Hacks Blog

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A practical use of the RDF model
Every time I hear about an RDF-based web idea, I always check it out to see if it makes intuitive sense to a casual observer. And, so far, I haven't found any. The problem is that RDF is this huge abstract thing, and there's a lot of AI resear...ehrm.... semantic web work associated with it. If you…

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You need Windows Genuine Advantage for WHAT?!?
So I wanted to use BlackBox.dll (or at least a personalized implementation thereof) to start bringing PhotoHub into a closer approximation to a real, dogfoodable, working application. Want to know what I found out? To get the latest version of the Platform SDK , you need to have Windows…

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Hacking on Photohub...
I'm not entirely sure if it was a waking dream, a real genuine earthquake (I checked quake.usgs.org and didn't see anything) or somebody clomping around and causing the floor to shake, but thought I felt an earthquake the other day while sitting in bed trying to sleep. And I realized that I wasn't…

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Sometimes it's ok to have a sucktastic API
When I wanted to write a 3D engine, I first tried to use Direct3D. I tried for 2 years before I finally did it in OpenGL instead. In theory, Direct3D is a clean object-oriented COM API to do things, whereas OpenGL is just a bunch of function calls that manipulate a hidden state machine. But it turns…

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Debugging with Visual C++ 6.0
Sometimes I feel like I need to write things down after I've figured them out because, otherwise, somebody else will have to waste hours screwing with the same things I worked with. Take for example fatal error LNK1202, which you will encounter when you want to try and set up a release-with-symbols…

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9 reasons why you should build a website in Ruby, even if you don't use Rails
I've been doing a lot of development using Ruby lately. So much so that occasionally, I miss the features of Ruby when I'm using other languages. I'm not necessarily just using Rails, so I wanted to write some reasons why you want to use Ruby even if you skip out on the whole Rails experience.…

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What shouldn't you do to get out of a dead platform?
So far I've talked about the hidden costs of sticking with an old platform and discussed some of these hidden costs are . Now I'd like to talk about what happens when you smell a dead platform rotting and try to do something... and then realize you've done the wrong thing... In the aforementioned…

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My personal transformation about templates
I'd like to take upon myself the challenge of writing a response to the three blog posts that Reg Braithwaite wants to see written. What I'd like to talk about is how I went from never using any templates to using tons of them. I spent a bunch of time in college programming in C++ but avoiding…

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The big problem with RDF
So, in the previous article , I defined some terms and explained the basics of RDF and the Semantic web. Now I'd like to dive in to what didn't happen with RDF and the Semantic Web. Every now and again, people get this big idea that we need every last bit of possible information machine encoded, to…

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Cost of porting vs. cost of continued development, Part II
I have always worked on software that needed to squeeze the last bit of practical performance out of a piece of hardware. Anything less, and I'm bored at work. For most of the 2000s, this has been financial software, which is a brilliant example of how Moore's Law solves nothing. See, every year…