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Messages - BGM [ switch to compact view ]

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Mouser,  so, I considered json, but I hate dealing with all those quotation marks.  XML, I decided was clumsy.  I ended up trying my hand at a sqlite.  I was reading that it has a performance superiority over json or xml, and I want to easily add more items.  Plus, I can use a type:text and store literal carriage returns.  In json or xml I'd have to always keep typing escape characters.

So, in C#, I just query the sqlite db into a datatable and then I can regex replace \r\n with <br/>.
And, as you said, I can store all the prayers in plain old text in the db and be able to use it for other applications, too, if I want.
Finally, I went with a .db because if I get up into having 500 prayers in the database, it will be much more manageable than a giant json file.

Thanks for your tips, though, even though I already decided what to do before you posted...   :D

My project is a web-application that I'm writing using C# webforms.
I have a few hundred small text blocks - (actually prayers) that I want to load into the web page and arrange so the user can easily find what they want.

Now, my question is how to store them.
I could put them in XML or an access database or a sql database, or I can just type them all right into the web page.

The thing is that if I put them in a database, I can enclose everything in the proper divs that the webpage needs to display them with sortable jquery menus and accordians.  If I typed them into the webpage, it would be hard to know what is in the page, exactly, and I'd have to type all the divs.  So, I'm leaning toward a database or xml for storing the prayers with their titles, imprimaturs, and perhaps comments.

Should I use xml, sql or accdb for storing things?  Which would be faster to load and search?

N.A.N.Y. 2021 / Re: N.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor
« on: October 30, 2020, 10:07 PM »
Yaay!  You all make me feel all warm inside!  I'm glad you like it!

I also use it to add shortcuts from the Start Menu's "Programs" folder into my own folders.

It doesn't work for Windows Store apps though - apparently, the registry key for HKCR\shell\* doesn't work for those shortcuts.  And Autohotkey's filegetshortcut does not work for those either (returns blank for the target).  Funny thing is, that MS Store app shortcuts *look* like shortcuts, but don't even have extensions.

I'm planning on adding two features: one button to open the Start Menu folder, and another to back it up.

N.A.N.Y. 2021 / Re: N.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor
« on: October 29, 2020, 10:39 AM »
Okay!  I've uploaded version 1.2 now.


I removed the test to see if other instances were running. Now it ought to run just fine.

N.A.N.Y. 2021 / Re: N.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor
« on: October 29, 2020, 09:48 AM »
@Deozaan,  Aaaah, I tried running it on another computer (running Windows 7) and the gui didn't open for me either.  I think I know what is the matter.  I was trying to make it so a user could not open two copies of the GUI - if it finds one window open then it would not open a second copy - but would still allow commandline usage. I wonder if that has something to do with it. 

So, basically, it is quitting as soon as you launch it, thinking that it is already running.  I'll figure out another way to do things.

If you drag a file onto the program icon it *will* open the window, placing the program in "add shortcut" mode.

Funny thing is that it works just fine on my own Windows 10.  I'll see if I can fix things here.

N.A.N.Y. 2021 / Re: Incipitor
« on: October 28, 2020, 12:26 PM »
All right - I've uploaded Version 1.1.

@Deozzan, I had forgotten to embed the resource version options in the original executable file.  They are there now - maybe that will help it to run.  I also removed the popup that reports that it is creating it's settings file (nobody needs to know that anyway).

N.A.N.Y. 2021 / Re: Incipitor
« on: October 27, 2020, 07:13 PM »
Well, thanks for trying it out.  That' funny, because it runs fine on my Windows 10. 

The window should open when you run it.  It doesn't have a tray icon, though.

On the first run, it should produce a small messagebox saying it is creating a Settings File - but you should see that in the taskbar.  When you click okay, it should just run.  I just downloaded it again and tried it again and have no problem.  VirusTotal is probably just objecting to Autohotkey.

Other than add it's own registry key, the only thing it does is to add shortcuts to the Start Menu folder.  It's one of my less elaborate applications, in fact.

To actually use it, you'll need administrator priveleges in order for it to add itself to your Context Menu (modifies HKCR/shell/* to add it's own key there).  But you should be able to run it just fine.

You don't need Open Shell, really.  It will still manage folders you create in the Windows 10 Start Menu.  It just isn't so useful in the default shell, is all.

Anyone else have this problem?

I'll be posting version 1.1 soon enough.

N.A.N.Y. 2021 / Re: Incipitor
« on: October 24, 2020, 01:54 PM »
Working on version 1.1 with fixes, refinements and new features.

N.A.N.Y. 2021 / Re: Incipitor
« on: October 23, 2020, 02:46 PM »
Okay, folks, I've posted a working application now, and have updated my initial post to a proper NANY post.  I'm using Incipitor now on my own computer.

N.A.N.Y. 2021 / Re: Incipitor
« on: October 09, 2020, 11:27 AM »
I'm working on it!  I have a GUI now for the options, and it will install its context menu entry now - although you have to be an administrator, of course, for that to work, because the * key is in HKCR (not HKCU).

However, it would also work if you had the app open and you drag items onto it's window, or if you drag items onto it's program icon.  That could be a workaround for a non-admin with no way to install it to the context menu.  Although I doubt the practicality of that.

Right now you can change the icon displayed in the context menu, the text displayed there, general position of the entry in the context menu, and the path to the Start Menu folder.  There is an option to use a tray icon as well.

Anyway, just an update.  As soon as I get a version that is ready to try out, I'll post it up.

N.A.N.Y. 2021 / Re: Incipitor
« on: October 04, 2020, 10:46 AM »
Hmmm...  adding a context menu entry requires access to HKCU for sure.  You would need admin privileges to install the program then, I guess.  I never considered how it would work for a non-admin user wanting to install things...  I've never used a non-admin account before (hee hee)

N.A.N.Y. 2021 / Re: Incipitor
« on: October 03, 2020, 11:00 PM »
Uh, for that not-being-able-to-install things - you can fix that and make Windows normal again, you know.  I've done it once so far - there is a Windows Store app that you download, and after you run it, it disables that silly Windows "Safe Mode" and makes everything normal.  I did this on an hp recently and everything works just fine now.

I think it's called "S Mode"; How-to-Geek tells how to disable it.

Now, Incipitor will need to add a registry entry for the context menu.  I can put an install/uninstall button in the program's GUI, but if folks want to delete Incipitor, most of them won't remember to uninstall it from the context menu before deleting the program, so I'm thinking of actually making an installer for the application so that when it gets uninstalled it can remove the registry entry and therefore the context menu entry.  But I think that might just be optional.  I don't like making installers because it's more work  ;D but for this purpose it does sort of make sense to create one.  Maybe I'll include it in the download, but specify the reason for it in the readme file and on my website's page (or something like that).  However, the program itself will come first, with the install-context-menu item in the GUI, and if I feel froggy enough, I'll make the installer to go with it.  But I dont' think this program will be so popular due to it's exclusive nature (for power users, really), so I'm not sure if it's worth the effort of creating an installer.

N.A.N.Y. 2021 / Re: Incipitor
« on: October 03, 2020, 10:53 PM »
Ah, well, that works, too, and sounds alot like the way the old Windows 7 Quicklaunch works.  (I am thinking of letting Incipitor do things with that folder too - I use it all the time).

The point of Incipitor is that you can click on the things you want to make shortcuts for.
I was planning on an option to specify what folder you wanted to use.  So Incipitor could work for your custom folder, too.  That would not be hard to do at all and is more or less what the Windows Start Menu [used to] does, and exactly how Incipitor works.  Incipitor would let you add things to that folder from the context menu of the items you wish to add and you don't have to deal with two explorer windows (or two panels in FreeCommander like I would do) which means less navigation.

Okay, so I'm working on a first version at the moment.  As soon as I have one, I'll add the official NANY entry stuff into the first post (Hi, Mouser).

N.A.N.Y. 2021 / Re: Incipitor
« on: October 03, 2020, 04:00 PM »
One of the uses I find for it is that I like to install lots of programs that don't have installers.  I use Incipitor to add them to my Start Menu.  Eh, it's one of those particular case-use apps, for sure.  I think I will work up the basics of it in time to be in the NANY though.  I want that 07 next to my profile picture.

N.A.N.Y. 2021 / N.A.N.Y 2021: Incipitor
« on: October 03, 2020, 10:59 AM »
NANY 2021 Entry Information

Application Name Incipitor
Version 1.2
Short Description A handy, dandy tool to add shortcuts to your Start Menu
Supported OSes Windows 7 and Windows 10
Web Page DC Members: bgmCoder
Version History
  • 1.0 First Release - October 23, 2020
  • For complete history, view the program's help file[/]
Author Link to Author's Profile page

At my workstation I like to use Open Shell (revamp of Classic Shell) and to manually organize my Start Menu so it works as an effective and efficient program launcher.  Since I often need to add items to the Start Menu's folder structure, I wrote Incipitor (incipit is Latin for "start").  This allows me to add those not-installed applications to the menu.

  • Settings for adding and removing Incipitor in the Windows context menu for all files.
  • Drag-n-drop onto the main window.
  • Customizations for the context menu.
  • Allows for renaming of the shortcut file before creation.
  • Maybe I'll make an installer so that the context menu can be added/removed without the user having to do it manually from the application.

Planned Features
Cleanup task to remove invalid shortcuts
Backup Start Menu

FoldersTab.png SettingsTab.png  InfoTab.png

Here is the Context Menu entry

Here is what my Start Menu looks like, using Open Shell and all organized.

Unzip the package and run Incipitor.exe.  Then click the "Install" button to add to the context menu.

Using the Application
Once installed, you can use the Windows context menu on files to add them to the start menu.  Incipitor's window will appear allowing to you choose what folder to place the shortcut into, and allow for you to name it whatever you like.

You need to run Incipitor as Administrator to install it to the context menu. After that you can run it with normal rights.

Push the uninstall button to remove it from the context menu, then just delete the application folder.  It will not do anything to the Start Menu folder.

Version History
version 1.1: 
Fixed missing version info in the executable's Resource Table.
Added icons
Added ability to rename the folders
Added a "Save Settings" button

Use it with Open Shell.  It's not so useful when used with the normal Windows 10 Start Menu.  However, it would work great on Windows 7.

Known Issues
Just remember to use the "uninstall" button in the main window to remove the context menu entry if you decide to delete Incipitor.  Also, the folder structure only dives 2 directories deep.  You get all the folders in the Start Menu folder and one level of sub-folders below that, but no further.  This isn't so much an issue as a limitation, though.  I could change that if anyone really wants it.

General Software Discussion / Pixarra Pixel Studio and Icon Editing
« on: October 03, 2020, 10:39 AM »
Hi, all,  I just found that you can get Pixarra Pixel Studio for free (just today) from SharewareOnSale.

Now, SWOS regularly releases Pixarra applications for freebie, but I wanted to draw attention to Pixel because it looks like a really good program for creating icons for your DC applications. 

I usually collect all of these Pixarra programs and install them, and then never use them (hee hee).  But just trying them out, they have some very interesting approaches to digital artwork.  This Pixel program looks like it would actually make the creation of program icons - well, fun!

Normally for my own programs, I start with an icon from some long-forgotten collection and alter it to my needs using an old SIB Icon editor.

The only thing about using Pixel to create program icons is that it isn't an "icon editor" per se - it's a pixel art editor.  It excels at the art part, but not at the icon part.  But I also know how tedious it is in SIB Icon editor to go and make your 256x256p icon look nice if you had originally started out with a 32x32p image - you almost have to redraw the entire thing.  That's where Pixel Studio would come in.  But you'd still have to resort to your icon editor (unless there is a feature I cannot find) to save the different icon sizes into the icon.

Living Room / Re: How to Make a Quiz for American Accents
« on: October 01, 2020, 11:30 AM »
Actually, I don't want any kind of script here.  I am looking for how to do this in a written article for a magazine, so I've posted here for ideas.

Early test screenshot from a lighting test video, still some tweaking to do..
[ Invalid Attachment ]

Mouser, is that you in that photo?

Living Room / How to Make a Quiz for American Accents
« on: September 16, 2020, 10:36 AM »
One of my jobs is to produce a children's magazine.  I was thinking that a fun article would be a little quiz to show them what kind of an American accent they have. 

However, I'm not quite sure how to go about it.

There are several online quizzes.  Here is a pretty accurate one (IMHO), which pinned me pretty well for my Midwest accent.  But this one is an online test.

I am thinking of asking the questions and each answer gives a number score and at the end of the quiz you add up the numbers and if you scored with certain values, then you choose from an answer key.  This is how the site above works if you look at the javascript.

But I thought I would ask y'all to see if you have any good ideas.

I have used it several times.  I've booted to Linux Mint, Memdisk and Windows PE.  I love this.  I stopped looking for usb boot solutions.

+1 here - or +5, even!  For ages I tried different kinds of bootable usb software and always leaned toward multi-boots.  When I found Ventoy, I stopped looking.  No, I am not advertising - I am just another user, here.

  • Put as many bootable ISO files that you like on your flash drive.
  • You don't need to organize them - put them whereever you want - Ventoy will find them all and build the boot menu from them.
  • When you want to update them, simply replace the ISO file - there is nothing to configure with Ventoy.
  • You can boot Linux Mint, and Windows, too.

When you install Ventoy on your flash drive, it creates a hidden partition for Ventoy, and that's the part that actually gets booted when you boot from the flash drive - it's the part that creates the boot menu. 

And when you update Ventoy, you don't need to worry about doing anything with the ISO files.

This is an awesome program.

Screen ruler, anyone?

Pegtop PMeter is an onscreen ruler I've used for years and years.  Sometimes I use it as a straight-edge for when I rotate images in photoshop to x degrees to make sure it is visually plum.  This is a nice, simple ruler that you can drag around, resize and change orientation.

There is another one I use called Meazure

Now this one has a ratio-squaring system.  I use it to calibrate my microscope to match my mushroom spore photos so I can accurately measure whatever is on my screen in microns.  Meazure lets you calibrate it's measurements and has all sorts of ways to show measurements right on the screen.

I've used both of these for years.

Living Room / Re: Programming/Coder humor
« on: May 22, 2020, 11:13 AM »
Ah, right - I've heard of that one before.  So that makes three.  Any others?  I love these.

Living Room / Re: Programming/Coder humor
« on: May 19, 2020, 12:59 PM »
I love those names that techies have for folks who ask for technical support:

"It's a ID-10.T error"   (spells IDIOT)
"It's a PICNIC error"  (Problem In Chair Not In Computer)

I wish I knew some more of these, though.  Y'all have any?  I do tech-support all the time, and these sayings are quite fitting most of the time.

Here is the one that I have; it's Chinese and the brand name changes, but it's the same mouse completely.
This mouse has a wonderful feel, two extra buttons on the side, and has a nearly silent click (which is a requirement for me).  It also has a dpi button changer on top.
It does NOT have those nasty rubber grips on the sides which melt over time.
It takes two triple-A batteries.

I've used this one for quite some time and love it so much I bought another one.

This is the one I am still using right now - you can see it is the same mouse:

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