Sunday, October 30, 2005

Item Roundup

Alvis really loves the broadband connection now for our internet. She spent 2 hours on the Disney site playing flash-games.

Why the switch? (Besides--I mean--the slow Windows Updates downloads, DAT file updates, security patches, etc...?) Well, we had been on dialup forever, and I really had been hoping for DSL through our local phone company. They have been bombarding us by phone, at the storefront when we pay our bill, etc. trying to get us to sign up. Only problem is that we live too far away (while still located in the middle of the city no less!) from their current DSL system extension. So they keep telling us that it should be extended "soon". That was over a year ago. We gave up. Called our cable provider and got a self-install kit. They gave me everything I needed (except for a 50' cat-v cable--yeah, I didn't feel like running a new coax cable extension). It was up and going in about 30 min as posted. Too bad for them. We didn't even sign up for a traditional "ISP" I just have an IP connection, a master account e-mail address and 4 sub-account e-mail addresses. To be honest, I probably won't use them. G-Mail rocks.

Tech food:
  • EULA Analyzer: this freeware tool lets you cut/paste any "End User Liscense Agreements" you get with software into it and highlights any passages you might want to give attention to. Interesting little application. Here is a link to some of the crazier things some software developers want you to agree to before using their software.
  • EICAR virus test file: this item allows you to safely test the functioning of your anti-virus software. It is a harmless file designed to trigger an anti-virus alert from your software. Just attempt to download the file and your AV program should catch it during the download. That's good. If it doesn't, then you should try seeing if it finds it where you downloaded it during a full AV scan.
  • DFK Threat Simulator: WARNING!!! If seeing how spyware / malware / trojans / keyloggers can thrash your system, stay away. Although the file itself is harmless, it illustrates the war for your pc in a very real way. If you want to know just what is out there waiting to pounce on your unsuspecting pc, at least read the illustrated guide. Scarry stuff. You've been warned!
  • Delta 32 gene: Scientists are using information from the Black Plauge to help understand and combat HIV infections. PBS site.
  • Trojans (as in computer security): I spend time each week cleaning these things off workstations. Ughh. Here is a very basic primer about what they are.
Question of the week: How do you manage your bookmarks?

In playing with the beta build of Flock, I was prompted to set up a del.ici.ous account that keeps any bookmarks I make accessible to me on the web. Good idea. However there is a lot of mixed feelings about and social bookmarking. I haven't set any up. Don't know if I will. There is no security at all are open to viewing. I've been considering making a post on the blog that contains the hyperlinks to my bookmarks/favorites. That will accomplish the same thing, and be accessible to me (and all of you) anywhere on any pc. If you collect a lot of bookmarks/favorites, making sure they are still "live" and haven't changed can be a real pain. I use AM-Deadlink freeware to keep tabs on them. Their most recent version is 2.7 and has lots of good features. It can work with Internet Explorer, Opera, and my favorite, FireFox. Check it out. I learned I have over 550 bookmarks/favorites. Gads!

See you in the skies.

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