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1  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2010 / Re: NANY 2010 - Pledge to Participate Here on: December 09, 2009, 07:41:14 PM
I am working on a number of new apps, and since I haven't participated in years past, I figure it's time.

I pledge to release at least one of them before the new year for the NANY event. This could be one or more of:

1. FOMS Template Studio, a WPF and ribbon-based C#/XAML application for creating and saving Fallout 3 mod load orders in XML format (The format my mod sorter FOMS uses). This is a tool mainly for Fallout 3 players, but still free, open source, and useful to those who manage FO3 mods smiley

2. An Android contact syncing application, most of which I'm keeping quiet about for the time being. Essentially, the idea is to sync changes between various buddy lists, contact lists, and social sites/services.

I'm nearing the release of FOMS 2 (Fallout 3 Mod Sorter) Alpha 2, but since I released Alpha 1 earlier this year, I don't think it's eligible for the NANY event. And there's always a chance I'll pick a different one of my coding projects, but I'll let everyone know as it gets closer smiley
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: How the mighty have fallen: TuneUp Utilities 2010 on: November 07, 2009, 08:56:18 PM
Just want a chime in here with my apparently-unique view of the app.

First off, I think TuneUp Utilities 2010 is a step in the right direction for a project which was heading off the rails.

They had a wonderful, solid product 5 years ago, and have been trying to optimize, expand, and enhance it every year. Sometimes they do things right, and sometimes not--but inevitably whatever they change makes some happy and displeases others. For the past couple of years, not much had changed, and they made minor tweaks to each tool and the start center looked a little bit cooler. Then they wanted to do something different, and TuneUp Utilities 2009 had a new look and new functionality allowing it to evaluate a user's system in a short amount of time, making it suitable to run when the application starts and give them an up-to-date picture of their system's health.

While it's a nice idea (a live view of your overall system health and status), it wasn't logically laid out, and you couldn't get to everything from the main screen (you had to go to a sub-page, and then find what you wanted there). This made navigation more clunky, although it looked nice and worked pretty well on its own merit.

For 2010, they did two main things I like differently:
1. They laid everything out on the main page of the start center. You can access basically every setting or program function from the main start center screen without having to go somewhere else or open something else first. They may need to tweak their category logic, but it's a huge step ahead of 2009's layout.
2. They took their "live" system view from 2009 to the next level. Now, in addition to a system check when you start TU (and occasionally thereafter), it can also handle live optimizations (subjective word, apparently). Some users don't want extra things running, even if they're designed to make other things run better--TU does not require its notification area, desktop widget, or live optimization features to be running, but they are there for people who are interested in taking their system optimization to the next level.

I like what they are doing, and believe that if they perfect the art of live and automatic system optimization (which they obviously have not done yet), then you'd never even have to run TU's start center in the first place, because it would already be optimized. They haven't gotten there yet, but they are a lot closer.

While I do see more false positives in the registry cleaner than in past years, it does a better job than any other alternative I have found. I know it has been suggested by some users not to use a registry cleaner at all, but sometimes, in some situations, it can be a great timesaver. I would take a step back and say if you want to use one, great, but know what you're doing, and go over the records it finds before deleting anything to make sure it's logical.

Turbo Mode I'm not too concerned with--it's a nice idea, but it's in its infancy and needs a lot more functionality.
1. Only a single Turbo Mode setting? It would be more useful if they turned the same idea into a customizable list of "modes"... Game Mode, Office Mode, Multimedia Mode, etc.?
2. Very limited options--I want to be able to choose which of my services to start/stop, etc.

While I think it's trying some new things, not all of which work as well as likely planned, I still feel it's a nice step forward from TU 2009 and it paves the way for them to do some neat things in years to come. They had to find a way to expand their product and keep people waiting for the next version--while not universally accepted, I think they are doing that. I completely respect your views about this, as well, and I do feel they have a lot of areas that could use improvement, and TU is no longer as "solid" of a product since they have been introducing these new concepts.
3  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: VueMinder calendar at 50% discount - Bits du Jour on: July 21, 2009, 07:37:28 PM
Dan,

If VueMinder would have one more sale before the 5.0 release, I would definitely become a customer... as it stands I don't know if I'll be able to afford a full-priced license before 5.0.0 is released, and I would hate to just miss out on the lifetime license deal. Here's hoping smiley

So far after a couple days, I'm really liking the VueMinder trial! If I only had the cash i'd buy a lifetime license right now!
4  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: VueMinder calendar at 50% discount - Bits du Jour on: July 20, 2009, 02:03:04 PM
I'm very sad that I missed out on this deal. VueMinder looks like a calendar I'd like to support, although my funds are too limited at the moment to impulse-buy at full price.

I'll use my trial, and see if I find it worth continuing. Maybe I'll get lucky and it'll go back on Bits Du Jour in the near future smiley
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: CD Bank Cataloguer abandoned? on: May 26, 2009, 04:09:50 PM
Don't mean to re-hash a quite-old topic...

But can Qunom not hang on to a domain name? qunomsoft.com seems to have gone to the same (or a similar) black hold that qunom.com ended up in...

Has the site popped up anywhere else? I can't find it on a search.

This was my favorite cataloging software... I really don't want to give it up. But for now, I've switched to InfoLayout.
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad? on: April 13, 2009, 04:07:41 PM
If you buy it for yourself, and use it for yourself, even if it's on the job, I think (hope) that's still considered personal use. I use EmEditor on my home PC and my laptop, which I also use for work, and that was my assumption based on the license.
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad? on: April 12, 2009, 04:45:44 PM
Speaking up for EmEditor again smiley

Its licensing is not per-installation, but per-user. They actually apparently offer two types of licensing; per-user (one user, many computers) or per-computer (one machine, many users). My license is per-user, and the license allows you to install it on 5 machines (no activation or anything, just a key code check).

Since I bought a License for EmEditor back in version 5 or 6, and it's still good in version 8, it's quite generous smiley
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad? on: February 02, 2009, 09:59:17 AM
Update: Sorry, for some reason assumed the attached images would be thumbnailed. Trying to see if I can change the attachments to thumbnails that link to the big ones. My bad smiley

Just a note, EmEditor handles 100+ tabs (in one or multiple windows) very well:
[attach]

It also closes them intelligently if you're not a fan of making 100+ clicks:
[attach]

My favorite thing about it is that when I reinstall Windows or put it on a new machine, I can just install it and go. It already looks intuitive and offers a lot of customization and features/plugins without needing to script, but you don't even need them most of the time. The default interface, options (and plugin list for Pro users) is sufficient for almost everything I need.
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows editors - do they have to be so bad? on: January 30, 2009, 11:41:35 AM
Surprised that this hasn't been mentioned, unless I missed something, but I absolutely love EmEditor.

It supports several types of automatic backups, stored bookmarks in files, a nice tabbed interface, etc.

Not sure exactly what you're looking for with filters, however. EmEditor supports all types of data (text, binary, hex, etc) and includes RegEx find/replace support. If you go with the pro version (totally worth it) you also get many great plugins included.
10  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: TuneUp Utilities 2009 for $9.99. on: December 11, 2008, 11:53:47 AM
I did upgrade and enjoy the new features and improvements, but you're right, there wasn't much added.

My upgrade price was $20 ($10 discount if you use the link within the demo), so I think it was still worth it.

By the way, 2008 already had the disk defragmenter. 2009 adds a shortcut cleaner, some cool aesthetic improvements, and I've found its system recommendations to be handier than past versions.
11  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Software DOD - new discounted software deal web on: February 06, 2008, 03:32:07 PM
Has anyone purchased from this site?

Some of their figures are a bit fishy. Here's an example from their Second Chance page:

Macro Scheduler

Retail: $50.00
Price: $43.50
Discount: 25%

Huh? 25% off of $50 would be more like $37.50
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Directory Opus 9 on: May 19, 2007, 11:23:02 AM
I bought the upgrade, and though it was a little more expensive than I would have liked, it's still a nice piece of software. I am saddened that I still cannot use it to replace Explorer on my 64-bit Vista PC. It works, but then things like the control panel icons (in regular explorer) disappear.

Unfortunately it seemed to be working great while I was testing it, and it does otherwise work well as an explorer replacement on my machine, but it breaks the control panel, Windows update, and probably any other 64-bit applications that are supposed to run through explorer.

I know 64-bit machines aren't supported by GPSoft, but I wonder how complicated it would be to bypass dopus altogether for the 64-bit components while still replacing explorer.
13  DonationCoder.com Software / ProcessTamer / Re: CPU Affinity on: May 10, 2007, 06:15:17 PM
Cool find Ampa, I will have to check that one out as well!

I wonder if AMD's Dual Core Optimizer is affected by any of this software?


Aside to an aside: Hasn't the 'glaring eyes' concept been around in some form or another for many years? (eg. "Big Brother is watching!" and the associated images it conjures of a poster of some authority figure staring and/or pointing at you). Take away people's sense of privacy and they will likely be much less sure of themselves and their actions... Now we're just applying it to less-socially-damaging concepts cheesy (and they even imply it might help combat anti-socialism, though I chuckle reading that).
14  DonationCoder.com Software / ProcessTamer / Re: CPU Affinity on: May 10, 2007, 05:14:37 PM
Your script looks great wr975, I can't wait to get home and try it out!

I'm curious as to what it actually does; which processes does it change the affinity of? Or is it CPU load-based?

I thought maybe looking into S.A.D. Dual-Core-Tuner would give me more info, but all the information I have pulled up so far has been in German and I am much too lazy (or is that "busy at work") to translate at the moment. I'll check more into this tonight too! Anything that will increase the usefulness of my dual core processor deserves further investigation. And I'm glad we already have an AHK alternative thanks to wr975!

beyondlogic.org isn't a bad site either, seems like it has some useful administrative tools! Thanks for the link  Thmbsup

15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A Very Simple Ethical Principle for Search: Google Fails Miserably on: May 08, 2007, 04:06:42 PM
Mandork,

It's getting inevitably harder and harder to avoid that, now that there are so many "search sites" buying up domains and putting up useless collections of useless marketing, and directories of directories, etc. And all these years the Internet has been around, it's still getting easier for absolutely anybody to post absolutely anything on the Internet.

And with more effective indexing methods, search engines will keep picking up more and more of it. If those sites are universally hated, and I'm pretty sure they are, then Google/anyone should come up with a way to filter such junk out of the results. There have got to be patterns. Though I'm sure that would filter out some legit sites who would throw a huge fit unless it were 100% effective (which is essentially impossible). It would be so much easier if all these junk sites would just disappear! That and spam are helping to ruin online experiences everywhere!  mad
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A Very Simple Ethical Principle for Search: Google Fails Miserably on: May 08, 2007, 07:21:02 AM
Yes, it is pretty amazing what Google have gotten their hands into these past few years. They're so far advanced beyond any other "web organization system" I have seen before, whether that be searching or any of their other services, that they don't have any real competition and I don't have anywhere else to turn if all of it goes away at some point, or stops being free, or starts including ridiculous amounts of advertising in the results, or--you get the picture. I don't necessarily see that happening, and I really hope it doesn't since I live in a world partially supplied through Google, heh  cheesy

People have a lot of favorite search engines, but among many of the computer-savvy folks I know, Google is the only answer. That might have to do with its search effectiveness. When I first started using Google I didn't like it particularly more than anything else, except that it was fast and ad-free. However when I stopped asking it questions and started just throwing a bunch of related keywords and phrases at it, and adding operators and learning new search techniques, it instantly became my search engine of choice because of the quality of results it started to return. If that quality starts dissipating, can anyone else even fill Google's enormous shoes in the search technology and research/development departments? Google even has the edge on engines that have been around longer than itself.
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Good programs for helping you manage what programs start with windows? on: May 06, 2007, 03:46:59 PM
... At one point (this was long ago now so I do not remember the details) ...

Do you remember if you were driving XP at the time, or something else?

Yep, it was XP, on my work machine. I had been using it for months with no problem, but it would crash sometimes and I think it was one of those times I lost my managed startup items.
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Good programs for helping you manage what programs start with windows? on: May 06, 2007, 11:36:54 AM
I used StartRight for some time and would recommend it as well. At one point (this was long ago now so I do not remember the details) I simply lost all the items StartRight was managing from my startup list, so that was a little bit frustrating, but all in all it was a great app which introduced me to the wonderful world of delaying startup applications.
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Good programs for helping you manage what programs start with windows? on: May 06, 2007, 11:06:00 AM
This may have been mentioned already, but there was recently a discount here for Chameleon Startup Manager 2 (http://www.neosoft-tools....ndows-startup-manager.htm). I bought it, and I love it. It's small, it's reliable, it can postpone startup items on high CPU load and set startup delays, as well as keep profiles, and in my experience it works a lot better than Startup Guru (which I also own but which I've had a lot of trouble with in the past).

I also really like how you can easily switch the startup location of items between the current and all users in both the start menu and the registry. It gives you a great feeling of control.

EDIT:
Yeah, it was mentioned right above my posts. Whoops! Well let this serve as a shining recommendation for Chameleon Startup Manager!
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: unhealthy amounts of image generators on: May 05, 2007, 11:40:35 AM
Wow!  ohmy

How is anyone supposed to make an educated decision as to which image generator to even use in a full-fledged sea of image generators? That's a lot of links!

And the site doesn't really rate or explain them it seems, aside from (luckily) the short blurb after each title.


Haha, go AdBlock Plus! I really enjoy the image at the top of the page now stating "DISABLED GOOGLE ADS = DISABLED FEATURES!"
I wonder what I'm missing out on.
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A Very Simple Ethical Principle for Search: Google Fails Miserably on: May 05, 2007, 11:28:40 AM
It's too bad (not for google of course) that nobody seems to be able to do what they do, because we have to rely on whatever goes on behind the scenes there to continue to meet our searching needs and desires... As long as they keep getting better, or don't get any worse, that's all fine, but if they ever go too far, or just make some decisions highly frowned upon having to do with advertising, or anything really, what have we got to turn to?

I pretty much lump "every other search engine" in one category and Google over in its own as far as the value I get from it. If that value dissipates, I know of no other company ala-Google who just seems to get (nearly) everything right.

Maybe we'll someday have an open source (albeit less effective I'm sure) alternative for web searching utilizing similar algorithms without the corporate aspect involved. Because of how far Google has expanded, I imagine it would be a gigantic undertaking for any group, and it would probably never be as fast or reliable as Google simply because of their funds and network/server infrastructure.

And web searching aside, I don't know if I could properly function without Gmail anymore either... I fell in love with PocoMail, but rarely even open it up anymore because of Gmail's glory. I've come to rely on Google and their services to supply (or at least direct me to) a lot of my Internet experience.

I guess I agree, Google is the lesser of the (way more than 2) evils out there, and I would rather deal with Google's form of advertising and information collection than just about any other website's out there.
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A Very Simple Ethical Principle for Search: Google Fails Miserably on: May 05, 2007, 09:35:02 AM
But information treatment is only one priority these days... simplicity is one of google's major advantages. Aside from the little one-liners about google services, their home page is almost as empty as it always was and loads just as quickly. There's one box where you can enter whatever the hell you want, and Google will usually find, decipher, or correct whatever it is. Most people don't even realize they can enter search operators into the box to get more specific (I'm a frequent excluder of words in google), and Google probably likes it that way.

You don't have to explain one single thing about them, their page, or how to use Google in general, even to some without any computer knowledge, because it is so incredibly fast and simple. If they only offered an advanced search page, that simplicity would be gone. Even if you didn't enter anything except in the top search box, you have still lost that "empty" simplicity that is Google and replaced it with power features which, for the most part, aren't even necessary if you use operators in the search. I like Google's advanced search feature, but I'm glad they offer the simple one-field search box on their homepage; it's part of the reason I've stuck with Google for so long (aside from the fact that the results I get from Google are often leaps and bounds more relevant than those I get from other engines).

Not only is Google the fastest (at searching and displaying pages) search engine I have ever used, it still manages to be the most powerful. What I find on the first page or two in Google is often what I'd have to browse through pages of results for in other engines. I am also a fan of the fact that when they add new features and services, they generally do it behind the scenes and leave their core service alone (at least seemingly). That consistency is great in a world where so many sites are trying to be the be-all end-all of Internet destinations and are just adding layers and layers of complexity and often useless features. Go Google!
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A Very Simple Ethical Principle for Search: Google Fails Miserably on: May 04, 2007, 07:11:21 PM
Very well said superboyac!  Thmbsup

I also tend to use google now-a-days less for "searching" and more for "getting there" because there isn't much that I'm clueless on how to find anymore. Sometimes even if I know a company's website I'll search for the page I want in google so I don't have to look for the particular link in some other navigation scheme.


Slightly off topic of advertising, but about link relevancy in google...
I don't think any search engine currently developed can actually only return useful information... because people try very hard to get their content as far up the search results as possible. With Google this is much more complex, but the fact is, many relevant sites could care less about search engine placement, and many irrelevant sites will use every trick in the ever-expanding book to increase their search ranking for the very keywords you're looking for; and who's to say which will have the higher PageRank or be listed first? Something that simply parses code and displays results based on the very algorithms thousands of sites try to "persuade". And that's before you even factor in paid advertising which may or may not, now or in the future, be involved in the behind-the-scenes algorithms.

But it's the human aspect in us that lets us easily filter through even Google's results quickly and click on the links we *know* are at least somewhat relevant. I think it is (or should be) the ever-expanding goal of any all-encompassing search algorithm to do more and more of this work for the user so that we can start to see one page of relevant results instead of having to weed through them ourselves. But how does a search algorithm get around the limits of its static nature and those trying to trick it?

I suppose just by becoming more and more complex, and appearing less and less static. But I guess the question then is where do you draw the line? What I consider junk or advertising some users might consider the most relevant results. Perhaps since Google is already doing personalized searches and keeping account profiles, they could implement an adaptive set of algorithms that remember patterns (or the lack of certain patterns) in the results you actually click on and start ranking those types of results higher for you.

Or we could do away with automatic page ranking altogether and each end user could visit and rate every page in google's index for themselves. It might take several years (lifetimes?) but hey, we'd filter out the junk alright!  cheesy

Or, less sarchastically, it could be a collective project... have an open search engine which parses google's results but allows page rankings to be submitted by users (through a firefox extension maybe) which would average out, or be weighed somehow, and which would override google's rank for that particular site and place it accordingly in the results. Granted it would take some time before the database was large enough to make a collective difference, and would then be subject to its own need for filtering out junk that is submitted, but it would be one way of adding the 'human' aspect into google's search results without losing google's great algorithms and without relying on the page's webmaster or their code to define its relevance.

But I don't know how easy or fast it would be to filter through large numbers of google results in order to re-organize them on the fly. Google is quite fast though!

*EDIT*
More on point with mouser's topic, the above mentioned collective project could also allow junk sites, advertising sites, etc. to be re-ranked, or filtered out entirely based on user submittals... and maybe even its own algorithms and/or filters based on common junk/spam techniques or domains/URLs
24  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: The Best Introductory Language on: May 01, 2007, 04:26:49 PM
I got started with Basic, followed immediately thereafter by Visual Basic 5 Learning Edition. That was quite enlightening, and really opened the door for all my future programming endeavors, from C++/VC++ to PHP to Java and C# and everything inbetween. It might not be the best place to start, but it seemed much less complex than any variation of C at the time and since I was a kid that was OK with me!

Rather than pick a specific language to start learning, I would recommend getting a free copy of Visual Studio 2005 Express Edition and having a look at some sample projects in the various languages, or trying out some simple tutorials in each of them, to figure out which one is easiest for you to wrap your head around. In the end most languages can do most things you want them to, but with extremely varied levels of ease and success. It's all about preference.

Last year I "watched" a couple of webcasts to get a free copy of Visual Studio 2005 Standard (was linked to from this forum) and I'm really glad I did, it has been my tool of choice ever since. Well, except for web programming because I have not found a good reason to take the plunge away from PHP yet (nor have I really been looking for one. I love PHP.)
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: CD Bank Cataloguer abandoned? on: April 26, 2007, 07:55:28 PM
Good to know I'm not the only one here. I thought it was a great product too. I've got about 1/2 of my burned, random discs from the past 10 years or so cataloged and I've already found a number of files I deemed long lost years ago. But now I've got the other 1/2 of my them sitting out and I'm wondering... do I spend the time and enter them into CD bank or am I going to have to put them all into different software anyway if Qonum never turns up?

I was figuring maybe their domain was in Redemption and they were gonna wait it out, but if that was the case it should have been released months ago. Which leads me to wonder why it's still for sale. There are links on almost every major shareware site on the 'net to www.qonum.com, you'd think someone else would have at least snatched it up by now. Or maybe sedo's just asking too much.

Who knows...
... Well, hopefully someone.

It kind of sucks it's on so many shareware sites because that makes it nearly impossible to find anything else. It would be a true shame indeed if this is the end of CD Bank's development.
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