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Topics - mouser [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / "Columnist Corner" - read in please
« on: March 20, 2005, 10:03 PM »
We were thinking about the possibility of setting up a section where we might have a couple blogs related to software.  the idea would be to have like some virtual "columnists", just a few, who might make an occasional blog-like post relating to some new program they found and liked, or maybe just some general comments on some software issue.

we like the idea of having things that are like weekly events so that people can depend on them and come to read them regularly, so it would be like, you'd know that every sunday you could come check out person X's column to see what they wrote about, it might be their thoughts on a specific program or on some issue in general, like an opinion column.  these would be really short posts, just like blog entries.  we would even use blog software in order to make updaing it easily for the "columnists".

thoughts on this? Maybe one or two people on this forum feels like having a column would be something they would be good at?  you wouldnt be doing long comprehensive reviews, just short little entertaining posts on something that interested you in the software world.  could be fun  :) or could end up being a burden to have to write a column entry each week  :(

probably i'm getting carried away but i was just thinking it might be fun to have like 7 columnists/bloggers, one for each day of the week, so that every day there would be one (and only one) new post to read.  We could call the section like "Columnist Corner" or "Opinion Central", with a nice hub page showing a lbutton ink for each day of the week/columnist.  heh the more i write about it the more i like it, but that's what usually happens to me at night and then i wake up and wonder wtf i was thinking.


ps. am i the only one who thinks that the Message Icon list needs to have more icons? i'll look into it.  maybe add some more smilies to the [more] list as well.

The Beyond Compare Review can be found here:


share your thoughts about why you agree or disagree with our review.. if you disagree, tell us about what program you think should have won.  note: this post is locked - please put comments in new threads.

Best File/Folder Compare Tool / What did you think of the review?
« on: March 19, 2005, 07:47 PM »
Well what did you guys think of the review?

I know it was long - i was thinking about whether we should split it into different pages..

please post your comments and let me know what direction you would like to see the reviews go in.

Living Room / Long post about the new 50% Discounts (!)
« on: March 19, 2005, 07:43 PM »
Long Story about the New 50% Discounts

Ok i think it's time to spill the beans about the new discounts situation.

I told you all before that we were going to be able to offer our members a 25% discount on the Agnitum Outpost Pro firewall.

I'll be sending out an email as well when the discount order bridge is up, but I want to share with you guys the full story behind what has become a 50% discount on both Agnitum Outpost Pro Firewall and on the new reviewed product, Beyond Compare !

After our initial review of Agnitum Outpost we were contacted by Agnitum, who were interested in our opinions of what could be done to adress the one critical aspect of our review.  After some discussions, I brought up the possibility of Agnitum offering a discount to our members here.

It initially appeared as though we were going to be able to arrange a 25% discount for our members, which would be pretty nice by itself.

It's fairly standard for software companies to offer commissions to sites or stores that can bring them sales, and Agnitum offered us a comission on sales generated from our discount offer.  This is common and standard practice.

But we decided that commissioned sales was something that we will not do.

We don't want to have commissions or advertising that would cause our members (you guys) to question whether our reviewers were slanted in order to boost sales revenue.  Such an arrangement seems like it would at the least cause some suspicion and mistrust.

We proposed instead that and Agnitum team up and try an interesting experiment.

We proposed, and the good folks at Agnitum were flexible enough to arrange, a 2 week period wherein our members would be offerred a 50% discount on purchases of Outpost Pro.  I think this is a fantastic offer and I'm really happy about the entire arrangement. received absolutely no commission or payment from Agnitum from this deal, which is why we were able to get such a high discount for you guys.

This is not to say that we don't benefit from this arrangement - we think we will benefit from making you guys happy you joined, and by showing that we are serious about being able to negotiate discounts for our members.  We hope that word of mouth will spread and that we will be able to get more visitors to the site to check out what we are doing here, and maybe even join the site with a small donation.

I hadn't really conceived of this site as a mechanism for collective bargaining but it's clear with the interest we've had in the site that we should be able to secure further discounts for our members.

Please bear in mind that we are absolutely committed to giving our reviews of programs without respect to whether a company is willing to offer a discount to you guys.  Whether they offer a discount is ultimately going to depend on whether they think it is in their interest.  But the more people we have at the more likely it will be that a company will want to offer a discount.

We made very clear to both Agnitum and ScooterSoftware, the company who makes our latest reviewed program Beyond Compare, that we were going to write our glowing reviews no matter what.  Whether they offered any discount at all.  The reviews get written based on our love of the programs we give awards to.  That's the whole point of our reviews, to find the best programs in each category that we love, and lavish praise on it and give it an award.  We made clear that the content of the review would be unaffected by the discount offered by them.

But we also explained that a significant discount, beyond the ordinary, would be something that our members would recognize as a fantastic opportunity to get the best program in it's class, and that such a discount would likely result in substantial purchases from our members.

It is to the credit of the Agnitum advertising team that they were flexible enough to be able to facilitate this arrangement, and we appreciate Agnitum working with us on this first experiment.

In fact on the basis of this arrangement, we were able to convince the company behind today's reviewed program that they would also benefit from offering a 50% discount on Beyond Compare.  You'll see from the review of Beyond Compare how much i truly love the program.  I've been a registered member for a few years now and it's just one of those programs that brings me joy to use.

Beyond Compare's normal price is only $30.  With 50% off that makes it only $15 which is almost obscene for this program.  And if you read today's review there's a suprise ending that blew me away when i spoke to the developer today and he told me.

The idea of Agnitum at $20 and Beyond Compare at $15 almost sounds illegal :)

We've set up a new section on the main page to spotlight these new discounts, and we will reserve this space for companies that are willing to offer our members significant discounts.  We hope this will bring a little more attention to these time-limited deals and encourage new members to join.

Again, we will accept no commissions or advertising fees from these companies; we benefit by making you guys happy you joined and by bringing new customers to our site who we hope will donate.  And the more people we have with us the more appealing it will be for companies to offer us discounts.  As always, people can join by making a donation of any amount.  We have had people join at $1 and people join at $200.  By donating what you think is fair we hope that you will view this site as a place you can feel proud to be a member of.

Now, please do not get spoiled by the size of these discounts.  We worked hard to get these up to 50% but we're just not going to be able to have this level of success all the time.  Don't expect every program we give a rave review to to be offered for a 50% discount - some companies may not be willing to offer a discount at all.

And also please don't forget that the reviews and discounts are just one part of this site!!!

Our software is the other main aspect of this site, and as you can see from the forum, we're having great fun talking with users about new feautres to add, and new possible programs to write.  In fact I'm hoping to make some updates available next week.  Your donations make this possible.

In time we hope to get a few more quality software authors to join us and offer some more unique homemade software.

and please forgive me for going on an on,
i want to send a sepcial thanks to bob at shellcity, and all of the wonderful software fanatics that have come over to us based on the announcements on bob's great site and newsletter.  it was a real thrill to us to have so many people join in the last week, and it really reinforced in us the desire to make this site a place where everyone involved feels like they are getting a great deal not at the expensive of someone else, but rather in cooperation with each other.

If you want to help, you can do so by simply spreading the word about this site.  We're going to be trying to get the word out ourselves but we can use all the help we can get.  And we're finding that once people find their way to the site, they seem to like what they see.  So if you can help us get out the word on any forums or newsletters you know about, please do!

I think that with your help we can make this site a real success and a nice place to hang out  :beerchug:
-mouser, and the team

the focus of our site is software, developing our own in house software and on recommending the best software.
i don't think hardware reviews are really in our purview.
but i was thinking it might be nice to have a little hardware section where people recommended hardware they have that they think is the best after careful comparisons?
to keep the same spirit of helping cut through all the confusion?

i have a canon inkjet i bought after years of hp and i just want to shout to the world how much i love it more than my old hps :)

Living Room / New charter members - please read in
« on: March 17, 2005, 10:45 PM »
By default after one registers at this forum, you will see when you post and in your profile you are marked as a "visitor."

When i get notified of a new signup at the forum i check forum profile against people who have donated, and i move your
status to "Charter Member" if it matches an email i have on file.

If you find that you are still maked as a "visitor" after a day, it probably means i missed it or you used a different email; just send me an email on personal message through the forum, and i'll make sure to correct it so that you are properly identified as a charter membet.

don't forget we will post a new software review/award every saturday.

actually this week we plan to do our first of hopefully many combo awards, where we will present two award, one for best app overall, and one for best open source / free alternative.

a very very warm welcome to all of you who found us through bob's fantastic ShellCity.Net site or Infopackets newsletter.

shell city has been one of my fav sites listing software for a long time - bob always finds new cool utilities that you never hear about anywhere else, and his archive is a treasure trove.

welcome welcome, make yourself at home.

and for our visitors here who don't know about the shell city site, or bob's infopackets newsletter, what are you waiting for?! start clicking!

Mircryption / Old mircryption forum on sourceforge
« on: March 17, 2005, 01:33 PM »
Just a link to the old mircryption forum on sourceforge:


further discussions about mircryption should take place here.

of course mircryption is still open source and always will be - it's just that as wonderful as sourceforge is, the forums their are truely the worlds worst  ;)

Mircryption / Mircryption humour contest
« on: March 17, 2005, 01:30 PM »
submissions i received for the 2005 mircryption humour contest are here:


Living Room / Search page added to main site
« on: March 17, 2005, 05:05 AM »
You can now search the website, using the Search link in upper right of main site pages.
there is also a quick link back and forth between the forum and website search pages.

I'm wondering how valuable people think it would be to make the help files for my programs browsable online?

Living Room / Ideas for web site
« on: March 16, 2005, 02:08 AM »
if anyone has ideas for ways to improve the website let me know;
two things i am working on now are 1) search function for the site and 2) a page of links to other sites we like.

Best Firewall / Discount available for member
« on: March 15, 2005, 05:16 PM »
Agnitum has agreed to give a 25% discount to members.
A fantastic deal on the best firewall available.  Details to follow.

We have been able to increase this to 50%  :eusa_dance:
See details in Member Section

Living Room / links from forums to web site pages and vice versa
« on: March 15, 2005, 05:14 PM »
i've just added links back and forth between the forum sections see (link) text, and the web site pages.

Living Room / Avatars available
« on: March 14, 2005, 10:36 PM »
I uploaded a ton of fun avatars you can use to customize your appearance here on the forum.
You can also upload or link to your own custom avatar (max 65x65).

Let me know if there are other forum features you would like.

Mouser's Zone / Any new ideas for small utilities?
« on: March 14, 2005, 10:35 PM »
If anyone has an idea for a small little utility (the smaller the better!) that hasn't been done well yet, please post your ideas - i'm always looking for small little projects that can be written in a week or so.

ProcessTamer / ideas for process tamer
« on: March 14, 2005, 08:06 PM »
ProcessTamer is the latest little utility i've been working on.
there are several things i could add to it - if anyone has desired functions please let me know.

things that could be added:
  • a nice gui for configuring new rules/exclusions
  • more kinds of rules, for example to restart an app if it is found not running; to set time periods for running apps at certain priorities, etc.
  • ability to display current processes and priorities from tray click
  • ability to configure and switch between rule sets from the tray icon
  • customizable icons for tray
  • ability to add custom menus to tray icon for launching or stopping certain processes
  • features to let you use process tamer to collect a log of what programs were run and when (ie statistics on time spent)
  • better simple logging info
  • more options about configuring program, like turning off baloon hints, etc.
  • win9x suppper

ps. if you are a member of make sure you grab the latest release which is available for members only (see members only section).

General Review Discussion / Review suggestions
« on: March 13, 2005, 10:55 PM »
Here are the categories we plan on reviewing next:

Best File/Folder Comparison Tool.
Best Web Change Monitor.

Please let us know what you think we should review next..  Once we get enough members we can use a weekly poll to decide what categories we should judge, that way members can get reviews that are most useful to them.

we could also investigate getting more reviewers to increase the quantity of reviews.

We are still working out the best way to add new developers to this site.

We are interested in authors with high quality software (ideally more than one program), who are willing to provide some degree of informal support to users through our forums.  the software cannot be shareware, ie it cannot have any limitations that are only available on purchase.

I think we have some good ideas that would be fair for everyone  in terms of ways to split incoming donations - one approach would be simply to let people who donate to decide how to divide their donations among developers; would require a little bit of work setting up but has some real advantages in terms of fairness and in terms of avoiding people feeling like they weren't getting their "fair share".

if you expect to make lots of money from having your programs here, then you're better off trying to sell your programs as shareware.  very little money comes into this site, and we are not about getting rich.  of all the people that use the programs I wrote here, very very few ever donate.  this is more about having a nice home for your software, and getting the occasional donation from somone who likes your work.

UrlSnooper / Streaming Media Recording Resources
« on: March 13, 2005, 10:47 PM »
The absolute best place for help on recording streaming media is at the Streaming Media Recording Forum:

UrlSnooper / Older Project Url Snooper Forum
« on: March 13, 2005, 10:46 PM »
The old Project Url Snooper forum is here:  http://p084.ezboard..../fstreemeboxvcrfrm11

old forum is no more.

Best Music Service / Music Service Review/Award - Napster
« on: March 13, 2005, 09:51 PM »
The Review of Napster can be found here:


share your thoughts about why you agree or disagree with our review.. if you disagree, tell us about what program you think should have won.  note: this post is locked - please put comments in new threads.

Best Firewall / Firewall Review/Award - Agnitum Outpost Pro
« on: March 13, 2005, 09:49 PM »
The Agnitum Outpost Pro Review can be found here:


share your thoughts about why you agree or disagree with our review.. if you disagree, tell us about what program you think should have won.  note: this post is locked - please put comments in new threads.

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