Saturday, July 10, 2010


The last two tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico have done a real number on us.  Despite going into the northern costal part of Mexico, they kicked up enough moisture in the atmosphere to drench us here in the metro-Houston area with considerable wetness.

The end-result are pockets of water that have now bloomed with mosquitoes.  This morning I sprayed the entire outside entryway door area with repellant to keep the buggers from hitching a ride inside when the door is opened/closed.  So far it seems to be holding.

This is a light post as most of the week has been spent playing with and configuring a new toy system support tool that came in Monday from Hawaii courtesy of TinyApps.Org.  So that post will be the doozie.

Snack on these in the meantime…

  • Posterous can now import from Blogger: let the exodus begin!
  • Unlocker – (freeware) – Now supporting x64 Windows.  Not “standalone/portable” but still a strong tool.  Note reviews below and that the installer now comes with the <insert sarcasm> added support for toolbar and eBay shortcut installations as well.  These can be opted-out. Reviews and more feedback below
  • Work under way to add sidebars to Google Chrome – Download Squad.  I’m really hoping this gets delivered soon.  I really would use Chrome much more if I could leave my extensive bookmarks open in sidebar while browsing like I can do in Firefox.
  • Installing Windows Virtual PC on Windows 7 Home Editions - Virtual PC Guy’s WebLog.  Ben Armstrong (maybe) clears up some mis-information by Microsoft regarding XP-Mode and Virtual PC on Windows 7.  Windows 7 Home edition does allow for installation of Windows Virtual PC (not just the older Virtual PC 2007 version).  Windows 7 Home edition will not allow you to run Windows XP Mode “out of the box” with a download of a pre-configured/activated XP VM that users of Windows Ultimate/Professional/Enterprise can get.  However, if you do have a spare XP CD/license laying around, you can then load it in a new VHD, and then get all the features of XP Mode yourself. Oh. Thanks for the confusion Microsoft.  Per Ben..
  • To clarify – “Windows Virtual PC” is the virtualization program that allows you to create and run virtual machines on Windows 7.  “Windows XP Mode” is a free pre-configured Windows XP virtual machine.  “Windows XP Mode” is not available for people running Windows 7 Home editions; but these users can download Windows Virtual PC and use a separate (fully licensed) copy of Windows XP to create their own Windows XP virtual machines and get all the functionality of Windows XP Mode.

    You can download Windows Virtual PC directly from here:

  • URLStringGrabber - Grab URL strings of Web sites from Internet Explorer – (freeware) – NirSoft.  Nir has a brand-new utility that will scrape all opened URL references out of open Internet Explorer (only) sessions.  You can then export some/all of the URL’s for later analysis in a application that supports text, csv, html, or xml file formats.  Might be a handy tool to document/log/analyze the linked content on web-pages during a malware study.


--Claus V.


Anonymous said...

IE is reporting the Unlocker site at as unsafe...FYI...

Claus said...

@ Anonymous - Thanks for the tip. You are correct. My version of IE 8 is also tossing that warning, although the safe-browsing component in Firefox is not.

I did some research and I think I know why...

Take a look at this blog-post from the Unlocker's developer, Cedrick Collomb:

The poor state of so-called “security solutions” -- Cedrick Collomb blog

Basically it appears some popular (big) AV vendors are triggering false-positives on the code contained in some of the Unlocker applications. Could be bad string matches or could be due to the eBay icon install option helping pay for his work...not really clear. Microsoft AV was one of the ones blacklisting due to "malicious" code. As such, I can see how that blacklist could leak over to IE listing as well.

Read the post and then read the comments. I think it might be enlightening.

I'm willing to trust it, but please use your own judgment and expertise, not mine to make your call.

The final kicker for me was the very recent comment ( July 2nd, 2010 at 6:01 pm )from Eric Howes of Sunbelt Security (VIPRE). He says they have tore through it and find there is no threat of any kind either. For commercial AV/AM solutions, I would put my money down on VIPRE so if Sunbelt says it's fine, that good enough for me.

Thanks for letting me know and I am sure it will get de-listed again soon.

You can never be too cautious now-days!


--Claus V.