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Messages - MrCrispy [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« on: October 27, 2008, 11:01 PM »
Web based/cloud computing is not just limited to running apps on remote servers. There's nothing preventing an app having a cached local copy of its program, data and services, and using that for performance, and accessing the cloud when its not cached, to update itself etc. In fact .NET contains these mechanisms today. At work we have intranet apps deployed using ClickOnce that run locally, but if there's a new version it gets downloaded and installed locally automatically.

Cloud computing is also the only way I see to have a truly universal presence - i.e having the same computing experience no matter where you are or what device you use to access the cloud (i.e. the internet). Think about email. Today many of us take webmail for granted. I know for sure that without gmail I would never be able to send/receive mail from multiple places and have it all be in sync. Could you do this with a normal desktop email client? Esp without IMAP?

The way I see it, Azure is Microsoft's technology to bring highly scalable distributed apps, the sort of thing Google does (gmail, search, maps) to the Windows audience with a very strong developer base.

General Software Discussion / Re: Getting rid of windows shell
« on: October 20, 2008, 04:48 PM »
Using many of the same DLLs yes, using explorer.exe no.

Well, yes. That's what by meant by 'effectively'. Its like using MSHTML to render web pages without iexplorer, I doubt the savings amount to anything.

I've tried alternate shells in the past and none of them seemed useful enough for everyday work. Simple things like dragging over a taskbar program and have it open up didn't work.

General Software Discussion / Re: Getting rid of windows shell
« on: October 20, 2008, 02:40 AM »
Are there any functional advantages to these? i.e. besides looking cool and the widgets etc. If you run explorer (the file manager), use the file open/save dialog from any app, or run IE, you are effectively running explorer.exe, so I don't see how using a different shell will save any memory or resources. Quite the contrary in fact.

General Software Discussion / Re: WINDOWS 7 THREAD (ongoing)
« on: October 15, 2008, 05:39 PM »
We'll know a LOT more in a week when PDC starts.


No BluRay, no HDMI, the big deal is the new Nvidia chipset with IGP, brick manufacturing, and glass trackpad. Nothing about Leopard 10.5.6.

General Software Discussion / Re: NortonUAC
« on: October 10, 2008, 04:36 PM »
Well the idea behind UAC is that it should only be seen in exceptional circumstances and not frequently. Unfortunately that is not the case with both Windows and many 3rd party apps because they are not well written (things like writing to files in system directories instead of user data), but they have been improving and no. of UAC prompts has gone down. Windows 7 will make UAC better. This blog has details -

The trouble with Whitelisting is if you make a mistake (and its easy since most users don't understand technical prompts, they just want to get rid of them, which is part of the problem with UAC to begin with) it can be very dangerous. Imagine if a malicious app managed to fake a UAC prompt and you whitelist it.

But I was talking about looks over functionality :D Overpriced designer stuff is exactly what I meant.

I buy audio gear so it sounds good. I buy wine so it tastes good. If there is no difference in how it sounds, not just for me but for highly respected experts, as well as every impartial test ever conducted, then there is no reason to spend more money.

Well there are many reasons, but they are to do with aesthetics, how they make you feel, bragging rights etc. Not performance. And IMO, anyone who buys cables, power conditioners etc based on these criteria is a damn fool :)

If I was stinking filthy rich, maybe I'd buy a B&O cd player and designer speakers because they look cool, but I'd still never buy audiophile interconnects or any of the other crap they peddle in Sterephile mag etc.

General Software Discussion / Re: Apple Patents the OS X Dock!!!
« on: October 08, 2008, 03:17 PM »
I hope Apple doesn't go after the other dock apps but given Apple's attitude and sue-happy legal history, I'm almost sure they will :(

Software patents are evil.

I sincerely hope video DRM dies a quick (but painful) death, just like music DRM which is all but gone now from the online music stores (except ITunes) due to consumer backlash. But I fear that's not going to happen.

The only reason AnyDvd has not been sued out of existence is because they are not based in the US, but how long will that last? AACS keys change regularly on Bluray discs, and they may even turn on ICT. Managed copy is not available. And there may still be ways to enforce the existing BluRay DRM mechanisms for which there are no workarounds. My point is the story is not yet over and the studios won't give up easily. Real had a solution which let you backup dvd's legally, without breaking DMCA, and they still lost!

I'm also eagerly awaiting Apple's solution. If nothing else, its guaranteed to be user friendly, and they may even force a concession or two out of Hollywood.

General Software Discussion / Re: The Vista Immersion Experiment
« on: October 07, 2008, 01:23 PM »
Ed Bott has a very helpful series of articles on new Vista installs. I like these because they don't contain any of the usual voodoo registry tweaks and make sense.

These are multi-part -

I want to see how Apple will implement Bluray playback in OSX (they will at some point right?), since AFAIK all the 'evil' Microsoft DRM is mandated by the movie studios due to PAVP. My guess is Apple will have to do the same but we won't hear a peep about it in the press, except how Apple now has this wonderful new feature.

I saw a post on a blog for a new open source synchronization program -
May be worth checking out.

The only reason Apple goes to extreme lengths to prevent you from running OSX on Intel hardware is that if they didn't, there would be no reason to buy overpriced Mac hardware which is 100% identical to any pc clone (except for some minor design features). The value proposition of Apple lies in OSX, their apps and the software experience, and it makes sense that they want to protect it.

And apart from this, Apple is just about the most closed, paranoid and secretive company out there, they carefully cultivate a 'cult of Mac' and would not want to let in the 'lowly' pc users who they make fun of in their ads.

Ok, I think I've found a good solution to my needs. It turns out the HTPC crowd is way ahead of the pc folk at solving this particular problem, i.e. cataloging and presenting movies in a nice UI and automating the whole process. I have  zero interest in adding my own notes/data since all this information already exists at Imdb etc.

I'm experimenting with XBMC Atlantis (, Meedios ( as well as MediaPortal (

The UI's and the abilities these have for media organization look like they are light years ahead of all the pc apps discussed here.

e.g. take a look at these -

I'm going to have to try this out. I like SFFS because it also handles file moves and is very configurable (maybe too much). If MirrorFolder can match its sync abilities and is faster then I might switch.

I can't tell for sure from the MirrorFolder site, but it seems that it does not support bidirectional sync. Is this correct? This is a very important feature as the primary use for me would be to keep my files synchronized across all of my pc's, andhaving them in sync automatically means they are backed up in multiple locations as well.

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 7 -- ribbons for everyone!
« on: September 23, 2008, 06:11 PM »
I don't understand the hate for the ribbon. Its a fresh UI idea backed up with lots of research and has good intentions, it seems people like to hate on it (I'm not talking about the discussion here) just because its from Microsoft. Somehow I think if Apple had done this it would be hailed as the 'best user interface in the world' to thunderous applause for Steve Jobs :)

I'm always surprised at how few people are aware of Live Mesh ( I don't like Dropbox at all, the 2GB limit and the requirement for everything to be under the dropbox folder is too limiting.

Live Mesh keeps my documents, music and other data in sync across 3 pc's and also keeps a copy online so I can access it from anywhere. And it has remote desktop to any pc as well. I think its a fantastic product.

General Software Discussion / Re: Google Chrome - What Will It Take
« on: September 16, 2008, 06:15 PM »
Google apps have a bad habit of installing the google update service, running their updater etc. I don't like the way things are going, just because Google has a catchy "Do no evil" motto is no reason to trust them! In fact they are well known for their refusal to anonymize their users privacy and to keep records for as long as possible so they can be data mined and sold to their advertisers.

On top of it all, I fail to see whats so great about Chrome to begin with. And its another Google app that they will perpetually keep in beta.

Ok, this sounds like yet another feature built into NTFS (like ADS), which has NO support in the shell, so its not very usable.

I've setup Vista to mount all external drives as external folders. So I've set up folders under "d:\External Drives", which really are junction points, and then any time the drive is plugged in it is mounted there. This way it doesn't get a random drive letter, and my backup scripts use the same path. IMO this is a killer feature in Windows which not many are aware of.

But I have a few issues -

1. The free space shown is for the d:\ drive, which contains the junction point. As far as I can tell, there is no way to tell the actual free vs used space on the drive, without going into disk management. This has caused big problems because backup programs, explorer etc have no idea there is not enough space left to copy.

2. It is not easy to tell which folder has a mounted drive. When I try to open one which is not, I get an error message. There is a slight color difference in the icons for the two, but its easy to mistake them.

3. Is there a single place which can show me all mounted volumes. Something like an explorer namespace  called "Mounted Volumes" which will then list all active reparse points.

Is there a way to make the user experience better? Are there any utilities for this (prefer freeware)?

This is quite ironic. Linux has been from day 1 designed by and for programmers, and every distro includes   programming tools, compilers, editors (and more than one of each). Installing or upgrading programs is done by compiling from source. Admittedly the end user doesn't need to do all this anymore, but its still there. I'd say the LAST thing linux needs is a distro for programmers :) 

But that's the beauty of open source, someone will do it 'just because they can'.

General Software Discussion / Re: quick photo viewer
« on: August 06, 2008, 04:13 PM »
I like Fast Picture Viewer (

Thank you for that. It really is fast!

When I travel I use my laptop/ipod for entertainment, and they have a lot of music, ripped movies, tv shows etc. While the vast majority are ripped from my own collection, I will admit some are thru p2p and copied from friends. But lets disregard those for a moment - according to the RIAA/MPAA, even ripping your own dvd/cd for personal use is illegal. So I  would then be a copyright thief/terrorist.

This is not data that I can keep on a server since its many 10's of GB. Even if I could, I can't access it in many parts of the world. The whole point of a laptop is to have your data with you.

Encrypted partitions won't help, they only make you look more suspicious in the eyes of the agent. The fact of the matter is it all depends on your luck, who you deal with and how you come across. You even look at them the wrong way and they can sieze everything you have and even arrest and lock you up with no probable cause for an indefinite time. The law has been designed to let them do anything they want.

On a practical note should I advise friends who are coming to visit not to bring any electronic devices such as laptops/mp3 players with them?

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