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  • mn–

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    Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 716 total)
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    • in reply to: How can Web Search be disabled in 1903? #1953829

      AskWoody Lounger

      Just to check – which build of 1903 are you on?

    • in reply to: Strategem re:WU for newly set Win8.1 OS please. #1953827

      AskWoody Lounger

      Well, 8.1 is a bit of a bother if you now start from “clean” with Windows Update…

      But, it’s a lot less painful if you can use another system to pull a base set with Wsusoffline. … that’s what I’m doing with a lot of systems that were sold with a 8.1 Pro license, factory-downgraded to 7.

      So, checklist:
      () 8.1 installer ISO/USB
      () wsusoffline update package for 8.1
      () drivers for 8.1 on the hardware in question

      … also seems to be faster to just install predownloaded updates or autoskip unneeded, than wait for the updater to iterate online and pull this and that.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: How to show usernames at login screen #1953510

      AskWoody Lounger

      How can i change this to a situation like : show all user accounts in the lower left corner of the login screen and not need to know the computername?

      For local accounts you can substitute “.” for the computername. As in, “.\user” …

      Would this be of help
      From a security point of view, wouldn’t it be better for people to input username and password and show no previous users?

      Well yes, it’d be much better against unauthorized access if usernames are not displayed. Then again an organization might decide that ease of use is more important, in which case they can enable listing more users…

      There’s a few more of the options shown over at

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: Indexing..on or off? #1950392

      AskWoody Lounger

      It all really depends on how you’d use the system. For ease of use, the automatic search function can be very nice, but it does consume a noticeable amount of resources.

      … then for advanced cases there’s the third and fourth option.

      Option three is to make the system turn indexing on and off automatically, such as in a scheduled job or something.

      Option four is to turn the default Windows search off and use an alternative searching/indexing tool…

    • in reply to: List of Spambot IPs #1949432

      AskWoody Lounger

      But now there are two questions nagging me:
      1. Is this list actually useful? 

      2. Or do spambots use a proxy and/or a VPN? In which case my list is a waste of time.

      1. Yes… somewhat. Not conclusive unless you can also classify IPs by type. Also spambots don’t typically use one address very long.

      2. Yes, and some of those addresses seem to be VPN endpoints. Others would seem to be residential subscribers… easy targets for hijack victims. (Hijack as a proxy and they may never even notice.)

      What you really “should” do is take the addresses, then pass them through a whois lookup, then report the spambot to the contact listed there.

      Banning an address for a week and seeing if they keep trying from it before complaining should reduce the list significantly, but then you’re still left with the VPN endpoints, and dynamic IP ranges.

      Such as, taking one address ( from your list:

      $ whois
      % This is the RIPE Database query service.
      % The objects are in RPSL format.
      % The RIPE Database is subject to Terms and Conditions.
      % See
      % Note: this output has been filtered.
      %       To receive output for a database update, use the “-B” flag.
      % Information related to ‘ –’
      % Abuse contact for ‘ –’ is ‘’
      inetnum: –
      netname:        DE-FORNEX
      descr:, Fornex Hosting S.L
      country:        DE
      admin-c:        COLO-RIPE
      tech-c:         COLO-RIPE
      remarks:        ——————————————————-
      remarks:        — please report spam/abuse to —
      remarks:        —- reports to other addresses won’t be processed —-
      remarks:        ——————————————————-
      status:         ASSIGNED PA
      mnt-by:         MNT-FIRSTCOLO
      created:        2011-10-07T09:12:14Z
      last-modified:  2013-07-23T10:07:53Z
      source:         RIPE
      role:           First Colo Ripe Coordination
      address:        First Colo GmbH
      address:        Hanauer Landstr. 291b
      address:        D-60314 Frankfurt am Main
      address:        Germany
      phone:          +49-(0)69-120069-0
      fax-no:         +49-(0)69-120069-55
      remarks:        * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
      remarks:        * Complaints about internet abuse like spam, hack attacks, scans, etc. *
      remarks:        * please mail to: –> abuse [@] first-colo [.] net <– *
      remarks:        * Requests from law enforcement (only!), send fax to: +49 (0) 69 1200 69 55 *
      remarks:        * Inquiries can only be processed, if sent to the correct address. *
      remarks:        * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
      admin-c:        LEKR-RIPE
      tech-c:         LEKR-RIPE
      tech-c:         LEKR-RIPE
      nic-hdl:        COLO-RIPE
      mnt-by:         MNT-FIRSTCOLO
      created:        2007-09-28T19:01:39Z
      last-modified:  2018-09-28T08:47:18Z
      source:         RIPE # Filtered
      % Information related to ‘’
      descr:          First Colo via AS44066
      origin:         AS44066
      mnt-by:         MNT-FIRSTCOLO
      created:        2011-03-29T22:46:30Z
      last-modified:  2011-03-29T22:46:30Z
      source:         RIPE
      % This query was served by the RIPE Database Query Service version 1.94.1 (ANGUS)
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: HP All-in-One won't scan all of a sudden #1954179

      AskWoody Lounger

      Meh, scanners can be nasty in anything. Largely because they’re not very well standardized…

      Used to have a Samsung multifunction device that just wouldn’t scan right twice in a row on Windows. It got found automatically and worked right in Linux…

      The printer side of that thing, well, was tricky to get the color management to work right in Linux.

    • in reply to: Considerations migrating from Win7 to Win10 #1953948

      AskWoody Lounger

      … yes, so, doesn’t actually distribute the updates, they’re not authorized to.

      What they do distribute is a tool that makes it easy to download update sets from Microsoft. That tool is at version 11.8.1 and downloads updates for Windows 7, 8.1, 10; Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2 and 2016; and offline-updateable MS Office (msi version, so up to 2016).

      The tool can run on systems other than what the produced update package will be for.
      Can run the downloader on Linux to make update sets for Windows, even.

    • in reply to: One of the main problems #1953902

      AskWoody Lounger

      Well, English has been one of the more rapidly changing languages… some of us have access to rather more stable alternatives.

      Icelandic is at least a close relative of English that hasn’t changed much in the last 1000 years.

      … and then there’s people like me, at school I really did get told to not use so archaic forms… in Latin. (Apparently I default to Tarquinian-era Latin if I don’t remember to pay attention.)

    • in reply to: Backups and Ransomware #1953500

      AskWoody Lounger

      My backup drive is unplugged when not running. But even so, i’ve read that some ransomware could put a time bomb in, such that the encryption does not happen right away, which could defeat even that.

      Eh? An unplugged drive cannot change its contents. Well unless it’s just the data line that’s unplugged AND the thing is a NAS or something with its own operating system or some such and it’s the latter that’s infected with the ransomware.

      What is possible with a suitable device driver is that the encryption happens right away, but initially is keyed to open transparently.

      So, to be sure, should verify that the backup device is readable on another computer.

    • in reply to: Using an SD card to increase memory on Android 7 tablet #1951461

      AskWoody Lounger

      You’ll need at least “adb” (Android Debug Bridge – on modern versions of Ubuntu, android-tools-adb in the universe repository); and probably also “fastboot” on the PC end and turn on “debugging” on the tablet, to be able to run a shell on the tablet that way. (It’s in the developer options part of the settings, so you may need to unhide developer options first.)

      Then, “adb devices” should find your device, and “adb shell” would give you the shell. At user level.

      And from there… you’ll most likely find that there’s no “sudo” or “su” available. I mean, getting a root shell is exactly what people mean by “rooting” the device, and that’s a few steps more complicated than getting a normal user-level shell.

      The “supported” method (FSVO) to get a root shell is to (re)flash the device with a package that includes it, or at least is flagged as a developer or testing build instead of production. (After that, you can go “adb root” from the PC and…)

      The reflashed part may be the recovery mode boot image, which is separate from the regular system and is used normally when installing system-level updates, but stock versions may not include externally accessible shell or passthrough block device access.

      Most of the other methods involve running a known exploit to drop a setuid binary somewhere in the device’s internal storage that it can be run from. Those being what they are, if the device has gotten a system update from the manufacturer since the exploit became public, well…

      Reflashing is what you use fastboot for. (No, I don’t know why it’s called that.) Samsung devices usually need a different tool. Also may or may not need to enable the reflashing functionality on the device, which usually wipes it to factory state and may also void warranty. For some devices you need to get an unlock code from the manufacturer.

      Custom recovery can get you pretty far already.

      Modern Android’s default user-level shell is a bit more restricted than what people are used to from regular Ubuntu or other “friendly” Linux distribution. It’s typical to not be able to get dmesg output directly, for example.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: Using an SD card to increase memory on Android 7 tablet #1950782

      AskWoody Lounger

      Well, theoretically, it could be used as random access memory. But even the fastest SD is going to be several orders of magnitude slower than any purpose-made RAM chips and I don’t think any modern operating system supports this.

      Heh, I understand back in the 1960s some people even used tape drives as random-access memory like that… as in, DECtape on a PDP-8?

      BUT… this is what virtual memory was invented for.

      From what I understand, this will involve rooting the tablet, then editing one or more lower-level config files … … But I don’t want to live dangerously in this case, because this tablet will be for my daughter. Ideally, I would like to root the tablet, change the config to allow for using the Micro SD card for additional memory, then unroot it. Is that possible?

      Well sure, Android has the Linux kernel, and as root you typically could turn on swap if you really want to. It does expand the allocatable virtual memory, it’s just that Android often has a “light” memory management model and I/O scheduler, compared to mainline or PC-distro Linux. So you might not get graceful swap management, and then there’s the power management weirdness… such as low-power states for the card slot, which would mean losing swap, and the device vendor’s power manager may not be aware of the concept of swap on a mobile device so may just power it down without deallocating swap, AND swap may not be deallocatable if it’s in use…

      (Yes, it’s really paging and not swapping anyway.)

      Unrooting after making the appropriate changes to (partition tables,) fstab and boot sequence certainly should also be possible unless the vendor has been doing silly things with the bootloader. Oh and I’m not sure if all devices come with “mkswap” and “swapon” commands, worst case you might have to build parts from source… well the mkswap could be done on a Linux PC if you attach the SD card to it.

      So enabling swap likely is possible, but doing that on a vendor-stock Android version very much does go under “living dangerously”. You’re probably better off rolling your own Android build from AOSP sources 😉

    • in reply to: Extortion Emails with my Askwoody password #1950467

      AskWoody Lounger

      Non-accidental spammers aren’t even bothered by rejected mail… especially if they’re using a faked address or even a hijacked mailbox to send.

      Heh, it’s good for accidental spammers though. Like that one contractor at a former job whose mail system sent an out-of-office autoreply to each message on a very busy list… after calling them a few times didn’t do anything, I made a custom rule (with a specific SMTP extended status code) for those autoreplies, on the list server, so that it complained to the contractor’s mail server admin for each one.

      Because SMTP mail still falls back to a store-and-forward protocol automatically, it’s not very difficult to produce standard delivery status failure messages from unwanted mails already in a mailbox. It’s just, those go by the headers then, and if the sender in headers was faked or…

    • in reply to: Extortion Emails with my Askwoody password #1950452

      AskWoody Lounger

      I’m just lucky I had Classical and Church Latin, Ancient Greek and Coptic beaten into my head in grammar school. All passwords are written in Coptic,

      Well yeah, that’ll help against people who don’t know about your schooling, but… how well is that supported nowadays? I mean, I’m still having problems with even simple modified Western characters (like ä), and Coptic is up there in UTF-8 “weird” space…? I mean, do password and PIN entry systems even do normalization between Epact and Roman numerals?

      (Glagolitic is up there too, for those who took Church Slavonic…)

      Oh and then there was the part where one of the kids’ friends wanted to type something in Traditional Chinese, using pinyin on a non-US keyboard. Fortunately that wasn’t a password but…

    • in reply to: September Patch Tuesday rolling out #1949309

      AskWoody Lounger

      Well, then there’s the potential issue that even when you do have the downgrade right with the included product key, that product key might still not be valid for the downgraded versions.

      This is rare but can happen. Seen with OEM embedded Windows 8 Pro product key, reinstalling 7 Pro after disk replacement. (Hadn’t complained about the key with the old HDD, either.)

      Really looks like clean-installing 7 with updates might be getting even more difficult from now on.

      After reading this marathon thread am I the only one who thinks Microsoft is going for a ‘last ditch effort’ to seriously mess up Windows 7 prior to end of patching next January?

      Can’t tell if it’s on purpose, given how the Windows 10 updates seem to go – like and all the older ones…

      So if it all were on purpose, I’d have to conclude that Microsoft really wants to get out of the desktop operating systems business but is prevented from just coming out and saying that officially?

    • mn–
      AskWoody Lounger

      Related to this, do we have a recommended .ePub reader, just in case someone already managed to rely on this functionality? I get over a hundred search results just in Microsoft Store, and would in most situations prefer a standalone application instead anyway…

      Oh and anyone check if the “Sumatra PDF” in Microsoft Store is the real thing?

      (So far for me, it’s been more common to get asked about DjVu support than ePub…)

    Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 716 total)