Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Touch Portal - Traffic Light - Cycling through different pictograms when pressing a button

TouchPortal is a low-cost alternative to the Stream Deck.

Here's a little example on how to cycle through different pictos when pressing a button.

Monday, November 1, 2021

Wallpaper - Bamboo

For your inner Zen a dual monitor wallpaper.

(Click to enlarge.)

Monday, October 25, 2021

Alex Archer - Rogue Angel 7 - God of Thunder

Review.

Simple one shot stories, with sword wielding Anjaa bashing another few heads. I do hope to see some recurring characters, some continuity.

If everything is just one-shot (which it probably is) I might start to suffer from the Next Generation effect... ie. everyone dies, but is back at the start of the next episode. (Unless they wear a red shirt 😉)

I know. False hope.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

SpaceDesk - Multi Monitor 'on the cheap' using SpaceDesk

Multi-monitor setups are fun 😁 

Use an old laptop or tablet an additional monitor? Not a problem, and with SpaceDesk you can mix and match iOS, Android, and Windows devices (!).

And best of it all: it is (still) free.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Alex Archer - Rogue Angel 1 - Destiny

Review.

Let's start with a spoiler. Anjaa is an historian / archaeologist, orphan, and wielder of Joan d'Arc's sword. So, that out of the way, this is a cheap, one shot, multi-author series which is, frankly, a guilty pleasure as it is entirely brainless. And sometimes that is exactly what the doctor prescribes!

Verdict: if you're looking for a break from all that 'literary' stuff this has you covered.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

An introduction to WallX - by video

To show what this little tool does I decided to create a little video. Which was a little more complicated than expected, and I got distracted along the way 😁

So I learned OBS (to grab the screen), Magic Window (tracking the mouse pointer in OBS), looked at Stream Decks but opted for Touch Portal, added some features to WallX to simplify the handling and creation of icons, then had to learn how to edit videos in HitFilm Express.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Skyline / Beyond Skyline / Skylines

Review.

Three 'direct to TV' movies. What can I say... Frank Grillo does his thing, and the monsters are nice. Everything else is meh. Think of it as a B- version of Independence Day, spliced together with a low budget fan-made scifi flick and you know what you're dealing with.

Verdict? Skip it.


Sunday, October 10, 2021

Quickly converting icons for Touch Portal

I like Touch Portal but found the conversion of .ico to something Touch Portal can understand a pain, so I modified WallX a bit to make the process easier.

WallX v2.42 versus Touch Portal v2.3... A case of AND or OR?


Well, nothing's ever completely done but WallX now runs smoothly and hasn't crashed on me yet. I've worked on importing files / exporting graphics, faster response to user action, and added some fail safe handling when writing files. Either Windows or some virus scanner was blocking my write access now and again. Also removed a bunch of smaller and larger bugs.

But... what has that to do with Touch Portal?

Friday, October 8, 2021

Enforce single instance of OBS

OBS is a nice tool, but it's more focused on streamers (seriously? 😁) than other types of users. I like OBS. I use it to record some presentations, make instruction videos with one or more screens, etc.

Combine OBS with a stream deck (an old tablet with Touch Portal will do) and it's gadget nirvana. Unfortunately OBS wasn't designed for non-streamers, and there isn't a way to force a single instance. Time for some tricks...

Monday, October 4, 2021

Contour Jog Shuttle Pro / Pro v2 / Express and OBS Studio

Of course you can buy a Stream Deck. They're actually quite nice and are great to use. Or you could use some software package and turn your tablet or phone into a stream deck.  But what if your desk is already full, or you're out of cash? The Shuttle it is then.

And what if OBS Studio doesn't recognize the Jog Shuttle's input?

Bella Forrest - The Girl Who Dared to Think / ...

Review.

Just like Christopher Nuttall, Bella Forrest is sometimes accused of plagiarism. I think that's not entirely fair, because she wrote some interesting stuff, but it's clear that she's sometimes - strongly - 'inspired'.

Then again, it is impossible to write something entirely original, so let's just shrug.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

WallX v2.22 'Newfangled'

Another day, another update.

But I think it's a good one... No, a great one 😁

WallX is no longer merely a wallpaper manager, it's now also a mini launcher. Why? Well, 'because'... Seriously though, the new version included a systray icon, and I thought it a handy place to store my own custom shortcuts. Which, actually, works. More information or  download it here.


Friday, October 1, 2021

Wallpaper - Guildwars 1

Guild Wars 2 may have better graphics, better monsters, better frenemies, more content, easier skillsets (not sure if that's an improvement, but okay) but Guild Wars 1 had attitude

(Click the image to enlarge.)

If you never played an MMO, then download the (free!) Guild Wars 2, and enjoy!


Monday, September 27, 2021

Pacific Rim - The Black

Review.

Remember both Pacific Rim movies? Well, here's an anime series set in the same universe, which isn't that bad. The animation is okay, the monsters are fine... though not exceptional. The story is okay, mostly.

If there's anything bad about this one, it's the ease with which the main characters accept they are responsible for murdering a village full of friends and family, that just doesn't sit well with me. Otherwise, it's fine... but only if the story ever finishes in some sequel!


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

GoogleMaps Timeline loses data - Fixed!

This isn't entirely confirmed yet... I'm still testing this, but thus far it seems to work.

If you lose your Google Timeline data for no appearent reason, and you have more than one device, then try the following:

WaitWindow - checking for open and closed windows from a batchfile

This is a little commandline tool I wrote to help me check for windows which are open or closed from a batchfile. It can also launch other programs if a specific condition is met.

As usual, I couldn't find what I needed, so I wrote it myself...

You can download it here

Monday, September 20, 2021

GoogleDocs getting slow (lagging when typing and searching)? Blame Grammarly!

I noticed that, sometimes, GoogleDocs suddenly slowed down. It looks like the culprit is Grammarly. The fix is easy, though a little illogical.

Read on if you installed Grammarly...

Corey J White - Voidwitch series - Killing Gravity / ...

Review.

A little trilogy about a paranormally gifted (created?) telekinetic in a far away future. At roughly 220 pages per book these are not very large, but they are easy and entertaining reads.

Verdict: enjoy 'm!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Adam Wright - Harbinger PI - Lost Soul

Review.

Another supernatural PI series. How many are there by now? Never enough 😁

Harbinger PI and The Dresden Files have a lot in common though, so much that I sometimes wondered in which universe I was wandering around. Nevertheless, both are quite readable, and original enough to be called original... Euh... Sort of.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Broken links!

Due to a variety of reasons (most of those boiling down to me being stupid) I had (and still have!) to re-create a number of posts. I'm updating bit by bit all the broken links, but that's taking some intensive manual labor, so several links might still be broken for the upcoming weeks 😕

My apologies.

(I'll keep moving this post around until most of the links have been repaired. Getting closer...)

Jiu Jitsu / Earth Fall (2020)

I'm trying my utter best to like this movie, but that's because I like Nicolas Cage. In this B - direct for TV - movie he plays an utter lunatic, and that's a role that, frankly, suits him well. Will we ever see him again in a larger, better scripted movie? Perhaps some day...

Sunday, September 5, 2021

WallX v1.93 - multi-monitor wallpaper changer

WallX has seen another update. Changes: some internal fixes for better image series handling, better wallx.lst support, Windows 10 support, better support for weird combinations.

Who needs this?

Do you use wallpapers? Then you need this 😏

Multi-monitor setup - combining different screen sizes

I've been a big fan of multiple monitor setups, ever since NVidia put two or more video outputs on their cards. In fact, I did have a multi monitor setup before that using two video cards (which wasn't great, to be honest).

This post shows different sizes and combinations, to make it easier to find your path to multi-monitor minerva 😄

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Wallpaper - Welcome to the Neighbourhood

There's nothing like a decent bawl, by the un-imitable Meat Loaf. 

Perhaps his voice falters in his later works, but man, did Jim Steinman come up with some good songs, and did Meat Loaf pour his heart into them like nobody else could.

But... this is about wallpapers 😁 Now and again I like a shot of 'detective noir' and the cover of one of Meat Loaf's albums fits that mood nicely. 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Alien Warfare (2019)

 Review.

Should I spend even time on describing this? I actually like the cast, but the aliens are plastic / rubber-suits, and the movie brings absolutely nothing new.

Synopsis: team of four is send into a base where everybody has been blown to dust by an alien weapon (that turns out not to be a weapon). Sigh. Why is anyone spending money on making this, or wasting time watching 'm?

Skip it.


Monday, August 23, 2021

Keith Laumer - Worlds of the Imperium

Review.

I got this one bundled together with Marion Zimmer Bradley's Seven from the Stars in an Ace double. I did read this one before (in Dutch), but didn't realize that at first. Either version might have been a rewrite, or my memory simply failed me.

Not that it mattered much, as I like to re-read enjoyable books.

It's the first of Keith Laumer's alternate reality stories, featuring 'Blitho P3' , ehm, sorry, 'Blight Insular III'. (I wonder if Ron Hubbard used that name on purpose.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Monday, August 16, 2021

Moon (2009)

Review.

This is one of those movies that I know I should enjoy, and still I found myself fast forwarding the latter half. That's... sad.

If you enjoy good Scifi movies, then give this one a chance. I fear than my, ah, 'lust for sensation' wasn't satisfied by this one, but I think that's entirely to blame on me...

Monday, August 9, 2021

James Gunn - This Fortress World (1955)

Review.

Starts like a pulp action story. Stays that way most of the time. Ends a bit too easily. In general I would call it 'Keith Laumer' style.

Short plot summary: the almighty church controls the world(s), using forgotten technology from eras past. A young monk gets tempted by an offering, and ends up running away / fighting the church.

It's all a bit 'coincidental' but that's the kind of story it is.

Note: I read this one in Dutch, but I doubt reading this in English would have changed my opinion that much 😎