If you have any skin invested in the high-performance computing game, you’ve almost certainly heard of the likes of MMX and SSE, the original “extensions” to the x86 assembly instruction set that provided task-specific performance-optimized instructions that let developers take advantage of specific hardware extensions to quickly perform tasks that previously required extra steps in software to compute. If you haven’t, here’s a quick briefer.
The “basic” instructions supported by PCs are known as the “x86 assembly language” and is the lowest level of code available for writing software that runs on a “regular PC,” originally developed by Intel and adopted by other players in the CPU game (including AMD and the now-defunct Via CPUs). All PCs from the original Intel 8086 way back in 1978 to modern, multi-core behemoths support this language, and code written in or compiled for x86 can (in theory) run on any machine from 1978 onwards.
Hello international users of EWS! We’re really happy to announce the immediate availability of Easy Window Switcher 1.1.0, which brings support for internationalized keyboards to EWS users worldwide!
For those that haven’t been keeping in touch, Easy Window Switcher is a nifty, tiny utility that boosts your productivity by adding the ability to “alt-tab” between windows of the same application only, with the keyboard combination alt` (on US keyboards), a shortcut that should be intimately familiar to anyone that’s used OS X for any length of time.
From the “they clearly didn’t think this one through” department,1 comes news of the federal government’s new ban on “electronic devices larger than a cellphone” from eight Muslim-majority countries, ostensibly to defend against in-air terror attacks that could somehow come via a device that’s been x-rayed and powered on to ensure it works. But what’s a cell phone and how big is too big?
We’ve just released the inevitable bugfix build for any product launch with Easy Window Switcher 1.0.1, which adds the ability to cycle between maximized windows. Hat-tip to Chris Bollman for reporting this bug.
Upgrading EWS is very straight-forward, as soon as you download and run the new version of EWS, you’ll see a dialog like the following:
Today, while browsing the internet and looking at some “old” guides from 2012 I came across a familiar sight: a forum thread with hundreds of inline images, all of them once hosted with ImageShack, now permanently inaccessible. For those of you too green to remember, ImageShack and PhotoBucket were the Imgurs of yesteryear. Free photo/image hosting/sharing services that stepped in to fill the void when users needed to share pics on sites that didn’t offer image uploading/hosting themselves.
Today, it is far more likely that users recognize the names of once-behemoths PhotoBucket or ImageShack not from their years of glory but from coming across images like this, the fossils that remain from the time when these two beasts ruled the image hosting world and roamed the interwebs unopposed:1
If the images below give you pause or perhaps make your heart skip a beat – know that you’re not alone. It brings us much pain and no comic relief to un-ironically embed these “image not found” images in this post. ↩︎
Lenovo’s ThinkPad T570, the much-awaited, supposed MacBook killer that was first announced at CES in January, is now available for pre-order via Lenovo Hong Kong – meaning users can finally see what specs are available and (roughly) how much it’s going to cost them.
Let’s get this out of the way: disappointingly, once again, Lenovo doesn’t seem to have made available configuration options that feature Intel’s fastest mobile chips; the most powerful option available is the Kaby Lake-powered i7-7600U. This is almost certainly a conscious and thought-out decision, as 7600U is the highest you can go without a massive jump in TDP – the higher-spec’d 7700HQ and above all weigh in at 45W TDP, compared to the 7600U’s thrifty 25W TDP. Dell’s Precision (and possibly XPS15?) and HP’s ZBook lineups will likely be the only way to get more raw processing power for your next purchase – at the cost of greatly-reduced battery life, no doubt.
SecureStore is our open-source (MIT-licensed) solution to secrets management for .NET developers. It’s intended to be dead simple and boldly embraces the KISS principle. We’ve been using it in production for a while now (years, actually!), but hadn’t gotten around to officially releasing it despite its public availability on our GitHub page.
Everyone, say hello to betterpad – an open, fast, & free replacement for notepad that doesn’t suck. Inspired by text edit on Mac, this recent convert back to the Windows ecosystem needed something for random notes, quickly opening plain text files, or jotting things down – and expecting them to still be there the next time you come back to your PC.
As a text editor, it tries to remain unopinionated and keep out of your way.. while supporting whatever you throw at it. It doesn’t choke and die when it encounters a unix line ending and it’s smart enough to reopen all your old documents – saved or otherwise – after a restart or if it (hopefully not!) crashes. It’s high-dpi aware, has full unicode support, and actually has multiple levels of undo so you don’t have to think twice before hitting ctrl-z and you don’t have to smash your head against the wall when you realize a few seconds later that you didn’t copy the old contents of the buffer.
Quick, if you had to pick one thing Internet Explorer has that Chrome doesn’t, what would it be?1 For us, it has been a dearth of common navigation shortcuts that can make life filling forms online much less painful. IE users have long been spoiled by the alt+shift+s keyboard combination to submit the currently active form – a luxury Chrome users have long had to live without.