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Current User Paths: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

System User Folder Paths : HKEY_USERS\(User SID#)\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders\

I am having my first go at getting my son’s iPad setup with LAMP Words For Life  (LWFL) setup. It’s exciting thinking about how this may open up better communication between all of us. I will be posting little bits of info as I come across them and hopefully it will help others who may be digging for the same info I am. I will be updating each post topic as I work thru things.

iPad Icon Size

One of the key factors I was concerned about before getting started was that I knew that this app was displaying a lot of images and that the images that came as part of the default vocabulary files are from an era where HD displays were not even dreamt of yet. The icons are low res, pixelated and often don’t look much like their real world counterparts. I knew I needed to make things as familiar as possible for my son as he is very much a creature of habit and accepts things that are familiar much easier than something he may have not had contact with yet. When picking out our device I knew that loading up detailed images of real world objects might be a issue, not so much because of hardware limitations since I figured the iPad could pump out the horsepower needed, but maybe the software might have some bottlenecks either for being fairly new or bringing legacy issues forward. We picked the iPad Air since it was the fastest unit at the time hoping it’s faster processor would help keep things snappy when switching between pages. LWFL imports images from the iPad’s camera roll. during the import process, it presents your with a crop tool but I didn’t know if the software was simply cropping the image on the fly, or was it actually creating a nice small icon adjusting the resolution and dimensions or what. I started a test vocabulary file to play with, and began replacing images. I used large +900px images and things seems to be running pretty good. I then removed some of the images from the Camera Roll, and the images stayed in the software so I knew it was at least storing the images within the program, which was good so didn’t have to worry about my son deleting images and breaking things. But I had only replace a few test images. Would the speed keep up as I loaded more and more images? I didn’t want to get weeks into setting up Daniel’s core custom vocabulary file only to be hit with a performance issue and have to start all over.  I posted a question over on PRC’s Facebook page [because any company worth it’s salt will respond to someone questioning the quality of their product in an open forum in front of millions of potential customers to keep up their company’s image up 😉 ] and with  PRC’s speedy response, I found out that the internal icon size is 5/8″ x 3/4″ (0.625″ x 0.75″) or a  1:1.2 ratio. “Cool!” I thought, “They are creating their own images and resizing them down so I should be good to go.” So I started to create my son’s custom vocab file. I edited my images on my PC & upload them to my website. Then on the iPad I would refresh the page in Safari, save the image to the Camera Roll and then import the image in LWFL. Using the 1:1.2 ratio though I was getting outlines showing up on the edges of the image. It seems a square image usually works better. I got about 50 images in when things . . started . . . to . . . . slow . . . . . . .down. I though “Ahhh crapo. They are cropping, but not resizing.” I exported a standard 84 full vocab file and my custom vocab file to iTunes and compared their sizes. About 20 MB’s difference. All of my custom jpeg images only added up to about 4MB total. So I am left to deduce that either the image processing on the iPad is creating some larger files or there is some sort of overhead or meta data going on inside.

(I have posted a question on Facebook about this and will update this when I have a answer.)

So after hitting this snag, I have gone thru and tested multiple formats, sizes and resolutions.  I am getting best results using 450X450 px and 600 PPI which results in an image about 30-40kb per image. I am going to go forward now using these sizes, adjust my existing images and go on from here. I know the iPad Air has a screen resolution of 264 PPI, but I compared 264, 528 and 600 (600 just to try a nice round number) and the 600 looked the sharpest. I tried 792 & 800 but didn’t any difference in clarity, so I stuck with 600 PPI.

LAMP Words For Life Key Colors

Color Chart






Getting transparent icons into the iPad app seems like it is going to require building the vocab file/icons using the PASS software and purchasing a license to the iShare account service to sync with. The PASS software is pretty rough (old & clunky like the Vantage Lite units), I am not quite ready to setup a iShare account. Will probably end up needing to sync my son’s personal and school device up using iShare with the teachers, but not ready to do that just yet. These colors match the standard app colors but unfortunately it seems the colors used when editing icons within the app have a gradient so they don’t quite blend in naturally, but these colors will get you pretty darn close. I am going to just color my standard icons and forget about trying to do transparency as I can probably get these color added as fast as trying to convert the vocab PVF files in and out of the PASS software.

Hex Color – Color Name or Color Description
█ FFFFFF – White
█ FFBB92 – Very Light Orange
█ FF9966  –  Atomic Tangerine
█ CC5F00 – Strong Orange
█ FFDCB8 – Pale Orange
CF9F69 – Slightly Desaturated Orange
█ 9D7033 – Dark Moderate Orange
█ 6F4924 – Very Dark Orange
█ FFFFCC – Very Pale Yellow
█ FFFF98 – Very Light Yellow
█ FFFF66 – Unmellow Yellow
█ FFFF00 – Yellow, Electric yellow
█ CCFF99 – Very Light Green
█ 00FF66 – Pure Cyan – Lime Green
█ 009C00 – Dark Lime Green
█ 006600 –  Pakistan Green
█ CCFFFF – Very Pale Cyan
█ 8CFFFF – Very Light Cyan
█ 0CC0C0 – Strong Cyan
█ 088080 – Dark Cyan
█ CCE0FF – Very Pale Blue
█ 99CCFF – Very Light Blue
█ 5588FF – Light Blue
█ 0000FF – Blue
█ E0CCFF – Very Pale Violet
█ CC99FF – Very Light Violet
█ A767FF – Very Light Violet
█ 7F00FF – Pure Violet
█ FFC5EA – Very Pale Pink
█ FF8AD7 – Very Light Pink
█ FF0099 – Pure Pink
█ B00072 – Dark Pink
█ FFCCCC – Very Pale Red
█ FF7777 – Very Light Red
█ EE0000 – Pure Red
█ 993333 – Dark Moderate Red


Color Information Provided by ColorHexa

Here is my collection of fonts from around the net.


The Quadruple Take

When life gives you lemons, do a quadruple take. I give you Sir Patrick Stewart.

Just stumbled with my fat fingers and found that the Windows Key + a number key (1,2,3 etc.) will switch you to the corresponding window in the taskbar. So if the first window shown in your taskbar is Datacad (yea Datacad!) then you can hit Win+1 to switch to that window. If that window is already your active window, then it will minimize that window. This works in Windows 7 – Win XP or 8, who knows? The Shadow Knows!


Download the set of Sherwin Williams Color Palettes

Sherwin Williams 6000-6254 Sherwin Williams 6255-6509 Sherwin Williams 6510-6764 Sherwin Williams 6765-6994


There are a few lines in the dcadwin.ini file that can be tweaked to allow you to use your own custom icons for some of Datacad’s standard toolbars and dialogs.

Use External Icons=True
This will make Datacad look for 32bit- Alpha channel PGN file in the Support Files\Toolbars\ folder for it’s icons first before using the ones stored within the main program.

[Layer Manager]
This will make Datacad look into the Support Files\Toolbars\ folder for the following icons for use in the Layer Manager
The default listed are LayerOn.png, LayerOff.png, LayerActive.png, LayerErase.png, LayerLock.png, and LayerUnlock.png though some additional may be added over time.

[Standard Toolbar]
If any of the above are set to FALSE, the corresponding icon will not appear on the Standard Toolbar.

Get a Free download of the worlds best Architectural Software EVER!

A couple Datacad Start Logos I whipped up. Unzip the BMP files, rename one to DC_Logo_Splash.bmp and replace the same file in your Datacad diectory. Remember to backup your original file in case you want it again. I also included layered Photoshop PSD files in case you want to tweak em.

Download – Datacad Start Logos

Like the websites product image, there is no depth to the shot.

     Recently our bank (ie; credit union, EECU, insert support local banks plug here) updated their online banking software suite. It’s really quite fantastic, and I am looking forward to using it to create a better household budget but the real kicker was that it had a link to a rewards program for my EECU Visa card I never knew existed. I think I may have seen something about it in one of the glossies that used to come with the billing statement years ago before I switched to email for paperless billing. I’ve had this card for about 12 years, and apparently I had racked up quite the cache of points. So I browsed their somewhat limited selection of goods and decided on a deluxe counter-top toaster as well as Megamind & Goonies on Blu-Ray.

     The toaster oven got here yesterday, and I unboxed all of it’s stainless steel goodness this morning. It really looks like it’s gonna toast up something yummy. Just wish I had something toastable in the house. Later this evening Brandon and I went outside to admire our hard days work putting up the Christmas lights on the house and decided to go get the mail. As I was reaching into the mailbox I heard the scraping of metal. ‘Ah! the key for the package box below!’ So I retrieved the package and sure enough it had the label of the rewards company on the outside of the package. Walking back to the house from the mailbox I noticed that the box was way too heavy for just two movies. Felt close to 2-3 lbs. So we got it inside and opened it up and inside was the mother of all 80’s collectors editions. I knew that the reward website mentioned that the Goonies was the 25th Anniversary Edition, but I figured this meant what most anniversary based packs meant, some extra features, if your lucky the material had been digitally remastered, if your real lucky they remastered it in true HD. This pack is nuts. It came with 10 high gloss, double sided storyboards from the production, mini reproductions of a collectors magazine made in the 80’s back when then movie was making a killing. Some mini mag from Spielberg & it’s own board game. Like a board game board game. With playing cards, little gold coins and little token pieces with the characters on them.

When too much Goonies is just not enough.

Just what I always needed. A my own, even smaller, Cory Spelman.

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