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Messages - widgewunner [ switch to compact view ]

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51
General Software Discussion / Re: EditPad Pro 7-BETA
« on: October 13, 2010, 09:03 PM »
I love EditPad Pro as well. I have a lifetime license for UltraEdit but I much, much prefer EditPad Pro - so much so that I recently uninstalled edit-32, despite the lifetime license. I can't quite put my finger on why I prefer EditPad Pro... I suppose that if pressed I'd point to the GUI, though.

Like you, I also have a lifetime UE32 license, but I do keep it around because it still has a few tricks up its sleeves that EPP does not yet have. i.e.

  • Powerful column mode editing allows you to:
       
    • Type in text into multiple rows simultaneously.
    • Fill a column block with a sequence of numbers in hex or decimal with or without leading zeroes.
       
  • Sort a selection of rows with multiple column range specifications.
  • Perform operations (such as converting tabs-2-spaces) on only a selected region rather that the whole file. (EPP does this document-wide Correction: this behavior has been fixed in EPP7).
  • Powerful built-in Javascript scripting engine.

But I stick with EPP because of its superior search and replace regex engine. (Although it has yet to implement recursive expressions such as '(?R)' - I don't know of any editor that can do that yet.)

52
General Software Discussion / Re: EditPad Pro 7-BETA
« on: October 13, 2010, 03:35 PM »
Presumably it is whatever your credit card says 40 Euros translates to.

Sorry - I am being dense - how do you get to the forum from inside the software? I am a registered user running 6.4.4 but I can't see any forum access????

The forum is a part of the new version 7 EPP. It is accessed either from the help menu or the farthest right button on the main toolbar.

53
General Software Discussion / Re: EditPad Pro 7-BETA
« on: October 13, 2010, 12:14 AM »
One needs a paid licence to access their forum ?
I searched their website but could not find any link to a forum.
So this beta is restricted to old buyers only, yes ?
 
SKA
The forum is private and is built into the application! Yes, the beta is available only to owners of EPP6.

54
General Software Discussion / EditPad Pro 7 - released
« on: October 12, 2010, 09:07 PM »
Update: 2011-05-16 - Version 7 released today!

EditPad Pro 7 is now in the process of being beta tested. As an avid EPP6 user, I was invited to join in on the fun, but normally I avoid (like the plague) pre-release versions of software. However, in this case I decided to make an exception and give it a go because 1.) The quality of JGSoft products tends to be excellent, (so a beta release is likely safe/stable), and 2.) there are a couple features in EPP6 that have been bugging me and I wanted to see if they had been corrected in the latest version. We'll it turns out that all of my grievances with the older version have been resolved. Here are the complaints that I had with EPP6 which have been corrected in the latest version:

  • The Ctrl+Tab keystroke, used to switch between documents, did not follow the most-recently-used order - it would simply move from file to file in linear order. Now this option can be selected either way.
  • When opening/saving projects and files, there was only one "last used" folder that would come up as default. For my work-flow this was causing me headaches because I like to keep all my project files in one folder separate from the actual files associated with the project. The new version now independently keeps two separate "last-used" folders, one for files and one for projects.
  • One of the cool features of EPP6 is that it keeps a separate set of options for each filetype that you work with. Settings like word wrap, auto-indenting, LF vs CRLF line terminations, show line numbers, etc, can be set independently for each file type. But the interface used to change these settings forced you to edit each filetype one at a time (and there are dozens of different file types). If you wanted to change one setting for all file types at once (say turning on line numbers), you had to do it over and over for each type one at a time. With the new version you can change common settings all at once.
  • There was no way to quickly copy/paste a file's path/filename. Now you can right-click the files tab and get it into the clipboard.
  • Regarding bookmarks, as I recall, one of the reviewers from a previous thread did not like the fact that EPP did not have a "Next-bookmark" and "Prev-bookmark" hotkey capability. These have been added and there is no longer a 10 bookmark limit.

So I was pretty thrilled to find out that all my complaints had been addressed. But once I started playing with it a bit more I got more than just a little bit excited when I discovered some *very* nice gems. One in particular that really stands out for me is the way it handles...

Matching brackets The already very powerful syntax highlighting capability has been enhanced to provide generalized nested bracket matching. But not just simple brackets such as curly braces, but anything that can be defined with regular expressions. As an example, when editing an HTML file, when your cursor is on an opening tag it is highlighted along with its matching closing tag. But, the really cool thing is that the Ctrl+] hotkey will jump the cursor back and forth from the opening tag and its matching closing tag. And it is able to do this with nested tags. It is VERY handy to be able to jump to a matching tag when working with HTML/XML markup. Very cool! If you are into regex, you can custom design your own coloring schemes to provide nested "brackets" for any file type imaginable. i.e. You could have "brackets" be defined as "do"-"while" or "if"-"then"-"else" or anything else that can be described with a regex.

These were the highlights for me. You can read more about other improvements on JGSoft's EditPad Pro 7 beta page.

55
By "crippled" I meant it had reduced/hobbled functionality. As I recall, the 2005 Express edition did not allow compiling a full fledged GUI app, only a command line console app. Can't say if the newer "Express" version has these sorts of limitations...

56
The C compiler I use is not free (I use MS Visual c++ 6.0). You can get a free version from MS (the "express" version) but from my limited trial with that version I found it to be pretty bloated and crippled. There is also a free version of of the older Borland C compiler but I don't have any experience with that version.

What I would do is get and read the K&R book and start playing around with PHP. Its free, very C like, and has a lot of nice additional features on top of it. The documentation is great too. And PHP is a very handy technology to know if you plan on doing anything web related.
:)

57
I would recommend first learning basic C syntax. Start with the classic K&R book (It is short and gets straight to the point):

C Programming Language (2nd Edition) by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie

Its not cheap but its worth every penny. C is the foundation of many popular languages: (C++, PHP, Java, Javascript and more). ANSI C hasn't changed a bit in 22 years.

58
I've been programming a very long time (can you say "punch cards"?) but have only recently started using source control software (all of my projects were solo and I'd simply use periodic zip archives as backups). After recently doing a bit of research on the subject I decided on Git for use on my own local system. CVS and SVN both litter your source tree by adding their own CVS and .svn subdirectories into every single directory in your tree. I found this to be very annoying! Git adds only one directory and the entire history of the project (the repository) is kept in this one folder. The design of Git is such that the integrity of all your source code, (and its entire history) is guaranteed to be good because every object is stored and referenced using its SHA1 hash. If any single bit has changed in the repository (due to data corruption or what-not), you will know because the SHA1 hashes will change. It is also very fast and has excellent data compression. However, the msysgit distribution for windows (which like cygwin includes a mini-linux bash environment), is probably not appropriate for installation on a flash drive. The Gitk GUI tool for viewing the changes to the source code history is very cool.

It was this talk given by Linus Torvalds that got me interested in Git in the first place. Note that when Git first came out it was reputed to be difficult to use, but that has all changed - it has since matured and is now as easy to use as CVS and SVN with excellent online documentation available.

59
General Software Discussion / Re: Why the aversion to .NET Frameworks?
« on: February 18, 2010, 06:41 PM »
In a word...

C#

Microsoft had the unmitigated audacity (there I go using that phrase again!) to actually name their proprietary programming language C-sharp, thereby tarnishing (in my mind anyway) a very beautiful and sacred thing: The C programming language - by association. How dare they! Its as if the logical progression was from C to C++ to C#. NOT! Let me explain...

In the mid '80s I made the switch from FORTRAN to C and what a glorious transition that was. Like the C language itself, the original K&R book was a small and beautiful thing (which I proudly keep to this day). The second ANSI standard edition was even better. Then during the '90s I wanted to fiddle around with Windows, so purchased and read each revision of Charles Petzold's classic work: "Programming Windows". This book covers "low-level" programming for the Windows OS using C to directly access the Win32 API. My first copy was the third edition: Programming Windows 3.1, then later it was Programming Windows 95 and then finally, in 1998 I got Programming Windows - Fifth Edition. Here are a couple of short quotes from chapter one of the fifth edition:

To illustrate the various techniques of Windows programming, this book has lots of sample programs. These programs are written in C and use the native Windows APIs. I think of this approach as "classical" Windows programming. It is how we wrote programs for Windows 1.0 in 1985, and it remains a valid way of programming for Windows today.
...
Any software layer on top of the native Windows API necessarily restricts you to a subset of full functionality. You might find, for example, that Visual Basic is ideal for your application except that it doesn't allow you to do one or two essential chores. In that case, you'll have to use native API calls. The API defines the universe in which we as Windows programmers exist. No approach can be more powerful or versatile than using this API directly.

MFC is particularly problematic. While it simplifies some jobs immensely (such as OLE), I often find myself wrestling with other features (such as the Document/View architecture) to get them to work as I want. MFC has not been the Windows programming panacea that many hoped for, and few people would characterize it as a model of good object-oriented design. ...
-Charles Petzold

The same could be said today. When I went to purchase Petzold's next book in 2001: Programming Windows with C#, I couldn't believe my ears (eyes?) when I saw that he had apparently set aside the importance of "classical" Windows programming and had taken the .NET/C# blue pill that Microsoft was starting to push. I guess he had to as he wanted to keep up with the latest technology and keep selling books. I did not buy that book and have not learned anything about .NET and C#.

But, there are a couple things that are not going away anytime soon and that is 1.) the C programming language and 2.) the native Win32 Application Programming Interface API. Other "great ideas" from Microsoft have come and gone out of favor (e.g. Object Linking and Embedding OLE, Dynamic Data Exchange DDE, Microsoft Foundation Classes MFC, etc). I could very well be wrong, (and living in the past, sticking to old outdated technologies), but I see .NET as yet another one of these bloated behemoths destined for obsolescence. Although .NET/C# is probably not as bad as MFC. I simply don't have time to spend learning a technology that may be gone in less than a decade.

I am an old school procedural (non-object oriented) programmer (dinosaur) who really appreciates well written, small, fast, robust and reliable programs that run on all 32 bit versions of Windows and don't require a giant supporting cast of libraries/frameworks. Hell, call me paranoid, but I don't even trust MSVCRT.DLL and statically link in the C library functions. Disclaimer: I don't write large, complex web apps under a deadline and it takes me approximately forever to get a program finished. For me Windows programming is just a hobby (I've actually written only one significant Windows program) - but I *do* know enough about how Win programs work to appreciate programmers who think as I do and produce small fast apps that happily run from a thumb drive on everything from Win98 to Win7. This is why I tend to shrink away from programs that say: "This program requires .NET".

I don't *hate* .NET. It certainly has its place, and I'm sure that C# is actually a pretty good language. I guess the bad taste in my mouth that I get with .NET (and C#!) is based on a gut feeling and, like rjbull, may be rooted in Some kind of snobbery. :)

60
I was going to download and try it until I saw this...

.NET Framework 1.1/2.0 Required

I've managed to keep my box free of .NET up until now. Although I am aware that the .NET regex engine is quite powerful after reading about it in Mastering Regular Expressions (its one of the only engines that allows for variable length look-behind). I'd give it a try, but my regex tool of choice is regexbuddy, which does everything I need (except recursive expressions).

61
f0dder is correct. This sounds like a job for Regex! If you can post a few examples of the html files (after changing the actual names/emails of course), I'm sure we can help you out.

I'm a regex addict and live for this sort of thing! (sick I know!) :)

62
General Software Discussion / Re: Mass checksum checker
« on: February 14, 2010, 08:48 PM »
I agree with everything you just said. Thanks for the input. When I said Git was small, I was certainly wrong with regard to the tool itself. I guess I was thinking in terms of Git's impact on the tree you are putting under revision control. Where CVS and SVN obtrusively place folders in every directory in a tree, Git only needs one. And the size of the repository is small - yes, Git does file compression into what it calls "pack" files.

And I have to admit that you are all absolutely correct when you say Git is not really appropriate for the specific task of file verification. Especially for binary files. I guess my recent infatuation with this tool has got me wanting to evangelize its praises, and it seemed to me if someone was asking about verifying a bunch of files, they may also be wanting to track changes as well - in which case Git may be something worth looking into.

FYI - the msysgit installation is sort of like cygwin. It includes a mini-unix environment which includes the following command line tools (which explains its size):
basename, bash, bzip2, cat, chmod, cmp, cp, curl, cut, date, diff, du,
env, expr, false, find, gawk, git, git-*, gpg, gpgkeys_curl, gpgkeys_finger,
gpgkeys_hkp, gpgkeys_ldap, gpgsplit, gpgv, grep, gzip, head, id, kill,
less, ln, ls, md5sum, mkdir, msmtp, mv, openssl, patch, perl, ps, rm, rmdir,
rxvt, scp, sed, sh, sleep, sort, split, ssh, ssh-add, ssh-agent, ssh-keygen,
ssh-keyscan, tail, tar, tclsh, tclsh85, tee, touch, tr, true, uname, uniq,
vim, wc, wish, wish85, xargs, CA, tclConfig and tkConfig.

Sorry for the distraction. Back to your regular scheduled programming...

63
General Software Discussion / Re: Mass checksum checker
« on: February 14, 2010, 12:25 PM »
As you know,  I am also a big fan of Git.
When you gain a little proficiency with it, this is a great resource to the power of Git.
I agree. (In fact, I just received my hard copy of the book last week). And Scott Chacon's Gitcasts are also very good. I have found both the online and written documentation to be nothing short of excellent. (i.e. My first book on git was O'Reilly's: Version Control with Git by Jon Loeliger - also highly recommended.)

... git is powerful and interesting, but suggesting it as a way to get file hashes? That's kinda like using a frying pan to drive in nails :) ...
LOL! Yes, you have a point here. (Although a frying pan does a pretty good job of it!)

... (oh, and while the implementation model might be elegant, git as a whole definitely isn't - ugh!).
Can you elaborate? My understanding is that when Git first came out it was quite difficult to use, and the documentation was lousy, but it has since matured and those days are gone. I am new to Git and have had nothing but a good experience with it so far. It is small, lightning fast and non-obtrusive. It compresses your data down to a bare minimum. And contrary to what some might believe, it is actually very easy to use. Once installed, setting up a repository to track a directory tree consists of four commands:
cd branch/to/be/followed        # change to the directory you want to be managed
git init                        # initialize a new repository
git add .                       # recursively add all files and folders
git commit -m "initial commit"  # commit the tree to the repository

Just repeat the last two commands any time you want to add a new version to the repository. Yes, there are much more powerful and complex commands that git can perform, but these are completely unnecessary for the purpose described here. There is also a GUI interface, but I can't comment on that as I am a command line kind of guy for this kind of stuff.

It not only provides you with SHA1 hash of every version of every file in your tree (and thus guarantees the integrity of each and every one), it has very powerful ways for you to inspect the changes that have been made to the files over time. It also has commands for copying entire repositories to other drives/servers which provides a very effective backup methodology.

However, I am not at all sure how well it would handle terabytes of data!?

I think Git is a little unsuitable, it keeps a copy of the whole file in one revision. It's good for distributed code, but not for file verifying.
I would disagree. Accurate file verification is one of the founding premises of Git. Yes it stores entire files, but it is very efficient. In Linus's talk, he mentions that the repository containing the entire history of the Linux sources (from 2005-2007), was only half the size of one checked out version of the source tree itself!

p.s. You guys did go check out hashtab didn't you? It is definitely a "must-have"!

Cheers!

64
... Think bigger, though: systemwide standards. I can user Ctrl+Arrowkeys to jump at word boundaries in most edit controls (whether single- or multiline), I can use shift+navigation to select, ctrl+backspace/del to delete to the respective word endings, there's home/end/pgup/pgdn, et cetera. ONE set of (reasonable) keybindings that are simple to remember and work across pretty much every application on the system.
Exactly! Learn once - use everywhere.

And this tangent is certainly NOT off-topic. The standardization of the keystroke bindings for Windows is one of the reasons I keep sticking with it (and the text editors which are keyboard intensive). These keystrokes have become indelibly burned into my brain. Even Mac has adopted the CUT, COPY PASTE hotkey conventions. IMHO this is a *very* good thing.

As an aside - EditPad pro has a one-click selection for WORDSTAR key bindings. Can you say CTRL+K? ;)

65
General Software Discussion / Re: Mass checksum checker
« on: February 14, 2010, 01:30 AM »
Multiple files:
If your data is located in one branch on a file system, you can use GIT, the version control software used to manage the Linux kernel. It uses SHA1 hashes to identify every version of every file in the tree as well as the entire tree (and every version of the tree). The design is actually quite simple and secure - the entire history of the tree of files is rendered down to one single SHA1 hash. If any version of any file is modified (or the disk is corrupted in any way), this SHA1 is changed. Thus, if the SHA1 has not changed, you can be sure that all the versions of every file are intact. (This web page does a pretty good job of explaining how this works.) Setting up GIT is quite simple using a command line interface. Its free and open source. The preferred Windows version is available at Google code: msysgit.

I've only recently gotten into using source control software but have become a fan of GIT's elegant design and useful functionality. It was this lecture by Linus Torvalds on YouTube that turned me onto the beauty of GIT. If you go to the Git documentation home page (http://git-scm.com/documentation) there is a link to this and other videos describing GIT. I've been using it heavily for a couple months now and have had no trouble whatsoever. It is a very cool tool!

Single file:
One of the first apps I install when setting up a new box is: hashtab. Once installed, just right click on any file and select Properties. On Windows, this little beauty simply adds a new File Hashes tab to the file's property sheet which displays the various hashes of the file like so:
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c253/ridge-runner/SCREENSHOTS/HashTab.png

Just copy any hash code text into the Hash Comparison text box and it gives a green check mark indicating which hash type has matched (or a red X if none matched). You can select to display a variety of different hash algorithms - here is the settings page which shows the supported hash types:
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c253/ridge-runner/SCREENSHOTS/HashTabSettings.png

Hope this helps! :)

66
Recently I've been spending more and more time in Linuxland and have been forced to come up to speed with one of the editors there. I chose Vim simply because it is ubiquitous. I've learned the very basics - enough to open, navigate, edit, save and exit. But I have to say - I have not really enjoyed the experience (it reminds me of the old days working in DEC's KED (and TECO) editors on a VT-100 terminal connected to a PDP-11). Yes, I am aware of the power of Vim and Emacs but I've been unable to justify spending the time required to come up to the power-user level (i.e. learning all the seemingly archaic keystroke bindings and non-perl-like regex syntax).

However, one of my coworkers from my last engineering job was extremely proficient with Emacs, and he could work absolute miracles with it. He also was an amazingly fast touch typist and had setup the Dvorak keyboard layout on his machine - (which effectively kept the rest of us mere mortals from ever messing with his box!) I know that Emacs has evolved a long way and is very configurable. But say what you will about Windows, one very good thing that has resulted is a standardized user interface and a common set of keystroke bindings (which I have grown very used to over the years). If I could get Emacs to look and feel like a Windows editor, this might be a viable solution. I was wondering if there are any Windows users here who have setup Emacs to emulate the Windows keystroke functionality?

Oh, and thanks for all the input!

67
Yes, I know there are a lot of threads here covering text editors but I couldn't find a recent one that specifically covers those that are both free and for Windows. Also, some of the text editor reviews are getting a bit stale. (e.g. The DC best choice award for UltraEdit may have been accurate in its day but I would probably disagree with that choice now) Thus, (with unmitigated audacity), I am daring to open up a new thread on an old (and sensitive) topic.

When setting up a new computer for a client, I need a good text editor that can be installed and left on the box. The editor must be free for commercial use. Personally, I use (the non-free) EditPad Pro for 90% of my editing and UltraEdit32 for the remainder (Ultra-Edit has superior "column-mode" block editing). The free version of EditPad is pretty good but is missing some essentials: Regex search/replace and spell check. Other requirements are small footprint, fast startup and non-obtrusive invasion of the system registry and file system. Syntax highlighting would be nice but is not essential. Also, it must adhere to the standard Windows keystroke shortcuts (i.e. CTRL+TAB=previous file, CTRL+LEFT=word left, CTRL+RIGHT=word right, CTRL+UP=scroll up, F1=help, CTRL+PGUP=... etc.)

After reading various threads and reviews here (i.e. The Best Of: text editors and Windows editors - do they have to be so bad?), and doing a bit of research on my own, the choices seem to boil down to: PSPad and Notepad++. But neither has the powerful regex support I have grown used to with EPP.

So PSPad or Notepad++? Either one will probably suffice for my needs but I figured some of you guys/gals would know more on this subject and might justifiably lean more one way or the other. Or is there another better free editor that I am unaware of?

68
General Software Discussion / Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« on: February 11, 2010, 06:50 PM »
Process Explorer
EditPad Pro
ZTree
FileZilla
Opera
Deus Ex
7Zip
Paint Shop Pro 8
Putty
Nero 6
HashTab

Edit: Added hashtab!

69
I haven't done imaging for years, but I've been contemplating getting into it again... also, when I do a clean reinstall, I do want the format to get rid of any leftover junk and have a fragmentation-free clean slate.
I'm not really sure what you mean by leftover junk...anything on the drive that is unwanted is delete-able (I assume I'm missing something).
System Volume Information :)
...Which contains one metric boat load of system recovery snapshots and etc.

Hm... For some reason I ws thinking that the install cleaned that out. *Shrug* but it can be deleted if need be. I don't do it frequently enough to quip off the top of me head, but I'll play with it this weekend if I have time.

System Volume Information == System Restore data storage
To clean it out, simply turn off system restore, then (optionally) turn it back on. (Right click My Computer->Properties->System Restore->Turn off System Restore on all drives)

This does bring up another justification for partitioning - system restore works on a partition by partition basis. I turn it on for the WIN_XP_SYS system partition only, and turn it off for all other drives (TEMP, HOME, MM, etc). It is quite useful when trying out a new application - here's my work flow...
  • Set a new restore point: "Pre-ApplicationX"
  • Install and try out the software
  • If I don't like it, uninstall and do a restore
  • If I do like it, leave it installed.
  • Turn System Restore off then back on again.

I've found that System Restore works great for very recent modifications, but is not reliable for restoring a long-ago system state. As you all know, one cannot depend upon a program's uninstall process alone, to restore the system back to where it was before you started. Very few programs actually clean out *everything* they messed up - that's where System Restore comes in handy and it does work wonders for this purpose.

Regarding Windows' choice of where to put stuff and what to name it, don't get me started! IMHO everything started going to hell when they added the ability to put spaces in file names back with Win95 - they couldn't help themselves. They just had to name a bunch of directories using multiple words so that they could put the spaces in there: "Look everybody, you can now put spaces in your file names - Just look at all these cool human readable directory names!"

70
Yeah, at ~$300, Camtasia Studio is a bit pricey for "hobby" screencasting. I have played around with BB Express some and was quite impressed with the features and quality - I thought you may have been using that...

Thanks again!

71
So what screencasting capture and editing programs are you using?

(I appologise in advance if this is already answered deep within the thread. IMHO, this "How I did it" info should be included in the lead post.)

and Thanks for the edjukayshunel videos!

72
General Software Discussion / Re: Text-To-Speech Freeware?
« on: July 02, 2009, 09:02 AM »
Opera has native built-in voice. It will speak to you. You do need to go to Tools->Preferences->Advanced->Voice and turn it on (it requires an additional download that is not installed by default).

I use it all the time.

It can also listen, and do what you tell it to do! (although setting that up to work right is a bit tricky)

73
I liked the fact that you list EditPad Pro at the top of the Text editor catagory. However, I was stunned to see that EPP is not even listed on the Wikipedia page you linked to: Comparison of text editors. WTF!? Goes to show the reliability/trustworthyness of wikipedia I guess.

74
General Software Discussion / Re: Prank Software
« on: June 21, 2009, 06:34 PM »
BSOD screen saver you could always get from Sysinternals. Likely they still have it.
Yup. BlueScreen Screen Saver v3.2 By Mark Russinovich

75
DVD Lab Pro! +1
If you are serious and want to make a full-featured DVD with Hollywood super effects, DVD Lab Pro by mediachance is the only one to look at. Its extensive capabilities and feature set rival scenarist (which is the program Hollywood uses and costs around $20,000!). DVD-Lab Pro does almost as much for $245. And if you need a good video editor, they offer a package deal where you get both DVD Lab Pro and Edit Studio Pro for $299. Edit Studio Pro, which was a product offered by PureMotion (which went out of business), was recently acquired by mediachance who promptly upgraded it to version 6. This editor includes the high quality MainConcept mpeg-2 encoder which produces the DVD compliant files which are required by DVD-Lab. I agree with 4wd that the Studio version is probably the better choice if you don't need the extra bells and whistles that come with the Pro version (i.e. more than 2 audio tracks, titles with both 16:9 and 4:3 aspect etc).

About the company: - The one-man-show of mediachance, ("Oscar" is his moniker), is truly a genius and the quantity and quality of the software he has produced is amazing. His software takes complex tasks (video editing, image creation, editing and manipulation, DVD mastering, etc), and makes them very easy for the user, without sacrificing functionality. Like Jan at JGSoft, he writes lots of quality code that is highly functional and very reasonably priced. I can't say enough good about both of these guys!

But for generating very high quality DVD mpeg-2 files (with Dolby AC3 digital audio), from any input file type, I prefer to use the TMPGenc 4.0 XPress stand alone encoder. It has never let me down (and can convert anything to anything else).

However, if you want a cheaper, but still quite powerful all-in-one application that can edit the video, encode the mpeg-2 files and burn the DVD all in one whack, take a look at Magix Movie Edit Pro 15 Plus. The latest "Plus" version runs about $90 (don't bother with the cheaper non-plus version). I've used several versions of this Magix software (10, 11, 11+ and 14+ but not yet 15) and like it very much (even though its installation process can be rather obtrusive, and the program has been known to crash on occasion.) This software is packed with LOTS of cool features including unlimited tracks, keyframe animation, excellent audio capabilities (5.1 surround), and lots of very powerful effects and transitions. MEP also features the MainConcept encoder. This is my editor of choice.

One more note: avoid Pinnacle products like the plague! Trust me on this one...

sorry about the long post - can you tell I like messing with video? :)

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