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Topics - MrCrispy [ switch to compact view ]

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I'm sure that something like this exists, need some help. I have a lot of old photos I'm trying to organize. The look like this right now -

-- party
----- img01.jpg, img02.jpg etc
-- marriage
----- m1
-------- dsc100.jpg, dsc101.jpg etc
----- m2
-------- dsc100.jpg, dsc101.jpg etc (same name but different pics)

What I'd like to end up with is photos renamed with folder name, and date+tags from EXIF data, in those respective folders.

---- party_2015_1205_0930pm.jpg

I've tried a few renaming tools but none could do this and I didn't find any way to do this in batch mode or from cmd line, as I have a huge number of photos to process.

Any suggestions?

General Software Discussion / Suggestions for a RSS reader
« on: December 23, 2012, 07:59 PM »
My goal is to use the RSS reader as a one stop app for all my news reading/searching etc. I've tried a number of them - web based such as Feedly, and desktop like RssOwl, FeedDemon, and none seem to meet my needs. This is what I want -

1. offline support. Download all the feed content, including comments, images etc, so it can be viewed anytime. I want the app to act as a cache of the blog, essentially.
2. syncing - whether it is via Google Reader, or their own service. So things like unread, favorites, saved searches/filters can sync
3. Portable mode if possible
4. Support for comments to be seen inside the app

#1 seems like the hardest to do. Some of the apps have an offline mode but it seems to act like a web browser cache, i.e if I need to reinstall the app, then its lost. There are a lot of important blogs, and my goal is to keep their content available to me by saving it, and also use the reader as a way to manage them, search, filter etc.

General Software Discussion / Software Uninstallers
« on: January 24, 2012, 04:06 PM »
A few issues I want to talk about -

1. Is the uninstaller in Windows enough? 3rd party uninstallers just call the same entry point to uninstall anyway, all they do is have a nicer GUI and maybe list more stuff.

2. Uninstallers that work by diffing - i.e. taking a snapshot before and after install, then comparing. Are these reliable? There's too much going on in the OS, and no way to determine what's related to the app you're installing, or is just additional filesystem/registry activity.

3. Does Windows even support true uninstalling? I say not. Because every single program that has a trial version leaves behind remnants, so you can't install it again and restart the trial.  And many programs never uninstall properly. e.g. crap like Acronis TrueImage, and leave behind tons of stuff.

General Software Discussion / Detecting duplicate videos
« on: January 10, 2012, 09:12 PM »
I turn to the experts and hope something like this exists. It should detect duplicates by analyzing frames in the video and be able to identify clips that share parts of the video (e.g. a movie rip, and  youtube clips from the movie, ) and mark the ones with the highest resolution and quality.

I found research papers that propose methods of doing this -


Obviously this will be very expensive computationally but it doesn't matter.

After months of anticipation and excitement, the W8 reveal was such as huge letdown. I was hoping for something fresh and exciting, similar to the Windows 7 M3 build. Instead, what we got is this -

- an OS designed for tablets and phones. 'Touch-first' really means 'screw you mouse and keyboard users'
- Nothing new for desktop users except inconvenience of being dropped into Metro. Ok, Explorer ribbon, file copies, faster startup, and new task manager.
- As a developer, WinRT is a failure - its only good for Metro apps, any desktop app will still need the old frameworks like .NEt, WPF, Win32

In other words, for 99.9% of the population running a desktop OS, there's absolutely nothing new and no reason to upgrade. Nothing new in the OS, nothing new for developers.
On the other hand, if you wanted to write the next version of your iPad app for Windows tablets (which won't be out for at least 6 months) you're in luck.

I think it was Chrome that started this stupid trend - the page title is only displayed in the tab, and the window title is empty. Now they all do it - IE, Firefox 4. It makes it impossible to see what page you're on when there are more than 5-10 tabs open, without hovering over each.

I don't see any reason to do this.

Since the 'best desktop search' thread is sort of dead, mostly since there's nothing new, I thought I'd start one to list what I really want, and hope something comes close.

- Searches must support phrases, boolean (and/or/not), similarity/fuzzy, near    *
- Must be able to define multiple indices, which contain different collections of folders
- Index many sources such as files, email  *
- Option to choose fulltext vs file name based on source, so e.g in my start menu I don' care about contents
- Indices must be portable and program must have ability to export/import data
- Limit searches to certain file types/folders/dates *
- real time updates  *
- much faster instant updates based on e.g. MFT
- support for offline catalogs and sources
- synchronize across multiple pc's
- saved searches *
- federated searches (search across intranet, databases etc)  *
- customizable caching strategy and speed vs size options
- Find As You Type
- previews for all common file types, support for IFilter *
- group search results based on multiple criteria such as location/similarity
- drill down into existing searches
- search results visualization using 3d graphics, full fidelity previews and sorting/filtering
- good integration (like Spotlight) into all applications and OS (explorer, start menu)
- modular, programmable, command line support, scriptable, extensible
- open source (yes I had to throw this in here!)
- portable
- speed speed speed

(* = features already present or even common)

So what we're talking about here is the unholy love child of WDS, X1 search, Everything and Cathy :)

I don't think any of this needs tech that is not available or is too hard. Someone just needs to make a usable interface which admittedly is a hard problem and then focus on performance.

I tried all the free and shareware ones a while back and finally ended up using Cathy. But it does lack a few things that I'd like such as -

- find as you type
- categories (so I can have a separate one for external disks, laptop, pc)
- storing additional data (thumbnails, movie info etc) via plugins and search over this data

But any replacement must have the things I love about Cathy -

- fast!
- small and portable (I have my cathy folder synced using dropbox and its wonderful)
- built in duplicates search
- no frills, stable, gets the job done
- freeware (not a must but preferable)

Since it hasn't been updated in a while, I'm wondering if there's something else out there.

General Software Discussion / A fantastic new Windows 7 feature
« on: March 21, 2009, 02:40 AM »

Short summary - Windows SteadyState is now a feature of user accounts, and can be used to prevent a 'Guest Mode' account from making any permanent changes/damage to the system.

This is a cool and useful feature, I can already imagine it being useful for some of my friends and family members who manage to keep infecting their pc's. I would set it up so that programs that need to write data can do so to an unlocked drive, and the system drive remains clean. For many users its more harmful to give them the ability to install any random crap they want.

General Software Discussion / Looking for simple backup software
« on: January 26, 2009, 07:19 PM »
I've read many articles/threads on backup/imaging but still haven't found something that is simpe enough for a novice yet powerful. What I'm looking for -

1. define backup profile like backup a certain folder/drive
2. detect external drives based on their unique serial numbers, not drive letter
3. automatically run the backup when the external drive is connected
4. be able to monitor the backup location for changes
5. keep multiple revisions
6. keep backup files in a native format, so I can use the backup drive anywhere
7. be integrated into explorer, like previous versions. So I can right click on a file/folder and say, show me the last 2 revisions

Many programs do 1,4,5 but I haven't seen anything which combines all the above.

I've setup Vista to mount all external drives as external folders. So I've set up folders under "d:\External Drives", which really are junction points, and then any time the drive is plugged in it is mounted there. This way it doesn't get a random drive letter, and my backup scripts use the same path. IMO this is a killer feature in Windows which not many are aware of.

But I have a few issues -

1. The free space shown is for the d:\ drive, which contains the junction point. As far as I can tell, there is no way to tell the actual free vs used space on the drive, without going into disk management. This has caused big problems because backup programs, explorer etc have no idea there is not enough space left to copy.

2. It is not easy to tell which folder has a mounted drive. When I try to open one which is not, I get an error message. There is a slight color difference in the icons for the two, but its easy to mistake them.

3. Is there a single place which can show me all mounted volumes. Something like an explorer namespace  called "Mounted Volumes" which will then list all active reparse points.

Is there a way to make the user experience better? Are there any utilities for this (prefer freeware)?

Scrapbook ( is my #1 must have addon for Firefox - its where I save anything interesting I come across, and categorize all my research. It serves as an offline browser, website downloader, quick bookmarking, archiving web pages etc. But there are 2 features I wish it had -

- detecting duplicates - if I'm saving a url which I already have
- export/import from other programs like OneNote

I was unable to find an official forum for Scrapbook. Let me know if anyone knows of a better place to ask, or how to implement these.

General Software Discussion / Let go of your bookmarks!
« on: June 15, 2008, 10:20 PM »
Topic of discussion - bookmarks are not needed, all you need is a search engine!

I've invested a lot of time and effort in bookmarking any site which I find useful or interesting, and then organizing and syncing those bookmarks using various tools and online managers like etc. And I hardly ever use them. This is what ends up happening -

1. if its a site you visit frequently, its going to be in your browser history, or saved session in Firefox as well.
2. if its not, chances are good its a reference site. In this case you're better off using google or any social bookmarking service to find it based on what you'r elooking for.
3. A lot of the sites you've bookmarked are probably dead/moved/no longer current.

Maybe I'm the only (insane) user who has hundreds of bookmarks, yet hardly ever uses them when looking for something.

One of the projects I'm working on has a huge number of document files  (html, rtf, txt, word) many of which contain duplicate content. They contain things like article abstracts, full content and archived copies. So there are a lot of duplicates, however the files are not the same. There are things like 2 files with same content but different html title, or 1 file which contains the text present in 3 others etc. Its all big mess :(

Usual duplicate finders will not work. I'm not sure if there is any tool that can help me - I need something which will identify duplicate snippets by examining the file contents, and then intelligently recognize how it maps to duplicate files, and which ones can be deleted.

Any suggestions are welcome.

General Software Discussion / File Sync questions
« on: May 13, 2008, 01:17 AM »
1. Do you use file syncing?
2. What do you use - program (SyncToy, SuperFlexible), service (foldershare, dropbox), or hardware (Raid 1) and across how many computers?
3. Do you prefer to have the data live only on your pc (foldershare) or in the cloud (dropbox, Live Mesh)?
4. Worth paying for?
5. Would you use it for backups? This is interesting to me because for most people, having an automated sync is a great backup strategy (compared to none), but then there are the dangers - i.e. deletes/bad data are also sync'd.

I think there is a lot of work being done in this area and a lot of scope to help make data easier to deal with for most people. As a developer I know the problem is non-trivial (multi-way sync resolution, transactional commits, differential syncs etc) yet to most users its a simple concept (keep 2 copies of my data).

Its an interesting space to watch.

General Software Discussion / Uninstallers - do any of them work?
« on: April 24, 2008, 04:22 PM »
Let me start my rant by saying I believe there should be no need for utilities like defraggers, tweakers, registry cleaners, uninstallers etc. These are all functions the OS should perform. And in fact DOES perform quite well ! I don't see a gazillion shareware utilities that advertise miracle cures  for OSX, and I think the main reason is 1) Windows apps are not well written or well behaved compared to carefully craftes OSX and Linux apps, and 2) the OS itself doesn't do housecleaning very well, although its a lot better than most suspect.

Ok, back to uninstallers. As far as I'm concerned, the only true test if it will let me install and use a trial version after it expires. Remove every last registry key and hidden data and get my system back. AFAIK no on does this. A number of them do registry monitoring and will figure out whats changed, but do they really work?

I shouldn't have to use the Norton removal tool, I don't want special utilities to remove leftover junk. I want one (ring) to rule them all !!

That was probably not a very good title for what I have in mind. I'm trying to get organized and want to collect various bits and pieces into one nice collection that is easily manageable - this info comes from web pages, blogs, notes etc. e.g.  collections of software ideas, fitness routines and tips, recipes, personal finance etc. An imp feature would be a classification system (tags/folders etc) and context - e.g. if its a web page it would get the latest copy, update rss feeds etc.

I find I'm just not able to keep track of all the different places and things tend to get lost. Right now I mostly use the Firefox extension scrapbook because its so easy to use. I also have OneNote but am not very good at it. I've read the huge note taking thread and am also considering UltraRecall but it seems complicated.

Is there something which can do what I want? Maybe not even a single program but a good workflow.

General Software Discussion / Firefox 3 beta 3 expected today
« on: February 11, 2008, 03:54 PM »
Here's what to expect -

A new FF is always good news, since its probably one of the most used apps for a lot of people. For the main concern is extension compatibility. I like the new Places feature for bookmarks and I'm hoping for integration.


edit by jgpaiva: added image

General Software Discussion / How many of you use encryption?
« on: December 20, 2007, 10:01 PM »
There is, effectively, no privacy these days. The govt basically has carte blanche to snoop into our private information, and the courts have ruled that even computer techs have the right to look at your hard drive and report you.

I know that the majority of pc users have no idea what encryption and security is, and they are not expected to. But I wonder how many knowledgeable computer users, like those who post on forums, have their data encrypted. I personally store all my data in a TrueCrypt container which is then backed up locally and also online. I'm also setting up the same system for all my friends and family, and its very easy for them to get used to it.

Especially on a laptop, it is critical to secure your data. If Windows EFS and Bitlocker were not so inherently dangerous, I would use them instead.

General Software Discussion / Are you testing Vista SP1 RC?
« on: December 13, 2007, 03:24 AM »
Similar to the other thread but about Vista. Cybernetnews has a good review and download links -

I'm installing it right now, it should be done by the time I wake up. What the review doesn't mention is which of the improvements are new and which are simply the earlier performance patches all combined. I have good hopes for it, lets see how it turns out.

General Software Discussion / Looking for a Video organizing app
« on: November 30, 2007, 04:02 AM »
I'm looking for a video catalog app which I can use to manage all my videos. These consist of dvd rips, downloads, web videos etc.

What I want -

  • scan a directory of files, show video thumbnails
  • fetch imdb/amazon data based on title. A lot of catalog apps can get imdb, but they require me to input the title manually for each movie. Almost all the movie catalog apps have this limitation but I guess they are designed for dvd's and not dvd's ripped to a media server in avi format.
  • be able to use an external player. Don't care about this if builtin player is good enough (uses ffdshow and has good controls)
  • search by actor/genre/title type of metadata
  • smart playlists - e.g. play all movies with Al Pacino which I haven't seen. You get the idea.

Some nice to have features -
  • bookmarks in the video with thumbnails for each point - like chapters in dvd movie but definable by user. So I can then then got a favorite scene in a movie by just looking at it.
  • search for duplicates
  • tagging for video files and then search by tag, play counts etc - the nice things mp3 has
  • video format conversion

Some really nice and even more specialized features -
  • manage, search and download online videos from sites such as youtube
  • get movie trailers, link trailer to the actual movie if I have it
  • dvd conversion, ripping and burning

I am not aware of any such apps. I think it would be quite useful esp since I have built a media server and ripped all my movies and tv dvds to it, as well as downloaded content.

General Software Discussion / Making a custom XP cd
« on: November 27, 2007, 03:49 AM »
As I said in my last post, I'm going to try and go back to XP from Vista on my new pc and see how it goes. After reading the recent news of how XP SP3 brings huge performance gains and how some apps like Office are 2x slower on Vista, I feel I have all the more reason to do so. It'll be a fun little adventure either way.

Since a normal XP install doesn't support SATA/Raid or any of the other new hardware, I'm going to make a custom boot cd. I've been reading the usual forums and links, such as nLite,, msfn forums and there is just an unbelievable amount of customization going on - its all a bit overwhelming! And it turns out there are a ton of apps to bring most of Vista's gui to XP, so naturally I want to do that as well :)

Has anyone else made their special XP cd and what did you put on it? I will update with my progress and share any custom config I use.

General Software Discussion / Going back to XP
« on: November 24, 2007, 03:57 AM »
I've decided to dump Vista and go back to XP :( I didn't make this decision lightly since there are a lot of things about Vista I like, but I don't think I have a choice.

After a lot of research, I built a new pc in mid August (after Intel's July 22 price cuts), It has really good components - P35 motherboard, 2GB Ram, quad core Q6600. I expected Vista to fly on this. Unfortunately, I have had nothing but problems. From constant blue screens which have reduced as I installed every hotfix and patch I could find, to application crashes and inexplicable behaviour, I never quite feel in control of the machine. I've run all sorts of hardware stress tests, memory diagnostics etc and everything is fine.

It had gotten to the point where it was unusable and I do all my computing on my laptop. So I'm going to backup all my data, do a clean format and its back to good old XP. I'll miss the search feature the most I think, and the UI but its just not worth the hassle.

General Software Discussion / The best RSS reader?
« on: November 14, 2007, 04:16 AM »
I know this has been covered before, but I want to focus on some specific features and see if there's anything new. I haven't really gotten on the whole rss bandwagon completely because I just find it easier to visit websites. I've tried a lot of readers (desktop and web) and I've decided I don't care for a lot of web 2.0 features like tagging, social networking etc, since they don't matter as much as the core. What I really want is :-

- get the entire article and keep a copy offline. If the article is not available in the feed then it should cache the web page with all images etc
- get all the comments too
- find duplicate content (since many blogs link to the same article) and keep only 1 copy

Other stuff like opml import, watch folders etc are very common now. What I want is for my reader to basically store all the news I don't have time to read, and then let me catch up later on my laptop when I'm not connected. I also want the entire article available forever if I want to keep it.

I've tried greatnews, feeddemon, sharpreader etc and none of them cache content or work in this way. Are there any others out there?

General Software Discussion / Implementing Leopard features for Vista?
« on: November 06, 2007, 05:03 PM »
I'm quite impressed with Leopard's usability features such as QuickLook and TimeMachine. Yet, I am also dissapointed that all of these are possible today in Windows (and specifically Vista), yet Microsoft and 3rd party vendors seem to lack the ability/desire to use them.

.. is one of Leopard's most hyped features, and with good reason. It finally offers normal users a simple, consistent and powerful way to do backup and system recovery. But if you look under the hood, Vista has had this technology since long, ever since the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) debuted in Windows 2003 server.

VSS is technically better and much more powerful than TimeMachine - it can offload the copies to hardware if present, it works on a block rather than file level, its districubted and extensible. But in typical Microsoft fashion, the UI (previous versions tab and System restore) is not nearly as easy to use, and much of the features are hidden since apps don't make use of them. e.g. in Leopard AddreessBook is aware of system snapshots and can search them. In Windows the only apps that seem to use VSS are imaging and backup programs.

I don't care for the starry backgrounds, but why can't this be implemented on Windows fairly quickly?

More than anything else, this is the one thing that stands out most in daily use. Yet most reviews never mention that Vista already has this too! Its called the preview pane and any app can register handlers for it, much like in OSX. So why don't we use it more - because the UI is clunky, its only in explorer and and once again, other apps don't take advantage of it.

Stacks, Spotlight etc
To me, these are not sufficiently different from the equivalent in Windows or that useful, so I won't discuss them.

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