Friday, May 18, 2018

The Ambivalent Motorist

In the spring semester of my sophomore year at Vista High School I took a Driver Education class,
which was run by Mr. Dennis Williams
and was highlighted by a series of after-school behind-the-wheel driving lessons
that in my case were chaperoned by Mr. Henry Landis,
per a California state requirement for getting an instruction permit to drive a car.
FYI: Vista High School has not offered Driver Education classes for at least the last several years.

I got a driver's license shortly after my 16th birthday. I failed my first behind-the-wheel driving test - I made a critical error in the course of making a left turn, if I recall correctly - but passed on a second attempt.

Car-wise my family had
(1) a Volkswagen Squareback and
(2) a Kombi-type Volkswagen Bus
in the late 1970s. Almost all of my teenage driving experience was with the Bus as the Squareback was my father's 'baby' and he was touchy about letting me or anyone else in the family drive it, although I wasn't too upset about that as the Bus handled beautifully and was a pleasure to drive.

Motorist to nonmotorist

I left home for college shortly before my 18th birthday, and for the next ~33 years (excepting the summer of 1981) I lived in large cities - Cambridge/Boston, Philadelphia, London, and New Orleans - in which I didn't do any driving at all. As a practical matter, it just wasn't necessary for me to drive in those cities, and being a nonmotorist was the easy thing to do - gas, traffic, parking, maintenance, insurance, registration, smog certification, who wants to deal with any of that? - if you don't have to drive, then don't.

Be that as it may, I renewed my driver's license every four years through the mail until 1994, at which point the California DMV sent me a letter that in part read:
It will be necessary for you to apply in person at any office of this Department for renewal of your driver license. A $12.00 fee and all necessary tests will be required.
Doing this wasn't feasible as I was in England at the time, and my license expired.

Fast-forward to late 2013 and my return to Vista, a suburban-in-character city in which a walk from my home to the nearest grocery store takes a lot longer than it formerly did. (I was going to say that the mass transit here leaves a lot of room for improvement, but that's true pretty much everywhere, isn't it?) Still without a license, I relied for a while on my elderly father to drive me around but, as recounted in the Perambulatorily yours section of my "Sods and Odds" post, this came to an abrupt halt in March 2015. Now what?

Nonmotorist to driver's license 2.0

Well, I have finally gotten my act together and gotten a new driver's license. I had been a nonmotorist for so long that the California DMV no longer had my original driver's license number in its database and had me take both a written test and a behind-the-wheel test.
(w) I took/passed my written test at a temporary, now-closed DMV office in San Marcos on 29 December 2015. (It's too bad that the 1706 Descanso office wasn't kept open as it was the one closest to my home and was easy to get to via the 305 Bus.)
(btw) I took/passed my behind-the-wheel test at the DMV office in Oceanside on 4 November 2016; my nerves got rattled a couple of times during the test and I didn't do as well as I would have liked, but I did squeak through.

"What's with the time gaps?" I was afraid you would ask that. Inertia and procrastination on my part deserve a healthy share of the blame although the situation was exacerbated by the fact that the registration, smog certification, and insurance for my father's car all lapsed in 2015 - more details to come in the following entry.

Monday, May 7, 2018

English 10-

Today's post will conclude my retrospective tour of the English classes I took in high school.

10th grade

For the September-to-January ("fall") semester I took an English Composition 10A course
and for the February-to-June ("spring") semester I took a Literature Appreciation 10A course,
both of which were run by Mr. Jeffrey Paul Jones.

Mr. Jones made a serious effort in the fall semester to teach us the basic mechanics of writing - how to construct various types of sentences and how to put those sentences together so as to create a coherent unit of content - and I'd say he did a pretty good job of it.
(I've saved a number of sentence tests from this period as they display my maladjusted teenage self in all its glory. A 1 December 1977 test asked for three sentences having an introductory present participial phrase so I wrote:
1. Running down the street, Billy got hit by a car and his guts were splattered on the Jones' driveway.
2. Blowing his nose, Tom broke his Kleenex and a large glob of snot fell on his homework.
3. Coughing very loudly, the class thoroughly shattered the teacher's concentration.

Ah, those were the days...)

We read one class novel in the fall semester and one in the spring semester -
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, respectively -
excellent choices if I do say myself.

Twice during the fall semester we played a game in class that I'll call "N-Dimensional Story Creation". Here's how it went:
Mr. Jones handed blank sheets of paper out separately to several random students, each of whom
wrote down a sentence that started a story and
then passed the sheet to an adjacent student, who
wrote a sentence that continued the story in some way and
then passed the sheet to a third student, who wrote another sentence for the story and passed the sheet to a fourth student, etc.
Toward the end of class Mr. Jones collected our stories-in-progress and read them back to us. This was great fun, and I encourage all English teachers everywhere to try it in their own classes.

Two more points:
• I wrote a report and gave an oral presentation on Rosy Is My Relative by Gerald Durrell (a choice stemming from a Durrell short story that I read in the 8th grade) in the fall semester.
À la Mr. Hunter and The Propaganda Game, Mr. Jones had us play Diplomacy in the spring semester. Wikipedia notes that Diplomacy is Henry Kissinger's favorite game - we don't need to say any more about this, do we?

Lagniappe: 9th grade

Back in the 1970s Vista High School encompassed grades 10-12. For grades 7-9 I attended a Lincoln Junior High School that in 2006 moved to a new location and is now called Rancho Minerva Middle School. Meanwhile, a Vista Magnet Middle School has opened at the previous Lincoln Junior High School site.

At Vista High School it was up to us to work out a schoolday schedule; at Lincoln Junior High School our schedules were determined for us. For the 9th grade I was assigned to an English 9G course that was run by Mrs. Barbara Ross. I still have for this class a written notebook (content-wise, it was very light on grammar and heavy on dreams and imagery, I'll spare you the details) that grew into a traditional, long-form journal, of which both of my blogs are outgrowths. We read one class novel during the year, that being The Pearl by John Steinbeck.

Not related to coursework:
Mrs. Ross was a Neil Young fan. One day she brought in her copy of Harvest and played some of its songs for us and gave us her take on their lyrics.

Loose ends

• The "G" of English 9G refers to a "gifted" program in which I had been placed several years earlier by the Vista Unified School District's 'powers that be'. I don't have anything nice to say about that program so I won't say anything at all.

• Barbara Ross was Barbara Christiansen when I was a 7th-grader; she was my English teacher that year too.

• My 8th-grade English teacher was Miss Martha Lindey. Miss Lindey moved from Lincoln Junior High School to Vista High School in 1979; I could have and perhaps should have taken a journalism course from her when I was a senior.

We'll get behind the wheel in our next episode.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

English 11

In today's entry I'll say a few things about the 11th-grade English classes that I took at Vista High School in the 1978-1979 academic year, per the More English to come section at the beginning of my "Sods and Odds" post.

Fall

For the September-to-January semester I took an Advanced Composition 11A course that was initially run by Mr. James Hunter. At some point in the latter half of the semester (shortly after Thanksgiving, if memory serves) Mr. Hunter announced to the class that he would be leaving Vista High School for a position "in the computer field". He declined to specify exactly why he was leaving: "It's not you," he assured us. A Mr. Johnston* ran the remainder of the course.

*Per the Edward Johnston obituary at this page, I think Mr. Johnston's first name was Warren - he was the husband of my History 7 teacher at Lincoln Junior High School and took over for her shortly into the year as she was ill - but he wasn't in the La Revista 1979 yearbook and I don't know for certain.

I wrote my first five-paragraph essays and first term paper for Mr. Hunter's class.
• Regarding the former, Mr. Hunter handed out a photocopy of a five-paragraph essay that a previous-year student had written on Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land as a model for us to follow. I read it over and thought, "Man, this is really contrived, does anyone actually write like this in the real world?" With 20/20 hindsight and from my current vantage point as a technical writer, I now recognize that such essays, and term papers, are meant to serve as introductory prototypes for formal reports that one may create in, say, the business world or a STEM-related profession.
• My term paper was on electronic keyboard instruments.

Literature-wise my 11th-grade English classes kept to an American authors theme, and for Mr. Hunter's class I and my fellow classmates accordingly read the following class novels:
Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small-Town Life by Sherwood Anderson,
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, and
A Separate Peace by John Knowles.
I relatedly wrote separate book reports on
Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck and
R Is for Rocket by Ray Bradbury
but bucking the theme I also wrote reports on
Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne and
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table by Antonia Fraser.
(Yes, I was listening to this guy at the time.)

One last point in the name of completeness before moving on:
For a while at the beginning of the semester Mr. Hunter had us play The Propaganda Game in class; perhaps this was meant to be a sort of critical thinking exercise but I thought it was a waste of time.

Spring

For the February-to-June semester I took an English Literature 11A course that from start to finish was run by Mrs. Laurene Tweed.

Mrs. Tweed's class was highlighted by a vocabulary-building unit that was designed to prepare us for the verbal section of the SAT, which we were to take the following year. (I confess I am 'not a fan' of standardized tests: they are useful to some extent but IMO they and their scores are taken much more seriously than should be the case.)

We read one class novel for Mrs. Tweed's class: The Scarlet Letter: A Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
I relatedly wrote separate book reports on
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and
Dandelion Wine and
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury.

Toward the end of the semester each student also presented an oral book report in front of the class: my presentation was on The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand as I was going through a (thankfully brief, hey, it happens to the best of us) Objectivist phase at the time.

Our coursework culminated in a term paper on an American author. I appropriately wrote my paper on Ray Bradbury: it discussed Bradbury's literary influences, his approach to the craft of writing, his advice for would-be authors, and his view of the future.

I'll cover my 10th-grade English classes in the following entry.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Listening to Songs at Random, or Not

At the beginning of my "I'd Like to Make a Request" post I briefly discussed the MP3.com music site and lamented what MP3.com had become vis-à-vis its salad days in the early 2000s. I continue to check in with MP3.com from time to time, in part out of curiosity, in part out of nostalgia, in part out of a hope that the site has improved.

New stuff

MP3.com had been dormant since April 2015 but there's been a flurry of activity there in the last couple of months.

(1) A new /2018/ directory features 20+ new articles, including a "Welcome Back to MP3.com! This Is Going to Be Big" announcement and a "Can You Name Every One of These '80s Hair Bands?" article/quiz that at present also takes up most of the home page.

(2) A new navigation menu at the top of the site points to '80s, '90s, '00s, and DOWNLOADS sections that at the time of writing are highlighted by a common "12 Great Songs You Totally Forgot Were From 1993"* article.

*1993? That was 25 years ago. And excepting "Soul to Squeeze" and "I Got You Babe" (OK, maybe not the Cher with Beavis and Butt-Head version), you probably were never familiar with these songs in the first place if you don't listen to urban contemporary radio. Where's U2's "Lemon"? Where's the Smashing Pumpkins' "Today"? But I digress.

2011-2017

MP3.com last underwent a major overhaul in June 2011. The heart of the 2011-2017 MP3.com was its /top-downloads/ Free Music collection of songs to stream or download, which is now gone. The current MP3.com still has a /top-downloads/ directory but it now contains a "How Old Was This '90s Pop Star When They Made It Big?" article/quiz and some links to external MP3.com resources and some advertising content and that would be it. Some of the /2018/ articles do feature videos but you know what I think about music videos.

Actually, all of the other 2011-2017 MP3.com directories and all of the textual content of those directories are still present at the current site; for example, if you go to http://mp3.com/free-mp3/ and scroll past the "12 Great Songs ... From 1993" article (all the way to the bottom of the page) you'll find links to the 2011-2017 site's Free MP3 of the Day articles although the .mp3 file downloads originally offered by those articles are no longer available.

The 2011-2017 MP3.com was a venue for underground artists, whereas the new MP3.com material focuses on hitmakers. If you prefer the former to the latter, however, all is not lost...

Back to the bars

The External links section of Wikipedia's MP3.com entry helpfully includes a link to the Internet Archive's collection of past and present MP3.com pages. I go to the 12 May 2014 capture (the one closest to the "I'd Like to Make a Request" 14 May 2014 publish date) to check out its Free Music songs. To my amazement and delight, I discover that the Internet Archive has also saved a great many of the original .mp3 files for those songs - just click the buttons and you've got 'em. (Clicking the buttons doesn't do anything.)

I note in "I'd Like to Make a Request" that I prefer to stream songs rather than download them. I go over to YouTube and run searches on several of the 12 May 2014 MP3.com Free Music songs: every one of them shows up. And what you get at YouTube is in most cases better sounding than an .mp3 file anyway.

The Internet Archive's MP3.com captures stretch back to the site's late-1990s origin. It is unlikely that you will find anything to stream or download in the charts sections of captures that predate the 2011 overhaul, but at least you will have artist name and song title information to work with.

In sum, a respectable chunk of the MP3.com 'database' is still there and waiting for you to explore it - you don't have to settle for "Can You Name Every One of These ’90s Boy Bands?".

We'll go back to high school English class in the next entry.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Nontechnical Intermission

Profiles in PC Poisoning, Part 10

At the end of the previous entry I said I would be moving on from my CTB-Locker ordeal but given the lengthy length of time between that post and this one I have a last few comments to make:

• As of this writing and to the best of my knowledge (I'll admit that I haven't searched to the ends of the Earth for this), no one has cracked the CTB-Locker encryption scheme.

• Re the end of Part 8's Deep 2 section, I was able to rescue six more .wps documents via a painstaking reinspection of those "clearly toast" D:\???\*.wps files.

• Re Part 9's As for the C:\ volume... section, I did finally go through all 3,244 of those C:\???\*.wps files and can report that there were five new .wps documents in the lot - how's that for a(n) ROI? - two of them were damaged, specifically, they were text-image hybrids and some of the image data was lost.

• Vexingly, something else has stricken my father's computer in the interim. I suspect its system was corrupted somewhat by a power outage, or maybe it's just on the way out: upon booting, it often stalls at the BIOS screen, sometimes it stalls at the Windows XP logo/progress bar stage, sometimes it gets to the desktop but then the mouse cursor freezes. (It's just like my Daddy used to say, "It's always something, if it's not one thing it's another," eh? ;-)) All I can say is, "I'm working on it."

More posts about music and food

The Reptile7 Metablog has been dormant for almost two-and-a-half years, a state of affairs that is simply out of order! It's time I spent a bit of time here, yes?

The "Profiles in PC Poisoning" series was more technical than I would like this blog to be, and I'll be writing about more 'normal' things in going forward. Ransomware is an important topic and I felt it was important to discuss my experience therewith in some detail but I probably should have done so at my other blog.

I hope to write posts on my becoming a motorist, playing the piano, my father and his dementia, coffee, and television in due course; in the following entry, however, we'll touch base with the familiar with a revisit to MP3.com.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Profiles in PC Poisoning, Part 9

The "Profiles in PC Poisoning" series will conclude with today's post.

A bit more on the .xlr front

I was unable to find the .xlr file signature on the Web but I was able to use Recuva to get it, as follows:

(1) I created a brand new hw.xlr file with Microsoft Works Spreadsheet (hw is short for hello world, in case you were wondering) and placed it on the desktop.

(2) I launched Recuva. In the advanced mode, I enabled the
Scan for non-deleted files (for recovery from damaged or reformatted disks)
option on the Options Actions tab.



(3) In the main window I typed hw.xlr in the Filename or path search box and then ran a regular scan of the C:\ volume. The hw.xlr file duly came up; selecting it and clicking the Header tab on the right-hand side revealed its signature.



FWIW

(a) CTB-Locker left unmolested 6 My Documents\ .xlr files (cf. the Undamaged section of Part 3 of this series).
(b) As noted in the previous post, a .wps-enabled Puran File Recovery deep scan uncovered 6 ???\ .xlr files.
I go through the two groups of files: the (a) files are the same as the (b) files. Make of that what you will.

Taking stock of the .wps return

There are two My Documents\ folders in the D:\ volume:
(1) D:\02192015\My Documents\, which originally held 170 .wps files;
(2) D:\Compaq-09242012\My Documents\, which originally held 192 .wps files.
Upon comparing the Puran-recovered .wps files with the contents of these folders, it is clear that the recovered files came from the D:\Compaq-09242012\My Documents\ folder, giving us a (98 ÷ 192) × 100 = 51% recovery.

Interestingly, the recovered files and their numbers-names - 0003840.wps, 0003841.wps, ... 0003952.wps - closely track the last 98 A→Z Name-ordered .wps.*.xyz files in the D:\Compaq-09242012\My Documents\ folder: I can see a clear dividing line between what was recovered and what wasn't recovered. This being the case, my intuition tells me that the not-recovered files are gone for good, i.e., they've been permanently overwritten by either CTB-Locker or me, and that it would be a waste of time to try to find them with other file recovery tools.

As for the C:\ volume...

Some of you may be wondering, "Did you at least try to squeeze anything out of the C:\ volume?" It's a bit late for that, I'm afraid. In getting to this point, I've written to the C:\ volume and then deleted several batches of recovered .wps files, which does not bode well for finding those not-recovered files in the C:\ volume.

I nevertheless ran a .wps-enabled Puran File Recovery deep scan* of the C:\ volume a few days ago. This scan took 53 minutes and found 37,646 deleted files, of which 3,244 were ???\ .wps files, all in good condition. I wrote all of the .wps files to the D:\ volume and went through the first 10% of them: nothing new turned up at all. I'll try to look over the remaining files as time permits but I'm not gonna get my hopes up.

*For the purpose of recovery, the .wps profile's Direct Size setting was reduced to 255 KB; 3,244 10000 KB .wps files would not have fitted in the D:\ volume (or in the C:\ volume for that matter).

Repair redux

At the beginning of the year, just a few months before all of this happened, my father had repair work done on his computer by a nearby business called Modern Tech Computers. As to what necessitated that repair work, I don't know what specific problem the computer had but, this being a machine running Windows XP, I have no doubt it was malware-related.

I've got the invoice for the repair work in front in me, and the Description section thereof says that, in addition to "troubleshooting" and reinstalling a bunch of software, the repair person "backed up the user's data, pictures, documents, musics, favorites, and desktop". In practice:

(1) The Address Book\, Desktop\, Favorites\, and My Documents\ subfolders of the C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\ directory were copied to a new D:\02192015\ directory.

(2) Most of the C:\ volume was archived in a 02242015_full_b1_s1_v1.tib file, which was placed in a created-in-2012 D:\SystemBackup\ directory.

The 02242015_full_b1_s1_v1.tib file was created and can be opened by a program called Acronis True Image, whose free trial version I downloaded here.

The Documents and Settings\Owner\My Documents\ folder of the archived C:\ volume is stripped to the bone and doesn't contain any of the .wps/.jpg/.pdf files that the original C:\ volume did but at the same time there is a curious Documents and Settings\Owner\NetHood\ folder whose contents hint that the missing My Documents\ data may be stored 'in the cloud' (this is admittedly an area I am seriously behind the curve on) - does anything in the screenshot below look familiar to you?



The proprietor of Modern Tech Computers seems like a nice guy and he did what my father asked him to do; IMO he should have given my father a "You really should upgrade your system" take-home message, but he didn't.

If my father were interested in getting a new computer - and he isn't - I of course would recommend that he get a Macintosh. For about $250 he could buy a used Mac that has as much 'juice' (processor speed, hard disk capacity, amount of RAM) as his current computer and, crucially, would lift him out of the state of malware vulnerability he's presently in. I would ordinarily also tout a Mac's greater ease of use vis-à-vis that of a PC, but now that I am acclimated to my father's computer I'm not sure there's really that much of a difference between a Mac and a PC in this regard.



Not mentioned previously

Over and above its trojan payload, CTB-Locker placed a help_restore_files_btrne.txt file in a great many folders on my father's computer. The help_restore_files_btrne.txt files contain an ALL your documents, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted with strongest encryption RSA-2048 key, generated for this computer. ... message; a complete version of the message is posted at this Microsoft Community page.

I don't know what role, if any, these files play in the infection process - do they somehow flag sibling files for encryption, perhaps? In any case, let me note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware did not get rid of them; they clearly shouldn't be present, and I manually deleted them one by one (there's probably a command-line way to delete them all at once but I'd have to do some homework on that).

Fin

When I began work on my father's computer in June, it was little more than a paperweight; thanks to Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, it's now running normally (well, as normally as could be hoped for given its age). Thanks to Recuva and Puran File Recovery, I was able to rescue about half of the .wps files, about ⅔ of the .jpg files, and almost all of the .pdf files that were encrypted by CTB-Locker on my father's computer; it would have been nice to recover everything although my inability to do so does have a silver lining in that it serves as a little object lesson in the importance of backing up data.

It is at long last time to move on. I want to get back to my 'technical' blog for a bit but I promise to return and write posts on
(a) the music I've been listening to recently and
(b) my employment situation
in the not-too-distant future.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Profiles in PC Poisoning, Part 8

Welcome back to our ongoing probe of my father's computer with the Puran File Recovery program.

Deep 2

With a signature-and-size .wps profile in hand, let's take a crack at another Deep Scan + Find Lost Files + Scan Custom List of the D:\ volume in hopes of rescuing at least some of those pre-CTB-Locker My Documents\ .wps files.

I click the button. As for deep scan #1, deep scan #2 takes about 20 minutes and finds 8,097 deleted files. Using a Tree View, a *.wps filter returns 128 .wps files that are linked to a ???\ directory, and every single one of them is in "good" condition - ah, that's more like it!



I recover all of the .wps files as they don't give image-type previews. I check the wps checkbox, click the button, and select the Recover with Folder Structure option in the menu that drops down:



Up pops a Browse for Folder window with a Select Destination Folder menu.



I select the C:\ volume in order to not overwrite anything on the D:\ volume. Clicking the button starts the recovery process, which takes about 10 minutes (remember, we're talking >1,000,000 KB here).

At this point we have a C:\Undefined\wps\ folder containing our recovered files; had we chosen the Just Recover option, the individual files would have been loaded into the top level of the C:\ volume (C:\0000007.wps, C:\0000008.wps, etc.), which would be OK for a small number of files but inconvenient for 128 files.

I go through the files one by one to see what's there; 104 of them are intact content-wise.
(i) 98 of them belong to the original set of .wps files.
(ii) 6 of them are actually .xlr files, i.e., they are obviously spreadsheets and they smoothly open as Microsoft Works spreadsheet files when the .wps extension is changed to .xlr.
(Not surprisingly, .xlr files have the same start-of-stream D0 CF 11 E0 A1 B1 1A E1 signature that .wps files have.)

The remaining 24 files are corrupt to the point that Microsoft Works can't open them; I can get into these files with Notepad and there are pockets of intelligibility in some of them, but they're clearly toast.

Size notes

The C:\Undefined\wps\ files have a uniform size of 10,010 KB whereas most of the original .wps files were a lot smaller than that. I anticipated that the C:\Undefined\wps\ files would lose their 'extra weight' upon Save As...-ing them with different (more intuitive) names, and this proved correct.

Many of the original .wps files contained photos; as you would expect, inserting an image into a .wps file can significantly ramp up the file's size. To faithfully recover the image part of a deleted text + image .wps file, the .wps profile's Direct Size must be greater than or equal to that of the file: that's why I set the former as high as I did. BTW, a smaller Direct Size setting (e.g., 100 KB) does not increase the number of recovered .wps files.

Format notes

My two deep scans found the same number of deleted files, which raises the question: Was the recovered .wps data present somewhere in the first scan's results?

As noted in the Not quite so magic subsection of the previous post, .doc, .xls, and .ppt files have the same start-of-stream D0 CF 11 E0 A1 B1 1A E1 signature that .wps files have. Redoing the first scan (with the MSWorks text document checkbox in the Edit Custom Scan List window turned off) and filtering its output with *.doc|*.xls|*.ppt returns
(a) 2 .doc files,
(b) 24 .xls files, and
(c) 102 .ppt files.

All of these files are in the ???\ directory and in "poor" condition; size-wise, >90% of them are larger than 10 MB; confusingly, many of them have duplicate names, e.g., there are 15 0003817.ppts (their sizes are all different, however). I nonetheless recover several of them to see if they are the same as the corresponding .wps files from the second scan: they match.

Tellingly, the (a-c) files 'disappear' - they evidently morph into .wps files - upon redoing the second scan (with MSWorks text document turned back on).

So it seems that Puran File Recovery does not distinguish .wps/.doc/.xls/.ppt files so cleanly after all. In any case, it is at least clear that circumscribing the recovered file size via the Direct Size setting (vide supra) improves the recovery process.

Full

I check the Full Scan checkbox and run a Deep Scan + Full Scan + Find Lost Files + Scan Custom List of the D:\ volume. The full scan takes 45 minutes and finds 11,455 deleted files, of which 127 are ???\ .wps files, all in good condition: recovering a select few of them indicates that the intact .wps/.xlr files found by the second deep scan are present (evidently one of the corrupt files was not picked up for whatever reason) but there's nothing new beyond that.

Our CTB-Locker saga is thankfully coming to a close - we'll wrap it up in the next entry by addressing a last few loose ends.