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3976  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Is the Windows start menu dead? on: June 22, 2007, 07:19:18 AM
Two of the very first applications I ever created were for organizing shortcuts and cleaning up your desktop.

They could be useful for avoiding the start menu as well.

The first is ClutterBuster. It holds 100 application shortcuts.


The second, Programmers Toolbox, is basically the same but a bit more specialized. It only holds 50 shortcuts and is aimed at programmers and web designers.


Both of these will only create application shortcuts (.exe) and the application must have an icon in the .exe file or the button will be blank. the buttons will show a tooltop on hover for the file associated with it.

All you have to do is right click a blank button, find the .exe file you want to associate with it and select it. Once you have it set up the way you like, close it and it will save your button preferences to an .ini file.

You can manually edit that .ini file in notepad if you would like to remove a button association and have a blank button, rather than change it to point to another application.

This can also be used on a thumbdrive, as it will accept a relative path to an .exe file. (you will have to manually edit the .ini file to do this though)
3977  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Here's Why You Shouldn't Program Alone on: June 21, 2007, 08:25:38 PM
Getting people to work together isn't easy.

I host a channel for a group with about 60 members, most of which are teaching themselves programming, with a few that hang around to be helpful to the less experienced. (and a few that stick around because they love us crazy geeks)

It happens so often in my channel that someone will get a great idea for something that is just too big for them to handle alone.

A few others will get excited about it and offer to help...even with something specific sometimes. Then we have 2-3 coding... contributing(as soon as they finish fighting about what language to write it in) and then the real fights begin.

Each one thinking that they can do a better job at something that one of the others have done...and they stop working together and begin to compete, rewriting each other's code and going in circles and not going forward to get the project done.

Then the insults start because they are stepping on each others toes.

By the end, they all decide to do it on their own, and we have 3 similar projects in the works...and it's a competition instead of teamwork.

Then they get fed up and quit because the project is too big for one person...and we have a bunch of abandoned projects.

I have had to play peace keeper and referee many times over the last few years. I love them all like family and I hate to see them fight like that. But I haven't found a way to cut their fuses.

When the idea for a small project comes up and it's one single member doing it, I love it...and things go fairly well, and there is usually a finished application for that coder to be proud of.

When it's a big project...it makes me want to run for the hills because I know how it's going to turn out.  Sad
3978  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: what is the potential capacity of the internet? on: June 21, 2007, 05:55:38 AM
I also wonder if there's multiple "internets", or if everything is so interconnected today that we only have The InternetTM.

Any AOL user will tell you there are multiple internets. It's very possible to be on one and not have access to the one you know of.

What this means is that if you have something wrong on your pc, only things that are aol:// are accessable..the rest is as if it doesn't exist.

There is a whole world there...chat, email, news, weather, music, software, video, blogs, forums, special interest communities, etc.

For a long time, that was all AOL users had...that was how they got the reputation of being 'the walled garden'. Then they opened up access to the real internet, outside the wall, to their members. Now they have opened up access to the AOL content to the rest of the world, for free. You still need their software to get the 'AOL only' content, though.

Even though they have done this, it's still possible that a dialup AOL member could have something wrong on their pc and only get the AOL content. At least there is enough there to keep you sane while you find a solution to your problem, which can be found either in the help community, some of the geek chats, or on one of their forums.
3979  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What's the most complicated wristwatch? on: June 20, 2007, 04:07:24 AM

app103, that's one funky watch...I don't understand how you can actually play the wheel of fortune on it.  You know what would be cool, if Vanna White came with the watch...

The wheel spins (and will hypnotize you if you stare at it too long). And the games included are more like the classic pencil game of hangman with points...pretty low-tech. It's not meant to be single player game either.

It was the 80's...what can I say?  cheesy
3980  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Gateway Inc. Recalls Notebook Computer Batteries Due to Fire Hazard on: June 20, 2007, 03:17:26 AM
Just another in the long list of laptop batteries that have been recalled.

Name of Product: Gateway Lithium Ion Battery Packs

Units: About 14,000

Battery Distributor: Gateway Inc., of Irvine, Calif.

Hazard: These lithium-ion battery packs can overheat, which could pose a fire hazard to consumers. This is not an internal battery cell defect.

Incidents/Injuries: Gateway has received four reports of battery packs overheating, including minor property damage. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recalled battery packs were shipped as the primary or spare battery pack for some Gateway 400VTX and 450ROG series notebooks, and are identified by part numbers: 6500760 or 6500761. The part number and “made by SMP” are printed on a label on the underside of the battery pack.

Sold through: Gateway’s professional and direct distributors and Gateway Country stores nationwide from May 2003 through August 2003. The computers with these batteries sold for between $1,200 and $2,400 and individual batteries sold for between $60 and $90.

Remedy: Consumers should stop using these recalled batteries immediately and contact Gateway to receive a replacement battery. Consumers can continue to use the notebook computers safely by turning the system off, removing the battery pack, and using the AC adapter and power cord to power the system until the replacement battery is received.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Gateway at (800) 292-6813 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. CT seven days a week or visit the company’s Web site at www.gateway.com/battery


Complete info from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
3981  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Are you a hardcore software fanatic or a poseur? on: June 20, 2007, 01:03:19 AM
4 persons with more than 350 programs????

To the crazy guys there (yes, App and Curt), do you really need that amount of software?

Yes, I do.

It depends on what you do with your computer as to the type of software you will have installed and how much of it. And I tend to have tools to do everything. It is rare that I want to do something and not already have the tool to do it.

If I only did one thing with my computer I wouldn't need it all and would have a pretty empty taskbar like my daughter's laptop which is used mostly for webmail, web browsing, and communicating with friends over AIM. She could be quite happy with just Firefox, AIM, Winamp, and Paintshop Pro.

But I can't be happy with that because I use my computer for a lot of stuff.

You also have to consider that I love small single purpose freeware tools. I was stuck on an old slow pc with not much ram for a long time and couldn't run a lot of the larger bloated applications...or afford to buy them. I had to resort to using 10 smaller tools to equal one application someone else could run on a newer pc. I got used to doing that and it's a hard habit to break....and I am not entirely sure it's a bad one that needs breaking.

I still don't understand why anybody would open Photoshop or Paintshop Pro just to use the eye dropper tool to find the color in an image when something small like Color Cop can do it.

Imagine trying to run Dreamweaver 4 and Paintshop Pro 7 at the same time on a 233mhz machine with only 64mb ram!  (and the pc didn't meet the min requirements to run Dreamweaver 4 by itself)

Now you know why I have tons of tiny tools.  Wink
3982  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What's the most complicated wristwatch? on: June 19, 2007, 06:49:42 PM
Mostly because of my dad (he's a watch collector) I own some really weird watches.

Most of them are packed away and not accessible for photographing.

The only one I could find on the web is this one:


A real collectors item from the 80's. It came with a game book so you could actually use it for playing.  cheesy

3983  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Are you a hardcore software fanatic or a poseur? on: June 18, 2007, 09:14:47 AM
wow! where did you get that quick launch setup!
is it here at dc somewhere?

Windows has had the ability to do that since at least Win98, without having to install anything additional to do it.

If you take a folder full of shortcuts and drag it from Explorer to the edge of any of the empty sides of your screen, it will create a toolbar like the one on the left of my screen.

The one on the right side is the standard Windows taskbar usually found at the bottom. I just dragged it to the right side and made it as big as I could.

To add the bars to sort your shortcuts:

Create a folder for all of them somewhere on your hard drive...add subfolders for each category...fill with shortcuts.

Then right click one of the quick launch bars and select toolbars> new toolbar

Select one of the subfolders. Once it has been added, you can customize it by right clicking the new toolbar and choosing your options.

You can have all 4 edges of your screen with toolbars like this, but I personally think more than 2 is just plain crazy.
3984  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Are you a hardcore software fanatic or a poseur? on: June 18, 2007, 12:14:14 AM
That self help group for addicts looks like it might be a good idea  Grin Close to a 150 and I cleaned the ones i never use out.  350+ would make for a really scary start menu lol

I hate using my start menu for just that reason.  cheesy

For those of you that haven't seen screenshots of my taskbar and additional shortcut bar, here is the most recent one:


It's very well organized by type of application or shortcut.

I did a big clean up where I uninstalled a bunch of crap and deleted a lot of shortcuts... about a week ago

The 2 toolbars are on autohide, one on each side of my screen.

These are not shortcuts to everything installed...there is much much more that I don't keep handy shortcuts to and have to go through the start menu to find them, on occasion. I don't have all 200+ games in the top left section...only 139.  Grin

and if you look in my tray on the bottom right, you will see I sure do love my icons there too.

I currently have 93 running processes!  ohmy

When & where is the next meeting for Software Addicts Anonymous...and does anybody need a small reminder application for it?  embarassed
3985  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Microsoft Code2Fame Challenge: Over $50,000 in prizes on: June 16, 2007, 09:34:10 AM
Create killer add-ins. Win fame and fortune.
How does industry-wide exposure and cold, hard cash sound? You could win both if you're one of the extraordinary coders who can create the best software and hardware add-ins for the new, soon-to-be-released Windows Home Server.

The challenge
Create cool software and/or hardware add-ins for Windows Home Server, to simplify the digital lifestyles of families everywhere—or just to geek out.

We are looking for creative use of a server as a platform, as well as useful, cool, easy-to-use, and solidly performing value-adds to Windows Home Server.

The prizes

Over $50,000 in cash prizes.

An all-expenses-paid trip for finalists to Microsoft headquarters in Redmond to "wow" the judging committee with their demos.

Your solution will be highlighted on one of the most visited Web sites in the world: Microsoft.com.

Top contenders will present their add-in to a judges' panel of select media and analysts.

Your add-in will be featured on the Windows Home Server developers blog.

You'll get bragging rights! (After all, these add-ins can change the way people live.)

Finalist prizes (for each add-in category):
1st place: US$10,000 cash value
2nd place: US$5,000 cash value
3rd place: US$1,000 cash value

The top three finalists in each category (software add-ins and hardware add-ins) will be notified by e-mail or phone between September 17-19, 2007.

The top three finalists in each category will be invited to Microsoft headquarters in Redmond between September 24-28, 2007, to "wow" the judging committee with their demo.

3986  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Überwallpaper! on: June 16, 2007, 06:01:16 AM
@App103 - I like your daughter's work.  Simple, not detracting from icons, but pretty.  It is amazing to me how many designs miss those points. 

Send her a private message and tell her. (maybe you can get her to finally make her first post  Wink)
3987  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: what is the potential capacity of the internet? on: June 16, 2007, 02:42:04 AM
kind of reminds me of this one too: How much does the internet weigh?
3988  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: DAZ Bryce 5.5 now free (Windows and Mac versions). on: June 16, 2007, 01:13:07 AM
They are also giving away DAZ Studio 1.5  thumbs up

3989  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: DAZ Bryce 5.5 now free (Windows and Mac versions). on: June 15, 2007, 05:05:10 PM
So what is the free 5.5 missing that you would have got with a paid v5?
3990  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Why is Hotmail so bad at spam? on: June 15, 2007, 04:43:43 PM
I'm trying very hard to be sympathetic towards Hotmail, and I'm failing, badly.

It's not the Microsoft connection that makes me fed up, it's just Hotmail.

Here's today's inbox:

     From my contacts: 2 (2)
     Marquita@viagra,com RE: Online Canadian Pharma...
     admin@speedtrader,co... RE: Daily News

If you believe I have a contact called Marquita at viagra dot com, you're mad.

3991  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Überwallpaper! on: June 15, 2007, 12:45:17 PM
My current wallpaper, which works quite well with my yahoo widgets:

(created by my daughter)

my previous one:

(I don't remember where I got this one)

default for the guest account on this pc:

(created by my daughter)

wallpaper on my other pc:
(created by me from some code written by a friend)
3992  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: How to make a video from a sequence of images? on: June 14, 2007, 04:53:25 AM
I did something like that once in Windows Movie Maker, using images as the frames.
3993  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: DivX Pro for free on: June 10, 2007, 10:41:33 AM
W2K cannot upgrade to XP Home.

that is true...but...

if you have an old 9x cd, you can do a clean install of xp home upgrade and insert the 9x disc when it asks for the qualifying OS cd.
3994  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DoCo Reading Week June 8, 2007 - Join In! on: June 08, 2007, 02:41:12 PM
I am in: Practical C Programming

And since it's kind of hot today, I'll be in my other room where it's cooler, reading The Dispossessed till I fall asleep...again.
3995  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Stellarium 0.9.0 Released! on: June 07, 2007, 02:54:27 PM
Awhile back I did this as a coding snack (or half a coding snack, I should say). Then I found a use for it on my pc, to use Stellarium as my 'screensaver'.  cheesy

3996  DonationCoder.com Software / ProcessTamer / Re: Start with Windows, but as a Registry Run on: June 06, 2007, 03:19:46 PM
The difference between them:

User: it will only run for that user account and not any other
machine: it will run for all users

So you have to decide if you want it to run no matter who is logged on the machine, or if you just want it to run in your account when you are logged on.
3997  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The top 10 dead (or dying) computer skills on: June 06, 2007, 11:14:49 AM
I am about to learn C for the purpose of developing software for my pocket pc. I can't do it in Delphi.  Sad

No, but you can do it in C#.  Why baseline C?  Does it even deploy to the Compact Framework?

I have an old Jornada 540 with WinCE 3.0...c# is not an option...C and VB 6 are. (no, no, no..I will not work with VB 6 ever again, if I can help it!)

There are some things I want for my pocket pc that are not and have never been available. The only choice I have is to make it myself.

So now is as good a time as any to learn C. I am sure the knowledge won't go to waste once I have written what I need.
3998  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Old school Pocket PC software? on: June 06, 2007, 09:35:17 AM
I am not sure if yours will be on the list, but I have found software for my HP Jornada 540 (SH3 processor running WinCE 3.0) at handango.com

I am currently learning C with the intent of developing software for mine.

My problem is finding hardware accessories for mine. There is only one place that I have found that sells a compact flash nic card for it.
3999  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The top 10 dead (or dying) computer skills on: June 05, 2007, 01:43:48 PM
I am about to learn C for the purpose of developing software for my pocket pc. I can't do it in Delphi.  Sad
4000  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Why do so many micropayment systems fail? on: June 04, 2007, 10:44:12 PM
Mouser's well written article hits the nail right on the head in so many ways and is definitely worth reading.

Part of the problem with most of these micropayment companies has been that they require an initial deposit greater than the payment you originally wanted to make.

So you come along to a website that uses a particular micropayment company. You want to give the blogger or site owner $1. You click the link to go to the micropayment site and then have to make a $20 deposit.

You think to yourself "Hey, that's a lot more than the $1 I wanted to give. What am I going to do with the other $19 in my account after I send him the $1? Who else uses this micropayment company that I would want to donate to? Nobody. Forget this."

And then you close the page, and the guy you wanted to give the $1 to gets nothing.

The difference here at DC is that there is no minimum deposit you are required to make and there is a whole list of people you can donate to.

The idea of being able to use your DC account to make microdonations needs to be taken a bit more seriously by members. When you come across a developer of freeware that you would like to make a donation to and they are not DC members, drop them an email and let them know about the donation credits system here. It won't cost them anything to become a forum member here. Then they can be a part of it and even offer it as a donation option on their site, and in the about boxes in their software.

Of all the microdonation systems I have seen, ours has the greatest potential for major success, if it is more widely promoted by existing members. And the more it is promoted to developers and software lovers, the more new members we will end up with, making contributions to the community in other ways. We all know one of the best features here is the forum discussions that draw you in and beg for your input, so we will end up with more things to think about and discuss, and new people to do that with.

I look forward to the day when all software authors have a little pic of Cody on their site I can click and one can actually earn a living from receiving donations.  cheesy

This site has the potential of leading the way into the future where there could be sites like DonationMusician where you can donate direct to recording artists who offer their content for free and discuss all things music related with other music lovers and the musicians themselves, DonationArtist where you can donate to the guy that created your latest desktop wallpaper, DonationBlogger where you can make contributions to the writers of the blogs you read, etc.

OK, maybe I am dreaming...but if you are going to dream, dream big.
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