Archive for May, 2009

I’ve got an IRISnotes 1.0

May 27, 2009

did not cost a lot of money, and the harware seems good, but the software is crap and thus the device is not useful for me.

What the device should do:

* produce notes files which are the page image as .pdf or some other common format, with automatically created hand script recognition hidden from the eyes from the user under the page image, but which allows full test searches, and copy and paste to MS Word, etc.

* interface with Windows Journal (which does this job perfectly if used with a Tablet PC).

Actually, there is no useful way to produce anything similar with the present software. What the device can’t do:

* it does not provide any useful dat exchange properties which keep the hand script information. It just allows you to export the notes as proprietary .pegvf, which can be read by no other software in the world, and as JPEG. JPEG is just a bitmap, and does not preserve the strokes of the handwriting. It is not feasible in the next few years that there will be a techology to do OCR on bitmap hand script. Thus, you can as well delete the note, you will not be able to use it again.

* It does not support Tablet PC hand script recognition. Thus, all training you have done to the Windows Vista hand script engine is ignored. Thus, the recognition quality (MyScript) is low.

* You have to send the notes individually to hand script recognition with MyScript, and then save the result. The connection between the hand script file and the recognized text is thus lost.

* Full text search on the documents does not work.

Thus, I suggest that you refrain from buying the product until it supports the Windows hand script recognition engine, and stores the files in .jnt (Windows Journal) format.

I hope somebody from the company reads my blog.

I have to correct myself: one can send a complete set of notes to MyScript, and save the results as one .notes file. This is a plain text file, one can add it to the windows search index. The .notes files contains also the lines strokes. Thus, an utility to convert .notes to .jnt should be possible…

Save e-mails as folders

May 19, 2009

I do not like the MIME-encoded .eml files. They hamper access to the contents (e.g. for search engines, and for my Nokia N810). I think the best format would be just a folder with the name of the message, containg the text as .txt file and the decoded attachments.

Research done already:
munpack: Version 1.5 available for DOS at
Unzip into C:\Programme\mpack\
Start from command line with
C:\Programme\mpack\munpack.exe -t <test.eml
Works, but writes the result into the original directory. A little batch programming is needed to create the prope subdirectory. The text-only parts are saved without proper extension (.txt or .html)

Major disadvantages yet to be solved:
* The headers are lost
* Clicking in the mail does not open a mail program

I will continue.


Unfortunately, the utility destroys the file names, since it uses 8-char DOS abbreviations. MIME::Explode – Perl extension for explode MIME messages might be an option.

Please invent ssh tunnels which do not break

May 1, 2009

I suffer from network connections which often break: mainly, the “eduroam” wireless goes down for a few seconds. This breaks all my tcp connections.

However, most of my connections are tunneled through ssh (with putty on one side, and a linux server on the other). I see no reason why the connections should break when the network is interrupted: ssh client and server could just leave the local ports open, wait until the network is repaired and the ssh connection re-established, and then continue as before. This could be done completely transparent to all applications, which allow for sufficiently long timeouts. Should be almost trivial to implement.

For sure, it would be reasonable to clean up connections which are not re-established after a few weeks.

Please, developers, implement these unbreakable tunnels!

Vista broke localhost

May 1, 2009

Today, Putty did no longer work with X-forwarding. The reason was that Vista Update had corrupted the hosts file…

for a solution.