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Messages - Shades [ switch to compact view ]

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While I do not have experience with the Oculus Quest, the requirements are a pretty good indicator of what you can expect.

You will likely need to scroll quite a bit on this Oculus experiences page to find a 3D photo viewer app amongst all the games and other apps. And from what I saw, you will need a FaceBook account to be able to use the Oculus device at all.

The 'Virtual Desktop' app looks to be most capable of watching your photos in 3D.

General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for Book Catalog
« on: September 21, 2021, 08:43 PM »

Living Room / Re: playstore downloads
« on: September 21, 2021, 08:41 PM »
It is my assumption that compression is used in the APK you download from the store. Perhaps a separate layer of compression is used by the app builder before creating the APK, for the purpose of reducing the transfer file size even further. As lots of people are paying for data transfers, it makes sense to use whatever compression is available. This may lead to much larger install sizes, but should not affect your data transfer costs.

To prevent issues like this, I have set the Android version (10) on my phone to download only when connected to WiFi. This works for me, because I don't care about playing games, or watch video or shoot pictures or visit internet sites. My requirements would be met with a semi-smart phone that is capable of WhatsApp, Skype, Teams and Google Maps. Maybe 2 times a year I have a need to use the camera on my phone. On occasion I do use WiFi analyzer software, to see if there are problems with WiFi, which channels are free (enough) etc. But that is my use case for it. So the option 'Only download on WiFi' is perfectly usable for me and as a bonus, not waste any more money on such devices than I have to.

It might be a good setting for yourself as well, if you have a plan with (severe) limitations for your phone.

Also, file size of the application to download is not the same as the file size of the application when stored. The file system of any operating system reports only the size when stored. File systems divide the storage capacity up into certain size of blocks and it reserves enough of those blocks to store the application. The file system will also try to fill these blocks with file data as efficiently as possible, but you should expect sometimes big differences there. Block sizes that are large improve file read/write access, but at the cost of available storage space. Block sizes that are small are great for storage space, but your file read/write access suffers greatly.

Updates for all the apps on my phone do appear to report the correct file size. My phone is a Huawei P20 Pro and it uses EMUI as a shell around Android. Perhaps the manufacturer of your phone uses their shell around Android which might have a problem reporting the correct file size. The EMUI shell I never found so intrusive as other shells on different brands of phones/tablets I have seen. But that might not be the same for you.

Give  CarrotDAV a whirl. 

It works better if you have a webserver (Apache, NginX, IIS (6+), LightHTTP etc.) running, but the software is capable of activating a very minimalistic webserver itself for transferring files. And it does this through port 80 or 443. Ports that are open on almost all computers, firewalls etc. It doesn't encrypt or compress, you will have to do that yourself before transferring. But transferring is very simple.

Open the CarrotDAV GUI client and open connection to your (local) webserver or DropBox or Google Drive or OneDrive or FTPS server or Box server or IMAP server or Amazon Cloud server or SFTP server or SugarSync server or Swift server or file (LAN) server or iCloud server or Hubic server. Once connected, a window opens. Whatever you wish to transfer, you just drag-n-drop and done. (you can use it to transfer all your data from one service to another directly as well). There is even an command line client nowadays.

HTTP allows by default for 6 connections in a session, so if you are the only one using this during that session, transfers are really fast. 

For work I need to transfer archives from one continent to another. Using FTPS that takes just over an hour. With CarotDAV (and my locally running, internet facing webserver) just under 10 minutes. My webserver is an old Intel Core DUO (E8200) on a rather poor quality cable internet connection. Google throws way more hardware against the problem with Google Drive using a way, way better internet connection. Through their service I need about 8 and a half minutes for the transfer. I cannot automate the transfer sequence using Google Drive. With CarrotDAV automation (completely) is no problem.

Every developer (local/remote) just activates a build script after they submitted their changes remotely and about 10 minutes later the archives have arrived on my local server, ready for a whole sleuth of regression tests. Which also start automatically once the new build has been detected. A report regarding any of the regression tests which might have failed or underperform is usually already generated for those (local/remote) that start work early in the morning. So they can start fixing any problem that the night/shift (local/remote) might have introduced. Took a while to setup, but saves so much time in the long run.

Your IP (v4) address is not part of your personal data.

It would be if that IP address was a static one. But as there are only a limited amount of IP (v4) addresses available, your ISP will assign you a different one whenever they see a need to do so.

It is considered meta-data and can be used as evidence against you when the IP address is known and the time/data of when it was assigned to you. Without that information, it is circumstantial at best and has been used successfully in courts as a defense against accusations.

A court order has to be obeyed, by any company, anywhere. As you are allowed time to find resources to help you in your defense, the accuser is allowed resources to legally build their case. Without the defender knowing about that. Welcome to the society you have chosen to participate in.

Proton mail, by default, does not log even meta-data. But has to comply if ordered to do so. Proton mail did mention that they don't log your meta-data by default. If you the reader comprehend from that text that the government cannot touch you, you are dearly mistaken. Content of the messages send through Proton mail have not been compromised, so nothing more than meta-data is retrievable as evidence.

A similar thing happens when you use a VPN. Their texts read as those services make you anonymous on the internet. And they don't, as that is not how the basics of the TCP/IP protocols even work. Government can ask your ISP for the same meta-data and see when and how long you are connected to your VPN provider of choice. Then the government only needs to ask your VPN provider about the meta-data you are generating on their servers and that is already enough circumstantial evidence to make things stick, without having to know the exact content of what is communicated between you and the services you connect to.

All the re-assuring texts you are fed by any service that promises anonymity on the internet are worth almost naught. In that sense, you should be happy that IPv4 still exists. With IPv6 each device will get a static IP number and then your IP address is suddenly hard evidence in court. If you are up to no good on the internet, an IPv6 address will not be your friend. Sorry, was reminded about the joke: "What is the difference between a friend and a best friend?" "A friend helps you move, a best friend helps you move....bodies!" With that in mind, an IPv6 address won't even help you move. It would be more like the card in Monopoly: "Go directly to prison, do not cross start, do not collect funds."

Here is a transcript of data that has to be logged in Europe: link   See item: article 5, section 1, subsection (a)

This data has an can be stored for 6 months to 2 years, depending on national law of EU members. And yes, there is GDPR, which makes sure user rights on privacy are more respected. But that was a 2016 ruling, that had to written in law by 2018, but that doesn't mean implementation of that law is enacted upon in 2018. There might be a provision inside that companies have to comply as fast as they are able, because of a pandemic there may have been a shortage on people working on this, there are not enough people to check if companies comply and/or deliver fines, etc.

As not all members of the EU are shining examples of humanitarian progress, who knows how long meta date like IP addresses and date/time are not logged in those countries.

General Software Discussion / Re: Free MKV video repair files
« on: September 05, 2021, 02:13 AM »
DVDs and BluRay discs are riddled with DRM. Some of those DRM solutions scramble up the content/structure of a DVD/BluRay disc pretty severely. The original disc will work in most hardware players, but it is not a given that software can unscramble the content. Most of the time it is best to use a tool that extracts all the content from a disc onto your hard drive. The extractor is more often than not capable of fixing whatever the DRM broke.

Then you use software like MakeMKV with the extracted content on your drive to create the final video file. Yes, that is time-consuming and requires a lot of free hard disk space every time you such a thing, but it is the most sure-fire way of getting a single video file from a bunch of .VOB files. Never had satisfying results with software that promises to do both those actions in one go.

From what you are writing here, you appear to have the same problem.

And please, look up the difference between a DVD and BluRay. Yes, both are using a plastic disc as a medium. And that is where all other similarities end. A BluRay disc can easily contain 10 times more data than a DVD can ever hope to manage. Which is why viewing and hearing a BluRay movie is many times better than any DVD.

Because of all that extra data, it will take a whole lot longer to extract content from a BluRay disc than from a DVD. Depending on the processing power of your computer, this difference can indeed be hours.

MKVToolnix is not really a tool for repairing broken .MKV files. It is great at editing such a video file (adding audio tracks or subtitles for example). The repair function in VLC is not too useful. Yes, it is able to repair a video file and it will let you view as much of the broken video file as it can. But it won't store those repairs, so the next time VLC opens the broken video file, VLC will need to go trough the whole repair cycle again.

With ripping discs, the result really depends on how proficient you and your tools are. The concept of "garbage in, garbage out" really applies. The most success I always had was doing each step separately, using tools  that do one job and do that job well. The loss in time and the need for ample free storage space were (way back when) a price I was willing to pay for successful conversion.

Nowadays, I can't be .rsed to go through all of that crap again as video streaming sites and a good enough internet connection are too cheap and convenient.

Living Room / Re: Problem with Win Remote Connection
« on: August 30, 2021, 06:58 PM »
Check this link with instructions on how to enable RDP through the command line. You will also need to make exceptions in the firewall rules on the remote machine. The link describes how you need to do that too.

Normally you can use the name of the computer as the address. The Windows network stack is smart enough to work with that data.

But if this on a invitation based event, Just install AnyDesk on your system and the remote desktop. The person on the remote end needs to give you their AnyDesk code and you can log into that machine after the remote user approves. Or you can set it up in such a way that you log in remotely without a need to be approved by the remote user. Also a possibility. AnyDesk is about as hassle-free of an experience as you can get for remote access.

If I understood correctly, this link goes to software that notifies you when your battery hits the percentages you set. Then it is up to you to do the disconnecting from the charger.

Not exactly what you want, but close.

Google Talk was the best! Killing it in favor of Google Hangouts and whatever else has come since then was a mistake.

I totally bought into the hype of Google Wave. Still...

DC Website Help and Extras / Re: Server being updated today 8/24/21
« on: August 25, 2021, 12:38 AM »
That text never appeared before. QuiteRSS is what I use to read the RSS feeds I subscribe to, but that hasn't been updated.

Examples (2021-08-24)

Message before the maintenance run.

** edit:  added screenshots

DC Website Help and Extras / Re: Server being updated today 8/24/21
« on: August 24, 2021, 08:17 PM »
No hiccup or downtime in my case. While not directly misbehaving in the forum itself, in the RSS feed there is an error.

All items shown in the feed now have a text:


<content of post>

Likely somewhere a small typo ('nbsp' is to be replaced with 'nbsp;') occurs.

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 Announced
« on: August 22, 2021, 02:46 AM »
Migrating from 7 to 10 was free. While it is not free anymore officially, Microsoft still doesn't charge you if you upgrade. There is a loophole for people with disabilities. And Microsoft doesn't check if that moniker applies to you or not.

Anyway, your registration data from Windows 7 is retrievable for the Windows 10 installer too. While I would not expect it to be the case, if you were using a Microsoft account in Windows 7, your registration data is stored at Microsoft. Reusing that account will activate Windows 10 as well. So, there are 3 ways around activation in your case.However, you should check if you now have Windows 10 Home instead of Windows 10 Pro. Although you (the user) would expect this to be the case, but if I understood correctly, that is only if you bought a retail version of Windows 7 Pro. If you bought an OEM system with Windows 7 Pro on it, it got demoted to Windows 10 Home after the upgrade to 10.

And poorly structured Dutch at that. Translation is too literal for what is actually meant in English.

Back in 1998 I was working for a Dutch ISP. It was very common back then to access the internet by 33k or 56k modem via your land line. Not only needed you to pay for each "tick", you also needed to pay the ISP a monthly subscription fee. That Dutch ISP was one of the first to offer "free" internet. As in, they dropped the subscription fee, but users still needed to pay for each "tick".

A very successful move, the amount of customers increased very, very fast, as did the amount of employees. For legal reasons there had to be a paper trail per subscription, so every 2 to 3 weeks one or more laser printers (professional business ones) needed to be replaced as the counter for its functional life exceeded the maximum. Content creation was important, the occasional sponsored deal was a nice bonus, but the real money was made from the kick-back fees, "generously" offered by telecom companies.

Those days (the first years) were long, but fun as heck. Unfortunately also very profitable. Investors came by and not all of them were of the friendly sort. Both co-founders were each sent packing with 4.000.000 euro, and still the investor got away with 20.000.000 euro more when the ISP was sold and moved to a different part of the country. Ah, those pre-bubble-popping days....

Sites like AfterDawn have a lot of guides on how to comvert video files, rip DVDs, etc. Consult those first. Some of those are quite old, but are still valid.

General Software Discussion / Re: email sender rewrite proxy
« on: August 17, 2021, 07:06 PM »
Maybe receive the mail, store it as a file, rewrite the header and use a mail client that you can use within batch/PowerShell scripting? 

A few command line mail clients that might be able to help with this:
- CMail
- SwithMail

Mail relay software might be good for such a purpose too. But I only know of:
- MiniRelay
Which is ancient, not maintained and the creator's website has been off-line for years.

Here are instructions to create an SMTP relay server on IIS, after which you could use Powershell to resend the message with a header that does comply with your current setup.
This set of instructions also seems helpful for your problem.

'MakeMKV', 'Handbrake' or 'VidCoder', those are the tools you'll need to convert a DVD into single video files.

Don't play around with standard presets, until you have a good grasp of what those values mean and how these can affect the result.
Patience is required, regardless of the "horse power" your computer may have. Especially when using HEVC (a.k.a. x265/h265), the conversion is very intensive for RAM and CPU.

General Software Discussion / Re: What Android Apps Do You Use?
« on: August 12, 2021, 01:13 AM »
Sounds like a DRM problem to me.

I'm sure there is software that is able to strip DRM from books, so a tool like Calibre can convert it to a different format that make it easy to read in your favorite reading software on your computer. Whatever this may be.

You are not allowed to use such software, and you probably shouldn't. Still, there is also something to say that you should be able to read your book on whatever device you own after purchasing that book. And as long as that book never "leaves" your library, the author/publisher/distributor aren't really hurting on the financial end. No harm, no foul.

General Software Discussion / Re: What Android Apps Do You Use?
« on: August 11, 2021, 03:29 PM »
For transferring files to/from my phone, I just use the Android version of Total Commander. With that I can connect through WiFi with my cabled computer. You can get extra modules for this version of Total Commander to use the LAN directly. Or FTP/SFTP or even directly using just WiFi between 2 devices. All for free.

This works very well for my intents and purposes. But, I don't use my phone for hardly anything else than 2FA, Whatsapp/Skype/texting, calling, playing a Wordament game while waiting and very rarely a photo (in that order).

DC Gamer Club / Re: Latest GOG Giveaway
« on: August 07, 2021, 05:39 AM »
Syndicate Plus, Syndicate Wars, and Ultima Underworld 1 & 2 are all free on GOG until Sept 3:


Always have been a big fan of the Syndicate games. Played those a lot on my Amiga home computer. Even if the end of the first Syndicate game was...unexpected, I thoroughly enjoyed both games. After my switch to PC, those games were among the first ones I purchased. Had to leave them behind when moving to South America, though. And the market for (physically boxed) PC games is non-existent. Console games are easy to get here. Both legally and illegally.

Consoles don't really interest me. Although I have seen videos today from a preview of the 'Steam deck' from Valve. The most expensive version has a retail price of 650 USD, but it can do a lot. That is a seriously capable little game machine...until you hook up a USB dongle and connect a monitor, Ethernet, mouse and keyboard to it. Then it is a pretty decent Linux computer too. And you can still use the built-in screen when a second monitor is connected. It has the makings of a Nintendo Switch "killer", it does everything a Switch can do and then a whole lot more.

And of course, it will play GoG games with ease  :P

** edit
Of course, I should link to the video:

There should always be 5 empty channels between the channels you use for your WiFi equipment. And as WiFi equipment is only allowed on 11 channels (except for Japan, they have 13 WiFi channels), you can have 3 options in that range: 1, 6 and 11. Any other combination leaves you only only 2 channels to choose from.

Also, when your neighbor has WiFi, say for example on channel 1, the closest WiFi node in your network should use channel 6 or 11. If you have more than one WiFi device in your house, you have to alter the channels so they don't interrupt the WiFi network of your neighbor. Why that consideration? Well, as you are clearly more aware then they do, you can work around these obstacles. And it will end up in a better WiFi covered network for yourself. It also prevents your neighbor to buy repeaters for "getting a stronger signal" where they need it to be.

More often than not, the signal strength of the WiFi device is set to "strong". Depending on the location of your and their WiFi devices, these can drown out the WiFi signal for both you and your neighbor. Which is then "solved" by repeaters, creating an even bigger mess. And, as there is a great variance between signal strength of WiFi devices, this can become a problem.

If your whole mesh system started to fail without changing anything on your end, it might be because of the neighbor adding things to his WiFi network, started using a microwave close by or you are troubled by other (external) sources of disruptions. It might prove prudent to investigate this further, before investing (heavily ?) in a new WiFi mesh system. Because external disruptions can occur at any given time you can never be really sure that you have "fixed" the mesh part. Remember, when WiFi devices are set to "Auto" with their channel selection, they select the best channel at the moment they are turned on. This does not change anymore and if another device with a static channel is turned back on, both devices won't work properly anymore. Either go full "auto" with every WiFi device in your place and from all your neighbors, or manage it properly by selecting channels 1, 6 or 11 for your own network as well as those from your neighbors. Going "Auto" might sound simpler, but it will always result in a mess. Once you have your and your neighbors channels set up correctly, you will see that the WiFi networks everywhere will work a lot better. 

Best thing to do, in my not so humble opinion, is to dump mesh. WiFi is crap to begin with. Mesh hardly improves on that, even with separate backhaul channels on different frequencies. WiFi is nothing more than radio signals on either a very congested frequency or a frequency that doesn't carry very far. Those separated frequencies might help for a while, but it is sub-par at best. 

As a sufferer (read: maintainer) of WiFi networks, I have spent way too much time finding out why WiFi signals stop working. After the umpteenth complaint about: "WiFi doesn't work!" from colleagues, friends and family members, I got very fed up with the crap that is WiFi. Now I have one UTP cable running through the house, as much out of sight as I could get it and setup WiFi routers to be dumbed down to Access Point duties. The UTP cable is a daisy chain between these WiFi routers and the ISP's modem. Sure, it wasn't fun setting those up. Or getting questioned the whole time by better halves to make sure the cable is invisible.

However, even those persons stopped complaining about a piece of cable being in sight somewhere, as WiFi became much more reliable. 3 WiFi routers as AP for an area 90 meters wide and 90 meters deep. Often with 20 people or more (pre-Covid) and guess what? No-one is complaining about WiFi not working anymore. Do yourself a real favor, use a UTP cable as backhaul, don't trust WiFi to be capable of this, it simply isn't, no matter how much the manufacturer of that type of equipment wants to sell their product to you.

You can even run this cable around the house, if you and/or partner is appalled by having such a cable inside your house. But whatever you do, don't waste more time and money on WiFi than you have to.

Living Room / Re: Practical Space
« on: July 20, 2021, 02:04 PM »
Well, gravity is the problem that is the root cause of our neck and back aches.  It is a moot point that earth has gravity.
We still don't have any kind of real anti-gravity chamber comparable to one of our spaceships.

Well, there is the "vomit comet". For a few seconds at a time you actually can experience weightlessness, in a jet that flies down at a very steep angle. It then also needs to get back to proper heights at a similar angle...hence the name "vomit comet". NASA uses this to give (would be) astronauts a chance to experience weightlessness and to see who literally has the stomach for that job.

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 Announced
« on: July 19, 2021, 05:30 PM »
But this has been a reality for a while. It's just that microsoft is getting into that space. I've been looking at getting a Shadow for a while.

You should check the viability of their business plan. I heard Linus form video channel Linus Tech Tips mention that Shadow isn't a financially sound organization. I believe that was in his weekly talking the week that he did a review of similar services. More of a place that over-promises and under-delivers. The videos he creates are usually sponsored and likely Shadow didn't fulfill their contractual financial obligations.

Better, to get a very "beefy" server that can act as file server and gaming computer. Apparently you can get pretty long extension cables, so the server can be centrally stored while you can divide up the "beefiness" from the server up to multiple workstations/terminals in the house. One place to install games/tools, while assigning sufficient hardware to workstations/terminals in the house.

Very little amount of cabling needing to go through the house (but the cabling that needs to go through the house is expensive, in case you want 4k support everywhere), that usually gets the 'partner approved'-stamp quickly. Added bonus, drastic noise reduction at all the workstations and/or terminals in the house. Yet there is barely any extra latency (hence the price tag on the cabling) between video output and user input.

Sure, initial costs are prohibitive, but will last you longer, will be far more reliable and enjoyable for gaming and you reduced the amount of "rent-seekers" on your disposable income. I found that having way less of those has a very beneficial effect on your (mental) well-being. The comfort-level these services try to lure you with is, more often than not, not worth the costs.

Feel the same about the Microsoft Windows 365 product. Companies that might think they need it, they still need a desk, a seat and office space for the person that uses their Windows in the cloud. Those persons also still need a little bit of hardware. The extra costs of purchase, maintenance and energy of that low-end hardware won't be that much of an issue. And it is not like you can do away with the IT department completely, so it doesn't save much, especially with the off-set of the extra costs you (as a company) now need to pay to Microsoft. And if you need to pay according to usage, not a set amount, there is a significant chance it might end up being more expensive.

A solution in search of a problem. I'm sure that all of the above sound like I'm an anti-cloud person. There are many cloud-projects that I like/enjoy, but if I can run such projects on my own hardware, I'm more inclined to do that. A nice learning opportunity and most do not require that powerful hardware for small(er) organizations. A re-purposed old computer or (rack-)server is easily deployed as machine that runs these new services more than adequately, depending on the period of writing computing equipment off.

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 11 Announced
« on: July 15, 2021, 04:43 PM »
Back from the digital necropolis....Windows 11 re-introduces Clippy.

Here is a youtube video where Clippy makes its revenge:

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