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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 7 History on: June 27, 2013, 08:20:43 AM
I was about to suggest Nemo,...

WHY does it install into /AppData ? Is "AppData" the new "Program Files"??
I hate it when they change my world without telling me!

Arrrgh does it really? Dropbox does that too so I don't install it anymore and just use the site. Some other prog too though I forget what right now.

I read on one forum that Dropbox does it as a way around UAC, but this doesn't make much sense to me as surely UAC watches AppData as well? I don't know though.

Shame that Nemo relies on Windows Search too, as I always have it disabled, but I'll still give it a whirl and see if it looks worthwhile.
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 7 History on: June 27, 2013, 07:58:48 AM
Actually Nemo looks as if it might be really useful in a different way... bookmarked for later try-out, thanks for the link  thumbs up
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 7 History on: June 27, 2013, 06:01:31 AM
Thanks for the suggestions dr_andus.

Direct Folders I've used before but have moved onto other apps now that achieve the same end, RecentX I had a look at and it seems to be the same kind of thing.

There's a difference here which perhaps I've not explained very well - on the one hand there are various programs that add themselves to Windows to provide quick access to recently/commonly used folders and files, such as Direct Folders, Listary, and Folder Menu 3 (my own favourite, along with QTTB).

In this thread however I'm talking about something that will allow the user to examine Windows history in detail, what was accessed/changed yesterday, last week, last month.

Something like, I guess, the Windows Event Viewer but simpler and more focused on basic file operations etc. Of course it's quite likely that I've just not learnt how to make Event Viewer do what I want...

Thanks for your input nevertheless smiley I always like to hear of alternatives to programs I'm already using.
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 7 History on: June 26, 2013, 02:43:01 PM
Thanks for your replies : )

It isn't just internet history we were diiscussing though but the one that includes Windows Explorer, the directory which exists at (in W7) C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History\ and also shows files opened as well as browsing history.

Turns out that the person in question had ticked "Show hidden..." but neglected to untick "Hide protected...", so that's sorted now. My own problem with actually opening the directory turned out to be one of those locked junction directory instances that occur in W7, so that's sorted now as well.

I've still got in mind some kind of third-party app which will display history along with a few extra details and, be immune to history cleaners such as ccleaner. Listary is very good yes, I've used it before but isn't really what I'm thinking of. Nirsoft is also excellent, I'm still looking through the suite to see if there's anything in there.

But the initial problem is sorted, thanks again.
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Windows 7 History on: June 26, 2013, 08:28:27 AM
This isn't something that especially concerns me personally, but it came up in discussion elsewhere so I thought I'd post and see what you all have to say about it.

People seem to be having problems accessing/viewing their W7 history - the folder in Users\...\AppData that sorts recent items into subfolders by date and so on. I discovered today that I do too - I can't open the folder by any way that I know of, I can only view the contents via the subfolder dropdown in QTTabBar. One person I spoke to can't even see the folder at all.

So I was wondering if anyone's come across this and has a solution? Or better still, knows of a decent third-party app which would run continuously and maintain such a history - files accessed/renamed/deleted and so on. I've had a look at Nirsoft and System Explorer etc, but nothing seems to quite fit the bill.
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: image comparer desktop software on: June 24, 2013, 03:06:58 AM
Great, and thank you very much!

For people who quickly want to check the components of this prog are about 25 years old:


(even more horrible than FastStone Image Viewer)

And the last image there is the filter window, and indeed, I don't see any "compare folder against folder" option there - it would be a pity if the lack of this functionality put aside the potentially very best prog of them all...

But the second screenshot on the page shows a "Search for images" dialog with add/remove image buttons, which looks like it will fit the bill. I really like this kind of GUI, and FS Viewer too : D

Of course, the "crop test" is far more important than any other, for "real use" - detecting "stolen" photos - but, oops, it just occured to me that we're speaking of photos here that are already on your hdd, and exclusively of these, so for detecting stolen photos within the web, you'd need google's photo search anyway... and THAT's perhaps the reason there is no advanced development, and no tremendously good 500$ tool out there: it's just not worthwile, for the aforementioned reason!

But this being said, a photographer who takes photos, of the same subjects, from wide-angle down to big zoom, could always be interested in having software to prefetch groups of the same subjects

- but would not be willing to spend 500$ for this, so the lesson here is, whenever you don't understand the market, think again. And yes, I'm able to imagine special police use of such software: comparing their "very special" photo collection (vice squad) to what YOU might have on your hdd - but there are special services for that in every country, so world-wide, this very special market would take about 300 licenses, make it 500, so we wouldn't speak of 500$ software here, but of 5,000$ software.

And as for our photographer, he wouldn't want to compare one photo with a set of others, most of the time, but would want to constitute groups of similar photos - again, the missing function "explains itself" by the scarcity of the demand for it?

But then, even for a wedding photographer, it'd be of interest to choose one person, on one photo, and then have automatically gathered all photos on which that person is present, even in a group, and this not only applies to the bride, but also to any person who might buy photos then (ok, they will browse anyway, but out of 1,000 photos, then? There will always be a pre-selection, of perhaps 150 "best shots", and then, 800 shots among which only SOME might be interesting to this person or another, so here software assistance might be of big help).

Yes, usage is debatable I guess but having got it into my mind to find such functionality, the usage takes back seat for the time being. I do like your example though of finding photos of a certain person ... we're into the realms of facial recognition now, but I'm wondering how the "Human" mode in IFSS might handle it. I'll check that this evening.

Other potential uses could be, perhaps I have a thumbnail and want to know if I have a full size image of it already, or perhaps I have a folder of edited photos and can't remember where the originals are. Maybe I like a landscape or whatever, and want to search for similar pictures on my hard drive to create a slideshow or collection of wallpapers. They're just a few that come to mind.

And then, why the need to put the "single" photo into a folder of its own, in order to have it "compared" to all the others? That's cumbersome! Why not a function "compare the current photo against all within a certain folder (and including its sub-folders)"?

All the more so since such functionality, coding-wise, and contrary to the implementation of better compare algorithms, is so easy a child could code it!

Yes it is cumbersome but I was thinking of it as a possible workaround to make a program do something it wasn't really intended for (one of my favourite pastimes : D ). However AntiTwin as I discovered does have such a "load image and search for it" function, it's a pity that the results are a bit disappointing. I'm guessing though that the Mindgem one can do this too, looking at the screenshots.

I've no idea how easy the coding is, I certainly couldn't do it! I never progressed further than writing text adventures in BASIC on a Commodore Pet...

Ok, that's been written for some developers who might check google for mentions of their progs, and then read some remarks in order to get some ideas.

As for google pic search, if I were up to steal photos, I'd turn them by 180 degrees and heavily crop them, considering that light tonal fiddling would certainly not cause google to differentiate them, and heavy hampering with color, brightness and contrast would make the photo unusable anyway, so turning around then cropping seems to be the "best" policy - would be interesting if google detects such falsifications, especially, of course, if the cropping isn't centered.

And to finish this pêle-mêle post, google, some years ago, had photographed the streets of Germany. Then it appeared, inadvertently (!!! how do you do THAT???) they had, by this photographing buildings, recorded "sms" and other electronic messages sent by the tenants of these houses, too. And now, just these days, years later, German press discusses that these recordings have not yet been deleted (as they had promised once, though).

So much for applied forensics. ;-)

Google Image Search is surprisingly efficient, it copes well with mirrored and graffittied images though I've not tried it with rotated or cropped ones. I'll add it to my to-do list, just out of interest. What amazes me is that it apparently searches "the whole web" and comes back with results in a matter of seconds. Maybe I'm missing something there.

Data collection yes. They're in the news again for that this week, but that's a bit off-topic even for me so I'll leave it there.
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: image comparer desktop software on: June 23, 2013, 05:17:37 PM
Oh good grief, how did I miss that..??? I guess I was stuck in a "need something new" mindset and didn't even see that option in AntiTwin. It does do what I was asking for and, it even has a "Search for a certain file" option, both of which work in the image search mode.

The results aren't great though - it picks up the grayscale image and the graffiti one but misses the mirror image and the thumbnail. The percentage selector only goes down to 60%.

The others that I have are Visipics which as you say is popular, but it does deserve it although it fails to pick up the grayscale for me. Duplicate Cleaner 3, Awesome Duplicate Photo Finder, AllDup, AntiTwin of course... some others too, I'm a bit of a software collector.
Actually just got a new one today, Similar Image Finder, which I'm quite impressed with so far, it's picked up all my test pics except for the mirrored one. It also has an option to ignore cross-directory matches, so I've been in touch with the developer today to see if they're open to feature requests and if it would be possible to add the other option.

But the Mindgems one, yes I'd love to take on a trial of it. I'll check it out properly when I get a chance, must first see if the trial download is functional enough to test it properly. Must admit I personally like the look of the screenshots, but then I don't much like the way that GUI design has been going for the last few years anyway.
I'd not considered payware, as the site where this initially came up is freeware only, and it's an interesting point about the difference in licenses. Reminds me of a cd burner that has a freeware version and then a commercial version that costs hundreds.

I'd want to spead more time on it probably... the way I tested the Forensics one was just based on what I'd personally like such a program to do, and also as you can see I've not properly looked at all the ones I already have! The point about cropped pictures is a good one too, I'd not thought of that and I think it definitely deserves including in a group of test pictures.

I'll post back in a few days anyway and let you know how it goes with the Mindgem one.
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google Reader gone on: June 22, 2013, 12:52:16 PM
I didn't really want a browser based reader so spent a while trying out a few different ones.

RSS Owl - gorgeous GUI but requires JRE and the portable version tends to forget everything. Also slow and a bit of a cpu hog when updating reads.

QuiteRSS - Quite nice :-) I stuck with this one for a couple of weeks but although it doesn't use java I still found that it would tie up all my CPU cycles while updating.

I'm now settled on Great News which has a nice interface, enough features and is the lightest I've found so far in terms of resource usage while updating.

An honourable mention to Desktop Ticker - add whatever RSS feeds you like to it and it scrolls the headlines across your screen in news ticker form. Appearance is customisable, it can float or dock, if you hover over a headline you get more info and if you click on the headline it opens the full story. Great stuff.

Lol IainB, I should have known there'd be a Downfall parody  Grin ("Anyone who thinks social media is a valid replacement for an RSS reader leave the room now" lololololololol..)
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: image comparer desktop software on: June 22, 2013, 11:39:09 AM
After saying you may be out of luck, here's something I've found: Image Forensics Search System

Apologies for cropping your post but I didn't want to fill the page. I got quite excited when I saw this so downloaded it and gave it a pretty thorough test drive today.

So, firstly it's pretty old. The website only mentions OSs up to XP and the installer looks old. It also requires JRE but, I just used Uniextract to extract the IFSS installer which includes a java folder and it seemed (at first - more on that shortly) to run fine like that without JRE on my PC. I'm guessing though that this also means that the included java version is pretty ancient.

Anyway. I randomly picked a folder of 103 photos of my local town, picked one out and created a selection of edits of it... I mirrored it, shrank it to a 75x56 thumbnail, grayscaled it, graffitied it, and rotated it through 90 degrees.

The program is easy enough to use, a nice simple layout and interface. You just load your initial pic, select a few options (some of which I still don't understand entirely...) then point it to the directory you want to search and let it go.

It's pretty slow. Took around 5 minutes to scan the 103 pics in the target directory, and while it's working javaw.exe is taking about 90-95% of cpu cycles which also means that the program itself is more or less unresponsive while working. I mostly had to use task manager if I wanted to cancel a search.

Results-wise through, it's great. It picked up on all the edits I'd made with the exception of the 90 degree rotation, though to be fair I think most duplicate finders fail on that too with the exception of Visipics.

It's different in its approach. When you select the target directory the program scans this and loads it into a window from which you can then select which pictures you want for comparison. Select all is the useful default, but this part of the process itself takes ages... two or three minutes for my 103 photos.

Then when it's finished, it doesn't show you a list of "hits" but lists all the files in the target directory, sorted hierarchically according to percentage match.

So far so good, but onto the main problem... I went on to try it on a folder of about 5,400 downloaded pictures, and five times it just exited itself after a few minutes for no apparent reason, before it had even loaded the folder. I even made a copy of the folder and renamed all the pics in it, thinking it might be an issue with path lengths (you know what long names downloaded pics can have...) but that didn't help. I then put aside my non-install version and ran the installer properly, but that made no difference.

So, mixed results really. I'm just running it now on a directory of 934 National Geographic photos and it seems to be fine with that (Edit - completed successfully). If I can find some definite cut-off point beyond which the program won't work, then I think it's definitely a keeper - depite its slowness and cpu-hogging java, it's still the only program of its type that I know of.

Interestingly, even when I ran the installer it still creates a java directory in the program folder rather than actually installing java. Not sure what to make of that.

Ultimately I guess, a better solution is if we could hunt down a duplicate finder that has the option to only show cross-directory matches, e.g. show when a pic in Folder A matches a pic in Folder B, but not when a pic in Folder B matches a pic in Folder B. I've been looking through various programs today but none of them seem to do this.

10  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: image comparer desktop software on: June 21, 2013, 05:48:45 PM
I followed your link but I can only see payware and trials there?

Must admit though that this bit - "automatically selects the best shot" puts me off a bit. I don't much like software doing anything automatically for me.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Context menu option to open Windows Explorer without navigation pane on: June 21, 2013, 09:26:25 AM
I don't know if this helps at all, but I use a little non-install app which lets you add/remove buttons in the W7 Command Bar/Toolbar, whatever it's called : )

Explorer Toolbar Editor

It doesn't do your required context menu item, but it does mean that when you open a new window it's just one click to close or open the navigation pane instead of faffing about in the Organise menu. And then of course if you close a window with the nav pane hidden, the setting will be remembered.

12  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: image comparer desktop software on: June 21, 2013, 08:55:14 AM
Eh I just posted about this in Coding Snacks as somebody brought it up on another form this week. Bit much for Snacks I think but don't ask don't get etc...

I agree anyway, I'm surprised if there isn't already something out there that does this. Tineye etc for local hard drives, would be great.

Duplicate finders ... yes but the trouble is that they will throw up a list of all duplicates, not just the ones that relate to the pic you're working with. Unless, I thought, the finder has an option to ONLY show cross-directory duplicates in which case you just copy your pic on its own to a New Folder and then compare that with your pictures directory.

Visipics I like a lot but it doesn't do cross-directory comparison full stop. Or not for me anyway. Also, try grayscaling a picture and see if Visi flags it as a duplicate (it doesn't). Anti Twin on the other hand does.

So for a thorough duplicate search I would use two or three different searchers as they all have strengths and weaknesses.

There's also a tempting looking prog called Photology which claims to be able to search by "simple and intuitive filters like faces, sky, color, location, and time of day". Photology

I downloaded it ages ago but still haven't got around to trying it out yet. It apparently works by indexing all your pics by some criteria or other and then ... don't know :-)
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The Non-Notepad(MS) Thread! on: June 21, 2013, 08:34:43 AM
I've been using AkelPad for a few years now. It's pretty powerful with a whole load of toolbar buttons but you can if you wish remove most of them and have a very simple GUI. I find it fast enough and stable and it doesn't need to be installed either. Has some neat options too, like read aloud.

For using it as my default text reader/editor I pinched the registry hack from Flo's Notepad2 page. It's just one line in ImageFileExecutions which makes any call to Notepad open AkelPad (or whatever you're using) instead. I've noticed no slow down from this.

The only occasional issue is that some cleaner/security apps (e.g. SAS) pick up on the edit and flag it as a hijack but it's no bother to add it as an exception.
14  DonationCoder.com Software / Post New Requests Here / IDEA - Picture searcher on: June 21, 2013, 08:20:19 AM
Somebody mentioned this in the Gizmo forum and it seems like such a fantastic idea I thought I'd bring it up here.

Basically, a program (ideally in Windows context menu) which operates like Tineye or Google Image Search but on local hard drives not the internet. You right click your pic, select the search and a target directory, and the prog finds images which are the same or similar.

I have a feeling it's probably way beyond the remit of coding snacks, but I thought I'd mention it anyway...

** My apologies by the way - I posted this first in the wrong place after reading the guidelines and forgetting to come to the right thread. If a mod could be so kind as to delete that one for me.  embarassed **
15  DonationCoder.com Software / DC Member Programs and Projects / Re: CluGrid Discussion on: April 10, 2012, 07:12:37 AM
Only 4 years late smiley  Just wanted to say, great stuff thanks. Always loved these puzzles and my mum adores them too, so she'll be chuffed!
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: yet another file manager thread... on: April 10, 2012, 06:25:02 AM
(...) the combination of QTTabBar, ClassicShell and FolderMenu v3, the W7 Explorer does pretty much everything I want. (...)


-except that I am using QTTabbar 1.5 Beta 2, StExBar, Hyperionics FileBox eXtender (FbX), Better File Rename, TeraCopy Pro, and ShellToys. I do not love Windows 7....

Yes exactly ... I forgot to mention all the other extras I use to make W7 do what I want it to, in the way that I want it to ... TeraCopy, AgentRansack, AdvancedRenamer, 7zip, EditPad, FSViewer, the list goes on and on.
On the plus side I do like the W7 "Preview Pane" a lot, I use it loads ... even though you have to a; install a codecs pack (I use Shark), b; Use Ramesh's "Preview Config" to tell W7 that you would please like it to display in Preview all the file types you've just installed the codecs for, and c; leave WMP as the default handler for all media files otherwise the Preview Pane just stops working...

But surely this has always been an essential part of the sheer fun of being a Windows user... the immense feeling of satisfaction and completeness that you get from adding endless 3rd party apps to make it behave how you want it to.... smiley
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Show us a photo of your mutt or other creatures.. on: April 10, 2012, 05:11:07 AM
Miscellaneous beasties... (completely failed to work out how to embed images here)

18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Help With a Graphics Problem for Charity on: April 10, 2012, 04:46:46 AM
How strange... have you tried it on a different PC-printer setup?
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: yet another file manager thread... on: April 09, 2012, 04:19:42 AM
I've found that with the combination of QTTabBar, ClassicShell and FolderMenu v3, the W7 Explorer does pretty much everything I want. And none of it seems to slow down my PCs noticeably.

QTTabBar - Has the context preview capability and 'Sub-folders tip' like in TotalCommander and Directory Opus, and also tabbed browsing in Explorer which I use all the time now, and a very useful 'Filter' box.

ClassicShell - It's just great to have the Explorer toolbar icons back again. Gives you a very configurable Start Menu as well.

FolderMenu 3 - Just brilliant. An extra 'context menu' triggered by mouse-wheel click (by default.. you can change it) which you can fill with your own directory short-cuts, programs, functions like 'Toggle Hidden Files' etc. It works anywhere in Windows, including the open/save dialog (Except for in Firefox, where mouse-wheel click triggers the auto-scroll... but you can still access it via the System Tray). Can't praise this one enough : )

I also have FreeCommander and Q-Dir portable versions, although I never seem to use them any more.
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Text replacement app for Windows? on: April 09, 2012, 03:42:07 AM
I had a look at Phrase Express, it does look very good and it's free for private use.
Also Ka Type In... there hasn't been a new version since 2007, but I've been using it for a few days and it's great. Has a slide-out menu for text snippets (triggered by mouse to edge of screen) and also auto-complete with a hot-key.
21  DonationCoder.com Software / Coding Snack Guidelines / Re: Idea - Paste utility... on: April 05, 2012, 11:19:14 AM
Hi yes, I think I remember asking you about this a few months back, in the context of AHK apps.

Time to draw a line under this one I think. I've been using 'Ka Type In' all day, and I think it's the closest I'm going to get. And it's excellent, even if it is relatively old now. I guess the reason that apps like this one work is that they don't try to integrate into existing menus. My understanding of the issues is very sketchy sorry.

A worthwhile thread though... it introduced me to a couple of really useful apps that I might not otherwise have found. So, many thanks everybody.

22  DonationCoder.com Software / Coding Snack Guidelines / Re: Idea - Paste utility... on: April 05, 2012, 10:50:52 AM
Hi, some interesting suggestions there thank you.

I'm really liking Ka Type In, mostly because it can be triggered by mouse position and then just one more click pastes the item. Also it pastes the item without formatting so it's good with Open Office. And should I be feeling sufficiently energetic to use my keyboard, it also has an auto-complete capability. Nice.

Text Editor Anywhere, unrelated but very neat little app.

PowerPro lol. I remember downloading it years ago thinking "Wow this looks really really useful..!!". No prizes for guessing the end of that story smiley  I'll have another look at it though, I'd like to think I've learned at least a little in the intervening years...

Anyway I'm uncomfortably aware that I'm probably way out of the area of coding snacks now. But ever the optimist, I'll just attach a couple of jpg's... mock-ups of my ideal paste extension. Doesn't have to attach to the actual "Paste" menu item of course, anywhere in the context menu is fine smiley
23  DonationCoder.com Software / Clipboard Help+Spell / Re: Accented characters... on: April 05, 2012, 10:19:48 AM
Hi thanks for your reply. I'm afraid I don't really understand what native character set means (and not really any the wiser after googling the phrase smiley ), but if it's any help I use a Slovenian keyboard layout.

I also noticed that while yesterday, č was shown as é, today it's shown as c(.

On the other hand it seems to cope with š and ž, no problem.
24  DonationCoder.com Software / Webcam Video Diary / Love it :-) on: April 04, 2012, 12:39:32 PM
This is fantastic! Found it totally by accident while looking for something else, but so chuffed.

I've only managed to find a couple of comparable freeware apps elsewhere, and one had all kinds of fancy FX that I didn't want, while the other, I just didn't like much.

Many thanks.
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: BULK Rename Utility on: April 04, 2012, 10:08:15 AM
Wow that's a serious looking app you have there :-)  I've been using AdvancedRenamer for ages, it does everything I want very easily ... but I'll be downloading this just to have a play with that astonishing amount of options...
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