Well that's good. Fantastic. That gives us 20 minutes to save the world and I've got a post office. And it's shut!

Wednesday, March 29



Nasty little rogue DNA strands have done me in. Posting will be light until I manage to crawl off to the chemist for some medication, after which posting will be light-headed. Assuming they'll sell me the good stuff.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:02 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Giants Of Science

As you've never seen them before.

(You need to scroll down a little to get to the good stuff.)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 08:59 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Tuesday, March 28




It's Python, so it's good, but it's Microsoft, so it's evil. I haven't determined the exact good/evil balance as yet but given that it's a one meg download, you can't go too far wrong.

Update: So, I can embed IronPython in my VB.NET application, which is great. But can I then access SQL databases from IronPython via the Python DB-API? Because then I can do... Uh, something that I would really like to do. I can do ADO.NET calls from IronPython, but that would mean I'd have to either write two versions of all the database queries or write a wrapper myself.

Okay, here's what I'm trying to achieve. Everyone knows I'm developing a blog/forum/wiki/portal/community application called Minx. What I haven't said much about - because I haven't gotten anywhere with it - is a client side application called Miko, which is supposed to let you easily manage your Minx sites. To do this properly, I need to embed parts of the Minx server engine. I hadn't found an easy way to do that previously short of writing the whole thing in Python, and I didn't want to do that because then there are problems with distributing the thing.

But if I can write it in VB and embed IronPython to handle the parts I've stolen from Minx, then I'm half-way there. But the Minx template system has SQL calls right inside it; it was designed to work with pretty much any SQL database but it doesn't have a separate storage API. And IronPython doesn't seem to have any way of using the Python DB-API. Still, writing a layer that translates to ADO.NET calls is probably a better way to spend my time than rewriting the template system in VB. (I'll just bundle it with SQLite for people who don't already have MySQL, PostgreSQL, Firebird, SQL Server and DB2 installed.)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:03 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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High Score

go2url.be: 156494.98

Great. Now piss off.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 08:54 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Bugger Vista

There seems to be a certain furore going on over the latest delays in Windowsville. Since, as far as I can tell, every feature planned for Vista has been removed except for the new resource-sucking layer* I'm not sure I really care. Windows XP is a more-or less adequate operating system, as long as you're not trying to develop a flexible server application. Windows in general sucks beyond belief for that; any version of Linux or Unix or even something like VMS blows Windows into the weeds in that scenario.

But for desktop apps, and for developing desktop apps, it's not too sucky. Still sucky, yes, but at a level one can deal with while retaining some shreds of sanity and self-respect.

Except for the virtual memory system, which as far as I can tell has survived unchanged since the release of NT 3.1. Back then you were likely running with 16MB of memory; these days if you're doing anything remotely serious you have at least a gigabyte, even in a notebook. A virtual memory system tuned to work well with 16MB of memory is a festering pile of crap when you have a hundred times that amount.

There are two things that need to be fixed in Windows. One is the networking, which I thought they swiped from BSD, but doesn't act like it. Windows has the most thoroughly screwed up network behaviour of any operating system on the planet. Look, Bill, just go back to BSD and swipe their TCP stack again. Easy enough, surely.

The other thing they need to do is steal /proc/sys/vm/swappiness from the Linux 2.6 kernel, so I can set it to 0. Every time I copy a large file you swap my applications out. Stop it, you morons!

Two little things, guys. Then no-one will care if it takes a decade to push Vista out the door.

* Aero Glass

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 07:18 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Request For Comment From The Peanut Gallery

Let's say you have inline comments on your blog. And your comment threads can easily run to more than a screenful, so when you get to the bottom of the thread, the post is now off the top of the screen.

Now, when you click on the "hide comments" link, what is the least irritating behaviour?

  1. Just make the comments disappear, and pull all the text upwards to fill in the gap.

  2. Make the comments disappear, and reposition the browser so that the bottom of the post is visible.

  3. Make the comments disappear, and reposition the browser so that the top of the post is visible.

  4. Make the comments disappear, and reposition the browser so that the bottom of the post is at the bottom of the page.*

  5. Too hard. Just lose the hide comments link.

  6. Other.

(The reason I'm asking is that Minx does as much as possible inline, including editing if you want that. But while popping something up in the middle of a web page is easy enough, taking it away again is fraught with irrits.)

* Note that I have no idea how to do this.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:04 AM | Comments (11) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Monday, March 27


Pixy's Third Law Of Internet Efficiency

Any time you can turn a latency problem in a bandwidth problem, you can count that as a win.*

* Which is to say, I've inlined my comments.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:15 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Blog of the day is the VirtualDub development blog.

No, really! VirtualDub is the program I use to create all those little anime clips (or almost all of them). It makes the process insanely easy; I can just mark the start and end of the piece of video I want, hit F7, and it gets saved into a file.

Without uncompressing and recompressing anything.

So instead of taking several minutes to create the typical file, it takes four or five seconds, limited by the speed of the disk. (Even faster on my desktop, which a SATA RAID array.)

But the blog? Well, Phaeron (the author) hates property grids, loves 68000 assembler, added asynchronous disk I/O to AMOS, wrote his own rational arithmetic library just to handle AVI frame rates properly... Okay, yes, it's only interesting if you're a geek, but if you're a geek, it's interesting. He's a programmer's programmer and seems to be a sensible guy in general.

Also, he notes that Microsoft have released the Express editions of their development tools as free downloads. Neat. I've hit the links for the ISOs, because download utilities? Bah! And I'm getting 1.3MB/second.

Earlier today I snarfed the free edition of DB2, which looks very nice indeed. I grabbed both the Windows and Linux versions, of course, and I'll be installing both on my notebook, since it runs both Windows and Linux, thanks to the free VMWare Player. I also grabbed a copy of Paint.NET, which is a pretty good little paint program - that is, about two orders of magnitude better than Microsoft Paint, but still considerably short of Photoshop. A great program though if you're on a budget and are seriously pissed off with Corel.

While I was at it I copied all my UFO Princess Valkyrie files onto my notebook as well, so that I could (a) watch them and (b) make little video clips to upload. Oh, and on Friday I copied my Minx development environment from Windows to Linux - all still on my notebook, of course - including the SQL dump of the munu blogs and forums that I'm using for testing.

Which is to say, I think I need a new notebook. One of these with two of these and one of... Okay, one of those 160GB Seagate 2.5" drives that nobody seems to sell. That should hold me for a year or so.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:12 AM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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More Toys

Never mind Sanada's gun, I want Chorus's notebook.

Holographic display? Gimme!

I'd probably put it to better use, too:

Hey! Even Raine has one! No fair!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 07:58 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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If you've been watching the anime clips I've been putting up (and downloading the individual files rather than the collections), you may find Democracy Player interesting.

Leaving aside the pretentious name, it's a video player with a built-in file manager, BitTorrent client, and RSS thingy. What this means is that you can grab various RSS feeds and have it automatically download the files via BitTorrent as they become available. Just add a channel, copy and paste the RSS link, and off you go.

Remember that it is BitTorrent, so it will use your upstream bandwidth to share the videos while you have it open. It uses the standard BitTorrent ports too, and in the current version there seems to be no way to change that.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:45 AM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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