Approximity blog home
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MC Escher   25 Jan 07
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Google Earth community MC Escher’s world

Flatland, the movie :-)   23 Jan 07
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Flatland, the 1884 novella by Edwin Abbott finally as movie

You can get the entire book at Projet Gutenberg for free.

Burning a cd from an iso image from the commandline   23 Jan 07
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OS X can do, it too :-) Insert a blank cd, and off it goes :-).
 hdiutil burn image.iso

 $ hdiutil  burn  KNOPPIX_V5.1.1CD-2007-01-04-EN.iso
 Preparing data for burn
 Opening session
 Opening track
 Writing track
 ..............................................................................
 Closing track
 ..............................................................................
 Closing session
 ..............................................................................
 Finishing burn
 Verifying burn...
 Verifying
 ...............................................................................
 Burn completed successfully
 ...............................................................................
 hdiutil: burn: completed

Good old trusted linux does it with cdrecord :-)

 cdrecord  speed=2 dev=0,1,0 -data sol-9-install-sparc.iso

SSH login without password   20 Jan 07
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Nice solution.

[ANN] RubyJS -- convert ruby to javascript   15 Jan 07
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Michael Neumann has announced his latest project :-).
 Hi all,

 Long time since I announced my last project....

 With RubyJS you can transform a subset of Ruby into Javascript code.

 What works?
 * Classes, modules, inheritance
 * Instance methods, class methods
 * Exceptions (rescue/ensure)
 * Meta-programming stuff like 'attr_reader'
 (any meta-programming stuff works that does not appear inside methods)
 * Iterators, yield
 * "require" (with platform-specific extension ala Google Webtoolkit)
 * Inline Javascript code
 * Some kind of compile-time method lookup  ;-)
 * Numbers, String, Array, Hash, Proc (a lot of functionallity is missing!)
 * Testing with Rhino-JS
 * A lot more  :)

 There is a lots of room for optimizations and improvement  :)

 DOWNLOAD
 http://ntecs.de/hg-projects/rubyjs/

 Best use Mercurial (www.selenic.com/mercurial) to check it out:
 hg clone static-http://ntecs.de/hg-projects/rubyjs/

pdftk - the pdf toolkit   30 Dec 06
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If PDF is electronic paper, then pdftk is an electronic staple-remover, hole-punch, binder, secret-decoder-ring, and X-Ray-glasses. Pdftk is a simple tool for doing everyday things with PDF documents. Keep one in the top drawer of your desktop and use it to:
  • Merge PDF Documents
  • Split PDF Pages into a New Document
  • Rotate PDF Pages or Documents
  • Decrypt Input as Necessary (Password Required)
  • Encrypt Output as Desired
  • Fill PDF Forms with FDF Data or XFDF Data and/or Flatten Forms
  • Burst a PDF Document into Single Pages
  • ..

The nice thing is that one can use it all from the commandline :-).

  • Examples Merge Two or More PDFs into a New Document
 pdftk 1.pdf 2.pdf 3.pdf cat output 123.pdf
  • Split Select Pages from Multiple PDFs into a New Document
 pdftk A=one.pdf B=two.pdf cat A1-7 B1-5 A8 output combined.pdf
  • Burst a Single PDF Document into Single Pages and Report its Data to doc_data.txt pdftk mydoc.pdf burst.

Oops .. saw this lonely bag lying at the airport   29 Dec 06
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I saw this poor bag fall at SLC airport .. and then it staid there .. I feel sorry for the poor passenger who saw his bag out of the plane window :-).

Wink: make nice flash movies of your software   29 Dec 06
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Wink is a great tool for Linux and Windows to record your desktop sessions. We used it to capture screenshots of a legacy app we had to port, that did not run on our OS.

It’s a jewel one should have in its tool-shop.

Chart of R colors   26 Nov 06
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This chart of R colors can come in handy.

Cycles of Observers   11 Nov 06
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Good post by John Carter to the pragprog@yahoogroups.com
 Let me relate a few war stories...

 Once I had a very very complex problem to solve.

 I had not the foggiest notion in which order to compute what.

 So I took the cowards way and hooked in the Observer all over the place
 so I didn't have to think in what order to do it.

 It was very slow and buggy and I was no closer to understanding in the
 problem than before. It did work occasionally though.

 I put in enough logging to see what order it did things in (when it
 worked). After glaring at that for an hour I saw the pattern, recoded
 it as a couple of tight while loops.

 Result...

 Very fast, very understandable, easily maintained, no bugs and no observers.

 Story two...

 Once I took over the maintenance of some code that had several
 observer pattern instances scattered around it.

 It was fragile, buggy, and erratic.

 After much loss of hair and many hours of poring over log traces I
 figured it out.

 There were complex loop paths through several observers. No mere
 mortal could really understand what would happen if object X updated,
 since the possible impacts and possible variants of paths were almost
 limitless and depended crucially on the order of registration of
 observers.

 After a brief killing spree amongst the instances of the observer
 pattern the code was still buggy, but at least no longer fragile and
 erratic...

 

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