Wednesday, March 31, 2010

AVG Update "General Error"

Recently, AVG caused a bit of a hassle with update. It wouldn't. The update indicated both Application updates and virus definition updates.

There's no real easy solution to this, but here's what worked for me:
Update from directory.

  1. Get the application update from (the first Windows link that indicates "All Necessary Modules") and remember where it is!
  2. Open AVG Anti-Virus console, Tools, Update from Directory
  3. Point it to the download folder from the first step. I told you to remember it! :)

You should now be able to successfully update AVG without having to reinstall.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Move an inaccessible window

Do you have a window that the title bar has moved off the screen and you can't reach it with your mouse?

Do this:
Right-click the taskbar icon for that app and choose Move, then press the Down Arrow Key just once. Your mouse now has control of the window. Use it to move the window where you want.

(if Move isn't available, choose Restore. If Restore isn't available, you might have your icons "stacked", so choose one from the stack.)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tunneling with plink (PuTTY)

This establishes a putty/ssh/plink connection from windows so a nonsecure application can be tunneled through it and then can be closed cleanly.

What is plink?
It's a command line version of PuTTY

What does tunneling mean?
In the case being presented here, any activity that will go to a port on the localhost will do what it should do on the remote site, but do it securely.

No, really, what does that mean?
Let's say you hear that telnet or mysql or ftp isn't that secure, because passwords are flying over the Internet in clear text. That is bad because that password or data isn't encrypted. Yes, I know about sftp, psftp, advanced mysql configuration, ssh, etc. Calm down a bit. If an application doesn't support secure communication, this is what ssh tunneling is about -- providing the secure "tunnel" to do those things.

How do I do it?
1) Make the link
open a command prompt
plink -ssh -L 21:localhost:21 remoteusername@remotedomain

2) use the link
open another command prompt
ftp localhost
and do what you want.

This only works if the remote site is running an ftp server on localhost. (huh?) It means, it only works if the site you want to connect to is listening for ftp connections on (localhost). If it's listening for ftp connections on a local IP address, change localhost in the Plink connection to the local IP address of the REMOTE server. You will still on the local side connect to localhost.

plink -ssh -L 3306:localhost:3306 remoteusername@remotedomain (for use with mysql running on the remote domain. Again, if mysql is listening on a specific IP address, change localhost to the IP address that is configured for mysql.)

Don't forget... this is intended for the *client* applications connecting to the port on the local machine. It will be transparent to the application, but connect to the remote server. Oh, btw, this now establishes the connection securely.

Why would you do this in plink? Frankly, I don't know, except plink was designed for scripting. Most of the examples you'll find on the Internet say, "Usually Plink is not invoked directly by a user, but run automatically by another process. Therefore you typically do not want Plink to prompt you for a user name or a password." Plink is designed to run interactively with things like scp. You should check the furnished manual about that, especially how to put plink in the path, and I strongly suggest you create, save and use all the options (putty session) to minimize the interactivity.

Here's a fun script, though: WARNING! This creates and deletes a file called goawaynow on the remote server!

FIRST sample batch (scheduled?) to connect:
plink puttysessionname rm goawaynow
plink puttysessionname until (test -e goawaynow); do true; done; exit

SECOND run a command like this in another batch (scheduled) after you do the first:
mysqldump -h localhost dbname > dump.sql
plink puttysessionname touch goawaynow

(What does it do?)
First, understand that there is a lot of different customization that can be made to establish the plink connection. Don't be afraid to make changes. But you should necessarily run the two batches separately. The first connect batch removes the goawaynow file. The next line establishes the port forwarding and keeps the link open. The configuration is within the putty session, but you still need to append the until stuff. It basically says, "until goawaynow exists, do nothing, and after goawaynow exists, exit."

The second batch does whatever it needs with the connection, then the next line is supposed to create the goawaynow file, which closes the connection (because the infinite loop above is testing for it).

I'd also like to point to which has really good comments to make what I said above better. (-qTfNnL?)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Can't install Virtualbox Guest Additions

About ready to yell as I can't install 3.1.4 guest additions in VirtualBox XP guest. fixed it for me.
Problem: installation failed/file not found

Short short: RunOnce was removed in the registry as a key.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Nintendo DSi might be my last portable Nintendo device

I bought a Nintendo DSi thinking I'd play some cool games, and as I got into it, I was somewhat pleased with the games, but after a bit, I started really missing the functionality of my Nokia N800. Touch screen? Sure. But the biggest BIGGEST problem with the DSi is the absolutely crappy browser. I know, "It's not about the browser, it's about the GAMES!" Seriously? There is no reason to include a browser that can't do basic streaming of any media. There's no reason to include a browser that can't legitimately and functionally render web pages. There's no reason to include a media player that can't play MP3s.

As I played with the Nintendo DSi, I realized that what I really wanted was what I already had: an Internet Device that didn't tell me that it couldn't do things on the web that I wanted. In fact, what I probably really wanted was an iPod touch. Even then, not so much. I want the flexibility of my N800 with an app base. Probably what I'll end up with is a cross between a Garmin, an Archos, and my N800 (which, btw, did have flash, even on a touch screen!). We'll see if the Samsung Moment might be a reasonable alternative.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gmail wildcard searches

iPhone users have remail, everyone else might want to try Zimbra desktop.

Why? Well, it's pretty easy to use, and connects nicely with much of what you'd use gmail for.

I'm trying to figure out some proxy situations (though changing ical urls to https seems to adjust some things). In the meantime, however, you have full text wildcard search for your gmail account.

For your hassle, you get:
Wildcard searches
Forward to multiple accounts
File into multiple labels/tags/folders
Searching by size.
Forward as attachment.
Search for attachments by type or name.

Methane Leak from melting ice
Even if we agree 1) that global warming exists and 2) that humans "caused" it, we still have the problem of how do we humans fix it fast enough that will counteract the release of so much methane at once? Is anyone going to be able with authority to tell us that the earth needs to cool by 4 degrees and the only way to do that is to basically kill all humans?

Is someone going to be able to say that the amount of methane emissions here is equivalent to the amount of methane released (and therefore we should cap it) by production of x human widgets? What if this amount of methane is significantly more than what humans produce?

I'm not taking this lightly. I'm not being a denier. I am simply asking: "How do we humans who aren't scientists deal with the information presented here in a proactive manner?"

This article doesn't tell us that this amount of methane is x ppm vs y ppm that humans (or cows?) produce. It does, however, say a specific *type* of carbon production leads to global warming. Good thing. We're hearing that Carbon is bad. We need to stop buying diamonds, procreating, breathing, producing flatulence, driving, and burning anything. We need to start planting more trees and stop building and making stuff. And until everyone basically stops breathing, they can buy carbon offset credits to make them feel better about their polution.

Blog Archive