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3926  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Consumating’s Ill-Fated Point System: Nice Blog Essay on: November 07, 2007, 11:25:10 AM
I was once part of a wonderful chat community of computer geeks that got the 'bright' idea to add a member ranking system. Within weeks, the entire community came crashing down.

They started a system where you could have from 1 to 5 stars as your rank. All new members entered with at least 1 star (maybe higher if core admin team thought they deserved it). Additional stars could be added if you contributed in a positive way, or worked hard and put forth a genuine effort to increase your knowledge. Once you hit a level of 4 stars, you could vote on who was admitted to the group, and promotions to higher rank.

The intention of this system was to encourage more respect towards those that 'deserved' it and encourage people to work harder.

It completely backfired, with new members being labeled as 'worthless n00bs' and abused, and higher ranking members thinking they had some right to act obnoxious towards everyone, and demanding respect from anyone they outranked, even if they had done some horrible things to those people. (a kind of abusive forced ass kissing system) Others started kicking and banning visitors from the chatroom for no reason other than the fact they weren't 'official members'.

I had a rank of 3 stars, my father was given a rank of 4 stars when he joined (because he had been a professional programmer). I ended up having a fight with the admins when they wanted to give me a promotion to 4 stars. I didn't want it because I knew that would result in them abusing my father and treating him as if he were an idiot because he had the same rank as his daughter, who had a lot less computer experience.

I watched bright people be insulted and called stupid because they were new members (their rank was lower), treated as if they had nothing valuable to contribute. I watched people go on campaigns for votes once they learned they were added for consideration for an increase in rank.

It took only a few weeks for the entire community to go from being about computers and learning to being about stars and rank. It was horrible. The best members began walking away. No matter what happened or who left (even the guy that was hosting it left!), they wouldn't get rid of that stupid ranking system and things just kept getting worse & worse.

This was how my chat community got started. I flipped out in the chatroom one day about the behavior I was seeing and how it wasn't about learning any more and expressed a desire to walk and start my own, but couldn't I host it because I was on dialup. Another long time member who felt the same way offered to host it till I could, and we both left.

The major difference with the DonationCredits system here and the points, rank, etc. systems in other communities is that it's in the background. You can't see how many credits someone has. You can't see when they give or receive and who is doing the giving or receiving unless you are one of the parties involved in the transaction. There is no ranking of people based on their DonationCredits activities. You can't find anything to use to compare your 'status' to someone else. This is good....very good. It keeps people from losing their minds and becoming obsessed with 'status'.

We also have a little bird that is the symbol of generosity, that keeps an eye on the site and what people are doing, that secretly and unexpectedly rewards those that put forth an effort to help the community. You never know when he's watching or when he will decide to drop a few coins of appreciation in your lap.

In this community, contributing content has its own rewards. More stuff to read. More discussions to get involved in. More feedback from members. It has a snowball effect causing it to get better & better all the time. This attracts new members that want to be part of a community like this, and they contribute, making the snowball grow even larger.

I worry about some of the ideas that mouser has had, though.

Things like adding a mod to the forum that will allow people to rate posts to give more interesting posts a higher rank. Or some of the ideas he has for the Cody Club. It's not the spirit and intention of it that I am worried about. It's how it could encourage people to compete and create a false sense of superiority among members if these things were visible and comparable in some way. That's what I worry about. I really don't want to be a part of a community that is competitive like that or fighting for gold stars again.

I already had my heart broken and felt the pain caused by watching something I loved become destroyed by stuff like that. I don't want to go through that again.
3927  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Perfect Software? on: November 07, 2007, 09:27:12 AM
I only know of one such application...a silly little clock. (there are probably loads of small single purpose apps that are the same story)

Back before I learned any programming, a friend of mine made a small desktop clock for me. When I requested it, I was unaware just how much of a stubborn minimalist he really is.

I gave him an image to use as a guide.


This is what I got from him:


  • When I asked to be able to change the colors and the font, he said no...that would be bloat.
  • When I asked for a border on the clock, same answer.
  • I asked him to remove the X and put an exit option on a popup menu...nope, he wouldn't do that either.
  • How about remember position? nope.

Everything I asked for, I got that same, that would add bloat.

He says the clock is perfect the way it is and there will not be any adding of features to it or any 'beautifying' ever. (If one discovers a bug, he will fix that, but it does what it does and does it well, so there is no bug fixing needed.) He says it could only be more perfect only if he can find a way to remove more 'bloat' from it and make it even smaller.

This was the application that gave me the push to learn programming. My frustrations from dealing with him lead me to learn how to create my own version with all the bloat features I wanted. cheesy

We still argue about this clock, even today, with him still insisting that it is perfect.

For anybody that wants his clock, it's attached to this post. He gave me permission to distribute it. (earlier 'bloated' versions and source are available, bundled, on his site's files page)
3928  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Does reliable PC security have to cost money? on: November 07, 2007, 08:18:24 AM
Husbands are no good with software  Wink Whenever I let mine use my machine for anything, something breaks  Angry

I won't even let him get that far. I am afraid he'll break my desk before he even gets a chance to try to use the PC.
3929  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Genuinely stupid laws - that still APPLY !! on: November 07, 2007, 07:43:44 AM
Here is a well known law from my home state of New Jersey, that is enforced, and makes us kind of an odd-ball state:

It is against the law here to pump your own gas.
3930  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Does reliable PC security have to cost money? on: November 06, 2007, 09:36:20 PM
If by remote you mean yelling at my daughter who is sitting in the other room, telling her to get the hell off myspace b4 she ruins her laptop, then yes.  cheesy

I also seemed to have installed a '6th sense firewall' plugin that causes me to wake up and yell at my husband whenever he just thinks about getting too close to my PC while I am asleep.  Grin
3931  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Does reliable PC security have to cost money? on: November 06, 2007, 08:34:03 PM
BitDefender Free is not a good choice as a main antivirus. Their free version doesn't do background scanning. It is only good for on demand scanning (right click a file in explorer and select scan). You will still need something for background scanning for full protection.

My main antivirus is Common Sense (upgrades available daily).  Wink

But just in case that fails, I have AVG Free and I use BitDefender Free for on demand scanning.

I did write an article about it on my Snailware blog, explaining how to configure BitDefender for this job so that it won't clash with AVG.
3932  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Do you use Desktop Widgets? on: November 06, 2007, 08:01:13 PM
I have my fav widgets that I use, but rather than repeating with more scary screenshots of my desktop, you can just go here: http://www.donationcoder....ic=4782.msg79302#msg79302

A few posts after, I give links to all the widgets.
3933  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Windows Install Date Thingie: I made it! on: November 06, 2007, 07:11:23 PM
My xp machine:


My 9x machine:


I guess it isn't 9x compatable.  Sad

The real original install date is some time back in September 2002 with a repair install done over original on 10/1/2004 which changed the date. (a botched IE 6 update I couldn't roll back screwed up Explorer, needed to revert to original IE 5.5 to repair)


No drive images involved in obtaining those dates on either machine...all natural.


If you would like to make your little app 9x compatable, on a 9x system I believe the reg key would be:
3934  Special User Sections / The Getting Organized Experiment of 2007 / Re: "To-Do-Visual" or "Multi-Lists" - does this exist?! on: November 06, 2007, 04:36:24 PM
who you calling stupid, simple
who you calling simple, stupid

Since I was the one that wrote the app, it referred to me.  tongue
3935  Special User Sections / The Getting Organized Experiment of 2007 / Re: For those with a System that Works -- Post it! on: November 06, 2007, 04:29:57 PM
The best addition to my 'try to get something done' toolkit has been my '4 minutes of work' rule.

Every time I make a cup of tea (and I do drink a lot of tea), it takes 4 minutes. Instead of standing around stupidly doing nothing while waiting, I chisel away a little from my housework while I wait. I hate housework, I normally avoid it, and this is the only way things can ever get done. I have found I can accomplish a lot in 4 minutes, when it's all added up...and I don't 'suffer' while doing it.

It's only 4 minutes. Nothing can possibly be so bad that I can't put up with doing it for that long.  cheesy

I also started using a sort of software version of mouser's index cards again. I had forgotten how wonderful something like that is and I am glad to finally be able to use that application again. (see my reply on that thread)
3936  Special User Sections / The Getting Organized Experiment of 2007 / Re: My System - Index Card Centric on: November 06, 2007, 04:26:28 PM
As part of last year's GOE, I removed the dust from an application I used to love very much but forgot I had because I couldn't run it on my other PC (not enough RAM).

Everything I don't want to forget goes in my Post-it notes software, sorted in tabbed boards, with alarms. (The alarm center is one of the best features.) I have a monthly board, with 12 tabs, one for each month...a weekly board with 7 tabs, one for each day...a project board with a tab for each project, etc.

I can easily move notes between boards, add new ones, edit, etc. (repeating alarm on a note with a clickable link is how I never miss a GAOTD).

It's kind of a software version of mouser's index cards....except they make noise to remind you to read them.

Before going back to this method, I used to use envelopes instead of index cards, writing everything down on the envelopes, and including things related inside the envelopes. I still do that, but not as much now. (the software is cheaper and a lot less trash)
3937  Special User Sections / The Getting Organized Experiment of 2007 / Re: "To-Do-Visual" or "Multi-Lists" - does this exist?! on: November 06, 2007, 02:53:02 PM
Using the KISS principle, there is my ToDoList application, that I use for lots of things:


  • Creates 2 files...ToDo (.tdo) and Done (.don). You can easily make a copy of either and change file extension to .txt and use for other purposes, such as email attachments.
  • You can move things between sides easily, recycling lists when needed.
  • You can print the ToDo side (or Done) and stick it where you need it or take it with you. (very handy for grocery shopping)
  • Very simple, can adapt easily to most time management methods.
  • Everything is listed alphabetically, but you can easily add a prefix to an entry to create a priority ranking system.
  • Global hotkey to add entries. You can run more than one instance of the application, but only first instance will have the global hotkey. (you will get a message telling you it was unable to assign hotkey if you run more than 1 instance)
  • Minimizes to tray.
  • Single click of tray icon to add an entry, double click to bring up application window.
  • Accepts a command line parameter to open with a specific .tdo file. (great for making shortcuts to a specific list)
  • 100% portable, can be run from a USB thumbdrive. Does not use the registry for anything. Does not create any files other than your list files. (which are in pairs, .tdo & .don)
  • Small enough to fit on a floppy. (if you still use those)
  • Should work on all versions of Windows, 9x to Vista.

You can easily have a file for each type of for phone, one for shopping, one for a project, RSVP list for a party, etc. and keep your lists where they make sense to you.

I made this because I needed it. I don't like getting lost in trees either. And I wanted something light that would run on my old PC without killing it.

By keeping it as simple as possible, it's very flexible and can be used for many purposes.

Using prefixes when adding tasks will allow you to add tasks with a priority, using a date prefix will allow you to order tasks with closest dated items at top, etc.

  • 1 small warning: it doesn't autosave your lists. (I am still not 100% sure yet, if I want to add that feature)

Use your imagination and make a system with it that works for you.
3938  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Technology Myths on: November 06, 2007, 01:27:29 PM
Now here is a myth created by the 'smarties' that desperately needs shattering:

- All AOL users are stupid people that barely know how to turn their PC on.

This myth buster is brought to you AOL user.
3939  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: PLEASE STOP POSTING on: November 05, 2007, 07:55:49 PM
2 pages? only 2 pages??  huh

I am 89 pages behind and I keep telling myself that some day I will catch up.  embarassed
3940  Special User Sections / The Getting Organized Experiment of 2007 / Re: Here is my problem on: November 05, 2007, 04:20:18 AM
The problem is I have done that, even set alarms to go off that say "work on this project now" and at first I just pushed it to ring again later, and then dismissing it till next time it's scheduled to ring, and then eventually just removed the alarms totally from most of them.

If I just don't feel like it I just can't bring myself to do it.

I can't even schedule a tiny part of a project to get it done.

My ebook site is a perfect example...tried to make myself add 5 posts a day...worked for first day...didn't do anything more for weeks.

Tried changing that to one post a has taken at least a month to get 3 posts done.

In 3 months I have managed to make 18 posts. At this rate it will take me about 5.5 years to catch up with the content that belongs on the site...and then there is the new content too.

When I think about it I want to cry, but I just can't seem to make myself want to do it.

The rest of my personal projects are in the same sad state or worse, in terms of desire to work on them.

And things have been like this for over a year.

I seemed to have lost touch with my purpose. And that doesn't leave me with a very good feeling inside.
3941  Special User Sections / The Getting Organized Experiment of 2007 / Re: Here is my problem on: November 03, 2007, 05:20:39 PM
After making this post, I went & checked my email. I found a google alert for another blog mentioning one of my applications and decided to check it out.

It was serendipity.

All the thoughts & feelings I am having that are holding me back are all over his blog...over & over...and some possible answers as to why I am feeling like this and what to do about it.

My suggestion is that if my original post sounds at all familiar to you in any way shape or form, start with this guy's first post and take it slow and really try to absorb what he is saying, as you move forward to his more recent posts.

Last year's GOE may have been a complete failure for me for a lot of reasons, among them being my inner self didn't meet the 'minimum system requirements'.  Wink
3942  Special User Sections / The Getting Organized Experiment of 2007 / Here is my problem on: November 03, 2007, 01:48:19 PM
I had thought that I would pass on the whole GOE idea this year, after the disaster it was for me last year.

Getting organized isn't my problem. I am quite organized naturally. Other people's cookie cutter systems aren't going to help with the problem I have. It's possible other people's cookie cutter systems contributed to the problem I have and made it much worse than it was before.

For most people, the things they need to get done have deadlines, consequences if they don't get done. Their real procrastination is putting everything off till the last moment and then going nuts and stressing themselves out trying to make the deadline. Then they need to have it all organized in order to not forget what it is they have to do because of all the stress they have caused themselves.

My problem is that all the things on my todo list that aren't getting done are personal projects that are a labor of love and I have to love it while I am doing it or I just can't.

There is no real real consequences if it never gets done. At the worst, I just disappoint people or let them down. And I don't really care what people think. Other people's opinions about me don't hold any water. I am used to letting people down and disappointing them my whole life. I don't live to live up to other people's expectations of me. I never did. My father even called me the biggest waste of potential he ever met...and he doesn't understand why I never did all the things with my life that I could have, the things he thought that should have mattered.

My personal projects...I really do want to work on them, but at the same time I really don't. And I care, but I don't care.

It's like going out and buying all the ingredients to make a dinner, in cans, and putting everything away all organized in the cabinet and closing it. Then never making the dinner because there is no real need to hurry up and cook it before the ingredients spoil, and you really don't feel like cooking today, and even if you did you don't feel like having that for dinner.

I have tried setting artificial deadlines, but they don't work because I know they are artificial and I just keep pushing it to tomorrow. I can't fool myself. Same thing with setting a personal project with an artificially higher priority, pretending it is more important than it really is. I know it isn't so it won't work.

I have to love it while I am doing it or I just can't do it and I don't know how to do that any more. There is no real reward if I do it, at least none that really matters enough to me to be a motivating incentive to get me moving. And nothing bad will happen if I don't, so it all just sits and collects dust.

I have a lot of creative energy. I always did. I used to have a need to take what was in my head and make it real. This is where the art came from, the applications, the websites, the jewelery, clothing designs, everything & anything that popped into my mind's eye that I could find a way to make it.

The energy is still there, I am still creating things in my head, but I seem to be content to let it all stay as a vision in my head now. I don't feel the need to make it all real, that I once had.

I am lacking a reason that matters. Where or how do I get one?
3943  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: online tutorials - screencasts rule over static pages? on: November 02, 2007, 01:21:12 PM
From a perspective that maybe hasn't been mentioned...

I know a number of private mailing lists that deal in the trading of static html tutorials, mostly art related. Often times they steal the images off some poor guy's site, copy & paste the text, and pass it off as their own work or never give any credit to the original author of the tutorial and graphics.

It is much too easy to do that with static html ones, and if your tutorial is any good at all, it will eventually be snatched by these guys. I have had a few original ones of my own 'snatched', that were originally created specifically for email distribution, that had been edited to remove any credit to me as the original creator and someone else's name attached instead.

With video, if you mark it properly, it is much more difficult to remove the credit, and people will know where it came from and where to go looking for more if they like it.

You might consider uploading to 5min Life Videopedia if the video is 5 minutes or less. The site is strictly how-to videos and their player is unique in the way it presents them, specifically with how-to videos in mind. They will host it and give you an embedding code so you won't have to worry about bandwidth issues. You might consider breaking it up into segments if your videos are longer than 5 minutes each.

I posted about this site not that long ago, here: http://www.donationcoder....m/index.php?topic=10415.0

Now if you wanted to distribute high quality DivX videos, you could go with Stage6. They have a 2GB file size limit, and people have uploaded entire full length movies there. (great place to go for really old movies or indy stuff)

They also supply embedding codes, so you won't have to worry about using your own bandwidth to put it on your site. You can even start your own channel there for your content and customize the page for it.

I happen to like the quality of the videos on their site, and the fact that they let you download them, as well as watch online.
3944 Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: File lister on: November 02, 2007, 01:05:15 AM
If you are looking to find & remove a rootkit, there are at least 3 free tools to find & remove them:

Read all instructions & documentation very carefully before use.
3945  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Was My Posting To The Adobe Forum Stupid? on: November 01, 2007, 02:38:31 PM
I think there is 4 problems with your post:

Problem 1: Whatever it is that you want is buried in a lot of text. Keep it short & simple and to the point.

Problem 2: It isn't clear exactly what you are asking for. Technically there isn't a question in that entire least not one that ends in a question mark.

I am not trying to be a nitpicker here, but when scanning it twice to try to figure out what you were asking I couldn't find a '?' that would signify an actual question was in all that text.

Problem 3: The only thing that popped out at me from that entire post was this:

So, where can I find the big red button to push and get everything I want handed to me on a silver-platter.

You should know better than to ask that, whether you mean it that way or not. You will never get an answer to a post containing anything like that. At least not a useful answer. People run away from demands like that. And it doesn't matter what other words you surround that with, that still won't fly very well.

Problem 4: (most likely the biggest problem of all) You posted that to the wrong forum.

You would probably do a lot better if you go here and click 'community' and select a link from there. There is loads of stuff there that lead offsite. Browse around till you find something with a forum of people that seem to know what they are doing, answers questions, and are populated with more of the type of Flash user you would like to become.

You could also consider Yahoo's Flash Developer Network. There is a Yahoo Group there that might give you a lot better response to your questions.

If you are going to rely on a user to user support forum on Adobe's site, you aren't going to get anywhere. Nobody that works for Adobe officially spends any of their time there.

Your questions aren't of a specific software related technical problem. If any questions get answered on that forum they would be of that type, and only if some user that can answer it happens to drop by & see it and bother to reply.

You would be better off asking here for links to resources and recommendations for good flash game developer communities that welcome all levels of experience.

I am sure Deozaan could probably tell you a few.
3946  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: Draw Cody competition - win incredible prizes! on: October 31, 2007, 07:55:18 PM
Fortunately, thanks to Aesop, Cody found another distant relative
who seems to have laid this golden egg. (see attachment in previous post)It seems to be cracked, hmmm
Could be some potential here...

Reminds me of a fortune cookie.  tongue
3947  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Leech Attacks on: October 27, 2007, 03:54:24 PM
Oh you think you can handle them? Ok i'll add the address of your chatroom on the site so i can redirect them to u.You can help them but most of the users ask for C++ so if u are comfortable let me know.abt that.

We have been handling their kind for years.

Some go away without what they came for, but they leave with a better understanding of why they aren't getting what they want and why nobody can or will just hand them instant knowledge.

Some understand and will work for their knowledge...and keep coming back for more help. Once they learn how to learn, they usually do ok for themselves.

Some go on to become helping hands in the channel, providing info & help to others, sharing what they have learned.

We can provide help for a lot of programming languages in English, and in both Italian & English for C/C++ & Linux help. We also help with just about anything computer related...and things not computer related.

And anybody in my channel that does (or offers to do) someone else's work for them will receive a stern warning from me along with an explanation of why they shouldn't. Doing things for them instead of helping them do it themselves violates the help rules.

app, POST the logs after the bloodfest cheesy

There has never been a bloodfest, but there has been an immense amount of comedy over the years.  Grin

<¨°ºO Blutig O> who knows perl?
<¨°ºO Blutig O> I mean who knows Kernel
<¨°ºO Blutig O> I mean who knows Pascal?
<app> what do you need to know?
<¨°ºO Blutig O> can you advise me a good pascal tutorial
<¨°ºO Blutig O> I wanna learn it
<¨°ºO Blutig O> ru still alive?
<¨°ºO Blutig O> it's not ok
<¨°ºO Blutig O> I wanna know it without learning
3948  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: USB Doomsday Device Hub - Fun for the Office on: October 24, 2007, 02:18:51 PM
I think I found the code that makes it work:

But seriously...that would make a cool reset button or something.
3949  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: COLOURlovers on: October 23, 2007, 12:38:51 PM
I love this's called Arranged Marriage


It is made up of colors chosen not for their looks, but for their names:

  • Failing Marriage
  • kill the groom!
  • marriage piece
  • monster bride
  • Ending Marriage 

3950  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ¿A kid genius or an ambitious father? on: October 23, 2007, 12:10:40 PM
By the way, have you ever heard of those experiments where they do something like put ordinary preschool fingerpaint prints up in a fancy museum and all the critics think they are genius works of art? That cracks me up.

I heard about one done with art made by chimpanzees.  Grin
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