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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What's living in your taskbar notification area right now? on: August 02, 2015, 06:03:06 PM
I think Win 10 all over is ugly, and the least ugly part is the ugly taskbar notification area!  embarassed

 (see attachment in previous post)

If I didn't know any better I'd think you installed Win 1.0 instead of Win 10. What a step backwards in icon design!
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Pls recommend 32-bit software for old WinXP machine I'm giving an elderly woman on: August 01, 2015, 10:04:04 PM
She would probably enjoy the top 100 books from Project Gutenberg:

She might like my clock, which can be configured to be high contrast and quite large, for easy reading:

FSL Launcher might be good for her, if you set it up with the tabs and shortcuts to the apps, files, and folders she would be using:

For some games that don't require quick reflexes and won't rush her with timers:

Jigsaws Galore Free edition:
I have a much older, full version of this one, and it's great for anyone that likes jigsaw puzzles.

One of the best freeware single-player Uno games I have ever found:
Full description, screenshots, and a review, here:
One note I don't think they mentioned, is that no matter how many players you select, it's still a single player game, you vs 1 or more AI players.

Game Top has a ton of free casual games.
They do open up a link to their site when you finish playing and close the game, but that would be simple enough for her to close.

About 100 different hidden object games. (these are always a big hit with seniors)

Texas Hold'em Poker
Lots of puzzle & match 3 games

web browser pre-configured with bookmark toolbar of useful pages?

It might be a good idea, even if she isn't going to have internet access, to perhaps save some pages for her to view locally, static pages that contain handy reference info.
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Programming/Coder humor on: August 01, 2015, 07:38:21 PM
How about a 'crust of Pascal devs'?

They're usually thinly layered on top of a deeper substrate, often older and fragile if stressed, but quite stable if left alone.

Reminds me of one of my favorite IRC quotes:

<mouser> app is coded in combo of php and perl
<mouser> plus a delphi front end gui
<mouser> and she runs quite well and reliably
<mouser> except if you try to organize her with gtd
<mouser> then she crashes with giant memory fault

4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: How chimpanzees helped inspire the Windows start menu on: August 01, 2015, 04:58:30 AM
So, this is the guy responsible for the taskbar?

5  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: 'create Restore Point' question on: August 01, 2015, 04:43:44 AM
^app103, I am now running AVG free, and already seem to be proving out your xlnt advice with fewer and milder crashes. Many tnx! (:
 (see attachment in previous post)

Just passing on some of the best AV advice I ever received for an older PC.  Wink

Here is an additional piece of advice: Stick to the free version and do not buy the paid version.

The paid version will likely come with a bunch of extra features that will defeat the whole purpose of switching to a lighter anti-virus. If you don't have the extra features, you won't be tempted to turn them on.
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Programming/Coder humor on: August 01, 2015, 04:13:25 AM
  • a collection of collective nouns
  • a school of fish
  • a murder of crows
  • a laxness of JavaScript devs
  • a verbosity of PowerShell devs
  • a smugness of Ruby devs
  • a grumble of Perl devs
  • a frustration of C devs
  • an ICollection<DotNetDevs>
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: July 28, 2015, 10:29:42 AM
Two police officers responding to a domestic disturbance with shots fired arrive on scene.
After discovering the wife had shot her husband for walking across her freshly mopped floor, they call their sergeant on his cell phone.

"Hello, Sarge?"


"It looks like we have a homicide here."

"What happened?"

"A woman has shot her husband for stepping on the floor she had just mopped."

"Have you placed her under arrest?"

"No sir.  The floor is still wet."

That must be an old joke. These days, they would just shoot her, without stepping a single foot on the wet floor.
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: July 28, 2015, 09:48:29 AM
Time travel is the only way to get a girl just like the girl that married dear old dad.

Paradoxical ... if I went back and got her before he impregnated her with me, I wouldn't be here to go back and get her.  Not certain I'd want to do so anyway ... she made a great mom, but dunno that I'd have wanted her as my girl  undecided undecided tongue.

Perhaps you could look up your best friend's mom...that best friend that grew up without a dad, with the hot mom you have only seen in an old photo.

Hey, it worked for Kyle Reese!

9  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: DonationCoder Major Upgrades - Progress Report Thread on: July 27, 2015, 04:54:31 AM
I never click any of those links. I have my browser bookmark set to the unread posts page.
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: [SOLVED] Boot problem/s on: July 27, 2015, 03:18:00 AM
(cnet - that is from a year ago, so dont know if still the case).

Quote from: cnet
Anyone who purchased a Dell computer after the first of May and has Dell's "Basic" version will not be able to recover their computer with an Image if they have a major failure.
I wonder if Microsoft knows what Dell did to their Windows 7 Operating System?

Some OEM's have done so much worse to some previous versions of Windows, including installing their own utilities that deleted both the copy of the original setup that was copied to disk during install, as well as backups of updated files from WinME, effectively disabling a feature that would have given the user a completely updated set of installation files, after every Windows update. That naturally forced users to use the OEM's "restore" disk, which by default wiped the drive and all the user's data before reinstalling Windows and all the crapware again, essentially restoring it to whatever it was when new, and forcing them to go through the process of a gazillion Windows updates all over again. They could never do a repair install from within Windows, from a special system folder, that would have preserved their data and prevented them from having to visit Windows Update, over and over again.

This is one of the reasons why when you purchase a machine that includes an OEM version of Windows (not a retail install disk), the agreement is that the OEM will provide support for the OS and not Microsoft. Microsoft has no idea what OEMs do to their OS, specifically (although they do have some clue), and they are not willing to support the OEM's bastardized versions.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What's living in your taskbar notification area right now? on: July 27, 2015, 02:40:15 AM
I installed it today just to sync a few MP3s onto my Lumia 530, (cheap media player), and Task Manager shows it using 140+MB at idle which, quite frankly, is ridiculous considering the iDrive client uses ~26MB and is continuously indexing/uploading atm.

191.2MB idle (using 32-bit version on Win7 x64)
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: AV testing: Is your antivirus app doing its job? on: July 26, 2015, 10:07:14 PM
I use MSE, and this graph has done nothing to change my mind about using it, since it doesn't say how these machines were compromised or what they were compromised with, how diligently certain non-antivirus software was updated, what kind of risky behaviors were simulated, or even what "compromised" means.

Does being able to visit a "malicious" website without being infected with anything, still qualify it as being compromised merely on the basis of being able to view that website?

How about e-mail attachments? Does merely receiving a malicious attachment that is downloaded to your machine when retrieving e-mail via POP3 (a perfectly normal thing to happen to one that does not use webmail or IMAP), qualify as being "compromised", even if the e-mail or attachment was never opened?

How about opening an e-mail containing a link to a malicious website, even if the link was never actually clicked? Does that qualify as "compromised"?

Was the vast majority of malware that slipped through of the type that would typically end up only on a machine of someone that routinely downloads "cracks" and "keygens"?

Does merely having a perfectly safe .ico file extracted from the executable of an old piece of spyware, without actually having the executable on the system, qualify as "compromised"?

All this graph did was cause me to add another anti-virus to the list I won't ever consider using, based on its insanely high rate of false positives [F-Secure].

That list already contained at least 6 other products mentioned on that graph, that ended up on my "don't use" list due to previous negative experiences with them, some of which had nothing to do with their ability to detect malware. Some are on that list for efficiently detecting malware, claiming it successfully removed it (when in fact it had not), and interfering with my ability to manually remove it from infected machines (they produced as many annoying popups as the malware)[Avast, AVG, Avira]. Others are on the list by successfully preventing all possibility of infection by slowing the system down to an unusable state (you can't get infected with anything if you can't use the machine) [Kaspersky, McAfee]. And another is on the list due to ethical reasons, for their policy of placing all known websites on their "malicious" list by default, until the owner of the site contacts them to complain about it (and their lost revenue, lost business, and damage to their reputation), and have their site manually evaluated and removed from the list [Trend Micro].

MSE is doing its job, as far as I am concerned, by keeping everyone I have recommended it to (IRL) from phoning me to come over and clean up their systems. And as long as my phone isn't ringing and my own systems stay clean, I will continue to use it.
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: [SOLVED] Boot problem/s on: July 26, 2015, 07:36:21 PM
The lure of 3+ TByte disks is certainly there, but common sense dictates that it is never a good idea to "keep all your eggs in one basket".

My data loss related anxiety is in direct proportion to the capacity of the individual hard drives in a machine. 1TB is my limit. Anything above that is way out of my comfort zone and would likely keep me awake at night, until I downgrade to lower capacity drives.

And I am really glad I have never owned a consumer grade Dell that comes with any type of restore crap. All of my Dell machines have been business grade and came with real OS installation and driver disks. (no restore partitions or restore disks that wipe away all your data) An added benefit of that is no crapware bundle, or restoration of any of the original crapware the machine came with, pre-installed. In fact, it can't even restore the Dell branded wallpapers the machines originally had.  smiley

14  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: 'create Restore Point' question on: July 26, 2015, 06:44:16 PM
Thank you. If I recall correctly, there wasn't any way to disable MWB; it was very persistent about staying active (not trying to contradict you, but that's how I recall it).

Go to Settings > Advanced Settings

Uncheck the first 3 options. Then reboot and see if that prevents it from starting up on its own. (it's grayed out in mine because I have the free version and can neither enable nor disable it)


While you are in the advanced settings, you might also want to check the last box too, for less stress on your system while you are scanning.

I use Norton 360 Premium, which also scans my emails.
I put it in 'Silent Mode' before video watching, but it's still quite a load on the OS, yes.
Not sure what would be a good safe alternative.
I used to use BitDefender, until it began scrambling and losing emails.

Until they dropped support for 9x, I used to use AVG Free on my old snail PC, mainly because it was light enough to use on an old slow system that didn't have much resources to spare. It was highly recommended by a friend, back in 2003, when I had complaints about anti-virus software killing my machine. (Besides frequent BSOD's at startup, McAfee also froze the machine for at least 3 minutes every time an icon for any type of server software or rar file appeared anywhere on my screen, which caused major problems at startup when the icons on my taskbar were loading)

I don't know if it is still just as light, but back then it sure was great. I never even noticed it was running. (and I am talking about running their v7.5 in 2006, on a 233MHz Pentium I, 64mb RAM PC manufactured in 1997.) That one change eliminated 99% of the remaining BSOD's and screen freezes that PC had, and gave it a new life.

I still have a small form factor Pentium 4, 3.0 GHz with 1G RAM running XP, for which I have always used MSE. That's another antivirus light enough that I have never noticed it running, unless it is doing its weekly scheduled full system scan. That does cause a slight slowdown on that machine, but nothing that would be a show stopper. Other than that short span of time each week, I have never had to even think about disabling it while watching videos, which has always been one of the primary uses for that machine (music, movies, plus spare and/or emergency PC).

So, you might want to give either of those a try on your machine to see if it works out better for you than Norton.
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: *Email privacy and security survey* on: July 26, 2015, 05:21:22 PM
^ I think you got the wrong end of the stick there app -
I was the one who was saying he should check out WOT to see if their problems as per end 2013 (where it continued tracking after uninstall) were resolved or not (see post #28 above).
Miles didnt seem too bothered by it all ;-)

I don't believe the issue back in 2013 was any nefarious attempt at continued "spying" after uninstall. More likely it was a bug where it just didn't uninstall completely.
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: 'create Restore Point' question on: July 26, 2015, 01:13:35 AM
I can reinstall MWB once a month for a full system scan.

You don't have to uninstall and reinstall it over & over. You can just leave it installed but disable real-time protection, and then only run Malwarebytes when you want to do a full scan. This is how the free version works. Just remember to update the database before scanning.

Also think seriously about installing an anti-virus that is friendlier to your older system, for real-time scanning (MSE? AVG Free?).
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: *Email privacy and security survey* on: July 26, 2015, 12:36:15 AM
Trouble is it is hard to keep the tracking to zero.  If you use ToolWiz TimeFreeze or some other sandbox, fine, the stuff is erased when you reboot.  But they are still gathering the data while you surf.  It is really annoying.

There should be some kind of class action suit where they would have to pay us for this data.  It might slow them down if it cost them a few bucks.  Plus if they are going to spy on you at least you could subpoena their own data as proof they owe you money!!!  smiley

You want WOT to pay you because you voluntarily installed a browser plugin that looks up and displays info from their database, based on the pages you visit? You think that is spying on you? You are annoyed by this?

It does have to phone home info to WOT for it to work. How else do you expect it to display the correct color icon (good, bad, unknown)? Where do you expect it to get the rating info from?

If you don't want WOT to know where you have been, why did you install it?
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What's living in your taskbar notification area right now? on: July 25, 2015, 11:56:45 PM


Showing (unchecked):

Hidden (checked):

  • Logitech Gaming Software (my mouse)
  • DClock2 (displaying local time)
  • FileBox eXtender
  • Yahoo Widgets (I have some that I still use)
  • Dell Touchpad (automatically deactivated because I currently have a mouse plugged in)
  • Microsoft Security Essentials
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver for Mobile
  • Vector Clock (Carmino style, displaying current time in Melbourne)
19  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: DonationCoder Major Upgrades - Progress Report Thread on: July 21, 2015, 02:16:24 PM
I do use it, and last time was about a month ago.

I can even think of an enhancement to make it even more useful: add ability to attach a short note to a bookmark, so you can leave notes for yourself like "read later", "reply later", "need to try this", etc.
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: How do you resist buying ever more powerful PCs? on: July 19, 2015, 08:01:56 AM
mad money:  (noun) Money saved by a woman against the time when she wants to make an impulsive or therapeutic purchase.

It is not your nest egg, float (reserve cash required to keep you from sinking), or cushion (aka safety net or rainy day fund)

After paying all your obligated expenses, and whatever you need to towards your nest egg and/or cushion, and factoring in your normal required amount of pocket cash, you deposit a small amount of whatever is leftover into this mad money fund each week or month, for use when you want to buy that stuff you have been resisting, for when you can resist no more, or when you have an absolute emotional need to buy something for yourself to maintain your sanity.

If and when you purchase anything with this money, you do it for the sake of your own emotional and/or psychological well being, without any shame, guilt, or regret involved. It's ok to spend it frivolously. This money is usually never used to pay normal bills.

Traditionally, this is the cash your mom and/or grandmother probably kept hidden in a coffee can, that your dad and/or grandfather never knew about, made up from the cash leftover after doing the weekly grocery shopping (which is why they were fanatics about coupons), that she would occasionally use to buy herself nice things (new shoes, pretty dress, trip to a salon to have her hair done, etc.), anything she knew your dad/grandfather would say no to, but felt she needed for the sake of her own happiness.

If there was nothing in the coffee can, she knew she would have to wait till there was, before she could splurge on herself, again.

Currently, whatever I have in the way of donation credits is my mad money fund. Since it does take a little while to cash them out and make them available to spend on whatever, this in itself is kind of a deterrent not to spend them unless I really have to, to preserve my sanity. Since I don't currently have enough credits to spend on a shiny new more powerful pc, it makes frivolously buying one, very easy to resist.
21  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: DonationCoder Major Upgrades - Progress Report Thread on: July 14, 2015, 06:09:22 AM
From what I gather, the loss of the Programming School may only be temporary, until everything has been upgraded and CMS put in place, then it could be added back on (later) in a much better way, that could make it even more useful, perhaps even more structured, with actual lessons and not just assignments?
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Facebook asks the end of Flash Player on: July 14, 2015, 05:48:34 AM
So, when is Facebook going to put their money where their mouth is and ban all the flash based social games on their site?  tellme
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does this exist? [NON-Software ideas] on: July 07, 2015, 05:06:13 PM
Laptop related:

looking for something to soften the sharp edge of a laptop - the edge your wrists might rest on.

I find when typing I dont lean on that edge, but when surfing I do - which causes wrist problems.

Roll up a bath towel and secure it into a roll with some hair elastics. Use the stretchy terry type that resemble sock loops, not rubber bands (rubber bands wear out and pop too easily). Then set it in front of your laptop and use it as a wrist rest.

I use one made from a kitchen towel as a wrist rest for my mouse, otherwise the edge of the table or desk cuts off the circulation to my hand.

Or perhaps a piece of this stuff, meant to cushion sharp table edges and protect small children, attached to the front edge of your laptop.

The only 2 problems with using that cushion stuff is that you'd probably not be able to close your laptop completely, and you wouldn't be able to clean it very well when it gets grimy. At least with the towel, you can undo it and toss it in the wash.
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Laptop tray - for your lap [Recommendations?] on: July 06, 2015, 05:36:47 PM
[...][20 tips in one post][...]


I told you this just comes naturally. It's like breathing to me.

PS do the 'soda bottles' have to be strong plastic in order to hold the expanding water/ice?

Thanks for reminding me about that. Forgot to mention what you need to do to prevent the bottles from splitting...

Fill them about 90% and give them a good squeeze to remove the air, as you tightly cap them, so they will be partially collapsed, looking more oblong than round. That way when they expand, they won't burst. This is more important to keep them from bursting when you have it on your lap than when it's in the freezer, since shortly after your body heat hits it, there is the potential for a very sudden, loud, visible, ice shattering expansion. It's similar to the sudden shattering that occurs when dropping an ice cube in a room temperature drink, but on a much larger scale.

Soda bottles also have a funny shaped bottom to keep them from exploding under pressure from the carbonated beverage they were designed for, which also helps when they are full of ice. But if that is the only direction it can expand, you will never be able to stand the bottle up again, and there is still the potential for the side of the bottle to split.

Oh, and I hope I don't have to say this, but don't rest the frozen bottle on bare skin unless you like pain & frostbite. Always keep a layer of cloth of at least t-shirt thickness between you and the bottle.
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Laptop tray - for your lap [Recommendations?] on: July 06, 2015, 02:52:59 PM
I've been wanting to start a thread titled something like "Does this exist" - which could probably give you a few ideas. I have two requests along hackable lines at the moment, so will try and get that thread going later today.

I'll be sure to subscribe to it. smiley
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