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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better on: March 05, 2015, 04:47:35 AM
In the last maybe five years I have purchased at least ten times as many eBooks as paper books. But each and every time I buy an eBook, I get a little frustrated, even angry!, because I know that if it had been a paper book, someone would inherit it after my death, but no-one will be getting the virtual books.


Why not? Put them on a DVD, box it, and place it on the bookshelf. Wink

DRM and changing formats is one reason.

OK, yea DRM and lack of conversion options is a stopper.

2  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Mischief 2.0: very promising drawing software ($25 !!) on: March 05, 2015, 04:30:30 AM
Tried it a while ago but I already have Artrage and it seems to do pretty much the same:

http://www.artrage.com/

I think to many software companies are reinventing the wheel, it's a waste of time and resources IMO.

3  Other Software / Announce Your Software/Service/Product / Re: My new freeware domain (or I have gone .org) :) on: March 05, 2015, 04:10:56 AM
Funny, I also wrote a freeware program (first version in 2008) called DriveAlive which does the same and in the same way (writing a text file to the disks). It just has a GUI instead of command line. smiley

http://taosoft.dk/software/freeware/drivealive/

It does rhyme after all.  smiley

The Gui looks good.  I had a couple of USB 3 docking stations driving me crazy.  I could not believe they insisted on spinning down the inserted HD after about 5 minutes idle.  I never found any way to disable that "feature" on that model dock.  smiley

Great minds think alike?  smiley


Hehe, yeah... smiley

Had same problem with my WD Studio disks, that's why I wrote it.

4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: wierd mouse click problem on: March 03, 2015, 11:42:48 AM
Check the LogiTech forums, it's been discussed there for a long time, and people have come up with different fixes. Some may work, some may not.
5  Other Software / Announce Your Software/Service/Product / Re: My new freeware domain (or I have gone .org) :) on: March 03, 2015, 08:02:31 AM
Funny, I also wrote a freeware program (first version in 2008) called DriveAlive which does the same and in the same way (writing a text file to the disks). It just has a GUI instead of command line. smiley

http://taosoft.dk/software/freeware/drivealive/
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better on: March 03, 2015, 07:46:43 AM
In the last maybe five years I have purchased at least ten times as many eBooks as paper books. But each and every time I buy an eBook, I get a little frustrated, even angry!, because I know that if it had been a paper book, someone would inherit it after my death, but no-one will be getting the virtual books.


Why not? Put them on a DVD, box it, and place it on the bookshelf. Wink
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better on: March 03, 2015, 07:45:09 AM
I definitely prefer ebooks. Here's why (from a purely practical point of view):

1. Learning programming and other stuff from paperbooks just doesn't work - you can't search the book or scroll quickly though the pages, you can't change the size of the pages/font, you can't copy-paste code or take screenshots etc.. And if it's a paperback, good luck with keeping the book on the page you're on, or even keeping it open, without keeping one hand on it all the time (impossible if you're learning programming or stuff like that). And if you don't have much space on your desktop it gets in the way of the keyboard. With an ebook, just alt+tab to shift between ebook and IDE. Or keep them side by side, or use two monitors.

2. You can put as many high quality pictures as you like in an e-book without it getting more expensive to produce. Paperbooks are much more expensive to produce if they contain high quality color pictures.

3. You can produce as many copies of an e-book as you like at practically no cost. Each paperbook costs to produce, and the less copies, the more each copy costs.

4. You can send an ebook from one part of the world to another in an instant, at practically no cost. A paperbook has to be packed (well packed, if you want it to arrive undamaged), you have to go to the post office to send it, it often costs a lot to send, and it can take a long time before it arrives. Then there's customs fees - if I order a book from outside EU that cost more than $12 I have to pay a $25 VAT/customs processing fee for the first book and $5 for any additional books each. No such thing on ebooks.

5. If a paperbook gets lost, or if you spill coffee on it, you can't just get a new free copy from a backup. You have to pay for a brand new copy - if it's still available, and you can afford it (rare books can be very expensive).

6. Dogs, rodents and insects don't eat ebooks (viruses do sometimes, but then you have your backups, right? Wink ).

7. Paper books take up a lot of space, which not everyone have a lot of. They weigh a lot - one million average paper books would weigh about 250 tons, one million ebooks on a DVD weigh less than 20 grams.

Paperbooks do have their advantages - you don't need en electronic device to read them, and people are less likely to steal them than to steal your Notebook, iPad or Kindle if you're on the beach or some other public place. It's also hard to make illegal copies of them, which is an advantage to the author. But that's all, at least for me. smiley

8  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Want to make some extra coin? Like a LOT of extra coin? BIG BOUNTY! on: May 20, 2014, 06:50:19 AM
I don't think that it's money.  I think it's the same thing that everything has been rooted to before money even existed as a concept- power.  All else is just an expression of this.  Power corrupts- and all of the expressions of it also.

I'd rather say that too little power corrupts. If you have unlimited power you also have the power to do and get anything you want without hurting or exploiting others...  Wink
9  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: No .NET Framework, no problem! on: May 20, 2014, 06:41:00 AM
Quote
My biggest objection to C#/.NET has always been the runtime shenanigans. So this to me is incredibly interesting, especially if the produced .exe is as small as the typical C# project output but still completely portably non runtime dependent.

I'm not so concerned with size but agree whole heartedly that there is some real pain associated with having to worry if the user has the right version of .net stuff installed, so this would be a big improvement.

Win 8 (and AFAIR also Win 7) automatically offers to download the correct version if it isn't installed, when you run a .NET program.
10  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: No .NET Framework, no problem! on: May 20, 2014, 06:39:03 AM
An alternative is CrossOver:

http://www.codeweavers.com/products/
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster on: May 20, 2014, 06:13:14 AM
I'm quite happy with Win 8.1, have it on 3 desktop machines now. The only thing I don't like is UAC which IMO is even worse than in Win 7 so I've turned it off completely (unlike in Win 7 this must be done via registry otherwise it won't be completely disabled).


12  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools on: May 20, 2014, 05:59:52 AM
I've been using TerabyteUnlimited's tools for years, and highly recommend them. Been creating and restoring images with Image for DOS hundreds of times, never had a problem. I especially like that you can make byte-for-byte compare both when creating and restoring an image, haven't seen this in any other image programs.

Their BootIt Bare Metal which is a great tool for managing partitions include a copy of Image for DOS btw.

http://www.terabyteunlimi...com/bootit-bare-metal.htm


13  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Nice blog post on the parasitic software hosting sites bundling junkware on: May 20, 2014, 05:43:45 AM
Here's a list of sites that should be clean which I picked up in a forum. Haven't tested them myself yet, so use at your own risk:

Clean download sites:
http://LO4D.com
http://freewarebb.com
http://ninite.com
http://Majorgeeks.com
http://Softpedia.com
http://TechSpot.com
http://Filehippo.com
http://SnapFiles.com
http://fileforum.betanews.com
http://downloadcrew.com

14  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Our experiences with LED light bulb replacements on: May 20, 2014, 04:49:17 AM
I still worry about the long-term mercury problem however. CFL bulbs just get tossed rather than recycled. It might not be a problem so far. But ten years from now, when billions upon billions of these things are sitting in landfills...

They're also very poisonous if they break:

http://www2.epa.gov/cfl/cleaning-broken-cfl

15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Programmers: What size monitors do you guys prefer? on: May 20, 2014, 04:25:43 AM
I'm using 27" monitors for everything, and wouldn't want anything smaller. Have two side by side and that works fine for me.
16  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.
17  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

18  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.
 
19  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.

20  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
21  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
22  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.
23  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.  

24  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


25  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.


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