Geographical precision compared

February 4th, 2013 by Richy B. No comments »
Precision UK Ordnance Survey Eastings and Northings Grid Reference Degrees Decimal Degrees
Data from Wikipedia Stack Exchange
111km 1 0 decimal places
11.1km 0.1 1 decimal place
1.1km 2 digits each/4 digits total
1km square
0.01 2 decimal places
111m 3 digits each/6 digits total
100m square
0.001 3 decimal places
11.1m 4 digits each/8 digits total
10m square
0.0001 4 decimal places
1.1m 5 digits each/10 digits total
1m square
0.00001 5 decimaal places
11cm 6 digits each/12 digits total
10cm square
0.000001 6 decimal places
1.11cm 7 digits each/14 digits total
1cm square
0.0000001 7 decimal places
1.11mm 8 digits each/16 digits total
1mm square
0.00000001 8 decimal places

PHP: Magento: Extract orders based on tax status and payment type

February 2nd, 2013 by Richy B. No comments »

When you are doing your quarterly VAT returns and inputting details of your Magento shopping cart ordersinto your accounting software (such as the brilliant Crunch system), wouldn’t it be handy to be able to get a simple list of all orders between two dates, whether tax was paid on the order or not (note: this query will NOT work if you have orders with taxable and non-taxable items) and the method of payment (if you are running the SagePaySuite, it’ll also list whether payment was made via Amex):

COUNT(*) AS ordercount,SUM(nettotal) AS nettotal,SUM(taxamount) AS taxamount,taxstatus,paymenttype
sales_flat_order.increment_id AS orderid,
sales_flat_order.entity_id AS internalid,
sales_flat_order.base_total_paid-sales_flat_order.base_tax_amount AS nettotal,
IF (sales_flat_order.base_tax_amount>0,'tax','untaxed') AS taxstatus,
sales_flat_order.base_tax_amount AS taxamount,
IF (sales_flat_order_payment.method='sagepayform',IF (sagepaysuite_transaction.card_type='AMEX','Amex','SagePay'),sales_flat_order_payment.method) AS paymenttype
JOIN sales_flat_order_payment ON sales_flat_order_payment.parent_id=sales_flat_order.entity_id
LEFT OUTER JOIN sagepaysuite_transaction ON sagepaysuite_transaction.order_id=sales_flat_order.entity_id
AND sales_flat_order.created_at>='2012-11-01' AND sales_flat_order.created_at<='2013-01-31' ) AS subquery GROUP BY subquery.taxstatus,subquery.paymenttype

Movies: Recently watched films

January 20th, 2013 by Richy B. No comments »

This week, mainly due to insomnia, my wife and I have watched a number of movies, and here’s a thoughts on them in “worst to best” order. Some spoilers ahead.

5. Prometheus
Looking up its Wikipedia entry afterwards kinda sums up our thoughts of this movie. It started off being a sequel to Alien, then a reboot and then a prequel. It shows its uncertainty quite a bit and it had a lot of potential, but just wasted it with “cut and pasted” sections from Alien (oh – the robot has a different agenda from everyone else and – shock horror – ends up decapitated. Oh, somebody leans over something different and gets a acid-blood face hugger who people then take back to a ship whilst a woman tells them not to break quarantine etc etc). It could have just been so much more – and how did the Space Jockey get back to his ship in his pilot seat (as we see him in Alien with a “chest buster” hole) if he died in the Prometheus emergency pod? Too formulaic, too uncertain what it is (psychological horror horror, sci-fi, straight horror). Very disappointing.

4. Tron: Legacy
I managed to pick this up for just £3 at Sainsburys yesterday – and I’m glad that’s all we paid for it. The young Jeff Bridges/CLU didn’t quite “seem right” (we think it may be because the VFX tried to map the 1980s “Jeff Bridges face” [but not the one from the original Tron] onto the 2010’s Jeff Bridges face and things – due to aging – just don’t match right), the sirens scene seemed extraordinarily redundant (and those heels!) and the light-bikes and curves? A large part of the excitement of the original Tron Light Cycle “race” was the fact they could only make 90 degree turns and be quite limited as to how they could escape: whereas ramps and curves (and not long lasting light trails) means it was just a standard chase sequence. The suits lighting (and the whole “grid lighting/effect”) wasn’t, in my opinion, as good/effective as the original movie, the story line seems a bit forced (especially concerning ENCOM) and there just wasn’t really much Tron in Tron (“Tron” has been reprogrammed as is, in fact, playing a different character for most of the movie). Oh – and Michael Sheen’s Castor/Zuse character was very David Bowie-esque.

3. The Dark Knight Rises
Actually reasonably good – we had problems with the sound level: when Batman was speaking we had to increase the volume and when Bane was speaking, reduce the volume. Quite a few plot holes (how did Batman get to/from the prison when “not-at-all-Manhattan-island” was closed off), but wasn’t bad.

2. Marvel’s The Avengers
Quite enjoyed it, thought “Black Widow” was a bit of a wasted character: she didn’t seem to do much. Loved Iron Man. This was the first movie we saw in the sequence, so my mind is a little bit hazy of the details now.

1. The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey: Cinema release (2D)
This is the only one we’ve seen at the cinema (at Cineworld in Ashford: all the others were DVDs or iTunes) and it was a little bit loud for us (but this is probably due to the cinema not the film). I’ve never read the book so I can’t really compare them. I felt the Gollum/Sméagol poetry scene was stretched out and didn’t fit (if they had alternated with the Dwarves being in peril it would have given a better “going on at the same time” feeling instead of “dwarves are on pause”). The trolls and the Pale orc seemed a bit “deus ex machina” solved – and why didn’t they just ride the eagles all the way to the mountain. I was surprised the great goblin was actually Dame Edna Everage (well, Barry Humphries). Apart from all that, quite fun and enjoyable.

Y2k Tech: RISC OS: Old software

January 5th, 2013 by Richy B. No comments »

Here’s some old software I wrote and release for RISC OS back in 2000.

All software requires RISC OS3+ and 1Mb+ RAM. They have NOT been tested since 2000 (so compatibility with StrongARM, RaspberryPi machines etc is uncertain). They will not run (except under RISC OS emulation) on Windows, Linux, Mac machines etc.

bwamazeA very simple non-desktop maze game set in a three dimensional (3D) environment where your objective is to simply find the treasure and the escape from the maze.

Download v0.02 (01-Oct-2000) [6k] for RISC OS. Freeware

bwgsmplayA shareware program (registration fee of 3UKP) allowing you play play back GSM sound files (as used by several internet voice mail systems). Comes complete with two sample GSM files.

Download bwgsmplay v1.09 (01-Oct-2000) [65k] for RISC OS. Shareware.

bwpianoThis is a very simple program with no purpose whatsoever. All it does is display a (strange) piano keyboard with an orang three dimensional hand floating in front of it. The hand is controlled by the mouse and depression of the mouse buttons depresses the fingers of the hand and plays any appropriate notes.

Download bwpiano v0.02 (01-Oct-200) [3k] for RISC OS. Freeware.

Y2k Tech: Configuring Outlook Express to send plain text email

January 5th, 2013 by Richy B. No comments »

I’m adding the details of how to configure Outlook Express to stop sending HTML email and to send plain text email only here for archival reasons. Although in 2013, this information should no longer be needed (it was back in 2000ish when I originally wrote it). So please be aware this is massively outdated and probably no longer relevant information, but I like to archive stuff 😉

Sending plain text email

When you receive a copy of Microsoft Outlook Express (either pre-installed on your hard drive, copied from a CD or downloaded from the Internet), is will usually have the default preferences set in a manner that is wasteful on time and resources.
Why you should re-configure Outlook
Email (e-mail, electronic mail etcetra) was designed to send fast, speedy, accurate transmission of messages between multiple computer types and programs. Unfortently, the default configuration of Outlook Express ‘assumes’ that everybody wants to receive what is called ‘HTML-Enabled Email’ which increases length of most e-mails (it at least doubles it), doesn’t add anything that isn’t already given in the message, and is incompatible with most non-Outlook Express users.
If you use Outlook Express for business communications, or have a large volume of personal email, but still have ‘HTML-Enable Email’ email enabled, then over time this will have quite a dramatic effect on your phone bill, so it’s advisable to set it up correctly – which will also please the people you’re sending emails to because they won’t receive a duplicate copy as an attachment.
How to send ‘non-HTML’ email using Outlook
If you follow the instructions below your future emails be internet compliant and not only will your phone bill be lower but you won’t get any complaints from people receiving your emails:

  1. Load Outlook Express
  2. Click on the ‘Tools’ option on the menu bar and select ‘Options…’
    This will open the options control window.

  3. Click on the ‘Send’ tag at the top.
  4. Under the “Mail sending format”, ensure that the ‘Plain Text’ option is ticked, by clicking on it if needed.
  5. Click on the ‘Settings’ box to the right of this option.
  6. Ensure that the option “Encode text using” box is set to ‘None’ and click ‘OK’.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 for the “News sending format” (as USENET news must be in plain text format only).
  8. Ensure that the ‘Include message in reply’ option is turned OFF – ie. no tick – by clicking on it if required.
  9. Click ‘OK’ to activate your new settings.

Outlook Express should now be setup correctly.
Changing the default mail program

If you do not wish to use Outlook Express as your mail program, and perhaps previously used a different mail client, you can revert to this by changing your default mail client.
Do this by going to the ‘Tools’ menu in Outlook Express and selecting ‘Options’. There is a checkbox here called ‘Make Outlook Express my default mail client’ – if you uncheck this Outlook Express will no longer be invoked if you try to send mail from, say, a link on the web.
You will need to set up your own mail settings if you use a different mail package.

Removing Outlook Express

Windows 95
Outlook Express can be uninstalled in the normal way using the Add/Remove Programs function which you will find if you go to the ‘Start’ menu and look in ‘Settings’ then ‘Control Panel’. From the Add/Remove Programs dialogue box, select Outlook Express, then click on Add/Remove.

Windows 98/2000
Outlook Express is part of the Internet Explorer integration with the Windows operating system and cannot be easily uninstalled.

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