Author Topic: A random thread for small computing things that don't really warrant a thread of their own  (Read 142546 times)

Hmmm.  My W10 laptop has caught the (reportedly unfixable) bug whereby the Excel file association appears to have been lost permanently ...

No amount of fiddling with the registry, reinstallation of Office, etc has any effect - the Internet tells me that nothing short of a Windows wipe will fix it, and that's not giong to happen.

How do I cure myself of 20+ years of double-clicking on XLS and XLSX files and expecting something to happen?   >:(

Hmmm.  My W10 laptop has caught the (reportedly unfixable) bug whereby the Excel file association appears to have been lost permanently ...

My WIn 8.1 work laptop did something similar. Clicking on an Excel file would load Excel but give some weird error saying it couldn't load the file. leaving Excel open then clicking the file again would load it perfectly. Spent hours trying to fix this, registry hacks, resetting file association etc no joy and I ended up just living with it. A couple of weeks ago it just fixed itself after a Microsoft update. Not sure which one did the job.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Kim

  • Timelord
Windows still isn't ready for the desktop, then...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Windows still isn't ready for the desktop, then...

That's why it runs as a VM on a Linux host OS :)
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Hmmm.  My W10 laptop has caught the (reportedly unfixable) bug whereby the Excel file association appears to have been lost permanently ...

My WIn 8.1 work laptop did something similar. Clicking on an Excel file would load Excel but give some weird error saying it couldn't load the file. leaving Excel open then clicking the file again would load it perfectly. Spent hours trying to fix this, registry hacks, resetting file association etc no joy and I ended up just living with it. A couple of weeks ago it just fixed itself after a Microsoft update. Not sure which one did the job.

A bit more Googling came up with, not a fix, but a workaround: a batch file to start Excel, with a dummy argument, and then associate the batch file with .XLS/.XLSX, etc.  Then re-associate those extensions with the Excel icon so they don't look odd in File Manager.

Clunky, but at least it works.

As I have some time off over the Christmas I decided I'd like to try some video-based alternatives to Zwift with my "smart" trainer.  I'd been using Zwift with an old (6 or 7 years old) ex-work 13" laptop and a surplus 32" TV as a monitor, but a) the HDMI output was flaky, and b) the large screen blocked a lot of light from the shed window. So, I recycled the TV at the local re-use shop, and bought a 17" laptop off eBay.  Loaded up Rouvy, FulGaz and BigRingVR, all seemed to run fine. 2 days later, went to have a play, and the laptop is dead. Battery lights on, but zilch. Seems Acers (for it is one) have a habit of failing to recognize the battery. Ho Hum. Still, despite stating "no returns" the seller has issued me with a returns label. Whether or not I'll get a refund or the repaired laptop returned I'm yet to find out. Meantime - I scored another 17" laptop (a Dell this time) off eBay, but of course it'll take until the New Year to arrive. So, try using the 13" one.  And despite FulGaz and BigRingVR running ok, in Rouvy I cannot get the "in ride" videos to run, I can get the "map view", I can get all the on-screen data, but the background is black. Should have enough video memory (4GB) but even uninstalling and reinstalling fails to generate them, and I've no idea how / if I can force the laptop to use the AMD video card only, or even if that's the problem! 

Oh, and because I'm admin on my work laptop, which only has on-board graphics, I installed Rouvy there, and... it bloody works  >:(

Guess I'll have to try and nuke it a bit better next time.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
*Blinks*  *Looks around*  Hmmm, Linux does seem to have come on quite a bit doesn't it?  :)
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Well that all seemed fairly painless. Various bits and bobs installed, including .Net SDK and VS Code, except... Inkscape.  The current build can't see the printer.   Every *other* application can, just not Inkscape.  Not the end of the world, save as PDF and print from {your favourite} PDF viewer saves the day, but ... really.  It's a bit poor esp. as V1 of Inkscape is otherwise a huge improvement on v0.48 which is what's on the Win7 box.


BTW.  It uses appimage.  Static linking?  My, how... old fashioned.
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

Well that all seemed fairly painless. Various bits and bobs installed, including .Net SDK and VS Code, except... Inkscape.  The current build can't see the printer.   Every *other* application can, just not Inkscape.  Not the end of the world, save as PDF and print from {your favourite} PDF viewer saves the day, but ... really.  It's a bit poor esp. as V1 of Inkscape is otherwise a huge improvement on v0.48 which is what's on the Win7 box.


BTW.  It uses appimage.  Static linking?  My, how... old fashioned.

I wonder if it is because it is installed using AppImage? I've just tested with the FreeCAD appimage and that seems not see the printer I have installed either. I've just had a quick search of the Interwebs and not turned anything up. Hmmm.
A Few Apples Short of a Strudel

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Quote from: Afasoas
I wonder if it is because it is installed using AppImage? I've just tested with the FreeCAD appimage and that seems not see the printer I have installed either. I've just had a quick search of the Interwebs and not turned anything up. Hmmm.

I wondered much the same.  I did find someone wibbling about mounting the appimage to /tmp, but as usual* insufficient info. to retry the suggested fix.  Useful to know that you've already tried FreeCAD as  I *was* going to try that as a fallback.

DXF output** is slightly banjaxed as well.  Raised this  - https://gitlab.com/inkscape/inbox/-/issues/4256

ETA  DXF "fixed".  sudo apt install libblas3  installs missing dependencies which *should* be part of the appimage.  Not entirely convinced by the appimage approach to distribution.
 Interesting to note that the bug has been grouped with other extension related probs which *may* be down to appimage packaging.  Never mind, it works now.


*This is a problem in Windows world as well.  There's an assumption of expertise / background knowledge and unwillingness to explain any further.
**Which may force me back to v0.48 on Windows. Piss.

In other news.  Changing a password from the dektop UI, doesn't.  Or rather it only does half the job.  Sitting there at login screen repeatedly & futilely re-entering a valid password.  Eventually ended up in the console pissing around with ecrypt-rewrap-passphrase.  Hmmm.
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
New cable installed 'twixt Great Hall & Cupboard-o-Networks :thumbsup:  Now I can close doors again without constricting the flow of voles to and from the NASen.  I don’t remember the Disciplining of the cable being quite so much hassle last time though.  Cries of “NO, CHEESOID!!1!” rent the air as yet another clip went flying across the room and disappearing under the floorboards or behind the fridge.

Having shut down the Great Hall machine while doing the above, it was no great surprise to discover that on restarting Windows Update required a reboot >:(
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Daft question time and definitely not worth a thread of its own.

In Windows I have been used (for many and many year) to hitting ctrl-esc* and the typing in the directory path I want Exploder to open so that I can muck around with the files therein.

For Linux Mint 20, KDE I have yet to find an equivalent.  I type alt-f1* and try something like "Thunar /home/lurk/Documents**/Aero"  or "Dolphin /home/lurk/dev" and it only ever opens the file manager at /home/lurk.  It wouldn't be end of the world if I can no longer do this, but this way of working is thoroughly engrained, almost to the point of fossilization, and faster to my mind than the mouse based alternatives.  I'd be so very happy*** if I could continue in my little rut.

Any suggestions?

Cheers,
Lurk.


*It's easier for me than hunting for a "meta" key.
** Not the inbuilt "Documents" index thingy.  I have a directory called /Documents off /lurk which was copied directly from the old Win box.
*** Easily pleased, me.
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

Damnit Windows (or possibly AVG) stop trying to "help".

For some reason it's decided that all the folders in My Documents are now read-only which means if I move a game from its initial home in Downloads then I can't generate save files.

I've tried setting both the game folder and save folder to not read-only but it automatically reverts. Following various online instructions wrt taking ownership of the folders and setting permissions has not worked.

By the time I decided to just move the game back to Downloads I couldn't be bothered to actually play it.

That's what I get for trying to organise.

Anyone experienced something similar? Windows 8.1 fwiw.
Miles cycled 2014 = 3551.5 (Target 7300 :()
Miles cycled 2013 = 6141.4
Miles cycled 2012 = 4038.1

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Things I didn’t know until today: Windows file associations also work from the command line :thumbsup:
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Quote
Some of the laptops given out in England to support vulnerable children home-schooling during lockdown contain malware, BBC News has learned.

Teachers shared details on an online forum about suspicious files found on devices sent to a Bradford school.

The malware, which they said appeared to be contacting Russian servers, is believed to have been found on laptops given to a handful of schools.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-55749959
Current mood: AARRRGGGGHHHHH !!! #bollockstobrexit

Kim

  • Timelord
Barakta's realised that the reason she keeps being late for meetings is that her ork laptop has a clock that makes the one on our microwave look accurate.  For some inexplicable[1] reason, Windows is configured to sync with "Local CMOS clock", rather than one of the myriad time servers on that internet they have now.


[1] I'm betting there are Domains involved.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

One of fboab's "smart" watches didn't have its own clock, instead taking its time from the bluetooth connection with her phone. So when the bluetooth was off/out of range, the watch started to keep shit time.

A watch, that cannot keep time itself. WTAF?

Surely any electronic device has some form of oscillator it uses as a clock signal for electronic functioning; and as such should also be able to work as a clock?

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Barakta's realised that the reason she keeps being late for meetings is that her ork laptop has a clock that makes the one on our microwave look accurate.  For some inexplicable[1] reason, Windows is configured to sync with "Local CMOS clock", rather than one of the myriad time servers on that internet they have now.


[1] I'm betting there are Domains involved.

That just sounds All Wrong, but I've seen similar.

If the machine is part of a Windows Domain, it will be automagically configured to use SNTP take it's time from one of the Domain Controllers, which in turn will be synced to a Proper Time Source.

In a Windows Domain, the clients and servers need to be tightly time-aligned for their authentication protocols to work. ( To avoid replay-attacks ).
So for this reason, the servers serve time, the clients accept it, and everything works.

How it all works when everyone is off-line and WFH, It's more complicated.

But I've seen similar: my work laptop at home is off-domain, and time drifts. I've not checked the settings. But I've not got the VPN up, so I'm not attempting to connect directly to Domain resources. I think if I connected to the Domain network by VPN or physical connection, it would sync.

Most of the stuff I connect to is cloud-based now, so the time thing doesn't come into it.


Kim

  • Timelord
Surely any electronic device has some form of oscillator it uses as a clock signal for electronic functioning; and as such should also be able to work as a clock?

Yeah, but they tend not to be temperature-compensated like (decent) RTC oscillators tend to be.  And on some microcontrollers you can have issues like the timer not incrementing while servicing interrups.  Which is fine in a device that either  a) is able to synchronise with an external time source on a regular basis  or  b) isn't designed for telling the time.

The microwave gets a pointed sigh (it could, after all, use the mains frequency as a reference), the smartwatch earns a 'FFS!'.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Kim

  • Timelord
But I've seen similar: my work laptop at home is off-domain, and time drifts. I've not checked the settings. But I've not got the VPN up, so I'm not attempting to connect directly to Domain resources. I think if I connected to the Domain network by VPN or physical connection, it would sync.

Sounds likely.  She doesn't need to use a VPN to access work stuff on this one (new job, new laptop, at yet another university[1]), so it's been happily doing its own thing since she got it a couple of months ago.  I briefly saw something VPN-ish over her shoulder at one point, but I don't know if that's something she has access to and is configured, or just a client installed as part of a standard build.

Obviously sorting out time sync, or indeed setting the clock, requires passwords she doesn't have access to.  It's going on her IT list after "Sort out whatever causes Explorer to hang and then crash if I right click on the desktop".   :facepalm:


[1] Who are less than brilliant at IT, if their DNS misconfiguration is anything to go by.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Yeah, but they tend not to be temperature-compensated like (decent) RTC oscillators tend to be.
A half-reasonable crystal oscillator will be good to ±50 ppm, or about half a minute a week. Good ones will be 10 times better. That is without temperature compensation.

Watch crystals, the ones that started off as the time reference for wrist watches, use the neat trick of being really stable around the temperature of a wrist watch, as heated by the wearer. Also not temperature compensated but very good most of the time.

Obviously there is so much electronics that seems to be designed to only work with internet access that it's no surprise that oscillator quality and timely interrupt handling have become forgotten arts.
Quote from: Kim
Paging Diver300.  Diver300 to the GSM Trimphone, please...

barakta

  • Bastard lovechild of Yomiko Readman and Johnny 5
The clock is fast not slow... I keep turning up TOO early for meetings and thinking my STTR is overrunning when it isn't...

I suspect colleagues have similar issues as the meeting I was in restarted at my clock's 15 mins past and my STTR op didn't rejoin for ages. Cos the MEETING was the wrong time.

FFS FFS FFS.

Kim

  • Timelord
Yeah, but they tend not to be temperature-compensated like (decent) RTC oscillators tend to be.
A half-reasonable crystal oscillator will be good to ±50 ppm, or about half a minute a week. Good ones will be 10 times better. That is without temperature compensation.

The DS1307 (cheapy, uncompensated using a standard watch crystal) I've just used in $project[1] seems to gain about a second per day.  Which is the sort of precision I'd expect of a PC's CMOS clock.  TBH a PC's clock only needs to be accurate to within a minute or so for normal things like a time-of-day display and reasonable file datestamps - if you need more precision, it's usually because you're doing networky things (eg. coordinating Zoom meetings or authenticating with a Domain Controller), in which case you ought to be able to get the time over the network.

I suspect $university are in for some Type 2 Fun as the un-settable clocks on god knows how many staff laptops drift further and further from reality...


[1] Where accurate time is secondary to being in agreement with a laptop that may or may not have access to a reference clock via the internet.  Otherwise I'd have used a GPS.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
So what is the windows scanning software for bad things favs at the mo?  Currently have a laptop that sometimes doesn't was to boot, just the bios splashscreen currently running malwarebytes in safe mode to see what there is and then get windows defender to look