Tagg’s Computer Tips

Last updated Homepage 2103-10-01

 FontKbd icon Fonts & keyboards   Music-related Various fixes
Fonts
Basic musicology text font
Tagg's useful keyboard layouts
Multilingual keyboard 2013
• Russian keyboard for Westerners

• Greek keyboard, ancient and modern

Ideographs for Idiots
 

Exporting from Finale into Word documents
Using musicological fonts in Word documents
MuseScore (free prof. notation software)
Metronome
MP3 Book Helper (organise your MP3s)
Downloading and editing music files

Internet connection on-off switch
Running FoxPro v2.0 in Windows Vista
Many monitors, 1 mouse/1 keyboard
How to network Windows Vista and XP
  (info costs $40 US but it’s worth it)
Get rid of annoying blue lines in Vista

 Misc software and fixes  Web browsing and searches  

eWallet
  
(logins, usernames, passwords, etc.)
MuseScore (free notation software)
Time calculators
Audio- and video software
VideoLan (essential)
WS_FTP95LE (no-nonsense FTP)

 

Web browsing and searches (top)
Problems and solutions
Google searches (refining and expanding)
Languages
Google Book and Google Scholar
Using web pages in written work
 


TIME CALCULATORS

How to do Music and Moving Image calculations using the routines listed in this table

Picture
Name
Description
Download
Cost
B-
Time Math Calculator (1)
 
Simple + and –
online
0
A-
Time Math Calculator (2)
 
+ and edit up to 12 durations. Shows total, subtotals, averages, maximum and minimum durations, etc. Very useful
online
0
B
OnlineConversion.com (1)
 
+, —; shows also hours in decimal values
online
0
B+
OnlineConversion.com (2)
 
Convert multiples of 1 single time unit (incuding decimals) to any other (>=days - <=ms) (e.g. 125.1 mins = 7,506 seconds)
online
0
A-
TimeCalc.exe
Free to have on your computer,
thanks to Marcio Luis Teixeira

Simple +, —, x, . No hours. Very neat and useful even if a bit restricted. Definitely worth downloading.
36k
0

* A = excellent; B = good, C = OK, D = average, E = poor, F = complete failure

How to calculate Music and Moving Image durations


Length of
each cue

Use any of the routines, except OnlineConversion (2), listed in the table above and subtract the cue’s start time from its end time. For example, using TimeCalc.exe, enter first the end timing of the cue ( e.g. 61:20 for 01:01:20), then hit the subtract button, then the cue’s start timing (e.g. 58:55) and make note of the answer (the cue lasts 2:25).

Hint: keep TimeCalc running while you call up other time calculation routines.


Add up durations of all cues

Use Time Math Calculator (2) to enter each duration (see previous step) as you go. When you’ve entered your durations correctly (you can edit all twelve before you go on to the next twelve or before you finish), you’ll need to note down the result so that, assuming your film contains more than 12 cues, you can add up all those sets of twelve to the final total of music durations in the whole movie.


Percentage
of film
containing
music

Use TC.EXE. It does the trick right away!

Divide the total amount of music in the movie (see previous two steps) by the total duration of the whole film (easy to find by playing your DVD with its time display [OSD] on and running right to the and of the disc). Then you multiply the result of that division by 100. How do you do all that? Let’s say your film’s total running time is 02:04:55 (124m 55s) and that you’ve calculated the total duration of all music cues as 0:55:01 (55m 01s). You'll first need to convert both timings into seconds.[1] Using any normal calculator, multiply the number of minutes, as an integer, by 60. The 124 minutes of 02:04:55 = 7440 seconds. Add the remaining seconds, in this case 55, and you will know that the film is 7495 seconds long.

[2] Do exactly the same sort of calculatioin for the total length of all music cues. In our case, 55 minutes x 60 = 3300 seconds, plus one (the music cues totalled 55:01), i.e. the film contained 3301 seconds of music.

[3] Divide the number of seconds occupied by music (3301) by the number of seconds in the entire film (7495). The result is 0.4402935. Multiply that amount by 100 (0.4402935. x 100) and you will know that music is heard during 44% of the film.



MP3 Book Helper ——— manage MP3s easily

If you have to keep a stack of MP3 files on your computer, or if you have to produce CDs or DVDs containing MP3s, or if you have an iPod or similar, or if you rip CDs, etc., etc., MP3 Book Helper is, I think, a great tool. One particularly useful feature is, for me at least, that I can export MP3 tags (any version) to a database (or database-compatible format. If you do any sort of music archiving on your computer, even if you just need to keep track of what you have, this software is FREE! But you should contribute a few dollars to this good cause. To find out more, click here.



eWallet ——— easily manage all those user IDs, passwords, serial #s

If you buy stuff online, or do online banking, or have to log into more than one website, or if you don't remember your insurance numbers or credit/debit card numbers or software license codes or logins or UserIDs or passwords, etc., etc., I thoroughly recommend a piece of software called eWallet, especially if you also use a pocket PC or Palm or Blackberry or similar. One great feature is that you can open eWallet and click on the URL to, say, Amazon or your online bank, and log straight in without entering any codes or passwords at all: the software does that for you at a speed far too fast for hackers to trap. Of course, all data you store in eWallet is properly encrypted and itself password-protected. Costs a little bit but is extremely useful. To find out more, click here.


Metronome Online

Metronome Online
  • Simple
  • Reliable
  • No download or install needed
  • Always there on line
  • 40 - 208 bpm
  • Includes A=440 Hz
  • Click image to try it out now


FTP_WS95 LE ——— Up(and down)loading

If you need to upload files, for example to your website, and if you want to do that without having to pay for the privilege, you should get this efficient, basic, no-nonsense programme that just works and does the job. No silly glitz or frills. You'll find more, plus a download link on the University of Ottawa site de l'Université d'Ottawa.


 Use just one keyboard and just one mouse to use several computers at the same time

This is really useful. You can get rid of unnecessary keyboards, mice, cables and free up USB ports occupied by wireless receivers. All you need is:[1] computers that can ‘see’ each other (are networked — see here on how to do that — a pain in the butt!); [2] a piece of free software called Synergy. You can link up PCs or MACs or PCs and MACs, all with machines running Unix, Linux, etc., etc. The picture shows my setup: trying to drag the mouse left out of the desktop monitor or right out of the XP laptop does nothing. Out of the top right half of the desktop monitor goes to the top left of the XP laptop and vice versa. Bottom right out of the desktop and bottom left out of the XP laptop go to the Vista laptop and vice versa. You can download the program Synergy from here. There's only one confusing bit: that's when you have to fill in which movements off one edge of one monitor go through which part of which edge of another monitor. For example, you will be asked to fill in lines like this:

[0] to [100] % of the [left/right/top/bottom] of [computer name choice] goes to [0] to [100]% of [computer name choice]

Are you as confused as I was? OK. My three computers have their own names on my home network. So, my six mouse movement values are filled in as follows:

[0] to [50] % of the [right] of [Desktop] goes to [0] to [50]% of [XPlaptop]
[0] to [50] % of the [left] of [XPlaptop goes to [0] to [50]% of [Desktop]
[51] to [100] % of the [right] of [Desktop] goes to [0] to [100]% of [VistaLaptop]
[0] to [100] % of the [left] of [VistaLaptop] goes to [51] to [100]% of [Desktop]
[51] to [100] % of the [left] of [XPlaptop] goes to [0] to [100]% of [VistaLaptop]
[0] to [100] % of the [right] of [VistaLaptop] goes to [51] to [100]% of [XPlaptop]


DOWNLOADING AND EDITING MUSIC FILES

Sometimes teaching popular music, film music and so on is an utter pain. One common reason for the pain is copyright legislation (see here). One copyright-based drag in my job is downloading music examples, free or for money, from the internet only to discover that they are digitally protected and therefore uneditable (i.e. unchangeable, unmodifiable) and therefore impossible to abbreviate into extracts correctly faded in and out, impossible to use in conjunction with moving images, impossible to subject to manipulation of any sort for analysis purposes, etc.

Legal and technological factors affecting this problem are in a constant state of change and you will need to keep up to date yourself. Here are four examples of strings you could search for on line.

convert iTunes to mp3
convert YouTube to mp3
audio file convert
convert Vimeo to mp3
I’ve found Mozilla Firefox add-ons reliable and useful for downloading music for editing purposes. It may be illegal to do that unless what you do with the recording is covered under the principles of fair use (click here to learn about that). Hundreds of applications convert between media file formats, including audio. These are constantly changing and anything I write here today may well be out of date tomorrow.


Getting rid of Windows Vista folder display’s annoying blue grouping lines

1. Move mouse to right end of Name heading to reveal mini arrow.

2. Click that little arrow.

3. Click the simple Sort option.
Those steps reduced the number of lines from 5 to 2 allowing 40% more files to be listed in the same amount of space.

If you want to show the blue group headings, repeat steps 1 and 2 but then click the raindrops/Group option instead.


INTERNET ON-OFF SWITCH
This simple BAT or EXE applet toggles your computer’s internet connection off and on. It runs quickly and smoothly in Windows XP (1 October 2013).* Using a single keystroke you can instantly go off line and be out of reach for all those online contaminants like adware, malware, spyware, Trojans and viruses. This little applet can re-connect in just a few seconds, whenever you need to. [Video info]

Making it work on your computer

  1. Create the folder NetOnOff under C:\Program Files on your computer.
    The folder C:\Program Files\NetOnOff MUST exist for any of this to work.
  2. Download the file http://www.tagg.org/zmisc/zips/NetOnOff.zip to your computer.
    Remember where you put that zip file. You’ll want to remove it when the rest of this is done.
  3. Extract the zip file’s contents to the folder C:\Program File\NetOnOff.
  4. C:\Program File\NetOnOff should now contain the following files:
    • ReadMe1st.txt — instruction file
    • BpDiscrt.exe, BpSquidg.exe, BpSquip.exe — 3 minimal sound signals for your computer’s internal speaker
    • NetOnOffIcon.ico — shortcut icon for NetOnOff.bat and/or NetOnOff.exe (see below)
    • Internet ON-OFF batch — shortcut to BAT routine NetOnOff.bat
    • Internet ON-OFF exec — shortcut to BAT routine NetOnOff.exe
    • NetOnOff.bat — actual batch command file
    • NetOnOff.exe — does the same as NetOnOff.bat but as an .exe file
      Tip: the BAT option is neater but the EXE applet is more likely to run on a wider range of operating systems
  5. Now test the routine to see if it does what you want. First try it out as follows:
    • Launch NetOnOff.bat or NetOnOff.exe to toggle your internet connection from ON to OFF, or from OFF to ON.
    • Launch NetOnOff.bat or NetOnOff.exe again to toggle the connection back from OFF to ON, or from ON to OFF. .
      Tips: 1. Your current online status should be deducible from icons in your task bar.
      More tips in ReadMe1st.txt in ZIP package
      .
    • If you think it’s a useful applet (I use it all the time), continue with §6.
  6. Decide whether you want to use NetOnOff.bat or NetOnOff.exe; then configure the shortcut properties as follows.
    • Right click the relevant shortcut file (Internet ON-OFF batch or Internet ON-OFF exec) and select Properties;
      then click the Shortcut tab.
    • Under the Shortcut tab, click Change icon if you want to change the icon identifying this applet.
    • Delete or change the Shortcut key to suit yoursef. Shortcut keys must be Ctrl-Alt + an alphanumeric character.
      I use Ctrl-Alt-I (“I” for “Internet”). That lets me go on or off line with a single keystroke combination.
    • If you prefer clicking to using shortcut keys to launch applets, you can always copy the relevant shortcut file to your desktop or put it somewhere else that’s readily accessible.
  7. Delete the downloaded zip file NetOnOff.zip (I don’t know where you put it!).

What the routine actually does (demo and info video — also on YouTube)

  1. It checks if you’re connected to the internet or not.
  2. If you are connected it disconnects you. If not, it connects you.
  3. It displays your new connectivity status (DISCONNECTED or CONNECTED) for 3 seconds and exits.
    Your current online status should be deducible from icons in your task bar.

Footnote

1. Fully tested on a single laptop connected by ethernet and/or wireless through a router to cyberspace