The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
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Mankind has achieved so much, made incredible progress in so many fields, and performed extraordinary technological feats. We are taught all about these achievements but rarely about man’s stupidity and the ways in which he deceives himself.
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While the other boys wrote mere mechanical verses, Poe wrote genuine poetry: the boy was a born poet. As a scholar, he was ambitious to excel, and although not conspicuously studious, he always acquitted himself well in his classes. He was remarkable for self respect, without haughtiness. In his demeanor toward his playmates, he was strictly just and correct, which made him a general favorite, even with those who were older than he was. His natural and predominant passion seemed to me to be an enthusiastic ardor in everything he undertook. In any difference of opinion which occurred between him and his fellow students, he was very tenacious in maintaining his own views and would not yield until his judgment was convinced. He had a sensitive and tender heart, and would do anything to serve a friend. His nature was entirely free from selfishness, the predominant quality of boyhood.
I had posted earlier about 3 antique postcards I’d purchased of a house that had been in my family since before the Revolution. It is the oldest brick saltbox home in the United States. I finally got around to buying a triple frame for presenting them. Postcards themselves are roughly 100 years old.
I’m pretty excited about some huge (~90%) performance gains I’ve been able to make in our custom UI over the past few days.
Originally, our software had the typical default grey forms with drop-down menus, which was pretty much the standard in the 80s and 90s. Shortly before I started here, they migrated to our “Facelift” UI, which is really cool, uses a themed ribbon menu, shiny buttons, mouseover effects, rounded textboxes, etc.
We’re still using VFP, so we don’t have the advantage of the new .NET UI features, so we are doing all this “the hard way” by custom drawing our controls, every time the form is drawn. This slowed down the rendering of our forms by quite a lot.
So, the other day I took it upon myself to dig into that drawing code, and see if I could make some optimizations. I implemented a caching system, so that we save off each control as a PNG after we draw it the first time, and then the next time, grab it from cache. I also implemented an “ImageServer” that pre-loads all cached images on system startup.
This drastically improved performance. Forms are now back to being instantaneous, even with our UI goodies. Obviously, the downside is we now eat up a bunch more disk space for the cache, but these days disk space is cheap and plentiful. Just in case, I implemented a global “GDI Optimization” setting so the feature can be turned on or off.
I recorded a sample form opening with and without optimization and sent it to my manager and coworkers and got a few “wows”. It’s a hit!
A caching mechanism is something to strongly consider if you are doing some custom relatively static drawing of this type.
(If any VFP developers using GDIPlusX want more specific details, let me know. It takes relatively few lines of code to make this change.)
A great number of my family fought in the Revolutionary War, at least 15 members of the Day family from West Springfield alone, including my direct ancestor, Luke Day, Jr. I have, so far, only found record of one Tory, Capt. John Bancroft, who married into my family, marrying one of the Day cousins, Mary/Mercy Ashley (which I can only imagine caused familial strife when the war broke out).
He openly tried to aid the British from his home in Westfield, helping POWs to escape, passing along intelligence, etc., and was placed under house arrest. There is an entire book about him called Captain John Bancroft, Westfield’s Foremost Tory.
There is a very funny anecdote about him, probably fabricated. He was a very pretentious man, and built a huge brick mansion. It is said he used to sit by the window, to be able to yell out to the street, gloating over passersby about his beautiful home.
One such time, he asked an onlooker “Did you think you had reached paradise?”, to which the onlooker replied “Yes, I did think so, until I saw the devil looking out of the window!”
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