Friday, April 18, 2008

I would post a "how to" here

After testing the Enigmail extension for Thunderbird I've found that even though the documentation says it does, Enigmail doesn't support relative path when it comes to calling GPG.exe. I'll try and hammer things out with Compreg.dat to see if I can make a manual fix, but I won't make any promises.

Something for Psi Users

For those that use the old ssl certs to connect to connect to your favorite jabber server I dusted off this old batch script that creates ssl certs in the xml format required for Psi. I found it after looking around the Psi-wiki for a how to on making certificates since the main xml cert file didn't have one for the server i used at the time. I adapted it from a bash script, and this worked just fine for me. I tested it last night and it still works just like it should.

Please not that %1 is for the server name and %2 is for the port number.

ECHO ^>>%1.xml
ECHO ^>>%1.xml
ECHO ^>>%1.xml
::# Get server certificate. Convert to x509. Strip out lines
openssl s_client -connect %1:%2 | openssl x509 -outform DER | openssl enc -a -A >>%1.xml
ECHO ^<^/store^>>>%1.xml
ECHO ^<^/certificate^>>>%1.xml
ECHO ^<^/data^>>>%1.xml

This script even adds in the tags needed for the xml-ssl certificate format used by PSI.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Pidgin and GTK bookmarks

If you haven't noticed, Pidgin in the portable variety doesn't account for the gtk bookmarks.
After some obvious tests I thought, "Sure, why not?" and decided to see what would happen should I change the %userprofile% environment variable. I took the easy way out and ran it through Pstart, but if you wanted to use a batch file you could set it up just as well...


And you can substitute "\theGTK" for whatever you please. Even the location of your .purple directory. Just make sure to use relative paths.

Monday, March 31, 2008


In case you didn't know about it or wondered if it could be done, yes, you can have a virtual encrypted drive at your disposal. TrueCrypt can not only make a virtual encrypted disk, but can encrypt an entire partition and or disk. I haven't tested the preboot capabilities yet, note that, YET. But I am using it to store documents(essays, powerpoints, etc) and the like. I'm really impressed by it despite a rather large drawback, you need Administrator rights to install the drivers for mounting a volume. Regardless it works for home systems as well as for portable use as you can name the drivers anything so as to make for good camouflage. And even more you have the option to extract rather than install the program so you can run it from a USB device. I'm very please with how easy it is to use, with multiple options for an added level of security. And in case I forgot to mention this, it's free. So if you have anything you don't want others to have easy access to, this would be a good solution to keeping private data private.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Web Desktop/OS Pt.1

I've been looking at a couple Web Desktops/OS's such as EyeOS, BrowserOS(from iCUBE), YouOS, Desktop Two, and so on. This is going to be a series of round ups so look for more on this subject in the future.

EyeOS is good if you have a copy downloaded to a home machine and are running it with Apache and PHP, with the Office dependencies it requires to handle office applications. And your connection to your home machine has restricted access to only a set number of domains and is access over an https connection. So I'd vote no unless your willing to do all the work it takes to set that up. There is a demo you can if you want to try before signing up for free.

BrowserOS looks good, but it lacks applications at the moment. What I'd like to see in it would be a console similar to BASH or dos. Call me old fashioned for wanting that, but most of my best works come from the command line. This is for the Office outside of the office.

YouOS: While YouOS has a console, the interface is somewhat awkward, as though the devs wanted to have a tie in between a Mac and Windows 95. There is a slew of Apps being developed for YouOS, but you'd have to sit and sort through hundreds of apps to find the ones you want. There isn't much in terms of Office documents aside from a rich text editor. But the login interface is in https, so there is more security in keeping your password from being snagged. This has some great potential for improvement and I can't wait to see what they can pull out this year.

DesktopTwo has a petty interface but has a builtin ad-widget you cannot hide from your desktop(but on the bright-side it does stay at the bottom now). It has an office suite, MP3 player, blog, webpage, email(w/pop), IM software(use Meebo instead), message boards, etc. It's currently in the beta phase of development so you can't expect much. for now. I'd advise against it for now until the information on the site is arranged better.

Final Answer, YouOS. The interface may not be the prettiest, but it'll get the job done.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Take your scripts and commandline apps with you

Interesting thing about environment variables. They can be temporarily altered on a program by program basis. Dos prompts are a fine example of this. And with a program like Console you can wrap up a nifty tweak to the %PATH% variable.
Assuming you have your batches and console apps in one directory(\Data\bin\) you can run a script that would look like this...

:: Pulls drive letter from CD root variable
:: %CD:~0,1%
:: Does a string operation then assigns
@IF %CD:~0,1% EQU D SET USBroot=D:
@IF %CD:~0,1% EQU E SET USBroot=E:
@IF %CD:~0,1% EQU F SET USBroot=F:
@IF %CD:~0,1% EQU G SET USBroot=G:
@IF %CD:~0,1% EQU H SET USBroot=H:

This batch script if ran from console on a usb drive will pull the drive letter from the %CD% environment variable, and through a series of IF statements will set the drive letter based on %USBroot%

Modify the code to suit your USB drives folder hierarchy. And start Console with the following commandline switches:
Console.exe -c "/k \Data\Bin\Drive.bat&CD \"

Which will run the batch script and then bring you to the root directory of the USB drive. If you have Pstart to launch console for you, you'll have to do things this way as well. I tried but apparently regular expressions are not performed by Pstart for setting environment variables. And the %pdrive% variable only works in the general and advanced tabs. But mind not, this is a great fix to a problem that wasn't really that complicated anyway.
Just a not I didn't use Console2(beta), if you do it should be just as easy for you to set it as well.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Coccinella IS Portable

Coccinella is a Jabber client with a builtin Whiteboard(used to go by that name) and has VoIP features optional. A recent update made this client portable with a simple preference option. Once checked the data is saved in a folder(Coccinella-prefs) outside of the Application folder.
Get the idea now? Back to the subject.
And to make the portable feature easier to use, it comes in a nifty little zip file. Either grab the build with VoIP or the one without. I'd rather use Meebo for voice communication over the web anyway. In this case it's for those who have managed to migrate completely to Jabber and somehow convinced their contacts to follow too. I should mention the new update also comes with a sleek black skin.