You can use this Windows application to time breaks from the computer screen. It will detect when you are working, and will adjust itsself accordingly, so you are not being annoyed by breaks when you dont need one. There are many more features you can check out on Rest Relax Reminder’s main page.
Feel free to give it a go! Let me know what you think, and if you find any problems.
If, like me, you have tried the most popular fixes for the error “configuration system failed to initialize” when you run certain application(s), and the problem is still persisting, then my rather drastic fix might help you too.
Warning: Back up your system before attempting any of these sorts of fixes. And try them at your own risk. I have not tested this fix on other systems.
Here is what I did that fixed the error: 1. Open File Explorer as Administrator 2. Navigate to This PC – your system drive (usually C:) – Windows – Microsoft.NET folder 3. Rename the Framework folder to something else, eg. FrameworkOLD 4. Rename the Framework64 folder to something else, eg. Framework64OLD Note: You might get some warnings and messages about some apps are still running and using the framework. Stop as many as you can find. Worst case, restart in safe mode to do steps 3 and 4. 5. Start a command prompt as administrator 6. Run the command sfc /scannow 7. When that is finished, open the Control Panel / Settings window 8. Search for Update 9. Choose Check for Updates, and press the button Check for Updates 10. When the Update has finished, reboot the PC. 11. Test the app out, and hopefully the problem is resolved!
Trying to figure out the difference between the choices that Windows (and other OSs) gives you for wallpaper modes, can be very confusing. Even nicely summarised explanations like this and this, can still be confusing without some illustrations to show how wallpapers with different aspect ratios affect these different modes.
So, here are example pictures of each of the modes, with different sized and shaped wallpapers. This is particularly handy to know if you are using LAWC (Wallpaper Changer), and want to change how your wallpapers are displayed.
Wallpaper Modes Explained
Fit / Fill Height
Here are example pictures of each of the modes, with different sized and shaped wallpapers. This is particularly handy to know if you are using Windows Wallpapers and LAWC (Wallpaper Changer), and want to change how your wallpapers are displayed.
* The source images are 1280x720 (720p), 481x481, and 3840x2160 (4k). The desktop resolution is 1920x1080 (1080p).
** LAWC mode is only relevant to the LAWC Wallpaper Changer application. Not available in standard installations of Windows, iOS, Linux, etc
Try LAWC – a wallpaper changing application for Windows
Okay, first of all, we need to be clear about the setup… I have a PC and a laptop, both running Windows 10 Pro. The PC is the Server, the Laptop is the client / user’s PC. Both of them are using my Microsoft account to log in, and I use my PIN on both. The Client is of course trying to access shared files on the Server.
It seems if you have the setup as described (particularly if you are using a PIN to log in), then this fix should help if you get the error “Enter Network Credentials” when trying to access shared files. I tried heaps of other fixes, but none of them worked.
TL;DR: Create a local account on the Server, then simply use that account to log in from the Client. I’m a bit surprised that this wasn’t already suggested somewhere (maybe it has and I missed it!).
I’ll get to fleshing out the specific instructions at some point….
I’ve been running LastPass for just over a year now, and if you are like me and you have added lots of passwords, but haven’t ever run a Security Challenge, then read on. I can save you stepping into the same issues that I encountered, and maybe make the tidy up of your passwords fairly painless. Cleaning Up LastPass will make your online life easier 🙂
Unfortunately I don’t have a screenshot of my “before” Security Challenge results. Needless to say it was bad. I had about 3 passwords used across many sites, as well as one of them also being my master password. Additionally, I hadn’t changed any passwords since I added my sites to LastPass. All of the score values were in the red (I have about 85 passwords in my database too).
My Current Score
This is my current score and results. A big difference after a couple of hours of work. You can see the red warning symbols in the steps below – they look worse than they appear. Ill explain below. Cleaning
Some Important Explanations
Information to know before we proceed:
Some of these Steps will have Change with one click / Auto-Change Password options. This is where you can tick the entries to change, and simply click on the Update Now button to have LastPass automatically go in to each site and change your passwords to a randomly generated password, and update those entries in LastPass with the new passwords.
The Auto-Change Passwords doesn’t always work! I have found it works with the big and popular sites (eBay, Amazon, etc), but don’t use it on other sites. Also, do not close the page or browser while its working – give it time to complete (10 minutes?).
You can also click on the Launch Site button to open up the website for each given password entry. Once there, you can go through the process of updating your password. LastPass should see this happen, and when you click on save/update/change password it should ask you if you want to update the password entry with the new password. This doesn’t always work either!
If your LastPass database get out of whack (the password saved does not match whats on the site), edit the entry, and click on the clock looking icon to the right of the Password box. This will show the password history. Hopefully one of the older ones still works.
Be prepared to use the “retrieve lost password” function on a few sites, if you make mistakes like I did.
You probably will not be able to fix all of the issues listed in the Security Challenge results. Ie. I have a few sites that log in with a combination of text and a pin, rather than a typical password. LastPass views these as Weak Passwords, but there is no way to fix this unless the site changes it’s security / password process.
I have a few Change Reused Passwords entries too. I kept a few sites the same, and they are ones I need to be able to recall easily at various times. Ie. Steam often asks for verification by re-entering the password on restarts. Some games require a login and I prefer it to be easy enough to recall. TBH, this is a poor practice, and I would be better off changing them all to be unique, but that’s for another day.
You might wonder why LastPass does not work well on some sites, and why I’ve said above that some things do not work. That’s a bit simplistic on my part. As a developer, I can imagine the complexity and variety of websites out there that have different ways of managing logins and security, and LastPass has to be told (by the people who make it) how to better manage each these new websites. It is a very difficult thing to get working on all websites.
The Cleanup Process
Given that there are sometimes issues with these more automatic functions, here is the process I found was easiest and most painless:
Note: These are general steps, and will vary from site to site.
Start up your web browser of choice, and open the LastPass Vault via the add-on/plug-in/extension.
Run the Security Challenge, and be prepared to get a really bad score (or you are already here because you have run it, and have seen the results).
Note: Do not close the Vault and Security Challenge pages.
Security Challenge’s Improve Your Score area: Click on each Step to open up the list of entries. Compromised Passwords are your passwords that have been used in any leak from various website hacks. This will hopefully be small. If you want to know about what hack they each were involved with, click on the grey information icon. The other steps should be pretty self explanatory.
Click on the Launch Site button next to the entry you want to improve. Hopefully the link you have on that entry is correct, and it will open up the login page for that site. If not, find the correct page, then go back to your Vault and find the entry, edit it, and update the webpage link. Don’t forget to save any changes you make. Note: This will not make the Security Challenge Launch Site link work – but next time you run the challenge, it will be.
With the website open, log in with your existing information, then find the Change Password link / area. This will probably be in an area called something like Account Settings, Security, Profile, User Details etc.
Right Click on any part of the main window, and choose LastPass -> Generate Secure Password. Keep this tab open too.
This generator tool will let you set rules about the password it is generating, and the red Refresh button will randomly generate a new password with those rules.
Click Refresh, then highlight the new password, and Copy it (right click -> Copy, or CTRL+C).
Go back to the website’s tab where you are changing the password.
Paste the new password into the New Password box (right click -> Paste, or CTRL+V)
Also Paste it into the Confirm Password box
If it has a requirement to supply your old password (it should), use the icon/symbol in the text box to get the current password from the Vault.
Check for any errors. Some sites will automatically tell you, other will only let you know when you Update / Save the new password.
Press the Update / Save button and check for any more errors.
If you encounter a problem, see what it says, and adjust the Generator settings to suit, and go back to Step 10 above. Do not forget that you should change the settings back before generating another password for the next site. The default settings are very good for security. Only, I did find a few sites that particularly did not like symbol characters ($%#&^% etc).
If it is all good, then LastPass should pop up an option to update your entry with the new password. Again, this may not always happen. If it does not happen, go to Step 19. Otherwise you are done for this site. Go to Step 6.
If you have to update the LastPass entry manually, go to the Vault tab, find the entry, and click on the Pencil / Edit button.
Highlight the existing password (shown as a line of dots), and Paste the new password in here (remember, it was copied to the clipboard in step 10).
Click Save, and the tab should close, and LastPass will update the password.
Do this for all of the entries in each Step of the Security Challenge’s Improve Your Score area.
After you have made a bunch of changes, re-run the Security Challenge and see how much of a difference these changes have made. I did this a few times to keep up my motivation to work through the list.
Having done that, a fair chunk of your passwords should be updated, and your Security Challenge Score should be a lot healthier. Cleaning up LastPass will make a big difference, and make logging in to sites on your PC and your phone much easier.
I’ve released the BETA of my handy little tool for Windows which allows you to change your wallpaper images, not only just at random, but it will also adjust the images for a Day / Night cycle which can be set to any time of the day. LAWC stores the library of pictures catalogued from user selected folders, and will select randomly from those images.
It also supports multi-monitors, showing different images on each screen, as well as many more features.
Best of all, its FREE!! But feel free to support me, and the application, by Donating whatever $ you can spare.
Ive been meaning to post up a list of the great (completely) free apps out there…. and here it finally is…
http://ninite.com/ This site / tool is great! You just tick off all the FREE apps you want to install, then download the installation tool. This little program will download and install all of the software you ticked off, skipping unwanted toolbars, ads, and other annoying stuff. It will also automatically skip things that you have already installed. The programs in Ninite that I reccommend are:
Auslogics – Disk Defragmenter
CDBurnerXP – for burning CDs / DVDs
Classic Start – a Start Button for Windows 8 users
Skype – well, a lot of people seem to use it
VLC – video / audio player that doesn’t require any Codecs to be installed
Audacity – if you want a good sound file editor (MP3, Wav, etc)
Media Monkey – Music / Video organiser (like iTunes but with much more)
Java – Needed for some other apps eg. LibreOffice
.NET – Needed for some other apps (not necessarily in Ninite’s list)
WinRAR – great for creating / opening compressed files of many types
Inkscape – handy vector drawing program, similar to CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, etc.
Adobe Reader – lots of PDFs out there
LibreOffice – for editing / viewing word processing, spreadsheets, presentations etc (Similar to MS Office)
PDFCreator – for creating PDF documents (incase the title wasnt obvious 😛 )
Avast – Decent anti-virus software thats not too annoying. Just remember to turn off the sounds!
MalawareBytes – a different sort of malware detection / scanning software. I usually check things with both an anti-virus program and MalawareBytes
uTorrent – do you have to ask…. ?
Evernote – great tool for managing notes, recipes, information. It will sync to lots of different devices (Android, iPhone, PC)
Steam – Great platform for browsing / buying games. Lots of free games on there too.
DropBox – my preferred web storage too. Integrates very well into Windows 7 / 8
HTC Home: This is a stylish weather / clock for your Windows desktop
Im not a very political person, but I just read this new report, saying that Australian Senator Rachel Siewert will spend a week experiencing what it is like to live on unemployment benefits.
Its fantastic to know that there are at least one or two politicians in Australia that want to pull their head out of the sand and see what is really going on in this country.
The Centrelink payments here are a joke. I pay more in rent than my total weekly payment, leaving me to cover ALL other costs with my own life savings which are now nearly gone. Hopefully something good will come of this.
It’s funny… I get more nervous doing a recording of my drum playing than I do when playing in front of someone?! I think it’s because a recording can be scrutinized, rewound, etc. Whereas a live performance isn’t as liable….
I didn’t realise how long a song it was – 6:27 … so much fun to play
Having trouble with your PC just not being as fast as it used to be? Personally, I reinstall the whole OS every 6-12 months, but I have a few friends who are a little daunted by that task, so Ive suggested a few things that might help clean up their computer. It’s a fairly regular question too, so for anyone stumbling upon this, here are a few good, cheap/free applications that should make your system run better without any (or little) out-of-pocket expense.
Also, I have tried many other applications, some of which have not helped, and others which have made things worse. These tend to be reliable and do what they say. BUT, of course make your your system is backed up to a memory stick, hard drive, or burnt DVD, before running these sorts of applications just in case the unforeseen happens. When was the last time you backed up your PC? (Now that I think about it, its been a few months for me…)
First things first, head into the Control Panel, and uninstall any programs you don’t use anymore… after that, try these to finish off the cleanup process:
Then, once you have cleaned up the PC using the software above, defragment your hard drive. Personally, Ive found this free program quite good. If you do install this, run the full “defragment and optimise” on all your drives the first time, and after that the software recommends weekly, but monthly will be enough for most home or small office users: http://www.auslogics.com/en/software/disk-defrag/download/
With all of that, the machine should be a little snappier. After that, you could always overclock it! Once your PC is out of warranty (as overclocking can void warranties) then its a relatively easy way of getting 10-20% more power with very little, or no cost. Think of it like boosting the performance of the engine in your car…
Oh, one last word of advice, if you want to know more about how to do things Ive mentioned then just type it in to Google. Don’t forget, Google is Your Friend!