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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Important AVG Update fix

AVG Antivirus and Security Software - Support overview

Here's a solution for the dreaded "Invalid update control CTF file"message that sometimes appears when you update AVG. This is a link to a file that automatically fixes the problem, and a manual fix should that not work. It's a known issue, which is the best kind of issue to have!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Checkfree service compromised Monday/Tuesday

The Checkfree payment service was hijacked in an effort to get private information. Read the details in the link above.

Makes clear the need for a basic awareness of what you are doing on the Internet. You can't get away with a sleepy attitude while surfing the 'net. Pay attention to what you are doing and have a basic understanding of how things are supposed to work and look.

The most powerful security protection available will not prevent you from providing your personal information to the bad guys, if you are not paying attention...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ongoing Myth Greatly Hurts Apple Users

Apple Pulls Anti-Virus for Macs Note from Web Site - News and Analysis by PC Magazine

Apple did a TV ad months back that was pulled, it implied that Apple products were immune to malware. I was incredulous. At least they pulled it.

Now they pull a rational warning to Mac users on their web site. It may not be fun, it may not be in step with Apple's marketing plan, but they need to educate and protect their users. They do not want to be a accessory to the upcoming attacks on their systems.

If you are an Apple user please protect yourself, it's cheap, it's easy and it only makes sense.

Monday, December 01, 2008

ChaCha. Just Call. Just Text. Just Ask

Get Answers and Ads!

Could be a great service, but I am VERY wary of having my cell phone turn into the mobile equivalent to my e-mailbox. In other words - SPAMMED!

If they do it like Google or OpenDNS, it will work. If they start spamming, they will have big trouble. I have a feeling they get that, but economics are everything, especially now, so they may get desperate and less committed to the clean, helpful type of advertising Google, OpenDNS and even Spiceworks are known for.

I have a call into the company executives to get the straight scoop. I'll update you here when I've got it...

Ignorance or Bliss?

Poll: Millennials tend to ignore IT policies

System Administrators have known and struggled with this reality for years. Unfortunately the people that pay the price are not just the IT guys and gals. Management, shareholders and even the users themselves pay a steep price for ignoring the user policies. Broken networks, email servers, and users PC's often can be directly attributed to user ignorance and/or apathy. Of course elevated support costs, legal liability and data security and user privacy issues are common, too.

To you management types - you are leaders, be prepared to deal with the facts if you think the rules don't apply to you, you are part of the problem and you are creating a problem among your employees.

Sure IT is a pain. Computers suck. But just try to get along in business today without it. A little planning, education and discipline can go a long way toward mitigating the negative experiences.

Stay away from large capacity hard drives!

Storage - IT Channel News by CRN and VARBusiness

We've talked a lot about the issues Seagate and other manufacturers have had with hard drive reliability in the last 2 or 3 years. Seems Seagate is finally responding to an issue appropriately. Historically silence or denial have been their tactics of choice.

If you have one of these drives, contact Seagate immediately to get your firmware update. Too bad this new more responsible response is coming so late. Seagate has really blackened Apple's eye as the result of the recent Momentus laptop drive fiasco. Although a firmware update would not have fixed that problem. I am still expecting a class action lawsuit on this issue.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Black Friday Buying Guide 2008

Black Friday Buying Guide 2008

Here's a comprehensive spreadsheet put together by the folks at that you can use to organize your Black Friday buying frenzy. Store, Item, Brand and Type of Discount and Price all listed for your convenience. Thanks Guys!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Neat science PDF downloads...

science pdf

I hate PDF files, but this is a really cool resource for science information PDF file downloads. Great for students, teachers and "learners" like me . Download Foxit PDF viewer free to view them, too.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Windows won't let you delete...


Ever been unable to delete a file or folder because you get some sort of "in use" or other error message? This is the solution. Free to download and use, and does the job well. Use it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Your Canon Digital Camera on Steriods!


This is a little technical, but a lot of fun and VERY rewarding. This site provides details and tools to turn your plain-jane Canon digital camera into a real pro photo work tool. Obviously the basic hardware capabilities remain the same, but Canon crippled many of their cameras in the interest of simplicity and ease of use. With the proper software and know-how these limitations can be bypassed to greatly enhance the use of the previously locked away features. Check it out!

E-mail hack reveals HUMAN vulnerability

BetaNews | Who needs hackers? Palin e-mail hack reveals obvious vulnerability

There's an old saying among technical consultants: "No matter what they say, it's always a people problem." The cracking of Plain's email account really underscores the problem. The technique supposedly used to gain access to her account was more akin to human hacking. Understanding and exploiting information and techniques commonly used by people to secure their technology. Yahoo will be criticized, although they set up reasonably good security measures and I'm not sure they deserve it. The real fault lies with Sarah Palin. She did what so many of us do, used very easliy guessed public info as security barrirers. Bad, lazy habit.

Always use non-public and seemingly non-sensical information as passwords, usernames, and security confirmation answers. And of course, never, ever say in an email anything you wouldn't want the whole wide world to see. Your candidacy could be in the balance!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Palin's private e-mail hacked, posted to 'Net | Community

Palin's private e-mail hacked, posted to 'Net | Community

Palin's email was supposedly hacked and exposed on the web. I'm not convinced this is accurate stuff, but it underscores that you do not want to do anything in email that you wouldn't want EVERYONE to see.

I know this won't be pursued by law enforcement and Yahoo, but it should be pursued very aggressively. That sort of hacking is a serious Federal felony and the fact that it's target was an evil politician doesn't excuse it.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Microsoft's lame answer to Apple's Clever Ads

I know Apple, and they're no Apple

I think Microsoft should just hire Apple's ad agency. This ad has none of the charm in spite of the likable Seinfeld. Click on the link to see what I mean.

In fact Gates betrays his backward vision by hiring Seinfeld. He's been out of circulation for years, and so has Windows. They say they have very interesting follow on ads that will make it all make sense. I don't see how...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Video: Lifelike animation heralds new era for computer games - Times Online

Check it this extraordinary interview:

I have become distrustful of almost everything I see on the Internet because of how well people can "photoshop". This takes it to a whole new level. Impressive, but creepy. Don't you agree?

Monday, August 18, 2008

My pick for Windows File Manager

Total Commander is Totally Awesome dude! Totally!

Total Commander is a refreshing blast from the past. It's Interface is more akin to what I was used to when Windows 98 was the current Windows version. But that's not all bad. I'm more interested in power, speed and flexibility in my file manager, and Total Commander is peerless on those points.

With the addition of available add-ons for almost any file format and file system, you can view and manipulate practically any file on any disk you are likely to come across.

Total Commander is an absolute must for the expert or pro, and can be VERY helpful for the amatuer on those occassions when it's needed.Check out, it's the best Windows file manager available.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sometimes an Apple ain't all it's cracked up to be...

Eric 2.0 | Chicago Tribune | Blog

I get a lot of grief from Apple fans who think I pick on them too much. I can't help but pick on the ones who pretend that Apple is somehow spiritually superior to the rest of the "evil corporate giants".

I missed this last week, but it's a perfect example of how Apple is no better, or worse than any other corporation. Eric 2.0 in the Chicago Tribune tells the story of Apple's cheap MacBook Pro displays, the angry customers, Apple's deception and eventual settlement of the suit. Most telling is apple's continued use of inaccurate and misleading specifications regarding the laptop's display capabilities. There is no other way to put it: it's fraudulent! I hope Apple sees the light and begins to do a better job of ACCURATELY describing their products capabilities.

Sometimes I swear they're worse than Microsoft!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Great Vista feature for your XP

QuizoApps: QTAddressBar

This little application provides the "breadcrumbs" navigation address bar similar to Windows Vista. Makes it easier to eliminate one of the biggest problems for new users and geeks alike: remembering where in the heck you are!

Makes Vista adoption even less likely for me, if that's even possible!