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Topics - barney [ switch to compact view ]

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Jack Wallen at TechRepublic's TR Dojo has a nice article on FARR. 

I recently installed XAMPP v1.8.1 on an 8GB USB stick.  Works fine.  Until I try to use it on a WAMP/LAMP machine.  I finally managed to ferret out the places to change the Apache port so that the stick uses 8080.  However, I cannot get MySQL to run when I change the port to 3308 - or anything other than 3306.

This stick is going to be used in a business - my sailing friend's - to track students, courses, dates, grades, course materials shipments ... y'know, all that minor detail stuff that needs to be recorded  ;).  Yes, it should be done on a dedicated machine with a dedicated admin.  Business not big enough to support that, financially, at this time.

Three (3) machines currently in his office, two (2) of which have WAMP installations that cannot be removed.  Rather than move the operator from machine to machine, we want to be able to move the USB stick.  But that's not a viable option until I can get this MySQL conundrum resolved.

I've run multiple instances of MySQL in the past on ports 3306, 3307, & 3308.  (Needed different versions for then current developments being processed.)  So, I know it's possible, or at least, it was.

Every time I've tried XAMPP in the past, I've ended up throwing it out because of configuration issues, but I cannot do that this time - I need to make it work.  (I've asked over at the XAMPP forum (Apache Friends), but get no response  :(  >:(.)  The event and error logs aren't telling me anything useful.  I'm in hopes that some of you here will be able to point out some - probably obvious  :-\ - oversight on my part to get this thing working as it should.

OK, folk, I've been, for all practical purposes, incommunicado for the last couple of weeks.  But I finally managed to escape my medical torturers, although my arms more resemble pincushions than motile effectors  :mad:.

During this period, something has happened, and I wot not what - mind, I'm not really what you'd call sharp right now.

I use FlashGet/FlashGot (Mozilla Firefox) as a download manager.  I use v1.9.6.1073 rather than a newer version because I like the reporting it avails.

But  :o.

Downloads now just sit in the application.  When I check the log, I'm informed that FlashGet is connecting to the relevant URL - but it never does.  Something has changed, and I wot not what - I think I said that? - although I remember, dimly, encountering this problem once before.  What I do not recall is the process, relatively simple if memory serves, that I utilized to correct it.  I'm still kinda foggy, y'know?

Firewall (Windows) seems OK, nothing out of the ordinary that I can recognize at the moment.  Anyone have an idea that my drug-befuddled mind cannot at the moment generate?

Addendum:  I am able to download by other means, so it's not a network issue, per se, but that doesn't give me the logging upon which I depend.

General Software Discussion / Screenshot Captor ...
« on: October 12, 2012, 10:56 AM »
Nice mention of Screenshot Captor at The Kim Komando Show.

Living Room / In search of ... "Why is it" Websites/services
« on: September 27, 2012, 12:59 PM »
In the dim past, when I was in high school, I had a trio of books
  • Why do they call it ... ?
  • Why did they name it ... ?
  • What's in a name?
(I don't recall now if the titles really included the ellipsis, but I think they did.  I'm also uncertain as to that third title.)

These books answered questions like
  • Who/What are the Masons?
  • If Christians mark time as periods before and after the birth of Christ, why is the time after his birth Anno Domini (AD, Latin for after) but the time before his birth Before Christ (BC, English for before - from a time when England/English did not exist)?
  • Why are reporters and journalists said to be members of the Fourth Estate?  What is an Estate  What is the Fourth Estate?  What are the other three (3) Estates?  Are there more than four (4) Estates?
  • Why do they call it tin?
  • What's the difference between dynamite and nitro glycerin?
  • What are rare metals and why are they rare?

I'm looking for Websites and services that do that.  Not certain how to class them.  They'd be part lexicon, part philology, part lexicology, part ... ?

Thought I remembered a thread here about that, but cannot locate one (1).

I'd like to create a reference list of URLs, and I've run across a number of them over the years, but there's not not enough consistency in the naming or descriptions for a definitive search.

But I figured an erudite - and quirky! :-* :P - bunch like this would probably have a number of such URLs already bookmarked.  Gimme 'em .

Living Room / In search of ... a hardware donee
« on: September 23, 2012, 10:14 PM »
I have a ViDock4 Plus.  Contained therein is a Radeon Sapphire 62xx or 68xx (I don't recall, and I'm not gonna take the ViDock apart to check  ;).)  I can [probably] find the software that came with it, if there was any.  I don't remember  :-\.  The ViDock comes with two (2) power supplies, a 75 watt and a 150 watt, both of which I have.

The ViDock has a half-card interface.  I bought it for a Dell laptop that had such an interface.  The Dell died before I could ever get the ViDock installed and working.  Reason I bought it in the first place - year, year-and-a-half agone - was that I wanted three (3) or four (4) monitors available, and no software I've found to date can overcome the internal limits for a GPU. 

The Radeon Sapphire is three (3) or four (4) years old, never been used.  It wouldn't fit the desktop I had at the time because of physical placement issues.

It is highly unlikely that I'll ever have a desktop in my remaining lifetime - what can I say, I'm addicted to high-end laptops  :( ;), however, damned few of 'em have that all-important half-card slot, and my distrust of Dell has been reinforced  >:( - but if I did, 'twould be a home built system tailored to what I would then consider my specific, overweening needs at that time.

OK, that's the background/history.

I know there are a few DIY/hardware addicts here from a number of topics I've perused.


The question is, does anyone want this particular beastie?  Shipping is/will be a non-issue.  I just need an address to which to ship it.  I'd hate to see this rotting away in my spare parts bin ... it cost too much to waste  :P.  International is not a problem, save for possible time/customs delays.

Given all the previous, anyone interested?  First come, first served ... reply here if you're brave  :), or PM me.  Either way, it won't cost you anything - I just don't want to see it rot on the shelf if it could help someone else.

Honest, no strings.  This would really help me (if you're so inclined).  I can clear out mucho space in my unused power supply drawer, as well as shelf space the ViDock is currently occupying.

General Software Discussion / In search of ... RAMdisk opinions
« on: September 22, 2012, 11:48 PM »
Just got back from an alcohol-fueled conversation with some compatriots about RAMdisks.  There were four (4) of us, and I think there were six (6) opinions voiced (I said it was alcohol-fueled  :P).

At any rate, it got me to wondering whether a RAMdisk is really effective anymore.  Made heavy use of them back in the DOS days - TSRs and RAMdisks made things much faster and more convenient.  However, I've not used such in probably two (2) decades.

One (1) of us was a proponent of RAMdisks in Windows for the temp files that Windows uses.  Another agreed, to some extent, but thought the swap file was a better usage.  No. three (3) thought running specific apps there was a better usage.  (I didn't get to say much, 'cause I was the designated buyer  :-\, and it was a very thirsty conversation  :-*.)

Anyway, now that I'm in a thimk mode - and semi-sober - I'm wondering how the rest of you feel on the topic.  Would you use?  If so, what would be your preferred usage?  And is there a particularly good - or bad - implementation for the purpose?  (I can remember some real stinkers in my DOS days  :P.)

Gizmo's Best Free Software list shows Screenshot Captor as a new entry on their best freeware list.   :up: mouser  :Thmbsup:.

Screenshot - 9_9_2012 , 1_41_37 PM_thumb004.png

Living Room / It's about ... oldish films
« on: September 01, 2012, 07:41 PM »
Comments I've seen here lead me to believe a few of you might be able (i.e., old enough  ;D) to help me out.  At the moment The Band Wagon (Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse) is distracting me from the Web code I should be writing.  And it has brought to mind a couple of questions. 

First is whether Fred actually did his own singing. 

Second is a rumour I've heard in the past that Fred did a movie with a female dancer who out-danced him to the point that he refused to work with her again.  If that's true, what was her name?  'Twasn't Cyd, methinks, for she was in at least one (1) other movie with him that I can recall (although not the name  :().  (Or am I remembering her with Gene Kelly  :-\?)

Anybody have any recall on either question?

OK, there've been a number of threads anent various *nix distros.  In fact, I think one (1) of 'em was where I learned about Zorin.

But what I need at the moment is a bit of guidance.  What I'm considering is installing Zorin (or maybe a better distro for the purpose?) on a USB stick.  This will be used on various machines, a couple of which do not have functional CD/DVD drives.  Rationale for this procedure is that others, mostly XP or Win7 users, will be driving the machine(s) most of the time.  My readings indicate that Zorin is likely the most Win-like OS, but I've misread before.

So the question is whether this would be a viable approach, and, if so, what's the best way to accomplish this.  Is there a particular USB boot loader that surpasseth all others?

If memory serves, all the machines in question are USB bootable, so that shouldn't be an issue  :-\.  However the bootloaders for USB that I've seen mention of are widely variant, and I'd prefer not to spend the next six (6) months discovering which would work best for this situation, if I can avoid that  :o.

Reason for using a distro is that a friend of mine has, or created, a program that will track activity - not quite a key-logger, but pretty close - which should let me analyze activity over a period of time in order to discover bottlenecks, hardware issues, and the like.  Unfortunately, it will not run on the MS platform, nor on OSX.

Open/Libre Office and email are the primary usages involved, so that should not be a problem, or at least not a significant problem.  If they want video/audio, they're on their own, although there a a number of *nix applications available for such activity.  I'll prolly install some of them, given the USB stick is large enough.

Sticks I have available are 1G, 4G, 8G, 16G, 32G, 64G, so those will dictate what can be added to the basic loading.  (Just once, I'd love to see a stick that is 25G, 50G, or the like ... I'm accustomed to thinkin' in decimal, not binary  ;).)

So, any suggestions?  Anyone?

Considering the depth and breadth of knowledge available here, there almost has to be at least one mariner/sailor.

So, here's the problem (may be TL;DR material).

A close friend of mine has a sailing school (if you look at the site, don't blame him, that's my fault), and he's pretty damned good at teaching folk to sail.  He's been sailing for 'bout twenty (20) years, teaching for seven (7) to ten (10) years (I'm not certain, but at least seven (7)), and started his own school two (2) years ago. He wants a tablet/laptop chart viewer/plotter.  It could be Android, iOS, Linux (other than Android but installable on a tablet) or Windows.  We can test everything but the Apple stuff right now, but he's not averse to getting an iPad if that will support the required software.

NOAA provides coastal US charts in both RNC (raster format) and ENC (vector format).  RNC is OK for viewing, but it does not scale well.  ENC, with the proper software, can be edited, e.g., plot courses, track GPS coordinates, and the like.  Capt. Chris wants to be able to enter, or ideally, let his students enter, courses they've plotted for a class (the plotting is pen/paper/ruler/divider stuff) on a tablet or laptop, then let them be able to see their progress, via GPS or compass and clock, during the sail.  This would serve multiple purposes, e.g., a sense of time/distance relationships, ability to hold a course (not as simple as it might appear when you're not on the boat in open ocean or a good-sized bay (which ours is)), and the like.  If it's something that can be done on a tablet, he'll mount the tablet on a bulkhead, so his kids can see real-time reinforcement (or need for correction) of what they've plotted.

I've found some [marginal] stuff, but a lot of it is CLI, and most of Chris' students will be much more comfortable with something GUI.  It has become evident that my search skills are inadequate to the task, so I'm turning to the uber searchers.

Any takers?

Living Room / In search of ... other alcoholics
« on: August 24, 2012, 08:19 PM »
Thought some of you might enjoy this TechDirt article.

Living Room / it's about ... visual Windows history
« on: August 16, 2012, 12:42 AM »
Evolution of Windows is a quick pictorial history.  Hell of it is, I remember every damned one of 'em, although I was using OS-9 (Tandy DOS), then Borland (MS-DOD) up until Win3.0.  Once again - or first time? - MS got it right on the third try  :-\ :P.

Living Room / In search of ... audio mavens
« on: August 12, 2012, 02:46 PM »
Here's the problem.
I have an LG 55" LED/LCD.  It has four (4) HDMI inputs, one (1) mini-plug output and one (1) fibre-optic output.  The fibre-optic output ties to a Samsung sound bar with sub-woofer that I bought.  The mini-plug is for headphones and derails all other audio output.

I want to incorporate wireless speakers for the patio - cable is not an option.  Bought a pair of wireless speakers, with a broadcast unit that plugs into the mini-plug output.  That won't work, since it disables all other audio.

Question is, what is my best recourse, short of replacing the TV, for allowing some kind of wireless speaker to work?  Don't want to disable the sound bar because folk may be indoors watching while I am outdoors, watching through the patio windows, and listening via the wireless speaker(s).  Sound bar has no recourse for attaching extraneous speakers.  (I could have sworn I used to have a plug that would work for this, but if so, haven't been able to find it.)

My current thinking is to put a wireless receiver close to the sound bar which will then grab the audio and transmit it to the patio speakers.  But I've no idea what system would be good for that sort of thing.  Or even whether there might be a better approach.  (Max distance will be roughly fifty (50) to seventy (70) feet, so that shouldn't be a problem, I thimk.)

Football (the US version) season is rapidly approaching.  I have a cigar-smoking friend.  We wanna see the game, hear the game, still be able to smoke and drink appropriately.  Sound quality is not a major issue - hey, we'll be drinking, smoking, talking  :P - as long as it is reasonably audible and more-or-less static free.

Any ideas?

Been trying to find a reasonable calendar program that
  • runs on (Windows) desktop
  • runs on tablet (Android, for now)
  • runs on smartphone (Android, for now)
but not having much luck.  I'd like to be able to show appointments, tasks, schedules, and the like.  Most of 'em would be entered on the desktop/laptop, but there'd be times when the only entry point available would be a tablet or the phone, so multiple synchronization would be a must.

I'm averse to cloud-based solutions  :mad:, so Google Calendar or the like is out  :P.  Ideally, input would be allowed from any platform and shared with all other platforms.  Right now, that would include a B&N Color Nook, a Toshiba Thrive, a Nexus 7, a Samsung Galaxy SIII, and various Windows 7machines.  That hardware might change - I'm considering a Win8 tablet if I can stomach Win8 and if the price can be justified.  Ditto, Win8 phone.  Prolly won't use a *nix-based system, as those are mostly play/experiment systems for me, not long-term work systems.  (Not trying to start anything - *nix distros just don't fit into my professional* usages  :P.)

Why not cloud?  Just today there was a piece of mail from the Republican National Committee (on the back flap) with a (front) return address of Mitt Romney.  It was addresses to Databarn Databarn.  (databarn is an alias I've used off and on when subscribing to various online elements.)  That name, along with my correct address, was hijacked from some Web site - it's never been used for shipping.  And I've never, knowingly at least, subscribed to any political entity.  (At one (1) point I did have a Web site published under that name - a decade ago!)  That's just one (1) reason I don't use cloud services, no matter how convenient.  There simply is no security that cannot be broken (as I learned when I spent a few years in cryptography).

*Professional, at bottom, means you get paid for it.

Living Room / In search of ... cookie viewer w/create date
« on: July 27, 2012, 04:29 PM »

I'm a bit embarrassed to ask, since I can so seldom contribute, but I've got another dilemma  :o.

I need to find a universal, i.e., works with most/all browsers, cookie viewer application that shows, as well as expiration date, the date the cookie was installed on a particular system.  I've looked here and online, but nothing quite seems to fill that particular bill  :-\.

As an example, we want to see all cookies that were added during today's browsings (a time stamp would be nice, but prolly too much to expect).  Or, maybe, all cookies that were written last week.

I've tried several, Cookie Spy and the late Karen Kenworthy's Cookie Viewer being the last couple.  Most all of 'em do a fine job of showing origin, content, expiration, and the like, but none that I've tried to date list creation date.

Do any of you know of such a beastie?  

(While I'm at it, is there a way to consistently redirect new cookies to a specified location?  Never really thought about that before.)

(If we cannot find this soon, I may have to commission one (1)  :-\.)


This has me at my wit's end (not a particularly great distance  ;)).  I have Apache 2.2 installed on a laptop as a service.  But it never starts when system is started/restarted.  Two (2) other laptops work just fine.  They are Gateways, however, and this is a Toshiba.  None of my searches have turned up a viable methodology to correct this situation.  Pareto Logic PC Health was recommended, but it does naught but list a plethora of error conditions.  For correction, ya hafta buy da damned t'ing  :o :P.  MS FixIt didn't work.  

The problem is most often described as a conflict other software using port 80.  However, I can start the Apache process via the monitor after the system has booted, so nothing is occupying - at least, long-term - port 80.

Apparently I'm dimmer than usual tonight.  Just started reading about NoSQL databases (been intending to for a while, but life keeps getting in the way ;)), and I just don't get it  :(.

For instance, this statement
NoSQL operations may be implemented over these APIs:
     • SQLQuery - allows querying a space using a SQL-like
        syntax and regular expressions ...
near drives me to distraction.  SQL-like syntax?  Why would I want to learn another SQL syntax  :huh:?  And if it's NoSQL, what is this SQL-like syntax API doing there  :huh:?

I'm confused.  I'm really confused  :-\ :-\ :-\.


I've been using gbCodeLib for a while now, but I cannot help but wonder if there might not be something else.  It works well enough, but it's not portable.  So I'm wondering what, if anything, the rest of you prefer - and why, of course  :tellme:.  Portability would be important, but not necessarily a killer.  Yeah, I could find any number via search, but I really don't want to go through eleventy-seven programs when I can find more appropriate - and effective -  ;) opinions here  :P.  

Edit:  nice to have pre-populated stuff, but mostly for mine own devises  :P.

Living Room / In search of ... name of an old TV series
« on: June 11, 2012, 11:47 PM »

Back [way back] in my younger days there was a TV series about a couple of helicopter pilots who had a training school.  I've been trying to recall the name, but now my long-term memory is playing me false  :(.  The series ran concurrently with Sea Hunt starring Lloyd Bridges as Mike Nelson, if that helps to spur a thought.  The 'copter show normally featured the stars in a Bell bubble chopper.  I'm trying to recall the names of the protagonists, as well as possibly find reruns.

'Preciate any remembrances.


Is there a way to determine which version of .NET a given program is using?  Windows Explorer shows six (6) versions (four (4) major versions) installed on one (1) of my machines.  Regedit shows four (4) (three (3) major) versions (?!?  :-\).  Search provides much info on determining what is installed, but I've not found anything to show what version is actually being used by any given program.

HotKeyMan may be the answer to a problem I've presented here in the past.  Haven't tested yet - just downloaded - but part of the blurb claims it will detect existing hotkey combinations for running software.

If so, it'll be the answer to a dream I've long held, and I suspect more than a few of you would find it of interest.  I'm gonna test it, will report [relative] successes  :up: ;D & failures  :down: :(.  Keeping fingers crossed that it'll actually perform - that would be a dream come true  :-* :P.


I'm looking for ftp diff software.  So far, I've found DiffVue-$20.00, Diff Commander-$29.00, Beyond Compare-$30.00, and all prices seem to be very low end, such that if I'm going to use the software to check more than one (1) site, I need to buy multiple licenses.  Nothing showed up at, at least, nothing that I could recognize (their descriptions are not always as comprehensive as they might be  ;D).

That being the case, anyone here have any recommendations?

Folk, I have a[nother] problem.

Have a [relatively] new Toshiba Satellite, P775, with Intel i7 CPU, 600GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Win7 Home Premium. 
The disk is partitioned thusly:
  • 250GB OS (C:\) drive partition
  • remainder partitioned as E:\ drive for data & some software that wants to write to the install directory.

I want to upgrade to Win7 Ultimate.  In light of that, I went to Amazon, purchased the appropriate Windows Anytime Upgrade.  I'm still working with that, but so far the results have been nil.  The upgrade cannot even create a restore point, so that kills it before any upgrade has been initiated.

I've checked that the drives are properly configured, insofar as I can tell, for restore creation.

In light of this, it's likely that I'll have to do a full install, rather than an upgrade.  I've been using this box for a month or so, and have installed a number of programs.  I'm trying to list all the installed software so as to create a checklist for installs subsequent to the upgrade.

I tried the late Karen Kenworthy's Directory Printer, but I don't know that it's listing everything.  I also tried Revo Uninstaller to export both a .txt and .html file.  Again, I'm not certain that everything is being listed.

I know I'm gonna have trouble replacing some of the utilities Toshiba put on the box, so I want to be certain everything is listed in order to research those utilities.  So, back to the question at hand, is there a better way to list everything that is currently installed  :-\?

(A better question might be, "How can I get past the restore point issue?"  However, I'm not certain that could be addressed by anyone who did not have physical access to the box  :( :-\ :P.)

Oh, yeah, I did shut down everything that did not have to load on boot (Chameleon Startup Manager Pro, v3.4.0.761), which did make the Windows boot process much faster.  However, this Toshiba takes 123-126 seconds for the physical boot, i.e., two (2) minutes before the OS even begins to load  :down:.  That can be shortened in the BIOS, but then it will boot only from the HDD, not even from a LiveCD  >:(

Living Room / It's about Text 2 Folders ...
« on: May 14, 2012, 08:11 PM »
Gee, whiz, nobody knew they needed it  ;D.

I've just seen prolly six (6)-eight (8) mentions/references to Text 2 Folders  :o.  [ On review sites, that is.]

Who knew there was such a need :-\?

Wonder from whence it came  :huh: ;D ;)?

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