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Topics - app103 [ switch to compact view ]

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426
Living Room / There is something 'sinister' going on here
« on: June 24, 2006, 06:21 AM »
I noticed something yesterday when I visited the forum...my avatar was gone!

Something or someone had eaten it.  :o

I had to upload it again.

Now I noticed another one missing today...housetier's!

Where are they disappearing to...one by one?  :huh:

Is someone or something getting hungry?

or is this all part of some evil plot and somehow all the avatars will be used to build some evil secret weapon to take over the world?   :tellme:

Watch out...YOURS might be next!  :P

-----

screenshot of the latest crime scene:

http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/3292/missingavatar7cl.png



427
Living Room / Ebooks & Readers...and all for FREE
« on: June 18, 2006, 07:59 AM »
After a discussion in the irc channel about reading ebooks and software that can be used to do it, I thought I'd make a post about one such freely available reader and a format that some may be unfamiliar with.

MS Reader is a free download from Microsoft. It is available in a desktop version as well as a version for Pocket PC. The file format it uses is .lit.

I have both versions and I have to say I enjoy reading ebooks on my Pocket PC more than on my desktop. There is nothing quite like curling up with a good book, and the size & shape of a Pocket PC allows me to have that familiar 'book in my hand' feeling without the dust and ink fumes in the pages to irritate my eyes. It allows me also to read in the dark, in the back seat of the car on a long trip. I can also carry tons of books on one small compact flash card. Books in the .lit format are pretty small.

On the desktop, it is almost as good, and you might want to give it a try.

MS Reader will allow you to do some of the things that you'd do to a print version of a book...and more.

Books can be searched, set multiple bookmarks, make text notes and highlights...you can even doodle in your book in a variety of colors. All of this stuff can be hidden or deleted when you no longer need it.

You can adjust the size of the text to what is comfortable for you, and it has Clear Type text so it's easier on the eyes. You can even sit back with your eyes closed and let it read to you, if you want.

There are a number of titles available for free, and even the ones that are not free are much cheaper than the traditional hard copy versions. You do not have to register your copy of MS Reader with an email address or passport account unless you plan on buying DRM restricted books. It will work perfectly fine unregistered with most public domain and free titles.

Download MS Reader

Download free Encarta Dictionary and translation dictionaries

Download many free public domain works to try with it:

Abacci eBooks
University of Virgina Free Ebook Library

A Google search can find even more free titles.

And if you like it and are ready to purchase ebooks, check sites like Amazon.com for the MS Reader format next time you are shopping.


screenshot of desktop version with an excerpt from Agatha Christie's The Secret Adversary (free ebook file size: 168kb):

http://img127.imageshack.us/img127/6716/msreader1po.jpg


I like my text big...it allows me to relax my eyes while reading.


note: if you delete a book from your MS Reader library, you also delete it from your hard drive, so be careful and make backups of whatever you are deleting first!

428
Living Room / Creative PC Cases
« on: June 16, 2006, 01:09 AM »
A friend of mine took the idea of case mods to an extreme...building a pc out of recycled parts into an old bar-b-que grill that his mom was going to throw away.

http://img158.imageshack.us/img158/1658/bbq16ud.jpg


http://img82.imageshack.us/img82/8381/bbq28ba.jpg


I love it! ;D

Maybe I'll be able to get him to come here to respond and discuss it.

429
http://www.scottberk...m/essays/essay46.htm

No one makes bad software on purpose. No benevolent programmer has ever sat down, planning out weeks of work, with the intention of frustrating people and making them cry. Bad software, or bad anything, happens because making things is hard, making good things doubly so.

430
A bunch of nasty vulnerabilities reported by CERT:

http://www.us-cert.g...lerts/TA06-153A.html

Upgrade to:

Mozilla Firefox 1.5.0.4
Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5.0.4
SeaMonkey 1.0.2

431
Living Room / I am in love with this wallpaper concept
« on: June 03, 2006, 01:49 AM »
I came across this page awhile back and just found it again in my junkbox while looking for something else.

I still love the idea.

http://www.flickr.co...s/w00kie/sets/180637

This is one-of-a-kind stuff...desktop wallpaper unlike anybody else's...totally unique and dependant on the particular desktop it sits on.

I am going to do this sooner or later.  :D
(or at least try)

432
I like to keep my taskbar hidden...and it is quite large.

When I want to access it, I just move the cursor to the right side of my screen and it pops out.

The problem is flashing taskbar buttons also make it pop out. And it won't go back till I click that button of the program that causes it and make it the active window. I find this one of the most annoying 'features' with XP. I didn't have this problem with 9x.

Messenger clients are the most serious offenders. Someone sends you a message and you get both an audio cue and a flashing taskbar button. I have to stop whatever I am doing, because the taskbar is sticking out halfway across my screen covering everything, and click the button...then 2 seconds later I get another message and this repeats. People that type a series of short 2 word messages make me want to rip my hair out.

I located a plugin for Messenger Plus that took care of the problem in MSN... but GTalk, Yahoo, and AIM are still a problem, as well as any other messenger client I may try in the future.

There is no tweaking program that I have found that can totally disable the flashing. At best you can either make it flash a specified number of times or keep flashing till you click it. The minimum flashing count is 1, setting it to 0 just makes it flash till you click it. Setting it at 1 still makes me have to click the button to get the taskbar to go away.

I was wondering if someone could code something that would intercept the messages that trigger the button flashing for all buttons of all programs and tosses them out, in order to effectively disable the flashing so my taskbar will stop flying out when I don't want to see it.

433
Living Room / What to do in case of a terrorist attack
« on: May 28, 2006, 11:03 AM »
The US government has a new website, http://www.ready.gov/. It's another attempt at scare mongering in the style of the old "duck and cover" advice after WWII.

The fun thing is that these pictures are so ambiguous they could mean anything! Here are a few interpretations.


  http://www.msxnet.or.../humour/terror_alert


434
Developer's Corner / Angry Fruit Salad
« on: May 28, 2006, 03:37 AM »
Here's a good one I came across on one of my 'click adventures'

http://foldoc.org/?angry+fruit+salad

 :P

435
Not knowing much about anything, I translated & compiled a project I had written in Delphi 6, with C++ Builder 6.

This ran just fine on my PC and the file size was nice and small...I was impressed.

Then I gave the file to someone else and that was when the problems began....it started complaining of missing .dll's on their pc.

If you want to distribute your files and avoid the problem I had this is what you have to do:

  • Under project/options/linker you need to uncheck "Use Dynamic RTL"
  • and under project/options/packages you need to uncheck "Build with Runtime Libraries."

Unless you do this, others will have trouble running your apps.

Be prepared to see the file size grow enormously.

This applies to C++ Builder, not Delphi. The default settings in Delphi work just fine and you don't have to change them.

436
Accessibility Game Contest / Accessibility tips for developers
« on: May 20, 2006, 11:10 AM »
Sooner or later mouser is going to put something here in this section of the forum and this post will make perfect sense.


This is a great page for developers that want to make their software more friendly to those with disabilities. Tons of things to think about that you might not have thought about before.

Accessible Toolkit Checklist

a few related to games:

Gaming with a visual disability
Improving Game Accessibility


This is an especially great page, and a great site. Don't let this page be the only thing you look at here.

Guidelines for developing accessible games

437
Developer's Corner / Free icons for developers
« on: May 13, 2006, 03:33 AM »
I came across a great site today that has an immense collection of free, quality icon images that developers can use in their projects. The Silk collection is really cool!

They are published with a Creative Commons license, so as long as you give the guy credit and include a link to his site in your about box, you are free to use them any way you wish in your projects, including making derivative works of them.

They are in .png format but they can be easily converted to .bmp or .ico.

How can you go wrong?

FamFamFam's icon collection

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