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26  DonationCoder.com Software / Screenshot Captor / Re: Feature Request: SC to freeze the on-screen display prior to clipping an image. on: May 11, 2015, 08:37:12 AM
...This is repeatable. ...

Erm, well that's no longer true...    embarassed
Having rebooted the laptop, I am pleased, but embarrassed to report that the apparent "constraint" I was moaning about no longer applies. In both cases, SC captures the stuff after nicely freezing the screen.

I'm now wondering if it ever was a constraint in SC, or just in fact a problem in my own laptop's system.
The only thing I can think might have caused it was my TouchPad mouse, which had been behaving very strangely, so I uninstalled it and restarted the laptop, whereupon the TouchPad was auto-reinstalled. The TouchPad is now working fine, and so is SC.

My apologies for a false alarm and wasting your time.
27  DonationCoder.com Software / Screenshot Captor / Re: Feature Request: SC to freeze the on-screen display prior to clipping an image. on: May 11, 2015, 06:15:47 AM
I was using the region-capture mode Shift+PrtScr, but the pop-up window(s) in all cases closed before SC froze the screen. The cross-hairs then capture the screen after the pop-ups have closed. This is repeatable.

This is in Win8.1-64 PRO, using Classic Start Menu's Taskbar to pop up the little Systray "Show hidden icons". In Customise, there was another information pop-up - all as captured by OneNote, in the image above.

It seemed to me that the keystrokes to engage the capture were closing the pop-up message before SC engaged.

I observed this difficulty in SC some time ago, but it was only today when it got in my way that I thought to mention it.
28  DonationCoder.com Software / Screenshot Captor / Feature Request: SC to freeze the on-screen display prior to clipping an image. on: May 11, 2015, 04:09:09 AM
Feature Request: SC freezes the on-screen display as soon as it is invoked, allowing the user to take their time to frame the section clip.

I am putting this in as a feature request as I can't see how to get SC to do this using the existing settings.
(See the emboldened/italicised bits in the cross-post, below.)
_____________________________________
Re: NoteFrog Pro (clipboard information manager) - Mini-Review

I have already sent Berry 2 test reports and have just now sent him a third - the latter about what I have termed "the Systray problem".
The symptoms are that sometimes, after being minimised/closed to the Systray, NF disappears from the Systray, though the process appears to continue.
The collage of screenshots below is intended to explain it, and what I could find out about it.

[attach]

I am providing the screenshot not so much as to describe an apparent error/bug, but rather to demonstrate how useful Screenshot Captor can be in problem analysis cases like this - where "a picture is worth a thousand words".
The picture is comprised of a sort of collage of different screenshot bits, starting with the first - which was of the Task Bar and Process Hacker window (which were side-by-side) - and then overlaying other screenshot clips and adding a text box and arrows, and expanding the canvas in SC (Objects-->Expand canvas to fit objects).
I'm sure I could have made it look nicer, if I took the time, but the thing is it would have been difficult for me to do this without using SC. SC really is a superbly crafted and useful tool for such purposes.   Thmbsup

The only constraint in using SC in this case seems to be in taking any screenshot of an area of the screen which contains a system pop-out window - and there were 2 such instances in this case. SC couldn't take such a clip without closing the pop-out window first, every time I tried it. The Windows Snipping Tool and the ABBYY Screenshot Reader weren't any better, but the OneNote Screen Clipping tool did the job just right as it freezes the on-screen display as soon as it is invoked, allowing the user to take their time to frame the section clip.

I shall cross-post this in the SC discussion forum, as a request to add similar functionality to SC.
_____________________________________
29  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: NoteFrog Pro (clipboard information manager) - Mini-Review on: May 11, 2015, 03:49:23 AM
I have already sent Berry 2 test reports and have just now sent him a third - the latter about what I have termed "the Systray problem".
The symptoms are that sometimes, after being minimised/closed to the Systray, NF disappears from the Systray, though the process appears to continue.
The collage of screenshots below is intended to explain it, and what I could find out about it.

[attach]

I am providing the screenshot not so much as to describe an apparent error/bug, but rather to demonstrate how useful Screenshot Captor can be in problem analysis cases like this - where "a picture is worth a thousand words".
The picture is comprised of a sort of collage of different screenshot bits, starting with the first - which was of the Task Bar and Process Hacker window (which were side-by-side) - and then overlaying other screenshot clips and adding a text box and arrows, and expanding the canvas in SC (Objects-->Expand canvas to fit objects).
I'm sure I could have made it look nicer, if I took the time, but the thing is it would have been difficult for me to do this without using SC. SC really is a superbly crafted and useful tool for such purposes.   Thmbsup

The only constraint in using SC in this case seems to be in taking any screenshot of an area of the screen which contains a system pop-out window - and there were 2 such instances in this case. SC couldn't take such a clip without closing the pop-out window first, every time I tried it. The Windows Snipping Tool and the ABBYY Screenshot Reader weren't any better, but the OneNote Screen Clipping tool did the job just right as it freezes the on-screen display as soon as it is invoked, allowing the user to take their time to frame the section clip.

EDIT 2015-05-12 0146hrs: Having rebooted the laptop, I am pleased to report that the apparent "constraint" in SC no longer applies. In both cases, SC captures the stuff after nicely freezing the screen.
The only thing I can think might have caused it was my TouchPad mouse, which had been behaving very strangely, so I uninstalled it and restarted the laptop, whereupon the TouchPad was auto-reinstalled. The TouchPad is now working fine, and so is SC.
30  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: May 10, 2015, 10:34:06 AM
...Money.  It blinds the eye, and this is just another example of that.

Well, it's an inability to see all right, but an inability to see reason, and the cause is arguably attributable to just not thinking things through - a human trait that we may all share until we've learned to do otherwise. A backlash would otherwise have been a pretty predictable likely/potential outcome, and thus it would seem unsurprising that that (amongst other things) is what happened. It was unwittingly self-inflicted harm.
Any CEO who approved taking steps like that without considering the potential marketing consequences (which is apparently what happened) would arguably need to have rocks in his head. I think that's what is cynically referred to as a "career-defining moment", or something.
31  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The Best List of Free Windows Security Software on the Web on: May 09, 2015, 11:06:01 AM
Thanks. Great list.
Odd. I have FF v38.0 beta, and it makes no objection to the absence of an "s" in the URL prefix http://...
It never has objected to it either, as far as I recall.

I live in a 5th floor apt. Not sure if that might make a difference.
32  DonationCoder.com Software / Clipboard Help+Spell / Re: CLIPBOARD HELP+SPELL LATEST VERSION INFO THREAD - v2.29.0 - Apr 28, 2015 on: May 09, 2015, 10:55:21 AM
On 2015-05-09 using CHS v2.29.0, I got a spurious error:
Quote
Access violation at address 0080DF94 in module
'ClipboardHeIpAndSpeII.exe'. Read of address 00000008.


I was busy editing notes in CHS at the time.
The error did not stop the CHS process, but I closed CHS down and restarted it anyway, just in case, and then got CHS to Verify, Repair, Optimize database .
33  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: May 09, 2015, 03:15:34 AM
The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again...
(Rather tongue-in-cheek article below, copied sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Keurig CEO Blames Coffee Pod DRM For Falling Sales | TechCrunch
In what amounts to a win for the anti-DRM crowd, Keurig CEO Brian Kelley said the 23% drop in sales came from his move to prevent coffee lovers from using unofficial K-Cups in its 2.0 machines. After the company’s patent on the K-Cup expired, the company added a lock to its new machines to prevent the use of refillable cups and cups from outside manufacturers. Users also filed a lawsuit after the company introduced the new cups.

The share price also dropped 25% since the beginning of 2015.

The new 2.0 machines required a specially coded coffee pod, thereby locking competitors out of the coffee pod game. One pod maker, the Rogers Family Company, fought back by offering a free plastic clip that simply convinced the machine that it was perpetually using the correct pods.

Although the way forward for 2.0 users isn’t yet clear, the company is reintroducing the My K-Cup device which allows users to put their own coffee into a reusable pod. “Quite honestly, we were wrong. We underestimated the passion the consumer had for this,” said Kelley in an analyst call regarding the cup. They are also hard at work at a presumably non-DRMed cold brewing solution.
34  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: May 09, 2015, 02:10:53 AM
PRODUCT FAIL:
The Samsung GT B2710 ruggedised mobile phone.
Branded as being near-indestructible, this phone:
  • Can withstand being dropped repeatedly from 3 meters onto hard concrete, with no significant damage, and function normally afterwards.
  • Can be left immersed in water, yet still ring when called whilst under water and function normally afterwards.
  • Can withstand being driven over by a car, repeatedly, with no distortion of the case or significant damage, and function normally afterwards.
  • Has an incredibly hard, scratch-resistant display.

I tested all of these aspects of the phone, and found them to be true.
However, a major design flaw was exposed when I discovered a couple of weeks back that, if you wrap the phone in a towel and put it in a microwave oven and radiate it for 20 seconds, then it produces acrid, vile-smelling smoke and cannot function afterwards - though the SIM and memory card seem to be OK.

"Ruggedised" my #rse.    thumb down
35  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Fax Software on: May 09, 2015, 01:46:13 AM
...Many programs assume they can write files in the folder where the exe is.  I usually create an .ini file for my AHK programs in the same folder as the AHK utility.  From Vista on the system has gotten progressively more persnickety about writing to Program Files folders.  To avoid running everything As Administrator on W8 I took ownership of all the files in the Program Files and Program Files (x86) folders.  It's a pita.  If the error occurs in XP then it is likely some other issue.
It is not recommended o take ownership of either all of C: or the Windows folder.  Just in case anyone was considering that as a quick solution.  smiley
______________________________

^ That's why I install almost all software to a custom folder instead, although that obviously doesn't solve every permissions issue.
______________________________

^^ +1 for that. I've tended to do that (install to custom folders rather than in Program Files) more and more over the years, to combat the increasing lengths the user has to go to, to defeat the growing number of seemingly unnecessarily restrictive system "security policies" and bugs therein.
36  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930 - Mini-Review on: May 09, 2015, 12:08:41 AM
That's curious. The issues I had were with what was the "latest" version at the time, not the more recent version which you refer to. However, one thing I made a note of was that the versions prefixed "LGS" did not seem to work, whereas those prefixed "G930" did seem to work - albeit imperfectly.

One of the things I need is the control panel display for the headphones, and the newer software didn't seem to operate that properly or as well as the older versions.
37  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Dayu Disk Master Pro giveaway on: May 08, 2015, 11:21:09 PM
^^ Yes:
  • GOTD = Risky. Potentially nothing but trouble. Untrustworthy. Dayu Disk Master offer probably a case in point.
  • BitsDuJour = usually pretty straight up and down, reliable, and informs the user of what they will be getting - but always read "the fine print" so as you get no surprises.
38  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: A Few Hundred More Retro Games To Enjoy For Free. on: May 08, 2015, 11:06:14 PM
... This is going to be fun...
___________________________

That's what I thought too.
39  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Logitech Wireless Gaming Headset G930 - Mini-Review on: May 08, 2015, 11:39:44 AM
@lanux128's comments reminded me to update the mini-review.
2015-05-09: Updated software/driver version and some review notes, after having used these headphones for about three years now.
You will notice that I am using a relatively old software/driver version compared to the latest version available. This is because the older version seems to work better than the newest version.
40  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: sharepoint question on: May 08, 2015, 07:44:11 AM
Not sure if this will be of any use, but I recall from implementing a Sharepoint site for a client several years back that, if the Sharepoint site is within an Intranet, then it is possible to view the files as being on a mapped drive in the network attaching to that Intranet - assuming you have the access rights.
This was handy for fast loading of files up into the Sharepoint system. I think it also worked the other way too - for downloading files from the Sharepoint to a local PC on the network.
Not sure whether this would work the same across the Internet to a Cloud-based Sharepoint site, though I would presume that, if it was all part of a virtual Intranet, then it should work the same.
41  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Fax Software on: May 08, 2015, 04:26:16 AM
The above suggestions look pretty handy to me, but they are not cheap and @brahman seems adamant that he wants free software, and for it to run using his existing "Agere based LSI USB modem".
He's already using Windows Fax and Scan, but he "cannot send a fax because of some write protection BS message."

Yet @40hz says "Personally, I just use Windows Fax & Scan ... never had a problem with any write protection stuff on Windows XP, 7, and 8."

So @brahman already has an apparently perfectly good modem, and the appropriate and $FREE software - and that all should meet his requirements.
However, it's apparently not working properly on send fax.
So, maybe we are looking at it all wrong, and simply need to eliminate the cause of the error "write protection message".

I don't know much about that modem, but I would presume that:
(a) IF the modem device had all the necessary and up-to-date firmware and drivers for that modem, and was suitable for whatever version of Windows he was using, and
(b) IF the Windows Fax & Scan was up-to-date, then
(c) there should be no error or write protection message.

So lets help him get up to that state and see if the problem goes away, and, if it doesn't, then we carry out some problem analysis with him.
42  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Dayu Disk Master Pro giveaway on: May 08, 2015, 03:19:39 AM
The GOTD Disk Master Pro giveaway looks enticing, but pay attention to what @MilesAhead says.
It parallels my own experience, where I have learned to be wary of anything from GOTD.
Risky. Potentially nothing but trouble.
43  DonationCoder.com Software / Screenshot Captor / Re: Automatic take a screenshor if part of the screen changes on: May 08, 2015, 03:08:56 AM
Interesting idea.
That might also be handy in the case of (say) where you are running through a security CCTV recording of a fixed view where the scene was rarely-changing, looking for any incidents, and wanted to automate the detection of a scene-change.
If you did that, you would probably need to ensure that the screenshot captured the video elapsed time counter as well, to establish at what point the screenshot occurs in the video.

Having said that, it would probably be better/faster to establish the occurrence of a scene-change by scanning the video data itself, rather than a display of the video.
Mind you, I gather that  neither of the above methods are likely to be able to capture the movement of an alien life-form across the scene. We know that because no-one has so far succeeded in capturing an image of them as they move amongst us.
44  DonationCoder.com Software / Screenshot Captor / Re: Delete or cut and paste selected region on: May 08, 2015, 02:17:14 AM
To Copy:
  • Select the region you are interested in.
  • Ctrl+C will copy that region to the clipboard, and you can paste it wherever you want, from the Clipboard.

To Delete:
  • Select the region you are interested in.
  • Note: You cannot delete the selected area using the Delete key.
  • You can effectively delete it by obscuring it or completely overwriting the selected area with one of the many options - for example (say), overlay it with a note, or a blank area for a note, or use one of the selections from the SpecialFX1 or SpecialFX2 ("Patch text/contents of selected region with background" is pretty nifty.)
  • You could also delete it by overlaying it with another image clipped from somewhere else.

If you are making multiple copies - (say) each one a different area of an image - for pasting elsewhere later, then consider using CHS (Clipboard Help & Spell) as an aid in this. CHS will store and display all the clips on demand, for you to choose for subsequent pasting at a later time/date.
45  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: May 07, 2015, 09:01:03 AM
@Renegade: Well, some people (not me, you understand) might say that this is simply batsh#t crazy, but I couldn't possibly comment.

My mother always reckoned that people who were slightly mad or ill-suited to, and unable to function happily and properly in open society, but who were nevertheless well-intentioned and posed no real threat to society, were generally best kept in safe places where they could live without harm from the rest of society and maybe fulfil some useful purpose. She said that in the old days, it was unfortunately the lunatic asylum and the poor-houses where they tended to end up, but society had adapted and made the most of these peoples' limited abilities to cope with and/or contribute to society - examples being nuns in convents, monks in monasteries, and academics in ivory towers, most of whom perform often valuable services to their community/society.

In New Zealand, they have broken from a somewhat disgraceful historical tendency to throw anybody "different" into a lunatic asylum, where the inhabitants were then variously abused, tortured and experimented upon, and who then became thoroughly institutionalised and completely unable to cope in the outside world. The break came when the IHC organisation (which grew from the Society for Intellectually Handicapped Children), hit on the idea of putting these intellectually handicapped/retarded or just slightly mad people out to live in houses scattered throughout towns, which the IHC had bought for that purpose. There was an uproar and formalised protest aplenty from people who would fearfully exclaim, "I don't want no crazy people living next door to me and my family!", but it quietened down when nothing bad seemed to come of it.
My house happened to be next door to one of the first IHC houses to be used in this grand experiment. I used to chat to the inhabitants over the garden fence, and I recall one in particular - a woman who was stuck at the mental age of 11 or so. She would stick her head out of her upstairs bedroom window, which overlooked our garden, wanting to chat to anyone in our family who went out into the garden. Apart from being a bit of a persistent nuisance, she was no problem at all - just a child. She died from a broken neck in a fall downstairs - pushed accidentally, I think, whilst playing with some of the inmates of the house. We all rather missed her.
46  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / A Few Hundred More Retro Games To Enjoy For Free. on: May 07, 2015, 07:26:43 AM
A Few Hundred More Retro Games To Enjoy For Free | Gizmo's Freeware
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Submitted by rob.schifreen | Last update on 6th May, 2015 - 9:22am

If the terms "Jet Set Willy" or "Manic Miner" or "Jetpac" are familiar to you, you probably remember a home computer from the 1980s called the Sinclair Spectrum. It was designed and made in Britain, but also popular around the world. Many of its most popular games became classics, and it's now possible to play many of them on your PC via an emulator. You'll need to be using the Chrome browser to try this. Assuming that you are, head to https://chrome.google.com...l-speccy-portable/jfkpejk... to download the Unreal Speccy Portable add-on, which includes the Spectrum emulator and a load of ready-to-play games. Note that the installer will probably put an icon on your desktop, from which you can launch the emulator. In my own tests, there was no obvious way to start it from within the browser itself.
47  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Wizard101 - online game $FREE and $PAID membership on: May 07, 2015, 07:23:11 AM
Summary: Go play it - Wizard101.

Description of why:
My now 13 ½yo daughter and one of her friends have been playing the online game Wizard101 ($FREE) for a year or more, and they introduced it to my now 4½yo when he had turned 4, since which time he has proceeded to develop and train 6 wizards in his account (6 is the max no. of wizards allowed in an account) from 6 different magical "schools" - there are 7 schools in all. Wizard 101 seems t be loosely-based on the model of "wizard school" as set out in the Harry Potter stories.
My son has brought up his wizards from where they started at Level 1, to now Levels 14 to 20 (levels go up to a hundred, but you probably would have to become a paying member for that. On the way to getting to this point, he has developed and later deleted some wizards where he made mistakes or choices in their development and where he wanted to see if he could do better or differently by starting them afresh, or trying another school.

Not only is the game fun to play, but it is rather complex, and if the player wants to aim for optimum development and duelling skills (against other wizards and against baddies) of any given wizard, then the playing choices are confusingly multi-faceted and interwoven/interdependent to some extent. I started playing the game with him, helping him along, and by the time I had rather lost interest in it, he had started to become proficient, and he has now gone on to discover things about the game that I had not known of or understood, and I would say that he now understands the game well and in many instances better than I do. The thing that I reckoned would hold him back was his inability to read. Though there are audio tracks where people artefacts in the game give hints and "Quests" for players to undertake (the audio being presented at the same time as text), there are large chunks of the game that necessitate reading skills and numerical comparison of things like health points, mana, spell strengths, etc.

To my great surprise, he has done what I have read about children doing - they memorise the pattern of a word or phrase, and can tell you what it "says", without being able to properly read - so his memory skills are being developed. Furthermore, his numerical comparison and reasoning skills have been raised so that he can cope on his own and no longer needs my help in playing, except in some of the most complicated tasks around arranging an optimum mix for a wizard's skills, powers and magical equipment (redolent of the old RPG approach, but done in a GUI).

The above just scratches the surface of Wizard101. Non-paying members find that they are stuck in the main, initial realm, and unable to proceed to play the game in some specific certain places in that realm, until they start to pay $ to join up. However, apart from this limitation, the game is not crippled and can continue to be played for free in the initial realm, discovering new parts that open up to a wizard as he/she ascends the skill levels.

Wizards have finite max. stores of health points and mana points. As the wizard develops, the max levels increase, and can be further augmented/increased by using appropriate magical paraphernalia. Health and mana need to be recharged after they have been reduced in the game (in using magic and in undertaking magic duels), and there are floating "wisps" that wizards can bump into to get a small recharge.
To get from A to B - and there's a lot of that to be done (maps help to teach you the lie of the land) - Wizards can either walk/run, or travel on a "mount" (e.g., including flying broomsticks and flying dragons). After they get to a certain level, they can also "teleport" from one place to another, which uses up a small amount of mana each time.
If a $FREE-playing wizard has made a "friend" of a wizard on a $PAID account in a higher level, then the first wizard can teleport to their friend - whether the latter is in the same realm, or in his castle, or in a different realm - to play, and at no cost. Very shrewd of the game developers to offer "sampling" like that.

All in all, Wizard 101 seems to be a superb game, and one that I would highly recommend - for game adepts and for children of 4yo and over, alike. It would be great fun for the former, and almost certainly developmental for the latter - and possibly for their parents too!    cheesy
48  DonationCoder.com Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: Latest FARR Release 2.223.01 - April 28, 2015 on: May 07, 2015, 05:09:19 AM
@mouser: Regarding the difficult-to-read Options panel of FARR:
The FARR Options panel still has small fonts that are difficult-to-read.
The CHS Options panel has fonts that look a bit different, just as small, but which are not so difficult-to-read.
The ProcessTamer Options panel has fonts that look different again, just as small, but which are not so difficult-to-read.
The ScreenshotCaptor Options panel has fonts that look near-identical to the CHS Options panel.

After close inspection, I think the FARR fonts look as though they are less thick (maybe not so many pixels wide/dense?), but I can't be sure.

It occurred to me that these applications may not all use the same display output standards, and that if you were to standardise them to a common display output standard - (say) one that matched CHS or ScreenshotCaptor - then the problem for those users' displays affected might go away.
If you did that, then it might be a good idea to increase the font size used as a standard as well, since it could well be borderline-legible for many users wearing reading glasses or (like me) laptop-reading glasses. (The latter have lower magnification and a deeper depth-of-field to reading glasses.)
49  DonationCoder.com Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: Latest FARR Release 2.223.01 - April 28, 2015 on: May 07, 2015, 04:30:16 AM
@mouser:
 tellme   Looks like it's all fixed from my perspective.    Thmbsup
That is, unlike @phitsc, I get all 4 (not just Nos. 1 and 2) of the test alias searches to work OK now.
This is using FARR v2.224.01 (Beta), which I just now downloaded and installed.
The 4 search strings are (as above):
Quote
1. C:\Users\Iain\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome SxS\Application\chrome.exe https://duckduckgo.com
2. C:\Users\Iain\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome SxS\Application\chrome.exe "https://duckduckgo.com"
3. "C:\Users\Iain\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome SxS\Application\chrome.exe" https://duckduckgo.com
4. "C:\Users\Iain\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome SxS\Application\chrome.exe" "https://duckduckgo.com"

The test PC is a Toshiba Satellite L855D laptop,  and OS is Win8.1-64 PRO, with all auto-updates current to date.
50  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: MS Project questions on: May 06, 2015, 11:21:34 PM
Sorry. I thought this thread was about helping Kalos with MS Project. thumb down
_________________________

My apologies. I can quite see why you would say/think this at this point. You are arguably not entirely wrong in your approach so far, nor entirely right. The focus is, or was, on helping Kalos with his questions.

After years of lecturing, consulting and generally trying to maintain a politely helpful and positive approach to people's questions (including being a Help Desk second-tier technical support specialist and a volunteer on aardvark, and setting up and managing Service Desk operations), I eventually decided on four basic rules:
  • Rule 1: that there is no limit to our ignorance (including mine), and I should accept that;
  • Rule 2: to limit the contribution of my cognitive surplus to such people and their infinite ignorance/questions, by encouraging them to take more responsibility for seeking out/discovering their own answers (which is how I generally go about reducing my own level of ignorance).
  • Rule 3: that people generally seem to have little respect for and to have a limited capacity to internalise answers/knowledge which have come too easily to them, so generally avoid giving them any answers.
  • Rule 4: in any event, avoid "telling them the answer" or pushing my opinion forwards without substantiation in theory, experience and good practice (this takes work to communicate).

When I have strayed from these rules, I have usually regretted it.

Therefore, IF I decide to assist people at all, then - and even if I think that I know the answer already - I nowadays usually google it or DuckGo it, or check Wikipedia (say) or RTFM for them, and then send them the results or source links, with the suggestion that  they could probably get even more useful information if they hunted around a bit more themselves or (say) played about with a google (or other) search string.

So where I do decide to help people with their questions, my greatest contribution is by doing what I have generally found to be most effective - simply stick with making the effort to try to help people to help themselves - and I put quite a bit of work into that effort.

Having been responsible for recruiting, managing and coaching project managers, for the coaching I would usually take the approach above, and which I also took in this case.
I suppose I could have added a reference to: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=MS+Project+Inside+Out

The implications of this would probably be apparent in the context of (say) this discussion thread.
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