The Last Version of Windows 8

Windows 8.1 Update 1 (with a capital U) has arrived to close off the catastrophic Windows 8 era at Microsoft. If the overhyped Windows 8.1 did little but bring the new Metro environment finally up to release quality, U1 is at least more honest about its fairly minor changes – and comes with the promise […]

Mastering the Mocca

For the past 2½ years I’ve been brewing coffee with the Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741, generally accounted the best drip coffee maker in existence. It’s not cheap – I paid €200 for the predecessor of the linked model – but it very thoroughly extracts the coffee grind’s tasty chemicals, thanks to a precise water heater […]

Java 8 for C# Programmers

My overview article Java for C# Programmers has been updated for Java SE 8. You can find many links to the new features in the announcement and follow-up post at Oracle’s Java Tutorials Blog. I also once again recommend Cay S. Horstmann’s book, Java SE 8 for the Really Impatient. That said, here’s a quick […]

Sony Vaio Duo 13 Review

Microsoft’s latest attempt to fight the race to the bottom in Windows hardware has once again ended in a whimper, mostly because its own Surface and similar upmarket devices showcased the Metro part of Windows 8 that nobody wants. Anecdotally, I saw the elegant ultrabooks and hybrids vanishing again that had populated store shelves around […]

MIME Browser 1.3 Released

Version 1.3 of MIME Browser, my free EML message viewer written in JavaFX, is now available for download. The one big change is the upgrade to Java SE 8 with JavaFX 8 whose new Modena theme is fashionably flat and gray, as you can see in the screenshot below. (I made the blue hyperlinks a […]

Grand Java SE 8 Update

Following Oracle’s long-awaited release of Java SE 8, I went through my Java-related articles and updated various links, file paths, and test results to the latest version. See Java Links & Tools for the current Oracle documentation and downloads. Most test results haven’t changed much, but neither has Oracle’s annoying default Windows JVM packaging. Here […]

Overviews for HTML5 & Java SE 8

Three new entries in the Developer Books archive. McFarland’s CSS3 guide is both accessible and comprehensive, MacDonald’s HTML5 intro is well-suited for people who already know HTML 4, and Horstmann’s Java SE 8 overview should remain useful even after Core Java has been updated. I recommend all three books. (2014-03-14: Added McFarland review) CSS3: The […]

Tales from the Roman Republic

Rome’s messy transition from republic to principate has been well-documented by ancient authors and often revisited by modern ones. Since 1990 there has been a veritable explosion of historical fiction set in this era. I’ve devoured a good part of it, so here are some recommendations for your reading pleasure. The authors generally keep to […]

Struct Performance 2014

Once again and probably for the last time, I’ve updated my .NET Struct Performance article with results for the latest batch of compilers and runtimes. Microsoft’s and Mono’s current CLRs are unchanged as expected, and so is the excellent MinGW gcc. Visual C++ 2013 gave a nasty shock with massive optimizer failures for user-defined types […]