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351  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / nixCraft: 30 Cool Open Source Software I Discovered in 2013 on: January 12, 2014, 11:47:01 PM
NixCraft is one of my favorite general Linux "how the heck can I do..." sites, but this post really impressed me.  30 great softwares that you haven't heard of a million times already.  These guys do know how to pick 'em...

Vivek Gite picks his best open source software of 2013.

from http://www.cyberciti.biz
352  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Animated portraits by Romain Laurent on: January 12, 2014, 07:35:59 PM
Yes, very nice.  The technical term is Cinemagraphw, and was popularized by photographers Kevin Beck and Jamie Burk, as seen on their website: http://cinemagraphs.com/

You can make your own, using Photoshop, Gimp or a Microsoft toy called Cliplets.

Any takers?
353  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: *NIX: Interesting article on why gamers may become so important for Linux on: January 05, 2014, 11:35:39 PM
I've not only said it for years, but I've seen it almost everywhere I go (to paraphrase): "If only I could play [my favorite game] on Linux, I'd ditch Windows tomorrow".  I've seen it since the mid-2000's (remember all those "The Year of the Linux Desktop?" articles all over the tech blogs before Android showed up?  Yeah, maybe next year...), and now it's cold, hard reality.  So where are all my switchers? 
Still on Windows.
Why?  Because when you can play with your phone every 10 minutes and Windows 8 came pre-installed on your new laptop and SteamOS is going to be on the next console you buy, who has time to mess around with switching to a Linux desktop?
354  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: January 05, 2014, 11:23:59 PM
^^ This.

I prefer Side 1, Part 1 meself.  Excellent soundtrack to the 4 months I spent unemployed trolling the job listings and beefing up my resume with MS software training from the local public library.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_HZguagYdU" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_HZguagYdU</a>

Pure edge-of-melancholy bliss.
I always followed this up with something on the complete flip side, like Caspar Brötzmann Massaker:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nGow47xofQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nGow47xofQ</a>

355  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / The Dreams thread... on: January 03, 2014, 11:43:07 PM
Dreams... not the "I hope to someday tame a hadrosaur and play Polo with giant robot pandas" kind, but the "I had a strange dream the other night where I tamed a hadrosaur and played Polo with these really cool giant robot pandas" kind.  I have vivid and bizarre dreams at least once every month or two.  Some I remember, some not so much, but I thought I'd share some of them and I'd like to hear about yours, especially if they are detailed and interesting.

Post away!!


In this dream, I visited my friend who was living in the crumbling round brick chimney of a condemned smelter plant or something.  The chimney was all that was left of the building.  He was telling me how years earlier he had produced a radio play in which Frankenstein's monster meets Leonard Cohen.  Nobody liked it, so the radio station fired him, which is why he was living in a chimney.  

I asked to hear it and he was all nervous about it and said the cops would arrest him if they caught him playing it for somebody; apparently it was either 'subversive' or 'offended the sensibilities of the community' or something.  I said I would love to hear it and would face the consequences myself.  He put the tape on and turned up the stereo and showed me some figures he had made to illustrate the play.  They were both crudely cut out of tin, and were attached to the chimney by thick wire wrapped around the outside wall.  One was of Leonard Cohen and looked like a child-size paper cutout of a man, but tin instead of paper.  The monster was full-size, but was colored black with two red spray-paint splotches for eyes.  

As the tape played, I began to realize that his play was simply too ahead of the times when he wrote it, and I thought to myself that people might like it better now that a few years had passed.  As I was thinking that, a group of about 5 women in their late twenties to early thirties were walking by on their way to a women's rights meeting, and stopped to listen.  They were all wearing athletic t-shirts, 70s-style jogging shorts and sweat bands, but they weren't jogging.  They admired my friend's tin cutouts and nodded their heads in agreement with what they heard as the performance played.  Eventually they wandered off and my alarm woke me up soon after.

Your turn...  Thmbsup
356  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What do non-programmers need to automate? on: January 01, 2014, 08:44:41 PM
May I recommend some other Python books for your site?:


My son did the Computer Programming is Fun book when he was around 11.  He enjoyed it at the time (it was something new to learn and master), but it taught him that he didn't particularly like programming.
C'est la vie...
357  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: what can replace mp3info / mp3ext? on: December 31, 2013, 04:35:44 PM
It's strange how it works with 'it' undecided
With names, the apostrophe is used for possessive, but not with 'it'. I'm sure I've heard that before (on dc even, I think) but it's the kind of thing I promptly forget...

Actually, "it" is a pronoun, so "its" as a possessive with no apostrophe goes right along with "his" "hers" "ours" "theirs" "yours", etc.

Oops, sorry to go off topic again.  Since the source is available I'm intrigued to see what it is that makes it not work on Win7, and whether it can be done.
... or come up with something entirely new with my fledgling code skills.  Gimme a few...  tellme
358  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Control lines on: December 31, 2013, 12:46:40 AM
Textpad 5 I found to be particularly useful regarding line manipulation.  You can 'bookmark' lines you want to keep and then "Delete unselected lines".  I think Notepad++ can do similar, but it's somewhere else in the menu.  To select the lines you want programatically, Textpad has extensive support for macros (almost as good as scripting):
and Notepad++ can be scripted with Python via the Python plugin:

Sorry I don't have a more definitive answer, hope it helps though.  Sad
359  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Looking for a seventies music title... on: December 27, 2013, 01:56:31 PM

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4om1rQKPijI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4om1rQKPijI</a>

Instant happiness  Thmbsup
360  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: LINUX: Linux Mint 16 "Petra" just released on: December 21, 2013, 07:35:20 PM

Right before I lost interest entirely in Linux (but not the respect!) I became grumpy with uBuntu because at one particular point the box I was on simply stopped working between upgrades. Aka I had matching CD's in hand and whatever older copy of Ubuntu worked, the next couple of new ones didn't. (Provable, I loaded each like three times.) But at the time Linux Mint wasn't working for me either.

I ended up with some really obscure sub-sub-variant of Ubuntu with extra drivers added by the package dev by hand, and that worked. Presumably during whatever update of official Ubuntu that was, ____ driver got dropped or something.

But I hate to say it, I'm just stuck on Windows because as distractible as I am, Linux adventuring proved to be one too many things to handle! : (      So now I'm just on Windows because I'm tired/lazy because of all the little widgets that are on my comp.

Well, I'm glad you settled on what works for you instead of endless twiddling for more effort than worth.  Never a good idea no matter what your loyalty.  I have had experiences like that where certain computers and the attending hardware just would not play well with Linux, no matter what distro or combination of drivers.  However, my tenacity was such that I usually ended up using a lower-spec box that ran relatively hassle-free rather than switch back to Windows, but that's just me  Thmbsup
361  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: PB&J with Potato Chips... One of Nature's Most Perfect Foods[ on: December 16, 2013, 08:36:32 PM
Now I'm not so hungry...  Sad
362  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: LINUX: Linux Mint 16 "Petra" just released on: December 16, 2013, 08:15:44 PM
I looked up the LiDE70 because I have a LiDE30 that works flawlessly, and you are correct.  The LiDE70 uses a different set of hardware altogether (Phillips chipset) and Canon's attitude toward Linux has been *ahem*... less than charitable.  I got my 30 at a thrift store for $5.99; I bet you could probably find a similar deal on a more compatible scanner.  Take this page* with you on your phone or tablet for a quick check.  Thmbsup

* http://www.sane-project.org/sane-mfgs.html
363  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Why do my cookies look like that? on: December 14, 2013, 09:57:20 PM
Now that I have the Most Beautiful Wife in the Universe (tm), I am not allowed in the kitchen, and the dinner table thanks me for it.  However, I do admit that I have wanted to do something like this for a long time, but never had the patience or discipline.

Have you ever wondered why chocolate chip cookies can be chewy, crisp, soft, flat, thick, cakey, greasy, bland, flavorful, moist, or crumbly?
In this post I’m going to share with you how various ingredients and techniques can affect the taste, texture, and appearance of your chocolate chip cookies. This will hopefully help you understand how chocolate chip cookies work so you can make the PERFECT batch every time, whatever you consider to be perfect.

...And mouser alerted me part 2!  Enjoy!
Keep reading to find out how dark nonstick baking pans, cornstarch, egg yolks, cake flour, bread flour, and shortening affect chocolate chip cookies.
HandleTheHeat.com's Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies, PART 2

from somebody's post on my facebook
364  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: free web storage service that offers the biggest amount of data? on: December 13, 2013, 11:34:04 PM
I'm sold on Copy.com.  The Linux client is solid and as easy to use as DropBox's, and they have a tool to migrate your files from Google Drive, DropBox and Box.com directly over the web.

I've got 50G on Box.com, but mounting my folder via a webdav connection is a pain in the neck, the connection is slow, and I have to use an external sync application (the venerable Unison).
365  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: The real barrier to Linux for new users on: December 13, 2013, 11:16:20 PM
I was going to write a long and detailed response, but I'll just leave a facepalm here, and an apology to all the Windows users who were promised rainbows and kittens if they would only switch to Linux.  I'm really sorry, but that was a lie.  Instead, you got shark lazers and rabid tigers.  You got a craft fair instead of a Wal-Mart.  Because despite all the hype, user-focused software on Linux is still a huge hobbyist playground, where "good enough" will always be good enough and if you want it better, pull up your do-it-yourself pants and join the other geeks burning up spare time to make it "better enough", because nobody's getting paid but the pros.  This is not the place for folks who want a smooth ride, despite what you've been told/sold, and I am truly sorry if you bought it.


Please... stick with safe, predictable, stable, mature, etc. and let us geeks work things out; use Linux for your servers and your phones, and come back in a few years to see if we're still around.  Meanwhile, I'll do my part contributing documentation, artwork, code, etc. as I am able, because I dearly want to see it better.  And it will be, and for the most part already is, just not as fast or far as most folks would like it to be.  And that's OK...

I have a feeling I'm going to regret this post, but it was what was on my mind at the time.  C'est la vie.
366  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Question for coders: What do you think of this idea? on: December 05, 2013, 09:07:08 PM
This started out to be a long post, but I lost my train of thought and went off on tangents and salacious opinionations.  So, brevity often being a virtue, I'll simply say I think it will either be a stunning success or a quickly-forgotten-and-swept-under-the-rug failure.  Personally, I like the idea, but it's going to take a lot of active participation from both sides of the fence.  If successful, it would remind me of something like DC's 'Coding Snacks' on steroids, or like the discussion forums of many established softwares where the principal coder(s) actually listen to bug reports and suggestions.

So, here's hoping for the best  Thmbsup, but it wouldn't surprise me if it fizzles.  Sad
367  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Does anyone know of a software that can record file modification times? on: December 04, 2013, 01:12:57 AM
how many files, and how often do they change?

is this something that could be polled hourly or every xx minutes?

That would be my question as well, because it sounds like it'd make a great coding snack.  tellme
368  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / ExplainShell explains those cryptic command options on: December 03, 2013, 08:48:27 PM
Mouser mentioned this in IRC, and there's a nice little write-up at Ghacks here:

Explain Shell is a free online service that will break down command line arguments that you enter for you. If you do not know what the commands find . -type f -print0, tar xzvf archive.tar.gz or iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -s ip-to-block -j DROP do, you can find out now using the service.



Pretty snazzy!  Thmbsup
369  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: LINUX: Linux Mint 16 "Petra" just released on: December 01, 2013, 09:44:28 PM
Ah, I should have been more clear as well...  I am running Debian "Testing", not Linux Mint.  I used to be a Ubuntu fan, but it has gone downhill since 9.10, IMNSHO.  I went back to Debian and I've gotten along with it so well that I intend to stay.

Though I will admit Mint looks pretty slick...
370  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: LINUX: Linux Mint 16 "Petra" just released on: December 01, 2013, 08:56:57 PM
If it's based on "Testing" I'd say there's more than one update Wink

I do an 'aptitude update/full-upgrade' every week or so and it's always huge.  And in the past couple of months, they've been obsolete-ing tons of packages.
371  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: I hate the word "anathema" on: November 16, 2013, 11:50:49 AM
So, according to the root meanings of "flame" and "inflame", then "flammable" means "if you manage to catch this on fire, it will burn with flames", but "inflammable" means "burnable to varying degrees, but visible flames not explicitly required"

372  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Looking for a seventies music title... on: November 13, 2013, 02:42:13 AM
Not the '70s, but the gestalt bears a resemblance:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yT5CzKGYhQk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yT5CzKGYhQk</a>
373  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Looking for a seventies music title... on: November 13, 2013, 02:30:19 AM
I think I have an inkling of what you're looking for, but I heard it a long time ago in the company of some very interesting individuals whose whereabouts I no longer know.

You mentioned french; perhaps a female singer covering Plastic Bertrand's "Ça Plane Pour Moi"? (the lyrics apparently make no sense, even in the original french).

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsXknE8LOEI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsXknE8LOEI</a>

As an aside, I did find something interesting in my searches:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcUi6UEQh00" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcUi6UEQh00</a>

The song was produced with the purpose of exposing Italian pop artists and musicians who were deceiving the public, pretending to speak/understand English lyrics and plagiarizing American and English songs, so this was a satirical parody to underscore the fact that those artists and musicians were not fluent in any form of English at all, and the Italian public would accept and popularize any song sounding like English, whether or not it was accurate.

Or maybe it could be one of these?:
374  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: How long do hard drives actually live for? on: November 13, 2013, 01:33:27 AM
From the anecdotal-tale-to-the-contrary-department: I still have a handful of less-than-1GB drives that still fire up just fine, though they don't hold much, and I can count on that same hand how many disk drives I've had fail while it was installed and being used.  Every time I've had a disk fail it was because I had taken it out to install a newer, larger one, and later tried to install it in a different machine. 
CD-ROM drives, on the other hand... let's just say I should buy them in bulk.  undecided
375  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Arduino Leonardo Touchboard on: November 12, 2013, 08:52:27 PM
I felt that way about "tapping" in the 80s; felt that way about digital stompboxes in the '90s, felt that way about Autotune and anything Line6 in the '00s.  I haven't found anything to be stodgy about for the '10s.  Maybe I'm finally old enough to not care.  Oh, wait... no more than 6 strings on a guitar, and 4 on the bass (though I'll allow for the bass if you're good enough to actually use all those extra strings), and dagnabbit, if you're going to make some music and call it "dubstep", don't drill my eardrums with a fire alarm noise and call it "bass".  undecided

And while you're at it, much props if you ditch your Kaoss or Launchpad for a Leonardo Touchboard and some bananas and wire.  Thmbsup
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