10 Jan 2016

And Then We Have A Winner....

Well, that’s that then; the biggest ever UK lottery draw has been made and winners declared.

So? So there has been tremendous excitement here since the draw was made. Why? We have, against all the odds, a winner! You have to be in it to win it! Now I see how true that phrase is! For those of you who didn’t have any news, don’t think too badly of your lot as, until you win, you have no idea of the mental anguish, stress and turmoil a win can cause. We shall overcome, one way or another, I’m sure.

On an important note, I’d like to assure all the readers of this rubbish, especially those loyal enough to keep coming back for more, that this huge good fortune will in no way change our way of life, no, really, and I’ll be here as long as my fingers can find their way round a keyboard.

I don’t wish to appear as if I’m bragging about our win and I do hope the comment area doesn’t get filled-up with begging notes, but I’m sure you’re all dying to know what we got, right? Wot we won was one free lucky-dip ticket for the next draw...

Quote;  Roger Jones.

“I guess I think of lotteries as a tax on the mathematically challenged.”

            Jackie Mason.

“I have enough money to last me the rest of my life; unless I buy something.”


Ripper said...

Congratulations on your win Mac!!

44,000,000:1 against.

Those are the current odds of winning the lottery.

So I won't bother with a begging letter, but I will tell you that I'm currently researching the correlation between age and physical apparent aging when grossly over indulging in beer and loose women, preferably more than one at a time. All I need is donations for my thesis. I hope that if your lucky dip turns out to be the '1' in the number above, that you will think of me..

I haven't been around much, trying to set up a new Win10 PC. I hadn't seen the B&Q ad until the other day so didn't know of the music. Its not quite my style but its amazingly catchy isn't it?

I enjoyed the lyrics too and those are one of my favourite parts of any music, probably my first impression when listening to anything new. Surprisingly bands like Nickelback have done a few songs with meaningful lyrics, like this one for example:


Run it in full screen, you will notice that the still photographs in the video are all in 3D. Very clever stuff.

Have I told you about a cracking bit of software called Songr? Whatever you are searching for, or no matter how rare, this program will find and play it. Its also got a download button and will fetch the lyrics whilst playing. You can even search for a song by using just any 3 words of the lyrics.


I recommend the portable version. The link for that is just over the top of the first screen shot. Unzip it to anywhare on your hard drive and then create a shortcut to the Desktop.

Mac said...

Hay my friend, no problem at all, happy to think about youre thesis. I mean, thinking doesn’t cost a dime, right?
Windows 10? I’m confident I don’t need to remind you, but I will - go through the Privacy Settings with a fine tooth comb.
Yes, you passed on that song thingy before and I do use it. However, if you have an Android smartphone or tablet, get the Sound Search For Google Play, alternately called What’s This Song. You hear something on the box, tap the icon, it listens and gives you the name. Pretty cool with a 100% success rate to date.
I’ll follow your links in a while and thanks.

Ripper said...

Thanks for the heads up on Widoze 10 Mac, the first thing done was to remove Cortana completeley, before all the other bundled crap. One of the main things that attracted me to this PC is that it has Bang & Oluffson audio hardware. Remember that brand, the very best money could buy, and damn expensive, far more tech advanced than any other brand. Well, its awful. Its got this automatic level control which can't be switched off. If a track starts quiet then suddenly bursts in, the ALC chimes in and halves the volume. Very annoying. I went out today and got a sound card and all is now well. I now have almost 2TB of files to sort through and transfer over.

A tip in return for you: The Win10 file explorer picture viewer is crap. If the image contains transparency you just get a black window. I've found a good fast loading lightweight viewer called Pictus which not only shows correctly but also does stuff like animated GIF. Get it here:


IE11 switched off, Edge abandoned, Windows Media Player replaced with Media Player Classic. Installed Firefox and replaced Windows Mail with Thunderbird. Removed all those awful Flash games and re-installed the classic ones. I had MS Office on the old PC but am now looking for a good stand alone word processor that works with the .doc and .docx Word formats, preferably open source.

Mac said...

Your Win 10 project seems to follow the way I went. I’m surprised at your sound problem; as you say, you can’t get better than Bang. Supposedly.
You try Softmaker Office free? I believe you can just install Textmaker alone. Nice and fast.


I’m sure you’ve checked out Abiword...


Your suggested picture thingy installed and working fine.
Xnview is a pretty good image viewer and basic editor;


A quick note taker? Tried MemPad? I’d be lost without it and you can stick it on the thumbdrive;


Got a calendar? Tried Interactive Calendar? ‘Blend’ it with your wallpaper and make it any size and any level of transparency you like. No reminders at present but as it’s always on your desktop, ‘start at computer start-up’, it’s really not a deal breaker.


Have fun.

Ripper said...

Thanks Mac, Softmaker Office is now up and running, a very satisfactory replacement for the MS bloatware. I hadn't heard of that one before so thanks for the tip.

With plain text I must have tried every editor there is. Memopad has been going for years and I have tried that in the past. What I look for is just a replacement for Notepad with a few more features and I've been using EditPad Lite for years now.


Its the fastest loader I've come across with all the features I could want for plain text. It works with multiple documents in a tabbed environment. I've even used it for writing HTML, though unlike almost every other editor it is geared toward plain text only. For anyone who writes code I would point them to PSPad.

For the calendar I'm old school, I have one on the wall and enter reminders with an ancient forgotten object known as a 'pencil'.

Mac said...

A calendar on the wall? Man, that’s a revolutionary idea and may well catch on!

Glad you like Softmaker - I used the free offering for a very long time and finally parted with money for it after trying most office suites out there. Why? It’s small and fast. One weakness I’ve noted is the spell checker doesn’t seem to be too strong and it took time to ‘teach’ it via ‘Add’ to dictionary.

I handed over some hard earned mainly, fussy old sod that I iz,as back when I had the free version, the ability to modify stuff was crippled and I wanted to setup the menu ribbons an’ such as I wanted them; most used ‘shortcuts’, small icons and unnecessary stuff like that. Plus for the fairly frequent free updates. Other than that fussiness, the free version served me very well for an awful long time.

TreePad Lite is pretty useful and goes way back in time; fully portable;


Ripper said...

Well, the wall calendar just shows how trendy we wrinklies can be. Not only are you served your reminders without even having to boot the PC, but you get a hardware upgrade every year! How's that for advanced tech then?

I haven't had the opportunity to take Softmaker for a good run yet, but it looks like an awesome bit of kit, I like the way it has just what I will use and no bloated gimmickery. And the way you can run it all from a memory stick. I thank you again for pointing me in the right direction.

I've used TreePad in the past and admittedly it is excellent. However Editpad has a couple of very useful touches - a 'copy append' command that appends the selected text to that already in the clipboard, very useful for producing a text file from any number of others. It also has its own built in character map for those hard to type special characters. The paid version has more obviously, most notably (when I had it some years ago) a 'block select'. Now this wasn't just a normal block select like almost every other text editor, you could select text vertically, which is good for things like editing numbered lists.

Pictus is the perfect companion to file explorer, being a basic viewer with few editing functions, but for image editing without resorting to a fully fledged paint program may I recommend the FastStone Image Viewer. Its free and has a belting array of editing functions, besides the best scanner support I've seen in a program of this type.


For file conversion, Format Factory. This will convert any format to any format and I've so far had 100% success with it. Format Factory also comes bundled with Picosmos Picture Tools, which would easily compete with FastStone.


Mac said...

Xnview now gone and FastStone installed. Thanks. It’s a funny old world as I’ve had FastStone Capture from the days it was free. I see it’s shareware now.
For a quick image viewer I use Irfanview. Why? Dunno; I just always have.


Format Factory? Yup; and I agree, it seems to do no wrong.

I do believe another reason I parted with kelly for Softmaker was that, back in the day, the ability to personalise the default document style, font, font size and colour, margins etc was crippled in the free edition. That may have changed.

On a security note and mentioned before, take a look at Keyscrambler;


Good luck with Windows 10. I’m getting along fine with it.
NOTE; I’ve found that the occasional Win 10 ‘update’ will reset your chosen privacy settings back to allowing your machine to talk to the mother ship. Worth checking those settings occasionally.