Here's some very useful Visual Basic 6 source code for lending and borrowing stuff visually, and with the mouse, made with the blu-ray hire store in mind. It has very few bugs, and was a sucess despite making a feeble total for it's sole creator (me!) of about $600 or £350 gbp, in TOTAL while available for purchase at just £30.00 a pop, for four or five years up until about 2004 or 2005 when I gave up coding. It worked out at about six pounds per month (approx. $10.00), absolutely no good at all, given the app for Windows has, to date, about ten thousand downloads at download.com alone. It's now free, please try sourceforge app here. It's my gift to the world, as there's no point in the code and app sitting here unused - my good deed for the errm, decade. :-), as I like my stuff too much to give it ALL away! "Look paranoid person, it doesn't spy on you, afterall, that's in version three (the "terminator version", :-) [feeling ruthless and powerful), version five is the dubbed "the monster", best you don't know...
All I ask is for a small donation of $5 or $10 or whatever you deem right, using Paypal to email addresses email@example.com
, or firstname.lastname@example.org
, if you profit from the code or app. Donations so far to date 08th May 2014 - £0.00 or $0.00 - in English, absolutely nothing! Well as we say in NE England - "whey, howay, get ya poorse oot".
Even though I made nothing materially, squat, I enjoyed the process, as I had ambitions to program computers when I was a wee laddy. At least I got to try it, but I should have known a chilish ambition wouldn't pay, and I would get some disease (which I have). Blimey, man! No-one gets to be an astronaut who gets to "relate physically" to **************** blue alien mistresses, do they? Well one man did, but he didn't use protection and got space-clap, oh dear...
WHEN I WERE A LAD, WE MADE DO WI' PAPER AND CHARCOAL :
My Dad unfortuanately passed away when I was just six, so I never actually got a computer till I was a teenager - the Commodore Amiga, a games machine, as they were too dear! I yearned dearly for a computer to mess with as a young 'un, even to the extent I pretended to own one, it's embarrasing but I'll tell you why : so I might be useful to share software with so they would let me share or basically play on their computers. Computers were so interesting to me I just sort of time-shared the use of an 8-Bit computer from the eighties. One I never got to try at a friends is the BBC Micro, it seemed to have a lot of varied apps, not just games. I just thought you could make your own Tardis out of one, and it would relieve the sort of happy boredom I felt as a five or six year old. (Thanks Bri. W. Road, perhaps he will read this sometime!) for the reading habit you gave me, and sorry for nicking your comic!). I'm not talking about the comic, it was evil of me. I did get to practice my people hacking (now social-engineering), before penning lots of sick notes for school hooky, works of such fiction, they should have won the Booker prize for lit.
Stuff I liked on computers, way back then:
Flight sims were of great interest to me along with football management games like the eponymously named "Football Manager"). Could I heck find educational books in the library suitable for a kid to catch on to though, just years old database books etc.! I had to buy the better books as an adult with an income. Anyway, why these games? 'Cause all the stupid thing would do is display a crude picture in huge pixels just slightly smaller than Jupiter, in all of two colours, with a bit of TV fuzzy writing, now a "font" - ooh, very posh! So you made up for the crappy program by using you imagination - a feature you had to add yourself. Oh, you could also play "scramble", an arcade game, or lunar lander perhaps (why was this game never run on Spectrum etc? (to much data to process, or too harrd to program, I mean copy?). Perhaps it did appear, but I missed it as I was too busy going through my friends drawers for other decent gear I could use, gaining access to their (but soon to be mine), houses on the basis of being "useful", moohaahaa indeed. don't believe ALL this, I didn't have eyes for just computers, I used to be in love with the young blonde along the doors, unrequited when she saw my un**************** hair colour change to brown when I was 6 or 7, quite shocking to me, rather than a ugly = brown thing, I was just used to my hair being blonde. Honestly though, truth be known, I still prefer blonde hair, like my Mum has, and I like blonde lady friends, if I wasn't busy in my bedroom on my computer. That's why I so loved her, my first crush, only 7 years old, aaah, lovely thing. I felt like my new colour had mugged me in an allyway, confusing me with dramatic changes in colour, wouldn't be so concerned if it had always been brown, then I wouldn't have had aspirations to be a playboy/pretty boy, I was like Quasimodo! One minute my locks won me girls, the net just common brown...Please don't hurt me with hair jibes, I was sensitive back then, and it still hurts me sooo bad...
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About the code
It's in Visual Basic 6, but could easily (although it would be time consuming, perhaps a months work for one person with experience), be upgraded for .net etc. newer additions to the language. Visual Basic 6, was around in the late nineties, and early naughties. Don't disregard the code or app, as it will take just a few hours work to be bang up to date with newer media types like PS 4 games, or Sony Vita (I think Box One is digital only due to piracy). Also a version exists for libraries, called "Library Star" (source on request from myself), plus a version which uses a barcode reader (for a hundred quid about a decade ago, probably get on for £50 or less now, haven't looked! again source code on request) to enter the number into the system. I believe it was very robust too, having been tested thouroghly with all the enthusiasm of a hobbyist.
Useful algorithms you could scavenge include, well that's the difficult part of this document I want to avoid, as it's too taxing to me! I think it best that you lot, the programmers, tell me in reply, what's good and salvagable from the source! It melts my brain, like C++, (a pet phrase of Peter Wright, an author I like, and I've adopted his phrase as it sums up some aspects of programming). Everything melts my brain, nowadays, nevermind, even even picking socks to wear (left foot, or right foot, what's the square root of a pair, a "sqweelair", or something. Ooh, I want a sock company.
Hardest part, out of morbid interest to the curious, : probably getting the booking system (which was more or less phase two in the implementation, being the major feature added after the drag and drop "engine" (yes I know, it's no physics engine like Call of Duty, but it does) used to hire to members. It had to have a "set-aside" feature built in, quite nasty, as it was late in development, and I wanted it easy. Also hard was managing rental's returns with variable lending time, it just made working out when they were due back extra tough! Another hard bit was managing the listview .OCX (just a control, a component of Visual Basic out of which you create programs, usually coded by someone else, reducing your workload), which had a bug in it I had to manually correct which was discovered when I resized it one time. I honestly thought VB
6 wasn't up to it, and I needed a lower level language like C++ which MS sold aswell, but it worked out OK in the end, VB
could fix it!
The auto-updating windows with the icons inside was something I built on in the whole Windows/Icons display, but MS picked up on it, and fixed Windows with the XP release (the first stable OS they had made up to that point, quite a revelation in fact. This is part payment for the listview control - hell of a thing to invent, Windows Explorer in a box, for me to fill with icons), just wondering what the future will be? Generated stuff from a AI perhaps, each one a master piece in art, beautiful to everyone? Don't know, haven't the imagination to think about it TBH! I borrowed all the icon stuff from Windows 98, even half-inched the member's head graphic, for my member icon.
Remember when 98 and 95 would have to be "refreshed" every second or two after you changed a file's visable properties like name etc.? They built auto-updating into XP, much better. About the same time I wrote the auto refresh code in mine. They must have teams of coding ninjas, hellbent on nicking ideas off folk to make Windows better or getting more cash. Bill Gates is reportedly a lawyer/and conputer hobbiest, but I wouldn't be suprised if they just invented him, your friendly boy-next-door family coder, off good honest folk! If you ARE real Bill, please send a picture of yourself with a crucifix, to proove a couple of things. MS is no good now, no real interest in computers, just in making money from the computer boom decades we're going through...shop online, so convenient for every diserning lady. I bought mine for games, one up the food-chain from lady shoppers.
The databases used in video Star, as I remember are Members, Items, Booked and Set-Aside, and On-Loan, and perhaps more, it was so long ago!, you can open them with MS access any version from 2003 on I think. I won't tell you about other tools used as I'll be kicked out of the guild, for treachery. Plenty cups of tea though!
"C++ melts your brain" thanks to Peter Wright for that quote. I read his two excellent books published by Wrox (just send the casgh to the Swiss account please for the plug please, Wrox) which I used to make this proggy, so I dedicate this program to my sensai in the coding art - Peter Wright, woot, and of course my lovely kind but strict old Mum/Ma.
The two books I read were - well it's a trade secret, you'll have to email me, or find the books yourself, as they contain trade secrets of the "guild", oooh. I'm not kidding. If everyone knew how to code, I wouldn't be the minor celeb I am now, and I'd have no-one to talk to, or autographs to sign etc. (I like the knickers thrown at me!).
It's a pity he hasn't updated these titles for about a decade, I can only guess it wasn't worth it financially. I liked his little jokes and easy reading style. I read other books too mostly computer materials though, but these eplained event-driven object oriented programming exellently (don't ask me to explain that!). I read them while sitting by the real fire - oh happy days!
The only features that could benefit from a recoding into C++ is the drag-n-drop mouse icon which shows what you've picked up, and general
speed of execution, especially when you have a lot of Blu-rays etc. on the system. I actually put my head in the sand for real as I thought to myself "that's as efficient as I can possibly code, the rest is up to the speed of the CPU, to hell with it". Luckily, I've had no complaints about the speed as yet, so should be fine!
How this new process worked, in the end :
Draw a lot!, then go and program it, just start. Good advice, if you care about this stuff, or thinking of starting a programming job. About how I developed it :trade secret, find out by offering me some virgins to deflower in heaven, or just email me anfd I'll tell you the "SECRET". I've mostly given you it anyway, but not the "SPECIAL WORDS". Intriged, or am I just a bit of a bast not telling you?
So there you have it! Your very own conspiracy theory.
Oh, a quick word on the gfx; they were made using "Corel Paint". Splash is ray-traced. It was all messing for hours with the gradient shade and sketching with the mouse, a gfx tablet would have been good. No cash at the time though, I even got the PC on tick, from a high street shop (thanks Currys!), my first Pc, great, I liked the CD drive. I thought the data storage was great, pity I've no data that could actually fill it, apart from maswsive film files or music. (In fact CDs fit lots of music files, not really a movie a like on a DVD (which has about 6 times the capacity for digital stuff compared to a CD).
The word "Video Star" is a bit wonky in the splash pic, as a last "polish" to the beating pulsing engine which drives it. I couldn't figure out the perspective angle properly in the app it was designed in , but the project was quit (like all my programming) before this flaw was addressed, like the password thing which should be stripped out, by far the crappest thing in the program. Oh no, I fixed it a few years ago, I recall now.
The fancy icon display is another trade scret, you'll have to email me, and I require the use of you mother's body (just close your eyes, children) for my pleasure...mooh, haa, haa.
Microsoft. Thanks for the IDE, it was good fun. Wish I had gotten myself a jon withthem, as they're the only payers, seriously they've got some award for being good employers, I believe. Nowt wrong with an honest to goodness software company. Salt of the Earth.
Programming in general. Some inispiration perhaps, as I used to be an engineer not a poet...
Orson Scott Card, a sci-fi writer I'm a fan of, who penned Ender's Game now a movie film, who used to actually program for a living before he got sucessful writing fiction says, "Programming is the Great Game. It consumes you, body and soul...you're caught up in it, nothing else matters". Actually. O.S.C talks about his former job in the preface to "Maps in a Mirror" a short story compiliation, so I hope this isn't parody, it's a bit "hidden art", but I did love his stories! OSC is very witty, having written the sword fighting part in the child's game (and adults if you're a bit daft, given how much better games are now!) "The Secret of Monkey Island" Info on the game from crap-epedia/wikipedia can be found here!
. Damn, no Wikipedia back handers - I suppose the makes loads from Google, maybe not, better than nothing. Another funny quote, preportedly from OSC, is on the same page, here!
, is that programmers have older underwear than a first grader (about five years old). Just look, it's quite short. However I think it's an impersonator, as it's pretty rubbish, probably better than this bit of old tat though. I write like a coder, boringly, but at least I can read and write, unlike a lot of rubbish authored on the web (like on Wikipedia, perhaps?, some articles anyway). Why don't people just buy a encyclopedia on disk FFS? They've been around years and years. MS used to make one (plug proceeds to usual account please.) , Brittanica used too (ditto for proceeds). Don' t think they make them now though, as it has to be on the Web).
Here's some more on the question of whether coding is an art or a banana soufle or whatever : Pointless theory about a techncal skill you've actually got to use, not ponder about, or acaedemic rubbish if you will
Coudn't be bothered to read myself, I prefer writing lately (very lately the last 24 hrs in fact).
(POLITICS RANT: sorry Wikipedia, who wants misinformation by the "REGIME" who are terrified of losing power, so want to make everyone schizophrhenic, and cover up the facts? The owner is a scurolous bugger, who didn't do any of the crappy articles, and probably is so paranoid about the approval of the "regime", he thinks Google search results are secret treats only for him! If the regime has any issue with my self or my work, or leftie socialistic leanings (I think I'm socialist a bit, human rights, improve money into worker's pockets etc, like offering shares of the profits or whatever, I supppose it's already done in some places, me being stupid actually). Profit sharing for employees/slaves should be obligitory, but would probably result in NO initiatives as there's no money in it!). Right where was I : if the Regime wants anythink from me, I would happily sell my soul for a bit of moolah, and I'll be as sinister as you wish! (Perhaps they wanted me to say that).
Main thing missing which I would have liked to include before I abandoned the project around 2006, is a decent textual search to find media items, and members. If someone wants to add this, feel free to try as all the code's at sourceforge, free to anyone. In addition it needs a proper drag icon which would probably require C++, which frustrated me at the time of coding in the early naugties when coding was done on abacuses using old wooly mammoth bones in your cave, Visual Basic was all you had (see one of my rare jokes or two, below) Also a rubbish feature included free of charge (oooh, another wee joke, I'll be rich), is the stupid password system. Just needs removed, if you ask me, and you should as I made the thing (joke two, ooh you are so lucky!), to prevent theft away in some stupid half-baked idea I had. to do with censoring the user from financial data like takings so it's only available to the shop owner! Mental idea, like the staff in the shpo regularly rebel, and steal the shop if they don't get a percentage!
Aren't ALL employees exploited with insuffficient hourly wages?! A scandle if you ask me. Stupid opinions are free, while you wait for power to the people, as I've called thatt last sentence. One of my few political opinions, apart from helping the starving and those in pain from, well human rights stuff.
Politics "Aren't Americans over-pleased with science fiction TV, whey-hey we'll use that robot on the Araba terrorists at home AND abroad." Some of them are quite nice, though to be fair. But what's an actor know about politics?! Don't they run university courses on it, nowadays? "Go for your guns!" - can I be Senator or President please?
War should end too, but that's from Star Trek, not me. Captain Picard waxes a bit about how they ended war on Earth or something...think though,. how was it acheived : by killing or enslaving everyone! Well, that's just encouraging the peasants or slaves to rebel, feeling justified in using murder to regain their freedom, if possible. Are they SERIOUSLY TRYING THIS? Blimey, it's like trying to cook your tinner in a tin foil box. Russia and Europe and Asia shpuld get all power-block (as they do already, phew), 'cause those yanks get stupid ideas from the TV they make, electing nice TV personalities to run the country 'cause they had some nice lines, very butch, in a Western or whatever! Have you seen Fraggle Rock, or the blue Smurfs? They're going to turn everyone into muppets, watch your bum for a big hand. Or they'll make you into a commune dwelling person like in Friends, who never work, but are so nice to look at! Americans : sorry for dissing, please respond to the accusations, then I'll still say your TV mad, so there's no point. Non-Freedom of Speech.
Back then when software was made from stone monoliths a la Obelix the cartoon character from Asterix fame or later when metal working was invented, made from good quality brass you could do what you wanted : Those were the days when you could just whip an employee if they got uppity about their work conditions or whatever! I was self employed, not gainfully, but it meant I could disapline myself for turning up late or whatever!
You get ONE joke per 10 paragraphs, if you want any more, buy a license for 12 million pounds sterling, not that dodgy American money! For that you can read the joke ten to twenty times, but it's non-transferable to other people, sorry! It's like Apple Itunes, OK?
Just one thing, again : if you profit from this project, please do the decent thing, and give me a small share, please! Paypal donate to email@example.com
. Just $5 or $10, please or a fiver UK cash, if you profit from my work. Just a note, to keep me in the loop would suffice if you've no money!
This program was made public domain as it was making very few sales of licenses, all-in-all it was about five years in the making, as I refined it again and again. The work never ended, it seemed! Again, it only made me £400 ($500) in total over five years it was on sale online, from 2001 to about 2006. As I said it above, it was great fun though!
Brief description, or blurb, from download.com, which I had to compose. :
From Video Star:
This video store software allows you to monitor rentals and returns, when your store is closed, the correct day for returns, the amount due, overdue notifications and several different media types. View all members with items and members with overdue items. A title can have any hire period, and any hire price. In addition to video tape, you can monitor rentals for Playstation, N64, Dreamcast, DVD, PS2, S/VCD, X-Box, Gamecube or even Blu-ray (I think).
CNET Download.com Video Star, download page, and about blurb here: http://download.cnet.com/Video-Star/...-10379501.html
or click here!
Download.com from CNET.
Also, importantly, the source code was stolen presumably using a trojan horse from my computer by these thieves : Vision Forecasting Website of the b*sts www.vision-forecasting.com
. Don't buy their plagaristic theft, just get it free at sourceforge complete with source from here : https://sourceforge.net/projects/videostarlendingapp/
or click here!
store software, library software, rental software Anyone know how to get legal help on this? I think they're American, and I'm English, pehaps something to do with my present disability : schizophrenia and depression.
Drop me a line with your ideas on this at firstname.lastname@example.org
I went seriously off-topic, as talking about the coding was too boring for me.
twitter : @diamond13
facebook : kept confidential.
email : email@example.com