Archive for the 'General' Category

Apr 02 2017

What a pair!

Published by under General

A misogynist President in favor of ‘grab’m by the pussy’ and a Vice President who won’t have a private lunch with a women (for fear of carnal thoughts?). How can a person vote for that combo? They just don’t go together; but they did. What’s the over-riding concern that says ignore this?

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Feb 03 2017

Let’s hide the payments!

Published by under General

The Republican Congress has quickly let Energy Companies continue to keep secret ‘taxes and fees’ paid to foreign countries. It is the fees part that can hide a truck load of bribes and other forms of graft. Should all be made public.
Read story here:

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Jan 20 2017

True then, true now

Published by under General

“Nothing is so firmly believed as that which a man knoweth least”
— Montaigne

“Revisiting why incompetents think they’re awesome”

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Nov 24 2016

What to do now?

Published by under General

If you live in the US and are not pleased with the outcome of the recent presidential election, what can be done now? Lot’s of actions are possible and appropriate, but one that I think is appropriate and many should take is to support solid, investigative journalism as opposed to rumor and innuendo. Paper based distribution of ‘news’ is on its way out, but investigative journalism shouldn’t be. Don’t just rely only on ‘free’ stuff. Where good work appears, pay for it. Support it. Many newspapers seem to be dying. Pay for their online versions, voluntarily or not.

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Aug 10 2016

Entering a linux rabbit hole

Published by under General

I’ve been using linux for a long time but whenever possible using distributions (mainly Debian) and other sources of packaged software. Often read man pages and such but do not delve delving into all the cli options and features. Now, I’ve decided to install arch linux and switch from bash to zsh. Both of which seem to be entry into mazes of options and features. Nice places to get lost (or is that educated?). We’ll see.

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Nov 21 2010

OS X Applications Memory Usage

Published by under General

I expect OS’s and applications to keep running for days on end. I don’t like to close and relaunch apps as I expect them to be available. Unfortunately that comes at a price of ‘lost’ RAM. Recently, I’d been getting a lot of spinning pizzas (delays) when switching between programs and when using a program. So I checked into memory usage.

The following examples have the same page or files open and ‘rendered’ before and after relaunch.

Firefox: 750MB before 140MB after relaunch
MoneyDance: 140MB before 70MB after relaunch

Pretty dramatic differences.

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Nov 18 2007

2nd Round – Upgrade to 10.5 (Leopard)

Published by under General

Items not handled by the install process:

  • Developer’s tools are not migrated. Tried copying to / from /Previous System. Some apps work and some don’t xCode doesn’t! Have to reinstall from a 1.1GB download (or off the install DVD)! Works fine after a re-install.
  • an OS X version of the gimp graphics manipulation program compiled to use X11 cratered on launch. Off to find a more current version? The one that cratered was over a year old (gimp-2.2 [940]). It says it is caching fonts and then dies.
    Downloaded another binary version (gimp-2.2 [1172]) that is supposed to work with Leopard and it cratered while loading fonts. The download was from sourceforge via a link from Apple’s download page. Time to read the log which says:

    11/18/07 3:48:22 PM [0x0-0x9e09e].org.gimp.Gimp[1158]
    Reason: Incompatible library version: libXft.2.dylib requires version 3.0.0 or later,
    but libfontconfig.1.dylib provides version 2.0.0

    hmmm. I hate this sort of chase the module problem. A waste of time. Macports has a version of gimp. Maybe I’ll try that instead.

  • And then there are the other Unix style applications that are left on “Previous System” and have to be copied over or re-installed. In addition to gimp, I need the Haskell compiler (GHC), and the GPG suite of tools.

On the other hand, Windows XP under VMWare runs fine though I did have to upgrade to VMWare Fusion V1.1.

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Jan 23 2007

Quicken’s Three Year Software License

Published by under General

A piece of paper mail arrived yesterday from Intuit which described their plans to drop support for Quicken 2004. Seemed pretty innocuous until I read further. In addition to the expected cessation of telephone support, key services will also be stopped. No more download of stock quotes, no more download of transaction data from bank accounts, and no more bill payment services! For me, the stopage of the first two of those services effectively kills off any value the product had. So I’m forced to pay them more money for a new license or switch to some other program which will also cost more money.

There is an alternative criss platform personal finance product called “Moneydance” which looks like it would meet my needs with one killer exception. I need to access accounts at Fidelity Investments, but Fidelity only works with Quicken and MS’ Money products! So I guess I’ll be forced to pay Intuit more money to stay feasible since I don’t want to have to manually enter Investment transactions.


PS. I’ve seen reference that imply Moneydance can download from Fidelity Investments. I’ll look at that option a bit more.

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Nov 09 2006

Apple’s use of Intel’s Partitioning Scheme (GPT)

Published by under General,Mac

Apple has adopted Intel’s GUID Partition Table (GPT) and this partition format is supported in OS X and presumably used on new machines. An Apple Technote TN2166 describes an overview of the scheme and Apples’ policies about how it uses GPT. TPT is part of Intel’s Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) which is gradually replacing the old PC boot syste.

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Oct 30 2006

UTF-8, 16, 32

Published by under General,Mac,web

In a mailing list post today, I saw the following succinct explanation of the various UTF’s encodings and how they relate to unicode.

All UTF’s are able to encode “EXACTLY” the same set of characters. That’s the whole point of Unicode. The UTF’s specify the nit-picky details about how to actually represent Unicode text in bytes, but the Unicode text itself is a stream of characters, and it is not affected by the encoding method used.

UTF-8 is an 8-bit encoding only in the sense that it’s defined in terms of bytes. That doesn’t mean that each character takes up only one byte. Depending on the character, it may take up one, two, three, or four bytes.

Example UTF-8 representations:
U+0041 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A (‘A’) one byte, value 0x41.
U+00E7 LATIN SMALL LETTER C WITH CEDILLA (‘ç’): two bytes, values 0xC3 0xA7
U+0905 DEVANAGARI LETTER A (‘¿’): three bytes, values 0xE0 0xA4 0x85
U+10000 LINEAR B SYLLABLE A (‘¿’): four bytes, values 0xF0 0x90 0x80 0x80

UTF-16 is defined in terms of 16-bit ‘short words’ (two bytes). That doesn’t mean that each character takes up only one word, however. Depending on the character it may take up one or two words: UTF-16 by itself just defines that sequence of 16-bit values; it has nothing to say about how they’re physically stored as bytes.

UTF-8 is useful for several reasons, not least of which is that it’s backwards compatible with ASCII: a 7-bit ASCII text file is, without any modifications whatsoever, a perfectly legal UTF-8 text file. UTF-8 is also reasonably compact for Latin-based scripts. It starts losing the size battle to UTF-16 for the scripts of the Subcontinent and the far East, which is why there are things like SCSU ( that let you shift the position of the subset of characters that’s representable with single-byte values.

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