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6351  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Excel File Compare Tool on: June 05, 2006, 07:10:00 PM
I use "Excel Compare" ($34.99 at http://www.formulasoft.com/excel-compare-history.html), which I have found to be very robust. PUP 6 ($39.99 at http://www.j-walk.com/ss/pup/pup6/index.htm) offers a similar feature, though it is not quite so robust, particularly in the level of detail and the way which it formats reports...
6352  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Photo panorama creation on: June 02, 2006, 03:56:03 PM
This is really interesting, Carol. I'd be interested in seeing a minireview of these apps. You could add Autostitch (http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~mbr...utostitch/autostitch.html), or one or more of the apps that are based on its code to round out the review...
6353  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Why is so much software cracked? on: May 31, 2006, 07:54:39 AM
I think Cpilot's point is that companies should be free to charge what they want and that they are not repsonsible for making it financially possible for people to use their software legally. If you want to use the software, you pay for it. If you can't afford it, find an alternative or don't use it. I happen not to agree with some of his/her arguments, but can see the logic of his/her argument.

Personally, I've used cracks in the past. Initially, because I hadn't considered the implications of what I was doing, later because I could not afford the software that I was using and latterly to more thoroughly test shareware that come with very crippled demos (like many here, I can't see paying more than $20 for something that I haven't been able to test thoroughly - I like to know that the features that I'm going to fork out my hard earned cash for actually work!). Over the last year, though, I've stopped using cracks altogether, mostly because I realised that I was stealing. I have purchased many of the software titles that I used to run cracked/pirated and use regularly (Office Pro and Endnote come to mind) or I have installed cheaper/opensource alternatives. I feel better about myself and am happier with the stability of my system.

I have read this thread thoroughly and really think that Cpilot has missed the spirit of many of the comments here - this seems to me to be a discussion of what motivates people to crack/pirate software and how this practice might be minimised, rather than an attempt to justifiy the practice. And lest my discussion of my own experience using cracks be misinterpreted as "justification", I view myself as an average user and offer my "story" as one more illustration of how piracy occurs in the wild.

It is tempting, perhaps, to take an absolutely moral stand on this issue but doing so does nothing to address the problem. If we don't *think* about and discuss these issues and their ramifications, how will they ever be resolved? Discussion leads to change and this discussion is about finding solutions to this particular problem that will result in positive changes for all concerned, not a rationalisation for theft.
6354  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft Office 2007 public Beta out now! on: May 26, 2006, 10:40:19 AM
Three more updates:

I've discovered that once I run the installer for an Office 2003 app and it opens up, I can run all Office 2003 and 2007 apps side by side without re-running the installer UNTIL I reboot the computer. Also, Powerpoint's slide sorter view is much better in 2007.

The beta for RagTime 6 (http://www.ragtime-online.com/) will open *.docx files (though a lot of the formatting gets washed out) but StarOffice 8.01 will not. Not surprisingly, Word 2003 can't even see files with the docx extension.

Finally, pdf output is basic but works. Note that you have to go into options and select the type of file output to pdf. As far as I can tell, the default from Word is to output images, which proved to be useless!

Yes, I know, scinitillating stuff...
6355  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft Office 2007 public Beta out now! on: May 26, 2006, 10:18:42 AM
I just opened up Word 2003. It was akin to jumping into a swimming pool after 10 minutes in the hot tub. Shocking but very refreshing and "head clearing". I still like Office 2007 beta but am already tiring of the eye-candy. If I can figure out how to switch to a Win2k style interface, I will (currently I am running the Vista theme but have only found two choices: XP Blue or Vista Grey).

PS Just switched back to "XP Blue" and it is easier on the eyes, though not so dramatic...
6356  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft Office 2007 public Beta out now! on: May 26, 2006, 08:14:10 AM
I downloaded it and installed it yesterday (it does make me feel special, sadly, running the beta... embarassed) and did a custom install as I did not want to risk using the Outlook 2007 beta. Running the custom install, you can opt to keep your current installation and install the beta to a different directory. This allows all the components of the beta (EXCEPT OUTLOOK) to co-exist with earlier Office installations (97, 2000, XP, etc.) so you can play around with the beta without jiggering your own Office installation. Caveat (at least the way I've done this under XP Pro Sp-2): if you try to run an older version of an app that was installed as a beta, the installer runs before the app opens. That's a bit annoying AND worrisome.

So far, so good, but pay attention to Woody Leonard's note above about the beta being slow in some instances. Example: opening a Powerpoint presentation and selecting start slideshow results in at least a 20 second lag on my Centrino notebook with 1024MB RAM and 64MB shared video memory.

Finally, I think that another reason that MS is releasing this public beta is to get people hooked on Office 2007's interface. It's pretty slick, and I can see that after using it for two or three months it might be difficult to go back to an earlier version. I like the new ribbon feature and the adaptive menus. I DON'T like the fact that only Word, Excel, and Powerpoint get it, though. It really affects the continuity of the user experience when switching between, say, Excel and Access. I find it a bit jarring and it interrupts my workflow.

LAST POINT: Heed my warning above about Outlook! All components of the beta will happily coexist with earlier versions of Office EXCEPT Outlook. Trying to install Outlook 2007 using the custom install described above will result in your earlier version being uninstalled first!!!
6357  DonationCoder.com Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: New version? on: May 24, 2006, 06:51:28 PM
"Find & Run" works for me... It has the advantage of being very close to the original name, thus avoiding confusing the masses (although I can see that a more complete name change to accompany v2 might actually prompt more people to download and try it, which would be a good thing...)
6358  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: new alt.comp.freeware usenet thread with criticism of DonationCoder on: May 23, 2006, 03:37:25 PM
The "bit" of the thread that I read was split about 50/50 between whinging about abuse of the true definition of freeware and people who "bottom" post. Better a bottom-poster than a bottom-feeder, I say...
 
Talk about a fuss about nothing. Some people would rather waste their time composing extended and repetitive complaints in newsgroups than spending a minute and a half requesting a free key for excellent software two times, at six month intervals before receiving, free of charge, a license that will never expire. I'm speechless, saddened, and very worried about what this (possibly) says about the state of the world that we live in...
6359  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Batch Text Conversion From MAC to PC - Suggestions??? on: May 15, 2006, 11:24:27 AM
Conversions Plus (http://www.dataviz.com/pr...versionsplus/index.html)? I've no idea if it will do this, and you may have already given it a go but...
6360  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Filenotes for Downloading Amnesiacs on: May 06, 2006, 05:33:02 PM
I've been trying out this feature (installing software sandboxed) and haven't had any trouble with it. I don't know what to suggest - if you're still interested in sandboxie, perhaps the user forum will be helpful? The author is pretty active there, though you may find that you wait for a week or so before he answers a post...
6361  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Filenotes for Downloading Amnesiacs on: April 24, 2006, 09:16:22 AM
Hi Skywalka,

I downloaded and installed ImageShack into a sandbox with no problems. There are two issues (I think). First, in order to install apps that use msi, you must first open up the sandboxie control panel and go to file->Run windows installer service. Second, in order to try out the installation of ImageShack, I had to open up my file manager (in my case DOpus but usually it would be Windows Explorer) sandboxed as well - I just right clicked on the icon for it and selected "run sandboxed". Running my file manager sandboxed, the context menu option to 'upload to ImageShack' is there, running the file manager "regularly", it is not. I have a sandboxed instance and a "regular" instance running in my taskbar right now and I can confirm this by switching between the two of them.

I don't actually use this feature that much, but whenever I do, all is well. The only time I ever had a problem with it was the very first time I used it. This was when I was still using Ashampoo's Uninstaller and I foolishly let the uninstaller service take snapshots both before and after the installation. That was a bit ugly...
6362  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: IE 7.0 Beta 2: Any takers? on: April 18, 2006, 12:38:08 AM
lanux128 - ditto what Carol said... I tried the hack before this thread was posted (I *think* having read about it in one of the blogs on pcmag online - can't be sure now, though). Like Carol, I could easily have avoided this situation (sandboxie), yet ploughed ahead anyway. My own fault!
6363  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: IE 7.0 Beta 2: Any takers? on: April 17, 2006, 02:19:43 PM
OK I'm an ass... I should have posted a warning about this but thought it was just me: the installaion that I referred to above (March 22) was done via the instructinos linked to above supposedly allowing one to run IE  6 and 7 side by side. I had to restore an older Acronis TrueImage to get everything operational again.

Sorry, Carol, looks like I could have saved you the trouble.
6364  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS on: April 13, 2006, 12:03:05 PM
Oh... sorry, with regard to your first point, I thought that the startup issue had been fixed. In past versions (prior to 2.2 I *think*) the author used a different installer and there were issues with certain antispyware apps (in my case it was tenebril's spycatcher) that wouldn't allow the installer to modify the registry to allow sandboxie to run at system start. This is no longer an issue for me (but then, I no longer run spycatcher either, so maybe I was wrong to attribute its resolution to the installer switch!) but the workaround is to uninstall sandboxie and rerun the installer, selecting a custom installation. During installation you then opt NOT to have it run at startup. You might try going into sandboxie control and de-selecting the start with windows option first, as uninstallation/reinstallation may not be necessary with the new installer...

All this assumes that you care to continue trying to get sandboxie working!
6365  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS on: April 13, 2006, 11:51:22 AM
Hi Carol,

I'm getting out of my depth here with respect to my knowledge of sandboxie... I can only suggest that you check out the forum with respect to IE problems - haven't experienced that problem myself (what exactly is the problem? IE won't run at all/locks up/won't connect?).

As for your other concern, I can only report that when I open my webbrowser sandboxed, all of the history and settings from my last "open" or "un-sandboxed" session for that browser are available, so it must be going to the permanent installation to retrieve my settings. AFAIK, the registry is replicated in its entirety within the sandbox and then deleted when the sandbox is emptied. The folder structure within the sandbox is created as needed. So, if an app modifies files located under your user directory/application settings that folder is recreated, along with the folder structure that it sits within. Likewise, if modifications are necessary under the program files folder, that file/folder structure is mirrored as well. These changes are also recorded/made in the "virtual" registry that has been created.

I'm not sure if I've addressed/answered your questions or not... I'm not a "power user" of this application, though have successfully used it to surf the web and to test run software installations before "committing" to them...
6366  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS on: April 13, 2006, 09:37:28 AM
Hi Carol,

Sandboxie sets up a folder under your user account (default is c:\programs and settings\username\application data\sandboxie). ANYTHING that is written to disk, either by a sandboxed application or by a process/application launched by that sandboxed app (this extends to opening Windows Explorer, launching WMP, etc.), is written to that folder. How this works is that your system's folder structure is replicated within the sandbox (that folder). The programme also creates a virtual registry within the sandbox to which all changes to your registry are written. Once you're done surfing the net or testing an application or opening a file with a sandboxed copy of word, you simply empty the sandbox and your system has not been altered in any way. I'm running XP Sp-2 and this works brilliantly for me - no trouble so far. It's in ongoing development and has an active forum on which bugs and requests are discussed extensively. The author (tzuk) is an active participant and responds to criticisms/problems/requests well (i.e. doesn't get in a strop about it!). The problems that I have had with it relate to past versions not running maxthon properly (fixed in 2.3.1) and in having sandboxed apps still running when I try to empty the sandbox. There's no real problem with this as the context menu includes the option to "terminate all sandboxed processes"; it's just alarming to see how integrated everything is in windows (ie how many processes are spawned by any given running application)! I haven't experienced any problems running sandboxed and non-sandboxed applications together. The sandbox keeps the apps running within it well quarantined.

As such, the sandboxed folder is a legititimate folder under windows that keeps apps running within it from reaching out and affecting your system. You can, however, explore its contents and move them out of the sandbox AND apps running outside of it can reach into and modify/manipulate/move files there. An example would be an anti-virus or anti-spyware app moving infected files into quarantine or an equivalent...

I'm going to check out some of the other suggestions here over the weekend as I haven't tried any of the alternatives to sandboxie. The attraction of sandboxie is that it is essentially free and in my experience works so I haven't been motivated to look further afield.
6367  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft Office Alternative on: April 13, 2006, 09:29:48 AM
Ashampoo (http://www.ashampoo.com/f...angid=2&idstring=0038) has a suite called Office 2005 that I've not tried. At $70, it's pretty expensive, given the cost of other alternatives (ie FREE!), but is worth a look. There is also Ragtime (http://www.ragtime-online.com/ - version 6 is in beta) which is free for home use but it's a bit bloated too, I think. I've done some minimal "playing" with it and it imports and exports word and excel files well but is a bit annoying in that it does so a bit slowly. This may be because it is in beta... I didn't keep the latest official release of 5 loaded long enough to remark on how quickly it does the same thing.

Looks like the suggestions from lanux are the way to go, though! I'll be checking those out myself...
6368  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: better than using an unistaller? Altiris SVS on: April 12, 2006, 08:53:41 AM
Sandboxie www.sandboxie.com allows you to install and run applications sandboxed and works really well... It will also run any installed application sandboxed, including web browsers (hence the name sandboxIE) and this feature works well as well. The hit on performance is minimal and using sandboxie, and any app that is running within its virtual environment, couldn't be simpler. Finally, there is an active forum devoted to driving development of it http://sandboxie.com/phpbb/.

There are both freeware and shareware versions of it available. The differences are:

"In the registered version, Sandboxie can be configured to issue a warning whenever a particular program is launched outside the sandbox. You can also configure Sandboxie to automatically sandbox particular programs, even when they are not launched through the Sandboxie front end tool."
6369  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Bits du Jour - One Software Title Each Day At A Big Discount on: April 10, 2006, 05:23:25 PM
I wound up missing the original donationcoder discount on Beyond Compare but purchased it anyway. I contacted the author and was informed that it's all good... anyone buying v.2 gets a free upgrade to v.3.
6370  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: HDDlife Pro (and other disk-health reporters) on: April 07, 2006, 10:36:20 AM
Hi all - I have had TWO hard drives in two different notebooks fail over the past two weeks. Frankly, I'm fed up with notebooks in general and notebook drives in particular. I have had 4 fail while in use as the primary drive and two others (pulled when I upgraded) develop errors while in use as USB external backup drives. That makes 6 total in about two years in use in three different notebooks. Pathetic. Anyway, back on topic, I am posting because neither of the recent failures that I experienced gave any advance warning at all.

As soon as I have a bit of cash burning a hole in my pocket (should be around 2015 at the rate I'm going), I'm buying a desktop!
6371  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!] on: April 05, 2006, 10:01:34 PM
Hmmm.... I've been running SpinRite on a test drive for over a week! For about three days I thought nothing was happening, but it seems to be going painfully slowly through the sectors, bit by bit. I'll let you all know how it turns out. It's a trashed notebook drive - 40 GB TravelStar. I'm beginning to suspect the fodder is on to something, though...

As for Superboyac's problem, I note this from the GetDataBack website: "Recover even when Windows doesn't recognize the drive - GetDataBack can even recover your data when the drive is no longer recognized by Windows. It can likewise be used even if all directory information - not just the root directory- is missing."

Looks like it would be worth a closer look.
6372  DonationCoder.com Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: Triniault - another program similar to F&RR on: April 04, 2006, 09:57:46 PM
OK, first my spelling is atrocious -it's Trininaut. Second, I think I just set a record. I downloaded and started up trininaut (no installation, just unzip the files into a folder and run the exec) and let it index my 80GB harddrive. Pros: indexing was quick. Cons: everything else... It will launch executables but evidently not open files or folders. As I COULD NOT get to the settings dialog and as I had to kill the process via Task Manager - not being able to use the method described on the app's homepage, I've already given up and deleted it. When running, it uses about 17 MB of RAM.

I'll drop the author a note outlining my experience but this is far, far, far from being in F&RR's league!

YMMV,

Mike
6373  DonationCoder.com Software / Find And Run Robot / Triniault - another program similar to F&RR on: April 04, 2006, 09:38:01 PM
Triniault, yet another app that I am debating trying at: http://trininaut.sourceforge.net/. It's in beta and is written as a Quicksilver (Mac app with a fanatical following) analog for Windows, though the author admits to not having used Quicksilver. There's a user forum here http://trininaut.sourceforge.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=1&sid=d18950d892d6fbf6d765b6833d587754 that's been live for about 5 days and so far has 3 postings, all from the author!

Triniault appears to differ from F&RR in that it indexes the user's hard drive when first run and then updates itself periodically after that. Looks like I'm going to have to download and try if I am to make any sort of a meaningful comment on it.

Downloading now...
6374  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: HDDlife Pro (and other disk-health reporters) on: April 04, 2006, 07:02:49 PM
HD Tune http://www.hdtune.com/ is a freeware app that also allows you to view the temperature in the sys tray and provides easily accesible detail about the health of the drive...
6375  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Foxit Reader (fast pdf reader alternative) on: April 04, 2006, 10:36:14 AM
I agree with you about precaching - Adobe's service is one of the reasons I gave up on AR 7. No matter how many times I disabled it, it just kept coming back, like the Energizer bunny! The other reason, had to do with using AR 7 as the default in-line reader is both Firefox and Maxthon and its instability. Foxit is much more stable in my usage.

With reference to Adobe precaching, I DID find, that with the service running load times were very quick, hence my decision to ditch AR Speed-up. You're right, though, in that the two approaches are very different.
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