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ugrep - new ultra fast grep with interactive query UI: search file systems, source code, text, binary files, archives, compressed files, documents, fuzzy search, and more:

For those that want a very fast grep tool with a GUI (Windows): BareGrep (it can also be used with the command-line)

Encountered that software years ago, and while it shows its age, there is nothing wrong with it's speed. Even with files and/or content that hasn't been indexed, it is very fast. Comes in both freeware and commercially licensed forms.

Another tabletop "simulator":

More geared towards people playing tabletop games like D&D, PathFinder and similar play systems. But it allows you to add/create your own game system, if you have such inclinations. Without looking too deep into the feature-set of 'TableTop Simulator'. Got the impression that Roll20 can be "manipulated" to create the board of the game you wish to play, then set up video sessions between users and you are playing almost in real life.

Probably copyright will give issues, but the system behind it could work for having much more interaction between players.

Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff"
« on: July 31, 2020, 11:45 PM »
[ Invalid Attachment ]

Huge BootHole flaw in GRUB2 bootloader leaves millions of Windows and Linux systems at risk from hackers

To my understanding, the people behind the discovery of this flaw found out during testing/auditing the Grub bootloader. And then found out the same flaw exist when using Windows as well. Yet all reporting "blames" the Grub bootloader, while the main issue here is that protecting files during the boot procedure is a good idea, but that it is poorly executed. And that too much trust is placed in Microsoft as a certificate signer. Security conscious people warned against this from the beginning days when every computer manufacturer implemented this security feature in their hardware.

General Software Discussion / Re: desktop backup and restore
« on: July 26, 2020, 02:18 AM »
With Windows XP and earlier, there was a function built into Windows that automatically "cleaned up" your desktop by removing icons that were not opened after a certain amount of time. Perhaps you have (unconsciously) enabled this functionality on your Windows installation? in other words, how sure are you that this function is disabled?  How to enable/disable this functionality.

That would explain the removal of icons on your desktop periodically. Don't think a tool like 'DesktopOK' will restore these icons once those are removed.

My experiences with DesktopOK have been good, when I was using it on a Windows Server 2008 computer. Did so for years. Windows 7 and Server 2008 share the same kernel, making these versions of Windows practically similar.

When someone logged into that machine using RDP, the order/arrangement of icons was always a mess. Especially when someone used a tool like 'Terminals' or 'mRemoteNG' (to manage their RDP/SSH/Telnet connections), as those always used a slightly different resolution than the common ones for wide screen monitors. Still, one right-click on the tray icon of DesktopOK and selecting the desired profile all icons were back in their intended location. A bit of wiggling and 2 mouse clicks, that was what it it took, so no complaints there.

Hence I fail to grasp why your experience with DesktopOK is so significantly different.

You can say RtvReco is old indeed. It is from 2002, so 18 years. Its website hasn't been updated since 2003 either. Wouldn't try this anymore on Windows 10.

Would such a system not help in allowing actual board games or tabletop games to be played remotely, if the remote player would be in control of which camera he/she chooses to use at any given moment?

After all, you did make an automated dice roller a while back....


(Push The Freaking Button)

I have used a free version of that in the past. And it worked adequately back then.

In order: (no typo!!)


Wix was crap when I saw it a few years ago. And then your URL would be:
https://<your desired name>

Not everyone is as fond of the subdomain format. Seen Wix once, that was enough. Not that others will be much better though.

Getting a domain, the web hosting, some support, including a (simple) certificate sets you back about 60 USD the first year. Extending the domain after the first year is cheaper (around 50 USD). And if you setup free certificates using 'Let's Encrypt' or similar services, the price drops even further. And I would think that all the money spent can be written (completely/partially) as a business expense. And such a host will have all the tools (for money transfers) in place already, in case the bike shop owner wants to sell stuff online directly.

Transferring domains between different hosts is not difficult, but can be a source of headache.

An idea:
The Google-bot uses the Apache web server. The web server has been started on the server using a specific user account on that server. The NTFS file system has the option to deny access to files. You could set the 'deny access' option for the files you don't want indexed for the Apache's user account. This should not affect normal access to these files through file shares. Of course if the maintainers of these files try to access them through the web server, it would fail for them as well.

Kinda brutal, but inaccessible files are very hard to index, even for the current and future trickery Google implements in their Google-bot.

If you run Apache on a Linux server, file access management is usually easier. Still, the maintainer trying to access files through the company web server will also be a problem with Linux.

Google not indexing your sites, that will hurt their SEO score and therefore placement in the Google search results. If that is not an issue or concern, you could consider the idea above.

A crude, yet simple solution:

<p>Getting more information for class subject A, send a mail message using this <a href=";body=I,%20<sender;s%20name>%20have%20an%20interest%20in%2the%20following:%0AClass%20subject%20A%0A%0AKind%20regards,%0A<sender%20name>%0A">link</a>.</p>
<p>Getting more information for class subject B, send a mail message using this <a href=";body=I,%20<sender;s%20name>%20have%20an%20interest%20in%2the%20following:%0AClass%20subject%20B%0A%0AKind%20regards,%0A<sender%20name>%0A">link</a>.</p>
<p>Getting more information for class subject C, send a mail message using this <a href=";body=I,%20<sender;s%20name>%20have%20an%20interest%20in%2the%20following:%0AClass%20subject%20C%0A%0AKind%20regards,%0A<sender%20name>%0A">link</a>.</p>

<p>It is also possible to send a similar request by post using our <a href=""><strong>contact form</strong></a> or by using the telephone number(s) listed in the form.</p>

If people have a (properly configured) mail client on their system, they will see a new screen appear with all the required information already filled into the receivers address, the subject and the body of the message. The only thing the prospect needs to do is clicking on the 'Send' button of their respective mail client. If they have configured gmail or other online mail client, that should result in a new browser tab to their online mail account with the same message content already pre-filled.

Creating a message with an automated subject line and/or mail address are easy to filter in your own mail client (workable if attendance numbers are low) or mail processor (if attendance numbers are high). Most mail clients have features that can automate responses, if you wish to send the prospect a confirmation mail of any kind.

As stated earlier, it is a crude solution and only really viable for a low amount of classes in the current format. But you can alter the message content, etc. as you please.

This solution also does not take into account users that have an improperly configured mail client or no mail client at all on their system. Something to consider as well.

It intercepts traffic, finds supported resources locally, and injects them into the environment.
Isn't that what your browser cache is supposed to do? :huh:

True. And the next would be local proxy server.

Some of the smiley buttons of the Quick Reply editor have http url's, while most of the other resources are on https url's. The current browser generations have deemed all http links to be "Not Secure", FWIW.

Not only that, some are becoming even more strict regarding HTTPS traffic (images/scripts) that did not originate from the same domain.

General Software Discussion / Re: notepad calculator?
« on: July 01, 2020, 01:48 PM »
Tried RedCrab Calculator already?

Living Room / Re: [2018] Wanted: Console Text Editor for Windows
« on: June 29, 2020, 08:27 PM »
Indeed.  :Thmbsup:

But for those that think not enough editors were discussed in the OP's article, here are more:

Caffeine - used that a lot myself. It is free, small and portable.

I [...] can't afford a giant drive.

* Deozaan eyes the 6TB drive suspiciously.

Kids these days... :P
the 6TB drive wasn't super expensive.
Plus the larger drives were either designed for raids, nas, security cameras, or enterprise (no clue how those would work in a consumer build, or what makes them enterprise)

And second... I'm 29.

More support, more time on guarantee, better quality engineering, better MTBF values, choice in how you wish to connect the drive to your other enterprise-grade hardware. Proper transport from factory to the location where the drive is being assembled into the enterprise-grade system. That is what drives make 'Enterprise'. And all those things come with an enterprise-grade price tag. If you know how consumer-grade hard disks are being shipped, you wonder how it is possible so many drives still work after shipping.

Raid drives are better equipped to handle vibrations....the vibrations other drives cause in a case with many other drives. Storage servers quite often have 40 or more drives built-in. And when all are powered, these cause quite a vibration in the server case and/or rack. Way more than you would expect.

NAS drives use CMR technology for reading/writing and have some of the anti-vibration features of RAID drives, but as a NAS generally uses a smaller amount of drives (4 or 8 drive models are common), they can get away with less.

Drives that store content from security cameras use the 'shingles' technology for/reading writing. First content is written to a cache and when that cache is getting full, the content is getting written in a special way onto the actual platter. By doing this, they can increase the capacity of the drive significantly. But this is not a good technology for use in consumer systems, as it is slow for random reads/writes.

About such things a "kid" usually doesn't know about.  :P

Do you have a hard disk enclosure in which the new drive fits?

If yes, you could use software like HDClone to transfer content from one drive to the other. The pay version can pump data from one drive to the other quite a lot faster than a standard copy action in Windows explorer can accomplish. Still, with a hard disk enclosure the transfer speed will be limited to the max speed of the (USB) ports on your computer. But Windows Explorer is in essence enough to do the transfer. There are also tools like Macrium Reflect and others that have free/licensed versions of their software available. All of these will make the transfer easier.

If not, do you have a laptop or desktop computer?
In case of a laptop: purchase a hard disk enclosure (USB) as most laptops only support one built-in drive. You should be able to get one for 20 or 25 USD,
In case of a desktop: open your computer case and find a free slot (which can be SATA or m2 (nVMe)) and connect the drive. You can then partition/format the drive to your liking and use Windows Explorer or HDClone or other tools to do the transfer. Now you are limited to the transfer speeds the hard disk controller in your system can manage. And these are much higher than can be accomplished by an enclosure. If you have the budget, go this route and reduce the transfer time from hours till mere minutes. Yes, HDClone can really pump data from one drive to the other that fast.

On a side note:
How sure are you that the hard disk controller on your motherboard is capable of supporting partitions >2TByte?  Because that happened to me with a now 6 year old motherboard (Asus and the Pro version of that model). Anything above 2TByte is not immediately recognized. I needed to get specific software from the hard disk vendor, install that and the remainder of my 3TByte drive became available. Still, it wasn't possible to have a partition bigger than 2TByte.

Yet I have older boards (all Asus with either Intel or AMD) which do not have this limitation. Switching to the latest BIOS, taken from the support section on Asus website for this problematic board, did not solve the problem.

It is unlikely you will encounter the same problem as I did, but I thought I mention it regardless.

The file Install.exe from the archive 'Direct Access 5.19 (3.5)' (for DOS) doesn't work in Windows 10 64-bit. Likely this installer is 16-bit and/or uses 16-bit components. Still, I don't think the installer will work in 32-bit version of Windows 10 either.

Same thing happens with the archive 'Direct Access 1.0 for Windows (1992) (5.25-1.2mb)'.

Still have Winamp version 1.91 around on one of my drives in storage. Software from 1998 IIRC, but it still worked just fine in Windows 10. Not that it is recommended, but old software can and does run in Windows 10.

Other "brutal" search-n-replace tools:
  • seRapid - Freeware, has not been updated in many years, so how well it holds with Chinese characters, I don't know. But for texts using the default (Windows) ascii characters, it works well. It's saving grace is that it can store the settings of each search-replace session for easy repeats.
  • FAR - Freeware, also not updated in years. No great interface either. And when you get it to work, it "flies" through files. But it does allow you to easily search for multiple lines of text and replace these with single or multiple lines of text.

Both can be used as portable apps. In my situation at the time with FAR, I had copied a JRE folder (and underlying subfolder structure) directly into its main folder and then it would be able to start. Still, I had sometimes problems to make it go and do it's thing. While that may put you off, once you experience it's speed, you'll be impressed. My use case contained 600+ AsciiDoc files of different sizes and FAR was really, really fast and accurate.


Not exactly what you look for, but any of these options will make the creation and maintenance of a (locally and/or cloud-hosted) Wiki more convenient.

Then, there is also 'BlueSpice'. That is an extension/enhancement for MediaWiki. And it supercharges your wiki, including the editor. For the purist, they can still use the standard text editor that comes with MediaWiki, but there is a toggle switch that enables the visual editor, which is an enjoyable WYSIWYG editor. Last time I checked, 'BlueSpice' comes in 2 versions, Community and Enterprise. Community version you can download for free, the Enterprise version has a price tag, more features and (technical) support.

Discovered 'BlueSpice' when it was still version 1.x, which was already a big improvement over the standard functionality in MediaWiki. Upgraded to version 2.x, which was a significant improvement on version 1.x, especially the visual editor. And now there is version 3.x. Haven't tried that one yet, as the box that runs my wiki runs on a older version of Linux, which doesn't support a specific PHP version that 'BlueSpice 3.x' requires.

Use XAMPP or WAMPP to quickly setup a test webserver on your local machine (comes with all the requirements 'BlueSpice' needs to run).

If you already have a lot of documents, you can use a converter like 'PanDoc' to convert existing Word documents to Wiki texts, which you can then easily copy into your wiki instance. PanDoc is open source software and very capable. That means you have to option to use as much or as little parameters as you dare during conversion...and that it is command-line only.

I've got other stuff running besides my browsers, and I want max available of my CPU and memory to go there, the browser is only a view on my working environment, not 'the only thing in the world' ;D

An enlightened view nowadays.

Anyway, After I found out how much RAM is available to the PC, I  create a page file with a minimal size of: 2 x <available RAM>  and a max size of: 2 x <available RAM>. If possible, I have made a partition on the hard drive that has a size of: the pagefile + 20%.   For this creates a continuous block of data and keeping from the Windows partition it won't contribute to fragmenting the Windows partition.

The rationale behind the size of the pagefile is simple. If your system has a runaway process/application that really needs all your available RAM, it must have enough on twice the amount of storage in the pagefile. And if more is really required, either you or your application/process is doing something so terribly wrong that the damage must be contained by hard limits.

While Windows and the NTFS file system do RAM and file management quite well in modern versions of Windows, having blind faith in these systems is not warranted. 

My systems are also providing temporary files with a separate partition, user data a separate partition and if possible even for the installed software a separate partition. This reduces fragmentation of files significantly, makes backups much simpler and if crap really hits the fan, much easier to reconstruct your setup. However, this setup does require the user to have more discipline in daily use and is therefore not for everyone.

Living Room / Re: 3D Printing - General Discussion
« on: May 28, 2020, 12:49 AM »
My boss bought a 3D printer in kit form, which was designed by some Tsechian person or Romanian person, who is known to design quality printers for low prices. I forgot, it has been quite a while since.

Anyway, It is a pretty good device, has a bed of 25x25 centimeters. Which is the limiting factor in object sizes to print. In the beginning, my boss used the parts as described in the kit, and started to create parts to improve the capabilities of the printer. Last time he was busy with a print head that can take 4 different colors of PLA/ABS at the same time and print objects in multiple colors, making/adjusting print heads that block much lee frequently, etc. But also a higher frame (to print taller objects), continuously finding ways and objects to improve automatic alignment and making the printer more stable for less "bumpy" prints.

The model he has, doesn't make that much noise, but it is far from silent. The sounds it makes do not sound irritating to me, but I might be weird about that.

Resin printers are more silent, but have a fan that can make noise. Resin is nasty to work with and printing must occur in well ventilated rooms. However, any resin that was not used in the print, you can pour back into the resin bottle and use for the next print. Also, you can reach a much higher level of detail and smoothness on 3D resin printers. That is a seriously big difference when compared with PLA/ABS printers.

Resin printed solid objects are less strong when compared with standard 3D printers. Resin prints are affected by sunlight and resin printers come with a encasement that filters the most troublesome UV light, so the resin isn't hardening when it is not supposed to. And once a resin print is done, you have to put it out in UV light for a while to harden it.

If you want to spent time tinkering and improving your 3D printer, by all means go and buy the kit my boss bought, if you don't then spend a boatload of money and get a 3D Maker printer, which have most, if not all of their kinks already worked out. Those can also be used for semi-professional work, more or less automated, so could be tax write-off if you have your own maker shop or something.

Get a resin printer if you wish to print models/puppets/figurines. The level of detail weighs up against all the disadvantages of resin. For general purpose things, get a standard PLA/ABS printer. Also, don't skimp on the quality of filament, because there are many who sell you crappy quality filament. Using good quality prevents a lot of clogging in the print head and less failed prints means a roll of filament lasts you a lot longer.

My boss got so fed up with the quality of filament he could get here in Paraguay, he now imports filament himself and started a store where he sells filament online.  Even though he lives in a location that is out of the way of anything, he sells more than enough to make a profit of this hobby.

Has preview + edit and edit panel options. Someone suggested adding preview alone. I'm tempted to suggest making preview editable,  which would solve most of my issues.

Good luck with that. If the responses for this functionality in AsciiDoc are anything to go by, it will be bitter disappointment for you and every one else who made such a request already.

Mostly has to do with document structuring. It is relative easy to create a preview from the text. Translating the changes in the preview back to properly structured MarkDown or AsciiDoc appears to be much more prone to errors and results in garbage. At least that was what I understood from forum posts on some obscure AsciiDoc website. I have no trouble imagining that the authors of MarkDown are of a similar mindset.

Which is a shame, as I would agree that such a feature would be good for acceptance of either MarkDown or AsciiDoc as somewhat of a replacement of WordPad in Windows. Perhaps even Word itself.

There is an open source project, called: Open Live Writer, which would be a very solid base for a MarkDown/AsciiDoc "preview editor"...

AsciiDocFX has by default a preview screen enabled. AsciiDoc is similar to MarkDown regarding syntax. But the preview is handy. Unfortunately you cannot edit inside the preview window. But having a preview does help you within the text editor section. Clicking in the preview screen does scroll the text editor to the text you clicked in the preview.

Next to that, you could create your own coloring schema for specific combinations of characters in Notepad++. It is likely that other editors provide similar functionality, but I have experience with NotePad++ and this functionality is adequate in it. You must first think up what combination of characters would indicate a bookmark, or whatever else you need/fancy. Add the minimap to Notepad++ and you'll be able to scroll to colored parts with pen, mouse or keys. On a Windows PC or laptop (with touch screen) that is. Not sure what your options are on Android.

But I've no shortage of old routers with USB connections, and the router not having an Internet connection is probably an advantage.

Watch out with that. It is very easy to create a "double NAT" problem in your network when using old(er) routers in your network. While you may not notice connection issues immediately, it won't take take long before you'll encounter vague issues, on which you'll spend hours troubleshooting and not to mention visits to the hairdresser for fixing the hair you pulled out during those troubleshooting sessions.

If you really want to have a go at storage, you could try solutions like FreeNas or ProxMox on a spare computer (a desktop with a few SATA ports on its mainboard). You'll only need a monitor keyboard and perhaps a mouse during the installation of such software. Afterwards you can "kick" that computer in the proverbial (ventilated) corner and more or less forget about it. You can then manage your storage using your browser.

Initially much more work to setup and yes, it requires time and consumes electricity, but you'll have a nice and fast storage solution for your whole network, which is easy to expand/reduce to your needs. It is also easy to sync data to/from your all your local devices, to automatize this syncing and making (incremental and/or differential) backups from the collected data on this spare computer onto a portable drive for offsite (or protected on-site) offline storage. A central storage location makes it also much easier to filter what you want to backup into the cloud.

Went through those motions myself practically 15 years ago. Used CentOS (Linux) in the beginning using 1 boot drive and a software RAID (spread over 4 drives) setup, but ended up changing that to Ubuntu Server about 10 years ago as the mainboard of that computer failed. Changed the mainboard and case (for better ventilation internally), mounted the drives again and because of the software RAID it took little time to softwarematically mount that into Ubuntu and ready to run again. Last month I changed one of the drives in the RAID setup for a new one. That and an annual cleaning of dust has been the only hardware maintenance I needed to do. Pretty much set and forget.

FreeNAS, ProxMox and similar software have made all the above much easier to setup, easier to use and are easily as reliable as the setup I created.  The initial extra work has given me reliability and with that came a piece of mind that easily justified the costs of the barely increased energy bill.

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