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Messages - Shades [ switch to compact view ]

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"If a law of physics is broken, does it make a sound?"

That question leads to much more important questions, such as: if you happen to break a law of physics, how much jail time do you face? What kind of jail you can expect to be put into? And is there in such a jail also an unwritten rule about dropping the soap?  :D

If a law of physics is broken, does it make a sound?
Yes, but it travels at the speed of light, so your ears can't hear it...

Thanks for the download, it is much appreciated.

I did not respond sooner, because I was retrieving the other screensavers for you. But now I see that you have edited your post. You were successful in getting the MotionPicture screensaver?

Went through my hoard collection of vintage software to see if I still got a working copy of the screensaver itself and the tweaking software. Normally I'm not much of a screensaver person, but Maya Paint Effects, Electric Sheep and MotionPicture screensavers are truly great.

Unfortunately it was bupkiss for both on my end. Still had access to the Electric Sheep and MotionPicture screensavers, but not Maya or TweakMPE.

@ Ponsonnet:
If you still have the Maya screensaver, would you mind put it up somewhere for me to download? Google provides more than enough links, yet none of them actually allow me to download it anymore.

Living Room / Re: US Internet providers - suggestions needed
« on: April 06, 2018, 10:17 PM »
Do neighboring buildings have the same issues as her building does? If not, then the cause must be in the building. Network sniffing could also be a good idea. Tools like WireShark and NetworkMiner give you a very detailed overview from what is actually happening on the network. WireShark is the most extensive, but you need to know what you are looking at. Because if you don't you will "drown" in the huge amounts of data presented on your computer.

What is handy from WireShark is the coloring of lines. An occasional black line during a capture of 10 minutes or something like that, it's not good, but should not affect the internet experience too much. But if you get large amounts of those, like I got when my line was just installed, you are having serious problems. However, with a bit of understanding, you can identify in which part of the internet connection things go wrong.

Well, over the years people here in PY and NL hired my services for connecting their home to their ISP, but also to fix the mess of the previous "tech", whether that may have been themselves, the kid next door, a niece/nephew etc.

Double NAT I always encounter. Lots of overlapping signals/channels too. Shoddy UTP cabling too (with non-standard lengths of cable), cable modems attached to rusted coax connectors, (very) old model coax connectors provided by the cable company years ago. Sometimes even the cardinal sin, a signal amplifier between coax connector and cable modem. All big no-no's and things you can rather easily fix yourself.

In NL cable companies (still) operate under similar monopoly rules/regulations as the US. However, they do mention which type/model of coax connector you must use in combination with their modem. And no, even if a new but different type/model connector is installed by the owner of the building, you will still get a crappy internet connection. Those connectors are really not made all equal, even though they appear to look the same. Shoddy workmanship with the correct type/model of connector? Yep, another way to get a (very) crappy internet connection. If you get a visit from a tech in NL, that is always the first thing they check.

Of course, it is possible that there is a problem getting internet to the building over the remainder from the network of the cable ISP. And that is indeed something they will need to fix. However, the "last mile" between ISP and a home is more often the cause of crappy internet connections. To clarify: in NL all lines for coax, electricity, telephone, gas and water to a home are put into the ground. Makes all those networks extremely reliable. And that includes internet through cable modems, glass fiber and copper phone-lines. Cable companies normally use 1 small, grey metal box per street to provide each house with a coax signal. And as long as nobody crashes their car/truck into those, they work well.

The last house I called home in NL, was a house that was already 50 years old. Still, after the cable company upgraded their little grey box for the neighborhood and me replacing the coax connector for a supported model, my cable internet connection worked flawlessly. And that was over 20 year old coax cable between the grey box in the street and the house. Keeping the cable modem as close as possible to the coax connector is also very helpful and from that point on using a CAT5e UTP cable to a router/switch physically about 10 meters removed from the coax connector (but I needed almost 25 meters of UTP cable to work it out of sight).

In four years I had no issues with that setup and then I became an expat in PY...where all lines for electricity, telephone, coax and fiber are above ground. Very unreliable. So much so, that most ISPs use WiMax for interconnecting neighborhoods instead. Such service is also available for normal residences too. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that WiMax is practically as reliable as a cabled network. Especially compared with the misery that are consumer grade WiFi devices.

Sorry for another long rant.  :-[



General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 Announced
« on: April 05, 2018, 12:34 AM »
There are a few grammar mistakes in the screenshot of that message. As a non-native speaker/writer of English, I may not assume my English is great. But I like to think it is good enough to spot the bad grammar in places. Bad English is almost always a sign of a scam.

Also, you must call Microsoft, because of a Google Chrome critical error? Without an error code? If you expect any help from the provided telephone number or the real telephone number without an error code or at least a concise note regarding the nature of the error, dream on.

Most of the remaining content is just spreading panic in the mind of the user with generic terms...

Separately, each of the above statements should have triggered your bullsh.t detector. In combination it almost becomes funny, at least for people proficient in reading error messages.

Granted, that is not a skill mastered by most users. And that is where the creators of the message bank on. However, if I can already spot the bad grammar, a native speaker of English would certainly spot them, likely even more. Bad English in error messages created by an organization as Google (which employs geniuses in every shape and form)? Really?

Even if you don't have a brain "wired" for computers, just your skill in English should already have been enough to identify this message as a scam.

Living Room / Re: US Internet providers - suggestions needed
« on: April 04, 2018, 09:07 AM »
Does she connect her gear with WiFi or UTP cable?

If you have the option on your computer or laptop, first try a cable connected directly to the modem device provided by your ISP before starting to complain to your ISP. That way you are sure the problem of a shoddy connection isn't caused by the WiFi setup in your friends house.

Bit of a rant:
While a monopoly is indeed a bad thing for digital/analog goods delivered to the customer, with regards to internet access the customer isn't always aware that they themselves (unconsciously) can be just as problematic towards their internet connection as their ISP can be. Especially with consumer-grade WiFi devices you can get into a lot of trouble.

If you are able to connect by UTP cable to the modem and there is suddenly no problem accessing sites and whatever else she needs/wants to do on the internet, the ISP is already not to blame, they only have to provide the internet at speeds agreed upon for the contract that exists between your friend and her ISP. Anything more is goodwill on the end of the ISP.

With WiFi, there are some ground rules to follow. If you do, you build a much more stable WiFi network setup, even with consumer-grade WiFi devices. Usually you start by disabling WiFi on the modem of the ISP and bring the internet signal by 1 UTP cable to a much more optimal place in your house for better WiFi coverage. Get a decent WiFi router and connect the UTP cable from the modem to this router. One single cable is easy enough to work out of sight.

Most people here will know already, but for clarity: do not use the WAN port on this router! Ever! Because if you do, you create a double NAT setup, which will make troubleshooting WiFi issues a real pain in the behind. Tape over that port, glue it shut, whatever you think is best to prevent future mishaps. If you have a lot of area to cover, you could use another single UTP cable to connect another WiFi router. When you use more than one WiFi device, do not use the same channel and preferably also not the same name.

For any WiFi device select manually channel 1 or 6 or 11. No other channels should be used. Coordinate with your neighbors to do the same on their WiFi devices if you have to. If you do, their WiFi coverage will improve as well, for no costs.

On a very few occasions I did enter the store to find out about a tool. But that was when I still had a Windows 8.1 phone. For Windows on my computers I never saw the need to enter the MS Store. Never spent any money in there, that is certain.

In case you want speed and not pay for a license after the trial of Paragon software, there are several ways that do not have to cost you anything, except for time and some storage space.

1. You could run an instance of Oracle's VirtualBox, and use the iso(s) you download to create a basic Linux VM. The size of the VM is usually set automatically by VirtualBox to 8GByte, but if you keep the installation very basic (all the default options from the Ubuntu installer) you should barely use more than 4GByte. Anyway, if you run the Linux VM setup, you can connect your Linux formatted drive to Windows and "attach" it to the VM instance using the menu option in VirtualBox. Windows will not "see" the drive anymore, but you can access the drive just fine in full speed.

VirtualBox comes with this functionality (I use it myself) and you do not need to purchase a license for VirtualBox or its extension pack. VMWare has also a free to use version of their virtualization software, called: VMWare Player. While I don't think "attaching" a Linux formatted drive to its VM instance is a problem, I am not sure. There was a period where VMWare Player was getting less functionality with each new version that came out. Which was why I jumped to VirtualBox at the time and I haven't got any reason to look back since.

2. Use a version of Linux that others already have prepared to boot from a pen drive or CD. Porteus looks like a safe bet, you can download it from here and instructions on how to make it work are simple, according to their instructions page. At about 25% to 30% of this page you will find the instructions for creating a bootable pendrive, using only windows, without even having to burn a CD/DVD from the iso.

3. You could take a look at coLinux. Probably abandoned by now, because it only came in 32-bit flavor. However, it was and still is available in the PortableUbuntu project...which is more than likely also abandoned by now. That project you can run directly in your 32-bit Windows installation of XP/Vista/7 and you can erase your drive with the file manager that comes with Linux easily and at full speed.

Originally it uses Ubuntu 8, but you could upgrade it to the last 32-bit version of Ubuntu, which is 16.04 if you are up for that. Not that such a thing is absolutely necessary, Ubuntu 8 already supports EXT3. And if you run it once or twice a year for only a brief period, you would hardly have any reason to upgrade.

It does look a bit weird to run both Windows and Linux at the same time, you'll get an extra menu bar with Ubuntu colors in your Windows screen and you simply run the Linux file manager by activating the option from that Ubuntu menu. There is really nothing more to it, other than to connect your Linux formatted drive, of course.

All of the above is not as easy as the solution provided by Ath, but won't be crippled after the trial period expires.

Living Room / Re: Need help translating old German documents
« on: March 14, 2018, 08:41 AM »
Wasn't there also something like 'High-German' as a form of the German language in those centuries? Just to make the translation job from German to whatever even more difficult...

General Software Discussion / Re: Nuke my SSD to use again?
« on: March 13, 2018, 09:12 PM »
Maybe a tool like MHDD will get you going again. But that is not for the faint of heart. Then again, the drive is already a mess, so unintentionally adding more issues to it won't make the situation any worse.

The problem you describe, it does sound familiar in a way. the exact same thing happens here often, but then with pen drives...especially from the brand SanDisk (Cruzer Blade). Out of nowhere these just go into "media is write protected"-mode after 2 or 3 months and Windows isn't able to do anything with it anymore.

Almost like the operating system isn't registering those pen drives as a 'Removable device' from that point on. I would not be surprised if something similar is going on in the situation of the OP.

If You did not try this already, you could check if the drive is usable with an alternative operating system, such as Linux, Mac or BSD. Most Linux and BSD installers (ISOs) have an option to create a bootable medium with them, so you can try these OS'es out without messing with your currently installed operating system. If you do intent to try that, make sure you disconnect the drive(s) you normally boot from first. That way if you decide to use the format options in Linux or BSD, you won't format the wrong drive by accident. 

Or try the drive in a USB hard disk enclosure. If you have a decent one, the hard disk controller inside that enclosure could "shake the drive loose" again for you.

Question for my fellow travelers: How much sunscreen do we need to bring?

Or with the infamous words of the Bloodhound Gang song: "Fire Water Burn'   "Burn, burn!"  :P

Is the Admin account on your system not capable of changing ownership of files and/or folders?  This account is by default disabled, but enabling it is done in a second or so.

Given the latest allegations, you might have to nominate Trump for the Nobel Sleaze Prize...

General Software Discussion / Re: any bug tracking tool suggested?
« on: February 24, 2018, 01:54 PM »
You want (or need) to host the solution yourself or not?

While not free or open source, I heartily recommend Jira. The other projects mentioned by wraith808 are very good and mature issue-trackers, but the interface and manageability of Jira is awesome. They have a cheap plan of 10 USD/month for a max of 10 users and prices go down if you need to add more people. There is also their solution that you can host on your own hardware.

In any case, Jira is already very feature complete and if you put in the time, you can manage every aspect of the workflow you like or need. And if things are still missing, you can make your own plugin(s) or get one from their shop. Which is mainly filled with plug-ins that other 3rd-party companies have made and they offer these either freely or with a commercial license.

Jira is a product from the Atlassian company and integrates very well with other Atlassian products. Been using Jira (self-hosted) for more than 10 years already and it is really an excellent tool for keeping track of issues, it integrates very well with 3rd party version tracking of files out-of-the-box, keeps track of time spent on issues, generating reports, graphical overviews and lots more. Never had one inkling of using anything else since.

Atlassian software, that truly is money well spent. No affiliation, besides being a happy user.

Announce Your Software/Service/Product / Re: StackNotes
« on: February 23, 2018, 07:55 PM »
I plan to add a "mail" plugin (either to send a note or a complete padfile) using BLAT CLI; i have the prototype for this, i just need to adapt the code.

Just as a side note: I have always encountered issues when trying to use BLAT within a CLI environment. Then I found an alternative in CMail. This worked beautifully from the get-go. If you can get Blat to work for you, good. But if not, you don't have to spend a lot of time looking for a more than excellent alternative. 

Living Room / Re: Peculiar windows problem
« on: February 14, 2018, 04:37 PM »
Clone the current hard disk onto another one. Remove the current drive and put the cloned drive into the PC. If all went well, your system should boot up without any issues. Windows usually doesn't complain if the only hardware change in the whole computer is the hard disk.

The problematic drive can now be coupled to another PC that uses the tool MHDD for a really thorough check. This check can take hours, depending on the storage capacity of the disk, but you will have a much better understanding of what is wrong on your disk and where (on the surface(s)) these occur.

If these errors occur close to the beginning of the disk or at the end, you can use the MHDD tool to re-adjust the size of the disk, so it will be impossible for any operating system to access such a bad section ever again. The reduced disk can likely be re-used this way. Still, if you reduce the capacity of the disk, you will lose all the content of that disk, yes or yes.

CHKDSK is a tool that makes Windows work with a bad disk. CHKDSK manages/repairs content that has been malformed or misplaced, mainly by misused computers. That part of the concept "disk repair" CHKDSK does well. However, when the hard disk itself has actual issues, CHKDSK doesn't do so well. In those cases you'd better use proper tools like MHDD to investigate and optionally manage the problems on the disk. MHDD has a steep learning curve and can be dangerous in untrained hands.   

That can be your NANY 2019 entry.. NANY 2018 is over.

Ok I misunderstood the time frame.

Please delete this entry.

To my understanding, the person creating the thread can also change the title of the thread any given moment. Removing the thread because of a minor change from 2018 to 2019 should not be necessary.

How about a separate/external mail checker?  It should notify you of new messages and open your default mail client once you click on the pop-up.

And if that one doesn't do what you want, here is a collection of alternatives.

* Edit:  I really should read the whole thread, A suggestion, similar to mine was already given. I didn't remove my post because of the alternatives. *

A friend of mine was totally into that game at the time it came out for his Amiga. He even spent weeks making a huge hand drawn map (to scale) from the terrain/island the game played on. 

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 Announced
« on: February 06, 2018, 09:14 AM »
In my network with a dedicated router (& firewall) PC, a few switches and a total of 45 PC's (Linux, Windows and FreeBSD, 70% is bare metal, the remainder is virtual) there is no problem hooking up PC's for LAN gaming. or anything else for that matter. 

Was it an old(er) game that you were using for the LAN gaming? I remember old(er) games having options for LAN gaming, using a serial connection, by using IPX/SPX and also the TCP/IP protocol. There are ways to transfer IPX traffic over the TCP/IP protocol, but that is all from yesteryear. Still, by using HomeGroup, you might have enabled the IPX traffic to travel over TCP/IP. On the other hand, new(er) games only use TCP/IP anymore.

Homegroup has always been disabled in my network, Onedrive file sharing implies the cloud, which for most is not their own LAN, which makes it practically forbidden in my network. Windows (10) file sharing wizards aren't needed or used either. Linux PCs communicate just fine using Samba. Network printing and scanning, it all working pretty much out of the box. Are you sure your network is configured ok? No double NAT going on anywhere?

To do networking well, it requires a fair amount of studying. It is an interesting field in the world of computing and if you choose to become a network specialist, you can (usually) make very nice sums of money.

Be that as it may, most people can't or won't spent time on networking basics and rely on wizards and automated systems like HomeGroup to do the work for them. It is my personal (and perhaps not so humble) opinion that you shouldn't rely on these automatic systems and figure it out for yourself. Yes, it is a headache in the short run, but you'll benefit from it later.

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 Announced
« on: February 05, 2018, 06:31 PM »
It sounds like the last option, yet to my understanding I do not have 2FA activated. And I didn't get 2FA-like messages after re-approving my set of 3 devices. As I am not into the cloud, there is only a small amount of re-approving, so it didn't take too much of my time, but long enough to boil up a rant.

But for someone who has a lot of devices registered, that would become a major pain in the neck. Not that the manner is wrong, I can see some sense in that when you enable 2FA, it might be best to start all over with the administration of the devices. Still, I think the programmer(s) made it easy for themselves by just offering their favorite option, and not a more common sense option with per device enable/disable most more advanced users have been accustomed to for years in Windows, Linux and Mac.

The kids at Google seem to apply the concept of "lazy loading" to "lazy coding" (yes, these are not the same, but somehow it sounds right).

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 Announced
« on: February 04, 2018, 09:29 AM »
another new development is rising on the Windows 10 front....

What would the S stand for?
Skool? (tibe error made on purpose)

If you managed to read this far, you will have grokked by now that I'm not a fan.

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 Announced
« on: February 04, 2018, 08:49 AM »
Sort-of off-topic:
wonder if successful would we get windows phones again (I like mine but the lack of apps can be a pain)

Here is to hoping. After being exposed to Android for a while now, I would be more than happy to get a new Windows phone again.

Really, some UI steps that Google puts into Android are an abomination. And is it really that difficult for Google to remove 1 device from your list of approved devices? Instead you must eliminate all devices and re-register each device one by one....ff-ing amazing job, Google! I wonder how many people are bothered enough to do this. But it would be a safe assumption to state that most people just say: 'F... this' and don't do anything. Kinda defeats the whole purpose of your "security".

Seriously, the person(s) who thought this to be a good UI design, deserve to be taken behind the shed (and their final thought to be: "Aha, so that is how a functional UI works on the device that is putting this bullet in my head").


Have you tried to remove all updates/patches/downloads that are linked to sysinternals and retry? All the tools on the SysInternals website are also available as separate downloads, but also as one whole zipped archive. Then it is called: SysInternals Suite  and this 23MByte download (give or take) shouldn't be a problem, even for bandwidth starved types of internet connection anywhere in the world.

Personally, I always download the suite whenever there is a new version of it, because I deem this software to be essential on any Windows installation. As far as I know, any of the software from SysInternals is updated irregularly, so you don't need to redownload the same tools over and over whenever you decide to use WSUS.

When taking a look at your screenshot, it appears that the WSUS software is not able to download directly from the sysinternals website. Whether that is a configuration problem on their end or on yours, is not that clear. Not to be offensive or anything, but it is more likely that the configuration mistake occurs on your end.

Please take into account that it won't be long anymore before Microsoft pulls the support plug on Windows 7 very soon, meaning that Microsoft completely stops making any patch/update/download for Windows 7. Microsoft really wants you to migrate to Windows 10 and without any type of support for Windows 7, you probably should...from a security standpoint, at least. Then there is the debate about (lack of) privacy with Windows 10...but that is a different can of worms...and there appears to be no end to that supply of cans in the future.

Anyway, after support for Windows 7 stops, your problems with Windows 7 updates through WSUS will automatically stop too. You might consider that the proverbial 'silver lining'. 

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