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Topics - jgpaiva [ switch to compact view ]

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Scancode just mentioned this on the irc channel.
Toogle is a fun web tool to create ascii art based on a google query. You search for something, and it returns you an ascii'ed image related with that:

And here are a few examples (click to see original):

Mini-Reviews by Members / RocketDock minireview
« on: February 10, 2008, 06:38 AM »
Basic Info

App NameRocketDock
App Version Reviewed1.3.5
Test System Specs
Laptop Acer 1690: centrino m 2.0ghz, 1gb ddr2, win XP Pro SP2
Supported OSesWindows 2000/XP/Vista
Support MethodsOnline help. Can't find email
Pricing SchemeFreeware
Reviewer Donation LinkDonate to jgpaiva, the Author
Relationship btwn. Reviewer and Product none


RocketDock is a dock program, similar to ObjectDock, YZDock, etc.
I have already used previous versions, but now i was about to try it again and thought i could take you on this trip too ;)

Ok, so after a 6MB download and a standard install.. Here's how it looks:

That's the default bar, with 2 applications minimized. Notice how the msn-messenger window and the x-chat window got minimized to the Dock.

Both msn and x-chat have the "blink taskbar button" feature.. Let's see if it works while they are minimized to the Dock. (notice that i don't have vista, thus i can't test the live previews).
Ok... Sweet, the blink icon works, the app starts jumping up and down on the dock.

Right, so let's open the options.
ALWAYS ON TOP???? Damn you people! Ok, that's like so bad that if i wasn't doing this review I'd given up on it already.

So.. on to the preferences. The first page shows some interesting options. I specially like "open running application instance".  I tested it and it works pretty well.

The second tab has some dock behaviour settings (like zoo, zoom effect, quality, etc). Nothing very interesting here.

Third tab.. Position. Cool, it can be placed on any position on the edges and even off the edges, with an offset up to 128px. And it updates the position in realtime! I'm surprised :)

Next.. Style! Ok.. Lots of themes to choose from and updates on realtime too. Cool :)

Now on to "Behaviour": just a few options like "autohide" or "icon attention effect".

Ok.. I just found a small problem: Screenshot Captor won't minimize anymore. Not good.

Who is this app designed for:

Anyone who doesn't use FARR, will potentially be interested in RocketDock ;)
It's a great launcher, and the fact that it can dock running apps just makes it even better ;)

The Good

Well.. Invariably, in this kind of apps, the first thing we notice is how it looks good. RocketDock makes a great impression in that field, with lots of pre-bundled themes (and possibility of downloading even more from the web).
It also has a beautiful  :-* minimize animation (even though it's a bit too slow).
Interesting also, is the fact that it uses high quality icons, even when windows doesn't use them:

Minimize running apps is a great feature, and apparently now it's working way better than the last time i tested it, as it only gives me trouble with SC.

The needs improvement section

Ok.. There are 2 obvious items in this section: the "preferences always on top" "feature" and the minimize running apps problem.

About the first: What's up with that? It's not a good idea, it's annoying as hell and anyone who does that should be ran over by a truck.

About the second: there have been huge improvements since the last time i tried this, now it really is usable (last time apps would disappear, or stay on screen when minimized, etc etc etc). BUT it still has problems with SC, which can't be minimized through the minimize button, and when i minimize it with ahk, it gets in the dock, but still remains on screen in the following form:

There's also 3 other problems:
It doesn't have tabs on the bars like ObjectDock which might be useful for some, and it doesn't support disk browsing like LaunchBar Commander does (or any other menus, for that matter).
It also doesn't support tray icon docking, which doesn't allow it to fully replace the windows taskbar :(

Why I think you should use this product

Overall, it's a pretty good app, and way more mature than the last time i tried it. Right now, and while mouser's LaunchBar Commander is "under development", this is a cool free alternative to ObjectDock, specially for those that don't need to launch lots of programs.
It's easy to configure, easy to add and remove programs from, and looks good. Definitely recommendable.

How does it compare to similar apps

Well.. I think i sort of already covered that in the above points :)


Even though I'm not much of a launch-bar kind of guy, i think this'd be the kind of stuff I'd recommend to people who like Mac OSX's Dock or are just looking for a simple launchbar to launch their frequent shortcuts.

Ok, so by this point everyone already knows that opera is the best browser in the world. Then, you also know that M2 is the best email client in the world. And that Gmail is the best email provider in the world.

The problem arises when you combine them.

Gmail uses a tag approach for email. And then, they map this to folders. Then, opera downloads those and considers it's stuff in different folders, and from then on, the whole thing becomes stupid.

Imagine you have a bunch of gmail filters in place. When I receive an email from DC, it comes into my inbox, and gets tagged "donationcoder". (also don't forget that all mails in gmail are under the "all mail" tag).
So... I receive an email from DC, and opera informs me that i have 3 new emails, ALL EXACTLY THE SAME, but in different folders.

Then i find that opera has a "ignore imap folders" option! I set it to ignore all but the "all mail" folder, and life is good... Until i receive the next email, repeated 3 times again. That happens because opera somehow forgot about that "ignore" setting and isn't ignoring any of the folders again.

So now i have a few options:
  • I try to figure out why it is ignoring the settings (maybe someone here knows)
  • I go back to POP (and risk it losing some mails) (and redownload all my email!  >:()
  • I configure GMail so that it doesn't have any labels and sends every mail directly to the all mail tag.
  • 9mm

What do you think?

General Software Discussion / Digital ink/tablet pc: worth the effort?
« on: February 01, 2008, 06:21 AM »
Ok, so my father needs a new laptop.

We already settled that it needs to be a small computer (12''/13''), but now the doubt came up: should it be a tablet pc?

I understand that a tablet pc is better for reading stuff because you can use it just like a paper sheet. My doubt is with the usefulness of the digital pen, which they advertise as being "the way of the future"(tm) (f0dder :P), but i just can't find REAL useful uses for it, and think that my father would just get tired of using it.

So, i'd like your opinions, whether you have a tablet pc or not, on how useful is this, and if you use it whenever you can.


Mini-Reviews by Members / FastStone MaxView Mini-Review
« on: January 31, 2008, 06:37 PM »
    Basic Info

    App NameFastStone MaxView
    App URLhttp://www.faststone.../FSMaxViewDetail.htm
    App Version ReviewedV. 2.1
    Test System SpecsLaptop Acer 1690: centrino m 2.0ghz, 1gb ddr2, win XP Pro SP2
    Supported OSesWindows 98SE, ME, NT, 2000, XP, Vista
    Pricing SchemeDonationware :)
    Author Donation linkDonate to the autor of MaxView
    Reviewer Donation LinkDonate to jgpaiva, the Author
    Relationship btwn. Reviewer and Product None. Just a happy user!


    This is just the simplest image view ever.


    Who is this app designed for:

    This app is intended for anyone who has lots of photos, and is looking for a application better suited then the default windows image viewer.

    The Good

    • Fast: It come up as fast as the default windows viewer (which uses already-loaded windows stuff, AFAIK)
    • Good shortcuts: What's better than one-key shortcuts?
            enter or f for "toggle full-screen",
            e to edit with external program (like
            l or r to rotate left/right,

    • exif support!! It reads the exif and rotates the image accordingly. It also displays all exif information

    • Borderless/captionless window: nothing simpler, all i want to see when i open an image is the image itself, i don't care for anything else. It can also open the image on fullscreen by default.

    • Smart edges when on fullscreen: if you move the cursor to the top edge, the menu comes up. If you move it to the right edge, exif information comes up. If you move to the bottom edge, the taskbar is shown! How many times have you pressed the windows key to check if someone said something on msn while you were watching a slideshow?

    • Zoom on mouse click: similar to XYplorer's "Mouse Down Blow Up", while you keep the mouse button down, the image zooms to 2x (that's the default, can be changed), and returns the original size on button release.

    • Resize to predefined/custom sizes: press ctrl-r and a dialog comes up. (actually i just found about this :P)

    • The slideshow features: customizable time, fade effects, and pause/play on mouse click! (how useful is that? ;) )

    • There are other interesting features i didn't mention because i don't use that much:
      • Email the image
      • Zoom on parts of the image (ctrl+drag on image)
      • Simple editor (highlight parts, write text, watermark, etc..)
      • Image smoothing.. ETC!

    The needs improvement section
    • The thing that most annoys me in maxview is the fact that it doesn't precache the images, which makes it be a bit slower than it could be. (not that it's very noticeable, though). edit: actually, i just compared it with windows image preview, and it isn't slower.. I possibly was sleepy when i came to this conclusion before :)

    • I also don't like the fact that there isn't an option to allow dragging on image instead of zoom when on windowed mode. (this makes me zoom in the image instead of moving it, every time i try to drag the window) Edit: This feature exists and works great! You only have to drag with the right mouse button!

    • Even though the email feature is really neat, there doesn't seem to be any option to set an external email program, and it doesn't use the system default, only uses outlook, which makes this feature unnusable for us software junkies :) edit: it uses the system default setting, see Perry's post below!

    Why I think you should use this product
    Well... If you're still using Windows picture and fax viewer, you DEFINITELY should at least try this, it's a huge improvement and you'll never go back :P

    How does it compare to similar apps
    OK, I've already compared to windows picture and fax viewer, I'll just make a small comparison with irfanview.
    DISCLAIMER: i haven't used irfanview in a while, thus, i might be out of date/forgotten about my comments. If so, please correct me below.
    I'm almost sure irfanview was slower, and had a bunch of features i didn't really need (like the picture browser and alike). Also, it missed THE most important feature: rotate on exif information.


    I surely recommend this utility, it has made a huge difference in the way i visualize images, and i don't need to manually rotate pictures anymore! :D
    I think it's really well-though, every small detail needed in a image viewer is present, making it a joy to use.
    It's just simple, complete and freeware, you can't go wrong with that combination!

    Just a few more screenshots:

    PS: i'll add the images in a bit Done![/list]

    I thought some of you would like this. I know i do :)

    Preview a TinyURL

    Don't want to be instantly redirected to a TinyURL and instead want to see where it's going before going to the site? Not a problem with our preview feature.

    FARR Plugins and Aliases / Farr Alias: Window Management
    « on: July 27, 2007, 09:29 AM »
    This alias allows you to do a few things with the active window by typing a command in farr.


    Here's the table describing the alias:

    WindowManagementList all the commands
    MinimizeMinimize the active window
    MaximizeMaximize the window
    MaximizeHorizontallyMaximize Horizontally the active window
    MaximizeVerticallyMaximize Vertically the active window

    Note: Everything assigned in bold is a farr keyword. If you find any keyword is too long, just type part of it, then when it's the first result, press tab to autocomplete.

    FARR Plugins and Aliases / Farr Alias: nircmd alias
    « on: July 27, 2007, 08:48 AM »
    Here's an alias that uses nircmd to do several useful functions :)


    Here's the table describing this alias:

    cmdList all the commandscmd
    ScreensaverStart your Screensaverscreensaver
    MonitorTurn your monitor on or offMonitor on or Monitor off
    LockPcLock your computer (the same as pressing windows+L)LockPc
    Set ResolutionSet the resolution of your computer (width, height and depth)SetRes 800 600 32
    ChangeVolumeIncrease or Decrease the master volume of your computer (varies from 0 to 65)ChangeVol +10 or ChangeVol -10
    MuteToggle the mute status the computer soundmute or unmute
    RebootRestart the computerReboot or Restart
    ShutdownShutdown computerShutdown or PowerOff
    StandbyGet the computer in standby stateStandby
    LogoffLogoff from the current sessionLogoff

    Note: Everything assigned in bold is a farr keyword. If you find any keyword is too long, just type part of it, then when it's the first result, press tab to autocomplete.

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