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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Archive for August, 2016

4K/5K monitors: when your RDP session has small black bands limiting the height/width to 2048/4096 pixels

Posted by jpluimers on 2016/08/29

Sometimes RDP limits you to 2048 pixels vertical (or 4096 pixels horizontal)

Sometimes RDP limits you to 2048 pixels vertical (or 4096 pixels horizontal)

Just found out why on some Windows versions, the RDP sessions form my 4K monitor has some small black bands on top/bottom: older versions of Windows limit their RDP server to 4096 x 2048.

A 4K monitor will not hit the width limit (as 4K cheats: it is usually “just” 3840 pixels wide), but it does hit the height limitation (2160 is slightly more than 2048: you miss 112 pixels that show as two small black bands).

A 5K monitor is worse: it will hit both limits (5K does not cheat: at 5120 × 2880 it is exactly 5*1024 pixels wide) so you miss 124 pixels horizontally and a whopping 832 pixels vertically.

Don’t buy a 5K monitor yet if you do a lot of RDP work to older Windows versions.

The link below has a table listing various Windows versions, but it omits end-of-life versions so I’ve done some testing: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2 share the same limitations as Windows Server 2008 most likely because their latest service packs share the same RDP 6.1 version.

I updated this in the table:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 4K Monitor, 5K monitor, Displays, Hardware, Microsoft Surface on Windows 7, Power User, Windows, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 9, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Vista, Windows XP | Leave a Comment »

certificate – What is a Pem file and how does it differ from other OpenSSL Generated Key File Formats? – Server Fault

Posted by jpluimers on 2016/08/29

The canonical answer on extensions and formats like csr, pem, key, pkcs12, pfx, p12, der, cet, cer, crt, p7b, crl, PEM, PKCS7, PKCS12, PKCS10, DER, text, binary, ASN1: certificate – What is a Pem file and how does it differ from other OpenSSL Generated Key File Formats? – Server Fault.

Oh and it contains some openssl conversion tips as well, though this link has more: DER vs. CRT vs. CER vs. PEM Certificates and How To Convert Them.


Posted in Encryption, OpenSSL, Power User, Security | Leave a Comment »

Invite people to a Google Hangouts session with you by constructing a manual invitation URL

Posted by jpluimers on 2016/08/26


Did you know that you could share a link to let people chat with you in Hangouts?

We use these links for certain invites, but they work if you hand build them and share them too. 111111111111

Where the number is your profile id

With vanity urls it’s harder to find that, but the easiest way is to use the public api call here
Put “me” into the userId field and it will output your numerical id in the response.

Enter `id` in the `fields` to limit the JSON

Enter `id` in the `fields` to limit the JSON

By constructing such an invitation URL you can get people to directly start a Google Hangouts chat with you.

The above steps will give you a lot of JSON output which includes an id field somewhere in the middle. With one more trick you can get just the id field.

You can limit the output by putting id in the fields to request as the image on the right shows.

Sometimes clicking on G+ posts, you even get the id for free, I’m just not sure under what circumstances G+ builds a G+ URL with username or with id.


Source: We have made a number of changes internally to Hangouts…


Posted in Google, GoogleHangouts, Power User | Leave a Comment »

Webserver cipher hardening links

Posted by jpluimers on 2016/08/26

There are quite a few pages on Webserver Cypher Hardening. This is yet another one born because I didn’t know how to compare these lists and why they were so different.

Apparently, OpenSSL has various ways of naming (groups of) cyphers. OpenSSL also disregards any cyphers it doesn’t have.

Basically there are two far ends for cypher lists:

  1. Fully name all cyphers and their order: long list fine grained control
  2. Name groups including group order and let OpenSSL expand the groups: short list but coarse grained control.

A way to compere them using openssl ciphers -V is answered at ssl – Hardening web server cyphers: which cypher list to choose, or how to map between Mozilla and Hynek – Server Fault.

Some of the cypher lists I found:

There are two great SSL tests I found out. The first one is online, the second one from the shell.

  1. SSL Labs:
  2. shell based SSL/TLS tester:


Posted in *nix, OpenSSL, Power User, Security | Leave a Comment »

Why sometimes you *want* to to have your DFM files stored as binary

Posted by jpluimers on 2016/08/25

Delphi Component/Tool vendors have to support a truckload of Delphi and C++ Builder versions which can be a pain: they have to work around problems in Delphi and C++ Builder versions that have long been abandoned by Borland/CodeGear/Embarcadero/Idera/…

This means that sometimes the Delphi Component/Tool vendors have to work around stuff in a way normal applications vendors would never do.

Recently I learned that sometimes this can be a painful thing: keeping DFM files in binary state.

I’m not kidding about either the DFM file format nor about supporting old versions:

  • Delphi has supported text based DFM files since like Delphi 2 for most of the features (yes, ‘most’ is the crucial word here) and by default stored DFM files in text format since Delphi 5.
  • For the Component/Tool Vendors, even Delphi 7 makes money though usually less than Delphi 2007 or the C++ Builder side of things.

The ‘most’ applies to this nice ARM compiler bug in Delphi 19.0.13856.4978 (for mere mortals, that’s Update 1 for RAD Studio XE5, Delphi XE5 and C++Builder XE5; I wish vendors would list those numbers/products in a central place):

  • [Android] MsBuild (dccAarm) error when compile FireMonkeyMobile projects with fmx forms
  • Project:  Delphi
  • Build #:  19.0.13856.4978

Source: [WayBack] QualityCentral

That’s why TeeChart still has most DFM files stored as binary files (again the ‘most’ word).

For version control and searching this is a pain, so normal application developers (the ones not using Delphi XE5 Update 1 for Android work) should run convert.exe with the -t (target=text) switch on DFM binary files.

Oh: this is fixed in version 19.0.13856.4978 (yes, that’s XE5 Update 2).




Posted in Delphi, Delphi 10 Seattle, Delphi 10.1 Berlin (BigBen), Delphi 2, Delphi 2005, Delphi 2006, Delphi 2007, Delphi 2009, Delphi 2010, Delphi 3, Delphi 4, Delphi 5, Delphi 6, Delphi 7, Delphi x64, Delphi XE, Delphi XE2, Delphi XE3, Delphi XE4, Delphi XE5, Delphi XE6, Delphi XE7, Delphi XE8, Development, Kylix, QC, Software Development | Leave a Comment »

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