Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Odd Lots


  1. William Meyer says:

    You’re welcome. 😉

    On Calibre:
    Yes, it is a great tool, but also can be annoying for the frequent need to re-install. Nice that it’s feature-rich, and nice that it’s well maintained, but really, a less frenetic update cycle would be ok.

    One reason I say that is that I have recently encountered a major installer issue on Windows 7. I am unable to install Calibre 1.0. Why? Because after I click the Install button, nothing more happens. Ever. And this is not simply a problem with Calibre–I have encountered it with other programs. Discussion online suggests that the installer is so deeply entwined with the OS that many simply resort to reformatting and reinstalling Windows. Really?

    MS has a “Fixit” tool. It may be a part of the fix, but it doesn’t do it all. Another suggestion is to unregister and re-register the installer service. Then, of course, there is the issue of entries in the registry. This is a problem in need of a real solution. Time, I think, for Mark Rossinovich to jump in!

    Lazarus components:
    The directory is a help, but also contains dead links.

    As an aside, and with respect to freeware for both Delphi and Lazarus, I have lately been bitten by Git. Many people are moving to this tool, it seems, and for reasons I do not fully understand, it gives me fits. TortoiseGit does not remove the arcana of Git in the way that TortoiseSvn does for Subversion. In two cases, the ultimate solution for me was to go to the repository on GitHup, and request a zip download, which is apparently built on demand.

    Git needs some really clear explication, not just of the commands, but of the underlying concepts, which are apparently the justification for its strangeness.

    Bud enclosure for prototypes:
    I would add that not only is it clever, but relatively inexpensive, in these times of rapid inflation. I have not bought one, but probably will. Bud chassis products have never been my favorites (I prefer the Hammond products, in most cases), but perhaps they have done better with plastic. One thing I did not see mentioned was whether the plastic used has been formulated with anti-static properties….

    On RaspberryPi (implied by the Bud product):
    In my limited fiddling with RaspberryPi (Model B) to date, I have observed that at least with Raspbian, unexpected power loss is often toxic to the file system, and the OS generally seems unable to recover. As I was looking at it, in the near term, as the foundation of a sprinkler control system, this is not wonderful. It suggests either the use of a UPS (simple but silly for such a purpose) or a battery to shield RPi from spontaneous loss of power. A word to the wise.

  2. William Meyer says:

    On the Nook, as a Kindle user, I don’t really care about Nook, but as my Kindle nears its third birthday, I have been looking. I note that the Asus Nexus 7 has a very attractive price, and size and weight almost identical to my Kindle keyboard model. Still more than twice the $100 mark, but it’s a full Android device with a 1080p screen. Haven’t seen on in the flesh, but will look at it. Mainly, I hope that we are about to see a promising collection if inexpensive small tablets. Please, let the competition be fierce!

  3. Carrington Dixon says:

    On Calibre updates:

    The developer himself has said that you don’t need to update continually. If you are happy with what you have, turn off notification and check the web site every six months or so.

  4. Ken Dezhnev says:


    Get well soon!

    Regarding lorem ipsum:

    I’d be very skeptical of claims that “lorem ipsum” was standard dummy text before the 1960s, much less since the 1500s. I’ve been professionally involved with typography and typesetting since the ’80s, and unprofessionally since the early ’60s. (I’ve recently reverted to setting hand type, at the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts.) I’ve always been reading up on the history of the craft, and also diligently studied contemporary specimen books (and those from the earlier 20th century) while I worked in type shops and ad agencies from the ’80s until about five years ago. I’ve looked at reproduced pages from a lot of type specimen books from earlier times. I’ve also been a fairly studious amateur Latinist for about thirty years, with a particular interest in Latin printing terminology and recent Latinity generally.

    I’ve never seen any lorem ipsum that predated Letraset. I doubt I’ve seen any deliberately “dummied” text from earlier than that time, either. As far as I know, the only Latin text that was ever commonly used for type specimens was the opening of Cicero’s First Catilinarian: “Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra?”, etc. This was widely enough used that a desire to fancy it up may have been a factor in the often swashy designs for the capital letter ‘Q’. More often, though, the text was whatever tickled the fancy of the typesetter.

    For what it’s worth, Wikipedia, on the page for “lorem ipsum”, agrees with me: “It is not known exactly when the text acquired its current standard form; it may have been as late as the 1960s.”

    For shorter texts, “a quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is of course a standard in English, but I prefer Fred Goudy’s even shorter, but less respectable “pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs”.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *