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About myself: I am an English electronic engineer, turned software engineer. I program full-time in VB and VC. I work for a company that produces high reliability radio and security system control software. I program the background code modules and engineering interfaces. This site is simple because that's the way I like it. I have no plans for fancy java auto download applets, I turn all this junk off and I am sure most other people do also.
I use this site to learn about the web and to distribute programs I have written. These include utilities I needed and wrote for myself and programs I wrote to investigate some programming issue. For instance I have written BrainChk in VB, VC both 16 and 32 bit, the VB version is here, it is the prettiest. The utilities might as well be released as only be used by myself.
|CRCShellExt - Explorer shell add-on||Adds a property page to explorer that shows the CRC of a file.|
|Blesser - System Switcher||For people who dual-boot NT and Win9x, this bypasses the OS selection menu|
|Active Line - User controllable line control||Gives the end-user the ability to move a line, like the design time line in VB|
|ClkEntry - Graphical time entry control||Pretty time entry control, works with no keyboard or a touch screen.|
|CalEntry - Graphical date entry control||Time entry control with dropdown calendar, UK format, no apologies.|
|ZLibOCX - Compression engine||The freeware compression method made easy for VB to use.|
|CRCOCX - CRC calculation engine||Multiple CRC calculation methods, again easy for VB to use|
|BrainChk - Mental maths game||The program I write when I learn a new language, maybe I'll do a java version.|
|Other sites||The obligatory links section.|
A simpler address: www.preface.co.uk. This will automatically go to wherever my site lives.
My main site: www.sirocco.f9.co.uk.
US users, this site is UK based, so I guess you may find the link slow, I have a GeoCities site that may be 'closer' to you.
|Ever get two files that look the same,
same size, same version and same date. One PC is crashing
and the other is not wouldn't you like a way of ensuring
the data within the file is also identical. You could
just copy the files but if it is in use that can be a
problem. Now you can just right-click on the files and
get a number that proves the contents are the same or not
- no question.
This is written in C++ and Assembly language, the result is VERY FAST.
The archive crcpp.zip (624 KB) contains the program and support files, or crcppmin.zip (16 KB) has just the program, you can use this if the version of MFC42.DLL/MSVCRT.DLL on your PC is 6.00.8447.0/6.00.8397.0 or better. More info CRCShExt.txt
Version 1.03 Recompile to use
faster CRC DLL, now based on assembly language.
Version 1.02 Recompile to remove debug info oops!, now it is smaller and maybe faster.
Version 1.01 Fixes problems on files following taking the CRC of an empty file, cosmetic display changes.
Main download location: crcpp.zip (624
Backup download location: crcpp.zip (624 KB) crcppmin.zip (15 KB)
I am not alone in producing a utility to do this, you could also check out Greg Lorriman page
As a developer, I find I often have to switch OS (NT4+ or Win95+) to test things in each environment.
There are two problems with that, you have to stay around long enough to select the new OS from the boot menu rather than get a drink. And then for each reboot you have to select the OS again if it is not the default.
This program does two things when run. It changes the default operating system to be the opposite to the system in which it is run. Then it reboots.
Originally I used a batch file to change the boot.ini file but this couldn't reboot the PC (Yes, I now know this possible with rundll commands!).
archive Blesser.zip (10 KB) contains the EXE there is no install, it requires VB5 Runtime (SP3), not included. More info: blesser.txt
Main download location: Blesser.zip (10
Backup download location: Blesser.zip (10 KB)
|This is a rudimentary drawing element as an OCX,
designed for use with VB5/6. If you have ever been
disappointed to find that the line in VB won't let the
user drag it around, this might be the answer. It is not
fast, just written in VB5 but it is useable
The archive ActvLine.zip (23 KB) contains the OCX there is no install, it is designed to be used in a VB5/6 project.
You can download the source ActLineSrc.zip (36 KB) here, mail me back what you make of it!
Main download location: ActvLine.zip
Backup download location: ActvLine.zip (23 KB)
Source main download location: ActLineSrc.zip
Source backup download location: ActLineSrc.zip (36 KB)
|This control works in two modes, first as
a text mode strict 'masked' edit that will not allow
invalid times. It may be used in this way as freeware.
Second it can be used in a graphical mode that is
designed for use on touchscreens, where there is no
keyboard, although it works perfectly with a mouse
The archive ClkOCX.zip (47 KB) contains the OCX, a sample project and a reg file (new style .LIC file!) there is no install, it is designed to be used in a VB5 project.
Commercial users, see the about box for reg info (unlock code and source), freeware/shareware authors, e-mail me and I will swap an unlock code for a registered version of any programs you produce using it.
Note: This control will not work in Access.
Main download location: ClkOCX.zip (47
Backup download location: ClkOCX.zip (47 KB)
This control is a tightly controlled date entry text box with the option to drop down a graphical calendar.
No apologies it uses UK short date format I get sick of the erratic international support if I let windows or VB anywhere near a date. American users can use the medium date format.
It is designed to be used with VB5 and does not require any files beyond the standard VB5 runtime.
Note: This control will not work in Access.
Main download location: Cal.zip (35 KB)
Backup download location: Cal.zip (35 KB)
This is a simple to use in-memory compression OCX, designed for use with 32 bit VB. It is only a wrapper around the excellent zlib libraries developed by written by Mark Adler and Jean-loup Gailly. The compression used is the same as that used in PNG graphics or PKZIP, the best you can get!
info ZLib.txt or the archive ZLibOCX.zip (55 KB) there is no install, it is designed to be used in VB4/5.
Main download location: ZLibOCX.zip (55
Backup download location: ZLibOCX.zip (55 KB)
This is a simple to use in-memory CRC calculation OCX, designed for use with 32 bit VB. It calculates industry standard 16 and 32 bit CRC's, simple LRC (sums) and XOR's of an arrays, all possible from VB but at least 500 times quicker in C++/ASM.
More info crcocx.txt or the archive crcocx.zip (55 KB) there is no install, it is designed to be used in VB4/5.
Freeware control, source available for commercial users who need to guarantee maintainability.
Version 1.00 - Initial release.
Version 1.01 - Fixed requirement for second progress bar in VB project.
Version 1.02 - Now adds support for ModBUS/XModem CRCs (ISO CCITT16).
Version 1.03 - Now adds support for Reversed CCITT16.
Version 1.04 - Now does CRC of byte arrays and variants, quicker and avoids and Unicode problems.
Version 1.05 -
Added an 8 bit CRC, by request source supplied, unsure of its use.
Added Custom CRCs
Added functions to retrieve crc as hex/dec string, for VB!
Optimized most CRC calculations with Assembly language.
Unsorted property page listbox and change size to please VB6, but it still moans sometimes :(
Added GetLastError fx, call this if the crc is 0, if it is genuinely 0, GetLastError will return 0, else it
returns whatever error it got from the OS, could be anything (but 0)!
Added a function to process a file on disk.
Added functions and events to process a file on disk asynchronously
Main download location: crcocx.zip (55
Backup download location: crcocx.zip (55 KB)
This is a beta at present, but I have wrapped up [most of] the CRC OCX functionality into a COM DLL (24 KB), this means that you can calculate CRCs from scripting environments like VBA. Even C++ dinosaurs who hate the sight of OCXs can use it in C++ :)
Main download location: comcrc.zip
Backup download location: comcrc.zip (24 KB)
A little puzzle program I wrote (this is the VB5 version, I also did the same program in 16 and 32 bit C++). I made it shareware, just to see if anybody registers this sort of thing. The shareware cripple is very light and if you are any good at the game then it won't affect you at all.
In the UK it is like the number puzzle part of countdown, and before they get excited about copyright, I played this as a kid with normal cards. In the USA I am told that there is a game called Crypto which is about the same.
In short it is a math(s) puzzle, you use the top cards to arrive at the bottom card.
I have had several e-mails and reviews saying that the program suffers from a lack of a working out area/function. This is missing the point, the point is to improve your mental arithmetic!
More info readme.txt or
the limited (251 KB) install file basic.zip (backup
location basic.zip) this file misses the
system and vb runtime files. Chances are that you have VB5
Runtime (SP3) by now. If you try this and it fails then you
need the whole install (1681 KB), this is on the virtual server
net at various places.
to see more, try this: http://search.filez.com/search.cgi?query=brainchk.exe&domain=world
Answers to most things, and quick too: http://www.experts-exchange.com/
The best hardware site: http://www.tomshardware.com
Find companies on the web: http://www.websitez.com/
Find files to FTP: http://www.filez.com/
C++ tips/source: http://www.codeguru.com they have a VB section also worth a look.
Something for (very nearly) nothing in the UK: http://www.carpetbagger.com
[anti-]Hacking and [anti-]Cracking Resources (and not an ify banner in site): http://www.fravia.org
Programmer's file editor: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/people/cpaap/pfe/
Free motherboard temperature monitor: http://www.euronet.nl/users/darkside/mbmonitor/
Dial-up link monitor: http://www.southdown.co.uk/users/jgrieve
It stuns me that this site ever got noticed, but apparently it has, and I got a little picture to prove it, although it would be easy to add a bunch of these.
|LockerGnome, a sort of techy newsletter
is/has reviewed this site, the e-mail said that 130,000
subscribers would see it, that should please my ISP : )
© 2000 Chris@preface.co.uk (last updated 11 June 2000)
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