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Folding@Home: saves your screen. Saves lives

July 18, 2006

You don't need a screensaver. You left them behind years ago; you simply blank your screen. Save a few watts. Black is its own statement.

And yet, shouldn't you own your status as über-geek? Proclaim your prowess, impress or disgust your significant other, and overwhelm your colleagues, all while benefiting the rest of humankind?

Folding@Home display

Folding@Home uses distributed computing to solve complex protein and RNA folding problems by divvying up the task: your computer's unused processor cycles, with that of hundreds of thousands of others, tackling cancer, Alzheimer's, Huntington's disease, and many others that could not be solved in any other way.

[ Read more ... ]

On WASM, and other assemblers ...

April 17, 2006

I paid $10 for the registered version of WASM - the Wolfware Assembler - a few years ago: a bargain-basement price for an excellent assembler. In it, Erick Tauck ignored Borland's and Microsoft's insistence that models be declared, that files be LINKed, and the "ptr", "assume", and various other unnecessary complexities one shouldn't be bothered with: assembler's hard enough without them. Even better, WASM version 2.23 is now available for free, courtesy of DOSOnly.Net.

If, however, you're shopping for a more complex assembler, one that'll do 386+ code, protected mode, Windows, MMX, SIMD and AMD's 3DNow instructions, consider Eric Isaacson's A86. More pricey, manual more voluminous, tightest and cleanest code, and this man also disdains the hoops Borland and Microsoft would have you jump through. IMHO the best DOS assembler around, and I say that even though my loyalties lie with WASM...

The most interesting and versatile, is NASM, the Netwide Assembler - an open-source (i.e, free) 80x86 assembler designed for portability and modularity. It supports DOS, Linux and NetBSD/FreeBSD, a.out, ELF, COFF, Microsoft 16-bit OBJ and Win32, MMX, 3DNow!, SSE and SSE2 instructions, and has macro capability. For an assembler, it's relatively simple. It is continually being improved - currently undergoing intensive development - so be advised that it is a work in progress. Still, if I were actively programming assembler at present, it is the one I'd choose. [ Read more ... ]

Image creation and manipulation using the gd Graphics Library

April 1, 2006

GD Graphics LibraryThe gd Graphics Library is an open source code library use to create and manipulate PNG, JPEG and GIF images. Part of the standard PHP installation, it is available with most MySQL/PHP web hosting packages - if it isn't already available to you, ask for it!

GD is used to dynamically produce charts, graphics, thumbnails, etc., usually by web sites, though it can be incorporated into other programming projects. Create animated GIFs, add FreeType and TrueType text, draw complex graphics, or convert from one image format to another.

GD isn't difficult, but you can't just call a grayscale() function, either. It takes some work. We help you out. [ Read more ... ]

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