I use PuTTY a lot. I manage a lot of servers for my work, and I have a separate session for each one. I recently ran into a problem where a significant number of my sessions were rendering weird characters compared to some of the others. After troubleshooting for a while, I finally found information that said PuTTY was possibly the culprit. Since I had some sessions working, but others were acting strange, I started poking through the settings trying to figure out what was different in PuTTY.
After banging my head for a bit, I decided there had to be a better way. I did some searches, and I couldn’t find anything on the internet that would do exactly what I wanted to do, which was compare two registry keys to see what values were different. I could eyeball it, of course, but why not let the computer do the hard work for me? Since I couldn’t find a pre-packaged solution on the web that specifically worked with registry data, I decided to write my own. Introducing Registry Key Diff. It’s a very simple tool that allows you to compare two keys to see what might be causing your problems. For me, it ended up being a character encoding issue, but some of my sessions were configured properly, while others were not. I used the new tool I wrote to copy the encoding setting to all of the other sessions, and everything is happy now.
Anyway, I figured I’d clean up the application and share it with everyone. Who knows who might be out there needing to do something similar to what I wanted to do. If you’re interested, head on over to the application page to download it and check it out.
I was searching the web today, and I realized that my browser had stored thousands of previous search queries in its database. I’m one for privacy, so I felt like I should clear those out. If anything, cleaning them out should help to keep the system running smoothly. I went into my Firefox settings to find the way to clean them out, and I realized that there was no easy way to do so. The search history is tied together with the form history, so if you clear out your searches, it will also clear out any saved data you may have to auto-populate forms. That doesn’t make sense to me, so I searched for a way to fix that. I asked on the Mozilla support forums, and got the standard response: use an extension. Well, the extensions that do this are convoluted and actually do a lot more than I needed. I just wanted to clear my history without doing it manually by holding the delete key down for 20 minutes. I started poking around in my profile directory to see where this information might be stored and found the location. It is saved in the same database file as the forms data, which makes sense as to why they are tied together in the application. Fortunately every entry for the search history has a specific field name, and makes it easy to manually clear just that, and nothing else. Now, I could have just used sqlite3 to wipe out the data, and be done with it, but I wanted an easy way to do this again in the future.
Firefox Search History Cleaner is born! It’s a tool that does exactly what I want, and nothing else. To use it, all you need to do is launch the executable and click the Load Database button. It will find your profile automatically (if you have more than one, you will have to choose) and load your search history. You can sort it by search query or date, and select specific entries to delete or delete them all. Everything is driven with a few simple buttons. Before you delete your history, you can export your search history to a text file for later reference. If you’re a Firefox user, and you hate that you can’t clear your search history, then check out this tool and see if it’s right for you!
Today I’ve posted a new application called Countdown Max! It’s the next generation countdown application, which replaces the previous Countdown application available on the site. It does everything the original one did, but allows for multiple different countdowns simultaneously. It also runs in completely portable mode, which means that all configurations get saved in its local directory, it shouldn’t leave its mark on any system it is run on. It only comes in a ZIP file, and is actually just a single executable that can be run from anywhere you have write permission to. If you are anticipating an event, and want to see how long until it happens, check out Countdown Max!
On the StorURL front, a new version has been posted, 184.108.40.206. With this new version come a few new requested features that made sense to add to the application. Each category will now remember how it was last sorted, so no more sorting every time you jump around. A couple of new columns were added to the main UI, “Date Added” and “Credentials.” The first is obvious, but the second is a column for quickly identifying which sites have credentials saved for them with a Yes/No value. Clicking on the site will show the username in the site information pane, but the password is still hidden until you open the site’s properties (for shoulder-surfing security purposes). Last, but not least, you can now re-order the columns, and their sizes will be remembered between application restarts. This means you can move each column around however you’d like, and even size a column to zero pixels wide if you don’t care to see it. Check it out by downloading from the StorURL application page, or by using the built-in updater to update to the latest and greatest.
I had some free time this weekend, and spent it updating a few of the applications on the site. StorURL has been updated to 220.127.116.11 and TrueIP is now at version 18.104.22.168. StorURL now has auto-fill available from the main UI. This will allow you to automatically retrieve the Title and Description for all sites in a category, or just the selected ones. TrueIP now has the ability to immediately open the log file directly from the right-click menu. It also supports portable mode. Just add a portable file into the application directory, or just download the new portable version. As always, check out the StorURL and TrueIP pages for the download links.
Coming soon is a new version of Countdown called Countdown Max! It supports multiple countdowns and a more portable format that doesn’t rely on the registry to function. I’ve been using it for a few years now, and slowly making tweaks as I deem them necessary. Stay tuned for more information.
I made a new app today to automatically lock my computer after a defined time period. It’s useful for if you want your computer to auto-login after booting up, but don’t want to leave it wide open to tampering. From the readme:
Timed Locker is a basic tool to use if you want to perform a delayed lock of your computer for any reason. Its original creation was for me to put in my system startup to lock my computer after a certain amount of time unless I typed in the correct password. I did this so that I can auto-login to my PC on startup so that things like Outlook start and process my email. I like to
start my computer via Wake on LAN before I get into the office, but I do not like to leave my workstation logged in unattended. This solved the issue for me.
Hey everybody! I am playing around with adding additional language support to Simple Phone Book as an experiment. StorURL currently only supports US English, since that’s the language I natively speak. I am wondering if people would be more inclined to use the application if it was available in their native language. I tried adding language support to SMTP Mail Sender in the past, and it worked, but it was a kludge of an implementation. I’m now learning how to do it properly in the .NET framework. Anyway, I’m just curious as to how many people would be interested in seeing StorURL translated to another language. If I get enough votes in the affirmative, I will run another poll asking for which languages you would like to see. By default I would probably do the major European ones: English (UK), French, German, and Spanish. That’s a bridge to cross later though. Anyway, please vote in this poll and let me know what you think! If you have any other details, comments, suggestions, etc., feel free to add a comment to this blog post.
In the world of dynamic DNS, there are many different providers, and not so many clients that support those providers. Today I released a new version of TrueIP that allows you to specify custom URLs, fields, etc to GET/POST to. I personally use the dynamic DNS option with my domains for various dynamic hosts. I use Namecheap as my DNS provider at the moment, and it is fairly easy. They supply the information necessary to get set up and start using a dynamic updater on their website. I have not tested with any other providers, but from little research I have done, this should work with the majority of them. If you are interested in testing, please let me know your results, and I can update this post and the TrueIP page. Currently, this has only been added to the desktop TrueIP client, but soon I will also implement this feature into TrueIP Service Edition. Update, both the desktop and service versions of TrueIP now support this feature! Check out the change log for more details.
Note: Please uninstall any previous versions of TrueIP, as this new version is installed in a new location to be consistent with other HazteK Software applications.
I’ve been working on a new version of Simple Phone Book over the past week in my free time, and I think I’ve got it to a point where I can release it now. This new version is built on the same engine as the latest version of StorURL, so it was pretty easy to crank out. I tried my best to replicate the functionality of the previous version of SPB while making it more stable and functional on modern operating systems. It has been tested extensively by myself on both Windows 7 and Windows 10. If you were interested in using SPB but found it to be unworkable on modern versions of Windows, try this new version out.
In addition to releasing this new version, I’ve made a few short how-to videos on how to get started with the new version. Check them out if you feel the urge.
Recently I was working on a project where I was troubleshooting some SHA256 hashing issues. I needed to do some comparisons between what I was trying to hash, and what I was actually getting. There are online tools to do this, but the information I wanted to hash was sensitive, and I didn’t think it would be a good idea to be pasting it in plain text on a random website to be hashed and returned. I figured if they are doing the hash on the back-end server, then they could also be doing something like building a rainbow table of those hashes for any future nefarious purposes they want. Anyway, I figured it’d be simple enough to use the hashing algorithms built in to the .NET framework to make my own simple desktop application to hash values. I got something up and running pretty quickly, and it worked well for my purposes. Since I was already half-way to an application anyway, I added some features, made it presentable and slapped it up here on the website for others to use. With that, SHAsher was born. It’s available to download now from its application page. If you need to hash things with MD5, SHA, SHA256, SHA384, or SHA512 locally on your windows desktop, check out the application. It’s dirt simple to use and keeps all your data to yourself without sending anything across the web.
Thanks to a suggestion from a user, the latest version of TrueIP can do a new task. When the external IP address changes, TrueIP can now execute a command with parameters. You can use this to do things like restart a service, or even restart the system if you want. In hindsight this seems like a very useful feature, so I am glad to include it in the latest version. As always, you can grab the installer for the latest version from the TrueIP page. If you are already running a fairly recent version of TrueIP, run the Updater.exe program in the application’s directory (make sure to exit the current version of TrueIP before doing this) to just grab the update directly. The change log describes what has been updated in the latest version.