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Thu, Nov 11, 2010 9:27 am

Zooming In and Out on a Webpage

If you are using Internet Explorer 8 and find a webpage hard to read, because the text appears too small, you can "zoom in" on the webpage, i.e., enlarge the font size, by hitting the Ctrl and "+" (plus) keys simultaneously. You can zoom out, i.e., reduce the font size, by hitting the Ctrl and "-" keys simultaneously.

A webpage designer can choose to specify fonts and their size for a webpage or can rely on the user's browser to pick what is best for the user based on the browser's default settings. So some pages may be harder to read than others, if the webpage designer selected a font that is smaller than the default size.

You can do the same thing on a Mac system with Safari using the command and "+" key to zoom in or the command and "-" key to zoom out.

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

Tue, Oct 26, 2010 11:24 am

Viewing Full Message Headers in Outlook 2007

There are occasions where you may need to view the full message headers of a message that you have received in Outlook 2007, e.g., if you need to determine if a message actually originated from the "from" email address used in the message, since "from" addresses are easily spoofed by spammers. The full message headers, which reveal the origination IP address for the message and the email servers through which the message has passed, are, by default, hidden in Outlook. To reveal them take the following steps.

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

Tue, Oct 19, 2010 11:06 am

Session Recovery with Safari

With Safari 5.0.2 under Mac OS X, if Safari crashes, you can recover the tabs that were open in the prior session by clicking on History and choosing "Reopen All Windows from Last Session."

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

Sun, Oct 17, 2010 10:01 pm

PRTG Network Monitor

If you would like to use a Microsoft Windows system for Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) or Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) monitoring of systems, Paessler AG provides a free edition of their PRTG Network Monitor software, that provides a lot of capabilities, though there is a limit of 10-20 sensors with the free version (you can increase the default limit from 10 to 20 by putting a small banner for the program on your website). But for small businesses or personal use, that may provide all of the monitoring capability you need.

The company also provides other free SNMP and network tools at Free network tools for system administrators

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/software/network/snmp] permanent link

Thu, Oct 14, 2010 7:44 pm

Installing SNMP Under Windows XP

To install Simple Network Protocol Management (SNMP) support on a Windows XP system, you can follow these steps.

[/network/snmp] permanent link

Tue, Oct 12, 2010 11:54 pm

Obtaining the CPU Speed from a Command Line

You can obtain the CPU speed from the command line on a Windows system, such as a Windows XP or Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 system by using the command wmic cpu get CurrentClockSpeed. Note: when you first run the command, you may see "Please wait while WMIC is being installed." or "Please wait while WMIC compiles updated MOF files." You may have to wait a few minutes before seeing the results, but the next time you issue a wmic cpu get command you shouldn't have that delay. Also note that this command is not available on Windows 2000 or prior versions of Microsoft Windows.

The clock speed will be displayed in MegaHertz (MHz); if you want the value in GigaHertz (GHz), just divide by 1,000.

C:\>wmic cpu get currentclockspeed

In the above case, the speed is 1300 Mhz, which is 1.30 GHz. The 1.30 GHz value could also be obtained through the Windows Graphical User Interface (GUI) by clicking on Start, selecting Control Panel, and then System on a SBS 2003 system.

You may also be able to get the processor speed along with the name using wmic cpu get name, but the speed won't necessarily be displayed on all systems. The name will tell you whether it is an Intel or AMD processor.

C:\>wmic cpu get name
Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 1.80GHz

The following information was returned for a system with an AMD processor.

C:\>wmic cpu get name
AMD Duron(tm)


  1. Hertz
  2. Using WMIC For Gathering System Info
    Deepak Gulati's niche on the web

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

Sun, Oct 10, 2010 10:14 pm


I checked the running processes on a Windows XP Professional system with the tasklist command. I saw a process, jqs.exe, I didn't recognize. I searched for its location on the hard drive and found it at the following location.
C:\>dir /s jqs.exe
 Volume in drive C has no label.
 Volume Serial Number is 4CA9-07E6

 Directory of C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin

07/17/2010  05:00 AM           153,376 jqs.exe
               1 File(s)        153,376 bytes

     Total Files Listed:
               1 File(s)        153,376 bytes
               0 Dir(s)  14,939,205,632 bytes free

At JQS.EXE, I also found that the process is associated with Java.

Experienced computer users might guess that the process is related to Java and that is the case indeed. Jqs.exe is the Java Quick Starter which was designed to improve the startup time of Java applets and applications by prefetching Java Runtime Environment (JRE) files frequently into memory. That's mainly interesting for users who work with Java on a day to day basis. Everyone else might be better of disabling the Java Quick Starter. Think of a user who encounters one Java applet per month (or week), would it make sense to run the process all the time because of those few instances where it might start the application or applet faster? (see also Java Portable on how to use a portable version of Java on the computer)

Jqs.exe is definitely querying the Windows Registry for instance. The performance increase might not be huge but you will free up some computer memory and some I/O processes on the computer system.

When I checked, I found jqs.exe was using about 2 KB of memory on the system.

C:\>tasklist /fi "imagename eq jqs.exe"

Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
jqs.exe                     1740 Console                 0      1,824 K

The webpage also provides instructions for disabling the Java Quick Starter (JQS), if you wish.

Now, if you want to disable the Java Quick Starter process you can do that in the Windows Control Panel. You find a Java entry there which will open the Java Control Panel.

A click on Advanced and the selection of Miscellaneous will display the activated Java Quick Starter entry. Uncheck the box to disable the process. This will be visible in the Windows Task Manager immediately.

You might also be interested in finding out how to run Java Portable which is another option to make sure that no background processes are running.

The image below shows the "Java Quick Starter" option under the Miscellaneous section of the Java Control Panel. Unchecking that option will keep jqs.exe from continually running, if you don't feel you need the Java Quick Starter to be running.

Java Control Panel - Java Quick Starter

[/os/windows/processes] permanent link

Sun, Oct 10, 2010 3:30 pm

Keys to Enter BIOS and Select Boot Menu

I often need to know what keys to hit to enter the BIOS setup routine or to select the boot menu on various systems, so I thought I would start a table today to hold that information, which I will update anytime I find myself needing that information for a particular system. The table is here.

[/hardware/pc/bios] permanent link

Sun, Oct 03, 2010 10:37 pm

Scan of Windows XP System on 2010-10-03 with Verizon Internet Security Suite

I ran a scan of a Windows XP Service Pack 2 system with an up-to-date version of Verizon Internet Security Suite on 2010-10-03. The software, which states it is "Powered by McAfee" reported the following:

During the full scan, McAfee detected one item that requires your attention. View the scan details to fix this issue now.

Items Scanned: 324912
Items Detected: 88
Items Fixed: 87
Items Remaining: 1

Potentially Unwanted Programs Adware-Url.gen

Files Affected
C:\Program Files\Free Offers from\afactory.url
C:\Program Files\Free Offers from\bingocafe.url
C:\Program Files\Free Offers from\gamepipe.url
C:\Program Files\Free Offers from\gifart.url
C:\Program Files\Free Offers from\graflatscreen.url
C:\Program Files\Free Offers from\pcpowerscan.url
C:\Program Files\Free Offers from\spcasino_sep.url

I chose to have Verizon Internet Security Suite quarantine the files. When I checked on what else it had found, I found it reporting it had quarantined an instance of!zip, which it found in a file,, that it found at C:\Documents and Settings\Jeanne\My Documents\Email\Embedded\, i.e., it appeared to have quarantined an attachment to an email message. There was no indication that the file had actually led to any infection of the system, just that a zip file containing the malware had been detected. The webpage for that malware contained a link to a McAfee webpage, which indicated McAfee first discovered that malware on August 20, 2007.

The scan also found a lot of cookies wich the antivirus program deleted, but I consider those fairly innocuous.

[/security/scans] permanent link

Sun, Oct 03, 2010 1:21 pm

Accessing a Windows 7 System via Remote Desktop

I needed to access a Windows 7 Professional system from a Windows Server 2003 Small Business Server (SBS) using Remote Desktop. First I needed to enable Remote Desktop access on the Windows 7 system. I then added the account that I needed to use for remote access to the Remote Desktop Users group.

[ More Info ]

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

Fri, Oct 01, 2010 9:23 am

Obtaining the Version of OS X from the Command Line

To obtain the version of OS X from a command line, i.e., from a Terminal window, you can use the command system_profiler SPSoftwareDataType
$ system_profiler SPSoftwareDataType

    System Software Overview:

      System Version: Mac OS X 10.3.9 (7W98)
      Kernel Version: Darwin 7.9.0
      Boot Volume: Macintosh HD
      Computer Name: john  smith's Computer
      User Name: JOHN SMITH (jsmith)

The above command provides both the version of OS X, which is 10.3.9 in the example shown and the kernel version, which is 7.9.0. To view just the version of OS X, you can use the command sw_vers -productVersion.

$ sw_vers -productVersion

If you needed the version of the kernel, you can also use the traditional uname -a command used on Unix and Linux systems or uname -r to get just the kernel version.

$ uname -a
Darwin joe-smiths-Computer.local 7.9.0 Darwin Kernel Version 7.9.0: Wed Mar 30 2
0:11:17 PST 2005; root:xnu/xnu-517.12.7.obj~1/RELEASE_PPC  Power Macintosh powerpc
$ uname -r

To match a version number to a codename, e.g. OS X 10.3 has a codename of "Panther", see the table below.

Mac OS X Version Information
Version Codename Date Announced Release Date Most Recent Version
Mac OS X Server 1.0 Hera   March 16, 1999 1.2v3 (October 27, 2000)
Public Beta Kodiak   September 13, 2000  
10.0 Cheetah   March 24, 2001 10.0.4 (June 22, 2001)
10.1 Puma July 18, 2001 September 25, 2001 10.1.5 (June 6, 2002)
10.2 Jaguar May 6, 2002 August 24, 2002 10.2.8 (October 3, 2003)
10.3 Panther June 23, 2003 October 24, 2003 10.3.9 (April 15, 2005)
10.4 Tiger May 4, 2004 April 29, 2005 10.4.11 (November 14, 2007)
10.5 Leopard June 26, 2006 October 26, 2007 10.5.8 (August 5, 2009)
10.6 Snow Leopard June 9, 2008 August 28, 2009 10.6.4 (June 15, 2010)


  1. OS X Version From Command Line
    Date: September 12, 2006
    The macosxhints Forums

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Tue, Sep 21, 2010 9:51 pm

Installing ELOG on a Mac OS X System

I encountered a number of problems when trying to get ELOG to run on a Mac OS X 10.5.8 (Leopard) system today.

[ More Info ]

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Tue, Sep 21, 2010 7:02 am

Installing gcc under OS X

Apple provides the gcc C compiler for Apple systems. If it isn't already on the system you can download the compiler from Apple's website for free.

[ More Info ]

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Sun, Sep 05, 2010 3:35 pm

eBay Gallery Plus Option Automatically Checked in Turbo Lister 2

My wife noticed while she was posting items for sell on eBay with Turbo Lister 2 today that the checkbox for adding a Gallery Plus picture was being checked automatically. She didn't want an additional fee for this feature and was annoyed that the box was being checked. She pointed out to me that many other people were complaining of the same problem at Turbo Lister adding Gallery Plus to my Listings! When I checked that webpage, though, I found some people stating that the Gallery Plus images were free when sellers posted items for sale in some categories, e.g., collectibles. Someone posted the following from an eBay announcement in 2009:

We are excited to announce that we are making eBay individual pictures, Picture Pack and Gallery Plus free for items listed in the following categories — Collectibles, Art, Pottery & Glass, and Antiques. We are committed to the success of our sellers and to continually improving the overall experience for all of our customers — both buyers and sellers

When I checked an eBay "help" page on Gallery Plus, I found no mention of the above statement, but I did find that information on the link from that page to an eBay fees information page.

When I checked the auction items in Turbo Lister 2 for which she was seeing the box being checked even when she had unchecked it, I found she had designated the category for them items as "collectibles", so I told her she shouldn't see any Gallery Plus fee for those items.

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

Sat, Sep 04, 2010 9:47 pm

Installing Google Chromium on CentOS

Google Chrome
Logo If you have a Fedora 12 or Red Hat 6 (RHEL) or later versions of Linux on a system and would like to install the Google Chrome browser using the YUM package manager, you can do so using the following steps.

Note: You can determine which version of those operating systems or CentOS you are using by examining the contents of /etc/redhat-release.

  1. Add Google's own YUM repository to be sure you obtain the latest version of the chrome browser, which will allow you to easily ensure you can keep it up-to-date. To do so, create the file /etc/yum.repos.d/google.repo and place the following lines in it depending on whether you are using a 32-bit version of Linux or a 64-bit version. You can check whether you have a 64-bit version by issuing the command uname -a. For a 64-bit version, you will see x86_64 in the output.


    name=Google - i386


    [google64] name=Google - x86_64 baseurl= enabled=1 gpgcheck=1 gpgkey=

    Note: you could also put both the 32-bit and 64-bit repo information in the same file, if you wish.

  2. Install either the stable, beta, or unstable versions of Chrome from the root account. I would recommend using the stable version.

    ## Install Google Chrome Stable version
    yum install google-chrome-stable

    ## OR install Google Chrome Beta version##
    yum install google-chrome-beta

    ## OR install Google Chrome Unstable version##
    yum install google-chrome-unstable

However, if you are using CentOS 5, you won't be able to install the Chrome browser using the above steps. When I attempted to install the package on a CentOS 5.5 system, I saw a message indicating that version 3.2 of the lsb package was needed:

Missing Dependency: lsb >= 3.2 is needed by package google-chrome-stable-6.0.472.53-57914.x86_64 (google64)

# yum install google-chrome-stable
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, priorities
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * addons:
 * base:
 * extras:
 * rpmforge:
 * updates:
google64                                                 |  951 B     00:00     
403 packages excluded due to repository priority protections
Setting up Install Process
Resolving Dependencies
--> Running transaction check
---> Package google-chrome-stable.x86_64 0:6.0.472.53-57914 set to be updated
--> Processing Dependency: lsb >= 3.2 for package: google-chrome-stable
--> Processing Dependency: xdg-utils for package: google-chrome-stable
--> Running transaction check
---> Package google-chrome-stable.x86_64 0:6.0.472.53-57914 set to be updated
--> Processing Dependency: lsb >= 3.2 for package: google-chrome-stable
---> Package xdg-utils.noarch 0:1.0.2-2.el5.centos set to be updated
--> Finished Dependency Resolution
google-chrome-stable-6.0.472.53-57914.x86_64 from google64 has depsolving proble
  --> Missing Dependency: lsb >= 3.2 is needed by package google-chrome-stable-6
.0.472.53-57914.x86_64 (google64)
Error: Missing Dependency: lsb >= 3.2 is needed by package google-chrome-stable-
6.0.472.53-57914.x86_64 (google64)
 You could try using --skip-broken to work around the problem
 You could try running: package-cleanup --problems
                        package-cleanup --dupes
                        rpm -Va --nofiles --nodigest
The program package-cleanup is found in the yum-utils package.

When I tried updating the lsb package, I saw the following:

# yum install lsb
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, priorities
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * addons:
 * base:
 * extras:
 * rpmforge:
 * updates:
403 packages excluded due to repository priority protections
Setting up Install Process
Package redhat-lsb-3.1-12.3.EL.el5.centos.x86_64 already installed and latest ve
Package redhat-lsb-3.1-12.3.EL.el5.centos.i386 already installed and latest vers
Nothing to do

I had similar results when I changed the contents of google.repo to try the 32-bit version, instead.

I found lots of other people reporting the same problem with earlier versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 and versions of Fedora prior to 12. E.g., there are similar reports at How to install google Chrome in RHEL 5. and Add support for RHEL/CentOS for OS compatibility. At the latter problem report webpage, I found a suggestion from andrewrjones that people wanting to use chrome on CentOS check Chris Staite's webpage, Chrome on CentOS where he provides Chromium for CentOS. Chromium is Google's open source alternative to their Chrome browser.

You can download Chromium for CentOS 5 from his website or from this website. Chromium is an open-source browser project behind the Google Chrome browser that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all users to experience the web.

Download Chromium
Chris Staite
MoonPoint Support

Once you've downloaded it, you will need to unzip it and untar it. When you extract the contents of the tar file, a chrome directory will be created beneath the current directory. Make that the working directory and run chrome-wrapper.

# gunzip chrome.tar.gz
# tar -xvf chrome.tar
# cd chrome
# ./chrome-wrapper

You will then be asked to choose the search engine you wish to use from Google, Yahoo!, or Bing.

Chromium - Choose Browser

Once you've started Chromium, you can control and customize it, by clicking on the wrench symbol in the upper, right-hand corner of the Chromium window.

Chromium - Start

When I ran chrome-wrapper, I received the error message below, but the program ran.

# ./chrome-wrapper
[5578:5592:5060312371904:ERROR:base/] Error initializing NSS with a persistent database (sql:/root/.pki/nssdb): NSS error code -8174

The program that Chris provides is a 32-bit one.

# file chrome chrome: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), not stripped

I found a discussion of the problems with Chrome and Chromium as well on CentOS systems at Google chrome for CentOS ?? that indicates Google has no interest in supporting Chrome on CentOS 5. There's also helpful information there on the Chromium software available from Chris Staite's site and how to resolve problems encountered with it on CentOS systems, but, since I have a lot of more pressing things to get done, I decided I couldn't afford to spend any more time troubleshooting issues with Chrome and Chromium on CentOS and just deleted the Chromium software from the system on which I had placed it.


  1. Install Google Chrome with YUM on Fedora 13, Red Hat (RHEL) 6
    Published: February 20, 2010
    If Not True Then False - A Blog About Programming, Operating Systems and Applications
  2. How to install google Chrome in RHEL 5
    Date: February 4, 2010
    Google Chrome Help
  3. Add support for RHEL/CentOS for OS compatibility
    Date: December 23, 2009
    Google Chrome Help
  4. Google Chrome
  5. The Chromium Projects
  6. Google chrome for CentOS ??
    Date: December 11, 2009

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

Mon, Aug 23, 2010 9:26 pm

Determining the Version of CentOS or Redhat Linux

To determine what version of CentOS or Red Hat Linux is running on a system look at the contents of cat /etc/redhat-release.


  1. How To Determine CentOS or Red Hat Version
    Posted by Jeff
    Date: March 10, 2009
    rackAID - Linux Server Management Services for Small Business

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

Tue, Aug 10, 2010 7:31 pm

Turbo Lister Postage Warning

When she tried to upload an item she intended to sell on eBay with Tubo Lister version, my wife received the error message below:

Warning - The postage cost will be calculated based on dimensional weight, not the actual weight of your package. Please check the weight and dimensions of your package.

She had specified the dimensions and weight of the item and both domestic and international shipping options, so it wasn't apparent to either of us why she received the message. Apparently, the warning can be ignored, though. I found someone else, exdwh posting the following at Re: error code: 21916962 on July 9, 2010.

That's only an informational warning.

The only way to 'get rid of this error' would be to substitute the dimensional weight as calculated by the shipping carrier.

A better solution is to filter out the warnings you don't care about.

When she ignored the message and uploaded the item for sale with Turbo Lister, the item looked fine on eBay.

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

Sun, Aug 08, 2010 8:12 pm

Determining Who Voted for Which Option in an SMF Poll

If you are using polls in a Simple Machines Forum (SMF) forum, it is possible to determine who voted for which option in a poll by using phpMyAdmin or by entering MySQL commands.

[More Info ]

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

Sun, Aug 08, 2010 5:36 pm

Installing phpMyAdmin on a CentOS System Running Apache

To install phpMyAdmin on a CentOS system running an Apache webserver, login as root and issue the command yum install phpmyadmin from a command prompt.

Note: you may have to install the Remi Repository or the RPMForge Repository to be able to locate and install phpMyAdmin. Instructions for configuring yum to use one of those repositories can be found via the links below.

Remi Repository
RPMForge Repository

After installing the software you will need to restart Apache, which you can do with apachectl restart or service httpd restart . You can then try accessing phpMyAdmin by substituting your domain name or IP address for

If you receive a "403 Forbidden" error with the message "You don't have permission to access /phpmyadmin on this server.", it is likely because you are attempting to access the software from outside of the server itself. The orginal phpmyadmin.conf file contains the lines below:

#  Web application to manage MySQL

<Directory "/usr/share/phpmyadmin">
  Order Deny,Allow
  Deny from all
  Allow from

Alias /phpmyadmin /usr/share/phpmyadmin
Alias /phpMyAdmin /usr/share/phpmyadmin
Alias /mysqladmin /usr/share/phpmyadmin

The Deny from all line states that the default behavior is to prevent any IP address from accessing phpMyAdmin. The next line, Allow from provides for the exception of accessing the software from the server itself, i.e., the "localhost" address You could change the "deny from all" to "allow from all" to allow access from anywhere or put a "#" at the beginning of the line to comment it out. Or, you could add additional IP addresses or FQDN's after the to allow access to phpMyAdmin from other systems. E.g. you could change the line to Allow from 192.168 to also allow access from any IP address beginning with 192.168. Restart Apache again.

If you then try accessing phpMyAdmin, e.g., you might use, if was your webserver's IP address, but get the error message The configuration file now needs a secret passphrase (blowfish_secret). then you need to edit /usr/share/phpmyadmin/ Look for the following lines:

 * This is needed for cookie based authentication to encrypt password in
 * cookie
$cfg['blowfish_secret'] = ''; /* YOU MUST FILL IN THIS FOR COOKIE AUTH! */

Place a password between the two single quotes, e.g., you could have a password of SomeGoodPassword with the following:

$cfg['blowfish_secret'] = 'SomeGoodPassword';

If you refresh the webpage, you should then see a phpMyAdmin login window where you are prompted to enter a username and password, which should be the mysql root account and it's password.

For further information on phpMyAdmin and MySQL, there is a book by Marc Delisle, Mastering phpMyAdmin for Effective MySQL Management.


  1. phpMyAdmin
  2. RPMForge Packages and Yum Priorites
    Date: May 3, 2008
    MoonPoint Support
  3. Remi Repository
    Antoine Solutions Development A Free PHP IDE built on Open Source Software
  4. Quick 'n' Easy LAMP Server For CentOS/RHEL
    By: olddocks
    Date: May 28, 2008
    HowtoForge - Linux Howtos and Tutorials

[/network/web/tools/phpmyadmin] permanent link

Sun, Aug 08, 2010 1:45 pm

Restricting Access to an Apache Virtual Host

To restrict access to an Apache Virtual Host by IP address, you will need to have the mod_authz_host module loaded in the Apache configuration file httpd.conf, which can usually be found at /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf on a Linux system. To determine if it is loaded, look for a line similar to the following in the configuration file:

LoadModule authz_host_module modules/

You can restrict access to a website that is set up as a virtual host by including information on what IP addresses should have access to documents on the website in a directory section Directory as shown below.

<VirtualHost *:80>
    DocumentRoot /home/www/example
    ErrorLog /home/www/example/logs/error.log
    CustomLog /home/www/example/logs/transfer.log common
    <Directory /home/www/example>
      Order Deny,Allow
      Deny from all
      Allow from 192.168

In the case above, access to the document root of the website, i.e., all documents on the website, is restricted to allow access only from IP addresses beginning with 192.168 and, which is the "localhost" address, meaning the address of the server itself. Anyone trying to access from any other IP address would see the default webpage for the server, if any, not the website.


  1. Access Control
    The Apache HTTP Server Project
  2. Apache Module mod_authz_host
    The Apache HTTP Server Project
  3. Learn how to configure Apache
    Date: September 29, 2003
    TechRepublic Articles

[/network/web/server/apache] permanent link

Sat, Aug 07, 2010 10:23 pm

Configuring Outlook 2003 to Check a Gmail Account

Microsoft Office Outlook can be configured to download email from a Gmail account by following these steps.

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

Sat, Aug 07, 2010 10:21 pm

Exporting a Gmail Contact List For Use in Microsoft Outlook

To export a Gmail contact list for use in Microsoft Outlook, take the following steps:
  1. Log into your Gmail account.
  2. On the left side of the webpage for your Gmail account, you should see Contacts; click on Contacts.
  3. Under Export, you will see "Who do you want to export", select the contact list you wish to export by using the dropdown list provided.
  4. For "Which export format", select "Outlook CSV format (for importing into Outlook or another application)"
  5. Click on the Export button.
  6. Save the .csv file wherever you wish to place it on your system.

Now that you've saved the Comma Separated Value (CSV) file on your system, you can import it into Microsoft Outlook. To do so in Outlook 2003, take the following steps:

  1. Select Contacts.
  2. If you wish to create a new separate Outlook contact list for the Gmail contact list, click on File, select New, then Folder. In the Name field, type a name for the Folder. Leave "Folder contains" set to "Contact Items", then click on OK.
  3. Click on File.
  4. Select Import and Export
  5. For the action to perform, select "Import from another program or file.

    Import from another program or file

  6. Click on Next.
  7. For "Select file type to import from", select "Comma Separated Values (Windows)".

    Import Commma Separated Values

  8. Click on Next.
  9. For "file to import", you have 3 options:

    Replace duplicates with items imported
    Allow duplicates to be created
    Do not import duplicate items

    The selection you make among those 3 options is a matter of personal preference. If you aren't importing into an existing contact list in Outlook, but will, instead, be using the new one you just created, then it doesn't matter much which option you select. If you're importing into an existing list, e.g., you are updating an Outlook contact list again from one you've previously imported into Outlook, you probably don't want to have duplicate entries, so wouldn't want to select the second option to allow duplicates to be created. If the Gmail list is the more up-to-date one, you probably want to select "Replace duplicates with items imported."

    Select file to import

  10. Click on the Browse button and browse to the location of the .csv file you created from the Gmail contact list. When you've selected the file, click on Next.
  11. For "Select destination folder", choose the main contact list or the one you created previously, then click on Next.
  12. Click on the Finish button.

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

Wed, Aug 04, 2010 10:12 pm

CD and DVD Preferences under Mac OS X

If you put a blank disc in the disc drive in a Mac OS X system, but you don't see an icon appear on the desktop representing that disc, you may need to change the System Preferences settings for CDs and DVDs. If the configuration is set to "ignore", then you won't see an icon representing the blank disc appear on the desktop. To change the settings, take the following steps:
  1. Click on the Apple icon at the top left of your screen and select System Preferences.
  2. Select CDs & DVDs.
  3. Check the settings for "When you insert a blank CD" and "When you insert a blank DVD." If they are set to "ignore", then that explains why no icon appears on the desktop when you insert a blank disc.

    Blank CD & DVD preferences

  4. You can choose from the following options:
    • Ask what to do
    • Open Finder
    • Open iTunes
    • Open Disk Utility
    • Open other application...
    • Run script...
    • Ignore
  5. You can choose Open Finder to have an icon appear on the desktop for the disc, e.g., "Untitled CD" for a blank CD. When you've changed the setting, you can close the CDs & DVDs window.
  6. References:

    1. Mac OS X 10.2, 10.3: You put in a blank disc, but it doesn't appear
      Last Modified: January 8, 2007
      Article: TA22349
      Apple - Support

    [/os/os-x] permanent link

Tue, Jul 20, 2010 10:10 pm

Installing a New SMF Theme

For Simple Machines Forum (SMF) 1.1.11, if you have downloaded the Zip file for the theme to your PC, you can take the following steps to place the theme on the server where your forum resides:
  1. Log into the forum as the administrator for the forum.
  2. Click on Admin.
  3. Click on Themes and Layout under Configuration.
  4. Under Install a New Theme, click on the Browse button beneath the "From a file" option and browse to the location of the .zip theme file you downloaded and select it.
  5. Click on the Install button.
  6. Another small window will open where you will see "Install a new theme?" Click on the OK button. You should then see a page stating "Installed Successfully". If you click on the Themes and Settings tab, you should see the new theme listed.

If you ever want to delete the theme, take the following steps:

  1. Log into the forum as the administrator for the forum.
  2. Click on Admin.
  3. Click on Themes and Layout under Configuration.
  4. Click on the Themes and Settings tab.
  5. Find the theme you want to delete. At the right-side of the entry for that theme, you should see an icon that looks like a piece of paper with a red "x" over it. Click on that icon to delete the theme.

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

Fri, Jul 16, 2010 3:37 pm

Hpbpro.exe and Hpboid.exe Processes Slowing System

A user reported that her system had been running abysmally slow for quite awhile. I scanned the system for malware, but found none. Instead, I found the problem to be a multitude of hpboid.exe and hpbpro.exe processes running on the system. I've seen this problem before and many others have experienced the same problem. The processes are associated with an HP printer - this user shares an HP printer, which is connected by USB to her system, with others on her Local Area Network (LAN). It appears that they are created when someone sends output to the printer associated with the processes.

Below shows the number I found once when I checked to see how many of each of these processes was running. I've seen even more instances of the processes running at other times. They consume memory and, when a significant number of them accumulate, they can slow a system significantly.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe"

Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
HPBOID.EXE                  4044 Console                 0        532 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3152 Console                 0        572 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3748 Console                 0        580 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1340 Console                 0        560 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3712 Console                 0        576 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1984 Console                 0        576 K
HPBOID.EXE                   760 Console                 0        780 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3412 Console                 0        772 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3772 Console                 0        776 K
HPBOID.EXE                  2756 Console                 0        776 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1372 Console                 0        740 K
HPBOID.EXE                  5636 Console                 0        796 K
HPBOID.EXE                  4200 Console                 0      2,308 K
HPBOID.EXE                  5472 Console                 0      2,324 K
HPBOID.EXE                   960 Console                 0      2,316 K
HPBOID.EXE                   836 Console                 0      2,312 K

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpbpro.exe"

Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
HPBPRO.EXE                  2460 Console                 0        552 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  1476 Console                 0        568 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  4028 Console                 0        584 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  2708 Console                 0        776 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  5056 Console                 0      2,384 K

I created a batch file, kill_hp_processes.bat to deal with the problem.

@echo off

REM Name: kill_hp_processes.bat

REM Created by: Jim Cameron
REM Created on: July 9, 2010
REM Last updated: July 16, 2010
REM Version: 1.2

REM Description:
REM Check for errant HP processes: hpboid and hpbpro.exe.
REM These processes can start and never end until the system
REM is rebooted. When they accumulate they can consume 
REM significant amounts of memory and potentially CPU cycles
REM reaching the point where the system's performance is
REM considerably degraded.

REM Specify log file
set log="c:\kill_hp_processes.log"

REM Put the date and time in the log file
echo %date% %time% >> %log%

REM List the hpboid.exe processes running.
tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe" >> %log%
REM Count the number of hpboid.exe processes running.
for /f "delims=" %%a in ('tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe" ^| find /c /i "hpboid.exe"') do set numprocesses=%%a 
echo Number of hpboid.exe processes running: %numprocesses%  >> %log%
if %numprocesses$ NEQ 0 taskkill /f /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe"

REM List the hpbpro.exe processes running.
tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpbpro.exe" >> %log%
REM Count the number of hpbpro.exe processes running.
for /f "delims=" %%a in ('tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpbpro.exe" ^| find /c /i "hpbpro.exe"') do set numprocesses=%%a
echo Number of hpbpro.exe processes running: %numprocesses%  >> %log%
if %numprocesses$ NEQ 0 taskkill /f /fi "imagename eq hpbpro.exe"

REM put a blank line in the file to separate the entries added at this time
REM from those that will be added at a later time.

I log the killing of the errant HP processes to see how many are killed every time the batch job runs. Log file entries for a particular instance of the batch file running are shown below:

Fri 07/16/2010 15:00:00.71

Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
HPBOID.EXE                  4044 Console                 0        532 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3152 Console                 0        572 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3748 Console                 0        580 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1340 Console                 0        560 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3712 Console                 0        576 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1984 Console                 0        576 K
HPBOID.EXE                   760 Console                 0        780 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3412 Console                 0        772 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3772 Console                 0        776 K
HPBOID.EXE                  2756 Console                 0        776 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1372 Console                 0        740 K
HPBOID.EXE                  5636 Console                 0        796 K
HPBOID.EXE                  4200 Console                 0      2,308 K
HPBOID.EXE                  5472 Console                 0      2,324 K
HPBOID.EXE                   960 Console                 0      2,316 K
HPBOID.EXE                   836 Console                 0      2,312 K
Number of hpboid.exe processes running: 16

Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
HPBPRO.EXE                  2460 Console                 0        552 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  1476 Console                 0        568 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  4028 Console                 0        584 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  2708 Console                 0        776 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  5056 Console                 0      2,384 K
Number of hpbpro.exe processes running: 5

I used the Windows at command to schedule the process to run at 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM on weekdays to kill any instances of the two processes. I used the at command twice since when I first had it running only at 3:00 PM, too many of the processes were accumulating during the day before the batch job ran. I use progra~1 for the "program files" directory, when submitting the batch job to run with the at command, because that is a "shorthand" version that Windows understands for that directory, which allows me not to worry about spaces in the directory name.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents>at 11:00 /every:M,T,W,Th,F 
Added a new job with job ID = 5

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents>at
Status ID   Day                     Time          Command Line
        4   Each M T W Th F         3:00 PM       c:\progra~1\utility\kill_hp_processes.bat
        5   Each M T W Th F         11:00 AM      c:\progra~1\utility\kill_hp_processes.bat


  1. Multiple Hbpoid.exe and Hpbpro.exe Processes Running
    Date: October 23, 2008
    MoonPoint Support
    Date: February 12, 2007
    Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.

[/os/windows/printers] permanent link

Mon, Jul 12, 2010 11:33 am

Setting a Variable to be the Output of a Command

In a Windows batch file, I needed to set a variable to be the output of a command. You can use the for command for that purpose as shown below. In the example below, I wanted to count the number of hpboid.exe processes running on a system.

REM Count the number of hpboid.exe processes running.
for /f "delims=" %%a in ('tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe" ^| find /c /i "hpboid.exe"') do set numprocesses=%%a
echo Number of hpboid.exe processes running: %numprocesses% >> %log%

The tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe" command uses the tasklist command with the /fi option to filter the output of running processes to just those named hpboid.exe. I then want to "pipe" the output to the find command. I use the /i option to have find ignore the case of the letters in hpboid.exe, i.e., I want to count a process whether it is named hpboid.exe or HPBOID.exe, etc. I use the /c option to tell find to display only the count of lines containing the string hpboid.exe.

For Windows, and I presume DOS as well, you need to put a caret, i.e., a ^ in front of the pipe character, | character to "escape" how it would otherwise be interpreted.

The variable numprocesses is set to be the count of the hpboid.exe processes running, which I then send to a log file, i.e., %log%, which is a variable that was set earlier in the batch file.


  1. Escaping a Character in a Windows Batch File
    Date: July 12, 2010
    MoonPoint Support
  2. Escape Characters
    Date: January 17, 2008
  3. Escape character
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[/os/windows/commands/batch] permanent link

Mon, Jul 12, 2010 11:16 am

Escaping a Character in a Windows Batch File

I had the following in a Microsoft Windows batch file:

REM Count the number of hpboid.exe processes running.
for /f "delims=" %%a in ('tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe" | find /c /i "hpboid.exe"') do set numprocesses=%%a
echo Number of hpboid.exe processes running: %numprocesses% >> %log%

When I ran the batch file, I would see | was unexpected at this time.. I then realized I needed to "escape" the meaning of the | at that point in the code. For Windows, and I presume DOS as well, you can put a caret, i.e., a ^, in front of a character to "escape" how it would otherwise be interpreted. So the following worked, instead:

for /f "delims=" %%a in ('tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe" ^| find /c /i "hpboid.exe"') do set numprocesses=%%a

If you are using a variable, e.g. %myvariable% in a for loop in a batch file, you need to use another percent sign, i.e., a % before each of the % characters used for the variable name. I.e., you need to use %%myvariable%%. You can think of the additional % "escaping" the meaning of the other one.


  1. Escape Characters
    Date: January 17, 2008
  2. Escape character
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[/os/windows/commands/batch] permanent link

Sat, Jul 10, 2010 10:10 pm

Creating a Shortcut When Installing With WPKG

When installing software with WPKG, you can create a shortcut under Start/All Programs that will allow a user to start the program by using the %WPKG_ROOT%\tools\CreateShortCut.js script.

For instance on a particular Windows 7 system, there is an Audio & Video item within All Programs. I want to add a shortcut for the GSpot Codec Information Appliance, which has an executable program named gspot.exe, which I am installing in C:\Program Files\Audio and Video\GSpot. To add the shortcut when I install the program, I can put the following in the gspot.xml package file I use for its installation. The value for name is the name I want to use for the menu item. The target value is the location where the executable file, in this case, gspot.exe, is located.

<!-- Create the shortcut pointing to gspot.exe. By default, this will get created in %PUBLIC%\Desktop, which is usually C:\Users\Public\Desktop, so it will need to be moved under the start menu. -->
<install cmd='cmd /c %WPKG_ROOT%\tools\CreateShortcut.js /target:"%ProgramFiles%\Audio and Video\GSpot\gspot.exe" /name:"GSpot"' />
<install cmd='cmd /c move "%Public%\Desktop\GSpot.lnk" "%PROGRAMDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Audio &amp; Video\."' />

Note: I have to use &amp; in place of the & in "Audio & Video", because otherwise WPKG will complain about white space not being allowed whenever I try to install the package, since the ampersand has a special meaning in HTML/XML code.

I also have to use the move command to move the shortcut to the appropriate location for a Start Menu item, since it will be placed at %PUBLIC%\Desktop by default. You can determine the value of %PUBLIC% on a particular system by getting a command prompt and issuing the command echo %PUBLIC%. It usually equates to C:\Users\Public.

The complete gspot.xml file.


  1. Create Desktop Icon
    WPKG | Open Source Software Deployment and Distribution
  2. Using GSpot to Identify Missing Codecs
    Date: August 23, 2008
    MoonPoint Support

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

Sat, Jul 10, 2010 12:20 pm

Disabling Guest Logins

To disable guest logins on a Simple Machines Forum 1.1.11 forum, take the following steps:
  1. Log into the forum under an administrator account.
  2. Click on the ADMIN tab.
  3. Under Configuration, select Features and Options.
  4. Uncheck "Allow guests to browse the forum".
  5. Click on the Save button.

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

Sun, Jul 04, 2010 4:56 pm

Windows NT 5.2

If you run the winver command on a system and see the operating system listed as Windows NT 5.2, there are actually several versions of Windows as well as ReactOS that identify themselves as Windows NT 5.2
  1. Windows Server 2003
  2. Windows Small Business Server 2003
  3. Windows XP 64-bit Edition
  4. Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  5. Windows Home Server
  6. ReactOS


  1. Windows NT 5.2
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

Sat, Jun 26, 2010 3:44 pm

Redirect Users at Login and Logout to SMF

Note: these instructions were written for Simple Machines Forum (SMF) 1.1.11

To redirect users to a specific webpage that you have created when they login or logout of Simple Machines Forum (SMF), you can use the Redirect on Login and/or Logout mod. Download the RedirectLoginLogout zip file (the latest version as of 2010-06-20 is 0.4), which contains the following files:


To install the package you downloaded, while logged into SMF under an adminisrator account, take the following steps:

  1. Click on the Admin tab.
  2. Under the Main section on the left of the page, click on Packages.
  3. When you see the password prompt, enter the password for the administrator account you are using and then click on the Login button.
  4. Click on the Download Packages tab.
  5. If you downloaded the package to your local system, click on the Browse button under Upload a Package.
  6. Find the zip file of the mod you downloaded and select it, then click on the Upload button. You should see a Package uploaded successfully message with "Redirect on Login and/or Logout mod" listed. That indicates the zip file was placed in the forum's Packages directory on the server.
  7. Now click on the Browse Packages tab. Under Modification Packages, you should see "Redirect on Long and/or Logout mod" listed.
  8. Click on Apply Mod.
  9. If you are prompted for FTP information for the account on the server where you have SMF installed, complete the form with username and password.
  10. If you saw the prompt mentioned in the step above, you may need to click on the Proceed button. If you see "550 Failed to change directory", then the correct directory for SMF couldn't be located. You may need to put in the complete path to the directory where SMF is located, e.g. /home/jdoe/www/hvia/forum. When the mod has been put in the correct location, you should see the Installation Readme displayed.
  11. You now need to install the mod by clicking on the Install Now button beneath Install Actions. You should see a message stating "The package was installed successfully. You should now be able to use whatever functionality it adds or changes; or not be able to use functionality it removes.
Now, to use the mod, log into SMF under an administrator account then take the following steps:

  1. Click on the Admin tab.
  2. Click on Features and Options under Configuration.
  3. Under Basic Features, you should see an Enable Login Redirect section, which will have an "Enter Login URL" and "Enter Logout URL" within it. Enter the URLs for the pages to which you wish to redirect users on Login/Logout and check the Enable Logon Redirect and Enable Logout Redirect boxes as desired.
  4. Click on the Save button.


  1. Download Packages
    SMF Online Manual

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

Mon, Jun 21, 2010 6:10 pm

Finding Large Files on a Windows System from the Command Line

You can find all files over 99 MB in size and store the file names in a text file with the command below:

dir C:\ /a-d/s | findstr "[0-9][0-9][0-9],[0-9].*,[0-9]" | findstr /v "[er](s)" > bigfiles.txt

You can use dir /a-d to select only files and not directories. The /a option means that you want to display files with the specified attributes. Directories are specified by d; specifying a -d means select everything that is not a directory.

The /s option for the dir command indicates that you want to display files in the specified directory and all of its subdirectories.

You can use the findstr command to filter the output of the dir command. If I only wanted to see files that were at least 10 MB or more, I could use findstr "[0-9][0-9],[0-9].*,". To send the output of the dir command to the findstr command, you use the |, which is the pipe symbol, e.g., dir /a-d/s | findstr "[0-9][0-9],[0-9].*,". The information between the double quotes is a "regular expression" that tells the findstr command what to look for in the input it receives. I want it to look for two numbers, followed by a comma, then another number, then zero or more characters and then another comma. The [0-9] tells finstr to look for any character in the numeric set, i.e., 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9. Since I include [0-9] twice, findstr looks for two numbers, one after the other. The dot, ., is used to represent any character and the * following it states the character can occur zero or more times. Then another comma should appear. That command dir /a-d/s | findstr "[0-9][0-9],[0-9].*,", might produce the following output.

C:\Documents and Settings\administrator>dir /a-d/s | findstr "[0-9][0-9],[0-9].*
07/30/2002  04:27p          35,417,061 savceclt.exe                             
               5 File(s)     36,390,066 bytes                                   
             217 File(s)     38,486,808 bytes                                   
               0 Dir(s)     469,125,120 bytes free

I don't want the "File(s) and "Dir(s)" lines. I can eliminate them by sending the outpout of the findstr command to another findstr command, i.e., dir /a-d/s | findstr "[0-9][0-9],[0-9].*," | findstr /v "[er](s)". The /v option to findstr tells findstr to display only lines that do not contain a match. In this case, I tell it to look for either an "e" or "r" followed by "(s)" and to discard any lines that match.

:\Documents and Settings\administrator>dir /a-d/s | findstr "[0-9][0-9],[0-9].*
," | findstr /v "[er](s)"                                                       
07/30/2002  04:27p          35,417,061 savceclt.exe

In the case above, I've found all files greater than 10 MB in the administrator's "My Documents" directory or beneath it. If I want to search the entire system for files 100 MB or greater, I could use the following commands:

C:\Documents and Settings\administrator>dir C:\ /a-d/s | findstr "[0-9][0-9][0-9
],[0-9].*,[0-9]" | findstr /v "[er](s)" > bigfiles.txt

Those commands start at the root directory, C:\ and search for all files within that directory or beneath it that are over 99 MB. The >bigfiles.txt redirects the output of the last command to a file named bigfiles.txt.

Examing the bigfiles.txt file, I might see something like the following:

C:\Documents and Settings\administrator>type bigfiles.txt                       
06/21/2010  05:21p         267,948,032 hiberfil.sys                             
06/21/2010  05:21p         314,572,800 pagefile.sys                             
06/09/2010  05:49p         277,297,548 Deleted Items.dbx                        
06/09/2010  05:49p         151,866,224 Inbox.dbx                                
06/09/2010  05:49p         144,463,812 Sent Items.dbx                           
10/27/2009  08:51p         949,861,964 Inbox                                    
06/20/2010  07:48p       1,014,070,855 Sent                                     
03/13/2010  04:42p       2,148,821,701 Inbox                                    
06/21/2010  03:47p         388,459,482 Sent                                     
06/21/2010  05:00p         201,147,392 personal.pst                             
 Directory of C:\Program Files\PhoneTools\vocfiles\WAVMS,11025,8,1              
07/27/2007  09:03a         119,977,472 500dc2a.msp                              
07/27/2007  09:03a         119,977,472 5a34890.msp                              
09/14/2007  01:16p         113,491,064 MAINSP3.CAB

In the case above, there was one line that was included that I didn't actually want just because it did fit the pattern I was looking for, i.e., the WAVMS,11025,8,1 line. But I would expect entries like that to be rare, so I'm not concerned about it in this case.

The directory where the file was found won't be listed, but you can look through bigfiles.txt and then locate particular files listed in it and then make the current directory the root directory with cd \ and then search all subdirectories for the file name as in the example below:

C:\Documents and Settings\administrator>cd \                                    
C:\>dir /s 500dc2a.msp                                                          
 Volume in drive C has no label.                                                
 Volume Serial Number is F4D7-D263
 Directory of C:\WINDOWS\Installer                                              
07/27/2007  09:03a         119,977,472 500dc2a.msp                              
               1 File(s)    119,977,472 bytes                                   
     Total Files Listed:                                                        
               1 File(s)    119,977,472 bytes                                   
               0 Dir(s)     471,283,200 bytes free

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

Sun, Jun 20, 2010 4:46 pm

SMF Packages Directory or One of the Files Not Writable

If you get the error message below when attempting to install a package under Simple Machines Forum (SMF), create a temp directory beneath the Packages directory and then change its permissions so that it is world writable. Then try installing the package again. I had the problem occur after I deleted a package. I got the error message when I tried installing the package after deleting it.

$ cd forum/Packages
$ mkdir temp
$ chmod 777 temp

The Packages/temp directory is where packages to be installed are unzipped.


  1. Packages directory or one of the files in it are not writable!
    Date: October 5, 2008
    Simple Machines Forum

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

Sat, Jun 19, 2010 10:18 pm

SMF Login and Registration Integration

If you want to have a login and regisration option on the main page for your website and would like to integrate the login and regisration with the Simple Machines Forum (SMF) login and registration rather than force users to login to SMF and other parts of the site separately, you can use where is the name of the server where you are running SMF. You specify the location of the index.php file, e.g., /forum/index.php, if it is located in a directory named forum beneath the root directory for the web site.

If you just want to have a page where they see nothing but a username and password prompt with a button to click on, you could create a file named login.php with the following code within it:








Note: the include_once function must be given the location of the SMF SSI.php file, e.g., forum/SSI.php, if it was located in a directory named forum beneath the root directory of the website.

That would display the following on a page:


You must not be logged into SMF when you attempt to access login.php, otherwise the login and password prompts won't be displayed when you access login.php.

If you wanted to have a register link on the main page for your site that would take someone to the SMF registration form, you could use <a href="">Register</a> for a registration link on the page. a link.

If you don't want to allow anyone access to any area of SMF without the person first logging in, e.g., you want them to see a login page if they use, then you need to deny all guest access to the forum. You can do so by logging into the administrator account for the forum, then clicking on the admin tab, then click on Features and Options under Configuration, then uncheck Allow guests to browse the forum, then click on the Save button.


  1. Site Home Page/SMF Login Integration?
    Date: April 20, 2008
    Simple Machines Forum
  2. How To: Get SMF SSI.php Stuff to Display on your Wordpress Blog
    Date: August 21, 2008
    Simple Machines Forum

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

Tue, Jun 15, 2010 7:30 am

Leave Me Bee & Stop Bugging Me!

If a wasp or bee gets into the house, reach for the hair spray. Most insect sprays only infuriate them, but the hair spray stiffens their wings, immobilizing them immediately. This works on all winged insects.

If one happens to escape and sting you, apply a poultice of baking soda and water. Or, try applying a fresh cut slice of raw onion to the sting to help draw out the poison. Hold the onion in place with tape.

A great substitute for insect repellent is white vinegar. Apply it liberally to the skin with a cotton ball. Bugs hate the way you taste and the smell of vinegar disappears once it dries. Great for kids!

To prevent ants from coming in the house or getting into cupboards, sprinkle dried mint or red pepper where they are entering the house and in the cupboards.

Source: Mary Ellen's Best of Helpful Hints

I know the hair spray trick works. Just don't do what a friend who used that trick did after a wasp was brought to the ground after being sprayed; he then picked up the wasp with a tissue and got stung on his hand through the tissue. The spray keeps a bee or wasp from flying, but not from stinging. My wife, who observed, the incident, said he had a dumbfounded look on his face when he got stung, as if he couldn't believe he had just been stung. He was only half awake when it happened and commented "Well, I'm f---ing awake now."

[/info/tips] permanent link

Sun, Jun 13, 2010 5:14 pm

Winamp Crashing When Adding Smart View

Whenever my wife tried choosing a preset, such as "Audio by Genre" to organize her music in Winamp, Winamp 5.572 would crash. She would right-click on Local Media, select Add Smart View and then select a preset for "choose a preset", which would cause Winamp to immediately crash. I found a solution at Media Library problems and crash. The solution was to clear the media library even though she didn't have anything in the library.

The solution posted by ScottVickery there is listed below:

One more clue lending credence to this being a problem with a corrupt library. I cleared the Media Library (Winamp Preferences / Media Library / Local Media - Clear Media Library button), then rescanned (Winamp Preferences / Media Library / Local Media / Watch Folders tab - Rescan now button), and, I can again view my Local Media Audio node in the tree.

Clearing the media library doesn't delete the music files from the PC, it just removes them from Winampls media library. In my wife's case, she didn't have any watch folders.

[/os/windows/software/audio/winamp] permanent link

Tue, May 18, 2010 4:17 pm

Id Command

If you need to determine your user identifier (uid) and group identifer (gid) on a Unix or Linux system, you can use the id command.

[/os/unix/commands] permanent link

Thu, May 13, 2010 6:28 pm

Remote Printing via SSH Port Forwarding

I need to print from my MacBook Pro laptop when I'm using a wireless connection to a Xerox WorkCentre 5030 printer on a wired network behind a firewall. The ports I would need to use to send print jobs to the printer aren't open on the firewall, but I can make an SSH connection from the wireless network to a server behind the firewall. So that gives me a means to print from the laptop while it is on the wireless network. I can simply port forward print jobs via an SSH tunnel.

I can use the Terminal program which is in the Applications/Utilities folder on the Mac laptop - the Terminal program comes with OS X. If the server behind the firewall is accessible as and my userid on it is jsmith, and the printer I want to access has an IP address of, I can use the following command:

ssh -L 9100:

That -L option allows me to specify a port on the local system, i.e. my laptop, to be forwarded to some other port on whatever system I specify after the first ":". In this case, once I've established an SSH connection to, any data I send to TCP port 9100 on the laptop will automatically be forwarded through the SSH tunnel I've established to port 9100 on I don't have to specify an IP address, I could also use a name, such as, if that was a name assigned to the printer and that name was usable outside of the firewall.

The reason I used port 9100, is that port is used by the Xerox WorkCentre 5030 to listen for print jobs over the network. That port is a de facto standard port used by many networked printers. It is used by Hewlett Packard (HP) on their JetDirect cards and is widely used by other printer manufacturers as well. The connection established via this port is usually full duplex and provides error messages and status information during printing. Port forwarding via port 9100 also has the advantage over using port 515, i.e., the LPD (RFC 1179) protocol, in that it doesn't require the use of the root account on the Mac, since the port number is above 1023.

I also need to add a printer to the Mac that points to the SSH tunnel. To do so, I can use the steps below (note: you should establish the SSH connection first prior to adding the printer, so that your system can communicate with the printer to determine options the printer supports):

  1. Click on the "Apple" at the top left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences.
  3. Under Hardware, select Print & Fax.
  4. Click on the "lock" icon to make changes and provide the correct password.
  5. Click on the "+" to add a new printer.
  6. For Protocol, select "HP Jetdirect - Socket".
  7. For Address, put, which is the "loopback" address for the local system (you could also use localhost, instead).
  8. You can leave Queue blank.
  9. For Name, put in some name that is meaningful to you, e.g., I used Xerox 5030 (port forwarded) to distinguish the printer I created from Xerox 5030, which I use when the laptop is on the same network as the printer.
  10. For location, put in whatever you wish to describe the location of the printer.
  11. For Print Using, select the printer to which you will be printing, so the correct printer driver is installed.
  12. Then click on the Add button.

Now, whenever I've established the SSH connection, I can print to the printer I added. I can print to other printers behind the firewall by adding a printer to the Mac with a different name and the appropriate driver, e.g., I also added an HP Color LaserJet CP3525 printer. If its address is, I can print to it instead by using ssh -L 9100:, instead of for the other printer. You can only port forward port 9100 to one destination at a time, so I would need to exit from the prior SSH connection first, if I was already port forwarding port 9100 to the other printer.

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Wed, May 12, 2010 8:48 pm

Detecting Altered Images

If you see an image posted somewhere on the Internet or have one sent to you by email that you suspect has been " photoshopped", i.e. digitally altered, are there any methods that will assist you in making that determination? There are indeed methods and tools to assist you. If the image is a jpeg image, you can upload the image or submit the URL for its location on the web to the Image Error Level Analyzer. Additional information on how to detect "shopped" images can be found at Body By Victoria and Photoshopping and Digital Forensics.

[/os/windows/software/graphics/adobe/photoshop] permanent link

Fri, May 07, 2010 8:13 pm

Burning an ISO File to Disc Under Linux

To burn a .iso file to a disc, you can use the cdrecord command under Linux, if you have the cdrecord package installed. E.g., cdrecord -v slax-6.1.2.iso. The -v option, increments the general verbosity level by one. This can be used to display the progress of the writing process.

CDRecord is a command line CD/DVD recording program. Cdrecord is an application for creating audio and data CDs. Cdrecord works with many different brands of CD recorders, fully supports multi-sessions and provides human-readable error messages.

[/os/unix/linux/utilities/cd-dvd] permanent link

Mon, May 03, 2010 5:01 pm

Creating a Firewall Rule in a NetScreen Firewall from the Command Line

To create a firewall rule to allow traffic for a custom service, e.g., SSH on a nonstandard port, through the firewall, you can create the custom service and a policy, aka firewall rule, associated with the policy.

You can use the get policy command to obtain a list of existing policies, aka firewall rules.

ns5xp-> get policy
Total regular policies 1, Default deny.
    ID From     To       Src-address  Dst-address  Service  Action State   ASTLCB
     1 Trust    Untrust  Any          Any          ANY      Permit enabled -----X

You can use the get service command to obtain a list of existing services. You will see the standard services, e.g., SSH, TELNET, TFTP, etc., as well as any custom services you've created.

Let's asume I want to use port 1222 for SSH connections to a system named Server1, which is on the trusted side of the firewall with IP address In this case the firewall is not using Network Address Translation (NAT). I could use the following commands:

set address trust "Server1" "Web server #1"
set service "Server1 SSH" protocol tcp src-port 0-65535 dst-port 1222-1222
set policy id 2 name "Server1 SSH" from "Untrust" to "Trust" "Any" "Server1" "Server1 SSH" permit log count

With the set address command, I indicate that the system is on the trusted side of the firewall and that I want to associate the name Server1 with the IP address for the system, which is Since the name is associated with one specific IP address, I use a subnet mask of I then add a comment about the system, i.e., "Web server #1" in this case.

I then create a custom service, which I name "Server1 SSH". It uses the TCP protocol. I don't care about the source port, but the nonstandard destination port I am using for SSH is 1222. I put in 1222-1222 for the port range, since I'm just using one port.

For the above policy, I'm assuming that there is no existing policy id 2, so I'm using that for the policy number. After the policy id number is specified, in this case 2, I specify a name for the policy to make its purpose clear, Server1 SSH in this case. I then specify the direction of the data flow, which is from "Untrust" to "Trust". I want to allow any source IP address to connect, so I use "Any" for the source and then use "Server1", which is the named address I created with a prior command, for the destination. I then specify the service. If it was for SMTP email, I could have used SMTP, but, in this case, I'm using the custom "Server1 SSH" service I set up with a prior command. I then specify permit, since I want to permit the traffic, not block it. I've also chosen to log the traffic and count the packets.

If I don't want to make any further changes, I can use the exit command. I'll then be prompted as to whether I want to save the changes I've made.

ns5xp-> exit
Configuration modified, save? [y]/n y

If I want to view the service and policy I created, I can use the get service and get policy id commands.

ns5xp-> get service "Server1 SSH"
Name:       Server1 SSH
Category:   other          ID:  0   Flag:  User-defined

Transport    Src port     Dst port   ICMPtype,code  Timeout(min) Application
tcp           0/65535  47050/47050                        30        

ns5xp-> get policy id 2
name:"Server1 SSH" (id 2), zone Untrust -> Trust,action Permit, status "enabled"
src "Any", dst "Server1", serv "Server1 SSH"
Policies on this vpn tunnel: 0
nat off, url filtering OFF
vpn unknown vpn, policy flag 0000, session backup: on
traffic shapping off, scheduler n/a, serv flag 00
log yes, log count 1, alert no, counter yes(1) byte rate(sec/min) 0/0
total octets 0, counter(session/packet/octet) 0/0/1
priority 7, diffserv marking Off
tadapter: state off, gbw/mbw 0/-1
No Authentication
No User, User Group or Group expression set

Additional information on creating firewall rules can be found in Juniper Network's Concepts & Examples ScreenOS Reference Guide Volume 2: Fundamentals.


  1. Concepts & Examples ScreenOS Reference Guide Volume 2: Fundamentals
    Juniper Networks

[/security/firewalls/netscreen] permanent link

Sun, May 02, 2010 9:00 pm

Streaming Video to a Wii Using TVersity

I installed TVersity 1.8 Beta software to stream video stored on a Windows 7 PC to a Wii today. TVersity is free software that allows one to stream video and music from a Windows PC to console systems, such as the Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/software] permanent link

Sun, Apr 25, 2010 3:02 pm

Creating Meeting Requests using Entourage 2004 or 2008

Instructions for creating meeting requests using Entourage 2004 or 2008 on a Mac system can be found at Creating meeting requests with the Entourage 2004/2008 calendar.

[/network/email/clients/entourage] permanent link

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 8:35 pm

Online File Analysis

In performing PC support, by far the most common complaint I've had to deal with has been malware infections. For any files I download, I normally submit them to at least one and sometimes all of the following sites, which will scan a file you upload to the site with multiple antivirus programs:

Sometimes, a particular antivirus program won't yet recognize some new malware, but other such programs will recognize it. Of course, one also has to bear in mine that false positives do occur, so if only one antivirus program reports a program is infected it could be a false positive.

I also use Sunbelt Software's CWSandbox on-line malware analyzer. You can submit a file to that service and it will install the software within a sandbox on a Sunbelt system and then give you the results of the analysis of the file submitted, including files and registry entries created, network activity, and process details. For a sample of a report see the report created for the installation file for Totally Free Burner named TotallyFreeBurner.exe, which I submitted to the analysis service:

Malware Report for ID: 12057226

Note: Totally Free Burner doesn't contain malware; I just normally check all software before I install it on my system or someone else's system.

If you know the MD5 checksum for a file, which the virus scanning services I listed above provide, you can determine if there is an existing Sunbelt CWSandbox report for it by using a URL of the following form:<md5 checksum>

E.g., for the 6.0 version of Totally Free Burner I downloaded from the developer's website and then uploaded to Sunbelt's CWSandbox service.

There are also a number of free tools that you can use to determine the MD5 checksum of a file. The MD5 checksum is determined by performing a mathematical calculation on the contents of a file and should be unique for a given file (there is a very slim possibility that may not be true, but for all practical purposes you can consider it unique).

FileAlyzer© from the developer of Spybot Search & Destroy will show you the MD5 checksum for a file, in addition to providing other information, as will digestIT 2004. Both are free.

[/security/antivirus] permanent link

Sun, Apr 11, 2010 9:16 pm

Getting Free Credit Reports

You can get a free credit report from the 3 major credit reporting companies, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian through You will need to provide your Social Security Number (SSN). From that site you can go to the 3 reporting companies one by one and get a report from each.

You are entitled to one free report from each nationwide credit reporting company per year. It is entirely your choice whether you order all three credit reports at the same time or order one now and others later. The advantage of ordering all three at the same time is that you can compare them. However, you will not be eligible for another free credit report from the Central Source, i.e., through, for 12 months. On the other hand, the advantage of ordering one now and others later (for example, one credit report every four months) is that you can keep track of any changes or new information that may appear on your credit report. Remember, you are entitled to receive one free credit report through the Central Source every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – so if you order from Yonly one company today you can still order from the other two companies at a later date.

You can't get a free credit score, which is a mathematical algorithm that is used to evaluate information in an individual's credit file. A credit score is used by a lender to help determine whether a person qualifies for a particular credit card, loan, or service. Most credit scores estimate the risk a company incurs by lending a person money or providing them with a service — specifically, the likelihood that the person will make payments on time in the next two to three years. Generally, the higher the score, the less risk the person represents. You can opt to pay for the credit score, if you choose.

There are lots of services that purport to give you free credit reports that can actually prove to be quite costly. The way they work is that you get a "free" report by providing a credit card to pay for a monthly credit monitoring service. The trick is that the companies can make it almost impossible for you to cancel the service, so you may pay $80 or more a year for the "free" service. Just because you see it advertised on TV, don't think the company advertised won't try that trick.

E.g., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged with deceiving consumers. I've included information from FTC Sues Imposter Web Sites Offering "Free Credit Reports below:

How consumers were deceived. and advertised "free credit reports," but failed to inform consumers that they were automatically signing up for credit report monitoring services and would be charged $79.95 if they did not cancel within 30 days. The FTC also charged that the web site failed to inform consumers that it was not associated with the official annual free credit report program established by recent amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Consumers were drawn to and web sites through radio, television, e-mail and Internet ads promising free credit reports and free monitoring services. In some cases, consumers were led to the sites through an Internet search for terms such as "free credit report," "free credit score," and "free credit history." Consumers who visited the sites were required to supply a great deal of personal information in addition to a valid credit card number. When membership was not cancelled within 30 days, credit card accounts were charged.

For Experian, to return to your report in the near future, log on to and select “View your report again” or “Dispute” and then enter the report number provided when you first view the report. The experian site offers a service called VantageScore® that currently charges you $7.95 to get your credit score. TransUnion offers the credit score for $14.95, but you have to sign up for a monthly service.


  1. FTC Sues Imposter Web Sites Offering "Free Credit Reports"
    Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
  2. The Federal Trade Commission's Information on Free Annual Credit Reports
    Federal Trade Commission
  3. Can You Really Get a Free Credit Report -- Without Getting Scammed?
  4. The credit score rating scale; range
    The Credit Scoring Site

[/financial] permanent link

Sat, Apr 03, 2010 12:49 pm

Playing VOB Files with VLC

A Video Object (VOB) file is a container format in DVD-Video media. VOB can contain video, audio, subtitle and menu contents multiplexed together into a stream form. VOB is based on the MPEG program stream format, but with additional limitations and specifications in the private streams. The MPEG program stream has provisions for non-standard data (as used in VOB files) in the form of so-called private streams. VOB files are a very strict subset of the MPEG program stream standard. While all VOB files are MPEG program streams, not all MPEG program streams comply with the definition for a VOB file.

You can play .VOB files with applications such as PowerDVD, VLC media player, and WinDVD.

The VLC media player is free. It is a highly portable multimedia player and multimedia framework capable of reading most audio and video formats (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, DivX, MPEG-1, mp3, ogg, aac ...) as well as DVDs, Audio CDs VCDs, and various streaming protocols.

The VLC setup file, vlc-1.0.5-win32.exe uses the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS) for the installation.

[/os/windows/software/audio-video/VOB] permanent link

Sat, Apr 03, 2010 11:32 am

Combined Community Codec Pack

A family member needed to play .mkv video files. The .mkv extension is used for Matroska video files. Matroska is an extensible open source, standard multimedia container. Matroska is usually found as .MKV files (matroska video), .MKA files (matroska audio) and .MKS files (subtitles). The developer home page is located at Matroska Media Container. There is a downloads link there for CCCP (Combined Community Codec Pack), which takes you to the Combined Community Codec Pack website.

The installation file uses the Inno Setup installation system. If you have any concerns about the safety of the software you might install, I've provided links to the malware scan reports for the 2009-09-09 version of the Combined Community Codec Pack below. Virustotal is a "service that analyzes suspicious files and facilitates the quick detection of viruses, worms, trojans, and all kinds of malware detected by antivirus engines." VirSCAN provides a similar service. Both sites scan uploaded files with multiple antivirus programs; none found any malware within the codec pack setup file.


When you install the 2009-09-09 version of the codec pack, you can choose from the following components. All will be installed by default unless you deselect them.

CoreWavPack 1.1.1
FFDShow Tryout r3065 2009-08-30
FLV Splitter r1264
Haali Media Splitter 2009-01-11
MPV (MPEG2) Decoder r1264
VSFilter 2.39 r1264
Media Player Classic Homecinema 1.3.1264

If you install all of the above, you will need at least 22.3 MB of free disk space. By default, a "Combined Community Codec Pack" folder will be created beneath the Start Menu with shorcuts for the codec pack.

Under Select Additional Tasks, you also have the following options:

  Set Perceived Types
  Register Extensions in Windows Media Player
Haali Media Splitter
  Enable Shell Extensions
    Enable Thumbnails

The "general" ones are selected by default, but not the "Haali Media Splitter" options. I selected those as well. You can also choose to open the settings window for the application during the installation.

The Combined Community Codec Pack provides support for the following FFDShow Video Decoders:

Flash Video (FLV1 & FLV4)
Generic MPEG4

The following FFDShow Audio Decoders are supported:

True Audio

CCCP Decoders

You can also change the file associations for various file types, such as .avi, .mkv, .mp4, and .ogm files.

CCCP General Settings

To be able to play those files by just double-clicking on them, you may need to change file associations. For instance, under Windows 7, if you want to play the files with Windows Media Player, you can right-click on a file of one of those types, e.g., an .mkv file, and choose Properties. Then click on the Change button to change the "opens with" application.

[/os/windows/software/audio-video/MKV] permanent link

Mon, Mar 22, 2010 9:09 pm

FTP Server on Mac OS X

To enable an FTP server on a Mac OS X system, take the following steps:
  1. Click on the Apple menu in the upper left-hand corner of the menu bar.
  2. Select System Preferences.
  3. Click on File Sharing in the services list at the left side of the window. If it is grayed out, click on the lock icon at the bottom of the window to unlock the settings, so that you can make changes. The File Sharing status indicator will go from "Off" to "On".
  4. Click on the Options button.
  5. Choose the "Share files and folders using FTP" option.
  6. Choose the account or accounts for which you wish to allow FTP access.
  7. Click on Done.

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Sun, Mar 21, 2010 2:52 pm


Java is a programming language and computing platform released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. It is the underlying technology that powers programs including utilities, games, and business applications. Java runs on more than 850 million personal computers worldwide, and on billions of devices worldwide, including mobile and TV devices. Java Runtime Environment (JRE) software can be downloaded from Java Downloads for All Operating Systems. For Microsoft Windows systems, you can choose from a 32-bit or a 64-bit versions. For a silent install, you can use jre-6u18-windows-i586-s.exe /quiet /norestart.

After installation, you will see an "Java(TM) 6 Update 18" entry under "Uninstall or change a program", corresponding to the registry entry for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{26A24AE4-039D-4CA4-87B4-2F83216018FF}\DisplayName. The uninstall string is MsiExec.exe /X{26A24AE4-039D-4CA4-87B4-2F83216018FF}, corresponding to the registry entry for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{26A24AE4-039D-4CA4-87B4-2F83216018FF}\UninstallString. For a quiet uninstall, you can use MsiExec.exe /X{26A24AE4-039D-4CA4-87B4-2F83216018FF} /q.

The WPKG package I used is shown below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>


<!-- Version 6 Update 18 - offline (32-bit) version -->	

   name="Java Runtime Environment (JRE)"
<check type="uninstall" condition="exists" path="Java(TM) 6 Update 18" />
<install cmd='%SOFTWARE%\java\jre-6u18-windows-i586-s.exe /quiet /norestart' />

<remove cmd='MsiExec.exe /X{26A24AE4-039D-4CA4-87B4-2F83216018FF} /q'/>



If you use 32-bit and 64-bit browsers interchangeably, you will need to install both 32-bit and 64-bit Java in order to have the Java plug-in for both browsers.

The software will be installed to C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\ by default. After installing Java, restart your browser and verify Java has been installed correctly (note: it may work even without restarting your browser). You can also go to How do I test whether Java is working on my computer? to test the Java installation.

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

Sun, Mar 21, 2010 11:23 am

Embedding Userid and Password in a URL

With versions of Internet Explorer from 3.0 to 6.0, the following syntax for HTTP or HTTPS URLs was supported:


Using the syntax of http:// or https:// followed by username:Password@ and then the URL, you could supply a username and password in the address bar. This could be useful in cases where you had to script access to a webpage or file download from a password protected directory on a website. Using this technique you could use a command in a batch file to gain access to the protected resource.

However, after version 6.0 of Internet Explorer, Microsoft disabled this capability. The rationale for disabling the capability is explained at Internet Explorer does not support user names and passwords in Web site addresses (HTTP or HTTPS URLs). Microsoft states there that the capability was disabled, because it could be used by a malicious person to mislead someone into thinking he was going to a trusted side when in actuality he would be directed to another site.

E.g., other information, besides a username and password, could be placed before the "@", for example someone could use A user might only notice the in the address bar, whereas the URL would actually be taking the user to In this case, Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Internet Explorer 6 for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 only display "" in the address bar. However, earlier versions of Internet Explorer display "" in the address bar, but users might think they were going to, whereas they would actually be taken to

If you want later versions of Internet Explorer to retain the behavior of prior versions, you can disable the new default behavior in Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer. To do so, create iexplore.exe and explorer.exe DWORD values in one of the following registry keys and set their value data to 0.

On the support webpage, Microsoft states that, if users attempt to use the previously supported syntax with later versions of Internet Explorer, users will see a webpage that has the title "Invalid syntax error". When I used the technique to try to access a protected file on a site using Internet Explorer 8.0 on a Windows 7 system, I received a message stating "Windows cannot find" followed by the URL and then "Check the spelling and try again."

The syntax of still worked on the same system with Firefox 3.6


  1. Internet Explorer does not support user names and passwords in Web site addresses (HTTP or HTTPS URLs)
    Article ID: 834489
    Last Review: November 15, 2007
    Revision: 11.4
    Microsoft Support

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

Fri, Mar 19, 2010 3:15 pm

Securely Deleting a File from a Mac OS X System

If you just use the rm command or drag a file to the trash on a Mac OS X system, then it is possible for a technically knowledgeable person to recover the information in that file. A normal delete removes what is essentially a pointer to where the file is stored on a disk drive, but doesn't overwrite the areas on the disk where the file is stored. A normal file deletion is sort of like removing an entry from a book's table of contents and index; someone could read the entire book and still obtain the information to which the entry pointed.

There is a secure way to delete the contents of a file, though, by overwriting the areas on the disk where the file is stored. If you overwrite the data on the areas with new data the old data is no longer accessible.

Note: if you only overwrite the areas occupied by the file once, it is still possible for someone to recover the contents of the file, but then it reqires not just technical knowledge, but specialized equipment. E.g. a company specializing in data recovery or a government agency with skilled forensics personnel and specialized equipment might still be able to recover the information from traces of the magnetic signals left by the old data, but for most purposes the data can be considered unrecoverable. However, if the data is overwritten multiple times, it becomes unrecoverable even with such equipment.

There is a utility that comes with the Mac OS X operating system that will securely overwrite a file. That utility is srm, which will overwrite a file multiple times making it unrecoverable. The utility is run from a shell prompt, which you can obtain by using the Finder and going to Applications, Utilities, and then double-clicking on Terminal. The syntax for the command is srm [OPTION]... FILE..., e.g. srm somefile.doc.

You can obtain further information on the utility by opening a terminal window on a Mac OS X system and typing man srm.

       srm - securely remove files or directories

       srm [OPTION]... FILE...

       srm  removes each specified file by overwriting, renaming, and truncat-
       ing it before unlinking. This prevents other people from undeleting  or
       recovering any information about the file from the command line.

       srm,  like  every  program  that  uses the getopt function to parse its
       arguments, lets you use the -- option to indicate  that  all  following
       arguments are non-options.  To remove a file called '-f' in the current
       directory, you could type either "srm -- -f" or "srm ./-f".

       -d, --directory
              ignored (for compatibility with rm(1))

       -f, --force
              ignore nonexistent files, never prompt

       -i, --interactive
              prompt before any removal

       -r, -R, --recursive
              remove the contents of directories recursively

       -s, --simple
              only overwrite with a single pass of random data

       -m, --medium
              overwrite the file with 7 US DoD compliant passes  (0xF6,  0x00,
              0xFF, random, 0x00, 0xFF, random)

       -z, --zero
              after overwriting, zero blocks used by file

       -n, --nounlink
              overwrite file, but do not rename or unlink it

       -v, --verbose
              explain what is being done

       --help display this help and exit

              output version information and exit

       srm can not remove write protected files owned by another user, regard-
       less of the permissions on the directory containing the file.

       The -s option overrides the -m option, if both are present.  If neither
       is specified, the 35-pass Gutmann algorithm is used.

       Development  and  discussion  of  srm is carried out at <http://source->,  which  is   also   accessible   via


  1. Secure File Delete on Mac OS X
    Date: August 16, 2007
    Exxamine's Weblog

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Fri, Mar 19, 2010 12:55 pm

Obtaining an IP Address via DHCP

If a Knoppix system doesn't have an IP address assigned to an Ethernet interface, you can obtain one by downing the interface with ifdown eth0 and then brining it back up with ifup eth0, which will cause the system to try to obtain an address via DHCP.

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

Fri, Mar 19, 2010 12:07 pm

Mounting a Windows Hibernated Drive under Knoppix

After shutting down a Windows Vista laptop into hibernation mode, I wanted to copy the hibernation file, hiberfil.sys from the Windows Vista laptop's hard disk drive to an external USB drive to analyze it on another system. I removed the drive from the laptop and put it into a Thermaltake Black Widow hard dirve eSATA + USB Docking Station, which I attached the system I would use for the backup. I was unable to boot that system from a BartPE boot disc, so I booted the system instead from a Knoppix Linux Live CD. However, when I connected the docking station with the laptop drive in it to the system, I received the message below:

Error - Konqueror
Windows is hibernated, won't mount.

Failed to mount '/dev/sdb1': Operation not permitted

The NTFS partition is hibernated. Please resume WIndows and turned it

off properly, so mounting could be done safely.



I only needed to mount the drive in read-only mode to copy hiberfil.sys from it, so I obtained a command prompt and opened a Bash shell, switched to the root account and mounted the device in read-only mode. I had another external USB drive attached, which was to hold the backup, as /dev/sda1. The laptop drive had two partitions on it: the Windows Vista partition, which was /dev/sdb1 and a recovery partition, which was /dev/sdb2.

knoppix@Knoppix:~$ sudo bash
root@Knoppix:~# mount -r /dev/sdb1 /media/sdb1

After copying hiberfil.sys from the laptop drive to the other external USB drive, I unmounted the laptop drive.

root@Knoppix:~# umount /dev/sdb2
root@Knoppix:~# umount /dev/sdb1

I checked the contents of the backup copy of hiberfil.sys with the od command. I saw that the first 4 bytes of the file were "HIBR", which indicates the system containing the file was last shutdown into hibernate mode rather than to a normal shutdown state. To view just the first 8 bytes of the file with od, you can use od -a -N 8.

root@Knoppix:~# od -a -N 8 /mnt/hdd/hiberfil.sys
0000000   w   a   k   e ht nul nul nul


  1. Hibernation (computing)
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. Mounting a Hibernated Drive
    Date: November 27, 2007
    MoonPoint Support

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

Mon, Mar 15, 2010 8:36 pm

Windows NT Backup Restore Utility for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2

If you have a backup made with the backup utility, NTBackup, that comes with Windows XP, but want to restore files from the backup on a Windows 7 system you have to download the Windows NT Backup Restore Utility for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2 from Microsoft. The Windows NT Removable Storage Manager (RSM) is no longer included in Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2, but this utility will allow you to restore files in a Windows .bkf backup file made with the backup utility on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 to computers that are running Windows 7 and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2.

There are versions of the Update for Windows 7 (KB974674) utility for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 as well as for all supported x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2 and all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2.

The utility is distributed as an .MSU file, e.g. Windows6.1-KB974674-x86.msu for the 32-bit version for Windows XP. An .msu file is a Microsoft Update Stanalone Package file.


  1. Windows NT Backup - Restore in Win 7?
    Date: June 5, 2009
    Microsoft TechNet: Resources for IT Professionals
  2. Description of the Windows NT Backup Restore Utility for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2 Article ID: 974674
    Last Review: January 27, 2010
    Revision: 2.0
    Microsoft Support

[/os/windows/win7/Backup] permanent link

Sun, Mar 14, 2010 3:22 pm

Changing the Location of the Data File for Sierra Hallmark Studio Deluxe

By default, the data file used to store calendar events for Sierra Hallmark Studio Deluxe 1.0 is located in the directory c:\program files\Sierra\CardStudio\Data. The file that holds the event data is PLANR32.DAT. You will also see backpage.cc1 and PLANR32.BAK in the same directory. The location of the file is stored in the Windows registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Sierra OnLine\Hallmark Card Studio\Deluxe\1\Paths\DataPath.
c:\>reg query "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Sierra OnLine\Hallmark Card Studio\De
luxe\1\Paths" /v DataPath

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Sierra OnLine\Hallmark Card Studio\Deluxe\1\Paths
    DataPath    REG_SZ    c:\program files\Sierra\CardStudio\Data

You can change the location by editing the registry with regedit or by using the reg add command. E.g., if you wanted to have Card Studio Deluxe store events at a shared network location where multiple computers running the software could use the same data, you could alter the registry to point to that location. E.g., to point to a shared directory \\Server\Sierra\CardStudio\Data, you could use the following:

c:\>reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Sierra OnLine\Hallmark Card Studio\Delu
xe\1\Paths" /v DataPath /t REG_SZ /d \\Server\Sierra\CardStudio\Data /f
The operation completed successfully.


  1. Sierra's Hallmark Card Studio Deluxe Data Location
    MoonPoint Support

[/os/windows/software/graphics/sierra] permanent link

Sun, Mar 14, 2010 12:57 pm

DC++ 0.75 Silent Install

DC++ is an open source client for Windows for the Direct Connect / Advanced Direct Connect network.

Direct Connect allows you to share files over the Internet without restrictions or limits. The client is completely free of advertisements and has a nice, easy to use interface. Firewall and router support is integrated and it is easy and convenient to use functionality like multi-hub connections, auto-connections and resuming of downloads.

The software is licensed under GNU GPL 2.

DCPlusPlus 0.75 uses the Nullsoft Install System (NSIS) v2.31. Since it uses NSIS, you can perform a silent installation by using the /S option. It will install in C:\Program Files\DC++ by default, but you can perform a silent install and still select the destination location by using the /D=directory option. E.g., to install the software in C:\Program Files\P2P\DC++, you could use the following:

DCPlusPlus-0.75.exe /S /D=%PROGRAMFILES%\P2P\DC++

Note: you have to use a capital "S" for the silent installation and the /D must appear at the end of the line. Also, don't use quotes even if the directory path has spaces in it, e.g., if you aren't using the variable %PROGRAMFILES%, which equates to C:\Program Files on most systems (you can see its value by issuing the command echo %PROGRAMFILES% at a command line). And, if you don't use %PROGRAMFILES%, you need to use the drive location also, e.g., C:\Program Files. Any interventing directories that don't exist will be created.

When you first run DC++ after the installation, you may be prompted to allow DC++ network communications.

DC++ Firewall Access

You can uninstall the software by running uninstall.exe from the directory where you installed the software, e.g. %PROGRAMFILES%\P2P\DC++\uninstall.exe /S. You can use the /S for a silent uninstall, but you will still see a window asking "Also remove queue and settings?"

DC++ Remove Queue and Settings

A package file for a silent install using WPKG, is shown below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

   <check type="uninstall" condition="exists" path="DC++ 0.750"/>
   <install cmd='%SOFTWARE%\P2P\DCPlusPlus-0.75.exe /S /D=%PROGRAMFILES%\P2P\DC++"'/>
   <remove cmd='"%PROGRAMFILES%\P2P\DC++\uninstall.exe" /S'/>



  1. DC++
  2. Direct Connect (file sharing)
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  3. Advanced Direct Connect network
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  4. Nullsoft Scriptable Install System
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  5. WPKG | Open Source Software Deployment and Distribution

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

Sat, Mar 13, 2010 5:43 pm

Firefox and SQLite

Starting in Firefox 3, bookmarks and browsing history are stored in the places.sqlite file, located in the Firefox profile folder. On a Windows 7 system, the file will be in a directory similar to C:\Users\AcctName\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\q3wdrb9w.default. AcctName will be the name for the particular account. The \q3wdrb9w.default is a specific example; you would see a sequence of 8 numbers and letters that is unique to a particular profile on that system followed by .default. Note: you will have to turn on the display of hidden files and folders to see the directory (see Show hidden files for instructions on how to do this for Windows 7).

Places.sqlite is used in Firefox 3 instead of the older bookmarks.html and history.dat files (the older files are left in the profile folder for backward compatibility).

I opened a places.sqlite file with SQLite. Note: Firefox must be closed when you try opening the file or you will get the error message "Error: database is locked".

C:\Users\Administrator\Downloads>sqlite3 C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\
SQLite version 3.6.23
Enter ".help" for instructions
Enter SQL statements terminated with a ";"

I then used .tables to see what tables were in it.

sqlite> .tables
moz_anno_attributes  moz_favicons         moz_keywords
moz_annos            moz_historyvisits    moz_places
moz_bookmarks        moz_inputhistory
moz_bookmarks_roots  moz_items_annos

The places.sqlite file contains the following tables:

You can see what the columns are in a table using the .schema command, so I can use .schema moz_bookmarks for further information about the "bookmarks" table.

sqlite> .schema moz_bookmarks
EFAULT NULL, parent INTEGER, position INTEGER, title LONGVARCHAR, keyword_id INT
EGER, folder_type TEXT, dateAdded INTEGER, lastModified INTEGER);
CREATE INDEX moz_bookmarks_itemindex ON moz_bookmarks (fk, type);
CREATE INDEX moz_bookmarks_itemlastmodifiedindex ON moz_bookmarks (fk, lastModif
CREATE INDEX moz_bookmarks_parentindex ON moz_bookmarks (parent, position);
CREATE TRIGGER moz_bookmarks_beforedelete_v1_trigger BEFORE DELETE ON moz_bookma
RE id = OLD.keyword_id AND NOT EXISTS ( SELECT id FROM moz_bookmarks WHERE keywo
rd_id = OLD.keyword_id AND id <> LIMIT 1 );END;

A diagram of the layout of the tables provides further information as does the The Places database.

I can see that there is a column named "title". So I can view the value for "title" for all entries in the table with select title from moz_bookmarks. Note: you may see a lot of what may appear to be extraneous bookmarks, i.e. webpages not bookmarked by the user. That's because you also see what you would see if you clicked on Bookmarks, Bookmarks Toolbar, Latest Headlines.

You can exit from sqlite with .exit, .quit, or Ctrl-C.

If you prefer a GUI to browse SQLite databases, you can use SQLite Database Browser, which can provide a graphical interface for browsing the databases on a Windows system.

SQLite Databse Browser

To install the program, just unzip the files in the .zip file, once you've downloaded it, to the directory you want to use for it.


  1. SQLite
  2. Locked or damaged places.sqlite
    MozillaZine Knowledge Base
  3. Places.sqlite
    MozillaZine Knowledge Base
  4. The Places database
    Mozilla Developer Center
  5. SQLite Database Browser
  6. Improving Iceweasel Performance
    April 3, 2009
    Zenwalk Support

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

Sat, Mar 13, 2010 10:15 am

Transferring Files Via the Remote Desktop

If you want to transfer files between your local system and a remote system using the remote desktop software that comes with Windows you can do so via the following procedure (note: this procedure was written for Windows 7, but should be similar for prior versions).
  1. Click on the Start button.
  2. Select All Programs.
  3. Select Accessories.
  4. Select Remote Desktop Connection.
  5. When the Remote Desktop Connection window opens, click on Options.
  6. Click on the Local Resources tab.

    Local resources tab

  7. Click on the More button.
  8. Click on Drives to share all drives. If yo only want to share some local drives, click on the "+" to the left of drives and select only the drives you want to share.

    Selecting drives

  9. Click on OK.
  10. Click on Connect.

If you go to My Computer on the remote system or use Windows Explorer, you should see the drives on the local system from which you connected listed among the drives visible on the remote system.


  1. Transfer files via the Remote Desktop

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

Tue, Mar 09, 2010 10:36 pm

Transferring Winamp 5.572 Info to Another PC

I needed to copy the Winamp settings from my wife's laptop to her desktop system. Both systems are running Windows 7. I found the bookmarks in C:\Users\acctname\AppData\Roaming\Winamp . I also needed to copy her list of online services, since I had added the Live365 Internet Radio to the list of services - see Adding Live365 to WinAmp's Online Services List, so I copied the contents of the C:\Users\acctname\AppData\Roaming\Winamp\Plugins\ml directory, including subdirectories from one system to the other. Acctname represents the account name under which she logs on.

Note: you need to display hidden files and folders to see the directory - see Show hidden files for instructions on how to do this under Windows 7, if you don't know how to do so.

[/os/windows/software/audio/winamp] permanent link

Tue, Mar 09, 2010 9:47 pm

Winamp Media Player Silent Installation

I wanted to do a silent install on Winamp. When I went to the Winamp website, I found that the latest version available for download was 5.572. The file available for download was winamp5572_full_emusic-7plus_en-us.exe. Winamp, which was developed by Nullsoft, was acquired by AOL, which is bundling eMusic, which I didn't want. At WinampWithoutEMusic, I learned that you can download versions of Winamp without the eMusic add-on by removing the emusic-7plus_ portion of the file name. By using winamp5572_full_en-us.exe, I was able to get the same version without the eMusic add-on. There's similar information at Super Bowl XL, Download Winamp without Emusic.

After downloading it, I examined it with FileAlyzer . I saw "Nullsoft Install System v2.45.1" within the file. Winamp is installed with the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS), which is to be expected given that Winamp was developed by Nullsoft.

For a default installation, Winamp will be installed in C:\Program Files\Winamp and Winamp Toolbar will be installed in C:\Program Files\Winamp Toolbar.

A "silent" install can be peformed by using a /S option. Note: it has to be a capital "S", e.g. winamp5572_full_en-us.exe /S. If you use the silent install option, the Winamp Toolbar will be installed by default within Internet Explorer and Firefox. During the installation any open instances of the browsers will be closed automatically. When you reopen the browsers you will see the Winamp toolbar within the browsers.

The Winamp and Winamp Toolbar uninstall strings in the Windows registry for a default installation are at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall are shown below:

Winamp"C:\Program Files\Winamp\UninstWA.exe"
Winamp Toolbar"C:\Program Files\Winamp Toolbar\uninstall.exe"

A silent uninstall can be performed for Winamp with "C:\Program Files\Winamp\UninstWA.exe". A silent uninstall can be performed for the toolbar with "C:\Program Files\Winamp Toolbar\uninstall.exe" /S. Use a capital "S" for the silent option. Note: a silent uninstall of the Winamp toolbar will close any open browser windows.

One can specify the installation directory with /D=installdirectory I could specify winamp5572_full_en-us.exe /D=C:\Program Files\Audio and Video\Winamp at the command line and the GUI installation method would show the directory I picked. I had to put the C: there for that to occur, though. For a silent install, I could use the following to specify the location:

winamp5572_full_en-us.exe /S /D=C:\Program Files\Audio and Video\Winamp\

Again, I needed to have the C:\ at the beginning of the directory location. Also, don't use quotes even if the directory path has spaces in it and the /D option has to be the last option on the line.

Unfortunately, the toolbar is still installed and goes into its default location of C:\Program Files\Winamp Toolbar. But I remove it with "C:\Program Files\Winamp Toolbar\uninstall.exe" /S. Unfortunately, that only removes the toolbar from Internet Explorer and I have to manually remove it from Firefox.


  1. WinampWithoutEMusic
    Last modified: February 13, 2010
    Jurand Nogiec
  2. Super Bowl XL, Download Winamp without Emusic
    Date: February 6, 2006
  3. Nullsoft Scriptable Install System
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  4. Winamp Media Player 5.56 Installation
    Date: November 24, 2009
    MoonPoint Support

[/os/windows/software/audio/winamp] permanent link

Sat, Mar 06, 2010 6:40 pm

Windows Help Under Windows 7

When I opened MUSHclient on a Windows 7 system, I saw the message "Failed to launch help." A Windows Help and Support window opened stating the following:

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows. However, you can download a program that will allow you to view Help created in the Windows Help format.

At I cannot open Help files that require the Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe) program, Microsoft provides the following information:

On computers that are running Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2, you may be unable to open Help files that require the Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe) program. This article contains information about a download that helps you fix this problem.

Microsoft stopped including the 32-bit Help file viewer in Windows releases beginning with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. To support customers who still rely on legacy .hlp files, the Microsoft Download Center provides WinHlp32.exe downloads for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2.

The version of the program for Windows 7 can be downloaded from Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) for Windows 7. That page provides the following overview statement:

Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe) is a Help program that has been included with Microsoft Windows versions starting with the Microsoft Windows 3.1 operating system. However, the Windows Help program has not had a major update for many releases and no longer meets Microsoft's standards. Therefore, starting with the release of Windows Vista and continuing in Windows 7, the Windows Help program will not ship as a feature of Windows. If you want to view 32-bit .hlp files, you must download and install the program (WinHlp32.exe) from the Microsoft Download Center.

There are two versions of the software available, one for 64-bit systems and one for 32-bit systems. The download files are .msu files. You can install the software by just double-clicking on the downloaded file from the Windows Explorer, which will open a Windows Update Standalone Installer window, where you would see the propmpt "Do you want to install the following Windows software update? Update for WIndows (KB917607)". During the installation, winhlp32.exe is placed in %systemroot, e.g. C:\Windows.

For a silent installation, you can use the Windows Update Standalone Installer, wusa.exe, with the /quiet option (quiet mode, no user interaction, reboot as needed). It isn't necessary to reboot after installing Windows Help. You can specify /norestart (when combined with /quiet, installer will NOT initiate reboot. You can see other options by using wusa /?.

The following command performs a silent install for the 32-bit version:

wusa /quiet /norestart Windows6.1-KB917607-x86.msu

To silently uninstall the software, you can use the command below.

wusa Windows6.1-KB917607-x86.msu /uninstall /quiet /norestart

A package file that can be used with WPKG to silently install Windows Help for Windows 7 is shown below. Note: though Windows Help will no longer work after the uninstall, c:\windows\winhlp32.exe isn't actually removed, though other files installed with it, such as c:\windows\system32\ftlx0411.dll are removed. You may have to take ownership of winhlp32.exe to remove it - see Add "Take Ownership" to Explorer Right-Click Menu in Win 7 or Vista, since otherwise only TrustedInstaller has full rights to the file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>


  name="Windows Help"

  <check type='logical' condition='and'> 
     <!-- The uninstall process doesn't remove winhlp32.exe, but does remove
     ftlx0411.dll -->  
     <check type="file" condition="exists" 
      path="%SystemRoot%\system32\ftlx0411.dll" />
     <check type="file" condition="exists" 
      path="%SystemRoot%\winhlp32.exe" />
  <install cmd='wusa %SOFTWARE%\utilities\miscellaneous\Windows6.1-KB917607-x86.msu /quiet /norestart ' />
  <remove cmd='wusa %SOFTWARE%\utilities\miscellaneous\Windows6.1-KB917607-x86.msu /uninstall /quiet /norestart' />
  <upgrade cmd='' />




  1. I cannot open Help files that require the Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe) program
    Article ID: 917607
    Last Review: October 27, 2009
    Revision: 20.3
    Microsoft Support
  2. Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) for Windows 7
    Version: 1.0
    Date Published: 10/14/2009
    Microsoft Corporation
  3. Is it possible to silently run the Vista installation package for MSI 4.5?
    Windows Installer Team Blog
  4. silent installation paramters for Windows6.1-KB958559-x64.msu
    Date: July 7, 2009
    Microsoft TechNet: Resources for IT Professionals
  5. Permission from Trusted installer!
    Date: May 18, 2009
    Mcirsoft TechNet: Resources for IT Professionals
  6. Add "Take Ownership" to Explorer Right-Click Menu in Win 7 or Vista
    How-To Geek

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

Sat, Mar 06, 2010 5:57 pm

Using Multiple Install Conditions with WPKG

There can be zero or more conditions checked prior to installing software with WPKG. To perform multiple checks, enclose the checks with <check type="logical" condition="logicalcondition"> and </check>. You can use not, and, or, atleast, or atmost for logicalcondition. E.g. to have WPKG check for the existence of two files c:\windows\system32\ftlx0411.dll and c:\windows\winhlp32.exe, you could use the following:
<check type='logical' condition='and'> 
     <!-- The uninstall process doesn't remove winhlp32.exe, but does remove
     ftlx0411.dll -->  
     <check type="file" condition="exists" 
      path="%SystemRoot%\system32\ftlx0411.dll" />
     <check type="file" condition="exists" 
      path="%SystemRoot%\winhlp32.exe" />

In this case, WPKG will only consider the software installed if both files exist. If only one of them exists, the installation will proceed.


  1. Packages.xml
    WPKG | Open Source Software Deployment and Distribution
  2. Re: [wpkg-users] Check command
    Date: June 11, 2009

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

Sat, Mar 06, 2010 5:43 pm

Incorrect Installed Software in WPKG

If WPKG is showing an incorrect list of installed software, e.g. it shows a program is installed, but the program is no longer installed because it was removed outside of WPKG, you can correct the problem by editing C:\Windows\System32\wpkg.xml on the system where the software was installed. Just remove the section of the file applying to that package. E.g. from the package id="pkgid" name="pkgname" revision="1" reboot="false" priority="0"> to the </package> for the particular package. Then, if you use wpkg.js /show:pkgid the package will no longer be shown as installed.

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

Tue, Mar 02, 2010 4:09 pm

OS X Line Endings

Operating systems handle the line endings in text files in different ways. For DOS and Microsoft Windows, the end of a line is marked by a carriage return (CR) and a line feed (LF) character.

The CR and LF characters were used originally on teletypewriters, aka teleprinters, which were electromechanical typewriters used for telecommunications or to control early computers. Though, later, the carriage return would usually move the paper in the device to the next line as well, initially it would cause the cylinder on which the paper was held (the carriage) to return to the left side of the paper after a line of text had been typed without advancing the paper to a new line. Today, the return key you see on a computer's keyboard is a descendant of the carriage return on the earlier teletype machines. In most word processors today, hitting the return key will move the cursor to the beginning of the next line.

If you are working on a text file, e.g. one with a .txt extension, on a DOS or Microsoft Windows system, when you hit the return key two characters are inserted in the file at that point, a carriage return (CR) character followed by a line feed character, which have the following hexadecimal representations.

Carriage Return (CR)0D
Line Feed (LF)0A

But, if you are working on a Linux or Unix system, then only the LF character is inserted at the end of a line when you hit return. This may be due to a desire to reduce disk storage space for text files on early Unix computers; disk storage was much more limited than it is today.

Mac systems use yet another convention with OS X, even though it is a Unix-based operating system, with a heritage in BSD Unix . They use just the CR character to mark the end of a line.

DOS/WindowsCRLF0D 0A

So most Mac applications will, when you save a file as a text file, put just a CR at the end of the line. However, if you are editing a file from the command line on a Mac OS X system with a program, such as Vi, which is an editor that comes with Mac OS X, but which was originally developed for Unix, it will save a file with the LF (hex 0A) character at the end of lines.

E.g., I can create a text file test.txt with vi and put just the following two lines in it:


If I examine the contents of the file with the od program, I see the following, if I use the -c option to display ASCII characters or backslash escapes:

GS01:Documents jsmith$ od -c test.txt
0000000    1   2   3  \n   4   5   6  \n                                

The \n at the end of each line represents a newline

But, if I use -ax to see the ASCII and hexadecimal contents of the file, I see the following:

GS01:Documents jsmith$ od -ax test.txt
0000000    1   2   3  nl   4   5   6  nl                                
             3231    0a33    3534    0a36                                

I see that the lines are terminated with the hexidecimal 0A character for the newline character. Note: the hexadecimal representation that appears below the ASCII representation has the bytes reversed, i.e. 32 represents 2 and 31 represents 1.

If you need to convert a file that uses the Mac style of terminating lines with a CR character to the Linux/Unix style of using a LF character, then you can use the following procedure within vi taken from Using the shell (Terminal) in Mac OS X.

Type "1,$s/" and then press CTRL-V followed by CTRL-M. When you press CTRL-V nothing appears to happen, but the CTRL-M shows up as "^M". Continue with "/" and then CTRL-V again. Hit RETURN (which will show up as ^M and you could do that too - I just like it this way) and finally "/g". On your screen the whole thing looks like:


What does that mean? It means "Starting at line 1 and stopping at the end of the file (1,$), substitute (s) any CTRL-M (/^M/) with Unix CTRL-M (^M/) and do it for the entire line rather than just the first CTRL-M you find (g) (On most other Unixes I'd just do s/^M//g ; I don't know why Mac OS X didn't let me do that). It is a little strange that you replace ^M with ^M but get something entirely different, but that's a subject for another day. The morbidly curious can start by typing "man stty" if they need to know now.

You can then use wq to save the file under the same name or wq newfilename.txt to give the converted version a new name.

Or, alternatively, if you don't want to use the vi editor, you can use the following:

cat file1 | tr "\\r" "\\n" > file2

That will use the translate, i.e. tr, command to translate all instances of the carriage return character, represented by \r to the newline character, in this case the LF character used on Unix systems.

If you wish, you could also create a script, e.g., mac2unix to perform the translation:

test $# -eq 2 -a "$1" != "$2" && tr "\015" "\012" < $1 > $2 || 
echo "Usage: mac2unix f1 f2"

After changing the permissions on the file with chmod 755 mac2unix, you could use mac2unix file1 file to convert the contents of file1 to file2.

I receive email messages from a Unix system that contain gpg encrypted data on a Mac OS X system. If I try to decrypt them with gpg --decrypt file1.gpg >file2.txt on the Mac system, I receive the error message gpg: [don't know]: invalid packet (ctb=53). So I first need to convert file1 with this procedure before running gpg to decrypt it.

If you needed to convert a file on a Mac system to the text format for a DOS or Microsoft Windows system, you could create a script, e.g. mac2dos to perform the conversion:

test $# -eq 2 -a "$1" != "$2" && { mac2unix $1 $2; unix2dos $2 $2 } || echo "Usage: mac2dos f1 f2"

That script would rely on the mac2unix script you created previously.

To go the other way, e.g. from DOS/Windows to the Mac text format or from Unix to the MAC format, you could use the following:


test $# -eq 2 -a "$1" != "$2" && tr -d "\012" < $1 > $2 || echo 
"Usage: dos2mac f1 f2"


test $# -eq 2 -a "$1" != "$2" && tr "\012" "\015" < $1 > $2 || 
echo "Usage: unix2mac f1 f2"


  1. Carriage return
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. Newline
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  3. Teleprinter
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  4. Using the shell (Terminal) in Mac OS X
    Date: December 2002
    MacOSX articles at
  5. Vi
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  6. Line Breaks
    Date: July 1, 2003
    By: Rodney Sparapani/Medical College of Wisconsin
    The ESS-help Archives
  7. Why is the line terminator CR+LF?
    Date: March 18, 2004
    By: oldnewthing
    The Old New Thing

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Sat, Feb 27, 2010 9:12 pm

Windows Easy Transfer from Windows XP or Vista to Windows 7

If you are upgrading a prior version of Windows, such as Windows XP or vista, to Windows 7, you can use the Windows Easy Transfer program to transfer files and settings for accounts on the system.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/win7] permanent link

Sat, Feb 27, 2010 7:20 pm

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor

You can use the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to check on whether a system is compatible with Windows 7.

After installing the software, start it and click on Start check.

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor start check

The check of the system may take several minutes. When it completes, you will see a list of the issues found.

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor issues found

If you scroll down through the issues found, you can determine if any issues were found with hardware in or attached to the system, such as a video card in the computer or a printer attached to the system, by examining the Devices section.

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor issues found with devices

If you click on Save Report, you can save a report on what the Windows Upgrade Advisor found in .mht or .html format. A compatibility report for an HP Pavilion a1630n system can be seen here. The report indicates the NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE video card in the system is compatible with Windows 7 and that Windows Aero support should be available.

[/os/windows/win7] permanent link

Fri, Feb 19, 2010 11:14 pm

Files for Windows Live Messenger Custom Emoticons

In trying to determine how to copy Windows Live Messenger version 2009 emoticon files from one system to another, I found a C:\Users\acctname\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Messenger\\ObjectStore\CustomEmoticons directory on a Windows 7 system. For the directory path acctname is the particular Windows account. The email address used for logging into Windows Live Messenger would appear in place of The equivalent directory on the Windows XP system from which I was going to copy the custom icons was \Documents and Settings\acctname\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Messenger\\ObjectStore\CustomEmoticons.

The directory contained .dt2 and .id2 files. When I checked .dt2 files with FileAlyzer, I found that they were actually GIF files. Most were GIF89a files, but some were GIF87a files as is revealed by the first 6 bytes in the files. GIF89a files have 47 49 46 38 39 61 as the first six bytes in the files while GIF87a files have 47 49 46 38 37 61 as the first six bytes. If you change the extension on a file from .dt2 to .gif, you can view the file with an image viewing program.

FileAlyzer .dt2 file

There is a .dt2 and .id2 file for each emoticon with names similar to the example shown below.


These are associated with the emoticons you see in the Custom emoticons section when you select an emoticon within Windows Live Messenger.

Custom Emoticons

I was able to transfer all of the custom icons for Windows Live Messenger from the Windows XP system to the Windows 7 system, by copying all the files in the CustomIcons folder on the Windows XP system to that folder on the Windows 7 system. Where the files already exist, you can choose to skip or copy over those files.

Note: if you have Windows Live Messenger open on the destination system at the time you copy the files to it, you will need to close all Windows Live Messenger windows and close the program and then reopen it to see the custom icons you copied.


  1. GIF
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. Decrypting Messenger Id2 files
    Date: July 2, 2007
    Fanatic Live

[/network/chat/live_messenger] permanent link

Fri, Feb 19, 2010 8:48 pm

Mac GNU Privacy Guard 2.x

A version of GNU Privacy Guard is available for Mac OS X systems from Mac GNU Privacy Guard. A .zip file,, can be downloaded from Mac GNU Privacy Guard v2.x Files.

To install the software, once you've downloaded it, unzip the contents of the zip file, which you can do from a shell prompt with the unzip command. Then use the Finder to locate the .mpkg file that was extracted from the .zip file. Double-click on it to start the MacGPG2 Installer.

Welcome ot the MacGPG2 Installer

Click on Continue to continue with the installation. The next step will be to view the Read Me information, followed by the display of the GNU General Public License Version 3, which covers the use of the software. After agreeing to the license, you will be informed of the amount of space that will be used by the software, which is 21.6 MB for version 2.0.14RC2. When you proceed with the installation, the gpg executable will be installed in /usr/local/bin.

You can see other files installed during the installation with lsbom -fls /Library/Receipts/macgpg2.pkg/Contents/

$ lsbom -fls /Library/Receipts/macgpg2.pkg/Contents/

Your keyrings, such as pubring.gpg, will be installed in /Users/acctname/.gnupg/. where acctname represents the particular account you are using. If you have keyrings already on another system, you can copy those keyrings to that location. I.e., you can copy pubring.gpg, secring.gpg, and trustdb.gpg from the other system. You can see what keys are in your public keyring with gpg --list-keys.


  1. GNU Privacy Guard
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. Mac GNU Privacy Guard
  3. Uninstall applications installed from packages
    Date: January 11, 2010
    By: oblahdioblidaa
    Mac OS X Hints

[/os/os-x/software/security] permanent link

Mon, Feb 15, 2010 10:37 pm

Taskbar Color Not Changing for Themes on a Windows 7 System

My wife reported that the taskbar color on her Windows 7 desktop system was not changing when she changed the theme as it did on her laptop. The background color would change for a theme, but the taskbar color remained the same gray color.

I right-clicked on the desktop and chose Personalize. At the bottom of the window where one could select a theme, there was an option to Troubleshooot problems with transparency and other Aero effects . I clicked on that option. A window then appeared where I could click on Next to troubleshoot Aero problems.

Troubleshoot Aero Problems

When I clicked on Next, I saw a window with "Update the driver for your video card" and the message that "The current video card may support Aero with a driver that is compliant with the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM). Contact the manufacturer of your computer or video card for a WDDM-compatible driver."

Update the Driver

I clicked on Next and saw a "Troubleshooting has completed" window stating the following:

Problems found

Video card driver doesn't support Aero effects

Aero Not Supported

I decided to check the Windows Experience Index (WEI) score for the system. I clicked on the Start button and selected Control Panel. The View by settng was Category. I changed it to Large icons and then selected Performance Information and Tools, which showed me the WEI score was 1.0.

The WEI assesses key system components on a scale of 1.0 to 7.9. A system is rated with an overall score, called the base score, and with subscores for each of five individual hardware components: processor, memory, graphics, gaming graphics, and primary hard disk. The base score is determined from the lowest of the five subscores, because a system's performance is limited by its slowest or least-powerful hardware component.

Windows Experience Index

In this case the values were as follows:

ComponentWhat is ratedSubscore
Processor:Calculations per second4.2
Memory (RAM):Memory operations per second 4.6
Graphics:Desktop performance for Windows Aero 1.9
Gaming graphics:3D business and gaming graphics performance1.0
Primary hard disk:Disk data transfer rate 5.9

In this case the overall score was 1.0, because of the gaming graphics score. I clicked on Re-run the assessment. The only score that changed was the one for memory, which changed from 4.6 to 4.9. I had replaced the memory modules in the system.

According to the table provided at Winows Experience Index, a value of 3.0 is typically needed to have Windows Aero automatically enabled.

[/os/windows/win7/video] permanent link

Mon, Feb 15, 2010 9:04 pm

Unattended Installation of Paint Shop Pro 9

The Paint Shop Pro 9.01 installation program, English_PaintShopPro901_Jasc_PREMIUMESD.exe appears to be an InstallShield PackagefortheWeb (PFTW), i.e. an InstallShield tree bundled up into one file. If you open the file in WinRAR, WinZip, or similar program, you will see the following files within it.

\Jasc Paint Shop Pro 9.msi2,120,312

When you run English_PaintShopPro901_Jasc_PREMIUMESD.exe without any options it will extract the files listed above to C:\Program Files\Jasc Software Inc\Setup Files\English PaintShopPro901 Jasc PREMIUM ESD. The setup.exe file will be executed, which will install Paint Shop Pro 9 to the default installation directory of %PROGRAMFILES%\Jasc Software Inc\Paint Shop Pro 9\, e.g., C:\Program Files\Jasc Software Inc\Paint Shop Pro 9\.

If you run the program from the command line and specify INSTALLDIR, though, you can change where the software is installed. E.g., you could use the following:

c:\Users\JDoe\Downloads>English_PaintShopPro901_Jasc_PREMIUMESD.exe /s /a /w /v" /qn /l* C:\Users\Public\Documents\PSP9.log INSTALLDIR=\" C:\Program Files\Graphics\Paint Shop Pro 9\" ALLUSERS=2"

The options used are listed below:

/s : Silent mode

For an InstallScript MSI or InstallScript project, the command Setup.exe /s runs the installation in silent mode, by default based on the responses contained in a response file called Setup.iss in the same directory. (Response files are created by running Setup.exe with the /r option.) To specify an alternative file name or location of the response file, use the /f1 option.

/a : Add

The /a ... ("add") switch allows you to add switches to the command line of the underlying setup.exe process. You may provide any of the normal InstallShield switches here, including /r, /s, and /sms.

Note: the PFTW package recognizes the /s and /a switches. The /s switch instructs the PFTW package to run silently, but this does not necessarily mean that the setup.exe program within it will run silently.

/w : Wait (Basic MSI and InstallScript MSI projects)

For a Basic MSI project, the /w option forces Setup.exe to wait until the installation is complete before exiting.

/v"ISSCRIPTCMDLINE=\" \"" : Pass arguments that should be passed to the script (Basic MSI projects only)

This option specifices command-line parameters to be passed to the script. Any property supported by InstallScript MSI (where appropriate) can be specified. (The most common ones are /d and /z.)

For example, the following indicates that you want to debug the script, and that the CMDLINE variable should contain TEST.

Setup.exe /v"ISSCRIPTCMDLINE=\"-d -zTEST\""

Note that as shown above, when you want to specify that a double quote character is not a delimiter for the command line but a delimiter for the property, use \".

Note also that as with any public Windows Installer property, this property should be specified with all uppercase letters.

So, I've put the \ before each of the double quotes in INSTALLDIR=\"C:\Program Files\Graphics\Paint Shop Pro 9\ to "escape" the meaning of them on the command line. The option thus specifies that the software should be installed in C:\Program Files\Graphics\Paint Shop Pro 9\ rather than the default directory of C:\Program Files\Jasc Software Inc\Paint Shop Pro 9\.

But the first switch I pass down to msiexec, which is the Microsoft Windows provided installer program is /qn. That makes the installation non-interactive, i.e. yields an unattended installation. You could use /qb, instead, for an unattended installation, however, in this case there is still a brief display of a window during the installation about preparation for the installation.

The /l* C:\Users\Public\Documents\PSP9.log specifies that a log file should be produced with information on the installation.

Information on the ALLUSERS option can be found at ALLUSERS Property webpage.

You can provide named options, or "properties", at the end of the command line; which properties are supported depends on the package. If you wnat to know which properties are supported for an installation you can install the software with the /l* option and then look in the log file after the installation is completed, which is what I did to determine what property to use to specify the installation directory for the software. The * after the l indicates that all types of log messages should be included in the log file. You can see the types of messages that can be logged at Command-Line Switches for the Microsoft Windows Installer Tool.

I saw the following in the log file:

Property(S): INSTALLDIR = C:\Program Files\Jasc Software Inc\Paint Shop Pro 9\

So I then knew I could specify the directory for an unintended install by using INSTALLDIR=. I wanted to install the software in C:\Program Files\Graphics\Paint Shop Pro 9\. Since the directory path contains spaces, I had to enclose the path and file name in double quotes. But, since those double quotes would be appearing within an outer set of double quotes, I needed to put a forward slash before each one. Otherwise the first double quote could be interprested as closing the outer set of double quotes, so I used INSTALLDIR=\" C:\Program Files\Graphics\Paint Shop Pro 9\"

During the installation, the following registry keys are created:

Paint Shop Pro 9 registry keys

During the installation the setup files are extracted to C:\Program Files\Jasc Software Inc\Soetup Files. I install Paint Shop Pro 9 to C:\Program Files\Graphics\Paint Shop Pro 9 and delete the C:\Program Files\Jasc Software Inc directory and every thing beneath it after the installation, since the setup files consume 108 MB of disk space. You can delete the directory from the command line with rd /s /q "c:\Program Files\Jasc Software Inc\".

A silent uninstall can be peformed for Paint Shop Pro 9 using the command MsiExec.exe /x{F843C6A3-224D-4615-94F8-3C461BD9AEA0} /q.

I created the following psp.xml file to be able to perform a silent install of Paint Shop Pro 9 with WPKG

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

   name="Paint Shop Pro"
<check type="uninstall" condition="exists" path="Jasc Paint Shop Pro 9" />
<install cmd='%SOFTWARE%\Graphics\English_PaintShopPro901_Jasc_PREMIUMESD.exe /s /a /w /v"/qn 
/l* c:\Users\Public\Documents\SysInfo\Reports\Install\PSP9.log 
INSTALLDIR=\"C:\Program Files\Graphics\Paint Shop Pro 9\" ALLUSERS=2"' />

<remove cmd='MsiExec.exe /x{F843C6A3-224D-4615-94F8-3C461BD9AEA0} /q'/>




  1. InstallShield
    Unattended, A Windows deployment system
  2. Setup.exe and Update.exe Command-Line Parameters
    Flexera Software - Knowledge Base
  3. InstallShield
    Flexera Software
  4. ALLUSERS Property
    MSDN: Microsoft Development, MSDN Subscriptions, Resources and More
  5. Command-Line Switches for the Microsoft Windows Installer Tool
    Microsoft Support
  6. Paint Shop Pro
    WPKG | Open Source Software Deployment and Distribution

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

Sun, Feb 14, 2010 5:19 pm

Firefox 3.6 Silent Install with WPKG

An "unattended", aka "silent" install can be performed on Firefox 3.6. Instructions on performing a silent install can be found at Installer: Command Line Arguments.

You can use the -ms option with the setup file, though this is listed as being a deprecated option. However, the alternative option, /S, for a silent install is listed as being broken currently [This is as of February 14, 2010]. Or you can use the option /INI=<full path to configuration ini file>. You can't mix the /S or -ms options with the /INI file. If you place the /INI option after one of those options, the /INI option will be ignored and there's really no need to do so, since a silent installation will be performed when you specify the /INI option.

Configuration ini file, e.g. firefox.ini syntax:

; The name of the directory where the application will be installed in the
; system's program files directory. The security
; context the installer is running in must have write access to the
; installation directory. Also, the directory must not exist or if it exists
; it must be a directory and not a file. If any of these conditions are not met
; the installer will abort the installation with an error level of 2. If this
; value is specified then InstallDirectoryPath will be ignored.
; InstallDirectoryName=Mozilla Firefox
; The full path to the directory to install the application. The security
; context the installer is running in must have write access to the
; installation directory. Also, the directory must not exist or if it exists
; it must be a directory and not a file. If any of these conditions are not met
; the installer will abort the installation with an error level of 2.
; InstallDirectoryPath=c:\firefox\
; By default all of the following shortcuts are created. To prevent the
; creation of a shortcut specify false for the shortcut you don't want created.
; Create a shortcut for the application in the current user's QuickLaunch
; directory.
; QuickLaunchShortcut=false
; Create a shortcut for the application on the desktop. This will create the
; shortcut in the All Users Desktop directory and if that fails this will
; attempt to create the shortcuts in the current user's Start Menu directory.
; DesktopShortcut=false
; Create shortcuts for the application in the Start Menu. This will create the
; shortcuts in the All Users Start Menu directory and if that fails this will
; attempt to create the shortcuts in the current user's Start Menu directory.
; StartMenuShortcuts=false
; The directory name to use for the StartMenu folder.
; note: if StartMenuShortcuts=false is specified then this will be ignored.
; StartMenuDirectoryName=Mozilla Firefox

If you want to spcify the directory where Firefox should be installed, rather than having it go into the default location, e.g. C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox, leave the semicolon in front of InstallDirectoryName="Mozilla Firefox" to keep it commented out. But remove the semicolon from the InstallDirectoryPath option. E.g., if I wanted to specify C:\Program Files\Network\Web\Firefox as the installation directory, I could put the following in that line:

InstallDirectoryPath=c:\Program Files\Network\Web\Mozilla Firefox

I normally don't want the desktop cluttered with shortcuts, so I would remove the semicolon from in front of DesktopShortcut=false to keep a shortcut for Firefox being added to the desktop.

By default, a start menu entry will be made named Mozilla Firefox, but, if I instead wanted the start menu entry to go under Network Web\Mozilla Firefox, I could use StartMenuDirectoryName=Network\Web\Mozilla Firefox for the StartMenuDirectoryName option.

To perform an unattended install using WPKG, I could use the following for a firefox.xml package file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

	name="Mozilla Firefox 3.6"
	<check type="uninstall" condition="exists" path="Mozilla Firefox (3.6)" />
	<install cmd="taskkill /F /IM Firefox.exe">
		<exit code="0" />
		<exit code="128" />
                <exit code="-1073741515" />
	<install cmd='"%SOFTWARE%\network\web\Firefox Setup 3.6.exe" /ini=%SOFTWARE%\network\web\firefox.ini' />
	<upgrade cmd="taskkill /F /IM Firefox.exe">
		<exit code="0" />
		<exit code="128" />
                <exit code="-1073741515" />
	<upgrade cmd='"%SOFTWARE%\network\web\Firefox Setup 3.6.exe" /ini=%SOFTWARE%\network\web\firefox.ini' />
	<remove cmd="taskkill /F /IM Firefox.exe">
		<exit code="0" />
		<exit code="128" />
                <exit code="-1073741515" />
	<remove cmd='"%PROGRAMFILES%\Network\Web\Mozilla Firefox\uninstall\helper.exe" /s' />



  1. Firefox - WPKG
  2. Installer:Command Line Arguments
    mozilla wiki

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

Fri, Feb 12, 2010 3:57 pm

Using OpenSSL to calculate Message Digest

The md5sum command can be used to calculate an MD5 message digest (MD5 is an abbreviation for "Message-Digest algorithm 5"), which is a cryptographic hash function. The md5sum program is commonly found on Linux systems and programs which the provide the same functionality are also available for Microsoft Windows systems, e.g. digestIT 2004. But, if such a program isn't present on a system, e.g. an OS X system, but OpenSSL is present, you can use the openssl command to obtain message digests, which can allow you to verify that a file, such as an executable file, was not changed since it was released by the originator.

If you issue the command openssl dgst filename, openssl will, by default, provide the MD5 checksum for the file. You can also use other cryptographic hash functions, such as SHA, SHA1, MD2, or you can specify MD5.

$ openssl dgst
MD5( 796faa884fb0125eda60cd5e8aa8daa1
$ openssl md5
MD5( 796faa884fb0125eda60cd5e8aa8daa1
$ openssl sha1
SHA1( 3070ac89b7a4327e217045b1cac790c1dc048d8f
$ openssl sha
SHA( 021e35f63c55e22355bea99f73df885659a46d15
$ openssl md2
MD2( 47bd3f0cc33710997f2fe57b1f7cc2c5

The available message digest options include the following:


       md2       MD2 Digest

       md5       MD5 Digest

       mdc2      MDC2 Digest

       rmd160    RMD-160 Digest

       sha       SHA Digest

       sha1      SHA-1 Digest

       sha224    SHA-224 Digest

       sha256    SHA-256 Digest

       sha384    SHA-384 Digest

       sha512    SHA-512 Digest

[/security/encryption/openssl] permanent link

Thu, Feb 11, 2010 10:24 pm

WPKG Package Settings File

I had an error in a package file that I used for installing Debugging Tools for Windows with WPKG. When I created windbg.xml, I copied an already installed package's xml file to the windbg.xml. I forgot to change the uninstall condition to match what it should be for Debugging Tools for Windows, however. I had the following in windbg.xml:

<check type="uninstall" condition="exists" path="Vim 7.2.320"/>

As a result, when I tried using WPKG to uninstall and reinstall the software, I was unable to do so. To fix the problem, I edited C:\Windows\system32\wpkg.xml and changed that line in the file to the correct uninstall condition, which is the following:

<check type="uninstall" condition="exists" path="Debugging Tools for Windows (x86)"/>

The corrected windbg.xml file contains the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>


<!-- Debugging Tools for Windows 32-bit Version -->
<!-- Source:  -->

<package id="WinDbg" name="Debugging Tools for Windows" revision="1" reboot="false" priority="0">
  <check type="uninstall" condition="exists" path="Debugging Tools for Windows (x86)" />
  <install cmd='msiexec INSTDIR="C:\Program Files\Utilities\SysMgmt\Debugging Tools for Windows (x86)\" /i %SOFTWARE%\Utilities\SysMgmt\dbg_x86_6.11.1.404.msi  /q' />
  <upgrade cmd='%SOFTWARE%\Utilities\SysMgmt\dbg_x86_6.11.1.404.msi  /q' />
  <remove cmd='msiexec /x {300A2961-B2B5-4889-9CB9-5C2A570D08AD} /q' />



  1. Unattended Install for Debugging Tools for Windows
    MoonPoint Support

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

Thu, Feb 11, 2010 6:02 pm

Troubleshooting with openssl

You can use the command openssl s_client -connect command, where is the IP address of the server and yyyyy is the port number on the server used for HTTPS. The port is usually 443, but does not have to be that port. You can, of course, also use a fully qualified domain name (FQDN), such as, instead of an IP address.

By using the command, one can determine if a system is responding correctly using the HTTPS protocol. E.g. below is an example of a query issued against

$ openssl s_client -connect
depth=2 /C=US/O=VeriSign, Inc./OU=Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority - G2/OU=(c) 1998 VeriSign, Inc. - For authorized use only/OU=VeriSign Trust Network
verify return:1
depth=1 /C=US/O=VeriSign, Inc./OU=VeriSign Trust Network/OU=Terms of use at (c)09/CN=VeriSign Class 3 Secure Server CA - G2
verify return:1
depth=0 /C=US/ST=California/L=San Jose/O=PayPal, Inc./OU=Information Systems/
verify return:1
Certificate chain
 0 s:/C=US/ST=California/L=San Jose/O=PayPal, Inc./OU=Information Systems/
   i:/C=US/O=VeriSign, Inc./OU=VeriSign Trust Network/OU=Terms of use at (c)09/CN=VeriSign Class 3 Secure Server CA - G2
 1 s:/C=US/O=VeriSign, Inc./OU=VeriSign Trust Network/OU=Terms of use at (c)09/CN=VeriSign Class 3 Secure Server CA - G2
   i:/C=US/O=VeriSign, Inc./OU=Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority - G2/OU=(c) 1998 VeriSign, Inc. - For authorized use only/OU=VeriSign Trust Network
Server certificate
subject=/C=US/ST=California/L=San Jose/O=PayPal, Inc./OU=Information Systems/
issuer=/C=US/O=VeriSign, Inc./OU=VeriSign Trust Network/OU=Terms of use at (c)09/CN=VeriSign Class 3 Secure Server CA - G2
No client certificate CA names sent
SSL handshake has read 3029 bytes and written 308 bytes
New, TLSv1/SSLv3, Cipher is DES-CBC3-SHA
Server public key is 1024 bit
Compression: NONE
Expansion: NONE
    Protocol  : TLSv1
    Cipher    : DES-CBC3-SHA
    Session-ID: E24FE41E08BCBB5246EE5EAC08E7E4ACBB4708F0CD0089E9EF602E4F3C435922
    Master-Key: FFF8BF97F79796457EE44860212C5F887FFE8F62F4A6FC908DB1A382489BE5C2963C2D5F84BC526911FA5EB096634603
    Key-Arg   : None
    Krb5 Principal: None
    Start Time: 1262641575
    Timeout   : 300 (sec)
    Verify return code: 0 (ok)

You can check the expiration date of an SSL certificate by first retrieving the certificate using commands such as in the first line below. You can then check the expiration date with a command such as the one on the next line, which shows that the current certificate for PayPal expires at midnight Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on June 11, 2010.

$ echo "" | openssl s_client -connect > certificate
depth=2 /C=US/O=VeriSign, Inc./OU=Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority
 - G2/OU=(c) 1998 VeriSign, Inc. - For authorized use only/OU=VeriSign Trust Net
verify return:1
depth=1 /C=US/O=VeriSign, Inc./OU=VeriSign Trust Network/OU=Terms of use at (c)09/CN=VeriSign Class 3 Secure Server CA - G2
verify return:1
depth=0 /C=US/ST=California/L=San Jose/O=PayPal, Inc./OU=Information Systems/
verify return:1
$ openssl x509 -in certificate -noout -enddate
notAfter=Jun 11 23:59:59 2010 GMT

Another example below shows the results returned for a self-signed certificate:

# echo "" | /usr/local/ssl/bin/openssl s_client -connect > certi
depth=0 /C=EU/ST=SomeState/L=SomeCity/O=SomeOranization/OU=SomeOrganizationUnit/
verify error:num=18:self signed certificate
verify return:1
depth=0 /C=EU/ST=SomeState/L=SomeCity/O=SomeOranization/OU=SomeOrganizationUnit/
verify return:1
# /usr/local/ssl/bin/openssl x509 -in certificate -noout -enddate
notAfter=Feb 12 11:44:04 2018 GMT


  1. OpenSSL: Documents, s_client(1)
    OpenSSL: The Open Source toolkit for SLS/TLS
  2. When does my certificate expire? -- Linux, Solaris, and general UNIX notes.

[/security/encryption/openssl] permanent link

Thu, Feb 11, 2010 5:53 pm

Unattended Install for Debugging Tools for Windows

I wanted to install Debugging Tools for Windows on several systems. I wanted to do an "unattended", aka "silent", installation where the installation would occur automatically without any user intervention, except perhaps at most a command being issued at a command prompt. The Debugging Tools for Windows comes as an .msi file, which is a Microsoft Windows installation file.

At Forcing MSI Installation Into a Specific Directory, I found a suggestion to put TARGETDIR on the command line when using the msiexec command. E.g. to specify the directory where an application should be installed when the installation file for that application is an .msi file, the author of that page suggested that you can use a command similar to the following:

msiexec TARGETDIR="C:\MyTargetDirectory" /i MyProject.msi

You can use the /q option to specify that the installation does not present a GUI installer window or prompt the user - see Command-Line Options for other command line options.

That did not work in this case, however. So, I decided to try the webpage author's suggestion to turn on logging during an installation of the software where I performed the install normally from the GUI installation method. I turned on verbose logging using the command msiexec /i dbg_x86_6.11.1.404.msi /l*v c:\windbg.log, which created a log file c:\windbg.log.

During the installation process, I chose a "custom" install and specified the installation directory be C:\Program Files\Utilities\SysMgmt\Debugging Tools for Windows (x86)\ rather than the default installation directory of C:\Program Files\Debugging Tools for Windows (x86)\. When the installation was completed, I saw the following when I opened the log file with Notepad:

MSI (c) (44:D8) [16:44:12:281]: PROPERTY CHANGE: Modifying INSTDIR property. Its current value is 'C:\Program Files\Debugging Tools for Windows (x86)\'. Its new value: 'C:\'.
MSI (c) (44:D8) [16:44:13:291]: PROPERTY CHANGE: Modifying INSTDIR property. Its current value is 'C:\'. Its new value: 'C:\Program Files\'.
MSI (c) (44:D8) [16:44:16:866]: PROPERTY CHANGE: Modifying INSTDIR property. Its current value is 'C:\Program Files\'. Its new value: 'C:\Program Files\Utilities\'.
MSI (c) (44:D8) [16:44:18:062]: PROPERTY CHANGE: Modifying INSTDIR property. Its current value is 'C:\Program Files\Utilities\'. Its new value: 'C:\Program Files\Utilities\SysMgmt\'.
MSI (c) (44:D8) [16:44:24:941]: PROPERTY CHANGE: Modifying INSTDIR property. Its current value is 'C:\Program Files\Utilities\SysMgmt\'. Its new value: 'C:\Program Files\Utilities\SysMgmt\Debugging Tools for Windows (x86)\'.
MSI (c) (44:D8) [16:44:25:095]: PROPERTY CHANGE: Modifying _1394 property. Its current value is 'C:\Program Files\Debugging Tools for Windows (x86)\1394\'. Its new value: 'C:\Program Files\Utilities\SysMgmt\Debugging Tools for Windows (x86)\1394\'.

I could see that the property being modified was INSTDIR rather than TARGETDIR, so I then tried the following command at the command line:

msiexec INSTDIR="C:\Program Files\Utilities\SysMgmt\Debugging Tools for Windows (x86)\" /i dbg_x86_6.11.1.404.msi /q

That put the software in the directory where I wanted it installed and did not display a GUI window or any prompts.

To uninstall software installed through an MSI file, you can use msiexec /x Package|ProductCode. In this case, after the installation, I ran regedit and checked the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall. I could see that the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{300A2961-B2B5-4889-9CB9-5C2A570D08AD} registry key was the appropriate one, since within it I saw the following:

DisplayNameREG_SZ Debugging Tools for Windows (x86)
UninstallStringREG_EXPAND_SZ MsiExec.exe /I{300A2961-B2B5-4889-9CB9-5C2A570D08AD}

That told me that the ProductCode for Debugging Tools for Windows is {300A2961-B2B5-4889-9CB9-5C2A570D08AD}. However, if I used MsiExec.exe /I{300A2961-B2B5-4889-9CB9-5C2A570D08AD} to uninstall the software, I would get a GUI uninstall window where I would have to select the "remove" option. For a silent uninstall from the command line, I can use msiexec /x {300A2961-B2B5-4889-9CB9-5C2A570D08AD} /q. The /x option indicates that you want to remove the software. The /q option indicates you want a silent uninstall. Without the /q option, you would be prompted to confirm the removal of the software.

The DisplayName registry entry is what you will see under "Uninstall or change a program" or "Add or Remove Programs" under the Windows Control Panel. E.g., in this case, I would see Debugging Tools for Windows (x86) there.


  1. Debugging Tools for Windows
    WHDC - Windows Hardware Developer Central
  2. File Extension .MSI Details
    FILExt - The File Extension Source
  3. Windows Installer
    Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  4. Forcing MSI Installation Into a Specific Directory
    Arthur Zubarev
  5. Command-Line Options
    MSDN: Microsoft Development, MSDN Subscriptions, Resources, and More
  6. Unattended/Silent Installation Switches for Windows Apps
    Unattended, A Windows deployment system

[/os/windows/utilities/sysmgmt] permanent link

Sat, Feb 06, 2010 4:37 pm

Installing FlieAlyzer with WPKG

I installed FileAlyzer on a Windows 7 system using WPKG, which is open source software for deployment and distribution of software. I created a filealyzer.xml file which I placed in WPGK's packages directory on the server from which I install software. The filealyzer.xml file contained the following commands:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

   <check type="uninstall" condition="exists" path="FileAlyzer"/>
   <install cmd='%SOFTWARE%\utilities\filealyz.exe /sp- /verysilent /Dir="%PROGRAMFILES%\Utilities\FileAlyzer"'/>
   <upgrade cmd='%SOFTWARE%\utilities\filealyz.exe /sp- /verysilent /Dir="%PROGRAMFILES%\Utilities\FileAlyzer"'/>
   <remove cmd='"%PROGRAMFILES%\Utilities\FileAlyzer\unins000.exe" /sp- /verysilent /norestart'/>


%SOFTWARE% is a variable representing the directory on the server where software to be installed is located. I was able to specify the directory where the software should be installed with /Dir="%PROGRAMFILES%\Utilities\FileAlyzer" rather than having to accept the default installation directory, since FileAlyzer uses Inno Setup, an open source installer. If you don't specify the directory where it should be installed, FileAlyzer will be installed in C:\Program Files\Safer Networking\FileAlyzer

After FileAlyzer is installed, you can right-click on a file and choose Analyze file with FileAlyzer.

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

Mon, Jan 18, 2010 5:56 pm

Finding Time of Last Reboot

On Windows systems, such as XP, Vista, Small Business Server 2003, or Windows 7, you can determine the time a system was last booted from a command prompt using the systeminfo and find commands.
C:\>systeminfo | find "System Boot"
System Boot Time:          8/31/2009, 10:36:15 AM
For older versions of Windows, such as Windows NT or Windows 2000, you can use the uptime utility available in the Resource Kit for that version of Windows.
C:\Program Files\Reskit>uptime
\\JILL has been up for: 6 day(s), 9 hour(s), 34 minute(s), 7 second(s)

For Windows NT, you can download the uptime utility from Uptime.exe Tool Allows You to Estimate Server Availability with Windows NT 4.0 SP4 or Higher. For Windows 2000, the tool can be downloaded from Application Center 2000 - Uptime Tool.

[/os/windows/commands] permanent link

Sun, Jan 10, 2010 7:51 pm

Problems with Treet.TV in SL on a Windows 7 System

After a couple of days of trying to get video to work for Treet.TV channels on SecondLife, I've still had no success.

[ More Info ]

[/virtual_worlds/sl] permanent link

Sat, Jan 09, 2010 9:09 pm

Checking Client IP address with PHP

I noticed that two PHP scripts, BrowserInfo and BrowserTest, that I use to have people provide me with information on their browser, such as the plugins available, were not providing the IP address from which browsers were viewing the scripts, because I hadn't updated them for a long time, but had upgraded PHP on the website quite some time ago. The relevant old code is shown below:
$FQDN = gethostbyaddr($HTTP_SERVER_VARS['REMOTE_ADDR']);
print ("<b>IP Address:</b> $IP<br>");
print ("<b>FQDN:</b> $FQDN<br>");

I had to change the code to that shown below:

$FQDN = gethostbyaddr($_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR']);
print ("<b>IP Address:</b> $IP<br>");
print ("<b>FQDN:</b> $FQDN<br>");


  1. how to get client's IP address in PHP
    Date: August 10, 2006
  2. Predefined Variables
    Last Updated; January 8, 2010
    PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor

[/network/web/browser] permanent link

Fri, Jan 08, 2010 12:53 pm

Hostile Host Check

I created a Bash script hostile-host-check to allow me to query DShield, a "cooperative network security community" to determine if an IP address I've been notified is engaged in hostile activity is also listed in DShield's database of IP addresses found by others to be associated with hostile activity noted at their firewalls.

[/security/attacks] permanent link

Thu, Jan 07, 2010 11:19 am


If you are looking for a free cross-platform password management program, try KeePassX. It is open source software, which is available under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

You can compile the software from source code or download precompiled binary versions for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

Below is a screen shot from a Mac OS X entry showing fields that can be filled for a new entry in the password database.

KeePassX new entry

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Thu, Jan 07, 2010 11:12 am

Capturing a Screen Shot

To take a screen shot on a Mac OS X system, you can use the Grab application that comes with the operating system. To use it, take the following steps:
  1. With the finder, locate the Grab application which will be under Applications/Utilities.
  2. Open Grab
  3. Select Capture.
  4. Then select what you wish to capture. The choices are as follows:
    • Selection
    • Window
    • Screen
    • Timed Screen
  5. If you selected Window, you will see a Window Grab window appear offering you the chance to choose the window you want to capture. You can click on that window to select it and then click on the Choose Window button to capture it with Grab.
  6. Click on File and then Save to save the screen capture to a TIFF file.

Grab will save images as Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) files. You can convert such files to another graphics format, such as Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format using the Preview application that also comes with the operating system. Preview is located in the Applications folder. To convert a file from TIFF to JPEG using it, take the following steps:

  1. Open Preview, which is located in Applications, by double-clicking on it.
  2. Choose File.
  3. Chose Open and select the file to convert.
  4. Choose File.
  5. Choose Save As and select the file format you wish to use. You can choose from the following file formats:
    1. GIF
    2. JPEG
    3. JPEG-2000
    4. Microsoft BMP
    5. OpenEXR
    6. PDF
    7. Photoshop
    8. PICT
    9. PNG
    10. SGI
    11. TGA
    12. TIFF
  6. Click on Save.

There are also other third-party applications that will allow you to convert files in one graphics format to another.

As an alternative to running Grab and then Preview,you can open Preview and then from within it, select File and then select Grab, which will allow you to capture a window with Grab while inside Preview where you can select the file format you wish to use when you save the image. That can save you some steps in the process.


  1. Screenshot Hacks for Mac OS X
    By: Wei-Meng Lee and Derrick Story
    Date: February 28, 2003 -- macintosh development, open source development
  2. Mac OS X Screenshot Secrets
    By: David Battino
    Date: February 1, 2006
    O'Reilly Digital Media Center

[/os/os-x] permanent link

Tue, Jan 05, 2010 11:00 pm

Malware Scanning on Dell Inspiron 1526

The owner of a Dell Inspiron 1526 laptop running Microsoft Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 installed was seeing popups warning the system was infected with malware. When I logged into the system, I saw one such warning. The Task Manager would not run nor could I get a command prompt at the time.

When I checked the system, I didn't find any rogue antivirus/antispyware software on it, though that I could link to the warning. I did find a .wmv file masquerading as an .mp3 file that Symantec Security Scan identified as Trojan.Wimad, however.

[ More Info ]

[/security/malware] permanent link

Tue, Jan 05, 2010 9:52 pm

Displaying Additional Text When Mouse Hovered Over Text

A simple way to display additional text when someone moves his/her mouse over text on a webpage, is to use something like the following:

<a title="Text to be displayed on mouse hover">Some text<a>

Which will produce the following:

Some text.


  1. Show text on Hover
    Date: September 22, 2005 The source for newsgroups news

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