avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • Monday May 23, 2022, 10:03 am
  • Proudly celebrating 15+ years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - ewemoa [ switch to compact view ]

Pages: prev1 2 3 [4] 5 6next
Developer's Corner / Code Koans
« on: December 03, 2011, 01:53 AM »
Summary List

Trying out the Ruby Koans:

Short video mentioning them and similar approaches for Clojure, Scala, and JavaScript:

Some bits from the video to get a sense of the flow:

1. Download, extract, run tests (assuming Ruby is installed):
1. download-unzip-run-tests.png

2. Look at test results:
2. first-results.png

3. Examine relevant code:
3. examine-code.png

4. Change code appropriately (trying things in irb and reading docs first if necessary):
4. change-code.png

5. Run tests again and look at results:
5. run-test-again.png

6. Repeat...

Link from the video with some details of the four:

N.A.N.Y. 2012 / NANY 2012 Release: Nea
« on: December 01, 2011, 05:04 AM »
NANY 2012 Entry Information

Application NameNea
Short DescriptionA Helper App for FARR
Supported OSes Windows XP
Setup Filezip, MD5: 49f35a7ac5b2d29ac384d481a3270894
DescriptionNea starts and stops certain AHK_L scripts -- though the current intent is for FARR-focused scripts.  Over the years a variety of FARR-related AHK scripts and snippets have been posted to the DC forums and this app might make it convenient to manage a collection of these.
FeaturesStart, stop, reload, or view/edit individual FARR-related AHK(_L) scripts via a single menu.
InstallationUncompress the archive to a suitable location.  See the app's help information.
Using the applicationAfter start-up, there should be a tray icon visible.  Nea can be used via its tray menu or a hotkey.  See the app's help information for more details.
UninstallingAfter ensuring the app is not running, delete the folder containing Nea.exe.

Under GIMP (2.6.1) I noticed that the pointer cursor would sometimes obscure the image too much causing difficulty while using the free select tool.  After some not-too-successful searching, I learned that there's a preference that seems to help:


Perhaps there are better work-arounds.  If anyone knows of any, I'd be interested in hearing about them -- apart from changing the system's pointer cursor, that is :)

Developer's Corner / OpenCTags and Notepad++
« on: October 27, 2011, 05:35 AM »
Started using OpenCTags (1.2.2) with Notepad++ (5.9.3) to navigate to definitions.  After generating an appropriate tags file, one can use "Open Tag" (Plugins -> OpenCTags) to bring up a pop-up window that displays candidate destinations.

Any one using something similar for Notepad++?

General Software Discussion / Redo Backup and Recovery
« on: October 14, 2011, 08:17 AM »

Been trying out Redo Backup and Recovery to backup and restore a system partition for Windows XP.  (Mentioned earlier by ha14.)

Sample set up:

0. Prepare a minimal updated Windows XP (mine may have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 7GB).
1. Download and burn the Redo live cd.
2. After booting from the live cd passed the initial menu, choose the menu item to install to USB device (8GB was more than enough) and follow the screens...

Sample backup usage:

1. Boot from the USB device (here, this was much faster than via optical media).
2. Choose backup and follow the screens -- choose to save the Windows XP partition to the USB device.
3. Wait a bit (less than 10 minutes here).

Sample restore usage:

1. Boot from the USB device.
2. Choose restore and follow the screens -- choose to restore the image from the USB device.
3. Wait a bit (less than for backing up here).

Recommend testing with VirtualBox first.  FWIW, the following was a nice tip for getting VirtualBox to boot from USB:

  Boot a USB Flash Drive in VirtualBox @

The live cd comes with a few useful apps including gparted, palimpsest (aka Disk Utility), TestDisk, a disk wiper, and Chromium.

Redo appears to be a wrapper around partclone which IIUC is used by Clonezilla (also nice but more complicated to figure out IMHO).

Update: Found a tutorial for an older version (0.9.5?): http://www.oakdome.c...e-with-usb-drive.php -- fwiw, the version I used (1.0.1) looks different (especially what shows up after the initial boot menu), but the general flow seems similar enough.

multi usb note
Had some difficulty using the live cd iso from YUMI or Sardu (may have been both) so went with a dedicated USB device.

Tried to make an additional NTFS partition today using Windows XP's disk management console and met with an unfortunate result.

Not only was there a failure to create a new partition, but information in the MBR listing an existing Linux swap partition seems to have been altered.

Started with an extended partition containing two logical partitions (one was ext3 or ext4, and the other was the swap partition) separated by a fair bit of space.  Tried to create a logical NTFS partition between the two partitions, but received an error (sorry, it wasn't in English).  After dismissing the dialog box, disk management console displayed a layout for the disk that no longer showed the swap partition.

Got the swap partition back via TestDisk (via Parted Magic) and the UUID of the partition seemed intact.

Wondering if it was a fluke, I repeated the steps and ended up with the same result :(

Any one else experienced a similar situation?

Tried to figure out a simple way to renumber files of the form:

  000.ext, 001.ext, 002.ext, ...


  000.ext, 002.ext, 004.ext, ...


  001.ext, 003.ext, 005.ext, ...

What I ended up with was a multi-step process involving among other things, custom PascalScript via den4b's ReNamer.  For reference, the PascalScript part for even renumbering (plus prefix) was:

  i: Integer;
  Number: String;
  Number := Copy(FileName, 1, 3);
  i := StrToInt(Number);
  i := i * 2;
  FileName := 'a' + IntToStr(i) + WideCopy(FileName, 4, Length(FileName) - 3);

This was followed by removing the prefix ('a') and appropriately zero-padding some of the filenames.

Does any one know of a simpler/easier way?  I also looked at Thunar's renaming feature and Metamorphose without coming up with anything useful.

Developer's Corner / Nice PDF Tutorial - Inside PDF
« on: August 26, 2011, 01:50 AM »
Came across this nice PDF tutorial:

Looks like it's from 2005, but I'm finding it to be useful in analyzing PDF files I come across.

Developer's Corner / Bourne / Bash Shell Scripting Resources
« on: July 04, 2011, 10:20 PM »
Started to work through:

  Steve's Bourne / Bash shell scripting tutorial


Encountered this associated quote:

Doug Kramer (Java, says:
"When I started writing CGI script in Bourne shell on the Java team at Sun, I scoured the Internet for a good tutorial and used Steve Parker's guide, which I really like. Now that I've moved to Google and switched to Linux and bash, I've decided to use it as the basis for an in-house introductory course on bash scripting here at Google for our tech writers. I highly recommend it as accurate and written at the right level, plus it includes a useful reference"

CGI scripts in Bourne shell?  Doesn't sound terribly pleasant!

Not a huge fan of shell scripting, but figured it couldn't hurt to be able to read / understand existing code.

Any one have any related favorite resources?

Developer's Corner / cygwin command line arguments and apt-cyg
« on: June 24, 2011, 11:18 PM »
Trying to automate cygwin + related package installation and noticed that recent versions of cygwin's setup.exe appear to support command line arguments:

Command Line Options:
 -A --disable-buggy-antivirus           Disable known or suspected buggy antivirus software packages during execution.
 -C --categories                        Specify entire categories to install
 -D --download                          Download from internet
 -d --no-desktop                        Disable creation of desktop shortcut
 -h --help                              print help
 -K --pubkey                            URL of extra public key file (gpg format)
 -L --local-install                     Install from local directory
-l --local-package-dir                 Local package directory
-n --no-shortcuts                      Disable creation of desktop and start menu shortcuts
 -N --no-startmenu                      Disable creation of start menu shortcut
 -O --only-site                         Ignore all sites except for -s
-P --packages                          Specify packages to install
 -p --proxy                             HTTP/FTP proxy (host:port)
-q --quiet-mode                        Unattended setup mode
 -r --no-replaceonreboot                Disable replacing in-use files on next reboot.
-R --root                              Root installation directory
 -S --sexpr-pubkey                      Extra public key in s-expr format
-s --site                              Download site
 -U --keep-untrusted-keys               Use untrusted keys and retain all
 -u --untrusted-keys                    Use untrusted keys from last-extrakeys
 -X --no-verify                         Don't verify setup.ini signatures


Also came across apt-cyg:

apt-cyg is a command-line installer for Cygwin which cooperates with Cygwin Setup and uses the same repository. The syntax is similar to apt-get. Usage examples:

    "apt-cyg install <package names>" to install packages
    "apt-cyg remove <package names>" to remove packages


apt-cyg seems to need wget, bzip2, tar, and gawk to function and appears to be a bash script so installed cygwin first via cmd.exe with:

setup.exe -q -n -R C:\apps\cygwin -l C:\apps\cygwin -s -P wget,bzip2,tar,gawk,subversion

no luck with long options
At least not via cmd.exe.

Didn't succeed in finding a way to remove packages via setup.exe's command line arguments, but apt-cyg has a 'remove' option :)

Tested with setup.exe 1.7.9-1 and apt-cyg 0.57 (obtained from svn).

I guess these may have been around for a bit, but as I didn't manage to find any mention of them on the forums...

Windows Virtual PC VHDs for testing websites with different Internet Explorer versions [Last Updated: 5/01/11]

XP, Vista, and 7

MD5 checksums of some downloaded files
XP with IE6

  • 1f60ecd22f6c70e7128683267c777f9f  Windows_XP_IE6.exe

7 with IE8

  • 31636fb412fd2e9fd250d4b831a70903  Windows_7_IE8.part01.exe
  • 6fdb27bc33e56dd2928c86fa8101b0e4  Windows_7_IE8.part02.rar
  • 64b26e846d0fdf515a97a2234edddc2e  Windows_7_IE8.part03.rar
  • cf838d245245975723d975cef581fcbb  Windows_7_IE8.part04.rar

7 with IE9

  • 4ad277a45ebe98e4d56d4adad14a64f6  Windows_7_IE9.part01.exe
  • b5e74d497424509d981ef2fa1d22a873  Windows_7_IE9.part02.rar
  • 239c9b4a0ea67187c96861100688c180  Windows_7_IE9.part03.rar
  • 2e1fb5f62de4fd5b364c91712b038ed0  Windows_7_IE9.part04.rar
  • 6789d8e438f5d5934a72b874ad9acf17  Windows_7_IE9.part05.rar
  • c47aa0336d32f25c7d5f30e3d1261b4e  Windows_7_IE9.part06.rar
  • a5966bc97e6d7b03dd32c048c0d0ee5d  Windows_7_IE9.part07.rar

MD5 checksums of extracted results

XP with IE6

  • 2fc29b6dc858208ff12d241e371e25e7  Windows XP.vhd
  • 2cb063a8f163607577d52be6e3e16fa5  Windows XP.vmc

7 with IE8

  • 4532a99f7a9da8d1aac23ffd0ed86f13  Win7_IE8.vhd
  • 041ae267b022f49e4a8765d1b63ff27b  Win7_IE8.vmc

7 with IE9

  • debd23342db322372aa3486b8df08495  Windows 7.vhd
  • 6f307facc071fe94f5262c6aa65f16c3  Windows 7.vmc

Regarding passwords and activation
From the aforementioned page:

The password to login to all of these images is Password1 and the username will be present when you first login.

*Note: You may be required to activate the OS as the product key has been deactivated. This is the expected behavior. The VHDs will not pass genuine validation. Immediately after you start the Windows 7 or Windows Vista images they will request to be activated. You can cancel the request and it will login to the desktop. You can activate up to two “rearms” (type slmgr –rearm at the command prompt) which will extend the trial for another 30 days each time OR simply shutdown the VPC image and discard the changes you’ve made from undo disks to reset the image back to its initial state.  By doing either of these methods, you can technically have a base image which never expires although you will never be able to permanently save any changes on these images for longer than 90 days.

General Software Discussion / Firefox and epub
« on: June 12, 2011, 12:08 AM »
Has any one tried any of the following epub-related FF extensions?

  Lucifox - reader (failed to find keyboard shortcuts for navigation...)
  EPUBReader - reader
  GrabMyBooks - web page(s) -> epub converter?

Developer's Corner / Automated Snapshots with VirtualBox
« on: June 04, 2011, 01:59 AM »
Those hard to reproduce bugs...sometimes we reproduce them, but then subsequently don't seem to be able to...

Perhaps we'd have a better chance if we could start from a snapshot of a virtual machine which was taken shortly before a successful reproduction -- may be also having frequent screenshots of the system.

So with disk space being on the cheaper side these days, may be automatically taking snapshots of one's system every X minutes would be practical (can delete stuff that older than some time for keeping the amount of used space manageable).

May be this wouldn't work so well for certain situations -- e.g. some involving a network.  But FWIW, it looks somewhat doable using VirtualBox's vboxmanage (host) and vboxcontrol (guest via guest additions) command line tools.

One way to do this would be to leverage the guestproperty (get, set, wait) and snapshot subcommands.

Has anyone seen anything that does this sort of thing already?

Does any one have any pointers to references regarding the allowed characters in Windows Environment Variable names?

I found the following for *nix:

  Allowed characters in linux environment variable names

MSDN has:

The name of an environment variable cannot include an equal sign (=).

Was hoping to find something that spelled things out a bit more...

Developer's Corner / Book: Learn Python the Hard Way
« on: May 20, 2011, 06:14 AM »
Has any one here read "Learn Python the Hard Way"?

Some quotes from the site:

The book is a very beginner book for people who want to learn to code. If you can already code then the book will probably drive you insane. It's intended for people who have no coding chops to build up their skills before starting a more detailed book.

The book is also free for people to read because I love programming and want more people to love programming:

    Learn Python The Hard Way (pdf)

The book is free to read and give to anyone so long as you do not charge for it and you give them the entire book.

The book is very simple:

    52 exercises in all.
    26 cover just input/output, variables, and functions.
    26 cover logic (boolean algebra, if-statements, while-loops, etc.)

Each exercise is one or two pages and follows the exact same format. You type each one in (no copy-paste!), make it run, do the extra credit, and then move on. If you get stuck, at least type it in and skip the extra credit for later.

General Software Discussion / Web Browser Quiz
« on: May 20, 2011, 04:15 AM »
What does the following table represent?

Enter / Shift+Enteroooo
Control+G / Control+Shift+Gooxo
Alt+N / Alt+Pxoxx

Chrome 11

Firefox 4

Internet Explorer 8

Opera 11

General Software Discussion / Hex Editor Neo Query
« on: May 19, 2011, 04:08 AM »
I heard from an acquaintance recently that Hex Editor Neo is quite nice.  Any one have any experience and/or comments about it?

There appear to be a number of different versions (including a free one).

Find And Run Robot / Invoking FARR via Speech Recognition
« on: May 14, 2011, 03:07 AM »
Inspired by recent VoicePics activity, gave bringing up FARR's window a try via AHK.

Apart from ensuring appropriate speech recognition is installed (SAPI 5.1 here), this approach comes down to customizing code posted at the top of:

  Voice Recognition COM

The modifications made include:

  • Ensuring the appropriate COM.ahk file is available
  • Choosing the word to be recognized
  • Arranging for an appropriate hotkey to be sent upon recognition
Now saying "Mouser" within earshot of an appropriate microphone may show or hide FARR's main window here :)


While looking into Sage (which appears to use Python to "glue" a whole lot of math/science-related software together), noticed one of their eventual goals was Python 3 compatibility.  Wondering how things were going on the Python 2 to 3 transition, came across:

Writing Forwards Compatible Python Code

Any Pythoners have any comments on the content?

This is a summary of getting PortableApps' Opera 11.10 to work with Voice.  (Inspired by the Text-To-Speech Freeware? topic.)

  • Install PortableApps' version of Opera 11.10 -- assuming below in a directory named 'OperaPortable'
  • Start OperaPortable\OperaPortable.exe
  • In Opera, navigate to Settings > Preferences > Advanced > Voice
  • Enable, disable, and re-enable "Enable voice-controlled browsing" via the corresponding checkbox
  • If asked whether to download some file, answer in the affirmative
  • If after downloading, failure is reported, use a packet sniffer (e.g. SmartSniff from NirSoft or Wireshark) to determine a URL for the aforementioned file (the file name may look something like:
    • Download the file in question
    • Under OperaPortable\Data\profile, create a voice directory
    • Extract the content of the zip file in the new directory (so the new directory should contain files with names including vxm.dll, vxmplugin.dll, etc.)
    • Via Opera's address bar, access opera:config#VoiceXML|VoiceXMLEnabled and ensure it is checked
    • Similarly, access opera:config#VoiceXML|VoiceXmlPlugin and ensure it refers to OperaPortable\Data\profile\voice\vxmplugin.dll
    • Save preferences if necessary
    • Restart Opera
  • Select some text in a page displayed in Opera, right-click to bring up a context menu, and choose the "Speak" item

Tested (only the reading aloud portion) with Windows XP SP3.


I use some applications which are able to open multiple "documents" that are simultaneously dropped on to their corresponding executables [1].  I haven't succeeded in getting LBC dock items to work this way though - although dropping a single document does seem to work as expected.  Is it already possible?

[1] Some example applications: ReNamer, VirusTotalUpload2, Audacity, WinMerge, GIMP, Notepad++

Had been using the QuickRestart Firefox add-on:

but it doesn't seem to be working currently for Firefox 4.0.

Just installed and tested (at least it worked once...) an alternative add-on Restartless Restart:

Copy-pasted description:

This very tiny (7KB) add-on will add a "Restart" menu item to the "File" menu, and a ctrl/cmd + alt + r hotkey to Firefox or Seamonkey which will restart the program. It can also be installed/uninstalled/enabled/disabled all without requiring a restart, hence the name "Restartless Restart".

Restartless Restart is similar to the QuickRestart add-on except it doesn't work on FF < 4, it does work on FF 4, it's restartless, it's 7KB instead of 34KB, it works for Seamonkey, it doesn't have a toolbar button, and it's not localized.

Too bad it appears that we still have to restart FF for add-on installation...

Trying out Firefox 4 here and noticed that the Ctrl+E shortcut key for the Search Bar from the 3.x days seems defunct (Ctrl+K seems to work).

Checking out:

led to a work-around of installing and configuration via the following extension:

Configuration was done via the Shortcuts tab of the Options dialog:


Once a row for the action/shortcut in question was selected, clicking on the 'Edit' button or double-clicking on the shortcut key name made it possible to type a replacement shortcut key.

General Software Discussion / What Android Apps Do You Use?
« on: March 24, 2011, 12:48 AM »
This topic was inspired by phitsc's Android apps micro reviews :)

So, Android users, what non-bundled apps do you use?

Below are some free ones I've found handy:

Updated: Added links to AppBrain pages.

Pages: prev1 2 3 [4] 5 6next