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Messages - bmm [ switch to compact view ]

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A very nice freeware BPMN Modeler software is BizAgi Process Modeler.

General Software Discussion / Re: Database Design Software
« on: May 12, 2008, 01:34 PM »
Now that you mention DB Designer (which is pretty nice) you should also look at DB Designer Fork which is (you guessed it) a fork of DB Designer that can generate SQL scripts for Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL and FireBird. In general this version is still very MySQL focused.

DB Designer is not developed anymore, but is succeeded by MySQL Workbench which keeps it focus on MySQL, but now there is both a FOSS and Commercial version.

I still prefer a more database agnostic software - therefore my preference for Power*Architect.

My experience in general regarding JDBC-drivers is that the client program must serve the correct data-type to the JDBC driver that matches the RDBMS data-types otherwise errors are likely to happen.

General Software Discussion / Re: Database Design Software
« on: May 12, 2008, 02:00 AM »
I think I have tried most of the freeware and FOSS database designers and for now I have settled with Power*Architect.

  • Java, so works on Windows, Mac and Linux
  • Can connect to pretty much any RDBMS through JDBC drivers
  • Has built-in data profiling features
  • Integration with the best FOSS ETL Tool: Pentaho Data Integration / Kettle
  • In active development and questions are quickly answered in the forum

It is not as complete as commercial database designers and is (currently) missing:
  • creation of views
  • cascade on update/delete rules for foreign keys
  • comments on tables and columns are not included in DDL

You can take a look at Kettle / Pentaho Data Integration. This is a very nice open source data integration/ETL (Extraction, Transformation and Loading) tool. It is more focused at integrating data from databases and other sources into data warehouse solutions, but it can also be used for "simple" excel transformations.

It is probably somewhat overkill for what you are after and it does have a learning barrier, but if you have some database knowledge it is very powerful.

Living Room / Re: Hot! Awesome photograph by our folk Hamradio!
« on: November 16, 2006, 09:07 AM »
A great site with many thousands user-submitted photographs, artworks, wallpapers etc. is

The great thing about this site is that most images are available in 1600*1200 and not some small lousy resolution.

I have one of those image widgets/gadgets on the desktop just going through a large folder of images downloaded from

Living Room / Re: Flowchart and Diagramming Review
« on: November 11, 2006, 04:22 AM »
I like the Draw program in OpenOffice to create diagrams. Not as full-featured a dedicated diagramming programs but quite good for the small diagrams and way easier to use than Dia.

I would recommend you to take a look at Oracle Database 10g Express Edition (XE). It is a completely free version of the Oracle Database with the catch that it is limited to 4 GB of user data and can only take advantage of 1 CPU and 1 GB ram no matter if the server has multiple CPU's and/or more ram. A number of other advanced features are also not available (check the FAQ at the link below) but it is still a very capable database for many types of applications.

Now the important feature of Oracle XE is Oracle Application Express (APEX) - a rapid web application development and administration tool that works entirely through a browser. Granted it is not entirely WYSIWYG as you define the properties of a page and APEX then renders the page based on these properties but it is still very easy to create an application through the use of the many wizards.

Oracle XE is available for both Windows and Linux.

Oracle XE:
Oracle APEX:
Screencast of Oracle APEX:

General Software Discussion / Re: Searching a good Screenrecorder
« on: April 16, 2006, 06:35 AM »
I did a little more optimization to the Wink project (now down to 246 kb) that mimics your BB Flashproject and have attached a zip file with the project and rendered file. You may replace your example with this one if you want to.

It is impossible to do simple edits of cursor position in both Camtasia and BB FlashBack.
Can't speak for Camtasia, but Flashback allows changing the cursor position.

I know it is possible to rerecord cursorpositions in BB Flashback but I don't find this particularly easy to do since it is hard to match the flow of the captured movie. Is there another way?

I say no. Wink 1.5 got quite a ressource hog with larger projects, editing got a pain.
Yes, when only using timed capture, projects can easily exceed 500-1000 frames which does puts Wink under a lot of strain. But a typical input-driven captured project is often only around 100-200 frames and can easily be handled by Wink.

Also it's not quite easy to insert another Wink movie. Did Wink 2.0 improve?
Wink is a bit different to other screencast tools in this regard but not more difficult (when you know the way :)). Multiple projects can be opened simultaneously in Wink and then it is a simple matter of copy-and-paste or drag-and-drop of frames/thumbnails between projects.

As we have already concluded, in the end it is all a matter of preferences and goals. :) Also while I think the screencast review at this site is really great I don't agree in all the conclusions because I have different preferences to match.

General Software Discussion / Re: Searching a good Screenrecorder
« on: April 15, 2006, 09:04 AM »
Here's a screen video I made for a friend the other day:

BB Flashback 1.5  (218 KB)

And to compare, here's a video made with Wink

Wink 2.0 (480 kb)

Interesting thanks. It is interesting to note the file sizes as BBFlashback seems to produce a longer more complex movie in less than 50% of the space.
-Carol Haynes (April 14, 2006, 08:02 AM)

From watching the two movies it is clearly the Wink movie that is more complex because there are more changes in screen contents in the Wink movie. Also the Wink movie was recorded with a gradient Title Bar that also increases the size. Finally the Wink movie could be smaller by reducing the number of colours (by adding a palette to the Wink project). I did a quick test trying to mimic the BBFlashback movie as much as possible (with textboxes and pauses) and got a 275 KB file from Wink. Still not as small as the BB Flashback movie but certainly much more comparable.

About the discussion of continuous (fluent movie) capture vs. frame based capture. This is matter of taste and the task at hand. Continuous capture is a easier to do (than automatic (input driven) frame capture) but also more prone to mistakes during recording since everything is recorded and not just screenshots of actual actions. I find continuous capture best for "simple" screencasting while framebased capture is better for "professional" tutorials/simulations.

While Wink can do continuous (timed) capture it is not in the same league as either Camtasia or BB Flashback in this regard and this is also not the goal of Wink. The best/smallest projects with Wink are done with input-driven capture that automatically captures screenshots for each key press and mouse click.

The afterwards editing of a project is easier in a framebased project than a continuous captured project. It is impossible to do simple edits of cursor position in both Camtasia and BB FlashBack. Interactivity is much easier to do in a framebased product. Although Camtasia has come a long way in this regard it is still not anywhere close to Captivate. I find Wink 2.0 more powerful than BB Flashback in both the editing and interactivity part.

And the price of Wink can't be beat as already mentioned. :)

Best ScreenCaster / Re: Another possibility - WME
« on: March 25, 2006, 07:36 AM »
A year ago I read something about $10,000 for a Firefly license, so yes it is definetly in another category than ordinary ScreenCaster software. Other software in the same category as Firefly are SoftSim, OnDemand and InfoPak.

I want to recommend a somewhat unknown but IMO very good program for organizing photos/images.

It's called PhoA (acronym for 'Photo Album') and can be found here:

It is a purely for organizing images and does not contain image editing tools which is best left for Photofiltre or The Gimp (when using free software) anyways.

Phoa's strength is the multiple ways to organize/view images. You can organize them into groups (independent of the hard drive's folder structures) and asign keywords + other metadata to images.

But the most powerfull feature IMO is that you can create views (virtual groups) on top of your albums to allow many different ways to organize/display the images (without actually moving them around in the album) based on keywords, paths, time etc.

There is a couple of other reasons that I prefer PhoA instead of Picasa. One is that all album data (thumbnails and metadata) is saved into one file. Another is that I can create a photo album of a cd or dvd without actually copying all the images to my hard drive.

Finally a hint for getting better looking thumbnails in albums since by default the thumbnail quality is pretty low. Before adding any images to an album edit the photo album properties (menu: Edit --> Edit...) and move the thumbnail quality farther to the right - I prefer around setting 8 seing the scala going from 0 to 10.

Nice work with the new version. :)

The programs mentioned above (ViewletBuilder, Demo Builder and Wink) that doesn't capture tooltips also doesn't capture transparent windows/objects. But fortunately it is easy to get the script to work with the these screencast programs. It is just a matter of deleting or setting a ";" in front of the following line. (It is not enough to set transparency=255).


This could probably be included as a "compatibility setting" in the ini file instead of editing the script.

Unfortunately some screencast programs have problems capturing tooltips in Windows XP (except the tooltips for the minimize, maximize and close button for some reason). This includes ViewletBuilder, Demo Builder and the one I use and support Wink, although other programs don't have this problem like Captivate and TurboDemo.

It is still a very nice script though.

Finished Programs / Re: IDEA: Display mouse clicks and key presses
« on: August 31, 2005, 08:48 PM »
Darn that was quick. :up: :up: :)

And a nice solution as well since it isn't very intrusive displayed as a Tooltip where it won't overlap other things in a screencast.

Another request for the ini file might be an option to display the tooltip in the top left corner of the active window instead of the screen when you are just doing a screencast of a window. Although I know this could easily be adjusted in the text version of the script changing "CoordMode,ToolTip,Screen" to "CoordMode,ToolTip,Relative" it might be easier to some as an option in the ini file.

I don't know how easy/hard this will be to program but the idea seems simple to me.

The idea is to display the pressed keys/key combinations and mouse clicks on-screen live. This can be useful when recording screencasts and you want to show every action that you actually do.

I don't know of any existing programs for Windows to do this but there is actually a cool one for Linux ( which can be seen used in this screencast: http://e-learning.vs.../scale_stiffness.avi

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