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Wed, Dec 26, 2012 4:37 pm

How to Shutdown and Restart Windows 8 Systems

With prior versions of Windows, you could easily find shutdown and restart options from the Windows Start window. Not so with Windows 8. To shutdown and restart Windows 8 systems, you can hit the Windows and "C" keys simultaneously to bring up a menu of options that can lead you to a selection to put the system to sleep, shut it down, or restart it, however. The Windows key is the one with the Windows logo (4 window panes separated by a vertical and horizontal line) to the left of the Alt key. When you hit those keys, you should see a menu appear on the right side of your screen with Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings options. Click on the Settings icon and then select Power. You can then select from Sleep, Shutdown, or Restart.

Sleep, shutdown, or restart for Windows 8

References:

  1. How To Restart, Log Off, Sleep And Shutdown Windows 8
    By: Usman Javaid
    Date: September 16, 2011
    addictivetips

[/os/windows/win8] permanent link

Thu, Dec 13, 2012 10:04 pm

Changing the Office 2010 Product Key

If you need to change the Microsoft 2010 product key, e.g., to resolve an activation issue, after you have installed it, you can take the following steps to do so on a Windows 7 system:
  1. Click on the Windows Start button.
  2. Select Control Panel.
  3. Click on Programs.
  4. Click on Programs and Features.
  5. Right-click on Microsoft Office Professional 2010, or whatever the appropriate entry is for the version of Office installed on the system, and select Change.
  6. Select Enter a Product Key.
  7. Click on the Continue button.
  8. Enter the new product key.
  9. Click on the Continue button with "Attempt to automatically activate my product online" checked.
  10. Click on the Continue button.
  11. When the configuration process is completed, click on the Close button.

Reference:

  1. How to Change Product Key of Microsoft Office 2013, Office 2010 and Visio 2010?
    By Mezanul
    My Technology Guide: Windows, Mac, Linux, Internet, Software, Review

[/os/windows/office] permanent link

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 10:24 pm

Configure Presets for Scanning With Adobe Acrobat X

If you have a scanner attached to your system, Acrobat X Standard1x1 px provides the capability to scan documents directly into PDF files. To do so, take the following steps:
  1. Open Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Click on File.
  3. Select Create.
  4. Select PDF from Scanner.
  5. You can then choose whether you want to scan in color or black and white or have the software "Autodetect Color Mode".

Acrobat Custom Scan

Acrobat has some preset configurations from which you can choose. The choices available to you are as follows:

If you wish to adjust the settings for any of those preset scan configuration optsions for certain scans you perform regularly, follow the above steps, but instead of picking the color mode at the last step above, choose Configure Presets.

That will open a Configure Presets window where you can adjust settings for a particular color mode choice. You can change the resolution, the quality of scanned images (higher quality equates to larger file size), whether you are prompted for scanning more pages into one PDF document, etc. E.g., if you wanted to have 300 DPI, the highest available image quality, have Acrobat prompt you for scanning more pages, but not run Optical Character Recognition (OCR), you would select settings as shown below:

Acrobat Custom Scan

When you have adjusted the settings appropriately, click on Save and then Close.

Reference:

  1. Scan a paper document to PDF
    Date: February 3, 2012

[/os/windows/software/pdf/acrobat] permanent link

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 10:15 pm

Dealing with the bad parameter message when attempting to scan with Acrobat

When I attempted to use Acrobat X Standard1x1 px to scan a document from an HP LaserJet 3052 scanner, I received a "bad parameter" error message. I've posted the steps here for dealing with the issue.

I needed to use the Adobe Acrobat X software for scanning rather than the Windows® Fax and Scan utility that came with Microsoft Windows 7 because that software doesn't provide the capability to scan multiple pages into one file nor even provide the capability to save the scanned image to a PDF file. It also doesn't allow one to create presets where you select a preset configuration, e.g., color and 200 dpi, for certain documents you may scan regularly, whereas Adobe Acrobat X does provide that capability.

I was able to scan documents using Adobe Acrobat X and the HP LaserJet 3052 printer/scanner/copier, however, unlike with the Windows® Fax and Scan utility, they always looked garbled when scanned on the Windows 7 system.

[/os/windows/software/pdf/acrobat] permanent link

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 9:27 pm

Steps for Transferring Outlook Signatures from an XP to Windows 7 System

To transfer Microsoft Outlook 2010 signatures from a Microsoft Windows XP system to a Microsoft Windows 7 system take the following steps:
  1. On the source system, i.e., the Windows XP system, open the Windows Explorer and navigate to \Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures
    Note: You may have to turn on the display of hidden files and folders to view the folder; steps to do so on a Windows XP system are detailed here.
  2. Copy the contents of the Signatures folder to \Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Signatures on the Windows 7 system.
    Note: In both cases username should be the relevant account name on the two systems. Instructions for displaying hidden files and folders on a Windows 7 system can be found here.

If you need to copy Outlook stationery from one system to another, simply navigate to the Stationery folder instead of the Signatures folder.

[/os/windows/office/outlook] permanent link

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 11:30 pm

Acronis Bootable Media Image Backup

I was unable to backup a new HP PC with RAID drives using a couple of other backup programs I often use, but was able to do so using Acronis Backup & Recovery 11.5.

[ More ]

[/os/windows/utilities/backup/acronis] permanent link

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 9:41 pm

Exporting Contacts from iCal

You can take the following steps to export a contact list from iCal 1.5.5 (v670) on a Mac OS X system.
  1. Click on Window.
  2. Click on Address Book.
  3. Under Group, click on All to select it.
  4. Click on File.
  5. Select Export Group vCard.
  6. By default, the file name for the exported list wil be All, which will be placed in the Documents directory for the account under which you are logged in.. You can change the name and folder,, if you wish. Click on the Save button.

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 10:12 pm

Changing the Navigation Pane Font Size in Outlook 2010

The mail, calendar contacts, and task folders appear on the left side of the Outlook 2010 window. If you want to change the font used for those folders, e.g. to make it larger, you can follow these steps.

[/os/windows/office/outlook] permanent link

Mon, Nov 12, 2012 5:43 pm

Changing the Default Font Size for Outlook 2010

If you wish to change the default font used by Outlook 2010 when you are composing email or replying to or forwarding email that others have sent you, e.g., you wish to increase the font size, you can follow the steps here.

[/os/windows/office/outlook] permanent link

Thu, Nov 08, 2012 9:41 pm

Verifying a Windows 2003 SBS System is Functioning as a VPN Server

To ensure a Microsoft Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 system is functioning as a VPN server, take the following steps:
  1. Click on Start.
  2. Choose All Programs.
  3. Choose Administrative Tools.
  4. Choose Routing and Remote Access.
  5. Right-click on the server name and choose Properties.
  6. Under the General tab, ensure check "Remote access server" is checked.
  7. Click on OK.
  8. You can then close the Routing and Remote Access window.

You can also verify that the systems is functioning as a VPN server by obtaining a command prompt and issuing the command netstat -a | find "pptp". You should see a "LISTENING" line displayed indicating the system is listening on the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) connection.

C:\>netstat -a | find "pptp"
  TCP    ANDY:pptp              ANDY.example.lan:0    LISTENING

TCP port 1723 is used for PPTP, which you can see if you use netstat -an instead of netstat -a, so that numbers are displayed rather than text descriptions for ports. If a VPN connection is active at the time you issue the command, you will see the remote IP address displayed.

C:\>netstat -an | find "1723"
  TCP    0.0.0.0:1723           0.0.0.0:0              LISTENING
  TCP    192.168.0.8:1723       74.125.228.67:49359    ESTABLISHED
  UDP    0.0.0.0:21723          *:*

If you wish to monitor VPN connections on the SBS 2003 sever, see Checking User VPN Connections on SBS 2003.

[/os/windows/server2003] permanent link

Thu, Oct 18, 2012 7:34 pm

X-Fonter Upgrade from 6.4 to 7.5.2

I set up a new computer for my wife. She was using X-Fonter 6.4 on the old system to manage fonts and wanted the program on the new system, also. I downloaded the latest version of the software, which is produced by Blacksun Software from X-Fonter.

Since she had added a lot of fonts on the old system, I copied the contents of the fonts folder, C\Windows\Fonts, on the old system to the same location on the new system. I chose not to overwrite any existing font files of the same name on the new system. After adding all of her fonts to the new system, I installed the X-Fonter software on the new system. I also needed to copy the font collections she created in X-Fonter to the new system. X-Fonter uses .xfl files to store information about a "collection", i.e., a grouping of fonts that the user creates to help manage fonts.

E.g., my wife created a collection she titled "Christmas And Winter" for fonts she finds fitting for documents and webpages related to Christmas or winter themes. X-Fonter created a Christmas And Winter.xfl file that lists all of the fonts associated with that collection. E.g., see Copying X-Fonter Settings. A font can be in more than one collection.

On the old system running Windows 7 with X-Fonter 6.4, the font collections were stored in C:\Program Files\X-Fonter\Collections. On the new system, also running Windows 7, X-Fonter was installed in C:\Program Files (x86)\X-Fonter. There was no Collections directory beneath it, so I simply copied the Collections folder from the old system to that location on the new system. After deciding to make some changes to the collections on the new system, my wife inadvertently deleted a collection. When I looked in the C:\Program Files (x86)\X-Fonter\Collections folder on the new system I found that none of the .xfl collections files were there, even though she could still see the other collections in X-Fonter. Checking for .xfl files on the system, I found that the new version had moved them to C:\ProgramData\X-Fonter\Collections. The files were also appearing in C:\Users\All Users\X-Fonter\Collections, but C:\Users\All Users is just a shortcut that points to the C:\ProgramData directory. So I had her close X-Fonter on the new system and copied the .xfl file for the collection she inadvertently deleted from the old system to the C:\ProgramData\X-Fonter\Collections folder and she was then able to reopen X-Fonter and see that collection along with the others.

Reference:

  1. Copying X-Fonter Settings
    Date: June 27, 2009
    MoonPoint Support

[/os/windows/software/fonts] permanent link

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 5:50 pm

Copying Themes from One Windows 7 System to Another

If you wish to copy themes from one Windows 7 system to another, copy the contents of \Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes, where Username is the account name for the account from which you wish to copy the themes. If the new system doesn't have a Themes directory under the \Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\ directory, because no themes have been added, just copy the Themes directory itself from the source system to the destination system. Afterwards, on the destination system, you can right-click on an empty area of the desktop, select Personalize, then select the theme you wish to use.

Note: you may need to turn on the display of hidden files and folders to locate the directory as described here.

[/os/windows/software/themes] permanent link

Wed, Sep 26, 2012 9:08 pm

Annoying "Card Member Services" call from 407-476-5700

My wife has been getting annoying "Card Member Services" calls on almost a daily basis. Today I hit *69 to get the number from which the call was being placed. The number was 407-476-5700. I hit 1 on the phone's keypad to speak with someone who claimed, when I asked him what company he worked for that he worked for the dubiously named "Card Member Services" company. I informed him that I was on the government Do Not Call list and that he shouldn't be calling. He hung up and I reported the calling number at the National Do Not Call Registry website, since our home phone number has been on that list for years. I also called the calling number where one of the options was to enter my phone number after the beep to have the company take our number off their list. There was no beep, but I entered the number anyway.

I found many others reporting such calls from 407-476-5700 over the last few months at 800notes Directory of Unknown Callers 407-476-5700. I found postings there from others on the government "Do Not Call" list and postings from people stating that requesting the company remove their number didn't put an end to such calls.

[/phone] permanent link

Tue, Sep 11, 2012 5:17 pm

Bad Route to Host

After switching from a wireless connection to a wired connection on a MacBook Pro laptop running Mac OS X 10.6.8, I was no longer able to access a website I needed to access to establish a VPN connection to a remote network.I had a VPN connection established before switching from the wireless to the wired network. When I plugged the network cable into the laptop for a wired connection I also changed the network settings under System Preferences on the system by selecting "Turn AirPort Off" to ensure the wireless connection would not be used. Afterwards, when I tried pinging the destination system using the wired connection, I saw the following:
$ ping vpn.example.com
PING vpn.example.com (10.0.56.76): 56 data bytes
ping: sendto: Network is down
ping: sendto: Network is down
Request timeout for icmp_seq 0
ping: sendto: Network is down
Request timeout for icmp_seq 1
ping: sendto: Network is down
Request timeout for icmp_seq 2
ping: sendto: Network is down
Request timeout for icmp_seq 3
cping: sendto: Network is down
Request timeout for icmp_seq 4
ping: sendto: Network is down
Request timeout for icmp_seq 5
ping: sendto: Network is down
Request timeout for icmp_seq 6
cping: sendto: Network is down
Request timeout for icmp_seq 7
ping: sendto: Network is down
Request timeout for icmp_seq 8
ping: sendto: Network is down
Request timeout for icmp_seq 9
^C
--- vpn.example.com ping statistics ---
11 packets transmitted, 0 packets received, 100.0% packet loss

To determine why I was getting the "Network is down" message, I checked the route for the IP address associated with the destination system.

$ route get 10.0.56.76
   route to: vpn.example.com
destination: vpn.example.com
    gateway: 192.168.1.1
  interface: en1
      flags: <UP,GATEWAY,HOST,DONE,STATIC>
 recvpipe  sendpipe  ssthresh  rtt,msec    rttvar  hopcount      mtu     expire
       0         0      3411        67        67         0      1500         0

I noticed the gateway, i.e., router address, was pointing to the wireless router's IP address, 192.168.1.1, rather than the IP address for router for the wired connection, 192.168.0.1. But when I checked the default route, I saw it was correct.

$ route get default
   route to: default
destination: default
       mask: default
    gateway: 192.168.0.1
  interface: en0
      flags: <UP,GATEWAY,DONE,STATIC,PRCLONING>
 recvpipe  sendpipe  ssthresh  rtt,msec    rttvar  hopcount      mtu     expire
       0         0         0         0         0         0      1500         0

I flushed the routing table. Note: you must put the sudo command before the route flush command, if you are not logged in as root, but the account you are using is allowed to administer the computer, and then supply your password in order to execute the route flush command as you must be root to alter the routing table.

$ route flush
route: must be root to alter routing table
$ sudo route flush
default              192.168.2.1          done
route: write to routing socket: No such process
got only -1 for rlen

After then disconnecting the network cable from the laptop and then reconnecting it, I then saw the correct route for the webserver through the wired router, which had IP address 192.168.0.1, and was able to ping it.

$ route get 10.0.56.76
   route to: vpn.example.com
destination: default
       mask: default
    gateway: 192.168.0.1
  interface: en0
      flags: <UP,GATEWAY,DONE,STATIC,PRCLONING>
 recvpipe  sendpipe  ssthresh  rtt,msec    rttvar  hopcount      mtu     expire
       0         0         0         0         0         0      1500         0 
$ ping 10.0.56.76
PING 10.0.56.76 (10.0.56.76): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 10.0.56.76: icmp_seq=0 ttl=57 time=19.955 ms
64 bytes from 10.0.56.76: icmp_seq=1 ttl=57 time=21.017 ms
^C
--- 10.0.56.76 ping statistics ---
2 packets transmitted, 2 packets received, 0.0% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max/stddev = 19.955/20.486/21.017/0.531 ms

I was then also able to access the website using Safari. I had not been able to do so when I previously had tried just disconnecting and reconnecting the network cable without flushing the routing table.

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Sat, Sep 08, 2012 8:21 pm

Passwords Plus CS Registry Entries

I set up a new system for someone who had been using the Dataviz Passwords Plus program to manage passwords. She had been using the 1.006 version of the software on the prior system. I installed the latest version which was Passwords Plus CS version 2.001. The software is free for Windows systems, but the cost is $9.99 USD for the version that runs on iPhones. Passwords can be synchronnized between Microsoft Windows PCs and iPhones using the new version. I had to make a few changes to the Windows registry in order for the program on the new system to access shared password database files on another system.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/software/security/password/PasswordsPlusCS] permanent link

Sat, Aug 11, 2012 5:18 pm

avast! IE 9 Stopped Working

On a Windows 7 system that came with avast! Free Antivirus preinstalled, whenever I was browsing the web with Internet Explorer 9, I would periodically see "Internet Explorer has stopped working" messages. When I clicked on the "View problem details" link in the window that appeared, I found the problem associated with the avast! antivirus program's asWebRepIE.dll Dynamic Link Library (DLL) module.

[ More Info ]

[/security/antivirus/avast] permanent link

Sat, Jul 28, 2012 10:26 pm

Printing Boolean Values as Yes or No

If you have a PHP variable that is storing Boolean data, i.e. 0 for "false" or "no" and 1 for "true" or "yes", but want to display the value as "no" when a zero is stored in the variable and "yes" when a one is stored in the variable, you can print the value using the ternary operator, ?, which is described in the Ternary Operator section of the manual page Comparison Operators.

E.g., suppose I have an array named swinfo that has information on various software packages that has an array variable Free that has a 0 stored in it if the software is not free and a 1 stored in it if the software is free. If I have a software package that isn't free, if I just print the contents of the variable as in the first instance below, I get a zero, but by using ther ternary operator, i.e., the ?, I can specify that I want "yes" or "no" displayed, instead as for the second instance where it is displayed below.

      echo "<table>\n" .

      "<tr>\n" .
       "<td><b>Free:</b></td><td>" .
        $swinfo['Free'] . "</td>" .
       "</tr>\n" .

       "<tr>\n" .
       "<td><b>Free:</b></td><td>" .
        ($swinfo['Free'] ? 'yes' : 'no') . "</td>" .
       "</tr>\n" .

       "</table>\n";

For an instance where the software isn't free, I would see the following displayed:

Free:0
Free:no

References:

  1. Echo boolean field as yes/no or other values
    Stack Overflow
  2. Comparison Operators
    PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor

[/languages/php] permanent link

Sat, Jul 28, 2012 9:12 pm

Printing an array with print_r

The contents of an array can be printed in PHP using print_r. E.g., suppose that the information to be displayed is stored in a database in a table called tests that has student test scores with each student identified by a student id. The following PHP code could be used to fetch the test information for a student whose id is stored in the variable $num and then print the entire array named testinfo.

$result1 = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM tests WHERE ID = $num");
$testinfo = mysql_fetch_array($result1);
print_r ($testinfo);

References:

  1. Print_r () PHP Function
    By Angela Bradley
    About.com PHP/MySQL

[/languages/php] permanent link

Sat, Jul 14, 2012 5:17 pm

Attachment and Avatar Settings for SMF 2.0

To modify the attachment and avatar settings of an Simple Machines Forum (SMF) 2.0 forum click on Admin, then select Forum, then Attachments and Avatars, and then either Avatar Settings or Attachment Settings.

For the avatar settings, there is an Avatars directory setting and an Avatars URL setting. If the directory specified for Avatars directory doesn't exist, then "Avatars directory" is displayed as red text.

For the attachment settings, you specify an Attachments directory. If you specify a directory that doesn't exist, the words "Attachments directory" will be displayed as red text.

If you change any of the settings, click on the Save button at the bottom of the page to save the new settings.

[/network/web/forums/smf] permanent link

Sat, Jul 14, 2012 1:11 pm

Deleting a Theme for a SMF 2.0 Forum

To delete a theme for a Simle Machines Forum (SMF) 2.0 forum, take the following steps from an account with administrator privileges:
  1. Click on Admin then select Features and Options.
  2. Click on Configuration then select Themes and Layout then Theme Settings.
  3. To the right of each theme listed is an icon of a piece of paper with a folded corner with a red "X" over it. Click on that icon to delete the theme.
  4. You will also need to delete the relevant subdirectory beneath the SMF Themes directory on the web server where the forum resides. E.g., for the Blue Moonlight theme the directory would be Themes/Blue_Moonlight_SMF2.

[/network/web/forums/smf] permanent link

Mon, Jul 09, 2012 10:16 pm

SMF 2.0 Forum Smileys Location

After I moved a Simple Machines Forum (SMF) forum from one domain name to another, I found the smileys, aka emoticons, were no longer accessible. The steps for pointing the SMF software to look in a different directory for the smileys is listed below.
  1. Click on Admin.
  2. Click on Smileys and Message Icons.
  3. Click on Settings.
  4. Change the values for "Base URL to all smiley sets" and "Absolute path to all smiley sets". Note: If you see "Absolute path to all smiley sets" as red text, then there is a problem with the path you specified.

[/network/web/forums/smf] permanent link

Sun, Jul 08, 2012 9:14 pm

Comparing Two Directories with Diff

If you need to compare two directories to determine which files are in one directory, but not another, on a Unix, Linux, or Mac OS X system, you can use the diff command. E.g., suppose the directories are named dir1 and dir2; they can be compared with diff dir1 dir2
$ diff dir1 dir2
Only in dir2: index.html
Common subdirectories dir1/temp and dir2/temp
Only in dir2: a.png
Only in dir2: b.png
Only in dir1: 123.png
Only in dir1: 456.png

If you wish to see only the differences and not common directories and subdirectories, you can use diff dir1 dir2 | grep "Only". To perform the comparision recursively through the various subdirectories within the two directories use diff --recursive dir1 dir2.

Reference:

  1. Find files in one directory not in another
    Server Fault

[/os/unix/commands] permanent link

Sat, Jul 07, 2012 9:21 pm

Google Member Map 2.6 SMF Mod Installation

I moved a Simple Machines Forum (SMF) forum from one domain to another, which required updating the Google Member Map mod. Google no longer requires a key for using the map service provided by Google and the latest version of the mod doesn't even provide a means to specify a key.

[More Info]

[/network/web/forums/smf] permanent link

Mon, May 28, 2012 9:02 pm

Perl Sleep Function

Perl has a function sleep that will cause a Perl script to wait, i.e., "sleep" a specified number of seconds before going on to the next step in a script.

Syntax

sleep EXPR

Definition and Usage

Causes the script to sleep for EXPR seconds, or forever if no EXPR. May be interrupted if the process receives a signal such as "SIGALRM". Returns the number of seconds actually slept. You probably cannot mix "alarm" and "sleep" calls, because "sleep" is often implemented using "alarm".

On some older systems, it may sleep up to a full second less than what you requested, depending on how it counts seconds. Most modern systems always sleep the full amount. They may appear to sleep longer than that, however, because your process might not be scheduled right away in a busy multitasking system.

For delays of finer granularity than one second, you may use Perl’s "syscall" interface to access setitimer(2) if your sys- tem supports it, or else see "select" above. The Time::HiRes module (from CPAN, and starting from Perl 5.8 part of the stan- dard distribution) may also help.

Example

my $sleeptime = 3; # Number of seconds to "sleep"
sleep($sleeptime);

Note

If you use sleep alone without any value given to it for the sleep period, then the script will sleep indefinitely.

[/languages/perl] permanent link

Mon, May 28, 2012 3:16 pm

Wide Character in Print Warning from Perl Script

When I ran a Perl script I wrote to download webpages from a website, I kept getting two warning messages printed for the same line whenever I ran the script.
Wide character in print at ./get_webpage.pl line 39.
Wide character in print at ./get_webpage.pl line 39.

I found at Unicode-processing issues in Perl and how to cope with it, written by Ivan Kurmanov, that the problem can occur when a file has Unicode characters in it. Unicode is a "computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems."

Unicode can be implemented by different character encodings. The most commonly used encodings are UTF-8, UTF-16 and the now-obsolete UCS-2. UTF-8 uses one byte for any ASCII characters, which have the same code values in both UTF-8 and ASCII encoding, and up to four bytes for other characters. UCS-2 uses a 16-bit code unit (two 8-bit bytes) for each character but cannot encode every character in the current Unicode standard. UTF-16 extends UCS-2, using two 16-bit units (4 x 8 bit) to handle each of the additional characters.

The webpages I was downloading were encoded using UTF-8, which I confirmed by viewing the source code for one of the webpages I was downloading. In the "head" section of the webpage, I saw the following meta tag.

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />

Line 39 in my Perl script, which printed the webpage, was as follows:

print WEBPAGE $page;

Prior to that line I had the following line:

open(WEBPAGE,">$first_fname") || die "$page$n could not be opened";

The variable first_fname is the name for the file holding the first page saved to disk.

To resolve the problem, I followed the suggestion offered by Ivan to use open FILE, ">:utf8", $filename;. I therefore changed the line in my script to the following:

open(WEBPAGE,">:utf8",$first_fname) || die "$page$n could not be opened";

For subsequent pages, I used an id number followed by ".html" for the filename for the webpages with the id number changing based on the contents of the webpage downloaded. I enclosed ">:utf8" and "$id.html" in double quotes to get the script to run without producing the "wide character in print" warning nor any error messages.


     if ($n == 1) {
       # First page will be named differently, e.g., index.html
       open(WEBPAGE,">:utf8",$first_fname) || die "$page$n could not be opened";
     }
     else {
       open(WEBPAGE,">:utf8", "$id.html") || die "$page$n could not be opened";
     }
     print WEBPAGE $page;
     close(WEBPAGE);
     $n++;

[/languages/perl] permanent link

Mon, May 28, 2012 2:52 pm

Interactive Spelling Checker aspell

For interactive spellchecking on Linux systems, you can use the aspell command at a shell prompt. Just type the command followed by the option list then hit enter and type one or more words for which you wish to check the spelling. Hit Ctrl-D when you've entered all the words for which you wish to check the spelling. You will then see the words that are misspelled, or at least the ones for which aspell doesn't recognize the spelling, displayed.

You can put the words one per line, if you wish, as in the example below. In that example, "cat" was the first word I entered and "apropos" was the last word I entered before hitting Ctrl-D. The aspell spellchecker showed "cateb" and "flummoxe" as the misspelled words immediately after the last word I entered.

$ aspell list
cat
cart
cateb
flummox
flummoxe
apropos
cateb
flummoxe

You can also enter all of the words you want checked on one line, if you prefer, as in the example below, where "cat horse dog punto giraffe" were typed. When I hit Enter and Ctrl-D to terminate word entry, aspell showed "punto" as the misspelled word, since though it is Italian for the English word "point", it is not a valid word in English..

$ aspell list
cat horse dog punto giraffe
punto

[/os/unix/commands] permanent link

Sun, May 27, 2012 10:51 pm

Downloading Webpages with Perl Using Get

I had written a Perl script to dowload specific webpages from a site and peform some processing on the downloaded copies of the webpages. When I moved the script to another system, I received the error message below when I ran it.
Can't locate LWP/Simple.pm in @INC (@INC contains: /etc/perl /usr/local/lib/perl/5.14.2 /usr/local/share/perl/5.14.2 /usr/lib/perl5 /usr/share/perl5 /usr/lib/perl/5.14 /usr/share/perl/5.14 /usr/local/lib/site_perl .) at ./get_webpage.pl line 5.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at ./get_webpage.pl line 5.

The script uses the get command from the LWP::Simple Perl module, which allows me to download a webpage similar to how I would use the GNU wget command from a shell prompt to download webpages. I wanted to use the Perl script, instead of wget, though, since I wanted to examine the webpages for specific links and then download other pages based on specific URLs present in the downloaded web pages.

When I checked for the presence of the LWP::Simple module, which provides support for the get, command on the system on which the script worked, I saw the following:

$ perldoc -l LWP::Simple
/usr/lib/perl5/vendor_perl/5.8.8/LWP/Simple.pm
$ cd /home/joe/www/support/languages/perl

When I checked on the system on which the script failed, I saw the following:

$ perldoc -l LWP::Simple
You need to install the perl-doc package to use this program.

I decided just to proceed with the installation of the LWP::Simple module by running the command perl -MCPAN -e shell. Since it was the first time I had run it, I was prompted to answer a number of questions. I hit Enter to accept the default answer for all of the questions. When the configuration process was completed, I entered install LWP::Simple at the cpan prompt. When the module was installed, I entered exit.

$ sudo bash
[sudo] password for joe: 
root@Saturn:~/Documents/bin# perl -MCPAN -e shell

CPAN.pm requires configuration, but most of it can be done automatically.
If you answer 'no' below, you will enter an interactive dialog for each
configuration option instead.

Would you like to configure as much as possible automatically? [yes] 

 <install_help>

Warning: You do not have write permission for Perl library directories.

To install modules, you need to configure a local Perl library directory or
escalate your privileges.  CPAN can help you by bootstrapping the local::lib
module or by configuring itself to use 'sudo' (if available).  You may also
resolve this problem manually if you need to customize your setup.

What approach do you want?  (Choose 'local::lib', 'sudo' or 'manual')
 [local::lib] 

Autoconfigured everything but 'urllist'.

Now you need to choose your CPAN mirror sites.  You can let me
pick mirrors for you, you can select them from a list or you
can enter them by hand.

Would you like me to automatically choose some CPAN mirror
sites for you? (This means connecting to the Internet) [yes] 
Trying to fetch a mirror list from the Internet
Fetching with HTTP::Tiny:
http://www.perl.org/CPAN/MIRRORED.BY

Looking for CPAN mirrors near you (please be patient)
.............................. done!

New urllist
  http://httpupdate3.cpanel.net/CPAN/
  http://httpupdate23.cpanel.net/CPAN/
  http://mirrors.rit.edu/CPAN/

Autoconfiguration complete.

Attempting to bootstrap local::lib...

Writing /home/joe/.cpan/CPAN/MyConfig.pm for bootstrap...
commit: wrote '/home/joe/.cpan/CPAN/MyConfig.pm'
Fetching with HTTP::Tiny:
http://httpupdate3.cpanel.net/CPAN/authors/01mailrc.txt.gz
Going to read '/home/joe/.cpan/sources/authors/01mailrc.txt.gz'
............................................................................DONE
Fetching with HTTP::Tiny:
http://httpupdate3.cpanel.net/CPAN/modules/02packages.details.txt.gz
Going to read '/home/joe/.cpan/sources/modules/02packages.details.txt.gz'
  Database was generated on Mon, 28 May 2012 01:35:04 GMT
  HTTP::Date not available
..............
  New CPAN.pm version (v1.9800) available.
  [Currently running version is v1.960001]
  You might want to try
    install CPAN
    reload cpan
  to both upgrade CPAN.pm and run the new version without leaving
  the current session.


..............................................................DONE
Fetching with HTTP::Tiny:
http://httpupdate3.cpanel.net/CPAN/modules/03modlist.data.gz
Going to read '/home/joe/.cpan/sources/modules/03modlist.data.gz'
............................................................................DONE
Going to write /home/joe/.cpan/Metadata
Running make for A/AP/APEIRON/local-lib-1.008004.tar.gz
Fetching with HTTP::Tiny:
http://httpupdate3.cpanel.net/CPAN/authors/id/A/AP/APEIRON/local-lib-1.008004.tar.gz
Fetching with HTTP::Tiny:
http://httpupdate3.cpanel.net/CPAN/authors/id/A/AP/APEIRON/CHECKSUMS
Checksum for /home/joe/.cpan/sources/authors/id/A/AP/APEIRON/local-lib-1.008004.tar.gz ok

  CPAN.pm: Going to build A/AP/APEIRON/local-lib-1.008004.tar.gz

Attempting to create directory /home/joe/perl5

*** Module::AutoInstall version 1.03
*** Checking for Perl dependencies...
*** Since we're running under CPAN, I'll just let it take care
    of the dependency's installation later.
[Core Features]
- ExtUtils::MakeMaker ...loaded. (6.57_05 >= 6.31)
- ExtUtils::Install   ...loaded. (1.56 >= 1.43)
- Module::Build       ...loaded. (0.38 >= 0.36)
- CPAN                ...loaded. (1.960001 >= 1.82)
*** Module::AutoInstall configuration finished.
Checking if your kit is complete...
Looks good
Writing Makefile for local::lib
Writing MYMETA.yml
cp lib/POD2/PT_BR/local/lib.pod blib/lib/POD2/PT_BR/local/lib.pod
cp lib/lib/core/only.pm blib/lib/lib/core/only.pm
cp lib/local/lib.pm blib/lib/local/lib.pm
cp lib/POD2/DE/local/lib.pod blib/lib/POD2/DE/local/lib.pod
Manifying blib/man3/POD2::PT_BR::local::lib.3pm
Manifying blib/man3/lib::core::only.3pm
Manifying blib/man3/local::lib.3pm
Manifying blib/man3/POD2::DE::local::lib.3pm
  APEIRON/local-lib-1.008004.tar.gz
  /usr/bin/make -- OK
'YAML' not installed, will not store persistent state
Running make test
PERL_DL_NONLAZY=1 /usr/bin/perl -I/home/joe/perl5/lib/perl5/i686-linux-gnu-threa
d-multi-64int -I/home/joe/perl5/lib/perl5 "-MExtUtils::Command::MM" "-e" "test_h
arness(0, 'inc', 'blib/lib', 'blib/arch')" t/classmethod.t t/coderefs_in_inc.t t
/de-dup.t t/install.t t/lib-core-only.t t/pipeline.t t/stackable.t
t/classmethod.t ...... Name "File::Spec::rel2abs" used only once: possible typo 
at t/classmethod.t line 20.
t/classmethod.t ...... 1/? Attempting to create directory t/var/splat
t/classmethod.t ...... ok   
t/coderefs_in_inc.t .. ok   
t/de-dup.t ........... ok   
t/install.t .......... skipped: Install Capture::Tiny to test installation
t/lib-core-only.t .... ok   
t/pipeline.t ......... ok   
t/stackable.t ........ ok     
All tests successful.
Files=7, Tests=29, 41 wallclock secs ( 0.17 usr  0.04 sys +  1.32 cusr  0.14 csys =  1.67 CPU)
Result: PASS
  APEIRON/local-lib-1.008004.tar.gz
  /usr/bin/make test -- OK
Running make install
Installing /home/joe/perl5/lib/perl5/POD2/PT_BR/local/lib.pod
Installing /home/joe/perl5/lib/perl5/POD2/DE/local/lib.pod
Installing /home/joe/perl5/lib/perl5/lib/core/only.pm
Installing /home/joe/perl5/lib/perl5/local/lib.pm
Installing /home/joe/perl5/man/man3/local::lib.3pm
Installing /home/joe/perl5/man/man3/lib::core::only.3pm
Installing /home/joe/perl5/man/man3/POD2::PT_BR::local::lib.3pm
Installing /home/joe/perl5/man/man3/POD2::DE::local::lib.3pm
Appending installation info to /home/joe/perl5/lib/perl5/i686-linux-gnu-thread-multi-64int/perllocal.pod
  APEIRON/local-lib-1.008004.tar.gz
  /usr/bin/make install  -- OK
Tried to deactivate inactive local::lib '/home/joe/perl5'

local::lib is installed. You must now add the following environment variables
to your shell configuration files (or registry, if you are on Windows) and
then restart your command line shell and CPAN before installing modules:

Use of uninitialized value $deactivating in numeric eq (==) at /home/joe/perl5/l
ib/perl5/local/lib.pm line 354.
Use of uninitialized value $deactivating in numeric eq (==) at /home/joe/perl5/l
ib/perl5/local/lib.pm line 356.
Use of uninitialized value $interpolate in numeric eq (==) at /home/joe/perl5/li
b/perl5/local/lib.pm line 366.
export PERL_LOCAL_LIB_ROOT="/home/joe/perl5";
export PERL_MB_OPT="--install_base /home/joe/perl5";
export PERL_MM_OPT="INSTALL_BASE=/home/joe/perl5";
export PERL5LIB="/home/joe/perl5/lib/perl5/i686-linux-gnu-thread-multi-64int:/home/joe/perl5/lib/perl5";
export PATH="/home/joe/perl5/bin:$PATH";

Would you like me to append that to /home/joe/.bashrc now? [yes] 


commit: wrote '/home/joe/.cpan/CPAN/MyConfig.pm'

You can re-run configuration any time with 'o conf init' in the CPAN shell
Terminal does not support AddHistory.

cpan shell -- CPAN exploration and modules installation (v1.960001)
Enter 'h' for help.

cpan[1]> install LWP::Simple
<text snipped> cpan[2]> exit

I was then able to successfully run the Perl script.

[/languages/perl] permanent link

Wed, May 23, 2012 7:17 pm

Creating an Audio CD from MP3 Files in iTunes

Apple's iTunes software can be used to "burn", i.e., write MP3 files to an audio CD that can be played in a car CD player or similar device. You can store up to 80 minutes of music or other audio files on a CD that will play in almost all CD players.

[ More Info ]

[/software/audio_video/itunes] permanent link

Sun, May 20, 2012 5:07 pm

Excel Defined Name

Microsoft Excel provides the capability to assign a "defined name" to a cell or range of cells to make it easier to understand the purpose of a cell or group of cells. E.g, TaxRate is more meaningful in a formula than E21. Defined names also allow you to ensure that hyperlinks pointing to locations in a spreadsheet are updated appropriately when a spredsheet is modified.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/office/excel] permanent link

Fri, May 18, 2012 11:37 pm

Port Forwarding RDP With PuTTY

You can use PuTTY, which is a free implementation of Telnet and SSH clients for Windows and Unix platforms to log into a system via SSH and by using the SSH port forwarding functionality that PuTTY provides, establish a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connection through a "tunnel" you establish via the SSH connection.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/network/ssh/putty] permanent link

Sat, May 12, 2012 4:16 pm

Keep Header Row Visible in Excel When Scrolling

If you have an Excel spreadsheet with many rows, you may want to keep the header row visible even when you scoll far down through the rows of the spreadsheet, so you know what the values in each column represent. This can easily be done, if you have headings for each column in the top row of the spreadsheet, or near the top row, by going to the top of the spreadsheet, so that the header row is the top row of the Excel window. Then click on the cell in column A just below the header row to make it the current cell. Then click on Window and select Freeze Panes. Now, when you scroll down through the spreadsheet, the header row will "float" at the top of the Excel window, so that it is always visible and you don't have to scroll back to the top again to remind yourself what data is found in each column. If you have other rows above the column heading row you selected, those will remain visible as well as everything above the row you were on when you selected Freeze Panes.

If you later want to turn the display of the header row or rows when you scroll through the spreadhseet, click on Window and select Unfreeze Panes.

Note: this works in Microsoft Excel 2000 and later on Microsoft Windows systems and Microsoft Excel 2008 for Mac and should work on other versions of Excel as well.

[/os/windows/office/excel] permanent link

Sat, May 12, 2012 2:25 pm

Determining the Package for a File on a Ubuntu Linux System

To determine which installed package provides a file on a Ubuntu Linux system, you can use the command dpkg -S filename. If you need a particular file, but the package providing it is not installed, you can install the apt-file package and then use the command apt-file search filename to determine which package or packages provide it.

[ More Info ]

[/os/unix/linux/ubuntu] permanent link

Thu, May 03, 2012 10:58 pm

Time and Date Issue and mDNSResponder and configd messages

When I started a MacBook Pro laptop this morning, I found the date was set set to December 31, 2000, though it had the correct date the day before. I also received messages asking whether I wanted to allow configd and mDNSResonder to accept incoming network connections. I believe those messages appeared because the signing certificates for the two applications no longer appeared valid to the system because their signing dates were after the December 31, 2000 date the system was showing.

[ More Info ]

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Sun, Apr 22, 2012 4:01 pm

Sumif for Date Range

Microsoft Excel's Sum function allows you to sum the values in a column. E.g., if I have a column, column J, that contains revenue in dollars for items sold with the first entry in row 4 and the last entry in row 62, I could use the formula =SUM(J4:J63) to calculate the total revenue for all items (I use "63" instead of "62" presuming that new entries will continue to be added by inserting new rows above row 63). But, if you wanted to determine the revenue just for the current month, presuming the month is April 2012, you could use the sumif function, e.g., assuming the date of sale for each item is in column F, I could use the formula =SUMIF(F4:F63,">=2012-04-01",J4:J63) to calculate the revenue for any items sold on or after April 1, 2012, presuming that I am still in the month of April 2012. In this case any row that has a date value of April 1, 2012 or later in column F will have the sales amount in column J for that entry added to the total sales calculation for April. I could also have used "01-Apr-12" for the date value in the formula, if I wished, instead of "2012-04-01", i.e., I could use YYYY-MM-DD where YYYY is the year, MM is the two digit value for the month and DD is the two digit value for the day or DD-Mon-YY, where Mon is the 3 letter abbreviation for the month.

Presuming that the only entries on the worksheet are for the year 2012, I could find the total sales for January using the formula =SUMIF(F4:F63,"<=31-Jan-12",J4:J63). But, if I want to determine the sales for February, I need to add only entries where the date is between February 1, 2012 and February 29, 2012. One simple way to do so that will work even for older versions of Excel, such as Microsoft® Excel 2000, is to perform one SUMIF calculation for all the values greater than or equal the starting date and then subtract from that total the value calculated using another SUMIF formula that adds all the values where the date is greater than the ending date. E.g., if I wanted to determine the total revenue for February, I could use the forumla below:

=SUMIF(F4:F63,">=2012-02-01",J4:J63)-SUMIF(F4:F63,">2012-02-29",J4:J63)

The first SUMIF adds the sales amount in column J whenever the date value in column F is greater than or equal February 1, 2012. The next SUMIF adds the sales amount in column J whenever the date value stored in column F is greater than the last day in Feburary of 2012, which is February 29, 2012. The result of the first SUMIF will be the total for all entries on or after February 1, 2012. The result of the second SUMIF will be the total for all entries after February 29, 2012. The difference between those two values will be the total for all sales in the month of February 2012.

[/os/windows/office/excel] permanent link

Thu, Apr 19, 2012 5:58 pm

Creating a Bootable Ubuntu USB Flash Drive from an OS X System

If you wish to create a bootable USB flash drive using Ubuntu Linux from a Mac OS X system, you can take these steps.

[/os/unix/linux/ubuntu] permanent link

Thu, Apr 12, 2012 10:39 pm

Mac OS X Hibernate Mode

Mac OS X provides a hibernation feature, which allows you to save the current state of the system to memory or the hard drive. You might wish to use this feature if you are going to be away from the system for awhile and don't want to close all of the applications you have open or you can't power the system from a wall electrical outlet and wish to conserve battery power.

OS X supports five different hibernate modes. The default mode is "3", which means when you put the system to "sleep" it saves the current state of the system to Random Access Memory (RAM), blanks the display, and goes to a low power consumption state.

You can determine the current hibernate mode by opening a Terminal window (use the Finder to go to Applications then Utilities then double-click on Terminal) using pmset -g | grep hibernatemode.

$ pmset -g | grep hibernatemode
 hibernatemode	3

You can change the hibernation mode by using sudo pmset -a hibernatemode n where n is one of the above integers representing a supported hibernation mode. E.g., to write the current state of the system, which includes the open applications and files in memory, to the hard drive and completely shut down the system, you can set the hibernatioon mode to 1. This is akin to hibernate mode on a Microsoft Windows system.

$ sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 1
Password:
$ pmset -g | grep hibernatemode
 hibernatemode	1

To put the system in hibernation, you can click on the Apple icon in the upper, left-hand corner of the screen and select Sleep. The system will then be put in the selected hibernate mode.

References:

  1. Does Mac OS X support hibernation?
    superuser

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Thu, Apr 12, 2012 9:50 pm

Copying a Disc with Burn under Mac OS X

The Disk Utility application that comes with Mac OS X, at least as of OS X 10.6 ,aka Snow Leopard, does not permit one to copy an audio CD. An alternative application that can be used to create an .iso file from an audio CD is Burn, which is free software licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) .

[ More Info ]

[/os/os-x/software/utilities/cd-dvd] permanent link

Wed, Apr 11, 2012 10:48 pm

Show the list of installed packages on a Ubuntu system

To display the list of installed packages on a Ubuntu Linux system from a shell prompt, you can use dpkg --get-selections. You can also use the Ubuntu Software Center, if you prefer a GUI method of checking.
$ dpkg --get-selections | more
accountsservice					install
acl						install
acpi-support					install
acpid						install
adduser						install
adium-theme-ubuntu				install
aisleriot					install
alsa-base					install
alsa-utils					install
amazonmp3					install
anacron						install

If you only want to determine whether a paricular package is installed, you can use grep to filter the results.

$ dpkg --get-selections | grep libboost
libboost-filesystem1.46.1			install
libboost-serialization1.46.1			install
libboost-system1.46.1				install

You can find the locations for the files installed when the package was installed by using the -L option with dpkg

$ dpkg -L libboost-filesystem1.46.1
/.
/usr
/usr/lib
/usr/lib/libboost_filesystem.so.1.46.1
/usr/share
/usr/share/doc
/usr/share/doc/libboost-filesystem1.46.1
/usr/share/doc/libboost-filesystem1.46.1/copyright
/usr/share/lintian
/usr/share/lintian/overrides
/usr/share/lintian/overrides/libboost-filesystem1.46.1
/usr/share/doc/libboost-filesystem1.46.1/NEWS.Debian.gz
/usr/share/doc/libboost-filesystem1.46.1/README.Debian.gz
/usr/share/doc/libboost-filesystem1.46.1/changelog.Debian.gz

To obtain information regarding a package, including its description, you can use the -s or --status option followed by the complete package name.

$ dpkg -s libboost-filesystem1.46.1
Package: libboost-filesystem1.46.1
Status: install ok installed
Priority: optional
Section: libs
Installed-Size: 208
Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <ubuntu-devel-discuss@lists.ubuntu.com>
Architecture: i386
Source: boost1.46
Version: 1.46.1-5ubuntu2
Depends: libboost-system1.46.1 (>= 1.46.1-1), libc6 (>= 2.4), libgcc1 (>= 1:4.1.1), libstdc++6 (>= 4.1.1)
Description: filesystem operations (portable paths, iteration over directories, etc) in C++
 This package forms part of the Boost C++ Libraries collection.
 .
 The Boost Filesystem Library provides portable facilities to query and
 manipulate paths, files, and directories.  The goal is to
 facilitate portable script-like operations from within C++ programs.
Homepage: http://boost.org/libs/filesystem/
Original-Maintainer: Debian Boost Team <pkg-boost-devel@lists.alioth.debian.org>

[/os/unix/linux/ubuntu] permanent link

Tue, Apr 10, 2012 8:00 am

Memory for Asus P4P800-E

I installed two additional memory modules in an ASUS P4P800-E motherboard. The motherboard has 4 memory slots that take DDR1 memory modules. The system had two 1 GB memory modules already installed. I installed two additional 1 GB memory modules giving the system 4 GB of RAM, which is the maximum amount of memory the P4P800-E motherboard will support. I used Corsair VS1GB333 memory modules. After I installed the additional memory, I used the free MemScope Memory Tester software to test all of the memory in the system. I let the test run over night for six complete passes and part of a seventh pass with no errors found.

Note: you can download the MemScope Memory Tester software here. At the moment there is a missing image on the page that has a link associated with it for downloading the software. The link appears immediately below the "Test 7 Random Data Sequence Test" paragraph or you can click here to access the form you need to fill out to download the software.

[/pc/hardware/motherboard] permanent link

Thu, Apr 05, 2012 7:57 pm

Recovering Lost Photos with DEFT Linux and PhotoRec

DEFT Linux can be used for forensics examination of a disk drive or to recover deleted or otherwise lost files from a disk drive. If you have lost files on a device, such as a memory card from a camera, perhaps because you accidentally deleted them, you can use DEFT and the PhotoRec utility that comes with DEFT 7 to search for and recover those files. PhotoRec 6.13 comes with DEFT 7. PhotoRec was created by Christophe Grenier. It is also available for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows systems.

[ More Info ]

[/os/unix/linux/deft] permanent link

Fri, Mar 30, 2012 3:29 pm

National Do Not Call Registry

If you, like me, don't like receiving telemarketing calls and live in the U.S., the federal government maintains a "National Do Not Call Registry" that telemarketers are supposed to refer to before calling phone numbers. If a telephone number is on the list, the telemarketer is not supposed to call the number. You can add your phone number to the list by pointing your web browser to the National Do Not Call Registry website.

Unfortunately, some telemarketers ignore the list. If they do, you can file a complaint at the complaints page. You will be asked to provide the number that was called, the approximate time of the call, and the calling number, which you may be able to get by Caller ID or by hitting *69 on your phone immediately after the call has ended to get the time of the last incoming call. You will also be asked to provide the name of the company, if you know it.

I received an automated call today telling me I hadn't responded to prior offers to reduce my credit card rate and this would be my last chance. I hit "1" on the phone to speak to someone. When I asked for the name of the company I was told it was "Branch Card Services", which is probably not the real name of the company for which the telemarketer or scam artist I spoke to works. When I asked where the company was located, he immediately hung up. I hit *69 on my phone and found the number from which he was calling was 971-220-1771. I then went to the National Do Not Call Registry website and filed a complaint, since my phone numbers have been on that list for years. A company that ignores the list is subject to being fined by the government for ignoring the "do not call" list.

When I looked up the number on the Intelius reverse phone number lookup site, I found the location for 971-220-1771 listed as Gresham, Oregon. Of course, such companies can employ Caller ID spoofing techniques to hide the true number from which they are calling, so the number you obtain from Caller ID or *69 isn't guaranteed to be the number from which the call was placed.

You might wonder who would be foolish enough to provide a credit card to someone who calls when you have no means of verifying the caller's identity and no way of knowing if he isn't just a scam artist collecting credit card numbers to sell to others or use himself. Obviously, such calls must work, though, since I often receive them. I can usually get the person on the other end of the line to give me a company name, all of which have sounded rather dubious. Sometimes, I can even get the person to give me the location from which he or she is calling. In one instance, when I told the person that I shouldn't be getting such calls because I'm on the "do not call" list, she asked me how she could get on the list; I told her to go to donotcall.gov.

[/phone] permanent link

Fri, Mar 23, 2012 5:37 pm

Redirecting a Local Drive with Remote Desktop

The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a protocol developed by Microsoft that allows one to remotely manage a Microsoft Windows system. E.g., you could remotely manage a Microsoft Windows XP PC, Windows Server 2003 system, etc. from another Microsoft Windows system. There are also RDP clients that run on Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X systems that will allow you to manage a Microsoft Windows system from a system running one of those operating systems.

A program that can be run on one of those operating systems is rdesktop. If you have a Linux system, you may find that it is already installed. If not you can download and install it for free.

You can determine if rdesktop is already installed by using the command which rdesktop.

$ which rdesktop
/usr/bin/rdesktop

Rdesktop allows you not only to remotely manage a Microsoft Windows system, but also map a directory on the system running rdesktop to what appears to be a shared network drive on the Microsoft Windows system.

$ rdesktop -0 -r 'disk:Linux=/home/jdoe/Documents/' -u administrator 192.168.0.5

I used the following options with the rdesktop command issued on a Ubuntu Linux system:

-0

The -0 option allows you to attach to the console of the server (requires Windows Server 2003 or newer), which would be akin to sitting down at the system to which you are logging on, i.e., it doesn't establish a session separate from the login session you would get when sitting at the system. So, if you were already logged into the system locally, when you connect remotely via rdesktop, you will see all of the open programs and files.

-r disk:<sharename>=<path>,...

Redirects a path to the share \\tsclient\<sharename> on the server (requires Windows XP or newer). The share name is limited to 8 characters.

In this case I used -r 'disk:Linux=/home/jdoe/Documents/'. I picked "Linux" for the sharename, but you can use whatever name you like. The name you select is the name the Microsoft Windows system will see for a shared network drive. The /home/jdoe/Documents/ means that if, from the Microsoft Windows system, I use the Explorer or an application to browse to the shared network drive named Linux it is really pointing to /home/jdoe/Documents on the Linux system. So I can place a file in /home/jdoe/Documents/ on the Linux system and access it from the Microsoft Windows system. Or I can save a file with an application on the Microsoft Windows system to the directory /home/jdoe/Documents on the Linux system.

-u <username>

The -u option allows you to spcify the Username for authentication on the Microsoft Windows system to which you wish to logon. In this case, I'm logging in as the administrator.

The 192.168.0.5 is the IP address of the Microsoft Windows system to which I wish to connect. You can also use a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) as well, e.g., a.example.com.

[/os/windows/software/remote-control/rdp] permanent link

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 4:10 pm

JavaScript Language Versus Type Attribute

After updating an old webpage, I validated the HTML on the page with the W3C Markup Validation Service. One of the errors reported for the page was the following one:

Error image - white x in red circle Line 19, Column 30: required attribute "TYPE" not specified

<script language="JavaScript">

The attribute given above is required for an element that you've used, but you have omitted it. For instance, in most HTML and XHTML document types the "type" attribute is required on the "script" element and the "alt" attribute is required for the "img" element.

Typical values for type are type="text/css" for <style> and type= "text/javascript" for <script>.

In the head section of the HTML code, I had the following line:

<script language="JavaScript">

I didn't realize that the language attribute has been deprecated in favor of the type attribute. According to a posting I found at HTML Script tag: type or language?

The language attribute has been deprecated. Both will work in pretty much all browsers, but the first better adheres to modern standards.

The javascript code on the page was working as expected when I viewed the page with a browser, but I changed the line to the one below:

<script type="text/javascript">

[/network/web/browser/javascript] permanent link

Fri, Feb 17, 2012 9:36 pm

Viewing Message Headers in Hotmail

For Hotmail email accounts, I've posted the steps for viewing an email message's headers, which can provide information about the true orgination point, for an email message here.

[/network/email/hotmail] permanent link

Tue, Feb 07, 2012 11:25 pm

Connecting to a Wireless Network with OS X

I've provided instructions here for connecting to a wireless network from a Mac OS X laptop.

[/os/os-x/wireless] permanent link

Sat, Feb 04, 2012 9:45 pm

Microsoft Windows Live Messenger Winks .dt2 Files

Microsoft Windows Live Messenger, at least with version 2009, stores a Flash file within a .dt2 file associated with a "wink". The .swf file provides the animation associated with a wink. The .swf file can be extracted from the .dt2 file using Microsoft's expand utility.

[ More Info ]

[/network/chat/live_messenger] permanent link

Sun, Jan 29, 2012 10:03 pm

Customizing the Start Menu on a Windows 7 System

To change the items that appear when you click on the Start button Start button on a Windows 7 system, take the following steps:
  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. Select the Start Menu tab.

    Start Menu tab

  3. Click on the Customize button.
  4. You can then select which items, such as "Computer", "Documents", etc. that you wish to be displayed.

    Customize Start Menu

    If you want to use the default settings, click on the button labeled Use Default Settings. E.g., you might want to choose that option if some items have disappeared from the Start Menu. The default settings are listed below:

    Computer (default: "Display as a link)
    Connect To (default: checked)
    Control Panel (default: "Display as a link")
    Default Programs (default: checked)
    Devices and Printers (default: checked)
    Documents (default: "Display as a link)
    Downloads (default: "Don't display this item")
    Help (default: checked)
    Highlight newly installed programs (default: checked)
    Homegroup (default: unchecked)
    Music (default: "Display as a link")
    Network (default: unchecked)
    Personal folder (default: "Display as a link")
    Pictures (default: "Display as a link")
    Recent Items (default: unchecked)
    Recorded TV (default: "Don't display this item)
    Run command (default: unchecked)
    Search other files and libraries (default: "Search with public folders")
    Search All Programs menu by name (default: checked)
    System administrative tools (default: unchecked)
    Use large icons (default: checked)
    Videos (default: "Don't display this item)

    Start menu size

    Number of recent programs to display (default: 10)
    Number of recent items to display in Jump Lists (default: 10)

  5. When you are finished click on OK then OK again.

[/os/windows/win7] permanent link

Sun, Jan 29, 2012 7:59 pm

Redirection to Rogue rr.nu Site

While searching for a power adapter, I found a link for the part number of the power adapter for which I was searching that redirected me to www2.smartouholder.rr.nu. That site displayed a fake virus scan (see image), which reportedly was finding malware on the system from which I was searching, but was really just a ruse to try to lure unsuspecting users into buying rogue antivirus software, i.e., scareware. If I tried to navigate away from the site, I would receive a "Are you sure you want to navigate away from this page?" message.

Scareware - are you sure

No matter which option I selected from "OK" or "Cancel", I was left at the scareware webpage. After finally getting back to a prior Google search page, I checked the site's reputation at Norton™ Safe Web. It did not list the site www2.smartouholder.rr.nu, stating it had not been tested yet, but it did list rr.nu.

Norton Safe Web reported the following for the rr.nu site:

rr.nu

Summary

Computer Threats:
1
Identity Threats:
0
Annoyance factors:
0
Total threats on this site:
1
 
 
Community Reviews:
5

Norton Safe Web listed "Drive-By Downloads" as the threat from the site.

After I was able to navigate away from the site, I added an entry to the /Windows/system32/drivers/etc/hosts file to ensure that the system would not be able to contact the site again. I put the following 2 lines at the bottom of that file:

# Inserted on 2012-01-29. Site is attempting to download rogue antivirus software
127.0.0.1 www2.smartouholder.rr.nu

When a Windows system attempts to find an IP address for a website name, such as www.example.com, it will first check the hosts file to see if an IP address is listed there for the fully qualified domain name. If not, then it will perform a Domain Name System (DNS) query to obtain the IP address associated with the name. By associating the name with 127.0.0.1, which is the loopback address for the local system, you can ensure that a system on which the entry has been put in the hosts file will see the name as pointing to its own address and thus will never be able to reach the actual site.

Note: if you edit the hosts file with the Windows Notepad editor, be sure you save the file as hosts, not hosts.txt. The file may be marked as read-only, also, so in order to save the file. you will need to take off the read-only attribute temporarily and put the attribute back on after you have saved the file. You can do so by right-clicking on the hosts file, choosing Properties and unchecking the read-only attribute. Or you can use the following two commands from the command line to take the attribute off the file and put it back on after you've edited the file.

attrib -r C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
attrib +r C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts

You will need to run the commands from an administrator account to do so. You will also need to run Notepad from an administrator account to edit the file. If you are logged in as another user, you can use the "runas" command from the command line to run Notepad or the attrib command from the administrator account.

E.g., you can use runas /user:administrator cmd to open another command prompt under the administrator account to run the attrib commands or runas /user:administrator notepad to run Notepad from the administrator account. Alternatively, for the attrib command you could use runas /user:administrator "attrib -r C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts". If you are using a domain administrator account you would use runas /user:domainname\administrator.

[/security/malware] permanent link

Mon, Jan 16, 2012 12:59 pm

Floating Left and Right Columns Within a Div

I wanted to have two columns on one section of a web page where the fist column was all left-aligned on the page, but the second column was aligned to the right of the page.

I used the DIV tag to create the two columns. I used <div style="float: left;"> for the left columan and <div style="float: right;"> for the right column. I enclosed both of them in an outer DIV. Since I wanted to have a top margin of 75 pixels for the outer DIV to separate it from the material above, I used <div style="margin-top: 75px;"> for it. But when I viewed the page, the material in the two columns wasn't appearing the way I wanted it to appear. I then tried adding overflow: auto to the outer DIV as shown below.

<div style="margin-top: 75px; overflow: auto;">

<div style="float: left;">
Stuff in left column
</div>

<div style="float: right;">
Stuff in right column
</div>

</div>

<p>Stuff below</p>

That looked fine when viewed in Firefox, but Internet Explorer showed the "stuff below" between the two columns.

I was able to resolve the problem by inserting a complete "cleared" element last in the container as explained at How To Clear Floats Without Structural Markup By adding another DIV below the two column DIVs but within the outer DIV, I was able to get the results I wanted in both Internet Explorer and Firefox. That DIV was just <div style="clear: both;"></div>.

So I then had the following HTML code for the page.

<div style="margin-top: 75px; overflow: auto;">

<div style="float: left;">
Stuff in left column
</div>

<div style="float: right;">
Stuff in right column
</div>

<div style="clear: both;"></div>

</div>

<p>Stuff below</p>

References:

  1. 2 Column Div float right and left child divs outside parent
    Date: August 31, 2010
    Stack Overflow
  2. How To Clear Floats Without Structural Markup
    By: Big John
    Created May 14, 2004
    Last updated: July 2, 2008
    Position Is Everything

[/network/web/html] permanent link

Sun, Jan 08, 2012 6:34 pm

MySQL Field Types

I can't remember the ranges for various MySQL numberic data types, such as TINYINT, SMALLINT, MEDIUMINT, INT, etc. nor how many characters a TEXT field hods versus a MEDIUMTEXT field and when I need the information it sometimes takes me a little while to find it again, so I've placed a page listing those values on this site for ready reference.

[ More Info ]

[/software/database/mysql] permanent link

Sat, Jan 07, 2012 9:54 pm

Displaying Data from a MySQL Database with PHP

If you have data stored in a MySQL database that you wish to include on a webpage, PHP provides a mechansim to query a MySQL database to extract and dispaly the data on a webpage.

[ More Info ]

[/languages/php] permanent link

Thu, Jan 05, 2012 6:40 pm

Google Chrome for the Mac

Google Chrome is available for Mac OS X systems at http://www.google.com/chrome/index.html?platform=mac&hl=en. It is available in Apple Disk Image format, i.e., .dmg format as googlechrome.dmg.

The following window opens when you click on the .dmg file.

Running Google Chrome from dmg file
Create your own custom iPad case

If you double-click on the folder icon in the window, you will have the option of selecting where Chrome should be insalled. The default location is the Applications folder where applications are normally stored. When you then double-click on the "Google Chrome" icon in the window, you will have the option of installing the software or running it from the disk image.

Running Google Chrome from dmg file

If you don't want to intall it, you can simply run it from the disk image, since it will then be "mounted" as a drive within the Finder

Google Chrome browser under Mac OS X

[/network/web/browser/chrome/os-x] permanent link

Wed, Jan 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Removing Specific Cookies from Firefox

Firefox allows you to remove all HTTP cookies, cookies for one particular site, or even individual cookies associated with a particular site which may have placed multiple cookies on your system. To remove cookies, follow the process below.

Note: this procedure was written for Firefox 3.6, but may apply to other versions as well.

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Click on Tools and select Options.
  3. Click on Privacy.
  4. There will be a "remove individual cookies" link in the middle of the Options window; click on it.

    Firefox Remove Individual Cookies

  5. Search or scroll through the list until you find the relevant website. You can search on a domain name, e.g., example.com.
  6. If you want to delete all cookies for a particular website, highlight its entry by clicking on it, then click on the Remove Cookies button. If yo wish to remove only certain cookies for a website, click on the rightward pointing triangle next to it or double-click on the entry to reveal the individual cookies associated with the website. Click on one you want removed to highlight it, then click on the Remove Cookie button.
  7. Click on the Close button when you have removed all the cookies you wish to remove.
  8. Click on the OK button to close the Options window.

[/network/web/browser/firefox] permanent link

Sun, Jan 01, 2012 1:55 pm

Resizing an image from the command line

If you have the ImageMagick package installed on a Linux system or Mac OS X, you can use the convert tool that comes with it to resize an image from a shell prompt. ImageMagick is also available for Microsoft Windows systems, but I haven't tried it on a Microsoft Windows system.

To resize an image, one uses the -sample option for the convert tool as in the example below, which resizes an image, input.jpg, to 80 pixels wide and 40 pixels high, storing the result in output.jpg.

$ convert -sample 80x40 input.jpg output.jpg

You can also specify percentages of the original file size rather than a size in pixels.

convert -sample 25%x25% input.jpg output.jpg

Note: when you use the -sample option to specify the size of the output image in pixels, you may not get the exact sizes you specified for the width and height of the image. This is because ImageMagick considers the aspect ratio of the two sides of the image when it is resizing, keeping the aspect ratio of the new image the same as that of the previous image. So one of the values may not be the same as the number you put on the command line.

You can use the identify utility that comes with ImageMagick to obtain the width and height of an image (the width value is displayed first followed by the height).

$ identify example.png
example.png PNG 100x89 100x89+0+0 DirectClass 11kb

In the example above, the image is 100 pixels wide by 89 pixels high.

You can determine if ImageMagick and these associated tools are on the system by using the which command.

$ which identify
/usr/bin/identify
$ which convert
/usr/bin/convert

References:

  1. Graphics from the command line
    Flip, size, rotate, and more with ImageMagick
    By: Michael Still, Senior software engineer, Tower Software
    Date: July 16, 2003
    Linux - Technical resources for Linux programmers and system administrators

[/software/graphics/imagemagick] permanent link

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