Category: Reference

DataTables.net — a nice way to display lots of data in a web page.

Lately I’ve been doing some work with Allan Jardine’s DataTables jQuery plugin. You know the SNL line saying, “if it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!” This software does nothing to disprove that saying. It’s excellent. Datatables does a great, and simple, job of transforming plain old html data tables into sortable and searchable marvels. It also supports Ajax callbacks, allowing it to handle very… Read more →

W3Schools? Expert Sex Change?

If you do any software development, you probably use the Google search engine to look up lots of details. Have you ever had to pick through your search results to avoid websites whose search engine optimization is better than their information? I’m looking at you, W3 Schools and Experts – Exchange! There’s a free Chrome plugin called W3SchoolsHider. Spetnik Solutions in St.… Read more →

RabbitMQ Message Queuing on FreeBSD

RabbitMQ is a message queue system. It lets computer programs send each other work to do, without waiting for them to do it. I’ve been getting this working on the open-source FreeBSD unix-like system. These are notes on getting started. This writeup was helpful to me. Install it and get it working As with any complex server software, there are… Read more →

Battery costs and the smart grid

The GM company recently disclosed, to their vendor’s dismay, that they can buy electric-vehicle batteries for their new Bolt EV for US$145 per kilowatt hour. It’s rare enough to find costs for these batteries that it’s worth doing a scratchpad computation of what the payback might look like for home electric use. My home electricity supplier (National Grid) charges separately for… Read more →

Adrian Frutiger

Mr. Frutiger designed type. Among his designs were OCR-B. It’s used to print the numbers on bank checks. He also designed Univers and the eponymous Frutiger. If you have found your way in many airports worldwide, you owe it partially to the signs with Frutiger’s letterforms. He died September 10, 2015. Read more →

Good stuff from Microsoft

Microsoft has rolled out some good developer-support stuff lately. This will help us get past their embrace – extend – suffocate strategy of the Ballmer years. They now allow individuals and small teams to use Visual Studio Community Edition free of charge. This is huge for their ecosystem: it puts them on a par, toolchain-wise, with the Java / Eclipse ecosystem.… Read more →