What's New -  November, 2008



A Numbrix Puzzle


November 25, 2008:  Time for one more little "Delphi Techniques" entry before Thanksgiving holiday here on Thursday.   Here's a program which knows how to  Play MP3 Files based on which sentence within an Rich Edit control is clicked. 

November 23, 2008: Back to the fun stuff after our web-site woes.  Here is one for Delphi programmers - a Fast Highlighting demo program which avoids modifying the formatting attributes of a rich edit  control by hooking into the windows procedure which paints the visible window and adding the highlighting as each window is displayed.   Since we only repaint highlighted portions of the window, we can't change the width of the text, but within that constraint, it has the advantage of being very fast.

November 22, 2008:  After 10 days of work, most of the items broken by EasyCGI's migration of the website are working again, albeit not as satisfactorily as before.  They seem not to have spent much time considering, and zero time testing, the impact of the migration on users in spite of the promises otherwise.  A few examples,

  1. Besides not checking  or notifying me about the policy change to stop allowing CGI executables,   they:

  2. Changed log file location and format without notice breaking my internal application that tracks website downloads.  They are still saving the log files zipped with ".gz" suffix and with every archived log file having the the same file name!  I can't make them understand that ".zip" is the format supported natively by Windows  and, if they must use some Linux program format, they should at least use unique file names! 

  3. Eliminated "email pointing" which required setting up a new email addresses with no way to forward emails from old to new mailboxes ,

  4. Changed the "last modified" dates all of the migrated files to the migration date (November 11), so I can longer tell when my last real changes were made. 

 All-in-all a very disappointing experience which appears to have been "planned" and implemented by the technicians.    Nothing against the technicians, I suppose I am one, just one with 40 or 50 years of experience on most of those guys.  (Check http://www.vistainter.com/reviews/E/easycgi.com/  or a number of other sites for reviews by people who much worse off than I;  people trying to make a living using EasyCGI.  People who depended on them are being driven out of business with migration horror stories worse than mine.) 

November 16, 2008:  It appears that the booksearch application and my form email applications will never run again on our current host ,EasyCGI.com.    Those apps represent  my few forays into online programming a few years ago.  They used Delphi Internet components which ran as executable files.  Executables represent some hazards to host servers and so it is difficult to find hosts willing to run them.   I don't blame them - I do blame EasyCGI for not vetting my my applications before migrating and breaking them without prior warning.  

 In the long run, I doubt that I'll be motivated to learn .NET, ADO, ASP.NET, CDONTS, and a bunch of other acronyms and concepts that hold little interest for me.   If anyone out there knows this stuff and wants to volunteer to convert them to one of the "safe" technologies, I would be grateful.   Until then, I am trying to get EasyCGI to fix a FrontPage parameter problem that would let the Newsletter and Feedback pages work again.  I have written a version of the AR Booksearch program that will run on user's PCs after they download the searchable file for a school.  And I have a really neat version of an Accordion Solitaire card game program which was interrupted by the migration mess  that I would like to get back to.  

November 12, 2008: Email appears to be working again but the web pages that execute programs (the "feedback" page, the Newsletter "subscribe" page and the Booksearch "Search" pages) are broken.   I have set up temporary email addresses for use for feedback and subscriptions, but I  do not have a workaround for the AR Booksearch pages.  I think it just a matter of our host, EasyCGI.com, setting the correct permissions to allow the programs to run . I have submitted a trouble ticket for them to do so.  Hopefully we can get it resolved today.  

November 11, 2008:  (11:00AM EST)  Our host site, Easycgi.com, is migrating DFF to a new server.  In the process, email has stopped working, temporarily I hope.   They are working to fix it, but in the meantime, if you get "Recipient rejected message" errors, try again later (or tomorrow). It also appears that some website formatting has been lost.   I'll post again when things get back to normal.      

 November 10, 2008:  A couple of utility program updates were posted today to satisfy user requests:

Copy Folder Test Version 2,  copies files matching a file mask from a given input folder to a given output folder.   It is now possible to ignore the folder structure for  files from  sub-folders of the selected input folder and to copy all files directly to the same single output folder.  

Large Files Version 3 lists the 100 (or other number) largest files on specified disk drive.  This version adds date modified information and the ability to save the list to a CSV text file for importing to Excel or elsewhere.  .   

November 1, 2008: 
How many times does the digit 1 appear in all of the integers from 0 though 999,999?  More times than I thought when I tried to answer the question manually.  Here is a simple 30 line Beginners Delphi program, HowManyOnes, that illustrates two ways to answer the more general question (How many occurrences of any given digit within any given range?).  By the way, if you download the source file, you'll find about 90 lines of code but 1/3 are blank or comment lines and 1/3 are generated by Delphi itself as controls used were dropped on the form.