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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Be who you are

Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don't matter
and those who matter don't mind.

-- Theodor Seuss Geisel

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Turbo comeback

I was late to realize that the legendary Turbo products will be back in 13 days. So far Turbo Delphi, Turbo C++, Turbo Delphi .NET and Turbo C# will be offered, with the EXP edition that can be downloaded and used for free. Although this is surely interesting, especially for the hobbyists, I reckon many would be very happy if the Linux version is also available (either "pure" or through Wine). Even better when Borland/Devco can as well decide to create Turbo Python or Turbo Ruby :-)

If you're feeling nostalgic and can't wait, even today you can already perfectly run the free downloadable Turbo C++ 1.01 in a Dosbox session (try it in fullscreen!). Of course this version is considered ancient, but it works well and it is still useful to quickly try new stuff (or cross-compile for DOS).

BTW, that Delphi Oktoberfest video is quite original. Try not to read the subtitle :-)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


August 17th is Indonesia's independence day.

Stress testing

Recently I got WordPerfect 7 suite from ebay (which apparently can only be installed in Windows 95, but I don't really bother to install it) which comes with over 5000 clip-arts in WordPerfect Graphics (WPG) format. The total size is over 200 MB. This is a ideal test for libwpg and its tools (wpg2svg and wpg2odg). So far, the conversion tools do not crash handling all of them. I let it run also under Valgrind, and it is still running as I write this...

BTW, thanks to klik technology, the easiest way to check libwpg-based WPG support in Inkscape (what I wrote before) is by klik://inkscape-latest. Details can be found in A very convenient way to check those old WPG collections.

Meanwhile wpg2odg starts to reach the same support level as wpg2svg, except where some complex gradients which can't be handled properly in OpenDocument Graphics format. It does not matter, as such uses of gradients are very rare anyway (from what I observed on those clip-art files).

Compare what shows below against what Inkscape renders (ignore the different proportion as I resized the whole picture in already). I really hope that future version of supports anti-aliased painting.

Back to those 5000 clip-arts. Now I have thousands of SVG and ODG files as well as a very long Valgrind log to analyze...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

no-install calculator

Want to try another type of desktop calculator? Just klik://speedcrunch.

I just tried it on SUSE 10.1 and it works flawlessly. It is also reported to work on Kubuntu, Ubuntu and Kanotix. If you do not have klik yet, it's very easy to prepare. For other details, check also

Happy no-installing.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Compact hooks

In the old times, when a couple of KB can still be quite expensive, you have to play some tricks even with the OS services.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

juste avant toi

Just one verse of Juste Avant Toi and you can't mistake it. I wouldn't be surprised if this latest single from Anggun will be a hit. The video is also good, apparently shot in Indonesia.

The English version is I'll Be Alright, but somehow Juste Avant Toi feels better.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Swift: KDE trace on Win32

The next KDE 4 is expected to be available also for Windows. But even now we can see already a trace of KDE technologies on this platform: Swift the web browser. It's based on Webkit, which is based on KDE's very own KHTML and KJS.

The alpha release itself is not ready yet for prime time. It has bugs and rough edges and many stuff necessary for modern web browsing are not yet fully functional. But it's indeed a start.

Like its name, it's simply very fast.

Swift browser

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Winter, Bomber, Shogun, Tai-Pan

WinterWinter is about seemingly complex conflicts around a family drama. With the background of Germany, in particular Berlin, in the first 50 years of the last century, the two central characters Paul and Peter Winter took a different route for their lives and yet they must once a while cross their paths, the last being the most tragic one. The story also involved many of their relatives, with quite some twists, intrigues and entanglements.

All in all, it's just dark but fascinating, involves all things about love, hate, horror, pain and suffer. What I like most is that the characters are not simply "black" or "white", almost everybody is portrayed as "grey". The details are amazing, as with typical Len Deighton's novels. It's hard to put, it's unforgettable and simply worth to read.

BomberBomber is, to put it mildly, Len Deighton's narration of Murphy's Law. A large RAF raid carefully planned to bomb Krefeld in the Ruhr area, mistakenly placed almost every single bomb in a (fictionalised) small country city named Altgarten. In this damned event in the last day (which was, 31st [sic]) of June 1943, both sides took big casualties. There is no single main characters, with lots of Britons and Germans both affected the main story.

Again everything is rich and super detailed, from the price of one RAF's Lancaster to the operation of the German radar array. The storyline is pretty much linear albeit with many (but relevant) flashback. In the beginning perhaps it feels rather slow, but up to the vivid minutes in the dogfighting, it is just awesome. Don't expect a happy end, though.

ShogunShogun, set in Japan around 400 years ago, is the first of James Clavell's Asian Saga. Blackthorne and the crew of Erasmus had to land in Japan and soon he was trapped in the conflict between two great daimyos Toranaga and Ishido. Blackthorne supported with Toranaga. He adopted Japanese culture and life style and was quick to learn the language. He was later known as his Japanese name Anjin and (quite predictably) he felt in love with a Japanese woman. There are surprises but the story is indeed touching.

The characters are strong and living. Obviously here Blackthorne is depicted as someone who is willing to see the new strange culture as the Japanese see it, not from the view of a westerner. It is fascinating to see the his transformation from "the barbarian", a meat eater who seldom took a bath and did not appreciate cleanliness to someone who later on knew well and lived the style of a Japanese. Not Musashi, but as amazing as it could be.

Tai-PanFast forward two and a half centuries: Tai-Pan. This second part is about Dirk Struan, a Scotsman which lead the Noble House during the years Hong Kong for the first time became a colony of England. He's smart but ruthless, seem to have a full bag of tricks in order to save his life and protect those he cared. He manipulated almost every persons in the book, most critically Tyler Brock, his number one competitor and enemy.

Just like in Shogun (one can see Clavell's pattern here), Tai-Pan's Dirk Struan moved away from a filthy barbarian and respected and enjoyed the local customs. He had a Chinese mistress which taught him many peculiar aspects of Chinese's way of life. Dirk Struan's life story is simply impressive. Page turner, without doubt. And although this book took many hours of my sleeping time, by the last page, I really hate that it must end.


Epilog: still, many other novels from Len Deighton and James Clavell are still in my stack.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Inkscape WPG

Ted Gould implements libwpg-based WPG extension for Inkscape. So it's likely that the next 0.45 release can open WPG files directly. Very cool.