Thursday, November 11, 2010

Technobrief #12

Summary: Recent findings of software, articles, and more.
  • InstantFirefox
    Add-on that enables instant (Chrome-like) search in Firefox.
  • Syphon
    Keeps your favorite extensions synced with all your computers.
  • Simplicity
    Great illustration of what a typical Apple product, Google interface and your company's application look like (funny, and so true).
  • 50 New Free High Quality Icons Sets
    Most of the listed freebies may be used for commercial projects as well, some of them may not.
  • Gcons
    Comprehensive collection of 100 creative, open source and multi-purpose icons in 12 colors for the web and desktop applications.
  • John Sculley On Steve Jobs, The Full Interview Transcript
    Offers awesome insights into how Steve Jobs does things; it’s also one of the frankest CEO interviews you’ll ever read (Sculley talks openly about Jobs and Apple, admits it was a mistake to hire him to run the company and that he knows little about computers).
  • The Essentials of Writing High Quality JavaScript
    Stoyan Stefanov offers an excerpt of his book (JavaScript Patterns) detailing the essentials of writing high quality JavaScript, such as avoiding globals, using single var declarations, pre-caching length in loops, following coding conventions, and more. This excerpt also includes some habits not necessarily related to the code itself, but more about the overall code creation process, including writing API documentation, conducting peer reviews, and running JSLint.
  • Laborers versus Professionals
    Jan Van Ryswyck offers a frank look at typical corporate application development practices (fear-driven development!).
  • Diffuse
    Tool for comparing and merging text files.
  • FotoMix
    Allows you to crop, resize, rotate, mix and manipulate different pictures,
    to create a wide variety of images.
  • Hamster Free Video Converter
    Converts video and audio files between various formats.
  • Free Video Converter
    Converts video between formats (AVI, MP4, WMV, MKV, SWF, 3GP, MPEG), creates custom presets, converts to devices, rips & burns DVDs, and uploads videos to YouTub.
  • JD-GUI
    Java decompiler.
  • xSearch
    A free search tool that offers more features than Windows Search, including searches for special words in files (any of the words, all of the words, exact phrase, without the words, etc), search for hexadecimal values, search for words in Unicode or UTF-8 format, and more.
  • CPU-Z
    Displays information about the main devices of your computer including CPU, graphics card, motherboard, memory, etc.
  • Rasterbator
    Creates rasterized versions of images, which can be printed and assembled into enormous (or smaller, if you prefer) posters.
Web tools
Web development
  • The Footer’s the Menu
    James Edwards suggests ways to address usability and accessibility problems with drop-down and fly-out menus.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Windows Live Essentials 2011 error [SOLVED]

Summary: Why can't I install Photo Gallery and Movie Maker?
This is what an installation error should not look like:

Two hours of frustration, searching the web and support sites for possible hints, following any remotely close suggestions, and the only thing I get is:
An unknown error occurred.
Error: 0x80096005
Source: D3DX9
Thank your Microsoft, kids!

UPDATE: Okay, after getting a number of hints from troubleshooting posts, I was able to fix the problem. It looks like my system missed the original DirectX 9 DLL (D3DX9.DLL). I don't know why it's missing. Maybe some program removed it when it was not supposed to (I did not see any errors related to DirectX 9, though). So, I just made copies of the latest version of the DirectX 9 DLL (D3DX9_XX.DLL) in the System32 and SysWow64 folders and renamed the copies to D3DX9.DLL. Problem solved. Hope it helps someone.