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Monthly Archives: August 2009

Building things


Took off this week and last with no specific plans. Might have gone driving (might still), but I made several trips in the last year, so … (shrug). Guess I have been on a bit of a home improvement kick. Imagining a new bit, and – much work later – seeing an entirely satisfactory end […]

How improve both oil production and the economy


Part of our economic mess starts with the huge flow of dollars sent outside the country to buy oil. We could produce oil from domestic sources, but the base cost is higher than pumping oil out of the ground and shipping halfway around the planet. If the market price is high enough, investing in production […]

Extending the Pearson hash function to larger values


My favorite hash function is without doubt the Pearson hash. In my measurements, for my usage, custom hash tables built using a Pearson hash to index into a power-of-two-sized table, have always performed better than the best alternatives. (For not-small tables each table slot is the root of a binary tree.) Certainly this result is […]

Installing Pidgin with support for Microsoft IM


Needed to get IM working from my Ubuntu Linux boxes to my employer’s Microsoft Office Communicator (2007?) service. Was using the Microsoft Messenger 4.7 client in a VM hosting Windows, but of late this seems to not work well enough for some of my coworkers (since I am often not actively using that VM). I […]