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Topics - Tuxman [ switch to compact view ]

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Developer's Corner / Boost as a symbol for the npm'ness of C++
« on: May 08, 2016, 08:39 AM »
I'm currently writing a rather sophisticated web software in C++ (I'll post a topic on it when I'm done, so there's finally another software of mine you can ignore :P). As I - as you might know - usually prefer the KISS principle, I try not to include as many external libraries as possible, probably reinventing the wheel in a lot of places yet sticking close to the standard. (Hooray, C++17!)

During the past development I came across a lot of potentially interesting libraries which I ended up implementing myself because all of them depended on the Boost libraries, a huge can-do-everything monster of some header-only, some must-be-linked libraries which would add an indefinite amount of complexity to my application without being maintainable by me. The usual reason for the requirement of Boost is that Boost provides regular expressions and advanced file system functionality - both of which are already a part of recent C++ standards (admittedly, <filesystem> is still considered experimental).

In the light of Node.js's funny - I really don't like JavaScript - left-pad debacle: Why, just why do some C++ folks prefer huge craploads of external libraries to just sticking to the standard? Being portable is no excuse anymore, nothing is as portable as the standard.

Sometimes I want to stay up-to-date with a website which does not have a good RSS feed, like KiTTY's. Of course I could use services like feed43. Or I just write my own solution.

rssparser.lisp on Bitbucket Fossil


% ./rssparser.lisp add "KiTTY" "" ".news" "h1" ""
% ./rssparser.lisp list
1 feed is set up:
ID: 23  Title:        KiTTY
        Last success: -

% ./rssparser.lisp parse
By default, the KiTTY website feed will be stored as feeds/feed23.xml then.


Living Room / Holy day
« on: December 22, 2015, 03:08 AM »
Merry solstice, dear friends.

A couple of years ago I found OpalCalc to be a useful part of my software repository, providing an easy way to do calculations of everyday things without having to think about how to tell the calculator what you actually want to calculate.

However, the full version of OpalCalc is not freeware. While I'd totally recommend to donate something to the guy behind OpalCalc, I'm not quite happy to pay for things I could develop myself. My natural lazyness loses ground when it comes to hard money.

So here's my first attempt.



  • Calculate things.
  • Convert units.
  • Convert currencies (currently updated once a day, internet access is required for obvious reasons).


  • 0.0.3:
    • Fixed inconsistency: The window title is "Calcupy!" now.
    • Added an "About" window.
    • Updated libraries.
    • Calcupy! now tries to handle decimal commas more reliably.
  • 0.0.2: First "public" version (DC exclusive).

To do:

  • Add a history feature: Show the whole calculation history so you won't lose track of what you are actually doing.
  • Add an option to set the maximum number of digits for the "mem" field.
  • Fix some minor UI glitches.
  • Set up a website and blog. (In progress.)
  • Use a better runtime than Electron. Electron is awful.

Known inconsistencies:

  • (none)


This is version 0.0.3. Don't even dare to think that this is (in my eyes) nearly complete yet. I'm positive that everything you'd want to suggest is already planned or would be rejected anyway. Version 0.9.9 will probably be the first one to not apply this rule to. 8)

Temporary download location until I find the time to start the project's website:
Click me!
(... knowing that "Click me!" is as trustworthy as "enlarge your p€n!$ here" ...)

General Software Discussion / Listary 5 (beta)
« on: December 04, 2015, 07:22 PM »
It's here, and it comes with a "double-Ctrl" shortcut.

I just noticed that it can also launch applications.  ;D (No joke, I did not know this, only having used it as a favorites bar for Open dialogs...)
Hard times for FARR.

Mini-Reviews by Members / Vivaldi: Promising yet.
« on: November 07, 2015, 09:33 AM »
Basic Info

App NameVivaldi
App Version Reviewed1.0.303.52 (Beta)
Supported OSesWindows, OS X, Linux (unknown minimum versions)
Support MethodsForums and a (write-only) bug tracker as well as a quite helpful IRC channel
Upgrade PolicyFree updates (for now)
Pricing SchemeFreeware (for now)
Screencast Video URL



I've been using Mozilla Firefox since its humble beginnings as Phoenix (from the ashes of the Mozilla Suite). Having been a rather proud user for quite a while, I don't quite like the direction Mozilla is taking, including the oversimplified Australis UI and some other weird decisions; however, the latest beta 43.0 made DownThemAll! 3.0 (beta), one of the last extensions which stuck me to Firefox, not work anymore due to some signing issues. DTA!'s author had already said that he will stop further development when Firefox gets rid of XUL support which will be "soon" anyway.

So, basically, that's the last straw for me. Mozilla is obviously not interested in having me as a user and extension developer anymore, so I'm available for the browser market again. It is a nice coincidence that I have been playing with Vivaldi for a couple of months now. The only thing that held me back was that it is Chromium-based, but since Mozilla is turning Firefox into just another Chrome clone, it really does not matter anymore. (Yes, I am aware of Pale Moon, but I'm not too sure that it will survive although its author claims a bright future.)

Actually, Vivaldi is quite impressive even after some time spent with it.

Who is this app designed for:

Vivaldi is interesting for those who want a nice-looking web browser which offers more options than Edge and looks better than Maxthon. :) Ramblings aside, Vivaldi was invented by the same guy who was responsible for the pre-Chromium Opera browser, so it can be seen as just another Opera 12 successor, being in a productive competition with Otter (for those who look back to the original experience).

The Good

The first thing you'll notice: Tabs on the left side. Tabs with preview thumbnails on them. Tabs on any side you wish. Amazing. :) Also, the browser window is automatically colored in the favicon's primary color. (This can be turned off.) Additionally, Opera 12's best UI features are present here, including a sidebar panel. (Note that there doesn't seem to be MDI support [yet?], you can only see one tab at a time.) At least the UI is not boring.

Vivaldi also understands most of Chrome's add-ins (see below for why this is not quite complete yet) and it can be configured rather well. It has built-in mouse gestures (I know some people like them, I personally don't) and configurable key shortcuts. The underlying Chromium engine renders pages pretty OK, although on some systems (like mine) you'll have to disable GPU "optimizations" (via vivaldi://flags) to unblur the text. This usually happens with all Blink-based browsers though.

The needs improvement section

Vivaldi is not the fastest browser when it starts. While looking at the running processes, I remember again why Chromium actually sucks so much:


Vivaldi opens one process per active extension and tab, so add-ins like The Great Suspender (basically simulating Firefox behavior) and trying to get all other add-ins fixed so they remain in the background (the Developer View of the add-in manager shows it) will probably help.

While we're at add-ins: I noticed that some add-ins which (theoretically) work with Vivaldi need some refinement. FoxyProxy opens two new tabs after the installation, Xmarks's buttons do not do anything; often those are already known bugs but reporting them will mostly lead to a response. It seems that Vivaldi gains traction by now. I also found one bug in Vivaldi, concerning the vivaldi://flags window, but that was already known too.

TL;DR: Don't expect a bug-free browser environment by now.

Why I think you should use this product

If you don't care too much about Chromium's quirks, Vivaldi might be the best Chromium available.

How does it compare to similar apps

"Similar apps" - in terms of "Opera 12 successors" - are rare, and, as far as I know, all of them are based on Chromium. The most advanced "other one" is Otter which makes a slow progress too, but it has a completely different project direction.


For those who want the real deal (the "original" Opera 12 feeling), Otter might be the better choice. Vivaldi, on the other hand, comes with fresh ideas. I don't know if Vivaldi is, in comparison, "better" than <your favorite browser>, but it's well worth a try.


Vivaldi is the best Opera 12 since Opera 12's demise. 4/5 unless they fix the "needs improvement" part.

Developer's Corner / Writing WPF styles?
« on: September 05, 2015, 07:40 PM »
For some retro project I'm considering to develop, I could really need some Windows 3.x WPF style. Are there any? If not, how can I actually create them?

I never did that before.

Living Room / The weirdness that is Electron
« on: September 05, 2015, 07:38 PM »
I never could see the point in the Atom editor.

Using a bloated web browser runtime as the code base for a text editor which never could do notably more than Emacs or a sanely configured Sublime Text never seemed to be something well-thought, not even considering the cross-platform approach. Writing cross-platform applications never required a virtual machine. Additionally there's quite a lot of overhead. A "Hello, world" GUI application in Ceramic, the Common Lisp port of Electron, takes about 256 MiB of hard disk space. This must be the future(*).

However, Electron seems to gain attraction. Today I found an Electron-based terminal emulator - nice look, weird feeling -, and it suffers from the same problems. I guess we'll all soon grow tired of those "oooh, I look like TextMate!" applications altogether, but until then, I wonder what we normal programmers can do to help prevent the world to consider seriously bloated runtime environments a must-have.

* I admit one of my in-development applications uses Ceramic. Know your enemy!

General Software Discussion / The Bat! 7
« on: June 18, 2015, 04:53 AM »
Now featuring CardDAV support:


This extension serves the purpose of providing instant access to the FOAAS web service. FOAAS (Fuck Off As A Service) provides a modern, RESTful, scalable solution to the common problem of telling people to fuck off.

SeaMonkey version
Thunderbird version


This is a project by me. It's not "requested" by anyone but me, it's not a project large enough for the showroom, but maybe someone can use it.

I work in a small IT company, currently being involved in finishing a better Transifex alternative. As I make use of a number of JavaScript libraries, I regularly lose track of updated versions. So I made this script which does it for me. on GitHub

This is my first Python script, I have a couple of things on my personal TODO list. While I work on it, I gladly accept new definition files. Mine are not perfect.

Living Room / Sony's Pirates
« on: April 18, 2015, 08:15 PM »
Does anyone of you remember Sony, the large company which came over to the dark side when they spread rootkits on their audio-CDs?
Sony has been in the press for a while, proposing to kick people who pirate their products off the internet entirely.

Now guess what.

Hacked Sony emails reveal that Sony had pirated books about hacking


Mini-Reviews by Members / AdGuard: the better Ad Muncher?
« on: July 29, 2014, 05:24 PM »
Basic Info

App NameAdGuard
App Version Reviewed5.9
Supported OSesMicrosoft Windows up to 8.1 (currently)
Support MethodsThey seem to prefer their support ticket system.
Upgrade PolicyLicensing works per year, independently of the version numbers.
Trial Version Available?Yes, it is. The (unrestricted) trial period lasts only two weeks though.
Pricing Scheme1 year: 19.95 US-$
2 years: 29.95 US-$
Unlimited: 49.95 US-$



As Ad Muncher 5 (about to be free or something) is heavily discussed all around teh interwebz, people might forget about the alternatives. I'm not talking about Adblock Plus or Adblock Edge, there's more; be it GlimmerBlocker on OS X, be it the free but failing AdFender, be it AdGuard. All of them share one goal: Blocking advertisements and (optionally) other annoying stuff without browser-side restrictions.

Why I think you should use this product

In opposite to ad blocking add-ons for browsers, AdGuard works as a transparent proxy. Browser add-ons usually hog the system, transparent proxies don't. - Also, some of you might use more than one browser (or HTML-capable mail clients), so you'd have to install a pretty decent amount of extra software. Install, fire and forget, never see any ads again. You don't trust Adblock Plus/Edge? Use AdGuard!

(Admittedly, some of them might still come through; you can easily report them though.)

How does it compare to similar apps

Ah, my favorite section in this case:

In comparison to Ad Muncher (at least v4), AdGuard has a better looking multi-language GUI, HTTPS support, a more reliable browser overlay and a larger feature set, including "internet security" (blocks malicious websites).

In comparison to AdFender, AdGuard's built-in filters seem to work much better, AdFender failed to filter the majority of ads for me (regardless of the fact that it's freeware).

In comparison to Adblock Plus/Edge, AdGuard happily ignores which web browser you're using.


AdGuard is a nice ad blocker which definitely needs more attention. If there is one thing to complain, it's its license. No freeware! - Still, let's see how it'll perform compared to Ad Muncher 5 one it's released.

Living Room / Guess how useful virus scanners are?
« on: July 29, 2014, 10:11 AM »

General Software Discussion / World's weirdest file manager
« on: July 23, 2014, 06:35 PM »


OK, Mac users might like it. I'm slightly confused.

Mini-Reviews by Members / Mini-Review of GNU Emacs
« on: September 19, 2013, 09:51 AM »
Basic Info

App NameGNU Emacs
App Version Reviewed24.3 (precompiled Windows version)
Supported OSesAny, I'd assume. OK, they recently dropped support for a couple of historic DOS and UNIX versions.
Support MethodsThe gnu.emacs.* mailing lists are probably preferred.
Upgrade PolicyFree as in free speech and in free beer.
Pricing SchemeSame (unless you get Emacs with a proprietary UNIX system).
Screencast Video URL



I have been a pretty happy Sublime Text user since ST2 was in its alpha state. I even bought a license, and that's something I don't do quite often. Now Sublime Text 2 development was stopped in favor of Sublime Text 3 which brings no changes I would be interested in. So, in order to get only bugfixes, I would have to buy a new license for too much money. I'm a poor man. ;)

I tried a couple of alternatives. The one big ST feature I was looking for was "GoTo Anything", missing in all other editors except, well, Vim and Emacs (where it was easily imitatable). I took the chance to spend some time learning Emacs. Coming from Vim (which was replaced by ST2 on my Windows), I always like new challenges.

The history of Emacs dates back to the 1970s. While several Emacsen popped up and disappeared through the years (Linus Torvalds is known to use µemacs), only a few of them have stayed. GNU Emacs is the standard by now, having inspired a couple of other applications (even Mac OS X's keybindings are taken from this Emacs).

Who is this app designed for:

In contrary to pure text editors like Vim (which can be extended to full-featured IDEs too), Emacs can do anything. It comes with a quite good Usenet and Mail client ("gnus") which was the initial reason to install Emacs on my machine (yes, it is really good), you can browse the web with it, you can use the IRC and Twitter from it, you can blog from it. Emacs is designed to live in it; you should never have to leave it during your work day.


Admittedly, most users don't need these features, they just want a good coding editor. Now guess what Emacs can be!

The Good

I already mentioned the extras, so let me just list a very few of the good parts of the editor component here:

1. The scratch buffer.
Some kind of a "notepad". Close the application and its contents are gone; great for quick notes (like this review) though. Supports syntax highlighting.

2. Perfect highlighting and indentation.
Emacs has the most sophisticated syntax highlighting and code indentation mechanisms I have ever seen. Reindentation of a copy&pasted code file is only one command away.

3. Package management.
Starting from Emacs 24, you'll get a good package manager as part of the Emacs core. New packages can even be installed automatically, updates are also taken care of. (See the "Needs improvement" section for examples.)

4. Flexible configuration.
OK, Emacs needs Emacs Lisp code for configuration. On the other hand, Sublime Text needs JSON. I'm not sure what's worse. Seriously, there are a lot of preconfigured Emacsen on the web, and while I would not recommend anyone to completely apply third persons' configurations without chacking them manually, a couple of more-or-less well documented configuration files should be enough to learn it "by doing". Here's mine (automatically installing all missing packages; read the file carefully).

5. The client/server model.
Start an Emacs server (Alt+X server-start) on your server or wherever, log into it with any Emacs client from anywhere. Neat!

... and more ...
Edit files directly on a server of your choice. Choose between Notepad (cua-mode), Vim (evil-mode, requires an extra package) and Emacs keybindings. Run your shell from within your editor window. Install emacs-eclim to integrate Eclipse with Emacs (if you feel like using Java for anything) Grow a giant beard. Never leave the house again. (OK, that's a joke. Don't grow a giant beard please.)

The needs improvement section

1. Emacs does not come with PHP support. This has (weird) copyright reasons. You'll have to obtain it by typing Alt+x package-install php-mode.
2. Emacs has a weird keybinding. This has historical reasons. You'll have to enable the CUA ("Notepad") or Evil (Vim) mode to change this. Or add your own bindings for everything. Good luck.
3. Emacs does not support PCRE regular expressions. Unlike Vim, there are not even "Perl-enabled" Emacs builds. You'll have to use "PCRE to Emacs Lisp RE" converters or external applications (like sed) if you feel like using them.
4. Emacs - OK, Aquamacs (on Mac OS X) does - has no shiny, blinking GUI (although the helm-mode which I use to simulate "GoTo Anything" comes near).

Why I think you should use this product

If you need an advanced code editor which will probably survive you without requiring you to ever pay for any update, this is yours. Grab it while it's hot. (Seriously, many people switch to Emacs these days.)

How does it compare to similar apps

If I'll ever find an editor which is similar to Emacs... no, this won't happen. (Now don't mention Vim. Vim is a text editor, Emacs is a runtime environment. Hey, you can run Vim inside a shell inside Emacs...)


Try it. ;D

I know discussions of this kind are quite rare here, but: OK, I'm stuck.

I am currently planning to build a German liquorice community (interestingly such a community does not seem to exist yet). While I surely have an idea about structuring the community, I'm totally lost which software to choose.

Required are PHP and MySQL or PostgreSQL, also I'm not willing to pay as I don't intend to make money with it (else, XenForo would surely be my choice). Narrowing down the possible solutions, only five boards have made it into the final round. These two of them are already sorted out due to known issues:

  • phpBB:
    Pro: I have been using phpBB boards since their last 1.x versions, so I pretty much know how to handle them.
    Con: phpBB is a main target for spambots, so it needs a lot of maintenance work. I probably can't invest so much time anymore (given that I also have other boards running).
  • MyBB:
    Pro: I also played with that a bit.
    Con: Not sure how to explain that... MyBB bores me a bit. I need something different I can dive into.
Three other contestants are equally interesting. Now I need someone with experiences to tell me which one would be recommended for a probably mid-sized community, discussing about one major topic in a couple of subforums.

  • FUDForum:
    I like its feature-richness. Its basic look and feel are a bit oldish, but I guess this can be configured. No idea about possible "Con"s.
  • Phorum:
    Played with this one many years ago. Quite nice (as it's small and configurable) IMO, but I never took the time to run an example configuration yet.
  • SMF (or one of its forks):
    It has a wide community, but development seems to be quite slow these days...? I know DC runs that, although I have no clue why.
Any clues? I'm lost.

Maybe anyone here cares. I usually would blog things like this, but as most of my regular readers stick to webmail services nowadays, I would receive a shitstorm and destructive comments at best. So I'll just put it into a BBS where no one would ever flame me. This here. :D

(Preliminary note: I mainly work with Windows. On other platforms I might probably come to a different conclusion.)

My first half-decent mail client was Mozilla Thunderbird version 0.something. (Early adopters, anyone?) Before they came up with it, I had been using Outlook Express and similar clients. I just did not really use e-mail back in the days. I was rather contented with Mozilla Thunderbird, it did what it should, it was free, it was convenient and it did not even stumble about my preference for weird server configurations. (Don't ask me why. I seem to have no luck with my chosen hosters.) Moreover it allowed my to use GnuPG and NNTP which went very well with my commitment to the German Pirate Party and similar occasions.

Then the problems began.

Suddenly Thunderbird turned out to be fractious about IMAP management. The faster update cycle bothered Enigmail so it broke every few weeks. Also the application felt quite sedate at times. Previously appreciated features - e.g. the possibility to show/hide e-mail headers dynamically - disappeared from the core application and had to be added via third-party extensions. The fact that now and then there were essential improvements among the changes, like the new user interface of Thunderbird 17, did not compensate that for me.

One fine day after Thunderbird 11 or something I accepted that a replacement was needed. However, to find a decent one proved to be very difficult. The first result, due to convenience reasons, was to drop web mail services off my list of potential replacements. I have to manage more than ten separate IMAP accounts by now - try to manage them per web mail clients. (And don't even dare to throw in Google Mail, that ads-partner-polluted piece of something. Aside from my sane paranoia about Google's evilness: I would really miss the convenience of a decent desktop mail client. Again: A certain number of IMAP accounts with very different configurations are soliciting my more or less regular attention.)

My list of requirements for a decent replacement was rather short: GnuPG 2 support and a threaded view (for my subscribed mailing lists) were quite the only needed features. NNTP was optional, I could as well use Opera, still Thunderbird, SeaMonkey or the like for that. (I don't know whether SeaMonkey can handle GnuPG 2 or not - on the other hand I never really was into the Mozilla Suite either. I considered it - and Opera - too hard to use because of the different moduses - mail, browser, ... - when I only need one.)

The choice (this is a good moment to remind you that I primarily use Windows) was appropriately complicated:

  • I generally like Pegasus Mail but it crashes reproducably - I had reported the issue, but AFAICS it has not been fixed for months. Also the handling needs getting used to for a while.
  • Outlook has an awful user interface. No-go: No support for OpenPGP/GnuPG available (or would it require obscure plug-ins or something?), so it's out.
  • Claws Mail seems to be something like Thunderbird in hideous clothes. Also it can't work with HTML mails. ;-) (Don't take this too seriously.)
The consequence was my union with a good old friend, enter The Bat!. It can do anything I need and had been developed continuously for years now. Using the trial version was - apart from initial weirdness about using CA certificates which are monitored internally by The Bat! - almost fun to me, GnuPG 2 works out of the box and the templating system (you can define complete templates for new e-mails, replies et al.) are for power mailers like me a must-have. You know you need it when you use it for the first time. :D

The Bat! was well worth the (reduced) ~ 20 € for a full-featured Professional license (valid until version 6.0.99). I also get a Voyager (portable The Bat!) with the license, the very helpful and kind German community is one more reason to like it. The developers (RITLabs, a Moldovan company) replies to bug reports quite fast and fixes severe bugs in one of the following beta versions if possible. Also included: Profile encryption, schedulable backups of the complete application with all accounts, import from Thunderbird.

Of course The Bat! is mainly a mailing application. No NNTP, no RSS, only a rudimentary calendar without cloud synchronization. - Anyway, if you are a power user of RSS and/or calendars, you probably already use (like me) dedicated solutions. Compared to FeedDemon/RSSOwl and Rainlendar, Thunderbird's provided functions are sort of a joke.

As a side note here's some screenshot after having moved all mail accounts from Thunderbird into The Bat!:

Je ne regrette rien.

You are kindly allowed to make fun of me now.

Basic Info

"App" NameFreeBSD
"App" URL
"App" Version Reviewed9.0-RELEASE
Test System Specs
HP EliteBook 8560p
8 GB RAM, some Core i7 CPU
Windows 7 64-bit

VirtualBox 4.1.8 with 2 virtual CPUs and 3 GB virtual RAM
Supported OSesItself. (But it can also run Linux ELF binaries.)
Support MethodsMailing lists, a bug tracker, a plenty of international bulletin boards, newsgroups, user groups, IRC, wikis, random BSD Conferences. Commercial support is also provided by some companies.
Upgrade PolicyFree. (As in "free beer", not as in "free speech".)
Trial Version Available?You can run FreeBSD for 30 days and then run FreeBSD for another 30 days and then run FreeBSD for another 30 days and then run FreeBSD for another 30 days and then run it until your hard disk dies. (Or you do; chances are good you do before FreeBSD does.)
Pricing SchemeFree. (As in "free beer", not as in "free speech".)
Author Donation LinkPreferably via the FreeBSD Foundation.
Screencast Video URLYouTube search lists some.


There is some famous statement around that says: "BSD is for those who love Unix, Linux is for those who hate Windows."

I like to spend time playing with operating systems just to know more about what they do and how they work. To keep things short: FreeBSD is one of the several Unices around, a direct descendant of the original AT&T Unix, hence developed and matured for 43 years now, and it perfectly feels like this.

Who is this "app" designed for:

As *BSD is generally focused on stability and security, people prefer to view FreeBSD as a server system, complementing their Windows or Linux or even CrapOS desktops, but there is no actual reason to not use it as a desktop computer. Multimedia might not be one of its strengths, but today - with all that HTML5 around - it does not make reasonable problems either.

The Good

First: BSD is free.

People tend to say that GNU stands for freedom, but in fact it does not. The GPL license, for example, forces a certain licensing of derivative work, so closed source applications are effectively incompatible with the "free" licensing model. The BSD license does not do that.

Second: BSD is stable.

One of Linux's major problems is that it relies on external packages which might break things every now and then. The several BSDs are a, more or less, closed ecosystem, its entire userland is homegrown, the several available applications are special builds to fit the particular system and installed libraries. ("Xfce 4.8", for example, is not really Xfce 4.8, it is a BSD-specific DE based on Xfce 4.8.) However, it does not mean that you can't use applications from other platforms. (See below.)

Third: BSD is anti-bloatware.

Although there are a couple of BSDs around which pervert it (like the KDE-based FreeBSD derivative PC-BSD), FreeBSD is actually rather minimalistic. By default there is not even an X server installed - you can control every single aspect of your system without having to touch any defaults: There are none.

Fourth: BSD is flexible.

I know this sounds like the Apple ads: You want to do ______? There's an app for it.
FreeBSD uses a "ports" system: While it is possible to get most applications as precompiled binaries by typing pkg_add -r <package>, you are advised to compile your desired applications yourself to get the maximum flexibility and optimizations for your specific environment. FreeBSD has a virtual folder called "ports" which stores the necessary Makefiles for all applications which have been tested by the FreeBSD team, so you'll just have to cd there and type make install clean. Admittedly it might take a while to compile things like KDE though.

If an application is missing, you can also run and/or compile most Linux applications; the repositories are updated quite regularly anyway, see in order to watch them.

The "Bad"

Let's face it: Unix is not Linux, Unix it not Windows. John Doe with his random needs to point-and-click will probably despair of it. In order to get a full-featured FreeBSD desktop, you'll have to RTFM a lot if you do not have had any Unix experiences before. At least you'll learn a lot about how your system works. My first try to set everything up took me about 5 or 6 hours until Xfce was set up and ready; of course practice makes perfect though.

Another thing "missing" is a graphical package management system; PC-BSD has it but only for own ".pbi" packages. On the other hand you'll learn to love the command line even more than you already do. FreeBSD's package management scripts - a lot of them are in /usr/ports/ports-mgmt/ - are quite mighty. A new package management, called "pkgng", which works similar to apt on Debian is currently being developed, so interesting things might follow here.

Why I think you should use this product

If you like free software, you should see if FreeBSD - or, for the start, PC-BSD which is basically FreeBSD + a pre-configured desktop + some own packaging system - fits your needs. If you are happy with your current operating system, you should stay with it: Don't fix it if it is not broken. (This applies even to Windows.)

How does it compare to similar "apps"

Similar to BSD are its clones, like Linux and MINIX; but why choose the copy when you can have the original?



Links to other reviews of this "application"

I'd recommend the BSD vs Linux rant for those who want to learn more about it. Also, the Wikipedia is a great resource. :)


... if you use the Import tool once:


Worked fine.  >:(

General Software Discussion / Mint 12 introducing DuckDuckGo ...
« on: November 24, 2011, 01:00 PM »
... and the Google users are flaming.  ;D Just read through a couple of blogs. This (German) one, for example, states that "Mint 12 sucks (e.g.) because Google is no more the default search engine". Oh my!

I wonder if these people could use the internet when Google is down for maintenance.

Basic Info

App NameSageThumbs
App Version Reviewed2.0.0.8
Test System SpecsWin7, 2 GHz, 3 GB RAM, some hard disk is also there, yes...
Supported OSesWindows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008/7
Support MethodsYou can contact the author in several forums and via bug tracker if something is going wrong. Primarily he seems to use the XnView forums.
Pricing SchemeSageThumbs is FLOSS. Don't care about pricing.


SageThumbs is some free software I stumbled upon in xplorer² forums. It adds a couple of image processing functions to Windows Explorer and applications which use its API (like xplorer², FileZilla et al.)

Mainly, these applications get thumbnail support for a few hundred image formats and a new context submenu with a preview and rudimentary editing/converting functions as seen on the screenshots above. Shell columns for extended image information are also added.

Who is this app designed for:

Web designers and random photographers who use Windows might be very interested in this software as they don't need to run a separate gallery software to get a quick glance on which is which. Also, it avoids misclicks when uploading them as FileZilla, for example, does not have a thumbnail function by default. (Or I am just too stupid to find it?)

The Good

Seemless integration into the system environment. No cluttering as everything is only displayed when available and can be turned off separately. Unlike similar software, it is free and being continuously developed. Once you installed it, you can be sure that a week later a couple of updates have been released. - So it is also quite safe to assume that there are no critical bugs left or, if there are, they will be fixed very soon.

Also it is very fast. It does not even have any noticable influence on a folder's loading time. (I must confess that I don't have "large image galleries" in only 1 folder, so I can't test it under heavy conditions.)

The needs improvement section

I, personally, am not a fan of "everything has to have a downside". Just take it.  :P

Why I think you should use this product

It is not a "must-have" but a "nice to have", especially when you work with image files at work or something.

Links to other reviews of this application (German)
http://www.instantfu...w-thumbnails-of.html (not really a good review IMO)

I was asked to give the new x² beta versions a short review. Here it comes!
xplorer² has already been discussed here in the past, so I will focus on the actual news in this version.

First, x² v2.0 is still a beta version, meant to find and squash bugs before release.

The majority of planned changes is already implemented though, the most significant one is docking.
You can drag every single panel around, make it even floating, which is especially nice for people who use the two-panel mode.

Screenshot-2011-07-07_12.53.40.png Spa__C__Programme_und_Funktionen_-_xplorer-2011-07-07_13.41.42.png

As you might see, the preview panel has also been improved a lot. Its "native" view uses Windows' own preview handlers for all known file types, so buggy third-party preview handlers won't crash x² anymore. Also, there's automatic resizing now.

xplorer² has been my primary file manager for a while. With v2.0 it makes another long step compared to its competitors.
The only thing that has still not been improved is the handling of Windows' namespaces, so assigning x² to folders like the Control Panel (via registry) does not always work, "Windows Update", for example, will show up as an empty folder. But that is rather common among file managers, so doing that is not recommended anyway.  :D

A pity I only own one license. On the other hand, there's still XYplorer.  8)

x² 2.0 discussion topic

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