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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for a sound effects generator on: November 23, 2009, 09:08:48 AM
@SectorSeven:  Have you tried the freeware program Audacity?  Make sure you download all the plugins.  You can then use the Generate and Effects menus to create a bewildering variety of sounds.

It's almost like painting - if you do your painting digitally with a selection of naturalistic and user-definable brushes, using, say, Painter or Paint.NET - the latter is free to download and use.  The only difference is that Generate lays down the "paint" (raw sound), then Effects messes it around, distorting, layering and modulating it.

Set aside an hour or two to play with different effects, and I'm sure you'll see what I mean.
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What are you waiting for? on: November 23, 2009, 07:08:24 AM
For mine, I'm waiting for the millenium.  Say what?  Damn!  Musta slept thru that one ... too ...

@gpetrant:
Quote
6.  To be a positive role model for youngsters thinking about becoming a programmer.

You ARE a positive role model - a positive example of how NOT to get to be a great programmer! (See your items 1. to 5.)  Wink

Quote
7.  For Microsoft to stick to one OS naming convention ...

Infinite loop detected ... Infinite loop detected ... Infi
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Calendar on: November 28, 2008, 09:41:03 AM
Dormouse,

No, I don't.   With respect to the calendar period "zoom", ie from minutes to years, the Calendar in Microsoft Outlook does have this kind of feature.

Your user spec sounds like a great idea for an app, tho!   Thinking laterally - have you considered the various task managers around?   Again, have a look at Outlook's Tasks.

Another thing about Outlook is you can customise it considerably, creating your own forms etc, but this would mean you were effectively creating an add-on to Outlook.  For wider applicability, you might want to attack the problem at a more basic level so users don't need Outlook installed.

Regards,
Yahya
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Posture in sitting/standing ideas, tips & tricks on: November 28, 2008, 08:23:50 AM
M. Dahlen wrote:
'The person who started this thread said it should be about "any of the problems we might have that are assocated with poor posture."  Wow.  Seems to me the list is endless.  I suspect osteoporosis, ADD, carpal tunnel, maybe even planters warts'

 ... that'd be 'plantar warts' - on the soles of the feet, I think.  Wink


' and the general fatigue syndrome relate to posture.'

 ... do you mean 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' (CFS)?  I've had it for six years now (which is why it's taken me so long to catch up with your post), so I can tell you confidently that while poor posture does not cause CFS, good posture can help noticeably in relieving the symptoms, in particular both the fatigue and the frequently associated Fibromyalgia (FM) - unpredictable, severe pain in muscles and connective tissues (eg ligaments & tendons), occurring anywhere throughout the body.


'If you stand such that your spinal vertebrae stack in alignment then gravity holds you up  (making every movement a weight-bearing exercise), releasing the muscles (saving energy), increasing circulation, and just making a person more comfortable.'

Spot on!  cheesy


'The scary thing is that nobody is writing about this in any of the so-called "health" magazines, and nobody is doing research.'

I've seen some cautious posture advice on the "Men's Health" website, and also in their printed magazine; but nothing to make readers really sit up (!) and take notice as they need to.  Of course, most of their readers are (at least in their wishes) more dedicated to getting and keeping fit than the average person who uses the PC for more than an hour a day.  If they do go to the gym, one can hope they at least get basic instruction from the trainers in proper (weight-lifting and weight machine) techniques, and that will help with their posture.  On the flipside, it only takes five minutes of slouching to do a lot of bad, which undermines any good done elsewhere.
 

'I suspect that's because there's no money in fixing posture:  no drugs, no gadgets to sell.  But it doesn't even take much work:  in my experience, after doing Esther Gokhale's course and reading her book, I would do the exercises just a little and get big benefits.  It's like my body was just waiting to "do the right thing".  Comments?

No, it doesn't, does it?  smiley  I've not seen Gokhale's materials, but I have benefitted greatly from a book I picked up about three years back (on the discount table!) at Dymock's Bookstore - "The Vance Stance",  by Vance Bonner (Workman Publishing, NY, 1993) ISBN 156305-311-X.  It's illustrated profusely and well, and the explanations on why you should take the trouble to learn to stand correctly are simple, clear and sensible.  From the minute I started to learn her techniques, I have gained considerable relief.  Those techniques have also helped reduce the pain I have from an old sporting injury, which effectively destroyed the cartilage on the inside of my left knee.  If I have to stand for more than 30 seconds, I take care to "assume the position"!

From the jacket blurb: "Teaching Balanced Alignment, a way of positioning yourself in space that enables you to move with more grace and power, Vance Bonner shows you how to work with gravity instead of against it to reshape your body and reverse the constricting postural habits of a lifetime.  The Vance Stance and its program of Thirty-Four Movements will eliminate, step by step, (*) the causes of chronic joint and muscle pain while greatly increasing your body's flexibility.  With knees unlocked, ankles unfrozen and spine fully lengthened, you will experience a dramatic new sense of limberness, energy and overall well-being."

With one small change, I fully endorse those statements.  That change would be to insert the phrase "some of" before the words "the causes" at the point I marked (*) above.  As I've said, I don't believe the Vance Stance, or Balanced Alignment, or any similar techniques, including Alexander Technique, can eliminate the causes of the FM pain experienced by many CFS sufferers.  To the best of my knowledge, those causes lie in dysfunctions of the hindbrain.  Yet I have found her work extremely useful in reducing the severity of those FM pains.

I can't comment on "rolfing".  I thought it had to do with walking around in a trench coat on three legs, wobbling a board of masonite and singing "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" ...  Wink but apparently it has nothing to do with Rolf Harris.  Considering the comments about rolfing made earlier in this thread, perhaps I should investigate further.

The other thing I've found helps with the knee cartilage problem is to take glucosamine and chondroitin twice daily.  It seems to help actually rebuild the cartilage a little, which is all it takes to stop the 'bone on bone' grinding I otherwise have, and thus most of the pain there.

Well, this reply has taken me two sessions to put together, one at 3pm yesterday, and the other just now, at 1am.  That's what CFS will do for you ...  Cry ... so I could really do with any good ideas!  tellme

Yahya
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Flash Toy of the Week: How Well Can you Differentiate Colors? on: November 27, 2008, 10:41:40 PM
"I would expect my color perception to be much better with a CRT."

And so would I.  The gradients also appear much, much smoother on a CRT monitor.  cheesy

My wife's main complaint about the laptop's LCD screen is that she can see individual pixels, without trying, but that's maybe cos she's long-sighted.  Still, tho' I'm short-sighted, wearing glasses I find that up-close I can easily discern pixels on an LCD, too, but not on the CRT; is that perhaps due to the mask geometry being set up to blend pixel borders smoothly?  undecided
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Flash Toy of the Week: How Well Can you Differentiate Colors? on: October 20, 2008, 12:09:46 PM
Late entry - been without internet for almost three weeks (agh!  the withdrawal pains!) and am just now catching up with mail.  Spotted this one in the newsletter and couldn't wait to try out.  First time ever score - a perfect zero!  Woohoo!  cheesy 

That's OK, you say, we expect that from great-lookin' spunky young chicks like you.  Sorry guys!  I'm 59 and a true-blue XY heterozygote, um , male.  For my sins, I also convene the Graphics SIG for the Melbourne PC User Group - just had our monthly meeting a few hours ago.  I guess it's just all the practice I get mixing colours - mostly in paint programs rather than real paint.  You can see some of my digital art on eSnips.

For the record, I did the test on this old Philips 107E 17" CRT; display settings are 1024x768 32-bit colour, under Windows XP, and no fancy colour management is going on - I'm not using any colour profile.
7  News and Reviews / Older Newsletters / Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY" on: December 28, 2007, 10:20:13 PM
Yep, "this porridge is just right".  Now I'm feeling a little sleepy, from all the interesting side-journeys, so must upstairs to check out your beds ...  Grin
8  DonationCoder.com Software / Screenshot Captor / Re: Way More Than Your Average Screen Capture Tool! on: December 28, 2007, 10:13:48 PM
Hi.

After all the rave reviews, I just had to try it (SSC)!  (I'm looking for an easy way to capture artwork as it evolves, for later animation and tutorial creation.) 

So I downloaded, but could not install, the latest version.  Sad  The Setup program tells me SSC is "not a valid Win32 app".  What gives, eh?  tellme

Yahya
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Perfect Software? on: November 29, 2007, 09:54:36 AM
Thanks for the kind words, Ralf!  smiley

On rereading, I see that Nosh had implicitly given a similar definition of "perfection" to mine: "It does what I need".  Though with today's relative cheapness of computing power and storage, we can certainly go beyond needs and cater to many (strictly unnecessary) wants as well.  Besides, perfection in a tool cannot be constrained by real-world scarcity, only by the purposes of its users.

For many years, I ranked Blackbeard (a shareware DOS text editor with block copy capability, multiple concurrent edit windows, user-definable key bindings and an excellent macro facility) as a perfect app.  Then my needs AND wants changed: I needed less eyestrain (from DOS colour combinations) and wanted to routinely use various emphases, such as bold, italic and underline, for a more natural reflection of a speaking voice.  The nature of my wants ruled out ANY text editor; thus began my long search for a perfect word processor ...  These days, I'm more interested in "idea processor" tools than presentation aids.  So as long as we live, the search for perfection will continue; not because it is unattainable, but because it is a moving target.
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Perfect Software? on: November 20, 2007, 09:46:22 PM
[...] Anyway, my point was that part of the value of an application is how well it works in the context it's used. This context changes as technology and platform progress, so what seems "just right" today is likely to be less good in a couple of years. And this isn't just because competitors have newer features, but completely on its own, it may be less usable.

Just like my old LP records: I loved them 25 years ago, and they haven't gotten any worse, but I don't listen to them anymore.

What a wonderful and perfectly apposite simile!

I reject the notion that "perfection is unattainable".  Yes, many open-source developers do fear creating an actual Version 1.0.  That may be because they don't live in a commercial world that obeys the Pareto Principle, aka the 80-20 rule: The first 80% of anything takes 20% of the time; consequently and conversely, the last 20% takes 80% of the time.  In their view, an app is only perfect when it contains every feature that someone's grandma (who only really uses her PC to heat her log cabin in the Tasmanian wilderness) ever asked for.  But for the rest of us, an app, like anything else, is perfect if and only if it does just what we want.  For example Windows Media Player 10 was perfect for me; now that I've upgraded to version 11, it keeps trying to synchronise my digital camera, which is not how I use it, so that the later version is actually a downgrade.


edit by jgpaiva: fixed quote tag
11  Special User Sections / Activation/License/Language Help / Re: Translators Wanted on: February 08, 2006, 05:28:20 AM

Well, you've already got French, German and Spanish ... could you use Malay/Indonesian?  tellme

Regards,
Yahya
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