topic post about retro computer games for Apple iOS (iPhone/iPad) - if you object you may browse elsewhere.

For most kids today play games are probably the first thing they do with computers before learning how to write code
But even experienced developers like John David Head seem to enjoy computer games every once in a while, and so do I. Of course only when time allows.

Personally I dont care much about graphics, I'm more interested in the gameplay, I like clever puzzles, I like funny stories and other things like that. So classic / retro computer games are the perfect fit.
Some people are collecting old hardware, or build their own retro console using a Raspberry PI just to play old games.
The more easy route is to spend time on cold and dark winter nights (like this Sunday) for taking a look into the Apple iTunes Store to see what games can potentially be interesting for people like me.

The following list of classic/retro games and game remakes should provide you with plenty of food for the next polar vortex or whatever excuse you have to play again.
Certainly I have tested a few of those games but not at all everything on that list. Unfortunately some good titles which I wanted to add have already been removed from the AppStore (like SimCity), so if you find a game you like, better buy it asap.

How about you? What are your favorite (retro/classic) Games on iOS or other platforms ? What is missing in the list below? Let me know by leaving a comment...
Note: Comments are moderated, so when you submit your comment it will not show up immediately.


Arcade
Arcade (Beat'em up)
Adventure
Jump'n Run
2D Shooter
3D Shooter
Strategy Sport / Simulation
RPG
Puzzle
Special Games or Collections
Furhter reading & listening...
The author of this post appreciates comments!
Again, comments are moderated, so when you submit your comment it will not show up immediately.


RSS Feed Reader - Error: Unable to download a feed from host- 18 December 2014 - (1) Comments

Thomas Hampel
 18 December 2014

Some time ago a user started to claim his Notes Sidebar would no longer display latest RSS news feeds.
Asking for details we checked functionality by subscribing to a new feed....which did not work either. The Notes client was throwing an error:

Image:RSS Feed Reader - Error: Unable to download a feed from host

Analysis:

At first one might think this is caused by the RSS feed itself, but since I'm a subscriber of the same feed I knew the root cause must be something different.

Within the corporate network Notes clients must be configured to use an HTTP proxy in order to access the internet, testing revealed outside of the customers network it is working fine when HTTP Proxy settings are disabled,

Feed reader components itself are running on the latest version, so
Michael Urspringer's hint (= SPR # IFAY7CTHAR ) seems not to apply
Image:RSS Feed Reader - Error: Unable to download a feed from host

Opening a PMR was followed with the usual request for logs and a
Wireshark network trace.
After some investigation and
discussions it turned out the network team changed some settings on the HTTP proxy server to block all HTTP traffic from web browsers where the user agent string includes "Windows NT 5.1" (which is Windows XP) because WinXP being out of support.

Wireshark showed the default setting for the feed reader in Notes 9.0.1 is user agent="Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729)"

...but how can you change this default??


A small hint can be found in the release notes of a previous
Notes client (8.5.2FP1) fix list
Take a closer look to SPR# MWER88NFWT which outlines the settings required for modifying the useragent.:


"Added an option to allow customers to override the "User Agent" value for Notes Client Feedreader. By default, Feed Reader authenticates itself as "MSIE 7.0" even on Linux and Mac.  
Customers can optionally add the following 2 lines to the /framework/rcp/plugin_customization.ini:

com.ibm.rcp.feedreader.providers/network.useragent.override=true

com.ibm.rcp.feedreader.providers/network.useragent=CUSTOMER SPECIFIED VALUE (<-replace CUSTOMER SPECIFIED VALUE with the value of your choosing)"



Solution:
  • Change the useragent string of the feed reader to anything else. (You can find a long list of user agents to choose from as part of a Firefox Plugin.)
    Modify the file /framework/rcp/plugin_customization.ini and add the following lines for testing
    com.ibm.rcp.feedreader.providers/network.useragent.override=true
    com.ibm.rcp.feedreader.providers/network.useragent=Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:25.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/25.0
  • After successful testing, deploy this parameter to all users by using Desktop Policies / Managed Settings:
    Image:RSS Feed Reader - Error: Unable to download a feed from host

Conclusion:

The HTTP proxy was configured according to
RFC 3314 but mistakenly assuming WinXP in a useragent string is evil
....and of course...
whatever is wrong, it must have been the network guy!

Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets- 17 December 2014 - (1) Comments

Thomas Hampel
 17 December 2014

Believe it or not, English is not the only language on our planet...and the Notes client of course needs to provide spell checking capabilities for the most common languages.
For Notes v8.5.1 and above IBM provides dictionaries in XTAF format shipped in a ZIP file which can be
installed via File\Applications\Install, but I dont want the average end user to do that alone.

Although the Notes Client installer package can be customized to
include additional dictionaries, you probably have deployed the Notes Client already.
So how do you deploy additional dictionaries without building a new client package, preferably in a way that end users can self decide which dictionaires they would like to install?

Main idea is to use Widgets for allowing users to self install dictionaries they need by using a Widget Catalog and thw My Widgets sidebar of the Notes client.
Ok, lets get started...

Preparations
  • Download the required dictionary files Passport Advantage
    Package is titled "IBM Notes XTAF Dictionaries V9.0", part numbers are :
    Mac=CIF0DML
    Linux=CIF6BML
    Windows=CIF0EML

Build an Eclipse UpdateSite for the XTAF dictionaires
  • Extract the packages to a new temporary folder, once completed it should somewhat look like that:
    Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets
  • Now you would create one subfolder for each language and extract EACH of the ZIP files into its own folder, and unzip files one by one.
    If you dont like to do this yourself, just put the following batch file into the same folder and run it.
    unzipXTAFsites.cmd
    It will use
    7zip (which you have installed hopefully) to unzip each file to its own subfolder

    Once completed you should have 23 subdirectories by now, each one should contain the following:

    Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets
  • Create a new NSF based Eclipse UpdateSite, a new one is recommended for not mixing up with other versions
    Make sure to set up a propper ACL, users should have read access only!
  • Open the newly created database and use the button Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets to load each of the XTAF dictionaries into the Eclipse Update Site
    The result should look like this:

    Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets


Creating Widgets
  • If not already available, create a new Widget Catalog as described here
  • In your Notes Client, start creating a Widget by clicking the icon "Getting Started with Widgets...."
    Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets
  • In the first dialog choose "Features and Plugins"
    Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets
  • Enter the URL for the update site.
    If you want the connection between the client and the server to use the Notes protocol, use "nrpc://" e.g.  "nrpc://your-servername/path/updatesitefilename.nsf/site.xml"
    if you want to use the HTTP protocol, use "http://" or "https://", e.g. "
    http://your-servername.domain.com/path/updatesitefilename.nsf/site.xml""
    Click on "Load" to see the list of available features to install.

    Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets
  • Select the language(s) you want to wrap into a widget, click Finish to create a widget.
    I do recommend one widget for each language, of course you can also wrap all at once into a single Widget or just use subset of available dictionaries.
    Note: You do not need to restart the Notes client when you are prompted.
  • Within the Widget Sidebar of your Notes Client, choose the new widget and right-click it to publish the widget to the widget catalog
    Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets
    Dont forget to add meaningful details in the new document so that your end users know what the widget provides.
    e.g. All Dictionaries for IBM Notes 9.0
    and in the details section of the widget, provide a meaningful text explaining how to install a widget, e.g.:
    The result should somewhat look like this:

    Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets

What end users need to do to (manually) install a new dictionary
 
When not using policies, end users need to...
  • Click "File\Preferences\" and select "Widgets"
  • Enable "Show Widget Toolbar..."
    Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets
  • This will show the new My Widget sidebar panel on the right hand side of the Notes client.
    Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets
  • Click the first icon Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets "Browse the Widget catalog"
  • Open the widget catalog entry for the language(s) you want to install
  • Drag & drop the file attachment "extension.xml" from the catalog into the "My Widgets" sidebar
    The Notes Client will now automatically install the dictionary files and will prompt to restart the Notes client.

    Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets
  • After restarting the Notes Client, additional dictionaries are available in "File\Preferences\Spell Check"
    Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets

How to deploy dictionaries using Domino policies
  • Within the Desktop Policy Settings, verify that you have specified the widget catalog server and filename
    Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets
  • In the same document, define a catagory which will be automatically deployed to end users, in this example it is "Autodeploy"
    You can of course use the category "Dictionaries" which you have defined when creating the widget itself but this will not allow to fine tune which dictionary to be pushed out.

    Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets
  • Back in the Widget Catalog, modify those widgets which you want to deploy and add the (new) category "Autodeploy" to each of them.
    Image:Deploying IBM Notes Dictionaries in XTAF format using Widgets
  • Once done, the widgets/dictionaries will be deployed to your end users the next time they start the Notes client.

Conclusion

I know there are lots of other methods to roll out dictionaries, e.g. by using File\Application\Install , but I find this too complicated for average users.

Make sure to show the sidebar "My Widgets" to your users...
If you're using a desktop policy, check if you have set the parameter "Show the My Widgets panel in the sidebar:" set to "Yes" in the tab "Widgets" of the applicable policy settings document.


Reference:
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