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51  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Logitech Revolution MX Mouse - Spring Cleaning on: April 08, 2014, 09:19:22 AM
It has a rechargeable battery and will hold a charge for a only few days of heavy use before you have to put it back in it's cradle (if you are adventurous you can find instructions on the web for replacing the unusual battery).  This can be a pain

Yup. Been there and done that when my MX died. (Love that mouse!) It is a MAJOR pain in the ass to replace that battery. And not very cheap to do. thumb down
52  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Once again, magically expensive items are only different in your mind on: April 08, 2014, 09:10:35 AM
A friend who's father ran a farm said "big stuff" purchased for a farm is bought with one of two criteria in mind: (a) costly but built to last - or - (b) inexpensive but easy and cheap to fix.

I found that to be a good guide when making a major purchase decision. Cool
53  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: WinXP is officially dead! on: April 08, 2014, 08:58:51 AM
[attach]

And as long as there are VMs, XP will live. Thmbsup

Seriously, set one up fully loaded with the stuff you use most, take a snapshot, and have at it. Save your files to a USB key. If your virtual XP ever does corrupt or get infected, just shut it down and reload it. Grin
54  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: WinXP is officially dead! on: April 08, 2014, 07:47:09 AM
 [attach]
55  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Once again, magically expensive items are only different in your mind on: April 08, 2014, 07:29:51 AM
"existing audio formats are unable to adequately present a full range of tones"

The human ear isn't capable of discriminating between (or actually hearing) many of them either. Wink

While I applaud any attempt to improve the art and technology of music recording and playback, I think Neil might be suffering from some of the inevitable hearing loss 99% of humanity will start to experience at his age, and is now hoping against hope to find away to get around it.

They've done side-by-side studies of various MP3 configurations using a broad range of (i.e. "sound pro," "audio enthusiast," "civilian") test listeners. The studies seem to show that most can't reliably differentiate much between anything.

Most could differentiate between a "good" (i.e. properly EQ-ed and mastered) recording and a bad one. But that's where the art of recording comes in. The technology itself isn't the issue so much as how it's used. How like so many other things in life, right?

One interesting aside. The FLAC format did seem to be slightly preferred by a very small number of listeners who said it sounded more "natural." So there might be some psycho-acoustical thing going down with FLAC that hasn't been clearly identified. One which some people might be hearing.*

Still, recorded music is all about serving the masses. So a factor that 1/10th of 1/10th of 1% of the listeners might hear isn't going to be something the music industry is going to devote many resources getting to the bottom of.

------------------------------------
Semi off-topic half-rant:

The full-time prima donna hipster audiophile invariably insists on "vinyl." Which is funny... because the sound of vinyl recordings isn't remotely close to "natural" or "live" if you look at the dynamic map or frequency spectrum. And most recordings destined for disk were heavily compressed during mastering to accommodate the physics of the disk cutting equipment.

And the entire style of sound mastering techniques has changed radically since the era of LPs. Digital has a larger dynamic range which has led to the trend of recording everything as loud as possible. And also using extreme amounts of EQ on most tracks. These things weren't possible with LP recordings. And they have a huge impact on the sound you hear.

There's also the fact that many people who are now mastering music (often their own) simply don't have the expertise (or taste) of the old guard producers and recording engineers of yore. Those guys (unfortunately no ladies back then) were artists who knew hundreds of ways to drag the absolute best out of equipment that would seem positively primitive by today's standards.

Today, it's different. This is the era of the "common man" and the "artist-producer-songwriter" in music. Any idiot that composes rambling blank verse, and owns a guitar, is now a "singer-songwriter" - although most very modestly tend to refer to themselves (and prefer to have others call them) "artists."

These same singer-songwriters have an unfortunate tendency to also want to master their own music so they can add "artist-producer" to their ever growing (many also write, paint, and choreograph too!) list of merit badges. We live in the Age of The Amateur.

And it shows...  undecided


So far from being "better" sounding (in an absolute sense) vinyl records merely sound different from CDs. Different technologies + a different mastering style + different personnel = very different sounding music.

People who grew up with LPs (like me) tend to prefer LPs. People brought up on CDs tend to prefer the sound characteristics of that technology.
56  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Dead Hot Chicks Boost Weather Ratings? on: April 07, 2014, 08:11:43 AM
@SJ - that's Henley.

Addenda: and crabby got in just ahead of me.  Grin
57  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: are wireless projectors just a bandwidth hog? on: April 06, 2014, 08:25:00 PM
Oh yeah, forgot to mention the UVerse set top boxes they sent us can also can be set up as wired via the RJ45 jack on the back.

[attach]
[attach]

The basic UVerse TV installation consists of 1 500GB DVR Base Unit. For wireless you receive an additional dedicated WAP for the set top boxes. plus up to something like 4 wireless STBs. (You'll pay a monthly rental fee for each.)

The user manual can be downloaded here if anybody is interested.

I'm frankly amazed how well it works considering who it comes from. Grin (kidding...just kidding!) Wink
58  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Dead Hot Chicks Boost Weather Ratings? on: April 06, 2014, 07:56:55 PM
Pretty tasteless if you ask me.

But then again, isn't that The American Way? undecided
59  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Powertools For Free on: April 06, 2014, 07:50:43 PM
I just wondered if anyone else had any information either good or bad.

There was an earlier discussion about it here.
60  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Off topic but does anhyone know wherei can get a Guaranted real JAVA installer on: April 06, 2014, 07:45:56 PM
If you have (or fear you have) a totally compromised system, your safest bet is to obtain and boot from any one of those "live" Linux CDs.

Since you're not running Windows once you do, you'll have a fully functioning computer that should be totally immune to virtually anything Windows is vulnerable to.

Once in Linux, download whatever Java installers you need from the official download site at:  http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp

Save the downloads to a USB key. Those should completely untainted and ready for installation.

Luck! Thmbsup
61  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: are wireless projectors just a bandwidth hog? on: April 06, 2014, 01:06:49 PM
^We have two HDTVs both connected via wireless.

For UVerse programming and recording you'd never know it wasn't hardwired. I'm guessing they did some network tweaks and optimizations with the Ciscos they provide. And I'm sure they give their own services top packet priority on their network. The DVR is handled by the main box AFAICT. So regardless of where you told it to record from, it streams it anywhere. Never had a hiccup. Yet.  Wink

As far as compression goes, that's one approach. But there's other tricks you could use such as intelligent preemptive caching, QoS tweaks, and buffering too. But don't expect AT&T to tell you much about how they do it. That's their little competitive secret.

And yes, it will always break after a point. Which is why they only support three or four (I forget) wifi TV routers per account. So figure 4 TVs max. There doesn't seem to be a published threshold for wired however. But that would likely be whatever your network topology would allow on 1GB Ethernet. I never tested it, but inbound seems to run near T1 speed on the WAN end.
62  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: are wireless projectors just a bandwidth hog? on: April 06, 2014, 10:33:54 AM
You could always put the projectors on their own wifi network by adding an additional access point. That's what AT&T does with their home UVerse setups. Your internet wifi goes through your main residential router. Your wifi TV boxes use a separate access point plugged into your main residential router.

This arrangement won't increase available bandwidth on the WAN side. So if you're regularly sucking down heavy outside media streams you may need to pay your ISP to increase your download capacities.

But on the LAN side it should definitely help since it restricts all projectors to a single port on the main router so it won't saturate the WAN side or the main LAN - but it will still give the projectors their own full capacity wifi network.  

If you have dual-band installed you can always just give one band to the projectors too. Most places that have dual-band wifi only use one band. The other is either left unused or set up for guest access.
 smiley
63  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Micro-review: Scapple on: April 05, 2014, 06:02:37 PM
I also used to like a small program called Papel as a text grab bag sort of thing. It seems to no longer be in development and is now found on some of those less respectable shareware download sites.
64  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Micro-review: Scapple on: April 05, 2014, 03:52:18 PM
I'm telling you, I f---ing love this program.

Agree. Thmbsup  I just bought a copy last night. Didn't even wait for my trial to expire.

That's not something I'll do all that often. smiley
65  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Micro-review: Scapple on: April 05, 2014, 02:50:25 PM
"And I don't find mind maps all that useful for the way I work."

Again, neither Scapple nor the two other applics mentioned by Andus above are mind map creators, and whilst not bothering you with replicating my lengthy developments of the difference between MM/outlining/horizontal outlining(Warnier) and then just scribbling ideas on paper, and putting them into various groupings/connections (I did that both in the UR and in the outlinersw fora), forgive me to contradict you, decidedly, on both plans:

- Scapple et al. (or sheets of paper) are in another category than MM/etc. (MM being for presentation purposes, above all other possible use)


Um...I think I may have figured that much out already. Which is the main reason why I'm looking at it to begin with. Wink

-------------------
I understand your point: Don't over-develop further projects, instead of realizing your current ones. But then, don't discard any possible idea for those further projects. Btw, that's differenciating a CEO (or then, his head of strategy) from his staff: He'll never have to wait fore implementation chores, before creating something new - and that's why maximized delegation possibilities, for creative people, are of utter importance.

And...that really wasn't quite the point I was making. I was saying not to let the tool become the end rather than the means to accomplishing it. Regardless of whether something gets completed by someone, or simply delegated to others to further develop or complete, there is still such a thing as "superfluous preparation" to do something. Much like the person who is endlessly refining and improving his/her workshop, but somehow never getting around making anything with it.

The same goes for software. Many of these 'thinkertoys' can take on a life of their own if you're not careful. That was the point I was trying to make. Cool
66  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: General consensus on Free Boxmaker Software? on: April 05, 2014, 02:25:49 PM
To April's observation above, I'll add that I think screenshots are still one of the most powerful selling tools you can use for software. Most of the FOSS projects now have a very conspicuous <screenshots> button or menu item on their landing page. It's one of the first things I'll look for when considering a new piece of software.

 
I'm a real interface freak when it comes to GUI apps. If I don't like the way something looks, I'll seldom bother with it no matter how good it is. (Although for some odd reason, I don't apply that same prejudice to terminal-based applications or utilities. Go figure... Grin)

67  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: General consensus on Free Boxmaker Software? on: April 05, 2014, 02:13:53 PM
I seem to have a knack for interest in fads after the bandwagon has been run out of town.  smiley

Makes two of us, my brother. That makes two of us... Grin

Quote
Oh, excuse me.  I just saw a great deal on a turtleneck sweater.  smiley

Hey! I've been know to wear them. Even mock turtlenecks! De wimmins luvs 'em! Or at least they did back when I started wearing them.  Cool
68  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Micro-review: Scapple on: April 05, 2014, 02:06:20 PM
About the only thing you need to remember when searching for, or getting into, this type of software is it's only a tool.

If you're not careful, it can become a thing unto itself - which usually translates into endless preparations to do some writing or deep thinking rather than actually doing any.

I've established a new semi-rule (is that a word) for myself. Unless something I'm already using isn't working; or I need some capability not being addressed by tools I already have - it's no new writing/ideation software until I complete at least one project I'm already working on.

No output = no new 'toys' to play with. It's a bit of discipline that's helped me out a great deal these last few years.

BTW, if you’re really in a rut, you can also try Joe Cartoon's Morning Affirmation Routine with help from his coach the Superfly):

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4G1YyVITsI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4G1YyVITsI</a>

  Wink
---------------------------

Note: I just finished up a project last month that I've been dawdling over for more time than it should have taken. And I don't find mind maps all that useful for the way I work. So those two things satisfy both criteria in my rule. Which is why I'm now allowing myself to consider Scapple and possibly Scrivener.
 Cool
69  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: General consensus on Free Boxmaker Software? on: April 05, 2014, 11:36:28 AM
Are you talking about the Boxmaker that creates cutting templates for actual boxes or the one that gins up a 3D product box image?

If the second, I don't think it adds much anymore. People are used to purchasing download-only software so I don't think they need the crutch of seeing a 'box' anymore.

But that's just my take. I have noticed, however, that those faux product boxes seem to have disappeard from most software sites.
 smiley
70  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Nice blog post on the parasitic software hosting sites bundling junkware on: April 05, 2014, 08:14:41 AM
To my mind, the real problem software developers have is that many got sucked into the "monetizing" game and started including "offers" with their installers. And then there were things like OpenCandy jumping through hoops to redefine the terms "adware" and "spyware." And indy devs went along with these sorts of things to "gain exposure" and minimize their hosting and bandwidth expenses. So aggregator sites and bundling became the norm. And now, many in the marketplace have become desensitized to the presence of bundling - and totally deaf to the words of software developers and distributors. So any protests by developers to the general public aren't likely to be heard. Because they're no longer listening to the industry.

It was only a matter of time before some enterprising crapware bundler put 2 and 2 together and completely cut the software developer from the equation.

You get what you pay for. And you pay for who you associate with.

And that sad new-age adage still remains true: If you're not the customer - you're the product."

Especially when somebody else is picking up your distribution expenses. Just ask Walmart.  
71  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Micro-review: Scapple on: April 04, 2014, 06:34:12 PM
Tried it - and it seems to work with Linux under Wine too!

That's a big plus for me! Thmbsup

72  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: LINUX: Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 201403 ISOs just released on: April 04, 2014, 05:51:04 AM
I think I figured it out... kind of.

Cinnamon seems to be based on KDE Plasma Desktop. Or at least it looks very similar.
[

It's actually based on GTK+3 and was originally meant to be a fork of the Gnome Shell when Mint's developers (along with pretty much everyone else) didn't like the direction Gnome was taking with the design decisions driving the original Gnome-3 release. Cinnamon has evolved far beyond its Gnome roots and has since become an entirely separate desktop environment.

FWIW I don't think it looks much like KDE. And IMHO it doesn't feel very much like KDE either. But that's me. Grin
73  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Micro-review: Scapple on: April 03, 2014, 06:21:38 PM
Oooooo! Now that looks really interesting. I've generally found formal mindmaps only useful in specific limited situations - and most times an outline works better for me when I need to do that sort of thinking.

The Brain
I find virtually useless - whether it's because of the design of the program - or (more likely) my just "not getting it."

But this actually looks useful. Kinda like the sloppy balloon diagrams and 'comic book' dialog bubbles I tend to use when I'm playing a solitaire round of the glass bead game...

Grabbing the trial now.

Thx for sharing! smiley
74  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: GS-Base Mini-Review on: April 03, 2014, 06:10:26 PM
Interesting!!! (I might as well confess I'm a database junky  Grin).

And at $10 with the discount, it seems worth buying a license just to check it out. Cool
75  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movies or films you've seen lately on: April 03, 2014, 01:12:23 PM
Recently rewatched "Angel Heart".
I love the acting, directing, dialog, and cinemetography in this movie.  Very underrated imho.

+1! Thmbsup

Great movie with more than a few surprises. In some respects it reminds me of what Hitchcock might be doing if he were still around.

Put Mickey Rourke in any movie and you know its gonna get a little strange. Have a movie scene set in New Orleans and you know it's gonna get a little strange. Put Mickey Rourke in a movie set in New Orleans and it's gonna did get 'mo-betta stranger yet. Grin
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