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Forgot these ugly limits for BIOS, DOS, FAT16 ... had to re-install a Siemens PCD-4ND 
Sunday, November 25, 2012, 12:00 AM
Posted by Administrator
Yes, I am getting old. I forgot these days with ugly limits for harddisk access.
Not only logical limits (like FAT16 vs FAT32), also hardware limits.
I have selled my Compaq Portable II last week, which was my floppy disk format conversion station (e.g. with such programs like Uniform, or 22Disk ...).
Now I took my PCD-4ND notebook, a very beautiful Intel 486 based old computer, which had a 500MB harddisk - way too small:

So I decided to exchange this 500MB IBM HDD with a newer Fujitsu 6.4GB HDD.
Guess what happened... I noticed a strange error message from my Windows 95 Setup, something like "harddisk size parameters are wrong, no LBA support".
I was a bit surprised because that Siemens PCD-4ND already had LBA support integrated in its Phoenix BIOS 1.03 from 1997.
But this LBA support was not really working, a Western Digital Tool "DSKCHK" reported EXT INT13h Support is *NOT* supported by this most current available BIOS.
I tried Paragon Disk Manager 5.5, and tried to "fix" this wrong MBR / disk partition table.
It showed now 2GB free, but it still was not fixed for the Windows 95 Setup.

Without success I remembered there was a time special drivers were offered from Seagate or Maxtor (= Seagate Disk Manager or Maxblast).
It was a bit difficult to find an appropriate version of these tools, but after I formatted and installed
Disk Manager 9, it worked surprisingly without errors.

Think about how easy it is, to install new hardware and operating systems nowadays...

P.S.: shows a lot of helpful information, but the embedded links are mostly NOT working anymore. I will try to create a similar webpage for my main site, but with current, working links. Be patient.

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A replacement for rare and bad supported Catweasel Controller ? DiscFerret to the rescue ... 
Friday, November 23, 2012, 08:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Sometimes a few guys seems to be very innovative.
Because GCR coded (e.g. Apple II floppy diskettes) floppies can't be read from "normal" floppy disk controllers, a special device for reading even exotic floppy disk tracks is needed.
A Catweasel controller is such a hardware, but it's meanwhile old and no longer supported.

Now they developed a new promising piece of hardware : DiscFerret

At the moment, there is only slow progress towards a mass production, but you can get prototype boards. You should remember the URL and visit it again.

See for more infos.
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OT again: Fooled Antivirus - Part 2 
Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 11:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
To get a clue what I mean, download an older patch program (aka crack program) as an example for blind or at least dumb Antivirus software.

Attention: You have to deactivate your Antivirus Software to unpack it (password for unpacking: novirus). After unpacking, upload both files to and see what happens. You need not to execute the exe files. After uploading it, you can reactivate your Antivirus Software (an alert for one of these two files will pop up).

patch_winver_unpacked.exe should give no negative results
patch_winver_upx.exe should give you a lot of negative results

But these files are virtually identical, except that patch_winver_upx.exe is packed with a modified, early UPX version.
You will be still able to unpack the second one manually, just take PE Explorer and you will have the possibility to save it uncompressed (it's done by a plugin of PE Explorer automatically).
Why is "Heaventools Software" able to do this with ease, but any Antivirus vendor is NOT able to unpack it "on the fly" ? Even if they argue that each unpack process will take additional time, it's a lot better than giving false alarms. At least, a user should have the possibility to switch "unpacking of known exepackers" on or off.

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Three remarkable and rare C64 peripheral devices/cartridges 
Sunday, October 14, 2012, 02:52 PM
Posted by Administrator
Just take a look at these three rare C64 items:

This NCS QUICK DATA DRIVE is basically a (data) tape drive, similar to Sinclairs Quickdrive, but for the C64 - I guess it's not really slower than the famous but painful slow 1541 floppy drive...

This is a rare DELA Z80 cartridge, similar to Commodore's CP/M cartridge, but smaller...

And this is a 1541 II floppy drive, but with a very nice track display.
(Build instructions for such a track display can be found in german C64 magazine "64er" issue 10 from 1991 ...)

If you know some additional rare C64 peripheral devices/cartridges, do not hesitate to send me a note and if possible, a picture - thanks in advance for your help.

For more C64 devices visit also and for more cartridge infos, visit ...
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OT: Personal Firewall "Snake Oil" .... why so many are misinformed 
Monday, September 17, 2012, 07:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Yes, software vendors of security suites are really smart.
They give you always advice to have the latest anti virus solution, and, last but not least, they suggest to use personal firewalls as one part of their complete suite as well.

Unfortunately (software) personal firewalls permit always access for some "trusted" applications like your own browser. Very often they do not check if the browser is using original DLLs and of course they can't check if the permitted applications are remotely controlled by another application.
So if a malware opens a browser in a invisible/hidden window, this malware can send commands (messages) to this opened (program) window with ease.
Such a malware can send data via that hidden browser window, e.g. with a special formed URL or with the help of a html (input) form on a well prepared server.
The personal firewall will not be able to forbid this.

Even Microsoft itself describes that weakness: ... -us;327618 ...

Ok, you ask me how a malware can do this, because you didn't download (yet) unknown executables ? Very easy. Just look for zero day exploits, preferrable also for your browser, like the newly discovered exploit here - ... -over-yet/ ... works easily by using flash (I hate flash meanwhile, this ugly plugin isn't necessary anymore since HTML 5 was implemented).

Hint: Using Firefox with "noscript" plugin would prevent getting such flash (look for "moh2010.swf") malware. Also, most of my 5 year old advices are still valid, see for more infos.
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