Author Archives: Savas

‘Passky’, an open source password manager

The problem with password managers like Bitwarden is they can become what LastPass was. Suddenly they’re going to close down their free service, because that time has come where they’re big enough to not need the free advertisement that comes with being a free provider.

To be continued..

Browser Extention

Passky – Chrome Web Store
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/passky/ngncpgfjhnkgfcjamgljadegplonbihi

Other Links and References

https://alternativeto.net/software/passky/about/

QR Scanner (Privacy Friendly)

Looking for an open source, trustworthy (in terms of knowing exactly what it does and what it’s capable of) QR scanner, then check out ‘Privacy Friendly QR-Scanner App’.

It’s quite sad of the amount of downloads for QR/bar code scanners on the Google Play store filled with ads, trackers and potentially malicious background activates, some of them are downloaded in the millions.

Some people though know that it does not have to be that way. You can download it via their website or via their F-Droid page (if you want to know more about F-Droid, you can read it here) or even Google Play.

Links & References

F-Droid – Free and Open Source Android App Repository

I was looking for open source Android apps to possibly replace some of my standard apps that are filled with adware or oddly very large with too many extra permissions which makes me assume there’s something happening in the background that it shouldn’t.

F-Droid is basically the same as the Google Play store, but for free and open source apps. You can download it via their website at https://f-droid.org/en/, in fact you can use any QR code scanner to get the link, and install it using your system file viewer/manager.

Bromite (Android browser)

Wanted a Chromium browser, free from the hands of Google and their ads and tracking. I could not find an ungoogled-chrome for android, but this is an equal equivalent. I was using Brave, but found this to be a bit too pushy with its features.

Bromite is open source, free and you can download it via their website.

https://www.bromite.org/

Chromium configuration pages, useful ‘Experiments’ to turn on/off

Chrome/Chromium has an “Experiments” page that you can change some of its features. For example if you do not use the Search tabs function (a little button on the very top right next to the minimize, this is where you are able to switch it off.

Simply type in the address bar:

chrome://flags/

Another page is called “Chrome URLs”, this has a list of all the internal chrome pages available. It lists pages such as //versions, to see the browser version or the known ones like //extensions, //downloads and the above //flags page. Further below you’ll also see available commands which can be executed by visiting a page, for example chrome://restart/ (as the name implies, it restarts chrome).

‘Experiments’ to turn on/off

QR Generator

I personally disabled the QR Generator, I never used it, if I do suddenly have a need to use it, I can return and switch it on, but for now it seems useless to have on. If I’m sharing something, I’ll just share the URL itself. This is more of a fancy way of sharing something or if you’re using it for posters or flyers and it’s a little too long to type.

Smooth Scrolling

I forced this from default to enabled, I honestly saw no real difference, maybe it was on, but my scrolling still feels like it could be more smoother, anyway.

Experimental QUIC protocol

A new protocol that essentially uses UDP, but improves some of the negatives of UDP and the positives of TCP. In 2021 IETF did release a proposed standard on it so it’s official. The purpose is pretty straight forward, cut down the time it takes to establish connection, thus speed up the whole process and also lesson the the congestion over our lines.

Remove Tabsearch Button

Never used it. It’s the icon that appears left of the minimize button, useful if you want to search tabs, however oddly just searches the tab titles, I guess only useful if you have hundreds of open tabs. Alternatively I much prefer the extension Search all Tabs by lunu.bounir as that actually search all your tabs, as if you’re finding something on a page, but every tab.

Bypass Windows 10/11 “Let’s Connect You to a Network” installation step

This is a just in case, if you find yourself with no internet and the latest installation packages seem to force you to connect to the internet. Here’s your options.

Sigcheck (with VirusTotal)

Using the Command Prompt command below you’ll be calling sigcheck to check the specified folder, the -u parameter outputs only the files that are unsigned and also none zero detections, the -e limits the scan to executable images only, just to speed up the process.

sigcheck -u -e c:\windows\system32

This should output a list of files that are unsigned or none zero detected on VirusTotal.com (files that have 1 or more detections) with a link to go check it out.

Another useful option is to use Sigheck to check hashes really quickly, especially if you create a context menu. The below command with the -h parameter will output hashes for the file location specified. There are probably better tools, but this one is from Microsoft so you can trust it.

sigcheck -h C:\file.exe

Then you could add the context menu (via Command Prompt again). This adds the ability to see “Check Hashes” when you right click on any file. Instantly types the above command with the file you selected.

reg add "HKCR\*\shell\Check Hashes\command" /ve /d "cmd /k sigcheck.exe -h "%1""

You can find more parameters and other relevant information in the links below.

Links & References

Googles Advanced Search Tips & Tricks

Google used to have a really nice and easy way to search for images, but with certain resolutions, either higher or lower than. For some reason they removed it, I suspect it came after the changes to Google Images relating to copyright cases that were brought on them (just a random guess).

You can however still refine your search results using Googles Advanced Search, or you can use some added search parameters. As this is a short post, for now, until this is updated I’m just going to provide a link.

Links & References

  • How to get back ‘exact size’ and ‘larger than’ search filters on Google Image
    https://www.androidpolice.com/2020/04/13/get-back-exact-size-larger-than-face-photo-full-color-search-filter-google-images/

Disabling Windows 10 telemetry & other things

Via the Group Policy Editor.

Open up the Group Policy Editor by launching gpedit.msc as an administrator. Go through Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Data Collection and Preview Builds > Allow Telemetry

Microsoft has slightly changed some things so they may be worded differently. Such as Windows Defender is now called Microsoft Defender so older guides may not reflect that. Tamper protection needs to be also disabled.

Links & References

Windscreen Repair DIY Tool

I had a small windscreen crack and a really small chip that looked like it could easily be filled with a DIY windscreen repair kit. After purchasing a cheap plastic version that seemed to do the trick, I did regret not paying twice as much and simply buying a metal version, so I thought of posting this and letting others know.

Why? Because plastic can only take so much, compared to metal threads. If you are not willing to go with the Aluminium Kit, then I recommend the budget needle version (linked at the very bottom).

Links

Aluminium Kit

Alternative Kits

Resin

Budget

Like me, maybe you wanted to just give it a go, see yourself never using something like this again. Well I recommend something like this https://amzn.to/3DtAFH3

Other Related Tools/Kits

You may need a drill to access some spots that the resin cannot get into. A simple heat source can also help, before resorting to a drill, as shown in this video. Also you may want to use a polishing kit simply to polish out very thin scratches. Link below.