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Fri, Dec 17, 2021 9:04 pm

Galatia SIL font for Ancient Greek

If you are writing in Ancient Greek in an application such as Microsoft Word and wish to have an inverted breve, ̑, instead of a tilde, ~, above a vowel for the cirumflex accent for the perispomenon or properispomenon of words, the Galatia SIL font will allow you to do so as shown below for the letter upsilon in the Windows Character Map program.

Character Map - 
Galatia SIL Upsilon

The font can be downloaded from Galatia SIL or from this site ( After extracting the files, on a Microsoft Windows system you can right-click on the two TrueType font files, GalSILB and GalSILR, and choose "Install for all users." The font is available under the SIL Open Font License (OFL), which is a "a free, libre and open source license specifically designed for fonts and related software."

[/fonts/greek] permanent link

Wed, Nov 17, 2021 9:56 pm

Automatically resizing an image for mobile devices

I created this domain in April of 1997, a time when mobile device usage was not common. HTML 3 was the version of the HyperText Markup Lanugage (HTML) in usage then with HTML 4.0 not being pubished as a W3C Recommendation until December of that year. In the past, I used to add material to the site far more frequently. I haven't added much to the site in the last few years and haven't made any significant changes to the site for many years. Consequently, visitors viewing pages with large images from a mobile device would see only the leftmost portion of those images and would need to scroll right if they were using a mobile device such as a phone. I finally added a few lines to the site's style.css Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) file today to have images be scaled down to fit the screens of mobile devices. The lines I added are those below:
img {
  max-width: 100%;
  height: auto;

Those lines tell browsers that the maximum width of an image when it is displayed within the user's browser shoud be no wider than the page's width as it is displayed within that browser on that device. I added the "height: auto;" to ensure that when images are resized that the height is also adjusted to maintain the heighth to width ration of the original image. Otherwise, some images might be distorted so that the image height would be much greater in relation to its width than in the original image. With the auto setting, the height to width balance remains such that the image fits within the displaye page without appearing elongated.

[/network/web/html/css] permanent link

Wed, Nov 17, 2021 8:33 pm

Book classification fields in Book Collector

I use Book Collector from to catalog my books. When entering books into the Book Collector database, I like to include the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) number, Library of Congress Control Number, and Library of Congress Classification if those are available. When you enter a new book into the database, you can have the program search for an existing entry for the book from its enormous online database of books by clicking on the plus sign (+) at the top, left-hand part of the Book Collector window, which will then allow you to search by International Standard Book Number (ISBN), Author/Title, or LCCN. If the book is found, you can then choose to add its entry to your own collection or your wish list. Occasionally, I've found an LCCN listed in the LoC Control Number book, as is the case for Lost Treasures of American History by W.C. Jameson, but when I search the Library of Congress database for information associated with that LCCN, such as the LOC classification, I find that no record is returned.

[ More Info ]

[/software/database/collectorz] permanent link

Mon, Nov 15, 2021 10:23 pm

Converting a transparent PNG file to GIF in Corel PSP X4

I wanted to convert a transparent PNG file to a transparent GIF file for placement on web pages in an area on the pages that had a black background. I could have modified the code for the pages to use the PNG file that had been provided to me, but I thought I could easily convert the PNG image I had been provided, which was an image of stylized white text on a black background, to a GIF image and just replace the old GIF image on the site with the one I had recently been given. Since I use Corel PaintShop Pro X4 for image editing, I thought I could just use its "save as" feature to resave the file in the GIF format. But when I saved the transparent PNG file as a GIF file expecting transparency to be maintained by clicking on File, selecting Save As and then choosing GIF as the new format for the file, I found that transparency was not maintained in the GIF file. I was able to produce the GIF file I needed by the following steps, however.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/software/graphics/corel/psp] permanent link

Sat, Nov 13, 2021 10:25 pm

Removing logo image from 2O11 SMF Theme

After I installed the 2O11 theme (the name of the theme has a capital "O" between the two and the first "1", though it looks like it would be 2011) on a Simple Machines Forum (SMF) web site, I noticed it placed a logo at the top, right-hand side of pages with "SEFFAF Tema" displayed. The logo overlapped a search field. The image that was displayed was in the Themes directory for the site at Themes/2O11/images/smflogo.png. The relevant section of code in the index.template.php was as follows:

echo ' ', empty($settings['site_slogan']) ? '<img id="smflogo" src="' . $settings['images_url'] . '/smflogo.png" alt="Simple Machines Forum" title="Simple Machines Forum" />' : '<div id="siteslogan" class="floatright">' . $settings['site_slogan'] . '</div>', ' </div>

I removed the code starting with empty and extending through the first '</div>'. I.e., I deleted the following code:

, empty($settings['site_slogan']) ? '<img id="smflogo" src="' . $settings['images_url'] . '/smflogo.png" alt="Simple Machines Forum" title="Simple Machines Forum" />' : '<div id="siteslogan" class="floatright">' . $settings['site_slogan'] . '</div>', '

The empty function in the PHP code checks whether the variable $settings['site_slogan'] is empty. If it is then the question mark ternary operator results in the logo image being displayed. If the variable is not empty, it creates a div section in the code where the value of site_slogan is displayed from the array settings. Since the site owner didn't have a site slogan and didn't want the image, I removed the code.

[More Info]

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

Sat, Nov 06, 2021 8:30 pm


I needed to edit an index.template.php PHP file for a Simple Machines Forum (SMF) theme to correct a problem with an image no longer being available at the site pointed to in the code. For the missing image, I saw the following code in the file:

<a href="#" _fcksavedurl="#" class="yukari"><img src="" _fcksavedurl="" border="0" title="Yukarı" /></a>

Instead of the referenced image appearing, a large image with the message "The image is no longer available appeared" on it appeared. I found the original image at the WayBack Machine from a web crawl performed by the WayBack Machine on November 17, 2018. It was just an upward pointing arrow within a circle with some decorative elements around the circle, so I could easily substitute another image for it—clicking on the image within the theme resulted in the page being redisplayed, but putting the viewer at the top of the page again if the viewer had scrolled down the page. But I wondered why the "_fcksavedurl=" was referenced. It is apparently because the code was edited with the the CKEditor WYSIWYG editor - see "_fcksavedurl?". The CKEditor was first released in 2003 as FCKeditor according to the Wikipedia CKEditor page. I changed both references to the prior image to point to the new image I placed in the "images" subdirectory for the theme where the problem occurred.

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

Sun, Oct 31, 2021 9:53 pm

Trimming an MP4 Video on a Microsoft Windows 10 system

On a Microsoft Windows 10 system, if you wish to save just a portion of a video that is in MP4 format, you can do so if you are viewing the video in the Movies & TV application, which is the default program for playing videos, by clicking on the pencil icon near the bottom, right side of the window. If you double-click on the file for the video, it will likely open in the Movies & TV app, but if that is not the default program for playing videos, you should be able to open it in the program by right-clicking on the file and choosing Open with then selecting Movies & TV. Once you click on the pencil item in the application, you can then choose Trim which appears beneath Edit in Photos. You should then see white circles at the beginning and end of a white line at the bottom of the video that represents the length of the video. You can drag those white circles to the points in the video that you wish to be the starting and stopping points for the video. E.g., if I had a video that was several hours long, but I only wanted the first hour of the video, I could drag the white circle at the bottom, ride side of the window to the left until I saw 1:00, which represents 1 hour and 0 minutes. Once you have just the portion of the video timeline you want isolated with the white circles, click on Save as, which appears near the top, right side of the window next to an icon that depicts a pencil over a 3 1/2" floppy disk. You can then chose a file name you want for the new copy as the program doesn't change your original file, but makes a copy with just the portion of the original file you opted to save. By default, the program will append "_trim" to the original file name. If it is a large video, you may need to wait a few minutes for the new file to be created from the larger original file.

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

Wed, Oct 27, 2021 9:54 pm

Changing the background color in PuTTY

To change the background color for a terminal session using the PuTTY ssh and telnet program, take the following steps:

  1. If you wish to change the color for a saved session, load the session then click on "Colours," which is beneath "Window," in the left hand pane of the PuTTY Configuration window.

    PuTTY Session

  2. Click on "Default Background"; you should then see the default Red Green Blue (RGB) values with values of 0,0,0 representing black and 255, 255, 255 representing white. You can use an RGB Color Codes Chart, such as the one at to select a color and then obtain its numerical RGB value. For instance, if I wanted the background to be a dark gray, I could use a value of 64 for red, green, and blue.

    PuTTY Default Background

  3. You can then click on the Open button to open a session using the new background color or click on "Session" and save the session with the new setting, if you wish to make the setting permanent before opening the session.

[/network/ssh/putty] permanent link

Sun, Oct 24, 2021 12:58 pm

Counting SSH break-in attempts by country

Yesterday, I installed Fail2Ban on a CentOS 7 server after noticing SSH break-in attempts by password guessing. Today, I checked the fail2ban log to see how many IP addresses were banned and whether after being banned for an hour there were any subsequent password guessing attempts from the same IP address. I saw that 40 IP addresses had been banned since I installed Fail2Ban last night and that some of those addresses had been banned multiple times. You can count the number of times an IP address has been banned by using the awk command awk '($(NF-1) = /Ban/){print $NF}' /var/log/fail2ban.log | sort | uniq -c | sort -n. You can pipe the output of that command to the wc command wc -l to count the total number of lines which tells you the number of IP addresses that have been banned as explained at Fail2ban logging.

[root@moonpoint ~]# awk '($(NF-1) = /Ban/){print $NF}' /var/log/fail2ban.log | s
ort | uniq -c | sort -n
[root@moonpoint ~]# awk '($(NF-1) = /Ban/){print $NF}' /var/log/fail2ban.log | sort | uniq -c | sort -n | wc -l
[root@moonpoint ~]#

[More Info]

[/security/attacks] permanent link

Sat, Oct 23, 2021 7:36 pm

Break-in attempts via SSH from

While checking on a problem on a test CentOS Linux system today, I issued the command journalctl -xe from the root account to get more details on the problem. Among the results displayed was an indication of attempts to break into the system by guesses for the password of the root account on the system.

# journalctl -xe
Oct 23 16:20:23 moonpoint systemd[1]: Unit mariadb.service entered failed state.
Oct 23 16:20:23 moonpoint systemd[1]: mariadb.service failed.
Oct 23 16:20:23 moonpoint polkitd[1684]: Unregistered Authentication Agent for u
Oct 23 16:21:35 moonpoint sshd[4558]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): authentication failur
Oct 23 16:21:35 moonpoint sshd[4558]: pam_succeed_if(sshd:auth): requirement "ui
Oct 23 16:21:37 moonpoint sshd[4558]: Failed password for root from 221.131.165.
Oct 23 16:21:38 moonpoint sshd[4558]: pam_succeed_if(sshd:auth): requirement "ui
Oct 23 16:21:40 moonpoint sshd[4558]: Failed password for root from 221.131.165.
Oct 23 16:21:40 moonpoint sshd[4558]: pam_succeed_if(sshd:auth): requirement "ui
Oct 23 16:21:42 moonpoint sshd[4558]: Failed password for root from 221.131.165.
Oct 23 16:21:42 moonpoint sshd[4558]: Received disconnect from po
Oct 23 16:21:42 moonpoint sshd[4558]: Disconnected from port 4518
Oct 23 16:21:42 moonpoint sshd[4558]: PAM 2 more authentication failures; lognam
Oct 23 16:21:55 moonpoint sshd[4561]: pam_unix(sshd:auth): authentication failur
Oct 23 16:21:55 moonpoint sshd[4561]: pam_succeed_if(sshd:auth): requirement "ui
Oct 23 16:21:57 moonpoint sshd[4561]: Failed password for root from 221.131.165.
Oct 23 16:21:57 moonpoint sshd[4561]: pam_succeed_if(sshd:auth): requirement "ui
Oct 23 16:21:59 moonpoint sshd[4561]: Failed password for root from 221.131.165.
Oct 23 16:21:59 moonpoint sshd[4561]: pam_succeed_if(sshd:auth): requirement "ui
Oct 23 16:22:01 moonpoint sshd[4561]: Failed password for root from 221.131.165.
Oct 23 16:22:02 moonpoint sshd[4561]: Received disconnect from po
Oct 23 16:22:02 moonpoint sshd[4561]: Disconnected from port 4175
Oct 23 16:22:02 moonpoint sshd[4561]: PAM 2 more authentication failures; lognam
[root@moonpoint ~]#

When I checked the number of password guesses the attacker had tried by searching for the IP address in /var/log/secure, I found 183 attempts to log in.

[root@moonpoint ~]# grep "" /var/log/secure | grep -c "Failed password"
[root@moonpoint ~]#

When I checked the location for the IP address with the geoiplookup program, a program that is provided by the GeoIP package, I found the address allocated to an entity in China:

[root@moonpoint ~]# geoiplookup
GeoIP Country Edition: CN, China
[root@moonpoint ~]#

A check of the IP address on DShield at showed that IP address has been associated with many attempts at unauthorized access to systems by password guessing - see SSH Source Summary. The DShield IP Info: report for the system currently lists 82,133 reports with 283 targets with activity first reported on 2021-09-26.

When I ran the journalctl command again later, I saw evidence of attempts from other IP addresses to gain unauthorized access to the system via SSH, so I installed fail2ban to automatically block IP addresses when a specific number of failed SSH login attempts have been detected from IP addresses.


  1. Blocking SSH break-in attempts with fail2ban
    Date: October 23, 2021
  2. Finding which package provided a file on a CentOS Linux system
    Date: October 23, 2021
  3. Fail2ban Logging
    Date: April 9, 2016

[/security/attacks] permanent link

Thu, May 06, 2021 10:59 pm

Importing Firefox Bookmarks and Saved Passwords into Microsoft Edge

If you wish to import bookmarks and/or saved passwords from the Firefox web browser into the Microsoft Edge browser, you can take the following steps:
  1. Click the star with the 3 horizontal lines on it at the top, right corner of the Edge browser window which is used to access your favorite websites.
  2. Click the ellipsis, i.e., the "...", at the top, right corner of the browser window and select Import Favorites.
  3. Change "import from" to "Mozilla Firefox" and then click on Import after deselecting other options, if there are some things like saved passwords that you don't want to import. If you want to import all of the items selected by default, just click on Import.
  4. When you see "All done," you can click on the Done button and you can then close the tab (Ctrl-W is one way to close it).

To view the imported bookmarks, click on the star with 3 lines on it to access the Edge favorites, which are akin to the Firefox bookmarks. You will see "Other favorites" listed under Favorites; you can click on the arrowhead to the left of "Other favorites" to see your imported bookmarks.

[ More Info ]

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

Sun, Apr 18, 2021 5:13 pm

DB Browser for SQLite for Microsoft Windows systems

DB Browser for SQLite provides a data base management system (DBMS) for SQLite databases on a variety of operating systems. It is available for Microsoft Windows operating systems—there is even a portable application version that does not have to be installed, but instead can be run from a USB flash drive. The software is also available for macOS—see DB Browser for SQLite on OS X— and Linux systems. SQLIte itself is a relational database management system (RDBMS) available for a variety of operating systems. SQLite is freely available under a public domain license and DB Browser for SQLite is also freely available under a GNU General Public License (GPL). DB Browser for SQLite provides the underlying SQLite software, so you don't need to install SQLite on a system prior to installng DB Browser for SQLite.

[More Info]

[/software/database/sqlite/db_browser] permanent link

Sat, Apr 10, 2021 5:26 pm

Creating a list that is expandable and collapsible in HTML5

If you wish to make a list that can be collapsed and expanded on a webpage or a section on the page that can be expanded to reveal more details, you can use the details and summary tags with version 5 of HTML. E.g., the following code allows information to be displayed or hidden by clicking on an arrowhead that will appear to the left of whatever appears within the summary tags. The information within the details tag will be hidden or displayed by clicking on the arrowhead to toggle between the two options.
The American Civil War began on April 12, 1865 when South Carolina
militia forces attacked Fort Sumter at Charleston, South Carolina. 
The war effectively ended on April 9, 1865 with the surrender by
Confederate General Robert E. Lee to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, but
the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, did not declare an
end to the insurrection until May 9, 1865. Each side in the
conflict suffered over 800,000 casualties. The principal cause of the
conflict was the issue of slavery within the United States with abolitionists
in the North viewing the practice as a crime against humanity while Southern
slave owners viewed it as a necessary evil or, for some defenders of slavery,
even as a positive good, which they feared would be eliminated under the
recently elected President Abraham Lincoln.

[More Info]

[/network/web/html] permanent link

Wed, Apr 07, 2021 9:34 pm

Iterating over a PHP associative array by key

The PHP scripting language provides associative arrays that allow one to associate a key in the array to a value; each key in the array must be unique. E.g., I can create an array of United States presidents that uses the presidents' names as the keys and their political party affiliation as the value for each key. I could then iterate through the array by key and show the corresponding value for each key as in the example PHP code.

[/languages/php] permanent link

Wed, Mar 24, 2021 10:02 pm

Changing the default value for "Read It" in Book Collector

After I updated Book Collector, the book management database from that I use to track my book collection, from 21.0 build 3 to 21.1 build 1 today, I noticed that books I entered afterwards were being assigned a value of "Yes" for "Read It" by default—that value appears under the "Personal" fields for a book entry. I was able to change the default value to "No" by clicking on Tools on the main menu, selecting "Field Defaults" and changing the "Times Read" value from "1" to "0"; after I made that change new books I entered were given a "Read It" value of "No" by default.

Book Collector Field Defaults

[/software/database/collectorz] permanent link

Mon, Mar 15, 2021 2:30 pm

Deleting entries from Book Collector CLZ Cloud account

The March 4, 2021 version of Book Collector, version 21.0.3, allows you to remove all entries from the CLZ Cloud account from within the program. I needed to do that because the cloud account contained entries from my wife's book database that would be added to my database if I synched the accounts—I wanted to keep the two book lists separate. The steps for wiping the copy of the database stored in the CLZ cloud from the Windows version of the program are listed below:
  1. Within the Book Collector program, click on Clz Cloud on the menu bar at the top of the program window.
  2. Select Synchronize.
  3. Click on View my collection in CLZ Cloud if you wish to view the books stored in the copy of the database in the CLZ Cloud in a webpage in your default browser before deleting everything in that version, then click on the Clear CLZ Cloud button at the bottom of the program window to remove all book entries from the version of the database stored in the cloud.
  4. You should then see zero cloud changes to be downloaded.

    CLZ Cloud after clearing cloud

    If you wish to then synchronize your local copy of the database to a copy stored in the cloud, you can click on Sync Changes. When you do so you should see "sending items to cloud." Be prepared to wait a few minutes for the synchronization operation to complete if you have a large number of books in your Book Collector database. You will see the number of "Adds/Edits" decrease to zero as books are uploaded. When the process is complete you will see the message "Finished syncing changes. Would you like to view your collection in CLZ Cloud?"

[/software/database/collectorz] permanent link

Fri, Mar 05, 2021 1:38 pm

Obtain Monitor Manufacturer Information Using PowerShell

I wanted to be able to obtain information on a monitor attached to a Windows 10 desktop system, including the manufacturer, model number, serial number, and date of manufacture, from a command-line interface (CLI). One way to do that is by using PowerShell, which Microsoft provides as part of its Windows operating system. You can open a PowerShell window on a Microsoft Windows 10 system by typing PowerShell in the "Type here to search" field at the bottom of the Windows display. You should see the Windows PowerShell app listed as an option you can click on to open a PowerShell window. If you type gwmi WmiMonitorID -Namespace root\wmi at the prompt and hit enter, you will see information similar to the following output displayed.

PS C:\> gwmi WmiMonitorID -Namespace root\wmi

__GENUS                : 2
__CLASS                : WmiMonitorID
__SUPERCLASS           : MSMonitorClass
__DYNASTY              : MSMonitorClass
__RELPATH              : WmiMonitorID.InstanceName="DISPLAY\\HPN360C\\5&2c03a83e&0&UID262_0"
__PROPERTY_COUNT       : 9
__DERIVATION           : {MSMonitorClass}
__SERVER               : YTTERBIUM
__NAMESPACE            : root\wmi
__PATH                 : \\YTTERBIUM\root\wmi:WmiMonitorID.InstanceName="DISPLAY\\HPN360C\\5&2c03a83e&0&UID262_0"
Active                 : True
InstanceName           : DISPLAY\HPN360C\5&2c03a83e&0&UID262_0
ManufacturerName       : {72, 80, 78, 0...}
ProductCodeID          : {51, 54, 48, 67...}
SerialNumberID         : {67, 78, 75, 48...}
UserFriendlyName       : {72, 80, 32, 51...}
UserFriendlyNameLength : 13
WeekOfManufacture      : 12
YearOfManufacture      : 2020
PSComputerName         : YTTERBIUM

PS C:\>

[More Info ]

[/os/windows/PowerShell] permanent link

Mon, Mar 01, 2021 9:44 pm

Changing the AutoRecover frequency for Microsoft Excel 2007

Microsoft Excel 2007 crashed on a laptop running Windows 10 that I was using. When I restarted Excel, I found that, unfortunately, I had lost all of the recent changes I had made to a spreadsheet, even though Excel put "(version 1).xlsb [Autosaved]" in the title of the spreadsheet I had been working on when I restarted Excel—-it crashed when I attempted to paste a webpage URL into a Hyperlink field. The crash and loss of my recent work was aggravating, so I decided to change the frequency with which Excel auomatically saves a file in an AutoRecover version that will allow you to automatically recover a document if if the program hangs or crashes. To change that setting for Excel 2007 on a Windows system, you can click on the Office Button at the top, left-hand corner of the Excel window (it is to the left of the "Home" tab as shown below).

Excel - Office Button

Then click on the Excel Options button and select the Save option. The checkbox for "Save AutoRecover information every" should be checked. You can then change the frequency from 10 minutes to a more frequent number; I chose to have Excel automatically save a document every 5 minutes.

Excel 2007 AutoRecover Frequency

[/software/office/excel] permanent link

Sat, Feb 20, 2021 7:29 pm

Checking the ink level for a Canon TR8520 Printer

To check the level of ink in the ink cartridges for a Canon TR8520 printer on a Windows 10 system, you can take the following steps:
  1. Select Devices.
  2. Select Printers & scanners.
  3. Click on Canon TR8500 series.
  4. Click on Manage.
  5. Click on the View Printer Status button.

You can then see the level of ink in the magenta (M), black (BK), yellow (Y), Black (PGBK), and Cyan (C) cartridges.

If you are near the printer, you can also check the ink levels from the front panel of the printer by touching the Setup icon, which looks like a gear, on the home screen of the front panel. Then tap "Estimated ink levels" on the panel. You will then see the estimated ink levels for each cartridge displayed. If the ink is depleted or near depletion in a cartridge, there will be a red circle with a white "X" in it dispalyed over the cartridge.

[ More Info ]

[/hardware/printer/canon/tr8520] permanent link

Fri, Feb 05, 2021 1:08 pm

Auto Warranty Telemarketer Calling from 410-457-9422

When I checked my cellphone this morning, I found I had missed a call an hour before from 1-410-457-9422. The call was listed as coming from Darlington, Maryland. I hadn't been to Darlington, MD in decades, so suspected it might be from a telemarketer, but called just to check, since I couldn't find information online associating the number with a telemarketer or scammer. When I called the number, an automated system answered that identified the number as being associated with an auto warranty service and gave me the option of hitting "1" to be removed from its calling list, which I chose to do.

[/phone] permanent link

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