Robert R. Fenichel


Indoor activities

I do various odd-job programming for myself, mostly dealing with a series of interlinked Advantage databases that keep track of my business, various household inventories, my photographs, and so on.  Some of my utilities are described (and available for download) here.  The Advantage DB is free for non-commercial use.

Each of these programs can run from any directory, and most of them maintain some registry entries (under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\RRF) but no other storage outside the Advantage database.  Each downloadable ZIP file contains the executable file, and most of them include the Delphi source code.

I wrote a countdown program (updated 2013-05-18; not database-dependent) to display a countdown to the end of the Bush administration, but the program can be used to count down to any future event.

For a while I used Windows' desktop gadgets Calendar and Clock, but sometimes they disappeared, and Google pointed me to extensive discussions of many methods, none sure-fire, by which one could try to reactivate them.  Further search revealed that the Windows' desktop gadgets were associated with unsolved security problems, so with one thing and another, I stopped using any of them.  My CalendarClockGadget (not database-dependent) is an application (not actually a gadget in Windows terms)  that maintains a display of the current date & time and a current-month calendar.  It includes an alarm clock, too.

Given supplies of (say) 3-, 23-, and 39-cent stamps, what's the best way to make up $1.70 in postage?  To answer questions like that, I use ChooseStamps  (updated 2013-12-14).

I had been playing with the persistence-of-vision device produced by Adafruit Industries, and I felt compelled to write a message generator (not database-dependent) for it.

Here is a simple database for storage and exchange of recipes.

CrashPlan is now the center of my backup regimen, but for several years part of my strategy was to copy the entire contents of my data volume (13 GB or so each time) to an external hard drive.  The accumulated copies were substantially redundant with each other; this provided some additional backup strength, but the disk-space requirements rapidly become onerous.  With a rolling delay of a year or so, I used my DuplicateFileEliminator (updated 2011-12-04; not database-dependent) program to cull from the pile; it accepts an old directory tree T1 and a newer directory tree T2, and it deletes from T1 any file that is identical in name, length, and age to a file that is identically placed in T2.

I have lately been playing with machine tools; some notes related to that hobby are on pages starting here.

A hardware-software project that started out as a simple scheme to control lawn watering developed into an elaborate environmental monitoring system (updated 2021-07-01), built around a generic data logger. 

Some electronic puttering with chaos circuits is described here.  


Page revised: 07/10/2021 16:29