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Alexis Wilke's blog

A new kind of memory!

Researchers are always testing new methods to enhance computers. These days, as presented in the Physical Review Letters (Dec 29, 2008), people have been working on phonons. These are heat particules.

A new concept: Throwaway Software.

More and more, people are learning new software as they go. A few will stick to one software for a long time simply because it is easier, but changing is easy too, especially if the new system is easy to use.

But how do you produce throwaway software? And is it worth the trouble?

As we see things evolving, more and more, people want to use software anywhere they go. This means software that runs on the Internet in some ways. For instance, you can use Google Map anywhere you go, as long as you have a computer to access the Internet.

Can an iPod break your jaw?

Also I have an iPod, I won it (Yes. I did not buy it!) And I rather rarely listen to music in general anyway. In other words, I think I’m not at risk! However…

Many people have their iPod on their ears while running outside. Nothing wrong with that until… lightning strikes.

I’m not too sure why people would be running outside when there is a lightning storm, but the fact is that happens.

Hacking, Good or Bad?

I already mentioned the American Government as being a target of many hackers.

You may also remember that in 1998, the Department of Defense was hacked by someone named Ehud Tenenbau. He was arrested at the time. He was still a teenager then.

Once back on the streets, he decided to wear a white hat and helped companies, many in Israel, to enhance their defenses. But that was only his day time job!

I guess that once you had a taste for a bad behavior, you just go on with it.

Testing PHP properly...

I have been wondering, for a little while, how can I properly test my PHP code?! Only my server can run it, right? Well, no, there is CLI. Okay, but how can I make that work in there?

The best answer I’ve got so far: simpletest. This PHP library let you write a test a la C++. You simply create a class derived from a SimpleTest class, and voilà. You are done. Well… you still have to implement test functions. But that is still a breeze.

I used this library to test the PHP eFax classes and got about 4 bugs out (not too bad, considering I wrote over 1,000 lines of code and ...

Change the encoding of a Postgres database

Ever wondered how you could change the encoding of one of your Postgres database?

I have had that problem several times, and in most cases people tell you to:

  1. Dump your database, may have to use –encoding on the command line
  2. Drop the existing database (or rename it)
  3. Create a new database with the proper encoding
  4. Restore the database

The problem is that there is no support for altering the encoding of a database. The ALTER DATABASE does not include that option. And since it should be really rare, it makes sense.

Now, there is an easier way ...

Internet Explorer “Save As …”

Today, I found a good one. Internet Explorer has a “Save As …” feature that let you save a page that you are visiting.

The page I have includes a table with a cell that has the align and valign attributes set to center and middle respectively. Once saved with Internet Explorer, these change to vAlign and align and center and middle respectively. Yes. Meaning that the values are swapped. Now the valign says center instead of middle, which will work with most browsers, but the worst is the align that is set to middle. That should never happen.

Drop the cords!

No more cords for your computers to run? Is that a joke? Not really. All these cords to get electricity to our computers and other gadgets are annoyingly in our way.

One document with all translations

Have you ever thought that it would be great to write one document including all the translations in a single file? Outside of the fact that this makes the document relatively large, it makes the translation really fast, the translator can see the sentence in all the other languages and translate from that.

I actually wrote an HTML test file with two styles. One is named English and the other is named Français. And since a style entry can depend on the currently selected language, you can write style entries that get hidden when on or the other language is selected.

So, if you ...

Order Made!® version 1.10

We have finally published version 1.10 of Order Made!®

This version include one important change: the ® after Order Made!. Made to Order Software now owns the Order Made!® trademark.

We also included a few bug fixes, mostly transparent to our users.

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