Monday, February 08, 2010
End of this blog (for now?)
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Trouble installing a new hard drive
I have a Dell E521 with Windows Vista and I wanted to buy a SATA drive for it. I went to Fry's and decided to buy the Seagate 1.5 TB drive since they had a sale and this drive was the same price as 1 TB drives.
I got home, replaced the old drive with the new one, rebooted, installed Seagate software (DiscWizard) and started to format the drive. Almost immediately, I got an error: "Failed to read from the sector -1,644,227,123 on the hard disc 2".
This is not good I thought. But it was very suspicious that the number was negative and that I got the error so quickly, so I decided to use the built-in format feature of Windows. Since I got this error, I decided to go for the full format rather than quick format. As you can expect, it took many hours. After about 4 hours, the format was stuck at 75% and I decided to go to bed. When I got up in the morning, it was still at 75%. At this point, I decided to give the quick format a try and like Seagate's DiscWizard, it reported an error almost immediately. OK, the drive is bad then.
I went to Fry's and exchanged the drive for a new one. I inserted it, tried DiscWizard and got the same error (although for a slightly different negative number). Quick format also got me an error. The fact that the full format failed previously at 75%, made me decide to format the disc for only 1 TB. This took many hours and eventually worked! I now had a 1 TB drive for a price of 1 TB drive (since it was on sale).
Great, I marked the partition as "Active, Primary Partition" and assigned it letter D.
Now I rebooted the computer to make sure that everything worked. No disc D. Well, perhaps I forgot something. I look in the disk management tool and I see that the partition is there. It's still Healthy, still Active and still Primary but the letter assignment is gone. I assign the letter again and reboot. No dice. OK, let me check the system log. Sure enough, the event viewer shows an error: "The Vstor2 WS60 Virtual Storage Driver service failed to start due to the following error: The system cannot find the path specified".
What do I do now? After some time searching on the web, I decided to use diskpart: the low-level, command line Windows utility. It turns out that the partition was marked as "Hidden" and I had to undo this using the arcane syntax of diskpart. See the screenshot below what it looked like:
So, I wasted probably 10 hours of my life because of buggy software. And why doesn't the default disk management tool even tell me of the existence of the Hidden attribute. What if this happened to someone who knows even less about computers? After all, I may not be the biggest expert and perhaps there exist people who would immediately know what was wrong and the using diskpart was the fix but I mentioned this to a few friends who like me have been using computers for years and everyone was amazed how bad this experience was. Maybe this blog past will help others who run into this problem. I'm guessing this this problem is confined to Vista but there must be other Vista users who want to install this drive.
And if anyone knows how to use all 1.5 TB on Vista, let me know!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
ABBA madness in Poland
- The party in Warsaw is organized by Polsat (a Polish TV station). The stars there include Abbacapella (apparently a German band).
- The party in Wroclaw is organized by TVP 2 (another TV station). ABBA music will be performed there by a Swedish group Arrival. An it seems that Modern Talking is the biggest star there.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Trouble with Comcast
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Tell No One
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
It was surprisingly easy to find images that I could use. I downloaded most of them from the public domain clip art repository (http://www.wpclipart.com). One exception is the picture for "ź" which is from http://commons.wikimedia.org. Letter "ź" is by the way the one that was most difficult to find a good word for. Some Polish words can never be at a start of a word, so I could easily give up for them but in general, I wanted for each letter a word that starts with this letter. For "ź", I considered following words: "źdźbło", "źrebię/źrebak", "źródło" i "źrenica". I liked most "źródło" but couldn't find a good image for it (if you have one you can suggest, please let me know). I didn't want to use "źrebię" because my daughter (she was 2 when I started working on the cards) would easily confuse it with the word "koń" or "kucyk". Similarly I didn't want to have to explain the difference between "źrenica" and "oko". So, I ended up using "źdźbło" but this word has four consonants in a row which doesn't really make it the best choice for one of the first words you learn in Polish.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Partial hAtom support in my blog
It is hard or perhaps even impossible to support hAtom completely with the old templating system but I did as much as I easily could. Here are template elements I modified in my blog (the template used by me is called "Herbert"). In my quick-and-dirty notation below I use bold font combined with underline to show new things added to the template.
- <Blogger><span class="hentry">
- <span class="entry-content"><$BlogItemBody$></span><br />
- <BlogItemTitle><h2 class="entry-title"><BlogItemURL><a href=">$BlogItemURL$>"></BlogItemURL>
- <a href="<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>" title="permanent link" rel="bookmark">permalink</a>
- I replaced <$I18NPostedByAuthorNickname$>
with <span class="vcard">Posted by <span class="fn"><$BlogOwnerFullName$></span></span>
Friday, May 18, 2007
Bike ride to work
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
If you are interested in chatting about Java modularity and will be at JavaOne, drop me a line.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Publishing videos using Flash
The first step is a conversion to the FLV (Flash Video) format. For Windows there is a free encoder called Riva VX. I downloaded it and in a few minutes I converted one of my videos to the FLV format.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
JSR 294: Improved Modularity Support in the Java Programming Language is closely related and if modularity in Java interests you, you should also consider going to a presentation by Gilad Bracha at JavaOne about that JSR.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
The submission deadline is Friday Sept. 8, 2006 and here is a list of areas suggested in the call for papers:
- Compilers, back-end code generators, translators, binary optimization tools and runtime environments; static, dynamic, adaptive, or continuous techniques
- Innovative analysis, transformation, and optimization techniques
- Profiling and feedback-directed methodologies
- Memory management, including data distribution, synchronization and GC
- Thread extraction and thread-level speculation, especially for multi-core systems
- Vertical integration of language features, representations, optimizations, and runtime support for parallelism (including support for transactional semantics, efficient message passing, and dynamic thread creation)
- Phase detection and analysis techniques
- Mechanisms and optimization techniques supporting the efficient implementation of security protection models, reliability and energy efficiency
- Traditional compiler optimizations
- Intermediate representations that enable more powerful or efficient optimization
- Hardware mechanisms and systems that implement or assist in any of the above
- Experiences with real dynamic optimization and compilation systems, particularly with large, complex applications
- Explorations of trade-offs concerning when (static/dynamic) and where (software/hardware) to optimize
- Particularly novel ideas of interest to this community
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
PPPJ'06 (the 2006 International Conference on Principles and Practices of Programming in Java) will take place in September in Mannheim, Germany. Abstracts of papers for the conference are due on 8 May 2006. The conference range is quite interesting:
- VM Design
- Java Verification
- Java-specific metrics
- Software Engineering with Java
- Program Design and Implementation
- Design Patterns through Java
- Testing of Java Programs
- Performance of Java Programs
- Tools for Java Programming
- Java-based MDD/MDA
- Applications in science, engineering, and business
- Novel Applications of Java
- Domain-specific Frameworks
- Java-based Tools
- Java-based Enterprise Computing
- Mobile Java
- Practice and experience
- Java and Financial Services
- Java and the Manufacturing Industry
- Teaching Java Programming
- Teleteaching Applications
- Teaching Methods
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Onboard gambling may lead to free flights on Ryanair
W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie
The whole point of using 529 is the fact that you do not pay taxes on investment gains of the money you put in a 529 funds (some states let you even deduct the contributions). This is a little complicated because while you always are free from the federal tax, you have to use your state's 529 plan to avoid the state income tax. The Newsweek article points out that if your state's 529 plan has high fees, it may be better to forgo the state income tax advantage and get a fund with lower fees. Here's a quote from that article on the fees that are common today:
Each state levies a program fee for maintaining the plan. (Under 0.3 percent of
the assets in your account is good. Over 0.5 percent is bad. These fees are
dropping fast.) The mutual-fund companies charge management fees. (Under 0.5
percent is good. Over 0.8 percent is bad.) If you buy from a broker or planner,
you also pay sales commissions (sales costs may be hidden; generally, they're
California's 529 plan is the Golden State ScholarShare College Savings Trust. So do this plan's fees compare with the Newsweek guidelines on fees? The combined two fees should be under 0.8% and for the ScholarShare they are exactly 0.8% which probably means that if you pay the California state income tax and you plan to invest in a 529, you should choose the ScholarShare.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Here is the text of the English abstract of my thesis I just wrote:
This dissertation describes one module of a larger system that was supposed to be a complete set of development tools for Ada. The code generation module described here took the output of earlier compiler phases in the form of the DIANA intermediate language and generated low-level code for an abstract Ada machine. A major part of the works was the design of a language for a virtual machine for interpreting Ada programs. We took the P-Code designed with a similar purpose for Pascal (it was used in the UCSD p-System) and extended it into a language we called A-code.
The dissertation consists of 7 chapters. Chapter 1 presents motivation and describes the overall IIPS/Ada compiler system. Chapter 2 describes the DIANA intermediate language. The bulk of the text is in Chapter 3 that describes the A-Code language. The Turbo Pascal implementation of the code generator is described in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 is the user manual for the code generator and Chapter 6 describes which features of Ada have been implemented and which have been omitted. Conclusions are presented in Chapter 7. Appendix 1 contains the grammar of DIANA. Appendix 2 describes all new A-Code instructions (i.e. those that are not part of the P-Code language). Appendix 3 defines a compiler runtime library that is given in the form of A-Code procedures that can be called from the generated code. Appendix 4 gives the DIANA encoding of (parts of) the STANDARD package. Appendix 5 shows examples of test runs. The tests consist of small Ada procedures or packages manually translated into DIANA. These DIANA representations of the Ada source code were translated by the code generator and the generated A-Code representation is included in the text.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
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