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2011.11.27

Using the HP 4470c Scanner Under Windows 7

Neither Hewlett Packard nor Microsoft Windows 7 offer native support for my HP 4470c scanner. Throwing a working scanner away to buy a new one only because some software was missing seemed like a waste, so I looked for an alternative solution. This is how I made it work using SANE, an open source framework for scanners.

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2010.08.04

Batch Files as Shell Scripts Revisited

Four years ago I wrote about a method that could be used to have the Unix Bourne shell interpret Windows batch files. I'm using this trick a lot, because programming using the Windows/DOS batch files facilities is decidedly painful, whereas the Bourne shell remains a classy programming environment. There are still many cases where the style of Unix shell programming outshines and outperforms even modern scripting languages.

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2010.01.12

Useful Polyglot Code

Four years ago I blogged about an incantation that would allow the Windows command interpreter (cmd) to execute Unix shell scripts written inside plain batch files. Time for an update.

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2009.05.07

Fixing the Orientation of JPEG Photographs

I used to fix the orientation of my photographs through an application that would transpose the compressed JPEG blocks. This had the advantage of avoiding the image degradation of a decompression and a subsequent compression.

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2008.10.06

Suspend Windows from the Command Line

I used to leave my computer up all night, but I've come to realize that this is ecologically unsound. Now I suspend it before going to sleep, but this missed running a daily job that used to run at 03:00 am. The job marks my students' exercises and send me email with the next day's appointments. I thus decided to schedule the task to wakeup my computer at 3:00 am, run the job, and then suspend it again. The Windows scheduler allows you to specify a wakeup option, but not a subsequent suspend. Furthermore, it seems that Windows lacks a way to suspend from the command line (while maintaining the ability to hibernate), and the only free tools on the web are distributed in executable form, so I ended writing a small tool myself.

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2008.09.11

Unzipping Files in Order

Over the past couple of years I've enjoyed listening to the audio edition of the Economist newspaper. The material is superb (although I occasionally get the feeling of listening to the Voice of America), the articles are read in a clear voice, the data's encoding is plain MP3, unencumbered by digital rights (restrictions) management silliness, and the audio format is convenient to listen on the metro or while jogging. Unfortunately, the articles in the audio edition's zip file are haphazardly ordered, which, until today, marred the enjoyment of my listening.

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2008.05.16

Open and Closed Source Kernels Go Head to Head

Earlier today I presented at the 30th International Conference on Software Engineering a research paper comparing the code quality of Linux, Windows (its research kernel distribution), OpenSolaris, and FreeBSD. For the comparison I parsed multiple configurations of these systems (more than ten million lines), and stored the results in four databases, where I could run SQL queries on them. This amounted to 8GB of data, 160 million records. (Iíve made the databases and the SQL queries available online.) The areas I examined were file organization, code structure, code style, preprocessing, and data organization. To my surprise there was no clear winner or looser, but there were interesting differences in specific areas.

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2007.12.13

Many Ways to Skin a Window

Every couple of years, users of a Microsoft Windows application I wrote a long time ago start complaining that the application crashes when they exit from it. Every time it turns out that the reason is a Windows message that tells the application's main window to close in a way that was not originally foreseen.

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2007.06.21

The Double-Edged Sword of Proprietary Platforms

A recent Slashdot article comment wondered how Windows Vista managed to break existing applications, despite Microsoft having complete control over the platform.

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2006.11.28

Internet Explorer's Cleaner Look

Today the Microsoft update on my Windows machine asked me to upgrade the Internet Explorer to version 7.0. My bank refuses to work with any browser other than IE, so, although I'm using SeaMonkey as my everyday browser, I'm also forced to keep a current copy of IE. The installation's banner reinforced some of the fears I have regarding Microsoft's technical prowess.

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2006.08.08

SeaMonkey vs Internet Explorer Revisited

In an older blog entry I compared the complexity of Mozilla with that of Internet Explorer by looking at the components each linked to. Recently, comments to a Slashdot posting I made, noted that I was comparing the two products on different platforms and source with binary dependencies. I therefore set out to compare the binary dependencies of the two under Windows.

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2006.06.16

Batch Files as Shell Scripts

Although the Unix Bourne shell offers a superb environment for combining existing commands into sophisticated programs, using a Unix shell as an interactive command environment under Windows can be painful.

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2003.10.03

Software Complexity: Open Source vs Microsoft

In a readable and interesting paper titled CyberInsecurity: the cost of a monopoly seven notable security experts argue that the Microsoft's near monopoly in the desktop operating system and office productivity markets is creating a dangerous monoculture that exacerbates the effect of security vulnerabilities.

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Creative Commons License Last update: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 2:07 pm
Unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material on this page created by Diomidis Spinellis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Greece License.