.zip files from Mac OS show up as green/encrypted

Green files and folders on Windows 7 indicate they are encrypted.

Usually this is a function of a program that will make these files encrypted for a reason. Security is usually the reason. But…

An interesting little bug in the process of creating a .zip file on a mac and moving it over to a Windows computer.

When a .zip file is created according to standards for .zip files found here:

http://www.pkware.com/documents/casestudies/APPNOTE.TXT

They specify that .zip archives include a tag informing about itself to the program trying to decompress the archive. This tag information is known as the “version made by” and as the name suggest, it would tag information about the program version of .zip and the files system in use.

 0 - MS-DOS and OS/2 (FAT / VFAT / FAT32 file systems)
          1 - Amiga                     2 - OpenVMS
          3 - UNIX                      4 - VM/CMS
          5 - Atari ST                  6 - OS/2 H.P.F.S.
          7 - Macintosh                 8 - Z-System
          9 - CP/M                     10 - Windows NTFS
         11 - MVS (OS/390 - Z/OS)      12 - VSE
         13 - Acorn Risc               14 - VFAT
         15 - alternate MVS            16 - BeOS
         17 - Tandem                   18 - OS/400
         19 - OS/X (Darwin)            20 thru 255 - unused

When the Mac system encrypts the files, it marks them with the attribute of being UNIX based files. Correct considering the Mac operating system is based on UNIX.

The problem arises at the Windows end. Because Windows is created by the most arrogant computer company in the world, it does not recognise that a .zip file could have been created with a computer that is not running Windows. It fails to correctly see the flag as UNIX and marks the files as Encrypted.

Leaving Files Encrypted

If the files are left as encrypted, you may find that there are problems if the files are shred on a network drive etc. Taking ownership will not change this flag, and resetting permissions does nothing.

The Easy Fix – Remove Encrypted Tag

Removing the incorrect Encrypted Flag on a green file in Windows 7, or Windows Server is really easy. Right click the file or files (holding the shift key to select multiple folders and files) then Click: Properties / Advanced / Un-tick the Encrypted Option

 

That’s about it. All fixed.

Microsoft–You Suck Balls!

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I find it absolutely incomprehensible how hard it is to purchase a Microsoft Product and actually gain access to it.

Over the years, things have always been hard, but appear to have got a lot worse.

My Experience with MSDN Subscription.

In December I receive notice that our existing MSDN subscription is due to expire, so I set about renewing it. Now with any other company, you would just enter a credit card number into a website some place and you would be done. But Not Microsoft.

Microsoft force you to purchase through a reseller (and I get that) so we set about that path.

Our previous reseller was Ingram Micro, who totally destroyed their own business by interdicting SAP some time ago, and have got nothing right since then! So we followed the Legendry Microsoft License Expert “Shane Piercy” to Dicker Data and purchased our license there. (Thanks Shane, that was the easy part).

After some weeks, Microsoft approve our license and send an email with some details.

We then login to Live.com and revalidate an email address that we have used, validated and sign in daily with for the past 10 years. This take 3 days.

We then go to the Volume License website and find the new license needs to be added. We do this, and are advised that we again need to validate our email address. This takes 48 hours (actual time was 4 days). – Remember it is computers doing all this tricky validating of email addresses by sending us an email with a link to click.

We then check back for days in the Volume License website and are advised in the FAQ that validating the license and email can take several days. Go figure!

Finally after 5 days the license appears, and we find that we need to then assign it to a user. We start doing this and fail several times before ringing their Asian America support line and chat to a helpful person who suggest a lot of things before mentioning the catch phrase “What version of IE are you using?”  – I almost blurt out… “Why would I use such a F#&!ed browser!” before explaining that I was using Chrome. Heaven forbid I was on a Mac and did not have access to IE at all.

We finally worked out that IE is required for “This Website” even though there is no detection on the website warning you of this.

So I fired up IE, and set about assigning a user to this license before I get this error.

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Lucky I am on the phone to the Philippines at the time and ask.. “What Next?”

MS support take all my details again, and advise they will assign the license. This will take only 1 hour to complete. (Believe that when I see it).

I ask for an email address for my support dude. No, he does not have an email address, only a team address that I can use his name in and someone may forward it to him. Remember here I am communicating via a POT (Plain Old Telephone) to the number 2 (I like saying that) IT company in the world. Why can’t I email the dude, or skype, or MSN, or live chat, or SMS, or whatever.. No the only way to get him is call a POT and wait in queue like I did in the last century.

So now I wait. 30 days down, and still no access to something I have paid for. Can you frigging believe it!

The story is not over yet, but I just know I will not have access in 1 hour from now. That would be way to easy.

Microsoft – if you want to know why you are failing. It is because everything you do is 10 x harder than it needs to be. Compare this experience to Apple App store on the Mac!

You have a lot of catching up to do MS!

Outlook Hangs (stops responding) Opening Email Messages Sent from PayPal

Outlook hangs caused by PayPal messages template fault

imageIn just the last few days, I have started experiencing some issues with Outlook when opening messages sent from PayPal.

This is happening with the recent versions of Outlook, including Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007.

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Some of the indications of the problem include.

  • Outlook taking longer than normal to open.
  • Outlook with “Reading Pane” on
  • Outlook Stops Responding when clicking on an email from PayPal.
  • If you wait a long time, it will come good, and even show the email message.
  • If you are impatient and cancel out of outlook, your reading pane is gone when you next open it.

When loading Outlook you receive a message about and address: Contacting: \\102.112.207.net\b\ss\paypalglobal\1\G.4-NS

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Background information

It appears that the cause of this is some malformed tracking cookies being sent from PayPal.

While it could be argued that Outlook should handle this invalid link much better than it does… We all know that Microsoft is responsible for Outlook, so really we should not expect too much in the way of “graceful error handling”. (After 20+ years of Windows system events, they still don’t have an online library of error codes and meanings.)

At the bottom of the message, there is a hidden tracking image. Instead of this image pointing to a web server, it is pointing to a non-existing network share. As it is pointing to a network share and not to a web server, Outlook’s “Internet picture blocking” functionality doesn’t kick in and tries to retrieve the content.

So what to do what to do?

First, I know for a fact that PayPal is aware of this issue, and while it is literally a 10 min fix for the right person, we know that finding the right person probably means contacting the dev team out of India that they hired last month, and asking them to fix their crap!

Oh I have been doing this too long!

Really… what to do!

  1. Nothing… If you are patient when opening email messages from PayPal while this issue happens, then they will open.
  2. Delete all recent messages from PayPal permanently form both your inbox and deleted items.
  3. Turn off the reading pane in Outlook.
  4. Turn your Outlook into plain text preview
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  5. Redirect the invalid call using a modification to hosts

    1. Start Notepad as an administrator.
      You can do this by right clicking on the Notepad shortcut in the Start Menu and choosing “Run as administrator”. If you don’t see this option, hold SHIFT while right clicking on it.
    2. Choose File-> Open… and open the following file;
      C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
    3. Add the following line at the bottom.
      127.0.0.1        102.112.2o7.net
    4. Save the file and close Notepad.

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    4. Save the file.

  6. This will basically route 2o7.net request back to your computer, which will reject it, allowing you to read your emails quickly and in peace once again.
    This fix will work on 32/64 bit versions of both Vista and Win 7


If you still have a problem

In Microsoft Windows, use the command ipconfig /flushdns to flush the DNS resolver cache. Open the command prompt and type the following:

C:>ipconfig /flushdns
Windows IP Configuration
Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.

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Corporate solution for all computer clients at once

If you are in a corporate network, your system administrators can fix this for everyone at once by adding a Forward Lookup Zone (Primary Zone) for the 102.112.2o7.net domain. Then add an A host record without a name and have it resolve to 127.0.0.1.

After PayPal fix the issue.

The invalid link when fixed will not fix messages already sent with the issue. So unless you permanently delete message with the problem, you will see the trouble each time outlook references them for reading. This is because the reference is totally invalid, not just temporarily down.

How to stop – Only secure content is displayed in IE9 message

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If you use IE9, you must be familiar with this message: “Only secure content is displayed.”

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This kind of messages are implemented by Microsoft because they want to inform you that you are about to access some unsecured content on a website. This is actually a security purpose message. Unfortunately, this kind of messages are more often annoying or unnecessary than useful. Internet explorer show this message when the same website page contain both secured and unsecured content: in this way, some unsecured scripts may have access to secured data on that page. Same thing happens when you play a game (unsecured scripts) on Facebook and want to publish that game information on your wall (secured action).

1. Launch Internet Explorer.
2. Go to Tools -> Internet Options.

Then, navigate to Security tab.

3. Click on “Custom level” button.

4. Search for “Display mixed content” under Miscellaneous section. Change it to enable.

Select Yes and that’s all.

Microsoft White Papers–Kill Me now!

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A Microsoft Team Member Accessing one of their White Papers!

Having just beaten the Microsoft CRM IFD challenge, I felt it necessary to blog about how mush I dislike the way Microsoft supply data about their own products.

The image above is not too far from the truth. You read a pile of “bla bal” data, only to find that the detail about the really important and difficult part is vague and relies on prior knowledge or experience to complete.

Evidence of this is the number of internal blogs, videos and instructional information that is always produced by MS team members and community members explaining the real low down on how to get their stuff to work.

Want to know what a White Paper is?

Google “Microsoft White Papers”

Returns this:

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That opens to this:

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This gives a URL: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=5672

That fails to this:

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GO Microsoft!

So their Bing steps in with a suggestion. Did I mean

Do you mean service providers bus resources bizreswp?

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What?

Really Microsoft, things should be getting better, not worse!

Problem With DNN Blog Module 04.01.00 – 01

imageWe found an issue with what is the current release version of DotNetNuke Blog module 04.01.00 or 04.01.01.

First up, we don’t know what the version number should actually be, as the compiled version on the download is 04.01.00 but the source code is referenced as 04.01.01.

We presume there is some difference, but who knows what it is.

Anyway The Problem

The problem is that any forms on a page that run the blog module, will not allow form data to be validated. By validated, we are talking about ensuring a number is entered in a number field and text in a name filed etc.

The cause is the blog module is using an old ASP.Net 1.0 validation function. While it should be using ASP.NET 2.0 with the updated validation behaviours as found here:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/0ke7bxeh.aspx

With this mistake, if you use Page.Validate on ASP.NET 2.0, page validation groups are ignored and the controls are validated.

Why the BLOG module is even coded this way is quite questionable in any case. However without DNN being a true open source system, we have no ability to fix this were needed in the source.

Our solution

We fixed the problem and recompiled a version that people can download an use for free.

Blog_04.01.01_Install A

You can install this on top of any DNN blog module 04.01.00 and we would expect that future releases of the blog module will not be affected by this version we compiled. However they may well revert back to their junk code in the future releases.

Should I Install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)

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They Say

They say the best technology is the technology you don’t notice. This is most definitely true for a lot of truly revolutionary technologies. Take the fuel management system on the Airbus A380. Constantly moving and controlling distribution of fuels around multiple systems, taking into account best distribution for weight and balance, safety, economy, possible errors and general automation of management.

A truly great example of technology that is unnoticed, and just goes about doing what it was designed to do well.

Then there is Windows 7 SP1

Before installing the update, you have to realise that Windows 7 is actually the in house patched (fixed up) version of the off shore experiment that went so terribly wrong for Microsoft. Windows Vista. With almost no new features in Windows 7, you could really call it the true SP1 to that junk they called Vista.

That in effect makes this SP1 release for Windows 7, a SP2 for Vista. In other words, they are really just fixing stuff they have either since found or did not have time to fix from the initial release.

Microsoft Themselves Recognise no Value in this Update

Take a look at their Windows 7 Service Pack 1 “What’s included in Windows 7 Service Pack 1(sp1)” website, and you begin to get the idea.

See the feature list?

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Me either… They list exactly nothing. Nothing is included in SP1 for Windows 7. They have no features, no additions and no reason to update.

One general reference only to “Reliability” and “HDMI Audio Services”. We already know that “reliability” is a word that has been banned from being used in conjunction with Microsoft products. But HDMI Audio…

Features

So you already can see where I am going with this. There are no features, there is nothing to draw you into this release. So if you are finding that your Windows 7 install has yet to fall apart and is otherwise working like a well service patched version of Vista. Then leave it alone!

If you are installing from scratch, then best practice would probably have you install SP1. I could not argue otherwise.

Be Warned.

Like all things Microsoft, there are plenty who wish they have not installed SP1. Some of the problems include:

Colour problems

Failure to install – "Installation was not successful" DS_S_SUCCESS(0x0)

Windows 7 SP1 Fails to Install ‘0x800f0826′

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 fails to install with 0x800f0a13

Fatal Error C000009A applying update operation [number] of [number]

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 – Installation Failure ERROR_ACCESS_DENIED(0×80070005)

Just to name a few issues.

Microsoft are so aware of these problems, that they have released an official tool to help you prevent your system from bugging you to install SP1. They call it the Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit. Along with the Windows Live Writer, it is probably the best tool released by Microsoft since Steve became the boss there (Developers Developers Developers).

For My Money

Time is money, and my time is valuable. I’m leaving this one alone, as I simply don’t trust Microsoft any more. They are time bandits and service packs with no features and loads of problems, smell terribly like a time bandit about to suck up another day or two of my life in Microsoft Hell.

On Another Note

I am looking forward to Tomorrows WWDC 2011 Key Note Speech. It is ironic that I once was this excited about the Microsoft releases. I wonder what “magical” new things Apple have installed for me this year?

Codeplex InteractiveWebs Profile Updated

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Today we updated out profile at Codeplex http://www.codeplex.com/site/users/view/InteractiveWebs

mostly so that we could slam a review up for the latest dotnetnuke 5.6.2 release. The review points out that the release is not one of the worst releases of dotnetnuke, but it is buggy and caused us some problems. We are quite disappointed that this is the last 5x release, and hold little hope about the initial releases of DotNetNuke 6x.

Shame for all the hype and spin that dnn corporation have been putting on themselves that they are so happy to release such junk.

Problems with Windows Closing Programs and Logging off

Microsoft Fail of the Week! – Where are they going with all this?

I’m rather sick of Microsoft “fixing” things in version updates to Windows. Here is one I just love to hate.

I’m RDP into a server.

Doing some server work.

I finish and click log off. (Windows 2008 R2)

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I get a confirmation about it. – YES

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I get another confirmation about it – YES and Force

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Then is just sits there forever.

Now I remote check the server performance. Guess what. the server load is through the roof. And stays that way for a considerable amount of time.

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Remote shutdown is disabled, and failing.

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The machine is in some sort of Microsoft Hell.

Now it may be me, but did programs not shutdown correctly for like the last 15 years of Microsoft Windows, when you logged off.

As a server administrator, am I so daft that I need a reminder about logging off closing my programs, and a way that no earlier versions of Windows did, but now suddenly they have to invent a jquery style splash page that DOES NOT WORK.

Here is a tip for Microsoft. When you are working on new versions of software. MAKE THEM BETTER not worse than your last version!

Now when I next login, it is giving me some Shutdown Event Tracker errors:

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Where is the option for “It’s a busted ass Microsoft Bug”

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So I’m forced to comment in the usual server administrator way.

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Really why force me to type anything. I’m not a child!

Then I get this:

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No message, no “On solution found” it just disappears from screen. WTF.

It’s like they have beat me with a stick till I have to go and try a Mac. Honestly! Who’s running that place?

This looks serious about something. Can’t imagine it is GOOD QUALITY SOFTWARE! You?

Written with Windows Live Writer. The only good new software to come out of Microsoft in the last 10 years. Well done to the one dude that wrote it. Don’t let me screw it up into the future!