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Topics - Deozaan [ switch to compact view ]

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This may be a little niche, or too specific to my situation, but I'm having some troubles and figured I'd ask if anyone here had experience or insight on how to resolve them. No worries if this is too specific. I don't expect anyone here to go through the trouble of setting up GitLab and SourceTree just to help me out, though I wouldn't put it past some of you people to be that awesomely helpful. ;)

A Brief-ish History:
Ten years ago a thread started here on some relatively new distributed version control systems called Git and Mercurial (Hg). At the time when I researched them, I wanted to use Git but it wasn't easy to get working on Windows, so I ended up using Hg. So for about the past ten years I've become an old fart, set in my ways, thumbing my nose at Git while more or less happily using Hg with BitBucket and TortoiseHg. That is, until last year when BitBucket dropped support for Hg repositories. :(

For a little while I remained stubborn and hosted my own RhodeCode server but it wasn't ideal because I actually collaborate with at least one other person on a somewhat regular basis and my ISP's upload speed isn't that great and my internet connection kept dropping out frequently, so it wasn't very reliable for others to connect to and use.

As a result, this past December I decided to bite the bullet and convert all my repositories to Git and start using Git from then on. And after doing some research I decided I'd rather be using GitLab than GitHub. So I first used a feature of GitHub to import my Mercurial repositories from my personal RhodeCode server and convert them to Git automatically. Then I used a feature of GitLab to import my GitHub repositories to GitLab.

While I was still using Hg, I was alternating between using TortoiseHg and SourceTree to manage my repositories. That is, I primarily used TortoiseHg, but I felt SourceTree had better integrated using development branches more easily. When I made the move to Git, I obviously had to drop TortoiseHg, but I decided to just keep using SourceTree, which supports both Git and Hg (for now... Atlassian owns BitBucket and SourceTree).

I think I got it all configured and had it working in December so that I could connect with GitLab and push/pull to/from my repositories. But then this year I've kind of taken a break from my usual thing and have just been doing little experiments that I never felt were big or important enough for version control. But now I'm starting to get back into wanting version control and I've run into a problem where I can't seem to get SourceTree to work with GitLab anymore.

The Problem:
Somehow I was able to successfully create a new remote repository from SourceTree, but then I immediately got an error when it tried to push my local repo to it. The error looks something like this:

remote: HTTP Basic: Access denied
remote: You must use a personal access token with 'read_repository' or 'write_repository' scope for Git over HTTP.
remote: You can generate one at
fatal: Authentication failed for ''

GitLab has something called "personal access tokens" (PAT) which can be used in place of your password to authenticate third-party apps to work with your account. The UI doesn't make it very clear (IMO) which scopes are needed, and which scopes include the privileges of other scopes, etc. So, while the PAT I created from December had only the "api" scope, the error message says I need "read_repository" and/or "write_repository" so I created a new PAT with all the scopes.

All the things.png

It didn't help. I still get the same error.

I tried changing the URL to use SSH instead of HTTPS, but then it just asks me to load a ppk file which supposedly contains my SSH key. I don't have one of those. Or at least not the right one. I found one on my PC which I thought might be the right one, but when I load it, it just asks me for the SSH password over and over again. So it seems that the password I have stored in my password manager for GitLab SSH key does not match whatever SSH key is in that ppk file.

I do have my SSH private key stored in my password manager, but the putty agent (pageant) which SourceTree uses seems to require PPK format instead of... whatever format I have it stored as. It starts with "-----BEGIN OPENSSH PRIVATE KEY-----" whereas the random PPK file I found where I thought my GitLab SSH key would be starts with "PuTTY-User-Key-File-2: ssh-rsa"

GitLab PATs.png

So here I am with two PATs that don't seem to work anymore. Somehow I have saved an incompatible SSH key/password in my password manager. I swear I had this all working fine in December and I don't know what changed in the interim. And I don't know if it's a classic case of PEBCAK, or if GitLab's PATs aren't working right, or if SourceTree is not working properly. I just want to be able to push to and pull from my GitLab repos from SourceTree!

That said, I'm mostly just sticking with SourceTree because I'm already familiar with it and because it's free. If there's an alternative (and free) Git GUI client that works well with GitLab and runs on Windows which would solve my problem, I'd be happy to hear your recommendations on that front, as well. :Thmbsup:

Finished Programs / Program to play inaudible sound continuously
« on: April 09, 2021, 06:39 PM »
Old solutions for new problems....

I had an old Pentium I computer with a combo modem/soundcard that had issues staying connected to the internet when a system sound played (system would lock up just long enough to kick me offline), unless there was sound continuously flowing through the soundcard at all times. This meant playing music all the time, and usually keeping the speakers turned off if I didn't want to hear it, till I came across a small app capable of playing continuous low frequency tones that my cheap speakers were unable to produce. (25 Hz did the trick)

Flash forward to a couple of days ago, when a screwy Windows feature update, which I am unable to uninstall, messed up my bluetooth, so that no matter how I have the hardware settings configured, it turns Bluetooth off (to save power) when it thinks it is not in use. This is very BAD for a bluetooth mouse. I reported here about this issue in this thread, and was avoiding reinstalling that update for as long as possible, but Microsoft managed to automatically cram it down my throat when I recently rebooted my machine, despite having updates paused till some time in January.

BUT I noticed it doesn't cut off my mouse if I have sound playing through my bluetooth headphones. So, I am back to using that very old app, to generate a continuous 10 Hz tone, just so I can use my mouse.

I had to use the system volume mixer to set the volume of this app at a very low level, since my bluetooth headphones are capable of producing audible sound generated from this app, at even the lowest (10 Hz) setting.

Do you have a link to that app, app?

About 6 months ago I moved my entire PC setup into another room, and when I plugged in my speakers to the power source (a surge protector), they made a very loud POP sound, and ever since then none of the audio jacks on my PC work. So now I've got a bluetooth speaker connected to my PC, but it has the unfortunate problem of taking half a second to "warm up" (or catch up?) whenever some audio is played for the first time after a few seconds of silence. And it's like it receives and plays that first half-second of audio all at once, making an unpleasant (and relatively loud) popping or crackling sound in the speaker as it begins to play audio.

I figure if I could trick it into thinking it is constantly playing audio, then it would stay "awake" and not have this issue. Then I remembered you mentioned playing an inaudible, low frequency sound to help with your BT issues and so here I am, asking about it. :D

DC Gamer Club / Ludum Dare 48: April 23rd-26th, 2021
« on: April 06, 2021, 12:49 AM »
Ludum Dare 48 is approaching fast! It begins three Fridays from now.

To be honest, I'm not especially motivated to participate this time, but it's kind of historic in that it's the 48th event of that which used to be called "LD48" due to its origin as a 48-hour game jam before being rebranded as "LDJam" a few years ago. So I feel I can't miss out on being a part of LD48. That said, I've never actually done the 48-hour "compo" and have always participated in the more laid-back 72-hour jam. Anyway, this time I'll be participating in the 72-hour jam as part of a team once again, so that should lighten the load.

Right now theme suggestions are open. Anyone can submit up to 3 themes, even if they're not participating. You just need to register a free account to be able to do so. If you'd like to suggest a theme, you may do so here:

EDIT: My team made Let's Go Deeper for LD48.

See previous posts on DonationCoder about Ludum Dare:

Ludum Dare 47 - (My team made Chrono Crash for LD47)
Ludum Dare 46 - (My team made Defendeer for LD46)
Ludum Dare 45 Reviews - A thread about LD45 games
Ludum Dare 41 - (My team made It's Not Lupus! for LD41)
Ludum Dare 2017 Thread - A thread about games from LD37 and LD38
Ludum Dare 33 - A thread about LD33 games
Ludum Dare 32 - (I made Time Bomb during LD32)
Ludum Dare 31 - (I made Worm Wars during LD31)
Ludum Dare 30 - (I made Planetary Devourers during LD30)
Ludum Dare 29 - (I made It Came From... Beneath!! during LD29)
Ludum Dare [29] topic for other games - A thread about LD29 games
Ludum Dare 23 - (I made Be Tiny, World! during LD23)
Ludum Dare - Game Programming Challenges

General Software Discussion / Deozaan's To-do List
« on: March 19, 2021, 03:38 AM »
I've recently started learning how to use the Godot Engine. It's a game engine, but it can be used for non-game apps as well. As a means of familiarizing myself with Godot, I have been working on some simple projects.

I made another non-game app: a simple to-do list.

To-do List.png

Considering it's my second complete project in Godot, I expect there are probably some bugs.

Jotti says it's clean.
VirusTotal says it's clean.

You can download it from my Keybase:

Just thought I'd share with anyone here who might be interested. :Thmbsup:

Oh, and right now I only have a Windows build available for download. But if anyone is interested in Linux or MacOS builds, let me know and I can supply those as well.

General Software Discussion / Deozaan's Simple Text Editor
« on: March 19, 2021, 03:27 AM »
I've recently started learning how to use the Godot Engine. It's a game engine, but it can be used for non-game apps as well. As a means of familiarizing myself with Godot, I have been working on some simple projects.

The first one I made is a simple text editor. I started out just following a tutorial series on YouTube and then I added a few more features until I lost interest and was ready to move on to something else.

Simple Text Editor - Hello World.png

Considering it's my first complete project in Godot, I expect there are plenty of bugs. And I certainly don't expect it to compete with the likes of Notepad++, or even Microsoft Notepad, for that matter.

Jotti says it's clean.
VirusTotal says it's clean.

You can download it from my Keybase:

Just thought I'd share with anyone here who might be interested. :Thmbsup:

Oh, and right now I only have a Windows build available for download. But if anyone is interested in Linux or MacOS builds, let me know and I can supply those as well.

I've had a portable .exe of Auslogics Disk Defrag Portable sitting in a folder on my PC for years, and frequently used it. The most recent time I used it a few days ago, out of nowhere Windows Defender marked it as malicious. I went into Windows Security center and told it to allow/restore it, but after I rebooted my computer today for the most recent Windows Update, it's gone! That leads me to two questions:

#1: Is it feasible that this portable app has had some hidden trojan all these years and only now is it being properly picked up by anti-virus scanners, or is it most likely just a sudden false positive? I uploaded the file to Jotti and VirusTotal before it disappeared, and there were several AVs flagging it as malicious. So it's not just Windows Defender acting up. Again, this is a file I've had for years. It's not like I just downloaded a new or updated version that changed the code.

#2: Does anyone know how to restore a file that Windows Defender got rid of? I don't see the usual "allow" or "restore" options in Windows Security. In fact, Windows Security tells me that it failed to remediate the problem. I'm attaching relevant screenshots if it helps to see what I'm seeing.

Windows Security - Removed or Restored.png

Windows Security - Remediation Incomplete.png

EDIT: Nevermind about #2. I had a backup in my Dropbox folder.

General Software Discussion / Earning More with Cryptocurrency
« on: March 04, 2021, 01:05 PM »
I'm posting this in response to some interest shown by others on this site when I briefly mentioned in another thread I was using a Raspberry Pi to earn a little bit of cryptocurrency. The relevant bits of that thread are quoted here:

It's not making me rich, but it's earning me a decent amount of money simply for keeping a device running/connected that I'm already leaving running/connected 24/7 anyway as my personal media server and whatnot.

You buried the lede. What is that, and how does it work? Maybe on a new thread. That sounds interesting...

Considering I have two RasPi 4B's on 24/7 running Docker services, (and spare 2B, 3B, & 3B+), I'm also interested in this. :P

Before I get into the details, I need to make some clarifications and disclaimers:

First of all, I should clarify that my definition of "a decent amount of money" is really not a lot. There's been a recent boom in cryptocurrency starting around the new year, and even at the recent all-time highs I've only gained maybe up to $250 value over the past month from what I'm doing with my RasPi. Usually it's significantly lower than that. Nothing I'll mention in this post should be taken as a way to get rich quick. It's more about slowly increasing your wealth over the long term. Like gaining interest in some kind of savings account.

I also need to admit that I very much oversimplified what I'm doing with the RasPi. It's not as simple as buying $50-100 worth of RasPi hardware/accessories, installing some software, and then running it and forgetting all about it while raking in the cash.

And finally, the big disclaimer: This is not financial advice. Do your own research. Don't "invest" more than you can afford to lose. Et cetera.

Okay, let's get to the fun stuff.

Earn More Cryptocurrency Through Staking

Have you heard of staking (proof of stake, or PoS)? It's like mining but without all the crazy electricity demands. It has an initial financial demand instead. It feels more similar to earning interest on money you already have.

In contrast to traditional proof of work (PoW) mining blockchains, which have everybody in a fierce competition frantically hashing as quickly as possible to be the first person to mine a block and propagate it to the network, PoS blockchains assign people their turns to mine in a raffle-like manner based on how much of the coin has been staked. Everyone knows their turn well in advance of when it actually needs to be done, so you keep your "mining" hardware connected to the chain (or at least connect it early enough that it can catch up to the current state of the chain), wait your turn, and then it mines a block when it's your turn. It's all very orderly and relatively cordial. It's more of a cooperation than a competition. There's no need to constantly be maxing out your CPU/GPU/ASIC 24/7 because you know in advance exactly when it will be your turn to produce a block. This means that the hardware requirements are (or can be) much lower in PoS blockchains than what is typically required for PoW blockchains. Some chains can even have low enough requirements that blocks can be produced with a Raspberry Pi.


I've been using my RasPi with the Tezos blockchain (the coins are called tez, with XTZ as the symbol). Tezos is a lot like Ethereum in terms of functionality, but it has a built-in governance model, which basically means that upgrades (or changes) to the protocol are voted on and passed by the "community" on the blockchain itself. The purpose of that is to avoid instances of conflict and division such as the schism(s) and several resulting forks of Bitcoin (e.g. Bitcoin Cash) due to disagreements on what the purpose and future of Bitcoin ought to be.

Mining in Tezos is called baking, and as I said earlier, there is an initial up-front financial cost to become a baker. The baker has to lock up some collateral, essentially saying "I promise I won't do anything wrong, and if I do, I will forfeit this collateral." The collateral is unlocked, along with the baking rewards, about 2 weeks later. To register as a baker in Tezos, you need to have a minimum of 8,000 tez in your account or delegated to your account. A baker should earn somewhere in the 5-8% range (annually) from block rewards. If we use the lower bound of 5% of 8,000 tez then that's 400 tez in a year, or about $125 per month at the current price of about $3.80 for 1 tez.

Speaking of current prices, 8,000 tez costs about $30,000 USD right now. That obviously is (or can be) prohibitively expensive for many people wanting to become bakers or earn "interest" on their cryptocurrency. But fear not! You may have noticed that I mentioned the possibility of having funds delegated to your account. This means that if you can convince other people to delegate their funds to your account, you can start baking even if you don't personally own 8,000 tez. What this also means is that you can delegate your funds to a baker and have them bake on your behalf. Bakers typically charge a fee of somewhere in the range of 5-20% (with 10-15% seeming to be most common). Or in other words, if your delegated funds earned a total of 50 tez, a baker with a 10% fee would keep 5 and send you 45.

A few important points about Tezos: Funds you delegate to a baker are still in your possession with your private key. They can't be seized, stolen, or lost by the baker. You are essentially delegating the "rights" of your coins for use in baking and on-chain governance (voting). But you still maintain full ownership of the coins and can change your delegate at any time. Additionally, Tezos uses a Liquid Proof of Stake protocol, which means that delegated funds are never locked up. You can spend or transfer them at any time. Only the baker's personal funds are locked up (and potentially forfeited) during the baking process. But the baker is also not required by the protocol to send you any part of the rewards earned. From the point of view of the protocol, the baker takes on all the risk and therefore earns all of the reward. So it's up to you to make sure your baker is paying you according to your agreement with them, and if not, delegate to another baker who will honor their agreements. The vast majority of bakers are trustworthy but of course you'll always find a few people scamming others when there is the opportunity to do so.

I initially bought a RasPi 3B+ for baking on Tezos but at the time there was no official 64-bit OS for it (due to it only having 1 GB of RAM) and shortly thereafter some Tezos upgrades required 64-bit support so I couldn't use it anymore. But with the release of the RasPi model 4 with more RAM came official support for a 64-bit OS, and Tezos definitely uses a lot of RAM anyway, so I'd recommend a 4GB+ RasPi at a minimum (I have the 8GB model).

All of this has been very specific to Tezos because that's what I'm using my Raspberry Pi for. But there are other PoS blockchains out there, such as Cardano (ADA), which also allow you to earn more through staking your funds to another block producer, though I'm not familiar with Cardano's requirements (in terms of minimum stake or hardware) for becoming a block producer yourself. And if you weren't aware, Ethereum also has plans to transition from using PoW to using a PoS algorithm soon™.

In summary:

  • If you use a PoS cryptocurrency, look into staking your coins to increase your holdings!
  • If you have enough coins to become a block producer, and you have the hardware and technical knowledge/experience, look into doing that so you can keep 100% of the reward rather than paying someone else a fee to do it for you.

The above is nice and all, but there's always the risk that the cryptocurrency could drastically go down in value. It's no use to have 5% more of a cryptocurrency that has dropped 95% in value! So now I'm going to talk about something I've recently discovered that has the possibility of much lower risk.

Earn More Cryptocurrency by Providing Liquidity

At the beginning of the year, I looked at my savings account with my bank and noticed that my interest rate had fallen (again). When I first created the account about 10-15 years ago, my interest rate was above 3%. Now it's around 0.3%. So pathetic.

I started looking into cryptocurrency-related alternatives and discovered something really amazing. There are cryptocurrency apps/services that are offering 3-12% annual interest on various cryptos, depending on a variety of factors. But what stood out to me was that the cryptos with the highest interest rate also tend to be the "safer" stablecoins. One such stablecoin is USD Coin (USDC) which, as its name suggests, has its value tied to the dollar. In other words, there's no volatility in USDC's price. You can always buy and sell 1 USDC for $1 USD (on Coinbase).

I quickly realized that meant I could be earning over 10% APY on the money in my savings account rather than the 0.3% my bank was paying me. I may have done the math wrong, but I calculated that I could earn as much interest in a single month using one of these apps that my bank would pay me over the course of three years!

Here's how it works:

  • You provide liquidity to the service by depositing some funds to your account.
  • The service makes fully collateralized loans to others. (I'm no financial expert, but this seems like a virtually risk-free loan to me.)
  • Eventually the loan is repaid, with interest.
  • The service shares a significant portion of that interest with you.

This sounds very much like the traditional fiat banking system, with two exceptions: Banks tend to engage in risky lending because they know they will be bailed out if anything catastrophic happens to them. Also, banks are much more stingy and share very little of the profit with you, the liquidity provider.

Celsius Network

I've been using the Celsius Network to earn 10.51% APY on USDC. They make payments every Monday. I've earned over half as much in 3 weeks using Celsius as I earned from my bank in all of 2020, even though I had 2-3 times as much money in my savings account than what I've put into Celsius. It's nice! I'm not getting rich quick, but at least I'm earning something! And they have options for non-USA residents to earn even higher interest rates.

If this interests you enough to sign up, you can also create an account using my referral link and we'll both gain $30 worth of BTC after you make your first transfer of $200 or more.

And after you've signed up, you can enter the promo code WEB40 in the app to get another $40 worth of BTC after making a transfer of $200 or more (in a single transaction) and keeping it in the app for 30 days. Or in other words, if you use my referral link, you can get $70 worth of BTC. (often abbreviated as CDC from "crypto dot com") has similar liquidity/interest features, though I find I prefer the rates on Celsius. But CDC also has a nifty pre-paid Visa card you can get which has some nice bonuses, such as earning 1-8% back as crypto, or even complete reimbursement (in crypto) for some purchases such as Spotify, Netflix, or even Amazon Prime subscriptions. If you use my referral code then we'll both get $25 worth of cryptocurrency once you've met certain criteria, which I believe is to deposit about $400 worth of crypto into your account and stake it, which is incidentally also how you qualify for the first non-free tier of the Visa card bonuses.

I'm kind of a miser who doesn't like spending money (because money is usually tight) but I got the lowest non-free Visa card tier and have been kind of excited/happy when I spend money with it now, knowing that I'm earning a little back in a form (cryptocurrency) that may be worth much more in the future than it's worth now. But it's also such a small amount that if it goes down in value (even to nothing) then I'm not really any worse off than if I had just paid cash for things.


After interest was shown in what I use my RasPi for, I thought it would be a good opportunity to also share my recent discoveries of other ways to earn a little more cryptocurrency. I apologize for taking so long to write this after the initial interest was shown. I know that brevity is not one of my strengths, especially when talking about something like cryptocurrency, which has a lot of minor, but in my opinion important, technical details. That said, I've still chosen to leave some things out so that I'm not wasting time explaining every little thing if no one reading this is going to be interested in doing anything I talk about. If you have questions, ask, and I'll respond to the best of my knowledge and ability.

Hi all,

I have a few Raspberry Pis functioning as media servers or whatnot, including running other things (such as self-hosted version control) that require an external internet connection or allow other people connect to my devices remotely. But the problem is that my modem frequently stops communicating with the outside world and the only fix seems to be to reboot it. Otherwise it will happily sit there for hours without an internet connection and never self-recover.

If I'm home when it happens, it's annoying to have the frequent interruptions to streaming Netflix or YouTube or whatever, but it's not a huge ordeal to fix it. I just walk over and pull the power cord and plug it back in. But when I'm not home, which is ostensibly when I really need my internet to be reliable for accessing my files/devices, I obviously can't remotely reboot the modem. So hours go by without an internet connection at home because no one is around to reboot the modem.

What would be nice would be to have a "smart" power switch that could detect the lack of an internet connection, cut and restore power to an external device (the modem) and then wait a few minutes for the modem to finish rebooting before going back into internet connection detection mode and being ready to do it all again if/when necessary.

If something like this already exists and is fairly inexpensive, I'd love to hear about it. Otherwise, I'm thinking it must be possible somehow as a kind of DIY Raspberry Pi project. And as mentioned, I already have a few Raspberry Pis sitting around that I could use if needed.

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions--or even better: links to hardware and/or instructions--on how to get the desired result of rebooting my modem any time it loses its connection to the internet, so I don't have to babysit it all the time or be afraid of leaving my house for extended periods of time?


Living Room / Share Your 2020 Top Ten List(s)!
« on: January 24, 2021, 10:14 PM »
A little over a year ago mouser started a thread about sharing our top ten lists of something from the year that just wrapped up, which was 2019. So I thought I'd try to continue the tradition by asking people to share their top ten list(s) of things from 2020.

Although, it looks like mouser already beat me to the punch by sharing some videos of his top ten board games of various categories. Though those aren't necessarily specifically about 2020.

Brevity is not my strong point, as evidenced by my post in last year's top ten thread. So even though I'm still working on writing up my list, I thought I'd extend the invitation to others to share their lists in the meantime.

Coding Snacks / [Solved] Adjust Subtitle (SRT) Timestamps
« on: December 20, 2020, 02:26 AM »
Hi all,

I've got a movie that would be pretty tame (PG in the USA) were it not for the fact that inexplicably it has about 30 seconds of nudity in a scene that has absolutely no bearing on any part of the film. Okay, I said the reason was inexplicable, but it's a French film, so I guess it should go without saying. Anyway, in an effort to make it more family friendly, I've ripped the DVD and cut out the scene with nudity. But, seeing as it's a French film, and I don't speak French, now all the timings for the subtitles are off by a significant enough amount that it's hard to follow.

Actually, editing the file made me lose the subtitles, but I downloaded new ones (in SRT format).

The idea of manually adjusting the time for each line of text that appears is just far too daunting a task for me to even begin. Surely there must be some way to do this automatically? Or perhaps someone who is knowledgeable with Regular Expressions can whip something up for me that will find all timestamps, do a calculation on them, and then replace them with the new values?

Here are my requirements:

  • Allow me to enter the "start time" or the time after which all future timestamps should be modified. Or in other words, don't modify the timestamps for anything before this time.
  • Allow me to enter an adjustment amount by which to modify the timestamps. The timestamps are down to the millisecond precision level, FYI.
  • Allow me to press "Go" and have it do its work.
  • Bonus points if it erases any subtitles that may exist in the resulting "limbo zone" (the time between the "start time" and the "start time + adjustment amount" time) and double bonus points if it also renumbers any following subtitles to compensate for deleted ones.
  • Either present me with the changed text in a textarea I can copy to my clipboard or allow me to output the text to a file of my choosing (so I can choose to keep the original file if I want). Or, essentially, don't destroy any data without my explicit consent.

I actually don't need all of that. If it just let me enter the amount to shift every timestamp by, with precision down to one second, I would happily work with that. I'd be able to run it on the file and then copy and paste everything after the "start time" from the new times over the original times, and manually edit out the relatively few "limbo zone" subtitles.

Thanks in advance! :Thmbsup:

As part of their Winter Sale, GOG have sent out a newsletter with a little puzzle: Spot the 7 differences between the images to get discounts on games.

Play for yourself with the link above, or save yourself time by clicking the spoiler below.

I spotted the differences, here are the discounts, which all expire Dec 23, 2020, 6:59 AM (not sure which time zone):

GOG Presents.png
90% Off:
Syberia 2
Syberia 3
85% Off:
Banner Saga
Cat Quest
80% Off:
Overlord 2
Jazz Jackrabbit Collection
The Incredible Machine Mega Pack
75% Off:
Slime Rancher
This War of Mine
Summer & Winter: Olympic Challenge
55% Off:
Costume Quest
Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition
Space Pirates and Zombies (SPAZ)
FAR: Lone Sails
35% Off:
Heart of the Woods
30% Off:
Cthulhu Saves Christmas

Hi all,

I've gathered a bit of a sound library which has grown so large over the years that it makes it hard to know what I have, and where. I'd like some software that can help me quickly browse and preview the sound files. Bonus points if it can help me organize (and tag?) the files as well.

When I say "sound library" I don't mean music for personal enjoyment. I mean sound effects, jingles, voice tracks, or audio tracks for video games (or just videos, I suppose).

Surely people who do video editing for a living have some software that helps manage sound libraries. Any suggestions out there for what I can use?

Compatibility with Windows is needed. Preferably free/open source, but I'm open to affordable paid options if you have experience with them and feel they're worth it. This is mostly for hobby stuff, so expensive professional software is probably not feasible for my use case.

Thanks in advance.

It seems Apple is surreptitiously undermining their users' privacy in a hidden "rules for thee but not for me" whitelist of their own apps on macOS Big Sur.

The new macOS release, Big Sur, has made headlines due to Apple’s decision to place 56 of its own apps, including FaceTime, Apple Maps, and Apple Music Library, on an undocumented, unannounced “exclusion list.” This means these apps can bypass firewalls and, potentially, VPNs that function on a per-app basis without the users’ knowledge or consent, undermining macOS devices’ security and privacy.

Apple Big Sur Tweet.png


General Software Discussion / MOVED: 3D Arrow
« on: November 17, 2020, 10:44 AM »

Living Room / Downloading Blender Open Movie "Sintel (2010)" in 4K
« on: October 24, 2020, 09:27 PM »
Hi all,

I'm trying to download the Open Movie made/funded by the Blender Foundation called Sintel from here:

I'm trying to get the 4K (mkv) version, which is about 4.2GB. At first it downloads really fast, telling me it will complete in about 20 minutes. But after I've gotten about 250MB into it, it then seems to throttle my download speed to about 64 kbps and says it will take 20 hours to complete. Is anyone else here able to download it at a speedy rate?

Or perhaps someone else is better able to search the internets than I have been to find a working torrent I can use to relieve of the burden of having to serve the file to me?

General Software Discussion / How to make MakeMKV better?
« on: October 13, 2020, 05:56 PM »
In years past I've casually ripped some of my DVDs here and there using HandBrake. Recently I've started ripping the rest of my DVD collection in earnest, using MakeMKV. I noticed that the resulting files produced by MakeMKV don't show thumbnails from the videos like the files produced by HandBrake do. This led me to further investigate the differences between the files produced by these two programs, and here's what I found:

MakeMKV encodes the videos in MPEG2 format, and the audio in AC3 format.
HandBrake encodes the videos in MPEG4/ISO/AVC (x264) format, and the audio in AAC format.

Also, in an example movie that is 90 minutes long, the file made by MakeMKV is 3.24GB in filesize. In contrast, the file made by Handbrake is only 854 MB in size. Playing the two videos side-by-side I don't see any difference in video quality (remember that this is DVD-quality video, so ~480p at best).

If the audio and video quality of each file are going to be indistinguishable from each other, then this leads me to believe that the files output by HandBrake are the superior choice, being a fraction of the filesize. And it kind of makes me regret using MakeMKV to rip so many of my DVDs in recent times due to all the time and effort I'll have to spend re-ripping them with HandBrake if I can't figure out a way to configure MakeMKV to produce better output.

While MakeMKV is very convenient in nearly automatically and easily ripping the different titles, there doesn't appear to be much in the way of configuring the output. Or am I missing something? Does anyone here know how to change MakeMKV to use more modern codecs? Or should I just go back to using HandBrake for my DVD ripping needs?

DC Gamer Club / Ludum Dare 47: October 2nd-5th, 2020
« on: October 01, 2020, 10:28 PM »
Ludum Dare 47 is this weekend! I forgot all about it until last week when the Theme Slaughter had already begun. Yikes!

It's been a mere six months since I last participated in LD46 this past April, but world events which have happened in the meantime make it feel like so much longer than that. Nevertheless, I'm gearing up once again to participate as part of a team. It'll just be two programmers and no artist this time, so don't expect it to look very pretty. :D

Right now the final round of theme voting is going on.

I'll try to remember to post what the theme to this thread when it is announced, but it's likely you won't hear much from me during the 72-hour jam.

Feel free to discuss any aspect of LD47 in this thread, including any games you might try out once the event has completed.

EDIT: My team made Chrono Crash for LD47.

See previous DonationCoder posts about Ludum Dare:

Ludum Dare 46 - (My team made Defendeer for LD46)
Ludum Dare 45 Reviews - A thread about LD45 games
Ludum Dare 41 - (My team made It's Not Lupus! for LD41)
Ludum Dare 2017 Thread - A thread about games from LD37 and LD38
Ludum Dare 33 - A thread about LD33 games
Ludum Dare 32 - (I made Time Bomb during LD32)
Ludum Dare 31 - (I made Worm Wars during LD31)
Ludum Dare 30 - (I made Planetary Devourers during LD30)
Ludum Dare 29 - (I made It Came From... Beneath!! during LD29)
Ludum Dare [29] topic for other games - A thread about LD29 games
Ludum Dare 23 - (I made Be Tiny, World! during LD23, and continued to work on it and improve it for years afterward!)
Ludum Dare - Game Programming Challenges

I just discovered Ventoy, which is free, open source (GPL 3.0) software you install on a USB drive to make it bootable. What makes it special is that it also acts like a normal USB storage drive, and you can just copy any multitude of ISOs onto it. When you boot it up it shows a menu where you can choose which ISO to finish booting into. It's like a bootloader for ISOs.

In other words, you can place your bootable Linux ISOs, Windows installation ISOs, etc., all on a single USB drive (assuming it has space for all of them) with no need to reformat or reflash the drive each time you want to change or update ISOs!

Here's a video showing it off:

Main website:
Github repo:

Non-Windows Software / Random Android apps getting installed
« on: August 17, 2020, 01:50 PM »
Hi folks,

I recently got a hand-me-down Android device which I performed a factory reset on and then set it up how I like it.

But I've been noticing every once in a while that there are new apps installed that I never installed. Sometimes they're games, sometimes they are non-game apps. Usually they are things I've never heard of, but I've seen a few popular apps such as TikTok. In any case, they're always crap I'd never install.

I don't know if this is a "feature" like how Windows 10 will put new things in the Start menu every so often, or the perhaps more likely scenario that this device has some kind of rootkit malware on it that allows it to install apps without my permission and can survive a factory reset.

The previous owner of the device was not very tech savvy and it wouldn't surprise me if she had installed some malicious app disguised as a game from the Google Play Store which set this behavior in motion.

But I also haven't had a new Android device since 2013 so I'm not sure if this is intended device vendor behavior.

The device is a Motorola Moto Z2.

Any useful suggestions or solutions on how to stop this behavior would be appreciated.

Add another corpse to the Google Graveyard.

Google is killing Google Play Music in order to promote YouTube Music.

The change appears to be a downgrade in every way, so I'm taking it as the final kick in the rear I needed to move away from yet another Google service.

Living Room / Cyph - A potential Keybase alternative
« on: July 22, 2020, 10:49 PM »
In response to the news that Keybase was acquired by Zoom, I got an unsolicited email from a Keybase competitor called Cyph which I'd never heard of before. It seems they're looking through public PGP keys on Keybase and sending emails to the associated email address letting people know that they're somewhat of an alternative to Keybase.

The unsolicited nature of the communication is a little off-putting, but they say they haven't added me to any mailing list and will not contact me again if I ignore their email. But I figured I'd at least check out their blog post they linked to in the email and see what they were all about.

Here's a quote of and link to the blog post, which seems to contain most of the same information in the email I received, plus a little more:

One of our major competitors, Keybase, was acquired by Zoom last month.

Many Keybase users are now looking for alternatives as a result, primarily due to a lack of trust in the new ownership to maintain high privacy standards, as well as speculation that the service is now doomed to ultimately be shut down. However, no single solution has so far stood out from the crowd; instead, users are faced with the prospect of setting up a hodgepodge of independent solutions.

Keybase is great, but a full alternative is clearly needed. That’s why we’ve spent the past month building new features to make Cyph more of a direct replacement.

Cyph’s features and general architecture are similar in many ways to Keybase, plus/minus a few features:

  • On the plus side, our features include voice/video calling (with group support), Bitcoin, and social networking (like Twitter, but all posts are signed + optionally encrypted for a subset of your contacts).
  • On the minus side, Keybase offers some awesome niche features (like encrypted git repos) that we currently do not.
  • And now, with our latest release, we’ve built out a set of PGP key management and utility features to make Cyph more immediately useful for users coming from Keybase.

Additionally, the architecture of Cyph yields some significant broader advantages:

  • Full web support
    • Whereas Keybase splits up its features between the web UI, the CLI, GPG, and the native apps, thanks to WebSign Cyph is able to provide a consistent experience across all platforms. The full functionality is available regardless of whether you use or the desktop and mobile apps, with no need to worry about degraded security on the web.
  • Automatic strong public key authentication for all users
    • No need to verify keys or usernames out of band, meet up in person to compare fingerprints or “Safety Numbers”, etc.
  • Quantum-resistant cryptography
    • Post-quantum encryption, key exchange, and signing algorithms are used throughout the application (in combination with classical crypto such as elliptic curves). Whereas others are still planning long-term migrations to post-quantum crypto, Cyph was built with it in mind from the start, meaning that your private data is theoretically protected from future QC attacks today.

We encourage you to submit a response to our poll to vote on the missing features you’d like us to add. And if you’re a Keybase user, just include your username and email address to skip the line and get a free invite to the Cyph beta!

I also noticed that they're offering a "special offer for Keybase users: $100 Lifetime Platinum upgrade! (Usually $48/mo.) Adds 1 TB storage, BTC wallet, and more."

I'm not necessarily recommending Cyph since I have no real experience with them, but I it's worth looking into and I will be creating an account to see for myself how it works.

I'd like to make a program with a UI. The content of the UI will not be static, but will change based on input from the user. What I mean by that is that the number of things shown can increase or decrease based on what the user does. For example, a to-do list might only show a few items, or it may show many items.

I'm thinking that since I program in C# I should use WPF for the UI. If anyone here is experienced with making GUI applications in C# and can tell me why I shouldn't go with WPF, I'd be glad to hear your reasons why and what alternative I should use.

Otherwise, I'm looking for recommendations on good resources for learning how to use WPF to make GUI applications. Free is preferred. And I think I'd prefer the information in written/image format (e.g., a book or website) rather than video format. But I'm open to hearing any useful suggestions or recommendations of learning materials people here have found useful.

Thanks in advance!

I've noticed lately that Brave (Chrome) is telling me the site is "Not Secure" when I'm viewing any posts/threads on the site.

DonationCoder - Not Secure.png

It seems that maybe some content is being loaded without HTTPS on thread pages?

EDIT: I'm mentioning this more in response to mouser's recent-ish attempts to force HTTPS site-wide than an actual concern about the "security" of my connection/data on the site.

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