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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / MS-DOS Mobile on: Today at 07:06:10 PM
I don't have a Windows Phone, but this would almost make it worth getting one.
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What books are you reading? on: March 20, 2015, 11:11:27 AM
Just finished "The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere" by Kevin Carey.

Like many journalists, the author does a better job of explaining the way things are and how they got that way than in predicting where they are going, but this should be a must read for Mouser!

3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: 2014-2015: Best tablet specs for ebook reading on: March 15, 2015, 04:20:16 PM
Sony has been selling the Digital Paper directly to consumers in the U.S. since last summer through their online store, but I'm not sure they are still making the device.  It's currently listed as "back-ordered" on the site.

Sony pulled out of the e-book market late last year and said they would not be making readers any more.  Whether that includes the Digital Paper is an open question.

4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Once-in-a-century Pi Day 03/14/15 on: March 14, 2015, 09:46:26 AM
Pi is an irrational number and can only be represented in decimal notation as an approximation.

In the case of Pi, rounding (3.1416) provides a better decimal approximation than truncation (3.1415).

I conclude therefore that next year's Pi day (3/14/16) will be a closer fit than this year's Pi day.
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Need help guidance as a beginner of Android world on: March 11, 2015, 09:29:08 PM
There is no global undelete in Android and the Android OS is very aggressive about reclaiming memory and storage space.  If in doubt, don't delete things before you copy them somewhere.

You can backup photos and videos automatically by turning on auto-backup in the Google Photo app. See here for more information.

Google's backup service will automatically backup most apps and the data they own (but not external data you have worked on with an app like an editor or reader).  This is only useful if you do a factory reset, in which case your apps will be restored after the device has been wiped.  Check that "Backup My Data" is enabled under Settings/Backup and Reset.

For backing up data files in general, I recommend X-plore File Manager, a dual pane file manager that makes it very easy to copy files to and from other computers on your local network as well as backup data to various cloud services.
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice? on: March 11, 2015, 08:18:46 PM
Cars need a lot less maintenance nowadays than they used to, and a lot of the maintenance they do need is not something that you can do yourself.  It is often said that cars today are basically computers with wheels.  All new cars sold in the US since 1996 are required to have an accessible OBD-II port (On-Board Diagnostics). You can buy an inexpensive device to check the diagnostic codes if you get an engine check light, but the equipment you would need to do any serious troubleshooting or tuning can cost more than the car itself.

The most important thing is to follow the manufacturer’s schedule for changing oil, filters and other fluids, but given your projected usage, you (or your car) might die of old age before you need to replace a spark plug.  You won’t save much money doing the ordinary things yourself, but it can be interesting, at least for a while. 

I’d suggest looking for an introductory course in auto repair at a local technical school.  It will be well worth your while if you actually do decide you want to do your own maintenance.
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users on: March 09, 2015, 10:17:20 PM
Opera has been my favorite browser for Web surfing since version 3.50, 16 years ago. Hard to believe now, but a single user license cost $35 back then!  Yet it has never been my default browser, if only because too many sloppily designed commercial sites simply don't work properly with it.

The new Chromium Opera is definitely faster, but at first was missing too many essential features to be usable.  That is no longer the case and it is now my primary surfing browser.  I haven't completely removed Opera 12 from my system, but I have unpinned it from my taskbar and haven't used it for a while.  Opera Chromium seems to work fine anywhere that Chrome does, without the snoopware and invasive baggage that Google builds into Chrome. Opera Chromium has a growing number of extensions of its own and can work with many Chrome extensions.

While Firefox remains my default browser on Windows, it is definitely beginning to suffer from bloat and weird UI decisions. If not for the Classic Theme Restorer extension, I might have dropped it.  I also use SeaMonkey on Windows.

I've almost completely abandoned Firefox on Android. It's become just too bloated and slow to be usable.  Chrome works best on that platform, of course, but I also use Opera for Android and Dolphin, which allow more private browsing without having to load an incognito tab every time I look something up.

8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Leonard Nimoy, Dead at 83 on: March 08, 2015, 06:51:39 PM
He was a man of many talents.
And a quirky sense of humor, as evidenced in his photography.

I heard him speak at the opening of the exhibition of "Secret Selves" at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in 2010.
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for program that can copy folder hierarchy with checkboxes and size est. on: March 01, 2015, 12:40:36 PM
XYplorer lets you list all files in a hierarchy as a single list with checkboxes and copy those checked to a destination folder.  If you don't want to preserve folder hierarchy, that's a little easier than Beyond Compare.

Both Beyond Compare and XYplorer display the total size of selected files in the status bar.
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for program that can copy folder hierarchy with checkboxes and size est. on: March 01, 2015, 10:49:23 AM
it actually looks like perhaps Beyond Compare, one of my most essential tools -- may be able to do this flawlessly.. Another victory for BC... with the added bonus that I already own it!
I was going to suggest Beyond Compare, which I use for that purpose.

What was not clear from the original post was whether you want to keep the folder structure or copy files from multiple folders into a single folder. 

I keep music organized in folders for each album within category folders, within overall type folders, so a specific track might be \Multimedia\MP3\Classical\Album_name\Track_number on my hard disk. I also keep a lot of identifying information in text, pdf and image files at various levels in that hierarchy, but don't want to copy most of that to the USB stick or SD card in a player.

BC preserves directory structure when copying and will copy only the files selected while creating the folder hierarchy containing them on the destination, starting from the base folders.  So if I set \Multimedia\MP3\Classical\ as base on the hard disk and \Music\ on the USB stick, and copy \Multimedia\MP3\Classical\Album1\Track1 to the USB stick, the track will go to \Music\Album1\Track1, with folder Album1 created on the fly if it does not already exist in the destination base folder.

This is the way I do it, but if what you want is to place multiple selected tracks from different folders into a single folder on the destination end, you would use the "Copy to folder" command from the Action menu, then enter the destination folder and select "Don't keep folder structure" in the dialog box.

By the way, BC works great over ftp, so it can be used in much the same way to manage music and ebook collections over WiFi on Android devices that do not have removable SD cards (there are many Android ftp server apps on Google Play).
11  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Total Uninstall 50% off at BDJ on: February 28, 2015, 07:19:12 AM
Total Uninstall is 50% off at Bits Du Jour today (Feb 28 2015).

Note that it requires a hardware footprint and does not allow re-installation on a computer if you move the license to another one.  As a rule, I won't use any program that imposes that kind of restriction on principle, but I like Total Uninstall so much that I have made an exception for it.  The developer is also quite responsive.
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Preloaded spyware, courtesy Lenovo on: February 20, 2015, 07:00:23 AM
I feel personally aggrieved in this matter.  I bought a Lenovo Miix 2-8 nearly a year ago (before they began loading Superfish) and was pleasantly surprised at how well it runs Windows. But the screen is too small and low-res to use for any real work, so I was about to buy a Lenovo Yoga 2 10 inch Windows tablet. Needless to say, I will look elsewhere and expect to never purchase a Lenovo product again.

It’s pretty clear from their statements that the folk at Lenovo don’t think that they did anything wrong, just that they “messed up” and got caught.  The only way to teach people like this is to hit them where it hurts, in the pocketbook.

I generally detest lawyers who file class action lawsuits, but I would suspect that Lenovo is going to face a bunch of them and this is one situation where I hope the predators get their pound of flesh.
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Preloaded spyware, courtesy Lenovo on: February 19, 2015, 11:31:47 AM
It seems that Lenovo has been preloading their consumer grade laptops with ad-injecting spyware.

Even worse, this particular spyware installs its own root certificate and serves fake certificates on the fly.

You can read more about it here.
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The return of Clippy! Microsoft says more about their digital assistant Cortana on: February 12, 2015, 12:22:07 PM
Clippy and Cortana serve completely different purposes.

The money quote in the Microsoft PR release is this:  “She will learn your preferences, provide quick access to information, and make recommendations personalized for you.”

Translated into English, that means that the primary function of Cortana (as with Siri and Google Now) is to collect personal information about you to sell your profile to marketers.

15  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Firefox Extensions: Your favorite or most useful on: February 03, 2015, 12:16:28 PM
CookieKeeper is a replacement for CookieCuller, which I've depended on for years to manage cookies on Firefox.

According to the developer, CookieKeeper started out as an attempt to update CookieCuller, but evolved into a complete rewrite, with many more features than the original, including an excellent cookie editor.

Very nice.

16  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: 010 Editor (hex editor) discounted today at on: February 02, 2015, 10:42:24 AM
If you know what you are doing, it is perfectly possible to use most any hex editor to edit text in certain files without "breaking" them.  For example, I have modified unencrypted messages in programs I used to distribute but which could no longer be compiled from source for various reasons.

010 is not unique in being able to do that, and much of its functionality is available in various other tools.  What it offers is convenience - a single program with which I can examine and, when appropriate, edit the contents of any file, text or otherwise, from an explorer right click. It can even edit disk file systems and in-memory processes directly.  One of the nicest features is templates which decode the header structures of many types of files.  The developer provides a library of these for commonly used file types (zip, pdf, exe, dll, etc.), but you can write your own.

Of course, as with any power tool, it's up to the user to be careful when using it.
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Memory lane for motorists on: February 02, 2015, 09:45:37 AM
I hate sites that provide only slide shows rather than letting you see a list of the items, and life is too short to step one-by-one through 100 slides.

For several years, I drove a 1974 Fiat 124 Sport Spider.  Lots of fun to drive, not so much to tune the dual points carburetor.
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Why phishing won't go away on: January 24, 2015, 11:07:53 AM
This is from the reply received in response to an email forwarded to the address Intuit provides to report phishing attempts.

Thank you for your recent message to the TurboTax Privacy Team.

We also thank you for reporting this e-mail to us as it is not legitimate. We are investigating now and will take action on it. We have the following support site article to help you understand phishing and what you can do to avoid it.    [case reference # removed]

When you suspect you are being phished :

1.    Do not click on a link in a suspicious email, but rather go to the company site and view the information. Even if a suspicious email is not requesting personal information, it may contain viruses that can retrieve personal information off of a computer.

You really have to wonder how Intuit's "Privacy Team" could be so clueless as to not notice the disconnect between the first paragraphs and the advice immediately following.
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help on: January 22, 2015, 02:54:23 PM
@xtabber - That's good news to hear. This was my first Brother multifunction appliance purchase (for myself) and I was a little leery of dropping about $250 on this type of device.

It's a good investment.  I paid $280 for my DCP 8080DN (not wireless) 4 years ago and have never had a problem.  Brother's network administration utilities are excellent, and they support both printing and scanning from Android devices too.  

My previous Brother printer lasted 5 years and was replaced with this one only because it needed a new drum and and it didn't cost much more to buy a newer and faster model than it would to buy a new drum.  As Stoic Joker said, most personal and workgroup printers today are designed to be disposable, so you don't want to spend time fixing them, but you also don't want to have to replace them before their time is up.
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: wireless networking and wifi printer help on: January 22, 2015, 10:09:56 AM
My experience with low end Samsung printers is very discouraging, whereas I have had nothing but good results with Brother.

I have set up several technologically challenged elder relatives with inexpensive Brother wireless printers  (e.g., 22780DW) and had no problems at all, unlike with the Samsungs that they replaced in some cases.

21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ASUS routers hacked on: January 22, 2015, 09:33:27 AM
After recent revelations about how many routers (not just ASUS) can be easily hacked to gain access to wireless networks, ASUS has just released new firmware for the RT-N66U (which I have) and others in their product line that closes the infosrvr and cross-site request forgery vulnerabilities.

Whatever your router make, it's a good idea to check for firmware that addresses these issues.
22  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: 010 Editor (hex editor) discounted today at on: January 22, 2015, 09:27:32 AM
This is back on BDJ today - Jan 22, 2015.

Version 6 has added 64 bit executables and regex searches, among other things.

While not my working text editor (I still use Kedit and EditPad Pro for that, depending on what I am doing), this remains my everyday go-to tool for quickly examining and/or editing ANY kind of file from an explorer right click.

Runs on Windows, Mac & Linux (Ubuntu) and a single user license is good for all your computers and operating systems.
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: issues with uefi, more than 6 drives, ahci, windows 8. on: January 19, 2015, 01:14:33 PM
i thought i learned that you need uefi for large drives (>2tb)

You can use non-system drives >2TB if the partition table is GPT and not MBR. You must also be running a 64-bit operating system because a 32-bit OS cannot address more than 2.2TB.

UEFI is a replacement for the system BIOS, not a drive partition manager. You only need UEFI if your system drive is >2TB because a BIOS cannot boot from a GPT partition table.

Windows can support up to 24 drives (C through Z), but your motherboard will limit the number of internal drives your system can support.   If you have more than 4 drives in a PC, you really should be looking at offloading them to a NAS box.
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software? on: January 14, 2015, 04:01:09 PM
The dtSearch search engine is available for Windows (.NET) and Linux developers to include in their own applications. The developer's license is pretty pricey at $9,995 (going up to $12,495 on February 1, 2015) per application.  It is royalty-free, but does not allow use in general purpose applications, so you can't use it to build a program that would compete with dtSearch Desktop.

It's interesting that the engine is available for Linux but dtSearch does not sell a desktop Linux application.

25  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / WinPatrol & WinPrivacy holiday discounts on: December 21, 2014, 11:52:27 AM
WinPrivacy beta 1 was released today.

Ruiware has extended the pre-beta 80% off lifetime license offer and is also offering WinPatrol licenses at 60% off for the holiday season.http:

Use coupon code: Happy Holidays
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