Windows Media Player 9 is a security risk

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Steve Young, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. Steve Young

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Are you on XP or 9x? How are you communicating with your wife's
    computer? By far the best way is through a simple Ethernet card and a
    hub. Any of the weird sharing stuff that people run for consumer
    configs is going to be a lot less stable.

    I have my three machines on a tiny LAN, connected with ordinary Ethernet
    cards to a hub. There's also a router on the hub that connects to the
    outside world. The advantage to this is that all the network stuff is
    pulled out of the Windows machines, so that they have less that they can
    screw up (standard Ethernet is what Windows does best, and it rarely
    gives problems). Also, I don't have to run firewalls on the Windows
    machines because the gateway router stops all incoming traffic now.

    Even UNIX is a pain to configure for weird network setups, like PPTP
    over ADSL and the like. Everything is much easier and smoother with a
    LAN.
     
    Mxsmanic, Nov 2, 2003
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  2. Steve Young

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Unfortunately some manufacturers and users, are adding USB keyboards.
    If the USB driver takes a dive, the keyboard is gone.
     
    Ron Hunter, Nov 2, 2003
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  3. Steve Young

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Running WinXP Home on my PC, and Win98SE on hers. I suspect there is a
    bit of incompatibility in the way they deal with loss of contact after
    secure contact is established. The connection is 10/100 ethernet
    through a router/hub. WinXP did the configuration via the setup wizard.
    n
     
    Ron Hunter, Nov 2, 2003
  4. "not a bad OS" is an adequate description, I guess. :)
    There were a lot of things I should have done while I still had a good
    job. :)

    Given my propensity for programming micros, I should have stayed on
    top of the more recent OS's APIs, regardless of my feelings towards
    the producers.

    I should have saved more money. :)

    I should have bit the bullet, and learned technologies I don't care
    for (like Access and VB) to make myself more attractive to potential
    employers should I become unemployed.
    Everything I want a permanent copy of is written to one or more CD-Rs.
    The nice thing about them is if you write .jpgs, .mpgs, and/or .mp3s
    the el-cheapo Apex's available at Wal-Mart will play them, so you can
    easily share your work with less-than-technically-adept family
    members.
    Agreed. What do those URLs mean, anyways. :)
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Nov 3, 2003
  5. Steve Young

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Learn SAP. I see ads for that all the time. I think one reason there
    are so many ads for SAP experts is that nobody can stand SAP.

    Other stuff I see includes PACBASE (ick!) and J2EE (the Ada of the
    moment).

    But truly you can learn anything pretty quickly. And technologies come
    and go so rapidly that even if you don't learn XYZ today, it doesn't
    matter that much, because nobody will still be riding the XYZ bandwagon
    two years from now.
    I provide photos to clients on CD-R, too.

    I need a new monitor, though. And a Sony Artisan is beyond my budget
    for now.
    Which URLs?
     
    Mxsmanic, Nov 3, 2003
  6. Heh heh; good suggestion. That's one of the skills I've noticed that
    there is a reasonable demand for in a reasonably sized town about 90
    miles up the road. I've been considering SAP and/or PeopleSoft for
    some time now. Only problem is that I don't have a manner by which to
    approach learning this stuff. In times past, the jobs I've accepted
    have been able to pay me to learn what they were using. In current
    economic conditions though, employers have the luxury of holding out
    for experienced coders.
    Never heard of either, although I do have a little knowledge of Ada.
    I am reasonably adept at learning, but I'm just too darned found of my
    C... :-/ Interestingly enough, more and more stuff is popping up on
    ITMoonLighter that I'm capable of, although I still haven't won a bid.
    A nice service. I hope they are of better quality than the ones I've
    seen some of my friends end up with. I ended up rescanning his photos
    because the CD-R the developer provided was of such poor quality.
    I understand all too well.
    The ones in the log files... :)
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Nov 3, 2003
  7. Steve Young

    Mxsmanic Guest

    You can learn from a book. The difficult part is convincing an employer
    that you've successful learned from a book, not the act of learning from
    a book itself.

    And with the demand for SAP, they might take you even without OOJ
    experience.
    I don't know of anyone who uses Ada. PACBASE is a nightmarish
    application generator (what some people used to grandly refer to as a
    "fourth-generation language"); you input some simple stuff and it
    generates source code, as I recall. Originally it generated everything
    in COBOL. I believe it can still generate COBOl (and is still used for
    that regularly), but it can also generate some other languages as well,
    as fashion dictates.
    C is nice (perhaps even nicer than C++). It is poorly suited to
    business (COBOL is still best for that) or math (FORTRAN is still great
    for math, believe it or not), but for general stuff, including system
    software, it can be handy.
    Oh yes, I produce extremely nice scans, nothing like the junk that labs
    produce.

    See http://www.mxsmanic.com/VelviaScan.jpg for an example of one of my
    scans (at reduced size).
     
    Mxsmanic, Nov 3, 2003
  8. I have to have some hands-on before I'm comfortable with saying I know
    how something works.
    Another buzzword which I'm unfamiliar with; OOJ?
    I remember Ada being touted in schools as the "be all/end all." I
    didn't necessarily agree with the proponents' statements.
    I never have had much experience with application generators, and 4GLs
    really don't do it for me.
    The problem is that for the last 14 years or so I've successfully
    avoided writing business software. :-D

    A couple of years hammering out PLC and servo controller code for
    custom robots, and the remainder of that time writing image processing
    and conversion software. I have been fortunate because I hate business
    application development, and I've managed to avoid it for a rather
    lengthy period of time.
    Nice scan. :)
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Nov 4, 2003
  9. Steve Young

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Sorry, I meant OTJ--on the job.
    I've always had an extremely reliable sixth sense for snake oil in IT.
    Ada rang my snake oil alarm immediately, especially when I learned that
    it was designed in France. I predicted it would go nowhere, and that's
    exactly where it went. I predicted much the same for Pascal, and that
    came to pass as well, although it took longer. I feel the same way
    about WAP, and 4GLs, and expert systems, and structured programming, and
    object-oriented programming.
    They don't do it for anyone, but most users don't know that.
    I sympathize with you, but there is money in it--in part because nobody
    wants to do it.
    I told you so. Shot on Velvia with an Apo-Summicron-M 2/90 ASPH, wide
    open on a cloudy day, handheld, and scanned on a LS-8000.
     
    Mxsmanic, Nov 4, 2003
  10. That one I do understand. :) Last two jobs had a great deal of OTJ
    training.
    The instructors seemed to think that ADA would be where it was at *IF*
    you wanted to work for the DOD. Since that wasn't in my future I
    didn't pay it a lot of attention.

    Structured programming has been around for ages, and you don't think
    it's a viable technology? I believe OOP (as long as it's not carried
    to extremes) to be a natural evolutionary step in programming, much as
    it was to go from unstructured to structured.

    4GLs out-and-out suck; no excitement level IMO.
    :) I've seen some folks get pretty excited over GRASP and the like. Still thought the task would have been better approached by a decent C coder.
    Good point. Only time I've done it in the past is when there was
    nothing better available. But even right now that kind of stuff has
    dried up locally.
    Way out of my league. :)
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Nov 5, 2003
  11. Steve Young

    Mxsmanic Guest

    In reality, just about every DoD project got an exemption allowing it to
    use more common languages for development, instead of Ada.
    It's hype. Good software is written by good programmers ... it's a
    simple as that. There are no magic bullets that will allow bad
    programmers to write good software. Structured programming, like all
    other forms of hype in this domain, does not transform the bad software
    written by bad programmers into good software, and the good software
    written by good programmers doesn't need whatever structured programming
    supposedly would provide, anyway.

    Exactly the same is true for OOP.
    It's not an evolution, it's a new branch.

    People used to say that servers would replace mainframes, and PCs would
    replace servers. But it has never happened, despite some religiously
    zealous attempts to make it happen. Instead, it's just a new expansion
    of IT, instead of a sea change.
    And yet some organizations still use them, as PACBASE proves.
    I've seen people get excited over RPG II.
    Maybe. In any case, it pretty much blows digital out of the water,
    which is why I still shoot film.
     
    Mxsmanic, Nov 5, 2003
  12. What little I know about it was that it wasn't widely accepted in the
    circles it was engineered for. :)
    I won't disagree with the quality of the software being a reflection
    of the quality of the programmer(s). But structured programming has
    been instrumental in allowing me to more easily tackle and manage
    larger projects than I could have previously. I wouldn't want to have
    to maintain a 165,000 line BASIC system, but it wasn't that bad with
    C.
    Promotion to C++ from C allowed me to compact the code base even more,
    at the same time improving reliability.
    It makes some tasks much easier, whatever it is.
    The bane of programming. :)
    Almost forgot about that one.
    I'm not a good enough photographer to justify the price difference.
    :)
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Nov 6, 2003
  13. Steve Young

    Mxsmanic Guest

    As far as I could tell, it wasn't widely accepted anywhere.
    What was different about C?
    You don't need C++ to do that. Good coding technique is sufficient.

    Some of the cleanest examples of code I've seen have been in assembly
    language. No OOP, no structured programming, nothing, and yet they were
    easier to follow. It does help that good assembly language programmers
    will put a pertinent comment on every single line, which makes for a lot
    of internal documentation.
    Film is cheaper, at least up front. It eventually gets more expensive,
    after many thousands of shots. However, the cost of batteries can tip
    the balance more in favor of film even in this case. Currently my
    digital shots cost about $0.24 each--because of the high cost of
    batteries, and the high consumption of batteries by the camera.
     
    Mxsmanic, Nov 6, 2003
  14. Sorta like "Mandatory defaults." :)
    Scoping, modularization, aggragate/complex data types, dynamic
    allocation.
    But C++ will allow you to approach some problems in a far more
    efficient manner than C will. Just like everything can be done in
    assembly language, it is foolhardy to approach some tasks using the
    assembler only. OOPs is a very beneficial tool to have in one's tool
    bag.
    I've written some apps that were 100% assembler, and I understand all
    to well the value of those comments. The system I wrote for my
    previous employer had a very small portion of assembler in it, the
    part of the library where the program(s) spent most of their time in
    execution (image compression and decompression). Moving to assembler
    for those routines made sense. Writing the entire suite of
    applications that I was responsible for in assembler would not have
    been prudent in the least. It's doubtful that these programs would
    have been as error free, easy to maintain, or as flexible if they had
    been coded in assembler. By the same token, the flexibility, ease of
    use, and error related issues improved by a reasonable injection of
    OOP. The biggest "project" I worked on was the task of removing all of
    the previous "overhead" involved in function calls and memory
    allocations/releases that were no longer required (or were expressed
    differently) after migration to C++.
    Given my propensity for things in the digital domain, I would rather
    have imagery on my PC where I can duplicate or manipulate it easier
    than I could in the analog world. Although I did enjoy some time in
    the dark room in high school. :)

    I guess it's like comparing LPs to CDs; if your ears, equipment, and
    media are good enough, LPs still sound better than CDs by some
    accounts, and the reasoning behind that seems solid enough to me.
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Nov 6, 2003
  15. Steve Young

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Very rarely, especially after you factor in the time required to learn
    all the objects and classes you've created in order to write those final
    ten lines of incredibly "efficient" code.
    On CISC computers, it is surprising how easily one can build extremely
    large systems. Sure, there are many thousands of lines, or even
    millions of lines, but each line is simple, and often the code is very
    easy to understand.
    I always put at least one comment per line; some lines have multiple
    comments. I make sure that anyone reading the code knows why I'm
    setting that bit, why I'm testing it, where I'm branching and why, etc.
    Since each instruction is so simple, it's easy to follow what the
    program is doing by reading down through the commented code. Thus:

    LDA .STATUS,,P.PROG PULL STATUS WORD OF CURRENT PROC
    CANA .WTDISP,DL WAITING FOR DISPATCH?
    TNZ DISP020 YES, GO DO IT
    CANA .WTSWAP,DL NO, WAITING SWAP?
    TZE *+2 NO, SKIP AHEAD
    LDQ .SPADSK,,P.SYS PULL LAST SWAP ADDRESS
    TSX X.LINK,SWAP000 SCHEDULE SWAP THEN RETURN HERE
    NULL SKIP TO HERE IF NO SWAP

    .... and so on.

    Imagine this in a high-level language:

    DoDispSwapChk(ppProg,msStat->bFlg24,,NULL,0,14,SYS_YES,SYS_SWAP|SYS_DISK)

    Note the lack of comments. Just what exactly is this call doing?
    That's what film scanners are for. All my film work is scanned directly
    into a computer. No darkroom.
    Not quite. LPs and CDs are a storage medium. Film and CCDs are a
    capture medium. This is a crucial difference, and most people arguing
    about film vs. digital don't even seem to be aware of it.
     
    Mxsmanic, Nov 6, 2003
  16. Why do you have to factor in the time to learn how something you wrote
    works?

    It makes code maintenance much easier, and development much faster. My
    boss came to me on numerous occasions with projects he wanted
    developed, thinking each was going to take days, when most took hours
    if not minutes. If I would have developed this system in assembler it
    would have taken months, if not years, to develop an app.
    The problem with assembler is that I have to think too atomically to
    be able to get a reasonably useful system out within a reasonable
    period of time.
    Hard to say what that function is doing, given my lack of familiarity
    with it. :) But one thing is nice about DoDispSwapChk(); anyone
    familiar with it's operation gets a feel for what's happening by
    reading one line of source, and not nine. Reasonably selected function
    and variable names combine to form documentation as well as fuel for
    the language translator.
    If your output is going to be digital to begin with, why not capture
    it that way and skip the film process entirely?
    I guess this makes sense. In either case it's my opinion that you're
    still arguing about the resolution of the medium, regardless of it's
    use for capture or storage.
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Nov 7, 2003
  17. Steve Young

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Because it is part of the time required to produce the software.
    Why? It all boils down to calling subroutines, and you can do that even
    in assembler.
    And anyone not familiar with it is lost, since there's no way to know
    what is happening just by reading the code. So a lot of time is spent
    looking up the called function and trying to figure out what it
    does--and this often must be done recursively, until simple lines of
    straight C are found.

    If the code is C++, the problem is greatly compounded, because the
    simplest lines of code may still not be doing what they appear to be
    doing.
    Because there's no such thing as digital capture. CCDs are analog
    devices, just like film. Right now, the highest resolution and best
    quality come from carefully exposed and processed film--so I shoot film.

    Once the image is digitized, there's no difference between the two.
    Storage media have infinite resolution. In practical terms, resolution
    is limited by the analog processes at either end of the chain, in image
    capture and image rendering (printing or display). These end processes
    MUST be analog, and they ultimately are the weakest link in any system.

    A corollary of this is that it is always possible to build an analog
    system that is equal to or superior to the best digital system, since
    even a digital system is analog at both ends.
     
    Mxsmanic, Nov 7, 2003
  18. True, but since I wrote it, I did so with the knowledge that certain
    task(s) related to the type of programming I was did could be
    expedited. There is no sense in adopting OOPs if it's not going to
    make the programmer's life easier, and do so without adversely
    affecting the operation of the program. The cases where I integrated
    OOPs into our existing code base made for a smaller and simpler code
    base. Granted, far more OOPs could have been brought into the code
    base, but it would have been (IMO) a waste of time after a certain
    point.
    In my experience, when I've developed programs using assembler, I've
    had to approach problem solving with a mindset towards the computer.
    With OOPs, that mindset has been shifted more towards a real world
    model. With C it's been somewhere in between.
    And the same can be said for assembler.

    Borrowing from old DOS days, what does Int 21h, function 0ah do,
    anyways?

    The C code could be documented to the level of the assembler if the
    desire was there, as the assembler could be documented to the level of
    "the average" C program, as well.
    I understand whole heartedly there. Given at the time that there was
    no interest by anyone else on staff in the classes I was developing, I
    didn't bother to concern myself with "engineering by committee" during
    the process. Since the other coders wouldn't be using the objects, I
    decided to write them in with an approach that made them most useful
    to me, and as well as easiest to understand. I built a modal
    assignment operator; a definite no-no if you intend to share
    something.

    Plus, I also like the idea that I don't have to write explicit code to
    release system resources. There were times in the past that I would
    avoid certain approaches to problems just because they required tons
    of allocations, and I had to make sure their were corresponding
    deallocations. By moving dynamically allocated resources to objects, I
    was guaranteed that the resources they consumed would be returned to
    the system when there was no longer use for them. The resulting source
    code became much simpler to deal with.

    The boss saw how my efficient development and maintenance process
    became even more efficient as a result of my migration to OOPs, and
    mandated that the other programmers in the department utilize my
    classes as a result. He sent them to C++ classes in an effort to get
    them to the level I was.

    The objects I developed were developed with no concern for other
    coders, so it took some documentation and discussion to explain how
    things worked (I was very surprised by the boss's requirements of the
    other coders). Had they been on board at the beginning, the process
    could have been simplified somewhat, but due to their apathy during
    the design phase I acted apathetically as well, shooting for something
    that would be very simple for me.

    The fact that I never bothered to release allocated memory bothered
    the other developers when they examined a sample program, but once
    they understood those releases were occurring automatically they
    became very excited. It allowed them to shift their minds from more
    mundane house-keeping chores to the more exciting engineering chores.
    Makes since; the film won't increase in resolution and depth, but the
    CCDs will.
    You would have enjoyed working with my previous employer, I think.
    I'll buy that. Film in, film, screens, or cylinders out. Although part
    of the bankruptcy issue the company faced was an incredible amount of
    expenditures into "digital printing and proofing."
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Nov 7, 2003
  19. Steve Young

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Reads a character from the keyboard?
    True, although it is unlikely that the best CCDs will match the best
    film for resolution, simply because it is so easy to make film and
    squeeze lots of resolution out of it, whereas a CCD is an active
    microelectronic device.
    There's really no such thing as digital printing and proofing.
     
    Mxsmanic, Nov 7, 2003
  20. Probably; been way too long for me to remember, and I don't have a
    reference handy. :)
    Good point, but those electronics devices have a surprising tendency
    to continue to shrink in size.
    All about film, printing, digital/analog, and the like. We did some
    pretty cool stuff there.
    Perhaps, but he was pushing for it. At the end, he was pouring tons of
    research effort into trying to develop a system where the proofs,
    short, and long runs would all appear the same.
     
    David W. Poole, Jr., Nov 7, 2003
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