New version of HostsCK

As is well known by  some of the users of HostsCK development stopped in May 2019.
red, the developer, had to quit unexpectedly and do other things and left me to run this website.
Before stopping development he manged to release version 2.2.8 which was going to be the final version.
However, before doing what he had to do he sent me the full, unreleased, code for version 2.2.8 which
contained all of the fixes and improvements that could not be tested in time.

I and three other fellow users of HostsCK have, with our limited coding knowledge, been working on this
unreleased version for a few months.
Thankfully red included detailed instructions on what to do but it has still been a steep learning curve,
we think we’ve managed it and will be releasing it in May at the latest this year.
This will be version 2.2.9, we are calling it the “Community Edition” and it will be the last as we have no
idea how to do any more.

So what’s new?

The way HostsCK starts has been completely re-written. This makes for a slightly faster start time but more
importantly further reduces the chance for errors. The read time for reading the Hosts remains the same.

Search for duplicate entries has been made more compatible with Windows 10. Some users were getting
errors and a program crash. If that happens now HostsCK will check for duplicates in a safer way but the
GUI will become unresponsive.

Hitting Ctrl+F in the main text box gives focus to the search box.
Hitting Ctrl+S in the main text box saves and changes to the Hosts file.

A setting to keep the Hosts writable. Useful if your VPN needs to be able to write to the Hosts.
If Windscribe VPN is detected the Hosts is kept writable anyway.

The language changer is completely re-written and you can now download new language files or updates
to languages.

A couple of bugs in the check for extra Microsoft blocks fixed.

Testers needed.

We are testing the changes now but need some more people to test it. If you fancy testing please contact me,
John, using the contact form. No programming experience is necessary, you will just have to use HostsCK as
you normally would and report any problems.

Microsoft List

It has been brought to my attention that the Microsoft list included in the HostsCK installer
had one line that was corrupted with an extra character which translates to a square character
in HostsCK (0.0.0.0 telecommand.telemetry.microsoft.com.nsat­c.net).
This created no problems other than looking untidy as that address was duplicated in the file.

While finding this line i also noticed that a couple more addresses were duplicated.

The duplicates have been removed and i have repaired the corruption.

If you wish to have the new list you can either download and install HostsCK
or download the updated list from here:

Download the zip file and drag the 2 files inside, “move list.bat” and “ms.txt”, to a folder.
Double-click the “move list.bat” to move the list to the %LocalAppData%\HostsCK\lists directory.

Thank you to Victor for making me aware of this.

John

HostsCK updated to version 2.2.8.0 Final

As the curtain comes down on the HostsCK project due to a new direction in my life, version 2.2.8.0
is marked as final. No more features will be added and bugs will not be fixed.
This website will remain for 2019 and almost certainly 2020.

The Microsoft Extra list will be updated when needed by John – a long time user of HostsCK.

  • Fixed: Internet Explorer loading when HostsDE checked for a Hosts update
    while a VPN client was connecting or had disabled an internet connection.
  • Fixed: HostsCK crash when launching the Hosts update server in the
    default browser.
  • Added: Autosave setting. Open or drag and drop a Hosts file into HostsCK
    and it will be automatically saved. HostsDE, if set to check for mvps Hosts
    updates, will download and save the Hosts update when an update becomes
    available. Autosave is disabled by default. Go to ” Settings > Backup & Saving ”
    to toggle autosave.
  • Added: shortcut key for full view (F11).
  • Changed: Changed internet connection ping from 4.2.2.2 to 8.8.8.8 as
    several users reported problems with HostsCK and HostsDE detecting
    an internet connection.
  • Improved: Colour schemes re-written. Each scheme is named and the
    scheme colours are extended to other areas of HostsCK in some cases.
  • Improved: Graphical improvements to the built-in web browser.

Following is a list of changes made due to the fact that HostsCK has been marked as final.

  • Removed: HostsCK performance information as it was only used for testing purposes.
  • Removed: Email with bugs and suggestions email client.
  • Removed: Check for program updates.
  • Removed: Error logging.
  • The help file, ListCK and KnockKnock are now included in the install and in this update.

This version of HostsCK is dedicated to the memory of Robert Grant

Thank you to all users of HostsCK over the past 12 years.

Special thanks go to: John, Helena, Jon, Simon P, Andrew and my long-suffering partner Jenny.

 

HostsCK updated to version 2.2.6.0

HostsCK has been updated to version 2.2.6.0

  • Added: Setting in Settings > Input to automatically add 0.0.0.0 and block an address when
    pasting a web address into the text box. E.G. “https://redisoft.uk/privacy-policy/” is
    pasted as “0.0.0.0 redisoft.uk”.
  • Added: Setting in Settings > Misc to warn that Hosts is disabled when HostsCK exits.
  • Added: HostsCK checks that the Hosts file can be edited and is not locked by
    another program when it starts. See Help.
  • Added: Added font colouring for “# My Saved Sites”, “# Start Of Microsoft Blocks #”
    and “# Start Of EXTRA Microsoft Blocks #” orange, lime and red respectively.
  • Added: “View List” Link to view the Microsoft extra blocks list in your text editor.
    Link is on the “You have the latest version” message box when checking for an
    update to the extra blocks.
  • Fixed: Fixed the English language file getting corrupted during install or
    update in certain cases.
  • Fixed: Fixed a memory leak in HostsDE.
  • Improved: Only the domain name of a web address gets pasted into the
    text box. E.G. “https://redisoft.uk/privacy-policy/” becomes “redisoft.uk”
    when using the Paste menu item to paste a web address into the text box.
    Ctrl+V overrides this behaviour so the full address gets pasted.
  • Changed: Check Hosts is disabled when restoring a Hosts backup until that
    backup has been saved.

HostsCK updated to version 2.2.5.0

HostsCK has been updated to version 2.2.5.0

This update fixes the many problems that Windows update KB4481480 caused:

  • Fixed: Completed the fix for the broken visual styling.
  • Fixed: Check for program updates broken.
  • Fixed: HostsCK form flicker when starting.
  • Fixed: Menu items not being translated.
  • Fixed: Some message boxes not displaying correctly.
  • Fixed: Many other small bugs related to the KB4481480 update.
  • Fixed: HostsDE exiting without explanation in Windows 10.
  • Fixed: Hosts file last updated information bar in the built in browser not showing
    for some users. (not due to Windows update KB4481480)
  • Changed: If you chose to include the Microsoft extra blocks list in settings
    the list will be downloaded if it does not already exist.

HostsCK updated to version 2.2.3.0

HostsCK has been updated to version 2.2.3.0

This update includes the following:

  • Fixed: HostsCK could become unresponsive when checking for program updates.
  • Fixed: Spelling mistake in message box.
  • Changed: Stronger encryption is used when sending an email using
    “Email with bugs or suggestions”. Also, due to a server-side change,
    the HostsCK email client has been updated.
    The email client will no longer work on earlier versions of HostsCK.
  • Updated: Language files and license.

HostsCK updated to version 2.2.2.0

HostsCK has been updated to version 2.2.2.0

This update includes the following:

  • Added: Setting to add extra Microsoft blocks to the Hosts when
    opening and saving a file. Please read the IMPORTANT-INFORMATION-HERE.
  • Fixed: HostsCK no longer detects font colouring when searching or changing
    colour schemes as changes to the Hosts file.
  • Fixed: The HostsCK installer hiding the lists directory in “AppData\Local\HostsCK”

HostsCK updated to version 2.2.1.0

HostsCK has been updated to version 2.2.1.0

This update includes the following:

  • Added: Setting to automatically show the edit panel when typing
    in the main textbox.
  • Added: Settings to show or suppress the “No more matches of”
    message when using search to search for text in the Hosts file.
  • Fixed: HostsCK displays correctly on high DPI monitors.
  • Fixed: A rare “Single Thread Apartment” error when flushing the
    DNS Cache.
  • Improved: HostsCK detects user input in the main textbox much
    better and will enable the save button and display an asterisk to show
    that changes may need to be saved.
  • Improved: Several minor improvements to search functions, GetIP,
    the built in web browser and the Bugs and Suggestions email client.
  • Updated: The HostsCK uninstaller now enables the DNS
    Client Service without asking and deletes the registry key
    HostsDE creates if it is set to run when Windows starts.
  • Updated: The HostsCK Install program has been updated to
    conform to Microsoft guidelines. This means that links to the
    Uninstall HostsCK shortcut and the HostsCK license are no longer
    in the HostsCK Start Menu folder. A link to the uninstaller is now in
    the HostsCK program files directory and can still be easily uninstalled
    from the Windows control panel.
  • Removed: HostsCK can no longer be sent to the system tray
    to protect the Hosts file as this is now handled by HostsDE.