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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: SoftMaker (makers of SoftOffice) moving away from eM Client to Thunderbird on: March 18, 2015, 01:59:28 PM
Thanks for posting, Martin Kotulla.  I hope that this works out to benefit both SoftMaker and Thunderbird.
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / SoftMaker (makers of SoftOffice) moving away from eM Client to Thunderbird on: March 16, 2015, 04:48:24 PM
SoftMaker has been bundling the eM Client software with some versions of SoftOffice to provide e-mail functionality.  They have apparently decided to end that arrangement and will be bundling a customized version of Thunderbird in future versions of SoftOffice:

  - http://www.softmaker.com/english/ofwtb_en.htm

As part of this they are also dedicating some development resources to Thunderbird and will be contributing fixes/enhancements to that project.

Seems like good news for Thunderbird. I'm not sure how I'd feel if I had gotten used to the eM Client.
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice? on: March 09, 2015, 04:10:31 PM
Some parts stores will rent you the "one time use" tool rather than making you buy it.

Yes - keep this in mind for those oddball tools that have a single, specialized purpose.  Some of the parts stores around here (Seattle area) will 'rent' these tools for nothing - essentially you pay for the tool then return it.  While this might sound like a scammy way to borrow a tool, it's the way the store has designed their loaner program.

And personally I like the Haynes brand of repair manuals, though I often combine using a Haynes book with the official technician's manual from the manufacturer if it's not too expensive.  I'm not really a mechanic, so I find it helpful to have a couple different perspectives on how something needs to be done.  But like you said, youtube makes this kind of thing a lot clearer than just going by books.
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Use a unique password for this site on: March 07, 2015, 12:55:54 AM
Not that anyone probably cares, but here's my basic website password security scheme:

  - sites that I deem important/sensitive, such as my banking sites, paypal, work, etc. get unique, strong passwords
  - sites that I consider to not be highly sensitive, ie., I won't lose money if someone gets into my account, such as DC, or cracked.com, or whatever, gets a password that's mostly the same as every other similarly non-sensitive website.  I do change the starting letter of the password to match the site's domain name - that gives these passwords some very small measure of uniqueness.

This works well for me because I don't have to work at all to remember most website passwords.  Of course, I'd rather those accounts not get hacked, but I won't be seriously hurt if they do so I don't feel I have to put a lot of effort into password security for them.  However, those passwords are still generally different enough from one another that if one site gets hacked and a list of userids & passwords gets into the hands of hackers (such as with the Adobe breech), those hackers won't get into *all* of my website accounts.  And the few that they might get a match on will be more or less worthless to them - at least as far as bringing any kind of harm to me.  Getting one of those passwords does nothing to help them get a password for any of the sites I consider sensitive.

The key is that the "common" password I use has a mix of letters, letter case, numbers, a punctuation character, and a length that's long enough, but not too long.

This lets that password get through nearly every 'password strength requirement' filter out there, but still fits constraints that some sites have.  It probably doesn't happen too often anymore, but in the past I have come across web sites that don't allow password to be longer then 8 characters or don't allow characters like quotes or slashes.  So my common, base password doesn't violate those rules.  But it's still complex enough to make most sites happy.

Anyway, that's how I deal with password management.

Irritating password constraints trivia: I recall one website that wanted passwords to be no shorter than 6 characters, but no longer than 8 characters - what???

5  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Total Uninstall 50% off at BDJ on: February 28, 2015, 02:00:35 PM
Note that it requires a hardware footprint and does not allow re-installation on a computer if you move the license to another one

According to the developer in the BDJ comments section, the license isn't quite as restrictive as that sounds:

  - you are permitted to move a license from one computer to another, but it may require logging onto the vendor's website and disabling the old license
  - one of his comments indicates that after some period of time license 'slots' become available again, so that a reinstall might not even require manual license management.  This behavior might apply only to the family license.

Still more licensing headaches that I prefer, but it's not as draconian as it first sounded.
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Preloaded spyware, courtesy Lenovo on: February 24, 2015, 12:40:09 PM
There are 100 or so certificates (including 27 "Untrusted certificates") installed on my system - and I think that my anti-malware should tell me if they're OK or not.

Why? SSL Certs only serve to verify the identity of the entity on the other end of a connection ... Not the purity of their intentions..

Because a company that is in the business of to helping deal with malware on my computer is in a better position to track certs that are known to be used for MITM schemes than I am.  Or they could track certs that are trustworthy and flag the other ones as something suspect.  That's what some of the more aggressive anti-malware does with programs.

I'm not sure how it would work. I'm just suggesting that it's a service that I would like to be included in the package for the fee that I'm paying.
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Preloaded spyware, courtesy Lenovo on: February 23, 2015, 11:50:36 PM
So when will legitimate security vendors (whoever they might be) start reporting when there are fishy root certs installed?  Because I don't know about you, but when I look at the collection of root certs installed on my machine (run the certmgr.msc management console plug-in program), there's no way I could say which (if any) didn't belong. 

There are 100 or so certificates (including 27 "Untrusted certificates") installed on my system - and I think that my anti-malware should tell me if they're OK or not.
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movies or films you've seen lately on: February 22, 2015, 01:28:41 PM
Another Aussie flick that I watched a few days ago, The Rover

It's one of those movies that I felt was too slow moving and even boring while I was watching it, but I keep thinking about it. The thing that make me very glad I stuck with it is that it has many story lines that are just hinted at and characters that you wonder about how they got to this point - what's their back story?  You are only given some small bit of history on the main character, Eric.  Everything else if left for you wonder about, and I think that makes this movie finish like a great short story.


9  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Preloaded spyware, courtesy Lenovo on: February 19, 2015, 12:46:41 PM
I hope that this behavior is found to be against some anti-hacking laws somewhere and that Lenovo can be hit with something more damaging then bad press.  Certainly, a MITM attack breaching secure banking sites must be against the law?

10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Cell Phone Questions on: February 17, 2015, 05:33:27 PM
In all seriousness, if cost is the only issue (you might want the bike for other reasons), a $20 or less phone along with the $30 Truphone SIM should last for years if the use is minimal. 

If I get 4wd's Nokia 6320 working again when the battery gets here, you're welcome to it, in which case the total outlay is $30 for the SIM.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Cell Phone Questions on: February 17, 2015, 04:52:09 PM
Crabby3 + cell phone = vehicle assist.  Easy, convenient but not free... (after purchase)

Crabby3 + bicycle + plus land-line = assist.  Semi-easy, semi-convenient but free... (after purchase)

You must have quite a large glovebox!

12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Cell Phone Questions on: February 16, 2015, 06:01:59 PM
Being from Australia it probably supports 900/1800/1900 (the US model supported 850/1800/1900).  My notes show that AT&T uses 850 and 1900 for voice and T-Mobile uses 1900.

I think that AT&T uses 1900 in most areas with 850 providing some additional bandwidth in some areas.  But there might be some AT&T zones that only have 850, which this phone probably won't work with. But I suspect it'll have no trouble in most places.

I thought the phone wouldn't even power on with the charger plugged in, but I just tried again.  The screen comes on for about 5 seconds (just a white screen with a very small empty battery icon).  So I think a new battery might do the trick. I ordered one on eBay; we'll see how it does.

13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Cell Phone Questions on: February 16, 2015, 09:21:15 AM
I sent you a phone from Australia, remember Wink

BTW,what happened to it?  Send it to crabby3 if it still works.

Oh yes!  I've learned a lot about cell phones and cheap phone plans since then. 

Unfortunately it doesn't seem to take a charge  anymore either with the charger you sent with it or with a universal charger I have for a laptop. Sad  I'm not sure if it just needs a new battery of if I did something else to it? I'd be more than happy to send it along, but I'm not sure it's worth the trouble of figuring out what's wrong.




14  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Cell Phone Questions on: February 15, 2015, 04:49:03 PM
That "give us a shout" is for fixing the problem if an account was deactivated after 6 months of non-use.  The best way to prevent that is to make an outgoing call for 9 cents every few months.

The closest thing I'm aware of for a cheap phone account that won't expire due to non-use would be a T-Mobile paygo plan that has enough funds to cover the $3 per month minimum for as long as you want the account to not expire.
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Cell Phone Questions on: February 15, 2015, 01:38:40 PM
Truphone: 9 min/9 text - (Note: I have not used Truphone myself) Truphone used to offer non-expiring funds. Today I can't find any information about their fund expiration policies.  If you check with their customer service and their policy is still to never expire funds and keep the phone active, then this might be a great plan to go with.  I might have to look into this for myself again...

According to this support posting, Truphone funds will not expire as long as you make at least one phone call in a 6 month period:  https://getsatisfaction.com/truphone/topics/how-often-should-i-top-up-my-truphone-sim-account

So I'd say that Truphone looks like a good option for a glovebox phone. Buy a SIM for $30 and you get $15 airtime on your account. There is more than 50 years worth of keep-the-phone-active funds in that $30 SIM purchase.  Making two (or three to ensure you don't cut it too close) calls a year probably isn't too much hassle.

Add more funds if/when you actually use the phone. The smallest top-up is $5 which gets you nearly an hour of talk time.

Update:  some more info on Truphone:

  • Truphone uses both the T-Mobile and AT&T networks, so coverage shouldn't be an issue
  • incoming calls and SMS are *free* (US calls/texts - I'm not sure about international ones)
  • one drawback is that MMS (multimedia messages) is not supported, only SMS (text only)
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Cell Phone Questions on: February 15, 2015, 12:09:49 PM
For pre-paid the cheapest is $15 for 365 days.

I couldn't believe that I didn't know about that plan (since one of my 'hobbies' is trying to get the cheapest phone service possible), but then I saw it was for Australia - what a let down.  Sad

That said, here's my wall-of-text on cheap paygo in the US:

Many pay-as-you-go (paygo) plans are very inexpensive for low use, but they all have some expiration date on unused funds and/or require you to pay some amount very few months to keep the phone service active.  All of the following information is for the US (and for US to US calls).  I'll also not be discussing data - voice and text only.

I'd suggest getting an unlocked GSM phone since that makes it *very* easy to select or change plans. It's pretty easy to find an unlocked feature phone for less than $20.  If you want an Android phone it'll be a little more difficult, but some very low-end ones can be found in the $30-40 range that are either unlocked or easy & cheap to get an unlocked on eBay or a third-party unlock site (this is completely legal). For voice & text, pretty much any GSM phone today will have the frequency support for any GSM provider, so all you have to worry about with a GSM phone (for voice/text) is that it is unlocked and you'll be able to use it.

There are two main GSM providers in the US (T-Mobile and AT&T); most of the 'off-brand' paygo providers are actually reselling service from one of these carriers.  AT&T has better coverage than T-Mobile. Verizon has even better coverage than AT&T, but isn't a GSM carrier, so I won't consider them in the remainder of this post. Depending on where you live, the coverage might matter in your selection of a plan.

A couple of websites that have a lot of information on these phones and plans:


Some plans that I'm aware of:

  • T-Mobile paygo: 10 min/10 text - there is a minimum $3.00 per month charge
  • H20 paygo: 5 min/5 text - must add at least $10 every 3 months
  • PTel: 5 min/2 text  - must add at least $10 every 2 months
  • Truphone: 9 min/9 text - (Note: I have not used Truphone myself) Truphone used to offer non-expiring funds. Today I can't find any information about their fund expiration policies.  If you check with their customer service and their policy is still to never expire funds and keep the phone active, then this might be a great plan to go with.  I might have to look into this for myself again...
  • LycaMobile: 2 min/ 4 text - Lyca used to allow you to carry your funds for an unlimited amount of time as long as you made at least one call or text in a 3 month period. They have changed things around several months ago and it's not clear to me if that policy is still in effect. Their website doesn't even mention paygo anymore, but reports are that it is still offered.  Lyca was (and still might be) a great plan for low-use phones, but the web site is terrible and the customer service isn't really any better.  I used Lyca for quite a while; when it worked it was a tremendous value, but then some things stopped working for me (Google voice integration being the main one), and I couldn't get any help. That plus the lack of clarity on new policies made me decide to move away.  However, I'm considering moving back since it seems like people aren't having their funds expire in practice and I think a new SIM will possibly solve my GV problem.

I'd say that for the least hassle, get a T-Mobile paygo plan and drop $40 onto it - you'll get a year+ of service, but Truphone might be worth a look.


17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: I no longer read WIRED - and why I'm glad I stopped reading it years ago on: January 17, 2015, 11:52:15 PM
And I didn't read the whole memo on keeping it neat, but I will say that in two times that I've worked places where I was moved into newly renovated digs, we got what were probably similar memos about keeping the shiny new space "lookin' good".

Unfortunately, real-life always overrides such requests, and desks and walls start getting covered in paper, sticky notes, whiteboards scrawled with god-knows-what and other materials.  If you want work done in a workplace, the artifacts of that work will start messing things up.

18  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software? on: January 15, 2015, 06:29:13 PM
I don't have too much trouble finding files on my file system since a name search usually nets me what I want and XYplorer does a fine job with that.

However, I use Outlook for email, both at home and at work, and I had major problems finding things there.  I don't do much mailbox organization - I'll stash messages that I *know* I'll need later - like purchase receipts and such - into appropriate folders, but general conversation threads and most other email typically just stays in my inbox.

But Outlook's built-in search is awful, so I sprung for Neo (Nelson E-Mail Organizer) Pro, which has been a major improvement even if its interface is clunky. The ugly interface doesn't bother me much since I can now find what I'm looking for instantly.

So if you're in the same boat as me (file system searches aren't a problem, but Outlook/Exchange searches are), take a look at Neo Pro. They have a generous trial (I forget how long it was, but it was more than 30 days).  I sprung for the standard $50 license, which is good for two machines, but they also have a subscription model that I was surprised to find tempting - $5 a month for all their products on all your machines.  In the end I decided that all I really wanted was the Neo product on two machines, so $50 once was better than $60 a year for me.

They also have a Neo Find product, which is some sort of subset of Neo Pro for $20 for one machine.  I probably should have gone for two Neo Find licenses for $40, but I was too lazy to trial Neo Find to make sure it wasn't missing something I'd need, so I just bought the Pro license.

  - http://www.emailorganizer.com/
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Sandboxie lifetime license... is back on: January 07, 2015, 06:44:24 PM
Invincea (the new owner of Sandboxie) has brought back lifetime licensing:

2. Lifetime Licenses are Back!

We heard you loud and clear that many of you want lifetime licenses. We brought them back, so you can pay once and forever have a Sandboxie license.

Apparently this isn't a time-limited special - it's a standard purchasing option.

$35 for one computer, $50 for 3, or $75 for 5

See http://www.sandboxie.com/index.php?HomeUse
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: new Site for my Software on: December 29, 2014, 08:43:58 PM
but what i really don't understand is the original dominion.
Because the tk is not really a dominion.

Quote
.tkw is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Tokelau, a territory of New Zealand located in the South Pacific.

...

Tokelau allows any individual to register domain names. Users and small businesses may register any number of domain names free of charge (with some restrictions).
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Programming/Coder humor on: December 26, 2014, 02:13:37 AM
Quote
I was telling my friends a TCP joke the other day; I had to keep repeating it slower and slower until they got it.
Grin Grin Grin

I'd tell you a UDP joke, but you might not get it.
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Program to copy contents of a cloud drive to a local drive -slowly on: December 22, 2014, 06:42:41 PM
If the cloud drive is mapped (or can be accessed via a UNC path) you can try using robocopy which has some options that might be useful:

  - /Z :: copy files in restartable mode.
  - /IPG:n :: Inter-Packet Gap (ms), to free bandwidth on slow lines.
  - /R:n :: number of Retries on failed copies: default 1 million.
  - /W:n :: Wait time between retries: default is 30 seconds.
23  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: XYplorer Xmas 2014 sale: Lifetime Pro licenses %50 off on: December 22, 2014, 02:27:27 PM
Don is running the 50% off sale again until  Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 23:59.
24  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Directory Opus Upgrade w/ Double Disount - Expires 1-1-2015 on: December 22, 2014, 01:53:21 PM
All I can say is, the upgrade didn't invalidate my previous v10 license but it does stop me from trying to upgrade that v10 license again.

I think that while the license file you have for v10 still will work, you're not supposed to use v10 one one machine and use v11 on another. The v11 upgrade 'replaces' the upgraded license from a EULA point of view.
25  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Sticky Password - 40% Discount on Lifetime Premium License on: December 20, 2014, 05:23:57 PM
Thanks! Any information on how long that discount will be valid?
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