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Messages - Jabberwock [ switch to compact view ]

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FARR Plugins and Aliases / Alias: convert units (with Units)
« on: July 15, 2010, 03:14 PM »
Someone asked for this so nicely:  :P


that I have patched up a simple unit converter alias with the use of GNU units program


(wiki lists the windows binary link - you need to install it and/or GNU-WIN).

Here it is:

1000>>>units>->showmemo Result:;;;appcapappendmemo C:\Program Files\Editing\GnuWin32\bin\units.exe "$$1" "$$2">+>units (.*) to (.*)

Naturally, you may need/want to modify the path and the expression.


units 100 miles/hour to km/hour

* 160.9344
/ 0.0062137119

Was/is there a unit converter plugin for FARR or am I imagining things?

If there is not, I suggest one... I suppose it could work similarly to FCalc (which I absolutely love!), i.e. you type in:
convert 5 meters to inches
and you see the result in the results pane.
Unit autocompletion would be nice.

Wait... just had an idea - type in just "convert 5 meters" and 10 most frequently used conversions (from meters, of course) show up automatically!

Edit: Just found this:

I am not sure how usable it could be for a plugin...

Finished Programs / Re: organize text
« on: July 15, 2010, 04:13 AM »
Could it be a Microsoft Word macro?

The simplest way I can see is to open a document and then a selection of other documents to paste into. A macro would cut selected text and ask for user input (? in Word status bar). The user would input the filename, e.g. "1" and the text gets sent to the open "1.doc" (or "1.txt") document.

1. You stay in Word which might be useful for other word processing tasks you need to do with the text.
2. You have direct preview of all appended files, so you might clean them up immediately.
3. If the document names are short and easy to handle, no need to remember the shortcuts - log entries go into "Log", comments into "Comments" etc.
4. It should be simple - short code, no need for an external app to be running, etc.

1. You need Word (duh).
2. The document names may be either informative/usable etc. or easy to enter. I mean if you choose file names "1.txt", "2.txt" (for easy input) you have to rename them later anyway.

Edit: Could you describe the "automated" part of the request in more detail? What would be the criteria for parsing which you mention later (first you write about cutting etc.)?

Find And Run Robot / Re: FARR prevents DiRT 2 from starting
« on: July 15, 2010, 03:43 AM »
I use Ctrl+`. It's quite convenient as it does not require looking at the keyboard (I could not do e.g. Win + function or Pause like that) and still does not interfere with my more frequently used shortcuts (I use it a lot, but not as often as my "work" cuts).

I might be a bit obsessive about it, but I don't like to move my fingers from where they belong, i.e. the home keys (yes, I know, the sentence just invites all those NSFW comments ;) ). As my work requires quite a lot of typing - I am a translator - I prefer to have everything close to my fingertips. In my work applications I have most of the commands available as Left Alt + home-or-near-home keys, i.e. JKL;UIOPNM (<- that was easy to type  :D ). At some point I had even arrow keys redefined as Ctrl+JKL: but it turned out they were not used that much.

Sorry for that aside, but I think it's still on the topic, considering that FARR is all about eliminating that productivity-killing monster i.e. mouse + desktop, menus etc.

OK, here it goes... It's very simple, but it has manual confirmation built-in - the distance measurement is not always correct. Any tips for improvement are welcome, of course.

use Text::Levenshtein qw(distance);

# Change to your file dir, naturally

opendir (DIR, "N:/Cartoons/New");

@files = readdir(DIR);

foreach $filename (@files) {
print $filename;
$dis = 1000;

# Your filename list text file here

open (INFILE, "Filenames.txt");

while (<INFILE>) {

chomp $_;

if ($dis > distance ($_, $filename)) {
$dis = distance ($_, $filename);

# All my files are avi, you might want to check the extension, too

$best = $_ . ".avi";
print "$filename = $best \n";
print "OK?";
$response = <>;
chomp $response;
if ($response eq "y") {
rename ($filename, $best);
print "renamed";


I am afraid the order is the big issue here.

The list I usually get is e.g. chronological list of shows. The filenames do not necessarily follow that order. I just realized that possibly the fastest solution would be to rearrange the list itself, i.e. sort it alphabetically. As most of the files have (or can be made to have) the first letter correct, the rearrangement of files (by means of manual rename) could be quite easy.

Having said that, I had a look at the Levenshtein distance. I was familiar with the concept, but imagined the application would be rather complicated. In fact, it is not - I had a working Perl script within minutes... While it is quite rough at the edges, it did the test job quite well.

As I said, the script is rather amateurish, but if someone insists, I can put it here. By the way, Perl is great here as parsing through the filename list (and the list of files) is very fast. An application (e.g. VB) might be easier to use, but I suppose it would be much slower...

I sometimes have a bunch of, erm, obtained media files. The files in themselves are fine, but the filenames are often a mess (especially when Polish characters are involved). On the other hand, for most of them I can obtain a clean nice list of correct filenames. How to get the two together automatically? I guess a perl script that would look for most similar string might do, but it is not exactly trivial...

Is there a software that would rename a file to a name that is most similar from a list?

Do not underestimate the power of Word... I admit that it is a pain in the ass in the beginning, but once you get the hang of it you can do wonders with it.

My experience does not cover 2007, but with 2003 I did some really big stuff (like laying out a scientific book). While I would always prefer a DTP package (which then I used normally), I would certainly stick with Word than learn a new system (like laTEX) from scratch.

Some notes: be very disciplined while using styles. Try to use manual formatting only for "local" (i.e. inline) formatting. Whenever some properties are to be shared among several passages, paragraphs etc., use styles (even for text formatting). This will save you a lot of headaches later.

I am not sure I get the question about styles based on paragraphs. In 2003 when you select "New Style", you will see several things:
- the style it is supposed to be based on
- the manual overrides that were made to that paragraph (if it is a paragraph style).

For example, I select a Normal paragraph, make it a bullet and change the font to Arial 12 (Normal is Times New Roman 10). Then I use "New Style" and I see in the dialog:
- style based on Normal (this can be changed)
- description of the styling i.e. : Normal + bullet list + Font Arial 12.

That's what my new style would be - all properties of Normal plus the two changes.

But what if I don't want the font change reflected in the style, just the bullets?

In the dialog select "Formatting" and change it to the font that was default for the base style, i.e. Times New Roman 10. You will see that the style description is now:
- Normal + bullet list

Similarly, if I want to add some more formatting to the style, I just use the dialog to manipulate the properties. This is very powerful, I suggest you at least go over the options to see what can be assigned at the paragraph level.

Make sure that once you have the style, you modify it manually and not update it based on the paragraph you are in - you never know what might go in there (i.e. how it differs from the style it is based on).

As whether to format on the go or to write plain text and format later, this is a matter of personal preference. I did the latter, but mostly because I worked with content provided by other authors - if I wrote the stuff from scratch, I would style it immediately.

Finally, I would go with a single file, unless the document is very large or contains many heavy graphics (but I suppose today's computers can handle that, too - mine is yesterday's...).

Edit: *big facepalm* I did not read the second page of the thread - most of my suggestions were mentioned earlier... Sorry about that!

This might be a very long shot, but did you have a look at XML + XSL-FO?

The burden on the users would probably be the same as with HTML-CSS (or less, as you could abstract the XML structure so that it directly reflects the presentation structure), but you would have much more work... Still, it might be worth it, as it would be much more presentable (if I recall correctly, there even XML-FO to PowerPoint converters).

In Firefox the banner (night skyline) is displayed...

Also, another problematic game:


In Swiffout/Firefox the game as it is intended is displayed in the upper left corner. The rest of the screen, however, is not black - it displays the gameplay area normally invisible for the player :D I'm not saying it is a bad thing, mind you...

Three things:

I do think that the price can make a difference - 3$ is much more acceptable for a "non-essential" app (but I'm influenced by an unfavourable exchange rate as well). That's how most iPhone apps work, as I understand...

Unfortunately, the app does not always work for me. I would use it only for flash games which cannot be downloaded (i.e. must be played on the site). Out of those I tried, most did not work for a simple reason - another flash has been loaded (header, game list etc.). It is essential that the user can choose which swf to play! Example:

It does work very well on Miniclip - those games cannot be downloaded and seeing them in fullscreen is really nice!

The "lock down" depends on how obedient the users are :) Templates allow you to reassign key shortcuts, menus and toolbars (at least in 2003, I'm not sure about 2007), so in a way that takes away ability to mess up the document manually, but it is not that difficult to circumvent (so some user discipline is required). Instead, you could give them large buttons titled e.g. "Main heading", "Bullet point" etc. that would be linked to particular styles.

If a document is tied to a template, it should update automatically to the changes in the template whenever it is opened. Unfortunately, it is rather easy to modify the formatting (so it shows up as "Style + Arial", for example) - then of course manual overrides remain, even if the template is changed. Still, you could have a macro that reapplies the styles if needed (based on this tip):

Another option is to link documents in a master document - this allows to modify all of them at the same time without opening each inidividual document. The disadvantage is that each document has to be linked to the master manually, which might get tedious. Also, with a large number of documents this might become unwieldy.

How about good old MS Word?

I suppose it is not that nice presentation-wise (although I bet you could fool quite a few people with fullscreen print preview), but you do have much more control over the style vs. content. As long as there is no "manual" formatting used, you have some of the things you ask for... Namely, use of a template allows you to give an underlining style structure, it can be updated after the presentations are created, etc.

Other things you mentioned could be done as well (such photo sizing, cropping, aligning), but that would require writing several macros. However, once you have them, they can be attached to the same template so the users can apply them as required.

Edit: jumped in from the newsletter, didn't noticed it's quite old...

DC Gamer Club / Re: Sniper Elite for $2 on Steam
« on: April 20, 2010, 03:54 PM »
You probably know that you can also explode tanks and trucks full of soldiers - all you need to do is to shoot the fuel cap (not that realistic, but still fun)...

DC Gamer Club / Re: Sniper Elite for $2 on Steam
« on: April 20, 2010, 12:08 PM »
After reading this thread I have revisitied the single player campaign... This is fun! I have forgotten how clever the AI enemies appear (even if they really are not).

I've tried to do a covert kill, but did succeed - the Russians got aware of me... Two tried to flank me while the third was busy rescuing his comrade... Fun, fun, fun!

Of course, the fact that I've played multiplayer for several years did not hurt either - most of my kills are long range headshots :)

DC Gamer Club / Re: Sniper Elite for $2 on Steam
« on: April 11, 2010, 04:52 PM »
The game is simply awesome.

When you are done with the single player campaign (which is fun in itself), make sure you try multiplayer...

This game has a very dedicated community, considering it is a bit on the budget side and has not been updated by devs in any way. People are thinking creatively about adding more fun and challenge to the game, e.g. the "no cross" mode, when you cannot cross a player-agreed line (e.g. a river) and you have to lie in wait to snipe the opponents from afar.

Disclaimer: I have no idea how much such a project might take - if from the start you think it exceeds several hours, please disregard this...

I was looking for an image viewer that would work like this for some time on the Internet and still have not found it... Is it possible that nobody copied it just for fun?

If you don't know what I'm talking about, here is the famous scene:

Blade Runner Esper scene

I think the biggest challenge would be to implement voice recognition (i.e. use e.g. Windows SAPI, I don't expect anyone to code voice recognition in a few hours!) and to use it practically (grid overlay has to be applied, defining sectors etc.).

Naturally, this is pure eye-candy - no advantage over existing viewers whatsoever. Still, the wow factor for geek friends might be pretty big (especially when used with big TV or a projector!).

One note: some replacement shells disable the windows key anyway, so if you run e.g. Emerge Desktop there is not need to run KidsMenu as shell...

Yes, Polish characters can be input normally in FARR and return appropriate searches. Twitter displays normal Polish characters when input from the web and from a mobile phone app.

You will not be able to input them on non-Polish OSes with RightAlt-letter combination, unless you change the keyboard driver in the International settings (it's Polish (programmers')). You might try the Alt+ numpad digits option (described here, at the end of the page):


However, I am not sure if this will give Polish characters on non-Polish Windows. Try it out in Notepad first, FARR seems to capture some Alt+numpad combinations.

I have a problem with Polish characters... (ąęćźż etc.). They are rendered as French and Spanish letters...

Find And Run Robot / Automatic keyword searching in Firefox
« on: June 04, 2009, 03:56 PM »
I was wondering whether it would be possible to automate the keyworded searches in Firefox. I've read the solution posted here:


but it requires configuring each search separately - not very convenient, especially that you have to do it twice (once in FARR and once in FF).

Would it be possible for FARR to gather the FF search keywords and use them automatically as aliases?

Screenshot Captor / Feature request: templates
« on: May 29, 2009, 09:39 AM »
While I enjoy using Screenshot Captor, I do have one suggestion that would make it even better, in my opinion, of course...

I use the program rarely and for several purposes. It happens so that those purposes require quite different setups: resolution, file type, dithering, effects, shadows - many things have to be adjusted. As it is now, (unless I'm missing something) this requires going deep into options, including Preferences window. Of course, I can capture all of them at top quality and make the changes with a different soft, but it somewhat defeats the purpose...

What would make it more convenient is to allow configuring several "templates" (with as many options settable as possible). I realize this would require serious reorganization of the options layout, but I think it might be worth it...

What would be nice is to run sandboxed applications (you know Sandboxie?) on RAMdisk, with an option to dump the data on the hard disk at the end of the Windows session... This gives you both speed and protects you from messing up - as long as the data is not dumped, you can erase any mistake you've made... Of course, you better have an UPS system then :)

How? I do not know „how”... You don't expect a stupid question to make sense, do you?

OK, I'll make it less stupid (think first, post later *sigh*).

WS seems interesting, especially with content search. On the other hand, I am a heavy user of locate32 (which with FARR provides a nice „two-tier” search structure). I would rather not run two very similar tools at the same time, so it would have to be one or the other... So probably the question is: is WS a good replacement for Locate32?

I realize it might be a stupid question, but how WS compare to Locate32 or Everything (I do not mean content search, of course, just files...)?

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