I have created a new blog called Delphi Bar, this relates just to Delphi software development. The intention is to use this blog to publish useful code and information on the Delphi programming language.
Archive for the ‘Software’ Category
Recently I have found that IE has been running slowly on my home XP PC and also on my work Windows 7 PC. The version of IE I am running on both is IE8, I’m not sure whether one of the updates has caused this problem, but it has now forced me to use Google’s Chrome, which after using it for a few weeks I think is a lot better. It seems a strange tactic for MS to slow down IE8 so much that it ever runs slowly on a quad core PC with 4GB of ram. Anyway I would recommend using Chrome over IE8 mainly because it runs so much faster and has some nice features with a simple easy to use interface.
With the next release of iOS development of apps has changed and there is no need to use retain or release, the new ARC (Automatic Reference Counting) memory management takes care of it all. This will reduce crashes and memory leaks and saving time in the development process. At compile time it understands the objects and releases the objects when it knows they are no longer required, this is very similar to other development languages. This does however mean a lot of work to get existing apps to run, but new apps will be quicker and more reliable when developing.
I have just watch a very interesting video (Link) which demostrates how to develop iPhone/iPad applications using Delphi Prism. The video is a overview of how to develop a simple application, it uses xCodes interface builder for the xib files. I am interested in how this will work with xCode 4, seeing as the interface builder is integrated into the main IDE.
Recently I have been using Apples iWeb application to produce a small web site. At first I thought the application worked well and found it easy to use with its WYSIWYG interface. However when I published the site locally and viewed it in Safari it was all over the place, the fonts were the wrong size, type and even colour and the position of some of the paragraphs were incorrect. I tried moving the paragraphs around, only having 1 font type per paragraph, but when one area was fixed another broke. I finally found the solution to the problem, before publishing the site and viewing it in Safari, simply go to the ‘Safari’ menu item and select ‘Empty Cache’.
I have recently written an article on how to use triggers in a Sybase Advantage database to keep a history of inserts, updates and deletes. The example in the article includes how to store the user who makes the change, this is useful when trying to keep a trail of changes made to a table.
I have just published an article Top Free Software, this contains my top favorite freeware software applications. These include software for developers and regular PC users.
Dropbox is an online file storage, sync and sharing service, which I have now been using for 3 months. I use this service for backing up certain documents and sharing work related files between my work PC, laptop and home PC. I have found it very useful when writing documents at work and then finishing then documents at home without having to copy the file onto a memory stick. It is also useful for backing up important documents, but is not really a solution for backing up photos because the free capacity is 2GB, it is possible to purchase more capacity at a subscription cost. Overall this is a service I thought I would not use that much, but after 3 months I find myself using it all the time and would recommend it.
I’ve just downloaded an app for my iPhone which is very clever. When the iPhone came out I thought of ideas for great apps, one of them was to be able to point your phone at foreign words like signs and for the phone to translate the sign with the words translated. It would work like how you would see the sign if you knew the language, like looking at foreign words through some magic english translator glasses. I thought to write an app like this would be almost impossible, but there is now an app called ‘Word Lens’ which does this. Currently it only translates from English to Spainish and vise-versa, but I can imagine it would be great if it could work if you visited places like China or Japan.
As a software developer I get reports of issues with the software, sometimes the user can be very helpful and will guide me through the steps to reproduce the error or bug. Recently I have dealt with users who don’t want to know and just say that a ‘System Error’ occured and are unable to report the problem correctly. I have decided to produce a document that gives some advice to software users and how they should report issues they have. Click here to view the document.
Have seen a few questions asked about how to change your address in iTunes. I simply went into iTunes and went to iTunes Store, on the right hand side you need to ‘Sign In’ with your details, then from the drop down menu select ‘Account’ and this will then display your account information allowing you to change the details. I did however come across a problem with UK postcodes, it reported an error if they are in the format AA12 1AA, to fix this problem I selected ‘Check for updates’ from the menu and this installed the latest version which apple must have fixed.
Below is a list of my top 5 free iPhones apps. I have chosen my top 5 from which apps I use the most, enjoy to use and the ones I think have been designed the best. I can imagine this list will change from month to month, but at the time of writing this these are the apps I would recommend.
- Sky News – This app works well even when there is no wireless or 3G network.
- Right Move – Quick app which works well on 3G, intuitive, easy to use with few faults.
- Facebook – Works similar to web site with all the features I need.
- Gorillacam – Improves the basic iPhone camera with features like zoom, self-timer, anti-shake and a spirit level for level shots.
- The Trainline – Useful app if you use trains, work similar to the web site.
Had an unusal problem today with my version of IE8 and Google search. It was working fine then I noticed that when I did a search it did not give me the option to go to the other pages, it would only display the first page of the results. When I tried the same searches in other browsers it worked fine. The status bar in IE reported and error and when I clicked on it the error message was ‘google.tbpr is null or not an object’. I tried deleting my temporary internet files and restarting my PC but this did not solve the problem. I could not find anything on the net about this issue.
The way I managed to fix the problem was in IE go to Compatibility View Settings and add Google, click close then I went back into the settings selected Google and then ‘Remove’. Strange but this then fixed the problem.
There is now a new version of the BarMirror wine journal application available. I have made some small changes to the application and done some more testing. There was a review on Download.com which made me look at the application and do further testing, the review had reported an issue which was fixed in 2008. I believed that download.com had released the latest version, problem seems to be that when you publish an update there is no confirmation whether the software is updated, I have submitted the latest version and will wait to see how quickly it appears. The reviewer also commented on the software containing a trojan, this was very concerning, one was that my home PC and other PC’s that I have tested the software on might be infected and that download.com and other CNET sites which the software is available from has allowed the software to be published. I have scanned the software and cannot find any problems so I believe the software is fine.
I have now released a full working version of my password application, previous versions ran using old dbf database files, I have now upgraded the application to use a firebird database, this does mean in the future it could be a proper client-server application. I also managed to fix a problem with the AES encryption which sometimes removed the last characters of the encrypted string. I have also added a dropdown allowing the user to filter by the type of web site.
The next version of my stopwatch application is now available, I have not made many changes, there are a couple of changes behind the scenes, the main difference if the background. I wanted to give the application a more professional look and feel, to do this I wanted to change the background to something more modern. I did this by using the free paint program Paint.net which is a free download. This application has useful tutorials, I found one which told me how to produce the iphone style button look. After 15 minutes I managed to produce various different colour backgrounds.