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Topics - J-Mac [ switch to compact view ]

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Leadertask Daily Planner is free on Bits duJour today, 4-Oct-2014. However the deal doesn’t appear to be as generous as it first looks. First obstacle - Malwarebytes is preventing many from accessing the site at all. Also, the program isn't offered for sale anymore - instead it is offered free with a sync option offered as a subscription. Also there isn't a privacy policy on the website and your data is stored on their cloud servers. Plus the program asks for admin access on your computer. All in all it could be a recipe for disaster.

I had previously heard good things about Leadertask, but that was at least five or six years ago. Doesn’t sound very tempting to me today.





Living Room / My Stinking, Rotten ASUS Router Died Overnight!
« on: August 29, 2014, 12:57 AM »
ASUS RT-N16 router... State of the so-called art.  Blah!

No internet when I got up - noticed I had no lights on the router at all. Pulled the power cable and re-plugged it; lights on for a half second and then nothing. Tried all the online tips I could find: Holding WPA button while inserting power cable; holding Reset button while doing the same. Couldn't get it going at all. Apparently this has happened to some others out there. Most others were on dd-wrt F/W; I was still on the stock ASUS F/W.

New router should be delivered tomorrow. My old Linksys WRT-54G routers seemed to last forever. I used them for years and they are still in service on my kids' networks. The newer and fancier they get, the faster they die, or so it seems.   >:(


Woohoo! Just as I was thinking hard about dropping my Dropbox Pro account since I could get so much more storage elsewhere, they went and sent me an email today saying that they have raised my limit from 100GB to 1TB! Wow!

They also added a number of features to make sharing more secure, like the ability to require passwords for others to download from your Dropbox. Many more changes also.

Here a link to their blog post announcing the changes:


Hopefully this is an easy question for someone here!!

I am trying to install an updated USB Mass Storage Device Driver for my USB 3.0 devices. Current driver is from 2006 - I'm guessing this was from Microsoft since the PC was just built in January 2012 - and I keep getting shouts from the Windows 7x64 Action Center. That plus the fact that I keep getting BSODs which are possibly caused by outdated software driver(s), according to suggestions from the Windows Debugger, WhoCrashed, and Nirsoft's BlueScreenView. My problem is that shortly after starting the installation I get an Install Shield popup asking me to "Please Plug-in Device". What device? All devices I have that need to be plugged into USB ports are already there. Am I supposed to remove one and then plug it right back in? Remove all? Can I just unplug it or must it (or they?) be uninstalled and reinstalled? (via Device Manager).

If I don’t plug anything in then the driver installation is canceled and I'm back to square one. I have done a fair amount of searching but cannot find anyone else posting about this problem.  (Am I the only one dumb enough to not know what to do here?! Second though, don’t answer that...)

Anyway, since there are a number of folks here with a lot more tech knowledge than I, I'm hoping that someone can advise me on this.

Thank you.


General Software Discussion / Ad Muncher 5 will be free
« on: June 26, 2014, 12:10 AM »
After five or six years of promising the vaunted Ad Muncher Version 5 - which would cover almost all of the current deficiencies in Ad Muncher, Murray Hurps has decided to offer Ad Muncher free of charge to all who want it. Also he blogged that V5 will include both Android and iOS mobile versions. His blog post making this announcement is here.

For two days prior to this announcement Hurps blogged about the imminent release of V.5 along with hints about an upcoming "Big Announcement", which is - I imagine - making AM free.

Personally I'm not certain how I feel about this. I can't help but to think that this will mean future development will be very limited, if it exists at all. Hurps claims he will afford this change as follows:

This will be financially difficult for me.  Salaries for three people, along with our usual expenses, will be covered entirely by myself by selling almost everything I have, and taking on some external work.

That's scary enough, but his next comment is even scarier:

At some point in the future, I may need to offer complimentary software products to Ad Muncher users (for example, a recommended spyware blocker or antivirus).

 :o     :'(

So it remains to be seen how this all will shake out.


Living Room / TrueCrypt is Now Abandonware?!
« on: May 29, 2014, 03:49 AM »
Their webpage at SourceForge now contains this "cryptic" message:

WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues

This page exists only to help migrate existing data encrypted by TrueCrypt.

The development of TrueCrypt was ended in 5/2014 after Microsoft terminated support of Windows XP. Windows 8/7/Vista and later offer integrated support for encrypted disks and virtual disk images. Such integrated support is also available on other platforms (click here for more information). You should migrate any data encrypted by TrueCrypt to encrypted disks or virtual disk images supported on your platform.

And this article at BoingBoing explains why:


Living Room / Netflix Mocks Amazon's Drone Delivery with Video!
« on: February 25, 2014, 10:44 PM »
Netflix published (I think!) a video that mocks Amazon's recent drone delivery promotion with a You Tube video titled "Netflix Drone2Home". Hilarious!


Living Room / PC Shipments Drop Precipitously in 2013
« on: January 10, 2014, 12:29 PM »
Article by Woody Leonard at InfoWorld shows the Gartner PC shipment numbers for 2013... and it ain't good. Gartner's estimate from a year ago with regard to PC shipments was that it would be a lackluster but tolerable year. But it turns out that PC shipments dropped by 10% in 2013. So I imagine this is a good time to buy your dream PC 'cause it might not be available too much longer.   :(,0


Living Room / Best Storage Option for Ripped DVD Movies?
« on: December 19, 2013, 12:10 AM »
I have a fairly large DVD collection. Well, large for me, anyway. A little over 500 titles comprised of about 1500 disks. (A lot of TV series included which contain multiple disks).

I have a number of them ripped and stored on an internal HDD (3TB SATA drive), and all are backed up presently to an external 2TB USB 3.0 drive. I'd like to get the whole collection ripped but I am debating the best way to store them. More external USB drives? A NAS? Or one of the Media Servers I see advertised? I have seen comments in the past about just setting up a separate computer for them, but I don’t think I'm quite ready for that yet.

I would appreciate advice/comments on which storage media you think is best; that is, at a reasonable cost! What's reasonable to me? Currently that equates to hundreds of dollars, not thousands. NAS looks pretty good but most seem geared toward backups and using RAID, which I don’t want to do right now if possible. Of course I may be way off with that thinking. Maybe an enclosure that holds four or so internal drives? My technical level is very high with regard to ripping the DVDs, but about the lower end of intermediate as to what storage option to use and how to properly set them up.

I appreciate any help you can offer.



Living Room / RIP Billy Jack (Tom Laughlin)
« on: December 16, 2013, 12:17 AM »
Remember these lines?  (I only quoted Billy Jack's side of the conversation here).

"Well, it doesn't look to me like I really have any choice now, does it?

You know what I think I'm gonna do then? Just for the hell of it? 

I'm gonna take this right foot, and I'm gonna whop you on that side of your face... 

...and you wanna know something? There's not a damn thing you're gonna be able to do about it."

RIP Billy Jack  (Actor Tom Laughlin, August 10, 1931 – December 12, 2013)


Living Room / LinkedIn "Intro" App Reroutes & Reads Your Email
« on: October 25, 2013, 10:08 PM »
I don’t subscribe to LinkedIn (though I receive "invitations" to join daily from them), but if I were ever considering it I am pretty sure this would the convincer to NOT subscribe.

According to this article at Bishop Fox the LinkedIn app for iOS7 reroutes all your email - IMAP and SMTP -through their own servers, with a whole lot of security concerns attached to that.

Here's the article.


I received a very interesting email message from Macecraft Software today. They are the developers of jv16 Powertools. Here is the body of the email:

We are about to release jv16 PowerTools 2014 and at the same time our new
registry cleaner comparison study featuring the new 2014 version.

This time we did what no one else have dared: We ran benchmarks before and
after cleaning a dirty computer with jv16 PowerTools 2014 to see if it can
show measurable results in the computer's performance. And the results are

However, we want the entire World to hear about this. So, we are asking you
to help to spread the word. We will release the benchmark study only after
it gets your support.

To support it in social media, please join our Thunderclap campaign:

Thunderclap is a crowd-speaking platform that helps people be heard by
saying something together. If enough people support our campaign,
Thunderclap will blast out a timed Facebook Post or Tweet from all of us,
creating a wave of attention to the benchmark study. And no, it doesn't
cost a thing.

So they want me to publicly support the results of this performance study, but they won't allow me to see the results unless I declare my support first.   :huh:

The reply posted by the developer when a user posted objections on their forum wasn’t very reassuring. See it here:

Here's the quote:

Alright, if you do not want to join the campaign to give the benchmark study some publicity, you do not have to.

I previously used jv16 Powertools for years, though I haven't used it for the past three or four years. This is a first for me!


Screenshot Captor / Screenshot Captor and DCUpdater Problem
« on: July 19, 2013, 12:16 PM »
Hi Mouser!

I posted in the DCUpdater forum a week and a half ago but no one seems to look at that forum, so I figured I'd post the issue here.

Here's a link to that post:

DCUpdater stopped updating my DC apps a while ago - not sure exactly when it stopped. Apparently it was after one of the fairly recent SSC updates.  When it finally did appear on my screen with an update a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that there is a new setting for it right on the main screen: it says to only look for updates to Screenshot Captor with a checkbox next to it, and the checkbox is always selected. (I have deselected it several times but it is always checked again when I take a look.) When I first found it and deselected it DCUpdater found a slew of updates that I was missing!

Obviously this particular version of DCUpdater is coded somewhere to always check that box and thus only look for updates to SSC and nothing else. This is not a good thing since I have a lot of DC programs installed that had been using DCUpdater to retrieve updates. I did find another instance of DCUpdater installed but it seems that they never run anymore. Only the SSC-specific version runs at Windows startup, while the normal version used to start automatically. Did this crippled (IMO) version replace the normal version in the startup folder?

Anyway, I guess my real question is how do I get the normal version of DCUpdater to run and do away with this goofy SSC version? I say that with the presumption that the "normal" version will find updates to SSC along with the rest of my DC apps. True?

Oh, one other little issue: DCUpdater keeps reporting that there is a different version of the Easy Screencast program on the web but it shows an older version than what is already installed. I would post more details but I am posting this from an iPad and I will no doubt loose this entire post if I try to go back and look at my other post!



LaunchBar Commander / LaunchBar Commander on Windows 7 x64?
« on: December 03, 2012, 12:02 PM »
LaunchBar Commander runs fine on my current computer, a Windows 7 x64 running Windows Professional - for the most part. However occasionally, usually upon Windows shutdown and most often after installing an update for LBC, an error dialog pops up. Actually it pops up many times! I can't tell how many because the computer is in the process of shutting down so I have no control of my mouse and very little control of my keyboard when it occurs. But the error dialog - attached below - first appears at mid-screen and the keeps replicating, each one a little lower and to the right. This massive trail of error dialog boxes continues down to the lower right corner of my monitor and once it reaches there it just keeps piling one on top of the previous... until Windows finally decides to shut down anyway!

It all happens so damn fast that I haven't been able to snap a photo of it, though I have tried. Believe it or not I got my digital camera out, sat it next to my keyboard, and waited for it to happen again, hoping to get a photo of the screen the next time it happened. Of course like that fabled "watched pot" it just would not do it again as long as my camera and I were ready!! Naturally as soon as the camera was moved elsewhere the damn error popped again - I think it was sticking its tongue out at me! Evil thing!

It appears that the cause it a line of code (am I saying that right, as a total non-programmer-type?) that refers to an installation location of C:\Program Files\, when, as a 32-bit program it is always installed to C:\Program Files (x86)\. Windows sees that line and since it can't find LBC there I guess it gets a little annoyed. And so it decides to see if it can annoy me in turn. And obviously succeeds!

Anyway, here's the error dialog:


Thanks for any help with this!


Living Room / Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« on: November 12, 2012, 09:34 PM »
A couple years ago there was a cute thread about the skirmish between BuckyBalls and Zen Magnets. Well the US Consumer Product Safety Commission sued BuckyBalls in July and just 10 days ago the maker of BuckyBalls announced formally that they had stopped production of both BuckyBalls and BuckyCubes. (Don’t ask - I have no idea what BuckyCubes are, but I imagine they are related to their Ballsy brothers. Sisters?)

Here's the BuckyBalls website with the announcement.  They are still selling their existing stock until it is gone. Apparently their competitor mentioned in that other thread - Zen Magnets - is claiming that they intend to stick it out and continue selling their similar product, the eponymously named "Zen Magnets". Of course they haven't been sued by the US government. Yet.

So get 'em while they last!


Any particular reason(s) why I should get this?  Likewise, any reason(s) that I shouldn’t get this?



Living Room / Dropbox Doubles Size of Their Pro Plan!
« on: July 11, 2012, 10:30 PM »
Wow! I considered dropping Dropbox in January, when my Pro subscription was up for renewal, but I didn't - mainly because I was just too damn lazy. Now it looks like a good non-move I didn't make!

Just received an email message from Dropbox saying they have doubled my plan, from 50GB storage to 100GB, for the same price. Which is just fine by me! I imagine that this is their "answer" to the recent challenges raised by Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive. (BTW, I have 25GB free storage with SkyDrive because I had an existing account when they changed their plans!)

I may just have to rethink how much I use Amazon S3 now.   8)


Found Deals and Discounts / InfoRecall - $5.99?!?!
« on: July 05, 2012, 02:00 PM »
I have never used this software and I only see one mention of it here on DC in the old Note-Taking review back in 2006! But I was looking around at PIMs and outliners, mainly because Kinook recently released a new version with nothing to speak of in it and is charging $50.00 for an upgrade.

So as I said I was looking around at other such programs and saw that InfoRecall - which once sold for $99.99 and more recently cost $59.99 is now only $5.99. Definitely sounds like it is heading for the "abandonware" heap to me, but who knows? Maybe the developer is trying to lure folks away from Ultra Recall and similar apps? I'm tempted to just go ahead and purchase it anyway, even though I am already overloaded with similar programs.

Anyone ever use this program?

Thank you.


Here we go. I've been a "Premium" subscriber to LastPass almost from the start but it looks like I will now be hunting for another password manager very soon. After I opened Firefox this morning a page opened announcing that LastPass had been updated and was now also offering..... credit monitoring?! WTF!

First of all, IMO credit monitoring is a huge fraud itself. It doesn’t really protect people at all; it just funnels even more money to the organizations that cause a lot of the credit fraud in the first place: the credit reporting companies. Credit monitoring alerts you AFTER someone has fraudulently opened an account in your name. What it does not do is prevent it in the first place. And in many cases the fraud perpetrator used information garnered from that same credit reporting company you're paying for the monitoring service. What a racket! These are the same companies that sell you a peek at your credit report for $10 - $12 but sell that same report to corporations for about $0.20! Yeah, I trust them almost as much as that Nigerian guy who has $11,438,00 waiting for me as soon as I send him my bank account number.

Why the hell does LastPass think I would want them to push credit monitoring on me? This is apparently part of their plan to extract some more of my money from me. Makes me wonder what's next... a "free" coupon printer from

I wish Keepass had a viable password filler function. OK, so who wants to start recommending good password managers to me? Oh no... does this mean I will shortly be crawling back to Siber Systems? I think I am going to throw up... 


Just one more reason - of several - to dislike my iPad: is difficult to read on it. Unlike any other forum I read, this one is tough to scroll. It seems like each individual post is in its own frame or something. When you put your finger on the page to scroll up or down, the text of the specific post you are touching moves slightly up or down - maybe 1/16" - but the page itself will not scroll. To get the page to scroll I must swipe the screen at the vertical scroll bar or in that thin area between the scroll bar and the posts.

Anyone else using an iPad? Can you confirm this behavior? (For me it occurs on the native Safari browser as well as Opera Mini and the Dolphin browser.)


Finally! Now you shouldn’t have to worry about hacking your Skype installation to avoid having Skype designate your box as a "supernode". (Like me!) Oops - well not exactly, but calls will no longer be routed through Supernodes; instead supernodes will be used only to allow users to find other Skype users. As stated by Mark Gillett, CVP, Skype Product Engineering & Operations:

As part of our ongoing commitment to continually improve the Skype user experience, we developed supernodes which can be located on dedicated servers within secure datacentres. This has not changed the underlying nature of Skype’s peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture, in which supernodes simply allow users to find one another (calls do not pass through supernodes). We believe this approach has immediate performance, scalability and availability benefits for the hundreds of millions of users that make up the Skype community.

Microsoft - which acquired Skype last May - apparently made the change about a month ago when the number of users logged onto Skype hit 41 million, which is about 37% above average.  :o

Anyway this is good news IMO.   :)


Living Room / Did "Todoist" Just Wake Up?
« on: April 27, 2012, 11:36 AM »
Here's an email I received today from Todoist, an online To-Do list I used once upon a time. Notice when these tasks were due? This is the first contact from them in over five years! What the hell were they thinking?

(Some text blurred to protect the guilty.   ;D  )



Mobysaurus / Failed Installation on Windows 7 x64
« on: April 01, 2012, 12:42 AM »
Well, just tried installing Mobysaurus for the first time on Windows 7x64 and when I tried to run it the following error message popped up:


So I clicked the button to view the report and this is what came up:

Mobysaurus Thesaurus Error Report

04/01/2012 01:26:16
rev #0   Oct 09 2006
System.BadImageFormatException: An attempt was made to load a program with an incorrect format. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x8007000B)
   at c.new_SimpleKeyWrapper_rsaWin32GUI()
   at c.a()
   at f.dd(Object A_0, EventArgs A_1)
C:\Program Files (x86)\Mobysaurus Thesaurus

General infomation about your computer:
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional

Please consider sending the above information to [email protected]. Thank you!

I should mention that before running the program I swapped out the dll with the one mouser provided here in the next post down. BTW, I didn't bother sending the report to the Mobysaurus email address shown as I don’t believe that site exists anymore.

Any ideas as to what went wrong mouser?



Living Room / All-In-One Multi-Touch Computers - Thoughts?
« on: January 25, 2012, 12:00 PM »
The Dell POS computer I purchased for my wife, Robin, a few years ago is finally, finally nearing its end. (Never thought I would actually hope for a computer to die!!)When I purchased this box Robin had never used an actual computer. Only terminal-type devices for companies where she had worked. She mostly like PC games but I was hoping (dreaming maybe?) that she would take an interest in more computer-related activities if she had one. Sad to be so naive this late in life!! She developed an interest alright: Facebook! I loaded her machine up with several thousand of the family photos I have been collecting for the past few years, along with as much of my music tracks I felt she could stand. She does look at the photos now and then; never, ever listens to music on her PC; but she does do email now. So... email, Facebook, and PC games. That's about it, at least so far.

The computer I bought for her was a very inexpensive Dell - an Inspiron i510 desktop. Decent specs, particularly for someone who doesn’t do that much that requires any more power or memory. But being a Dell this machine has cost me a lot of hours troubleshooting things that just shouldn’t need to be troubleshot (Is that even a real word?!) in the first place! (I truly hate Dell, if you haven't figured that out by now - they have caused me much grief over the years). Only reason I got the Dell box was that it cost so little and I figured I would basically treat it as "disposable". For those interested, the computer cost a grand total of $500 - a $150 rebate, which in early 2008 was pretty cheap! Like most Dell PC's almost all components are made-for-Dell-only and so replacement parts must be purchased from Dell IF they still even stock them. Other components commonly do not fit into the non-spacious cases.

Anyway... back to my real reason for posting: I've been looking for a replacement for her computer - the CPU fan has died and I can't find one that will work without either paying Dell about 60% of the original cost of the whole computer, or modifying the case, forcing another fan in, and crossing my fingers. Ain't gonna bother - too damn old for that! While looking I noticed more than a few All-In-One PCs, and since Robin gets along fine with an iPad I know the touch screen will agree with her. I'm looking specifically at an Asus Multi-Touch - which I discovered means that you can perform tasks with both hands touching the screen rather than just a one-finger tap kind of operation. (I put that very nicely technical, didn't I?) Also it has an Intel i3 3.10 GHz, 4 GB DDR memory, Windows 7 Home Premium... a lot of nice touches that the touch screens usually haven't had till now. Or so I have read. Here's a link to it at

Regular price is $849, and the sale price (gotta put it in the shopping cart to see) is $799. I am wondering if anyone here has an All-in-One and/or a Multi-Touch computer and if so, could you please let me know how you - or whomever you know - likes it.



See this link:  http://adblockplus.o...e-installed-web-apps

So there are extensions - and web apps - that can be silently installed in Chrome. Apparently this capability has been there for a while, though only a couple of Google extensions have done it so far. Still, it's a little disconcerting. Quote from the last paragraph of the article:

Don’t get me wrong: Google Chrome is a great browser and it is easy to get excited about it, argue about benchmarks, brand-new standards and such. But sometimes you get a reminder: this is a Google product and it has to benefit Google. It isn’t merely about making the web better, it is also about promoting Google products and giving them an advantage over competing services. Google may speak out for net neutrality but with their browser the own services get prioritized. Even if it requires violating your privacy.


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