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Topics - wreckedcarzz [ switch to compact view ]

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Hey everyone! (for those who recognize the username, yes, I'm still here now and then)

I'm sure my situation is not unique, but I've tried different suggestions around the net and none have handed my delemma. I have a NAS set up for the better part of a year, have it hooked to my domain, outside access, all that good stuff. However, on the LAN if I don't wait for the network adapter to establish the connection before I enter my credentials, all my local shares appear as disconnected.

Now I've known for years that simply opening up the shares will force Windows to retry the connection - and up until recently, that was an acceptable quirk. However, I'm using the NAS as the storage medium for AMDs new(ish) ReLive. And because it runs at startup, if I don't wait for the network connection before logging in *or* very quickly opening up My PC and forcing Windows to try again, when the driver software launches it will see that the share is disconnected, and disable ReLive (at least, the Instant Replay functionality I'm using the most). And because it's not in my muscle memory, I often forget until something happens that I want to capture - and the ReLive software simply says "Instant Replay Off".

So... Is there a tool that can attempt to reconnect with disconnected shares every half-second or so, running on startup, thereby mitigating the driver software 'try-instantly fail' situation? Free solutions or otherwise (cost within reason), I am just tired of this being an issue that I have to handle myself.

Thanks all (and if there is a separate section of the forum for stuff like this, sorry, I didn't see at a glance)!


It's been forever since I posted, so I apologize if this is better suited for a different area of the forum. :-[

Basically, I'm wondering if we have any Android devs that are looking for something to do! Because of medical reasons/current state, I can't really use my proper PC to read the DC forums. I spend a lot of my days on my tablet and phone, talking with friends, browsing reddit, scrolling down my Facebook feed... But it would be nice to read techy things from, and to talk with, the people I recognize :)

Anyone? Or suggestions for a work around? My Googling came up dry...
(and, sorry for any major errors, it is annoying to use Chrome for text)

Living Room / What to do with an SSD after it fails
« on: April 22, 2013, 06:11 PM »
Hey all DCers! Haven't been around a while (other than the occasional lurking), but I rise from the dead with a question that I feel I should pose to the forum of knowledge that is DC :)

(Important bits in bold to be skim-friendly)

A couple years ago, I was freaking out- SSDs were new and cool and promised rainbows and unicorns and infinite money... and everything in between. I sat and waited for prices to drop before catching what I thought to be a killer sale. I went out and bought a Corsair Nova V32 SSD - just enough to squeeze Windows 7 and my programs onto. I paired it with a WD 1.5TB data and game drive, and all was right with the world. That was about two years ago.

A week ago, I started having boot issues. The bios would freeze, and the computer wouldn't turn on. I thought it to be a power supply issue, but after a couple hours of late-night investigating, the machine seemed to have fixed itself, and I thought nothing of it (other than "Phew, I don't have to buy a new PSU"). Everything was fine until Friday evening, when I came home and turned the machine on, only to find that it just wouldn't come up; the exact same issue as before, except now the bios wasn't even seeing the SSD at all. Plugging it into a known-working computer also showed no signs of life in it, and I concluded the controller had failed.

Saturday afternoon, I did a bit of research and went out to purchase a new Samsung 840 (120GB) SSD, and the Windows backup restore process went just perfect, and I made sure the configuration was correct for the new drive. But now I have a problem: what do I do with the dead SSD, and all of the data that is on it? It did not house any of my personal 'files' (desktop/documents/etc), however it does have Windows, several shareware applications, my Appdata folders, a PortableApps setup with my browsers (and auto-login Lastpass extensions)...

When I purchased the Samsung replacement, I had them check the Corsair and I was told that I was correct, and the controller just failed. But I'm unaware if there are methods to replace controllers to get at data, and if there are any reputable locations to take something like this to be recycled (the local Goodwill is partnered with Dell, for example). So, what does one do with a drive with potentially sensitive, unencrypted data on it, that cannot be wiped?

And again, hi all! :D

Okay, I know this is wayyyy off the beaten path of anything even remotely tech-related, but it's been itching at me for a while. I hope it isn't too non-techy for DC :P

As some of you may know, I'm a teenager. And, as you also may know, teenagers tend to drive. A lot. All the time. Sometimes every day! And while most of them drive a small vehicle like a Honda Accord, a Ford Escort, or something of the like (from who I know), some of them can occasionally be seen in not-so-gasoline-friendly vehicles. Such is the case for myself. Almost every other day I go hang out with friends in my dad's vehicle: a 2001 Chevy Silverado HD2500 crew cab pickup truck. And being such a large vehicle, it consumes gasoline fast enough that one may think that the gasoline is literally set ablaze in the tank when you turn the key in the ignition.

My dad tells me the fuel economy is the same going uphill pulling a trailer full of cattle, or downhill with no trailer with no cattle, and the wind pushing you down. I have verified the fact that mashing the gas at green lights, versus gentle take-offs, has absolutely no noticeable effect on fuel consumption either (this was done with several tanks of gas to nullify other factors in play). Aside from obtaining a smaller vehicle (which I am in the process of doing :D) I need to increase the fuel economy on this truck for the time being, so I started to wonder if the fuel grade matters enough to put Plus or Premium in instead of standard Unleaded?

Does the grade of gasoline/petrol you put in your vehicle make a noticeable impact on fuel economy, and if so, where do you go to purchase said fuel? I'm stateside so not sure if anyone outside of the US can help my specific problem, but you could help someone else by posting regardless :)


EDIT: Right now, I'm getting 6 miles to the gallon. The truck is rated for 8. Even if I can pull it back to 8 that is a 25% increase in money staying inside my wallet.

I am really amazed I am not typing this due to being held at gunpoint: Last night I purchased a used, factory restored, and seemingly well taken care of iBook G4. :o <insert *gasp* and long pause here>

From what I can tell, I got a good deal on it, and I also know my way around OSX (it is running Tiger) for basic use. The problem arises here: I have an extremely limited idea how OSX's back end works for things like application removal, system tweaking (beyond the System Preferences), and what to do when crap hits the fan. It did not come with installation DVDs, but I could easily find those online if problems occured (OSX is cheap anyways if I had to go and purchase a copy, I don't know how Apple handles licensing... I would assume similar to Windows' Product Key system?). The main problem, however, lives in the fact that is is a PowerPC, not Intel, processor; hence all the updated applications are made for the Intel CPUs, because PPC has died (for good reason, from what I have heard).

So I turn to the only online community I actually have trust in :) to see if I can learn a bit about what I have gotten myself into, and how I can make the most of this new machine. Specifically, I'm looking for things like

  • Applications that still are updated that run on PPC (I'm running a custom version of FF 3.6 with Flash 9 as it stands; I couldn't find an old version of Opera for PPC, and I also don't know how Opera Link would handle differing versions...)
  • Tweaks I can do to OSX (for any reason, security, visuals, speed, because-you-can, anything at all - I plan on tinkering and screwing it up many many times :P)
  • Any information or tips or anything that will make using this iBook better (kind of goes with the above) or any general OSX information that could be helpful (I know my way around it, but haven't ever had free reign so my knowledge is limited)
  • What I can do when things don't work - login, startup, hard drive failure, any common issues that anyone has seen/experienced that I should look out for... anything helpful
  • Any suggestions where to go for parts if things break - I know Apple charges you a bazillion dollars for everything, and on my teenage budget, I can't afford that ;D

Thanks all :)

Hey all, been a while since I've posted anything, but I am stuck and need assistance, so I've turned to you, DC! :P

I've been a big fan of Firefox for a long time, especially the addons and extendability of it. I tried out Chrome (which, avoiding a long story, was a letdown), and am awaiting IE9 to go gold. In the meantime, I have FF4 beta and decided to give Opera 11 a whirl (I use Opera Mobile on my phone, and like the simple interface a lot, and the speed is much faster than the standard Android browser). However, I've come to a few snags in the process; I went around in the settings and changed the options to my liking (some awkward/unusual defaults threw me off, like Control+Tab going in last-used order, not tab-bar order, etc). I am using the content blocking as an attempt to keep advertisements at bay (I'm missing Adblock Plus, but the list I have isn't half bad - anyone got anything better, though?), and Unite is a nice little addition, although I haven't played with it much yet.

My main problem is that I cannot find anything to bring my Firefox passwords into Opera :tellme:. And seeing as I used a password generator (the app name escapes me atm) and have 25 character alpha-numeric-symbol passwords for the majority of sites (about 50 or so different sites), I would really like to avoid having to re-type each and every one into Opera. Reading from Google hits, it seems the two have inoperable password encryption/storage methods, but I'm really hoping for a simple fix for this. I'm dealing with the lack of Adblock Plus, BarTab, Betterprivacy and HTTPS Everywhere, I just need my passwords! Anyone have any insight? :'(

Oh, and any other miscellaneous suggestions that you have, go ahead and throw em at me. Even without the usual addons, I'm liking Opera lots, and if there are ways to get more cool functionality out of it, I'd really like to know!


Post New Requests Here / IDEA: All Steam Games Auto-Validator
« on: October 10, 2010, 08:12 PM »
Hey all DCers, it's been a while since I've posted here (still lurking and keeping up though) :-[ but I come with a request.

I have been Googling around for a solution to this problem, and cannot seem to find one, so I turn to you, DC, to see if you can remedy my issue. I have 50+ games in my Steam collection, most of which are Steam-purchased games. What I am trying to do is have a script/app/etc that will, upon execution (with or without user interaction, preferably without), go through all my games listed in Steam and "Validate Integrity of Game Cache" for them.

I want this because sometimes after computer crashes/bluescreens/phases of the moon/the like, I find that game files become corrupt, and I would like to have this run via Task Scheduler every weekend during the night with other maintenance. However, this would be quite tricky to do, seeing as some games are custom installed, so they cannot be validated, so some system would have to be incorporated to be able to tell Steam games from non-Steam games, and skip accordingly. I have absolutely no clue how to do this :P

Summary of what the app/script needs to do:
  • (Preferably) No user interaction
  • (Preferably) Be portable/no installer or reg entries
  • Must be able to go through entire games list (scrolling involved if doing via Steam Library GUI)
  • Must be able to differentiate between Steam and non-Steam games, as well as the difference between Games and Categories (see screenshots)
  • (Optional/extra) Generate a messagebox (or similar) report of games that failed to validate and were re-downloaded

I may be able to provide DC Credits for whoever wants to take this on. It definitely wont be a simple task, as far as my knowledge goes anyways. Maybe someone knows a simple way to do it, but I sure don't.



Left 4 Dead window with VALIDATE INTEGRITY OF GAME CACHE button visible (and scrollable Steam game list)
example left4dead2.jpg

Chime 'validation in progress' window
chime validating.jpg

The Sims 3 (non-Steam) non-validatable (is that a word?) game
nonvalidating theSims3.jpg

Living Room / Alternative Uses for Netbooks: Good, Bad, Random or Odd
« on: February 02, 2010, 06:33 PM »
Okay, I get that some things should not be said on the internet. But this was just too simple yet ingenious for me to pass up, and I'm curious what other cool things people use their netbooks for.

What I did today (am doing) is a bit on the mischievous side you might say (who would have thought, a teenager causing mischief?? :o ;D). It runs along my typical lines of tech fun. :P To any and all parents out there: next time you think 'Parental Controls', know that if your kids are tech-savvy (or have friends that are) that phrase means the opposite of what you have come to know.
OpenDNS is amazing for when I'm angry at my parents. Love that degree of control. Just sayin'. Ehem.

Anyways, through 17-year-old genius (or just plain boredom, not sure yet) I have found a relatively simple yet very handy trick to be able to play my music as loud as I want while not being caught. Also useful to scare your spouse, friends, freak people out, etc. Many uses. :P

Needed supplies:
  • Netbook with decent wireless card and webcam (I have an ASUS Eee PC 1005HA-P)
  • Good router or wireless signal wherever you want to watch
  • Skype
  • Teamviewer (or other remote control app of your choice, LogMeIn is good, as well as CrossLoop)
  • A bit of time

  • In my case, I already had TeamViewer and Skype installed and running. From within Skype you go to Tools > Options...
  • Click Video Settings on the left
  • Click 'Take A Snapshot'
  • When the snapshot window appears, close all other Skype windows
  • Position netbook at desired location, pointing at your target
  • Return to primary computer and logon to the netbook remotely (for me this was just a TeamViewer connection, I had an account and simply double clicked the machine, but it will vary based on the program you use and everything - everyone here is smart enough to get this part working, or get help from someone :up:)
  • Close anything you want on the netbook, and likewise launch whatever you want. But the Skype window must stay visible (foremost preferred, due to low resolution - I set TeamViewer to only show the Skype window) for you to watch.
  • Do not move the mouse or type anything else on the netbook at this time. If you have an Eee PC, or a netbook that can turn off the display, return to the netbook (physically) and do this now. You don't want your target to see the machine on.
  • Set the remote control window to stay always on top. There are many tools online that can do this, I used Always On Top Maker. First Google result.
  • Sit and wait. Once your target comes into view (or earshot, if your remote control app supports this (ex: LogMeIn Pro)), execute your plan. Control the netbook and play a sound, video, or even call it on Skype - whatever you want to do.
  • Enjoy a good laugh (or whatever, depending on what you did) - lock the machine remotely if necessary (additional laughs?)
(Obviously, this can be reversed and you can use the primary machine with a webcam, and use the netbook in a different location)

My scenario:
My parents HATE it when I play loud music, and thus I cannot do so when they are home (sister doesn't care, she loves Linkin Park :P). I cannot make the speakers and sound card go loud enough ever (I blew out my 7.1 system last February). So following the steps above roughly, here is what I did while home alone today...

  • Got the Take A Snapshot video window going
  • Setup my Eee in the garage, atop a saw table my dad has, pointing out at the garage door (the metal one that lifts, not the house entrance one)
  • Connected to it on TeamViewer and had it only show the Skype window
  • Had Always On Top Maker make TeamViewer stay on top of all my windows
  • Watching, waiting for my mom to get home. The garage door takes about 8 seconds to lift open, and it takes a good 8-12 seconds for her to pull in and park.

Last second edit:
She pulled in right before I hit Post :P

Images for the curious:
creenshot - 2_2_2010 , 4_38_08 PM_ver001.jpg
Screenshot - 2_2_2010 , 5_15_42 PM_ver001.jpg
Screenshot - 2_2_2010 , 5_15_45 PM_ver001.jpg
Screenshot - 2_2_2010 , 5_15_50 PM.jpg
Screenshot - 2_2_2010 , 5_15_52 PM.jpg
Screenshot - 2_2_2010 , 5_15_54 PM.jpg
Screenshot - 2_2_2010 , 5_16_00 PM.jpg
Screenshot - 2_2_2010 , 5_16_05 PM.jpg
Screenshot - 2_2_2010 , 5_16_11 PM.jpg

Living Room / Help? Learning how to drive...
« on: August 22, 2009, 03:32 PM »
An odd topic for DC, I know, but this is the most family-like forum that I know of, and because I am most comfortable here than anywhere else on the interwebs, figured why not :)

I am 16 and 9 months, currently in a Drivers Ed class at my high school, with Behind the Wheel (6 hour, in-car with driving instructor from school) lined up for sometime in Sept-Oct, but I have extremely minimal driving experience (no permit yet, getting it next week-ish). I'm hoping that some of you can give me some thoughts on how I can prepare myself better before I go out to BtW (prior experience is a requirement). Also, I live in the US, but anyone at all can help me out - I may be going overseas in a couple of years anyways, and any knowledge is good knowledge! :Thmbsup:

Yesterday I went out for my first actual 'driving' attempt with my mom, in her 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe (AWD model - explanation below). We went to an almost-abandoned parking lot and she let me have at the wheel. After an hour and 15 minutes or so, I had gotten comfortable and run several self-tests (parking, etc, more below) and we headed home.


AWD info:
The AWD isn't real AWD - the Hyundai uses the old 'when traction is lost and/or excessive acceleration demands are met, engage AWD mode'
Therefore, its FWD until I punch the accelerator or the SUV starts to lose traction (I did the former twice)

I am looking for suggestions as to increasingly-difficult maneuvers that I can do (I may be able to have my grandmother and/or dad drive around the lot with me in the coming days/weeks, so multi-car situations are great as well). The parking lot does have light cross traffic, and each end has businesses still open (Blockbuster Video on one end, assorted convenience stores on the other) but it is a good size lot. (Image below is at least 4 years old, if not more, the Wal-Mart there is long gone)


Here is my self-made log of what I did last night:
August 21st
5:30 - 6:45PM
Abandoned parking lot/shopping mall @ Peoria and 83rd
Max 25MPH

Slolam (concrete dividers)
Slolam (concrete parking blocks)
Abrupt braking (accidental)
Abrupt acceleration (2x) with auto-engaged AWD
Smooth acceleration
Smooth braking
Parking into/backing out of angled parking spaces
Backing into/pulling out of angled parking spaces
Avoidance of road hazards (glass, etc)
Turn signal use
2-way traffic (1x)
Passing parked cars (1x)

Need to:
Work on backing (farther, less angled) into spaces
Work on pulling (farther) into spaces
Smoother turns
Use turn signals more often
Stop earlier at 'intersections'
Parking into/backing out of straight parking spaces
Parallel parking
Stay closer to right side
Test different gear options (N, +, -)
Test AWD mode
Use cones/obstacles for better practice/prepared tests

Anything that can be done, any suggestions, any thoughts - post 'em! I'll take all the help I can get :)

Note to mods: Feel free to move this topic. I wasn't sure exactly where to post it, so if you have a better location for it, have at it :)

I was thinking about how the (as far as I can tell) DC program keys system works a few days ago (was coding and started going off into cyberspace :P) and it occurred to me that would it not be easier to use a DC username/password prompt instead of the license key system?

As far as the end user can see, it would essentially work the same as the system in-place now (I believe) but be faster/easier...

1) User downloads and installs MSNA, and proceeds to run it
2) User is prompted for Key
3) User logs into DC website, goes to Keys page, locates Key for Mouser's New Super App :-*
4) User inserts key into dialog, and clicks Accept/Save/OK
5) Registration is complete for 6 months or Lifetime
      If 6 month: User is prompted again at the end of the 6 month period for a new Key... (back to step 2)

1) User downloads and installs MSNA, and proceeds to run it
2) User is prompted for DC login and password information
3) User logs into the application, and it attempts to login
     If the login is successful (internet connectivity + correct info) the appropriate Setting (take place of the Key) is set in the program (this can be decided based on the User's login type on the DC forum: Participants/non-donating members get the standard 6 month span, and those whom have donated get their appropriate license span)
     If the login fails (no internet connectivity) then the program will continue the nag screen as usual (on every run) BUT it will attempt a connection on every launch UNTIL successful (as to not get phone-home suspicions and whatnot)
     If the login fails (bad info) then the program will offer several more tries to login to the account - after X number of bad logins, they can be brought to a prompt to either Register or Recover Password
4) The program will NO LONGER CONNECT TO THE INTERNET (for those suspicious people in the tin foil hats )
     If the user has the 6 month license, after 6 months they will be prompted to login again once more, and told about the site and the Donation process, and how it benefits everyone... (return to step 2)

Also, as an added bonus, DCUppdater could do the registration - this would allow ALL programs to be auto registered, and a single login prompt instead of one for every app. This would even allow for only DCUppdater to be downloaded from the site (for Mouser's apps) and all downloads/installs go through that, so Licensing is integrated into it. Download, Install, Login, Use!

Why am I proposing this?
  • It will eliminate "wrong program key" problems here on the forum
  • People won't get "lost" in the website looking for keys
  • It will be faster and easier than the current system
  • There won't be any copy/paste mistakes for keys
  • Those on slow connections won't have to load multiple pages to get to their keys
  • With DCUppdater, all programs can be registered at once - there could even be some type of forum integration in it (Donate, Amount of Credits, Autologin to forum, etc)

Just my thoughts - I don't do anything near this type of web integration in any of the small things I do, so whether or not this will be beneficial in the long run is completely up for debate. But I believe that it will make things a little easier for everyone and allow some type of integration with the DC community as well.

Post New Requests Here / Lock axis (steering wheel/controller)
« on: July 23, 2009, 11:00 PM »
Kind of a strange request, but I need to be able to lock one of my axis (not sure what one, or how to detect it) that is controlled by my "accelerator" pedal on my Logitech Driving Force PRO in order to re-create Cruise Control for my driving games. The easiest way to do it I guess would be to offer all the axis via a menu and offer a detection method when they are changed (so you can tell what one you need to enable for locking). This would enable the program to be used on any controller setup (different controllers have different use of axis) as well as allowing other things to be locked (not sure why you would want it but I'm sure there would be a situation where it would be desired). The axis should lock on a button/hotkey and then unlock on a seperate button OR axis (therefore if I have my Gas locked to simulate Cruise Control, I can then press the Brake down and that would disable the lock, providing a simulation effect).

  • List axis available to lock, and show their status in a simple manner
  • Can lock desired axis via button and/or hotkey
  • Can unlock axis via button, hotkey, and/or other axis
  • Avoid any type of messageboxes/GUI popups after setup, to avoid game interference

Anyone up for it? I'm not sure how/if it can be done, but I'm willing to test all the alpha/beta versions you can throw at me. If someone knows of an app that does this already (or can provide Cruise Control for Test Drive Unlimited) that would be great as well.

I am the family tech and always end up having to pull pictures from flash cards and the like - would it be possible to check a specific drive/range of drives for removable media and then move all the JPG/PNG/TIFF/etc (image format) files from the card and to a new location (set in an INI file or similar, so no user interaction is needed once the program is launched).

An ideal scenario would go something like this (for non-always-on):
  • User inserts card into drive F
  • User runs MoveMyPics.exe
  • Pictures from F go to C:\MyPics (from MoveMyPics.ini)
  • User is notified that images have been moved (or not, INI option?)
  • MoveMyPics closes
  • User removes card


Scenario (for always-on):
  • MoveMyPics.exe is launched @ startup
  • User inserts card into drive G
  • MMP "sees" the drive
  • Pictures from G to go C:\MyPics
  • User is/not notified that images have been moved
  • User removes card

Possible? I just need something so I can shove the card in, run the app (or have it running), wait for the images to be moved, and pull the card out - as fast and silent as possible.

Well, I missed the set ~48 hour (I've read 75k download limit) download window from Microsoft, however I did still manage to obtain a copy and have it running on my machine now (alongside Spyware Terminator and Threatfire, no problems).

Figured I would give my opinion/experience thus far and maybe PM a link to the installer to those that may be inclined to give it a test of their own...

My experience:

The setup is straightforward and fast. It takes a whole 60 seconds from launch (of Setup) to launch (of MSE) - Windows Validation is tested before installation, and since mine has already passed it took ~1 second to see that and pass me on through. Once finished, it prompted me to start MSE and download updates + run a quick scan.

Home screen and idle tray icon:

The checking+download+installation of updates took maybe 2 minutes,

Update screen:

with the scan around 10 (I didn't watch the window, MSE allows you to even completely close the GUI and the scan will continue, as seen via the Notification Area icon). No threats found. :)

Scan screen:

I disabled ThreatFire and Spyware Terminator so that they wouldn't do anything and went off to do some work - I am also giving Google Chrome another shot at defeating Firefox (unlikely, but Chrome is fast... different topic, different time), so I used Windows Explorer to browse through my Downloads folder on my Server. I opened the "Programs" folder, sorted by "ILikeToMoveIt" (available here at the forum) and Explorer seemed to freeze in time. about 15 seconds later I got a scary message from MSE - it found 1.... no, 2 threats. Viruses in my downloads folder! :tellme: I opened up the Details pane to find it flagged 7-Zip Portable (from and my ATI Catalyst Drivers as threats. But wait, now 2 more are here! Another portable app installer, and my printer drivers! I told it to Allow all 4, and hit the button to "Apply Actions". Somehow ignoring 4 things takes a lengthy ~45 seconds, but it informed me that my system was again "Secure" and I closed the window. :-\

A few minutes later I got a MSN Messenger (the old school one that came with XP... yeah, that dinosaur) style popup from MSE - all I saw was a line of text and the green checkmark computer image from the MSE Status tab - I was typing and it was dismissed somehow :huh:

The settings page, although appearing at first glance to be tweak-mania, will disappoint most everyone above a casual user (pretty much everyone here at DC). You get the basic run of the mill options, and Microsoft's SpyNet option (that you are UNABLE to opt-out of, and MAY send personally identification information to - however it supposedly won't be used for purposes other than MSE and Defender :-\).

Settings pages:

A scheduler and history of what you have Quarantined and Allowed recently are also available in the GUI,

History page (scheduler above, top Settings page screenshot):

but other than that you can't even exit the application (unless you use everyone's favorite key combo, C-A-D, and kill the process).

My opinion:

While it isn't great, it isn't as disappointing as I was expecting - false positives aren't automatically removed (ONLY because I changed the option before it found them, OTHERWISE it would have removed them permanently, so take note of that! :tellme:) and it gives you a nice little window when it finds something. The GUI, while basic, keeps it just right for always-on protection and the occasional scan.

Anyone else have MSE? Have an opinion? If you would like the installer, send a PM my way and I'll get you a link (or some googling may work, but Microsoft may be tearing it down from 3rd party download sites already).

Okay, I'm going to try and explain this in the least confusing way that I can :P and see if someone can provide me with some guidance, as this is my first attempt at really locking down data and utilizing a form of encryption for important use (not experimentation).

I have a FAT32 formatted 16GB flash drive that I carry around with me everywhere. Over the last couple of months I've saved some important data onto it that I can't have anyone unauthorized getting to. I'm looking for advice as to what I can do in addition to what I am doing now, and what precautions I should take. Basically, if anyone were to get hold of my flash drive at this point, it would not be very difficult (although not exactly easy, either) to get access to ~75 passwords, data files, personal info and other stuff I have stored away on it.

What I have done so far:

  • Downloaded TrueCrypt and extracted it via the installer, than fired up the Traveler Disk Setup and plopped TC into my PortableApps directory, allowing me to run it easily from or the PortableApps Launcher.
  • Started it up and created a hidden volume (invisible, encrypted volume inside a volume) with the external ("decoy") volume size being 2.5GB, FAT (10 char alpha password and AES-Twofish-Serpent encryption and the Whirlpool hash algorithm).
  • Created the internal/hidden volume, using a 22 character alpha-numeric password, at a size of 2.0GB with the same AES-Twofish-Serpent/Whirlpool setup.
  • Moved the sensitive data to the hidden volume with TeraCopy

What I need to do/know:

  • I need to wipe the "real" drive's free space contents beyond recovery (as well as my C:\ drive); I plan on using Eraser to do that, however it is a flash drive and I don't want to wear the read/write cycles out too quickly - what deletion technique is most effective, and how many times should it be run (for a flash drive, and a regular hard drive)? I have read that a single, all-zero free space pass proves to be unrecoverable, but I need to ensure that this data can not be recovered and read from the "real" drive. :-\
  • Also, can tools like Eraser and Defraggler/<your defragment tool of choice here> work on TC volumes, or will those possibly corrupt/cripple the volume? :tellme:
  • And a final, and very important question, how can I make sure that the TC volume (and the program itself) cannot be deleted under any circumstances (ignoring formatting, unless that can be blocked, too? :tellme:) unless the command comes from my user account on my home computer? I would assume it would be permissions-based, but I don't know how that would work on other computers... suggestions? :read:

For those of you wondering why I do not simply encrypt the whole drive and be done with it, it is because that would deny me access to the contents of the drive when I am on a machine with Limited/Standard user privileges (ex: school) and that would defeat a large purpose of the drive (as well as TC being on the drive in question... kind of like locking your keys in your car, except your car has a briefcase of papers that you need really badly, sitting on the back seat taunting you :P).

Guidance, anyone? Anything I can change, do better, modify? I'm open to anything that will help :)

Living Room / An unusual "Recent Items" context menu option
« on: June 09, 2009, 05:08 PM »
Alright, I've been racking my brain for a week or so trying to figure out what- or more specifically WHY- I have this context menu item in my "Recent Items" list.


"Shop for music online" is the entry in question. It *only* appears in the Recent Items right-click context menu or when I right click on a folder in Music, nowhere else. I didn't notice it at any specific time (unsure if a certain software caused it) so I'm not sure what created it. My dad's Vista machine (also Home Premium SP1) does NOT have the entry. Both machines have WMP11 and iTunes 8.1, and upon clicking the option I am directed to a Microsoft page to buy music, looking somewhat like a primitive Windows XP-themed music store


So I guess my question(s) is... does anyone else have it, and how can I remove it? And why is it here if it looks like it was designed for XP (wouldn't it be more logical to detect the OS and switch to a Vista-themed site instead)?

EDIT: Also, there are NO music or video files in Recent Items, only some images. Regardless, the entry appears even on a fresh boot or after a CCleaner run, when the list is empty.

Hey all,

A friend of mine is getting a new computer (used) in about a week and the current owner says that it has "a bunch of stuff on it" and we both think it would be best to start off with a fresh Windows install - except the machine only comes with the Windows Product Key (no disks/recovery partition at all). I have been surfing torrent sites for a Windows XP Home Edition SP3 ISO, but all I can find is cracked/illegal versions. Can anyone help me out? It doesn't need to be SP3 (that would be best, but it isn't a problem otherwise) as long as it is for Home Edition and is a legal/non-cracked copy.


Alright, I have a kind of stealth-application request that I hope someone can help me with.

I need to have a small application that can hide multiple Notification Area icons (it needs to have an INI or some way to remember what icons), but then execute their primary double-click action when a hotkey is pressed (different hotkey for each icon) - but without showing the icon. It would be launched at startup to hide the icons, so a startup delay of maybe 15 seconds would be nice (simple enough for AHK, just make the script sleep, but not sure about other languages).

I don't know if this can be done in AHK, but if someone can manage to code it (regardless of the language) I would be very appreciative :)

I have a small home file storage/backup/ĀµTorrent/BOINC server that runs pretty much 24/7 on a dresser in my room. It is a great little machine from 2001 with 1.6Ghz P4, 768MB DDR RAM and an ATi Radeon X1300 AGP card; however, the two IDE hard drives get EXTREMELY hot ("burning" hot) during intense file movements, defrags, things of that nature. I used to have a small hard drive cooler that sat on the bottom of the drive (via screws, or in my case, jury-rigged in) sporting 2x 80mm fans - it met its demise when the power plug ... melted. Both drives work great (both from 2002 now, aftermarket drives), so there isn't anything wrong except for the heat output (no grinding, data loss, etc).

So now I am looking for a new hard drive cooling system - air or water, but it has to be reasonably cheap (anything over $50 is pushing it unless it is water-cooling). If anyone had a recommendation for a good freeware HD Temperature (F/C compatible) monitor, that would be great as well :)

Not sure if something like this exists, but was wondering if someone knew about a tool/could whip something up that was able to scan & sort images based on their resolutions (would have to support non-standard sizes as well, like 1794x1250). It wouldn't have to be anything massive (or even have a GUI or options or anything), just something that would go through and make folders for each size, then move the images in.


Living Room / How many furries here at DC?
« on: April 21, 2009, 10:35 PM »
Thought I would start up a thread to see if anyone else here at DC was "furry". It is summarized well on the Furry badge page:

... fans of fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics, like facial expressions, the ability to speak, walk on two legs, and wear clothes.

Basically anyone that takes an interest in, or relates to animals with human traits. Out of the thousands of members here, there have to be a few more than myself and scannie.

Anyone? :)

I am going cold turkey on my laptop from Vista to Ubuntu 9.04 and was hoping some fellow members could give me some insight as to what is new, broken, problematic and helpful in Ubuntu's latest RC.

My one negative experience so far (install is at 66% as I type this):
During my 1st install attempt (boot from disk, then run installer manually) the installer encountered an error and went "nuts" for lack of better words. The 2nd time (thus far successful), I chose to install directly from the disk menu, but this time I did NOT check the option to import my Vista account's Firefox data - so might wanna watch for that.

Anyone have any insight, experiences or suggestions? I need this laptop just for work (my sister will hate me, no more Sims 2), so I need it to be fully functional and ready to work at any given moment (Sleep did not work in 8.10). Anything that can be done to ensure this, I will gladly attempt :)

Last second edit: It took 2 DVDs (first was bad) and 3 (THREE) install attempts to get Ubuntu installed. :tellme: Also, at the reboot screen for the Live CD, it only showed "and press ENTER to continue." :-\

EDIT: Another problem: To install proprietary drivers for my Linksys WPC300N (yes, Broadcom, ugh) Ubuntu "downloaded" them. Uhh... HELLO? (Wired connection worked great for this after I laughed about the lack of a connection)

Finished Programs / DONE: Sort files into folders based on type
« on: April 08, 2009, 08:36 PM »
I did a little bit of searching and surprisingly didn't find anything to do this (except for music-related circumstances), so here goes...

I have a Downloads folder on my home server machine that is past 7GB and climbing (yes, I actually DO clean it out :P). I need a program that I can run that sorts the files into various folders based on their types (or file extensions, it doesn't matter one way or the other to me). It would need to be able to identify and place all of these file types into folders:

  • Folders (thereby making a folder of folders, but if the folder of folders already exists, don't put THAT folder into a new folder... :huh: :P)
  • EXE
  • MP3
  • MP4/FLV
  • ZIP/RAR/7z/JAR
  • ICO
  • INI
  • PDF
  • and more, preferably in a (user stupid) editable format

In addition, INI files that have an EXE counterpart with the same name should both be placed in a folder with that name (for coding snacks and whatnot).

Anyone able to take this?

Living Room / Sound problems: help please?
« on: March 24, 2009, 06:48 PM »
Alright, a quick Google didn't turn up anything useful by any stretch, so I'll see if someone here has some wisdom on what is going on with my machine :)

I have 2 sound cards in my machine:
 - Onboard Realtek HD Audio (rear and front panel used, latest drivers)
 - Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty Gamer Pro (PCI, infrequently used, latest drivers)

The problem is with the former (the latter has it's own share of problems, but that's for another time) - if I launch an application, one of two things will happen:

 - Normal operation, no problems whatsoever (minus usual program bugs and whatnot)
 - Normal operation, without sound (everything else works fine) :huh:

There is no connection to anything else (any other problems) on the computer - the whole thing runs fine except this. The problem is, it seems once a program has this "glitch," every 2nd launch it fails to supply sound. For example:

  • Friend wants me to race on Need for Speed: Most Wanted
  • I launch NFSMW, works fine
  • I close NFSMW, and resume work/play/writing/whatever
  • Friend wants a rematch
  • I launch NFSMW, get to the "wear your seatbelt <insert stuff no one above 12 listens to here>" and there is no sound output
  • Close NFSMW via Alt+F4 (for other apps, a "normal" close works as well)
  • Relaunch NFSMW, sound is present once again
  • Repeat as necessary

And it is not limited to that one game: Miro is doing it now, and VLC requires a similar approach:

  • Play media file, no problems
  • Media file stops
  • Drag new media file onto VLC
  • Media file plays, without sound
  • Stop playback (not pause), Resume playback
  • Sound resumes as normal

What the f*ck is going on? Firefox does not seem affected by this yet (knock on wood), as YouTube videos play fine - but I close FF so often that it could actually be every other "good" launch for all I know. :tellme:

As soon as I post this I'm going to switch off to my X-Fi and see what's going on. Thanks in advance for any ideas or input :)

Last-second-edit: Also, sometimes when plugging in/removing headphones from the front jack, Windows Explorer will lockup and if I open Vista's sound controls, it too will freeze. The sound icon will also vanish from the taskbar when Explorer recovers.

Afterthought edit: This has only been occurring for about a week now. I haven't made any significant changes to anything (just moving files and whatnot, no drivers/devices/hardware changes) around the time it began. The most recent change was about a week and a half ago I attempted to install my old Dynex WGP-USB dongle, failing (no Vista drivers); I removed all traces of that though.

Goes to show that not only can I be a complete moron at times, but I also put my computer through hell while doing so. This would be defined as the most idiotic, dangerous, insane way to check your disk for issues...

No bad sectors.png

Window's disk cleanup notification bubble appeared and told me that I had "Low Disk Space on Drive C:" (this was after I noticed the decline from 1.04GB to 780MB to 180MB). As I type this post, it brought up a congratulation message telling me that I was able to recover enough space for Windows to not die:

[Window Title]
Disk Space Notification

[Main Instruction]
You have successfully resolved the low disk space condition. Your C:\ volume now has 160 MB of free space remaining.

To free up additional disk space by deleting unused programs, open Programs and Features.

Open Change or remove a program


I wouldn't recommend trying this on your own, unless you are a little on the crazy side (ex: me). :P

I now have 5.96GB free on C (good riddance Need for Speed Undercover!), and am going to continue installing my new game (seen in the screenshot). :Thmbsup:

Living Room / Someone needs to expand our WikiPedia article
« on: March 01, 2009, 03:40 PM »
I noticed this about 2 weeks ago while at school, browsing for info on DC (school project). The DonationCoder page at WikiPedia is a mere two (you could argue three) paragraphs, we don't have any image (Cody or anything), and I really think it would be beneficial to have an elaborate set of information out on WP.

I would offer to do it (or just do it myself), but IMHO I don't believe I know that much about DC's background and whatnot (more of a job for mouser or someone else that has been here since "way back when"). There is a lot that goes on here that I don't pay enough attention to, to be honest. I don't want to look like an idiot posting incorrect information :-[

Just pointing it out, hoping someone can find the time to fill in some more info.

URL: http://en.wikipedia....g/wiki/Donationcoder

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