The Faster-than-Fast Fourier Transform

Improving The Fast Fourier Transform

The Faster-than-Fast Fourier Transform can replace the Fast Fourier Transform to save processing time when digitising an analogue signal.

For a large range of practically useful cases, MIT researchers find a way to increase the speed of one of the most important algorithms in the information sciences. – Larry Hardesty, MIT News Office.

You can read it all here: MIT News Office.

Well this might be the case but it could so easily be that everyone takes it at face value and embodies this algorithm into all new electronic sound and video processors. We may then find all our music and video content degraded as a consequence. Then it will be too late. With the Faster-than-Fast Fourier Transform processing sound and video is quicker and cheaper so we’ll be stuck with it. Musicians who prefer analogue sound reproduction may find this degrades digital sound further. On the other hand it could improve the quality.

Using the Character Map application in Windows

Accessing The Character Map Application

It reminds me of an unusual dice when I see this icon. It has a beauty about it. What is it? It’s the icon representing the Character Map application in Windows 7, found on the Start Menu under Accessories > Ease of Access > System Tools.

The Character Map application is stored in the Windows\System32 folder and is entitled Charmap.exe. I keep a shortcut on the desktop or Dell Dock so I can get at it quickly.

If you want to do something similar on a Mac try this.

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Changing Text Styles on Windows 7 Sticky Notes

Windows 7 comes with Post-it® style Sticky Notes which can be stuck all over the desk top. Although you can change the background colour from a context menu and format the text from within the application, using Ctrl+Shift+[various keys] as per the Microsoft Instructions, the text style and colour can’t be changed from within. However you can change many things by cutting the text from the note and pasting it into Microsoft Word, if you have it, or WorPad if you don’t. (Use whichever starts quickest for you.) Most people are familiar with Notepad but not all are familiar with WordPad which is a cut down version of Word and is included with Windows. WordPad resides on the Start menu in the Accessories folder. Here is an example of what can be achieved:

windows 7 sticky notes
Sticky Note Example

From within Word or WordPad you can also do the things that the Microsoft Instructions suggest you can do using Ctrl+Shift+[various keys], e.g. Make a bulleted or numbered list, embolden, underline, italicise, strike through, increase text size incrementally and decrease text size incrementally. This may be the only way to change these things if you run a hot-key program which has been used to re-allocate the Ctrl+Shift keys required.

Perpetually editing your notes in Word or WordPad can be time consuming. All you need to do is have some notes formatted in the way you like and then copy and paste the already formatted text from an existing note to a new one and then edit it.

Excel Templates for Body Weight Records

Excel Templates for Body Weight Records
Excel Graph of Helpful Colin’s Weight 2011. (Select it to enlarge it.)

“Happy New Year! In 2012 I resolve to lose weight (again).”

Well I resolved to lose weight every year since at least 2005 and some years I succeeded. One tool I require for this is an accurate record of my weight on a DAILY, yes DAILY, basis. I know all those slimming clubs advise against measuring weight daily but to me that is unscientific. High definition pictures are better than low definition ones and weighing every day gives a good weight definition. Anyone would think that the act of measuring weight caused it to change. (I know Quantum Physicists have their doubts.)

Being scientific requires not just the measurements written down somewhere but a graph to give a picture of what is happening over time. I want to see if my weight is actually heading down or up or staying put. During this time I have come down from my heaviest of 15st (95.25kgs) in 2005 and again in July 2007 to 13st 4lbs (84.36kgs) in the same year. Then I rose again to 14st 7lbs (92kgs) and came down to 13st 2lbs (83.46kgs) in February 2010. Now I have risen again to 14st (88.9kgs) a weight I swore I would never see again.

(Note to self: I need to be more scientific about regulating the calories I consume.)

For me as a Microsoft Excel user for many years, Excel was my tool of choice for recording and plotting the data. The rest of this post explains my method for collecting the data and the use of Excel to record it. Ultimately it offers Excel files that you can download to use as templates with your Excel software so you can record your measurements in like manner.

Having decided on the tool for recording the data I then had to decide when I would measure my weight. I chose first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking, after visiting the bathroom and without clothing (I keep my hat specs on). This way I get the feel-good-factor of seeing my lowest possible weight each day. (We lose up to 1.5kgs at night due to exhaling moisture in our breath and urinating.) The point here is not to come up with an exact daily weight – it’s impossible. Our weight fluctuates up and down 2 or 3 pounds throughout the day. The point is to try and arrive at a consistent set of measurements that can be used to display a meaningful average weight situation, over time, on a graph.

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A Counterfeit Microsoft DVD Crops Up Again

Another Counterfeit Microsoft DVD

Remember how a few days ago I told you how I found I had a counterfeit Microsoft DVD. (See that post here). Well another one bought from another Amazon reseller has proved to be counterfeit. It’s one I bought to install on the computers of a friend soon after I bought the first one.

Now I see that Comet is in trouble with Microsoft. They’ve been producing their own Windows recovery discs for PC’s they sold – see here at PC Pro.

My Office Pro 2010 DVD’s Counterfeit

Introduction

Well, after 13 years on the Internet it looks like I have eventually been stung. I just found my Office Pro 2010 DVD’s counterfeit after two years. It looked fine and installed well on two PC’s (the package declares it is suitable for three PC’s) and it was activated on those two PC’s in August 2010. It was purchased from an Amazon re-seller and was advertised as only suitable for one PC. Continue reading “My Office Pro 2010 DVD’s Counterfeit”