One wants to find bad links on one’s sprawling disorganized site. The best thing I found was the truly excellent XENU’S LINK SLEUTH, but it wouldn’t find broken bookmarks! — i.e., the “within site” links between my various wandering pages. ... The author emailed it would be “a lot of work” — i.e., finding each and every single bookmark could get tedious in http time I suppose.... But all I want to do is find bad bookmarks on my own pages in hard-drive time, so here’s my LINKOID (~50K with C source), which will find missing bookmarks and other local links on my local site — but not on yours, unless you are very very lucky. ... Now I can turn Xenu loose on my actual site up there in cyberspace, content in the probably totally-unreliable assurance that Linkoid has found my broken bookmarks. (Thursday, July 19, 2001 11:26 am: Got that right, i.e. wrong; apparently linkoid wasn’t finding some of my broken bookmarks! ... Work ongoing.... Ok all fixed now 12:02 pm, version ngi is perfect! // And then Tuesday, July 24, 2001 3:29 pm version ngn I fixed missing files on a different server that honored case differences I hadn’t been detecting! ... So the beat goes on....)
Just to be complete, here is my first and most-recent HTML utility JGWRAP (includes C source) — I wrote it twice, this later version of course incomparably superior to my original feeble effort. ... It wraps HTML to reasonable lengths so it can be mutilated with ease in an ASCII text editor — because all HTML editors like to produce enormous long lines, the excuse being efficiency — you save all those CRs every time you exchange a CRLF for a space — but in reality they just don’t care and, in the case of the average public-spirited concern, they’d just as soon it was difficult to edit the stuff so you don’t go in there and learn things you shouldn’t....
JGWRAP also converts boring straight quotes into cute little curly quotes — and so much more. ... But then (12/6/03) I ran across some web snoot who explained how unutterably repulsive curly quotes are and indeed offered a “demoronizer” program to get rid of them! Just can’t please ’em all. ... Whatever; JGWRAP, like all the Owen Labs software, is guaranteed to format your hard drive and set your pets on fire, so advance as always with caution. ... And indeed the poor little thing did destroy much of this site as it merrily broke-open quoted strings inside angle brackets, which it wasn’t supposed to do. All fixed now of course. ... Caveat emptor....
The short story: in my careful years of tests, I have learned you should never develop components for your own software. Components should be purchased just like other software: carefully and infrequently.
Naturally the books, stupid magazines, vendors — definitely including Borland — told us all how wonderful it would be to develop your own components. ... So once when the world was dewey with newness I did a Delphi component, only to discover over the weary years that when you change the version of Delphi — hey presto chango your component automatically updates — NOT!!! ... Nope sorry folks, you have to laboriously rewrite, and of course now and then they change something so you can’t! — this from the Delphi 5 README [with my comment/translations]:
DSGNINTF and deployment [in Delphi 5]
DSGNINTF.DCU is no longer shipped with Delphi [apparently it’s used by many components including mine, at least judging by pitiful complaints on the web, and was shipped with previous versions; at least with my version 3]. Thus, component developers should consider segregating design-time code into separate units from runtime code. Runtime code should not refer to those units [i.e. rewrite your component].
If this approach is not feasible, you do have the option of compiling DSGNINTF.PAS (located in your \source\toolsapi\directory). This should be considered a stopgap measure, however, and may not be available as an option in future releases. [We’ll screw you anyway; and in any case, the source is not available in the standard aka “cheap” version: i.e., pay up or we’ll destroy your existing component.]
You are also reminded that under the terms of your license agreement, you are not permitted to distribute DCUs based on source code owned by Inprise Corporation, no matter how that code might be made available to you. For complete details on licensing restrictions, see the LICENSE.TXT and DEPLOY.TXT files that accompany this release. [we’ll sue you if you actually try to use your component, even if you figure-out how to get around our sabotage.]
There we have it. Another inspiring enterprise spits on its customers. ... This might explain why Anders Hejlsberg went over to the dark side.
It’s really like fixing your own car; even if you know what you’re doing, you still don’t have parts, insurance, or economies of scale. The guys who flog components do it full-time — or at least they’d better, which is why you should be just as careful if not more picking components as picking compilers/programming environments.
So What About All Those Other Components?
Here in my declining years, it occurs to me it’s all a scam. ... Java, Delphi, ActiveX, NET — are all elaborate code reuse techniques that provide obvious benefits and hidden costs. ... I.e. it’s the same dubious idea as code-reuse in general, which is that someone can build just the right general-purpose transmission to use in any car, and then no-one will have to design a transmission again.
... It’s not that you can’t re-use code. ... It’s that every time you have to think i.e. work: you have to make a careful decision, and by no means assume that re-use is the right answer. But the software companies and their suck-up magazines don’t want you to do that: they want you to take the EZ fun route, and buy stuff — but while components look cute, they’re not cute to fix or maintain or, as I found out, heaven forbid you should want to use the next edition of your compiler/IDE/visual environment with yesterday’s component. ... It’s just another variety of the planned obsolescence exemplified by the Parade of Windows, except directed at programmers instead of end-users. ... So go ahead! Use these intimately-coupled gadgets in your product and it’ll look really cool, work with all kinds of software (i.e. ActiveX yammer yammer Word/Excel/etc. automation) and do anything — and it’s so inexpensive! ... Except for the minor possibility that your entire company will depend on the component vendor next month....
... And they all do it. To state this problem another way, cute plug-in components are cool; both Visual Basic and Delphi were wonderful because of them; but they have hidden costs which the vendor can activate pretty-much at will or random, whenever he feels like making your life miserable and your code obsolete. ... Obviously Microsoft has more power in this area than Borland — but that doesn’t stop the latter from trying! ... And even without vendor malevolence, component complexity means they will decay even by themselves; they require more support from the vendor or someone, so even if they just feel like moving-on — as Microsoft is obliged to do with NET — too bad about all that incredibly complicated stuff you bet the company on!
... I knew I should’ve stuck with assembler....
// And now Wednesday, June 27, 2001 12:20 pm my favorite troublemaker Ron Burk editor Windows Developer’s Journal:
Of course Mr. Burk departed WDJ after the next issue....
//Monday, July 21, 2003 11:09 am. From Visual Studio Magazine: Buyers Guide ... 2003, page 20:
This in aid of a “third-way” derive alternative now possible in the exciting new super NET environment. ... But notice what no sane with-it responsible up-to-date programmer is even capable of answering none of the above, just say no, avoid components. ... One would hardly expect less in an issue devoted to extensive advertisements for software components, and to a certain extent it’s probably true that it’s impossible to program for Windows anymore without some kind of components. But that doesn’t mean you have to like them....
The OwenShow Components
And then while wrestling with my precious OwenShow, I sadly learned yet again the component lesson. The “CLX” (Windows/Linux) Delphi 7 components aren’t bad; but not nearly as good as the normal Delphi bunch. ... And today Tuesday, November 16, 2004, I finally conceded defeat to the CLX TListView; I had been fixing this and that weird behavior with even weirder code, but finally I just couldn’t go on and gave up. The OwenShow file select will wander a bit forever; I can struggle no more. ... (Actually I went back and fixed it some more, but it is definitely the weirdest code in the program ... which is saying something....)
Of course, all the Delphi components, CLX or not, are probably going away, demonstrating the other thing wrong with components. ... Borland will enhance them no more, and in the next edition of Microsoft’s operating system — or Linux — or the one after, they will falter, and finally fail.
I lie of course; I can’t possibly tell you, we aren’t immortal and there isn’t time or screens enough in the world of light and shadows. ... I mean, after you’ve screwed-around with all the ridiculous GUIy junk that you’re supposed to, you still won’t have “permission” to do something like “dir \\stupidnetworkname\c”. That is, after you’ve gotten it to the point where “net view stupidnetworkname” shows you drive c. ... So what I did this morning 1/5/14, and probably before, at the end of desperation, is
That’s on the machine you wish to see from the other machines. ... And then everything’ll work perfectly of course. ... Well except needless to say a ring of fire will spring-up around your computer, your home, and probably the entire neighborhood, consuming everything within it in a burn burn burning flame, if you are so foolish as to actually do this obviously forbidden thing. ... And be sure to see about McAfee....
And then @ 1/19/15, in the usual exciting effort to bring one of these things to life (see my heartfelt appreciation of win8) I was trying to “see” it on another computer, and got the dreaded
and the beautiful green asterisk * above is where I typed the cacls magic in an “admin” cmd window on the new computer — after of course doing the “share” stuff first — and voila! I can see files! Oh be still my heart. ... And I did it again with another drive! Mr. Bill must be feeling nervous....
I forgot the best part! Somewhere along the weary way while usux was dribbling over Windows 8, the share thing disappeared from the explorer / my computer / whatever it’s called this week menu. At least on one of my crates and probably more. It is still in the disk management thingey (right-click “My Computer” / etc., “Manage”, then “Disk Management”, and right-click the drive to find the lost sharing ... this week).
But I’ve been doing it with UAC administrative access and
net share c=c:\ /GRANT:Everyone,FULL
which is so much more satisfying; and likely to work as Usux™ wanders into ever-newer and cryptically mutilated operating systems. ... And appears to actually work, not necessarily true of the other approaches. ... And of course will incinerate your home and pets....
So I got a $110 used-of-course Dell XP laptop so I could once again peruse my Oxford English Dictionary CD, copy-extorted beyond the reach of mortal Windows 10 or even Vbox, and there
cacls c:\a /E /G Everyone:F
does. So simple so EZ eh? ... This must’ve caused so much chaos they actually made it less stupid in succeeding Usux™ abortions....
Stuff I forgot which might work this week:
At 5/16, after doing both the net share and cacls thing, it wouldn’t show-up until I checked “enable file sharing for devices that use 40- or 56-bit encryption” and “turn off password protected sharing”. But before that I tried....
At 11/16, after Usux™ thoughtfully garbage-graded my win10 system up to glorious new level of garbage, Usux™ of course reset all my settings. ... I mean, how could they do otherwise?!?!?!? ... And “Access Denied” until I checked “Turn off password protected sharing”. Without — gasp! — rebooting!!! ... See the summary advanced tip ’n’ trick below....
And never forget that the computer of course may be broken. I was agonizing over a crate I could ping occasionally. Since it’s Windows, I of course assumed it was counting the names of God very slowly with its tiny antiquated CPU, or perhaps trying trying trying to connect to the upgrade tit of all broken upgrades and the glorious Windows 10, which I had strictly forbidden — but no! ... I managed to hook-up a USB ethernet thing — used the one that came with an installation CD, remember those? — and all is forgiven and everything works perfectly of course.
I Serenely Countenance Utter Chaos
I should make it clear that I have no clue as to how why or if any of this stuff works, and/or what horrible effects it has on anything. I want my ethernet and I will not be stymied by some stupid security junk or foolish modérne operating system. Your experience will undoubtedly involve dramatic fiery explosions and chaos.... And be sure to see latest creative effdate news....
the kindly feckless programmer
1. WIN10 PEER-TO-PEER ETHERNET LOCKDOWN? At Fri 5/6/16 I went “cacls c:\ /E /G Everyone:F” in a windows 10 admin command-line, the system replied “access denied”, and indignantly closed the window in a huff. I managed to activate the super-secret hidden “admin” account, and it also “access denied”, but didn’t close the window. These things of course worked as well as they ever do in windows 8 and other previous Usux™ atrocities. // But @ 9/16/16 all is forgiven and my hand-me-down Win10 laptop executed the command without tears or hysteria. ... This was most likely the evil McAfee syndrome....
CALLING WINDOWS $ERVER
My successfully ethernetted Win10 system was not my previous upgrade failure, where I attempted to let usux have its head and convert a derelict windows 8 laptop into the glorious windows 10. ... No, it was a laptop that came with the exalted Windows 10 — always a more likely prospect in my limited experience, where, since Windows 98, all Usux™ OS upgrades have failed. ... And in my years before the mast, it is typical Usux™ behavior with a new operating system to have super-high new gobbledygook levels, and in a few weeks or years or whenever Windows 10.37™ comes along it might get fixed, but of course they’d really prefer you install a Windows $erver product, $9,995 at your local extortion outlet. ... So @ 5/16 the derelict Lenovo “yoga” laptop got wiped back to its marginally-more tractable Windows 8 — I’m actually surprised Windows 10 didn’t annihilate the Lenovo hidden partition where the “restore” OS/malware was kept — but my latest Windows 10 hand-me-down soldiers-on @ 9/16 ethernetting away serenely....
So Windows 10 regressed. At least, a brand new beautiful Lenovo desktop wouldn’t let me cacls the rut. I could cacls/share various subdirectories, but of course this is pretty-much useless in a network if the directory structure doesn’t work. And it doesn’t.
... I began to doubt any Windows 10 system ever worked, at least rut-cacles-wise, but then I found it (“asus7” is my network name, for my future reference), with the mouse-pad tapping totally enabled — it’s an asus after all — but drive c: still visible on the network....
But Wait! ... Oh precious glorious victory!?!?! —
And it DIDN’T GO “access denied” as it did 37 times before. ... I’m betting on mcafee; it wanted to help....
I like the Evil McAfee theory better every minute; I’ve despised McAfee ever since the days when I had to obtain nuclear fission materials to dislodge the vile pestilence from Windows, and the founder’s subsequent psychopathic lunacy didn’t improve its reputation. ... And it explains so much: my recurrent experiences of trying to cacls the rut and failing, but eventually somehow mysteriously succeeding. Which I’d attributed to Windows’ reckless updates, but now that I ponder, fits perfectly the essentially random McAfee uninstallation. I mean I’d always uninstalled it eventually, of course.
... And the single Windows 10 laptop that didn’t balk? It was one I didn’t wipe when I received it from the local hand-me-down source, who had already uninstalled McAfee! As everybody does, except the pitiful ignorant victim class. ... And the Windows 10 upgrade I did, which exhibited the rut-access balk? — I hadn’t uninstalled McAfee, which of course Usux™ had thoughtfully installed, even in the upgrade, because Usux™ wants people to be safe in a wonderful safe cuddly world....
And it’s probably why I couldn’t change the supplied “WORKGROUP” to the chic “OWENLABS”; it was grayed-out. A setting which is completely without effect in the wonderful windows world of today, and which became malleable aprés McAfee. ... But that and the stupid rut uncaclsness were probably major malware threat avoidance strategies in the days of Windows 95....
And then my beloved Windows 10 system did its beloved Creators Update — or maybe it was just the Practicing-for-Creators Update, or just routine Usux™ chaos — it’s the one where the control panel disappears — and of course it reset all the precious things I described above. Back to safe secure zero ’cause you won’t want the wittle little user to get hurt do you nasty ol’ bad blah. ... It reset my thing where I switch the caps/control, and reset all the network settings so they were nice and pure and useless, yes it did! ... I’m amazed it didn’t reinstall McAfee.... But the LOL showed me how to get back the Control Panel by begging cortana or search or whatever it is; it vanished from the right-click stupid10 icon. ... In a 2nd atrocity, or of course it could’ve been a different one, there are so many in the Wonderful Windows 10, I think the crucial step was the advanced network sharing destruction I had to re-wrought, and perhaps just disabling the passwords near the end, which one must always do to use your network except in the approved totally-uselessUsux™ cute cuddly little tiny cute 9*&))))(*& (distant echoing pitiful screaming whimpering)....
Hear my whine! As I commemorate the inspiring 4’’ Tasco’s final starry journey to the Goodwill and, for all I know, the landfill. ... Hear my pean, oh virtuous ones, before all others’ tasteful silence: of the oh so STEM-worthy astronomy racket; the beautiful magazines, and the useless telescopes....
Let me assure my high-minded readers the actual socialist government working astronomers toiling in the fields and vineyards aren’t all that telescopically gung-ho. Indeed, the central problem of the magazines’ telescope sales “model” is that hardly any expert ever looks through a telescope; nor even the well-heeled amateurs. ... Instead, like everyone else in our modern up-to-date vale of tears, they, and we, stare at decent computer images of beloved things. ... This is apparent from reading the magazines!
... But that doesn’t stop them from advertising exquisite inspiring instruments, or promising the breath-taking beauty of the stars. ... I was taken in, so many years since, about long-enough to get hold of a beautiful ’scope which is all the advertisers can hope for after all, and well worth it for them. And eventually, two ’scopes, truth be told, but by the second it was mostly my bitter jest, and I’ve acquired occasional additional devices on that basis as the whim strikes, because they do look lovely there, symbolizing all the might and majesty and fraud of our majestic frontal lobes and the liberal enlightenment that shapes them. ... And actually, the actual astronomers don’t even look at images so much anymore, but, again like everybody else, stare at & process computery junk, graphs, numbers, tables — odiously boring stuff — no beautiful majesty nothing except the precious ideas which, having no market restraint whatever, grow ever further from any rational context, exploring multiple universes and string theory and worse. ... And (crank crank) the magazines used to have a lot more amusing telescope/optics ads — but they are gone, to the starry frictionless effervescence of the internet I suppose; or nowhere, if there’s a difference....
The simpletons among us can always just go outside and look at the night sky. If it’s overcast and dimmed by light-pollution, as are most of our night skies at least here in the land of the free and home of the urban/suburban demographic, your beautiful telescope will work so much better (i.e. it’ll be more useless).
The Fundamental Scam
The bottom line is the sad and demoralizing scam I depict in the two pictures . There is doubtless some intellectual thrill apparent to the chosen, but the rest of us just see blobs.
I will admit this sad truth, but no astronomy magazine and no rabid astronomy fan; like all the great — and lesser — fads, fraud is the first rule....
But I must say at least one of the magazines allowed, in a latter-day issue, how a lot of people just skip the ’scope and stare at the sky and/or use binoculars. This has always been a theme amongst the amateurs, but I detect an attitudinal lightening over the years. It used to be a good “kiddie wheels” type thing you poor sub-amateurs might do; now it’s admittedly something perfectly knowledgeable people do, if they feel like it. ... So I bought a pair of “astronomical” binoculars; they’ve gotten way cheaper since the good old days (~$70 amazon). ... Supposedly I won’t see fuzzy blobs like the illustration, because the things aren’t designed to magnify that much, but I’ll still get my fill of light pollution and clouds. ... And then I realized later that these cheaper binocs are just the old-fashioned manual kind. I could still pay $500-and-up for the new “standard” image-stabilized flavor. ... It’s all so simple, once we understand....
Where Are We?
And then I remembered what finally happened to the astronomical delusions: the GPS in everybody’s phone. ... Since literally the dawn of mankind until a decade or so ago, one still-relevant excuse for the average youth to take up arcane star-gazing was because you could use it to find your way on a dark night. Even after radio location finding gadgets got cheap-enough for the average pleasure boat, youths could still get lost at night, and if the stars came-out, they could get found. This was never terribly reliable, what with weather and youthful tendencies, and indeed it’s so unreliable that the average cellphone’ll beat it. And did. And that’s all she wrote, leaving the field to the legions of anti-cranks advocating starry location-finding “just in case”, old reliable long-division because you may not have one of those new-fangled calculators, sonny — and of course dressing your own meat in case of the universally beloved zombie apocalypse....
NASA Inadvertently Comments
And this just in! It’s a really remarkable picture from this NASA site which probably won’t be there next week, so I’ve preserved it forever for just me ’n’ you. It’s a “time-lapse ‘movie’ of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, recently shot at record-setting distances with the Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft”, and it looks exactly like my example blobs above. Amazing! Actually I scaled it down half; if you view the picture full size it’s even blobbier (in Firefox, I can right-click and select “View image” to do that). Of course it is zillions of miles away. ... But then, so are all the starry blobs....
Sky & Telescope Magazine!
They puff “an astrovideo camera [which] reveals objects in the night sky as unambiguous galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters, rather than as the vague smudges they often appear in an eyepiece” (Electronic Eyes, p 66, 3/16). Out o’ the mouths of babes....
the cranky programmer
Netgear Vuezone is dead! ... My beloved 2011 Vuezone remote camera thingey knew me not @ Fri 9/18/15 — it said I wasn’t yet activated! And when I finally fought my way to the email “help”, it knew not my model “GW2010”. ... 1367 days it worked, more-or-less. But Amazon says “VueZone products have been discontinued and are no longer sold by NETGEAR”. And then @ 9/22/15, an Official Vuezone Email announces sadly that “VueZone services are currently unavailable” — which of course was the signal that it was working, at last. ... And the rule is, no official technical communication must ever tell the truth, no matter how incidentally. ... So they’ve been spamming me since then, supposedly because I haven’t responded to their thoughtful queries about my “support request” — you remember that one, the entire network was down for a week? ... So while I’m at it,
S--t-canned @ 12/17
The only amusing thing is while they announced the s--tcanning, they puffed whatever garbage they’re replacing it with, so you can get your next disappearing-in-the-night service. Good plan; excellent recommendation.
But then ...
At Wed 7/20/16, after “overwhelming feedback from our VueZone customers” — presumably legal threats — “we have heard your passionate response and have decided to extend service for the VueZone product line. Although NETGEAR no longer manufactures or sells VueZone hardware, NETGEAR will continue to support existing VueZone customers beyond January 1, 2018.” ... Which just goes to show that when you’re planning to kick the customers in the teeth, first detach in some legally-defensible way your offending entity and thoroughly bankrupt it. ... Which of course may yet happen with the beloved Netgear....
3/17: But I must report, after replacing a vuezone camera battery, the system still works much better than the d-link thing ever did. That’s of course why it was trashed. ... It doesn’t update itself every 15 minutes with new firmware — the caring feeling compassionate company will tell you they do that to keep you safe but I’m reasonably confident most of it’s desperate churning in an attempt to add new features / kill-off competition etc. ... The poor zombie Vuezone hasn’t updated its firmware in years....
5/17: And now, I just (5/17) went to amazon and looked for “Vuezone” and by golly, there it is, again, resurrected!
6/17: Oh well it’s still being discontinued. Hope sprang eternal. Amazon’s first 1-star review is the letter from Vuezone announcing the whole thing’ll just c--p-out @ 12/17.
You Want a Subscription
I know it seems hideous, but there are two alternatives:
You gotta pay to play. There used to be delusional schemes where you’d set-up your wireless as a host so you could have all your computers converted into zombie slave robots of russian hackers colluding with trump and hillary, but those are just silly.
A working camera we found is the one we could buy from our security service, to whom we pay $200/year. It’s a pretty good fish-eye color camera and has no features, but has worked several times without updating anything.
the video-loving programmer