-{ a hewer of maps }-

Extract Invisible Attachment

I periodically get email from ios users with invisible attachments.

TLDR: view raw, save base-64 to text, uudecode using certutil --decode (a native tool in Win7+)

Last night I finally figured out what is going on: the attachment is marked as "inline" in the header, but the client (gmail in this case, but can happen with others too) doesn't render the attachment correctly. However since the media is inline it's not visible/extractable like regular attachments are.


Python fixit snippets

Very short problems about python, found and fixed.

failed to create process.

whups, this worked yesterday. Whatup? --> drive letters/paths have been changed. The path to python.exe specified in pip.exe has moved. Solution: reinstall pip (and any other py programs similarly impacted).

Reading Untagged Document bug

Bugfix for adobe reader always trying to read a document out loud when a tablet is connected. Go to which ever exists:

%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader\plug_ins
%ProgramFiles%\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Reader\plug_ins


move accessibility.api accessibility.api.disabled
move readoutloud.api readoutloud.api.disabled


The "Reading Untagged Document" prompt indicates that Acrobat has detected assistive technology on your computer -- perhaps a screen reader or speech recognition software. Thus Acrobat/Reader is preparing the document for this device -- unfortunately without asking first.\ \ The bad news is that you can't disable it through an Acrobat Preference setting. You can decrease the frequency via Edit --> Preferences --> Reading Panel Screen Reader options: Only read the currently visible pages.\ \ Another option is to disable the continue.

Import from Camera under Limited Account

Our kids received Crayola Kidz Cameras as gifts. On Windows XP Home, under Limited Accounts (can't install programs etc), pictures cannot be imported, failing with a "read file error". Turns out the silly program, with the smooth roll off the tongue name of '913D Camera', requires write permissions to %ProgramFiles%. Under XP Home changing permissions here is difficult. In any case, after some time crawling in through a sticky web I've solved it:

​1. Download and install subinacl from the Windows Resource Kit.

​2. Grant Users group [C]hange permission for "C:\Program Files\913D Camera":

cd /d C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools
subinacl /file "C:\Program Files\913D Camera" /grant=Users=C

Along the way I learned the drivers from Sakar's website (the continue.

Logon failure: the target account name is incorrect

Seen when trying to navigate to \\computer-name from windows7 where the target is an XP virtual machine, under vmware workstation. Both machines are members of an Active Directory domain. The g'oracle indicates this message has to do with AD replication failure and similar. Most of the hits have to with server configuration though, not workstations.

Rejoining the workstation to the domain made the error message go away, but did not accomplish the original goal: accessing the vm file system from the host while running. 

That's curious: the guest vm in NAT network mode can authenticate via AD, even though it's ip is local to the host (192....etc).

In any case the fix continue.

troubleshooting “gm convert: Postscript delegate failed”

I installed GraphicsMagick-1.3.6-Q16-windows-dll.exe on Windows XP Professional x64 SP2. When I try and convert a pdf to jpeg I get the error “gm convert: Postscript delegate failed”. EPS, PS, PDF are listed with the “gm convert -list delegates” command. I’ve tried with and without Ghostscript (v8.63) in path. The pdf’s I’m trying to convert can be downloaded from ftp://ftp2.cits.rncan.gc.ca/pub/canmatrix2/250k_pdf/, but it’s also happened with simpler documents.

WORKAROUND: In “GraphicsMagick\config\delegates.mgk” hardcode the path to gswin32c.exe by replacing all occurences of “@PSDelegate@” with “C:\local\gs\current\bin\gswin32c.exe” (change path according to local environment of course). This is enough to let me keep working, but it would be nice to solve the root of the problem so upgrades continue.

VMware server stops working with “general error”

If all of a sudden your vmware machines stop powering on, and the error is an undescriptive “general system error”, check and see if you are using a beta version which has expired.

When intalling vmware server 2 on windows server 2003, if you get an error like “This installation is forbidden by system policy.” even when you are logged in as administrator or have used “r-click > Run as… > Adminstrator” you may need to create a security policy. It looks like the install aborts if there are no policies at all.\

  1. Click Start -> Control Panel
  2. Open Administrative Tools
  3. Open Local Security Settings
  4. Click Software Restriction Policies

    1. If no software continue.