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  • Ok to target product names in adwords?

    - by Tom Gullen
    If I have widget company called "Widget Designer" and I have a direct competitor who has "Widgitator Version 5", am I allowed to target a campaign using the literal keywords "Widgitator"? Is this OK? Will they ever find out? Is it bad business? Update I can't really say what the words are, but this is a good example, if my product is called "Chair-o-matic" and it makes chairs, and a competitors is called "Chair Maker 5" can I target the keyword pair "Chair Maker"?

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  • Securely automount encrypted drive at user login

    - by Tom Brossman
    An encrypted /home directory gets mounted automatically for me when I log in. I have a second internal hard drive that I've formatted and encrypted with Disk Utility. I want it to be automatically mounted when I login, just like my encrypted /home directory is. How do I do this? There are several very similar questions here, but the answers don't apply to my situation. It might be best to close/merge my question here and edit the second one below, but I think it may have been abandoned (and therefore never to be marked as accepted). This solution isn't a secure method, it circumvents the encryption. This one requires editing fstab, which necessitates entering an additional password at boot. It's not automatic like mounting /home. This question is very similar, but does not apply to an encrypted drive. The solution won't work for my needs. Here is one but it's for NTFS drives, mine is ext4. I can re-format and re-encrypt the second drive if a solution requires this. I've got all the data backed up elsewhere.

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  • How to select display to record in recordmydesktop

    - by Tom
    I have a dual monitor setup and wish to only record the 1st monitor with recordmydesktop, but I am unsure of the settings when doing it via the command line, so far I have this: recordmydesktop --display=1 --width=1920 height=1080 --fps=15 --no-sound --delay=10 But I get this error message: Cannot connect to X server 1 How do I find the right X server to connect to and are the rest of my settings correct? I'm using 11.04, cheers.

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  • Is it possible to allow the user to access the 'Volumes' without asking the Administrator's password?

    - by Tom
    Am the administrator of my Ubuntu system. Recently I added a new user account. But when ever the user tries to access or open the 'Volumes'(Drives where movies, songs and other files are stored) it asks for the Administrator's password. I created the user account to my other family members and I don't want to tell them my password. So is it possible to allow them to access the Volumes without asking Administrator's password ? UPDATE : Ubuntu was installed alongside Windows in my system. I will provide a screenshot of the Volume details -

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  • Removing date from Google SERP

    - by Tom Gullen
    We are going through our site analysing the SEO. I find that sometimes on a google results page, some results show a date, others don't. Example (from same query): I prefer the result not to have the date in it, as 20 Oct 2009 probably has an adverse effect on the clickability of the result. Is this Google putting it in? Or the page itself? Or a combination of both (IE, if over a certain age, it includes date). The two URLs are: http://www.scirra.com/forum/perlin-noise-plugin_topic38498.html http://www.scirra.com/forum/dungeon-maze-generator_topic40611.html Any way to remove the dates? I'm thinking, if the age of the thread is 4 months don't display the date on the page, then Google might not find a date reference for it?

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  • Presenting agile estimates for Pivotal Tracker project

    - by Tom Styles
    I've been developing for 6-7 years but never in a particularly agile way. With the latest project I'm trying to make our development process more professional, and more agile. We're using Pivotal Tracker to track the project and have gathered some pretty well thought out stories. We're also trying to keep some of our (Prince2/Waterfall mindset) project managers happy. So far I've got them to accept that requirements always change priorities always change some of the requirements won't be delivered if you fix the time scale you should fix the time scale short sprints and regular review is good However they still feel like they need to get a better grip of roughly how much will be delivered within a certain time. I've come up with a spreadsheet to demonstrate what we might expect to get done in a range of 4 different timescales. Questions Are we setting ourselves up to fail Are there better ways to do this

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  • Self-referencing anonymous closures: is JavaScript incomplete?

    - by Tom Auger
    Does the fact that anonymous self-referencing function closures are so prevelant in JavaScript suggest that JavaScript is an incomplete specification? We see so much of this: (function () { /* do cool stuff */ })(); and I suppose everything is a matter of taste, but does this not look like a kludge, when all you want is a private namespace? Couldn't JavaScript implement packages and proper classes? Compare to ActionScript 3, also based on EMACScript, where you get package com.tomauger { import bar; class Foo { public function Foo(){ // etc... } public function show(){ // show stuff } public function hide(){ // hide stuff } // etc... } } Contrast to the convolutions we perform in JavaScript (this, from the jQuery plugin authoring documentation): (function( $ ){ var methods = { init : function( options ) { // THIS }, show : function( ) { // IS }, hide : function( ) { // GOOD }, update : function( content ) { // !!! } }; $.fn.tooltip = function( method ) { // Method calling logic if ( methods[method] ) { return methods[ method ].apply( this, Array.prototype.slice.call( arguments, 1 )); } else if ( typeof method === 'object' || ! method ) { return methods.init.apply( this, arguments ); } else { $.error( 'Method ' + method + ' does not exist on jQuery.tooltip' ); } }; })( jQuery ); I appreciate that this question could easily degenerate into a rant about preferences and programming styles, but I'm actually very curious to hear how you seasoned programmers feel about this and whether it feels natural, like learning different idiosyncrasies of a new language, or kludgy, like a workaround to some basic programming language components that are just not implemented?

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  • Do we need to adopt a black-box asset our project is inheriting from its predecessor?

    - by Tom Anderson
    Our client has an eCommerce site which was developed by an in-house team, and is now showing its age. I work for a firm brought in as external contractors to build a replacement. Part of the current site is a Flash viewer applet which displays media about the product - zoom-able images, 360-degree views, movies, and so on. We need to show the same media the current site does, so we are simply reusing the viewer. The viewer is embedded on a page in the usual way, and told what media to show by means of an XML file it loads from our server, which is pretty simple for us to generate. We've got this working; it was pretty straightforward. But what else do we need to do? The thing is, as far as we're concerned, the viewer is a binary blob which is served from the client's content-distribution network. We embed it, feed it some XML, and it does its job, but we have no power over its internals. It's completely opaque to us - a black box. We can use it to do what it does, but we can't change it, so if we ever need to do something different, we're stuffed. We're building this site for the client, and when we're done, we'll hand it over for them to maintain. We won't be doing the maintenance ourselves. There's a small team within the client who are working as part of our team, and who will be the ones doing the maintenance. That team only includes one person from the team that built the old site, and it's not someone who knows the image viewer. The people who do know the image viewer are not slated to join our team when our system replaces theirs - they'll be moved to other projects. The documentation on the viewer is extremely thin, and as far as i know doesn't cover the internals at all. My worry is that if someone doesn't take some positive action, all knowledge of the internal workings of the viewer - even down to where the source code for it is - will be lost. It's possible it already has been. Is this something to worry about? If so, whose job is it to worry about it? What should they do about it once they've got worried?

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  • Need Help With Conflicting Customer Support Goals?

    - by Tom Floodeen
    It seems that every OPS review Customer Support Executives are being asked to improve the customer KPIs while also improving gross margin. This is a tough road for even experienced leaders. You need to reduce your agents research time while increasing their answer accuracy. You want to spend less time training them while growing the number of products and systems being used. You have to deal with increasing service volumes but at the same time you need to focus on creating appropriate service insight. After all, to be a great support center you not only have to be good at answering questions, you also need to be good at preventing them.   Five Key Benefits of knowledge Management in Customer Service will help you start down the path meeting these, and other, objectives. With Oracle Knowledge Products, fully integrated with Oracle’s CRM solutions, you can accomplish both increased  service demand while driving your costs down. And you can handle both while positively impacting the satisfaction and loyalty of your customers.  Take advantage of Oracle to not only provide you with a great integrated tool suite, but also with the vision to drive you down the path of success.

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  • Comparison of languages by usage type?

    - by Tom
    Does anyone know of a good place to go find comparisons of programming languages by the intended platform/usage? Basically, what I want to know, is of the more popular languages, which ones are meant for high level application development, low level system development, mobile development, web, etc. If there's a good listing out there already, I'm not finding it so far. Does anyone know of a place that would have this? Thanks.

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  • Errors when trying to compile the driver for the rtl8192su wireless adapter

    - by Tom Brito
    I have a wireless to usb adapter, and I'm having some trouble to install the drivers on Ubuntu. First of all, the readme says to use the make command, and I already got errors: $ make make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.35-22-generic' CC [M] /home/wellington/Desktop/rtl8192su_linux_2.4_2.6.0003.0301.2010/HAL/rtl8192u/r8192U_core.o /home/wellington/Desktop/rtl8192su_linux_2.4_2.6.0003.0301.2010/HAL/rtl8192u/r8192U_core.c: In function ‘rtl8192_usb_probe’: /home/wellington/Desktop/rtl8192su_linux_2.4_2.6.0003.0301.2010/HAL/rtl8192u/r8192U_core.c:12325: error: ‘struct net_device’ has no member named ‘open’ /home/wellington/Desktop/rtl8192su_linux_2.4_2.6.0003.0301.2010/HAL/rtl8192u/r8192U_core.c:12326: error: ‘struct net_device’ has no member named ‘stop’ /home/wellington/Desktop/rtl8192su_linux_2.4_2.6.0003.0301.2010/HAL/rtl8192u/r8192U_core.c:12327: error: ‘struct net_device’ has no member named ‘tx_timeout’ /home/wellington/Desktop/rtl8192su_linux_2.4_2.6.0003.0301.2010/HAL/rtl8192u/r8192U_core.c:12328: error: ‘struct net_device’ has no member named ‘do_ioctl’ /home/wellington/Desktop/rtl8192su_linux_2.4_2.6.0003.0301.2010/HAL/rtl8192u/r8192U_core.c:12329: error: ‘struct net_device’ has no member named ‘set_multicast_list’ /home/wellington/Desktop/rtl8192su_linux_2.4_2.6.0003.0301.2010/HAL/rtl8192u/r8192U_core.c:12330: error: ‘struct net_device’ has no member named ‘set_mac_address’ /home/wellington/Desktop/rtl8192su_linux_2.4_2.6.0003.0301.2010/HAL/rtl8192u/r8192U_core.c:12331: error: ‘struct net_device’ has no member named ‘get_stats’ /home/wellington/Desktop/rtl8192su_linux_2.4_2.6.0003.0301.2010/HAL/rtl8192u/r8192U_core.c:12332: error: ‘struct net_device’ has no member named ‘hard_start_xmit’ make[2]: *** [/home/wellington/Desktop/rtl8192su_linux_2.4_2.6.0003.0301.2010/HAL/rtl8192u/r8192U_core.o] Error 1 make[1]: *** [_module_/home/wellington/Desktop/rtl8192su_linux_2.4_2.6.0003.0301.2010/HAL/rtl8192u] Error 2 make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.35-22-generic' make: *** [all] Error 2 /home/wellington/Desktop/rtl8192su_linux_2.4_2.6.0003.0301.2010/ is the path where I copied the drivers on my computer. Any idea how to solve this? (I don't even know what the error is...) update: sudo lshw -class network *-network description: Ethernet interface product: RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller vendor: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. physical id: 0 bus info: [email protected]:01:00.0 logical name: eth0 version: 03 serial: 78:e3:b5:e7:5f:6e size: 10MB/s capacity: 1GB/s width: 64 bits clock: 33MHz capabilities: pm msi pciexpress msix vpd bus_master cap_list rom ethernet physical tp mii 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt 1000bt-fd autonegotiation configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=r8169 driverversion=2.3LK-NAPI duplex=half latency=0 link=no multicast=yes port=MII speed=10MB/s resources: irq:42 ioport:d800(size=256) memory:fbeff000-fbefffff memory:faffc000-faffffff memory:fbec0000-fbedffff *-network DISABLED description: Wireless interface physical id: 2 logical name: wlan0 serial: 00:26:18:a1:ae:64 capabilities: ethernet physical wireless configuration: broadcast=yes multicast=yes wireless=802.11b/g sudo lspci 00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Core Processor DRAM Controller (rev 18) 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 18) 00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset HECI Controller (rev 06) 00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset USB2 Enhanced Host Controller (rev 06) 00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset High Definition Audio (rev 06) 00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev 06) 00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset PCI Express Root Port 3 (rev 06) 00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset USB2 Enhanced Host Controller (rev 06) 00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 PCI Bridge (rev a6) 00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 5 Series Chipset LPC Interface Controller (rev 06) 00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset 6 port SATA AHCI Controller (rev 06) 00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset SMBus Controller (rev 06) 01:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 03) 02:00.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): VIA Technologies, Inc. VT6315 Series Firewire Controller (rev 01) sudo lsusb Bus 002 Device 003: ID 0bda:0158 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. USB 2.0 multicard reader Bus 002 Device 002: ID 8087:0020 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub Bus 001 Device 004: ID 045e:00f9 Microsoft Corp. Wireless Desktop Receiver 3.1 Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0b05:1786 ASUSTek Computer, Inc. Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:0020 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

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  • Ubuntu 12.04 freezes on suspend hp folio 13

    - by Tom O'Brien
    I have ubuntu 12.04 running from a usb HDD on my hp folio 13. Everything is working, but at first the screen would only blacken when i closed the lid and didn't suspend. So, I followed this guide: https://github.com/deliciousrobots/ubuntu-hp-folio-13 after that, it sort of worked, but very unreliably. Now suspend doesn't even work and it always freeze. Usually the screen will turn black but I can still see my mouse. Sometimes my desktop background will show but the launcher wont be there or anything. Once I didn't have the menu bar on any windows or the top of the screen but the windows I had left open were still (sort of) responsive. Whats wrong? Help Thanks

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  • WUBI installation on Lenovo u310

    - by Tom
    I recently installed 12.04 through the WUBI on a Lenovo u310. The installation went fine, but when I rebooted into Windows 7, and then rebooted into Ubuntu, it immediately went to a command line 'grub' prompt. I was able to reboot from there successfully into 12.04 (once) but then on another occasion could do nothing to reboot into Ubuntu, so had to reinstall. The reason I used the WUBI route was that there are troubles in 12.04 recognizing the hard drives on Lenovo u310 on direct install from memory stick. This has been a bit frustrating, and I was surprised by the difficulties on the Lenovo u310.

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  • Serving images from different domain

    - by Tom Gullen
    Google audit: Serve static content from a cookieless domain (15) 2.65KB of cookies were sent with the following static resources. Serve these static resources from a domain that does not set cookies: If my domain is widgets.com, should I set up a img.widgets.com that servers these resources? How beneficial is this? Edit I setup img.widgets.com to serve images from, and changed all images to this URL. But I still get that message?

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  • Google not indexing new forum

    - by Tom Gullen
    We installed a new forum a few months ago now. The URL is: https://www.scirra.com/forum I've 301'd the old topics/threads, as well as included all the new URLs in the sitemap. Yet they still are not appearing. Webmaster tools is showing: 139,512 URLs submitted 50,544 URLs indexed And has been stuck there for quite some time. A massive drop in indexed pages since we updated the forum as well: Any help much appreciated

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  • Algorithm to infer tag hierarchy

    - by Tom
    I'm looking for an algorithm to infer a hierarchy from a set of tagged items. E.g. if the following items have the tags: 1 a 2 a,b 3 a,c 4 a,c,e 5 a,b 6 a,c 7 d 8 d,f Then I can construct an undirected graph (or graphs) by tallying the node weights and edge weights: node weights edge weights a 6 a-b 2 b 2 a-c 3 c 3 c-e 1 d 2 a-e 1 <-- this edge is parallel to a-c and c-e and not wanted e 1 d-f 1 f 1 The first problem is how to drop any redundant edges to get to the simplified graph? Note that it's only appropriate to remove that redundant a-e edge in this case because something is tagged as a-c-e, if that wasn't the case and the tag was a-e, that edge would have to remain. I suspect that means the removal of edges can only happen during the construction of the graph, not after everything has been tallied up. What I'd then like to do is identify the direction of the edges to create a directed graph (or graphs) and pick out root nodes to hopefully create a tree (or trees): trees a d // \\ | b c f \ e It seems like it could be a string algorithm - longest common subsequences/prefixes - or a tree/graph algorithm, but I am a little stuck since I don't know the correct terminology to search for it.

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  • Getting the relational table data into XML recursively

    - by Tom
    I have levels of tables (Level1, Level2, Level3, ...) For simplicity, we'll say I have 3 levels. The rows in the higher level tables are parents of lower level table rows. The relationship does not skip levels however. E.g. Row1Level1 is parent of Row3Level2, Row2Level2 is parent of Row4Level3. Level(n-1)'s parent is always be in Level(n). Given these tables with data, I need to come up with a recursive function that generates an XML file to represent the relationship and the data. E.g. <data> <level levelid = 1 rowid=1> <level levelid = 2 rowid=3 /> </level> <level levelid = 2 rowid=2> <level levelid = 3 rowid=4 /> </level> </data> I would like help with coming up with a pseudo-code for this setup. This is what I have so far: XElement GetXMLData(Table table, string identifier, XElement data) { XElement xmlData = data; if (table != null) { foreach (row in the table) { // Get subordinate table Table subordinateTable = GetSubordinateTable(table); // Get the XML Data for the children of current row xmlData += GetXMLData(subordinateTable, row.Identifier, xmlData); } } return xmlData; }

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  • Tweet count just shot up

    - by Tom Gullen
    On our homepage we have a tweet button and counter: http://www.scirra.com This was around 600 until overnight it suddenly doubled to 1,200. It's been continuing to rise at a normal rate since. Has Twitter changed what counts as a Tweet for that counter? I've noticed competitors counts have dropped significantly. We don't buy tweets or followers, and I haven't found any spam tweets about us nor have we had any significant recent press.

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  • Using a Predicate as a key to a Dictionary

    - by Tom Hines
    I really love Linq and Lambda Expressions in C#.  I also love certain community forums and programming websites like DaniWeb. A user on DaniWeb posted a question about comparing the results of a game that is like poker (5-card stud), but is played with dice. The question stemmed around determining what was the winning hand.  I looked at the question and issued some comments and suggestions toward a potential answer, but I thought it was a neat homework exercise. [A little explanation] I eventually realized not only could I compare the results of the hands (by name) with a certain construct – I could also compare the values of the individual dice with the same construct. That piece of code eventually became a Dictionary with the KEY as a Predicate<int> and the Value a Func<T> that returns a string from the another structure that contains the mapping of an ENUM to a string.  In one instance, that string is the name of the hand and in another instance, it is a string (CSV) representation of of the digits in the hand. An added benefit is that the digits re returned in the order they would be for a proper poker hand.  For instance the hand 1,2,5,3,1 would be returned as ONE_PAIR (1,1,5,3,2). [Getting to the point] 1: using System; 2: using System.Collections.Generic; 3:   4: namespace DicePoker 5: { 6: using KVP_E2S = KeyValuePair<CDicePoker.E_DICE_POKER_HAND_VAL, string>; 7: public partial class CDicePoker 8: { 9: /// <summary> 10: /// Magical construction to determine the winner of given hand Key/Value. 11: /// </summary> 12: private static Dictionary<Predicate<int>, Func<List<KVP_E2S>, string>> 13: map_prd2fn = new Dictionary<Predicate<int>, Func<List<KVP_E2S>, string>> 14: { 15: {new Predicate<int>(i => i.Equals(0)), PlayerTie},//first tie 16:   17: {new Predicate<int>(i => i > 0), 18: (m => string.Format("Player One wins\n1={0}({1})\n2={2}({3})", 19: m[0].Key, m[0].Value, m[1].Key, m[1].Value))}, 20:   21: {new Predicate<int>(i => i < 0), 22: (m => string.Format("Player Two wins\n2={2}({3})\n1={0}({1})", 23: m[0].Key, m[0].Value, m[1].Key, m[1].Value))}, 24:   25: {new Predicate<int>(i => i.Equals(0)), 26: (m => string.Format("Tie({0}) \n1={1}\n2={2}", 27: m[0].Key, m[0].Value, m[1].Value))} 28: }; 29: } 30: } When this is called, the code calls the Invoke method of the predicate to return a bool.  The first on matching true will have its value invoked. 1: private static Func<DICE_HAND, E_DICE_POKER_HAND_VAL> GetHandEval = dh => 2: map_dph2fn[map_dph2fn.Keys.Where(enm2fn => enm2fn(dh)).First()]; After coming up with this process, I realized (with a little modification) it could be called to evaluate the individual values in the dice hand in the event of a tie. 1: private static Func<List<KVP_E2S>, string> PlayerTie = lst_kvp => 2: map_prd2fn.Skip(1) 3: .Where(x => x.Key.Invoke(RenderDigits(dhPlayerOne).CompareTo(RenderDigits(dhPlayerTwo)))) 4: .Select(s => s.Value) 5: .First().Invoke(lst_kvp); After that, I realized I could now create a program completely without “if” statements or “for” loops! 1: static void Main(string[] args) 2: { 3: Dictionary<Predicate<int>, Action<Action<string>>> main = new Dictionary<Predicate<int>, Action<Action<string>>> 4: { 5: {(i => i.Equals(0)), PlayGame}, 6: {(i => true), Usage} 7: }; 8:   9: main[main.Keys.Where(m => m.Invoke(args.Length)).First()].Invoke(Display); 10: } …and there you have it. :) ZIPPED Project

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  • How do I zip up a folder but exclude the .git subfolder

    - by Tom
    I'm trying to create a zip file from a folder and I'd like to exclude the .git sub-folder from the resulting zip file. I have gone to the parent folder of the one I want to zip (called bitvolution) and I'm doing: zip -r bitvolution.zip bitvolution -x ".git" But it doesn't exclude the .git sub-folder. I've tried various combinations, -x .git*, -x \.git/*, -x .git/\*, -x \.git/\*. I've also tried using the full path for the exclude argument... but just didn't get there.

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  • Need to re-build an application - how?

    - by Tom
    For our main system, we have a small monitor application that sits outside our network and periodically tries to log in to verify the system still works. We have a problem with the monitor though in that the communications component set (Asta 3 inside Delphi applications) doesn't always connect through. Overall, I'd say it's about 95% reliable, but that other 5% kills the monitor since it will try to log in and hang on the connection attempt (no timeout in the component). This really isn't an issue on the client side of the system since the clients don't disconnect and reconnect repeatedly on the same application instance, but I need a way to make sure the monitor stays up and continues working even when the component fails on a run. I have a few ideas as to which way to have the program run, the main idea being to put the communications inside a threaded data module so that if one thread crashes then another thread can test later and the program keep going. Does this sound like a valid way to go? Any other ideas how to ensure a reliable monitoring application with a less than 100% reliable component? Thanks. P.S. Not sure these tags are the most appropriate. Tried including "system-reliability" as one, but not high enough rep to create.

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  • Can anyone recommend a chorded keyboard for a programmer?

    - by Tom Wright
    Pre-emptive strike: It's subjective, but it's also Friday... ;) Inspired by this great question and related to this great question, I have decided to buy a chorded keyboard. (A chorded keyboard, by the way, is one with a reduced number of keys, that must be pressed together, in chords, to give all the possible characters etc. - see wikipedia) Being a programmer means that the keys I use regularly are likely different to a regular Joe (a lot more semi-colons for a start), so I was wondering if any of my fellow programmers had tested a chorded keyboard for use on the battlefield of code? Being a nerd, I'm also interested in the extent to which I'd be able to customise my chorded keyboard. (Macros? Shortcuts?) Edit I'm beginning to suspect that no-one has heard of these, let alone tried one. So we're all talking about the same thing, here's an example: Twiddler 2.1

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  • What is the replacement for the Web Intents HTML standard?

    - by Tom
    "Web Intents" were deprecated in Chrome 24 (November/2011) and are no longer supported in any browser: We also gathered a lot of valuable data and feedback from our experimental support for Web Intents and decided to disable the feature in today's Beta release. Is there an HTML5 standard that I can look into as an alternative to what Web Intents intended? I'm interested in how web services can be stitched together. For example, imagine a website that can import a image from any number of web-services, modify the image in some way, then push the file back to any number of other web-services, all via HTML5 standards.

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  • How to dualboot Ubuntu on Asus Zenbook UX32VD?

    - by Tom
    I have just purchased a Asus Zenbook UX32VD and it will arrive on Monday. However, I do not know how to dualboot Ubuntu on this, because of two reasons: It is a hybrid 500GB HDD + 30GB SSD, therefore the OS has to be smart enough to use the SSD to speed things up. But what does this mean when selecting partitions etc. while installing Ubuntu next to Windows 7? It does not have an optical drive; windows 7 is preinstalled. What steps should I follow to dualboot Ubuntu on this correctly? Will this cope with the HDD+SSD hybrid technology?

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  • Myths about Coding Craftsmanship part 2

    - by tom
    Myth 3: The source of all bad code is inept developers and stupid people When you review code is this what you assume?  Shame on you.  You are probably making assumptions in your code if you are assuming so much already.  Bad code can be the result of any number of causes including but not limited to using dated techniques (like boxing when generics are available), not following standards (“look how he does the spacing between arguments!” or “did he really just name that variable ‘bln_Hello_Cats’?”), being redundant, using properties, methods, or objects in a novel way (like switching on button.Text between “Hello World” and “Hello World “ //clever use of space character… sigh), not following the SOLID principals, hacking around assumptions made in earlier iterations / hacking in features that should be worked into the overall design.  The first two issues, while annoying are pretty easy to spot and can be fixed so easily.  If your coding team is made up of experienced professionals who are passionate about staying current then these shouldn’t be happening.  If you work with a variety of skills, backgrounds, and experience then there will be some of this stuff going on.  If you have an opportunity to mentor such a developer who is receptive to constructive criticism don’t be a jerk; help them and the codebase will improve.  A little patience can improve the codebase, your work environment, and even your perspective. The novelty and redundancy I have encountered has often been the use of creativity when language knowledge was perceived as unavailable or too time consuming.  When developers learn on the job you get a lot of this.  Rather than going to MSDN developers will use what they know.  Depending on the constraints of their assignment hacking together what they know may seem quite practical.  This was not stupid though I often wonder how much time is actually “saved” by hacking.  These issues are often harder to untangle if we ever do.  They can also grow out of control as we write hack after hack to make it work and get back to some development that is satisfying. Hacking upon an existing hack is what I call “feeding the monster”.  Code monsters are anti-patterns and hacks gone wild.  The reason code monsters continue to get bigger is that they keep growing in scope, touching more and more of the application.  This is not the result of dumb developers. It is probably the result of avoiding design, not taking the time to understand the problems or anticipate or communicate the vision of the product.  If our developers don’t understand the purpose of a feature or product how do we expect potential customers to do so? Forethought and organization are often what is missing from bad code.  Developers who do not use the SOLID principals should be encouraged to learn these principals and be given guidance on how to apply them.  The time “saved” by giving hackers room to hack will be made up for and then some. Not as technical debt but as shoddy work that if not replaced will be struggled with again and again.  Bad code is not the result of dumb developers (usually) it is the result of trying to do too much without the proper resources and neglecting the right thing that needs doing with the first thoughtless thing that comes into our heads. Object oriented code is all about relationships between objects.  Coders who believe their coworkers are all fools tend to write objects that are difficult to work with, not eager to explain themselves, and perform erratically and irrationally.  If you constantly find you are surrounded by idiots you may want to ask yourself if you are being unreasonable, if you are being closed minded, of if you have chosen the right profession.  Opening your mind up to the idea that you probably work with rational, well-intentioned people will probably make you a better coder and it might even make you less grumpy.  If you are surrounded by jerks who do not engage in the exchange of ideas who do not care about their customers or the durability of the code you are building together then I suggest you find a new place to work.  Myth 4: Customers don’t care about “beautiful” code Craftsmanship is customer focused because it means that the job was done right, the product will withstand the abuse, modifications, and scrutiny of our customers.  Users can appreciate a predictable timeline for a release, a product delivered on time and on budget, a feature set that does not interfere with the task(s) it is supporting, quick turnarounds on exception messages, self healing issues, and less issues.  These are all hindered by skimping on craftsmanship.  When we write data access and when we write reusable code.   What do you think?  Does bad code come primarily from low IQ individuals?  Do customers care about beautiful code?

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