I worry my PC is infected with malware. ;_; Time to reinstall!

Eset Internet Security keeps reporting a "General compiler error" every time it tries to update.  It started happening a few weeks ago and I ended up restoring my system from a backup, and I've spent the past couple weeks reinstalling my programs.  Which seemed to solve the problem, but now I'm getting the compiler error again.

I obviously can't restore from a backup every two weeks.  I googled for help and happened on a couple others reporting similar problems, but no fixes. Here's what I've tried so far:

Tried clearing the cache, didn't help.

Tried reinstalling Internet Security. It helped at first but the compiler error resurfaced some days later.

I think my PC is, despite my herculian precautions, infected with malware.  So I tried using System Restore to restore to an earlier state, but it went bad what with the dots in the rollercoaster loop going around and around endlessly for over 24 hours.  I eventually shut the thing off, and now can't even boot into Windows (attempting a normal boot just brings up a blank black screen, and attempting to boot into Recovery Mode results in a 0x0000001 error code with some complaint about Windows/System32/winload.exe):

Finally have my files downloaded! Where did these extra five files come from?

Once I got ssh working I was able to transfer files from my Win10 cloud server to my father's iMac where I'll put it them on a USB flash drive.  Yay! But I find it somewhat disconcerting that my downloaded files somehow increased from 310 to 315 between the time I downloaded them to my Win10 home directory and copied them to external storage. I would have liked to track down exactly how that happened- alas I deleted the 310 files before I noticed the discrepancy so I can't really tell which files were added.

Anyway off to the long overdue hardening of my Windows 10 computers.

(no subject)

Problem: Can't connect to macOS sshd server via my public IP address (logging in with localhost did work).

Solution:  It took me a day and a half to figure this out and I tried a bunch of things.  First thing was to make sure "Remote Login" was checked under System Preferences > Sharing, and that it permitted all users to log in. After that I checked to make sure that my firewall wasn't blocking TCP on port 22. Finally I set up port forwarding on our router. Still didn't work.

After a LOT of googling, I tried checking the firewall again and discovered that I could login to the SSH server if I turned the firewall off. Ah-HA! I zeroed in on the firewall now and googled some, but all I found were false leads. Eventually I contacted customer support for Eset and they provided me with an explaination of how I can configure Eset to allow ssh connections to the ssh server.

Getting Emacs back in macOS Catalina

I just installed homebrew on my Dad's "new" iMac.
Then I used it to install Emacs.

Before using Homebrew I had attempted to install Mitsuharu Yamamoto's Emacs distribution from source (Emacswiki really talked it up), but that didn't go so well as I quickly succumbed to dependency hell.  First I needed to compile autoconf to generate the ./configure file I needed for the Emacs install- but that required that I download and compile makeinfo which required me to install Homebrew, then I needed to download and compile gnutls, which needed me to download and install nettle-2.5, but nettle-3.5 apparently wasn't good enough. Not wanting to downgrade to an earlier version of nettle I gave up on compiling it myself and installed the Homebrew precompiled binary version of Emacs with:

brew cask install emacs


That got me the vanilla official version from Emacs for macOSX. What I should have done was install the binary from the MacPorts package manager as that had Yamamoto's distro but I didn't see that option until I had already installed the official one.  But it is installed and it works and it's going to be a lot better than editing text in nano (which is the only pre-installed text editor in macOS Catalina) or trying to use TextEdit (which twists your arm into writing richtext files or HTML instead of text files). 

Mobile research advice in the form of Excel Spreadsheets

Over the past few months I’ve been playing with Excel files (technically MS Works Spreadsheets files, but they’re just stripped down Excel files really) in  order to help me decide which computer hardware to get and maybe learn a little more about Excel along the way. 

I’m posting the spreadsheets online in case anyone is interested in the results of my research. Might make someone else’s purchase decisions easier, ya know? (Files with a “.xlr” extension can be easily opened by Excel by changing the extension to “.XLS”.)

The caveat (well, one of the caveats; see my cell_buying_caveats.txt file for more on how I rated the phones) is these spreadsheets are old… My Android phone research is the newest of the lot and is about six months out of date at this point*.

I was researched iPhones in preparation for a job interview at Boost Mobile. Never got the job but here’s the results of my iPhone research.

And I researched Android tablets when I was considering buying a second (I have a Galaxy Tab 3 that I use to read ebooks but I considered getting one for Internet browsing.)

* Apparently cell phones have a longer lifespan than desktop computers. Many of the phones I researched are still on the market and are viable options for purchase.

Here's the car I want to get rid of

I bought this car used several years ago but hardly ever drove it. As I rarely I drove it the battery kept dying on me, so I'd go even longer without driving it before I could get the battery recharged. That's really kept the mileage down these past few years. I can't check the exact mileage in the car with the battery dead, but I believe the mileage is in the area of 75000 based on documents from a few years ago.

Now for the problems: The battery's dead. The A/C doesn't work well if at all and the radio only picks up a couple stations. The driver's side front tire looks as if it's low on air (see pic). There's discoloration on the floor in the back seats (see pic). I don't know what else is wrong with it. I'm tired of dealing with it; I just want to get rid of the thing.

***** Doesn't currently run; as is, FOR PARTS. You'll need to arrange its retrieval. ****

  • Current Mood

Anyone want a free car?

I have an old Pontiac Grand Am that doesn't run anymore and I was going to auction it off on eBay but now I don't know if it's even worth the trouble.  Internet, should I pay the fees to auction it or just offer it for free on Social Media and see what happens?  I want to get rid of it so I can stop paying car insurance on a car that doesn't run.

Moving on...

Now that I've gotten the anger out, what messaging platforms are you using these days now that AIM is dead? I mean besides Facebook which I already know about.

An angry eulogy for AIM

^%$$*#%#@ AOL had to kill AIM this morning?! I knew it was coming today but they couldn't have waited till midnight like any decent service? Lots of logs, my buddy lists, all gone? ;___; In hindsight I should have exported them sooner but I just lost a good bunch of my adolescence. And I don't have any backups of that stuff, because, well, my backups failed. Curse you AOL, and your decades of ineptitude and callous implosion. You're a shell of your former self- a shell of a shell of your former self even; all you have left is email and I wonder how long that will last. This proves that the cloud is not a safe space to rely upon to store your information.

Admittedly, few of my former buddies signed on much anymore and even I didn't use it much but there was always the chance we would happen to sign on at the same time and catch up on stuff and talk about old times. Now that is an impossibility.

AIM and net neutrality in the same week- it is no coincidence. There was no technical reason to kill AIM. The powers that be want to censor the Internet and wipe away a history of libre speech and freedom. December 15 will b remembered as the day the Internet succumbed to the machinations of a powerful few and turned its back on a semi-anarchic adolescence and grew into an Orwellian nightmare.

It disgusts me. And the loss of my AIM account, without me getting a chance to export my data, saddens me greatly. All in all, a depressing turn of events. Goodbye AIM.

May you rest in peace.