August 24, 2009
"Halcyon Days" - interviews with classic computer and video game programmers
Halcyon Days is based around The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers, a list that has floated freely about the net since 1994 and whose official home is at the Dadgum Games web site. Before reading the interviews, browse through the list a bit, and read about the conventions used.
Posted by daen at 05:37 PM
August 21, 2006
IIS and Oracle delegation
The Great NDB project at work is a three-tier chemical registration system built on top of Oracle and MDL Software's ISIS server and Chemical Oracle cartridge. The middle tier is a series of web services hosted as ISAPI DLLs on IIS, which the client connects to. I thought it would be good to use external Oracle account authentication to simplify the account creation process, and to ensure that user permissioning and auditing in Oracle will work correctly. Actually setting up the external authentication in Oracle 9i is easy enough ; getting IIS 6.0 to kick off the Oracle connection as the connecting user is something else. I seem to have got it working by using "Basic Authentication", which is not exactly ideal, seeing as it's plain text passwords. However, wrapping the connection up with SSL was easy enough, so perhaps that will do for now. I was hoping to be using Kerberos ("Integrated Windows Authentication"), but I guess there is a configuration step I missed somewhere. All advice kindly received.
June 30, 2005
Google Sightseeing (motto: Why bother seeing the world for real?) points out some of the amazing things that can be seen in Google's sat photos. Aircraft, architecture and war are all clearly visible here.
Posted by daen at 03:32 PM
May 31, 2005
Posted by daen at 01:06 PM
February 23, 2005
Shut the door, paint the windows black
This from an MTV.com article on HST's suicide:
The way he actually cranked out the copy, as he said in a 1974 Playboy interview, was quite basic. "One day you just don't appear at the El Adobe bar anymore: You shut the door, paint the windows black, rent an electric typewriter and become the monster you always were — the writer."
It parallels my experiences of writing software pretty well. Programmers block, perhaps. Hours, days, weeks of pointless staring at a screen, pecking listlessly at the keyboard, randomly clicking in the IDE with the mouse, drinking too much coffee, engaging in displacement behaviours (like blogging) followed by a deep visceral anger at yourself, the computer, the world for being so useless. Sometimes, pulling an all-nighter recovers (or partially redeems) all that ... sometimes. Never tried painting the windows black, though ... hmmm ...
Posted by daen at 02:16 PM
September 05, 2004
Lex & Yacc
The asteroid to kill this dinosaur is still in orbit.
- Lex Manual Page
A compiler or interptreter for a programminning language is often decomposed into two parts:
Read the source program and discover its structure.
Process this structure, e.g. to generate the target program.
Lex and Yacc can generate program fragments that solve the first task.
The task of discovering the source structure again is decomposed into subtasks:
Split the source file into tokens (Lex).
Find the hierarchical structure of the program (Yacc).
Posted by daen at 11:04 PM
April 02, 2004
Posted by daen at 12:23 AM
February 11, 2004
Security loopholes : 1975
Read The Tale of Robin Hood and Friar Tuck for an insight into security loopholes in early Xerox OS-es ...
Interestingly, I met one of the protagonists, Dan Holle, a few years back when Hamish and I were trying to raise money for a business venture of ours ...
Posted by daen at 11:14 PM
December 14, 2003
Eddie's Basic Guides
Posted by daen at 10:50 PM
November 28, 2003
Verity Stob @ TheReg : Patenting Numbers
Posted by daen at 11:45 AM
July 29, 2003
Samba 3.0.0 beta 3 available : AD support available!
16th Jul, 2003 Samba-3.0.0 beta3 available for download
The third (and possibly final) beta release of Samba 3.0.0 is available for download. While significantly closer to the final release, it should still be considered a non-production release provided for testing purposes only. The source code and GnuPG signatures can be found on Samba mirrors. RedHat RPMS for 7.3, 8.0 and 9.0 are also available in the Binary_Packages download area. Packages for other platforms will follow shortly. The full release notes are available on-line as well.
If all goes well, we will now move onto the Release Candidate (RC) stage.
Major new features:
1) Active Directory support. Samba 3.0 is now able to to join a ADS realm as a member server and authenticate users using LDAP/Kerberos.
2) Unicode support. Samba will now negotiate UNICODE on the wire and internally there is now a much better infrastructure for multi-byte and UNICODE character sets.
3) New authentication system. The internal authentication system has been almost completely rewritten. Most of the changes are internal, but the new auth system is also very configurable.
4) New filename mangling system. The filename mangling system has been completely rewritten. An internal database now stores mangling maps persistently. This needs lots of testing.
5) A new "net" command has been added. It is somewhat similar to the "net" command in windows. Eventually we plan to replace umerous other utilities (such as smbpasswd) with subcommands in "net".
6) Samba now negotiates NT-style status32 codes on the wire. This improves error handling a lot.
7) Better Windows 2000/XP/2003 printing support including publishing printer attributes in active directory.
8) New loadable RPC modules.
9) New dual-daemon winbindd support for better performance.
10) Support for migrating from a Windows NT 4.0 domain to a Samba domain and maintaining user, group and domain SIDs.
11) Support for establishing trust relationships with Windows NT 4.0 domain controllers.
12) Initial support for a distributed Winbind architecture using an LDAP directory for storing SID to uid/gid mappings.
13) Major updates to the Samba documentation tree.
Posted by daen at 01:18 PM
July 27, 2003
Useful Win32 programmers' utilities
Useful system utility ...
The program consists of four main parts:
System Monitor. Using this component you can monitor dozens of counters, like memory, resources, etc., including ones you define. With this component you can recover and defragment computer's free RAM - either manually or as a scheduled task.
Processes/Modules/Windows. This component gives you a list of modules (DLLs) used by selected processes and a list of windows created by them.
It provides clear views of their properties, environment, allows terminating processes and releasing DLLs.
You can easy find any window and capture it with the finder tool. Capture of most 'true' menus is also available.
You can inject your function into a selected process in several ways.
Messages. The component lets to spy messages processed by a selected window and send them to it.
Files. The component contains a powerful Hex-editor, a resources viewer, it allows retrieval of information about file properties, changes in file system, import/export tables of executable files, dependencies, etc.
You can compare ini-files, registry's snapshots, compare binary files, make search/replace operations, deleting inside them. The Hex-editor has a remarkable feature: it allows "structural" viewing of binary files.
Remember Brief? TextPad has a lot of Brief-like functionality (though without the C-like macro language, sadly).
TextPad® is designed to provide the power and functionality to satisfy the most demanding text editing requirements. It is Windows hosted, and comes in 16 and 32-bit editions. Huge files can be edited by either - just choose the edition that works best with your PC. The 32-bit edition can edit files up to the limits of virtual memory, and it will work with Windows™ 9x, ME, NT 4, 2000 and XP.
TextPad has been implemented according to the Windows XP user interface guidelines, so great attention has been paid to making it easy for both beginners and experienced users. In-context help is available for all commands, and in-context menus pop-up with the right mouse button. The Windows multiple document interface allows multiple files to be edited simultaneously, with up to 2 views on each file. Text can be dragged and dropped between files.
In addition to the usual cut and paste capabilities, you can correct the most common typing errors with commands to change case, and transpose words, characters and lines. Other commands let you indent blocks of text, split or join lines, and insert whole files. Any change can be undone or redone, right back to the first one made. Visible bookmarks can be put on lines, and edit commands can be applied to lines with bookmarks.
Frequently used combinations of commands can be saved as keystroke macros, and the spelling checker has dictionaries for 10 languages.
It also has a customizable tools menu, and integral file compare and search commands, with hypertext jumps from the matched text to the corresponding line in the source file (ideal for integrating compilers).
Posted by daen at 10:46 PM
June 02, 2003
Computer stuff in Denmark
Posted by daen at 08:28 PM
May 20, 2003
CVSNT & WinCVS
Posted by daen at 03:46 PM
April 24, 2003
Architecting reliable software
Who needs software architects?
If, for a fleeting moment, you imagine a city built the way we build our software, it would be a city of uniform greyness. It may or may not include a water system, depending on whether or not one was asked for. Ninety percent of the buildings would remain unfinished, or would have toppled to the ground as unsalvageable waste for want of better foundations.
Traffic would flow, but only because someone had found a giant to lift cars from the end of one jam and place them at the foot of another. And as you know, the cars would rarely fit the roads. Worst of all is the unending string and continuous maintenance required to hold the buildings together.
There in the midst of this rubble, picking a way through the web, walks the hastily hired architect with a simple brief: 'Please make our rubble into the glorious living spaces we imagined.'
Before you enter the city, I should warn you, we haven't yet looked at the buildings. The doors are not where we want them, and no-one measured a person to see if they would fit in.
Excellent on-line book by Nigel Leeming about software architecture and how to avoid the pitfalls and problems that beset modern software systems. This is the first of two books.
For more information on software architecture, visit The Worldwide Institute of Software Architects (WWISA).
Posted by daen at 11:58 AM
February 19, 2003
Building a bridge to the art ...
Nigel Leeming is writing a book about software architecture, and he's rather sportingly put up most of it on this website. I'm only halfway through Chapter 1, but so far it's quirky, readable and full of common sense. I'll put a full review up here when I'm done ...
Posted by daen at 05:44 PM
February 14, 2003
What? You don't know what microcode is? Then you'd better read this.
Posted by daen at 05:25 PM
January 27, 2003
Udvikleren ("The Developer")
Denmark's own little slice of /.
Posted by daen at 08:50 PM