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Topics - mouser [ switch to compact view ]

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I've been fooling around recently using Zoom to record discussions and remote board game play, and thinking about how to make that video suitable for uploading to a youtube channel.

Here's a little tip for cleaning up the Zoom recorded video and cropping out unnesc. space using the free open source commandline tool ffmpg.

Original video recorded by zoom looks like this:

FFMPEG script:
ffmpeg.exe -i zoomin.mp4 -filter_complex "[0:v]crop=iw/2.666666:ih/2:iw/16:ih/4[tl]; [0:v]crop=iw/2.666666:ih/2:iw/1.777777:ih/4[br]; [tl][br]hstack=inputs=2" -codec:a copy zoomout.mp4


Basically it tells ffmpeg to form a new frame by selecting out each of the two images and then combining them side by side.  You could use similar ffmpeg command to stack them on top of each other, etc.

ffmpg seems super useful and powerful, I'm sure there's other cool stuff you could do with it.

Living Room / Taste testing 80% Dark Chocolate
« on: June 21, 2020, 09:15 AM »
I have a wicked sweet tooth and I've always thought that dark chocolate tastes like poison.

Over the last few months I've been drastically cutting down on my consumption of sweets, and decided to see if dark chocolate would taste better to my "recalibrated" tastebuds.

To my delight it does!

So I've been on a quest to try all the dark chocolate bars I can find (locally) that are 80% and above, and see which I prefer.

Anyone have any favorite 80% and above dark chocolate bars?  Shall we share ratings?

This is a reminder to myself if nothing else.  Just spent an hour installing useless software and trying to figure out why my videocamera was not letting me transfer files.
In the end I realized I was using a USB cord that is ONLY meant for charging (one of those with multiple heads of different formats).
UGH what a wasted hour of my life.
As soon as I connected a proper mini usb cable everything worked fine.

Finished Programs / SOLVED: Quick toggle some monitors
« on: June 17, 2020, 08:11 AM »
I have a 4-monitor pc setup.  Occasionally when I watch a full screen movie or play a game, I'd like to turn off all but one of my monitors.
I'd love a little system tray utility with a hotkey (and right-click menu?) that could toggle a configurable set of my monitors on and off.

A pizza shop discovers that a 3rd party delivery service has hijacked their google listing to offer deliveries for their pizza, and reselling their pizza at a loss... How is this a business model?

Another mystery of capitalism.

But he brought up another problem - the prices were off. He was frustrated that customers were seeing incorrectly low prices. A pizza that he charged $24 for was listed as $16 by Doordash...
You have insanely large pools of capital creating an incredibly inefficient money-losing business model. It's used to subsidize an untenable customer expectation. You leverage a broken workforce to minimize your genuine labor expenses. The companies unload their capital cannons on customer acquisition, while this week’s Uber-Grubhub news reminds us, the only viable endgame is a promise of monopoly concentration and increased prices. But is that even viable?

Living Room / Distance Board Gaming Guide from BGG
« on: May 14, 2020, 05:39 PM »
Great list of board games in different categories that are suitable for online play.

DC Website Help and Extras / Fixed sitemap
« on: May 04, 2020, 04:26 AM »
I fixed the donationcoder sitemap -- didn't notice it was broken until now:

I'm trying to make a change that will force https access to donationcoder for better security; let me know if you spot any oddities on the forum or website.

This is truly wonderful.  A collection of downloadable print-and-assemble paper craft models of retro computers including the Apple II, the IBM PC, the TRS-80 Model 3, by Rocky Bergen.

These look wonderful -- you just download and print them and cut and assemble.  Love it.

Screenshot - 4_30_2020 , 8_13_56 PM_thumb001.png

Living Room / System32 - funny indy web comic about computers
« on: April 30, 2020, 07:23 AM »
I enjoyed this web comic that dc member panzer told us about, System32:


Screenshot - 4_30_2020 , 7_20_39 AM_thumb001.png

What does everyone think about having a super short 10 minute zoom meeting open to all donationcoder folks?
Just to say hello and put face and voice to forum nickname and do something weird?

We'll just all go around and say our names and say hello and then quickly sign off before we feel too nervous.

  • Date: Saturday, May 2nd
  • Time: 4pm central standard US time (forum time)

Who's in?

Developer's Corner / Elevator Saga - Programming Game/Challenge
« on: April 08, 2020, 10:17 PM »
This is a very cool programming game/challenge, which deals with the absolutely fascinating problem of optimal elevator scheduling:


Mini Newsletter for Mar 24, 2020
"Codename: Coronavirus Lockdown"

1. Newsletter Editorial

Greetings all.  As you know, the entire planet is currently dealing with a serious crisis -- a worldwide virus pandemic that is overloading hospitals and causing severe damage to entire economies.

I'm writing to you from Champaign, Illinois, in the United States, which has only just begun to see cases reported.  We are under a state-wide stay-at-home order, with more of the country expected to follow suit soon.  Many other countries are further along in the trajectory of infection and are struggling to figure out how to handle it.

I have been finding it hard lately to focused on being positive and productive.  I find myself feeling overloaded and anxious.  I don't know if any of you are having the same problem.

I do know that in times like these, there is some value in being able to share our thoughts, encourage each other, and maintain some sense of normality and community.

With that goal in mind, I thought I would send out a short newsletter sooner rather than later.

For the overwhelming majority of you, this email/newsletter will be of no interest to you, and you can safely stop reading now; we're not asking for any money, nor do we have any money to give out.

However, for any of you who have a little room in your life right now, who would benefit from some positive distraction, I'd like to invite you to make yourself at home on our forum and share a bit of your life with us.  We are a friendly bunch.

-jesse (mouser)
 Champaign, IL, USA
2. Mouser's Software Updates and Discussions

I've released a couple of very minor updates to my software since the last newsletter in January, plus a MAJOR alpha-version update to one of them, and a new small Android app.

3. Feel Good Favorites

I thought this would be a good occasion to highlight some of the longest running, feel good threads on our forum, and invite you to post in them.

4. Other recent threads on our forum

Just a few recent threads on our forum.

I know a lot of people are nervous and uncertain.. Fear of losing jobs, health, investments.

Let's have a happy thread where we can share reassuring tips, projects, and mental strategies to stay sane and calm in this crazy time.

No rumors or panic in this thread, just strategies for staying sane and coping with the stress.

Clipboard Help+Spell / Remind me of feature requests please
« on: March 12, 2020, 01:07 AM »
I've been working like mad on the new extended clipboard format features for CHS; now would be a good time to remind me of older feature requests I've overlooked.

Someone asked me about how FARR could be used to quickly translate words that you might encounter while reading text in any app.
Here's a two step example:

1. Create an alias in FARR to open google translate on the specified text.  Here I've created a new alias in my MyAliases group, that triggers on "tr [word_or_phrase]":
Screenshot - 3_5_2020 , 12_30_45 PM.png

With that you can bring up farr at any time and type something like: tr computer and hit enter, to open google translate showing the translation.
You can add more actions in that alias to allow you to do other things like look up the definition of the word, etc.

2. Now to make it easier to use, create a custom FARR hotkey that when triggered will copy the highlighted text in whatever app you are using and launch FARR with the tr keyword specified, ready to trigger:
Screenshot - 3_5_2020 , 12_33_30 PM.png

Now you can just select the text in any app and hit the hotkey.

Note that if you knew you only wanted one action ever on that hotkey you could save yourself from having to hit enter by adding a \n at the end of the "Text for Search Edit Box".

You might also try $$u1 instead of $$1 if you need the text urlencoded for a web page.

Amazon Pay, which we allow people to use to buy commercial licenses for our software from our commercial license page, has decided to block us and refuse to process payments to us.
They have said it is related to us looking like a charity, but won't elaborate or tell us what we could do to fix the problem.
So it goes.  :down:

Android Apps / Android App: Crave Negotiator - v1 - Feb 28, 2020
« on: February 28, 2020, 03:31 AM »
"Crave Negotiator" is a bare bones minimalist application to help you resist impulse snacking.   It should run nicely on any screen size.

The Basic Idea: The app tries to get you to accept some small delays in succumbing to cravings for a snack, in hopes that you will be able to overcome a momentary weakness.

  • When you push the button to trigger snack mode, you will then be prompted through a sequence (configurable number) of stages where you must wait a small amount of time (just a few minutes), after which you will need to affirmatively confirm that you wish to keep waiting for your snack time.
  • If at any point you fail to confirm a prompt, OR simply press the cancel button while waiting, the snack will be canceled.
  • Psychologically, the hope is that the countdown and small duration will give you the willpower to accept a very small delay in satisfying a craving for a snack.  And that with this brief window of waiting, the peak moment of intense craving will pass.

If anyone wants to try it:

It will eventually be on google play store.

Screenshot - 2_28_2020 , 3_26_11 AM_ver005.png

Clipboard Help+Spell (CHS) is finally getting support for storing extended clipboard data.. This thread is for discussing that feature..

It can now save clips with multiple data formats in the database and restore them properly.  It has a whole set of features and options to support this, so that you can see exactly what's being saved, and have fine or coarse grain control over ignore certain formats, etc.


DOWNLOAD Alpha Version:

Living Room / Roller Coaster planet of horrors
« on: January 28, 2020, 10:32 AM »
Some creativity on display here..

Long article talking about the history of Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser engine.. It's internal design and why it was eventually abandoned in favor of Google's chrome engine.

Starting now, Microsoft will roll out their new Chromium-based Edge browser to their millions of Windows 10 users. And this will also mark the end of an era. The era of the Trident-Engine.

Flash Games and 2XL Simulator / Rewriting 2xl simulator in html5
« on: January 26, 2020, 01:45 AM »
It looks like html5 may have enough audio seeking to make moving from flash to html5 native a real possibility.
Anyone interested in working with me to convert the 2xl simulator to html5/javascript?

Android Apps / Android intermittent fasting apps
« on: January 23, 2020, 06:06 AM »
So I've written 3 android narrowly focused intermittent fasting apps of different styles..
And yet I'm interested in exploring more experimental interesting ideas.. If anyone is into this sort of thing and can think of any novel ideas for an app, let me know.

Automatic Screenshotter / Automatic Screenshotter reviews
« on: January 21, 2020, 07:22 PM »

Ars Technica reports that routers running the alternative router firmware Tomato are under attack.
It looks like the attack is just looking for default passwords, so as long as you don't have default/weak passwords I think you will be ok.

Internet routers running Tomato are under attack by notorious crime gang.  The Muhstik botnet has targeted other IoT devices. Now it's attacking Tomato routers.

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