Archives for December 2012

December 2012 (5)
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Eulogy for Alan T. Bucknall

Three years ago today, we held the funeral for my Dad. He’d died of a second heart attack ten days earlier on the 21st December, the first one being a week earlier than that; I’d flown back on some last minute flight in between into the worst winter in the Dales for many a year. Mum asked me to write and deliver his eulogy in church. Here it is; it still fills me with an unending sadness. Eulogy to Alan Thomas Bucknall By Julian M Bucknall Last Wednesday, for the first time ever, I went to the Register...

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Making a photo collage in Adobe Photoshop

This one’s for me for next year (or whenever I need to do this again), or for people like me who find themselves in the same predicament. It also gives a couple of hints to try and get the best effect. This year, like the past couple of years, we decided to create a collage for a New Year’s card that we send out to friends and family. Yep, we’re just that disorganized about Christmas cards, plus this year Donna was in trial until mid-last week. The previous couple of years we used the Walgreens photo...

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New calculator: Sinclair Cambridge Scientific

While I was away last week in Vegas for the DevExpress Summit, my newest calculator was delivered: the Sinclair Cambridge Scientific. It was with a little bit of apprehension that I opened up the padded envelope on Friday afternoon to see what it looked like and whether it worked properly (sometimes sellers on eBay are a little, er, shall we say, enthusiastic about how good the calculator they’re selling is and somehow neglect to mention various obvious problems). This one was doubly worrying: the...

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Kickstarter, the Brydge, and the Surface RT

So, a while back, I backed a Kickstarter project called the Brydge . This is a keyboard for the iPad (2nd to 4th generation) that seems to magically attach and makes the iPad into a kind of Ultrabook. It even had speakers and its own power. I thought it sounded pretty nifty so I went for it at the $180 level. Well, after a couple of design changes and delays (the usual kind of thing that happens to a Kickstarter project, I’ve found) my Brydge finally arrived today. And I’d have to say it’s pretty...

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PCPlus 315: Safe online transactions

In which I talk about how to solve the problem of communication between two entities (I talk about the archetypal Alice and Bob) so that no one else (notably, Eve) can listen in, and no one (especially Mallory) can monkey around pretending to be Alice to Bob or vice versa. (For those not in the know why these names were chosen, Alice and Bob just designate A and B, Eve is the eavesdropper and Mallory the man-in-the-middle.) I start off with DES (Data Encryption Standard), an old fashioned encryption...

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