Why I chose the Kaabo Mantis King GT as my e-Scooter

When it comes to e-scooters, the market is full of options, making it challenging to choose the right one. But after careful consideration, I decided to invest in the Mantis King GT. There are several reasons why I chose this particular model, and in this blog post, I’ll share my thoughts on what makes it stand out from the competition.

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Forget try..finally! New Approaches to Garbage collection in Delphi/Object Pascal with help from the commonx library.

I’m not very good at communication, so it may seem like I don’t contribute to the community much. Like many of you, I’m pretty dang busy most of the time. I have made a pretty big contribution to the Delphi community available on GitHub, although most of you probably have simply never downloaded it, because I’m pretty bad at communicating what it actually does.

If you want a giant set of reusable useful, albeit poorly documented, classes for Delphi. Go to GitHub and check out adaloveless/commonx. This repository is a Batman toolbelt of everything and anything I find useful. I do MOST of my work in this library, as I’m pretty obsessed with making everything reusable and portable.

Getting into commonx is a deep rabbit hole, so I figure I’ll just introduce it by starting with something really simple and really basic that it can provide:

Alternative Garbage Collection Techniques for Delphi

Typical Delphi usage of a class involves some very repetitive tasks that the broader language-agnostic programming community has evolved away from. Typically you would use a class in a pattern similar as follows.

var MyThing := TSomeObject.create;try

In languages with garbage collection…. all of this could be compressed into just a single line….

Here, 6 lines of code becomes just 1! The creation of TSomeObject would return a reference that could be immediately used and then automatically freed. This kind of Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) system was met with much resistance because of all the legacy code (and legacy coders) out there that were simply not used to it. Also it didn’t help that Embarcadero made every single platform they targeted use a different set of rules, infuriating just about everyone. (They further fueled the fire by being super indecisive about whether strings should be 0 or 1 based… following different rules on every platform.)

ARC was subsequently scrapped on ALL platforms… and I must admit I like that it is consistent now… however, I always wondered… why can’t I have ARC optionally? It is convenient for lots of cases, and avoiding it is only necessary in the most performance sensitive of situations.

I then sought out to come up with a way to implement ARC-like functionality for the purposes of avoiding memory management nightmares and try..finally ugliness all over the place and aimed to package it in the simplest way I possibly could.

I came up with a few interesting mechanisms that I will describe in this article. THolder<>, which implements a “smart pointer” in Delphi. TAutoScope, which cleans up anything you put into it when it goes out of scope… and for an added bonus, I’ll talk about TGiverOf<> which implements a simple-to-use object pool.

To gain access to commonx, get it from GitHub and set a reference to it in your project settings. Start a new app and include the path to “commonx” in your search path. If you’re building for VCL also include “commonx\vcl” in your search path. FMX project should include “commonx\fmx“.

Take a look at betterobject.pas

Interfaces in Delphi are reference-counted with ARC. So a simple solution I thought would be to simply come up with a generic interface that could hold onto any kind of object and I came up with IHolder<> and THolder<>. THolder<> can be assigned to it’s counterpart IHolder<> without casting. Rewriting the aforementioned code snippet to use THolder results in code that looks like this.

var MyThing : IHolder<TSomeObject> :=    THolder<TSomeObject>.create(TSomeObject.create);MyThing.o.DoSomething();

You could get it down to one line with a simple cast, but I’ve never tested this and it’s not really a goal to have it down to 1 line.


The real magic here is that try .. finally is not required and you have to worry less about leaked objects that you forgot to free. The only thing I don’t really like about this is that you have to dereference the property “o” which contains the actual object you’ve wrapped. But I’ve gotten used to doing this in ALL my projects now and it is a big time saver.

If you don’t want to dereference “o” each time, you really only have to dereference it once. You may choose to do to reduce the number of dereferences… speeding up your code… or simply making it less-ugly. Type inference is really a godsend here.

var MyThingH : IHolder<TSomeObject> :=
var MyThing := MyThingH.o;

THolder/IHolder furthermore solves those situations where a class is returned from a function, but nobody is sure who is responsible for freeing it. For example I have code in my projects that returns a JSON document, but that JSON document might also be stored in a cache. It would crash the program if I destroyed an object from the cache while some thread was using it somewhere… so a reference count would have to be maintained… destroying the documents only when all the references were removed…. IHolder<> comes to the rescue!

function GetJSONDocumentCached(url: string): IHolder<TJSON>;
  result := GetFromCache(url);
  if result=nil then
   result := PutInCache(GetFromWeb(url));
var jsonHolder := GetJSONDocumentCached('whateverurl');

Somewhere else in the code there could be a simple TArray<IHolder<TJSON>> or a TList<IHolder<TJSON>> controlled by a mutex…. (or someday maybe I’ll cover my btree class and show you how you could declare TBTree<IHolder<TJSON>> … there are endless possible time savings that you can dream of.

Using this pattern, I never have to worry about managing the lifetimes of my JSON documents. It can also be used for other classes derived from TObject…. using my TBetterObject as a base is not required.

It also opens up lots of interesting function possibilities that return things like TStringList, like ParseStringH() in stringx.pas which returns a IHolder<TStringList>… so there’s no need for a separate call to Free()!


Let’s say that you already have a bunch of code out there… and maybe it’s some ugly bad code that someone else wrote into a 40,000 line function that you just want to quickly mod without indenting 40,000 lines of code with a new try..finally… and screwing up your SVN merge. Enter TAutoScope… or really IAutoScope.

I’ve conveniently provided a single function, simply called AutoScope() in betterobject.pas that allows for you to instantiate a garbage collector for any scope you want. When the scope ends so does the AutoScope and every object you tell it to track. It looks a little something like this:

var someObjectIDontWantToFreeLater := TAnything.create();
var Scope := AutoScope;
Scope .Track(someObjectIDontWantToFreeLater);
end; //<--AutoScope and everything Track()ed are freed here

IAutoScope and IHolder<> can be placed in any scope…. so they can be attached to inline vars inside begin..end, at the function level, global, inside a class, a record, or even inside an array or even an array of records! Free() will be called automatically every time the object is no longer being used!


TGiver and it’s generified, more useful variant, TGiverOf<>, implements object pooling for any kind of object. To use it, simply declare an instance of TGiverOf<TSomeObject>. In my examples, we’ll imagine we’re sharing network connections, because that’s often useful.

var //global
  ConnectionPool: TGiverOf<TMyConnectionClass>;
  ConnectionPool := TGiverOf<TMyConnectionClass>.create();

One nice thing about TGiverOf<> is that it understands IHolder…. so it will return holders to objects simplifying the how and when the objects are returned to the pool.

var connection_holder := ConnectionPool.Need();

If the type inference is confusing you in the above example, here it is expanded:

var connection_holder: IHolder<TMyConnectionClass> := ConnectionPool.Need();

You can limit the number of objects in the pool with the Limit property.

ConnectionPool.Limit := 10;

You can also override GivenIsGivable() to setup rules for cleaning up the pool when objects expire, although upon reading this code I am thinking I should extend it with an anonymous method property. I typically manage the pool by overriding ShouldGive() and ShouldReturn() in TBetterObject… but that would only apply if you’re using GiverOf to serve up TBetterObject variants (not always the case,but the most typical scenario for me.)

Anyway… I’m all up for ideas and suggestions. If there’s anything you’d like to see in these classes, fire me a comment, and I’ll see what I can do! Or better yet… become a contributor to the GitHub project!

Fix Windows 11’s Most-Annoying “Feature” in just a Couple of Clicks

Window’s 11’s Context Menus… flat-out SUCK. These are the menus that come up whenever you RIGHT-click on many things. Power Users often install things that inject new shortcuts into the context menus that are very useful… however, in Windows 11, those menus now get buried, requiring extract clicks to access them…. it’s really a hinderance to productivity, because usually the things that you want to access in those menus are those things that you use extremely often. As a programmer, I use apps like Tortoise to sync up my code repositories and compare code merges, among other things… so to go from 2-clicks to 3 clicks to find my the option to commit my files to the repository, is suuuuuper annoying.

Luckily… if you want the old menus back…. just run cmd.exe and type the following.

reg.exe add "HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID\{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}\InprocServer32" /f /ve

Once the command is run, reboot or logout and back in.

If you want to get the old menus back (You like being tortured and insulted). Do this to reverse it.

reg.exe delete "HKCU\Software\Classes\CLSID\{86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}" /f

How Copy a MySQL Database

Wouldn’t it be nice if it was as simple as “copy database1 to database2”? Or something like that? But that would be too easy! Although to be fair, copying a MySQL database is easier than many other databases. But the caveat is that if you do it wrong, it is easy to accidentally export the database names, and importing an improperly exported database potentially overwrite production data if you’re not careful.

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Dusting off A 20-Year-Old Delphi Documentation Generator

Proving that some Delphi code can be parsed by my 20-year-old doc generator.

Years ago I was told by an asshole boss at a company I worked for that I was going to be “fired” if I didn’t “document my code” (although it should be noted that I maintained a department library of dozens and dozens of white papers on our software design… but he was too much of an asshole to care).

To shut him up, I showed up to the scheduled meeting a month later with a stack of paper as tall as two dictionaries, full of detailed information about every single class, method, and function written by our six-person development team. I determined from the start that there would have been no way I could have done this manually, so I spent weeks of my personal time building a documentation generator to handle the chore with its own Pascal language compiler.

Although barely working, I have brought my old documentation generator back to life and built a barely-working barebones web front end for it online for the purpose of documenting my Delphi CommonX library, but don’t get too eager to read much of it because the documentation sitting on the documentation server is super sparse and simply for the purpose of testing a new searchable database of classes and symbols.

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After Nearly a Week of Pissing Around, I Finally Got Delphi to Display a Downloaded, Local PDF on iOS When Sandboxed

Computer programs have become more complex and connected to the world via “always-on” connections…. and due to the constant threat of new internet exploits, Operating systems are a frustrating, moving target.

As a result, certain things that worked on the last version of an operating system are banned in the next, and the churn is often miserable, especially if you’re a small company with limited resources. Simply keeping your app available on the Apple App Store requires regular maintenance, periodic updates, and frustrating amounts of your time.

I finally got my client’s PDF Reporting functionality restored in their iOS app and the solution was very simple, although it required trial and error. In fairness, the solution for iOS was much simpler than the Android solution that I had to figure out a few months back. If you need help with Android, fire me a comment and I’ll possibly update this blog.

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The DUMBEST Products that Apparently Sell Like Hotcakes on the interwebs — A Continuously Curated List

I tapped into one of the internet’s most notorious motivators of SPAM ads, Clickbank, to find you the hottest-selling trash I could find. Using ClickBank’s own statistics engine, I went through all of the top sellers, to figure out what kind of crap people are pushing and why.

Clickbank is an online marketplace where the people who want to get their products out there set the terms that they are willing to pay for a sale, and the sky is the limit in terms of what companies may be willing to pay. Sometimes they are allowing for recurring revenue through subscriptions to be passed on to the sellers, creating extra motivation, driven by subscription revenue. They pay up to 70% commission to anyone who can bring customers through whatever means necessary, which can include spamming your email, spamming Facebook groups, and “influencing”. Motivated sellers foam at the mouth and set up all kinds of sleazy methods to sell more of these products than the next guy.

ClickBank offers potential sellers the opportunity to look at the average earnings per sale as well as the “gravity” (essentially popularity) of the product. Products with high gravity are actually selling out there… here’s some of the crap that is doing well.

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Viable Caustics Solution For Cycles Raytracer that you can TEST RIGHT NOW in Blender 3.1

Blender Caustics with Cycles

I love raytracing. It is one of the most fabulous and fascinating things a powerful computer can do… and raytracing keeps on getting better and better. However, one of the biggest limitations of Blender’s Default Raytracer, “Cycles”, has always been its lack of caustics tracing capabilities. I assume that if you clicked on the title of this blog, you already know what caustics are so I’ll waste little time describing them. Caustics are the fun ways that light bends through refractive objects causing light rays to change direction. The most commonly recognizable example of this in the real world is easily how sunlight bends off the waves of a swimming pool. To achieve this effect in the Cycles renderer, usually required cumbersome tricks… but not anymore.

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You Suck at Karaoke — An Examination of Why

This article is intended for both performers and karaoke jockeys who run karaoke nights. It is a guide to making your karaoke performance the best it can be and making your patrons enjoy listening to their friends, ultimately leading to a fun time for all.

Forgive the clickbait-style title, but hey… what’s a guy gotta do to get attention in this day and age! I’ll cut right to the chase. You might have a voice of an angel, but your Karaoke performance might sound bad. In reality, you might just be a bad singer with a tin ear. You might be singing half an octave out of key, as that 5th-interval is commonly mistaken for an octave… you might have no rhythm… you might not even know the song you’re singing. Chances are if you’re someone who really just “can’t sing”… then this article probably won’t help you, you need singing lessons and potentially music lessons. But hey… it’s okay to suck as long as you’re having fun. Have fun out there!

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