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March 7, 2011

Menasoft Introduction

Welcome to the Menasoft main site!


This site is a showcase for projects, research, philosophy/rants and gripes by Dennis Robinson and sometimes others. Be sure to check out the Blog section for posts, news, feedback etc. and the Projects page for a synopsis of Menasoft software projects. Please contact us at with any questions or comments. My RSS feed can be found at

Filed under: News,Project News,Projects — admin @ 10:32 am

October 28, 2009

Creating and using a code signing certificate for Windows application development

I recently developed a couple of plugins for Microsoft IE and Firefox/Mozilla Browsers. People these days (myself included) are getting more and more paranoid about software running on their machines. I want to know that any code running on my machine has not been tampered with in any way. In the case of Microsoft IE, it loudly complains if you try to load a plugin that is not digitally signed. We are only going to see more and more use of signed apps now that Microsoft is making it a requirement for 64 bit drivers in Windows 7.

In my travels I’ve gathered a fair amount of information about public key cryptography, document and code signing and specifically (and more usefully) how this is performed for Windows development. I’ll give a brief (for dummies style) intro to signing and a walk through of how to buy and sign code from start to finish. (at least as far as it worked for me) Its my hope that this might be the only article a developer needs to read if they want to produce  a signed executable for Windows.


Filed under: News,Research,Unfinished — admin @ 3:21 pm

October 26, 2009

Gripes –

A word of advice to those looking for a new web host. Avoid I have been using uneventfully for the last couple years. It was originally then got renamed/bought as at some point.  It seems like they have really changed direction lately.

The have done a major ‘upgrade’ which in effect was not an upgrade at all. They consolidated their servers and removed features they didn’t feel like supporting anymore. They at least did send a warning email a few days before the switch saying they were doing this. I have to admit part of the problem is that i didn’t read it. Though they didn’t say exactly when the switch was. Truly amateur performance on their part.

As you might expect my site fell apart on the day of the switch.

My first gripe is the bullshit/lie that this was an ‘upgrade’. Since as far as i can tell it was not any sort of upgrade from any customers point of view.

They forced reconfiguration of all mail accounts and eliminated ‘catch-all’ support. Because i quote “It just increases spam” and all other hosts seem to be dropping support for it. Firstly, I don’t care what other hosts are doing. Secondly its total crap. I have never gotten much spam on any of the unused addresses on my site. That should be my problem anyhow. What the heck do they care?!

The reason that the catch-all is such a need for me is that i frequently give out unique emails for different sites i subscribe to in order to track who is giving out my address to spammers. I don’t bother to track what addresses i give out. I have literally hundreds of aliases that would have to be tracked down and email forwarders created for. sucks. Sorry, I have to add this to the text since most people doing a search for gripes on something do a search for “XX sucks”. how fun. seems to be run by total amateurs.

For those interested i have now switched to They are faster and support WAY more features than Truly no comparison. They have a rep for NOT doing the sort of crap that other hosts do in this department. Its a little hard to get used to their control panel. It has an odd format but provides a lot of power. The nicest feature is that you may host multiple sites on the same account. Very nice.


Affinitys review of –

Filed under: Gripes,News — admin @ 1:50 pm

June 12, 2009



Imagine a cross between Webex and Second Life, geared towards meetings and training. VenueGen.

The first on-demand enterprise web 3D conferencing solution that can be integrated into any web-based offering. The company deploys as a SaaS based web service to consumers and business customers that currently serve the multi-billion dollar distance learning, social networking, web conferencing, content publishing and live event markets. Founded in 2007, the Company offers the first practical application of web 3D technology that can be seamlessly integrated into its customers’ web offerings integrating their 2D content and delivered as an on-demand service. Venuegen is optimized to equip virtual presenters with powerful and intuitive communication capabilities that radically lower event costs and extend market reach.


Filed under: News,Projects — admin @ 2:49 pm

May 22, 2009

MagicJack as a main home phone

I have been paying ~$60 a month for a Verizon home phone line that I almost never use. I have 2 cell phones that I use most of the time. (iPhones are pretty cool, different post). I really like having a phone line other than my cell phone so I can give that number out to utilities and people who I don’t really want to talk to directly. It seems really silly to pay $60/month just for a voice mail line.

I decided to look around to see what my options were. I saw some adds for MagicJack for $40 a year. Installed it about a month ago and canceled my Verizon account.


Filed under: News,Research — admin @ 8:12 am

Windows 7 RC1

I just installed the RC (Release Candidate) for Windows 7. This replacement for the much maligned Windows Vista is scheduled for full release in 2010 i think.

Its a bit buggy but i must admit i haven’t decided to hate it yet.

I managed to totally avoid all contact with Windows Vista, but i decided i cant avoid Microsoft OS’s forever. XP is getting a bit old and creaky feeling.

I installed W7 on top of an existing XP machine. I did not use the update feature. It nicely copied the Program files, Windows and Documents and settings folders into a folder called ‘windows.old’ and replaced them with the much more sane ‘Users’, ‘Windows’ and ‘Program Files (x86)’ folders. OK, I’m somewhat impressed by how clean that was.


Filed under: News,Research — admin @ 8:01 am

August 12, 2008

Building a home server

A have a bunch of computers in my house. They are noisy, hot and consume lots of power. I use them for work, play, controlling my house, answering my phone, lots of stuff. But I just keep thinking that this is not a very optimal configuration.

I remember reading some old scifi books years ago where people had a ‘house computer’ that would monitor their needs and talk to them, take their calls, make sure the house was ok. etc. Is anything like that possible for reasonable money today?

I’m toying with the idea of a trying to build this home server for my next machine. I’ve a number of ideas for it. But lets let the imagination run a bit wild for what this is supposed to do.


Filed under: News,Research — admin @ 10:56 am

Being an iPhone Joiner

I held out as long as i could, but I finally joined the iPhone club. (Not the Apple/Mac club yet) I just got the iPhone 3G. I waited in line for about 4 hours the day after they were released. Very silly I know.But at least i didn’t camp out overnight. hehe.

Being me, I now have to figure out how every bit of it works.

For anyone looking at phones and is considering an iPhone I’ll try to do a mental dump of what I’m seeing. Ultimately i recommend it but there are some things that might be a turn off for some.


Filed under: Gripes,News,Research — admin @ 10:53 am

January 2, 2008

Computing Clouds

Google, Amazon and several others have announced availability of renting space on there servers. Not just space as in disk storage space but actual computing time. These systems that allow this are referred to as Computing Clouds (CC)


Filed under: News,Research,Unfinished — admin @ 2:04 pm

December 5, 2007

Irth Online Screenshot Gallery

I’ve upgraded the old pages to a much nicer format. This is the new gallery for Irth screen shots.

Here for example is a picture of the sample landscape in wire frame and non wire frame modes with fog turned off. Notice the decimation and size of the terrain triangles into the distance.


Filed under: News,Project News — admin @ 10:11 pm
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