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Monthly Archives: December 2008

Mystery houses decrypted!


About a year ago work started on a new housing tract in a once-empty field across the road from my father’s house in Colorado. Walking around the newly built houses, I could not figure out the placement of rooms and entrances. There seemed to be pattern, but I could not figure what the pattern meant. […]

GPS in an Android phone


Got a T-Mobile G1 phone a bit over a week ago. I can write software for my phone, so this counts as a new toy. Drove out to south-western Colorado from southern California, yesterday. Was curious how the GPS in the phone would perform. The answer: not very well. Could be the GPS hardware in […]

Performance parsing CSV data


Not sure how exactly, but I ran across an article that claimed parsing of CSV data was necessarily CPU-bound. I was pretty sure that with reasonably efficient code, there was no reason this had to be true. Still, proof is better than opinion, so I took the feed-readers code from a prior exercise, and adapted […]

Metaphors and reality


Physics is taught and understood through a series of metaphors. Events and processes beyond the range of human perception and experience are are described and understood via metaphors. If the metaphors are close enough to reality, then we are able to derive useful results. When the wrong metaphors are in use (and this happened before) […]

The Other Tiger


Been re-reading some old Arthur C. Clarke stories (largely written before I was born). I did not care very much for most of Clarke’s later stories. Whether the fault was his or mine I cannot say. The notions in Science Fiction writings do not affect me nearly so much now as when I first “discovered” […]

Isolating the UI Thread


I got stuck overhauling a badly implemented Swing application, not so long ago. Seems I end up doing desktop GUI applications every several years. Been doing this since pre-Windows days, so long ago learned the rule that long-running tasks should never be performed on the UI thread (or the equivalent). Have also seen (many times!) […]