2018-10-01 04:49:09

Welcome to October's monthly chat topic.
October is mostly known for lots of ghosties and ghoulies and long leggedy beasties !

So here's a monthly chat topic for all your creepy or not so creepy thoughts, in particular if any beasty with long leggies has kicked anyone in the goolies, my commiserations as that would hurt!

Okay,  September has been quite quiet for me, but October is likely to be busy. In a couple of weeks my lady and I are going down to London for a weekend course on on acting and performance. That should be awesome, I'm taking Gethsemane from jesus christ superstar, since hay you don't get dramaticiker than that.
While I do feel a bit of hubris trying to put myself into the roll of Jesus, well at the same time someone's got to big_smile.

While we're in London we're also going to see the musical Wicked, which is something Mrs. Dark has been wanting to  ever since we first got together, indeed I've been categorically forbidden from listening to much of the soundtrack or reading the book before I see the thing on stage.

Annoyingly the arrangements are a bit nuts because the dreaded health and safety apparently precludes two people with guide dogs sitting next to each other, so we're having to sit one behind the other which is really a pain!

Before that though there are various things to sort out. My lady wants to start looking for qualifications in councilling, so we're having a look around for that, and I've started writing seriously, though again where that's going to go we'll see.

So busy at the moment, which is good, though hopefully i'll get time to play through some more games, in particular I really want to finish Metroid ii which I started last week.

Hope everyone else is having a good time this month.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

Thumbs up

2018-10-01 07:59:24

Like you, this month is going to be rather busy for me as well. I have a social security appointment on the 12th, a hearing appointment on the 24th, and I have to leave strait after that on the 25th because I'm relocating to Nebraska to go through independence training. I confess, my level of independence is dreadfully low, which is why I'm going. I have a feeling this is really going to help me out in the long run. Hopefully after the 9 months I'll be able to take care of myself well enough to be able to go to college and excel in the majors I wanted to go for, and maybe even take care of a guide dog in addition. I believe I'm getting ahead of myself though. So, what's everyone else up to?

If anyone wants to add me on Skype, it's garrett.brown2014.

Thumbs up

2018-10-02 05:53:28

Greetings all. Well, October has been busy so far, mainly because I'll be judging the games for the 2018 Interactive Fiction Competition. As for non-gaming stuff, I just started reading the wonderful Spock's World, a Star Trek novel about the Vulcan we all know and love. And speaking of Sci-Fi, I've also been able to catch up on the latest Doctor Who series, having missed out on most of Capaldi's series. (I did watch half of series 8, however.)

Thumbs up

2018-10-02 11:15:28

it would appear that October is going to bbe busy for a lot of people.

well, I spent half of the last month quite nicely. then comes the time when I have to find some books. thankfully, they are all open sourced, and are available on the internet. I really don't fancy bying the books which I can't even read.

not so thankfully, they are all in PDF. so, I've managed to get a converter which could convert the PDF to docx. but then I found out that the big documents do not play nice with MS word. the document opens so slowly. I tried to copy the text to the TXT file, but you can't copy the that much text from the document, it crashes as a result.

then I was reading an help file of the winboard. (because I forgot some of the functions.) the file was a offline HTML.

then I thought, "What if I convert the PDF to HTML? I wouldn't have to worry about speed issues." but apparently, much to my continuous frustration, I didn't find any accessible means to do so. now, I am stuck again. (the program which converts the PDF to word can't do the HTML. and now it is useless again, since I bought it two years ago.)

Thumbs up

2018-10-02 14:35:48

What about converting the PDFs directly to text? That is what I generally do with product manuals for the things that I own.

Thumbs up

2018-10-02 14:44:55


I don't have any program which could convert PDF to any thing other than the document, which I already mentioned opens quite slow if the size of the file is large.

as for those sites which offer their services to do such things, I have tried those, (both TXT and HTML,) and they are quite slow and sometimes fail outright.

what I need is a program, which could convert PDF to either text, or HTML whichever, and is also works with the screenreaders. can't forget about that.

Thumbs up

2018-10-02 21:16:20

I just use Adobe Reader, load the PDF into it, then in the file menu choose save as text, done.

Thumbs up

2018-10-03 05:08:54

I did tried that. I think the PDF file contains scanned pages. as a result, the TXT file created by Adobe doesn't contain any text at all.

that is why I am looking all over for a solution. because for now, it is just books told to be read by my programming teacher, but in the future, when I receive my notes from the colege I suspect they would be also in PDF.

Thumbs up

2018-10-03 05:20:41

Ah! That explains a lot, even if you had one, a PDF to text converter would have the same problem. For files like that you need to run it through an OCR system of some kind

In my case, I'd just load the file into Adobe Reader, then use the JAWS convenient OCR system to scan the document. When it finishes, it presents the whole file as text that I can copy and paste into notepad for saving to disk.

I believe I've heard that if you are running Windows 10 and NVDA that there might be a way to do the same thing, but I'm not sure, all I really know is that NVDA can make use of the Windows 10 built in OCR, but what its capabilities are I don't know.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

Thumbs up

2018-10-03 15:10:39


The thing is, the JAWS OCR have trouble with large files, because I did try that with a PDF of few hundred pages, and it didn't have any problem. but the current book is huge. (1071 pages.) so it results in crash.

as for NVDA, yes, it can do the OCR, but it can only do the page which is open. as in it can't OCR the entire PDF.

I did tried to save the file from MSWord's save as feature, (Both Text and htm.) the text was fine, though I couldn't read anything other than blank after a certain point. the HTM file just opens the same PDF inside a browser. so, I have decided that HTM is also useless.

and don't worry, you already tried to help me, so thanks for that.

Thumbs up

2018-10-03 15:18:51

october is bizi for me too, I have scool and hard listens!

2018-10-03 18:43:39

@Dark Eagle

Wow! That's a huge book, if you don't mind me asking, what is the title and author?

Thumbs up

2018-10-04 02:07:45

I wonder if QRead would do the job, or Codex? Those are my two go-to programs whenever I need to convert PDF's these days, although, like Orko, I rarely need to convert anything larger than a product manual, restaurant menu, or the occasional short to medium length book. I'm torn about recommending QRead as an option, though, since while it is the one program that this developer has made which has been truly impressive and has stood the test of time much better than all his other projects, I hesitate to recommend giving someone business when they clearly don't deserve it at this point. That may be harsh, but between the abysmal customer service he's offered, not to mention abandoning projects without warning, it's hard to say in good conscience that it would be worth the purchase.

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It's just holding half the amount it can potentially hold.

2018-10-04 04:15:31

I wouldn't recommend QRead for this purpose because it has no OCR capabilities, all you will get if you try to load a PDF made of scanned images of pages, like this file Dark Eagle is trying to convert,  is a message saying that it is an empty file.

Thumbs up

2018-10-04 04:27:45

Ah, I see. I didn't know that. I would guess Codex is out, then, because that's not an OCR program either. The times I've opened PDF's with QRead, they weren't images, so I never encountered this problem.

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It's just holding half the amount it can potentially hold.

2018-10-04 16:43:14


the name of the book is "Discrete mathematics and its applications." I downloaded the pdf from the site which was pointed out to me by my programming teacher.

as for the conversion, I think I have give up on it. if the word wasn't that slow, I wouldn't even have thought to convert it in the first place.

and you both probably didn't have to read something so huge is probably because you are not studying. at least that's what I think.

Thumbs up

2018-10-04 17:05:55

I don't think I'd go that far, I've read Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series and many of those books pushed 1,000 pages, Steven King's The Stand is over 1,000 pages all by itself, and the last book of Tad William's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series was also over 1,000 pages.

I agree that books that large don't happen often in fiction, but there are a few out there.

Thumbs up

2018-10-05 06:53:57

Yee gods I hate pdfs, especially those image based ones. This was why I used to use a reader's grant at university to pay for the stuff I needed reading, though admitedly that was ten or fifteen years ago and both online resources and access technology have changed a huge amount since then.

One thing I'd check  is whether you actually need to read the entire book cover to cover. Usually, with most university courses I've seen you need specific chapters or specific chunks of a book. I'd recommend talking to your tutor and getting her/him to tell you which bits exactly are required, including the page numbers, then either  using ocr on those given pages, or using Adoby reader's "convert page to text" function to convert the book one bit at a time.

Also, don't forget that  sighted people will skim read a book, will just whip it off the shelf and flick through picking up a general jist, and only read in detail the parts that are relevent to them, you can't do that so need more specific information on where to look, and hay that is what your tutor is being  paid for so you might as well use her/his skills to your advantage.

Interesting zenothrax, Oddly enough for me as a life long whovian, I've lost touch with the new series.
Things started to go majorly downhill when stephen Moffat took over in season 5, deus ex endings, confusing unresolved plots and bloody annoying characters like Amy and clara.

I really disliked season 7, and while season 8 had a few improvements such as mummy on the orient express, in general it wasn't too much of a step up, not with the way miss impossibly smug I'm right all the time Clara kept telling off the Doctor everytime he threatened to be right and Missy just turned out to be yet another of Moffat's overly flirty, sexually predatory female characters just like River song and Amy before her.

I caught the first two episodes of season 9 (the really horrible dalek one with Davros which just reminded me how awesome Davros is in the audios), then my dad's tv recording box packed up and he missed the rest, and honestly I never cared enough to go back and see further.

I've heard that Bill is an improvement on Clara (well she couldn't be worse), but its just not been a priority, especially when not compared to the Big finish audio storeis which I still keep uptodate with and which have been generally awesome, they've  even made River song an actually likable character.

However, since I hear Chris Chidnal is taking over as show runner I might pick up the new series this month and see where things are going with it. I admit I was cringing at the thought of Moffat doing a female doctor mostly because of the previously mentioned tendency of Moffat to be very limited when it comes to writing a character with two x chromosomes, but if someone else is taking the reigns the idea has quite a bit of potential, though I am a little worried about the reports of "A sexy new doctor" and "appealing to other demographics" I've heard.

Why couldn't we just have an awesome female doctor being awesome and quirky and commanding. Doctor Maggy Smith, that would rock! big_smile.

Anyway, things continue getting complicated over here. My lady has found a councilling course which looks rather ideal, hopefully there's still a place and she can get on the thing alright. Unfortunately we've had an increasing number of disasters, with my lady's braille display, with the washing machine, with train arrangements for London and so on and so on, things seem to be getting quite nuts over here generally at the moment so we're hopign matters will calm down soon, particularly since as I said we're looking at a  busy few weeks.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

Thumbs up

2018-10-05 07:19:43

hey guys
what do you think about skype

2018-10-06 00:21:14

Well, it's sometimes nice to be prooven wrong.

I thought that because Windows 10 was so different from Windows 7 that I'd need a month to get comfortable with it, but I'm finding that it's taking only a week. What that means is that I'll be able to switch to my new laptop full time by the end of this weekend. Yay!

And I didn't have to resort to using training wheels like Classic Shell. Not that there's anything wrong with Classic Shell, I just prefer to learn to use the new Windows in it's native state.

Thumbs up

2018-10-06 18:16:50

@3 I'm judging too. What do you think of this years entries? I like them for the most part but I'm one of those traditional guys who loves parser-based games, especially huge puzzlefests, and there really aren't many parser games this year. Everyone seems to write choice games now. My favorite so far is Bullhockey.

Thumbs up

2018-10-06 20:32:08


converting the pdf to the document is not a problem, its just opens so slowly. I think it has to do with all those pictures in the books.

I did asked my programming teacher about what topics I should focus on. he explained those topics to me quite nicely. so I wouldn't have to read the entire book.

besides, even if I didn't do anything like that, I would have still ignored graphs and trees. I think those parts are quite visual, and I wouldn't understand them.

but pure calculation? I can do that any time. (Well maybe not when I am sleepy.)

truth to be told, I wouldn't have started to study the discrete maths, if I didn't need it for learning algorithms. now, there are a lot of programmers who think that even without algorithms, their career would be fine. (And maybe they are right.) but I am currently 19, and I still have chance to learn these things.

so, I will learn all the things I can for now, because I would like to have every single possible advantage in the future. besides, bragging rights.


I got my laptop in the month of June of previous year, and naturally it came with Windows 10. and to be honest, people used to scare me. (And yes, literally scare me,) about how much trouble I will have with the operating system.

while I admit it took me a while to learn how to use it, but it never gave me the trouble the others were telling me I will have at that time.

on other stuff, I am waiting for my beta reader's exams to finish, so I can polish the already uploaded chapters of my story, and upload new chapters.

Thumbs up

2018-10-07 08:34:11

@Dark eagle, I remember tree diagrams from when I was taking formal logic at uni. What we finished up doing was inventing a coordinates system, so I'd write row one branch 1, row 2 branches 1 and 2. Row three branches 2-1 2-2 etc.

This approach did work relatively well as far as me being able to produce trees worked, but not really for the actual purpose of the tree diagrams, that is getting a visual overview of  trends and being able to trace out logical arguements according to the consistancy of given opperators.

Actually my  logic lecturer was a really nice guy, he offered to teach me a completely different, algebraic calculous which tract logical  according to equations which you could basically write out the same way you'd write simple mathematical expressions. I said "no" because I was 19, and not wanting to cause trouble or do something different to what other people in my class were doing, but in retrospect I really ought to have taken him up on that, particularly considering that formal logic was the only one of my modules that I got a 2-2 on, the rest were 2-1 or higher.

Anyway hope it goes well.

@Orko, as I've said previously, I had a similar experience with windows 10. I did not like windows 7 at all when i tried it, and while I was far longer in upgrading from xp than I should've been (mostly due to things like getting married), when it eventually happened it was a much easier thing, especially considering I had to switch screen readers as well.
While Windows 10 still of course does require you to customize to your liking and throw off the crap you don't want, this is no different to what I had to do with my first ever xp machine really, although i personally still like classic shell big_smile.

As for me, well interesting stuff has come up. There is a course tomorrow on music, creativity and free writing. we seem to have found a local writer's studeio, and considering writing is what I really want to do now I've finished my phd,  sounds like a good thing indeed.

My lady is also looking at starting training in  professional councilling. She did quite a bit at uni and before getting married and has decided to pick it up at this point.
Its something she really wants to do and has been looking around for chances to start retraining, and hopefully we've found one, so the being busy part continues big_smile.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

Thumbs up

2018-10-08 00:26:16

For what it's worth, I am now using Windows 10 full time now. I reformatted my old laptop and put 64 bit Windows 10 Home on it and activated it with an OEM key. The next time we get together, I'm going to give it to my sister who has no computer of her own since her old system died, so she'll have a system she can put her personal information on without the worry of it being a work computer that belongs to the company she works for.

Thumbs up

2018-10-08 13:24:10

I had to move from a Windows Vista computer to a Windows 8.0 two months ago.
Why not go to Windows 10 you may ask?
I already had the Windows 8.0 and planned on going to 10 but never got around to doing it when the switch was free.
Now my Windows 8.0 is about four years old so I am looking to buy a new laptop with Windows 10 already installed.
This change required me to go from JAWS to NVDA which was also a problem at the beginning.
Now I'm used to it somewhat.
I am still working on the update to the Sarah game, but that work is slow due to the computer change 
For the past ten years I have been writing novels starting with the story of Sarah at Hogworts.
I am part of a blind writer's group that have helped me develop my writing skills.
Josh from Draconis has also gone this route except he has published one of his novels to Amazon.
I think we have both found that writing is much more enjoyable than game programming as you don't have to worry about your program crashing or having syntax errors.
Just sentence and spelling errors.

Thumbs up