Tuesday, October 22, 2013

.lnk files associated with another program

We came across the issue where the .lnk files got associated with Adobe. Here is how you fix it:

  1. Click Start Menu, and then type regedit in the Start Search and press ENTER.
  2. Browse to the following registry branch:
  3. Click on the arrow to expand it and delete the sub-key named UserChoice.
  4. Exit registry and reboot computer

Saturday, October 19, 2013

“We weren’t able to connect to the store. This might have happened because of a server problem or the network connection timed out. Please wait a few minutes and try again.”

I was trying to connect to the Microsoft store to update my windows from 8.1 Preview to 8.1 and for the whole day i was getting:

“We weren’t able to connect to the store. This might have happened because of a server problem or the network connection timed out. Please wait a few minutes and try again.”

After some searching i came across this POST.

The extra step i had to do was click disconnect (even though I hit verify) and switch to a local account. Once I did that I went ahead and switched back to my Microsoft Account and everything worked. Even when i went to the local account it started working. 

Once again, Microsoft has the best error messages in the world. I'ts enough to drive you insane. I would never have known to look in that area as I've never even been to it before. 

I hope this helps someone.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Keep an eye out on HEML.IS. These guys are trying to make an encrypted IM for use on iOS and Android. I hope they can accomplish this.

UPDATE 5-12-16: Looks like the site has closed.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mercury Browser for iPhone and iPad

I found a really good browser for the iPhone and iPad. Its called Mercury. It let's you choose your search engine (Duck duck go is one of the options), it has tabs and even a limited number of plug-ins.

I've been using it on both my iPad and iPhone and so far I have not been disappointed.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

No More Privacy

Not that we really had any privacy, but at least you "hoped" comapnies would at least respect that your emails and personal data were, well, personal.

NOT anymore.

UPDATE 9-4-13: UPDATE. Looks like it was taken out of context.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Not the Internet I envisioned

Lavabit has shutdown due to pressure from the government. Read the article HERE. That article also mentioned Silent Circle shutting down their email service as well. 

The last couple months have been a very sad time for the Internet. The NSA is grabbing everyone's internet traffic without warrants and bullying ISP's and corporations for everything from phone conversations to encryption keys. In some cases they want ISP's to give them passwords for users. 

The NSA is saying they only touch (whatever that means) 1.6% of internet traffic. READ.

Mega says they are going to OFFER and encrypted email service.

This is not the Internet i envisioned when I first got online in the mid 90's. It was a wondrous place filled with adventure and amazing new things. For the most part people were willing to help, everything was free and no advertisements. 

As it got more popular you had people doing bad things on it, but like every good tool, it could be used for bad. I don't think the internet needs governments capturing all data on everyone. This does not make us more secure. It makes us more of a target. Especially for false allegations. We are becoming a police state and what disappoints me even more is that no one seems to care. 

I am hoping that the true internet community will find ways to keep us anonymous and evolve encryption so that is is easier to implement in things like emails and IM. I wish i was a programmer and I would do what I could to help.

In the meantime, start using programs like TOR and TAILS.

Another program that was just released is TORTILLA. I have not been able to get it to work on my system yet, but its an add on to TOR that will allow all TCP/IP and DNS traffic through TOR.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

TOR Bundle Comprimised

It looks like TOR Bundle was COMPRIMISED.

To be clear, the TOR network itself was not compromised. It looks like a server was exploited to send malware to a version of the TOR Bundle (it uses firefox) that had a vulnerability in firefox.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Raspberry Pi NOOBS

It's been a while since I've talked about the RPi and it looks like they've made some great changes when installing the OS.

Previously you had to download a Raw OS image. This would entail you having to use dd (Linux) or Win32DiskImager (Windows) to "burn" the image to an SD card for booting.

Now, the team at RPi has come up with NOOBS (New Out Of Box Software). This is fantastic. Especially for users who may not feel comfortable with dd or Win32DiskImager.

Pretty much all you need to do is format an SD card, download the NOOBS file and then unzip it to the SD card and then boot it up and install the OS. Let's look at each step:

STEP 1 - Format SD Card

Download SD Formatter 4.0 from www.sdcard.org.

Install the software on your computer and then run the program. (Make sure your SD card is already plugged in)

Find the drive letter for your SD card (Mine was D:, but yours might be different) and format the SD card. I used Full Erase and Format Size Adjustment Off.

STEP 2 - UNZIP NOOBS to the SD card

Once you format your SD card all you need to do next is unzip the NOOBS_v1_2_1.zip directly to the drive letter of your SD card (In my case D:\). I use winrar and a screen shot is below:

I clicked Extract To and then in the screen that comes up I selected my D:\ drive.

When you extract to your SD card it will take several minutes.

STEP 3 - Boot from SD card and install OS

After you extract the files to your SD card, safely remove the SD card from your computer and put it in the RPi.

Power on your Pi and you will get a screen that looks similar to the below screenshot (I got this image from the raspberrypi.org site):

At this point all you need to do is select which OS to install. Currently I am running Raspbian to get used to it. However, if time allows i will install each one to see what the differences are.

Here is a good comparison of the OSs, even though a couple are not included in the new NOOBS.

My next project is to either hook this up to my A/C thermostat or a weather station.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Single user Mode in Ubuntu

When you go into recovery mode it will only mount the file system as Read Only. What you will need to do is edit the startup boot line to read rw init=/bin/bash at the end.

Monday, June 10, 2013

How to Install Hyper-V Tools using PowerShell

I'm testing Windows 2012 and Hyper-V just to see what it has. I installed the trial version of Hyper-V (no GUI and only the Hyper-V service) on a server and then installed windows Server 2012 on another server to remotely manage it.

I was able to add the Hyper-V server to the Server Manager, however I couldn't get the Hyper-V Manager installed. I was even going in to Roles and Features. I then found the below to get me the Hyper-V Manager.

Get-WindowsFeature Hyper-V*
Install-WindowsFeature Hyper-V-Tools
Install-WindowsFeature Hyper-V-PowerSHell
Get-WindowsFeature Hyper-V*

I added the two computers to the same domain so I didn't have to add a local administrator account and then run a bunch of crazy PowerShell scripts to trust 

Cloud Computing a Trap

Very simple and to the point.

Cloud computing is a trap

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Edward Snowden: Whistleblower

You are witnessing history. If this isn't some crazy shcheme, what this guy did is amazing. It's like something out of a movie. This guy pretty much said that the government is watching everything we do.

You may ask, "So, we know they do that, whats the big deal?"

The government, legally, should not be watching the people. What they are doing is wrong. They are throwing all our freedom and privacy out the window and saying screw everyone, we will do whatever we want.

I hope this is a wake-up call to everyone. This country is going down a dark road. One that i fear has no U-turn or exit.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

RSS Reader

Since Google Reader is being removed people have been scrambling to find another RSS Reader. A friend of mine mentioned The Old Reader. You have the option to import your current Google Reader feeds as well (in the form of  download from Google and then and Upload to the Old Reader).

I hope you find this useful. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Takeover Of your Personal Freedom

I eat, sleep and breathe 1's and 0's. I LOVE computers, technology, mobile phones and pretty much anything with a computer chip in it. When i first started in the mid 90's the internet was very new to the public. I connected to prodigy, netcom and AOL with a modem and DOS. SSL didn't exist and privacy wasn't really a big issue back then. Not many people were "online", and you really couldn't upload much to servers.

Now you have two major players grabbing everything they can about you. Facebook and Google. Below is an article that explains very plainly what Google is doing. It's very scary and something I've been concerned about for a while. I have the same concerns for FB. The hard part is, how do we break away from this? On one hand Google has some great apps (i love gmail and gtalk) but they know everything we do. Do you see why I am also concerned about CISPA? Companies like Google and FB want it to pass. If it does, they have no legal ramifications for handing over our data. They are immune. And both of these companies know us better than we know ourselves. 

What do we do? I'm not sure. I think what we need is some new blood in this arena. More competition. "But they are way to big" you say. True, but look at Novell, Microsoft and Apple.

Novell was the king on networking OS's for a long time. Microsoft dethroned them.

Microsoft was the king of PC's OS's. Apple and Linux has taken a good chunk of it now. 

Apples iPhone is taking a beating from, none other than Google's Android.

While these are a few rough comparisons, my point is, it can be done. What goes up, must come down. It just takes a few people to come up with an idea. 

Please read:

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Fight CISPA. Find your Rep below:
Email the below if you like. This is what I sent:
I would respectfully ask that you oppose CISPA. CISPA would do more harm than good to innocent citizens. This, to me, is the equivalent to the PATRIOT Act but for the internet. We do not need this.
We do not need another Act where the hearing was behind closed doors.
The Constitution was intended to be a check on government power to protect the rights of its citizens.
Please, once again, I urge you to oppose CISPA.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


This site is very interesting. Its being labeled as the dark google. It will show unprotected systems.


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Google Reader Alternatives

Google does it again. Pulls another service from underneath us. Google is really starting to get under my skin. They have a lot of great services but they are becoming (or already have) very arrogant. I'm hoping someone will come up with some great services to compete against them. Its not impossible.

In the meantime HERE are some alternatives.

User unable to login to RDP Farm after you re-enable them?

We had a strange issue. We had a user leave and since we knew when she was leaving i set the account to expire at a certain date. A couple d...