Saturday, July 24, 2010

Super-Fast Linkfest Throw-down: Pt II

More for the masses!


Microsoft Security Essentials Beta: The Next Gen Edition (2.0)

I logged into Microsoft Connect and downloaded both the x32 and x64 flavors for various systems I work/play on.  Installations went great and no ill effects seen so far.

Utilities Galore

  • SearchMyFiles – freeware – Nir Sofer’s tool has some more options now.  My favorite power file-search tool!  See also the freeware tool SMF – Search my Files over at also a rockin’ tool.
  • Updates: TCPView v3.0, Autoruns v10.02, ProcDump v1.81, Disk2vhd v1.61 – Sysinternals
  • FREE: imagepatcher – Update WIM images – 4sysops links to a tool (script) that will put patches on all/selected images in a WIM/VHD file.  Pretty cool and based on Microsoft Powershell.  imagepatcher home.
  • WhatChanged 1.07 – freeware – VTask Studio – this version update for file/registry diff’ing got a speed/performance enhancement.  Quite a handy tool for when Windows System State Analyzer is just too much brawn for your needs.
  • Double Driver – freeware – This utility for backing up/restoring your Windows system drivers (Microsoft/OEM/third-party) is an awesome update.  I used it recently to back up and collect all my XP AT&T Sierra 881 Wireless card drivers.  Then we took those to an identical platform that wouldn’t recognize those same drivers from the same installer and restored them to that system.  Flawless.  I liked the options in the older 2.0 builds but this 4.0 version GUI is super-slick and mature.  Stop and get it right now!  You never know when your driver backup may come in handy!  See also DriverBackup! tool at and DriverMax for alternative driver backup tools and Nir Sofer’s DriverView as well for cataloging them.
  • Microsoft PowerToy Image Resizer – (XP only) – is a wonderful tool I add to supported user’s systems.  They can then right-click/resize photos from digital cameras in a no-brainer method so our email doesn’t get clogged with super-sized image attachments.  However it isn’t an option for Vista/Windows7 users.  So along comes…
  • Image Resizer Powertoy Clone for Windows – via CodePlex and Brice Lambson – it mimics XP’s Image Resizer features perfectly on Vista/Windows7.  (Note: as for my own on-the-fly image resizing, I use these, but for batch-image resizing work rely on FastStone Photo Resizer and FastStone Image Viewer.  (spotted via this freewaregenius review)


I’ve been surprised to see the following super-flood of interest again in sandboxing applications and processes!  I guess that’s a good thing.

And since Adobe PDF files seem to be a very common and growing vector for malware attack, it seems good measure to see the following focus:

Then there is system sandboxing in general.

And some tools/software to help make things easy for the end user

Oh My! Firewall Overload

And an updated round-up of Free Windows Firewalls

    1. Comodo Internet Security 
    2. PC Tools Firewall Plus Free Edition
    3. ZoneAlarm Free Firewall
    4. Ashampoo FireWall Free
    5. Online Armor Free
    6. Agnitum Outpost Firewall Free 
    7. Filseclab Personal Firewall Professional Edition

Also see these additional ones:

Please do your research very carefully if you are really looking specifically for "out-bound” leak protection as many malware/root-kits have tricks up their sleves to evade and bypass less-than-robust outbound filtering by firewall products.

MatouSec is still probably one of the leading groups doing firewall leak testing/validation.  See the following site for a roundup

Of course, if all you want is solid inbound firewall protection  Windows Firewall - Windows 7 is seriously robust, you just have to remember to enable it!

Vertical Tabs in Chrome

I was reading a recent TechBlog daily link-post and followed a link to Chrome 6: What made the cut--and what missed it.  While that article was interesting, what caught my eye was reference to "side tabs" were pushed back to Chrome's 7.  Was this possibly the elusive Work under way to add sidebars to Google Chrome I and other Chrome/ium fans are longing for so we can have bookmarks managed from the side like in Firefox, IE, Opera and (kinda-sorta) in Safari?

Nope, but it is cool still, and you can sort-of get them in Chrome anyway…

…though the effect isn’t terribly pleasing in my eyes.

--Claus V.

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