Wednesday, 23 April 2014

By on April 23rd, 2014 in science kits

08:15 – Yesterday, I signed up for after talking with one of their reps. I told her that I was running Linux, so I couldn’t run their software. No problem, she said, their software runs only under Windows, but they have many Mac customers who use their web-based service. And, she told me when I asked, their site provided the labels as downloadable PDFs rather than using a server-side script to send the label directly to my printer. So I signed up, logged on to the web site, signed in, and promptly got an error message that I was running an unsupported OS. Crap. So I changed the user agent to tell their site I was running Mozilla 26 under Windows. I was then able to use the site, until I tried to print a label. It then told me that I needed to install a plug-in and to click the icon to install it. No icon was visible, of course.

So, at least until my Windows laptop arrives, I’m stuck trying to generate labels on the USPS site. Sometimes that works, but very seldom. Meanwhile, I have kits stacking up in the shipping queue. I’m going to try wiping out everything Chrome has stored and see if that’ll let me generate labels.

12 Comments and discussion on "Wednesday, 23 April 2014"

  1. Greg Lincoln says:

    I’m not sure if anyone has pointed this out already, but VirtualBox works great for those moments when you need to run a Windows program, or do something via IE.

    It’s excellent and free. (other than the cost of the Windows license, if you don’t have one of those hanging around)

  2. dkreck says:

    Speaking of using Chrome and cleaning out everything…
    I’ve been using Chrome RDP since Logmein bailed on the freebie. Works pretty damn well. The other day while in Chrome at one of the office computers I hit Ctl-H for the history and much to my surprise I got my history from everyplace I had used Chrome. So I signed out on that machine and just to check it hit Ctl-H again and guess what. Still there. You have to be sure you remove yourself as a user of Chrome on that machine to stop this.

    You know the synchronized history is fine and can be very useful but maybe a little too revealing (not in my case of course). Mostly I’m behind password protected accounts on boxes I work on but sometimes I’m in the user account. So what the hell is Google doing that when you sign out it’s still showing whoever data like that?

  3. Miles_Teg says:

    “So, at least until my Windows laptop arrives, I’m stuck trying to generate labels on the USPS site.”

    Can’t you create a partition on an existing box and install some version of Windows?

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I suspect Chrome sends every bit of data to Google, no matter what the user opts to have it do. I also suspect that Google has more data than the NSA, CIA, and every other intelligence agency combined.

    As to installing Windows on another box, I don’t have Windows here.

  5. DadCooks says:

    If you just can’t wait for your new machine, check out this article:

  6. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Thanks. I may do that, but I think (hope) I have a temporary solution. Barbara is over at her sister’s house now. I called to ask if I could borrow her husband’s Windows laptop overnight and return it tomorrow.

  7. Roy Harvey says:

    Unless I had extraordinary faith in the computer security credentials of the owner of a borrowed laptop I would want to run quite a few security scans before I was ready to transact my own business on it.

    Just saying.

  8. Lynn McGuire says:

    Would somebody please take Sheila Jackson Lee away from Texas? She is embarrassing Texas yet again:

    Why do the large city centers continuously elect morons like her? She is known as Queen Sheila around here. And the areas that she represents are very dangerous to even drive through.

    Here are some of her quotes:

    “Maybe I should offer a good thanks to the distinguished members of the majority, the Republicans, my chairman and others, for giving us an opportunity to have a deliberative constitutional discussion that reinforces the sanctity of this nation and how well it is that we have lasted some 400 years, operating under a constitution that clearly defines what is constitutional and what is not.” – 2014

    “Today we have two Vietnams, side by side, North and South, exchanging and working. We may not agree with all North Vietnam is doing, but they are living in peace.” – 2010

    “Don’t condemn the gangbangers, they’ve got guns that are trafficked, that are not enforced, that are straw purchased and they come into places even that have strong gun laws. Why? Because we don’t have sensible gun legislation.”

  9. SteveF says:

    I’ve long thought that if we’re going to have popular elections for political office, we should have minimum IQ thresholds for both voting and holding office.

    As for taking Shitorshinola Jerkface Lee off your hands, sure, but only if you take Andrew “Dumber and Douchier than My Old Man” Cuomo off our hands. For a couple months after he took office I thought he might actually be worth the dynamite needed to blow him to hell — one of his first targets was the “civil” “service” unions that effectively control the state (and local) governments here. But, soon enough, his inner douchebag shone forth and showed him as the half-wit who got in only because enough New Yorkers were stupid enough to elect solely for his name.

  10. J Kamp says:

    For Greg Lincoln and DadCooks

    This link from post yesterday shows how to run Windows for free on Linux. All you have to do is install VirtualBox and then download one of the prebuilt Windows VMs and import it as an appliance in VirtualBox. There are versions from XP to 8.1. I’ve tried this on a system running Mint 16 64bit and importing XP, 7 and 8.1. Initially did so I could install and run TurboTax which I did under 8.1. It is nice to be able to start Windows just like another application. The VMs do expire in 90 days but can be rearmed or just imported again.

  11. brad says:

    Yeah, it’s awfully convenient having Chrome auto-sync across machines, but worrisome too…

    For the few times I really want privacy (not only for the reason y’all are thinking, there are more serious ones too), I have a virtual machine with a generic Linux install on it, that I use and then reset to its initial state.

    The one thing I am unsure of, so I don’t usually bother with: proxies (including Tor). The way I see it, these services are almost certainly the first targets for monitoring, and almost certainly compromised. I figure I probably get better anonymity by using an Internet connection with a dynamic IP address that’s at re-used across all of Switzerland. What do y’all think about proxies, etc.?

  12. dkreck says:

    There is no way to have faith in proxies. What kind of trust is set up? My guess is most are probably honeypots.

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