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Messages - mfwiniberg [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Re: Why ebooks are bad for you
« on: June 13, 2011, 05:39 AM »

Having been bitten twice by retrospective removal of reading permission on ebooks (MS Reader and Fictionwise), I now strip the DRM from all ebooks I purchase regardless - as Stallman says, if I buy a book, then I own it and can do more or less what I like with it...

The other, even more pernicious problem though, is the arbitrary (to the customer anyway) restriction of the availability of ebooks. I have an extensive collection of certain authors in paper form (Eg Terry Brooks) - I have been to all the major ebook publishers and attempted to purchase the ebook versions to replace the paper ones. In the last two or three years this has become almost impossible, because - living as I do in that hot-bed of communist, right-wing, islamist reactionary terrorism, the UK, I am not allowed to buy electronic copies of books that are freely available in printed form in my local bookshop (I note however, that Iran, Iraq and Korea are all allowed to purchase copies!)

So, despite my having offered to pay a second time for these books, and hence support both the publisher and author, I am unable to, so I have had to find other ways to replace copies of printed books I already own. How can this possibly benefit either the publishers or the authors? I have debated this with Barnes and Noble / Fictionwise / Mobi in the past, but they seem powerless to influence the publishers that impose these restrictions, which are in fact more onerous than those placed on DVDs and Blu-Ray!

I too have been looking for the perfect outliner for years. Grandview was definitely the best of the bunch, and still works in a cmd window (though not on 64bit Win7). After experimenting with many, I settled on Notemap from LexisNexis. It lacks the column features of Grandview (which I used for bug-tracking) but for text outlining is excellent, even if the output formatting is a little limited when transferring to Word etc. Doesn't appear to be being maintained/developed any more now, but is still available.

I keep experimenting with various todolist type programs (including Outlook Tasks) for bug and project activity tracking, but nothing is perfect - TodoList hereabouts comes closest, but it's activity timing is not really flexible enough - I need records of time spent each day readily available (that can be done) but I also need the timer to stop after a certain period of keyboard/mouse inactivity. Using the screen saver to stop the time is pointless when so many windows apps (Outlook for one) will stop the screensaver kicking in if they think you should pay attention to them...

One day, perhaps after I die, I will have enough spare time to roll my own. No, wait...

Living Room / Re: How would you improve a standard PC keyboard?
« on: December 10, 2009, 02:29 AM »
I never quite understood why the function keys were moved from the left hand end of the keyboard and put along the top. If you are not a typist it makes little difference, but if you are then you have replaced having to move one hand horizontally from the 'home' typing position to having to move two - and given that the position of the function keys in relation to the home positions is not standardised either vertically or horizontally between keyboards (unlike the letter/number keys) it means that a touch typist has their rhythm broken every time they have to use a function key.

General Software Discussion / Re: The Best Of: text editors
« on: May 06, 2009, 06:37 AM »
I do a lot of development (in Java - JSP and AJAX, C, C++ and PHP) and currently tend to use Netbeans because it integrates everthing together so well, but it's editor is poor compared with the various Brief derivatives.

For all non-IDE based work (16 bit C, C++ etc) I use Slickedit. Expensive, but has just about all the features mentioned as being favourites in the various editors discussed (with the exception of breadcrumbs) - even including the outer tag xml hilights etc. If anything, Slickedit is so powerful and complex you never get as far as realising that it does what you want or can be made to do so, because you spend so much time fiddling with other bits of it you never get any work done 8)

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