"> Monday Archives - Engr Kabir Saleh

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Memory-Lane Monday: I guess it’s not stealing when you’re paying for your own

It’s back in the day when Wi-Fi was relatively new, and pilot fish is visiting relatives over the holidays when his brother-in-law begins grousing about lousy internet performance.

“A friend had set up a wireless access point for him,” says fish. “But he neglected to provide important information like the administrator password so a poor slob like me who came later might be able to take a look and diagnose anything.

“After a reset of the access point and a reconfiguration of the laptop, we came to find that my brother-in-law had never actually connected to the access point in his own house. He had instead been connecting to an unsecured network that one of the neighbors had been broadcasting.

“Turns out he had paid for a cable modem for two years that he never actually connected to.”

It’s back in the day when Wi-Fi was relatively new, and pilot fish is visiting relatives over the holidays when his brother-in-law begins grousing about lousy internet performance.

“A friend had set up a wireless access point for him,” says fish. “But he neglected to provide important information like the administrator password so a poor slob like me who came later might be able to take a look and diagnose anything.

“After a reset of the access point and a reconfiguration of the laptop, we came to find that my brother-in-law had never actually connected to the access point in his own house. He had instead been connecting to an unsecured network that one of the neighbors had been broadcasting.

“Turns out he had paid for a cable modem for two years that he never actually connected to.”

Get connected to Sharky. Send me your true tales of IT life at [email protected]. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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Memory-Lane Monday: Sometimes these things just slip our minds

User stomps up to the cubicle of this pilot fish tech who’s responsible for backups and snaps, “You need to restore my spreadsheet!”

“Normally,” says fish, “people start a conversation with hello, but I let that go.”

Fish asks user where she stores the spreadsheet. “On my laptop.”

I’m sorry, fish tells her, but we don’t back up laptops. Anything important should be kept on a server.

“No, you don’t understand,” user says. “I need that spreadsheet!”

Fish is about to lose his cool, so he tells uers to speak with his manager, sitting in the cube across the aisle.

At the manager’s cube, user humbly knocks. “Hi, Fred,” she says. “I need to get my spreadsheet back.”

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4 eLearning deals you can get for 60% off this Cyber Monday

Finishing school doesn’t mean you’ll never have an opportunity to learn something new. The internet has countless resources that will teach you new, valuable skills from the comfort of your home. In fact, we have four deals on eLearning bundles and subscriptions that you can get for 60% off this Cyber Monday using code CMSAVE60 at checkout.

Complete Project & Quality Management Certification Bundle

An effective project manager uses their skills and knowledge to ensure their team runs efficiently. In this bundle, you’ll find 8 courses on project management methodologies such as Scrum and Six Sigma that will ensure your teams run at optimal efficiency, whether it’s in IT or software development. 

MSRP: $1,170

Sale Price: $39.99

Price with CMSAVE60: $16

Graphic Design + Adobe CC Certification School

Graphic designers can’t succeed unless they’ve mastered Adobe’s industry-standard apps. This bundle features 3 courses on Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop, which you can use to create anything from newsletters to special effects for print and digital publication.

MSRP: $1,197

Sale Price: $39

Price with CMSAVE60: $15.60

School of Game Design: Lifetime Membership

Today’s video game market has an immense variety of genres and sub-genres ranging from 2D sidescrollers to graphically intense open-world RPGs, but all game designers need to learn the basics before creating their first game. This course will guide you through coding, 2D and 3D modeling and animating using tools like Unity3D. 

MSRP: $5,990

Sale Price: $59

Price with CMSAVE60: $23.60

StackSkills Unlimited: Lifetime Access

If you’re looking for a never-ending source of knowledge, nothing beats StackSkills Unlimited. With a lifetime membership, you’ll have access to over 1,000 courses on everything from iOS development to graphic design. Best of all, new courses are added monthly, so you’ll never run out of new skills to learn.

MSRP: $1,495

Sale Price: $59

Price with CMSAVE60: $23.60

Prices subject to change

Don’t wait for Black Friday—you can get these top-sellers at deep discounts today!

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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10 Awesome Cyber Monday Deals That You Should Check Out (up to 94% off)

It’s that time of the year again. If you skipped Black Friday there’s still Cyber Monday.

And there are tools and resources out there that you’ll find only once a year at this great price. We’ve gathered the best of them in this article.

Bookmarking this page isn’t a solution. Don’t let a slow decision ruin your chance of getting these products or resources at a discounted rate. Act fast and don’t let them slip by.


1. Brizy Cloud Website Builder

In addition to the Cyber Monday savings you could realize, Brizy has lots of free stuff to offer as well, including the website builder itself. This premium product enables designers to create multipage websites fast, easily, and efficiently. Thanks to the 150+ customizable layouts and more than 700 design blocks that come with the package, coding is not necessary.

There is a small catch. You should sign up for a free account to be able to save what you build. You have full control over what you build and how your websites and those of your clients will appear on responsive devices.

Where does the Cyber Monday deal come in? Aside from the Free Forever plan, there are two annual paid plans (Personal and Studio). These are very affordable plans that have much more to offer than the free plan and can be yours at a 40% discount if you order 2 December or 3 December. You might check out Brizy before that date to see if a paid plan is the preferred choice for you. Use discount code CM40OFF.



2. Smart Slider 3 Pro

Smart Slider Pro 3 features a free plan and three paid plans (Single Domain, Business, and Unlimited). Give it a test drive for free. Yes, you can demo it for free. And if you like it, you can buy one of the paid plans at a discount until December 3.

Smart Slider 3 Free allows you to build beautiful responsive sliders. The paid plans provide additional special effects such as parallax animation and the popular Ken Burns effect.

You won’t get bogged down with extraneous features you have no use for. There are two different editing modes (content and canvas) to work with. In the content mode the slide acts as a page builder, in the canvas mode you can work with layers unobstructed.

Features include 180+ sample sliders (one click installation), a layer animation builder, and an astonishing array of animations and special effects. Any of the pro plans can be yours at a Cyber Monday discount of 40%. Use code SAVE4019.



3. Paymo

Paymo is a work management software application teams can use to plan their workflow, track time, and invoice clients. Having all these functions managed by a single app ensures that everything is kept in sync. Project managers will know exactly how much time (including billable hours) is spent on each task, making it easy to send accurate reports and charge clients correctly and fairly.

Paymo integrates with Adobe to allow you to track work time directly on Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Premier.

Live, up-to-date reports can be generated for sharing with team members and project stakeholders. Paymo also helps team management with task planning, tracking expenses, performing leave management tasks, and more. Other important features include Gantt charting, Kanban Boards, and a resource scheduler.

Upon subscribing, use code GVX233 for a 30% Paymo discount.



4. TheGem – Creative Multi-Purpose High-Performance WordPress Theme

TheGem is a bold and beautiful WordPress theme that is regarded by many, including its 40K satisfied customers, as featuring the most complete designer’s toolkit of any theme on the market. WPBakery ensures easy and intuitive front-end page editing, plus more than 90 pre-built complete websites, installable with one click, allows you to get off to a quick start.

Premade templates and design elements are easily combinable. This premier theme is yours at a 50% discount Cyber Monday.



5. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder is drag and drop website building plugin that enables you to separate page building from your theme, giving you total control over your content. Beaver Builder works with any theme, and you can even switch themes without any loss of content. 30+ landing pages come with the package, no coding is necessary, and Beaver Builder is SEO friendly and mobile responsive. No discount code is required. The 25% discount is automatically applied during checkout from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.



6. Kalium

Kalium is a superior choice for beginners and advanced WordPress users alike. It is easy to use and easy to maintain, it includes several of the most popular WordPress plugins, and it supports all the better known ones. This creative multipurpose theme is an award winning top seller. It’s trusted by 30,000+ clients and provides top customer support.

Normally selling for $60, Kalium can be yours Cyber Monday for $30; a 50% discount and a great deal.



7. Mobirise Website Builder

Mobirise is an offline website building app for Windows and Mac that features an extremely easy to use interface. It’s mobile friendly, it’s free for both commercial and non-profit use, and you can build fast, responsive, Google-friendly websites in minutes. Mobirise’s Website Builder Kit, normally priced at $2,654, features all premium themes, 200+ blocks, and 66 Mobirise themes and extensions.

On Monday you can purchase this all-in-one Kit for $149, a whopping 94% discount!



8. Simple Author Box

The Simple Author Box plugin’s features give you the ability to add guest authors and multiple authors to your posts, add links to author’s social networks, and select specific post types where you want your author box to show up. Simple Author Box is Gutenberg block compatible.

Although a free version is available, signing up for a subscription plan is recommended. The Cyber Monday offer of a 30% discount on all lifetime licenses is valid until 4 December.



9. MyThemeShop

This is for the designer who wants to be able to choose among a huge variety of premium themes, domain licenses, plugins, and memberships in conversion tracking, user behavior, and social media platform tool usage and more.

For Cyber Monday, MyThemeShop’s annual fee is discounted to $99.47. This Cyber Monday special is valid from 1 December to 7 December.



10. WordLift

As you write content, WordLift is busy adding semantic markups to feed to search engine crawlers with the intent of helping you reach a broader audience. This semantic SEO tool uses natural language processing, analyzes content, and transforms any text into machine-friendly content.

A quality SEO tool like WordLift makes a great investment as it produces greatly superior results as compared to attempting to create SEO friendly content on your own. Cyber Monday features a 50% discount on your first subscription.




Cyber Monday will fall on the 2nd of December you can witness some of the biggest online deals of the year on tech-related items. Many of these deals are available in physical stores as well. However, online shopping is generally much more convenient, especially if all you have to do is confirm your order and perhaps press “Download”. As far as comparisons with Black Friday are concerned, Cyber Monday discounts are at least as large, and often larger.


[– This is a sponsored post on behalf of BeTheme –]

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Memory-Lane Monday: Please tell me his name wasn’t Jones

Pilot fish and his help desk colleagues do a lot of password resets and have learned that it’s best to sympathize with the callers and normalize forgetting those strings of letters, numbers and symbols. It can happen to anybody is the message.

But some forgetfulness is more normal than others, finds fish, who told one user, “I’m going to reset your password to your last name, with the first letter capitalized.”

Reports fish: “He said, ‘Wait a minute. Let me get a pencil and paper to write that down.

“I then spelled his last name for him and reminded him to capitalize the first letter. He thanked me and hung up the phone.

“Surreal doesn’t even begin to describe how this felt!”

If you want to send me your true tales of IT life, that’s “Sharky” with a Y. Send them to me at [email protected]. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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Memory-Lane Monday: We’re monitoring the situation

It’s several years ago, when monitors have just started to arrive at this pilot fish’s company with a new feature: They automatically turn off the screen after 15 minutes of nothing happening.

“All you had to do was press a key to get the screen to come back on,” says fish. “But one middle manager left work one day with his monitor on. In the morning he came in and, thinking it was off, flipped the little rocker switch.

“That really did turn the monitor off. When it didn’t light up in a minute, he called me to ‘repair’ it.

“The third time this happened, I figured out what was going on and explained that if it did not come on in a few seconds, he should flip the switch again.

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Memory-Lane Monday: Write once, use never

It’s the early aughts, and IT department trainee gets the task of sorting through a pile of unlabeled recordable DVDs, reports the pilot fish who assigned him to the job.
“I asked him to check the DVDs one by one, discard obsolete data, sort blank media and label the rest of them according to their contents,” fish says.

 trainee, permanent marker in hand, disappears. Two days later, he dumps two piles of media sitting on fish’s desk. One of them is DVDs nicely labeled with content description, date and number, using rather good handwriting.

“The other pile,” sighs fish, “was also labeled with permanent marker — 30 DVDs with ‘BLANK’ written on every single one of them.

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Memory-Lane Monday: For once, credit where it’s due

Pilot fish gets a job at an electronic cash register company, where he’s been assigned to put parts in little plastic bags for the people who solder the circuit boards. He applied to be a programming intern, but HR said he wasn’t qualified.

Fish is good at his assigned job, but bored. Especially on Friday afternoons.

“The computer we used in the parts cage had to run weekly inventory reports,” explains fish. “The reports took about four hours to run every Friday, and pretty much shut the parts cage down because we were not allowed to kit components without first entering them into the computer, and the PDP-11 couldn’t multitask.”

But why should one report take all afternoon? Fish talks his boss into letting him look at the inventory software — which, it turns out, is written in interpreted Basic.

Fish inserts a few “got here at HH:MM:SS” debug lines to tell him how the run is progressing, and he quickly determines that, for all but five minutes of the four-hour run, the program is re-sorting the transaction history file. And with tens of thousands of records, the bubble-sort algorithm that the program uses is, well, slow. A few dozen lines of code later, fish has implemented a more elegant sort.

“That Friday, when my boss kicked off the usual report at noon, the printer started dumping the report at 12:10 instead of approximately 4 p.m.,” fish says.

Her first thought is that fish broke the inventory software, but after she goes over the report and realizes it’s correct, she starts to show real gratitude.

First, she gives fish a big hug and congratulations. Then boss walks him down to management row, where she gives fish full credit for his initiative and success in fixing the program — being sure to note that the manufacturing line will no longer have a partial shutdown on Fridays.

Then she tells the big bosses that, while she’ll be sad to see fish leave her department, he belongs in software development.

Finally, she explains the real reason she has come to management row: Fish has just earned a bonus that’s larger than she’s authorized to grant.

“The best part of the day, I think, was getting escorted to HR,” says fish, “and having the same woman who said I wasn’t qualified to be a programmer cut me a big fat check that was no doubt more than she made all summer, and doing the paperwork that put me into firmware development, with my own office.”

Sharky loves a happy ending. Be they happy or not, send me your true tale of IT life at [email protected]. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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It’s the Monday before Patch Tuesday – make sure Windows Auto Update is off

If you haven’t patched your machine since May, you’re in harm’s way and need to get your BlueKeep inoculation right away.

For most other people – those who aren’t guarding state secrets or recalculating the national debt in real time – it’s smart to hold off on Windows and Office patches for a couple of weeks to see what turns belly up. I call it crowd-sourced bug hunting, and describe it in “The case against knee-jerk installation of Windows patches.”

Yes, there are exceptions. Occasionally, a patch appears that requires an immediate response from “normal” users. But those cases are far from common, and they’re getting less common as time rolls by. If an immediate threat raises its ugly head, you’ll hear about it here at Computerworld. If a bug plagues a new patch, as they so often do, you’ll hear about that, too.

It’s time to make sure Windows Automatic Update is turned off. Temporarily.

Blocking automatic update on Win7 and 8.1

If you haven’t recently patched Windows XP, Vista, Win7, Server 2003, 2008, or 2008 R2 systems, drop everything and get patched now. Once you’ve installed the BlueKeep patches, come back here and turn automatic update off. (No need to bother with XP and Vista; they aren’t getting automatically updated anyway.)

If you’re using Windows 7 or 8.1, click Start > Control Panel > System and Security. Under Windows Update, click the “Turn automatic updating on or off” link. Click the “Change Settings” link on the left. Verify that you have Important Updates set to “Never check for updates (not recommended)” and click OK.

Blocking automatic update on Win10 Pro 1803 or 1809

If you’re on Win10 Pro version 1803, you have three options: Stick with version 1803 a while longer; upgrade to version 1809; or jump the shark and go for 1903. I have details on the options, what they entail, and how to pursue them here in “Is Windows pushing you to upgrade? Don’t be bullied. There’s a middle path.”

If you’re using Win10 Pro version 1809, or if you’re on 1803 and want to stay there a bit longer, I recommend delaying Automatic Updates for at least 15 days.

Step 1. Using an administrative account, click Start > Settings > Update & Security. 

Step 2. On the left, choose Windows Update. On the right, click the link for Advanced options. If you’re using Win10 version 1803 or 1809, you see the settings in the screenshot. 

1809 sac 365 15 large Microsoft

Advanced options for Automatic Updates in WIndows 10 1803 or 1809.

Step 3. The first box – “Semi-Annual Channel” – is no longer recognized by Microsoft. It’s changed the terminology over and over again. In our newly-redefined update world, choosing “Semi-Annual Channel” adds 60 days to the “feature update” setting discussed in the next step. I recommend that you nod, wink and, in the first box, choose Semi-Annual Channel.

Step 4. To further delay new versions until they’ve been minimally tested, roll the “feature update” deferral setting all the way up to 365 days. That tells the Windows Updater (unless Microsoft makes another “mistake,” as it has numerous times in the past) that it should wait until 425 days after a new version is released (60 days for Semi-Annual Channel + 365 days deferral) before upgrading and re-installing Windows on your machine.

Of course, nobody expects Microsoft to keep its mitts off your 1803 machine until Jan. 12, 2020 (calculated using the version 1809 release date + 425 days) or refrain from upgrading your 1809 machine until July 19, 2020 (calculated using the version 1903 release date + 425 days): Even though those settings appear here, Microsoft is sure to ignore them and blast you onto the next version, somehow, at some point. We just don’t know how or when quite yet. Stay tuned.

If you’d like to block 1903 for the foreseeable future, follow the instructions in, “How to block the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, version 1903, from installing.”

Step 5. To delay cumulative updates, set the “quality update” deferral to 15 days or so. (“Quality update” = cumulative update = bug fix.) In my experience, Microsoft usually yanks bad Win10 cumulative updates within a couple of weeks of their initial release. By setting this to 10 or 15 or 20 days, Win10 will update itself after the major screams of pain have subsided and (with some luck) the bad cumulative updates have been pulled or re-issued. Notably, in February 2019, it took Microsoft 18 days to fix its first-Tuesday bugs.

Step 6. Just “X” out of the settings pane. You don’t need to explicitly save anything.

Step 7. Don’t click Check for updates. Ever.

If there are any real howlers – months where the cumulative updates were irretrievably bad, and never got any better, as they were in July 2018 – we’ll let you know, loud and clear. 

Tired old approach for Win10 Home 1803 and 1809

If you have Win10 Home, version 1803 or 1809, your only reasonable option (other than installing a third-party patch blocker) is to set your internet connection to “metered.” Metered connections are an update-blocking kludge that seems to work to fend off cumulative updates, but as best I can tell still doesn’t have Microsoft’s official endorsement as a cumulative update prophylactic. Worryingly, there are some reports that Microsoft is pushing some 1903 upgrades even if they go over metered connections.

To set your Ethernet connection as metered: Click Start > Settings > Network & Internet. On the left, choose Ethernet. On the right, click on your Ethernet connection. Then move the slider for Metered connection to On.

To set your Wi-Fi connection as metered: Click Start > Settings > Network & Internet. On the left, choose Wi-Fi. On the right, click on your Wi-Fi connection. Move the slider for Metered connection to On.

If you set your internet connection to metered, you need to watch closely as the month unfolds, and judge when it’s safe to let the demons in the door. At that point, turn “metered” off, and just let your machine update itself. Don’t click Check for updates.

And then there’s Win10 version 1903

If you’re running Win10 version 1903, you’re entering uncharted water. We’ve heard lots of promises about the new updating regimen, but haven’t been through enough update cycles to know exactly what’s going to happen. The recent announcement that Win10 1909 will act like a cumulative update, but rate as a version change/Service Pack in some undefined sense just adds to the confusion.

If you’re using Win10 1903 Home, we still don’t have enough experience – or reliable documentation – to say for sure, but it seems to be a good idea to both set your connection to metered (as discussed in the preceding section) and to click Pause updates twice on the Windows Update page – for a total of 14 paused days. Historically, that’s been sufficient to avoid the worst problems.

If you’re using Win10 1903 Pro, and you haven’t yet set feature update or cumulative update deferrals, the instructions for setting them are the same as those for setting Win10 1803 or 1809 deferrals, as explained earlier. On the other hand, if you have set deferrals for either, the “Choose when updates are installed” deferral piece of the Advanced Options pane disappears

If you can see “Choose when updates are installed,” I suggest you defer feature updates for 365 days, although with Win10 “19H2” still a great unknown, it’s hard to guess how or if this setting will come into play. I also suggest you defer quality updates (cumulative updates) by 15 days. You won’t be able to see those settings once they’ve been changed unless you dive into the registry, but it looks like they “stick” even if you can’t see them.

Maybe Microsoft will get its patching act together before 1909 becomes a reality. Or maybe not.

We’re at MS-DEFCON 2 on AskWoody.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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Memory-Lane Monday: Hard copy | Computerworld

New guy on this IT team about a decade ago heads to a site two and a half hours away where he’s urgently needed to diagnose a failed server, reports a pilot fish at HQ.

But he’s back in half an hour with a problem: His satellite navigation system has failed.

“We got a road atlas and printed detailed instructions on how to get to the site and sent him out on his way again,” says fish.

But the guy can’t read maps. “An hour and a half later we got a call from him saying the instructions were no good. We asked him where he was.” They work out that he headed north, exactly opposite of the direction he should have taken, so he’s now four hours away from the site he’s suppose to be heading toward.

“We sent him back home,” says fish. “When he arrives back in the office tomorrow, we’ll be teaching him how to use the antique skill of reading maps — just in case his satellite navigation system fails again.”

To which Sharky can only say, aren’t you over-confident that he’s going to make it home?

The fastest route to the Shark Tank is this one: [email protected]. Take it to email me your true tale of IT life. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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