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851 Software / ProcessTamer / Re: Process Tamer Update Coming -- Express your feature requests here! on: October 10, 2007, 07:13:26 AM
Disturbing thrumming/humming/grinding noise that rises & lowers in pitch with CPU activity.
852  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Nasa to build gigantic roller coaster for astronauts on: October 10, 2007, 07:11:42 AM
There's something poetic about alarms going off, emergency strobes, and six astronauts rolling downhill, lap-bar in place, arms held above their heads...
853  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Question: Quickest way to receive spam? on: October 09, 2007, 09:18:21 PM
Renegade: Oh!  I bet I wouldn't even have to create the software.

854  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Adobe Acrobat Reader Security Vulnerability on: October 09, 2007, 09:16:25 PM
Renegade: I take your point, and mostly agree.  However if a specification allows for (say) an executable to be launched with elevated security rights, is that a flaw in the specification?  Or just a poor decision by the designer?

My question was more along these lines -- is there something in the spec itself that warrants concern? 

I could probably figure it out myself by reading about the PDF internal layout, comparing Adobe & FoxIt implementations, and googling for security news... but it seemed more expedient to simply ask here.  Plus reading all that crap about PDF seems about as exciting as waiting for my solar flashlight to charge at night.
855  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Replace Windows XP's Icons on: October 09, 2007, 09:08:56 PM
2nd that: Microangelo rocks.  It's a nice combination of integration without taking over the system.  I have about 2/3 of my icons replaced with nary a glitch.

Also, the icon editor is quite nice for non-professionals like me.  (I've heard at least one UberArtist complain that it's a toy.)
856  Other Software / DonationCoder Projects / Re: RPG on the forum on: October 09, 2007, 09:03:44 PM
For the coding snacks section of the game, a 2D shooter where waves and waves of ideas attack from above and you shoot your coding beam at them.  The ideas that don't get shot down land beside you, grow into full-blown projects, and attack you with feature requests.
857  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Writing a simple driving game (help!!) on: October 09, 2007, 08:59:19 PM
f0dder: Yep, and lookups are still faster, especially when managing hundreds of vectors simultaneously.  The FPU can also introduce bottlenecks and is somewhat immune to out-of-place executuion.  Simple integer functions stay in the registers and benefit from all processor optimizations.  (I speak from experience with Intel iron; dunno about AMD.)

If you can offload some of that to the GPU, then yeah, hardware translation makes sense.  But if the target system doesn't support whatever wacky graphics calculation you're attempting, then Windows' HAL kicks in and you're right back to overloading the processor with emulation.  So why not cut to the chase and do as much with integers as possible up front?  If you can keep everything in the registers and internal cache, even better.

Eventually my wrinkly old ideas WILL be obsolete, and we're almost there.  But not quite.  :-)
858  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Ponder This on: October 09, 2007, 08:50:16 PM
The correct answer is, "some people have entirely too much time on their hands."

859  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: kmplayer, whoa!!! on: October 09, 2007, 08:48:50 PM
Yep, K-Lite plays QT and Real media, no problem.  I don't know if it incorporates any of the Real Alternative stuff or has its own codecs.  It just works.
860  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Question: Quickest way to receive spam? on: October 09, 2007, 02:52:34 PM
Odd request perhaps, but...

I'm about to begin testing some anti-spamware (popfile, spamato, expurgate) and would like to receive a LOT of spam at some specially designated mailboxes for the test.

What's the quickest way to "notify" spammers that a particular address is ripe for attack?
861  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Strange customer... on: October 09, 2007, 01:23:10 PM
Mmmm, doesn't feel like a scam.  More like the guy's new to programming-for-hire and kind of fumbling around.  You'll know more when you get his response to your email(s) and your revision to his contract.
862  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Writing a simple driving game (help!!) on: October 09, 2007, 11:40:47 AM
Excellent!  Nothing better than the feeling one gets after solving a brain-buster.

Now that you have the thing working (grin) it's time to rip it all out and replace it with this:

I've found that performance can be enhanced greatly in these kinds of games by precalculating all the SIN/COS values for each possible direction of movement and storing them in lookup tables.  RAM is cheap, the data we're talking about is not huge (assuming something like 5 or 10-degree increments), and the performance improvements can be breathtaking.  Integer lookups are nearly instantaneous, unlike SIN/COS calculations.

And yes, my motto really is "fix it even if it's not broken".  :-)
863  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Adobe Acrobat Reader Security Vulnerability on: October 09, 2007, 11:34:04 AM
Is this a flaw in the Adobe rendering engine or the PDF file format itself?

If I use (say) FoxIt to view PDFs am I vulnerable?
864  Other Software / DonationCoder Projects / Re: Cody Tasks on: October 09, 2007, 11:32:12 AM
remember that a key aspect of this script is that users don't have their own tasks, we are really talking about a shared list of tasks that everyone participating has.  in other words, this script is for when you have a list of tasks and everyone is keeping track of how far they have gotten on this same list of tasks.

Where's the original thread for this?  I think I'm missing a lot of backstory...

Or if you could provide a simple illustrative example?
865  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Strange customer... on: October 09, 2007, 10:54:18 AM
Ah. Forget what I said about US crypto rules -- they don't apply to a UK/Canada transaction.

As mouser suggests, don't give him your passport.  There are other ways to prove your identity without giving up your personal history.  He might be looking at the contractor tax angle and simply be looking for data necessary to declare his expenditures to the tax man, and requesting it in a ham-fisted manner.  Might be worth a polite inquiry as to why he thinks he needs your passport data.

$5000 doesn't seem like enough to give up any existing/future software sales of your current product, especially since the $2 per unit sold is based on HIM doing everything right.  Most business ventures don't work out, so the odds are against you seeing any royalties.

It occurs to me you hold all the cards.  Push back with a revised contract eliminating his silly requirements and see what happens.

866  Other Software / DonationCoder Projects / Re: Cody Tasks on: October 09, 2007, 10:44:38 AM
Some thoughts (and forgive me if this has already been covered):

- Instead of completed/not completed allow a numeric "percentage done" value;

- Honor system is great, but you can have your cake and eat it too.  Add an additional column for the "task owner" to agree with each task-completeness assessment.  If user Bill says "100%" complete but task owner Sarah says "90% complete because x is missing" the task isn't really done;

- For greater fun and mayhem, allow users to reassign their tasks to others randomly (kidding!)
867  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Strange customer... on: October 09, 2007, 10:19:33 AM
Passport requirement is a bit weird, unless you're a non-US citizen.  What's your citizenship status?  (Assuming you are located in the States and he is elsewhere.)

"Stop distributing the program that his is based on"?  So you have an existing product, and he wants you to stop selling that too?  Unless this was expressly agreed to before hand (doesn't sound like it) that's a rather bold demand.  Especially if you derive income from the existing product, have an installed base of users, etc.

If the money's only so-so, I'd consider taking a walk.  It's not worth keeping a business relationship going with somebody who'd make these kind of last minute requirements.  Chalk up your time/work investment as a lesson learned and move on.

On the other hand, the money might be so tempting that you'd be willing to stop selling your existing thingie.  Assuming HIS business model supports income for you, is successful, and you trust him to pay you in the future.  All real concerns, especially more now since he has seemingly modified your informal agreement without consultation.  That's a sign of bad faith, based on what I understand so far.

At this point, I wouldn't sign ANYTHING without passing the proposed contract through the hands of legal counsel.  A contract review would take a few minutes and is worth whatever you pay for it to avoid future headaches.
868  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Writing a simple driving game (help!!) on: October 09, 2007, 10:07:53 AM
COS and SIN functions return a decimal value between -1 and 1, which is probably too miniscule to do what you want without additional multiplication.  I see "distance" up there, but that doesn't tell me much.  Distance in pixels?  Sectors?  Miles?

Generally what I do is keep separate fp variables to hold the accumulated "speed" of the vehicle and add that to the x/y coordinates periodically to generate motion.  Don't modify the x/y position directly -- only modify the vectors (call them vx/vy).

Does that help? 
869  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Strange customer... on: October 09, 2007, 09:46:57 AM
Keeping the relevant facts confidential, can you describe what kind of business arrangement you made before you delivered the code?  Did you sign a contract? 

Have you accepted any payments (cashed the check)?
870 Software / Clipboard Help+Spell / Re: A new name on: October 09, 2007, 09:44:05 AM

I like vegas' ClipNotes -- sounds like everyone's favorite student resource, Cliff Notes.

iClip -- suck up to the Apple crowd.

Clipboard Enhancement Utility for Windows -- If Microsoft named it.  Make sure you compile six different versions, five of which are guaranteed not to install on whatever Windows you actually use.  Include Alpha support.

ClipClop -- Appeal to the equine enthusiast.

Dr.Clip -- Putting "Dr." in front of a name is soooo 80's.

eClips -- Putting "e" in front is soooo 90's, but actually the riff on "eclipse" is kinda cool.

Cliposaurus Maximus -- My personal favorite, but I bet nobody else will like it. *sob*
871  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Ghost car! on: October 09, 2007, 09:33:06 AM
There's no real cameraman as it's one of those standard police cams mounted directly on the dashboard.  Taken at face value, the video supposedly documents a police chase.  The only things edited out (again, assuming everyone's honest) is the "boring" stuff like catching up to the guy on straightaways.

I vote for a Bond-villianesque remote-controlled fold-down fence.  The guy is obviously a renegade fence contractor and garage-door installer, and so has access to the required skills and spare parts.
872  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Strange customer... on: October 09, 2007, 09:27:45 AM
Nothing beats the advice of legal counsel.  If you don't have a lawyer you can call up and spend 15 minutes asking simple questions of, then contact your local bar association and explain what you're after.  This is exactly the kind of thing I ring up my lawyer about occasionally and if the call is a few minutes or so sometimes I don't even get billed.

My gut feeling is that since it's encryption related + overseas, he may be concerned about US export requirements regarding encryption.  Could be a simple documentation procedure we are unaware of until it becomes an international sale.
873  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Free Game: POTC Desktop Galleon on: October 08, 2007, 04:38:01 PM
I like pirates, which might be evident from my ghostly green skull-and-bones monkey icon.

And I've played a LOT of pirate-themed games which, to put it politely, suck bilgewater.

Leave it to Disney to create a fun little desktop diversion called Desktop Galleon, buryed deep within their new Pirates Online website (beta):

It's a wee little freebie that installs a gorgeous pirate ship on your desktop.  You can sail it around using the cursor keys, and when you're ready for fun, engage BATTLE MODE!  Then wave after wave of enemy ships come to attack, and of course the ones you vanquish yield gold and rum. Collect enough booty and you can unlock "treasures" from the Disney pirates website: usually behind-the-scenes art for the new online game (meh).

Note that the ship actually does sail ON YOUR DESKTOP, among your wallpaper and icons.  Outside of battle mode, you can optionally leave the ship anchored on your desktop so it's ready when you are for a quick diversion.

It's absurdly easy to play, but gets more difficult with each passing wave of ships.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well engineered this little gem is.

Highly recommended.
874  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ¿A kid genius or a ambitious father? on: October 08, 2007, 04:00:29 PM
Perhaps you're thinking of this?

Kind of a tragic story.  Normalish kid pressured into the world of high-profile art by wacky parents.  The girl will never be the same again...
875  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: [Windows XP] Is there a way to apply folder views to all sub-folders? on: October 08, 2007, 03:57:26 PM
I imagine whatever magical hoochie does this would have to traverse the folder tree and modify each folder's entry in the registry.


And while I recognize there are full replacements for Explorer and other wonderful swiss-army Explorer enhancements, I'd like to avoid adding a bunch of crap I'll never use just for the one feature I want.

Maybe there IS no easy way to do this.  Coding snack?
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