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Windows 10 is spyware

31 October, 2015 (10:06) | A cat called password. | By: Blogkeep

# BlockWindows
Stop Windows 7 through 10 Nagging and Spying updates, Tasks, IPs, and services. Works with Windows 7 through 10


BlockWindows.bat Right Click and “Run as Admin”

hosts.bat Works with Windows 7 and 8. Appends current hosts file. Run from your Downloads directory.
Doesn’t work on Windows 10, copy hosts file to your router or firewall if using Windows 10

hosts2.bat Blocks M$ hosts with firewall *BLOCKS most M$ sites OUTLOOK,HOTMAIL,ETC REM any you use*

hosts DNS file of MS hosts to block

hostlist MS Hosts file to blocking for router or firewall use

hosts-dnsmasq Hosts file for dd-wrt and other routers

HideWindowsUpdates.vbs Hides blocked updates, to reinstall click ‘show hidden updates’

DisableWiFiSense.reg Adds registry to disable WiFi Sense, which steals your wifi password without your consent.

unblock.bat Unblocks hosts2.bat blocking

Remove facebook ads

29 May, 2012 (18:06) | A cat called password. | By: Blogkeep

Don’t like adverts in Facebook? Add this to your adblock filter rules:*(.ego_column)

Big Time Charlie Potatoes

8 October, 2011 (23:34) | Propergander. | By: Blogkeep

Some 15 or so years ago I used to regularly watch bands at the Castle on Oldham street Manchester. Bands such as Pagans Chemistry Set, The Hot Bananas and Charlie Potatoes amongst others. All that I have from that time are wonderful memories and some tunes.

Here are some of Charlie Potatoes tunes.

“The recording and performance quality is generally pretty poor by professional standards, but I believe they are mostly all good or great songs. Maybe one day a real band will record some of Charlie’s stuff properly and make him a happy man.” – Naughty Nathan: Naughty Nathans Charlie page

Big Time Charlie are
Naughty Nathan – Bass guitar
Johnny Smokes – Drums and backing vocals
Charlie Potatoes – Rhythm/lead guitar and vocals


Flash required

All music and lyrics are copyright W. J. Cooke 2000/2008.

If anyone reading this has recordings of The Hot Bananas, Pagans Chemistry set or indeed any bands that played the Castle on Oldham street Manchester in the mid to late ’90’s please drop me a line.

Driver problems shared printers Win7 to XP

22 September, 2011 (12:46) | Diagnosis, Prognosis, Treatment. | By: Blogkeep

Trying to share a Canon IP3600 from a Windows 7 PC to a Windows XP PC over Ethernet I found that the XP PC would not install the drivers for the shared printer. XP claiming that a suitable driver could not be found. It seems the issue was with the way the printer was named. In Windows 7 Devices and printers the printer name was “Canon Inkjet iP3600” whilst in the .inf file for the Windows XP driver the printer was called “Canon iP3600 series” as below.

"Canon" = Canon,NTx86.5.1,NTx86.6.0
; Model sections.
; Each section here corresponds with an entry listed in the
; [Manufacturer] section, above. The models will be displayed in the order
; that they appear in the INF file.
"Canon iP3600 series" = CNM_0333XP, LPTENUM\CanoniP3600_seriesEABF, CanoniP3600_series
"Canon iP3600 series" = CNM_0333XP, USBPRINT\CanoniP3600_seriesEABF, CanoniP3600_series

So Windows XP when connecting to the Windows 7 share for this printer was actually looking for a “Canon inkjet iP3600 series” as named in Windows 7, driver. As the printer name in the Windows XP driver .inf file is “Canon iP3600 series” Windows XP presumed that this was not the correct driver.

A simple edit of the Windows XP driver .inf file changing the name from “Canon iP3600 series” to “Canon inkjet iP3600 series” fixed the problem and I was able to install the driver and thus connect to the shared printer. This information probably applies to other printers where the name of the printer displayed in the Windows 7 devices and printer settings differs from the name present in the driver .inf file for the Windows XP driver.

Thunderbird 6 Blurry fonts in Windows 7

17 September, 2011 (17:54) | Diagnosis, Prognosis, Treatment. | By: Blogkeep

In Thunderbird, go to: tools>options>advanced>general>Config Editor

Find: gfx.direct2d.disabled

Right click on it, and set it to true.

SEO Spam

26 August, 2011 (10:54) | Propergander. | By: Blogkeep

It seems my site has been noticed by commercial entities wishing to sell me their SEO products (I guess that’s what they were, I didn’t click the contained links). Well, I don’t allow posts without first checking them out, so please do not waste your time. In addition to such posts being deleted without ever being shown, I will never click on a link contained in such posts.

I would urge others who receive such posts to their blog or similar email spam to just delete them without clicking any contained links no matter how enticing. Every click on such spam only encourages them to post more.

Site updates

2 August, 2011 (18:01) | Propergander. | By: Blogkeep

Like buttons have been added for posts and a follow button has been added for Twitter. I have also added a couple of advertisements. I so despise loud flashy animated ads so these are subtle and unobtrusive. Any advertisements that are here on propergander are for products that I use or have used in the past. Products I trust and recommend.

Facial recognition identifies your social security number

2 August, 2011 (16:19) | A cat called password. | By: Blogkeep

Here’s an interesting article I came across on New Scientist:


There was an old wartime saying that “careless talk costs lives”. Perhaps there should be a new saying for the social networking age something along the lines of “careless postings cost identities”.

The Internet is a vast searchable database of personal information, be careful what you post online.

PDF to JPG Automation

1 August, 2011 (12:18) | LAMP | By: Blogkeep

I need to download a PDF document and convert each page to a jpg and upload the results to a web server on a regular basis. I thought I would automate the task and share my code. This is a quick and dirty method (very quick and very dirty). There is no sanity checking and the code is very insecure, a perfect example of how *NOT* to write code for deployment on a website. I use this code from a command line and it is not accessible from the Internet. Imagemagick is a pre-requisite as this is what does the actual pdf to jpg conversion.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">
$htmlEnd="  </div></body></html>";
if ($argc > 0) {
  for ($i=1;$i < $argc;$i++) {
    $_REQUEST = array_merge($_REQUEST, $tmp);
$cmd="wget --user=".$sourceuser." --password=".$sourcepass." ".$sourceserver."/".$sourcefilename;
echo "Download complete... Converting\n\n";
$Ccmd="convert ./'".$localfilename."' -resize 570x800\! -quality 80 -density 72 -depth 16 -strip ./jpgs/page%d.jpg";
echo "conversion complete\n\nCreating html\n\n";
$dir = opendir ("jpgs");
while (false !== ($file = readdir($dir))) {
  if (strpos($file, '.jpg',1)) {
foreach($files as $Ifilename) {
  $htmlPage.="\n<img src='jpgs/".$Ifilename."' />";
$htmlFile=fopen("webpage.html",'w') or die("cannot create file");
echo "starting upload...\n\n";
$ftpUser =$_REQUEST['duser'];
$ftpPass =$_REQUEST['dpass'];
$conn_id = ftp_connect($destserver) or die("Error connecting to $destserver");
if(ftp_login($conn_id, $ftpUser, $ftpPass)) {
  echo "login to ".$destserver." sucessful";
  ftp_chdir($conn_id, "/public/www");
  ftp_put($conn_id, basename("webpage.html"), "webpage.html", FTP_ASCII);
  ftp_chdir($conn_id, "/public/www/jpgs");
  foreach (glob("./jpgs/*.*") as $filename) {
    ftp_put($conn_id, basename($filename), $filename, FTP_BINARY);
} else {
  echo "login failure\n\n";
echo "Upload complete";

Presuming the php code above has been saved as doit.php.

php doit.php sf=pdf_source_filename ss= suser=source_server_username spass=source_server_password $ duser=destination_user_name dpass=destination_password

I don’t actually run it with command line options, I have hard coded the variables including user names and passwords into the script itself. This is bad practice even though the I have saved the script so that only root can read and run it.

This is the line that does the actual conversion for those who don’t need to download the pdf and upload the resulting images. Substituting png for jpg at the end of this command will save the pdf pages as a lossless png. You can play with the quality setting in order to compromise between quality and file size for jpg images.

convert pdf_file.pdf -resize width_in_pixelsxheight_in_pixels -quality 80 page%d.jpg

Ubuntu – Remove old kernels

31 July, 2011 (13:01) | LAMP | By: Blogkeep

Overtime the number of old Kernels on an Ubuntu install grows. On this server the /boot partition is almost full because of them. So it’s time to do a bit of house keeping. This server does not have a UI installed so there’s no easy point and click package manager option.

There is a simple one line command that will do the job:

sudo aptitude purge '~ilinux-image-[0-9].* !'`uname -r`

This command will remove all but the current in use kernel from the system without removing any other package.

If you want to see what will be removed without actually removing anything the command is:

sudo aptitude search '~ilinux-image-[0-9].* !'`uname -r`