Nov 132017
 

Flash is Bad

Yep.  It’s a security risk, is being constantly “fixed”, but more importantly is being dropped in all good browsers very soon.  It’s already been dumped by the Chrome browser and with any decent website worth it’s salt moving off Flash to the HTML5 way of doing things there’s no reason to have it on your machine, is there?

However, it’s easier said than done with Microsoft in particular making it difficult, not simple.

Here’s My Method

First

Get rid of Internet Explorer once and for all.  You do this from the old “Control Panel” under “Programs and Features” and the simplest way to get to this is to type directly into the Search box:

turn windows features on or off

Scoot down the list and untick Internet Explorer 11 then hit Okay.

Allow it to do it’s stuff and a reboot if it says so – mine didn’t.

Second

Flash is incorporated into Microsoft’s new browser, Edge (which is rubbish IMHO and I don’t use it, but hey ho!)

  • Go into Edge’s Settings
  • At the bottom of Settings go into Advanced Setting by clicking the handily named button
  • Just untick the Adobe Flash Player and job’s done.
  • Close settings
  • Close Edge and vow never ever to use it!

Third

Uninstall (remove) the flash player using Abobe’s tool, available here:

https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/uninstall-flash-player-windows.html

It’s pretty nippy and you should have no issues running it.  However, it leaves some dregs in the file system which I personally like to clear up.

Fourth

As detailed here, Microsoft has locked down system files so a simple delete does not work.  It’s a convoluted process that can be better sorted with a batch file.  A comment in the article from r-burt gives a good start – I have just added bits to finish removing the Macromedia folders and trees which have Temp folders inside.

This is the code:

#copied from https://eksith.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/how-to-remove-flash-from-windows-10/#comment-58104 r-burt
# take ownership
takeown /f C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\*.*
takeown /f C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash\*.*
# extend access
cacls C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\*.* /E /T /G %UserDomain%\%UserName%:F
cacls C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash\*.* /E /T /G %UserDomain%\%UserName%:F
# delete
del C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\*.* /Q
del C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash\*.* /Q
rd C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash
rd C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash
rd C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed
rd C:\Windows\System32\Macromed
del C:\Windows\SysWOW64\FlashPlayerApp.exe
del C:\Windows\SysWOW64\FlashPlayerCPLApp.cpl

#remove Macromedia folders in same way 
#Strangely added here: 
#https://strangelyperfect.tv/20188/remove-flash-windows-10/
takeown /f C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash
takeown /f C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash
cacls C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash /E /T /G %UserDomain%\%UserName%:F
cacls C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash /E /T /G %UserDomain%\%UserName%:F
rd C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed /S /Q
rd C:\Windows\System32\Macromed /S /Q

You need to copy it into a plain text file, name it something obvious and then change the file extension from txt to bat.  I called my file CleanFlashRemains.bat and you can download it from this link.

When downloaded, right-click on it and run as administrator

Batch File Operation –  quick description
  • Take ownership of files and folders
  • Take control using the access control lists
  • Remove files and directories (folders)
  • My additional bit does the same but removes the Macromedia directory tree – this is the rd /s/q bit, rd= remove directory, /s is the tree bit and /q means to run quietly without user prompts or error messages.  In this way the batch runs without interruptions due to missing files or folders.

Is This The End?

Flash will drip off the face of the planet rapidly and stop mysteriously re-appearing on user’s machines.  I have heard this happens a lot….  Probably something to do with webpage prompts that urge a user to get the functionality back or else the webpage won’t work.

The answer is to stop visiting those websites until they’re fixed.  It’s not the user’s fault.  It’s the website’s fault for insisting on Flash.

Hopefully, this little piece helps a few people.

Updating Sites to Newer Technologies

 Posted by  Comments Off on Updating Sites to Newer Technologies
Sep 012017
 
sweep away

Website Updates

For some time now websites that I run have been running WordPress.  I’ve been using it since version 1.2 I think, so quite a lot has happened in this time.  It is currently at v.4.8.1

Themes

Initially, themes had the appearance of user guidelines that had evolved for (say) the first decade of the WWW.  These followed rules about menu placements, font sizes and the like, all to make information easily accessible to the user.

sweep away

Out with the old

But for the past decade, driven by Web 2 technology & mobile devices, this has all changed.  There are page slides everywhere and since users are now familiar with this way of using websites and because many old themes no longer function correctly, I’m ditching the old themes.

On top of this, nearly everyone uses ad-blockers now, which is unfortunate as they help me to keep Crawling Chaos’ history alive.  I’m ditching sidebars with all that that entails and using inline ads to claw back some cash.  My hope is that a lot of mobile devices won’t be blocking ads as much as desktop PCs.  We’ll see, eh?

Simply put, I’m just using WordPress’ own 2017 theme!

Everywhere!

Depending on the website I’ll rotate page headers as a way of maintaining visual interest.

Plugins

Most of my carefully whittled down list of plugins I continue to use.  They have served well and don’t appear to have suffered so much since they have either kept up with evolving technologies or been left by the wayside.  One such is WP Supercache (say) which I’ve used since about day one.

Media and HTML5

One area that I subtley changed last year was to move music playback to HTML5 and ditch Flash.  I did this as soon as Google announced Chrome support of Flash was being dropped.  The world will be a better place for it!

Security

Google Will Soon Shame All Websites That Are Unencrypted

Google Will Soon Shame All Websites That Are Unencrypted

I am implementing a simple form of SSL support so that all my websites will show the locked padlock in some form in the browser address bar.  This means that most stuff going between the user and my websites will be encrypted.  This is inline with EFF and Google guidelines.

Progress Report

So far I have done:

This site and others will follow this weekend.

 

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