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Fri, May 18, 2018 10:56 pm

Installing new packages for WinPython

To install a new package/module under WinPython, double-click on WinPython Command Prompt in the directory where you installed WinPython to open a command prompt window.

WinPython installation directory

At the command prompt window type pip install pkgname where pkgname is the name of the package you wish to install. If the package is already present, you will see the message "requirement already satisfied."

[ More Info ]

[/languages/python] permanent link

Thu, May 17, 2018 11:15 pm

Identifying Apple systems on the network

If you need to determine whether a system on the network is an Apple system, there are a number of means you can use to help identify whether the system is, or is at least likely to be, manufactured by Apple. E.g., if the system is on the same local area network (LAN) as a system from which you can ping it, you can check the media access control (MAC) address associated with the IP address you just pinged using the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), since the first 6 hexadecimal digits of the MAC address can be used to identify the manufacturer of the network interface controller (NIC) in the device pinged. This technique won't work if there is an intervening router between the device from which the ping is sent and the receiving device, though, since the arp address you will see when there are intervening network hops is the one of the first hop device. You can see the number of hops between the source and destination hosts using the traceroute command (tracert is the equivalent command on Microsoft Windows systems). E.g., in the example below, I issued a ping command from a Terminal window on my MacBook Pro laptop running OS X El Capitan (10.11.6). When I then peformed a reverse DNS lookup on the IP address using nslookup, the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) identified the device as an iPad. The FQDN usually won't identify the type of device so clearly, but a check of the MAC address may indicate the device was manufacturered by Apple. You can get the MAC address using the arp command.

$ ping -c 1
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=64 time=45.140 ms

--- ping statistics ---
1 packets transmitted, 1 packets received, 0.0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 45.140/45.140/45.140/0.000 ms
$ nslookup
Address:	name =

$ arp ( at 78:7b:8a:55:bb:35 on en0 ifscope [ethernet]

[ More Info ]

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Mon, May 14, 2018 11:09 pm

Using local time for date calculations in SQLite

I have an SQLite database that I use to track approval of tasks. Every Monday, I need to generate a count of the number of tasks approved from the prior Tuesday through the Monday on which I'm creating the report. The approval dates are stored in the database as an integer and I enter them in the form 2018-05-14. I use the following SQL command in a Python script to determine the number I've approved in the last week:

sql = 'SELECT COUNT(*) FROM Tasks WHERE Approved >= date(CURRENT_DATE,"-6 day")'

But I noticed that the count didn't always include the tasks I approved on the prior Tuesday. E.g., when I ran the script tonight, May 14, the number reported was 5, yet I expected the result to be 7.

[ More Info ]

[/software/database/sqlite] permanent link

Sun, May 13, 2018 9:55 pm

WinPython - Python for Microsoft Windows

If you wish to run Python on a Microsoft Windows system, you can use WinPython. The first window you will see when run run the downloaded installation file is one for the license agreement, which notes "WinPython components are distributed as they were received from their copyright holder, under their own copyright and/or license, and without any linking with each other." WinPython itself uses the MIT license. Once you accede to the license, you will be prompted for a destination folder. By default that will be a WinPython directory created beneath the directory where you're running the downloaded file from, but you can change the location. When the installation has been completed, a window will appear where you can click on a Finish button to exit from the installation program.

[ More Info ]

[/languages/python] permanent link

Sat, May 12, 2018 8:58 pm

Undo and Redo in Microsoft Windows File Explorer

If you wish to undo or redo an operation you just performed in the Microsoft Windows File Explorer on a Windows 10 system, you can do so by hitting Ctrl+Z (hit the Ctrl and Z keys simultaneously). E.g., if you inadvertently deleted a file, sending it to the recycle bin, you can hit those keys together to restore the file to its prior location. If you wanted to redo an operation you undid, you can hit Ctrl+Y to redo the previously undone operation. E.g., if I deleted a file, then undeleted it with Ctrl+Z, I could redo the delete action by hitting Ctrl+Y sending it back to the recycle bin.

If you wish, you can add undo and redo icons to the Quick Access Toolbar at the top of the Explorer window by clicking on the icon of a downward pointing arrowhead with a horizontal line above it that appears at the top of the Explorer window. You can then select "Undo" and "Redo" from the menu that appears. Select both, so that you see checkmarks next to each of those options. You should then see curved Undo and Redo arrows next to the button you clicked on for the Customize Quick Access Toolbar. You can now use those arrows, in addition to the shortcut keys, if you prefer to undo and redo actions in the File Explorer.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/win10] permanent link

Mon, May 07, 2018 11:42 pm

Performing a bare metal backup on a Windows 10 system

If you want to perform a "bare metal" backup of a Microsoft Windows 10 system to an external USB drive without a third-party application, you can use the Backup and Restore utility that is provided by Microsoft with the operating system. You can run the program from a command-line interface (CLI) by opening a command prompt window with administrator privileges and issuing the command wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:x -allcritical -quiet where x is the drive letter for the drive where you wish to store the backup. When you add the -quiet option, the backup will be run with no prompts for the user. The --allcritical option "creates a backup that includes all critical volumes (critical volumes contain the operating system files and components)."

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

Fri, Mar 30, 2018 10:23 pm

Cloudmark CSI IP Reputation Remediation

I manage an email server that uses an Atlantic Broadband SMTP server as a smart host. I maintain a mailing list on the server that currently has about 1,300 email addresses. Each month someone sends a monthly newsletter to the email addresses in that list; the people associated with those addresses are all members of a retirees organization and have all indicated they wish to receive that organization's newsletter. Usually, the newsletter is transmitted without problems, but occasionally I will find that email transmitted from the server is silently discarded with no bounced emai indicating why that is occurring. Though that doesn't occur often, when it occurs, it usually occurs when the newsletter is sent. When the problem occurs, as it did yesterday, I have to request that the IP address of my server be unblocked. Initially, I would call the ISP's phone support number, i.e, an Atlantic Broadband support number, but they would in turn have to contact their email service provider, since the email service they provide is outsourced to Echo Labs as I found from examining email headers - see Email sent via an Atlantic Broadband SMTP server not being delivered. But I found that I could get the block removed more quickly if I submitted a request through Cloudmark, an anti-spam company co-founded by Vipul Ved Prakash and Napster's co-founder Jordan Ritter, which provides an anti-spam service used by Echo Labs.

[ More Info ]

[/network/email/spam/blocklists] permanent link

Sat, Mar 24, 2018 10:46 pm

Deleting old Windows backups with wbadmin

I had set up the built-in Windows 7 backup utility to run on my mother-in-law's Windows 10 PC to back up the computer's internal hard disk drive (HDD) to an external USB drive. She asked me to verify that the backup was still functioning, so I checked the status of the backup process on her Windows 10 (version 1709) system using the wbadmin command by opening a command prompt window with administrator access to run the wbadmin get versions command to obtain a list of all the backups. I found that the last backup had occurred on December 31, 2017.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

Fri, Mar 23, 2018 11:05 pm

DNS - Standard Query Response Refused

While filtering on Domain Name System (DNS) queries in the Wireshark packet capture tool with a filter of udp.port==53 on a MacBook Pro laptop running OS X El Capitan (10.11.6), I saw a lot of "Stanard query response refused" replies in the "Info" field for responses from the DNS server. When I expanded the "flags" section of the DNS response for those replies from the DNS server, I saw "Reply code: Refused (5)" for some IP address lookups, though other DNS queries were being answered with an IP address.

[ More Info ]

[/network/dns] permanent link

Thu, Mar 01, 2018 10:44 pm

Determining the the elapsed time between two timestamps in Excel

If you have an Excel workbook containing two cells that contain a date and time and you want to know the time difference between them in days and hours, you can subtract one from the other and get the elapsed time between the two timestamps in days and hours by using a custom date and time format for the cell that will hold the results. E.g., suppose I have a spreadsheet with the following timestamps in columns A and B:

  A B C
1 Start Time End Time Elapsed Time
2 1/1/18 0:01 3/1/18 15:03  
3 2/6/18 15:18 2/7/18 18:07  
4 3/1/18 7:55 3/1/18 13:01  

The cells containing the date and time have the custom format m/d/yy h:mm.

[ More Info ]

[/software/office/excel] permanent link

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