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General Software Discussion / Re: Et Tu, CCleaner!
« on: December 27, 2018, 04:21 PM »
4wd was being ironic.
No doubt, but ital2 was not.

That's who the info was directed at, although others may find it useful too.

General Software Discussion / Re: Et Tu, CCleaner!
« on: December 27, 2018, 11:44 AM »
4wd: "Wouldn't it be a lot less complicated, (and cheaper), to have the browser delete cookies when it's closed, (ie. they all become session cookies) ?"

Hence my question above; unfortunately, the traditional FF add-in having brilliantly done exactly that not working anymore beyond FF 56 (or whatever the exact version number was).

Firefox provides an option  to delete all cookies when the browser is closed (Options/Privacy & Security/Cookies and Site Data/Keep Until...Firefox is closed).

A more flexible solution is to leave the setting at the default "...Until they expire" and use a cookie whitelist extension to determine which ones to keep or delete.  Two such extensions that work well for me are "Cookie AutoDelete" and "Forget Me Not," both of which are compatible with current Firefox versions.

Living Room / Bill Godbout
« on: November 19, 2018, 05:24 PM »
One victim of the Camp Fire disaster in California earlier this month was Bill Godbout, a name that may be familiar to microcomputer old-timers as co-developer of the S-100 bus and founder of CompuPro, maker of some of the best computers in the early 1980's.

The Register has a good obituary.

According to this story in the New York Times, he may have died because he stayed to try and save his three cats when his family fled the fire.

General Software Discussion / Re: Rename Open File in Windows
« on: October 30, 2018, 09:06 AM »
XYplorer's built-in file viewer displays pdf files properly and does not lock the file being viewed, so you can rename it while viewing it.

The viewer, which can be shown in a pane or a separate movable window, always displays whatever file is currently selected, so you can simply scroll down through a list of files and rename them on the fly, without ever having to open them in a separate program.

Folk who flog software for a living should read this Ars Technica article about what’s wrong with how Microsoft develops and distributes Windows 10.

After a year using Windows 10, I much prefer it to Windows 7 generally, but find it remains too unreliable to replace Windows 7 on my primary working system. The problem is that with Windows 10, I can never be confident that something that worked one day will continue to do so the same way next day, even if I haven’t changed anything myself. 

One shouldn't use beta software in a production environment, but Windows 10 seems to be stuck in a permanent beta.

Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Mailwasher Pro 40% off this week
« on: September 18, 2018, 05:57 PM »
The 51% discount is back today (9/18/2018) again for 5 days.

General Software Discussion / Et Tu, CCleaner!
« on: August 06, 2018, 06:38 AM »
CCleaner 5.45 has been pulled from distribution after a firestorm of criticism last week when users reported that the new version was collecting usage data and sending it back to Piriform.

Martin Brinkmann has a detailed report on the new "features" on ghacks and bluntly advises against installing this version.

This is the second major security SNAFU since Piriform was acquired by Avast.

As a long time user of CCleaner, I now feel it's time to look for a replacement.


Seagate 3TB drives were notoriously prone to failure (I had one, and it did, after about 3 years).

According to the latest BackBlaze survey, the more recent Seagate 4TB drives have lower failure rates than either HGST or WD.

XYplorer currently has a World Cup 2018 sale on a lifetime license at 50% off  - $39.95 instead of $79.95.

The sale is in effect for as long as England stays in contention or the World Cup is over.

England beat Sweden today to advance to the semifinals against Croatia on Wednesday, July 11, so the sale is good at least until then.  If England defeats Croatia, they will advance to the final on Sunday, July 15.

This is just another formulation of the old nonsense about an infinite number of monkeys typing away forever and producing the complete works of Shakespeare.  It has nothing to do with Chaos Theory.

Mailwasher Pro discount has been upped to 51% through May 2018.
Enter promo code mayday51 in the checkout cart and click apply to see the result.

I've used Mailwasher Pro for 14 years and while no spam filtering tool is close to perfect, I have yet to find any other system that provides me with the flexibility to deal with the problem satisfactorily. I have it set to check email on my server automatically, which allows me to check things and delete (or undelete) selectively before anything reaches my local email program. This is great if you use a pop3 account, but far less useful if you use gmail or a similar system, which makes me wonder about the long term market for this kind of software.

I'd guess that Nick Bolton (developer of Mailwasher) is thinking along the same lines, which may explain the great sale prices at this time.  I renewed last year and my current license hs over two years left on it, which poses a dilemma, should I buy a lifetime license now at less than half price or wait and see what happens?

Given that I rely on Mailwasher every day, I'll probably go for the lifetime license now, if only to support the dev, but YMMV.

Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Mailwasher Pro 40% off this week
« on: April 27, 2018, 01:22 PM »
Thanks, link just goes to empty cart, here a better one:

they only offering 25% off at the site -- where did you get the 40% discount?

From the Mailwasher newsletter:

We're also running a discount of 40% on MailWasher Pro this week. So tell your friends and family!

Buy MailWasher with 40% off!
Stay safe
 Kind regards
Nick Bolton & the team at

50% (as per Curt) sounds better, but requires clicking to activate the deal through a 3rd party site, which is the kind of unsafe web behavior I try to avoid. 

Found Deals and Discounts / Mailwasher Pro 40% off this week
« on: April 25, 2018, 03:05 PM »
Mailwasher Pro anti-spam software is on sale for 40% off this week.

Unusually for Firetrust, this includes a lifetime license at $59.97, making it about $6 more than the 3-year license.

The FCC issued a Consumer Alert about the current spoofing epidemic last month.

Don't expect them to do much about it though. Here's the official FCC guide to protecting yourself from spam calls. Not much help there, although they do provide links to most carriers' pages on the topic.

I simply let all numbers that are not in my phone book go through to voicemail, and if it's a legitimate caller, I'll call back.  Google Voice is great for this since it provides text transcriptions of most messages, so I don't even have to listen to them to know if I should respond.

Living Room / Re: US Internet providers - suggestions needed
« on: April 18, 2018, 04:57 PM »
Verizon FIOS (fiber) is supposedly available in most of Gaithersburg, MD., and is generally considered far more reliable (and faster) than Xfinity (Comcast) cable. She should contact Verizon to find out whether her home can get it.  RCN also supposedly has fiber service in parts of Gaithersburg.

Found Deals and Discounts / Expandrive 40% off November 27 2017
« on: November 27, 2017, 09:39 AM »
Expandrive is offering 40% off all licenses today only (Nov. 27, 2017)

Found Deals and Discounts / VMware Workstation 14 Pro 40% off today
« on: November 20, 2017, 02:48 PM »
VMware has a "Black Friday" sale today (Monday, Nov.20, 2017).

40% off new purchases of Workstation 14 Pro or Fusion 10 Pro.
30% off upgrades.

30% off new purchases of Workstation Player 14 or Fusion 10.
20% off upgrades.

Use Promo Code: VMWBF1120 at checkout.

Discount expires November 20th, 2017 at 23:59 PM (Pacific Time)

General Software Discussion / Re: New faster Firefox browser released
« on: November 17, 2017, 10:27 PM »
Pale Moon has just released Basilisk, described as:

A XUL-based web-browser demonstrating the Unified XUL Platform (UXP).
This browser is a close twin to pre-Servo Firefox in how it operates.

Clearly designed to provide the closest possible alternative for those Firefox users not willing to trade customization for speed, but also offering a path forward for XUL based extensions.

19 lists detailed specifications on just about every mobile phone and allows you to compare up to 3 at a time.

Note that the depth of information provided may be somewhat intimidating to non technical viewers.

Living Room / Re: Large yet compact storage
« on: November 13, 2017, 08:37 AM »
Replacing the SSD on that particular laptop is actually pretty easy, if you are reasonably good at hardware maintenance.  If in doubt, a competent repair technician should be able to do it in less than an hour. has detailed instructions for replacing components in the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 20175.

Living Room / Microsoft Surface Pro problems
« on: August 23, 2017, 07:38 AM »
Consumer Reports has pulled their "Recommended" designation from Microsoft's Surface Pro devices and now recommends against buying any Microsoft tablets and laptops, based on survey results that indicate that as many as 25% will experience problems within the first two years of use.

In this day and age, that is shockingly bad for any computer, let alone one sold as a premium device, as this opinion piece from Computerworld notes.

And if you think that Microsoft is the unwitting victim of circumstances beyond their control, it seems they have been cutting costs by substituting pairs of 512GB SSDs for a single 1TB drive in their top of the line Surface models.


I'm thinking of buying FL after all (newer versions didn't run with XP, so that problem isn't a problem for me anymore); unfortunately, the developer isn't that "responsive": I've been longing for FL to implement a "search within the search results" for years - that functionality missing had been the reason for me never buying that tool even when it ran with XP (there's always an XP-running free version available btw, but I think that's not pertinent for the readers of this forum).

Since it's evident that a non-indexing searcher is in heavy need for a "search within the results", when each search takes long minutes if the file body to be searched is big enough (the developer brings - imo quite weak - arguments for leaving this out, but if I accept to gratuitously wait minutes for search results if the tool is free, I do not do so if I have to pay more than 60$ incl. VAT) - and you cannot delete non-pertinent search results (as described above) in FL either.

Search-within-search isn't the same as vicinity search of course, but often, you could use either one or the other to get to your means. (This isn't true when the vicinity searched-for would be a very close one.)
From the FileLocator Pro Help file (version 8.2):

Sometimes it is preferable to limit subsequent searches to the result list or a subset of the result list. FileLocator Pro supports searching file subsets through two menu options:

File - Search Result List
Searches all files listed in the result list.

File - Search Current Selection
Searches all files that are currently selected in the result list.

Search within search works by creating a new search and pre-filling the Look In field with all the files to be searched.

FL Pro also now allows the creation of indexes.

Living Room / Re: Stumped - can anyone help? Laptop drive issue
« on: June 26, 2017, 01:53 PM »
Question: What make is the laptop and how old is it?

The fact that the drive can be accessed when in the laptop but not through another computer makes me wonder if there is a BIOS security lock set.  ThinkPads (and probably other laptops) allow you to set a password in the BIOS that locks the hard drive so that it cannot be accessed if removed from the original computer.  If that's the case, the only solution I know of is to unlock the drive through the laptop BIOS before removing it.

If the lock was set intentionally, you will probably need to know the password to unlock the drive, and quite possibly a password to unlock the BIOS as well.

I suspect the USB problem is something else, but it might indicate a hardware problem (best case) or that the BIOS itself is hosed (worst case).

Whatever you do, I would certainly not try  to flash the BIOS before you have this problem worked out.

If you can't unlock the drive, since you have Paragon HDM and it can read the drive in the laptop when you boot from a CD, I would try imaging the drive to optical media and moving the image to another computer, then restoring it to another disk. That will probably take a while to do, but it should at least give you an un-encrypted backup image to work from.

If your problem is with music software, I gather you are talking about the cover art embedded in your music files as metadata, rather than booklets and backs, which you would be viewing in a file viewer.  You just need one file per album for embedding, usually named "folder.jpg" by some unfathomable convention, but if you are like me, you need many more for documentation. 

I too have thousands of ripped CDs accumulated over several decades (and thousands more yet to be ripped), along with vast amounts of album art and documentation. Whenever possible, I buy music as CDs and rip them myself, in which case I sometimes scan the cover and some of the other material myself. But much of the artwork and documentation I have comes from a variety of sources like publishers, online stores, etc.

The ripping software I use (EZ CD Audio Converter) automatically obtains metadata from various online databases and will download cover art for most CDs  I rip, but I almost never keep those images, which are usually inferior to what I can obtain on my own.

To create the cover art file to be embedded in the metadata, whether I scan it myself or convert an existing file, I use Paint.NET, a free photo editing program that is extremely easy to use but gives me all the flexibility I need.

Artwork obtained from other sources can sometimes be unreasonably large, particularly if it is meant for printing.  I'm only interested in being able to read the information, so if the files take up too much disk space, I convert them to .jpg if need be and resize them using Irfanview, which has a batch conversion and resizing tool with many advanced options.

For adding, extracting and removing cover art from music files, as well as for nearly all my metadata editing, I use mp3tag.

Living Room / Re: [Breaking News] Cyber Attack cripples UK NHS.
« on: May 14, 2017, 06:52 PM »
If I was a non-US large organisation such as the NHS, I would think twice about continuing to invest into MS products and would start very quickly to consider alternatives (such as the French police that went with Linux). There are also national security issues for a non-US country to have such a total reliance on the product of a single US corporation:
Europe's reliance on Microsoft has governments under a worrying digital 'killswitch'
This is not a US vs. the world issue.  It is just as much of an issue for US institutions.  In particular, it affects poorer individuals and organizations like non-profits more than anyone else, since those are the ones who must stretch their technology funds to the greatest extent.

More important, it jeopardizes even those who are up-to-date on their security patches because they rely on the same network as those who aren't, and any network is only as secure as its weakest links.  These hackers were looking for a quick buck, but someone else could exploit this kind of vulnerability to obtain information that would allow them to penetrate other, nominally more secure, systems.  This is a major method used by state organizations, who are not in it for monetary gain, for hacking their opponents.

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