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Topic: Software of Potential Interest (Read 1700 times)

  • Frenzie
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Software of Potential Interest
Today I found out about GeoGebra, a free graphical calculator application. It's easier than plotting things in R. :P

https://www.geogebra.org/

  • ersi
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #1
I knew GeoGebra ever since I bought my Ubuntu laptop and installed a bunch of Edubuntu stuff on it. Not the kind of program I use much.

Another program I don't use much, but is pretty to look at from some angles, is Marble http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/marble-open-source-alternative-google-earth-linux/

  • ersi
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #2
Remember Winamp? They have some big plans for their next version next year.
The news comes by way of Radionomy CEO Alexandre Saboundjian -- Radionomy bought Winamp in 2014 from AOL -- he says:

"There will be a completely new version next year, with the legacy of Winamp but a more complete listening experience. You can listen to the MP3s you may have at home, but also to the cloud, to podcasts, to streaming radio stations, to a playlist you perhaps have built."
Okay, what does this thing do that VLC or some link-collector like TuneFM doesn't?

Actually, Winamp was a pretty cool app. I kept it around even when iTunes came to Windows (back when iTunes was still good). Now I have forgotten both of them for some reason. That's right: No Linux version :)

  • Frenzie
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #3
There's still xbmc, the Winamp clone of yore.

  • ersi
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #4
Was that a Winamp clone? To me xbmc seemed more like Realplayer. Or more properly its extension, Real Jukebox (which would beat the crap out of modern iTunes).

A significant distinguishing mark for Winamp was its skins. Audacious and Qmmp can do the v.1 "classic" skins of Winamp. Unfortunately, my favourite was among v.2 "modern" skins.

Anyway, VLC is skinnable too. And VLC can load both your media library and online links as you please. Even though I prefer to keep those two functions separate for sanity, media library (with a sane organisation to keep onboard media distinct from the collection of bookmarks of streams) for one app and ad hoc media for another.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #5
Sorry, I got confused with XMMS. And indeed like you mentioned, Qmmp.

  • ersi
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #6
I have been steadily amazed by mpv (+ youtube-dl) ever since I discovered it. This weekend I found that when you drag a youtube link and Shift-drop it to the mpv window, it enqueues instead of starting to play instantly. So by Shift-drop you can create a youtube playlist in mpv. Now I am completely won over (well, I have been won over for a while already).

  • Frenzie
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #7
mpv is indeed quite good. Is there a way to have a drop window without a video already playing?

  • ersi
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #8
Is there a way to have a drop window without a video already playing?
April the first, I guess.

(Surely you know that you can drop the url's/filenames into a file and then point mpv to the file.)

  • Frenzie
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #9
Yes, but that's inconvenient. VLC doesn't require anything like that. I suppose that's why stuff like http://bakamplayer.u8sand.net/ exists.

  • ersi
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Skype upgrades its messaging feature with drafts, bookmarks and more
Reply #10
One of the most useful of the new features is support for Message Drafts.

Similar to email, any message you type up in Skype but don't yet send is saved within the conversation with a "draft" tag attached. That way you can return to the message to finish it and send it later.
As I have understood, all our keypresses along with backspacings get recorded on Skype servers anyway, so indeed why not present drafts to users.

However, I may want my notes and drafts organised the way I want, not the way Skype wants. I very much prefer a method that the article acknowledges,
Some people even type up their texts in Notepad, waiting for the right time to send them.
This allows me to save and keep track of my drafts my own way and also presents me with the typing interface that is preferable to whatever Skype has inbuilt.

On the old Opera forums I kept requesting for an option to get some text editor embedded or plugged in to web form fields and the email component. As far as I know, no messaging or multimedia app does it. And now when phablets (devices that tend to not use a hardware keyboard) rule the planet, my request is obsolete. So the Notepad way remains the only sensible solution.

In another email-inspired addition, Skype is also introducing the ability to bookmark important messages. To access this option, you just have to long-press a message (on mobile) or right-click (on desktop), then tap or click "Add Bookmark." This will add the message to your Bookmarks screen for easy retrieval.
Yes, this would be awesomely useful, if I ever send or receive
Skype messages with high value content. But I don't, ever.

A more interesting idea would be to create a calendar or a todo-note from a message, but here again the more appropriate solution is to copy and paste the message in the more appropriate calendar app, which is again the Notepad way, the only sensible solution.

And if you're sharing a bunch of photos or videos all at once, Skype will now organize them neatly. Instead of overwhelming recipients with a large set of photos, the photos are grouped in a way that's more common to what you'd see on social media. That is, only a few are displayed while the rest hide behind a "+" button you have to click in order to see more.
This is about as meaningful as hiding the ending of a long text message behind a plus. It is unfortunate that messaging apps like Skype and Facebook Messenger get used for file sharing, particularly when Facebook Messenger manifestly destroys photo and video quality in the process of transfer, but the files have to be shared somehow and when those apps offer video calls too, it makes sense for them to be able to share photo and video, but exactly share, not to hide them behind a plus as if you were good at organising. You are not.

If Skype wants to really improve, it would be in the area of video calls and screen-sharing rather than the messaging. I'm putting my hopes on improvements of video calls and screen-sharing because the thing that I really hope for - ability to make searches in the message history - is evidently never going to improve.

As one of the older messaging apps still in use, Skype is no longer the largest or most popular, claiming only 300 million monthly active users compared to WhatsApp's 1.5 billion, for example.

However, it's good to see its team getting back to solving real consumer pain points rather than trying to clone Snapchat as it mistakenly tried to do not too long ago. (Thankfully, those changes were rolled back.) What Skype's remaining users appreciate is the app's ease-of-use and its productivity focus, and these changes are focused on that direction.
I may wish to count as one of those who appreciates the "productivity focus" (really: just ease of typing-and-sending and of making a video call) but really I am just left behind. I have no clue what Snapchat is or does - anything different from Instagram? - and my attempts at connecting to Whatsapp have been unsuccessful. And from what I know, it is the exact clone of Skype except that you have to give away your phone number instead of it being optional.
  • Last Edit: 2019-08-31, 23:47:56 by ersi

  • Frenzie
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #11
If Skype wants to really improve, it would be in the area of video calls and screen-sharing rather than the messaging. I'm putting my hopes on improvements of video calls and screen-sharing because the thing that I really hope for - ability to make searches in the message history - is evidently never going to improve.
You used to have these excellent plain-text archives. I'm sure they had some ridiculous performance excuse, but they only ever showed you a week or something of history anyway, and I think they show even less now.

Iirc Skype also used to have a pretty decent history search functionality all built in. Or at least much better than what it has now.

particularly when Facebook Messenger manifestly destroys photo and video quality in the process of transfer
So does WhatsApp btw. I understand that to send a proper quality photo, you need to use "send file" instead.

I may wish to count as one of those who appreciates the "productivity focus" (really: just ease of typing-and-sending and of making a video call) but really I am just left behind. I have no clue what Snapchat is or does - anything different from Instagram? - and my attempts at connecting to Whatsapp have been unsuccessful. And from what I know, it is the exact clone of Skype except that you have to give away your phone number instead of it being optional.
I don't understand WhatsApp period. It's the exactly the same as every IM program ever, except more limited! That it'd be limited to Android and Windows is one thing, but phone only with some weird desktop feature that requires your phone to be on?

It must probably be because WhasApp has those easy group chats.

My wife and I switched to Discord years ago. I use Skype to talk to my parents, and last week even a business call (because "Skype for Business"/Lync crapped out, and the quality on Skype was actually noticeably better).

  • ersi
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #12
Iirc Skype also used to have a pretty decent history search functionality all built in. Or at least much better than what it has now.
It used to be the absolute best again the Notepad way: Open the plain text logs and search there.

My wife and I switched to Discord years ago. I use Skype to talk to my parents, and last week even a business call (because "Skype for Business"/Lync crapped out, and the quality on Skype was actually noticeably better).
Have you heard of Slack? Tried it? What do you think of it? At my earlier job we made a little bit of use of it. It is of course group-focused rather than p2p or 1to1 focused.

I still find IRC the best messaging system ever. Because it is a protocol rather than an app, meaning there are a bunch of apps to connect to it in various ways with various interfaces, providing a good selection of options. The sad development of messaging has been to create an app and restrict it into its own proprietary protocol so as to exclude all alternative means of connecting to it, and to prevent the app from connecting wherever else. The salutary exceptions are Pidgin which tries to connect everywhere, and its clones on KDE and Gnome (Kontact and Empathy, respectively).

At my current job there are several compulsory barely understandable productivity tools by Microsoft that make a joke of productivity. E.g. Sharepoint with its outrageous search dysfunction, Notes and Teams with their unbearable interfaces (lack of titlebar, and when you try to zoom the content, the surrounding toolbars get zoomed instead), Skype for Business with its unorganisable messaging feature, and others that each behave differently from each other in various ways (some windows are resizable, some not, some are zoomable, some not, some can be set to stay on top, most not, etc.), and way too many disregard the overall theme.

Calculator would be okay, but it also disregards the overall theme (particularly the titlebar colour) and it for some incomprehensible reason is unable to swallow its own formatting of longer numbers upon paste. So much for productivity.

The situation with Windows productivity tools resembles the corporation itself, where no department has any clue what other departments do, and upon contact with each other they are vicious enemies. So the perversity of the opsys harmonises with the perversity of the corporation.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #13
Have you heard of Slack? Tried it? What do you think of it? At my earlier job we made a little bit of use of it. It is of course group-focused rather than p2p or 1to1 focused.
Heard of sure, used it not exactly, not as more than a curiosity. But I've used Mattermost and Gitter, which are roughly the same thing. For that matter, so is Discord, and Microsoft Teams too.

Afaik Discord is actually better at productivity stuff like voice & video calls because it's "for gamers," where voice is ever so slightly important, as well as advanced keyboard shortcut and notification control. Also Slack has a Linux beta, while Discord's had a stable for years and years.

I still find IRC the best messaging system ever.
It's missing some things though, like a history from when you're not in the channel and putting in screenshots. Whether that's necessarily a problem I'm not sure, but it does potentially give it a different purpose. (I'm not sure if that's really true. In my experience chat is just used as too small for e-mail; some say that Slack has replaced e-mail but tbh I'm not really sure how that's supposed to work; were the people who say that using chat at all?)

Those things can also exist for IRC with some extensions these days, presumably mainly thanks to pressure from stuff like Slack: https://www.irccloud.com/

Calculator would be okay, but it also disregards the overall theme (particularly the titlebar colour) and it for some incomprehensible reason is unable to swallow its own formatting of longer numbers upon paste. So much for productivity.
I don't really understand that contraption in Windows 10. It seems to be reasonably functional but mainly it's just a showcase of the problems with the Windows 8/10 design aesthetic.

  • ersi
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #14
I still find IRC the best messaging system ever.
It's missing some things though, like a history from when you're not in the channel and putting in screenshots. Whether that's necessarily a problem I'm not sure, but it does potentially give it a different purpose.
The point of IRC is to be fleeting yet manageable (both for users and ops~admins). Therefore text only and normally no server-side logging. That's quite good for privacy. Other features are for email and multimedia messaging.

I like IRC the way it is. It does some p2p file sharing too, but only creeps use that.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #15
It does some p2p file sharing too, but only creeps use that.
Ouch. I've sent and received files over IRC.[1]  :insane:
Possibly not this decade.

  • ersi
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #16
Oops, sorry. I meant those other creeps who were trying to promote some world-shattering scientifico-philosophical paper of theirs or making file-sharing offers for money. The ops said about them that they spread viruses and it's contageous.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #17
I think I've only seen that kind of content in e-mail and Skype spam. I'm surprised IRC is even worth the effort, but I suppose that it's trivial to automate.

  • ersi
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Re: Software of Potential Interest
Reply #18
No, they were live creeps hoping to find victims after first interactions. Botty behaviour, such as ddoxing and flooding, is promptly dealt with, as there are always admins on the watch for that.