Sunday Sep 07, 2008

More Examples of Windows Multimedia Redirection

In my last entry, "CL" posted a comment wanting more to see more examples of Windows media redirection.  Here's another video showing a variety of clips.  Talking heads, animation,  a couple of VC-1 live streams.  Enjoy.  Still have the dog barking at the tripod problem, so I apologize for some of the shaky parts.  Take a Dramamine if you get queasy.  If you want to watch this in a bit better quality, follow this link and click on the "watch in high quality" link once you get into YouTube (right under the "Views" number).

Tuesday Sep 02, 2008

Upcoming Sun Ray Features - Multimedia

I've decided to do a series of small videos showing the new features of our forthcoming Sun Ray Server Software 4.1.  The first video will feature our Multimedia enhancements.  I had a nice setup for the first shoot, only to find my dog really hates the tripod.  Second attempt, with the tripod in the garage and the camcorder in my hands is less than optimal quality but you get the idea.  Cut the video a little short as my dog decided to start barking at other dogs in the neighborhood halfway through the windows demo.  It's not often I get a quiet house with 5 daughters so I'll have to accept this cut for now.  :)  Oh yeah, don't watch this YouTube Video from a Sun Ray as Flash support is next up on the drawing board.

Friday Aug 29, 2008

Apple / AT&T Condone iPhone Theft?

Less than a week after getting my wife an iPhone 3G, it was stolen.  Here's what I've learned.  Neither AT&T nor Apple care that your phone was stolen.  AT&T will not black list the IMEI or SIM, meaning that whoever stole the phone can go right down to AT&T and get the phone switched over to their account with ZERO questions asked.

Apple will not black list the serial number and will allow it to be registered with iTunes, just by plugging it into the computer.

Even if you deactivate your phone service, the iPhone (either model) basically becomes a fully functional iPod Touch.

Condoning theft is a strong accusation, but it would be simple for either AT&T or Apple to brick the phone.   Furthermore they refuse to offer insurance on the iPhone (far more expensive phones are insurable) which begs the question why?  I'll tell you why, because AT&T get a new customer with the stolen phone locked into a two year contract, the theft victim has to continue paying for two years with no option but to pay full market price ($499 USD) to replace their phone AND get locked into another two year contract.  Luckily you can drop the 3G data plan at will, and luckily we still have her old Motorola RAZR.  Otherwise, we'd be out of luck and spending at least $150 USD on the most basic of phones.

The rotten cherry on top of this crap cake story is that I bought the phone with my Corporate American Express Card since that's the card I have on file with AT&T to pay my bill with.  American Express offers a great service called Buyers Protection that covers you from damage or theft in the first 90 days.  It's complimentary service available on every American Express Card...EXCEPT the Corporate Card.  Nice.

I've given both Apple and AT&T a lot of my hard earned money and they flat out don't care.  I honestly think "iPhone Theft" is viewed as another revenue stream for them.

Monday Aug 18, 2008

Was Not Wuz

What the hell NBC?  Hasn't our language been butchered enough?  It's not even like you were saving characters.  Are 3rd graders editing NBC web pages?  Thx 4 da LOL tho!

An hour and a quarter later, they fix it

More Concall Fun

via Kevin Chu

Boring conference call?  Make "YearBook" photos of yourself from the 1950's to 2000 on Yearbook Yourself.  Just remember to hit mute as you'll be laughing.

Wednesday Aug 13, 2008

Tricked out Sun Rays

Customized Sun Rays always look so cool.  I wonder if we should offer this as an option.  Some cool colors, your logo, etc.  Rumor has it there are even Sun Rays out there in Raven Black.

Friday Aug 08, 2008

Cloud show

Mother nature put on a really impressive show this evening.  The photos (well the photographer really) just don't capture how beautiful these cloud formations were.





Thursday Jul 17, 2008

Fitness: One Year Later

Yesterday was my one year "anniversary" of my renewed commitment to fitness.  Here's the tweet right before hitting the gym a year ago.

Let's recap, shall we? 

Last Year


I've still got a ways to go, but I look at it this way:  I hate pictures of myself, and I can actually handle looking at these so I must be on the right path.

Tuesday Jul 15, 2008

The Secret Language of Towels

Chances are if you stayed in a hotel in the last few years you've seen the water conservation efforts of reducing towel and linen washings.  Typically there is a placard on in the bathroom that says something like "A towel on the floor means please replace, a towel on the rack means I'll use it again".

On a recent trip to NYC, Brad and I were laughing about other meanings towels could have...such as:

  • Food stained towel on my room service tray means "More napkins next time"
  • Towels missing from room means "Your towels are nicer than mine at home"
  • Towels are all used & wet means "Your towels are too small"
  • Crunchy towel between the bed & nightstand means "Movie titles do not appear on hotel bill"

Wednesday Jun 25, 2008

Why Stateless Thin Clients Matter

With a seized or stolen thin client, you've lost a device.  That's it.  You'd never "make the papers", but that's a good thing.  You can't hack/copy a stateless thin client because there's no there "there" to hack or copy. (Thanks Dave!),

Thin vs Thick Client Debate

I was invited to be on the panel of the first ever "Intel Great Debates".  The debate I participated in surrounded Thin vs. "Managed" Thick clients.  Enjoy.

Broadcast powered by Ustream.TV

Sunday Jun 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day

Belly Swin

It's been said that adversity does not build character, rather it reveals character.

All I can say is that our adventures in autism have made me a different person.  Hopefully for the better.

Happy Fathers Day! 

Tuesday Jun 03, 2008

Sun Rays as Multihead Windows Terminals

As a follow on to my last post regarding RDP resolution, I thought I'd post some pictures of various multihead configurations using Sun Rays and the Sun Ray Connector for Windows.  Note that these resolutions work for normal Windows Terminal Server sessions as well as Virtual Desktop Computing (VDC/VDI).

Here's a Sun Ray 2FS Driving dual 24.1" LCD's.  Resolution is 3840x1200

Sun Ray 2FS Dual Head 24.1" LCD's
Sun Ray 2FS Dual Head 24.1" LCD's

Here's a 3x1 multihead group using Sun Ray 270's. Resolution is 3840x1024

Sun Ray 270 3x1 Multihead Group
Sun Ray 270 3x1 Multihead Group

Finally here's a 4x1 multihead group using Sun Ray 270's. The individual Sun Rays were constrained to 1024x768 in order not to exceed the max resolution width of RDP which is 4096. Resolution is 4096x768

Sun Ray 270 4x1 Multihead Group
Sun Ray 270 4x1 Multihead Group

Wednesday May 21, 2008

Full Screen RDP Session limited to 8 bit color on Sun Ray 2FS

When Microsoft introduced Service Pack 2 for Windows 2003 Server, they introduced a bug that prevented any RDP sessions greater than 1600x1200 from displaying in 24 bit color.  When Matt Hatley built a fresh Windows 2003 server for an event last August, we could not quite figure out why his full screen session on a dual headed Sun Ray 2FS would only display 8bit color even though we were telling the Sun Ray Windows Connector to connect in 24 bit color.  My server worked fine, his did not.  Turns out I was not current on my service packs and SP2 was to blame!  Sure enough, after applying SP2 to my server, I was limited to 8 bit color as well.  Since a customer just ran into this issue, I thought I'd post the fix and some answers.

Bear in mind that this is not just limited to the Sun Ray 2FS, which in a dual head setup runs 3840 x 1200, but this also happens on a multihead setup of any type Sun Rays.

You can apply this hotfix from Microsoft for Windows 2003 Server to get your higher color depth back for your larger RDP sessions.

For the record, you can go up to 4096x 2048 in an RDP session.  From a width perspective, that is about 3.2 Sun Ray 270's.  Four Sun Ray 270's would be 5120x1024 which is larger than the max resolution in width allowed by RDP.  If you wanted a four head setup, you could use four Sun Ray 2's with each screen limited to 1024x768 (4:3 maintained).

Tuesday May 20, 2008

Random Thoughts

Just a few random thoughts I've had, but twitter has been down a lot lately including now.

  • Sometimes I wish I had a van.  A cool 1970's van with a window in the back that looked like a club or a spade.
  • It's 101F out right now and wind is about 25 mph.  We call that the hair dryer effect in Las Vegas
  • Kids shorts with tags on the sides are of no help.  Front and back look exactly the same.
Now tell me you don't understand twitter.

Friday May 09, 2008

Diagnosis: Autism


It's been a while since our last update on Bellamy.

Bellamy has slowly progressed with the help of Nevada Early Intervention Services.  She has started attempting words, and seems to understand much more than she did even several months ago.  However, with her non-eating issues and sensory integration disorder needs, we thought it was time to do some private therapy on our own.

A friend gave us the name of a great occupational therapist, who has taken Bellamy under her wings.  Tania who runs the Achievement Therapy Center has become an angel to us, as well as her assistants, Jodi and Julie.  They are going to work on waking her nerves up, stimulating her vestibular sense, as well as her feeding skills.  We are taking baby steps with this process, but we can see little changes with every session.

We also went to see a DAN! (Defeat Autism Now) doctor.  DAN! doctors take a biomedical approach to autism.  It is the belief the too many antibiotics can destroy the gut, then add vaccines on top of this issue, and you have severe problems.  We share the belief with the DAN! approach that vaccine injury results in autism.  As a baby she had far too many ear infections and antibiotics to keep track of.  Then, right before Christmas in 2006, she had a shot while starting to get sick.  We really debated taking her to the ER on Christmas day.  The day after she was diagnosed with pneumonia.  She never really was the same.  She lost all her words, became less engaged and we truly feel that is when we lost her.

As part of the initial DAN! work up, we had several labs drawn, including a urinalysis for heavy metals.  We recently received this back, and found that she is both moderately toxic with mercury as well as xenobiotic toxic (most likely from antibiotics).  We are still feeling sick about this.  We have a plan of attack with the DAN! approach.  We started her on MB12 injections to try to stimulate some more language (she has been attempting many more words since we started).  We are also treating her internally for yeast that was caused by antibiotics and has seeped through her gut into her blood.  Once we can try to heal her gut, we will then try to pull some of the toxins out.  A long process, but it must be done one step at a time.  For those that believe that Thimerosal (aka mercury) was removed from all vaccinations, that is bad information.  Starting in 1999/2000 it was starting to be removed, but it is still present in some vaccinations, including infant flu shots.  If you want to watch a story that nearly mirrors ours, watch the story of the Hannah Poling.  Ask your doctor if there is any thimerosal in the shots.  If they don't know, wait until you can get a 100% sure answer.  Demand proof.  We are huge believers in changing the vaccination schedule.  Do one shot at a time.  There is no reason whatsoever that a child should be subjected to 5 or more vaccines at one time.

Just this last week, we finally got into the best doctors in Las Vegas for diagnosing kids.  They have private practices, but the cost is upwards of $2000 per doctor.  Fortunately they team up for a nonprofit organization called the Lili Claire Foundation, and do the clinics for free.  The only problem is an extensive waiting list.  After 9 months of waiting, we got in last Tuesday.  The doctors spent about 3.5 hours interviewing us and observing her.  We got the words that no parent should ever have to hear: Autism.  In a way we are actually relieved, because we really have known this in our hearts for some time.  There were no tears on Tuesday, just an energy that lit a fire under us that will propel us to do anything and everything possible to help her.  We do not know yet exactly where she fits on the spectrum, this is something we will find this out during our feedback appointment within the upcoming weeks.  We have hope that it will be on the milder end, as the doctors noted that she had some promising skills already going for her.  They also noted that possibly with six months of ABA (applied behavioral analysis) therapy, that she will most likely be unrecognizable from where she is today. We are  now starting the process of searching for hidden funding programs, and trying to qualify, as professional ABA therapy usually starts at about $60,000 per year.  No, it's not covered by insurance.  At least not in most states, including Nevada.  Yet.

We are doing fine despite of it all as we knew an autism diagnosis was already a real possibility.  It's stressful and our lives have changed in ways we could have never imagined, but we are coping.  Her sisters are a wonderful support for her, and have more love and patience than we could have ever imagined.  Every little new word out of Bellamy's mouth is like a party for all of us.  We are working on balancing out time for each of them, finding that balance is tough, as Bellamy needs constant guidance.  We are taking one day, one word, one little piece of progress at a time.  Our hope is that within the next few years she is indistinguishable from her peers, and she will be lucky enough to lose her diagnosis (which many kids have with early intervention and good therapy).

Monday Apr 28, 2008

A Song for Autism

Where Have You Gone?  This song is written and performed by Richard Femenella, the GM of the Las Vegas Charlie Palmer Steakhouse about his son Joey affected by Autism.  Our connection with Richard is we both strongly feel our children were affected by vaccination injury.   This song played during a "presentation" of children affected by autism in Southern Nevada.  It was heart breaking for so many reasons (I'll admit I cried), but one of the biggest was the fact that so many of the pictures of the children showed direct eye contact.  It's hard to understand just how hard, direct eye contact that is, for children who are on the spectrum of autism.   I think that fact was lost on the all the rich people that attended (read donors).  But for a fundraiser, that's what you want...Rich people. 

Please have a listen.

 My wife and I were proud "donor" recipients of tickets to the $1000 per person "Autism's Angels Gala" hosted by F.E.A.T. (Families of Effective Autism Treatment) of Southern Nevada.  Yes, I wore a suit.  Pictures here.

Note:  All Rights/Credits to the song: Richard Femenella and David Vella

(No copyright info on the CD that was given in the Swag bag.  But I felt it would be a better "good" for more people to hear this song than not)

Interop Las Vegas 2008

I'll be pulling booth duty (Tues and Weds), giving chalk talks (Tues 2PM in MS IVA Booth) and also a featured speaker in a session with Foundry, Mitel, and Microsoft (Weds 3:15-4 PM Mandalay Bay Room L).


Thursday Apr 24, 2008

Always check with your boss

If you're waiting for an update on my big "Take Your Daughters to Work Day" Sun Ray eco/green project, don't bother.  Haven't seen them all day.  I didn't check with my "Work From Home" boss first and apparently even though I went through all the trouble to get the forms done, she had other plans for the "workers".  It's a scam I tell you, a SCAM!  :)

Wednesday Apr 23, 2008

Are you taking your kids to work?

Tomorrow is Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.  But what if you work from home?  I'm allowing my girls to come to work with me (i.e. stay home), but I want them to get a better understanding of what I do for a living and why I believe in my product.  Our project for tomorrow will involve figuring out how much using a PC costs and why Sun Ray is a better option (even with the "server" and storage requirements).  I've got my Kill-A-Watt meter ready and we'll compute the savings a household that makes heavy use of sites like Webkinz, NickJr, and the like can get if they switch over to thin client technology.  Tune in tomorrow for our results.

My name is Craig Bender aka ThinGuy. I'm a Principal Software Developer for Oracle's Virtual Desktop Engineering group.

I architect and evangelize the use of Oracle's Desktop technology including Sun Ray, Secure Global Desktop, and Oracle VDI.


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