Computer advice thread ("What's the best way to do this?")


Anyone on this forum already know how mssql works? I’m converting something tiny from mysql to it and it’s annoyingly slow going.


It’s mostly the same, it’s just Microsofty. SQL is SQL.


A 2 column primary key in mssql has evaded me thus far.


It’s called a composite primary key. Now you know the magic words to Google for.


Annoyingly, I knew this but didn’t think of it.


Long time listener, first-ish time forumer.

How do people pick new software?

Specifically, I’m looking for new software to put a bunch of docs and pdfs together - I use it about once a month at work. The internet is an endless rabbit hole of open source stuff with adware, dodgy paid software, adobe that’s expensive, and I haven’t found anywhere that I trust the reviews. Seems like you have to already know what the trustworthy sources are, and I’m afraid I don’t. Running windows 10 – any advice would be appreciated.


I have found AlternativeTo to be extremely helpful for finding new software. It keeps track of alternatives to known programs and the real website to download the program.


What do you mean “put a bunch of docs and PDFs together?” That’s a little vague.


AlternativeTo looks like a good place to start, thanks.

I usually put together about 50 word docs into one pdf - it comes to a couple hundred pages. I appreciate specific software suggestions, but mostly I got frustrated with not trusting anything online and not being able to tell what is legit software and what is a scam. We used to use a 10 year old version of PDF creator that we diligently did not update because they added auto-installed spyware and toolbars to the new versions, and I want something better and more trustworthy.

Some googling led me to PDFSam, the website looks clean, but so does the PDF creator website.


Open your Word Docs in Microsoft Word. Then paste the 50 documents end to end. Then go to File -> Print. There will be a printer there that says “print to PDF”.

You don’t need any special software for this.


So, my printer has turned into a piece of crap. Even with fresh ink, it seems to malfunction and the colors don’t print correctly. (A few pale colors even leak through if I do black-and-white.)

I’m thinking about getting a laser printer because I’m tired of paying for expensive ink cartridges. Has anyone used these things before? Are there any drawbacks to using them? Should I just go for it?


I have a b&w Laser Printer and I love it. Never tried a colour one. The speed and quality isn’t well worth the extra cost and the cartridges last forever.


I also have a b&w laser printer. The only thing better is no printer at all. It’s 2019. Death to paper.


The printer I own now will likely be the last printer I ever own.

Until I have a matter printer.

It’s a fancy office-style Brother color laser. It’s on its original toner still. I wonder if I’ll ever even need more toner in its lifetime.


Same. I use mine so rarely that I would not replace it if it broke. I would use the printer at work and such instead.


Emily prints art stuff semi-regularly. Print a digital sketch to then do something physical with it, scan a physical sketch, do something digital to it, print it, etc…


I recently bought this and I’ve been happier with it than the last HP inkjet printer I bought.

Whatever one’s view about paper, it does come with a flatbed scanner which is still useful.


What’s the best way to send a big file to someone? There’s a new answer to that question.


Still relevant to this day.



These days I just use Google Drive. Even for massive files. I pay for the extra storage, and I just delete the file once its been downloaded.

If it’s too big for Google Drive (e.g, over 1TB), it’s getting mailed on physical media.