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Messages - Jimdoria [ switch to compact view ]

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I was wondering if this means you're stepping away from development of Auspex.

I was in the other thread where the last comment is about a year old. There's a fairly minor bug that I was hoping to get on the radar to be fixed in an upcoming release.

I just discovered Auspex and I've really been enjoying it! Seems like I'm always late to these parties. :-P Will there be a next release? Any idea when?

General Software Discussion / Re: GUI automation
« on: October 13, 2011, 03:54 PM »
So Sikuli did not work? Seems from the description like it should wok on any visible screen element. What was the problem?

I'd like to try Sikuli out, but if it doesn't work as advertised, I won't waste my time.

General Software Discussion / Re: EXCEL grid in another GUI
« on: October 13, 2011, 03:18 PM »
Recommendation #1 - Don't try to re-write Excel from the ground up!  ;D

Most of what Excel gives you falls into two categories: calculation engine (using formulas to calculate the value of cells based on the values of other cells) and data presentation (sorting data, filtering it, color coding certain values, etc.)

Do you need both of these feature sets? It's not common for a database app to need the calculation engine features, since you can usually do those kinds of things in the app's code.

First of all, can you just use Excel itself? With it's data access features, programmability via VBA, and its presence on many Windows computers, maybe you can just base your app directly in Excel.

You don't say what language you will be developing in. That makes a big difference. If you are using a .NET language such as C#, VB.NET or ASP.NET, there are some very full-featured components you can use. Check out http://www.infragist...informs/wingrid.aspx

That gives you a lot of data presentation ability, but if all you really need the full range of Excel functionality, you'll need something like http://www.infragist...fragisticsexcel.aspx.

There are probably similar components for other languages, depending on how well supported they are. These may not be free, though. (The Infragisitcs one sure aren't.)

Maybe if you gave us some more background on what you are trying to do we could offer more options.

Microsoft used to have a free program called SteadyState for Windows XP that let you set up an XP system to work the way it would in a cyber cafe, where you'd basically want the machine reset back to a default state after someone's browsing session was over.

They have discontinued it (not compatible with Vista/Win7) but you may still be able to find it for download somewhere.

If not, check out the wikipedia article for SteadyState that lists some alternatives that do the same thing.

General Software Discussion / Re: Using a digital tablet with OneNote
« on: September 22, 2011, 06:54 PM »
And you've been trying for six months! :-)

Try this one: http://www.winmatrix...earch__1#entry184329

I don't know if it's the same thread, but it's related. Maybe they deleted the old one?  :o I used the site's search to find this one. You can try Google too, adding "" to your search. Good luck!

"Developers! Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers...

Actually, just developers, developers, developers. The rest of you guys can go pound sand. Go on, get out! SECURITY!"

Living Room / Re: Linux game devs pirate their own game
« on: September 21, 2011, 03:22 PM »
@40Hz: This is the most depressing thing I've read in weeks. And it's been a rough couple of weeks...

Fortunately, as the little green guy said, always in motion is the future...

I put square brackets around the names of shortcuts I want to appear at the top of the file list directly under the folders.

[Thumbdrive Documents]

OK, well strictly speaking OneNote does NOT require Outlook or any of the other Office programs in any way.

If you already have them it will work with them and there are some nice features that take advantage of Outlook/Office, but the CORE functionality of OneNote (really about 95% of the app) is unconnected with either Office or Outlook. The integration piece is just icing, not cake.

You can buy OneNote stand-alone. You don't have to get it as part of Office.

Living Room / Re: "We're Alive" - Online Radio Show Drama
« on: July 19, 2011, 02:47 PM »
This has become a welcome addition to my commute!

Well, I love to be paranoid about government and corporate snoops as much as the next guy, but unless they're going to start preventing encrypted connections (which would require substantial portions of the Internet to be re-written from scratch) I don't see how they're going to "identify and shut down" every non-sanctioned activity. Just sounds like scare mongering to me.

There's always RetroShare for people who want to cuddle up virtually with their friends without leaving traces all over some evil entity's server.

Living Room / Re: The law is for YOUR protection. Honest!
« on: June 27, 2011, 12:06 PM »
I definitely support the intent of the patent system. However, the issue (and perhaps this is due to "first to invent") is that large companies with the financial and legal resources to work the system have started claiming overly broad patents and then using this legal toehold to stifle / subdue competition.

If you as a small shop develop a multimedia streaming device that beats the pants off of anything Apple offers, but Apple owns the patent on "streaming multimedia over a network" your invention is essentially useless to you. Apple can step in and demand a cut of your profits so big that it puts you out of business, or just seek to put you out of business directly.

(BTW, not really picking on Apple here. Insert Microsoft or Oracle or even GE above if it makes you feel better.)

Now imagine you are an inventor who wants to avoid this scenario. What is your due diligence? An exhaustive patent search of any patent that might potentially cover the technology you're thinking of inventing? Better be a rich guy to start with. And once your search is done, you may find that any device you create (or part of any device you create) could conceivably be described by one or more existing patents. So you give up and switch to gardening, which stifles innovation - the exact opposite of the system's original intent.

The real crazy maker is that so many of these patents are not just over-broad but ACTUALLY PRIOR ART. They are patents for things that already existed well before the patent was filed. But the patent office grants the patent anyway, because they simply can't keep up with what's already in existence, and aren't really incentivized to do so anyway.

What's really needed is a more stringent definition of what's patentable. The Patent office used to require inventors include prototypes of their inventions along with their filing, until they ran out of room to keep everything. But now inventions are software or CAD designs, which take up only server storage space, which is more or less limitless. Maybe they should go back to the old system and require an actual, physical implementation of the invention in order to be eligible for the patent.

General Software Discussion / Re: -1 for BrowserChooser
« on: June 13, 2011, 01:29 PM »
Thanks, Miles! Nice tip.

One week later and web links from Outlook still take some fiddling before they'll open properly.
Install in haste, repent at leisure.  :)

General Software Discussion / Re: -1 for BrowserChooser
« on: June 06, 2011, 03:36 PM »
Hi Mouser!

I definitely didn't go spelunking into the registry until after I'd tried the more "conventional" fix of using Set Program Access & Defaults to reset the default browser.

If that by itself had fixed things, I probably wouldn't have posted here.

Even after editing all the registry entries, web links from within Outlook still weren't working. I had to go into IE and choose Internet Options, then on the Security tab click "Reset all zones to default level." That finally fixed the last BrowserChooser issue - at least as far as I can tell.

General Software Discussion / Re: Dropbox....without dropbox?
« on: June 06, 2011, 11:22 AM »
Windows Secrets Newsletter just did a great article on Dropbox:

They mentioned an alternative called SpiderOak which lets you use your own encryption keys:

General Software Discussion / -1 for BrowserChooser
« on: June 06, 2011, 11:07 AM »
Saw this great post over at FreewareGenius called Another Forty-Three of the Best Free Windows Enhancements

It's part two of a series, and looking though it I saw a lot of interesting stuff, but the only tweak that really seemed like something I needed was BrowserChooser. This is an app that intercepts any link to the browser on your system and lets you choose which browser to open it in - IE, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, etc.

It set up easy, but didn't really work all that well on my system.

But the real issue was that when I uninstalled it, it didn't even come close to putting things back the way they were - browser links, HTML files, web shortcuts, web links from inside of Outlook - all broken.

I just spent half an hour going through the registry and hacking out the entries it left behind and restoring the affected values to the original settings. Not even sure yet I'm back to 100%.

But I thought I'd post a note for anyone considering using this app - watch out, you may get more (or less) than you bargained for.

Have to add a +1 for OneNote. I'm not on the latest (2010) but also haven't heard any tales of things breaking horribly.

OneNote serves all my needs for "freeform information container and filer" very well.
Just about all the requirements from your original post are covered, although the outlining is probably weak compared to what you're used to with InfoSelect.

Try not to hold the fact that it's a Microsoft product against it.  :P OneNote is one of the true software gems to come out of Redmond. And it benefits from the resources a big biz like MS has available to put into usability. It won't take you weeks to "wrap your head around it." You can be productive right away, even though it may take a long time to discover every productivity trick it has up it's sleeve.

Unfortunatley, at about $100 it's not cheap. Unless you compare it to Info Select.  :D

Hi Bob -

Sorry, the page for the Recognizer Pack at Microsoft says only Windows 2000 SP4 and Windows XP Professional are supported. So you may be out of luck.

You can to go back to the thread at WinMatrix and see if you can work your way through it from there. It's much more detailed.

General Software Discussion / Using a digital tablet with OneNote
« on: February 28, 2011, 08:46 PM »
Hi everyone -

I'm putting this thread together as a record of a recent project, in hopes that anyone who has to solve the same problem in the future can find it and benefit from my experience.

I'm an avid user of Microsoft OneNote, which you can read about at length elsewhere.

I have a Tablet PC which works great with OneNote. But it falls short as a note taking solution for me for several reasons, weight and battery life chief among them. Also, I look a bit weird lugging a huge tablet PC into meetings where everyone else just has a clipboard.  :-[ For a while I considered adding a digital tablet to my arsenal, such as the Adesso Cyberpad. It's a bit more low-key, boasts a fantastic battery life. Pen & paper is still the king of simplified user experience, and this kind of device is only slightly less convenient than just taking notes on a paper pad.

I never took the plunge though, because the ink files recorded by the digital tablet (which are stored in .TOP format) were not compatible with the kind of ink OneNote recognizes. For a while there was a product called CyberConverter from Blue Euclid Software that could convert the one type of ink to the other, but the company seems to have gone out of business and the software is no longer available.

Recently, however, I found a blog post about a new tool - Top2OneNote - that could do the conversion. What's more, it was free & open source.  :-*

So I finally took the plunge and picked up a CyberPad on eBay. I went to download Top2OneNote but only then discovered that it was not available in a form I could use. The developer had posted the source code for the tool, but not an executable binary file I could run. What's more, installing an add-in to OneNote is not a simple process without an installer program. (Every other OneNote add-in I've seen comes with its own installer.) Not being a programmer myself with a copy of Visual Studio handy to build the source code from CodePlex, I was out of luck getting my new toy to play nice.  :-\

Donationcoder to the rescue!  :Thmbsup: I put a out a plea for help from a developer, and the excellent timns rose to the occasion, not only compiling the needed binary for me, but creating the essential installer file as well!

I installed the add in on my Tablet PC, imported a sample .TOP file, and I was in business!

The tool is not perfect. It imports any ink that looks like handwriting apparently without issue, but graphical elements such as underlines, circles, boxes, bullet points, etc. get left off for some reason. But since the handwritten notes are what I'm chiefly interested in, this isn't a deal breaker.

What was a deal breaker was that when I installed on my computer at the office (which is not a Tablet PC) it didn't work at all. After selecting the .TOP file to import, OneNote simply returned to a blank page. Fortunately, I'd already gotten it working on my home computer, so I knew it worked. I suspected the problem was that, while my home computer had built-in support for ink because it was running Windows XP for Tablet PC, my work computer with plain old XP Pro lacked the ink support needed by the plugin to do its conversion.

I'd come this far, so I wasn't about to give up. Some judicious googling found this thread about converting Windows XP into Windows XP for Tablet PC on the WinMatrix web site. It's a long thread, but fortunately you don't have to follow all the steps and "convert" your OS. You just have to install some free applications from Microsoft.

(Please note that I have no idea if this process works or is even necessary on Vista or Windows 7, both of which have ink support built in.)

The essential elements are (in order):

Once I had completed these steps, I tried importing a .TOP file into OneNote again and it worked just as well as it had on my Tablet PC!

The .TOP file format is used by a lot of different digital notepads such as the DigiMemo and the Medion, so this method should work for a variety of devices.

Some other nice resources for this kind of tablet can be found in this blog posting, including scripts and a Java application for reading .TOP files and converting them into other formats such as SVG and PDF.

One more thing - this tool always imports ink at the top of the page, even if there's already ink there. So if you're importing multiple .TOP files and combining them onto a single page in OneNote, import each .TOP into a blank page, then cut/paste the ink to the page & position you want it to appear.

So that's all. Another Donationcoder success story!  :Thmbsup: Happy inking!

Thanks Tim!

I'm going to post a follow-up to this thread for anyone who might need this info in the future. There are a few more things to getting it all to work I want to put out there. I'll link from the developer's blog to the new thread and link back to this post from there as well.

@jgpaiva: You read my mind. I did want to ask timns first to see if he minds, since it's his work.

@timns: Thanks again so much for this! The installer worked great and I'm now happily importing TOP files into OneNote!

The tool is a little flaky - it doesn't seem to import all the ink. Circles for example or underlines get lost (I know they are in the TOP file because another viewer program shows them as written on the tablet)

But for straight handwriting input, this thing is great, and the text search DOES work. Woot!

So do you mind if I post a link back to this thread on the developer's blog?

So I register TOP2ONENOTEADDIN.DLL using RegSvr32...

Then how do I find the resulting CLSID? Just search the registry for the DLL filename?

Can you tell what was missing from the installer?
I wonder why the developer didn't finish it.

Actually, I don't want to be a pest, but I'm having some difficulty.

Without an installer, I'm not sure how to get this added into OneNote. There's a section in the registry for Add Ins, but all the addins seem to require a CLSID to be registered, and I'm not sure how to do this.

Here's a sample registry export of one of the installed add-ins keys:

"Name"="OneNote 2007 Printout Manager"
"IconPath"="C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Office\\Office12\\OneNote\\Add Ons\\Printout Manager\\toolBttn.bmp"
"ButtonText"="Printout Manager"

If I register the DLL with REGSVR32 will it create the necessary CLSID?
If so, I can probably fill in the rest of the registration info by hand.

Thank you so much Timns! You da best!

Fodder - I actually downloaded VS Express not too long ago, as I used to program in VB and ASP and wanted to see what was new. Suffice it to say, I was kind of over my head in the new environment. Plus, I've never known anything about C or C#.

I also wasn't sure this project could be built using the Express version of the tools.

General Software Discussion / A plea for help from a VS developer...
« on: February 24, 2011, 01:06 PM »
Dontationcoder has been one of my favorite forums since it was founded, and now I'm hoping one of the cool developers here can help me out of a pressing software-related conundrum.

But first, the story: I'm an avid OneNote user, and for years (years!) toyed with the idea of getting a digital note taking tablet (like the Adesso CyberPad) to use with OneNote.

Problem 1: Ink created on these tablets not compatible with ink in OneNote. There was a solution available, but the company that made it dropped off the web and it disappeared.

But ONE DAY, I came across a post about a new app that would take the ink files from the tablet and bring them into OneNote. And it was was open source hosted on CodePlex!

So this year for my birthday I finally got the CyberPad. As soon as the box was open, I went to CodePlex, and...

PROBLEM 2: The app is not available as a binary! Only as source code.

And I don't own Visual Studio.
 :( :( :( :( :(

So I'm hoping some developer here will take pity on me, and help me out by downloading the source code for this app, building it and sending me the binary.

It's at I've posted a similar query on the developer's blog, but someone made the same request back in August and it hasn't been fulfilled yet, so I'm not hopeful I'll see it from him anytime soon.

If anyone could take care of this for me, I promise to send happy thoughts and good mojo your way every time I use my new digital tablet!  :D

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