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Messages - Ralf Maximus [ switch to compact view ]

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Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Do this First.
« on: December 11, 2007, 01:31 PM »
Okay, it's gone then.  I'll take another stab at the date evaluation routines tonight.

Thanks once again for the toubleshooting help!

My other concern would be that it's raping the USB drive.  Those things really aren't meant to be used for random access storage; the flash memory would wear out pretty quick.  Unless things have changed dramatically in flash RAM technology...?

My understanding is that the booster technology is of benefit only if you're borderline low on RAM... correct?

"Hmm.  According to our research, 90% of all Vista users do nothing but download pornography and change their icons."

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Do this First.
« on: December 11, 2007, 11:35 AM »
Yes, it's picking up 2 days for some reason.  The actual difference expressed in days between 11Dec07 1325 and 12Jan08 0800 is 31.7743055555547, or about 1 month 18.5 hours and change.

I'll have a look at the code and report back.

I'm not trying to weasel out of anything, but is there any value to seeing the time countdown when something is beyond a couple of days?  It's dramatic and all, but is that actually useful?

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Do this First.
« on: December 11, 2007, 10:49 AM »
Are you getting sick of this, Ralf?

Nah, I think they call this "iterative development".  :-)

I betcha it'll take the time without snake-eyes IF you use a four digit year.  As in:
12Jan2008 0800

If so, that'd be an important clue.

The hotpatch technology patches in-memory images without having to restart anything.

An achivement on par with changing the fanbelt on your car without switching it off.

Ok, I'll stop now...

General Software Discussion / Lego Digital Designer (New Version)
« on: December 11, 2007, 08:59 AM »
If you love Legos, but hate stepping on them in the middle of the night, you need Lego Digital Designer.


Think of it as a CAD system for Lego freaks.  It comes complete with a catalog of every brick they make, in all possible colors.  Build the model of your dreams, and it'll even print out a parts list so you can build it in real life.  Or, use their online ordering wizard and have everything you need shipped straight to you.

The whole thing is free, unless you decide to jump online and buy enough bricks to recreate key scenes from The Matrix trilogy.

The new version adds Mindstorm support and a cleaner interface, but I can't vouch for that personally.  My little girl has been using the program since it first came out and actually prefers the virtual legos to her real bricks. 

Which is great, since turning off the computer is soooo much easier than picking up the floor.

(Image ganked from Softpedia.)

UPDATE: Forgot the durn link.  D'oh!

Living Room / Re: Is the new Zune upgrade really an upgrade?
« on: December 11, 2007, 08:43 AM »
But I mean, is this something the artist does BEFORE the file is distributed, or something anyone with a Zune can do?

Seems like a huge (and obvious) DRM hole if the latter, which is why I asked.

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Do this First.
« on: December 11, 2007, 08:42 AM »
New version, 1.9 with these tweaks:

- Handles dates in the format ddMMMyy or ddMMMyyyy (e.g. 12Jan08) without corrupting the time component if present.

- Date evaluator is now regionally aware, and should deal properly with dates in the format mm/dd or dd/mm.

- Pressing the Enter key on line 2 of the description editor now closes the box and saves the setting. 

"New functionality" for Vista though.  Vista != Server 2003.

Admit it: you just like the word "hotfix".  It sounds kind of pr0ny.  :-)

Living Room / Re: Is the new Zune upgrade really an upgrade?
« on: December 11, 2007, 08:14 AM »
I am unclear: is this a way to bypass DRM on the consumer side, or something that the artist does to make their stuff immune to DRM?

I was just thinking this is the wrong time to start piling on new whiz-bang features.  There's a lot riding on SP1, and every little thing they add increases the odds of something going wrong.

If SP1 isn't dead solid perfect, the "Vista Sucks!" crowd will go even more berserk.

Living Room / Re: IE8!
« on: December 11, 2007, 08:07 AM »

My Dear Mr. benopolis,

I have read your recent missive with great acceptance of its inner truth, yet remain steadfast in my beliefs, despite my own admitted ignorance.

While the inner mechanics of Microsoft research & development elude me, one can easily discern the dichotomy betwixt their trumpeted achievements and the experiences shared by typical gentlemen such as ourselves.

Thus any ignorance admitted by myself as to any Grand Design has little if any bearing on this discourse, and in fact, flies contrary to the very point I wish to make: that my status as a consumer of Babbage machine wares lends greater weight to the opinions I express in my writings than a man of lesser standing and achievement.  Were Microsoft to inquire as to my personal inclinations, I believe my experiences would captivate and inform them.

As always, I strive for greater understanding of the mysterious gentlemen operating Microsoft.  One day, perhaps, I will achieve a form of "nirvana" (to borrow an East Indian phrase) which shall accompany the complete and total understanding of their machinations.  However, until that glad day arrives, I shall forge ahead and utilize the techniques and technologies with which I am comfortable.

Yours (etc),
Mr. Matt Asay

Living Room / Re: IE8!
« on: December 11, 2007, 07:42 AM »
If the blog comments had been written in 1907:


Dear Mr. Asay:

While I admire & respect your opinion, I feel compelled to bring up an awkward subject, id est that in past correspondence with your readers you have asserted a desire to compose programming for Babbage devices, along with your admission that the skills elude you.  Thus, with all due respect, I find your position contrary to your own stated level of accomplishment in the field.  May I be so bold as to suggest a greater enthusiasm for researching Microsoft's current activities, before disparaging their very efforts utilizing the skills to which you yourself admit ignorance?

Sincerely Yours (etc etc)

Windows Vista SP1 enables support for hotpatching, a reboot-reduction servicing technology designed to maximize uptime. It works by allowing Windows components to be updated (or "patched") while they are still in use by a running process.

What could possibly go wrong?


Living Room / Re: Any old Amiga users among us?
« on: December 11, 2007, 07:18 AM »
That makes a lot of sense.  Being a Commodore reseller, I spent most of my time in the officially sanctioned software packages -- I assume the ones with higher build quality.  Plus, the demos never crashed. :-)

Living Room / Re: Any old Amiga users among us?
« on: December 11, 2007, 06:50 AM »
Great series, and reignites my frustration with Commodore back then.  They really did have a superior product and just failed to capitalize on it.

Memory being a funny thing, I'm certain the article is more accurate than my recollections about crashes & instability:

Because the OS lacked memory protection, a fatal error in the OS or even in an application could lock up the system completely, forcing a reboot.  [...]  As a result, the Amiga gained a reputation for instability that would stay with the machine for many years to come.


Living Room / Re: Western Themed Arcade Game...What Is It???
« on: December 10, 2007, 06:51 PM »
Express Raider? 


Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Do this First.
« on: December 10, 2007, 11:59 AM »
I've got some real work to do here for a bit, but I'll jump back on the date issue tonight.

Thanks for the screenshots and feedback.  Helps tremendously.

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Do this First.
« on: December 10, 2007, 11:49 AM »
Very helpful, thanks!   So if I get the mm/dd and dd/mm thing sorted out, think it's good to go?  Looks like it's handling the ddMMMyy format properly.

And yes, OCD, ADD, hallucinatory bats, and too much coffee.  It's all in there!

Living Room / Re: Overheard on the Internets
« on: December 10, 2007, 11:11 AM »
Oh, that's brilliant!  Enough non-sequitors to derail switchyards of trains of thought.  For instance:

Rabidplaybunny87: Okay, so my neighbors officially hate me
GarbageStan23: why?
Rabidplaybunny87: Well, me, david and andrew were having a bonfire in the backyard, and we were making s'mores and all... and suddenly we here sirens, and see a firetruck turn into the street in front of us.
Rabidplaybunny87: So we all went running to see what was up, and our neigbor's house was on fire!
GarbageStan23: oh shit!
Rabidplaybunny87: Yeah, and when we got there, the wife was crying into her husbands arms, and we were just kinda standing there, and then she saw us, and then like for 10 seconds, gave us the dirtiest look ever
Rabidplaybunny87: Turns out, we were still holding our sticks with marshmallows on it, watching the fire....
Rabidplaybunny87: talk about bad timing...

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Do this First.
« on: December 10, 2007, 11:09 AM »
I guess I'll have to make a return visit to the Yucatan. Examples show day and month two ways. Could it have to do with my display properties for date and time?

Ah!  It's misinterpreting the month/day, since I am a silly American programmer and I bet you're using the European convention.  If you spell out the date (e.g. "5 Jan 2008") I think it'll work.

(I mean, your regional settings are configured that way and Windows is "helping me" by interpreting the date, and I'm re-interpreting the interpretation.)

Looks like the time is being handled properly (finally!)

To fix the month/date swappage, I'll have to intervene in the "standard" date interpretation code and hack something together.  Stay tuned...

Living Room / Re: Overheard on the Internets
« on: December 10, 2007, 10:31 AM »
And another.

I'd wager I could take on a dozen unarmed teenage girls and win.

maybe about 80 four year olds.

guys if you were locked in a basketball court sized room and had to fight an endless stream of 4 year olds how many do you think you could defeat?

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Do this First.
« on: December 10, 2007, 10:11 AM »
I know!  We'll change the program to extract a pound of flesh everytime you miss a deadline!


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