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Messages - Vurbal [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Re: Fax Software
« on: May 09, 2015, 08:39 PM »
^ Thanks for the details. That should be a big help if I can reproduce the problem.

Interestingly, I apparently haven't run into the problem since switching from PDFCreator to Bullzip. I think it's already been installed longer than PDFCreator made it before problems showed up. Of course, I only notice it when I need to generate a PDF, and don't really have time for thorough troubleshooting.

Looks like it's time to install PDFCreator again and get a regular testing schedule setup. The long, and seemingly random, time between incidents makes a problem like this nearly impossible to track down any other way, unless you're prepared to wait a long time for the stars to align.

Is it sad that I'm looking forward to this?

General Software Discussion / Re: Fax Software
« on: May 08, 2015, 05:51 PM »
^ That's why I install almost all software to a custom folder instead, although that obviously doesn't solve every permissions issue.

However, it's unlikely this is related to that. If it were, the error should appear every time, but it doesn't. In my case, I've "printed" numerous PDF files and then, days (or months - not like I use it often) later, either the printer just mysteriously vanishes from the printer list or throws the write protection error. In either case, the only solution I've found is to uninstall and reinstall the virtual printer software from scratch.

This discussion suggests to me that Windows Fax and Scan has similar issues. The responses there suggest the error is usually resolved by blowing away the existing "Fax Account" and creating a new one. Presumably each entry there is a separate virtual printer. Other people reported fixing it by stopping and restarting the service.

My semi-educated guess is there's an issue with the printing subsystem. However, I don't recall every hearing about it happen with actual printers. That suggests it may be specific to some interface unique to virtual printers. My first thought, considering write protection is involved, would be that it's spooling related. However, taking everything (including that MS link) into account, I'm inclined to think it's more likely to be an error sending data from the spooler to the virtual device.

That might also explain why my PDF printers would seem to just disappear from the system entirely, even though the software appears to be working fine. If Windows can't talk to the device any more, it should disappear from the printer list. From Windows' perspective, it has effectively been unplugged. Actually, the more I think about it, the more likely that scenario seems.

General Software Discussion / Re: Fax Software
« on: May 08, 2015, 01:48 PM »
So, maybe we are looking at it all wrong, and simply need to eliminate the cause of the error "write protection message".

Personally I would love to see a screen shot of that error message to try and ascertain its origin. As I too have always had very good luck with the native Windows Fax & Scan utility. This could very well be just a configuration issue.
-Stoic Joker (May 08, 2015, 06:43 AM)

If this is Windows 7, it could be related to the issue I've run into with virtual (PDF) printers in the past. Most of the time they just disappear from the printer list completely, but on at least 1 or 2 occasions, I've gotten the same bizarre write protection error. It may not actually be specific to Windows 7, but that's the only version where I've seen or heard about it.

The law of unintended consequences can't be avoided, even by - especially by - governments.

I have a very difficult time believing that the consequences weren't unintended. When you have decision power over that kind of money, you're generally pretty smart and have lots of other smart people around you. While the maxim "never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to incompetence" often holds, I just can't see that in the Cash for Clunkers program.

You can't possibly suggesting there were any ulterior motives behind the government subsidizing car purchases right when the auto industry was scrambling to survive their self inflicted wounds.

General Software Discussion / Re: Registry Backup
« on: April 29, 2015, 01:59 AM »
It's unfortunate the way http lower cases everything.  :)

no shit, but IT
It took Miles' comment, before I could see what address it really is

Me too. Plus it took me a few more minutes to see the clever double entendre.

General Software Discussion / Re: Registry Backup
« on: April 29, 2015, 01:13 AM »
It's unfortunate the way http lower cases everything.  :)

OTOH it did give us the world's most elaborate dick joke.

And this one:

This website is such a bad influence on me.

I love you guys!   :-*

General Software Discussion / Re: Registry Backup
« on: April 28, 2015, 09:34 PM »


It's unfortunate the way http lower cases everything.  :)

OTOH it did give us the world's most elaborate dick joke.

In other words, they're using the DMCA in exactly the way it was intended.

...As a blunt object with which the corporations could beat the common man into subjugation?

Generally speaking, yes. More specifically, though, its purpose was always to give copyright holders a veto over innovation that interfered with their business model. I'm sure the automakers are fine with you modding your car's computer, but only so long as they can stick their hands in the pockets of extract licensing fees from the people making the tools.

Of course, even if the elderly history professor with sole responsibility for the decision (ie the Librarian Of Congress) sides with them, they still haven't accomplished anything besides chasing development of the programming software out of the US.

Well, technically, they'll also have angered the people who buy most of their aftermarket performance parts. Car nuts were well organized before the Internet. That has increased exponentially with online communities. This is an attack not only on them, but also on the multitude of small shops that cater to the performance tuning market.

Which reminds me, I'm almost out of popcorn.

Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process
« on: April 27, 2015, 06:49 PM »
The thing that puzzles me is - why do we have to make ourselves believe in A versus B in the first place, if A and B are things that we don't have any observable and conclusive evidence of that either of them is true, or more true than the other?
Instead of just preferring which one we would like to be true (like in the book "The Life of Pi"), why can't we just hold belief in abeyance? If one does that, then one can usually look at things with a more open mind and a much less cluttered paradigm.
Whereas Pi had a very good reason for believing in an imagined story rather than the brutal and agonising reality, most people don't usually have to believe in anything. Pi's irrational belief probably saved his sanity - it enabled him to escape reality yet still be able to function as part of this world - whereas we are not usually put in such a predicament.

So why do we seem to persist in living in an illusion - in Ahamkara?

The simple answer is that our brains lie to us. Despite our significant neurological advantage in complexity and capability, at the end of the day, nearly every judgement we make about anything is guided by the same built in conditioning that caused Pavlov's dogs to salivate when he rang a bell. On one hand, it's an evolutionary advantage. It allows us to make the kind of snap decisions necessary for survival. On the other hand, it is (just as you suggest) the single biggest obstacle to intellectual honesty because it's inherently guided by emotion.

Ironically, even those of us who do tend more toward rationality and self examination are still being guided by emotion. Those thoughts, or, more importantly, the outcomes produced by that view of things, produces positive emotions.

Based on your brief explanation from that link, I'd say the concept of Ahamkara is a good demonstration of why science was treated as an offshoot of philosophy for so much of human history. The phenomenon it identifies are the focus of much neurological and anthropological research today.

Whoa. Jethro Tull has never really been on my radar, but now they are! Thank you!

You're welcome! I really got into Tull in my early 20s, and quickly realized they were a lot more interesting than I ever realized. Their studio albums aren't always as good as they could be, mostly due to the way they worked in the studio during the 70s. Of course a lot of bands had that problem. Also, the bassist on that recording was kicked out a couple years later, which is a long and stupid story.

I've been on a huge funk spree lately. Listening to lots of Sly, Herbie Hancock, Isaac Hayes, Commodores, Supertramp, Tower of Power, and of course Parliament/Funkadelic, etc...

I can't seem to get enough.

Here's a couple lesser known favorites of mine.

The Temptations, with original Funkadelic members Eddie Hazel and Billy Nelson on guitar and bass:

Living Colour plays James Brown:

We should definitely take this to the music thread.

Uh, what else? I'm really into music and I love everything from Jazz to Hip-Hop to Metal to Breaks to Classical and everything in-between. I collect headphones and build A/V ICs for friends. Right now, I'm listening to some Fats Domino through my AKG K7XX. Before that it was Biggie, and before that it was some Bach. Next up is a Nina Simone album called To Love Somebody.

Funny you should mention Fats Domino and Bach. I play bass, and I've got my son (a drummer) working on learning I'm Walking, although my favorite of his is probably Blue Monday. Some time in the near future we'll be shifting gears to some Bach - well, sort of...

^ Are you talking about Goop?

If it looks like solid Crisco then that must be it.  It's been a long time since I had a roll-around toolbox.  I got out of the racket in the 1980s.  I remember it was considered expensive by the management.  So they would substitute this cheap green stuff with abrasive.  Not good during the winter at all.  :)

Must have been Goop then. I would imagine the other was one of the soft soap Lava type deals. The abrasive would have been pumicite.

Honestly, when it comes to just straight up grease, it's hard to do better than Dawn dish soap. That whole "takes grease out of your way" ad campaign was surprisingly truthful. Not that there's anything, short of an acid bath, capable of getting all the grime off a mechanic's hands - or under their nails.

^ Are you talking about Goop?

With a cheater bar over the breaker bar.

If by cheater bar you mean a piece of pipe then yes, I've done both. Actually motorcycle front fork tubes work wonderfully for that. (Speaking of which...) Did you know that the lug nuts on the passenger side of a 64 Dodge polara are left hand thread?? I didn't ... And I snapped 2 Craftsman 1/2" ratchets and split 3 sockets before I figured it out.

Yeah, for a long time Chrysler corp. had this weird idea that if the lugs were Left Hand Thread on one side and Right Hand Thread on the other somehow loose lugs would be less likely to spin all the way off while driving.  A bizarre idea.  It was a real pita because every time you trained a new guy to bust tires you had to watch out for him snapping a couple of lugs off the LHT side of those cars with the impact wrench.  Some of those engineers must have been ahead of the curve when it came to water pipe usage.  :)

There's certainly no shortage of incompetent engineers out there. A friend of mine had some great stories about one of his co-workers. They were both chemical engineers who designed pumping stations, mostly for rural water systems. One time this guy (the co-worker) decided that when he replaced the siding on his house, he was going to use sheetrock because it was cheaper and easier, and should insulate pretty well. He figured as long as he used greenboard, it would be fine.  :huh:

On the subject of automotive oddities, though, are the old 6V positive ground electrical systems. They weren't unusual in their day, but, aside from International pickups, I haven't seen too many of them that haven't been converted.

In other words, they're using the DMCA in exactly the way it was intended.

I didn't realize there was a free version of their editor. I have their free reader on my computer as a second reader, although I haven't used anything but Sumatra for some time now. I'm sure there were a couple things I preferred PDF-XChange for, I just don't remember what they were ATM.

Maybe I should be replacing it with the free editor.

Html and CSS School / Re: HTML editor for beginners
« on: April 08, 2015, 02:15 PM »
A decent text editor where you create the concept of the page you like to make and only when finished you'll do preview in the browser of your the better way to do things. Sure, at first you'll fail, perhaps even fail miserably. But you will proficient with HTML more quickly than when you keep staring at a preview pane to to see the result of each and every change. This is a time-consuming habit.

Same rules apply with CSS...especially when working with tricks to get the same look on different web-engines, you can fall in this trap.

I think some minimum quality/capability in the text editor has to be the baseline requirement, to be met before any additional features are considered. I'm not sure what that minimum would look like in a beginner oriented product.

General Software Discussion / Re: 'create Restore Point' question
« on: April 06, 2015, 06:43 PM »
Also, if you're going to upgrade, at least seriously consider a new PSU. Even the best power supplies degrade and fail. IME a poor (or poorly functioning) PSU is the surest way to kill almost anything in your computer.

Living Room / Re: Why are car stereos so flimsy?
« on: March 31, 2015, 01:25 PM »
It's been a long time (as in more than a decade) since I looked seriously at car stereos, but I used to swear by Alpine because they were so tough. In fact, my son (who was 5 or 6 at the time) managed to shove 3 CDs into our last (single disc) Alpine stereo. Once they were removed, it was as good as new.

Living Room / Re: Don Cheadle making Miles Ahead film
« on: March 27, 2015, 07:29 AM »
Cheadle was brilliant in Boogie Nights, Traffic, Hotel Rwanda, Devil In A Blue Dress, and, actually, anything else I can remember seeing him in. He even managed to make NFL promos dramatic. I recently also noticed he was in the late 80s gang movie Colors, and he was just as good in that, even though he barely had any dialogue.

Living Room / Re: Don Cheadle making Miles Ahead film
« on: March 26, 2015, 05:59 PM »
I'm a huge Don Cheadle fan. I would almost pay to watch him sit and read the phone book. I can't think of anyone else I would rather see playing Miles.

I would think the simplest and most effective way to do this would be using the command line file association tools - ftype and assoc.

There's a tutorial here for backing them up and restoring them from the command line. I haven't tried it myself, but it seems sound at a glance.

General Software Discussion / Re: how can I do this in excel?
« on: March 24, 2015, 08:03 AM »
What are the business requirements please? I might be able to help.


Particularly in light of the other threads which apparently relate back to this same project, this already sounds less like an Excel problem than a process issue. Specifically, it appears to be a content and/or document management problem, which would be much easier solved by addressing the entire process of document creation, access, modification, storage, metadata, and possibly even version control - all of which points to at least a document management system, if not a more full featured CMS.

I imagine you can kludge together what you're looking for using Excel. You can also steer a car with your feet. That doesn't make it a good idea.  :D

edit: I should probably mention, I have some experience with document management from the IT side. Setting it up really is so much easier than solving your Excel problem. It would also address the metadata question you posed on another thread.

Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC?
« on: March 14, 2015, 04:33 PM »
Based on this new ruling, Living Colour would be infringing all over the place. They copy everybody's styles, except mixing it with their own.

I personally think it's as original as you can get to turn an influence like this:

into something like this:

Why yes, I am a big fan. And also jealous because they seem to be able to integrate whatever they happen to be listening to into their own music. After working with Vernon Reid, Jack Bruce actually called him the best guitarist he's ever played with. I'm not a fan of some of his solos, but he's like a walking encyclopedia of guitarists.

You're not likely to do better for flash storage than Lexar. There's a reason most professional photographers swear by their SD cards.

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