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Messages - tslim [ switch to compact view ]

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My boot disk was a SATA HDD with 3 logical drive C:, E: and F:.
C: has WinXP installed on it.
E: holds data required by programs to start running and temp folders.
F: is the drive I install all my applications or programs.

I just replace that SATA HDD (I found it developing bad sectors) with a 120GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD and because I am rather busy nowadays, I have decided to simply restore the HDD's recent image to the SSD and start using the SDD as my boot disk.

For all info and knowledges that I have collected about SSD, I now have some questions and am seeking for advices/answers:

1. Can partitioning a SSD drive decrease its lifespan?
(I mean am I actually cutting short the lifespan of my SSD unnecessarily by keeping the 3 logical drives structure)
For my case, E: > F: or C: in term of file changes. (E: has temp folders, whenever a program has an option for me to specify its temp folder, I will set it to a folder in E:). Since I has restricted many creation and deletion of temp files to only take places in drive E:, it seems that I am forcing higher frequncy of file changes to occur only at a limited area of the SSD (the scope of drive E:)... so is the above concern of mine really matter?

2. I am glad to know that PerfectDisk 12 has a SSD optimization that specially designed to catter for SSD defragmentation and I have read their idea of creating continuos free space blocks to increase SSD writing rate. I plan to buy a license for the Pro version of PD. But after thinking for a while it seems that something is not right about creating few big block of free space on SSD... it seems that PD12's idea of free space consolidation is simply a shift of time to erase area of SSD that could be written later. I mean, it is just a matter of erasing an area on SDD on-the-fly while writing data (without using PD12's SSD optimization at all) or pre-erase (using PD12) that area for future writes... and the amount of changes (thus the time they required) to the SSD are actually the same either way. Am I right that, PD12's SSD optimization should always be done with its Stealth Petrol scheduling mode? Because otherwise it forfeit the "increase write performance" claim!

3. If I choose to let PD12 does the SSD optimization for me with Stealth Petrol mode, how do I determine a reasonable fragmentation threshold percentage for PD12 to start that optimization? Or does that percentage setting field has become meaningless for SSD optimization since we are now talking about free space fragmentation instead of occupied space fragmentation... Or, may be I should ask this another way, when SSD optimization is concerned, if I place a non-zero value in fragmentation threshold percentage field, will that affect when to start optimzation, if the answer is yes, does the % apply to free space or occupied space?

4. I think the author of this article is too much, is a bit paranoid in elongating the lifespan of a SSD until he forgets the purpose of using a SSD is mainly for higher performance (otherwise I see no reason why one will not go for a HDD instead). Is there anyone here have any idea how long my SSD can last if I simply use it as I were using a SATA HDD and do not do anything as suggested by that article?

Please feel free to tell me anything about SSD that you think is crucial even if it isn't answering any of the above... thank you.

That game has a social edition launched in China web site, which will not be translated into a English copy...

My main problem in upgrading to the PRO version is really strange...

I have assigned different icon to almost all my Macro Express 3.x macros and those icons are stored in few ICL files.
I place those ICL files either:
1. In a HDD folder or
2. In a folder on my RamDrive. (Created with QSoft RanDrive, http://members.fortu...download_and_003.htm)

Macro Express Pro crashes or become unstable if it tries to open/access a macro (converted from ME3) which has been assigned an icon from a ICL file sit on my RamDrive (case 2. above). If the assigned icon is from a HDD (case 1. above) then there won't be a problem.

Macro Express 3.x, True LaunchBar, Axialis IconWorkShop all have no problem openning icon in those ICL files that sit on my RamDrive, except for this crazy Macro Express Pro...

Anyone here care to help me confirm my findings?
Just grab a copy of QSoft RamDrive from the above address and place the attached ICL file on the RamDrive created by it then try to assign your Macro Express Pro macro with an icon from the ICL (particularly icon#3, you should see it crashes...

Just to ask the obvious, did you try wiping ME from your machine and starting over (after first saving your macros elsewhere)?
-cranioscopical (May 19, 2011, 03:49 PM)
I didn't.
As long as only either is running, I don't see how the other can't just sit there on the harddisk...

I haven't used it on my Win7 machine, only on XP (and for a couple of years now), but haven't seen any problems on XP.

Are you sure?
I just tried it in WinXP+Sp3, its macro explorer is quite buggy.

I can tolerate problem due to version incompatibility, i.e. I understand that since commands have been changed in PRO version, so some old macro might not work correctly.

However, my macro (about 80 of them are not that complex) all run fine after being converted to PRO format. I just can't Open some of my macro with script editor (it just crashes) or after opened one macro that immediately place macro explorer into a "crash ready to go next" status... i.e. if I touch anything else, it crashes. It is buggy... sigh!

Hello tslim,

btw. - have you ever had a look to ??
the advantage ist among others, that you can convert macros to exe files with it's own compiler.
you can access dll files and and and - do nearly everything.
It's worth a try!

Kind greetings

I just flip through QM on-line help, its schedule function seems to be limited.
I want to upgrade to Macro Express Pro, partly because of its improved scheduling function.

I am. It's rock solid for what I do.
Of what problems do the forums speak?
-cranioscopical (May 18, 2011, 02:42 PM)

I have read these:

and they are quite recent, that scares me.

General Software Discussion / Macro Express Pro user, anyone?
« on: May 18, 2011, 02:08 PM »

I plan to upgrade my Macro Express 3 to Pro version but few posts in Macro Express forum scare me... (those posts are from WinVista and Win7 users who run Macro Express)

Is there anyone using Macro Express Pro here? Do you find it OK with WinXP?

General Software Discussion / Re: SyncBackSE vs. SuperFlexible
« on: March 05, 2011, 04:20 PM »
For example, when you want to just sync certain folders, you are presented with the following radio buttons:
(see attachment in previous post)So you would ask, "How do I select the folders?" Well, when you click the radio button for select folders and files, then the explorer tree hierarchy dialog pops up.  But that REALLY strange because radio buttons shouldn't behave that way.  Radio buttons should only move the dot around to the selected item, not activate additional dialogs or windows.  What it SHOULD be is like that "Browse" button above it.  When a user sees that button, he expects a dialog to pop up.

That is not a good example.
The main reason one would use a radio buttons is to provide choices to user with the below considerations:
1. User must and can only choose one item among few provided. i.e. Options are mutually exclusive!
2. The choices must not be too many, otherwise one should instead use a picklist.

Once user made a choice, radio button can cause implicit or explicit effect... it has to have either of them, otherwise there is no point in implementing it.

Just look at one standard Windows dialog "Printing preference" which can be brought up by clicking the [Preference] button on a print page:

Implicit effect (Paper/Quality section of the dialog):
If your printer supports color printing, the Printing Preference->Paper Quality section has radio buttons: () Black & White  (o) Color
if user click one of the two buttons, nothing happen, the effect is implicit (you will see it only when you really print something)

Explicit effect (Layout section of the dialog)
(o) Portratit   () Lanscape   () Rotated Landscape
Choosing any of the button causes the Preview image of a document to change on the fly and of course you will see even bigger effect when you print your document. But the fact that choosing a radio button causes preview image to change immediately means it is OK to have something taken place after user click a radio button.

For the example you have stated, the author of SFFS is using radio button to make sure one (and only one) of the 3 possible choices will be selected. In that case I don't think there is any other better mechanism than radio button. Of course, he could provide a button [Select folders] or [Browse] to bring up the folder selection dialog and only had it enabled after the third radio button (Selected Folders and Files) is clicked, but that is inefficient because it takes 2 clicks rather than 1 to bring up the folder selection dialog.

Btw, I am currently evaluating SFFS and SBSE, I think SFFS's interface is not that bad as few of you have suggested. In fact, I do like SFFS design such that the top portion of a profile always stay there when I switch among its advance setting sections at the bottom portion. It is like when I adds items to an invoice, if the item list is lengthy, it might scroll vertically, but I would want the invoice header to stay visible.

However, I do agree with some (bad) comments on SFFS interface:
1. The bottom portion of the SFFS's Profile setup dialog is rather congested. That makes things looked untidy and uncomfortable at a glance. I wonder why the author doesn't want to make that dialog bigger?

2. Due to the big number of options, there always exist options which are mutually exclusive. If I make a choice somewhere, SFFS does not disable other conflicting or irrelevant options automatically. That sometimes make me wonder how/will things work together...

I think for any feature that existing in both programs, SBSE almost always offer more options than SFFS. E.g. its "profile grouping" and "zipping" feature are far superior than SFFS.
However, SFFS does offer features that are not available in SBSE: SFFS has its own scheduler (in fact it is better in every aspect of scheduling compare to SBSE), and best of all it can be run as an NT services which does not required user login. I just wonder whether it works well as a service in MS Server 2008?

I use MP3gain (NOT pro - different author!!) which does normalise tracks, but not within a track - but worth noting what the author says when comparing the two apps:

    * "Mp3Gain PRO" does volume normalization inside the mp3, not just between separate mp3s. So if you feel a song is too quiet at the beginning (or middle, or end), then it can boost the volume just for that part. Pretty cool, if that's what you need.
    * The changes "Mp3Gain PRO" makes are not undo-able. In order to make its fine-tuned adjustments, it must re-encode the mp3 file.

I have had the experience (with mp3gain) that although tracks are normalised, one track will still sound louder or quieter - I presume this is related to the "sound" of the track, but I dont know.

My understanding is MP3 Gain writes the value of db adjustment (against a targeted db) in MP3 tag which means:

1. Other song format without a tag like mp3 won't be supported.
2. A player that plays the mp3 must be aware of that tag and is able to adjust volume level accordingly.

I prefer adjustment that is player independent.

.. and it supports SDRam

Guess you are talking about an SD card, not SD-Ram, that's totally not compatible with car-audio :-[

(Edit: Added link to SD card wikipedia page)

You are right, I mean SD memory card... :)

Have you tried Audacity?


Probably works as well as many of the paid audio programs.  Also I found, audacity aside, that ripping audio to .wma if your car stereo supports it, can fit more songs on a disc with the same quality.  The same audio that I ripped to .mp3 @320 sounded as good or better ripping to .wma @192.

I'm new to Audacity myself, so I have no expert usage advice. I had some video with horrible audio tracks, as in screeching loud, that I had to tone down.  Audacity did the trick. I just messed around with it with maybe a peek or 2 at the manual.

I have a quite decent model of Pioneer car studio and it supports SDRam (I have a 4G SDRam that can store close to 400 high quality mp3 songs). So, mp3 format is fine for me since I don't have problem with storage capacity.

Btw, thanks for your suggestion of Audacity.

My Google search  produce very few other programs (besides those listed by me and Audacity as suggested by you) that can batch process for my 2 needs:
1) Normalize group of MP3 (I mean even out their volumn level so I don't need to keep adjusting volume knob while driving)
2) Adjust song quality with an Equalizer interface and save it permanently in the MP3 itself.


Anyone has experience using one or more of these MP3 utilities:
MP3 Doctor, MP3 Doctor Pro, SuperMp3Normalizer and MP3 Gain PRO. Please kindly share with me your opinions in them.

The below are two of the emails that I have sent to the author (I suppose all the programs are from the same author)

I try Mp3Doctor PRO and I have questions:

Since I can't find single mode in the program:
I have a folder contains about a hundred mp3 files which I want to normalize
and among them there are few (3 of them) that I want to boost the singer's
vocal using the "Equalize" feature (the musical instruments sound too loud).
So how do I normalize all the files and only have that 3 mp3 files processed
with "Equalize" switch ON?


I have tried the mp3Doctor Pro with few songs.
I purposely selected songs from my collection with varying volumn (one
particular mp3 song obviously sounds louder than the rest)
It seems that mp3Doctor Pro does not make them even in volumn. A songs which
sound louder than others remain louder after processed!
(Though mp3Doctor Pro's "Equalize" feature works as I have expected)

I am really disappointed for you can't even explain to me what tool should I
buy. I don't mind to buy more than one tools if I really need them.

Here: I am presented with screenshot of
MP3 Doctor and MP3 Doctor PRO and I got special offer to buy both Mp3Doctor
PRO and SuperMp3Normalizer together.

Here: I found screenshot
of  SuperMp3Normalizer.

Here: I found screenshot of  MP3
Gain PRO which seems to be the same as SuperMp3Normalizer.
and its purchase page is offering
me to buy MP3 Gain PRO together with mp3Doctor Pro at a discounted price.

I mean, who in the world should I refer to, to distinguish the different of
the 3 programs. I am serious in getting tools I need, should I instead get
MP3 Gain PRO since I also want to make even all my songs volumn so that I
can play them nicely with my car studio.

I have mix feeling as should I buy a license of one or more of the programs:
1. The program quickly expired after I try it with a few songs... So, I can't really come up with a conclusion about its quality.
2. The websites of the programs are so poorly made. e.g. up to this point of writing, I am still unsure whether MP3Doctor PRO normalize (permanently even out all my MP3 songs volumn level).

Again, please kindly share with me your experience (if any) with the above.

Well, maybe we have our answer for the antivirus/firewall categories.
I'm under the impression that the Windows firewall was extensively improved for Windows 7 (or perhaps Vista, I'm not sure), but that it's not so good for Windows XP.  Am I mistaken?
It was introduced with XP SP2, and it was just fine back then - what you really need is incoming stuff blocked, and the XP firewall does that just fine.

I use Outpost Pro for firewall.
Can MS firewall block all hidden outgoing traffic (program call home)? I am particular about this issue unless it is something like checking for newer version (that I allow).
I have never use MS firewall before, is the one built in Win7 good enough to do the above?

Just to share my finding and experience:

If you are like me, have a lot of mp3 song collection whose tag info are in multiple languages. (In my case they are English and Chinese Simplified, yours could be different, of course) then this freeware player:

TTPlayer from:

is a must have!!!

1. With few clicks, it can convert tag info of all songs in a folder (sometime I have more than hundred songs in a folder) base on your chosen codepage.  :-*

2. Its lyric search and control feature is so efficient that I can't even think of a better way.

3. It is so easy to extract into individual high quality mp3 files from an APE (with its cue file available).

In brief, every feature I need now and probably in the future is already in the program (that include auto-tagging, tag to file naming etc). I own a MediaMonkey Gold license, but I hardly use it any more due to unicode probelm and I am heavily rely on this free tool nowadays.

The only thing it lacks currently is, it can't really play DTS music file (e.g. some recent WAV file with surround musci effect)...


Unfortunately, because it is created by Chinese programmer it has Chinese user interface.
I have not search around for an English version before, may be it is available somewhere out there...

a measure which is based on internet connection speed can not be used to judge how good an achieve[sic] program is.

This is false. You seem to believe that there is a single best program for everyone, that they can be judged in absolute terms.
No! My statement is not FALSE. It has nothing to do with "single best program for everyone"
I just want to point out that, if there is a formula which measure the power of archive program, then "internet connection speed" can never be a factor of that formula.

In a layman concept, you can of course relate anything as a mean to measure the usefulness of archive program, but any conclusion you made will become subjective and (no offense, please) is a crap. Just like I could say, because my keyboard is crack and therefore very difficult for me to type/input into MS Excel, I therefore find MS Excel is not good.
Would you agree with me that "keyboard" is a solid factor to measure how good MS Excel is?

However you do not seem to grok that the bottleneck in my complete work-flow is the internet connection...
I understand internet connection speed is the bottleneck and I also understand in your case, the best archiver will be the one which compresses the most.

However, no archive utility relies on internet connection to do its job, so a measure which is based on internet connection speed can not be used to judge how good an archive program is.

Your point is very true...with a high capacity connection.

However, I have to pull those files through a 512KBit connection which is costing about 120 USD/month. You can get cheaper, higher rated connections over here, but those lines here are really 'overbooked' and unreliable.  In my situation I simply lose too much time downloading. Besides that, my download is immediately ready to be stored on the least amount of DVD's.

I find your way of measuring efficiency odd...
1. It takes you longer to produce the smallest size zip but requires less download time.
2. It takes you longer to download a moderate size zip but saves you some compression time.

Either way, you are simply swithcing the "wait" between the 2 processes.

If the zip is prepared by someone else, then he/she always produces a bigger zip to save his/her time, that is a matter of his/her choice and should not be taken as a factor in determining WinRar's efficiency.

The problem is that a workaround is just that .. a way around the actual problem, not solving it. And my fear is that sometimes having these user forums where power users propagate the workarounds they found and use to new users will stop the software developers from realizing maybe there is something that should be changed here.

They may monitor the forums and read the posts, but they may also get a "problem solved" kind of feeling when they see a power user posting a workaround.

What do you think?

I think I cen agree 50% with you.
When someone suggest a workaround to a software problem, particularly, if that someone is a representative of the developer company or the software author himself... then chances is there won't be a fix/change/rectification soon.

However, the above is not limited to 'user forum', the workaround suggetion could happen in a form of support email (to you) as a response of feedback system. So the real hinder is not cause by 'user forum', it is the attitude of the developer.

My believe is:
Only software with good future (never stop in the progress of growing better and better) and serious developer(s) can afford a use forum. Otherwise, the software company will either find a thousand reasons to not providing user forum or stop an existing one .

General Software Discussion / Re: What to use to back up 1:1 ?
« on: June 01, 2010, 03:21 AM »
I started Windows and everything was fine (it takes a little longer to boot while the SATA adpater does something).  I formatted the drive with NTFS using Windows default administration tools.  I set up DirSync to transfer the information over and after double-checking several times, I started the process.  It took a while (a few hours?) but when it was done, it was all very good.  I checked to see if the data was properly backed up and everything.  I was happy, and took a couple of hours off for good behavior.  I came back to the computer to do some other stuff, was browsing the internet, and, BAM, everything freezes on the screen.  I couldn't do anything, I couldn't even reboot or type, move the mouse...nothing.  I thought, "No big deal, the computer just crashed."  When I restarted, the BIOS would not recognize my old Seagate 300 GB storage drive.  It was gone.  That was a disaster.  I was so freaked out and devastated that I had to go on my bed and just lie down for a minute.  You see, I had forgotten that I had just backed up all the data only hours before!  It took me a few minutes to remember that fact, but when I did, I was relieved a little.  However, now, I was on pins and needles because my data was still only in one location on the new Seagate.  Just to be safe, I pulled the drive out and was not intending to use it again until I receive the replacement drive from Seagate.  THAT'S WHY YOU WANT THE 5-YEAR WARRANTY; THAT OLD DRIVE WAS COVERED UNTIL 2010!
You shouldn't use Seagate (I myself have had several HDD failure with Seagate HDD). try Western Digital HDD. They have different series of HDD, if I recall correctly, their YS series is very durable. I have 3 units of 500G WD HDD being used for years on daily basic and never give me a single problem.

Seagate = Poison :down:

YU thoroughly removes installed applications via the applications uninstaller and THEN scans the registry and file system for known changes based on the type of installer/uninstaller used. Works really well.
It depends on your level of demand.
If you are curious about what has been added to your computer or you want an absolute clean uninstallation later, using uninstaller like Ashampoo Uninstaller or Total Uninstall is always a better choice.

Ashampoo I use very rarely
Me too! It is too slow.
Instead I always use Total Uninstall which is much faster and can work in both ways that you have described.

I NEVER use it to actually perform an uninstall, though... Doing so is asking for trouble because any background process that is running while creating the uninstallation snapshot that makes changes to the registry during that time is going to be corrupted...

I think your 'believe' above is very misleading if not totally wrong.

1) Generally speaking, if there are background programs that need to write crucial info to registry while you are doing program installation - that implies you are not installing under recommanded mode... didn't you be informed/advised to turn OFF unneccesary applications prior to installation?

2) Even if there is exception, say you are unable to turn off some background programs/services that write to file or registry, those writting, normally are non-crucial records of temporary info. Throughout my life of installing so many applications (with proper monitoring of the process) I have never come across a case where I can't easily stop a software (prior to installation) that really write crucial' info at the background.

3) Any uninstaller like Ashampoo (or Total Uninstall) will normally offer feature to exclude background disturbances. I mean what you need to do is to simply create a snapshot of your system while you are not installing anything and do something you normally will while installing application, say open notepad, run window explorer and then just create another snapshot to find out those background I/O either to registry or files, the process is rather simple, what you need to do is just add those found items to the uninstaller's exclude list.

IMO, if one doesn't find uninstaller like Ashampoo Uninstaller or Total Uninstall good (or find them very troublesome to use), he/she generally has very low expectation on how much he/she can monitor a program installation, i.e. I think Windows's ordinary install and uninstall procedure from the control panel is good enough for him/her.

General Software Discussion / Re: Clipboard Managing-Which one?
« on: May 08, 2010, 12:12 PM »
For clipboard assistant program, there are 6 features I always want:
1. Combo seek supported (at least for English)
2. Flexible and fully user-definable hotkey (for copy and paste)
3. Unicode aware
4. Spell Checker (English)
5. A seperate favarite clip list (triggered by another user-definable hootkey)
6. Program dependent paste method.

For 1. if I type "test" the highlight bar moves to first item starts with 't' then first item starts with 'te' and it follows.
For 2. [win] key must be supported particularly.
For 3. I normally use 3 different languages (Englisg, Simplified Chinese and another language)
For 4. Something like what is provided by mouser's program
For 5. I mean I can choose a text from the clip list and tag it as a fav item and the fav list is undisturbed by normal copy action but has its own hotkey to bring it up.
For 6. I have program which requires characters to be feed like typing instead of 'paste', I wish I could define a list of program such that when I am pasting a clip, the string is "type" instead of "paste" to them.

If anyone knows a clipboard assitant program that can do all the above, please kindly post it in this thread! Thank you! :P

Well, I do remember when I was a student, I have all the time and interest to play many computer games... but I can't afford to buy them.
Now, I have no problem, be it upgrade my PC or buying a computer game, but I don't have that much time... sigh! :(
What worries me the most is, in the future when I retire, I might have both time and money for computer games... but I might not have interest in playing them any more. :P

Sometimes you can't afford to upgrade- do you then stop gaming until you can? 
Sure, my answer is NO. You can always choose to just stop playing only game that requires hardware upgrade, until you can.

I think that there are quite a few cases where extra processes can mean the difference between a playable game experience and not, and I've been in that boat where I'm trying to squeeze a few extra FPS out of my system.
I don't really know what do you mean by "quite a few cases".
If it means most of the games that you are playing, then again, I will still suggest an hardware upgrade.
If many of the games that you want to play requires hardware upgrade and you really feel painful (burget short) to do it, may be it is time to stop playing games and go make some extra money...  :P

To me your list of speedup software seems overly excessive. I suspect a lot of overlapping functionality within this set.

When you start a gaming session, would it not be smarter to disable (MS Windows and 3rth party) services and other background tasks (indexing for example) that are not essential for the game? Throwing in the famous car analogy...'nothing beats cubic inches'.

Go and look at sites like to see which services can be disabled. Besides spending some time this solution is free, unlike all those more or less 'snakeoil' type of software you mentioned.

IMO, those programs are good to cleanup a PC and make sure unnecessary utilities are not running when you don't need them... but they won't really boost PC performance that much until one can feel the difference (normally you will need a benchmark program to see the difference).

Your suggestion of disabling services too has no big effect on overall PC performance... the crucial point is, if one really need to squeeze very bit of extra memory or every bit of other PC components's performance (e.g. hardisk I/O or display), it seems to me that PC is not suitable for gaming.

i.e. if one has a PC which is good enough for average gaming requirements, those efforts of tunning is not worth the small performance gain.

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