Windows 10 Announced

Microsoft has officially announced the successor to the ill-conceived Windows 8, codenamed “Threshold” and now surprisingly numbered Windows 10 rather than 9. You see, “Windows 9” also matches the start of “Windows 95” and “Windows 98”… and a lot of short-sighted coders used a startsWith string check to determine Windows versions. Also, the internal version […]

Passau Veste Oberhaus

Founded in 1219 to overlook Passau, Veste Oberhaus is a true medieval fortress at its core. That’s unmistakable when you try to reach the castle: the ascent covering a height of 100 meters resembles Frodo’s journey into Mordor, except with more sunshine and American tourists. As for the way back down, it’s so steep that […]

Aperture & Macro Photography

The constant maximal f/4 aperture of the Sony Alpha 7R’s two standard zoom lenses – SEL-2470Z (24–70 mm) and SEL-70200G (70–200 mm) – allows for a wonderful amount of light and great bokeh. However, one area where it’s not terribly useful is macro photography with screw-on magnification lenses, in my case the Marumi DHG Achromat […]

∞ Win32 High DPI & FontForge

Over at Dr. Dobb’s, Gastón Hillar has published two articles on Windows 8.1 desktop applications that properly support high DPI displays. Part 1 covers basic concepts, and part 2 shows C/C++ sample code for the Win32 API. The first article is strongly recommended for all Windows developers. The second one, while no doubt useful, sadly […]

Sony Alpha 7R & SEL-2470Z

After 1.5 years with the Sony NEX-7 (APS-C format) I realized I wouldn’t stop boring people with my amateur pictures anytime soon, so I might as well upgrade to a full-frame camera. I considered the new Nikon D810, a traditional DSLR that got excellent reviews, but eventually settled for the mirrorless Sony Alpha 7R using […]

∞ Scientific Languages & Java Memory

Programmers apparently double down on publishing articles and updates during summer vacations. Here’s the second link collection this month that’s exclusively concerned with software development, and mostly with Java… Lambda the Ultimate recently linked and excerpted two excellent posts on scientific computing by Graydon Hoare. Published in March, the first article looks at the history […]

Custom KOMA-Script Letter 1.1

Over the last couple of KOMA-Script releases, I noticed that my custom letter format for this style package had changed its appearance. Specifically, the second page’s header and footer had moved from the margins into the page, taking up far too much space. I opened a (German) bug report on the KOMA-Script forum, including sample […]

∞ Balls of Mud & Java Optimization

Here’s another link roundup, this time exclusively about software development… Brian Foote and Joseph Yoder’s 1999 paper Big Ball of Mud, also available for download in various formats, posits the likely inevitability of this infamous design anti-pattern and is still well worth reading. Foote’s 2012 presentation Who Ever Said Programs Were Supposed to be Pretty? […]

Glyph Positioning in JFreeSVG & OrsonPDF

Object Refinery Ltd. makes two small but extremely useful Java libraries for producing vector graphics. JFreeSVG (free & commercial) supports Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and HTML5 Canvas output, and OrsonPDF (commercial with free demo) supports Adobe PDF output. Each provides a custom implementation of java.awt.Graphics2D, the 2D drawing surface for the Java AWT graphics library. […]

Quarriors’ Quirky Dice

Icarus Studios’ Quarriors! for iPad was released in December 2013 to mixed reactions. The app was certainly pretty but the interface was a confusing mess of taps and swipes, with too many pointless pauses and not enough information for those new to the game. On top of that, the AI players were pretty terrible and […]