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Messages - tslim [ switch to compact view ]

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51
General Software Discussion / Re: 2013 Version: Browser Wars
« on: January 31, 2013, 04:35 AM »
Same book, three different prices. Only difference is the browsers used. (reddit)
 (see attachment in previous post)

That matter is indeed browser irrelevant. Anyway, thanks a lot for the story, it really teaches me a good lesson. I use to believe internet is the greatest mean to protect customer from being bully with unfair pricing simply because they are innocent about how much certain item is sold in other part of the world.

52
Guess what, I have never in my life try to run MediaInfo (or other video format identifying program) against a VOB file. I always assume the VOB is a video format (rather than container) and those IFO, BUP files are storing non-video materials like menu and subtitles.

Man... after reading your explanation, I MediaInfo one of my VOB file and see all the various audio tracks, subtitles and of course the Mpeg version 2 video itself.
Thank you.

Btw, what program do you use to do your transcoding?

53
Just curious, why don't you rip your DVDs and keep them in ISO format (like I do)?
If you convert them into mp4 format, you tend to loss quality, further more what about the DVD startup menu? Are you doing your own authoring work?

May I also ask this, what is the advantage of keeping a movie in mp4 format contained in a mkv file than directly keep it as mp4 file? (Isn't mp4 file sort of container by itself?)

1. All players don't support mounting ISOs.  MKV is the format that I chose that works on everything I want to use it for. 
2. I'm not encoding it- I'm transcoding it (and that should be mpeg2, not mp4).  There is a small difference in size because MakeMKV strips out the extraneous information.  But it's not compressed. 
3. There's also a difference in size because I don't get audio and subtitle tracks I don't need.  I only speak English, so I don't need spanish, chinese, etc... this lets me do that.
4. I don't have the menus- in fact, I don't want them.  I just want to click a file and it start playing.

I don't know about the "transcoding" of movie, my main concern is to store my DVD movies as original as possible. Particularly when I have a DTS movie, no matter how hard I try to convert it from VOB format (I have tried various formats), I always find loss of DTS quality and I finally decide to store the original image of the DVD.

54
If you are talking about RAID 0, again a synchronizing  program which synchronizes between a pair of 2TB HDD periodically seems to be a better solution then RAID 0, because you can copy file to the HDD faster.
Eh... wat? Copying a file to a single harddrive is no faster than copying it to a raid mirror. The same data chunk can be written to all mirrored drives in parallel, and there's practically no CPU overhead. There's a fair amount of filesystem traversal (which means both CPU and HDD overhead) if you do periodic syncing.


"There's a fair amount of filesystem traversal (which means both CPU and HDD overhead) if you do periodic syncing."
Are you implying the act of transferring data to RAID O mirrors is not HDD overhead and do not required CPU?

1. If there is practically no CPU overhead, then who starts the copy of data to all the mirrors? Are we talking about hardware raid or software raid here? Have you practically experience running Windows on RAID 0 and compare that to running on a single HDD? Man... try it and I can assure you the difference.

2. Using synchronizing program means resource consumption is irrelevant, you just need to to schedule it at the right time.


55
I have over 1000 DVDs.  Keeping track of them and storing them is becoming prohibitive.  And I have a living room TV and a TV in the man cave that I watch them on.  Add to that the fact that the kids watch on their computers sometimes, and my wife watches them in the bedroom, and having them in one place and accessing them over the network is just more convenient.  And I specifically have devices that I don't have to decode them with.  There's also no compression; I have them all in MP4 in a MKV container.  I'm still working on ripping them all... I've just about filled up 2TB and that's only a quarter of the collection.  But it just works for me.

I am also storing my DVD collection (much smaller than yours) in a 2 TB HDD.

Just curious, why don't you rip your DVDs and keep them in ISO format (like I do)?
If you convert them into mp4 format, you tend to loss quality, further more what about the DVD startup menu? Are you doing your own authoring work?

May I also ask this, what is the advantage of keeping a movie in mp4 format contained in a mkv file than directly keep it as mp4 file? (Isn't mp4 file sort of container by itself?)

56
On the other hand, I am completely for offline storage. With hard drive prices going down, it is easier to download a file and store it than to rely on the cloud. I have almost completed ripping my 850 DVD collection to MP4 for storage on our media server. This will be complete once I am able to setup a Raid 1 array of about 4TB. Right now, I am stuck at 2TB on a single disk. Once I get a new enclosure, I will setup a Windows-based raid mirror (hardware raid is flaky unless you invest in a reliable controller, not those cheap promise boards).

Kind of OT, but... Have you looked at FreeNAS? Someone recommended it to me in another thread and it's been wonderful.

@Josh - +1 w/Ren on FreeNAS. It's a great solution. Before you commit to using Windows, consider giving FreeNAS a try. It won't cost you anything other than your time to try it out. You may be surprised to find it's everything you need - plus a whole lot more.

Although I'm not too big on recommending RAID for most personal uses and/or skill levels, it does have it's place. And the software implementations of RAID running under the NIX environment have proven extremely reliable in my experience. And I do servers for a living. So I see a few more of them in operation than most people do.

Just my  :two:  :Thmbsup:

IMHO, it is not worth the trouble and risk to use RAID for video collection. (particularly RAID 1)

Normal setup of HDD is fast enough for video playing (even HD movie).
If you raid a pair of 2TB HDD, you risk to lost all 4TB video files when either one is down and that is all for the sake of performance gain that you hardly notice when openning a video file (not when playing it)

If you are talking about RAID 0, again a synchronizing  program which synchronizes between a pair of 2TB HDD periodically seems to be a better solution then RAID 0, because you can copy file to the HDD faster.

In brief, I find in unwise to use RAID 0/1 for a passive storage, like video collection.

57
General Software Discussion / Re: Pirate Software Dilemma
« on: December 02, 2012, 08:11 AM »
Now let's take Evernote.  Once had a snappy, portable version and everything.  Not anymore.  Think that pleased the hardcore users?  However, it sure benefits them to move to the cloud.  Not that the product is bad or anything, but the history of events made me lose my trust a little with them.  They also made it harder to get the data out of evernote and into other things.  So would I pay for it again?  probably not, unless my back was up against the wall.  And they should pay that price.  But they won't because I'm in the severe minority.
OTT, but I think this is somewhat unfair on Evernote.
The company was taken over and the new owners explicitly rebuilt the software so it could work in the cloud. Looks like a good call, given the the increase in their userbase and the effective demise of many of their previous competitors who stayed as they were. And, unlike the previous owners who sold out, they aren't asking you to pay - they offer it entirely free unless you do want to use the cloud sync for more than 60MB a month.
And, if you want it entirely portable, you can go HERE. btw, Evernote don't recommend working it off a flash drive because of the risk of database corruption.

Until today, I am still using the last version of the old Evernote.
I did pay (one-month) to try the latest Evernote then I finally give up...

The new Evernote application
Pros:
1. Cloud means portable and more convenient
2. You can search within a Note after it is brought up for editing.

Cons:
Everything else not listed in the Pros list are basically downgraded, particularly the Tag hierarchy tree.

58
Windows 7 won't become a rarity overnight, and Microsoft will surely fix windows 8 in SP1, just as it did with Vista every other version of Windows.

FTFY  8)

I've not known a version of Windows to be solid the first iteration yet.  It's just with some iterations, people forget it more than others.  ;D

+1 w/wraith - Three has always been the 'magic' number for Microsoft if their past history is anything to go by. Either Version 3 or Service Pack 3 - whichever came last.  :-\

MS history does have a pattern, see below and guess what is the ???

Win 98 (ticked)
win Me (skipped)
win XP  (ticked)
win Vista (skipped)
Win 7 (ticked)
Win8 (???)
Win9 (???)

59
I assume this is why desktop software is fancy looking, sleek to use, and full of bugs, while driver software is usually ugly, a pain to use, but generally doesn't blow up your machine ;D.

Few days ago, I try to update my OCZ Agiity 3 SSD firmware. Very carefully I follow the instruction to be sure I will make no mistake but the update fails with no apparent reason... it ends up damaging my SSD (BIOS no more detects it).

Ugly bugger!

60
Tomorrow Listary is 50% off at BitsDuJour  :Thmbsup:

61
General Software Discussion / Re: ringtones: a history?
« on: October 03, 2012, 04:17 PM »
I can see something like this in a distant future:
If someone wants software, that person pays for it.  But once it's out there, it's out there.  It's free for everyone else.  Not fair you say?  Well, I sort of disagree. 
No, that is fair, too fair to be true, which makes your idea tally with communism.

62
Decent download managers will disable Windows' auto-sleep function while active, just like decent media players will. Find a decent download manager? :)


I am using Internet Download Manager, which is actively and quite frequently updated.
The problem is, I fill in a feedback form regarding "Windows idle time problem" and so far no reply from IDM support... sigh!

63
That seems a solution.
But it has two disadvantages:
1. I will need to run it every time I need to download something big
2. If the data flow through rate is lower than user-defined threshold, coffee terminate itself. What if there is short period of low threshold during a long period download? This can happen immediately after download of one item is completed and before download of the next item starts.

May be I can create a macro to start coffee while IDM is found active ...

My best wish is IDM implements a feature to prevent sleep mode when it downloads something. But their support is poor, it has been days after i formally sent them a support request and till today I still get no reply.

64
Hi,

I have very little knowledge about Windows idle time... I don't know if I leave my PC alone (while switching on) for a long time and if I use program like MacroExpress or AutoHotKey to periodically send a keystroke (say a space character simulating pressing spacebar), does that prevent it from entering sleep mode?

I have problem under the below conflicting situations:

1. I want my PC to go asleep if it is idle for an hour or more, so I don't want to turn off or change my current power plan of my Win7 x64

2. However, if I use IDM (or any other downloader program) to download something really big which might take hours (while I am sleeping), I don't want my PC to enter sleep mode because that will stop the download.

Please, any suggestion or clue will be very much appreciated!

65
I had an MS ball mouse for about 8 years of hard work. It just wouldn't die. When I went to replace it, I found that you could no longer buy wheel mice. Everything was laser. :( At the time, laser mice weren't really all that spectacular/accurate, and I was rather disappointed. Maybe I've had good luck with MS hardware. Dunno. I'd buy MS hardware again though.

See mine, MS Laser Mouse, it is old, dirty, skin torn, serious injured and yes! it just won't die...  :P
mouse.jpg

66
General Software Discussion / Re: FreeBASIC 0.24 Released
« on: August 29, 2012, 04:02 PM »
Hi MilesAhead,

I am programming in VFP, which I don't find its IDE a good teaching ground.

I was thinking to give my kids some basic programming lessons on my own, is FreeBASIC  suitable for that? I am looking for kind of IDE where it is easy to see a test run result for codes...
Or do you have a better suggestion.

Btw, till today, I have very sweet memory on those days when I learn QuickBasic :)
I wonder if QuickBasic will run on winXP.

67
There are two things about VMWare Workstation I think worth mentioning:

1. There are two VM states: either its O/S is alive or has been shutdown. Creating a snapshot of the latter is much quicker and much smaller in size. That is because a VM snapshot of a running O/S will include its "memory" state. e.g. if you run WinXP in a VM which has been setup with a 1 GB memory, the state of that 1 GB memory is always included in a snapshot unless you shutdown that WinXP before creating a snpshot.

2. It is a great fun to play with VMWare snapshots, like playing solitaire a game.
a) You can create multiple snapshots base on a parent snapshot.
b) If a1, a2, a3, ... aN is a series of snapshots where aN is based on aN-1, you may delete a snapshot in the mid. e.g. you can delete a2 without hurting a3 and the rest of the snapshots which all originated from a2
c) You can even edit and manipulate VM shnapshot file(s) (while it is not in use)...

68
General Software Discussion / Re: Ripping My DVD Collection
« on: July 28, 2012, 06:19 AM »
Just out of curiosity, does anybody have a recommendation for what a very good (or hopefully best quality) procedure would be for ripping a commercial movie DVD for storage on a home media server to be played on a hi-def TV? I'm less concerned about file size than I am about picture and audio quality.
IMHO, if quality is your utmost concern, then ripping without video conversion is the key.

Why not you rip your DVDs with DVDFab into ISO files, by doing so, you will have zero loss in quality. To play any of the ripped movie, just mount its ISO with either Deamon or Alcohol 52% (both are free), then play the movie as though you are playing the original DVD.

69
CintaNotes:
http://cintanotes.com/

It's pretty darn close.

Thanks a lot!
Man... the name of the program is so cute, this is what I found in the FAQ:
What does "Cinta" mean?
In Spanish, "la cinta" means "band" (or "tape"). In a sense, this is similar to the way CintaNotes represents notes: as a list. And, well, we just thought it would be a nice name ;-)
In Malaysia (my country) the word "Cinta" in Malay means "Love", at first glance at the program name, I thought the program was created by a Malaysian or Indonesian... :)

70
Hi,

I have tried and then gave up upgrading to Evernote ver 4.xx the latest version (Why?) and I am now stuck with Evernote ver 2.xx

Evernote ver 2.xx has:
1. Tag notes and the tags can be arranged in a tree structure.
2. Super-fast search on notes.

but not the below:
3. Ability to further search inside a note itself or navigate through found items within a note.
4. Highly customizable user interface, e.g. user defined fonts, background color etc.

I know this forum has been a hot place for many to discuss about note-taking programs... could anyone suggest another utility for me to replace Evernote ver 2.xx? I mean it ought to have at least 1., 2. and 3. as mentioned.


71
General Software Discussion / Re: Windows Shortcut Key Article
« on: July 12, 2012, 10:43 AM »
I use True Launch Bar and MacroExpress Pro in launching most of my frequent use programs. Both handle hotkeys combination [Win] + [Ctrt] + <key> very well.

e.g.
[Win] + [Enter]/[SpaceBar] for True Launchbar
[Win] + [Ctrt] + E for IE
[Win] + [Ctrt] + G for Genie Backup Manager
[Win] + [Ctrt] + H for HyperSnap
[Win] + [Ctrt] + O for Opera
[Win] + [Ctrt] + S for SyncBack SE
[Win] + [Ctrt] + V for Visual FoxPro 
[Alt] + [num INS] for Comfort Clipboard
and many more ... (I hate MS for seizing my [Win] + [Ctrt] + P keys)

The above is typed from my memory, I suppose I am born with special memory to quickly and easily remember many hot keys or shortcut keys :) ... come to think about it, I also remember and use a different set of hotkeys inside most of my frequent use utilities like EmEditor, Total Commander etc.

I have 2 very frequent use programs launched by mouse-click via MS Mouse IPOINT utility. I launch Total Commander with MS Mouse's big side button and middle button is reserved for Listary.

For less frequent use program I find them (by typing accelerate keys) from the True Launch Bar menu.

In brief, I hardly click to launch a program and I usually dislike programs that are not keyboard friendly.

72
I would be interested if anyone has any ideas as to how you could identify/prove the source of such an outgoing call from an add-on, other than the hit-or-miss process of elimination that I employed.

Knowing exactly who is the sender and thus able to block outgoing traffic is supposed to be the job of a firewall -- a software firewall like Outpost Pro. This is the major reason I do not use a hardware firewall (generally speaking, one which is made available in a modem or networking switch) which is hopeless in filtering outgoing traffic.

If you use Outpost, just disable the Windows DNS Client Service and that will force every single outgoing traffic to use Outpost's service (for DNS request). You can then tells exactly "what program" is trying to call home... It is the "Should I allow" or "Should I block" game that I often play with Outpost firewall.

Try it and you will like it.

73
The calculator that comes with Windows 7 (and Vista, I think) will perform MOD operations.  Change the view to "Scientific" or "Programmer".

Man... how could I miss the mod button. Yes you are right the mod is there.

74
Hi,

I am tired of trying to seek and test...

Could anyone recommend a good scientific calculator for Win7 (No online-calc, thanks.) which at least supports MOD ... (Just in case) e.g. 8 MOD 3 gives 2 :)
 
It will be better still if it is a 64 bits program.

t.s.lim

75

How much is your data worth?
How much time do you want to spend on it?
How much money do you want to spend?
Can you live with the potential failure or worry about it constantly?

It's a purely subjective decision.


Lets say you have a HDD that starts developing bad clusters and by the time you find out the problem there is N bad clusters:

1. The number N increases rapidly. It won't wait.
2. If a a newly develop bad cluster take place on a spot where one of your Window component files or a driver - you get Blue Screen. Yes there is a chance you can run in safe mode, mark that spot bad, replace the corrupted crucial file and continue using that HDD.
3. Even when a newly bad spot corrupts a non-crucial data file, say cache file, cookies etc. You will soon find more and more program to response slower and slower... simply because quite often, an attempt to read something on a bad spot will take minutes if not hours before the system decides it is bad.

In brief, no matter what, it is not worth the trouble.
As soon as REAL bad cluster is found, trashing the HDD is a matter of affirmative and securing as much as possible data on it is an urgency... remember this:
Restoring backup to a new HDD is always easier and take much shorter time than rebuilding it from scratch.

The longer one make his/her final decision the more data will be lost and the more he/she suffers. I really can't figure out why this matter can become purely subjective?

Make it this way, even if I enjoy torturing myself, I won't choose to secure a HDD with bad sectors. I rather go with SM sex... :)

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