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Showing posts from March, 2009

A few things solved from the list about Lenny

These things have been working for weeks now, it's just that I've been too lazy up till now to write it all down! :-D

I have found a new workaround for the notorious Xv flickering bug in my mature S3 Trio3D video card. I have tested it in fullscreen before but it invariably makes it worse: it only displays (the upper) half of the canvas (while the other half is blue). However, I seem to have forgotten to experiment more on this issue, as resizing the window seems to alter the bug. It's plainly correlated to the window size: shrinking it makes it worse, while enlarging it makes it somewhat better. This is so pronounced, that enlarging it to full-window (not fullscreen) fixes it entirely! :-D

In the same session a few hours back in time, the weird focus loss bug has happened to me yet again! I have been running Epiphany with the proprietary flash plugin, a flash video has just loaded in the very instant that the (unstable) MPlayer from debian-multimedia has brought up a window…

Partition to enhance the performance of your hard drive

Most users up until now had only a single partition on their single rotating media disk in their personal computers. Common operating systems did not (and some still not) encourage their end users to organize their data into partitions in a different way. Naturally, this would be both an overkill and a mental overload for most users. However, an advanced user should not turn away from the possible benefits of restricted fragmentation and lowered seek times. Also consider the ease of backing up only the partitions that contain truly precious data.

A few words about fragmentation. Most random access file systems today use block-sizes of discreet steps (sometimes only a single block size). External fragmentation is the physical discontinuity of logically continuous stored entities (files). Internal fragmentation is the overhead of this block scheme. Naturally if a file is composed of many identically sized, relatively large buckets, then most files will have some buckets that are not com…

Improving the CPU usage of MPD (Music Player Daemon)

I have added format "48000:16:2" to the audio_output section and samplerate_converter 4 to the main body of ~/.mpdconf. This has reduced mpd's CPU usage from 30-40% to less than 5%! I should have done this before. I found out about this issue by doing web searches, but I have later encountered the neatly written summary linked below. In short: good quality (double?) software scaling is not very economical.


http://mpd.wikia.com/wiki/Tuning

Miscanthus grass - an energy crop much more efficient than canola

The following article is from 2005, but I think it's still relevant. Please correct me if I'm in error.

What's Next In Science & Technology: Hybrid grass may prove to be valuable fuel source

When will people learn to properly escape preformatted blocks?

I've noticed this when I first posted source code in Haskell to this blog few months ago. I think I have encountered this problem before (maybe even multiple times!), but it was so long ago that it slipped my mind. So it happened that I have posted unescaped code between <pre> and </pre> tags. This is trivially a silly act (imagine if your source code had </pre>...) and the standards are also clear on this issue: HTML 4.01 Specification: Character entity references [w3.org], Using character entities and NCRs: When to use escapes [w3.org]. Always remember to escape at least &lt;, &gt; and &amp;!

You may be wondering how I noticed that in the first place while most web browsers today are so forgiving. Some years ago when I first committed this error (perhaps with comparison operators), I have fixed it myself because on second thought it was trivially ill formed (and I have also looked it up in the standard later). But this time, it was by accident! :) I …

Equality is only a dream

Such a touching story:

IQ Will Put You In Your Place - By Charles Murray (From the Sunday Times)
Breaking the Last Taboo [related]