* Posts by Marco van de Voort

202 posts • joined 17 Jun 2008


This'll make you feel old: Uni compsci favourite Pascal hits the big five-oh this year

Marco van de Voort

Re: And there is of course also lazarus/freepascal

Thank you

Marco van de Voort

And there is of course also lazarus/freepascal

Since Delphi got awfully expensive lately. Strange that it isn't mentioned. Sponsored piece? Embarcadero had a release in the last few days.

Beer gut-ted: As many as '70 million pints' spoiled during coronavirus pandemic must be destroyed in Britain

Marco van de Voort


The traditional way of getting rid of slightly off beer is to feed it to the pigs (really, they love the stuff!).

But here (NL/BE) all livestock is already chewing its way through a million tons of potatoes.

Is that a typo? Oh, it's not a typo. Ampere really is touting an 80-core 64-bit 7nm Arm server processor dubbed Altra

Marco van de Voort

128-bit simd units

Text says 128-bit simd units in a list of per package things. I assume these are per core?

Time to svn commit like it's the year 2000: Apache celebrates 20 years of Subversion

Marco van de Voort

Branching and merging worked from the start. Tagging was replaced by branching even.

SVN doesn't internally administrate as finely divided though, which lessens merge performance in more extreme cases. But that is something different. In cases both sides have changes in the same lines it sometimes borks.

(but a good 3rd party three-way diff tool as Beyond compare can even resolve many of those)

Windows Dressing: Psst... Fast Ring folks, whispers Microsoft. You're in this for the cool icons, right?

Marco van de Voort

position, not picture

I can vaguely remember from UI design classes that most people remember the position of an icon more than the action icon itself, specially for routine tasks.

So one could wonder what this is good for.

25 years of Delphi and no Oracle in sight: Not a Visual Basic killer but hard to kill

Marco van de Voort

Re: the question is why Delphi failed to sweep up more of the Windows development market

Personally I think the time for 3rd party tools vendors was simply over and from the late nineties on, the market belonged to the big IT vendors that predatory priced development tools because they wanted to promote their "platform".

Another ten years later, open source would also start a significant dent.

Borland maybe should have aligned themselves with a Big One in that period.

Marco van de Voort

Re: Pascal has always been great

Kernighan commented on pre borland versions 15 years older than Delphi.

Stronger even, at the time he was still publishing versions of his books for Pascal, e.g.


You'll never select all and mark as read again after this tale of peril... Oh, who are we kidding? Of course you will

Marco van de Voort

NMR wiping.

I did need to get a new ATM card due to the magnets of an NMR apparatus. There was tray for keys and wallets near the door that I forgot in my hurry.

Usually it was fine, but occasionally (specially after servicing) a light imbalance could generate a card wiping field (and it was said to rip the keys from your trousers, but I never witnessed that).

p.s., hydrochloric acid on your ATM card is also not very good for it. Just light acid on the hand and touched the magnetic strip of card at one end, but the card was finito, the strip got some green tinges at the end where the acid touched and refused to work a few days later . All in the nineties when the ATMs only had a magnetic script of course.

Boris celebrates taking back control of Brexit Britain's immigration – with unlimited immigration program

Marco van de Voort

Some of that is what I thought. "Easy Visa" is an easy to implement solution to clear some last hurdles, and also attract the students before they become "World Class Scientist" (the bit where you educate an hundred to find one nugget)

To cherry pick world class staff, primarily you need to give potential staff good salaries and somewhat secure prospects. World Class staff coming for multi year tenures don't mind visa that much, since they can be handled by the uni (or research institutions) bureau for that. And those know which points to pressure for the real good ones.

Easy visa is the methods to drag in reams of (usually /paying/) hopefuls into your education system to bolster the base, to partially fund it, and with hopefully some cream rising to the top eventually.

The Curse of macOS Catalina strikes again as AccountEdge stays 32-bit

Marco van de Voort

Well, indeed Apple has shown many signs that it takes users of software not serious, and focusses chiefly on media consumption. Primarily from its own services.

So the blame is on the Apple users still trying while the writing has been on the wall for a decade, while Apple is laughing all the way to the bank.

JavaScript survey: Devs love a bit of React, but Angular and Cordova declining. And you're not alone... a chunk of pros also feel JS is 'overly complex'

Marco van de Voort

Re: Doesn't paint JavaScript in the best light...

Yeah, I get the feeling that first gen JavaScripts are being confronted with legacy concerns, and it was not a nice meeting :-)

After four years, Rust-based Redox OS is nearly self-hosting

Marco van de Voort

And now just put it next to Singularity ?

Nice. Done. Great. And now just put it next to Singularity!

In Rust We Trust: Stob gets behind the latest language craze

Marco van de Voort

But make sure you have Rust++19 not Rust++17

DeepMind gets good at games (and choosing them) – plus more bits and bytes from the world of machine learning

Marco van de Voort

The best solution for AI

Is still hunting down Arnold Schwarzenegger and getting his T1000 chip.

We lose money on repairs, sobs penniless Apple, even though we charge y'all a fortune

Marco van de Voort


Probably all those geniuses is what costs the money. Might just as well rebrand them to idiots and safe on payroll.

WinUI and WinRT: Official modern Windows API now universal thanks to WebAssembly

Marco van de Voort

how long and how versioned.

Indeed how long, and how about versioning? The problem with .NET is always that there is no single version default available on all targets. (and if win7 is pushing up daisies, it will probably be replaced by old corporate LTS versions of Windows 10)

If you need to deliver something simple like a tool to configure a piece of hardware then you are stuck with a runtime versioning mess with anything but the win32/64 subsystem.

Bezos DDoS'd: Amazon Web Services' DNS systems knackered by hours-long cyber-attack

Marco van de Voort

Maybe they should use a cloud

Cloud services advertise with always up.

HP to hike upfront price of printer hardware as ink biz growth runs dry

Marco van de Voort

Re: At the risk of topic drift, can I ask for a recommendation for a mono laser...

Note that Samsung and Bother low end printers are pretty much the same.

MacOS wakes to a bright Catalina sunrise – and broken Adobe apps

Marco van de Voort

readonly FS

From what I hear it is not just 32-bit that kills old software, but also making nearly everything in the filesystem readonly.

Fairytale for 2019: GNOME to battle a patent troll in court

Marco van de Voort

Re: Subsequent litigation.

and proper scrutiny also costs money. It is the result of a small government principle.

Service call centres to become wasteland and tumbleweed by 2024

Marco van de Voort

Re: Does an AI lie detector already exist?

Not calling him a liar in a confrontational way doesn't mean he isn't.

Marco van de Voort

Does an AI lie detector already exist?

I've been on an major (Chello) ISP helpdesk for two years, doing 2nd and 3rd line (senior) work. Basically all the customers wanted was an engineer to come and sort things out, and they all had already checked everything (they thought). NOT!

We already had expert systems for self help, and they were next to useless. (unless you liked in kicking in open doors). Customers simply couldn't specify the problem beyond "Internet doesn't work" (*)

(*) test one: does mail work? Yes, hmm, then "some internet works" :-)

It will never be safe to turn off your computer: Prankster harnesses the power of Windows 95 to torment fellow students

Marco van de Voort

FreeBSD console

In the late nineties, our computerclub had freebsd systems, multiusers systems off a shared NFS with the hardware also doubling as terminals.

To make emergency login to the physical console possible without logging of the locally logged on user, they simply defined extra getty's on up to 20 terminals (F1..F10 and iirc ctrl-shift-F1..F10). The ctrl-shift-Fx combos (and the extra terminals on them) were a bit a secret.

I was porting a full screen app, and experimenting with consoles in raw mode, and found a whole bunch of syscons ioctls. These included font manipulation. I also found out that if you execute a program with "exec xxx" on one of the hidden consoles, that the terminal stdinput handle remained valid for syscons ioctlrs and that the syscons didn't change the settings on a per console/getty basis.

I used that for two programs:

- one that created a lookup table for 2 x 26 characters (upper/lower) that shuffled the values. Then I set font and keyboard controller according to this table. So you would press the "E" key, and the "E" glyph was shown, but some other ascii code (like "v") was actually generated to the terminal.

- I took the VGA font and did some bit twiddling (shift upper and lower rowes) to make them a bit cursive or mirrored. Then I started animating the font. (so slanted to the right, normal slanted to the level, normal etc).

The program hooked sigusr2 which could be used (from a remotely logged in session) to turn these features on and off. Fun times, though in the end I didn't trick my main targets as badly since they had seen me develop it. We used it with a lot of fun next year on the new batch of students though.

Marco van de Voort

sad mac

Hmm, last line of the article reminds me that "sad mac" would also have been a great shutdown screenshot

My alltime favorite remains putting a screenshot of the desktop as background and hiding (all/most of) the icons

LibreOffice handlers defend suite's security after 'unfortunately partial' patch

Marco van de Voort

Headline: windows never had security problems.

Windows scripting host was a macro package delivered with product.

Time to Ryzen shine, Intel: AMD has started shipping 7nm desktop CPUs like it's no big deal

Marco van de Voort

Re: On Waking Up

Intel coined AVX512, and thus has to invest silicon surface that largely goes unused in the first generations to get a critical mass. IOW it is seeding it to get people to use it.

AMD doesn't, so only upgrades the vector unit when it actually becomes commonly used, and spends the surface one whatever is needed now (either making cheaper or other features)

Keep in mind that there is barely enduser -512 silicon out there atm, and worse the standard is hopelessly fragmented in substandards.

Some Xeon servers had some older substandard, but clock down when heavily used, or implement a 512 instruction using two 256 pipes (as AMD does for AVX2 currently in ryzen 2x00)

Delphi RAD tool (remember that?) gets support for Linux desktop apps – again

Marco van de Voort

Re: next gen dialect

I don't remind version details any more, but the last one could be made to run quite long using LD_PRELOAD tricks (adding a runner script that set them). People kept them running way past 2010, and pretty much only the mobile wave made them reconsider.

I never really used it. I didn't need the commercial finishing touch for my internal use/server apps, and Free Pascal/Lazarus was more comfortable, and more importantly progressing and supported.

I still use Delphi though on Windows for my core applications, mostly because of more convenient debugging.

Small apps, utils and cmdline work (including a sizable part of the testing) all work with FPC/Lazarus.

Marco van de Voort

next gen dialect

Afaik the former serverside Linux option was based on the so called nextgen modification of the original dialect that is used on the mobile platform offerings. As it originates in the Mac world, it borrows heavily from Objective C and misses many original language features.

The original Kylix WAS a full dialect version, but I can't seem to find what this thing uses.

Go fourth and multi-Pi: Raspberry Pi 4 lands today with quad 1.5GHz Arm Cortex-A72 CPU cores, up to 4GB RAM...

Marco van de Voort

Re: Sata

Afaik in older BCMs there is a parallel expansion bus that sata chips could be attached to.

10 PRINT Memorial in New Hampshire marks the birthplace of BASIC

Marco van de Voort

School kids microsoft basic

Commodore Basic was Micro Soft (then still with space) based. So quite some schoolkids used Micro Soft as first programming language too.

Including me :-)

Apple's tailored SwiftUI makes coding Mac and iOS apps RAD again

Marco van de Voort

Re: So, basically what Visual Basic and Delphi could do twenty-four years ago already?

I can only say I agree wholeheartedly.

I prefer the delphi model to the jbuilder model too.

Marco van de Voort

Re: So, basically what Visual Basic and Delphi could do twenty-four years ago already?

Delphi never generated much source (the control's properties are stored in resourcestreams). JBuilder is a better example of a two way source based designer.

Also, they had a slightly different screen model. Many modern tools assume a Browser layout model that quickly adds a scrollbar if things don't fit, rather than shrinking them to size.

When two tribes go to war... Intel, AMD tease new chips at Computex: Your spin-free summary

Marco van de Voort

That is indeed interesting. 32MB per chiplet. I haven't seen any details yet if Ryzen3000 is again an less efficient exclusion cache.

Also many image processing benchmark show great "3000" improvement, but be warned that AVX performance doubled since the "2000" series. Some benchmarks are biassed towards AVX, but if your workloads are not AVX wymmv.

In the end, it is probably still a wait till the embargoes on benchmarks are lifted. (and even then, selecting the benchmark that is relevant for you is an art (*))

(*) I usually go with the compiler benchmarks, since even though I"m in image processing, I found these benchmarks are closer to my applications real world performance, probably because my vision apps are not stuffed with whole image operations.

You're not still writing Android apps in Oracle's Java, are you? Google tut-tuts at dev conf

Marco van de Voort

Re: K&R Braces

See my other comment. Usually there is no begin, there is only END. That's 3 characters in the alphabet part of the keyboard versies 2 outside of it requiring ALT-gr on many keyboards.

Marco van de Voort

Re: K&R Braces

Depending on keyboard, they are verbose as braces require modifier keys to type. Textual delimiters, even not overlong multicharacter ones are actually easier and quicker to type, as they are two hand typed in the center of the keyboard.

The preference for braces only shows that programmers can count, but not know much about typing.

Marco van de Voort

Re: K&R Braces

I like the Modula2 solution most. Textual BEGIN END like in Pascal (IMHO better readable, harder to look over), but skip all BEGIN's except function start.

So always a end of block terminator, no single vs multistatement blocks

US minister invokes Maggie Thatcher, says she would have halted Huawei 5G rollout

Marco van de Voort

True, but Pompeo is no Reagan.

You've been dying to know. Here's the answer: The Milky Way tips the cosmic scales at '1.5tr' times mass of the Sun

Marco van de Voort

Aren't planets dark?

Planets are "dark" too, they only reflect sunlight. Except Earth maybe.

We did Nazi see this coming... Internet will welcome Earth's newest nation with, sigh, a brand new .SS TLD

Marco van de Voort

The Nazi SS used runes. As long as it is not an unicode domain, we're safe :-)

The Nazi SS used runederived characters for its SS notation, like U+16CB, not normal latin characters. As long as it is not an unicode domain, we're safe :-)

p.s. it might still be a good idea not to do it. Neo Nazis are not very literate, and the subtleties might be beyond them

Tens to be disappointed as Windows 10 Mobile death date set: Doomed phone OS won't see 2020

Marco van de Voort

Hmm, Microsoft constantly declaring existing APIs now, and pointing to not yet finished API's didn't help either.

I only migrated from a win8 phone (a 635 with too little memory to update to 10) last New Year.

Too slow to properly browse, but otherwise quite fine.

Dutch boyband hopes to reverse Brexit through the power of music

Marco van de Voort

to be honest, it took May over 1.5 years to come up with pretty much the default arrangement. And then it was doomed because it was clear it would make parliament.

Not the greatest leadership

On the first day of Christmas, MIPS sent to me: An open-source-ish alternative to RISC-V

Marco van de Voort

Re: Interesting

Yes. MIPS traditionally had a delay slot. MIPS-X even two.

P.s. the Microchip 32-bit architecture is also MIPS. (but of course with the acquisition of Atmel and its SAM ARMs, it now has two 32-bit architectures in one house)

Home users due for a battering with Microsoft 365 subscription stick

Marco van de Voort

You accounts department will probably not qualify for a consumer subscription anyway.

Supernovae may explain mass extinctions of marine animals 2.6 million years ago

Marco van de Voort

Who told them?

Series of Supernovaes? Who told them? The puppeteers ?

Microsoft, you shouldn't have: Festive Windows 10 Insiders build about as exciting as new socks

Marco van de Voort

Any change to notepad is big news of course.

It is the most important Windows app :-)

Microsoft's .NET Core 3 is almost here, which means time to move on from .NET Framework

Marco van de Voort

Re: Depending on MS plaftorms is always a mistake

Heaped together with GTK1?

Bordeaux-no! Wine guzzling at UK.gov events rises 20%

Marco van de Voort


.... After English and Welsh sparkling wine

The scenes from Chef! (Lenny Henry) when he goes to France with bottles of English wine and the French ROTFL suddenly come back into focus again :-)

What the #!/%* is that rogue Raspberry Pi doing plugged into my company's server room, sysadmin despairs

Marco van de Voort

database passwords linked to applications are rarely changed

I came back to an old company to do some updates to an old app and noticed the database password was still the same. After 6 years.

Application passwords should probably also be regularly rotated, and software should therefore never hardcode them.

An ex employee who breaches your network (like in the article), might be able to siphon off complete databases otherwise.

Douglas Adams was right, ish... Super-Earth world clocked orbiting 'nearby' Barnard's Star

Marco van de Voort

Re: " new orbital Galactic HQ"

Coruscant would be more logical then. Capital of the Star Wars evil empire.



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