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Topics - Beth UK [ switch to compact view ]

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A couple of people here know that my background is actually nursing. I'm about to start a new course that will mean learning a lot of information by heart (boring, repetitive, but it has to be done). I need a program that will throw pop-ups onto the screen at random intervals asking a question and demanding an answer - like a cross between sticky notes and educational flash cards. I would like to configure it to NOT ask questions that I am happy with - but instead, to repeat questions I am less familiar with.

I already use Anki - a flash card program. However, this does not have the ability to randomly ask a question on screen.

Does anyone have any suggestions - have done all the usual background search and come up with zero!

Help needed!!! :)


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General Software Discussion / Vista 64-bit - Service Pack 1 Arrived!
« on: February 21, 2008, 07:41 AM »
Out of the blue it arrived 45 minutes ago - Vista Service Pack 1, via windows automatic update. Entire installation process took ... well... 45 minutes.

I didn't think SP1 was due until early-mid March via automatic updates? Still, it's here! Have to say I was dreading it's arrival a little bit due to some of the pre-warnings about driver conflicts etc and past experiences with Windows Service Packs returning many settings to their default 'factory' settings. But, no, as far as I can tell the Service Pack has left things as they were - right down to my daily warning that "User Account Control is switched off"  :-\

There we go! I have to say again that while I continue to run XP on certain systems my experience with Vista 64 continues to be warm and loving!! For me it just works, despite my fiddling and tweaking.  :up:

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Living Room / Computing. A Goal in itself, or a means to an end?
« on: November 08, 2007, 09:09 AM »
I am curious as to how many people here at DonationCoder view computing as a 'goal in itself' or a 'means to an end'? Do you have a fascination with the 'act' of computing, or with reaching a goal 'using a computer'.

I think when I first started using computers (ahem... Atari 1040st  :-[) I used to be fascinated with what could be done, even if I didn't actually want or need to do it! It was just that it 'could' be done. I would sit in awe and think ...'wow, that's amazing'.

Now I have less time available, and also, sometimes, a diminished curiosity in 'what' a computer can do because I know what I 'have' to get done. I used to be an avid downloader of software just to see what it did. Now, I tend to restrict myself to what I need. The initial rush of the frontier days of computing has been replaced by a more utilitarian approach.

How about you? Do you still have that 'frontier feeling' when you use a computer?

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General Software Discussion / 64-Bit Software
« on: September 26, 2007, 11:19 AM »
For those using 64-bit systems I thought a 64-bit bits thread may be useful!

Let me kick in here with two suggestions for software apps that are 64-bit native.

1. SmartFTP. I have traditionally used WS-FTP Pro for ftp work but wanted to check out 64-bit apps in this area. SmartFTP is fast, stable and with a good feature set (not quite rivalling Ipswitch but good).

2. AB Commander. My stable explorer program has always be Directory Opus. Again, wanting to check out 64-bit alternatives led me to AB Commander. Fast, attractive, functional, dual-paned and infinitely better than Vista Explorer.

I am terrible at software reviews so I guess I am just mentioning these as programs I think are worth checking out.

Other suggestions..?

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Living Room / Upgrading Your BIOS - experiencing ecstasy
« on: September 26, 2007, 11:10 AM »
I recently upgraded my whole system to 64-bit Vista. I have to say the experience has been a delightful one without the woes I have often seen associated both with Vista, and 64-bit computing. I can access huge amounts of RAM, and my graphics applications are flying!

Yesterday, however, brought an experience close to ecstasy when I upgraded my BIOS. It always strikes me as odd that quite often people neglect BIOS updates (whether through fear or ignorance) when these can be so fundamental to improving overall computing experience.

I have a new Mobo - Gigabyte GA-P35 Quad Core and while happy with the overall speed and stability of the system have felt a 'sluggishness' at times that simply should not have existed. Vista was running fine (locating by itself every driver it needed, and all software was working happily) and I have been accessing gorgeous chunks of RAM. The one issue that bugged me was a boot time of 10 minutes!!!! And the erratic sluggishness... Was this the machine, Vista, bad memory??

I never fly into updating BIOS because it can upset a balanced system and a BIOS flash is not without it's dangers. I decided my system wasn't 'feeling' balanced and so a BIOS update became an option. This was a good decision because checking the Mobo makers site it revealed two very recent BIOS upgrades. I was surprised to find myself two updates behind!

So I took the plunge and updated the BIOS - and wow, every single niggle I had vanished after reboot. The reboot itself went from 10 minutes to 50 seconds (!!) and it felt as if the system had discovered itself and its potential. I have never ever experienced such a huge change in a system - speed, stability, boot time etc etc.

So here is a little reminder to check your BIOS version - it can make huge differences!

CAUTION: Updating BIOS is a major process. ALWAYS read Manufacturers advice, backup everything, and ensure you choose the correct BIOS upgrade. Messing up a BIOS flash can ruin your motherboard. Some Mobo makers offer set-up installations that automatically check for the correct BIOS - well worth using! I was lucky also in that Gigabyte have a 64-bit compatible installer which made life really easy.



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Living Room / 64 bit Vista - help and advice
« on: August 31, 2007, 07:44 AM »
Hello,

I thought I would turn to the trusted folk of DonationCoder to ask some advice.

I am thinking of moving to a 64 bit Vista system (custom built system) and need thoughts or advice from anyone who has experience with this.

My main aim is to maximise the amount of RAM and processing power I have for applications like Photoshop CS3 etc etc. I work with HUGE images (up to 1 gig) and my current system is starting to choke a bit. A 64 bit system allows applications to address larger amounts of RAM. Although Photoshop is a 32 bit program it will (apparently) make use of a little extra RAM under a 64 bit system. News is that the next version may have increased 64 bit support!

When I go to computer builders here in the UK I get a lot of bulls**t most of the time with some even trying to convince me I can use 8 gig of RAM on a 32 bit system.?!? :huh:

Any ideas or system configs for 64 bit system?




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