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Sun, Jul 29, 2018 8:26 pm

Recovering a file on a Windows system from a shadow copy

After editing a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel on a Microsoft Windows Server 2012 system, I intended to save the modified version under a new file name, but inadvertently chose "Save" rather than "Save As." Fortunately, Windows systems running the Volume Snapshot Service, aka Shadow Copy, provide an easy mechanism to recover lost data by reverting to a prior "shadow copy" version of a file. To revert to the prior version, you can take the following steps:
  1. In the Windows File Explorer, click on the file to select it, then choose "Properties" from the ribbon of options at the top of the File Explorer window or right-click on the file and choose "Properties." Or, you can click on the file to select it and then hit the Alt and Enter keys simultaneously to bring up the Properties window for that file.
  2. Then click on the Previous Versions tab.
  3. Click on the prior version of the file to select it and then click on the Restore button at the bottom of the window.
  4. You will see a window asking "Are you sure you want to restore the previous version of" followed by the file name and the timestamp on the prior version of the file. The window also warns you that "This will replace the current version of this file on your computer and cannot be undone." Click on the Restore button on that window.
  5. You should then see a window stating "The file has been successfully restored to the previous version." Click on the OK button to close that window. If you click on the General tab at this point, the Modified date will still reflect the timestamp before you restored the file, but if you close the Properties window and reopen it, you should then see the Modified date and time reflect the timestamp of the prior version that was restored to the system.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/filesystem] permanent link

Sat, Jul 28, 2018 10:45 pm

Viewing and Editing Defined Names in Excel 2013

To view or edit the defined names in the Microsoft Excel 2013 spreadsheet program, you can take the following steps:
  1. Click on the Forumulas tab at the top of the Excel window.
  2. From the Formulas menu, select Name Manager. In the Name Manager window, you can see the defined names.

[ More Info ]

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

Fri, Jul 27, 2018 11:07 pm

Determining if the system is connected to a VPN from the command line under OS X

I connect to a work Virtual Private Network (VPN) from home using a MacBook Pro laptop running OS X El Capitan (10.11.6) and was curious if there was a way that I could determine whether the system was connected to the VPN or disconnected from a VPN using a command-line interface (CLI), i.e., a Terminal window, other than by checking the IP address that external systems see for the system, e.g., by visiting WhatIsMyIP.com. At How can I tell if OS X is connected to a VPN network from the command line?, I found someone suggesting using the scutil command scutil --nc list and piping the output to the grep command looking for the word "Connected", i.e., scutil --nc list | grep Connected. However, that didn't work when I attempted to discern whether the laptop was connected to the VPN via that method, since the scutil command always produced the following output whether or not the system was connected to the VPN:

$ scutil --nc list 
Available network connection services in the current set (*=enabled):
$

However, I was able to determine if the system was connected to the VPN by using the method listed in the post by the person who posed the question. I.e., I could use the ifconfig command and count the number of occurences of "utun0," since the count was zero if the system was not connected to the VPN and one if it was connected to the VPN. E.g., if the system was not connected to the VPN, I would see the following output.

$ ifconfig | grep utun0
$ ifconfig | grep -c utun0 
0
$

When the system was connected to the VPN, I would see the following output:

$ ifconfig | grep utun0
utun0: flags=8051<UP,POINTOPOINT,RUNNING,MULTICAST> mtu 1400
$ ifconfig | grep -c utun0
1
$

[ More Info ]

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Fri, Jun 22, 2018 10:51 pm

Regular expression to find words/strings not ending with a character

If you wish to find strings at the end of a line that don't end with a particular character, you can use a bracket expresion with a caret character after the left square bracket in a regular expression.

Metacharacter Description
[^ ] Matches a single character that is not contained within the brackets. For example, [^abc] matches any character other than "a", "b", or "c". [^a-z] matches any single character that is not a lowercase letter from "a" to "z". Likewise, literal characters and ranges can be mixed.

[ More Info ]

[/os/unix/commands] permanent link

Sun, Jun 17, 2018 10:14 pm

Firefox reporting "Your connection is not secure" for sites

I upgraded Firefox on a Linux system running CentOS 7 to version 52.8.0-1 with yum upgrade firefox. When I opened Firefox afterwards and put google.com in the address bar, I saw the message below:

Your connection is not secure


The website tried to negotiate an inadequate level of security.

uses security technology that is outdated and vulnerable to attack. An attacker could easily reveal information which you thought to be safe. The website administrator will need to fix the server first before you can visit the site.

Error code: NS_ERROR_NET_INADEQUATE_SECURITY

When I went to another site, wikipedia.org, using HTTPS, I saw the same message. I checked to ensure that the web browser wasn't configured to use a proxy by clicking on the icon with the three horizontal bars at the top, right-hand side of the browser window and selecting Preferences, then Advanced, then Network, then Settings. The setting was "No proxy." I then right-clicked on the "Your connection is not secure" page and chose View Page Info. When I clicked on the Security tab, I saw the "Owner" value listed as "This website does not supply ownership information." In the Technical Details section, I saw "Connection Not Encrypted" and "The website www.google.com does not support encryption for the page you are viewing," even though the URL listed was https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl.

[ More Info ]

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

Sat, Jun 16, 2018 2:59 pm

Scam call from 1-800-222-2222

I received a call to my cellphone at noon Eastern time in the U.S. on Saturday June 16, 2018 with the calling number showing as (800) 222-2222. When I answered the call I heard a message stating the call was an automated call that would provide a chance to earn a $50 credit on your next bill. I was then prompted to hit "1" to continue. I did and heard the messaage "Please enter your Verizon billing password" at which point I ended the call. After I ended the call, I called the number back and heard the message "Welcome to America's hottest talk line. Guys, ladies are waiting to talk to you." I have Verizon as my provider for cellphone service. If a Verizon user goes to the Verizon Wireless webste, he or she can log into his or her account by providing either a mobile number or User ID with the password for his or her account. So anyone falling for the fraudulent call will, by providing the password, since the scammer will know the called number, provide the credentials the fraduster will need to use the person's Verizon account. When I looked up the number online, I found others reporting fraudulent activity from the calling number. E.g., 800-222-2222 | Suspected Scam Call | Whitepages. At that page, someone posted on June 14, 2018 3:10:48 PM that he or she received a "Verizon Wireless scam" call from that number. I logged into my account from a computer and opened a chat session with a Verizon representative to report the fraudster. She told me she was going to report it. I also submitted the number at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Stop Unwanted Calls and Texts webpage through the "file a complaint with the FCC" link on that page.

[/security/scams] permanent link

Wed, Jun 13, 2018 11:21 pm

Screen goes black with only mouse pointer visible on MacBook Pro laptop

I've been experiencing an intermittent issue on my MacBook Pro laptop, which is running OS X El Capitan, where I find a black screen with only the mouse pointer visible after I return to it from being away from it for some time. I can move the pointer by moving my finger about on the touchpad, but I get no visible response to hitting any keys. I've tried hitting lots of different key combinations to try to get the desktop to reappear or at least get a login prompt, but none have worked. If I had music playing through the headphones from iTunes , I can hear it still playing if I put the headphones back on, but when I hit any key or keys I simply hear a "bonk" sound and see no response from the system. Initially, when I encountered the problem the only way I could gain access to the system again was to reboot, which might lead to a loss of unsaved work. I have found, though, that if I simply close the lid of the laptop as I might if I wanted to put it to sleep, wait about a minute, then reopen the lid and hit a key that most of the times I've tried that, instead of rebooting, when the problem has occurred, that I could get a login prompt allowing me to log back into the system with everything apparently running as it was before I encountered the problem.

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Mon, Jun 11, 2018 10:43 pm

Finding text within lines in a file with PHP

For a weekly status report, I need to determine the number of work requests that are approved and awaiting implementation. The list of requests in that state is contained in a webpage that contains other information, including requests that are in various other states, such as those awaiting approval. I normally download the webpage containing the information to run scripts against it to extract other information from the page, so I decided to create a PHP script that would display just the list of requests awaiting implementation and produce a count of those requests in that state. On the source webpage the line on the page that marks the start of the section of the page containing the requests that are approved and awaiting implementation contains the text "Requests Waiting Implementation". The HTML code on the page that marks the end of that section contains and ending div tag. So I created the two PHP variables below to hold the two strings I need to search for within the file.

$startString = "Requests Waiting Implementation";
$endString = "</div>";

[ More Info ]

[/languages/php] permanent link

Sat, Jun 09, 2018 10:40 pm

Blinking caps lock LED on HP envy 6t-1100

A coworker replaced the keyboard on an HP envy 6t-1100 laptop because some keys on the keyboard were no longer working. When he powered on the laptop after replacing the keyboard, the laptop would no longer boot. Instead of booting, the CAPS LOCK LED would blink three times slowly followed by a pause and then the sequence would repeat. The F5 key LED was also lit along with the WiFi LED, which was red. I found some posters on HP's website associating that behavior with issues with a memory module. E.g., Blinking caps lock 3 times, screen black, f12 wifi light on Hp Pavilion dv7-6c64nr entertainment pc and Caps Lock and Num Lock blinking 3 times / Memory module issue. He was able to resolve that problem and get the latpop to boot again by blowing out the sockets with compressed air and cleaning the contacts on the memory modules with rubbing alcohol.

[/pc/hardware/hp] permanent link

Wed, Jun 06, 2018 11:13 pm

UDP traffic with source and destination ports of 54915

While troubleshooting a network problem on my MacBook Pro laptop, I noticed, while examining a packet capture file in Wireshark, that a system was sending a lot of User Datagram Protocol (UDP) traffic to the xxx.xxx.xxx.255 subnet broadcast address, i.e. to all systems on the subnet, using port 54915 as both the source and destination ports. The below screenshot shows what I saw when I applied a Wireshark filter of udp.port == 54915.

Wireshark UDP port 54915 traffic

[ More Info ]

[/network/udp] permanent link

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