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301  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Cheap fountain pen shootout on: April 26, 2014, 06:34:13 PM
Hi, my name is Edvard, and I'm a fountain-pen addict.
CHEAP fountain-pen addict, that is, and I haven't found the answer to my little habit for a few years now, ever since Parker dropped the fountain version of their "Jotter" line and Pentech was bought by the folks who make cheap Disney branded crap.  
... Then I find this:

I've decided to do a shootout of my lower-cost new normal writing pens.  I've wanted to review most of these before, but haven't been up to giving each one its own review.  I will be reviewing these in approximate price order, from $0 to $30, and scoring them in these categories (each from 0-10 points): Aesthetics, Functionality, Value, Desire, respectively.

from the Fountain Pen Network
302  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Syncany releases working alpha on: April 26, 2014, 01:15:00 PM
Sorry folks, I committed a minor faux pas in that I replied in an old thread something I should have posted here.
Please ignore http://www.donationcoder....34006.msg353960#msg353960 and read on:

Syncany is a cross-platform file sync application. It syncs folders between different clients using any kind of cloud storage. It aims to be a secure application to store files in the cloud and share files with others. No intelligent servers needed.

So basically, with Syncany I can finally use my Box storage on Linux with a nice GUI application, or other non-local/cloud storage for that manner.  It'll be nice to see exactly what it supports so far.  I'll report back...
303  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Grab 50GB of Box Online Storage Free for Life (2013-02-12) on: April 26, 2014, 12:17:06 PM
Looks like a project has been started for Box (and others) synchronization.  No code yet, but looks promising:

Syncany now has a working alpha release for testing:

Downloading now...  tellme
304  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Once again, magically expensive items are only different in your mind on: April 22, 2014, 09:24:55 PM
Guy tried to reason with Friend that 'live' was the standard; all hi-fi system's one purpose is to re-create the 'live' experience as closely as possible.

I think it all depends on the music. But I'm definitely more the "music lover" than audiophile type. (With thanks to JH for that brilliant earlier clarification about what separates the two.)

In my world, if it's a recording of a live performance, then as close to "live" as possible should be the goal.

But a studio album is a fixed work of art. Like a painting. For those recordings, whatever was closest to the artist's intent should be the goal. Especially when you consider some very valid musical works can't be effectively done live - or in the case of Zappa's Black Page - can't reliably be done at all.

Agreed.  But I think the guy's point was that how can you complain about sibilance and tone when the genuine, unadulterated item is right there.  It's like practically admitting that audiophiles don't want the "purest, cleanest tone imaginable", but the one most shaped and colored to their own pleasing. 

I'll be the first to admit that I color my music according to how I feel that day; sometimes I want flat and clean, other times I want full bass, flat treble to about ~8-12 KHz then let it drop (shelving FTW), then a slight bump around 3,000 Hz so I can hear the guitar strings 'twang' just a touch harder.  My hearing loss is going backwards in my old age; I can't stand a lot of treble (can still hear a CRT 'whine' when it fires up), and I like a full bass (but not 'boomy' or overwhelming; I'm not a fan of *ahem* 'urban' music).
305  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Once again, magically expensive items are only different in your mind on: April 22, 2014, 06:57:41 PM
If an audiophile truly wants "as it was intended in the studio" sound, all they need to do is cruise eBay for some Yamaha NS-10s which were the most common studio near-field monitors for years.  That is, the speakers the engineers and producers listened to when doing recording, mixing and mastering.
Sadly, they are discontinued now.

Funny story I happened upon while perusing AudioKarma:  
Apparently, a forum member (we'll call him 'Guy') was out at a live performance with a friend (let's name him 'Friend'), and it was an intimate enough venue that the vocalist/guitarist duo performing did not need nor use any amplification.  Friend remarked about halfway through the show that the vocals had "too much sibilance" and the guitar "lacked power in the low-mids", and how much better it would sound recorded and played back on his home system.  Guy tried to reason with Friend that 'live' was the standard; all hi-fi system's one purpose is to re-create the 'live' experience as closely as possible.  Friend simply gave Guy a blank stare, and nothing more was said.  
306  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The AVE on: April 19, 2014, 04:44:04 PM
Wow, that Catonmat.net website is a bit of a gem; look what I found:

Hi all. I am starting a new article series called "Vim Plugins You Should Know About". This series of articles is going to be about Vim plugins that you should know about and perhaps even be using. The first article in this series will be about one of my favorite plugins called "surround.vim".

Links to the rest of the articles at the bottom of that page.
Maybe I should start an AVE today...  Wink

307  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: 'Microsoft fix it' softfare to fix uninstall problems. Trustworthy? on: April 19, 2014, 01:14:21 PM
I have used Microsoft Fix-It tools to generally good effect on my In-laws XP computer.  They are the kinds of people that give the Geek Squad nightmares even as they run the credit card.  Beautiful people whom I love and respect like my own kin, but victim to every "Your computer has been hacked with viruses!!!11!1" pop-up known to man.  
The last time, they were a victim of ransom-ware, with most of My Documents locked behind admin permissions (IIRC) and the Start menu gutted (was switched to Classic start menu, with a few empty folders and app shortcuts remaining, nothing in the Settings sub-menu).  Microsoft Fix-It actually fixed ~80% of the errors, with the rest being done by me manually (I had to re-enable the full start menu, uninstall the rogue toolbar and malware, etc.), so now their computer is hovering around 95% OK (fingers crossed), the rest can only be fixed by a complete re-install.

I decided to trust it because it IS put out by Microsoft themselves, who should know how their own systems work, and not a third party who may or may not have read the uninstall API correctly.  I'd say back up what you can, say a prayer if you're so inclined and pull the trigger.  Your only other options are leaving the uninstallers as they are (safe), or trusting a third-party app with a good reputation (potentially unsafe).
308  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The AVE on: April 19, 2014, 06:08:38 AM
Oh hey, looky here:

and here:

309  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / The Selinux coloring book on: April 19, 2014, 05:34:57 AM
So, RedHat's own Daniel J. Walsh whipped up a cute little article on how SELinux works over at OpenSource.com, complete with cartoons by Máirín Duffy.  Now the cartoons have been published as a coloring book for your up-and-coming junior Linux admins.  
First, read the article...

Your visual how-to guide for SELinux policy enforcement
For those who have never used SELinux, or would like an explanation...

SElinux is a labeling system. Every process has a label. Every file/directory object in the operating system has a label. Even network ports, devices, and potentially hostnames have labels assigned to them. We write rules to control the access of a process label to an a object label like a file. We call this policy.

Then, download and print out the coloring book:

Enjoy!  Thmbsup

from CodeProject News
310  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The AVE on: April 19, 2014, 05:31:38 AM
[copy or print]
alias vim='nano'

Seriously, I've done the AVE about 6 times now, every one of them ending up like this:
<Aoi-chan> everyone's first vi session. ^C^C^X^X^X^XquitqQ!qdammit[esc]qwertyuiopasdfghjkl;:xwhat

I have now acquired the seventh edition of "Learning the vi and Vim Editors" from O'Reilly.  Haven't read much of it, because nano does me just fine most of the time Wink
311  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: April 18, 2014, 08:23:59 PM
This one?
312  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft dropping support for Windows 8.1 on: April 15, 2014, 11:11:49 PM
OK, so maybe I mis-interpreted what was said; throw me a bone here:

... those users who have elected to install updates manually will have 30 days to install Windows 8.1 Update on Windows 8.1 devices; after this 30-day window - and beginning with the May Patch Tuesday, Windows 8.1 user's devices without the update installed will no longer receive security updates.

Ok, here's how I understand it.  It seems to be saying that if you have updated to 8.1, there is a 30-day time window in which you will need to upgrade to 8.1 Update 1, and if you don't, you will no longer be able to receive any updates including the all-important Update 1.  In other words, if you somehow miss the deadline, your 8.1 is and will always be dead to future updates.  Or did I err?  huh

I totally get that some things need to be installed before other things. Duh. I get that in Linux every other day, I got that SP1 needed to be installed before SP2 (or was it SP3?) in XP, I get that.  It wouldn't be news if that's all that was going on.  Got it.  What I don't understand is why put a deadline on it?  Why not just make it like any other update that you install as you go and life goes on?  And why let plain ol' Win 8 stroll on it's merry way?  Please tell me I'm wrong and I'll forget this whole post, because if it is true as I've interpreted it... I have no words to describe how insane that seems.

And here's the other hitch: this update has been proven so problematic that MS had to pull it from WSUS because it prevents corporate users from receiving future updates:
AND quite a number of folks have reported problems with the installer:

So, it seems this issue is causing headaches and consternation with more than just internet talking-heads, and that's why it's news.
If Update 1 is going to be available forever, not just inside the 30-day window, then I'll admit I'm wrong, and this is just fallout of people being cranky about learning a new Windows version and updates not installing properly.  
Nothing new to see here... business as usual... move along...
313  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft dropping support for Windows 8.1 on: April 15, 2014, 07:24:44 AM
Because it's confusing as all hell...
If I follow the article correctly (there's a Minotaur around here somewhere...) apparently you have a deadline to install the Update or be locked out of future updates, which WILL show, but will be marked as non-installable.
... Unless you never installed 8.1 in the first place  huh
314  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Microsoft dropping support for Windows 8.1 on: April 15, 2014, 01:08:05 AM
Well... that escalated quickly.
(actually, it's not what you think, but what is this I don't even)

In what is surely the most customer-antagonistic move of the new Windows regime, Steve Thomas at Microsoft posted a TechNet article on Saturday stating categorically that Microsoft will no longer issue security patches for Windows 8.1, starting in May.

from Infoworld via CodeProject News
315  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft open-sources the .NET compiler on: April 14, 2014, 10:32:19 PM
... And the slightly interesting backstory:

I've seen a number of Microsoft watchers and users postulating that this move is proof that newly minted CEO Satya Nadella is taking the company in directions that former CEO Steve Ballmer and his leadership team never would have dared go. That's a nice, neat story. But it just isn't true.
316  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Microsoft open-sources the .NET compiler on: April 14, 2014, 10:24:49 PM
.NET, Roslyn, and WinJS... Fell, meet swoop  ohmy

With The .Net Foundation, Microsoft Finally Bets Big On Open Source
For years, Microsoft has flirted with the open-source movement, trying to build bridges with developers that favor publicly released code over proprietary software. This week, the software giant finally made the big moves skeptics of its commitment to open source have been looking for.

from CodeProject News
317  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: WinXP is officially dead! on: April 14, 2014, 01:33:05 AM
 Grin Grin
318  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
319  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
320  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. 
321  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...

Well, that's what you get for running Testing, I guess.  Apparently it was pulled for good reason, but I was still mad...
322  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
323  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!

324  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
325  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:
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.

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