It sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays…

Things that went wrong today:
- Spilled cup of coffee in mouse, keyboard and lap
- Router died
- Poked self in eye taking a drink of water
- Poured (a significant amount of) water in my lap
- No towel in the bathroom (discovered post-shower, naturally)
- Got yelled at by a school bus driver in front of my neighbors
- Dog pooped next to my chair while I was out ‘being introduced to the neighborhood’ by the friendly neighborhood bus driver

So… Dearest of Mondays.. If you could just go ahead and just die the horribly painful death that you truly deserve, that would be swell…

Here’s the skinny on the angry bus driver if you’re curious and really bored:

(School Bus idling on the road that I am about to take a right onto)
Me (thinking): “… What’s that bar on the front of the bus? Oh, cool – it kind of looks like a bus rack like the ones on the metro busses… That’s awesome!”
(take the right hand turn – driving past the school bus, which is to my left)
[The school bus driver has his window slid open – he has a look that can only be described as equal parts hatred, anger and disgust]
Bus Driver (yelling): “HEY! YOU!!!! … [indistinguishable angry yelling becoming distant]!!!!!”
Me: “What the hell is that dude’s problem?! Yell at me in my own neighborhood – asshat! Why the hell was he yelling at me anywa…. Ohhh… That’s wasn’t a really cool bike-rack wielding school bus… That’s was a school bus with a missing stop sign on their front swinging arm that is unloading children on the opposite side of the bus from me…”

At this moment, I feel it to suddenly be ‘more Monday’ than it was just a mere 5 minutes earlier… Briefly, I contemplated flagging the driver down and letting him know that his bus was in need of repair – that from a perpendicular approach, one couldn’t distinguish him ‘unloading’ from him making a simple left turn and that this was dangerous. That this was ultimately why I failed to stop while he was unloading – that I really did care about the safety of the kids.. I promise, Mr. School Bus Driver, I am a good guy once you get to know me…

But as I started playing through this scenario in my head, I the good fortune to remember something very important:
“It’s Monday – and that means that there is only one way that this can possibly turn out … You lying face down in the street, bleeding from multiple fresh puncture wounds and soaked in your own urine after having been tazed by the local P.D. when your good intentions of notifying them of their need of repair have been misinterpreted as you ‘running down a bus full of children to settle a verbal dispute with the concerned bus driver’”.

With all of this in mind, I plan to not leave my house again today and hope that the structural integrity of my house holds out until Monday passes once again and Tuesday graces us with its “at least it’s not Monday” good vibes…

Time for a beer – you guys pray that I don’t accidentally cut off a finger with the bottle opener.

Recording your desktop in Windows 8 using VLC

I recently encountered a situation where I wished to record my desktop – specifically, to document a discovered security vulnerability in a 3rd party system to assist the authors in resolving the problem…

I tried a few desktop recording applications that I had previously used without issue, but Windows 8, being the ‘new beast’ that it is, was proving to be a problem for these applications.  With varying degrees of failure, I set out for a quick and easy way to record my desktop – nothing fancy, just record…

Fortunately, a helpful YouTuber (vineet369) made mention of using VLC – something that I was not even aware was an option, despite many, many years of VLC use.  Here is the original thread, in case you are interested.

The following instructions are how I was able to accomplish recording my desktop – I am sure that there is likely more than one way to do this, but again, this was just the way that I went about it…

First, open VLC.  Next, press CTRL+C (or click File > Open Capture Device…).

On the dropdown list labeled ‘Capture Mode’, select ‘Desktop’.

Now, adjust your ‘Desired frame rate for the capture’ – I went with 30, but feel free to experiment to get the desired fluidity and file size that you desire…

Now, click the arrow next to the button labeled ‘Play’ and select ‘Convert’.

We are almost ready to record… You will want to specify the destination file name where it says ‘Destination file:’.

Finally, click ‘Start’ – you are now LIVE!

LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION!

There are a lot of additional settings that you can tweak with on this, but this is the quick and dirty way to get recording – feel free to experiment and share your results!

 

Edit: I’ve posted a video here for those not too keen on reading: Desktop Recording in Windows 8 using VLC

NTFS File System Tunneling (…is stupid …and wrong)

I will keep this short… I’ve already spent far too much time on this easy to work around peculiarity of NTFS and how it associates file meta information under the hood…

Consider this console app: http://pastebin.com/66QABWS3

If you were to actually read this (don’t feel too bad if you didn’t – the last link will explain it all) and didn’t have knowledge of the magic going on behind the scenes, you may be fooled into thinking that this application would write out “42″ at some point in it’s lifetime…

Unfortunately, reasoning such as that would be based in reality – where up is up, down is down and true doesn’t equal false.  I say ‘unfortunately, due to the fact that this is not the reality that your NTFS file system (if you have one) is operating in…

It is actually operating in a place where when one thing dies, another assumes its identity and carries on its life as if it is the original thing – clearly it isn’t, but your NTFS file system assures you that it is…

NTFS is telling you: “This file that you create and then delete every 10 seconds, as you have for the last month and a half… Well, it wasn’t just created 9.9 seconds ago.. No.. It was created a month and half ago… Really it was… I don’t care that you just deleted it and then recreated a COMPLETELY NEW file in it’s place – THIS IS THE FILE CREATED ONE AND A HALF MONTHS AGO. FER-REAL-ZIES!”

Welcome to the nonsensical world of NT File System Tunneling …

-Matt