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Messages - J-Mac [ switch to compact view ]

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I mean, I don't understand why desktop application replacements are all over the place, and most web 2.0 applications are just that.

Who uses those? they are always inferior to the desktop counterpart... and you cannot do nice GUI things like assign keyboard shortcuts, no matter how much AJAX you did.

I love the idea of doing webpages that actually do things for you other than just present information, but mimicking a desktop application is not really the best thing a web application can do!


For some folks, Web 2.0 apps are the only versions they can "afford"!  E.g., for those who can't afford MS Office but just don't like or don't "get" Open Office, Google Docs -- with their very compatible array of Word-like Documents, Excel-like spreadsheets, and PowerPoint-like presentations -- is a dream come true. Or the Zoho suite of similar tools - these give them a suite that is functionally compatible with the most complete version of MS Office at no cost. I am certain that's a big factor.  Even some professionals I know like Google Docs for the collaboration aspects and the fact that they might not need to bring their notebook with them everywhere.  If they can have access to any PC and the Internet they can work on all their Office docs without having MS Office with them.

Me?  I like some of the other Web 2.0 programs that are not actually desktop replacements of any particular programs. Like Vitalist, Toodledo, Todoist, etc. for GTD-style ToDo lists.  Or Google Calendar, 30 Boxes, Airset, or Spongecell for "calendar with reminders" Outlook replacements. OK, they don't "replace" Outlook nor all of its functionality, but they can certainly handle all of its calendar tasks.


Merry X'mas Everyone!  8)

Two quick questions reg. DVD drives:

1. Is there any command or utility to close (pull in the tray of) a DVD drive?

2. Is there a utility that'll let me see a DVD LED, like there are for HDDs?

Nosh - do you mean an onscreen widget of some sort?  If so, I'll keep an eye out for some & report back if I come across any.


General Software Discussion / Re: CD vs DVD for viewing photos on TV
« on: December 25, 2007, 12:26 PM »
One factor is whether or not you want a slideshow and if you want nice transitions in it.

Video CD's can show off digital photos nicely, even in slideshows -- as long as you are not using any animated transitions.  Animated transitions are basically a form of a movie, and CD's do not do movies well - if at all.  (Depends on the format).

DVD's, on the other hand, allow fancy slideshows with animated transitions between photos, nicer animated menus - like a menu full of appealing graphic buttons that change color or appearance when you mouse-over them, and that point the viewer toward a given slideshow when Enter is pressed on the TV Remote Control. Some of the spectacular-looking slideshows - like those created with SimpleStar's PhotoShow Deluxe V. 5 (See a working PhotoShow Deluxe gallery here), are actually SWF slideshows (the best-looking, IMO) and cannot be reproduced on TV using Video CD's.


I am coming in a little late here, but I have to ask why you all don't just use Thunderbird's mailbox folders, or local folders? I move messages into folders by year. One advantage is that my desktop search tool (copernic) indexes and searches these, along with active email messages. I realize I am probably wasting space - but disk is cheap, and my time is what I want to save. One tool to search everything means a lot to me.

I do wish Thunderbird had a way of deleting attachments - just large ones that REALLY waste space. I used to use an extension for this, but I am not sure it still works.

Just my 2 cents ...


I don't see how placing messages into a Thunderbird mailbox folder archives them.  Unless you place them into a folder that is in a separate Profile; a Profile that you don't use to retrieve or work with your emails.  One created just for storage.  (Come to think of it, that's not a bad solution on the face of it!)

crono's (OP) initial post here asks how to archive the messages because Thunderbird is slowing down due to the size of his mail store.  If you just move them into a separate folder I would expect T-Bird to be just as slow as if you left them in your working folders.

Another altogether different thought is to store all of your messages in a Google Group.  I read about using a Google Group to keep a backup of your Gmail messages at Gina Trapani's LifeHacker - Geek to Live, but I don't see why that wouldn't also work for Thunderbird - or any other - email client.

Basically you create a Google Group, set the access to "Restricted", make yourself the only member of the Group, and then set Thunderbird as the "non-Google notification email system".  Then use filters to auto-forward or bounce a copy of every message that comes into T-Bird to the Google Group.  You could also forward all of your existing messages to the Group.  (That might take a while, but it would make it a really complete backup; a fully active backup that grows with each forwarded message).  You will have your own private Google Group that contains all of your Thunderbird email messages - a nice online backup!  If you are concerned that someone could still somehow hack into the Group and see your emails, encrypt them first.

The original article on LifeHacker where I saw the Gmail backup-to-Google-Group concept is here, and the actual instructions are here.


Screenshot Captor / Printing a Screen Capture With Screen Captor?
« on: December 21, 2007, 12:05 PM »
When I want to quickly print a capture directly from Screen Captor, the print size is fairly large.  E.g., when I capture a Properties dialog in Windows XP and print that directly from Screen Captor, the printed image is the size of the paper. In other words it seems to be set to "Fit to Page".  I cannot seem to locate anywhere at all within the settings to change this. How is this done?

Or is Screen Captor not meant to print the images, but just to capture them?  And open the image in another application for printing?

Using another application for printing screen captures is easy enough, but if I am looking to get a fast capture of a given dialog and print it out, that method takes a lot more time.

Is there a way to quickly print a captured image with Screen Captor, and be able to change the printed image size?



yes, Foxit Reader has that effect. in fact, i only use the freeware PDF reader but i'm keen to know which application that you end up with.. ;) btw, this site looks like worth a visit for all PDF conundrums, maybe you'll find here a good form-filler..

Planet PDF

I'll take a look at that site.

BTW, I used the Foxit Reader back in the beta days too.  But have you looked at the purchase/pricing pages? Tough to tell which version does what there, IMO.


Don't know about Nova PDF but I use PDFFill for filling in PDF forms.  Works pretty well.

Hey John, you say you are using PDFFill and that it works pretty well...  How about a quick and dirty mini-review?

  • Can you list what you see as its Pros and Cons?  Good things and bad things you have seen.

  • What does it do that you really like?  What does it do well?

  • What is there about it that you don't like?  What would you change/fix if it were up to you?

  • It is pretty inexpensive; is it worth it?



Lanux128, johnfdeluca:

I corresponded with Claudiu of BackUp4All - they are apparently also involved with novaPDF - and he confirmed that novaPDF is only a PDF Creator; it cannot perform any editing at all with already created PDF documents. No form-filling, no taking a poorly implemented user manual, for example, and adding bookmarks or TOC hyperlinks (another thing I normally do with Scansoft PDF Converter), no extracting a PDF to Word.  It is very basic. It does what if can do very well, but it cannot do the things I am looking for a PDF program to do.

So I keep on looking.

Lanux: I used Foxit Reader a long time ago, when it was in beta.  Nice reader, but it had some printing problems back then. Since then it has become a commercial application. Which I have no problem with at all. But if you take a look at their product page, maybe you can tell me which version can perform which features!  That page is a mess, at least in my eyes! On one hand, it appears that Foxit Reader Pro is supposed to do it all; like a "Catch-all" wrap-up of all their offerings. Yet the price of Reader Pro compared to the sum of all the other versions' pricing is so far off that I am pretty sure it does not have all the features. I really cannot tell which does which; which one or ones I would need to purchase. Any developer that has all of the features of what could be one single "Pro" application split out all over the place like that, i stay away from! (I already am tied up with a software that is just like that - Applian - and it is too much work to stay updated! Never again!)

johnf: I have never heard of PDFFill. I'll go take a look at it now.

Thanks folks!


Living Room / A Cheat Sheet of Cheat Sheets
« on: December 20, 2007, 01:12 AM »
I just thought I would share this with you all.  Many no doubt already know about this site, but I didn't, and maybe someone else didn't.  Basically a web page with links to just about every kind of "cheat sheet" imaginable - all are PDF files, a lot contain keyboard shortcuts for different applications and web sites.



Wake up Cuffy!!

I have had RoboForm since the beginning. How does that help me with this?  I think maybe you misunderstood my post.

Thanks for the thought, though.


Thanks tomos. I do use PDF-XChange Viewer now, actually - the free viewer, too. It starts to do forms but then as you said, it gets a little weird now and then! And I can't save forms and re-use them without encountering a lot of uh-oh's.

I also have Scansoft PDF Converter Pro 3 and it can do all that I want - WHEN it will start and run without crashing!! It is the single most buggy application I have ever used - and I try a LOT of applications! That plus no help at all from Scansoft (now Nuance) is making me really want to switch. PDF Converter Pro 3 also sets itself up as the default PDF viewer for IE6. And I can't change it! If I do disable the IE plug-in and set up another reader, then IE crashes and will not start again.

So it is time for a new PDF Form Filling program for me. I use that feature a lot. NovaPDF refers to that feature in their knowledge Base a couple of times, but the features list does not mention it at all - and I would think that they would definitely want to blow their horn about it if it could fill forms.

And like I said, they haven't responded to my inquiry yet. Only two days so far but it's a real simple yes/no question that I thought would be an easy one for them. Oh well - off to search for more!

Thanks tomos!


Hopefully we have some users of NovaPDF here at DC, since we do have the discount available.

I have been all over their web site and cannot determine whether or not it has the ability to fill forms on an existing PDF document.  I submitted a pre-sales request to them on a web form at their site but have not heard back from them. (Maybe not a good thing? I hope they are a little more responsive with support requests!)

Anyway, can any NovaPDF users here tell me if the program allows filling forms on existing PDF files? Like when you have a loooong form - insurance application, mail-in prescription form, etc. - and prefer not to print it and write it all out by hand each time. Instead fill in all fields by typing in them and then be able to save it for future use?



.... but I've been running this setup without any hardware changes since early 2004, and experienced no previous problems.

Unfortunately I have found that Microsoft Updates/patches often can make changes in your system that cause drivers that have been working fine to suddenly have major conflicts with the system changes.  I've been burned by this on more than one occasion!!


Yeah, I'm having that issue now too. I changed a number of the "My" folders and when an application balks I just change the settings for that app. But some won't keep the change. E.g., MindManager Pro 6 creates a "My Maps" folder. I changed that to just "Maps" and of course MM Pro 6 balked and recreated the My Maps folder, though it didn't move any files back into it. I changed that within MindManager and all was well. Till I rebooted and started MindManager again - same squeals from it.

J-Mac: this is just a work-around but after deleting "My Maps" folder, create a file by the same name and make it hidden then program won't be able to create the folder..

But the application insists on it. What will it so if it can't? Might explode!   ;D ;D



My biggest complaint is that there are always a number of dialogs where Enhanced Dialog never kicks in, but I believe that is because of the specific applications configuration and not Enhanced Dialog.  Do the ones you reviewed also have this issue?

with Filebox Extender, yes, that's a problem too

Oh well. Enhanced Dialog is working pretty well otherwise. A few weird things but they may be caused by Windows XP Pro. I'm not sure. Like even though I have all dialogs set to show in Detailed mode, many still open in the List mode, and some in Thumbnails mode. Also, About every other time I open a dialog it shows the files in reverse alpha order. Arrgggh! Is that likely to be Enhanced Dialog? Or does WinXP do that? Like, all are in alpha-ascending order when downloading something. Then the next time I download they are listed in alpha-descending!

Just trying to make me crazier, methinks!


Yeah, I'm having that issue now too. I changed a number of the "My" folders and when an application balks I just change the settings for that app. But some won't keep the change. E.g., MindManager Pro 6 creates a "My Maps" folder. I changed that to just "Maps" and of course MM Pro 6 balked and recreated the My Maps folder, though it didn't move any files back into it. I changed that within MindManager and all was well. Till I rebooted and started MindManager again - same squeals from it.

Who would program like that? And why?


...It also helps to have a dialog extender tool as well to help you quickly navigate between your favorite folders.

See also this thread: https://www.donation...dex.php?topic=9647.0
And this one: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=10154.0


I presently use Enhanced Dialog from Stardock.  When I was actively subscribed to their Object Desktop this was one of the apps I kept using even when I had dropped a lot of their other "eye candy" stuff that looked great but started causing me problems in a lot of other areas.  I still use it today.

I notice that you didn't cover that in your mega-review of Filebox Extenders.  Any reason? Or just that you already had enough and never got to this one?

My biggest complaint is that there are always a number of dialogs where Enhanced Dialog never kicks in, but I believe that is because of the specific applications configuration and not Enhanced Dialog.  Do the ones you reviewed also have this issue?



I would think long and hard before changing the names of these directories..

As you say, you can rename them and windows will adjust to the new folder names..

But you may have older programs that are not coded well that get confused, OR you may have programs that remember when the directory was called one thing, and now that it's changed they will still be looking in the old place.

All true, mouser, and also all considered.  I've gone ahead and changed them and I am expecting some applications to balk at the change.  Some already have and I was able to change their settings to accommodate the new names.  I have also edited preferences, settings, etc. of some of my other frequently-used programs and changed those also.  I am trying to keep a log of exactly what I have changed and when.  If it turns out that this simply will not work because too many programs I use can't accommodate the new file names I'll then revert back to the dumb old "My" format.  (I understand that even Microsoft changed these names and removed "My" from them in early versions of Longhorn, and that is their goal - saw that on an MSDN blog).

But I have found a few sites/forums where folks have switched like this and are getting by OK. So I'll give it a good try and report back whenever I encounter any rough spots - or not.  Hopefully I will let DC users here know wither that it is OK to go ahead and try this, or warn them away from these name changes if it doesn't work out.

nosh said exactly how i feel as well:
I just ignore the 'My' series and save all my personal data at another location. Lots of apps feel free to create their own subfolder within these anyway and I wouldn't want my personal data getting mixed with all that junk.

In other words, the default "My Documents" and other such folders are useful as places where some programs autocreate subfolders and files.  I prefer to make an *additional* directory for my personal files and leave the "My Documents" folder completely alone -- i never go in there and never save files in there.

It also helps to have a dialog extender tool as well to help you quickly navigate between your favorite folders.

See also this thread: https://www.donation...dex.php?topic=9647.0
And this one: https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=10154.0

Thanks for the heads up, mouser.


Turns out you CAN rename most of the "My" folders just like any others.  Can't delete them without them auto-regenerating unless you make a few reg changes, though.


General Software Discussion / Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« on: December 16, 2007, 09:37 PM »
Pierre, you're amazing and generous.

J-Mac, I am just like you when it comes to databases, and that's the primary reason why I even started playing with SQLNotes.  Only after that did I realize all the other things I could do with it (such as using it as a notetaker).

Hey superboyac.

Yeah? Then you must know too well what it's like to have databases as our "kryptonite" and then read through this long thread and see others drop in and you can see that they're picking up how to use SQL Notes just like that!  (Have to imagine me snapping my fingers with that last sentence!   :Thmbsup: :up: :down: :) )

I'm reading through some more of the wiki and trying to make some sense of it. I started this before and then had to work frantically with my spreadsheet and paper files to respond to yet another PITA "surprise attack" insurance company inquiry.  I began to think I really didn't have time to learn this thing AND work with the document list I have at the same time.  I'll give it another shot and hopefully I can get something going in parallel to what else I am doing.

(I'm also in the process of trying to work out my graphics card issues - darn nVidia! Even though Falcon will probably be sending me out a replacement GeForce 7900 GTX or higher, I am looking into trying to bite the bullet and purchase an ATI card and see if I can get it working on an ASUS SLI-compatible mobo. AND - reorganize my data and media files and folder structure - get rid of all the lousy "My ....." folders and name them more appropriately to what I am using!  AND.... make my home office a paperless one to the extent I can! I have this great Canon PIXMA MP830 All-in-One with a duplex, auto-feeder scanner - might as well use it to the max!)

Take care.


General Software Discussion / Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« on: December 16, 2007, 03:15 PM »
Jim, I don't know  if that's what you want to know but :

To create a new grid :
view-->Grids-->New grid

To select which columns/fields should appear in the grid :
Grid-->displayed columns

To manage/create new fields (which can eventually be showed as columns...) :

View-->Manage fields
Right click on colum titles -->Manage fields (but that doesn,t seem to always work<

EDIT : Sorry... PPLAndry was here first... Anyhow.  :)

Armando, Pierre:

I had another thread I had started about the availability of a simple/easy-to-use database application.  SQL Notes was strongly suggested in that thread and it sounded promising. But I mentioned there also that without pretty easy-to-understand manuals or tutorials, I am lost when it comes to databases!  Spreadsheets - as complex as you like: I can create them in my sleep.  Digital photo and video authoring and editing - I started that and created my first project for an American Idol finalist who needed it for their first meeting with an agent after being booted - and have improved since then. Again, that just seemed to come naturally without reading hardly anything about it. No manuals needed!

But that has never worked with databases! For some reason I just cannot work intuitively with a database application - at least none since I used to use the old dBase III+ a million years ago. I really lose focus - and then interest and efficiency - as soon as I try to create databases without reading a whole lot! Just a mind-block? I don't know. All I know is that wading into a database app doesn't work for me!

As for what I was looking for in the first place - I think we discussed this here in my other thread, Pierre. No notes. A database to track my correspondence and other documentation from certain insurance companies. It started out simple enough and I tracked everything with spreadsheets, pivot tables, Look-ups, etc. Easy - about 100 or so documents. Now, however, it is up to several hundred, and the companies have a way of asking you to confirm data you supplied last year. If it doesn't match exactly - sometimes word for word - we go off to arbitration. A truly weird system! Anyway, I need the documentation readily accessible, and searchable by multiple keywords so I can access the correct documents quickly. The spreadsheet system has gotten truly bogged down!

I have MS Office 2003 with Access but every time I start anew in Access and try designing my tables, forms, etc. as soon as I try to run a report or pull out data I am presented with the VB Editor - which completely confounds me!!



General Software Discussion / Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« on: December 16, 2007, 02:59 PM »
Awesome Pierre - a USB version will be fantastic...

OK, cards on the table - I was in the same boat as Jim, but hadn't posted/contacted you to that effect  :-[ - your instructions to him above have enabled me to start using SQLNotes  :Thmbsup:

I'll try to be a productive member of the beta team from now on!

I was wondering how you got up and running so quickly - I was starting to think you must be a database wiz kid too!!   ;D 8)


OK. I just thought it sounded really weird for the PC to hard reboot after clicking on a shortcut, and that it might be something in the shortcut itself that was somehow corrupted.  That error is what I found for the last several days, in my Event Viewer - and I haven't been having any noticeable issues with Firefox recently.

Glad it's all sorted out!


General Software Discussion / Re: SQLNotes...what is it exactly?
« on: December 16, 2007, 12:35 PM »
Wow!  Just installed the latest beta - looks pretty powerful.

Shame I have no earthly idea what I am doing with it, though. Create a new field and all I can do with it is give it a name and say it's text or number, etc. Field length? Can't find where they're assigned & I just searched for it for an hour. I read through the entire thread and see that no one else has questions like that.

I think I'm not ready for this one.
Hi Jim,
Think of it as a notepad. Create a grid (View > Grids > New grid). Name it and start entering information in this notepad. Everything you put in this notepad, gets put in a field with the same name
To view what you've put in these notepads, either open them (view>grids>Notepad xx) or double-click on the field with the same name (in the properties pane -- F4)

These is much more to it, but this will get you started

So I shouldn't have been in the Fields settings area? That's where I tried creating the fields I need for the database I need to build. As I said, you can't do anything there except give a new field a name and attribute, i.e., text, number, etc.

I read through the Documentation section and didn't see anything on how to create new fields, etc. Did I miss it?



General Software Discussion / My Stupid Windows Question for the Day!
« on: December 16, 2007, 11:47 AM »
I know that certain folders, namely My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, My Videos, etc. are actually system folders.  However they can be relocated within Windows and have all shortcuts, etc., still point to them.  For example, I immediately relocated all to my D: drive after installing Windows XP Pro on this PC. I wanted the C: drive to contain only the OS and program files.  All data and media files are on my D: drive, and my E: drive (and a couple external USB drives) are for backups and synced folders only.


Can these folders be renamed without causing issues? What I want to do is remove the stupid "My" from the folder names! Who in the heck ever dreamed that concept up anyway? It just sounds so darn childish for some reason - My Pictures, My Music, etc., etc.  Of course they're mine!!  And I know that!!  I don't need to remind myself and the world that these are MY very own folders!  It just makes them look kind of stupid among all my other data folders.

But can I take that possessive adjective away without any dire consequences?  I thought I would ask before just trying it and then asking you all how to get out of that mess!



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