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About Metrogirl

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    Resistance is futile...

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    http://Seems like this was cancelled...

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    United States (Originally from UK)

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  1. Hey everybody! Many of the old timers here might remember me ... I was in at the start of OSX86Project.org and was a global moderator for several years. Sometime after Mash sold the site I was involved in a lot of 'real' work which meant travelling around the world and I couldn't check in very much; rather disappointingly when I was back home again I discovered that I had been demoted to a regular user and then 'retired'. Well, I had a lot of friends here and I guess I miss you guys. I still spend a lot of time with OSX and doing rather unusual things with PCs (keep your thoughts clean, please) and I think that perhaps I still have something to offer the community. Not sure I'll return to the heady days of checking every morning for new posts but I believe I can make a contribution. But before I launch headlong into resuming my love affair with this site, I thought I'd canvass some opinion. Does anyone out there actually remember me? Would anyone be happy if I came back? (Or unhappy...) Would anyone really care or is it a big yawn all round? Tell me, I'm a big girl (again, keep your thoughts clean) and I can take a hint... Anyway, to all my friends - Hello again! - and to everyone else - Hi! -Sarah PS that avatar really is what I look like. OK, I'm ten years older now, or is it eleven - but not much has changed! PPS if you are an old friend, feel free to PM me.
  2. Metrogirl

    Windows 7 Lag

    ... or you can just run a virtual machine in VMWare and roll back to a snapshot after installing anything dubious. I used to swear by Kerio/Sunbelt firewall which has great application-level and web control functionality, but they haven't released a W7 version yet. For W7 they force you to install their full Vipre product which has the firewall bundled with an anti-virus suite. That's probably quite a good AV but I am p*d off with them because there's no excuse for not releasing just the firewall. It obviously exists within the bundle. Their salespeople have triumphed over the wishes of the user. FWIW the antivirus, like so many others, is plagued by false positives. In my line of work, there are many things on my computer which AV software doesn't like and which get quarantined or zapped if I'm not careful. Because of this I don't run AV, I rely on running stuff in virtual machines. I also use Thinstalled apps wherever possible in Windows, avoiding permanent installs. + to the recommendations of Malwarebytes, it's good.
  3. You are probably right, looks like spam to me too. A keylogger is not a good method of parental control ... you might see what the kids have been doing but by then it's too late. Link squashed and thread closed.
  4. Metrogirl

    Macdrive woes!

    I tested this on a W7 installation and you are quite right. I think it's to do with the way W7 handles 'network' drives and that's how MacDrive appears to the system. Not sure if there's an answer yet; maybe if there's an incompatibility the MacDrive people will address it in an update. If I spot an answer I'll let you know. Of course you could grab the Windows HFS+ drivers Apple is supposed to be including with 10.6 (Quote from the web: "Apple has released read-only HFS+ drivers for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 with the Mac OS X 10.6 developer preview") and see if they solve your problem.
  5. Metrogirl

    Copying the HD on a recent purchase

    That should work, I've done it myself, but nowadays I invariably take an Acronis TrueImage copy of any new installation; you boot with the Acronis CD and make a full image of the HD onto an external USB drive. With compression the image isn't very big. If you ever want to restore, you boot again with the Acronis CD and use the external image to rewrite the HD. Acronis isn't free (about $30) but it's very good and it's never let me down yet. Generally I make the image after installing Windows with the current updates and after all those little customisations I like. Saves a lot of time. The restored image boots just like it did when you took it. You can do the same with other products like Norton Ghost; I just happen to like Acronis. Incidentally a lot of manufacturer's restore discs use a product like Norton 'under the covers' to do their stuff. Just be aware that if you are using an OEM version of Windows, i.e. the one that came pre-installed, you are in for trouble if you try restoring to a different machine (wrong drivers, no longer activated etc.)! See also the other recent post in this section for more endorsements of Acronis - it's excellent software.
  6. Metrogirl

    How Windows Can Be Fixed

    Those are great ideas. For a long time I've been using a sandbox program to control what new installations throw onto the system. Everthing the installer writes to the drive gets stuffed in a logical directory structure within the sandbox and all registry changes/additions go into a logical registry structure too - not the live registry. Running the freshly-installed program from within the sandbox (you can set it so it always runs within the sandbox) makes sure it can see all its stuff, and if you don't like it you can delete the sandbox and it's gone, no mess, no left-overs and no hassle. OK, so MS could have offered this, but they didn't, and the sandbox program does it all. This solution is perfect for installing or running stuff you've downloaded from the internet and it will catch things you don't want on the system such as trojans which get added to some distributions. After installation you just scan the virtual registry and the virtual directories for things that shouldn't be there. I use 'Sandboxie' - Google for it - that's an endorsement, not a plug because there are several out there, but Sandboxie does everything I need in this respect.
  7. Metrogirl

    Windows xp?

    Booting with the XP disk will set you on the right track... For details, admittedly on reinstalling XP rather than moving from Vista, I put a fairly comprehensive guide on my site under "installing XP" - sixth link down on the main index page. Site link under my sig below. Beware that if the XP disk came with a different computer it might be expecting the same BIOS for an embedded licence key to work. You may have to mess around with product keys and reactivate.
  8. Vista is one of those things that make evangelists out of ordinary people. You either hate it or love it, and as with most things in life, the haters tend to be the more vocal. Windows 7 will go the same way. I think Vista was the first big step for Windows into the world of "you don't need to know what's going on under the hood". Up till then the operating system had kept its components accessible and you could tinker and fiddle to your heart's content. Vista took a lot of control away from the user - quite rightly so in many cases, because people will always screw things up - but of course that didn't please the techies and those who knew how to tailor things to their own taste. In that sense Vista was more like OSX but "MS knows best" came as a shock to the corporate world and Vista's poor sales outside the home market stem from this perception. There's already a growing subculture intent on keeping XP alive for as long as possible; grafting-in Vista drivers and updating it to support newer technologies and I predict this fanbase will allow XP to last for several more years than Microsoft would like. The fact is that for all Vista's pretty interface many technical users don't want what they see as clutter and obfuscation. For the same reason a lot of technical people don't care much for OSX. Control is what it's all about for them and these new super-graphical operating systems have taken control away from the user. So it all depends on what you know and want to do. If it's just runing a spreadsheet, browsing the web or sending email - particularly if you don't want to know much about computers - you should go for OSX, Vista or W7 when it's live. You'll get impressive stability, reliability and the OS will save you from making mistakes. But if you want ultimate control, customisation and flexibility, XP will still be your friend for a long time yet.
  9. Metrogirl

    how to remove DRM from WMA files?

    The suggestions above are good, but you are also right in that you can use Audacity to record what you're playing without losing much in quality. Audacity (a free audio editor, for those who don't know) has a lot of functionality and one feature is its ability to record what the sound card is playing directly to another audio file. It's useful for grabbing streaming audio, audio from games and other things as well as being a pretty good audio editor. Typically you don't need to go plugging cables into the sound card, just select 'stereo mixer' for your recording source in the normal Windows Volume Control, then select the appropriate sound card I/O in Audacity. It can be a tad tricky with some integrated sound to work out what you're looking for but it almost always works. Audacity has a forum full of useful advice too. As for loss of quality - that is of course subjective, but when you are starting with compressed audio and you are going to play it through an MP3 player which has, ahem, dubious quality anyway, chances are you won't notice you lost anything. If you're going to play it through your $$$ home stereo, you might just notice something but there again you might not. Take your pick - protected audio or unprotected audio which might just be slightly lower quality but you will be hard pressed to tell.
  10. Metrogirl

    Windows Problem

    This does sound like a bad application, though it may not be the one you think. The failure to redraw the screen (the repeated window border you describe) is a classic symptom of one thread taking so much CPU that the housekeeping tasks are neglected. Also, it's worth checking that you haven't got any malware on your machine.
  11. Metrogirl

    Windows Context Menu(?)

    Items shown after a delay in menus are controlled in the registry by HKCU/Control Panel/Desktop/MenuShowDelay The 'normal' value for this is 5000 or a half-second delay. You can change it to whatever you like and the context menu fly-out pops up faster or slower accordingly. Here's the reg file content for my preferred speed (i.e. nearly instant): [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop] "MenuShowDelay"="100" Of course this might not be the source of your trouble, but it's worth checking. -s-
  12. Metrogirl

    A good free DVD Ripper program!

    Heh, I thought this was going to be another of those spam posts where someone comes along with a "solution" involving a dubious package you need to buy... But it's not, so I'll weigh in with my 2c - the suggestions above are excellent, and I'd add DVDDecrypter (free, Google for it) to the list for Windows systems. One thing worth considering is whether Spiderman 3 has heavy-duty protection which may make it difficult for those programs to rip it. Periodically the studios screw with the DVD format particularly with new 'teen-popular' releases which they think are at risk from buddy-copying. I'm talking about 100+ VOBs, bogus title sets, table-of-contents showing 100GB on the disc, illegal pointers, dozens of bad sectors and other stuff which makes the computer barf. If you have this sort of garbage on the disc, you're going to find it hard to rip. If so, you may need to do a lot more work than you expect or maybe invest in one of the device-driver level packages which can fix this stuff. I'm pointing this out only because you might be tempted to blame a perfectly good ripping program for falling over when you actually have ARccOS, FluxDVD, Alpha-DVD and other weird stuff to fight.
  13. Metrogirl

    Spam and bogus questions

    Anyone posting a bogus topic and then replying to themselves to promote software will find the post deleted and, if it's apparent that they created the account just to spam, they will be banned as well. No warnings. Example - new user on IP address X posts a question "Can anyone recommend a good piece of software to do Y?" After some sincere members have gone to a lot of effort to help, another new user on a very similar IP address comes along and says "Software Z is the best! Rant! Rave! Enthuse!" Then they give a link to the product. Come on, guys. Why on earth would a first-time poster create an account on InsanelyMac just to ask a question about Windows software? You think we're stupid? You'd be better off going to Doom9 or CDFreaks for noob questions about DVD ripping and that sort of stuff, and ten seconds on Google would prove that. Remember, the staff here can see the IP address you post from and there's a small group of addresses which appear time and time again with this sort of sh*t. If you are genuine in your request for software advice, make it clear and show that you've made an attempt to do some research yourself. If your post still gets deleted and you think that's unfair, let us know. But don't screw us around. Moderation decisions are final.
  14. Metrogirl

    The Farm House [Wallpaper]

    Jim Kelly and everyone else - be very careful when using or linking to other people's work. We all want to share and enjoy, but we certainly don't want to p*ss people off or have a copyright suit served on us. Mostly stuff posted on the internet as 'free' is covered by personal copyright, various public licensing (GNU, for example) and other restrictions even though they are not obvious. Make this a rule - if you 'use' someone else's work in this forum, make sure you always give credit and/or quote your source. Consider this inviolable - we can and must take action if someone breaks it. Nice picture, by the way.
  15. Metrogirl

    Looking for DVD ripper!

    I'm assuming when you say PC you mean Windows PC. To copy DVDs I use DVDDecrypter - freeware - Google for it. Quick, simple, effective, does what it says on the tin. It just decrypts and copies the DVD to your hard drive without modification or compression so the quality is 100% If a disc is particularly troublesome (like 100+ VOBs, Sony ArcoSS protection, enforced trailers, warnings in six languages, studio logos and other sh*t) I run Slysoft's AnyDVD in the background which fixes any nasties the studios put on the discs to stop you from backing them up. I get rid of any remaining studio cr*p with a program called VobBlanker, which is freeware, but it takes a bit of understanding of the structure of a DVD to use fully. To compress/convert DVDs I use CloneDVD Mobile, also from Slysoft. It is really good for copying/squeezing DVDs to other formats and the quality is outstanding. Neither Slysoft product is free, but they're not expensive and they are really professional, fully supported and always up to date with the latest protections (including decrypting BluRay and HDDVD). You get a 30-day free trial so you can decide if you like them. You might find cracks for them on Usenet, but frankly the cracks break with each new release - and there's a new release every time a new protection scheme comes out. Slysoft don't charge much and they give you free updates for life, so you should support them if you like the product. No, Hagar, that isn't meant to be spam, just a real-life user recommendation of thoroughly good and relatively inexpensive commercial products. I use them, I like them and they're good enough to satisfy my pernickety tastes. I've also heard good things about something called "RipIt4Me" (Freeware), but I haven't tried it myself. Oh, and remember that depending on where you live, it might actually be illegal to make a copy of a protected DVD. But then, it's been the same with tapes and CDs for years...