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Topics - Jibz [ switch to compact view ]

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Developer's Corner / Advent of Code
« on: December 08, 2019, 05:41 AM »
I realize it is perhaps a bit late to post this, but I thought some of the programmers on here might still get some fun out of it this year. From the about page:

Advent of Code is an Advent calendar of small programming puzzles for a variety of skill sets and skill levels that can be solved in any programming language you like. People use them as a speed contest, interview prep, company training, university coursework, practice problems, or to challenge each other.

You don't need a computer science background to participate - just a little programming knowledge and some problem solving skills will get you pretty far. Nor do you need a fancy computer; every problem has a solution that completes in at most 15 seconds on ten-year-old hardware.

Personally, I am using it as a way to try out the Rust programming language this year :Thmbsup:.


Solarized is a popular color theme available in many text editors. The palette contains only 16 colors, which are used both in a dark (pleasant at night) and light (easy to read in bright daylight) version. The magic is that the accent colors are chosen so they appear the same in both versions.


I have been using it for over five years now, and a while back I created my own version for Sublime Text. You might wonder why add another version of a theme that is already present by default? Mostly because I feel many versions of Solarized are too complex -- they try to assign colors to everything in every language. So I set out to try to make a minimal version, one that attempts to assign styles primarily to the root groups described in the TextMate documentation (which is where the file format for color themes used in many editors comes from).

The last year I have been using VS Code as my primary text editor, so I created a version of Solarized Minimal for my own use. Now that new year is ominously close (and I haven't finished a NANY project :-[), I cleaned up and packaged the theme.

For now, only the colors of the editing window are changed, while the surrounding areas (tabs, info line, dialogs) are kept in the default UI colors. I've been debating with myself if it looks better to also change them (like the default Solarized theme does), but I feel it becomes a little too much.

You can install it from within VS Code by going to the extension tab and searching for Solarized Minimal. Then select either version using File->Preferences->Color Theme.

Website: https://jibsen.githu...o/solarized-minimal/

On GitHub:
On VS Code Marketplace:

Found Deals and Discounts / Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2017
« on: November 23, 2017, 11:06 AM »
It's that time of year again, and here are the usual suspects from my email/twitter:

Developer's Corner / Some talks from CppCon 2017
« on: October 21, 2017, 11:44 AM »
I've been watching some of the talks from this years CppCon on YouTube, and mouser encouraged me to post a few links. There are a lot of interesting videos, and if you are interested in C++ programming, I encourage you to check out their channel for other videos. These are just a few picks I found interesting.

General Software Discussion / Malwarebytes 3.0 out
« on: December 08, 2016, 01:15 PM »
Malwarebytes just released a new version of their anti-malware product, which appears to combine some of their previous products:


With the combination of our Anti-Malware ($24.95), Anti-Exploit ($24.95) and Anti-Ransomware (free, beta) technologies, we will be selling Malwarebytes 3.0 at $39.99 per computer per year, 20% less than our previous products combined and 33% less than an average traditional antivirus. But don’t worry, if you are an existing customer with an active subscription or a lifetime license to Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, you will keep your existing price and get a free upgrade to Malwarebytes 3.0.

From the FAQ in that post, it looks like they will be honoring lifetime licenses (makes me happy, since we have 3 of them running atm :-*).

General Software Discussion / Beyond Compare 20th anniversary
« on: October 03, 2016, 10:31 AM »
Just noticed Scooter Software (Beyond Compare) are having some events for the 20th anniversary of BC. There are some contests where you can win a t-shirt, and some discounts.

It also looks like you can get a free t-shirt if you've had a license key for more than 10 years (looks like I bought my first license back in 2004 .. time flies!).

Got an email from SpiderOak about Semaphor. From the press release:

In celebration of Data Privacy Day, SpiderOak today announced Semaphor, a new workplace collaboration tool for teams and businesses that care about privacy. General availability for Semaphor is later in the first quarter, and SpiderOak is accepting a limited number of pre-release invitation requests at

Semaphor helps teams improve their productivity by keeping members focused, informed, and connected. Teams can join group conversations, private message team members, share files, and install trusted third-party integrations knowing their privacy is protected at every step. Following the same privacy-centric design as all SpiderOak solutions, Semaphor uses a Zero Knowledge architecture that ensures nothing leaves a computer or mobile device until after it is encrypted and is never decrypted until it is unlocked with keys only located on individuals’ devices.

It sounds a bit like Slack, but with a privacy focus. Open source and written in Go, and they plan to sell hosting. Will be interesting to see how that works out.

Other new products mentioned in the email were Encryptr, a password vault that stores your info encrypted in their cloud, and Kloak, a socal network (?!) with privacy focus.

Are SpiderOak stretching a bit far? :-[

General Software Discussion / YNAB moving to a subscription model
« on: January 01, 2016, 07:05 AM »
You Need a Budget has been recommended before on DonationCoder. I noticed they changed their business model from $40 to buy the current version, to a subscription model where you pay $5 a month (or $50 a year).

I think one piece of sound advice if you are trying to get your financial situation under control, is to try to limit the number of monthly recurring subscription fees.

Also, I am not a fan of the move to having all your information in the cloud. I rather prefer to have my financial information on my own computer.

There is a long thread on their forum with people voicing their opinions about the change.

Non-Windows Software / SoftMaker Office 2016 for Linux
« on: December 16, 2015, 01:47 AM »
SoftMaker released the 2016 version of their office suite for Linux the other day :Thmbsup:.


But no good news without a little complaining :-[ - I am using Linux more and more for testing and development, and I had a SoftMaker Office license valid for three PCs, so this sounded great. But it seems when you buy a Windows license, that is valid for three Windows installs, and a Linux license is valid for three Linux installs. So apparently I have to buy two licenses (totalling six installs) to install on two machines? :huh:

Also, Load and Help 2015 has launched.

Found Deals and Discounts / Black Friday Deals 2015
« on: November 26, 2015, 10:38 AM »
Lets see if we can get a thread with deals going like cyber monday :-*.

General Software Discussion / SpiderOak Unlimited Space
« on: October 29, 2015, 01:30 AM »
I just received an email from SpiderOak offering unlimited space for $149 a year. Looking at their twitter feed, it seems this is something they offer every now and then as a special.

Perhaps a bit steep compared to the $60 CrashPlan charges, but since I already have a 1 TB plan for $129, I guess the jump is not that big. It's certainly better than 5 TB at $279 per year.

What made me chuckle was that I remembered a blog post of theirs from years ago. It seems they removed the old blog and all posts on it, but thankfully this is the internet, so nothing goes away:

In the wake of the news that Mozy is scrapping their ‘Unlimited’ data plans , I figured it would be apropos to write a post on: a) the reasoning behind why we at SpiderOak do not offer unlimited data plans; and b) why we believed early on that it was only a matter of time until our competitors changed their thinking on the unlimited storage plan concept.


Well, I personally believe that within 6 months to a year there will not be any unlimited storage providers left on the market; and should a few remain, very heavy restrictions on file size, file type and amount of devices allowed per account will be imposed (such as is already the case with many of the online backup providers).

In short: There is no such thing as a free lunch. If it looks too good to be true then it almost always is and In the end, we all have to pay the piper.

TLDR: Unlimited backup for a fixed price probably won’t be around for too much longer.

General Software Discussion / What's up with WinPatrol?
« on: August 16, 2015, 01:05 PM »
So, I was looking to update WinPatrol on an old machine, and went to the website, but got blocked by safe browsing filter in Firefox. I skipped past it, assuming it was some kind of error, and noticed MBAM blocking access to some site while it was loading. I switched to Chrome, and the site was blocked there too :huh:.

All the downloads appeared to be from c-net now, so I figured I could wait with updating till I figured out what was going on.

Just noticed this announced last week. It is from the author of WebSite-Watcher, which should make it worth checking out:

General Software Discussion / WinPatrol going subscription
« on: March 23, 2015, 10:14 AM »
I don't know if this has been posted already, but I just read in the latest WinPatrol Newsletter:

Ability to purchase a Subscription free licensing ends March 31st.

Because I'm not one to hide from news that some may not like, I'm putting this at the top of the email.

Tell your everyone you know. The ability to purchase subscription free licensing ends March 31st, 2015.

For everyone who purchases a license on or before March 31st, 2015, we will honor your subscription free license entitling you to free updates in perpetuity.

As an existing customer, nothing will change for you!

  • If you purchase a new computer, so what. You have a license
  • If your computer crashes and you replace it. No big deal, you have a license.
  • If you lose your license, write to us. We'll tell you what it is.
  • If you buy a second, third, fourth or fifth computer, great! You're covered.

Why are we doing this?

  • Without the additional revenue from annual renewals we cannot compete with everyone else. That has become apparent.
  • We've brought in a few people to help us update the PLUS data, only to have them leave very quickly to go elsewhere for more money.
  • I don't want to have to outsource to get help with email support! I want them to report to me as my employee. This guarantees you'll continue to get the quality of support you've grown accustomed to and not be subjected sales pitches for other products when you simply want the help you deserve.
  • This is not an act of greed. This is an act to guarantee your lifetime license for WinPatrol and WinPrivacy truly does last your lifetime.

Tell everyone you know.

Use coupon code "lastchance" (no quotes) to get 25% off a license that lasts forever!

Coupon valid through March 31st, 2015.

General Software Discussion / Removing images when printing?
« on: January 28, 2015, 04:56 AM »
I was printing a few documents today and was thinking it would be nice to be able to remove images and print 2-up to save ink.

I found:
  • GreenCloud, which lets you print multiple pages per page, but does not let you remove graphics.
  • GreenPrint, which lets you remove graphics, but only on whole pages, and does not appear to support 2-up/4-up
  • FinePrint and priPrinter, which look somewhat overkill, and are also more expensive

Any recommendations?

Found Deals and Discounts / Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals
« on: November 29, 2014, 04:33 AM »
Here are a few I noticed:

  • Macrium Reflect 25% off (link)
  • Adguard 30% off (link)
  • Pragmatic Bookshelf 50% off ebooks (link)
  • CrashPlan ~30% off(link)

Any other deals on stuff we discuss here on DonationCoder? :-*

Developer's Corner / Is your editors color theme too dark?
« on: September 17, 2014, 04:34 PM »
This post is based on a blog post I wrote recently: Not Quite Monokai

If you feel some of the popular editor color themes are perhaps a bit on the dark side, there is a chance they were originally developed for TextMate, and your Windows editor is not interpreting the colors quite right.

You can look at screenshots here, here, or here, and compare them to how these color themes look in Sublime Text, Atom, Notepad++, and other editors on Windows/Linux.

The difference is due to color spacesw, where TextMate uses Apple's Generic RGB profile by default, and most Windows editors assume sRGB (see the blog post for more details). When people converted the themes from TextMate to other editors, not many did the proper conversion.

Here are some screenshots comparing a few popular color themes. At the top of each screenshot is what the original TextMate theme looks like in Sublime Text 3 on Windows, and below is how the theme looks when the colors are converted from Generic RGB to sRGB. Notice how the contrast between background and text is more pleasing (at least to me), and the red-ish colors look more in line with the rest.



RailsCasts (idleFingers):


Tomorrow Night:




General Software Discussion / WinPatrol has a new developer
« on: July 01, 2014, 03:40 PM »
Not sure if this has been posted already, but it appears WinPatrol (which often gets recommended here) will continue life with a new developer. The post appears to promise lifetime licenses will be honored:


I've been using Lightroom for managing my photos lately, and I was looking for an option to automatically create a snapshot in the Develop module whenever I export a photo for upload to services like 500px.

To explain briefly; Lightroom is non-destructive and stores a history of changes you apply to your photo. You can create a named snapshot of a certain state, so you can go back to it later after making other changes. It can be nice to have a snapshot of the state a photo was in when you exported it.

So, I thought this would be a good opportunity to try writing my first plug-in for Lightroom :Thmbsup:.

Many plug-ins seem to be commercial, or at least contain compiled Lua files that you cannot modify or learn from, so I decided to make this one available for free under an open-source license:

Fair warning: This is my first Lightroom plug-in, and I started it yesterday, so be sure to back up your catalog if you try it out :-[.

DC Gamer Club / WildStar - colorful MMO in open beta
« on: May 11, 2014, 03:50 AM »
I couldn't find any mention of WildStar on the forum, and I must admit I hadn't heard about it myself until I was in the ESO beta, and some people were comparing them somewhere. I played it in a few of the beta weekends in the past month to see what it was like, and since it is currently in open beta (yes, anyone can get a code and try it until the 18th), I wanted to mention it.

WildStar is a MMORPG which was created by a group of developers from WoW. In some respects this shows, but both in a good and in a perhaps not so good way. On the surface, the colorful, playful, graphics and atmosphere reminds of WoW, but once you play a little, you see it is more like vanilla WoW then what we know today (and for people who played WoW for a long time, that is usually a good thing).

Things I like about it so far are the combat system, the paths feature, and that some things actually are hard and require skill (and well, after being in the ESO beta, something other than grey and brown is very appealing :P).

I don't think there is much point in me listing the things you can see on the homepage, and try out yourself if you like, so:

General Software Discussion / The AVE
« on: April 16, 2014, 05:56 AM »
So, you find yourself reading a discussion somewhere about text editors or IDEs, and that one guy mentions Vim. You start to think about how awesome it would be to know Vim, how all the cool kids seem to do. There's something special about a text editor that works entirely different from all other text editors. You seem to remember sometime last year where you tried to learn Vim, but you can't quite put your finger on why you didn't end up being a Vim pro.

That's right, it's time for ...

The Annual Vim Experiment ;D

It's been long enough since the last time that you've forgotten the time it took to play with .vimrc to get something that looked halfway usable. You've repressed the countless hours of fumbling around and googling just to edit a few lines of text. You can't remember the aggrevation of every single other program on your computer doing random things as you involuntarily used a Vim shortcut that was on it's way into your muscle memory. If you're using Windows, you've forgotten how half the plugins are a pain to install because they assume Ruby or Python or something else. And if you're using a non-US keyboard, you also forgot how 5% of the commands were hard or impossible to press.

All of that is far enough away in your memory that you are ready to give it another try. And who knows, maybe this time you will succeed if you get the right help -- the question is what are the best resources to get you going?

Via HN, hubiC is what looks like a DropBox like service at a fraction of the cost.

I hope some competition in this market will bring the prices down :Thmbsup:.

I think this is an excellent introduction to what makes C different than most modern high level languages:

This article attempts to give a sort of ‘orientation tour’ for people whose previous programming background is in high (ish) level languages such as Java or Python, and who now find that they need or want to learn C.

C is quite different, at a fundamental level, from languages like Java and Python. However, well-known books on C (such as the venerable Kernighan & Ritchie) tend to have been written before Java and Python changed everyone's expectations of a programming language, so they might well not stop to explain the fundamental differences in outlook before getting into the nitty-gritty language details. Someone with experience of higher-level languages might therefore suffer a certain amount of culture shock when picking up such a book. My aim is to help prevent that, by warning about the culture shocks in advance.

This article will not actually teach C: I'll show the occasional code snippet for illustration and explain as much as I need to make my points, but I won't explain the language syntax or semantics in any complete or organised way. Instead, my aim is to give an idea of how you should expect C to differ from languages you previously knew about, so that when you do pick up an actual C book, you won't be distracted from the details by the fundamental weirdness.

N.A.N.Y. 2014 / N.A.N.Y. 2014 Special: gaioNiBBLES, old DOS game
« on: December 16, 2013, 10:42 AM »
New Apps for the New Year. Out with the old in with the new. New, new, new, all this focus on new >:(.

As a counterweight (and because I didn't manage to come up with a good idea for this year, but don't tell mouser), I decided to release this little DOS 16-bit game, which I wrote roughly 15 years ago! ;D


It's a fairly simple clone of the classic Nibbles game. It features two-player and deathmatch modes, AdLib music, and (broken) IPX networking.


I thought the source was lost in a computer upgrade at some point, but I recently found a CD with a backup that contained this game, among other relics :-[.

In order to assemble the game itself you will need TASM. The level and music data files can be assembled with NASM.

To run the game, I recommend using DOSBox. If you are on 32-bit Windows, you might be able to run the executable directly, but the graphics and sound will most likely be off compared to the result you would get with DOSBox.

... or: when did the "Click here if you did not sign up for this service" links disappear from account verification e-mails?

I have a few different e-mail addresses in use, and like most I guess, I sometimes see people have signed up to something random using one of my e-mail addresses. I figure in most cases it's a typo that results in this, but it's annoying none the less. Sometimes I click an unsubscribe link if the e-mail doesn't look too scammy, but mostly I just report it as spam and don't see it again.

But now someone has signed up to DropBox and Skype using one of my e-mail addresses, and there is no apparent way to tell them that I did not sign up myself.

DropBox apparently merrily lets you sign up using whatever address you like, and then you can use that account, pretending to be that person, and you only miss out on a few features like shared folders, and the fun fact e-mails DropBox team sends you -- because I get that spam instead :wallbash:.

I don't know if Skype accounts need to be verified for you to use them, but they certainly do not need to be verified for you to receive lots and lots of e-mails with fun facts. And again, there is no apparent way to tell them "I did not sign up for this" in the verification e-mail.

So what are my options?

I could ignore it and mark all that mail as spam. But someone is pretending to be me using my e-mail address for his DropBox. And what if I ever needed to create a DropBox or Skype account using that address?

I could use the password reset process to try and take over these accounts and delete them. That seems morally objectionable at best.

I could report the problem to their support people. What are the chances of this actually doing anything? I tried with DropBox, reported it a couple of months ago, nothing, not even an automated we received your report e-mail.

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