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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Reader's Corner - The Library of Utopia + resource links on: Today at 11:11:00 AM
2015-03-30 0509hrs: Added:
- to the index table in the opening post.
2  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Best programming language to pick up for applications? on: March 28, 2015, 10:35:21 AM
Experts and beginners alike might be interested in taking a look at this: PWCT- Programming Without Coding Technology: Free Science & Engineering software
3  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: PWCT- Programming Without Coding Technology: Free Science & Engineering software on: March 28, 2015, 10:33:05 AM
This is now up to PWCT 1.9 (Art) Rev. 2015.03.26.

There is an Introduction at
If you want to learn programming, create applications/systems or get some new ideas about visual programming in the practice then you are in the right place. The goal of this project is to present programming to every computer users, whether they are beginners or professionals. Beginners means that the tools of programming must be accessible – must be easy. So I decided to take coding out of programming. And presenting programming to professional developers requires a tool that is productive and unlimited and can be extended.

PWCT is a Free-Open Source project, also the documentation and the support is free. Installing PWCT on MS-Windows is easy through simple installation program, after downloading the software you can download many samples,tutorials and movies. Some of PWCT users are using the software to create presentations and education software. Many users are using the software for business applications. At my side I have used the software to create a new programming language as a proof that the technology is productive and powerful and unlimited. This language is called the Supernova programming language , and it is a free, Open Source project hosted on Sourceforge. So the software can be used in many different applications.

The domain of the problem is called “Visual Programming Languages.” There are many projects in this domain, but most of these languages are domain-specific languages that are used in education, But with respect to general-purpose visual programming languages, there are few of them. PWCT don't use the Drag-and-Drop method. PWCT provide a new method based on Automatic Steps Tree Generation and Update in response to interaction with components that provide to the user simple data entry forms. The idea behind this new method is to mix between programming using Diagrammatic approach and programming using Form-based approach where the integration between the two approaches are done seamlessly through an Automatic Visual Representation Generation process. This is just the basic idea and many other ideas are developed around this concept to get a practical general purpose visual programming language for real world tasks.

This is followed by an impressive list of features (see link for more).
4  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Malwarebytes FREE and PRO/Premium - Mini-Review. on: March 27, 2015, 03:03:31 AM
As posted into the opening post:
UPDATE 2015-03-27: Release of version 2.1.4
5  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Hard Disk Sentinel PRO - Mini-Review on: March 27, 2015, 12:14:48 AM
@4wd: Yes, I had come to the same conclusions as you seem to have done. There are some notes on the HDS site that indicate (in rather tortured English) more or less what the BackBlaze comment says (which I had not seen, so thanks for the link).

I think I may have deduced what those two SMART charts mean:
  • The SER (Seek Error Rate): the chart seems to be a graph over time showing when a Seek Error occurred and what the accumulated seek counter stood at, at that point.
  • The RRER (Raw Read Error Rate): the chart seems to be a graph over time showing when a Raw Read Error occurred and what the incremental read counter (reads since last error) stood at, at that point.

Explanation: Thus, we have, after an extended period of apparently improving stability/reliability (reducing frequency of errors), a second Seek/Raw Read error occurring on 2015-03-20 relatively soon after the last/preceding error, and then a third occurring relatively soon after the second.

We probably won't be able to establish what caused the errors, but I shall examine the Windows Events logs to see if anything shows there. However, we can see from the CHKDSK output (run after the SMART S/RR errors were charted) that CHKDSK:
  • corrected orphaned file errors, and found some unindexed files, in Stage 2.
  • corrected free space marked as allocated in the MFT, in Stage 3.
  • corrected free space marked as allocated in the volume bitmap, in Stage 3.

I don't know much about these things, but I would suppose that, if further S/RR errors occur within a short period, then there may be a problem causing reducing stability/reliability (i.e., increasing frequency of errors). Otherwise, the errors may be an improbable statistical coincidence, or the CHKDSK operation may have fixed something that could have been a causal problem of the errors, in (say) the file structure.
So, it's probably a case of "wait and see".

Yesterday I downloaded, installed and ran Seagate's proprietary SeaTools software to check this (Seagate) disk, and it checked out with no problems on an "extended test" run - and Seagate's own instructions are that if it passes that test then there is unlikely to be anything wrong with the disk.
I wouldn't have known about any of this at all if I had not had the HDS information charts showing the disk health status and the SE/RRE counters' data from that particular disk.
6  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Hard Disk Sentinel PRO - Mini-Review on: March 25, 2015, 08:39:55 PM
I'm puzzled by this: this is for a Seagate USB 2.0 external hard drive (1TB).
HDS says the disk is in perfect condition, but these SMART Raw Read and Seek Error Rates from HDS look confusing to me.
What is going on with this drive?


I ran CHKDSK on it, and no major probs.:

7  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ... on: March 24, 2015, 07:39:34 AM
Thanks for your comment - I'm always interested in this thread.
Scrivener is pretty impressive, and I have trialled it and thought of using it, but the reason I am using OneNote is that I have discovered new requirements by using it, and they can't be met by other software that I have trialled, so far.
I have trialled IS9 but still haven't migrated away from IS8 though. It's hard to beat for my requirements.
I find your "multiple installations" (that's databases, I guess) for IS9 (IS 2007) a novel idea, but I would suggest that it may be unnecessary since one installation of IS can open several separate databases simultaneously or sequentially, as required. You don't need them all open all of the time, just the ones you are using. You can keep the databases automatically closed on startup by default, and just open the ones you want (and later close them and open others). That's a feature of IS that I have been using for years.
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: how can I do this in excel? on: March 23, 2015, 08:36:49 AM
What are the business requirements please? I might be able to help.
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Army camouflage training on: March 23, 2015, 05:57:08 AM
Army camouflage training:

10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The conflict of interest that is Google on: March 22, 2015, 06:29:49 AM
^ Classic monopolistic behaviour.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The conflict of interest that is Google on: March 21, 2015, 01:47:14 AM
Just stumbled upon this as a good example of this sort of thing:
“Wall Street Firm Develops New High-Speed Algorithm Capable Of Performing Over 10,000 Ethical Violations Per Second”
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The conflict of interest that is Google on: March 21, 2015, 12:28:36 AM
@mouser: I wondered about that too, when it popped into my bazqux feed-reader, and I assumed that, given what has been commented above in this thread, none of this should really come as a surprise to us.

Eric Schmidt and his colleagues are up there in the stratosphere, maximising profits, pulling the strings, out of our reach, and as a corporate legal entity are arguably in a politically, legally and economically vastly superior and dominant position compared to our lesser legal entities and whatever residual "legal rights" we might amusingly imagine ourselves to have.
Google is a great corporation.

If the perceived problem here is "anti-competitve behaviour", or something, then the likely/apparent causal problem is that Capitalism (the economic dogma of capitalism) encourages/necessitates profit-seeking strategies and "competition" often to the exclusion of considerations of moral, ethical, or legal obligations. It's a never-ending game to "play the system", and if one is successful at it, it creates wealth out of thin air (usually with no productive effort/result).
When we use the Internet, we are generally the product (or our data is) and the puppets in this game, and we pay for the privilege to enter into and play in the game (wittingly or otherwise).

Google is a leader, part of an oligopoly - if it isn't a monopoly - and can probably do whatever the heck it wants, with impunity.
Unfortunately, when one tries to address the apparent causal problem (i.e., Capitalism), one runs smack into the brick wall that other economic ideologies seem to have done - e.g., the Communist/Socialist "command economy" system.

So, Google apparently used their position to gain an unfair advantage, eh?
Oh dear, what a pity, never mind.
Google is a great corporation.
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend free image hosting site? on: March 17, 2015, 12:11:10 PM
The Flickr site says: (my emphasis)
All your pictures in one place.
On Flickr, everyone gets 1000GB of free storage, enough space for more than 500,000 photos. Our powerful search technology means you can find them anytime you want. No matter where you are, automatically sync your phone's photos to Flickr. Now you can save a lifetime of memories in one place.
14 Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: Request: Consider placing a flag to indicate which Hotkey Options are preset. on: March 17, 2015, 11:53:26 AM
Yes, I appreciate the necessity for fixed/preset hotkeys, and the forethought that you as the developer will have given the matter. I probably only use (say) 20% of the capability of FARR, and continue to be impressed when I "discover" some new aspect (to me) to have been built-in by design at some earlier time.   embarassed
Your software tends to have your fingerprints all over it.
15 Software / Find And Run Robot / Request: Consider placing a flag to indicate which Hotkey Options are preset. on: March 17, 2015, 02:13:18 AM
Whilst experimenting with setting the grave key as the FARR toggle, per this discussion: Difficulty with launching FARR when using ` key + focus on desktop., I had to play about with the Hotkey settings menu.
Some of those settings are preset (fixed) in FARR with relevant fields being uneditable, but the user doesn't get to find that out until they open one (right-click to edit) and see the warning message in red. That's really a bit late to find out - and if the user comes back later to edit one, and can't recall whether it was preset, they have to open it up to find out first.

Suggestion: Could these "preset" Hotkey options be flagged with (say) a red asterisk and a common warning message where they are listed in the Options - Hotkeys window? That would save the user having to open it up to find out first.
I typically have 6 or 7options and don't recall offhand exactly which ones are definitely preset.

16 Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: Difficulty with launching FARR when using ` key + focus on desktop. on: March 16, 2015, 10:39:00 PM
The "`" character (I don't know what it is called) is an authentic single key on the keyboard, and should not be used (even if it could be) as a single key to start an app up. That would be just bad practice.

Following @mouser's comment:
...Don't knock it till you try it! That's the key I use on my laptop (which doesn't have a Pause/Break key) -- works well for me, and is in a convenient location.

 - using Win8-64 PRO I have tried this out as a single-key toggle for FARR. It works perfectly. I think I shall keep it reserved for that purpose, despite it being - from my training/experience - "just bad practice". It's really very convenient as @mouser points out.

By the way, I did not know it before, but I have learned now that the correct name for this key beneath the tilde mark (used as a Spanish writing accent) is the grave (a mark "`" placed over a vowel in some languages to indicate a feature such as altered sound quality. - ORIGIN C17: Fr. grave).
I would normally have no use whatsoever for the grave key, as I use grave/acute accents for French spelling over the vowel as built-in to the European character set installed in my laptop.
I do occasionally use the tilde when writing, so do not want to reserve that for something else.

As @Ath pointed out:
So I changed to Alt+Space, which is better as it can be done with the left hand only.
That <Alt-Space> keypress opens the System menu on most Windows applications...
- so, as well as adopting the grave key as the FARR toggle (arguably bad practice), I have also released the Alt+Space key combo back to the system (arguably good practice).   embarassed
17 Software / Clipboard Help+Spell / Re: Feature request: select/display Grid column data > horizontal rows in Memo pane. on: March 15, 2015, 06:53:10 PM
Yeah that's an interesting idea.. So a panel that has some of the current clip properties one per row for easier viewing.
Yes, with "some" being a selection of clip properties fields/rows (called "columns" in the Grid selector view). The user could select which rows to display and in what sequence - all or just a few depending or user requirements. That is, the field rows could be selected as per the current Grid view "show/hide/move" for columns (which, by the way, is an incredibly nifty and flexible way of controlling Grid column positions, so one wouldn't want to lose that flexibility in the new "Row" view).

As per my notes on the mock-up image, additional/new features could include, for example:
  • (a) The making of URLs anywhere (in any field) clickable by the user, where that might have previously not been the case.
  • (b) The making of some fields editable by the user, where they might have previously been fixed/uneditable.
18 Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: Difficulty with launching FARR when using ` key + focus on desktop. on: March 10, 2015, 10:29:19 AM
The "`" character (I don't know what it is called) is an authentic single key on the keyboard, and should not be used (even if it could be) as a single key to start an app up.

Don't knock it till you try it! That's the key I use on my laptop (which doesn't have a Pause/Break key) -- works well for me, and is in a convenient location.

Well, if you are unlikely to ever need that single keystroke for anything else, then I guess it would be fine. I might try it out ... if I can figure how to do that in the FARR Hotkey settings.    tellme

FARR Hotkey toggle settings:
I used to use Ctrl+SPACE to toggle FARR, but stopped doing that because Ctrl+SPACE is also the hotkey to create a "hard" space in MS Word. So I used the Pause key instead, but this became a real pain on the laptop I currently use as it has to be Function+Pause, and the Function and Pause keys are at opposing ends of two of the corners of the keyboard rectangle, thus necessitating a two-handed operation.
So I changed to Alt+Space, which is better as it can be done with the left hand only.
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice? on: March 10, 2015, 06:50:21 AM
I can offer you some advice from my own hard-won experience, having started to teach myself auto-mechanics for DIY at the age of 18 out of necessity. My motivation was economics - I could not afford to run the car I needed to use. I had to leave home to live in digs which were cheaper than college accommodation, but remote to the college I would be attending, and my brother had serendipitously recently left to work overseas, leaving his old car for anyone to use (it had little resale value).

These are some of the key points I would make:
  • 1. Knowledge: Vehicles are all about physics and mechanics. Read up on the design and development of the internal combustion engine. It will save you a lot of time/trouble later on. Read up and learn about the physics of torque and what a torque wrench is and why torque is important in tools/mechanical assemblies. An understanding of timing - i.e., valve timing and ignition timing in the combustion cycle  - could also be very useful.
  • 2. Workshop manuals: Don't try to service or fix anything on the car without having a pukka workshop manual to hand for the exact car make and model you are intending to work on.
  • 3. Toolkit: Buy a portable steel toolbox (preferably galvanized) of the type that opens out with 2 or 3-layer cantilevered trays and has a good carry handle. It won't hold all of your tools, but it will be an essential item. Some of the tools you will need will be wrenches that will need to fit the same standard of the nuts/bolts on the car - for example, refer Wrench Conversion Table: SAE/Metric/Whitworth (and various Brit schemes). Keep your toolkit (or as much of it as you can) in the car's trunk, ready for when you need it.
  • 4. Garage: Fantastic if you have one. If you don't have a garage, then pick a fine day to do routine roadside servicing work. Freezing or wet days are no fun at all and are likely to get your tools wet and make them rusty, and make you ill.
  • 5. Battery: Lead-acid batteries are a necessary anachronism, and wear out over time as an insoluble deposit builds up on the plates. There is a chemical additive (I forget its name) that you can add which actually restores the plates in old batteries to near-new state, but battery vendors won't tell you about it. A failing lead-acid car battery discharges very poorly in sub-zero temperatures. Heating it up in an oven can help improve its discharge, but take care not to overheat and melt the battery casing and don't get a battery anywhere near naked flames (hydrogen is given off in the battery cells and is highly combustible.
  • 6. Battery charger: Buy a trickle-charger for the battery. Fast charging damages the plates of the battery, whereas regular trickle-charging does not. If you can, leave a battery charging overnight on the trickle-charger.
  • 7. Car electrics: Buy a moving-coil analogue multimeter (I built one from a kit). You will need it - car electrical faults can sometimes be fiendishly difficult to trace and fix. It helps a lot if you have studied and understand electronics.
  • 8. Using car jacks and axle-stands: Employ a "belts-and-braces" approach at all times. Before jacking up a vehicle, pull the handbrake on and engage 1st/reverse gear or auto-lock ("Park"). Always work on the car on flat, solid ground (concrete, tarmac, or compressed chip). Always put wheel chocks or bricks fore and aft of any wheel that is resting on a flat surface. NEVER allow any part of your body to go underneath a raised vehicle that is not stable and supported by axle-stand(s) or is on non-collapsible wheel-ramps. If you got the vehicle in the air with a jack, ensure that the jack remains securely in position whilst you have the vehicle securely resting and stable on axle-stands/ramps. Do not attempt to operate the jack whilst you are under the car, unless it is to get yourself out of an emergency - e.g., due to (say) an axle-stand that is sinking in soft ground when you are doing an emergency roadside repair. Get a set of four adjustable folding tripod axle-stands, and keep one or two of them in the trunk, with your toolkit.
  • 9. Check/correct headlamp alignment: As well as being an interesting and relatively simple exercise in mechanics/physics, checking that the headlamp main and dipped beams are square, parallel and horizontal can not only be useful for safety, but also can provide early warning of something going amiss with the car's suspension.
  • 10. Know your limits: Do not try to undertake more major work on your own. Either give it to a garage, or have a friendly mechanic with you - one who is suitably competent to assist you. If you do not have the proper special tools for a job, or do not have experience using them - e.g., an engine hoist for raising the engine block, or calibrated tools for wheel alignment or toe-in/toe out adjustment - then leave it to a garage. Jobs done the wrong way on a car can turn out to be very expensive and/or downright dangerous in terms of accelerating wear and tear, or fracturing/stripping components or due to bits falling off (e.g., due to over-tightening, incorrect reassembly, under-tightening).
  • 11. Clothing and cleanliness and safety: Have a high-visibility overall and keep it in the trunk. Keep spare rags and a can of CRC in the trunk (CRC for use as an easing oil and as a cleansing lubricant). Keep a tube of barrier cream and a can of water-soluble degreaser detergent in the trunk, for keeping your hands clean. NEVER wear any flappy clothes or a necktie whilst leaning over the engine whilst it is running. NEVER poke fingers or tools into a moving part - cars can maim/kill you whilst they are standing still. For engine bays, the rule is: If it's metal, it's HOT.
20 Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: Difficulty with launching FARR when using ` key + focus on desktop. on: March 09, 2015, 09:49:06 AM
The "`" character (I don't know what it is called) is an authentic single key on the keyboard, and should not be used (even if it could be) as a single key to start an app up. That would be just bad practice.

Go and follow/read the link I gave above, to to see how Microsoft's remapkey works.
Then use remapkey to make CAPS LOCK = Right Shift
You then just tell Eventghost, or AutoHotkey, or whatever you use, to execute FARR when the keys  Left Shift+Right Shift+ tilde are pressed simultaneously.

By the way, never, ever take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

21 Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: Difficulty with launching FARR when using ` key + focus on desktop. on: March 09, 2015, 09:17:35 AM
The tilde key is "~" (Shift+tilde).
The non-shift of the same key simply gives you "`" (on my US keyboard).
I would suggest giving FARR a hotkey combo that is unique and not used/reserved for anything else.
If you want to use your left hand to press the hotkeys, could I suggest that you use remapkey to make CAPS LOCK = Right Shift.
You could then (say) use as your FARR hotkey: Left Shift+Right Shift+ tilde
Nothing else is likely to use that.

As a possible solution to ALL CAPS accidents...
Tip - dispatching the CapsLock gremlin with Microsoft's remapkey.exe http://tips4laptopusers.b...apslock-gremlin-with.html
It refers to the Microsoft remapkey.exe utility.
Other keyboard mapping fixes are useful, but redundant if you use remapkey.exe, which works fine in Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Win7-64 Home Premium.
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: metadata on: March 08, 2015, 12:19:37 PM
yes, but this is what I am asking, what would be my business requirements?
sometimes, we don't know what we need, until someone tells us (you will probably need this...) or we realize what we need afterwards, after using a GUI, etc

Rather than suck the requirements out of your thumb, you ask your users what their requirements are. If they don't know, then postulate what those requirements perhaps could be, then get the business users' buy-in/approval,  and set up a project to trial a prototype system that could meet those requirements. The users will have to agree to commit to being guinea-pigs in the prototype trial.
You could run this trial using some existing software that is available for free/cheap trial - e.g., SharePoint.
The trial will enable you to discover the requirements.
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: VOIP - SpeakFreely. on: March 08, 2015, 12:04:45 PM
Speak Freely VOIP phone.
(Notes as at 2004-05-12.)

This seems to be an even better alternative to Skype (which is likely to be free only as long as it's in Beta test release), and a lot more secure.  It requires no indexing server (which Skype does need) for your contacts - you just type in their IP address - in fact, if you are chatting to the contact on (say) MSN, Speak Freely somehow picks up their IP address.  There is a version for Linux or Unix also, I gather.

Speak Freely was apparently developed by one John Walker over a period of 7 years, so it will have all the bugs knocked out of it.  It is still under gradual improvement in the public domain through Soundforge:

Steve Walker announced his cessation of development of Speak Freely here ("End of Life Announcement"):
- this makes fascinating reading, including the linked articles; I recommend you read it.

References for Speak Freely:    (what a great website!)

You can download the latest v7.6a of the software from:

The Windows v7.6a (2004-01-11 08:20) has 3 files:
* the Windows version, with cryptography:
* the source code for this:
* the Windows version, without cryptography:

There are several Soundforge mirror sites.  I downloaded these files directly from Asian mirrors:

2015-03-09: The SourceForge site is apparently still at v7.6a: Speak Freely
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / VOIP - alternatives, PROs and CONs. on: March 08, 2015, 11:56:14 AM
I initially started using VOIP to make cost-effective phonecalls (i.e., at rates much cheaper than toll charges) to phones in international destinations.
The ones I used were:
  • (a) PC-to-Phone, and
  • (b) a little-advertised NZ Telecom VOIP service - where the user can place calls from their NZ Telecom landline, to mobile and landline numbers overseas.

I still use both of these, and the other day I opened an account with Skype - the rates are similar to PC-to-Phone.

I have also been using FREE PC-to-PC audio only, and audio-video systems, including:
  • SpeakFreely
  • Google Chat
  • Skype

I would be interested in sharing experiences of these and other VOIP systems, with DC Forum users.
25 Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Wav2txt Using Free Recognition Engine on: March 08, 2015, 11:20:46 AM
2015-03-09 0516hrs: I've just "bumped" this to see if anyone on the DC Forum knows of newer technology (since the unanswered OP from 2008) which could potentially address a solution to this requirement for automating speech-to-text transcripts for audio files.
I think YouTube might offer something related to this, for some YouTube videos, but I am not sure.
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