Renewing S/MIME Certs in Windows Vista & Windows 7

Back to S/MIME Tutorial

While attempting to update an expired secure email cert, Vista users may receive the following error from the Thawte website:

Thawte 424 object required

This issue can be resolved using the Mozilla Internet browser to request the certificate.

Export from Mozilla

In Mozilla, went to Tools > Options > Advanced section > Encryption tab > View Certificates > Your Certificates > Backup

Convert

Before the exported certificate can be imported, the MIME type must be converted to “application/x-x509-user-cert”. This can be accomplished using the ad-hoc Firefox PKCS7 mimetype converter.

Import with Internet Explorer 7 & Internet Explorer 8

Tools > Internet Options > Content > Certificates > Personal
Click Import
Click Next
When you browse for your cert file, be sure to filter for the P12 filetype.

Update Email Client Settings

When replacing an expired certificate in Windows Live Mail, users will need to select the new certificate to be used for signed and encrypted emails. Otherwise the following message will appear:

Security Warning

Your digital ID for this account has expired
Windows Live Mail has found several valid digital IDs on your computer. Would you like to choose which digital ID to use when sending digitally signed mail from this account?
[Send Without Signing] [ Cancel ]

Oddly, neither of the options take you to where the digital ID can be selected.

Tools > Accounts > [Select the account associated with the cert] > Properties > Security Tab

From here you can choose which certs you want to use.

Back to S/MIME Tutorial

Replace an SUV with a Segway

I’m finishing my Engineering degree (9 months remaining) and without time for a job, I need to save as much money as possible. One way to do this is to park my SUV in the garage and ride a Segway to school.

The commute would be about 4.6 miles one-way and would take 47 minutes. The maximum range of a Segway i2 is about 24 miles I should be able to recharge it at home each night. I’d have COTA bus service as a backup (1 hour ride 1 route transfer to go 4.6 miles) during inclement weather.

I expect to save about $1,500/yr. with this plan – which is quite a bit less than the cost of a new Segway (around $4000) plus operating costs. I don’t have the money lying around to attempt this, and I’d rather not go into debt for this project, so my hope is to raise enough money from folks that feel strong enough about the environment to get an SUV off the road. Clearly, the savings alone are insufficient to fund it.

I’ll be updating this page with photos and fundraising milestones. My initial goal was to raise enough funding to ride a Segway to school on the first day of class (September 22, 2004). I’ve heard a lot of folks concerned about “Global Warming” since Al Gore’s movie was released, but I’m not convinced that people are worried enough to do anything about it (like donate to small projects like this).

If you’ve ever wanted to have one less “gas guzzling” SUV on the road or have one more available parking space, now is your chance. Even if you can only afford to give one dollar.

All proceeds go directly toward the purchase of a Segway i2 Commuter.

Even if you can’t afford to donate a signle dollar, hopefully you will at least tell a few people about this page – maybe blog about it, digg it, or put a link in your email or newsgroup signature – it would be greatly appreciated.


PROJECT COMMENTS

We appreciate and applaud you for your efforts
Union of Concerned Scientists

A noble endeavor, and excellent way to economize
SUVHate.org

That’s a very cool idea. I hope you gather lots of donations.
SUV Backlash


Q&A

Q: Why not ride a bike?
A: Quite a few students ride bikes to campus. Often their commute is only a few city blocks. City code requires that all bikes be ridden in the street, though I know this to be an unsafe practice. Bikes on campus are not permitted indoors and are frequently stolen and vandalized. I’ve been told I could store and recharge a Segway in the office of a friend.

Q: Why not ride the bus?
A: The bus is indeed a backup, but it does not run at all hours or to my residence. Taking the bus would require a time consuming trip downtown, then back up to campus. The bus also does not run on my street during the better part of the day. Finally, the most efficient route requires a transfer in one of my city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. I’ve already been the victim of a violent attempted robbery once, that’s why I’d like to take a different approach.


NOTE: The donation process should allow comments. I may post a few of them here. If you wish to make a comment, why not donate a few bucks? I will obtain permission from donors before posting comments.

People/organizations donating $100 or more are eligible to receive mention on this page along with a link.

Donations of $500 or more are eligible to receive mention on this page along with a link and logo.

Windows Media Player Skins

People seemed to love using Weeplayer since the footprint is so small. It was originally designed for people running high resolutions, but for people on computers running at a very low resolutions I wanted to offer Microplayer; something smaller that would even keep out of the way, yet “always on top” at lower resolutions as well.

Windows Media Player Skin Downloads

Microplayer

Microplayer Thumbnail
Microplayer.wmz (8.24 KB)
Released 6/28/2002

Microplayer is the second skin I have made – based largely on feedback I recieved from users of the original Weeplayer. Microplayer is designed to reside in the title bar of a maximized window near the upper-right corner of your screen.

Weeplayer

Weeplayer Thumbnail
Weeplayer.wmz (7.86 KB)
Released 11/10/2001

Weeplayer is the first WMP skin I made. I spent a few hours one weekend reading the WMP SDK and figuring out how things worked. The rest was suprisingly easy. Weeplayer is designed for users who have high-resolution video cards. It has a large “Play/Pause” button so that it’s easy to control music and audio streams even though the interface is so small.

Feel free to share your opinion of the skin via my feedback chat (no login or software download required).

A Brief HTML Tutorial

By: Mark Noble
V 1.0

Part One: Overview

HTML stands for “HyperText Markup Language”

HTML is not a programming language; it’s a markup language.

When you write HTML code, you are simply importing raw text data and marking it up with tags that indicate where certain formatting options begin and end.

What makes a tag? Well, a tag is a word or abbreviation that represents a formatting option and is enclosed in the “less than” symbol “<” and the “greater than” symbol “>”. Examples of common tag names would be:

 
<P>
<I>
<B>
<BR>
<FONT>
<TABLE>

If you have a string of text such as “The rabid orangutan darted swiftly through the canopy”, and you insert a <B> tag before “orangutan”, you will tell the browser that from that point on, it should make everything BOLD. So the following line of code:

The rabid <B>orangutan darted swiftly through the canopy

Will yield the following text in the browser:

The rabid orangutan darted swiftly through the canopy

You’ll notice that everywhere after the <B> tag, the text is now bold. How do you fix that? Use an end tag! End tags are the second half of a tag and tell the browser where to stop applying the formatting that is caused by the first half of the tag. They look the same as the first part of the tag except for one minor difference. They contain a forward slash “/”. Here are examples of common start tags and their companion end tags.

<P>		</P>
<I>		</I>
<B>		</B>
<BR>		</BR>
<TABLE>		</TABLE>

If you add the appropriate end tag after the word orangutan, you will see the following.

The rabid <B>orangutan</B> darted swiftly through the canopy

Which will yield the following text in the browser:

The rabid orangutan darted swiftly through the canopy

NOTE: Generally, I do not like to leave space between the HTML tags and the code they affect. The reason for this is that it may be possible to apply several text formatting attributes to an invisible character such as a space ” ” which could wreak havoc on your troubleshooting efforts.

NEXT PAGE >>

A Brief HTML Tutorial (Part 2)

By: Mark Noble
V 1.0

Part Two: Layout

Now it’s time to learn about the basic layout of an HTML file. These are just a few simple rules that will keep you out of trouble down the road and ensure that each of your documents meets the lowest standards of compatibility in order to be viewable by the widest variety of browsers.

It is important to note that HTML is an Object Oriented Language. This means that it relies heavily on the concept of maintaining a container structure for web documents. In many cases, if you forget a closing tag, it will not affect the document appearance – however – I strongly advise against being careless with tags. If you are careful, you will be happy with yourself as it will be easier to debug your own code, and other programmers will be happy with you as well if they ever need to expand on your code.

Some programmers write in a way that is intentionally difficult to understand. Others are simply careless and sloppy with their tag arrangement. I myself prescribe to the philosophy that every page of code I write should serve as an example to new programmers as to how code should be written. If you maintain this philosophy, you will thank yourself for ensuring that your code is easy to understand, reuse and manipulate down the road. It is never faster to code something the sloppy way first – then go back and fix it later.

Below is a simple framework for HTML that you should work from. HTML documents written without this framework will be functional in most browsers, but this just helps organize some of the information (which is very important in complex professional websites). After the example code, I will explain what the tags are for.

<HTML>

<HEAD>

<TITLE>Untitled</TITLE>

</HEAD>

<BODY>

</BODY>

</HTML>

<HTML> – This tag encloses all of the HTML code on the page. It should be the first tag in your code as well as the last closing tag.

<HEAD> – This is a very important tag. It holds information that affects your entire page. Information such as the color of the background, various link colors and the title of your document as it will appear in the title bar of the users browser window.

<TITLE> – The title tag contains the name of your HTML document, as it will appear in the title bar of the users browser. The information within this tag is also often used when a user bookmarks a page. For instance, if the HTML programmer puts “Ed’s Pet Shop” in the title bar, it will appear in the title bar of the browser as well as the default name for any bookmarks to that page (unless otherwise specified).

<BODY> – This tag contains the real meat of an HTML page. Most of your work will take place inside this tag. Any text, images or links on an HTML page will be listed within this section of code.


Now let’s try our first page. We will write a sample page about Elvis with a sample block of text.

Elvis Presley came from a very poor family. He was born on 8 January 1935 in Mississippi. Elvis loved music. He went to church every Sunday and sang in the choir. When he was 13, his mother bought him a guitar. One day in 1954 he went to a recording studio called Sun Records. He wanted to make a record for his mother’s birthday. The secretary at the studio, heard Elvis and told her boss, Sam Philips. Elvis was his dream – “a white boy with a black voice”.

In 1955, Elvis appeared on TV in New York. Then he went to Hollywood and made his first film “Love Me Tender”. In the next two years he had many hit records and soon became a millionaire. In his last years, Elvis became fat and depressed. He died of a heart attack in 1977 in his house at Graceland. But for many fans, Elvis Presley is still alive and his songs are still popular.

Next we add the base code framework that you should always start from when creating an HTML document. Simply fill in the title of the document and place your copy between the <BODY> tags.

<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>The King of Rock 'n Roll</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>

Elvis Presley came from a very poor family.  He was born on 8 January 1935 
in Mississippi.  Elvis loved music.  He went to church every Sunday and 
sang in the choir.  When he was 13, his mother bought him a guitar.  One 
day in 1954 he went to a recording studio called Sun Records.  He wanted to 
make a record for his mother's birthday.  The secretary at the studio, heard 
Elvis and told her boss, Sam Philips.  Elvis was his dream - "a white boy 
with a black voice".

In 1955, Elvis appeared on TV in New York.  Then he went to Hollywood and 
made his first film "Love Me Tender".  In the next two years he had many 
hit records and soon became a millionaire.  In his last years, Elvis became 
fat and depressed.  He died of a heart attack in 1977 in his house at 
Graceland.  But for many fans, Elvis Presley is still alive and his songs 
are still popular.

</BODY>
</HTML>

Now it’s just a matter of adding several tags to this basic source code to improve the overall aesthetic of the document. The following is the code for my finished page as well as a basic explanation of the HTML tags used to generate the page.

<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>The King of Rock 'n Roll</TITLE>
</HEAD>

<BODY BGCOLOR="white" ALINK="red">

<BLOCKQUOTE>

<H1 ALIGN="center"><U>ELVIS</U> 
<IMG SRC="sneer.jpg" WIDTH="95" HEIGHT="123" BORDER=0 
ALT="Sneering Elvis" ALIGN="middle">
<U>PRESLEY</U></H1>

<P ALIGN="justify">
<A HREF="http://www.elvis.com/">Elvis Presley</A> 
came from a <I>very</I> poor family.  He was born on 8 January 
1935 in Mississippi.  Elvis loved music.  He went to church every Sunday 
and sang in the choir.  When he was 13, his mother bought him a guitar.  
One day in 1954 he went to a recording studio called Sun Records.  He 
wanted to make a record for his mother's birthday.  The secretary at the 
studio, heard Elvis and told her boss, Sam Philips.  Elvis was his dream 
- "a white boy with a "black <A HREF="cruel.mp3">voice</A>".
</P>

<P ALIGN="justify">
In 1955, Elvis appeared on TV in New York.  Then he went to Hollywood and 
made his first film "Love Me Tender".  In the next two years he had many 
hit records and soon became a millionaire.  In his last years, Elvis 
became <B>fat</B> and depressed.  He 
<A HREF="elvis.wav">died</A> of a heart attack in 1977 in 
his house at Graceland.  But for many 
<A HREF="http://www.ibiblio.org/elvis/elvishom.html">fans</A>, 
Elvis Presley is still alive and his songs are still popular.</P>

<H6 ALIGN="center">HTML Demonstration Copyright © 1998 
<A HREF="http://www.marknoble.com">Mark M. Noble</A></H6>
</BLOCKQUOTE>

</BODY>
</HTML>

<BLOCKQUOTE> – Applies a margin to everything within tag.

<BODY BGCOLOR=”white” ALINK=”red”> – BGCOLOR is an attribute of the body tag that affects the background color of the document. ALINK is the color of a link when a user clicks on it.

<P ALIGN=”center”> – ALIGN is an attribute of the Paragraph tag ”

“. Some values I used in this document are “justify” and “center” which allow users to control how a block of text behaves.

<H1 ALIGN=”center”> – The heading tag is used to specify heading size. In the example case, H1 indicates the largest heading size while H6 which appears later in the document represents the smallest heading size.

<U> – Underlined text attribute.

<IMG SRC=”sneer.gif” WIDTH=95 HEIGHT=123 BORDER=0 ALT=”Sneering Elvis” ALIGN=”middle”> – The IMG tag allows you to insert images into an HTML document. The SRC attribute indicates the filename and location on the server. WIDTH and HEIGHT attributes define the width and height of the image in pixels. BORDER allows you to put a border around the image that is the same color as all links on the page (in the early days this was used to illustrate that an image was clickable). ALT is an attribute of the IMG tag which allows users to provide a brief text description of the image (originally for folks with text only browsers, used now to provide commentary or additional information on an image). The ALIGN attribute specifies the alignment of the image with respect to the other text and images in the vicinity.

<A HREF=http://www.marknoble.com>Mark Noble</A> – This is how we make a link. The URL of the linked page belongs within the HREF attribute.

<I> – Italicize text.

<B> – Bold text.

&copy; – This is an ASCII Character Code for the copyright symbol. Any special symbols such as this have a special code that can be looked up in an HTML reference book or on a web page containing a list of the codes and the characters they represent.

Now that you understand how the code works, take a look at the finished page by clicking here.

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