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Messages - Ralf Maximus [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Re: Any web service for file storing?
« on: December 19, 2007, 04:33 PM »
If this is a one-time deal, I'd be happy to offer an account on my ftp server.  The link would be ftp:// instead of http:// but IE doesn't care.

Let me know.

Bing!  That'll work. 


ProcessTamer / Re: Enabled but not running...
« on: December 19, 2007, 02:14 PM »
it seems one main cause of PT to stop working is when people manually disable the system service which lets it examine the running processes.  if you search in this section you will find some posts about people who did this inadvertently by running a tweaking program like nlite.

What's the service name, please?  Yes I am lazy and don't want to grub around the zillions of PT messages looking.  :-)

Also, it should be possible to build a check into PT so that if the required service is not running the user is notified.  WMI offers an interface to checking/starting/stopping services.

FWIW, I lurve my 'Tamer.  It lives permanantly in my tray since I discovered it.  AND it's the reason I logged in here the first time.  So everyone who rues the day I started posting, it's mouser's fault.  :-)

I need a small utility that, once activated, displays a frame I can drag around on the screen to visually compare its size to other objects on-screen.  The idea is that while I'm developing forms for an app, I want to stay within a customer's known max screen resolution, e.g. 800x600, 1024x738, etc.

I have various rulers and other tools, but they only work in one x/y axis at a time and are cumbersome.

My forms are all dynamically resizable (they can be resized to be bigger/smaller) but by default I try to shoot for a form that's no bigger than their available screen real-estate.

So, I imagine a tiny thing that sits in the tray and responds to a double-click.  Once activated it shows a 3-pixel wide black frame with a transparent center preset to 1024x768 pixels.  I can click on the black part of the frame and drag it around, placing it over my forms for testing.  The frame itself is fixed in size and cannot be changed.  Double-clicking the tray icon again dismisses the frame.

Nice to have: Right-clicking the tray icon displays a context menu allowing selection of preset frame sizes... 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, and 1280x1024.

Playing of MP3 files is not a requirement.

Any takers?  There's a few DonationCredits in it for you if so.


General Software Discussion / Re: Are you testing XP SP3 RC ??
« on: December 19, 2007, 01:08 PM »
My experiences so far have been positive.  The machine I installed it upon (see above) has been rock solid, without any driver issues.  Haven't used it enough to notice any performance boost, but it is up 24/7 and I check in occasionally to do some surfing & whatnot.

If there ARE problems, the concensus seems to be you'll notice right away: video problems, hung installation, drivers disappearing from the hardware wizard.  In my case, the eFax client stopped working but was fixed easily by reinstalling it.  So if you're confident your backup images are current, I'd say it's safe enough to try.

But I'd wait until after any mission-critical deadlines are past.  If things go awry, restoring a disk image from backup can eat up a lot of time.  :-)

General Software Discussion / Re: Parts Manual on CD thru TV?
« on: December 19, 2007, 01:03 PM »
If it's a small document (one page) any of the DVD burner suites can walk you through creating a DVD menu, usually the kind of thing used to launch a movie, jump to chapter, etc.  But instead of a menu, use the text/images from the manual.

If it's multiple pages, you can still do that -- but it would mean creating multiple linked menus in that same DVD suite.

Alternatively, you could drag each page of the manual into XP Movie Maker, and set a delay for each page.  Then compile it into a .wmv and burn THAT onto a DVD as a regular movie.  Then the user can pause/fast-forward/rewind the movie on their TV using a remote control.

But creating such a beast would be kind of tedious.

How about just printing the thing out?  Paper's kind of the universal data exchange medium.

General Software Discussion / Re: Any web service for file storing?
« on: December 19, 2007, 12:58 PM »
If you have a static IP, why not set up www services on your PC (or another machine behind your firewall).  Then dump files into the inetpub folder.  Point your firewall/gateway's http traffic to your box, and the links will be something like

You can set "browsing" on for web services, so that going to without the rest of it they'll see a list of files to download, or turn it off so they have to know the exact link.

Is that something that might work for you?

Pointed Tasks
Task Pointer

[/got nothin]

Living Room / Top 10 Signs Recursion May Be a Problem In Your Life
« on: December 19, 2007, 02:40 AM »
10. You bump into yourself at the Time Traveller's convention.

9. Stack overflows when you try to brush your teeth.

8. Overwhelming feeling that you've felt Deja Vu before.

7. Freeway cloverleafs take you six hours to negotiate.

6. TOP 10 Signs Recursion May Be a Problem in Your Life

5. Past-life Hitler keeps picking on past-life Jesus.

4. Your klein bottle explodes.

3. All mirrors show your reflection times infinity.

2. You program in Lisp.

1. See Item #1

Living Room / The Beatles Cover Stairway to Heaven
« on: December 19, 2007, 02:10 AM »
It's true.  Really.  And possibly the coolest video I've ever seen.

General Software Discussion / Re: Are you testing XP SP3 RC ??
« on: December 19, 2007, 02:01 AM »
I was beginning to wonder.


Living Room / Hello World
« on: December 19, 2007, 12:12 AM »

What's the first program just about anybody writes in a new language?

Why, Hello World, of course.  And now, you can be Hello World fluent in 300 languages.  Including Shakespeare:

 Speak YOUR mind! You are as bad as Hamlet! You are as small as the
 difference between the square of the difference between my little pony
 and your big hairy hound and the cube of your sorry little
 codpiece. Speak your mind!

Just a snippet, mind you.  There's more to the "program" but you know how the Bard's code always needed optimization.   RedCode also looks a bit bloated, but what do I know?  I'm a VB guy:

Private Sub Form_Load()
Print "Hello World"
End Sub

Living Room / Tanaka Auto-Door
« on: December 18, 2007, 11:39 PM »
You want doors in your house that swoosh open as you approach, just like Star Trek.  Of course you do:


The Tanaka site is in japanese, but I found an older article from 2005 describing the thing in English:

The Tanaka Auto Door opens automatically when you stand in front of it. Even better, it only opens just enough to let the individual person come in.

The Auto Door consists of individual slats that slide open and closed from the side of the door. Each slat is half the width of the door; each slat has a sensor. If you stand in front of the door, the sensors determine how much of the door needs to open to allow you to enter.

Okay, so no swooshy sound effect, but I bet it makes a cool clattery sound as it operates.  The first thing I'd buy after having one of these installed would be a case of tennis balls, just to... you know...  anyway:

ou may be wondering what is so great about a door that opens only just enough to let a person come in or out; it minimizes the amount of heating or air conditioning let out of a building, as well as minimizing the entry of pollen or other pollutants from the outside.

Ding!  Justification.  I now *need* one of these to keep from wrecking the planet and dying from pollen overdose.  Where's the checkbook?

Video of the thing in action here.

I love ImgBurn (it's handy right-click context menu is a blessing) but I needed a command-line interface, which sadly, it lacks.

Any easter eggs?

General Software Discussion / Re: Are you testing XP SP3 RC ??
« on: December 18, 2007, 11:03 PM »
With searchlights blazing hundreds of metres into the night sky, neon blistering everywhere and a battery of digital cameras capturing every second, the most ultra-modern city on earth seems a million miles from the forbidding stone walls of the Microsoft campus in Washington.

But it was here last night in Tokyo that the world was led back – with a good dose of Redmond razzmatazz – into the realm of magic and given its first glimpse of Windows XP Service Pack 3: the update that sees the popular operating system growing up to face the dreadful truth of its destiny.

For it is in this latest – third – service pack outing of Bill Gate’s saga that Windows XP painfully begins to understand the battles with evil that lie ahead. It is an update where the balance of narrative tips from action to intrigue and there are some that will find that tedious.

It got 3 out of 5 stars in that review, so somebody likes it.

Living Room / Re: IT Pornography: Is Getting It All Obscene?
« on: December 18, 2007, 10:54 PM »
Oooh, thanks Deozaan.  I missed this from before.  So I'm basically using 30x the processing power NASA had in one room to surf the web and play games.  Oddly enough, I'm okay with that.

And now, onto the obligatory pr0n...


That, my friends, is the IBM Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator (SSEC) built in 1948.  Operating at a blistering 50 operations per second, it was 140 feet long, had 21,000 relays and 12,000 tubes.  Its moon-orbit calculations were used as the basis for the Apollo missions.


While the title is disputed, the SSEC is considered (by some) to be the world's first stored-program computer, in that it used paper tape for both input, output, and as "buffer" memory for intermediate calculations.  It even had a small amount of digital RAM.  However, IBM avoided using the word "computer" in its sales literature (5600 were sold) in order to give the impression they were trying to replace "human computers", a real job title at the time.

It was programmed using an extremely simple native assembly language, punched onto tape, then read in.  For quick calculations like your familiar 4-function calculator the operator could utilize the handy plug-board.

It was a speed demon for its day:

"For each position of the moon, the operations required for calculating and checking results totaled 11,000 additions and subtractions, 9,000 multiplications, and 2,000 table look-ups. Each equation to be solved required the evaluation of about 1,600 terms — altogether an impressive amount of arithmetic which the SSEC could polish off in seven minutes for the benefit of the spectators."

The main control desk was one of its more beautiful features:


Ooh, baby... blink those lights for me.  You know I like it...

(You can read all about the SSEC and its gigantic brethren at the Columbia University Computing History Archive.)

Living Room / Re: 100,000 users!
« on: December 18, 2007, 10:16 PM »
That "Guest" guy is sure sucking up a lot of bandwidth, though.

The lurker-ratio is probably the same here as on other forums.  I'd expect it to be lower, since the registration for DC is so darn simple, but I guess there's more to it than that.

General Software Discussion / Re: Are you testing XP SP3 RC ??
« on: December 18, 2007, 10:12 PM »
My mind translated thatt into "Update for Windows XP SP 3 RC"; i.e. an update patch for the RC1 file available for a few weeks.

That turns out not to be the case; this *is* the same file.  The 336 MB download size should have tipped me off.

Living Room / Re: Laptop hard drive... 5400 or 7200 ?
« on: December 18, 2007, 10:07 PM »
Too bad the solid state drives are still so small and expensive; that'd be ideal for a laptop.  But 16GB still costs ~$300 USD.

Living Room / Re: Korean scientists clone cats glowing in dark
« on: December 18, 2007, 03:39 PM »
Thanks, Darwin.  I just spent 15 years trying to forget that movie.

Living Room / Robocat
« on: December 18, 2007, 09:59 AM »


Next up: Robotic cat field hockey.

Living Room / Re: Firewire/iLink speeds set to increase to 3.2Gb/s
« on: December 18, 2007, 09:11 AM »
I've got a firewire/usb drive cage with a 100GB drive in it I use for fixing computers, and I have noticed that firewire transfers large disk images significantly faster than usb.

But -- all things are not equal.  The target machines are not evenly matched, and so I don't consider this a good test.  Nor do I have the patience to transfer 50 GB files around with a stopwatch just to see if it really is 25% faster or whatever.

Don't forget about Bible Fight.

Also, Viva Caligula isn't exactly religious, but is definitely worship worthy.

Living Room / Re: Firewire/iLink speeds set to increase to 3.2Gb/s
« on: December 18, 2007, 08:42 AM »
I've heard the primary reason Firewire beats USB on these tests is that USB incurs more overhead per data packet.  When copying files this translates into a clear win for big files over Firewire, but similar performance when copying zillions of tiny files.

Any truth to this?

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