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Archive for September, 2007

“Don’t play with matches while sitting on an open barrel of powder”

We have a saying in Poland like the one in the title of this post. Well… seems I forgot about it today (well… now it’s already tomorrow, so today means yesterday).

What happened? I bought myself a new shiny harddisk for my laptop and an external USB drive to put the old disk into use. That’s nothing bad of course. At least not on its own… But while preparing a working environment on the new disk I had the old disk hot-plugged to access its data. At some moment one of the volumes became inaccessible. The NTFS filesystem seems to be invalid and despite my tries to salvage the disk I was unsuccessful and it looks like I’ll have to say good bye to the data stored on that partition.

As it was a Windows installation and I rarely work on Windows there wasn’t much precious data there… Actually there was only one piece of valuable data there – one that wasn’t copied anywhere else… And now for the best part – what was that data? Well… not my bank passwords (thank God!) and not my PhD thesis (the risk of it being lost was minimal as the thesis doesn’t exist yet, but never underestimate the power of quantum fluctuations!). But unfortunately it was a final project of the diploma for the Qt Centre Programming Contest… What a shame… if I don’t find a way to access my data, I’ll have to make the diploma again and last time it took three months to do it :)

So… if anyone knows how to validate an invalid ntfs filesystem (standard Windows tools said it was unrepairable) without buying expensive software, I’d be grateful for any help in that matter.

Memo for today – Uncle Bill doesn’t like me.

Qt lectures

A while ago I wrote in one of my previous posts that many things had happened during last few months and I’d like to share some of them with you. So here is the first thing…


As you probably know I am a PhD candidate in Institute of Computer Science on Warsaw University of Technology. Part of my responsibilities involves having academic activities with students. Last semestre I managed to make myself part of the “Programming Interactive Applications” course that shows students the basics of technologies such as WinAPI, .NET, MFC, XLib and Qt. I was asked to conduct a six hour course on Qt, which entered the course just a semestre earlier. It was a very big thing for me – one might say that it was a vocation for becoming a “Qt Apostle” (I admit I borrowed that term from Scott Collins) so I treated it very seriously.

I think the lecture came out quite fine. The biggest problem was to decide what to tell about and what to omit. I talked quite much about paradigms like meta-types, signals and slots, layouts and virtual method based event handling. Because of that I had less time to talk about more advanced things like Arthur (I just managed to talk a bit about device independence and window-viewport transformations) or Interview (which is a pitty because you know how I like it…). But thanks to that I had more time to present the graphics view framework.

 Apart from the lectures I were to give students two exercises (not conducting them though). The first one was about creating a simple image viewer using available widgets and the second one was to prepare a kitchen timer widget and a Designer plugin for it. Students seemed to be interested in the projects so I guess the choice was correct. Starting with the semestre that starts in a week I’ll be conducting the exercises as well, so maybe I’ll have additional time to brainwash… eem… present some more Qt knowledge to students.

All in all people seemed interested in the topic which gives me much satisfaction. I should probably change or update the contents of the lectures a bit, so I’m waiting for your fresh ideas and comments. There is enough knowledge (as well as motivation and urg to pass that knowledge) to make a dedicated course, but unfortunately I don’t think an average PhD student can make that happen.


Of course I couldn’t resist myself from implementing the algorithm I have written about in the previous post.

Images below have been scaled to fit on the page. The second one was scaled down using the application.

QRetargetScale download

Image retargetting

I just stumbled upon descriptions of an innovative image scaling algorithm. I’m pretty impressed with the results. How about adding Qt::RetargetTransformation to Qt::TransformationMode? 😉


And an obligatory movie:


Qt book review

The Book of Qt4 coverSome time ago I’ve been asked if I wanted to write a review of one of the new books related to Qt. I agreed and soon after I had a copy of the book in my hands. Thanks go to Camille Herrera of No Starch Press for letting me do this. I’m certainly waiting for more!


The Book of Qt4 – The Art of Building Qt Applications review


If you do or don’t agree with my review, please leave your comment. Another review of the book is available here (the site seems to be currently down though).

Contest results

Oh, by the way – we have announced the results of the Qt Centre Programming Contest.

PPAM 2007

I have just returned from my first scientific conference. It was PPAM 2007 held in Gdansk, Poland. The most important thing is that I went there not only as a “viewer”, but as an active participant, presenting my first paper — End to End QoS Measurements of TCP Connections. The article will be published in upcoming LNCS (Lecture Notes in Computer Science) by Springer. The article will also be published on my website after the print is complete. Here is the abstract:


This paper presents selected issues on quality measurements of TCP connections, seen from the end user’s perspective and not from the service provider’s point of view. The main focus is put on selection of parameters, which values are worth gathering, and can be gathered without disturbing end user applications. To verify the presented ideas, a measuring tool — QMP (QoS Measurement Plug In) was developed. QMP is placed inside the kernel of Linux 2.6 operating system as an extension to the packet filter. The paper shortly describes the tool and some experiments performed with it.

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