7 Things about me

Meanwhile I was getting tagged 3 times by good fellows aka Pascal, Simon, and Abdulkadir. Thanks too you all! ;) Normally I don’t follow such chain letters but lets make it an exception…

The Rules:

  1. Link back to your original tagger and list the rules in your post.
  2. Share seven facts about yourself.
  3. Tag 7 1 people by leaving name and link to his blog.
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged

The seven things you may (or may not) know about me:

  1. I was born in the German Democratic Republic. During its existence my family hadn’t a telephone nor a car. We were forced to write letters and to use the train or bike to visit our family members at any time.
  2. It has taken a long time until I got in contact with the Internet. I was 19 years old and started my training in the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe.
  3. I’ve played several instruments more or less good, e.g. piccolo, accordion, guitar and bass guitar.
  4. In 2002 I started dancing for the first time. Now it’s one of my favorite hobbies. I do this to keep in shape and to have fun. But I don’t want to do tournaments in Standard and Latin dance.
  5. Photography is one of my other passions but it needs too much time, which I don’t have currently. You can see that in my photoblog. The latest entry was added a long time ago. I really have to continue in making pictures when I’ve been moving to Dresden in two month!
  6. I have acrophobia but it hasn’t distracted me from having an awesome skydive over the Lake Taupo in New Zealand. It was a fantastic experience I would repeat at any time
  7. And the best in the end: A month ago I was getting uncle for the first time in my life. I really love my sweet, and little niece!!!

There is someone who wants to write his own 7 things but hasn’t been tagged so far:

  • Marco Zehe: One of our great accessibility guys from Germany

Minefield @123%

Apple seems to have some problems with the calculation of the cpu load for processes which really stress the cpu. Just open up several tabs with videos on YouTube and you will see how your cpu load will raise over 100%. Out of curiosity: Does Apple already has a patent in software-overclocking?

Software-Overclocking

Update: The activity monitor sums up all the cpu usage for any thread within an existing process. Means, depending on the amount of cpu’s or cores and the amount of threads for that process, the cpu load can be higher than 100%. I hope that we don’t end-up in 8000% for a 80 core processor in the future…

Getting hired by Mozilla

Actually this post should have been already written last Monday, but there were too many things going on. But lets start, now!

It was an unbelievable Monday. And definitely the best one ever in my life. After 8 years of active contribution to the Mozilla project, I was getting hired by Mozilla. Means, from now on I work as a full-time QA engineer in the QA execution team. And like any other remotely connected office-less person I’m working from home. For now I’m based in Karlsruhe which is located at the west side of Germany. But after years away from my homeland I will move back and enjoy the living in the beautiful capital of Saxony, called Dresden.

If anyone is interested on which topics I’ll work, here some raw data for now:

  1. MozMill test creation for functional ui testing
  2. Litmus testcase creation
  3. Release testing for Firefox 3.0.x/3.1 and Thunderbird 2.0.0.x
  4. Content creation for QMO
  5. Community work
  6. The usual Bugzilla work

Thanks everybody for the warm welcome last week. I’m really anxious to see how everything is managed in the headquarters. And also to meet anyone of you over there next month.

But for now it should be enough. Lets dig into MozMill and create some helpful UI tests…

Get Window Media Player plugin work with all installed Firefox versions

As what a couple of you have probably already noticed, the official “Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin” does only work with one of your installed Firefox instances. If you have installed multiple versions in parallel or running nightly builds, it wont work. Before you are able to watch embedded wmv content, the installed library file “np-mswmp.dll” has to be copied to the plugins folder of the appropriate Firefox installation. While doing QA and having the need to download and running nightly builds of Shiretoko or Minefiled, it requires you to do this steps again and again. So is a simpler solution out there to solve this issue? I say, Yes!

There are only two steps necessary to see the plugin appear in each Firefox installation. It’s not magic but a simple registry hack, which let the plugin be shared. I’ve no idea why Microsoft hasn’t already done that for this plugin. They are still aware in using this way, e.g. for “Windows Presentation Foundation plug-in“. I’ll get in contact with Microsoft and hopefully it can be solved in the near future.

But lets return to the instruction how to get it working. Just follow those steps:

  1. The Window Media Player will be installed to “c:\Program Files\Windows Media Player”. So lets re-use this location. Create a sub-folder called “Plugin” and copy the library “np-mswmp.dll” over there.
  2. Go to bug 421820 and download the registry hack.
  3. If the installation folder of the Windows Media Player application differs from the one in step 1, you have to update the path inside the registry file before applying the file.
  4. Double click the reg file to add the entries to your registry.

That’s all. Now each installed version of Firefox should be able to use the plugin to show embedded WMV content. At least you have to restart the browser, when it is already open. To make sure it has been recognized correctly open the Add-ons manager and click the plugins tab. The plugin has to be listed now.

Reduzing PDF file size on OS X

Today I was searching for a tool which let me reduze the file size of saved pdf files. With the default installation of Leopard you will have a Quartz filter named “Reduze file size” for the “Save as” dialog in the Preview application. Using that filter results in a nearly unreadable pdf file. It shrinks the size too much so nearly nothing was readable, e.g. the 3MB grayscale image, which shows a paper with text, was reduced to only 32KB!!! Damn.

Digging into searches gives me following interesting discussion on Apple.com. It reports about some additionally filters for free. You can download and unzip them into your own or the systems library folder. That’s all! From now on you have better control about needed file sizes and quality while saving different formats as PDF.

Enjoy!