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3376  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / DVDFab Passkey on: March 07, 2010, 10:37:19 PM
If you call 2 months free usage a deal, then I guess it's a "deal."


Works just like AnyDVD.  They say it's free as long as it's in beta.  I don't know what they plan on charging when it's out of beta, but the About box says it's good to May 7 and I installed it today.

I tried it on one BluRay.  About 19 GB of stuff on the disk. I just did an explorer drag & drop copy.  It copied the entire contents to my HD in about 28 minutes.

Seems comparable or maybe a bit faster than MakeMKV.  MakeMKV when it goes out of beta is going to be $50 one shot "lifetime" license.  It may be a better deal in the long run.  Every other BluRay solution I've seen they want another $$ fix every so often.
3377  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: FF 3.6 portable is pretty cool on: March 07, 2010, 02:20:42 PM
Hmmm, at least with DataRam Ramdisk, I found it easier to forgo the disk image and just use a .cmd batch to xcopy the Firefox stuff into the drive.  Seems if you have it associated with a disk image, it's not always so nice about letting you stop the ramdisk even if you saved the image contents.

It seems to create the disk with the same drive letter every time.  Just simpler to use the batch file with the xcopy command.

Also since NoScript stuff isn't going to be saved when you allow a site there's no sense using it.  I set it to Allow Scripts Globally, then just run the browser sandboxed using Sandboxie.

edit: finally found a good use for WinPatrol delayed start.  Dragged a shortcut to the xcopy batch file to the Startup folder.  Then used WinPatrol to put a 30 second delay on it.  Seems to be working really well.
3378  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Will you miss newspapers when they're gone? on: March 06, 2010, 08:46:00 PM
so i guess for me, i miss the idealized fantasy of a good newspaper to read every day.. but i don't miss the actual loss of the actual newspapers of record.

Since Art Buchwald died, it just ain't the same.

3379  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Will you miss newspapers when they're gone? on: March 06, 2010, 07:48:41 PM
@ljbirns I went through a "news junky" phase when the major newspapers all started putting out online editions. I was regularly reading a dozen or more U.S. newspapers online and maybe 12 or 18 more around the world.  This dude bangs on my door and tries to interest me in a freebie promotion for the local paper which also has an online edition.  He says "but we'll give it to you free for 6 weeks!"  I said, "Man I woudn't take it if you paid me!!! I don't want to haul out all that recycle every week!"  I tried to tell the guy I read his paper online everyday.  He just didn't get it.

But there is something to be said for hard copy.  Prolly the only reason I subscribe to TV Guide is I don't have a terminal in the john like the kid in Max Headroom.

@JavaJones I'm with you. I'm done with my "news junky" phase.  I find my disposition much improved since I'm not constantly bombarded with the latest tally of slayings, rapes, celebrity scandals, natural and unnatural disasters, stock market disasters and yadda yadda.  It's not like I could do anything about them. There may be too much carbon dioxide, but I really can't hold my breath for more than a minute anyway!!!  Jeez!!!

3380  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: FF 3.6 portable is pretty cool on: March 06, 2010, 07:06:24 PM
I decided to give the ramdisk another go.  I'm using Dataram RAMDisk freebie.

I made the mistake before of setting it to auto save the image on shutdown.  This resulted in horrible shutdown times.  What I'm doing now is only saving the image manually if I have some significant Firefox update, like updating a bunch of AddOns.  My bookmarks and passwords I can save with SyncPlaces instead of saving in the image.

It may not load much faster than standard FF off a fast HD, but if your HD is busy, like doing a video mux, then this method kicks ass.

The configuration tool for the Ramdisk doesn't have a setting to autoload on Windows startup, but I just put a shortcut in the Startup folder and have it set to load the image file when the ramdisk starts.  The thing opening on the desktop will remind me to start the Ramdisk.
3381  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Professional Autorun Creator on: March 06, 2010, 05:34:01 PM
This looks like it may be worth checking out.  It's freebie/donationware:

3382  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows XP to Vista to Windows 7 Upgrade advice on: March 05, 2010, 06:20:40 PM
The fly in the ointment may be if the installed custom software has some copy protection scheme.  It may be simpler just to leave an XP partition on and boot to that to do the work with those apps.
3383  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows XP to Vista to Windows 7 Upgrade advice on: March 04, 2010, 02:05:14 PM
There must be a hardware test you can get to see if the machine will run XPmode once W7 is on. If that passes, you could install 7 and try to run the custom apps in XP mode.  If you have the disk space I would leave the native XP on until you find out what's what.

If all indications are she can run XPmode I would slice off some HD and put W7 on in evaluation mode.  That gives you time to try the XPmode in actuality(assuming evaluation mode isn't in some way hobbled to prevent it) with the apps.  If you know it's going to work, then you can make decisions about which W7 to buy or use depending on upgrade options of the machine.

I wouldn't put too much hope in the in place upgrade option.  But if the install(when you finally put on the one you are going to activate) allows a Custom Install option, I've had good luck with that method.  Everything under Program Files is gathered up and stuck in Windows.old but at least you still have the files to mess with.  Many "portable" apps if located in another folder, will work just by making a new shortcut.  Stuff with registry settings will need to be reinstalled.  But that's why I suggest if at all possible to keep a working XP partition until you are certain you can migrate the custom apps or run them in XPmode.  She may have to boot into XP for awhile until you see what the deal is with XPmode, or migration etc..
3384  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: A story about "real programmers"... on: March 03, 2010, 03:52:37 PM
I didn't plow through the whole article because it brought back painful memories! I can remember my fingers aching after a day of hard coding.  Punching all those little holes in paper tape.  If the tape rips in the middle of a program, all the lights in New Jersey go out!! And then there's the paper cuts!!

3385  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Toggle2 v. 1.5 on: March 03, 2010, 12:36:45 PM
Toggle2 v. 1.5

For application windows, position info is checked and if the 2 positions are the same, the dialog will prompt to move/size the window when toggled.
3386  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Toggle2 v. 1.4 on: March 02, 2010, 03:32:29 PM
Toggle2 updated to v. 1.4.

Minor code changes.  Updated icons.  Functionality and usage is the same.
3387  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Video player: What's the quickest (fastest/lightest)? on: March 01, 2010, 01:27:46 PM
Splash Lite has updated to 1.3.  I think it's mostly small bug fixes.

3388  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Open Source Uninstaller Windows 7? on: March 01, 2010, 01:25:50 PM
I've used MyUninstaller from NirCmd author.  I haven't benchmarked it or anything but it's nice to have things the same on various Windows flavors instead of trying to remember how each different version of stuff works.  It's a freebie:

3389  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Toggle2 v. 1.3 on: March 01, 2010, 01:21:36 AM
Toggle 1.3  Now Toggled application windows will have positions saved to Toggle2.ini file.  Programs such as Firefox, Notepad, EditPadLite will automatically have their positions saved to Toggle2.ini if you toggle them.

The .ini file capacity is only about 32KB but this should be large enough to hold a reasonable list of applications.  When you Toggle the active window, if it's not explorer, and has no position info stored, a dialog will pop up and wait for you to move/size the window.  The path of the program is pruned down to the basename as key to store the info.  For example if the program window you are toggling is Firefox and the path is c:\program files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe it is truncated to just "firefox" and used as the index in a dictionary.  The culprit is MS Scripting.Dictionary.  It comes in handy.  The contents of the dictionary are saved to the .ini file in the [AppList] section.

If you look you will see entries like:

The hash marks make it easy to split the string out into an array of numbers, which is the window position info.  I advise not editing by hand unless you delete whole lines as it's easy to break the ini file reading scheme.  But if it's hosed just delete the .ini while Toggle2 is not running.  It will recreate it.

You can still toggle Explorer windows, but the info is discarded at the end of the session.
Because the Explorer window is not stored to file, it doesn't make you wait until the
window is positioned.

This is just a convenience toy.  If you want full desktop layout control where every window is opened to a given position every run then I suggest using auto-positioning control utilities instead.
3390  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Which Linux For Non-Techie Windows Users? on: February 25, 2010, 08:10:12 PM
If it feels good, do it.. as the saying goes. smiley

It's nice that it's still there.  For me it's a bit of been there, done that.

Unless there was something specific I needed to run that was only available there why would I go back?  If there's no smarts needed to configure it anymore then I might as well keep Windowing on down.

If you haven't done it then I definitely think it's worth the journey.
3391  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Should I pay to go from 3.0 to 3.1? on: February 25, 2010, 04:25:13 PM
I agree with Mouser that the label/version # doesn't really mean anything. I'm on another board where a beta application that has allowed free usage is going to go commercial.  The program works in its major functions.  All programs have some bugs.  But some of the denizens of the forum don't want to pay for "beta software" on principle.  That's fine but it's just going to be a relabel to V. 1.0.

To me the programmer has perfect right to charge if the program works and it is stable. If it's a "beta" because it keeps crashing, that's another matter.  But if it's just a "beta" so people can try it and report their experiences, I don't know why they would be sad if it works but the about box doesn't say "1.0" on it!  It must be the placebo effect.
3392  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Which Linux For Non-Techie Windows Users? on: February 25, 2010, 04:16:15 PM
I agree if you're a programmer there's all kinds of freebies on Linux that I wouldn't imagine getting(at least at the time) under Windows.  Stuff like working CORBA implementations with test apps.  I think the build ran overnight to compile all the little CORBA test apps on my 486 back in the '90s.

I just think the "easy for Windows newbs" is pulling in the opposite direction.  It's like trying to interest people in jazz by playing elevator music.  Yeah, it's instrumental but people walk away with a totally distorted idea if they think that crap is jazz.

Slackware was way frustrating, but even though I never got to guru level, after messing with it, if I did an easier to handle distro, like Mandrake, when the little applet didn't work I could usually mess around below the /etc directory and remember which script I had to fix.

I guess it may be an inexpensive solution for a work setup where all you do is allow people to log on and run the word processor or other app to do their work and you don't let them mess with the core of the install. For people to voluntarily mess with it though, I think they need some interest in system configuration and at least a bit of script programming.

Of course there's always the "this app we have to use is on this system and not on that" reason for using an OS.  But for the home user I don't know why they would really want to get into all the nitty gritty. Not unless you sat the guy down and said "this is computing!" and let him have at it.  Don't tell him there's any other universe.

3393  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Toggle2 v. on: February 25, 2010, 03:26:35 PM
Updated Toggle2 to v.

If you have a previous version I recommend deleting Toggle2.ini
if it exists, before running this version. No big deal but the mouse
option is renamed.  This version may not pick up your setting for the
mouse option unless you delete the .ini file. Or just toggling the option
on and off in the Tray Icon Menu should overwrite it for you.

Changed Tray Icon Menu so it only opens with Right Mouse Click.
That eliminates the menu pop-up flash when double-clicking the icon
to get the About Dialog.

Changed Mouse option to Shift Middle Mouse Click.
I also included an AHK subprogram to handle the mouse
action.  This makes it much smoother since AHK will
"eat" the mouse click. The subprogram is launched and
killed as you toggle the option or launch/exit Toggle2.
Also if you use the menu command to change the hotkey
a new instance replaces the old updating the hotkey to
use.  You don't need to pay any attention to this
Toggle2MouseHandler.exe.  It uses no Tray Icon.
But if you see it in Task Manager, that's what it's

Just unzip all into a folder and the files should know how to find
each other. smiley

3394  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Should I pay to go from 3.0 to 3.1? on: February 24, 2010, 11:10:58 PM
But the other question is, will they pay you if you downgrade?

It seems only fair.

3395  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Free printable shopping lists - neat idea on: February 24, 2010, 11:07:31 PM
I think some of the supermarkets had online shopping in actuality.  You bought stuff just like you would at an online bookstore.  Then they charged a delivery fee on top.  I think they discontinued because 1) cost of gasoline went way up and 2) it killed impulse buying while searching for the stuff on your list. A lot tougher to get lost in an online store. Wink

3396  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: JkDefrag further developed as MyDefrag on: February 24, 2010, 09:32:18 PM
Guess it's no biggie then.  I don't retrieve from shadow copies often. But I've never noticed anything broken.  And I defrag quite frequently. It's probably more of an issue if you're running 80% capacity though.  I try to get my free space up to at least 70% before I run a defrag.

3397  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Toggle2 v. 1.1 on: February 24, 2010, 09:25:37 PM
Toggle v. 1.1

Added option in Tray Icon Menu to use Alt Left Mouse Click to toggle.

I hate letting go of the mouse just to hit the hotkey.  I bet a lot of
you do too. smiley
3398  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Which Linux For Non-Techie Windows Users? on: February 24, 2010, 06:03:53 PM
Is there a Linux distribution in which the drives can be accessed without a code like:
/dev/fd0 ; /dev/scd0 ; /dev/hdb ;/dev/sda3 ; root & home ???
This distro would then qualify automatically as the easiest for windows converters.  The standard Linux device name system will simply deter the majority of curious windows users immediately.

You could create a bunch of aliases at logon.  For instance /dev/fd0 I used to call floppy and /dev/scd0 cdrom1. It doesn't really get you that much though.  To get the Windows users you need a whole bunch of applets in the window manager to configure stuff, rather than using scripts(usually the applets just write the stuff to the scripts but it's more intuitive.) But that conflicts with the smaller footprint and better performance you get with a lean window manager.

It's been awhile since I did a lot with Linux.  But for me the most disorienting thing that made it feel "foreign" while I was using it was the text editors. I remember when I put Kylix on how all of a sudden I could type in source code without thinking about it because the editor used the same keys as the Windows Delphi IDE.  When I was using it, around the time of Slackware 3.0, I could only find one free text editor that came configured with Windows style editing scheme by default.  And that one was kind of quirky and unstable.

If you use Windows most of the time I don't think you'll really feel at home in Linux unless they have a bunch of editors now with Windows style editing.

I did like Mandrake 9.1 on my Pentium III machine.  The nice thing about it if you had broadband was the single CD install.  First thing it did was get your network card going, then let you pick the packages you wanted.  It rebooted to a basic Linux install, then downloaded your packages and installed them.

Mandriva still has the same scheme going.

I guess it's like learning a foreign language without hearing it spoken at home.  You have to immerse yourself in it.  If you don't have to do it, you probably won't.  If you want the guy to learn Linux, lock him in a room with a PC with only Linux on it.  If he can boot Windows, forget it.
3399  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: JkDefrag further developed as MyDefrag on: February 24, 2010, 05:44:58 PM
The only thing I did notice when I upgraded yesterday, it has a warning if your NTFS cluster size is not 16 KB then Shadow Copies of files might get corrupted if you defrag with the optimizations on.  I don't know if this is true of MyDefrag also or not.

For now I'm turning off System Restore before defragging with the optimzations.  That way I know for sure all my shadow copies are gone.  smiley
3400  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Toggle2 v. 1.9 on: February 23, 2010, 07:35:29 PM
I released Toggle2 v. 1.0.  You may download from this page:


It is a simplified version of Toggle dedicated to toggling the active window only.

The position and size information is not persistent.  As soon as Toggle2 exits or the particular window is closed, the information is discarded.  For permanent desktop window setups there are plenty of window sizer utilities already.

Toggle just allows you to set 2 non-maximized positions and sizes for the active window, for that session.

Usage is extremely simple.  Let it sit in the tray.  Hit the hotkey with an ordinary explorer or application window active. If no position info has been stored yet, you'll be prompted to move and size the window.

The default hotkey is Alt-F10.  You can change it using the Tray Icon Menu.  The About Dialog shows the current hotkey.  Also if Glass is enabled you can customize the About Dialog background color and it will use Glass.

Position info is just stored in an array indexed by window handle.
There's a "Clear Position Settings" command in the Tray Icon Menu.
It has a confirmation dialog to give you a chance to back out.

The program creates an .ini file in the same folder as the .exe.  There's no install or uninstall.
The only info stored in the .ini is the Hotkey and background color(called Vista Color.)

The program saves the .ini file on exit so there's no point editing the .ini while the thing is running. It will be overwritten.

Toggle2 is free for you to use at your own risk.

(I guess I must hate the Maximize Button)

edit: Added short delay after double-clicking Tray Icon to show About Dialog.  This avoids accidentally clicking another icon while the Tray Icon is temporarily hidden during About Dialog display.

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