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Messages - OldElmerFudd [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Re: Top 3 programs you use
« on: August 31, 2007, 02:38 AM »
Well, truth be told, aside from FF, I use Photoshop, CoolEdit Pro, and Directory Opus on one or another machine. Oh yeah, Office 2003...

Okay, I keep all my $ware disks in a box under my bed labeled "Playboys and porn"! Fact is, I use dozens of freewares daily; the heavy duty stuff is for production work. "It isn't easy being green."
I prefer to use freeware, but there are some things that just work more efficiently with commercial software.


Living Room / Re: KenR's health and situation
« on: August 31, 2007, 02:24 AM »
How thick of me not to notice your absence before now. By now, you may have an idea of the respect and affection this unruly mob has for you. I can only add my best wishes for a successful procedure. May it provide you relief from the physical and emotional strain you've endured.

With kindest regards,


Nice to see a mention of Billy. Small footprint, but limited to mp3's afaict. Musikcube and Songbird are very interesting, but I think they still need refining. I use most of the others as the mood strikes, but tend to favor an older version of jetAudio (bloatware, but I like it, and v.7.x's crapware). I won't touch Real Player, took forever to root out all the debris from the registry. I won Zoom Player Pro in a monthly drawing, but seldom use it.

So much music, so little time... ;)

just my 2 pennies

I tried billy - has the best sound of all my players! :Thmbsup:
Agreed. Billy's sound is fine, even with my oldest machine/card combo. Good speakers make a difference...depending on the box, I use Altec Lansing, JBL, or Creative. Sennheiser HD 280 Pro cans usually stay with the machine set up for audio work...and Billy's right there on all of them! I don't think I've got anything else like that running on the network!

I'm interested in the applications for less-than-wealthy friends who might find them useful. I've never been a game player (I've got enough vices, thanks!), so I'll pass on them. Let me know what you need for us to get together.


Nice to see a mention of Billy. Small footprint, but limited to mp3's afaict. Musikcube and Songbird are very interesting, but I think they still need refining. I use most of the others as the mood strikes, but tend to favor an older version of jetAudio (bloatware, but I like it, and v.7.x's crapware). I won't touch Real Player, took forever to root out all the debris from the registry. I won Zoom Player Pro in a monthly drawing, but seldom use it.

So much music, so little time... ;)

just my 2 pennies

Had to follow Alxwz's example and unload those tatty old credits. Makes me hungry for more to give where's that paypal button again?

Seriously, contributing to everyone's effort is a pleasure and a privilege. I won a raffle once, and have used the discounts as well as the s/w from members.

Just my 2 pennies

Living Room / Re: Why don't you pay for software?
« on: July 02, 2007, 11:55 PM »
Actually, I don't have any problems paying for software I like and use. Many software authors create programs that become "donationware" because they put so much time and effort into maintaining and improving it. I enjoy donating to my favorite authors and buy their software when they take it shareware (Photofiltre Studio and JV 16 Power Tools, e.g.). Whenever possible, I pay for subscriptions to my favorite newsletters, or at least donate.

As to commercial software, I'm a little conservative. Photoshop CS, Dreamweaver 8, etc., have the flexibility and power I need and I don't mind paying for them. I use XP Pro SP2 on all my machines, and have no interest in Vista. I neither condemn nor support pirated software; if you need/use it, that's your choice.

Just my 2 pennies

Living Room / Re: poll: how old are you?
« on: July 02, 2007, 11:31 PM »
OK, I'm going to add my age (62) and Bite-sized trouble's (28) and divide by, 45! Yeah, that's all right! What really happens is I wind up being every age I've ever been, at least once during each day.  ;D

Ha! This is what I get for being out of the country for so long...a little late in the thread, but here goes.
OK, I took a MSc in Stratigraphy (Geology) about ten years ago, but I've been a professional photographer for 30 of my 40+ working years. Bite-sized trouble has a BA  in Drama ISTR. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz about six years ago.

I hope this comic isn't inappropriate, I think sums up frustration towards trolls quite well.

[ Invalid Attachment ]

Thanks for this!


Good call on Gizmo's Tech Support Alert site. I've been a paid supporter for a couple of years and enjoy every issue. Ian's a great guy and works hard to produce a well-thought out, useful newsletter. A quality netizen if there ever was one.

Word Processor Roundup / Re: 3rd Party Tools like Bibliography Addins
« on: February 13, 2007, 02:15 PM »
It's a shame there isn't more support for these apps at the university level. I used EndNote for a long time, but got tired of the constant "encouragement" to upgrade from v.6. I switched to Procite and prefer it. Because of my work, I purchase at the academic price structure. The full retail for these two is excessive, imho, and reflects a tendency by some developers to take advantage of specialized needs. Maybe they know something I don't! 

Just my 2 pennies

Word Processor Roundup / Re: Outlining
« on: February 13, 2007, 01:36 PM »
Odd...I'd completely forgotten about OO's (in)abilities when it comes to outlining. I write papers and articles; building an outline first is just second nature. I'll add that I'm very comfortable with MS Office 2003, especially after beta testing Office 2007. Even if someone gave me the Suite, I'd use the "ribbon" to tie it up and give it back! lol.


Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Mini-Review: Rasterbator
« on: February 12, 2007, 04:06 PM »

Nice to see Rasterbator reviewed. Found it about a year ago and jumped right on it (I'm nearly blind anyway, so I was pretty fearless). Bite-sized trouble suggested I use foamcore from the art supply store for mounting. Works pretty good, better than taping when you use the right adhesive. She finally made me take down the 4' x 8' nude of her, lol!

Nice work. BTW, I just ran across something a little like it on Photojojo. Web-based program from
Upload your pictures, etc. Unlike Rasterbator, it produces straight images instead of half-tone dots.

General Software Discussion / Re: Wireless Networking Guide
« on: November 30, 2006, 12:15 AM »
I was going that way too but I must say I have been converted by NetGear's wireless 802.11n (draft) solution once I got  things sorted out. It is 3 times faster than cabled home networks and they have sorted out the problems of range too (no more expander box to get upstairs). The only disadvantage is that the complete product line isn't there yet (i.e. there are no printer servers for the new draft standard yet and other network addons) but you can expand the network by using a couple of mains electric network adapters without slowing down the wireless network - I am thinking of doing this to add a set top box to my lounge TV so that I can stream video and music to my TV and HiFi set up.

The fast wireless speeds, MIMO and enhanced bandwidth is great and makes a real difference when more than one person is trying to surf the net. Plus it makes network storage a real possibility - though the Netgear SC101 solution is wired from the router and so limited to 100Mbps - but at least it doesn't affect the wireless traffic - and even copying whole DVD size files on the network doesn't degrade internet access speed etc. which is great (there is still 170Mbps or bandwidth left to be used even when file transfers are happening at full pelt).

Sounds nice...I've been waiting for 802.11n for Linksys gear, but it's the same problem. The only cables I have are from the modem to the router and the router to the wifi print server. The whole thing isn't set in concrete, but I'll wait to upgrade until there are more choices. My walls are wood, and the backyard is only about 60 feet from the router, so everyting's smooth for now. It's just me and Bite-sized here anyway.

Ed Bott's Windows Expertise blog is also quite good, too. I like Ed because he calls bullshit on lots of FUDsters, and persistently schwacks Microsoft right between the eyes.

Agreed, Ed's personal blog is pretty good and updated daily, as a rule. The ZDnet blog is more in-depth, ISTM, and a daily read as well.


Living Room / Re: Lifehacker looking for DonationCoder
« on: November 29, 2006, 02:32 AM »
yeah, it would be interesting to see if there are like-minded websites out there..

I was out of town (cold turkey for computers for 16 days!) when that article first appeared. The sites mentioned in the replies were generally commercially-oriented, nothing like like DC. There were a couple of suggestions to learn Ruby or Python; not exactly the spirit of the article! Agree with Mouser, it was nice to see a good mention of DC. Just an aside: the LH site is very nicely done. Gina and the group have a sweet sense of design.


General Software Discussion / Re: Wireless Networking Guide
« on: November 29, 2006, 01:54 AM »
aye, i agree. this is site i referred to when helping a friend with some wi-fi configurations. btw, i'm still on cables.. ;)

Trust me, I gave up on truly "wireless" when I tried to figure out how to network 5 computers, two printers, and a scanner! Let's just say "mostly wireless" is a pretty good solution, LOL!
At least the cables are short ....  :-[

Finished Programs / Re: DONE: MultiMonitorManager
« on: November 29, 2006, 01:44 AM »
Oh fine! Now I need more monitors. (Only have 3)
Seriously, it's very slick; nice job. Only used 3-4 CPU cycles on my sandbox when I tried it out.
Thanks!  :Thmbsup:

Just my 2 pennies...

As a long-time lurker on ACF, I've seen changes over the years that sometimes happen when an unmoderated group stays active for a long time. Many of the regulars are helpful and friendly, but a few can take very hard-nosed positions. Long threads start up that really go nowhere. I read Mouser's attempts to state the aims and positions of DC and commend his restraint.

The knotheads in the ACF group are not necessarily uniformed, just inflexible at times. Some of the most hard-headed are very knowledgeable and offer useful suggestions to freeware questions. On balance, the majority of posters are decent folks, but like all of us, a little quirky. (Otherwise we wouldn't spend this much time in front of our machines, LOL!)

I'm also one of those who appreciates the civility the members of this site show each other. Frankly, that counts nearly as much as the multiple benefits I've enjoyed as a member.

With kind regards,

General Software Discussion / Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« on: November 09, 2006, 06:18 PM »
Some thoughts:
a) ISTR XP's firewall doesn't stop outbound baddies.

Once you've got malware on your system, it's too late anyway. The only use outbound protection is, at the software firewall level, is to stop "regular" apps from phoning home. And if so inclined, it wouldn't be too hard for an app to target various popular products and punch holes through them, or use covert channels.

Too true.
Fortunately, I've rarely encountered virii or malware. At least the software has screamed bloody murder and made them go far, far away.

General Software Discussion / Re: Office 2007 has been RTM'd
« on: November 09, 2006, 05:53 PM »
OldElmerFudd: I've been beta testing Office 2007 for a while. It's a BIG change.
I've not tried 2007 but I suspect I'll have to switch at some point. Nor have I been following its evolution, except in the most casual way.
I read somewhere that it'll be "difficult" to customize its toolbars/menus.
Like many people the first thing I do with any MS-Office product is set up the toolbars to show just the stuff I use most (and/or for which I most often forget the hot-keys).
Tell me, in your experience, should I really anticipate "difficulty" modifying toolbars/menus when using 2007?
-cranioscopical (November 09, 2006, 12:00 PM)

OK, let me see if I can explain this clearly.
a) You can't modify toolbars and menus in Office 2007. MS decided to limit the customization that a few users enjoyed in the previous versions. They felt only about 2% of Office users create custom menus and toolbars; Office 2007 ate up a lot of their development resources, so they decided not to add any support problems. Personally, IMHO this was done for their benefit, not for users.
2) You CAN import your older version menu/toolbar mods. On the Word UI, either on the title bar or below the ribbon, there's a small group of icons for the Quick Access Toolbar. This sucker is where about 10 of the 15 customizations possible are accessed. Trouble is, ALL your legacy stuff is loaded onto the "Add-In" tab. It's a PITA as far as I'm concerned, and part of the reason I'm not eager to switch from 2003 Pro. (It doesn't strike me as money well spent!) OTH, if I was a business/corporate user, then maybe.

I'm just a small consulting operation; I can't even type!

BTW, a last word about "the ribbon". Each Office app has its own version, but just one ribbon. The exception (surprise!) is Outlook; it has about 20 separate ribbons, each for a particular function. No problem in my world. I avoid Outlook like I avoid Outlook Exress amd Messenger and....
well, you get the idea.


General Software Discussion / Re: Best free firewall for Windows?
« on: November 09, 2006, 03:58 AM »
Firewalls? I haven't smelled smoke..oh, THOSE firewalls.

Some thoughts:
a) ISTR XP's firewall doesn't stop outbound baddies.
2) Yes, I know ZA's gotten fat over the years, but I use it on all our machines. Bite-sized trouble and I also sit behind a hardware firewall, and I routinely install multiple layers of AV, anti-spyware, anti-adware, and anti-trojan screeners and sweepers in every machine I get my hands on.
III) I check all the boxes all the time.

Software I use: AVG Free, Eset NOD 32, Spybot, Spywareblaster, SpywareGuard, SpySweeper, A2 Free, ZA, AdAware, TrojanHunter, and more. Not to mention WinPatrol Plus, Prevx...guards! Seize him! OK, I'll go quietly now.
I'm not really paranoid, just kind of a-retentive thorough about this stuff. Depending on the machine, I'll even use (shudder) payware.


General Software Discussion / Re: Office 2007 has been RTM'd
« on: November 09, 2006, 03:33 AM »
First, let me say I'm not a power user when it comes to Office. I started with Word 6 (sheer heaven after Works x.x) and have chewed my way through versions 97, 2K Pro, XP Pro, and now 2003 Pro. mostly I use Word, Publisher, and Access. Office 2003 was a nice improvement over Office XP. I liked the UI and the way it handled.

I've been beta testing Office 2007 for a while. It's a BIG change. The UI is very different, and a little tricky to get used to. A lot of familiar menus are gone, replaced by the infamous "ribbon". The UI's very pretty, easy on the eyes. It adds tons of code, of course. After a while I got used to working with everything, although I'd get lost every so often trying find out how to do something familiar.

For power users, a lot of things about the program may not be a problem. What the new UI has done is bring some of the buried aspects of Office up to the surface. Casual or new users of MS Office may love it; between the eye candy and the sort of pictorial aspect of the programs, it might be fairly easy to learn fresh.

The experience was fine, but I'm staying with Office 2003 for a while. It does what I want, when I need to do it.


At one point, I got some kind of deal on Shadowsurfer and tried it for a while. Worked well enough, but I've used Sandboxie for a long time and like it. (I even use it on my P3 "sandbox" machine! <bg>)
I did check out Greenborder and it's really slick, but you have to renew the license each year ($30!), and I'm too cheap for that. Just ask Bite-sized trouble.


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