Shell Scripting on Windows

I want to write bash scripts to be emulated using cygwin. This has a problem in that XP uses spaces in its file folder hierarchies and the environment variable initialisation process isn’t good enough. This is actually a snip on writing shell script using cygwin. The virtual boix commands are just the use case which led to me doing the research. Continue reading “Shell Scripting on Windows”

Microsoft RDP & Virtual Box

At some point Virtual Box came with RDP as part of the set up and its allegedly faster than VNC. I want to connect my ipodtouch to my PC’s using Mocha’s RDP Lite.

Problem

I have a windows 7 beta VM. (See my Sun blog.) Initially I couldn’t connect using Ipod or the Alienware.

I am now connected using the Alienware and the Microsoft client. The Host is XP Home Edition, SP/3 with a W7 VM hosted in VB 2.2.4, networking = bridged, port = !3389, with the NULL authentication libraries. NB the port is not available on the internet. It does not work with external authentication, and the manual suggests that guest is experimental.

Perry says I need to have the VRDPAuth.dll library in a folder that is pointed to by the %PATH variable. This page at computerhope.com explains how to do it.

I don’t know if port 3389 will work or not because of the order of the testing, but the Mochasoft Client is still not working. They have a FAQ. I can’t get it to work on the EDGE either. Mochasoft suggest an incompatibility or a firewall as the problem. So

  • fix the authentication problems and turn it on
  • sort out the mochasoft problems

What didn’t work!

I had assumed that the initial failures were due to the failure to present the RDP port to the LAN and I tried to map the VM port to the real port. My VM was a NAT machine. I wrote about port mapping on my blog when I exposed apache to my network. I need to port the script, maybe now is the time to wrap it in TCL. The Virtual Box 2.1.4 manual discusses port forwarding in Section 6.1.4. This fails. The W7 image fails to boot; using [gs]etextradata to map port 3389 from the guest to the host causes the VM to fail to boot. I have amended the VM config to chnage the port as suggested by this thread at http://forums.virtualbox.org and this blog at http://www.ubuntugeek.com. I still get “your remote session has ended”. PerryG says you must use bridged networking.

Links

N.B. The Virtual Box manual is the first port of call. Otherwise these might be usefull.

LLTD on Linux

It seems this is possible, and would be useful for work where all the laptops are Vista machines.

Links

There’s not that much on the web, and I’d have thought there was an Ubuntu package, but I can’t find it.

I ran the make and got this error,

../src/state.c: In function 'state_process_packet':
../src/state.c:177: error: 'UINT_MAX' undeclared (first use in this function)
../src/state.c:177: error: (Each undeclared identifier is reported only once
../src/state.c:177: error: for each function it appears in.)
make: *** [state.o] Error 1

There is one thread on the ‘net, at howtoforge forums, but the advice is incomplete. I returned to the howto forge page and studied the comments. They advice linking the bourne and bash shells and addding an include line in state.c. It now compiles but does not behave as I expect, or as documented in Microsofts guide.

I created a short URL for the howto tutorial because I took the script from there. http://is.gd/5rhUK

I have used the package manager to download and install samba and its documentation. The Ubuntu page documenting Samba is here…, and with both LLTD and with smbd & nmbd running, the Vista boxes can browse the shared area. (Do I need LLTD? It seems not, I restarted the lltd daemon and it failed to open some resource. I need to document it. )

Meta

This was copied across in June 2013. It probably died of relevance as Vista was replaced. It’s one of the things I looked into when trying to use a Vista laptop at work between 2009 and 2011.

If you have something to add, please do so.

Dell Dimension 5150c

This was originally entitled “Our New XP Box”. I changed the title when I copied the snip across to WordPress in July 2013.

The snip is called our new box. It isn’t so new anymore, but is about the Dell Dimension 5150c.

As of 30th Dec 2008, the User Manual is available as a .pdf. You might need to be logged into the site to read/get this.

Archiving the Pictures

Some years ago, I bought a Freecom DVD writer and decided to back up the pictures to DVD. XP did not originally support DVD writing and I have no idea if that’s changed so I needed to use Roxio Creator to do this.

Making Videos

In the Spring 2008, I decided to try and make some talking heads videos. My endeavours are documented on below Spring 2008

AMCAP

I am not sure where this comes from, but I have been trying to use it to make videos with a USB webcam. Basicaly I can’t get the sound to work. Google helped me find this FAQ.

I can now hear the sound on a Video. The key is to use the volume control to turn up the Recording volume.

Dell Forums

The mucked around with the forums again in Dec 2008. I am not sure the links below work any longer.

They now have an XP Support Centre & self help forum. They also have an all my posts page.

Dell Forums and Safe Mode

I also had reason to create  Windows Boot Menu page on this site. I was doing some housekeeping on my Dell Dimension 5150c and discovered that yet again the Dell Support site had been improved. There used to be tech support articles about the various systems they sold and are in use, but I finally found a reference on to how to bring the system up in Safe Mode, which I have documented. It implies that this is no longer different for each model and that Dell have standardised on F8. Anyway that’s what works on my machine. Interestingly hard to find I tried both Google and Exalead, but eventually found it using Google, of course.

External Disk

I installed an external disk to hold the pictures, music and maybe videos, i.e. the home directories.

Using the Fax

On 14th Sept 2009, I tried to send a Fax to Spain. This was after the new hub/router line was set up. The fax failed several times; I had tried to enter the hotel into the windows address book with a phone compatible fax number i.e. +34… I solved the problem by entering the destination as a one-off and specifying the destination country using a pull down menu. The fax console reported the destination number as 00 34 …., not +34. I used hyperterminal to test the line. This is a nuisance. It seems I need to store the fax numbers as UK specific, although I don’t use the phone much as a fax transmission device.

Action: The computer modem external wiring needs tidying up when the old btconnect line is terminated. i.e. It is currently using the old data line.

Desktop Icons

XP does not have “My Documents”, “My Computer” or “My Network Places” on the desktop. They can be placed their using

        Desktop -> Properties -> Customize Desktop

Security Center (sic) on XP aka the state of my box!

Written shortly after purchase, dated 7th Feb

It seems that XP can only have one security centre solution. The system comes with McAfee and I need Norton. Sadly I didn’t understand this and have had to restart the rebuild.

I have therefore had to trash certain pieces of work. With help I have managed to resolve my W98 systems network problems. (This was caused by one of the auto exec programs blocking the port on the W98 system). The W98 system is now acting as the print server. This came back OK.

I misread the screen configuration parameters and the drivers work out of the box. I have a lovely 19″ flat screen, which seems to be working fine.

Paintshop Pro is now owned by Corel and I have a trial licence. I wonder if my one & one subscription still entitles me to a PSP right-to-use. I need to track this down. Otherwise I need to discover the best way to obtain a right-to-use, otherwise maybe I should bite the bullet and buy Photoshop.

I expect I shall put OpenOffice on the box first, since some of the .doc files I have are too old for MS`Works’ word processor to read. (I shall be installing MS Office Educational Edition, in order to ensure that the MS file types have default methods that invoke the Microsoft programs.)

I need to go back to http://art.gnome.org in order to download some more wall papers.

I have also lost some of the file transfers from the laptop and old W98 system.

Other snips here

See also Help & Support, &  I now have an Audio snip, which deals with installing a Microphone, and the CTMBHA.DLL driver issues as well. Xmas 2006

Alienware

At about the same time that I bought the Dell I also bought an Alienware Aurora, which worked fine for two and half years and then developed a frustrating problem

ooOOOoo

XML Paper System (XPS)

XML Paper System

I have a new laptop and have been configuring the additional tools and applications required to make it do a job of work. At the moment, I have no .pdf print driver yet and needed to save a web resource. I have Windows Vista 64 as my host OS and shall be running virtual box 32 bit guests. I was offered the fax driver, and the Microsoft XPS driver. I thought that PS would be some derivation of postscript, but it seems not.

I had discovered ixquick earlier in the morning, a privacy respecting search engine, and queried it using the search string “what application reads an .xps file”. XPS stands for XML Paper Specification and the Microsoft page hosting the application is fairly easy to find,

What is not clear is that this page is .net 3.0 and Vista ships with 3.5 and with the reader turned on. Attempting to install the reader again issues some odd error message about the windows feature switches. Reading the Microsoft page more clearly makes it clear that the viewer is installed in Vista, as does the association on the .xps suffix with an icon. The download should not be installed on a Vista machine.

makes clear that .xps docs can only be read using IE, although they document how to enable this for Firefox, it is an odd but interesting additional example about how IE is bound to the OS. In this particular example, I could have avoided all this ache by using the “Save Page as…” option.It seems I may need to revert to my more old fashion print solutions i.e. binding a postscript print driver to the FILE: port, or getting/buying a .pdf driver.

Norton Anti-Virus

For various reasons, I use Norton AV, now owned and distributed by Symantec.

Bastards

One of my computers has been infected by a virus propagated by that famous spam peitre dish, Microsoft Messenger. So how to clean it up. For some reason, Norton seemed to miss it.

What I did!

Fortunately, one of our correspondents was able to tell me that AVG described the virus as named BackDoor.Generic9.pew. Norton seem to name it as Trojan. Neither Google nor Symantec seem to recognise the name easily.

On booting the system, and logging in, Symantec was discovering the virus, but not successfully quarantining it. Liveupdate seemed to be infected. After trying a Liveupdate, the internet became unavailable, and it failed. On research it seems that it is possible to update the virus files without LiveUpdate, but not it seems without the internet, although I’ll have to find that out another time.

I entered Safe Mode and ran Norton Antivirus scan. This failed to find the virus, which I discovered when I rebooted (to unsafe mode). I then installed AVG Antivirus, using a USB stick and ran a scan, this seems to have cleaned up the system.

As it happens, I didn’t use the Dell Community Forums this time

Some important Links

Keywords: “Windows XP” virus Norton Antivirus NAV AVG trojan backdor

Dell Studio 15 Laptop

I bought a Dell Studio 15 from PC World in August. It runs Vista.

Norton Anti-Virus

I bought and installed Norton Anti-Virus. I didn’t renew when the subscribtion ran out

Applications

I downloaded

  • Firefox
  • Thunderbird
  • Opera
  • Pidgin, I downloaded this from the http://www.pidgin.im. My experience with versions post v 2.0.1 are quite poor, so this is not installed, but I must ensure v2.0.1 is on the machine. I am advised by a Vista user that this experience is also the case on Vista.

Microsoft Office

I installed Microsoft Office Student Edition 2003. (Do I need Star/Open Office, or the ODF). I tried to run Office Update from the Microsoft site and got the ‘You are not using a sufficiently up to date version of IE n.b. this is Vista.’. I think I fixed this by amending the firewall rules, and using IE, not Firefox. Doh!.

Networking

In order to move the files from one machine to another, I needed to establish a LAN connection behind the home appliance firewall.

The interface is different and finding the buttons was a complete crock. I am not sure how we fixed this. The XP boxes could see the new Studio 15’s exports, and I connected to it. The next time I looked the ‘connect to network disk’ button was on the ‘My computer’ dialogue box, and it could see all the exporting computers, although I still can’t browse the disks and printers. It may have been tuning the firewall rules that did this.

I found these resources

both specific to Vista and from microsoft.com. The reality is that I don’t know how we fixed this, and since we can’t browse the devices, its still not fixed.

Week Two problems

The Fan has kicked in, the back lite switches are not working and even some keyboard buttons need to be pressed really hard.

Dell Forums seems to recognise the problem. It might need a BIOS upgrade, also I will need to document how to use the power economy control panel applet.

So the problem is defined as

  • Fan exceedingly noisey
  • back lite keys don’t work
  • intermittent failure on the keyboard
  • mouse touchpad doesn’t seem to work

I couldn’t find someone on the support team chat, so rang them. He downloaded new copies of the general utilities, touchpad driver, intel chipset and the BIOS.The drivers are on the front support page after one types on the Service Tag. He installed them and rebooted. Everything seems fine. The fan is quiet and everything seems to be working.I was told that there is no Firmware Upgrade solution at Dell.  I ,(well, Dell Support), installed new BIOS today. V A05. (20 Sep 2008)

I believe the computer fell into a bad state after a windows upgrade download.

Sound Quality

This is a bit poor for a Laptop advertised as a multi-media lifestyle machine.

I need to see if there are any better drivers, or if this is as good as it gets

Hardware Repairs

I took this to Disking after a Keyboard/Pinot Grigio interface scenario. They charged £69 quid + parts for the repair, which since both the computer and its parts were no longer supplied by Dell and they got everything they needed, this was a result. In particular, at the time, Dell’s replacements were very ugly, we were please to have the machine repaired. NB Damage through spillage is accidental damage and not derangement. This means it should be covered by most household insurance policies.

External Disk on an XP system

This article was originally written in 2008, and was copied to this wiki in June 2013. It covers both moving XP windows directories from the internal local drive to the external disk, and some wish scripting to check the disk was on and remind people to turn it on if not already done. This article talks about the disk, filesystems, transferring the data, and writing some tcl/tk scripts including an motd to manage the remote “My Documents” folder. I changed the title from “External Disk on the Dell” since I had re-purposed the disk by 2013. Continue reading “External Disk on an XP system”