Volta, Seadragon and Photosynth. Cool stuff from Microsoft Live labs

Almost 1 month ago Microsoft showed us their first technology preview of Volta. Volta is a new technology by Microsoft which makes it possible to change code to run on the server or client by only changing 1 line of code.

Imagine the possibilities on proof of concept projects where you don’t know where the bottlenecks will be. With this technology you can just build a test application and when you’re finished you can change pieces of code to run on the client or server to increase performance. Go and download the Volta technology preview on the live labs site now.

Another thing I wanted to show you is Seadragon. Seadragon is another technology by Live Labs from Microsoft. Seadragon is a technology where really high resolution pictures are stored on a server and you can zoom into them on the client. This makes it really easy to watch really high resolution images without having them on the client location. The Server application only sends the information that the client can see to the client application. These generated images are far less big in size as the original images are on the server.

Photosynth is another technology made by Live Labs and it is using the Seadragon technology to stream the images to the client. Photosynth is a tool to view a collection of images based on the location of where the images are taken. Photosynth can scan through a big collection of images of for example a big building and make up a 3d model of this building by using the images in the collection. You can view the building by selecting the angle of a specific image and the application will load that image with the Seadragon technology. From this new angle on the building you can zoom or select another image and you can take a virtual tour around the building like that.

You can test Photosynth on the live labs website with a few collections off famous buildings/objects like the NASA space shuttle Endeavour or Piazza San marco in Venice.

I found a really nice video about Seadragon and Photosynth on Youtube. If you want to see what is possible with these new technologies you really have to check it out.

 

I really think these technologies can grow big if you combine it for example with sites as Flickr so you can get a really new experience browsing through pictures.

Geert van der Cruijsen

 

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Using the Flickr.net Api on a medium trust server

The photo sharing site Flickr has a nice api which you can use in your own applications. On codeplex is a .net version of this api Flickr.net.

I had to make a little script for a friends project so she could view random flickr photo’s on her site. I made a aspx page using the Flickr.Net dll and it worked perfectly on my own machine. after uploading it to my hosted webserver i ran into trouble. the following error came up when browsing to the aspx page

Exception Details: System.Security.SecurityException: Request for the permission of type ‘System.Security.Permissions.FileIOPermission, mscorlib, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089′ failed.

After some research i came to the conclusion that it had something to do with my site running in a medium trust. The Flickr.Net api uses a caching function standard which doesnt has the right permission on a hosted envoirment.

The real solution was easy after i found out what the real problem was. The only thing i had to do was disable the caching:

Flickr.CacheDisabled = true;

 

After doing this the script was running perfectly. during the search for the solution to this problem i came across a lot of people who had the same problem when deploying their Flickr.net enabled scripts so i thought it was handy to post this simple solution.

Have fun with your Flickr.Net enabled Scripts!

Geert van der Cruijsen

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403 Forbidden error when deploying custom features in SharePoint

This week i ran into a problem after deploying a feature in SharePoint. I ran the stdadm command to install and activate a feature, the command returned without any errors so i thought everything was ok. When i tried to open up SharePoint in the browser all the pages gave a “403 forbidden” error

My first thoughts where that there was something wrong with the feature but this couldn’t be the case because this feature was installed on multiple envoirments and they were all working ok.

After some research i found out that SharePoint didnt have enough rights in the feature directory in “program files\common files\microsoft shared\web server extensions\12\templates\features\$feature name dir”

This error can occur when you manually create a directory in the “features” directory of SharePoint. You can easily fix it by right clicking the folder, click properties, security and then Advanced. On the permissions tab delete the “Uninhereted permissions from the folder”. Another option is to manually give the right users the rights to the directory.

Geert van der Cruijsen

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Creating a multitouch User interface in C# using the WiiMote

I think most people heard about Microsoft Surface. (If not check http://www.microsoft.com/surface/) This machine will cost around 5000 to 10000 dollars but hey it’s a really cool device. Now on my daily journey surfing the internet I came across a really cool project that everyone can try at home if you have knowledge about .net and own a Nintendo Wii to create your own multi touch user interface!

Since the Wii remote is using a Bluetooth connection towards it’s remote it’s also possible to connect it to your own pc. The Wii remote has an infra red sensor which can sense multiple infra red light sources at the same time.

How this all works is explained at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/projects/wii/

There is also a C# sample code how to connect your pc to your Wii remote and how you’re able to do cool stuff with it. If I have enough time in the coming weeks I’ll try to test it myself if I can get my hands on some infra red LED’s.

Have fun!

Geert van der Cruijsen

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