8:09 AM  Connecting…
8:09 AM  Connected. A support representative will be with you shortly.
8:10 AM  Support session established with Vinn.
8:10 AM  Vinn: Welcome to HP Customer Support & Services for Imaging and Printing Group. My name is Vinn and I will be your technical support specialist today. While I review the problem description details please confirm your country and phone number, just for the records .
8:12 AM  John Carmack: USA 303-774-4526
8:13 AM  Vinn: Thank you for providing the details.
8:13 AM  Vinn: Could you please elaborate the issue with the printer, so that I can assist you in better way?
8:16 AM  John Carmack: Simple: Instant Ink sucks. The user has had nothing but problems with it. First, she tried to enroll and ended up unenrolling. That was bad enough. Now, she purchased cartridges from Staples, genuine HP cartridges, and only after attempting to use them did anyone realize they were Instant Ink cartridges. Nothing on the box says this, but they are HP manufactured cartridges. Only small print (and I mean so small that 2 other people missed it) on the cartridges themselves revealed the problem. She does not want to hassle with this any longer, and I don’t blame her.
8:16 AM  John Carmack: In short, we are getting rid of this printer. Will you accept it back, or do we have to eat the cost?
8:18 AM  Vinn: Are you near the printer right now?
8:18 AM  John Carmack: No.
8:19 AM  John Carmack: I have an 8:30 meeting, can I have an answer please?
8:20 AM  Vinn: If the printer is not enrolled on instant ink, it will run with regular ink cartridges only. I would suggest you to get the inks replaced from the stores and get the regular ink cartridges to print successfully.
8:22 AM  John Carmack: No. We tried that and YOU, HP, screwed us by packaging them with an illegitimate and probably illegal marking that hides the fact they are Instant Ink cartridges. We want rid of this printer. Period.
8:22 AM  John Carmack: Will you accept a return for it?
8:23 AM  Vinn: John, there is no hardware failure with the printer, we can replace the printer only in case hardware failure with the printer. Just the correct ink needs to be placed in the printer.
8:24 AM  John Carmack: The hardware failure is in your deceptive packaging of the ink cartridges.
8:24 AM  John Carmack: Will you or will you not accept a return for this printer? I will not ask again.
8:28 AM  Vinn: John, I understand your concern, however you need to contact the store to get the ink replaced with the correct ink. We are not authorized to replace the printer in this case.
8:28 AM  John Carmack: Very well. I can see that you do not stand behind your products. I gotta go.
8:28 AM  Saving chat transcript

I use Private Internet Access VPN (PIA) myself, but I receive no compensation for this endorsement. It comes highly recommended from Noah (“Ask Noah”) at Jupiter Broadcasting as well.

While VPN is generally not about hiding from law enforcement agencies (LEAs) like the FBI, it is useful to know that even if an undesirable character were to get access to your VPN provider, there would be nothing for them to find. These days, this usually means your very own ISP, unfortunately. It used to be that VPN was primarily for coffee shops, airports and other open networks, but since our lawmakers have abandoned their roles of protecting our rights, we need to protect ourselves more than ever.

When you protect yourself with a VPN, you expect to be truly secure and anonymous online. Many services claim that they keep no records, but it’s difficult to know who you can trust.

Over the years, Private Internet Access VPN has proven itself to be ethical and reliable. It provides rock-solid online protection, while also blocking ads and malware. You can currently get a three-year subscription for only $89.95 — that’s 64% off.

~ “Private Internet Access VPN Is So Private, Even the FBI Couldn’t Find Any Data

In the Fall Creator’s update, one item that flew under many people’s attention was that Samba v1 was disabled, so that Windows 10 won’t map SMB network drives using that version of the protocol.

We had tested build 1709 of Windows 10, aka “Fall’s Creator Update”, and everything seemed good to go. In fact, 1703 was beginning to cause us more than a couple of issues. However, what we had not counted on was that a fresh install would behave differently than an upgrade, and that difference would be intentional.
Continue reading “Windows 10 Won’t Map SMB Network Drives”

Windows 10 is really, really getting on my nerves of late. I booted up this morning so I could use Skype and ended up missing the call because the system was sooooo sssssssllllllloooooooowwwww. Well, after 20 minutes, I just hard shutdown and went to work on doing updates.

But, of course, it cannot be that easy. Again! Windows decides it is the only OS on the system and sets the system to boot to only itself. Mind you, all this is going on while I’m sick and wanting to be just in bed staring up at the ceiling in between coughs and sniffles. So, I could vaguely remember the fix was easy, but I could not remember what it was.

Then, I found “Fix Grub Not Showing For Windows 10 Linux Dual Boot” tucked away in my Instapaper links. It was almost exactly what I needed! However, different systems put their UEFI files in different places (so much for “universal”, huh?), and I wasn’t sure where to put mine when I setup the system, so I know I put it in an odd place, naively thinking I would never need to look again. So, I poked around and found it. The command is:

bcdedit /set {bootmgr} path \EFI\mygrub\grubx64.efi

So, I put this on the Windows Desktop for next time, since this seems to be an ongoing thing.

I’ve used Clonezilla to backup and restore many a hard drive, but what if I just want to mount it and pull off data? Turns out, there is no good way to do this. However, using Arch Linux, one can backup and mount disk images using ddrescue.

I recently had a Clonezilla image that I wanted to mount like a hard drive. Of course, this is easier said than done. I ran the parts through gzip and created an image file, but I still could not for the life of me mount it. What I didn’t know is that ddrescue is built into the Arch Linux install disk.
Continue reading “Backup and Mount Disk Images Using Ddrescue”

How to mount ISO file in Windows 10 after a program changes the file association.

I use 7Zip for most of my compression needs on Windows 10. However, after installing it, it changes many file associations, including .ISO, to itself. Here is how to revert it back so you can mount ISO file in Windows 10 the normal way.

No option to mount .iso file from Windows10

I recently had a problem where my Arch Linux Fn sound volume keys quit working. I looked high and low and could not find a solution.

head space and timing

This is a military term related to ensuring the bolt and head space for the M2 .50 caliber machine gun are in alignment. This must be done correctly, or the weapon can explode during operation. It also means a person who’s screwed something up because they failed to check what they were doing before they did it.

~ head space and timing, Urban Dictionary

Continue reading “Fn Sound Volume Keys Quit Working on Dell Inspiron Running Arch Linux”

A new, very real and very widespread security vulnerability in all wifi 802.11 devices has been found. It is a notable issue because it is not a manufacturer flaw but a design flaw caused by the wifi spec (802.11) itself.

Called KRACK (Key Reinstallation AttaCKs), the problem might take time to patch because of the fracturing of various types of wifi devices. For instance, Android phones are at the mercy of the phone manufacturers and/or carriers as to when updates occur. Older routers might not even have a user-friendly update mechanism, but I’ve noticed some newer ones will actually automatically check but not necessarily automatically install. The good news, though, is that the security vulnerability in all wifi devices can be patched via software. No hardware changes are required.

Today is being called “Black Monday” in many information security circles. We have had a major Wi-Fi vulnerability announced that affects absolutely every device that supports Wi-Fi. The vulnerability allows attackers to decrypt WPA2 connections. A second vulnerability also emerged today, and we will cover that at the end of this post.

~ PSA: Severe Vulnerability in All Wi-Fi Devices

We had a recent spate of Internet Explorer opening multiple tabs to the point of exhausting computer memory, and it seemed exclusively Windows 10 boxes. Turns out that a new “feature” that you didn’t ask for is the cause.

I got a weird call from another tech saying that a user’s Internet Explorer was opening multiple tabs, over and over again, until the system came to a crawl because it was running out of memory. Killing IE, if possible, else a hard reboot seemed the only options.

This was puzzling. It was really weird because it was a new system, so it must’ve been a new record if they downloaded something to cause the behavior. Normally, I would immediately suspect adware, spyware or a rogue toolbar. Turns out that the latter wasn’t so far from the truth. The problem is that a new “feature” of Windows 10 was to add an “Edge” tab to Internet Explorer. Microsoft really wants you to use Edge, and apparently haven’t learned from turning so many people off on trying to force Windows 10 upon them.

I keep wondering what it will take for the corporate world to wake up and move to open source software, where you can, if willing, customize the software all day long and not be held hostage by closed systems like MS Windows.

At any rate, 9/10ths of the time, you can fix the issue by going into Internet options and cleaning up the cache files, resetting Advanced settings and resetting IE completely, in that order. In the remaining cases, removing all temp files for all users with a utility like TFC did the trick.

And, yes, on new machines even.