Some information about Embarcadero Licence Center

 Delphi  Comments Off on Some information about Embarcadero Licence Center
Jul 142018
 

I switched “my” (meaning the license my employer bought for me) Delphi “Named User License” with subscription to a “Network Named User License” in April 2018. The rationale behind that was, that it happened far too often that I needed yet another Delphi installation to debug a problem. Most of the time that was on a Friday and since my activation limit had been reached years ago, I needed somebody at Embarcadero to bump it up again. Of course that never happens on a weekend, so after I complained about this for the thousandth time, somebody suggested I switch to a different license scheme: Welcome to “Network Named User” (NNU) and the “Embarcadero License Center” (ELC).

Since that topic has come up in a recent discussion in the Delphi Developers community on Google+, I thought I’ll blog about my experience so I can simply link to this blog post when I need to tell that story again.

So, what is it about?

  • A NNU license allows an unlimited number of Delphi installations and activations for a given “named user”. A “named user” is defined as a unique user name for Windows logon. It does not matter whether that’s a domain logon or local logon. So, if JoeUser has got a NNU license for Delphi 2007 (which is the first version that supportes NNUs) he can install it on his workstation, his laptop, a customer’s computer (for debugging something that simply cannot be debugged any other way) and multiple virtual machines. There are only two restrictions:
    1. The Windows logon name must be JoeUser.
    2. The computer/VM must have a network connection to the ELC server.
  • He can even actively use up to three different installations at the same time.
  • If an installation loses contact to the ELC server (e.g. you take your laptop with you on a trip) it will keep working for up to 30 days.
  • The administrator of the ELC can change the user name assigned to a NNU license, so if JoeUser leaves the company, his successor JaneUser can simply use that license to install Delphi on her own computers. The old installations (under the Windows user JoeUser) will become defunct.
  • As far as I know the ELC does not require a permanent internet connection (e.g. to phone home to Embarcadero). It only needs it once to activate the license (and for each new license).
  • The ELC server is a Java application which is available for Windows and Linux (and possibly other OSes, I don’t remember). It runs fine in a virtual machine (I use Ubuntu Server on a XenServer VM.)
  • With a bit of ssh magic, it’s possible to connect to the ELC via a ssh tunnel from offsite. (I would not trust the ELC to be directly accessible from the internet.)

As far as I was told, it’s possible to switch a Named User License to a Network Named User License any time provided you have got an active subscription. According to Embarcadero Germany it is easier to make that switch before extending a subscription.

Note that a few weeks after you switched, all the non NNU installations using the old license keys will stop working (Embarcadero will turn them off). You will have to activate them again with the NNU license.

So far it has worked great for me. I have installations on my Work PC, Work Laptop, Home Office PC (which both use the ssh tunneling magic), private Laptop (with my employer’s consent of course), various VMs and on the computers on many of the measurement vehicles my employer operates to conduct road condition surveys.

Getting the ELC to work was a bit of a pita, but I got great support from Embarcadero for that. In particular from Matthias Eißing who also has published a video on YouTube (in German) on that topic.

As a side note: NNU licenses are not the only kind of licenses that are available through ELC. There are also concurrent licenses which work in a different way and are more expensive. See the ELC documentation or contact Embarcadero on how they work.

Some bit of trivia: Does anybody remember AppWave? Apparently ELC is the only remaining part of AppWave that still exists. There are several references to AppWave in the ELC documentation and web sites it generates.

Experimental GExperts feature: Automatically close Messages window

 Delphi, GExperts  Comments Off on Experimental GExperts feature: Automatically close Messages window
Jul 012018
 

You might have become used to it, but probably every Delphi developer has at one time wondered why the Messages window is still visible (and takes up valuable screen real estate) even if it is empty. And even worse, if you close it manually, it automatically comes back when you compile your project.

I too, had become used to it, but got reminded of this nuisance by a recent post from Graeme Geldenhuys on Google+:

How to auto close Message View window on successful compilation.
This was asked for in Delphi 7, but it seems with Delphi XE3 (what I’m using) it’s still not possible. Anybody know of a 3rd party add-in or hidden Delphi setting that will close the Message View after a successful compilation?

If I save my “desktop environment” while the Message View window is closed, then compile it doesn’t display the Message View – if no errors occurred. If a error occurs, then the Message View automatically appears. After I fixed the compilation error and recompile, the Message View stays there and doesn’t close. At this point I want it to close automatically. It is so damn annoying. I need all the screen (editor) space I can get, and the always visible Message View is taking up vital space.

Any known solution for this? Once again, Lazarus IDE does this perfectly.

As far as I know, there is no solution, neither in the Delphi IDE itself nor in any plugin I am aware of. (Update: There actually is one) Until today that is: I have just committed a change to the GExperts repository with the following description:

new IDE enhancement: Automatically close message window (if no errors, warnings or hints)

It is, like most IDE enhancements in GExperts, a hack. It works by hooking the Progress window and when it closes, checks whether there were any hints, warnings or errors. If there are none, it starts a timer that will wait for 1000 ms and then search and close the Messages window.

It works for me, your mileage may vary, of course. If you want to test it, for now you have to compile your own GExperts DLL. Don’t forget to actually enable that option on the IDE page of the configuration dialog!

Some statistics about GExperts downloads

 Delphi, GExperts  Comments Off on Some statistics about GExperts downloads
Jun 242018
 

I always wanted to know how many people use my experimental version of GExperts but never came around to actually evaluate the download counts. Today I finally did it. In total there were 9092 file downloads from downloads.dummzeuch.de/GExperts. Since in 2016-05-07 I switched from ZIP files containing all DLLs to installers for each Delphi version it is a bit difficult to know how many downloads for which version there were, so I evaluated the ZIP files and installers separately.

The ZIP files had 1663 downloads where the three most popular ones were the releases from:

  • 2016-02-15 (388 downloads)
  • 2015-04-11 (277 downloads)
  • 2015-09-06 (258 downloads)

There is much more information to be gained from the 7429 installer downloads:

The most popular Unicode-Delphi versions seem to be

  • Delphi 10.1 (5366 downloads)
  • Delphi 10.2 (416 downloads)
  • Delphi 10 (377 downloads)
  • Delphi XE7 (123 downloads)

The pre-Unicode versions in descending popularity are:

  • Delphi 2007 (218 downloads)
  • Delphi 7 (209 downloads)
  • Delphi 2006 (55 downloads)
  • Delphi 6 (46 downloads)
  • Delphi 2005 (18 downloads)

The most popular releases in descending order are:

  • 2016-10-03 (1497 downloads)
  • 2016-06-05 (1488 downloads)
  • 2017-03-19 (1349 downloads)
  • 2011-01-15 (1255 downloads)

All others had less than 500 downloads.

The downloads for the most recent releases are:

  • 2018-06-03 228 downloads
  • 2018-03-31 133 downloads
  • 2017-04-01 256 downloads
  • 2017-03-19 1349 downloads

I think it’s a bit worrying that the last release with more than 1000 downloads is more than a year old.

These statistics can of course not count those people who rather than using an installer just check out the sources and compile their own DLLs, but I don’t think there are that many who do that.

Also, there are of course the downloads from SourceForge which still remain popular even though the latest release there is my experimental release from 2017-03-19. There have been 1292 downloads from SourceForge in 2018-06 to date and about 2000 monthly for the last few months. The all time high peak was in 2012-03 with more than 100000 downloads (I’m not sure that this is correct though, it’s so much higher than the all time average.).

My conclusion is that I probably couldn’t make a living from working on GExperts even if everyone who downloads it did actually donate the suggested 50 Euros per year which is by far not the case.

USB tethering a OnePlus One phone to Windows XP

 Android, Windows  Comments Off on USB tethering a OnePlus One phone to Windows XP
Jun 102018
 

For whatever reason my old Windows XP netbook doesn’t connect to our holiday flat’s WIFI while my OnePlus One Android phone does. So I thought I’d simply tether it to the Netbook via USB to get around this problem. I tried that before with other phones and other computers and don’t remember ever having a problem. This time I got a prompt to install a driver for a rndis device, which failed because I had no Internet connection (It might also have failed if I had one but I couldn’t try.)

So I turned to Google and found multiple posts suggesting to download a tetherxp.inf file and simply use that to install the drivers which apparently are already available in a standard Windows XP installation.

I downloaded that file from one of the links, put it in an empty folder and tried to install it. No luck. It took me a while to find this post on quora, which contains an additional point:

4. Now this is where some of you will get lost, you need to open up the tetherxp.inf file with your favorite code editor (Start->Run->Wordpad). Create a new line below “[AndroidDevices.NT.5.1]” containing your Device Instance Id.

This turned out to be the important part: The tetherxp.inf file contained entries for several widely used phones, but of course not for my rather rare one, so I had to add two lines to it:

[AndroidDevices]
; OnePlus One without adb
%AndroidDevice%    = RNDIS, USB\VID_05C6&PID_676A

[AndroidDevices.NT.5.1]
; OnePlus One without adb
%AndroidDevice%    = RNDIS.NT.5.1, USB\VID_05C6&PID_676A

The part after “USB\” is taken from the details pane of the “rndis” device in the hardware manager.

After adding these two lines I switched back to the “Driver” tab and clicked “Install Driver”. In the following Wizard, I selected “No, not this time” -> “Next” -> “Install from a list or specific location” -> “Next” -> “Don’t search, I’ll choose the driver to install” -> “Next” -> “Have Disk” -> “Browse”. Then I selected the modified tetherxp.inf file and pressed “Open” and “OK” and “Next” again. I then had to tell Windows to ignore that the “Driver” was not digitally signed to finally really get it to install it.

Diesmal funktioniert alles. (Spliff, “Computer sind doof”).

Removing Google Fonts from WordPress driving you crazy?

 Delphi  Comments Off on Removing Google Fonts from WordPress driving you crazy?
Jun 082018
 

I just tried to remove all references to Google Fonts from my blog (which is using WordPress) because they can be a issue under the GDPR. There are many descriptions on how to do that and various plugins that claim to do it for you. I tried several ways, but none seemed to work. There was always one GET request going to Google.

Then I realized that I was still looking at my blog logged in as admin, which calls several WordPress tools, one of them apparently is using Google Fonts. So, I used a different web browser which is not logged in on my site. And guess what? No requests going to Google at all.

So I had – again – wasted more than an hour for a bloody GDPR issue.

GExperts 1.3.10 experimental twm 2018-06-03 released

 Delphi, GExperts  Comments Off on GExperts 1.3.10 experimental twm 2018-06-03 released
Jun 032018
 

Given that the last Delphi release was more than a year ago and that I am about to go on vacation so I won’t be able to download and install a new version I would expect a new Delphi release pretty soon. On the other hand this time I actually managed to extend “my” subscription on time so in theory I could download the new version immediately when it becomes available, so the release might still be some time off.
(Greetings from Mr. Murphy)

Anyway, I thought it to be the right time to make a new GExperts release. I even managed to update the version number to 1.3.10 in the executables as well as in the installers and update a few of the auxiliary files.

I have created installers for all supported Delphi versions and I even tested them a bit on some fresh Delphi installations. They do work! How amazing is that?

New features include:

There were also several bug fixes including 3 Unicode issues.

I am pretty sure this new release is more stable than the previous one.

But anyway:

Please be aware that I mostly work with Delphi 2007, so this version can be regarded as tested quite well, followed by Delphi XE2. The others are only known to compile and new features are usually tested superficially with all versions. This is particularly true for Delphi 6/7 and 2005/2006.

Head over to the Experimental GExperts page to download the latest release it.

Impressum und Datenschutzerklärung

 blog  Comments Off on Impressum und Datenschutzerklärung
May 192018
 

Und damit der Amtschimmel was zum Wiehern hat, gibt es jetzt rechts oben Links zum Impressum und zur Datenschutzerklärung.

Bleibt zu hoffen, dass die jeweiligen Generatoren etwas erzeugt haben, was nicht abmahnfähig ist. Mir persönlich gefällt insbesondere die Datenschutzerklärung nicht, denn laut DSGVO soll sie leicht verständlich sein, das was da drin steht, ist es aber nicht wirklich. Aber ich werde den Teufel tun, und jetzt an einem Schriftstück herumfummeln, das von dem Generator auf der Webseite eines Rechtsanwalts erzeugt wurde.

Comments and lots of other features disabled

 blog  Comments Off on Comments and lots of other features disabled
May 192018
 

I have already spent too much time to make my site compliant with GDPR rules. I have disabled

  • comments on all pages (also deleted existing comments)
  • track backs
  • options to like pages
  • direct links to “social” media
  • JetPack features, including site stats

I have also tried to find and remove any requests my site sends to anywhere else but dummzeuch.de.

I’m still not done and I already hate it. Many useful features are now gone, existing comments have been deleted, I will no longer get stats on which pages have been requested.

And I might still decide to shut down the whole thing. I like publishing and interacting with my users, but I don’t want to spend the time for bullshit. So, if on 2018-05-25 you come back here and find that all the content is gone, you can thank the EU and the German government.

Welcome to #neuland.

Nussecken-Rezept (German only)

 German Only  Comments Off on Nussecken-Rezept (German only)
May 102018
 

Meine Frau hat vor kurzem ein altes Familienrezept ausgegraben, das nicht nur ich sondern auch meine Arbeitskollegen sehr lecker fanden. Leider kann ich das für die derzeit in sog. Bäckereien verkauften Nussecken nicht sagen. Die sind in der Regel viel zu süß und werden dazu noch in Schokolade ertränkt (Löbliche Ausnahme: Die Nussecken der Bio-Bäckerei Barth in Koblenz). Dieses Rezept ist anders. Man schmeckt die Nüsse und die Aprikosenmarmelade, nicht nur die Schokolade.

Nuss- oder Kokosecken

(Rezept der Familie Bläsing)

Zutaten für ein Backblech

Teig:

  • 150g Mehl
  • 1/2 getrichener Teelöffel Backpulver
  • 65g Zucker
  • 1 Päckchen Vanillinzucker
  • 1 Ei
  • 65g Butter
  • zum Bestreichen: 2 Esslöffel Aprikosenkonfitüre

Belag:

  • 100g Butter oder Margarine
  • 100g Zucker
  • 1 Päckchen Vanillinzucker
  • 2 Esslöffel Wasser
  • 200g Haselnusskerne (halb gemahlen oder gehackt) oder 200g Kokosraspeln

Guss:

(Die Zubereitung des Gusses ist nicht mehr lesbar, alternativ kann man einfach Schokoladenkuvertüre erwärmen. Oder auch einfach weglassen.)

  • 50g (2 gut gehäufte Esslöffel) Puderzucker
  • 2 gehäufte Teelöffel Kakao
  • 2 Esslöffel heißes Wasser
  • 10g Butter

Zubereitung

Teig:

Den Teig wie Mürbeteig verarbeiten, auf das Backblech ausrollen und mit der Konfitüre bestreichen.

Belag:

Das Fett mit Zucker, Vanillinzucker und Wasser zerlassen und einmal aufkochen.
Die Nüsse daruntermengen und alles kalt stellen.
Die abgekühlte Masse auf dem Teig verteilen.
Vor den Teig einen geknickten Papierstreifen legen, damit die Masse nicht herunterläuft.

Ofen 10 Minuten vorheizen, dann bei 175°-195° 15 Minuten backen.

Das Gebäck etwas abkühlen lassen, in Vierecke schneiden und dann diese nochmals in Dreiecke teilen.

Schokolade erwärmen und sparsam(!) auf die Ecken gießen.

Alles abkühlen lassen und nicht zuviel probieren, die anderen wollen auch noch was ab.