Category Archives: Computers and Internet

I received a cryptic message!

An incoming text, in a Nokia N79. Part of the message is corrupted.

An incoming text, in a Nokia N79. Part of the message is corrupted.

I have already wrote about the evils of plain text and how it is one of the worst inventions of the computing field. But as if I needed a tangible example for my readership, yesterday, I received a cryptic text (I mean SMS) on my mobile phone, which run as follows:

Tried my best; knew your life depends on it:捨⵰潬楣礯㈰ㄴ⼰㘯慰灥慬猭捯畲琭瑨牯睳ⵯ畴ⴳ㐰〰〭潮汩湥⵬楢敬⵲畬楮术⍰㌍ਊ慲獴散桮楣愮捯洯獥捵物瑹⼲〱㐯〶⽵湤敲ⵤ摯猭晥敤汹ⵢ畣歬敳ⵢ畴ⵤ敦楥猭慴瑡捫敲猭數瑯牴楯渭摥浡湤猯

It was a very tough situation: My life depended on a corrupt text. But fortunately, I had a Windows computer at hand and I could fix it. Read the rest of this entry


TrueCrypt: Its last bow

June 2016 update: Link repairs.

TrueCrypt is a discontinued free disk encryption utility for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is a free and shared-source alternative to BitLocker, but is not restricted to the high-end editions of Windows and does not need Trusted Platform Module (TPM).

TrueCrypt v7.1a running on Windows 8.1

TrueCrypt v7.1a running on Windows 8.1

TrueCrypt’s sudden end of life on 28 May 2014 become controversial, since unlike most computer programs, TrueCrypt’s authors beheaded it with the release of version 7.2. Read the rest of this entry

Worst inventions in computing

The sheer number of inventions in the field of computing easily surpasses the grand total of the human inventions outside this field. It is no surprise that some of them backfire and some of them quickly age.

Scroll Lock button on a computer keyboard, with its indicator light on

Scroll Lock button on a computer keyboard, with its indicator light on

Today, I’d like to introduce you to some of them that are still alive and desperately need to die or evolve. I started with five that irritate people around me the most. I am hoping that by the time you see the name of the last, you think: Well, that’s a huge shock and surprise but judging by the other five, this writer is very much sane. And hopefully, by the time you finish reading it, you feel I have a point there. Read the rest of this entry

CNET’s security blunder

CNET certainly gets a kick out of criticizing security issues of Microsoft products, but how good is its own most basic security measures?

For security purposes, we require all email address updates to be confirmed by the email address owner. A confirmation e-mail with the subject "Confirm your updated email address" will be sent to the updated email address provided. Click the confirmation link within the e-mail to confirm this change of address.  Continue.

CNET reports that changing email address requires verification for security purposes. But is it?

Let’s if it indeed is…

Shortcuts that everyone must absolutely know

Whether you are beginners who just want to survive in the post-2012 computing ecosystem that Microsoft created or a computer guru, there are shortcuts that you must absolutely know.

A backspace key on a rock, having been removed from a keyboard.

As soon as you see these shortcuts, you’ll be laughing and saying: “Ha! I knew them!” But I am not sure that would be the case when you are done reading.

Read the rest of this entry

Internet Explorer 11’s unexplained delay

Yesterday, Microsoft confirmed that Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is finally available. I immediately downloaded the package and inspected it: Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 (x64) is digitally-signed on 15 October 2013, meaning that the package could have not possibly changed ever since.

What was the IE team doing during this time?

The preview version of Internet Explorer 11 also exhibited a similar delay: It was released on 19 September while it was digitally-signed on 23 August 2013.

As an interesting side note, Windows 8.1 was released 17 October 2013, so the reason for the delay can’t be the languages.

The case of me not being able to post here!

I promised you another episode of Windows 8.1 series but I could not fulfill my promise due to not being able to post. Every time I tried to open my blog, I encountered a name resolution error.

Comodo Dragon v28.0.4.0 failed to open  showing Err_Name_Resolution_Failed

Comodo Dragon v28.0.4.0 failed to open, showing Err_Name_Resolution_Failed

Unfortunately, sometimes, spotting the cause of the simplest of problems is unbelievably difficult.
Read the rest of this entry

Exit Windows using keyboard

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You can shut down, restart or log out of Windows with just a standard keyboard; this method works on all popular versions of Windows for PCs, i.e. Windows XP, Windows 7 and the upcoming Windows 8. Although I have not tested, but I believe this method should work in Windows Vista and all members of Windows Server family of operating systems. Read the rest of this entry

Farewell, Windows Live Essentials

13 May 2010 was a special day for Windows Live Essentials. In this day, Microsoft released the last update to Windows Live Essentials wave 3.

However, on this same day, I finally decommissioned Windows Live Essentials and uninstalled it from my computer.

I was one of the beta testers of the earliest versions of Windows Live desktop products as well as its web services. Even after the initial release, I kept my stream of feedbacks to Windows Live team going, just as they ask us to do in their blog. However, my overall experience with Windows Live desktop software and Windows Live Essentials was a poor one. I am of the opinion that Windows Live Essentials is a mediocre suite of software that can hardly compete with equivalent free counterparts; although Windows Live Messenger, the instant-messaging component of Windows Live Essentials is an exception.

In my case, it was Mozilla Thunderbird 3 that delivered the crushing blow to Windows Live Essentials: Windows Live Mail, a desktop e-mail reader, was my primary reason for installing Windows Live Essentials. It was rife with numerous bugs. Although I reported every one of them to Windows Live Support team, their response was far less than satisfactory. Support case SRX1100325582ID was indeed a memorable one. Mozilla Thunderbird 3, however, not only relieved me of all those bugs, but also offered me extensibility. It is worth mentioning that Windows Live Mail violates all of Microsoft guidelines and best practices for developing high-quality applications, including but not limited to UXGuide.

As for the other members of the suite, Windows Live Writer soon lost its appeal since it creates blog contents that are inconsistent with those created by the web interface of Windows Live Spaces. Windows Live Messenger is very appealing, although I do not have the luxury of using it. Windows Live Photo Gallery is also rife with various bugs. When I submitted one of those bugs to Windows Live Support team (SRX1069335231ID), they told me to contact Windows Live Support team! I found Windows Live Toolbar slightly useful; however, I’d never install it when I have the alternative of navigating to in a web browser and getting the same thing! I never got to know Windows Live Family since I was using Kaspersky Internet Security at time. Finally, Windows Live Movie Maker has never been available to %65 of Microsoft Windows customers, (including me,) namely the users of Windows XP! Not that I ever miss it…

Microsoft says the next version of Windows Live will not be available on Windows XP. Well… I say “Thanks Microsoft. We are relieved!”

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