"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Cheap Hi-Speed Internet

High-Speed Internet 5Mbps for $18.95 /Month

Looking for a cheap hi-speed internet service. I just came across this service available in Ontario and Quebec. Apparently it's been around for a couple of years. Now offering hi-speed service for only $18.95 /month. With unlimited service and no activation fees. Great if you are into downloading media. No limit on bandwidth and you can get encrypted browsing if you want it  Also, 100GB of online storage, SSH tunnels and a FREE static IP address are available. In order to get the $18.95 rate, you have to pre-pay for one year. After that, the rate is $33.95 /month. Still a great deal considering the unlimited bandwidth.

What if you don't have an active Phone Line?
Acanac`s Naked DSL lets you surf the net without having an active phone line. This is great for cell phone users who do not have land lines or Voip users who are tired of paying the big bucks to the major phone providers. All you need for Naked (Dry Loop) DSL is a phone jack. No dial tone is necessary.

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Friday, January 22, 2021

Espresso

Powerful permissions-based email client

Espresso is a powerful permissions-based email client designed to completely eliminate spam as you define it from your Inbox. And now it is available absolutely FREE!

Espresso's unique email filtering system is based on common sense. Everyone knows from whom they want to receive email. Anyone else who sends you messages is sending you junk, otherwise known as spam. Espresso does not filter junk. It only looks for messages you want to receive based on simple, yet powerful rules. Using a number of options available, you decide how to handle messages from unknown senders.

In addition to controlling spam, Espresso offers the following features to control how you manage email:

  • lightweight and portable email client
  • powerful junk mail filtering based on permissions
  • filter messages using regular expressions
  • ability to add notes to individual messages
  • hide private messages from prying eyes
  • automatically blind copy on all outgoing mail
  • easily flag important messages
  • supports POP3, IMAP4, HTTP protocols
  • preconfigured for easy setup of Hotmail and GMail
  • built-in backup and restore mailbox
  • powerful spell-checker for outgoing messages
  • choose to save or delete messages when you send them
  • automatically mark messages as read when moved to trash

 

Lightweight and Portable
Espresso was designed to be both lightweight and portable. In order to maintain it's lightweight architecture, Espresso supports all the expected email requirements, but eliminates all the unnecessary "fancy" features which tend to make the application chunky and add no real value. As a result, Espresso requires just over 2MB of hard disk space (plus the size of the mailbox), and occupies about 7MB of RAM with a average size mailbox loaded. This lightweight feature gives Espresso amazing speed.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Junkanoo

Eliminate over 98% of junk mail... before it ever reaches your inbox!

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Get the email you want and nothing else. Junkanoo quickly and easily helps you stop junk mail (spam) from reaching your inbox with just a few simple rule-based options and white/black list filtering.

Feature List
This unique and intuitive application allows you to block junk mail (spam) from ever reaching your inbox, while allowing email from trusted senders to pass immediately! Through the easy-to-use configuration and main screen, you will quickly and efficiently manage potential junk emails, your POP3 and SMTP accounts, and email filter rules.

  • Check unlimited number of POP3 email accounts.
  • Setup in minutes... start filtering junk email immediately.
  • Delete junk email automatically or manually directly from server.
  • Ignore email over specified size.
  • Quickly view messages in plain text, html or raw format.
  • Reply to messages or send new message through SMTP server.
  • Use whitelist to ensure good email reaches you.
  • Check for personal information to identify good email.
  • Use blacklist to fine tune junk filter.

What is Junk Email?
Junk Email (or "Spam") is really any email received when it has not specifically been asked for. Usually it is advertising goods or services, but can sometimes carry harmful "viruses". Invariably, it is always something that you most likely didn't want to receive. Also, some of the material you receive may be considered offensive, ie: advertising that contains pornographic material and images.

All junk emails have a number of common qualities. For example, all junk email will encourage the reader to visit a specific website for more information. In order to do this, the junk mail message has to contain a link to another site. ALL junk email does this one basic thing! For the most part, your friends do not, as a rule, send emails containing links. Junkanoo will automatically identify emails containing links and mark them as junk. This is just one type of filter effectively used by Junkanoo.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Add Watermark / Background Image to Listview

After using the listview component for awhile, undoubtedly you will want to add a background image or a watermark to the background just like Windows Explorer does for the My Music or My Videos folders. A watermark is simply a background image that stays in the bottom right-hand cornor of the listview. Seems simple enough. A quick Goggle search for "listview background image" turns up countless results which range from using a custom owner-drawn technique to using built-in properties for some of the newer versions of Visual Basic or Visual C++.

Background Image
It quickly becomes obvious that adding a background image can be accomplished in any number of ways. And, that no one really seems to know how to add a watermark to the listview the same way that Windows Explorer does. Searching through the Mircosoft documentation for the listview control uncovers the Windows message LVM_SETBKIMAGE and the LVBKIMAGE record or structure. It would seem that this is a good place to start.

There are three key members of the LVBKIMAGE structure which determine how (and if) a bitmap image is displayed in the listview. The three members are ulFlags, hbm, and pszImage. There are three flags to indicate the source of the image, and two flags to indicate the style. The source flags are LVBKIF_SOURCE_NONE, LVBKIF_SOURCE_HBITMAP, and LVBKIF_SOURCE_URL. These three source flags are defined as follows:

LVBKIF_SOURCE_NONE
      The list-view control has no background image.
LVBKIF_SOURCE_HBITMAP
      A background bitmap is supplied via the hbm member of LVBKIMAGE.
LVBKIF_SOURCE_URL
      The pszImage member contains the URL of the background image.

The LVBKIF_SOURCE_NONE flag when set produces obvious results. No background image is displayed.

The LVBKIF_SOURCE_HBITMAP flag is interesting in that the Microsoft documentation indicates that the hbm member is "not currently used". Interesting that there is a flag for a bitmap handle that is not used. As we'll see later, it is more that using the hbm member is undocumented, rather than unused.

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Monday, January 18, 2021

My Hawaiian Journal

Aloha!
Hawai'i is a beautiful place to visit, as I did for our 25th wedding anniversary. This Hawaiian site was my first web-site and I include it here as a tribute to how this all started. Surf on over. You'll find lots of tips and other useful information about Maui, Kauai and O'ahu. Have fun browsing. If you get a minute, let me know what you think.

Maui

 Maui was the first island we visited on our trip to Hawai'i. For a first time trip to the islands, or a revisit to the islands, Maui is a definite destination point.

In Maui, we stayed at the Aston at Papakea Resort, an oceanfront haven set within 13 acres of freshwater lagoons, picturesque bridges, and lush tropical landscapes. Even though an ocean wall separates the resort from the water, the beach is easily accessible for an enjoyable stroll or dip. I highly recommend staying at Papakea's when visiting.

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Japan - Yakitori Shacks and Cold Coffee

Occassionally, business takes you to places you only dream about going. This is the case with a recent trip to Japan. The majority of our group had never been before, so everyone was looking forward to the adventure, though not necessarily the long flight. Starting in Toronto at 10:00am on Sunday for what was a relatively short 5 hour flight to Vancouver. Following a two hour layover, we boarded the plane to Japan for the final 10 hour leg of the trip.

The flight path takes you north over Alaska and across the Bering Strait, then down to Japan. Clear skies ensured an exciting view of Alaska. For hundreds of miles, the view consisted of a vast wasteland of cool white snow and shadows cast by the afternoon sun.

Somewhere in the middle of the Pacific, we crossed the international date line, arriving in Narita Airport at 5:00pm Monday afternoon. Narita Airport is an hour drive from our hotel, the Shinagawa Prince, in Tokyo. Having been up for over 24 hours, the plan was to force ourselves to stay up a couple of hours more, then get a good nights sleep and start fresh in the morning.

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Ultimate Rocky Mountain Experience

Midway through our Western tour, we left Revelstoke with our sights set firmly on Lake Louise. By now we had spent nine days racing around much of British Columbia, from Kelowna to Vancouver to Victoria and then across much of the BC interior. We just wanted to settle for a few days in one place. Though we didn't have any reservations in Lake Louise, and others have warned us we would have a hard time finding a place to stay, we didn't give it a second thought.

We soared through Glacier National Park , with a quick stop at Rogers Pass  to stretch our legs and grab some refreshments. Historically significant as the last great obstacle facing the trans-continental railway, we didn't find anything of real interest other than the beautiful scenery.

Just west of Lake Louise, we found a comfortable lodge called, what else, West Louise Lodge. Formerly the historic Wapta bungalow camp built by the CPR in 1921, West Louise Lodge has been visited for over 80 years by people from around the world searching for that Ultimate Rocky Mountain Experience. To our surprise, the room rates were very reasonable starting from $99.00. We paid $129.00 per night for a theme suite with a loft and fireplace... and breakfast was included! This would be our home base for the next 5 days.

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Beautiful British Columbia

This year's adventure was to beautiful British Columbia. We kicked off our trip in Kelowna where my brother lives, and then spent the next couple of weeks touring as much of the province as possible. Discovering the essence of each city while on a tight schedule would prove to be a challenge. But the real adventure is in the journey, not the final destination, isn't it?

Our summer adventure started in Kelowna in mid-July. We visited there about three weeks before the area was hit hard by forest fires. During our short stay, the temperatures were constantly in the mid-thirties with no rain for weeks.

My brother, who lives in Kelowna, was getting married. Hence, the reason for our trip. Though our stay was primarily centered around his wedding, but we did managed to visit some of the area's key sites. Without a doubt, most summer recreation activities revolve around the water or the golf course.

Just for interest sake, Kelowna means grizzly bear in the First Nation language.

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Calgary - The Devil Went Down...

Calgary is simply a great city. Ask anyone who has ever lived there. Visit once and you'll wonder why anyone would ever leave. Attractions throughout the city appeal to every interest. Calgary is also home to some of the finest natural areas within a city anywhere in North America. And Calgary is clean! I've never seen any city as clean Calgary. Much of the downtown core is new, having been built during the 1970's oil boom. Even so, historic buildings from the turn of the 20th century are still visible downtown.

Generally, Calgary weather is moderate year-round. Alberta has more hours of sunshine in a year than any other province in Canada, and Calgary is know for its blue skies. During the winter, a unique phenomenon called a Chinook can raise temperatures more than 20 degrees in a single day. A strong wind and an arch of clouds over the mountains herald the arrival of a Chinook. On a previous winter visit to Alberta, I remember having to bundle up going from the car to a restaurant for lunch. There was a definite chill in the air. By the time we left the restaurant, a Chinook had come down and the weather had turned considerably warm.

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Winnipeg - Finding Harmony and History

Recently, the first leg of a lengthy western Canada tour involved a welcomed one day stop over in the lovely city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The challenge would invariably rest on picking the selected attractions that would distill the essence of the city, but still provide enough leisure time to enjoy the day.

Arriving about ten in the morning, the first order of business was to rent a car, find a map and head to the center of the universe - Portage and Main. It's hard to explain what the attraction is here. Seems everyone visiting Winnipeg for the first time is drawn to this busy, metropolitan intersection - reputedly the windiest corner in North America and one of the most famous intersections in Canada. We parked the car in the nearby Exchange District and walked to one of the corners at Portage and Main. Didn't find it particularly windy. The reason I say 'one of the corners of Portage and Main' is because one cannot simply cross the intersection. To get to one of the other corners, one has to take an underground tunnel. We didn't bother.

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