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Thanks TaoPhoenix, it is nice to see someone found this interesting enough to reply!

This was a real world scenario from an industrial manufacturing environment - a company wanted to digitally capture weights from their production line utilizing existing hardware, which commanded the use of RS-232 ports.  Sure, RS-232 is "outdated" and no longer found on the typical home computer these days, but despite that fact serial communications are still extensively used in manufacturing environments and on analytical equipment.  It would be quite handy for a programmer to know how to interface their programs with serial ports if they wish to be hired to work in a manufacturing environment.

I need a way to automatically place a dynamic stamp onto a document when it is printed to the default printer.  The dynamic stamp would include the current date and time of printing (the dynamic aspect) and also include some static text, something along the lines of "This document expires 8 hours after the date and time listed."  Customizable text here would be sweet.

This needs to work with any printed document type, be it .TXT, .PDF or whatever, and this stamp must appear on every printed page.

All of the programs I have found seem to allow dynamic stamping but require the document be stamped and then saved prior to being printed.  In other words, sure I can place a dynamic date and time stamp on a batch of .PDF's and save them in one sitting, but then they will have the date and time on them from the stamping session instead of an "on the fly" stamp with the current date and time at the moment of printing, as is needed.

Thank you for your consideration, and any input would be greatly appreciated.


Cancel this request.

Found WinCT with RSKey which is a free utility with configurable serial port options, and after some fiddling it does everything I need it to do.

Thank you for your time.

Forgot to mention, needs to pass along the decimal point in addition to the numerical data...

Thanks for your consideration!

I have a scale.  This scale weighs an item and after both a button is pressed and a stable weight is determined, that weight can be sent via RS-232 to a Windows 7 workstation.  It communicates well with HyperTerminal, however I can't collect the weights into a table or form using HT.  Also, the output from the balance is right-aligned with empty characters (spaces?) and contains the unit of weight (in this case, "g" for grams).

What I would like to see is a program hiding in the system tray which will read the serial data and strip out the empty characters as well as the unit of weight (no matter what letter or letters), passing along only the numerical values to an empty field in the Windows environment.  An example of an empty field would be Notepad or Excel - anywhere the cursor will place text.  Also requested is the ability to choose whether to place a carriage return & line feed and/or tab value after the data is sent, as well as the typically configurable serial port stuff.

I could really use something like this in the next week...  I hope this sounds easy enough for someone to take on, or if someone knows of something like this which is currently available please point me in the right direction.


Living Room / Re: This Car Runs on Code
« on: March 09, 2010, 03:57 PM »
Does anybody know a case in which the on-board software in some of these machines failed?
(I know that Ariane's 5 first launch crashed because of a software bug)

Can you say Toyota?  Call it a gut feeling...

I'm curious if anyone can whip up a quick program to control 4 electronic relays via either an RS-232 serial port or a parallel port.  I know, you are likely wondering who in the heck uses COM or LTP ports anymore, right?  The quick answer is, I would like to!

The idea is for me to build and be able to control an outdoors camera mount, so it may tilt up, tilt down, pan left and pan right.  I would love for the control to be done via web interface accessible from anywhere on the 'net, however I would be plenty happy with four clickable buttons in a window.

My thoughts are that one button in the program would control one relay each.  Each relay could be controlled just by toggling one pin in the serial or parallel port high in relation to ground when a button is clicked on, maintain the pin toggled high while the button remains clicked, and then return that pin to 0v when the button is no longer being clicked, that would work.

Electronically, I'd like to keep this project as simple as possible.  By toggling one pin high, I was thinking I could use a power supply and a few transistors between the serial port pins and the relays, to provide and control the voltage used to drive the relays.

My idea is to implement a camera for my community watch along a tree line with a foot path carrying suspect foot traffic.  Pan and tilt would be awesome to include but aren't exactly necessary, so if this can't be done quickly and easily, no worries.

Since we're a not-for-profit group we cannot really afford nifty wireless IP cameras nor any other equipment I would love to see deployed, however I do have a spare sony 1/3 inch CCD camera on hand, along with electronic and mechanical components to whip up both the control and pan/tilt unit.  I will be donating the home brew electronics hardware to the community watch.  If you could dontate the software to toggle some serial port pins high and low, and maybe integrate a web based interface, we would all be thankful.

                        National Cyber Alert System

                  Technical Cyber Security Alert TA07-089A

Microsoft Windows ANI header stack buffer overflow

   Original release date: March 30, 2007
   Last revised: --
   Source: US-CERT

Systems Affected

   Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003, and Vista are affected.
   Applications that provide attack vectors include:

     * Microsoft Internet Explorer
     * Microsoft Outlook
     * Microsoft Outlook Express
     * Microsoft Windows Mail
     * Microsoft Windows Explorer


   An unpatched buffer overflow vulnerability in the way Microsoft
   Windows handles animated cursor files is actively being exploited.

I. Description

   A stack buffer overflow exists in the code that Microsoft Windows
   uses to processes animated cursor files. Specifically, Microsoft
   Windows fails to properly validate the size of an animated cursor
   file header supplied in animated cursor files.

   Animated cursor files can be included with HTML files. For
   instance, a web site can use an animated cursor file to specify the
   icon that the mouse pointer should use when hovering over a
   hyperlink. Because of this, malicious web pages and HTML email
   messages can be used to exploit this vulnerability. In addition,
   animated cursor files are automatically parsed by Windows Explorer
   when the containing folder is opened or the file is used as a
   cursor. Because of this, opening a folder that contains a specially
   crafted animated cursor file will also trigger this vulnerability.

   Note that Windows Explorer will process animated cursor files with
   several different file extensions, such as .ani, .cur, or .ico.
   Furthermore, Windows will automatically render animated cursor
   files referenced by HTML documents regardless of the animated
   cursor file extension.

   This vulnerability is actively being exploited.

   More information is available in Vulnerability Note VU#191609.

II. Impact

   A remote, unauthenticated attacker may be able to execute arbitrary
   code. Exploitation may occur when a user clicks a malicious link,
   reads or forwards a specially crafted HTML email, or accesses a
   folder containing a malicious animated cursor file.

III. Solution

   Until a fix is available, refer to the Solution section of
   Vulnerability Note VU#191609 for the latest workarounds.

IV. References

     * Vulnerability Note VU#191609 -

     * Microsoft Security Advisory (935423) -

     * Unpatched Drive-By Exploit Found On The Web -

     * TROJ_ANICHMOO.AX - Description and Solution -


   The most recent version of this document can be found at:


edit by jgpaiva: making links clickable

Living Room / Re: Building a Quiet PC
« on: December 22, 2006, 02:32 AM »
I've heard spinning pc fans for almost 25 years now (due to pc exposure).  I'm almost 30.  I have to agree with app, it's like white noise - and without it, some of us end up wanting to go insane.

I've awakened from slumber in the past when the power went out.  The silence woke me.  Of course, this was before I bought the uninterruptable power supplies.  Now I sleep like a baby even if the power goes out.   :D

General Software Discussion / New Mozilla CERT Vulnerability Alerts
« on: December 21, 2006, 10:17 AM »
Please check out the following link.

For instructions on subscribing to or unsubscribing from the CERT mailing list, please visit:

I'd like to see a hardware section, personally.  I know it's donationCODER, but in order to code, don't you have to have hardware to code with, and on?

Just my $0.02 - I'd prolly be more active here if there were a dedicated hardware section.

Living Room / Re: Building a Quiet PC
« on: December 19, 2006, 07:05 AM »
Hmmm, interresting concept - silent PCs.

It's when I can't hear my pc that I know there's a problem.  If a fan stops spinning, I'll notice it if it's normally loud.

Being a smoker who smokes in front of his multple pc's, hearing the fans at work is a good thing.  When I can't hear them, or when smoke dust has worked its way into the bearings and they begin to whine on startup, that's when I know it's time to bust out with a tooth brush and some oil to clean them up and "refurbish" them.

Granted, I do run motherboard monitoring software (Asus Probe, MotherBoard Monitor, etc) which helps me keep track of fan speeds and temps.  However, I'm not in a nuclear sub, monitoring the former Soviet Republic's naval activities - silence doesn't matter much to me.  Effective cooling does.

One of the nifty features of my Plextor DVD burner is the option to slow the drive's opening mechanism to one of a small number of preset speeds, to silence it even more for "when silence is golden" or something.  I say, let that drive open at full speed, because it's not that loud to begin with.  However, for those looking for silence in components like a DVD burner, I'd have to suggest looking at the Plextor line-up of drives.  Mine's a bit old (it's a PX-716A), but it acts just like new.

Sheesh, I wish I could have found this program a long time ago!

Thanks to all - this critter does the job!  Scratch this off the request list!

Post New Requests Here / IDEA: Alarm Clock which plays music files
« on: August 15, 2006, 02:11 AM »
My idea: A simple GUI or CLI alarm clock, which plays either .mp3 or .wav files for the alarm.  The user would have to supply the music file.  Its use would be to wake someone up to the music of their choice, after a night's worth of "restful" sleep.  Naturally, this would require leaving their bedside computer on all night, or sleeping in front of their computer.

Features would need to include a snooze button (either a button in a GUI, or a specific key such as the spacebar in a CLI version), and the alarm clock program must play the music file repeatedly until either the snooze button is hit (9 minutes would rock for a snooze time), or until the program is terminated.

The ability to use it on any version of Windows would definitely be a plus, for fairly wide-spread compatibility and use.  Not everyone uses XP these days...

I almost forgot - the ability to specify the time at which the alarm goes off would also be needed.  :)  None of this preset "it's gonna go off at 3:30am every morning" funny stuff.

To whomever may desire to tackle this one - Feel free to add to this, or choose which specific music file format will be used in the end product.  Above, I've listed my bare requirements.  Anything above and beyond is solely at the option of the coder.

Additional, completely optional ideas would be:

A playlist of music files, instead of just playing one specified music file.

Adjustable snooze times.

The ability to change the color of the alarm clock display.  The coder picks the available colors.

Multiple alarms for couples in bed - one alarm music file (or playlist) signalling for one person to get up, and another alarm, with a different music file (or playlist) signalling for their better/worse half to get up at a later point in time.

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