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Topics - Jimdoria [ switch to compact view ]

Pages: [1]
1
OK, calling this "hacking" is super generous, but for years I have had a registry file that added some useful extensions to the context menu of My Computer, including the ability to jump directly to the Services list and the Devices list, without having to click through "Manage...".

Since I upgraded Windows 7 to Windows 10, however, those menu options have disappeared, and the registry hacks in my file no longer work.

I am guessing Windows 10 uses a different registry key for the My Computer icon?

Anyway, when I try to merge my old reg files I get the message "Cannot import (filename): Error accessing the registry." This comes up even when I try to merge from an admin command prompt.

Has anybody else encountered this and figured out a workaround?

Here's my original registry hack:

Add the Disk Management context menu:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Disk Management]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Disk Management\command]
@="C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\mmc.exe C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\diskmgmt.msc"

Add context menus for Services, Device Management and Events:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Services]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Services\command]
@="C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\mmc.exe C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\services.msc /s"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Devices]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Devices\command]
@="C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\mmc.exe C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\devmgmt.msc"


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Events]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\shell\Events\command]
@="C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\mmc.exe C:\\WINDOWS\\System32\\eventvwr.msc /s"

2
Living Room / Why are car stereos so flimsy?
« on: March 31, 2015, 11:11 AM »
I've been thinking about getting a new car stereo, but in looking around I'm kind of dismayed to find how cheaply made they all seem. The knobs and buttons seem to be made out of the same plastic they use for the toys that come out of gumball machines. None of them looks like they were built to stand up to years of use the way my factory radio / CD player is.

Also, it just seems like there's a lot of needless complexity. I realize they do a lot more than just station presets and equalizer settings these days, but holy cow, the faceplates are chockablock with info overload. I'd have thought with the advances in usability brought about by web apps and smartphones, car stereos would be not only more capable but also more intuitive than ever. But it seems like they been racing in the opposite direction.

Any recommendations? I'm not a big-time audiophile, I just want a new unit that can play the songs stored on my smartphone!

3
Living Room / Can anyone help break "router block"?
« on: January 05, 2015, 11:07 AM »
I am being paralyzed by a case of "router block" and hoping some of you kind DC souls can help me out.

I'm WAY overdue for an upgrade to my wireless router. I know enough about this subject that I'm not going to just go down to Best Buy and pick between the 3 boxes they have on display. But I'm not enough into the "hack your router" space to make a clear, informed choice either.

My problem is, my main need for the router is the ability to set up sophisticated site filtering rules, based on MAC addresses, on a schedule.

The routers that seem to do this the best are the Netgear routers with Live Parental controls, which is actually integrated with OpenDNS.
All reports I've read say this is the most reliable way to set up site filtering on a schedule. (Although info about routers is plentiful online if you are interested in speed, throughput, etc. it's MUCH harder to find objective or even descriptive info about the less-techie features like parental controls / filtering.)

But the Amazon reviews of the mid-priced (~$100) Netgear routers I'm interested in are full of horror stories of devices that don't work terribly well, and that tend to fail on the day their 1-year warranty expires. Also Netgear appears to have an expensive, convoluted support process to get service on defective units, which seems to be based on a "soak the dummies" philosophy.

So all things being equal, I'd avoid Netgear, but they seem to be the ONLY ones with the kind of filtering controls I need. (Both powerful AND easy to use)

I've read that on routers that are running some form of Linux like OpenWRT, you can use Linux's IPTABLES to do sophisticated filtering. But I don't know Linux, and I don't want to have to climb over its substantial learning curve just to set up a new router and filter some websites.

Anyway, sorry for the long message, but I've been trying to get this decision made for weeks, and everything new I learn just makes the problem seem deeper.

Has anyone had an luck with setting up filtering on Netgear routers? If so, have you been running the router for more than a year? How is the reliability?

Alternately, are their other routers I should be looking at that implement this feature in a way that's both powerful and easy-to-use?

4
General Software Discussion / The smoking ruins of Office Labs...
« on: October 16, 2012, 12:13 PM »
I played with a cool add-on for OneNote a while ago called Canvas.

It was from Office Labs, which also made other cool, funky enhancements to MS Office like PPTPlex which turned PowerPoint into a zooming presentation tool.

Anyway, I quickly found a link to the tool I wanted - which dead-ended at the "new" office labs front page - which is the only page left.
They had a designer make it look cool and all, but make no mistake - it's a board nailed over the door.

:tellme: :tellme: :tellme: Office Labs is gone! :rip: :rip: :rip:

I guess this happened a few months ago? It wasn't a site I visited on a regular basis.

Did anyone else notice when this happened?

And more importantly, does anyone still have the downloaded file for Canvas for OneNote 2010?
I've looked through my most of my stored downloads, but since I didn't have ON 2010 at the time I don't think I grabbed it.
Never expected the whole site to go up in smoke.  :onfire:

5
General Software Discussion / -1 for BrowserChooser
« on: June 06, 2011, 11:07 AM »
Saw this great post over at FreewareGenius called Another Forty-Three of the Best Free Windows Enhancements

It's part two of a series, and looking though it I saw a lot of interesting stuff, but the only tweak that really seemed like something I needed was BrowserChooser. This is an app that intercepts any link to the browser on your system and lets you choose which browser to open it in - IE, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, etc.

It set up easy, but didn't really work all that well on my system.

But the real issue was that when I uninstalled it, it didn't even come close to putting things back the way they were - browser links, HTML files, web shortcuts, web links from inside of Outlook - all broken.

I just spent half an hour going through the registry and hacking out the entries it left behind and restoring the affected values to the original settings. Not even sure yet I'm back to 100%.

But I thought I'd post a note for anyone considering using this app - watch out, you may get more (or less) than you bargained for.

6
General Software Discussion / Using a digital tablet with OneNote
« on: February 28, 2011, 08:46 PM »
Hi everyone -

I'm putting this thread together as a record of a recent project, in hopes that anyone who has to solve the same problem in the future can find it and benefit from my experience.

I'm an avid user of Microsoft OneNote, which you can read about at length elsewhere.

I have a Tablet PC which works great with OneNote. But it falls short as a note taking solution for me for several reasons, weight and battery life chief among them. Also, I look a bit weird lugging a huge tablet PC into meetings where everyone else just has a clipboard.  :-[ For a while I considered adding a digital tablet to my arsenal, such as the Adesso Cyberpad. It's a bit more low-key, boasts a fantastic battery life. Pen & paper is still the king of simplified user experience, and this kind of device is only slightly less convenient than just taking notes on a paper pad.

I never took the plunge though, because the ink files recorded by the digital tablet (which are stored in .TOP format) were not compatible with the kind of ink OneNote recognizes. For a while there was a product called CyberConverter from Blue Euclid Software that could convert the one type of ink to the other, but the company seems to have gone out of business and the software is no longer available.

Recently, however, I found a blog post about a new tool - Top2OneNote - that could do the conversion. What's more, it was free & open source.  :-*

So I finally took the plunge and picked up a CyberPad on eBay. I went to download Top2OneNote but only then discovered that it was not available in a form I could use. The developer had posted the source code for the tool, but not an executable binary file I could run. What's more, installing an add-in to OneNote is not a simple process without an installer program. (Every other OneNote add-in I've seen comes with its own installer.) Not being a programmer myself with a copy of Visual Studio handy to build the source code from CodePlex, I was out of luck getting my new toy to play nice.  :-\

Donationcoder to the rescue!  :Thmbsup: I put a out a plea for help from a developer, and the excellent timns rose to the occasion, not only compiling the needed binary for me, but creating the essential installer file as well!

I installed the add in on my Tablet PC, imported a sample .TOP file, and I was in business!

The tool is not perfect. It imports any ink that looks like handwriting apparently without issue, but graphical elements such as underlines, circles, boxes, bullet points, etc. get left off for some reason. But since the handwritten notes are what I'm chiefly interested in, this isn't a deal breaker.

What was a deal breaker was that when I installed on my computer at the office (which is not a Tablet PC) it didn't work at all. After selecting the .TOP file to import, OneNote simply returned to a blank page. Fortunately, I'd already gotten it working on my home computer, so I knew it worked. I suspected the problem was that, while my home computer had built-in support for ink because it was running Windows XP for Tablet PC, my work computer with plain old XP Pro lacked the ink support needed by the plugin to do its conversion.

I'd come this far, so I wasn't about to give up. Some judicious googling found this thread about converting Windows XP into Windows XP for Tablet PC on the WinMatrix web site. It's a long thread, but fortunately you don't have to follow all the steps and "convert" your OS. You just have to install some free applications from Microsoft.

(Please note that I have no idea if this process works or is even necessary on Vista or Windows 7, both of which have ink support built in.)

The essential elements are (in order):

Once I had completed these steps, I tried importing a .TOP file into OneNote again and it worked just as well as it had on my Tablet PC!

The .TOP file format is used by a lot of different digital notepads such as the DigiMemo and the Medion, so this method should work for a variety of devices.

Some other nice resources for this kind of tablet can be found in this blog posting, including scripts and a Java application for reading .TOP files and converting them into other formats such as SVG and PDF.

One more thing - this tool always imports ink at the top of the page, even if there's already ink there. So if you're importing multiple .TOP files and combining them onto a single page in OneNote, import each .TOP into a blank page, then cut/paste the ink to the page & position you want it to appear.

So that's all. Another Donationcoder success story!  :Thmbsup: Happy inking!

7
General Software Discussion / A plea for help from a VS developer...
« on: February 24, 2011, 01:06 PM »
Dontationcoder has been one of my favorite forums since it was founded, and now I'm hoping one of the cool developers here can help me out of a pressing software-related conundrum.

But first, the story: I'm an avid OneNote user, and for years (years!) toyed with the idea of getting a digital note taking tablet (like the Adesso CyberPad) to use with OneNote.

Problem 1: Ink created on these tablets not compatible with ink in OneNote. There was a solution available, but the company that made it dropped off the web and it disappeared.

But ONE DAY, I came across a post about a new app that would take the ink files from the tablet and bring them into OneNote. And it was was open source hosted on CodePlex!

So this year for my birthday I finally got the CyberPad. As soon as the box was open, I went to CodePlex, and...

PROBLEM 2: The app is not available as a binary! Only as source code.

And I don't own Visual Studio.
 :( :( :( :( :(

So I'm hoping some developer here will take pity on me, and help me out by downloading the source code for this app, building it and sending me the binary.

It's at http://top2onenote.codeplex.com. I've posted a similar query on the developer's blog, but someone made the same request back in August and it hasn't been fulfilled yet, so I'm not hopeful I'll see it from him anytime soon.

If anyone could take care of this for me, I promise to send happy thoughts and good mojo your way every time I use my new digital tablet!  :D

8
General Software Discussion / Turn Windows path into URL?
« on: September 15, 2010, 10:14 AM »
I know this must be out there somewhere, but it's one of those things that's Google-resistant since the terms bring up so many unrelated results.

What I want to do is convert a Windows file system path into a correctly formed "file://" URL as quickly as possible. Context menu to copy the URL to the clipboard would be the optimal solution. Something I could pipe the path through via the Send To folder would also work.

I could probably hammer this out in AHK in a few hours if I rolled up my sleeves, but I just KNOW I'd be reinventing the wheel.

Does anyone know of a tool that does this? The smaller and simpler (and freer) the better! Thanks!

9
General Software Discussion / WDS and huge index files?
« on: February 17, 2009, 10:54 PM »
Windows Desktop Search is not my first choice, but I love OneNote and you need WDS in order to search OneNote, and I balk at the idea of having 2 search engines on my PC, so WDS is it.

It usually works fine, and I hardly notice it, but today I got a balloon popping up telling me I'm out of space on my C: drive. Well, I've been downloading more videos lately, and my usual amount of software, but this still surprised me. I hadn't expected to run into space issues for a while yet.

Turns out, WDS created a 35GB index file on my machine! So that's where all my free space went.

Does anyone else who uses WDS find that it creates huge index files? The drive is only 100GB all told, so this index is substantially bigger than the actual content it's supposed to be indexing, considering most of my HD space is taken up with non-indexed files such as videos and programs. My entire My Documents folder is only about 9GB, which  includes my outlook data store.

I'm thinking of just deleting this file. Does anyone know of any negative repercussions I will experience if I do?

10
General Software Discussion / Another Linux Thread :-P
« on: January 18, 2009, 09:22 PM »
Hi everybody -

I'm working my way through some of the existing Linux threads here - there sure are a lot of them!  :-[ But I thought I'd post this anyway, in hopes of getting some direction on my specific project.

I'm fairly Windows and even DOS savvy, but a complete newb at Linux/Unix. I've been meaning to take the plunge for a while now, and I think I'm finally ready to do it.

I'm not so much interested in using Linux as a desktop replacement for Windows. Windows is a fine desktop environment as far as I'm concerned, and already runs most of the software that I would ever want or need. But I've long wanted a home server, and the prohibitive price and hardware requirements of M$' server software has kept me from setting one up. This is the task I'd like to put Linux to.

All my (fairly) recent hardware is occupied doing desktop work, but I have a couple of older machines I could dedicate to the task. One is a full featured Dell Pentium 3 laptop and docking station. The other is a dual-processor Pentium 2 desktop machine. So I guess my first question is, which would be a better platform? I know Linux can make use of multiple processors, but would 2 PIIs be better than 1 P3, other things being equal?

I'm not so much interested in doing streaming media or anything like that - simple file sharing via an external USB drive and some LAMP serving/development (Drupal, possibly Tomcat/OpenLaszlo) are all I have planned for this box right now - plus of course it would be my "learning Linux" machine. Although at some point I might want to try out Red 5 on it as well. I'd also eventually like to use it as a gateway into my home network from outside, to give me access to remote web proxy capabilities, remote desktop via VNC and the like. So something that can be exposed directly through my router and still be very secure would be a plus.

If anybody has gone down this path themselves, I'd also love to hear any war stories you might have. Forewarned is forearmed. Or any tips for Linux tech I should be on the watch for. I know Samba is the default way for setting up network shares for Windows boxen. Are there other alternatives? Any gotchas with particular distros? It may be heretical, but we're not giving up Windows anytime soon here, so I need to make the new kid play nice with the existing crowd. :D

11
General Software Discussion / Linux question - mount fs in Windows?
« on: September 26, 2008, 12:34 PM »
Hi everyone (especially the Linux gurus out there...)

I'm a rank noob when it comes to Linux, but I've been experimenting with QEMU-Puppy on a USB stick, and so far I like it very much.

Puppy Linux runs from RAM, and when you are done and shut it down, it saves it's changes back into a file system on the media from which it was run (thumb drive in my case.) This file system appears on the disk as pup_save.fs3 under Windows.

I'd like to get access to what's inside that file from within Windows so I can open and save things there. I found and installed Ext2 IFS which lets you mount Linux Ext2/Ext3 file systems in Windows, and gives you read/write access. (I'm guessing that because the file is named .fs3 that Puppy is using an Ext3 file system?)

The problem is that Ext2 IFS seems geared to partition based file systems. The GUI will let you mount an Ext2/3 partition, and shows all the partitions on my physical drives. I'm assuming that if I had a partition formatted in Ext3 I could just mount if from there.

But the file system I want to mount is not a partition - it's just a file! And I can't see any way in Ext2 IFS to select this file and mount it so that it will become accessible under Windows.

I'm probably missing something really basic here, but as I said I'm new at this. Could someone with a bit of Linux/Windows experience point me in the right direction? Thanks!

12
General Software Discussion / Lazy guy query: taggable file mgr
« on: September 02, 2008, 07:15 PM »
Sorry to be so lazy (really I'm just super busy and trying to squeeze in one more project...) but I just don't have time to search all over for this right now. But I'm sure somebody here would know about it if it exists.  :-[

I'm looking for a file manager that works like a backup program. (Freeware preferred.) I want something that will let me tag files and folders hierarchically the way a backup program does, but instead of archiving them, move them all at once to target drive/folder.

Actually archiving them wouldn't be so bad, as long as it used zip files and could restore them easily.

So maybe that's just... a backup program? But I don't want to image my drive or do thing on a schedule - just a simple batch tag -> backup or copy operation.

I'm sending a laptop off for repair and I want to re-image the drive with the restore disk first, to eliminate any potential driver issues, etc. I need to back up my docs, profile folders, etc. but my external drive has limited space and I don't want to wait for the entire contents of temporary internet files (for example) to come along for the ride.

Anyway, any quick help would be appreciated. Thanks!

13
Post New Requests Here / IDEA: Multi Monitor placement tool
« on: January 23, 2008, 10:07 AM »
When working with multiple monitors, it's possible to position them relative to one another, using the Display control panel in Windows XP (and I assume Vista). For example, if your right monitor (2nd) is physically positioned so the the bottom of the screen is halfway up the height of the left monitor (1st), you can adjust this offset in the display control panel by dragging the #2 box upwards. A tooltip shows the pixels offset.

multimon_display.png

I have a laptop, and it comes with a utility to switch between single monitor (undocked) and multi-monitor (docked) operation, so that's great, but it doesn't remember the offset for screen #2. So every time I switch between one display and two displays, I have to go in to the Display control panel and re-set the offset manually, using the mouse. It's time consuming, fairly imprecise and easily forgotten.

Is it possible to create an app that would automatically re-set the screen offset to a specified value? This would be helpful for other laptop users, and probably also for people who frequently change the resolution of any of their multiple monitors.

My laptop's utility lets me specify an app to run after the switch to 2 monitors occurs, and coding snack that could set these values would clean things up nicely. I checked the AHK docs, and I did see some functions in SysGet (GetSys?) that return screen metric info, but I didn't see any way to set these values, so I thought I'd ask the expert. Thanks! :D

14
Living Room / Suffering over USB
« on: January 18, 2008, 10:11 AM »
I've been beating my head against a wall with a USB problem, and I'm hoping someone with more insight and technical chops than I have will see this and throw me a life preserver.

I used to use my personal laptop for both personal and work stuff. Then I got a new laptop computer at work. Carrying two laptops in my briefcase is silly, not to mention heavy, so I've been trying to move all the stuff from my personal laptop onto MojoPac:

MojoPac is a technology that transforms your iPod or USB Hard Drive or Flash drive into a portable and private PC. Just install MojoPac on any USB 2.0 compliant storage device, upload your applications and files, modify your user settings and environment preferences, and take it with you everywhere.

Every time you plug your MojoPac-enabled device into any Windows XP PC , MojoPac automatically launches your environment on the host PC. Your communications, music, games, applications, and files are all local and accessible. And when you unplug the MojoPac device, no trace is left behind – your information is not cached on the host PC.

Great! I have an old laptop hard drive, I have a small USB enclosure for it, and now (I thought) with MojoPac I can carry my personal environment around in a small box without having to lug along a whole laptop. MojoPac is free, so I tried it and it worked just as advertised! The perfect solution!

EXCEPT... except that I can't get the USB drive to function reliably. When I plug it in, XP usually recognizes the device, but the data remains inaccessible for one of several reasons. Sometimes the Disk Managment console shows the drive's partition as unallocated. Sometimes it shows it as an extended partition composed entirely of free space. Sometimes it shows the partition but doesn't recognize it as NTFS (it says it's RAW?). And this is all subject to change based on a bizarre dance of unplugging, re-plugging, deleting entries from the device manager, warm reboots and cold reboots.

I've reformatted and repartioned this drive a couple of times already (and spent the hours it takes to copy over all the documents and settings from the laptop.) It always works great... at first. Even now, if I work at it long enough, I can almost always get the drive to come up and be recognized. But it takes a lot of time, and there's no repeatable pattern I can see that causes it to happen. If I have to spend my whole commute just trying to get the drive to come up, it kind of defeats the purpose of the whole setup. "Plug-and-play" isn't supposed to be this much work!  :wallbash:

The thing that drives me crazy is that I can see XP is doing SOMETHING to the drive, even when it fails to come up. The boot sequence pauses while the drive light flashes irregularly. I can hear the drive working, sometimes for minutes at a time. But there's no indication of what's going on behind the scenes, nothing I can look at to give me an idea of where the problem lies. Nothing shows up in the Event log, other than an occasional "could not read the disk" message, and even that isn't consistent.

When I plug the drive directly into a desktop machine via IDE, there are no issues. I've run SMART diagnostics on it and it comes up OK. So I'm fairly sure it's not a bad drive.

If anyone knows of any tools or resources that I could use to troubleshoot this problem, I'd be very appreciative. I've tried everything I can think of based on what I could find through Google, including adding an external power adapter to the drive. Is there some way to see a log of USB activity? Does Disk Managment report out its inner workings anywhere other than the event log?

I've hit the limits of my limited expertise in these matters. This has be driving me bats for weeks, and I don't need any more gray hairs!

15
Coding Snacks / Create an exit for Java hell
« on: October 02, 2007, 04:00 PM »
Years ago when Sun's Java was brand new, one of its supposed nifty features was immunity from what was then seen as a plague of Windows-based software: DLL hell. Java would avoid the kinds of problems caused by bad ol' Microsoft's conflicting DLL versions. Java will NEVER have this problem, we were told, because it's runtime is monolithic and will ALWAYS be backward compatible.

Fast forward to 2007 and here I am in JAVA HELL. My company's online timesheet program runs on one version of the Java Runtime Engine, our main product's report engine runs on a different one, and neither is backward or forward compatible with the other versions of the JRE.

The latest versions of JRE from Sun give you a control panel that lets you switch between the latest Java versions - but older versions don't get on the list! Actually, I have three control panel icons on my system - A "Java" CPL, a "Java Plug-in 1.3.0_02" CPL and a "Java Plug-in 1.3.0_01" CPL. Java's 1.3.X and 1.4.X don't show up in the "Java" CPL as candidates for running applets. JRE 1.4.2 doesn't have a CPL at all, even though I have it installed, as indicated by the list in Internet Options -> Programs -> Manage Add-Ons.

So I have a several control panels, an IE dialog with enable/disable options, and some environment variable stuff (CLASSPATH?) all of which needs to be fiddled with if I want to switch between Java versions in my browser.

And I DO want to switch between Java versions. I NEED to. I have a passing familiarity with Java, but not enough to feel confident with the kind of under-the-hood and behind-the-curtains tinkering it would take to perform this seemingly simple task on a regular basis. And ideally, I'd like something I could share with my co-workers, who all have this same problem and who are mostly less technically-inclined than I am.

I'm not sure what would be involved in this. Maybe it's not doable, which would explain why I couldn't find an existing utility to do it. It's certainly not a glamorous type of app. But if Skrommel (or someone) could team up with the resident Java guru (whoever that might be) and code me a way out of this nightmare, I'd be eternally grateful.

16
General Software Discussion / RIP Autopatcher
« on: September 06, 2007, 04:07 PM »
For anybody who might not have heard yet, Autopatcher has been "cease and desisted" by Microsoft. Full details at http://www.autopatcher.com

What was Autopatcher? Well, as you know MS distributes patches online via Windows Update. But suppose you have a computer that's not connected to the Internet? Or you've just done an OS re-install on a machine and need to download all the patches since the last service pack, but the machine only has a 56K connection? Or you've got 50 PCs to update and your bandwidth isn't free, so you'd like to download all the patches once and then use them to update all your machines?

In any of these circumstances, Autopatcher was a godsend. It was a community-supported custom installer for MS' patches that was updated on a monthly basis. You could download Autopatcher, burn it on a CD, and then update any machine without hitting MS' servers. The installer was slick and easy to use (MS could have learned a thing or two) and it just worked.

Autopatcher was around for 4 years - long enough for lots of system admins, IT guys and other techie types to find out about it and even come to rely on it. They had a perfect track record of not screwing up patch installation, which is better than you can say for MS. But I guess Autopatcher either passed some popularity/public awareness threshold or else the lawyers got wind of it, and BOOM - down comes the hammer. (Not to be too much of billgco hater here, but does MS even pretend care about their customers at all anymore?)

It's moves like this that make me think that there will soon come a day when we wont have Microsoft to kick around anymore.  :-\

17
General Software Discussion / Some HomeSite Replacement Help?
« on: July 27, 2007, 09:30 PM »
Hi everybody -

I used to use Allaire HomeSite as an HTML editor. I wasn't crazy about the bloated size, slow load times, or the annoyances that came with it, but it had a few features that made it super-valuable. The biggest were its handling of snippets and keyboard shortcuts.

A snippet was a custom text block or a pair of custom text blocks. Think HTML or BBCode tags as a start. For example, you could define a snippet to start with the (tr)(td) tags, and end with the (/td)(/tr) tags. Then whatever you had highlighted when you applied the snippet would be placed inside those tags, effectively making it into a table row.

This went hand-in-hand with ultra flexible keyboard shortcuts. There were intuitive defaults; Ctrl-B was mapped to the (b)(/b) tags, Ctrl-I was mapped to the (i)(/i) tags, etc. But I could also assign Ctrl-T to my table row snippet if I wanted. Any keyboard shortcut could be re-assigned this way, to either a program command or a text snippet. (My other faves were Ctrl-Space to insert the non-breaking space escape code and Ctrl-Quotes to insert the quotation mark escape code.)

Once set up, using the snippets and shortcuts made editing raw HTML almost as easy as regular word processing.

These days I use Notepad + + as my default HTML editor, and while I think it's mostly terrific, it doesn't have these two killer features (that I can see.) It has other stuff I consider essential, though, like color-coding of HTML code, flexible and capable search & replace, etc.

Does anyone here know of a text editor akin to Notepad + + that also has full keyboard customizability and text snippet support? I figured if anybody knew of such a beast, it would be someone here!

Thanks in advance!  :Thmbsup:

18
I know this one is pretty simple, but I haven't been able to work it out in AHK myself yet, so I thought I'd post it.

I have several programs that display information in a standard list view, but make it difficult to get at that information in a format I can work with. I'm working with a couple of programs that use a binary format when they save the list data to disk. I can manually go through and scrape the list data out of the binary file, but it's drudgery.

It would be nice to have a tool that would let you click on a visible list view, and would "suck up" the entire list and place it on the clipboard. You could then paste it into a text editor and do whatever was needed to it.

Options might include whether to separate list columns with commas, tabs, or a custom character.

19
Best ScreenCaster / Another possibility - WME
« on: March 15, 2006, 09:56 AM »
Hi, guys!

Great review. Thanks very much. I've watched this category myself over the years, and it's always good to keep up to date with what's current now.

My company is using a screencasting tool called Firefly for some of its training stuff. It's pretty high end, but has some interesting abilities, like being able to simulate applications. It actually captures menu choices, drop-down choices, etc. and caches them even when they are not chosen/displayed during recording, so during the demo you can turn the controls over to the viewer/user and let them play with a simulated version of the app you are demoing. Pretty unique.

But the other thing I didn't see mentioned and wanted to point out was that there is a tool for capturing fluid movies that gives hgh-quality output and is free - Windows Media Encoder. The latest version of WME include a "screen codec" with capabilities similar to Camtasia's proprietary codec, and you can use the encoder app to capture screen movies with audio narration.

There are no bells or whistles - no editing and no annotation/graphics. But the output is very good and the price is right as well. Makes a good alternative to Wink if you are in the "free or nothing" crowd (unless you're also in the Mac or Linux crowd!)  :)

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