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Messages - CWuestefeld [ switch to compact view ]

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I believe you can get to what you're trying to do by using XYplorer (the Windows Explorer replacement). This has a means of adding to the displayed file list various file attributes, including what it can pull from ID3 tags of audio files, or EXIF tags in images. Once you've got them displayed with the track length, there's a function for outputting the directory list as a "report" into a file. So if you do this for both directories, using the same sort sequence, and then diff the two files (using a tool like WinMerge).

One possible hole in this is that I'm not sure if it's able to read opus files.

If the details of the above don't work out for you, maybe try MultipleImageResizer.Net. It's pretty flexible about how it names and places the resized files, and offers a choice of algorithms (you'll want Lanczos for the best quality, probably).

Living Room / Re: Arizona sunsets
« on: March 21, 2017, 01:02 PM »
Does it have to be Arizona? Here's sunrise in Rocky Mountain National Park:
Rocky Mountain Sunrise.jpg

Does it have to be the sun setting? Here's the moon setting, also at RMNP:
Aspen Moonset.jpg

General Software Discussion / Announcing SpaceMan, my new Alexa skill
« on: January 22, 2017, 01:19 PM »
I've just published my first Alexa skill. If you've got an Alexa Echo device, and have any interest in space exploration, I think you'll find it interesting.

Spaceman is a free app for your Amazon Alexa device. I created it because I've always had a deep interest in space exploration, and building a way to keep informed of news in this area, and even inspire curiosity, seemed a good exercise for me to teach myself the technology behind Amazon Alexa and AWS Lambda functions.

It currently provides information to you about:

  • Phase of the moon
  • Scheduled rocket launches anywhere in the world, both past and future
  • Asteroids and other objects passing close to the Earth, for dates you request

To get a quick overview of the current news, just say

Alexa, ask Spaceman what's up?

But Spaceman also understands dates, so you can ask about other days you're interested in

  • Alexa, ask Spaceman what's up tomorrow?
  • Alexa, ask Spaceman what's up next Tuesday?
  • Alexa, ask Spaceman what happened yesterday?

Date ranges will work as well. And it can be future or past

  • Alexa, ask Spaceman what happened between January 1 2017 and January 10 2017?
  • Alexa, ask Spaceman what's happening from today to Friday?

Typical output is like (spoken, of course)
News for Saturday, January 21, 2017
This is a waning crescent moon.
Date: Saturday, January 21, 2017 12:42 AM
Status: Success
Name: Atlas V 401 | SBIRS GEO-4 (SBIRS GEO Flight 3)
Location: Cape Canaveral, FL, USA
8 objects are passing near the Earth. None of them are potentially hazardous.
The nearest will pass by us at a distance of 26.7 times the distance to the moon. It will be traveling about 9 thousand miles per hour, and have a diameter between 48 and 107 feet.
More information is available at http://ssd.jpl.nasa....bdb.cgi?sstr=3704156

You can get the skill from here:

More info about it here:

N.A.N.Y. 2017 / Re: NANY 2017 Release : Mouse Shake Menu
« on: January 18, 2017, 05:08 PM »
I'm enjoying this program. It's got what so many lack these days: simple, straightforward, focused on doing one thing competently.

But I've got one suggestion that I think would be a big improvement. With multiple monitors on my desktop, I've got a good chance that when I do the mouse shake thing, this program pops up on a different monitor, which is rather annoying. Could you make sure that it pops up on the same monitor as the window I've selected?

I recommend these courses. So far I've got the Systems Architect Associate certification largely by using this, and I'm starting on the Developer one now.

It is now officially an "us or them" situation. Our halls of power are not interested in compromise. They've made it abundantly clear with the constant refrain given via tweets and Facebook comments over the last two months: "You lost snowflake. So suck it up, buttercup!"
You may be right, but your reaction to IainB's comment is making the situation *worse*.

There are many of us who were horrified by both major candidates (witness the "never Trump" movement"), and I think that for many of such people, we'd *like* to be united on the side that supports Snowden. But as IainB demonstrates, trying to tie that support to support of the "blue team" really does keep many of us away. That's driving a wedge deeper, preventing those of us who disliked *both* the status quo and Trump, from uniting under a common flag.

40hz - your reply seems to assume that we must maintain the current boxes that each tribe wants to draw, and that any resolution must be on those terms: one tribe must defeat the other. I'd much rather see the definition of those boxes be changed significantly, so that I can support the kind of human rights that Snowden's supporters favor, while at the same time working against much of the crap that has become institutionalized in Washington today. I'd like to get there without Trump, but I also want to get there without Clinton - I want a new tribe that can take the best ideas from both.

But IainB's quote shows that there's a significant faction who won't have it that way, we must keep the existing tribal structures, and if we're not with them we must be against them.

General Software Discussion / Amazon Alexa tips and skills suggestions
« on: December 05, 2016, 02:01 PM »
I just came into possession of Amazon's Alexa Echo Dot. Being a nerd, I was happy to play with it. And just a couple of demos to my wife: "Alexa play James Taylor" and "Alexa play Bach", and she was sold on it. I thought I'd share my experience with it so far:

  • Its speaker is crappy (although the one in the full-size Alexa is supposed to be pretty good). You really need to hook up a bluetooth speaker to it if you want to use it for music.
  • While not bad, it does take some getting used to before you'll be comfortable with the phrasing of some commands. But most of them are fine.
  • I've been using it a lot for music, between the built-in support for Amazon music (via Prime membership) and iHeartRadio. What you can get to for essentially free is pretty impressive. But my wife keeps telling it to turn down its volume. I tried "Alexa ignore volume commands from Cathy, but that didn't help  :P
  • It has a built-in weather skill, but if you want something more local and specific, look at the "Big Sky" skill.
  • One of the use cases I wanted to cover is maintaining a grocery list, since it's sitting on the kitchen counter. The skill "Our Groceries" seems to be a good way to accomplish this.

Anybody with more Alexa experience have anything to add to this?

So far I have however not found any compelling reason to upgrade from version 47.

Since 48.0.1, I've found that it's much better behaved with memory usage. Earlier, I had to restart the browser at least once a day, but no more. (My experience is with 64-bit, and of course a specific mix of plugins; YMMV).

I haven't tried this, but our friends at gHacks have an article up describing how to disable Firefox's feature:

The following guide walks you through the steps of overriding the add-on signing enforcement in Firefox Stable and Beta. You will be able to install unsigned add-ons in Firefox versions in which this should not be possible.

Living Room / Re: Ghacks looks at software giveaway sites
« on: July 28, 2016, 02:11 PM »
This doesn't mention the reason that I quit looking at GAoTD - it wouldn't work on 64-bit Windows.

if the product you get is a knock-off, it is fair enough to review it as such
The net effect of this is that all Rolex watches will have crap reviews and ratings, since there's such a high proportion of counterfeits. At this point, reviews will stop having meaning for goods that are frequently copied.

I'm standing by my statement that you should only post reviews for the ACTUAL product posted. Anything else corrupts the information in the reviews.

A seller sold me a fake phone case a few months back
Why bother putting your fake phone in a case?  ;)

But seriously...
My review was rejected repeatedly till I removed the seller's identity.

This sounds like Amazon did the correct thing. A product review is a product review, NOT a seller review. The fact that a particular seller sent to you a counterfeit of a real product does not affect the goodness of the *real* product. I realize that you checked that nobody else is selling this product - just the bad guy. But what about tomorrow? The way Amazon models the data is that products are products, independent of the seller, but you're trying to record seller information there. Sure, you want to protect other people from being cheated, but there is (as you know) a place to review the seller themselves, and I imagine that people check this for anything that's not Prime (I know I do).

Living Room / Re: Be prepared against ransomware viruses..
« on: April 25, 2016, 01:03 PM »
CryptoPrevent has grown into a robust solution, providing protection against a wide range of ransomware and other malware.
Interesting. I tried (and paid for!) WinAntiRansom, but am completely underwhelmed by it - since it only protects a single directory tree, it's not very useful for how I use my system. But I can't find any real info on CryptoPrevent to determine if it would be any better. Anybody have a link to more details?

Ha! I parsed the subject as related to the physical structure of the store building, not the assembly of the software. So I thought the idea would be to build a twisting maze of walkways, each labelled with non-readable text.

Living Room / Re: Raspberry Pi's $35 Linux PC
« on: March 29, 2016, 02:16 PM »
just pop this thing into the wall at a client location, plug a cable into it, and give us remote access to the network

Is your customer going to be OK with that? I'm assuming you're only leaving it there temporarily, while the troubleshooting is going on? I'd be surprised if anybody is going to let you drop a device into their internal LAN.

Years ago we built an ESD solution for my employer (we sell computer HW and SW) according to requirements provided by several key customers. At the time, bandwidth was more scarce, and to conserve this, they wanted us to put satellite servers in their DMZ from which downloads could be streamed when authorized. That became part of the basic system architecture, but in the whole history of the system (over 10 years) exactly one customer (and that wasn't even one of the ones who demanded that feature) has ever let us deploy a device into their DMZ. And that's not even their internal network.

Living Room / Re: Raspberry Pi's $35 Linux PC
« on: March 22, 2016, 12:49 PM »
One thing I've been very foggy about for years is software compatibility between Unix-type systems. I guess drivers will certainly differ, but given a common CPU architecture (e.g., ARM processors), will software like RetroPie run on something like an ODROID?

Living Room / Re: In-Car Emergency Kit - Your Recommendations
« on: February 16, 2016, 11:05 AM »
Speaking of books... we keep in my wife's car, the one we use for road trips, a book called "Next Exit". This lists the Interstate highways in each state, and for each, the exits in order. Each exit lists what services are available off that exit - any fast food, gas, hotels, etc. For really long trips (like when we moved from NJ to TX) this really helps in figuring out how far to go before stopping for gas, and where we should stop for the night.

so apparently it just takes some handfuls of minutes
I imagine this is because of Google's approach to Big Data. Much of their scalability is built on an idea of "eventual consistency", rather than a completely ACID philosophy as we're used to from conventional relational DBs and stuff.

To free up some space, a few days ago I went through my gmail and deleted several thousand messages. But the little statistics shown below the inbox (5.73 GB (30%) of 19 GB used) never changed - the space used never went down, even after deleting those thousands of messages. This makes me wonder if they ever really do delete old stuff. Maybe they keep it around for data mining purposes.

Living Room / Re: In-Car Emergency Kit - Your Recommendations
« on: February 08, 2016, 12:45 PM »
Echoing some, and adding a few new items, this is everything that's currently in my wife's car, which we use for roadtrips:
  • First aid kit is a necessity, including bandaids, analgesic, antihistamine (not just colds and allergies, but also helps motion sickness)
  • LED flashlight
  • Phone charger cable for cigarette lighter
  • Little packs of cookies, peanut butter crackers, etc. (for when hypoglycemia makes you sleepy), a couple of water bottles
  • Old-fashioned paper maps
  • Space blankets, knife, cig lighters, little sewing kit like they have in some hotel rooms
  • Fix-a-flat, and tire pressure gauge. Know where your jack and lug wrench are stowed, and how to use them!
  • Battery for emergency start. Remember to recharge occasionally. Know where your battery lives.
  • Jumper cables. As said before, make sure you've got heavy gauge, etc.
  • Reflective triangle warning signs, reflective safety vest.
  • Bungie cords, some rope or 550 cord.
  • Dry gas (when water gets in the tank)
  • Hand-held CB radio (for long trips - cell phones still don't work in the middle of nowhere)
  • Hiking sticks, bug spray, ground cover ('cause you never know when you're gonna want to hike and have a picnic)
  • Mouse poison (they're always getting into the car, and with those cookies and things...)
  • Dehydrated water (just seeing if anybody's paying attention)

Vibe for Firefox -    Rapportive for the web. Hover on emails, and get complete information about people
This sounded interesting and I gave it a try for a couple of days. But it seemed to hold one CPU core completely busy, and killed browser responsiveness, so I had to kill it.

the takeaway to stick in my head is "I don't have time to screw with all this, so I'll use DevEdition" and trade off slightly less stable but it Does Stuff

That seems the logical conclusion to me. So, as often turns out to be the case, when you try to act as a nanny, the reaction winds up making us even less secure. Thanks for nothing, Firefox.

Living Room / Re: CISA almost guaranteed to become law
« on: December 17, 2015, 11:15 AM »
The only way to stop this is to vote out the legislators that favor this kind of thing.

Yet everybody is too wrapped up in their red/blue tribal BS to pay attention to practical matters in the real world. If we'd just set aside all of that bickering, and actually use democracy like it's designed, we could make things a whole lot better. But instead we have to go down the path of "the opposing party is evil, we have to ensure they don't get in office, even if our guy does have some warts". That is not what is most important!

Well, I jumped in and bought it. Earlier this year my wife's work computer was hit with RansomWare. It's not pretty.

My intention was to use it to whitelist processes allowed to interact with my most important data. That's variously stored in D:\Project, P:\ for my photos, etc. But as far as I can see in WinAntiRansom, you can only designate one part of the filesystem (a non-root, non-virtual directory) below which everything is protected. That means I can only use it to protect *one* such area, not all of them. And that makes it almost useless.

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