Page 3 of full list of posts


Free open source comes with a cost

In my blog post “ Thoughts on open source ” I ended cryptically with But be aware that just because they’re “free” doesn’t mean that the cost to use them is zero. Let me expand a little on this with especial regard to JavaScript libraries. What exactly is a cost associated with an open source library? When is it not free? I’ll compare this with buying a library from a component vendor, such as DevExpress , the company I work for. For a kick-off, an open source library certainly...

READ MORE

It lasted just over a year

Back in June 2015, I got my (replacement) CST-01, “the world’s thinnest watch”. I wrote about it at the time , mainly because of the stupendous crash-and-burn that the Kickstarter for it turned out to be. The watch is a lovely thing, to be sure. Well, I am sorry to report that, this weekend, after just 14 months of ownership, recharging every five to six weeks or so, the battery has now completely died. The watch only works if it’s plugged into the power charger. Unplug it, and the watch just shows...

READ MORE

Thoughts on open source

Waaaay back when (yes, it was eight years ago, an eternity in software development), I wrote a post on my old blog about using “ Code from the Internet ”. In those days, for me and my readers that meant finding some C# code from some blog post somewhere out there written by some Joe Blow and using it in your own app. These days however, if you’re doing any kind of web development, you’re going to be pretty well using a whole bunch of code from the internet, and in general from that internet outpost...

READ MORE

New theme for old blog

A while back, well after I’d purchased the current theme for this blog , I ran across another great responsive theme on someone else’s blog (unfortunately I never made a note of whose it was, so can’t credit them). The theme is called Selfy and I’d have to say it’s pretty clean and simple. So I bought it in order that I could change the admittedly awful self-designed theme on my old blog. I’m no designer is all I will say. OK, fine, the old theme was rank, and I don’t want to talk about it. Really...

READ MORE

Median stack mode: getting rid of people

Before we went away last week to Belgium, I was reading about a technique for removing people from your photos using Photoshop . I think I’d heard or read about it before way back when but had never really investigated the technique properly. This time though, I delved in deeper to see if I could do it myself. I suppose it was prompted by this short video that takes the technique to an extreme (notice how the shots with just the protagonist and no crowds are stationary/static so the technique can...

READ MORE

Calculating the date of Easter for a particular year

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away – OK, it was in London in 1993 – I added a DateEaster function to my personal Dates unit, written in Borland Pascal 7. So: 16-bit DOS for all you oldies. For a bit of fun, I shall present it here with some commentary. At the time I was really proud of this unit: the majority of it was written in assembly for speed reasons (it was used in a swaps trading app I was writing) and it could calculate things like days between two dates (including on a 360-day basis...

READ MORE

Using Node to run JavaScript from Sublime Text

A quick one, more for my benefit next time I have to set this up in the future. Sometimes, I’m writing some JavaScript that can be divorced from a web page. Maybe it’s a weird bit of code, maybe I’m experimenting with (say) functional programming, maybe it’s just a small self-contained function, but I’d really like to test it right there and then, rather than copy/paste it and use the developer tools in my browser. For Sublime Text, we can set up a “ build system ” to do this. First install node...

READ MORE

Professional theme? Sure, except for these bits…

Back in January , I pulled the trigger on a new theme for this blog. I recognized some time ago that I am not a very good web designer (I can do small tweaks to CSS but not comprehensive composition) and it would be far better to buy something that’s well designed and then spend the time wrapping the output from the blog engine to this new look and feel. And that, pretty much, is what happened. I bought a professionally designed theme (making sure it was responsive), and hacked away at the templates...

READ MORE

Script from my very first appearance on stage

In a week where I am about to tread the boards again for the first time in over a year, my sister was sorting out some of our parents’ documents, found this page and scanned/sent it to me this morning. It is nothing less than the “script” – if I may call it that – of what I had to learn as announcer (or perhaps, more accurately, narrator?) for a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves that our school was putting on. The wrinkle is, we were living in France at the time so it’s in French. Even...

READ MORE

SlySoft is dead, long live RedFox!

A week or so ago, the SlySoft website was suddenly replaced by a terse announcement that “[d]ue to recent regulatory requirements we have had to cease all activities.” I’m willing to bet that most of my readers haven’t heard of SlySoft or their main product, AnyDVD. In essence, AnyDVD is an app that circumvents the DRM present in all DVDs and Blu-ray discs, at the driver level. There are two reasons for doing this. The first is to circumvent the region encoding used by DVDs, and this was the initial...

READ MORE