Delphi Tip if you get “unit vcl.filectrl is specific to a platform” warning

The warning “unit vcl.filectrl is specific to a platform” is Delphi’s way of giving you heads up that the addition of one of the few components such as TDRIVECOMBOBOX will not work on other platforms besides a Windows environment.

To remove this type of warning during the application build cycle just do the following in your code:

unit uDashboard;

interface

{$WARN UNIT_PLATFORM OFF}

This will remove the warning message and not destroy the application integrity. The lab found that by placing it under the interface section the warning went away but if you place it under the implementation as displayed below the warning was still seen. It does make sense to place prior to the uses clause since the compiler will first see that you want to turn off the warning before compiling vcl.filectrl.

implementation

{$WARN UNIT_PLATFORM OFF}
{$R *.dfm}

Farewell to the electronics part king, RadioShack

RadioShack has hit the end of the line. The 94-year-old electronics chain, filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday after striking a deal to sell up to 2,400 of its stores to the wireless service provider Sprint. What holds for the 27,000 employees, at this point no one knows, how many stores will be left open, once again no one knows but this was one of the major players in the early microcomputer days.

RadioShack known for electronic parts and the TRS-80 computer has drastically changed in the last 10 years trying to keep up with the Best Buy and Walmart, by selling phones, contracts and various other things that no one wanted to go to a RadioShack to purchase. When they introduced the TRS-80, RadioShack still had the image of a electronics shop where you could get parts for your record players, radios or anything a hobbyist needed to build in their basements.

The real problem as with all businesses, either you keep up with the times or you get thrown to the side. That is what happened with RadioShack, they could not get any going after the calculators and TRS-80s era, instead they went with boom boxes, remote cars and even televisions. The electronic parts area became smaller and smaller actually turning useless. Their web site also was lame.

Yes, they were somewhat dingy but they helped in making the computer market what it was before IBM came in to overtake them. Sprint has told folks that they are going to keep between 1500 to 1750 stores open but with a Sprint banner and most likely a RadioShack corner.

Hardware Review of the WinBook TW801 Black Tablet

Recently the lab decided to test out the Winbook TW801 Black Tablet on a trip to see whether it can hold up to durability, usability and just plain old device use.  The lab is reporting that the tablet performed well on a recent Los Angeles business trip that provided the person with internet usage on a strong wi-fi connection, creating Lazarus Pascal programs on the tablet during the work days and finally checking emails or performing typical duties.

Winbook TW801

The TW801 tablet has a 8 inch screen which is capable of enough space to view videos and documents.  The tablet also comes with a one-year Office 365 package but you have to activate within the time limit which was 15 days based on our research.

  • Multi-Touch Touchscreen IPS 16:10 8″ 1280×800 Display
  • Intel Baytrail-T Z3735D 1.33GHz Quad-Core CPU
  • Intel HD Graphics (Gen 7 GFX)
  • 2GB RAM & 32GB eMMC Flash Storage
  • Windows 8.1 + Bing
  • Expandable up to 128GB via microSD card
  • Front and Rear Cameras (2 Megapixels each)
  • AC Adapter, Charges via USB Port
  • 1 x Micro USB 2.0
  • 1 x Full Size USB 3.0
  • 1 x SD (SDHC/SDXC)
  • 1 x Micro HDMI
  • 1 x 3.5mm Audio Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack
  • 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth

The device costs between $99 to 129.00 depending if you can get it on sale, the functionality is pretty awesome with touch thus allowing the end user to use Windows 8.1 the way it was meant to.

The warranty is for one year from the vendor and as always you can get the additional extended warranty as a cheap add-on but that is up to the end user whether they want to do that.

Office 365 Personal includes

    • Word
    • Excel
    • PowerPoint
    • OneNote
    • Outlook
    • Publisher
    • Access

Other available TW devices are the TW100 (10.1 inch), various different versions of the TW800 series and the TW700 which is the low end.

Using the Lazarus compiler the lab was able to design and develop working Object Pascal applications during the trip but the big key is to use the microSD card as much as possible, the flash storage gets eaten up fairly quickly if you decide to put too much on to the device.

We recommend that if you are looking for a cheap Windows 8.1 solution that you should give a solid look at the Winbook TW tablet series to see whether it fits your needs.

Go to www.microcenter.com for more additional information

Mozilla Firefox v35.0 still has HUGE memory issues on a Windows machine which creates a resource drain.

The recommendation for users to not to use the latest version of Firefox until they resolve the issues on memory which at times can exceed 2 gigabytes and could continue to grow during any session regardless of open tabbed windows. In the lab the decision was made just to start up Firefox and have the latest updates applied which at this stage is 35.0.1 and open any single browser session to any favorite web site.

To conduct the similar test all you need to do is:

  • Start a firefox session and open a single browser session to any web site.
  • On a Windows 7 machine, click on start and enter taskmgr in the search text box.  This will start up a task manager session.  Task Manager provides the end user with simple measures to review what is happening on the memory manager, processes and services for a windows session.  Go ahead and click on the processes tab.  Finally click on the memory column to sort by the highest usage.
  • On a Windows 8 machine,   right-click on the Taskbar and select Task Manager from the popup window.  Do the similar steps described above.
  • Watch as Firefox continues to eat memory by doing absolutely nothing, you do not even have to move around the web site you chose.

 

When confronting Firefox, they listed between 10 to 12 options to review what is happening in the browser.  Naturally the first thing is to always get the latest version, next is to update any plug-ins and finally, believe it or not, add memory.  This is all nonsense, there are serious issues with Firefox that are not being taken as a high priority and this will come back to haunt them if it is not taken care of in the near future.

Meantime, Baron Software recommends to use Google Chrome which is by far the less resource hog on any windows machine.  Internet Explorer (IE) is sometimes very buggy and now Firefox which was a favor is being pushed to the bottom since the resource drain hampers any type of work session.