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Messages - Tekzel [ switch to compact view ]

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Wow, it sure made me smile when I saw Mouser's email in my inbox.

Hi everyone. My life changed quite drastically in 2009, as in January of that year I lost my job due to the economic problems and mismanagement by the owner. I was the last employee remaining and the business closed down less than a month later.

That year I decided to do something I always wanted to do, but never had the confidence to do: go to college. Initially, I was pursuing a degree in computer science, but less than two semesters in I decided that if I were going to do this thing, I was going to do what I always wanted, not what was easiest. So, I switched to electrical engineering. It was quite difficult for a number of reasons, but a major issue was I quit school at 15 and never went to high school. I started college at 37, so I had a LOT of background to make up. I had horrible study habits in school before which is part of what lead to me quitting. I've been struggling with those bad habits since I started this time too. My grades are ok, not stellar, but certainly not what I am capable of, unfortunately. :)  It's funny, I spent my entire life thinking I was bad at math, only to find out that I'm actually pretty good at it, just lazy. haha

It has been a long road and college has consumed most of my existence for the last 6 years. Pretty much everything else in my life has dropped off to the periphery. I got divorced a few years ago, though that wasn't due to college. We both agree that we should have never been married, and we are good friends to this day.

I am about 3 semesters from graduating with a BSEE and am now trying to decide whether to pursue a master's or not. It's a hard decision, as I'd really like to get a real job again and stop being so poor! haha

Other things of note, I lost 100lbs a few years ago and was very active for a long time, but had some medical problems that prevented me from being nearly as active for quite a while and my lazy nature to take over again and I've gained most of it back. It's especially painful as the weather changes and the outdoors call so strongly. So many things I want to do, but I'm too fat and out of shape to do them haha. Oh well, I'll lose it again!

Well, I guess that's "other thing", not much else going on. Other than being the poorest I've ever been in my life, and being about 80lbs over weight, I'm the happiest I've ever been. I also don't really do much programming any more. I've taken a required C language class for EE, and recently decided to minor in comp sci so I took a few more classes for that such as a java class, and a data structures class I'm taking this semester, and helping fellow EE students with their C problems. I did enjoy some C in my microcontrollers class, and I'm working with a professor on a microcontroller based power controller on which I designed and wrote the firmware, and designed the board in Eagle CAD.  I still enjoy writing code, I just hate doing UI stuff. I like doing the back end coding, its all that interfacing with people stuff I don't care for. haha.

I'm glad DC is still here, I'll try to come around once in a while going forward. :) Well, back to studying. Have an Electromagnetic Fields test tomorrow.

Edit: I forgot to mention that this is the only online community that I ever felt a sense of belonging with, back in the day. I really enjoyed my time here back then. :)

Living Room / MyPlate webapp
« on: July 06, 2010, 03:58 PM »
So, a few months ago I stepped on the scale and it read something in the upper 280s, like 288. I think my mind blocked it out due to the trauma. I am closing in on 40 (currently 38) and it's only downhill from here.

I decided to lose weight and I started with exercise to increase my stamina. Then, after about a month and a half I started changing the way I eat. I haven't had a soda in about 3 weeks, which is unheard of. I used to drink about a 2 liter a day, though in recent years I had dropped that down to about a two liter every few days. I had myself convinced that I couldn't eat without a soda. I could drink water at other times, but when I'm eating I had to have soda. I think I have just about kicked the habit, I can even go out to dinner and order water with it now!

So, on to the point. I have lost 25 lbs so far, and I started tracking my calories a few weeks ago with an excel spreadsheet that I made. A few nights ago I stumbled across this site:

Wow!  It is awesome! You can type in the foods you eat and it has a lot of stuff in the database, or you can enter the calories manually. If you eat the same meals commonly, you can set the meal up and add it with one or two clicks. You can also log your exercise.

If anyone here is trying to lose weight you might want to give this one a look.

Living Room / Re: two-monitors ergonomics
« on: May 10, 2010, 08:41 AM »
This new fangled multi-monitor thing is the bees knees!! :)  Been using dual monitors since right after Windows 98SE came out. Back then they were these huge 19in CRTs. I had no desktop left.

These days I have two 22in LCD monitors (well there's also a third 17in, but that is strictly for machines I am working on), the main monitor is in landscape, and the secondary is in portrait. I could add more, but I really don't have a need, these serve all the multi-monitor needs I have. The 22in portrait rocks for viewing websites and documents, I can get the entire page on screen (plus a bit of the next page).

DcUpdater / Re: Issues with 1.26.01
« on: May 10, 2010, 08:13 AM »
I just thought I would post a note here that I am having the exact same problem. I have FARR 12 times, and the plugins 12 times each as well.

Running Windows 7 Ultimate x64, in case that is helpful.

Living Room / Re: Should I swtich from w7 32 bit to w7 64 bit?
« on: April 18, 2010, 08:57 AM »
I've done exactly the same thing, moved from Win7 32bit to Win7 64bit for one reason only - MS' arbitrary decision to not allow full use of the installed 4GB under 32bit.

Nothing arbitrary about it, and it wasn't Microsoft's decision. 4GB is the maximum address space possible with a 32bit system. Your memory takes up that address space starting from the bottom, and all the devices that have memory mapped ROM or RAM takes it up starting from the top. For instance, the memory on your video card, the ROM on your motherboard, hard drives, etc. At some point they overlap, and that varies from system to system, depending upon the hardware. Once they overlap that ends the top of your accessible RAM.

Personally, I have been running 64bit since the beta of Windows 7 with little problem. The only programs I have run into that wouldn't work for me are ones that lack signed kernel mode drivers. Its not that common, but it happens. You can bypass that requirement at every boot, but you can't turn it off. Which doesn't make me happy, but I deal. Microsoft should have left those of us that wish a way to turn off the requirement. It stinks of big brotherism, and damn it I want to run my PC the way I want to run it, not the way they want me to.

Living Room / Re: Will you miss newspapers when they're gone?
« on: March 10, 2010, 12:12 PM »
Heh, that was a fun read. I grew up in the 80s (I was a teen then, and turned 18 in 1990) so that was a fun read and definitely hit home. Regarding the remotes, I remember our first remote. It was attached to the cable box with this long ass cord. The remote itself was a crazy long thing, about 12 inches long by 6 inches wide. You held it like a keyboard. It had all these switches, one for each channel, and when you flipped one of them the other one flipped back, changing the channel. So weird thinking about that now.

I have a "compare and contrast" essay due in my English comp class next Tuesday and had been wondering what topic to choose. This, I think, has given me the perfect topic :)

Living Room / Re: Will you miss newspapers when they're gone?
« on: March 08, 2010, 07:26 PM »
Doubt it. I don't miss them now, and they aren't gone yet. Haven't cracked one in... I don't even know how long. Has to be greater than 15 years.

Ugh, MMORPGS. The closest I have ever come to a substance addiction. I played EQ1 for 5 years and over that time I have had 5 accounts. Sold the first 3 for over 1k each, then kept the last 2 which, when I quit were both packed with level 60 characters. That was the cap when I quit. Right after PoP came out.

I moved on to City of Heroes for a while and it was fun, but didn't hold me. When EQ2 came out, I jumped on board for about 3 years. Only 1 account though, ended up with 4-5 level 60 characters, again the cap when I quit.

I swore I would never play another MMORPG again. The amount of time I have spent on those things gives me the shivers thinking about it. A few years ago I decided I wanted to learn to play the guitar. I haven't spent much time on it, so I am not very good. If I spent a fraction of the time I spent playing MMORPGs practicing the guitar, my god, I would be awesome.

I am pretty much the opposite of Carol, the only ads I don't explicitly block are google ads. I don't find them nearly as distracting of offensive as the rest. Granted, though, I never click on ads of any sort.

Adding google ads as an experiment or otherwise wouldn't bug me at all.

Living Room / Re: Essay - Blogging: a great pastime for the elderly
« on: February 07, 2010, 09:01 AM »
  The article laments the decline of blogging amongst teens. My take is, who cares? When have teenagers EVER had anything of ANY interest to anyone other than themselves and a few close friends to say? Let them tweet away uselessly, it is just like putting them out in the yard to play because you are tired of hearing their incessant yammering about the stupidity of their weird little lives. Get off our internet, the adults are talking.

  You might have caught the not-so-subtle hint that I have no interest in, or use for, twitter.

Personally, I like the direction they are going with them. They integrate well, generally that is, with third party apps and the data is always in an easy to find and easy to backup location. If you are unhappy with the default location in the users profile directory, just right click on the folder and move it using the location tab. Easy as pie. I have relocated my Downloads, Videos and Music folders to my WHS box, my Documents folder stays where it is and I have it synced nightly to a folder on the WHS box. I think its a good system they have built, by default it is well configured for the casual/new user, and the geek can do what they want.

For me these things are important reminders that there is real pure joy to be had in creating something yourself -- regardless if someone else has already done it before and better than you.  I'm not saying you can take that approach on all projects -- most of the time the smart thing is to avoid re-inventing the wheel if your goal is to slay a dragon.  But sometimes the real joy of coding can be found in creating something from the ground up with your own hands.

Absolutely, and even if you can't always take that approach, its often good to write something you want just for the fun of it. Even if others have already done it better than you can hope to.

Developer's Corner / This is interesting ... LoseThos Operating System
« on: December 14, 2009, 12:03 PM »
Now, it is probably the most focused purpose OS I have ever seen. It is an OS that the author describes as a modern day Commodore 64 OS. The entire OS is built on a C compiler and compiles the OS at boot time for the required components to boot, then JITs the rest as needed. Its actually quite fascinating, I have just watched the videos. Part of the fun of the videos for me are listening to the author describe things. He is unintentionally hilarious at times. My favorite snippet so far that absolutely cracked me up was on the video "InstallBoot(): Compiling the kernel" he was talking about setting up a RAM disk and said something like "I have 12 gig, I have nothing better to do than make ram disks...".

Anyway if anyone is interested check it out at

I am just having a good time listening to his videos in the background. haha.  It is a very interesting project though.

Tekzel, the program is called Grindstone and unless I'm mistaken, it is exactly what you are looking for.  I haven't used the program for about 2 years, but if you have questions, let me know.  Or better yet, ask the forum on the website.  The author, Daniel Henry, is a very nice man as well.  It's a well designed program that does what it is supposed to do and I love that.

Oh, and it's free!  It didn't used to be.

Wow, Superboy to the rescue!  That is actually perfect. Thanks a ton man.

Tekzel!!! Great to see you here again  :up:

Hey there Mouser, I have been here just not posting. I lurk a lot these days. I have been going through a lot lately, lost my job at the veeery beginning of the year but so far I am not homeless yet. Haha. Recently started college even! :)

It doesn't have to be freeware (though that IS preferable haha), but it does have to be cheap.  Being cheap is necessary though. Being out of work blows hard!

Ideally, I could configure projects by name, and have a dropdown box to select the project, then it just has a start and stop buttons, and a timer. It would be neat if each project has a configurable "billing period" and you can easily report on the totals, and on the main interface it would show the total accumulated time for this period when recording.

Anyone know of anything quite like this?

I pre-ordered 2 copies this morning.  I just couldn't resist that price, and I know I don't want to go back to WinXP or Vista after the RC1 drops dead. 

I have found that if you change the path by opening the shortcut properties through the FARR (1-right click on the shortcut within the FARR results, 2-"shell context menu", 3-"properties") it will fix the problem.  It's almost as if somehow the shortcut is storing two values - one for 64bit Explorer and one for 32bit FARR.

Hah, I never even thought to check that, but when I did it for giggles I found that the .lnk FARR was running actually pointed to the PF (x86) folder, and I have the 64bit version installed.  Weird that I didn't get any "File or object not found" kind of message.  Oh well, when I updated the target in the shortcut it works fine now.  Going to keep that one in mind when I run into any other similar issues.

Regarding not liking Explorer, I am not a huge fan either, so I use Q-Dir.  Which I love.  They even have a 64bit version.  Why does that matter?  Heck, it probably doesn't, but I like the idea of running 64 bit software. haha.
It really doesn't matter much for a file manager, except for running 64bit shell extensions... but you can usually install 32bit versions of those even on 64bit systems, and keep using a 32bit file manager.

Edit:[/b] Oh!  Forgot to mention UAC.  On Vista, it lasted about 10 minutes and then had to go.  Most annoying thing ever.  I haven't even touched it on Win7.  Works much better.  Oh yea, Libraries.  Love them.  Ok, thats enough out of me.
Remember to crank the UAC lever all the way to maximum on Win7, otherwise it's not safe at all. Then repeat after me: UAC has never been annoying, shoddily coded 3rd party software is annoying :)

No thanks, I actually don't even need the feature.  I haven't even used an AV, Antispyware, or Firewall for... well, since the 90s.  I never, ever get infected.

And I thought you should know that I refused to repeat after you, UAC is hugely annoying.  :)

I have had a similar issue, Win7 RC1 x64 and the one I notice this on is Q-Dir 64bit.  I just figured it was the fact that it was a 64bit program and that had something do with it.  Can't think of any others off hand, but I know I have the issue with at least one other program.

Living Room / Re: "Check mail every ??? minutes"
« on: June 22, 2009, 05:33 PM »
There isn't an IMAP option so I just selected "less than 1 minute".

I hate web based email clients.  I use my own domain hosted at godaddy and use IMAP with it.  I have Outlook 2003, Thunderbird on my Netbook, and my Windows Mobile phone set up to check the same account.  Works great, and on my desktop emails come in pretty much instantaneously.  Given a choice, I will never use POP3 again.

I would recommend Vista to friends if they have at least 4 GB RAM, and to enemies if they have 2 GB RAM or less.
My laptop "only" has 2GB of ram, and Vista runs very smoothly here... and that's running stuff like Eclipse, Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server Express et cetera. For "normal user" needs I expect it would run just fine with 1GB and some component tweaking.

There's a few things here and there I don't like. You might want to browse the Vista Immersion Experiment thread :)

I was going to take exception to that comment myself.  In my experience Vista runs fine in 2gb of ram.  Its at 1gb that you start getting some issues due to low memory.  I equate running Vista in 1gb to running XP running 256mb.  Yes, its doable as long as you don't run much in the background.

I was a late comer to Vista, on purpose.  After SP1 I went ahead and upgraded and generally did not regret the move at all.  However...

About 3 weeks ago, I put Windows 7 RC1 on my machine on a test partition and the Vista install lasted about 3 days.  I never went back.  I am so in love with Windows 7 I sleep with the DVD I made.  I love it so much, I also installed it on my Netbook.  And it runs like a CHAMP.  Aero and all.  I may even get 2 disks on release day if I can afford it.  I have never been a huge fan of Microsoft, but they did well with this one.

Regarding not liking Explorer, I am not a huge fan either, so I use Q-Dir.  Which I love.  They even have a 64bit version.  Why does that matter?  Heck, it probably doesn't, but I like the idea of running 64 bit software. haha.

In conclusion, I am in love with Windows 7.

Edit: Oh!  Forgot to mention UAC.  On Vista, it lasted about 10 minutes and then had to go.  Most annoying thing ever.  I haven't even touched it on Win7.  Works much better.  Oh yea, Libraries.  Love them.  Ok, thats enough out of me.

$12,000 -- wow! Way to go DC members.

And way to go DonationCoder for providing a community and service that is absolutely worthy of those donations.

Living Room / Re: What's your favorite food snack?
« on: March 30, 2009, 10:53 AM »
Ok, I am about to gross some people out here.  While this isn't my FAVORITE (which would probably be strawberry icecream) my favorite unusual snack is pickled pigs feet.  I know, I know.  Weird, and definitely gross, but yet good.  I am from the south, and this is definitely an aquired taste.  Its one of those things that if you didn't grow up eating you will probably never like. 

Living Room / Re: Why I Avoid Apple Products
« on: March 06, 2009, 01:17 PM »
Each new development is interesting, though. This appeared in Windows Secrets a couple of days ago.

-OldElmerFudd (March 05, 2009, 09:34 PM)

Thanks for this!  That was hilarious.  I almost fell out of my chair laughing at the end when the lady made her comment about people using computers for actual work instead of ****ing around.  I also enjoyed the 45 minute email message.  I also loved the popup that said "to conserve energy use, the screen will go black after 4 seconds" or something to that effect. Great video.

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