Monday, December 31, 2012

EPUB 3

Just a little note: I have converted all my EPUBs from EPUB 2 to EPUB 3, but I’m still including an EPUB 2 NCX navigation control file for readers that don’t yet understand how to use an EPUB 3 XHTML navigation document.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

EPUB of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”

I am finally finished with my extensive revision of Bram Stoker’s Dracula in EPUB format. The source material is from Project Gutenberg, but I have made a lot of corrections and improvements to it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

FBReader

I don’t understand how anyone can accept FBReader as a sensible eBook reader alternative for Android. This piece of cr software completely ignores top/bottom margins in the CSS, among a lot of other issues. I’m currently using Aldiko, and while it’s not perfect, it respects the margins in the CSS.

EPUB 3? Not Yet

After some considerations, I’ll stick with EPUB 2 until the support for EPUB 3 is more widespread.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

EPUB 3

I have updated all of my EPUBs (except some from Project Gutenberg) in the text section of my site to EPUB 3. Not because I’m going to use a lot of multimedia bells and whistles, but because it supports all the CSS 2.1 properties, which is crucial for me in some situations.

Friday, November 30, 2012

More Updates of “The Devil’s Dictionary”

I have made many internal changes, and corrected several typos. Get the latest version here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Makeover of “The Devil’s Dictionary”

I have made some typographical and other improvements to the EPUB version of The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce from Project Gutenberg. The modified version can be found here.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Justification

I’ve finally decided to perform a drastic typographical makeover of my home page. I’m now one of the very few people out there using fully justified text, which of course entails using proper hyphenation as well. I have achieved this by inserting U+00AD SOFT HYPHEN characters in the HTML source. Not by hand, but by a combination of my own Perl programming efforts and Jan Pazdziora’s nifty TeX::Hyphen module.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

eBooks

I have made some typographical and other improvements to the EPUB versions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Dracula and Frankenstein from Project Gutenberg. The modified versions can be found here.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Those Were the Days...

Once upon a time I ran an Atari ST BBS in Norrköping, Sweden called ST‐Mania BBS. I used the QuickBBS/ST program on an Atari 1040ST. My FidoNet node number was 2:204/419. It was only for a short while, but I’ve found a nodelist where my BBS is included.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

GNOME

Perhaps I should join the choir of GNOME 3 opponents and say “What was wrong with GNOME 2?” That will be all for now.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Clip Art

Over the years, I have collected a lot of mostly black & white (bi‐level) clip art. I cannot guarantee that each and everyone of these images is in the public domain, so please use them judiciously.

Monty Python Goodies

Selected transcripts from Monty Python TV, movies and records.

New Bottle, Old Wine

For purely nostalgic reasons, I’m offering some old sounds converted to FLAC format.

I’ve also collected a bunch of Atari ST, Amiga and Commodore 64 pictures that I’ve converted to PNG format. Please note that since many of these pictures were created in display modes with non‐square pixels, they will need some width or height adjustments to look as intended in display modes with square pixels (used almost exclusively nowadays). I have entered estimated pixel aspect ratio values into the PNG files; it is preferable if you use an image viewer that adjusts the image dimensions automatically according to the pixel aspect ratio. My “ImgView” viewer (Windows version, Unix version) is one of the few that do it.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Monster Pictures

For your information, I have collected a bunch of pictures of monster related stuff, including the good old monster kits by Aurora Plastics Corporation.

ImgView

ImgView is a simple image viewer for Unix/POSIX systems. It is free from menus and other GUI gadgets, and controlled primarily by the keyboard. The following image file formats are supported: XBM, PBM/PGM/PPM, GIF, JPEG, TIFF, PNG and PCX.

There’s also a version of ImgView for Win32, although I’m currently using Linux only, and the Unix version has some fixes and features that aren’t included in the Win32 version.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Punycode

What a horrible hack Punycode is. If only they’d made the Domain Name System use UTF‐8 from the start. It’s of course impossible to reverse history …

The Best of Glenn Miller (1938–1942)

So I bought the 3 CD set The Best of Glenn Miller (1938–1942) from 2008 (part of the RCA Original Masters series), and it actually seems to be nothing more than a repackaging of The Popular Recordings (1938–1942) from 1989 (metal transfers by Bernardo Cosachov). This set has very little noise reduction and equalization applied to it, hence it retains most of the overtones and ambience, and it sounds very natural to me. I already have The Essential Glenn Miller from 2005 (metal transfers by Doug Pomeroy), and while it has the cleanest sound that I’ve heard, it sometimes suffers from overuse of noise reduction and equalization, and it does lack some important songs.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

RSS and HTML Again

OK, there is a Best Practices Profile for RSS 2.0 which says that text in the <description> element must be suitable for presentation as HTML. I can’t help but feel that this is merely a hack to overcome the lacking original RSS specifications.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

RSS and HTML

Imagine entering some text describing HTML tags (like “The <p> tag defines a paragraph”) into an RSS 2.0 feed (the most common feed format). Without any indication of the format of the textual data, should this be interpreted as plain text or HTML? Impossible situation. Atom lets you clearly define the type of the content; “text”, “html” or “xhtml”.

Why Atom isn’t used more is over my head.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Saga’s “Heads Or Tales”: Is It Flawed?

This article was originally published as a static entry on my home page, but it probably won’t hurt to let Blogger spread the word as well.

I recently bought the 2003 Steamhammer/SPV remaster (cat. no. SPV 076‐7439A CD) of Saga’s Heads Or Tales album. It exhibits seriously exaggerated treble. It actually sounds like my 1994 Polydor CD (cat. no. 815 410‐2) without de‐emphasis applied to it (one of the very few CDs with pre‐emphasis that I own), only even worse, and with increased loudness. It seems like they’ve been working with pre‐emphasized audio during the remastering without knowing it.

I’ve listened to my 1983 Bon Aire vinyl (cat. no. 208 477), and it sounds awfully similar to the remaster, although not quite as bad. Is it possible that they’ve been using pre‐emphasized audio on the vinyl as well?

I’ve recorded two samples (The Flyer, Social Orphan) from the Bon Aire vinyl, and applied de‐emphasis to them (The Flyer, Social Orphan). The de‐emphasized versions sound very similar to the 1994 Polydor CD (The Flyer, Social Orphan). I don’t have the best turntable in the world here (it’s a 35 year old Luxor with DIN level output), but it will hopefully be enough for this “demonstration”. Proof or not? It’s an interesting discovery nevertheless. I’ve also listened to a Bon Aire CD (cat. no. 258 477) that uses pre‐emphasis just like the Polydor CD. They sound very similar. If the treble‐exaggerated sound on the vinyl was intentional, why wouldn’t they be consequent and make the CD sound the same? Perhaps the Polydor vinyl is OK in this regard, I haven’t had the opportunity to listen to it.

To make things clear, I should perhaps add that Saga is, and has always been, one of my all‐time favorite bands. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t put my energy into this in the way that I’ve been doing.

XHTML in Atom with XML::Simple

Unescaped XHTML in an Atom feed needs to be wrapped inside a CDATA section before parsing with Perl’s XML::Simple module. Otherwise it will be treated as XML data belonging to the feed. According to RFC 4287, the enclosing <div> element must not be considered part of the content, so that one will not be included in the CDATA section. An example:

<content type="xhtml">
  <div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"><![CDATA[
    <p>This is some content.</p>
  ]]></div>
</content>

Below is an example of how to wrap the contents of the <content> element (excluding the enclosing <div> element) inside a CDATA section programmatically, assuming that the unprocessed Atom XML data is in $doc:

$doc =~ s/(<content\s.*?type=["']xhtml["'].*?>\s*<div\s.*?>)
        (.*?)(<\/div>\s*<\/content>)/$1<![CDATA[$2]]>$3/gsxo;

Monday, August 13, 2012

Atom 1.0 for Changelogs

I’m now using Atom 1.0 for the changelogs at my home page. It is definitely the most robust feed format to date, albeit more complex to process than other formats.