Archive for January, 2005

I Want One!

January 12th, 2005 No comments

The new Mac Mini. I have thought for sometime about buying an Apple, but probably would have lumped for an iBook. However, I couldn’t quite find a way to leave Windows behind totally (what with doing Uni work and so on in Windows).

However, now I probably could. Think one of these may be my next machine, or maybe an iBook still.

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Damn Trackbacks

January 11th, 2005 No comments

I’ve been reading a lot of the Microsoft MSDN blogs at the moment, and I recently realised that pretty much all of the entries allow trackbacks, although many don’t state the URL on the page.

The problem is, I’ve only had problems with sending trackbacks – I’ve not had one success to date with MSDN trackback URLs. Others seem to work fine though!

I’ve followed the MoveableType specification (they were the original creators) as far as I can, and I don’t have problems with other sites, just Microsoft.

Anyone know why?

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Design By Contract

January 11th, 2005 No comments

Now here is a seemingly good idea.

Originating in the language Eifel, Design by Contract means that with each function you specify a series of predicates which dictate a class’s (or procedures) pre- and post-execution states. E.g. for a function which guarantees that an integer parameter is the absolute value of a number, you specify the pre-condition as being the input number is an integer (i.e. param.IsInteger()) and the post-condition as the return value will always be greater than or equal to zero (i.e. return >= 0)

Before and after the code executes, the contract between the calling procedure (the client) and the procedure is checked, and if either side breaks the contract an error is raised as the program has a bug.

It’s probably best if you read more about it – I probably haven’t explained it very well!

Wonderfully though, Microsoft have taken notice of this technique and are researching a language called “Spec#” which works along side the next release of Visual Studio .Net and the .Net framework.

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Music To Develop By

January 11th, 2005 No comments

I stumbled across this posting today on Dan Fernandez’s blog, which gives three tracks that have been written for developers to write code by. They are described as “Progress/Tribal House”, and all three are roughly an hour long

I’ve had a quick listen to one of them (via the streaming option) and it didn’t sound that bad. I’m currently downloading all three to play them locally (all perfectly legit).

So, if you’re looking for some music to write code to, they might be worth a shot!

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Microsoft Desktop Search

January 11th, 2005 No comments

I haven’t really gone out to find information about this, but I stumbled across this page from Anthony Alvarado’s blog. Unfortunately his blog is in Spanish, which, although I can understand it, you may not.

The search looks quite good, although I’m not particularly fond of the brutal title “Stuff I’ve Seen”, it would be better if it said “Things I’ve Seen” or something similar.

Incidentally, his blog includes some quite good stuff. Like the first ever colour photo, and [link]-1;an amusing photoo (the signs from right to left read “No right turn”, “No Left Turn”, “Dead end ahead”)

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January 11th, 2005 No comments

How to turn on command line completion in Windows 2000.

Have a look at this page here, from the Microsoft Support Site. I’ve tried it and it works perfectly.

Life has become just that little bit more sweet.

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Quite Interesting….

January 10th, 2005 No comments

Just before Christmas 2004 (the 23rd to be precise) I managed to pick up a nasty puncture on my way to work. Unfortunately I didn’t realise and limped my car home for 7 miles on an alloy rim…..

End Result

Anyway, I came across this blog post for somebody who seems to have had the same happen to them. I’m wondering now whether I didn’t have a blow out as well. There didn’t seem to be any kind of hole through the tread of the tyre, and the car was only about 10 weeks old….

Guess I’ll never know.

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New website updates

January 10th, 2005 No comments

If you’ve looked at the site recently, you may have noticed some slightly minor changes.

I’ve made some visual changes to the website, and moved somethings around on some of the pages, and generally made everything a little easier to use and a bit more obvious.

I’ve also become a bit more specialist-user friendly by adding <label> tags for the input fields in the search areas and the add comments forms.


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CCTV cameras on the Internet

January 10th, 2005 No comments

I first heard about these today in this story on The Register.

Basically, I couple of manufacturers of CCTV cameras let you have the capability to monitor the cameras from the internet; which people are making fair use of. However, they are forgetting to put in place the necessary security measures, and therefore people can access them if you know what to search for on Google

I’ve had a look at a couple so far, and not much seems to be happening in the world right now, but I you can’t get too upset.

For the best information about this subject, have a look at this Boing Boing blog page

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Speed Up Firefox

January 10th, 2005 No comments

I was sent an email at work today which told me how to tweak a couple of settings in Mozilla Firefox to speed up page loading times.

Always a little sceptical of such things, I thought that I would try it out, and it does seem to work.

You can dramatically speed up “browsing rendering” speed by turning on request pipelining by doing as follows.

This will not effect downloading of large files in the slightest. What it will do is change how fast a typical “rich web page” – ie a page made up of 20-50 images / bits of text loads and renders by loading the images in parallel rather than one at a time.

1. Type “about:config” into the address bar (no spaces) and hit Return.
Scroll down and look for the following entries:


Normally the browser will make one request at a time to a Web page. When you enable pipelining, the browser will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading.

2. Alter the entries as follows:
Set “network.http.pipelining” to “true”
Set “network.http.proxy.pipelining” to “true”
Set “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” to some number like 30. (This
tells the browser to make 30 requests at once.)

3. Lastly, right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” and set its value to “0”. This value is the amount of time the browser waits before acting on received information.I thought I would try and see if I could find this information in other places just to verify, and it seems that these tricks are quite old, but never-the-less worth performing.

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