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Topics - brett [ switch to compact view ]

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Found Deals and Discounts / ConceptDraw MindMap 'v5'
« on: October 17, 2008, 03:49 PM »
Looks like you can get ConceptDraw Minpmap v5 for a limited time.

Important, this is V5 and the current is V6

The auto-generated licence key only works with the standalone version of ConceptDraw MindMap 5, and the version currently hosted on the ConceptDraw web site is version 6. If you don't mind being a version behind, you can download the Windows version here and the OS X version here.

Then you need to sign up for a registration key (not a hack, ConceptDraw's web site)
Get Rego Key for ConceptDraw v5

I downloaded (28mb) today, entered name and email, received my rego number immediately on website and email. All good.

screenshots from website (v6)
Large Screenshot (400k)

ConceptDraw programs tend to be of very high quality and design.

Other members feedback welcome, and could someone post when this offer expires.


Living Room / How many countries represented here on DC ?
« on: September 09, 2008, 04:27 AM »

DC is a truly a international site.
Each reply should list their resident Nation in nice bold letters on the first Line, nothing else.
If your country is already replied for, please do not post again, this way we should see just how many Countries are represented here at DC.

Remember, we need to try and avoid duplicate nominations

(of course a moderator could probably run a query, but where is the fun in that)

Mini-Reviews by Members / Mini Review - Helicon Filter - photo editor
« on: September 07, 2008, 01:23 AM »
App NameHelicon Filter
App URLHeliconsoft
App Version Reviewed4.88
Test System Specsxphome, 2.33Ghz Duo, 2gb Ram
Supported OSesCompatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Vista x64.
Support Methodsforum, email
Upgrade PolicyNumber of options, 1year, lifetime see web site
Trial Version Available?30 day trial, reverts to free version
Pricing SchemeFree version, Pro $75(plugin&multiprocessor),  Home $60, v4xx options, 1year option
Reviewer Donation Link Donate to Brett, the Review Writer
Relationship btwn. Reviewer and Product REVIEWER: No relationship with Helicon other then a registered Pro user

Helicon Filter is a complete image editing solution for the digital photographer.
Pro Version used in review, but there is only minor difference for most users.
HF 1.png

Who is this app designed for:
Originally I thought this was a fantastic easy to use program for the average photo taker that wants to perform some improvements to their photo's.
But after using for a while you will find that there are some unique and Power user options, tools that Photoshop find difficult if not impossible are a breeze in Helicon Filter.

The Good
Fast, Fast, Fast.  If you need to improve some photos quickly, turn out some work that is presentable, this is it. Make some adjustments, save the adjustments and apply them to other images or batch process a whole folder.

Simple, even your mother could use this. (my mum could not use Photoshop)

Powerful, there are some features that are unique, but you have to poke around to find them (especially in Pro)
Easy frame tool, reduce noise by colour, side by side comparisons, noise and sharpening maps, blur/sharpen brush, eyedropper white balance, Image stacking HDR, etc.

The needs improvement section
Programmers probably take for granted what a new user does not understand, the tutorial/help section is good, but you need to read it over and over.
Some buttons and sliders are available, and you will need to dig to learn what they perform.
No layers or masks.

Why I think you should use this product
Cant afford Photoshop, PSP, etc. The free version has more then enough, and the Pro version adds a few power tools.

How does it compare to similar apps
It is hard to compare because Helicon Focus Filter uses a different approach.
I originally found Helicon Filter in a post here at DC. Since then I have become a fan of its simplistic design and layout, its ability to perform some very powerful features, and its editing workflow.
So how does it differ from other photo editors, best put by other comments elsewhere on the web.
Helicon Filter is Task based, and other editors are Tool based.
Photoshop might have 100's of tools, but does not lead you in what to use first or how.
Helicon Filter lays out a series of tasks, with tools for each task.
The advantage is that your workflow becomes fast. I have both PS elements 6 and Helicon Filter (also Lightroom2) and if time is a factor, I reach for Helicon Filter.

Quick example (reduced size 800w 100%jpg)
I was happy with the original photos composition, but the photo feels flat and washed out.
Sanddune original.jpg
A quick run along the tabs adjusting
contrast, highlights, shadows for sand highlights
Dull and Bright colors, add some richness.
reduce a little noise
Sharpening, heaps of edge sharpening
Add a frame for presentation
(workflow time from start to finish, around 4mins)
Sanddune edited.jpg

I still use PS elements and Lightroom, just not very much.
This is not a full replacement for high end photo editing as it does not support layers or masks.
But if you have never used Layers or masks, then Helicon Filter will be more then you will ever need.
(The pro version has a PS plugin )
and if you need speed, its stunning.

Overall, free version is great, that great I paid for the Pro.

Post New Requests Here / Looking for a group 'notice board'
« on: January 22, 2008, 03:53 AM »
I have searched google for a few days and have come up empty.

I am on the look out for a group notice board that does the following
- Is used on a network (although web based would be very good)
- Allows me to post a notice that is allocated to 'xyz' in the group. select by tickbox
- when 'xyz' has ticked that they have read this notice, the message is auto deleted.

bonus points for
- history that it has been read
- replies, or added content
- needs to be very simple

typical eg
- Bill rang and said 'thanks for all your hard work'
- There is a lunch at 'The Railyard' be there at
- Reports due on friday, dont be late.

I currently use 'Stickies' to send messages between PC's but it does not match above, (but is sensational software)

closest match so far has been 'Pink Notes Plus' that turned up in a google search.    http://www.alphamedi...ts/pnp/v40/index.htm
It is a 'sticky notes' application that allows acknowledge of note sent.

I really dont want to use all the might and power of M$ and outlook to have invitations and acceptances. just a simple 'have you read this' style notice board.


GOE 2007 Challenge Downloads / Evaluweight - GOE Challenge 2007 Entry
« on: December 04, 2007, 05:36 AM »
Having trouble justifying a decision,
Stop procrastinating and start using Evaluweight !

This started out as a little fun and bit of effort to scam mouser of one of the legendary Cody Mugs.
In the end it is a interesting insight into how we come to a conclusion.


Each decision you make, is a 100 percent commitment. Therefore, that decision can be broken down into categories,
and each category represents a part of that 100 percent commitment.
So "evaluweight" lays this all out in a nice and easy grid format.
Simply give each category/feature a percentage mark of how it would impact your total commitment.
Now add the product that you want to compare, and in each category, mark that product out of 10 on how it meets your expectation.

Evaluweight will produce a score at the bottom of each row.

The screenshots will enlighten a little more.

Some notes
- This is a very basic script designed to con mouser into giving me a Cody mug.
- This is a very basic script that could be improved
- This is a very basic script that provokes the mind
- It is a standalone script, no installer, portable. (AHK source provided)
- Saving is very basic, it saves to the same directory as the file.
- Data is saved in a small csv text file.
- Can be used in making or justifying any decision.

More on the thought process
After using this for a few projects I was surprised to find that Money is not the major influence in a purchasing decision. If the product does not do what I want, I really dont care how much it costs. So rarely was money more then 20% of the factor, mostly around 10 and sometimes less then 5.

Suggestions, Critics, Applause and Rock Throwing all accepted.

The files
A Zip with the four examples above
The AHK Source file


Living Room / Building a Freeware PC + windows
« on: October 29, 2007, 03:55 AM »
For all the freeloaders out there, here is a interesting article linking 53 freeware apps, + windows.
The article is about rebuilding a machine, using just a windows and freeware.

good quick read of the main article

there look to be some keepers in among some of the apps we already know
a few I will be giving a run, but already this looks great for the icon designers

[edited to attach picture]

Living Room / How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« on: August 20, 2007, 07:23 AM »
After a few years of collecting and creating documents, the 'My Documents ' folder has started to burst at the seams. I sat down the other day determined to clean this mess up. but how? I dont really want to delete or archive anything, just organise it properly, and keep it organised.

The ideas i had where
1- A to Z folders with everything filed alphabetically
2- folder based on extensions, ie MyDoc folder, MyPDF folder, MyPics folder, MyTXT folder, MyDWG folder
3- folders based on job/client/theme
4- All piled into one folder, and allow a file search program to locate stuff (X1)

Each has its advantage and disadvantage
1 and 2 can be automated, which is appealing, 3 is practical if you can maintain it, and 4 is just lazy but also easy.

maybe some members here can offer their wisdom. especially if they use 1 or 2


DcUpdater / update frequency
« on: July 14, 2007, 03:59 AM »
Hi Mouser

can DCU have a option to choose the update frequency
- dcu start
- daily/weekly/monthly  (maybe per app, but not important)


JGPaiva's GridMove and Ahk Tools / Gridmove - feature request
« on: April 08, 2007, 02:47 AM »
Hi JGPaiva

Gridmove has inspired this idea/request.

This would mainly be beneficial to twin monitors.
in short, the right monitor show a preview of all applications active, and the left monitor is the work area.

Most of my work is predominantly done on the left monitor, and the right for reference and keeping a eye on different apps.

What I would like -
- to have a grid on the right monitor, and a full screen on the left.
- the grid on the right auto detects apps that are open and grids accordingly (2x2, 3x2, 3, 3x4 custom etc)
- when a new application is started, become full screen on left, and existing full screen is swapped to right and new grid shown.
- when i select a window on the right grid, it automatically expands and swaps to full screen on the left
- when a swap occurs, the app that was full screen (left) is now shown on the right screen in the grid.(swaps position)
- selection of grid windows by mouse or shortcut, ie ctrl-alt-3 would swap left monitor with grid no#3 window
a quick dc irc discussion suggested this could be done by a 'gridmove command' that when activated would automatically swap with the biggest grid location. thus allowing single screen users a similar function.

if this is not entirely clear, just let me know and I will try some mockup screen shots etc.

this might also be a entirely new application, but it fits the 'gridmove' feel and functionality


Available today on Giveawayoftheday

plenty of screen shots and Application uses here.

Usually $119.oo

Does anyone have any useful feedback on this product for DC members.


mm BusinessPlan.jpg

Living Room / Poll : What is the most useless key on the keyboard
« on: February 10, 2007, 07:22 AM »
If you had to physically remove a key from your keyboard, what one could you do without.

It has to be a single key, so combinations are not allowed.
No multimedia extra buttons are in this poll, just a standard keyboard.

This poll is to find out what keys might be good to use for shortcuts in small/quick scripts.

After this poll has finished, I will also do a poll for the most annoying Key on the Keyboard.

poll runs for 30days


General Software Discussion / online email icon generator
« on: January 29, 2007, 01:26 AM »
An online email link generator, to display only  (non clickable)

enter your email address, and it will return a external link to use in web pages or forums.

some examples

unfortunatley, you have to give them your email first.   8)

Their policy
E-Mail Icon Generator
Privacy Policy

No e-mail address entered into this site will ever be made available to any 3rd party, nor will it be used by ourselves for any purpose other than for the generation of e-mail icons.

For your security, the icon links are encrypted to prevent the determination of the e-mail address from the icon's URL. This should prevent spammers from finding your e-mail address as a result of using an e-mail icon on your site.

Whilst we will not e-mail you with any advertising, we may on very rare occasions send out e-mails to alert you of major changes to the service that may require you to change the link you use on your sites to display the e-mail icon.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:

and Their facts
E-Mail Icon Generator
What & Why?

The e-mail icons produced by the E-Mail Icon Generator are intended for use as a replacement for your textual e-mail address (eg. "[email protected]") wherever you might normally put an e-mail address that could appear publicly, for example as a signature on a public forum, on your personal web page or "blog".

By showing your e-mail address in an image form, rather than text, spammers' e-mail harvesting programs are unable to see it, and so will not be able to add your e-mail address to their mailing lists.

The e-mail icons are not however intended to be used as a replacement for your e-mail address in your e-mail client, or on websites which require an e-mail address for signing up.

To display your e-mail icon on a website, you can use the following HTML:

<img src="http://services.nexo...l/icon/.../image.png" alt="My E-Mail Address" />

If you wish to display the e-mail icon on a forum, or any other site which uses "BBCode" (Bulletin Board Code), use the following:

In both cases, replace the text in red with the link to your e-mail icon, obtained using the e-mail icon generator.

(Please note that if you make the icon clickable using a "mailto:" link, or use your e-mail address in the icon's alt-text, your e-mail address will be visible to address collecting robots!)

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Still, its a neat alternative to displaying your email address

and I would love to hear of alternative ways of slowing spam robots


General Software Discussion / Stickies 6.0a released
« on: January 22, 2007, 01:38 PM »
A few of Us have been waiting for this.

Stickies is a electronic Post-it note software, a a very good one.
To many options to list. but a couple that people have been waiting for
  • Stickies can be attached to a window - they only appear on the desktop only when that application is active. That way, you can have a sticky which appears when you go to a web site, open a document, or browse to a folder on your computer, and then disappears again when you leave that place
  • Locked mode for stickies, meaning their contents cannot be changed
  • Option for whether clicking on one sticky also brings the others to the front - either all are brought forward, or just the one you clicked

Stickies is one of my 'must have' software. It gets installed on every machine I ever use, including friends.

(Disclaimer. I am not connected in any way to this application.)

edited to attach image - always attach images to your posts so we can blog them
Screenshot - 1_23_2007 , 4_24_27 AM.png

General Software Discussion / TeamTime, handy for IRC chat
« on: December 30, 2006, 05:42 AM »
Just posting this for people who like to use IRC but are not sure what is the local time of their buddies or roommates.



and don't forget Donation Coders very own chat room


N.A.N.Y. Challenge 2007 / Backup Revision Folder
« on: December 15, 2006, 06:57 AM »
Small Update,
It seems like you continually poll files for their last-modify timestamp?
yes, BRF does poll the file to check for changes, but the poll time can be set in preferences to anything you want. It does not appear to effect CPU to much even when set down to every three seconds, but bump it out to hours if you need to.

Version 2.1
+ Added Folder Size to Control Panel, to keep an eye on backup folder size
* changed 'Last saved date' to 'Last edited date' (text only)
+ Added new Tray menu command 'Check now'

'Check Now' allows the user to either
a) Turn off monitoring via tray menu, and hit 'Check Now' when they want to check files
b) Via Preferences, make check time a lot (21600=6hrs) and press 'Check now' to force a update

BRF Tray 2.1.png

BRF Folder size 2.1.png

Version 2
Backup Revision Files v2  (new name, was Backup Revision Folder)

Program Description
Ever made a mess of a file by saving something you were not meant to, and not being able to undo the disaster you created.
I have, lots of times. so i went in search on Google for a simple 'incremental revision save' of files.
I struggled to find something that was simple, quick, easy to use, 1 minute setup.

Added to v2
+ Choose what files you want monitored, in any folder.
+ Files now monitored by timedate stamp (was archive bit)
+ Control Panel to add/remove monitored files
+ Control Panel to show History, Run File, Explore folder
+ Preference to choose backup location
+ Preference to choose frequency check

What it Does

Backup Revision Files monitors the user selected files for a 'file save' and prompts the user for some text input.
This Text is the appended to a historylog file and a backup is made of the 'saved file' with a timedate stamp added.

What are the typical uses of Backup Revision Folder for
  • Essays
  • Scripting
  • Documents
  • Coding
  • Cad and Drawing

BRFv2 can be installed/copied to any folder you choose. (old version monitored folder, not applicable now)
Upon executing, BRF will check a subfolder, called 'links'

The links folder will hold a shortcut for each file that you want to monitor.
BRF checks that the 'shortcut' and the 'monitored file' are in sync.
If they are not the same modified timestamp. Prompt the user for History Text and save backup. then sync Shortcut timestamp.
Cancel button will just sync timestamp. (no backup)

Runs standalone, so can be run from thumbdrive.
13_01_2007 , 9_47_26 PM  Screenshot.png

13_01_2007 , 9_48_45 PM  Screenshot.png

13_01_2007 , 9_49_30 PM  Screenshot.png
Backup Revision Files.exe
     -- Links (subfolder)

     -- Backup Revision Files (subfolder)
          -- File Name (Backups and HistoryLog.txt)
          -- File Name (Backups and HistoryLog.txt)
          -- File Name (Backups and HistoryLog.txt)

And its still EASY 2 USE.   :)

Of course, all comments and suggestions welcome.
The AHK script is attached, and I hope people can contribute and improve this for all.

formerly dB(doublebogey)

Version 1 Info
    Backup Revision Folder v1b5 - 1st January 2007.

    Program Description
    Ever made a mess of a file by saving something you were not meant to, and not being able to undo the disaster you created.
    I have, lots of times. so i went in search on Google for a simple 'incremental revision save' of files.

    To my disappointment, most systems just seemed to complex for what I needed.
    There are a number of application like Subversion, Clearcase, StarTeam, Perforce etc, and I am sure each one does a excellent job.
    But I don't work in a team, or have the desire to setup up a client/server. Booking In/Out is not required. and I don't always have access to the internet.
    I just wanted something really, really simple. To work as a standalone, small, single user. Did I mention Simple, like 123 simple.

    'Backup Folder Revision' is a single exe file that can be used standalone.
    When you use the installer file, it creates a subdirectory in Program Files, called 'Backup Folder Revision'
    but you can always copy the exe file to a thumb drive or any other folder.

    What File Revision Folder does when executed and running

    •     * Use the Tray menu to select files to be monitored
    •     * When a monitored files is saved, Prompt the user with a interface to enter a brief description.
    •     * Save a copy of the changed file to the folder MyDocuments/Backup Revision Folder/example/example 2007_01_01 09_30.???
    •     * Append to a historylog  file, the users popup interface, saved in MyDocuments/Backup Revision Folder/example/example_HistoryLog.txt
    •     * And most importantly, it is simple. Simple enough for kids and grandparents to use. ABC simple.

    Configuration via Tray Icon allows
    • user to choose any file, anywhere to monitor.
    • pause/continue monitoring
    • the user to choose a Backup Directory.

    You can now continue to work on your original master file, knowing that there is a version saved to a backup folder.

    You can run Backup Revision Folder.exe straight from a Thumb drive folder,
    which means it will save a version of the changed file to the current machines mydocuments folder. (or configured location)

    The thumb drive is one of the main reasons I created 'Backup Revision Folder', was because I am always worried i will
        * - loose the thing, they are just to small.
        * - damage the Thumb drive, step on, drowning. etc
        * - corrupt memory, no warning, and how many of us really backup a thumb drive properly.
    so Backup Revision Folder should be invaluable to a thumbdrive and people who carry and edit their documents on Portable Drives

    What are the typical uses of Backup Revision Folder for
    • Essays
    • Scripting
    • Documents
    • Coding
    • Cad and Drawing

    User Prompt
    26_12_2006 , 8_31_19 AM  Screenshot.png

    Tray Menu
    28_12_2006 , 11_37_24 PM  Screenshot.png

    Of course, all comments and suggestions welcome.

    formerly dB(doublebogey)


    Post New Requests Here / IDEA: Create your own Tool Tips
    « on: June 05, 2006, 07:45 AM »
    Often I am required to remind a client how to do a certian task in some software, they only use the software once every few months so forget the operation.
    The steps are usually fairly simple, but it would be great if I could install my own custom made Tooltip prompts.

    I played with Autohotkey a little, and got this to work, but as a over age learner, I am sure it could be better.(script available if required)

    The basic format I had was to have a small 3 button GUI bottom right of screen, 'Prev,Hide,Next'

    The txt file was similar to
    x, y, text
    200,150,Enter your name here....
    454,190,Now press the button that says 'OK'
    454,190,Drop down the arrow and select 'Blue'
    600,290,Press the 'Connect' Button

    pressing 'next' button reads the line in text file and displays the appropriate tooltip on the screen at the x-y location.

    Being tooltips, the user should be able to still input all of there commands, whilst your own custom made prompts help them each step.
    I had to edit the text file seperate from the script, but this was not a problem, just neater if the it were self contained.

    The uses for your own tooltips would be endless, and it can work with any application.
    I have a few extra wishes to add, but maybe later.


    PS. I am sure some of you here have a relative that is always bugging you on 'how do I do this again'. Just think, with 'ToolTipPrompt.exe' you could solve this.  :D

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