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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: Today at 08:11:28 AM
points 50/50. Admins however know that that notion - generally speaking - is complete bullshit. cheesy Things that can, will, and do influence the coins inclination one way of the other are the users own aptitude score, the age of the machine, my mood, the day of the week, and of course - most importantly - the time of day... As one must always, and in all things account for and defer to the will of Murphy's Law lest they risk incurring the wrath of the fates.

You forgot the phase of the moon.  cheesy

And

Zwinglie's Conservation of Complexity Factor : Let n be an integer where  n = the number of possible things that can be causing the problem. n is always a large integer.

Doug's Reality Rule: You will need to go through all n possibilities to get to the bottom of it.

and

40hz's Minumum Solution Hypothesis
which states: S = n+1 where S is the minimum number of tries necessary to solve a system problem.


Because you must first try every possibility to satisfy Zwinglie & Doug. Then you must go back to the one that actually does fix the problem - but which you missed the first time you tried it.

 Cool
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Once again, magically expensive items are only different in your mind on: April 17, 2014, 06:21:18 PM
Legend has it that someone once asked Bernard Edwards of Chic what strings he used for his bass.

He turned to Nile Rodgers and asked "What kind of strings come on a MusicMan bass?"

If you're a genius, you'll make anything sound great smiley

FWIW they're Ernie Ball "Slinkys" medium light gauge, with a .45 on top and a .100 on the bottom. (In case anybody cares. Wink )

They're very nice strings - and far from the most expensive set out there. The same goes for the Music Man Stingray bass. Kiss  Superb and surprisingly affordable.

And when it comes to bass, 90% of it is in your hands rather than your "plank" anyway - as I was taught so many years ago - and Scott Devine demonstrates and teaches below:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vUNUo3TbyI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vUNUo3TbyI</a>

3  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Atom - A new editor is born on: April 17, 2014, 04:47:35 PM
That preview margin is just too cool.  I don't know if it is terribly practical for me, but I can't live without it any more!

Good point. I don't know how necessary it actually is. But I WANTED it - and it's probably at least half the reason why I ended up buying it.

Not everything I do makes sense. And I'm comfortable with that.

Like that great ad for a certain expensive guitar said: "I'm all about tone, and nothing but tone - but God does that flame maple look gorgeous!" Grin
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: April 17, 2014, 04:38:53 PM
^Amen! I gave it up ages ago and it's probably the main reason I'm still here posting this. Because if I had continued smoking, the consequences would have been pretty grim. Those first few weeks going without were one of the hardest (if not actual hardest) things I ever went through.

Hang in there and good luck. It's doable - and I'm the proof:

So can you. Thmbsup
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: April 17, 2014, 07:46:50 AM
Only after these more pedestrian causes have been eliminated should we start looking for signs of Ziggy Stardust's Uber hacker spiders from Mars.

But doesn't everybody do those first before running over to the PC security blogs? huh Wink

And yes indeed, it does sound a lot like a HD just might be starting to go... Cool
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The fun of installing custom router firmware (tomato, dd-wrt) - an introduction on: April 17, 2014, 07:35:40 AM
I managed to brick my router smiley

Awesome! You now have the opportunity to experience one of the best learning opportunities possible - fixing a mistake.

Been there in case you haven't guessed already. My mistake was not following the instruction which said to install the basic version of the replacement firmware first before attempting to install the tricked-out super-duper version. Got all the way through very nicely and then bricked on reboot.  "RTFM" strikes again! Grin)

Anyone have recommendations regarding learning how to solder?

There's several good ones on YouTube.

An informal but very comprehensive series of soldering videos can be found here. (The rest of this guy's stuff is pretty good too.)
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Scary Driveby Attack / Mysterious failure / Other on: April 16, 2014, 09:16:28 PM
But it's leading me to think, is MS isn't officially doing security updates on XP anymore, how long before someone finds something really nasty and just goes mass comp hunting?


That's not so much an 'if' as 'when,' unfortunately. ohmy

An article which discusses some things to look for if you think you've been compromised can be found here.

And a not-bad step by step guide for removing malware is this one:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGBA46y49YU" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGBA46y49YU</a>

8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: How is youtube tracking me? on: April 16, 2014, 05:58:08 AM
The solution I found: move to outlook.com and f.ck with gmail.

I believe I'm entitled to employ profane words. Lots of them... Lots and lots...

Microsoft cans free custom domain support in Outlook


That sort of change doesn't bother me so much. Whenever dealing with "free" services, the adage "Beggars can't be choosers" is often the case. My experience is that when something like the above is offered free of charge, it was done either to: (a) start attracting new users toward something that would eventually be made be a paid-for service; or, (b) offered in order to thoroughly 'real-world' test the technology for a planned paid-for service.

Looks like the future is now and the Outlook.com users have been given notice of its arrival.

Not surprising. Especially now that the Office 365 and MS Exchange Online services are fully up and taking subscriptions.

But even so, Microsoft could have handled it a little more courteously than to pull an "effective immediately" move.

Then again, a "subject to immediate change without notice" boilerplate clause was probably somewhere in the TOS - which nobody bothers to read. And often much to their loss.

-------------------------------

Rules of thumb when it comes to "free" services:

1. For companies that primarily harvest and sell information (Google, et al): "If you're not our customer, you're our product."

2. For companies that primarily charge actual money for their products or services: "If you're not our customer, you're not our customer."

 Cool
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft dropping support for Windows 8.1 on: April 16, 2014, 05:35:05 AM
OK, so maybe I mis-interpreted what was said; throw me a bone here:
.
.
.
So, it seems this issue is causing headaches and consternation with more than just internet talking-heads, and that's why it's news.
If Update 1 is going to be available forever, not just inside the 30-day window, then I'll admit I'm wrong, and this is just fallout of people being cranky about learning a new Windows version and updates not installing properly. 
Nothing new to see here... business as usual... move along...

You're absolutely right. It is confusing the way they announced this. (I got client calls yesterday.) My understanding is that there's a 30-day grace period to get the requisite update installed, not that it will only be made available for 30 days.

Sometimes Microsoft is it's own biggest problem. Wink
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: April 15, 2014, 07:04:01 PM
Just a throwaway song. But it's an excuse to watch Felicia Day (and the rest of The Guild cast) - so what-the-heck. Grin

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFhgupR565Q" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFhgupR565Q</a>

 cheesy
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: April 15, 2014, 06:53:59 PM
Do you already know the Salut Salon?

Awesome! And nice LBDs too! Grin Thmbsup

12  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft dropping support for Windows 8.1 on: April 15, 2014, 06:47:11 PM
So patches D and above are dependent on the preexistence of patch C... *Shrug* ...Like that's never happened before?? I really don't see any cause for excitement here.

[attach]

I'm gonna have to agree with SJ here. It's happened before. So why is this considered news? huh Required prior update dependencies are a fact of life with software upgrades. Even in Linux. Some stuff just needs to be there before something else can be added or updated. True, the announcement was somewhat tortuously worded. But it was no big deal about what was being said. And hardly cause for it to be as broadly (mis?)interpreted as it was.
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft open-sources the .NET compiler on: April 15, 2014, 03:10:46 PM
It won't be as open as FOSS wants it to be to be 'open'.  It won't be as closed as it was before.  It might be good- but those two things won't make anyone satisfied, no matter how good 'good' is.

To me it's not so much that as I always worry about some little tricks others have tried before. Like release the libraries but not the APIs. Or open the libraries but not the language syntax or compilers, etc etc. etc.

Whatever Microsoft means by "open" I don't think anybody expects .NET to suddenly just be fully open (in the traditional sense) without some restriction or gotcha.

I personally think they're doing it to set the stage for claiming some sort of IP infringement somewhere. Because if source was made open, it only stands to reason (in Microsoft's mind) that anything remotely resembling a part they didn't release MUST have been stolen from them - or be infringing on a related patent.

Maybe they're getting ready to lower the boom on Mono (and by extension Linux) - as many of us have been expecting them to do.

Ballmer may be gone. But a company doesn't change it's mindset overnight.

So like I said, I'll reserve any judgment for now. Cool
Beware of geeks bearing gifts.
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft open-sources the .NET compiler on: April 15, 2014, 05:55:49 AM
Until we see the actual license it's released under - and precisely what code is being released - I'm going to reserve judgement.

There's open, and there's "open" when it comes to software licensing. Just take a look at Java, the "open standard" that was neither because Sun Microsystems (like Frodo) couldn't bear to part with it (despite promises made) once the time came to really do it.

Maybe I'm cynical. But experience has taught me to always be on the lookout for the inevitable sucker punch any time Microsoft starts acting like a team player.
 Cool  
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Whats on your desktop? on: April 12, 2014, 04:42:58 PM
Right now there's a half a cup of coffee (Gevalia) and a laptop (about to be closed) on it. It is Saturday after all. Wink
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Create Local & Cloud copy of the same files on multiple computers & stay synced on: April 11, 2014, 06:21:38 PM
Ok...from SJ's comment above maybe I didn't miss something?

Is it really possible for your ISP to block a port inside a VPN connection? This is a Micosoft to Microsoft VPN connection with no 3rd party involved - so the ISP shouldn't be able to see into it at all. That's the whole point of that "P" in VPN.

If they can, that's a new one for me.  huh

This sounds more like a policy or firewall issue on the server side.
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Create Local & Cloud copy of the same files on multiple computers & stay synced on: April 11, 2014, 11:23:16 AM
If you have a Windows server and Windows clients, why aren't they simply establishing a VPN connection into it? Then a nice simple batch file (example: net use E: "\\server_name\share_name" /persistent:no) or powershell script that maps the drive(s) can be invoked by the user and all should be well.

Or am I just tired and missing something obvious... huh

---------------------

ADDENUM: I did miss it. Right on the OP. Sorry!
embarassed
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: April 10, 2014, 10:02:22 PM
@tomos - re: Nouvelle Vague.  Thmbsup Thmbsup
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Internet Explorer Front End on: April 10, 2014, 09:47:04 PM
+1! Thmbsup Words of wisdom.

And I only had to learn the hard way once. In my defense, I was teaching myself group policy while setting up my first Server 2003 AD domain on a tight deadline and as a 1 man IT shop. And this was in a test environment I setup to learn on. Thank God for O'Reilly books.

Also, my friend the Exchange Server guru.

Muy macho! I like!

No need to defend yourself. On the server/enterprise level you're expected to create and/or make changes to the default GPOs. And you're given the tools and docs to do so.

On the desktop level, unless you're messing with policies to block some annoying program from doing something - or curing some truly oddball thing from happening - it's generally best to leave the default GPOs alone. And the simple fact that Microsoft doesn't provide the necessary tools for messing with policies on the home version of Windows sends a pretty clear message you're better off leaving well enough alone in that environment.

Or so I think anyway. Grin

----------------------------

And +1 on the O'Reilly books, along with most of the Microsoft Press Inside Out titles - and anything server that's written by Mark Minasi and his cohorts over at Sybex. When it comes to Microsoft technologies, these guys are champs.

For Linux it's a lot easier. Almost everything you'll ever need can be learned using only three books. This, this, and this.
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Anyone here using a standing desk? on: April 10, 2014, 05:33:17 PM
@paulobrabo - ^Well...I guess it's a good thing I said "most of the people" and not "all of the people" huh? Grin
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Internet Explorer Front End on: April 10, 2014, 02:30:37 PM
since I've been steered to an alternative approach by tomos that works without risking anything, I'll take the safe way out and leave well enough alone.

That proves you're smarter than most people! Grin Thmbsup

Good luck! Cool
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Anyone here using a standing desk? on: April 10, 2014, 02:26:39 PM
Hmm...now that I think about it, my monitor is elevated and angled downward when I do that. I'll also keep a small wireless keyboard/trackpad combo (or rigid backed 1/4" graph paper pad) in my lap most times too. I also frequently use Dragon-NS with a headset in combination with the above.
 smiley
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Internet Explorer Front End on: April 10, 2014, 01:53:00 PM
@MilesAhead:  I tried to install the Maxthon 2 browser (went fine), but when I tried to run it I was blocked with an error message saying I was blocked because the program (Maxthon) was violating the Group Policy Editor. ASs I'm running Home Premium, I don't have access to the GPE. Any ideas?

@tomos:  Thank you for replying. I'm off to try out your suggestion.

Any chance of providing us with the exact wording or a screenshot of the error message? That's a strange one. And before you go messing with GPOs it's a really good idea to determine what the actual problem is that's causing a message like that before you go changing anything.  tellme

I would also recommend not doing anything via Group Policy except as a last resort. And whatever you do, make sure to keep good notes on any changes you make. Group Policy is really just a frontend for a wide variety of Windows settings, many in the registry. Reversing policy settings typically isn't as simple as returning to the defaults.

Many of the defaults really equate to "change nothing." In many cases they are a sort of 3 way switch and the choices will be No Change, On, and Off. In those cases you can at least look at what you've set (either On or Off) and select the opposite to reverse it. I can't really provide any more specific advice since I'm not sure what policy is responsible here.

+1! Thmbsup Words of wisdom.
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Robotic Ball Controlled by Anroid/iPhone/iPad on: April 10, 2014, 01:42:20 PM
without running the risk of getting any exorcise.

@SJ - I take it that's something your "little devils" need to watch out for? tongue
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Robotic Ball Controlled by Anroid/iPhone/iPad on: April 10, 2014, 01:39:57 PM
I like how they always report things like this as if the Android (or iPhone or whatever) is doing the actual magic.

What's really doing it is the capability engineered into the device that's being controlled. Once you've got that set up you can use anything you want to control it.

The fact it uses an Android/iPhone/iPad is almost incidental. Cool
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