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Subscription boxes mania! Snacks, Beauty and Kawaii stuff from Japan

If you, like me, do love receiving boxes purchased online and open them happy and curious like a child with his Christmas gifts, you will probably admit unboxing has its own damn charm!

For the ones who want to replicate that particular thrill more and more, some marketing genious indvented the Subscription Boxes (also known as Crate).

A Subscription Box is basically a parcel full of small gifts that you preorder online. You choose the subject but the exact content remains a surprise until the moment you unbox it. Usually the seller assures the Box contains rare or limited edition items.

Let’s discover together the most wanted crates out there…
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How to skip invalid characters from an UTF-8 XML file or string in PHP

Yesterday I wrote something about stripping out P7M data from a XML P7M file or string, as long as it was encoded using CAdES format. It was quite ugly, yet it does the job.

Today I will raise the ugly-but-working bar even further by publishing the method I wrote as follow-up, which basically strips/skips all the invalid characters from the resulting XML string, so it can be cast into a SimpleXML PHP class:

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How to retrieve the Windows 10 Product Key from BIOS / UEFI / Windows Registry

Do you remember the good old times when PC manufacturers used to apply those fancy stickers to the back of your laptop or desktop PC depicting your Windows Product Key? If you’re a system administrator you probably already know that these times are gone since Windows 8. Now almost every PC with a pre-installed copy of a Windows OS doesn’t show any physical info or evidence of its product key, nor it features a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) sticker on its back, battery bay or any other place.

The product key is now embedded into the computer BIOS or UEFI, and it can only be accessed there: this also means that we don’t need to type it anymore, because it’s automatically fetched by the OS during the install phase. This can be really good at times, because you won’t ever need to remember or protect it – the system will do the hard work for you. However, it can become a huge problem if you ever need to type it, which is something that can always happen in some edge-case scenarious such as: relevant hardware upgrades, damaged/erased BIOS, OS upgrades, reinstall using a different ISO image and so on.

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How to go into Safe Mode in Windows 10 without having to log in

Among the many changes introduced with Windows 10 there is one that nearly no one is happy about: the missing F8 key (or SHIFT+F8) we could press to activate the boot selection screen, where we could choose between various startup settings – including Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Command Prompt, Safe Mode with Networking and so on. Well, as a matter of fact they didn’t disable it… it’s just that the system boot leaves very little time to acknowledge that F8 keypress, to the point that – if you do have a SSD drive and an half-decent CPU – you have nearly no chances to do that.

This is a shame, because Safe Mode is still the only way we had to fix a number of startup issues which could occur before the login phase, thus locking us out from Windows 10. Luckily enough, there are a couple methods we can still use to get into Safe Mode: let’s see how.

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Unboxing: Haikyuu!! merchandise box

Hi there! Today we are going to unbox some super cool Haikyuu!! official items. I’m a great fan of Karasuno boys (and rivals) and I have always wanted to own something from this anime. Few weeks ago I ordered a box from an official retailer and now that it has arrived I’m going to share its contents with you. Let’s see!

I ordered:

  • two different Banpresto figures representing Hinata and Kageyama;
  • several small microfiber hand towels branded Broccoli! dedicated to my favourite characters from Haikyuu!!
  • and a giant and colorful pass case featuring Bokuto.

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