Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Odd Lots

  • Strahinja Markovic, the chap who created the very good Sigil epub editor while he was a CS undergrad, now has a master’s, a good job, and…a life. (How dare he? ) In a recent blog post, he’s asked for prospective maintainers of the code (which is open source) to introduce themselves and make a case to him as to why they should be trusted to carry on the work. He doesn’t know me; I’m just spreading the word, because I use Sigil and I want it to continue to evolve.
  • We have the same problem with the Kompozer WYSIWYG HTML editor; poor Fabien “Kaz” Cazenave has a new job and very little time to devote to the product. I like Kompozer but it has some rough spots, and I hope someone will take over and keep the wheels turning.
  • In the meantime, I’ve installed and am testing BlueGriffon, and so far I like what I see. The editor incorporates the Gecko rendering engine used in Firefox 4, so if it looks good in BlueGriffon it’ll look good in Firefox. It has HTML5 and CSS3 capability, and an interesting business model: The editor is free, and the developer sells various add-ons. That doesn’t bother me at all; the whole suite of 9 add-ons can currently be had for $35 Euros, or about $50US. If BlueGriffon performs well on my existing Web documents, I’d pay that like a shot, even if I don’t use the add-ons.
  • As brilliant as the original Turbo Pascal was, it wasn’t alone. From Andrew Stuart comes a link to the deep history of Nick Gammon’s G-Pascal, an enviable piece of assembly-coding work that put a potent Pascal compiler for the Commodore 64 in…16K. If you used G-Pascal back in the 80s, this is a must-see, especially the links at the end, to the sorts of ads and programming newsletters that were the lifeblood of personal programming in the early 80s.
  • I don’t know if you’ve ever needed an 18″ USB A-B cable, but I did, and after a great deal of looking around, I finally found them at Other World Computing. It’s mostly a Mac shop, but has the short A-B cables for both USB 2 and USB 3. The cable connects the USB hub on my Dell 20″ monitor to the GX620 USFF machine mounted immediately behind it, and keeps cable clutter down behind the monitor.
  • Little things sometimes matter: The Toshiba Thrive has a full-sized SD card slot. Not micro. This means that I can use the SD cards I already have. A mini-USB adapter will also allow me to use my existing thumb drives. Ports and card slots have been the deal-killer so far on tablet after tablet. This one (though it won’t be in stores until July) still has an edge. (Bill Roper reminded me that I needed to post about this.)
  • From Smithsonian comes a long and detailed article on what amounts to beer archaeology. (Thanks to Rich Rostrom for the link.)
  • For those who asked: Simple Simon’s formal name (from my entry for June 26) is Factory Automation Real-Time Supervisor, and yes, the acronym was highly deliberate. His robotic factory is the Automated Reprographic Fabrication Facility, and (as you’ll learn in the novel) the project had always been a dog.
  • WUTZ 4 DINR?

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