Wednesday, September 27, 2006

One year with the Prius

One year has passed since I got my Toyota Prius. I have been keeping a record of kilometres travelled and gas consumed. The average consumption over approximately 13000 Km has been about 5 lt/100 km. I have an Excel file here, which contains a graph of ‘lt/100 km’. During the past year I have tried to let the tank empty as much as possible and then fill it up with 20 Euros. However, sometimes this was not possible, so you will see some spikes in the graph; these are artefacts of the recording procedure. The true average consumption is calculated as the total amount of litres over the whole year divided by the number of kilometres travelled.
Overall, I am still very pleased with this car. The only problem is limited visibility, especially towards the back.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

TListView troubles

I have been trying to write some owner-draw procedures for a TListView in Delphi. Specifically, I need to draw some small bitmaps in the vsReport style. I thought this would be easy. So I used the OnCustomDrawSubItem event and all seemed fine until I started changing the width of the columns during run-time. The problem was that ‘column.width’ was not being updated during the dragging and the result was a mess. After looking into the source code of the ComCtrls unit I decided to write a custom control that would update the column widths properly. Again, I thought this would be easy. I spent almost all day trying to figure out why things were not working. Finally I discovered this blog entry:
It seems that Microsoft has changed the notification for TListView and HDN_TRACK may not work. So, if you are having the same problems, here is my complete solution. It emulates a OnColumnTrack event (similar to the OnSectionTrack event of THeaderControl) and uses both HDN_TRACK and HDN_ITEMCHANGING to detect column changes.
This goes in the interface section of your unit:

 TdhColumnTrackEvent = procedure(Sender: TCustomListview; Column: TListColumn; Width: Integer; State: TSectionTrackState) of object;

TdhListView = class(TListview)
  FColumnTrackEvent: TdhColumnTrackEvent;
  procedure WMNotify(var Msg: TWMNotify); message WM_NOTIFY;
  property OnColumnTrack: TdhColumnTrackEvent read FColumnTrackEvent write FColumnTrackEvent;

This goes in the implementation section:

procedure TdhListView.WMNotify(var Msg: TWMNotify);
 TrackState: TSectionTrackState;
 aColumn: TListColumn;
 with Msg do
 case NMHdr^.code of
    case NMHdr^.code of
     HDN_BEGINTRACK: TrackState := tsTrackBegin;
     HDN_ENDTRACK: TrackState := tsTrackEnd;
     TrackState := tsTrackMove;
   with PHDNotify(Pointer(NMHdr))^, PItem^ do
    if ((Mask and HDI_WIDTH) <> 0) then
      aColumn := Columns[Item];
       if Assigned(FColumnTrackEvent) then FColumnTrackEvent(self, aColumn, cxy, TrackState);

Vienna again

It has been along time since I updated this blog. It seems that I have so many things to do, there is hardly any time left. Of course, it is always a matter of priorities, so you can figure how high this blog is on my list. Anyway, I was in Vienna in July, two times during the same month. Very hot weather. Vienna is a great city. For chocolates I recommend ‘Xokolat’, at Freyung 2 (Tel. 5354363). A large selection and not too expensive. I tried a 100% for the first time and I definitely do not recommend it; too bitter. I threw most of it away. However, the regular ones were excellent. The ‘Queen of Finland’ was kind enough to bring me some Fazer, which was very much appreciated. I guess we will see each other again in Berlin.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Minus 25 degrees

Got back from Helsinki, after 4 days in the cold. I had a wonderful time and I have to thank the Queen of Finland once again (Jutti knows who I mean). I flew from Athens to Helsinki through Munich and I have to remember to avoid doing this in the future, because it seems that Munich has a tendency to get fogged-out in the winter, which leads to delays and cancellations. Fortunately I was lucky and had only half an hour of delay, which did not affect my arrival. Helsinki seemed out of this world. Everything frozen, snowing, landscape in black and white. I felt I had landed on another planet (e.g. Pluto). The next days were sunny, which, contrary to expectations (at least of those who live in milder climates) leads to lower temperatures (see title above). Some observations regarding these temperatures: snow does not melt, it just remains dust and gets blown by the wind like sand; also, do not touch metal doors or gates with bare hands (your hands will freeze and may get stuck on the cold metal). When I flew back and landed in Munich (transit), the minus 12 degrees there felt nice and warm.
Finland has the Fazer chocolates. I bought those with the chilli peppers and they were rather good, not too strong.