PC Mechanic – Fix and Clean Your Machine

Hi…

THE OBSERVATION:

What are the things you do the most with your PC nowadays?? On the one side it is a working machine. This starts with doing your taxes (I am German, I know what I am talking about), maybe some studies, calculations, planning, online banking, ordering stuff online. You do lots of Email because the PC – to be honest – still is the best machine to do mails as it has a keyboard, a function clipboard, and lots of local storage. You store and sort the myriads of pictures, do a bit of post processing before uploading some of them somewhere. And finally you browse the web, do some gaming, social networking, watch videos, and much more. The killer application is the browser for sure. Here the focus shifts from the building IE to Chrome. But, most people underestimate how often they still use IE as a build in function of Windows. A lot of the functions above are supported by local applications helping you to use the additional capabilities only your PC has: Screen real estate, hard disk space, CPU power, comfortable input devices, clipboard, and the like.
As a user, some typical problems arise: Managing your disk space, especially when you work a lot with web browsers. You naturally generate junk files. So what you can ask? You have a terra byte of space. Well, having a few movies lying around as junk will show significant impact. Installing (and de-installing) local software leaves entries in the registry. Should not happen but still does. Assignments how to handle certain file types are a typical problem while the assigned handler does not exist anymore.
Last but not least, it is good from time to time to swipe things like cookies of your browsers. Maybe you want to get rid of the stored passwords in the browser. While it is certainly no final guarantee for total privacy, it helps a bit.

THE QUEST:

We were asked to build a product within 2 months to address this. So we started a project which we internally called Wolverine. It was a cross functional project involving sales, design, development, testing, and product management. It was an intense time as you can imagine but we made it. We tested thoroughly with dozens of man-weeks of testing. It was hard work but also fun to do. I hope the product shows it.

Time to say a little THANK YOU to the team:

  • Mike – Technical lead and heart and soul
  • Jorike, Daniel, Malcolm – Design is  more than pretty colours, I guess 😉 But we should have used some Comic fonts…
  • Damian – Make the thing a product is what you did…
  • Gilbert – We did it for you … and for thousands of customers 😉
  • Developers in Kiev and Malta – You made it a reality…
  • Testers in Kiev and Malta – Gave us a hart time but that’s your job 😉

THE RESULT:

http://www.uniblue.com/software/pcmechanic/
PC Mechanic – Fix and Clean Your Machine is the result. We followed the idea to build a product that helps you fix typical problems on your machine by opening up the wealth of opportunities you have. And we had the clean verb in mind. Cleaning not only unwanted files, shadow copies, and the like but also looking into what we can do from a privacy perspective.
We also wanted to cater two types of PC users: The interested, technically skilled user. Somebody who treats the PC as her or his hobby. We are sure, they want to see details and have additional functions because they know what they are doing. And then we wanted to cater the user that simply wants it auto-magically happening. Looking for the one-click solution. Knowing that it might not be the ultra-ultimate but save and good. Both of you will find something in this product.
Please try it and give us feedback. And if you are a Mac user, we have something down the same line in a product called Machanic… No, the names are just by chance 😉

 

CU

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Rotating a Vector by means of a Quaternion

Hi…

using cannon.js I needed to rotate some bodies (otherwise the wheels fly onto the body of a car during the first few moments of your scene)… the following code rotates a vector by using a quaternion. More insights into quaternions you can find here

http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/40164/how-do-you-rotate-a-vector-by-a-unit-quaternion

Have fun…

CU

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60 days into it…

Hi…

Exactly 60 days ago I started my new life as VP Engineering in the Dun Karm Street. Maybe it is time to talk a bit about what we did so far.

I think, one of the major additions to the daily life in Uniblue that I was able to do, are the fancy project names. I will talk about some of them but not all. We started some research projects which I cannot unveil here (sorry). But I will some time later when things matured to a certain state…

Project AngryBirds: Following the future vision of Uniblue, we started to lay out a backend system that will carry this vision. It will contain of a messaging mechanism able to push messages as well as offering a polling interface. It also offers a central mechanism to collect customer feedback, usage and statistical data. The third step will be to detach the website from the processes and data persistence by means of a RESTful API. Yes, you could call this big data and yes, we will use NoSQL and stuff. Within this project we can rely on the enormous knowledge Uniblue has in the backend arena. As usual, the complexity of the system in place to supply an integrated e-commerce experience over a multitude of markets, languages, partners etc. is not seen on the surface. We are currently in the phase of architectural design of the first two parts.

Project  Gravity: Just as gravity is one of the four basic forces of nature, Gravity will provide a very important part of our future. Uniblue already relies on Python, HTML/CSS, JavaScript for its products. Ten years ago, this was a very brave decision. In the light of today, it looks like more than prophetic. So already build our product pretty much in a hybrid way for a decade. But we need to expand and react on new currents on the market. So, Gravity will build the base of our client infrastructure. Gravity has its requirements collected and sees now the phase of looking into different implementation options.

Everything we do needs to support the long term vision that our company has. It also needs to align to the bullhead of VP asking for cloud thinking: Loosely coupling, atomic small parts that can grow and shrink dynamically, ability to survive the chaos monkey…

So much for today while I could talk on for hours sometimes doing things is more interesting than talk about it 😉 Only one more thing: If you would like to be part of this, shoot me a line 😉

CU

 

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Defining the Architecture of Help in the Future

Hi…

 

I am currently working on defining an architecture for uniblue on a greater scope. The idea is to build a help system for the future.

Personally, I paraphrase the mission of uniblue as follows: “Enable consumers to get the outmost of their digital environment.” As usual, every word in this sentence has a deeper meaning. Obviously, we define the target audience – the consumer. What outmost means is somewhat obvious, too.

But digital environment needs to be defined. I think in the hay-days of Microsoft, this used to be the PC. It was the only digital device (on every desktop as stated by Microsoft). Today, it is your mobile device, your tablet, and less and less the PC. With this came the reduction of perceived complexity. I would argue that a major success factor for those devices are the fact that they are somewhat closed. They are reducing the degrees of freedom to configure and being programmed. This also reduces possible failure sources. To be successful in the consumer space, usability is key.

Looking in the future, the digital environment changes yet again. I would argue, it will loose its current face. Future computers will not easily be identified as such. We are talking about wearables like Google Glass, smart phone (but not as we have it today), smart home, smart car, smart city. Some call it Internet of Things (IoT), some call it internet of everything. This provides an explosion of complexity. We have more devices, more platforms.

We are currently laying out an architecture to answer this… great stuff to work on.

CU

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Redefinition of Operating System

Hi…

if you would ask a consumer about the tasks an operating system has, she would pretty much argue from her own point of view. Problably, it would burn down to three major things:

  • Storing and providing access to my data such as pictures, music, e-mails, documents…
  • Providing access to the internet via hosting a browser…
  • Maybe some fun activities like a game or two…

If we follow this definition – which for sure is a non-CS-ish – we see where companies like Google with Chrome or Firefox with Firefox OS are heading to. And we also understand imediately why Microsoft still fights for the Internet Explorer.

Today, the browser becomes the UI framework of your operating system. The storage is pretty much in the internet. There is no real need to store anything locally, it might even be more interesting to store in the cloud. Because the connection between you and cyberspace is no longer the PC alone. You certainly do not want to lock your life into the PC at home.

If you now introduce a layer like Google Chrome or Firefox OS which is pretty much device independent, it can become your default way of interacting with your new operating system.

And by the way, sooner or later, Apple will follow Microsoft in panic …

CU

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