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Messages - suleika [ switch to compact view ]

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Thanks, both of you.  I realise, trying to use some of the software referenced on the slide show, that I need to learn a little about graph theory etc and find out what corresponds to the type of data I'm trying to analyse.  It's all very interesting.   

I'm having trouble finding a tool for some basic data analysis.  I want to input discrete lists of items, which will have some overlap between the lists, and then, for any given item, browse its associations (the frequency of list-fellows).  My data won't be very extensive - roughly in the order of 30-50 lists of 20-40 items each. 

An example of the kind of analysis I need (not what I will be using it for) would be lists of cities visited by my friends.  Each friend has a list containing the names of the cities they have visited.  The minimum analysis I would require is that when browsing "Paris" I would be able to see associated cities in order of frequency, and also the names of which friends have visited. 

Further useful information would be about similarity between lists, and an indication of which lists are the more unusual/original and which most "average".  Also, bearing in mind list similarities, which cities tend to be indicators of averageness or originality.

I don't mind if it's not visually represented, though that would be a bonus.

All I've managed to find is expensive software like TouchGraph Navigator and bewildering toolkits like Prefuse.  I keep thinking I must be missing something.  Perhaps language analysis software?  Some clever Excel trick?

I wonder if there's a UK or European version of this...

Living Room / Re: "Check mail every ??? minutes"
« on: May 29, 2009, 09:48 AM »
nice to know I'm not alone in the 2-5 mins category :D
I have email client minimised to tray but no sound notification - otherwise I'd get nothing done ...

That's a good idea.  I do it manually at the moment, so I don't get distracted, but I like your idea.

I wish I could be there on 31st - this is the first year since 2004 that I haven't been in Berlin some of Spring/Summer, and I miss it so much.  Next time I visit I will pop into c-base and say hello. 

Living Room / Re: Best forums for....
« on: May 04, 2009, 04:57 AM »
I came across this small but perfectly formed Scottish Rock Garden Club Forum while trying to identify some plants around my neighbourhood and in friends' gardens.  It has a great "identify this" section but my favourite bit is a wonderful monthly thread of photos of whatever is looking good at that time, not only from Scotland but from wherever in the world the forum members have visited.

I must have had a cookie blip - I didn't see this thread being updated... sorry!

Anyway, thank you for the improved version.  I am trying it out now...

I like this idea.  It would become one of my essentials - first installs on a new system.  I'd love a really basic monitoring app that would simply log in a text file various changes including installed apps - with a choice of which events to monitor.   

I'm not thinking detailed registry stuff, nor file changes (ala filehamster).  I'm thinking more of logging not only apps installed, updated or uninstalled, but perhaps the creation, renaming or deleting of directories, also of new shortcuts (in startup, desktop, quicklaunch etc) - perhaps "new hardware" and drivers too, and any renaming or remapping of discs or network folders - etc.  How about changes in file associations too - more than once in the past I could have done with that being logged!  It would ease the stress of everyday organisational tweaking to know that some of these things would be automatically noted and logged, and when dealing with someone else's machine, it could make detective work much easier and faster.  No frills - just a plain text log.

Great idea.  Perhaps it already exists - I've never looked before..

Thank you, Skrommel.  :)  It works and I like it.

I made a very basic minute countdown-timer version, which probably needs neatening up, and which would be much more useful with hours, minutes and seconds as input than just minutes.

InputBox, TimerValue, Timer Value, Minutes to countdown:
AlarmTime =
AlarmTime += TimerValue, minutes

alarm=%AlarmTime%  ;Alarm time
height=2       ;Progress bar height >0
message=Time's up!  ;Message to display when timer reached



Gui,+ToolWindow +AlwaysOnTop -Caption
Gui,Add,Progress,% "Vprogress X-2 Y-2 W" A_ScreenWidth+4 " H" height+5 " Range0-" range
Gui,Show,% "X0 Y0 W" A_ScreenWidth " H" height
WinSet,Transparent,150,ahk_id %guiid%  ; Transparency
WinSet,ExStyle,+0x20,ahk_id %guiid%    ; Click-through

  GuiControl,,progress,% range-A_Index
If message<>

I was trying to work out how I might use a tooltip to see what the progress was, but I couldn't make it work at all.  Could it work?  Could a tooltip show up displaying time left/total time when the mouse hovers over the progress bar?

And is there any way to have more than one of them running at the same time?  I imagine they'd have to show underneath each other in the same toolwindow.

There are lots of countdown timer programs around but when I saw a post on Mark Forster's site about the Time Timer clocks and watches I realised how useful a quick glance visualisation would be when working at my computer. 


And then I thought of how it might work.  On my pocket PC I use a little program called batti to display battery status in a colourful bar at the very top of the screen - as small as 1 pixel (I have it set to 2).


So how about a countdown timer for windows which would display the countdown in a thin docked bar/strip at the edge of the screen or by the taskbar?

At its most simple, the total length of the bar would be the total time set and block colouring would give a rough idea of time elapsed. But ideally there would be a way to mark the bar like a tape measure, so you could read 23 minutes passed out of 60 minutes, for example, or 3 min 10 seconds out of 5 minutes.  If the bar were not too thin, it could even have numbers on it.  And it would be very cool to be able to have more than one timer going at once, with some way of distinguishing them.

Does that all make sense?   Does anyone think it could be done?

Sorry I didn't notice your question till now.  I got my chinagraph pencils from a serious stationary store.   Chinagraph pencil is basically like wax crayons but less soft and wrapped in a protective way.  I don't know where you're from and it might be called something different, but you can probably find it once you search for the correct term.

This thing looks like it's rarer than I originally expected. Do you know of a cheap online store that sells these in sets?

Where are you based?  You might be having bad luck finding it because of unfortunate terminology.  Check out the Wikipedia entry and google some other names - you might find a source more quickly than you expect.  If you can buy just one to try it out, you can always source a pack of them later.

You could also invest in either a Fisher Space Pen or a Fisher Space Pen Refill...

I always meant to buy a Fisher Space Pen.  Every now and then I want to write on a non-horizontal surface and drive myself mad jiggling and shaking my rollerball. The space pens seemed much more expensive back when I first became aware of them.  I think I shall get one now - thanks for the reminder!

The point of the chinagraph pencil is not just that it is waterproof and writes on vertical surfaces, but that on non-porous surfaces (glass, plastic, laminate, photographic paper, mylar) it is completely non-permanent; it lays a waxy deposit that wipes off cleanly.  I've seen it used in conveyor-belt sushi restaurants and other places where they need to temporarily mark time-codes.  And it's cheap.

Have you tried all-weather paper?  There are a lot of products out there.  For the odd short reminder I have a chinagraph pencil in the shower (aka grease pencil or wax pencil) and write on directly onto the wall - it cleans off perfectly.

I've heard of the paper but I really didn't feel like they were an affordable option especially for short note taking but a chinagraph pencil, there's something I haven't heard of before. What are the things to look out for when buying such a pencil?

Sorry I didn't notice your question till now.  I got my chinagraph pencils from a serious stationary store.   Chinagraph pencil is basically like wax crayons but less soft and wrapped in a protective way.  I don't know where you're from and it might be called something different, but you can probably find it once you search for the correct term.

As to the all-weather paper - from what you describe, you could have a rolling notebook, where you write, and then transfer your notes elsewhere.  Then you simply cross out the original entry and you wouldn't need to start a new page or waste paper.

Have you tried all-weather paper?  There are a lot of products out there.  For the odd short reminder I have a chinagraph pencil in the shower (aka grease pencil or wax pencil) and write on directly onto the wall - it cleans off perfectly.

Yeah, speech recognition is overkill to me since what I mainly want is something waterproof that can be used in the shower, probably something with a long battery life and something bare bones but sturdy and would last a while. I really don't mind jotting down my notes since I will probably be using this more often for quick notes and 1 or 2 mid-length conversations which is more to help me remember the conversation rather than for turning it into text.

Aw, thank you -yes, it was ghastly!

I realised I needed to clear my cache and it worked - I edited my post (and the title) before either of you posted - sorry about that!

I'm running Firefox3.0b5 in safe mode, thinking that it might be my webdeveloper bar or something like that, but the forum still has this weird red background and no-one's said anything!  I'm a little bit paranoid because I also have something weird going on on Flickr (three of my thumbnails - the square ones - are showing up as a different picture) which also started last night.

I've checked my processes (using procexp) but can't see anything unusual going on - but perhaps this forum is now supposed to be red?

Screenshot - 06_05_2008 , 02_16_06_cr.jpg

Ah - the penny dropped as soon as I posted this - I cleared my cache (which does not happen automatically in Firefox safe mode) and everything is back to normal on both sites. 

That was strange though!

Living Room / Re: When you make your 100'th Post
« on: May 05, 2008, 09:05 AM »
I remembered!  I was almost sure I would miss my 100th.


Thanks for your post edits - there are programs to copy exif info across, I know, so it's not an absolute deal-breaker.  ImageAnalyzer itself looks interesting and the script works - definitely worth a look. 

Had a play with it, the resizing works however rotating is disabled in the trial and specifying a size for the final JPEG is ghosted - so I can only assume it's disabled in the trial version.

EDIT: It requires Quicktime to be installed to do it's 'final size' thing, (I used QT Alt 1.77 that I had), and it seems to work quite well, all pics had a short side of 1000 and came in about 10k under the 200kB I specified as final size.

Funny - my "target file size" isn't greyed out, but when I set it at 1000KB the results ranged from 440KB to 970KB  - maximum size perhaps?  I do have Quicktime as it happens (btw, I couldn't find the info about Quicktime and there seems to be no helpfile). 

I had another better google session and found some other resources - I've just tried JpegResizer - created a batch between 820KB and 1040 - that's pretty good.  I shall probably go for it. 

PictureScaler seems to have all the features you asked for.

It's looking good - I shall give it a trial.  Thank you. 

(Now wondering what my search terms were when I didn't previously find it myself... :-[)

If no program will do it, then so be it.  If I can find one, I shall use it, and it will not be more trouble than it is worth to me.

I appreciate the swift reply.  Are you familiar with its particular batch processing possibilities?  Will it do either of those things I describe? 

I have not one but two digicams now and I'm really getting into it as a hobby, and I'm doing quite well at organising the photos I work on, but the ones I don't work on are a bit of a mess and are taking up a lot of space.  Some of them I want to keep intact for working on in the future, and the rest I want to save as smaller jpg files (for reference, memento etc) and delete the originals.  A few of them I'm going to process by hand, but most of them could be batch processed.

Most of the originals are jpgs of (approx) either 3000x2000 and 1.5-3.5 MB, or 4200x3400 and 1.5 -5 MB.  (I'm not doing anything with my RAW files yet.)  I've tested quite a few and I've worked out that I'd like to make the files 1 MB but have them no smaller than 1000 pixels on the shorter side.  This won't be a one-off job; I'll be doing this every time I shoot.

I'm trying very hard to satisfice here rather than optimise - these photos are rejects, after all (I mainly want to be able to see why I rejected them, refer to the EXIF data, and also to keep a chronology alongside the photos I am keeping).  But the files vary in size quite a lot - and so if I use FastStone Image Viewer, for example, and set the shorter side at 1000 pixels, and set the jpg quality to give me an average file size of 1MB, I end up with quite a lot of files considerably smaller and larger than 1MB (and the setting would be different from batch to batch anyway).

Is there a smart way of doing this?  Does anyone know of a program that will deliver a file 1000 pixels short-side at 100% quality, unless result is more than 1MB, in which case try 99%, unless result is more than 1MB, in which case try 98%, etc etc?

Alternatively, is there a program that will simply reduce the quality of the jpg to a given file size (1MB) without resizing?  And can anyone tell me how different the result will be from a re-sized file (new dimensions) in terms of quality?  I would have thought it would be much the same when viewed at the same size on the screen.

I'm aware, by the way, that if I were to use a percentage as the quality setting then the resultant files would have a neatly consistent relationship to their originals, but I don't want to go that route, even though it would be easier to manage.  Firstly, the originals with smaller file sizes are the ones to benefit from not being over-compressed and the byte-rich files can afford it.  Secondly, if I can get the files near to 1MB each it will make accounting for future file storage extremely easy.

Living Room / Re: How Do You Use Your USB Flash Drive(s)?
« on: April 21, 2008, 03:27 AM »
I have a couple of drives hanging around that I only use from time to time for passing data around the family or that kind of thing.  But I have two that I use more regularly, on to which I back up my portable apps, which I normally run from the data partition on my hard drive. 

I had a couple of laptops break on me within 6 weeks last year and although I had data backups and access to other laptops I found it really hard to stay organised.  I decided to stick to portable apps as much as possible from then on.  Earlier this year I bought a second laptop for travelling and it was very fast and simple to get it all set up with my most-used apps - simply copying the folders across, and also to keep the two laptops in sync. 

Anyway, I back up these folders (the portable apps) onto the usb drives "just in case", although I've not needed to use them yet, thank goodness. 

instead of having to click to assign focus, focus follows the mouse cursor. You save one click.

You can make it so the window on focus is brought to front as well.

Skrommel's MouseActivate does pretty much that, doesn't it?   I use it occasionally - very handy.

I can't think of anything for your yoking problem though.  It does seem like something I could use too.

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