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Messages - rjbull [ switch to compact view ]

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And again:

In response to the pandemic last year and as a way to lend some support to the creative community, we made a 90-day free trial available for the Mac and Windows versions of the whole Affinity suite, while also cutting the price of all of our apps, including iPad versions, by 50%.

When those offers ended, it appeared things were getting better and we all hoped that by now the situation would have continued to improve. Sadly, it’s clear that the pandemic continues to have a serious impact and so we’ve decided to bring back these offers once again.
Moreover, the free trials are available to everyone, including those who have previously completed one—so even if you used the free trial last year, you can do it again. There’s also 50% off content in the Affinity Store too.


90-day free trials

50% off all content

If you're on Android, try going to the Google Play Store and searching for "phrase express"...  There's doesn't seem to be an Android version of Phrase Express itself, but a search throws up several other things that claim to be similar.  I haven't tried them.  If you just want boiler-plate text, without expansion, try Clipper/Clipper Plus by rojekti.  It's a clipboard manager that can save permanent clips in folders.  So can ArsClip Mini.

Many thanks, folks! :)

I tried 4wd's advice to change to, and so far, after a couple of days, things seem to be OK.  I was annoyed with myself for forgetting TIME in a console, considering how much I did at the command line in the old days: too much windows atrophies your brain...  I've also downloaded Dimension4 against need.  If a Windows update resets to, that's what I'll try next.

UK clocks have recently gone back for Daylight Saving time.  My Windows 10 Pro is still showing summer time, not winter time.  I went to Settings > Date & time.  The date is correct.  "Adjust for daylight saving time automatically" was On.  I clicked "Sync now" and had to elevate to Admin (Really?  Just to correct the clock?).  Time server:  Waited and waited while the little dots trudged around.  Eventually, "Time synchronisation failed."  Tried again with "Adjust for daylight saving time automatically" Off, same result.  Tried again with it On, same again...

Please, is there any way to set the clock MANUALLY?

<rjbull seethes with frustration>

Living Room / Re: What books are you reading?
« on: October 25, 2020, 05:13 PM »
Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance

I own a paper version, but with different cover:
Mine's paperback too, but it's quite old, a UK edition published in 2000.  Publishers seem to have a habit of changing the artwork when they re-publish, as well as by country.

Living Room / Re: What books are you reading?
« on: October 24, 2020, 03:42 PM »
Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance
An omnibus edition of The Dying Earth, The Eyes of the Overworld, Cugel's Saga and Rhialto the Marvellous.  Although Vance's two SF short stories The Gift of Gab and The Potters of Firsk stuck in my mind, I hadn't read much of his other work before, and didn't realise that The Dying Earth was a foundational work for twentieth-century fantasy.  Nobody else I know of has his baroque intoxication with language and with colours.

Penric's Progress by Lois McMaster Bujold
The first three "Penric" novellas, finally available in dead tree form (hardback now, paperback due in January 2021).  Set in the "World of the Five Gods" (same world as The Curse of Chalion and others).  Terrific!  Don't miss this series!

General Software Discussion / Re: What Android Apps Do You Use?
« on: October 13, 2020, 03:48 PM »
If you don't want to use K-9 Mail, what are you going to use?  Most of the alternatives I glanced at wanted an insane number of permissions.

This has come into sharper focus for me because I've used a Yahoo! UK email account for ages.  Now, Yahoo!  are desperate to make users adopt Yahoo!'s own app for 'security' reasons.  They may be offering a work-around, but it would be nice to have alternatives.

Living Room / Re: Wanted a software collection software
« on: September 04, 2020, 04:17 PM »
For a small, very fast and free file/disk cataloguing tool, it's hard to beat Cathy.  It doesn't do version numbers if you mean according to Windows Properties, but obviously shows them if they're part of the file name.

There were lots of such tools back in the DOS days, when files were offloaded onto floppy disks.  I used to use CatDisk (shareware).  That site seems to be down. You can download the last version, dated 2003, from various web sites. It may no longer be possible to register it. WinCatalog seems popular and fairly up to date.  It's payware, but seems to be on permanent 20% discount, either via its home page, or via Bits du Jour WinCatalog deal.

e-mail received today, 2020-08-12:

Dear Valued Customer,
This note is to inform you of the upcoming End-of-Sale (EOS) and End-of-Life (EOL) dates for the F-PROT Endpoint Antivirus products.
F-PROT endpoint has had a long and successful history, and we thank you for your support as a Cyren customer. There are many other options in the market for endpoint AV, and Cyren has decided to focus on enterprise solutions. As a result, we can no longer support the F-PROT Endpoint product line.
The following dates will be in effect:
°   1-Aug-2020 - End-of-Sales Date (the product cannot be ordered from Cyren beyond that date)
°   31-July-2021 End-of-Life Date (last data when the product will be supported and signature updates provided)

We thank you for your support and commitment to Cyren and F-PROT.

Cyren team

I presume 'Endpoint' is jargon for individual users.  I used F-PROT for years on DOS and then Windows.  Shame to see it go.

If you ever worked extensively with DOS computers, you probably used Vern Buerg's famous utility LIST.COM at some stage.  It was the premier file viewer for DOS.  If you yearn for something similar, The V File Viewer is the nearest thing I've seen to a spiritual descendant:

V is an all-purpose File Manager for Windows with a powerful inbuilt text file viewer which excels at viewing files quickly - whether they are 100 bytes or 100 gigabytes.

It is an indispensable utility for anyone who spends much time navigating directories and viewing files.

    Tabbed File Manager with Dual Pane interface
    Powerful text and hex file viewer (views large files quickly)
    Support for CSV files
    Search/GREP functionality
    EBCDIC support
    Unicode support
    Extensive Command Line support and keyboard shortcuts
    Thumbnails mode
    Greenbar mode
    2UP printing
    Support for ZIP, CAB, TAR, RAR, GZip, BZip2 and 7Zip archives
    Support for Alternate Data Streams and 4DOS descriptions
    Bioinformatics/DNA search (experimental)
    Spanish, French, Italian and Russian translations available

Can also do file tailing.

Take the "file manager" bit with a pinch of salt; it's primarily a viewer, with modest (but potentially useful) management features tacked on.  And the 'Dual Pane interface' isn't quite set in stone, it depends on how you set it up and invoke it.  It isn't free, but low cost, with an unusual license:

A single user license costs US$20
(and includes 6 years of free upgrades).

In practice, upgrades are exceedingly rare, but it's good as it is.


V-dual_pane_view.jpg V-names_only_view.jpg V-normal_text_view.jpg V-hex_view.jpg

V-text_view_with_greenbar.jpg V-text_plus_vertical_hex_view.jpg V-CSV_view.jpg V-thumbnail_view.jpg

For those that want a very fast grep tool with a GUI (Windows): BareGrep
+1  :Thmbsup:

Living Room / Re: Share your photos! Travel shots, photoblogs, etc.
« on: August 04, 2020, 03:57 PM »
the photos you combine in the double spreads work really well together. (That's a real talent in itself.)
I got candidate images printed out as the smallest, cheapest prints that PhotoBox offered, layed them out on the floor, and played endless games of Snap to find matching pairs (as far as possible, some don't).  It's more natural than you might expect.  In the explanatory section under the book I wrote "This plays into the "inscape" idea of my photography mentor, Philip Evans of North Wales, that people have sets of lines, blocks and points in their minds, and when out in the world, only press the button when what's in front of them happens to match one of their innate patterns."  In other words, people are apt to repeat compositions in terms at least of shapes, even when the subjects and scales are different.  In a somewhat similar idea, Karen, the lady who ran the classes when most were made, "likes the idea of photos "talking to each other," i.e., the whole being more than the sum of the parts."

Was listening to a photographer a while back talking about selecting prints -- for sale or maybe for a calendar. They would print them and hang them on the wall for a week and see how they felt about them after that time.
That's a good idea; similarly, I find it best to leave something I've written for a week or so before I can hope to proofread it properly.  I wouldn't have printed all those out full size, though, too expensive! 

Re the number of photos -- it's a lot of photos! I think any photographer would struggle to get that many together.
I've got more now  :)  in case there's a revised edition, or, heaven help me, a second volume   :o  ( definitely not imminent!)  Five of the photos were made earlier, but the great majority were gathered over almost a whole year.

If I may be critical I like the black and white photos but not sure they fit in with the rest of the images.
I think so too.  I also wrote in the blurb "I am not an instinctive monochrome photographer, and think that sits a little uneasily amid the rest."  I put the mono ones in because Karen likes black & white (her degree had an element of art photography) and was very determined that we should all have a go.

Thanks for your kind comments  :)

Living Room / Re: Share your photos! Travel shots, photoblogs, etc.
« on: August 03, 2020, 03:59 PM »
Great to see some of your photos. And the presentation works very well :up:
Thank you :-[ I released the book to the CEWE Photoworld Community.  It didn't win their 'book of the month' prize, but got an honourable mention: better than a slap in the face with a wet fish, anyway.  They don't seem to require you to be a logged-in member, so you may be able to see it complete here.

I put too many photos in... some are better than others No sooner than I saw them in print, I noticed things in some photos that I hadn't seen on screen, and not improvements.  Conversely, at least one photo looks better on screen than in print.

Living Room / Re: Share your photos! Travel shots, photoblogs, etc.
« on: August 02, 2020, 04:11 PM »
I recently had a photo book made by CEWE-Photoworld, with photos of my local area.  There's next to no text, bar acknowledgements, as I wanted something more like the look of mounted prints in a gallery.  Here are four screenshots from the CEWE software's WYSIWYG view.





suggest a minimal programming Windows automation solution

"minimal programming" might never be as minimal as you'd like  :(  The closest you can get might be something like Macro Express, a well-featured, long-established program.

Cheaper but less featured; Axife Mouse Recorder (apparently written in AutoIT).

Even cheaper, plus a free version; Mini Mouse Macro.

I was curious how PTFB compares to other options.
If you check Alternatives to PTFB Pro Software Automation Tool, it doesn't look there are any direct replacements.  Most of that list are either for software testing or general macro programs.

A quick look at my Automation tools archive turned up WinSendKeys by DC member Ath.  Don't know of that would work.  Warning - Ath's site is yet another one marked as "possible Trojan" by trigger-happy MBAM.

General Software Discussion / Re: notepad calculator?
« on: July 02, 2020, 04:43 PM »
FWIW, I don't have the Windows version of CalcTape, but think well of the ANdroid version.

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Chiral motion.
« on: June 28, 2020, 04:02 PM »
Have you considered trying a Trackballw?

I just wish there is a sort of classic menu system for me to launch my favorite programs. [...] there is just nothing that looks like the Direct Access for me.

Everything is different in Windows  :(  You might take a look at Qsel
Qsel is a "launcher" for frequently used programs, documents and web links.

    Create any number of categories with individual launcher window settings
    Easy configuration of launcher windows using drag&drop
    Switch categories: click on category title opens popup menu; back to previous (stacked)
    Access to options and configuration through context menu (right mouse click)
    SystemTray mode with tray menu for quick access to all windows and functions
    Auto-hide mode in docking position at desktop edge (right mouse click to bring window back)
    Windows optionally without title bar (see image)
    Optional at Qsel startup: auto launching items from special "startup" category
    Special launcher items: pop-up file lists to pick from
    Automatic drive letter handling on USB Flash Drives
    Unicode support

It's very different, yet might be a fairly close work-alike.

Just saw this, but perhaps popmenu is something to look at? Review here https://www.ghacks.n...auncher-for-windows/
That leads to a web site that MBAM says is a Trojan, as I reported here: https://www.donation....msg438953#msg438953

I'm pretty sure it's a false positive, which MBAM has been too keen on lately, but I haven't tried the program.

while doing certain tasks (like filling out forms)

If you're doing that, wouldn't you be usually pasting fixed text, like lines of an address?  In which case, wouldn't permanent clips be the answer?

I'm pretty sure mouser's Clipboard Help+Spell (CHS) can do what you want.  As an alternative, here's part of the Help file for ArsClip:
Combining Multiple Clips

In this example, the user copies three clips and wants to paste the items using the order they were copied. Notice below that the "last" copied clip is actually first on the popup, so the item numbers are reversed:

Clip 1 - [POPUPITEM=2]
Clip 2 - [POPUPITEM=1]
Clip 3 - [POPUPITEM=0]

  • Minitrue, a Search / Replace Utility.  Free, but:
    Don't know if it does Unicode.  The rest claim to, and are also WinGUI:
  • HandyFile Find And Replace and Text Workbench
    perhaps the best Windows utilities for people who have to edit multiple occurences of text at once in many text files, HTML pages, source code, logs or any other text data.

    Using a powerful Regular Expression engine, it will enable you to find any irregular text by creating search patterns of any level of complexity. You can preview each replacement, perform batch search and replace operations (that is, apply many search/replace operations to a file at once). The collector feature will extract text from files for you, transform it and save it to one file or individual files. The major edition can search and replace files via FTP. It is what you would like a search and replace tool to be.
    Various versions, from free to fairly expensive.  I used to use one of the payware versions myself, years ago.
  • Handy File Tool
    ...  Multi-string search-and-replace. It can Find strings in files and replace their to anything
    Haven't tried it.
  • TextCrawler
    ... tool for anyone who works with text files. This powerful program enables you to instantly find and replace words and phrases across multiple files and folders. It utilises a flexible Regular Expression engine to enable you to create sophisticated searches, preview replace, perform batch operations, extract text from files and more. It is fast and easy to use, and as powerful as you need it to be. ...
    Haven't tried this either, but it's been around for a number of years.

Those lusting after PowerGREP, but unable to stomach the price: don't overlook BareGrep, which is much more affordable and very, very fast.  Has been mentioned on DC before (long ago).

Warning - I haven't tried this, and MBAM blocks the site as a Trojan.
I wondered whether Info Select needed cloning,  and then noticed the .ch.

After your MBAM warning,  I decided not to visit the site.
MBAM's 'Web Protection' is now far too eager to block a site as 'Trojan.'  It did it to Horst Schaeffer's site, and I've used his software for decades.  It did it to PowerPro, and that must be one of the oldest macro-type programs still around.  I got MBAM to check and whitelist those, but it gets tedious for every site.

Official confirmation of the end of the offers, received 2020-06-17 by email:

The 90-day trial in particular proved to be especially popular since so many creatives, students and others had lost access to their usual tools. In fact, over 250,000 people downloaded the trial—a whole lot more than we were expecting. Because of that, we extended the 90-day free trial and half-price offers well beyond what we originally planned, but they will now officially end on 20 June.

I just stumbled across this:

Info-Base - Personal Informations Manager / Freeform Database

9.7 - 14.06.2020
5.0 MB    

a "clone" (with new options) of the good and old "Info-Select" (Version 1.0) ...

    supports Unicode, external and internal links.
    very fast (also with very large amount of data) and effectively for any kind of data ...
    no complex formatting, only TAB and CR/LF.
    the rules are limited to the bare minimum and they can be adjusted arbitrarily.
    the idea is that of a "note spear" (stack) on the desk.
    new notes are easily and quickly placed on top of the appropriate stack.
    free customizable templates for different data.
    clip import from other programs (f.e. browser, e-mail client).
    extremely fast full-text search in each stack (local F4) or in all stacks (global F3).
    combined filter (with logical and), bookmarks, alarm by date (tickler).
    all databases can be edited with any unicode-text-editor.
    unlimited (only disc space) number of notes / stacks.
    the ideal "Zettelkasten" ...

Data from Info-Select can be imported. (IS 1.0 for each stack: "Group", "Export to file" or in newer Versions: export as "Note Delimited", may change (temp.) in InfoBase the "file delimiter" !)

My emphasis.  I doubt it would fit the dizzyingly complex requirements of DC's 'zettelkasteners', though  :)

Warning - I haven't tried this, and MBAM blocks the site as a Trojan.  It's done that so frequently of late that I'm beginning to ignore it  :(

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