heyrick1973 -at- yahoo -dot- co -dot uk

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WebScan

I'm pleased to report that my WebScan works correctly on Windows XP after a DST change. When copying files (using Explorer), it obviously prompted for existing files - and all of the times were an hour out. I cannot believe that Microsoft made this fundamental an error in the API - but given the information from the standard calls, when the clocks change the system returns different times, they'd be an hour out!

What WebScan does is it takes the file timestamp returned by the system and then removes the current timezone offset. This will, in all cases, 'revert' the file to a UTC time (something the API should be able to do by itself)!
There is a backdoor to 'disable' this, as it was working quite happily on Win98SE for several years, I suspect this is a quirk either peculiar to XP, or peculiar to the NT-kernel range (i.e. everything that isn't 95/98/98SE/ME).

As a little 'gift' to those who read my b.log, here's a registration key:

NameRick's+b.log+reader
Key1013-5FCA-95BM
What this will do is unlock the 10-times-faster file scanning, plus permit all files to be copied out and/or passed through the HTML 'compressor'.
I encourage you to show your appreciation by at least sending a few (unused) picture postage stamps for a country other than the UK and France, preferably Japan... mail me for my address.

If you are interested in the code used to 'fix' the filestamps, here it is. Elegantly simple:

Public Function SafeFileDateTime(Path As String) As Date
  Dim TZ As TIME_ZONE_INFORMATION, lRetVal As Long
  Dim FileTimeStamp As Date

  lRetVal = GetTimeZoneInformation(TZ)
  
  FileTimeStamp = FileDateTime(Path)
  
  If (DontFixDates = False) Then
    If (lRetVal <> &HFFFFFFFF) Then
      If (lRetVal = 1) Then
        ' standard time
        FileTimeStamp = DateAdd("n", TZ.Bias + TZ.StandardBias, FileTimeStamp)
      Else
        ' daylight time
        FileTimeStamp = DateAdd("n", TZ.Bias + TZ.DaylightBias, FileTimeStamp)
      End If
    End If
  End If
  
  SafeFileDateTime = FileTimeStamp
End Function

 

Nokia emulator

I had to take a quick session on-line to upload a change for a program that was required to be removed, so while I was there I Googled for the JRE (Java Runtime Environment). Probably not much of a surprise that I came across it on the Sun Microsystems website!

With this in place, I could then install the Nokia phone emulator and SDK documentation. I'm not 100% sure this lot includes a Java bytecode compiler, but if nothing else it gets better screenshots than trying to take pictures from the phone itself!

First up, here is more or less how the phone display appears:

I was able, by running Savant (web server), to try out the built-in browser. It is rather limited, but quite ahead of basic WAP. It's a shame there isn't a mini-font to squeeze more onto the screen.

Of course, trying to look up my FilmFour reviews caused it to run out of memory and give up. ☺ That said, if you pay-per-10Kb you won't want to be looking up stuff like that!

OperaMini version 4 was simply not going to work. It wanted to connect to the Internet and it just wasn't happening, either on the real phone or the emulation.
There was, however, a bit more flexibility with OperaMini version 3.something. After flunking the testing for ways to connect to the Internet, it offered me a place to type in the URL. So, duly, a entered "aiko" (which maps to be the local IP address of this computer):

This kept failing. Wanting to know exactly why, I called up the behind-the-scenes debug info, and was quite astonished by what I found:

What this is saying, and tests with entering a raw IP address confirm it, is that everything that is loaded into OperaMini (at least, this version?) is passed through server.operamini.com. Now, this might be a value-added service to take all manner of crap that turns up in web pages and simplify it to something OperaMini is better suited to; perhaps it may even do something like tokenise the document so part of the decoding has been done (less CPU time on your phone, less data to transfer...). These are purely guesses; but be aware that this does imply that whatever you do using this software can be recorded and analysed. That's not to say it is, but it wouldn't be particularly hard to implement... especially with all of the traffic bouncing through the one site.
Of course, this also means that the functionality of the software on any given phone is tied directly to the availability of that server. My non-Internet computer was unable to access it, hence my emulated phone was unable to use OperaMini to look at my own website hosted locally...
(okay, I could add the URI to the hosts file as this machine, but really, can I be bothered to go to those lengths?!?)

Note the memory display in the info above. It was somewhat amusing in that every second or so, OperaMini would claim about 4Kb; while 'trying' to connect. So when it timed out, I set it going again. And once more. Three failing connection attempts was all it took to use up all the memory. Interestingly, upon the next claim, all the memory used was shown as discarded and it sort-of rolled around. Is this some sort of lazy garbage collection that waits until memory runs out before it bothers to do anything, or does the memory 'roll around' and thus possibly trample on earlier data?

Finally, here is the star program Sideralis:

I have lightened the picture for display here. It might look a bit dark on your display. It is, actually, just the right shades to be visible on the phone's display while not badly messing up your eyes' dark adjustment. It is possible, if you live in a place where you can actually see the night sky without neon haze in the way, to go outside, look up, and let your phone be your guide to what you are looking at.
The only itty-bitty flaw in the program is that it uses the system menu, which is black text on white. Press a key to call up the menu and it feels like your eyes are burning - so bright compared to the star chart and the night sky...

 

Oh what a jolly day!

There's a bloke at work, a green-hat, who is quite pleasant in his way of telling you which floor-swisher-thingies (apparently called "raclette" in French?) go where, by the colour of the handle. He hangs around the production line offering advice on how to better place the chocolate dusting on the meringues. It's a green-hat with probably zero actual production line experience telling a girl who's been there a long time and probably can number the dusted-meringues to her credit in the hundreds of thousands. And this is all quite recent. I mean, I knew of this person but he mostly stayed in the office and did whatever it is they do in there. Now? He's out and about a lot being just a dash too pleasant to be patronising, but really, if we had the time to worry about the colour coding on the not-mops...
It is my guess that he may have been promoted to a position where he can design colourful PowerPoint™ slides with titles such as "Initiatives that I have introduced this week"... and I promise, if he starts going on about a paradigm shift, I will quit there and then!

That's not all the fun we had today. Let's see... Firstly a sort-of newbie girl passed out on the production line, was out quite a while, looked like she'd wet herself. Perhaps the strip lighting didn't agree with her brain? Then the power went out. Only for a second, but enough to suggest that there is no backup source. Well, I should have known, most of the computers are on a UPS of some description. Later on, a girl was led out, she had a big bandage over one eye. I think somebody was taking her to the hospital. And me? I have November to work, but I'm now down to about twenty (working) days left. Whoo!
Not to mention that, Real Soon Now, fingers crossed, I'll have my own ADSL hook-up and no more of this bogosity with going to public systems once a week, or wondering if the SiteKiosk is working or not - did I mention it is 'down' again? <sigh!>

 

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