Windows 8 Network Browsing Problems

miqrogroove
2013-12-11T13:28:17+00:00
Screen shot showing the Advanced Sharing Settings area of the Windows 8 control panel.

Check if these are disabled.

Network browsing in Windows has always been a fragile system plagued with bugs and configuration pitfalls.  If you’ve arrived at this page to find a solution, rest assured you are not alone.

I recently encountered a Windows 8 problem where the “Network” folder only showed the local computer and file shares.  When trying the “net view” command, the response was “A remote API error occurred.”  Not at all helpful, is it?  The Windows 2003 domain controller was not experiencing any problems, and the Windows 8 computer showed up normally on the server.

Symptoms Identified December 8, 2013

After struggling with this dysfunctional operating system for seven months without a solution, I found the pattern that would help identify the main problem.

With only Windows XP and Windows 2003 machines on the network, everything works fine.  Computers can see and browse each other without any problems.

With only Windows 8 and Windows 2003 machines on the network, network browsing may or may not work, depending on the Windows 8 network client configuration.

In a mixed environment of Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows 2003 machines, the Windows 8 machines are sometimes able to browse the network.  However, once the Windows XP machines are shut down, the Windows 8 machines are never able to browse the network.

Once I had all these variables figured out, I came up with a list of settings that are compatible across all versions.

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14 May 2013

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Systems Engineering

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Supermodel Archive Retired

miqrogroove
2013-04-22T16:11:35+00:00

The Carmen Kass website archive was removed today as part of my ongoing plan to make my domains more professional and less cluttered.  I originally coded this area more than 10 years ago and the last update was in 2006.

The more recent “Fashion World” archive was created by a friend and will still be available on her separate subdomain for now.

 

22 Apr 2013

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Website Updates

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Cloud Calendars

miqrogroove
2013-04-04T00:09:20+00:00

Personal Information Management (PIM) remains one of the most vital uses of personal computing in the 21st century.  Gone are the days of using index cards for addresses and needing to handwrite recurring appointments on calendars.

I recently switched to Calendar.Live.com for appointment management, and I feel it is the best product currently available. It happens to be free, but I’ve also evaluated premium options.

I am now a former Google Calendar user. I was experiencing major synchronization errors in the Google product. Problems came to a head last month when Google announced the discontinuation of the feed aggregator Reader, throwing my calendar updates into chaos. (This might sound unusual, but some of my appointments are delivered to me by an RSS-only service, and I have to use it. I’ve switched to Tiny Tiny RSS to replace Google Reader.)

Here are the features I’m using from Live.com:

  • Two-way desktop calendar synchronization (using Outlook)
  • Two-way iPad calendar synchronization (using built-in calendar)
  • Mobile web calendar
  • Desktop web calendar

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3 Apr 2013

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Productivity

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Letter to “News” Sites That Post Hitler Videos

miqrogroove
2013-03-15T01:49:48+00:00

During the recent media frenzy surrounding Google’s announcement of discontinuing the Google Reader product, I was shocked by a few websites that shamelessly included video clips from the YouTube Hitler meme.  I am referring here to:

TechCrunch.com

Telegraph.co.uk

TheInquirer.net

TheRegister.co.uk

These video clips are from a movie called Der Untergang, a disturbing dramatization of Hitler’s attempted mass suicide at the end of the Holocaust.  Ironic subtitles about Google Reader are superimposed on the video to make it seem like a kind of twisted parody.

Are the subtitles amusing?  Yes.

Is parody a form of free speech?  Yes.

Do these videos belong in the news?  No.

The Der Untergang parodies belong in the hands of juvenile morons who don’t understand the context of the film.

I don’t expect any kind of redaction or apology to be issued by those websites.  I am simply blocking them from my own news feeds so that I will be reminded never to visit them again.

14 Mar 2013

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Opinion

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Facebook Protip: Rename All Friend Lists

miqrogroove
2013-03-13T16:33:02+00:00
The Manage List menu

Bug Workaround

There’s a new bug (feature?) in Facebook that prevents using more than 12 friend lists in many areas of the website.  It’s highly frustrating.

If you run into this situation where you want to filter your friends but can’t see the list you need, there is only one workaround:

You have to send your infrequently used friend lists to the bottom of the pile by renaming them.  You can do this by going to the lists page, opening one of your lists, clicking “Manage List” in the upper-right corner, and then selecting Rename.

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13 Mar 2013

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Opinion

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PHP Array Assignment and References

miqrogroove
2017-08-15T08:39:01+00:00

This is a quick explanation of some more referencing quirks in PHP.

Let’s say you need to store an array in a specific variable so that another variable can be freed up and overwritten with different information.  [To clarify, this array may be very large and copying it would be detrimental to performance in this particular application. For small arrays, copying and not referencing may be preferable.]

The operation for referencing the array with a new variable is quite simple:

$array_goes_here =& $need_to_free_up_this_var;

The code above will reference the array to prevent PHP from making an unnecessary copy of the whole thing.

Now here’s what you have to avoid:

$need_to_free_up_this_var = array(); /* wrong! */

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15 Feb 2013

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Systems Engineering

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My New Website is CaptainsLog.aero

miqrogroove
2013-01-29T23:16:49+00:00
Screen shot of the CaptainsLog.aero website.

Official New Website

Welcome to the slightly reorganized miqrogroove.com.  This is now the home of my technical articles and some archived projects.

Please follow this link to visit CaptainsLog.aero, the new home of Robert Chapin.

That new website is devoted to aviation topics, safety, and professionalism.

You can now subscribe to both websites separately.  If you wish to continue reading my aviation articles, you will need to add a subscription for the new website.

All of the old links and addresses should still work normally.  They will forward you to a new address automatically if I moved them.

I have other aviation projects under construction already, to be announced soon at the new website.

Thank you for reading!

29 Jan 2013

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Website Updates

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How to Secure iPad VPN with Windows L2TP

miqrogroove
2013-01-15T10:30:39+00:00
VPN diagram showing both Windows and iPad remote clients.

Different protocols for different clients.

Back in August, I mentioned the importance of disabling most versions of PPTP for security reasons, and included my own tutorial for How to Secure a Windows VPN with PEAP.  That solution works great for Windows, but is not compatible with iPads.

Now I will offer a solution that works great for iPad, but may not work on Windows computers.  In addition, I will explain how to get the two solutions to work together securely so that both Windows and iPad computers will be able to connect to a Windows VPN simultaneously without using the insecure versions of PPTP.

The Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) is an obvious choice for the iPad because it is the only supported protocol other than the insecure PPTP option.  On the server side, however, there are some implementation nuances that could easily discourage the use of L2TP.  I took the time to research L2TP in more depth before writing this article, because I felt that a generic recommendation could leave readers totally confused about the security issues involved.  So before delving into a new tutorial, I want to explain two new concepts:  L2TP Pre-Shared Key, and L2TP NAT Traversal.

NAT Traversal could be a major concern for any L2TP implementation, because Microsoft wrote a very technical and rather intimidating knowledge base article called IPSec NAT-T is not recommended for Windows Server 2003 computers that are behind network address translators.  If you’ve seen that article, I want to assure you that the Microsoft recommendation is not relevant here.

A careful reading of the Microsoft recommendation against NAT-T will reveal that the underlying security problem with NAT-T is not a server problem but a client problem.  In other words, Microsoft recommends that Windows XP computers not attempt to use NAT-T to connect to privately-addressed servers.  The Windows 2003 server itself fully supports NAT-T out of the box and doesn’t even need to be configured to use it.  This is perfect for iPad users, because iPad also supports NAT-T out of the box, and this almost eliminates the address translation challenges of using L2TP.

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14 Jan 2013

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UPS Replacement and APCUPSD for Windows

miqrogroove
2012-12-26T05:37:14+00:00

After replacing a UPS device, Windows may automatically delete the APCUPSD USB driver.  When the computer boots up, the tray icon status will say “Network Error” and three errors will be logged in the Windows Event Viewer.

To restore APCUPSD to online status, simply re-install the USB driver by following the manual installation instructions.  That information can be found in the program directory.  For example, C:\Program Files\apcupsd\driver\install.txt  In a nutshell, you need to look in the system’s Device Manager.  If there is an item in the Human Interface Devices group named “American Power Conversion USB UPS” then the desired driver is missing.  Right click that item, click “Update driver” and then pick the correct driver.

After restoring the driver, restart the APCUPSD service by using the “Start Apcupsd” shortcut in the Start menu, or by using the Services administrative tool.

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26 Dec 2012

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Systems Engineering

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Merry Christmas

miqrogroove
2012-12-20T03:43:28+00:00

Screen shot showing Miqrogroove.com with the Christmas 2012 theme.In celebration of winter break, I decided to change my website’s blue marble theme to a deck-the-halls / red glow motif.

May the warm colors bring you a festive mood!

Credit for the background image goes to AreteStock at DeviantArt.  She has generously licensed her work for free use.

Also new here is the upgraded WordPress 3.5, to which I made some small but very important contributions.  Any WordPress author should be happy to know that I found and patched a bug that prior to version 3.5 caused WordPress to say your draft work had been saved automatically, when in fact WordPress was automatically discarding your work all along.  I first noticed the bug in September when my website ate a fairly long article to which I had devoted some hours.  I resolved the bug in the new version by removing the code that was causing the problem.

While tinkering with themes and WordPress, I also adjusted the printer styles so that it will be easier to print articles from this website.

Happy Holidays!

20 Dec 2012

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Website Updates

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