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What is the Significance of Tiny PCBs?

A PCB board with drawings of the wires

It’s a common refrain that our electronics are always getting smaller. While there may be some up-and-down fluctuation between one phone release and the next, the broader trend is clear: From speakers, to laptops, to home appliances, we can pack a lot more power into a lot less space these days.

This trend leads to some near-fantastical speculation about where tech can go from here. For instance, Quartz posted about limits in processing power back in 2017, and speculated that light could be built into processing chips as a substitute for what we’d now think ...

Linux to the rescue!

Xtra-PC, a complete ready to go OS on a thumb drive

Doug and I have always thought that Linux would become the primary OS of today.

We've seen it go up and down, but now it's really becoming powerful, between OpenOffice, Chrome, The Gimp, Krita, Audacity, and many other tools, you can do so much that it more and more renders the expense of running MS-Windows less and less viable for most.

Now there is this new company offering a thumb drive with an optimized version of Linux called Xtra-PC which boots really fast and offers all the basics that one needs to run a computer. There is nothing to install, the OS will automatically detect ...

Safely Processing a Queue of Jobs

What is a Queue

In software a queue is a container which is used to add items on one side and remove them on the other in a very efficient manner.

Sorted Queues

When used by a Journal, a queue is often going to support some kind of sorted order. Some jobs are more important than others and these should be built sooner. In other words, we give those jobs a higher priority and we sort the queue by priority first then using the time at which the job gets inserted.

Note that the C++ std::queue and std::unque containers do not offer anyway to support a priority. Instead you have to use ...

Put the label of an HTML Input inside the Input element

Reflection of trees in a mountain lake.

Update:

With HTML5 running on pretty much all platforms, you want to use the placeholder attribute instead of any sort of tricks to place a label inside your input widgets.

This is done like this:

<input type="text" placeholder="Phone Number"/>

This example will show "Phone Number" inside the input box until the user types some text in that box.

You can test with the box right here. This is just that one <input .../> tag I placed in my page HTML. (It is not in a form, but the widget itself will work as expected.)

For additional details, I ...

Upgrade to PHP 5.3.3 or newer because of security issue

If you are responsible for a Debian or Ubuntu server and run PHP on it, make sure to run the following command to fix several security issues found in PHP:

sudo apt-get install php5-suhosin

This will make the necessary and your PHP version (security wise) will look like you have PHP 5.3.3.

What I found quite annoying in regard to this issue is the fact that it was very difficult to find a mention of this upgrade. All I could find in large number were people saying that you'd have to get an upgrade using the source code of PHP. Somehow, I did not feel like upgrading PHP from ...

Drupal Aggregator

The default Aggregator Drupal module does not work very well. There are several problems with the Drupal Core module, one of which we have not fixed in our version (i.e. the flatness of the item table.)

There is a list of the known issues and our comments and whether we fixed the problem:

Problem Solution in m2osw's version of Aggregator
Missing XML marker The <?xml ... ?> marker is missing from some RSS feeds, add it as required
Spurious data Some RSS feeds add spurious data ...

jsMath Security Issue

Security Issue

A security issue was found in all versions of jsMath before 2.x-dev for Drupal 6.x of Jul 29, 2010.

You may still securely use older versions of jsMath on private websites and websites were you are the only user (as in, the only one who can log in.)

The Drupal Security Advisory issue is here: https://www.drupal.org/node/854402

Other Problem

There is another problem: jsMath offers a JavaScript function that parses entire web pages (although there are ways to circumvent that problem, the module does not currently make use of those.) The jsMath Drupal module uses the ...

Only add identifiers and optionally numbers to my headers

Proposition

The Table of Contents module uses the headers to get generated. Each header gets a unique identifier when none were assigned manually. The Table of Contents module uses the text between the start and end tags as the title to show in the table of contents.

Very good!

Now, you may not want the Table of Contents itself, but you like the idea to have identifiers in all your headers. This can be useful to create in-page links (a link with an anchor, i.e. #some-name at the end of your URL.) It is generally annoying to have to enter the identifiers by hand for each header and you may

Table of Contents Known Issues

Various known issues with the Table of Contents module.

Teaser appear, FCKeditor accentuated letters,  Back to top arrow, Filters interaction (JavaScript removal,) headers numbering, double numbering...

SimpleMenu Known Issues

SimpleMenu Disappears

There following are a few of the main reasons why SimpleMenu disappears.

Pop-up Windows

By default, SimpleMenu wants to hide itself in pop-up windows. This is a feature.

The reason is that many websites will open pop-up windows for all kinds of extra-features such as uploading an image or printing some description of an image or the definition of a word or product.

These windows should not include the SimpleMenu bar.

There is a dedicated page giving several different ways to fix this problem on your website.

Menu Overflow

Long menu going out of screen vertically and horizontally.Very long menus will disappear on the