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Messages - pilgrim [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Re: Microsoft keyboard sticking keys
« on: May 25, 2013, 05:00 AM »
Thanks for the comments. It's not that I am scared of the other 23 screws but how long it would take to undo them and then later do them up, it took 20 minutes for the first 7!
It would have been alright when I could still use my right hand but I can't do that any more and I don't have a left-handed screwdriver.

I just tried the devcon script for XP in reply 47, the cmd window flashes but nothing else happens, I suspect it is jumping straight to alldone because none of the programs in the main batch file are trying to open.  :huh:

Living Room / English as it is spoke.
« on: May 24, 2013, 08:20 AM »
It is a little known histerical fact that in the year 1807 at a court in Berkhampstead, England, a man named Noah Webster was tried in his absence and convicted of the attempted murder of the English Language, an event which took place the previous year in the former American colonies. It was a crime so terrible that to this day millions of people around the world still suffer from its effects.

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

On a more modern note you will all be aware of the language files that are part of various software.
Just recently I came across a program that carried such things to extremes, at least as far as English went.
Besides En-UK and En-US it had En-AU, CA, NZ, and SA, it only needed IR and they would have had a full house.
Strictly speaking all versions other than the original might easily be combined under En-PI.

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

English was never my best subject at school and it wasn't just written English.
I remember my parents being called in by the Head Teacher who complained that she couldn't understand half of what I said.
It wasn't surprising really as she came from the stockbroker belt while we lived in the pawnbroker belt.

My Father suggested that if they wanted me to talk proper they should give me some of those 'electrocution' lessons.
My Mother was shocked!
Mind you so would I have been if they had gone through with it.
Fortunately she told them that those lessons were not included in the current curriculum.
Pathetic or Watt?

This is another extract from Pilgrim: A Brief Hystery.

Living Room / Re: Geoguessr. I'm addicted.
« on: May 24, 2013, 04:43 AM »
So that's how you do it!
Don't mind me, I'm just trying to work out how this works.  :D

Living Room / Re: Microsoft keyboard sticking keys
« on: May 24, 2013, 03:54 AM »
I was going to wash my old PB keyboard last weekend, until I took it apart.

The base is held on by 7 screws and when I removed that I was faced with a metal plate about 1/8" thick that covers everything to within 1/2" of the outer edge (which explains why it is so heavy), that is held in by 23 screws, at which point I put it back together.

I'm trying to think of a way to hold it upside down or at a sharp enough angle so that if I wash the keys using a wet brush any water will not get right inside.
(I should never have sacked the housekeeper.)  :D

I'm thinking of the people who don't edit the registry, don't set Scheduled Tasks and don't put shortcuts in the Startup menu.

Why does that sound familiar?  :tellme:

Which reminds me I need to see what happens when UAC is turned on.

The OS takes over the machine?  ;D

Drops to 0% when no VPN active but mem use seems to stay at around 9-10MB.

That was what I got the first time I ran it, after that it settled at around 1.5MB.

No offence, but you were talking about people who couldn't write a batch file - an ini file falls into the same category AFAIAC.
Besides which it defaults to always running, they'd only have to delete the ini file to restore it to that if they mistakenly select the option - no editing of ini files required.

Taking the first part of your comment I think in this case the ini file is much easier, a single entry regardless of system and put it in the same folder as the exe.  8)
I hadn't got as far as specific details but your comments make sense, so you I just explain how to set it and how to delete the file.
Seems like the same thing approached from opposite directions. (Could be something to do with geolocation?)  ;D

I might add a Start with Windows option just for giggles too  :D

All the programs I run at start up have that option turned off if they have it, I put everything into HKLM - Run rather than HKCU.

I was thinking I'll let you write it   ;)

I was expecting to have to put something together anyway so that's not a problem.  :)

OK, it looks like we are down to some small refinements if they are possible.  :)

I am looking at this from two points of view, the first is my own as someone who is happy to play with batch files and scheduled tasks etc, the second, which is more important, is from the point of view of making it more widely available (via my VPN provider friend) to people who just want something that works, I will concentrate on the second point of view.

When I have the VIndicator icon showing it is next to the NAI icon which I suspect is a position that many people who used both programs would choose, (given the fact that there are no network icons in Windows 7 at all I think it likely that people with PPTP/L2TP VPN's would use both) so it is impossible not to compare what they are showing/doing.
Taking what it shows on mouse-over first: NAI shows just three items: connection name, Sent and Received (totals). Transmission speeds are not really necessary in what is basically a status indicator.

NAI makes use of all 4 icons in that icon group in the same way that XP does, in particular when the connection is idle both parts of the icon go dark, in VIndicator one or other parts of it is always bright, if you are using this as a straight toggle between traffic/no traffic it would look better if you used a completely/partly bright icon with the completely dark icon as it would give a more accurate representation, if of course you could incorporate all 4 icons it would be even better and I am guessing that as you are now able to show traffic statistics that might well be possible.  :-\

Moving on to some of the things I mentioned yesterday: The start-up delay on the icon is down to just over 3 seconds so whatever you did shortened it.

The only identifying information now showing in the log file is the connection name.  :)

The 'Quit on Disconnect' works perfectly but I have been thinking about people setting it and then wondering why, the next time they start a VPN it doesn't show.  :huh:
While I think it is a feature worth leaving in it might be better if the option was hidden from the icon and the exe placed in a ZIP file with a short Readme?  :-\
The Readme could contain details about how to run the program at system start-up and how to create the .ini file to run the auto shutdown option if required, while pointing out that once shut down it would need to be manually restarted. To remove the option they simply delete the .ini file.

EDIT: Thinking about it a Readme could also contain brief details about how to set it up as a scheduled task so it would be fully automatic. I was thinking about putting this information on my friends website but if it was included with the program as well it would probably be better.

I really should stop taking the netbook to bed :)

Reminds me of when I used to be awake half the night designing circuit diagrams in my head.  :o

BTW, how is it you have a CPUScore of 9.9 ?

You obviously have a very advanced logging system, it picks up Windows 8 scores on a Windows 7 computer.  :D

Maximum is supposed to be 7.9, have you been fudging the figures  >:(  ;D

Who me?

Living Room / Re: Geoguessr. I'm addicted.
« on: May 23, 2013, 03:49 AM »
Oh go for it...there's nothing wrong with a little good natured ribbing for a truly Epic Failure... :D ...I got a 158.
-Stoic Joker (May 22, 2013, 11:22 AM)

76  :-[ :-[ :-[

Is there a prize for the lowest score?

VIndicator is synching perfectly with a VPN and only time the icon hung was when I was using a batch file to shut it down, adding any of the tray cleaning programs gets rid of it as unlike PPTPchek it was only the icon and not the program that was hanging. When run permanently this never happened.  :Thmbsup:

If I am not mistaken there is a 5 second delay before the icon appears once the VPN connects, could that be reduced to say 2 seconds?

For my own uses I don't like the idea of the program running when a VPN is not connected so I have been doing a bit of experimenting.
I have set up a scheduled task as I did with PPTPchek and that solves the start-up nicely.  :)
If I am changing between one PPTP/L2TP VPN and another there is no point in shutting the actual program down as it would only be restarted.
If I am changing from PPTP/L2TP to OpenVPN I need to stop and restart the main connection in any event so I have added VIndicator to the main batch file which shuts the program down and gets rid of the icon, as well as shutting down any PPTP/L2PT connection that is enabled.

It would be nice if there was a way for the program to close on VPN disconnect but not essential. As you said it uses very little in the way of resources, while I've been testing it has been using between 1.4 & 1.7MB of RAM, it tends to drop to near the lower figure when nothing has changed for a while and with my i5 it is not showing any CPU usage at all.  :)
If you can get the icons to indicate activity it would be a bonus but indicating connection status was the main object and it is already doing that.

I will leave this where it is for the moment in case you come up with any different versions, once you think you've got as far as you're going I'll move it on to the system partition.

The only thing I am not certain about is the log, it's picking up login details. Not something I would want lying about if there was more than one user on a computer.
I am adding a sequence from it with those details removed but you can see where they were:

### VPN Indicator Log ###

2013-05-22  16:25:59  (0001)  Program start
2013-05-22  16:26:01  OS Version: WIN_7 Build: 7601 CPUScore: 9.9
2013-05-22  16:26:01  (0002)  GetState: VPN - US
2013-05-22  16:27:49  (0004)  Disconnected: 'PASSWORD'!

2013-05-22  16:28:48  (0001)  Program start
2013-05-22  16:28:51  OS Version: WIN_7 Build: 7601 CPUScore: 9.9
2013-05-22  16:28:51  (0002)  GetState: VPN - US

2013-05-22  16:33:13  (0001)  Program start
2013-05-22  16:33:16  OS Version: WIN_7 Build: 7601 CPUScore: 9.9
2013-05-22  16:33:16  (0002)  GetState: VPN - US

2013-05-22  16:34:06  (0001)  Program start
2013-05-22  16:34:08  OS Version: WIN_7 Build: 7601 CPUScore: 9.9
2013-05-22  16:34:08  (0002)  GetState: VPN - US

2013-05-22  16:34:39  (0001)  Program start
2013-05-22  16:34:42  OS Version: WIN_7 Build: 7601 CPUScore: 9.9
2013-05-22  16:34:42  (0002)  GetState: VPN - US

2013-05-22  16:35:36  (0001)  Program start
2013-05-22  16:35:39  OS Version: WIN_7 Build: 7601 CPUScore: 9.9
2013-05-22  16:35:39  (0002)  GetState: VPN - US

2013-05-22  16:52:10  (0001)  Program start
2013-05-22  16:52:12  OS Version: WIN_7 Build: 7601 CPUScore: 9'9
2013-05-22  16:52:12  (0002)  GetState: VPN - UK
2013-05-22  16:52:40  (0004)  Disconnected: 'PASSWORD'!
2013-05-22  16:53:16  (0003)  Connected: VPN - US
2013-05-22  17:11:22  (0004)  Disconnected: 'PASSWORD'!
2013-05-22  17:12:02  (0003)  Connected: VPN - US
2013-05-22  17:17:20  (0004)  Disconnected: 'PASSWORD'!
2013-05-22  17:17:30  (0003)  Connected: VPN - US
2013-05-22  17:21:09  (0004)  Disconnected: 'PASSWORD'!
2013-05-22  17:21:24  (0003)  Connected: L2TP - US
2013-05-22  17:22:01  (0004)  Disconnected: 'USER ID'!
2013-05-22  17:22:15  (0003)  Connected: L2TP - US

Living Room / Re: Geoguessr. I'm addicted.
« on: May 22, 2013, 07:34 AM »
I'm too embarrassed to mention the scores.  :-[

But I got the PLANET right every time.  :D

With 'Match whole string only' ticked it found nothing.
With it unticked it found these:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Virtual PC\VPCVApps\Windows XP Mode\8eaecac8.Windows.XP.Mode - AppPath - file:%7BBA126AD7-2166-11D1-B1D0-00805FC1270E%7D
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-1575597446-1753356474-449700370-1000\Software\Microsoft\Virtual PC\VPCVApps\Windows XP Mode\8eaecac8.Windows.XP.Mode - AppPath - file:%7BBA126AD7-2166-11D1-B1D0-00805FC1270E%7D

Looks good.  :)  I can't change connection at the moment so I'll give it a run later, I just started it up and it showed 0% CPU and slightly under 10MB RAM.
As you say it is not needed in XP.

There is something very weird about that registry key: {BA126AD7-2166-11D1-B1D0-00805FC1270E}
If I search for that in regedit it simply does not appear, if I search for it in a third party program it shows one entry under HKLM and if I tell it to go to the key it opens {BA126AD8-2166-11D1-B1D0-00805FC1270E} ?

Thanks for the devcon script, another one to add to my collection.  :)

Thanks for that.

If I do decide to get a copy I need the paper version, the cheapest I have seen so far is around £24 on Amazon but I never looked any further.
I came across the other book you mention as well but my first impression was that it is too technical for me.
There were a few other's that I saw but they were more restricted in terms of content, i.e. batch files only.

Your opinion of it matches several other comments I read about it and make it worth looking into.

I noticed when I was sorting out the start menu/programs after I installed 7 that I had a number of PowerShell shortcuts but as far as I got was moving them.  :D
And I know when I have been looking for ways to do various things in the past I have come across VBScripts but I have no idea about either.

I've not used them for a long time but I might see if the local library service can turn up a copy for me to look at before I decide to buy one.
They have obtained a lot of books for me in the past including technical books although they tend to be harder to find and often come from college libraries.

When I get back on 7 I'll have a look for that key because I entered the number into the registry search both with and without the brackets and it never found it?

After you suggested an edit to the batch file for 7 to do away with the flag file I have been trying to do the same for XP but it uses devcon not netsh.  :huh:
Is it possible?

netsh interface show interface "Router Connection" | find /i "disabled" >NUL
if errorlevel 1 goto running

rem Check if our flag file exists and act accordingly
if exist internet_is_on.txt goto running

(devcon *DEV_001C*)

Sounds suspicious to me.  :D

Too early in the day for pedantics. (Or any other type of antics come to that.)

Living Room / Re: Yahoo email servers hacked
« on: May 20, 2013, 06:11 AM »
Interesting subject email providers.

ISP's: The majority of my email addresses are with my ISP (same one since 2005), never had a problem with them until I built my new computer last year and started using Opera as my email program.
Within a couple of months every single time I went to send an email through any of the ISP accounts I was directed to a security page where I was asked to fill in a captcha, answer security questions, and then change my password.
After numerous attempts to get the issue resolved I got put in touch with the Chairman's Office and the second person I heard from actually took the matter up although with limited success.
At one point I was told it was because I was connecting from an unrecognised IP address, as I had been using a wide range of VPN's for several years I asked them why, if that had never been a problem in the past it had suddenly become one? In spite of denying any changes being made at their end, a couple of months later the problems disappeared and have thus far not returned.

Yahoo: I have half a dozen Yahoo accounts, 2 - AU, 2 - Uk, 2 - US. The first 4 I am able to forward to my email programs, which I think is probably the reason I have avoided the login problems that a lot of people have had. All my accounts are IMAP/SMTP.

To answer a question asked above about contacting Yahoo, at least in the UK, I found this some time back although I have never used it: Yahoo UK Customer Services - 0800 0289 562.

If I create a shortcut to any PPTP/L2TP VPN, in 'properties' they all show the same 'target':
I cannot find that anywhere, as a device ID, a file name, or a registry key, so what is it?

In Network Connections under 'Device Name' all PPTP/L2TP VPN's show 'WAN Miniport'.
Is there a way to 'trigger' from that instead of rasdial?

It occurred to me that I can overcome the problem of PPTPchek hanging when I am using my main 'Internet Toggle' batch file by adding a command to exit/kill PPTPchek.
But that does not solve the problem if I shut down the VPN on its own, or if the VPN drops out, and PPTPchek hangs.

Just throwing out some passing thoughts.  :)

Living Room / Re: They've got a point.
« on: May 20, 2013, 04:41 AM »
but are the alternatives that much better . . . :-\

No, that's the problem.  :(

I suspect that the probability that these GOTD or other "giveaway" special offers ever really gave anything away which didn't seem to be obsolete, twisted or sans hooks would be very small.

GOTD was the first such site I found and I cannot remember the last time I looked at it.

In general I disagree with your comment but having said that there is a lot of rubbish out there and a lot of dubious giveaways.

The answer is to be selective. Is the software something you would actually use? If it is an older version is it still worth having? Is the license full and permanent?
If the answer to those three questions is yes you move on if not you leave it.

What information, if any, are you asked to supply? Many giveaways do not require any. Some just ask for an email address to send the license details to.
Even then, if the software is really worth having there is still no need to give your 'real' details. The only time I ever do that is if I am buying something.

The final question, is there a freeware version that is as good or better? I have found a lot of good software by asking that about a giveaway and following it up.

Living Room / They've got a point.
« on: May 19, 2013, 11:32 AM »

I don't know if anybody actually got as far as installing this but in the text file were two codes that you needed to enter.
I ran this inside a sandbox and installed to a RamDisk so as not to create anything that actually needed uninstalling.
I also block internet access for Glarysoft Giveaways because it is not usually necessary.

Going back to the two codes, if you block internet access another small window opens showing the code(s) and giving you the option to copy them.
In all the other giveaways I have had from Glarysoft the information in the pop-up was identical to that in the text file, in this case the second code was different, so effectively the codes in the text file would not by themselves activate the program.

I keep an eye on what is being given away most days on several sites and it is thankfully still rare that you find a developer who makes things so complicated, needless to say I do not use their software, even as giveaways.

General Software Discussion / Re: Advice needed on AHK script
« on: May 19, 2013, 10:38 AM »
There is actually a madness to my method. (Or should that be the other way round?)  :)

The start commands are in the order the icons are arranged in the tray, right to left from the top.
The terminate commands are in reverse order except for NAI, the reason for that is because in the short time it takes for everything to shut down it gives the NAI icon time to indicate that the main connection has been disabled, it greys out.
I agree that the disconnect/disable commands needed rearranging as the main connection should have been last.

I have now rearranged it to the following:

netsh interface show interface "Router Connection" | find /i "disabled" >NUL
if errorlevel 1 goto running

rem Turning Internet items ON
start /D "C:\Program Files (x86)\D4" D4.exe
start /D "C:\Program Files (x86)\Sandboxie" SbieCtrl.exe
start /D "C:\Program Files (x86)\PeerBlock" peerblock.exe
start /D "C:\Program Files (x86)\network-activity-indicator" NetworkIndicator.exe

netsh interface set interface "Router Connection" ENABLED

goto alldone

rem Internet is ON, turn it all OFF now

rasdial /disconnect
netsh interface set interface "OpenVPN Adapter" DISABLED
netsh interface set interface "Router Connection" DISABLED

terminator.exe /b peerblock.exe
terminator.exe /c SbieCtrl.exe
terminator.exe /m D4.exe
terminator.exe /m NetworkIndicator.exe


Until now I have still been using taskkill and RefreshTray as I have tried so many variations of programs I wanted to be able to fall back each night on one that I knew was working.

I tried various modifications on the existing RefreshTray script to stop the pop-up from opening but nothing worked, so if there is an answer in AHK it looks like it needs an extra command.
I found that USB SR has an option to disable mouse-over for its pop-up but that means it needs to be activated manually and once it opens it stays there until I close it manually, no point.

That's the first giveaway that I can recall from them since they started doing giveaways last November that has a restricted license.

Sorry about that but there is no indication that it is limited until you run the installer.  :huh:

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