You may get a deal on yourself too...... di Kirill
Un'idea che non sia pericolosa non merita affatto di essere chiamata idea

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This is the list of all contributions published in this section, in chronological order.

By Kirill (on 2010-11-27 @ 18:54:57, in General, read 8335 times)

As mentioned in Dear NATO, could you please spell it for me?, you can spell any phrase in NATO alphabet. But there was a problem with the gadget - you could not install the accelerator in Internet Explorer 9, although you were warned that you could if you had IE8.

So, it was time to fix it. And the fix was relatively easy (IE9 has "Trident/5.0", instead of expected "Trident/4.0"; and it has been addressed in Save, compile with freshly installed Google Web Toolkit 2.1.0, publish... and the gadget does not work at all, does not even appear. Turned out that 2.1.0 works worse than 1.3.8 in IE9 - it throws an exception and stops loading the script. And apparently, it's a known issue - some GWT applications are broken in IE9 with INVALID_CHARACTER exception - with a reasonable explanation. And there is even a proposed solution, which, as far as I can see, will not work (createElement is still called with > and < characters in the argument). So, time to find out which createElement causes us such a pain.

Drum, please... It's a

<BUTTON type="button">
In other words, if you try to create a regular button in your GWT 2.1.0 application, your app will not work in IE9. I guess, apps that do work in IE9 don't use buttons (Huh?)

The fix for the fix was to compile the project with Pretty output (Detailed seems to avoid literal strings all together), find

and apply the workaround from MSDN.

Happy translating in Internet Explorer 9!

By Kirill (on 2009-05-12 @ 03:49:05, in General, read 8981 times)

Have you ever listened to your travel agent when she was talking to the airline, confirming your flight? I have. Did you wonder how can she remember all those Alfa-Bravo-Charlie? I did.

If you haven't and didn't, but are interested in Google Web Toolkit or Microsoft OpenService Accelerators, or just want to play with cool-but-mostly-useless-gadget, keep reading.

So, after struggling to memorize that useful way of spelling, I finally had decided to help myself by writing a small utility to spell any text travel-agent-style. Well... it turned out that it's better known as NATO Phonetic Alphabet, "more formally the international radiotelephony spelling alphabet".

Problem #1 was which language to choose. How about Google Web Toolkit? You write piece of Java code, compile and get fully functional JavaScript. You can even use Eclipse debugger if the first version is not "fully" functional.

Problem #2 was the task seemed rather boring. But few days later I learned about Internet Explorer 8 Accelerators. Let me tell you: Microsoft did not come up with such a brilliant idea for a very long time (since about .NET 3.5 :)

And here is the result of combining dev tools from Google and Microsoft technologies! Please, welcome "Translate to NATO Alphabet" gadget and an accelerator:

Please enter a phrase:

If you wonder whether you can have the source or just install this gadget on your own site or blog, you'll have to wait until the next update to this article.

By Kirill (on 2008-01-19 @ 19:04:08, in General, read 8354 times)

For those of you, who's interested in those "unofficial" builds и для тех, кто предпочитает руссифицированную версию: Console 2.00 Beta, unofficial build 138.

  • (yet another) attempt at fixing text repainting; (еще одна) попытка исправить перерисовку текста
  • "самые полезные команды" в системном меню; "Most useful items" in the system menu
  • zoom in/out with Ctrl+Mouse Wheel; изменение размера шрифта Ctrl+Колесико
  • fully localizable; полностью локализуемая

Please, send your feedback to the forum on SourceForge. Пожалуйста, присылайте свои предложения на OS zone.

Updated on February 9th

A newer build is now available. It contains: (a) OLE drag-and-drop, which allows you to drop My Documents or a text snippet to the Console window; (b) attempt to improve resizing and dual-monitor support when Snap to edges is active.

By Kirill (on 2007-12-28 @ 08:13:16, in General, read 7636 times)

If you liked the idea, discussed in the original article, you'll love to hear this. Have you tried Console 2.00.133? Have you noticed that sometimes when you open another tab, it comes up either completely blank or with some garbage characters? It's now gone! Finally! Well... at least, Marko and I hope for that very much.

But... the bigger news is Console is now fully localizable, и вполне сносно говорит по-русски. If you don't yet speak Russian, please, Read More. По крайней мере, я очень старался и надеюсь, что перевод, предлагаемый Вашему вниманию ниже, будет лучше, чем у Altavista или у Online-переводчика PROMT (попробуйте перевести фразу "Windows application has a tray icon" на или и сравните с "У Windows-приложения есть значок в области уведомлений").

Как и в прошлый раз, версия, предлагаемая Вашему вниманию, является неофициальной. Все "заплатки", реализующие новые функции доступны на Sourceforge, но еще не интегрированы в официальные исходники. Отличия от Console 2.00 Beta, build 137:

  • Говорит по-русски
    Если у Вас русская версия Windows, то при запуске весь интерфейс будет русским. Если по какой-то причине этого не произошло, то можно установить переменную окружения LANG=ru и попробовать еще раз.
    Если Вам не понравился наш с Виталием перевод, то можно установить LANG=en, и Console проигнорирует язык Windows
  • Наиболее используемые пункты меню добавлены в системное меню (то, которое, открывается если щелкнуть на иконку в заголовке окна, оно же доступно по Alt+Пробел)
    Этой заплатки нет еще на Sourceforge - все никак не дойдут руки
  • Размер шрифта можно менять с помощью мышиного колесика
    Новый размер сохраняется до выхода из программы или до открытия диалога настроек

Вам понадобится:

И в заключении, спасибо dimich22 за статью на!

Если интересно, то все то же по-английски здесь:

As the last time, I decided to produce an unofficial build. The differences from the official Console 2.00 Beta, build 137:

  • Fully localizable, Russian is included
    You want to try? Set an environment variable LANG=ru
  • Most useful menu items are added to the system menu, accessible by clicking the icon in the window title or with Alt+Space shortcut
  • Support for Ctrl+Mouse Wheel to temporarily change the font size
    The new font size is not saved permanently and will be lost on exit or on opening the Settings... dialog

Here what you need to try it out:

  • Console 2.0.137
  • Settings, used by yours truly, if you want
    You will need to rename the file to just "console.xml".

Again, this is unofficial build. Do not ask Marko about the build. But if you're interested in any of the above features, please, feel free to chime in in the feature requests [ 1692653 ] Strings to resources (aka i18n, aka l10n) or [ 1733641 ] Hotkey to resize fonts

By Kirill (on 2007-12-22 @ 12:37:55, in General, read 9882 times)

Well... If you are not going to tell me, then my congratulations! Just don't fall into the same trap as people at London's Waterloo Station and at least pretend that you don't like chocolate.

Seriously, the real title should be "How do you pronounce your password?".

It all started some time ago (in 2001 to be precise). It was a middle of Internet bubble and all kinds of companies offered all kinds of services for free. The problem was (no, not that it ended few months later) they all required passwords. So, what? Can't I just reuse the same password? Well, no, this is a very bad idea even if the password is very strong. Can't I just use browser's capabilities to remember my passwords? Well, no, it's just as bad idea as the previous one. So, the solution I found was: pronounceable passwords. Some may say that even better solution is pass phrases, but up until nowadays not every company would allow you to use funny, catchy, not-so-evident, but 30 characters long password. What is even worse is that some companies enforce weak passwords (no, it's not a typo - they do limit your password to something like 6 lowercase letters and numbers, but no special symbols or even capital letters).

The best implementation I found was written by Tom Van Vleck. If you would go to his Tools & Java section, you'll find a very educational story about how it all started in 1970s (it's on Java version of Pronounceable passwords)

What I did not liked about that password generator is that I had to come up with ways to make the password stronger. There are few ways to do that:

  • Capitalize some letters
  • Add digits at random locations
  • Add non-alphanumeric characters

So, instead of doing it manually each time I need yet another password, I modified his Java code to do it for me [and learned some more Java along the way]. I even had a web site where I published it (however I forgot the credentials to that free hosting provider, which, by the way, disappeared later).

A recent conversation at the office brought the idea of publishing my version of Pronounceable Password Generator back to life again. After some minor modifications (caused by slightly better Java skills), please, welcome GPW 2007 Edition!

If you have Internet Explorer 6 or 7 and JavaScript is enabled, you should not need to "activate" the applet. Otherwise, blame Eolas.

Feel free to download source code (it's actually .java file) or JAR version for offline use from command line.

Some tips to use the generator (you may call them "good password tips"):

  • generate as long passwords as you can remember
  • capitalize some letters
  • use digits
  • use non-alphanumeric characters
    one way to do that is to type digits with Shift key pressed; another way is to use N'th key among non-alphanumeric keys, for example, number each key in the sequence "`-=[]\;',." and when generator says "m2ighw5a" type "m=ighw\a"
  • if you're a Windows user, you may not know that your password is actually limited to 14 characters, case-insensitive and stored as two passwords 7-characters long each, hence
    make sure that your password is at least 8 characters long and each half contains some special (non-lowercase-letter) symbol
    Yes, I know, it may not be true since about Windows 2000 in a corporate (domain) environment. But even then, it may still be true.
  • if you need an all-digits PIN, you can specify an alphabet as 22233344455566677778889999 and then spend some time trying to find how to pronounce it

And one last thing. Do not write down your passwords ever! If you have one [thousand] too many passwords to remember, like yours truly, get yourself a password manager. What's the best one? Oh, that's another story... One idea is to use your cell phone.

By Kirill (on 2007-01-12 @ 22:05:54, in General, read 10236 times)

No, I'm not talking about a safe in a bank. I'm talking about Safe 1.27 by KeyCriteria on Motorola RAZR v3i with iTunes.

It all began one morning (or night). I was exploring my new cell phone and found a password manager in Games & Apps. The first thing this midlet did, after I accepted the license agreement, is asked for a password and a hint. I entered somewhat easy-to-remember word and quit the app. The second time I tried to open Safe, it asked me for the password and oops... I could not type it in. Most likely, when I entered the password the first time I did not pay enough attention to what is really happening - remember, one button on phone's keyboard represents several letters (and if you have iTap or T9...) The help screen of the Safe kindly informed me that I can't reset the password. So, here I was... with a brand new phone, at least one function of which is inaccessible.

So, this morning I decided to deal with the issue. There are two ways: just remove the application (throw away the safe, see step 7 below) and forget about it; or try to find a way to fix it. After very short search, Geoffrey Sy's notepad shed some light on how to do the latter. However, I found the instructions to be not precise enough for general public, given that yours truly, who considers himself "computer- and gadget-literate", spent most of the afternoon trying to follow them. Hence, this is my version [to save you installing and uninstalling Motorola USB drivers, UID Extraction tool and Mobile Phone Tools].

Now, for those, concerned with warranty and making a light-weight paper weight from your phone. The below procedure does not void anything, as far as I can tell, and is very safe, provided:

  • you do NOT play with settings (there are a lot of them in the Manager);
  • you do NOT try to use your phone while saving or restoring the Safe (you might want to enable unconditional forwarding of all calls to your voice mail, charge the phone, even though it's supposed to be charging when connected to the computer, and press Hang Up button several time before connecting to the computer);
  • your phone is supported by the Manager (v3i with iTunes is).

And as usual, I can not be held liable for any damages to your computer or any of your property caused by or in connection with this instructions, even if you advise me on a possibility of such a damage.

  1. Install the phone drivers on your computer if you haven't done so already. I guess you can use Motorola USB Driver, but I had drivers installed so the rest worked for me even after I uninstalled the package.
  2. Download and unpack the Moto MIDlets Manager by Alexander Kuznetsov.

    Update December 3rd: the main site is in Russian, but Alexander kindly allowed me to host a translated mirror.

    Special thanks to Alexander for not requiring to install the fine application [and having its icons all over the desktop, Start menu, Quick Launch, Add & Remove Programs, My Documents, his documents and all other seemingly unrelated to cell phones places].

  3. Connect your phone to the computer with the USB cable
    If you do it the first time, some driver installation might happen.
  4. Run the Moto MIDlets Manager. Important: you have to run it as Administrator, otherwise it will not detect your phone.

    If you are not sure what "run as Administrator" means, here is a quick checklist:

    • if you got a computer with Windows XP and never went to User Accounts, you're ok;
    • if you connected the phone to the computer, some installation happened, but the Manager does not recognize your phone, you are likely not ok;
    • if you can't change Date and Time, you are not ok;
  5. After Moto MIDlets Manager detects your phone - and the status changes to "connected" - you will see the applets, installed on your phone, on the Phone memory tab. That's where your Safe is likely located. If not, try to find it on Trans-Flash tab.
  6. Save the Safe applet to your hard drive (I assume that even an average "general public" can figure that out, thanks to Alexander).
  7. Disconnect your phone from the computer, go to Games & Apps in the menu, select Safe, go to the menu and Delete it. You will need to confirm that you want to delete the app and its data [which is useless anyway].
    Note that you can do it from MIDlets Manager, but I prefer to use standard tools.
  8. Connect your phone to the computer. MIDlets Manager will rediscover your phone and show you installed applets. Hopefully, Safe will not be among them.
  9. Do not go to the Games & Apps. Stay on the home screen (you can even press Hang Up button several times to be sure). Now you can install JAD file of the Safe.
  10. Restart the phone. If you try to close the Manager, you will be reminded to restart any way.

That's it. You've just got a new safe! Be Safe!

Thank you, Geoffrey! Thank you, Alexander!

Just to let you know that if you don't have an account on MotoDev and don't plan to develop anything for Motorola phones, you might find BugMeNot very useful.

By Kirill (on 2007-11-10 @ 21:01:58, in General, read 9543 times)

Federal Government

Head of State: the representative of the Queen for all Canada is the Governor General: MichaŽlle Jean
Head of government in power: the Prime Minister is Stephen Harper
The party in power is Conservative Party
The leader of the opposition is Stéphane Dion
The official opposition is Liberal Party
The other opposition parties and leaders are Bloc Québécois (Gilles Duceppe), New Democratic Party (Jack Layton)
My member of Parliament (MP) in Ottawa is Maka Kotto (Bloc Québécois)
My federal electoral district is Saint-Lambert (Quebec)

Provincial Government

Head of State: the representative of the Queen for my province is the Lieutenant Governor: Lise Thibault
Head of the government: the Premier is Jean Charest
The provincial party in power is Qubec Liberal Party
The provincial opposition parties and leaders are Action démocratique du Québec (Mario Dumont), Parti québécois (Pauline Marois), Parti vert du Québec (Scott McKay), Québec solidaire (Régent Séguin)
My provincial representative is Marie Malavoy (Parti québécois)

Municipal Government

The name of the municipality where I live is Ville de Longueuil
The head of the municipal government (mayor or reeve) is Claude Gladu

By Kirill (on 2007-09-19 @ 09:44:00, in General, read 12264 times)

This is for those who suffer from nostalgia for command line. Or for those who's forced to use the good old type-to-achieve approach.

Searching for a way to adjust my mouse settings (MouseSensitivity or Pointer Speed) programmatically, I bumped into Scott Hanselman's article about better prompt. And even though his tricks with command prompt are fine and funny, but Console 2.00 attracted much more of my attention, because I'm one of the unfortunate ones, who can't always use point-and-click approach (editor's note: don't confuse with point-and-shoot) and have half a dozen command prompts floating around at any given time. Moreover, with my introduction to GIT, the situation has not exactly been improved.

As a general rule, I don't use beta versions, but having searched for this kind of enhancement to the good old Command Prompt for ages, it was worth a try. Side note: I do not want another shell, I want a way to group several cmd.exe together.

While playing with the app, I found that it:
  • is a beta version (some things are annoying, something are crashing under weird circumstances);
  • does not have copy-and-paste interface either of cmd.exe or of PuTTY;
  • behaves funny on dual-monitor system;
  • does not allow to use environment variables in the initial directory setting;
  • does not paste multiple lines into the cmd.exe correctly;
  • is not yet build with VS 2005.
I also found that it:
  • is a solid beta (if you don't push your luck with transparency, it keeps going);
  • can be adjusted to behave almost like cmd.exe or PuTTY in regards to Copy & Paste (see my settings file below; there is a section Copy & Paste under Behavior category of Console Settings and the Hotkeys->Mouse category);
  • will behave more predictable on dual-monitor system after disabling Snap to desktop edges setting (see my settings file below or check Appearance category, and while you're at it, check Use console window title, so the title command will update tab's title).
  • can be easily fixed with regards to environment variables, multiple lines and building with VS 2005. The solution for the latter is here.

Updated on September 19th:

So, in addition to posting patches for those easily fixable things, I decided to produce an unofficial build. So here you're:

Disclaimer: this is unofficial build. Do not ask Marko about the build (I'm not even sure whether I broke any law by providing you with the build). And as usual, I can not be held liable for any damages to your computer or any of your property caused by or in connection with this application, even if you advise me on a possibility of such a damage (this sentence is also known as "If it works, please, praises by e-mail. If it does not, I have no idea who wrote it").


Symptom: the app quietly dies.
Verify that you have console.xml in the same folder as console.exe and that it's a valid XML file, understood by Console 2.00. If in doubt, replace your file with the default one.

Symptom: on Windows XP (a) the app complaints that it's corrupted and need to be reinstalled; (b) events 32 and 59 from SideBySide in the System event log.
I saw that one with my previous attempt for the unofficial build. The solution was to download and install Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86). It is supposed to be fixed with the newer build (, 1,011,862 bytes), which was tested on Win2K, WinXP SP2 with .NET 1.1, .NET 1.1 SP1, .NET 2.0 and another XP SP2 with all released .NET frameworks.

Happy Command Prompt'ing!
By Kirill (on 2007-05-19 @ 15:53:34, in General, read 12940 times)

Welcome to my new site!

Even though, it's powered by dBlog, it is not a blog.

For those curious how I managed to bring up an Italian blog platform, here is the steps:

  • Follow the first two steps on dBlog site.
  • Apply English language pack from their laboratory.
  • Modify inc_modulo_metatag.asp to set language to English
  • Modify inc_funzioni.asp to set an English as LCID:
    Session.LCID = 4105 ' 1040 = it-it, 4105 = en-CA
  • Modify pagina.htm to comment out STUFF and INFORMAZIONI modules.
  • Spend some time in Configuration section of the Control Panel.

You might want to edit:

  • inc_funzioni.asp to make InviaMail to work on your host.
  • foglio.css to adjust font - I do like Georgia, but not that much - and tables width.
  • pagina.htm to include Google Analytics script.

Stay tuned for more info on service providers, tips and tricks and just facts.

If you know how to bring up a wiki, using only ASP and Microsoft Access, please, let me know

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