Books clear out – please claim!

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Java puzzle 2: Extra long Unicode literals

Another simple Java puzzle. Does the following code compile? If so, what does it do when you run it? public class Unicode { public static void main(String[] args) { System.out.println(“\uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu0055″); } } Answer: Show ▼ It prints “U”. Unicode literals in Java are usually of the form \uxxxx, where xxxx is the hexadecimal form of […]

Java puzzle 1: fun with Loggers

I’ve been a fan of Java Puzzlers by Joshua Bloch and Neal Gafter since a colleague lent me a copy about a year ago. Every now and again, I come across weird things in Java that I think would make a good puzzle. In the spirit of Java Puzzlers, consider the following piece of code. […]

Why Windows 7 wasn’t accepting any passwords on our new laptop

We bought a new Samsung NP-X120 laptop the other day, which I’ve christened Sirius (previous laptops were called Hagrid and Lupin). I spent a couple of hours on Easter Monday installing software (Eclipse, emacs, iTunes, the usual stuff) and running Windows Easy Transfer to copy stuff from XP to Windows 7. “Hi, could you tell […]

“Operation currently prohibited by disk” considered harmful

Our DVD player will frequently show a little banner on the TV screen when you press a button. The banner reads: Operation currently prohibited by disk Prohibited. By a disk. What business is it for a DVD to say that I can’t fast forward through their idiotic and patronising piracy warnings and disclaimers? The worst […]

Podcast: “Shot of JAQ”

In a prior life on Usenet, I knew a chap called Stuart Langridge, who went by the nick “Aquarius”. Aq had interesting and forthright opinions on pretty much any subject you cared to mention, and could put them forward eloquently and persuasively. To my delight, I’ve discovered that Aq and a compadre (Jono Bacon) now […]

The Internet is for cat pictures

Because the Internet is primarily for distributing pictures of cats (lol- or otherwise), here are Cleo (who sadly died last year) and Henry.

Is a random set of bytes a UTF-8 string?

UTF-8 is an encoding for Unicode text with several nice properties: Any Unicode string can be encoded For pure ASCII text (characters under 128), the UTF-8 encoded form is the same as the ASCII form It’s pretty well universally recognised as a text-interchange format on the Internet Random byte streams are unlikely to be misinterpreted […]