Category Archives: Computers and Internet

Obscure and mildly amusing facts from the IT world

Welcome to the first episode (and hopefully the last episode) of obscure and mildly amusing facts from the IT world.

Visual C++ Redistributable

The digital distribution services like Steam and GOG are infamous for installing different versions of Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable (VCRedist) with every video game. If you look at the list of installed software on your computer, there is a good chance you will find dozens of items titled “Microsoft Visual C++ #### Redistributable” where #### is number starting with 2005.

What they do not seem to know is that starting with Visual C++ 2015, Microsoft is publishing all versions of VCRedist in one package. Now there is one package to rule them, one package to find them, one package to bring them all, and in your computer bind them! (At least, that’s what Sauron from the Lord of the Rings would say.) You can download that one package from Microsoft Support website.

NVIDIA GeForce, version 342.01

Today, two graphic cards on two different computers suffered from failure. So, I pulled out two older graphics cards from the storage to get those computers running again. They both had the same GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 210. The last NVIDIA GeForce driver pack to support this GPU is version 342.01. However, according to the NVIDIA website, I had to download two different driver packages: 342.01-desktop-win10-64bit-international.exe and 342.01-desktop-win8-win7-winvista-64bit-international.exe.

I downloaded both files and compared them byte-by-byte. They were identical.

[FIX] Armageddon in Firefox: Most add-ons disabled!

Update: It appears Firefox 66.0.4 has resolved the issue. Chances are you have never experienced this problem.

On 4 May 2019, one of the Mozilla digital certificates used to sign Firefox add-ons expired. With this certificate no longer able to verify the authenticity of the add-ons, user across the faced the loss of access to their Firefox add-ons.

If you are blind and can't see this image, don't worry; you are not missing much.
All (or most) of your add-ons have ceased to function. Notice the new “Unsupported” tab.

This post teaches you how to recover from this failure in about 15 minutes and resume your daily routine work as if this has never happened.

Read the rest of this entry

Stack Exchange: Resolving harassment problem by punishing victims

Stack Exchange is the title of a series of online community sites that includes the famous Stack Overflow, the question and answer site for the software developers. By its own confession, Stack Exchange is a very unfriendly place.

Screenshot: Stack Exchange

So, recently, moderators have started enforcing its policies more strictly. Good, isn’t it? Not really. They are punishing victims instead of perpetrators. Read the rest of this entry

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

%d bloggers like this: