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Messages - Mooseman [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Re: What's your mouse of choice?
« on: March 06, 2009, 10:27 PM »
I have to chime in on this one.  I have been using the MX 1000 for a few years now and it's still going strong.  Although it has been out of production for a while, it was the first to have laser tracking.  This thing is BIG, which is perfect for my huge hand.  It has tons of buttons, which is great for me while gaming.  There are three buttons for the thumb, one above and below the wheel, the wheel's middle click and the wheel itself tilts side to side for two more functions (great for leaning/peaking in games).  The scroll wheel is a click detent but not a strong one, which can make you go over one click too many.  I liked it so much that I bought another one for my work.  It just fits my hand that much better.  The battery will last over a week and it still holds a great charge even after about 3 years of use.

I have tried the Microsoft SideWinder gaming mouse.  Although it too was big and had great feel with the weights, it just didn't have enough buttons.  One neat thing was the ability to adjust the sensitivity on the fly so you can slow it down when sniping.  It also has the ability to record macros of keyboard and mouse presses and replay them at the touch of a specific button.  I wound up giving it to my kids and went back to my good ol' MX 1000.

Living Room / Canadian Federal government looking at free software
« on: February 18, 2009, 08:03 PM »

Canadian Federal government puts out a call for information on free software

All I can say is... it's about freaking time!  :greenclp: I work in the Canadian Government and sometimes I just wish I could put some sense into people.  We even have an aversion to using free stuff that Microsoft provides (picture resizer PowerToy for XP).  I would rather use ScreenShotCaptor instead of "another licensed" program we are supposed to use because it works, it's simple and it does what it does well without trying to be an all-emcompassing bloated coding mess.

Living Room / Re: Cleaning Inside the Case
« on: February 16, 2009, 08:08 PM »
As one poster said, use filters on the fans as a preventive measure.  BUT, you have to ensure they are installed right.  On all my computers and most of those I build, I use filters and all the fans blow the air INTO the case.  Why?  Basically, if any of you have ever seen big monster servers, that's how they are setup with filter cartridges capturing dust before it enters the case.  Putting filters on exhaust fans would only clean the air exiting the case and do nothing to prevent dust from coming in.  You just have to ensure you have a way for the hot air to get out, such as an empty 5.25" front slot or open PCI slots on the rear.  On these setups, I clean the filters about once a month and the inside of the case only once per year or even longer.  Even then, there is very minimal dust.

For regular cleaning, I use a mini compressor hooked up to a blow gun.  I got it for $99 at Wal-Mart and it also came with a nail gun and hose.  Although it won't blow air continuously, it will give enough to clean out most computers and is environmentally friendly.  The only advice I can give with using ANY kind of compressed air is to not over spin the fans as this could damage them. :nono2:

General Software Discussion / Re: Increasing Notebook PC Volume
« on: May 28, 2007, 07:09 PM »
I did find this article that gives a way of increasing the sound:
By using the equalizer of a particular software, you can even limit the frequencies that will cause distortion (mostly the lower band or bass) and increase those that will allow you to hear better.

General Software Discussion / Re: GPS Software?
« on: April 23, 2007, 08:10 PM »
Microsoft seems to be listening to user input as they add more features each year so hopefully they will have auto re-calculation for 2008.  One thing that is disapointing is that they dropped Pocket Streets entirely for 2007 and will likely not return.  Users had been asking for some more features for a long time but I guess it wasn't worth it for them.  Although it is no longer on the CD, the app itself still shows the menu option to export your map to Pocket Streets format.  Anybody that has the 2006 or prior version should keep a copy of it if they want to continue using it.  Another possibility is that it will eventually be a standalone app or an extra cost add-on to S&T. 

Pocket Streets was pretty weak compared to others PPC apps, including Delorme's, which is included with Street Atlas.  They even have maps for iPods and Palms!  I find that it is more of a value compared to S&T.  Maybe if I would have used that first instead of S&T, my learning curve wouldn't have been as bad.  With summer driving coming up, I should re-train myself  8)

General Software Discussion / Re: GPS Software?
« on: April 22, 2007, 11:02 PM »
I have first hand experience on this.  I have used Streets and Trips 2006 and 2007, both with their included GPS receivers.  The 2007 version GPS receiver is much better with higher sensitivity with the SIRF Star III chip (I even got a satellite fix from my living room!).  The 2006 and prior receivers often had problems getting a fix in heavy cloud conditions and tall building areas.  The 2007 software itself is also a bit better with the new voice directions and updated maps as well as high contrast "night mode".  It is very good at planning trips, with information on travel time, fuel expense and even approximating fuel stops.  You can specify the types of roads you prefer or those to avoid.  There is also info on nearby points of interest, restaurants and other businesses (including gas stations  :D).  My only gripes are the low volume of the voice prompts and the inability to automatically recalculate the route when you take a wrong turn.  You have to hit F3 to get it to re-route.  The voice prompts are also too close to the upcoming turn, especially when cruising down a highway.

One advantage of this GPS receiver is that it can also be used on a Pocket PC with A CF adapter.  The adapter for the 2006 receiver also works with the 2007 version.  They are available on eBay but a bit pricey.

Another software package that is very well rated is Delorme's Street Atlas USA 2007, which includes maps of Canada.  I found it more complicated to use than S&T but it does have automatic re-routing as well as louder voice prompts, which are also enough ahead of time for you to prepare to make your turn or exit.  It also has automatic updates to the program itself when you're connected to the Internet (not sure about the maps though).  They also have a Plus version which includes addresses and phone numbers on a DVD.  Points of interest, restaurants and businesses seem on par with S&T.  One interesting feature that S&T doesn't have is that you can add your own roads to an existing map.  This can be useful if you deal with new developments or use it to map off-road trails.  Their maps are also more detailed with waterways and lakes, which S&T woefully lacks.  Another neat feature is the ability to download an aerial satellite image of an area and superimpose it to your map.  They have a free trial of this with a pay-per-use afterwards.  Even though Delorme sells their own GPS receiver, the software will work with any USB receiver.

There is freeware available so that you can use your own maps.  Once it has been calibrated using two reference points, you can use it to track your whereabouts.  It won't be able to plan a route but it would be good to use if you have your own topo maps and such, especially if you go off-road.

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