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Messages - rjbull [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Re: Looking for smartphone
« on: September 14, 2018, 05:28 PM »
Any suggestion for the best phone with longest battery and NFC?

I believe you are in the UK.  If so, then:

  • Visit your local newsagent or supermarket, and buy a copy of the latest issue of UK magazine Computer Shopper, hot off the press, Issue 369 dated Nov 18.
  • Read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the article "Avoid the smartphone rip-off: 18 low cost phones that get you high-end specs."
  • Make your choice, accepting that whatever you do will be imperfect and temporary.

Found Deals and Discounts / FREE Affinity Publisher BETA available
« on: August 30, 2018, 04:32 PM »
email from Serif, received 30th August 2018:

** Download the FREE Affinity Publisher beta!

From the earliest days of visualising the Affinity range, we planned an unrivalled trio of sleek, super-modern apps created to work with the latest technology – ultra-fast, with stunning power and completely stripped of bloat.

Today that vision comes a step closer to completion, with the launch of our desktop publishing app Affinity Publisher in a free public beta.

We are still a few months away from the polished retail release, but we’d love for you to try it out and let us know what you think.
Download the FREE beta (https://affinity.ser...;mc=PUBBETALAUNCHE01)

The public beta is free and open to absolutely anyone – you just need a Mac or PC that meets the minimum system requirements (https://affinity.ser...;mc=PUBBETALAUNCHE01) .

What does Affinity Publisher do?

Affinity Publisher is an all-new app which we believe will revolutionise desktop publishing in the same way Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer have shaken up professional photo editing and vector graphic design.

It will have everything you would expect from a pro-end desktop publishing app including advanced typography controls, linked text frames, master pages, facing page spreads, dynamic photo frames, tables, baseline grids, linked resources and end-to-end CMYK.

And uniquely, Affinity Publisher will boast full integration with Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer. You will see buttons to switch to Photo and Designer within the app, though these won’t be activated until later in the beta period.

We’ve also produced some handy tutorial videos to get you started – you’ll find these on our website here (https://affinity.ser...;mc=PUBBETALAUNCHE01) .

What if I spot an issue?

An important thing to remember is this is a beta, so there will still be bugs and areas of the app which are not yet fully polished. We definitely don’t recommend you use it for any important production work just yet.

We’re relying on beta users to let us know what works and what doesn’t, so we’d really appreciate you reporting any issues that you find. Also if there are any features you would like adding, please let us know. Even if we don’t get them in before we release version 1, you can expect plenty of free updates to come, just like with our other apps.

We have set up a dedicated forum for beta users to report issues, give feedback and make suggestions which can be found here ( .
Download the FREE beta (https://affinity.ser...;mc=PUBBETALAUNCHE01)

We totally understand that not everyone wants to take part in a beta, and many more of you are excited for the full app.

Rest assured we’ll bring you more information about the launch of Affinity Publisher as we get closer. We’re making good progress on the iPad version too, which is set to follow at a later date.

You can keep up to date with our progress, plus everything else we are working on by following us on our socials - Twitter ( , Facebook ( and Instagram ( .

The Affinity Team

The latest news from Affinity!

©2018 Serif, Nottingham, United Kingdom

General Software Discussion / Re: Listary 6
« on: August 27, 2018, 04:22 PM »
Does any news about Listary 6 suggest that it will get something akin to FARR's powerful alias system?
I wondered about that as well.
FARR and Listary are not the same things though, so a comparison is difficult. It rather depends on one's requirements.
Very much so.

From my perspective as an existing FARR user: I had trialled Listary for a couple of years out of interest and for comparison with FARR, but eventually dumped Listary, though the latter worked OK.

I'm a long-term registered user of Listary, since (I think) the first time it was on Bits du Jour.  I'm still using Listary 4 on my old laptop. In fact Listary had all the features I really wanted by version 3.  I tend to 'live inside' my file manager, Total Commander, and Listary's magic ability to point a standard Windows dialog box to whatever directory was active in TC was worth the price of entry on its own.  I haven't used Listary's global search abilities; I occasionally use Everything, but rarely need global search.

By contrast, I more or less dumped FARR about ten years ago, when I realised

a) it had a 20 Mb footprint; I know people act as if disk space is infinite, but it seemed an awful lot for a launcher, the more so as the first PC I ever used (in 1988) only had a 20 Mb hard disk.  For everything.
b) At that time I only seemed to use about 30 programs on a regular basis, very easy to put into a standard launcher, and anything else could be found and launched via Total Commander.  As launcher I chose Horst Schaeffer's PopSel. My current laptop's PopSel menus have almost 200 items, plus the System menu included in the archive, and occupies about 210 Kb.  I would probably have liked SlickRun a lot if I'd found it earlier.
c) I didn't want to wrestle with FARR's  alias system.

Listary met my requirements for searches, but otherwise seemed annoyingly idiosyncratic and intrusive, popping up when I didn't need it and nagging me to buy a licence for the full version. The most useful thing about it for me was the search functionality, but I preferred Everything Search for that.
I stuck with FARR rather than Listary, because in general it better suits my peculiar needs/purposes
Your "peculiar needs/purposes" rubbing up against Listary's "idiosyncrasies" sounds like the pot calling the kettle black...  It might be nice if Listary's default was not to pop up except for opted-in programs, but I suppose that would defeat the object.  I don't know the behaviour of the free version, but after two years of trialling I think it's entitled to a nag screen.  Listary is still only $19.95 at full price - for me, one of the best software deals around - and comes up on Bits du Jour now and again at even less.

[FARR] is portable (used on all the PCs I support)
Listary has a portable version, listed on the download page.  If the PCs you support are for work, though, you'd need registered copies for each.

FARR having a comprehensive range of options, settings, plugins)
Intimidatingly so, especially for new or casual users, or anyone in a hurry...

Announce Your Software/Service/Product / Re: Polywick Story Server
« on: August 27, 2018, 03:22 PM »
Maybe the time is past for a desktop outliner, what with Workflowy and Dynalist so robust, but something that takes the roots of TkOutline, NoteMap, and one or two other well-done (for their day) single-pane outliners, adds a modern policy

Maybe Inspiration?  - not tried by me and not much mentioned on DC, but a mature program; been around for ten years at least.  Their claims:
For visual mapping, outlining, writing and making presentations, use Inspiration® 9, the ultimate thinking and learning tool. Brainstorm ideas, structure your thoughts and visually communicate concepts to strengthen understanding with the Diagram and Map Views. To take notes, organize information, and structure writing for plans, papers and reports, use the integrated Outline View to focus on main and supporting ideas and to clarify thinking in written form. With Inspiration's Presentation Manager, transform your diagrams, mind maps and outlines into polished presentations that communicate ideas clearly and demonstrate understanding and knowledge.

Living Room / Re: What books are you reading?
« on: August 15, 2018, 04:07 PM »
Speaking of old times, remember those scifi paperbacks with two novels and a book cover on each side?

No!  I'm in the UK, and that may be why.  :(  Cover art was a problem for me in itself.  I never bought, say, Analog as a teenager, worried I think about the flak I might get others seeing the lurid covers...  I must have missed out on a lot of good stuff.

Living Room / Re: What books are you reading?
« on: August 15, 2018, 04:03 PM »
Books four and five of Emma Newman's Split Worlds quintet:


Quoting critics: "A unique blend of urban, historical and crime fantasy clothed in a Regency veneer."  "Dark magic, darker fae foes, family feuds."  "Takes on class and gender dynamics."

Emma Newman also writes SF, but I haven't yet read any of those.

Living Room / Re: What books are you reading?
« on: August 15, 2018, 03:49 PM »
Third in Jasper Fforde's Bookworld series, described by various reviewers as inspired lunacy, unashamedly silly but marvellously intelligent, full of clever wordplay, literary allusions and bibliowit;


If you like books - a lot - this series is great fun.

The cover art is an artist's rather inaccurate rendition of Miss Havisham from Dickens' Great Expectations] trying to set a speed record in one of Sir Malcolm Campbell's between-wars aero-engined cars in a race against Mr. Toad from Kenneth Graham's The Wind in the Willows... and owing to changes in local government boundaries, the Cheshir Cat is now the Unitary Authority of Warrington Cat.

Living Room / Re: What books are you reading?
« on: August 15, 2018, 03:19 PM »
I am reading anything I can get by Clifford D. Simak.  Just fun SciFi.
Ah, takes me back...  Way Station, Time Is The Simplest Thing, City...  great stuff.

Living Room / Re: What books are you reading?
« on: August 15, 2018, 03:17 PM »
Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen #1) by Steven Erikson
I bought this several years ago on a recommendation, started reading it, and put it down.  [...] I figured I must have missed something, and picked it up again, and haven't been able to put it down.  It is quite dense but quite enthralling.
I had a false start with that too, I think because it opens on a scene of World War One-level carnage, with no explanation whatsoever.  Something must have grabbed me because I went back and finished it; also read the next one, Deadhouse Gates.  Erikson absolutely does not hold your hand.  I liked his description of the Crimson Guard mercenary army as "500 men and women in brown leather with not a single shiny buckle between them."  Much more realistic than the flowery heraldry and romanticised conflict you sometimes get in fantasy.

If I understand you correctly...  here's a GUI method.

Download Robert Vasicek's Cathy media cataloguing tool.  It's tiny, fast, portable and postcard-ware.  Set up the directories you want to check, make catalogues of them - no need for separate ones if they're in the same part of the tree, just include subdirectories, but mine were well separated.  Cathy can also make catalogues of CDs, DVDs, etc., i.e. offline holdings, so you can check them at the same time:


You can make one or more catalogues, highlight all the ones you want to search.  Tell it what sort of files you want to search for, in my case, *.JPG.  Then tell it you want to search not Duplicates, but Same names:


Then hit the Search button.  You can sort the resulting list by clicking the Length column:


You get a Right-Click menu, though it may not do enough for you:


There are plenty of other duplicate finder out there, e.g. the excellent Double Killer (free and payware versions): Nir Sofer's SearchMyFiles has a Duplicates mode: so does XYplorer...

Living Room / Re: What books are you reading?
« on: August 07, 2018, 05:12 PM »
The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovich:
A novella, not a full novel, in the "Peter Grant" a.k.a. "Rivers of London" series.  I suppose he more or less ties up the loose ends, but it's a potboiler  <grump>  Doesn't make sense unless you've read the earlier full novels.  And this is just me, but I didn't like the inclusion of an interview with the author, either.  An author revealing too much about his/her approach and beliefs (or lack of) is apt to undermine my ability to maintain willing suspension of disbelief.

I'm beginning to wonder if this is a perma-sale...  nobody ever pays the "full" price?

General Software Discussion / Re: Et Tu, CCleaner!
« on: August 07, 2018, 04:30 PM »
As a long time user of CCleaner, I now feel it's time to look for a replacement.


When your computer is getting full, BleachBit quickly frees disk space. When your information is only your business, BleachBit guards your privacy. With BleachBit you can free cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, shred temporary files, delete logs, and discard junk you didn't know was there. Designed for Linux and Windows systems, it wipes clean thousands of applications including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari,and more. Beyond simply deleting files, BleachBit includes advanced features such as shredding files to prevent recovery, wiping free disk space to hide traces of files deleted by other applications, and vacuuming Firefox to make it faster. Better than free, BleachBit is open source.
Endorsed, I believe, by the team of a certain famous Democrat  ;)

SyncBackPro, the professional's tool to backup, synchronize, and restore data files. SyncBackPro-only features includes: backup to the widest range of cloud services, SFTP/FTPS/FTP, scripting, SBMS integration and all SyncBackSE features.

Welcome to a special announcement from 2BrightSparks. 2018 is the 15th year since we first introduced SyncBack to the world.
To celebrate the 15-year anniversary, 2BrightSparks is pleased to offer a 15% discount on new SyncBackPro purchases. At the same time, a free SyncBack Touch license will be given free with every new SyncBackPro purchase! This promotion is not available for SyncBackPro upgrades.

This promotion runs until the end of August 2018 so get your SyncBackPro license at our webstore now!

email from Serif touting a 30% discount offer on all their 'Affinity' range for Windows, Mac and iOS, valid until 25th July.

  • Affinity Photo photo editing software, offer price £33.99, usually £48.99.
  • Affinity Designer vector graphic design software, same pricing.
  • Affinity Publisher desktop publishing software; NOT YET RELEASED, free public beta before the end of August, sign up to their newsletter to hear when it's available.

Text of email (original was HTML, I have TheBat! set to convert it to text, *down with HTML email*)
Enter now, plus read all our latest news  ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?  ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?  ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?


** It’s been an incredible couple of weeks at Serif HQ!

Months of planning, development and collaboration all came together last week as we announced the launch of Affinity Designer for iPad at our very first Affinity Live event, held at our headquarters in Nottingham.

The app was developed with input from a team of over 40 leading professional graphic designers including David Sossella, Ian Barnard, Bob Byrne, Paolo Limoncelli, Tom Ludd and Man-Tsun Tsang and it was a real privilege that some of them travelled a huge distance (from as far away as Hong Kong) to attend our event in person.

If you would like to see how Affinity Live was done (you’ll be amazed by the dramatic transformation of Serif HQ) and watch the keynote presentation made by our Managing Director Ashley Hewson, check out our behind the scenes article (https://affinityspot...amp;mc=AFFNL201807_L) on Affinity Spotlight.

And if you haven’t already taken advantage of our launch offer you can still save 30% on the full cost of Affinity Designer for iPad (https://affinity.ser...amp;mc=AFFNL201807_L) in the App Store until 25 July.

Here’s some more exciting news we would like to share…

** We have a 10.5” iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and Affinity Designer up for grabs

To celebrate the phenomenal response we’ve had to the launch of Affinity Designer for iPad, we’re offering everyone on our mailing list the chance to win an amazing 10.5-inch iPad Pro, loaded with Affinity Designer for iPad. And to make the most of its power and precision, we’re even throwing in an Apple Pencil!

We also have a second prize of a standard iPad, with Affinity Designer up for grabs.*

Here’s how to enter:

Our introductory discount for Affinity Designer for iPad ends in less than a week (25th July) and we would like your help to spread the word. All you need to do is one of the following:

Like our Facebook page ( and either share or comment on this post (https://www.facebook...os/1019965991511578/)

Follow us on Twitter ( and retweet this tweet (

Follow us on Instagram ( and like and comment on this post (

Everyone who does that will be entered into a draw for the chance to win (if you do them all you’ll be entered three times!). You have until 24th July - the day before our discount ends - to share, retweet or comment on our posts. The winners will be contacted via social media and announced shortly after the closing date. So, share away - and good luck!

** We’re currently running a site wide discount!

Alongside our fantastic launch offer we’ve also discounted everything else on our site by up to 30%. This includes Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer for macOS, Windows and iOS and both Workbooks. So, if you were thinking about purchasing one of our award-winning apps or their documentation, there’s never been a better time to buy.

After Wednesday, 25 July all products will go back to full price, so it’s really worth getting your hands on them now to ensure sure you don’t miss out!

Visit our site (https://affinity.ser...amp;mc=AFFNL201807_L)

** We’ve reached one million app sales!

Other momentous news is that we’ve reached one million app sales! It’s incredible to think how far we’ve come since the launch of Affinity Designer on macOS back in 2014.

In just four years we’ve delivered six incredible products (Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo on macOS, Windows and iOS), two stunning workbooks and amassed a plethora of prestigious awards including two coveted Apple Design Awards, a TIPA Best Imaging Software Award and twice we’ve been crowned Apple App of the Year. We’re also incredibly proud to have been voted Application Creator of the Year at the annual Microsoft Developer Awards in May.

It’s been an incredible journey for all of us here and there’s still so much more to come, so stay tuned - our future plans are just as exciting!

** The Affinity Publisher beta is coming very soon

Another exciting announcement made at our live event, is that we are starting a free public beta of Affinity Publisher before the end of August.

The launch of Affinity Publisher will be the final step in realising our ambition of bringing design, photo editing and desktop publishing into one unmatched, cutting-edge creative suite, and as you are signed up to our mailing list you’ll be the first to hear when it’s available!

All the best,
The Affinity Team

*To download Affinity Designer for iPad, winners must already have, or be prepared to create, an account in the App Store. The prizes are not transferable, there is no equivalent cash value, and the decision is final.

The latest news from Affinity!

©2018 Serif, Nottingham, United Kingdom

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I think you're looking for a "text expander"...  lots of threads about these  on DC.  If you're used to TextExpander on a Mac, take a look at Breevy, because it can (they say, I don't have a Mac to test) import TextExpander snippets and sync both ways with Dropbox.

Some hotkey programs have such features, e.g. Comfort Keys,  A good free one is HotKeyP,

Resize ('Created by Peter Bone') - site no longer online

I've used Resize a few times lately.  Peter Bone's current web site appears to be Software.  It's still the same version, dating to 2005, without an updated doc file, but still works nicely.

It's the sort of thing Boxer Software's oldie-but-goodie Text Monkey was born to solve; see attached image.  I have the payware version, but the free one has most of the email-munging features.  It wasn't the only program for this, either.  Further, you could probably also use programs you might have already, e.g. mouser's CHS, but you'd need to set up the Trimming & Wrapping section of the configuration. Also, macros in ArsClip or Clipboard Fusion might do.  But superboyAC's rant is right, you shouldn't need them.


Coming back to this ten years later, and it is still not fixed.
I asked if they could make TB! start any editor of your choice, i.e., present the message you were working on as a file for your preferred text editor to work on.  That's the way many systems worked back in the Fidonet DOS days.
I wasn't clear...  I meant The Bat!, not Thunderbird.

Living Room / Re: What books are you reading?
« on: June 26, 2018, 04:45 PM »

The first two novels in Jeffrey E. Barlough's 'Western Lights' series.  Quoting the Wikipedia article on Jeffrey E. Barloughw:
[...] author of several dark fantasy novels that comprise his Western Lights series, set in an alternate world in which the last Ice Age never ended. [...] where Victorian society exists alongside prehistoric beasts. The books are written in a style reminiscent of 19th century authors that has often been referred to Charles Dickens mixed with H. P. Lovecraft. His stories portray eccentric and (mostly) likable characters set within detailed locations that, on the surface, seem mundane and sometimes even cheery, but sinister plots and presences are slowly and carefully revealed.
I've never read Lovecraft, but I see the Dickens.  And these are most definitely dark fantasy - very, very dark, especially in the case of the bleak The House in the High Wood.

Official Website of the Western Lights Series

Living Room / Re: What books are you reading?
« on: June 26, 2018, 04:27 PM »

Fourth in Phil Rickman's series of crime + supernatural novels featuring Merrily Watkins, Church of England deliverance minister (what used to be called an exorcist).  Useful commentary on this series to be found on Philip Grosset's Clerical Detectives Web Site, specifically at The Rev Merrily Watkins page.

Binary Fortress software on summer sale: offer ends Thursday, 5th July.


Personal licenses around half price, even better deals if you buy more than one product.  Good deals on site and enterprise licenses too.

Living Room / Re: What books are you reading?
« on: June 18, 2018, 05:35 PM »
ironic that Project Gutenberg gets blocked in Germany...
Indeed - especially the whole of it, not just the books the plaintiff wanted removed.  Sounds a bit petulant.

Wait, what was I using then? Illegal software?  :huh:
Not necessarily...  I quoted Wikipedia, which is not definitive: and it's possible that your memory for fact is better than your memory for time.  This used to happen to me at work a lot.  Someone would ask, do you remember so-and-so, about six months ago?  I'd check and find it was two years ago, or they might (less often) say two years whereas it was only six months.  IOW, you might correctly remember that you used a free version, but maybe it wasn't in the 90s.

I looked at the OldVersion page for ACDSee but their data isn't complete, a lot of dates missing, and they don't list license details anyway.  A (very brief) web search for "last free version" didn't turn up an immediately obvious result.  Odd, given that it's quite well known.

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