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Topics - Scott [ switch to compact view ]

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FARR 2.80.02
WinXP Pro SP3

I have the "Show on TaskBar when active" option enabled (and I've restarted FARR), yet the task bar button for FARR never appears.

I guess I have an amazing knack for uncovering software problems.  Not that this is a good thing.  But I still can't get a job as a software tester.  Go figure.

Anyway, I'm using Directory Opus under WinXP.  Since I am a new user, I found myself creating a bunch of favorites.  I noticed that at some point, DOpus began doing something strange with the favorites as I'd add them: I'd tell it to put it in one favorites group, but instead of putting it in that group, it would create a new group of the same name, with the new group a subfolder of another group, and put the new favorite there instead.

The author said he could not reproduce this problem.

So, I turned once again to my trusty VMware, and a 100% clean copy of WinXP.  I reproduced the issue immediately, and made a video of it.  The attached ZIP archive contains an AVI file that uses the standard Microsoft Video 1 codec.

I begin with two groups of Favorites--one is named C: and the other is named D:.  In the video, you can very plainly see what happens:

1. I select a folder in the tree, then select Favorites > Add to Favorites.

2. I very definitely select the D: group (at 00:03 for those following along), and click OK.  You can see in the video at this point that there are no other groups present.

3. I go to Favorites > Edit Favorites, and find that rather than having the new favorite placed in the D: group I selected, DOpus has created a new group named D: (under the preexisting group named C:), and placed the new favorite there.

Can anyone else reproduce this?

In another thread, I mentioned a crash I'd experienced with Directory Opus 9.0.  Well, I've now spent hours of my time last night and today trying to figure out what is going on...  And I think I finally have.

I've now reproduced this crash on my main system and under VMware, where I run a totally clean copy of Windows XP Home (clean, except for VMware Tools).  So, I really think Directory Opus is at fault.

Could someone please try an experiment?  If you run Directory Opus, especially under Windows XP, extract the attached file to your SendTo folder.  The archive contains only an innocuous shortcut, contained in the relative directory [X].  So, after extracting the ZIP file to your SendTo folder, the result should be a single file, Internet - Temp.lnk, under this folder:

C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\SendTo\[X]\

After that is done, restart Directory Opus (i.e. close down all copies of DOpus.exe and then run it again), then right click a file (any file should do) repeatedly in Directory Opus.  It may happen on the first right click or the tenth, but DOpus.exe should crash...  If I'm right.  If you are running any version of Windows other than Windows XP, or any version of Directory Opus under, then this test proves nothing if DOpus.exe doesn't crash.

Here's the thought: A utility that sends artificial key presses every so often, to imitate user activity.  I was thinking this would be a cool and easy way to simultaneously prevent my system from triggering scheduled tasks (those that are based on an amount of idle time), from entering sleep mode, and from powering down the monitor or even activating the screen saver.

Right now, when I want to watch TV or a movie or something on the computer (or let someone else do the same), I either disable all that crap manually, force myself to remember to hit a key or move the mouse every couple minutes, or deal with the system locking when I don't want it to--all of which is a real pain.

I found one little utility, called Caffe1ne, but it didn't work well for me.  It supposedly presses the Shift key every 59 seconds, but it didn't prevent my scheduled tasks from running.

I'm guessing this would be relatively easy to create.  I'm also guessing the only necessary options might be how often to simulate keyboard activity, and maybe what key(s) to send.

It would be great if this utility didn't interfere with normal activity of the system as well (so doing something like pressing the Windows key every two seconds wouldn't be too keen).

Unfinished Requests / EXISTS - IDEA: Regular Expression Helper
« on: July 17, 2005, 06:01 PM »
The idea is a simple wizard-type utility that creates regular expressions for you.

Maybe I didn't search enough for this yet, but I didn't see a freeware tool that does what I have in mind.  I did find a utility called "RegExBuddy", but it's $30, and ... yeah, right, I might cough up $30 for this.  FileLocator Pro also has a regex helper built in, but it's shareware.  I've attached a screen shot of the wizard built into FileLocator Pro, to give a better idea of what I'm talking about.  (Sorry if the image is huge on your screen.)

Running WinXP here and F&R 1.05.12.  When I run Opera 8.0 normally, I don't get prompted to set it as the default browser.  When I run the Opera desktop shortcut via F&R, I do get prompted.  I figured out the reason: F&R launches applications using SFN, rather than LFN.

I can duplicate the issue from an ordinary command line: If I run c:\progra~1\opera\opera.exe, Opera gets confused.

No doubt Opera shouldn't be confused by this, but is there some reason F&R uses SFN, or any way around it?

Living Room / Getting Started with C#
« on: May 21, 2005, 03:03 PM »
I think I may begin learning C#, especially after mouser's excellent post in this thread.  Now, I'm wondering where to begin.  Yes, I am absolutely green, and I hate that feeling.

Obviously, I need an IDE.  Microsoft has these "Express Editions", but I'm wondering if "Express Edition" means "You'll Need Something Better After Two Months Edition".  Of course, the full-blown "Professional Edition" is a big jump in price.  Is it worth it?

Can someone offer insight into this?

Any other suggestions would be welcome, too.  Book suggestions, anything.  (I know book selection is somewhat personal, but some books are still better than others.)

Best E-mail Client / Mail Sounds
« on: May 18, 2005, 10:37 PM »
Mouser included a bunch of WAV files to use for email notifications, so I've uploaded a couple that I've had for a very long time.  I don't use them anymore, but now that I hear them again, I may start.  One tends to boost the ego, the other, errr...  Well...  :-[

Best E-mail Client / Folder Content Counts
« on: May 18, 2005, 10:30 PM »
I have a correction to this:

One thing we love, that few other email clients seem to have (none of the others we looked at in this review), is the listing of the folder content counts, not just new-message counts, in the side bar. Most email clients only list the count of new unread mail; TheBat! shows both. Folders with unread mail are shown bold.

PocoMail 3 has a way to show folder content counts, too.  You click the Mailboxes header pane, then select Columns | Show Total Messages.

Best E-mail Client / TheBat Toolbars
« on: May 18, 2005, 05:18 PM »
I tried out The Bat! Pro, but its toolbars kept moving around on me each time I restarted it.  This gave me the feeling "Oh great, a whole new set of annoyances...", so I called it a day.

Best E-mail Client / The Bat! PGP Support
« on: May 16, 2005, 03:07 PM »
Does the "Home Edition" of The Bat! support PGP, as mentioned in the review?  The Pro vs. Home comparison page just mentions "Message base encryption", which doesn't make it clear to me.

Best E-mail Client / TheName!
« on: May 16, 2005, 03:02 PM »
If I ever release a program that has an exclamation point at the end of its name, please shoot me.

Really.  I find it pretty stupid as well.  I always hated the name Yahoo! chose as well.  See, didn't you mentally think "end of sentence" after "Yahoo!"?

Regarding PocoMail...  What exactly is confusing about handling multiple accounts?  You can easily specify the incoming and outgoing mailboxes to use (and you can specify any one of your mailboxes for each), and you can use filters for more control.

Still, I will give TheBat! a look (you did it again after the "!", didn't you?).  I'm tired of PocoMail's bugs.  None are severe, but putting up with several minor-but-annoying bugs has put my blood on a slow boil, especially when the author was notified of these bugs years ago in some cases.

Hmm, well, I suggest the utility I already mentioned: A little app that submits spurious searches to Google on a regular basis, to render useless their data collection.  My guess is that this app would use the MSIE engine, and would simply read an ASCII-based word list, and that it wouldn't be that hard to make.

Backup Guide / Image for Windows
« on: April 17, 2005, 05:05 PM »
After reading Mouser's comments on Image for Windows in the backup guide, I wanted to give some quick comments on it.  I've been using Image for Windows for a long time now (along with all the other TeraByte Unlimited software), and it is the most-solid utility I've ever used.

TeraByte Unlimited was the first to include full byte-for-byte image validation to their products...  I'm not sure if the others have added that feature yet, but I personally consider it absolutely essential.  (I was burned long ago while using another product that didn't have it.)

I don't understand what is confusing about using Image for Windows.  To me, it's extremely straightforward.  The interface is absolutely no-nonsense.  I can see how a couple of the options need explanation, but the PDF manual is quite good, and TeraByte Unlimited support (not to mention other users) is always quick to offer advice.

I'm not here to slam other products, nor to say that Image for Windows is perfect (no software is).  But I've seen TeraByte Unlimited respond to user issues and suggestions, and it won me over.  Any and all substantiated problem reports are met with a positive response and solution, whether it's simply advice on product usage, or an actual update to the software.  Anyone who tests the software, and sends an email to support, will see what I mean.  I think that counts for a lot.

ProcessTamer / Process Tamer at 120 DPI
« on: April 16, 2005, 03:24 PM »
I just updated to Process Tamer 2.00.15, and its configuration window looks quite a bit better than before.  Not 100%, but much better.  Thanks!

ProcessTamer / ForegroundLockTimeout Value
« on: April 14, 2005, 10:44 PM »
I noticed that the install of the Process Tamer 2.0 beta changed my HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\\ForegroundLockTimeout value to 0 (from 200000).  This causes annoying problems with application windows not grabbing focus when opened.

Is it necessary for ForegroundLockTimeout to be set to 0 for Process Tamer to work properly or optimally?

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