My Broken Links

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....)

JGWRAP: Mutilate Your HTML

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....

And What Was All That Stuff About Components?

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.

So, What About Components?

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:

The Doomed-To-Repeat-It award this month goes to InfoWorld, for their May 4 article announcing that code reuse is about to start happening Real Soon Now. ... My hat’s off to publishers who are willing to pay people to write the same article over and over again until it comes true. Best quote from this year’s rerun is “developers have toyed with the concept of reuse for nearly as long as software has existed”. Thank god that “toying” phase is over, and we finally know how to do it right!

— page 6, From the editor, WDJ 7/01

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:

The software industry has been embroiled in the great buy-vs.-build debate through the last decade.... Is it better — more time-efficient, cheaper, or more reliable — to buy prepackaged, generic components in which someone else has invested the development and testing effort? ... Or, is it better to develop components in-house, allowing you to customize them for a specific purpose? ...

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.

Forget it: You CAN’T Share your drive c: over the ethernet, or anything! ... It’s over; Usux™ doesn’t like you anymore; to deal with your stupid problems, just use the wireless you pointless user....

I.e. I could share my drive c: on the wireless, using at least some of the arcane magic and mystery outlined below, but my ETHERNET IS DEAD! It’s insecure and Usux™ will keep it that way unless you buy a usux™ server and hire an IT technician and fall before holy Bill Gates in spineless obeisance, you pointless user swine....

Oh, and be sure to see The Tale of the Disappearing Network, playing at every stupid usux™ computer, probably until the end of time.....

Actually the computer industry’s devotion to omerta and mumbo jumbo caused me to return at least two and maybe 3 or four computers exhibiting various defects which were almost certainly the unannounced secret decision of the techno-chic insiders to destroy ethernet. They wasted my valuable time (snicker) but I wasted their money, so I figure I’m ahead. ... The final forest for me was a nice antique windows 7 machine — which doesn’t upf--k — for a mere $203, practically chump change in today’s pitiful computer market....

Autumnal Thoughts

Along with my second original silly camera, this marks a momentous cycle in the Owenlabs March of Pointless Technology: I started fighting with usux™’s ethernet on Long Island a few years after the advent of windows 95, and achieved a towering triumph when I managed to make it work — which, at that point, usux™ resisted painfully, much preferring you’d purcha$e a server and an IT technician, but they probably couldn’t destroy it as they have just done here in 2022, because too many commercial customers depended on the peer-to-peer ethernet. Which customers will presumably be degraded to a (still peer-to-peer) wireless network, which they’d probably actually prefer, not appreciating antique technology like decent people do.

... So, anyway,

How to “Share” Your &*)(*&)(*& Windows Drive C: USING ONLY THE WIRELESS you pitiful user drip....

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

  • On the target computer, get an administrator CMD window.
  • Go “cacls c:\ /E /G Everyone:F[1]

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

c:\adir>dir \\acer2\c
Access is denied.
c:\adir>dir \\acer2\c
Volume in drive \\acer2\c is Acer
Volume Serial Number is FE87-33AA

Directory of \\acer2\c

08/22/2013 10:22 AM <DIR> PerfLogs
01/19/2015 06:17 PM <DIR> Program Files
01/19/2015 06:56 PM <DIR> Program Files (x86)
01/19/2015 04:15 PM <DIR> Users
01/19/2015 04:17 PM <DIR> Windows
0 File(s) 0 bytes
5 Dir(s) 953,379,586,048 bytes free

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....

Ooops, forgot net share!

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....

XP Rendition

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:\ /E /G Everyone:Fdidn’t work, at least not on my beautiful antique Dell. Gobbledygook error message. ... But
c:\mkdir a
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....

  • “net share etc.” likewise. So I went and shared c:\ with various properties sub-menus etc. warnings and confusions via “My Computer”, and that did it. Maybe; at least I could see the drive @ net view from other computers. Note that nothing, apparently, will make XP work reliably on my precious ethernet, which is indeed how I remember it in olden days....

  • Well net share c=c:\ /UNLIMITED might do something....

... More

Stuff I forgot which might work this week:

  • Control panel / network and sharing center / Change advanced sharing settings: Where you go to fix the stupid defaults usux set-up for your “Work” network (Windows 7 Friday, February 28, 2014). I think you have to mutilate the “Public” network in the same way (for ethernet, q.v.). ... This might also be on the “manage computers” lost sharing menu.

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....

  • Directories you create before you manage to beat Microsoft into sharing your C: drive will not be shared. Directories created afterwards might be. ... The cacls thing might fix that...?

  • I was just abusing a windows 7 PC, and even after all the caclcing I could think of, it wouldn’t let my copy program create directories until I went into the stupid drive, properties, sharing / advanced shring / something, and explicity changed permissions from “crippled” to “everything whatever you want” somehow.
  • I just Sun 3/23/14 spent more than an hour trying to share drive “x:\” — but I made a fatal mistake: I kept typing “net share x=x:\* /GRANT:Everyone,FULL”. Can you see the fatal error? I couldn’t. For an hour. Of course you’re young and beautiful and immediately noticed the errant extra asterisk I idiotically and repeatedly typed. Naturally the command-line system offered no peep of complaint. And naturally doing it the usux beautiful GUIey way, repeatedly right-clicking/properties etc over and over again had absolutely no effect. ... It’s all so EZ!!!! ... Well I did have to go to at least one of the higher-level subdirectories and go — in adminstrative super-user giant brain mode — “cacls * /E /G Everyone:F” or something; I have it in a FIXCACLS.BAT file. ... This so Usux™’d let me look at these top-level subdirectories through the ethernet....

  • Everything: And then I was doing this again, and in the fabled Network & Sharing Center I realized I was still forgetting things, so I just turned-on everything that looked less safe, which indeed made the windows 10 directory magically appear on another computer! ... Life is so grand! ... & I’ll be doing this for every win10 upf--k™ it seems ... so it’s

    • Control Panel
    • search for “network”
    • The vile “Network and Sharing”
    • “Change advanced sharing settings”
    • “All Networks”, then
      • “Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can read and write” blah blah
      • “Enable file sharing for devices that use 40- or 56-bit encryption”
      • “Turn off password protected sharing” what’s probably the prize....

Public & Private: While I’m at it, I should note that windows has for some time insisted that my wi-fi is the “private network” — because I suspect those are Usux™’s hope$ & dream$ — and that my peer-to-peer ethernet is the public network. However I must admit that I only finally discovered at this (5/18) sabotage episode that’s why I’m setting “advanced / public” settings to “turn on network discovery” & “Turn on file and printer sharing” and just the opposite for the “private” settings. ... I suppose it’s like in the golden groves of academe and google et al, the ethernet is the internet and therefore public, and I suppose the wi-fi is the private network just because of leftover binary stupidity. I’ve never figured-out any way to set or change their public/private status because of Usux™’s fungus-like stupidity. ... And then, just in case I thought I knew something, a different Win10 crate had usux™ed both the wireless & enet to public. ... So I guess I’ll just be singin’ a song side by side with my psychotic usux™ cutey. ... I googled “changing network public private” and found some chitter claiming to do that and maybe I’ll look into it someday. Of course it’s undoubtedly 10 or twenty minutes old and will be totally inapplicable....

5/18. One stormy night on the road my beloved told me to

  • Right-lick on the wifi thingey on the taskbar.
“Open Network & Internet Settings”
  • “Status”?
  • “Change Connection Properties”

and that had public/private radio buttons. But I couldn’t check it then. .... 9/19. And it turned-out she really meant

  • Click on the wifi thingey on the taskbar to bring up the little list of wifis & whatnot.
  • Then right-click on the wifi of your dreams, properties, and a beautiful random menu shows-up =>.
  • But I still haven’t figured-out how to do my beloved ethernet that way.
  • And of course this recipe only works on Windows 10.

But then again, apparently the first one worked too — of course only on windows 10 and without any ethernet properties. ... So my sledgehammer approach of setting both the public and private networks to come-on-in open-house still seems the only workable route.

  • Windows 10 of course trashes my the network settings whenever it updates, in this case Sat 11/4/17. I couldn’t tell how long the fall creators f-up took, because of course my internet monitors reported it absent for at least half an hour. Although to be sure, it still pinged. I suspect it was the “everything”, at least after I did that it sprang to life again. Whewww. ... 5/15/18: The April upf--k: definitely “everything”. Such fun! So stupid! Too bad about usux™ progammers early toilet training. ... 5/17/18: a different win10 laptop got upf--ked....

10/29/18: Another usux™ Win10 upf--k, another network wipe. It’s consistent. ... And they put a cute little Edge browser icon on my desktop, Heaven help the poor idiot cretins. ... And of course destroyed winhlp32....


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,[1] 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....

— 11/16

7/27/22 Dell 5000: Access is denied

Yesterday’s broken PC worked great with all the share stuff — from all my gaily laughing computer herd. But the thing itself?

c:\gregor>net view lenovo3
System error 5 has occurred.

Access is denied.

That is, instead of being impossible to access from my other computers, the wily Dell refused to access my herd! ... I was cursing Usux for this perfidy, but realized in retrospective calmness it was probably the usual Dell sport, examples of which I have encountered before but, up to now, always in used Dells. ... Nah it was just the usual cavortation....

— the kindly feckless programmer

Sayonara Usux Networks? ... or, the Tale of the Disappearing Network

Wed 3/22/23 3:30 pm. Then again, it’s probably just usux® lovin’ it as they upf--k their innocent users into oblivion and break everything they own — it did it to me again at my truly wondrous Dell resurrection. ... Sun 3/26/23 10:35 am. And it appears to be a final forest thing, so usux©’ll kill everyone’s network, so they can go out of business faster. ... And the weary years may pass and the network return; at least they’re now sites on the web that have noticed the ridiculous jihad, and provide hundreds of ways to fix it....

Reprievement! (sung to the 3-penny opera tune) or The Evil Usux Public Upf--k

Wed 3/29/23 1:56 pm. But then this truly kindly & knowledgeable fellow @ actually had the secret code! Like

Then go to Settings [winkey+i?] -> Network and Internet -> Ethernet (or select Wi-Fi, if you are connected to a local network through a wireless connection). Click the network icon and verify that the Make this PC discoverable option is enabled. [that was already set on my catastrophe. ... In a later iteration of the scam, I had to right-click the icon, “properties”. Or something. ... So onward ...]

After clicking the wifi icon, something like this appeared (or right-click, properties?):

... And everything’s good! All my magic network appears again! ... What have we learned? ... Nothing, really; usux™’ll screw you with random mediocrity without even trying. And fixing it is google feng-shui. And of course the kindness of strangers like there. ... Notice, incidentally, the usux™ description (Public/Private) is exactly wrong, probably because some mediocrity wrote it that way — despite what it says, my PC was already discoverable; I just couldn’t see the other PCs. ... And incidentally, “settings” is available with Windows Key+“I”, or at least it was this morning, on two crates, for me....

Fri 3/31/23 8:21 am. And, charmingly, it reverts to the bad public when it feels like it, or @ every reboot, or just when Bill Gates didn’t take his metamucil that day. ... So keep this one on speed-dial — happened again today Mon 9/11/23 when I was starting-up another broken amazon laptop what I had to return, happily attacking me while I was down....

Hacker-Friendly Signon

Sat 4/1/23 10:28 am. And I suspect my “private” preference enabled usux™’s kill-the-startup thingey, where it demands an email password — for my useless hotmail account I made-up for usux™ a few months ago. So in honor of advancing senescence I’ll leave the password printed on the dell which makes it as insecure as it used to be when it worked and started-up without a password. ... And of course, since usux™’s got the password, protected by their towering mediocrity, presumably the entire hacker universe has it so of course I won’t use the stupid email account....

Slowness: Everyone Wins!

As I was endlessly entangled in my latest Dell catastrophe and its invisible network, I was doing upf--ks fast & furious, and it was amazing how sprightly the machine was at the beginning and how it slo-o-o-owed down after a few hundred upf--ks — which, of course, usux™ normally provides after a delay, so the poor idiot consumer’ll be impressed with its PC, and then. after a suitable interval, with how slow it’s become, and then the poor idiot’ll just run out and buy another! ... And everyone wins!

The Serenity of Random Software

I realized the Usux© Way isn’t so bad ... I’ve seen worse. ... I mean, usux™ delivers a software, hopefully contained in a PC so you can return it when it doesn’t work, but, if not, then the numerous obvious things broken in it — why, just wait a few months, petition the google oracle, and all will be fixed; or not, of course. ... My pitiful resurrected Dell couldn’t make any noise — total silence — and after running a usux™ “troubleshooter” — which helpful stupidities almost never work — I took the concluding error message “Audio services not responding” and googled it, and some charitable fellow described two lines of utter mumbo jumbo admin command-line spells — and that fixed it! ... And all is calm, all is bright....


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....


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 after 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....

SAD 4/1/17 (appropriately) UPDATE aka MCAFEE IS EVIL

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!?!?!

  1. I uninstalled McAfee (!?!?!) — I was trying to copy psexec.exe, a supposedly super mumbo-jumbo command-line system fixit thing from Russinovich/System Internals/Microsoft, McAfee balked, and after I told it to stop bothering me, I then uninstalled McAfee. Which I always do anyway, and use Windows Defender (or MSE in the old days) but I just hadn’t gotten around to it. That might be the charm....

  2. Administrative window (I think)

  3. “Takeown /F c:\*” [I’m pretty sure this didn’t do anything, but?]

  4. “Takeown /F c:\” [I’m pretty sure this didn’t work before]

  5. “cacls c:\ /E /G Everyone:F” [i.e. the usual — AND IT WORKED!]

And it DIDN’T GO “access denied” as it did 37 times before. ... I’m betting on mcafee; it wanted to help....

Evil McAfee

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....

Windows 10 Creators-Effdate

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)....

Astronomy: the Telescopes, the Magazines

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, a few more, truth be told, but by the second it was mostly my bitter jest, and I’ve acquired occasional additional devices as the whim strikes, because they do look lovely, symbolizing all the might and majesty and fraud of our majestic frontal lobes and the liberal enlightenment that shapes them. ... And actually, real 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 advertise this sad truth, but no astronomy magazine and no rabid astronomy fan; like all the great — and lesser — fads, fraud is the first rule....

Binocular Beauty

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 “astronomical” binoculars; they’ve gotten way cheaper since the good old days (it was ~$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 might not 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....

— 4/16

The Passing Years

2/20. And then, on the occasion of purchasing another useless telescope, I realized the great historical sweep of astronomical BS, gathering steam in the 1920s up to the 60s & 70s, and characterized by the ability of the amateur astronomer to see better stuff through the telescope then in printed pictures — which was certainly true in the 20s/30s, but then grew less & less so, especially @ the advent of cheap color printing somewhere around the 80s/90s, when the magazines & then the web signed their own hobby death warrant by printing these ridiculous beautiful color pictures of stars ’n’ galaxies what no human being can see with the naked eye through any machine, no matter how powerful — well, unless it’s another digital gadget, as in a$trophotography, which is itself still easily outdone by stuff flying around in space. ... Such is the sorry history of the art & mendacity of astronomy, its rise & downfall....

Another Telecope: the Celestron 127EQ

2/12/20. I missed the tasco gaping at the empty ceiling, and in the wandering years low-rent telescopes’ve got smaller/cuter, I don’t know why, although falling demand is probably a factor. ... To accompany the mystery ’n’ magic I acquired a toy astrolabe, and I already have a beautiful sextant-in-a-box which I can deploy in the newly-designated astronomy empty-ceiling room. ... The telescope had a youtube set-up video which was better than the usual ludicrous pamphlet it came with, but still wrong. And I don’t like videos anyway.

... Just to round-out our all-encompassing tour, here’s a fellow who is fiercely negative about my beautiful meaningless symbol. ... He helpfully explains why it’s so cute. ... I bet he didn’t like the tasco either. ... But here’s a positive puff (complete with broken links) which is also depressing about collimation, but the other guy says it’s impossible. ... The positive guy has wondrous links if you wish to devote your entire life to your telescope — which apparently all decent telescopists do — I mean the negative guy’s got links too, some of which doubtless work.

Collimation: The Purpose of Telescopery. It turns out the big problem with my 127eq is its particularly difficult collimation, which is normally an easy-peasy process telescopists must perform every day if not every 15 minutes, and which is so simple it can never be explained in anything less than astounding quantities of opaque insiderist mumbo-jumbo, text and/or video. ... And astonishingly, the 127eq is even worse.

... Returning to my dreamworld, in life I lived on Long Island with an attic and a basement, and the telescope in the basement was particularly poignant. ... In paradise I have only one floor, so I have to try harder. ... And I apparently never realized what the equatorial mount was supposed to do. ... Or at least I was startled when I adjusted it to a “correct” 26° (?) latitude here in paradise, and the result was the ’scope’s rotatable axis pointing only a little above the horizon. ... Who knew? ... The “eq” mount is supposed to make it so one can use useless high magnification to see beautiful distant objects, and correct for the comparably-magnified rotation of the starry sky with relative ease, and which in paradise whirl around a point next to the horizon. ... Fortunately I had star walk on my ipad to lecture me about the location of the north star, so I don’t get clutched....

On the Level

But then, a final act of grace: I got a bubble level from amazon which attaches to the beautiful meaningless symbol magnetically, and it was already on-the-level — bubble right in the center. ... So all is well in the world & the skies....

Wild Popularity

And then the American Science & Surplus fellows emailed me about a super bargain telescope Polaris 127MM what looked identical to my beautiful symbol of triumphant science except for the disgraced bankrupt “Meade” logo what is right there on the tube, and only $10 more than my Amazon purchase!

... And then I noticed my included “erect image optics” 20mm eyepiece, really more plausible than the higher magnification 4mm thingey I just stuck in ’cause I found it first, and then I could look at trees! So I have looked through my kiddie-wheel can’t-collimate telescope. ... And the amazon price had gone down!

... But in the time of the Biden Boom the price’s gone up to $209 with 7,159 ratings averaging 4 stars — so it’s a hit!

A Dissenting Voice in the Wilderness!

So this guy actually defends “pretty pictures” in a Sky & Telescope web article. This is an advance over the until-now (as far as I know) omerta policy of total silence on the topic, and suggests that enough might-be astronomy fans have been p-ssed-off about this blatant deception that the practice must be pro-actively defended ... for a change. ... Fascinating as the novel admission is, I wasn’t interested-enough to log-in and point-out that the ultimate still-undisclosed purpose is fraud — to sell magazines, and telescopes, which obviously still-heretical sentiment shows-up nowhere in the lengthy comments....

The Universe at Last

Both of my telescope magazines — Astronomy and Sky & Telescope — are non-profits now, and in a vaguely celebratory mood I guess, what with the end of life as we know it in the covid plague, Astronomy’s got a slam-bang January cover topic what’ll fascinate us all. To my exquisite gratification, their knowledge is absolute and precise, although there is at least one pitiful picture caption somewhere in it which suggests that, hey, it could be totally different, you know? ... But I guess going non-profit has scuppered all that wandering unease about nobody knowing where all the dark matter’s got to.....