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Messages - TomD101 [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Re: extracting info from pdf
« on: September 22, 2010, 04:49 AM »
Hello all,

When I was in need of a PDF->Office converter, I found after some testing the program SolidConverterPDF from

I have no idea, how they do it, but the results are simply stunning. Of course, not everything is possible, but I converted manuals for devices like TV sets, DVD-recording machines, scientific books and whatnot. Just incredible.

The trial lets you convert 10 percent of the original document, max. 10 pages and adds a watermark.

I think, this is ok for testing. Prices start with $ 80 for a single user license.
The support is great, very personal and really able to solve problems.

Give it a try and no, I am not connected to them.

Berlin, Germany

Hello Tomos,
I am sorry to hear that the PC-fax solution only works with AVM hardware.
There are (very few) other fax over IP solutions out there. If it is something you need frequently, it may be worth spending some time with Google.



I am writing from Berlin, Germany, so things may be different here.
My ISP gives the AVM FritzBox as cable modem to its customers. ( - and they offer an English website also).
This box is a real wonder concerning its possibilities. They also offer a tool for download, that enables the box to send and receive fax. It works with MS Office and almost any Windows.
It is not really easy to use, there is quite some try and error involved to get used to it, but then ... it works.
Maybe you just want to check out the tool itself. I do not think it is "chained" to the FritzBox cable modem.


Living Room / Re: Farewell to Frank Frazetta 1928-2010
« on: May 12, 2010, 03:48 AM »
He was the best Fantasy Artist ever.

I know, Vallejo, Rowena and all the "new" airbrush artists are great, too, but no one gave you this feeling of ... life in his pictures. I collected his German artbooks during the 70ies and grew up with all those fantasy books that bore HIS covers and of course some longplay records (those big, black discs with sequential playing through a needle).

I never read his comics, I am not THAT old, but saw some sample pages on his website. He simply was well versed in the different arts and thus a true artist of his time. Remember Barks, who did comics AND oil paintings.

He will be missed.

Berlin, Germany

Hello f0dder, as I am no coder, have no coders or other specialists around me, I only tried to find the data with the aforementioned tools.
Maybe you find a way to make the hidden files visible. The trial version lets you hide 10 files, no matter where (i.e. 5 on a stick, 2 on hdd1, and so on.
Please let us know what you find.

Till next
Berlin, Germany

I tried a few tools like PC Inspector FILE RECOVERY, Undelete tools, using the USB-stick on another computer, DOS environment, show hidden folders etc.
If a file or a folder is hidden, you have no trace it ever existed. The only way to trace it, is to compare the free space on a hdd or a stick and compare it to the total amount of bits and bytes of the files stored there.
If you have a 4GB stick, hide 2 GB, and store 20 files with 500kb alltogether, the properties of the stick will show used amount of 2,5 gb.
Apart from that, I (personally) have not found any way to make files visible again.

Berlin, Germany

Hello all,

I use the tool hidesfiles for a few years now. It can be downloaded and tested from It is fully functional, but restricted to 10 files alltogether.
After testing it costs $ 40.
Please look up the site, read the FAQ and descriptions. This is by far the most convenient and powerful tool I have seen so far. No admin rights, no hassles, the prog can be installed on several machines and any hidden files (on usb or hdd) can be made visible no matter on which machine the files were hidden in the first place. Without the tool and the created account, files stay hidden, no matter what OS you use to access the hdd or stick.

I can't reccomend it enough. If you have questions, write me, though I usually browse my pms once a month (when I get notified about the new newsletter). Though one of the real great sites, I have no time to visit it regularly.

Best from Berlin, Germany

I can recommend Lupas Rename 2000 (long discontinued, but with the greatest amount of options I have seen so far on a self explaining screen).

Rename whatever you want to whatever you want with preview of results, undo and anything else.

Another great program to find, sort, rename and almost anything else is HFT (Handy File Tool). Lets you - for example - collect 125 files from 89 directories and do things to them like moving them to ONE new directory, rename or delete them and so on.

And yes, I still have to find a feature IrfanView doesn't have.

Living Room / Re: top secret: tech support cheat sheet (xkcd)
« on: September 29, 2009, 03:03 AM »
Just great. I see my mother, my mother-in-law, my wife and some other people before my inner eye giving me that ... special look. I am afraid they lack the sense of humor that is required to read both charts.

Sigh. Back to remote support again. Thank <insert preferred higher being> for TeamViewer software.

Working in the Berlin Government, printing is still very normal in my line of work.

At home I cut back to about 5 to 10 pages a week, depending on the demands of my kids, who sometimes print out homework or cheat lists.

I still use a HP Deskjet 930 with cheap refill cartridges. Works like a charm for about seven years now.

And yes, I print far less than some years ago. It ist not necessary anymore to have everything on paper ... if you have a good backup strategy.

General Software Discussion / Re: Do you touch-type or hunt-and-peck?
« on: September 29, 2009, 02:20 AM »
Touch type is definitely a must today.

Learned it after school before beginning to study. Helped me immensely getting my papers done on time. Learned it on typewriters, continued using it with my first PC.

I still write as fast as I think, do not have to look at the keyboard, can use a ergonomic keyboard and I can follow anything on a screen, a meeting and everything else without looking down all the time.

My kids use PCs regularly and netbooks are a required tool at school now. My daughter almost types as fast as I do with only a minimal training at touch typing. She taught it herself and is proabably the fastest writer in her class.

I cannot recommend enough to have anyone learn touch typing. The world has changed and any form of keyboard will be a constant companion for anyone for the foreseeable future.

As for the Backspace-Question: The faster I tape the more I use the pinky. If I take my time I use the index finger.

General Software Discussion / Re: What is your preferred font?
« on: September 29, 2009, 01:45 AM »
I normally use standard fonts provided by Microsoft. I think Arial and Times Roman are quite readable, very common and thus perfect for web design. No hassles with strange results on your page.

But once in a while I want to print out something personal, something "valuable" with a touch of class. After discovering the font some 15 years ago in "the BIG Word for Windows 6.0" book I fell in love with Korinna BT. Great to read, even on long text passages and simply elegant and ... something else without being "too much".

Here is a preview I snipped from some internet site. Korinna is free, I think, at least you find a lot of download locations.

Hello all,

we usually get tv shows later in Germany, so one of my favorites is LIFE (already cancelled), NCIS (alltime favorite), Torchwood from GB. I love Medium, as they show a household and life with children as it is and not as sterile and clean as everywhere else. Still not enough stuff in the hallway.
Criminal Minds is great, so is Bones and Mentalist is nice to see.
CI5 - The Professionals was a great show from the 70ies, so I very much enjoy (british) Life on Mars. Brings back memories.
Best ever - and regularly re-seen: Buffy, Firefly, Angel. Joss can't do anything wrong except choosing the wrong networks.
If you wonder: I have three children. Any show with more than 45 minutes would be interrupted way to often to enjoy it. So it's tv shows for me.

Thomas from Berlin, Germany

Hello all,

housetier, you're right. I am TomD101, though I probably introduced myself as Logan, my other avatar in some boards.

I had a lot of fun. The folks at c-base were a lot of fun to talk to, if not too busy with their projects. c-base is a fascinating location and the men's room is simply fantastic. Housetier, you should post a pic - or put a link to an existing pic, so there is one - of it sometimes.

Today it's back to work and I have to cut my comment back to a minimum. I will return and check for more comments within the week.

And yes, the mug is spectacular. It may well replace my 15-year old mug-with-kids-pictures in my office. It simply holds more coffee I get eight rooms away.

'till next (maybe in the c-base)


Living Room / Re: Meme time! Five Things People Don't Know About Me
« on: February 20, 2009, 05:40 AM »
1. In Love with SF & F since my 13th birthday. Am 47 now.
2. Blade Runner is still my favorite movie - and a great book. And yes, I know the real title.
3. Rita Hayworth is still the most beautiful woman on screen.
4. Married a girl from my high school 8 years after finishing it. Still in love, 3 great kids, still in lust.
5. I watch out for license plate combinations. In Germany it goes x-xx nnn, meaning city code (1-3 letters) - 1-3 letters 1-3 digits. I live in Berlin, so my city code is B
Whenever I look around, I'll find a plate with B-Cxx xxx. There are more plates with a C as the first letter after the city code than any other combination. Sometimes I count them when driving or walking.

But apart from that I am quite sane.

Hello all,

my wish to the whole family is a wireless barcode scanner. There is an outfit in the Netherlands that makes good cataloguing (?) software for your book, comic, music or DVD collection (I saved on the hyphens, didn't I?). To add a book to the collection, you only have to scan the barcode and the prog searches with amazon and a bunch of other websites for data, cover and so on.
Now here's the good part. They offer a wireless usb-connected handscanner to shoot up to a gadzillion barcodes right from the shelf, the return to the computer and load them all up to the software, which starts downloading the data connected with the barcode from amazon.
At looong last I will have a thorough inventory of my comic- and book-collection.
Here's the site to look it up:

Have a nice holiday and a great New Year

Thomas from Berlin

Screenshot Captor / Re: How to capture drop-down menus?
« on: December 23, 2008, 01:05 AM »
Hello all,

just for testing, give HyperSnap DX a try. It is shareware and adds a logo on the shots during evaluation period, but it one of the most advanced progs of its kind.

It has a special option just for dropdown menues, enabling it to snap the dropdown and recurring menus (i.e. File - Open - ...), so it only snaps the outline (and content) of the dropdown menus without the background.

And living in cubeland, maybe smiling man pays for it if it really adds to your work quality. I had it purchased for our complete 60 people team. So you may be lucky.

Test it first, of course. You can download it from

Have a nice holiday and a great new year.

Thomas from Berlin

Living Room / Re: Recommendations for small, 4-port USB hub?
« on: December 23, 2008, 12:44 AM »
Hello all,

I bought two USB hubs recently and went for price (loooww) and design. So I spent around $ 4 on each. One has two vertical slots, one is shaped like a pen holder and changes color.
I recommend the following site just for the sheer variety they offer. It may serve as orientation, ordering from there (located in Germany) may be some overkill concerning postage and handling.

And no, after using quite a lot of different hubs, I did not notice any real difference concerning performance and quality, I had no BSODs or non-functional peripherals either. And using a hub with its own power supply may only be necessary for peripherals that require some more power. All usual external disks, scanner, printer etc. have its own supply anyway.

Have a nice holiday and a great new year

Thomas from Berlin

 I am a 46 year old civil servant from Berlin, Germany. I am happily
 married to a beautiful woman and father of three, two sons and a daughter.
 I have been a science fiction and comic fan all my life, collected both
 during high school and college (studying American and Japanese culture)
 and of course came into contact with computers way back in 1984 when I
 bought a Commodore 64 and a floppy drive. "Things went downhill from then".

 When my dad bought his first PC two years later, I quickly learned to
 work with it, explain its subtleties to my father and bringing his
 writing into shape. At that time I used DOS 3.3 and Word for DOS 5.0. I
 quickly became a renowned and experienced layouter, typed as fast as
 any  administrative assistant. My dad published several books to which I
 delivered anything short of pre-press.

 I got several jobs within his university circles (?), working as
 admin, layouter, administrative assistant and anything in between that
 made the writing of those doctors and professors look good. I learned
 incredibly much about hard- and software, networking, drivers and
 converters - remember, we are talking DOS here. I even tested a
 Windows 3.0 version on a 1-ton compaq laptop.

 During that time I got married, we had our first child and I had to
 change something in my life to ensure a steady and sufficient income in
 the future. I had a 3 year college study course in municipal
 administration, preparing me to work anywhere within the Berlin
 government or administration. After several stints in plain legal or
 personnel departments I switched to the central unit of our loan and
 payment software development and maintenance.

 We use a SAP based solution that ensures the correct and on-time
 payments to some 80.000 people within our administration. Berlin is a
 city with more than five million inhabitants. In this unit I work as
 admin for some 60 PCs, do some hotline and troubleshooting, maintain our
 website and take care of our huge pool of data when it comes to
 reorganisation and maintenance. Our house as its own IT dept., but I am
 the in-betweener taking some unnecessary load from them by helping my
 team to a certain limit.

Apart from that I have a ton of hobbies, a garden to take care of, a lot of sport events to attend when my kids play soccer, do cheerleading (honest, even Berlin has its share of football teams) or do 24-hour-swimming. We have four dogs and pudgies, a good share of friends. All in all we are a real Brady Bunch in a five-story-building. I pinned my location to the map.

Feel free to write me a mail. I will gladly answer it.

Living Room / Re: Favorite TV Episode???
« on: March 31, 2008, 07:37 AM »
While "Buffy - Once More With Feeling" and even more "Hush" are All-Time-Favorites within my family, right now NCIS - Suspicion (season 4, ep. 10) is something we watched several times over the last few days.
The team must leave for the boondocks and when Ziva asked, what boondocks mean, Tony and McGee imitate the dueling banjos from John Boorman's "Deliverance".
Just great.

Greetings from Berlin, Germany

Living Room / Re: The Best Games You've Never Played
« on: February 06, 2008, 06:54 AM »
Lots of well-known names. Even tried my luck on "Beyond Good and Evil" on PS2. Spent a summer getting through five levels. Lately my 10-year-old son got hold of it and has been to places I've never seen within days.

Alas, the game I remember most fondly was written for Commodore 64 and was called "The Castles of Dr. Creep". Run and climb, no jumping, but fun for nights upon nights, together and with friends. I used up three joysticks on this one.

I never had time to spend on games in the following years, so my favorite game on PC has been and still is "Bubble Shooter". Doesn't take too long and can be won even by me.

And yes, I am very old, almost a pc zombie. I am 46 years old.

Spider Solitaire rules

Thomas D. from Berlin, Germany

Hi all,

I regularly use the freeware "PC INSPECTORâ„¢ File Recovery 4.x" http://www.pcinspect...fault.htm?Language=1

If it's not overwritten, it can be restored. Additionally, there is a software to restore pics etc. from flashcards. Works like a charm, too.

In case of harddisk crashs (real bad), I use ZAR (Zero Assumption Recovery)
With this shareware you can even access harddisk data when FATs are destroyed. Note, you often have only one pass before destroying the disk.

Have fun

Tom D.

Hi all,

my system tray is as clogged as anyone's but there are two (maybe three) apps I want to have there on my free will:
1. Hyperionics HyperSnap de Luxe (screenshot prog, one of the best I ever used)
2. Hyperionics FileBox Extender (freeware, that gives you instant access to pre-defined folders without going through the directory tree. Same works from almost every file open dialogue out of any application. Gives access to recently opened folders also)
3. Webshots (screensaver prog with access to tons of beautiful pics at no cost and the ability to include your own pics - its the online pics that make it just great)

Some other apps have to be there like anti virus and firewall software. But these three are my favorites to work with.


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