Upgrade Windows 11 Home to Pro using an OEM key

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I have recently run into a problem which I finally solved and want to share the solution here.

Here is the problem: 

When you purchase a computer with a Windows (10 or 11) Home license, and you want to upgrade to Windows Pro, normally you just purchase a Pro license key, go to “Settings–»System–»Activation“, click on “Change License Key” and enter your new Pro key. However, that only works with full-price, retail license keys, for example from the Microsoft store.

If you bought a (typically much cheaper) OEM or “system builder” key this will not work — you’ll simply be informed that the key is not valid. Supposedly Microsoft does not want OEM keys sold apart from a new machine and therefore refuses to accept it tu upgrade a computer which is already linked to a different Windows license. Even if you wipe Windows and re-install, your Pro license key will not work (because ever since Windows 10 licenses are stored in the cloud).

In other jurisdictions the sale of OEM licenses may indeed be illegal, but in Europe it is perfectly legal[1]), and there are vendors who sell OEM Windows 11 Pro licenses for under €50, so this is a very attractive alternative to a €150 or so retail license.

So how can you still use such an OEM license key to upgrade a computer with an existing Windows 11 Home license to Windows 11 Pro?

We need to uninstall the existing license or “divorce” the computer from it. To do this, open a Command Prompt window and type the following:

slmgr /upk

Then restart the computer. Once it has restarted, you can go to “Settings–»System–»Activation“, click on “Change Product Key” and enter your OEM key. Your Windows installation should now be activated as Windows Pro.

Some explanations of this procedure seem to suggest that you will lose all your data and settings; that did not happen to me when I carried out this procedure recently, but your mileage may vary.

I admit that I am a bit puzzled by the fact that there are plenty of vendors selling Windows 10 and 11 OEM licenses, at prices ranging from €20 to €50; it seems to me that Microsoft could keep a tighter reign on these licenses. The fact that they don’t, and that the “slmgr /upk” route works, suggests to me that somewhat begrudgingly Microsoft would rather that folks install these OEM licenses than that they switch to Linux (which I did with another computer recently, before I found this workaround).

  1. This is based on the principle of exhaustion of copyright, which is enshrined in EU law. This principle states that once a copyright holder sells a copy of a work, they have exhausted their right to control the further distribution of that copy. So once Microsoft sells an OEM license to a system builder, that system builder is free to resell the license to end users. Microsoft cannot prevent this from happening, even if the license is sold separately from the hardware, and it has to accept the licence at least once to activate Windows (it does not need to permit you to move the license to another computer, and indeed does not do so[]
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Forgetting Backups can be Disastrous

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One of the YouTube channels I follow, Life Uncontained, just posted that their Apple Macbook suffered a fried mainboard, and since that Macbook has the SSD soldered to the mainboard they lost everything on there.

It is probably pointless to say this to hardcore Apple fans, but this is in part Apple’s fault: why solder the SSD? An M.2 SSD slot and SSD hardly takes more space, and the SSD is replaceable. I have a couple cheap mini Windows computers and netbooks which have the main storage soldered, but even Apple’s cheapest Macbook is pricey enough to make this inexcusable. When I originally posted this on Facebook someone commented that recent Dell notebooks also have the SSD soldered — they’re also more pricey than cheap netbooks. Shame on both manufacturers, and any others that do not at least provide an M.2 slot as well.

Apparently the “Life Uncontained” folks do backup everything on external hard disks, but not frequently enough, so they lost about a month’s worth of work. I would strongly encourage anyone in this situation (any computer with soldered storage) to use an external USB SSD to work on, rather than storing your stuff on the soldered storage — with USB 3.x this should be fast enough to work; and I would encourage everyone to get into the habit of leaving the computer on overnight with your backup drive attached, and when you are done for the day, start the backup job. By the morning everything should be backed up. A backup job, once set up, should run unattended while you sleep. And considering the minimal physical size and weight of an extra SSD, this should be possible even while you are travelling.

Apple provides TimeMachine to set this up with either external hard disks or SSD, or network shared storage. Windows has a similar feature called File History, and both programs can be set up to either more or less continuously back up files, or once a day, by setting the backup interval. Or you can simply start a copy job from your external work SSD to your external backup SSD

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Linux Mint Mate: Menu Scripting

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I have been playing around with the Mate menus. Specifically I wanted a convenient way to create desktop files and stick them into the menu, or specifically into a submenu. I know there is webapp, but I wanted something a bit more customizable.

So, I wrote two scripts:

  1. mksubmenu, which takes a name and an icon and creates an xdg *.directory file in $HOME/.local/share/desktop-directories. This effectively creates a new submenu under “Applications“.
  2. mkwebapp, which takes a name, url, icon, menu, and Chromium custom parameter and constructs an xdg desktop item in $HOME/.local/share/applications to call the url via the Chromium browser, with an optional Chromium custom parameter, using the specified icon and sticks it into the specified submenu or into “Other” if none is specified. I prefer this to the app shortcuts created from within the browser using the “Create Shortcut” (Chrome/Chromium/Iron/etc) or “Save as an App” (MS Edge) commands because my script creates shortcuts which are easier to edit and which survive browser changes or re-installs.

I have yet to create a script to create and install a desktop item for some random program, and there are some things I have not yet figured out:

  1. How to install a desktop item into one of the system submenus for which no xdg *.directory file exists, such ad Office or Internet;
  2. How to place new menus anywhere other than at the very top of the menu tree, just under Applications.

So I still need to use the “Edit Menus” feature to move things around.

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Google Translate has become almost usable

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I’m very impressed with the progress Google Translate has made.

A few years ago I was asked to translate a book from German to English and as an experiment and in the hope that this would save me at least some of the tedious (and boring) backbreaking work, I sent the text through Google Translate . The result was unusable; the necessary post-editing would have taken more time and effort than a complete re-translation. Since then, I’ve only used the service to create short Facebook posts or comments, or emails, in French or Dutch, which I then edit; I find it harder to write in both languages ​​than to speak, but due to extensive reading I have a good feel for the languages and can edit the translations a bit.

Yesterday I wanted to translate an article about the Ascension of Christ, and because I am currently bedridden, I am somewhat restricted in terms of typing on a keyboard, so I sent the article through Google Translate .

To my astonishment, the result was vastly better than my experience of a few years ago. While there were a few glitches (snippets of text that had gone missing, a few bits that were gibberish for one reason or another), overall the text was quite readable. Most of the post-processing involved formatting.

This raises a similar question for me as using the ChatGPT AI engine . Most of the time ChatGPT answers questions correctly and in such elegant German and English that one can use them almost without editing; would it then be ethical to pass off such an answer as my own? In the end I decided to either attribute the answer to ChatGPT , or (if I’ve significantly edited or added to it) to call it a result of my collaboration with ChatGPT .

The more Google Translate (or other similar services) improves, the less post-processing is needed, the more problematic it becomes to pass off such a translation as my own. Again, indicating support from the translation service seems to be the ethical solution.

Next, I will try other translation services, such as Bing Translator from Microsoft or Deepl Translate , as well as ChatGPT for shorter texts (which currently has an output limit of 2048 characters per answer, even for paying subscribers).

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Google Translate ist ziemlich brauchbar geworden

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Ich bin schwer beeindruckt von den Fortschritten, die Google Translate gemacht hat.

Vor ein paar Jahren wurde ich gebeten, ein Buch aus dem Deutschen ins Englische zu übersetzen, und als Versuch, in der Hoffnung, daß mir das zumindest einen Teil der langwierigen (und langweiligen) Knochenarbeit ersparen könnte, habe ich den Text durch Google Translate geschickt. Das Ergebnis war unbrauchbar; die notwendige Nachbearbeitung hätte mehr Zeit und Anstrengung gebraucht als eine komplette Neuübersetzung. Seither verwende ich den Dienst nur dazu, kurze Facebook-Beiträge oder Kommentare, oder auch E-Mails, auf Französisch oder Niederländisch zu erstellen, die ich dann nachbearbeite; in beiden Sprachen tu ich mir mit dem Schreiben schwerer als mit dem Reden, habe aber aufgrund umfangreicher Lektüre ein gutes Sprachgefühl und kann die Übersetzungen etwas nachbearbeiten..

Gestern wollte ich einen Artikel über die Himmelfahrt Christi übersetzen, und weil ich momentan durch meine Bettlägrigkeit etwas eingeschränkt bin, was das Schreiben mit einer Tastatur angeht, habe ich den Artikel durch Google Translate geschickt.

Zu meinem Erstaunen war das Ergebnis um Welten besser, als bei meinem Versuch vor ein paar Jahren. Es gab zwar ein paar “Glitches”, wie z.B. Textfragmente, die einfach rausgefallen sind, und ein paar Stellen, die aus dem einen oder anderen Grund Kauderwelsch waren, aber insgesamt war der Text durchaus lesbar. Die meiste Zeit der Nachbearbeitung hab ich mit Formatierung zugebracht.

Das wirft für mich eine ähnliche Frage auf, wie die Verwendung der KI-Engine ChatGPT. Die meiste Zeit beantwortet diese Fragen korrekt und in so elegantem Deutsch und Englisch, daß man sie fast unbearbeitet übernehmen kann; wäre es dann ethisch o.k. diese Antwort als meine eigene auszugeben? Meine Entscheidung ist, die Antwort entweder ChatGPT zuzuschreiben, oder (wenn ich sie wesentlich nachbearbeitet oder ergänzt habe) als Resultat der Zusammenarbeit mit ChatGPT zu bezeichnen.

Umso besser nun Google Translate (oder auch andere ähnliche Dienste) wird, umso weniger Nachbearbeitung notwendig wird, umso problematischer wird es, eine solche Übersetzung als meine eigene auszugeben. Auch da scheint es die ethische Lösung zu sein, die Unterstützung durch den Übersetzungdienst anzugeben.

Als nächstes werde ich weitere Übersetzungsdienste, wie z. B. Bing Translator von Microsoft oder Deepl Translate, testen, sowie für kürzere Texte auch ChatGPT (das hat derzeit eine Ausgabebeschränkung von 2048 Zeichen pro Antwort, auch für zahlende Abonnenten).

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Is Artificial Superintelligence Dangerous?

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In an opinion piece[1] in the Washington Post, the philosopher Émile P. Torres speculates about the likelihood of AI research accomplishing, within the foreseeable future, the development of Artificial Superintelligence (ASI), and whether that would be not only beneficial but also dangerous, and says,

Surely no research organization would design a malicious, Terminator-style ASI hellbent on destroying humanity, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the worry. If we’re all wiped out by an ASI, it will almost certainly be on accident.

I find this puzzling. How can any intelligent, thinking human being doubt, in the face of two world wars, the holocaust, numerous other wars and acts of terrorism since then (most notably the Russian attack on and invasion of Ukraine), and an increasing number of leaders who, in the event of an election loss, would likely do a Trump and suggest to their followers that they they should storm and occupy the democratic institutions of their country, that if a technology like ASI existed or was within reach, someone would not try—and probably succeed—to exploit this technology for nefarious ends?

In 1942 the Russian-born American scientist and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov  invented his Three Laws of Robotics which say,

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

In the eighty years since then numerous systems have been invented which, while not humanoid in form like most of Asimov’s and other science fiction writers’ robots, are nonetheless in a real sense robots as Asimov had in mind in formulating his laws but which do not abide by these laws, with many of them, like the quadruped military robot Cheetah or autonomous drones like the MQ-1 Predator, being expressly designed to harm humans or assist with harming them. Wikipedia even has an article on the Artificial Intelligence arms race which evidently is a thing.

These are powered by our current Artificial Intelligence systems and generally are only capable of performing one specific task; in this they are still sub-human machine intelligence, yet in the wrong hands they can wreak devastation. Many scientists are now working on human-level machine intelligence, on a par with human intelligence, and predict success within the next fifty years or so; others are already working on Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) as a stepping stone to Artificial Superintelligence which will far surpass human intelligence.

Torres recognizes and describes in his article the ways that such ASI systems could, strictly by accident, wipe out the human race (which from a purely naturalistic perspective would of course not be evil because there would be no human beings left to suffer), and for this reason recommends that governments should stop all research on AGI and ASI.

I don’t believe that this will happen. It might happen if all governments had only the common good at heart; this is totally unrealistic, just look at Vladimir Putin, China or North Korea but also, as lesser, more harmless examples, our own politicians who as often as not are motivated by their country’s, their party’s or even their own good rather than the common good.

And even if all governments halted and prohibited such research, how do you ensure that some rogue actors don’t continue to research and develop such systems, without resorting to the repressive measures of a police state?

And once such systems exist, the biggest danger won’t be the annihilation of the human race but the use of this ASI to oppress and cause great harm to a still existing human race.

The Christian Scriptures predict a time of great tribulation (Mt 24:21, Rev 7:14) immediately prior to the return of Christ, and the havoc wreaked by ASI may well form part of that tribulation; as Christians, whether we believe in the rapture (1 Thess 4:17)[2] or not, we still have hope in the face of that prospect because we know that Christ’s ultimate victory over sin, sickness and death is assured (Rev 20:11-15; Rev 20).

Banner Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

  1. Since the Washington Post is behind a pay wall, here is a summary of Torres’ arguments, although without the paragraph I quote and which prompted this post[]
  2. The interpretation of these verses, and how the events before, during and after Christ’s return will unfold, is something Christians have disagreed about for a long time, at least since the Prophecy Conferences of the 19th century but probably throughout the history of the Christian church[]
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Backing up GMAIL with GMvault

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For the past twenty years or so I have been using Google Mail, or Gmail, at various times both the consumer version (addresses xxx@gmail.com) and what used to be called Google Apps, G Suite, and now is called Google Workspace (addresses with your own domain name).  When Google Apps was introduced many years ago there was a paid edition for larger businesses, a special edition for educational institutions and non-profits, as well as a free edition for small organizations and families; I signed up for the free edition with my doulos.at domain and have been using it for both my non-profit consulting and for my family.

In 2012 Google stopped offering the free edition to new users but existing users continued as before, and then in January this year Google announced that the free edition would be discontinued and users would have to decide by May 1 which alternative they would like to purchase before the service would definitely be turned off by July 1, 2022. They offer to upgrade users to one of their business editions based on the services used in the free edition, at a cost of a minimum of $6/month per user. They have however hinted at a cheaper (but not free) alternative for people who use the free edition for personal and family use (i.e. not for business) only.

For this reason I have been encouraging my children to switch from using their @doulos.at address to some other e-mail provider and address; an obvious choice would be a standard consumer Gmail address, and I was looking for a way to transfer their content (i.e. old mails) from their @doulos.at account to their new account.[1]

Another reason for investigating Gmail backup solutions is the fact that while I find Gmail as well as other cloud offerings extremely useful, I do not like to rely entirely on them, and prefer to have a local copy as well.

Google Takeout was created in 2011 as a mechanism for folks who cancel their Google account to take their stuff with them. It is cumbersome and does not store the data in a very accessible way; and there seems little point to having all your e-mail data available locally if you cannot access it in a convenient, mail-like manner.

A few years ago I came across GMvault, a Python script for synchronizing Gmail data to a local repository, and exporting it to a number of different formats compatible with various e-mail clients, and started using it; but after a while it stopped working due to changes in the way Google handles authentication.

Due to the need to migrate our data from the Google Workspace Free Edition I looked at it again, and they have caught up with Google’s authentication and now it works with application-specific passwords[2]. So I set up all my GMail accounts with two-factor authentication and an application password for GMvault, and am almost finished doing an initial backup of all my accounts. Once that is done I will get started on exporting the kids’ e-mail data, ready to export into their new accounts.

Here is how to install GMvault on your Windows computer; if you are a Linux or Mac user you probably are savvy enough to figure that out yourself or to read the instructions at the GMvault website:

  1. Go to the GMvault website and click on the  Download GMvault  button.
  2. You may have to confim downloading (or “keeping”) the file.
  3. When it has finished downloading, double-click it to start the installation. By default it installs in your personal profile; you can change the install path to C:\Program Files\GMvault if you want to install for all users.
  4. When the installation has finished you should have a GMvault folder in your Start Menu’s “All Apps” section; click on it and then on “gmvault-shell“.
  5. You are now in a Powershell window with all paths and other environment variables set correctly for GMvault; once we have set up your GMail account to work with GMvault we will come back to this.

Here is how to set up your GMail account for backup via GMvault; this works both for the consumer GMail accounts and for Google Workspace accounts:

  1. Using your web browser, log into your GMail account at gmail.com. If you have more than one GMail account, it is best to log out of all accounts and then log back into the account you want to set up.
  2. Click on the Google Account icon in the top right corner of the browser window (it will either have your picture if you have set one in your Google account, or else an icon with the first letter of your name), then click on “Manage your Google account” below your name and e-mail address.
  3. On the next page click “Security” in the sidebar on the left.
  4. Scroll down to “Signing in to Google“, click on “2-Step Verification“, and then click on “Get Started“. Sign in again with your password when prompted and click on “Next“.
  5. Provide your mobile phone number and check “Text message“, then click “Next“. Check your phone for a SMS text message from Google and enter the Google verification code starting with “G-” in the field provided and click on “Next“.
  6. Finally, click the blue TURN ON button.
  7. Now that you have enabled Two-Factor Authentication, every time you log into your Google account on a new device/browser combination you will have to provide a verification code sent to you per SMS in addition to your acount password. Depending on the phone you have, and whether that Google account is set up on your phone, you may also be prompted to confirm the login attempt on your phone instead.
  8. Click the arrow pointing left at the top of your browser window  to get back to the “Security” section of the “Manage your Google Account” page.
  9. In the “Signing on to Google” section, click on “App Passwords“. Verify your password again when prompted, then click on “Select app” and choose “Other (Custom name)“.  Enter “GMvault” in the field provided, then click on “Generate“.
  10. Select and copy the password displayed in the yellow field (four groups of four characters) and paste it into an empty Notepad document to have it handy for the next step((There is no way to retrieve this password if you forget it before providing it to GMvault, but no worry: you can simply delete the app password and generate a new one in the “Signing in to Google” section by starting from point 10 above.
  11. You can now close that browser window or tab.

Now we can start using GMvault to back up this GMail account.

  1. Determine where exactly you want to store your GMail backup. By default it will get stored in your Windows profile directory (i.e. C:\Users\yourname) in a folder called gmvault-db. I put mine in D:\GMvault\xxxxx where xxxxx is a short form of the account name (since I have multiple accounts), because I have more space on D: than on C:.
  2. Assuming that your GMail account is called john.doe@gmail.com, and that you have decided to store your GMail data in D:\GMvault\johndoe, go back to the GMvault Powershell window and type in this commandline to get started backing up your GMail data to your local hard disk:

    gmvault.bat sync johndoe@gmail.com -p –store-passwd -d D:\GMvault\johndoe   

    You will be prompted to enter your GMail password; do not use your normal password, but type in (or paste) the app password which you generated earlier and pasted into Notepad for safekeeping.

  3. GMVault will start backing up your GMail data; this may take a very long time depending on how many months or years of e-mails you have in your account. You can stop the backup at any time by pressing Ctrl-C; in order to restart it later you will need to use a slightly different commandline, like this:

    gmvault.bat sync johndoe@gmail.com -p –resume -d D:\GMvault\johndoe

    Note that we have replaced –store-passwd with –resume: the password has already been stored, and we want to resume where we stopped last time, not restart again from the beginning.

  4. I would recommend creating a batch file (gmailbackup.bat or gmailbackup.cmd) with that second commandline in it, and running it either every evening, or once a week, however often you want to update your GMail backup with new mails.

Feel free to get in touch with any questions about this process; I cannot promise an answer but will do my best to help. Please note that I am not interested in a discussion of the wisdom or morality or ethics of using Google’s services; I have no illusions about Google but they have served me well, and if you are of a different opinion, feel free to not use them.

  1. Another reason for making that switch is the fact that none of my kids, and certainly not my wife, are interested in computers and technology to the extent I am, and if anything happened to me the doulos.at domain will sooner or later go away. So encouraging my family members to switch to e-mail solutions that don’t depend on me seems to be a wise idea anyway.[]
  2. Application-specific passwords are specific separate passwords for different third-party (i.e. non-Google) applications. They can be set up in the Security section of the “Manage your Google Account” page; they require two-factor authentication to be enabled[]
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Windows Support?

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Twice this morning I got a phone call from an unknown number, once from Germany, and once from an Austrian mobile number, both claiming to be from “Windows Support”. I hung up on the first call and blocked the number, and on the second call I decided to have some fun. So here is a re-constructed transcript of my conversation.

I should probably confess that I was sitting in front of my Windows 11 computer the whole time, with a couple terminal windows open on a few Linux servers; but then, I don’t think I owe scammers facts and honesty.


Hello sir, my name is Stephen, I am from Windows Support. How are you  this morning?

I am fine, how can I help you?

We are receiving error signals from your computer in our technical server, for many days, there is a virus in your computer and your computer is unsecured.

Hm, that’s strange. Why would my computer send error signals to your server?

Because your computer is registered with our server in Austria, the license ID. I will prove it to you. Write it down and tell me when you are ready.

OK, I’m ready.

OK, 00





Ah, can you repeat that?


OK, got it

Now go to your keyboard, in the bottom left corner, do you see a STRG button?


Do you see a CTRL button?

Yes, I see that.

What do you see next to it?

A Windows button …

Correct, a Windows button. Now press that Windows button with one finger, and keep your finger on it.


Now with another finger press R, as in Red


What do you see?


What do you mean, Nothing?

Well, nothing changes.

What did you do?

I am holding the Windows button and pressing the R button, and nothing happens.

(He runs me through this a couple more times, without success, then:)

I am going to transfer you to my senior technician, he will help you get this done.


(New voice)

Hello sir, this is David. How are you?

I am fine

OK. On your keyboard, hold down the Windows button, next to the CTRL button on the bottom left, and then press the letter R, as in Red.

OK, I am doing that.

What do you see?

My normal desktop.

No, what happens?


OK, open Google.


Open Google Chrome.

I don’t have Google Chrome.

Eh, can you open Microsoft Edge?

Yes, I can do that.

OK. Now open Google


Now type “S” as in signal, “U” as in umbrella, “P” as in papa, “R” as in Red, “E” as in edge, “M” as in mother, “O” as in orange. What do you see?

I see the word supremo

OK press ENTER, What do you see?

I see “Supremo the best remote desktop”

OK, what else do you see?

I see a download button.

OK, klick on the Download button. What do you see?

It’s downloading a file.

It’s downloading a file?

Actually it is done. It downloaded a file called supremo.exe.

OK, click on it.

It says “Don’t know how to open this file.”

No, click on it.

I did. It says “Don’t know how to open this file”

I should probably tell you that I am not using a Windows computer, I am using a Linux computer.

Go f*ck yourself!

(Hangs up)

A few minutes later, another call from the same number.

Hello …

Hello sir, why did you hang up?

(Ah, the first voice is back …)

*I* didn’t hang up, your colleague hung up on me after saying “Go f*ck yourself” …

Oh, I am very sorry to hear that. That technician, he is a bit crazy. I am apologizing for him.

Well, I should probably tell you what I told him: I am not using a Windows computer, I am using a Linux computer.

A Linux Computer? Ah …

(hangs up)

At least he did not repeat his colleagues instruction to me …

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Hermit: A Web App Wrapper for Android

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One feature I really like about the Chromium-based Browsers (Google Chrome, Chromium/Iron, Microsoft Edge, Brave; haven’t found it in Opera) is the possibility to save a website as a shortcut. All four of these browses save these shortcuts in a folder in the “All Programs” menu (“Brave Apps”, “Chrome Apps”, “Chromium Apps”, from where they can be pinned to the taskbar, to the Windows 10/11 start menu, or to whichever “classic” startmenu you are using.

One can customize these shortcuts by adding the commandline option “–profile-directory=xxxxx”, then they will start a separate browser profile for saving all sorts of browsing data (cookies, passwords, etc).

I find this a very useful feature, but unfortunately the Android versions of these same browsers do not support this feature. I have tried a number of different apps which promised to provide this feature; the one which worked best was called “Anker”, but unfortunately the developer stopped maintaining it and thus it no longer works as of Android 10.

Now I have come across another app, called “Hermit”, available in the Play Store, which works even better than Anker. Among other features it permits one to backup all the defined web apps to a file, which one can then restore on a different device, thus avoiding the need to separately set up one’s favorite web apps on each device.

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What does “FTP” stand for?

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In my reading in recent months I have come across a lot of new acronyms such as, for example, “BLM“. One that recently caught my attention, because I use it a lot, is “FTP“. This is, apparently, a ruder and more comprehensive variant of “Defund the Police“, being shorthand for “f*ck the police“.

This puts me in a quandary, because, as I said, I use this acronym a lot, in its original meaning of “file transfer protocol“, a venerable part of the standard UNIX/Linux networking tools.

So I wish to make it very clear, lest anyone misunderstands:

Whenever I use the acronym “FTP” in a neutral or approving manner, I am referring to the File Transfer Protocol, its various implementations across different operating systems, and the action of using such implementations to transfer files. Sometimes, because there are actually more convenient ways of transferring files, I may even use the acronym in a negative or disapproving manner to refer to the file transfer protocol and the apps implementing it.

Only very rarely will I use the acronym FTP in its contemporary “political” sense because I am opposed to abusing words in this fashion, and I am opposed to abusing the police. When acts of police brutality or other illegal actions by police officers happen (and I have no doubt that they do because policing involves the exercise of power and that attracts people with a pathological desire for dominating others), there are more effective and suitable means of dealing with it than the obscene suggestion implied by “FTP”.


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