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Today (May 3) is Day Against DRM 2016 and O'Reilly is once again offering 50% off on all ebooks and videos purchased at

Non-Windows Software / Re: Remix OS for PC Beta Launch
« on: April 27, 2016, 06:29 PM »
I’ve been playing with Remix OS for a few days, first on their Remix Mini device and now in a VMware virtual machine on a Windows computer.  While it has some rough edges, it really is quite impressive for beta software.  Here are some first impressions:

The Mini is an Android device without a screen, with 2 USB ports, Ethernet, WiFI, Bluetooth, HDMI out, and a micro-SD card slot. You need a TV or monitor and a keyboard and mouse to use it. Bluetooth is the way to go for input devices, but you’ll need to start with USB at first in order to pair your Bluetooth devices.  Video performance is superb, but the ARM processor isn’t powerful enough to make you think any apps are running on a real PC.  What it does is turn any TV with an HDMI input into a full Android device much smarter than any so-called Smart TV you can buy in a store. 

The Mini costs $70 on Amazon or $90 direct, but as of now, if you download the Remix OS for PC from, you will get an offer to subscribe to their newsletter and receive $40 off on the Mini.   At $50 I think it's a good deal.

Running Remix OS in a VM is a very different experience.  Even though apps run faster on a fast PC, video performance is not as good. So far, I’ve only been able to get 1024x786 resolution in a VM.

In both environments, I’ve been able to download apps from my Play Store account and run them without problem.  Some apps allow windowing, others only run full screen, but in any case the windowing and multitasking capabilities are rather limited compared to a desktop OS.  While I can’t see using Remix OS as a productivity environment, it actually does provide the ability to run Android apps in a VM on a Windows desktop, even if that ability is still somewhat limited.

File Locator Pro 8 was released today. Version 8 adds indexing as an option, keyword highlighting, external filters (called Custom EXE interpreters) and multiline regex.

I've long used dtSearch for research purposes but File Locator Pro is what I use most of the time in my daily work because it is so easy to work with and fast enough, even without indexing, for anything except searching the contents a very large number of files.  I haven't had time to give the new version a thorough workout, but this might allow me to use File Locator Pro for nearly everything.

Vivaldi seems to have finally emerged from beta today with Vivaldi.1.0.435.40.

It has some nice features, but is missing some very important ones. Among other things, it provides almost no privacy options beyond clearing cookies. Unlike the Chromium based Opera browser, there is no setting to clear cookies on exit or any means for managing cookie policy exceptions by site.  That makes it a non-starter for me.

Update: the Vanilla Cookie Manager extension (from the Chrome store) provides the functionality I need for managing cookies on a site specific basis, although it doesn't clear automatically on exiting the browser.

TrueCrypt was the solution of choice for nearly everyone until its mysterious demise.

VeraCrypt is based on the TrueCrypt code and seems to be the preferred replacement among many former TrueCrypt users.  It seems to be actively developed and updated at this time.
Unusually for open source software, it has excellent documentation, including a tutorial for beginners.

Living Room / Re: What Killed the Middle Class?
« on: April 04, 2016, 08:54 AM »
Capitalism is not the system of the past; it is the system of the future—if mankind is to have a future. Those who wish to fight for it, must discard the title of “conservatives.” “Conservatism” has always been a misleading name, inappropriate to America. Today, there is nothing left to “conserve”: the established political philosophy, the intellectual orthodoxy, and the status quo are collectivism. Those who reject all the basic premises of collectivism are radicals in the proper sense of the word: “radical” means “fundamental.” Today, the fighters for capitalism have to be, not bankrupt “conservatives,” but new radicals, new intellectuals and, above all, new, dedicated moralists.

— Ayn Rand

“Equality may demand the restraint of the liberty of those who wish to dominate; liberty — without some modicum of which there is no choice and therefore no possibility of remaining human as we understand the word — may have to be curtailed to make way for social welfare, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, to leave room for the liberty of others, to allow justice or fairness to be exercised.”

-- Isaiah Berlin

If you really want to see where Ayn Rand's philosophy leads, try moving to Honduras, or read The Space Merchants by Pohl and Kornbluth.

MOUSER!!! Please move this thread to the basement before we all need to don our tin hats!

WinAntiRansom received a strong positive review yesterday on ghacks.

General Software Discussion / Origins of TrueCrypt
« on: April 01, 2016, 09:33 PM »
Interesting article from The New Yorker magazine on the origins of TrueCrypt.

General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for spam filter
« on: March 30, 2016, 09:47 PM »
You can probably do what you want with MailWasher Pro.  It has both Windows and Android clients and you can sync settings between them.  The PC client has a local recycle bin which can function as your separate spam folder.

Read through the online help to see if you could set it up the way you want.

General Software Discussion / Re: Windows 10 Announced
« on: March 18, 2016, 03:48 PM »
Microsoft seems to have caved in to the OEMs on this one. As Ars Technica reported today:

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this has resulted in some pushback from enterprises, and Microsoft has shifted its policy in response. The window for compatibility, reliability, and security fixes has been extended by a year to July 17, 2018. The limitations on security fixes have also been removed; now all security fixes will be made available—until January 14, 2020 for Windows 7 and January 10, 2023 for Windows 8.1.

General Software Discussion / Re: Picasa to be 'phased out'
« on: March 10, 2016, 07:17 AM »
Along these lines, Barnes & Noble will discontinue their Nook online bookstore in Great Britain on March 15 and transfer users' content to Sainsbury's Entertainment on Demand site "to ensure that you have continued access to the vast majority of your purchased NOOK Books at no new cost to you."

Sorry, but I don't want access to just the vast majority of what I purchased, I want access to ALL of what I purchased.

I'm not in the UK, so this particular event doesn't affect me directly, but I can see the same thing coming elsewhere, not necessarily for B&N -- although given their current problems that may well happen -- but for just about any outfit selling online content.

So my advice is to make sure you keep unencrypted local copies of any online content you might want to access at some time in the future.

Official Firefox 45.0 release notes are available here

General Software Discussion / Re: Configure Host file!
« on: March 02, 2016, 02:37 PM »
I have some application which always tries to connect to the website. I have one in particular called Total Uninstall 6.
I tried the entry:
But it still connects to the website and pops up as unregistered.
What i want to know is ! How do i know this program is trying to connect to a particular website. Is there a tool that can do that, i already have 2 firewall for this kind of job, but they fail sometime due to hard PC restart and all i have is host file.
Total Uninstall is an uninstaller written by Gavrila Martau. 

It is licensed per machine and checks the registration on startup with a database at to see if the computer on which you are running the software has a valid license. If not, the program will not run.  That seems to be what is happening in your case.  If you do have a valid registration and this is happening, contact the developer.

General Software Discussion / Comparative review of password managers
« on: February 24, 2016, 09:44 AM »
Infoworld today has a comparative review of password managers.

You need to register for their "Business Insider" newsletter (it's free) to read the full article, which provides detailed comments on each program and a chart comparing their scores on various aspects. For those unwilling or unable to do so, here's the final takeaway:

Which of these password managers should you choose? Clearly, you have a number of great options.

KeePass, despite its occasional complexity, still tops the list of free and open source solutions, thanks to the breadth of plug-ins and its broad platform support. For those who want a free and open source solution, but in an implementation with fewer frills and less fuss, consider Password Safe. (That it comes with the imprimatur of a renowned security expert doesn’t hurt either.)

1Password takes the basic idea behind KeePass and lays on a veneer of commercial polish, making a good thing even better and easier to use, albeit at a cost. Dashlane is even sleeker, with a handy security auditing function, but unlike many competitors its Web version is available only as part of the for-pay package.

RoboForm, an app with a faithful following, has kept pace nicely with the competition over the years (by adding browser plug-ins, fingerprint authentication, and so on), and it offers a lot of functionality in the free version. The best part of Keeper is its mobile incarnation. Keeper is a product aimed mainly at business users, but it nonetheless provides plenty of utility for everyone else.

Finally, for those who want to tame a welter of website passwords, LastPass is an excellent place to start, considering its basic incarnation is a browser plug-in and a well-designed mobile app. SplashID is similarly designed, but much of what it does is executed better elsewhere.

This is a perennial topic of interest among DC members so plenty of older comments on most of these programs can be found by searching the forums.

General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft - Windows 10 aggression
« on: February 19, 2016, 09:08 PM »
It is just as irresponsible, but possibly less competent.

That seems a bit less than charitable, as defects happen in every software.  Not a desired outcome, but it happens.
Yes, defects do happen in all software.

But it's hard to feel much sympathy for a vendor that knows an update is likely to cause serious problems for many users, but refuses to provide any information or to let them opt out from installing it.

General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft - Windows 10 aggression
« on: February 19, 2016, 08:04 AM »
Update on Updategate: According to Microsoft, this is a bug in Windows Update, which the company is aware of, not a deliberate attempt to hijack your system.

That does not mean they will hold off forcing updates on users while they try to figure out what the problem is.

So I will retract my previous comment.  The new Microsoft is NOT the same as the old Microsoft.  It is just as irresponsible, but possibly less competent.

Living Room / Re: Need a new Keyboard - advice?
« on: February 17, 2016, 02:17 PM »
One thing to note about the Logitech K740 is that the Insert and Delete keys (above the cursor keys, between the main keyboard and the numeric pad) are non-standard.  The Delete key is double size and the Insert key has been moved above it to where the Print Screen key is on a standard keyboard.

This may or may not matter to you, but I find that kind of thing disconcerting when typing.  I also dislike keyboards with small L-shaped Enter keys, as is common with many of the cheaper keyboards.

General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft - Windows 10 aggression
« on: February 17, 2016, 08:53 AM »
The latest Windows 10 update changes many associations to default to what is built in to the OS.

It's looking more and more as if Microsoft's strategy is not just to force Windows users to switch to Windows 10, but also to make it harder for them to use non-Microsoft software for browsing and viewing.  This is clearly not by accident - using Windows built-in browser and viewers allows the company to collect commercially valuable information about what users are viewing.

Meet the new Microsoft.  Same as the old Microsoft.

Living Room / Re: Need a new Keyboard - advice?
« on: February 16, 2016, 04:15 PM »
I use both a Logitech 800 keyboard and a Lenovo keyboard that came with a desktop computer.  They are both good keyboards but very different in feel and I use them differently.

The Lenovo is like the old IBM keyboard, with mechanical switches, relatively high resistance and is slightly clicky.  Don't know what they use, but I'd guess Cherry blue or something similar.  Having used that kind of keyboard for years, I'm comfortable with it and find it easier to touch type on because of the tactile feedback.  However, I have arthritis which has been getting worse and that could eventually lead me to switch to the Logitech for my main work.

The Logitech uses membrane switches which have much lighter resistance. It is easier on the fingers, but with less tactile and audible feedback, I feel less secure touch typing on it.  I could probably adapt, and may well have to.  A major advantage to it for me is the backlighting. Although it is wireless, I keep it plugged in to a charger because the backlighting stays on longer than when it is running on its built-in rechargeable battery.  I also use a Logitech wireless mouse, so it only takes one USB dongle for both keyboard and mouse.

I've never had any roll-over problems with either keyboard.

The Logitech 800 is considerably cheaper at Amazon than at Newegg - $69.99 vs $86.99 at the moment.

General Software Discussion / Opera Browser being sold off
« on: February 10, 2016, 11:57 AM »
It was reported today that Opera is being sold to a Chinese technology group who plan to use it as a platform to promote their products.

Although Firefox remains my default browser, Opera is what I use most of the time for surfing and reading online. We'll see what the new owners do, but I'm not optimistic about the future.

Let's hope that Vivaldi gets its act together soon.

Today is Safer Internet Day and to celebrate, Google will add 2GB for free to your Google Drive if you sign on to your account this week and verify all of your security settings.

General Software Discussion / Re: What online services do you pay for?
« on: February 08, 2016, 03:33 PM »
MediciTV, MetOnDemand and DigitalConcert Hall.

Thanks for those three!  I'd not known that the classics had come into the digital age!  Trying to decide between them... hmmm...
I also subscribe to MediciTV.  Expensive, but they tend to offer 40% off prepaid annual subscriptions for a few days around the end of the year.  The idea is to give them as gifts, but you can purchase them for yourself.

Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me!
« on: February 08, 2016, 01:38 PM »
I discovered Wilhelm Kempff this week.
I also discovered Beethoven's Tempest Sonata -- via Nokia's 'Silver' ringtone which is a variation on the start of the third movement :-)
Beethoven's Tempest Sonata - Third Movement
(no other performance I've heard on youtube touches this one)

I love the Beethoven piano sonatas and also Kempff -- actually heard him perform Beethoven over 50 years ago -- but this particular performance doesn't do all that much for me.

Try this one by Grigory Sokolov, one of the greatest - and quirkiest - pianists performing today.

General Software Discussion / Re: What Android Apps Do You Use?
« on: February 06, 2016, 10:58 AM »
Anyway, a browser I've been using for a while: Frost

Has a password protected vault for your bookmarks and any saved images, unlocked by entering a pin/password as you would a web address, ie. if your pin is 1234 you just enter that as the web address in a tab, the vaults become unlocked and any previous session tabs can be restored.

When you exit, all history is removed and the vaults lock.
According to Google Play, Frost was last updated in November 2014.  That's more than a year ago.  A very long time for a browser.

General Software Discussion / Re: Revert Back to windows 7 or 8
« on: February 01, 2016, 09:12 PM »
You can make an image of your system disk which you can use at a later date to restore Windows 7 or 8 on the same computer.  You shouldn't need to reactivate the restored image unless you make a lot of major hardware changes at once.

For Windows 7 and 8 (but not 8.1), make a backup of the Windows activation tokens using Advanced Tokens Manager before you install Windows 10.  If you need to reinstall Windows 7/8, as opposed to restoring a system disk image, that will allow you restore the activation status to the computer from which the backup was made without having to go through Microsoft's servers.  It will NOT allow you to install Windows on different hardware.

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