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Messages - Beth UK [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Re: GemX - missing in action
« on: October 01, 2007, 05:50 PM »
I'm another complaining GemX products user. I've been posting several comments on the GemX forum until it "crashed". However, today I'm less frustated after discovering this forum and all the GemX users that I used to read on the original company forum.

Hi Bo - welcome in from the cold! Fortunately you've come to the right place as you'll find great discussion about alternatives for organizer software and loads of other stuff too.

General Software Discussion / Re: Wanted: Simple drum machine program!
« on: September 27, 2007, 04:57 PM »
Percussion Studio can also create loops etc:

Living Room / Re: Upgrading Your BIOS - experiencing ecstasy
« on: September 26, 2007, 06:53 PM »
So, did the readme from the BIOS update say what was fixed/added? Sounds like quiiiite some changes.

Unfortunatey I find Gigabyte BIOS and driver update notes REALLY annoying for what they don't say. They love the phrase 'improve stability'! Hunting around though it seems that they improved and fixed some issues around dual-bios and memory performance which certainly explained some of my earlier system 'sluggishness'. The update also fixed 'ROM compatibility issues'.

General Software Discussion / Re: 64-Bit Software
« on: September 26, 2007, 06:43 PM »
Hi f0dder

If you have 32-bit apps that work fine, don't look for 64-bit replacements "just coz"

Oh I absolutely agree - though I di have this really bad addiction to having to experiment with everything! 8) So, in a sense, that's what I am doing with the 64-bit apps I am trying - experimenting! I did try WS-FTP (32-bit) alongside SmartFTP (64-bit) and have to say that SmartFTP was so much faster - in real and tangible ways. When it came to AB Commander I was not expecting to see huge speed or performance boosts as file managing is not exactly RAM or CPU intensive. That said I was impressed to find what appears to be a compact, fast and highly usable application.

Mouser said:

a few programs (like photoshop, or other heavily memory intensive programs) could show a serious increase in speed if the extra memory can be put to use.

Absolutely - this was actually my primary goal and I have to say that the performance increase has been nothing short of spectacular! My workflow has been significantly speeded up - very obviously so with images around 400mb to 1gb range.

I haven't yet noticed a drop in performance anywhere with regard to 32-bit apps which has been surprising (I was expecting more 'glitches' and 'issues').

For anyone contemplating a move to 64-bit I would only advise it if you have a clear goal in mind - which I did. One reason is that while heavy duty graphics work will benefit you'll be disappointed in the number of apps that are genuine 64-bit coded. There is not yet enough benefit to be gained for an everyday computing experience. Maybe one day... but not now!

General Software Discussion / 64-Bit Software
« on: September 26, 2007, 11:19 AM »
For those using 64-bit systems I thought a 64-bit bits thread may be useful!

Let me kick in here with two suggestions for software apps that are 64-bit native.

1. SmartFTP. I have traditionally used WS-FTP Pro for ftp work but wanted to check out 64-bit apps in this area. SmartFTP is fast, stable and with a good feature set (not quite rivalling Ipswitch but good).

2. AB Commander. My stable explorer program has always be Directory Opus. Again, wanting to check out 64-bit alternatives led me to AB Commander. Fast, attractive, functional, dual-paned and infinitely better than Vista Explorer.

I am terrible at software reviews so I guess I am just mentioning these as programs I think are worth checking out.

Other suggestions..?

Living Room / Upgrading Your BIOS - experiencing ecstasy
« on: September 26, 2007, 11:10 AM »
I recently upgraded my whole system to 64-bit Vista. I have to say the experience has been a delightful one without the woes I have often seen associated both with Vista, and 64-bit computing. I can access huge amounts of RAM, and my graphics applications are flying!

Yesterday, however, brought an experience close to ecstasy when I upgraded my BIOS. It always strikes me as odd that quite often people neglect BIOS updates (whether through fear or ignorance) when these can be so fundamental to improving overall computing experience.

I have a new Mobo - Gigabyte GA-P35 Quad Core and while happy with the overall speed and stability of the system have felt a 'sluggishness' at times that simply should not have existed. Vista was running fine (locating by itself every driver it needed, and all software was working happily) and I have been accessing gorgeous chunks of RAM. The one issue that bugged me was a boot time of 10 minutes!!!! And the erratic sluggishness... Was this the machine, Vista, bad memory??

I never fly into updating BIOS because it can upset a balanced system and a BIOS flash is not without it's dangers. I decided my system wasn't 'feeling' balanced and so a BIOS update became an option. This was a good decision because checking the Mobo makers site it revealed two very recent BIOS upgrades. I was surprised to find myself two updates behind!

So I took the plunge and updated the BIOS - and wow, every single niggle I had vanished after reboot. The reboot itself went from 10 minutes to 50 seconds (!!) and it felt as if the system had discovered itself and its potential. I have never ever experienced such a huge change in a system - speed, stability, boot time etc etc.

So here is a little reminder to check your BIOS version - it can make huge differences!

CAUTION: Updating BIOS is a major process. ALWAYS read Manufacturers advice, backup everything, and ensure you choose the correct BIOS upgrade. Messing up a BIOS flash can ruin your motherboard. Some Mobo makers offer set-up installations that automatically check for the correct BIOS - well worth using! I was lucky also in that Gigabyte have a 64-bit compatible installer which made life really easy.

General Software Discussion / Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« on: September 26, 2007, 10:07 AM »
This is not strictly to do with Magix or Xara (although it is in a way!) but one of my real hates is when software companies (ACDsee, Xara, Adobe etc etc) start to circumnavigate their initial pricing policies by adding on 'Ultra', 'Studio' and 'Mega Professional' versions. Qimage did this a couple of years back when they added their 'Studio' version as a step up from what had been their 'Pro' version (which was a 'lifetime licence'). I am not a fan of lifetime licences because I think it is not a realistic pricing policy but I do hate transparent manipulation of upgrading/versioning policies where you end up paying for bug fixes rather than features.

General Software Discussion / Re: GemX - missing in action
« on: September 24, 2007, 09:00 PM »
Just out of curiosity - what's 'DSM'?

Direct Support Messaging System... without the support   8)

The Bat - Voyager edition...


Poco Systems also make MyInfoToGo - It's a version of Pocomail I believe with added organizer functions.


General Software Discussion / Re: Magix (Xara) rant...
« on: September 22, 2007, 07:41 PM »
Just following this discussion with interest as an Adobe Illustrator user. The Adobe pricing structure is a nightmare too!

But... on the subject of interesting graphics programs with vector capabilities etc etc... have you tried Real Draw by Media Chance - I have had a fondness for this for quite a while.

Media Chance are not the fastest at updates, but they have been around a long while. Their pricing structure is interesting too! They encourage you to donate for upgrades - and as I understand it you don't have to. Costs $55...

General Software Discussion / Re: GemX - missing in action
« on: September 22, 2007, 07:19 PM »
If nothing else, *maybe* the threat of a refund request will elicit a response - any response!

Any news Darwin?

I have recently strated using AB Commander - as an explorer replacement on 64-bit Vista. It's one of the rare ones that actually has a 64-bit natively coded version. Prior to that I was using my beloved DOpus and TC. I know DOpus supposedly runs on 64-bit (though not supported) but I wanted to experiment a little...

Have to say I have been quiet impressed with AB Commander - and I am not someone who is easily impressed. Fair amount of keyboard support and sync options and runs VERY fast on my system.

General Software Discussion / Re: IBM Lotus Symphony
« on: September 19, 2007, 09:04 PM »
Looks interesting...

Bit confusing though as this release comes just days after IBM apparently joined up with OpenOffice:

10 September 2007 -- The community today announced that IBM will be joining the community to collaborate on the development of software. IBM will be making initial code contributions that it has been developing as part of its Lotus Notes product, including accessibility enhancements, and will be making ongoing contributions to the feature richness and code quality of Besides working with the community on the free productivity suite's software, IBM will also leverage technology in its products.

And then on September 18th:

NEW YORK, September 18, 2007 - IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced IBM Lotus Symphony, a suite of free software tools for creating and sharing documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

 :D What a wonderfully dualistic world we live in!

General Software Discussion / Re: GemX - missing in action
« on: September 19, 2007, 07:18 PM »
Darwin said:
I wanted to support development of both Do-Organizer and TexNotes Pro

Yes. That's one of the things that has saddened me a little about the GemX thing. There were people interested in actually developing and debugging and who would actually have (probably) put up with bugs so long as there was real and transparent motivation from the developers.

Armando said:
This one of the reasons why I still use Outlook 2003. At least, it won't die tomorrow. My data is way too important  to depend on a company's mood.

Yes too! I don't use Outlook (have in the past) but at least Microsoft are likely to stick around for a while.

Trouble is 'innovation' is at the same time beautiful, yet unpredictable. In the case of Do-O there were some wonderful ideas, but a slightly random approach to implementation. For example, the 'mailer module' allowed integration with tasks and scribe (notes) but lacked some core functionality that I require in a mailing client. I made the mistake of switching all my email into the Do-O mailer and then having to reverse my decision when the cons outweighed the pluses. That in itself took away a great deal of the Do-O attractiveness. My decision to use the mail module at all was made at a time when the 'energy' at Gemx was buzzing and I kind of trusted that with customer feedback and continued development there would be changes and bug fixes.

I wonder if Gemx saw their main customer base as being Outlook users. Unfortunately corporations and business who use Outlook as de facto organizational software are also extremely slow to consider 'new' alternatives so it would have been so hard for Gemx to retrieve their development costs. I wonder, also, if the arrival of Vista and Outlook 2007 was a crunch time. Porting Do-O over to Vista (fully) came at a time when Gemx were (are?) still ironing out bugs in XP etc. We may never know...

General Software Discussion / Re: GemX - missing in action
« on: September 19, 2007, 06:22 PM »
Not sure if it is just me but after the Do-O experience I find it hard to commit to a new integrated organizer of any kind .

The trouble is in trying to determine whether software will continue to be developed/maintained/supported for a reasonable time at least. With many other types of software I can usually change product or company fairly easily. But with 'organizer' software you can end up with your whole 'organized life' embedded in a single application. Even where export is possible this can still be a huge task!

Currently I am falling back on on old combo of OneNote and EssentialPim - OneNote has impressed me recently (improving on it's earlier releases) and is network aware. EssentialPim comforts me because it 'keeps' being developed (not as fast as some might like, but steadily).

I have used Time and Chaos before - from the makers of Chaos Intellect (see Celtichare) but found it lacked the flexibility I needed. The good thing is Time and Chaos has been developed steadily for many years and they do have a proven record which IS a good thing.

Living Room / Re: Forum Signature Spam: Let's discuss how to handle..
« on: September 13, 2007, 06:46 AM »
I go along with the idea of a minimum post count. I quite like some smaller pictures (if they make me smile  :D)

Following on from what idean said I guess any portable crypt (including something like Cryptainer or Dekart) would allow a degree of security. That said, I did come across this blog where comparative issues are discussed.

Have to say I am not about to use Tiddlywiki but I kind of got side-tracked by this thread  :-[

May be of interest to those on this thread though...

Sorry - I'm a bit late joing this thread!

I was looking at some of the interesting uses of Tiddlywikki particularly with regard to storing 'emergency' or 'personal' info.

I am wondering if there would not be security issues here:

I'll be working through the suggestions and will get some of this implemented so that if anything happens to me, my wife isn't left beating her head against the wall because she doesn't know the password to access our credit card online

Tiddlywikki is using html which in unencrypted form would sit inside the browser cache of any computer it was read on. Wouldn't this leave extremely personal data totally exposed..? This would be especially true if running from a USB stick on multiple computers?

Just a thought...

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Virtual Flashlight
« on: September 10, 2007, 08:16 PM »
this is cool, jgpaiva..  now, i'm using it to play fireflies with my kids

ummm... me too! :D

General Software Discussion / Re: GemX - missing in action
« on: September 10, 2007, 07:35 PM »
To quote Darwin...

Wow! TipTop is here

and Blakelyg too! Seems like a whole forum is migrating to Donationcoder. It surely underlines the sad thing that has been going on when even the Gemx forum moderator is kept out of the loop!

I think you'll find lots of really interesting stuff here though - the level of discussion and community is fantastic.

General Software Discussion / Re: GemX - missing in action
« on: September 10, 2007, 10:45 AM »
Hi sigh and beldeamon...

Welcome to the thread for 'lost and confused' Gemx refugees! Ok, well maybe that's a bit premature but there seems to be a single train of thought along the ideas of everyone not knowing what's going on.

Sigh (ido2!!!)... you were always such an active Gemx forum member so it is a shame to see you feeling disillusioned.

I guess the fact that you both found the thread suggests Gemx customers are hunting around trying to find out what is going on.

I wonder if Zaine is reading this thread because if I remember rightly he did have Texnotes or Do-Organizer down on his Great Software List at one point - but it may have been removed later. Or I may just be going insane! (Which has always been a possibility)..!

General Software Discussion / Re: GemX - missing in action
« on: September 09, 2007, 11:51 AM »
Fantastic - I remember you from the GemX forums and had no idea that you are a member here. Welcome to DonationcCoder (almost a year late  )!

Good memories I hope!  :-[

I agree with you on all points and don't want to get into knocking GemX too much but am curious to know what the other (more active) forum members from GemX may be thinking.

General Software Discussion / Re: GemX - missing in action
« on: September 09, 2007, 08:41 AM »
Hello Darwin,

You are not alone here. I have been using GemX software for quite a few years and was for a while very active on their user forum. I personally have found the recent trend very disturbing - including letting the GemX forum drift into history (which appears to be happening). This is a shame because their were many devoted GemX forum members as you know who were very active in reporting bugs and offering constructive feedback. I stopped posting there a while back because I sensed a change in attitude both from users and developers. There was a sense that users were beginning, perhaps, to get very frustrated at slipping deadlines and 'broken' promises. A scheduled update to Texnotes (March 2007) simply vanished from the horizon despite assurances that Texnotes was to continue (which it may still - but I can't live with such uncertainty when this product was central to my notekeeping etc).

More and more posts were starting to challenge the developers on various unfixed bugs and lack of support and I wonder if this is why the forum is now 'changing servers'. It actually only takes a day or so to change a server (having done many myself) and this has now been going on for weeks. The brevity of the message about changing servers seems disregarding of users concerns.

I regret to say I have had to stop using GemX applications (a while ago)because I am not sure right now I can trust the longevity of this software. And the kind of data involved needs a degree of future proof security. I have always been a loyal supporter but now find myself greatly saddened by the way that their communication has broken down, and I imagine that a good many of the old forum users will be disappointed at the lack of respect shown by recent events. Perhaps they are just 'focused' on development but an email to explain the decreasing support and 'vanished' forum would have shown appreciation for the support shown by users.

The concept of DO-Organizer (the GemX flagship product) is fantastic - integrated organization etc. But 'concept' is just one side of software development and marketing. Support is also important, alongside transparency of operation. Frustratingly GemX claim the 'probably the best support in the industry' yet this is proving far less than true.

Who knows - all Gemx users are a little in the dark now so I imagine only time will tell  :-\

Living Room / 64 bit Vista - help and advice
« on: August 31, 2007, 07:44 AM »

I thought I would turn to the trusted folk of DonationCoder to ask some advice.

I am thinking of moving to a 64 bit Vista system (custom built system) and need thoughts or advice from anyone who has experience with this.

My main aim is to maximise the amount of RAM and processing power I have for applications like Photoshop CS3 etc etc. I work with HUGE images (up to 1 gig) and my current system is starting to choke a bit. A 64 bit system allows applications to address larger amounts of RAM. Although Photoshop is a 32 bit program it will (apparently) make use of a little extra RAM under a 64 bit system. News is that the next version may have increased 64 bit support!

When I go to computer builders here in the UK I get a lot of bulls**t most of the time with some even trying to convince me I can use 8 gig of RAM on a 32 bit system.?!? :huh:

Any ideas or system configs for 64 bit system?

General Software Discussion / Re: Recommend Vista CD Burner
« on: June 20, 2007, 03:37 PM »
I'm really late to this thread but I'd like to suggest a light but powerful app called Complex Evolution. As a refugee from the totally bloated Nero I wanted something to run on Vista and XP that just burned disks... and then some!

Anyway - Complex Evolution (kind of cool name!) retails at £29.95 and does this:

  • burn data cd and dvd from files and folders
  • burn data cd and dvd from iso image files
  • burn data cd and dvd in UDF format
  • burn multisession cd and dvd discs
  • create and burn bootable cd and dvd discs
  • burn data cd and dvd discs from Alcohol mds image files
  • erase rewritable cd and dvd discs
  • burn audio cd discs with from wav, mp3, wma and ogg files
  • burn audio cd with cd-text
  • burn dvd video discs from dvd media content of higher compatibility with hardware dvd players
  • burn VideoCD and SuperVideoCD discs
  • verify cd and dvd discs after burning
  • copy data, audio, video cd and dvd discs
  • raw cd copying
  • create iso image files both from files, folders, cd and dvd drives and dvd media content
  • create Alcohol mds image files from cd and dvd discs
  • rip audio files from audio cd
  • save track (one or more) from cd/dvd disc
  • burn cd and dvd discs without administrative rights under 2000/XP/Vista with our StarOpen driver. This driver provides CD/DVD access for any user regardless of Security Policies.

It's also quite pretty to look at, and works!

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