Test-Connection: How to Ping Computers with PowerShell

You can use the commands below to ping computers with PowerShell.

(click/tap on a code snippet to copy it)

 

Pinging a Single Computer

Test-Connection google.com

You may add (without the quotes) “-IPv4” to the end of the command to tell PowerShell to only ping the IPv4 address of the specified computer.

 

Pinging Multiple Computers

Use a comma [ , ] to specify multiple computers at once.

Test-Connection google.com, bing.com, yahoo.com


Posted in Code Snippet, Computers, Internet and Servers, Operating Systems, PowerShell, Tips & Tutorials

How to Set Up NVIDIA G-Sync for Gaming

Below I will give you my personal NVIDIA control panel settings I use for G-Sync that gives me smooth game play (results may vary).

Prerequisites

  • NVIDIA video card (obviously)
  • latest NVIDIA drivers
  • Windows 10 or above
    • these settings should work in older versions of Windows, but I have not tested that assumption
  • G-Sync or FreeSync compatible monitor
    • FreeSync is AMD’s version of G-Sync
    • NVIDIA (thankfully) allows FreeSync monitors to work with their proprietary G-Sync technology without you having to fork out a lot of money for a G-Sync “certified” monitor.
  • You must enable your monitor’s G-Sync or FreeSync technology (it is usually disabled by default)
    • On my FreeSync monitor (Samsung LS28AG700N), the setting is called “Adaptive-Sync”. I do not know if other FreeSync monitors have it labeled “Adaptive-Sync” too, but the naming should be similar.
    • If you own a real G-Sync monitor, look for a similar option to enable.
  • Set your monitor to use 120Hz or higher refresh rate
    • While you can use G-Sync with a 60Hz refresh rate, it really does you no good (I tried it; waste of my time; G-Sync works better with a 120Hz or higher refresh rate).

Ok. First you need to open the NVIDIA Control Panel. Usually you can right-click on your Windows desktop and select “NVIDIA Control Panel”.

Once the NVIDIA Control Panel opens, click on the option called “Set up G-SYNC”.

Please note that this option will not be visible if your monitor’s FreeSync (“Adaptive-Sync”) or G-Sync technology is not turned on.

Now set your settings just like I show in the picture below.

Once you set the settings, you need to click on the “Apply” button to save your settings.

Before we go on, you may want to turn on the G-Sync indicator as shown below.

This will tell the NVIDIA driver to display a green “G-Sync” text on the top-right of a window or full-screen application that is currently making use of G-Sync. This is a very helpful indicator letting you know if your G-Sync is working properly in a particular program.

Now we need to go to setup a few more things. On the menu to the left, click on “Manage 3D settings”.

Below I have highlighted the settings I use specifically for G-Sync. Set your settings like I have shown below.

Important Note: The “Max Frame Rate” works well when it is -3 your monitor fresh rate. For example, if your monitor is running at 120Hz (like mine), set the “Max Frame Rate” to 117 instead of 120. This works well for me. Likewise, if you have a 144Hz monitor, set the “Max Frame Rate” to 141 instead of 144.

Important Note #2: If you have frequent stuttering when playing games, try setting the “Low Latency Mode” to “Off” and see if that solves the problem. “Low Latency Mode” does not always play nice with everyone’s computer systems and games.

Scroll down to view the rest of the options.

As mentioned before, please remember to click the “Apply” button to save your settings.

G-Sync should now work. Open up a video game and – if you enabled the G-Sync indicator I mentioned earlier – you should see a green “G-Sync” text on the upper-right of your screen.

I hope this small tutorial has been helpful to someone.


Posted in Computers, Software, Tips & Tutorials, Video Games

How to Tell if Someone is Lying Online or in a Text Message

We have all been there. Someone saying something online that sounds incredible and everyone (including ourselves) want to believe it is true. However, how can we be sure that someone is telling the truth online, especially about their own experiences (e.g., an anecdote)?

Technically the proper etiquette for online conversations is to believe whatever someone says, until you have a reasonable doubt about their honesty. Unfortunately, experience has taught me it is always best to take everything someone says into question, and verify everything you are told.

You do not know how many times I have failed to verify something, then later discover the information I believed was wrong all along. That is both embarrassing and aggravating, since I may have spent years believing misinformation that “everyone said was true”, instead of doing my own research on the matter. As the saying goes: “A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World Before the Truth Puts On its Shoes”.

Before I continue, let me say this: There is no 100% reliable way of knowing if someone online is telling the truth or a lie when they give a “personal testimony” about a particular topic, but we can come close by using some critical thinking.

With that, here a few things to watch out for when someone gives an anecdote online.

  • Lack of personal pronouns
    • When someone is lying, they tend to distance themselves from their story (unconsciously). They achieve this by omitting personal pronouns (e.g., “I”, “me”, “myself”) from their story. While this is not 100% proof someone is lying, it is still a good sign.
    • Think about it. Why would someone who is supposedly giving their own “personal story” omit themselves from the story? That does not make sense, hence why it makes the story look made up.
  • Stories that sound generic / bland / too convenient
    • Usually when someone is making something up, they give basic information …not detailed information. This is because the human brain is “busy” thinking up a story to tell, not about what words should be used to convey the story realistically. This makes the story come across as fake – which it is – and people who pay attention will be suspicious.
    • Ask the poster for more details. If they take too long to respond, or fail to give a response, that is a sign the story is made up (or at least exaggerated).
    • I notice this frequently when listening to supposedly real-life scary stories on YouTube. There are a few stories that I believe are real, but several stories sound made-up under the guise of being genuine. Some YouTube channels have even started to claim the stories are “based on real-life events”, which means not all the facts are legit to begin with.
  • Does the poster make extraordinary claims in their story?
    • There is a saying: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
    • Anytime someone makes extraordinary claims, they need to provide extraordinary evidence (detailed evidence) to back up the story. Anyone can make anything up online (e.g., “I won big in the stock market, and now I own a million-dollar mansion.”), but without detailed evidence, I would be careful blindly believing such a story.
    • You must be careful of various media given as evidence for someone’s anecdote. This is not to say that no media can be trusted, but today you must be careful what you choose to believe.
      • Audio files can easily be manipulated with little to no evidence of any tampering.
        • Usually the audio’s waveform is analyzed to detect tampering.
        • The problem is a lot of audio is compressed (e.g. mp3 files). This can cause the waveform to change, making it virtually impossible to know for certain that someone purposely modified an audio file, since anything that appears “abnormal” in the waveform could just be due to the audio compression, not someone tampering with it.
      • Photos can easily be changed to “fit the narrative” via Photoshop. I have personally used Photoshop for over 10 years and know this powerful software can be used to make things appear different than what really happened.
      • Video is harder to fake, but possible thanks to deep faking technology. However, a video does not need to be “deep faked” to be false (or at least misrepresented).
        • For example, someone could show video clips from an old World War II documentary, and claim the footage was taken from a joint operation of American and British spies, recording a German base experimenting with space-alien technology.
        • What does the video really show when researched? Just some German outpost on the lookout for Allied aircraft.
        • See what I mean? People can give you real video footage, with real people in it, but the footage itself is misrepresented to show something other than what was really going on. For most viewers, they may be completely unaware they are being lied to.
  • Multiple inconsistencies
    • Whenever someone gives a story, and there are one or more inconsistencies in the story, this is a good sign the story is not accurate. If something really happened to someone, they would not keep changing the details of the story.
    • It is best to ask the person about the inconsistencies and see what they say. If they get angry, argue, or avoid the question, then you have your answer.
  • The “I did that too” bandwagon effect
    • This is when someone makes an extraordinary claim, and everyone else suddenly makes the same (or similar) claim too. It is like an “epidemic” of extraordinary claims!
      • I saw this happen once on a health forum. Someone made a huge claim, and then several other people started making similar claims (all on the same forum thread).
      • After about a page or two of people making claims, someone finally posted saying he thought everyone was lying and that what they were doing – if true – would have hurt themselves. Like clockwork, virtually everyone stopped making claims after his post.
      • He called their bluff, especially since I do not recall anyone challenging his accusation. I too believe people were looking to boost their egos, and were willing to lie to strangers online to get that ego boost.

Something to keep in mind. People are not talking face to face when using web forums, instant messaging, posting a comment, etc. That fact tends to make people feel more comfortable exaggerating information – or just plain making up information – about themselves or others in their anecdotes. No one is around to verify their information, much less “punish” them for lying.

This happens a whole lot more on the Internet than people realize, especially if the anecdote someone gives strokes their own ego.


Posted in Computers, General, Internet and Servers, Society

Let’s Encrypt – Free SSL/TLS Certificates for Your Website

If you have a personal or small business website that you wish to secure via an SSL/TLS certificate, you can use Let’s Encrypt to do it for free.

It used to be when you needed web encryption for your website, you had to go to a certificate authority and pay for one. What is worse, the certificate would have to be renewed every so often. It depended upon how many years you paid for in advance.

If you opted not to renew your certificate, your web visitors would see a scary message telling them “Your connection to the website is not secure!”.

Technically the “your connection is not secure” message is incorrect. An expired certificate can still secure your connection to a server, assuming you have not enabled HSTS for your domain. It’s only that the web browser – and other software – will no longer “trust” the certificate because it has expired.

Some services give their users a user-friendly option to setup a Let’s Encrypt certificate for their website. However, for people like me with custom setups, we must use other less user-friendly solutions.

If you are interested, here is the “Getting Started” link:  https://letsencrypt.org/getting-started/


Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Security, Software