avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • January 24, 2020, 08:02 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 14 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - tranglos [ switch to compact view ]

Pages: prev1 ... 35 36 37 38 39 [40] 41 42 43next
every time I had an idea for an FF extension I was halted by not knowing where and how to hook up the extension to FF internals.

This is a WAG, but I would imagine you just need to look at the DOM and find the appropriate events to attach to. I'm not sure if in the JavaScript/DOM world they call them 'callbacks' or not, but that would be my guess.

I thought so, but then DOM is only a representation of the document. Nothing there lets you control cookies, read/write FF preference settings or access functions such as Save As. There's a Mozilla DOM reference here:
but it doesn't help with what I was (once) trying to do.

I have just spent a few minutes researching what it takes to build a Firefox Extension. In summary, JavaScript and XML knowledge.

JS and XML are the easy part, because they're copiously documented eveywhere. Personally, every time I had an idea for an FF extension I was halted by not knowing where and how to hook up the extension to FF internals. If I want to look at cookies, how do I inject my extension into FF's cookie processing mechanism? If I want to do something every time FF does "Save As", where does that procedure go? If there is a beter way than reading through FF source code, I'd love to know what it is!

An extension I really, really want is one that will let me block cookies by domain. FF can only block, and then I have to click Deny for adserver2, adserver3 ad nauseam. Some sites seem to have hundreds of subdomains, e.g. So I want to be able to block all cookies from *, but allow cookies from

There was/is a neat little program called CookiePal that does exactly this, but I'm running too many "resident" apps already, and would rather see this done directly in the browser.


Why did this post topic reply notification come up with a https:// prefix instead of http:// ?

More importantly, what happened to your original post?

I thought that was haiku overload.

Perhaps so is the sudden change to https. The server became partly sentient and instinctively reached to protect its, um, privacy.

It seems to be a nice complement to NOD32 or Eset Security Suite, which do not do behavioral monitoring. But... GAAA! It finds nothing on my systems :) Nothing finds anything on my systems, ever! How can I know what good an AV, antispyware, rootkit detection solution is if nothing is ever detected? I get false positives at best (Avira Antivir is great at findng false positives.)

Actually there's a serious note to that, because it seems to me that my simple (but persistent :) common sense is sufficient to protect me, and now with a NAT router with a built-in firewall I need not burden my machines with any additional protection. The only reason I still use a firewall is for egress protection. Plenty of install packages these days, usually built on InstallShield, try to make an outbound connection immediately on launch, and I take great pleasure in blocking them. Other than that, I must be living under a bubble, even viruses don't want my company :)

weak vars are pointers
like following a road sign
that's blank, to nowhere

tranglos, that huge delay with NOD32 screams something is wrong somewhere in your system. Such thing happening open a text file (as big it may be) with that hardware is not normal.

Well, I've just found something very interesting. Accessing an .exe file, no matter how large (the largest I've found was over 35 MB), is instantaneous, as it should be. Accessing a plain text file of similar size (just lines of text, not even XML or any format NOD32 can recognize) with an unregistered extension produces a *huge* delay, 8 seconds or more before the file is displayed. TextPad opens this same file in a quarter of the time NOD32 takes to scan it! Renaming that file to .txt takes just as long. Renaming it back to the original extension, ditto.

I've now installed NOD32 3.0 trial on my Thinkpad as well, and I'm seeing the exact same behavior. The only thing the two computers have in common is the same version of XP SP2 PL. Unless there is something very wrong with that specific copy of Windows, I'd say it's NOD32, especially that the files II've used for testing are data files for a program I use on a daily basis, and the program loads them fully into RAM in no more than a second.

The interesting thing of course is that NOD32 scans executable files perfectly fast, but seems to have issues with text files. This may be an emergent property of the scanning algorithms they use, and of course I can instruct NOD32 not to look at those files. I need a 2-year, 3-machine license, so I'm being picky here, but with this discovery I think I can settle on NOD32 pretty safely.

Would you be willing to check how NOD32 behaves on your system? Just enable scanning all files and try viewing/opening a big enough textfile.

AntiVir's update scheduling is editable in the free version. And there's some trick to bypass that popups screen, it was posted in... Wilders?

Shucks, scheduling is indeed editable (just found it out when I fired up my laptop, withy Avira still installed) and I retract my statement, thank you. The wieird thing is I was looking for it and it was not there.


Concise and beautiful.  Thank you.

And I return the bow, Ralf, yours are all lovely.

Living Room / Re: Please Write Software Poems...
« on: November 16, 2007, 10:39 PM »
Thread about haikus breeds more
at link's other end


General Software Discussion / SpySweeper from Webroot, trustworthy?
« on: November 16, 2007, 10:36 PM »
Exhibit A: SpySweeper ( installer wants your email. I guess it's okay, since if I eventually buy it, they'll know much more about me than my email...


Exhibit B: SpySweeper wants permission to phone your data home by default. Whoa, are we still installing an anti-spyware product?


Exhibit C: SpySweeper installer wants to give you a free gift - an toolbar! And Search Assistant, too! You don't even have to click anything, you're opted in hands-free!


What more could you ask for?

wolf in sheep's clothing?
demur at trojan bounty
cancel, confirm, DEL

Thanks for the benchmarks!  It's nice to see all those listed side-by-side.

NOD32: 105 seconds first lap; 63 to 73 seconds subsequent laps

Do you have NOD's the "self-extracting archives" and "unpackers" option turned on, and if so are many of the files you're copying self-extracting or compressed with UPX? 

Also, heuristic scanning (while wonderful) causes a performance hit.

Not suggesting you turn any of that stuff off, just curious.

I'm pretty much using the default config (for the testing), so let me check... Heuristics ON, Advanced heuristics OFF, Runtime packers OFF.

On edit: On the main config window (posted by Curt above), all three of these options are ON. However, Runtime packers and Advanced heuristics are OFF in the dialog shown after clicking the "Setup" button for "ThreatSense engine parameter setup". That's confusing!

But what really got me was trying to view a plain-text file (with an unregistered extension though). Not an executable and certainly not compressed. I didn't time this exactly, but the delay was certainly more than 5 seconds, when using the View command in Total Commander. I've had to switch from scanning all files on access to scanning selected extensions only.

I'm a bit of a speed freak when it comes to the system. Since I spend so many hours in front of it, I hate having to wait for anything, and have just put together a system that doesn't make me wait, mostly. As a result, I may be giving more weight to performance than I really (rationally) should.

The amount of false positives drove me nuts, the interface when it detects something is a disaster. Why? Well, let me explain. In their infinite wisdom, they made it so that it can't be resized, and because of this it is impossible to read where the file it detect is actually located if it's several folders deep. When you then combine this with all the false positives, you can imagine how frustrating it can get as you sit there trying to decide if you should let it delete the file it just detected as being infected, without having any idea what file it is actually talking about. It should be easy enough to fix, but now almost a year later it still behaves the same way.

Another thing that I thought was really cheap on their side is that they don't let you scan drives/folders on a network with the regular paid Premium version. Oh no, then you have to give them even more coins >:(

I completely agree about false positives, although Avira only stubmles on two on my system, and zipping them up helped. The interface is clunky in general, and the free version I've been using won't let you configure the update schedule, so it kicks in at the most inopportune moments. Also, a few months ago they took to putting up an "upgrade" banner ad right on top of all other windows as the update progresses, every day. It's free, so I don't blame them, but I don't want to have to see the banner either. I first tried their suite, but as I mentioned before, the firewall was killing the system.

My main problem finding an optimal AV is lack of viruses on my system :) In 16 years of computing I've only had an actual infection once, back in the days of DOS 6.13 (it was an MBR virus and I fondly remember getting rid of it with Norton Disk Editor and thus saving my data). Meaning, if I see a virus warning, it's a false-positive from Avira - or a valid warning about an infected attachment, which TheBat had already sent to spam folder and I wasn't even going to see it. Meaning, I cannot differentiate between AV products based on detection, I can only trust people like av-comparatives. So I choose instead based on performance, resource consumption, feature set and UI. NOD-32 wins on the last three counts, Avira wins the first one.

Your setup must suffer from some kind of mismatch, I think. I have not noticed any delay worth mentioning caused by NOD32.

Same setup in ESS, a month-old and still clean XP SP2 installation, 10000 RPM Raptor drive, 4G RAM and no other security, backup or file-monitoring software running. And briefly: copying a mix of exe, dll and doc files (a little over 3000 files), 1 GB total in size, from a single folder on one drive to another folder on another physical drive:

no AV installed: 42 seconds first lap; 19 to 21 seconds subsequent laps (because the files were now cached by the system)

Avira: 64 seconds first lap; 20 to 23 seconds subsequent laps (almost no delay at all!)

NOD32: 105 seconds first lap; 63 to 73 seconds subsequent laps

ESS: 112 seconds first lap (nearly 3 times slower than when no AV used); 58 to 64 seconds subsequent laps

Values measured to ms precision and averaged over several runs, with system configured exactly the same and restarted between each test.

I do wish NOD32 was faster (on my system, at least!)


NOD-32 is s-l-o-w...! At least compared to Avira. It takes much less memory than Avira AntiVir or AVG, the on-demand scanner churns through the disks  much faster than either of those, so I was really surprised to see how the on-access scanner in the latest version slows down file operations. By default it scans all files, and between pressing F3 (View) in Total Commander on a 70 MB plain text file, and actually seeing the file contents, there was an 8-10 seconds delay. That's nuts! I then changed the confiuguration to scan only selected extensions, but still, it's scanning all the .exes and .dlls and .docs that are going to be slowing down things all the time.

I'm running the trial version of ESS (the suite) right now, and I like a lot about it, but its on-access scanner is really slow, while ESET claim it is very, very fast ("fastest performance", they say). Note that on their AV comparison page ( Avira is conspicuously absent - I guess that's because they only list software that performs worse than theirs.

That is not to promote Avira, necessarily. The reason I'm trying out NOD32 is that I'm looking for another AV product in the first place. I like the look and feel and functionality of NOD32 much better, and the ESS suite is awfully nice, too. Avira makes a security suite as well, but the firewall gave me 3 bluescreens a day, so it was a no-go. (And AVG had me practically reaching for the Acronis partition image on DVD when the uninstaller crashed - I've had a pretty bad experience with it). That's why I'm finding NOD32 even more frustrating - I love it, but the performance hit keeps me from buying. I'll post details of my performance measurements in a separate post.

General Software Discussion / Re: SyncBackSE vs. SuperFlexible
« on: November 16, 2007, 05:10 PM »
I just got "bit" by the scheduling feature in SFFS. I thought it was scheduled for earlier this afternoon but a reboot of my PC naturally had shut down SFFS and it is not set to auto-start, so - nothing happened.

Every other program I have used that has an internal scheduler automatically places the auto-scheduler feature in the startup folder. Not SFFS. You must manually start the scheduler, and if you don't manually create a link in the startup folder it will not start upon reboot and the files will not be synchronized.

This is precisely what I was thinking when I evaluated SFFS. The interface, and the dangerous handling of scheduled jobs, including the fact that you must disable the scheduler before you can view your backup profiles.

I had a very hard time about a year ago choosing a text editor - I even tested products in $100+ price range, and none had the optimal mix of features and behaviors. I've registered three shareware editors, and they all annoy me in all sorts of ways :) But now, choosing a backup application seems even harder. Don't kick yourself over not having evaluated SFFS longer; I guess when I see an application that looks good at first sight and gets great reviews, I tend to assume it will suit me in the long run, and what's more, I want it to be good, I want to like the program.

The first backup application I bought was FileBackPC, in 2002. It was exceedingly powerful for its time, but in the end the UI was too complex to be sure I always got the settings right, and I couldn't live with the proprietary compression format, which meant I was locked out of my backups until I downloaded and installed the program. Today the UI is a little better, but it seems to be falling behind in features (no FTP backup, for example), and they've kept the proprietary format.

For now I'm sticking with Backup4All. The only major feature I wish it had is registry backup - HandyBackup does that, but at about $100 it is the only feature Backup4All does not have, and it misses a few others (no differentials, for example). I have a pretty long list of bugs in Backup4All; fortunately most are usability issues and cosmetic bugs, nothing that affects the reliability of the scheduled backup jobs. One thing that keeps me hesitant about Backup4All in the long run is the response I received from the author when I asked for ability to automatically run missed backups - I was basically told never to switch off the computer, which means to me the author may have gotten the idea that the program needs no improvement.

I'm still trying to get at the IBM offering, but unable to order it - so far I've been redirected from one helpdesk to another (very corteously, though :), now waiting for response.


Out of curiosity, are such tablets useful for tasks other than editing graphics? For example, would a tablet provide some added convenience when editing densely tagged text, making lots of twiddly little edits like adding/removing spaces, changing commas to semi-colons, correcting typos, selecting/copying/pasting small amounts of text, where one has to watch very carefully for surrounding tags, linebreaks etc? Would a tablet be more convenient than keyboard+mouse when performing such tasks for several hours a day? (Thankfully this is not *all* I do :) but it is a significant part of reviewing software localization projects...)

Also, do all/some tablet models support character recognition under WinXP, and how well does it work?

I've been eyeing tablets at a local computer store, but it's hard to know how useful it's going to be without actually trying it out for a while.


1110 grains of rice!

2000 grains and I had to quit, too many words! :) Fantastic game!

ProcessTamer / Re: New Feature: Process Time Watcher and Killer.
« on: November 15, 2007, 12:17 PM »
tranglos: wouldn't be very hard coding something like that... of course it would take a slight amount of system resources to monitor the app, but if you poll only each 100ms or something you wouldn't be able to feel the speed hit...

I should be able to write it myself, except that I am completely unfamiliar with the relevant APIs (what *are* the relevant APIs? :-).

ProcessTamer / Re: New Feature: Process Time Watcher and Killer.
« on: November 14, 2007, 05:03 PM »
Here's another idea. I've been testing various backup programs recently, and now am looking at a couple of AV offerings. One of the things I'm concerned about is resource usage - memory and CPU.

It is easy enough to check current RAM and CPU usage, but I would love to be able to see a history of RAM and CPU usage for a specific process over several hours, say. This is because if there are any spikes in CPU usage by a process, I am unlikely to catch them as they happen, and sitting in front of the Task Manager for hours with a pencil in hand is a job for software, not humans.

Is it something you would consider implementing, mouser, or do you know of another program that can do this? I don't need any fancy graphs, just numeric values, measured say every second, that I could view and save. What do you say?


General Software Discussion / Re: SyncBackSE vs. SuperFlexible
« on: November 12, 2007, 04:03 PM »
I posted/quoted about that in the other synching thread - there's always another similar themed thread isnt there ;)

Yes, and I have great hopes for this one one! Including the hope that it works better than IBM's ordering page :)

General Software Discussion / Re: SyncBackSE vs. SuperFlexible
« on: November 12, 2007, 03:10 PM »
there seems to be little further program development going on AFAIK, but I have found the real-time mode very useful. I may be wrong about this, but I think Caddais BOD may operate somewhat differently from programs like FileHamster that seem to require a file to be actually saved before a version is made. OTOH, neither program makes it completely clear what they mean by "real time" backing up...

Likewise Derek, thank you. Caddais seems to be closer to MirrorFolder than the more "traditional" backup programs, since it uses a driver, so it does true real-time mirroring. It seems the program was last updated in 2005, but then, in 2005 it may have been ahead of its time :)

Meanwhile, two more interesting backup solutions:

EMC Retrospect for Windows ($119)

I'm approaching this one with mixed feelings. It seems to be one of the most powerful backup apps, and it's geared towards enterprise rather than home use. It's either extremely advanced, or it's a pedestrian backup program dressed up in plenty of five-dollar words, I cannot tell which. The authors are fond of picking out-of-the-way terms for otherwise simple things: a backup job is a "backup set"; when you mirror a drive to a folder on another drive, you're creating a "subvolume", etc.

On the one hand, it's hard to get a detailed feature list - you have to download a PDF datasheet, and even that is less informative than most shareware sites these days. On the other hand, the website does have a lot of support information, including a good number of articles in the knowledge base and a working users' forum. It seems though EMC Retrospect uses a proprietary backup format, not standard compression format like Zip. I've used a program like that before (FileBack PC), but never liked the idea that without this specific application I was locked out of my backups. Hefty pricetag, too!

IBM Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files ($42)

Now this one is very interesting. IBM Tivoli is a line of storage products that come with plenty of trailing zeros on the pricetag; this one apparently goes for forty-something dollars. (And knowing IBM, it's probably written in Java, but I'm only guessing). If it shares more than the name with other Tivoli products, it should be highly reliable. It puts an icon in the tray, but otherwise it has no interface of its own, it's configured via a browser interface. One special feature is the ability to "fork" a backup: one copy goes to a local drive, and another copy to a network drive, a NAS device, etc. Looking at the screenshots, it may not offer all the full/differential/incremental/zipped/encrypted options we are used to, but just mirrors folders in the target location, with optional versioning. It does not need the network device to be always on - acording to the description, it will wait and run the backup once the device becomes available. That's a nice touch. If it is not too resource-hungry, it could be an excellent fire-and-forget solution indeed.

The question is, can you buy it. Click "Buy now" and you're taken to a list of countries. Poland is not listed (and neither is Germany, France and most of Europe anyway), so I don't know if they are limiting sales to customers from the liksted countries only. It seems though you can pick US, then click View Pricing, and finally you can add it to cart.

(On edit: Once you add it to cart, IBM wants you to create an account. That ends in a server error. Yesterday I couldn't even get to the ordering page, which was out of service for some reason. I decided not to istall the trial until I know if IBM will let me but the darn thing :)

It seems you can also buy it through digitalriver:
But the price there is $35, so they may be selling an earlier version, there's no way to tell on that page.


To help clarify what i'm interested in.. im more interested in properly billing people for time, rather than in figuring out what kinds of things i do on the computer.

For this purpose TimeSnapper ( is apparently suitable - at least this was the design of the program and many people use it that way. Its basic function is periodically taking screenshots, which you can then replay as a kind of a slide-show to track what you were doing all day (or all year). This is supplemented with powerful reports and timesheets, so you can find out exactly how much time you spent working in a specific application. It will even run the screenshots through OCR, so you can extract text.

Overall, it's a very well-written utility, and actively developed. The support is instantaneous, pretty much like yours, mouser :) I waited all of two minutes for a reply. Two things to watch out for:

1) it's a .Net application, take it or leave it;

2) It uses online activation. You get two license codes for installation on two machines. After that, if for example you ditch one computer and get another, you need to email them for a new set of codes. That was my support request they responded to within 2 minutes, but I must say I was already non-plussed at having to email them and _ask_ to regain use of software I'd paid for. Got to say also though that the author is a really sweet guy, and though I had a rant ready to be written, after the quick and corteous response from him I wasn't going to give him any hard time about the licensing scheme - though it is a bad idea.

I don't think TimeSnapper will do any project management for you, but it will automate tracking the time spent very well.


ProcessTamer / Re: Optimization Suggestion: Adjusted Priority_Range
« on: November 10, 2007, 08:18 PM »
If some Program started with normal basic priority (Taskmanager)

Not sure if this is relevant or if you're using task manager as a random example here, but on XP taskmgr.exe is always started with High priority, rather than Normal. I guess this is needed so that you can actually use taskmgr to kill a process that might be hogging the CPU, since with priority Normal the task manager might never get around to processing your clicks.

I guess I'm old-school, because I find an old version of WinAmp perfectly good for all my mp3 playback needs :)

For moving files to/from an iPod, if you're on Windows, I can wholeheartedly recommend Anapod Explorer from Red Chair Software:

It's inexpensive (under $25 for a generic iPod edition, $29.95 gets you a version that supports all iPod models), and with a Windows Explorer integration, it is really slick for copying and managing files on an iPod. Unlike iTunes, it will also download mp3s from an iPod to the computer. I have never bought any DRM-ed mp3s, so I can't say how Anapod fares there (I only play my own CDs, converted with CDEx). It can auto-run in the tray, or can be launched manually as needed, so no annoying services when you don't use them.

If you use Total Commander, you can drag and drop from it to the Anapod folder in Windows Explorer, back and forth. DOpus and other file managers will probably work just as well. No iTunes!

By the way, here's a fun bit of Apple stupidity: I bought my iPod in the US, but they're also sold here in Poland (more expensively, though). You get iTunes on CD with the iPod, but if you want to download a new version of iTunes, it first asks you where you come from (or they figure it out themselves via geolocation, I forget). Well, once they find out the connection is coming from Poland, they give me a page that basically says "iTunes store is not available in your country", and the adventure ends there. That is, just because you can't buy stuff through iTunes if your address is in Poland, they won't even let you download a new version of iTunes to manage the iPod they just sold to you! The last time I needed iTunes, I had to do a web search for the installer and grab it from a third-party site. Plain stupidity I can ignore, but aggravated stupidity is something else entirely :)

General Software Discussion / Re: SyncBackSE vs. SuperFlexible
« on: November 10, 2007, 04:22 PM »
tranglos: was your external USB enclosure by any chance connected via FireWire and not USB?

Yes, definitely USB here.

But I guess it could be caused by the MF filter driver, the problem with the firewire case iirc has to do with the controller saying "I can handle X size requests" but the drive only being able to handle some smaller amount. If the MF filter driver "blindly" copies i/o request packets to the destination, perhaps it sends some that are too big. Worth investigating.

At the time I had Backup4All copying a large folder tree (some 60 GB) to the external drive, while I was navigating other trees on the drive and deleting (also large) folders. After a couple of minutes of this Windows started displaying baloon notifications in the tray saying that delayed write failed and "data was lost". Good thing I was copying files rather than moving them. At first I thought the disk failed, but it was OK after I restarted the USB enclosure. Then the same thing happened again. The folders being copied/deleted had nothing to do with MirrorFolder's source and target directories, but I do suppose it hooks all disk operations and only does its thing on the configured folders.

I wouldn't trust an external drive (USB or FireWire) for "always-on", and even less as an auto-sync destination... I've seen several computers where external USB drives sometimes lose connection for less than half a second - enough time that the drive icon would blink out and back in existance in explorer, and a file copy would give one of those "retry?" dialogs. But nothing I've lost data because of...

That's another possibility. The USB drive's LED did go out when the error happened. And the only way the USB drive works at all is if I connect it to a powered USB hub. When connected directly to a USB port on the motherboard, Windows does not detect it.

It's only a temporary solution, since I have a couple of leftover ATA drives from my previous system. I'll be replacing it with a two-disk NAS device in a few days.

Ugh, if it triggers as soon as the filesystem notification even is triggered... that would be awful. Especially because you don't get a list of changes, but have to scan the entire tree.

Exactly, so it's only good for relatively small folder trees. Windows folder notification API is broken that way.


General Software Discussion / Re: SyncBackSE vs. SuperFlexible
« on: November 10, 2007, 07:20 AM »
MirrorFolder There are many real-time mirroring apps, but this one has won me over.
Do you know of any other real-time sync/mirror apps that work in the same way as MF (ie., syncing only the changes, instead of doing a full filecopy on change)? MF looks like a very bloody nice program, and might just be the answer to my needs, but I wouldn't mind having something else to compare to :)
Thanks a lot for mentioning MirrorFolder!

Thanks a lot, f0dder!

Please see also my other note on MirrorFolder above, regarding possible interference with an external USB drive. It's a potential deal-breaker, because the system loses data when it happens. If a fixed drive was affected in this way, the results could be catastophic. I have no hard evidence MirrorFolder was responsible, except that it had never happened before and has not occurred since I removed MF. I'll have to re-install MF and see if it happens again.

I don't know of anything to compare it with. DirSync and similar programs usually just synchronize on schedule, and a few (SecondCopy) have an option to run a job whenever files change, but this still isn't true real-time mirroring. (SecondCopy is actually a little too eager, as it starts the backup job while the changing files are still open, e.g. being written to disk, and SC cannot handle that. You can configure a retry delay, but it would be better if SC just knew to wait a bit for files to become available without reporting an error.)

There is CascadePoint by JPSoftware (of 4Dos/4NT fame), which claims to do real-time mirroring (I've only found it now):

Also, ShadowProtect Desktop real-time imaging looks interesting - mentioned by Defenestration here:

Pages: prev1 ... 35 36 37 38 39 [40] 41 42 43next