Discussions

Tools!

menace - 07:30 26 September 2017 #

I was curious, what are some indispensable software tools that everyone uses to get their work done for Demozoo or the demoscene in general? I know I have a few in my arsenal, not least emulators, but I was thinking it may be interesting and useful in an information-sharing capacity to get some input on what everyone can't live without. I'm thinking one post per tool, so we can go a tad in-depth. So, I'll start:

The one tool that I probably spend the most time in at any one given day, is Total Commander. Now, Total Commander is at the surface a file manager, but it's really so much more for me. It integrates to many other applications - just something as mundane as having my text editor available on a hotkey, or the integrated viewer for any type of file is indispensable. Just an example: I'll routinely dump out the entirety of the memory toa file when working with Amiga productions, I can then open that with the superfast internal viewere of Total Commander, search for a given string, mark the entirety of the text from the scroller or textplotter or whatever from inside the production, and copy that into my text editor of choice (Sublime Text ftw). This makes analyzing texzt in productions in order to extract credits and other relevant information a breeze, and can happen within seconds. That's just one aspect. Another indispensable function in my demoscene work is its support for plugins of many types. I make extensive use of the support for external packer plugins (wcx), which allows me to open many files as if they were directories. This extends to Amiga emulator files (adf/dms), ZX Spectrum emulator files (scl/tap/trd), and several types of more exotic archive files (iso/img/lzx/7zip).

It just makes working with files - which I do A LOT - so much easier. Total Commander is not free. It costs 37 euros digitally, though naturally there is an evaluation period. My advice is to really dig into the settings, and make it your own.

So, now you - what are some of your favourite tools for getting things done? No matter the platform, no matter the use case, I'm interested to hear every story.

menace - 07:32 26 September 2017 #

I'm clearly a bit of an idiot - I neglected to add a single useful url :)

https://www.ghisler.com is the homepage, and home to some of the plugins, and you'll find a whole lot more plugins at http://totalcmd.net - happy travels! :)

ltk_tscc - 07:52 26 September 2017 #

Im using XnView for picture conversions... it's free:

https://www.xnview.com/en/

Recoil does help a lot too :)

http://recoil.sourceforge.net/

s_t_s - 08:24 26 September 2017 #

@Ltk_tscc : XnView does rock indeed ! Should check out Recoil I guess.

menace - 10:53 26 September 2017 #

Recoil is amazing - which is why we actually use it at Demozoo! If you didn't know, you can upload screenshots in any format that Recoil supports directly, no need for conversion. \o/

exocet - 13:51 26 September 2017 #

Now that's a great thread idea, Menace :)

I'm also a big Total Commander fan. I bought a license more than 10 years ago and I've been using it every day since then. There's just too many time-saving features to list and Menace mentioned a few already, but for instance the advanced renaming tool is super helpful. You can also upload stuff on scene.org directly inside Total Commander with the built-in FTP client.

I use XnView too, it's quick and support lots of formats.

ImageMagick is very handy to create scripts for image manipulation, like batch resizing and cropping of screenshots.

tomaes - 16:07 26 September 2017 #

For screens: Fraps, custom batch files + mogrify (ImageMagick), Paint.net

also: Kkapture, MPC-HC

for patching, general investigation: HxD, Binary Ninja, random file diff sites (diffnow.com)

Creonix - 06:12 28 September 2017 #

I use to save .ANS to graphic format (used in making screenshots of ANSI / ASCII art) - Pablo Draw

Creonix - 06:13 28 September 2017 #

I use to watch C64 entries and taking screens - CCS64
http://www.ccs64.com/

menace - 07:51 15 October 2017 #

I noticed some people are still using FRAPS for screenshot capture, as indeed even I did in the past. The problem with FRAPS is simply that it is outdated, the last version being released being released in february of 2013. The GOOD thing about FRAPS, otoh, is that you can get a lot of work done for free if you're willing to hop through a couple of hoops - it does not watermark screenshots, but does not allow you to save them directly to webfriendly formats such as jpg or png. I find Irfanview does batch conversion quickly and efficiently, though.

Now, I personally have switched to Dxtory a good while ago, which I find a huge improvement. It's just efficient, lets me tweak everything I want to, and gets out of my way. It does not offer a free tier though, the price for the software is 3800 JPY, which translates to roughly 28,7 Euros at the time of writing this. Personally, for me and my usecase, it's well worth it.

http://exkode.com/dxtory-features-en.html

Creonix - 15:15 17 October 2017 #

Well I use Wisdomsoft screenhunter free and it makes no marks :) I can take anything I want from the screen in any format

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