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Yet Another User Home Page

Wine is an open-source reimplementation of Windows that runs on top of Unix. There are two goals:
  • make it possible to run unmodified 16 and 32 bit Windows applications
  • make it possible to just take the source and recompile on Unix to generate a native Unix application, including on platforms not supported by Windows
Wine is still in a state of intensive development: it is still far from being able to run all every and all Windows applications stably, but it is still useful in many situations. CrossOver is proof of that: it lets you run such applications as Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Windows Media Player, QuickTime and many others productively and stably. So if your favorite applications does not work, the best thing to do is to become a Wine developper and fix the problem(s).
Ever done a 'su -' and then tried to start emacs? If X access is based on xauth, as it is now by default on Debian, then you already know the result: it fails. Using xauth rather than xhost makes a lot of sense from a security point of vue but who wants complications?

So here comes sux. sux works pretty much like su except it also transfers $DISPLAY and your X credentials (or a restricted version thereof) to the specified user.

'typos' is a script that searches for and reports common English spelling errors. The goal is to make it possible to run typos on the sources of computer applications or web sites based on PHP for instance. In both cases, the files to be analyzed contain a combination of regular English words and many 'words' that one would find in no dictionary: variable and function names, often words concatenated together, abreviations, technical terms, etc. Regular spell-checkers will report each of these which makes them almost unusable in that context. Even building custom dictionaries is project and version-specific and must be re-done over and over. This is why typos takes the opposite approach spell-checkers use: they assume any word not in a dictionary is incorrect while typos assumes any word is correct unless it matches a known, common spelling error. This means typos will not find all spelling errors, but it also means it has a very low false positive rate and works on any project, whether it is in C, Java or PHP.
The main limitation of typos is that it only knows about English and will generate some false positives when other languages are used.
Bing is Pierre Beyssac's tool for measuring the bandwidth of the network connection linking between two computers. For instance you can use it to determine whether the link that connects your company to the internet is a T1 or a modem. And you will not have to login on the router or to ask all your collegues to stop using the Internet while you do your measures (which would probably be quite hard for you to do). Of course there are limits and situations where Bing will not work but overall it gives good results.
Initially Bing only worked on Unix but in 1997 I ported it to Windows. Since then I have been working (unfortunately at a rather slow pace) on a new version of Bing which should be able to work in a wider range of situations and should give more precise and reliable results. By following the link below you will find all that you always wanted to know about Bing, the sources and the binary for Windows.
Distributed computing on the Internet
What is your CPU load right now ?
If you are just surfing the Net it must be close to 0 !!!
Unlike what processor manufacturers would have you believe, surfing the Net, doing word processing or drawing a 'PowerPoint' presentation does not take a great deal of CPU power. Even more CPU intensive activities like compiling programs or compressing/decompressing files don't really get your CPU usage up at the end of the day.
On average your CPU is probably idle more than 90% of the time. At the same time students and researchers struggle with problems that would require somewhere between thousands of hours and hundreds of years of CPU time to solve. What can you do ? Taken alone your computer cannot do much. But if one distributes the workload on all of the computers that are regularly connected to the Net even the most ambitious projects become feasible as has been demonstrated by and GIMPS.
  • Distributed computing: to learn more about the current Distributed Computing projects.
  • Cosm: tries to build a general framework to allow one to build distributed computing projects
  • GIMPS: searches prime numbers
  • encryption cracking
Ambisonic Surround
Ambisonic surround is a technology for mixing, encoding and decoding of music which allows you to get a better localisation of sounds than the regular stereo and more recent techniques such as Dolby Surround/Digital. Thanks to the laser and improvements in electronics most hi-fi systems now support a large frequency range and have excellent signal to noise ratios. Yet as far as recreating the original soundfield and the origin of a sound is concerned, not much has changed since the beginnings of stereo: when mixing is done, only the relative volume of the left and right channels is used to place a sound in the soundfield.
Then comes the Ambisonic Surround technology which has as its main characteristic the combined use of volume and phase. This already allows you to get a better stereo with a regular unmodified amplifier. Then using an encoding/decoding technique similar to that of Dolby Surround you can get a planar surround out of backward compatible stereo recordings. Finally if you use four independant channels and a minimum of six speakers you can obtain a periphonic surround, i.e. a surround sound that not only does left/right, front/back but also up/down (isn't that better than Dolby Digital which only produces planar surround out of five tracks?).
Well, in fact I did not get an opportunity to verify all this since I neither have Ambisonics recordings (I hope to fix that some day), nor do I own an Ambisonic decoder. But I think the Ambisonic's technical arguments make good sense. Here is your chance to make up your own mind by reading the documentation below.
Good Times Virus
If you have an email address you have probably already received one of these emails that ask you to warn all your friends and collegues that a new virus plagues the Internet. Sometimes the pretense is different: earn money, avoid getting bad luck... The root/ancestor of these messages is the "Good Times Virus" message. Each year thousands of uninformed users panic and fall for it, creating a snowball effect that spreads there panic. Having witnessed this phenomenon in 1996 I looked for a french translation of the "Good Times Virus FAQ" and found none. So I undertook the traduction and decided to make it publicly available to make it possible to educate as many people as possible.
Netiquette rules
I have gathered here a few rules for behaving correctly on the Internet. It might be a good idea to read the above "Good Times Virus" document as well.
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