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Abbreviations in the settings

# £ My Windows 10 is usually set so that apps and programs cannot access the webcam. Occasionally, however, I use Skype for a video call and then always have to wiggle my way through with quite a few clicks to the page in the settings where you can turn the camera on and off. Isn't that faster somehow?

¶ ¢ The desired sub-page of the settings can be reached with a double-click if you create a link to the URL ms-settings: privacy-webcam on the desktop. To do this, click with the right mouse button on an empty spot on the desktop, select the context menu command “New / Shortcut” and enter the URL as “Storage location of the element”. In the second step you provide the link with a freely selectable name - that's it.

Abbreviations for practically all sub-pages of the Settings app can be defined using the same scheme. The address starts with ms-settings: for all of them. How to proceed afterwards is listed on a page in Microsoft's online documentation for developers (see ct.de/y37v). If at all possible, you should consult the English version of this page - the German translation has made some mistakes. ([email protected])

Launch the Windows Settings app: ct.de/y37v

A plaster for the camera

# £ At all costs I want to avoid any software activating the camera in my notebook and secretly filming me. So I just stuck a piece of electrical tape over the camera. Just stupid: When I spontaneously needed the camera for a Skype session the other day, I not only had to pull off the isoband (which wasn't a problem), but also had to laboriously push the adhesive residue off the lens because the other person saw me only blurred.

¶ ¢ A simple trick can help: turn the insulating tape into a kind of plaster. Cut out a small piece of paper, just big enough to cover the lens, and paste it onto the sticky side of the isoband tape. Now stick the construct over the camera like a plaster so that the lens is covered but does not come into contact with the adhesive. This means that the camera is available again quickly and without streaks when required.

If you do not have an adhesive tape that matches the color of the notebook, you can also use transparent tape. Simply print the piece of paper with a color that comes as close as possible to that of your notebook case before cutting it out. ([email protected])

Windows 10 denies access to the USB disk

# £ I am using a new hard drive formatted with NTFS by the manufacturer, which behaves strangely. Windows 10 mounts it without errors, but then does not grant access to it: “The path is not available. G: \ cannot be accessed. Access denied. ”Neither my Fritzbox (as NAS server) nor my Mac (with a direct USB connection) report errors when trying to access and I can read from the disk via both systems and also write to the disk via the Fritzbox. What is wrong with that?

¶ ¢ This error message is somewhat unspecific, the error can have more than one cause. In your case, the manufacturer of the hard disk has probably not carried out the NTFS formatting according to Windows, so that the access rights are not set correctly.

You can easily add that on Windows 10. Open Windows Explorer and right click on the USB disk in question. Then click on “Properties” in the context menu and open the “Security” area in the subsequent dialog. Add the entry “Authenticated users” in the “Group or user names” field and save the changes. Windows now updates the access rights and opens the disk properly a few seconds later. ([email protected])

Avira with a classic interface

¶ ¢ Anyone who uses the Avira virus monitor and is bothered by the little informative user interface, which is paved with advertising, can also use the old interface, which is still included in the scope of the installation.

To use them, you can create a shortcut for them. Right-click in a free area of ​​the desktop and select "New / Shortcut". In the case of 64-bit Windows, enter C: \ Program Files (x86) \ Avira \ Antivirus \ avcenter.exe as the storage location of the element; on 32-bit systems the line is C: \ Program Files \ Avira \ Antivirus \ avcenter.exe. In the next step, give the link a meaningful name such as "Avira classic" and confirm with "Finish". A double click on the new link now opens the familiar Avira interface.

How long this will continue to work, however, is in the stars, because the Avira developers could decide at any time to remove the old interface from the installation scope - then sooner or later it will disappear with a program update. ([email protected])

Cinebench R20 does not start

# £ I downloaded the new Cinebench R20 CPU benchmark from the Microsoft Store, but an error message appears when starting up that the MSVCP140.dll file is missing and that I should reinstall the program. If I follow the recommendation, the same error message still appears after the reinstallation.

¶ ¢ Your Windows system lacks a Visual Studio C ++ runtime, which is necessary for Cinebench R20, but does not provide a download itself. You can download the current runtime directly from Microsoft (see ct.de/yc46). It is best to choose the version with the highest year number, at the time of going to press it was the redistributable package from Visual Studio 2017. However, the MSVCP140.dll file should be included from version 2015 onwards. In any case, you need a 64-bit package. After the installation, Cinebench R20 can be used. ([email protected])

Microsoft Visual C ++ Redistributable Packages: ct.de/yc46

"Payload limit" of a hard disk

# £ In the datasheet of a Toshiba hard drive I found the term payload limit. What is it and what happens when this limit is crossed?

¶ ¢ That might be a flawed translation of the term workload rating. This describes the maximum amount of transferred data for which the manufacturer designed the hard disk during development. This includes reads and writes; unlike SSDs, whose durability or endurance relates solely to the amount of data written.

However, reaching the payload limit or workload rating does not mean that the hard drive will cease to work. This is only important in the event of a defect: If the drive has already achieved its workload rating, the manufacturer will probably refuse a warranty exchange, even if the warranty period has not yet expired. ([email protected])

Print from iPhone to older Ricoh laser printers

# £ I want to print to a Ricoh MP C300 from my iPhone 7. However, the printer does not support AirPrint. It should be possible to use a driver on the iPhone to create a PDF file, which is then sent to a server and from there to the printer via a service. Is there such a thing? Or maybe you know a simpler solution?

¶ ¢ Printing from the iPhone to the Aficio MP C300 is easier: Install the “Ricoh Smart Device Connector” from the App Store on the phone. Printing with the app should work if the iPhone and printer are in the same network. More details can be found on the Ricoh support website (see ct.de/ys76). ([email protected])

Ricoh Smart Device Connector: ct.de/ys76

SMB error after Ubuntu upgrade

# £ I mount SMB shares on my Ubuntu system via fstab entry, whatever worked fine. Since my upgrade from Ubuntu 16.04 to 18.04 LTS, however, I have been seeing messages in the syslog like

{[576.569639] No dialect specified: {

.on mount.


[576.570210] CIFS VFS: error -95:

.on ioctl to get interface list

flooded. How do I get rid of them?

¶ ¢ The current SMB tools expect an explicit version information. Simply append the vers = 3.0 option to the fstab entry. This should make the errors go away. With older Samba servers you can also try 2.1 or even the outdated 1.0. ([email protected])

Linux: Own wallpaper for every screen

# £ I have two monitors and I want to have a different wallpaper on each screen. The Gnome desktop I use does not offer such an option. Do you know a way?

¶ ¢ If the Linux desktops Gnome and Cinnamon run on two screens, the wallpaper is always the same on both. There is no option to assign a separate background image to each screen. However, the free HydraPaper tool simply retrofits this function on GTK desktops such as Gnome, Cinnamon, Mate or Budgie.

Under Arch Linux the program is available in the AUR, under other distributions the easiest way to install it is as a Flatpak package from flathub.org. The source code for compiling is available at https://gitlab.com/gabmus/HydraPaper.

Use the button with the three dots at the top left to add all the directories that contain suitable images. The button to the right of it quickly minimizes all windows except HydraPaper and opens up a view of the desktop background. Select the desired monitor above, click on a wallpaper and confirm by clicking on the green button in the upper right corner. You can mark pictures that you particularly like as favorites. ([email protected])

Extension for microSD card

# £ I would like to install my Raspi in a housing, but still occasionally change the SD card to start another system. How do I get to it without screwing it back on?

¶ ¢ There are extensions that have a microSD slot on one side and a circuit board in the form of a microSD card on the other. Various online retailers offer such adapters for a few euros. Mostly they come from China, so shipping takes a little longer. The German supplier Delock also has such a board in its range, but it costs around 30 euros.

With rather slow cards we could not measure any serious loss of speed when using a cheap adapter; it should be sufficient for the rather leisurely connection of the Raspi. We would advise against using faster cards due to the lack of shielding. ([email protected])