Sunday, April 02, 2006

Tech Tools and Stuff

I know you can't believe it. Three posts in one day? Where am I finding the time. Well, I'm cycling laundry through the machines, Lavie is napping, and Alvis is playing with her PS2 Karaoke Revolution Party game.

Here is some Tech flotsam and jetsam to unload for you:

Every so often when fighting malware, I come across a file that can't be deleted "normally." Basically the file is in use by a system process so you can't delete it. If you know your way around SysInternal's Process Explorer, you might be able to kill it that way. Sometimes the file itself is programed to respawn if closed/killed. That's when things get a little more tricky. On Windows 2000 systems, my trick is just to set the security setting for that file to Deny execution then reboot. That will keep the system from launching the file. Then I delete it in DOS. However sometimes that is a headache. Noël Danjou's "Locked Files Wizard" has gotten some really stubborn files off systems for me. It can be run off a USB stick which is handy. The other day I also came across an article at Email Battles on How To Override "Access Denied" and "Sharing Violation" Roadblocks. They link to a new app called Unlocker. It is very neat. I haven't spent enough time to see if it will work on a system off a USB stick or if it has to be "system-installed." Looked handy though. As an added bonus, scroll to the bottom of the Unlocker page and you will see a plenitude of links for similar apps.

I noticed the other day that a Blogger blogsite I was reading was actually using another system for it's commenting managment. Turns out it was over at HaloScan. I'm not getting near enough comments to try changing yet, but it looks like a promising tool to enhance blogs. Check it out. Free.

PC World offers it's list of 101 Fabulous Freebies (software). While I wouldn't download them all, or even most. It's a good resource to keep handy.

I tried the "new and improved" MSN search at work for some things but was left really disappointed with the search results. So I went back to Google. The only other search site I use regularly is Vivisimo. They "cluster" the findings and make it much easier to pick through the reams of search-results. It is really cool and I am surprised that Google doesn't have anything similar (or do they.......?).

Another visual meta-search clustering engine is KartOO. A deeper review here from Robin Good's site. Pretty cool.

The University of Albany has a very good list of Internet Search Engines of all types.

Joey Interactive provides a list of "quality wallpaper" sites. I've covered many of these, but he links to a few more interesting ones.

NirSoft has quite a few nicely done freeware system utility tools. A new one I have added to my USB stick is CurrPorts. It shows you which ports are open on your pc and who they are talking to. Team it up with their IPNetInfo program and you are beginning to hunt down just what is going on behind the scenes on your pc. Check our their full archive of freeware utilities.

RetroThing linked to the Manufactum website. I guess it would be like a German "SharperImage" on steroids. Fun.

TechBlog Dwight linked to SWC's Best Freeware Guide List. Not a bad list. I generally don't like rating things "best" as that can be a very subjective thing depending on your needs and skill level. However you can often find new programs so I still like reviewing them. That reminded me of a prior link Portable USB Software : A Melange by méprisant. This is another useful software list to bookmark.

Maybe one of these days I'll have to inventory my USB stick and toss up a list of the tools and applicaitons I run directly off it.

Wouldn't that be interesting?


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