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Securing HTTPS SSL

July 29th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
Below are all steps to take to make sure your site is served securely over HTTPS.  Any suggestions, feel free to let me know.

1. Preliminary:
- Install SSL certificate to your domain either through GoDaddy, AutoSSL on CPanel, or Let's Encrypt on CPanel.  Let's Encrypt is easiest to me, as it auto-renews and is free.  There isn't really a reason to pay anymore for SSL.  However, note that you can't have both AutoSSL and Let's Encrypt on at the same time (they will compete/conflict).  If you run into errors for subdomains on Let's Encrypt, try excluding the www- checkbox.  For Windows IIS, you can use CertifyTheWeb which auto-installs from Let's Encrypt.

2. Adding HSTS to servers....[More]
Last Updated Sep 6th, 2018 | 266 unique view(s)

Security Software

June 17th, 2010 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #

Best antivirus, antispyware, and just antimalware in general.

     Just doing a bit of research on my own to figure out what antivirus programs I want to use once I do a clean install of Windows 7 on my laptop.  Obviously, I cannot personally try them all, so I'm going to be listing ones I find most mentioned and in general what people say about them.


Last Updated Jan 14th, 2012 | 498 unique view(s)

Send Mail As From Gmail SMTP

October 15th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
These are directions on how to set up your own domain's email addresses to work from Gmail in case I forget.  In other words, sending from your own address but having it sent from Gmail's servers so you can use gmail as your client, authentication, etc.

1. Login to
2. Go to settings.
3. Go to accounts and import.
4. Under send...[More]
Last Updated Mar 11th, 2016 | 474 unique view(s)

SMF1 on PHP5

January 14th, 2020 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
For those still using SMF1, PHP5 or later will throw a lot of deprecated errors and warnings, which quickly clog the error log.  This thread below isolates the 3 changes you need to clear them:

To stop error logging internally to SMF:
In index.php:
- Replace set_error_handler('error_handler'); with set_error_handler('error_handler',E_ALL & ~E_DEPRECATED & ~E_NOTICE);

To stop errors showing on the page itself:
In index.php:
- Change error_reporting(E_ALL); to error_reporting(E_ALL & ~E_DEPRECATED & ~E_NOTICE);

In SSI.php
$ssi_error_reporting = error_reporting(E_ALL);
$ssi_error_reporting = error_reporting(E_ALL & ~E_DEPRECATED & ~E_NOTICE);
81 unique view(s)

Sony P200 Camera - Removing Dust Spots

January 2nd, 2009 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #

  The Sony P200 camera, despite being a very good camera, had a known flaw.  Its design was not air-tight and dust would eventually build up on the sensor - which means you get dust spots on pictures you take.  Usually these dust spots are out of focus and only come in for very bright pictures, but as they build up, they become more visible.  This build up I’m talking about usually takes place over a year or two - so it would not be evident at first.

  However, there is a solution for those who wish to keep using it.  Through this simple tutorial at, you can open the camera to brush off (or spray off using compressed air from a can) the dust.  From my experience though, it only buys a few more months before some dust appears again.

  Then again, I usually keep the camera in my pocket so that may be a factor in it. :P

Last Updated Dec 31st, 1969 | 395 unique view(s)

SQL Azure Users

June 23rd, 2019 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
Something to remember to do every time you add SQL users to an Azure database.
Last Updated Dec 31st, 1969 | 69 unique view(s)

Start Menu for Windows 8

November 26th, 2013 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
Windows 8 is pretty fast and streamlined compared to Windows 7, despite all the negative hype on its Metro screen and whatnot.  You can disable the Metro screen and restore the Start button by downloading Classic Shell.  With Windows 8.1, you can use the 8.1 start button to bring up the classic start menu as well.
Last Updated Dec 31st, 1969 | 405 unique view(s)

Stopping File From Running

October 30th, 2014 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
Recently had a case where a file kept running and spawning many instances of itself to keep from being killed.  It was probably Malware (though it called itself Chrome version 36.0.1985.143 with a random exe name Dkzbhjgkyhj.exe). 

Easy way to stop these from running is to just rename the file and extension so that it isn't an executable anymore.  Then you can kill the process in task manager before deleting the file.
Last Updated Dec 31st, 1969 | 608 unique view(s)

Things That Are Funny

April 29th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #

Funny quotes, funny facts, weird headlines, and more!

  Here you will find a compilation of silly things I find on the net. This includes quotes, facts, jokes, and more. Only good stuff is put here (as usual on this site Tongue ). Useful if you happen to work on the the school newspaper or something.
  This list is always growing. If you happen to find any you consider really good, feel free to send them to me. Please keep it clean.
Last Updated Dec 6th, 2019 | 471 unique view(s)

Things to Do

January 11th, 2007 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
Bored? Need something to do? Just want to burn time? These are some "interesting" sites to check out... Feel free to send me more links to add! - Type a name into the addresses it gives you on the site and it'll display that name in the animation. Pretty neat. Here's an example with wow in the address:
Boxhead 2Play - Addicting 2-player stickman shooter game to kill time at school.
Last Updated Oct 21st, 2017 | 485 unique view(s)

Things to Read

June 3rd, 2009 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
Below are just interesting sites to go through, to read or skim through, if you're ever bored or just looking for something to read or skim through because you're bored or not. Tongue (say that 10x fast! Ha!)

100 Most Beautiful Places in the World - All the places I want to one day see with my own eyes. Cheesy
Last Updated Oct 25th, 2016 | 466 unique view(s)

Things to Watch

June 3rd, 2011 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
Just things on the internet worth seeing over time if you haven't seen them already.  Some are old, some are new, ... Feel free to send me more links to add! Tongue
3D Projection Mapping - Using projectors to apply effects to real buildings and objects.  More with live people from Sila Svetta, Bot & Dolly's Box, Light Harvest's Immersive Surfaces (Manhattan Bridge)
The Box Man - A man and a box.  Inspired by Japanese author Kobe Abe.
Last Updated Feb 25th, 2017 | 456 unique view(s)

UE4 Game Module Error

January 5th, 2020 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #

"Game module could not be loaded. There may be an operating system error or the module may not be properly set up."

After reinstalling Unreal Engine, my project stopped loading up. The above error message was extremely unhelpful, especially as any search for it online referred to moving DLLs around which had nothing to do with my issue. It turns out what was missing was the exact version of Visual Studio that I had when I last worked on my project. It has to be the exact version with the extras for C++ game development included. Any newer or older version still returns the same error. In my case, it was Visual Studio 2019 paired with Unreal Engine 4.23.1; it took me a few reinstalls just to figure that out because the help docs point you instead to Visual Studio 2017.
This is more a reminder for myself in the future to avoid losing a day to this again, but maybe it helps save someone else the time as well.
174 unique view(s)

Unreal Engine 4 Notes

May 16th, 2020 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
General notes and things I wish I knew as I delved deeper into #UE4:
- Package build by default includes unused assets, which can bloat the size of your game.  Go to Project Settings -> Packaging -> List of Maps to package only assets referenced by that map.  To be more aggressive and reduce unused assets in general (or to keep smaller backups), right-click your map and Migrate to a new project to create a new folder with only the assets used in your game.  More tips on this here.  But don't mark your game as shipping or distribution until you want to disable loading of listening servers by command line / shortcut.
- Do not use numbers in the project folder name.  Otherwise builds will fail to run.
- Do not use Duplicate, as it moves the object slightly.  Use copy+paste.
- Never use AND boolean functions.  They will calculate every condition even if the first one is already false.  Use multiple branch nodes instead.  See Blueprint Scripting Has No Short-Circuit Evaluation.
- Never rename...[More]
Last Updated Sep 1st, 2020 | 161 unique view(s)

VCR/VHS Resources

June 17th, 2009 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #

Maintaining or obtaining the VCR and VHS, for whatever purposes…
     Yes, VHS is dead technology, but for various reasons, some might want to keep the tape and machine. A few might even want to obtain them. You might want a VCR spare to watch really old tapes, or you might want to start converting tapes and still need the VCR to do it. Good VCRs are becoming harder to come by, so it’s ever more important to keep whatever ones you have in working condition - same goes for tapes, especially if you recorded them yourself.
     Below are possible links to check out if you want to obtain or maintain your VCR and tapes, as well as other links related.

Diagonal Lines…[More]

Last Updated Dec 31st, 1969 | 238 unique view(s)

Web Design Resources

December 9th, 2006 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #

Learning to web design from the ground up...

  This site was my first real attempt ever at coding a website from scratch. I started this with absolutely no clue as to what I was doing, and to be honest, I still don't really know what I'm doing.
  For those wondering, I use nothing but a simple text editor to type all my code - type the code, yes. You really can't "program" your site if you're using a click-and-drag interface. At most, I'd use Notepad2, which is the same as Notepad on Windows except with highlighting. Anything extra is cumbersome.
  The following are tutorial and resource sites in the order I found them. This site wouldn't be here if I didn't manage to find these. If you're just starting web design, you might want to bookmark a few of these.  Once you're done with those and want to learn actual programming...[More]
Last Updated Jun 2nd, 2020 | 562 unique view(s)

Web Hosting and Space

January 3rd, 2009 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
     At some point, you will have to switch to paid hosting if you want a truly functional website.  By then, you'll probably have figured out how to find some decent hosts (search on Google for starters).  I also list a few recommendations for paid hosts further down.

Free Website Hosting

1 ASP Host -Simply set up an account and you get about 100MB of free space.  Back when I used it, it was one of the few hosts that put nothing on your pages, allows folder structured-site, very generous.
Last Updated Feb 23rd, 2014 | 594 unique view(s)

Windows 10 as a Server

August 18th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #

Running Windows 10 as a Windows IIS server from your desktop...

There are scattered resources out there on how to do this, but they don't seem very complete or concise. Below are my own notes on getting my desktop up and running as a server, so that I can both use it as a desktop and test server code via "http://localhost/" (which will point to C:\inetpub\wwwroot\).

1. Go to Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows Features On/Off (left panel).
2. Check the...[More]
Last Updated Jan 6th, 2020 | 372 unique view(s)

Windows 10 Updates

October 17th, 2015 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
Windows 10 hides the Windows Update settings.  This is how you can disable or make it notify you before downloading/installing.
Last Updated Dec 31st, 1969 | 427 unique view(s)

Windows Upgrade with Clean Install

August 6th, 2013 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
In case you accidentally format your drive before installing the upgrade disc... No registry edits or anything...

     Just had the trouble of accidentally going the Custom > Format route for upgrading my Windows computer.  It ended up formatting and erasing my old existing Windows before installing the upgrade.  Unfortunately, that meant the upgrade key was not supposed to work anymore.

     An easy way to resolve it is to just leave the key blank so that you can use Windows for 30 days.

     Once logged in, create a folder "Windows.old" in the C:\ drive.

     Then go to Control Panel to activate your Windows copy.  The upgrade serial key will work fine.
Last Updated Dec 31st, 1969 | 451 unique view(s)