You can’t just copy notepade.exe and run it in Windows 10

You might think you can just copy notepad.exe and run it:

PS C:\tmp> copy C:\windows\notepad.exe c:\tmp
PS C:\tmp> dir c:\tmp *

Directory: C:\tmp

Mode    LastWriteTime       Length  Name
—a————    2/20/2021 11:35 PM  181248  notepad.exe

PS C:\tmp> .\notepad.exe
PS C:\tmp> # Nothing happens...

But nothing happens.

What’s wrong? This is a simple operation!

Answer: You need the .\en-US\notepad.exe.mui file

Or, more generally the .\xx-YY\notepad.exe.mui file, for any local “xx-YY”, for any similar built-in Microsoft™ program.

For notepad.exe you can find this file in c:\windows\xx-YY\notepad.exe.mui

PS C:\tmp> mkdir en-US


    Directory: C:\tmp


Mode                LastWriteTime         Length Name
----                -------------         ------ ----
d-----         4/2/2021  11:26 AM                en-US


PS C:\tmp> copy C:\Windows\notepad.exe .\
PS C:\tmp> copy C:\Windows\en-us\notepad.exe.mui .\en-US\
PS C:\tmp> dir


    Directory: C:\tmp


Mode                LastWriteTime         Length Name
----                -------------         ------ ----
d-----         4/2/2021  11:27 AM                en-US
-a----        2/20/2021  11:35 PM         181248 notepad.exe


PS C:\tmp> dir .\en-US\


    Directory: C:\tmp\en-US


Mode                LastWriteTime         Length Name
----                -------------         ------ ----
-a----        3/19/2019   2:18 AM          12288 notepad.exe.mui


PS C:\tmp> .\notepad.exe
PS C:\tmp> # it works!

Other Examples

Not all exe files have the problem. Here are some other famous exe’s that do, however. They’re in C:\Windows\System32 (not C:\Windows\ like notepad.exe):

    Directory: c:\tmp


Mode                LastWriteTime         Length Name                                                                        
----                -------------         ------ ----                                                                        
d-----         4/2/2021   4:21 PM                en-US                                                                       
-a----        3/19/2019  12:45 AM          34816 ipconfig.exe                                                                
-a----        3/19/2019  12:45 AM          21504 ping.exe                                                                    
-a----        3/19/2019  12:45 AM          17920 tracert.exe                                                                 
-a----        3/19/2019  12:45 AM         369152 msinfo32.exe                                                                

And here are their associated .mui files:

    Directory: c:\tmp\en-US


Mode                LastWriteTime         Length Name                                                                        
----                -------------         ------ ----                                                                        
-a----        3/19/2019   2:17 AM          28160 ipconfig.exe.mui                                                            
-a----        3/19/2019   2:17 AM          11264 ping.exe.mui                                                                
-a----        3/19/2019   2:17 AM           6656 tracert.exe.mui                                                             
-a----        3/19/2019   2:17 AM          30720 msinfo32.exe.mui                                                            

Most programs do not have a en-US\*.mui file in the first place. Here’s a few that do, but run fine when you copy them nevertheless:

   Directory: c:\tmp


Mode                LastWriteTime         Length Name                                                                        
----                -------------         ------ ----                                                                        
d-----        4/14/2021   4:55 PM                en-US-not_needed                                                            
-a----        3/19/2019  12:45 AM          14336 HOSTNAME.EXE                                                                
-a----        2/20/2021  11:33 PM         280064 cmd.EXE                                                                     
-a----        3/19/2019  12:44 AM          86528 nslookup.exe                                                                
-a----        3/19/2019  12:43 AM          40448 Netplwiz.exe                                                                
-a----        3/19/2019  12:45 AM          40960 where.exe                                                                   
-a----        3/19/2019  12:45 AM          71168 whoami.exe                                                                  

tasklist.exe is interesting. It partially works when copied. It works without its .mui file, but only if you provide no parameters. If you want to provide parameters, you need the copied .mui file:

    Directory: c:\tmp


Mode                LastWriteTime         Length Name                                                                        
----                -------------         ------ ----                                                                        
d-----        4/14/2021   6:33 PM                en-us                                                                       
-a----        3/19/2019  12:45 AM         101376 tasklist.exe                                                                


    Directory: c:\tmp\en-us


Mode                LastWriteTime         Length Name                                                                        
----                -------------         ------ ----                                                                        
-a----        3/19/2019   2:17 AM          15872 tasklist.exe.mui                                                            

An oddball is mspaint.exe. It has a .mui but copying it still doesnt work. It may be interacting with the Windows 10 “App” interface.

References:

How to buy a printer. What to look for in purchasing a new printer.

Table of Contents


Printer Cost

Basic overview of the ranges of printer costs. It all changed in 2019 when the Pandemic hit and millions of people bought (or tried to buy) printers to set up a home office.

Pandemic of 2019
Before After
$30 $100 Cheap, basic, low-end printer. Used to cost as much as an ink cartridge.
$80 $150 Mid-range home printer. Low-end office printer.
$150 $250 Quality home printer. Mid-range office printer.

Printers are almost disposable items. Sometimes they only last 3 years. Expected life is 3-7 years. If you get 10, you’re very lucky.


Ink Costs.

To know how much your printer is really going to cost, you have to figure in ink costs.

For each printer you’re looking up, it will tell you which ink it uses.

Look in the store, or online, how much that ink costs.

And how many pages they say it will print.

Pages per ink cartridge can vary from 100 to 2,500 so it’s a huge difference.

If the documentation of the ink cartridge does not say how many pages, that’s a bad sign. Assume 100 pages.

You will have to guess/estimate how many pages you print per month/year.

If you divide Ink Price / Pages it will print, you get cost per page

Worst Best
30¢


Touch Control Panel

Here’s a big, beautiful touch-screen control panel:

touch_screen_big

I suggest a touch control panel, these days. It will cost a little more, but it comes in handy in one specific instance.

You will need to set up your WiFi on the printer so it can communicate wirelessly with your PC and your phone. During that process, you will likely have to supply your WiFi password, or wireless network key.

That could be 10 letters long, or more.

With a touch-screen control panel, you can just touch the letters and numbers you want to enter.

Otherwise you have to scroll up and down to get to the letters. Much more difficult.

Or if the printer does not even have that sophisticated a setup, you might need to connect it to your PC or phone, maybe through the manufacturer’s app, to set up WiFi.

In general, people find the touch control panel more intuitive.

Also, the bigger the better, of course it costs a little more.


Lighted Control Panel

If your control panel is “touch” it is also lighted, so you’re good.

If you’re considering a model that is not touch, that’s ok, but I would still recommend lighted. Ie LED (light emitting diode) rather than LCD (liquid crystal display).

An LCD (non-lighted) control panel screen requires light from the room to illuminate the screen. Depending on your lighting ocnditions, you might even need a flashlight to read the control panel. That’s a pain.

So I recommend a control panel that emits its own light.

Here’s an example of a non-lighted, LCD panel.

non-lighted control panel


Automatic Document Feeder

For faxing and copying, there are 2 ways to feed the page to the printer/copier/fax.

Open the lid and put the paper face down on the glass is the basic way.

(Note: if your printer is not ALSO a scanner, ie multi-function, or All-In-One (AIO), then it might not have a cover and a glass surface in the first place. Only low-end printers don’t have a scanner too.)

The other method is the “automatic document feeder” (ADF) which is a contraption on top of the printer where you place a printed page, usually face up, and it sucks it in and copies it or faxes it.

Most often, if it has an ADF, you also still have the option of opening it up and putting your page on the glass if you want to.

Here’s pictures of 2 very similar Canon printers, one without, and one with, an automatic document feeder.

Without:

no automatic document feeder

With:

with automatic document feeder


Automatic Two-Sided Printing

All printers can print two-sided, also called duplex printing.

The catch is do you have to remove the paper and put it back in, usually upside down, for the printer to print the back page.

I suggest looking for one that does this automatically, meaning, after printing one side of the page, it either keeps the paper inside, or sometimes sucks it back in, and prints the second side for you.

Cheap printers don’t have this, mid-range and up do have it.

You usually have to look deeper, and check the specs to find out if this feature is provided.


Fax

All-In-One printers sometimes have the fax function, sometimes not. I guess “All” doesnt mean what it used to.

Faxing, in Feb 2021 is less popular, but still out there.

If you need it, you will often have to look deeper, and check the specs to find out if it’s included.

Note, you will need to route a phone cable to this printer for faxing to work. That usually means you’ll need a phone jack near the printer. Or you’ll be running many feet of wire around your rooms.

Of course, this assumes you still have land line phone service. If not, then you can’t use “fax”. You’ll need some online service instead. Or scan and email your documents. Or take a picture of them and text or fax them. Or use a friend’s fax. Or go to a staples/fedex type store and have them fax them for you.


Shipping

Especially during the 2019-2020 Pandemic, shipping can be a factor.

Free or cost? How much?

And in a few days, or a few weeks.

Vendors are finding it hard (2019-Feb 2021 at least) to keep printers in stock.

What to look for in buying a new laptop

There’s a lot of features to consider when you’re in the market for a new laptop.

I recommend you read through this. Then go to Best Buy and bring this list up on your phone. Look around at laptops and prices in the store, then go thru this list with an actual device in your hands. That’s the best way. Best Buy last I looked (late-2020) had good prices. Almost as good as Amazon.

So, then, here are my 16 features for you to ponder.

The first one is a word of caution / recommendation.

The next 12 are up to your personal preference.

The last 3 are price-performance.

Table of Contents:

DETAILS


1. No Intel OPTANE Memory

I do not recommend Intel Optane memory. It adds complexity and bugs and provides little benefit.

If you want extra speed, upgrade to an SDD storage drive instead of a HDD disk drive and you’ll get even more benefit.


2. Screen size

Maybe the most important factor is the screen size. It varies greatly.

The most common size is 15.6″.

Next most common is 14″.

A small, “chromebook” like laptop might be 13″, 12″, or even 11″. These are small enough to put in your purse. Highly portable. Easy to carry around. Very light.

The largest common laptop is 17″. Not that common. Hard to fit in a backpack or bag. Heavy. But lots of screen area. Usually high performance too.


3. Touch Screen

Most laptops today have a touch screen. (Macbooks do not.)

It is a feature many use, but I think it’s mostly marketing. Occasionally it’s convenient in every day life. But you’re almost always using your keyboard and your mouse.


4. Display Flip

Many laptops today, especially touchscreens, open all the way up and flip all the way around to flat again. In this configuration, the keyboard is facing down the laptop looks like a tablet.

These are often called “360” or something.

This feature is mostly marketing and not that useful in actual practice. People want to use their keyboards.

Often these laptops have “tent mode”. Again, only occasionally useful.


5. Weight.

An 11″ or 13″ chromebook or similar scaled-down laptop might be as light as 2.5 lb in 2021. Feels as light as a cracker. You’ll feel like you can play frisbee with it (but don’t 😉

A typical laptop will be more like 3-4 lbs.

A higher performce / larger laptop could be 5-6 lbs. You’ll notice carrying this around.

Of course if you want to pay more, you can get a light and yet high performance laptop.


6. Keyboard.

Type some things. How does it feel.

Pay attention to the location of these important keys:

  • ALT
  • SHIFT
  • CTRL
  • ARROW (UP DOWN LEFT RIGHT)

And these keys vary laptop by laptop. Sometimes you need to hit the FN key.

  • HOME
  • END
  • DELETE
  • PG UP
  • PG DOWN

Is the space bar long enough and comfortable to type.

Do you want a number keybad on the right? Only bigger laptops (some 15.6″ and 17″) have them.

A slightly premimum feature is a “lighted keyboard”. It can be helpful when typing in dim environments.


7. Battery

How many hours of battery time does it claim? You’ll get close to that when new, and it will decrease every year you have it.

After about 3 years, it will be 1/2 as long.

Is the battery removable

Most in 2021 are not removable. But I believe it is better if it is. Not a big issue.


8. Touchpad

Is it smooth or sticky as you slide your fingers.

Is it big enough to move around freely.

I do not suggest tapping to click. But if you want that, how does the tap sensitivity feel (it is adjustable a little after you buy it).

How does clicking feel. Not all touchpads click. Most do. If the touchpad doesn’t click, you’ll have to click with the mouse buttons.

If the touchpad itself clicks, what pressure is necessary. How does it feel. Does it click evenly an all areas of the touchpad? Top, bottom, left, right?


9. Touchpad Buttons / Mouse Buttons

Sometimes they’re physical and separate. Sometimes they’re integrated in the touchpad.

Sometimes they’re in the touchpad but not marked in any way.

The bottom right of the touchpad is often Right Click. Often this is selectible in the settings of the laptop after you buy it.


10. Camera

If you can, use the Camera app in windows 10 and see how the image looks.

Too bright / dark?

Good resolution or grainy?


11. WiFi

How many antenna and modes does it have?

1 is low end.

2 is mid-range.

4 antenna is high-end.


12. USB ports / Card REader

Types:

USB-C (smaller and oval. Fast.)

USB 3.0 (large, sandard size. High bandwidth. Good for external drives and flash drives.)

USB 2.0 (large, sandard size. Good for mouse and keyboard.)

How many ports?

Many have just 2. And that is enough for everyday use.

But if you’re pluging in a external drive, and flash drive, or an external mosue or keyboard, then you might run out of ports with just 2. (You can buy a port hub after, but it’s not that convenient.)

4 ports is a nice generous amount.

Card Reader

Most laptops come with a built-in card reader. This reads the memory card from a camera. With a size-adapter, it will read the memory card from a phone. These are very useful for transferring pictures.

If it doesnt have one, you can get a separate card reader device that plugs into a USB port–but it will use up one of your USB ports so keep that in mind.


13. CD/DVD/Optical Drive

These days (2021) an optical drive is uncommon. And there’s not that much reason for one.

If you think you need one, you’ll have to search for it. Larger laptops are more likey to have one.

You can get an external one later if you need it.

The remaining feature tradeoffs are close to pure price/performance not nearly as much personal preference


14. CPU (price performance)

The CPU or processor is the brains of the unit. One of the most expensive pieces (with the display, or hi-perf, gaming graphics), and usually consumes the most power (except for hi-perf, gaming graphics).

AMD processors save you money. They are 98% compatible with everything that’s out there. Most AMD processors are very low performance. If you need service on one 3-8 years down the road, there are fewer options.

I usually buy Intel processors.

I recomend Intel Core i3 or i5 or i7.

Anything else is lower performance. I would characterize their performance this way:

i3 – basic performance. not snappy, but functional.

i5 – pretty fast most of the time.

i7 – snappy, fast and responsive.

However, there are different versions of i3, i5, and i7.

The best bet is find out exactly which variant of the processor is included, and go to cpubenchmark.net and look it up. Hi-end or Hi-mid-range are very good. You can save money by going lower. Lower than mid-range you’ll notice is actually slower.


15. Memory (price performance)

For Windows 10 I recommend a minimum of 8GB.

And you really don’t need more. 16GB is a luxury.


16. Storage size / HDD / SDD (price performance)

In 2021 I recommend almost always an SSD. They cost more but are 2x to 4x faster and are becoming standard.

128GB SDD is small. If you have a lot of pictures it’s not enough.

256GB SDD probably big enough for most people. If you have A TON of pictures, and a bunch of videos, maybe not.

512GB SDD more expensive, but big enough even for a lot of pictures and some videos.

1TB – in 2021, when it says 1TB it almost always means HDD, not SDD because 1TB SDD’s are expensive, still. This will change. The price will go down.

If you have A TON of pictues, and many videos, you will need 1TB, maybe even 2TB. In this case, you might want to splurge and get fast SDD, might add $100-$200 to the price, or you might want to save money and get the lower performance, large HDD.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – Installing and Using–what to turn off. (also know by its initials: MBAM)

Install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free. Click here: https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download/thankyou/ (accurate link as of 02/19/2019) to download.

Run the downloaded file (if it does not run automatically) to install Malwarebyates Anti-Malware. It should start running and give you a window automatically after installation.

If not, find it in the start menu and run it.

Malwarebyates Anti-Malware also appears in the “system tray” which is the extreme lower right of your screen, on the right side of the taskbar/icon bar. (This taskbar is the one which has the start menu button on its extreme left.) You can show it through there.

Click OK to get thru the trial notification (we’re going to turn that off soon).

Now there are two (2) settings to change from the defaults.

1. Turn on rootkits

Once Malwarebyates Anti-Malware is running, go into its Settings tab on the left, then the Protection and turn on Scan for rootkits.

2. Deactivate Premium Trial

Back to the Settings tab on the left, this time the Account tab on the top, and then click the Deactivate Premium Trial at the bottom.

Now you have to jump through all their hoops:

1. Confirm Yes

2. Trial Expired Popup–lower right

Now, finally, actually run the scan

You should get a nice window showing it has started. The best anti-malware scanner on the market, and it’s free! 😀

Quarantine any threats

If threats are found, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will show you a screen with them. I trust it. Just Quarantine Selected

Clean up after

After Malwarebytes Anti-Malware finishes, you can go into its system tray icon and right-click and turn off Start with Windows, and also click Quit Malwarebytes. It will probably give a security prompt–just click OK. It doesnt hurt to keep it running, but it’s not really doing anything. Just re-start it when you want to scan again (eg, weekly).

References:

A Comprehensive (and I mean comprehensive) Security Recommendation



A Comprehensive (and I mean comprehensive) Security Recommendation

Bleepingcomputer.com is a comprehensive security site with help from experts even for non-techies.

Here’s a post from one of those experts with just about every security recommendation he could think of:

Please take the time to read below on how to secure the machine and take the necessary steps to keep it Clean.

 

STEP 1 – UPDATING TASKS

  • It is possible for programs on your computer to have security vulnerability that can allow malware to infect you.
  • Therefore, it is also a good idea to check for the latest versions of commonly installed applications that are regularly patched to fix vulnerabilities.
  • You can check these by visiting Secunia Software Inspector or you can use the following application for this purpose PatchMyPC.
  • You may take a look at UCheck as well.

 
Visit Microsoft’s Windows Update Site Frequently

  • It is important that you check for Windows Updates regularly.
  • This will ensure your computer has always the latest security updates available installed on your computer.
  • If there are new updates to install, install them immediately, reboot your computer, and revisit the site until there are no more critical updates.

 

STEP 2 – CLEANUP

Here are a few additional steps on how to remove all of the tools we used:

  • Please download Delfix.exe by Xplode and save it to your desktop.
  • Please start it and check the box next to “Remove disinfection tools” and uncheck the rest and click on the run button.
  • The tool will delete itself once it finishes.

Note: If any tool, file, log file or folder (belonging to the program we have used) hasn’t been deleted, please delete it manually.

 

You can delete the following folders:

C:\ProgramData\HitmanPro => to delete the leftovers from HitmanPro
C:\EEK => to delete the leftovers from EmsisoftEmergencyKit

C:\Users\tierz\AppData\Local\ESET => to delete the leftovers from Eset Online Scanner

I suggest you leave Malwarebytes installed for on-demand scans but if you want to uninstall it then you can use this tool

 

STEP 3 – SECURITY ADVISES
 

Keep your antivirus software turned on and up-to-date

  • New viruses come out every minute, so it is essential that you have the latest signatures for your antivirus program to provide you with the best possible protection from malicious software.
  • Note: You should only have one antivirus installed at a time. Having more than one antivirus program installed at once is likely to cause conflicts and may well decrease your overall protection as well as impairing the performance of your PC.
  • Note2: You should scan your computer with an antimalware program like Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware on a regular basis just as you would an antivirus software. Be sure to check for and download any definition updates prior to performing a scan. Also keep in mind that MBAM is not a replacement for antivirus software, it is meant to complement the protection provided by a full antivirus product and is designed to detect the threats that are missed by most antivirus software.

 

Be prepared for CryptoLocker and similar threats:

Since the prevention is better than cure you can purchase a license for Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (because Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware and Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit are also included in the Premium version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 3) or try a free program such as Kaspersky Antiransomware for business.

In addition to whatever you choose to use I would suggest you to add CryptoPrevent to supplement them to secure the PC against these lockers. Also make regular backups of your important documents.

You can use a standard user account with UAC enabled. If you need administrative privileges to perform some tasks, then you can use Run As or log on as the administrator account for that specific task.

 

Practice Safe Internet

One of the main reasons people get infected in the first place is that they are not practicing Safe Internet. You practice Safe Internet when you educate yourself on how to properly use the Internet through the use of security tools and good practice. Knowing how you can get infected and what types of files and sites to avoid will be the most crucial step in keeping your computer malware free. The reality is that the majority of people who are infected with malware are ones who click on things they shouldn’t be clicking on. Whether these things are files or sites it doesn’t really matter. If something is out to get you, and you click on it, it most likely will.  Below are a list of simple precautions to take to keep your computer clean and running securely:

  • If you receive an attachment from someone you do not know, DO NOT OPEN IT! Simple as that. Opening attachments from people you do not know is a very common method for viruses or worms to infect your computer.
  • .zip, .exe, .com, .bat, .pif, .scr, .cmd, .cab .vbs or .js do not open the attachment unless you know for a fact that it is clean. For the casual computer user, you will almost never receive a valid attachment of this type.
  • If you receive an attachment from someone you know, and it looks suspicious, then it probably is. The email could be from someone you know infected with a malware that is trying to infect everyone in their address book.
  • If you are browsing the Internet and a popup appears saying that you are infected, ignore it!. These are, as far as I am concerned, scams that are being used to scare you into purchasing a piece of software. For an example of these types of popups, or Foistware, you should read this article:
    Foistware, And how to avoid it. There are also programs that disguise themselves as Anti-Spyware or security products but are instead scams.  For a list of these types of programs we recommend you visit this link: About Malwares, Rogues, Scarewares, SmitfraudFix
  • Another tactic to fool you on the web is when a site displays a popup that looks like a normal Windows message or alert. When you click on them, though, they instead bring you to another site that is trying to push a product on you. I suggest that you close these windows by clicking on the X instead of the OK button. Alternatively, you can check to see if it’s a real alert by right-clicking on the window. If there is a menu that comes up saying Add to Favorites… you know it’s a fake.
  • Do not go to adult sites. I know this may bother some of you, but the fact is that a large amount of malware is pushed through these types of sites. I am not saying all adult sites do this, but a lot do.
  • When using an Instant Messaging program be cautious about clicking on links people send to you. It is not uncommon for infections to send a message to everyone in the infected person’s contact list that contains a link to an infection. Instead when you receive a message that contains a link, message back to the person asking if it is legit before you click on it.
  • Stay away from Warez and Crack sites! In addition to the obvious copyright issues, the downloads from these sites are typically overrun with infections. Avoid using cracks and unknown programs from sources you don’t trust. There are MANY alternative open-source applications. Malware writers just love cracks and keygens, and will often attach malicious code into them. By using cracks and/or keygens, you are asking for problems. So my advice is – stay away from them!
  • Be careful of what you download off of web sites and Peer-2-Peer networks. Some sites disguise malware as legitimate software to trick you into installing them and Peer-2-Peer networks are crawling with it. If you want to download a piece of software a from a site, and are not sure if they are legitimate, you can use Bitdefender TrafficLight or Avira Browser Safety to look up info on the site. Note: skip this advice if your antivirus have a Web Guard.
  • DO NOT INSTALL any software without first reading the End User License Agreement, otherwise known as the EULA. A tactic that some developers use is to offer their software for free, but have spyware and other programs you do not want bundled with it. This is where they make their money. By reading the agreement there is a good chance you can spot this and not install the software.
  • You may want to install Unchecky to prevent adware bundled into many free programs to install.
  • Make the extensions for known file types visible: Be worried of files with a double extension such as image.jpg.exe. As a default setting, Windows often hides common file extensions, meaning that a program like image.jpg.exe will appear to you as simply image.jpg. Double extensions exploit this by hiding the second, dangerous extension and reassuring you with the first one.Check this out – Show or hide file name extensions.
  • Disable Autorun: It’s a good idea to disable the Autorun functionality to prevent spreading of the infections from USB flash drives. Check the article here for more information. Also you can install McShield – to prevent infections spread by removable media.
  • Disable and Windows Scripting Host: If you don’t use any script files then you can go ahead and disable Windows Scripting Host using the tool provided by Symantec – NoScript.exe. Simple download and run it and click on the Disable button and reboot the computer. If you need to run any js. or vbs scripts at a later stage you should run NoScript.exe again and select Enable, then reboot the computer.
  • Install Adblock Plus to surf the web without annoying ads!

 

 
Create an image of your system (you can use the built-in Windows software as well if you prefer)

  • Now when your pc is malware free it is a good idea to do a backup of all important files just in case something happens it.
  • Macrium Reflect is very good choice that enables you to create an image of your system drive which can be restored in case of problems.
  • The download link is here.
  • The tutorial on how to create an system image can be found here.
  • It’s a good idea to add Macrium to the boot menu to access it if Windows won’t start and you don’t have a Rescue CD.
  • The tutorial on how to restore an system image can be found here.
  • Be sure to read the tutorials first.

 

Follow this list and your potential for being infected again will reduce dramatically.

 

Safe Surfing !

 

Regards,
Georgi

Edited by B-boy/StyLe/, 28 March 2017 – 09:45 AM.

From: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/642995/winvmx-the-requested-resource-is-in-use-tried-all-suggestions-on-forum/#entry4208784

Google Docs vs Microsoft Office

IMG:o365_gdocs

Google Docs vs Microsoft Office

Little Known Fact about MS Office

MS bills its “Office 365” as a “cloud suite”. Actually, it includes the regular old desktop programs of Office 2016 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and in some versions Outlook).

Summary

In a 2016 review of Google’s G Suite business subscription service, Eric Grevstad of PC Magazine stated that Google Docs follows the “80/20” rule: “that is, 80 percent of users will never need more than 20 percent of the features”.[71]

–wikipedia

I would like to modify that somewhat. While he says “will never need” I think that’s a stretch. I think it’s more accurate to say “80 percent of the time users will only need 20 percent of the features.” The way this new view plays out, is that if you use Google Docs, once a year or so, you will run into a situation in which you need features Google Docs does not offer. That’s more what I experience from users in real life.

ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – Comprehenive Advanced Features

As I said in the “Summary” above, if you use Google, once a year or so, you will need some more complex / advanced feature that is in Microsoft Office but not Google Docs.

There’s always a workaround, with some additional effort and inconvenience.

(slight) ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – privacy

Educated guess, but I believe MS Office protects your privacy more than Google.

Here’s my reasoning. These aren’t proofs–just educated guessing and reasoning.

  • MS is less motivated financially to sell your content to advertisers or private investigators. Because you pay for MS Office. They have a buisness model where they get paid for the software they produce. Google’s only business model is to sell advertising based on your content. So it is an urgent need, a matter of corporate survival for them to violate your privacy.
  • This one seems backwards, but stay with me. MS was criticzied for their handling of privacy because they published visibly that they would turn over your Office 365 (OneDrive) content to law enforcement authorites without your consent or notification. This is true of ALL companies, because of the Patriot Act in the United States. So I give MS *credit* on privacy for being visible about this, instead of hiding it like other companies. It makes me trust them a smidgen more on privacy.
  • Last buy not least, MS Office supports a fully offline model, with all files stored on your local hard disk, instead of in the cloud (MS OneDrive). These files are much less likely to be scanned.

ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – offline and alternate cloud storage

Since MS Office 365 (or the desktop apps) run on your desktop, you can be fully operational without an internet connection. Eg, on a plane. Or the day that your ISP goes down. Or if the power goes out (assuming you have laptop battery to keep working, and assuming you don’t have battery backup or generator backup for your internet connection).

Offline, desktop acces model in MS Office also means you can use them with almost any cloud storage (Dropbox, Box.com, SugarSync) in addition to MS’s own OneDrive.

That is *IF* those services have a ‘local sync’ feature. All of those I listed do. (This local sync feature sync’s a folder on your desktop to the cloud. Changes you make in the cloud are replicated on your local disk. Changes you make on your local disk–with desktop Office 2016, for example–are mirrored in the cloud.)

Can not do that with Google Docs because there is no way to work on local files.

You can download offline files out of Google Docs, for storage and back. And you can edit them locally. With what? MS Office? Might as well have just used MS Office in the first place.

You could edit them with the free LibreOffice and get close to the MS Office experience. The disadvantage is that you’re working in two different interfaces, and LibreOffice is not quite as powerful as MS Office.

Or using only the Chrome Browser, and a Chrome extension “Google Docs Offline” you can edit offline with Google.

ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – printing

in Google Docs, if in Firefox or Internet Explorer, you have to dowload as a PDF to print. Using the browser print will make it print like a web page, not a document.

In the Chrome browser (only) Google Docs print normally.

Reports (I can’t confirm) that advanced printing is not available in Google Docs (but they’re upgrading all the time).

ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – upload limit

50MB (was: 2MB) upload limit for Google Docs (no limit once in Google Drive online cloud storage)

(slight) ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – huge size

Google Docs can’t handle HUGE data sets, eg, > 2 million (was: 400K) cells in a spreadsheet.

ADVANTAGE GOOGLE – FREE!

By far the biggest difference between the two is that Goodle Docs is FREE. You pay for that with Google scanning your docs and providing that info to advertisers so that they can target ads to you. But Microsoft is still doing at least some of that.

ADVANTAGE GOOGLE – “Explore”

GDocs new “Explore” feature

Launched in September 2016, “Explore” enables additional functionality through machine learning.[36][37][38]

  • In Google Docs, Explore shows relevant Google search results based on information in the document, simplifying information gathering. Users can also mark specific document text, press Explore and see search results
  • based on the marked text only.
  • In Google Sheets, Explore enables users to ask questions, such as “How many units were sold on Black Friday?”, and Explore will return the answer, without requiring formula knowledge from the user.
  • In Google Slides, Explore dynamically generates design suggestions based on the contents of each slide.

The “Explore” features in Docs follow the launch of a more basic research tool originally introduced in 2012.[39][40][41]

In December 2016, Google introduced a quick citations feature to Google Docs. The quick citation tool allows users to “insert citations as footnotes with the click of a button” on the web through the Explore feature introduced in September. The citation feature also marked the launch of the Explore functionalities in G Suite for Education accounts.[42][43][44]

In June 2017, Google expanded the Explore feature in Google Sheets to automatically build charts and visualize data,[45][46] and again expanded it in December to feature machine learning capable of automatically creating pivot tables.[47][48]

–wikipedia

NO LONGER ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – columns and image editing

In 2013, Microsoft released ads that called out specific features missing in Docs, including columns (eventually added by Google Docs in 2016) and image-editing support (eventually added by Google Docs in 2014).

–techwalla

NO LONGER ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – mail merge

You didnt used to be able to do mail merge in Gmail+Docs. Now you can.

NO LONGER ADVANTAGE MS OFFICE – add-ons

In March 2014, Google introduced add-ons

–wikipedia

Before that, only MS Office had add-ons.

NO LONGER ADVANTAGE GOOGLE – real-time simultaneous co-authoring

Until MS Office v2016 MS Office did not provide real-time simultaneous co-authoring (unless you used Enterprise SharePoint).

By this I mean 2+ people working on the same document at exactly the same time with each seeing the other’s edits in real-time as they happen, letter by letter.

Before v2016 MS had less helpful co-editing techniques.

References:

Network speeds–WiFi/Wireless g/N/ac, Wired Gigabit Ethernet, Broadband Internet Connection (Eg, Comcast/Time Warner/Optimum)




Presented below is a table of comparative network speeds.

It is important to know the relative speeds when making purchase decisions on networking.

It is also important to know that network speeds are subject to the principal that they only run as fast as their slowest link. They’re subject to bottlenecks.

For example, no matter how fast your in-building wired Ethernet or WiFi/Wireless speed is, your speed to the public Internet is likely limited to the speed your broadband provider gives you. It provides no benefit to upgrade your internal network, without also upgrading your bandwidth provider with a faster (more expensive) service.

On the other hand, in-building computer-to-computer or computer-to-device or client-server traffic does not touch the global Internet, and doesnt depend on your provider’s bandwith.

There was a time where “wired” was faster than “wireless” but with new innovations in Wirless N and Wireless ac (802.11n, 802.11ac) standards, that’s no longer true. However, BOTH ends (pc, router) have to support the standard to achieve that speed. And laptops sometimes skimp on the WiFi.

The common types of interent to consider, roughly in order slowest to fastest, are:

Broadband Internet
Connects the network in your building to the outside world, the wider public internet, the WAN (wide-area network). Typically provided by a cable or phone company, eg, Comcast, Time-Warner, Optimum.
Ethernet
Wired networking. Eg, cat5 cables and RJ45 wall outlets.
WiFi / Wireless
To/From the Wireless Network Adapter (NIC) in your laptop, printer, smartphone, tablet over the air to the wireless router, often provided by your broadband provider.

Table of Relative Network Speeds

Key
Broadband Internet (red)
Ethernet (yellow)
WiFi / Wireless (blue)
Description Speed
Low-end residential broadband 5 Mbps
Wirless g, 2.4 GHz band, mid-2000s (54 Mbps nominal, but only 50% efficient) 22.5 Mbps
Wirless N, 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz band, 2010, uses (MIMO), (54 Mbps nominal, but only 50% efficient) 22.5 Mbps
Mid-grade residential broadband 25 Mbps
Starting-level business, Hi-end residential broadband 50 Mbps
Standard Ethernet “Fasternet” (nominal 100 Mbps but only 50% efficient) 50 Mbps
Mid-grade business broadband 100 Mbps
Hi-end business broadband 150 Mbps
Wirless N-150 (MIMO) 150 Mbps
Wirless N-300 (MIMO) 300 Mbps
Wirless N-450 (MIMO) 450 Mbps
New Gigabit Ethernet (nominal 1000 Mbps but only 50% efficient) 500 Mbps
Wirless N-600 (MIMO) 600 Mbps
Wirless AC-1200 (MIMO) 800 Mbps
Wirless N-900 (MIMO) 900 Mbps
Wirless AC-1900 (MIMO) 1000 Mbps

Notes:

Mbps = Mega-bits per second; divide by 8 to get MBs = Megabytes per second)

MIMO = multiple input and multiple output antennas

You can test your current Internet speed from your current location via

SmallNetBuilder has good educational materials on routers, WiFi, and speed tests and rankings of routers.

The various volumes on an iPhone



Most of the time the volume you set on the iPhone “just works.” But it’s far more complicated than you’d think, and it’s very context dependent. Macworld describes it well.

This article is from 2013, quoted in its entirety here. But things are always changing:

How to control the volume in iOS

By Sharon Zardetto
Macworld | Mar 7, 2013 7:00 AM PT

Most of the time, you hit a volume button on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, and it does what you expect, whether it’s turning up your reminder alarms or turning down your music. And then there are the other times.

different iOS volume icons

But once you understand the different “kinds” of sounds, the interaction between software settings and the volume buttons, and how context overrides the default course of events, you’ll have better control over your device’s volume.

The sound of more than music

The key to mastering volume adjustment is understanding that most of the sounds on your device fall into one of two categories. General audio includes music and other media, and the voice volume on the iPhone and for FaceTime on all devices. The “ringers and alerts” category includes not only the iPhone ringer, but also: FaceTime rings; Clock app alarms; notifications and individual app alerts; keyboard clicks; and miscellaneous app sounds like the whoosh of sending Mail.

IMG:iPhone settings sound

Basically, you can decide which kind of sounds—general audio or the ringers and alerts—your volume buttons control by going to Settings > Sounds and, under Ringers and Alerts, set Change With Buttons to On or Off; if you turn it off, the buttons control the general audio. But your default choice is easily, and often, overridden because what you’re doing at any given moment takes precedence over the default settings

Context is everything

The volume buttons “just work” most of the time because they’re context-sensitive.

If, for instance, you’re in the Music app, the buttons change the media volume even if you’ve set them to control Ringers and Alerts; this happens even if the music controls are merely showing, on a Lock screen or in the multitasking bar, with no music playing. Conversely, when media volume is the default, you can change the Ringer volume when an alarm is playing. These changes affect the overall volume setting for that category, not just temporarily or for the current sound.
The volume settings screen

The volume icon that appears when you use the buttons helpfully indicates what you’re adjusting. With Ringers and Alerts as the default, press a button when you’re on a Home screen with no music playing and the icon is labeled Ringer (on the iPhone) or Sound Effects (on other devices). If Ringer and Alerts is turned off, you get the unlabeled icon that stands for general audio. If you’re using headphones, it’s their volume that’s altered, not the device’s speaker, and the volume icon notes that.

As for controlling the volume in games, that’s complicated. Many games are set to the Ringers and Alerts volume when you first run them; some interact with that setting if you change the game volume. Some newly launched games inherit the volume level from the last game app you used. A game remembers its own volume setting from its previous use if it’s been sitting in the multitasking bar. Luckily, no matter your default setting for the volume buttons, they will always control the volume of the current game.

Want Siri to talk louder, or to lower its voice? Neither general audio nor Ringers and Alerts volume settings affect that. To adjust both the little chirp and the voice volume, start Siri with a press of the Home button, and use the volume buttons while Siri’s open.

Setting limits

While you’re in Settings, you can also set an upper limit for headphone music volume in Music > Volume Limit to protect your—or a child’s—hearing. The setting doesn’t restrict non-headphone volume. (A side effect of setting a lower limit is that each press of a volume button changes it by a smaller increment.)

You can prevent the youngling from upping the volume by locking the level with a passcode. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions; tap Enable Restrictions if necessary, and supply a passcode. Tap Volume Limit and then Don’t Allow Changes.

Mute and other silencers

Volume isn’t the only thing that depends on context. How you mute your device can depend on which device you’re using, the situation, and hardware or software settings.

  • When your iPhone is ringing, hit either volume button to temporarily mute it; this also works for FaceTime rings on any device.
  • On the iPhone, flip the Ring/Silent switch to kill the ringer; it will still ring through headphones. This also mutes Calendar and Reminder alerts, most games, and other sound effects (including the camera shutter) but not alarms—an important point if you’re sitting in the front row for the New York Philharmonic.
  • On an iPad, use the Side Switch to mute button ringers and alerts; it doesn’t affect music or other media. In Settings > General, under Use Side Switch To, tap Mute. To override the setting, or mute the iPad when the Side Switch is set to Orientation Lock, see the details in Lex Friedman’s guide to muting notifications. You can also mute the volume with the volume button: Hold down the lower end for about two seconds.
  • Use Settings > General and turn on Do Not Disturb to silence notifications during the times you specify. This works only when your device is locked, and does not affect alarms.
  • You can mute certain sounds for some individual apps in Settings > Sounds. Tap New Mail in the Sounds list, for instance, and then tap None.

From “How to control the volume in iOS”

Google Drive Private Sharing Requires a Google Account

Everybody says, “It’s easy, just use Google Drive. It’s free.”

And I’m sure Google wants you to think that.

And it is easy except for one type of sharing:

  • Password protected sharing to people who do not have a google account.

To be specific, here are the layers of sharing:

  1. Public. AKA Publish to the web. Everyone can view. Even strangers.
  2. Sharing with people by emailing them a link
    • Good News: do not need to have a google account
    • Bad news: ANYONE who has the link can view the file.
  3. Sharing with specific people only–ie only people who have the password
    • Bad news: REQUIRES a google account. In fact, the password to their google account is what protects the file from unauthorized eyes.

So the premium feature is sharing with ONLY SPECIFIC PEOPLE – WITHOUT a google account.

Box.com can do it with paid subscription only. As little as $10 or $5 / month.

Unlock PDF file



How to unlock a secured/protected PDF file so you can copy and paste or print from it

Option 1 : Ghostscript

Download portable Ghostscript from PortableApps.com :

Install Ghostscript.

  • NOTE: it does not really “install”. It just writes files to a particular folder.
  • TAKE NOTE OF THE FOLDER! You may also change its location and name if you like.
  • We will enter this foldername later.

Start the Windows program Notepad

Copy and paste the following text

  • You will have to CHANGE the names of the input and output files after you paste into Notepad.
  • (You might have to scroll right to see/get/copy all of this)
    gswin32c -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile="OUTPUT PDF" "INPUT PDF"
    pause
        
  • INPUT PDF – this is the full path name to the file you want to unlock by converting
  • OUTPUT PDF – this is the full path name to the new file you want to create (the filename should not exist yet–but the folder should)
  • Example 1 of possible INPUT and OUTPUT PDF files:
    • INPUT: C:\users\johndoe\Downloads\some_file.pdf
    • OUTPUT: C:\users\johndoe\Downloads\some_file_unlocked.pdf
  • Example 2 possible of INPUT and OUTPUT PDF files:
    • INPUT: "C:\users\johndoe\Desktop\another file.pdf"
    • OUTPUT: "C:\users\johndoe\Desktop\another file unlocked.pdf"
  • If the folder path or file name contains spaces, the filename must be in “double quotes” (otherwise the quotes are optional)

Save the file as convert_pdf.bat in the bin sub-folder within the folder where you “installed” Ghostscript

  • Example save location: C:\user\johndoe\Downloads\CommonFiles\Ghostscript\bin\

Navigate to that bin sub-folder and double-click convert_pdf.bat to run it.

  • It should create an unlocked version of your file for you.

Option 2 : Upload to google drive (docs)

Then cut-n-paste from within google drive.

Option 3 : Upload to free zoho docs.

Then cut-n-paste from within zoho docs.