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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Resources for learning Windows PowerShell on: December 02, 2014, 08:27:40 AM
Many thanks for all of the suggestions, and apologies for not responding sooner - work has been nightmare busy.  Seriously, I am starting to have nightmares about computers catching fire.

Anyway, I was aware of the TechNet/scripting guy resources.  I don't really know where I want to go with PowerShell and so, that's my starting point.  As I read I can see some use in deploying applications etc. and I've been seeing more references to it, so I figured it's worth a crack.

I hadn't really thought of IDEs for PS, but I'll be looking into that - thx Shades!

Thx to Ath for the ebook reccy.  Those all look like good topics, but perhaps for a bit down the line when I have idea what I want to use it for!

And more thx to wraith808 for reference to chocolatey which I have never heard of, but take a look at.

As usual, the DC community is extremely helpful!

2  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Resources for learning Windows PowerShell on: November 28, 2014, 08:09:30 AM
Apparently, Windows will be getting a package manager sometime in the future that will use Windows PowerShell.

I have it installed, but have never tried to use it as anything but a CLI.  I think that should change and I have done multiple searches for resources to help me start to learn.

However, seeing as though one of my favourite online communities is stuffed with clever programmers (erm, that would be you-all if you didn't get that reference Wink), I thought it prudent to ask here as well.

I did a search on the forums and while there were a lot of hits, they were pretty old and I couldn't find one directly related to learning, so any suggestions are appreciated.

3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: How to remove CDFS partition from a USB Stick on: June 09, 2014, 09:20:51 AM

None of my approaches have worked.  I have even cut open one of these little buggers, to try and fetch physical chip numbers etc., but the chip inside has no markings what so ever!

From what I've been able to determine, the CDFS portion has likely been flashed directly to the chip, and because the chip can't be identified, this is a lost cause.  I appreciate how determined you guys are to dogging this thing to it's end, but as KatyKaty notes, the time spent already has been worth far more than the actual successful outcome.

I was hoping to learn some concrete skill as a result and while I've become a bit more knowledgeable about this sort of thing, all I've learned (reinforced actually) is that there is a time to move on, and this is it.

If anyone is desperate to crack this problem, let me know - I can probably mail one of these things off to you, to torture at your leisure.

4  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: How to remove CDFS partition from a USB Stick on: June 05, 2014, 07:43:23 AM
Many thanks for the suggestions.  I forgot to subscribe to this thread or I would have replied earlier.

Chip Genius I had already tried, but couldn't find proper PID/VID info.  I later read that those values can be over written as part of the process of creating this odd setup, so I gave up on that.

I tried GPartEd Parted and GPartMagic - none of them could see the CD based partition, likely because it identified as a CD which of course can't be partitioned.

The RodsBooks link was an interesting read, but I do not have an easily accessible linux machine to use, nor do I have the chops to know what I'm doing even if I did.

I tried several programs that promised to wipe the Partition Table, but in fact were not able to.

Not all is lost though.  I have previously used a tool called Rufus, which is used to prep a USB stick to install and boot from a USB stick.  It is the only program I have found that sees the device as the full 8g capacity.  I am currently oprepping it now and have higher than reasonable hopes that it will be that easy Wink

There was another program I downloaded yesterday as well, that I haven't had a go with yet, called Kill Disk Suite, and it advertises it's ability to wipe and reinitialize the partition table.

I'll report back on which if either of these works.

Cheers and thanks again for the fantastic response!

5  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / How to remove CDFS partition from a USB Stick on: June 04, 2014, 01:47:25 PM
I just got a free USB stick from a vendor, but everytime I plug it in, Windows7 also mounts a hidden file/partition as a CD drive (device manager), giving it a drive letter

It hold s single Promotional PDF.

It doesn't take up a lot of space, but because I would use it at work in a network environment, there is a good change drive letter assignment with conflict with the network.

While it *acts* like a U3 device, the U3 remover util doesn't not recognize it.  I've spent most the day tracking down expired or irrelevant Google hits, trying to find help, to no avail.

While cruising those threads, I am given to believe that a low level format might be what I need.  I am personally doubtful, as I have also booted my computer with GPartED magic and a couple of other environments and the same thing happens - the regular partition shows up like normal, and the CDFS partition shows up with it's own drive letter, but no program can show me that particular partition, nor delete/rename/disable it.

Has anyone else run across this and if so, where you able to find a way to get all of the disk space into a single partition that require two drive letters?

6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google Reader gone on: March 14, 2013, 10:21:39 AM
Yeah, I just started using GReader a month ago and was really loving it.  So, you can blame me for it's sudden demise. Wink

In order to repent, I have been scanning feeds all morning looking for a replacement myself.  I have no links to reviews or recommendations - yer all old enough to do that yerselves - but here is a list of names that have been suggested in feeds that span SlashDot, Reddit, Ars Technica, ReadWriteWeb and a slew of indie blogs:


RSS Bandit
Omea Reader
RSS Central
Google Currents

And the usual disclaimer - I h'ain't backin' nuttin' 'til I sez I iz backin' sumpthin'.

Good hunting to you!
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Lastpass on: January 21, 2013, 02:53:34 PM
Did you sign in to your account? To access that page, you must be signed in. I can see a "Support summary" at the bottom of the page.

Yep I see the same thing.

I see the request summary box with nothing in it, and the "support request" link in that box. Same as clicking the button above it - takes me to the Faq page.
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Lastpass on: January 21, 2013, 01:34:39 PM

That is exactly what I just did and I may have uncovered part of the evil plot to steal my password.....

Says the latest version of FireFox (18.0.1) is not compatible with the browser extension.  Hhhrrmmppph. Seems to be working fine with Chrome and even IE.

I'm beginning to see how Firefox is losing the battle and how Chrome is picking up the slack.

Now, after a day of arsing around with this thing, I am exhausted.

Regarding submitting a ticket, I followed Josh's link and saw no difference in what I had already experienced - I kept getting directed to the page o links. Going down the rabbit hole a bit further, I just clicked on a random FAQ link and discovered that you don't get to see links to submit a ticket until after you click on one of the links to go to one of their FAQs.

So for ranting and carrying on like I'm five, for the cursing and swearing, for the pendulum swing of emotion (cuz it sure wasn't logic) I apologize and issue many thanks to all who responded and tried to be helpful.

9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Lastpass on: January 21, 2013, 12:45:53 PM
Yes. The LastPass database that holds your username/password combos etc.

I have reached a point where everytime I add a new one, one of the old ones goes away.  Very very frustrating and undermines my trust in the product to a point where I think I'm done with them.

I couldn't find anything like it in their support database and they have no easy way of getting in touch so I decided it was time to terminate.

I'm happy that all of you have hundreds or more entries with no trouble. Not my experience.  I *have* been very satisfied up until a couple of months ago when this nonsense began. It was only today when it royally screwed with my Donation Coder password that I decided it was time.

It *has* since been pointed out that perhaps there was a problem with the database and perhaps I should have looked for a database oriented fix, which I totally was *not* looking for in their support system.

Of course, now I feel like a total dork.

Obviously my tolerance for solving computer problems has sunk to an all new low. I have no idea how I'm going to continue to do it for another ten years until I can retire.  Methinks I'll be living unemployed and in a ditch soon Wink
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Lastpass on: January 21, 2013, 11:29:32 AM
Never was a more timely question asked.

I have been using LastPass for about a year now, and as a rresult of this thread I have just removed it.

First to answer your question, my understanding of how they do that is that when a vulnerability has been announced and they get a copy of the compromised accounts from their security partner (sorry I've forgotten who that is) they then cross check the list with the email address you used to create your LastPass account.  I've never felt the security was a problem and I really liked the cross platform operation, both on OSes (Win and MAC) and across browsers (for me Chrome, IE, and FF).

So here is why I removed it today.  Lately I have noticed what appears to be an unpublished cap on the number of entries you can have in the database. Roughly 24, but to be honest I was so pissed off I didn't bother counting.  The manifestation of this was that I started to lose entries when I created a new one. So, I'd go back to recreate the entry and then later - some times days or weeks - would discover another important entry missing.

I wanted to tell you the above security thingie today so of course I came here to the web site (I ready the headlines via RSS btw) and asked LastPass to enter my details. Which it did. And incorrectly so. There is a feature within the LastPass database (The "Vault") that hides passwords, but you can click a link to reveal them.  It seems that LastPass saved my password as ********.  Yes, that's right, a string of asterisks.

I frequent this site although I'm more of a lurker than anything else.  But I'm here everyday to read something of interest that has surfaced in the RSS feed. As a result I was severely ticked off when this happened.  I no longer can use LastPass, can no longer recommend it and will at every opportunity campaign against its use.

I have been irritated with their support level as well for some months.  When I first noticed the issue with disappearing credentials, I tried to send a support email. Nope, not possible.  Instead, you are directed to a "Support" page with several dozen links to help articles that for me never had anything to do with my problems.  You can search on key words, but that's an imperfect form of black magic, even with the best search engines.  And no where is there a "Contact Us" link.  Christ, that's the type of thing I tell people is a sign of things to stay away from.

So there you have it.  I still think the idea is a great one.  Before I hit the limit on entries, LastPass did everything I asked of it.  But once I hit that magic spot, everything came apart.

Having said all of this, I acknowledge that having played with computers for roughly 20 years, and supported them at a University for 15 of those years means I am no expert.  So, if someone else had a good experience with LastPass and feels *I* have made a mistake or could have easily solved my problem with the service, please do let me know.

In the meantime, I will be taking recommendations for a new password keeper because I am pathetic with the remember a password doing thing.

11  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: I need some help configuring Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 on: November 22, 2012, 10:20:16 AM

The issue is most evident when typing keywords into "tag" like fields. Sorry, I don't have the LR nomenclature down.

On further questioning, she sees performance issues in other areas too - a general slowdown when compared to LR3.

She has been busy rebuilding previews and caches, two suggestions from the user forum at Adobe. Her co-worker is much more computer literate and also has some strategies to try and smooth out her work flow. He uses the program on a Mac at work and on a PC at home, and while he says the program is slower than previous versions, he hasn't had the performance issues she has had.

I have also added a number of file exceptions to the virus checker that could be part of the problem. As I understand it, when updating metadata there are several files that get updated and not just one, so the exceptions will hopefully eliminate any interference from the anti-virus program. In fact, the behaviour seems very much in line with that sort of file access.

Carol Haynes:

Yeah, we've checked for and installed the latest drivers for all components in her computer.

Another question that I have not been able to find an answer to, has to do with buffered vs. unbuffered RAM.

In an attempt to alleviate RAM issues, the machine was upgraded from 4 to 12 GBs of RAM, previous to my involvement.  I have noticed that the original 4G is unbuffered RAM, vs. the 8GB added on which is buffered RAM.

My question is, is mixing the two types fatal? If not, should one type precede the other?  In bygone days, it was said that slower RAM had to be installed so that it was accessed before faster RAM, to avoid problems.

Thanks for pitching in with suggestions on how to proceed!
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Anything wrong with formatting a USB stick in NTFS? on: November 20, 2012, 06:40:59 AM
I work in an environment that supports Macs as well as PCs.  The Macs can read NTFS, but can't write to it (natively - you can install drivers or whatnot), but they *can* read and write Fat32.

So, all of my work USB sticks are formatted Fat32.
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: I need some help configuring Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 on: November 15, 2012, 07:09:28 AM
Hi tomos!

Thanks for the reply.  I have heard the idea about scratch disks and I'm looking into that now.

I spent the better part of the day yesterday, cruising through a single thread on the Adobe forums and it appears that a lot of people are having performance issues, although none of them seemed to be as specific as this one I'm trying to deal with.

Additionally, after 39 pages of back and forth discussion of the issues, it has largely degenerated into a "You're and idiot! No, *you're* an idiot!!" kind of nonsense. There is a lot of that in 39 pages, and it has been difficult to sift through the nonsense to find reasonable answers.

Disabling unused modules extensions plugins etc within the program, optimizing index files and excluding certain files and executables from the attention of a virus scanner are other options I'm pursuing.

My client has resolved herself to rolling back to LR3 if we can't resolve the issue - she finds the performance *so* poor that her stress level has gone through the roof because she can't provide the timely service she usually does.

Thanks again for the help!
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / I need some help configuring Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 on: November 14, 2012, 08:23:42 AM
I have a client who has a spanking new PC and is using Lightroom 4 on Windows 7 64bit.  She has moved from a previous version on Windows XP, details unknown.

Lightroom has some very irritating behaviour that she has not encountered before.  When typing in a dialog or other text field within the program, it often suffers from some sort of "outage" as it "goes to sleep" for 15 to 20 seconds. Sometimes, Windows even displays the partly opaque "white screen", which generally indicates the system is trying to cope with demands on the system.

During the outage, the system continues to capture keystrokes as evidenced when it comes back to life - all keystrokes captured during the outage are subsequently shown in the text field.

Original observations led me to conclude that something like Windows Indexing might be playing a part - the behaviour very much looks as though the system is struggling to index something or struggling to search an index of something, perhaps a repository of auto-name-completion information. It's difficult to explain.

In order to eliminate some of the typical Windows irritations, a number of configuration changes have been made, but none have made a difference.  Co-workers have suggested that there might be some configuration options within the program itself that can be tweaked to smooth out the program's performance.  I am in the process of researching those at the Adobe site, specifically looking through their forums and some of their troubleshooting documents.

Specifically, one co-workers was able to resolve another clients Adobe problem (not the same software) by moving some resources like a disk-based cache to another physical hard drive.

As I am not at all familiar with the product, I'm hoping someone here may have gone through the same experience or might be a frequent user of the software and therefore be more aware of what's at play here.

As usual, any help, pointers, or references are very much appreciated!

15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Well, I got it: Nokia Lumia 920, Windows 8 on: November 14, 2012, 07:43:34 AM
Thanks for the in-depth reviews.

I don't use a Smart/Super phone as I've never felt the need.  I *do* have a flip open cel phone that's over 6 years old and while the local phone co. says it's alright if I don't upgrade, that doesn't stop corporate head marketeers from sending me a monthly text message to encourage me to trade up.  I suspect they will eventually notify me they are no longer supporting my old POS. Wink

So, I read these sorts of threads with great interest so that when the time comes, I can make a reasonably informed choice.

Thanks for the effort!
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Two classes of membership here? on: November 14, 2012, 06:45:02 AM
I am a constant lurker, rare commenter and I don't believe I have ever contributed a cent to this site or it's authors, despite using several of their programs. (Geez, I really *should* fix that and Friday past *was* payday).  I mention this only to illustrate what a noncontributing member I am and how in most communities, that would put me on the least favourable member list.

I have asked for advice for both personal and professional issues and have always received honest answers and friendly treatment.

Normally, I would not comment on a thread like this, as more know ledgable and even minded community members have already said all that is required. However, (and I've said it before) this is the friendliest on line community I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of, in the 20 plus years I have been using the Internet.  I wouldn't come back if it were otherwise. As a small part of it, I feel obligated to come to it's defense.

Unlike, many other on line communities I will not try to shout you down, tell you to go away in a rude manner, nor will I name you various pieces of anatomy. I notice no one else has either.  Instead, I too encourage you to follow the advice given and to contact mouser with your specifics so that the matter can be cleared up.

Furthermore, when you *do* contact mouser and this is all settled, I look forward to you joining our community, joining in the conversation and contributing in anyway that you feel capable of.

Dale Poole

PS I sign with my real name and not my alias so that you may understand that I stand behind my words and behind the people who form this community.
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction on: November 02, 2012, 06:32:32 AM
I've often said it - kids are awesome!
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Neowin reviews Windows 8 - Leave your pre-conceived notions at the door on: October 25, 2012, 06:53:31 AM
This is quite an intersting discussion.  Just this morning, I completed a survey by InfoWorld Research, focused on the consumerization of IT and yesterday I read this piece on SlashDot:

I tried Windows 8 when the Consumer Preview version was offered earlier this year.  It was slightly buggy and I found without a touch interface it was difficult to use.  I also understood the strategy of making some form of Windows a direct competitor to iOS. Whether or not it is a successful strategy is beyond me.

My thought is that the overwhelming popularity of iThings has got a lot of computer/IT companies in a Big Fat Stir(tm), but all I am seeing from any of them is a sheep-like determination to make a product just like an iThing.  It may have pretty colourful squares on it, but in my estimation, Win8 is essentially a wanna-be-like.

Pursuant to the SlashDot article linked above, the copy-catism seems to have taken Microsoft right down the rabbit hole into another walled garden app store.  I have never liked that idea and I look forward to the witch burnings and drownings I predict will occur when Microsoft starts taking a 30% cut (or whatever it is) of every product that goes through its own store.

Finally, and I understand *I* might get burned at the stake here myself, I am no fan of portable devices like the iThings and data capable phones. I don't believe them to be innovation, but rather a step backwards and very much playing into the hands of entities both corporate and governmental who want to double-speak me and control parts of my life they have no business concerning themselves with.  While the move to the "cloud" has certainly opened some doors to convenience, I use these services with the expectation that they will be yanked from under my feet, the moment I stop measuring up to someones expectations in some way. Consider the poor woman reported this week, who lost her library of legitimately purchased eBooks, just because Amazon is run by a bunch of pricks. With the reliance of portable devices on such cloud services and their attendant walled-garden purchase/installation setups, I'm staying way clear.  If I can't secure my purchase in my own home, on a non-connected device, I'll have no part of it.

19  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: razer nostromo on: September 12, 2012, 05:57:12 AM
I don't use the razor, but I did use the original n50 model and still use the follow-up n52 model.

I had never been a big fps player until BF1942 came out.  A friend of mine got me involved and in trying to figure out why I was so bad at the game, I discovered he was using an n50.  So I found one and gave it a try and haven't looked back!

I've used it also for non-fps games and have on ocassion come across other applications, that if I used more, I would probably get the Nostromo involved with that too.

Even for games where the controls are mostly asdw, it's far more comfortable to hit those keys on the Nostromo than on the keyboard.

As it turns out, despite my wonderful Nostromo, I still suck hugely in BF3 but at least now I don't have an over stressed and aching wrist from my left hand being all twisted up on the keyboard.

20  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Wierd Chrome browser behaviour; or Have I not been paying attention? on: June 22, 2012, 06:09:39 AM
Many thanks.

I've read about the process seperation in Chrome but I never actually looked to see how/if it would manifest itself in Task Manager. It's fairly impressive in a "holy crap, what the....." kind of way Wink

I *didn't* know about the inbuilt Chrome Task Manager, so that was a nice perk, and indeed I have 9 extensions installed.

Thanks for the info.
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Wierd Chrome browser behaviour; or Have I not been paying attention? on: June 21, 2012, 06:50:12 AM
I just noticed this morning that the Chrome browser is misbehaving in an odd way.

I accidentally opened task manager this morning to see 9 instances of chrome.exe *32 running.  I had one browser open.

I closed it and all instances immediately disappeared.  I fired it up again and nine instances immediately reappeared.

Is this normal? My computer's performance does not appear to be impacted, but I'm concerned none-the-less.

Do I have cause for worry or is this some new fangled programming technique of which I am unaware?  Chrome fans keep telling me what a fantastic browser it is because of it's non-standard/non-traditional underpinnings, but I have my doubts.

Thanks for any advice.
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Microsoft's New Surface Tablet Hybrid on: June 20, 2012, 06:52:45 AM
I like the idea of this thing - I look forward to finding 5 spare minutes between now and eternity to watch the video.

I have only two concerns:

1. The Windows Metro interface - I loath it. Just that simple
2. Apple-like douche-baggery

I can alway mod that crap Metro interface away, so this is a minor concern

However, if MS plays the same sort of nonsense games with an App Store, like Apple does, then there is no reason to buy this thing.

In fact, when I first heard the announcement I thought to myself that MS was finally going to give us a tablet we could use in the ways that Apple won't let us.  I've even read a couple of blog posts by Apple fanbois that sort of run along the same line.

If MS *does* institute an App Store only approach, then they can go kiss Apple's fat red hairy butt because they're just offering another Apple competitor rather than any sort of innovation.

Give me something that's NOT that damned iPad.
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Xvid Video converter for Windows 7 x64 - any ideas? on: April 10, 2012, 07:25:14 PM
The Xbox setup works well enough, but it's the second one I've had. It has stopped playing DVDs and while it still streams on the home network, the day is coming when it will just not turn on one day.

Carol, I'm digging into a very weirdly written manual for the TV to see what it can do. It's a 32 inch Bravia but I'm pretty certain it nothing fancy based on what I paid for it.

I realize I missed the mark in my previous comment. I need a consumer's guide to file formats. People keep giving me things to watch and they all play well on my gear but roughly half of the folks I pass the stuff on to, aren't able to play them on their gear.  I`d like to understand why and how I can correct this.

It`s not a pressing matter though. I should probably just watch the convo and follow any references provided.

4wd, I like the idea of the network media player, but I find myself with an embarrassment of riches at the moment, in that, I have spare computer gear I`d like to use if it would improve on the Xbox setup. In the meantime, thanks for the reference on container formats.  A lot to digest and I`m finding a lot of it inexplicably difficult to grok.
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Xvid Video converter for Windows 7 x64 - any ideas? on: April 10, 2012, 06:27:09 AM
This is an aside to the main thread.

Admittedly, I know less than just a little bit about video, codecs etc. In fact I post here, because I just lost the thread on this convo when 4wd hit containers. This is not your fault Wink

Is theere a site or doc you can point to, that could give a basic crash course on "domestic video taming" as it were.

I have been wanting to setup some sort of streaming from computer to TV and have been using xbmc on an old xBox, but feel there is more I could be doing.
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Which Social Media Program do you use? (e.g. Tweetdeck) on: March 21, 2012, 07:15:19 AM
I am still using the original Air based TweetDeck. I upgraded to a new computer just after the product was bought out by Twitter and got stuck with the new TweetDeck app, which is about as close to a tragedy you can get in comparision.

I tried a BUNCH of other clients - Sobees and Seesmic came close to doing the job - but none of them did as good a job as Air TweetDeck.  I can't seem to find the Air installation program for the last Air release of TweetDeck, so when at home, I'm now stuck to using two computers at the same time, if I want to Tweet - my laptop still has the old TweetDeck installed.

I'm, no programmer, but I'd certainly support someone's effort to rebuild the original TweetDeck or to build a client with the same look and feel.  If you are familiar with the Air version, compare it to Sobees and Seesmic to see how you can get close and then totally fark it up with inscrutible interface design.

If fact, that's the major problem with almost all Twitter clients out there.  They are made by people who haven't got an effing clue about interface design. I think they saw how perfect TweetDeck was and decided the only way they could compete was with a different look and feel.

They were horribly wrong.

Twitter is the only social site for which I use an app.  I'm on Google+ regularly, but their web interface is quite good.  I also have a Facebook account, but only use that to stay in touch with friends who only use Facebook.  When the next ice age comes, I will ensure they are sent to the leading edge of the glacier to stand there and hold it back - neanderthals that they are.

I use several others, but that might take the track of this discussion too far afield.

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