NetInventory 1.0.1

A new update 1.0.1 to NetInventory is now available on the NetInventory download page. This is mainly a bugfix and stability release, with the most changes shipping in the vware Libraries, which have undergone a lot of code hardening. Nevertheless, the database has seen a very slight modification, which will force you to refresh your database schema if you are running a database server backend instead of the supplied Access file.

Egoism

“One ought to look a good deal at oneself before thinking of condemning others.” – this quote of Molière may also apply to computer users. While NetInventory served people well in terms of auditing hundreds of machines and evaluating the results based on database queries, it is still rather inefficient for viewing details of one single machine.
The next major version of NetInventory will include Egoist, a new tool designed for querying and displaying information of a single machine in a more user friendly way than the database approach for large networks. While still in early stages, the basic design is now completed and development is shifting over to fine tuning and bug fixing, as well as improving the usability.

100>>2=25

One of the features I always missed in VisualBasic was bitwise shifting. One of my most used features in earlier years, because it was especially useful for evaluating registers and masking out values. Since it was always rather easy to develop GUI applications with VB, I often hit the limits of it (as of version 6.0 and earlier).
The only way around it was to write a DLL in C and import it in VB to shift bits left and right. A lot of time has passed since then, and I did not need shifting as much anymore.
Yesterday, however, when working on ClanTools, I forgot the “” in MsgBox(“100>>25”). When the program hit this line, the message box showed “25”, which puzzled me at first, but then I realized that VB 2005 now actually supports bit-shifting! I wonder if I just overlooked it or Microsoft never actually announced it in a big way. They should have done so, it really adds to VisualBasic as a language.

ClanTools are back

Well, to be exact, the changelog for ClanTools is back. But that only happened for a good reason: about 2 years after the then-final release of ClanTools 2.0.4, new versions for IRCScore, NTPAlarm, PUTimer, and SFind are in development.
As announced earlier, IRCScore has received the most work so far, and is already quite usable, with all benefits that the switch to the .NET Framework brings with it. All tools are under heavy development at the moment, you can expect some of the tools to be released seperately in an alpha test.

FileIndexer 2.0

The next version of FileIndexer is available now at the Miscellaneous downloads section. The program has been revamped completely, with the code converted to use the .NET Framework 2. This brings a few major additions and changes, as well as improvements to the overall performance. This is the second release from vware to use the vware Libraries, which have been further stabilized. The legacy VB6 version of FileIndexer is still available in the Nostalgia section.

Service Pack Slipstream

Some time ago, Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2005 was released. It weighs in at about 430MB of data, and depending on the installed features, may take more than one hour to install on a decent machine.
This, by itself, may be annoying, but not actually a show stopper. What is really mean is the slack that the Windows Installer leaves on your harddisk after installing a patch that large. You might want to take a look at the directory Installer in the Windows directory. After installing the service pack, the Windows Installer “backs up” easily 1GB of data there. So, for clean installations, anybody who is not into masochism might want to slipstream the patch data into the installer.

There is a nice post at the MSDN blog site on how to do that here.
One might wonder why the Windows Installer behaves that way, and obviously, it does that to support re-configuration of the installed software package. The simplest method to do that seems to be this one, but one wonders if there is no better way to handle this. At least, there is no better way to clutter your system drive with data you are most likely never going to need. Over and out from someone with a 4GB sized Installer directory.

WinUAE Help 2.0.9

Peter has yet again done a great job keeping the official WinUAE help file up to date with the latest release of WinUAE, namely 1.4.1. You can grab the latest version of the file in the Emulation section.

Emulation done right

If you have been into computers and games for a couple of years, and want to play your old favorite games again, you are bound to stumble accross emulation at some point, programs that will allow you to run software for other computers or gaming machines on your PC.
Here at vware you will find the official help file for WinUAE, which is the de-facto standard for emulating Amiga machines. This, however, is just one major emulator I would like to hint at.
Lately, what the developers of MAME accomplished, is simply astonishing. They have the do-it-right strategy which is very impressive compared to most of the projects which just try to make something work, even if it may be with hacks. I recommend checking out blogs of some MAME developers:

It is rather interesting following the progress of these dedicated guys, as MAME is a project that had its 10th birthday this year. For educational purposes, I would recommend checking the source code, as it contains sort of a reference implementation for other emulators.

Scorebot, anyone?

You might probably be visiting this site because of the ClanTools package, which actually made vware a little popular in the first place. Development was given up quite some time ago, but at the moment IrcScore is being converted to make use of the latest technology. IrcScore is a scorebot which is capable of querying servers of 17 different games and post their status into IRC. You might even see a revival of the bot in a heavily upgraded incarnation… The current version is available as part of the ClanTools package.