Category Archives: Rants

Where is the SQL database plugin for ODBC (qsqlodbc.dll) in Qt 5.6 ?

It looks like the SQL database plugin for ODBC (qsqlodbc.dll) is missing from the standard Qt 5.6 installer for Windows you download from You’d expect to find it in C:\Qt\Qt5.6.0\5.6\msvc2015_64\plugins\sqldrivers\ where the sqlite, mysql and postgresql ones are found, … Continue reading

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Interpreting “The program can’t start errors” on Windows

Sometimes when you start an executable named say xxx.exe on Windows Desktop a modal pop-up may appear: with the message: The program can’t start because xxx.exe is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem. As … Continue reading

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The quest for a decent Android RSS aggregator

Do you pick posts to read on your 7″ Android tablet from a few RSS feeds ? Do you need an Android app to aggregate them, download the posts for offline reading and present them in a clean, lightweight list … Continue reading

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Subscribing to trac’s RSS feed

With trac version 0.11.7 we hit a bug where requesting the timeline RSS triggers a UnicodeDecodeError. This can be fixed by changing line 224 of the file /usr/share/pyshared/buildbot/status/web/ as follows: unilist.append(unicode(line,’utf-8′,’replace’)) where we exploit the more recent resilient version Python’s unicode function: with the … Continue reading

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@#!%&$ Windows environment variable sometimes change case

We had this puzzling behavior of a compilation step failing on all our Windows buildslaves, when the same compilation would succeed when performed interactively. After long searching and meditating, we found out. The issue was that Windows environment variable change … Continue reading

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Innovation in numerical analysis

Innovation does not stop in the field of numerical analysis, which lies at the heart of industrial applications of numerical simulation and modeling. In this regards the recent paper “Multifrontal Factorization of Sparse SPD Matrices on GPUs (ACM)” by T … Continue reading

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64 ain’t enough

It seems a great deal to have 64 bits to address memory. Take the integer value of 264 = 18446744073709551616: that’s more than 18 followed by 18 zeros, or 18 exa (mega, M = 106; giga, G = 109; tera, … Continue reading

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Why spreadsheets suck at modeling

Every time I step onto an airplane I shiver at the thought that the engineers who designed it might have used Excel (or any other spreadsheeting tool for what matters) for their calculations. It’s time for a good rant against … Continue reading

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