So it turns out that the problem I mentioned yesterday that I didn’t know if I could fix was fixable once I realized one critical fact: ATSUI is butt-slow when it’s drawing into a 1-bit bitmap on a machine whose video-card doesn’t support 1-bit mode (which is most machines now). Once I figured that out, I could choose to waste a lot of memory and draw into a full-on RGB pixmap, then render it down to 1-bit and see things get about 100x faster. It’s not every day you can make that kind of performance improvement, and I’m feeling a lot better about the software thing again.
While I was figuring that out, I was also on the phone with Paychex trying to get them to complete the change-of-address for my business. They make it (for at least a little while longer) much more complicated than it should be, since they make you file a form 8822 (PDF) with the IRS, then send them proof that the IRS has your change of address before they’ll actually put through the change. But they also file a form 941 (PDF) with the IRS every quarter, and that form has a handy little checkbox to tell the IRS that the address has changed. Due to my griping, they may actually check that checkbox for their customers (again, sometime in the future, but I’ve gotten assurances that they’re looking into it now – apparently adding a check-mark to the form is a major programming effort on their part) when their customers’ addresses change, and everything will be as it should have been. And it only took me about six hours of complaining altogether in order to nudge them into making that change.
A hint for dealing with publicly-traded companies: calling their Investor Relations number will often get you directly to a person who can bypass the maze of phone-menus and forward you right to the person who can help. But also note that this is powerful mojo, like using Jedi mind control or calling Amazon.com’s secret 800-number, so use it wisely.
One last thing before I get to the links – I realized this morning I’ll have owned my house for a full month tomorrow. I think I’ll celebrate by trying to at least finish getting the living room unpacked.
- A friend on the same mailing list that I mentioned on Tuesday points out that Bruce Sterling’s A Good Old-Fashioned Future contains the story Maneki Neko in which everyone receives what they want through unexpected means, but in exchange has to do small tasks as directed by some centralized system. It’s a very good story, and probably is part of what tickled my brain to mention that idea at all.
- The Spam King is a profile of Bill Waggoner, who’s one of the bigger spammers out there, may he rot in hell.
- Random Acts of Spamness talks more about spammers filling messages with random words to get around filters.
- Worsening spam epidemic chokes the net as 62.7 per cent of all global emails sent during December were spam, up from 55 percent in November and half in October. [fark!]
- Fax.com Still Dodging Legal Slaps, and will probably just not pay the $5.3 million fine levied by the FCC, the same way they’re not paying the $2.2 trillion that junkfax.org is seeking. Meanwhile, a number of spinoff companies are doing the same things that fax.com did.