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Topics - JoTo [ switch to compact view ]

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1
Living Room / DC MicroGathering USA<->Germany :)
« on: October 15, 2014, 08:07 AM »
Hi DoCo's,

I became good friend with also long time DonationCoder member Ken many years ago. Since then in both of us grew the wish to meet sometimes in real life. But for many reasons it never takes place since now. You can imagine how happy I was when Ken sent me an email announcing that he plans to visit me in Germany this year together with his sister Terry.

I went immediately to my teammate at work Ute. She also knows Ken from chatting. I told her about the good news. She got excited too and instantly agreed to take off some days from work, as me, while Ken's and Terry's visit. As my flat is too small for three people and hers is much bigger, she offered to give Ken and Terry shelter, bed and breakfast. Thank you Ute for your offer and help, without them the visit would’nt been possible.

There was a lot of planning to do in advance. Ken, who was never outside the USA before, need to get a passport first. Also the activities have to be planned. Where to go? What needs to be visited? And so on.

Then the day was coming! On Saturday 28th of June 2014, Ken and Terry started their trip to Germany with the first hop from Jacksonville to Charlotte international Airport. From there their next flight crosses the Atlantic Ocean directly to Frankfurt/Main, the most biggest airport in Germany. At this time Ute and I met in Stuttgart to prepare the arrival of our guests with some shopping and whatnot. In the evening we decided to have a nice pizza together to celebrate the upcoming arrival of Ken and his sister in a few hours. The funny part about this was, that I installed a flight tracker app on my smartphone (it is named FlightAware if you are interested in and its completely free). So we were able to follow Ken's and Terry's plane in nearly real time with all technical details like flight height, course, airspeed, delay and also the exact position of the plane, even in a graphical manner showing a small plane icon on a world map. But as there were still some more hours to wait, Ute and I parted and went to bed.

At the next morning (Sunday 29th July 2014) my first look goes to my smartphones display to see where the plane had gone over night. And it was already over the european shore. If my geographic knowledge was right they were over Belgium. So just a few minutes to go until touchdown in Frankfurt. When Ken and Terry had landed in Frankfurt and got their baggage, they have to switch to the train that will bring them to their final destination Stuttgart (about 200 km away from Frankfurt in the southwest of Germany). Ken was eager to ride the German high-tech train ICE, that will go up to 280 km/h on the high-speed tracks between Frankfurt and Stuttgart. The ICE passes this about 220 km in about 1h 20 min.

Ute and I met on Sunday morning to go together to the railway station. At about noon the ICE with Ken and Terry arrived just in schedule. We waited on the platform and looked around for the people we only know from chat and Skype. And then, there they are! What a hello on the platform. What a hugging and even some tears. Friends for years that never met before. It was just awesome. Then we grabbed the suitcases and walked down the platform towards the cabs.

When we arrived at my home, we raided at first my father's apartment to say hello and have a nice “welcome snack” with Swabian pretzels (with and without butter), Salami sticks and Prosecco (an italian speciality - something between wine and champagne). The funny thing here was, that my dad don't speak a single word english (only Italian and German) while Ken and Terry neither speak Italian nor German. So at first I started to be the simultan translator. But after a few minutes I was jobless, because Ken and my Dad started to communicate with gestures using their hands and feets. They learned each other some english and italian words. :D And I was astonished how good it worked. I just have to jump in rarely when the topic gets too complicated. After that Ken and Terry went with Ute to her home to unpack. Two hours later they came back. In the meantime one of my best friends Ralf joined us and we all went out to have dinner in a restaurant with Swabian specialities (Rostbraten with Spätzle – Kind of roasted beef with swabian homoemade noodles). Of course Ken and Terry suffer from jet lag and so we quit the evening early to go to bed.

The following two weeks were filled with the planned activities. Sad thing about this was, that the weather was not very good at that time. So some of the planned activities had to be canceled. :( For example I have planned to hire my friend who own a nice oldtimer. An old Mercedes-Benz convertible, brown with white leather interior. I thought it would be fun for Ken and Terry to drive like some VIP to the raptor flight show. But there was sadly no day with weather good enough and warm enough to drive in an open car. And with the bad and rainy weather, the birds in the show won't fly anyway.

It was the wish of Ken and Terry to visit the "Zugspitze", the highest mountain in Germany (belongs to the Alps and sits directly on the border Germany/Austria). Because it is a bit away from Stuttgart, it was a whole day trip to go back and forth. The way up was done by a big and long ropeway. What a pity it was very foggy this day, so you can’t see a long-range from the mountaintop.

But other activities went well. So we had an italian eve in my aunt, my cousin and uncles flat. My stepfather and my uncle are native italians and so we had a lot of genuine italian food (cheese, salami, lasagna) and beverages (wine, grappa) this evening. Another teammate, namely Jota, that knows Ken also from chat, is from Greece and invited us to an genuine Greek evening with "Pastizio" (a greek pasta bake). Thank you Jota for the great evening. Some other evening's were spent together with my dad with Swabian specialities like "Maultaschen" (mouth bags) and grilling with a lot of fun. Some visits in restaurants completed the evening activities.

On some other days we went to some points with lookout over the city. On another day I hired my regular cabdriver, which is a licensed city guide, to do a guided city tour with us, explaining to us some historical details about the buildings, castles and the history of Stuttgart which was long time the residence of the King of Württemberg. We also touched the prominent Mercedes-Benz Museum with it’s award winning architecture (but had no time to go in) and the original garage of Mr. Daimler, where he invented and built the world's very first automobile. The birthplace of the modern cars and anchestor of all the automobiles we use nowadays.

An extraordinary day was also the 5th of July, when we all went at first to an exhibition of my blind self helping organization. There Ken and Terry could examine and try some of the modern helping gadgets for visually impaired and blind people. Ken also tried to walk around using a white long stick that is used by blind people to fumble the ground when they are walking. In the afternoon we went to the clubhouse of my maritime club. On that day we had a day of open houses together with all the other watersports clubs at the lake. All people were invited to meet us and try the things our and all the other clubs has to offer. That includes sailing, ruddering, learning knots, rope throwing, kajaking  and much more. So Ken and Terry had the chance to get a ride on our two mast sailing boat, the biggest ship at the lake. At the evening we had a nice grilling together with the club members.

There were also a few days we did nothing or just less, to rest and recover. On that days we just sat together, had nice conversations (I think we solved all the problems and diseases from all over the world, but I forgot the solution we came about - what a pity – maybe it was 42. But i can’t remember. :D ) or just played a nice boardgame.

Then this sad but expected Saturday 12th of July came around. The day of departure. We met in the morning to escort Ken and Terry to the railway station. We were there long time before the train parts to be sure to not miss it. So we had enough time to sit down at the platform and have some last conversations. When the time of departure came, there was still no train on the track. Huh? But also no announcement. Ute noticed, that there was an ICE train standing and waiting on the next platform though. But that could not be ours. Ute went over there anyway and asked the conductor. Then she ran back and yelled that it IS indeed our train. WTF??? They changed the track and platform without announcement to the passengers. Are they nuts? So we had to run to the train and had no more time to say a nice goodbye. Just a small handshake and a hug must be enough, because the conductor already forced us to hurry up because the train has to leave.

Then Ute and I were alone again. Ken and Terry had left. We went home, cleaned up a bit and tried to remember again the last wonderful days. While Ken and Terry where on their way to Frankfurt by train to catch their plane back to Charlotte and then to Jacksonville. Of course I traced their flight again with my smart phone app.

It was a wonderful experience and a wonderful time. I loved to have Ken with me in real life and enjoyed the days. Ken took hundreds of photos and send me some of them that he selected as the “best of”. From that selection I took a few to post it here to let you see how great this meeting of two DonationCoder members was.

I hope you enjoyed my report about the DCRLCT (DonationCoder RealLife ComeTogether) and i hope that there will be many more of these events, so that we all can learn us to know in real life.

Greetings
JoTo



Me (JoTo) at the maritime club while the day of open houses
[attachthumb=#1][/attachthumb]



Ken and Hans-Jürgen (a maritime club member) at the maritime club while the day of open houses, preparing a radio controlled model boat, getting ready to let have Ken drive a round with it
[attachthumb=#2][/attachthumb]



Ken and Ute
[attachthumb=#3][/attachthumb]



Terry and Ken
[attachthumb=#4][/attachthumb]



2
Greetings to my private Think-Tank (a.k.a. Donationcoder Forum) :) ,

i need to find a macro recorder for windows OS for our QA dept which need to test new updates for our software. This implies going through the same steps in our application for every testcase again and again. Sometimes with the exact same data (e.g. if an error occured to see if the error is gone after bugfix), sometimes only the nearly exact procedure but with different values (other testcases).

Problem is, AutoIT or whatever is not an option, as these guys and gals have no programming knowledge at all. So the recorder should be one for dummies. Just something like "start recording -> do the things you need to do -> stop recording -> playback recording".

No need for eye candy or whistles and bells. But saving/reload a formerly saved macro would be nice. Also maybe the possibility to edit the recorded steps a bit (e.g. someone did a wrong keypress by accident or need to change an entered value - with this feature he dont have to start all over again with recording the macro).

I dont need any special functionality like using DLL calls or whatsoever. Keypresses, Mouseevents are a must, edititing an existing/formerly recorded macro would come handy and having a kind of giving specific windows the focus so that the keypresses would go to the correct one (can be simulated by mouseclicks of course too) would be nice. And, as i said earlier, as easy to use as possible.

OH! And it should be FREE of course. Not that we wont pay for a good solution (if there are real benefits we maybe purchase one too), but then you have to fiddle around with license transfer from one pc to another and keeping an eye that you wont go over the top of your license amount and whatnot. With a free product that would be much easier to handle.

My problem is not, that i cannot find any macro recorder. More the opposite is true. I find GAZILLIONS of those and dont have the time or mood to install everyone one after another to see if it fits our needs. Maybe we can constrain the search a bit when you helpful community share your experiences and knowledge about this topic with me and recommend some of the better ones.

Thank you in advance guys for every recommendation.

Greetings
JoTo

3
Hi DoCos,

i was ordered by my boss to find a way that we can offer a simple mobile app to our customers that runs on several mobile platforms from the same codebase. Android and iOS was the minimum. And best would be to use our well known C/C++ knowledge.

First i found "RAD Studio XE6" from Embarcadero, which is a really complete product that can do what we want. But the price is also "very complete" :( € 4700,00+ per seat. WTF! :(

Doing a bit more searching i found some other tools (e.g. Xamarin, Appcelerator Titanum and of course the famous PhoneGap/Cordova from Apache Group). But either they don't use a single codebase (only 70% or so can be shared and you need to write some parts device dependent) or they don't offer C/C++ API. Also some of them don't compile to native apps but to so called Hybrid apps (a webapp that runs in a UIWebView on the device).

Then i stumbled upon "MoSync" http://www.mosync.com. I never heard of before. But they claim they were around since 2005.

MoSync offers to write your app in HTML/CSS/JS or C/C++ or a mixture from that. You can build native apps for different platforms from the same codebase without any change. There are different levels of abstraction layers. In the highest level you get a complete ready to run,event handling code template and you just need to fill in "your own meat" :). You can also dive into deeper levels to get more control over layout and behaviour, but then, if you dive to the lowest level, you need to write #ifdev code, because you lost some "crossplatformness".

While you can compile ready to install .apk files for Android under Windows with just installing MoSync, you can only compile the code for iOS under windows. You end up with a ready to package directory structure with the ready to package files in there. But for the final packaging you need an OSX platform (e.g. a MAC) to create an installable package from that MoSync output.

The best thing is the licensing. MoSync is FOSS under GPL v2 AND they offer different commercial licenses that lets you out of the constraints of the GPL (e.g. offering your source too). But they offer even a FREE commercial license, for just the price that every developer have to subscribe for their MoSync copy on an annual base. License plans that cost money offer support plans from experts though, while the free commercial license is constrained to forum/doc/faq support. But the documentation is really detailed and huge. MoSync comes with a lot of sample apps and there are also a lot of guides/tutorials and videos available.

The IDE behind MoSync is Eclipse. And the installer package brings all you need in a handy installer package for either Windows or OSX. But even that MoSync brings its own Simulator for testing your app, its recommended to install the native SDK simulator from each platform (e.g. Android SDK Simulator) because the MoSync simulator (MoRE) is just capable to simulate basic things.

The API supports a lot of device capabilities (like sensors, audio, video and such) and covers also daily needs like connecting to an URL and downloading something and whatnot.

App development made easy
We provide free, easy-to-use, open - source tools for building cross - platform mobile apps.

MoSync SDK - native mobile app development for multiple platforms using a single code base

The open-source MoSync Software Development Kit (SDK) is a rich cross-platform mobile application development environment that makes it easy to develop apps for all major mobile platforms from a single code base. The SDK enables mobile developers to build and compile apps for up to nine different platforms at once, using C/C++ or HTML5/JavaScript, or a combination of both to create hybrid apps.

Develop in C/C++ or HTML5
The MoSync SDK is a rich cross-platform IDE with a C/C++ foundation and tight integration with MoSync Reload, which allows you to easily create hybrid apps using also HTML5/JavaScript.

Deploy to Multiple Platforms
The SDK enables you to compile your app for up to nine different platforms, using one single code base. You can then focus on your next app idea.

9 platforms supported, that is: Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Moblin, J2MEE/Java, Symbian and MeeGoo.

The only thing i miss so far is a kind of "form designer". Its a bit tedious to generate your UI programatically and see the results of your changes only after a full compile and upload to the simulator or your device. Here a WYSIWYG GUI editor (like in the Android Eclipse Devekoper package) would be really, really handy.

What i'm thinking about now and i don't know if its possible is, if i can have a kind of "background process" (or service) with MoSync, as our planned app needs to run in background and "poll" some URLs to see if there is something new to download. Maybe this can be done with push notifications though (which is supported by MoSync). But i'm a Newbie to mobile app development and don't see every point in this new world right now. We'll see. :)

Well i was really happy that i found that pearl. And the company is really generous to give that away for free even for closed source/commercial. So i felt i have to share that with you.

Greetings
JoTo

4
Hi there,

what we all suggested and accepted when we signed up for a Skype account is now proofed by the german team of "heise". It is not only a paragraph in the EULA of Skype, but Microsoft is actively scanning Skype traffic for https urls and visits the collected URLs automatically shortly after they have posted.

Neither MS nor Skype wanted to declare why this is done and what is done with the collected data furthermore. They both hide themselves behind ridiculous statements about "this is for security reasons to protect our users from SPAM". Ha, ha, ha! What do these companies think how dumb we are that we believe such a crap?

Anyone who uses Skype has consented to the company reading everything they write. The H's associates in Germany at heise Security have now discovered that the Microsoft subsidiary does in fact make use of this privilege in practice. Shortly after sending HTTPS URLs over the instant messaging service, those URLs receive an unannounced visit from Microsoft HQ in Redmond.

Read the full article here:
German page: http://www.heise.de/...est-mit-1857620.html
English page: http://www.h-online....u-write-1862870.html

As they try to hide this and they conjure up excuses, proofs for me they have dishonest plans with the data. So give these criminals a big BOOOOOOOOHHHH or better some false https urls to keep their servers busy and leading them to virus pages that let their servers explode! :(

Greetings
JoTo

5
Greetings dear DoCo's,

i'm in need to find a video conferencing solution for a "meeting" of our countrywide maritime club. For this the following features should be included:

- Multi-participant in a shared conference room (so not a one on one solution, but like an IRC channel, but with audio and video).
- at least Windows platform should be supported (if crossplatform, why not? :) )
- Free for personal/noncommercial use

It doesnt really matter if i need to setup a server myself or if the recommendation goes to a service in the internet (even if self-served is preferred though).

I used the forum search and found SupberboyACs thread: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=23543.0 , but this doesnt fit my needs. Superboy searched for a 1:1 video connection (which e.g. Skype can do), but i need a kind of a "conference room" (everyone sees everyone in the room and everyone can speak to everyone in the room).

If that is not possible, maybe a (not prefered) fallback would be a kind of a "teacher/pupil" system, where one broadcasts video and all others can see it. But audio must be bi-directional though for asking questions and whatnot. A full conference with all video and audio to all others is still my premier goal.

I know i can use google to find (i assume) a gazillion of programs, but i cannot test and compare them all. So maybe if you can help me narrowing the pool of findings a bit to concentrate of some of the hopefully best ones would be great.

Every hint is much, much appreciated. Thanks to my "private think tank" (a.k.s. DonationCoder) again in advance for all the good hints and helping hands.

Greetings
JoTo

6
Hi DoCos,

in case you missed that:

http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Libjpeg-9-improves-lossless-JPEG-compression-1783311.html

Libjpeg 9 improves lossless JPEG compression

The Independent JPEG Group (IJG) at the German Institute for Applied Informatics (InfAI) has released a new version of the libjpeg library. The developers say it can compress photos in JPEG format in a lossless way and, apparently, libjpeg 9 outputs lossless JPEG files that are smaller than the equivalent PNG file of the same image

Better than PNG AND lossless, nice! But what about alpha channel/transparency? Hmmmm...!  :-\

Greetings
JoTo

7
General Software Discussion / Is new Ubuntu 12.10 spyware?
« on: December 10, 2012, 02:24 AM »
Hi Docoders, :)

Richard Stallman, one of the initiators of the GPL claims that the new Ubuntu 12.10 have to be considered as spyware for the integrated search feature that injects findings from amazon even in a local search.

From an article from him at FSF

One of the major advantages of free software is that the community protects users from malicious software. Now Ubuntu GNU/Linux has become a counterexample. What should we do?
...
Ubuntu, a widely used and influential GNU/Linux distribution, has installed surveillance code. When the user searches her own local files for a string using the Ubuntu desktop, Ubuntu sends that string to one of Canonical's servers. (Canonical is the company that develops Ubuntu.)
...
Ubuntu uses the information about searches to show the user ads to buy various things from Amazon. Amazon commits many wrongs (see http://stallman.org/amazon.html); by promoting Amazon, Canonical contributes to them. However, the ads are not the core of the problem. The main issue is the spying. Canonical says it does not tell Amazon who searched for what. However, it is just as bad for Canonical to collect your personal information as it would have been for Amazon to collect it.
...
Ubuntu allows users to switch the surveillance off. Clearly Canonical thinks that many Ubuntu users will leave this setting in the default state (on). And many may do so, because it doesn't occur to them to try to do anything about it. Thus, the existence of that switch does not make the surveillance feature ok.
...
If you ever recommend or redistribute GNU/Linux, please remove Ubuntu from the distros you recommend or redistribute. If its practice of installing and recommending nonfree software didn't convince you to stop, let this convince you. In your install fests, in your Software Freedom Day events, in your FLISOL events, don't install or recommend Ubuntu. Instead, tell people that Ubuntu is shunned for spying.

Do we see well known Windows practices now slop over to Linux as well? Welcome to the wonderful modern times. :(

Greetings
JoTo

8
Dear Docoders,  ;D

i have no experience in this area and i am facing a gazillion of options that i, for sure, can't check all myself in detail. So i need your help, or better recommendations, to narrow the search a bit.

THE PROBLEM:

We need to offer in our commercial x-ray app a new kind of a purchase plan. A "volume plan" for a specified amount of images exposured. That means the customer should can do an in-app purchase to purchase another 1000, 2000, ... images for which he has to pay x, y, or z $$$. :) Then he can exposure and process that amount of images and if the amount he paid for is running dry, he have to purchase another "amount package" and so on.

For this to accomplish, we need a kind of a payment service provider, that accepts all major credit card brands and also handles things that are important for business customers correctly (e.g. correct VAT following the customers country laws and a correct PDF invoice blah blah). That service should be at least available to customers in whole europe, even better if it is working worldwide (but not a prerequisite for the time i write this beg).

The purchase should be possible via an in-app purchase without needing the customer to open the browser and visit the service providers webpage (if this is possible - if not we have to accept of opening a browser, but the former is preferred). So a kind of web api for the service would be great. As we are developing the x-ray app in full ourselves, we can develop a module that can contact webpages, interpret the results sent by the services webserver and whatnot. The process just should be a stable and reliable for mostly unattended processing. If the purchase is complete and verified by the service provider, we need to get a notice from the provider in any way that we can process this in our house mostly automatically too (e.g. sending the customer a new license file, creating an invoice for the customer, blah blah).

Last thing to watch out for is of course the price (the fees) that the service provider will bill for his efforts. Okay, if he offers a better and seamless api/service then a higher fee is acceptable of course. But still, as lower as best. :)

So i kindly ask for recommendations what service providers i maybe shall check. Anyone here have experiences with billing providers on the web with his online-shop or whatnot and can share a recommendation or his experience? If i don't ask for too much, maybe one or two short lines which services, from my above mentioned points, i can expect from them, would be really a premium, superawesome, hypermega recommendation. :)

Out of the head comes to mind DigitalRiver and Paypal which i will first check now while i'm patiently waiting for the results of my most loved and useful think tank in the universe (the Doco forum :) ). But every other hint is also very much appreciated.

So let the recommendations coming! :)

Greetings, your grateful
JoTo

9
N.A.N.Y. 2012 / NANY 2012 - RELEASE: PerceptualDiff GUI
« on: December 26, 2011, 01:31 PM »
NANY 2012 Entry Information

Application Name PerceptualDiff GUI
Version 1.0
Short DescriptionBatch compare two branches of image files in a human visible (perceptual - not binary) way. Move and Rename files depending on match results
Supported OSes Windows XP/Vista/7
Setup Filehttp://www.jotosoft.de/perdiffgui
System RequirementsNothing special. Its a portable app!
Author InfoMost regular DoCos know me. And others i won't chase away with any picture of me :)
DescriptionInspired by a request from DC member Tat1990, who dug up a nice utility named Perceptual Diff, which compares two images in a perceptual (respecting human vision) way for differences, the idea to this app was born. Tat1990 complained, that the Perceptual Diff utility is a hard to handle CLI application and lacks the capability to compare a whole branch (subtree) of images against another branch of images in batch mode. Also she was in need to move the images from branch1 (i.e. some new images you want to add to your collection) to branch2 (i.e. a "library" or your collection) under the subdir of the image of branch2 (your collection) that best match the actual image of branch1 (the new images to add), keeping all the original subdirs of the branch1 image. Furthermore she wanted to rename the image from branch1 following the best match image filename of branch2.

To help her out here, i wrote the PerceptualDiff GUI (Perceptual Diff Graphic User Interface) app, that firstly gives the possibility to nicely and easily handle all the parameters of the Perceptual Diff CLI utility with TextControls, SpinControls and Sliders. Secondly it adds move, rename and batch capability of an unlimited amount of image files processed unnattendedly. And lastly you get a nice logfile for the archives with all actions that PerceptualDiff GUI did or would have done. Moving and Renaming are not mandantory, so you can also just get a report of which images match best with which other.

And as this is a portable app that is self contained and don't need any installation you can use it everywhere just right out of the box.

After that i realized, that this maybe useful for others too and developed the quick and dirty thing up to a usable and showable application. And with the upcoming NANY event, that was my chance to join the game. And here it is. :)

A word about the Perceptual Diff utility. My app is just a convinient frontend to the Perceptual Diff utility of Hector Yee (http://pdiff.sourceforge.net). This utility uses a special comparing method that is not simply a binary byte-by-byte comparison. Rather this utility respects some rules of human vision and therefore compares the two images like a human would look at these pictures and decide if they are similar or totally different. The threshold for what is considered similar is adjustable. PerceptualDiff GUI always finds the BEST PERCEPTUAL MATCH of the images, depending on the given threshhold and based on the results returned by Hectors Perceptual Diff utility, comparing every picture from branch1 with every picture on branch2.
Features
  • Perceptual comparison. Not binary comparison
  • Unlimited amount of images to compare to each other. Whole directory trees (with subdirectories) can be processed
  • Unattended batch mode
  • Move and Rename actions can be enabled or disabled. So just do a comparison to get a report which image best match with which one without changing your data or let PDiff GUI take actions to move and rename files for you to the bestmatch locations (keeping the necessary parts of the original path)
  • File move and rename actions take care about filename collisions and rename/move with numbering where necessary
  • Easy setup of the CLI parameters of the Perceptual Diff utility with GUI controls
  • Save and load settings for reusing the same settings over and over again
  • Downsampling of the images to speed up the comparison process
  • Detailed logfile with all actions and results that can be saved for later use or for the archives
  • Portable application
  • Multilanguage (Englisch and German translations available for now - If anyone wants to do another language, please contact me)
ScreenshotsPDiffGUI_InAction.png
InstallationNo installation needed. It's a portable app. Just unpack and run the exe file.
Using the applicationMostly self explanatory. For more information about Perceptual Diff utility, please see the above mentioned Homepage of Hector Yee.
UninstallingTo uninstall, just delete the program folder again.
Known IssuesNone YET! :)

Suggestions are welcome. Hope this program is useful to anyone else than Tat1990.

Happy perceptual comparing
JoTo

10
Hi DCs,

today i stumbled upon this very interesting article (and the informationw was new to me as well). So i'd thought i'll share for those that aren't up-to-date windows gurus (as i am not too).

In short:

First it is a nice (and even for lamers like me very understandable) wrap up of the history of
WinAPI, .NET and development under windows.

Secondly it gives some insight about the reasons under the hood for all the rumour around Windows-Development in the last decade and some internals how and why MS did what they did.

Thirdly it gives some interesting news from "slipped out" code snippets and informations from MS about the new APIs in Windows 8 named DirectUI and WinRT that should bring the UI Design under Windows to a "modern way of layout" using vector based approach (formerly WPF - Windows Presentation Foundation). It also brings all the rumour that Windows 8 will ONLY use HTML5 and Javascript as the main developer platform to an end.

Early this month, Microsoft dropped something of a bombshell on Windows developers: the new Windows 8 touch-friendly immersive style would use a developer platform not based on .NET, which Microsoft has been championing for the past decade. Instead, it would use HTML5 and JavaScript. Since then, the company has refrained from making any further comment on the issue. In particular, the question that has many Windows developers particularly concerned—how can I make use of my existing skills and experience when developing these new applications?—remains unanswered; the company plans to reveal nothing until its BUILD conference in September.

But the situation probably won't be as grim as many developers fear. Early milestone builds of Windows 8 have leaked onto the Internet, and considerable effort has been put into figuring out how they work. Though officially tight-lipped, snippets of information have escaped Redmond's walls. So far, it appears that Windows 8 development doesn't just look not bad—there are signs that it will actually resolve many long-standing annoyances with writing Windows software. If Microsoft can pull off everything it's hoping to achieve with the platform, Windows 8 will be as important and radical a release as Windows Longhorn was going to be.

Windows 8 will ship with a pair of runtimes; a new .NET runtime (currently version stamped 4.5), and a native code C++ runtime (technically, COM, or a derivative thereof), named WinRT. There will be a new native user interface library, DirectUI, that builds on top of the native Direct2D and DirectWrite APIs that were introduced with Windows 7. A new version of Silverlight, apparently codenamed Jupiter, will run on top of DirectUI. WinRT and DirectUI will both be directly accessible from .NET through built-in wrappers.

WinRT provides a clean and modern API for many of the things that Win32 does presently. It will be, in many ways, a new, modern Win32. The API is designed to be easy to use from "modern" C++ (in contrast to the 25 year old, heavily C-biased design of Win32); it will also map cleanly onto .NET concepts. In Windows 8, it's unlikely that WinRT will cover everything Win32 can do—Win32 is just so expansive that modernizing it is an enormous undertaking—but I'm told that this is the ultimate, long-term objective. And WinRT is becoming more and more extensive with each new build that leaks from Redmond.

In long terms:

Read yourself at: http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/06/windows-8-for-software-developers-the-longhorn-dream-reborn.ars

Hope the (a bit lengthy) article is as interesting to read for you as it was for me.

Greetings
JoTo

PS:
A funny remark i read in a comment about this article in a mailing list was:
"I never believed that HTML5 and JS will be the ONLY developer platform for Windows 8. I don't think the next version of Microsoft-Office will be written in Javascript!" :) :) :)

11
Dear DC fellas,

i'm in need of a good on-screen keyboard under windows to use with touchscreens. It could be a standalone app and/or (preferable) a SDK, LIB or class library for c++ and MSVC.

Freeware, Shareware, Donationware, Commercialware, WhatDoIKnowWare :) is all acceptable. But it should at least fit the following needs:

  • Royality free (Commercial purchase is OK, but then it should be freely distributable to any amount of customers without additional fees)
  • Must support UTF-8 and all i18n charsets and keyboard layouts or at least should be customizable to do so. That means beside the "normal" standards like QWERTY/QWERTZ, iso-8859-1, iso-8859-2 and such even more exotic charsets and keyboard layouts like simplified chinese, russian, hebrew, vietnamese, ... should be supported.
  • Customization is very welcome so we can e.g. hide unused buttons we don't need and will only distract the user.
  • Design customization to match our app design would be nice, but isn't a no-go if it can't be done.
  • Stable, reliable and precise functionality for use in a medical environment (doctors office, hospital, ...)
  • If its a standalone app, some way of communication must be possible (show/hide, maybe redirect input to our app, whatever).


Anyone has already any experience with such kind of software and can recommend a product or a list of maybe interesting candidates?

Any hint appreciated to sort out the gazillions of this kind apps out there.

Thankyou in advance very much for your assistance.

Greetings
JoTo

12
Hi DCs,

i was in need to protect a submission page of one of my projects with a captcha. So i searched for a good, easy to use, mighty, customizable and free class. I kissed a lot of frogs until i found my prince. I told Mouser in the IRC channel that i now found a very good one (IMHO). I'd better resisted to tell him, because now he urged me to write this post to annoy you all  and share my experience with it.

OK, as Mouser is root, his wish is my command :) And as the forum search don't showed up a mention of my finding yet, i'm now sitting here and typing. *sigh*

Well i lastly landed and went with SecurImage (http://www.phpcaptcha.org/)

SecurImage sample from my page:
securimage.png

Note:
This captcha is a very easy to solve one. But the "security level" is freely adjustable with every aspect of imagesize, font-facetype, count of distortion lines, amount of text distortion (twisting), text-angle, background color, text-color (even multicolor text is possible), background-image, and, and, and. Also the given audio files for playback are automatically distorted randomly every time they are played back by the class itself, so no need to fiddle around with any audio editor to get them distorted manually and end up with statically distorted audios only.

What is Securimage?

Securimage is an open-source free PHP CAPTCHA script for generating complex images and CAPTCHA codes to protect forms from spam and abuse. It can be easily added into existing forms on your website to provide protection from spam bots. It can run on most any webserver as long as you have PHP installed, and GD support within PHP. Securimage does everything from generating the CAPTCHA images to validating the typed code. Audible codes can be streamed to the browser with Flash for the vision impaired.

Features

    * Show an image in just 3 lines of code
    * Validate submitted entries in less than 6 lines of code
    * Customizable code length
    * Customizable character sets, Unicode support
    * TTF font support
    * Use custom GD fonts when TTF is not available
    * Easily add background images
    * Multi colored, distorted, and transparent text options
    * Customizable Flash button to stream MP3 audio of CAPTCHA code
    * Ability to use a word list

I must say, the package worked right out of the box nicely. Configuration took me only 10 minutes. The longest time i spent on designing my form, which you are totally free to design. No restrictions from the captcha class here.

As this was my very first fiddling with graphics in PHP i was at first a bit concerned about the GD library support requirement. I was not sure if this will work on my webspace (is it installed or not). But calm down...after a quick research i noticed that GD library is implemented in PHP for a long time by default. So if your webhoster haven't explicitly disabled GD library in his PHP installation, this class will work without any prerequisite add-on or installation of any 3rd party stuff except the files that come with the SecurImage package.

I was also capable to add full multilanguage support. Even with multilanguage audio for the visual impaired ones (DE and EN at the moment).

Well i must admit, that i ran into a problem with my german audiofiles. They won't play more than one character of the code, while the english ones, that ship with SecurImage worked well and read all characters of the code in a row. Therefore i contacted the author and got a reply within some hours with a very competent and helpful hint.

For the files (maybe helpful for others that run into this problem as well): The important thing is, that the mp3 audiofiles must not have any ID3 tag in it. The author gave me the right direction and also a (new to me) nice mp3-Tag commandline utility to get rid of the tags in my files. And...tadaaa...after that it worked in multilanguage audio without any further change in the configuration or my code.

Finally i just recommend this class highly to all who search a free, easy to use, customizable captcha class with a kind and responsive author for their PHP projects.

HTH anyone
Greetings
JoTo

PS:
As this class is open source and totally free, i think i don't have to claim that i'm not affiliated with the SecurImage project in any way. I get nothing from the author for this recommendation. I haven't found a "Donate" button on the project page yet, even if i'd gladly sent the author some bucks for his effort. I am just a very satisfied user of the class and glad that such a good piece of software is free available. That's all!

13
Hi DCs,

need your help with a problem i can't solve myself.

I need to "remote control" a 3rd party application from my wxWidgets app. The 3rd party app is a console app, while my wxApp is a windows GUI one.

I wrote a class to start a process and capture stdin, stdout and stderr, so i can receive output from the other app and write (input) to it. My class worked fine with many other 3rd party apps.

With that app it works too, but this app seems using output buffering. So when i wait for the welcome message of the other app, i don't receive it. But i need to send some commands to it after the welcome message showed up.

When i just wait a period of time and then send some input while holding fingers crossed (hoping that the other app is already ready to receive), then suddenly i receive a whole bunch of information from the other app. So capturing works fine, but i need more "realtime" control.

So that is not a good solution too.

If i start that app in a normal dos-shell environment, the welcome message is output immediately (what i want to happen when started from within my app as well).

Seems that app recognize if it is started in terminal mode or with captured streams.

I have no access to the sourcecode of the 3rd party app. So i'm not able to inject some "flush" commands in the code.

Anyone has an idea how i can mimic an "interactive terminal mode" to this other app? Or someone knows a wrapper app where i can throw in my commandline and that will mimic it the right way and pass-through the in/output to and from my app to the other app?

Any hint very appreciated. Thank you in advance very much!

Greetings
JoTo

14
Hi Codeys,

i need your help.

Situation:
I got a new pc and want to gift my old one (still functioning) to a poor soul (friend of mine that has a much worse one than my old). I just want to pass on the hardware (without OS and Software installed) as he owns all software himself.

As i also pass on my system harddisk (C:) and i FOR SURE WON'T pass on all my data, i'm in need to secure erase that HDD before giving it out of my hands.

I KNOW that there are a gazillion of good and free eraser apps out there, but there is a hoop i have to jump through.

Problem:
As i'm to dumb to use a screwdriver, i'd prefer to avoid like hell to open the old pc, remove the hdd, stick it to my new pc as a secondary drive, erase it with a normal windows gui app, remove it from my new pc and reinstall it on my old one again.

Question:
Is there any free and good eraser app out there that works from e.g. Windows Console (booting from the original windows cd into console - then change CD and fire up the erase all app? I don't mind if i get any nice gui or not, it has just to erase a 160GB SATA HDD. :)

Or does anybody know about a free bootable toolcollection diskimage that contains such an app?

Any other ideas i don't think for now? (Only suggestions that leave the HDD working please! :) So "using a sledgehammer" is out! *LOL*)

Please enlighten me! TYIAVM!

Greetings
JoTo

15
Hi DCs,

my brother, together with his team, is developing a game as a project within his bachelor study. The project will be evaluated by the professor and counts to his final exam.

He is in need for a cooperative developer site like SourceForge with SVN hosting (thats vital) and if possible bugtracker and other whistles and bells for team development (not vital - svn only is acceptable too).

The problem is, that no money is available for the project. So he is in need for a free service.

SourceForge is great and exactly what he needs, but in the free account plan, he told me, you are like a second class user with very slow connections (e.g. SVN with 1KB/s).

Any experience with XPDev.com e.g.? Other good ones come to mind?

Would be great if someone can help out with some more suggestions and or own experience reports.

TIA very much
JoTo

16
Living Room / Funny song clip about system administrators
« on: March 10, 2009, 12:24 PM »
Hi folks,

found this, found it funny and want to share with you all.

Any system admin can approve how true this is. *SIGH*

Watch and enjoy this funny clip from deadtroll.com:


Greetings
JoTo

17
Living Room / Need advice how to offer/sell domain names best
« on: January 30, 2009, 06:16 AM »
Hi DC,

a buddy of mine owns some domain names, that she never needs anymore. All the domains are in the TLD .de.

She plans to offer them for sale.

But as i never sold any domains i have NO experience with this. So i promised to ask my good friends here if there are some advices from experienced domain sellers how to do it best. Any caveats to keep an eye on? What sites are best to advertise the domains on? How will it work if a domain is sold (KK? Admin-C change?).

Mighty oracle of DonationCoder...Let mercy take place and enlighten me :D Thank you in advance to all and any hint is appreciated.

Greetings
JoTo

18
Hi DC,

mouser insist that i have to post about what happened to me today, after updating to the latest FARR Version.

After the update i can't launch any result from the result window, getting an error dialog window instead that tell me, that "doclauncher.exe" in the FARR directory can't be started and that an error #5 (Access denied) occured.

After a bit of research i found out, that my firewall Zonealarm suddenly blocked the access from FARR to this doclauncher.exe. And that even all worked perfectly before the update and i dont changed any setting in ZoneAlarm.

To solve the problem, i have deleted ALL entries (i got a lot of them) in the Zonealarm program control list. After doing that and using FARR again the first time, i get the usual "Ask for permission" dialog from Zonealarm. I checked "Remember this" and clicked "Allow" and all was back to normal again. I could start all kinds of results (Documents/Files and Executables) again without any hassle.

I dont know why this had happened with this update, as i updated FARR a lot in the past time. Maybe it's only a problem on my single computer, but in the case someone other run into this problem also, you now know what can be the reason and what maybe can help to solve it.

CU all
JoTo

19
Developer's Corner / Fileupload with Browser and Progressbar
« on: July 29, 2008, 06:58 AM »
Hi there DCs,

a few days ago i was in need to implement a file upload capability in one of my web applications. It should work on clientside without any special programs like a FTPClient or sth. like that. Only with the pure, available on every PC, webbrowser.

The ugly side of the story was, that uploads with browsers sucks. You have no real progress tracking. But i like to have this feature. So i researched a bit and learned that is isn't possible with only PHP right out of the box, if you haven't installed PHP V 5.2 or higher on your server or use some patched unofficial PHP corefiles. In the 5.2+ versions of PHP there are hook functions built in to monitor http uploads. But i was stuck with PHP 5.1.2, so no hooks for poor JoTo and i reject to use unofficial hacked core files.  :(

So i accepted to have a hybrid solution with a combination of PHP and Perl/CGI that can do the trick. I searched a bit further and found a wonderful component named XUpload from Sibsoft. I downloaded the thingy and it worked for me, right out of the box, after a short and easy install. So i decided to share this information with you all, in the case someone is in need also in the future.

Features i liked:
<ul>
<li>A continuous realtime progress bar and information about uploaded amount in percent and KB, upload speed, used as well as remaining time</li>
<li>Handles big files also (i tested it up to 600MB yet)</li>
<li>The upload page and the embedded form, as well as the upload status window, are very customizable using a template system and CSS</li>
<li>The upload form is extensible with as many user defined fields as you wish</li>
<li>The upload CGI is fully transparent and you can redirect all form data, after the upload finishes, to any URI you want (to process the uploaddata yourself - e.g. like me to my PHP script again to send a notify email about the upload</li>
</ul>
and best of all: IT'S COMPLETELY FREE

The older version 2.6 of XUpload is free. There is also a PRO Version 3.0 of XUpload with many more features (, page inline progressbar, ...) for purchase at $37 per domain. But even the free version is very usable for most cases and can be used for as many domains as you wish.

Learn more and have a live demo of XUpload at the developers homepage:

.

xupload_status.png<br />
A screenshot of my customized XUpload statuswindow in my web application in action.


Hope this information may help anyone on Terra in System Sol.  ;D

CU all
JoTo

PS:
That's NOT an advertisment! I am not affiliated with SibSoft in any way. I don't get anything from them if you purchase their PRO version. And the free version is so good that i must say: Try the free and rethink if you really need the purchase of the PRO and if you need, feel free to do so. I am only a regular user of their free component and find it awesome. That's all folks.

20
Living Room / Better run like Hell!!! I AM BACK!!!!
« on: December 11, 2007, 03:21 AM »
Hi DC friends!

i hope somone is still remembering me. :-)

For those of you, that are interested in my story, i divided this very long post (sorry for that) in two parts. The "Making a long story short" with the most important facts and "The More detailed story" part with, you've already suggested that :-), more and longer details.

But nevertheless if you read the short or long part, please read the following "Thanks to" part which i consider the most important one.

The "Thanks to" part:
First i want to say, that i was soooo impressed how much sympathy and interest for my situation come from so many DC members, proofing again that DC is more than a simple forum where many people write some posts. It's a circle of friends that take care of each other!

So my first thanks go to the whole DC community for that. It helped me much. It feels good to know that i was not forgotten and there is a world outside that missed me. THANK YOU!!!

Special thanks go to the members of DC that overwhelmed me with postcards and gifts sent to the hospital or to my home address. In detail this are (not in special order or rating):

Momoman: What a cute puppy on your card! Made me (and the nurses that saw the card) say "Ooooooooh how sweet and cute". Many thanks for your wishes too.

Mouser: You can now get your cat calm down again. What a special picture of a cat. LOL! Many thanks for the funny "cat card" and your "get back soon".

Cranioscopical: WOW! A Cody-Card carrying a special JoTo-Coin in his beak. Many, many thanks for your effort creating this card and your good wishes.

Lanux128: Thanks for your card with the two riddles, both still not solved. :-) First i have to think a long time about what is the building on the card? Petronas Towers? Taipeh 101? Or something comletely else? And, what was wrong with your card that you excused yourself for not getting a proper one? What was improper with it? Please help and give me the solutions for the two riddles now. Of course thanks too for your greetings.

Carol Haynes: Hahahaha! Your card was funny. Especially the picture where the chicken feeds the medicine to the teddybear. I can live with the imagination being a teddybear, but i better dont showed the card to the nurses, as they are represented by a chicken. LOL, no! Only joking. Thank you so much for the laugh and your wishes.

dementedmuppet: Thank you very much for your donationcredits. I'll use them to buy me a beer or two...???...err..i mean a health tea of course and drink it with your nick in mind.

Xenonym and dlagesse1992: Thank you very much for your wishes via the forum PM. Even if i could it read only when i'm already released from hospital it still gives me a good feeling.

And last but not least KenR: Ken! I think i don't have to say anything about your greetings and card. You already know that your card was a really special and important thing for me, right? So let me say only a pure "thanks that you are here and that you thought of me". We'll talk more in IRC soon.

I should say, that the nurses that brought me the cards and letters are very confused when they handed me the mails, as they can't understand that i get mail from all over the world. I think they must think i must be a really worldwide important person or a celebrity. :-) Thank you for that experience also.

And an additional special thanks go to nudone, mouser and the community again for the especially for me and my situation created "cody recovery" mug. Nudone for creating and painting the always so cute and brilliant cody pictures on it (soooo cute and i love cody and used the mug a lot already), mouser for organizing and sending the mug and the community for offering the money spent for that purpose.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Making a long story short:
Somehow (don't ask me how) i got an inflammation with two abscesses. One on every side in the chest. I have had to go to hospital for 5 and a half weeks and got 3 operations. I was released on friday 7th, Dec. 2007, but still not full recovered yet. I still have to go to hospital every day to get outpatient treatment. But that's still better than lying in hospital the whole day. Nor I felt any pain after the first operation nor i feel some now. I feel fit again and only the two big bandages still reminds on what has happened. I also don't go to work at the moment and it seems i don't have to go this year anymore because the process of healing (closing the wounds) is still in progress.

By the way, for those who are interested, the correct medical name for my illness was "Necrosive and abcessive mamma on both sides".

The more detailed story:
It began middle october that i felt tired and exhausted every day. Every step costs me a lot of energy and after a few steps (or stairs) i have to rest. I felt dizzy all the time too.

Then i got 3 days of fever and i still thought it is only a normal flu. And as the fever was gone again after this days and never came back i don't care anymore about this.

After another week i felt two thick "things" under my skin directly under my breasts in the chest, going from the middle of the breast up into the armpits. These things are getting bigger and bigger every day and begin to hurt after a while.

Then i went to my doctor and she recognized it as an inflammation and gave me some antibiotics. But after another 3 days we both recognized, that this don't help. So the last and only chance to get rid of this "thingys" was to go to hospital for more diagnostics.

At noon 31st, Oct, i entered the hospital and have had some more tests there. That results in, that i got 2 big purulence filled abscesses, that must be cut in an operation.

After waiting 8 hours at 23pm on the same day i was brought into the operation room. The first operation durates about 1 and a half hour. After 2 hours i woke up  again in the intensive care unit and felt well. I was in the ICU for the next 1 and a half day and then was brought again into the operation room for another operation to cut again some portions that couldn't be cut in the first operation.

After that second operation i have had two cuts in my chest about 2-3 inch long each in the skin and about 10 inch long under the hood. Both were about 1-2 inch deep.

I was brought to a normal care unit after this second operation where the long lasting, very boring healing process began.

They insert some sponges in the wounds, cover the whole area with a airtight foil and connect two vacuum pumps with some hoses to it. The general idea behind this treatment was to force the wounds to keep tight to the sponge which helps the wound borders heal without grow together to early and from bottom up not vice versa. The pumps also suck the still generated ichor out of the wounds.

Every sponge cycle lasts for 5 days without any further treatment. Then the sponges and the foil were changed, the wounds were inspected  and another 5 day cycle began. Very boring for me, as i felt fit and dont want to stay in bed. But when i planned to leave the bed i always have to carry the two pumps with me and take care of the hoses that connects them to me. Impossible with a helping third hand.

After another 3 weeks they took me again in the operation room for a third operation. This operation was necessary to cut of the dead and dried out meat, that prevents proper healing. After that the right side was left without the sponge and pump treatment, because it has healed enough so that my body can now go on heal it without any further mechanical help. The left side was left with the sponge for another 2 weeks.

On Thursday 6th, Dec. morning the 5 day cycle was again over and the sponge should be changed. The doctor inspects the left wound and decided that there is no further need for the pump on this side now too.

Then after that all went on very fast. Without the pumps and the now "self healing capable wounds" the further treatment could be done in an outpatient way with no need for me to stay in hospital the whole day.

So i was allowed to leave the hospital next morning with the requirement to come back every morning to change the bandages and inspect the wounds.

Today (Mon, 10th Dec.) i was in hospital again and they decided that from now on, as the wounds are still healing well, the bandages can be changed from a nurse that come to my home. So there is no need for me anymore to drive to the hospital on a daily base. Only once a week i have to go there for inspection of the wounds.

So now i am at home, looking forward to the nurses visit tomorrow the first time. As i'm still not recovered fully yet, i'm still not allowed to go to work and it seems that i won't this year anymore. The full healing of the wounds, as they were very big and more important very deep, will still last several weeks from now on, we'll see.

Thanks again for all DC membersthat accompanied me in this bad hours and days with all the greetings, thoughts and good wishes.

I'll be back in the IRC channel soon and then you have to expect me there regularly again. You have been warned. :-)

Your thankful DC buddy
JoTo

21
Hi DCs,

we all know that CSS can be really a beast. Maybe this CSS Toolbox V 1.0 from Blumental Software can be a helping hand to tame it a bit? I have just downloaded and installed it. The first impression is, even if i haven't tested it in deep, its a helpful collection of tools and so i want to share it with you. Give it a try and decide yourself. OH, and that its free makes it much more interesting  ;D .


From the company website:

Free CSS Toolbox(Free CSS Validator, CSS Formatter, CSS Compressor)

Free CSS Toolbox is a freeware productivity software for web developers who work with CSS code.

Free CSS Toolbox includes a number of tools for fast-tracking and enhancing the development of style sheet code, such as an advanced CSS Formatter and CSS Validator.

If you develop websites that use CSS, the Free CSS Toolbox can help you save time and increase productivity without any cost.

Key features and benefits

Simple CSS Editor
  • Quickly create and adjust CSS code
  • Auto-complete and syntax highlighting makes CSS editing easy

CSS Formatter / Beautifier
  • Easily re-format any CSS code
  • Quickly adjust somebody's else CSS to fit your style
  • Make your code pretty and easy to read

CSS Checker
  • Find and eliminate errors in your code
  • Check your CSS against various specifications
  • See if your CSS is compatible with older web browsers

CSS Compressor
  • Reduce the size of your CSS code by up to 70%
  • Make your web pages load faster

Integration with W3C CSS Validator
  • Quickly validate your CSS code with the web-based W3C Validator
  • Make sure your CSS is up to the CSS Level 2 standard

Greetings
JoTo

22
Hi DC,

today my boss came in and asked me, if my community i rave about every day, may know a hint for our "rollout" problem.

First let me say, that we are searching for an absolutely *LEGAL* solution!

We (our company) develop digital radiography apps and sell them to hospitals and doctor offices.

When we get an order, we normally have to ship a full system with many pc's. One server that runs under linux, and many workstations with Windows XP. On this Windows boxes we have to set up a lot of preferences (networking and other stuff) and install some client applications. Most of that "installing" is the same all the time, for all Windows-PCs we rollout. All the Windows-PCs are equally in hardware of course too.

So we, everytime we updated something (hard or software), install one "Master PC" with all settings and applications we need, and then make a diskimage from it.

On rollout time we then only write the diskimage to the new PC harddisks we need for this order, without, or at least with only very little, fiddling with installing and setup preferences.

OF COURSE WE SELL AND SHIP A SEPERATE LEGAL COPY OF WINDOWS WITH EVERY PC WE INSTALL THIS WAY!

Then, after installing the new PC this way, we expectedly have to activate the windows copy. So we enter the Serialnumber of the Windows-Copy we plan to ship with this pc and activate it.

That works fine and results in a fast rollout of many pc's.

But, that only works exactly 4 times for this diskimage. Then reactivation stops. We then have to set up manually a new master pc with another and new windows copy, take the diskimage again and then have the opportunity to rollout 4 pcs again. To be continued  >:(

Now my question:
Is there a way to prevent this "stopping after 4 activations", so we can rollout unlimited pcs with one master disk image and different licenses (serial numbers) of Windows XP? Installing only a pre-installed empty Windows is not an option, as we want to have our application and our needed preferences installed and setup ready "out of the diskimage box".

AGAIN TO BE CLEAR AND TO BE SURE THERE ARE NO MISUNDERSTANDINGS!
What we do is absolutely legal, as we purchase and ship with every new PC a seperate full paied version of Windows with its own license and serial number. The only thing what we do is, use one license to set up the master for the disk image, that we then copy to many pc's and activate this seperate installations with the respective serialnumber that is designated for this (and only for this) one pc. We dont look for a illegal, pirated solution. We only wanna know if we can do sth. legal to prevent the "4 activation restriction with one image".

Any hint appreciated! Help me to proof my boss that my community where i chat the whole day is worth to be online while working time.  ;D

CU and TIA
JoTo

23
Developer's Corner / PHP Class "SendFileAndLog"
« on: February 22, 2007, 06:15 AM »
Hi DCs,

a few weeks ago i was in need of a possibility to log downloads that happen on my webpages.

As i don't find one that fit my needs, and was interested in the "how to do it" thingy too, i decided to write my own php class for that. And while working on it, i was asked by another DC-Member if i know a way to log downloads on his webpage, and then mouser told me that he can use one too.

So i decided to expand my quick and dirty class for my private usage to a full featured, well documented and customizable class. Then added some whistles and bells (ideas coming from mouser) and now make it available to the public.

Some of the main features of the class that i and mouser had in mind are:

  • Get a detailed log for every download with many informations
  • Get statistics that is updated leightweight and fast and can be shown "live" on a webpage
  • Easy to use for novice users but customizable enough for experts
  • Use it from plain html without any php coding (via an included helperscript) or from your own php script
  • Log files are kept in plaintext csv format for easy manual manipulation and analysis, so no database is needed
  • Hides the true download location of the file to prevent direct linking if you want
  • Preserve counters even when file names change
  • Safe and Secure

For more Info, all features, documentation and download go to the SendFileAndLog homepage:


Of course the class is free (Donationware).

sfal.png
A sample of the "live" statistic embedded in a webpage

If you have some comments, suggestions, bugreports or feature wishes, please contact me. I'll appreciate any feedback.

I hope s.o. will find the class useful. And again many thanks to mouser for his ideas, contributions and support while developing the class.

Greetings
JoTo

24
Hi DCs,

today i need your help. A friend of mine asked me if i am aware of a good screen magnifiying application as he needs one for a also, like me, visually impaired friend of him.

As i own a hardware solution (my graphic card has a built in magnifying option), i don't use a software app for this. But i bragged, when my friend asks me, that i know the best place on earth...errr...net to ask for such things. DONATIONCODER!!! :-))

Using the same graphic card for his friend is not an option as she is using a laptop with a built in graphic card.

The app don't have to be totally free. A reasonable price, up to $50 or so, is acceptable.

But there are two kinds of magnifying applications out there.

Kind 1
Showing a small window on the desktop with the magnified content of the area under the cursor or a fixed area of the screen.

There are a lot of this kind out there, so i need recommendations for "what is the best" or "what do you use" or "what is your favourite one". Testing all of them by myself is nearly impossible.

Kind 2
A magnifying application that magnifies the whole desktop e.g. by 2 or 4 (like my hardware solution do), showing only a part of the desktop on the screen and scrolls the screen contents (the magnified desktop) up/down/right/left when the mouse touches the corresponding border. So it's like i have a very big desktop that don't fit on the screen and hides the "outside parts". (I hope you understand what i mean).

I have no real idea for this kind of app. I only saw this feature, beside in my hardware solution, in an app named "Zoomtext". But this app is veeeeery expensive and has a lot of whistles and bells beside the magnifying feature (e.g. a Screenreader that reads the screen content aloud a.s.o.) that makes it so expensive and is not really needed.

So, do anyone know about a reasonable priced magnifying "Kind 2-App" that do this?
Or do anyone know a site with a "Magnifying Application Comparison/Review"?

I really appreciate any hint and recommendation. I am grateful for everyones time spent for writing me a reply. TIA!

CU
JoTo

25
Living Room / Enigma - One of my most favourite games
« on: January 03, 2007, 06:37 AM »
HiHo,

today i received a very good message. After 555 days of waiting, one of my most favourite games "Enigma" has got an Update to V 1.0. With additional 200 levels, making now over 900!

As the DC-Forumsearch shows nothing up for this freeware pearl, i decided to post it.

What is Enigma?
You rembember Oxyd on Atari or Rock-n-Roll on Amiga? That together is Enigma. plus much, much more.

Main thing is, to move a little ball (or more than one even smaller balls) with your mouse through levels. Solve puzzles, touch and match hidden colored blocks, find your way through mazes, move certain blocks to other locations to solve the level or get through to other parts of the level or even build bridges with them to traverse water. Then find keys and open doors, find other things that can help you solve the level up to magic wands that converts blocks into other material, search for secret pathways, don't fall in holes, switch lasers on and off, turn mirrors to redirect the lasers, beware of deadly blocks, take care on what floor material you are (influences the movement of the ball) or put and hold the even smaller balls in given positions.

You see: Oxyd and Rock-n-Roll plus a little bit Sokoban, a little bit puzzlegame, a little bit dexterity needed, a little bit actiongame, a little bit platformgame a.s.o. You can't explain it fully here...you have to try it!

And you can now submit your Highscores to their website to compete to all other Enigmians and rate the levels.

The whole game is non-violent, family friendly and so sth. for young and old one's.

You see, i love this game, therefore i gush over it. But i have to stop now to let you try it at your own.

But be careful Addiction Rating for this game is: Super Hyper Mega Universe HIGH! Don't blame me for wasting your whole day or missing your dates while you play Enigma! ;D

Get it from here: http://www.nongnu.org/enigma

Here are some Screenshots as teasers:

Part of the "Select Level" WindowLevel: Lasers and MirrorsLevel: Annoying little balls
enigma2.pngenigma1.pngenigma3.png

Hope you have as much as fun as i have with this masterpiece.
CU
JoTo

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