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Messages - brotman [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Re: Goodbye to my father
« on: September 24, 2016, 12:02 PM »
I am so sorry for your loss!!!

Best regards,
Chuck Brotman

In one of their emails to me, they included an offer for Ockster pro.

Oh, I see!  Thanks for the clarification...  I hope you enjoy it

^thanks for that info Chuck,
(oddly I got an offer via Softmaker (since I posted above) for the Pro version for 10 euros)

Huh?  Does Softmaker even have a  disk imaging software?????  I looked but could find no trace of one!!


@Chuck, any experience with restoring? With or without incremental versions (? I never did have a problem with Acronis 8 or 9 restoring from an incremental version, but a lot of people seem to be wary of it).


One of the advantages of the "infinite reverse incremental" method is that the latest version of the backup IS A COMPLETE CURRENT SNAPSHOT!  In other words, it includes all updates, incremental or otherwise.  Where it gets a little trickier is if you want to restore a not-the-latest version. (Thats what the "Reverse" means). In that case (I think) the extra files are those needed to get back to the desired previous level. Thankfully Ockster 8 Pro takes care of the logistics.  You just need to select the desired version from a drop down list.  I have done several successful restores to both the most recent and not-most-recent backups.

On a related note, I called Ockster support and the tech was only too happy to talk with me about the details.  The gist of that discussion was you can safely delete older files (ie. older than the CURRENT snapshot) hen you do you dont't affect the current snapshot -- only the ones of the dates you deleted and before.  Overall I've been quite satisfied with the product...


I've Always liked products from Serif. (no affiliation , etc..) examples are Page Plus, Draw Plus, Photo Plus Web Plus , etc.  There is some overlap in function, but I think Page Plus Might be exactly what you need.  THESE ARE WELL DESIGNED COMMERCIAL SOFTWARE, AVAILABLE AT REASONABLE PRICES/UPGRaDES.   The GOOD News is they have "starter editions" which are Free, with some functional limitations.  You can try them out and see what fits.  I understand the free ones are still pretty complete.

Good Luck,

Living Room / Re: Hard Drive Brand Reliability Data
« on: May 22, 2014, 11:46 PM »
Has it occurred to anyone else that the failure data might be a bit skewed since the larger (e.g. 4 gb) models have been around for a shorter time than the others???

to Raymond et. al.:

Great article!  Looks like it took a lot of work. but you were able to summarize it in a small table !awesome!

I missed seeing a write up of  Ocster's backup product "Ocster Backup 8" available in a free version a less expensive, simplified 1-click version and the more complete Pro and business versions
 (I have no connection other than  I purchased and use a copy of their Pro version 8 )

I think this product is notable because it is the only product I'm aware of which uses a method called "infinite reverse incremental backup". They claim a 50% smaller image using that! I'd love to see how Ocster stacks up against the other tools in your study.

their website is Just my $.02

Keep up the good work,  :Thmbsup:
Chuck Brotman


I'm the originator of this thread. so I thought I'd top it off with an explanation of what  partitioning I finally ended up with, FWIW:

Disk 0 internal 1,5TB
  drive C: [200gb]  Win7
  drive D:  [500gb] Data
  drive K:  [200gb] "spare" windows partition
  drive P:  [500gb]  Programs

disk 1 internal 1TB
  drive B: [1tb] Backups
drive C is for the OS and MS office programs and files and others that "like" to be on c:  hibernation file, swap file Windows Folder, system,  Boot sectors  and  other  reasonably small base utility programs

DRIVE D  is for personal Data, email files, Music, downloads, etc

DRIVE K was created as a recover win7 installation, and I've kept it spare (and Bootable)

DRIVE P is where the rest of the programs go, especially big ones, like Desktop publishing, dictionaries and other references,

DRIVE B  is for Backups of programs and data as required, note it's on a separate internal hard drive from everything else, for better recoverablity.

Additionally there are two "recovery partitions" (~20gb total), left over from the factory install and a couple of external drives used for extended backups and data

This setup works for me and has certain advantages (I'll go into more detail if anybody cares enough to ask...

Your Mileage may vary...

Thanks to all who answered here! I hope someone may benefit from this thread


I'm fond of Serif's Page Plus.  It reads and writes PDF files, and offers extensive editing features.  It should be cheaper than Adobe products. it lists at around$100, plus it is often available in special offers  at reduced prices (as a longtime customer I got Page Plus X5 for around $50).    You can also get older and/or starter  versions for free on their website.  I dont know if their starter version includes PDF Support.  I think they've been PDF compatible since around V8 Note the current version v6 is equivalent to version 16. The page for X6 can be found here .   The free downloads link is in the top bar.

Added Note:  FWIW: I was just at game giveaway of the day and they had an ad for Page Plus X5 for $30!  this version is only one off the current and DOES include PDF Support!  I've included the Direct link below in case the ad rotation removes the ad...

General Software Discussion / Re: Do I need O&O DiskImage?
« on: August 30, 2012, 08:25 PM »
I got a (free after rebate) copy of O&O disk image. I didn't find it to my liking (I came from Acronis, but had too many reliability issues with TIB)   

There are many other decent and free backup programs available. I've been working my way through them and some commercial ones as well.  My current attempt is the free "Comodo Back-Up) It seems to have a reasonable  interface but I'm still working through some issues and questions with there Support.  I'll let you know how I make out.

Too bad I couldn't get acronis to work on my Win7 system.  I liked it on XP...

Chuck Brotman

Thanks, y'all, for the tips and opinions.  I'll look them all over and see how to best apply it to my system.

Quick question, for Carol Haynes: is having a seperate boot partition something you do manually or is it just part of a normal install???

Thanks again! now off to ponder and then to sleep

[Note: this thread has been inactive for over a year!  the (currently) last post describes the configuration that I ended up with! see « Reply #18 on: Today (2013-05-23)at 02:04:12 PM »  Regards, Chuck]

Hi,  I'm switching over from my long holdout xpsp3 to windows 7 home premium 64bit on a new machine with 1.5TB hard drive.  On XP, I've always added extra partitions for special purposes.  I.E. c=Windows, D= Data, M= music, P=Programs, etc.  Not too familiar with the nuances of Win7, I don't know what if any partitioning makes sense.  Any suggestions from your experiences??? My main purpose for partitioning was to make it possible to reinstall windows with a minimum loss of my data & programs.   Since I have no Win7 disc, only the "recovery/restore disks" windows7 allows you to make, I wonder what makes sense fore a backup recovery strategy along with whatever, if any, partitioning I might do.  Have y'all had good experiences with win7 backup and restore system??  Any helpfull advice appreciated


That's the ticket!!!  I don't, necessarily want a way to press the "Fn" Key.  I just want to make the arrow keys act AS THOUGH I had pressed it!!!   I can and will try this myself,  as soon as I can figure out what is required on this very nice but peculiar laptop's keyboard to get Scroll lock activated (ie do I need to press the Fn key to do that?)! thank you for your Offer though,  I'll let you know what key I choose, in case it might be usefull for someone else with this Silly Sony Setup! Your tip definitely got me looking in the right direction --- Thanks!!!

Thanks for all your Ideas.
  - I had considered hooking up another keyboard, but didn't think of it until after my first post. Problem there is that it makes things much less portable.  Worth A try though, pending an AHK solution.
 - I have to admit rewiring the keys had not occurred to me,  I guess I was thinking more of a software solution.  Good idea, but not one I'm likely to try, plus I was looking for a togle action not a modifier key type action.
Thanks all for your time and consideration,
PS. Ironically named key, don't you think?  "Fn" as in "how can I reach that "effin" key?!" !!!!!!    :D

'Situation:  I am able to type only using my right hand.  I recently "inherited" a very nice SONY viao laptop,  I love using it when I'm away from my desktop.

Problem: This laptop has separate (inverted T") cursor keys. Unfortunately it does not have separate keys for  numbers, page-up,down pg-dn home, and end.  To get those functions one must press a "Fn" key located between the left ctrl and windows keys. I cannot do this with one hand.  (If it were on the right side ofg the space bar it would be no problem!)... I  spoke with the Folks at Sony and the told me that the "Fn" key is intercepted before it gets to windows, so standard key remapping won't work.  I've had limited only success using AHK to remap alt or ctrl with the cursor keys to the required functions (it appears that odd thins happen where ctrl or alt lead to ctrl + alt being received. 

What might help??:  I'd like to be able to choose an otherwise unused key, like scroll lock, to act as a modal switch to turn on the alternate meanings for the cursor. It seems like AHK could allow me to do this, but I'm not sure exactly how to accomplish this. 

Any help in this regard will be appreciated.


Hey Guyz,

What's with all the whining and resignation to the demise of a favorite site :tellme:??  Let's Do something: write your congressional representatives ;), the president :o, or even better let's start an email campaign to let them know our dismay.  :( > :( May not help but it couldn't hurt. Now, anyone have a suitable destination (e.g. at huffington post for our emails to be sent???  They may not realize that they're making a mistake.  This is the new electronic democracy of the internet!!    Raise your voices!

Best regards,

Developer's Corner / Re: Kirk Wants a New Programming Language
« on: September 17, 2010, 10:36 PM »
Have you checked out RUBY???? 
It's a Dynamic, Functional, Object oriented Language based on Smalltalk and Lisp plus a little Perl and php, but the syntax is closer to a standard ("C"-like) programming language.  Its fairly young (circa 2000?)  but  been around long enough to have garnered a decent sized following and community.  It's free (always a plus) but is being used in real applications for business, etc. I could go on and on but better that you go to:

Have fun!


A disclaimer: I am not a patent lawyer, nor do I play one on TV :)  The ideas shared here are my own, not IBMs (Though my two decades of employment there may have colored my thinking)

My main point/Question: Is it Patents that are evil or just Unreasonable Patents???

O.K., while I agree that patents are sometimes too broad, there is something to be said for protect one's intellectual property.  As a former IBM engineer with my name on two patents,  I've had some experience with this topic.  IBM, for example wanted to have a large, valuable, patent portfolio for business reasons. Specifically, it was to protect their ability to innovate and engineer products without being overly concerned with infringing others' patents.  This occurred fairly often and there was always some little inventor waiting to soak IBM for a patent he/she/it held. Often these patents were valid and the inventor deserved to be compensated.  Sometimes, like the examples given above, they were overly general and ridiculous in scope (or obvious to any skilled practitioner of the art).  Sometimes IBM could point to holding a patent  which covered the idea in question or point to "prior art" which made the Patent in question less general or restrictive. I am aware of relatively few examples of IBM going after people/organizations using patents from their portfolio in general use.   There is much that can be said to justify these actions. Although, such protectionism did exist, it's worth noting that most of IBM's competitors had cross licensing aggreements with IBM, so the issue  was often moot.  Additionally, IBM ,like all technology based companies, used it's own extensive patent portfolio as a bargaining chip in inter-company negotiations.  To my knowledge IBM was always willing to allow patent use for a"resonable" fee.  The legal department seemed more hard nosed about trademark infringements than patents. 

Intellectual Property is a valuable asset and inventors (individual or corporate) deserve to have their ideas Protected.  Theft of IP (intellectual Property is a real concern for those who deal in ideas.  The Patent System was intended, in part, to ensure that good ideas get published, protected for a limited time, and then become public domain in order to foster better communication of ideas (as opposed to being hidden away forever as Trade Secrets.

The real problem is not patents per se, but the woefully understaffed, under-funded, patent office, which is sometimes so overloaded and so far behind the times that they can't recognize a good idea, or, they grant a patent to an obvioius, trivial, or overly broad idea, thus stifling the  very process it's intended to promote and protect.


General Software Discussion / Re: Outlook/firefox url problem
« on: July 05, 2009, 03:56 PM »
All it does is delete those ddeexec keys.  I wasn't sure if it was the same fix because there's another mozillazine article that I found originally, but it seems related.  Anyway, if you reinstall FF and stuff happens, that reg script might fix it.

I'd guess that your script does the same "unchecking" as the gui actions I performed...

General Software Discussion / Re: Outlook/firefox url problem
« on: July 05, 2009, 03:55 PM »

FWIW, I felt spunky after fixing the problem so I installed Firefox 3.5 (was on 3.0.xx) and it did not cause the problem to reappear (so far!)

Some details:
  • My problem occurred even when Firefox was already running
  • I disabled all my toolbars, -that didn't fix it
  • I disabled all my addons, -that didn't fix it
  • I started it in safe mode - no joy
  • What fixed it was following the instructions, from the Mozilla mag web page, to uncheck the DDE box for certain URL file types



General Software Discussion / Re: Outlook/firefox url problem
« on: July 05, 2009, 02:36 PM »
Miles Ahead,

Thank you for that most excellent pointer.  I had to work through untill the lsat option but it worked!  No  more Annoying sound and message!


Much obliged,


General Software Discussion / Outlook/firefox url problem
« on: July 05, 2009, 11:48 AM »
I recently made firefox (3) my default browser (I've virtually stopped using IE).  My problem occurswhen I click on a URL link in outlook.  I get a beep and a message from Outlook sayiing  "General Failure" [url goes here] "The System cannot find the specified file.  However if I switch over to firefox the page is there. Is there any way to eliminate the false/unnecessary warning/alert?


Just checked out your "Best available software" list.  Very well done!   

I admit to being a little skeptical based on the name. However,  once I noticed how many of your selections matched software I'm already using, I realized how good a Judge of software you are  ;)

I'll probably refer back to it in the future. 

OBTW what does the "U" designation mean? Updated?

Thanks for your work and the web pages!


Great Blog, zridling! :)  Thanks for the pointer.  I'm sure I'll spend lots more tie perusing and learning over there!  :Thmbsup:


Mouser and Doormouse,

When you refer to it as "Balkanization" I can sort of see your objections.  I personally don't see the problem as being significant. But then, I'm not responsible for maintaining this stuff, nor do I have your experience with the other boards and problems mentioned within this thread (and the other thread discussing this topic).  I'll leave this up to y'alls, and probably not bring it up again. B,ut if I may make a small suggestion... My main (initial)concern was that I felt awkward, trying to figure out where (or even if) to put my post regarding my nascent linux trials and tribulations.  It was unclear how it might be received.  I didn't want others to have the same doubts or confusion...

My point is: maybe this could be clarified (in the appropriate boards descriptions?)  I don't have very strong feelings one way or the other but if I had seen, in the "general software discussions" board a comment saying either "We don't need no stinking Linux" or "you are welcome put stuff relating to other OS'es or platforms here..."  I probably would never have felt the need to bring up the question of a child board...


My own perception is that this is a Windows forum with some Linux & Windows/Linux users. Don't see many posts on other OSs.
A Linux forum may encourage more Linux posters and Linux orientated posts. I think that would be good (if it is what happened). But then, I do use Linux.

I agree! I'm still, primarily, a WinXP user, but I thought a little cross fertilization my be in order.  I'm not looking to create a Linux Forum, but rather a Linux for Windows users (bi-curious?) forum

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