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Everything posted by cc333

  1. OK. Here's a couple detailing the Internet Settings (these same settings work fine on my 32-bit XP Pro VM): I hope these are useful. EDIT: This XP Pro x64 install is also running in a VM, if that matters.... c
  2. @xpandvistafanGood to know, thanks! I'm trying to get it to work on XP x64, and so far I seem to be unable to. Since it's generally identical to Server 2003 (which, although untested, should work), I figured it would work. Does it matter that the last time WU worked natively, I had been using Microsoft Update? It seems stuck in the redirect loop, and I'm not sure how to fixed it, unless there's a patched MU dll somewhere? c
  3. I came across this page, which, last I checked, only had 20 or so pages (!), so it took some time to read through it all! Anyway, I pieced together the instructions, and got everything set up. It took a few tries, but after realizing the script failed to replace wuaueng.dll with the patched version, I did it myself manually (I found that to satisfy SFC, I had to replace it in three places: C:/Windows/System32, C:/Windows/System32/dllcache, and C:/Windows/ServicePackFiles/i386), and, well, I'll let these screenshots speak for themselves: I was so excited, I forgot to get a screenshot of the initial landing page, but the fact I got these two should nevertheless imply that I was quite successful! The install I'm using is a copy of Windows XP Professional that I installed in a virtual machine running on my Mac. I'm quite surprised that everything's still here and apparently functional, and only the means of accessing it from XP was blocked! I wonder how long it will last before MS decides to shut the site down altogether? Nevertheless, it just occurred to me that maybe it's still here because some well-paying corporte or governmental customers are contracting MS to produce special extended support updates, one or more of which may enable proper, native support for SHA-2/SHA256? It sure would be fun if somehow we could find out for certain! That being said, in the interest of preservation, I think this is a good opportunity for someone to consider analyzing the site and downloading every possible file, with an eye towards perhaps reverse engineering the backend and re implementing it on a local server. Or perhaps as some sort of runtime that can run in much the same way as ProxHTTPSProxy? c
  4. I tried to log into my Yahoo account, and now apparently I can't unless I give them a phone number so they can send me an SMS message with a verification code. Given that there's nothing much to lose (they already know my number), I dutifully complied. The trouble is, I never got the message with the verification code! Therefore, I gave up. Again. I find myself longing for the good old days where almost everything was minimum security and we dialed in when we needed to log on and simply hung up when we were done. Always-on internet is fine and good, but it gets annoying real fast when computers and OSes are basically built such that they actually require an always-on connection, to do the same things that their 20 year old counterparts did just fine with no internet whatsoever! I remember when we got our first smartphone in 2013, it was very novel that we no longer needed to be at home or some place with WiFi to read emails. Needless to say, the novelty wore off fast, and now I wish we could still use our old 2G phones. I have a dream of someday inventing something that looks and works identically to, say, a Motorola StarTAC from 1996 (I mean identical, not one of those "re-imagined" abominations that are little more than variations of some basic Android-based piece of junk), but with a modern 4G or 5G radio instead of the old, outdated 1G and 2G of the original. One day! </rantmode> c
  5. I have a Yahoo account that dates back to 2005 and two Gmail accounts from 2007 or 2009. Never needed to provide any information back then as I recall. A phone number was optional for password recovery I think. Nowadays is quite worrisome, as it seems like one can't do much of anything anymore without some sort of smartphone. I don't want to use a smartphone for everything! And I don't buy the hype that it's better, easier, faster and more secure! My opinion is that the only truly, 100% safe and secure computer system is one which is completely disconnected from the internet. Funding issues aside, there's probably a very good reason why the US government still uses computer mainframes from the 1960s for certain top-security concerns: because they're completely isolated from the rest of the internet, they're virtually unhackable. The preponderance of modern encryption algorithms and authentication rigamarole in virtually all aspects of the modern internet only serves to make computing more difficult, expensive and frustrating. It doesn't actually make anything "safer," contrary to what Google et. al. want people to believe. It's just another set of hoops to jump through. Nothing more. c
  6. OK, forgot to update here that I managed to succeed! I followed the instructions at the RyanVM forums, added the latest 2019 post-EOS updates, and slipstreamed most of the whole thing into an OEM Dell XP x64 CD, and it works! (a handful of .NET and WMP updates wouldn't slipstream (nor would WMP11 itself), so I had to install those by hand after installing, which was mildly annoying, but far better than what would've been had I not made the updated installer, since it was maybe like 12 or 15 updates instead of 200+). Most importantly, I was able to preserve the OEM activation, so it behaves just as the untouched CD would, which is good because activating an OEM copy for which I don't have a product key is a pain. Recently, I did break down and install 7 on the same computer, so now I have both. It turns out that 7 actually does what I want better, if only by virtue of the fact that it can support newer, bug-fixed versions of the programs I wanted to use. After applying all the updates, it was almost uselessly slow until I disabled the Spectre and Meltdown patches (not best security practice, I know), but now it's only a little slow, particularly at starting up and launching programs; I attribute that mostly to the fact that it's installed on a spinning hard disk, though, so I can live with it (SSDs are so much faster!) I had XP x64 working very smoothly, but I wanted to use some hardware that only supports 7 and up, so, here I am. I still do think that, someday, someone somewhere should create a nicely-packaged unofficial SP 3, so that perhaps one can update a live installation, rather than slipstreaming the updates into a new installer CD (a somewhat tedious and error-prone task for the inexperienced), but absent that, this will suffice. c
  7. Well, there goes any chance of me trying to upgrade to Windows 11.... I also have still resisted the upgrade to Windows 10, and still use a combination of XP, 7 and 8.1 for anything I can't do with macOS, which isn't much nowadays, to be honest). XP and 7 may be out of support and "unsecure" by modern standards, but I like how they work (especially XP), and locking them down so that they're relatively safe isn't that hard to do. The only notable obstacle, I've found, is finding hardware they'll actually boot on (VMs are okay for light stuff, like testing software and such, but there is no substitute for real hardware if I want to do anything more resource intensive). That being said, any Windows before 10 will someday no longer be viable for any modern purpose, so I'll have to just give up on Windows altogether when that happens. At this point, I'm already mostly using macOS anyway, so fortunately, it won't hurt much, though I have similar qualms about Apple too (while they're not nearly as bad as MS (indeed, of all the major Tech companies (MS, Google, Facebook, etc) Apple is actually among the least offensive and most privacy sensitive ones), I nevertheless don't trust them 100%, if only because they're so big). I'll keep watching from the sidelines, but I don't think I'll be doing anything but experimentation on an unimportant backup machine or VM, if I do decide to try Windows 11. c
  8. True. It's definitely a nontrivial undertaking, but I really hope someone somewhere decides to do it, because the current state of affairs is stupid. I have a newish Skylake-based PC, and even that is struggling with the stupid internet. On an 800Mbps connection, no less!! And I was kindly updated to Firefox 91 ESR the other night, and you know what? Even though it did seem a bit faster, the new UI is ugly, and it partially broke all the userChrome cusomizations I'd made (out of fairness, though, it actually still renders it, which gives some hope). I was tired, so I went back to 78 ESR and hardcoded it to disable updates altogether, so I don't get updated (or even notified) again until I'm good and ready. c
  9. The simple and concise version: I hate the modern Internet. The long version: Just about every imaginable aspect of it seems to demand infinite RAM and CPU cycles, and for what? To do the EXACT same things websites did 20 years ago (via Flash and, yes, ActiveX)?! And these sites managed to do what they did at about the same speeds sites do them now, with 1/10th the available resources! (the average PC in 2001 had probably 256 MB of RAM and 20 or so GB of disk storage, which is nothing by modern standards). And Google? It seems to me they're leveraging their immense size and reach to remake the Internet in their image (proprietary and exclusionary), simply because they can. And they pass it off as an improvement?? And don't even get me started about Facebook, one of the other major evils of the Internet industry... *grumble* What would be nice is if someone created a new browser, which incorporates a sensible, standard UI (something PM-like would be nice, but FF 5x.x would be okay too) and a light weight, efficient rendering engine which is highly compatible with Chrome where needed, but completely open with as little telemetry as possible (undoubtedly, there will be sites that require telemetry as a "feature," so this hypothetical browser would have to "emulate" enough of it to keep the site happy, but without the security risks). This browser should be cross-platform, and it should be backwards compatible as far back as reasonably possible by using basic APIs and simple runtimes wherever possible (think Mac OS back to 10.6 and Windows to at least XP SP2, but ideally XP RTM and 2000). If anyone wants to start this project, count me in as one of your first customers!! c
  10. I'm really liking how this is progressing! It took me a few days to catch up on the 6 or so pages of posts, but I finally have, so here I am! I have a question (or so) re: themes, if I may: is it possible to have the title bar and minimize/maximize/close buttons render using the native OS controls? I prefer to use the Classic (Win 2000) theme, and I'd like the browser to blend in a bit better. And, if this isn't directly possible, is there a Classic look-alike Chromium theme out there that would work? Can I create my own?? Also, can I even use themes meant for the official Google-supplied version of Chrome, or do they need to be specially modified somehow? c
  11. That's hilarious! Windows 10 is so much slower in general (primarily because of all the extra "features"), that I think production would slow to a crawl if those robots were upgraded to it. Besides that, I doubt 10 would support them anyway. 11 certainly won't, unless M$ relents on it's somewhat unrealistically high minimum requirements (last I heard, there was some rumors suggesting they might, but that was several weeks ago-- an eternity in the computer industry). c
  12. Maybe so, but it makes a good point! Since we're making "useless" posts today, I've noticed another, similar kind of post almost as much as those switch to Linux posts, and even had a CS instructor* go on about it: "throw out your old PC and buy a new one with Windows 10!" I do NOT see any point in throwing out a perfectly fine PC just because it's 4 years old, just to get a new one which that may not have the features I like, and probably won't run the software I want because Windows 10 won't run them (this, I admit, is rare-ish, but it happens). c *I went out of my way to run a Latitude D630 (from 2008) with Windows 2000 to make the point that one need not upgrade to the newest hardware and software to get things done (I did eventually upgrade it to XP, but the point was still valid because XP was only released one year later than 2000; because XP had such a long service life, it has become extremely mature and as a result, supports an unusually wide range of hardware (everything from the earliest Pentium Pros to at least Haswell, or Skylake and up with some ACPI patching and creative workarounds for some hardware that lacks XP drivers), and has at least some support for a lot of modern conveniences).
  13. OK, I had everything configured as I wanted, and it was really running quite smoothly, which was refreshing after that ordeal with those defective backups. However, the hard drive decided to fail on me, which was totally frustrating, because it meant doing everything all over again. To that end, I repurposed an old SSD I had laying around and then ordered a Dell XP x64 SP2 Reinstallation disk (this machine is an Optiplex 390). I figured might as well just install x64, since I had the disk, have 8 GB of RAM that it would be nice to use all of, and, well, the hard drive died, which was a good excuse, for I probably would've stayed with 32-bit XP otherwise. The installation went smoothly, but since Dell doesn't offer official support for XP x64 on the Optiplex 390, there are no XP x64-specific drivers offered, so I instead had to hunt them down myself. Fortunately, it wasn't too hard, for the official-for-this-model 32-bit XP and 64-bit Vista driver packages each happened to include some 64-bit XP drivers, seemingly by chance. I was thus able to piece together enough "official" drivers to get a 100% working setup with all hardware fully operational. As for updates, I got it kinda-sorta mostly current using RyanVM's update packs slipstreamed into a copy of the Dell disk, plus a bunch of manual installation of other packages (namely, .Net Framework and WMP11 (and their respective updates), plus the VC++ redistributables) after the install was finished, so I'm pleased to say I have accomplished what I wanted. c
  14. @jaclaz Thank you for the links! However, I have given up for now, as it deteriorated from bad to worse: it wouldn't boot at all no matter what I did, so I could never get far enough to even be able to try doing anything with the linked software. So, I installed 32-bit XP instead, and everything actually seems to be working as expected, so perhaps I don't need 64-bit. Now I need to figure out how to update it in a reasonable manner. The unofficial SP4 is good, but a little buggy in my experience. It might be worth a try, though, because I really loathe to install so many updates by hand. At least the media I used (a Dell reinstall disk) came with SP3. That leaves me with about 12 years worth of updates to install instead of 16 years worth... c
  15. OK, so now it's 2021. A plague has threatened to destroy life as we know it, and Microsoft has shut down the WU update servers for XP and XP x64, so, yay? Now that the "old-fashioned" way of installing updates no longer works, it seems to me that an unofficial service pack has become more important. That being said, has anyone decided to make one since my last post in this thread in 2019? If not, maybe it's about time someone did! I would, but I wouldn't know where to begin. Anyway, I'm dragging this thread out of the depths because I'd like to install XP x64 on a spare Dell, and I don't much enjoy the prospect of installing 200+ updates one by one.... I'd just install 7 (whose WU client, for the time being, still works) and move on, but I have a need for XP x64 specifically, so I can't really avoid this issue. c
  16. I'm trying to restore a computer of mine for some software that won't run on anything newer very reliably. The problem is, the installation seems to be broken. I finally got it to boot by fixing a few things, but I think the problem stems from the fact that the installation was made with drive E: as the system root, rather than the usual C: (which it now is). As a result of this, the registry is a complete disaster. So, is there a better way than finding, one by one, every reference to E: and correcting it to C:, or is there a better, more automated way? EDIT: I should add that I would prefer to preserve this installation because it is updated fully, but if there are no alternatives, I am willing to start over and reinstall. c
  17. I'm a little rusty and out of date on this, but I'll try to help: The only reason Vista doesn't handle SSDs as well as a more modern OS might is because Vista doesn't natively support SSDs, and thus can't issue necessary TRIM commands or self configure to minimize needless reads and writes, so performance can degrade with time. However, with some careful tweaking, Vista should be able to run just fine off an SSD. Lack of TRIM can be a problem, but as far as I know, many modern name-brand SSDs have pretty good self-maintenance and garbage collection, and so shouldn't be affected too badly. That being said, if you can boot into 8.1 periodically, you can let it TRIM the whole drive (either automatically or by using software that can allow one to trigger a TRIM manually). c
  18. Much better! I found another string that needs changed under "Use custom font size, however: Additionally, the "Use custom DPI" option doesn't seem to do anything? Isn't it supposed to show some sort of control for adjusting the DPI setting? Also, the font used on most buttons and dropdown boxes is some kind of serif font. Shouldn't the font be sans-serif so it's consistent with everything else? c
  19. Good progress happening here! I will download the next update whenever it becomes available c
  20. I use XP primarily as a VM on my Macs for specific uses where anything newer won't work, and to be able to use it on hardware it won't otherwise run on. I also have numerous real machines to run it on if I want a more authentic experience. That said, I'm not giving up on it any time soon! c
  21. OK, I downloaded this one, and it looks pretty good so far! However, is there a way to enable a menu bar? I can't seem to find an option for it.... Speaking of options, I discovered some awkward grammar errors in some English phrases, screenshots of which follow, along with captions (this will take awhile): What on earth is a Boss Key? That's probably supposed to be something like "OK" or "Understood" The Avatar seems to be Chinese? Can I remove/change it, or must the browser be modified? The phrasing of some of these is decidedly weird. For example, ought "Not use system dpi" be "Use Custom DPI" instead? More of the same. Obvious issues indicated by the red arrows, underlines and ovals. And finally, this. As far as I know, in this context, one doesn't generally use the singular "gesture", since there's usually more than one! I feel like maybe I'm being very OCD, and I don't mean to be a pest, but these stood out as things that ought to be reported so the maker of the package can fix it. c
  22. Whew! Much to catch up on here!! I'd like to try it out! As a general rule, I try to avoid Chrome and most chromium-based browsers (modern Opera being a notable exception) because of Google's telemetry (there's more than enough of that nonsense everywhere else... I don't need it in my browser too!). I've been on the sidelines here, watching and waiting for some sort of ready-to-go Extreme Explorer 360 package with all the Chinese and Russian telemetry removed, and it looks like it has happened in the form of @ArcticFoxie's build 2206, which, if I am following correctly, is a build of version 13? Anyway, I have numerous machines here which are limited to XP, either by choice or, in some cases, necessity, plus a handful of VMs on my Macs, so it would be nice to have a decently modern browser for them. That being said, what should I download? c

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