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Messages - m_s [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Re: Ham fisted cleaning ....
« on: October 12, 2005, 07:42 AM »
Hey, you feel stupid, but you've given some good tips in your post - I especially like the neatly labled wires.  My laptop is neater, but then there is the room it's housed in, with piles and piles of paper all very carefully mapped in my mind so that if one page gets shifted I lose my way in the world.

You get money for my clicks?  Hey, I'm clicking all over my desktop right now - bring 'em on!

I'm okay with the ads; don't particularly like 'em, but I can certainly live with them.  (I do enjoy playing a simple game of seeing what adsense ads are placed next to my friends messages on gmail - sometimes they are so bizarre!)

So a bit more info: when I formerly tried to open .php files, I got junk - meaningful junk, but not what I was meant to see, I don't think.  Now when I drag .php files into my browser, or navigate to them via file://localhost/etc I am asked if I want to download or open the file.  If I choose open, I then get a message (in Opera) 'Could not start application'.  So it this some kind of problem with my PHP install?

Thanks, Mouser.  I checked logs, but there's no errors - all recorded as working alright.  I have shut down all my security progs one by one, but nothing makes it work. 

Oh, that's very interesting: I just discovered that file://localhost/ does display a list of my drives, but http does nothing...  Anyone know what's going on?

I tried that... I switched off everything...  Unless it's NOD's kernel service, which seems impossible to disable...

Well, the situation is that something seems to be stopping a module of Apache (pv.exe) from running, but I don't know which of my security programs it is!  At least I think it is one of my security programs - that's the only explanation that makes any sense at all.  (I can't actually get the Unlocker site to work either, so can't confirm if that does what I want...)

I'm not sure how you would interface that exported data with your pocket pc - activesync works directly with outlook, so if you had just a data file, I don't know how you could get it to speak to the ppc (if you see what I mean).

I will get to work during this week to put up a review of CalendarScope.  I've shopped around, and it seems to be the best Calendar.  EssentialPIM is nice, and on their forums there was talk of syncing, but I signed up for that weeks back and have heard nothing more. 

I my ongoing efforts to get a website up and running, I've found a free host that can handle textpattern - great!  So now I'm trying to get textpattern setup on my machine so that I can set about making a webpage.  However...  I followed installation advice from the Textbook project, and installed XAMPP.  But I can't go to localhost: when I do, I just get a blank screen.  Which smells to me like there's a localhost entry in my HOSTS file - but I can't figure out what program has blocked it...  And likewise, when I start up XAMPP Control Panel and set Apache and MySQL services running, I get a constant clicking noise, and when I open Process Explorer, I can see that the noise is caused by something - one of my impregnable security programs, no doubt  :( - blocking it.  Is there a way I can find out which program is doing this, and which is blocking HOSTS too? 

No problem, Mouser.  It's a great program, so I'm looking forward to getting the full version.  Thanks for arranging the giveaway and discounts, and thanks for persevering with their incompetent help(?)desk.

I have conflicting desires.  I have been searching for a single security program that would cover everything, so that I could stop running separate Anti-Spyware, Registry protection, and Anti-Trojan programs; but I have at the same time been fragmenting my work-life into various separate segments and moving away from the colossus that is Outlook.  I think I have found the answer to my security question now, but that’s not what I’m writing about here; rather, I want to say a few words about one aspect of my efforts to break free of Outlook.

Outlook is a mixed bag.  I’ll start by acknowledging that it is an excellent program – I see it now as a suite of programs, a set of very well-considered and well-designed interlinked utilities: calendar, address book, email, notebook, tasklist.  Of these, I have mainly used the first three, and that demonstrates one of my reasons for wanting to switch away from it: it’s more than I need; and, as such, it’s bloatware from the start as far as my needs are concerned. 

For email, I switched to The Bat!, which can do absolutely everything I need (Outlook could do most of it, but The Bat! does it using far less resources, and it does the bits that Outlook couldn’t do so well – and that Thunderbird couldn’t do at all).  I’m a little uncertain about my calendar at the moment: I’m inclining to Calendarscope, but still a little tempted by EssentialPIM (I hope to write either a mini-review or a longer piece on Calendar programs in the not too distant future).

And that’s left me with addressbooks – or, rather, it’s left me without one.  The Bat!’s addressbook might be enough for most people: it is email oriented, but it allows you to enter personal and business postal addresses, and it gives you a memo slot for each contact, so you could add any further tags you wanted.  But it can’t be synchronised with a Pocket PC, and that’s a fundamental lack for me, as I’m often travelling and need to be able to carry my addressbook without lugging a laptop.

I posted a thread here at DonationCoder, but received few responses; so I did some searching, and turned up a few programs.  The one I think I will be going with is A-book ($29.95, plus $19.95 for the optional PocketSyncomatic, both from  Here’s why…

The main interface is clean and simple, well laid-out, easy to understand, and visually pleasing.  You can easily remove Toolbar, Statusbar, or Book Tree on the left, and you can elect whether or not to display card details, and where to display them. 

Within the Book Tree, you can display nested groups of contacts, which makes it very easy for me to separate out addresses from different regions.  Another way I could do this would be by establishing a different Category for each region, and then filtering by Category; but I like the simplicity of being able to see all my Indian contacts in one book, my American contacts in another.  This distinction points up a major difference in how A-book and Outlook arrange their data – Outlook is more category-oriented, A-book more book-based.

The properties for each contact can be viewed in Simple Mode, where the information is more compactly displayed, or in Advanced Mode, where it is separated into sub-sections – General, Business, Home, Personal, and Other.  Each of these sections is pleasantly and spaciously laid out, with a pleasing choice of colors and a thorough selection of types of information recordable.

It is possible from the main interface window to dial telephone numbers of your contacts, a feature that’s of little use to me, but may be to some users.  And you can send email via your default email program (which is useful to me); where a contact has more than one email address, a dropdown menu allows you to choose which to send to.  Printing is easy from the main window, and can be done as a report or a memo, or directly to envelopes or labels.

A-book supports vCard and Comma- or Tab-Separated imports; and it’s possible also to export to each of these formats.  A particularly attractive feature is A-book’s ability to ‘Save for web’, which allows you to export your contacts as a css formatted html file viewable in any web browser.  This will be very useful for me in sharing contacts with colleagues – the instance that comes immediately to mind is when I have had someone cover for me during my vacations, and he’s not had access to my addressbooks in that time, and not needed them the rest of the time.

With PocketSyncomatic, it’s easy to synchronise your addressbook with a Pocket PC.  Having to pay $19.95 for the sync is likely to turn off a few customers, especially since it’s free with Outlook; but then Outlook is more expensive ($109 for the standalone according to, though I know it’s available cheaper than that).  What I like about PocketSyncomatic is that you can synchronise specific books – again, you can do something similar in Outlook via categories, but I prefer the mode of organising by books instead of categories.

A-book can be set to start automatically when Windows runs; by default, it starts minimized and sits in your system-tray.  I don’t understand why some programs seem to use so much more memory than others while they’re effectively inactive in the system-tray – no doubt there’s a technical explanation.  (I wish more apps were like Find & Run Robot, for instance, which uses much more memory when it’s active than when it’s taking a break from Finding and Running.) 

A-book tends to run at 15-20mb while minimized, which I feel is a bit heavy, but just as it can be set to run automatically, it can also be set not too, and then I can access it when I need it, and close it down when I don’t.  This actually is my single reservation – everything else about A-book (when combined with PocketSyncomatic) suits me well, and I’m very happy with it as a solution to my (lack of) addressbook problem.

Find And Run Robot / Re: Slim FARR look
« on: October 09, 2005, 04:15 AM »
I back superslimification! (Perhaps there should even be a superslimificationist position paper written?)

Find And Run Robot / Re: option to remove status bar?
« on: October 08, 2005, 03:39 PM »
Thanks, nontroppo - that is so sweet!

General Software Discussion / Re: Just how bad is IE?
« on: October 07, 2005, 08:12 AM »
That's interesting, Carol.  Like Mouser, I completely rely on tabs, and without them, IE is unusable for me.  But neither of you are jumping up and down and saying anyone would be made to use IE!

It does look good - have downloaded it too and will play later.  Even with this very generous discount, I think it will probably be too expensive for me at $50...   :(

General Software Discussion / Just how bad is IE?
« on: October 07, 2005, 05:59 AM »
Okay, I know this will be controversial...  I never run IE if I can avoid it (and with Opera's emulation that means I hardly ever need to), but I notice so many projects still rely on it (was shocked to see that Adobe Reader seems to use it as Browser by default - and didn't on a very short effort find a way to change that, and have just been testing KeePass and that also seems IE bound).  I saw a button on somebody's posting on another forum (can't remember which), which said 'Kill Firefox' - it was promoting a campaign against what it referred to as misinformation about IE.  I don't like being mind-controlled by good people any more than by bad people!  So, how bad is IE?

Screenshot Captor / Re: v2.00.14 - some nice fixes and features
« on: October 07, 2005, 05:53 AM »
How about a button for deleting all the so-far captured screenshots?  I suppose that means just emptying the screenshot folder...  Easy to do, but would be handy for me if I could just press a button to flush 'em.

General Software Discussion / Re: LogMeIn
« on: October 06, 2005, 05:08 AM »
I'm trying to run UltraVNC, and it looks really good - more powerful than the free LogMeIn (I think as powerful as their paid service).  But I can't figure it out.  I've visited the forum and read the FAQ, but I'm still not getting this.  Could you talk me through it slowly, elpresi?  How do I connect to the remote machine?  I haven't even figured out clearly which is the Server and which the Listener!  Or if you can't explain, can you point me to somewhere?  Thanks.

(Oh look, 8bracket became 8) )

(The numbers are not a ranking)

Security & privacy related:
1) Kerio Personal Firewall (I use Outpost now, but recommend KPF as best free firewall)
2) Spybot Search&Destroy
3) CCleaner (this has become one of my all-time fave apps)
4) SpywareBlaster

5) Opera
6) Firefox

Video & sound:
7) tMPGenc - brilliant free MPG encoder (I might have my choice of caps and lower case confused!) - absolutely essential in some aspects of my work (there are times when I have it encoding for 6 hours in a day).
8) DBPowerAmp - encode from WAV to MP3 or MP4 or OGG or whatever - I use it almost every day.
9) iTunes

10) F&RR

Very close, but no cigar, though I wouldn't be without you:
Gmail notifier
WallPaper Master

General Software Discussion / LogMeIn
« on: October 05, 2005, 01:56 PM »
Does anyone have experience of using LogMeIn, or know of any similar (free) products for controlling remote computers?  I came across it in the October PC Mag roundup of free software, and it seems really good to me.  But I wonder about security.  I'm sure I can configure firewalls etc. to work with it, but tonight I had to turn off Kerio on the remote machine in order to access it.  Anybody tried it?

UrlSnooper / Re: New License Key Page now online !
« on: October 05, 2005, 01:14 PM »
(Sorry for not jumping on that one - I noticed it, thought about posting a query, but decided it was better to just keep my peace.  That's English reticence for you - and I'm not even English!)

Find And Run Robot / Re: v1.07.20 beta
« on: October 05, 2005, 10:27 AM »
I didn't even notice that you have also added an option for the editbox to be at the bottom!   :up: :up: :up:  Thanks, M.

Find And Run Robot / Re: v1.07.20 beta
« on: October 05, 2005, 10:10 AM »
Who ever thought that AppRocket looked better than F&RR?  Was that me?  Did I really say that?!  Brilliant, Mouser - love the no-status setting... Sleek and beautiful!

General Software Discussion / Re: Zinio Reader
« on: October 05, 2005, 04:34 AM »
They're .zno

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