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Topics - the3seashells [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Defense Focused RTS?
« on: February 07, 2010, 09:03 AM »
I've recently completed Defense Grid: The Awakening, and it has whetted my appetite for strategy games. I am specifically looking for a defense focused real time strategy game, where the emphasis is primarily on resource gathering and building fortifications rather than offense. The problem is that I have not followed the RTS scene for more than a decade and I have no idea where to begin my search.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

General Software Discussion / Jigsaw Puzzle Software / Website?
« on: January 18, 2010, 07:15 PM »
I was wondering if anyone knew of good jigsaw puzzle software / websites? I am specifically looking for an application that allows the use of custom pictures and customizable piece size. The closest I have been able to find is this website:

Although the website above gets the job half way done, it is less than ideal because it doesn't give enough white space for piece sorting.

Any suggestions?  Thanks.

Post New Requests Here / IDEA: Clickless mouse (for web browsing)
« on: March 22, 2009, 08:06 PM »
Help save me from boring phone conversations! Frequently, when enduring a boring phone conversation, I think to myself how much I would enjoy surfing the web and would do so were it not for the tell-tale clicks the other person would hear. My proposed solution: clickless browsing.

I would love a program that would send a mouse click every time I moved the mouse quickly from left to right and back again (or the reverse) and would scroll the active window when the mouse is touching either the top or the bottom of the screen. (For an example of the sort of side to side -> click idea that I am talking about, go to press the "click here" button and then navigate to "Explore" then "Button Lab" and then open the "gesture (1)" example)

Any help or further ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

General Software Discussion / I love my computer configuration...
« on: August 29, 2008, 10:39 PM »
I love how I have my computer configured. It has taken me many years, but I am now at the point where the elegance of the configuration itself makes me happy. I have decided to give a down and dirty overview of my configuration. If there is any interest, I can go into more details.

I start with a fresh install of XP, fully patched (SP3) and install all of the needed drivers. From there I install StorageCraft’s ShadowUser which takes a snapshot of the configuration. I can then use my computer as I see fit, but it reverts to the initial configuration on reboot.

I configure ShadowUser so that one folder is excluded from that automatic reverting.

Instead of installing a lot of applications, every application I use is portable. For software not available in a portable form, I make my own portable versions using a combination of InstallRite 2.5 (application cloner) and AHK, or ThinApp. I place all of the portable applications in the folder excluded from automatic reverting.

By only using portable applications, I can run the programs that I want, but my system is not cluttered. The only changes I make to the fresh install of XP are adding shortcuts to the portable .exe’s.

This setup has two major advantages:

1) I don’t need to worry about security. I still keep XP patched and up to date, but I do not run a firewall (although I am behind a router) or a virus scanner. This speeds up my system considerably and frees me from the constant headache of configuring and updating them. I do not worry if my system is compromised, because all of the windows system files a restored on reboot any compromised file would be discarded.

2) I can install whatever application I want and not worry about bogging down my system. Like many of you, I am addicted to trying new software. The only problem with this addition is that it can quickly bog down any system. I previously had so many programs installed that my start menu, after spilling across about 5 columns, ran out of room. Most of the programs I installed I used one or two times and then never touched them again. Unfortunately they would remain on my hard drive cluttering system files and the registry until I did my every 6 month install of XP. With my current setup, because all changes are discarded on reboot, I am now free to install whatever I want. If I don’t like the software, I reboot my computer, and it is as if it never was. If I decide I like it and I want to continue using it, I make a portable version of it.

These two advantages result in essentially worry free computing. I’ll install anything now, even from questionable sources. I don’t need to hope that whatever virus scanner / spyware / firewall combinations I am using will detect malicious software. If I download software that seriously undermines system performance or stability, I reboot and I am back a fresh install of XP.

I used to be incredibly nervous when I would let friends or family use my computer; I was always worried about what they would muck up. Now I don’t care. I tell them to use it however they would like; install programs, delete programs; it doesn’t matter. After I reboot, everything is back to normal.

I’m sure this isn’t an original way to configure a computer, but I certainly enjoy it.


General Software Discussion / Print on PDF
« on: July 24, 2007, 11:12 AM »
I am currently using PDFCreator (http://sourceforge.n...projects/pdfcreator/) to print PDF files from various documents.

I am looking for a program or a means of printing on an existing PDF file. Using a physical printer, you can run the same piece of paper through the printer twice if you are using the output from two different programs to print one final product. I am looking for a program that would duplicate this functionality.

After a bit of searching, I have not been able to find anything that addresses this need.

Can anyone recommend a program or a method to print on a PDF file?



General Software Discussion / Document Assembly Question
« on: May 10, 2007, 01:21 PM »
I have a question I have been unable to answer and so I am turning to the donation coder community for help.

I currently assembling documents in a way that strikes me as inefficient. To create one document, I print out various MS word, PowerPoint, PDF, etc. files and then physically assemble them after printing into one large document.

I am looking for a solution that allows me to have a master document that references the files on my computer, allowing me to organize their order, edit the documents (in their native applications), and, finally, print the result.

The master document feature built-in to MS word does not work, as it only allows you to edit word and excel document (not PowerPoint). Printing all of the files to a single PDF does not work, as I need to edit the documents even after they are assembled.

I have two solutions that come close to solving my problem, but are not quite there.

1) Using the MS word master document feature, but imbedding the files as OLE objects. The drawback of this method is that, so far as I can tell, OLE object cannot be embedded with relative (as apposed to absolute) paths. I work on many of my files from a USB drive which means the drive letter changes as I work on different computers. Also imbedding all of the documents (40+) results in a rather cumbersome 13MB word file.

2) I can reference all of the files as html links in MS word document, but if I rename the file or save the file in a different location, the like does not automatically update as do OLE object.

I think part of the reason I cannot find a solution to my problem is that I am not expressing it in the correct terminology.

If anyone has any suggestions, I would appreciate the help. Thank you.



The Form Letter Machine / Variable Management (Requests)
« on: April 09, 2007, 03:29 PM »
Let me begin by saying The Form Letter Machine (TFLM) is a fantastic peerless program. I use it everyday for a wide range of correspondence in a professional setting. Because I am using it for such a wide range of tasks, I have encountered a few aspects with variable management that are slightly inconvenient.

For one of my configuration trees, I have almost 40 variables, and the variables are expanding. So far as I can tell, the variables displayed in the “Key” / “Value” portion of the screen are displayed in the order where they are first found within the configuration tree. This usually means they are displayed in a random order and, with 40 variables, it can mean quite a bit of hunting to find the correct variable.

Also, the displayed variables are shared between trees even if a given variable isn’t present in the currently viewed configuration tree.

4 modifications / features would make this program vastly easy for configuration trees with many variables.

  • Display the variables in alphabetical order.

  • Only display the variables used in the currently activated portions of the tree. For example, if my currently selected checkbox items and radiobutton items make no use of the %MeetingDate% variable, the variable should be hidden.

  • Allow variables to be clicked on and filled in as in a form in a word document. When looking at the entire document (the bottom left area where the entire letter is shown), it would be much easier to type in the information there than hunt for, and then update the variable from the variable list.

  • Clearly mark unfilled variables in the ‘completed letter preview’ area. I find myself spending the majority of my post TFLM proofing time checking to make sure I have not forgotten to included / replace all of the needed variable names.

As I have said, I love using TFLM, but if something similar to these steps outlined above was implemented, it would make its use much easier.

Thank you.



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