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I've been revamping the security of my accounts and claiming back old ones.  I wasn't sure what to do with this one.  I don't like the directions that this site has taken.  I don't trust a DevArt with Jark not at the helm.

For those who stumbled upon this page that don't know me, let me explain who I am... or who I was.

When skinning was "in", lots of sites and apps sprung up and faded away.  I wanted to support them, but not being able to code much, I did the only thing I could: write news articles.  I wrote hundreds of them, focusing on free skinnable apps.  Several sites made me an admin because of my contributions, including DeskMod.  I still have admin rights at Skinnables.org (if I can find my credentials) and virtualplastic.net (news posting only).  VelocityArt, one of the many lost sites I was an admin at, was where it all started after I created a software listing for them.

That brings me back to DevArt.  I was almost an admin here.  I was approached by Jark, which was and is an honor, to become the software admin.  He was running the show; DevArt is his dream child.  I declined.  Why?  To become an admin meant you had to sign a NDA: non-disclosure agreement.  When Jark was wrongfully removed from administration, this agreement silenced the other admins, under penalty of law, from telling the truth of what happened.  I never signed any such agreement, so I can say what I want.

So why come back?  356 weeks is 7 years.  Two reasons: 1) I'm redoing security on all accounts that I own & 2) look at my user page.  There are friends there reaching out, greeting me; I miss them and they miss me.  The only way I can think of to contact them is through this site.

So, I'm here for my friends.  I want to get e-mail addresses from everyone, to know where else you guys hang out, see if you have blogs of websites, and maybe even talk on Skype with a few of you.  I hope everyone is doing well.

With love,
Your Old Friend Red
I don't know how many have clicked that lil link for my "[Website]" cuttheredwire.modblog.com , but that's where my updates have been.  It's just a lil too hard to keep up with more than one blog.  Anyway, I've got a monthly status report up there.  It's got how I am and the answer to the age old question: "How are you?"  >:}
Equalizer is a freeware, skinnable calculator that works similarly to a graphing calculator.  All the numbers and mathematic signs are typed into a line of text, and the answer is instantly calculated as you type.  The equation is shown all at once, and resembles its written form.  Several functions and special number are available and are listed in the read me file.  It also has basic features like screen edge snapping and staying on top.

This version, 1.77, adds a variety of changes. A few short cut keys have been added to organise equations.  The options dialog box has been simplified in to a single pane.  The graphing window made some steps toward maturity by adding zooming capabilities, and by including it to the context menu (before it was only accessable from a hot key).

Changes:
  • Added: Press Alt+R to Replace the current expression with the result. "12+3"?"15"
  • Press Alt+W to Wrap the current expression in parentheses. "12+3"?"(12+3)"
  • Redesigned the option window. Much better now.
  • Grapher: Zoom to selected area works, better zoom inout, moves on resize.
  • Added the grapher to the menu, thus made half-official.
  • Small stuff: Resize Gripper working, added icon, changed some graphics, added a menu.
  • Small bug fixes.


Links:
  • Website
  • Download
Teknidermy, the long quiet skinning e-zine, has just released it's thirteenth issue.  Content is a little old, but it's still great stuff.  It's even been called a time capsule of sorts.  It definitely has some interesting reads.

Here is a list of the contents.  This is from their own news article, but the Slacknidermy has a much better overview.

Teknidermy #13 Content:

:bulletblue: Teknidermy :bulletblue:
:bulletblue: Issue 13 :bulletblue:
Teknidermy, the long quiet skinnerz e-zine, has just released it's latest issue, 13. Among it's articles is an interview with me! =^.^= So if you've ever wanted to know more about me, check it out. The interview is a bit old, but should still be cool.

www.teknidermy.com/issue/13/cu…

I'll have a more serious post later, but I'm on a momentary high note for now.


I just read this part:
"Tek: Tell me alittle about AutoCAD how did you get into that?

CutTheRedWire: All my fathers doing. He's used it for years, and started with the old manual methods. Everyone knew I loved to build things. He showed me how he did it with machines and buildings. A kid is always curious about what his parents do for a living, after all. Because of him, I've been using it since AutoCAD Release 10. I took a liking to it (with his mentoring), and eventually found to it to be a useful skill in classes with projects. Then I had a couple (paid) internships, but now I'm taking classes for it. I want to get an actual degree in it. The 3d stuff is what I'm mastering now. I'm hoping to continue my education after that. I will do this for a while and move on when the time is right. 8)
"
:I ain't feeling so good right now.
Mood: Tired... drained... not well

I bet a lot fo people are wondering where I have been and how I have been doing. Well... I haven't been so hot. My father passed away suddenly over a wek ago on thursday. He was actually pupposed to come home that day. To make a long story short, he died from complications due to cancer (pnuemonia mostly).

I'm a little over whelmed, still in some shock, and extremely exausted. It's just a lot to take in. He and I were very close (even in the same college class or two before), so this is especially hard. The whole family is suffering. It's not fun.

We think the treatment he was on first, the one that worked for a while on the tumors, drasticly exdented his life by months. It seems going off the treatment let the cancer show it's true form. This might help other victems get even more time, but to be amoung the first is a blessing.

That's enough for now. Was gonna write more, but it hurts too much.

Lord... just get me through this...
I've had a few ppl mention that I haven't update in awhile.  If you think it's bad at ModBlog, you should see the decay at DevArt.  I'm totally behind there.

Anyway, on to the updates...

Family: a lot of use a re getting together tonight to do punmpkin carving.  A lot of us are a lil big for it, but that never stops us.  >;]  This will be the first time we do this wih multiple families (aunts & uncles) all together.  We're hoping to make a tradition out of it.  I would really like that, personally.

Dad: He's not so good, but hanging in there.  He can't drive, but refuses to stop working.  His voice is almost gone, but we don't know why.  They are still trying to control his pain, and he is still under treatments.  We did get to watch a movie together a lil while ago, so he was up to that.  Just keep him in your prayers, and ask for some strength, serenity, and wisedom for me.

Work: Same ol'... except they added a coffee vending machine that has hot coco and french vanila capichino.  ^.^  Small cups, but worth the 50¢.

Love: That's getting complicated, actually.  ^.^;

School: A little behind in HW, but catching up.  Doing great on tests, tho.  Thinking of continuing my education.

Fun:  Been playing an online RGP for kicks.  Pretty cool stuff.  Wish I had more time for it.  School keeps me busy.

Friends: not hanging out as much as we used to, but we have fun.  Most of us go to the same church, so that helps.

Faith: Going strong.  Can't wait till the semester is done and I can do some more bible studies.

Me: Over all, I'm just tired.  That's my over all feeling.  The semester is just sucking a lot out of me.  I can take some joy in life, but tired sums things up pretty nicely.  It really isn't unexpected with all that's going one either.
Equalizer is a freeware, skinnable calculator that works similarly to a graphing calculator.  All the numbers and mathematic signs are typed into a line of text, and the answer is instantly calculated as you type.  The equation is show all at once, and resembles its written form.  Several functions and special numbers are available and are listed in the read me file.  It also has basic features like screen edge snapping and staying on top.

An actual graph for x,y equations is currently being implemented.  Although not officially released, it is accessible via a "Alt+G" hotkey.  Improvements to it include:
:bulletgreen: Added Tools: Move, Trace, Zoom InOut, Reset. No Free Zooming yet.
:bulletgreen: Almost finished resizing, interface, etc.
:bulletgreen: Faster and Better drawings.

Changes in 1.73:
:bulletgreen: Improved: Instead of staying on screen, Equalizer snaps to the edges of the screen. There is also an option to turn it off.
:bulletgreen: Fixed default skin to work on all resolutions. Some time later: changed default skin.
:bulletgreen: Fixed an error some people had with directories.
:bulletgreen: Fixed yet another minibug with the very small  large numbers.
:bulletgreen: Grapher greatly improved (still not officially released).

Download:
:bulletred: Equalizer
:bulletred: Download
Shell-Shocked has published my article entitled "Death to the System Tray!" in its latest release, Issue 9.  It's a look at some things in the tray that need improving (based on what I've seen from myself and users I help).  It isn't the best written article, but it is my first article written from scratch (excluding numerous interviews).  Have look and feel free to comment.  The whole release is pretty interesting, and worth the read though.  So have a look at them too.  ^.^
Shell Shocked is out with issue number nine with a wide variety of shell related fun.  Tutorials, reviews, tips, interviews and more are inside.

This issue is packed with some excellent write ups for your reading pleasure.  Here's the table of contents of all the articles that made it for the release.  Kudos to all those who contributed (especially Sparkane for editing and Ravi for founding).  Enjoy!

Editorial: Issue #9 (19th July, 2004) by sparkane
Introduction To Issue 9. Thanks Passed Around. Some News For Contributors.

LDE(X) 6.2 by Phil Stopford
And you thought we were just kidding around. Well maybe we were, but Phil Stopford is definitely Not Kidding Around. Introducing the latest release of Litestep Desktop Environment(X), the alternate Windows shell replacement, not just for your home, not just for your toaster, but for your SOHO. Check it.

Announcement: Blackbox Users Survey by Miguel Garza
This is a survey of and for Windows Blackbox shell (BB4Win, bbLean, Bluebox, or Xoblite) users. So Win *box developers and plugin writers are free to take the survey too. It is meant, I admit, to satisfy my curiosity as a Windows Blackbox user, and also to hopefully reveal Windows Blackbox usage trends that might not otherwise be visible. It is meant as a service to Win *box users and developers, who will better be able to see how people are using *box shells.

Review: LSCP2 by Sergey Gagarin
Sunny Saxena has arrived with a pithy review of an awesome utility: the Litestep Control Panel, version 2. We at Shell-Shocked fully believe that after you update your system with this, your desktop will turn to you and sigh "Was it good for you too?" Read on to find out how you too can say "Yes".

Death to the System Tray! by CutTheRedWire
Red don't like trays. He don't like cafeteria trays, he don't like airport seat trays, he don't like French stuff like trays magnifickay, and he REALLY don't like trays on his computer! The first in a two-part series. Read up!

Tutorial: Theming Litestep by Paul Hale
BigDaddy's back! Sure you missed him. Everyone does, no need to feel ashamed. We're not - we missed him! *Snif*, dammit! And now here's a tutorial as only the BigDaddy can do it. And don't let's forget, there will be a quiz afterward, chillun. So study up! (..Ok, just scaring you with that quiz thing there. I'm sorry.)

SharpE Public Beta 5 by Billi Berserker
There's two things that get the Internet up in the morning - fresh porn and fresh code. We at Shell-Shocked would never consider thrusting our good fortune upon you - sort of like Liberace - which leaves -- fresh code! All by way of saying that SharpE is fresher than ever, and I do mean Fresh. Billi Berserker, take it!

Interview: Andrew Powell, Kapsules creator by sparkane
Andy Powell is not a spy. Certainly not a spy for Michigan, which can barely afford squirrels, let alone a spy like Andy! (And Shell-Shocked is not Robert Novak.) No, Andy is just a regular joe who made a neat new widget engine on .NET. Read this if you don't believe us. Read this if you do.

The GUI Next Door: Geoshell 4.11 by Mattias Westlund
Shaker West rides again! A peerless tracker across the dusty vasts of the IntarWeb, West brings hope and comfort to you, pilgrims, with another installment of The GUI Next Door, this time on Geoshell 4.11. Put down that Bible, pardner -- now here's news!

Practical Modding by Rev. Edward Karn (ZenLogic)
Zenlogic, whom we've determined is a real actual Reverend, checks in with this inspirational tale about deskmodding in the Real World. Not to mention what are probably two of the coolest screenshots you'll ever expect to see from a church computer. Then again -- our Reverend is Zenlogic; would you expect any less?

Windows Symbolic and Hard Links by sparkane
How many sleepless nights have you passed, tossing and turning, because you couldn't symbolically link files on Windows as you could on *NIX? That many, huh? Geez, kid.. get a life! Or if that's not an option, you could try a little of this?

Jokes: Issue #9 by Brian Wolven
Gentle Sentients, where would we be without jokes,
without humor, the yeast of life?
Well, we'd probably be more like a griddle cake
than a loaf.
-- Okay, I tried. Here's the pro!

Praise God!  My pryaers and the prayers of many have been answered.  ^.^  They did a scan of my dad's tumers and they have visibly schrunk, and I mean to the naked eye.  It's the best possible result we could ask for.  It's also an extreme rarity.  His form of cancer is one of the deadliest kinds, so this is a God send.  His treament is experimental, so he is one of the first ppl (as in you can count them on one hand) to ever recieve it.  Call it luck, call it science, but a whole lot of ppl have been praying for him and call it the power of prayer.  O'm not sure where this will go, but it's an awesome sign.
My dad is home.  His fever is down, so they let him out.  He's resting as I write this.  He's still sick, but he'll be ok.  I'm glad that is over with.  ^.^  Thank you everyone who left some thoughts and comments.  It means a lot to me.
Last night my Dad was sick.  They took him to the hospital and found out he pneumonia... in his good lung (the other is where most of the cancer is).  It is not a good thing to have in his condition.  It is a good thing he got to the hospital quickly.  He should be fine, but this could have killed him.  Scary though.  I'm just glad that, for now, he is ok.
Customize.org is holding a contest to create a "Simple Summer Suite".  As the name of the contest implies, the aim is to create a vibrant skin suite that captures the feeling of summer time.

The contest will be over on June 14th, and the winner will be announced on June 21st, the first day of summer.  Skinners can enter alone or collaborate in a team of two.  Entries need to be placed under "Contest - Simple Summer".

Required Apps to Skin:
Wallpaper (1024x768 minimum resolution)
XP Visual Style (must be completed)
Winamp (Classic or Modern style, up to the contestant)
Rainlendar
Rainmeter

:bulletred:Prizes:

First Place
Free copy of TGTSoft Stylebuilder
Free copy of TGTSoft StyleXP
Free Customize.org T-Shirt
Free Customize.org Sticker

Second Place
Free copy of TGTSoft Stylebuilder
Free copy of TGTSoft StyleXP

Third Place
Free Customize.org Sticker

Official Rules
School: Almost done, and may get all A's
Family: As good as can be expected all around
Work: Got a few extra hours
Faith: Getting a lot out of church
Romance: Phone no go ring-ring :(
Mood: Blissful Melancholy  :blackrose:    :raincloud:   

I was looking at a few blogs, and I felt like writing one.  Nothing special is going on.  End of the semester is coming near, so school has got me pretty busy.  No surprise there.

I met a cute girl recently that I really like at a wedding.  She was a mysterious woman in black.  =^.^=  You know that would catch my eye.  We got to dance, and she asked me for my number.  I was on rain-cloud-nine.  >;}  We've only spoken once since then.  I hope that's not the last I hear from her.  I'd like to have at least one more dance with the mysterious woman in black.  *sigh*

I need to get back to work.  What's that old phrase?  "So much to do.  So little time."  That's all too true right now.
Quintessential Player (QCD) is a freeware music player that has been around a pretty long time.  There is even a history section for it dating back to 1997.  It has never had the popularity of Winamp, but it always has had a reputation of an good program.  Thanks go to craeonics for pointing that out at teknidermy.

This new release adds a lot of features to the player.  Now it can rip CDs, encode MP3s, and has plugins for other formats (encoding and converting).  With MP3 players being expected to do more and more, this is an important update.  Combined with its existing CDDB support, it makes for a complete package. There have also been important changes to its skin format.  Now it can have resizable skins and there is a new skin template.  This adds a lot of freedom for skinners and users a like, and it should be interesting to see what new skins coming out will look like.

If you are not familiar with QCD, take the tour.  The folks at Quinnware have made a quick one page tour that touches on the major things QCD can do.  There are also plenty of screens shots on site for you see what the player looks like too.

Features (by scarebear):
- MP3, Ogg, WAV, and CD support
- Full Speed CD Ripping
- FREE MP3 Encoding
- Streaming audio support
- Skins and Plug-ins support
- Powerful Tag Editor
- Gracenote CDDB support
- Crossfading support
- Multiple visualizations
- NEW Resizeable extensions
- NEW Skin Layouts
- NEW Improved User Interface

Links:
Quintessential Player
Download
History
Tour
Screen Shots
I've been meaning to write this for a while now.  I was too busy, then kept on forgetting.  Things have been crazy.

On my dad...
He is recovering well from the surgery, and is back in work.  He's started his specal kemo (I don't know the details, I can never keep it straight).  His spirits are good, and that's important.  We have run into some the health-care crap, but nothing serious (just added stress).  He's also well enough to drive again, and the kemo hasn't been to rough on him so far.

It's hard for me to tell how things really are, though.  How would you let your kids know?  I'm also not the one who has to deal with the problems dirrectly.  That's all on my parents, so I don't think it's hitting me as hard as it's hitting them.  Caring for anyone ill is a lot of work.

On me...
Overall, I'm cool.  

Work is cool.  A lot of ppl have been telling me how helpful I am and good at my job.  I basically do inperson helpdesk, and I have years of experience with it.

School is great.  I'm aceing my classes so far.  It's stressful though  I just had a Physics 2 test.  It was so hard that I've told everyone about it.  >:P  The prog didn't cover much of the HW so I had to pull double duty to figure things out on my own.  Not fun, but worth it.  I got a 98 on the test.  Other classes are going equally well (sometimes literally since that 98 number keeps popping up ^.^ ).

Church is going great.  I'm barely missing a day, and I'm getting a lot out of it.  They have been very supportive of me, and I think they are big reason why I'm doing so well when things are so bad.   It really is a curch family.   God has answered a lot of my prayers and given me peace and some wisedom too.  It's helped me to help others even though things are rough for me.

Love life is non-existant at this point.  There is a girl or two I like from my classes, but I don't know them too well.  I'm cool though.  Having no relationship is a neutral thing.  It's not bad or good, so I'm content for the moment.  Lots of hugs from friends help too.

Online things are always great.  The are always plenty of reinds around and things to do.  I'm a bit backed up on my e-mail though.  ^.^;  I need to take care of that next.

Project wise I am keeping myself busy.  You gotta have something of your won like that.  It lets you really feel like you are accomplishing something, and you are the judge of it.  I'll fill you in on it later though.  You'll see.  >:}

Off I go.  Dinner is ready.  Home cooked meal with my family, which I have always enjoyed a lot.  =^.^=
Shell Shocked has released its eighth issue packed with tutorials, reviews, interviews and other shell related info.  This issue focuses on the *box shells, the new iShell, and how to code shell modules.  It also includes a variety of interface and other related topics.  Feel free to leave your comments and openly discuss the issues of any article.

Here is the line up:
Editorial: Issue #8 by Ravindra Maharaj
Themes, Styles & Wallpapers by Various Artists
Review: The GUI Next Door: Blackbox for Windows by Mattias Westlund
Review: *box Shells, BB4Win, and bbLean by Miguel Garza
Tutorial: Hacking The Look by Rev. Edward Karn
Review: iShell Installer 2.1 by Joshua Blocher
Interview: Bladestaylor (*box plugin dev) by Miguel Garza
Review: PureLS 0.40 by Christian Noer
Tutorial: Coding: iShell Applets - Part 1 by Alessandro Limonta
Tutorial: Coding: iShell Applets - Part 2 by Alessandro Limonta
Tutorial: Coding: iShell Applets - Part 3 by Alessandro Limonta
Article: Why the Apple Dock Still Sucks by Bruce Tognazzini
Article: Securing your Computer by Jim Maurer
Jokes: The Liter Side by Brian Wolven

[Shell Shocked]
[Release 8]
MyPad was one of the first skinnable text editors out there.  Coded by Base2, the maker of CodeName2, the application was once of of the most skinned programs out there.  Its simple, yet versatile, skinning format and small size let it look good without being bloated.

For a long time MyPad 0.6 was the most up-to-date version, but 1.0 was quietly released some time ago.  That version was a C++ recode that added basic features such as scroll bars and a skin changer (prior to this, skins where changed from a text file, which was not unheard of when it was created).  This final version fixes a major file opening bug in 1.0 and adds font control.  I have successfully associated it with text files, which 1.0 could not do.

This is the final version of MyPad.  It is no longer supported by the author (nor is CodeName2).  There is no documentation included with the download.  However, if you have any problems or questions, myself and others are willing to help.

Note:
The skin had to be changed manually to "BarQNX2" in "mypad.ini" to get MyPad to show up on my 1024x768 screen.  If you only see it in the task bar, it is probably just off screen.

Changes:
* Fixed file opening bugs (it forgot where they were saved to and named)
* Added font control dialog box
* Official support abandoned

Links:
Binary Productions
Download