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3976  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Cool Flash Adventure Game: Fancy Pants Adventure on: April 15, 2007, 11:45:53 AM
It almost feels like a Sonic game from the stickman dimension!  cheesy

3977  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / LibrarianChick: Resources for students & knowledge junkies on: April 15, 2007, 10:51:33 AM
Great list of links to all kinds of educational related sites, blogs & tools.

This a list of free resources for students and educators... and anyone else who's hip to learning. Feel free to click away! Though many of these resources could be listed under multiple categories, I've only added them once so you can CTRL+Click all links to open in tabs and never open the same page twice.

3978  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows "safely remove device" thingie on: April 14, 2007, 08:03:47 AM
Inresting... Yeah, it's odd that they don't let you "safely remove" flash cards with that icon... I guess MS doesn't consider a flash card as a device.

It really shouldn't matter what MS thinks in this case, since they are not the manufacturers of the card readers.

You would think that somewhere in the driver/software packages that come with these readers, that there would be something that would pop a little icon in your tray for this purpose. This really should be part of the card reader software.

Since most of these card readers are usb devices, the icon for the safe removal of the reader is there...MS has done their job. It's the manufacturers of the readers that hasn't done theirs.

And I think it's very odd that not one card reader I have come across has this.
3979  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Windows "safely remove device" thingie on: April 14, 2007, 05:51:36 AM
I am wondering something...

There is a 'safely remove hardware' for usb devices, which is good for usb thumb drives and such...but what about CF and other types of cards? They can suffer the same problems on removal that USB devices can.

I have never seen a card reader that has a feature for 'safe removal' of a card. Why is this?
3980  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The End of Support for Windows XP Service Pack 1 and 1a on: April 12, 2007, 06:00:42 AM
Being a WinXP user I really have a problem understanding why some insist on hanging onto Win 98, 2000, ME.
It's a stable OS and has worked well for me since I got it.
But then again to each his own I suppose.
But nothing lasts forever.

There are a lot of reasons.

1. Some are disabled and/or elderly and on fixed incomes and can't afford a new pc that can run something newer than 9x, or they can't afford the cost of upgrading the OS.

2. Some are children stuck with a hand-me-down pc because mom & dad aren't going to let them use the new one they bought for themselves. They don't have an income, they don't have a choice.

3. Some are low income families with old pc's they bought cheap or got for free when someone got rid of their old hunk of junk. They can't afford newer & better. What they have can't run a newer OS because of old hardware or because they just can't afford to upgrade. But what they have is better than nothing.

4. Some have a fear of newer things, or feel uncomfortable with the idea of learning a new OS (old is known & comfortable)

5. Some run it on the old pc they kept and decided not to throw away (it's the spare in case of an emergency)

6. Some are collectors of old technology.

7. Some like how light and fast it runs or how simple it is.

8. Some have software they love or need to use that just won't work on anything else.

9. Some just LOVE the old OS's for their own reasons.

I have found myself in categories 3, 5, 8, & 9 at various points in the last 5 years.

And yes, I can see MSFN supporting a 'Keep XP Alive' campaign at some point in the future, just like they are with 9x now.

Understanding this, I try very hard to make sure all the software I write will run on 9x, or that I properly disable what features will not work, and provide an OS appropriate alternative feature if I can. Yeah sure, it can sometimes be a little extra work, but I think people that are stuck with an older OS and can't upgrade are still deserving of software that they can use. And I will continue to do this for as long as my old pc continues to boot up...which could be many years.

There are even people still running Win3.1 with Calmira...and there is even a new version called Calmira XP that can make Win3.1 'look' like XP. (latest version was released 06/03/2006) It even adds extra functionality to 3.1 like supporting long file names.

(looking at all those Calmira screenshots is kind of making me wish I had a really old hunk of junk running 3.1 in addition to my old hunk of junk running ME)  cheesy
3981  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What Programs Run In Your System Tray? on: April 12, 2007, 03:01:00 AM
How did I miss this thread?

provides annoying reminders of scheduled tasks -- which, apparently, I require

hahahahahahahah  lol

gives me idea for making a new program and calling it: "Annoying Reminders"

Been there, done that, called it PesterMe, and it was my N.A.N.Y. project. (to pester me to finish my real N.A.N.Y. project)  cheesy

Any way, I have quite a bit in my tray, and I actually keep a text file with a list of everything, which I check every time I reboot to make sure it's all there in the tray and nothing missing. Sometimes some of the programs load, but their icons fail to appear in the tray.


From Left to Right, Top to Bottom:

  • WhatPulse (submits my keystroke and mouse click counts for the DonationCoder WhatPulse team)
  • A reminder alarm for a Post-It software note (reminding me to check GiveAwayOfTheDay)
  • AIM (mostly for talking to my daughter at other end of house...better than yelling)
  • ????? (a new application I am working on)  Wink
  • Callwave (to receive my voicemail on my pc)
  • Lyrc plugin for Winamp (click to display lyrics of song currently playing)
  • Winamp (gotta have tunes)
  • Task Manager
  • RoboMX with Metis plugin (PeaceKeeper chatbot for my WPNP chatroom)
  • XChat (irc chat client)
  • ProtoRelay (command line utility bot to link my WPNP chatroom to an IRC channel)
  • RoboMX (chat client for WPNP chatrooms)
  • Ouka (server for hosting my WPNP chatroom)
  • Last.fm (for logging what I listen to on Last.fm)
  • PeerGuardian (specialized 'firewall' type application)
  • LAN status
  • Yahoo Messenger (keeps in touch with some friends)
  • Volume Control
  • Post-It Software Notes (the master to-do list for my life)
  • SpeedFan (keep tabs on my cpu temp)
  • FileBox Extender (has multiple uses, but mostly used to pin/unpin window always on top status, and jumping to favorite folders)
  • AdMuncher (blocks ads on web pages)
  • no-ip.com DUC (keeps my no-ip.com domain updated with my current ip)
  • MSN Messenger (keep in touch with friends)
  • Mouse control panel (for my ergonomic 5 button mouse)
  • AVG antivirus (yes, I know I have to reboot  embarassed)
  • USB control panel
  • GTalk (used mostly as a new mail alerter and less for its chat functions)
  • StayLive 2000 (keeps my pc clock accurate)
  • AOL control panel
  • TaskbarEx (allows me to drag open windows buttons off my taskbar and place them on my desktop)
  • SnagIt (for screen captures)
  • TPA AdBuster (removes AOL ads that AdMuncher can't)
  • Sound Effects control panel (for onboard sound)
  • Weather Channel Desktop (displaying current temp and red background indicating severe weather warning)
  • Dclock2 (my desktop clock program)
  • PS Tray Factory (for shoving anything I want to ditch into the tray and out of my way)
3982  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: I have the need to convert animated GIFs to AVIs on: April 11, 2007, 06:55:46 AM
Ulead GIF Animator can do this. I have never tried it for this specifically, but it does support exporting as an avi, Quicktime, or mpeg.

It does a great job of exporting as .swf too (which I have used it for).

At about $50, the price is a bit steep for one time use....and the 15 day trial is a bit short for an evaluation period.

There is a freeware version from a long time ago (v.2). I am not sure it can export as .avi or any other video format. You can take a look and see if it does.


Click the link at the top that says 'GifAnimator' to download. It's the last freeware version they released.


Edited to include freeware edition info.
3983  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Companies paying people to say good things about their products on forums on: April 09, 2007, 03:18:19 PM
Where do you draw the line? If we say that you can't accept money for reviews, must we also say you can't accept anything of value for reviews? That is, is it wrong for me to accept a license to a piece of software in order to review it? I'm assuming this is OK (and I've done so myself), but how is the income I derive from free software different?

Of course, I have always disclosed any such arrangement. Is it simply the transparency that's important?

If you are reviewing 20 applications in the same category, and 15 of them are shareware, and you receive 7 reviewers licenses, when it is all over and done with, how many of those 20 applications are you going to keep installed? Is the free reviewers license going to alter your opinion of the software and influence what you will say about it before you even take a look at it? Will that free reviewers license determine which you keep installed, if any? Would you represent crapware as the greatest thing since sliced bread just because you got a free reviewers license?

When I was researching screensaver software, I didn't receive any reviewers licenses. I tried many...uninstalled all when it was over...even the freeware ones.

What I ended up keeping was the one I had installed before my research began...the one I paid for a long time ago. Why? Because it is still my favorite. (mouser & I had differing opinions on which was the best...different requirements to base our opinions on)

If I had received a free reviewers license for all of them, it still would have ended up the same way. I still would have liked that same application best...and still would have uninstalled the rest. And the crappy ones would have still been crappy and I wouldn't have been afraid to say so.

I think where the line is drawn is where the intention sits.

Are they giving you the free license in exchange for good words about their product? (This is being paid)
Or are they giving you the license to enable you to give them a fair chance, to enable you to evaluate whether or not the extra features you get when you pay for their product are actually worth the price? (This is not being paid)

What about when a company doesn't know beforehand that you will be doing a review of their product, you like it and say good things about it, and when it's all over they surprise you with a free license as a 'thank you' for giving them some publicity?

You didn't say what you said in exchange for a free license...didn't say it hoping for one either. In this case I would think it would be OK to accept it. (this has happened to me only once, really surprised me, and I did add a mention of it to the thread I made about the application, which wasn't intended to be a review. I was just excited about it and wanted to share my find with the whole world.)

The bottom line is, YOU know what you are doing and why. Don't try to be sneaky and think you can fool us. Don't even think about it. You will lose all credibility and respect if it is found out that your intentions were less than pure.

Reviews should be done like a game of 'open poker', where all cards in play are on the table, face up, for everyone to see...there is nothing hidden, you can't bluff.

It shouldn't be done like a game of Bullshit, where everyone has to guess if you are telling the truth or not.
3984  DonationCoder.com Software / Post New Requests Here / IDEA: Count my jazz albums on: April 08, 2007, 08:14:00 PM
My dad wants a little tool, doesn't have time to post it and follow up on it, so I get to do it for him:

I want to count the number of albums on my jazz drive. 

It's impossible to do it manually-there are just too many.

So what I need is a utility that will count the number of folders at the lowest sub level of the drive. This may vary in depth. 

The first level is the single folder holding all the CDs (there are several other folders on the drive at this level.

Next down is the level of Group/lead musician:  there are currently 1197 folders at this level. 

The next level down is the album/collection.  This last folder may or may not be subdivided depending on whether there is one or more CDs to the album (In some cases there are over 20 CDs to any given album).  In some cases this last level may be broken down even further.   

Well you get the idea. 

A super utility would not only give you counts by level, but would also  let you aggregate the numbers by level either top down or in reverse- and further give you the option to print the names of the subdirectories by level (or not as the case might be.) 

What do you think?

I don't think a tool that uses any data from the ID tags of the files would be a good idea. They are not all .mp3's and chances are many are not properly tagged. So reading the album names from the tags and listing them & a count of the albums wouldn't work.

This has to do it based on the directory structure he described.

I would attempt to do this one myself, but I am currently pulling my hair out with another project. Any tool that can do what he wants would be greatly appreciated.
3985  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Drawing with 2 mice on: April 07, 2007, 08:57:23 AM
just give it 1 minute of thought
think of any program you're using right now, ANYTHING, that could be effectively used with 2 pointing devices (2 independent mice, multitouch).
might be just me, but i can't think of any ;-)

Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, Bryce...just about any art program.

They could all benefit from being able to do something like this....so would anything that has any sort of drag & drop layout designing, such as web page builders.
3986  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Wanted: Best Practices for changelogs/version history on: April 06, 2007, 02:09:50 PM
I have been watching this thread and waiting to see replies, as I would like to hear everyone's thoughts on it, too.

This stuff isn't in the coding books that I have been reading. And since I haven't gone to school to learn programming and I don't work for a company to learn it on the job, I am kind of relying on the experience of others to help guide me along in some areas....like this one.

So let's hear what ya got!
3987  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Companies paying people to say good things about their products on forums on: April 06, 2007, 09:23:48 AM
I have been a member of a consumer testing group that does product testing & feedback for a number of companies, for a long time.

Some of these companies will even pay me to test and give them feedback, both positive & negative, about their product.

Sometimes I don't know what brand I am testing, but most of the time I do.

I recently tested some shampoo and conditioner of a very well known brand, for pay. (I am deliberately not telling what brand)

In the questionnaire I was sent, in addition to the usual product related questions that I am used to seeing and answering, there were a few more I have never seen before.

  • They wanted to know if I was an active regular participant in online chatrooms. (IRC, AOL, Yahoo, etc)
  • They wanted to know if I have ever recommended a product I have tested to people in online chatrooms.
  • They wanted to know if I would recommend theirs in an online chatroom.
  • They wanted to know if I have ever used a product on the recommendation of someone in an online chatroom.

I think in addition to getting feedback from me on their product in order to improve it, they are hoping (naturally) to turn me into a regular customer and for free advertising by planting the thought in my mind to tell people about it...specifically in online chatrooms.

Now I don't know about anybody else, but shampoo isn't something that comes up much as a conversation topic in the chatrooms I hang out in. And as far as recommending a product, I would have to really love it to recommend it to someone.

I don't see anything wrong with recommending a product you have tried and like...for free. But that is the key...you have to believe in it or your recommendation is worthless. The minute you receive pay to say nice things, your credibility will go down the drain with me, as soon as I find out about it. From that day forward, I will never trust your recommendations about anything, ever again. I don't like sneaky advertising and people that try to pull the wool over my eyes.

Being sneaky about it is worse than google ads on my kitchen table, relevant to current conversation, over coffee. It doesn't belong there.

But it did get me thinking, and a little paranoid now, about product info from friends...specifically in chatrooms. Are companies paying people to sway the topic towards their product? Are any of my friends involved in this? Would they even tell me if they were?

(if the creators of the Python programming language could stand to make a profit from chatroom endorsements, I would be giving tinjaw the evil eye, right about now.)
3988  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: engineer joke on: April 06, 2007, 04:40:44 AM
4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would
cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you
would have to reinstall the engine.

My mother had a Plymouth Duster back in 1979 that did that. It would stall and refuse to restart after attempting to make a left turn. It was pretty scary.

She had to go everywhere by making only right turns.  embarassed
3989  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Windows XP Annoyance: ToolTip pop-ups on: April 06, 2007, 04:31:19 AM
I have the opposite problem. I lose my tooltips periodically, systemwide. I thought this was a 9x specific problem for a long time and then I got XP and found out that isn't the case.

I don't just lose them on the taskbar...I lose them for everything.

If I ever find out why I lose them, I will be sure to let you know so you can do it on purpose (and I can fix my prob once & for all).  cheesy
3990  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: engineer joke on: April 04, 2007, 09:50:00 PM
I heard this one just a little bit differently:

3 engineers travel on a desert road in a good old '76 VW Beetle. One is a mechanical engineer, the second one is an electric engineer and the last one is a computer engineer.

The VW Beetle starts making weird engine noises and stops. Then, the mechanical engineer goes back, looks at it for a couple hours and gives his veredict:

"This thing needs a complete overhaul of all friction components, plus the warpage limits of the engine heads are beyond specifications..."

The electrical engineer takes over and starts staring at the engine...after three hours he gives out his veredict:

"This thing isn't working because the voltage present on the battery is not enough, and the electromagnetic effect of the generator is too low for the car to run correctly..."

The computer engineer stares at the engine bay for 6 hours, looking under the mass of cables, hoses, until he stands up and tells his companions:
"We are doomed. I can't find the reset button on this thing!!!"

or this one:

Three engineers were riding in a car: a mechanical engineer, a chemical engineer, and a Microsoft software engineer. The car stalled, and they rolled it to the side of the road.

The mechanical engineer popped the hood, looked in and said "Look. The drive belt is loose. All we have to do is tighten it up and the car will work just fine."

The chemical engineer replied "No, that's all wrong. The problem is fuel contamination. We have to drain the fuel, filter it, and then everything will be A-OK."

The Microsoft software engineer told the other two "No, I've seen this problem before. We have to get back in the car, close all the windows, shut down the car, get out, get back in, start up the car, open all the windows, and then it will run."
3991  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Favorite Sci-fi movies? on: April 04, 2007, 04:50:59 PM
We could be here all year adding to this list till the number of replies exceeds the ones for this post.  Grin

Here are a few more I would like to add:

  • Time After Time (1979)
  • Enemy Mine (1985)
  • Cocoon (1985)
  • Westworld (1973)
  • E.T. (1982)
  • Short Circuit (1986)
  • Starman (1984)
  • *batteries not included (1987)
3992  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What fonts do I actually need? on: April 04, 2007, 02:40:29 PM
Here are a few that may add more fonts to your list:

Windows Font Basics in 5 Easy Lessons
Removing fonts can be tricky (this is a good read and mentions things you may not have thought of)

I do not install any fonts into my fonts folder by choice unless it is one I know I will be using on a regular basis for some purpose.

Yet I seem to currently have 395 fonts in there.  embarassed

They sneak in when you install other applications. I never bothered with removing them. It gives me something to work with in Paintshop Pro when I don't feel like looking in my huge 12,000+ fonts collection for 'the perfect font'.
3993  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recipe for Java Cookies on: April 04, 2007, 11:53:21 AM
This recipe is perfect!

I have a few guys in my channel learning Java...they will love it! (or hate it)  cheesy

What I am now wondering is how many coders would be interested in converting their favorite recipe to their favorite programming language?

One could build an entire site based on this idea.  Wink
3994  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Leonids meteor shower visible tonight on: April 04, 2007, 11:02:29 AM
You might wonder what meteor showers has to do with software...well there is a great open source app called Stellarium that can be used to locate stars, planets, constellations. It really is a great piece of software and worth checking out:


I love Stellarium.  But my only wish was that I could use it as a screensaver.

I managed to solve that problem with one of the coding snacks I did (IdleStart), though.  cheesy

I created a shortcut to IdleStart and configured it to launch Stellarium.

I use 1200 as the first command line parameter (20 mins). Now it automatically launches after 20 mins of system idle time.

Just drop that shortcut in your Startup folder and you are all set.

Don't forget to turn off any real screensavers you may be using, in your desktop properties settings. (set it to use 'none')
3995  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Favorite Sci-fi movies? on: April 04, 2007, 10:30:54 AM
They Live (1988) (contains one of the most amusing fight scenes I have ever seen in a movie)
Is that the one with the special sunglasses and the fight that goes on forever?  Awesome!

That's the one!  Grin
3996  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Favorite Sci-fi movies? on: April 04, 2007, 12:24:23 AM
These might not be my top picks, but I am trying not to repeat anything you already mentioned, and include some stuff you may not have seen.

Yes, I know some of these qualify as cheese, but I like cheese...cheese is good.  tongue

  • Electric Dreams (1984) (boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, computer gets jealous)
  • Gattaca (1997)
  • Cherry 2000 (1987)
  • The Lathe of Heaven (1980) (TV) (based on my favorite novel)
  • Logan's Run (1976)
  • They Live (1988) (contains one of the most amusing fight scenes I have ever seen in a movie)

and of course ANYTHING Star Trek related.  cheesy
3997  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: PC World lists the top 50 tech products of all time on: April 03, 2007, 12:20:18 PM

Does anybody else find it odd that the same site would list the Iomega Zip Drive as #23 in their 50 all time best list...and at the same time list it as #15 in their 25 all time worst list?
3998  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: Announcement: DonationCoder.com Has Been Sold to Apple on: April 02, 2007, 03:36:28 PM
Look what I found in the IRC channel quotes list:

<JoTo>   mouser will sell dc to digg!

For those of you that don't know, I am the keeper of the quotes in dc's IRC channel. If you say something really funny or embarrassing (that you hope nobody saw), I will see it and make sure everyone else does too....
in blinding yellow...
every time you return to the channel.  cheesy
(it's never mean spirited, it's all in fun and a lot of laughs)

JoTo and mouser are tied for the most quotes in the file, at 21 each.
3999  DonationCoder.com Software / Mouser's Zone / Re: Multi-browser Bookmark Synchronization Tool and Other Multi-Browser Ideas? on: April 02, 2007, 10:12:25 AM
It will be interesting to see if FSL ever finishes his freeware...

Yeah, I agree. When I looked at that one, it seemed to me that one way for someone to make extra money in a situation like that might be to keep it in development, motivating people to pay by giving them special access to the otherwise unavailable software. Of course, I have no way of knowing whether that is going on here.


That's not his style of releasing software.

He releases 2 versions of everything: 1 regular freeware version for everyone, and one with an extra feature or 2, to thank those that have donated to him in the past.

I am sure it will be released to the public when he feels it is ready and stable. He may have stopped deveopment on it for awhile to work on other projects.

Just think of how long we have all been waiting for thistongue
4000  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: When you make your 100'th Post on: April 02, 2007, 08:48:32 AM
I have just made my 1000th post!


I have been here for slightly more than a year. This has become home and you guys have become my family.

Thanks for making it feel like home.  Kiss
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