Blacktree’s Nocturne updated for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

Ever used Nocturne back in 2007 – 2009? Had to stop recently due to the strange flicker (it doesn’t play nice with Mountain Lion)? Well give 2.0.1 a try!

Via impossibile.info

The color blind among you might have noticed that the Universal Access section in Preferences allows you to invert colors on your Mac. Nocturne performs a similar task, however giving you a bit more flexibility.

Accessible from your menu bar, Nocturne lets you switch quickly between what it calls day and night vision. Even if you aren’t color blind, you’ll notice that night vision is much easier on the eyes when using Nocturne in a low light environment.

Nocturne’s preferences can be played around with to customize day and night vision according to your needs. You can disable shadows and your desktop and create your own night vision by selecting two tints from the full color spectrum. You can also leave it in plain black and white.

Nocturne also lets you invert hue and screen. Give it a try to see what feels best for you. I felt the brightness adjustment slider was a bit limited though and couldn’t really find a significant difference either way I set it.

Nocturne is a bit more advanced than the color inversion features found in Universal Access.

~ Softonic

So it was a killer app then, and had saved my eyes for years! Unfortunately with the update to Mountain Lion and a lack of support from Blacktree (but they did open source it!), it wasn’t going to be fixed anytime soon.

I recently modified the source to play nice with Mountain Lion. You can check out the source here, or just download the latest binary here. As usual just unzip the binary and drag and drop Nocturne.app into /Applications.

Nocturne

Enjoy!

How to divide by 3 quickly using the NEON instruction set

Neon

Ok… so as many of you know, Neon is ARM’s library that has optimised low level system calls specialised for the A9 and A7 architectures. Unlike Ne10, it can be really fast… In many cases it can also be really painful to code in! Division isn’t provided as a part of the Neon instruction set, and it would be incredibly inefficient for an SSE instruction to widen an 8 bit unsigned integer up to a 32 bit float, solely to multiply by the reciprocal (multiplicative inverse). Fear not! There are ways to divide with neon, whilst it being relatively efficient. One such method is known as unsigned integer division by constants. This can be performed by computing the reciprocal of the divisor in advance, then multiply the dividend by that series of shift right and add instructions. This gives an approximation of the quotient.

Here is a pre rolled version of my vdiv3_u8 instruction to achieve division by 3 using as much SSE neon goodness as possible!

uint8x8_t vdiv3_u8(uint8x8_t in){
    //widen in
    uint16x8_t tmp = vmovl_u8(in);

    //q = (n >> 2) + (n >> 4)   ~ q = n * 0.0101 (approx.)
    uint16x8_t quo = vshrq_n_u16(tmp, 2);
    quo = vaddq_u16(quo, vshrq_n_u16(tmp, 4));
    
    //q = q + (q >> 4)          ~ q = n * 0.01010101
    quo = vaddq_u16(quo, vshrq_n_u16(quo, 4));
    //q = q + (q >> 8)          ~ q = n * 0.0101010101010101
    quo = vaddq_u16(quo, vshrq_n_u16(quo, 8));
    
    // r = n - q*3
    uint16x8_t rem = vsubq_u16(tmp,vmulq_n_u16(quo,3));
    
    // return q + (6*r >> 4)
    tmp = vaddq_u16(quo, vshrq_n_u16(vmulq_n_u16(rem,6),4));
    
    //shorten
    in  = vmovn_u16(tmp);
    return in;
}

Note: the major inefficiency here is that our vector of 8*8 bit unsigned int values are lengthened to the give space to compute and then shortened again once we have a result.

A full list of the NEON instruction set can be found here!

Lofti’s Fuzzy Logic built into kids cartoons

It appears that the “Bob the Builder” Character “Lofty” may have been based on the father of the “Fuzzy Logic” Lofti Zadeh.

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“Fuzzy logic is a form of many-valued logic or probabilistic logic; it deals with reasoning that is approximate rather than fixed and exact. In contrast with traditional logic theory, where binary sets have two-valued logic, true or false, fuzzy logic variables may have a truth value that ranges in degree between 0 and 1. Fuzzy logic has been extended to handle the concept of partial truth, where the truth value may range between completely true and completely false.”~ Wikipedia

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Like the theory, he never has an exact answer they are always probabilistic… with “yeah… I think so?” (within a 95% confidence interval?).

But seriously, Lofti Zadeh is a pioneer within computer science and he is also credited with the development of the z-transform.

Bravo Aldous Huxley

This prescient genius was well ahead of his time!

“I use logic and common sense friend. I’ve read many books, each book is not 100% correct. Numbers and statistics lie all the time. Greed, and the fear of losing ones power are what drive the elites to do what they do. Suppressing our knowledge and technology, keeping certain parts of the world in turmoil.”

Tax Time in Aus

Information about other operating systems and browsers for e-tax users

General information

E-tax may not work on operating systems other than those recommended by us. Those recommended have been tested and comply with our security and privacy requirements. If you choose to use an operating system that is not recommended by us, you may experience problems using e-tax.

E-tax is not compatible with computers running Linux or Apple Mac operating systems. However, e-tax has previously been tested successfully on an Apple computer running OS X v10.6.3 with VMWare Fusion 3, Parallels Desktop 5 and Boot Camp software, running a recommended Windows operating system. Some Linux users have reported success using ‘Wine’, but we have not tested this. Wine is a translation layer (a program loader) capable of running Windows applications on Linux and other POSIX compatible operating systems.

The cost of software, such as emulation software or a Windows operating system, purchased and used to allow the completion and lodgment of your tax return via e-tax, is tax deductible. It is important to note that you can only claim that portion of the cost that is related to preparing and lodging your return or managing your tax affairs. If you use this software for other purposes you must apportion your claim. Deductions for this expense can be claimed at item D10 – Cost of managing tax affairs on your tax return and must be claimed in the income year you incurred them.

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Awesome ATO… thats just awesome! Attention Linux and Mac users; you can purchase a Windows OS to report your tax and claim it back on tax! How could Microsoft lose? They couldn’t possibly allow online tax submissions or at least a java app?

Would you like to know more?