Blog
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Got Anti-Virus?
Date: 1/4/2005
Man, what a long 3 days it's been. So Scribe is keeping the world safe from viruses, but I need some anti-virus that'll run on my body. On tuesday about 3am I woke up feel oh so not good. A lay there for 15 minutes groggily wondering "huh?" then the chucking started... and didn't stop for 17 hours or so. Aggh. Not fun. In the mean time both adults in the house are sick and there was no one available to look after the children, so we had to do it. I think the defining moment was about 11am I was crawling down the hall as fast as I could go and I was overtaken by my smiling little 10 month old son, also crawling.

But more to the point, now that I'm feeling better I'll update you all on the progress of "The Software(tm)". Firstly Scribe is almost ready for another test release, and this time it's got a swath of fixes for obsure crash bugs. Especially to do with displaying text. These fixes are already in the release of LgiRes. Also the Outlook import/export functionality got some charset fixes. It won't be perfect but it will suck a whole lot less.

Also while I'm talking updates Lgi is due for a release as well. I've got a whole bunch of cool stuff and bugs fixes incorperated so I really should finalise that and upload it. I'll also be putting the documentation online as well this time for google to index. I realize that API documentation is usually much better with a good search engine indexing it, and what better engine than google? Even if it's only me using it ;)
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Scribe and LgiRes Bugs
Date: 22/3/2005
Firstly, I've just fixed a rather interesting bug in Lgi that is almost humorous in it's simplicity. Lgi doesn't glyph substitution when displaying text that can't be displayed in the current font by using characters (glyphs) from another font installed on the system. This means maintaining lookup tables of characters and what font you can find them in. Now I implemented that as a table for every unicode char I wanted to map (0 -> 0xffff) of bytes (64kb) that hold an index into a font cache (0 -> 255). And immediately you can see what my problem was... "what happens when there is more than 256 fonts in the system?". Crash bang splat.

Now for the moment I've just limited the search through fonts to stop when it runs out of table space. But ultimately I'd like to make it handle the full unicode range as well as more than 256 fonts. But that would cost more memory so I'm trying to think of a better solution. Increasing the unicode character index size from 8 bits up to say 10 bits might fix the font limitation but add increased overhead into the glyph sub code to set/get non byte aligned bits of memory. Supporting the whole unicode range for just 256 fonts (8 bit indexes) would be about 1 MB... which is a lot of memory to sacrifice for this feature. Thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

On another note, LgiRes has a new version out to cope with the new Scribe lr8 format. But it crashes on Win9x/ME. If you'd like to help, download this and unzip it into a v1.80 install. Run (and crash) LgiRes and gather any .txt files it creates and send them to me. The Scribe lr8 file has been getting corrupted utf-8 strings, and the new version of LgiRes does some consistancy checking. If you intend to do some translation work I suggest waiting for the next build of Scribe (test8) and LgiRes and using that as a base for your work, because I've fixed all (most?) of the corrupted strings in the lr8 file.
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Canon Pixma iP5000
Date: 17/3/2005
Well it finally arrived, the new Canon Pixma iP5000 printer. I've set it up and printed out a single photo at this stage, and well I can't tell the difference between this photo and a professionally printed one. So I'm fairly impressed so far.

It's easily the best photo printer I've seen, but then again I havn't seen a lot of them.

All that really matters it that it kicks butt, for photos, the occasional invite or .DOC and DVD labels. One test down... couple more to go.
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Switch Between Visual C++ 6 Debugger And .NET (7) Debugger
Date: 17/3/2005
If you have both Visual C++ 6 and .NET installed, and you want to switch between the (just in time) debuggers you can by fiddling the value of the "Debugger" key in:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows NT\\CurrentVersion\\AeDebug
The setting for VC6:
"C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Visual Studio\\Common\\MSDev98\\Bin\\msdev.exe" -p %ld -e %ld
And for VC7:
"C:\\Program Files\\Common Files\\Microsoft Shared\\VS7Debug\\vs7jit.exe" -p %ld -e %ld
Obviously adjusting paths as necessary.

And if the .NET debugger is giving you the "Registered JIT debugger is not available." finger then you could try the following:

  • Go to: Settings >> Control Panel >> Administrative Tools >> Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Configuration
  • The .NET 1.1 Configuration module will appear. Click on the "Runtime Security Policy" folder on the left hand side of the screen.
  • Click on the "Adjust Security Zone" link in the body of the screen.
  • Click "Next."
  • Click the "Local Intranet" security button (since our application is distributed through the company intranet.)
  • Adjusted the security to "FULL."
  • -and/or-
    Start -> Run:
    "C:\\Program Files\\Common Files\\Microsoft Shared\\VS7Debug\\vs7jit.exe" /RegServer
    (This is just documenting the fix for Google to index... move along now.)
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    Stupid Dumb Body
    Date: 16/3/2005
    Well there is nothing more annoying than being held back from doing what you really want to do by injury. My old RSI is playing up bad again, and I'm struggling to do much work at the computer this week. The usually rounds with the Doctors, Specialist's, Managers+HR, Medicines and resting are the order of the day.

    Thus no Scribe release... Test7 is um, not "done" yet. And thus not released. No schedule yet either.

    (Does anyone even read this blog? No-one has bothered to comment on the last 5 entries.)

    What drives me up the wall is that I finally get my home recording studio setup, after 4 years of waiting and saving, and that very day the RSI kicks in forcing me off any instruments or the computer... coincidence? I suspect not. I've been waiting around for the last month while parts are shipped here, not playing any guitar just so I could dive in and enjoy it. Ironic eh? *grrrrr*
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    PopOverHttp.com Upgrade
    Date: 10/3/2005
    Well it had to happen sooner or later (Sorry about the later part of it) but PopOverHttp.com has finally got a external POP mailbox fetch function. This allows you to get your existing POP mail using PopOverHttp.com as a middleman, caching the mail in it's local store. It's still a bit experimental so I wouldn't trust it with your main email account unless you really don't care if it drops mail into the dark beyond. I've done enough testing to satisfy myself it's doing the right thing most of the time. And I'd like to get some feedback about this new feature.

    Previously to this you we're limited to receiving email at username@popoverhttp.com, whereas now you can get email at your old address as well.

    And seeing as I just had to fork out for the hosting again it'd probably not going to remain free forever.
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