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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What is safer for data -- a hard disk or a blue ray disc? on: July 13, 2013, 12:51:53 PM
I agree with zenzai about the cause, but now I don't even trust Safe Removal as I've been pretty careful. Whenever possible I turn off my notebook and disable write-back caching.

I'm using Zentimo to handle my USB connections, I don't know if it is safer when it comes to Safe Removal but I've never had any problems with my disks in this respect.
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Secure Cloud backup -e.g., Digital Lifeboat - what alternatives are there? on: July 12, 2013, 08:20:20 AM
Personally I use CrashPlan, partly because it runs as a service and can back up other accounts on my computer besides the one I am logged in on (not sure if SpiderOak have implemented this yet), but also because I think the 100 GB increments in data make SpiderOak too expensive (I am paying $60 for 80 GB instead of $100, and if I had 101 GB I would still be paying $60 instead of $200).

I'm using CrashPlan too, the best I've seen yet. Recently I also got a DrivePop account, though only because they had a special offer on BitsDoJour for a Pro account ($60 for lifetime unlimited space unlimited computers). I'm not impressed though with their software nor the upload speed. And I suspect their host company LiveDrive is comitting suicide with its reseller offer:

http://www.livedrive.com/ForResellers

3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DRM for HTML5 Standards on: July 12, 2013, 06:56:32 AM
Well it doesn't affect anyone who are just making "normal" websites, does it? Personally I don't care about what the media industry does for I hardly buy any of their products anyway.
 
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Microsoft ending TechNet subscription activations effective august 2013 on: July 12, 2013, 06:34:29 AM
I think a lot of the motivation is because Microsoft has been unable to convince people that Microsoft products are "licensed not sold." So their customer's perspective is still one that says "possession is 9/10ths of law." And that's despite 30 years of trying to "educate" people otherwise. Most people flat out refuse to accept the notion of 'intellectual property' when they're buying a physical product.

As well they should. The whole IP war drum thing is psychopathic corporate greed and laziness. They want to just sit back and gorge themselves with cash for doing absolutely jack shit. It makes about as much sense as an 80's one-hit-wonder walking around acting all butt-hurt because they're not still rich and getting top hat treatment.

What many people don't seem to know however is that several if their products (like Visual Studio) are practically non-profit, i.e. the cost of development is equal to what they earn on selling these products (there is a technical word for this, don't recall it). And they also give away a lot of free stuff, like the Visual Studio Express versions.

I'm using Visual Studio Pro myself and I feel I'm getting an incredible value for money here. I also bought 3 copies of Windows 8 Pro for about $50 each (normal price $350 where I am) during the promotion. Anyone who already owned a copy of Windows could do that. Microsoft may have been "the bad guys" in the past, but they certainly have changed over the years.

5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The DonationCoder.com 30-Day Healthy Eating and Exercise Challenge! on: July 12, 2013, 06:08:13 AM
... raising a glass only counts if there's a five (5) pound weight attached, and if you alternate hands  tongue tongue

let's see, two full ones of those German litre beer glasses would make roughly five pounds weight - one in each hand.
Sip alternately :p


Now that's a fitness regime ;-)

Or rather fatness? Wink
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What is safer for data -- a hard disk or a blue ray disc? on: July 12, 2013, 05:57:06 AM
Nice post, zenzai  thumbs up

Thanks! Hope someone finds it useful...  Wink
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What is safer for data -- a hard disk or a blue ray disc? on: July 12, 2013, 05:56:00 AM
Continuing to argue with myself... setting aside the life of optical bits versus magnetic bits, there's also long-term questions of form factor. My bet is that you'll have a device that can read optical discs longer into the future than you'll have a device that accepts the kind of interface on your hard disk. I mean, CDs and DVDs have been around quite a long time, and readers are ubiquitous. But if you had your data on an IDE or (some kinds of) SCSI hard drive, and you'd have a much more difficult job trying to find a reader.

You usually have quite a long time to transfer your data to other formats though. You can still buy PATA (IDE) controllers like Promise Ultra 133 TX2, as well as docking stations for PATA drives. And WD (and possibly other manufacturers as well) are still producing a few PATA drives.
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What is safer for data -- a hard disk or a blue ray disc? on: July 12, 2013, 05:18:44 AM
I would also be terribly interested in this.

I don't know how much blu ray discs are anymore, but if they are cheap, that's not a bad option, what is it 50GB per disc?

Dual Layer (DL) disks can hold 50 GB. But I'm a bit sceptical about Blu-Ray disks, because of the high data capacity. This means much more data per square inch, which requires a much higher precision both when manufacturing the disc as well as in the mechanics of the drives. With DL discs an even higher precision is required. I've just bought my first Blu-Ray drive though so I don't have much practical experience with them yet. One thing I experienced though is that the Blu-Ray drive was capable of reading some DVD discs without any problems which my DVD drives had problems reading (some sectors were reported unreadable).

The problem is the same with HDDs. A tiny error in the data layer on a low capacity disk may only affect part of a single bit, so that bit is still readable. On a high capacity disk (say 20 times higher capacity) the same error may affect several bits and make them unreadable. I've also noticed a lot more weak sectors (sectors that aren't so bad that they're unreadable and needs to be reallocated, but bad enough to take a long time to read) on high capacity disks. I bought two identical 2 TB disks last year myself, the one is OK but the other is extremely slow when it comes to read/write operations. Trying to figure out what was wrong I tried replacing cables, switch SATA ports etc., but nothing helped. Eventually I bought Hard Disk Sentinel and tested the drive, which revealed a lot of weak sectors. I haven't experienced that with disks with lover capacity.

Quote
I'm a hard drive guy though.  I use file synchronization and back up the files in 2-3 separate drives.  I'm also trying to build a bigger tower or rack to hold up to 20 drives and really automate the process even more.  I think hard drives are the way to go for massive amounts of data, like terabytes you mentioned.  One 4TB drive or 80 blu ray discs?  In the early 2000s, I was backing stuff up regularly on cdr's, and i just don't have that kind of energy or desire anymore.

I prefer HDDs too, much easier to work with, and also safer in general IMO, at least if you back up on at least two separate drives. I also use online/cloud backup as an extra precaution.

I used to use DVDs, but then I always made 3 copies on different DVD brands, as some brands (or batches/types of the same brand) deteriorate faster than others. I recently transfered about 100 DVDs to HDD, they were several years old and practically all DVDs of a certain brand (Hyundai) were totally unreadably while the other brands I'd used were fine.

Quote
What is disturbing to me and complicates matters is that hard drives are becoming less in demand it seems since everyone has moved to mobile devices.  So they are not as cheap as we are used to seeing anymore, nor are they increasing in size as quickly as they used to.  Seems like 4TB is the limit currently and has been for a while.  So I'm not sure what the future of hard drives are.  I'd still prefer a hard drive over a SSD, but I'll wait until they catch up in capacity (probably a long time).

They're also coming close to the data layer capacity that's possible for HDDs. The more data per square inch, the more mechanical precision is required on all levels as well. That you actually can store 4 TB on a drive these days, and still maintain reliability, is impressive, IMO. It takes an incredible mechanical precision to be be able to do that, not to mention the speed the drives are operating at.  

Quote
I'm curious if there are any side effects for hard drives that are sitting on a shelf for a long time (years).  Should you plug them in once in a while to keep them happy or anything like that?

I've never had any problems with drives that have been stored for a long time (3 years or more). Just tried to plug a 13 year old Seagate drive which I haven't used for years into a docking station, no problems. Seagate has stated that the fluid bearings that has been the standard for about 10 years now could practically "run forever" if the rest of the mechanics didn't wear out, how they react to long time inactivity may be a different matter though. But 3 years or so don't seem to be a problem in general.

Quote
I sometimes have disturbing formatting issues that come up with these large drives that i plug in and out of computers.  Let's say i put a bunch of data on a huge 4tb drive.  Then i take it out.  Later, I use it with an enclosure and a usb 3.0 connection.  Then I do the same with an esata.  Then i stick it into another computer.  Sometimes, while doing this, Windows will say the drive is unreadable or something, or that it has to be formatted, or that it is corrupted.  And I have a feeling that it is due to all the different cables/protocols the drive is being accessed with, but I can't really confirm it for sure.  But when the message comes up and the drive is a critical step in your backing up process, it's pretty scary.  I hate that feeling.  I'm always keeping a close eye on developments with hard drives, esata/sata, usb 3.0, thunderbolt/lightpeak, enclosures, etc.

That problem can be caused by not dismounting (safe removal) the drive correctly when using an USB or eSATA connection (the write back cache is not written to the disk before it's shut down, as it should, which may cause data loss or corruption). Some eSATA drives like WD MyBook can not be dismounted when first mounted (Windows does not show the option), others can. When first plugged in you have to keep them running until you shut down the PC.  

9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: print to PDF stationery / merge files? on: June 12, 2010, 12:36:50 AM

You could try Nuance PDF Converter Pro, it has an overlay option:

"Overlay Settings
The Overlay option lets you easily add a company logo or other fixed item to every page of PDF files you create. It also lets you place artwork or other fixed items onto just the first page of your PDF files, together with items that change from file to file."

http://nuance.com/imaging/products/pdfconverter.asp


10  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Recommend disk imaging software? on: June 12, 2010, 12:15:47 AM

Image for DOS/Windows:

http://terabyteunlimited.com

Also includes a version for Linux.

I've made and restored hundreds of images, never had a problem with it (I generally always use the DOS version). Works with everything - USB, firewire, eSATA drives.
Very advanced scripting features.

I especially like that you can verify data byte for byte both when you make an image and when you restore it - that means 100% data safety. Haven't seen this in other image programs.

The bundle is a great deal, it includes BootIt which is a great partition manager and disk tool.


11  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Simple Machines Forum Organization in Chaos on: March 08, 2010, 06:32:38 PM

Well they've just released SMF2 RC3 today so maybe it's not as bad as it seems...

12  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2010 / Re: NANY 2010 Program Idea Suggestion Thread on: December 10, 2009, 02:31:03 AM
Here's another idea: Image Aligner

I sometimes have a few screenshot images or cropped screenshot images, and i want to combine them into one, usually by aligning them in a vertical row, or horizontal row -- sometimes by aligning into a grid.  And then saving new combined image.

Since you're talking about screenshots: SnagIt 9 can do that. You can also drag pictures directly from Explorer into the editor and combine them with screenshots.





13  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2010 / Re: NANY 2010 Program Idea Suggestion Thread on: December 10, 2009, 01:38:20 AM
  The one thing I would most like to have is a way to log-in to sites without doing it manually.


Have you tried Roboform?

http://www.roboform.com/





14  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: GemX Crazy Summer Specials on: February 12, 2009, 05:07:24 AM


Hm, looks like they've set up a forum again?

http://www.gemx.com/forum/

Rich
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! on: February 12, 2009, 04:56:53 AM
[attach]
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! on: February 12, 2009, 04:26:43 AM
[attach]
17  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Great deal at Sitepoint on: February 12, 2009, 01:47:00 AM

Sitepoint, who is sellling books about web development, javascript, SQL and related stuff, is currently offering five (5) books (PDF only though) for the price of one (or ten for the price of two, etc.). All the money goes to the victims of the Australian Brushfire, so you can both get some good books for a great price and at the same time support a good cause.

But hurry, sale lasts only until friday feb. 13...

http://sitepoint.com

Rich
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The 10 most annoying programs on the Internet on: June 19, 2008, 04:16:05 PM
The Windows Update "reboot now" prompt is my favorite application of the FARR "sctrl" plugin. Just "sctrl autom" (on my system), and it stops the darned service until the next reboot (on my own time!) lets it restart.

Great, thanks! But where do I find the sctrl plugin? Can't find anything about on the FARR plugin page.
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The 10 most annoying programs on the Internet on: June 14, 2008, 06:58:33 PM
As for the rant about Windows Update, ho humm. The "you need to reboot now" (with "reboot" being the default-focus button) dialog is deadly annoying, especially because it keeps popping up ever X minutes. But WU itself is a good and necessary thing.

From my "Thing's I'd like to see in Windows" archive:


[attach=#]
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The 10 most annoying programs on the Internet on: June 14, 2008, 06:44:32 PM
As for Adobe Flash Player, I'm having a good laugh. I have several video players on my system and they all play Flash files fine - the only one that won't is Adobe's...  Grin
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: which hierarchical note program? on: January 13, 2008, 04:11:27 PM


Check out InfoAngel, it's a pretty nice program:

http://www.angelicsoftware.com/en/index.html

22  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: GemX - missing in action on: December 20, 2007, 02:14:17 PM
Just saw this on their webpage:

LATEST NEWS:
19th December 2007: Software Development.
GemX do-Organizer original release date of Nov 2007 has been pushed into early January 2008, due to new features in the Finance section and further improvements in other applicable sections.

We will be releasing updates for TexNotes Pro, SurfGem and Wizquote in the first quarter of 2008.

Happy Holidays
GemX Team.
 
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: GemX - missing in action on: December 20, 2007, 01:30:25 PM
Who knows? Granted, GemX was pretty small & low-key, but they've been around for a while. You couldn't run even the smallest business for this long with so little customer response. Even if GemX could get away with being unresponsive, they clearly had much higher standards than that. If you just read the GemX web site, you'll see a lot of effort & a lot of good intentions.

I agree here, their standards seem to be pretty high, you can also see that in the way they design their software. But if you can't live up to your own standards, it doesn't work. One of the reasons it doesn't work may be they sell themselves too cheap. Or wanting to deliver too much for the money, to keep up with the competition (even though I don't know of anyone who could actually compete, if their stuff really worked well, without all these bugs).

I'm just trying out their SurfGem program, and it simply beats anything I've seen of that kind. I've never really liked the other's I've tried but this one is just what I've been looking for. And I wouldn't hesitate one second in buying it, if I knew for sure it wasn't full of bugs, like Texnotes and Do-Organizer apparently is. And not least, if it has bugs, that they will be fixed. Does anyone have any experience with it? Haven't really had time to check it out that much.

Rich
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: GemX - missing in action on: December 20, 2007, 12:58:40 PM
Hi,

Just joined the forum - found it when I did a search on "texnotes draw bugs".

I bought TexNotes Pro a couple of weeks ago, unfortunately without having tested it thoroughly. After discovering some bugs in the Draw section I wrote their support and reported the problems. I also included screen capture videos to demonstrate exactly how the program behaved. The first they said was this:

"First of all please keep in mind that draw and paint tools are not the main part or purpose of TexNotes Pro [TNP] They are added as an extra tools to provide quick access to simple draw and paint needs. It's not our intention to add full vector drawing or image painting modules. We offer 60 days trial so that everybody, who wishes can test all the features they need, way they need them before buying it. It's a fact of life that nothing will work according to everybodies specific needs or way they want it to be working."

Well I certainly agree here, but I find this remark quite irrelevant. I didn't ask for any new features or anything, just reported some apparent bugs with the existing features.

Anyway, they were actually able to reproduce some of the bugs I reported (which they promised would be fixed), but not them all. One they claimed they could not reproduce is when I draw a rectangle, an ellipse, a line or whatever, I only see a small part of the object. First when I click a different button the screen is refreshed and I can see the whole object. Another is that I simply cannot select or rotate any objects - no selection handles appear at all when I click them. I can move the objects by dragging, but also here I cannot see what's going on real time because the screen is not refreshed before I click a button.

Since they were unable to reproduce these bugs, I started investigating the problem which appeared to be related to my machine or setup or something. I have another machine with the exact same mainboard, CPU etc., but with different software installed. I installed TexNotes here - same problem. So I couldn't point at any specific software that might be conflicting with TexNotes. 

I then reverted back to a "raw" image of my system, i.e. XP with only the mainboard drivers installed. Same problems. I removed all the drivers, same problems. Huh? Bug in chipset or onboard graphics (which I'm currently using)? But why did other vector programs like Xara Xtreme and PowerSHAPE, or any other graphics program for that matter, work flawlessly then? I scrathed my head.

Then I hooked up an older Win 2000 computer with completely different hardware and installed Texnotes here. Exact same problems. Then I began to realise that the GemX guys maybe didn't really tell the truth when they said they could not reproduce some of the bugs. So I'd like to hear if anyone else here are having the same problems as me, with TexNotes Pro?

Rich








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