Posts Tagged ‘version’

Play the Dangerous Dave old arcade classic on iPhone, iPad and Android Smartphone – Dangerous Dave 1990’s computer arcade classic Mario like game phone Application

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Dangerous_Dave_1990-entry-game-screen-computer-mario-like-game

I still remember the good old times with my 16 Bit Desktop Personal Computer Parvetz 8086 CPU where one of the most favourite games I used to play a computer substitute for Mario for DOS operation system was Dangerous Dave 2 (DDAVE.EXE) an arcade game classic game from the distant year 1990 authored by a whiz kid which later become world famous Computer game Programmer John Romero mostly known for being a cofounder of Game creation comppany ID Software  which authored the 3D Shooter genesis classics such as Wolfenstein 3D, Spear of Destiny, DOOM I and DOOM II HeXen I / II, QUAKE I,  QUAKE II, QUAKE II as well as some absolute arcade classics as Commander Keen 4 🙂

As John Romero shared himsef the game is actually inspired by Super Mario Bros so he decided to create a kinda of computer remake of the game in his teenage years and he did a great job yeah 🙂

There are similarities between Super Mario and Dangerous Dave as both have  the secret levels, the level design, the monsters, and the jump all around collecting cups with a final aim to end up in the level exit door.

The game was originally developed for Apple II and later reworked and ported to DOS and because of it is immerse popularity Dave 2, 3 and 4 come out short

The game is really awesome and worths all praise, I was nicely surprised to find out Dangerous Dave amazing game is available for Iphone 5, 5S and Iphone 6 right into Appstore

Here is the awesome Dangerous DAVE Iphone port description:

"Dave is a redneck on a rampage to reclaim his stolen trophies from the town bully, Clyde! Dangerous Dave is back in his classic adventure in the Deserted Pirate's Hideout. This recreation of the original 1990 DOS game is just as action-packed and difficult as the original! There are only 10 levels, but, wow, are they hard. "

Dangerous_Dave-level-2-computer-Mario-like-old-arcade-game-classic

I have to say the game controls are pretty much amazing and the game controls even though reimplemented on the Iphone touch screen device are truly amazing so gameplay resembles pretty much the Computer original game keyboard controls and in a sense the touch screen controls are a little bit more convenient.

The iOS Dave port is pretty nice and updated version is also available which is possible to be chosen on Game entry screen so you either play classic mode or you play the Dave in the Deserted pirated hideout updated version and sound Dave remake, below is a screenshot of the updated GUI version:

Dangerous_Dave-in-the-deserted-pirate-hideout-updated-dave-gui-mario-like-computer-arcade-classic-game

Dave in the deserted pirate hideout Updated GUI shot by Alfonso Romero – level 1

Dangerous_Dave_mario-like-computer-classic-arcade-jump-and-run-ios-dave-in-the-deserted-pirates-hideout

Dave in the deserted pirate hideout Updated GUI shot by Alfonso Romero – level 2

Dangerous_Dave_Computer_like_Mario-high-level-computer-classic-arcade==

Actually Dangerous Dave is also available for Android Smartphone devices even though the controllers suck a lot compared to the Iphone version if you happen to own an Android OS phone check here 

For those who don't own an Iphone or Android SmartPhone (lucky you) you can also play Dangerous Dave online via DOSBox Web emulation from this URL

Dangerous_Dave-computer-classic-game-now-for-iphone-level5-screenshot

For those who prefer to play Dangerous Dave as a standalone desktop application as in the good old times on Windows 7 / 8, 8.1 and Windows 10 both on 32 and 64 bits platform you can download it (as of moment of writting article) from here

A mirrored version of Dangerous Dave for Windows 7/8/10 on pc-freak.net in case if it disappears in future check here.

Our generation people born in 1983-1986 who are now about 33 years old has grown up with this game and I'm pretty sure if you happen to be one of those people will truly enjoy to replay the quick 10 game levels and remind the fuzzy computer arcade games age when every growing kid like me was obsessed with the idea to play and complete as much as games possible with countless nights in front of the Green and Black screen and later on SVGA screens geeking on and on loosing idea of time and space and being completely sunk by the game.

Dangerous_Dave_Level-9-classic-old-school-arcade-mario-like-game

Happy gaming ! 🙂

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Enable TLS 1.2 Internet Explorer / Make TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 web sites work on IE howto

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Internet-Explorer-cannot-display-the-webpage-IE-error
 

Some corporate websites and web tools especially one in DMZ-ed internal corporation networks require an encryption of TLS 1.2 (Transport Layer of Security cryptographic protocol)   TLS 1.1 protocol   both of which are already insecure (prone to vulnerabilities).

Besides the TLS 1.2 browser requirements some corporate tool web interfaces like Firewall Opening request tools etc. are often are very limited in browser compitability and built to only work with certain versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer like leys say IE (Internet Explorer) 11.

TLS 1.2 is supported across IE 8, 9, 10 and 11, so sooner or later you might be forced to reconfigure your Internet Explorer to have enabled the disabled by OS install TLS 1.2 / 1.1.

For those unaware of what TLS (Transport Layer of Security) protocol is so to say the next generation encryption protocol after SSL (Secure Socket Layer) also both TLS and SSL terms are being inter-exchangably used when referring with encrypting traffic between point (host / device etc.) A and B by using a key and a specific cryptographic algorithm.
TLS is usually more used historically in Mail Servers, even though as I said some web tools are starting to use TLS as a substitute for the SSL certificate browser encryption or even in conjunction with it.
For those who want to dig a little bit further into What is TLS? – read on technet here.

I had to enable TLS on IE and I guess sooner others will need a way to enable TLS 1.2 on Internet Explorer, so here is how this is done:
 

Enable-Internet-Explorer-TLS1.2-TLS-1.1-internet-options-IE-screensho
 


    1. On the Internet Explorer Main Menu (press Alt + F to make menu field appear)
    Select Tools > Internet Options.

    2. In the Internet Options box, select the Advanced tab.

    3. In the Security category, uncheck Use SSL 3.0 (if necessery) and Check the ticks:

    Use TLS 1.0,
    Use TLS 1.1 and Use TLS 1.2 (if available).

    4. Click OK
   
     5. Finally Exit browser and start again IE.

 

Once browser is relaunched, the website URL that earlier used to be showing Internet Explorer cannot display the webpagre can't connect / missing website error message will start opening normally.

Note that TLS 1.2 and 1.1 is not supported in Mozilla Firefox older browser releases though it is supported properly in current latest FF releases >=4.2.

If you  have fresh new 4.2 Firefox browser and you want to make sure it is really supporting TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 encrpytion:

 

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button promising to be careful.

(2) In the search box above the list, type or paste TLS and pause while the list is filtered

(3) If the security.tls.version.max preference is bolded and "user set" to a value other than 3, right-click > Reset the preference to restore the default value of 3

(4) If the security.tls.version.min preference is bolded and "user set" to a value other than 1, right-click > Reset the preference to restore the default value of 1

The values for these preferences mean:

1 => TLS 1.0 2 => TLS 1.1 3 => TLS 1.2


To get a more concrete and thorough information on the exact TLS / SSL cryptography cipher suits and protocol details supported by your browser check this link


N.B. ! TLS is by default disabled in many latest version browsers such as Opera, Safari etc.  in order to address the POODLE SSL / TLS cryptographic protocol vulnerability


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How to install Winrar on Mac OS X on Console and Graphical Interface – IZIP and Keka Free archivers short review

Friday, February 19th, 2016

howto-install-winrar-free-gui-program-for-mac-osx-notebook-pc

If you're looking for just Mac OS X, console version of rar and unrar then standard WinRar website binaries for Mac should be perfect for you.
If you're an advanced Mac OS X user with UNIX background and you've already installed Mac Ports or Brew – The Missing package manager for Mac OS X
To install WinRar on Mac (with brew) with:
 

macosx# brew install unrar


If you're using MacPorts instead:
 

macosx:/home$ sudo port install unrar


However console version isn't the best choice for my wife which is not a console ninja, so I had to look and install some oher Graphic Interface program 🙂
As I don't like using AppleStore (I can't even properly register for an Apple Store ID,as I'm required to fill in my credit card … )
Hence I looked online on some WinRar dearchiver GUIs and  found IZip which is natively a ZIP archiver but also supports .RAR Archives.
Though IZIp website give the impression IZip is a great tiny prog, once installing the .DMG downloaded from the website and installing into Applications it turned out IZip is currently crashing on the Mac Book Air with Mac OS X 10.8.5Mountain Lion

If you want a simplistic interface program you would probably want to check out UnrarX though I personally didin't liked that one because it is not properly handing UTF-8 and CP-1251 filenames written in Russian, Bulgarian Cyrillic and probably also Chineese, Viatnamese and other exotic language encodings.
After few more minutes of searching I finally got KEKA – The Free  Mac OSX file archiver.

keka_winrar-archive-unarchive-free-program-for-macosx-icon

Though the program Logo is a little scary, Keka turned to be very nice tiny, easy  to install WinRAR GUI interfaced program for Mac OS X and the installation comes to standard download and run of .DMG file and moving it to the Finder Applications.

Once installed, if you turn to have a .rar file association issues (by default in my case) files were opened with VLC. To change the file type association of a certain file on the Mac I've had to press Command (button) + I over the .rar extensioned file, e.g:

  • Command + I
  • Click to expand the “Open with” section within that files info screen
  • From the pull down menu, select the application you want to open this specific file with
  • Close the Get Info window
     

change-mac-file-association-to-rar-kaka-free-winrar-winzip-archive-dearchive-macosx

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How to check Java JAR JDBC / ODBC version on Linux / Unix and Windows server

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

how-to-check-java-jar-odbc-jdbc-version-linux-unix-windows-server
If you're forced to update some Java based Web application using Java + Tomcat / WebSphere / Weblogic it is a common thing that the Java App developer handed to you will ask you which version is the Oracle JDBC / ODBC driver on current Java Virtual Machine version installed.


Actually there are few methods to check Java JDBC / ODBC version:

1. Check Java ODBC version greeping it in  WEB-INF/MANIFEST.MF

Usually the .jar file comes archived in a .ZIP – i.e.  application-name5 .zip
 

server:~# unzip application-name5.zip

 

Then if the .zip file contains the OJDBC as a .JAR extension – (Java Archive), inflate it with jar tool.
 

server:~# jar -xvf ojdbc7.jar META-INF/MANIFEST.MF
inflated: META-INF/MANIFEST.MF

server:~# grep Implementation META-INF/MANIFEST.MF
Implementation-Vendor: Oracle Corporation
Implementation-Title: JDBC
Implementation-Version: 12.1.0.1.0

 

Alternative way to check the info (if you don't have java or jar installed on the Linux / Unix machine) is simply with unzip + grep like so:

 

server:~# unzip -p ojdbc14.jar META-INF/MANIFEST.MF | grep -C 1 version

Manifest-Version: 1.0
Implementation-Version: "Oracle JDBC Driver version – 10.1.0.5.0"
Specification-Title: "Oracle JDBC driver classes for use with JDK1.4"
Specification-Version: "Oracle JDBC Driver version – 10.1.0.5.0"
Implementation-Title: "ojdbc14.jar"

 

If you're on a Windows (and you have Windows server grep.exe installed), use instead:

 

C:\jar> unzip -p ojdbc14.jar META-INF/MANIFEST.MF | grep -C version

 


2. Getting some info with Java JRE tool

You can check some useful Java version info also just with Java Runtime Environment (java) tool
 

server:~# java -jar ojdbc5.jar

Oracle 11.1.0.7.0-Production JDBC 3.0 compiled with JDK5

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Howto install XCache Debian on GNU / Linux to accelerate Apache Webserver – XCache Best alternative to outdated PHP cacher EAccelerator

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

xcache_install-and-enable-best-alternative-php-cacher-to-eaccelerator-logo
I was using Eaccelerator until recently on all Apache / PHP / MySQL  (LAMP) web-servers as a caching engine (Webserver accelerator) across all Debian GNU / Linux Lenny / Squeeze / Etch servers.
However recently, I've noticed in phpinfo output on some of the Debian hosts, that eaccelerator was loaded but showed:

 Caching Enabled false

eaccelerator_caching_enabled_false-phpinfo-screenshot-apache-debian-linux.

 

Our servers are quite busy serving about 50 000 to 100 000 requests and thus not having enabled caching puts a lot of extra load on the CPU and eats a lot of memory which were usually saved by eAccelerator.
Logically I tried fixing the issues following some Stackoverflow threads recommendations such as this one but didn't work I tried playing manually spending hours trying to make eaccelerator run again and as a final mean, I even tried to upgrade eaccelerator to newer version but noticed the latest available eaccelerator version 0.9.6 was 2.5 years old (from 03.09.2012). Thus while there is no new release, just make s so just to make sure I didn't break the module with (default Debian bundled distribution package which is also installed on the servers)  re-installed eAccelerator from source 

This didn't worked either and since I was totally pissed off by the worsened systems performance (CPU load increased with to 10-30%) per server, I looked for some alternatives I can use and in the mean time I learned a bit more about history of PHP Accelerators, I learned some interesting things such as that  ionCube (PHPA) was the  first PHP Accelerator Apache like module (encoding PHP code),  created in 2001, later it become inspirational for  birth to PHP-APC (Alternative PHP Cache) Apache module. 
There is also Zend Opcache PHP accelerator (available since PHP 5.5 onwards)  but since Zend OpCache caches well PHP Zend written PHP code and servers run PHP 5.4 + sites are not using Zend PHP Framewosk  this was an option.
Further investigation lead me to MMCache which is already too obsolete (latest release is from 2013), PHPExpress – PHP Encoder which  was said to run on Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Mac OS X, and Solaris) but already looks dead as there were no new releases since January 2012) and finally Lighttpd's XCache.

To give you an idea on what exactly is the difference between Apache Webserver with PHP-APC Caching or other PHP Cacher enabled and the Standard way PHP Interprets PHP scripts below is a diagram:

php-apc-cache-how-php-caching-works-with-and-without-encoding-php-code-diagram

Obviously my short research shows that from all the available PHP Cache Encoder / Accelerators only ones that seemed to be recently updated (under active development) are APC and XCache.
I've already used PHP-APC earlier on some servers and was having having some random Apache Webservers crashes and weird empty pages with some PHP pages and besides that APC is known to give lower speed in PHP caching than Eaccelerator and XCache, leaving me with the only and logical choise to use XCACHE.

Here is how Xcache developers describe their opcacher:
 

XCache is a free, open source operation code cacher, it is designed to enhance the performance of PHP scripts execution on servers. It optimizes the performance by eliminating the compilation time of PHP code by caching the compiled version of code into the memory and this way the compiled version loads the PHP script directly from the memory. This will surety accelerate the page generation time by up to 5 times faster and also optimizes and increases many other aspects of php scripts and reduce website/server load.

 


Thanksfully XCache is shipped by default with all Debians (Etch /Lenny / Squeeze / Wheezy)  Linuces so to install it just run the standard apt cmd:
 

apt-get install –yes php5-xcache


Then to enable XCache all I had to do is edit /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini and place below code
 

debian-server:~# vim /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini

 

[xcache-common]
;; install as zend extension (recommended), normally "$extension_dir/xcache.so"
;;zend_extension = /usr/lib/php5/20100525/xcache.so

 

[xcache.admin]
xcache.admin.enable_auth = On
; Configure this to use admin pages
; xcache.admin.user = "mOo"
; xcache.admin.pass = md5($your_password)
; xcache.admin.pass = ""

[xcache]
; ini only settings, all the values here is default unless explained

; select low level shm/allocator scheme implemenation
xcache.shm_scheme =        "mmap"
; to disable: xcache.size=0
; to enable : xcache.size=64M etc (any size > 0) and your system mmap allows
xcache.size  =                16M
; set to cpu count (cat /proc/cpuinfo |grep -c processor)
xcache.count =                 1
; just a hash hints, you can always store count(items) > slots
xcache.slots =                8K
; ttl of the cache item, 0=forever
xcache.ttl   =                 0
; interval of gc scanning expired items, 0=no scan, other values is in seconds
xcache.gc_interval =           0
; same as aboves but for variable cache

Note that Debian location which instructs xcache to load in Apache as a module is xcache.ini – e.g. /usr/share/php5/xcache/xcache.ini, so instead of placing above configuration right into php.ini you might prefer to place it in xcache.ini (though I personally prefer php.ini) because it is easier for me to later control how PHP behaves from single location.

To test whether XCache is enabled for Apache Webserver:

Create phpinfo.php somewhere in DocumentRoot (in my case this was /var/www/php_info.php)

debian-server:~# vim /var/www/php_info.php

 

<php?
phpinfo()
?>


When you access the php_info.php in browser you will get XCache loaded as in below screenshot:

 

xcache_loaded-in-php-apache-phpinfo-output-debian-gnu-linux-server

To Test whether Xcache is enabled also for PHP CLI (applications set to run as a crontab – cronjob) :
 

debian-server:~# php -v
PHP 5.4.37-1~dotdeb.0 (cli) (built: Feb  2 2015 05:03:00)
Copyright (c) 1997-2014 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v2.4.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2014 Zend Technologies
    with XCache v3.2.0, Copyright (c) 2005-2014, by mOo
    with XCache Cacher v3.2.0, Copyright (c) 2005-2014, by mOo

 

Once it is tested as successful install you might want to enable the XCache admin (which is disabled by default), to enable XCache Admin on Debian you need to generate new password for it first like so:

 

echo -n "xcache_rulez" | md5sum
acbf5ba4a44f03058aa0ad11e0a6b645

 


Then you need to add in /etc/php5/mods-available/xcache.ini

debian-server:~# vim /etc/php5/mods-available/xcache.ini
[xcache.admin]
xcache.admin.enable_auth = On
; Configure this to use admin pages
 xcache.admin.user = "admin"
; xcache.admin.pass = md5($your_password)
 xcache.admin.pass = "change_with_above_generated_password_here"

 

To enable admin and be able to access it in a browser (if you're using as a documentroot /var/www/ and docroot supports interpretting php scripts and (has AllowOverride All) enabled to also support htaccess authentication do:
 

debian-server:~# cd /var/www/
debian-server:~# ln -sf /usr/share/xcache/htdocs/ xcache

When you access http://your-url-address.com/xcache/ you should see in browser some statistics along with all configured xcache options:

xcacher-admin-on-debian-gnu-linux-in-chrome-browser-screenshot-enable-xcacher-admin-howto

If you have time you can play with the options and get some speed minor speed improvements. The overall increase in page opening XCache should give you is between 100% – 190% !

Enjoy 🙂

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Clean slow Windows PC / Laptop from Spyware, Malware, Viruses, Worms and Trojans – Anti-Malware Program Arsenal

Monday, January 26th, 2015

clean-slow-Windows-computer-notebook-laptop-from-malware-spyware-viruses-worms-and-trojans

Malware Bytes is a great tool to clean a PC in a quick and efficient way from Malware /  Spyware that wormed while browsing infectious site on the internet.
But sometimes PCs that has to be fixed are so badly infected with Spyware, Malware and Viruses that even after running Malware Bytes on boot time, left Work or Viruses do automatically download from the Internet or have been polymorphically renamed to a newer one that escapes Malware Bytes badware database and heroistics
Such problematic PCs are usually unmaintained user PCs whose Anti-Virus procetion with Nod32 or Kaspersky licensing has long expired leaving the PC without any mean of protection / PCs with removed Firewall / AV Program (due to Virus or Malware Infection) or on Computers which were used actively to download Cracked Programs, Games – by small kids or PCs used for watching heavily Porn (by teenagers).

Here is a List of Top Iseful FreeWare anti-Malware softwares, you can use in combination with MalwareBytes to (Clean) / Fix a Windows PC that is in almost unsolvable state (and obviously needs re-install) but contains too much software either obsolete or hard (time wasting) to configure:

Below anti-malware goodies helps in “Resurrecting” even the worst infected PC, so I believe every Win Admin should know them well and in computer clubs and university Windows computer networks with Internet it is recommended to check computers at least once a year …

1. Remove Bootkits and Trojans with Kaspersky TDSSKiller

Bootkit is a rootkit which loads when Windows system boots.  To search and destroy bootkits – Download the latest official version of Kaspersky TDSSKiller.

remove-bootkits-and-trojans-with-kaspersky-tdsskiller-screenshot-anti-malware

KASPERSKY TDSSKILLER DOWNLOAD LINK Run Kaspersky (after changing parameters  – enable Detect TDLFS file system) and remove any found infections

2. Download and use latest official version of RKill to terminate any malicious processes running in background

rkill-terminate-any-malicious-spyware-malware-processes-running-in-background-rkill-logo

Please note that you will have to rename version of RKILL so that malicious software won’t block this utility from running. (link will automatically download RKILL renamed as iExplore.exe)
Double click on iExplore.exe to start RKill and stop any processes associated with Luhe.Sirefef.A.

rkill-terminate-trojan-spyware-processes-windows-xp-7-screenshot

RKill will now start working in the background, please be patient while the program looks for any malicious process and tries to end them.
When the Rkill utility has completed its task, it will generate a log.

Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.

When the Rkill utility has completed its task, it will generate a log. Do not reboot computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.

3. Clean (any remaining) malware from your computer with HitmanPro

clean-remaining-malware-from-computer-with-hitmanpro-scanning-screenshot

HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK is here

My Mirror of HitmanPro 3.7 (32 bit) Windows version is here
My Mirror of HitmanPro 3.7 (64 bit) Windows version is here

Because HitmanPro is unfortunately proprietary software, when you run a scan on the computer “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files found on your computer.

4. Remove Windows adware with AdwCleaner

The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer and web browser for the malicious files, browser extensions and registry keys, that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.

adwcleaner-clean-remove-delete-adware-with-AdwCleaner-found-malware-screenshot

Here isAdwCleaner utility ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK 
My Download AdwCleaner 4.109 is here

Note that before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers. After finishing scan AdwCleaner requires a reboot (always backup cause you never know what can happen).

5. Remove any malicious registry keys added by malware with RogueKiller

remove-any-malicious-registry-keys-added-by-malware-with-RogueKiller

RogueKiller is a utility that will scan for the unwanted registry keys and any other malicious files on your computer. It is pretty much like the free software Little Registry Cleaner but it is specialised in removing common malware left junk keys.

download the latest official version of RogueKiller from the below links.

ROGUEKILLER x86 DOWNLOAD LINK (For 32-bit machines)
ROGUEKILLER x64 DOWNLOAD LINK (For 64-bit machines)

Download Mirror link of Roguekiller X86 is here
Download Mirror link of Roguekiller X64 is here

Wait for the Prescan to complete.This should take only a few seconds,  then click on the “Scan” button to perform a system scan. After scan complete delete any found hax0r malicious registries

6. Purge any leftover infections on your computer with Emsisoft Anti-Malware

purge-any-left-over-infections-on-your-computer-with-EmsiSoft-anti-malware

Emsisoft scan (potentially) infected PC for Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Adware, Worms, Dialers, Keyloggers and other badware.

DOWNLOAD EMSISOFT EMERGENCY KIT HERE  – The link will open in new window tab. Note that EmsiSoftEmergencyKit is huge 168 Mbs!

My mirror of EmsiSoft Emergency kit is here

It is recommended to do the SMART Scan as it is more complete, though if you're in a hurry Quick Scan might also find something ugly. Once Scan completes Quarantine any found infected items.

It is best if all of the 7 Win cleaners are run, e.g.:

(TDSSKiller, RKill, HitmanPro, AdwCleaner, RogueKiller, Little Registry Cleaner  and EmsiSoft) in a consequential order as they're shown in article). Finally a run of Malware Bytes just to make sure nothing has remained is a good idea too.

Hopefully now you should be malware free. If you know other useful Anti-Spyware tools that helped you in case of PC Malware Slowness problems (constant Hard Disk read writes), please drop a comment and I will include them in this list). 
Once badware is removed from your PC or laptop the CPU should no longer show constantly busy with some strange process in taskmgr and notebook should be much more responsive (and if you have power management enabled) it will consume less energy reducing your electricity bills 🙂
 

Any feedback on experience with running above bunch of anti spy programs is also mostly welcome. 


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How to get a list and Backup (Save Enabled Plugins) / Restore Enabled (Active) plugins in WordPress site with SQL query

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

get-list-and-backup-restore-enabled-active-plugins-only-in-wordpress-with-sql-mysql-query

Getting a snapshot of all active plugins and keeping it for future in case if you install some broken plugin and you have to renable all enabled plugins from scratch is precious thing in WordPress.

… It is really annoying when you decide to try to enable few new plugins and out of a sudden your WordPress site / blog starts hanging (when accessed in browser)…

To fix it you have to Disable All Plugins and Re-enable all that used to work. However if you don't keep a copy of the plugins which were previously working and you're like me and have 109 plugins installed of which only 50 are in (Active) state / used. It could take you a day or two until you come up with a similar list to the ones you previously used … Thanksfully there is some prevention you can take by dumping a list of all plugins that are currently active and in later time only enable those in the list.

 

# mysql -u root -p
Enter password:

mysql> USE blog_db;

Here is the output I get in the moment:
 

mysql> DESCRIBE wp_options;
+————–+———————+——+—–+———+—————-+
| Field        | Type                | Null | Key | Default | Extra          |
+————–+———————+——+—–+———+—————-+
| option_id    | bigint(20) unsigned | NO   | PRI | NULL    | auto_increment |
| option_name  | varchar(64)         | NO   | UNI |         |                |
| option_value | longtext            | NO   |     | NULL    |                |
| autoload     | varchar(20)         | NO   |     | yes     |                |
+————–+———————+——+—–+———+—————-+

 

mysql> SELECT * FROM wp_options WHERE option_name = 'active_plugins';

|        38 | active_plugins | a:50:{i:0;s:45:"add-to-any-subscribe/add-to-any-subscribe.php";i:1;s:19:"akismet/akismet.php";i:2;s:43:"all-in-one-seo-pack/all_in_one_seo_pack.php";i:3;s:66:"ambrosite-nextprevious-post-link-plus/ambrosite-post-link-plus.php";i:4;s:49:"automatic-tag-selector/automatic-tag-selector.php";i:5;s:27:"autoptimize/autoptimize.php";i:6;s:35:"bm-custom-login/bm-custom-login.php";i:7;s:45:"ckeditor-for-wordpress/ckeditor_wordpress.php";i:8;s:47:"comment-info-detector/comment-info-detector.php";i:9;s:27:"comments-statistics/dcs.php";i:10;s:31:"cyr2lat-slugs/cyr2lat-slugs.php";i:11;s:49:"delete-duplicate-posts/delete-duplicate-posts.php";i:12;s:45:"ewww-image-optimizer/ewww-image-optimizer.php";i:13;s:34:"feedburner-plugin/fdfeedburner.php";i:14;s:39:"feedburner-widget/widget-feedburner.php";i:15;s:63:"feedburner_feedsmith_plugin_2.3/FeedBurner_FeedSmith_Plugin.php";i:16;s:21:"feedlist/feedlist.php";i:17;s:39:"force-publish-schedule/forcepublish.php";i:18;s:50:"google-analytics-for-wordpress/googleanalytics.php";i:19;s:81:"google-sitemap-generator-ultimate-tag-warrior-tags-addon/UTWgoogleSitemaps2_1.php";i:20;s:36:"google-sitemap-generator/sitemap.php";i:21;s:24:"headspace2/headspace.php";i:22;s:29:"my-link-order/mylinkorder.php";i:23;s:27:"php-code-widget/execphp.php";i:24;s:43:"post-plugin-library/post-plugin-library.php";i:25;s:35:"post-to-twitter/post-to-twitter.php";i:26;s:28:"profile-pics/profile-pic.php";i:27;s:27:"redirection/redirection.php";i:28;s:42:"scripts-to-footerphp/scripts-to-footer.php";i:29;s:29:"sem-dofollow/sem-dofollow.php";i:30;s:33:"seo-automatic-links/seo-links.php";i:31;s:23:"seo-slugs/seo-slugs.php";i:32;s:41:"seo-super-comments/seo-super-comments.php";i:33;s:31:"similar-posts/similar-posts.php";i:34;s:21:"sociable/sociable.php";i:35;s:44:"strictly-autotags/strictlyautotags.class.php";i:36;s:16:"text-control.php";i:37;s:19:"tidy-up/tidy_up.php";i:38;s:37:"tinymce-advanced/tinymce-advanced.php";i:39;s:33:"tweet-old-post/tweet-old-post.php";i:40;s:33:"w3-total-cache/w3-total-cache.php";i:41;s:44:"widget-settings-importexport/widget-data.php";i:42;s:54:"wordpress-23-related-posts-plugin/wp_related_posts.php";i:43;s:23:"wp-minify/wp-minify.php";i:44;s:27:"wp-optimize/wp-optimize.php";i:45;s:33:"wp-post-to-pdf/wp-post-to-pdf.php";i:46;s:29:"wp-postviews/wp-postviews.php";i:47;s:55:"wp-simple-paypal-donation/wp-simple-paypal-donation.php";i:48;s:46:"wp-social-seo-booster/wpsocial-seo-booster.php";i:49;s:31:"wptouch-pro-3/wptouch-pro-3.php";} | yes      |

Copy and paste this CVS format data to a text file or a Word document for later reference ..

To restore back to normal only active WordPress plugins, first launch following SQL query to disable all enabled wordpress plugins:

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = 'a:0:{}' WHERE option_name = 'active_plugins';

To restore above "backupped" list of active WP plugins you have to copy paste the saved content and paste it into above UPDATE query substituting option_value=' ' with the backupped string.

P.S. – This query should work on WordPress 3.x on older wordpress ver 2.x use instead:

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = ' ' WHERE option_name = 'active_plugins';

Because pasting the backupped Active plugins list CSV is a messy and unreadable from command line it is recommended for clarity to use PHPMyAdmin frontend (whenever it is available) on server. This little hint is a real time-saver and saves a lot of headaches. Before proceeding to any Db UPDATE SQL queries always backup your Blog database, with time structure of WordPress data changes!, so in future releases this method might not be working, however if it helped you and works on your version please drop a comment with WordPress version on which this helped you.

Enjoy! 🙂

 


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Improve Website Apache Webserver SEO without Website source code moficitations with Google PageSpeed module on Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora and SuSE Linux

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Improve-website-apache-webserver-seo-without-website-source-code-modifications-with-Google-PageSpeed-Apache-module

For hosting companies and even personal website speed performance becomes increasingly important factor that gives higher and higher weight on overall PageRank and is one of the key things for Successful Site Search Engine Optimization (positioning) in Search Engines of a not specially SEO friendly crafted website.

Virtually all Google / Yahoo / Bing,  Yahoo  etc. Search Engines give better pagerank to websites which load faster and has little or no downtimes, for the reason a faster loading time of a website pages means better user experience and is indicator that the website is well maintained. 

Often websites deployed written for purpose of a business-es or just community CMS / Blog Website Open Source systems such as Joomla, Drupal and WordPress by default are not made to provide fantastic speed right after deploy without install of custom plugins and website tuning, i.e.:

  • Content size optimization (gzipping)
  • More efficient way to deliver CSS / Javascript (MinifyJS / CSS files into single ones
  • HTML optimization
  • Stripping (useful) page Comments
  • Adding <head> if missing on pages etc.

. Therefore as I said in many of my previous LAMP Optimization articles page  (opening) speed could make really Bad Users / Clients experience when the site grows too big or is badly optimized it gives degraded page speed times (often page loads 20 / 30 seconds waiting for the page to load!). Having Pages lagging on big information sites or EShos has both Ruining Company's Image on the market and quickly convinces the user to use another service from the already thosands available and thus drives out (potential) customers.

As Programming code maintainance and improvement is usually very costly, companies that want to save money or can't afford it (because of the shrinking budgets dictacted by the global economic crisis), the best thing to do is to ask your sysadmin to Squeeze the Best out of the WebService and Servers without major (Backend Code) infrastructural changes.

To  Speed up Apache and create Proper Page Caching without installing on server external PHP Caching modules such as Eaccelerator  / PHP APC caching and without
extra CMS modules
such as lets say WordPress W3 Total Cache there is Google Develop Apache Webserver external module – PageSpeed.

Here is Google Pagespeed Module overview :
 

PageSpeed speeds up your site and reduces page load time. This open-source webserver module automatically applies web performance best practices to pages and associated assets (CSS, JavaScript, images) without requiring that you modify your existing content or workflow.


What does Apache Google PageSpeed actually does?
 

  • Automatic website and asset optimization
  • Latest web optimization techniques
  • 40+ configurable optimization filters
  • Free, open-source, and frequently updated
  • Deployed by individual sites, hosting providers, CDNs


1. Install PageSpeed on Debian / Ubuntu, deb derivatives) Linux

a) Download and install module 

On 64 bit deb based Linux:

cd /usr/local/src
wget https://dl-ssl.google.com/dl/linux/direct/mod-pagespeed-stable_current_amd64.deb 
dpkg -i mod-pagespeed-stable_current_amd64.deb
apt-get -f install


On 32 bit Linux:

cd /usr/local/src
wget https://dl-ssl.google.com/dl/linux/direct/mod-pagespeed-stable_current_i386.deb
dpkg -i 
direct/mod-pagespeed-stable_current_i386.deb
apt-get -f install


b) Restart Apache
 

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Important files and folders placed on server by deb installer are:

/usr/bin/pagespeed_js_minify – binary that does Javascript minification
/etc/apache2/mods-available/pagespeed.conf – Pagespeed config
/etc/apache2/mods-available/pagespeed.load – Load module directives in Apache
/etc/cron.daily/mod-pagespeed – mod_pagespeed cron script for checking and installing latest updates.
/var/cache/mod_pagespeed – Mod Pagespeed cahing folder (useful to install memcached to increase even further caching performance)
/var/log/pagespeed – Directory to store pagespeed log files

 

2. Install PageSpeed on (RPM based CentOS, Fedora, RHEL / SuSE Linux)


RPM 64 bit package install:
 

rpm -Uvh https://dl-ssl.google.com/dl/linux/direct/mod-pagespeed-beta_current_x86_64.rpm

 


32 bit pack version:
 

rpm -Uvh https://dl-ssl.google.com/dl/linux/direct/mod-pagespeed-stable_current_i386.rpm


Modify pagespeed mod config 

Restart Apache

sudo /etc/init.d/httpd restart


Important config files and folders created during RPM install are:

  • /etc/cron.daily/mod-pagespeed : mod_pagespeed cron script for checking and installing latest updates.
  • /etc/httpd/conf.d/pagespeed.conf : The main configuration file for Apache.
  • /usr/lib/httpd/modules/mod_pagespeed.so : mod_pagespeed module for Apache.
  • /var/www/mod_pagespeed/cache : File caching direcotry for web sites.
  • /var/www/mod_pagespeed/files : File generate prefix for web sites.

3. Configuring Google PageSpeed module

 

To configure PageSpeed you can either edit the package installed bundled pagespeed.conf (/etc/apache2/mods-available/pagspeed.conf,  /etc/httpd/conf.d/pagespeed.conf) or insert configuration items inside Apache VirtualHosts config files or even if you need flexibility and you don't have straight access to Apache config files (on shared hosting servers where module is available) through .htaccess.
Anyways try to avoid adding pagespeed directives to .htaccess as it will be too slow and inefficient.

Configuration is managed by setting different so-called "Rewrite Levels". Default behavior is to use Level of "Corefilters.", a set of filters (module behavior configs) which according to Google is safe for use. PageSpeed Filters is a set of actions applied to Web Delivered files.

Default config setting is hence:
 

ModPagespeedRewriteLevel CoreFilters

Disabling default set of filters is done with:
 

ModPagespeedRewriteLevel PassThrough

"Corefilters" default filter set as of time of writting this article:
 

add_head
combine_css
convert_jpeg_to_progressive
convert_meta_tags
extend_cache
flatten_css_imports
inline_css
inline_import_to_link
inline_javascript
rewrite_css
rewrite_images
rewrite_javascript
rewrite_style_attributes_with_url

Complete documentation on Configuring PageSpeed Filters is here.

If caching is turned on, default PageSped caching is configured in /var/cache/mod_pagespeed/
Enabling someof the non-Corefilters that sometimes are useful for SEO (reduce of served / returned pagesize) are:
 

ModPagespeedEnableFilters pedantic,remove_comments

By default pagespeed does some things (such as inline_css, inline_javascript and rewrite_images (Optimize, removing Excess pixels).  My litle experience with pagespeed shows in some cases this could break websites), so I found for my case useful to disable some of the filters:

 

vim /etc/apache2/mods-available/pagespeed.conf

 

ModPagespeedDisableFilters rewrite_images,convert_jpeg_to_progressive,inline_css,inline_javascript

 

4. Testing if PageSpeed is Enabled pagespeed_admin

By default PageSpeed has Admin which by default is only allowed to be accessed from server localhost (127.0.0.1) to get basic statistics either install text browser like lynx / elinks or add more access IPs again in pagespeed config / vhosts pagespeed.conf include more Allow lines like below:

 

    <Location /pagespeed_admin>
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from localhost
        Allow from 127.0.0.1
        Allow from 192.168.1.1
        Allow from xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

        #Allow from All
        SetHandler pagespeed_admin
    </Location>
    <Location /pagespeed_global_admin>
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from localhost
        Allow from 127.0.0.1

        Allow from 192.168.1.1
        Allow from xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
        SetHandler pagespeed_global_admin
    </Location>

 

Once configured pagespeed_admin access it with favourite browser on:

http://127.0.0.1/pagespeed_admin
http://127.0.0.1/pagespeed_global_admin

improve-website-apache-webserver-seo-without-source-code-modifications-google-pagespeed_admin_panel

Other way to test it is enabled is by creating php file with good old <? phpinfo(); ?> – PHP stats enabled / disabled features code:

pagespeed-in-phpinfo-x-mod-pagespeed-output-screenshot-apache-webserver

I've also tested also pagespeed unstable release, but experienced some segmentation faults in both error.log and access.log so finally decided to keep using stable release.

PageSpeed is a great way to boost your server sites performance, however it comes on certain costs as expect your server CPU Load to jump drastically, (in my case it jumped more than twice), there are Linux servers where enabling the module could totally stone the servers, so before implementing the module on a Production system environment, always first test thouroughfully with loaded pagespeed on UAT (testing) environment with AB or Siege (Apache Benchmarking Tools).


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Gipsy (Romany) legends about the Crucifix of the Lord Jesus Christ

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Crucifixion_of_our_Lord_Jesus-Christ-the-gipsy-legends-about-the-nails-that-pierced-the-body-of-our-Lord-and-saviour

There are a couple of curious Gipsy legends regarding the Crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ.
One of the legend claims that the gypsies which were present on the Lord’s crucifix, tried stealing the nails because of Love for the Lord to prevent crucifixion and for this deed of them some legends say the Mother of God the Holy Virgin Mary blessed them to steal from all nations, also the legend said this give the Gipsys permissions to steal without breaking one of the 10th commandments “Thou shalt not steal“. Of course this legends are mainly circulating in gipsis communities mainly in Europe and we should consider and as every legend its probably just a myth, however I decided to place the legend here on my blog because while living in the Netherlands for 2.5 years I have been helped and had the opportunity to live among Bulgarian gipsy community and I was fascinated on the strongness of gipsies family relations – which in this time of family break up and lack of respect is quite of a blessing. It was also evident for me gipsies know how to keep together and support each other, something becoming more and more rare in the “highly civilized” but less and less mental / spiritual western world which in its intellectual revolution forgot how to live simple and free life which was originally given to us by God Almighty.

There are other variants of the legend also, some say it was a gipsy blacksmith which was ordered to prepare the nails for Jesus’s crucifix, other probably more modern Gipsy legends claim that a gipsy stole one of the 4 nails for the Crucifix and this is why the Lord was crucified with 3 nails (1 nail piercing both of his legs as Roman Catholic cross does) – however this legend is untrue because in the ancient Christian tradition it was 4 nails with which the Lord Jesus Christ was pierced on the cross. Another of the legends (probably not originating from Gipsys says), it was a gipsy blacksmith who made the nails to crucify Jesus Christ, beacuse of that the (Gipsys) were condemned to wander the earth and never settle.

Another version does not condemn blacksmiths. It says that the blacksmith was addressed by God in a dream, where he was told to make four nails, but only hand over three, as the fourth was intended to pierce the heart of Jesus. In return God gave his descendants the right to wander the earth (rather than cursing them to it) and also the right to steal from non-Romanies, without breaking the commandment Thou shalt not steal.

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How to check Windows server installed Tomcat and Java version

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

how-to-check-get-java_and-tomcat-version-on-windows-java-and-tomcat-logo
I'm filling up a TOP (Turn to Production) form for a project where my part as Web and Middleware Engineer included install of Tomcat 7 and Java 1.7 on Windows server 2008 R2 standard. TOP is required Excel sheet standard document used by many large companies to fill in together with Project Manager before the server is to be launched into Production mode.

Therefore I needed to find out previously installed Tomcat and Java version, here is how:

1. Go to Tomcat install directory and (click twice) run twice Tomcat7w

As tomcat is installed in Custom location in D:webdienste in this case I had to run:
 
D:webdiensteapplication-jsptomcatapplication-namecurrentbinTomcat7w.exe

I run it using command line (cmd.exe), however you can run it via Windows Explorer, if you're lazy typing.
You will get a window pop up like on below screenshot:

In this case Installed Tomcat version was 7.0.55

If you need to check the version on older Tomcat application server install you can run instead Tomcat6w – whether its Tomcat version 6 or Tomcat5w – for Tomcat ver. 5

In order to Check the java version the quickest way is via command line, again run cmd.exe from

Start -> Run -> cmd.exe

how-to-see-find-get-check-tomcat-version-on-windows-server-install-screenshot

Then cd to whenever is Java VM installed the usual location where it gets installed for Java 1.7 on Windows is:

C:Program FilesJavajre7bin

Java 8 common location is:

C:Program FilesJavajre8bin

Java would automatically add PATH to Windows default PATH definitions during install, hence to find out exactly where java is installed on Windows server, type in cmd:

where java

Then to check the exact installed Java version on Win host is by invoking java (jre) cli with -version parameter:

java -version

how-to-check-get-java-version-info-on-windows-server-screenshot

If you're lazy to type in commands, you can also check Java version in Windows from GUI by using:

Java Control Panel

To launch it in:

Start -> (Search Program and Files)

field type:

Java Conf and click on Java Control Panel

Then click on

General (tab) -> About

java-control-panel-gui-about-version-windows-server-screenshot

 


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