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Paul(admin)
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Carbide.c++: Keep the emulator open!

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Monday, October 12 2009, 17:43
Something that wasn't entirely obvious to me since developing for Symbian is that you can actually keep the WINSCW emulator open when building. This saves a lot of time opposed to having to restart it after each execution.
So remember: just close your application and you can build and relaunch it in a fraction of the time!

On an unrelated note, you can distinguish between the emulator and the phone release by using the __WINSCW__ constant. For example:
#ifndef __WINSCW__
iAccelerometer = CRDAccelerometer::NewL(*this);
#endif
(Because RDAccelerometer doesn't compile for the emulator.)
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Carbide.c++: "Cannot start Ecmt manager"

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Sunday, October 4 2009, 19:44
I've run into this problem on each fresh installation of Carbide.c++, but I keep forgetting how to fix it. The resolution consists of two parts.
Error: Cannot start Ecmt manager

Ensure Java is in the Environment Path

Go to the Windows' System Properties and click "Advanced system settings". There, under "Environment variables", make sure that your JRE installation path appears somewhere. Note that the string is delimited with semi-colons.

Edit the config.properties file

Navigate to your S60 SDK installation path (e.g. C:\Symbian\9.1\S60_3rd). From there, open the following file:
\Epoc32\tools\ecmt\config\config.properties
Edit the line containing epdt.java.version.start to include your installed version of JRE. For Java 1.6, append ,1.6,6.0 so the line appears as follows:
epdt.java.version.start=1.4.1,1.4.2,1.5,5.0,1.6,6.0
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Error C1083 in Visual C++ 2008 Express

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Monday, September 14 2009, 12:57
After opening a project in Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition that I had built on a different machine running Visual Studio 6, I ran into the following error:
fatal error C1083: Cannot open include file: 'afxwin.h':
No such file or directory
I discovered that it could easily be fixed by editing the RC resource script of the project:
  1. Right-click on the RC file and select "View code"
  2. Replace the include statement containing afxwin.h to windows.h.
  3. Save the document and recompile.

Be wary that there are some differences between the two files, and are not entirely interchangeable. I'm not sure exactly what these differences are as I haven't run into any problems so far. Feel free to drop a comment if you have a more robust solution.
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Download through PHP: unreliable Content-Length

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Friday, August 7 2009, 16:38
The CrimsonBase website verifies downloads by passing them through a robust PHP script similar to the one published by Andrew Johnson in his article about PHP-controlled file downloads.
Andrew makes a very important comment at the end of the article:
"If you compress files with Zlib, mod_deflate and so on the Content-Length header won't be accurate so you'll end up seeing "Unknown size" and "Unknown time remaining" when downloading files."
I would like to stress this: if your browser doesn't appear to be obeying the headers generated by your PHP script—especially Content-Length—it is fairly likely that Apache's mod_deflate extension is enabled.
You can easily disable it for a single script using the following line in an applicable .htaccess file:
SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI ^/download\.php no-gzip dont-vary
where download.php is here assumed to be in the download script located in the server's root directory path (e.g. www.crimsonbase.com/download.php). (That's because the regular expression is ^/download\.php.)
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Paul(admin)
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LaTeX: Wrong figure numbers in subfloat

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Tuesday, August 4 2009, 16:14
I've been puzzled by some incorrect figure numbers in my LaTeX document recently. I have a figure, 2, with two subfigures, 2a and 2b, but when referencing them, I get figures 1a and 1b.
It turned out you have to put the \label commands in the correct order, like so:
\begin{figure}[b]
\caption{Detail of cameras on a Nokia N95 smartphone}
\label{fig:cameras}
\centering
\subfloat[User camera located above screen]{
\label{fig:user_camera}
\includegraphics{images/front_camera.png}}
\hspace{2cm}
\subfloat[Perspective camera on backside of device]{
\label{fig:perspective_camera}
\includegraphics{images/back_camera.png}}
\end{figure}
Also, make sure that \caption always precedes \label as Luke Maciak suggests.
Note that as Matthias mentions in the comments below, you may have to put the \caption and \label after the \subfloats. I haven't determined yet when one or the other should be done, but just remember that moving them around may resolve your problem.
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L4D Launcher (version 1.1)

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Monday, July 20 2009, 16:35
Left 4 Dead launcher
I made some modifications to the L4D Launcher, updating it to version 1.1.
You can now start a Left 4 Dead server in Coop, Versus or Survival game modes. You can also specify additional command line arguments, if you wish.

Update November 5th, 2009: updated to version 1.2.
Update November 7th, 2009: updated to version 1.3.
Update November 14th, 2009: updated to version 1.4.
Update May 15th, 2010: updated to version 1.5.

Update March 3, 2011: The project has been migrated to SourceForge, as project L4D Launcher. Binaries can be downloaded from there, but the source code is also freely available through SVN.
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Student kitchen

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Friday, July 17 2009, 18:50
Student Kitchen
Since my girlfriend moved in with me, I have been treated to some awesome culinary experiences. I occasionally help her out in the kitchen, but most of the time I admit to just being the one that gets to complement her on another great meal.
Thifa was inspired to create a blog with her own recipes — both those she's taken along from Brazil and those we've experimented together. She designed the blog and I set it up for her.
Check it out: Student kitchen
The motivation for the blog was our shared passion for tasty but inexpensive meals. Thifa has shown me some great things you can do with cheap vegetables and even how to make affordable sushi. If you appreciate good food but tend to keep an eye on your budget, subscribe to the feed!
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Weird problems with PackageMaker (with solutions)

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Thursday, July 9 2009, 15:51
As a developer on Mac OS X, one of the applications that annoys me most is PackageMaker. It's completely riddled with bugs (from not being able to refresh the package contents to mysteriously non-functional buttons).
Perhaps some day an open-source alternative will come to my attention, but until then, here are some tips for making your life easier:
Weird bugWeird solution
"Could not copy scripts" errorRemove all the script files from the package, and clear the script directory. Save your project and add everything again.
Absolute/relative paths option for scripts is disabledSave your project first.
Cannot add custom files for interface because localizations is enabledThere's no way to disable localizations again; create your project again from scratch. Make sure not to switch to Raw Editing Mode unless you know how to use it.
Custom files in the interface stop workingI haven't figured out why this sometimes just gives up. Recreate your project and saving it should work.
Packages turn in to distributionsPackages can only have one choice; distributions must have at least two. Additionally, if you want to set up requirements or pre-/post-install actions, PackageMaker will create a distribution. If that's not what you want, write a script instead.
Installer doesn't change permissionsIt's not a bug, it's just not clear that this is a feature. Select a package, then open the Package menu and take a look at Package options: "Overwrite package permissions"
Permissions are altered when buildingI have no idea why it sometimes does this. I suggest you change the permissions of the package before you add it to PackageMaker to save you all the effort of changing it in there one file at a time (only to find out it changes it back when you build). Make sure to save before building.
The changed package contents aren't reflected in PackageMakerHopefully you can get away with PackageMaker not seeing the new contents; it will still copy the files from the source, you just can't see them in the Contents pane. If you need to change file permissions, you'll have to remove the package and painstakingly add it from the source again.
Just remember: punching your screen voids your AppleCare!
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Modifications to spam filter

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Tuesday, July 7 2009, 14:46
The spam filter I implemented almost two years ago has worked a charm for this site, blocking all but a handful of the 15,100 spammers that have visited this site in that time.
I've seen a noticable decline in their number in that time; in early 2008 there were several weeks where over 400 spam messages were delivered. This past year, this number has continued to drop to a mere 50 as you can see from the statistics from the past year:
Graph displaying amount of spam in the past 52 weeks
During the course of the past two weeks, I've been doing some minor tweaking to the Naive Bayes filter in order to help interpret HTML in the message and facilitate other implementations of the filter.
For this reason, you might see a momentary increase of spam on my website until the Bayesian filter has adapted.
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Left 4 Dead launcher

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Sunday, June 21 2009, 0:43
I occasionally play a game of Left 4 Dead with my colleagues at the office. Running a server on the local area network is the easiest to set up, with only a few simple commands via the console.
Having to punch in those commands each time is a bit annoying, so I put together a nifty little launcher for L4D.
L4D Launcher
It's simple: select "Host" or "Join", click the desired options, and hit "Launch".
I'll be putting the source code up on SourceForge some day soon. Take note that you'll need the .NET Framework to run L4D Launcher.

Update July 20th, 2009: updated to version 1.1.
Update November 5th, 2009: updated to version 1.2.
Update November 7th, 2009: updated to version 1.3.

Update March 3, 2011: The project has been migrated to SourceForge, as project L4D Launcher. Binaries can be downloaded from there, but the source code is also freely available through SVN.
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