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Messages - iphigenie [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Re: Singing the anti-spam blues
« on: February 22, 2007, 03:06 AM »
popfile is great - I had it set up to not only recognize spam, but also correctly separate work email from private email from all the newsletters.

Then for a while i just couldnt make popfile run on my windows and I used the bluesquirrel one - spam sleuth - quite an interesting system as it will score based on so many different methods and automatically do challenge/response for messages in a

But when i reinstalled my machine i kind of had the same experience, all i had backed up somehow didnt work and it had lost all it's configuration and I stopped using it.

I just use what fastmail does at the moment and it's working ok, although nowhere near the great fit that popfile did.

Although nowadays it's those random text with spam in an image one that get through pretty much any bayesan filter :(

12 ghosts has a wonderful auto backup which saved changes to files and kept
* 1 a minute for the last hour
* 1 an hour for the last day
* 1 a day for the last month
* 1 a month for the year

It didnt quite work smoothly for me (the resident program took a bit too many resources) but i think that is a great way to do it - as a complement for any manual "key stage" versioning you might want to do.

I always look at "auto backup" tools hoping one will have a scheme like that.

Developer's Corner / Re: Fifteen Commandments of Programming
« on: February 19, 2007, 05:47 AM »
some good advice there but I wouldnt call all of them fundamental commandments

I know what you mean, thank goodness for good diff tools!

I'm going to watch that one - I have a forum to upgrade on one of my sites too

I think it's because there are so many different needs... and so many different ways to get organised.
I tried a few recently (since i was planning to scan 1500 or more negatives and already have quite a few images from digital cameras)

Quite a few were totally inadequate with what i wanted to do, which was be able to tag my images with multiple tags (type of image, what's on it, who's on it, where is it etc.) mostly by ticking categories which i control and adding some keywords. And be able to do that on multiple images at once. Then be able to search quickly. Display speed was also a big requirement, i don't like waiting for a page of pics to load.

A lot of image manager tools are simple browsers with a bit of iptc/exif support, very family/casual in emphasis.

I liked idimager and imatch a lot for managing and tagging images. As I recall (it was November) there was much to like about both and quirks in both, but one of the two was much faster (i think it stored even thumbnails in its database) and the other more "transparent" to be able to write scripts that integrate with but alas was a pain when getting images from the scanner.

Acdsee was a bit weaker on the categorisation/management than the two above, but adequate nonetheless. In the latest version the quick image edit tool has some very good defaults, which really surprised me. The photoshop elements little management module was actually quite slick to use but was not very useful on the import side of things (i guess they expect people to use Bridge or some other workflow tool, or be simple and just move files around) and it lacked some of the features the others had.

Anyway I bought an older version of acdsee as everyone told me they were faster, and it still had the basic features that i liked on the scanning workflow side. It makes scanning one strip of negatives after another smoother than the others did, and it's also the only one i found that allowed me to edit all exif fields, so i could change the camera field from the name of the scanner to the name of the camera the picture had been taken with, and set the iso of the film etc. (and for the ones where i still had the notebooks, the aperture and shutter speed). I also like that acdsee stores almost everything with each images which means it's highly compatible with everything else, so I can switch to something else once all my importing is out of the way.

I'm probably going to re-evaluate some of the same programs once all the negatives and slides have been scanned, to decide between upgrading to the latest acdsee (where the management tools have improved and there are more database-like features) or picking one of the other management tools, idimager or imatch probably

Idimager ( and imatch ( are worth a look, both of them. They're both small independent developers who are quite active in their forums and listening to their customers.

It just occured to me, when did content management become synonym with blogging - most of the CMSes out there are not website content management tools but blogging/news management tools, i.e. they expect you to have chronological small articles with some keywords rather than any other organisation (like sections with information pages, products, faq, jobs etc.).

To me chronological keyworded content is just one option and one module in a CMS, and not the main one.

There really need to be a separation between
* website content management
* portal management
* blog management

a portal if often a bit of both

I think what tranglos needs is a full website management rather than wordpress or other blogging systems.

Living Room / Re: Demise of the trackball? What's the alternative?
« on: February 18, 2007, 11:59 AM »
With the problems of RSI there is an incredible variety of devices out there, but all priced thinking that business and/or government will pay for them. I'm in the UK at the moment so I only bookmarked local ones but look at the list on that site

anyone ever tried any of the finger/hand mouse devices? Look like they could work without forcing you away from the keyboard as much.

I'm very curious about those http://www.keyboardc...ails.asp?PRODUCT=270 for example or

(and i do have the old logitech mouseman that used the index finger, love that thing! Bought 2 to have a spare)

Living Room / Re: Thoughts on why Digg failed
« on: February 18, 2007, 11:46 AM »
He's mostly talking about how he feels digg has failed from a human community point of view - how the system doesnt work the way it was meant to work. How it is not openly selecting valuable/interesting news but being played, how the popularity became more important than the relevance, how the community is an unpleasant place to be.

Digg's never managed to catch my interest so i have no experience of its community, but I think it is less relevant than it could have been or that you think it could have been.

Purely my opinion but i think a lot of those collaborative websites and citizen journalism things are not at all as relevant and influentical as the buzz wants us netizens to believe. The mass is not as smart and witty, not yet.

But it sure if of interest to marketers.

And maybe I'm a cynic.

That is one of my areas of expertise. I have written quite a few CMSes (6 different ones over the years, i think), and used/adapted at least a dozen different ones for different project. I ended up writing a CMS so many times because most only look good in the surface and are either unfriendly to developers, designers, or end users... And I have literally tested hundreds from red dot (costing millions) to open source ones.

I found out that there are many good CMS-es on the front end but almost all fall down rather badly in the admin interface - it is confusing, complicated, heavy, often slow or ugly. And before people jump in saying the one they use is good, imagine trying to explain to your mother or grandmother how to use the admin to add articles, organise the navigation etc. (The other area of weakness is often templating, making it very slow and difficult to adapt or greatly modify a site). Incidentally the best interface i found so far for a simple CMS (outside internal products which i can't show) is website baker. I think it's so simple a client given a website on it would actually update his site often. It's not a tool for what you are trying to do.

What I did was try the online demos of the admin of dozens and dozens of systems to find one that was intuitive. Surprisingly a lot of popular ones actually have very quirky non intuitive interfaces - people learn them and put up with them...

Has demos of a lot of those, and you can in a few minutes have a look and rule out quite a few.

Anyway on to a few which were mentioned

Expression engine is actually quite easy to admin, although I don't like their templating when you try to do something complex like cross referencing blogs etc. It has a slight modular nature so you could possibly write an extension for your software downloads etc. It is more a blog than a CMS, in that it is heavily biased towards the "chronological" side of things, alhtough you can give more structure to things. Expression engine does have publish-on-a-date so it might help you, but it doesnt have the files support, you'd have to kind of do that via links or something.

Plone - I have worked on some plone projects and I must say plone is a good choice if you are pretty happy to stick to the way it works and looks. Try to do modifications of plone - whether to make it look wildly different or to add complex functionality and you will get huge headaches. We sure did. You are talking literally hundreds and hundreds of files in multiple versions with very complex "override" rules etc. Just Zope might be enough for what you need and that makes it already a lot simpler, but it is still an extremely complex system to debug and figure out. Plone does a few things right though, multi-lingual content is one of them, the use of TAL is another (once our designers tasted TAL we have had to use it on all subsequent versions of our own CMSes, finding or writing TAL libraries in whatever language we used...)

I recently used ezpublish and it's a bit quirky but it does support the kind of things you would need for your site - the ability to have custom content types, the ability to schedule release of new versions of the document, uploading files within the cms (so they too can have a release date). It is quite a heavy system, and needs php4, so probably problematic on your host. But if they have a "fantastico" style panel they might have it on there. It's heavily CSS based so playing with layout is quite nice. I found the templating quite hard to get my head around (works on combining lots of snippets, with context based overrides etc., so chasing problems reminded me of plone) but the html is actually very clean.

spips and typo3 are two more i looked at recently for a project and spip especially seems quite extensible, but i didnt like the way the templates worked.

I suggest you pick one which is clean and simple, where you can see how you could build the content on your site on and clearly see how the database fits together etc. Then you can add the automation yourself behind it.

General Software Discussion / Re: CD Ripping
« on: February 18, 2007, 10:58 AM »
Anydvd is not a copy tool, it's just a software which allows whatever software you have to access copy protected CDs and DVDs which might not let you use them on a PC. So your software CD player, or a ripping tool, can get access to those CDs which would be unreadable to them.

I am not sure if it has any quality impact since I don't need perfection beyond what i can perceive and there is certainly no perceptible difference for me with the original CDs played on the stereo (pc output run to my stereo amp). But I am sure that pure signal comparison would probably find differences but I just listen to it. Note that although i am not an audio fanatic, i could hear the difference with mp3s generated by some other tools i had, but these I do now are fine.

And since I have all the CDs in boxes in the basement i can always rescan if needed if my hearing starts noticing a difference.

What's the Best? / Re: Anti-Virus Package
« on: February 16, 2007, 04:19 PM »
That's interesting, thanks.

Shows things seem to run in swings and roundabouts cause I uninstalled antivir from some of my machines after some bad test results in VB and places. I'm glad they're back at the top now, i like them as a company.

The basic of any protection is to drill common sense in the user and my mum knows not to open most attachments, and very often doesn't even open the valid but silly/fun ones her friends send her, so anti virus is the second line security. I mostly picked avast because it is least likely to panic her if/when it detects someone. AVG really has scary messages. And at the time i chose antivir free only offered manual updates and that's too big a risk (she forgets to run her backups and i have "no hands backup" so all she needs to do to start it is actually put the usb key in!)

PS: how many virus scanners do you run?
PS: it feels wrong to me to use a trick to bypass the nag screen. I don't like nag screens but I must say my trick would be to either not use it or pay for it

Well i guess I should have posted here before i posted elsewhere.

Hi. I'm from Switzerland, living in the UK but not sure for how long (between jobs and current discussions are for jobs all over the place). Interested in far too many things to list them all here.

Have a background in development but never much in the realm of desktop apps so around here I'm probably a consumer  ;)

What's the Best? / Re: Anti-Virus Package
« on: February 16, 2007, 02:00 PM »
Shows that what person has what problems on what software is fundamentally unpredictable...

Kasperski: Well it was a while back that i used Kasperski and I think they changed quite a lot of things since. When i tried it there was a 10 step bit in the FAQ on how to remove these hidden files. I think it was my disk checker and cleaner tools which kept popping up for these files. I also encountered this again when i installed some other AV which used two engines one of which was kasperki, but that time it uninstalled correctly.

BD: I have had a BSOD once from bitdefender - actually it wasn't bitdefender which bsod'd but it was caused by bitdefender (seems it does something clumsy during its update when it unloads and reloads itself and if some other tool tries to access the same resources at the same time you get a bsod). The update process also slows down my computer quite a lot, more than the scan(!) which can be extremely problematic when playing a game. I could go manual update only but frankly i'd rather not as I might forget.

The only virus scanner i ever "loved" was Thunderbyte i think it was called. Was *fast* and had heuristics etc. That dates me a tad... I think it was sold to Norman in 98 or 99.

I am probably going to try the Trend or Eset one when BD one expires and register whichever one ticks the right boxes at that time.

Edit: went to check norman since i had been reminded of it, they seem to have put a sandbox module integrated in the product.

I must say i really like the live search feature in Opera mail - i have not seen many mail clients to that. :(

i like the extension to connect it to diff tool to compare two versions

General Software Discussion / Re: CD Ripping
« on: February 16, 2007, 12:53 PM »
The one thing i found to work to rip protected CDs is anyDVD from slysoft.

I own it to watch stupidly protected DVDs on my laptop, but when my dad complained about not being able to get his Celine Dion CDs on to his mp3 player i suggested we try installing anyDVD, and indeed it allowed the normal CD ripper tool suddenly worked perfectly.

General Software Discussion / Re: Macro programs - advice sought...
« on: February 16, 2007, 09:25 AM »
I am a registered user of wirekeys but mostly for all the features it adds when dealing with text (changing case, sorting lines, running text as command etc.), i haven't tried doing any complicated macros with it. I like how the license allows you to install it on your home and work computer and laptop - quite explicitely so.

It's the kind of program that makes you feel bad cause you realise don't use even 10% of its features...

I might have a look see what i can report

PS: the same developer has a few other tools. wirenotes (free) might look ugly but it is quite handy within a small network. It is a bit clunky but it does give sticky notes, calendaring and todo list, instant messenging (compatible with other network im or private) shared reminders (send a reminder to someone else, such as "take your medication at 2pm"). There are of course many tools that do something similar on the sticky notes and network messenging front. I gave my mum the free version of wirechanger and she just loves it. Again not the slickest admin interface but it does work and the ability to configure what images are used, by collection or by image (rather than just point to a folder) is quite good for a free tool. I haven't looked at the pay for one.

What's the Best? / Re: Newsreader programs
« on: February 16, 2007, 08:45 AM »
I use xnews - it's fast, works both for online and offline reading.

Mostly i like the little touches - being able to configure things per newsgroup (from smtp setting to a different sig), for example - even though for many of those you need to dig in the config files.

What's the Best? / Re: Tray Management Utility
« on: February 16, 2007, 08:39 AM »
Other ones I used over the years that still seem to exist (i always take a snapshot of every program's webpage with lwa and put some notes. Handy when you think "hmm, what was that tool again which....")

Since this is a "best" thread, only listing the ones that were good enough they didn't get uninstalled within the day...

Tray Devil (freeware) - more than just the usual features: minimize to tray, always on top, disable close button, some quick action features (shutdown, launch software). Doesn't always play well with others (hotkeys, after crash). Almost had too many features I didnt use and I don't think it remembered the settings per app (minimising always manual) and i don't think it restored the icons after explorer crash.

tray-it (free) - quick and simple, configurable per app. Quite minimalistic which can be good if all you want is minimize to tray

All To Tray ($10) http://www.dntsoft.c...alltotray/index.html - the usual features again, but this one does remember per app settings and also does really well restoring all tray icons after an explorer crash. That's a feature i love  :-*

4t tray (free/$20) - this was one of my favorites when i was testing those. It's very configurable (per app) an has a lot of nice touches. I would have bought that one except it didnt have the icon recovery function.

I do remember liking ps tray factory a lot, too

In the end I never found one I used enough - and ended up using objectbar which does some of this and came with my objectdesktop membership. Nowadays i get the minimize-to-tray and other windows manipulating options via wirekeys

What's the Best? / Re: Anti-Virus Package
« on: February 16, 2007, 08:13 AM »
I tried quite a few of these and registered quite a few for a year. Tend to change as I do find the renewal fees quite high

A quick disclaimer of things i don't like: forcing you to change mail settings, messing with the file system, not having a way to exclude certain files (i use remote admin, for example, and i dont want it "cleaned" every time), cheesy skins (i have windows blinds i dont want software with their own weird skins)

AVG free / commercial - i thought it was quite a good software, and one that did pop transparently rather than expecting you to change your mail settings (a big no no for me). Competitive price cause the license is 2 years. I can't remember why I didnt renew when the 2 years were up.

Kasperski - tested it but I hated what it did on the filesystem, storing checksums and stuff in the ntfs streams. that caused huge havoc with several other utilities and was an absolute nightmare to clean up. I'm sure that you can install it so it doesn't do that, but it didnt bother to give me the choice and that really caused me more annoyances than it was worth.

Norton - incredibly heavy

McAfee - i used that one for years around 1998-2002 and it was a nice product then. Haven't tried it recently.

Antivir - i like it's simple interface. I used the free version on my "alternate" computers

Avast free - that's the one I tell non-savvy friends to use. It feels quite user friendly and the alerts and messages are usually quite good.

Nod - i really like Nod's speed, and i quite like the attitude of people from eset when i see them post things etc. They feal like real people. I often "almost bought it" but the price is quite high so i end up taking some special offer on something else. But this spring I might go for it.

Bitdefender - the one i got this year (yup, it was a special deal). it's quite light on the CPU and quite inobtrusive once you tell it to hide the status windows. Works really nicely scanning pop incoming mail (doesnt do imap that i could see). It is a bit inflexible though - it keeps wanting to quarantine my remote administrator executable, and for some files (for example games with those 60 minute tryout system) it will block access but not let you delete them either via itself or via any tool. I have similar annoyance with the firewall component.

Trend Micro - that's one i want to try, i have heard great things from some of my asian friends, seems quite unknown around here though. Silly name, too. Anyone try it?

Developer's Corner / Re: XNA Magic
« on: February 16, 2007, 06:00 AM »
I would agree about linux, alas a large majority of linux users have not yet gotten their mind around accepting to pay for something. Even the ones who clamor for years "I would pay for it if they ported <favorite app here>" usually don't really mean it.

But I would think there is money to be made on the Mac. I would think that a game could sell quite well, since there's so much less competition, and Mac users are used to pay for a lot of little things since there was so little freeware for so long.

General Software Discussion / Re: CD Ripping
« on: February 16, 2007, 05:07 AM »
When i did my CD collection (i have about 50Gb at a medium quality level) I tried a few and ended up using the jriver media center (or its previous version, i think jukebox might work in the same way on the ripping side).

Mostly because it offered a very slick workflow - it will do all the usual, look up in an online cddb, encode (does ogg too, which was a big plus for me), get cd cover picture if you're so inclined, save the files in a folder structure which you configure (i use artist - album) and with names you customise. And after you rip one CD and it ejects it, if you put another cd in the drive the program will just start ripping it with the same quality settings. So you can just keep it going while doing other stuff: put cd in, potter about, put next cd in, potter about.... and get through quite a lot of CDs that way.

It's not cheap but I did register it at the time, I was already quite pleased with it from the ripping but I also liked the dynamic playlists (I'm too lazy to handpick lists most of the time) and the media server modules, and tag management is not too bad either...

It also allowed copying files to my player device (rio karma) either song by song or via playlists, so turned out quite handy

And if you care about quality there are different codecs you can use etc. etc.

I know it's not perfect, quite quirky in some ways, and they are trying to make it do too much nowadays (manage photos and movie clips etc.) - but i suspect it's very likely that their older version "media jukebox" ( might already have a ripping workflow much like the one media centre has, for a low cost.

Of course what you end up using and buying depends a lot on what you try and find at the time - there's probably even better tools out there, probably freeware.

Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Very simple timeclock utility
« on: February 09, 2007, 07:13 AM »
You know, i paid quite a bit of money for a tool that is basically titlelog with admin, reporting etc. A good tool though, if you install it for yourself.

As i tend to work on several things in parallel and with lots of interruptions it really helped me figure out how much time I had spent on each client/project/interruptions not by constantly having to think of logging, but by reviewing a list at the end of the day.

You'll be surprised to see where you waste your time and where others waste your time, and that what you would remember as a 5 minute job actually took you an hour when you count the phone call, quick research, getting files etc. etc. etc.

Everyone should try something like this

That looks very interesting.

I have been using acronis' True Image to get some of the protection and the ability to roll back to a clean install. And have several registry snapshot type tools.

But this looks orders of magnitude more convenient, although it seems I will have to greatly increase the size of my main partition.

Looks like it's worth it though

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