Happy new year! Now I have to get into the swing of learning to write “2009” on everything. It usually takes me a few weeks to get that habit under control.
We said “good-bye” to the last of our holiday guests yesterday. Alvis and I spend the remainder of the afternoon taking down the Christmas decorations. And no, unlike many of our friends and family, we don’t usually wait until after Epiphany to do so as I have learned is a traditional custom.
I was surprised to see several trees tossed on the road-side in front of neighborhood homes as early as Christmas Day afternoon. I’m not that hard-core a cleanup-artist.
Household chores are fairly well cleared through.
In spite of this year’s top-gift of the flat-screen HDTV by little-bro to our hamster, I think Lavie won 2nd place in the gift category.
She pulled together various $ gifts and a number of company holiday gift-certificate prizes she had received and bought (on her own I might add) a Compaq Presario CQ60-215DX Notebook PC. (alternative link). She got it for just over $450. It has a dual-core processor, sufficient RAM, a generous hard-drive, and a sexy shell that looks like it should be wearing a black corset. As soon as I had opened the lid, I knew instantly why Lavie had selected this particular model. It has a full-sized 10-key pad. She confessed that was indeed the major selling point. Doing so has made the keys slightly smaller, but still much larger and comfortable then on a netbook.
That’s actually right in the price-range of an entry-level netbook. We were going to get Alvis one for Christmas, but she really wanted a QWERTY enabled cell-phone so she got an AT&T Quickfire. I must say, it is pretty nice.
Lavie’s previous Compaq Presario V2575US (I guess she is a Compaq fangirl!) is now being hand-me-down’ed to Alvis for primary use. Good thing as the Gateway notebook is still a the repair shop having the DC plug replaced on the systemboard and I don’t want to have to pay for this again.
So I’m slowly getting her new system set up and tweaked, then will have to transfer her programs, files and settings over to the new one from the other laptops. This will be hers “exclusively”.
In good news, I finally have a real-life chance to try using some neat GUI-based Windows User State Migration Tool (USMT) software. I’ve been holding off posting on these until I could live-fire train on them. Now I have my chance.
I still have a nice pile of security, freeware, and other stuff linkage to post here. I don’t know if time will allow me today to get through it all today. I suspect not.
Maybe this week will be generous and allow me some light posting when I get home from work in the coming days.
In the meantime, here is some feedback to those who have been dropping comments during the holidays.
@ Sunny: I’m sorry to hear about the transmission in your Ion coupe. Mine is a standard and is still turning strong. I’m going to have to replace the clutch-plate eventually, but the dealer service tech says they will last for a long, long, time with normal usage. When I do replace it, I might go with the heavy-duty version that Saturn offers in its performance line. Last grindy noise I had to deal with in an auto of ours ended up being a CV joint replacement on a Renault. Nuisance but no big deal. Little bro ended up having to have the drive-shaft on his Toyota 4Runner replaced last week. Now that was expensive! Any idea if Saturn is going to survive the GM fallout? Last I heard is that decision may be made by March 09. I really have been considering getting a Saturn soon to replace Lavie’s ‘01 Altima but she (and I) am a bit hesitant now, no matter how much we love our Ion. I’m keeping an eagle-eye on the blogs ( ImSaturn - u r 2 and Saturn | Automotive.com Saturn Blog Page & Enthusiast Car Discussions) in the meantime. I think Lavie has decided to return to the Nissan fold.
@ Anonymous: I didn’t have any issues getting AGV 8 Free and Thunderbird to play well with each other. Glad to hear you worked it out. In my experience, AVG did scan attachments in emails and then would “quarantine” any malicious attachment files found in incoming messages. One of the problems with trying to test your AV system with EICAR Test Files is that by working with them, the files are caught thus preventing you from emailing them to yourself! There is an easy workaround when it comes to testing your email protection system—use one of these sources!
- Information Technologies: EICAR Information and Test page.
- Send EICAR Test E-Mail to Check Reability of Your Anti-Virus E-Mail Protection
Both offer a free and easy, third-party way to send an “infected” test file to yourself without tripping any of your local AV protections in the process! Good luck!
@ Nathaniel: That is a nice tip. I hadn’t thought of using Unlocker that way. BTW, did you see my post I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways ...? It’s kinda related. OpenedFilesView might also do the trick and is a fab-fave utility.
@ BartZilla: - Great Firefox 3 anti-phishing/anti-malware analysis! (Firefox 3 "Antiphishing/Antimalware" (so-called "safebrowsing") Server-side Project). Looks like this should be must-read material for all hard-core Firefox fans! Excellent work and thanks for bringing it to my attention!
@ Duncan: – Did you know that we were going to name Alvis “Duncan” if she had been a boy? I really liked the name and thought it strong and different. Anyway…I’m glad the tip helped! I beat my head on the keyboard for a while until I got that one down. Now it is a quick and easy fix for Firefox profile issues.
@ Nathaniel: Thanks for the notebook sympathy. I’m always going to be gun-shy now on DC plugs into laptops from here on out. I dropped it off at the place in Webster, TX I noted and hopefully will hear something positive back by the end of the coming week. I’ve got some links related to this issue I am sitting on sharing until I get it back. I hope I can post a positive follow-up post!
@ Anonymous: I had linked to Microsoft KB304040 in that post. However it didn’t (for some reason in my memory) seem to give me the same degree of security control that was offered in XP Pro’s security properties tab. That’s why I proposed the alternative “hack” solution of the Security Configuration Manager Tool.
Thanks everyone for the comments! I read them all and approve almost 99% of them!
I appreciate you all very much and your comments not only help point me to great and better information than I had found on my own, but they also inspire me with new post ideas!
Best wishes for the new year!