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Messages - phillfri [ switch to compact view ]

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I was addressing music files. Simply streaming over the network is doable, but getting two network clients to play a music stream in synch is another matter.

Well, since synchronized playback on the network was something I have also been meaning to investigate, I did a bit of googling and came up with the following link. Guess its a bigger problem than one might think. These guys have been working on this for awhile (3-4 years) and the comments here are well worth a read if you want to educate yourself on this subject. In the end, its almost an impossible problem to solve with today's technology. You might get close to acceptable synch if you have a small home gigabit ethernet setup. Wireless synch, on the other hand, is not possible.

Want a home broadcast, huh? Try following these instructions and limit the process to your home network. http://cowboyfrank.n...eal/RadioStation.htm

General Software Discussion / Re: Super lite PIM? Address book?
« on: May 16, 2008, 10:58 AM »
Try AMNotebook. The Lite version is available at no cost for personal use. Commercail use requires a fee, which upgrades you to the Pro version. See

I spent a lot of time looking for this type of program over the course of several years before I found AM-Notebook. I usually won't pay a fee for utility type software like this because there are a lot of decent freeware and open source programs available. But after using AM-Notebook for about a month I broke down and paid the fee for a pro version. Best money I ever spent on a piece of software.

This has everything I want and most of what you've said you're looking for, and it can be installed on an external USB device, in case you move around a lot from PC to PC. The Pro version can also use network storage. It runs continuously and minimizes to the system tray, where it's easily accessible. It has a small memory foot print, and is very responsive even on low power PCs. The author want's to keep it clean, simple to use and fast.

I've been using AM-Notebook for about 3 years now and wouldn't trade it for anything. Download it and play around with it for awhile. I think you'll find that its a very versatile tool. 

I've used the TomSteady plugin with Winamp for years and it works like a charm. It levels the volume on the fly and doesn't require any pre-processing on the files themselves. It hasn't been updated for quite awhile, but there's no need as long as it continues working with new release of Winamp. There's even a volume boost option on it for those low powered laptops that often push out a low signal.

Living Room / Re: Home Network Recommendations?
« on: April 24, 2008, 06:31 AM »
I wouldn't forget homeplug electric wiring based options either, especially if you don't want to be running cables. The new home plug units can integrate with a regular network at relatively decent speeds. Their advantage over wireless is that you can use wake-on-lan (just like with cable) to let your server power down when its not in use (no wake-on-lan with wireless). Then you can hide your server someplace out of the way without having to run a cable to wherever that server is.

Living Room / Re: Low-cost Laptop cheat sheet
« on: April 24, 2008, 06:19 AM »
The big corporations really do rule the world these days. The politicians have all been bought out by them and in many places around the world business regulations often prevent circumventing the big company pricing with low-cost initiatives by competitors (often accomplished by import regulations). But at least in the US there is still enough freedom from regulation and control such that smaller rebel vendors out there can put downward pressure on entrenched market prices. My favorite tech vendor of all time was eMachines. They broke the $500 barrier on desktop machines a few years back (when they were small). Until they came along, desktops had been stuck at $800 or more for some time. The established vendors had a good profit margin going and they weren't about to rock the boat. eMachines started a revolution in tech pricing by building machines that were designed to the level of the user's needs, and managed to cut the costs of machines by doing it.

Now the same thing is happening with laptops in the US. The big companies and established retail vendors are trying hard not to fall below the $500 mark on laptops. But standard technology today can support a decent laptop that is completely acceptable to 80% of the users at a $300-400 price range. Of course, that would severely cut into the price differential between laptops and the new ultra-laptops, so established industry who have invested heavily in the new ultra-laptops trend really don't want to see that price differential disappear.

The point is though, that kind of market battle can still take place in the US. It can be economically hard for a small vendor here in the US to go up against the likes of HP or Dell or even a Walmart, but they aren't precluded by regulatory controls from trying to do so. In Europe, for example, the marketplace has gotten too regulated for this to happen. The governments in Europe are squeezing the small vendors out for the benefit of the big companies and retailers. It's a sad story.

But do keep your eyes on small vendors in the US. For example, Micro Center Online. They often have a low cost laptop in their offerings in the $350-400 price range. They are currently offering this Lenovo for $400. http://www.microcent...l?product_id=0283496 The previous low cost laptop they offered was an Acer at $359.00. These laptops may not be as small as the new ultra-laptops, but they are perfectly acceptable for many uses, are price competitive with the ultras, and are definitely more powerful.

Shortcutter v1.1 as posted earlier in this thread had 3 problems for what I was seeking to accomplish.

[1] The target directory input browse dialog wouldn't work properly, failing to actually record the selected target directory
[2] The recurse option would create shortcuts for files found in the subdirectories ONLY, skipping the files in the root source directory
[3] Without the recurse option, no shortcuts were created for files in the root source directory

The attached code changes the logic of the program. When the recurse option is selected, shortcuts are created for files in the source root directory and files in all the subdirectories. When the recurse option s not selected, shortcuts are created for all the files in the source root directory only. And the target directory browse button problem is fixed.

This code has not been extensively tested, and being brand new to AutoHotKey my code changes surely are a bit of a cludge :D  This could be coded better by someone more familiar with AutoHotKey. In any event, it appears to work on my short tests, so I pass it along for anyone who wishes to use it.

To fix Shortcutter v1.1 target directory input problem, find the following code in what was posted earlier in this thread.

ControlGetText,targetfolder,Edit2,ahk_id %guiid%
FileSelectFolder,chosenfolder,*%targetfolder%,3,Select a target folder
If chosenfolder=
ControlSetText,Edit2,%targetfolder%,ahk_id %guiid%

Change the line:

ControlSetText,Edit2,%targetfolder%,ahk_id %guiid%

to read

ControlSetText,Edit2,%chosenfolder%,ahk_id %guiid%

skrommel - The updated shortcutter program doesn't work. The target browse button doesn't load the directory selected and the program never actually runs when one adds a new entry into the rules table.

update: Actually the program will run the example rules that it comes with, but it appears not to work with mapped drives? Was it perhaps designed that way?

Vixay - Thanks for the CopyShortcutTargets script. I can see making good use of this for creating documentation directories containing only documents referenced by a wiki and backing them up.

suleika - I have the same problem with shortcutter. Pressing the Browse button gives the message "Press OK to continue". (running WinXPSP2). Too bad. This is exactly what I need to manage a wiki "master links" folder. Anyone know of an updated version?

General Software Discussion / Re: fifty, nifty, freefty
« on: February 22, 2008, 10:15 AM »
Mathematical: MATLAB <> SciLab?  SciLab can't hold a candle functionwise to MATLAB. The opensource SAGE package is what you want for MATLAB equivalency.

Try AM-Notebook. There's a freeware and pro version. This is a notebook ala Treepad. I use the pro version that allows for multiple trees of notes, which you can switch back and forth from. I use it for everything. I have separate trees for my major areas of business/interests, including program code. Each page in the notebook is either (1) an RTF document (with tables capability) or (2) a simple spreadsheet (some formulas capabilities). You can also insert links to local and network files and folders, websites, etc. Pages are saved to your hard drive or network as individual files. Can be installed on an external USB drive. Minimizes/closes to system tray if desired. Runs on Vista. I paid 30 Euros for the pro version, but its been the handiest program I've ever owned. Check out the freeware version - albeit, it doesn't have any source code specific capabilities.

If you use MS Outlook (not Outlook Express) for your mail, you can use its note function to create a note on your desktop that will be shown there whenever Outlook runs. Can't remember exactly how I did it. Try to drag and drop a note to the desktop. That should do it. Saves having another program running if your using MS Outlook anyway :>)

This looks like a great tool for workgroup level administrative enhancements.

Can the Barnacle images and toolbars folder be placed on a network drive so all workgroup users can obtain access if they install the executable on their computer? What would happen in that scenario if a user didn't happen to be on the network. Would Barnacle cleanly abstain from running or producing error messages?

Does Barnacle work with Office 2007 programs? The 2007 version of MS Office changes the concept of toolbars and totally and precludes any programming of the right mouse button click menu. This would seem to be a viable alternative. 

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