Dragons in the Algorithm
Adventures in Programming
by Michael Chermside

Removing the "Macros" warning in PowerPoint

When you open any PowerPoint presentation made by my company's default presentation format, you get a warning that it contains macros and asking whether the macros should be disabled. The macros are useless, but removing this is somewhat awkward and difficult to remember so I'm writing down the instructions.

  1. Launch …

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Posted Mon 30 January 2012 by mcherm in Uncategorized

Using a Mix of Computers and Humans for Security

Suppose that your bank offers currency conversion as a service: give them a deposit or make a withdrawal in euros and they'll adjust your balance in dollars. They don't do this out of the goodness of their hearts: today's conversion rate is around 1.28 $ / €, so they'd give you 0 …

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Posted Tue 10 January 2012 by mcherm in Security

Binary Backward Compatibility

I saw this interesting article about a weakness in the Scala language. The weakness applies not just to Scala, but to pretty much any language: the community using the language cannot grow past a certain point until it somehow solves the problem of libraries depending on other libraries in a …

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Posted Wed 07 December 2011 by mcherm in Programming

Election Guide for Nov 8, 2011

My election guide for November 8, 2011.

My endorsements in Bold.

Retention of Judge, Pennsylvania Supreme Court (retain or not):

  1. Michael Eakin

NO, do not retain! -- In 2006, The PA State Legislature voted itself a pay raise in direct violation of the plain wording of the state constitution which states …

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Posted Mon 07 November 2011 by mcherm in Politics