Archive for January, 2008

Reference Guides are comprehensive primers on key topics such as C++, .NET, Security, and more. Whether you’re just getting up to speed or really want to dig into the quirks of a particular language or application, this is a great place to start!

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Notepad-X 0.90 Pre-Beta

Posted: January 28, 2008 in Softwares

The Notepad X is a powerful, tabbed text editor that can successfully replace Notepad. With it you can edit and read multiple text files by using the tab system, and find and replace text.

What’s New:

  • This version includes the Main Toolbar , BB Code (uncompleted yet) toolbar and wiki toolbar

Know issues:

  • A lot of features of Notepad X don’t work completely or not properly.
  • This version is just for testing reasons.

Download: Notepad-X 0.90 Pre-Beta (No Installer) (GPL)
Screenshot: Version 0.8 | Version 0.9 Beta
Link: Home Page

Grass Valley ProCoder 3 software combines speed and flexibility into a streamlined video conversion tool for professionals. Widely acknowledged as the leading software transcoder, ProCoder 3 features extensive input/output options, advanced filtering, batch processing and an easy-to-use interface.

Whether encoding MPEG video for DVD production, producing Windows Media for streaming or transcoding between NTSC and PAL, ProCoder 3 makes video format conversion quick and easy. Encode a single source to multiple targets simultaneously, run multiple conversion jobs back-to-back in batch mode, or use drag-and-drop preset icons to start conversion with a single click.

This new version of ProCoder features a number of enhancements for today’s multi-format production needs:

More Mobile Video Format Support — With the addition of H.264 encoding and decoding, ProCoder 3 is ready to convert and produce for popular mobile video devices such as the Apple iPod and Sony PSP™.

Added Assistance for EDIUS Production Workflows — The Canopus HQ codec is now included with ProCoder 3, allowing standalone encoding and decoding of Canopus HQ files without requiring Grass Valley EDIUS software installed on the machine with ProCoder.

Support for the AVCHD Camcorder Format — AVCHD decoding capability allows the conversion of video footage from the new generation of compact camcorders for editing, streaming and DVD production.

Encoding Speed Enhancements for Multi-core Systems — Grid Encoding support for MPEG-2 (Transport Stream) provides even greater encoding speed on modern multi-core and multi-CPU computer systems. This feature is automatically engaged when you choose the ‘Preview DVD Target’ or ‘HDV Target’ formats for encoding.

Dolby Digital Audio Support — Common in DVD production as well as retransmission, ProCoder 3 supports Dolby Digital audio encoding for enhan-ced audio quality in less space. ProCoder 3 also allows you to add, swap, and remove individual channels of audio within the target format with the inbuilt channel mixer.

sizeSize: 84.20 MB

Performance Agreements
Increasing Personal Accountability
You sit down with Bill to discuss his performance… again. You talk at length about what you both need to feel satisfied with the work he’s doing. Perhaps you discuss some workplace adjustments to help motivate him, perhaps you offer coaching in some aspect of his job. And you clearly outline your expectations for improvement in his performance.

You both leave the meeting feeling positive, and Bill understands what he needs to do. You head back to your office, confident that, this time, you’ll get a good result.

But a few weeks go by, and you haven’t seen any improvement in Bill’s performance. He just can’t seem to follow through and make the improvements you discussed. Before you throw in the towel or take a disciplinary route, what more can you do?


Conducting a performance interview and providing feedback are only the start – the “front end” tasks of performance management. However, the middle and back ends of this process are just as critical.

It’s not enough to simply tell Bill what you expect him to do, and then place the sole responsibility for follow-through on his shoulders. Performance management takes more of a team approach – the person who’s doing the work needs to feel supported and encouraged for the duration of the process, just as he or she needs to feel personally held to account for the outcome.

Expanding the Performance Review Process

One of the most effective ways of doing this is with a performance agreement. This agreement defines accountability for specific personal and organizational goals. It defines the individual’s expectations. It establishes and agrees results-oriented goals that are aligned with the overall objective you want to achieve. And it concludes with the individual’s formal, signed commitment to the agreement.

When establishing performance expectations, the overall objective is to come to an agreement that supports your organization’s strategy. For individual performance goals, the objective is real, measurable improvement so that the person is in a position to help move the organization forward.

Performance agreements must clearly state agreed-upon objectives and how these will be measured. Document these things to help you avoid future disagreements about exactly what you expected the person to accomplish.

Without an agreement founded on the organization’s objectives, you may have to rely on defending your directives with “Because I’m the boss.” This will probably do nothing to build trust and respect with the person whose performance you’re trying to improve. However, with formal agreements in place, managing and leading your staff can become more objective, and simpler.

These are some of the many benefits you can achieve by using performance agreements:

  • Aligns personal and organizational goals.
  • Improves trust and understanding.
  • Encourages communication and feedback.
  • Assists career planning and development.
  • Ensures that what you agree upon is relevant and achievable.
  • Provides an objective and fair way to evaluate performance.
  • Holds staff members accountable for their performance.
  • Makes performance a shared responsibility between you and your staff.
  • Establishes a process to follow up on performance and development plans.

Performance agreements support a management by objectives approach. This is where managers help staff understand how their roles fit into the larger picture of organizational success. From there, each staff member develops specific performance goals and targets that are aligned with the company’s strategic goals.

Performance agreements not only ensure that performance is measured, they also set up a great communication system to regularly discuss individual performance. These agreements are essentially a way of making sure that everyone is aware of what they need to work on, and why.

Putting Together an Agreement

An effective performance agreement:

  • Reflects business needs.
  • Is achievable and relevant.
  • Outlines authority and accountability.
  • Can be evaluated or measured.
  • Is fair.
  • Holds people to account.

Follow these steps to put an effective performance agreement in place for your staff:

  1. Start with expectations

    Clearly identify the behavior that you want to see, explain why that behavior is needed, and identify the goals that need to be achieved.

    Mind Tools has two articles to help you with performance improvement expectations and goals. Giving and Receiving Feedback and Dealing with Poor Performance provide many practical tips on conducting performance interviews.

  2. Build in milestones

    Identify specific points along the way to ensure that the goal is still relevant and that the person is still on track. The main reason for executing a performance agreement is to maximize success. Do what you can to make success as achievable as possible.

    In our above example, someone needing to improve communication skills may need to start by attending an interpersonal communication workshop, and this may have a milestone of completing it by a certain date. After attending the workshop, the person can move on to one-on-one coaching.

    If the person doesn’t attend the workshop, then the milestone provides an opportunity to ask why. Was there a scheduling problem, or is there a deeper issue to address? Either way, the person can’t move on to one-on-one coaching, so the second goal needs to be adjusted.

    With a routine performance goal, you need milestones to ensure that things are progressing smoothly. You don’t want a surprise when it’s time to evaluate a person’s overall performance, so build in checkpoints to stay on top of performance before it gets too far off track.

  3. Agree on the terms

    Performance agreements are a two-way street. If you simply dictate what the person will do, you may be disappointed with the outcome. When goals are agreed upon mutually, you’re more likely to see progress. Take time to develop goals together, and be prepared to discuss the “whys” at length. This is a joint process – it needs acceptance from both parties for it to work.

  4. Schedule accountability meetings

    Milestones form the basis for accountability. When people know you’ll be following up, they’ll be much more likely to quickly get to work on the goal. If they think you’ll simply forget about it, they probably will too. Schedule regular meeting times to review goals, discuss what’s happening, and make adjustments as necessary.

    This is the communication benefit of performance agreements. You’re much more likely to be involved in your staff’s development and performance when you agree to, and commit to, regular performance meetings.

  5. Establish outcome results and consequences

    Whenever you put together a contract, the other person probably expects to get something for fulfilling the terms of that contract. With performance contracts, this may be a bonus or reward, or it may simply be continued employment.

    Whatever the case, clearly state what happens if the goal is or is not met. This is especially critical for performance improvement agreements, because you need a next step if the person fails to improve within an agreed upon, and reasonable, amount of time.

    Make the performance agreement transparent – everyone should understand the consequences of action or inaction. When a formal agreement outlines specific and measurable expectations, it doesn’t leave much room for argument. If the person fails to live up to the agreement, then you have a process in place that you can follow.

Tip 1:
Because performance agreements are intended to help staff with their development, put in place at least one more chance to meet the expectation. Agreements that are too harsh can seem unreasonable, and they may contradict the spirit of supporting staff efforts to improve and contribute value to your organization.

Of course, if the person fails to meet these agreements, you may have fair and defensible grounds for dismissal. This can make the termination process cleaner for everyone involved – however, that’s judged on a case-by-case basis.

Tip 2:
Before engaging with this process in full, talk to your HR department. The approach may need to be tweaked to ensure that it complies with local employment law and corporate HR policies.

  1. Sign it and date it

    All that’s left is for the member of staff and you to sign the agreement and date it. Well, almost all… now you have to monitor and enforce the agreement, as well as hold up your responsibilities in terms of follow-up and support.

Tip 3:
Here we’re talking about using performance agreements to correct people’s behavior. Essentially, we’re balancing the benefits of using performance agreements to orient people towards desired goals, with the considerable managerial effort needed to draw them up and manage them, and suggesting that they’re used only in the most important situations.

However, in some circumstances (possibly in high risk situations, or where a great deal of unsupervised work is needed) it may be worth making performance agreements with all members of your team. If you’re thinking of doing this, make sure that members of your team are comfortable with the approach, and ensure that you don’t rely on them exclusively to manage performance. Everyone needs good levels of trust, respect, and communication from their boss!

Key Points

Performance agreements are a great addition to a performance management system. They enhance accountability for both workers and managers, and they establish clear expectations that staff can use to take responsibility for their own performance.

That’s really what good performance is all about – providing people with the understanding they need to do a good job and achieve the results that are expected of them. By identifying this information and setting up a contract, you can create a system for success.

 The Microsoft® .NET Compact Framework 3.5 Redistributable contains the common language runtime and class libraries built for the .NET Compact Framework. In addition to version 3.5 support, it also supports applications developed for version 1.0 and 2.0. The .NET Compact Framework 3.5 provides new features such as Windows Communication Foundation, LINQ, SoundPlayer, new runtime tool support, and many other features.

Important: To develop .NET Compact Framework applications, Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 is required.

This package uses ActiveSync 4.0 to update the device. Before running NETCFSetupv35.msi, connect your device to your PC. If your device is not connected, ActiveSync will store the CAB file and will not install the package until you connect. If you are not using ActiveSync, run the CAB files on the device that correspond to the device–specific CAB files found in the install folder.

System Requirements
Supported Operating Systems: Windows 2000 Service Pack 4; Windows CE .NET; Windows Mobile 2003 SE software for Pocket PC; Windows Mobile 5.0; Windows Mobile 6; Windows Vista; Windows XP
Supported Device Operating Systems: Windows Mobile Software for Pocket PC 2003, Windows Mobile 5.0 for PocketPC and Smartphone, Windows CE .NET 5.0 and higher.

Important: This download utilities Microsoft® Windows® Installer technology. Windows 98 and Windows ME users should install the Microsoft® Windows® Installer 2.0 before proceeding with this download.

Download: Microsoft .NET Compact Framework 3.5 Redistributable
Link: Home Page