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Messages - timns [ switch to compact view ]

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TIM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :-* :-* :-*

It's so wonderful to hear from you and see your "face".  Twiggles and Cobbe will always have a place in my heart.
I'd love to hear more of what you are up to if you feel like telling, if not that's ok too :)

Well I haven't completely written off the idea of the little buggers making a comeback, if my workload were ever to ease up. The main thing that changed for me was a bit of a jump in how busy my company became: it's very hard to turn down good work, and by the end of a long day I'm not feeling very humorous - if I wrote the strip after some days I've had recently it would be a bit too pithy I think ;)

I'm still doing a lot of coding, mainly Java, C# and Delphi although I had to dust of my assembly skills recently to update some very old graphics stuff I wrote back when performance had to be found by design rather than by plugging in a new GeForce Titan  :Thmbsup:

Hi there! Yes it sure has been a long time. In my case it was simply real life taking over everything a bit too much, and by some point I was so far out of the habit of posting that it never really occurred to me any more.

I would like to echo what seems to be a unanimous sentiment, that DC is a THE place to find great people, great utilities and a very supportive and helpful community.

Congratulations on the 10 year anniversary. The old place looks in good shape! I'll have to do some catching up.

Don't get me started on Nuance! They do a lot of cold-calling if you're dumb enough to provide a phone number when you register anything with them. I had to get quite impolite before they took me off the list.

Yes, BDJ has a lot to do with how I end up with all these things. I should look-ahead more to see what's coming, and try it BEFORE I just have a couple of hours to decide.

Quite a few times I have tried some software that I'm sure would be useful, grabbed it quick, but then I find that I get no use out of at all.

This is not necessarily a reflection on the quality of the product (although that is often a factor) but somehow it just doesn't "click" for me. Or maybe I'm just dumb and don't use it right - I'm sure the author of at least one such product would be delighted to agree with that statement  :Thmbsup:

Does anyone else suffer from that problem? Not sure whether to share the list or not, as I don't want to dissuade you all about products that just don't come together from my point of view.

N.A.N.Y. 2013 / Re: NANY Thoughts from Developers?
« on: January 04, 2013, 11:56 AM »
So, what kinds of things do you think about for NANY?


Living Room / Re: The Rant Thread!
« on: January 02, 2013, 03:09 PM »
Well this is kind of trivial, but it really grates:

TV ads that involve banjo music, or whistling. There's some ad agency out there that believes "family-ish" ads must be scored with one or the other.

The perfect approach!

In fact, if it adds to 6, then you can remove 8,7,6 and very quickly after that the solution appears. Puzzles with very low (<9) or very high (>19) totals are much easier  :Thmbsup:

Here's a tip, based off mouser's puzzle screenshot:

See the top row adds up to 9? To make 9, one possibility is that 8 and 1 and 0 are in the top row.

BUT! We know that "0" cannot be on the top line, because of the clue "4^0" (4 is in a row above the row where 0 is)

So we can safely remove "0" from all three cells across the top. Which means that we cannot make a "9" any more using the 8, because it would need 1 and 0. So the 8 too can be removed from the top line.

Likewise, the 7 can be removed, since it would need 2 and 0. And the 0 is not in the top row.

Work your way through the clues in this fashion and the puzzle slowly solves itself.

Just solved my second puzzle.  I like this game. Like most of timns's games, it takes me a couple tries to figure out how to play it, but they are exceedingly clever.

Timns, I'm assuming that you aren't inventing this actually game idea (i mean the nature of the clues, the size, the summing, the algorithm).. Where is it from?

Thank you for the kind comments, as ever! Like most of my software, documentation and help is a bit light on the ground :(

This idea is lifted from a really old puzzle book I have where they're called "magic squares".

They sure do lend themselves to being ported to a computer version of course. Once I figured out how to remove every piece of information except the bare minimum that is!

But the algorithm IS mine: it was quite pleasing to figure out and code - about 600 lines of java, which  could be generalised easily enough to provide an "engine" for many variants.

I have no doubt at all that there are other versions of this puzzle to play on the PC, although I have not seen one.

I've made a note of your comments, and I'll do an update accordingly  :Thmbsup:

Living Room / My musical homage to Donation Coder
« on: January 01, 2013, 01:08 PM »
Sung to the tune of "Bike" by Pink Floyd

I've got a site
That I think you would like
It's got RSS
And YouTube links,
And things to make it look good
I'd show it to you if I could
But someone hacked it

You're the kind of forum that fixes my boredom,
I can post about anything
Everything if you want thing

I wrote an app
It's a little bit crap
I might as well be blunt
It's kind of drab
I'd put it off for months.
But if you ignore all the bugs,
Then I win a mug

Repeat chorus

I know a mouser
He lives in my browser
I don't know why
I call him Jesse
He's getting rather odd
But he's a good mouser

Repeat chorus

DC has a suite of wonderful wares
Made with flair,
Lots of free software
Take a couple by all means, mate:
But please donate

Repeat chorus

DC has a room full of software reviews
Some neutral
Some brtual
Most of them are useful
Let's go into the forum now and have a look!

Folks, I have uploaded a link for the game. I did sign the jar file but it comes up as unknown publisher, which I'll sort out later. For now, please only run from my site at

To play, you need to keep removing numbers from each cell until only one remains. To infer which numbers to remove, use the rules down the side, and also the totals shown at the right and bottom. This information is everything you need to solve whcih numbers belong in which cell, without guesswork.

Thank you all. Composed during a boring flight segment on my way home on Sunday.

Anyone feel like compiling a DC song-book?

Living Room / With apologies to John, Paul, Ringo and that other bloke
« on: December 31, 2012, 12:05 PM »
Sung to the tune of "Yesterday" by that popular beat combo, the Beatles:

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away
But now my files are all in disarray
Oh, I wish I backed-up yesterday

Suddenly, I could really use an un-delete,
My folders all seem incomplete,
Oh, catastrophe came suddenly

Why they had to go I don't know, they're all astray
I clicked something wrong, now my bits are like puree...hey hey hey...

Yesterday, I downloaded a free game to play
Now my computer has Trojan/A
I've paid the price for my naivete

Why I stole the game, it's the same, same old cliche,
I wanted new software, but was too mean, to want to pay

Now today, I got a call from the CIA
they say they want to put me away,
'scuse me folks, I'm incommunique
Hmm mm mmm mmm mmmmmm

Ok I finally filled in the template. I'll have a runnable version for DC quite soon I hope. It's working but you can only play one puzzle then you have to re-start.


Looking forward to your entry.
(I can count to 21!)
-cranioscopical (November 29, 2012, 06:54 PM)

...except when you're in public?  :-[

Thank you very much!

You knew I couldn't resist another NANY ;) - it's lured me out of the woodwork at last.

Application NameClueMeIn
Short DescriptionA simple Sudoku-like logic puzzle game with some math
Supported OSesAnything that runs Java and has 640x480 or greater screen
Setup File [url=]ClueMeIn!
System RequirementsVery little
Author Infotimns
DescriptionSharpen your brain by using both deductive skills, logic and simple mental arithmetic to solve the puzzle from the clues presented.

All puzzles can be solved without guesswork.
FeaturesSmall game area, simple to learn, ideal for a coffee break
InstallationNo installation required
Using the applicationMouse only. Left or Right click to remove tiles according to the rules shown, until the grid is filled with each of the numbers 1 through 9, exactly once.


x < y means that the number represented by x is in a column to the LEFT of the number represented by y
x ^ y means that the number represented by x is in a row ABOVE the number represented by y

The numbers in at the end of each row and the bottom of each column are the SUM of the three correct numbers across or down respectively.
UninstallingDelete the shortcut
Known IssuesDoes not respond to every mouse click

Living Room / Re: Any DCer's in Seattle?
« on: October 30, 2012, 10:17 PM »
Hey Timns, how'd your trip go?  :tellme:
I hope my "itinerary" didn't lead you astray, and hopefully you found some other cool sites to visit and things to do.

It was very nice thanks - in fact I've been twice recently and need to go back again at the end of November. I think I've covered quite a few of the items on your list by now  :Thmbsup: and found some pretty nice restaurants to boot. In particular "Toulouse Petit" deserves a mention.

Well! Thank you for those kind words  :-[

 :Thmbsup: great to hear. Anything else you'd like to see?

It sure could be. I just uploaded a new version  - please try 'er out and let me know.

Have a look in your local appdata folder, in Options.xml

(My path, e.g. is: C:\Users\Tim\AppData\Local\Auspex)

You should see 4 colour entries - see what they are, and you can probably replace them with the following to get something usable:


That's white popup with black text, but then the selected replacement is white text on purple-ish background

Every time I restart my PC, it resets the colors used for the popup text tips - and it resets them to black text, black background! For both selected and unselected. So if I forget to change it, I get little black boxes popping up as I type.

I've tried setting the values, exiting out of Auspex & re-running it, but the result is the same - black on black popups.

Not sure where it stores these settings, why it is forgetting them or why it is using default values that make the popups useless. I'm just hoping I can get away form having to reset the colors every time I reboot.

That'll be Auspex unable to save its colors to disk for some reason. Can you try 'run as administrator' to see if that solves the issue?

The default color combo should be black text on white, so it's very odd that you get black on black in any case. I'll change the defaults slightly and do a new release on the weekend.

What was the bug? I can still fix stuff if it's stopping you from getting good use from the program

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