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Topics - Steven Avery [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / the home PC network enigma
« on: April 03, 2012, 06:08 PM »

Supposedly, Windows theoretically, possibly, maybe is all set up for networking out of the box.  The prenamed MSHOME in an XP network section, the Homegroup function ... if you have all Window 7, the "Workgroup" name given to the Windows 7 network that can be the name you apply to all the puters, as suggested by one article.   Yada and a yada and a yada.

However, in my experience, it never works well. Things don't want to connect, or they don't want to stay connected.


Everything here is behind a router.

The goal in my system is 3 PC's , 1 on Windows 7, 2 on XP.  One of those I plan to dual boot Linux (really, this time). Also maybe a laptop occasionally saying hi by cable or wireless.

Only two systems are really fundamental a Windows 7 and my super-clean reinstall XP.  The laptop and an old XP are sort of auxiliary.  I am working with a KVM switch attempt as well. (Which has its own tricky aspects, whether hardware or software.)

Here is the rub.  I either am quite bumbling, or the Windows network is a bubblegum and scotch tape method. 


Remember "Lantastic" ?  Well, what do we do today ?  Set up a VPN ?  Set up a real network with a server or with "Active Directory" to pretend to be skilled in that realm ?  (oops, might cost $$).  I would not mind dedicating a PC largely to traffic cop and working with Spiceworks, but that would be more play than need.  And it still does not tell me HOW to go.

What are my major options ? What do you suggest ?  Am I really supposed to use MS ? My gut says there is some other way that is simply better, but I want to hear from the experts.

Since I prefer XP to Windows 7, I want to keep my mixed Windows hybrid group for now.



My goal is to have online notes with a fair amount of simplicity.  Since it is largely a holding pattern for quick remembrance until the entry is brought over to RightNote, or MyBase, or another more permanent.  Or used in an email or forum, or printed, reviewed, etc.  Thus you should be able to get in and out fairly quickly.

The de minimus features include the ability to accept an image to clipboard ( using Abbyy Screenshot Reader or Screenshot Captor etc to make the image). RTF (rich text format) is more or less required.  

Here are some of the interesting online note programs, more or less.

Backpack, Springpad, Springnote, Notepub, Threetags, Webnote, Ubernote, Tiddlywiki,, jjot, Evernote
Webasyst, Zoho

I looked at Zoho, and they wanted a file upload or a pointer url.  Possibly acceptable, but another step, cumbersome.  Granted I could use a picture upload thing that immediately gives me an online url, but that would only be a plan B.


Similar questions can be asked about regular notes, where this would be a more-or-less standard feature of the better programs. Maybe.

And also Sticky notes, where Zhorn's Sticky Notes and Globonotes (open source) I think have the feature of taking the image from the clipboard. And NoteZilla and others could be compared.  

However, my main question is online notes, which I would like to add to my repertoire in a limited way.
Who is good, who is limited.

Oh, it would be a nice feature for this forum, too. :) .



Hi Folks,

Questions from Partition 101:


Does partition software generally make 100% sure it is only partitioning away free space ?

Does the software move files away from the end of one partition to create the next partition before
doing anything else ?

Should you defragment before partitioning ? (presumably it is a smart idea). In any special way ?

Does this question vary a lot between software products ?

Do you find any great functional fundamental distinction between the Windows products (Paragon, Easeus, Aomei, etc.)
and the more tech partition stuff like Terabyte (Bootit) that works outside Windows ?  

In the old days it made a difference where you started partitioning (e.g. in XP or underneath). Is that a factor today ?


I always hesitate a bit before partitioning a system, presumably I have a good OS resinstall handy and all
the important data backed up as well, preferably including early images after the OS install and maybe the
final, current image. More important than images, the data should be backed up in individual files. (I do not
trust images completely, although some image software includes file-by-file as an alternative.)

Granted there are functional differences in products, (e.g. a Pro product compared to Lite or Free will show you
some differences, as will reviews) and there are differences in support and cost.  It seems like the software has
generally become fairly good.  One feature I noticed is that some software may be stronger than others in simply
moving x gigabytes of space from one partition to another.


Your thoughts ?


My short-term attempt is to take my lightly used Windows 7 64-bit puter and add a d: and some drives for
a linux install.  And I may do similar on a spare older XP system.


Here are some notes about free space.

"Partition Manager 11 Free Edition For personal use only The safest tool for hard drive partitioning! Partitioning is not for amateurs. That is why millions of people have trusted our safe, stable technology and professional software solutions for over 15 years. Our latest 11 version easily organizes your hard drive and redistributes free space to enhance system performance."

"Aomei Partition Assistant ...Allocate Free Space - Allocate free space from one partition to another for making the best use of disk space."


Aomei is the new kid on the partition block. The reviews have been pretty good, the company is friendly in correspondence.  

They do not at this time have forums like Paragon and Easeus.  I may ask them their plans in this regard.  Forums on a product like this means that the company is willing to face the public, and can have lots of helpful info.  Dunno if any other windows  products have forums, but Terabyte definitely does. 

Along with the three mentioned as the main Windows-based programs, (Paragon, Easeus, Aomei, all active in promotions) Partition Wizard (positive from freewaregenius) also looks like it is quite interesting, so maybe that is a big 4. Partition Commander is from Avanquest, Partition Genius from Spotmau (not sure if active development-update).  These programs should all have a CD-type alternative as part of their system. Any others of real note ?

While Parted Magic (GParted and Parted) and then also Partition Logic and Ranish are examples of below Windows tools. Terabyte seems to lead that section, as a commercial product with a fine reputation.  You could probably add a gazillion Linux-style tools.


I noticed a complaint with one about losing a Symantec serial #. So probably some programs look at free space through the Windows file system, and some programs do security in a hidden manner.  And you could be forced to try to re-enter the numbers (be sure you keep them). I doubt that it would be easy for a partition software to do anything, since the software product will be pointing to that spot made defunct.


General Software Discussion / Windows Desktop ---> web-page
« on: March 08, 2012, 07:41 AM »

Here is a quirky idea.

Your basic Windows Desktop to a web-page.
(Does the desktop have a key to close and then reset all your windows open ? )

The web-page should get around the limitation of calling programs on your disk. (A limitation designed for internet security that can get in the way of internal browser usage.)  This limitation was discussed briefly, I think, a while back. 

Implemented anywhere ?  Make any sense ?



A very helpful part of the note programs is strong tab implementation.  This can avoid your having data in multiple files to open and close, a big plus.  
Right Note, for instance has a strong horizontal (x axis) implementation combined with an explorer tree on the y axis with multiple levels, I think.  This could be given an arbitrary tab-interface score of maybe 8.5 on a scale of 10, real solid and strong, not spectacular.

Keynote-NF seems to have the same features. (Heavy users of the programs .. please tweak.)

TreeDbNotes as well, so this combo looks to be the standard, more or less.

Any significant functional difference in the 3 ? Right Note seems to win in "presentation" of the meal, where the tabs are easy to color and the sizes vary to text.

I remember seeing (and commenting on) one program having strong X and Y axis implementation of user-defined categories, which is a nice plus for the program.  **** Anyone remember or know which program has this ?  ****  The reason this is helpful is that often your major categories, such as finances, web, spirit, software, etc could be the Y axis distinction, while the specific topics could be X axis,   Within the specific topics, then, the Explorer tree would only get moderately cluttered.  The whole purpose here is to keep a bit of top-down thinking so that the Explorer tree does not have to be frequently opened and closed and navigated to find the present topic.

Note: some programs use tabs internally in neat ways. MyBase uses them in the context of the explorer menu, Overview, Bookmarks, Calendar, Labels, Outline.  Helpful, but a bit rigid, dunno if it is modifiable.  Of course, calendar implementation is another place where these programs have major differences.

Compare your favorite programs in Tab implementation (or any substitute ideas that are functionally helpful).

We could also discuss other aspects of tabs, and interface niceties.  Do they size and place easily, etc.  Are the button bars customizable ?  Is the user interface crisp ?

A major example -
 ** I would like my major colors right on the button bar, rather than a pull-down pallet and choice. **
Is this implemented here or there ?  A note is much more usable if you can color-code on the fly, very simply.

This thread, perhaps, can focus on these interface things, which we sometimes consider as secondary, but really help determine if we like the program.  Simple example. Keynote-NF is a nice program, but a little bland in style.  (Maybe it has skins ?)

Major first interest, tab application.

Your thoughts welcome.  Drift into other discussions if you please.  Place your pics in the thread (ok, I should remember how to do that, too). The emphasis here is generally on the free-form notes programs, the more techie database ideas are a different issue.


Another big issue is an active user forum, a rarity in the Note field.  Worthy of discussion, too, as it has a lot to do with where we settle.  Right Note is considered excellent despite this lack, but it should be noted.  The developers should be encouraged on this, even if it is done by a Yahoogroups or Googlegroups type of forum, or even attempted by letting Donationcoder or another forum host.  (Wilder's does this a lot with security software, quite successfully.)


Possibly in printing there are big distinctions as well.  Formatting, margins, viewing, combining pages, saving a set of printing. If you find that one program really shines here, share away.  We tend to forget about that aspect until we are done and want to take the notes with us.  It is nice if our notes can be our pseudo-.doc files.


Granted, we have a danger here of running through the whole feature set of the notes, revisiting the "big threads". Not exactly the goal. More techie things like synching to the cloud, spreadsheet implementations, export-import, PIM, database, etc. are less the sense of this thread.


General Software Discussion / Cloud Backup Simplicity
« on: February 24, 2012, 03:42 PM »

It seems to me that cloud backup simplicity will occur when :

a) your cloud drive is mapped as a local drive - so that normal backup set software can be used
    (also you have all the ease utility of Total Commander, xyplorer, etc in working with the data)

b) your backup software is reasonably robust

c) your files can be saved directly in native format, rather than proprietary or even .zip

That way you can easily make and tweak precise backups ... daily saves of volatile data, even automatic from multiple locations (a type of u-sync, I remain skeptical of auto-sync), occasional of work on websites or whatever, special research stuff handled differently, and email handled in its own way, etc.


DriveHQ is my general cloud like, they have their own fine file manager and they try to make mapping almost trivial (WebDav). Cost for data backups is reasonable.  Most of my stuff is small to medium. Right now I went to $3/month.

If you have found other clouds that work as well for mapping and file visibility and control, share away



Syncback looks like it is too sync oriented, and does not have the type of flexibility of saving this file here and that file there very easily.  How it works with profiles and tasks seems strange, although maybe there is some way to group that I have not found yet.

Backup4All has that excellent backup flexibility .. but for some reason they want to save as a zip.  And then if the file is real big, they have a special situation about how to dezipperize.  Ugh.   Incidentally, Syncback did have a simulation mode that B4All doesn't seem to have, however overall B4All does look like a better program for backing up without sync.

So am I missing something ?  Am I asking too much ?  Doesn't it make sense to have the option to save files WITHOUT .zip .. for quick visibility, selective restore to another spot, etc.

Also I would like my backup, if possible, to backup the same sets to an external drive, without duplication, a soft-coding of the drive:directory prefix.  Anybody do this ?

Your recommendations welcome.  I might even move to one of the lesser known off-brand backup programs if it is going to make me more confident about a solid backup every day.

Incidentally, I have no real interest in mirrors or smoke (except after an OS install with drivers and such).  If the system crashes, a clean install is called for, is my backup philosophy.  Purge the junque.



Note: there was an earlier discussion:
backup software - file-by-file sets

Now I am trying each one to see which one is comfortable.  Syncback and Backup4All both had some problems from my perspective. Cobian is possible but a smidgen quirky.  Right now I can't find it in the system tray and  I can not kill it in Task Manager :). (I was trying to cancel a job in process.)   I'll get back to it later since it is worth a look-see.  Easeus says it is missing a service, maybe I will get back to them.  So I think Uranium is next.  The free version has a 4gb zip limitation that really does not effect my basic concerns here, and it got some good comments on the earlier thread.  Gizmo likes Backup Maker, but it has a couple of weaknesses (backup up opened files, msgs in German, and maybe  a bit too much on the toolbar cautions on upgrades, etc.)


I'll report back on Uranium, their solid forum is a big plus.

So far, pleasant.
"The use of mapped network drives is not recommended. Convert into the full network path ?"
Hmmmm .. I said no (defeats the purpose, I think).
Uranium created a unique folder name, I'll have to check those destination options.
However, it seems to have locked up, on the first file.

Ok, 2nd time I switched to the full network path, and giving my destination.
I would like it to say more than "Backup in progress". Oh, I may have had two instances running, which it should prevent.

Uranium .. another time around ..after reboot .good info about save (a bit slow but acceptable), very good log (an option to tell you everything), one file super-locked, no save (Swift To-Do, this may need VSS) and still strange with folder names, this has to be played with, the files themselves were in the proper native formats.

Another question: I had to regen the drive mapping after the reboot. It was quick, but still a puzzle.



Well, I think I need either on boot-up or pre-event to the save - regen the mapped dirve / is that normal /  presumably I have to learn the windows.exe and the paramaters and make it a batch file.

My problem so far with Uranium is that it locks up in an unfriendly manner (e.g. if the drive is not there) and, at least in the free version, it is weak on copying a locked file (VSS). A workaround in general for that weakness would be to copy (using a utility that beats the lock) the file and then save the copied file.

Cobian is strong on these and it has pre-events and it has the choice of saving files with a date stamp or overriding the existing regular file.   so so far it is the leader for my purposes.  I'm not sure about grouping say four backups into one group yet, but the design of a single backup is pretty good

In review so far :

DriveHQ - happy location because of easy of file manager, both Total commander style and their file manager

Mapping drives - need to automate the check that the mapped drive is there

Cobian -- very good overall, nothing fantastic, everything good
Backup4all (own pay vesion) -- good but forces .zip
Uranium -- free version - seems weak on VSS locked files, and unfriendly when locking up
Syncback -- not so friendly for backup sets, designed more for sync it seems


Hi Folks,

AVG Anti-Virus 2012 - includes 1-PC, 1-Year license - $3.95

I am still using Avira free, but I did get upset with how they handled some stuff last year (toolbar, Uniblue). AVG is supposed to be pretty good, so this is tempting.  I generally avoid suites, preferring to piece together my own security system, so this might be good.


Hi Folks,

Company  (nice web-site)

They say it works better than WebDav, which is the normal attempt to map the cloud as a drive,
as I understand. I know I hit a glitch on my one WebDav attempt, so it might well be accurate.

As an example, here is the DriveHQ section about WebDav

Map DriveHQ Cloud Storage as an Online Drive without Installing Any Software

Apparently a number of people agree that the ExpanDrive SFTP connection is similar, but more robust.

Once a drive is mapped, that should mean you can run Backup4All, Cobian, Total Commander, etc.
on the data.  A big plus.

Notice the poster concerns, Richard Blake, about loading up a whole Python interpreter, lots of directories and files.

Your thoughts, even in this late hour ?

ExpanDrive comes over from the Mac world, the Windows earlier similar product is


However it is a bit pricier.

Here is a bit of "alternative to"

Is there an open source tool to map SFTP connections as a Windows mapped drive?

Worthy of special note, freeware city:

Access remote disk over net using SFTP protocol and map it to local drive letter - SFTP Net Drive

Note the critique:
Thanks for the answer, but unfortunately, FTP + SSL/TLS is not the same as SFTP, this will not work against an SSH/SFTP server, and ,as you said is not open source - so there's no way to know what's in the binary. – Tom Feiner May 16 '09 at 17:59

I have no idea if that is correct, still the case, or important for most use.


The second program - PowerFolder Pro Silver - or Gold - is also of some interest.
Much harder to evaluate, has to do with creating a synch situation among multi-computers.
The idea of having a controlling app for that may make sense.


Personally, I tend to "hand-sync". With an automated save.  So I see WebDav, or ExpanDrive, or something,
as the way to leave a puter, press a button, and know the current versions of certain files are going to the
cloud. Then if I go to puter B (say at work) and want to use those files I have a similar automated download.
The idea is to set up the saves and restores in a program like Backup4All.

I'm always a little nervous about sync that is not under my direct control, much as the idea of not having
to think about it has its pluses. e,g. I looked at the PowerFolder forum, and immediately saw a thread about
a long-standing file locking issue.



"simple automatic cloud active data file save-restore"

You pre-select 5 or 10 or 20 files and every time you want - you press a button and know those 50 mg or so will back up properly.

How do you do it ?  With a program like Backup4All, Easeus or Cobain and a set that goes directly to cloud-land ?  Which program works with which cloud ? Either free or extraordinarily inexpensive.

Or do you do it directly with a built-in Cloud program. However, preferably not a clunky one that works through Explorer this and that, one that feels solid like when you work with a backup program.  Quick, happy, modifiable.

I like DriveHQ because it has a superb file manager (Total Commander style). A simple tool that is missing on many clouds. However, DriveHQ has a daily limit of about 50 mgs in free mode, which is marginal.  Also .. afaik there is not a preselect like I am asking. (I have the question in to their support forum.) I would have to have my files in one folder/sub-folder area and copy it over.  Overall, it is doable, but with limitations.

What set of tools do you find competent and pleasant for this purpose ?  I am not asking about huge files, simply the daily notes, and work and special files will be saved, including the current linkman.  Thus, speed is not the big issue. When I leave my home puter I want to press a button. Then when I get to work, press a button and bring the current files down.  A type of homemade synch.


Hi Folks,

This looks like it is worth consideration.

Celebrate with us: Emsisoft is turning 8!
Anti-Malware and Online Armor for 8 days for only $8



Tonight, for a few more hours. 

My registration is still good from the earlier Boot-It Next Generation from a March, 2010.
So that is a sign of good company policy, not just a new release, a new name, almost 2 years, and my download and
registration is updated to the new product.

Although I do not do a lot in this area, and for simple stuff there are various freebie Windows Partition managers
from Paragon and Easeus and others, Terabytes has a great rep.   You like to have a good forum and support
area if you are puzzling out in the partition and boot area.  (I do not do a lot of imaging, except right after OS install.)

BootIt Bare Metal



From freeware genius, announcement of a freebie of iCare Data Recovery, a place where it is good to have more than one program pre-installed

Cyber Tuesday GiveAway: iCare Data Recovery Professional

Dunno how many more hours this will be on, Asian Pacific time x the square root of pi logarithimcally divided by Comet Elenin.

The freewaregenius link goes here:

24HR. CYBER TUESDAY SPECIAL GIVEAWAY - Only On Nov 29 (Asia Pacific Time)

Very simple install and registration.  I had one from GAOTD that had a registration problem and uninstalled that first, it left very little on the disk, ie. it was well-behaved per Revo.

Even their free version was rated quite well here, in what looks like a solid mini-discussion:

(Their program line-up is a bit hard to figger out, but this freebie looks like the solid "Pro" version.)

Two thoughts:

1) have a program or two pre-installed, ready, like iCare and Recuva

2) for really big OS/File problems, switch to a Linux-style Rescue boot anyway, with utilities for file movement and recovery on the CD, so you are working under the OS covers.


Hi Folks,

Wishing u all a good giving of thanks today.


Bits extended the Swift To-Do.

I put some longish comments in the thread. Overall, I can see this being used a lot (much like ListPro became a keeper) as it is really something different than Task Coach and AbstractSpoons ToDoList.  Things like drag-and-drop, sub-tasks, and printing and notes have been implemented well, as well as a pleasant design and a multi-PC sync Beta.

The ToDo field has sort of fallen by the wayside, sometimes being an offshoot of a PIM (Time & Chaos used to give it a nice try, Essential PIM and Ultra Recall and others today).  Or a Note program.

However, it really seems to have a place as its own metaphor, with some reminder and calendar as an outgrowth.

ListPro and Swift are very different (ListPro excels in customized database-style columns, Swift excels in visuals, ease-of-use, printing etc) and I can see both having a place.  e.g. Custom lists of financial this and groupons and software serial #s and such  go to ListPro, general ToDo with priority, assignments, printing, etc. goes to Swift. A smidgen of overlap, but not that much.

Swift only works because I sort of trust that the developer is improving (granted, he was one of those who messed up on the lifetime licenses, I gather) and supporting well, although no forum.  And the alternatives of friendly ToDo are largely stagnant.

This is not an easy no-brainer, since I will go for the 3-PC pro at $45, but it gives the sense of becoming a keeper.


Hi Folks,

Lots of file-to-file backup software function is fairly generic. Especially in the small data backups of your currently active files, which might only be 50 megabytes or even a gigabyte, rather than some massive amount.

Copy from A to B.
Have the default or option set to automatically override all B with the new A.
In other words, nothing about incremental and stuff like that, you just want to copy the current files to a USB or external or somewhere.  To be clear, there may be incremental built in, in the sense that a duplicate file is not copied, the software is intelligent in that sense, but no attempt is made to add to a file if it is different.

Backup4All is one of the better programs, yet 2 features I asked about it lacks.

flexible drive assignments ?

The lack of flexible drive assignments hurts.
You never quite know if you are thinking d: or e: or what.
You should be able to design a backup and decide on the fly where it goes, or by passing a shortcut, command line parameter.   (Granted, you can go in and change the catalog fairly quickly, rather than making a duplicate, however it is so unelegant to work in that manner.)

The cloud lack is understandable, it is more a specialty, but it would be nice if your basic home USB and external drive backups also worked directly to a cloud, without tweaking. (Much like we see these days with the screen capture programs using Zuploader rather than to a local disk file.) I tend to doubt if this really exists anywhere (backup to cloud DriveHQ rather than D:) . Anyway, if any backup software has this feature, it would be nice to know.  

Another feature , where Backup4All looks ok, is the ability to choose the actual files, one by one, or a .zip compression. They call the actual files a "Mirror" backup.  This is one feature I do not want to lose.

Granted, I am probably leaving out a lot, and sometimes software has their own quirks, but I am trying to automate the basics.   Have 3 or 4 backups,  something like this:

1) all my regular data files
2) all my email
3) special critical email .mbx that I want handy even on the road.
4) the relatively complete backup (e.g. all miscellaneous except the email in (2) )

And clearly, there might be other groupings, like pictures, or web development, or this or that.  In my case the email has lots of forum stuff, and has its own dynamic, and is many gigs, that is why I approach it separately.  You might have a similar situation with music, video, pics, egtc.

Anyway, just focusing on the requirements above -- especially flexible drive assignments and "mirror" (not image) backup -- and thinking about the Cloud alternative, your ideas appreciated.


I will say that I like DriveHQ because, even as a cloud app, it has available for your disk a nice Total Commander type of file manager, however, afaik, it does not have an easy to set-up (like Backup4All or Syncback or Cobian) backup save-group method.  The goal here is to take care of two stones with one bird.  Sometimes, before going out, I find myself quickly dropping the current linkman file into DriveHq and taking off.  And that is with the free (50 mg a day ?) DriveHQ account which I would expand if I found they have a more sophisticated backup group method.

(Which leads to another question, maybe another post, as to where the alternatives of serving or synching data rather than copying makes sense.   My experiences so far have always been that having local data can not be beat, and other methods have problematic elements.  With the possible exception of my local network, where it looks like a file might share reasonably neat.  I think everybody plays with this stuff on a trial-and-error basis, with the emphasis on error.)


One little tweak about the description at top.  Some software handles these file-by-file copies differently than others, say you are copying from A to B, but B has an existing file not in A.  Does the software delete the early version in B ?  There is no automatic right or wrong, it is conceptual, if I remember some folks are upset that the Cobian default. Which, unlike some others, is to delete and have a true "mirror", but you can see that keeping the earlier files (with the earlier date available) might be superior, e.g. if you accidentally deleted a file.  So this is one other issue that I can see as important.

And of course it almost goes without saying that you would like there to be some sort of verification involved as well.

Personally, I prefer file-by-file visible non-zip backups.  Where you see what is there immediately. If you have a crash, you do a reinstall to a cleaner system, one where you do not reinstall to a possibly compromised earlier state (sluggish, virus, etc.)   With the exception of software testeers, network managers and a few other areas, I think the whole idea of rollbacks and images is way overdone, with one other exception, an early image close to the OS, so you might avoid the OS reinstall headaches involving drivers and basic install.


Living Room / no power on Dell desktop
« on: October 22, 2011, 12:16 AM »
Hi Folks,

ok, the problem is forcing me to improve my Windows 7 puter, to make it run sensibly. 

It is a Dell Precision 380, probably occurred when there was a circuit breaker switch event.  Even though it is plugged in through some sort of surge protector (hmmm, maybe I will upgrade the quality there.).  The system has a few years, and it may be "routine maintenance" for a power supply to go ?  Is the power supply the likely event ?  No lights or noice at all, tried various plug-ins.

Best method ?  Take it into MicroCenter ?  Take it to small shop and Joe Friendly where we may chat more about stuff at the same time ?  Or do it myself, guessing that it is a "replace power supply unit" type of problem ?  Any caveats ? 

Your thoughts appreciated. 

My main concern, of course, is the data, which is not backed up daily. (Ok, I learned, I'll try to change that.)  Hopefully the disk is fine.


Hi Folks,

Normally an email forum like Yahoogroups or Google groups (others are Topica, BigTent, etc) is very good for archiving information, since each email = 1 url and the urls can have their Linkman keywords.  Thus, once you know the url (navigate to the page and bookmark) and add some keywords the material can be re-found easily. And the art of composing and sending is very quick using Eudora or any RTF email compose, combined with Abbyy Screenshot Reader (a $10 product, which has the OCR option when desired, to transform the pic text, when appropriate).

However, one limitation is hard to address. Inline .jpgs, can be an integral part of such emails.  When people receive them in the mail, through the forum (if they enable RTF which in Yahoogroups is "attachments") they show up fine (generally).

However the online Archive system of Yahoogroups, the one you would link to, is not designed to show the inline .jpg.  Instead it leaves a blank space.  So far, I do not know that any email group handles this properly, although I do plan to recheck.  The limitation of Yahoogroups on this is well-known, and work-arounds are clumsy, such as using or Flickr or attachments.  All of which defeats the purpose of ... quick, easy and simple pics in each email (not the specialty, carefully done cases where I find or Flickr can be superb).

Now among the group forum moderator lists, and my own experementation, I am trying to determine if anything is really good with any email forum host.  So far, nothing.

However, what about alternatives like Evernote or Onenote or some Web Archiving systems ?  Do you know of any way to accomplish the same end ?  Here is the key:

Start with : email with RTF and inline .jpgs, composed with your home email editor.
Send the email: to some place.
And have the url reasonably easily accessible for that very same email, and have it show up as sent.

Any help accomplishing this, or coming up with an alternative method of accomplishing he same general :
(Does not have to be email.)

COMPOSE -- SEND -- LINK with KEYWORDS ... the goal... using any tools.

Please share away.



Found Deals and Discounts / CloudZap on Bits Du Jour - Saturday 9-10-11
« on: September 11, 2011, 12:47 AM »
Hi Folks,

Well it is ending in a bit more than an hour. And one comment earlier on Donationcoder was "a solution looking for a problem".  Nonetheless I like it.  And the Bits price is ok.. $9.95.


Not for pictures so much. Now we have screenshot captor and zUploader (or zScreen and zUploader) which covers that well. And CloudZap only integrates with SnagIt, a very good program with a $50 price tag. btw, zUploader looks more configurable in terms of adding your own new storage units.

However, CloudZap has a couple of nice features.  Simultaneous uploading-distribution to a few places at once. That might not be in zUploader.  An evernote connection. A rudimentary history file. And, most of all, a printer driver. 

Normally when I want to save a picture, especially from a webpage like an invoice confirmation, I use the pdfFactory printer driver from the Fineprint people.  And save the PDF to a file.  So the idea here is that you use their printer driver and then download-upload simultaneously .. to your file, and to some upload places. 

Similar can be nice on sharing files. One lack seems to be not giving you back a sharing link on those types of uploads, but I have a question in about that.  You would like the automatic upload to give you the file share link in some nice easy places without logging in on your own.

This is all done on a rudimentary level, so lots of tweaks of the above are possible.


Living Room / screen pics to DonationCoder forum (trying zScreen)
« on: September 06, 2011, 08:15 AM »
Hi Folks,

I used to struggle with this picture thing to a forum a bit, especially if the pic was on my drive. 

On this thread :

I tried zScreen,

A quite robust freeware, open source, which has built-in uploads to ImageShack and some alternatives. Note, it does use Net 2.0, most of us have that in the innards of our puters already.

The whole setup and learning was just a few minutes. And I was quite pleased. Very intuitive.

Now I know there are many alternatives, I tried Jing a while back. So far, for the basic cropped pic to a public website with the url immediately available without bureaucracy, zScreen is very impressive.   (A lot of times open source projects are sparse on interface and configuration, yet zScreen is very robust.)

Do we have a preference on .png vs. .jpg or anything else?

Do we have a preference as to the pic being on a remote server or being uploaded to the DonationCoder server.  I guess theoretically, given the right Donationcoder wording, the forum could automatically download such pictures with an automated bot, if we want to be sure of longer longevity. 

Or perhaps there is a way to make the transition manually when we do the pic.  However, that would only be if it were a DonationCoder preference to serve its own pancakes.



Remember, Bits goes past midnite EST now, till 3AM.

Website Realizer
Create Websites With No Programming Skills

Fairly new no programming web site software, the people who use it
are happy, especially about support and such..  SiteSpinner, WeBuilder
and some others are better known.

The site of the product, built with the software.

Website Realizer

Which has a crisp look and feel.

Anybody use it ?  Your thoughts ?


Hi Folks,

In this thread we were discussing "flat-file" list management of serial #s.
Serial Key Storage for Windows

TucknDar and I mentioned :

ListPro by Ilium

And I realized that the reason I liked it for the purpose is that it is able to function:

*** not with the specialty of a task manager or a planner or project manager ..***

 but simply as a "FLEXIBLE LIST MANAGER" -- which is a type of flexible database function.

ie. It is strong on the database idea of quickly designing your own fields to meet the needs. And heads-up data entry.  I went back and looked at the traditional "ToDos" such as ToDoList of AbstractSpoon and TaskCoach and realized that they would have great difficulties in this type of flexible list management. They are really very different. They are "thinking" in their terms of dates and times and categories ... and have a hard time giving you a tabula rasa ... and building up many different types of lists.

The point is that field design, and placement, and sorting, in ListPro is flexible, powerful and extremely quick.

ListPro can do some minor calendar and reminder and planning and project functions, but if you really look for that, then the other programs are better, as are various PIM and Calendar paradigm programs.

So the question comes, is ListPro the leader of the pack ?  Short of the one alternative .. your own custom design with MySQL or Alpha5 or some some database project.  The database idea is fine if you want to tie tables together, but if you are not doing that, it could be slower and overkill and harder to establish and quick-launch.

So I wondered if some of the other List management software was similarly capable to ListPro.  
 (this is quick, local heads-down data entry, not web entry).

Quick To-Do (Capstralia) mentions flexible printing and
Swift To-Do (Dextronet-sometimes on Bits) came to mind

MyLifeOrganized (these two may be two bulky)

Maybe InfoQube ?


Others like:

AgendaAtOnce - seem pre-designed too much for Task and PIM rather than for flexible list management.

With most, I tend to doubt that their design is as flexible and quick for dozens of lists.  
The point is you have to be able to end up with many totally different table designs.  
Without going through any hoops.



Folder (multi-level .. by drag-and-drop)
  Lists (the individual designed tables)
    Items - (columns within the table .. with flexible and quick field creation and sorting within the Item.)
      Fields - String, Category, Number, Yes/No, Date. 3-State, Linked (hot link)
               - Notes fields

The category field functions as an auxiliary table where you quickly choose an existing category or create a new one.


The design idea is superb.  

You end up tweaking your list (data base) super-quick.  The list can be some type of todo or calender, or your accounts or expenses, or your books or the posts you plan to answer or just about anything.  You get a real confidence that you will design quickly, without headache, and data entry is fast.

It does work very nicely as a "ToDo" list when you design a table for that. (They have templates too.)

*** The one big lack is that the printing is only servicable.  ***

And one important point of lists is to print them out. You can landscape, but you can not quickly say .. print those eight fields.  It breaks the fields off to a second page on overflow.  Since you are able to use the scroll bar on data entry .. wide -- you can end up with long rows.

Flexible printing is a real need. Possibly the workaround is FinePrint or PriPrinter and making sure the 1st page is what you want and deleting the other when it is wide-field. 


1) Flexible Printing --> along with
2) Automated Printing - saving a print procedure of various lists.

(1) is the big lack.

Tab structure would help, - giving another dimension to your overall view.

Also, no web forum, no immediate developer response.
Email goes to somebody who sends it to the developers.


So, are there any List management softwares that are similarly capable, with good printing ?

Short of database programs (or if you use a database, which one and why ?)

How about InfoQube and others that are unique ?

Your thoughts appreciated.


General Software Discussion / backup software - file-by-file sets
« on: August 27, 2011, 08:56 PM »
Hi Folks,

This study was originally on a Living Room discussion:
What Happened to Genie Backup Manager?


Agree on Backup4All, they make FBackup too, which I think is their other-branded free version, last I checked. Good solid company.  The difference is here: FBackup is only servicable, you will probably want to go to a Backup4All version if you like in the long run. They also have Backup2all.

Agree on Cobian.  If I remember, he does one thing on incremental backups a bit differently, so read up in that case.  Issues may involve stuff like empty folders. (Which may not apply as much if you define full backup sets).

And don't ferget Easeus.  A Chinese company, yet surprisingly visible at times and now in the backup realm, with free versions, Giveawayoftheday, etc.  For straight file backup I would give them a try.  This one may have originally been image oriented, but it looks sensible on file-by-file sets.

If I remember, Syncback can work very well as a backup as well as synchronization, so it may be up there also.

Some of these even have active forums, and generally the free version is going to be quite hefty (Cobian is all free).

Caution, generally either do these backups in native format or easy-read like .zip.  If they are real proprietary, without a native alternative, I would avoid the company. When you have a terabyte backup disk, you can do your own occasional delete and compression is far less a need.

And I remember some other Chinese company was doing something with Genie's Backup software, I think that was Titan. It was all vague and mysterious a couple of years back, I would consider it a non-issue. (CORRECTION: this may be the GFI-Titan situation, and may be unrelated to Genie)

Since we have at least three-four excellent alternatives out there. Plus a dozen or two more for consideration, mostly shareware, yet I have tried to give the ones with the best "sense" above, all the companies but Easeus were given above by other posters.

Remember too, that some software that you think of as image (ugh, I consider a disk crash a warning to reinstall that Op System from scratch and only do images from shortly after Op Sys install) may also have decent file-by-file modes.  Paragon and Macrium (oops, these have file and folder mode only in paid) etc.  Or they may allow viewing and file-by-file restore from the image. However I think generally you will get a crisper feel from a program that was designed for backup sets.


File-by-file set backup (not image, cloud possibilities not examined)

Easeus - http://www.todo-back...-backup-software.htm (free is hefty, webforum)
Cobian - http://www.educ.umu....ian/cobianbackup.htm  (100% free - webforum)

Free Version is not as strong.
Backup4ALL - (forum) - FBackup - (forum)
Syncback - (free lacks many features)

Add-ons: looking at reviews.  All basically free.

German companies
Personal Backup - (free, nice look, no forum)
Backup Maker -  (free version= no comm use, forum)
ZDBackup - (free=no comm use, no forum, confirm if translated)
Ace Backup -   (fully free, web forum) (proprietary or "as is" native)

Comodo - (beware of toolbars, gimmicks - has webforum)

If you are not already happy with a paid version, probably one of the 4 to 6x fully free are going to be fine, but which one ?  

Backup4all, especially on a special, however, should always be considered. Keep in mind that there are a number of competent $50 programs (not listed here). Backup4all is simply friendly and well-known in our neck of the woods, working with the shareware and freeware folks , and with specials and various pricing products.

These have not all been checked on issues like :

proprietary format (and super-large zip files)
compression and non-compression alternative
set flexibility,
backup media,
cloud possibility,
restore capability
VSS - copying open files
system file capabilities
warning messages, logs
network capability

Proprietary format, VSS, stability and validation are the most intrinsic to the safe backup process.

Do your due diligence on the features and program on which you focus.  You find something special, or a deal-breaker, share here.

On free programs that are limited you have to check also about file size limitations. e.g. DFIncBackup Home, a decent program not included, has a 8 Gig zip file size limit (formerly 2 Gigs). Also single huge zip files have sometimes caused headaches, (report: Comodo).  Nicest is the alternative to do native format or a zip-type that does not do huge files.


Open Source - Areca gets by far the most mention with the group above

Areca -
JaBack -
backupPC -
Bonkey - (cloud specialist)
Delta Copy - http://www.aboutmyip...MyXApp/DeltaCopy.jsp (Windows front end to rsync)

Open Source - Enterprise oriented
zmanda - (community-enterprise)
bacula -
NasBackup -

Toucan - http://portableapps....pps/utilities/toucan


Forums for main group + Areca

Backup4all -
FBackup =-
Easeus - http://forum.easeus....m/viewforum.php?f=14
Cobian -
Syncback -
Ace Backup -
Backup Maker - https://www.ascomp.d...ndex.php?showforum=2
Comodo - https://forums.comod...modo-backup-cb-b5.0/
Areca - http://sourceforge.n...rojects/areca/forums


Here is a suggestion.
A comparative review of Backup4All-FBackup .. Cobian .. Easeus .. Syncback.
(Maybe there is a good review out there, or at least a nice help, like from Gizmo.)

Or some similar list.


Best Free Backup Program (2008-2011) - excellent comments
More free backup software

Ghacks - Free Backup Software – Best Windows Backup Software Programs (2009)

Free Data Backup & Restore Software Programs Reviews

FreewareGenius and DonationCoder I have not find any one super-spot yet.


My summary view :

Cobian - good yet unusual, almost quirky reputation, many really happy users, some give up
Easeus - worthy of a try at file-by-file, may be a bit feature slim on file-by-file

Areca - good techie try

The four German companies are little known, and seem to be generally high-quality and free.

Personal Backup
Backup Maker
Ace Backup

$ 30-50
Backup4all - reliable, friendly, $ version with specials, many of us may have licenses

Skipping the other $50 paid programs, since they probably generally do not beat Backup4all.
One worthy paid competitor is Syncback Pro.


FBackup - slim on free
Syncback - slim on free
Comodo - pass (not so much because of this software, but the Comodo tude)


Steven Avery

Hi Folks,

Sometimes I post on a forum whose editor lost its color formatting capability.  Yet it still reads the formatting code properly (bold, italics underline, color, size, maybe font .. color and bold and italics are what I mostly use). So I can go to another forum, prepare a post, change it with the toggle mode to code-level and then copy that code over.  

However, I would rather do it in an editor on disk.  Is that easy in Atlantis or Abiword or RightNote or TreeDbNotes or KeyNote or OpenOffice or this or that ? Or perhaps a code editor ?  Something nice and light.  I may end up using this to save a copy as well, as forums vary on archiving, per google and crashing threads.

Sometimes I compose in Eudora, it would compose and usually cut-and-paste nicely (forums vary some) the rtf formatted text (which won't work for my problem forum, it needs the underlying code). And the Eudora "view source" level seems to be for incoming mail and too cluttered. And while Eudora has decent search, I would rather archive in a special folder-smart thing.

So far, I looked in RightNote, but did not see a "view source" type of button. I could write the developer, I was quite impressed with the bar and help layouts overall.

Your thoughts appreciated.


Oh, it should be able to take my pics from Abbyy Screenshot Reader, that are passed through the clipboard.



General Software Discussion / calling programs from a web page
« on: August 17, 2011, 09:42 AM »
Hi Folks,

Here is a question about browser environment utility in calling programs on your disk, other than any built-in stuff like email using :mailto .

Browser security by default limits access to the disk.
So eg. if you have a url like:

C:\Program Files\TaskCoach\taskcoach.exe

Placed in a browser bar, it will ask you if you want to save or cancel the file, it will not run the file.
However, on your own system, with your own decisions this is a bit of overkill.

e.g. if you had a Linkshelf, Symbaloo, Netvibes or your own custom web-page, you can not, by default, open the program. (Or go to, focus on, the program already opened.) You can of course use the Start Menu or the Desktop or Linkman. However, a web page has advantages, grouping things together, little notes, etc. .. possibly this advantage exists in some specialty program launchers, but that involves a special install, training and a customization. If you have multiple PCs using the same general c:\program files locations, a web page would work for all of them). 

Now I was researching this for work, since some programs these days will take mini-computer apps and run them inside a browser, and thus you can have decent PC integration with programs running off a totally different system (e.g. iSeries RPG-Open Access apps, maybe a Linux box with Oracle, or Magic Software running on various platforms). Once you bypass the security limitation you can call your word processing program for that customer, or any other program. (Generally it will be a one-way call, but that is sufficient.)  This local integration is on top of the web integration of Google maps and docs etc.  One of the advantages of these programs working as an RIA, rich internet apps.

So, after a little discussion, I saw that it is not so difficult, but slightly techie to bypass those limitations.  This is an example of what I found:


Your default email program opens from a browser with the mailto: protocol.
More involved interaction, to work with the security controls on browser limitations to local files, probably involves:

Register protocol

@="\"C:\\Program Files\\Application\\program.exe\" \"%1\""

Registering an Application to a URL Protocol


Do our techies here work with this, or something similar, to use a web page as the front end to their programs.

Your thoughts and insights appreciated.


Steven Avery

Hi Folks,

First, I still like Firefox immensely, the extension capability is so good that a smart extension choice goes a long way.  

Firefox separated out the processes on extensions to a separate plugin-container.exe . I think that means that if an extension goes haywire .. you can kill the process (or it can kill itself) and your Firefox windows stay up.

However usually the problem with Firefox is in the firefox.exe CPU.  Which can quickly be in th 30-70% range of CPU, with a few dozen windows open.  (These are not flash-y type pages, normal stuff, Forums, and Groupons and google books.)

Chrome uses a different architecture, I think each window open gets a thread under the windows OS as you see in task manager.  That is nice (especially if you could see what the thread is doing) for killing one aberrant CPU window, it also is Task Manager clutter.  An interesting approach.

Now I wonder why CPU goes so haywire in Firefox (memory usage can also go very high, like 500K .. but that can be reduced with Cleanmem and is not much of a problem anyway).  CPU usage will slow the system tremendously.

However, isn't the internet architecture supposed be stateless .. nothing is really supposed to be happening with open windows .. they are just "there".

btw, Opera does not seem to have any severe memory or CPU problems in my usage, however it is in only moderate use .  It is my #2 browser (e.g I like how it handles PDFs internally, which is good for bookmarks) and very fine, it is just that the wide-ranging extensions do not exist.  It also seems to be a bit less Linkman friendly (sometimes the focus is not there for Linkman on the current window) which for me is a factor.  Firefox is super-friendly to Linkman.

Granted, one way of getting around the Firefox problem is to close lots of windows.  Or simply kill and start fresh with a new session.  However, I do wish it were more CPU friendly.

As an example .. today it was just at some high-CPU (50+). I killed it and allowed it to restore the windows with session manager (usually I start fresh) but it is still at 30 .. quite high.  Now I will go in close.   

btw, I have the feeling that certain sites might be especially CPU unfriendly.  scribd .. a book reading site, I suspect.  If there was a debug-type utility that analyzed the Firefox CPU (and memory too if possible) that might be nice.

Your thoughts ?

btw .. All this is on my XP puter.  
Perhaps switching to my Windows 7 puter for main work would help.

Steven Avery

Hi Folks,

Many of use have used the Avira anti-virus for some years.  Some new changes make the
question more  who to replace them with, Avast, ESet or somebody else.


The details are on the Avira forum :

[Off-topic] Uniblue scareware ads (hello Uniblue, goodbye Avira)

[Off-topic] Registry Booster 2011 email from Avira;highlight=uniblue

[Off-topic] My shop is no longer recommending Avira;highlight=uniblue

[Off-topic] Avira and Uniblue?;highlight=uniblue

###Avira’s partnership with Uniblue###;highlight=uniblue


Wilders has a good discussion.

Avira Software Has Gone To The Dark Side


More at Web of Trust, Calendar of Updates, Security Garden, Softpedia, and more.


This support post from a couple of months ago is an ironic nutshell.

TR Dropper.Gen ; TR Crypt TPM gen Need Help Please - April, 2011;highlight=uniblue

... i think i downloaded this files SpeedUpMyPC , registry booster and driver scanner from uniblue i scan the computer using that and found many problem and then i fix all.

... I really dunno what you supposedly "fixed" with the programs from Uniblue, but this may have corrupted your system to the point where we can no longer recover the integrity of the system. ....


Steven Avery

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