Download Windows and Office ISOs from Microsoft #
quickly and easily with Jan Krohn's Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool:
"This tool allows an easy and comfortable way to download genuine Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 disk images (ISO) directly from Microsoft's servers, as well as Office 2007, Office 2010, Office 2013, Office 2016, and Office 2011 for Mac.*
"In the past Microsoft provided disk images for many of their products through their subcontractor "Digital River". These downloads were pulled in early 2014. Afterwards, Microsoft made a limited selection of downloads available on their TechBench site. Our tool accesses that TechBench site, and unlocks a large number of hidden download files on it."
*In my testing, only Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Insider Preview, Office 2013, Office 2016, and Office 2016 for Mac were available. However, there is this promising note on Jan's website:
"Removal of Windows 7 and Office in Version 5.00: These downloads have been blocked by Microsoft. We're working on an update."
/windows | Jun 03, 2017
Incremental disk image backups with auto-pruning, encryption, and more #
Veeam Endpoint Backup was recently upgraded and renamed to Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows. The freeware edition is even more powerful than before; here are just some of the features:
- Full (disk), volume, and file level backups
- For full and volume backups, only blocks changed since the last backup are copied
- Email notifications
- Backup file encryption
- BitLocker support
- Backup to multiple targets / rotated drives*
- Flexible scheduling by day/time or trigger (when a backup drive is connected, a user logs off, etc.)
- Automatic pruning of old backups (keep backups for the past x days when the computer was running)
- Automatic ejecting of USB storage targets post backup to protect against malware
- Bare metal, volume, and file restore options
- Restore to dissimilar hardware or smaller/larger disks
- Restore computer disks as VMDK, VHD or VHDX files.
- Instant Recovery to Microsoft Hyper-V VM
- Collect drivers from source OS
- Quick and easy WinPE-based boot/recovery disc builder (does not require downloading Windows Automated Installation Kit (aka WAIK or AIK))
- Built-in recovery tools include: Reset Password (resets the hidden-by-default Administrator account password (Administrator will appear at the login screen on reboot)), Startup Repair (fixes problems that are preventing Windows from starting), Memory Diagnostic (runs Microsoft's Windows Memory Diagnostic), and Command Prompt (cmd.exe).
- Support for Windows 7 through 2016 (yes, Server editions are supported!)
- Tons of great documentation:
and a very active support forum.
- * To setup multiple targets / rotated drives:
- Assign static, unique letters to each drive that will be used (This isn't in the documentation, and may not be required, but I had trouble restoring files when testing two rotated drives which were dynamically assigned the same letter.)
- If you have already setup a backup routine to the first target, skip to step 3. Otherwise, head to Start > Veeam > Tools > Configure Backup and configure and run a backup job to the first target normally.
- Disconenct the first target drive and connect the second target drive
- Start > Veeam > Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows > Settings > Manage registered storage devices > click "Register" to the right of the second target drive
- Run the backup routine normally
- The keyboard and mouse may hang on the green Veeam Recovery Media screen for a minute or two - just hang tight.
- If after a bare metal restore the PC fails to boot, reboot from the recovery media, click Tools > Load Driver and uncheck "Inject these drivers into operating system while performing bare metal recovery" before reperforming the bare metal restore.
- See also Paul Braren's comprehensive Superguide: Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE
/windows | May 31, 2017
Encrypt and decrypt files in GPG without keys; #
that is, using only a symmetric cipher:
Create an encrypted copy of foo, saving it as foo.gpg in the current directory:
$ gpg --symmetric --cipher-algo AES256 foo
Create a decrypted copy of foo.gpg, saving it as foo in the current directory:
$ gpg --output foo --decrypt foo.gpg
gpg: AES256 encrypted data
gpg: encrypted with 1 passphrase
Create an encrypted copy of foo, saving it as foo.asc in the current directory in ASCII-armored format (suitable for pasting into email, etc):
$ gpg --symmetric --armor --cipher-algo AES256 foo
Same as above, but send output to stdout instead of saving as foo.asc:
$ gpg --symmetric --armor --cipher-algo AES256 --output - foo
-----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----
Version: GnuPG v1
-----END PGP MESSAGE-----
Decrypt foo.asc, sending output to stdout:
$ gpg --decrypt foo.asc
gpg: AES256 encrypted data
gpg: encrypted with 1 passphrase
By default, --symmetric uses AES128. Find supported ciphers with --version:
$ gpg --version
Cipher: IDEA, 3DES, CAST5, BLOWFISH, AES, AES192, AES256, TWOFISH,
CAMELLIA128, CAMELLIA192, CAMELLIA256
To disable gpg-agent, change use-agent to no-use-agent in ~/.gnupg/gpg.conf.
Why gpg rather than openssl enc?
More from The GNU Privacy Handbook: Documents may also be encrypted without using public-key cryptography. Instead, only a symmetric cipher is used to encrypt the document. The key used to drive the symmetric cipher is derived from a passphrase supplied when the document is encrypted, and for good security, it should not be the same passphrase that you use to protect your private key. Symmetric encryption is useful for securing documents when the passphrase does not need to be communicated to others. A document can be encrypted with a symmetric cipher by using the --symmetric option.
/nix | May 30, 2017
Renaming files in OS X for Windows or Unix compatibility #
While the above approaches should cover most use case scenarios, none of them address all of the possible naming issues in Windows.
is specially designed to help move files to and from Windows and Unix [...] Preconfigured settings for MS-DOS, Unix and Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP.
- A Better Finder Rename includes
conversion to Windows NTFS/SMB compatible names.
/mac | May 16, 2017
Apple Keyboard (A1243) - Function Keys Not Working #
The Apple Keyboard (A1243) was introduced in 2007 and rechristened
Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad in 2009. Almost a decade later, it is still sold under the same name and model number.
However, there have been two different order numbers for this keyboard with separate system requirements:
The only cosmetic difference between the MB110LL/A and MB110LL/B is the icons on the F3 and F4 keys:
/mac | Apr 29, 2017
OS X: Rich text editor with regex #
Bean has been under constant development for years; it's been listed on the OS X page since version 0.94 (current version is 3.2.9). In addition to supporting a host of file formats (rtf, rtfd, plain text, webarchive, doc, docx, and odt), Bean is the only rich text editor I have found for OS X which also supports regex find/replace.
/mac | Apr 27, 2017
Saving colorized output from Bash #
even from programs like testdisk, in which output may span many separate screens:
- Install aha: $ sudo apt install aha
- $ sudo testdisk | tee >(aha --black>output.html)
- After quiting testdisk, type exit on the command line. Find output.html in the current directory.
- $ sudo apt install imagemagick ttyrec gcc x11-apps
- $ git clone https://github.com/icholy/ttygif.git
- $ cd ttygif
- $ make && sudo make install
- $ ttyrec
- Run desired command(s), e.g., $ sudo testdisk
- Type exit when finished
- Convert ttyrec's output file (ttyrecord by default) to tty.gif in the current directory: $ ttygif ttyrecord
Sources & More
/nix | Mar 05, 2017
Resetting an HP OfficeJet 5740 #
- Tap Setup > Printer Maintenance > Restore > Restore Factory Defaults > Restore
The dialog box warns:
All configured settings in the printer will be deleted and the original factory settings will be restored. This includes the administrator password for the embedded web server (EWS), Address Book entries for scan, and Phone Book entries for fax.
Also, Web Services account information will be removed, you will need to setup Web Services again on this printer. Until Web Services is set up again, HP Instant Ink will not work properly.
Do you want to continue?
Cancel | Restore
Press Back/Return arrow 4 times > Support Menu > Resets Menu > Country & Language reset, Partial reset, and Semi-full reset
Press Home, Back/Return arrow, Home, Home > Engineering Menu > Services Menu > Resets Menu > Country & Language reset, Partial reset, Semi-full reset, and OOBE reset (Out Of Box Experience)
Press Home, Back/Return arrow, Home, Home > Engineering Menu > Underwear Menu > system menu > clear nvm, clear firms, clear scan list, and clear derivative
According to Three Types of Resets for your HP Officejet 6110,
Partially resetting it will return the printer to a responsive state without erasing the settings that you may have set on the printer.
The semi-full reset is applicable on issues where the printer has gone haywire and does not perform as expected. This process requires all settings and data saved in the printer to be erased.
[Full Reset] is rarely used. Usually the semi-full reset will do the job. . . . [T]here have been instances in the past where doing this reset procedure has cause permanent damage to the printer. Proceed at your own risk.
A post by Jay4096 states that none of these worked to reset the administrator password on a HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-in-One:
- Partial Reset
- Semi-Full Reset
- OOBE Reset
- Full Reset
- Clear derivatives
However, he was able to reset the administrator password by resetting the network settings (Wi-Fi icon on LCD > settings icon >
Restore Network Settings). On the OfficeJet 5740, the prompt states:
Network settings (including proxy settings), and the administrator password for the embedded web server (EWS), will be reset.
clear nmv option returned
It is not default serial number Failed to reset NVM. Changed the serial number to all zeros on a whim to no avail. However, angerion explained how to dump and overwrite the NVM on an HP Photosmart C4480; the options are located under Engineering Menu > Underwear Menu > photo menu: dump nvm=>file and dump file=>nvm.
- While I was able to dump the NVM to an SD card, attempting to write back a zero-filled NVM2_RAW.DMP returned
error 0: unsupported. Renaming to any other filename (including NVM_RAW.DMP, which angerion used) would return
error: bad file /fs/sda1/NVM2/NVM2_RAW.DMP.
Support and Engineering main menu entries
Support Menu (Press Back/Return 4 times)
- Support (Displays current firmware version)
- Information Menu
- Resets Menu
- System Configuration Menu
- Fax Diagnostic Menu
- Print Diagnostic Menu
- Connectivity Diagnostics Menu
- Reports Menu
- Scan Diagnostics Menu
- Enable/Disable Menu
Some potentially useful/interesting options:
- System Configuration Menu > Hardware failure status > OK to clear hardware failure status
- Enable/Disable Menu > disable Fax, Fax reprint, Color fax (incoming), or Webscan features
Engineering Menu (Press Home, Back, Home, Home)
- Manufacturing Menu
- Underwear Menu
- Services Menu
- Fax Regulatory Menu
- Extended Self Test
- Country & Language
Some potentially useful/interesting options:
- Manufacturing Menu > product usage menu > page counters
- Underwear Menu > boot code menu > set to mfg_mode and set to user_mode (Booting into mfg_mode displays a grid pattern on the LCD. Pressing the power button returns the printer to user mode.)
- Services Menu > System Configuration > Change serial number, Ethernet MAC address, and wireless MAC address
- Services Menu > Service Tests > De-activate door sensor
/misc | Mar 04, 2017
Windows keeps reverting to high contrast mode #
If Windows keeps changing back to high contrast mode despite repeated attempts to change in Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Personalization and disabling all options under "Choose a High Contrast theme" in Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Ease of Access Center > "Make the computer easier to see", head to the Lock Screen > Ease of Access icon at bottom left > and turn off High Contrast.
/windows | Mar 01, 2017
Preparing a Mac for resale or donation (Sierra edition) #
- Deauthorize Mac in iTunes, turn off Find My Mac, sign out of iCloud, and sign out of iMessage.
- Securely erase internal storage, install macOS, create temporary admin account (e.g., tempuser), install apps and updates, etc.
- Log in normally as tempuser and run:
$ sudo dscl . -delete /Groups/admin GroupMembership tempuser
$ sudo dscl . -delete /Users/tempuser
- Restart in Single User Mode and run:
# fsck -fy
# mount -uw /
# rm -R /Users/tempuser
# rm /var/db/.AppleSetupDone
# shutdown -h now
Regarding iLife and iWork apps
- UPDATE: iLife and iWork apps are now free for all iOS and Mac devices, so the points below are largely moot.
- This process does not preserve the iLife (iMovie, GarageBand) or iWork (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) apps. If the new owner already owns these apps, s/he can download them free of charge from the App Store. Otherwise, they may need to be purchased.
- Preserving the iLife and iWork entitlement may be possible by following Apple's instructions in What to do before selling or giving away your Mac, which links to How to reinstall macOS, which advises starting from Internet Recovery (Option-Command-R), formatting the internal storage, and then selecting "Reinstall macOS". According to Apple, "This installs the system that came with your Mac when it was new. It isn't associated with your Apple ID, so the new owner can use the App Store to upgrade to a later version using their Apple ID." In limited testing, this process did not install the iLife and iWork apps, but it did cause them to appear under the Mac App Store "Purchased" tab ("You Have 5 Apps to Accept").
- Another possible approach, capturing and installing Mac App Store pkg files, may cause registration and update problems (as well as violate some EULA or other):
- See also:
/mac | Feb 18, 2017
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