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Scribe Update
Date: 27/9/2005
Just a quick note, I've cleared my internal list of Scribe issues that I wanted to fix for the next release. So hopefully tonight I'll get a new build out.

The last of them was the spell checker clearing the document when no changes were made, or crashing the client. I'm afraid that C/C++ memory management bit me in the bum again. I wish there was a better language that I could port to, but rewriting all the existing code isn't really an option. Something with garbage collection.

So apart from Bug #4 which I have no leads or method of reproduction I'm pretty happy about this upcoming release. I'm really pushing for stability right now, and once I get v1.88 stable out I'm going to hammer on the rest of the major bugs/mis-features of IMAP and bayesian filtering. Which I'm sure a whole bunch of you will be happy about.
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Apple = Good, Quicktime = Bad
Date: 26/9/2005
Almost everything that Apple do is great, their computers rock, the ipod is insane (esp the nano) and their OS looks the bomb!

But the achilles heal of Apple is Quicktime. Now in an exciting new flavour of "Bloated(TM)"! While using Quicktime your desktop icons will flicker, your Movie won't play automatically, the player will chew 20mb before it even starts playing content, it will fail to download new components and it will hang your browser. It will fail to close when you hit Alt-F4 and the close 'x' on the (non-standard) decor won't work either. You'll be reaching for the Task Manager to kill the sucka because you've reached the end of your patience.

I believe the browser hanging issue is simply because it was trying to get some missing component off the web, and of course was in "embedded" mode and couldn't stick up some sort of "Help I've fallen and can't get up!" message. But why it needs to hang the whole browser instead of just return an error code is beyond me.

But don't worry Apple will release a new, better, bigger and more buggy version is just a few more months! And then it'll put 2 "Quicktime" icons in your "Open With..." menu, both of which point to the new crap version. Just in case you missed the first one.

Not to mention that they jam frickin iTunes down your throat sideways. Bloating out the download, chewing HD and pissing people off.

If you want to use a real media player, get Media Player Classic. Which is good, because once you have installed Quicktime to get the codecs, Media Player Classic can play all the Quicktime movies anyway.
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Video Card Malfunction
Date: 20/9/2005
I have for the last little while been suffering this seemingly daily problem of corrupt video output from my PC. The video card is a Xpertvision AGP NVidia 6200 bought 3 months ago. Basically what happens is during normal use the screen will go almost black, and if I turn the brightness all the way up I can just see the picture, however all the colours are corrupted. At this point I can change the screen resolution using the display settings and that restores the colours and brightness to normal. I'm using the latest Nvidia drivers with an up to date Windows XP sp2 install.

I made a video (12mb) of the problem on my DV cam. What the video shows is the corrupt screen, then I turn the brightness down to normal to show the black screen... Then I turn the brightness back up to show the corrupt window borders and then I change the video mode to restore the normal colours. Sorry I should have narrated it but I forgot.

The card properties says the GPU is running at 43°C which sounds fairly safe. The card has never been overclocked.

Has anyone seen such a problem before?
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Art or?
Date: 20/9/2005
I'm surprised this guy isn't doing hard time for this but it's seriously anti-establishment and I love it: Speech Bubbles!

Very clever. Take the time to go through most of them, some of them are great value.
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Display
Date: 19/9/2005
At some point I want to update my aging (borrowed) CRT to an LCD and by looking at the prices and models available it seems like there is a huge gap between the 19" and 20" models price wise.

For instance, you can buy a nice 19" LCD for A$450 which sports a resolution of 1280x1024. But to get 1600x1200 which is what I use you have to jump up to a 20" (wow a WHOLE extra inch!) and pay around A$1300. The price gap seems highly artifical. The average user looking at a little bit more than a 19" LCD would go for a 20" if it cost $600-700. But $1300 is just unreasonable. Esp. since dell regularly discount their 24" model to A$1440, if only it came in silver ;).

So is there anything <A$1000 that does 1600x1200? (I'm not hopeful but I thought I'd try)

I find it amusing that most 19" CRT's do 1600x1200 in their sleep, whereas the LCD crowd never do it.
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Html Layout
Date: 9/9/2005
I now have a far more intimate understanding of the absolute horror of HTML 4 layout. It's gruesome and evil and it haunts you, always promising more broken markup just around the corner to break your layout engine.

Well that aside, I did get some breakthough in the layout of 'p' elements in the HTML control. By keeping track of how many previous scanlines are 'margin' pixels in the flow construct I can get paragraphs to layout the same as firefox, under all the conditions I know about. Like nested, and self closed and so on. And gee it's only taken me like 2 years to get it thus far.

The tables are also looking much neater now. Although not totally perfect. At least all the work I put into validating the table structure has paid off, there is a bunch of code that re-arranges all the elements under a table tag to be 'correct' html. i.e. tables can only have 'tr's which can only have 'td's. I suppose you would believe how many people get that wrong. I have some classic example HTML emails from PayPal and Ebay that are ridiculous. Missing or wrong tags everywhere, badly formed CSS, nested table upon nest table. They really are a torture test. My personal fravorite was the PayPal email where nested 3 tables in they miss the end table tag. Oh man that just fries everything.

Anyway all these chucks of hideous HTML are stored away in source control with a HTML test suite program that runs through them all and renders it using the current HTML control. This way if I make any changes to the control I can scan quickly throught a bunch of hard files to render and check I havn't broken anything. So far it's passing the most it ever has, there are a few insane cases that it doesn't do yet, but for reading Outlook HTML it's enough. Speaking of which, the paragraphs generated by Outlook now appear correctly. Hurrah.
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