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301  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: WinXP is officially dead! on: April 14, 2014, 01:33:05 AM
http://www.neowin.net/new...cape-from-windows-xp-game
 Grin Grin
302  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Once again, magically expensive items are only different in your mind on: April 08, 2014, 11:16:42 PM
A friend who's father ran a farm said "big stuff" purchased for a farm is bought with one of two criteria in mind: (a) costly but built to last - or - (b) inexpensive but easy and cheap to fix.

I found that to be a good guide when making a major purchase decision. Cool

Amen.  Thmbsup
303  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Once again, magically expensive items are only different in your mind on: April 08, 2014, 12:34:06 AM
I came from a working-class family who weren't poor, but there were many things we did without.  My father would fix up old things rather than pay for new, even if the time spent was more valuable.  I didn't have a brand-name pair of shoes until I had moved out on my own.  Every dollar spent was weighed against how long the purchased item would last.  I believe this instilled me with a strange sense of worth, in which I do believe in paying for quality, but only to a definite, red-line point.  The line in the sand becomes deep and wide when you cross over from "quality" to "luxury" and I will not cross it.  $3000 audio cables?  I'll use coat-hanger wire first.  More than $1000 dollars for a trusted name-brand electric guitar?  I bought a "budget" model of the same brand in pieces at a local Goodwill for $3.99, it cost me less than $30 to upgrade the hardware and now I've got an instrument I would have drooled over when I was a teenager.  However, things like this are obvious, and the law of diminishing returns becomes more evident the more salesmen it takes to convince you to part with your hard-earned cash.  I don't like salesmen.  They make me itch.

That said, there have been times where I paid for quality, most recently when I bought my wife a Vita-Mix.  She was having health problems, and needed a good blender to make raw vegetable juices with.  I took their advertised health claims with a grain of salt and focused on the 2hp motor, the legendary durability, and the 7-year warranty.  THAT is what I paid for, but we got more in return.  We would have worn out 3 or more consumer-level blenders by now, and the results would have been mediocre in comparison.  This is a tangible, demonstratable fact, not a 'perception of value'.  
...Which is why I almost blew my stack when my son bought the most expensive tires available for his beater truck and said 'yes' to the extra 15 bucks for '(something)-izing' which is supposed to make the tires last longer and grip better.
Yep, sure.  You betcha.  huh
304  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Trying to have vertical buttons on a vertical taskbar in winxp on: April 05, 2014, 12:47:25 PM
The only way I've ever seen something like that was in Litestep, and I can't remember which taskbar module it was that did that.  In actual practice, it is rather hard to read, even though the idea is solid. 
305  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: LINUX: Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 201403 ISOs just released on: April 03, 2014, 08:39:22 PM
(But there's no Linux Mint Debian Edition that comes with XFCE.)

Wait for it...

[copy or print]
apt-get install xfce4

Done.  cheesy  And a fine desktop environ it is too, even if it is no longer the petit bureau it once was.  Wink

As far as the concerns about things being pulled from Testing, yes I've been bitten by it twice now.  Once with something trivial that I have forgotten now, but seemed somewhat important at the time.  The other was when they pulled the proprietary AMD accelerated drivers from the Testing repos.  THAT ticked me off.  I was previously running the open-source AMD drivers, and they worked fine.  Some update somewhere caused all my games to look like somebody uploaded random thumbnails to an Atari 2600, so I installed the proprietary drivers and all was well, until...
 Angry

Well, that's what you get for running Testing, I guess.  Apparently it was pulled for good reason, but I was still mad...
306  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: NIX: KDE anyone? First thoughts. on: April 03, 2014, 08:22:17 PM
It's been a LOOOONG time since I tried anything KDE, though I hear it's not half as bad as it used to be.  I remember being impressed by the Keramic window decoration and the bouncing "wait" icons, but many of the configuration GUIs appeared to be written by the same people who write custom Windows software installers.  I'm configuring my screen resolution, not installing new hardware!!
Nowadays, I'm so comfortable in Xfce that I never feel the need to walk on the other side of the fence, and the random Qt app that makes it onto my Desktop isn't unwelcome as long as it doesn't hook into KDElibs... You hear me, K3b?!?  Angry
307  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: GoG planning support for Linux starting FALL 2014 on: March 29, 2014, 01:21:31 AM
Wow, GOG for Linux?  If I understad the zeitgeist of GOG, it's to offer older games, right?  So will we see these classics resurrected for newer distributions?  Sweet!
 Kiss

308  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: March 28, 2014, 08:16:23 PM
Exploring the nether regions of some genres outside my taste buds, I stumbled across this:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxu248aD6PY" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxu248aD6PY</a>

My immediate thought was 'Calvinball!'
 Grin Thmbsup
309  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft releases DOS and Word for Windows source code on: March 27, 2014, 08:04:51 PM
I half suspect this release is intended to give Microsoft an excuse to go after virtually any text processing app with the argument that "they must have borrowed some intellectual property from Microsoft" by sheer virtue of the fact Microsoft's source code has been published.

I suspect your suspicion borders on the conspiratorial, but I'm also aware of it's validity.  
In the words of the FreeDOS devs:
Quote
I'll add a warning that if you download and study the MS-DOS source code, you should not contribute code to FreeDOS afterwards. We want to avoid any suggestion that FreeDOS has been "tainted" by this proprietary code.

 ohmy
310  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Microsoft releases DOS and Word for Windows source code on: March 27, 2014, 12:54:54 AM
From the "It ain't GPL, but it's better than a stick in the eye" department.
Quote
Microsoft makes source code for MS-DOS and Word for Windows available to public
...
As part of this ongoing project, the museum will make available two of the most widely used software programs of the 1980’s, MS DOS 1.1 and 2.0 and Microsoft Word for Windows 1.1a, to help future generations of technologists better understand the roots of personal computing.


Now, what do the good folks at the FreeDOS project have to say about this?

Quote
... But don't get too excited about the possibility of merging genuine MS-DOS code into FreeDOS. From the download page: "To access this material, you must agree to the terms of the license ... which permits only non-commercial use and does not give you the right to license it to third parties by posting copies elsewhere on the web." The website makes it very clear the "source and object code to Microsoft?s MS-DOS operating system versions 1.1 and 2.0" is for "non-commercial use" only. It's nice that Microsoft released the MS-DOS source code, but this is not "Free software."


from CodeProject
311  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX - List of 100 Open Source Replacements for Popular Security Tools on: March 27, 2014, 12:02:34 AM
Thanks for this.  Ought to be better than weeding through sectools.org for the Linux versions...  Thmbsup

Oh, wait... THOSE security tools... OK, I gotcha Wink
312  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Hacking should be about making things on: March 24, 2014, 01:54:09 AM
I have contributed two patches to an open-source project and contributed documentation to another.  One got accepted because it solved a long-standing spelling error for a macro that "nobody used, but what the hay, let's merge it because it's valid".  Another was not accepted, but pending whether I can come up with similar functionality for the other toolkits, it may be.  The third was documentation for configuring a piece of software (now an abandoned project) that had NONE when I was trying it out, and I weighed two options: send hate mail (because it was that frustrating) or put in writing what of it I had managed to grok and submit to the author.  I and the (then) project maintainer were glad I chose the latter.

So, all in all, I've had good experience with it.  Great article either way. Thmbsup
313  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A three drive system - the sweet spot on: March 22, 2014, 07:13:43 PM
^^ Amen.  I've heard it since SSD's came out that the swapfile (pagefile on Windows) should go on a fast but non-SSD Disk.  Hadn't thought of the temp and log files, good catch.

I've always thought separate drives were a good thing.  If I had another SATA disk, I'd do that for my current setup, but... Sad
314  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Judge posesses a bomb-proof bullshit detector - and ain't afraid to use it! on: March 21, 2014, 12:00:39 AM
People with Judge Wright's strength of character wrote the Constitution.  It really is too bad we don't have more people possessed of the same protecting and enforcing it.
315  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Favorite GUI File Managers? on: March 18, 2014, 08:19:25 PM
After leaving Windows, I found myself missing Xplorer² quite a bit (still do) and it doesn't quite work in Wine, so I've burned through plenty of file managers on Linux trying to find a reasonable facsimile.  So far I have had to just grumpily sit down and use Thunar.  It gets the job done, I like the choice between traditional file path/breadcrumb path modes and the choice of tree view or XDG bookmarks in the left panel, the custom definable actions are very useful, AND...
it comes with my favorite desktop environment, Xfce.   Kiss

Other file managers I've tried either don't work well, try to do too much with too many icons or are annoyingly minimal.
I purposely ignored Dolphin, Nautilus and Krusader, as I've never been enamored with either KDE or GNOME.  I have my reasons.
Here's all the ones I remember trying, with all the beauty and warts I can remember.

Midnight Commander - If you have fond memories of Norton Commander and it's imitators, you'll like MC.  First of all, dual folder panes rule.  On Slackware, it doubles as the package manager, which is handy, and did I say dual folder panes rule?  One of the first things I install if it's not already included, as it is an absolute necessity if my X goes down.

Xfe - Comes closest to being comparable to Xplorer², though still a little rough looking (uses the Fox Toolkit) and a lot of features up front that I never used, but it has what is most essential: a tree view and two file panes.  That rules plus one.  For some reason, the devs tacked on a bunch of desktop extras as if it was on it's way to being a new window manager.  Did not want.  Looks like they've scaled back recently, maybe I'll give it another shot.

Rox-filer - Too damn minimal.  Sorry, I have nothing else to say.

DoubleCommander - Dual file panes rule, but this one didn't feel completely right out of the box.  The font was too bold, and having directories in brackets I find superfluous and distracting, but most aspects of the GUI are easily changed from the preferences, and the rest of it is pretty solid.  I would like a tree view to go with the dual panes and XDG bookmarks instead of drive icons, but I digress. I've been trying to give this one more face-time to get used to what it can do, but haven't been successful at that.  Developed with Lazarus/Freepascal  
Kiss

Emelfm2 - Dual panes rule (is there an echo in here?), but this one tries to do way too much with icons, IMO.  Quite configurable, with lots of good features, but I gave it up after a month cause it just didn't feel right.

Gentoo - Dual panes ru... SO MANY BUTTONS AT THE BOTTOM!

Worker - See Gentoo, above + Tk interface (or is that Motif?).  Either way... Bleah.

SpaceFm - Dual panes ru... sooo many panes... my God, it's full of tabs... o_O.  I know this one has been mentioned, but I gotta add my two cents and say the possibilities for 4 panes each with their own tree view is pretty darn impressive, but I got lost in it.  Maybe one day I'll take a deep breath and try again.  It's still installed, so that's saying something.  

MuCommander - Dual panes... written in Java. :\  Sorry, not much to say about that one either.


So, that's about all I got, I don't think I'll be 100% happy with any one file manager until I find a one-to-one clone of Xplorer² for Linux.  Until then, Thunar is pretty useful as it is, DoubleCommander is almost there, and maybe Xfe will one day hit the sweet spot.
 Thmbsup
316  Other Software / Developer's Corner / PMOG: The story behind the rise and fall of GameLayers, Inc. on: March 17, 2014, 07:51:04 PM
or: How to lose almost everything developing a browser toolbar game and live to tell about it. 

I played PMOG a bit during it's heyday, and I must say it was pretty fun at times, when you would run into a fellow PMOG'r on a random website, or go to some obscure blog and get mined, or find some cool new website while completing a Mission.  It added a new dimension to your surfing, made it more engaging and random than simply clicking on the next link like a monkey hitting the biscuit lever.  I was sad to see it go, and now a bit wiser having read the behind-the-scenes cautionary tale.

Quote
A Story of GameLayers, Inc.
Making online social games 2007-2009
by Justin Hall

Between 2007 and 2009 GameLayers made a multiplayer game across all the content of the internet.

I was the CEO of GameLayers and one of three co-founders. Here I'll share lessons and data from this online social game startup. This Story of GameLayers covers prototyping, fund raising, company building, strategic shifting, winding down and moving on.



from Umm... I forget
317  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Lazarus 1.2 released on: March 17, 2014, 01:17:18 AM
Good point, thanks mwb.
IIRC, those issues are mainly concerning Windows, and I've been seeing around the 'net advice to stick with 32-bit programming for most common app development unless you need 64-bit for the numerical precision or memory handling. 
I do everything on Linux nowadays, though I have run into add-ons that had issues with 64-bit, most notably the BGRABitmap library, which has been fixed in the development branch.
318  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Lazarus 1.2 released on: March 16, 2014, 11:43:52 PM
Finally after 2 release candidates, the fateful day came on March 4th (I was a little *ahem* late to the news).

Quote
The Lazarus team is glad to announce the release of Lazarus 1.2.

Downloads:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/lazarus/files/

SVN:
http://svn.freepascal.org.../lazarus/tags/lazarus_1_2

Release notes:
http://wiki.lazarus.freep...zarus_1.2.0_release_notes

For those still skeptical, I and many others have found Lazarus to be a very capable IDE for ObjectPascal development, and yes Pascal is still a viable programming language (Delphi/ObjectPascal #15 at TIOBE!).  The only things I find really lacking (besides popularity) are good bindings for some common C++ libraries.  We're hard at work at it though, come join us!  
http://forum.lazarus.free...rg/index.php?action=forum

from
319  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: March 16, 2014, 09:16:16 PM
What Jurassic Park would look like if the raptors were cats.  Grin

LOL!!! Awesome!! Grin
320  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: When you make your 100'th Post on: February 27, 2014, 08:16:24 PM
Tooting my own horn here, nothing to get excited about:  embarassed
[attach=1]
321  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Against TED talks on: February 26, 2014, 12:08:22 AM
Quote
TED is not a cornucopia of ideas, solutions, or answers to all the worlds questions, it's just people talking.

Exactly.  Why it's upheld as a forum for exactly that (the cornucopia thing) is more and more beyond me.

Quote
But they're just stories.  Take what you can use, and discard the rest

I did, but I was bugged by the nagging feeling that it shouldn't be so.  The way TED talks were constantly being extolled, i felt as if I should be slack-jawed in awe of these near-immortals who can blow my mind with paradigm-shifting plans to feed the world, travel to other planets and optimize bubble-sort algorithms, and sing loudly the praises of the organization who discovered these pioneering hyper-humans and trotted them out on a stage for my adoration.  But I wasn't, and I'm not.  I found a few of them interesting, but certainly not life-changing, mind-blowing, or anything else.  

Maybe I'm making more out of this thing than it deserves, but I posted because I was just a little tickled to find I wasn't alone in my sentiment.
That's all, really. embarassed
322  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Against TED talks on: February 25, 2014, 10:16:38 PM
Don't get me wrong - I think the basic intent of TED is/was a good one, and I have seen some I like, but the most poignant line from the first Onion talk is the most applicable to my current opinion of TED as a whole:
"I'll be your visionary, and you do the things I come up with."

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/idea-man
 undecided
323  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Against TED talks on: February 25, 2014, 12:28:05 AM
I've had a nagging suspicion for a while now that TED talks were becoming more and more like video representations of snake oil shows or SCIgen papers, but I always felt I was alone in this regard.  All the cool kids were into TED, and the water cooler conversations always seemed to include the sentence "... so I heard this one thing in a TED talk...", so what was wrong with me?

Turns out, I'm not as alone as I thought.

Nathan Jurgenson at The New Inquiry (not one of my regular hangouts...) has written a pretty good summation of what I've been feeling all along.
Quote
TED attempts to present itself as fresh, cutting edge, and outside the box but often fails to deliver. It’s become the Urban Outfitters of the ideas world, finding “cool” concepts suitable for being packaged and sold to the masses, thereby extinguishing the “cool” in the process. Cutting-edge ideas not carrying the Apple-esque branding are difficult to find.


In case you haven't noticed, the phenomenon is endemic enough to warrant it's own Onion parody series, and comedian Sam Hyde even crashed the party back in October '13, with predictably hilarious results:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yFhR1fKWG0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yFhR1fKWG0</a>

I'll give them this though, the folks at TED have taken the jabs with grace, and even offered their own tips based on the, *ahem*, advice subtley gleaned from the ensuing jocundity: http://blog.ted.com/2013/...kers-can-learn-from-them/
Quote
DED Talks. High TED Talks. Onion Talks. Here in the TED office, you will often hear chuckles as someone watches one of the quickly growing crop of TED spoofs floating in the ether. And surprisingly, there are some pretty good lessons for speakers embedded in these spoofs.

So, what say you?  Am I still alone?  Does TED tickle your futurist gland?  or leave you facepalming at all the nulla substantia?
Or, if you'd rather have your Ulnar nerve percussed, make up your own TED talk! -> http://www.vanityfair.com...ed-conference-talks-humor  
Quote
The art of faux profundity:
TED-O-MATIC
9 Easy steps to your own audience-flattering TED talk
Thmbsup


from an IRC conversation. Come on in! Lots of happenin' convo!
324  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Cute jokes' thread on: February 24, 2014, 11:44:06 PM
A certain old cat had made his home in the alley behind Gabe's bar for some time, subsisting on scraps and occasional handouts from the bartender. One evening, emboldened by hunger, the feline attempted to follow Gabe through the back door. Regrettably, only the his body had made it through when the door slammed shut, severing the cat's tail at its base. This proved too much for the old creature, who looked sadly at Gabe and expired on the spot. Gabe put the carcass back out in the alley and went back to business.
The mandatory closing time arrived and Gabe was in the process of locking up after the last customers had gone. Approaching the back door he was startled to see an apparition of the old cat mournfully holding its severed tail out, silently pleading for Gabe to put the tail back on its corpse so that it could go on to the kitty afterworld complete.
Gabe shook his head sadly and said to the ghost, "I can't. You know the law -- no retailing spirits after 2:00 AM."

[attach=1]
325  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What Google Plus is all about on: February 18, 2014, 01:23:05 AM
This:
Quote
Plus is now so important to Google that the company requires people to sign up to use some Google services, like commenting on YouTube. The push is being done so forcefully that it has alienated some users and raised privacy and antitrust concerns, including at the Federal Trade Commission.
and this:
Quote
“It’s about you showing up at Google and having a consistent experience across products so they feel like one product, and that makes your experiences with every Google product better,” Mr. Horowitz said.
are the reasons I don't.
Mr. Horowitz, quit blowing smoke up my butt and telling me it's sunshine.  mad
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