Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

Engineering beautiful software jon aquino labs | personal blog

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

[Windows] Process Tamer: Monitors programs consuming 100% CPU and automatically reduces their priority

Neat utility: Process Tamer. It monitors your programs and if any of them start consuming 100% CPU, it will automatically lower their process priority (and raise it back again when it behaves better).

From Scott Hanselman's 2006 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Windows.

Friday, May 18, 2007

What is REST? A 1-line answer.

I love Jeff Boulter's flippant, but wonderfully concise, description of REST:
"It’s a URL that returns XML. That’s it."

I suppose that a corollary for RPC would be:
You send XML and receive XML. That’s it.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Modal Dialog from Hell

Now I like Araxis Merge, and I don't regret the painful $300 that I dropped for this diff tool, but this is too funny:

Sometimes I think, "Wouldn't it be nice to use a Mac instead?"

Recent ergonomic changes to computer setup

Recent changes to computer setup:

* Evoluent Vertical Mouse and Kensington Expert Mouse Trackball were giving me pains (palm and wrist, respectively). So switching back to Logitech Trackman Wheel, but on the left hand, so my fingers operate the thumb ball. Clicking and dragging are done with Nib auto-click software ($75)
* Maxthon 2.0 beta browser was unfortunately freezing on me, especially with Flash it seems; also it would occasionally lose my posts to Blogger ("Content header missing" or similar error). So I'm switching to regular IE7 + free IEpro extension (which lets me drag links to open them in a new tab). Alas, I will miss Maxthon's split-windows.
* MS 4000 natural keyboard is good; SmartGloves are good - so keeping those.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

How to write a fleuron character - useful for separating paragraphs of longhand

Fleurons from The New Penguin Book of English Verse

The fleuron (or leaf) is a useful symbol for indicating a pause or change of thought. They tend to come in threes, though a single fleuron can be useful to indicate the beginning of a paragraph.

For my fellow traditionalists who still occasionally write letters and cards by hand from time to time, it can be useful to know how to write a fleuron. The ones shown in the photograph above consist of three strokes: an S, a C, and an S.

The first S

The first stroke is a tall S, slightly top-heavy, and leaning to the left a bit.

The C

Then you add the C, which is tall and leans to the left. But after a while you don't think of it as a C - you think of it, eventually, as the left side of the leaf.

The second S

Finally, you end with the S. Again it's best not to think of this as an S, but as the right side of the leaf. It should be as bouncy and lush as the left side.

❧ ❧ ❧

So there you have it: the fleuron in three simple steps. Expect them to look a bit pear-shaped the first few times; sufficiently practiced, it will be a useful and beautiful addition to your personal script.

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