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  • Is Oberon really "a better Pascal"?

    - by Maksee
    Reading Niklaus Wirth, one can notice that despite some popularity of Pascal, he is not glad that Oberon (as a "polished" successor of Pascal and Modula) didn't get much popularity. I never did anything in Oberon, but reading the page Oberon For Pascal Developers I really did not like many of the changes as a Delphi/pascal developer, for example forcing the reserved words to be always uppercase making the language case-sensitive getting rid of enumeration types What do you think about Oberon, is it really "a better Pascal" from your point of view?

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  • What was the first consumer-oriented hardware/software solution?

    - by Maksee
    We all know the story of the personal computer as a consumer-oriented product. But I just thought that real end user solution should have appeared before that time. So a product that was probably expensive, but allowed using it as a service charging for it, for example computer-terminal for transport time-table access or game machine. On the other site, the video terminals as we know them appeared not so long ago. So if there was something like this, this could be hardware/software most likely offering no interactivity, but probably printing some information based on user actions.

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  • Formalizing programmers errors

    - by Maksee
    Every one of us make errors leading to bugs. Once I wanted to start logging my errors for future analysis, probably mentioning project title, approximate time spent and the most important, the type of error. For example when I copy-pasted a fragment about 'x' and replaced every occurrence of 'x' with 'y' and forgot to replace a tiny piece, this goes to 'copy-paste error'. The usefulness of this approach depends on whether I can formalize my errors at all and probably minimizing the number of types to choose from. Otherwise I would start postponing, ignoring and so on so make this system useless. Are there existing research in this area, probably a known minimum set of errors? Maybe some of you already tried to implement something like this and succeeded/failed?

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  • Openoffice.org: Mouse wheel one row at a time possible?

    - by Maksee
    I noticed this in Excel, now in OpenOffice.org calc. One small change in mouse wheel leads to 3 rows (line) change. Is it possible to change in Calc OR/AND in Excel? EDIT: Yes, I know about system wide setting about the number of lines for one notch of scroll. But in some applications this setting is interpreted related to size in pixels so scrolling is predictable, but for some like spreadsheet is not. Since the height of line in a cell differ depending of the cell content, with other setting as 1 you will have a guarantee of unpredictable content before your eyes with only one notch.

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  • Free or inexpensive compression proxy

    - by Maksee
    Hi, I'm looking for a way to minimize the net traffic use with my netbook mobile internet connection. Recently I managed to install Opera Mini on the XP and the opera approach of compressing the data helped a lot. But I would like to do the same with my favorite browser using http proxy that compress the data "on the fly". But searching for "compression proxy servers" I could not find any working host/port links. Is it a brand-new technology and therefore expensive or rarely available?

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  • How determine keyboard variation when manufacturer changes it

    - by Maksee
    When I decided to purchase Toshiba Z830, I specially noticed at photos that the keyboard was good for me (wide Enter, Left Shift, Backspace), you can query it at images.google.com, on most photos they're all wide. When I finally bought it (Z830-A2S), the keyboard was different, the Enter is narrow and the left Shift is "split" into Shift and backslash keys (probably 5% of photos at images.google.com). Is it normal for manufacturers to change this during the production cycle or this can be variations from different contractors? But the main point, is it possible to determine this from the full model name or somewhere else without visiting a store?

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  • What should I do or don't do to avoid Delphi "push dword" bug.

    - by Maksee
    I found that Delphi 5 generates invalid assembly code in specific cases. I can't understand in what cases in general. The example below produces access violation since a very strange optimization occurs. For a byte in a record or array Delphi generates push dword [...], pop ebx, mov .., bl that works correctly if there are data after this byte (we need at least three to push dword correctly), but fails if the data is inaccessible. I emulated the strict boundaries here with win32 Virtual* functions Specifically the error occurs when the last byte from the block accessed inside FeedBytesToClass procedure. And if I try to change something like using data array instead of object property of remove actionFlag variable, Delphi generates correct assembly instructions. const BlockSize = 4096; type TSomeClass = class private fBytes: PByteArray; public property Bytes: PByteArray read fBytes; constructor Create; destructor Destroy;override; end; constructor TSomeClass.Create; begin inherited Create; GetMem(fBytes, BlockSize); end; destructor TSomeClass.Destroy; begin FreeMem(fBytes); inherited; end; procedure FeedBytesToClass(SrcDataBytes: PByteArray; Count: integer); var j: integer; Ofs: integer; actionFlag: boolean; AClass: TSomeClass; begin AClass:=TSomeClass.Create; try actionFlag:=true; for j:=0 to Count-1 do begin Ofs:=j; if actionFlag then begin AClass.Bytes[Ofs]:=SrcDataBytes[j]; end; end; finally AClass.Free; end; end; procedure TForm31.Button1Click(Sender: TObject); var SrcDataBytes: PByteArray; begin SrcDataBytes:=VirtualAlloc(Nil, BlockSize, MEM_COMMIT, PAGE_READWRITE); try if VirtualLock(SrcDataBytes, BlockSize) then try FeedBytesToClass(SrcDataBytes, BlockSize); finally VirtualUnLock(SrcDataBytes, BlockSize); end; finally VirtualFree(SrcDataBytes, MEM_DECOMMIT, BlockSize); end; end; Initially the error occured when I used access to RGB data of bitmap bits, but the code there is too complex so I narrowed it to this fragment. So the question is what is here so specific that makes Delphi produce push,pop,mov optimization. I need to know this in order to avoid such side effects in general.

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  • Why this structure should have 48 bytes

    - by Maksee
    I tried to translate some new part of winuser.h header to Delphi. Why this structure is expected to be 48 bytes (only this size was accepted by the corresponding function). With 4-bytes boundary, it looks like it should have 40 bytes. typedef struct tagGESTUREINFO { UINT cbSize; DWORD dwFlags; DWORD dwID; HWND hwndTarget; POINTS ptsLocation; DWORD dwInstanceID; DWORD dwSequenceID; ULONGLONG ullArguments; UINT cbExtraArgs; } GESTUREINFO, *PGESTUREINFO; If it's related to 8-bytes boundary? if so is it relevant to any case where ULONGLONG appears structures? Thanks

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  • Reliable strtotime() result for different languages

    - by Maksee
    There was always a strange bug in Joomla when adding new article with back-end displayed with a language other than English (for me it's Russian). The field "Finish Publishing" started to be current date instead of "Never" equivalent in Russian. For a site in php4 finally found that strtotime function returns different results for arbitrary words. For "Never" it always -1 and joomla relies on this result in the JDate implementation. But in other case it sometimes returns a valid date. For russian translation of Never (???????) it is the case, but also for single "N" it is the case, so if one decided to change the string to some other he or she would face the same issue. So the code below <?php echo "Res:".strtotime("N")."<br>"; echo "Res:".strtotime("Nev")."<br>"; echo "Res:".strtotime("Neve")."<br>"; echo "Res:".strtotime("Never")."<br>"; ?> Outputs: Res:1271120400 Res:-1 Res:-1 Res:-1 So what are the solutions would be in this case? I would like not to write language-specific date.php handler, but to modify date method of JDate class, but what are language-neutral changes would be in order to detect invalid string. Thank you

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  • Is there a technical way to speed up a general program above current PC speed limit?

    - by Maksee
    Let's imagine I developed a Windows console application implementing some algorithm calculating something. Let's say it doesn't use any threads, just straightforward linear approach with ifs, loops and so on. Is there any technical way to make if run it 100x times faster than on the most advanced current PC? For example one of the way would be to run it on a super computer that emulates i386 faster than any of the existing PCs. But in this case the question what computer and does it really have ability to emulate Windows. In other words, is there real examples of such approach? Although in general it looks useless, but if there is a way, one could develop some program on his general home computer and pay for running it much faster on some other hardware. I suppose that this question could be asked on superuser.com, but since there are possible specific with such things as assembler instructions or threads, I thought that stackoverflow.com is better

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