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Messages - howardb [ switch to compact view ]

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Screenshot Captor / Manual scrolling screen option
« on: December 28, 2012, 06:07 PM »
I do not fully understand the complexity of SC's scrolling capture option, which is tied to capturing an object as well. it appears one can try to let SC guess how to do the window, and if it fails, one can set various parameters I do not understand.

Would it be more simple, perhaps to have a `manual scrolling window' options? That is: have a screen capture that lets the user take control of the scrollbars, scroll the window himself and then click a button, or some such to let SC capture the results?

Sometimes, adaptive contextual human intelligence can make tasks easier, that otherwise require complex conditional rules.

Screenshot Captor / The capture bar and `simplicity'
« on: December 28, 2012, 06:03 PM »
I must just be catching on to the idea that SC was originally designed to do complex things in relatively easy ways? Also designed for people that do a lot of screen capturing, for one reason or another, not many of us to just have need of it rarely?

I used to say of Unix, with its command lines, and pipes, and redirects - - that it makes it easy to do hard things, but therefore hard to do easy things -- for example the infamous Unix `find' command. This may be a good analogy: SC much like the unix find command. One analogy to learning lots of commands, and command arguments is memorizing lots of hotkeys for lots of different things. Once memorized, the `things' are quick and easy.

This third mode or need, where a capture bar is relevant, might be for those like myself that seldom need to take lots of shots or do complex things with them. The one complex things I find useful for my `simple' needs is a scrolling screen capture that works well for most scrolling screens.

I must be a bit dense, but I do not see the utility of being able to capture screen objects, such as individual keys on  screen. Since this operation is a bit complex, would it not be equivalent to simply capture the screen containing the object, and crop the screen in the editor, to get a picture of the (or most) object?

I guess there are some `objects' that are not obvious parts of larger screens?

At the risk of touting the competition, I find the capture bar of FScapture to be by far the easiest to use. It has a (configurable) row of easy to understand icons for each type of capture (e.g., entire desktop, active/current screen, user defined region, scrolling, - - -).  Using a drop down menu for these options adds an extra step.

I notice a general tendency of programmers that is increasingly frustrating for me, as a user: Packing more and more options into an application. Each user interface is always a little different. So for each new app., I must learn to navagate a new set of menus, hotspots, hotkeys, settings - - -.

This had been solved for a time when Apple and Microsoft adapted a relatively standard menu interface for everything whatsoever. But this seems to have broken down. Now, so many new whatevers seem to have new looks and feels.

Must admit this was my first try at this program, and I was mostly looking for an easy way to capture screens that scrolled both horizontal and vertical. Although your screen that facilitates this is certainly comprehensive, it found it intimidating, especially the terminology of capturing an ``object'' rather than a scrolling screen. Made me want to abandon my computer and play more guitar. I like the simple idea of letting the software guess the scroll parameters first, and then simply letting the user manually do the scroling -- rather than set some parameters the user probobly never thought about till now.

A feature of the endlessly new portable hardware devices and their ``apps'' - is endlessly new ways to learn to do old things with new buttons and menus.

My gold standard for a quick capture bar, is the FastStone Screen capture bar -- lots of stuff on a small bar, easy to figure out and use. perhaps 5 or 7 icons that speak for themselves. Yours, employs drop down menus to accomplish similar things (e.g., full screen, active screen, rectangle, custom area - -) Adding menus to a quick bar, seems an unnecessary complexity and extra step. Should not a quick capture bar REALLY be quick?

Sounds like you have 3 basic problems: 1) You want to run and use your XP partition, while you are preparing windows 7 to run all your software. 2) You want to install your ``tons of'' software, from XP, on windows 7 along with, I suspect, various shortcuts, batch files, menus, settings that you created in XP.  3) I suspect you want to backup your XP AND windows 7 partitions, in case anything goes wrong.

So - start with 3 - make an image backup of XP, and put  it on some external or internal backup drive. Macrium Reflect or Paragon Backup both provide free image software for this. I highly recommend you also create bootable CD that allows you to run partitioning and/or backup software, and to access your partitions. Again, Macrium or paragon provide such CDs. They either use the win PE or a linux OS to accomplish this. By the way - paragon also sells ``adaptive restore'' software that allow you to install an old windows OS on a newer PC.

Then do 1) I suspect your disk has just one C: partition. Use a partition tool, such as Easeus partition Master (its free), to resize C:,create and format a second partition on your disk, and make the new partition active. By the way, this tool will also let you hide or change the drive letters of partitions, other than the bootable C: drive.

Now install windows 7 on the new partition, which it will see as C: Then, I recommend doing an image backup of win 7. It will be invaluable to cleanly recover from any serious future OS trouble.

Your windows 7 boot menu, should now allow you to boot to either 7 or XP. Whichever one you choose, will become drive c: for that session. If there are any problems, use a free tool such as Easy BCD ( to edit the boot menu, as needed. Once setup, dual booting is quite painless.

Now you can do 2) the painful, way: Boot into 7 and slowly install all the tons of applications, shorcuts, etc. from XP to 7. I always keep all my setup files for this purpose, and there are tools that save installation info. for groups of applications, so future installs will be less painful.

If you want, you can try the shorter upgrade path from XP to vista to 7 -- on the XP partition. If it works, you simply use a partition manager to switch the former XP drive to be the active one.

If anything goes wrong, you are covered: You have a clean backup of win 7, and one of XP. And if your PC does not boot, you can boot from a CD and restore either backup, set one of the partitions as active, etc.

Living Room / Re:Apps-based world boring - How about unix/linus apps?
« on: November 02, 2010, 04:41 PM »
Is this not an argument for the whole world of unix and linux? It seems to still be a world that is thriving with enthusiasts writing programs and scripts, mostly for free, that are not motivated primarily by the desire to make money. The distinction between users and developers remains blurry, and shell scripting is so powerful, one can amuse oneself endlessly writing customized scripts for one's own use. The proliferation of apps and portable devices is primarily aimed at practical needs that can be sold to end-users. The whole locked-into-devices-vendors-OS's-websites trend was already pioneered by Microsoft with IE, the infamous registry, its net-framework, etc. The strategy then was: make windows-related things so dependent on windows, that you have to keep buying  Microsoft products to use the things you like, or to develop things that run on windows.

I still hesitate with unix/linux apps -- because I so hate hunting for where various libraries, macros, and directories are in THIS installation -- in order to succeed in a make and compile of some application.

Find And Run Robot / Re: Letters Instead of Numbers Please!
« on: October 26, 2010, 01:21 AM »
i've thought about adding letters.. it just seems like if it's not in your top 9 items, you are better off filtering the results by typing more rather than having to locate the 15th result.

Ive found it a lot easier to pick, say, a fifteenth option. For instance, if I want to go to one of the many directories I've called, tmp.

Find And Run Robot / Letters Instead of Numbers Please!
« on: October 13, 2010, 01:35 AM »
I've had this wish for FARR before, but mouser thought not: With a numbered menu of options you have only 9 choices available at a single keystroke. But if you enumerate options with letters, you get up to 26 choices available with a single keystroke. I do so wish letter enumeration were an option for FARR, and still do not understand the impediments to it.

For an example of the difference, check out wcd, fast directory changer for windows at Compare it, for instance to one of the FARR plugins that uses the locate2 database. If you want to go to one of the twenty odd directories you've named, tmp  -- just type tmp at the prompt, hit the letter, j (for example) and you are there.

I care, because I become increasingly weary of the ubiquitous mouse. Indeed, I would love to use FARR more and more like a single, simple, unix-like command interface.

For those interested, I use wcd with the locate32 database, so I need not keep updating multiple databases. I also use the explorer replacement xplorer2 with this batch file:

@echo off
set WCDHOME=c:\dos\wcd
set /p ans=Directory:
locate.exe -ld %ans% > c:\tmp\data
c:\dos\wcd\wcdwin32.exe -G C:\tmp -f c:\tmp\data *%ans%*
call c:\tmp\wcdgo.bat
C:\Programs\xplorer2_lite\xplorer2_lite.exe /M "%CD%"

Find And Run Robot / Use FARR as Run Command?
« on: March 18, 2010, 06:45 PM »
This is doubtless a newbie question but: I want to type a command with arguments into FARR's search line, and have it executed as if I typed this command in the windows Run dialogue box.  How do I do it?
     I dont want to have to use ++ to add arguments to my command, wait for the command to show up in the results box, and then hit, for instance, ctrl-3. I just want to type the command, hit <ENTER> and have it run. Must I use the noresults alias for this, or how would I create a Run alias to do it?
     I also wonder, how to include the directories in the windows %PATH% variable in FARRS directories to search? Since %PATH% includes a list of different directories, must I enter each of these directories separately in FARRs directories to search? I would like FARR to behave just like the Run command - search all directories in the %PATH% variable for the command, and then execute the command. I do not want the command displayed first in the results list.

There have been freeware disk imagine software around for quite a while (e.g., DriveImage XML).  Recently Eusing introduced a new one, Todo Backup. They usually include an option to directly clone one disk to another.

Are there any reasonable ways to use these programs to transport a win xp OS plus applications from one PC to another (assume I have 2 valid windows licenses) ?

Although I have geeky tendencies, the hardware gains still far outpace my software needs. Others keep giving me PCs a few years old which have been: an IBM, an emachines, and a Compaq (HP version) with an Athlon 200+ processor. You would think the emachines would grind to a hault soon, but it still runs find and quiet after years of operation (cheap parts must have been good that year!). The IBM was a solid workhorse, and the Conpaq a disappointment compared to the reviews.

All and all, a real home try reveals many things a store demo does not. Most of the chain stores provide a few weeks return policy, if minimal good support afterwords.

My huge gripe with widows machines is the infamous activation, and registry. Would it be nice after years of customizing, to just plot your old hard drive into the new machine and have it pretty much work (or alternately clone the old software?
But no - you need new drivers, you can not easily merge the new and old registry without creating a mess, and you must deal with the drive-you-insane activation process, even if you have 2 valid versions of (say) windows xp, and you must remove the new crapware.

Ah - if someone would write something like winLite, for a smooth software transition from old to new machine, or - if Microsoft would sell compromise licenses -say one copy of windows good for 2 or 3 machines.

Find And Run Robot / Re: Quickly go to any directory
« on: October 27, 2009, 09:50 PM »
I think it would be a gain, if FARR could, in general, pipe the output of other programs into its number list or menu - also if it could pipe the contents of a file into its list. I don't think FARR can improve on the batch file I list within this thread, for wcd. But you ask:

> wcd has a commandline tool that lets you specify a substring on the commandline and > > > outputs a simple list of matching directories? Or does it add extra info to the output that > > needs to be cleaned up.

Read about wcd at: It is a windows program, that runs in a cmd box. It works almost exactly like FARR, only for all directories in all partitions. You enter some characters of a directory, with or without wildcards. wcd then presents a list of possible matching directories in one of three formats: a numbered list, an list numbered with letters of  the alphabet, a directory tree that you can navigate. You you hit a key, for instance, the letter c - and your favorite file manager comes up in the corresponding directory to `c'. This gives you up to 26 choices with one keystroke of a letter. The menu screen can be piped to the standard out, for inclusion in FARR. The menus need to be (easily) cleaned of their own indexes of numbers or letters, by a program like sed or grep. Then Farr could list the first 0 choices. However, wcd creates a plain ascii file that lists all directories. That file could be directly searched by any grep utility or FARR itself to produce a list of directories that match some string - which then get listed in FARR's lower list screen.

the TinyEV plugin won't help, because it requires the  everything program to be constantly running in the background. And the Everything program does not have an easy way of listing only matching directories.

Hope I was clear, if verbose!

Find And Run Robot / Re: Quickly go to any directory
« on: October 16, 2009, 03:53 PM »
I am well aware of the capabilities of locate32 and everything, and I use them. But neither these programs nor FARR quite do what I want. I can not imagine the convenience of opening a prompt with a key, typing a few letters and hitting <ENTER> --- then boom, explorer or your file manager opens in your chosen directory -- only two keystrokes to get there. Well you can imagine, since this is what FARR does to execute files and some directories. It would be nice if I could pipe the output of wcd.exe into the FARR results list , but I do not think it can be done. I achieved my convenience with a simple batch file, wcd.cmd, which I reproduce below for any who are interested.
wcdwin32 changes to any directory in any partition or drive with one keystroke, pv.exe manipulates running processes - deletes them, puts them in forground, etc. Both are freeware:

@echo off
set /p ans=Directory:
c:\dos\bin\wcdwin32.exe %ans%
call c:\wcdgo.bat
start /max /w /b C:\Programs\xplorer2_lite\xplorer2_lite.exe /M "%CD%"
c:\dos\pv -a xplorer*

Find And Run Robot / Quickly go to any directory
« on: September 29, 2009, 03:40 PM »
I used to be able to quickly go to any directory in win9x. I can't do it in XP: Hit a hotkey (e.g., F5), get prompted for a string (e.g., I enter tmp), see a list of numbered paths that end in the string, then when I pick a number - up comes my filemanager (I use xplorer2) in that directory.

I know FARR and/or plugins can do this, but I do not have the expertise to know how. There is a program  that almost does it, with advantages to something like locate32:  WCD creates a database of all directories in all partitions. When you feed it a string, it displays a list of possible directories, using alphabet letters (not numbers). This  gives you up to 26 possibilities. When you type a letter (e.g., d), it does to the directory corresponding to `d'. Alas this all happens in a dos or cmd.exe box. For windows xp, it generates a wcdgo.bat file f that basically executes ``cd targetdirectory''

If I can get the output list of a program like locate32 or wcd in the list box of FARR, this would be an adequate approximation. I would only get 9 choices for a  directory, but this would do. Ideally, I could write an alias that runs wcd in FARR's window, instead of a dos box. That is: wcd tmp makes farr show a list of tmp directories. I hit, say, number 7, and xplorer2 launches showing directory number 7 (xplorer2 takes a directory as an argument).

Any howto ideas?

howardb, try this program:
Mailbag Assistant

It's another program I don't know how to really use, but it sounds like you could use it.

Mailbag Assistant appears to be shareware costing about $30. There are a lot of shareware message readers still out there from the days of bulletin boards. They very considerably in quality and features. I used to use an old dos program called Readmail to read email messages. It allows you to define the hearder format of a list of messages. Buts its search facility was very limited, and it was buggy.

I may have to write one of these myself in for instance, awk, which should not be too difficult.

edit by jgpaiva: fixed quote tag

The review seems to claim that the program can extract emails that contain one or more regex patterns. But it looks like the program just extracts single lines in a file. There used to be an old dos grep program that would extract emails within which are found certain patterns of text. This can be very useful, when working with a lot of email or message folders and a email program with a weak search function. Example: find all emails that mention the  topic, vitamens. Collect each email as a COMPLETE email, not just a line within an email. Then one could read what each email says about the topic.

Any way  to do this with lineBytes? Its very title suggests skepticism, but perhaps I ask for a task the author never had in mind. Still there are so many programs out there, email, news, treepads -- that collect text in some kind of note bundles - that this would be a generally useful function.

Find And Run Robot / Re: Search subdirectories?
« on: January 02, 2008, 03:51 AM »
> do you mean that you are just typing the plain name of a program in
> a subdirectory and it's not finding it in a subdirectory?  or are
> you doing explicit director y browsing by typing something like
> "C:\program files\blahh" in the search edit.

I meant the first: I typed the name, kdiff, for a program located in a subdirectory of Start UP called, `utilities'. The results window showed no entries. In the early version I am using, the Start Up directory is listed as a variable, i.e., %Start Up% , without explaining the percent signs, or how such variables are  created, parsed, and searched.

When I added, c:\windows\Start Up/utilities to the proper search pane, my program, kdiff, appeared in the results list.

> btw: so much stuff has been added to farr v2 since version 1 was
> out that you really want to be using version 2.  i'll try to
> figure out why win98 is having this error.

I wish you well on this -- the memory problem is definitely there, and reproduceable.

> you might get yourself a holiday gift of windows xp though, its a big improvement.

Actually, I have copies of win 2000 and XP, but have reasons for not using them. Among them: Old OS's and software seem to attract far less viruses, adware, etc. I like the (last windows version with) true Dos, ability to boot from dos and restore backups, the lack of the annoying task for finding new places for old things, new ways to do the same functions, the inevitable increasing hardware/software that accompanies each new microsoft OS.

There are lots of now `tiny' programs that perform basic tasks well  without constant updating. When Microsoft offers me something practical I really need in a new OS,
I will buy it.

Find And Run Robot / Re: Suggestion: List by Alphabet Letters
« on: December 25, 2007, 04:30 PM »
> There's a problem with that approach in that it would conflict
> with the typing box, if you want to select the result labeled as
> 'P', you'd simply add 'P' to th e search string.  A workaround
> would be to switch the focus to the result list as soon as the
> search through the directories is finished, and select the item fr
> om there.

As you mention, though, the numbers conflict with the typing box, if you must type a number for the searched for program. Your solution - using <alt> 1 instead of just 1, would work for alphabet letters as well. And an alta-key is So, so much easier (for me) then selecting an entry in the results box with the mouse, as you suggest.

I do not understand your suggestion of adding P to a search string, for instance, that ordinary would read: notepad. I dont understand how FARR would find a bunch of programs with the letters, Pnote  or Pnotepad and I could select one from others by
typing P. Could you explain? I suspect, I would still need to select with the mouse.

Find And Run Robot / Re: Search subdirectories?
« on: December 25, 2007, 04:22 PM »
Funny, I thought FARR searched subdirectories too, until I tried to access a program in a subdirectory of Start Up. It did not appear. But when I listed the particular directory the program was in - poof -- the program then appeared.

Could it be my use of an older version (that did not have a memory error I was getting) resulted in this behaviour?

Find And Run Robot / Search subdirectories?
« on: December 25, 2007, 01:28 PM »
Appears FARR search only directories listed, including the start menu directories. Is there no option to also search subdirectories? Also, unlike ``related software'' such as runit,  it does not appear FARR can search a large set of subdirectories, such as ``the whole disk'' as some text implies unless one liste each and every directory. Would a whole disk search overload the software? Are there  ways to list a lot of directories without listing each and  every directory?

Find And Run Robot / Bug: Memory error on latest version
« on: December 25, 2007, 01:18 PM »
I ran find and run robot on windows 98  with 256 ram and about 800Mhz processor. On the latest version I got the following memory fault often when I attempted to close the program or sporadically at other times:

FINDANDRUNROBOT caused a general protection fault
in module USER.EXE at 0004:00005d53.
EAX=0002901c CS=17a7 EIP=00005d53 EFLGS=00000202
EBX=000277a0 SS=3207 ESP=00007c34 EBP=00007c3e
ECX=820e901c DS=16b7 ESI=000277a0 FS=3217
EDX=00000002 ES=16b7 EDI=00027744 GS=0000
Bytes at CS:EIP:
67 8b 31 67 8b 79 02 3b f3 75 04 3b fa 74 06 66
Stack dump:
000077a0 00020002 7c680002 176f1e13 00027744 000277a0 3217016f 016f0000 77440000 0c3c0002 000031b7 000031b7 00f47c3c 08947c74 77a0176f 08990002

I switched to the last stable version, 13.02 and no longer got this message.

Find And Run Robot / Suggestion: List by Alphabet Letters
« on: December 25, 2007, 01:13 PM »
Strong suggestion: List results by letter of the alphabet (e.g., A, B, C, D etc.) rather than the  numbers 1 through 9 (e.g., 1., 2., 3. etc.). Then users have up to 25 chances to select an item with a single keystroke, rather than just 9 chances. For an  example of  this type of listing, see the older dos freeware, acd (advanced change directory).

Activation/License/Language Help / Entering key causes memory fault
« on: November 23, 2007, 12:39 PM »
I am running an old OS, Win 98SE, with 256 megs of ram. When I paste my license key and hit ``accept' windows announces the memory fault below. I also get this message routinely, when I try to shut down my machine, without explicitly unloading FARR.

FINDANDRUNROBOT caused a general protection fault
in module USER.EXE at 0004:00005d53.
EAX=0002901c CS=17a7 EIP=00005d53 EFLGS=00000202
EBX=000277a0 SS=3207 ESP=00007c34 EBP=00007c3e
ECX=820e901c DS=16b7 ESI=000277a0 FS=3217
EDX=00000002 ES=16b7 EDI=00027744 GS=0000
Bytes at CS:EIP:
67 8b 31 67 8b 79 02 3b f3 75 04 3b fa 74 06 66
Stack dump:
000077a0 00020002 7c680002 176f1e13 00027744 000277a0 3217016f 016f0000 77440000 0c3c0002 000031b7 000031b7 00f47c3c 08947c74 77a0176f 08990002

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