Tag Archives: software

Soft-ice-wear

I had troubles with a patched up version of the Flashplayer 10 plugin (Ubuntu-non-free) this weekend and I wasn’t surprised to see a new patch being applied just a couple of hours ago. Additionally, it looks like a Firefox patch made it through too. OK: this still means that the WordPress media uploader is broken. It uses Flash, you see, and it appears to have put in place new security measures, which haven’t been taken care by the WordPress developers. So, if you see that silly error when trying to upload files (the browse files thing seems to disappear everytime you open the upload box), you may want to check out a plugin to force WordPress to ignore the internal Flash uploader. Or you can wait out for WordPress 2.6. I may consider moving to another ‘platform’ before that hits the streets.

So, yeah: talking about software, I saw this application demoed the other day and it purports to be a Universe Sandbox (that’s also the name of the software). I think it allows you to smash galaxies and that: if you’re in a destructive god-like mood, you may like it (Windows only, though, so not really a help for me here).

There’s a great interview with a NASA developer about the software for their missions and landers. This quote stuck out (on the premise that software produced by the government should be released to the public domain):

Yeah. Yeah. I mean even though these are not military spacecraft, the technology used in them is space technology. And so the State Department does not allow us to release anything that we’ve done in terms of technical details to foreign scrutiny. Now, in fact as I said, we have a team of Canadians. The Canadians delivered our meteorology instruments, and we had to be very careful about our relationship with them and how much we could disclose to them.

And the very last item: I noticed the Pencil project, a sketching and prototyping plug-in for Firefox. Yeah: it really works too, so if you’re in dire need of making application mock-ups, it might actually be useful (without a doubt, it will also probably run via ‘xul-runner’).

Speed

I thoughtA blue boat Mark’s posting about the new Adobe Acrobat 9 was the hilarious. If you’re into more snark, try the Adobe Acrobat 9 installation guide as done by the MicroPledge site.

After the unpacking, the install process itself took 10 minutes. I could only thank Adobe’s engineers, presuming they were filling up my hard drive with yummy icons, tasty DLLs, and amazing 3D JavaScript add-ons. No matter — the 210 MB it required was there to be used.

I was doing some Delphi coding earlier this week and was reminded of the fact that the Borland Inprise Borland Codegear… OK, let me try that again. I was doing some Delphi coding earlier this week and I had noticed (before) that the former Borland tools were bought up by Embarcadero Technologies. I could say this nicely, but lets keep it friendly for now1: at least the designer of Delphi (and earlier Pascal compilers) ended up designing the C# language and .Net Framework (see also The Borland Conspiracy Theory). I only wished that the Pascal language designers had done away with the silly ‘assignment’ syntax (:=): you know, with this emerging emoticons craze on these Internets I could say it slightly resembles a guy growing a thick beard. Oh wait, this just came through my earpiece: the emoticons craze is so early 90s.

1 Though, programming in Delphi taught me to write solid leak-free code, I guess. Oh the joys of freeing up objects yourself