Windows 10 - Clear Clipboard

The clipboard is accessible to anyone from the Windows lock screen. This is a quick way to clear the clipboard whenever the computer is locked via the Task Scheduler.

Clipboard is Exposed in Lock Screen

I learned of a new Windows vulnerability on Security Now (Episode 600).  The clipboard is available even after you lock your computer.  This allows anyone to get that data.  Microsoft does not consider this to be a bug since physical access is required.  Listen to the Security Now show for the details on how to access the clipboard from the lock screen.

But it is easy to clear your clipboard automatically.  Run the command below.  And you can do this via the task scheduler.

  • cmd /c echo off |clip

Some site say to double quote the echo command.  But the cmd shell does not like quotes with pipes.  Using single quotes, double quotes, special characters, and escaping such items always confuses me.  I much prefer the UNIX shell where I can easily troubleshoot commands.

Clear Clipboard on Windows Lock

Launch the 'Task Scheduler'.  And then follow the steps below.

Create a New Task

First click 'Create Task...".  See the screen show below.

Task Scheduler Window
Task Scheduler Window

Create Task - General Tab

Now name your new task whatever you desire.  And optionally provide a description of your new task.  Then go to the 'Triggers' tab.

Create Task - General Tab
Create Task - General Tab

Create Task - Triggers Tab

Now click "New..." to add a new trigger.

Create Task - Triggers Tab
Create Task - Triggers Tab

On the 'New Trigger' screen select 'On workstation lock' from the 'Begin the task:' drop down box.  And then click "OK".

New Trigger Screen
New Trigger Screen

Your 'Triggers' tab should look like the following screen.  Obviously the name of your computer and ID will be different.  Click on the 'Actions' tab.

Triggers Tab
Triggers Tab

Create Task - Actions Tab

By default this screen will be blank.  Click on 'New...' to add a new action.

Actions Tab
Actions Tab

Fill out the 'New Action' screen as shown below.

  • Action: = Start a program (Default action)
  • Program/script: = cmd.exe
  • Add arguments (optional): = /c echo off | clip
  • Start in (optional): = C:\Windows\System32
  • Once done - Click "OK"
New Action Screen
New Action Screen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ignore the 'Conditions' & 'Settings' Tabs

You can ignore the 'Conditions' and 'Settings' tabs.  Just click "OK" to exit the create task screen.  Now test your new task to ensure it is working properly.

Testing the New Task

In the left hand column click on 'Task Scheduler Library' to get to the root location of all your scheduled tasks.  In the middle column scroll to your newly created task name.  In this instance it is the first in the list and is named 'Clear Clipboard on Lock'.  See the screen shot below.

Task Scheduler Window
Task Scheduler Window

Copy some text into your clipboard.  Open notepad and paste it once to ensure you have some text to paste.  Then on the 'Task Scheduler' window click 'Run' in the lower right hand column.  This is under 'Selected Item'.  Then try to paste again in notepad.  It should not work.  Close the 'Task Scheduler' window.

The next step is to copy something else into your clipboard.  Lock your computer by typing 'Win+L'.  Then type in your password and see if your clipboard is empty.

Scheduling Total Silence on Android Devices

Steps involved in scheduling an Android device to be completely silent. Useful for regular meetings or study halls. Added steps to enable this feature on Samsung TouchWiz launcher.

Blissful Silence

I love my little tech toys.  However there are times when all the little noises every device emits can be rather annoying.  And these noises can easily disturb people around you as well.  It is fairly easy to make your device silent.  But a nice feature is to schedule silence.  This is especially useful if you have a regular meeting where extraneous noise may be inappropriate.

There are a few ways to get to the following screens.  The method below should work on all Android devices and be independent of any launcher.

Three Main Volume Controls

Android has three volume controls.  Plus it has other sounds as well.  The three main volume controls are listed below.

  • Media Volume (The icon is a musical note)
  • Alarm Volume (The icon is an alarm clock)
  • Notification Volume (The icon is a bell)

Samsung TouchWiz Launcher (UI)

Owners of Samsung phones running the default TouchWiz launcher need to install a separate application to enable multiple do not disturb schedules. For whatever reason Samsung decided to hide this feature. It is available in Google's Android. But the TouchWiz launcher only allows for one schedule.

To get around this install 'Activity Launcher' by Adam Szalkowski. Launch the application. And follow the steps below.

  1. Click on the 'Recent Activities' drop down box at the top of the screen.
  2. Select 'All activities' from the drop down box.
  3. Scroll down to 'Settings' and open that section.
  4. Scroll down to 'Automatic rules' and click on it.
  5. Click on '+ Add Rule' and follow the directions in this document under the heading 'Automatic Rules Screen'.

Launch the 'Settings' Application

I will assume you know how to launch the settings application.  If not google how to do that yourself.  Your settings screen should look something like the screenshot below.

Touch the 'Sound & Notification' section.

Android Settings Screen
Android Settings Screen

Sound & Notification Screen

The 'Other sounds' highlighted by the blue box below will allow you to turn off three different sounds.

  • Screen locking sounds
  • Charging Sounds
  • Touch Sounds
Other Sounds Screen
Other Sounds Screen

We are concerned with the 'Do not disturb' button.  This is highlighted by the red box below.  Touch that to continue the scheduling procedure.

Sound and Notification Screen
Sound and Notification Screen

Do Not Disturb Screen

Touch the 'Automatic rules' box to continue.

Do Not Disturb Screen
Do Not Disturb Screen

Automatic Rules Screen

There will be two default rules.  Both of these are turned off and can be used as a reference.  Touch the 'Add rule' box to continue and create your own rule.

Automatic Rules Screen
Automatic Rules Screen

Add Rule Dialogue Box

We will be creating a time based rule.  Add a descriptive name for this rule and then touch 'OK'.  In this example the rule is named 'Test'.

Add Rule Dialogue Box
Add Rule Dialogue Box

Test Rule Screen

The default rule is shown below.  You need to edit the 'Days', 'Start Time', 'End Time', and 'Do Not Disturb' sections as appropriate.

Default Test Rule Screen
Default Test Rule Screen

Edited Test Rule Screen

In the example below the Android device will be totally silent from 11:50 AM on Sunday to 2:10 PM on Sunday.  You can create multiple rules.  There are three options in the 'Do Not Disturb' box.

  • Priority Only
  • Alarms Only
  • Total Silence

If you go back to the 'Do Not Disturb' Screen you can select 'Priority only allows' and set what you consider priority.  It will allow for specific persons to call you or message you.  And you can also allow repeat callers to allowed through.  Since I am setting this up on a tablet I am using 'Total Silence'.

Edited Test Rule Screen
Edited Test Rule Screen

Now that you know how to enjoy the silence, do such.

Ripping Blu Rays

A brief explanation on using MakeMKV to create a lossless copy of a Blu Ray. And then how to use Handbrake to reduce the size and convert it to MP4. And finally using FFMPEG to remux.

Grey Area

I prefer to buy books, music, TV, and movies I want.  I don't condone the illegal sharing of media.  But, when I buy a Blu Ray I want to be able to watch it wherever and whenever I want to watch it.  I have no issues with removing DRM (Digital Rights Management) so I can enjoy the stuff I purchase.  Making a backup copy is legal.  However bypassing DRM is technically illegal in the US.

Using MakeMKV

I prefer to use MakeMKV to backup my Blu Ray movies.  This makes a lossless copy of the movie.  I tend to just want the movie without any extras.  If I want to watch alternative endings or listen to the director's commentary I can always drag out the Blu Ray disc itself and watch that.  MakeMKV is no longer free, but it is very easy to use.  And it does the job.  Just follow the screenshots below to rip a lossless copy of the movie and place the video and audio in the MKV container.

Launching MakeMKV
Launching MakeMKV

Now identify where you want to save the output.  And select the parts of the movie you want to copy.

MakeMKV Item Selection
MakeMKV Item Selection

Expand the movie section.  Deselect the unwanted audio versions and subtitles.  Once you are done click the 'Make MKV' icon shown above.

MakeMKV Item Selection
MakeMKV Item Selection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using Handbrake to Transcode

To reduce the size of the movie and convert it to MP4 use Handbrake.  The settings I am using below are open to debate.  I use the 'High Profile' as the default profile as a starting point.  I want to reduce the size but since storage is cheap I am not trying to get the smallest possible file.  I can take a 30 GB MKV file and create a 3 to 6 GB MP4 file.  The size variation depends on the type of movie.  Some movies I have ripped are just larger than others.

I am not covering every setting in this guide.  Nor am I covering every single step required to transcode a movie.  I am not showing the 'Preset' panel in the screen shots below.

Picture Tab

Open the source and select the correct MKV file or disc.  Choose the correct destination file and adjust the name of the file as appropriate.  Choose the correct container.  I am using MP4.

It is a good idea to select 'Web Optimized' if you plan to stream the movie across your home network.  This places the 'moov atom' at the beginning of the file.  I am not a video engineer.  Search google for more information.  Or look at this Adobe site for a better explanation.

Movies are rarely 1920 x 1080.  Handbrake will attempt to automatically remove the black bars.  You can adjust how Handbrake does this by changing the Anamorphic drop down box and changing the cropping from automatic to custom.  This is a matter of preference.  Removing the black bars reduces the size of the file.  Ignore the 'Modulus' drop down box.  This just show the number of pixels are cropped when you click in the cropping section.  You can always type the exact number and ignore the arrows.  I only adjust the cropping if something strange happens and the numbers don't add up properly.

Handbrake Picture Tab
Handbrake Picture Tab

Filters Tab

I ignore this tab and accept the defaults.

Handbrake Filters Tab
Handbrake Filters Tab

Video Tab

I select 'Constant Framerate' and keep the Framerate (FPS) dropdown box as 'Same as Source'.

For Blu Ray movies I change the quality slider to 22.

Handbrake Video Tab
Handbrake Video Tab

Audio Tab

I remove the AAC encoded audio option.  I just keep the AC3 Passthru audio.  This is higher quality audio.  But not every player will play this audio.  Just click on the red X to remove the audio you do not want.

Handbrake Default Audio Tab
Handbrake Default Audio Tab
Handbrake AC3 Selected Audio
Handbrake AC3 Selected Audio

Subtitles Tab

I ignore this tab.  When I created my MKV I already removed the subtitles.  Now if you are ripping a foreign movie you may want to keep the English subtitles.

Handbrake Subtitles Tab
Handbrake Subtitles Tab

Chapters Tab

I ignore this tab as well.  The default option keeps the chapter markers.  This makes it easier to skip through the movie.

Handbrake Chapters Tab
Handbrake Chapters Tab

Once you are done click the 'Start Encode' or 'Add to Queue' buttons.

Remux with FFMPEG

I ripped all of the Tom Baker Doctor Who DVDs to MKV files.  To make it simpler to stream these files I remuxed the files and changed them from MKV to MP4 without losing any quality.  It is very quick using FFMPEG.

The command below worked for me.  And it is fairly simple to create a Windows batch file to remux a whole directory.  Refer to the Microsoft documentation on the 'for' loop for more information about modifying the variable.  I am using FFMPEG on my Windows box.  And I am using the 'caret' (^) to split the command over multiple lines.

The FFMPEG Command

Here is the basic command.

ffmpeg.exe -i \path\file\insert\movie.mkv ^
-vcodec copy ^
-acodec copy ^
\output\path\movie.mp4

One Line FFMPEG Batch File

for %%i in ("H:\Classic Doctor Who (MKV)\*.mkv") do ^
c:\users\<your_ID>\downloads\ffmpeg\bin\ffmpeg.exe -i "%%~fi" ^
-vcodec copy ^
-acodec copy ^
"H:\mp4\%%~ni.mp4"

Obviously adjust the command to suit your environment.  The double quotes allow for spaces in the directory or filename.  You need double percent signs in a batch file.  Single percent signs if you run this on the command line.

  • %%~fi - Expands to the fully qualified path name
  • %%~ni - Expands to the file name only without the file extension