Free Javascript chess engines and notation board presenters

I had to find a free Javascript based chess engine for one of my projects. I must admit, that I’m a low-level player and much, much lower level chess developer, so I assumed, that there is no chance, you can write such advanced thing like complete chess engine in such simple language like Javascript.

Turned out, I was wrong. I was actually devatated (again and again) with the power and possibilities behind Javascript.

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Remove some pages from PDF and other PDF-editing operations

Acrobat Reader is a free program, but does not contain nothing around editing (with small exception). So operations like removing some pages, rotating some or all pages, converting PDF to other format, extracting pages to graphic format like JPEG, merging two and more PDF files etc. are not available in Acrobat Reader. For these you have to either purchase a paid, full version of Adobe PDF or seek for some other tools or options.

This post discuss a variety of ways and methods of removing certain pages from PDF document and doing some other editing operation on such docs.

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Getting iCloud ( emails to Gmail

I’ve got an iPad Mini. It looks great (at some points — even fantastic)! But due to my current situation, I’ll stay with my Android and Gmail and will treat iPad as additional toy. At least for a while. Since I still had an empty slot in Gmail to add one another external mail server, from which I want to get all emails, I tried this trick with my iCloud / / Apple ID mailbox. And failed.

If you’re looking for a quick answer to question “How can I sync my iCloud / mailbox in Gmail“, the answer is quick, but you’re not going to like it: You can’t. Fortunately, there’s a workaround to this problem.

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Downloading Google Play applications directly to your PC [updated]

Yes, it seems, that with a little bit help from Vietnameese developers, there is a fairly easy way to download Google Play applications to your PC. Why you would like to do this? There are at least few reasons.

It is a faster way, that does not require Internet connection. You copy a bunch of *.apk files from your PC to your Android-based device, and install them directly from there, without touching Google Play.

If you have ever read this article before then read it again and notice extremely important security update.

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Self-adapting images in responsive design

In my humble opinion, responsive design is a future. One layout, carefully designed, will look beautiful and by user-friendly, no matter, which device user will use to view it. Of course, you can craft responsive designed website by hand, but the easiest way is to use some framework. But what about non-framework elements, like for example images? How to style them, what size should they have, to be responsive and look exactly like other, framework elements, on any device?

There are at least few approaches to solve this problem, among which one or two are not that famous.

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Application compiled with PhoneGap fails to update, but can be re-installed

If you ever encounter problem, that you can’t update (on your mobile device) applicatation compiled with PhoneGap or PhoneGap Build, first what you should do, is to try to uninstall it and then perform fresh install.

If that succeed, any following updates should run without problems.

This is caused, by PhoneGap version change (either manually, if you’re building by-hand, or automatically, if you’re building using PhoneGap Build). This is one of documented bugs in PhoneGap and hasn’t been fixed as of writing this article.

Convert NTFS to FAT32 without losing data [updated]

Many people on many forums and websites claims that this or that piece of software is able to convert NTFS partition to FAT32 without losing data. In most cases this turns out to be only a blunt lie and results in a huge time waste on installing software that is only able to achieve such conversion by formatting partition.

Here you have the only known to me method of getting your drive from NTFS to FAT32 under Windows, while keeping your data safe.

One small note. Before I was really able to perform NTFS-to-FAT32 conversion without losing data I wasted hours on installing and uninstalling crappy software which was expected to be able to do such conversion, but eventually turned out not. This irritated me a little bit, so expect (and please, forgive me for) a harsh language in this article.

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PhoneGap Build’s apps fails to open links in external browser

Ever since PhoneGap 2.1.0, every application build with PhoneGap Build always opens all links in WebView on Android. No matter what configuration changes has been done. This is a reported issue, but though we already have PhoneGap 2.4.0, nothing has been actually done around this.

Details and some workaround follows.

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Catch back button and exit PhoneGap application

This article shows an example, how to respond, when user of your mobile application taps on Back button and how to exit application, after getting user confirmation, that he or she is willing to do so. It also explains, why you shouldn’t do it at all, if you plan to ship your application to multiple platforms, including Apple iOS.

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Very simple alternative to jQuery

Often, in many small or very small projects, you include jQuery only to have a conviniend DOM-selectors access via $(selector) and except this, you don’t use jQuery at all. In cases like that using neither jQuery nor smaller Zepto.js isn’t pretty wise.

Here is an example on how to achieve same effect in pure JS with querySelector and querySelectorAll.

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Icon and splash screen sizes for PhoneGap applications

Since PhoneGap is used to build mobile applications for many destination platforms, out of one source files package, and since each platform contains many mobile devices, with different screens sizes and orientations, it is fairly hard task to design set of mobile application icons and splash screens to suit all needs.

This post is meant to help you with solving this problem, but it is nothing more than a bunch of links to an external sources plus some comments.

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Hiding splash screen in PhoneGap application

There are various things you have to consider, when developing a PhoneGap application, if you want to control when and how your application’s splash screen will be shown or hidden. This post summarizes all my knowledge in this area. Most information presented here are obvious to more experienced PhoneGap developers, so this post works more like memo to myself.

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Developing PhoneGap applications on Windows

When I first time checked PhoneGap I immediatelly felt in love with it. That was something just amazing and nearly impossible. Use well known HTML5, CSS and JavaScript to build mobile applications with direct out-of-the-box support for eight different mobile apps platforms? No Java, no Objective-C? Hard to believe!

But it was true… Then I moved to famous Getting Started Guides and actually died! Oh, my f*king goodness! Eclipse? Insane number of SDKs? And then PhoneGap Build has been born and my soul has been saved! :]

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