Month: February 2010

Olympicalinitialurescending

Posted by – February 28, 2010

I‘ve only sporadically followed the Olympic games: most of the time fellow travelers or colleagues kept me up-to-date about the latests. Since there’s only one day left or so, a summary of things that caught the eye.

First of all, before the games officially opened there was the luge accident involving a Georgian athlete. The day after the accident, the authorities reported that the athlete was at fault. However, from what I gathered, is that for the lugers’ safety, the IOC decided to slightly change the track (or rather, change the starting positions for lugers).

The talk in Canada, is of course, the Hockey final which puts Canada against the US. Earlier in the Games, the two countries also played against each other and the Canadians lost.

There was this weird incident in speedskating (the 10 kilometers for males): the favourite for this distance lost his medal because of an error switching lanes, which was blamed on the trainer who also happened to be a professional speedskater back in the past. That said, the US press core felt slightly vindicated (too bad that the IOC has been serving take-down notices for this particular video).

And I guess the most stunning report in the media came from the CBC, which dryly reported that ‘an emergency shipment of condoms’ was headed for Vancouver. Because, if you won a gold medal (or if you didn’t) you should still consider doing it safely.

Find, you

Posted by – February 12, 2010

Last weekend, I decided to pick up my Delphi compiler and work a bit on Fandro: in real life, I found out that I wanted to be able to launch Fandro from Explorer’s context-sensitive menu and henceforth, I worked on adding support for this.

I always thought doing Win32 was fairly simple in Delphi. Additionally, Borland used to have excellent demos and sample apps with full sources. However during this short coding stint, I admit, programming in Delphi ended up being sort of a pain, mainly because I’ve been by Visual Studio. And I always thought the language’s assignment statement was silly. There’s another thing of Pascal that has bothered me for ages: the fact that to return values from functions you can use the special ‘result’ variable or the function’s name. As in:

function MyOperation(a, b : integer) : boolean;
begin
   result := (Ord(a > b) = Ord( b < a))
end;

function MyOperation(a, b : integer) : boolean;
begin
   MyOperation := (Ord(a > b) = Ord( b < a))
end;

I don't consider myself a Delphi programmer anymore: however, don't you just love the part where compiling code actually means generating a stand-alone Win32 application?

Note: I believe that Delphi statement above holds the answer of life and it's this year's Valentine's present to you.

Not so Olympic

Posted by – February 7, 2010

In a couple of days, the 2010 Winter Olympic games will start: this year, Vancouver, BC, Canada will host the games. If you’re into this, the full schedule is of course readily available online. Which reminds me that a couple of months ago, the Olympic torch did pass by Saint John, NB. On November 25th, I witnessed the Olympic procession on Prince William’s: this was quite a non-event. On the other hand, it was fairly early morning then.

The first Olympic Games I remember is the 1980′s one, hosted by the city of Moscow. This was at the height of the Cold War and for some reason, that year, was also the first time countries were calling for a boycott of the games, mainly to protest the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet army. Countries that boycotted the games organized their own games, which became known as the ‘Liberty Bell games’. The Dutch did send a delegation to Moscow and while I don’t think they won any gold medals, I do remember the silver medal of the marathon athlete Nijboer. Vaguely though.

I haven’t decided if I’ll be following some of the games: Most likely not. The only interesting sport would be speed skating, I guess. There was a time that only Dutch and Norwegian speed skaters took the major prizes. Hopefully that has changed.

You asked: Linksys WPSM54G

Posted by – February 3, 2010

My WPS54G just died yesterday: this is a Linksys (nee Cisco) Printerserver that supports a whole slew of USB based printers. I had it tied up to my Canon MF5650 printer and if I remember correctly, installing was as easy as.

So, to the local computer grocery chain where they only had the WPSM54G (Linksys info page) for a price of 89.99 CDN. The sad part was that we had to look for the device because obviously, not too many people will buy these printer servers. That is probably because most printers nowadays come with an ethernet connection. Additionally, installing printer servers can be confusing and I suspect many people will just give up after a couple of tries.

Here’s my first tip: You do not need to install the Linksys drivers or software. On all your local computers that need to have access to the printer, you only need the proper printer drivers and most likely you already installed those drivers.

So, here goes again:

  • Wire up the device up to your network. By default it will automatically get an IP address (DHCP): it shouldn’t be too hard to find it on the network.
  • Open up the ip address in your favourite webbrowser: leave the username empty and enter the default password (“password”).
  • Set the IP address to a static IP address, change the password and set the wireless router properties. Here comes something that got me stuck first. For some reason, it’s supposed to work on wireless and not on wired. I have not been able to get it to work on both: so, make sure you set the proper gateway and credentials to your router. After you installed the firmware, take out the wired ethernet cable.
  • Make sure you get the latest update of the firmware: 1014 is so shoddy that it didn’t detect my Canon printer. Version 1019, made the difference for me.
  • At this stage, it should be time to start setting up your Windows machines and the principle is the same as described in the posting regarding the WPS54G, that is in 5 easy steps: 0. Add Printer 1. Local Printer… (uncheck auto detection) 2. Create a new port (TCP/IP) 3. Enter IP address (generic network card) 4. Select the proper printer and you should be go.

Afterthoughts: We had tried to print pages on our old printer server the day before and the moment the 1019 update was applied, these prints made it through. Note that I used the same IP address for the new server: so the moment the printer started spitting out pages from yesterday, I knew that the printer should be working, despite what the Linksys software suggested to me (“No Printer found, LOL, try again”). In short, the software is extremely lacking here and you can take my advice above at heart: There’s no need to install that Linksys crap load. Make note of the printer support page though (if you have a multi-functional printer…)