How I browse/surf privately E-mail
Thursday, 02 January 2014 09:15

With all this snooping and overreaching data-collecting Google and everyone else is doing on the web, everywhere, I feel less and less comfortable just browsing random websites with each day.  I've found some tools that help you protect your privacy while just going about your regular business online - searching for information, checking e-mails, browsing books on Amazon, etc.



Disconnect - I came across this on Wired's website.  It "lets you visualize and block the invisible websites that track you" (from their own website).  It's available as an extension for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.


There's a Disconnect Search extension too, but in my testing it had some flaws.  The first was that after searching for something on Bing, when I tried to go to page 2 of the results it wouldn't let me.  Page 1 of the results would just reload!  The second major problem I came across was that when I tried to run a new search from the search bar on the Bing search results page, I was redirected to the Disconnect website, instead of results for my new search!


SRWare Iron

Iron has been my go-to browser (and Chrome substitute) for years now.  It's basically a snoop-free version of Google's Chrome.  They've taken out all of Google's code that tracks your activities and habits, while leaving you able to use all the Chrome extensions and features you like and use.  It's a good product.


Tor Browser

By now I think Tor is pretty popular among advanced computer users.  It's a nice package that lets you surf the web through proxies all over the world.  The Tor Browser Bundle comes with everything you need to get started, including Firefox as the default browser.  After installing you run it and Firefox starts with Tor enabled, and you go about your business.  You won't be able to view videos and some JavaScript functionality won't work like you're used to, but that's the price you pay for higher privacy.


ChrisPC Free Anonymous Proxy

ChrisPC Free Anonymous Proxy is similar to Tor but it's slightly more user-friendly.  You install it and it configures your current browser(s) to tunnel their traffic through its proxy connection.  What I do is use this with my regular Firefox installation for anonymous browsing that doesn't require logging in anywhere - doing research online, or reading something.  For other tasks like banking and tasks that require logging in, I just use my SRWare Iron browser (or Maxthon, which I also like).

Deleting a project from Team Foundation Service E-mail
Friday, 22 March 2013 16:10

So I just started working with Microsoft's Team Foundation Service.


For the life of me I couldn't figure out how to delete a project from the Administration panel of my VisualStudio.com account, the homepage of which looks like:




For whatever reason, any projects have to be deleted via the command line, through a utility called TfsDeleteProject, detailed here.


The command to issue is:

TfsDeleteProject /collection:https://pthesis.visualstudio.com/defaultcollection "Contacts Git"

  • https://pthesis.visualstudio.com/defaultcollection - URL of your TFS collection account (circled in the screenshot above)
  • "Contacts Git" - name of the project you want to delete.  (I've already deleted this particular project from my account which is why it's not showing up in the screenshot.)

Below is what the whole transaction looks like in the DOS Command Prompt (cmd.exe).  Note the path to the TfsDeleteProject executable in the prompt, which in my case is c:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE but could be different for you.


Installing MongoDB on openSUSE E-mail
Friday, 15 March 2013 19:08

Do yourself a big favor and just use the available package to install mongoDB on your openSUSE installation!

Tags: mongoDB  openSUSE  Linux  package  
Trouble installing curb gem for Ruby E-mail
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 01:00

If you're having trouble getting the curb gem to install in your Ruby on Rails project, you might not have the required libcurl package installed (website).

In Linux you can get the package from your distribution's package manager.  In openSUSE, at the command line run:

sudo zypper install libcurl-devel

From there you should be able to run bundle install or gem install curb as usual.

Tags: Ruby  Rails  Ruby on Rails  curb  gem  libcurl  libcurl-devel  openSUSE  Linux  
Downgrade PHP from version 5.4 to 5.3 in Ubuntu 12.10 E-mail
Thursday, 28 February 2013 14:06

Thank you to the kind author of this script!

# Original for 5.3 by Ruben Barkow (rubo77) http://www.entikey.z11.de/
# release 1 PHP5.4 to 5.3 by Emil Terziev ( foxy ) Bulgaria
# Originally Posted by Bachstelze http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=9080474#post9080474
# OK, here's how to do the Apt magic to get PHP packages from the precise repositories:
echo "Am I root?  "
if [ "$(whoami &2>/dev/null)" != "root" ] && [ "$(id -un &2>/dev/null)" != "root" ] ; then
echo "  NO!
Error: You must be root to run this script.
sudo su
exit 1
echo "  OK";
#install aptitude before, if you don`t have it:
apt-get update
apt-get install aptitude
# or if you prefer apt-get use:
# alias aptitude='apt-get'
# finish all apt-problems:
aptitude update
aptitude -f install
#apt-get -f install
# remove all your existing PHP packages. You can list them with dpkg -l| grep php
PHPLIST=$(for i in $(dpkg -l | grep php|awk '{ print $2 }' ); do echo $i; done)
echo these pachets will be removed: $PHPLIST 
# you need not to purge, if you have upgraded from precise:
aptitude remove $PHPLIST
# on a fresh install, you need purge:
# aptitude remove --purge $PHPLIST
#Create a file each in
#/etc/apt/preferences.d like this (call it for example /etc/apt/preferences.d/php5_2);
#Package: php5
#Pin: release a=precise
#Pin-Priority: 991
#The big problem is that wildcards don't work, so you will need one such stanza for
each PHP package you want to pull from precise:
echo ''>/etc/apt/preferences.d/php5_3
for i in $PHPLIST ; do echo "Package: $i
Pin: release a=precise
Pin-Priority: 991
">>/etc/apt/preferences.d/php5_3; done
echo "# needed sources vor php5.3:
deb http://bg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise main restricted
deb-src http://bg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise main restricted
deb http://bg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates main restricted
deb-src http://bg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates main restricted
deb http://bg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise universe
deb-src http://bg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise universe
deb http://bg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates universe
deb-src http://bg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates universe
deb http://bg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise multiverse
deb-src http://bg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise multiverse
deb http://bg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates multiverse
deb-src http://bg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates multiverse
deb-src http://bg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ natty-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security main restricted
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security main restricted
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security universe
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security universe
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security multiverse
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security multiverse
deb-src http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu natty partner
deb http://extras.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise main
deb-src http://extras.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise main
deb http://bg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src http://bg.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu precise partner
deb-src http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu precise partner
" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/precise.list
aptitude update
apache2ctl restart
echo install new from precise:
aptitude -t precise install $PHPLIST
# at the end retry the modul libapache2-mod-php5 in case it didn't work the first time:
aptitude -t precise install libapache2-mod-php5
apache2ctl restart

The only caveat I can think of is that I had to reinstall xDebug after downgrading via this script, but that's a very small price to pay for the convenience it provides!

Tags: PHP  Ubuntu  downgrade  script  forum  5.4  5.3  
Vizio laptop: Wi-fi keeps disconnecting in Windows 8 E-mail
Sunday, 24 February 2013 10:33

If your Vizio laptop running Windows 8 keeps dropping the Wi-Fi connection and then reconnecting on its own every few minutes, try updating to version this download page (scroll down to and click "Download" at the bottom of the section.


Thanks to information found here.

Sylpheed: Very short review E-mail
Sunday, 30 December 2012 08:31

It's not Mozilla Thunderbird, and it's certainly not Microsoft Outlook, and so I wanted to try it - a completely different desktop e-mail client for Windows, called Sylpheed. Here's how I found it:


  • Lightweight
  • Independently designed and produced
  • Available for "Windows, Linux, BSD, Mac OS X and other Unix-like systems"
  • Fast to retrieve mail
  • Easy to set up
  • Supports POP3 and IMAP incoming protocols


In the default setup:

  • Doesn't do HTML e-mails, only text
  • Sometimes some folders aren't ready to move messages into, i.e., a dotted border doesn't appear around them when you drag messages onto them.
    • I say ready because sometimes they become available after some time
    • I haven't encountered this problem in Thunderbird or Outlook
  • This is a very small one: Slightly lacking in the UI finesse of Thunderbird and Outlook
  • This is a big one: Filters are defined program-wide, not account-wide.  So if I have two accounts, Rocky and Speedy, and get e-mail from, say, separate accounts on Twitter to each of them, when I define a filter for "Twitter" in Sylpheed, I can select a Twitter folder on either Rocky or Speedy to send it to.
    • So if the filter is defined on Speedy, if I run the "Twitter" filter on Rocky, it will move all Twitter messages from Rocky to Speedy!  That's not good, and is a deal-breaker for me unfortunately.

So for now it's back to Thunderbird (since I don't have Microsoft Office).


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