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Messages - Joe Hone [ switch to compact view ]

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I used to produce albums for bluegrass, Christian and rock artists. Nowadays I produce for a weekly radio show. I don't think that makes me an expert but it does mean that I've dabbled with music in various formats for years.

I have a mental block with FLAC - if the CD is in WAV, why compress it to another format when you can use freeware like Exact Audio Copy to copy it to a hard drive? With the price of hard drives being so affordable these days I don't see the need to compress audio to save space.

Since you have a vintage amp and speakers that you like the sound of, and since you'd like a higher quality sound to listen to, in my opinion the best option for you is CD-->computer using EAC then computer-->DAC-->amp-->speakers. I do this signal chain in the studio using a DAC, an amp I like the sound of and high end passive studio monitors from the 1980s that I also like the sound of.

It is true that many DACs will sound different, but it's a subtle thing and not very noticeable unless you are comparing them on higher end systems in tuned environments. Also, unless you have crazy good ears often a DAC won't sound different to you than the soundcard on your computer. I prefer using a DAC over the soundcard probably because it's what I'm used to. Finally, there are DACs for sale now for around $100 that sound as good as DACs from years ago costing many times that amount.

Slightly off topic, but there is really no debate that mp3 sounds inferior to WAV and FLAC. In fact mp3 sounds inferior to mp3! You can hear this for yourself. With a freeware program like Audacity you can export any song to mp3 and change the kbps from 145 to 320. Then do a comparison. The 145 kbps version will have harsh sibilance - the S and TH sounds - compared to the 320 kbps version. You will also hear a thinner sound overall, less bass and muted mids compared to a louder and more brittle sounding high end.

Cool Edit Pro. It was the leading audio production software up until Adobe bought it from Syntrillium in 2003 and renamed it Audition 1.0. Then Adobe tampered with it and released Audition 1.5 which was plagued with problems. CEP is so stable that I visited a radio station in New Market Virginia in 2019 and that was still using it for radio production. I assume that was on a PC running Windows XP but I didn't ask about that.

Living Room / Re: Like a bad penny...
« on: April 06, 2022, 10:22 PM »
What you are experiencing sounds familiar. My wife is a former ICU critical care nurse who now works as a Nurse Practitioner. In her view, most physicians practice within a framework of what they were taught in medical school. Too often she finds physicians are stuck because of this, that it leads to an attitude that there isn't anything new to try. Thus, different generations of physicians practice differently, as do physicians from different medical schools. She offers no solution other than what you are doing, and that is to find a physician who is familiar with your symptoms, or who is willing to think outside the box. Here's hoping you find the right one soon!

General Software Discussion / Re: WinPatrol appears dead
« on: April 01, 2022, 12:18 PM »
Online reviews for a suitable replacement for WinPatrol state that there's nothing exactly like it, but several recommend Kerish Doctor. It's free right now on sharewareonsale dot com. I'll give it a spin and report my thoughts. Given the increasing sophistication of malware it's probably wishful thinking on my part, but I liked the peace of mind WP gave back in the day.

I worked for 14 years producing albums and visiting various highly regarded major studios in and around Los Angeles. What I found intriguing was the $.29 cent Radio Shack cables being used to connect many of the mixing board components (patch between talkback amp and speakers, preamp and eq, or compressor, or . . .) to each other. Then I would fall into the world of audiophiles and read about $40,000 for a single channel of preamp or amplifier. So, the rich audiophile was spending tens of thousands of dollars to playback the sound produced by $.29 cent cables. Unreal. 

General Software Discussion / Re: WinPatrol appears dead
« on: August 06, 2021, 04:46 PM »
I wasn't trying to be prophetic since WinPatrol was a valuable utility for me for years, but it is officially gone, website and all. Users report that it still works, but the learn function no longer does, which means it no longer "learns" whether a startup is allowed or not. I haven't found a suitable alternative :(

General Software Discussion / WinPatrol appears dead
« on: May 18, 2019, 01:07 PM »
Back in the days of Windows XP I found WinPatrol to be a unique and effective security tool. Until recently it still had a place in my Windows 10 PC but while it appeared to be running I started getting alerts of programs starting up from Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Pro whereas WinPatrol stayed silent.

It was here on Donationcoder I learned of the two other WinPatrol products, WAR and WinPrivacy. I had them installed on my PC and laptop but they would use up all of the laptop memory. So I would open the dashboard and disable them only to have them enable themselves within about 15 minutes. Weird. I emailed WinPatrol/Brett Lowery asking how to fix this issue and didn't hear anything back.

So I did some checking. First, I visited the website only to get the warning it was unsafe. Meh, probably an expired security certificate. That happens. But the three products, WinPatrol, WAR and WinPrivacy, haven't had an update since 2017. And this is security software! Some internet searches produced unfortunate results. The consensus appears to be that after Bill Pytlovany sold it, the WinPatrol saw little to no continued development making it mostly ineffective compared to other options, and WAR and WinPrivacy simply flag everything and don't serve much purpose. But Lowery appears to be actively selling all three products, perhaps relying on the reputation of the old WinPatrol to generate sales.

Another solid, once effective product (WinPatrol - the others were always buggy on my computers) appears to have withered and died. Too bad.

According to this security researcher, the executable installers for SoftMaker FlexiPDF suffer from a dll hijacking vulnerability:


General Software Discussion / Re: What's up with WinPatrol?
« on: August 26, 2015, 08:39 AM »
I've been trying the Slimjet version of Chrome for several months and it has no issues with WinPatrol or WinPrivacy downloads/updates.

Living Room / Re: The end of the hard disk
« on: June 28, 2015, 09:31 PM »
My impression has been that the failure characteristics of SSDs leaves something to be desired -- catastrophic loss of everything with no chance of recovering even a small amount seems unfortunately much more likely than common HDD failure scenarios (admittedly I have no numbers to point to). 

I have the same reservations but last fall when both of my business PCs failed at about the same time I took the plunge and went with mini PCs for replacements (Gigabyte Brix and Compulab Fit), using only SSD internally running Windows 7. With hundreds of hours of use and large amounts of data transferred, including dozens of different software programs, neither one has so much as burped. But I still backup daily (using Bvckup) to HDD external drives in the event of catastrophic SSD failure. Online computer stores have been blowing out storage like WD My Passport 2TB external drives for under $70 US. I figure with HDD external drives that cheap and Bvckup constantly updating them the benefit of SSD speeds is worth the risk.

I don't think this has been posted here. The Intercept reported Monday: "The National Security Agency and its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, have worked to subvert anti-virus and other security software in order to track users and infiltrate networks, according to documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden." There is quite a list of potentially targeted antivirus programs. The article mentions how Kaspersky Lab was singled out by GCHQ and makes the ironic observation that Kaspersky has been a thorn in GCHQ and NSA's side by uncovering superviruses that appear to have been created by those agencies. It is a good read.


General Software Discussion / Re: raffle/random choice software
« on: June 09, 2015, 10:12 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions, if doesn't seem right I'll ask for a Coding Snack.

The awards are going to be given for a few years, and winning disqualifies the recipient from winning again for 36 months. I guess the foundation will track entrants to prevent multiple wins by an applicant during the disqualification period. 

General Software Discussion / raffle/random choice software
« on: June 08, 2015, 10:11 PM »
I thought I read about something like this here on DC before but the search engine is failing me. I'm working with a non-profit foundation that wants to award nominal amounts of cash to charitable groups in the USA on a random selection basis. These are small groups, often church ministries, providing localized services like special needs tutoring, food banks, cholesterol screening, etc. The non-profit doesn't want to use the words "chance" or "lottery" in the application notices, and it most definitely wants to use a software program to ensure the selection process is fair. It expects a hundred or more applications for about 20 awards. I've done web searches, but as always, DC will give me a better start than guessing what software works and what doesn't. Any input or advice?

Living Room / Re: Audio clipping in MP4 and MP3
« on: May 31, 2015, 09:55 PM »
Almost all the spectrum was cutted/flattened at its edges.

The cutted/flattened edges you mention are the visual waveforms that have been hardwall/brickwall limited. The "normalize" function Curt mentions is a preset limiter. When music is produced at that fine line just below clipping, any number of variables with your system might boost the signal just enough to exceed that line and cause audible clipping. As for your fix re the clipping, I produce for radio and have to leave about -5db headroom on the radio shows or else some stations run into problems with their download/playback/upload or broadcast systems boosting the signal and causing clipping. The -5db leaves plenty of room to compensate for that. You did the same by lowering the audio on the YTD audio - got it far enough away from clipping that Audacity could then manipulate the sound to your satisfaction. I think you'll only have clipping where the audio is been mastered at those extreme levels.

General Software Discussion / Re: why MS Word breaks format
« on: May 31, 2015, 09:18 PM »
In Windows 2010, under the "Home" tab you will see "paste" with a down arrow. If you click the arrow and then "paste special" you will have different paste options for whatever is on your clipboard. Trying the different options should get the result you are looking for.

Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Best Windows Giveaway Sites
« on: May 27, 2015, 03:47 PM »
I frequent Giveawayoftheday and Sharewareonsale, not so much Bitsdujour anymore. Here is another site that sometimes has something worthwhile:

General Software Discussion / Re: WinPatrol going subscription
« on: March 23, 2015, 10:02 PM »
We may have our own preferences for freeware, shareware, etc. but that doesn’t help the developer pay the bills. I think we get spoiled by specific freeware that outperforms shareware (visit the world of audio plugins, there are some freeware programs that are unsurpassed for that function) but I have no problem paying for a program does what it is intended to do and does it well. WinPatrol was becoming a bit dated in my opinion and there is a concerted push right now to make it relevant again. So far I like what I see. I’d pay a renewing annual license for the program but since I have a lifetime family license (10 PCs) my entire family is taken care of.

To offer a contra opinion (and just because you asked. . .), I take my car to a mechanic who doesn't hesitate to tell me a repair is not needed, or not needed for another ____ miles, or most recently, that it was possible to fix but would never interfere with the car's operation and wasn't a safety concern, so why bother. I drove that car 2300 miles in 32 hours straight last week. I read recently about a lady who drove from Phoenix, Arizona to Riverside, California (350 miles) because the Riverside mechanic was honest, didn't overcharge and gave good maintenance advice. I think if you ask around you will find the same mechanic where you are.

iZotope RX4 will do this, but the learning curve is a bit steep. You might also try a free trial of Adobe Audition which has similar tools when working in spectral view. I've done similar things in Audition that aren't quite as pervasive as what you are describing. Audition is my daily workstation.

I use file search/word search programs every day. I write for a living and access archived topics, references, sources, or just prior drafts of certain documents, often by keyword searches alone. I have tried every search program that I have ever heard of, but my go-to programs, in the order I use them, are Everything, UltraFileSearch, Fileseek. If those don't work I can't find it. I have bought several search program licenses based on initial positive impressions - Listary is one - but I find myself falling back on these three for convenience of use and success rates.

I used to frequent FreewareBB but after a false alarm having to do with the site closing down I stopped. Freewaregenuis lurched toward stagnation in a similar fashion. It really is too bad because I found both sites to be valuable resources.

General Software Discussion / Re: antivirus and web defense
« on: December 12, 2014, 09:53 AM »
I have lifetime licenses to WinPatrol, Malwarebytes Pro and Outpost Security suite - all running on 3 PCs because all came with 3 PC licenses. Outpost is the most active in providing protection, routinely stops trojans Malwarebytes doesn't detect, and nearly 100% of the time when WinPatrol gives a warning Outpost has already alerted to the same issue. Because Outpost works so well I just turn on Malwarebytes from time to time to run sweeps as an added security precaution, but if I was going with just one, Outpost is the most complete, especially when considering its excellent firewall. I bought a new PC yesterday, activated my licenses to WinPatrol and Outpost before doing anything else and as I installed software I need Outpost notified me each time a program was communicating with a host for setup purposes, something you don't get with most antivirus programs. I'm pretty confident in it.

General Software Discussion / Re: antivirus and web defense
« on: December 07, 2014, 11:34 PM »
I followed a suggestion in another antivirus thread here on DC and went with Outpost Security Suite Pro in March of this year and I have been very pleased, both with the low CPU useage and with how responsive it has been to malware. Easy to set up, has a learning function to keep false positives to a minimum. And I like the fact that every so often I have to suspend it for 5 minutes to get something to properly download when sites appear suspicious.

Living Room / Re: Sci-fi novel now available from DC member kyrathaba!
« on: November 02, 2014, 07:32 PM »
I downloaded Amazon's kinder app for PC, bought the kinder version of Kyrathaba Rising and read it today. Nicely done! One more vote for Kyrathaba Waxing to come soon. I haven't read this entire thread so maybe this has been covered, but I was pleasantly surprised that "Byron Milner" didn't turn into a fictional William Bryan Miller - if you have inserted yourself into the story it feels like you spread yourself out among more than one character.

ArsTechnica occasionally has breaking tech news. I find the site to be more interesting than some of the others listed in this thread.

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