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General Software Discussion / Re: Summarizers - Copernic, Intellexer
« on: February 15, 2009, 12:52 AM »
I have Copernic Summarizer and am surprised how well it works. I wasn't aware of Itellexer but I'll be sure to give it a try.

The "problem" for me is that I read very fast (unless it's technical material) and I just don't save all that much time using the summarizer unless it's a very large document. I wonder how well it would do with the Fed's stimulus package. :)

I think SofMaker Office is a steal at these prices. It's a very capable suite and, to me, it just feels better than MS Office with (almost?) complete compatibility. It uses BasicMaker as a scripting language which is more intuitive than Microsoft's VBS. To me, the decision to go with Softmaker Office rather than upgrading to Office 2007 from Office 2000 was no contest. :)

I upgraded (reluctantly) to v.10. I felt that v.9 was not ready for prime time (bugs, very slow to display folders with lots of files, etc.). Version 8 was solid but the new hybrid gui/console is a fascinating idea with some potential. It's too bad JPSoft couldn't get it right the first time and I think they would benefit from a better (i.e. cheaper) upgrade policy especially for beta-class releases.

To their credit, they did give me a "recent purchase" discount even though my official upgrade period expired.

General Software Discussion / Re: Macro needed
« on: January 30, 2009, 02:23 AM »
VBA is the way to go. I only have a little experience with it but I'm impressed with what I was able to do with some Excel tasks (creating and maintaining student records and schedules) without too much effort. That involves reading data from files, formatting the spreadsheet, manipulating dates, printing results and saving files. Look into it!

I am reviewing some programs (OnScript, vbsedit, etc.) designed to help create scripts and they look like they may be very useful.

I've been using Xara Extreme 4 for a couple of semesters and I absolutely love it! I frequently make drawings to hand out in my classes and Xara makes it so easy to accomplish that. Most of my drawings are fairly simple but Xara lets me create them very quickly. If you dig a little deeper, you will find a comprehensive set of features and special effects that will let you create just about anything you can imagine. I recommend it highly.

I don't know what differences there are between versions 2 and 4 but, as Carol suggested, you could use this offer as a discount on v.4.

Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: SlickRun
« on: January 20, 2009, 01:57 PM »

Thanks for the tip. MemPad looks good - functional, small footprint, customizable. We'll see how it works out.

Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: SlickRun
« on: January 20, 2009, 03:05 AM »
I've been using SR for a very long time! I still use it but I lost confidence in one of its handy features. It has a "JOT" command that lets you type quick notes. I used it to save things like passwords, phone numbers and so on.

One day, as I was typing, I hit some key or keys by mistake (maybe the CTRL key was involved) and, to my astonishment, all of my notes were immediately trashed. I was given no option to confirm that I  wanted to delete them. They were just gone with no backup. The worst part was that it was impossible to recover them.

IMHO, there should be no way for that to happen.

Found Deals and Discounts / Re: GemX Crazy Summer Specials
« on: January 16, 2009, 12:35 AM »
I'm getting the same message. I was going to go for their promo but texnotes messed up my file associations (.tex files) so I'm uninstalling. :(

If you missed this one you missed a great bargain but, IMO, it's such a great desktop calculator that it's a bargain even at the retail price. UltimaCalc let's you easily define your own functions, plot graphs and all the usual thing you do with a calculator. I use it all the time. :)

This is a really fun program! While it lacks many of the features of PD Pro you can still do quite a lot with it and your kids will LOVE it. :)

General Software Discussion / Re: POP Mail checker
« on: September 23, 2008, 12:40 AM »
Dittos on PopPeeper!

Developer's Corner / Re: an ole component for calculation?
« on: September 07, 2008, 04:09 PM »
Something like AutoIt or AutoHotKey should be able to handle that. They have eval() and execute() functions that can perform the calculations and good clipboard functionality that will let you retrieve the expression to be calculated and paste the result back into the application (MS Word, e.g.).

What's the Best? / Re: Best free alternative for Corel Draw 12
« on: August 24, 2008, 02:00 AM »
Depending on your needs, Mayura Draw is a very nice and inexpensive alternative. While it doesn't have all the bells and whistles Corel Draw has, it is powerful enough to handle most simple drawing tasks. However, I have found an occasional .wmf file that it won't import properly.

Xara Extreme is an excellent alternative and it's blazingly fast! Xara's prices have come down out of the stratosphere (I think they're going open source eventually) so you get power and flexibility in a relatively inexpensive package. It may lack a few features that Corel Draw has but it makes up for it in usability and speed.

What's the Best? / Re: Anti-Virus Package
« on: August 24, 2008, 01:51 AM »
I just switched to ESET NOD32. I like it because it's fast and had favorable reviews. I switched to it because AVG jacked up their prices too far (I had a two year license for it). NOD32 was less than half of what I would have paid to extend my AVG license. I'm happy with my decision.

No browser is perfect. I rarely come across a site that doesn't work with Opera. But I don't see the big deal you're making about it. With today's low cost memory chips, humongous HDs, high speed processors and broadband it's a trivial matter to fire up another browser for those occasions when another browser would be more suitable. A quick Alt-Tab and you're back to where you started.

You can even configure Opera to open your current page in any other browser you wish. No biggie.

TrueSpace 3.2 is pretty outdated but the bad part is that you will forever be inundated with promotional material from Caligari to upgrade to a newer - very high priced - edition.

Welcome back, guys! We missed ya.

General Software Discussion / Re: Do You Purchase Software on Impulse?
« on: February 25, 2008, 11:49 PM »
I buy plenty of software, well, actually, more than plenty. However, I rarely buy it on impulse because the few times that I have done so I have fully regretted the purchase. Either the software is buggy, unstable, useless or less than useless and doesn't even come close to fulfilling its promises.

Even with a cursory trial you can weed out the junk so I make it a point now to try out every package before I buy. Of course, that doesn't guarantee they won't turn out to be disappointing but it helps a lot!

General Software Discussion / Re: Humanized Enso going free...
« on: January 17, 2008, 01:33 AM »
Good grief! Yet another application I paid for and now it goes free.

Actually, I stopped using the program because it simply sucks up way too much memory - over 50 Megs on my machine. I'll try the free version to see whether they have made any improvements in memory management.

has anyone tried this file-manager yet?

I have! :)

It's a very long story so I'll give a very abbreviated version. I bought Frigate 3 or 4 years ago and I really liked it both in terms of features and its interface (which takes a little getting used to). Shortly thereafter, however, it simply and inexplicably stopped working. I have contacted the authors more times than I can count and posted on their forums and mostly got the royal run around. When I got answers it was usually try downloading this file or that one or this minor version upgrade but nothing ever fixed the problem.

I spent a lot of my time uninstalling and reinstalling minor upgrades and cleaning out the registry by hand (Frigate creates GOBS and GOBS of registry entries!) again and again. All to no avail.

When starting Frigate, it would put up a message box indicating some error and then another and another ...! My screen would be filled with them and as fast as I could click "OK" another half dozen would pop up on my screen. Only ctrl-alt-del would cure it. This back and forth with the authors went on for maybe two years. I asked for and never received a refund and, in the end, I decided to just forget about it.

So Frigate 3.5 shows up on and, just for laughs, I decided to download and install it. To my utter amazement, this edition actually works on my machine! The pleasure wore off shortly thereafter, however. I tried accessing an ftp site and I connected successfully. But when I tried to close the connection and the window in which it resided, I got error messages popping up on my screen - again and again and ...!

Another thing I noticed is that a number of files (not folders!!) in my Program Files directory have disappeared (someone else made the same observation on GOTD) as a result of using Frigate. None of those files were important but a file manager should NEVER delete files unless you specifically instruct it to do so.

I do know that others have used the program with no such problems. Good for them! But others have reported similar problems in the Frigate forums. The authors just don't seem to be able to get a handle on some serious flaws in their program. Go ahead and try it. If it works for you then great! I wrote the authors off a long time ago and keeping an open mind at this point is a lost cause for me.

I have never used any of them but a kiosk package may be what you need. Here's a link to one: http://www.kiosklogi...ware/nestoplite.html

My understanding is that you can provide access (with the lite version) to up to 20 local programs and limit internet access. There are lots of other programs out there with similar features. Does anyone have experience with this type of program? My only question would be how easy is it to turn off the kiosk to gain full access to the computer.

General Review Discussion / Re: Best spreadsheet
« on: January 08, 2008, 01:43 AM »
Just a quick comment: I really like gnumeric! It's the only spreadsheet program that I know of that can work with "huge integers" which happens to be important to me. Unfortunately, the windows version has problems with printing and releases for this platform lag behind the *ix versions. It's possible to work around the printer problem and with a little luck the developers will fix that problem in time.

It's not Excel but it is very good, IMO. I suggest downloading the program and trying it out for yourself.

in the 1st post, Niefer had mentioned of Gnumeric as one of the tested apps. has anyone tried it? looks quite spiffy but i don't use spreadsheets that much to be able judge its quality..
 (see attachment in previous post)

Announce Your Software/Service/Product / Re: Liquid Studio
« on: January 02, 2008, 04:32 PM »
Here's an update. I've had a chance to become more acquainted with Liquid Studio over the past couple of days and I have to say that the more I use it the more impressed I become with it. So much so that I even bought a license despite not having paid off my Christmas bills yet!

LS is brim full of features. It's reminiscent of C++ with its object oriented structure but is far far easier to use. You might call it object BASIC. You can mix and match graphics and console programming. Graphics include a full array of 2D and 3D functionality including textures and lighting. And don't let the fact that it's a byte code interpreter dissuade you from trying it out. It's one of the fastest I've seen particularly with regard to graphics.

I've barely scratched the surface with all the built-in features and I'll be busy exploring them for a while. It comes with a vast array of informative and entertaining sample programs that show off many of its features. If you want to mix programming and fun then I can heartily recommend Liquid Studio. :)

Announce Your Software/Service/Product / Re: Liquid Studio
« on: December 29, 2007, 08:32 PM »

This is a fantastic looking program. You have obviously put a lot of thought into designing the language and implementing it along with the IDE - and succeeded admirably. Liquid Studio is now on my to buy list - just as soon as I pay off some of my Christmas shopping bills. :)

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