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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for a minimalist Desktop Calendar Application.. on: March 26, 2013, 04:38:08 PM
Years ago, I signed up for a calendar program called Scrybe, which was one of the easiest-to-use calendars I'd ever found. You can still visit the site at www.iscrybe.com. Apparently, it's now in permanent beta, but you can still get an invitation.

At the time, Google Calendar had just come out, and the openness of the calendar data and the ability to access it from different places tipped the scales enough that I adopted it for my personal calendaring, even though Scrybe was far and away the better product.

I'm posting this not to suggest anyone use it (although my account is still active and so I can still theoretically invite new users, if anyone's curious.) The point is, anyone looking to build a lightweight, intuitive, usable calendar app would do well to at least look at the demo video and see how Scrybe handled the UI.

I think if someone re-imagined Scrybe as a pure HTML calendar with hooks to Google Calendar data, I'd just about be in web calendar heaven!  Kiss Kiss Kiss
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: I need your help... on: December 07, 2012, 10:37:16 AM
I'm so sorry to hear you're having so much trouble. Just sent you some goodies for the holidays. Hope things turn around for you in the new year.
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: removing all the touch-oriented features of Windows 8 on: November 29, 2012, 04:45:57 PM
Well, Stardock has already come out with an add on that brings back the Start Menu to Win 8...
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Convenience and reality on: November 06, 2012, 05:18:28 PM
Almost all of us receive our first acquired communications training - spoken language - at a very early age. Soon after, but while still quite young, we acquire our second type of communications training - reading. The age at which we are taught these activities is when our brains are most primed for learning, but no so much for remembering. We don't recall how "hard" it was to learn to speak, and people who don't have learning disabilities usually forget how "hard" it was to learn to read, as well.

Also, speaking and reading (more or less) are not optional in our world. You MUST learn to do both to function in society.

People typically used to begin learning to use a keyboard much later - I learned in high school - when learning comes a little harder and our memories of difficulty and frustration are more acute. Also, some people are never formally taught typing and get by with hunt-and-peck. Even those who are don't necessarily get it exactly right - I still "cheat" and look at my fingers sometimes when I type.

The point is, we perceive the need to use a keyboard as less than desirable compared to our more "natural" (acquired earlier) modes of communication. And wish that using a computer could be as easy as speaking to another human - that is, virtually effortless, as long as they speak our language.  Grin

Consumer goods cannot make people happy. That said, I am often happy when I have a nice consumer good that works well and makes my life better in ways that are obvious to me. I don't have a problem with new tools that help us connect and communicate. It's the ones that cut us off from one another and the world we live in that worry me. The world has been on a path to massive destruction for decades now. Technology may be accelerating this trend, but it's also helping bring together people who care about the solutions.
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / The smoking ruins of Office Labs... on: October 16, 2012, 12:13:42 PM
I played with a cool add-on for OneNote a while ago called Canvas.

It was from Office Labs, which also made other cool, funky enhancements to MS Office like PPTPlex which turned PowerPoint into a zooming presentation tool.

Anyway, I quickly found a link to the tool I wanted - which dead-ended at the "new" office labs front page - which is the only page left.
They had a designer make it look cool and all, but make no mistake - it's a board nailed over the door.

tellme tellme tellme Office Labs is gone! rip rip rip

I guess this happened a few months ago? It wasn't a site I visited on a regular basis.

Did anyone else notice when this happened?

And more importantly, does anyone still have the downloaded file for Canvas for OneNote 2010?
I've looked through my most of my stored downloads, but since I didn't have ON 2010 at the time I don't think I grabbed it.
Never expected the whole site to go up in smoke.  onfire
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: database program needed (CRM?) on: October 15, 2012, 04:59:34 PM
This is a little like saying "My friend just wants to go into space. Maybe leave a satellite up there or something. Is there an easy way for him to do this?"  tongue OK, not quite that complicated, but what seems like a simple question is probably not going to have a simple answer.

The place to start is Salesforce.com. That's what "everyone uses". He should check out the features & prices & see if it's a good fit. (The Group plan @ $15 per user per month probably does everything he needs.) If so, he can save himself (you?) a lot of time looking for alternatives.

Then there's "free" open source software. Your friend will pay for CRM one way or another. Free or low-cost options will cost him in the time it takes to set them up and get them working, provided he has the skills, which it sounds like he doesn't. (People who build software that businesses will use to make more money expect to get money for their effort. They don't have a very charitable spirit towards other people's profits.  undecided )

Sugar CRM is the king of the open source packages. Sugar is big and complex enough to run a huge business, but even though you can download the community edition for free, getting it all setup and running without help is going to be almost impossible. (Even the download page places the CE as something for developers to play with - not something for business owners to try and get running on their own.)

Fortunately, they offer paid options too that can make the process easier. Competitive with Salesforce? Your friend's call.

Another contender is VTiger. It is hosted with a free trial.

Also check out OpenCRX and Hipergate. These are true open source packages that are free to downlaod and use, but again setup is on you.

Finally, there are lots of "10 best CRM tools" articles in the Googleverse, which means very little since what's best for a huge company with 1000 branch offices can't possibly be best for your friend's tiny business. But this one is pretty good. The links are worth following up, as they seem to be tools more focused on small businesses and less on large ones.

Or if your friend really can just make up the budget himself, he can call up Microsoft or IBM and have them fly in an army of CRM consultants to speak with him. In German, of course.  Grin
7  DonationCoder.com Software / Timns Apps / Re: Auspex on: October 15, 2012, 04:04:19 PM
Hi Timns! I've got another quick request for the next version of Auspex, when you get time.

Actually, it's a two-fer:
  • Use the delete key on the keyboard when in the tree view to delete items.
  • A way to disble the "Are You Sure" box when deleting items.

I end up doing a lot of manual maintenance on my list, mostly deleting incorrect entries, and boy does that confirm dialog get old fast.  Grin

I can't quite figure out how Auspex decides when to capture punctuation and when to ignore it. A lot of the items I am deleting are of this variety:
  • designs
  • designs,
  • designs.
  • designs?
I find the punctuated entries just slow me down, and make the popup bubble too long, so I periodically go through and clear them out. (I also clear out common mis-typings.)

Auspex continues to be a great tool that I use every day. Thanks again!
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Fast Network Notetaking... on: July 20, 2012, 04:34:11 PM
OneNote does something very similar (I think) to what you want. Windows-N brings up a new "side note" which is a small, sticky-note style view of a standard OneNote page. OneNote's tags are completely customizable, and the CTRL 1-9 keys will automatically apply the first 9 in your list. Then you can filter by tags, organize, etc.

All new notes created this way go into an "unfiled notes" section which defaults to local but could be placed on a net share. You then organize them later into notebooks and tabbed sections. OneNote's synching cabailities are 2nd to none as well - peer-to-peer, real-time synching over a LAN, with disconnected changes synching on reconnect.
9  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Opinions sought: should I open source Auspex? on: May 15, 2012, 11:14:05 AM
Looks like that did the trick! Muchos gracias!
10  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Opinions sought: should I open source Auspex? on: May 14, 2012, 08:50:02 AM
My file looks much like that, except that the color values are negative:


I'm using system colors from the dropdown when selecting my colors.
(Specifically "ActiveCaption" and "InfoBk".)

Funny thing is the black shows up even when the values in the Options file have not changed. I'm not seeing them get reset to "0" when I exit Auspex or re-open it.

Could it be reading the negative values and just seeing them as zero?
11  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Opinions sought: should I open source Auspex? on: May 11, 2012, 08:13:05 AM
I tried running it as administrator, making my changes, exiting and re-running. That didn't work.
I tried Windows 7's Compatibility wizard, doing the same thing. Also didn't work.
Black on black always comes up when I run the program.

Is this stored in the registry somewhere? Couldn't find an entry for it under HKCU/Software...
12  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Opinions sought: should I open source Auspex? on: May 10, 2012, 09:19:17 AM
Every time I restart my PC, it resets the colors used for the popup text tips - and it resets them to black text, black background! For both selected and unselected. So if I forget to change it, I get little black boxes popping up as I type.

I've tried setting the values, exiting out of Auspex & re-running it, but the result is the same - black on black popups.

Not sure where it stores these settings, why it is forgetting them or why it is using default values that make the popups useless. I'm just hoping I can get away form having to reset the colors every time I reboot.
13  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Opinions sought: should I open source Auspex? on: May 09, 2012, 09:17:03 AM
I was wondering if this means you're stepping away from development of Auspex.

I was in the other thread where the last comment is about a year old. There's a fairly minor bug that I was hoping to get on the radar to be fixed in an upcoming release.

I just discovered Auspex and I've really been enjoying it! Seems like I'm always late to these parties. :-P Will there be a next release? Any idea when?
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: GUI automation on: October 13, 2011, 03:54:49 PM
So Sikuli did not work? Seems from the description like it should wok on any visible screen element. What was the problem?

I'd like to try Sikuli out, but if it doesn't work as advertised, I won't waste my time.
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: EXCEL grid in another GUI on: October 13, 2011, 03:18:53 PM
Recommendation #1 - Don't try to re-write Excel from the ground up!  Grin

Most of what Excel gives you falls into two categories: calculation engine (using formulas to calculate the value of cells based on the values of other cells) and data presentation (sorting data, filtering it, color coding certain values, etc.)

Do you need both of these feature sets? It's not common for a database app to need the calculation engine features, since you can usually do those kinds of things in the app's code.

First of all, can you just use Excel itself? With it's data access features, programmability via VBA, and its presence on many Windows computers, maybe you can just base your app directly in Excel.

You don't say what language you will be developing in. That makes a big difference. If you are using a .NET language such as C#, VB.NET or ASP.NET, there are some very full-featured components you can use. Check out http://www.infragistics.c...age/winforms/wingrid.aspx

That gives you a lot of data presentation ability, but if all you really need the full range of Excel functionality, you'll need something like http://www.infragistics.c...et/infragisticsexcel.aspx.

There are probably similar components for other languages, depending on how well supported they are. These may not be free, though. (The Infragisitcs one sure aren't.)

Maybe if you gave us some more background on what you are trying to do we could offer more options.
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Suggestions for maximum-lockdown XP system on: October 12, 2011, 01:23:13 PM
Microsoft used to have a free program called SteadyState for Windows XP that let you set up an XP system to work the way it would in a cyber cafe, where you'd basically want the machine reset back to a default state after someone's browsing session was over.

They have discontinued it (not compatible with Vista/Win7) but you may still be able to find it for download somewhere.

If not, check out the wikipedia article for SteadyState that lists some alternatives that do the same thing.
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Using a digital tablet with OneNote on: September 22, 2011, 06:54:43 PM
And you've been trying for six months! :-)

Try this one: http://www.winmatrix.com/...fromsearch__1#entry184329

I don't know if it's the same thread, but it's related. Maybe they deleted the old one?  ohmy I used the site's search to find this one. You can try Google too, adding "site:winmatrix.com" to your search. Good luck!
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Why 2012 may finally be The Year of the Linux Desktop (courtesy of Microsoft) on: September 21, 2011, 03:43:53 PM
"Developers! Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers...

Actually, just developers, developers, developers. The rest of you guys can go pound sand. Go on, get out! SECURITY!"
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Linux game devs pirate their own game on: September 21, 2011, 03:22:19 PM
@40Hz: This is the most depressing thing I've read in weeks. And it's been a rough couple of weeks...

Fortunately, as the little green guy said, always in motion is the future...
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What special character do you use to have a file sorted at the top? on: August 22, 2011, 06:17:30 PM
I put square brackets around the names of shortcuts I want to appear at the top of the file list directly under the folders.

[Thumbdrive Documents]
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Jello Dashboard + OneNote as PIM/GTD tools - user experience/feedback/advice? on: August 22, 2011, 06:14:52 PM
OK, well strictly speaking OneNote does NOT require Outlook or any of the other Office programs in any way.

If you already have them it will work with them and there are some nice features that take advantage of Outlook/Office, but the CORE functionality of OneNote (really about 95% of the app) is unconnected with either Office or Outlook. The integration piece is just icing, not cake.

You can buy OneNote stand-alone. You don't have to get it as part of Office.
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: "We're Alive" - Online Radio Show Drama on: July 19, 2011, 02:47:44 PM
This has become a welcome addition to my commute!
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: anonplus: new, uncensored social network coming soon? on: July 19, 2011, 02:35:02 PM
Well, I love to be paranoid about government and corporate snoops as much as the next guy, but unless they're going to start preventing encrypted connections (which would require substantial portions of the Internet to be re-written from scratch) I don't see how they're going to "identify and shut down" every non-sanctioned activity. Just sounds like scare mongering to me.

There's always RetroShare for people who want to cuddle up virtually with their friends without leaving traces all over some evil entity's server.
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The law is for YOUR protection. Honest! on: June 27, 2011, 12:06:00 PM
I definitely support the intent of the patent system. However, the issue (and perhaps this is due to "first to invent") is that large companies with the financial and legal resources to work the system have started claiming overly broad patents and then using this legal toehold to stifle / subdue competition.

If you as a small shop develop a multimedia streaming device that beats the pants off of anything Apple offers, but Apple owns the patent on "streaming multimedia over a network" your invention is essentially useless to you. Apple can step in and demand a cut of your profits so big that it puts you out of business, or just seek to put you out of business directly.

(BTW, not really picking on Apple here. Insert Microsoft or Oracle or even GE above if it makes you feel better.)

Now imagine you are an inventor who wants to avoid this scenario. What is your due diligence? An exhaustive patent search of any patent that might potentially cover the technology you're thinking of inventing? Better be a rich guy to start with. And once your search is done, you may find that any device you create (or part of any device you create) could conceivably be described by one or more existing patents. So you give up and switch to gardening, which stifles innovation - the exact opposite of the system's original intent.

The real crazy maker is that so many of these patents are not just over-broad but ACTUALLY PRIOR ART. They are patents for things that already existed well before the patent was filed. But the patent office grants the patent anyway, because they simply can't keep up with what's already in existence, and aren't really incentivized to do so anyway.

What's really needed is a more stringent definition of what's patentable. The Patent office used to require inventors include prototypes of their inventions along with their filing, until they ran out of room to keep everything. But now inventions are software or CAD designs, which take up only server storage space, which is more or less limitless. Maybe they should go back to the old system and require an actual, physical implementation of the invention in order to be eligible for the patent.
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: -1 for BrowserChooser on: June 13, 2011, 01:29:53 PM
Thanks, Miles! Nice tip.

One week later and web links from Outlook still take some fiddling before they'll open properly.
Install in haste, repent at leisure.  smiley
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