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Topics - vitalyb [ switch to compact view ]

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I am using Android, web (from different computers) and from my android.

One feature that I love is that if I start chatting with a friend on Android, the talk window in Gmail automatically fills with dialogue. That means that I can chat on the bed and then continue chatting from Gmail while seeing the whole conversation on the window.

Sadly, it only works inside GMail, Google+ and Android. In the windows clients: Google Talk for Windows, Digsby, Miranda and Pidgin there is no such feature :(, even worse, if I chat with someone from the android and then sit on the computer the chat sometimes would skip the windows client completely and just go to gmail/android, causing lost messages.

Anyone has any solution?


Update - 12/Jan/2012: BugAid is now free for open-source projects - Apply here.

Hi everybody,

I am proud to present to my favorite internet community:


Name: BugAid for Visual Studio
Goal: Improving and enhancing the debugging experience in Visual Studio
License: Commercial (60-day trial)
Developers: Omer Raviv and Vitaly Belman
Features (full list)

Note: Best viewed in full screen and in highest resolution

Search and filter complex objects by their members and values


Compare objects or track how a function changes your object


Bring the important properties to the front


Please let me know if you have any question or comments, I'll be happy to provide more information.

Vitaly Belman

I've been using notes applications and task management for a long time. However, I always felt that these two should be united. Too often I found myself entering a note that I wished it was a task and vice versa. Also, in the end, when I am looking for something, I end up having to search two different applications to find it.

Here is a basic list of requirements such a solution would require:
  • Proper task management - OneNote has some task management, however, it is very very basic. A proper task system requires recurring task, due dates, alarms, etc, etc.
  • Android support - Since Android is always with me it is critical for me to be able to view my notes and add tasks while I am on the go.
  • Quick task/note adding - I love Remember-the-milk's quick add feature. Basically just by writing stuff like "Call Doctor tomorrow" you create a task with a defined due date. All the other alternatives I've seen require you to do click through too many checkboxes and listboxes for every task you add.
  • Rich text editing - Since it is going to be my main notes application, it must support rich text editing in its notes.

Currently I am trying to use MyLifeOrganized as a solution, however, it is far from perfect. While its task management is superb, it can be a bit TOO complex, has abysmal note management abilities (no rich text editing, no attachments) and its Android support is in early beta.

I'd love to hear your ideas and suggestions on the subject.


Living Room / A smarter way of playing music on your iPod
« on: August 08, 2008, 01:03 PM »
I wrote a short article about a smarter way to listen to your music on the iPod:

When I am using my iPod choosing a song or an album is quite a task - I have a moderate collection of 220+ albums (1600+ songs). Browsing through all of them to decide which song/album I want to hear now can be rather time consuming. I’d much prefer if I could just turn it on and let it play.

In theory I could just add all my songs and set the iPod on shuffle. However, there are a few issues there:

1) I don’t want to hear songs that I heard recently, which means a song that was played yesterday shouldn’t be played again.
2) I’d like the number of stars that I give to a song to effect how often the iPod plays it (e.g play a 5 starred song every 14 days but a 3 starred song every 30 days).
3) When I listen to a new album I want to listen to it more than anything else to get acquainted to it.
4) I also hear very different kind of music (Metal and Progressive rock) and I wouldn’t like them to mix.
5) I need an easy way to manage this system; adding new albums should be quick and easy.

If you're interested, you can read the full article here.


This plugin serves in two modes:

1) See your upcoming events up and directly go to them. Defauly keyword: gcal
2) Use the QuickAdd feature of Google Calendar to quickly add events. Before actually creating an event, you are given a preview of the date. Defauly keyword: gcal add

Thanks to czechboy for the inspiration :)


As with any C# plugin, if you don't see the C# plugin in the FARR plugin list after the installation then download the following update from Microsoft.

Known issues

  • The user/password is stored in the options file in plain text.
  • You can't add external calendars


View events mode
Screenshot - 09_06_2008 , 13_45_27.png

Add new event mode
Screenshot - 09_06_2008 , 14_00_51.png

Living Room / Cam-Trax - Control games/computer with webcam
« on: May 31, 2008, 08:42 AM »
It is just a video for now but thought it is really cool:
I signed for the beta, hope it comes through soon :tellme:

Now if we could only make it all somehow work with Find and Run Robot... Minority-Report, here we come.

Find And Run Robot / LifeHacker vote, stage 2, final voting
« on: May 22, 2008, 12:21 PM »
(Sorry about spamming but I feel it is rather important and it would be more missed if merged to the first thread, not to mention it is a different vote)

Vote here:

FARR is kind of an underdog, but hey, we got to the finals :). On the windows front there is only Launchy, RocketDock and FARR.
So before anyone gets any kind of negative feeling about vote results, it is rather important to remember how many launchers there are for Windows - FARR is in the in the top 3.

First of all, there is a voting for best launcher, so go ahead and vote:

BEFORE you do however notice that everyone have to vote correctly for FARR votes to be counted. To do this you must write the same application name in the comment:

VOTE: Find and Run Robot

Which brings me to the next subject. Quite a few people voted there already, each using a different variation of the name (FindAndRunRobot, Find&RunRobot, FARR) needless to say it hurts the chances of FARR to appear in the final count (unless an editor of LifeHacker actually goes over the votes manually).

Since Mouser announced he will be coming back to working on FARR core I think it is a good time to talk about the name. It is confusing, long and deserves a change. Something sprakly, googly and web 3.0. Do you agree at all? What does Mouser think?

FARR Plugins and Aliases / New C# FARR Plugin: FARREnviormentVariables
« on: December 28, 2007, 07:32 PM »
This plugin lets you easily access your environment variables. For example, Firefox keeps all its settings in your application data folder (%appdata%). In explorer you could simply write %appdata% to access it, however, in FARR it isn't possible. Until now :).

Install the plugin and press % to see the list of your environment variables, select one to automatically expand it on the search path or simply continue writing. Once you add the \ it would automatically expand. E.g, writing %appdata%\ would automatically become C:\Documents and Settings\Vitaly\Application Data\.

Notice: Only the variables that actually represent a folder, %PATH% and other variables won't be visible.


Screenshot - 29_12_2007 , 03_23_35.png
turns to:
Screenshot - 29_12_2007 , 03_23_38.png

P.S I was a bit on the roll ;) But that's it, I stop for now.

N.A.N.Y. 2008 / New C# FARR Plugin: FARRTunes - iTunes control plugin
« on: December 28, 2007, 01:13 PM »
A plugin for Find and Run Robot. The main page is here:


Hey all!
For all you music listeners and iTunes users.

Download link (please unpack it to your "FARR\Plugins\FARRTunes\" directory):

The full source code of this plugin can be found as part of the C# SDK, here:

A suggestion for a huge usability boost:
Make a new FARR HotKey named iTunes and assign it a combination like WinKey+I, make it execute "tns current"
You can also create a direct command to any other important feature, like the lyrics or song search.

Since it is quite a complex plug-in bugs are very expected. Please post on the thread if you have any trouble.
I'll be also glad to hear of your general experience with the plug-in.

Version History
  • 1.1 Fixed the bug Mouser mentioned, should load fine now
  • 1.0 Initial release

  • See the current song info
  • Play/Pause/Next/Previous
  • Search a playlist and start the one you want
  • Search for any song and play it
  • See the current playing song lyrics
  • Rate the current playing song

Future features
  • Command to show all songs in current playlist to choose from
  • Option to not start itunes until the plugin is first triggered (right now it launches itunes as soon as plugin/farr is started)
  • Leave the farr window showing the current song after changing songs - That way you can see what is the next songs


Main screen
Screenshot - 28_12_2007 , 19_49_58.png

Song search
Screenshot - 28_12_2007 , 19_50_38.png

Playlists search
Screenshot - 28_12_2007 , 19_53_22.png

Current song options
Screenshot - 28_12_2007 , 19_53_30.png

Rate song
Screenshot - 28_12_2007 , 19_53_37.png

Song lyrics
Screenshot - 28_12_2007 , 19_54_06.png

1) It would be really useful to plugin developers if you we could customize the context menu (per item and globally). For example, in FARRAltTab plugin you could right click a tab and select "Close" or "Close Process". Really lots of options there.

2) I'd like to be able to see on a single item in results how it got its result. When so many rules and heuristics and histories and special folders, I am sometimes very confused about the score. It would be really nice if I could do Rightclick->Show score formula and get in result something like:

*] Raw plugin score: 300
*] Special folder score: +15 = 315
*] Heauristics bonus (shorter file): +25 = 240

Thanks and keep it up!

1) %paths% currently aren't recognized by FARR as valid paths, same thing with network paths (though I guess you are aware to this). It would be great if I could actually use them as regular path in FARR, but even just opening them directly would be nice.

2) SlickRun has a rather limited auto-complete that remembers your history input but currently FARR has none. It would be nice if FARR could implement a nicer auto-complete. I was thinking that when you start to type, along the results in the bottom there is a similiar (but smaller) list box popping up with auto-complete options sorted by match\amount of use.

Find And Run Robot / How to use "noresults" alias?
« on: December 10, 2007, 01:57 AM »
I tried several ways but nothing seems to work, that's what I tried:

1000>>>noresults>->No results found | noresults cmd $$1

What am I doing wrong?

I'd like to expand my prvious idea:

When you do "Rightclick->Add to group alias" it fills the path for you but it wouldn't take the icon. So in result I have lots of aliases with empty icons.

P.S An alternative solution would be to create a folder with shortcuts, just as it is done with "cpanel".

Download link

1) Unpack the attached zip to: \My Documents\Visual Studio 2005\Projects\FARR Plugins
2) Copy FARR C# from \My Documents\Visual Studio 2005\Projects\FARR Plugins to \My Documents\Visual Studio 2005\Templates\ProjectTemplates.

Developing C# plugins for FARR is now easier than ever. To create your first plugin follow these steps:
1) Run Visual Studio 2005
2) File -> New Project -> Visual C# ->  FARR C# plugin (if you don't see it here, make sure you did step 2 in the installation).
3) Set the location of the project to: \My Documents\Visual Studio 2005\Projects\FARR Plugins\ (make sure "Create directory for solution" is checked).
4) Enter a name for your plugin and press OK. For the sake of the example we'll call it SamplePlugin.
5) Compile it. It should automatically be copied to FARR plugin folder and then restart FARR.
6) When FARR comes up you can trigger your plugin by writing "SamplePlugin" (case sensitive!).

If all worked well, you should have your very own first plugin! Go ahead and customize for your own needs.

If something is broken, don't panic, it is rather easy to mess the whole plugin simply by deleting one line too much in the main FARR functions. Just go back step by step until you find which part you removed.


Simplified SDK

As you can see from the generated template there are 3 main classes that you will need to use:

  • FARRCSharpPluginBase - The base class of all the plugins. Contains the metadata that describes the plugin and accepts in its constructor the main ActionList of the plugin.
  • ActionList - Represents a list of actions. Your plugin must have at least one ActionList. ActionList is called with a certain string that causes its ActionItems to be displayed.
  • ActionItem - Represents a single action on the list, part of the representation is the text that is displayed on the item but also the kind of action that happens when the user executes an item.

For further understanding I suggest to play with the various functions of the classes. You can find better examples of use in these plugins (ordered by complexity):
  • FARREnviormentVariables
  • FARRGoogleCalendar
  • FARRTunes

  • 19/10/2008 The simplified layer of that allows a more simple and object oriented design of plugins also there is a new template that simplifies the creation of new plugins.
  • 12/02/2008 I've uploaded a new version of SDK and all my C# plugins (FARRTunes, FARRAltTab and FARREnviormentVariables). It should resolve the following issues:
    • The problem with "FARR won't close after program launch" as described here: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=12210.0
    • The error of "Unable to retreieve types" as described in the message-box picture below.
    • Now whenever there is an exception or an error you should see WHICH plugin was causing it.
    Make sure you update ALL 3 plugins (GCUpdater should help you out here). Besides that anyone that used SDK to create a plugin should get latest version and recompile (specifically, FARRGoogleSuggest).

What's in the package

  • InstallPlugin.exe - That's the part that is for all developers. If you put this little script to the "Post Build Event" (It exists most compilers) it will auto copy your plugin to FARR directory, close FARR and reopen it. This way, whenever you build your plugin, FARR is ready to test the latest version. For those who want to fiddle with the script I also included the source in InstallPlugin.ahk. For example, in my FARRAltTab plugin the PostBuild event looks like this:

    "$(SolutionDir)..\InstallPlugin.exe" "$(TargetDir)\" "C:\Program Files\FindAndRunRobot\Plugins\FARRAltTab\\"
  • FARR CSharp SDK.chm - I compiled using NDoc a pretty referece file, some was copied was Mouser documentation and some I wrote myself. It isn't complete but it is better than nothing :)
  • FARR CSharp SDK - The main solution that holds two projects. The first one is FARRPluginRCW which is written in CLI/C++ (managed C++) and holds the actual base class for all your C# plugins. The second project is the source of FARRAltTab. Use it as your main example as you develop your plugins
  • FARRAltTab source code - The source of the FARRAltTab plugin: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=10988.0
  • FARRTunes source code - The source of the FARRTunes plugin: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=11545.0

And more!

Known issues

  • If you don't see the C# plugin in the FARR plugin list after the installation then download the following update from Microsoft.
  • If you get the following messagebox:
            System.Exception: Unable to load the plugin C# assembly
            at FARRPluginRCW.LoadPlugin()
    It is probably because you got an old version of FARRAltTab. It is suggested to DELETE the folder of FARRAltTab and download the latest one.
  • Some people get the following error using some of plugins, it can be sometimes resolved by getting the latest version. This issue should be RESOLVED if it isn't, let me know: image.jpg
  • Currently there is a bug that limits the amount of active C# plugins to 1. If you are interested in developing a plugin, remove the FARRAltTab first from FARR plugin directory (See more info here).

Stay in touch

I will post all the updates/fixes for now to the SDK in this thread until it is deemed stable and can be merged with the main SDK.


FARR Plugins and Aliases / New C# FARR Plugin: FARRAltTab
« on: November 23, 2007, 02:28 PM »
I just finished FARRAltTab plugin. Basically it lets you switch among windows using FARR and by typing the name of the window you switch to:

Screenshot - 27_11_2007 , 21_15_07.png

Download link (please unpack it to your "FARR\Plugins\FARRAltTab\" directory):

This is a very first release that was built on a very first release of the C# SDK so bugs are expected. Please let me know of any issues.

Known issues
  • It seems that some windows are being ignored by the plugin.
  • you type : des and everything is ok "Desktop" climbs to the top of the list but now if you type x (or z or any other "wrong letter")
    Desktop still show in the list, but when you press enter, it does not work
  • The plugin performance aren't too shiny. I hope it will fixed later. It is mainly due to the way the icons are loaded.

Planned features
  • A config window to tell the plugin to ignore certain windows or to show some windows that don't appear on task bar.
  • Context menu that will enable you to close windows by overriding the shell context menu (not sure if possible)
  • option to ignore (not show in list) any windows that are not minimized.

Version History
  • 1.15 Now shows all the Windows, including those that were previously skipped (liked iTunes) also, shows all the open Windows and does not limit to 9 as before
  • 1.11 Fixed the bug that occured when a search was done for not existing string
  • 1.10 Huge performance boost on loading
  • 1.00 Initial release

Here is the link to the C# SDK along with the code of the plugin:

Find And Run Robot / [feature request] Immediate execution
« on: November 21, 2007, 11:10 AM »
It would be nice if there was a modifier to an alias that would cause the line to execute immediately.
I guess it should be treated with care (especially with regex) but it is still a nice feature (especially in combination with hotkeys feature).

P.S I guess I could use autohotkey instead but still.

I have the following alias:

1000>>>mstsc>->MSTSC $$1 | C:\WINDOWS\system32\mstsc.exe /v:$$1>+>^mstsc (.+)

Is it possible to make it remember each execution as a result?

So if I execute "mstsc server" the next time I run mstsc it will appear there as one of the options? I guess it should work somehow with the history.


Right now I need to point FARR to a specific .ico file so I can have an icon. It would be great if I could direct it to any kind of icon holder (even if there are multiple icons inside) just like it is done right now from Windows Explorer.


FARR Plugins and Aliases / Plugins in C#
« on: November 12, 2007, 10:37 AM »
Has anyone yet wrote a wrapper to allow us to write plugins in C#?
I intend to do it if not, a bit worried it wouldn't be fast enough though.

Find And Run Robot / Adding "dosearch" result to as a parameter?
« on: November 11, 2007, 11:03 AM »
I'd like to do something along the lines of:

1000>>>notepad>->notepad.exe "dosearch C:\"

Well, the syntax is obviously all wrong but basically I want write:

notepad and have the option to select a file, for example c:\a.txt which will execute:

notepad.exe c:\a.txt

How do I do that?


Find And Run Robot / Some questions (maybe bugs)
« on: November 09, 2007, 10:05 PM »
1) During writing in the search textbox, you can press CTRL+Z to undo almost any action except CTRL+BACKSPACE. After you press it, it deletes the last word/folder, as should, but the undo is unavailable for this action. Why is that?

2) I am a bit confused about the way number shortcuts operate with folders. With regular applications they work as documented, with folders however pressing the key combination (ctrl+# or alt+#) just adds the folder path to the textbox. Is that behavior planned?

3) The number (1) seems to be confused with folders. E.g when I write in textbox:

C:\Program Files

I get the results:

#1 C:\Program Files
#2 C:\Program Files\AGEIA
#3 C:\Program Files\Apple Software

However, when I press ctrl+1 and I expect it to open C:\Program Files, it acts as if I pressed ctrl+2 - It adds to the search path: C:\Program Files\AGEIA.
Is that a bug?


Find And Run Robot / Blown away
« on: November 09, 2007, 02:30 PM »
It is the first time in a long time I see such a well made and customizable software. Tried a lot of badly written and flashy Launchers (I used SlickRun before) and this one looks so far like it is WAY above everyone else. I am going to use for a few more days and if it as cool as it seems now it is I am sure to be donating for this great product.

Well done!!  :up: :up:

P.S My only complain so far is... What's up with the name?

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