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Messages - GHammer [ switch to compact view ]

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I use and enjoy several of the offerings from last year.
This year has some interesting entries.
Thanks to the coders and the organizer! I do appreciate your efforts,

Skwire Empire / Re: Release: sWeather (tray-based weather app)
« on: December 17, 2013, 09:27 AM »
Not sure if this has been reported.
I am on Windows 8.1 x64
I have Steam installed and use it to play Civilization V
When sWeather is running Civ crashes when loading saved games.

If I exit sWeather, the saved games load fine.

Very strange.  Does it only happen with Civ V?  I do have Steam and it seems to work fine with sWeather running.  Unfortunately, I do not own Civ V nor do I have Windows 8+.

Sorry for the late (and unhelpful) reply.

I only use Steam for Civ V. I do know when playing on a Mac, I have to enable a virtual keyboard to launch Civ V. Maybe they are hooking keystrokes in some way Windows too.

Anyway, I just exit when playing Civ V, the crash is a reminder to do so. Ha!

Skwire Empire / Re: Release: sWeather (tray-based weather app)
« on: December 12, 2013, 12:03 PM »
Not sure if this has been reported.
I am on Windows 8.1 x64
I have Steam installed and use it to play Civilization V
When sWeather is running Civ crashes when loading saved games.

If I exit sWeather, the saved games load fine.

In the 3 hours I had it installed, I noticed that apps that were not 'in focus' were marked as suspended in task manager.
Well, I like everything running, not to be suspended when it is in the background.

I also hated (too weak a word actually) the interface.

Hope it gets better as time goes on.

I make a full image of my system disk at install, then when I add major apps.
I run no anti-malware app of any sort.

Why? I did support for a while and saw every app come in the door on infected machines.
I do not believe 'the cloud' or behavior based tools are the answer either.
The malware changes itself constantly, well less than 60 minutes. Another engineer and I watched a site for two days. Every time we'd go there, we'd get a "new" infection. KAV found the old ones, never a new one.
Closest we came was Prevx, but then got numerous slowdowns.

I have not run any "protection" for two years. I was infected one time by a 'legit' download that I was too lazy to run past VirusTotal. I just restored my system image and 4 minutes later was back.

To make my family feel better, I install Microsoft Security Essentials Beta on their machines. Little impact, and very rare to have a false positive.

General Software Discussion / Re: IE 9 and Flash 64bit betas
« on: September 17, 2010, 07:36 AM »
It did break an app I use. MusicBee does not display properly when I.E. 9 is used.
MusicBee is a 32 bit app while I installed the 64 bit I.E. beta. I didn't know it would/could affect 32 bit apps.
Did a restore to remove it as it is not uninstallable.

P.S. MusicBee is a very cool free music app.

General Software Discussion / Re: MAC Email Monitor?
« on: July 14, 2010, 05:50 PM »
POP Peeper checks email accounts and give you a notice, a count, and a preview.
Not interested in an email client.

General Software Discussion / MAC Email Monitor?
« on: July 14, 2010, 12:15 PM »
I'm looking for software like POP Peeper, but for a MAC.
Any ideas?


I'd certainly give it a try if the recode jpg issue was solved.
It sound like what I'm looking for, currently a Live Photo user.

Living Room / Re: "Check mail every ??? minutes"
« on: May 29, 2009, 06:52 AM »
Major (GMail, Yahoo, Live) mail servers while offering POP also will disable your account if you check too often. I used to check every 5 minutes using a tool seperate from my email client. Then, one day, I was locked out of my GMail account. Getting access again is its own story, but needless to say, I now am on a 15 minute schedule using POP Peeper.

Personally I use POP Peeker for my POP3 accounts. It will also check web based accounts, but I don't have any of those.
I prefer to delete spam before it gets to my email client.
Old fashioned, I know. I come from the old 1200 baud dial up BBS days. Fido anyone?

I used to run MailWasher and it did an excellent job of removing spam. I converted all my domains to GMail hosted, and rarely see spam, so just use POP Peeper to notify me of email as it arrives.

Speaking of Outlook utilities, I highly recommend Xobni. It doesn't look very powerful when you read the description, but just install it and use it for a week or so. See if you want to uninstall it. I'm 20 for 20 on this for people who use Outlook.

Living Room / Re: Microsoft's Pay-Per-Use PC: ...Worst? Idea? Ever?
« on: January 29, 2009, 12:20 PM »
It's already being done in China. You pay a monthly fee, you get a computer with MS OS & apps along with your broadband connection. Seemed like a fair deal for many there. And, there are more people in China who want a computer and have a monthly payment than those who can pony up all at once.

Same country also stands as an example of why MS is not going anywhere soon.
People would rather run "BillGates" edition XP, Vista, and Office than use free alternatives. MS makes halfhearted efforts now and again to discourage that, but never too much. Gotta keep them using until they can afford to pay.

General Software Discussion / Re: Vista Aero vs. Linux Compiz
« on: April 24, 2008, 06:37 PM »
First, I'd like to say that running an old hardware has never been a criteria of Windows. You have old hardware and Windows runs, cool. It doesn't, buy hardware. It's been the way for a LONG time. People have been complacent with the long time between releases.

Second, I have thousands of dollars of apps and utilities. Most of those do not have a counterpart in the *nix world. If there were a wide selection of apps and utilities available it would still be a reach for me to say "so long" to my investment. Then there is the time to relearn what I do with the tools I have.

For me, it is a matter of "Here's the one app that does thus and so". In any category with Windows I can choose among many apps at many price points. I'm certain to find what I'm looking for. With *nix, tain't so.

Ease of contacting the developer of this or that? Contacting and having your need/problem positively addressed are two different things. Lots of coders do it for their own use and other suggestions take a back seat. There are MANY orphaned apps on SourceForge and other like sites. What do I do if I had chosen one of them to do this or that?

Finally, eyecandy. I like it but it would never be a deciding factor for what OS I use.

mp3gain itself does not write tags, the Windows GUI for it does that.
You can and should turn that 'feature' off as it uses an non-standard tag (APE) to hold the info. Those tags cause problems with some players both hardware and software.

I use mp3gain on every album I rip as part of my workflow.

Your friend may also want to look at Adapt-X Direct-X Plugin for WinAmp
Then he can find a pro level plugin that will process the sound to his liking.
I use iZotope Ozone 3 myself and it has nearly any option for mastering that you can think of.
They have a less featured version available as well.

Finally, have your friend get a backup of his data. If the material is that valuable to him, seems silly to trust it to whirring things in a box.

General Software Discussion / Re: Carbonite Online Backup
« on: April 24, 2008, 05:57 PM »
I use Mozy and recommend it at work.
It works transparently, does block level transfers (only changed data), is priced well.
Most important to me, it is owned/backed by EMC. Who know more about storing data than EMC?

As for the Dreamhost idea, they have a service called Files Forever.
It would seem that is a more appropriate service than signing up for hosting then using it as storage.
Files Forever is 1 cent per 4 Mb one time fee.

I've not used it, but it looks interesting.

Though you have a distaste for AIO tools, have you looked at J River Media Center?
If it does not have a field you want, you can add it.
As for searching, I can't think of a way to search that it will not do.
And it is fast, with my 6K files anyway.
Version 12 is much better than previous efforts in nearly all areas, but especially in the library functions.

The free, audio only version may suit your needs too but I have not run it as I have a license for the full version which does audio, video, and images.

Edit: Spelling...

General Software Discussion / Re: Stay Away From Microsoft VISTA
« on: September 11, 2007, 06:26 PM »
I use Vista, I like it. I will not return to XP.
I had a few apps that did not play well, I cut them loose after a reasonable amount of time after Vista's launch. Reasonable being 2 months. At work, we look forward, we do not buy apps that are not Vista-able, though most the systems are XP for today.

I play a few games, watch a little video, play LOTS of music. I haven't seen all these difficulties that others report. I'm sure they exist, but I don't see them here.

I had a FAR worse time moving to XP than I did moving to Vista. XP did not do well for me until almost SP2 when patches had taken care of most the oddities and stable drivers had appeared for my devices.

Which reminds me, there are still those who will not install SP2 because "All it does is add a lame firewall."

Get on down the road, take the time to get familiar with Vista, spring for new hardware if what you use is not supported in Vista. But get with the 21st century.

I've tried almost every single player out there.  I still will install new players to test them out to see what they do.  But I completely swear by JRiver Media Center.  It is killer for organizing all kinds of media--especially large libraries (I have over 40,000 songs at this point).  I use it for video somewhat, but it is all I use for audio.  Unfortunately it's only available for Windows (it's what's keeping me from going 100% Linux).

If you look through the Wikipedia article (linked to earlier in this thread) comparing music players, take a look at the features for JRMC.  It's one of the only ones that's completely green for features AND audio format support (and is mostly green for a bunch of others).  LastFM support isn't built in, but there is a plug-in that works great.

I'm also very visual.  I like to look through the album covers to find music, rather than just looking at text and tags.  JRMC has robust cover art support for browsing.

The bad news ain't cheap (about $40).  But they're constantly updating it, adding features, etc.

I HIGHLY recommend it....

I'll second that. A great music player/manager that also is good with other media. Even RAW image files.

Living Room / Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« on: May 26, 2007, 06:46 AM »
I like to support independent and small developers.
I like to support friendly, helpful developers.
I look for freeware, but I have two requirements.
 1- Can't look like it is being polished before the change to shareware.
 2- Has to be the equivalent or better of paid software.
I just replaced ReGet with Orbit Downloader. Quite happy with it and met my requirements.

It is one of the few that have unfortunately. Most free/open source apps just don't have the fit and finish, and way too many are the personal creation of the developer. They work how that person wanted to meet that person's needs. Nice if we both agree and have the same needs, but usually we don't. I'm also worried about 'abandonware'. Sourceforge is littered with dead projects. One you leave university and get married I guess it is harder to devote yourself to whiny leeches!

I look for, and ask for discounts if I am paying. I live in China and work as a teacher. Many of you likely have a large beer budget than I have salary. I don't bother looking at software that costs a month's pay. Not gonna buy at that price no matter what.

My sole exception? Various versions of Windows. Why? It has the tools, software, and hardware support I want. It broadens my scope when looking for an application or for hardware. About every three months for the past few years I have installed this or that flavor of linux and tried doing what I normally do, listen to music (Wavpack and FLAC), watch a few videos, play the occasional game, create lessons and lesson plans, edit and view pictures, create panoramas from images. I always end up restoring my Windows partition within a week. The apps aren't there and those I do find are limited in some way and/or do not have all the functions as their Windows competitors.

Have I ever done an 'extended' test of some software package? Yeah, sure. But I have always scraped up the money to buy whatever I keep on my system. If it is worth the disk space and I use it then I should pay for it. Just not always on the developers schedule. Is it right? No, it is expedient. Can I be 'a little pregnant'? Nope, guess not. But my rationale is not that Bill Gates has too much money or that the world somehow owes me . I simply have to save up to pay for anything that costs more than about US$30, and even then I have a wife to explain it to... Meantime, I'm selfish, I want to use the program while I wait to pay.

So, I think if you can buy a computer and you can pay for an internet connection, then you can somehow pay for the apps you use. Especially if the app comes from an individual or a small development house.

I nominate Nero for the winner of this pageant.
I was looking for something to burn image files in Vista and found that Nero 6 did not like Vista.
Even installing the 'Essentials' got me Nero Home and the lovely Nero Scout.

Anyone know a burner that will handle NRGs?
Or something that will convrt them to ISO, reliably?

General Software Discussion / Re: RANT: High Software Prices!
« on: April 22, 2007, 12:26 PM »
I live in China. Nobody pays for software here. Well, ok, maybe someone but I have yet to meet them.
Companies, Universities, Government offices. All have Windows, all have Office. All are 'registered' to Bill Gates.
Is it because China is a poor developing country? Naaah, China has 1 trillion (that's a lot in layman's terms!) dollars in foreign reserves.

It's because nobody can make anyone here pay. What, the US is going to stop imports of cheap shoes and shirts? Ha ha ha!
Why, oh why would anyone pay for software when they can run it for free? When your competitors don't pay? When there is no penality?

Many software houses have differential pricing. I can but Kaspersky, for example, cheaper here than in the UK/US/Germany. Why? Mind you I like having cheaper prices, but it seems unfair to those in the higher price countries. Are they subsidizing my price?

What I DO mind is the price of specialized utilities. I've seen $29.95 MP3 taggers. They don't even do other formats, just MP3. Seems a bit excessive. Same for backup software. While $60.00 may not be a lot to a company, it is a fair piece of change to me. A good example is ThumbsPlus picture viewer. $49.95 for standard, $89.95 for Pro, $129.95 for a 'perpetual' Pro license. No such option for the standard license. So, is it justifiable to pay $129.95 or to use something like FastStone Image Viewer for free?
At $29, maybe $39 I'd use ThumbsPlus. So the pricing lost them a customer. Of course they can lose 6 at my price for every one at their price.

In all, if I total the cost of the software on my system it exceeds the cost of the hardware. Personally, I have taken to asking for a discount if I really want a certain app. You'd be surprised how many thoughful developers there are. I appreciate them making it possible for me to run legal versions of their software.

For the Adobe and Microsoft types, I'm refuse to upgrade past my versions. They do what I want, I'm extremely familar with them, I don't see the value in the current upgrades.

Value, that's what it comes down to for me. Is it subjective? Yep. But it is less and less frequent in the commercial software world. More often found in the shareware arena. Surprisingly I find few freeware/open source apps that I keep.

General Software Discussion / Re: RANT: High Software Prices!
« on: April 22, 2007, 11:58 AM »
Carol Haynes: anything under £1/litre is cheap in .dk at the moment.

I realise that other EU states also have a bad time of petrol prices but I didn't realise Denmark had got that bad!

Always makes me laugh when I hear Americans whinge on about expensive gas - simple solution get rid of the 6 litre V8 4x4 SUV and buy a 50cc motorbike  ;) - or even better a pushbike ... that'll get you fit too!
-Carol Haynes (April 17, 2007, 07:19 PM)
I always laugh when I hear others complain about this or that in America. If your country sucks, move. The US pays more for oil than any other country. What's the military budget for Britain for instance? Just because the price is not on the pump doesn't mean it is not paid.

You know? foobar is an ok player, good ripper, adequate tagger.
Do I use it? Sometime, not often. Why? Because I like DirectX plugins. Because I like to hear some of my favorites mixed with little played tunes. Because I like cover art.
I use Media Center 12 because it is the best all round tool for audio, does a good job with video, and is also good with images. I can even share pics with a click or two.
I can stream with it, playback different things in different zones, rip, tag, edit, whatnot.

On my system playing a mix of MP3, Wavpack, and FLAC I see 8%-13% CPU and that is with a quite greedy DirectX plugin in the sound path.

To say I'd give up the finest media tool because of some problems in a forum would be silly, IMO.

I can safely say I have used every media app that supports my formats. None compare.
The closest in audio has been WinAMP with appropriate plugins. But I have always returned to JRMC.

Darn, 3 months too early for me. I will be moving from China to Peoria, IL which seems to be about a 90 minute drive.

If there's a 'next time', I'll be there.

I have licenses for a number of tools and SFFS beats them all.
Some have poor UI, some don't support this or that method, some insist on zipping. None do the things that SFFS does, does them as accurately nor with as little impact on my system.
One thing I like with SFFS is that the config is stored in an INI instead of a database or reg entries.

A discount would be a good thing, but the tool is worth the asking price.

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