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Sven Groot Sven Groot Don't worry... I'm a doctor.
  • Power Up Your Desktop App with Windows 8.1

    Man, I really needed this per monitor DPI stuff two years ago. I had a Vaio Z which had a full 1080p 13" screen, about 170DPI effectively, but I frequently used it on a regular 23" 1080p external monitor. The result was that I was constantly changing the DPI setting (which meant logging out and back in) based on what monitor I was primarily working on at any one time.

    I'm really, really happy this support has finally been added to Windows. Props, guys!

  • The HP Printer Display Hack (with financial goodness)

    It reminds me of when I wrote an application that could send custom MIDI SysEx messages so I can change the status message on my Roland MT-32 and SC-88. Smiley

  • ThisWeekC9 - PDC10, Azure in a box, Windows Phone 7 Tools Beta, and Kings Quest

    The first King's Quest (which is properly spelled with an apostrophe Tongue Out ) actually has more than one remake. First there was the original AGI version, then Sierra's own 16 colour EGA SCI0 remake (which is relatively little known). And then there's AGD Interactive's VGA remake which uses a technology level roughly equivalent to SCI1.


    But this new game, The Silver Lining, is not a remake of any of the existing 8 official King's Quest games, as Bas pointed out.

  • Andrew Nurse: Inside "Razor"

    When using XHTML 1.1 you should use application/xhtml+xml as MIME Type, but when using HTML5 with XHTML syntax you must use application/xhtml+xml.


    That is a problem since pre-IE9 don´t support application/xhtml+xml.

    I don't see why that's a problem since pre-IE9 don't support HTML5 anyway.

  • Introducing the IE9 Developer Platform Preview

    This shows the same kind of text blurriness that you also get in WPF sometimes due to the sub-pixel positioning. Honestly, all text just looks weird to me in this preview. I hope this gets sorted out before the final release.

  • Speech NUI with Zig Serafin

    Why for example is Speech Recognistion disabled in non Enlish versions of Win 7 ?

    It's only disabled in those version for which there isn't a recognizer provided. For example, the Japanese version has speech recognition because MS did develop a Japanese recognizer. I think they did French too (definitely not Dutch, unfortunately).

  • Progression of the Iconic Background

    It's a nice image (and I don't have issues with animals unlike Zeo), but it's too bright. Especially since the taskbar and window frames stay transparent when windows are maximized (which I still think was the wrong decision), nothing but really dark backgrounds work for me. I use a picture of Saturn taken by Cassini, which is not only beautiful but also mostly black around the edges. Smiley


    EDIT: I use this image.

  • First Look: Streetside in Bing Maps

    Bing's just looks more cluttered to me. It's probably mainly a matter of the inclusion of minor roads and the kanji font that creates that appearance though.


    The best maps for Japan are actually from Yahoo! in my opinion (on the Japanese site), but again since that's a Japanese site I don't like using it. Yahoo! Maps does have some nice features though, such as walking directions to the closest station from any location. Smiley And despite having the same number of minor roads as Bing at that kind of zoom level, and a similar colour scheme, it still looks less cluttered somehow.

  • First Look: Streetside in Bing Maps

    The thing is, it doesn't understand Japanese addresses at all. Regardless of whether I'm zoomed in somewhere or not.


    In Google Maps, I can type "東京都目黒区駒場4-6-1" and it'll find it exactly. If I type "4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro, Tokyo" (which is the same, only written in romaji) it doesn't actually recognize the address, but it does find some stuff that's at least close to what I was looking for.


    In Bing Maps, both of those search string will find nothing. All you get is "We didn't find results for your search." It doesn't matter if I'm zoomed in on Tokyo or not. Only when you use the Japanese version of the site (which means everything in the UI is in Japanese, which I don't want and isn't necessary for Google Maps) it'll recognize the Japanese writing (it'll still do nothing with the romaji version). And with the Silverlight version, it doesn't work even on the Japanese version.


    And then there's the maps themselves. Compare the same area in Tokyo on Bing and Google:


    Bing Maps:

    Tokyo on Bing Maps


    Google Maps:

    Tokyo on Bing Maps


    Not only does Google's map look much nicer, it's also actually usable for people who can't read Japanese.

  • First Look: Streetside in Bing Maps

    I haven't watched the video yet but I've played with the new Bing Maps Silverlight beta. The Silverlight experience is amazing. So much better than the javascript-based versions of both Google Maps and Bing Maps. I also like the Photosynth integration.


    However, I still won't be using it, because:

    • Google Maps has better maps of Japan, and better aerial images (made up for by Bing's bird's eye view; the map is the killer though).
    • Google Maps for Japan has some English place names on the maps; Bing's are still exclusively Japanese.
    • Bing Maps doesn't understand Japanese addresses unless you use the Japanese version of the site (which I don't want). The Silverlight version doesn't understand Japanese addresses even on the Japanese version (but that's probably because it's beta). Google Maps understands Japanese addresses typed in both Japanese and romaji, regardless of what language the site is in.
    • Google Maps can give directions for public transportation (trains); Bing Maps does not.
    • Google Maps has street view in Tokyo; Bing Maps does not.

    I do prefer the UI of Bing Maps, especially with Silverlight. But you've got to make it as usable as Google Maps for Japan, even when using an English version of the site, before I'd consider switching.


    EDIT: Both Google and Bing Maps seem to assume that the Japanese maps will be exclusively used by Japanese people. Although Google is leagues ahead of Bing (with at least some English names, support for searching with romaji, and being even remotely usable without using the localised version of the site) it's still not usable unless you can read at least some Japanese.


    If Bing could offer maps of Japan geared towards non-Japanese on the English version of the site, I know at least several dozen foreign students here in Tokyo who'd switch in an instant. Plus it'd be usable by e.g. tourists who don't speak Japanese, which currently neither Google nor Bing is.