20200503

Loss of image quality in Word 2007

Finally, a mystery is solved. When saving a document using Word 2007, image quality would decrease. At first, I thought it was due to saving as a PDF. Turns out there is an option to fix this issue and it took a long time to find it.

Compression can be disabled on a per-file basis using the following steps:
Click the Office Button, and then click Save As.
Click Tools, and then click Compress Pictures.
Click Options.
Click to clear the Automatically perform basic compression on save check box.
Click OK.
In the Compress Pictures dialog box, click Cancel.

Note: Clicking OK on this dialog will not prevent the issue from occurring.

You can also modify a registry setting to prevent basic compression from occurring by default.

For further details see:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office/troubleshoot/office/office-docuemnt-image-quality-loss


20191113

Submerged!

Noi viviamo sommersi nel fondo d'un pelago d'aria. -Evangelista Torricelli

20190911

JavaScript popularity

According to the 2019 Stack Overflow survey: "For the seventh year in a row, JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language"

20190630

easeSmoother

The CSS cubic-bezier timing function creates easing curves using 4 control points.

The first and last control points are fixed at (0,0) and (1,1), while the second and third control points are passed as arguments to create a variety of easing curves.

Sometimes an "in-out" easing is needed which starts slow and ends slow. I experimented to find a curve that best approximates the smootherStep function (see here) which produces a natural acceleration similar to when we change lanes while driving on the highway or when we reach for something (see also this).

Specifying the timing function as "cubic-bezier(.49,0,.51,1)" creates the lowest error compared to the minimum-jerk reference (see code at the bottom of this article). Visualize the timing here using Lea Verou’s cubic-bezier.com (compare to ease-in-out). JSFiddle example: https://jsfiddle.net/intrinsica/9ryqet30

If a preset it created, it could be aliased as easeSmoother or easeInOutSmoother.

The green curve below is the reference min-jerk function. The purple curve is the easeSmoother cubic-bezier.



JavaScript reference (see also):

function MinJerk(t) {
  var ts = t * t, tc = ts * t;
  return 6*tc*ts - 15*ts*ts + 10*tc;
}

Alternatively:

let MinJerk = t => (6*t*t-15*t+10)*t*t*t;

Below is the L2 error curve, comparing the cubic-bezier to the reference min-jerk function.

20190106

Our 2018 list of top mobile games

In our spare time, the most played games last year were:
1. Battle Bay from Rovio (strategy guide here)
2: BitCity from NimbleBit (strategy guide here)
3. Go Round from Little White Bear Studios
4: Hackers from Trickster Arts (defensive strategies here)


20181219

SimCity 2000 running on Windows 7

SimCity 2000 runs on Windows 7 x64, but crashes when attempting to access the dialog box to save or load a city. After searching for and trying all of the suggested fixes and patches to avoid this crash, we still had no success. Crash, crash, crash!

Alas, there is a solution! Use the command line to invoke the app with a path to a city file to open. For example: "c:> simcity Saved\city.sc2" This will not only open a city, but allow saving it on exit. If a new terrain is desired, use the urban renewal kit.

KVR News:

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