Chatting with Harvey — ‘The Lack of Root Beer in Russia’

bunny_boyI think it is time to publish my correspondence with Harvey, an anonymous person from the famous rock band The Residents. It happened six years ago, when The Residents released their album ‘The Bunny Boy’. Harvey was replying using email wearedoomed666@gmail.com which I guess has been dumped by now.

I had a lot of fun with that:

Alex: Need help to find someone in Europe?

Harvey: DER ALEX WEL IS GREASE IN EURPO FROM BUNNY

Alex: Dear Harvey, who is in Marina del Rey, California then? I can’t see you in Greece.

Harvey: DER ALEX WELL I RELLY DON NO SO MUCH ABUT MARINA DEL REY BUT IT SOUND LIKE IT S IN CALIFORNA OR MEXICAO OR SOMEPLACE I DONT THINK HARVY IS THER FROM  BUNY

Alex: So, how can I help you to find Harvey? Need material or spiritual support? Both available.

Harvey: DER ALEX WELL I GUES SPRTUAL SUPPORT IS ALWAYS GOD BUT IT WUD ALS O HELP IF YU TALK TO PEPLE ABUT THE END OF THE WORL AND STUFF AND SEE IF THEY GET EXCIETED AND YEL AN SCREMA BECAUSESIT MIGHT BE HARVEY SO THEN YU COULD TAKE HIS PICTURAND SEND IT TO ME THANS FROM  BUNY
PS IM PTERY STRESED OUT ABOUT THIS RESDENCE THING AND ALL

Alex: What’s that thing about the Residents? New album “Bunny Boy”? I think it’s cool. Just songs are too short. What really bothers me is that Russia is out of their European tour. That sucks, as I’m from Russia. Last time they were in St. Petersburg and Moscow It was very exciting, I hope they felt the very special reception there, even though they almost had no time to sleep.
Do you mind if I publish our correspondence on my website?

Harvey: DER ALEX WELL YES YU CNPUBLISH AND AL AND THNS FOR AKSING BE CAWS I HERD OTHER PEOPLE HAV BEEN PUTTING IT ON THE INTERNET AND ALL AN THEY DIDN EVE N ASK!!!! IM SORY THE REIDENT ARNT COMING TO RUSSIA BUT THERE IS A RUSSIAN MEAT STORY CLOSE TO ME AND IM GOING OT ASK THIEM IF THEY HAVE SMOKE D BEAR FROM  BUNNY
PS IM NOT SURE IF I WANT TO GO ON THE TUR AN ALL SINCE IT WUS BE RELLY SCARY
PS AGIN HAVE YU EVER HAD SOMOKED BEAR

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How to block ads in Windows with just Notepad

Ads are annoying on the web. Besides they lower your internet bandwidth and can be particularly offensive for minors. If you share your PC with your kids, I’m sure you will see how helpful my advice is. There are different ways to screen advertising with use of free and paid DNS providers, firewalls, and special software. I propose to use light and effective method of modifying hosts file. It is a manual hack, but if you browse approximately the same list of websites every day, it will not be very tedious to implement. I’ll explain in plain and simple language. This method is not risky and very easy to revert, if for whatever reason something goes wrong. I tried it in Windows 7, 8, and 10 Technical Preview. It does not matter whether you use 32 or 64 bit version, it will work anyway.

1. Get the HOSTS file

First look for the following path in the Windows Explorer:

C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc

hosts_location

To be on a safe side, make a backup of this file, save a copy of it in a different folder. This file has no extension ‘naturally’, so don’t worry. So, you can copy it to your Document folder, for instance, and make another copy with extension .bak. Then leave the file hosts.bak intact. And double click the file hosts in this new location. We will edit this file here, and once you are done, you will copy the edited new file back to the target place (C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc) to replace the original file. It is because we cannot edit this file directly in its original place.

When you double click the file, you have to choose which program to use to edit it. Pick NOTEPAD. Then you will see something similar:

hosts_new

Everything except the last line (127.0.0.1 localhost) is simply a commented description. You need to extend the list to assign the web addresses you want to block to this IP address 127.0.0.1. For example:

127.0.0.1 cdn1.clkads.com
127.0.0.1 www.clkads.com

What it does, it tells to the system, if that exact address is requested (e.g. cdn1.clkads.com) then instead of getting the real IP address from the root server (DNS), it will immediately short cut it to the 127.0.0.1, which is zero content. It applies to every web browser you can use — Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, Firefox, you name it.

Mind the syntax though: don’t put http:// or https:// — not needed.

2. How to block the ads.

So, how to hit particular ads you see every time you visit certain websites?

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Update of Adobe Creative Cloud 2014

splash-2014Adobe continues to produce valuable updates for its Creative Cloud software collection in 2014. The biggest change I detected with Adobe Dreamweaver 2014.1 release, which is based now on 64-bit architecture. Evidently, Dreamweaver is still being developed very actively and has a different fate than say Adobe Fireworks — abandoned but liked by many designers, just read the latest articles on SmashingMagazine.com. So now Dreamweaver is better compatible with PSD format (PSD asset workflow), take a look at the welcome screen below:

Adode Dreamweaver 2014.1x64

Adode Dreamweaver 2014.1×64

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Windows 10 Technical Preview — Good for Everyone

WIndows 10 TP

Courtesy of Microsoft 2014

I did not like the first release of Windows 8, I changed my mind with 8.1 update, and I’m happy with Windows 10 Technical Preview build 9841, because now it is all about desktop (when we talk about PC) and things look good. I understand it could be buggy, but I’m not afraid to be a bit vulnerable. Besides, it runs smoothly and I can do whatever I used to do before without a glitch. Of course, it is a prerelease software, and as Miscrosoft warns “trying out an early build like this can be risky. [...] don’t install the preview on your primary home or business PC. Unexpected PC crashes could damage or even delete your files, so you should back up everything.”

So, please make an extra backup if you choose to install it.

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Professional services in Plant Maintenance for complex industries

Here’s the new website and service just launched:

MaintCraft.com

Are you looking for a solution to reduce your maintenance costs and improve your assets availability? Do you have doubts in implementing condition-based maintenance or RCM? Do you need to clean your database records (virtual) on spare parts and improve stock turnover (physical)? Are you thinking about setting up new fancy computerized maintenance management system like SAP and have concerns about change management and training?

We can help. At MaintCraft.com we provide professional consultancy services for complex industries, such as FMCG, tobacco, oil & gas, telecom. Continue reading

Can we help ourselves with “No Time” Problem?

© Reebok USA, 2012

© Reebok USA, 2012

Time perception in Western culture is about moving forward. We project ourselves moving forward through our life with the time. Here’s some key points I always wanted to put together for the article. So, I’m sorry for this powerpoint style.

Although time seems to flow, this “ride” has no destination. “Autumn does not become winter, there was autumn and there is winter.” [Dogen's Shobogenzo]

The borderline between You and outer world is pure illusion. “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

“Sound is vibration, transmitted to our senses through the mechanism of the ear, and recognized as sound only at our nerve centers. The falling of the tree or any other disturbance will produce vibration of the air. If there be no ears to hear, there will be no sound.”

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) - Portfolio Three, Yosemite Valley, 1960

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) – Portfolio Three, Yosemite Valley, 1960

Past and Future are illusions as well. Can you present yourself without telling about your past?
When you plan something enjoyable, do you really enjoy it when it comes?

When is NOW?

Time concept is good for planning (“Let’s meet tonight at 8 o’clock”)
Time concept is not good to be worry about (ever-slipping future)
If you ever can be productive, the time is NOW

 

Plane wreck in remote, exotic location

wiredYou might noticed a nice picture in my previous article. It is a shot of an airplane wreckage probably from the 2WW, abandoned in the West Sahara desert. I took it from the article in Wired.com under the title “Ghostly Plane Wrecks Found in Remote, Exotic Locations” by Jakob Schiller. The article was published on April 29th, 2013. Few days later there was a real crash of an American military refueling plane KC-135 far-far-away in Kyrgyzstan. Very sad thing to happen in 21st century.

The pictures in this Wired article are taken from portfolio of Dietmar Eckell.

Flaw in OneNote 2013

irrelevant logo Apple WWDC

This picture is irrelevant here, but I don’t want to advertise Microsoft products anymore.

I’m greatly disappointed with Windows 8 and Office 2013. I bought both and I want my money back. The key issue with Windows — I cannot stand new ugly interface. It is the first time I have no desire to hack this windows release. As for new Office 2013, it holds me from doing essential things. There is a big unresolved issue in OneNote 2013 with a function which me and my wife use everyday: copying from web pages. When I selectively copy from IE10 using the button “Send to OneNote” (same for IE9) OneNote 2013 does not include the hyperlink reference “inserted from” at the end of the fragment. Let me show how it looks in OneNote 2010 (Windows 7):

Capture in OneNote 2010

There is a clear reference inserted at the bottom “Inserted from”. Nice and tidy.

Here’s the ugly twin from OneNote 2013 (installed under Windows 8) from exactly the same source:

win8_office2013_onenote

See the difference? There is no bloody reference. And, of course, I checked in OneNote Advanced options “Include link to source when content is pasted”. With or without — the result is the same.

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Windows 8 Media Center Pack for Free

Windows 8 proConfused with Windows 8 versions? Here’s a good explanation on Dummies.com on that, describing all four flavours of the new Microsoft operating system. In short: Windows RT (limited to built-in applications), Windows 8 (for most users), Windows 8 Pro (like Win7 Ultimate with  encryption, extra networking features, and similar features like to connect to a domain through a work network), and Windows 8 Enterprise (for corporate users). But here we also have mysterious Windows 8 Pro Pack, which seems to be more than just upgrade from Windows 8 to 8 Pro. It was also mentioned that you can have Windows 8 Pro Media Center Edition for those who want to record or watch live TV shows through a TV tuner with Windows Media Center and also play DVDs.

I would go for Windows 8 Pro anyway, but I just realized that Microsoft is giving away product numbers for Windows 8 Media Center Pack here. Just type your email and hit Enter. It seems that sometimes you have to wait for a couple of days for the key to arrive. But there is a hidden secret. Some people reported that it is enough to install Windows 8 Pro  (x86 or x64) with public KMS client setup key (Microsoft Technet source), activate it, and then just follow the sequence: Continue reading

Russian Trace in Windows 8 RTM Activation

Wzor avatar from private soft-forum.ws

The effort of internet community to activate the leaked versions of Windows 8 RTM is amazing. This is happening despite the obvious disadvantage of Metro UI for regular desktop PCs with mouse and keyboard. Yet reportedly some people succeeded to activate with help of Russian-arranged KMS on-line server at [multitude of names].no-ip.org and WZT provided keys. I’ve even seen a suggestion that one could use Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) 2.0 from Microsoft! That WZOR team could be involved of course (they are notorious to be within the Microsoft circle, making fun of Bill Gates — look at the avatar). 

KMS-type activation can give you “only” 180 days. Not all the attempts to activate are successful though. Some people reported that they managed to get the right response from XXX.no-ip.org and then after few manipulations and reboot suddenly they got the nag screen again: activation gone. What you can do to prevent this — backup these two folders to revert them in case of trouble:

C:\Windows\System32\spp\store C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WSLicense

And people keep asking questions. For example: is it safe to use my live account with “test” leaked versions of Windows, especially if I tried (or succeeded) to activate with WZT KMS server? Well, even if did not try to activate, your account may be flagged, so try to use a spare one.

Another question: how about offline KMS activator? Well you can get it and run it (AKA off-line Hyper-V solution) but it requires a KMS key which nobody has for Windows 8, it has not been released yet.

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