Dark Mode for Hacker News #

is requested regularly:

and while @dang expressed a willingness to implement it back in 2020, support is still absent as of early 2023 (in his defense, he did mention: "remember our motto: move slowly and preserve things...When I say slowly I mean slowly.").

Browser extensions like Dark Reader or Cascadea (among many others that support userscripts for customizing webpages) are often recommended as an alternative by those who are unaware of or indifferent to the risk:

Webpage Contents: Can read sensitive information from webpages, including passwords, phone numbers, and credit cards. Can alter the appearance and behavior of webpages. This applies on all webpages. Browsing History: Can see when you visit all webpages.
(Apple really needs to display required permissions in the Information section of App Store listings so users can evaluate them before purchase.)
Webpage Contents: Can read sensitive information from webpages, including passwords, phone numbers, and credit cards. Can alter the appearance and behavior of webpages. This applies on all webpages. Browsing History: Can see when you visit all webpages.

Perhaps Stylish, an extension expressly for managing userscripts and one of the most popular add-ons of its time, best demonstrates the danger:

Apple provides a framework for Safari web extension developers to leverage the least invasive permissions possible. Happily, Justin Wasack did just that with his open source Userscripts extension:

Can read and alter sensitive information on webpages, including passwords phone numbers, and credit cards, and see your browsing history on news.ycombinator.com.

Combined with Vishal Patel's HN Dark Mode userscript (modified to handle the white flash, aka "flash of unstyled content" when navigating between pages on the site via @run-at document-start), it offers the least bad option for Safari users until HN offers native dark mode (or until Apple allows custom style sheets in Settings... → Advanced to apply to specific websites, as Firefox's userContent.css does via @-moz-document domain).

/mac | Jan 28, 2023

VMWare Fusion: "D:\ is not a valid Win32 application." #

Attempting to update VMWare Tools in a Windows XP VM under Fusion 13 returned:

"D:\ is not a valid Win32 application."

A more helpful message would've been something like:

Windows XP cannot run VMWare Tools versions higher than 10.0.12; download it here.

More info

/mac | Jan 04, 2023

Default MMC snap-ins (MSC files) in Windows 10 #

Microsoft does not appear to host a list of Windows' default Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins/Management Saved Console (MSC) files.

Here is one from a clean Windows 10 installation with descriptions cobbled together from a variety of linked sources. Launch MSC files from an elevated command prompt via mmc name.msc.

Filename Console Name Description
azman.msc Authorization Manager Define roles and the tasks those roles can perform
certlm.msc Certificates View, export, import, and delete certificates
certmgr.msc Certificates Manages certificates, certificate trust lists (CTLs), and certificate revocation lists (CRLs)
comexp.msc Component Services Component Services (COM+) management tool. Also loads Event Viewer and Services
compmgmt.msc Computer Management Includes System Tools (Task Scheduler, Event Viewer, Shared Folders, Local Users and Groups, Performance and Device Manager), Storage (Disk Management), and Services and Applications (Services and WMI Control)
devmgmt.msc Device Manager View and manage hardware devices and their drivers
DevModeRunAsUserConfig.msc DevModeRunAsUserConfig Manage Start Menu, Taskbar, and Notification settings
diskmgmt.msc Disk Management Manage disks and their volumes or partitions
eventvwr.msc Event Viewer View monitoring and troubleshooting messages from Windows and other programs
fsmgmt.msc Shared Folders Displays shared folders, current sessions, and open files
gpedit.msc Local Group Policy Editor Configure and modify Group Policy settings within Group Policy Objects (GPOs)
lusrmgr.msc Local Users and Groups Manage local users and groups
perfmon.msc Performance Monitor Diagnose performance issues and collect performance data
printmanagement.msc Print Management Manage print servers and printers
rsop.msc Resultant Set of Policy View policy that has been applied as well as predict what policy would be applied to a user on a computer.
secpol.msc Local Security Policy Define security policies for computers in your domain
services.msc Services Starts, stops, and configures Windows services
taskschd.msc Task Scheduler Schedule computer tasks to run automatically
tpm.msc TPM Management Configure and manage the TPM security hardware
WF.msc Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security Configure policies that provide enhanced network security for Windows computers
WmiMgmt.msc WMI Control Allows configuration and control of the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) service

See also:

/windows | Jan 02, 2023

Bypass Windows 11 GUI bloat via CPL commands #

Today's HN discussion on How many layers of UI inconsistencies are in Windows 11? included a thread sparked by csours on working around Windows' byzantine maze of UI elements with CPL shortcuts.

Microsoft's documentation is woefully out of date, so here's a list of those found in %SystemRoot%\System32 on a clean Windows 11 Pro 21H2 install:

Filename Description
appwiz.cpl Programs and Features
bthprops.cpl Bluetooth & devices → Devices
desk.cpl System → Display
Firewall.cpl Windows Defender Firewall
hdwwiz.cpl Device Manager
inetcpl.cpl Internet Properties
intl.cpl Region
joy.cpl Game Controllers
main.cpl Mouse Properties
mmsys.cpl Sound
ncpa.cpl Network Connections
powercfg.cpl Power Options
sysdm.cpl System Properties
TabletPC.cpl Tablet and Pen Settings
telephon.cpl Phone and Modem
timedate.cpl Date and Time
wscui.cpl Security and Maintenance

Just press Winkey+R, type the desired CPL filename, and press Enter to open.

/windows | Jan 02, 2023

Microsoft ISO checksums/hashes for Windows, Office, etc. #

For most of its online history, Microsoft made ISO checksums/hashes publicly available on TechNet and MSDN (even if with a free Microsoft account), but since late 2017, a paid Visual Studio account is required (starting at $1,199 per year) to access the database.

A number of projects have sprung up to keep this important information accessible:

Online:

Offline:

See also:

/windows | Jan 02, 2023

Microsoft 365: Set up email aliases / forwarders to external addresses in Exchange #

Free email forwarding / aliasing is a common feature at most mail hosts, but Microsoft appears to have left the process undocumented for their 365 Exchange offering. Here's how:

  1. Head to https://admin.exchange.microsoft.com/#/contacts (click Recipients → Contacts if the link lands on the Exchange admin center Home page)

  2. Click "Add a mail user"
    Microsoft 365 - adding an allias or forwarder

  3. Fill out required fields (Display name, Alias, User ID, Domain, and Password) and enter the desired destination address in the optional "External email address" field
    Microsoft 365 - adding a forwarder or alias

  4. Click Next → Create

H/T: 4IT

/misc | Dec 17, 2022

If Parallels Desktop 18 hangs while signing out or signing in #

to your Parallels account via the GUI, try these commands instead:

Sign out:

% prlsrvctl web-portal signout
The user has signed out successfully.

Sign in:

% prlsrvctl web-portal signin "mail@example.com"
Please enter password:
The user has signed in successfully.

Activate license (registered license beforehand at my.parallels.com/home → "Register a License Key"):

% prlsrvctl install-license -k XXXXXX-XXXXXX-XXXXXX-XXXXXX-XXXXXX
The license has been successfully installed.

/mac | Nov 24, 2022

Offline speech-to-text that is accurate and free (as in speech) #

Accurate speech recognition has largely been relegated to the cloud, with unfortunate if predictable results:

Even Apple's "privacy respecting" macOS has removed offline-only speech recognition since macOS 10.15 Catalina.

Happily, there is an accurate and free (as in speech) option for offline speech to text processing - OpenAI's Whisper (GitHub | Hacker News). According to the blurb, it "approaches human level robustness and accuracy on English speech recognition"; daily testing has borne that claim out.

Installation is a breeze:

pip install git+https://github.com/openai/whisper.git

as is basic usage:

whisper audio.mp3.

A number of models are available, including the default "small" (which "works well for transcribing English" and weighs 483MB) and "large" at around 3GB.

/nix | Nov 02, 2022

Check ISO images for consistency #

with filesystem-level headers via Isolyzer. Supports "ISO 9660, High Sierra, Universal Disk Format (UDF), Apple Hierarchical File System (HFS), Apple HFS+, and hybrids of the above file systems, e.g. ISO 9660 + HFS; UDF Bridge (UDF + ISO 9660)". Open souce Python / Windows binaries. Detailed documentation.

/misc | Oct 11, 2022

Image-to-text OCR tools for macOS #

Because Live Text in Preview is so fickle:

/mac | Oct 11, 2022


Subscribe or visit the archives.