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Comment Salt and Pepper (Score 1) 1007

Two tricks i use to hide passwords is to use short forms, eg "A7" might expand as "ABD968017", and a general "salt and pepper" table. These are all unrelated to what is typically discussed. Note also that a7 expands to "abd968017", so some case can be preserved.

In a salt and pepper table, one uses an intermediate table that is easy to recall, but no need to be written, and not common knowledge. An example might be "husbands and wives", so a password displayed as "John" might be entered as "Yoko". Another kind of table might be "middle names", so "John" would elicit the response of "Winston". Note eg, jOhn gives yOko or wInston, so you can hide case in here too.

The less obvious you make the salt and pepper table, or the more unobvious the abbreviations, the more secure the table, even if the reminders are kept in plain text (plain text in an unobvious application also deters automatic gathering. Who would look for something like a .DOC file, might have some fun when the downloaded document is a multimate doc!

Comment Suspect it's MSFT (Score 1) 433

It's interesting that the bulk of the SxS stuff is Microsoft stuff, not third party stuff.

I recall that when Win95 first came out, and that they were replacing the Win16 stuff with Win32 stuff. Someone remarked that there would be incompatibilities, and that it was for the vendor to rewrite the apps to meet the new APIs. That calling some DLL by name would of course these incompatibilities.

I thought how silly. Inviting third parties to use routines in your DLL is pretty much a kind of contract of support. This is the nature of the operating system, really. If you create a DLL like VBRUN100 for some set of apps to call, then the App expects it to run in that way, and if your new version of VBRUN would cause incompatibility, you should give it a different name, like VBRUN200.

Last time i looked, routines like VBRUN100, BWCC etc, comes to about 9 MB. (There's a download that ye can add to your OS to give these as preinstalled.

Where the problem comes is when some sort of obvious name gets used for different DLLs (eg the three different versions of THREED.VXD that different applications were loading under Win31), or the MFC3xx DLLs where the source code was given to vendors to allow them to add their own functions. (good lord). Even so, Microsoft continues to release DLLs like MSVCRT and MFC40, updated to their latest operating system / compiler.

I don't think anyone else uses such nonsense as SxS or DLL hell: OS/2 VREXX.DLL or EMXRT do the right thing: preserve existing functions, and have a test for version-level.

Comment OS/2 for NT, round two. (Score 2, Interesting) 137

I think it's another re-run of OS/2 1,x PM virtualisation under NT 4. When you install this package, the program launcher still lives in the host system, and any commands to start an application visits the host, and then switches to the virtualisation.

Compare OS/2's virtualisation of Windows 3.x. OS/2 still launches the app, but it does not do a graphic repaint of the current host screen to do this.

Comment Pi (Score 1) 321

I suppose that any of the simpler approximations of pi (like 22/7, or 1521/484 (both squares), or even 7^7/8^6 or 3:17 [twelfty] don't rate a mention.

Still, i don't rate pi in the same regard as e or the fsh (137.0359996), since pi is a matter of how it is defined, whereas e and fsh come as a single value.

The current thinking of the circle constant, usually taken at pi, from high dimensions, is that pi/2 serves better, and for physics, 2pi might be better. pi/4 and pi/6 have also been mooted, as the content of a unit circle and sphere. (of diameter of unity).


Submission + - Italy: be reimbursed if you don't want Windows (

Paolo DF writes: An italian user asked for a reimbursement after buying a Compaq Computer which came with Windows XP and Works 8 preinstalled. HP tried to avoid the EULA agreement that -more or less- states: "If the user doesn't agree with these terms, he shall contact the manifacturer in order to return the software and receive a reimbursment".
The court ruled in fovour of the user, who received back 90 euros for XP and 50 for Works.
This ruling is particularly important in Italy, since it is one of those countries where computer=Microsoft Windows. Corriere della sera has a report (italian), and here is the ruling (PDF, Italian).

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Almost anything derogatory you could say about today's software design would be accurate. -- K.E. Iverson