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Messages - Robert Carnegie [ switch to compact view ]

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Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Morse Code as You Type
« on: March 16, 2008, 06:05 PM »
I don't suppose anyone knows how to adapt autohotkey to play these sound files randomly so I can practice hitting the keyboard as I hear the phonetics? Some kind of loop where it says a letter.wav, pauses half a second, says another letter etc until I hit some loop breaking button?

If you want random actions, you could use an MP3 or media player program set to random play, but then you don't know whether you're getting them right or wrong...  perhaps something that speaks its way through a script would be more useful?  Or maybe there are ready-made recordings online that you could get to work from?  Perhaps a tool that converts text to the text of your code words and then speech-synthesizes the result?

I hadn't heard of Adam Boy Charles, I'm British and maybe I didn't watch enough police TV shows from... wherever you are  ;-)  We had a show about a senior female officer (and then a different senior female officer, I think) titled "Juliet Bravo".  Years and years ago.  It wasn't her actual name.  Superior officers on British TV are called "Guv'nor" or "Guv".  I think it's Klingon.

General Software Discussion / Re: Two New Internet Explorer 7 Reviews
« on: October 25, 2006, 08:08 AM »
I have been deliberately avoiding WGA since it started showing up disguised as a critical security update to Windows.
-Robert Carnegie (October 23, 2006, 06:00 PM)
Let me correct myself - "important" update, apparently.  The rest stands.  The primary function of WGA is to deny, from time to time, access to some or all functions of software for the privilege of using which I have paid in full according to Microsoft's own terms, it -has- gone wrong for other legitimate users and closed them down, and allowing it to run is like playing "Russian Roulette".  On a bad day it's like the "real" Russian Roulette (which I think was fictional to begin with, I think I read about it someplace) where you load five bullets in six chambers of a revolver.

General Software Discussion / Re: Two New Internet Explorer 7 Reviews
« on: October 23, 2006, 06:00 PM »
I've been trying to remember why I was under the impression I didn't want to install Internet Explorer 7.  Perhaps because I think it was said to depend on the Windows Genuine Advantage - that's the thing that kills your Windows installation if it suspects it isn't genuine - or else it might have been something about DRM.  Or just a change in the licensing - they get to scan your hard disk for programs that they don't like, such as if they decide that Linux violates Microsoft patents on FAT disk format then they unilaterally delete -that- for you.  But anyway, I have a definite impression they were going to pull -something- on us here - I just don't recall what.

I have been deliberately avoiding WGA since it started showing up disguised as a critical security update to Windows.  I guess that it will eventually become compulsory, both with Vista when you can't get XP any more and your hardware dies, and before then probably there'll be the Sucker-2007 virus and before Microsoft will allow you to patch the bug that it uses, you must install WGA.  But for now I'm a rebel.  I'm not planning on becoming an outlaw, but, y'know, live free or die.

I suppose I could buy a Mac.  I actually can afford one.

I'm also a very happy Opera user.  I even paid for it.

As far as I recall, the licence is for the lifetime of one motherboard.

They can make you do this, if you use their product.

Retail is tedious for them.  They want to deal with PC manufacturers who buy a million licences at a time, or big corporations who buy into their rolling upgrades program - which annoyed a lot of people when no upgrades were rolled, so you were buying nothing.  But they can make you do this.

They are addicted to money, I think.  PC industry growth was sky-high for years and Microsoft revenue soared.  There was never anything like it.  But once everyone has a PC and a copy of Windows, what can you sell them?  How do you keep the money addicts, the shareholders, happy?  Well, you sell a new version of Windows, and you try to get more money from each customer every time.

In this they aren't different from other businesses.  Everyone wants to get money from customers.  But Microsoft has special ways to do it - lock in the customers so that to participate fully in society, to pay your taxes, to draw your salary, to access public media, you have to use Microsoft software.

Home software rental is coming, I'd say.  There may even be PCs with coin slots.

Living Room / Re: Article: The Six Sins of the Wikipedia
« on: July 20, 2006, 07:48 AM »
Wikipedia is often attacked by people whose apparent value to the community is reduced by the availability of Wikipedia.  Journalists, publishers, Microsoft... if you can read it for free and without bias at Wikipedia then they might actually have to work at adding value.  How awful!

What's wrong with teenagers anyway, they know everything... more seriously, who is to say that people who still have a full head of hair have nothing to contribute?  Slapheads, that's who.  Well, I'm not buying it, Shiny Top.

( http://en.wikipedia....in_the_United_States )

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows XP Myths
« on: July 20, 2006, 05:43 AM »
I'm a committed sceptic.  I don't trust people who tell me I can speed up my computer by some mysterious fiddle that Microsoft apparently forgot to do, or by buying a tune-up product, and I also don't trust Microsoft.  This document trusts Microsoft too much, I think.

Running as a limited user, specifically, is indispensable but not sufficient in a security recipe.  Someday something nasty is going to leap out of Internet Explorer at me.  I do encounter applications that don't work as limited user, and if I have to then I'll run them on my desktop as Administrator sessions.  Apparently this will be easier in Vista.  But, developers, I want to hear how you justify demanding full control of my PC.  I don't have full control of my PC.  I don't really understand what a Registry is.  And it's -my- PC.  So why should -you- get control of it??  

It's like you're a guest in my home and you want the keys to the safe and the gun locker...

Specific root-only applications that I use include the Fitaly on-screen keyboard (I think it doesn't address the registry in a proper multi-user way - and its market is too small to demand a fix), and the software for Hauppauge DEC-2000T PC-DTV receiver, which is broken in a lot of other ways (video doesn't work on my Tablet PC; sound randomly cuts out of plays half an hour late[!?]; timed recording consist of using Task Scheduler to open and close the application, each time rebooting the hardware twice).

I use "ExplorerXP" as a file manager which I can run as Administrator to handle files for stoopid applications - amongst the things I can't see a way to run as Administrator from a limited desktop are Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer.

I accepted one issue of the "Genuine Advantage" update, but not the latest one.  It was offered as an "Important" update, I think, and I was allowed to say "No.  Hide it."  Obviously it doesn't do anything useful to me; I bought a licence to use Microsoft Windows XP, and the Genuine Advantage program will either do nothing, or interfere with software that I am entitled to use. 

In the meantime, I still get to load other updates.  But Windows Update still whines at me that I "hid" an important update.  Whiny Microsoft.

Some of my stuff requires MS.  But I'll use Linux when and where I can.

Finished Programs / Re: Finding Mousepointer Utility
« on: April 05, 2006, 09:03 AM »
I have in my Windows XP "Control Panel - Mouse - Pointer options" a choice to "Show location of pointer when I press the CTRL key".  It gives a dark circle drawn around the pointer, that contracts in to the point.

But it's nice to have a choice.

There is also a free download called "LecturePen" that draws a large fountain pen on the screen to follow the pointer around!  I think you can choose left or right handed ;-)

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Morse Code as You Type
« on: January 18, 2006, 11:30 AM »
nice tips robert, thanks.

Another disadvantage with software like this is when you type a password and anyone in earshot can pick it up...

i have to say that this is exactly the kind of task i would avoid autohotkey for - i'd want a nice fast compiled app.
AutoHotkey is pretty good for speed except on a Tablet PC :-(

It seems more sluggish too when I use it to program my PC-based PVR by running individual AHk scripts out of Task Scheduler to push buttons on the application.  (The PVR has its own timer but it's astonishingly bad... you don't want to know.)  But once a script is running, it does pretty well.  Unfortunately (perhaps), even its "compiled" scripts (EXE) are actually interpreted.  Of course so is Java... but AHk really does run straight off a version of the source code, I think.

And AHk has had features added far beyond the scope or the quality of the original program, but so has Windows ;-)

I tested its basic function of recognise-typing substitute-alternate with an entire dictionary of words, and it stood up to that!  (I had it turn 'em all backwards, ekil siht!)

And development is pretty fast for simple jobs!  Then if I want something programmed professionally, I outsource :-)

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Morse Code as You Type
« on: January 18, 2006, 09:56 AM »
Just saw a shareware program that does just this.... admittedly it's a tad expensive at ~$25, but it may give ideas.

If you just want to make noises as you go then their SoundPilot is cheaper at $15.55.  The Morse program offers extra features when registered compared to the free download, but I don't know if a free installation also expires.  Bottom line, I don't think they're really gouging.

I've evaluated SoundPilot as a typing aid - if you make it speak the alphabet and punctuation as you press keys then you can hear mistakes and miskeys.  I found that my productivity improved when I combined SoundPilot with the Fitaly on-screen keyboard, which I use because of a degree of RSI-style handicap, compared to Fitaly on its own.  The catch is that you have always to look for the next letter that you're about to click or tap on, so you don't see the previous stroke that went astray - but my ears aren't doing anything else, usually...

I think SoundPilot is probably worth paying for, for this use, because it also distinguishes upper and lower case typing and it has voices ready-made as separate downloads.  For best results the speed of speech can be cranked up to keep pace.

MS Windows recently also comes with a Narrator program that speaks keystrokes, but it doesn't keep up with me and it insists on reading out text from the screen as well.  And I don't think it tries to do Morse code, but I may be mistaken.

Another disadvantage with software like this is when you type a password and anyone in earshot can pick it up...

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