February 14, 2010

Is it possible to be happy?

Posted in Blogroll, Uncategorized at 7:59 am by gloriouscomputing

Not often enough, is the question asked, is it possible to be happy?

Yes. 🙂

June 20, 2009

Worse than Hotmail was in 2000: Web.de

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:11 am by gloriouscomputing

Living in Germany, I’ve had my reasons for wanting a German email address. Many email providers here (that people actually use) still ask you to pay for them (ex. ~GMX.de).

Web.de was one of the free options, so I figured why not. Well, it certainly is better than nothing, and I was happy that there was a way to retrieve email via POP3, because this meant I didn’t have to use their atrocious web interface.

Boy was I wrong. You see, while there is POP3 access, this doesn’t actually give you your email. Instead, their POP3 feeds your email client fake email “Summaries”. These email summaries just give you a list of emails… inside an email. While this would already be a huge pain by itself, these “Summary” emails only give you the subjects of the emails. You then have to go to their ad-gated turtle-speed web-interface to read the actual emails.

Besides the POP3 feeding you these BS Summary emails, it also spams you with a weekly “newsletter”, which you have no way of opting out of. Today’s spam-letter advertised Internet Explorer 8 as a revolutionary browser. I’m sure it is to them, considering WEB.de’s masochistic users, like the site owners, must live in 2000, and are all using IE6.

Side node: For anyone living in Germany, I highly recommend installing this Greasemonkey script, so you are able to go to gmail.com and actually get to Gmail.

If anyone has any idea on another .de email provider that doesn’t suck, or any ways of configuring web.de to be less horrible, please let me know in the comments.

April 24, 2009

Antivir Free – Silence Pop-up Ads with AutoIt

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:36 pm by gloriouscomputing

I’ve recently been using the anti-virus called Antivir. It got good reviews and it’s free. The worst thing about it is, however, that every time it decides to update, it will pop-up a huge ad window. You might be in the middle of something or just turning on your PC: either way, it’s never ok to be disrupted by spam in this way.

So using the power of previously mentioned AutoIt, here’s a script you can use to automatically close these ads:

AutoItSetOption ( “TrayIconHide” , 1)
WinWait(“Notifier of Avira AntiVir Personal – Free Antivirus”)
ControlClick(“Notifier of Avira AntiVir Personal – Free Antivirus”, “”, “Button1”)
Until 1=2

There, much better. If you don’t want to install AutoIt (maybe if you want to use this on your friend’s PC real quick), here’s the script in compiled EXE form.

November 30, 2008

Free Webhosts Lose Their Minds, Make Users Register Twice

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:07 am by gloriouscomputing

Personally, I’ve been pretty happy paying for my webhosting for the last 4+ years. However, I need to find a good free web host that lets people download any filetype, so I can recommend this provider to my users (for Dispatcher).

I’ve gone through a list of the Top Free Web Hosts (no link, don’t feel like making you miserable too). Besides the first spot (which has a manual approval process and hasn’t replied yet), the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th have consistently done the following, which just blows my mind.

They ask you to Sign Up. OK, great. However, in the middle of the sign up process, you come across a form that looks like so:

They require that you are already registered with them, at their Forum. Of course, if you are a new user to this WebHost, which only does webhosting, which you are in the middle of signing up for initially, there is no way in hell that you already have a forum account.

So in the middle of signing up, you have to open a new tab/window, register for their forum, check your email to confirm that, then get back to the actual Sign Up page, and enter your forum user name in addition to the user name that you actually want to use.

When I saw this on the first webhost, I thought “Wow, these people are out of their mind. Surely I’ll never come across another webhost that requires you to register two separate accounts for the same webhost”. By the third webhost that used exactly this torturous method of making people register, I understood why nobody I know uses any of these webhosts.

If you have a forum software that is unfortunately not tied to your self-coded user account system, either:
1) Deal with it. Make users register once for your webhosting solution, and once more if and only if they want to use your forum.
2) Figure out a way to make a single registration system that signs people up for both accounts at the same time. Making your users enter the exact some information twice into the same website is an insult to their intelligence.

June 28, 2008

Be Aware – Encrypting your hard drive not fool-proof

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:50 am by gloriouscomputing

Encrypting your whole system drive is a good idea, and certainly safer than not doing so.

However, be aware that it only saves you if your PC is shut down, and not messed with for a few minutes.

A smart attacker, when confronting your non-turned off machine, can steal your key from RAM.

See the research: http://citp.princeton.edu/memory/

So ask TrueCrypt to add a feature: Wipe System Encryption Password and Force Shut Down. Then you could just assign a hotkey, to quickly and fully protect your PC data.

I understand that this would be the same as unplugging the PC right in the middle of everything – but that’s fine! And this would be better, because it could quickly scramble the key data, and then turn off.

Whatever is in RAM would still take a few minutes to fade, but all the hard drive data would be safe, since the key would be gone.

I’d post further inquiries at the TC forum, which is seemingly not discussing this, but their registration system is keeping me out (no gmail allowed).

December 12, 2007

Dexpot – Virtual Desktops

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:47 am by gloriouscomputing

If you have felt the urge to have Virtual Desktops, and you have not yet found a freeware solution to your liking, definitely give Dexpot a try.

It’s met all my needs. I personally have 4 desktops set up, which I switch to with hot-keys (Windows+1…4), or mouse clicking the tray icon, if I wanted to. I also set up hotkeys to move currently focussed Windows to any of the other 4 desktops (I use Windows+Shift+1…4). But it also adds a menu to do this with the mouse when you right-click on windows’ titles.

I even set up my 4th desktop to be a different resolution! It’s a simple hack I use to be able to read my screen from my couch, when I sit away from my PC and use my wireless keyboard.

It’s free for personal use, so what are you waiting for?

July 2, 2007

Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:10 am by gloriouscomputing

Hi! My name is Robin. I’m a Windows XP user,  and I believe  in quick, simple  solutions to every day computing needs.

If you are spending a lot of time doing repetitive tasks every day, that’s a problem. I also believe in security. As an example, I personally use Firefox’s Password Manager so I don’t have to type in all my different user names and passwords over and over again. There are a lot of websites out there that I use, so this helps a lot. To keep this a relatively secure process, I use a Master Password with the Password Manger though. So I just have to enter one password each time I start Firefox.

If this ideology works for you, then go check out this blog. There are also other sites with similar goals. This site is not to be seen as competition, but solely as a complimentary site, filling in the gaps that others missed.