Author Archives: andreas

Customize Windows 10 File Type Icons

I just realized, that recent Windows version make it very hard to customize some aspects of your desktop.

As I am using Sumatra PDF as my default PDF viewer, I do not have the typical Adobe icon on my desktop. While having these icons on my Mac as well as on my work PC, this is rather confusing.

I came along File Types Manager which actually takes away the registry fiddling.

File Tymes Manager Main Window

It works with Windows XP, 7/8 and Windows 10. if you have any .ico files available it is pretty easy to change an icon for a particular file type just by assigning it.

Changed PDF file type icon

Also there are tons of other features, I haven’t used yet.

tl;dr

If you want to change file type icons on a Windows 10 system, you ca use File Type Manager to do so easily.

Snip & Sketch

Right after I just writing about Windows Snipping Tool in my previous post, my Windows 10 notebook just surprised me by telling there will be something called Snip & Sketch in the future. Snipping Tool is moving dialog

It seems it has the same capabilities as Windows Snipping Toll while adding the possibility to annotate your screenshots directly using various pencil and sharing capabilities via Bluetooth and WiFi.

Snip & Sketch Toolbar

In case you don’t have Snip & Sketch on your Windows machine yet, you can download it from the Windows Store for free.

tl;dr

Windows Snipping Tool will be replaced by Snip & Sketch providing additional annotation capabilities.

Simplifying Shortcuts using Windows Snipping Tool

At my current company laptop, I am very limited when it comes to installing additional tools to improve my productivity. From a company view understandable, it is very frustrating to me. One of the tasks I do several times a day, is creating a screenshot. Unfortunately, I am not able to install tool such as my beloved SnagIt.

I use Windows Snipping Tool instead a lot. However, pressing Ctrl + Esc, typing Snip and then pressing New gets annoying over time. So I decided to create an Instant Snip instead when.

So head to the Snipping Tool and right click it to navigate to its location on the disc.

Snipping Tool Context Menu in the Windows Start Menu

Copy the shortcut in this folder and rename it. In my case, I copied the shortcut to a Prg folder in my Home directory where I save programs, batch files and shortcuts.

Copying the Windows Snipping Tool Shortcut from its original location to another folder

Now right click the shortcut and do the following small changes:

  1. Add the parameter /clip to the command line in the shortcut
  2. Optional: Add a keyboard shortcut in case you are not happy with the Windows default (in my case Windows+Shift+I)

Properties of the Snipping Tool Properties UI

At the very end, I have put this shortcut to my taskbar to create instant clips with a single mouse click.

That way you can use the shortcut to create a clip directly. Using the /clip patemter you can use Snipping Tool in semi-automated processes but also the keyboard shortcut you have just defined.

In case you are only looking for the default keyboard shortcut you can use Windows+Shift+S to start the clip mode of Snipping Tool.

One point to bear in mind is the fact, when using the /clip mode, the clip is directly saved to the Windows clipboard and the Snipping Tool UI cannot be accessed right after the screenshot is made.

tl;dr

Windows Snipping Tool has a parameter /clip to create a instant clip from the command line without starting the UI dialog but also can be started using Windows+Shift+S to create such a clip.

Elite Dangerous DW2 Mass Jump on XBOX

As you might know, I am very in the space simulation Elite Dangerous. It is a remake of the 1984 game Elite, which actually was one of my very first games on Amiga. Todays Elite Dangerous is quite some grinding game. While you can drive on planets with some kind of buggy, you can grind for ship, trade and explore the vast numbers of star systems in our galaxy. There is an interesting background simulation with different factions trying to influence the state of star systems, the economics theirs and so on. While there is no crossplay functionality, all players do work on the same background simulation, which again forms communities over all supported platforms (PC, XBOX and PS4) playing virtually together.

While players have only discovered less than 1 percent of avaislable star systems, at the current rate, it will take the community more than 50 years (yes, fifty) to visit all star systems in this game.

From time to time there are community events. Right now, there is an eight-month event called Distant Worlds 2 where more than 10.000 players travel together to the most remote system known in the galaxy which is called Beagle Point.

While I joined one of the coordinated jumps along the trip, I was able to record a video of the jump, which again I want to use to try out the sharing capabilities of videos on this blog. Said that, enjoy the video.

Open Live Writer–Offline Blogging on Windows

While I worked with Microsoft, Windows LiveWriter was my favourite offline writing tool for blog posts. At one point Microsoft stopped supporting Live Writer in 2017 while the tool itself was not developed anymore since 2012. About that time I moved on to Apple and MarsEdit on macOS.

Therefore, I was very pleased when I found Open Live Writer while looking for blogging alternatives on Windows. OPen Live writer is a fork of Windows Live Writer with source code available under a MIT License on GitHub

Open Live Writer Homepage

The installation file is just about 6 MB (indeed megabyte not gigabyte). It supports WordPress, SharePoint, Google Blogger and probably every other service with a proper blogging API.

Supported Blogging Services

Eventually, I set up my blog on Open Live Writer and this article became the very first article IO have written on a Windows machine for the past sever years.

tl;dr

Open Live Writer is a nice offline blogging tool for Windows, just in case you missed it like me.

Cannot connect to SMB shares on Windows 10

I recently set up a new Windows 10 machine. After eight years with only Apple devices, I finally wanted to fetch up with the PC and Windows world again.

For a day or two, I tried to connect my laptop to my NAS at home. I checked firewalls, credentials, server settings, usernames, network. I checked it double, triple, quadrupplewise. I tried almost any permutation. Eventually, I gave up.

The actual problem was, Windows 10 gave no feedback at all when trying to connect to a SMB (aka Sever Message Block Protocol) share on my server. All connection attempts just ended with a silent fail. In terms of user experience this is a violation of Grice’s maxims. Windows 10 simply chooses to opt out of the conversation.

At a very last attempt, I tried the option to map a network drive. After entering user credentials again and again, finally Windows 10 came up the very first time with a useful error message.

Error while connecting SMB1 shares on Windows 10

This shares requires the obsolete SMB1 protocol…” is quite some information one can work with.

Enabling SMB1 turns out to be quite easy. Head to Turn Windows Features on or of and scroll down to SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support. There check SMA 1.0/CIFS Client to enable SMB1 support.

SMB 1.0/CIFS Support on Windows 10

Once done, connection to servers providing (only) SMB1 will work again on Windows 10.

Have You Been Pwned?

Another way to figure out if your account and corresponding account data is https://haveibeenpwned.com/

Have I Been Pwned 

Beside the web form an RESTful API is provided to check automatically. Right now 6,474,028,664 accounts are listed from about 340 hacked websites. Also a list of the breaches, the data comes from is provided. All together it is an easy way to check if your digital identity was recently stolen.

Collection #n

After Collection #1 it did not took long until additional sets fo leaked account and password information appeared. Meanwhile there are Collection #2 to Collection 5. 

All together there are more than 8,000,000,000 are meanwhile leaked. While I accept and actually think of systems being hacked at one point – remember it is not about the if, it is about the when – I cannot understand how actual passwords are stored. 

As I did design a large multi-user system some years ago, we did not save clear text passwords in the system. We actually did even not transport the password from the client to the server in plain text. Said that, I still try to image how anyone could even think of storing passwords in plaintext. 

If you are interested, if any of your password are leaked, you probably should check theIdentity Leak Checker service provided by the Hasso-Plattner-Institute

HPI Password Leak Checker

I actually checked three mail addresses I usually use to sign in at various services.

Leaked Passwords #1

As this is a mail address I don’t use to sign in at public services a lot, the result was not very surprising. Actually, that was I found an account to delete. For my second account this does not look that well. The mail address (and probably passwords) appear in Collections #1 to 2. 

Leakd Passwords #2

The same actually is true for my third and last address I do use for public services. 

Leaked Passwords #3

While I do reset passwords from time to time, it still is worrying that so many passwords have been leaked. I probably will change some passwords of my major accounts as well as I will delete some accounts I really won’t use anymore – or even have never used such as a MySpace account, I completely forgot about.

That way, the HPI Identity Leak Checker might help also to figure about forgotten accounts worth closing. 

 

Blogging again with MarsEdit

Since WordPress cam up with the new editor, actually, writing does not spark fun anymore. Actually, I do not know why I do not like the new editor. Therefore, I recalled MarsEdit, which I used quite some time ago.

MarsEdit 4

I am still not disappointed by the editor. Connection the WorPress installation worked like a charm. Looks like I can start writing blog articles again in a “traditional” manner. 

MarsEdit 4 Editor

Said that, this is going to be the first article written with MarsEdit for a long time.

Blue Dragon Smoothie

In my current position, my co-workers are very disrespectful considering my time. Therefore meetings are often scheduled over lunchbreak or they intercept one in front of the elevator absorbing your lunch break starting with the words “Do you have a few moments…?”

Eventually, I start to bring in my own kind of “fast food” in the form of smoothies. As I am very bad in memorizing recipes, I started writing them down in my blog. Feel free to experiment and comment on them.

For the logistics I started to recycle true fruits bottles which are available in various sizes.

So my first try, I call Blue Dragon with the following ingredients:

  • 1 handful of frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 2 apples
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 slice of honey melon
  • 1 tbsp of almond butter
  • 100 ml of almond milk
  • some water

As tomorrow is my first working day after the christmas brea, I am looking this one is getting me through the day…