Just bought : Creative Zen Stone

I was browsing the internet for a couple of small mp3 players. There is ofcourse the Apple brand with several players. But I have something againts Apple behaviour towards their audio stuff. So my primary requirements were:

  • Volume adjustable
  • Must be recognized as a portable drive
  • Screen is not necessary as I want to use it for running
  • At least 2GB
  • Must support mp3, wma
  • Should be small and be able to strap it around my arm or clip it
  • It should not cost more the 50 EUR.
  • Should not a a weird design

Ogg support would also be a good plus aswell as good earphones but I’ve never seen a review out of the box player with good earphones.

So that got me this list:

  • Samsung YP-S2 2GB
  • Creative ZEN Stone 2GB (also available as Plus)
  • Philips SA2820

Not that big..

Some thoughts about the list:

  • I was hoping that an Cowon iAudio made it to the list as these are known for their excellent low noise output.I was hoping that an Cowon iAudio made it to the list as these are known for their excellent low noise output.
  • Both the Samsung and the Philips do not have a clip which the Creative has with a silicon skin where a clip is attached.
  • The Samsung is the only one with ogg support.
  • The Creative is the cheapest.
  • Creative has a bracelet as an accessory for the Zen stone.

I finally decided to buy the Creative Zen Stone 2GB with the bracelet.

It got delivered yesterday and

  • It charged quit fast
  • Starts fast enough but it does a pop
  • The usb speed is good enough
  • I plugged in my Sennheiser headset to compare some low/hi bitrate mp3’s and the difference between VBR ~128kbps and ~250kbps was very noticable
  • The bracelet can stretch and is long enough to even put it around my neck!
  • The Zen Stone 2GB – by default – seems to have a small builtin speaker.

So toninght my first run with the stone 😉

WCF and large messages

Today I got this nice InvalidOperationException:

System.InvalidOperationException: There is an error in XML document (11, 11657). —> System.Xml.XmlException: The maximum string content length quota (8192) has been exceeded while reading XML data. This quota may be increased by changing the MaxStringContentLength property on the XmlDictionaryReaderQuotas object used when creating the XML reader.

The reason was that the message contained an element that had more then 8k of textual data as seen in the exception message. Problem was that I could not adjust this as I am using WCF and it is using an XML reader internally. Luckily MSDN comes to the rescue:

I now set the values in code:

var binding = new BasicHttpBinding(BasicHttpSecurityMode.None);
binding.MaxReceivedMessageSize = 256*1024;
binding.ReaderQuotas.MaxStringContentLength = 64 * 1024;

The only thing is that you need to reference System.Runtime.Serialization to set it from code.

Example client code:

 

        var binding = new BasicHttpBinding
        {
            MaxReceivedMessageSize = 256 * 1024,
            ReaderQuotas = new XmlDictionaryReaderQuotas
            {
                MaxStringContentLength = 64 * 1024
            }
        };

        var channelFactory = new ChannelFactory(
                binding,
                new EndpointAddress(new Uri(_address), new SpnEndpointIdentity(string.Empty))
                );

        var channel = channelFactory.CreateChannel();

Example server code:

 

        var binding = new BasicHttpBinding
        {
            MaxReceivedMessageSize = 256 * 1024,
            ReaderQuotas = new XmlDictionaryReaderQuotas
            {
                MaxStringContentLength = 64 * 1024
            }
        };

        var baseAddress = new Uri("http://localhost:666");
        var serviceHost = new ServiceHost(new MyInterfaceImplementation());
        serviceHost.AddServiceEndpoint(typeof(IMyServiceInterface), binding, baseAddress);
        serviceHost.Open();

 

You want C:Users on XP too? Read here how

At both home and work I use Vista and XP resulting me typing “C:Users” in XP and “C:Documents and Settings” in Vista which – of course – don’t work. You cannot really change those paths except when you install Vista or XP with the pre configuration tool.

But there is a solution!

Both Vista and XP can access NTFS volumes and the NTFS format has support for hardlinks. XP and 2003 do not have native support for all these NTFS features and you normally need a resourcekit tool to create such entries. The Link Shell Extension adds all support for these NTFS features to the Windows Explorer in XP, 2003 and Vista.

  1. Install the Link Shell Extension
  2. Navigate to “C:”
  3. Create a Junction from “C:Documents and Settings” to “C:Users” on XP and a Junction from “C:Users” to “C:Documents and Settings” on Vista

And Presto! I now have access to “C:Users” on XP which is a delight.

This tool is also very useful when you manage an FTP server on Windows so you can put a large file in multiple paths while only have one hardcopy on disk (in this case create a hard or symbolic link).

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