Category Archives: Hacking

New Computer Ordered

The last time that I bought a new computer, was back in late 2003, just before my daughter was born.

I remember say to my wife at the time, I had to purchase the computer because there was no telling the next time that I would be able to purchase a new one.

This time, instead of paying extra for a mainstream computer, I decided to go to a local computer builder, and have a custom unit built for me.

I ended up with a Pentium 4 on an Intel motherboard, 4GBs RAM and a 100GB HD for around $1000.

At the time, it was a very speedy machine, but after many years of service, and countless upgrades, the machine started to show its age when trying to run Windows XP, Office 2007 and Photoshop CS3.

So the hunt started for an upgrade, and I was able to finally scavenge a base Intel Core 2 6400 box, which I am still using to write this entry.

My biggest issue with this current machine, is that I am running into some compatibility issues with Camera Raw 7 after upgrading to Lightroom 5 and trying to move files into Photoshop CS5.

There is also the occasion, when working on larger 1+GB TIFF/PSD files, I simply run out of memory.

Then, about 2 weeks ago, after a tough budget negotiation, I was given the green light for a new machine!

Yeah!

Now the question was what to get!

I knew what I wanted a machine that could run Photoshop & Lightroom as the main applications, which meant as much CPU and RAM that I could get!

Like any computer geek, I fantasy configured systems on the major computer websites, and knew that they were way overpriced for what I wanted.

I wanted a custom-built machine, but how? Another Local vendor? or via the Internet…

Or myself, which I had never done before, even though I have fixed hundred of computers over the years!

I started to look at several ‘You Built It’ websites to get a very rough idea of price and configuration, and was quickly overwhelmed with the various configuration options!

It was time for a spreadsheet.

I listed the major components I wanted, and then I started to visited 5 different sites (ComputerLX.comMagicmicro.comNewEgg.comTigerDirect.com, Amazon.com), collecting prices and reviews.

Even for a seasoned computer person, the various chip sets and sockets available made my head spin! I spent countless hours reading the forums on Tom’s Hardware so that I could make as intelligent decisions as possible!

At some point, I came to the realization, that I was going to be building this machine myself, and I started to venture into YouTube land to learn more about the basics of my new DYI project.

Finally, after many hours of research and internal debate, I finally placed my order:

Stuff starts to arrive Wednesday!

I can’t wait!

- Andrew
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flickr Award Counter – Backup, Restore and Transfer

If you get involved with the Flickr photography groups that have awards, you will notice that there is no really good way to track what you have, until flickr Award Counter (fAC) by Andy Felton (PhazeShift).

flickr Award Counter can take some time to initially setup, because you have to enter in each Award Title (think of a naming structure), and the URL to the Award image for the greasemonkey/javascript counters to work, but once it is done, fAC works great!

But beware, once done, there does not appear to be a direct way to back up all your filter/counter work.

Backup

After some hunting, I found a thread on the Flickr Hacks – “Award Counter – backup?“, which suggested that one backup the Firefox “prefs.js” file, which can be found (example: Win XP):

C:Documents and Settings%profilename%Application Data ¬
MozillaFirefoxProfilesdm24ria8.defaultsprefs.js

where

%profilename%

is the current user, and

dm24ria8.defaults

could be “any-name.defaults” within this path, and includes “prefs.js”, and all the more fun if there are multiple users! A-)

The simplest backup, is to copy/duplicate the “prefs.js” file within the same directory and adding the “.bak” extension (“prefs.js.bak”) or copy the file to another location, and leave yourself a reminder of where!

Restore

To restore, just replace the damages file with the backup from above.

Transfer

Many times, all you want to do, is to transfer your filter/counter information from one machine to another.

If you use the Restore method mentioned above, one of the immediate down sides is that the destination machine, will inherit the “prefs.js” settings from the source machine.

In some cases, this might be sufficient, but what if you ONLY want the filter/counter information.

about:config

On the machine that has the Main/Source of filter/counters, launch Firefox, and type about:config in the address bar.

You will get a warning screen, and just agree.

[Technically, you are on your own now, so...]

Scroll down to the following filter:

greasemonkey.scriptvals.http://www.phazeshift.co.uk/download//flickrAwardCounter.awards

Double click on the entry, and a new window will open up.

In the “Enter string value” window, copy the string value.

Move to the destination machine, and find the similar entry, and paste in the source filter information.

Quit your browser, and re-launch Firefox, and check your work.

This has been done transferring an existing series of Firefox 4.0 XPro filters to Firefox 4.0 Win7Pro (destination):

C:Users%profilename%AppDataRoaming ¬
MozillaFirefoxProfilesx5lnhhwl.defaultpref.js

with out issue (“x5lnhhwl” will change).

Your mileage may very.

Feature Request(s)

  • Ability to Export/Import filter/counters
    • These could be “traded” via Flickr

Please feel free to add Comments or Feedback.

– Andrew
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FaceBook – Hackers and Spoofers

Heads Up! – There seems to be a bunch of “hackers” and “spoofers” attacking Facebook right now! – FB is a big target, and several of my connects have been hit, so please be on alert!

The “stuff” that I have seen/hear is Inbox messages that say something along the lines of “Check out this site”, and when you roll over the link, it points to a web site in *.pl (Poland)… other sites that one should be aware of are *.ru (Russia) and *.cn (China)… I was also sent a site link for “Photo Comment/Review” which was out of the *.uk, … but when I chatted with that person live, they warned me! Make sure your Virus software is up-to-date, and your OS is patched! and when in doubt, google the site to see what others are saying…

I wish I could be of more help, but the bastards are very smart at hiding their intent! In general, always roll over a link, check where it is going BEFORE you click!

– Andrew
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