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Messages - oblivion [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Re: I'm getting married, wish me luck!
« on: April 19, 2019, 02:38 PM »
I've just discovered that I completely failed to notice this until today. :-[

Congratulations, and my wholehearted best wishes for your future together  :)

Living Room / Re: Apologies, confessions and a bit of a rant
« on: February 28, 2019, 09:20 AM »
Thanks to everyone -- many wise words and supportive stuff, and that's all really helpful, even if only to help me arrange my thoughts.

I have another meeting with HR next week. The idea seems to be "as long as we talk to him occasionally, he won't throw his toys out of the pram."

I'm not sure about zen-like, but I'm planning on spending some more time investigating meditation, just as a way to achieve some more focus.

I'm planning to ask HR why their policy appears to allow perjury (okay, it wasn't a courtroom but it was a formal inquiry) to pass with impunity but for the subject of the attack to continue to be excluded, marginalised and anything else I can think of that reflects the way I feel.

Thing is, the organisation (whether it likes it or not) doesn't have anyone else who's prepared to get down-and-dirty with some of the more specialised systems we use. (I didn't say, but I work for a hospital. Or three hospitals, really, all part of a single organisation. So some of the specialised systems interact with diagnostic equipment with a specialist operator at one end, a patient at the other, and a PC and/or a file server somewhere around making things happen, or just storing data, or some combination thereof.) Most of our techies don't deal with the clinical elements of our systems or, if they do, it's only the data movement and storage end of things.

But that makes me complicated and confusing. My management wants me to be like a Lego brick (replaceable with any other Lego brick with access to an interchangeable set of core skills) but my primary attribute -- I get interested in weird stuff and have enough smarts to be able to apply general computing skills to things that look very, very odd being used by people with some extremely specialised skills in their own right -- isn't something that's easy to duplicate. I'm not unique, but I'm definitely regarded in that way and it's only a small step to jump from "weird" to "a problem to be solved."

It's almost certainly the case that my ex-boss has (a) a personality disorder, (b) a history of ... how to put this ... inappropriate relationships with colleagues that has almost certainly added another human being to the world, and (c) no people skills -- which may be related to (a) and may just be How It Is.

I think point (b) above may be the root of some of my problems, because I was quite friendly with two of the colleagues I'm aware of and, despite his apparent desire to stay married, I think -- not jealousy, exactly, but an overwhelming need to possess things / people  -- caused me to be regarded as The Enemy.

How much of this stuff I can use to make my problems go away? Maybe none of it. But I've just turned 57 (3 weeks ago today, for the curious) and it's hard to see that potential alternative employers are going to be easy to find, particularly if I don't want to go back to spending hours commuting.

In one sense, though, I'm really lucky, and really grateful. The people I work most closely with -- various clinicians, clinical managers and teams -- have all been really supportive, and never fail to remind me how helpful they feel I am, and how much better it is that I'm there for them rather than how it used to be before I got involved with their systems. And some of the letters they wrote (character references for the disciplinary that I ended up not needing to use) -- well, perhaps I should just say that a tear or two was shed.

So I'm still battling on. I just wish I felt that the corporate side of the organisation was a bit more inclined to fairness (rather than just paying lip service to the concept.)

And I'm still not doing very well at contributing here. Hopefully, that'll improve with time. :)

Living Room / Apologies, confessions and a bit of a rant
« on: February 10, 2019, 02:49 PM »
I had a nice email recently that reminded me that I haven’t really contributed much here recently.

Which is nothing more or less than the truth. I’ve done little lately apart from asking for a coding snack which, for one reason or another, I ended up having to park. And I haven’t been very good at doing what I used to do — sticking my oar into things or attempting (with mixed results) to be amusing, occasionally trying to be helpful, so forth.

So, for no very good reason, beyond perhaps having some stuff I want to get off my chest, I’m going to do a little explaining of my recent history.

After apologizing for having all but disappeared, of course.

Somewhere around four years ago, my boss’s boss asked me to take on one of my boss’s responsibilities. In exchange for a promotion, if not a very dramatic one — it was going to amount to about £10 per week - and with a little reluctance because it was very much unknown territory for not much reward, I agreed.

Fast forward a year or so. My boss started to be Difficult about a particular issue relevant to a particular member of staff. I’m not going to go into much detail in the interests of privacy but the responsibility handed to me included three members of staff, one of whom was off sick at the time I took over and remained off sick through the whole of 2015. This spun off into a number of issues that had to be dealt with and required my boss to engage with one or two things that he simply refused to.

His refusal to engage with some issues wasn’t a big deal. With others, it just was. I ended up having to go over his head to avoid the other two members of the team quitting. He was not impressed, although I managed to keep the team together.

With the benefit of hindsight, what he spent his time doing was setting me up to fail. Pretty much constantly. And because I’m not the sort of person who enjoys failure, and because I’m quite good at finding alternate ways to solve problems, his attitude towards me became more and more confrontational, including a few occasions where he was actually shouting and swearing at me. So I tried to deal with that stuff -- we have policies and procedures for dealing with bullying, and I followed them -- but with no success.

By the end of 2017, our working relationship was nonexistent. I was, by then, unwilling to be in the same room as him if there were no others present. Our HR Department had failed to deliver on any of the promises it had made to me (me following our organisational policies notwithstanding) but eventually scheduled a mediation session for February last year. By that time, I wasn’t reporting to him any more and it was completely clear to everyone (me and the mediators, anyway) that as he had no skin in the game, he had no interest in solving the problem -- if, indeed, he ever had.

The failure of the mediation to achieve anything didn’t really surprise me. What DID surprise me was when my new boss summoned me to a meeting and informed me that a number of complaints had been made about me.

Investigations were undertaken, and despite the fact that there was no evidence for anything that had been said, alongside the fact that I’d been able to provide evidence for my various statements and refutations, I ended up in front of a disciplinary panel in August last year.

The case got thrown out. No evidence of any case to answer.

However. After the failure of the mediation process, my ex-boss went off sick with stress, and made it clear that he was going to refuse to return to work until the possibility of accidentally encountering me had been removed. I was asked to relocate from my office as a result (although the reasons given to me were vague and certainly didn’t include the actual truth) and I’ve ended up having to work from home pretty much all the time.

By November, I’d had a formal, written apology from our HR Department for the poor way they’d behaved, along with various assurances that things would be done to sort out office space and so forth.

In the last year, in the face of all this stuff being fired at me, I’ve been nominated for two staff awards for the quality of my work. (Didn’t win either, but even so...)

And here we are, in February of 2019, and still nothing has changed -- I’m still marginalised, still working from home, still coming up against stuff from my ex-boss that makes it clear that he’s doing his best to sabotage my career...

So anyway, all this stuff has made me a bit more introverted than usual. I’m not going to say “hopefully it’ll all be over soon” because I’ve been saying that sort of thing for four years now and it just goes on not being over at all.

If anyone has a mechanism for dealing with bullying that doesn’t require a properly functioning HR department, I’d love to hear about it. :)

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Automagic Digital Photo Manager
« on: November 06, 2018, 04:27 PM »
I've attached a new version here, differences to the one above:

I haven't had a chance to try again, yet. The father-in-law's PC is acting weird and I spent several hours at the weekend trying to work out the problem rather than taking another shot at this. (I am beginning to wonder if the problems I had with the earlier version of this and the odd general problems are perhaps related... every so often the system goes unresponsive, for no obvious reason, and the only evidence of anything is some incomprehensible DCOM-related errors in the system log. I may have to reset Windows. :( )

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Automagic Digital Photo Manager
« on: October 28, 2018, 06:14 PM »
I've just updated it
Well, I took it over tonight; put it and the shortcuts in c:\utilities\dcimover, modified the relevant line with the absolute path, set up the relevant bits to autorun the shortcut on insertion, and I just got a Powershell window with nothing in it.

Some more experimentation later and I managed to start the GUI -- by running the script directly, I think -- but it threw some scary-looking errors when I hit the Move button.

It did something -- the test pictures I'd put on the card disappeared -- but I couldn't work out what.

And, of course, as I'd spent several hours trying to solve a completely unrelated problem on the computer that I was completely unprepared for, by the time I got to this point I didn't have time to do all the testing I'd have liked. :(

Now I'm away from it, it occurs to me to wonder if I'd just left a terminating backslash off the path, or included one when I shouldn't have, or something else obvious, but I probably won't be able to look for another week...

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Automagic Digital Photo Manager
« on: October 27, 2018, 04:23 PM »
#region gui events {
  $objForm = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.FolderBrowserDialog
  $objForm.Description = "Destination folder"
  $objForm.SelectedPath = [System.Environment+SpecialFolder]'MyComputer'
  $objForm.ShowNewFolderButton = $false
  $result = $objForm.ShowDialog()
  if ($result -eq "OK") {
    $TextBox1.Text = $objForm.SelectedPath
  } else {
    $TextBox1.Text = ""

Just one quick question: if I wanted to modify this bit to a specific root destination folder (eg c:\users\fred\pictures\photos) would I just change this line

$objForm.SelectedPath = [System.Environment+SpecialFolder]'MyComputer'

or is it more complicated than that? (I really want to make it as simple as I can for him!)

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Automagic Digital Photo Manager
« on: October 27, 2018, 12:53 AM »
Something simple in PowerShell while skwire whips up a masterpiece :P : DCIMover.ps1
That's awesome, thanks!

I won't be able to get access to their PC again for a few days but I gave them a USBsafelyRemove license I no longer need to handle the autoplay side of things and between the two, it should be perfect -- thanks again!

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Automagic Digital Photo Manager
« on: October 22, 2018, 02:09 AM »
The review: yes to all.

Does the SD card show up as a drive letter?
Yes, again.

I can probably ensure that the drive letter always comes up the same, but I guess you could also look for available drives with \dcim folders in the root and present them (or, hopefully always!) it as a confirmation for the source.

Post New Requests Here / IDEA: Automagic Digital Photo Manager
« on: October 21, 2018, 03:28 PM »
My father-in-law wants to be able to clear the photos off the SD card from his camera onto his PC so he can (a) free up space on the card, and (b) review and delete any photos he doesn't want to keep.

He has next to no idea of file management. The computer is for eBay and a few games.

So what I thought was some sort of semi-automated process. Identify a base target folder (possibly stored for later use in a config file), make a subfolder of the current year (if it doesn't already exist) and a subfolder of that for the current month.

Identify the source drive; assume \DCIM as the base folder for the photos.

Then copy all the JPGs from \dcim\ and any subfolders it might have into the newly-created yyyy/mmmm target folder, but ignore source target structure. (His camera makes subfolders for month or day but trying to create and then navigate the destination if it's too granular seems overkill, and dating the destination for now won't prevent later organisation based on the file data or EXIF stuff, I figure.)

Then fire up Explorer, or Photos, or Windows Photo Viewer, pointed at the destination.

Then reviewing the photos should at least mean accidental deletions wind up in the recycle bin...

This sounds straightforward but I keep getting tied in knots trying to work out how to solve it myself -- I guess I'm getting old :(

Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: GS-Base Mini-Review
« on: June 05, 2018, 05:42 PM »
From GS-Base's Help:

Creating links between two tables is a special case of using calculated fields and the vLookUp_ex function from the Cross-table summarizing & lookup formula category. It behaves similarly to the standard spreadsheet vLookUp.

I haven't used it much for a while, but I still think it's a very decent program.

Whenlast is still a fixture on my phone. About the only mild irritant for me is the fact that I often do the thing I'm tracking and forget until later (or the next day) to mark it done. So the routine (unless I'm missing something) is to find it, hit NOW and then edit the date in the history back to yesterday. And the date editor is difficult, particularly on a small screen that suddenly gets half its space occupied by a keyboard...

So my wishlist might include either a "pick date/time" alongside NOW (which would impact on display space but maybe not too much if the NOW button were made slightly smaller?) or a more graphical date/time editor.

However... while writing this, it occurs to me to wonder if recording the exact time is crucial? I can see approximate time is helpful, but maybe am or pm as a radio button, or morning, afternoon, evening, night, anytime, as a dropdown, might be a good enough approach, which would maybe simplify the date storage and editing process?

N.A.N.Y. 2018 / Re: NANY 2018 Mug/T-Shirt Design Competition
« on: January 13, 2018, 07:53 AM »
it seems to me hamradio's is the one that is ready to go and would be the best option.
I can't disagree -- I really like it.

N.A.N.Y. 2018 / Re: NANY 2018 Mug/T-Shirt Design Competition
« on: November 10, 2017, 12:03 PM »
Oblivion, go for it!
Okay, here's an "it". It's just last year's with 8 replacing 7. Other reasonable changes can also be done, I'm sure, but if you need me to be Leonardo da Vinci you're going to be disappointed. Again. ;)

...having uploaded the image, the transparent background looks (to me, anyway) grey when expanded. It SHOULD be transparent in real life but if it doesn't work that way and you'd rather a white background, please let me know.

N.A.N.Y. 2018 / Re: NANY 2018 Mug/T-Shirt Design Competition
« on: November 07, 2017, 11:08 AM »
I could probably produce a variant of my 2017 effort (and I grant my artistic skills aren't particularly high) if that's any help. Not, perhaps, particularly inspirational though.

[Afterthought] While the above design wasn't entirely a vector, quite a lot of it was -- so I could probably also regenerate it in a format someone with more graphic skill could modify.

Living Room / Re: Jerry Pournelle - R.I.P.
« on: September 11, 2017, 07:03 AM »
He wil be missed.
Indeed he will. Sad.  :(

Sure it does!
Aha. So it does!  Not looking hard enough, clearly :-[

Given where I am, I've signed up for DropBox so at least this will work for me in the future, but as I've almost completely decommissioned the old phone now, I'm not going to try the synch process for real.

However... I gave Whenlast permission to do its thing with DropBox and sure enough, it's created a folder (apps/whenlast) in DropBox. I've got automatic synch switched on (I've got a decent mobile data plan and I figure this is going to be a relatively small amount of data that's being moved) and Whenlast says it's done its stuff in that respect.

The Whenlast folder in Dropbox was empty until I created a new item -- at that point, a sync folder was created and a file created in it.

So should the process have created a sync file once synchronisation was enabled?

[For what it's worth, the normal export process DOES create files as expected on my new phone. Whether this is down to differences between Lollipop and Nougat, a permissions issue on the old phone or a result of opting into the beta programme, I can't guess.]

It seems to work fine for me.
I've tried the portable version in Windows 7 and installed versions on two different Windows 10 machines and I can't get text boxes to create with a solid colour properly at all. Either I get no colour whatever I do, or the current colour won't change, or it works fine until I click outside then the background goes transparent. The only way I can make solid colour text boxes is with plain filled rectangles and a separate text box on top.

This is driving me nuts. What am I doing wrong? It never used to be this difficult...?

Yeah EXPORT just wants to save a file somewhere.  You have to copy that file to your new phone somehow and then import it.
That's the point -- I was trying to save the file in my documents folder, or my data folder, or my downloads folder, but although it was saying "export done" or something of the sort, it wasn't actually creating the file -- I was watching in Explorer on my PC. (I tried four times in four folders before I gave up.)
The other alternative of course is the SYNC mechanism.

I don't think the non-beta version of the program has sync, does it? I couldn't see it, anyway.

This may all be academic (I've just joined the testing program so I'm hopefully about to get an updated version of whenlast :) but the reason I'm here is...

I just got a new phone. Whenlast (official Play Store version) got installed to the new one automagically but -- of course -- didn't include my data. So I fired up the old phone and used the export facility -- which although it claimed to have worked, didn't actually create any data files I could copy off.

The old phone's Lollipop, the new one is Nougat. Both pretty much stock versions.

I didn't have so many entries I couldn't manually recreate them, so that's what I've done. :)

Something's gone a bit odd with the text frame handling in this version -- if you set an inner colour for the frame, it seems to need a double-click inside the frame to make it happen. I think changes used to be instant...?

I'm currently considering emigrating in order to avoid the whole problem...  :-[
;D ;D ;D

Been there, but eventually never done that drastic measure... :o
I suppose I could quit the job too. Or develop a dreadful disease. ;)

Mouser is hibernating and procrastinating
Hey everybody, mouser's human after all!!  :D

Since I'm here... I've foolishly volunteered to put together a presentation that will cover the whole process that resulted in me writing an autohotkey program to plug a few gaps in a bit of commercial software our maternity department uses. ("Foolishly" because my default attitude is to spend as much time as I can working behind the scenes rather than standing up and making a public spectacle of myself. What can I say? I'm British and introverted.)

Er, anyway, so this presentation's going to happen in a lecture theatre (aaargh) and I'm playing with the concept of making a screencast to do most of the work, so I can just do the Q&As and handovers to the other people who had a hand in it.

I have EasyScreenCastRecorder and ScreenshotCaptor and a microphone and, because I enjoy procrastination too and I have until early May, I'm wondering how (or if!) to make ESCR and SC work together and, if I do, if I can mix stills into my screencast (so I can put up screens that I might want to blur bits of) or if I should bite the bullet and learn something completely new.

Any suggestions or advice welcome. I'm currently considering emigrating in order to avoid the whole problem...  :-[

Ok I am making some progress on improving SC for use on high-dpi monitors; options look a lot more readable as does text.
Need to do a little more tweaking though for some oddities, and need to scale up the button images.

Hope you are making some progress on FARR too !
When ordinary coders are sleeping, mouser thunders on, tirelessly adding features to everything, only stopping to worry occasionally if he's doing enough... ;)

Living Room / Re: Do you use a Portrait mode monitor?
« on: January 31, 2017, 12:00 PM »
I'm still using a landscape+portrait configuration. Landscape still works best for many things but email and anything involving text generation where A4 / letter is conceptually or actually the output target tends to get done on my portrait monitor.

Where I've got just one screen to work on, it's always landscape. But -- particularly with widescreen monitors -- I often find the lack of vertical realestate annoying.

I do try to arrange screens and chairs so that I'm looking down -- if only slightly -- rather than up. The top of my portrait screen is about at eye level.

I would say -- probably an irrelevance to many -- that I had to recalibrate the colour of the portrait screen as a direct result of rotating it. I can't say I ever really understood why, but the whites are more yellow when the screen's portrait...

Don't know if this is in any way helpful... I think this really is one of those things where what works for one person won't necessarily work for another!

N.A.N.Y. 2017 / Re: N.A.N.Y. 2017 Announcement
« on: December 30, 2016, 07:02 AM »

I've just realised that I wasn't paying attention to the dimensions of the last couple of uploads -- so I'll sort that out with these two -- one black, one dark grey. (Software remembers last used values, not last used values for a given document, so the last few went out at 200dpi instead of 96 as a result of something else I've done recently. Oops!)

Black: keyboard3_black.png

Dark grey (80%): keyboard3_darkgrey.png

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