Category: Tech Posts

Fundamentals of Programming: Part 3 – Style, Indentation and Comments

by
Inf

Welcome to Part 3 of the multi-post series on Fundamentals of Programming. Last time, I just touched upon one very important point regarding style in programming: indentation. In this series, we’ll see a bit more about styles in programming. You can think of those as the “formatting” used in programming. We’ll end with the importance of conventions, comments and consistency in programming. I hope you will enjoy this part and learn something.

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Fundamentals of Programming: Part 2 – Pseudo Code and Batch Jobs

by
Inf

Hello, welcome to Part 2 of the series. In this section, we’ll start with some actual code writing. “Code” is a short term to refer to “programming lines” i.e. instructions. So when someone is “coding”, they’re actually “writing programs”. I’ll use that word for short.

We’ll start with writing some instructions in pseudo-code. What is pseudo-code? Does it mean pseudo-programming? Yes, sort of.

You want to make sure you understand how to write and understand pseudo-code because that’s what I’ll be using through the rest of this series. They’re easy, English-like statement so don’t worry too much.

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Fundamentals of Programming: Part 1 – Introduction

by
Inf

Hello there! Welcome to my Fundamentals of Programming series of post. In this series, I will teach you about the basics of programming, i.e. the building blocks and what makes a program tick. I will NOT teach you Java, C++, PHP, Python or whatever pretty language you can think of. Instead, I’ll keep it language-independent so that even a complete beginner to programming will be able to follow.

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[Solved] Firefox’s Right-Click Menu Overlaps Flash/Javascript Menu

by
Inf

Just a quick post here. If you get this problem when right-clicking on Flash videos and sometimes in application-like web interfaces, the solution follows. It’s easy too.

So solution to prevent this overlapping of menus:

 

Go to Tools → Options → Content → Click on Advanced button (opposite Javascript) → Check “Disable or Replace Context Menus” checkbox.

That’s it. Problem solved. This was tested on the new Youtube and a few other sites. The solution worked fine. Let me know if it works for you.

(source)

Why Display Names Should Be Allowed On Social Networks

by
Inf

Social networks are the actual craze online. People are spending more and more time online, so it is only logical to give them the option to socialize online too. There is one small problem: privacy. Facebook got burnt pretty badly recently and has had to revamp its privacy controlling mechanisms. Now Google+ is coming with its Circles feature, promising finer-grained control over privacy. But here, I argue about using display names (or nicknames) online, something that no social network wants you to do.

Why do social networks bother with real name? Because it is easier for your friends and people to find you. Because it looks more professional. Because they make money by knowing a ton of things about you. Social networks will do various things to “persuade” you to use your real name, such as suspending your account if you’re caught using a display name, or a name that resembles a display name. Quora goes as far as to possibly require you to prove your identity using official documents just to use their service. Insanity, I say.

Why should you be using a display name?

EDIT: A few days after posting this, I see this very nice article slashdotted about the topics of display names on social networks. Worth checking! 🙂

EDIT2: This piece by Danah Boyd is well worth reading and expands a lot on actual dangers people may face when using their real names online. Gizmodo has also written about Google+ Real Names policy.

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[Solved] Windows Doesn’t Remember Folder View Settings

by
Inf

Do you often use the folder view settings in Windows? It’s a handy feature, that is usually accessed by right-clicking on empty space in a folder, and selecting either View or Sort By options.

Using these settings, you can, for example, tell Windows to display files according to the date they were created, with newer files shown first (Sort By → check Date Created under More), or you can see thumbnails of pictures instead of icons in your family photos folder.

The problem with Windows is that, by default, it only remembers those view settings for the first 5000 folders you apply these settings on. After that, the settings are no longer remembered! Yep, even if you stop using a folder, its settings are remembered and not replaced. Very dumb. You’d think the oldest of 5000 entries would periodically be replaced by newer versions, but nope, Microsoft did not want that.

I very often use this feature, and I’ve used up the 5000 entries, and as such, new folders are not sorted the way I like. Initially I thought the folder somehow got corrupted. Deleting the folder and putting back the files in it didn’t solve the problem. Editing the registry did. Those folder settings are stored in the Registry, all 5000 of them. We’re going to do some cleanup. I’ve tested this fix in Windows 7 only, but it should be same for XP/Vista.

A word of warning: Messing up things in the Registry can cause your system to crash. Know what you are doing before attempting these instructions. I will not be responsible for any damage you cause to your system/files/health/dog if you decide to do those steps. But! I can tell you they work since I’ve done them myself to fix this problem. Also if you’ll be working in the registry, you might want to use Regalyzer. Windows’ in-built Regedit is fine, but it lacks some nice functions. You can use Regedit too if you wish.

Also, if you do these instructions, you will lose the view settings you currently have on existing folders. Not the folders or their contents, just the view settings i.e. “Sort by Date” for e.g. will be reset to default “Sort by Name”.

The symptoms are:

  • Folder settings chosen using View or Sort By are not remembered when you close a folder and open it again. Applies mainly to newly created folders.
  • Thumbnail images don’t appear or incorrect thumbnail is displayed

Ok, instructions! Here they are:

  • Open the Run dialog box, either by typing “run” in the Start Menu searchbox (the Orb’s search menu) or using Winkey+R
  • Type “regedit“, or if you’re using Regalyzer, just run it.
  • Navigate to each of the following paths by using the sidebar. You will need to repeat instructions for each of those paths:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ShellNoRoam
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Wow6432Node\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell (only if you are using a 64-bit version of Windows)

  • For each of those paths, repeat these steps:
    • Under the “Shell” or “ShellNoRoam” folders, delete these two folders by right-clicking on them and choosing Delete:
      • Bags
      • BagMRU
    • Re-create these two folders: Right-click “Shell” or “ShellNoRoam” folders from the sidebar and select NewKey. Create two such keys:
      • Bags
      • BagMRU
    • At each of those paths, right-click “Shell” or “ShellNoRoam” folders from the sidebar and select NewDWORD. Type “BagMRU Size” as the name.
      • From the right-pane, double-click on the newly created “BagMRU Size” key, select “Decimal” and type “10000” as value. So instead of remembering 5000 folders, Vista/7 now remembers 10000 folders. Don’t go overboard with that value – it’ll increase the size of your registry and slow things down.
      • Note: as Carrotmadman6 pointed out in the comments, don’t increase the “BagMRU Size” value if you have an older PC, say from a 5+ years back. It can cause some major slowness.
      • (Actually, this BagMRU Size key could be created at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell only since that’s where Vista/7 read this information. I just wanted to make sure it gets read by including it at all 4 locations. You don’t need to if you don’t want.)

That’s it. When you reboot Windows next time (I didn’t need to), the settings will be remembered for folders you choose, and more folders will now be remembered. Remember, existing view settings will be lost, so you might want to re-create them. Hopefully now, Vista/7 will be remembering your settings.

Is Registering On Websites Dangerous?

by
Inf

I am asking this question because recently, quite a few sites are getting hacked. Last year, the Gawker network got hacked, and users’ email addresses, passwords and other sensitive data were taken. More recently, the manga site MangaShare got hacked and again, users’ emails and  passwords were potentially taken.

In a separate case, Lastpass – the “store your passwords in the cloud” service – got hacked too. Moral of the story, your data is not totally safe online. Nothing surprising here, but those cases led me to ask this question: should you register online?

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