Archives for July 2011

July 2011 (8)
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Bye-bye, MacBook Pro; Hello, Dell XPS 15z

After some 8 months of really trying to use it as my main machine for everything I do, I’m converting my MacBook Pro back into a Mac OS X only machine. In replacement, I just received a Dell XPS 15z. The brief history went like this. Back in October last year, I thought I’d try using a Mac as my main machine. Hence I bought a 13 inch MacBook Pro, bought AppleCare, decked it out with 8GB RAM and a 500GB Seagate hybrid drive, installed Mac OS X as the main OS, and VMware’s Fusion...

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PCPlus 296: How to find a face

For the July 2010 issue, something rather cool: face detection. How does a program (such as that one in your point-and-click camera) work out from an image whether there is a face in it, and if so where it is? The algorithm most used is the Viola-Jones classifier algorithm. Basically the way it works is not to try and identify a face in the image, but instead to analyze the image for certain rectangular “features” – no, not facial features, something altogether more basic than that – and then classify...

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JavaScript for C# programmers: wrapping an existing function to add extra functionality

I was answering a JavaScript question on stackoverflow when a common usage scenario presented itself, one with a subtle gotcha that could catch you out. Perfect for a quick blog post. (Note: you could also view this post as an adjunct to my popular JavaScript callback posts ( I , II , III ).) My solution to the problem involved adding some extra precondition code to an existing event handler. The event was the plotclick event of the jQuery Flot charting library , so the original event handler code...

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Adding sharing links to the blog–JavaScript edition

The story so far : in essence I’ve added AddThis and Google +1 support to this blog using their “simple” markup. Unfortunately, the simple way breaks XHTML validation using the W3C validator because of the non-standard attributes ( addthis:url , addthis:title ) and elements ( g:plusone ). As I said previously, time to break out the JavaScript. Let’s do this in reverse order, starting with the +1 button. The reason for doing it this way round is that Google’s documentation was easier to follow, and...

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Adding sharing links to the blog

Up to now, I’ve used an old plug-in to GraffitiCMS to serve up a set of sharing buttons on this blog. Old as in the code used to have (until I took it out) a link for Furl – remember that? No, I don’t either. photo © 2006 MyEyeSees | more info Prompted by a blog post by Nick Hodges , I signed up to AddThis and have now added their sharing toolbar to my posts. It wasn’t quite as simple as it made out though. I have two main type of pages where I want the sharing toolbar to appear: the index page and...

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Volvo Club of America National Meet 2011

On Saturday 18 June, I attended the VCOA (Volvo Club of America) National Meet in Lindsborg, Kansas, to show off 64SAINT, my Volvo 1800S. Sounds simple enough, except how was I going to get there? It was 440 miles “door-to-door”. Was 64SAINT up to it? A week or so before the trip, I had Concours Cars service the car and also get rid of the crappy boy-racer exhaust (why, oh why did the guy who restored it damage the look with this monstrosity?) and replace it with a dual tail pipe more-in-line-with...

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PCPlus 295: Raytracing revealed

This article followed on from the previous, as it happened. You see I’d painstakingly drawn the figures for the pentominoes article in Adobe Illustrator and I got to wondering if there was an easier way to create them. I half-remembered about ray-tracing (my friend Duncan had created some great images a while back) and so I looked it up. A couple of links later I had POV-Ray downloaded and installed and was playing around. Naturally, the ray-traced image I spent most time on for this article was...

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EZDSL for Delphi XE

Just a quick one: I’ve updated EZDSL to support Delphi XE. Seeing as I only have Delphi XE installed these days, this is the only compiler I can now certify as working with EZDSL. I guess the earlier ones will still work just fine, but I no longer have the time or the will to check. photo © 2007 Carlos Goulão | more info (via: Wylio ) There is one change that I missed from last time: there’s a PChar in EZDSLBSE.PAS that should be changed to PAnsiChar , although you’ll have to IFDEF it because Delphi...

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