Welcome to BrainlessIdeas

Congratulations, I’ve done no page ranking, have paid google nothing, did not answer the door when bing rang, and ignored their wailing begging from my porch, eventually getting a PFA from them, and yet here you are.

This is my site of collected links and data I’ve deemed too important (to me) to trust to the originator to keep available. The site itself has risen from the ashes of a not-backed-up-free-hosting account that actually survived for over a decade. There is a lot to wayback through, so for some time you will see both fresh and ancient content added in a truly random fashion. Go ahead, base your RNG on it. Ok, maybe don’t.

Don’t forget about this one, Craig:
Arcade

New Images From Euclid Mission Reveal Wide View of the Dark Universe

We simply can not be alone.

Download – Tonocracy

Guitar Pedal Sim now free

Source: Download – Tonocracy

MS-DOS Links

Source: MS-DOS Starter Pack – PHILSCOMPUTERLAB.COM

It seems I’m forever putting together a DOS rig… One of these days I’ll get around to finishing this project, till then… links!

https://www.retro-exo.com/exodos.html and
https://www.retro-exo.com/index2.html

https://dosbox-x.com/

Heimdall Application Dashboard

A open application dashboard for linux.. allows for realtime updates directly from the apps being monitored.

Source: Heimdall Application Dashboard

Lenny’s, Hackett’s and more

I’ve mentioned the Tytoona Cave here before, here are a few more local trips.

Lennys Classic Car Collection | Altoona PA | Facebook

http://www.swigartmuseum.com/

https://www.facebook.com/rockhilltrolley

how to get the HEVC codec for free : Windows11

Does anyone know how to get the HEVC codec for free
byu/true_White_Knight inWindows11

How to configure Password Expiration in Windows 11/10

In my continuing series of Microsoft can eat a bag of Dicks, here is how to disable required password changes due to expiration.

For disabling password expiration, execute this in a elevated command prompt:

wmic UserAccount where Name=”username” set PasswordExpires=False

Shunpiking

Super Star Trek Online

Every bit as fun as it use to be!

Source: Super Star Trek 1978 meets 25th Anniversary by emabolo

Changed Block Tracking (CBT) on virtual machines

In order to use Iperium Backup with Vmware’s esxi environment, you need to enable Change Block Tracking.

In vmware esxi, edit settings -> VM Options -> Advanced -> Configuration Paramaters, Edit Configuration and add:
ctkEnabled = “TRUE”
scsi0:0.ctkEnabled = “TRUE”

The option ctkEnabled = “TRUE” is a VMX option which controls the general CBT configuration for the virtual machine. To disable CBT for the complete VM, set the value to False to disable CBT. This setting is stored in the Virtual Machines configuration file ,vmx in the VM folder. For more information, see Changed Block Tracking (CBT) on virtual machines (1020128). For each virtual disk fo the VM, there are additional options named scsix:x.ctkEnabled = “TRUE”. To disable CBT on individually on eac

Source: Changed Block Tracking (CBT) on virtual machines (1020128)

Sideloading Windows 8 Applications

I present for your enjoyment the hoops one must alight through to work with Windows 8 in 2024.

 

Sideloading Windows 8 Applications

https://archive.org/details/Win8AppxArchive

How to install metro apps on windows 8.1 using wsappbak
byu/randomusername12308 inwindows8

–>

Open PowerShell. Get a Windows developer registration using this command:

Show-WindowsDeveloperLicenseRegistration

If it doesn’t work the first time, try a few more times. If everything stops working after a certain amount of time, you will need to run this command again to renew the license. If you have the Enterprise edition, you will not need to do this.

After that, install the app using

Add-AppxPackage *name*.appx/appxbundle

The app is now installed, but you may notice that if you launch it, it won’t work. What you need to do is to go to C:\Program Files\WindowsApps. This directory is hidden by default, so you might need to type the path out or show hidden files. You won’t be granted access at first, so you should change ownership of the folder to your account.

After that, find the folder where the app resides and copy it’s path. If WSAppbak is in the same place as your appx file, delete the appx. Start WSAppbak and paste the folder path into the command prompt. After it has finished, you will find a .cer. Install it to the local machine > trusted root certificates. Delete the app. Install the newly generated appx.

Add-AppxPackage *name*.appx/appxbundle

when I typed it throws an error(the ”name” already replaced with the app package directory

No, you need to install the appx using PowerShell, then type the installed app’s directory into WSAppBak.

· 7 mo. ago · edited 7 mo. ago

I got an error while trying to install the .appx

add-appxpackage : Deployment failed with HRESULT: 0x800B0109, A certificate chain processed, but terminated in a root certificate which is not trusted by the trust provider.

error 0x800B0109: The root certificate of the signature in the app package or bundle must be trusted.

Is there anything I’m doing wrong?

Edit: i didnt store it in the Trusted Root Certification Authorities, found my problem. My other problem is that the app cannot open.

Edit 2: It actually worked for Fresh paint. Woohoo! however i had to struggle with some flickers, i didnt have to restart but had to lock my pc once to get it to stop flickering. and after some time, it worked.

Edit 3: Anytime the app is fullscreen, it kept flickering. maybe it might be my display driver or adapter

Edit 4: starting the app after a few seconds crashes the app

· 2 mo. ago · edited 2 mo. ago

didnt store it in the Trusted Root Certification Authorities, found my problem. My other problem is that the app cannot open.

If the app doesn’t open just unpack the appx in any location, delete the signature file and use add-appxpackage -path appxmanifest.xml -register Remember that removing the folder will not uninstall the app but leave it broken in your apps screen, you can delete it by right clicking it and selecting uninstall

Windows Sandbox configuration

As part of cutting cableTV we have been using Windows Sandbox a lot. I never really looked into configuring Sandbox much as I had used Sandboxie in the past and it is super configurable.  Sandboxie is starting to show it’s age, and Windows Sandbox is still here so…

Here is a MS Support page going over how to configure Sandbox – turns out there is quite a bit one can do with it!

Windows Sandbox configuration – Windows Security Microsoft Learn

Source: Windows Sandbox configuration – Windows Security | Microsoft Learn

Controlling Microsoft via firewall rules

A post for my business brethren, or anyone with a firewall on their network (which, really, please consider!).

Microsoft is at war with my company. They forcibly introduce internet sites that have nothing to do with my business to my users, limiting the productivity of my employees and exposing my network to potentially compromised websites with the only purpose of creating additional profit for them.

What started with easing their financial burden of hosting Windows Updates (Delivery Optimization) – but in reality was a strong-armed attempt to get me to pay for the electricity and bandwidth required to deliver updates to unknown parties the world over – has turned into paid advertisements being foisted upon my users on a continual basis. And here we thought forcing Candy Crush on us was bad, now they are pushing (likely) un-vetted websites on our systems constantly. Attempting to subvert any web content controls we may have in place to create profit (for them) at the cost of productivity (for us).

Not to mention the security nightmare that they have created by pushing these sites into our networks.

I continually look for a replacement OS that actually cares about my business’s productivity. (PLEASE RED HAT, SAVE ME!) And have never considered Apple in a more positive light than I do currently. But as it is, I am stuck with over 100 Windows computers.

As such, I have taken to banning Microsoft sites in my firewall in order to restore a level of security and control back into my network. I will keep a running list of sites in this thread that I have found contribute to unnecessary exposure and risk. I put these sites into a DROP ALL rule that is at the top of my firewall security policies. Unfortunately MS actively fights back, so constant diligence is needed, but at least it is something.

Banning these IP’s/Sites will result in the “search highlights” presented when you click on Windows search bar, and the “weather” widget next to your clock no longer able to provide content (or at least it does on my network).

Please contribute any sites/addresses that you find as well.

204.79.197.203
*.aria.microsoft.com
*.azurefd.net
*.msedge.net
strict.bing.com
th.bing.com

Taste the Success!

ℹ️ How to downgrade from Thunderbird 115 to 102 (the previous version before “Supernova” redesign)

Ain’t news to anyone that the newly redesigned Thunderbird is a giant turd. No idea why the developers felt the need to screw with a fully functioning application, but they sure did fsck it up!  If you fell for the old please upgrade trick and want to go back to a usable program, here is some help.
Tips & Tricks from Reddit
  1. Delete compatibility.ini from Thunderbird’s profile folder:

    1. Open Thunderbird

    2. Open the Troubleshooting page via Menu ☰ -> Help -> Troubleshooting information

    3. Click Profile Folder -> Open folder

    4. Close Thunderbird

    5. Delete compatibility.ini from the folder

  2. Download Thunderbird 102.15 installer or portable version.

  3. Use the installer to re-install the older version (overwrite the newer one)

  4. Launch Thunderbird with the --allow-downgrade switch:

    1. Right-click your Thunderbird shortcut

    2. Suffix --allow-downgrade to the end of the program’s file path

    3. Launch

Prevent future updates by:

  1. Opening Thunderbird’s program folder (e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\Thunderbird)

  2. Create a new folder called distribution

  3. Create a new text file policies.json with the following content:


{
	"policies": {
		"DisableAppUpdate": true,
		"DisableFeedbackCommands": true,
		"DisableSystemAddonUpdate": true,
		"DisableTelemetry": true,
		"ExtensionUpdate": false
	}
}

ℹ️ How to downgrade from Thunderbird 115 to 102 (the previous version before “Supernova” redesign)
byu/TheQueefGoblin inThunderbird

How to downgrade from Thunderbird 115 to 102 (the previous version before “Supernova” redesign)Tips & Tricks Delete compatibility.ini from Thunderbird’s profile folder: Open Thunderbird Open the Troubleshooting page via Menu ☰ -> Help -> Troubleshooting information Click Profile Folder -> Open folder Close Thunderbird Delete compatibility.inifrom the folder Download Thunderbird 102.15 installer or portable version. Use the installed to re-install the older version (overwrite the newer one) Launch Thunderbird with the –allow-downgrade switch: Right-click your Thunderbird shortcut Suffix –allow-downgrade to the end of the program’s file path LaunchPrevent future updates by: Opening Thunderbird’s program folder (e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\Thunderbird) Create a new folder called distribution Create a new text file policies.json with the following content:{ “policies”: { “DisableAppUpdate”: true, “DisableFeedbackCommands”: true, “DisableSystemAddonUpdate”: true, “DisableTelemetry”: true, “ExtensionUpdate”: false }}

How to disable every version of copilot?

I’m yanking this off Reddit for when they delete the thread (happening more frequently!!).  How to get rid of copilot…

Did a bunch of digging today. It looks like you can also disable it via Intune, using a configuration profile. Thanks to https://www.reddit.com/user/maxpowers156/ for posting it.

*EDIT* 9-25 this config policy failed for all my win11 clients. I tried making a win32 app and pushing out the reg change and that is generating errors also, so YMMV. Right now we’re manually using command line to edit the registry.

Here is what I got, still testing this out in our environment:
Custom Template

Name: Disable Windows Copilot OMA-URI: ./User/Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/WindowsAI/TurnOffWindowsCopilot Data type: Integer Value: 1 Copilot is only applicable to the Insider Preview build currently: WindowsAI Policy CSP – Windows Client Management | Microsoft Learn

I made a dynamic group that finds windows 11 OSes to target it. will test monday.

 (device.deviceOSVersion -startsWith "10.0.2")

lastly, here is the reg setting if you just want to push out an Intune app, thanks to https://www.reddit.com/user/kheldorn/. I had this work on 1 test machine, and not work on a different one. it’s Fun!

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsCopilot] "TurnOffWindowsCopilot"=dword:00000001
See https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/client-management/mdm/policy-csp-windowsai
9
User avatar
level 3

I couldn’t get the CSP to work either. I have Powershell disabled for my users so I patched together a Remediation to apply it to the users HKU instead of HKCU as system. Tested and confirmed working.

Detection:

New-PSDrive HKU Registry HKEY_USERS | out-null
$user = get-wmiobject -Class Win32_Computersystem | select Username;
$sid = (New-Object System.Security.Principal.NTAccount($user.UserName)).Translate([System.Security.Principal.SecurityIdentifier]).value;
$key = "HKU:\$sid\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsCopilot"
$val = (Get-Item "HKU:\$sid\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsCopilot");
$off = $val.GetValue("TurnOffWindowsCopilot");

if($off -ne 1)
{
    Write-Host "Not Compliant"
    Exit 1
}
else
{
    Write-Host "Compliant"
    Exit 0
}  

Remediation:

        New-PSDrive HKU Registry HKEY_USERS | out-null
        $user = get-wmiobject -Class Win32_Computersystem | select Username;
        $sid = (New-Object System.Security.Principal.NTAccount($user.UserName)).Translate([System.Security.Principal.SecurityIdentifier]).value;
        New-Item -Path HKU:\$sid\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows -Name WindowsCopilot -Force
        $key = "HKU:\$sid\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsCopilot"
        $val = (Get-Item "HKU:\$sid\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsCopilot") | out-null
        $reg = Get-Itemproperty -Path $key -Name TurnOffWindowsCopilot -erroraction 'silentlycontinue'
        if(-not($reg))
        	{
        		Write-Host "Registry key didn't exist, creating it now"
                        New-Itemproperty -path $Key -name "TurnOffWindowsCopilot" -value "1"  -PropertyType "dword" | out-null
        		exit 1
        	} 
        else
        	{
         		Write-Host "Registry key changed to 1"
        		Set-ItemProperty  -path $key -name "TurnOffWindowsCopilot" -value "1" | out-null
        		Exit 0  
            	}

 

How to disable every version of copilot?
byu/davidS2525 insysadmin

How to Enable or Disable Storage Sense in Windows 10 & 11

Microsoft will now conveniently delete your files without your knowledge or consent!  How typical of the bastards.

Storage Sense is installed by default with Windows 11, and added to Windows 10 with recent updates.  It can be disabled by going to Control Panel -> Storage and setting it to disabled, or using the following Reg command:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\StorageSense\Parameters\StoragePolicy]
“01”=dword:00000000

It’s a constant fight. 🙁

Source: How to Enable or Disable Storage Sense in Windows 10 & 11 – MajorGeeks

Crap in Windows 10 (probably 11 too)

Another list of shit you can delete from Windows!   Yea!

Source: Crap in Windows 10 (probably 11 too)

Great apps here

Some great windows privacy apps here at Belim’s site including BloatyNosy.

Source: All apps

Video on Youtube

Linux P2V With DD and VHDTool – EASY and CHEAP!

Reprint from avatar of johnkelbley


So I’ve been busy the last two week getting ready for TechEd (WAHOO!) where I’m co-presenting two sessions this year.  One of the sessions is all about Linux on Hyper-V.

To get ready, I’ve been working though lots of the common operational tasks including (as you know P2V) migrations.

I mentioned to my buddy Alexander Lash (my partner in crime at TechEd 2008 where we presented a great session on Hyper-V Scripting) all the challenges of Linux P2V migrations, and he mentioned an easy way to do it using DD and VHDTool.

  • DD is common UNIX / Linux command that is commonly used for capturing disk images to a file.
  • VHDTool is a Windows tool for manipulating VHDs (including the nearly instantaneous creation of HUGE VHDS!).

What I didn’t know was that VHDTool can quickly alter a binary disk image file (like those created by DD) and turn it into a VHD for Hyper-V!

I put DD / VHDTool to the test a couple of different ways this week, and wanted to share some results with you.  Note that using DD and VHDTool ARE NOT SUPPORTED by Microsoft (but they seem to work pretty well, and the price is right!).

DD on Windowsimage

My first run through was to take an existing Linux hard drive out of a system (using of course, Hanna Montanna Linux) and plugging it into one of my Hyper-V servers.

I ran a Windows version of DD against the disk and created a binary image file of the system.

image

One trick with the Windows version if DD is finding the right disk.  It has a nice option to list all the drives on a system (see picture).

Getting the drive ID right is important (slashes and all), or the process wont work.

The actual command line I used to “suck the brain” out of the Linux system was pretty simple:

dd if=\\?\Device\Harddisk1\DR2 of=C:\Hanna.img bs=1M –progress

It took quite some time to copy the entire disk (empty space and all) to a new 80ish GB file, but once it was done creating the image, it took just a minute to get the VM up and running.

I moved the image file to a better location and ran VHDtool to “convert” the image:

 VHDTool /convert c:\Hanna.imgimage

I also renamed it to a .VHD (Hyper-V only likes to define VMs using storage files named .VHD) and then defined my VM (using the converted image file).

The VM started right up, noticing the changes to hardware (no longer having a sound card, for instance), and worked like a champ for me.

DD on Linuximage Direct to NTFS

I tried capturing an image of the same Linux system using DD on Linux.  I Ran DD on the Linux system, and wrote the binary image file to an attached (NTFS formatted) USB drive.

When DD was done, I plugged the USB drive into my Hyper-V host, copied over the file, ran VHDTool, and again success!

NOTE that most commercial Linux distribution DO NOT support reading / writing NTFS formatted disks, making this type of image capture (direct to USB) impractical.
imageStill, it was pretty awesome that it worked.

DD on Linux Over the Network

As I mentioned, not being able to access a common file system (like NTFS) on a USB drive from common, commercial Linux distributions is a blocker for the last process I showed.  Yes I could have tried all sorts of other file systems, but I figured I should skip all the disk swapping that I had been doing and just use the network instead.

imageI got some more help from “Mr. Z” (mentioned in my earlier “Linux P2V The Hard Way”  post).  He rattled off the command line over the phone to mount a remote CIFS share so I could dump the output of DD directly on my Hyper-V host – saving a step.

On the Linux system I mounted my share:

mount –t cifs –o username=administrator //192.168.0.10/D$ /mnt

Then I ran DD:image

dd if=/dev/sda of=/mnt/rhel54.img

Once it was done, I ran VHDTool and renamed the .IMG file to .VHD, defined the VM and was all set again to start my VM.

I was of course using SELinux and now (because I did this nutty P2V) was have all sorts of consistency “opportunities”  in my VM.  I had to repair my file system, reconfigure the X Server, add the Linux Integration Services (ISs – actually cheated and added them to physical server first!),  but after that and a reboot the VM was online.

The Fine Print

Here are a few thoughts on the process, after the fact.
Firstly, this process HAS ZERO SUPPORT FROM ANYONE!  The process will vary somewhat based on your installation and distribution (security options, file systems, other).

DD – Size Matters

The biggest drawback to this process is the HUGE files that DD creates that must be consumed by VHDTool.  Using PlateSpin, Tar, or another file-based process skips all the blank space on the disk.  Still, the process is pretty simple and works reliably for me.

VHDTool – Size Matters in Different Way

VHDTool can sometimes “wrap” your binary image with information that Linux may not 100% understand.  For instance, I ran it against a 320GB image I captured.  Everything seemed to go well, and the VM booted, but the file system wouldn’t mount.  Apparently “the disk” (VHD) was reporting a size of 127GB, while the file system was 300+GB (300 pounds of data in a 127 pound bag?), and the operating system took exception to this.

The process worked for me (above) in each case because the source disk (binary image) was smaller than 127GB.  I’ll touch base with the developer folks and see if they know anything about that.

Let  me know what you think of this post, as well as your thoughts for additional posts.

-John

Continue reading

Facebook insists on pushing Pedophilia on us

Clearly, Mark Zuckerberg is a pervert and a obvious child porn lover.

I’ve asked multiple times. Put in numerous feedbacks. Blocked or Hidden the Reels so many times, yet the more I do, the worse Facebook gets with exposing me to soft core/child pornography.

Please stop Facebook. Please stop.

Sick, dirty fscks.

Source: Facebook