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Messages - Dragonrider [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Re: Free paint program for kids
« on: June 23, 2005, 12:41 PM »
Have you tried "Project Dogwaffle"?  It's a paint type program for artists.  It isn't really for kids, but my 12 & 14 year old girls use it all the time & love it.


Or "PlantStudio"?

It's also at  The author's website is in I think German, so unless you know German, I'd use if I were you.  That's what I did.  Again, it's not really a kid's drawing program, but it's a program that allows you to create your own flowers & other garden plants along with whole gardens & scenes.  My kids like it a lot as well.


Living Room / Re: FreeCycle - a cool idea
« on: June 23, 2005, 12:21 PM »
In theory its great.  I've been getting freecycle for my immediate area for the last 3 months.  The problems I see with it are:
1. It is a catch as catch can endeavor.  There is no way to know what is available at any given time.  Let alone
    what is STILL available.
2. If you see something you want that has been offered, & you immediately E-mail the person who has offered it.
    You may never know whether the item(s) have been given to someone else or whether the offer has been
    recinded, or whatever.
3. People don't really read the entries.  So alot of times there are offers & wants for the same type of items & they
    never get together.

I receive the stuff via a digested form in my E-mail.  My experience has been that if you post a desire for something, it is essentially ignored.  I've sent about 4 to 5 E-mails to different people in my area who have offered stuff on freecycle and none of them have gotten back to me either way.  1 of the policies of the freecycle network is that if you offer something on the network & subsequently give it away.  That you put up a notice on the network that this has happened.  This was not done in the 4 or 5 cases that I sent E-mails for.

I've also sent out to freecycle a request for PC's that I as the New Jersey coordinator of the National Federation of the Blind's Adopt Adaptive program.  BTW: the program is a way for people that need adaptive equipment to connect with people who have it & no longer need it & don't want to throw it away.  This request went unanswered, & a week later 2 offers to give away PC's were posted on the B Board.  Those were some of the 1's I sent E-mails to.

So, in THEORY it's a great idea.  In practice, I'm underwhelmed.


Unfinished Requests / Re: IDEA: Spring-loaded folders!
« on: June 20, 2005, 09:59 AM »
Windoze Exploder (& I don't call it that because of spring loading  :) ) is only spring loaded when it comes to opening folders in the tree part of explorer.  I am on the fence for whether I would like the folders in the main window to be spring loaded or not.  On the 1 hand, I have wanted to move files from a folder into a sub-sub-sub-folder of the folder I'm currently in.  I mark the files, & then without thinking, drag them over the top of the 1st sub-folder & wait for it to spring open.  After a few seconds I smack my head & then move it over top of the treeview & let it expand out.  It's so intuitive to put the dragged files over the folder that's right above the files I want to move & non-intuitive to have to move halfway across the screen to the treeview to do the same conceptual thing.  On the other hand, I'm not very accurate when it comes to placing the cursor.  So I always right click & drag instead of left clicking while holding down the shift/ctrl key.  I right-click & drag because I'm constantly thinking the cursor is over the top of a folder, and it's really over the top of a different 1.  This is partly because I'm sloppy & partly because I don't see all that well.  Nonetheless, spring loading the main window would probably be a bad thing for me.

I will say 1 thing though, 2xExplorer & Xplorer2 both act the same way as well.  In these cases where there are really more than 1 main window, I think spring loading the main windows would be a good thing even considering my sloppy mousing abilities.


Living Room / Re: anyone recommend freeware cd/dvd burning soft?
« on: June 11, 2005, 10:40 PM »
Have you tried Deepburner?


Cheat Sheeter / Re: Sample .ipi file
« on: June 11, 2005, 08:26 PM »
If I may ask.  Why are you going thru all the work of creating a config file format  when you could be using an INI file formatted configuration file that would be IMHO more flexible.  Let me illustrate with an INI file that would do
the same as what you describe & yet could also have multiple instances of your file in the same file.

001=UltraEdit - mouser
002=MS Word - dragonrider
004=Project Dogwaffle
005=UltraEdit - dragonrider

; As many applications can go here as desired.  Just don't have any embedded empty lines in any of the sections.
; I know that comments can be inserted into an INI file, but I honestly don't remember how.  I think that any
; lines that are isolated by blank lines from a section are ignored, but I believe that there is an actual comment
; character(s) as well.

[UltraEdit - mouser]
Hotkeys=UltraEdit - Hotkeys - mouser
Forum=UltraEdit Forum - mouser
Tips=UltraEdit Tips - mouser

[UltraEdit Forum - mouser]
Description=Visit the UltraEdit Online Forum

[UltraEdit Tips - mouser]
Description=A list of tips and tricks for advanced users

[UltraEdit - Hotkeys - mouser]
Hint=Common HotKeys for UltraEdit
Description=A simple list of hotkeys for UltraEdit, in html format.  Suitable for small window display.

[UltraEdit - dragonrider]
Hotkeys=UltraEdit - Hotkeys - dragonrider
Forum=UltraEdit Forum - dragonrider
Tips=UltraEdit Tips - dragonrider

[MS Word - dragonrider]
[email protected]
Application=Microsoft Word
Hotkeys=MS Word - Hotkeys - dragonrider
Tips=MS Word Tips - dragonrider
Links=MS Word Links - dragonrider

[MS Word Links - dragonrider]
Description=A list of links for extra research and help.

[MS Word Tips - dragonrider]
Description=A list of tips and tricks for advanced users

[MS Word - Hotkeys - dragonrider]
Hint=Common HotKeys for MS Word
Description=A simple list of hotkeys for MS Word, in html format.  Suitable for small window display.

The benefits of having an INI file instead of a proprietary format are:
*   many DLLs & function libraries that can handle INI files in many different programming languages.
*   the sections don't have to be in any particular order.
*   more than 1 applications sheets can be described in a single file.
*   more than 1 version of the same application can be described in a single file (see UltraEdit - 1 & 2)
*   because its 1 file instead of many, it is much faster to load the info. from the file into the program.
*   Additional fields can be created on the fly (see "MS Word - dragonrider" section) like version & email.

To update this file with new sheets would just require CheatSheet to:
*   get the files from
*   if the file set exists already on the local PC, ask to user if they want to overwrite or add it to their
   list of sheets
*   If yes, then overwrite the files with the new ones.
*   If no, then make new names for the files.
*   take the required information out of the application INI files & write it into the main INI file.

As usual, I'm not trying to force this on you.  I'm just suggesting the possible benefits of this approach.


Bingo!  That's the program I was looking for.  I even saw that name several times on my HD while looking for "Open With" but I dismissed it without looking at the webpage I'd saved describing it.  That's what I get for ASS-U-Me'ing something & not checking it out.  OpenExpert IS the program I was describing.

Thanks nudone!


Then is it also part of Win2K as well?  Since I have Win2K, not WinXP.


Ahh...  The fame, or is that infamy?  :)

Let me get this straight:

1. When you right click, or double-click on a file in windoze explorer, you want a menu to appear that shows a list
     of programs that you can bring up the file in.
2. You also want to be able to add, delete, or edit this list at any time.

Is this correct?  If so, then yes, I think this could be done in AutoIt except for possibly the double-click part inside of windoze explorer.  I don't know how this could be done, but that doesn't mean it can't.

On the other hand.  I've been looking for a small utility that I got awhile ago that I can't seem to find the ".zip" of now.  I use it all the time.  You got me looking for it last night when I read this message.  It's a shell extension called "Open With".  It essentially does exactly what you want.  When you right click on a file & want to open it in another program other than the default association & it's not already defined.  You open it with the normal "Open With" entry, check the "Always use this program to open these files" box & then choose the program you want.  The next time you want to open that file with an alternate program, go to the menu item (that has sub-menu items) called "Open With..." & look in the sub-menus.  It will have a list that contains your previous program selection.  If you want a different program, do what was described above & the next time both programs will be in the sub-menu.  The only downside I see for this is that you are changing default file associations.


Cheat Sheeter / Re: New Program Idea: Cheat Sheeter
« on: June 08, 2005, 01:16 PM »
I for 1 IMHO happen to like the name "Cheat Sheeter".  It has become much more than just a hotkey displayer, but it also would even help someone who wants to remember the hotkeys, walk-thrus, CHEAT codes, etc. in a game.  My sons & daughters would probably use it if they could put all of their games info. into 1 place & display it on demand.

But if change the name you must (yoda talking here), then what about "InfoAdviser", or "I. Advise" (for information advise). 

The mention of my sons & daughters brought to mind another thing you might want to think about for CS.  That is to have user profiles.  This would allow for different sets of favorites & notes.  This could be done by checking the user id.


Unfinished Requests / Re: IDEA: Small roll out exe script.
« on: June 08, 2005, 12:38 PM »
Ahhh...  Something I can expound on.  I don't ever do that do I?  :)

This whole scenerio depends on what your trying to do, how automated you want it to be, how automated the programs you want to install can be, & how much work & time you want to invest in the project.

Everything you've asked for, & lots more can be done by doing some scripting.  Even the scripting can be kept to a minimum with some extra tools (i.e. autoscriptwriter).  The way I've been doing this kind of automation for the last 5-8 years is by using a scripting language called AutoIt.  It is specifically written to do exactly what your asking.  Anything it can't do (like dealing with compressed files) can be done by invoking other programs to handle the problem.  There are numerous people on the AutoIt Yahoo! group who have used AutoIt to install MANY programs on 1000's of PCs (each having different requirements & programs) on LANs & WANs.

AutoIt started out as a very simple language that could do some pretty complicated things.  Its newest version (3.1.1.?) can do VERY SOPHISTICATED things with VERY COMPLICATED GUI's.  The beta program I wrote for called WinFocus is written in AutoIt v3 (yeah I'm still working on it, honest...).  AutoIt can even do all of the things "deltaend" asked for in his "IDEA: Annoying Toy" post which has nothing to do with automation, but AutoIt is sophisticated enough to even do very complicated GUI manipulations of any programs on the screen.

Best of all?  It's FREE!

If your interested, go over to & go to the version 3 section (on left of screen).  You can also join their forums that are very active with not only users, but the creator of autoit (Jonathan Bennett), & many of the developers who are helping him now.  The developers are also users of the language & are very open to suggestions & tend to fix bugs very quickly.



Hmmm...  Sounds like a timely topic, of general interest to users, & shouldn't be as big of a project as the screencast review just completed.  Sounds like a review topic to me mouser.   ;)

Brian Keene

General Review Discussion / Re: Next two-week review
« on: June 07, 2005, 01:35 PM »
BTW:  I agree with Shangnyun.  As long as the author isn't involved, it really isn't a problem.  This of course excludes mouser for all of his programs, but then again, he needs a rest.  ;)


General Review Discussion / Re: Next two-week review
« on: June 07, 2005, 01:31 PM »
What about the freeware "Whois" review I'm currently writing up?  It's in its early stages, I've looked at about 10 different pieces of freeware so far, was thinking of comparing them to payware (but can't afford the price), and haven't even gotten to or a few other sites I know of yet (only trolled,, so far).

My criteria is whois's being used as a tool to discover where a piece of spam/phish Email has truly come from & why it's necessary to have these kinds of tools on a person's PC.  But I'm open to suggestions & comments if your game.  This of course means it won't go in the forum section you set up mouser.


Cheat Sheeter / Re: New Program Idea: Cheat Sheeter
« on: June 05, 2005, 03:20 PM »
 :-[  After posting the last entry & THEN rereading the last few entries, I realized that you had agreed with everything I said & I was being anal.  Excuse my last post.  How do I delete something I've already posted so I can avoid being embarrased like this next time. :-[


Cheat Sheeter / Re: New Program Idea: Cheat Sheeter
« on: June 05, 2005, 03:12 PM »
Great! :) :up:  But do you mean toolbar (the area just under the menu bar inside the app.), the TASKbar at the bottom of the screen, a toolbar placed on 1 of the edges of the screen, or the TITLE bar which is the top bar of the window that usually states the name of the program that is running?  I see the toolbar inside the active program as a MUCH more difficult endeavor to encode.  It would mean integrating CS with the running prog. in some way, and dis-integrating itself from the inactivated program when focus is changed & integrating itself into the newly activated program in an extremely quick manner.  I think that CS would use too much CPU time & resources to accomplish this.

Whereas, attaching CS to the title bar is just CS keeping track of where on the screen (& how big) the active window is & placing itself (& keeping itself) over the top of the titlebar.

My view is to keep CS in the TITLE of the active window just to the left of the 3 control buttons.  This is an obvious place & I've seen a clock that does this.  Its out of the way of anything the active program might be doing, its as visible as a tool/taskbar, it would use up less CPU resources, wouldn't take nearly as much time for CS to put itself into the next titlebar, and its easier to code.

If I'm preaching to the choir, or talking too much, just tell me to cool my skids. ;)


Cheat Sheeter / Re: New Program Idea: Cheat Sheeter
« on: June 05, 2005, 11:02 AM »
I've been thinking (yeah I know that's dangerous).  :)  The more I see us all wanting CS to do, & after seeing your picture, it dawned on me that maybe you don't want to have a whole interface & go with only a toolbar instead.

What I mean is having a toolbar that has menu buttons but nothing else.  When the page / tutorial is invoked you would invoke the file with the appropriate application.  This would make the program simpler to code, & give the user more versatility in what can be viewed.

You gave the example in the ScreenCast review that the way to show stuff was gravitating towards screen movies.  CS should be able to view these as well as show HTML pages of hotkeys, and maybe even MS help files.  Invoking the associated app. on a specified file gives CS this capability without you coding it directly into CS.  It also allows you to make the toolbar as small as possible & even maybe stick it into the titlebar of the active window (excepting dialog boxes & windows like that).  Thus keeping it in plain view all the time, not using up any extra screen space, not conflicting with other toolbar apps., & still expanding CS's capabilities by an order of magnitude.

Just my $.02 cents


Reviews in the forum sound reasonable to me.  I think that sub-boards of the "Software in the Wild" is a good idea.  Can I request a sub-board for my reviews titled "Dragonrider's Fly-bys" (Don't mind me, I liked the column title).  :)
Seriously though, if there isn't a single spot in the forums where I can post, I'll just go do it on the webpage you set up for me & post announcements in the forum.

I like the idea of an index / table of contents page to announce new reviews.


OK.  I'll post it to my column blog.  But I may wish to do others more often than every 2 weeks.  I think it would be interesting to have user submitted reviews where visitors / members could comment on them.  I liked that idea quite alot when I saw it on the columns blog.  It insures that the review won't just be a flame about some unrelated topic that has nothing to do with this site, and allows the reviewer to get feedback & reply to commenters as well.

If I WERE to post more than once every 2 weeks to my column blog.  How / when would each entry be shown on the site.  Would they go once every 2 weeks in the order of when I post them?  Would they go sooner?


It just dawned on me.  The blog mini-reviews.  Do you mean like the column blog I just did last week?  Can I post whenever I wish & it will show up on the site in the columns section?  If so, then I'll just post my review there.

Or maybe since between writing my last post & before I could post this addendum, you replied.  Let me respond.

I think that a web page for "Dragonrider's Fly-bys" is a very cool idea.  I come across all sorts of freeware stuff all the time.  If I could put up a new review everytime I came across something that I felt might be useful to visitors, that would be great.  When I change my webpage, would old stuff be archived somewhere?  And would the new stuff be automagically announced on the site?  Or do I announce in a forum like the "Software in the Wild" forum that a new review is up?

Brian Keene


I guess we really did get our wires crossed.  This can certainly be a big review or a blog mini-review.  I wasn't looking to give out prizes.  I just thought people might like to hear about my experience, a little about phishing, spam, & security.  As well as get a little info. on some of the freeware out there.  I didn't know how to go about either big reviews OR blog mini-reviews.  Please advise.  Whichever way you wish, I'm game.


So how do I go about posting a review? 

And when does it have to be done by?


What do people think about my reviewing free whois, traceroute, & finger programs?  I just yesterday received a phishing Email that looked so legitimate that I got suspicious.  But before investigating I had to download the correct tool to investigate with.  I downloaded at least 25 apps. before I found the right tool to get enough info. to send it to Paypal.  It was a very interesting exercise, but took all morning yesterday to find the right tool. :wallbash:


Oooh!  So much to respond to, & so little space & time.  :)  Let me begin with:

Posted by: zridling
You two would have been very frustrated in the DOS days of the 1980s,
I disagree.  I am an old Un*x hacker & DOS user.  In those days (1980's) DOS didn't use hotkeys.  You had to remember a whole list of commands that weren't very nmenonic at times.  I found the best way to work was to memorize the cmd names & then look up the options I needed at the time I needed them.  You COULD equate this to memorizing a list of hotkeys in today's environment.  But its kind of tenuous if you ask me.
Posted by: Scott
I think it's a matter of discipline and interest.  I can't be bothered to memorize 7,500 different hotkey combinations.
I agree in a way with this.  Memorizing was never my strong point.  Just ask my 5 kids & wife when it comes to their names.  And I've been married for 23 years!  But when you use the keys almost daily, you get to know those 7,500 keys from familiarity, not memorization.  If I might paraphrase here.  Necessity is the mother of memorization, not interest.  You could hate what your doing but still have to memorize those 7,500 keys to do your job.

Posted by: nudone
i agree with pointlessness of trying to remember hotkey combos that aren't used often enough so that you can actually remember them - the secret is to just keep them simple and obvious.

i really despise hotkeys utils that expect you to memorise a combination of keys like 'ctrl+alt+X' or 'ctrl+shift+X' or was it 'alt+shift+X', oh sorry, no it was 'ctrl+alt+shift+X' to perform a task.

just make hotkeys like 'winkey+X' - use a letter key that matches the action that is going to be done, i.e.

'winkey+x' to open explorer (or xplorer2)
'winkey+w' to open your browser (the w stands for www)
'winkey+n' for notepad (or whatever you use)
etc, etc.

the point of using the 'winkey' is that is highly unlikely to conflict with other programs that have their own set of hotkey shortcuts. plus it's easier to remember instead of trying to figure out if it was a 'ctrl' or an 'alt' key combo you were meant to be doing.

i'm sure that all sounds very patronising but that's as complicated as it needs to be. i'm also sure everyone on this forum has heard of mnemonics and that is simply how a good hotkey should work. if it isn't obvious and immediate then there is no point to it.

maybe hotkeys are something that have to be forced onto you before you start to use them regularly. like Zaine i had to learn shortcut keys to make the programs i use workable and efficient. when i first started using photoshop there were things that could only be done with key modifiers and key combinations - ties your fingers in knots sometimes.
I pretty much agree with nudone here for the reasons stated above.  I'm from the old days when mice were scarce & keyboards ruled the day.  I type 85wpm as well & don't like having to take my hands from the keyboard to move that detestable thing called a mouse.  Unfortunately, most GUI programs (which 98% of all programs are) insist on your using a mouse.  Even if they do allow hotkeys, they never allow you to solely use the keyboard.  There are always at least a half dozen or more functions that MUST be done with a mouse, & usually they're functions you use all the time.

Where I disagree with nudone is the use of the winkey.  I usually have half a dozen programs running on my PC, & almost all of them use the winkey and/or other hotkey combinations.  Many times their hotkeys conflict with 1 another because they're trying to be nmenonic.  Windows also reserves certain hotkey combinations for itself.  Thus makeing it impossible for a nmenonic key combination to be assigned.  This is why I tend to not like hotkeys in general.  Since even if I COULD remember 7,500 hotkey combinations (which I obviously can't), half of them would probably be useless due to multiple program overlap.

I think "Cheat Sheeter" is a fabulous idea because it allows me to remember a small core set of hotkeys that will allow me to do ~80% of my work, & it will allow me to look up the rest of the 7,500 quickly & easily by useing the GUI to my advantage instead of it being a disadvantage to us keyboarders.


Cheat Sheeter / Re: Finally, a robust keyboard shortcut app!
« on: June 02, 2005, 02:19 PM »
OK, I'm convinced that menus are just as flexible as drop-down lists.

Will we be incorporating the capability for users to make their own cheat sheets that would go into the cheat sheets folder & the menu'ing system would be able to bring it up the next time CS was invoked?

I have some docs that have the hotkeys for MS Office.  I would gladly make the cheat sheets for those apps.

I would also make the cheat sheet / notes sheet for WinVi.

Maybe a cheat sheet for AutoIt v3 might be nice as well.  The cheat sheets don't have to be hotkeys/notes.  They could be sheets describing a language as well.

BTW: Will user configuration of color and font be available for those of us who might need it?


Cheat Sheeter / Re: Finally, a robust keyboard shortcut app!
« on: June 02, 2005, 12:21 PM »
True,  This application started out as a displayer of hotkeys.  But I agree that it would be very useful to have other info. available for a program that might not be in a help file.  There are many times that I am seeking a way to do something in a program & the help file or manual doesn't explain how to do it.  I then experiment, eventually figuring out how to do it (either the features buried & I find it, or I work out a kludge).  I then would really like to have a way to keep notes on how I did it for the next time.  A lot of times I also think that other people might like to know what I figured out.

To this end, why not have 2 tabs on a cheat sheets window.  1 for the hotkeys, & the other for other info.. This info. could be user and/or DC supplied & kept in a text file or .rtf file.  The folder structure for the program & existance of files in subfolders would allow for dynamic loading of these files.  The names of the files would be the same, just in different folders with different file extensions.  Such as:

       |--> CheatSheets
       |     |--> Internet Explorer.html
       |     |--> LotusNotes.html
       |     |--> MS Word.html
       |     |--> Netscape.html
       |     |--> ...
       |--> FAQs
             |--> Internet Explorer.rtf
             |--> LotusNotes.rtf
             |--> MS Word.rtf
             |--> Netscape.rtf
             |--> ...

By separating the cheatsheets & FAQs into separate folders, it keeps users from getting confused as to which
file to edit to add their information to.  And it allows the program to quickly determine whether or not it needs to display a 2nd tab for the applications FAQ.

RTF files for the FAQs might be better since users could use wordpad or another word processor that they
are already using that outputs to RTF files.  It would also allow users to easily include pictures, tables,
columns, etc. into their FAQs.

The 1 downside to using RTF files is that we would have to be able to display both HTML & RTF files.  Which of course ups the complexity of the program.  We could use RTF files for the cheat sheets as well for the same reasons.

i've decided to use a menu bar instead of dropdown or tabs.. let's see how it goes - it will let us have a menu for Favorites, Recent, Application, All, so that it will be easy to organize cheat sheets and select them in different ways.

I'm not trying to force a drop-down list, & I do like the idea of having major categories like Favorites, recents, and all.  But I think that menus would still be restrictive when it comes to a large # of cheat sheets.  At some point the menu that contains each of the cheat sheets would become too cumbersome unless you are able to scroll the menus.  A Drop-down list(s) that would stay within a certain amount of screen space, can be essentially infinite in length & can scroll, are more flexible.  There could be more than 1 drop-down box. Each category could have its own.  Or a 2nd drop-down box could select the category & as soon as that is selected, the other drop-down list would dynamically change to comply with what's in the category list.

BTW:  I've been thinking about which would be better, hiding bar or popup window.  I think they should both be
included.  This is because I've just started using PanelHider which allows you to have application windows reside
in auto hiding bars on the side(s), top, & bottom of the screen.  There can be multiple layers of these at each place.  But it would be very hard to distinguish between these apps. & another program doing the same thing.
In this instance, being able to specify that CS's GUI is popup instead of hiding bar is a very good thing.

I also thought of some utilities that make the corners of the screen into hotspots.  These hotspots activate whatever you tell it to when the mouse moves into its area.  This would be a way for us to popup CS without the need for either a hotkey or clicking onto the system tray icon.  Could this mousing/hotspot capability be implemented in CS?


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