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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Automakers Want to Outlaw Gearheads From Working on Their Own Cars on: April 23, 2015, 01:20:33 AM
Aha, this is about altering the control computer's software, not actual car repair.  You almost had me there...  embarassed

AFAICT, what they want to stop is folks selling aftermarket performance chips by saying that making them is illegal copying in the same way that making and selling your remix of a popular song without getting permission from the rightsholder is illegal (in their eyes, anyway).

I have a hard time seeing how this can fit into copyright. You're not actually making a copy of the software/data, you're just modifying pieces of it in place.

Well, if the original programming is present on the mod chip, which you bought from a mod chip vendor, then yes, it is a copy.  Ripping and modding your own ROM, not so much.  As close to the fringe that their argument is regarding copyright, I don't see a problem with things like voiding all warranties if the owner used a mod chip, and BTW good luck passing emissions testing.

I'm wondering if we'll start seeing replacement GPL'd software for cars anytime soon. Certainly it can't be illegal to delete their precious software after all...

Well, the man did say "... copying the software is at issue after all, not wholly replacing it, ...".   tongue

I dunno, the control software of a car is a VERY exacting piece of kit which is the entire reason we have cars that can get 20+ miles to the gallon and still have decent horsepower.  It takes very brave (or stupid) people to think is a good idea to mess with that, and I'm not one of them.  I'd never support making modding illegal, but I don't blame the manufacturers getting upset about it.

Is it me, or is the whole "Autonomous Car" thing seem like nothing more than a "personal bus"?  If I were a gearhead, I'd be bored too...
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for a very flexible timer on: April 22, 2015, 11:39:03 PM
Wow, has it been 2 days?  ohmy

RE: [4a]
When you start a task, the start time is set.  When you take breaks, set the time back, etc. you are altering the End time, so when you finally stop the clock, your final end time is what gets calculated, which will reflect the breaks and fudges along the way, because you've done the adjustments "on the fly".  There will be no breakpoints in-between to add up.

I only get an hour or so coding time before bed, so I haven't made a ton of progress.  Currently reading up on the "TStringGrid" component, which is a somewhat complex beast.  Trying to get the highlighting on the current task, it doesn't automagically do it for you.  Also working out the kinks in the start/stop/new task workflow.  I think most of the business logic is done, I just have to make the pieces work together without causing more bugs, and I still have the exporting code to do.

I'll post more progress as I go...
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for a very flexible timer on: April 19, 2015, 05:12:57 PM
[1a] I can add that

[2a] Yes, and the way the "String to Time" function works, you enter something like "10:47:20" or "5:30" or even "7 pm", but not "4".  I thought the buttons might be a good way to add or subtract a few minutes or seconds at a time, without having to re-enter the time manually.  I'll keep them for now.
Also, I'm thinking that the 'Reset' button should reset the clock to the 'Begin' time.

[3a] To explain: I'm finding a bit of a dance between starting/stopping the clock and the 'New Task' button.  As the code sits, stopping the clock adds the end time and total to the current row, but re-starting the clock and stopping later will amend it.  Clicking 'New Task' starts a new row, leaving the previous one locked, but there is a bit of a bug; if the clock had never been stopped on the previous Task, then clicking New Task will simply start a new row without 'finishing' the previous one or stopping the clock.  Describing it now, I think I know what to do:
1- 'New Task' starts a new row with the task title, but no time, and will set the 'Total' time for the previous task and stop the clock, unless it is the first entry in the list.  The 'Begin' time will not be set until:
2- Starting the clock sets the 'Begin' time, and stopping sets the 'End' time, but does not set 'Total', as the clock can be re-started, which will change the 'End' time entry.
3- To finish up a sheet of tasks, simply click 'New Task' with a blank entry.  That will finish off the last 'Total' entry and stop the clock.
Sound good?

[4a] The Total is End time minus Start time.  The timer counts from whatever time it is set to.  Should it be different?
Editing just the Task entry in-grid while locking the time entries may be problematic.

[4b] Correct.  I could add in confirmation, no problem.

[5] For the 'Edit' menu, I'll add in "Set time", "Reset", "Reset to 0".

[6] CSV it is.  The Grid component's built-in export format is CSV, so that'll be easy.
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Animal Friends thread on: April 19, 2015, 01:50:30 AM
^ any info about that animal?
I thought it was an owl first - I can see it's a cat but wondering how real it is (it *looks* real)

It's a Pallas' Cat.
I think they look very intriguing also.  Then again, I'm a cat person, so... yeah.

Lots of pictures here:
One cool thing is their eyes; the pupils are round instead of typical cat slits.  Beautiful creatures.
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for a very flexible timer on: April 18, 2015, 07:48:34 PM
Feeling a *little* better, so working on this is my "down" activity.  tongue

OK, so it looks like this project is shaping up to be the most ambitious one I have done to date, and is really stretching my "how do I do that?" muscles.  I'm not going to give up, but before I go any further, I feel a need to ask for opinions on implementation and direction.  Tomos, since I intended this as an answer to your appeal, I'll take your suggestions first, and implement them as I am able, but I'm open to advice from anyone.

Regarding the clock, and time-keeping in general:
Right now, the clock is started and stopped via clicking on the clock text itself; the background changes between light green and pink to indicate the status. Should it instead:
  -Use a separate start/stop button?
  -Click on the clock allows manually editing the time?
  -Clicking on the "Reset" button sets the clock to 0.  How about a Right-click sets it to the current time, or vise-versa?

The buttons on either side of the clock allow incrementing the seconds/minutes and I planned to add a third for changing the hours, but then I thought about leaving off the buttons, and just set the time manually, or would the buttons still be convenient?

Regarding the "New Task" button:
  -Is that an appropriate name for the function it does?  Or is there a more universal word for "something I'm doing that I want to measure the time I've spent doing it"?
  -As it is now, when the "New Task" button is clicked, it stops the clock, enters the Task and Begin time in the next available row.  I had planned to make it add the End time and Total time when another Task is entered, but that got me thinking... is that really the best way?  What would your opinion be on how to coordinate setting a new task, begin and ending time, and coordinating with the clock?

Regarding editing:
The grid component is where the Task, Begin, End, and Total are displayed. It's actually a complex beast for a single component, and is the source of much of my research on this project.  
As it is now, once an entry is listed in the grid, it is not editable, because I assume that the time spent on any task is an important metric, and adjusting for breaks and whatnot should be restricted to within the time spent, not fudging the numbers after the fact; BUT:
  - Should I allow direct editing of the contents after the fact?  Of course, one could simply edit the exported text file if the desire arose, I just think it's too much opportunity for 'cheating' to allow in-grid editing, and besides, at that point why have a timer at all? Why not just fill in arbitrary numbers in an Excel spreadsheet?
  - How about deleting rows? (I'm actually OK with that idea).

Regarding the menus: Any ideas for the menu items?
As I have it now, the menu items are -
  -Load (to continue a previously-exported time sheet from where you left off)
  -Save (or Export)
  (nothing in here yet, maybe not needed, unless some preferences be thought up)

Anything else?

Regarding exporting:
What file format should be used for the export file?
  -Plain text CSV?
  -Good ol' XML?
  -The new kid in town JSON?
  -Something entirely different (YAML, SDL)?
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for a very flexible timer on: April 17, 2015, 10:06:57 PM
Sorry I haven't checked in with more progress, I've been a little under the weather lately and can't think as straight as I normally do (which isn't saying much...).  On the other hand, I did figure out how to make the grid thingy resize with the GUI, which was driving me batcakes.  I got it so the time columns stay the same size and the Task one resizes.  It's the weekend now, so I can get back into the 'real' coding part.
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: 5 Insane Devices for Monitoring Your Kids on: April 16, 2015, 10:57:35 PM
When my son was very young, I used a baby monitor; one of those old-school radio types.  I worked night shift, so I would rush home, snatch a kiss from my wife as she headed off to work, slam some breakfast, vitamins, and a full cup of coffee before my son woke up.  Having the receiver next to my bed was VITAL to being able to wake and get involved in his day.

The above-mentioned gadgets?  Disgusting.  If one could be proven to prevent SIDS, then I could get onboard with that, but otherwise, no.  We are slowly turning our world into a prison; one we purchase for ourselves, brick by shiny techno brick, and insist the surveillance cameras catch our 'good side'.  The powers that be couldn't ask for better surveillance tools than the ones we insist we can't live without.


Pardon me, I'm going to make myself feel better by unplugging something.
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for a very flexible timer on: April 15, 2015, 01:34:40 AM
I'm fascinated with what could cause that big of a time gap! I thought computers were pretty good at keeping time! I could see off by a few seconds, but then maybe do "leap adjustments".
Exactly.  There's quite a span of difference between lower-level tracking along with system time, and throwing a sleep(1000) and calling it more or less one second.  If the system is reliable, that's good enough.  But if any significant load occurs in the larger time period, the discrepancies can add up.  I planned to do some testing to indeed see if real-time tracking is needed, or if 1000-millisecond timers can do "good enough".

It's starting to seem a bit more like a PIM/IM - I wonder are we trying to reinvent the wheel  undecided
Well, I don't know of any PIMs that track time spent on multiple tasks down to the second, so there is a wheel to be invented yet!  tongue

Like I said, this would be a programming exercise for me, and hopefully something you can make use of.  For now, here's a teaser screenshot until I can get back at it tomorrow.  Sleep time now.  I still haven't implemented a few things (obviously), and the spacing of the UI elements need work, but I'm getting there...

9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for a very flexible timer on: April 14, 2015, 01:23:46 AM
Tomos, have you found what you need yet?  If not, I'm working on a few ideas in Pascal/Lazarus.
1- Would you want to always track time from 0? or should the beginning time be settable, maybe even from actual time?
2- Would you want to have the tasks/notes be running timestamped? or starting a new task starts from 0?
3- Should a list of tasks/notes be hidden until exported, or should there be a running list showing?

I'm having trouble getting everything to sync up close-to-perfect with real time, so:
4- What kind of time tolerance would be acceptable? Say, +/- 1 or 2 minutes per hour?

5- Hotkeys?

If you could, sketch out how you'd like the UI to look.  The Trout example is good, but a slider would only be possible if there were a definite 'quitting time', like say you only want to spend 5 hours doing what you're needing done.  A slider would be rather inaccurate as well.  In the code I'm playing with, I have buttons for forward/reversing seconds, minutes and hours.  No direct text entry yet.

Let me know, I'd love to stretch my coding muscles even further...
10  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Loved on: April 11, 2015, 03:17:25 PM
Take a fairly generic low-res platformer, couple it with some downright uncomfortable in-game dialog, and what do you get?

Can games carry the auteurist intent and interconnection of traditional cinema and writing? Can we tell stories through games that aren't disposable? That live on after you've stopped playing? This is a short story in the form of a platformer that answers these questions.
Loved contains content that some players may find disturbing.

Loved.  A short story by Alexander Ocias

[attach=1]'s Kieron Gillen says:
It’s got the sort of meaningful choices interlaced through it which Fallout fans are always crying out for, has a genuinely oppressive atmosphere and at least a couple of killer endings depending on which way you choose to go.'s Kris Ligman says:
The catharsis that comes at the end doesn’t arrive within the game, but after you’ve completed it, which seems exactly like the designer’s intention. It might take you only five minutes to complete, but it will take hours to fully unpack.

JayIsGames' review Dora says:
I've seen people "explaining" the game to other players, and I'm not sure I think that's the right thing to do; after all, if I feel one way about something designed to provoke a personal reaction and you feel another, does that mean one of us really needs to be right in our interpretations? Which in turn raises another interesting question. Is art only successful if it explains itself to everyone?

NPR's Mindless Arcade Friday says:
Recommended, for people who like:
playing cerebral games, being verbally abused.

and here's an interview with the game's creator, Alexander Ocias:

Whatever the end purpose of the game, every once in a while I really like a game/book/movie that messes with your head, even negatively so.
Try it out, but don't blame me for any consequences...
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for a very flexible timer on: April 10, 2015, 01:26:21 AM
Do you mean like a countdown timer for set time tasks, or a set-it-and-let-it-run timer to evaluate time spent on tasks?
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: April 07, 2015, 01:53:06 AM
You remember "How to shoot yourself in the foot with programming languages"?  That was awesome.  
THIS, however, is flipping EPIC.

What if programming languages were methods to eat an orange?

Some of my favorites:
13 Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: Pastebin command-line app for windows on: April 07, 2015, 01:37:07 AM
It will be.  I've worked too hard on this already to not do it.  I'll let you know when that happens.  I've already started the coding...
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: April 06, 2015, 01:46:41 AM
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Why are car stereos so flimsy? on: April 05, 2015, 10:23:10 PM
LOL, this is me.  Grin  Sad

16 Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: Pastebin command-line app for windows on: April 03, 2015, 10:17:40 PM
Good idea.  Coding now...
17 Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: Pastebin command-line app for windows on: April 03, 2015, 09:20:43 PM
OK, I can make it an option, or I can hard-code it in.  PM me with your dev key if you'd rather have it hard-coded.
Also, I'm often on the IRC channel; pop in if you'd like to discuss in real-time.  Thmbsup
18 Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: Pastebin command-line app for windows on: April 03, 2015, 09:11:06 PM
Looking at the pastebin Api it says that the dev key is required to make the posts.

Yes, that is true; what I'm saying is it's nothing more than a Developer tracking thing.  I can hard-code my dev key in there and it won't have any effect on you or other users, and somebody knowing my dev key won't compromise my account; the only reason it is required is to notify Pastebin that something I wrote is hitting their API.  If you prefer to use your own, I can put that in there, just saying it's not something you have to provide.

For User keys, it might make things simpler to continue with Curl for now.  I do have Userkey generation code in the engine, so it wouldn't be much trouble (I think) to put that in later; for now it would be a distraction from the main goal.

Heck while you are at it, maybe add the ability to list the pasts also and return the output xml? Not needed for the initial release and you don't really need to add it as I do this with curl also but I thought I would throw it in also. smiley

Yes, I'd rather save that one for later also, as I don't have code for it at the moment, but it can be done.  I'm thinking eventually having the utility do "modes", like Pasting mode, Userkey generation mode, Paste fetch mode, etc. with each 'mode' having it's own options, and each mode triggered by a 'super-option' passed as the first argument.
19 Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: Pastebin command-line app for windows on: April 02, 2015, 09:39:09 PM
Something like -paste:"text to paste"
Yep, no problem.  
One question: according to an email conversation I had with a Pastebin dev, the Dev Key is really only needed so they can track the popularity of an app, it's not really for identification.  That's what the User Key is for.  The User Key is easily generated via a Curl POST request, or I could have that as an option of the utility.  Would you like everything specified via command line, or should there be a configuration file for some default values (like User Key)?  Actually, let's save that for later, I just want to get something working out the door...
20 Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: Pastebin command-line app for windows on: April 02, 2015, 06:50:59 PM
Glad to hear PasteQuick works for you.  I am furiously coding on the command-line tool today, and once that gets your stamp of approval, I'll feel confident integrating that functionality into PasteQuick.  Thanks for the inspiration!
* Edvard returns to coding furiously...

21 Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: Pastebin command-line app for windows on: April 01, 2015, 08:12:06 PM
I am planning on adding command-line options to my app Pastequick, but that won't be overnight.  You could try it as-is, I've gotten good feedback about it.

*mumbles to self* Perhaps I could just take the engine out and make a command-line tool with it...  
When do you need this?  I might need a few nights...
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: better than textmechanic on: March 30, 2015, 10:07:09 PM
For the first request, not a website, but a command-line tool.

sed (stream editor) is a Unix utility that parses and transforms text, using a simple, compact programming language.

You want a comma-separated list transformed into a vertical list?
[copy or print]
sed 's/, /\n/g' comma_list.txt > vert_list.txt

Sed for windows can be found here:

The combinations of strings will have to be done as a programming exercise.  Eric Lippert, a C# compiler dev for Microsoft, has an interesting, though kinda technical, series on just such a thing which is known as Context-Free Grammar which is important in the design of programming languages.  Don't know if it'll help at all, but I couldn't do any better.
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Anyone getting a Pebble Time? on: March 29, 2015, 05:46:31 PM
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Opera now supports DuckDuckGo on: March 29, 2015, 03:55:37 PM
Opera is the fastest browser I've tried on Linux without sacrificing usability or features.  Though I never used a whole lot of extensions on other browsers besides ABP and Ghostery, at least those are both available for Opera.  Not having a choice of default search engines was rather disconcerting, so this is good news.
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Programming/Coder humor on: March 28, 2015, 03:27:01 AM
Another from (some real gems in there):
How many times...
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