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Messages - nosh [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Re: Help! PC hanging on first boot
« on: April 21, 2007, 03:05 PM »
The possible causes/ remedies I can think of...

 - I second f0dder on the memory test.

 - You did mention an ancient PC & CMOS corruption, so make sure you swap the button cell on your motherboard for a fresh one.

- Video memory: I faced a lot of freezes right after the "loading your personal settings" screen and it turned out to be a faulty config of the video card. If you're running off a dedicated video card and have an onboard graphics adapter too, I'd suggest booting using the onboard adapter to see if  the dedicated card is the culprit. 

Also make sure you have no hardware conflicts, via the device manager.


An unlikely remedy that I would have tried anyway...
 - Check for overheating using Speedfan, - make sure your fan/s are running at full blast.
 - Also try booting to DOS using a Win98 boot disk a few times and use it there for a few minutes each time. If it loads flawlessly everytime, it might be Windows messing up.

General Software Discussion / Re: RANT: High Software Prices!
« on: April 20, 2007, 03:09 AM »
Total number of computer users in China: > 100 million

Total number of genuine Windows Vista copies sold in China: 244

Talk about a kick in the pants. Wake up and smell the coffee manufacturing plant!

I don't like high prices either, but we don't have a 'right' to low cost software.  The prices will be as high as the market will bear.

Kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy that. I'd only expect MS to hike their prices in your neighbourhood.

General Software Discussion / Re: RANT: High Software Prices!
« on: April 18, 2007, 05:27 PM »
Yup, their latest "updates" were buggy at best. I went back to v. 1.6.1 b490 real fast.
Do you think they could disable older clients in the future? Coz that would be a big step back.
A lot of the updates these days *coughVISTA!* don't do much besides hogging up extra resources anyway.

General Software Discussion / Re: RANT: High Software Prices!
« on: April 18, 2007, 03:23 PM »
I'm not sure there will ever be a collision between free and commercial software. Free software tends to be very small, simple programs that don't get significantly updated often and only do one or two simple things. That isn't bad, I use and love a lot of those programs and I've written and given away several myself, but when someone wants to make something really good, polished and powerful it soon turns into a full-time job.

How would you account for Linux then? What about Gimp, Open Office, Azureus, Utorrent? I'm not sure about the open-endedness of some of these but I know for sure they're free.

People tend to get emotional when one mentions software piracy. Whether you take a moderate view and try to justify their behaviour or whether you think they're no better than drug-dealers is not the point here. The fact is this is a huge MAMMOTH untapped market out there and businesses need to find ways to tap into it. I don't know the numbers but the balance between honest and dishonest users is seriously lopsided. Even more so when you talk about countries like India and China. I can go out on the street in Bombay, India and buy any product for less than USD 1.00. Microsoft has the most ineffective anti-piracy campaigns going through the years. They plaster the city with banners urging the public to call the anti-piracy hotlines. Every kid around knows exactly where to find the pirated software but apparently MS with the millions(?) it pumps into anti-piracy doesn't. There are streets filled with shops thriving in piracy, the cops turn a blind eye. Every once in a while some loser who doesn't know how to handle his friendly (read corrupt) neighbourhood officer gets pulled up and gets his face in the papers. Score for Microsoft, except it's business as usual on Lamington Road. This scenario is almost certainly replicated in thousands of cities around the world.

You can hate those who indulge in piracy till kingdom come but the only ones complaining today are the legit users.
All I'm saying is the companies have to get rid of their traditional hard-headed approach and find a smart way to tap this market. Sure, there'll be a lot of people who won't pay even if a product is priced reasonably, but there will be people who will... for that "squishy feeling" or for whatever other reasons. This is one fat pie and if the sw companies can figure out a way to even get a small slice of it it'll go a long way to help everyone on the right side of the ethical line.
As a programmer I knew that good, powerful software like Photoshop was as difficult and time consuming to make as digital camera.

Maybe much more so depending on the app you're talking about. The only reason I'm willing to pay more for a camera is coz my copy/paste shortcuts don't work too well with it. Nor, unfortunately, do they work for the manufacturer. The day that happens we'll solve all the world's problems. Well almost all - Sanjaya will still deliver cruel and unusual punishment whenever he sings.


General Software Discussion / Re: RANT: High Software Prices!
« on: April 17, 2007, 06:02 AM »
This is exactly why software piracy is such a thriving business. A very small percent of users of big names like Photoshop are actually paid users. The software vendors need to completely revamp their business model to penetrate this mostly untapped market. If they drastically reduce their profit margins (depending upon the target country) they will make headway coz given a choice between low cost genuine software and low-cost/free pirated software (buying/downloading off shady characters/sites, unreliable delivery media, potential for malware, complete lack of support) most people would pay that little extra and go for the original.

With the open-source/freeware explosion happening these guys are sooner or later going to have to start slashing their prices badly to stay afloat anyway, why not do it right away? Start thinking out of the box, cash into what is legitimately yours instead of screwing the few honest people left by transferring all the burden onto them.

Living Room / Re: OT Help Request - registry issue
« on: April 14, 2007, 12:29 PM »
Have you manually verified that the registry reflects the changes the .reg file made?
And since we sometimes miss the obvious - have you rebooted?

Living Room / Re: OT Help Request - registry issue
« on: April 14, 2007, 11:42 AM »
Right-click the key you're trying to modify in Regedit and see if you have the necessary permission.
I faced this problem recently though I'm admin on my PC, it may be caused by one of MS's recent security fixes. 

Thats funny, because guess what, Schumi does race in an automatic !! F1 cars don't have a stick shift, they ahve paddle shifters that control an auto transmission, except it doesn't have a torque converter but is a manual gear linkage with an electronic clutch. There is no way a manual transmission can ever match its performance, response time and reliability.

Well technically, the transmission is semi-automatic.

And the driver does initiate gear changes. Meet me halfway here, Angelina!

There's a trend with MS to go the "we know what's good for you and you don't really get to decide" way. A prime example is the way Windows is heading. I'd compare it to taking away a manual gear shift car and replacing it with an automatic transmission. While this pleases the masses, it's especially hard for those who have mastered the manual shift and miss that edge & freedom in performance. You aren't likely to see Schumi racing an automatic.  :P

I rolled back to Office 2003 and feel relieved. To each their own I guess. Just hope MS gives people like me an option to use the old interface in future versions so everyone can be happy.

I'd even consider Open Office in the future but I've heard that it's really sluggish as of now. Office 2003 feels so light and I didn't have any complaints regarding the speed of Office 2007 either.

A command line mailer like mailsend should do the job.

General Software Discussion / Re: Lock a folder down?
« on: April 08, 2007, 10:37 AM »
I have been used Magic Folders for years now. It's not free but it's a solid app.

I would love to know exactly how these folders hiding apps do what they do... I have a feeling it's got something to do with low level access and modification of the FAT but that's just my guess. Could somebody please enlighten me. 

Living Room / Re: The Difference Between Cats and Dogs
« on: April 08, 2007, 08:47 AM »
Sparky generally gets all hyperactive and keeps sniffing and whatnot till the other dog gets fed up and snaps at him or something!  :)

I pity the uninformed fools here who think Vista is no good!
Vista is an AWESOME OS....FOR MY DOG TO POOP ON!  :-\

Jokes apart - I really feel for the people who've shelled out good money to upgrade to this travesty. MS needs to seriously rethink their OS design strategy... unless it's one big Wintel conspiracy, which seems really likely. Either that or the engineers at MS are smoking something really bad.

Living Room / Re: The Difference Between Cats and Dogs
« on: April 08, 2007, 05:09 AM »
Sparky. My crazy German Spitz.  :-*

Mandatory napping shot  ;D

I recently upgraded my mother's PC to Office 2007. She's not exactly a savvy user but was somewhat familiar with the older MSO interface and was completely lost. I had to keep listening to her complain till I relented and rolled it back to Office 2003.

Funny thing is, after I did I actually found myself envying her! I'm not a regular Office user and I've found myself fumbling on several occasions trying to perform what would have been complete no-brainer tasks on older Office versions. I miss the old menu-toolbar interface that I spent years getting familiar with and I completely HATE the ribbon. It's like MS swept the carpet from under my feet.

The only reason I haven't gone back to Office 2003 is coz I'm assuming the ribbon is here to stay and since I have made the leap I may as well stick with it so I can get used to it. Is there any news regarding future versions of Office? Do people actually like this monstrosity? At the very least they could have given us a swappable interface so people who were not comfortable with the ribbon weren't forced to use it. This seems more like a carefully calculated decision made by the finance department at MS rather than the technical one. What do those of you who've tried the ribbon interface feel?

I did a slightly more thorough resource utilization comparison betw. Feeddemon & Greatnews.
The graphs are over a span of around 10 minutes. I had both apps minimized and they both sat silent for a while, consuming next to nothing. Then I gave them the 'Retrieve all feeds' command from the system tray.

FeedDemon jumped to around 23% CPU usage, then seemed to settle down a little and then surprisingly jumped to over 40% & held it there for several minutes... it's still consuming >40% CPU as I type this. Notice the tiny bump, so easy to miss,  on the GreatNews CPU utilization graph, it peaked to less than 5% and kept it there for the 10 seconds or so that it took it to retrieve the feeds settling back to 0% once it was done.

I don't know exactly what FeedDemon is doing after it retrieves the feeds - looks almost like a bug to me. The RAM consumption really doesn't matter so much but when a single app holds on to nearly 1/2 my CPU power and doesn't let go it's definitely a problem. I've used Process Explorer to run these tests and am using FeedDemon v2.1.0.10

Could somebody please replicate these tests & confirm or disprove these results?

Tried out quite a few programs here and GreatNews seems to be head and shoulders above the rest. I've noticed a dramatic increase in speed over FeedDemon (I'm subbed to the same feeds in both) - & it optionally synchs with Bloglines (which I prefer to NewsGator).

One would expect a program that's so quick to be simplistic in its functionality, but it's not! It has just the right array of features, IMO. The only thing I miss is the Expando viewing style provided by FeedDemon and I've requested for the same on their official forum.

All in all a very well crafted software, I urge anyone with more than a handful of feeds to give it a try.

Thanks to everyone who replied.

Thanks! I said FeedDemon is a bit of a hog coz I recently installed Process Tamer and it 'tames' FeedDemon pretty often. I did monitor FeedDemon in Process Viewer & my findings were similar to yours. I'm kinda attached to it and skeptical if I'll like another reader enough to have it swap places with FD but I'm going to try out all the reccos nonetheless.

I've been using FeedDemon and though I love the functionality it provides it's a complete resource hog. I'm subscribed to around 50 feeds.  FeedDemon, though almost perfect, does a lot more that I want it to.

I'm interested in trying out other standalone RSS readers (not web-based ones or Firefox plugins)

The only things that matters are:
 - It should have a well designed user interface (ie. not too much of a pain to navigate)
 - It should be relatively light on resources coz I have my feed reader running all the time.

For quality ripping:

You will have to perform a raw rip first but I've found the "DVD Decrypter --> AutoGK" method to be the only simple way that gives top notch quality output.

If the above method doesn't suit you, take a look at which is getting immensely popular - even if you don't want it for the DVD ripping purpose it's worth checking out coz it converts pretty much any video format out there, including those found on portable gaming devices & cell phones.

UrlSnooper / Re: Does the software contain virus PECompact?
« on: March 16, 2007, 03:23 PM »
Maybe it can't unscramble the compressed code thoroughly to see if it's infected or not so it gives you a heads-up to play safe.

I am now certain that all the fuzz only was about the need for .NET 3.0

Its most strange that Microsoft can't figure out to just tell it - if you wanna drive Visual Studio you'll need to upgrade .NET Framework to version 3.0 - thats not hard to tell, is it? Maybe its because Visual Studio (and the quoted article) is older than .NET 3.0, so it would alter version 2.0 and make it unsuitable for upgrading to 3.0 - that must be it.

f0dder; will you check if your .NET is version 3.0 please ?

VS2005 is centered around .NET 2 - though their SP1 showed up around the same time as .NET 3 so I guess the two could be related. I've applied the service pack and haven't upped to .NET 3 and it's running just fine.

Reg the OP: You could try uninstalling your native language .Net 2, installing VS and reinstalling your native language .Net 2 _after_ it is upgraded. It seems highly unlikely that a newer version of .Net would bung up VS. But it's MS, so anything's possible! :)

There are programs that will let you make your folders completely invisible but somebody could hack their way in if the program is disabled at startup.

For actual encryption (which takes more time, but nobody can access the data without actually knowing the password) take a look at cryptext (author: Nick Payne, now discontinued... you'll have to Google it) for a very fast barebones encryption program or Axcrypt (one of the most comprehensive, yet easy to use encryption utilities & under active developement)

Both these can encrypt folders recursively and both of them are free. If you have a lot of data to encrypt/decrypt everytime cryptext should be the obvious choice. If you're looking for a well-rounded, comprehensive encryption program Axcrypt wins hands down. I use both. :)

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