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Best practices for software development documentation

I do some developery-type stuff at work and the more complicated it gets, the less organized I am. I often find myself wondering why I did this or that or what I was trying to accomplish with it. I reuse a lot of the same functions and bits of code but I don't have a good system of keeping track of them. I know about commenting within code, and I do that, but I'm looking for a larger system of general best practices more than a specific solution. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Mar 12, 2013 - 15 answers

 

Why does OSX Text to Speech occasionally garble/skip words on me?

In order to reduce eyestrain when on the computer, I use the basic OSX (10.6.8) Text to Speech (System Prefs -> Speech -> Text to Speech) software for the computer to read out long-form articles found online. This works great! Except....sometimes when I ask "Alex" to read out to me it will skip or garble words from the highlighted article, usually one word per sentence or after x number of words. Why? [more inside]
posted by carabiner on Mar 11, 2013 - 1 answer

(Visibly) Secure, online directory solution?

Please recommend easy online solutions to transition our "Student Directory" from a printed booklet to an online applications that parents can log-in to. Bonus points for parents being able to update their information (but with moderation/approval), or add notes (such as "lives with Dad on weekends") This seems like something that would exist as an out-of-box application. Additional details inside. [more inside]
posted by dadici on Mar 11, 2013 - 4 answers

Is there affordable layout/design software for home use?

I'm looking for PC-based layout/design software that runs less than $500 that works better than MS Publisher. [more inside]
posted by PuppyCat on Mar 7, 2013 - 7 answers

Simple free banking reconciliation software for a small partnership?

Can anyone recommend simple-to-use, free, web-based software that can easily reconcile accounts for a small partnership? [more inside]
posted by ajp on Mar 5, 2013 - 6 answers

Best-ever software reviews

What are the best software reviews you've ever read? [more inside]
posted by John Raskolnikov Gilson on Mar 2, 2013 - 5 answers

Need a tool for walking users through my website

The idea here is that I have a product for a specific niche (construction management), that is well designed and (I think) very intuitive. But the target users are not very savvy in terms of WHAT they should be doing. I need to walk them through various processes step by step. [more inside]
posted by Kellster on Feb 28, 2013 - 4 answers

How can we trust open source software?

Open source software is considered trustworthy because anyone can validate the source code and hold the developer accountable. Usually developers will also make compiled binaries available for convenience. How can we know that these binaries are compiled from the same source code the developer published, and not a malicious variant of it? [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis on Feb 26, 2013 - 17 answers

How to record audio from a sound card?

Hi, How to record audio as it passes through a sound card? [more inside]
posted by Musashi Daryl on Feb 24, 2013 - 5 answers

Backup software copying entire contents of laptop *twice*!

I backed up the contents of my ASUS UL50VT laptop in 2011 to my Seagate external hard drive using their Memeo software. In 2012, I connected the Seagate again and ran a second backup, and it created a separate folder where it stored all the new files I'd gained since the previous time. So far, so good. Now when I try to back it up again, it has started from scratch--duplicating the entire contents of my 450 GB laptop to a third folder. I'm gonna use up all my hard drive space this way, stat. Any way to make it back up only the new files again, like it did before?
posted by manzanita on Feb 23, 2013 - 2 answers

Advice for someone transitiong to freelance consulting and software dev

I would like to do some consulting in the area of software development for Engineering firms. I would also like to develop my own software products and sell them. How do I go about this from a legal standpoint? I plan to alert all my potential customers that I am also working on my own products and that any software I build for them can either remain proprietary for their company (assuming of course it is not the exact same thing as what I plan to create and sell on my own) , or that we can enter an agreement where if I sell the software developed on their dime we would split the profits - assuming they don't want to keep it proprietary which will be the most likely scenario. YANAL, but is there a way to draft this in legal terms? S uch that if obvious small classes or libraries appear both in my product and the product I develop for them - and any programmer knows there are only that many ways to skin a code and overlap is inevitable - I won't get sued.
posted by spacefire on Feb 23, 2013 - 2 answers

Rhino renderer help

Puzzler of a problem...Any Rhino experts? And I don't mean the four legged kind... [more inside]
posted by Calzephyr on Feb 22, 2013 - 2 answers

Vectoring from Cairo to Kinshasa.

I'd like to produce an offset-print-quality map, modeled after airline flight path maps, which graphically reproduces hundreds of point-to-point connections: in this specific case, between radio transmitters and reception locations. What software is capable of producing some variation on this, perhaps by putting in GPS coordinates? (OS X please.)
posted by mykescipark on Feb 22, 2013 - 4 answers

Project scheduling software with cascading dates

I need to schedule a lot of sequential tasks that have a set time limit (ie, Task A is allotted one week, Task B one week, Task C three weeks). Unfortunately some of these tasks run over (or occasionally, under) budget on time and I am looking for a program that will easily reassign due dates for all the following tasks when one task falls off the original schedule. [more inside]
posted by apparently on Feb 22, 2013 - 3 answers

Grad school application without GRE score? What are they looking for?

I'm toying with the idea of getting a Masters program in the next year or two in a specific field within my current career path. Since the program is fairly unique, the school isn't requiring a GRE score for the application (although it's a top research university in the US on the West Coast). So what are they looking for in my application? How does not needing a GRE score change things? Lots of questions! [more inside]
posted by carmel on Feb 21, 2013 - 4 answers

How do you go about finding copyright information for old computer game?

Trying to find out copyright information on 20 year old game. (more below) [more inside]
posted by gb77 on Feb 20, 2013 - 19 answers

How do I listen to music without the lyrics?

In a bid to learn some bass riffs, I am looking for software that will strip lyrics from songs and give me only the instrumental version of the song. That, and I've always wanted to listen to my favourite songs in their vocally stripped incarnations. Any suggestions?
posted by New England Cultist on Feb 15, 2013 - 10 answers

How to find enterprise software reviews, or Enterprise software.

Does anyone have a good way to filter out the best enterprise software products? I am looking for an enterprise software deployment tool and cant seem to google product reviews without someones inadvertant, or advertant twist on the product. Dont want a websearch. Came here hoping to hopefully find an answer(s). Thanks
posted by aceplanet on Feb 14, 2013 - 7 answers

Why should I use Adobe's applications?

Why should I use Adobe's applications? Of course, I realise I don't have to if I don't want to. However, I'm a subscriber to their Creative Cloud programme, primarily for Photoshop / Indesign /Illustrator. I already use the competitors to many of the other applications in the bundle. Are there any pressing reasons for me to use the Adobe versions? Please explain to me, but please: without denigrating the applications I already use. [more inside]
posted by Grangousier on Feb 14, 2013 - 12 answers

How to go from good software engineer to God of the Code?

(Java-flavored question) I have work colleagues who can explain how and when the JVM inlines code, or when implicit constructors are made / called based on the access level of global variables. They can think through code like the compiler thinks. How do I get to that level? [more inside]
posted by blahtsk on Feb 13, 2013 - 16 answers

Looking for a free video conversion software program

Looking for a recommendation for any free video conversion software programs... [more inside]
posted by dbirchum on Feb 12, 2013 - 7 answers

I seem to ask a lot of questions about photos lately

Can you recommend some scanning software for me? I need to scan a whole bunch of older photos, and I'd like to do it relatively quickly. [more inside]
posted by jacquilynne on Feb 11, 2013 - 3 answers

What program should I use to create an image map?

I need to learn to make interactive image maps. I know HTML and Photoshop, but I've never used a pagemaking program before. What one should I learn? Thanks!
posted by HylandErickson on Feb 11, 2013 - 4 answers

Which tax software for our particular situation?

I'm looking at tax softwares and not finding one that suits our particular need, which is, specificially: run all these scenarios and figure out what's best. [more inside]
posted by TomMelee on Feb 11, 2013 - 7 answers

Software phenonenon where bogus features are added intentionally?

When you intentionally add bogus features that are expected to be struck down, what is this called? The features are added to serve as a target for criticism and preserve the rest of the software. [more inside]
posted by WCF on Feb 9, 2013 - 9 answers

Dot Net development tools?

Any suggestions for good Dot Net development tools? I'm interested in suggestions for a wide range of tool types, for example (but not limited to) unit testing, code coverage, style enforcement, bug finders, profiling, code/API documentation generation, installer/distributable packagers, continuous integration, build systems, report generators, static code analysis, decompilers, IDE enhancements, etc., etc. [more inside]
posted by Flunkie on Feb 8, 2013 - 11 answers

Best practices for software focus groups

I'd like to start running focus groups on the software I design, and I'd love it if any of you lovely people have experience/resources/best practices you can share. [more inside]
posted by renderthis on Feb 7, 2013 - 6 answers

Looking for room reservation/booking program with particular fetures

I need something that will allow me to reserve rooms from a variety of different requests that are often competing for those rooms, all at the same time. Here's my situation. [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix on Feb 2, 2013 - 3 answers

Are there any other VJ softwares that allow boygrouping?

Are there any other VJ softwares that allow boygrouping? I am starting to research the possibility of using a planetarium for live visual interaction. Its difficult to find much information on whether there are VJ software's that allow boygrouping. But I'm already savvy with the needed planetarium dome distortion techniques. So far I've only been able to find that VVVV is able to do exactly what I need. Its unclear if Resolume is able to. If you have any insight or knowledge, it would be much appreciated! [more inside]
posted by supyo on Jan 24, 2013 - 1 answer

Archival software naming ideas needed

Could anybody suggest some name ideas for a program (UNIX command-line/cron job, not GUI) for progressively backing up/archiving files in a directory tree to archive volumes and sending them to some remote location (i.e., Amazon Glacier, or else a server reachable by ssh)? [more inside]
posted by acb on Jan 20, 2013 - 22 answers

Working in a software agency versus a large tech company

What are some differences to expect for someone working at a software agency for the first time, coming from the enterprise world? [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Jan 18, 2013 - 1 answer

Workload management software for a consultant team?

I'm stepping into a new role at work in which I'll manage a team of consultants. Each consultant will work on a few projects at once, each with its own start date, duration, total number of hours, etc. Is there some software out there that can help me track their activity? [more inside]
posted by donblood on Jan 17, 2013 - 9 answers

Looking for PDF software that can automatically append at creation

Looking for prompt-less PDF creation and appending [more inside]
posted by colecovizion on Jan 17, 2013 - 9 answers

Software for creating an equipment library

I'm about to start running a community college multimedia lab, aimed at providing kids with the resources to make videos. I'm looking for software that'll make it (relatively) easy to administer. Specific hopes and dreams insideā€¦ [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 17, 2013 - 5 answers

Beam Me Into 2013

What new tools, apps, or environmental changes have you started using in the last few years that have improved your life the most (or at least made it less worse)? [more inside]
posted by Andrhia on Jan 9, 2013 - 25 answers

Pimp my office PC, nonprofit style

Your job requires you to do multimedia work from time to time but gives you only a standard Windows install with Office and MS Paint to do it with. Installing anything new requires a call to IT. Your nonprofit employer currently has no budget to buy you the software you need. What cheap or free utilities, plug-ins or browser extensions do you install while waiting for the clouds to open and copies of, say, Adobe CS Master Collection and Final Cut Pro to fall from the sky? [more inside]
posted by embrangled on Jan 9, 2013 - 19 answers

Adobe's Project Rome seems to be no more. Now what do I do?

At work earlier this year I was asked to put together an infographic style chart for a quarterly report. I used Adobe's Project Rome since it was a very easy to use graphic design outfit that could be used free and in-browser. I've been using it each quarter for our reports and I last used it right before the holidays and started a rough draft. But when I went to finish it today the entire Rome program seemed to be completely gone from Adobe's website. Now what? [more inside]
posted by forkisbetter on Jan 7, 2013 - 5 answers

Full-featured online accounting

Looking for a very robust but reasonably-priced online accounting system for small business [more inside]
posted by Dansaman on Jan 6, 2013 - 2 answers

How to sell myself to companies as a former academic?

Academic with non-CS background but software development experience looking to transition into the professional workforce, from an ABD Ph.D perspective. How to overcome the "lack of experience with real/big systems" question, and in general pitch myself to employers? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 6, 2013 - 8 answers

OSX calendar software sync to Google Calendar?

Is there any calendar/scheduling software for OS X and Windows that can sync info with Google Calendar? [more inside]
posted by zardoz on Jan 6, 2013 - 7 answers

Should I mention how little pay I would work for?

I'm willing to work an internship for little or no pay. Should I mention this fact or would it come off as desperate and unprofessional? [more inside]
posted by WCF on Jan 5, 2013 - 10 answers

TBD

I think I might be done with to-do lists. Or maybe you can help me? [more inside]
posted by Eideteker on Jan 3, 2013 - 16 answers

Unnaturally Speaking...

Possible Dragon Naturally Speaking/Dictate purchase. I recently entered the world of OSX by buying my wife a Macbook Air. Specifically, I bought it so she could dictate some of her thoughts for a book. Now I'm thinking of buying the Dragon software, but have some questions... [more inside]
posted by kuanes on Jan 3, 2013 - 10 answers

Looking for webcam monitors/aggregators for Windows

I'm looking for a Windows app for viewing multiple remote webcams on a single screen -- something like Live Cams Pro on iOS. Ideally it would be able to categorize cameras by topic or location, support live feeds as well as static ones, and maybe be able to store timed snapshots from the cams over time (like Camembert could do back in the day). I'm not as concerned about receiving audio or controlling the cameras. [more inside]
posted by Lazlo Nibble on Jan 1, 2013 - 0 answers

Software for Process Music?

I'm interested in trying to compose or play with pattern-based mathematical music that evolves, i.e. like that of Steve Reich...any good accessible software available for Mac, iPad, or web-based? Thanks!
posted by wavejumper on Dec 30, 2012 - 6 answers

Unattended program installation options in a home context?

I'd like to automate installation of windows programs. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Dec 26, 2012 - 5 answers

Plugin to keep me in touch

Is there a gmail plugin that notifies you when a certain time has passed since you last contacted that person? [more inside]
posted by pakoothefakoo on Dec 23, 2012 - 4 answers

How to record and transcribe Skype conversation

What technology and software I should look at inorder to be able to record interviews on Skype on to my hard disk (MacBook Pro) and then be able to manipulate the recording easily in order to type out a transcript? Or, preferably , find reliable speech recognition software that will automatically produce a written transcript I can enter into my word processing program (Open Office.) ? I'm willing to change up software and able to spend no more than $100 to make this work. Is it possible?
posted by NorthCoastCafe on Dec 18, 2012 - 8 answers

Tutorial-ception.

Are there online trainings/tutorials for...well, creating online trainings/tutorials? (Books or other resources also welcome.) [more inside]
posted by Stacey on Dec 18, 2012 - 2 answers

Should I look into Manga Studio?

If I have a good comics-making workflow established with PhotoShop, is it worth my time to look into Manga Studio? [more inside]
posted by COBRA! on Dec 14, 2012 - 6 answers

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