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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: May 22, 2015, 01:17:42 AM
What computer is she using?

That, my friend, is an Apple ][, ][+, or ][e with a green-screen monitor.  The design on the screen is the girl using either Logow to draw something interesting, or the Apple BASIC's PLOT command and some standard geometry formulas.
 Thmbsup
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: May 15, 2015, 11:39:22 PM
I'll just leave this right here...

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un_utoy8t2A" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un_utoy8t2A</a>
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: May 13, 2015, 07:08:36 PM
I have been tempted to try it, but I fear being underwhelmed.  Although the top rated review on Amazon is quite a hoot, and makes me want to:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/...=UTF8&ASIN=B006KK4GUO
Quote
I don't even know where to begin... words cannot describe the evil.

It was November of last year when I purchased my first jar of drug butter.
...
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: 10th Anniversary - long time member check-in thread on: May 11, 2015, 06:34:09 PM
I recall him saying he was going to step out for a bit, just didn't know when.  Remember his turtle avatar was slowly fading?  That was a hint. 
I have his email around somewhere, and I keep meaning to dig it up and touch base with him, but other things get in the way.  I'll do that now...
 tellme
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Switzerland-based ProtonMail, yet another secure email service on: May 11, 2015, 12:09:12 AM
Well, I got my invite email, we'll see how this goes.
https://blog.lavaboom.com/lavaboom-rolls-out/
[attach=1]

First look:
Nice web UI (no, really, it's pretty slick, if rather Metro-y)
1GB storage
No emails-per-day limit as far as I can see.
6  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: A Few Hundred More Retro Games To Enjoy For Free. on: May 08, 2015, 08:44:52 PM
I remember seeing advertisements for the high-end Sinclair models in computer magazines back in the day and drooling.  My Timex-Sinclair 1000 with 1KB of memory seemed a toy calculator in comparison (Spectrum ads were where I first saw screenshots of multiplex terminal screens *drool*).  This is going to be fun...
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for a very flexible timer on: May 05, 2015, 11:51:25 PM
both look good there - but #2 is preferable I think - and more foolproof too

#2 it is... I'll roll with that.  Though how it is in the screenshot probably won't be the final final form.

I'm still confused by the above:

I admit it is confusing, but all I was saying is that if task #4 has been initialized, but not started, then the value that remains stored in the Reset variable is the beginning time of the previously active task, so that explains the behavior.  Bug?  Yes, that should count as a bug.  But I'm left wondering what should be happening.  Should hitting Reset at the point after a new task is initialized set the start time to Zero?  Or the end time of the previous task?  (Actually, I have an idea; more about that farther down...).

Quote
So, a group of tasks can ultimately be treated as one task,
...
I have no ideas about difficulties of implementation. What do you think?

Task grouping sounds like a great idea, but I am at a loss as to how to implement it.  For now, anyways...

Quote
Maybe this is not yet implemented:
tasks are not saved on closing.

Whoops!  Time to implement auto-save, or a reasonable facsimile.  Should it ask the user to confirm on exit?  Or simply save the session with a possibility to recall on the next start-up?  Or a set-able option to automatically load the previous task list on start-up?  So many possibilities...



OK, so with most of the internal logic pretty set, here's what I'm thinking for the next iteration of user interaction:

New Task:
- Make a toggle for "Start at Zero" or "Continue from Previous".

Reset:
- Reset should always reset to the beginning time of the current task, whether that is zero or something else depends on the New Task behavior.
OR...
- Make "Continue from Previous" the default 'New Task' action, but "Reset" will set the clock back to zero.  Much simpler code that way...

Timer:
- I don't like the idea of the end time updating in the list, I mean, it's not even there until you stop the timer, so I think "graying out" the end time and total when re-starting a current task is a great idea; takes your mind off the list and back on the timer, and also lets you know at a glance that this is a task that has been continued.  Which leads to...

Tasks:
- Going back to an old task to continue the time spent on it is a good idea as well.  I know how it can be done, so that'll be in the next iteration.
- Grouping tasks isn't as easy, maybe even impossible without a custom component.  The StringGrid component has a lot of methods and properties to it, and is quite complex.  Trying to wrangle sub-lists into it would be problematic at best.

Sessions:
- Saving sessions should be a given by now, you're right; not saving the session is kind of unsettling.  But how to implement?  I'm thinking either offer the user to save the current session on exit, or simply auto-save and have an option to auto-load on next start-up.  That will be easy to do.  Hmmm... maybe even differentiate between saving a session and saving a final file; kind of like: if saving a session, then auto-load the session on the next start-up, but if saving a final file, the next start-up is blank.  You can always manually load a saved file from the File menu and continue as well.

So that's what I got, I'm going to dive back in and get something ship-shape for you to test, hopefully not too far in the future.  I'll keep the thread posted with any breakthroughs...  
Cool




8  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for a very flexible timer on: May 04, 2015, 09:13:51 PM
I like version 2 for layout, though I wonder if it was a typo that the task-begin-end-total bar was left out?

It just seems we're so close to everything, because if there is a "stopwatch mode", then it can start with a timer of 0, start-stop works as normal, and "lap" creates its own "pseudo-tasks" aka the laps breaking down the segments of each task, below the main header of it.

It feels to me like this should be easy ... but famous last words?

Umm... yes.   stars
 
... and I have no idea what happened in the screenshot for #2, but yeah, I like that layout better too.  I may even have some ideas for a 3rd, but first I think I need to simply get the main stuff happening and get some feedback from Tomos as well.

Onward!
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for a very flexible timer on: May 04, 2015, 01:36:46 AM
I notice:
  • create, say, three tasks - without using reset (let each run for a time before creating the next)
  • then create a fourth task - it will show the endtime of task #3 in the timer
  • try Reset on task #4 - it reverts to endtime of task #2
should it not simply reset to zero? (again, I may be missing an application)

If my logic is correct here, if the fourth task has not been started yet, it may (should?) reset to the beginning time of #3, which is the ending time of #2.  Once the fourth task has started, reset should simply reset to the beginning time of #4.  Sounds like I really do need to implement some choices and defaults like  "Start new tasks at zero/Continue from previous."

Also, I have been working on some GUI changes, which I'd like your opinion on the layouts:
- No "New Task" edit box; Since we can change the Title of the task in the grid anyway, why not just have it all happen there?
- Start/Stop button
- Larger Clock
- Replaced the H/M/S buttons on either side of the clock with more compact Up/Down buttons
- Direct editing of the time in the clock

Layout 1 (yes, the button order should be H/M/S, fixed in the other one):
[attach=1]

Layout 2:
[attach=2]
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: May 04, 2015, 12:35:40 AM
One word: Thermite.  tellme

11  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for a very flexible timer on: May 03, 2015, 03:25:10 AM
OK, I'd seen the issue with the timer font and it's not an issue with your DPI, but with the GUI elements showing differently on different platforms (I am doing all development on Linux, so everything looks great for me Wink ).  I can fix that, just the clock window may have to be a bit larger.  On my box, I use the Euromode font as my main font; I love the square-ish look and it's very legible, more so than the fonts it was inspired from (Microgramma and Eurostile) and makes a very nice clock face.  I wish I could embed it in my program, but I'm sure there would be licensing issues or something.  I didn't set the font, Lazarus just uses whatever the default is if I don't set it explicitly, so looks like it chose something funky Grin

I considered a start/stop button, but I thought using the clock as  button would be economical as far as UI goes; maybe I was wrong...  ohmy
As far as tasks, the last task in the list always has focus; at this stage of development, it's the only way I could keep things straight.  When you click on another task to change the name, that's all that's allowed.  Are you wanting to change between tasks to add more time on the selected task?  Great idea, and I'm sure I can figure out how to do that.  Let me know what you are needing exactly.  

For the Reset function, I think I know what's going on there.  It doesn't start with the Total, it starts from where the previous task stopped.  So you want the clock to default to 0 for every new task?  I can do that.  In fact, it may be time to introduce saving preferences, and have the option be "New task - Reset to 00:00 or Continue from previous time".  

@TaoPhoenix: It's not you, it's me Wink  I was trying to keep the timekeeping as simple as possible because even as it is I had a devil of a time keeping the time set-able but synchronized with real time, and the correct time showing up in the correct places.  That's why I made it so when you make a new task, the old task is "closed out"; that is, the time is finalized.  That can be changed in the final CSV file, but if I'm interpreting Tomos' comments correctly, maybe I should make it so you can switch between tasks to add time to a previous one.
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for a very flexible timer on: May 02, 2015, 01:43:25 AM
OK, I finally worked out all the showstopper bugs I could find, and here's the first iteration:
https://www.dropbox.com/s...f/afltimer_win32.zip?dl=0

I call it AFL Timer (A Flexible Logging Timer) and it doesn't quite have the final polish, but I wanted to let you and others test it and report bugs, refine features, etc.  If anybody wants to play with the source, I can send that along too.  Enjoy!
13  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...
[attach=1]
14  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...
15  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.
16  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: http://www.arkinspace.com...cat-that-time-forgot.html
One cool thing is their eyes; the pupils are round instead of typical cat slits.  Beautiful creatures.
17  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 -
File
  -Load (to continue a previously-exported time sheet from where you left off)
  -Save (or Export)
Edit
  (nothing in here yet, maybe not needed, unless some preferences be thought up)
Help
  -Manual
  -About

Anything else?

--EDIT--
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)?
18  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.
19  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.

*sigh*

Pardon me, I'm going to make myself feel better by unplugging something.
20  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...

[attach=1]
21  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.
Questions:
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...
22  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?

Quote
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
http://ocias.com/loved.php

[attach=1]


RockPaperShotgun.com's Kieron Gillen says:
Quote
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.

PopMatters.com's Kris Ligman says:
Quote
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:
Quote
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:
Quote
Recommended, for people who like:
playing cerebral games, being verbally abused.

and here's an interview with the game's creator, Alexander Ocias:
http://www.gamasutra.com/..._Player_Confrontation.php

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...
23  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?
24  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.

Quote
What if programming languages were methods to eat an orange?
http://4archive.org/g/res/43324376

Some of my favorites:
25  DonationCoder.com 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...
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