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51
General Software Discussion / White Identical Twins
« on: July 28, 2017, 06:06 PM »
EDIT Night August 6/7, 2017: Title change (original title: "AI, google (YT), in the year 2017")


from https://www.youtube..../watch?v=gESAnsj0FDU :

OttoIlse.png

Original screenshot. This evening, after spending some hours on YT exclusively with the German comedian Otto Waalkes, I just encountered the grossest AI glitch (or then, is it not...) I've ever seen in my life, aside from it being most memorable because of its shock value. Note that I do NOT vision documentaries like the central one (> "Recommended for You" or similar effect), independently from the fact that I regularly have my browser history, etc. cleaned (by CCleaner), and even if they spy my hdd (which cannot be excluded), they would only discover some political videos treating current affairs, especially on censorship.

Thus, yesterday, I had downloaded this YT video: https://www.youtube..../watch?v=KdKC72rS6ng ("Götz Kubitschek zu seinem unerwünschten Bestseller 'Finis Germania'"), an interview with RT who treats the backgrounds of a current censorship case of a book thrown out from the authoritative bestselling-books list (NYT, NZZ, etc. treat the affair, too, currently), for beng politically incorrect. (In short, the - now deceased - author writes that Germany as a country cannot continue to bucket all (!) of its national identity out of the holocaust but in order to survive, must bethink of positive values, in case even create new ones, and really believe in them - as you perhaps know, even the German car industry auto-destructs itself at this very moment, and its narrative wasn't sustainable for ages anyway.)

Thus, it's not an AI glitch indeed, but

- google spy on me (spying my hdd? or simply my IP from yesterday, very similar to my IP from today, the web provider always assigning numbers within a restrained range), and

- within an evening of comedy, in the centre of 7 (and more) pertinent comedy suggestions, they place a documentation, "Ilse Koch, the monster of (camp) Buchenwald".*

(That list is known for listing current (!) best-selling books only, i.e. it doesn't include so-called "long-sellers", like the Bible, the Coran, etc., but it hadn't been known they censored books. Now caught with it, they say that oh yes, they have "quality standards" which obviously is a lie since incredible bad junk's on that list all year round, year after year, and they didn't leave that censored place 6 in the list blank, but number 7 is now in place 6. Spiegel (co-) belongs to Bertelsmann (and Random House, etc., which you certainly will know, is Bertelsmann), the data for the list - which, as said, comes as the "list of the best-selling books", not as the "list of the politically-accepted best-selling books" - is gathered and processed by "Buchreport", a leading trade paper by Bertelsmann, and book number 7, which now takes the place, is published by "Knaus"... which is Bertelsmann, so this scandal also has a competition law aspect (since also they tried to do this without communicating their act of censorship which favored their own title (since many idiots (sorry, but how could you call them otherwise) BUY "from" this list), before being caught, and now only they communicate about it) which nobody to my knowledge has seen yet.)

It's NOT the case that I wanted to serve you some political blah-blah by the pretext of YT AI; all to the contrary, when I did the screenshot, I couldn't think but of an AI glitch and wanted to publish it here in order to show you just how "dumb" they are, ha, ha, oh no, as I see now: it's been then only that I remembered how it came that google served me that "historical lesson" on purpose, obviously in order to reprimand me for having had the guts to feel positive of ideas contained in that book (I visioned the clip in its full length; politically-correct people who are pro-censorship (write in Der Spiegel, in Die Zeit et al. and) tend to just look into some minutes, so google correctly knows my stance and lets me know they highly disapprove it and/or they try to "educate" me in the alleged "opposite" direction: They obviously take me for a fascism-drifter in need of "new information" in order to be salvaged for the flock.

*: What will google and others do, in the same situation, with people like me, who just are openly against (Bertelsmann-and-others') depotism (the Bertelsmann owner widow is an intimate friend of the German Chancellor) and openly against censorship (the "German Question" just being accessory here, and to be precise, the author does NOT defend the Reich in any way: the latter would have been a criminal act, the book would have been seized, the publisher jailed; it's just that the pitmans of the oligarchs (well, google are oligarchs themselves now, aren't they?) don't bear someone naming Jehova (Life of Brian, you know that comedy).

They try to silence the population (German press for example is extensively government press, just last week they published an ironclad scientific research paper on that, and not speaking of German state radio/tv), and when they see you're not part of the silenced ones yet, they currently try to heavily educate you, in some years they will change tune. The screenshot above is a scandal in itself.

And thank you, I know about Buchenwald and its monsters without YT/google "helping" me with it.

52
I'd been interested in hard links, a subset of symbolic links; we're speaking of newer Windows versions here.

From this quite recent post: https://blogs.window...symlinks-windows-10/ (December 2, 2016 2:00 pm - Symlinks in Windows 10! - By Yosef Durr / Lead Senior Program Manager), you could infer that they had been made more accessible to common Windows users now, but in the end, I had to set my system to "Developer Mode" indeed, in order to be able to create hardlinks with my macro program (open a cmd window, trigger the necessary commands, auto-close the cmd window); with direct API access it should be smoother, visually, but I don't know how I would do that; in any case, no manual intervention is asked for, it's just the popping up of the cmd window which isn't that pretty.

Hard links are robust when it comes to renaming or moving of the "original" file name (or any one of the "links") - in fact, there is not such an "original" file anymore, but there's that data thing in the hdd, and then just several links to that data body, the original name being just one of them - that's how NTFS works anyway, so these NTFS-only links appear to be a perfect way to do file cloning (instead of creating copies), even though it all doesn't function but within the same drive - I suppose you could install some super drive for this, i.e. a common denominator for anything below it, like multiple hdd's in some NAS, so this one-drive-only limitation doesn't exclude the use of symbolic links from "corporate" use if the "corporation" is a pop-and-mom office or the like.

Of course, there seem to appear big problems with web storage ("cloud"); some people in the web speak of using it for this, but I cannot imagine any inter-office-web use, so they've got probably everything (and only, except perhaps for backup purposes) in the (same) "cloud".

Where things begin to get nasty - hence this thread -, read here:

https://www.zive.cz/...98/?consultanswers=1

cpbbt2  |  15. 08. 2014 09:44  |  Microsoft Windows 8.1 IE 11.0  |  [5.104.22.---]

What you have to consider is the way an application/program works on a file. Some edit the file directly, and they should work perfectly fine with hardlinks. Although I didn't knew the "fileinfo difference" problem until now ... Other applications copy the file and then delete the old one when they save their edited version. This programs obviously break the hard link with that hidden copy operation. What they save is no longer the file they had opened. When they then delete the old version, they remove this single hardlink from the directory. Other hardlinks remain, and so you get two files in the end.

Lots of blah-blah discussion here: https://superuser.co...ntents-do-not-affect but they don't get it any better than that (and they don't even cite the source).

Of course, I encountered the problem described there, immediately, with my very first trial files: You make, from some original file x.xyz, a copy (!) 0x.xyz, then create hard links 0x1.xyz, 0x2.xyz, etc. from 0x.xyz, and then you can play around with these all-non-original "files", i.e. links to the copied original; first copying is important since you will want to extend your playing around to also deleting the first name in the line, the 0x.xyz, in order to see if really there is no difference anymore to the other, later links (since you created these with the mklink command, while the 0x.xyz had been created in the traditional way): You open some of these file aliases, change them, close them, then check if other aliases you open have got those changes or not.

(I did not check what happens when you open that same content body, under two different names, with 2 different programs at the same time, and if that is possible to begin with - probably yes... IF one of the 2 programs comes with the problems described above.)

Now imagine somebody trying to create some office software relying on hard links, and the customer service they would have to do afterwards, with all those angry customers having created multiple alternatives from the same original files...

BUT this being said, hard links are probably a fine, elegant, file-system-only solution for pictures or other files of a certain kind and of which you first must be sure you will never use a program upon, which will create the problems described above; also, the same picture programs could behave differently for just opening / displaying some pictures, and then processing them, for example some dedicated picture viewer but which also has some basic processing features.

So before adopting hard links for pic categorization, you would have to do many verifications if it's viable in your case, but if it is, such a file-system-only solution is without any doubt much superior to any commercial database solution, for pics, since in the latter, you only have your multiplicity of the same pic / document only in that dedicated program - the same is true for dedicated tagging programs of all sorts, except for a single exeception among them which writes the tags into the filenames, but you could do that yourself, with any good file manager (thus offering a good multi-rename function) -, while with hard links, these "clones" would be available from anywhere, from within any file manager, any pic browser, and thus also be available TO any special dedicated program which does something DO to these files, so if you exactly know what program and/or program functionality does, how it behaves in this respect, the use of hard links, together with some automatic check functionality which then, in case, handles the aliases, could certainly be an almost optimized solution.

The same for office use, the only problem being that then such an office software would prescribe the use of some restricted list of "acceptable" applications, either because they or the file formats in question don't represent any problem, or because that centralized program knows how to "react" whenever such an application works upon a file within those "monitored" directories (which would be a prerequisite in order to get such a system functional). (NB: Some file formats may be without problems up to now just because there isn't any application yet which messes around with it in this way.)

Whereas traditional links are totally unreliable; they've egen got some (!) functionality in order to not being broken when the original file (here there is a distinction between original file and link files indeed) is renamed or moved, but from my experience, you should never rely upon it, it works here and there, and then again not, so...

So whatever that MS "Lead Senior Program Manager" says, a really viable solution to the everlasting "it's-just-a-tree-instead-of-a graph" problem inherent to NTFS (not speaking of FAT32 et al.) hasn't been found yet, or in other words, MS don't do their homework.



EDIT August 1st, 2017: Just title change, for the title better reflecting the extended content.

53
The following was meant as an Edit to my previous post, unfortunately I got, with multiple tries, "invalid attachment". It's a 5kb .png file called SQLiteExpert.png, from c:\, so it'd be of interest to know what in such a file could be "invalid" for this forum, perhaps screenshots cannot be inserted by edit, but only into new posts, since now, doing a new post for it, it seems to work?


EDIT July 25, 2017

Of course, some days later, there is a new version of SQLite "Expert", it's quite FIVE versions later than about 5 days ago. Probably, the immediate crash will not come now. But I've said it several times, the quite pretty GUI is really bad, functionally. So I think I should share a little screenshot in order to give an impression of what I mean, this is just an example of many (or let's say, several of) such quirks. As always, just a tiny one, so that the size demonstrates, too, that my illustrations are only for conveying my point in question issues. Here, we've got a record NOT numbered 72, but with a 4-digit number, but the whole record had been more or less readable indeed, not editing purposes though, but then, I had clicked on the plus sign above the records, in order to create a new one - which you see in the middle line, with the star in front of it, and you can see that it's perfectly unscrutable - so that's how the developer thinks people should enter the data into a new record, by "in-line" editing, ha ha ha (the multiple "(n" are default nulls):

SQLiteExpert.png

54
General Software Discussion / Re: SWOT software
« on: July 23, 2017, 02:19 PM »
SWOT Compare

There are some (free or paid) macro collections for Excel; by chance, some days ago, I saw a very beautiful bullet chart somewhere ( https://www.poweruse...ft-Excel-free-or-not ), I took a tiny, partial screenshot from the screenshot (right of citation):

Heatmap 1.png

It's called "Dashboard Tools for Excel" (45$) there, but it's obvious that is has been renamed "Tools for Excel Tables" (price maintained), and under http://jabsoft.com/t...ert_bullet_chart.htm you'll find another specimen of which I also took a tiny part for demonstration:

Heatmap 2.png

SWOT is more specific, but I like bullet charts very much, they're very useful for lots of things; you can include SWOT by color into them; weighting has to be discussed though since bullet size regularly would mean strength of the factor in the given element, and not the weight you give to the factor represented in the element; it wouldn't be a good idea to combine them I think, but you could use background color / greyness for the "weighting", or, better, modulate the given color (red would be risks, green would be chances, etc., but a lighter green on a bigger bullet would then be a quite big chance but which isn't valued big, and so on.

Perhaps the same would be possible with PowerPoint or even in Excel's own graphics department? And what about risky chances? And there's the old saying that "it's all playing around since you do your weighting according to the decisions you will already have done before", but that's not entirely true, and you certainly 1) will find out this way what really matters to you(r corporation or similar), 2) with which disadvantages you are / must be willing to live then.

Anyway, my musings above go into the direction of a compared SWOT analysis, or, shorter, a "SWOT Compare"; the traditional form of SWOT (see @Contro's links) isn't that much suited to a compared SWOT, when in fact, SWOT is about comparing alternatives, most of the time (even if then several alternatives will be realized in case).

Thus, trying to put several dimensions into such a table is worthwile, but then, it could become difficult or even impossible (i.e. too much scripting involved) to generate such a table from an Excel/spreadsheet table: You will probably end up doing it "manually", in an independent business graphics tool, or in some combination: Creating 2 dimensions in Excel (hard data if there is any, or then just simili-data, i.e. 1 dimension from deliberately-attributed numbers: size; also factors = Excel rows: color*), to be imported into the chart, and then manual work (which may not be possible with Excel add-ins) in order to add a / get the third dimension (or even a fourth one, but I fear comprehension will suffer then, but yes, if you have got one dimension with only a few possible values, you could try to combine different shapes).

*: It goes without saying that lots of Excel rows will then only apply to some alternatives or even just one alternative, but at least, the identical / similar factors can be grouped together (by different dimensions, hopefully), and that helps a lot with deciding and/or planning, just like, but much better than, positioning two sheets of vellum one on top of the other, pair by pair, and trying to get the matches visually.

Thus, a "SWOT Compare", or a Compared SWOT is certainly better in most use cases, hence the interest of more elaborate graphical representations.


EDIT: I see the second table in @Contro's first link is a comparison, but it's not multi-dimensional as I advocate it here. Also have a look at the very last table in that link: On first sight, you could think all those buttons on the left are filter and sort buttons, but that's unfortunately not the case: Such buttoms would be very welcome in such a tool, and they would be technically feasible: Their affectations would have to be plastic, according to the table in question. So it's evident that at the end of the day, SQL's the "answer" here again: Just have generic buttons, for some number of different SQL selects*, to be written by the user, specific to the table in question, and to be assigned to those buttons, just like macros are assigned to kb keys; since we're speaking of screen buttons here, there would be captions, and more informative mouse-overs; the selects (i.e. the filters/sorts), with their code and all, would be stored in records in some SQL table on their turn, just as would be the "tables", i.e. the data and all possible dimensions of their metadata with their respective values.

*: As we know, SQL "selects" do much more than just "select".

55
Text Cursor vs Mouse Cursor

I occurs to me that during all these years, I haven't done one thing right; I switched between my most important applications by keyboard keys (or then by a 1-key Alt-Tab replacement for the respective last-previous application (toggle)), but I always moved the mouse manually if needed, and the mouse is needed a lot (except for file managers where I do it all with the kb, except for mult-selects, and here and there a dragndrop).

This un-smart way of doing things was bearable in a 2x 1280x1024-pix setup; now where there are 3 or more applications visible all the time, and the mouse cursor may have been left anywhere, this isn't viable anymore: First, I tried with lots of gratuitous moving around of the mouse, just in order to check where the curser might have been, then I replaced the default system cursor setting with quite some monstruous cursors very visible indeed but not bearable to the eye, then I finally started to think for half a minute.

It's easy indeed. If you have kb macros which either run a program or (when the application doesn't has a setting "allow for 1 instance only") activate it (when it's already running: by: if there is a window with partial title "name of application here) then activate the window; else, run the application, with such a setting, just run the application), the text cursor (or however it's called) is activated over there, but the mouse cursor stays where it is, so you simply must programmatically move your mouse cursor, too - not for clicking the mouse in its target position (which technically would be possible, too, but which could have unwanted effects; just moving the cursor.

The name of your "target" application is already known, and it has got some window position and size, which are both determined by the 4 coordinates A, B, C, D, as seen above for the screen surface; it's similar for any window. So you can retrieve the position of A, B, C and D, then let's say you would like to position the mouse cursor at some relative (!) position x, in the centre of the window, or, for example, at a position y, 1/3 of the height, 1/3 of the width of that window. Note that this is also possible for windows of "plastic" size within a cluttered desktop, not only for windows with fixed sizes and fixed positions. That makes, for any mouse position a, b, a very simple calculation in your macro tool, and all your activation/run macros could get the same call to this "function" or sub-routine (one-and-for-all, and, of course, with some wait command, waiting, in case, that the "target" application will have been loaded (so that the coordinates of its window can be retrieved).

Whenever you then switch applications, by macro instead of by Alt-Tab*, your mouse cursor will already be within the vicinity at least of where you then will probably be in need for it, so searching for the mouse cursor is abolished, and also, your always necessary manual mouse movements will be reduced to a minimum.

*: You could even do it, this way of doing things included; you simply put the PosMouse() function, instead of putting it into the trigger macros, into something like OnApplicChange() or the like; if that's not available, you set up a timer checking for application changes, say, 2 times per sec.

Also, theoretically, it's possible to position the mouse cursor at a specific position, for a specific application or for a specific group of applications, or even for any application but depending on its window size and/or position - I'd call that hobby macroing, extended macroing just for the fun of it, and I have never felt the utility to have the mouse on some specific position within any application, except for the execution of some macro, but such macros aren't that much reliable anyway; on the other hand, if one of your application comes with a lot of palettes for example, perhaps it's a good idea to position the mouse pointer 1/3-1/3 into the main work area of that application, not at 1/3 1/3 of its overall window, but that would be exceptional, very specific adjustments to be made.


Do You Have a Cluttered Desktop?

See MaxMax (or MaxTo if you want to pay, or MS Snap if that thing works on your system) above for prefiguring screen positions / snapping of application windows. If you prefer the Cluttered Desktop, the mouse advice is possible, too, as explained, since the necessary mouse pointer position will be calculated on run-time, just the relative position is pre-set.

I have never used a Cluttered Desktop in my life I admit - when you trigger everything by kb or by some application launcher tool (home-made or bought, no difference), there is simply no need to ever look at the desktop, besides when turning on the pc.

BUT I now understand much better why for example @wraith808 sees uses for tools like "Fences": In fact, when you use the MS "desktop" as background for an ever-moving set of "plastic" (different positions, different sizes, too, probably) application windows, then why not have ready some application shortcuts grouped in some "Fences" field or other: With a visible desktop, such applications can be maintained continuously (all/most of the time) visible, too, so that's quite another situation than the one I described in the KM/KVM thread and which was, display the desktop, move the mouse to the wanted icon, re-activate the your previous application window(s) (besides the new one, and one by one) which, by activation of the desktop, have all been hidden now.

Thus, "desktop enhancers" are really useless in my style of work (applications maximized or maximized to pre-defined areas of the screen(s), while they may be useful indeed for anybody who, while working, always sees some parts of the desktop (which implies that none of their applications is maximized).

I do NOT know how Mr. Bartels does it do for ShareMouse, that "greying out" of whole windows, but it's the ideal way to indicate the active window - when, as said, you set the "greying out" very lightly, so that the inactive windows all remain perfectly readable but, at the same time, become "greyed out", designed as "inactive"; as said in that thread, a "blackness" of just around 15 % seems perfect for this effect, without "too-much-blackened" inactive windows becoming threatening or at least very ugly; if it's still lightly-only greyed-out, it remains perfectly viable.

Does anybody know how greying-out of the whole screen, except for the active window, would technically be done?

EDIT July 24, 2017: I'm asking for a more "natural" solution to this problem, of course, than the creation of 4 rectangular, always-inactive windows for each screen would be, and in which those windows would be of plastic size (could even be 0,0, in case the active window is (regularly) maximized), position (default would be 0,0 here again) and greyness = transparence (set by the user to their convenience, ditto for color (e.g. for girlies)): That would work, of course, but should be considered a "dirty" solution, even though the timer-basis would ensure that those rectangles would be moved and resized accordingly whenever the user moves and/or resizes the active window. (End of Edit)

As said, this should be done; at this time, in ShareMouse, the inactive screen (!) is greyed-out, and Multiplicity puts a colored frame around the active screen (!), not around the active window, so what I describe here isn't done yet but would be oh so useful! On the other hand, systematically putting a colored frame around the active window (!) would be easy; just decide about the thickness and the color, and then put its drawing into the macro described above, preferably with a timer indeed; the less de-sync between indications and the specific real situation, the better!

56
But first, you know what virtual boxes are, don't you? No, I'm not speaking of something real like those Matryoshka dolls, I'm speaking of non-existing software boxes; there are even some special software packages to design them on screen and for screen only (thus: virtual), or then you use some more general graphic application.

In the old days - for the young here, this is probably news -, software was delivered on some physical support (5 1/4" floppy disks, then somewhat sturdier in the 3.5" format), within some real cardbox, and with more or less elaborate / multi-colored graphics printed on those; included was a real-life manual, often glue-bound, sometimes plastic-ring- or spiral-bound, and in some cases the manual, or even two of them within the same box, came with plastified ring-binders containing loose-leafs, neatly separated, chapter by chapter, by means of an index.

Those days are gone. Also gone are the good old days where unmarried man, or even married ones whenever their spouse took the waters, here and there invited their friends for an all-boys evening at their woman-free home, promising them to project (Super-8, and no, that's not VHS, latter came later) their newly-acquired All-Swedish shorts, and sometimes they even had got some Danish ones, possibly even with some Danish in them, but having been filmed among the Danes or, and that was the point, by Danish perverts - I'm sorry if this now impregnates you with the connotation of Danish dogues; fact is, Danish films had the reputation of being at least twice as perverted as Swedish ones; I must admit I never saw any of either, so I cannot speak but by (trustworthy) hearsay.

You must also know that in French, "girl" is "fille", "french girl" is "fille danoise", and that "projects", in French, ain't but Projects-with-the-big-P, but also anything you intend to do, as in "my projects for this evening".

Then you'll easily understand that whenever I read "Denoise Projects" on bits, and that occurs a lot of times, I invariably read "Danoise Projects", it's simply beyond me, I cannot help myself, I swear, and it's in a second step only that I become aware of my Freudian.

But please admit that the developer helps me a lot in getting diverted from the original purpose of his software, since he not only thinks the obscenity of making up a virtual software box has any inherent value in it, except for selling vapor (it must be in the line of, "oh, great, the developer's able to use some 25$ end-user program designing the right angles and the shades of some cardbox for you, so holla, his own program's certainly really, really good, too!" - well, strict logic'd rather suggest vaporware to some point at least, but that's not the way buyers work...), no, he goes that one step further and puts some graphics on it which, to say it bluntly, would be prohibited by law in several European countries (not to speak of the South of the Mediterranean) for being, well, "sexist"? - the currently correct term'd be "discriminatory", I suppose:

Please bear in mind that his photographic subject (half (!) of some person in bright sunlight (!) isn't that much in accordance with his product's foremost use cases, or in other words, the pretty one exposed should come de-noised by nature, without the need of the tool in question, and hereby the gratuitous character of the chosen photo (let alone there is no box either): Remember those girls on hoods? Well, if they had come included...

And now you'll never be able to look on Danoise Projects, oh, pardon, Denoise Projects, on bits or wherever again, without thinking of Danish dogues in Scandinavian shorts. Cheers.

Danoiseprojects.png

57
Remember Hasselblad?

That new screen of mine's as good as it gets, and there's no real alternative in sight. While with astigmatism (or whatever it is), you aren't well-advised to either put two text applications onto your screen, each of them taking exactly its half (simily-symmetry, "lines" to be continued over the whole width - the effect is less when you do it 2/3 / 1/3 for example), and/or to try to read texts from a central, symmetric viewing position - the screen right in front of you, you always can playe your screen(s) as I did with my original ones (2x 17" with 1280x1024 each):

One of my original 17" is placed as it had been, at about 30 degrees angled, while my new screen is "behind" the left one, equally angled about 30 degrees inwards, and for my respective application, I use about the "first", inner 2/3 of its width, or even a little bit less, around 36 cm of 59.5 cm, and frankly, I don't know too well yet what I'll do with the rest, far out to the right.

Within those abount 36 cm, my visual angle remains within the 90-100 degrees range, as with my 17" screen (34 cm in all for the screen without border) - remember, both screens are angled towards me -, and clearly (and subjectively only), the left corners of the screen flee to the back, as well as the right ones do (and any texts with them: trees like the FF bookmarks for example), but this isn't disturbing anymore since the pane (the surface of the LCD screen itself) flees with it and in the same direction, just not as sharply (parallax): The screen itself is turned into the same direction as the textlines just seem to vanish, so that's ok, doesn't irritate. (It's only when I think of it and look out for it that it becomes clearly "visible".)

Not so for the third of the screen to the right: Here, as before, the text lines flee from me, while the screen approaches me, and the receding of the lines from left to right doesn't remain imperceptible at all. So for the time being, I put some tools over there, I use it as a scrap area, for nothing important, and at the end of the day, I really could do without it: Over there, it's all of no real use.

On the other hand, for some applications, that space is almost invaluable, speaking of videos (remember that then the viewing distance is 1 m or 1m20, so the viewing angle will be diminished again), spreadsheets (I don't use Excel often, but when I do, it's incredibly better now than with trying to read some spreadsheet spread over two or more screens), and of course anything "graphics", be it vector graphics, business graphics, flowcharts, mindmaps, google maps, piping, whatever): As with spreadsheets, it's not that text near the outer edge now became really "readable" suddenly (in the sense of "not disturbing while being read"), but it's about "holding all the relevant things together (incl. palettes, too), even if then you must move your chest quite a lot in order to reduce the viewing angle again.

My current setup is rather ugly since my main screen, the left one, now looks pretty lame in comparison - and mouse movement from my right screen (1440 pix) to the left one (1024 pix) isn't easy either: either, it isn't smooth nearing the top of the screen, or to the bottom, or, but lesser, on both ends.

Also, the screens are 15 or more years apart, and that shows, and to now have more pixels on my main screen, too, wouldn't be a bad idea after all, while there is no other screen format offering the same height (1440 pix) though.

When I said "behind", it's understood that all screens are tilted, so it's only the bottom edges where you can't see the right one, positioned behind the left one: All the luminous surface and even most of the right edge is clearly visible because of that tilting-plus-angle-positioning, and that triangle which opens more and more from bottom to top could be diverting for some: you can peek thru it. I don't see anything behind anymore - I do just now, writing about it -, but in case, you could place something evenly-surfaced there.

So it's about not having a large central screen since then anything near the edges would get too bad a viewing angle / would be too far away, and that also applies to additional screens over there. So what about a tinier central screen? That would be possible of course, and probably, for not-graphics' work, not-viewing-films-too, 3 screens of 1600x1200 each would be ideal...

But then, why not 3 times 1600x1600, while we are at it? In fact, I love the additional 420 pix' more height I've got now very much, and I'd even miss those additional 220 pix of some 1920x1200 screen (they are much more expensive than 1920x1080: vendors obviously know about their totally different degree of usefulness) to what I have currently.

When I ask, remember Hasselblad, I know they still exist, but I'm referring to their almost-defunct-now 6x6 film format. People say it had not been invented as some new artistic frame to be filled, even though many artists then took it as that, and even today, I'm very pleased, most of the time, whenever I see some well-designed square photography - they've become very rare, as you will discover, now you'll be looking out.

Now, they were meant as the shoot-and-point of the old days, i.e. for handheld studio photography (flash!), and then looking out for something within the frame which could be usable. Anyway, I don't know if this is explanation of the format is the correct one, or if it then just became a handy afterthought: Weren't box cameras even earlier, with 4x4cm on film strips notably? Then, large format cameras came with non-square pane film very early, indeed...

Whatever, it's undeniable that the "ideal" film format is the circle, technically-wise, since lenses are circular, and since we all view that format as unacceptable, since box cameras aren't as needed anymore, for the developments in optical correction, and since it's easy to pivot today's light hand cameras, and since, according to the subject they're after, most leisure photographers even get to decide if they want their photo in portrait or landscape, today's sensor remain rectangle, non-squared, since that way, the same target quality can be reached for less expense, less unused pixels on the sensor.

Now compare again with today's monitors and their pricing, with their sheer availability even, and you'll see that today's market is distorted, the most-frequently bought screens being good for nothing other than for viewing newer Hollywood films, and the next-ideal centre screen, a 1600x1200 (1600x1600 not being available at any price), costing a little fortune or then, around 100 bucks (according to the size, i.e. the pix size) when you're willing to accept an exemplar which is probably 10 years old.

It'll be probably just some of these "refurbished" (which means: dusted and checked for a second: it runs? so it's good to be resold!) 1600x1200 screens as my new main screen, assorted a little bit better to the new large one, with its pixels not too broad, for a better viewing angle, and I'll be done, since even for 800€ and more, I could not get any screen assorted to the pix height of my large screen... except for a similar one, i.e. the same one once more (and for a mere 350€ again), but what should I do with TWO such quite monstruos screens, angled towards me and reaching out for my edge of my desk? At some point, you'll feel imprisoned...

The other viable alternative: Buying a second new screen, but instead of buying a 1600x1200 for 700€ plus which would be more than foolish, an around-220€ 1920x1200; I had briefly thought of returning my current 2540(or whatever it is to the last digit down)x1440 and buying two 1920x1200 instead, but quickly discarded that bad idea: For just some bucks less, I'd not only renounce 240 height pix, but also around 600 pix on the side which, as said, come at least handy here and then, and then they come very handy. It goes without saying though that I'd prefer to buy now a second, but shortened, almost-identical screen, 1600x1440, even at the same price as the larger one (and as we know, that format isn't available either), and yes, I know that I could simply buy a second one of my current kind, then hide its unwanted part behind the other screen (instead of its too much reaching out to me and "enclosing" me: it seems that the positioning angle of my smaller screen is necessarily sharper than the one of my wide screen, in order to withheld a narrow viewing angle for both, and no, I never sit straight in parallel to my desk), but as you certainly imagine, that would have a different but quite as crazy, perhaps even weirder psychological effect.


Aside: I had spoken of the "free tool" MaxTo above, by mistake. In fact, MaxTo had been free years ago, while it's 19$ now, and I meant the (currently still) free MaxMax; both tools are meant to have "maximized" application windows only maximize up to a predefined rectangle, while you can predefinze the boundaries (i.e. the position and the size) of these rectangles seperately for each application in MaxMax, which comes very handy; ditto for the possibility to override this controlled no-that-much-maximizing by pressing some key; in MaxTo it's probably similar.
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As for W10's "Snap" functionality (snapping windows to screen edges or to other windows), it simply doesn't work for me, notwithstanding the fact that I played around many minutes with it, incl. reading all the relevant threads in the web and observing their advice, so MaxMax is a quite handy tool for me, I just have to set it all up correctly (or must macro it all by myself, but see no need to do see, with MaxMax being there).

And I didn't even mention today's ribbons denting into our screens' height... (nor photographer's color needs, but that's easy, that's just a matter of money, not of non-availability). And here's the short version of it all: Make screen sizes plastic in order to make me happy. And yes, there's always the (partial) solution to get glasses, contact lenses or surgery, but had I opted for any of those, I wouldn't have mused about viewing angles in the age of IPS (younger people have a broader field of vision anyway, so probably their parallaxed view isn't as disturbing either). And of course, you could set up a multi-screen farm, any single element pivoted up, but then you'd discover that even 1440 pix large per unit isn't enough and by far, pivoting in 2560x1440 screens is just provided for marketing and for rendering the stand less solid, or then for very special cases of application - oh, I know one of those even, but that's know-how to be withheld.

58
SQLite frontends:

SQLabs SQLite Manager is really unbearable in Windows. Above and in the Trial thread, I related my adventures with its previous (on my XP system), I now tried to trial its current version (on my W10 system). First of all, unchanged is the trial crippling: among others, no more than 20 (or was it 25?) records, not only for search results, but also for the data as such in the grid. Then, it crashed immediately. It seems to be a Mac program, originally, and aside from their crazy trial conditions which they inforce admirably well, they don't seem to be able or willing to treat Windows users the way we are accustomed to be treated: A trial should run for its expected duration, not crash within the very first minute that is.
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They have got the prettiest site of all of the SQLite frontends if you ask me, and their grid isn't ugly either, thus my continuous interest in that program in spite of the crippled trial (and it seems to offer a lot for just 50 bucks, according to their site's explanations), but now I'm really finished with it. Mac developers who try to make some additional sells by translating their application to Windows should probably peer less on the money and more on Windows' specificities I'd guess in general; cf. Scrivener - I don't know Scrivener but by hearsay, but what interests me here and now about it is the fact that the Windows version seems to be programmed by completely different people (who should have access to the original source code after all), and that it has been considerably lacking behind the current Mac version, and that's it's to be feared this disdain for Windows users (or call it whatever you like to call it: what about "incompetence"?) will continue to be preserved.

SQLite "Expert" comes with almost-daily updates recently, so that's what you'd call a frenzy update rate if there is any. Unfortunately, the latest output I installed from this diligent developer crashed on my system immediately, so that's what you'd call an ever-extended beta, right? (Cannot prove it since the update file went straight to my temp folder, as described above, and CCleaner takes care of those. Btw, in the lastest installments of both W10 and FF, Click&Clean doesn't seem to work correctly (or anyway) anymore, not correctly triggering CCleaner either it seems when you want to have do it at least that, so I'm currently looking out for an alternative over there, too...), so I now have to re-install some ancient version which I took the precaution to manually save some weeks ago, in order to continue to use that pretty but currently a little bit sludgy frontend for the time being; alternatively, I could check if there's even a newest-new 3-digits-after-the-dottie update? (Well, DB Browser for SQLite's rock-solid whilst being really ugly...) Gee!


And for Regex, here in db output processing or in general, see my http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=44120.0

59
General Software Discussion / Dottie and the Backpacker Killer
« on: July 21, 2017, 05:50 AM »
Let's put it simple: Whenever some lunatic encounters some backpacker, tracking along all alone on his track, or even accompanied by her boyfried or even some other chick, he's ready to kill (I even feared for Sue - and that was in a film! - when Crocodile* left her alone in the outback just for some minutes!); whenever you encounter a dottie in some regex of yours, be it accompanied by a star, a plus sign or else, get ready to kill, too!

*: Btw, they met on the set and have been happy together for 31 years now, that's what I call love! Cheerio!

And here's the mid-length version: Today, in more and more applications which offer search (as for just one example, PIMs; programming languages anyway), you'll encounter the alternative of doing a regex search instead, and that's a very good thing, but it's a fact that many people who use regex even on a regular basis, do so without the necessary knowledge to use it smartly.

It's common knowledge that regex is "slow"; as far as I'm concerned, I've always bewared of the dot indeed, but without knowing and withoutt really optimizing (grouping yes, but not enough excluding yet); in fact, I've always been aware of the fact that even the (regular) "greedy" quantifiers (regularly, not always) give correct results when by my feeling, only the "lazy" ones (available by additional "?" or by leading option code, for the whole expression) should do.

The solution to this apparent contradiction lies in automatic backtracking - well explained in the final link below -, and now you easily understand why regex, doing innumerable backtracks in order to match the text with a (bad) search expression, can be very slow indeed; of course, when we search for something, we want just the search to function well, we don't want to understand how the search is really done, but that's exactly what we first MUST know in order to be able to write effective (or even just "correct") regex searches, and that infortunately means - as a rule with few exceptions -, the better you want your search, the more inscrutable (for a beginner) your search expression will become.

It's evident that if you need such a search expression for some single task, you'll do it quick'n'dirty and will hope for the best, comparing the results with what you will have expected, and if these match, you'll be done with it - look out though for both false positives as for misses, both are so easy to get with approximative regex; whenever you need a search expression to do its work on something again and again, you better had it made as specific for that kind of text as you can, in order to make it fast-and-reliable.

So we encounter a new problem here: The more specific your regex, the higher the probability it will not match given texts, and there's two ways (which I currently see; there may be additional ones) to counter these problems: First, have preliminary scripts (with or without regexes, probably including some of these) to first check your target texts, and to hopefully alert you whenever your main script/regex will not be successful (again, false positives and/or misses) for compatibility reasons - you cannot anticipate any possible issue this way, but you can exclude here most of the "usual suspects" indeed.

Second, prefer "pure-scripting" over regex whenever reasonable, i.e. your regex will be enclosed in some script anyway, so do multiple things on the macro level with that language's commands, incl. searches, cutting up (and checking) text parts (process logic), and keep regex expressions mostly to some further micro processing, i.e. to analysis/retrieval within previously-segregated parts of the individual text. (And let me repeat here that you avoid many a problem by programmatically checking the results of any regex match (or non-match), on the micro as on the macro level.)

This way, it will also become much easier to better target your regex expressions, i.e. to write them in the most specific way there is.

From the links which follow you will learn that even lazy quantifiers will not save your regex expressions from becoming too broad which will not make them necessarily faulty but which will render them, often quite incredibly, expensive (i.e. slow), by the way regex executes the search on the technical level: Group, and be as avaricious as you are ever able to be, with what you grant any such group, instead of counting on regex' capability to clear up from behind the mess you threw at it, at the cost which will come with that unnecessary clearing-up: avoid the backtracking, avoid a backpack weighting ton, to be cleared gram by gram by regex for you when you (your script/search) should run.

(I've got several, now-optimized, regexes which run several seconds on an i7700 with plenty of memory; now imagine those searches running, non-optimized, on some i3, let alone on my old laptop, so our point - see the links - is not trivial.)

As for the long version - the intent of this post being to create awareness only, I'll let do the explaining to the experts -, please refer to the following links:

https://blog.mariuss...at-you-actually-want

http://www.regular-e...ons.info/repeat.html

http://www.regular-e...ons.info/atomic.html

And finally this one which explains in depth why and how backtracking can even go completely wild:
http://www.regular-e...fo/catastrophic.html

There's two, absolutely authoritarian, standard books on regex: Friedl: Mastering Regular Expressions, and Goyvaerts: Regular Expressions Cookbook; I own both, but I admit I never had the courage to really read those books; I've only used them, up to now, for looking up things/explanations, but a quick search for "Regular Expressions" on amazon.com will show you that there are some introductory books on the subject, too, from several other authors, and which may be a little bit more "accessible", or then, on some rainy Sunday, I should have a good look again into the writings I already own?

Goyvaerts is the author of the site regular-expressions.info (the links above) and of several / highly sophisticated regex tools - I never saw the need for me to buy his PowerGREP - was 119€, is now 139€ plus VAT - since I like to write my code myself, so for example (the independent) TextPipe Pro (395$ plus VAT on datamystic.com, here and there available on bitsdujour for a very reasonable price, though) didn't seriously tempt me either, but this latter tool seems to be more in the line of what I've said above about scripting-plus-regex - since behind the scenes, it seems to use exactly that hybrid approach, and in a largely broader way than PowerGREP (i.e. within the files, not only to do the switching between files) - I could be mistaken here, just speaking from their sites' descriptions. On the other hand, when you're a regex expert to the degree Goyvaerts (and Friedl) indubitably are, you can permit yourself to do more in and by regex since writing (correct! fast!) regex expressions will only take you a fraction of time it'd would cost us.

This being said, from his examples in the very last link above, it becomes evident that Goyvaerts' RegexBuddy (30€ plus VAT, https://www.regexbuddy.com/ ) is a highly valuable tool for anyone writing their own regexes, so I'm going to finally buy that one, obviously should have done that before. (You know the lines along which I write, so you know this isn't meant as an advertisement for a product, but as a service to the reader.)

60
@wraith
Convinced. I'ts neither devoid of interest, nor is it ugly. I had trialed Fences some years ago, and it had been unbearable, probably also partly from my own fault, and certainly some quite early version it was, too. As I see, you also love to see a neat desktop, albeit not one as purged as totally as mine is. And I see that Fences isn't necessarily used to demarcate the whole field. I'm quite a free spirit, you know, so I appreciate this, and it's visually very beautiful what you did with it; I really must have trialed a very early version! ;-)


EDIT July 23, 2017
See my THIRD post (and the last part of my second post there) in my screens thread http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=44104 on various desktop subjects.

61
Somewhere in 2001 or 02, I bought a hp pavilion f1723 (17", 1280x1024, no pivot unfortunately) for some 350€, in order to replace my old, bulky cathode-ray monitor (also 17" and 1280x1024, but which had cost 600€ years before); some 6 years ago, I bought a second hp pavilion f1723 from ebay (30€, no pivot either then, but I wanted them to be assorted), and these last 6 years, I always used these 2 screens together, "angled" around 25 degrees, the gap being in front of me, and me slightly turning my head for either screen.

I found this very convenient, the fact that this way none of the screens faced my chest in parallel position never bothered me; the only problem for me (except for the fact that I couldn't read pdf's without scrolling  1024 pix being insufficient height) was that I "needed" 1280 pix' width each for my respective main application (left screen, the direction more natural for me, cf. "The Brain" (David Niven), Gérard Oury 1969), and for my respective helper application (right screen), which left no room for some additional perhaps 300 pix screen width somewhere, for some super-tree (always-visible file manager / launcher list / file favorites and the like); hadn't it been for my finally-unnecessary "need" for symmetry, I'd better had bought a larger screen as my main screen, I admit that (my graphics card would have allowed up to 1600 pix).

So that was that. Now, I finally treated myself with an i7700 (16 giga), since XP being fine for me, I'd been too much left behind by current developments in software, and I judged it adequate to also buy a new main screen, so it's been an HP again, E272q, 27", 2560x1444, and again this was 350€ - that's progress, isn't it?

You can imagine how pleased I've been that all of its millions of pix seem to run fine for the moment, and yes, photos and videos are a joy to watch, and its PLS technology (no FN anymore) is looking-angle-insensitive, as promised, so all should be well. (One of my old screens's now for additional trees, lists, whatever's needed or helpful, the big screen stands in front of me, the "little" one on its side, angled at some 35, 40 degrees.)

Aside: I had also considered buying 2 (identical) screens instead and with 1920x1200 pix each, and to position them in my traditional way, angled and with the gap in front of me, but then I had thought both my old screens were always good for additional things, and perhaps it would be nice to have my main screen in front of me, like most people do, and perhaps there was a reason they do, and I'd like the additional 240 pix' height a lot, anyway (1440 against 1200 only).
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It's interesting to see that 1920x1024 screens are much (!) cheaper than 1920x1200 screens, but it seems crazy to me to have to pivot a 1920x1024 screen - if pivoting it is possible to begin with, which isn't possible with the cheaper models most of the time, or then they go back to TN which is really bad when angled view is involved - in order to read "A4" pages without scrolling... for the U.S. / G.B. formats, even 1200, and even 1440, seem to be a little limit.
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The ideal format, from my point of view, would come with a height of 1600 pix, but all of those screens are incredibly overpriced, they literally ripp of those who need them, and dissuade anybody who just would love to have some.
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Also, my screen, 2560x1440 as said, isn't as high as I had expected; today's (?) pix obviously aren't square (anymore?), so how come there isn't distortion to be seen (in some pic, people's faces squeezed from hair to chin)?
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Why not have bought some "4K" monitor instead? For two reasons. First, I (perhaps wrongly) suspect them to be better suited for viewing pics and vids than for doing work, and then, there's always the problem with "old" software's screen (text) output not being that readable then anymore.
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There's also curved monitors now: As with the "4K" variety, in the stores, they invariably run with pics-and-vids, so you never really can be sure that they're really apt for real work except if you buy one, trial it, then send it back again if your local laws permit you to do so.

Now back to my problem. Please imagine a rectangle with the corners A, B, C, D, and with a straight line in the middle, from x to y:

A        x        B

    1         2

C        y        D

Let's assume all these 6 points lie in the same 0-depth layer (it's a flat screen, ha, ha).

As implied above, I display some application between A, x, C and y (left half of the screen, area 1), and another one between x, B, y and D (right half of the screen, area 2). The visible surface of the screen is 60x33,5 cm, my viewing distance is around 50-60 cm (for full-screen videos, that would be nearer 1m10 indeed): that's the distance I don't have wear glasses (yet).
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I currently don't use the free tool MaxTo for these "half-screen" applications yet, and which would be for "maximizing" (the Windows command) these applications within and onto those coordinates axCy and xByD, respectively; such a tool will probably not be necessary anymore in Win10, I'll see.

Geographists learn a lot about so-called "projections" - see the title of this thread -: All map-making is about them, the bigger the scale, the bigger the distortion problems, and when then even the politically-correct people jump in, you'll really have fun. Be that as it may, cathode ray tubes replicated many of those problems, perfectly unnecessarily from a user's, just wanting to do text processing, number crunching or other intrinsically flat from start on tasks, point of view, and even count in our venerable Church for all things, still just some centuries ago (wikipedia: "Flat Earth"), so they decidedly had no problems whatsoever with map-making in those jolly pre-screen times, screens curved or not.

Anyway, I swear that on my HP E272q, the text in area 1 falls down to the middle, while the text in area 2 does likewise, so here, the lines go up to the right... oh, but wait, just one hour ago, my (1) text lines rose, weil the (2) ones fell! (We write from left to right here in Europe, for the time being.)

In any case, points A, B, C, D are positioned some 10, 12 mm behind points x and y (those in the middle), and also, the latter are some 5, 6 mm behind the central point of my screen, and that's about like it was that one hour ago, so if you imagine my screen as part of a balloon screen with a diametre of some 12 m or so, that would be probably near regular as in "to be expected", and yes, x isn't in a line of A and B, while y isn't in a line with C and D, but I cannot decide if they're both down or both up - well, in this very moment, they're both up, decidedly, even the black task line is neatly curved, every ruler will confirm that.

Or then, in fact not, as you will have guessed since long; of course, I've applied a ruler, not as long as my screen's broad, but one that measures 50 cm all the same, and if I move backwards some 30 cm, all this remains as described, my eyes constantly play pranks on me.

So we've got an important lesson here, when your eyes aren't young anymore and distort your vision - which is my case, and for driving, I wear corrective glasses accordingly - some wide screen very unfortunately can expose and even over-emphasize such defects of yours to yourself, and to the point of becoming very annoying, when with a more classic setup,

I've not got a headache yet, I've got 11 more days to return the screen if needed... but I would like to get some tidy, comfy replacement in case, even two times the current price (i.e. up to 700€) if necessary, but I'd abhor wearing screen glasses, and I'm not ready for surgery yet (cataract's slowly progressing anyway, so that'll come at some point).

Presumably, an even larger screen's not the solution, despite the fact that its pixel size will be bigger. Regular pix size being around 0.27 mm, for those screens like mine now it's around 0.245 only (while for 19" 1280x1024 screens, it's about 0.29), for "4K" it's even less, and while some 30" screen with my current solution would have bigger, "better" pixels, my viewing distance (to at least significant parts of the screen) would be greater, at it seems that I should remain relatively close by my screen(s) in order to not wrongly perceive such distortions.

I suppose the ideal solution for me would be a set up with two 1600x1200 screens, angled like my previous 1200x1024 had been, but that would be two times 700€: they ask a fortune for that format. Or then, and if I cannot learn to live with my current screen, two screens 1920x1200, an then not using the outer areas.

Or then there would be just one current, acceptable curved monitor 2560x1440, 31.5", from 750€) (there's just another one, 27", same price) - theoretically, I could order it immediately, while the current's still there, in order to compare, then send back one of them: But would that be reasonable a) price-wise, b) task-wise: Is curved (concave here, not the feigned-convex described above) any good for real work or couldn't trying that drive people nuts instead?

And what about curved plus 4K then? They're in the range 37-40", a VA-Philips being less than 700€, an IPS-Acer the double of that, no much choice anyway...

Some years ago, somebody mentioned his setup of then in this forum: 4 portrait screens (each 1280x2024, supposedly, since anything else probably would have got much too big) in angled lineup around his keyboard, and in there's two matches at least with my former half-of-that (but "landscape") setup which will have to be considered separately, and of which the relative impact's probably quite distinct:

First, while it's true that on a 1280 x whatever, I cannot read the lines from edge to edge - and there should not be any text lines so large to begin with - the frame of the screen serves as some psychological frame: what's within that frame is self-contained, is some "unit(y)" - my subconscious doesn't try to "read", to become aware of neighboring contents which furthermore are on surfaces clearly angled with respect to the current surface, the current content set, but everything which is within that 1280 x whatever-it-heigh frame, is included within my immediate perception, be it really readable (without eye movement) or not. We've got clear separation of concepts, no subconscious interference with further "offerings" - the retina is a part of the brain, so whatever you see plays its role, no "decisions" (to discard) involved here (possible discardings are made in further processing only, albeit often very effectively). So, probably with some vertical, black, 100 or 150 pix wide bar to sacrifice from your screen real estate and between your applications...?

Second, and that could probably be the much more important factor here, when you've got several but not-so-large, individual screens (I'm not speaking of walls of individual screens in some monitor room, obviously), your viewing angle for anything, anywhere on those screens is either 90 degrees or at least in the vicinity.

Not so with large screens when not curved (and that curving should arise other, new problems I fear): Either you move your whole chest a lot (and then tilt your head quite considerably), or your average viewing angle diverges quite a lot from those 90-110 degrees which might be the only really safe range, psychologically.

Remember how they depict people and objects in photos, in paintings: strong vanishing lines are rare, face-on's the rule. So why do you think that now, with IPS - which, yeah, renders at least readable vanishing texts -, characters very perceptively fleeing from you, will suddenly become entirely tamed and inoffensive when it comes to their cognitive processing ? (Again, the retina is part of the brain itself, not some usb-connected device operating independently, then sending just bits over the wire, the tonality of how it sees something deeply influences any further processing.)

That could be, btw, the reason why people with (very) large screens usually don't divide them into dedicated regions but juggle with and between multiple "windows", in multiple partial overlay, a substantial part of their screens being left unused or allocated as scrap area: Subconsciously, they may be trying to always minimize the deviation from the 90 degree angle, and that'd reduce the large-screen concept to absurdity for textual and similar applications (while it'd remain valid for anything "entertainment", for the overall view in pics, vids, maps, graphics in general, and of course for spreadsheets, and there in spite of the drawbacks but for spreadsheets' special requirements): Multiplicity of tinier, angled-positioned, all user-oriented screens (with narrow edges, but which should probably remain very distinctive? see my first point of musings) - and with probably a better resolution than the traditional 0.27 mm pixel width! -, could probably be the much better solution, physiologically, or then, curved screens indeed?

IPS just being another pseudo-solution to a problem not resolved yet? And gamers and video freaks raving of curved screens (cf. curved screens in cinemas, but what their individual effect in the different rows in the room?): These are precisely the people who can't (or more correctly: who, understandably, are not willing to) cope with some "active", tinier window nearby so that its ideal 90-100 degree angle is preserved, so they want the same condition be met by other means.

Uh? It's all about de luxe demands, you say? And if there's a real need beyond those, for proper, non-disturbed, efficient info processing? Cf. games and their crucial reaction times: Thus, is there some thesis around already proving - or invalidating? but I'd bet my a** not! - my theory that the same persons will be more successful gamers in front of a curved screen (once they will have become accustomed to it that is)? (Don't show this thread to your children. Or then, do justify your own necessary expenses towards your wife by this thread.)

Ideas/arguments/experiences welcome. Did I say my screen dives in the middle and has wings, just like a fan or druther like a dove in the very moment it gracefully touches down onto the sea?

62
@wraith808
"For example, on my laptop, it's encrypted.  I can't use a separate keyboard." - I wonder if the KM tools which offer encryption can help; with really good security on the "slaves" probably not, indeed. - I discovered that whenever there are different kb, different mice on my desk, I invariably "try" to actionate the devices nearest to me even when I "know" they don't work for pc's farther away...

You know, texting doesn't transport smiling, and thruout post which, from your textual "tone" which I might have misunderstood though, seemed to have put you in quite real anger, I had a good time - foil fencing, while you seem to have misinterpreted my tone as overly-, not just good-sport-, aggressive: it's playfulness obviously didn't transperce.

I'm sorry for my carelessness with regards to the compacted-text; it's my fault I didn't get aware of it, but it hadn't been intential; I understand it must have put you in totally-justified mood.

It's funny you mention Rainlendar, that's another piece of sh** - oops, I shouldn't say that, I see. But then, it's allegedly free, while it cost me more than 40€, more than 60 bucks at the time - howzat? In fact, I had just started to use it some weeks ago (coming from paper agendas), and I also entered my various lending periods in it (different university libraries, different periods for the same lib, so no chance to memorize core dates or to do it with leaves in the books), and one fine day, I suddenly was charged nearly 50€ for overdue charges, just like that.

I then discovered that I had entered the common due date for multiple books on the correct day, but one month too late, and that's oh so easy with Rainlendar, much too easy in fact! I'm a fervent advocate of key control, but it should not as easy to change the month, inadvertantly, as it is in that calendar/agenda tool, neither should it be accepted or that the month doesn't immediately revert to the current one after some input into the next - so there are at least two traps wide open for missing appointments with Rainlendar which in this markedness don't exist with acceptable agenda tools - for my 60 bucks, I would have got some really good stuff, for example what was it called again? Remember the milk? no, that's online now. Remember my life? Neither. Oh, it's My Life Organized - oh yes, you CAN fold your sales by nutty naming...

So after that, I bought ListPro, even in intimate knowledge of its numerous faults, but since, I didn't pay another dime for overdues, while with Rainlendar continued, I probably could have easily spent the worth of the annual fee for Swift To-Do List (100 bucks plus VAT) per year.

I even considered an iPad - I mused about it here - for ListPro then... up to the point when I discovered that ListPro does NOT give alarm on the iThings, which makes it useless for me then. (Entering dates isn't as easy but seems more or less foolproof to me, so that's a pity.)


Fences: We more or less agree: One outgrows of fences - you did - since its order-capabilities are too limited, it's just that I discovered this within an hour or so, years ago, whilst you discovered hidden qualities, when I dispended with it immediately: "the fact that I was able to make zones where things when installed under certain conditions go" - ephemeral use indeed, just like I playfully but being serious at the same time mentioned ago. I admit I'm severe with Fences, but then, application launchers are about FAST access, and switching to the desktop and then stirring around with the mouse isn't that fast, is it.


I didn't want to equate not needing software features with not wanting democracy anymore; I just jumped in - faultily disrepecting your right to not wanting unneeded features for some good moment, I must admit that - because I've heard the "not needed here, move on" reaction from fellow users, not even waiting for the developer's own reaction, in various software user forums a bit too often, and then it occurred to me that this generalized hyperconservatism

(yes, I know what's bloatware, and you're right about it, but if they had realize their bloat in some optimized way, we both would happily welcome it: it's the badly-done bloat aspect in bloatware that puts us off, almost any well-designed (!) additional feature'd become highly useful in the end, for most of us)

in politics is ruining Europe: people waive what they should battle for. I'm certainly not out now to bother fellow compsters with politics, just let me mention here some news I got late this evening only and which is suitable here for two aspects:

From some German blog (see the screenshot over there: "somebody's [Twitter] account has been withheld in: Germany" [while you'd expect for example Egypt here]): http://www.danisch.d...held-in-deutschland/ I followed this link: https://support.twit...m/articles/20169222# - "Country withheld content" (over there, everything's in English):

They obviously censor whole Twitter accounts for READING in specific countries now, and in countries you would have sworn a short while ago still they were perfect democracies (well, I know better, but I entirely acknowledge this forum isn't the place to discuss those things).

Twitter's a subject here, and, as said, just mentioning, not opening a thread or such, not bothering anybody with it except for just drawing attention.

And the second aspect: I don't use Twitter, I don't need it, I even don't know it but for its name and some screenshot here and there. So I could say now, I don't need it. May they hide'n'kill there what pleases them. I don't. See above. ;-)

Peace.

63
@wraith808
You're oh so right about the non-readability of my paragraphs addressing you above, in my editing field it didn't show up as horrible as then on the page, but still... So you've had any reason to NOT read that text bulge; I've enhanced the wrap accordingly now, which doesn't imply I'd exacted your comments on my arguments, but you will probably want to make corrections where they apply. This being said, in case you're still interested in that Fences matter, you'd now be able to see that I brought arguments to back up my opinion-from-experience, whilst I, for the heck of me, cannot remember a single argument of yours in favor for Fences, you've just made (very) clear your very high opinion of it, which isn't the same thing.
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It's interesting that you say, you use Multiplicity with "differing OSes"; you refer possibly to Linux here? Or to different Windows version? 10 AND 7? Well, they say, "System Requirements - Windows 10, 8 and 7 32-bit and 64-bit", so that would be within the rules anyway. While ShareMouse makes available for download also the previous version, so that I could install that "XP"-compatible version on both machines, Stardocks doesn't do similarly, so I had to install the current version onto my XP machine, too, and it worked well so far, except for the facts I observed and described.
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But then, what's "facts", eh? "I did bring my arguments [your absence of problems with Multiplicity has very well heard, noted and accepted], but you choose not to hear them nor take them for the fact that someone else can have a differing opinions or experiences [I didn't dump your opionion/experience, I stated your absence of backing them up as far as Fences was concerned]." - note that when I bring the term "fact" together with my impressions (which can always be wrong), I also use the term "seem" (see above), while you're definitely wrong in what you tried to observe here.
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As for efficient visual indicators, the stance "I don't need them" is NOT to be respected ("heard/taken") when it comes to software, any more than any other "I don't need that functionality" when other users have a real, comprehensible need for that individually-unwanted functionality, my processor continuously running at about 3 p.c., my memory constantly being under 30 p.c., and most people's computers nowadays being alike, and btw when I was on XP with 2 GB, I NEVER complained about too much functionality of any program, albeit less functionality could probably have put less strain on my continuously in full-load running system. People who "don't need" functionality craved for by others, are highly-co-responsible for developers' laziness and even so-called "crippling updates" (we should create a thread for those indeed).
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You know, nobody wants to impose things upon you, everything's to be strictly optional, but others want to impose absence of things for those who need them, so you see there's no symmetry here: Some people need something which wouldn't bother others, not taking away anything from them, while others simply don't want others getting either something they need, for the simple reason that for the no-crowd taking away / not allowing is more satisfactory than just giving a sh**. Oh, those votable road-maps, yeah: There, I'd understand such behavior at least, but its recurring behavior also and predominantly in the respective software product forums where you cannot utter any wish without immediately at least some nay-sayer jumping in and rassuring the developer(s) that no, oh no, such functionality is totally expandable, and don't waste another second on the sheer thought of it!
.
And with that, I'm even tremendously more fed up than with malfunctioning KM/KVM switches. Again, affirmation and negation are not two sides of a coin, but negation is rotting and destroying the coin itself. I've been politically very active for around 2 years, but now, any political saying against the mainstream has been criminalized in the countries concerned, so like in any fascist state of your choice, there's no more political activity possible except for followers: It's way OFF "neutral" to say yes to free speech, or to say no to it, and the masses who have AGREED TO NO SINCE THEY PERSONALLY DON'T NEED IT have doomed Europe (and will continue to do so and to accelerate nemesis with every poll to come).
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Of course, I'm totally speaking off-topic here, but I think the parallels leap to the eye: I know lots of now-crippled software which had been so much more functional before; I know the state of democracy in some European countries from some 30 years ago; the "I don't need it" pack's responsible for the seizures on both fields and will ultimately be for the ruin of the whole system(s). (You know, when I read thread titles like "Still using Chrome? Enjoy being watched." here, I just laugh instead of trying to participate; we all know it's just the slightest, brightest facet of a beginning of whole nother things to come upon you.) - And now back to joyous applied-informatics arguing while we can.

Nib
I had missed another aspect (important for me) with ALL software KMs. Nib, a little tool I use for automatically triggering mouseclicks; it's around 50€ but has saved my right arm), does NOT work on the "slave" computer(s) (and on which it's installed and running too, of course), with ANY of the above tools I've trialled. I once tried to replicate its functionality myself in my macro program, with a timer, but the original has simply been working much better than my replica, so I always use Nib, and understandably, it's very unintuitive to have Nib doing the clicks on the screens of my main computer, while I wait in vain for the click on any "slave" pc. I don't expect those developers to bother with Nib, which is for (nearly-) handicapped but I would have (had) to bother again with a better implementation of its functionality in my macroing; as said, except for ShareMouse, all of the trialled contenders (with the possible partially exception of Input Director, see above) didn't break the correct functioning of my macros, be it on the "master" or on the "slave(s)", so click generating on the "slaves" seems to be perfectly possible after all, just not with "Nib".

64
I haven't had time yet to read thru this fascinating thread, so please forgive my question if it has already been asked:

How many staff do you have, Contro?

Oh, and this isn't some sport of mine: It's common understanding now that this some president's method is inapplicable (/ over-illusionary) as a personal-organization policy ("time management" or whatever you call it) when most of the ToDo's execution needs bounce back upon you. But as said, probably I'm just replicating here what will alread have said above by others, then just do the Ath for once here.


EDIT: For once, no need to defend my stance: As said, common understanding. Phew!
And to clarify what I meant (@Contro, @IainB): Presidents (of some country or of large corporations) do NOT delegate, NO need for the "master" version of some groupware for them. Their surroundings do all the down-it-further distribution-delegation work (which supposes the identification of possible tasks to begin with, and with or without adequate software assistance)... and are in danger if they fail in their re-upping-up decisions too often. So, Eisenhower for Eisenhowers's only, "When should I muse about what?", incl., in today's world, which telephone calls should I accept why, and when to play golf with whom, but I digress. Btw, they're almost never left alone, so it's become a primarily virtual concept anyway.

65
@wraith808
"took exception" - past tense? My question arose from the fact that you seemed to be personally-implied somewhat in one specific one of the tools I compared, relating my experiences with every one of them - such a real-life comparison cannot be found elsewhere up to this point; I had thought to be - and that others would have got - well informed by https://www.slant.co...virtual-kvm-software but as my post above shows, this was and is not so, so there has clearly been a need for such a personal (almost-) overall-review, and there's always the need for complementing it with new finds, and also for correcting any possible errors in it (see below).

No need to discuss textual misunderstandings, no need to run for shelter behind an alleged inscrutability of my texts when my sentence in question had been clear as day and had found a prominent place in your citation; I've got moments of inattentions all the time, so I'm happy to stand corrected a moment later, no need to feel get worked up over it, it's not a 1 instead of 0 in some moonraker. Ditto for your "load" vs my "didn't get woken up anymore", you were clearly referring to that problem of mine with your pet program; I never alleged your deflection - and deflection it was - had been intentional.

As for Fences, if I understand you correctly, you switched from it, to some much real application manager which does things much more in the line of what I advocate in the text you didn't read (and where I've detailed (!) WHY I disapprove of Fences), so let me thank you very kindly for YOUR ultimate argument for MY stance, and furthermore, I'm eager to return the favor. In fact, a possible argument pro Fences could be that when you sort LOTS of applications and such into some functional (!) application manager at the same time, it quickly becomes a little bit unwieldily, so a graphical PRE-sort, integrated within that functional application manager, could come handy (drag-n-drop while everything remains visible in its (provisional) target location, assuming quite tiny icons, like they are displayed in the W10-taskline); if you want to use Fences for such a pre-sort, the question arises, of course, how well then the shift to a real application manager will proceed. Anyway, for some non-insider: Quite just incredible fervor, insight, commitment: Kudos to that company for having such deeply loving (EDIT: no, this would have been:) amorous customers!

Re Multiplicity
Probably, my internet connection provisionally not working anymore had NOT been Multiplicity's fault, since I've got this once now again after its de-install, and I now suspect another tool to be the culprit in this case; this doesn't not yet affect my observation with regards to the wake-up problem, while the latter may have been caused by another tool also, but I will not start to suspect other programs but when this problem will show up again, too.

This being said, I confirm my stance that network tools should allow for mixing up both several generations of the same OS (for the reasons given above) and different OS (as (only? the non-video-too-sharing) ShareMouse does), while Multiplicity bluntly says, on the screen of the "slave" XP comp, something in the line of, "This OS doesn't support video sharing." - No, that does NOT seem to be true, since IF (?) expensive, dedicated "IP"/network boxes can (?) do it, any really good software-only KVM, installed in a powerful "master" computer, could do it (enough manpower invested in its development, that is, and for which Stardocks or whatever they call your spin-offs HAS the man-woman-and-undefined-power available in theory, and that had been my point all along wraith808 was and is so unhappy with, among other things) - just like it's possible to do in-processor-graphics instead of installing a dedicated graphics card: Just replicate what's in the box, by the master-pc's processor power - remember the IP boxes then work by the LAN, not by direct cabling anymore, so IF they can do (if not, my argument falls flat of course), if they can retrieve the XP's screen output, your master-pc-driven software tool should be able to do it, too; the same would apply to programs like TeamViewer and other eternal-access tools: They had been around in the general-XP area, no? Thus, we see just another "good-enough" decision, while probably "games" yield (much) more money per development-hour, not technical impossibility.


Meta
Oh, it's so sweet and easy, that cheap "I didn't hear you" instead of bringing arguments on my part. But there's always the solution Ath once asked for. Hihi. Oh, and are you sure they don't make their money out of games, mostly? And/OR that they don't dedicate most development hours to games? That was what I'd alleged (see your citation, here again).

66
@MilesAhead
I should have been more specific. I didn't intent to say the power is necessarily switched also, when I spoke of "electricity". I meant the signals' current. In other words, when you have a software KM/KVM, there are transmission lines with or without signals, but the lines "stand"; when the switch is done by relays, the lines are cut, re-established, cut again... and so on, so it's not only absence and re-establishment of signals, but of electric current (on-off), and I suppose that's not good for the electronics in the devices.

@mouser
Your link gives a regular price of 300$, so in Europe, it would come into the vicinity of 400€. I'm certain that physical/network/"IP" switches in that price range are constructed in a much smarter way than the "brute-force" ones, for around 100$, so it's perfectly possible that those expensive ones are the way to go; many in that price range work by net, not by physically cutting/re-establishing the lines, ie work in this respect at least like the software switches do, so the long-range problems I fear with the cheap ones will certainly not be realized. I am uncertain of the difference of software switches vs switch boxes switching by network; I suppose the main difference is that they incorporate their own processor for all the "intelligence", for the "master" software, so that ANY pc (or Mac?) connected, by net, to those boxes, are treated like "slaves", which very probably eliminates all the "master-slave" problems, the ones I have encountered, and others.

@Shades
You are right, my mechanical switches were PS/2 and VGA.
You speak of "600€ today" - that's what I mean, there are very certainly quite brilliant executions of a good idea, but they're not worthwile for me, while in a corporate environment, 600€ (for example) are "nothing" if the device serves well.
So about Input Director, we "agree".
You obviously mix up (some of) my comments about ShareMouse (Bartels) and Mouse without Borders (MS); I've had the macro-tool-incompatibility problem with (the otherwise brilliantly-devised, except for its lack of the monitor/"video" part) ShareMouse, whilst it was Mouse without Borders that gnaggned me constantly for re-entering cryptic codes.
Those "IP-Based KVM" were the thing I'd speaking about when I mentioned "net-based" devices; they are very certainly the way to go for "heavy use", ie when you need a KVM switch constantly, and when the price is thus justified.

@wraith
You cite me with, "which obviously is the contrary of a one-man software software house", and which was to mean, "they have plenty of manpower - oops, it's called personpower nowadays -, so they can apply plenty of hours to the elimination of bugs", and indeed, I've not been happy with a "wakened-up" computer having to be re-started (see above).
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So your, "First of all, Stardock is not a one man shop." comes from your misunderstanding what I wrote.
Re Fences. We've had a discussion here, some weeks ago, about application launchers, and I think we agree that an application (incl. file/folder) launcher should NOT come into your way but facilitate the access to the max, so I have 1-key triggers for my main information management program, for my application/etc. launcher, each for several file managers; 2-key triggers (ie the F-key for the application launcher, then just another char key) for the applications I use very often (but not as often as the 1-key programs - aside*), and finally 3-key triggers for EVERY other program/tool/whatever:
. (here the paragraph had been too long indeed)
1. I sacrify regular keys; 2. I open a 1-key menu, then press a 1-key (char key) entry in that menu, 3. I press a 1-key (char key) in the menu in order to open a sub-menu; in reality, I've long memorized the (mnemonic) 1/2/3 keys to press in order to get to some dozens of applications/etc. (and I retain all key combinations for other things) - Fences: 1. Go to the desktop (I never see my desktop except when starting the computer, and it's a nuisance even then), 2. Move the mouse to the symbol of the application (or even to the symbol for a sub-Fence, hehe?), 3. click - and pray that your screen is big enough (and move your mouse over many, many cm or ") - or memorize, or look up weird key combinations (few of which will be mnemonic) - do the remain available for other things when the desktop isn't active, so... risk they to interfere with native / macro commands in applications? Fences shortkeys just ON the desktop? good? So why do you want to have the desktop flash up again and again in your work? Is it as pretty as that? With all the icons in the Fences?
. (here again)
My menu just takes the space it needs, I've got shorter and longer sub-menus, and in particular, I've got many of them, so that my lists remain quite short and my char keys to select/trigger remain mnemonic, and that's very important for QUICK access to over 200 (!) applications, tools and so on - how do YOU manage with such a quantity to tame, in Fences? I do NOT say my home-made menu system is better than really good application managers are (but then, do they have forks in order for the same manager to be run on several OS, English and other languages, as my system has?); my point just is, Fences is one of the most ugly, cumbersome, slow and, in a word, WORST application managers there is - I'm speaking from memory (trialled it years ago), so IF it has really matured in the meantime, please tell us why NOW it would have become so much better than what I know of Fences.
. (and here again)
(I don't have left ANY icon on my desktop - whenever an application installs an icon there, I immediately sort the former into my menus and delete the latter, but why should anyone having a good application manager at their disposal, sort icons up in fences instead of disposing of them? Icons are welcome in the taskbar, though.)
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I did not say the Multiplicity "master" has got unwanted "load", I said while I had installed Multiplicity, when the "master" went to sleep, then was waken up, I had to restart the computer instead. BUT:
As said above, I had to install ShareMouse 2 (!) on both computers since the XP one didn't accept version 3; with Multiplicity, there may exist a similar problem: I installed the current version (3) on both computers, but from their website, it should not run on XP. So this "the master pc doesn't wake correctly up anymore" problem may indeed be caused by version problems. But as said above, I seriously think that KV/KVM switches are MEANT to function correctly in heterogenic nets, so they SHOULD function correctly, also with XP computers connected to the net.
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As for the "active screen indicator", again, if you use ShareMouse with "inactive screen around 15 per cent", you can see what brilliant GUI design can do for you; Multiplicity is very lame in this respect. And for the mouse, well, I'm constantly in search for my mouse cursor, in editors and all the more so on different screens, so instead of the mouse cursor helping me to identify the active screen, I'd need an efficient screen indicator in order to identify on which screen to search for the cursor. ;-)
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Stardocks is, above all, a game developer - you developing games, for Stardocks, too? It's correct, I've been very disappointed by Multiplicity, but that's precisely because it seemed to be the only KV(!)M alternative in my price range (see above), whilst I can't even use it as a KM, for the problems described above. I'd be more than happy to buy it whenever they put it into shape since then it'd be the ideal solution for my needs - and we agree they've got the manpower to do the necessary further development.
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EDIT July 16, 2017: I inserted demi-blanklines for better readability where I had just breaks or even no breaks at all; wraith808 has been perfectly right upon the utterly-bad readability here.

typos
I've seen my "I've dumbed" instead of "I've dumped" in my very first line above, but I didn't want to touch onto my text beyond the very first 15 minutes since I had said ShareMouse was 40$, then corrected myself it's 30 and 50$ now, and probably the free version is a true free version (for 2 pc's) now, while in the time, it definitely wasn't, the developer designed it to stop working after some - if I remember well, 10 - minutes; since now I "trialled" the paid version ("Professional", so it must have cost me 25$ plus VAT at bits, not 20), I cannot say, but in case, I've shelved several "old" free/trial versions of the tool. Since they have weird laws in Germany, the home of ShareMouse - you can assassinate people there without any consequences if you're politically/socially-protected, but for false allegations, you can easily go to jail, and for a long time -, I consider it important the timestamp proves I "corrected" myself - IF their free version is a real free version today, NOT stopping working every 10 minutes that is - within the very first 15 minutes, when there were only 4 "page views", of which 2 were mine. So any other typo in there I must leave as it is, for the sake of the timestamp.

*: The aside: I also own a 128-key Preh "Commander", but I ended up with shelving it since going with my finger(s) to the right key (all color-coded in groups, for easier jumping-over-there), takes MORE time than 1-to-3 consecutive keys I know by heart; so I just use a Cherry 4700 (21 keys, quite tiny, which is important), as additional, context-sensitive "smart-keys"; and another hint here: If you want to get rid of the unbearable "key-pressed" notification, just open your registry, go to Cherry/KeyMan/ShowUserHint and set it from 1 to 0, then Cherry 4700 is the best-value little additional kb you can buy. (It's a shame you cannot find any kb with a second range of additional F-keys (F13-F24) anymore, since that would have been the ideal place for additional keys, with F1-F12 as near the char keys as possible.)

And again an off-topic: Yes, users are fond of "Fences", and yes, they are fond of "Registrar Registry Manager", and they are obviously NOT annoyed by the fact that "RRM" (the "Home" version, but then, it's probably the same problem in the paid one? or then, leave they bugs in the free version in order to incite to buy? certainly not!) does not seem to come with a reliable search engine: At least in my case, I had searched for some term beginning with abc..., and RRM also displayed (hundreds of) abd..., abe... ... "hits". So much for RRM which always and everywhere doesn't get but raves, while another  registry tool only displayed the wanted abc... I know that "millions" rave of "Fences", but that's no reason for saying it's useful except for people unable to really sort their things.

67
So KM is keyboard-and-mouse sharing, while KVM is also sharing a monitor ("video"/"VGA" at the time).


Physical switches

My first try (some time ago). Had tried 2 devices, one in the 30€-, the other in the 100€-range. Both made bum-bum-bum. In the casings, there is a relay (or several such relays) which physically move(s) and realize(s) the connection(s), was only for kb, mouse and VGA then. Did work, but with lots of fuss, shifting to the other computer wasn't smooth but had to be made by press of a button each time (or was that only the cheap one, while the less cheap one's function was triggered by a key combination on the kb?), and then you heard the relais do their click-click-click, and while waiting for the shift to be made (2 seconds or so), you wondered how long the relais would work, and how long your computers and sole monitor would bear all this physical forth-and-back (electricity on-off-on-off...); I sent back both devices within the 14-day redemption period: When it's too loud, it cannot do any good for the material when the latter isn't made for all that (so this excludes construction machines, Ferrari motors and the like). It should be said that there also are some physical switches which then work by the network (starting (!) at 200€ or so), ie which do NOT then physically attach and de-attach electricity to your devices, and those are probably the way to go; let's call them "physical network switches".

The following software tools all expect your computers being connected to a network (LAN in my case, but they probably also work over a WLan?).


Microsoft "Garage" "Mouse without Borders" (free)

My next try, then, and again now. It's only KM (no monitor sharing), and it's free. No thrills, but it works, but on the 2 (or more?) computers, you are constantly invited to enter long, cryptic "security" codes of the other computer(s), and that quickly drove me nuts. There's an "explanation" somewhere how to avoid this constant nagging, but unfortunately I'm too dumb to get those hints working for me, so I preferred to dumb that unbearable tool instead.


ShareMouse (Bartels Media, now 30 / 50$ but incl. (!) VAT)

I had bought this tool at bits, for 20$ plus VAT, so Mr. Bartels got 10$ of mine for nothing, but I have to admit it was all my fault since he clearly invites customers to first trial his tool, then buy in case, and to not do the other way round, which I carelessly did, but that's the trick with sites like bitsdujour, many a times, software's just there for a day, without preadvice or without your having checked in time (both possibilities being common), and then you see it, you think it might be helpful, you buy it for cheap, and you store it for later use.

Of course, there's a hitch in Mr. Bartels' urging you to trial first, then buy - other developers rarely insist that much on your doing so, and for a reason. In fact, when you buy some tool which is declared compatible for Windows "n", and you intend to use it for that Windows version, you can reasonably expect it to run on your system. Not so with ShareMouse.

In fact, there should be lots of macro tools out there (or even almost all of them?) which use so-called kb hooks (whatever those may be), and it seems that ShareMouse uses such kb hooks, too, but whatever the real reason behind it may be, fact is, with my - quite current, especially for "professionals" - macro tool, ShareMouse does not work at all, or more precisely, whenever I trigger some macro on computer 1 or computer 2, I can never be sure upon WHICH of the two the macro (or parts of it) will work, so ShareMouse is worthless for me since it mixes up the 2 computers as far as macro input/execution goes (simple abc... input works well, though, doesn't mix up its current target computer).

It goes without saying that there is a high probability Mr. Bartels KNOWS about this incompatibility, so it would have be highly preferably, had he said instead, "ShareMouse possibly may have compatibility issues with some macro tool you have in use, so please trial first", but then, prospects would have been warned that even when ShareMouse worked well, currently, the day the also will install some macro program, they could run into deep trouble, and from a marketing point of view, it's understandable that a developer tries to avoid a situation where a prospect could get anxious about future problems when at least currently, all works well, so Mr. Bartels did not communicate this probable reason for his warning; the hitch in all this being though that such a KM is most notably used/needed/useful in "professional" environments/setups, and it's precisely there that users will also need/deploy a macro tool, too, if not today, then probably at a later point in time, so perhaps there will be in then for an unpleasant surprise even if their trial today goes smooth.

Also, this "kb hook" (or whatever it is) problem I only encountered with ShareMouse, not with any other KM/KVM tool, so it seems that "kb hooks" (or whatever ShareMouse's programming specificity is) are NOT needed to write such a tool; traditionally, programmers were put into 3 groups, mainframe developers, system developers, and application developers, and it's evident such a KM/KVM tool is system development, so possible interaction with other foreseeable system events (here: possible, concurrent use of a very common-with-professionals-ie-in-the-same-use-case-as-ShareMouse-itself macro tool) should be / should have been part of the development decisions, a "first trial!" urge (without the "necessary" explications) later on seeming a little bit lame as an alternative instead.

This being said, I only can speak for the previous version of ShareMouse here since the current version does not work for me: a mix-up of the current version on the Win10 comp, with the previous version running on the XP-comp just as little working as current version on both comps, it's just the previous version installed on both comps that'll work (and then and obviously very badly interacts with the macro tool, while it's futile to discuss if then the macro tool or ShareMouse is the culprit for that interaction, just let's say that IF it's kb hooks, that would be quite normal behavior for a macro tool while for a KM tool, it's obviously not - since the other KM tools don't come with that same problem).

Btw, incompatibilities in an XP-Win-7-and-further setup should not arise for a KM/KVM tool, in particular, since it's precisely in professional/corporate settings that the need for accessing (some) XP-driven and (many) computers driven by a more recent OS arises frequently, the bigger the corporation, the higher the probability for the existence of some XP computers needed for running some important, more or less made-to-measure software for special means.

ShareMouse is just a KM, not a KVM, but then, it seems to be unique (?) in working with mixed systems, incorporating Macs, so it's far from being all bad here - not owning a Mac, I cannot speak of its reliability here -, and ShareMouse has got a VERY pleasant feature I didn't encounter in any of its competitors: It allows for automatic "greying out" the currently-inactive screen(s?), and to a degree of your convenience; this way, you always see at a glance which one's the currently active monitor/pc (which is identical here since, as said, ShareMouse isn't a KVM), while on the other hand, the inactive monitors remains perfectly readable, so Mr. Bartels does it exactly the way his competitors SHOULD have done it, when in fact they all (?) realize this important function very badly... This being said, I'm waiting for this functionality being expanded to the indication of the currently-active monitor (ie the one where the mouse cursor is) even when several such monitors belong to the same computer (perhaps ShareMouse even does this, cannot say since I didn't try before de-installing): In fact, this latter functionality should be included in Windows itself.

And finally, ShareMouse - which I "trialled" extensively since I had paid for it - differentiates between the computers' own clipboard and clipboard sharing, ie whenever you try to insert the clipboard content of the/some other computer, you can't do it by control-v, but you must trigger a special key combination (default is shift-control-v here) which I, in my one-person set-up, found quite inconventient. This being said, perhaps ShareMouse also allows to simply (re-) set this key combination to control-v, so that ^v then works for both cases (I hadn't tried out this before de-installing the tool), and I have to say that behind this "quirk", there's another VERY good idea of Mr. Bartels: that in a 2-or-more-person set-up, this differentiation is really, really useful, just imagine what unwanted inserts would occur in the case of the usual ^v-for-all-inserts, irrespective of their repective origins.


Input Director (free)

While all of the software tools here allow for smooth clipboard sharing, Input Director is the only one of the bunch which does NOT also allow for smooth file copying made available by the KM/KVM, except of course for files, as in any network, being located in, and then copied to, dedicated shared-network-folders. The developer even tries to "sell" this lack as an advantage (security!) of his tool, but that's utter rubbish: In practice, every some minutes, you deeply miss this functionality which, as said, is present in all of the competition (? I don't remember Mouse without Borders so well, but I think the functionality is there, too) - ok, Input Director is free, but you'll quickly recognize it's a functionality that's simply "needed", highly expected, in such a tool.

But there's a point in what he mentions, and beyond what he says: Security considerations ARE worthwile, and in corporate environments, there should be some tracking device, for anything, anyway, and that would include anything such a KM/KVM tool would do, copies, moves, renames, and last but not least, changes of all kinds, incl. within (!) any files, not only changes made to their location.

The lack of file copying wasn't the only reason I quickly de-installed Input Director, though: in fact, it made my (shared) kb buggy. While my macros seemed to function normally, and regular kb input worked well, too, it wasn't but my PgUp/PgDn keys that run amok: Sometimes, they worked as expected, and then again, but again and again, pressing the PgDn key triggered the PgUp key instead, and vice versa, so that I finally only was able to use my mouse wheel to browse larger web pages (in several browsers) or longer text (in several editors, etc.). Of course, I tried with another kb, to no avail, and the same, "faulty" keyboards worked as expected again as soon as I deactivated Input Director, then finally de-installed it.

You know, sometimes developers get aware of some faults in their software which they cannot overcome, THEN decide to make it available for free, instead of selling it, which had been their initial intention though... if this applies to Input Director, too, I cannot say of course... Also, the visual indication of the currently-active screen/pc wasn't good (but I currently don't remember how it was done here).


Multiplicity (KM 20, KVM 40, 100$)

Multiplicity is from Stardocks (or from their branch-off Edge..., Ever.... Whatever), which obviously is the contrary of a one-man software software house, but which sells, besides lots of games, a lot of crap, their "Fences" being some quite prominent but particularly useless (and ugly) little tool for example. For non-big-corporations, Multiplicity comes in 3 flavors: 20$ for a KM for just 2 comps, and then 40$ / 100$ (always plus VAT) for up to 9 comps, but as a KVM, the 40$ versions handling the monitors of 2 of them though.

So while ShareMouse brings the unique (?) feature of Mac integration, Multiplicity comes with the unique (?) feature of screen sharing which undeniably is a world apart from simple KMs and which, if it works, obviously is incredibly useful, just imagine a very basic set-up, pc 1 with 2 screens, and one of these could be switched to/as the screen of pc 2 - in fact, I don't know if Multiplicity (in its 40-and-100$ versions) is able to do that since, while working with a mix-up of XP and later OSs, of all things monitor sharing is exluded here, while my remark from above applies here as well: It's especially in "professional" environments that users will probably have older and more recent OSs together in the same network, so excluding its USP, the monitor sharing, the "V" part, from its KVM capability then, should be a very bad decision of Multiplicity's - provided that technically, it should be possible to deviate some XP system's monitor-output to some screen of a pc driven by a more recent OS even if there's some hard work involved in order to do so.

So Stardocks obviously have got the manpower to do so, but as obviously, they have chosen to let their customers down with that, judging that their, Stardocks', effort would not be worthwile... for them, Stardocks again.

For my current set-up then, Multiplicity's theoretical full KVM functionality is worthless, but this deception notwithstanding, I considered buying their 40$-plus-VAT version anyway, for its smooth (but not very well-executed) KM functionality, shelving the (untrialled) "V" part in the tool for possible later use (their 30-days trial comprises the full 100$-functionality), but instead, I finally de-installed this tool, too, and here's why: First two minor "reasons", ie I was really unhappy about those points, but I would have bought anyway; then the reason that tipped the balance for me.

The indication of the currently-active screen is realized very badly, just compare with the fine way ShareMouse does it. You have 3 alternatives with Multiplicity: A quite / even not so tiny but ugly indicator quadrangle (with lots of unnecessary text, overlaying the text of your screen's content) for NON-active screen(s?): Depending on your screen's content, it's not so obvious the quadrangle is there, and/or your screen's content becomes unreadable there, and on your active screen, you're searching for the possible presence of that quadrangle before being able to decide, "this screen is the active one indeed!" - just awful! Then, you can get a colored frame around your active screen instead, and they even let you choose the frame's color, but it's so thin  that even with a bright color, you never really know if it's your active screen or not (web pages, other pages using some color!), except for otherwise totally black-and-white screens (which are rare nowadays since even text editors use some colors now, e.g. for underlining, let alone for programming) - you never really know, I say, except, of course, for deliberately visually checking one of the four sides of that ugly and not even functional frame. Third alternative, greying out the inactive screen(s?), but without any setting for the degree (as Mr. Bartels does it so well in ShareMouse), but the inactive screen(s?) is/are? almost blackened, ie it's utterly difficult to "read", to discern anything over there if needed, and besides, it's ugly as hell - at the and of the day, with Multiplicity, you'll probably vote for the color frame around the active window and hope for the best, just checking your screens' edges again and again over the day - awful, I said.

Second consideration for not buying Multiplicity, but which I almost had decided to discard anyway: Their current version 3 is more than 3 years old (it's from April, 2014 if I'm not mistaken), and the (non-openly-communicated) update fees are (according to what some of their customers say) 80 p.c. of the full price: awful, again, but I wanted a functioning K(V)M, so...

What has been finally inacceptable for me, though, was the fact that I have reason to suspect Multiplicity to heavily interfere with my main system (the one where the paid - here: the trial-declared-as-"master" - version is installed): While it's understood that the K(V)M functionality of any such software tool isn't present anymore for any "slave" system while the "master" system wents to sleep, it's totally unacceptable that when you then try to wake up again your "master" system, it tells you that some "error" occurred, and that it will do the necessary things for you in order for shutting your system down and restart it... any data in open applications being lost, of course.

I don't have means to accuse Multiplicity to be responsible for this, I just can say I didn't see those error messages before installing Multiplicity, and they didn't occur after de-installing this tool; your system's mileage may vary of course. On top of this - and then I really was "done" with that tool, from one day to the next morning, I didn't have internet access from my main computer, whereas at the same time, web access from my (now) secondary computer (and from my internet telephone) was fine. I juggled around with the cables, to no avail of course - ditto for several browsers -, just as I had juggled around with the keyboards with regards to Input Director, days ago, and I juggled around, also without no effect whatsoever, with my firewall settings - does it really surprise you when I tell you that after de-installing Multiplicity (which implied a restart of the computer, too), I had web access without any problems, just like before? Oh, what another happenstance, right? (Oh, I forgot: in their "Object Desktop" (50$), their non-KVM, basic, 20$ version is included. And also, Multiplicity's screen dialogs appear as very "professional", so all its bad points then came quite as a surprise.)


Synergy (19$, with encryption 29$, last free version probably available somewhere)

As the others here, except for Multiplicity, it's just a KM, and I have to admit I didn't trial it anymore. After discovering Multiplicity, I had decided that when there are available both KMs and KVMs - well, in fact, just one single KVM, it seems -, a KVM would be so much more convenient (I didn't know yet that Multiplicity's "V" doesn't work with XP) - and it certainly will be if it works correctly -, I would want a KVM no, not a KM anymore.

Now, with Multiplicity having me disappointed so thoroughly, as a KM AND a KVM, it normally would be time to trial that other alternative, Synergy, but in fact, I don't really need a KM (or KVM) that much anymore, almost all of my "things" having been finally arrived at my new "main" computer, and at this point in time, I don't see that much need anymore for concurrently using my now "spare pc" with my main one; it's evident it'll come into play again whenever the main one lets me down, but it will not be concurrent use then, by design.

In other words, concurrent use of 2 comps - but with proper file "sharing", not like in Input Director" for one person is highly recommended in the transition phase of replacing one pc by a new one, and, of course, in corporate settings, for example where some person (who does not do this but on the side, here and again) also accesses the "server", for some technical-management means, but for one person really needing two computers running concurrently, I don't see any real-life use cases at this moment... and in fact, I only needed this when (re-) installing some system from ground up, both in the past and during these last weeks.

Which reminds me - of course - of my other thread, about trial conception, and over there, I would then have said, considering my current experience with KMs: "Don't do (otherwise uncrippled) 30-day trials for KM software, since most prospects will need your software for less than 30 consecutive days on the same system anyway, so by such a trial, you'd provide it to them for free."

And now have a look at Mr. Bartel's trial and compare it to the others' ones, and yes, they all can learn from his. Or in other words: Shelve current trials (well, except Bartels' one) - if you can live with the quirks those programs unfortunately seem to present, probably not just within my set-up (- and probably Synergy isn't without fault either?) -, in case you'll ever need them for some time, and the respective developers will have changed crucial trial characteristics in the meantime. EDIT: Perhaps ShareMouse's free version is a real free version now, not a trial anymore? I've known it stopping working after some minutes every time, then closing the tool and invoking it anew was necessary if I remember well. In any case, continuous use was impossible.

And let's remember Mouse without Borders (which is free, not a trial): Perhaps you'll overcome my problem with its endlessly asking for inscrutable codes, and it'll make an acceptable KM for you, whilst coming without any thrills indeed.

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SQLite "Expert"

I had said that editing a value ("cell") was very cumbersome with that tool if the value ("cell content") is broad; I had said there wasn't even an additional edit pane sor the specific cell; than I had corrected, there was such an edit pane. Lately, I even made use of that edit pane, and I had to discover that the aleatoric, automatic word wrap in that edit pane was then, after "save [the edit]", replicated as hard returns within the cell content - so it's there, but it's worthless since it sort of destroys the text it's deemed to edit.

There are lots of updates, but they are offered in a way that you don't retain the previous versions, since it's "download and install?", then going directly into some temporary folder, not into your downloads folder, so if ever the developer wants to do away with some current functionality of the free (or even of the paid) version, that's the way he will probably do it. In plain English: Rather click "No", and download the latest versions manually then if you think you'll need them. Considering there are so many quirks which remain, over a multitude of these minor updates, I'd be interested in knowing WHAT is amended by the latter, I never see any difference.

Navicat

I had mentioned the around-30-p.c. price increase; some days later only, they announced new major versions (number 12 instead of number 11) but I don't see real development in areas where versions 11 fail; this being said without trialling anew, just speaking from their advertisement.

Correct line drawing

I mentioned the fact that in visual representations, the lines between FKs (targets) and their respective sources (PK) aren't drawn correctly - obviously because that would imply quite some more coding; Devart Studio for ... does not seem to be any better than the rest; the only db frontend I discovered so far and which seems to draw the lines correctly, is DBVisualizer (179$ plus VAT); if somebody knows some other competitor which does this right, please name it.

Remember Access? or: DB frontends limit your possibilities

I said above that it's easy to create some little sql commands which you then enter into the command line of the frontend, in order to get any info you want (if you also use sub-queries filtering the data before further questioning it), the only difficulty residing in too much typing, hence my advice to use some little group of macros, with some text input box for the search term(s).

It would be as easy to do after your splitting up your one table into several tables: The sql commands get a little bit more "complicated" (well, not really, and you will find all what you need in the web, neatly explained), and the result will be as neat as before: one single grid containing the results, in the frontend.

Where frontends totally fail is when you need to create new records or update existing ones, records spread over several tables (well, technically it's datasets split up into several records, of course): Here, you would have to write quite extensive "macros" yourself since you would not only need one inputbox and the "surrounding" sql commands, but you'd need a whole "FORM", all created from your macro tool, and then distributing the data into the form, for the part you want to see there, and then reading the data from the form you will have entered or changed there, and distributing it into the respective records in the respective tables: That would be lots of scripting, individually for any such little "application", like a ToDo set, for example (and not considering the need for a calendar and such things).

But IF you script all this, you will NOT need a db frontend anymore (and all the less so you'll want to have your macro/script enter the commands and the data by the command line of the frontend then), but you will only need a "grid", in order to display the data, since you'll do all the assembly work anyway. (NB: Some frontends may have some "API" which allows for entering commands / data programmatically instead of putting text into a command line, but they are overkill as a grid anyway, not presenting any added value, all to the contrary.)

In other words, Do-it-yourself with some db frontend is only possible as long as you limit yourself to one single table, as in a spreadsheet, and which is shockingly bad db behavior: You'll endlessly repeat the same data again and again (that's why in my descriptions above I have used 1-to-2-char codes instead of English words: in order to at least limit the typing chore), with all the craziness which comes with that - it's right that in a book list, such "category" repetition, over-and-over, may be acceptable, while in some ToDo database, it becomes VERY cumbersome to repeat all the multiple categories again and again, for every new ToDo; I've said it above, with a correct ID for each (1-table-only-) record, you can identify the current record and easily have a macro write a simili-clone of that current record, ie a clone with the probably-identical values (cell contents) pre-filled in the new record, in case ready to be overwritten manually by you, within the frontend grid ("in-line editing"), and with the fields left empty which you will (probably) want to fill out yourself, so you CAN simplify your typing work a bit IF you start, for every new record, from a quite similar one: So your macro 1 would be: Display the records of the kind of which I want to create a new one; and your macro 2 would be: Make a reasonable almost-clone of the current record (which the frontend automatically displays then); in-between, you'd probably do some arrow-up-or-down, and after macro 2, you'd do the necessary adjustments/additions.

But it becomes very evident, by this, that db frontends (just like Excel does) retain you within a flat-table db state which is not only incredibly limiting but which in practice doesn't present any advantage over a smart text editor like KEdit for example - which has come down to 99 plus VAT from 129 plus VAT, btw. Again, as soon as you have a grid and the necessary scripting know-how, and are willing to do the necessary work, I do NOT see in which way ANY db frontend would help you in ANY way, in their current state, and that's where that (otherwise awful) Access, from Microsoft, comes into play, since they say it's easy to get the necessary forms, necessary for multiple-table management* (remember: db frontends are only "good" for multiple-table-SELECTS (and when you enter all the necessary commands yourself anyway, so why not do that with a grid, too?).

* = "management" not being querying databases for data sets here, but creating new datasets and updating existing ones; as for the "management" in the sense of structure-altering commands, we've seen above that you're well advised to NOT rely on the frontend for such things either (Navicat and "Exper" mixing columns up, in different scenarios), but to write those "management" commands in sql yourself, too. Thus, if you permit the low pun, db frontends fall FLAT, in quite some ways.

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Quite incredibly detailed info again here, Shades, my kudos to you! And in fact, you're without ANY doubt in that range of perhaps 4 or 5 (at most) contributors here with systematically high-quality contributions (of which most are over the top for me, but it's screaming-obvious you know what you're speaking of, every time).


This being said, it hadn't occurred to me that the culprit might be the web PAGE hoster; I had thought that person I would like to see behind bars took it all from the generic whois databases or the registrars, but as implied above, the most appalling thing in his doings is the fact that for the same domains, I get the same "offers" again and again, so that for a given domain, the "offers" are repeated even more than once a week, that's why I call him a terrorist. (I've been too lazy to change the specific domain mail accounts but will do so - at least, I had been smart enough to DO specific domain mail accounts to begin with, so that my important mail accounts are NOT affected by this sh**. (This being a general hint for others.) And you're right, these web pages are not business ones, so I chose a very cheap hoster; unfortunately, I don't remember if this terror has multiplied with that choice, all I can say is, there was at least some of this terror before, with some "good" hoster. I'll change the mail accounts, and then if that a**hole quickly follows me, I can be quite sure the hoster is the culprit - my contract with them is about another year, so I'll able to check (and for business, I would never have chosen them anyway). Will report in case.

And I have noted your comments on the fact that the second business isn't that bad, but if I was the owner of the first one, I would HATE my (here: the Chinese) government for me not being able to stop them using a name as similar to mine - I speak of the government here since in last resort, it's them who are responsible for the laws, for the judicial system and for your real possibilities to stop illegal doings which harm you or harm the general public.

But now for my add-on:


Add Reimage to my list of people-who-should-be-jailed-for-nuisance. ( And I'll do a link at my Reimage comments in the Software Trials thread where I had spoken about Reimage business: http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=43835.0 )

I wanted to install Advanced IP Scanner on another computer, too; it's neat and free and much better for my needs than for example Lizard Network Scanner, let alone some monster packages. So I went to advanced-ip-scanner.com ; their "direct" download link, in fact to filehippo (but which I prefer for shareware downloads anyway), is currently broken in the sense that filehippo do not have the download currently, so I searched for "advanced ip scanner download" by bing. Bing is real crap (but Bing maps are visually more pleasant than the google ones, as I said before): Ninth link for that search (and thus on the very first page: don't they have ANY quality control, then?) is dvncedpscnnerdownlod.inextshare.com .

But before, let me report advanced-ipscanner.com, on first page for "advanced ip scanner" on bing. The original page, with two "-", is registered on Dmitri Znosko, the developer of that basic but very worthwile tool, while the domain without the second "-" has been registered just some months ago, by some "amit chutney" in India, and it comprises a lot of blah-blah, and lots of links; probably Mr. Chutney tries to get lots of business from people like me who don't find the real thing on the original page anymore - btw I told the developer (not Mr. Chutney) about this problem, so let's see if there will be done something about the legit thing; I ended up installing a slightly older version from my archives - thank you, "Everything", you are invaluable! -, in order to avoid cnet et al.

So back to dvncedpscnnerdownlod.inextshare.com which, by its prominent position, filthy bing, from filthy Microsoft, obviously recommends as download site for Advanced IP Scanner. There were some very quick re-directs, so that the intermediate redirects weren't even recognizable/identifiable by the naked eye, and then I ended up with Reimage, of course, since my post is about that probable crap (see my comments in the other threads). I'm not aware that Reimage also comprises network/ip functionality of the kind offered by Advanced IP Scanner, but I could be wrong.

Of course, I wanted to leave that crap page, so I got a dialog instead; I clicked on "No, I really want to leave" or whatever the button was called, and - you will have guessed it - I got a second dialog in a row, again with several buttons, a "Really leave" among them. Well, I probably should have tried that one, too, in order to make you laugh even more, but I left the page by closing my internet browser; btw, tries to close that crap page by clicking on the "x" on the browser tab will bring the dialogs instead, too (well, needless to say, right?).

Regular porn users will probably have other stories to tell yet, or then not, since they will have experienced even weirder things but ain't willing to share those stories, but even the above is against European law, both the (here: multiple) redirections and the not allowing for your leaving the page, so European authorities should prevent those crap(py) merchants from doing any business in Europe. And:

Do they PAY bing/Microsoft for those links on page one of non-related software (assuming you could find similar such links on other such search result pages)? And: With my Italian, non-US, IP, why doesn't shuffle bing such crap link onto page 10, if really the US don't give a sh** about such 100 p.c. dishonest "business" practices in order to protect THEIR people?

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1

Do you know "Domain SEO Service"? Bad question, isn't it? Since of course you know them, everybody knows them. I own about 30 domains, and I don't receive about 30 "offers" and about 30 "final notices" from them, per year, but between 2 and 5 such pieces of sh** per day, which makes it more than a thousand per year, more than 2,000 checks-plus-more-than-1,000-clicks per year:

First, I have to visually check if it's very well them, from the text of the list entry, then click for putting them into my spam folder. Second, whenever I empty my spam folder, I must visually check my spam folder for every entry (in case something was legit and ended up there by accident), then I delete them for good (shift-click possible here, so less clicks).

Since their sending address is always a different one, Outlook (2003: got it better with later versions, out of the box?) is/seems to be too dumb to do a rule for sending them into the spam folder to begin with; probably with some VBA code (but which is unknown to me), this problem could be solved since they don't use but a quite restraint bunch of titles/subjects. So there's three questions here, but I doubt our false Jesus will answer any of them. (And no, I don't ask for the paid solution of hiding owner data, that would have been a fourth question but of which the answer is evident.)

Anyway, googling for them brings lots of complaints, and it even seems that more than one people even paid their invoices (once in their life only, I suppose); their price-for-nothing had been 64$, now it's gone up to 75$, hahahahaha! (Btw, this is not German, but a citation from Visconti's Death in Venice... written by some German indeed, so perhaps that's to be found in the original text, don't bother.)

Needless to say that their "You have received this message because you elected to receive special notification offers." isn't but another one of their fat lies.

So we're speaking of world-wide terrorism here where a billion of people all over the world have been terrorized daily over the years, and here the story gets interesting since the governments concerned obviously don't do anything about this terrorism.

Some web sites say their Florida address is a real one, and that there is some "Matthias Taubert" (which would be a a German name) behind it, so why don't the Americans send that "Matthias Taubert" to Guantanamo? Lots of people have been incarcerated there for much less, after all!

Some other web sites say their servers are in China (well, where else then? right? anybody surprised here? alternative would have been Russia, of course...), and the Chinese are said to maintain c-camps to this day (like the North Koreans do), aren't day? But obviously, they do nothing about the servers (if that localization info is right) or the man either.

Of course, it's possible that there is some real "Matthias Tauber" (or anybody else with any other name) somewhere else, but the Americans could, at the very least, close the Florida (or was it San Diego, California? my sources differ) office, the Chinese could shut down the servers, and how come that terrorist always gets the money from unsuspecting "customers"? They shot down the elby business in the Caribbean this way, after all, so they could it again if they wanted to.

So that "Matthias Tauber" or whatever he calls himself in some passport pays bribes, or even taxes, so that they leave him alone instead of putting an end to this terrorist?

2

easus.com vs eassos.com

In civilized countries, it is a given that you cannot name your business after, ie almost-identical to, some other business and then do business in the same business as they do. (Or name your business after some very well-known business and do business even in any other business than theirs.)

Of course, the software business is a little bit special since if there is a well-established business in some country, how to prevent some crooks, in some other country, to name their business after yours, and/or register a very similar domain, in order to then sell their sh**, even directly competing with yours, world-wide to unsuspecting customers which are led in error by that purposeful naming and mistakenly buy their sh** for yours. (Using slang here: in reality their software is probably, but not necessarily sh** (and it may even be your own code, more or less, hahahahaha), while yours may be sh**, too, but very probably is not, hence the interest in their jumping onto your bandwagon.)

So when, some days ago, I discovered some backup/reinstall software from "Eassos" on some giveaway site, I had been intrigued, and when I discovered, today, some data recovery software from them, in identical circumstances, I decided to have a look; needless to say that I assumed that "easus.com" had been registered long, long before "eassos.com", and I was right of course, 2004 vs 2010.

But both domains are registered from entities in China, as are the numerous entities which sell more or less the same video softwares, under different names and with only very minor GUI variations, so probably I've indeed been wrong here in my assumption that Easus has been the victim of Eassos crooks: The latter may very well just be a spin-off of Easus... but then, in order to do WHAT? The Easus brand is quite well established, and more than one people say their free software works fine for backupping and reinstalling your Windows partition; in my case, the reinstall didn't work but I don't know if the fault was with my external hdd (I had been stupid enough to not have written, at the same time, two backups immediately one after the other, onto two different external hdd's).

Now that (since 2010 even?), Easeus possibly more or less also "is" Eassos, too, and given the fact that the situation is quite muddy, to say the least, and that I am not technically equipped accordingly in order to verify which data a free, Chinese backup software sends to Chinese servers and which data they send not, I will not touch any Easeus software anymore, let alone any Eassos one; your mileage may grossly vary.

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Site/Forum Features / Re: Discussion of ignore feature
« on: June 16, 2017, 08:35 AM »
Aside (topic add-ons continued above):

"to be used both as a courtesy"

Speaking of courtesy in this raided thread (any third-party non-meta content way-off off-topic) is a very, very good one: Thank you for the very good laugh!

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Winx DVD Ripper Platinum, WR, is one of those applications that appear again and again on giveaway sites - I wrote amply about this in my Software Trial thread, and it's understood that WR is devalued by that, but it's "for the masses/young people" anyway, so...

But while it's true that you don't really need WR - or similar, for that, but WR is free again and again, so... -, it can come really handy, and while dedicated giveaway sites (sharewareonsale, giveawayoftheday) don't let you know what's their freebies coming soon, WR for free (again!) is announced on bitsdujour, so monitor that site for the very next days for it if you haven't got it already on innumerable other occasions.

Why does it come handy? Well, perhaps you continue to watch DVDs - I've had that subject in other context in said Trial thread very recently -, and here and there, there is some stunning frame in some film - I personally I'm very enthusiastic of the very best cinematographers (the directors of photography in film), but in other films, you'll encounter such stunning frames too, just not so often.

Now the photos from a film - which you can get from google for some of them - are not frames from the roll, but they employ special set photographers in order to take them with their own equipment, for them, the stills, becoming much sharper and of better quality overall, but by this parallel working, these real photos rarely replicate the very best frames, so there is an interest in getting them from the roll, notwithstanding their lesser quality, technically-wise.

Now there's ffmpeg (free anytime), but I've got a problem with that (very powerful) command line tool. Often, DVDs are copy-protected, and then (only?), their DVD comes with lots of different files, and it's all a mess there and anyway, I didn't grasp yet how to do the necessary format translations in ffmpeg from DVD files respectively of just the relevant moments in them. ffmpeg (there are alternatives, but there's quite some help available for ffmpeg, so I use that one) cannot extract stills from the DVD format, but needs an (almost any) intermediate format to extract them from, so it's a 2-step process, and, as said, I have problems with getting the relevant seconds from DVD to the intermediate format, in ffmpeg.

Enters WR. In some video player, I simply note the time such a frame I want to get as a still appears, let's say -/+ 5 seconds, which makes it around 150 frames to get the needed intermediate format, then to get to single frames. Then, in WR, I select just those seconds for conversion, for example into the .avi format; here, WR very thankfully does all that work behind the scenes to scrap it from the DVD files: it does do exactly the part I'm currently unable to do in ffmpeg; of course, in WR, you'll select the highest possible quality (formats/settings).

Then, I just run ffmpeg with the right attributes, onto that (in this example,) .avi file, in order to extract the stills (frames, technically).

Some remarks: Some video formats don't do complete frames, but do frames as content differs from the previous frames; it seems that ffmpeg is able to re-build complete frames from aptly combining those partial frames again, just like your video player does, too.

There are some commercial applications which extract frames from the DVD, in one step, but the problem is not that they cost up to 50$, the problem is that they are just too bad as frontends to ffmpeg or some other free tool. The latter is just an assumption of mine, but that they are really bad is a fact, I trialed them all and took notes about their deficiencies.

Since with ffmpeg, you also can learn how good cutters do their cutting; here it's perfectly possible to (convert in MR some minutes, instead of just some seconds, and then to) extract 10,000 frames instead of just 150 or some, and then, for example in FS Image Viewer (free) or DO (paid), you'll get an incredible collection of quickly-browsable thumbnails from which then you can quickly distinguish any camera-movement, any cut, ready to further identify the transitions by looking at the full previews (both pic viewers, and others, have got a 2-screen mode), or you consider the "weights" of the (sub-)scenes, by counting the respective numbers of frames...

Now for the syntax; here I have to say that ffmpeg's syntax has changed over its versions, and that I use an old version of it, its new one not working with XP; this could be the main reason I had to give up in my tries to do the very first conversion, too, from within ffmpeg. But the following will help you to better understand (currently available) ffmpeg help, and to adjust to your respective use case:

as command, in command window or from other trigger:

C:\ffmpeg\ffmpeg.exe -i "C:\YourSourcePath\FilenameOfTheIntermediateFile.avi" -ss 00:00:00.000 -qscale 1 -vframes 2000 "C:\YourTargetPathWhereFfmegStoresTheStills\%04d.jpg"

-qscale 1 is "best quality", -vframes triggers the stills, 2000 is the number of frames you want to get exported, beginning with the indicated starting time.

The above would start from the beginning of the intermediate file; if you need your 2,000 frames (in my example) from minute 74, second 5 on, it would read 01:14:05.000 (by which the time format becomes obvious; I never bother about the milliseconds but just then delete unwanted frames afterwards). (I identify the wanted number by number of wanted seconds multiplied by 25, then plus some.)

Now for the %04d part: 2,000 frames is 4-digits, ffmpeg will number the created picture files from 0000 to 9999; for just some seconds, that code part would be %03d, other naming conventions are available. Since you invariably need some unwanted frames at start as a safety buffer, unfortunately, your not-deleted frames will then not begin with number "1", but perhaps some "0425", so maniacs like myself then need to apply some renaming routines ("delete leading zeroes", then "name in number format minus 424" here).

Have got a 13-year-old son who's dreaming of / "preparing" the Centro sperimentale di cinematografia or the counterpart in your country? Ask him if he already applies this (or have him even explain the details to you), but for your preteen daughter, too, I could imagine wonderful use-cases* of both the full workflow, and of just the copying of some minutes of DVD by WR into some hdd format: happy sharing with them! Between blunt consumerism and Creation with the big C, there are intermediate areas worthwhile exploring, for young people and for the rest of us.

*: the very, very best moments of Justin Bieber, or then, even into adult age, dance/ballet scenes (for example) - ok, professionals know what's at their disposal nowadays, but your little girl may not know yet, so tell her!

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I suppose home-made consumer databases have become very exotic, most users probably using Excel-for-everything, nowadays.

But some years ago, there had been some Excel add-on, allowing SQL selects in Excel. I bought, then never used it. SQL in some real-database frontend is so much more powerful, and it's fun to then dissect your non-normalized main table into more than one, "real-database" tables. Should I repeat it here, that the terms of user and of consumer are not synonyms, and that playing around with stuff, instead of playing around with GUIs that incredibly limit you, is so much more fun? Of course, as soon as there is some VBA scripting involved in your interaction with Excel, that tool can become very powerful, but for non-number-crunching, even then I don't see any advantage, compared with smart database use, and I'm positive about the fact that for getting brilliant results, some database interaction is so much easier than to try to get similar results out of Excel, without programming involved.

To be continued, with as much practical value as can be provided to consumerism-averse non-professional users, and even if their number obviously doesn't get into the millions, it's quite surprising nothing of this kind has been available up to now, so google should finally grasp its relevance, no?


EDIT June 13, 2017: Character sets / Code pages / Text formats/encodings
I finally did NOT need my rtf character mapping table (accented or other special character > \'xx, xx being the respective hex value) for characters like ò, ù, etc.: I found that some ANSI-UTF-8 conversions (and probably even back or in other formats, clipboard = UTF-16?) are done automatically, to and from clipboard and sometimes upon importing from .csv to .db - hope for the best but be aware of possible problems. In most use cases, the following - incomplete - observations will be irrelevant then:

My original text lists are identified by my editor as "Western European (Windows)"; this is ISO-1252 (which "is" ANSI, see the Wikipedia article on "Windows-1252" for further precision), but unfortunately, as a non-professional, you're never sure about your charsets since even automatic translations can occur (see below for an example): You hope for the best, but since it worked smoothly in my case, I didn't even pay attention; so, in order to at least half-way correctly describe the workflow here, I've gone back to the separate steps and have tried to identify the way of the encodings: paying attention to them, and in case making needed conversions manually, can probably help when things do not go smoothly.

First step: from my original text-editor-text to clipboard
(EDIT June 17: as you see, here, too, I forgot to check the initial step of export from db browser to clipboard, then writing to the initial text file; see correction below);

then in the rtf editor (I named it above but also said the developer doesn't hasten to eliminate bugs - don't do any sorting within that editor, you'd destroy your file (in the sense of mixing up the records' fields with the ones of other records)! -, so I don't want to name it again and again):

(1) "create new file from clipboard": Special characters are preserved, in the "File Properties" you can read "Text Encoding: UTF-8 without BOM" (BOM is the signature identifying the text encoding, "without BOM" is identical to "without signature"), so the program obviously (see below) has made an automatic conversion upon reading from the clipboard.

(2) If then you change the setting to "ANSI", the displayed text will not change, the special characters continue to be preserved, but the csv editor obviously does a second conversion back to ANSI (see below).

(3) Or you do, in the csv editor, "Import file - from text document", and here, in the dialog, the format is clearly identified as "ANSI"; here again, the special characters are correctly displayed in the resulting csv table, but the csv editor (if you use another one, all this may be totally different of course) has not made a conversion.

In the 3 cases, I saved the csv-editor file in the ".csv" format and reloaded those files back within my text editor: (2) and (3) were identified as "Western European (Windows)" again, as before (which obviously is ANSI), while (1) was now identified as "UTF-8 (without signature)", as it had been in the csv editor, so that csv editor clearly made those conversions (and not wrong guesses or such).

So from the results in the csv editor - of course, this is an additional step which you don't necessarily need in your use cases, but its result shows where we need to pay attention - we have two different start situation for further processing, UTF-8 (1) or ANSI (2) (in this case ISO-1252); in both formats, (West European) special characters are preserved (up to now; and this might not be the case for non-European special characters, especially with ANSI).

Next step, in DB Browser for SQLite/DB Browser 3 (see above): New file, then Create - Cancel (ie don't create table, but see above for the necessary autoincrement ID field which would to be created exactly here), then File - Import - Table from csv file (which isn't greyed-out NOW anymore; THEN table name "main"; this being done for both csv, UTF8 vs ANSI):
- UTF file import > Encoding is UTF-8
- ANSI file import > Encoding is ISO-8859-1 now, according to DB Browser, special characters are preserved (if you change to UTF-8 or "other", there are not, change to UTF-16 there is nothing left); this ISO-8859-1 is a subset of ISO-1252 (which is not offered as a choice in DB Browser; so in the former there are less characters available than in the latter, but it's sufficient for West European special characters).

Then "browse data" in DB Browser: You see the identification "UTF-8" in both cases, at the right-bottom corner of the screen. So an automatic ANSI-to-UTF-8 conversion will be made upon import of the ANSI-csv file by the SQLite frontend if your csv file is then still in ANSI format (see the automatic conversation in the csv editor above but which isn't made in every case: reading from clipboard yes, reading from csv file no (but which then can be made "manually" ie by choosing from a dialog)).

So, in your database frontend, you'll probably get UTF-8 encoding for the database, even from ANSI; at least that's the case in my workflow, when doing the import from an ANSI .csv file to .db format, in DB Browser; other frontends may not do this conversion automatically upon import, so you should check in case or try to get UTF-8 text files to start from.

Then, afterwards, any text processing you'll do is possibly done upon the ANSI format again, though, since when I do the the ^a - ^c in the database and put the clipboard content in my editor, it says "Windows (Western Europe)" again, with no further precision, and when I put the clipboard content in the csv editor, it says "UTF-8" again but we know from the above that the csv editor automatically translates the formats when they come from the clipboard.

Googling "clipboard content ansi or utf-8" brings some finds which seem to indicate that the operating system itself does automatic clipboard conversions (and even to UTF-16, seemingly not needed in Europe), which probably differ from one Windows version to the other, and with which applications you use have to cope with, making right guesses/conversations or wrong ones, so just let's say let's hope for the best but we should be aware of possible problems in different Windows / software / language regions setups; my setup above, with no cyrillic and with Windows XP and Word 2003 worked flawlessly.

As for RTF, the difficulty lies in the existence of the different versions over time and the fact that help available in the web doesn't necessarily apply to the version your target application understands; as said above, most rtf "editors" are really, really bad at this, and had I Word 2016 available instead of Word 2003, even more codes would be correctly understood. Also, it seems that many paragraph formatting codes don't work if you put them into the style definitions (in the header), so that you must repeat them within each concerned paragraph, and bear in mind that rtf is not a markup language like html for exemple, so \par ... \pard does NOT correspond to some <p> ... </p>, to bring the most prominent/easily misleading example.


EDIT June 16: Import from csv AND getting the id column right
As said above, a) "DB Browser for SQLite/SQLiteBrowser 3" is free AND allows for creating a table from a csv file; as said above, b) you would like to create a correct id column, replicating the rowid column, even if you do NOT judge it necessary to have it autoincremental (but which I advise, see above)*.

*: In fact, getting the "id" of the CURRENT record in a frontend grid is very useful but, without an ID column, often not possible. For example, if you are in edit mode (and in fact, the difficulty is not to get into edit mode, but then out of it again...), in SQLite "Expert", two fast "Home" key pressings (ie the second pressing fast following the first one) will bring you to the very first field of the current record, and then a ^c will bring you the record's ID into the clipboard, from where you can put that ID to numerous brilliant uses, for example for replicating the "default" data of the current record for creating a new one (while "not null, default value = x" will only bring you default values identical for the whole table, not for specific GROUPS of records, so there is a big interest in this even for this simple use case).

Now how to combine a) and b), since a) will create the table without any id, and then, it seems to be impossible to add that id column to the existing SQLite table?

Do a) in SQLite Browser since it comes that handy, name the table "main2" or something; even let alone the default column names, or rename them to the names needed later on, but leave the default column formats alone, it's not worth the effort.

THEN, in SQLite Browser or any other frontend of your choice (for example SQLite "Expert", as mentioned above), do SQL commands, don't bother with what your frontend would, or would not or not correctly, do for you, design and re-design-wise; of course, have stored the commands / column names in some text file for easy access, no need to type it all again and again.

Then, your sql command would be, in an example of mine:

create table main (id INTEGER not null primary key autoincrement, b TINYINT not null, c1 VARCHAR not null, c2 VARCHAR not null, c3 VARCHAR, c4 VARCHAR, fn VARCHAR, n VARCHAR, t VARCHAR);

(Edit June 17: here I had missed the default: b TINYINT not null default 3 or for strings: fieldname not null default 'somestring')

remember the table main2 already exists, too, holding the raw data; and then:

insert into main (b, c1, c2, c3, c4, fn, n, t) select b, c1, c2, c3, c4, fn, n, t from main2;

as said just before, you see here that any rename of the default column names in main2 is futile, for the "from" part, you can just use the default names as well, in their natural order, and for the first, the insert, part, you could even use your target column names in a different order than on screen if you pay attention to not mix columns up;

then delete table main2;

then in case, do some other formatting you will have not thought about up to then; this is probably the most simple way to create a correct table for csv/text data; from there on, you then can split up the data into other, linked tables; there again, you will first create the table, by your own sql command, then transfer data from the main table as needed, again from within the sql command line, not by - reliable or unreliable - frontend specifics.

Oh, and the sql "report" generators I spoke of above, are of course Crystal Report and SSRS. The former was quite ubiquitous in its time, even Microsoft had some OEM version of it, they now have SSRS while Crystal Report is now available from (and only for?) SAP. Anyway, my individually-programmable rtf export described above makes me wonder how many corporate users really use some (inflexible at least in direct comparison?) boxed tool, and how many would rather script what they really need, also in the light of the fact that sql alone does not do so much except for getting the raw data in some order, and then you'll need some macroing anyway, so the question is if this incredible effort put into report generators' GUIs, and which limits possible output variants anyway, is justified. As I see it, it's like sql as seen above: doing your own commands is more reliable, more flexible AND less complicated than wading thru those (limiting) GUI's steps.


EDIT June 17, 2017: NO clipboard export from SQLite "Expert" free version (but from SQLite Browser)
Above, I said that that program's free version allowed for selecting all or a "select ..." result, then copy to clipboard (^a, ^c) from which then I processed it further in order to export/print.

I now am unable to do so, but since I had installed a new version some days ago, 4.2.0.765, I re-installed 4.2.0.739 in order to check if the developer had taken away that ^a functionality, but in both versions it just selects the content of the current column. I would have sworn I had done it as described above, but now I don't simply remember anymore, probably I was in error. In fact, I did all the above for just ONE of my databases/tables yet, doing the export once, to an editor file, and there I must then have deleted all the "" to be found in combination with tabs (unneeded because of the tabs as field separators), and my clipboard processing always was done then from retrieving the content of that intermediate text file (programmatically).

So it seems that I did the export from a "select" result with SQLite Browser and then just forget about that; it works as described, but not from SQLite "Expert" Lite/"Personal". (While it's true that SQLite Browser offers export to csv format, of the database or of the current table, both exports just work for the table(s) in its/their unsorted/unfiltered format, not for "select" results, so they are useless.)

I discovered this error of mine just today when trying to export/print a second table; of course, the developer of SQLite "Expert" ("Personal") is not to blame if he wants to encourage users to buy his program; it's just that at this point in time, there are quite a lot of GUI bugs left thru the different versions (last version 3, then at least 2 for version 4) which are quite annoying, so for buying, now at 100$ plus VAT, one would like to have the (very pretty) GUI to function a little bit smoother before making the investment.

And another error of mine regarding this program: There is a setting "Show edit buttons" which shows edit buttons in every field, and clicking on them will open an edit pane just for that field - see my description above of such an edit pane for all fields combined though when I had missed this one. On the other hand, you'd need such an additional edit field for editing of fields with "long" content only, and the appearance of the unneeded buttons on ANY field is really disturbing, so it would be so much better to amend editing within the field itself for longer texts, or if the used grid doesn't allow for this, to have appear the edit field automatically (upon mouseclick/F2/field activation by arrow only, of course) whenever the text in the field is probably (!) too long in order to be edited smoothly in-line - that functionality would be possible in any such grid component, since it would just imply a "check by cursor home-end: addditional text displayed?" / "current text too long for this field if it was 1-line-only?", since the core problem isn't any additional text then entered, but to identify the insertion point for that additional text (or for text to be deleted).

EDIT some minutes later: I had just succeeded in selecting a "block" in SQLite "Expert" with the mouse (left button down), when the GUI was NOT in edit mode (in order to leave edit mode, I regularly have to change to another table, then go back - I said the GUI is ridden with bugs...), but my try to mouse-select the whole "select" result as a block (left top corner to bottom right one) was not successful, and even mouse-selecting a block then did not function anymore - so probably my initial export, some weeks ago, HAD been from SQLite "Expert" as I had initially thought. While the core seems to be stable, the SQLite "Expert" GUI is both the prettiest one on the market, and quite unbearable (I could list half a dozen other quirks of it).

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If you didn't get CintaNotes "Pro" for free last time, today's the day again, and Zoom Player Max is available on Sharewareonsale for free, too, see my added remarks above with respect to both; CintaNotes is following quite bad examples as I see it. Further added details also in the "Pricing" thread - I didn't held up the distinction between pricing, trial conception and other marketing considerations (incl. giveaways) as strong as at the beginning lately - and database beginners* or users interested in how programs like CintaNotes work behind the scenes should refer again to the "SQL" thread again; it'll become of interest if google will better cover that last one one day (down to the middle of next page currently, so that's probably not that appealing for google); while my Trials and Pricing threads are about remote  subjects, admittedly, the SQL thread is as unique and of practical relevance for quite some people: Reading's quite demanding since it's written in the form of a journal, but compare with endless hours of unsuccessfully tryings things out when without the info being hidden there.

*: No, I'll put that over there, let's see if that helps a little bit for google.


EDIT (same day): Meta
In order to make my additions easier to find, I won't add to previous posts anymore but just to my most recent one; this is also true for posts in other threads; at the same time, nuisance to people not wishing to be bothered by my posts will continue to be minimized, by rarefication of said posts-to-be-notified to them.

EDIT (same day): TheBrain
I had spoken of TheBrain above, also with respect to my impression that it's not so much apt for big data repositories in its current form, and in the Pricing thread, about its quite clever pricing/positioning. Today, I've got finds for both aspects: According to http://forums.thebra...cyber-monday-8325459 , on Cyber Monday, 2016, they did a 10 p.c. discount, and still, they said, "We have had many users taking advantage of the sale today. We hope you can too, but if it's still not in your budget please use the free edition as long as you want." - If that's true, it would be in line of what I've said above on their pricing strategy; in the context of what I've said above and especially over there, it could very well be that full-price customers, especially those which don't use the program on a daily basis, because of its inherent problems (see the next paragraph), could lose some of their "select" feel and develop buyer's remorse if TB followed the advice of that thread's starter, Moltaire, "10%? What kind of a discount is that? One major barrier to adoption is the high license and subscription price, especially that whopper of a first year. That prevents many people from ever becoming paid users. If you had offered the first year for $159 and the pro license for $110, you would have recouped the losses of the lower prices with tons of new users. Or is my economics off? Curious to hear what other people think." - of course, other TB users held back their opinion, just TB responded.

And this http://forums.thebra...ith-thebrain-8413647 will be of interest for anybody interested in data visualization or just in data organization in general; this is not to be discussed by me here since it hasn't got anything to do with pricing/trial conception/marketing, just this: In some authors' writings in that thread, there is some undertone implying that users not intimate with TB may be overwhelmed by large TB "plexes", and that this was so partly because they simply aren't on par with TB - sort of "how to make its strength presentable to the masses"; but other authors identify the problem more correctly, as a more general one, and they even get so some intermediate solutions: mctrexler, "over the last year I've integrated a comprehensive Index into my Climate Web megabrain, and the Index alone is now up to >1000 entries" - of course, such meta-navigational tools are needed for any user, not just for not-smart-and-or-initiated-enough new users, and they should not be made by hand but programmatically, and then, in a further step, should be created and maintained by the program itself, so this thread clearly indicates where TB should bring in its main development efforts. Or the same author in another post of his, "But with no ability to use one-way thoughts to structure what people see, or to use basic "report" abilities to allow users to structure what they want to see, or to be able to filter TheBrain content in any way, it's VERY difficult to overcome the problems of cognitive overload in anything but the simplest of Brains (and the simplest of Brains totally miss the whole point of Brains)." - it certainly is an intriguing, fascinating application, it just has quite some additional conceptional work to do, in order to become really useful, by adding and optimally integrating sort of supra-navigation.


EDIT June 16, 2017: SQLite Manager (SQLabs): the most appalling of them all
As said in the SQL(ite) thread, there's also SQLite Manager from SQLabs, as an SQLite frontend, and speaking of version 3.95 here. The trial comes with severe limitations which make it unusable for daily work, but, in theory, you can use it to get acquainted with the functionality; limitations are listed in the nag screen, which then invites you to "Register - Use Demo - Buy Online".

THEN, though, after some (10? 14?) days, you'll* get a dialog, "Database Encrypted - Database file SQLiteManager.exe seems to be encrypted. Please enter the encryption key: - Cancel - OK" (Cancel closes, OK (without your licence number or whatever) brings further dialogs to enter your license number).

Note that we're not speaking of some encrypted database files (ie .db files possibly encrypted by another frontend), as the dialog would seem to imply, but of an encryption of the executable, of the application file itself. So what we've got here is a "trial" that comes with almost-total functional crippling - which is clearly communicated - AND with a (quite short) time limit** which is NOT communicated - up to now, I did not encounter any worse trial design than this, short of course of destroying your system; SQLabs SQLiteManager trial just destroys itself without warning.

*: Well, I get this dialog, at least, and even after "Repairing" the application with a new (!) download of the .exe (which the installer permits, which is a good thing when it works).

**: Or then, it's so buggy that even their "repair" doesn't do anything about it, which would be as bad.


EDIT Night June 16/17, 2017: Bulk Image Downloader (BID)
Speaking of good laughs (see below), www.sadanduseless.com is one of the best sites for dog and/or cat lovers (see the list of the 15 most popular threads, but also more than 150 pages available by the links at the bottom of the homepage); it's not for those only though, some current hit is http://www.sadanduse...com/2017/02/fashion/ .

BID is probably one of the best examples of simple but outstanding software, and one of the best examples how to do trials, etc. It had been mentioned here as being very good, but reasons hadn't been given, and I would also like to describe the trial.

I had tried half a dozen or so image downloader, free and paid, and none of them came even near the 25$-BID because the task is not about downloading almost anything several levels down (see for example Neo Downloader which I had been unable to do the simplest things but which brought me tons of rubbish, or other competitors which just find and download some of the pictures, and just in the quality present on the page while there is better quality just a link farther), but it's about to just download the pictures, but in the best possible quality, from the current page, and BID (only, it seems), does this highly effectively, from any sorts of web pages, for every picture there, even if that picture is much larger than a thumbnail, it checks if there is some link to a higher-quality picture, and then downloads that, all in bulk, as the name says.

The trial will not stop but lets you only choose up to 100 pictures to download from its pre-download (it identifies all the pictures, then loads thumbnails; on a slow pc, you'll just display a list of them, on a faster pc, you'll have those thumbs displayed, and then you can de-select the ones you don't want BID to download for good, into a dedicated folder for each bulk download if you want it that way; I have a slow pc, so I have it download just the whole list it will have created, and then I delete unwanted pictures afterwards, in FS picture viewer or elsewhere.

As implied above, the trial will download hundreds of thumbs, but as said, it then only downloads the first 100 pictures of the list which means that you even could use the trial for real "work"/fun since you could trigger the thumbs download as often as needed, for the same web page, and first have it just download the very first 100 pics, in the second run you delete the first 100 pics, in the third run you delete the first 200 pics, and so on - kids with no pocket money will probably do this for some time, and even the nagging screens which come up after 30 days stay more than bearable - nagging is done at program start, but not, as would be perfectly possible, before each download.

Why did I even encounter those screens? Well, most downloads are way UNDER 100 pics (see the humor web site in this example), so it seems that in everyday use, you will not even need the full version i.e. the license, in order to use this very fine program regularly. But then, after the nagging screens started, I asked myself, what was I doing there? Trying to avoid spending 25 bucks for just a brilliant program? (I say brilliant since it does so well what it promises to do, and that's so rare.) So I didn't buy within the trial period, but very shortly after, some 3 or 4 uses after, some 3 or 4 uses with (I said it, perfectly bearable) nagging screens.

So what do we learn here? This program is so pleasant, so likeable (the quality is there: big point!), that in principle, you're absolutely willing to pay (25$ is a perfect price for such a program: the developer gets real money, you get it for cheap, for all it does so smoothly) even if you do not really have to, BUT in my case, I needed 3 or 4 reminders in order to take action: Buying is an effort (the personal data, the buying screens, and all that), so even if it's cheap, nobody really likes to do it, but nagging screens remind you of the fact that you SHOULD do it, and after some of these, you DO do it.

Probably, the developer could rise the conversion rate by doing more nagging after some time, and/or by cutting down the number of possible downloads from 100 to lesser numbers (as implied, this would have a lesser effect since most such downloads are just 15-30 pictures in a row anyway), but it's also possible he does it this way in order to allow kids for real free use, the time they don't have the money to afford it, which for such a "fun"-related program would be even more likeable.

Official price is 30$, but whenever I look at the site, the "special offer, ending soon" of 25$ is present; in the really worst case and as described, you could "force" the trial up to the next special offer, in order to save 5 bucks if you must. It's a fine program, really functional, and its ability of downloading better-quality pics if linked (and which I found very reliable over a big bunch of different websites, even if probably that will not work for every site out there, some of them doing such links by scripting, ie by concatenating the links from several strings at different positions in the source code) makes it outstanding.

And as said, its trial policy is original and worth a good look: This program hooks its prospects but then doesn't let them down when they hesitate; it remains available and stays with you, waiting for you to overcome your avarice/laziness; of course, such a policy is only possible within a price range where it's more laziness than avarice; in case such a program costs 100$, some people would probably need more than just 3-4 kind pads on their shoulder after the official trial period is over in order to take action.


EDIT June 20, 2017: Trials for Use-Once Tools: Demonstrate your (In-) Competence
A special situation in trial design arises for software which the buyer typically would use only once, and then perhaps again in another such situation when it arises months or even years later, but let's hope their need for that second or even third use will be for the same pc since such software typically is bound to the current hardware and can NOT be transferred to another pc, not even by "de-activating" it first on that machine for which you will have bought the license.

It's evident a time-limited but functional trial is not possible for such tools, so the developers typically implement a demo mode, for the prospect to know/"see" that the tool, when bought, will help them to solution the problem. In such cases, it can be utterly instructive to load and try half a dozen of even a full dozen of such tools of the same kind to compare since you will immediately see that most of them can't do anything/much for you, while other will solve the problem indeed; of course the developers of the latter tools will have done such comparisons, too, so they now that they compare very well with more or less useless "competitors", and so they take advantage of the comparison by pricing their, much better, tools, accordingly; on the other hand, even ineffective tools are often priced that way, in order to scam lazy* prospects who wrongly think that price invariably was in direct with effectiveness ("You get what you pay for"**).

*: It's not just about laziness in every use case. For example, if you need some de-deletion tool, oh, sorry, they are called data recovery tools, you will often have the problem that the tool is not pre-installed on the harddrive it now would be bound to work on, and not every user in that situation is able to get the harddisk out***, for it to be treated by and from another system, so this is a situation where users may be in panic and are bound to put even more errors on top of the already done ones.

**: "You get what you pay for" is mostly true, but in ONE direction only: For cheap, you will not get much in most cases - very rare, incredible useful tools like "Everything" being the exception to the general rule, not its invalidation. On the other hand, paying a lot of money for some sh** is NO guarantee at all to get help or any value for your money in general - hadn't it been Warhol in person who sold his own sh** in cans, for millions, in his time, in order to demonstrate this blatantly and irrefutably?

***: Those situations arise by incompetence of the user, either at the time of the damaging event or even months/years before. I'm not only speaking here of the avoidance of proper backups****, but also of buying the wrong machine. For example, I've read somewhere that Billyboy - remember, he needs all that big money of ours in order to save the World  - now sells, for some 1,200 to 2,500€ in Europe they say, "Surface Notebooks", laptops who will be destroyed when you try to open them, even for changing the battery (which allegedly holds 3 years, so then you'll throw away the device anyway), so getting out the harddisk (or whatever it is) in order to save its data will cost you 1,200 to 2,500€, let alone the problems arising from the fact that when it's out from there, it'll not yet be installed in some rescue system - re-usable connectors when in the original settings it's all glued? So you see that one big, big case of incompetence, buying from Billyboy*****, can have such disastrous consequences that ever after, even quite competent workmates cannot save much then.

****: Data backup is easy, but proper backup of the main system is not because of the incredibly bad software design of Windows itself: Whenever you do a backup, in practice - this is very different in big corporations, and for a reason - you will install all sorts of things afterwards, and when the situation arises you would/could/should need a backup, to re-install a backup I mean, there's the question which one of the past backups should be re-installed, so in practice you probably will decide to live with what you will have got in the meantime, and all the worse for the quirks.

*****: I've been warned long ago, fortunately, so the above doesn't surprise me in any way. I own some "Natural" keyboard from that man which, almost brand-new (all the captions are totally readable, Billyboy keyboard owners know what that proves) and always treated with kid gloves by me, reliably lost all functionality for the right hand keys - or was it all keys for the left hand? I don't remember, I shelved it years ago -, once the 6-months' guarantee period was over.

So, you can pay 100€ or more for some retrieval software, or you can pay some 30 or 40€ or 100€ and more for almost nothing, but with SOME tools in the higher-priced, you will have real chances, according to your situation; I've been in that trouble some years ago, and some of those demonstrated to me they would help, and the one I then bought did help indeed.

BUT for such a program in order to be bought then, it should really demonstrate it will help when bought, which is not the case in some cases, and I've got a current example of some nagging tool which either is more or less worthless or at the very least is NOT smart enough to really demonstrate it's worthy.

I'm speaking of "Reimage" / "Reimage Repair" / "Reimage Online" (it's all a total mess)

None of my notebooks get into WLan's anymore, or rather, "repair" makes they seem to connect, but then no browser opens any webpage anymore; if you browse the web for that problem, you see lots of blah-blah but no solution, and you can easily spend 2 full days with trying all the blah-blah out (which I did), without getting to any end.

So I finally installed "Reimage Online" or something, and then this blah-blah told me dozens of things I already knew, like "Your system is much slower than average."; it also told me NetWorks was a virus, or IN NetWorks was a virus, and another one to be in one of the endless lists of VLC add-ons (which might be true in the latter case and which is very probably a false positive in the former one); not a mumbling word about my missing WLan functionality (pc connected to web by lan, but WLan switch "on", and several open WLan's available).

Not a mumbling word about other possible problems either, and it even did give me - WRONG info about the temperature, 38 degrees, while I can easily almost burn my hand by laying it on the device more than the fraction of a second.

It gave me a very long list of totally irrelevant "information" while I positively know that my system - for the problem of re-installing backups see above - has got more than just one quirk actually, it's just that I can live better with those than with the one I would have liked Reimage propose to resolve.

No need to say copying the text from the screen was made impossible by them, so I made a little screenshot of the "2 viruses" part: windows\system32\drivers\network.sys, programs\videolan\vlc\axvlc.dll - when they read this, they will probably infer from it that in the future, they should withheld any specific "virus" information altogether but just say, "We found n viruses in your system, immediate action needed, blah blah blah."

Fact is, this - judging from its own usefulness demonstration - probably useless-for-me tool then offered to "repair" my system, for money, of course, but gave me not one price, but several ones for doing this; I admit I didn't bother to analyze the price alternatives; the demonstration of its incompetence just having killed any motivation of mine to spend even a dime for that tool.

BUT since it had pretended I had 2 viruses on my pc, I checked if it intended to run anytime but didn't see any entry in my startup folder settings, so I decided to not delete the tool but to run it again in a month or so, in order to check for any new alleged "viruses".

As you can easily guess, it bothered me the very next day instead. (Did I say "yesterday" above? No, installation the day before yesterday, reappearance and prompt de-installation yesterday, making it public today: You treat me like an idiot, I promptly react, you should have known better, folks.)

(Approximative retranslation:) "Reimage - important notice - too slow on start - scan now in order to solution these problems - patented - patented procuct - resolve problems now".

Now this is stupid, isn't it? Just the day before, it had spoken about these problem and offered paid solutions, and the very next day, they offer another scan, and another solution: They don't even wait some days in-between, spying your system, for then presenting some alleged NEW problems, no, they just bother you daily (!) with what you already know and obvious have decided to live with: Stupid, stupid program, if you were a dog, we should have to put you to sleep!

That's of course what I immediately did, so I'm not absolutely shore about it bothering you every and every day, but as you can easily guess again, the de-install didn't went smoothly either:

"Are you sure you want to remove ... and leave your PC unprotected? Get Reimage professional support for free to check out your PC! Added value for free - just one phone call away! ... Call now toll-free ..."

Hahahahaha! Free, toll-free... Of course we all know what such "expert advice by phone" (or as they call it, "professional support for free") really is, in 99.99 p.c. of ALL cases: some commercial agent (preferably in India, 20 cents the hour*) pretends to be an "expert" while reading some blah-blah from their screen, to the sole purpose of your taking "immediate action", ie pay the full price for their software to show you the full monty which in this case probably would have ended up to some unfruitful run and then a, "Well, if you really want your system to be brand-new, you just re-install it then!" - hahahahaha!

*: Of course, they show one of those inevitable, pretty, "almost-white"* stock photo phone girls instead, faintly smiling right into your eyes, her pretty blouse wide open, immaculate denture, slightly overhead, eyes up, head inclined as all liars do, in a word, they're professional marketeers.

*: Why do I say "almost-white"? Well, that's the new standard for these telephone-"service"* stock photos: White, but with with one (however-)colored ancestor out of 8 (I took a screenshot; it's them who try to racially manipulate people, I'm just describing; the European "Ikea" catalogs**, those last years, have been infinitely more honest, real and likeable than these stock lies).

*: In the old times, they called this "hard-selling". Hahahahaha! And why I'm almost sure that those pretty girls or rather their real-life replacements will try to convince you how good Reimage Repair is after all when you want your money back? I'm just speculating, of course.

**: If you don't know these catalogs: 2/3 of their human models are colored now. No objection. Neither to mixed races. It's the "we'll take a pretty, female* white but with just a minimal, almost imperceptible scent of color, that will sell best" strategy I find utterly appalling, and I dare say so.

*: Female "computer experts"? On the toll-free telephone? Hahahahaha! Of course, there are female computer experts but they are quite rare and so got better things to do, most of the time. Btw, my VoIP provider has got a live chat, 24/24, and it's always "Mary" speaking to you, any time, mornings, afternoons, and in the middle of the night; they oven show you a "real" photo of "Mary" - not some stock sh** but a real photo of a real young (colored, btw) person (I changed the name, in order to not harm them since otherwise, their service is impeccable): "Mary" does not sleep but is on service 24 hours a day (don't remember if on week-ends, too).

But "Mary" is in very different moods, you can judge by what and how she writes, sometimes it's "Sir", sometimes she's very casual; at some moments in the day, she's in a genial mood, and at other times, she's formal, on the verge of coldness (but always perfectly helpful; I contact them once a year since prolongation of my contract has to be done with help, I'm one of their very early-on customers so cannot do it with their screen forms - I deem this precision important since otherwise you would ask, why can they be recommendable if users have to contact them so often? Very sorry for my encyclopedic style...): Well, that's certainly those moments when "Mary" really, really needs some minutes' sleep between two chats but the chat bell ringing too loud for some snooze...

But back to them bothering me. So you have got that "Reimage Repair Uninstall" screen with that pretty white stock girl which probably though would have got problems with the nazis, and with FOUR possible reactions:
- "Call now toll-free..."
- "Keep your PC safe with Reimage Repair Active Protector (recommended)": "recommended" in bold, and pre-selected (check mark): Well, it's preferable prospects simply buy without first incommoding their sales staff, toll-free or not, isn't it?
- "No Thanks, Just Uninstall Reimage Repair": in programming, they call this bump style: is it for impeding reading? In fact, the font is very cramped..., and
- "Cancel", which means, "have us bother you daily (?) in the meanwhile!"

So I clicked on "No Thanks..."; you will have guessed already this brought a new dialog:
"Uninstall feedback. Your opinion matters! Why are you uninstalling Reimage? Which software are you using to protect your PC? What other issues did you experience while using Reimage?" Well, I could have written "Reimage sucks" but then, I preferred to give my opinion in public, and in detail. "Name: ... Email:"

This without any more pretty girl now, but with "Back", "Skip" and "Cancel"; I admit that from their text, I could probably have given my opinion even without filling the Name/Email fields (but I didn't try), and I also admit that "Skip" is the pre-selected button here.

So I clicked on "Skip". As you already will have guessed... and know what? YOU ARE RIGHT!

The (by me) long-awaited web page opened up in my default web browser and read:

"Is it true that you want to leave us?
WAIT! Before you remove Reimage completely and leave this page, we've got a deal for you!
You'll get 50% off the regular price of Reimage by clicking REDEEM OFFER below!
This offer is good for a limited time only.
REDEEM OFFER"

etc., etc., and again "Our professional support team" (see the photo in the dialog before, I suppose? Hahahahaha!), and I have to admit that they even "guarantee" a 60-days refund; I of course don't know if that "guarantee" is reliable; as said above, another software vendor also "guarantees" a refund but the web abounds of reports by people NOT having got their money back... BUT that's a big video play-around-software vendor from China, and you cannot blame Reimage people for that not-connected-in-any-way third party's behavior, that's for sure; on the other hand, even if you pay by PayPal, PayPal will not help you to get your money back in case of immaterial goods with no physical support, so you'll rely upon Reimage.

Also, since their scans rely upon web communication, you couldn't even blame them if they tried to reset your system to any pre-Reimage-Repair "repair", since "no money, no service" is a widely accepted precept you couldn't rap them to apply in your case, in case, and such a reset could probably have some harmful side effects, in case even unwanted by them - bear in mind your Windows installation is a living beast now, at least in generation ten.

But you see, if Reimage/Repair/Online or whatever they finally call it, did show me the real quirks my system has AND would have been available for my other pc(s), too, let's say 2 at least (and perhaps it even is, but that having become irrelevant, I didn't bother to check anymore), I would have taken the chance of the investment... and would neither have encountered their display dummy nor their half-price, hahahahaha.

So what do we learn here? Show what you'll do for the money or shut up, instead of showcasing pretty girls who don't even work for you.*

*: Of course I'm aware that such offerings get lots of paying customers, whatever they do, since more than one prospect is in panic and will thus be willing to do lots of wishful thinking even when the presentation of (in???)competence is as lousy as with Reimage. Either they are as bad as it seems, or they have lots of presentational homework to do. Remember, this thread is about NOT to conceive trials.

As for my unresolved WLan problem, I consider buying a USB WLan stick, they're pretty cheap now that "nobody" wants/needs them anymore. Perhaps (!) they come with enough electronics of their own in order to overcome the internal pc de-set problems. (*-problem above resolved, in case you will have read this add-on during the first 10 minutes of its publication.)


EDIT July 2, 2017: Reimage is even much worse than I had thought, see my additional comments on them here: http://www.donationc...82.0;last_msg=410253

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See my spin-off: How NOT to conceive trials (and some new ideas about them): http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=43835.0

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