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1  DonationCoder.com Software / N.A.N.Y. 2015 / Re: NANY 2015 - NEW APPS FOR THE NEW YEAR 2015 - START YOUR ENGINES! on: October 31, 2014, 07:27:21 AM
Please please please someone with artistic abilities make a custom mug design. Thmbsup

I'm not completely convinced by this, but if anyone likes it I can tweak.

(Disclaimer: I can't draw. Cody was therefore stolen from elsewhere on the site, extracted from the original graphic and repurposed.)

2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do you use a Portrait mode monitor? on: October 31, 2014, 05:20:11 AM
Until I read this thread, I'd never really considered portrait mode.

My work setup is two monitors, and I always have Thunderbird glued to the right hand monitor. And it occurred to me that Perry's setup might work well for me.

So right now, my right hand monitor is portrait. I like it -- although there are a couple of downsides.

The first is probably trivial: you can't really stretch a wallpaper across an L-shaped space. I must research the possibility of landscape and portrait wallpapers being used simultaneously...

The second might be more important. I'm not sure why -- probably something to do with pixel shapes -- but although my monitors are completely capable of displaying the same colours when they're both landscape, I'm really struggling to make the portrait monitor's colours look identical with the landscape one. Even with Lutcurve's help (but that might be my own stupidities -- I'm not very good at achieving the results an expert probably could, and I tend to give up at the "that'll have to do" point!)

However: most of the stuff I do (with the exception of file management and web browsing) seem to benefit from as much vertical real estate as possible -- to the extent that my taskbar is always vertical and autohidden so I think I'll persevere, at least for the time being. Thanks for giving me the idea!
3  News and Reviews / DonationCoder.com Newsletters / Re: Super-sized Newsletter for Oct 25, 2014 - Codename: NANY 2015 Preppers on: October 28, 2014, 11:59:10 AM
As usual, great newsletter -- and it's been a particularly useful diversion of attention from things that make me go  wallbash so many thanks!

4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Your favorite podcasts? on: October 28, 2014, 10:11:24 AM
I'm very, very behind on my podcasts: I try not to skip too much but I seem to download more than I have time to listen to so I'm about a year behind, right now. So this list might include things that aren't as good as they used to be, I guess...

Not all of them are safe for work, mostly on language grounds. Google them by all means but I won't post links, for that reason.

Answer Me This
The Bugle

These two usually make me laugh. The latter would be topical if I were up to date but it's worth it for John Oliver -- yes, that John Oliver -- and Andy Zaltzman's unique take on world politics. The former is ... well, the clue is in the name. It's also usually funny.

I'm not sure of availability outside the UK but the BBC produces quite a few weekly podcasts that I like. In particular, the Friday Night Comedy podcast, which is always news-based comedy, and More Or Less, which is about statistics, often the sort that are misquoted by politicians and journalists, and is usually a lot more interesting than you might think. (There's a version of it that's broadcast on the World Service and I imagine the podcast of that one is available everywhere, even if the others aren't.)

And I've been recommended Radiolab, but apart from hearing a bit of one in a documentary podcasts about podcasts (!) I have yet to hear a full one. I have a few downloaded, though...

I've recently reluctantly given up on Escape Pod. Excellent, good quality sf stories but I have to try to clear the backlog somehow... and Greg Proops' Proopcasts were often amusing (also somewhat NSFW) but patchy and his lengthy diatribes on the subject of baseball aren't a good fit for British ears, so I, possibly also unfairly, gave up on those too.

Mostly, podcasts are for car journeys and distracting me from the tedium of things like vacuuming; I have a rolling playlist that ensures I listen in chronological order and -- with extremely rare exceptions -- they're deleted after listening.
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: My cat needs your thoughts | RIP Saffron my dearest cat on: October 28, 2014, 09:39:29 AM
I've only just seen this, Mouser: I don't seem to have had much time to do anything around DC lately but the newsletter jumping up and down in my inbox finally persuaded me that I needed to read it.

The downside of having pets that you're pretty much guaranteed to outlive is that every so often, this is inevitable.

And you can tell yourself that all you like, if you don't cry big tears when they die, you're probably not normal.

I have no intention of trying to match the eloquence of others on this thread, but I'm sorry for your loss.

But like the man said, Saffron's not gone while you remember her.

best wishes

6  DonationCoder.com Software / Easy Screencast Recorder / Re: Easy Screencast Recorder - NANY 2013 Entry on: September 04, 2014, 04:36:58 AM
Anyone else?
It's working okay for me too, but I'm not doing anything complicated with it -- in particular, I'm only capturing the content of an entire (vnc) window and I'm not capturing audio.
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do! on: July 18, 2014, 04:20:39 AM
Not sure if this is more appropriate here or not, really, but the current Humble books bundle is a pretty decent collection of sci-fi. Or speculative fiction. Or whatever Harlan Ellison now calls the collection of (excellent) short stories that are also available as part of the bundle. (There's three tiers to this one: pay what you want gets a set of books, beat the average gets a few more, more than $12 gets everything.)

Mostly, people are familiar with the Humble Bundle outfit as a source of (usually decent) games. However, they've done a couple of ebook and comics bundles in the past and they're usually pretty good.
8  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: GS-Base Mini-Review on: May 28, 2014, 04:38:13 PM
Another addendum... I've been using GS-Base (now up to version 13.3)  for a small variety of things -- from interrogating multi-gigabyte xbase tables to designing a replacement for a userID and password generator that I originally wrote for my old and now long-dead Psion and although I've got a few minor niggles with the user interface, the author's extremely helpful and responsive -- he fixed a couple of bugs I encountered with large tables within hours of me reporting them -- and, as wraith808 says above, you just don't find this level of functionality in a database even for $20.

It's not a "proper" relational database. However, you can build links between tables in a way that allows you to replicate quite a lot of the functionality you're likely to want, and the sheer speed of it compared to my (yes, I know) aging copy of Lotus Approach coupled with the fact that it's actively supported has to mean it's worth me migrating my various weird databasey bits into it.

So far, I've only tried the portable form on a reasonably beefy 64-bit Windows 7 machine, but I suspect it'll still be fast and functional on more limited systems -- I'll experiment and try to remember to report back. Wink

Oh yeah; and the installer is under 2Mb. That's Two Megabytes. For a full-featured database application.

Can you tell I think it's pretty darn good?
9  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: GS-Base Mini-Review on: May 21, 2014, 05:29:21 PM
I saw this via the newsletter yesterday, so I'm coming late to the party.

The spreadsheet style is a bit of a culture shock for me -- I'm used to record-oriented databases rather than Excel-ish stuff. However, the developer is extremely responsive and finding a modern database package that can cope with multi-gigabyte files in all of the various xbase formats I have a lot of legacy data in is a complete delight. Particularly seamless support for Clipper and FoxPro memo file formats (as of today!) is more than slightly marvellous!

I'm less sure about the techniques for building joins between tables -- but that's probably more a culture thing than a real problem, and for people who are migrating from Excel's db management methodologies, the mechanisms for doing stuff -- particularly pivot tables -- will seem like home from home.

Overall: excellent!
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What the Heck is Happening to Windows? Article on Windows 8 Disaster on: May 20, 2014, 09:23:40 AM
I've read this with some interest.

My main home desktop machine is an aging Vista box. I have used it to dip a toe in the Windows 8 water, by setting it up to dual boot to 64-bit 8.1.

My initial reaction was: I hated the Metro interface. Get me to the desktop, Jeeves, and make sure I never leave it again.

(It was worse than that. I have a Wacom graphics tablet that I use all the time as a mouse replacement. Under Vista, that's completely okay. Under Windows 7, once you've disabled flicks and all the other allegedly helpful things Windows does when it sees you wanting to use a stylus, that's okay too. Under Windows 8, some of the behaviours you don't want are really hard to get rid of. Some of them won't go at all. The right-click is really laggy, the left-click unresponsive and sometimes fails entirely. Yuck. I have tried to put up with it.)

The best solution to the loss of the start menu (Classic Start Menu) is pretty good.

However... I decided, after a week or three, that I wanted to see just why Metro was worth potentially alienating tracts of previously happy Windows users. So I set it back to the default screen.

The news app -- quite likeable once you get into the idea of horizontal scrolling -- tries hard to be useful and configurable and attractive. But I have to say, that's about it, on the apps front. I've dragged, stretched, moved, deleted, added and personalised and it still doesn't feel like MY working space. (That's because it's not? Well, quite.)

And at some point recently, something has gone terribly wrong. Now, all the apps do is load to a wash of colour then open the desktop. And apparently the only way to fix it is a full Windows reinstall. (Will I bother? Good question.)

You know what? It's only advantage is better security. (And I'm generally okay taking responsibility for that stuff anyway.) That aside, I actually don't think it's better than Vista. (But don't get me wrong: 7 knocks Vista into a cocked hat.)

I thought the fact that Vista occasionally just stops for a think -- CPU not maxed, no serious disk activity, nothing obvious going on apart maybe from the fact that you're trying to move all 60k of my documents\bilgepumpdiagram47.doc to my documents\bilge\2014\diagrams\ -- was one of the many known problems that Vista suffers from. If so, they fixed it in 7 and threw out the fix in 8.

Like many, I shall probably wait for 9 rather than fully migrate my desktop PC to 8.
11  DonationCoder.com Software / LaunchBar Commander / Re: LATEST LaunchBar Commander VERSION INFO THREAD - v1.142 - May 14, 2014 on: May 19, 2014, 03:50:49 AM
Just a note here to say that I finally -- too late, as usual -- got round to testing the new version with VirtuaWin under XP and it still doesn't work the way it used to.

[It didn't used to matter what the loading order was, LBC in an autohidden toolbar would appear in the VirtuaWin window in which it was used. For the last couple of versions, LBC had to be loaded before VirtuaWin for that to work -- and if the LBC config is changed, VW has to be exited and reloaded to prevent an attempted activation of LBC flipping you back to the VW window that was active when the LBC config was changed.

This is less important to me than it was: I don't use XP as much as I did -- only running it on one PC, now -- and I gave up trying to make VirtuaWin work properly with Win7 so I'm using a different solution for virtual desktops now smiley ]
12  DonationCoder.com Software / LaunchBar Commander / Re: LATEST LaunchBar Commander VERSION INFO THREAD - v1.141 Beta - April 20, 2014 on: April 30, 2014, 07:26:09 AM
Anyone tried the beta?
Some people are just SO pushy. smiley

I'd forgotten all about it. Cleverly.  embarassed I've picked it up now and I'll have a play with it this afternoon.


Looks fine so far, but my main host PC (this is still portable LBC on my portable hard disk) is now 64-bit Windows 7 and I couldn't persuade VirtuaWin to work on it.

I'll try it in XP with VirtuaWin later on.

In the meantime, is there any specific aspect you want tested?
13  DonationCoder.com Software / Webcam Video Diary / Re: Recording and post-processing problems on: March 23, 2014, 01:36:34 PM
For all my optimism, I didn't crack it. Mostly because the need sort of evaporated -- the MOOC I was trying to find time to participate in apparently couldn't manufacture any more hours in the day for me to use for it, sadly.

I may re-enrol next time it runs, but I'm not going to do that until I'm sure I can get everything working first -- so sorry, I can't help. Sad
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: January 25, 2014, 08:17:43 AM
There's something slightly Crocodile Dundee about this guy's argument with his neighbour.
It might not really be true at all.
I sort of hope it IS, but even if it isn't, it's still pretty funny.  cheesy
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: January 25, 2014, 04:26:36 AM
A cross-cultural argument that had me laughing out loud. Lots.

There's something slightly Crocodile Dundee about this guy's argument with his neighbour.

16  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: RightNote Pro 50% Off Thru January 31 on: January 24, 2014, 10:19:46 AM
I stuck my nose in to see if anyone had pointed this great deal out already and find that (again!) I'm behind the curve!  cheesy

I'd add my own vote for RightNote, though: I'm permanently on the lookout for the perfect note keeper and RightNote is one of the two I keep running (the other being CintaNotes -- which is faster, needs less screenspace and is tag focussed but falls behind when you care about formatting and image stuff.)
17  DonationCoder.com Software / Easy Screencast Recorder / Re: Easy Screencast Recorder - NANY 2013 Entry on: January 23, 2014, 10:15:09 AM
I used Easy Screencast Recorder yesterday to "watch" a program being used so I could compare what was being done onscreen to what happened behind the scenes.

Worked brilliantly. (Capturing a VNC window -- I wondered before trying it if it'd work at all and was delighted to find that it was completely fine with it.)

However... I used the preferred / default settings, which means that I have a .ASF video. And the first six minutes of it is filled with irrelevant stuff I'd quite like to delete. (If you're squeamish, you'd probably rather not know that the bit I don't want to keep contains photographs of the insides of someone's lower intestine. Oh. Sorry. Too late. embarassed )

The easiest answer, particularly given the starting file format, seemed to be Microsoft Movie Maker. Impressively, it carved the video up into sort of chapters -- presumably on the basis of what appeared to be going on onscreen -- so I could delete the colonic bits wholesale. And I could even add titles and credits. Gosh.

Only thing was, when it came to saving the amendments, the quality had dropped through the floor. Most of the onscreen text wasn't readable anymore. This despite the fact that the filesize had gone from under 4Mb to over 17.  ohmy

Presumably MovieMaker re-encoded the output using something completely inappropriate. (I can spell "codec" on a good day but -- even having read Vurbal's brilliant explanation above -- trust me, I'm definitely drowning rather than waving!) There don't seem to be any useful options to tweak quality or active codec or anything...

So... does this apparently simple thing (remove the first 6:22 of an .ASF file) require me to install a zillion new programs, spend a couple of hundred dollars, face due north with a pencil up one nostril and recite poetry to appease the gods? Or am I missing something somewhere? smiley
18  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2014 / Re: NANY 2014 Release: Process Piglet on: January 21, 2014, 02:03:26 AM
Read this with some interest, and I've shoved The Piglet onto my netbook to see how it behaves.

Neat little program. (And I also think the name, and the associated notifications, are a tiny bit fabulous: "Process firefox.exe has pigged out!" I think this is the first notification I've seen that's really made me smile since an old DOS program gave me "Unknown error: get drunk!")

I'd like to cast a vote for leaving it separate to Process Tamer: I use Process Lasso to look after cpu usage but Piglet's a useful adjunct to it, whereas I wouldn't want to risk running PL and PT alongside each other...
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF DONATIONCODER - 2014! on: January 01, 2014, 08:19:12 AM
Happy New Year to everyone -- and, well, what THEY said.  Thmbsup
20  DonationCoder.com Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: M3U8 playlists on: December 20, 2013, 11:42:40 AM
How odd. My MP3 player reads all of them without a problem.

Mystified. Oh well: thanks for trying.
21  DonationCoder.com Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: M3U8 playlists on: December 19, 2013, 03:59:08 PM
I am sorry I have not looked at this yet. To be honest, I got busy and just plain forgot. I'll try to get to this asap.  embarassed
No worries. I hit the problem today, is all, trying to collect together a playlist of Christmas songs. Like ya do. smiley I just did it by hand instead. smiley
22  DonationCoder.com Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: M3U8 playlists on: December 19, 2013, 05:32:29 AM
It occurred to me that the problem here might just (hah! "Just!") be that the various fields containing track names etc might require unicode support after all, in order to display sensible content. (This isn't something I know much about -- I'd assumed that unicode would be a superset of the standard character set but if that's a naive assumption, then it might explain a lot.

At any rate, I'm still seeing the program occasionally just going completely unresponsive. Have you been able to look at it at all since we last discussed this?
23  DonationCoder.com Software / LaunchBar Commander / Re: LATEST LaunchBar Commander VERSION INFO THREAD - v1.139.02 - Dec 6, 2013 on: December 19, 2013, 04:28:53 AM
I've uploaded a new version (1.39.02) with a minor fix for full screen window detection that may have been suboptimal on windows 7 (it may have thought a maximized window was a full screen window in some cases).
Have you taken it down again? The portable version is still 1.39.01...

And can I rattle your cage with respect to the new problem with VirtuaWin? Not that I'm threatening to stand over you with a whip or anything -- that would be WAY too easy to misinterpret -- but I keep forgetting I have to reload VW after LBC changes and I think the swearing may be upsetting the more delicate ears in my vicinity. smiley
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: software recommendations - photo/graphics editors on: December 10, 2013, 02:07:00 AM
Coming late to this thread -- blame mouser for highlighting it in the newsletter smiley

I've used a few graphics / photo editors over the years.

For all the proponents of The Gimp, it's always looked to me like the learning curve is way too steep. I have a copy but I've never used it for anything serious.

Sagelight -- the paid version -- is brilliant for photo work. The noise reduction and one-shot HDR functionality components are very new and have become indispensable to me already.

I like Xara Photo & Graphic Designer for object removal but it's a vector tool with photo capabilities added in later and again the learning curve is fairly hefty. And it's quite expensive. But it has a big and committed userbase and the fact that it combines vector and photo capabilities in one package may be a plus.

Serif PhotoPlus: I've had various versions of this for ages and still use it -- particularly if I want to add text or do object extraction, layer-based manipulation or, well, anything that's about changing the content of a picture rather than just tweaking it for whole-image improvements. It's a good companion to Sagelight but they definitely complement each other.

The various free tools mentioned in this thread: there are good points to all of them but -- with the possible exception of The Gimp -- I'm not sure any of them really delivers on all the functionality you're likely to want. Sorry -- I think you may have to spend money.
25  DonationCoder.com Software / LaunchBar Commander / Re: LATEST LaunchBar Commander VERSION INFO THREAD - v1.139.02 - Dec 6, 2013 on: December 07, 2013, 03:46:44 AM
hmm.. and this is new since the latest version you think?
Maybe not -- this is my portable setup (used on my work PC, running XP)  and I might have missed the previous update.

Is there a virtuawin option to tell it certain apps should be considered to be on all desktops?
There's a window manager plugin I use that has that sort of functionality but it can only "see" LBC when the config window is open and selecting that to be "sticky" didn't seem to have any useful effect on docks.
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