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Messages - J-Mac [ switch to compact view ]

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Do you have PhraseExpess installed and running? Check in the list of running processes.


Not anymore. I removed it after this started.

Thank you.


General Review Discussion / Re: Free PDF tools review?
« on: September 19, 2007, 11:18 PM »
can't spell penicillin, though

Yes I can! Just didn't do it correctly, that's all...  :-[
Like Adobe Acrobat 7, everything, with the exception of the handwriting in the left hand margin, is editable in Scansoft PDF Converter 4 Pro as well. I can move the handwriting and managed to rearrange/add to it to make it say "Penicilin". Xchange Viewer is pretty cool!

I'm thinking of purchasing PDF XChange Pro. I've been using the free viewer since the last PDF viewer thread here a few months ago, and it IS cool.

By the way I decided not to go with Nuance's OmniPage/PaperPort promo. Nuance's non-support policy is just too irksome for me. I've put up with them for a few years now and I am not going to enrich them anymore.   ;)


Thanks tomos. I have no idea what PowerPro is. If you're referring to the hotkey macro I believe that is referring to the Power Profile -- which on this PC is all disabled, supposedly.

I'm still baffled!

I have downloaded a number of utilities to try and see what hotkeys are set presently, but none show that so far. Many show how to change hotkeys but I need to see what is currently set up. And hopefully how they got there in the first place.



Got myself a bit of a problem here on my desktop PC running Windows XP SP2.

About five days ago my PC started shutting down just as it finished rebooting; I could not get the darned thing to start and run! After many hours on the phone with Falcon Northwest support (which, By the way,I have no great respect for at this point...), I finally realized that the PC was actually going onto either Standby or Hibernate mode -- which is a little distressing since I have ALL power options disabled - no standby, no hibernate, no hard disk rundown, etc.  During a few reboot attempts I noticed that the familiar white bar across the bottom of the display with vertical lines going through it like a progress bar -- like I am accustomed to seeing on a notebook PC, but never on my desktop.

Testing performed so far:

  •   1) Memory:  memtest86+ shows no problems with my memory (2 GB Corsair RAM).  Well, actually it kept generating errors on Pass #6 until I discovered that on my Asus mobo I needed to disable legacy USB or that is common. Afterwards all showed as OK.

  •   2)  Hard Disk Drives:  The Hitachi Drive Fitness tests show some bad areas on my E:\ drive - that needs to be replaced. (I have three hard drives in this machine: C:\ = a 80 GB Western Digital SATA IDE drive with only Windows XP and Program installations; s -- D:\ = a 500 GB Seagate SATA IDE drive with all data files, media files, everything not directly OS or program setup-related; and E:\ = another 500 GB Seagate SATA IDE drive used only for backup volumes - Acronis images of C; and D:, Quicken backups, ACDSee digital photo backups, and various data file backups using Nero's BackItUp utility.)

Up to that point I had seen the white bar immediately prior to the reboots failing, but I was unable to confirm that the PC was actually suspended. All Power Options are deselected regarding Standby and Hibernating. However ACPI is enabled in the BIOS and apparently something is activating it. Then late last night I was trying to clip something to OneNote 2007 using its standard hotkey - Win+S - and the PC immediately went into hibernation or standby! I restarted and tried it again -- same result.

Today I started searching for the program that had changed my Win+S hotkey shortcut from OneNote 2007 clipping to "Suspend Windows". I looked for applications installed recently and discovered that PhraseExpress -- an auto-text application that is recommended at Gizmo's TechSupportAlert site -- has Win+S configured as a hotkey for "Suspend this Computer Now". Aha! However after writing to the developer he assured me that this is not a setting generated by PhraseExpress, but would have had to be added by PhraseExpress. In other words, it already existed and PhraseExpress just scanned for current hotkeys and added it to its own settings.

It appears that this hotkey is using the macro {#run "C:\WINDOWS\System32\rundll32.exe" "PowrProf.dll, SetSuspendState"}, although I have not been able to determine why or how this hotkey was even created, or by which application.

Could a bad hard drive somehow generate this, or cause it to occur? Seems unlikely to me but Falcon NW insists that once I replace the defective hard drive all should be OK. I am having difficulty swallowing that.

How can I determine exactly what hotkeys are presently setup on my PC? I did see a few threads requesting this type of utility but it looks like there are none out there.

My primary reason for posting this is to see if anyone knows how I can display all hotkeys on my system. Troubleshooting will continue regardless, but knowing if an application did this will help a lot!

Thank you!


No source code that I can find.  And I did ask for the previous version to be re-posted since Version 3 is buggy, but they never responded to that request.


I'm one of the posters over in the PCMag Startup Cop Pro forum.  (jcmcgowan is my username there). I've been using SCP for a couple years now and up till now I loved it. However this latest version has been discouraging.

As you can see at that forum there seems to be a lot of issues with Version 3. Mine installed OK but kept terminating when I tried to configure it. (It does NOT carry over most settings from your previous installation). More of a concern for me, though, is the developer's comments. Everything is "normal", according to him.  For example SCP3 started using anywhere from 5% to 8% of my CPU resources all the time. When I posted asking about this, the developer replied that this is not much and he considers that to be "normal". Maybe in HIS world, but not mine!! Even Tim Smith - the moderator for PC Mag's utilities forum - posted back (after I asked him to comment) that he also felt that was unusually high.

Plus, the new version removed a lot of settings that were previously user-configurable, which is disappointing to me.

Anyway, without any response from the developer indicating that he plans to release an update to fix these problems, he instead keeps posting that he doesn't see a problem there. So I am looking for a replacement.

Anyone using Chameleon? Worthwhile?



J-Mac, it's not that I'm saying you are wrong here as I wouldn't know. However, the way I see it most of what you just posted have anything to do with the topic at hand. You say you were being mistreated at the Opera forums, well it's quite possible. On the other hand though, that's pretty much the same excuse I see from just about anyone that has ever been kicked off a forum or community in the past. It's always the other party that's at fault, and the ones getting kicked out never did anything to deserve it...
Bad supposition, dude - I was never "kicked off"; I'm still a member & post regularly.  And how is my post off the topic?

I read above that the following was posted"
...without trying it because one piece of software is not supported, maybe write to roboform?

So I responded that it is most definitely Opera's exclusion, not Roboform's. Why is that off-topic?

Also, I can count at least half a dozen posts about Opera's non-support of a number of plug-ins and your "defenses" of Opera immediately following each of those. Again, exactly how and I off-topic?

I'm not here shilling any application!


Oh - and while I do use Opera for a quick spin now and then -- like for browsing just to look, or especially to print pages that Firefox can't touch. However without RoboForm, I will not use it on a regular basis. I cannot abide that Wand!


BTW, it is not RoboForm that is stopping integration w/Opera - it's Opera itself! Always has been. RoboForm requires more access to the code than Opera is willing to provide in its API. Plus, a good three or four years ago when I first started stumping for RoboForm support in the Opera forums, I was cursed, ridiculed, everything but peed on for even suggesting that Opera allow RoboForm to integrate with it.

What is even funnier about some posts in this thread is that back then Google was definitely the Evil Empire to all there in Opera land! A simple request by any user there was enough to bring the wrath of every Opera faithful - especially the moderators - because Google was seen as even a bigger threat to personal freedom and privacy than Microsoft! I saw posts there that were horribly vitriolic by long-standing members. Yet when a "rebellious poster" got even a little sarcastic he/she would be immediately banned.

Now they have a $50 M deal with Google? I'm just about rolling around laughing!!


General Software Discussion / Re: Anyone Using OmniPage and PaperPort?
« on: September 02, 2007, 02:23 AM »
Good input, Tom. Greatly appreciated!


BTW, networking alone makes Pro a better deal.


In XP, Media Center is XP Pro -- not Home -- with added media capabilities. I understand Vista handles that differently. But it is XP Pro.

As for why you were advised not to upgrade, you will have a whole lot of OS on your PC. Upgrading will leave a lot of XP Home files on your machine that have no real function other than to drive you crazy at times! A wipe and fresh install will make your PC much leaner, system files-wise. If you have a disk imager, like Acronis True Image Home, use that to image all that you want to move to the new setup and then restore it after installing XP Media Center. Not really that difficult.



I use Acronis and I have tasks scheduled so that it creates a full image of my C: and D: drives and then incremental images after that. Presently it is set to make a full image, then incrementals every 3 days with a full image added after every six backups. All goes to my E: drive and an external USB drive too. Only needed it desperately once, but that was enough!

C: is my "System" drive, a Western-Digital 80 GB SATA with the OS - XP Pro SP2 - and my program installations only, and D: is my data drive, a Seagate 500 GB SATA containing MY Documents and several folders I use for various media files: Recorded video, TV, digital images, etc. And E: is another Seagate 500 GB SATA drive which I use only for various backups. (Acronis, photo database backups, and any critical files which I sync regularly from the other drives, Quicken data, etc.).

Works for me so far!

BTW, I DO feel your pain - lots of installations and the resulting conflicts to bite me on a regular basis. I really don't think it's going to get any better soon!


General Software Discussion / Re: Stay Away From Microsoft VISTA
« on: August 31, 2007, 11:48 PM »
I have posted similar sentiments at other sites and believe it or not I have gotten flamed each time -- either Microsoft has shills out and about or - and this is scary! - there are actually a lot of people who have suddenly become rampant Microsoft "Stepfords"!

Personally, I have seriously thought hard about buying a Mac next. Drastic measures, I know. I once had an Apple IIC and then a IIe way back in ... I think it may have been the late '70s! Yikes!

Then in - I believe - 1982 or so I actually had the Mac forerunner - an Apple Lisa. It was the first personal microcomputer with a purely graphical user interface. Pretty cool, actually! Many have since panned it as a horrible failure, but I liked it, and though I had a brand new MacIntosh the following year - which replaced the Lisa - it did not really improve much on the Lisa except I think it added an internal floppy disk drive. Can't remember for sure  - too damn old - but either that one or a close successor introduced the 3.5" floppy as opposed to the larger 5.25".

BTW, all were purchased for me by an employer and they were used at work, not home. At home I had a TRS-80, Commodore 128, and a home-built IBM-clone PC-XT 286 machine. Of course Apple pretty much died out as a business machine right around then - as soon as IBM capitulated to Gates and for the first allowed others to purchase licenses and build clones of their original "PC". Apple refused to do the same ans that still hurts them today.

I really don't know if I could live with a Mac today. I have become accustomed to hacking away at Windows OS's that it would be either a dream to not do that -- or a nightmare. Not sure yet. But in the meantime, if I decide to get another Windows machine first, I will most definitely purchase a separate retail version of XP Pro, wipe the new machine, and install XP on it. I tried to purchse a copy about a month ago - just in case - but the supplier ran out and emailed me they weren't getting anymore. (Uh-oh!) But I'm sure I can find one, one way or another. But I refuse to get Vista, period. Maybe after a few years, if MS relents and updates the heck out of it to make it more usable. But if not, I'll try to work with whatever else I can find to avoid it.

I have never been a Microsoft-basher. For all the problems we have had over the years, if Microsoft wasn't exactly what they are we would not have all PC-wise that we have today. But when their OS and browser started getting so blasted for security reasons, and Gates committed to making MS the most secure OS on the planet, things started badly an have plummeted ever since. And he doesn't appear to have any intention of letting up on that.

Truly scary!


The trouble with OmniPage (and all OCR software really) is that it just isn't accurate enough. If it is 99% accurate (and it isn't unless you have a scanner that makes perfect copies of ideal fonts) then there will be 1% error rate - that is roughly a wrong character on every line in a document - by the time you manually edit the errors out for a fast typer it probably would be quicker to have retyped the text in the first place.

You obviously have never seen me type, Carol!!  ;D  Plus, I am losing the use of my left arm/hand more and more as time passes, so I have to use Dragon Naturally Speaking Pro version for any significant inout. That is - I still type out most of these posts, though you will see lots of typos, mostly on the left-hand side of the keyboard. But for Word documents I dictate all input. Believe me, the error rate I have to correct after dictating (I am getting >98% accuracy with standard stuff) will make a 1% OCR error rate look easy!)

The other, and biggest problem, is formatting - one of the reason's I got interested in OmniPage (back in version 10/11 days, I forget which) they pushed the idea of maintaining formatting and outputting perfectly formed Word documents. This never worked (even on simple documents) and one of the reasons I demanded a refund on version 15 was that it had got no better. My experience was documents full of OCR errors - formatting pretty much all over the place and new styles created for practically every line of text which meant the only way to edit the file was to go through and change all the styles.

Formatted output never worked at all in my experience in automatic mode - you had to spend time telling it which parts of the page were text and graphics by drawing different colour boxes. The auto correction (using a dictionary) was a joke as half the time it OCRed text so badly it couldn't make an intelligent guess.

Sorry - but if others are reading this thread they shouldn't be led into thinking OmniPage is a good solution for all OCR needs. It claims to be be the industry leader and of professional standard but the latter at least is just not true.

Anyone interested in this sort of software should try the demo version first and make sure they are happy with what it does. Also try out the opposition before comitting good money to OmniPage!

If you want to 'read' PDF files then Adobe do a free plugin with Adobe Acrobat (not sure if it works with the free reader version - but it works well with the full version).

Also if you have Microsoft Office it has rudimentary OCR capability that may be enough for your needs. See http://office.micros...x?pid=CL100636481033

That does stink - the formatting errors. Currently I have the latest version of ReadIRIS, which does OCR great in my opinion. But that ius all it does - OCR. My understanding of Omnipage and PaperPort together -- at least from Nuance's literature -- is that I can grab documents all over my PC, put them into an easily stored and retrieved format, and then organize them. I am guessing it is like a database-type organization. That sounds inviting to me, as with three internal drives of 80 GB, 500 GB, and 500 GB, I have a lot of docs spread all over!

Omnipage's putting all into one format is simple PDF conversion, I imagine. If it does not do that well I have three or four other ways to accomplish that. And I probably could do what PaperPort says it does with a lot of forethought and MS Access, which I have as part of Office 2003. But I have NEVER been able to get Access to work well. That is particularly frustrating because I used to do wonders with dBase III+ many years ago. But Access just makes me think I have it all done right. That is until I pull it up later and try to extract what I put into it! Then I realize I have no clue as to what it is doing!!

At $99, it is very tempting to give it a try. I know that $99 "ain't hay" as they say. (Hmmm.. WHO says that?) But after all it IS about $700 of software - I know that some have paid close to $500 for OmniPage Pro alone. Decisions, decisions...

I'm using Omnipage Pro 14. It can convert PDF to text.

I think basically it does that by scanning PDF as an image.

Actually, the recognition is quite good whether for scanning pages of PDFs. The retention of the page formatting is not fantastic though. But that did not quite matter for me.

Perhaps it's to do with tweaking the settings.

But one thing that keeps me from upgrading is that I reckon Omnipage Pro 14 is that it is good enough for my purposes.

The other thing is that Omnipage Pro 16 and probably all their other products require me to activate the products.

I'm always a bit leery activation of this since, from time to time I have to reinstall, or wipe my harddisk clean and do a fresh install. And besides I'm thinking, what if I upgrade my computer or for that matter if my computer dies. Do I have to beg them to allow me to move to another laptop.

Activation would be fine for me provided they have a properly set up system to allow me to deactivate and move to another computer to activate again. I doubt they have a such a system.

I don't want to beg them for an activation code each time I have to move on. What if the company shuts down or even drop the product. Of course if the software is absolute must have type then I don't really have a choice then.

So the present version is fine with me.

I hear you, though some programs that I really need or want to use are doing this now, so it is up to how much I really want the application.

I haven't had any major issues yet, fortunately!


It converts documents into PDF format - you can use it like a printer to output PDF files.

I think it is more than that. From their website:
Edit PDF documents directly just like working in the original file

This is the part I'm interested in.

Yep - but if you order the upgrade mentioned you don't get that version - you just get a PDF Maker - and there are plenty of free ones out there.

Here is the current offer:
 (see attachment in previous post)
This is not the Pro version.

[ed... sorry if there is some confusion I was looking at the upgrade offer from Nuance ... having said that I still wouldn't buy it from Bits du Jour ... There are a lot of options on the web (eg. http://www.freedownl...pdf-editor-free.html) or if you want a good professional solution that is a lot cheaper than Adobe have a look at http://www.jawspdf.c...ktopsuite/index.html which is excellent reliable software and provides PDF creator and editor]


edpro was the one who asked about this, and he/she DID ask about PDF Converter Pro 4.

However the offer I initially mentioned in the first post of this thread does include PDF Create 4.  However I am fairly certain the OmniPage 16 Pro does all the conversions that PDF Converter Pro does.


PaperPort supposedly is primarily for organizing a lot of documents in a quick and easily recoverable manner. Now, for all documents scattered all over, I just try to reorganize how I file them away. But I do have some projects where I could really use something that would essentially allow me to set up a kind of "Document Control and Tracking" system. If that is what is does, and if it does it fairly well, then that beats what I don't have now!  :P

At the promotional pricing, even if it is not all that, if it helps me organize these projects at all it is of some benefit.

BTW, I do have One Note 2007 and it is great for clippings and notes, though I have seen some say that they use One Note to track all kinds of documents. I don't know how they are doing that, though. If anyone cares to expand on that, I would love to hear it.



PDF Converter 4 is scheduled to show up on Bits du Jour tomorrow. I don't know what the discount will be.

My question is for basic text, what does this converter offer that a copy/paste doesn't. I have a Sony Ereader that I love but it's PDF display capabilities are limited. I'm looking for something that will convert a pdf to editable text that I can work with in Word.

I was looking to give it a go but they don't seem to offer a trial version.
As I mentioned to Carol, if you can get it at a really good price, go for it. It will no doubt frustrate you at times, but when it does work, it is pretty cool. However Nuance supports nothing - except its "Enterprise" offerings and only with a paid plan.

But if it's cheap enough, it can't hurt too much, I figure.   8)


I have OmniPage Pro 11 (though it isn't installed now) ... I "upgraded" to version 12 and was so appalled I asked for a refund.

I got their upgrade off you mentioned but personally I won't be looking at Scansoft (Nuance) again. Their tech support sucks  - I have TextBridge before OmniPage too - and every version has been bug ridden but updates to fix bugs are non-existent and each new version doesn't seem to add much new apart from a few bug fixes (and a pile of new ones). They always claim that accuracy and speed impove - but their marketing is pretty much like MS and Windows hype - each version gets more bloated and slower, with bigger demands on hardware. Yes things get faster if you upgrade your computer to a higher spec ... and why wouldn't it but the basic products installed on the same system degrade in performance version by version as far as I can see.

I also use PaperPort for a while - but that was a long time ago and it seemed to me to crash more than it worked - I haven't bothered with any version since. Maybe it is time for me to re-evaluate that as it is a good idea but I can't bring myself to buy an upgrade.

Thanks Carol.  I see you have had some wonderful experiences with Nuance as well! Maddening, aren't they?

Which is why I simply laughed and shrugged it off when I received this offer. Then I read it more closely and --- Wow - it IS a lot of software for under $100. I got PDF Converter 3 Pro for about 1/3 retail price, and though it drives me nuts, crashing so often, it does work enough to make me keep it on my PC; especially at the price I paid.

Which is why I am considering getting this deal.

If I saw a lot of posts like mouser's, above, I may go ahead and get it. If most are like yours, I probably won't. It's hard to know much about it - even with a trial - until you hear from those you trust in software matters how they like it.



PDF Converter 4 is scheduled to show up on Bits du Jour tomorrow. I don't know what the discount will be.

My question is for basic text, what does this converter offer that a copy/paste doesn't. I have a Sony Ereader that I love but it's PDF display capabilities are limited. I'm looking for something that will convert a pdf to editable text that I can work with in Word.

I was looking to give it a go but they don't seem to offer a trial version.

Oh, PDF Converter will definitely extract PDF files to Word. Also, what I do a lot of is type directly into PDF forms rather than print them out and write on them. Fro example, prescription mail-in forms, rebate forms, etc. I just download 'em, type in what I need, and then either send them electronically or print & mail them.

But you can also extract into Word, or create one PDF file from several documents.

As I mentioned above, and in another post in a thread here about PDF programs, it crashes for me more often than not.  When it works, it is really helpful. When it doesn't work you really hate it -- and the failures always seem to occur right when "Murphy" always says they will - when you need it the most! Aarrgghh!


General Software Discussion / Anyone Using OmniPage and PaperPort?
« on: August 28, 2007, 02:04 PM »
Just when I thought I was weened of of most Scansoft/Nuance programs, they sent me one of those "too good to pass up" upgrade offers.

I had previously used their PDF Converter Pro 3 and had a real love/hate relationship with it. When it works, it is pretty amazing.  However it has a way of throwing errors of the "Must Terminate" variety and usually does that just when you really do not have the time to deal with it.  I also use Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 Professional and get by with it even though they tend not to support any of their products, except for enterprise versions, and then only with a paid support plan.

But a couple of weeks ago I received a promotion offer from Nuance that may be too good to ignore:  OmniPage 16 Professional, with PaperPort 11, PDF Create 4, and a throw-in called MediaRecover. The whole package will cost me $99.99.  I checked Nuance's web site and the full prices for each are OmniPage 16 Pro:  $499.99; PaperPort (but not the Pro version): $99.99; PDF Create 4:  $49.99; and MediaRecover, which I never heard of before: $29.99.  They total $679.96. All for $99.99.

Unbelievable price.  But are the programs worthwhile?  If not, then even at that price, why bother?  The product pages read great, but of course that's Nuance tooting their own horn.  PC Magazine wrote them up pretty good, but I would prefer to hear from someone who has used these applications.



Downloaded and installed.  Great application!

Thanks jozy!


I downloaded and installed a trial of WhereIsIt? but I cannot figure out exactly how to get started with it. Help seems geared toward placing individual CDs in an optical
How did you get it to start scanning one of your drives?

I just right-clicked on a catalog, chose Add New Disk Image, and picked the C: drive.

Thanks, tinjaw.

I scanned what I had wanted, but as far as specifying what data you want to collect -- like trying to get a catalog of installed software as per the thread title -- looks to be a little more involved.

Where Is It appears to be very a very comprehensive program.  However instructions appear to be sparse regarding determining the target of the disc scans and other uses other than just cataloging CDs. Maybe it is intended for users with a bit more scripting experience? I need a user manual/Help file that is a little more clear. On to the next one...



I downloaded and installed a trial of WhereIsIt? but I cannot figure out exactly how to get started with it. Help seems geared toward placing individual CDs in an optical drive and let WhereIsIt scan them.

How did you get it to start scanning one of your drives?



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