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Archive for the 'Others' Category

Feb 09 2011

FlashDevelop, Flex SDK, Windows 7, Missing DLL

Published by under Flash,Flash AS3,Others

This post is for my own future reference because I have forgotten about this problem until a recent reinstall of Windows 7.

After a clean install of Windows 7, trying to use compc and/or mxmlc from the Flex SDK through command line may yield a “System Error” message:

It seems like Microsoft somehow forgot to ship this Microsoft C Runtime Library DLL in Windows 7. When installing some programs, this DLL may be installed by the respective installers. If you encounter this missing DLL problem, the only way to fix it is to install one of these programs, or otherwise grab hold of the DLL from somewhere and place it in the correct folder:

For Windows 7 32-bit, place the DLL in

For Windows 7 64-bit, place it in

WARNING: Do not install DLL obtained from untrusted sources. You can actually copy the DLL from one of your old Windows OS installations. If you want to use my copy, here it is.

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Aug 28 2010

On Permutations, Probabilities and Psychology

Published by under Others

Shuffling an array of items is a common topic in programming, especially as an academic exercise. In my previous post, I wrote about a different approach towards cards shuffling in programming – which is to not do it. Instead, you can randomly select and remove an item from the array whenever you need to retrieve an item. As far as distribution of probabilities goes, there is no difference between the two methods.

The seemingly controversial topic received some interesting comments. Due to certain fallacies introduced by a commenter, I thought I should clarify those points for the benefit of any reader who might become confused after reading his comments. My reply got a little too long, so I am posting it here.

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Aug 04 2010

Mac OSX Keeps Restarting On Its Own?

Published by under Others

Ever since I first started using Mac OSX, I have been haunted by this strange behavior. On Windows, if I leave the machine to take a much needed break, or to take a phone call, go for a run, take a shower, etc. I can return to the machine later, with my work-in-progress intact, safe and sound. Or downloads in Firefox completed. Or whatever tasks that were left running, either still running or completed.

On the Mac, I have lost much work and time due to the Mac OSX intrusively restarting on its own. Drafts not saved? Say farewell – lost forever. Downloads disrupted – start over (unless resume miraculously works). This is especially exasperating, considering that Apple requires you to update the iPhone SDK/Xcode by re-downloading the whole package. Not patching, but re-downloading a 2GB+ file.

So, why exactly is the Mac restarting on its own, even when it is not idle such as having a download-in-progress?

Turns out that this is due to a rather useless Security feature. Ridiculously, the “Log out after 30 minutes of inactivity” setting is the culprit. So, to save yourself some agony, make sure you turn it off:

If your Mac has been suffering from this problem, hope the above helps!

Seriously, I have no idea what purpose this Security feature serves, other than to make you lose progress in your work. By comparison, on Windows, if the OS logs you out due to inactivity, it actually restores your session with your work-in-progress intact the next time you log in. You can even safely switch between user accounts on Windows, and log back into an account with its last session intact.

P/S: As far as security goes, you should just check the “Require password” option.

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Apr 15 2010

[OSX] Goodbye, Spaces… Hello, Spark!

Published by under Others,Tips

This post may come across as blasphemous to ardent Mac fanatics, but I am hoping that OSX users who are in the same predicament as me may find it useful.

I have finally disabled Spaces on Mac OSX. It’s a little painful to disable it, because I had considered it a very crucial feature, considering that without it the desktop gets cluttered quickly with the way the Mac OS presents applications and their respective windows (all mixed together in one very confusing bucket). However, the slide animation that occurs every time Spaces switches from one space to another has become really nauseating.

It was cool at first, but now it is painful to watch.

So much for Apple’s acclaimed emphasis on the “user experience”. Does nobody in the UX team ever stop to think that not everyone likes gimmicky animation stuff for frequent tasks, and there should be an easy way to disable such animations? Unfortunately, there is just no way to disable the animations – I hope to be proven wrong, but my searches have come up fruitless. A quick google visit shows there are other users who wish to get rid of the animation too (and apparently I am not the only one suffering from motion sickness, although most simply want to get rid of the animation just to save time, keeping multitasking slick and snappy).

So, now that I have disabled Spaces, what do I do now with the cluttered desktop? I am currently solving the issue with a little AppleScript and implementation of keyboard shortcuts via Spark – a free utility to create Hot Keys to launch applications and documents, execute AppleScript, etc.

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Dec 17 2009

Small Caps Fonts

Published by under Others,Tips

In typography, “small caps” refer to uppercase (capital) characters used in-lieu of lowercase (small) characters, where these uppercase characters are set at the same height as the lowercase characters.

Small caps are typically used for titles, headlines, column headings, etc. They are also good for any text that you would usually use all capitals. This is because the use of small caps makes the run of capital letters seem less jarring, and would also often require less space than all caps.

While many word processors and text formatting systems include an option to format text in small caps (which leaves uppercase letters as they are but converts lowercase letters to small caps), this is a feature that is lacking in most graphics editing software.

Some fonts have inherent small caps, ie they use smaller capital letters in place of the lowercase characters. These fonts are useful when you wish to use small caps to bring distinction to your designs.

Here are some fonts with inherent small caps:

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Dec 16 2009

{mdm} 25% Holiday Sale On Zinc 3.0

Published by under Flash,News,Others


If you are looking to compile SWFs into cross-platform desktop applications, leveraging powerful desktop-only APIs, you may want to consider MDM Zinc 3.0. Available for Windows & Mac OSX, Zinc™ 3.0 is the fastest, most powerful and most feature-rich Rapid Application Development Tool for Adobe® Flash® and Flex®. With Zinc 3.0, you can rapidly create stunning commercial Applications, Screensavers, Widgets, CD Roms, DVD’s, Kiosks and More.

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Aug 06 2009

Objective-C Surpasses ActionScript In Popularity

Published by under Others

The TIOBE Programming Community Index gives an indication of the popularity of programming languages. The index for August 2009 has been released and Objective-C enters top 20 (at position 19), surpassing ActionScript (at position 22).

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