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Topics - mouser [ switch to compact view ]

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Android Apps / New Android App: Rating List DC
« on: August 28, 2018, 11:55 AM »
Just a small free app built using my list-management framework: Rating List DC

Screenshot - 8_28_2018 , 11_53_51 AM.png

Page on Google Play store:

You can manage a list of items that you assign 1-5 star ratings for.

A nice long article on the history of a very inflential first-person shooter game for the nintendo 64, called "Goldeneye 007".

This is a game I played and finished, and it was the best first person shooter I had played up until that point.

The Nintendo 64’s GoldenEye 007 — or GoldenEye 64, as it’s often known — is seen as one of the system’s all-time classics. Aug. 25, 2018, will be the game’s 21st birthday (allowing Bond to finally taste one of his revered cocktails), so we reached out to the people who played, reviewed and created the game to see how it all came together, way back in 1997. From the multiplayer being added as an afterthought to the game almost having every Bond actor ever, the game you and your buddies logged hours on — paintballing in the Stack or shooting Boris in the balls — was almost something very, very different...


Android Apps / Checklist DC (Android app) - v1.23 Aug 20, 2018
« on: August 21, 2018, 12:01 PM »
Checklist DC is my simple checklist app for android.

You can visit the original thread and discussion here: http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=43046
Visit DC web page for the app here: http://www.donationc...-for-android-devices
Or download from the google play store here:


Android Apps / ScoreTracker DC (Android app) - v1.32 - Aug 20, 2018
« on: August 16, 2018, 07:09 AM »
A little plug for my (100% free) Android app called ScoreTracker DC.

It's a simple app that lets you track scores or counts for different items -- for example if you wanted to keep track of the scores for each player in a board game.

It's built on the same codebase I have used for my other Android apps, which means it has multi-device synchronization options, tabs for grouping items, etc.
Each item has a quick +1 and -1 buttons but you can also click any score to get a nice calculator dialog to make bigger changes.

I've recently added a custom font scaling option which makes it particularly useful for displaying names and scores in very big clear lettering.

You can download it from the Google Play store here:

Or see the DC page on it here: http://www.donationc...-for-android-devices

Or view the original DC thread announcement and discussion: http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=42999

scoretrackerscreenshot.png bigscore.png horzcalc.png vertcalc.png pefs.png groups.png

v1.32 - Aug 20, 2018
  • Improved font size control, better menus

Developer's Corner / OSNews on the Mobile App Store Model
« on: August 15, 2018, 02:19 AM »
I just want to quote this small blog entry on OsNews because it is concise and insightful.

The application store model is a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing since it made it very easy for developers to get their code to users, but that ease also caused the supply side of applications to grow exponentially. The end result is something we are all aware of - application stores are littered with garbage, prices of software have plummeted to unsustainable levels, which in turn has all but killed off the independent application developer. The top application lists are now dominated by either high-profile applications such as Facebook or Twitter, or predatory pay-to-win gambling "games". Doing any search in a modern application store reveals piles of useless junk.

The next step is obvious: Apple (and perhaps Google) will attempt an almost Netflix-like app subscription service, where you pay Apple a monthly fee for unlimited use of applications available in the store. It's the next step in milking the last possible drop out of third party developers, and while it will surely allow application store proponents to continue to claim the model is working, it's just a stay of execution.

Developing quality software is a time-consuming and expensive task, and the current application store model - with or without subscriptions - is simply incompatible with it. Either software delivery on modern computing devices gets rethought completely, or even the last remaining bits of quality software will simply disappear from application stores.

Living Room / Do Not Buy a Smartwatch Right Now
« on: August 14, 2018, 11:08 AM »
On September 10, Qualcomm is hosting an event in San Francisco where they will announce a new wearable chipset that will more than likely be in all future Wear OS watches. This new chipset is said to be built from the ground up, will allow watches to look pretty when you aren’t using them (like a normal watch sitting idly by your side), and extend battery life.” More importantly, Qualcomm is betting that this Snapdragon Wear chip will “significantly change the Wear OS ecosystem, what you expect from a smartwatch.”

If you buy a smartwatch today, before Qualcomm announces this chip, you will be stuck with a 2+ year old Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip. All of the new Wear OS watches that have been announced recently, use that chip. It’s old. It’s never been great. And it’s about to be replaced by something potentially game-changing for smartwatches...

While there is no sure bet when it comes to a Wear OS revival, this is the most exciting watch-related happening we’ve had on Android in years. Do not buy a smartwatch today or next week or the following week. Wait until we see what Qualcomm has in store.

from https://hardware.sla...smartwatch-right-now

Android Apps / Updating my Android Apps
« on: August 08, 2018, 12:58 PM »
It's been a while since I worked on my Android Apps.. I'm just updating them now to work with the latest version of Android Studio, and I think what I'd like to do next is add an option where you can scale the font text easily.
For some of my apps (I'm thinking ScoreTracker in particular), being able to go easily into a large font mode would make all the difference.

You can find all of my apps here:

My apps will now show you where they are saving their settings files in the about box of the program.
This will normally be in a C:/Users/USERNAME/MyDocuments/DonationCoder/APPNAME/
But it can be different based on configdir.ini setting, portable use, etc.

This will help in some troubleshooting.

General Magic spun out of Apple to make, essentially, what was the first smartphone, and John Sculley famously said, “It’s the most famous company or the most important company in Silicon Valley that nobody’s ever heard of.” It was this incredible team of people that went on to build that thing that we use every day, that everyone has in their pockets...


Living Room / A Spectre is Haunting Unicode
« on: July 31, 2018, 07:24 AM »
Fun article..

In 1978 Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry established the encoding that would later be known as JIS X 0208, which still serves as an important reference for all Japanese encodings. However, after the JIS standard was released people noticed something strange - several of the added characters had no obvious sources, and nobody could tell what they meant or how they should be pronounced. Nobody was sure where they came from. These are what came to be known as the ghost characters


We've been under a denial of service attack this morning for the last couple of hours.
Server admins are working on hardening firewall and we have cloudflare engaged which should be slowing down attack (at the cost of an initial page load when you try to access dc).
Hopefully everything is working at the moment and this will be short lived.
Thank you for your patience!

Living Room / Dawn of the Microcomputer: The Altair 8800
« on: July 24, 2018, 04:15 PM »
Dawn of the Microcomputer: The Altair 8800

But Popular Electronics readers were introduced to something in the January 1975 issue that they had never encountered before. Below a heading that read “PROJECT BREAKTHROUGH,” the magazine’s cover showed a large gray and black box whose front panel bore a complicated array of lights and toggles. This was the Altair 8800, the “world’s first minicomputer kit to rival commercial models,” available for under $400. Though advertised as a “minicomputer,” the Altair would actually be the first commercially successful member of a new class of computers, first known as “microcomputers” and then eventually as PCs. The Altair was small enough and cheap enough that the average family could have one at home. Its appearance in Popular Electronics magazine meant that, as Salsberg wrote in that issue, “the home computer age is here—finally.”


You can play with an Altair emulator in your browser here:

N.A.N.Y. 2019 / NANY 2019 Pledge
« on: July 03, 2018, 06:33 PM »
I have a plan for a new program for NANY 2019  :-*
I'm not ready to announce what it is yet, just wanted to make a placeholder :)

Living Room / Gizmo's TechSupportAlert website needs our help
« on: July 03, 2018, 11:20 AM »
Ian Richards who heads the website has put out a call for assistance.

There is no better website on the planet to learn about real freeware software, and Ian and TechSupportAlert have been true friends to us here on DonationCoder, always supporting our fundraisers and always being generous in their praise of our software.

This is an absolutely essential website for freeware lovers.  I hope everyone who has donated to DonationCoder will consider sending them a donation.  I know I will.

Screenshot - 7_3_2018 , 11_15_26 AM_thumb001.png

Gizmo's Freeware is one of the few remaining websites that is doesn't charge for reviews, doesn't offer pay-for-app listing services or accept reviews written by developers and advertisers. That’s the reason our reviews have always been honest and independent and that's the way we want to keep it.

However, we are currently under a lot of financial pressure and its coming from an unexpected source: our users. That’s because 46% of our users now use ad blockers and as a result, our general Google ad revenue has fallen sharply. Don’t get me wrong: we support the right of our users to employ ad-blockers. Hey, we have even recommended to you the best ad-blocking products!

But our fall in ad revenue is now limiting our ability to update our freeware reviews and expand our coverage. That affects everybody. We are looking at long term financial solutions but in the short term we need to survive.

We could easily raise more money by being more blatantly commercial, but we don't want to go there. Instead, we are running a fund-raiser campaign asking our loyal and understanding users to contribute a small amount as a donation to the site.

So please help Gizmo's remain independent and fearless by donating just a few dollars now. In our 16 years of operation I’ve only ever asked twice before for support and hopefully will not need to do so again for a long time. So please guys and gals, stand up and be counted at this time of need.

Donate to techsuportalert here:

Does anyone have any experience with automatic geotagging of photos that they take?

Modern phones can probably do this quite easily, but mid-range dslr cameras seem to lack this feature -- you have to spend nearly a thousand dollars to get a good camera with built-in gps to geotag photos.

I have a friend who is interested in taking lots of photos and having them geo-tagged with gps location information.

One possible solution looks like combining a phone app with some post processing of photos, using a mobile app like gps4cam:

Anyone have any experience using software like this to add gps geotagging info to photos?

Automatic Screenshotter is a tool that lives down in your system tray and takes regular screenshots of your desk or the active window. The intention is to be a fairly lightweight primitive "backup" tool, like an airplane black box, so that in a case of last resort (app or system crash) you can go back and see what was on your screen at a certain time in the past.

  • It's made to run in the background, taking screenshots of either the currently active foreground window, or the entire desktop.
  • You can configure how often the screenshots are taken, and how they are named. The naming can include putting them into subdirectories and can be based on the data,time, and application name.
  • It will automatically prune older screenshots based on limits you set regarding screenshot age, # screenshots to keep, and total file space you want to use.
  • It will also try to be smart about avoiding saving multiple screenshots when the window (desktop) contents don't actually change, with some configurable tolerances, to minimize disk space used.
  • It can also be told about certain applications to never capture, or alternatively a small list of applications that it should only ever capture.
  • It can be configured to ignore capture when your pc has been idle for a certain amount of time, or when screensaver is running, or when full-screen games are running.
  • You can also manually trigger a capture with a hotkey.
  • You can also toggle capturing on-and-off easily from system tray menu.
  • Screenshots are saved as standard png files.
  • In summary, the focus is on an automated system of recording recent activity on the screen, and trying to be well behaved regarding disk space usage. You should be able to set it and forget it, until you need to go back and see what was on the screen at a certain time in the near past.

Official web page: http://www.donationc...omatic-screenshotter

Original thread: http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=42090


@v1.09.1 - June 24, 2018
  • [Feature] Added option to disable auto-deletion of older screenshots (and disabled this feature by default)
  • [Improvement] Updated the Internal Media Browser tool.

@v1.08.1 - Aug 5, 2017
  • [Feature] Added option to enable (default) automatic renaming of files if a file exists with the same name already.  This was always done in previous versions, now it can be disabled.
  • [Feature] Added option to save a LastCapture.EXT file in current settings directory after each capture; useful with other tools if you want to react to the latest capture.

@v1.07.1 - May 9, 2017
  • [BugFix] Capturing of active windows could result in partial capture on high-dpi systems.
  • [Feature] You can now specify custom DPI for saved images (default is now 96dpi).
  • [BugFix] Start with windows option was not working.

@v1.06.1 - May 3, 2017
  • [BugFix] Fixed GDI leak that could cause app to hang after thousands of captures.

@v1.05.1 - Mar 21, 2017
  • Support for High-DPI displays (where text magnification setting is over 100%).
  • Improved default sound.
  • New option for capturing a specific region by coordinates.

@v1.01.01 - Jan 1, 2016
  • [Info] First release

Mini-documentary about the race to conquer Mario Kart's Choco Mountain in seconds

It's amazing to see the dedication some people have to some small niches in the world -- in some ways it seems to me the best part of humanity..

Enjoy this surprisingly dramatic and gripping YouTube mini-documentary about one of gaming's strangest and most obsessive cults: racing around Mario Kart 64's Choco Mountain track. Thanks to glitchy shortcuts, racers winnowed times down to just a few seconds. But getting the trick right for all three laps of a time trial?

from https://boingboing.n...y-about-the-rac.html

N.A.N.Y. 2019 / N.A.N.Y. 2019 Announcement
« on: June 16, 2018, 01:33 PM »
Since 2007 we have held an annual event that we call NANY (New Apps for the New Year), where we ask the coders who hang out on DonationCoder to create some new piece of free software and share it with the world on January 1st of the new year.

NANY is really the funnest thing we do on this site, and it's one of the few times we can all play together.  There are no winners or losers, it's simply a celebration of programming and creating new software and sharing it with the world.  You can target any operating system (desktop or mobile) or even make a web-based tool.  It can be a game, utility, large application, whatever.  DC takes makes no claim on your software, it's just an event to encourage you to share a creation with others.  Best of all, everyone who participates gets a free commemorative coffee mug.


Browse previous year entries here: http://www.donationc...pps-for-the-new-year

Automatic Screenshotter / Automatic Screenshotter Forum Section
« on: June 13, 2018, 10:30 AM »
This is the first post in the new dedicated forum section for the Automatic Screenshotter program.

I'd like to add more features to the program so I'm looking forward to hearing more ideas and bug reports.

Originally Automatic Screenshotter was part of the NANY 2016 event and most discussion occurred in that forum section: http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=42090

I've been using AVG Internet Security antivirus and firewall for last few years (I like that it's an integrated tool).

Each year it seems to get worse and worse -- more bloated, more opaque, more intrusive into system, more convoluted, slower, etc.

Today I plugged in one of my backup drives, and slowly started getting notices that AVG was deleting files from it that were dangerous mail attachments.  It was a backup of an older mail folder, so the problem is not so much that it was deleting malicious files (the attachments in the old mail folders were surely spam and bad) -- the point is --- I don't need my pc slowed down by an antivirus scanning entire backup drives the moment i plug them in.. It's just one more example of AVG trying to "help" me by doing a million things behind my back that slow down my pc.  STOP DOING THINGS I DIDN'T ASK YOU TO DO!

I think I am basically at my breaking point and need to move to another software.

Any other suggestions for a NON-BLOATED antivirus + firewall combo?

Here is a cute little idea and you can code your own scripts to have it notify you about different events.  It's $30.

blink(1) is a small USB light to give you glanceable notice of anything on your computer or the internet. blink(1) makes it easy to connect data sources in the cloud or on your computer to a full-color RGB LED so you can know what’s happening without checking any windows, going to any websites or typing any command. Connect blink(1) to IFTTT, your mail, URLs or your favorite scripts.

Screenshot - 6_1_2018 , 11_55_41 AM_thumb001.png


It isn't just fake reviews, it's also fake accounts on web services, etc.  It's an arms race where business are constantly trying to one-up their competitors and everyone has accepted that fake reviews and inflating their user numbers is, at the very least, a necessary first step to jump-starting their product.

Outside the publishing industry, the practice known as “review brushing” exists on a vast, industrial scale. In 2014, Haitao Xu, a thirty-year-old researcher now at Northwestern University, monitored five black-market Internet boards where companies and individuals advertise jobs posting positive reviews of their products and services, along with negative ones on those of their rivals. In just two months, Xu saw more than eleven thousand unique sellers post close to a quarter of a million jobs, paid at anywhere between “tens of cents, up to five dollars,” he told me. Since consumers typically see positive customer reviews as a more reliable indicator of quality than advertising, the effects can be major. “Stores using brushing services can increase their reputation ten times faster than normal seller stores,” Xu, who, in 2016, spent six months working in Alibaba’s fraud-detection team, told me. “A store with a high reputation is displayed higher up a Web page, attracting more customers and increasing sales.” Online sellers who do not employ brushing services, meanwhile, often find their products overlooked.

from https://boingboing.n...w-generally-nec.html

Living Room / Working with time on computers
« on: May 30, 2018, 08:46 AM »
OSNews recommends today a nicely put together multimedia rumination on the issues of representing and working with time on computers. Looks pretty good.

This is one of the best articles - experiences? - I've ever read. It's funny, well-written, deeply informative, and covers everything from programming with time, to time and UI design, to time and accessibility. This is simply an amazing piece of work.


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