Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fabulous February Freeware Finds

First up: Floola

In my previous post I mentioned that we have been hitting the iPods in our home pretty hard.

iTunes is loaded on the desktop system and this is the one we use to hold all our music/videos and manage the devices.

I've installed iTunes on the family laptops as well, but we only use those to listen to listen to streaming music.  I haven't taken the time to figure out if/how to use it to play music from the iPods as they aren't "registered" to those laptops, just the desktop system.

At work it gets even better.  I don't like working and listening to my iPod via headphones.  The phone rings too often and people keep talking to me over the cubicle walls.

In the past I just hooked it up directly to a set of pc speakers/amplifier and played it like a hacked up boom-box.  I don't want to install iTunes on my work machines.

I did try Yet another iPod manager (YAMI Pod) but the hotkey combos kept doing weird things to it when I was working on the laptop so it was a non-starter.

I'm going to try out Floola - (freeware) - which is a feature backed amazement of goodness:

Floola is a freeware application to efficiently manage your iPod or your Motorola mobile phone (any model supporting iTunes). It's a standalone application that can be run directly from your iPod and needs no installation under Linux, Mac OS X and Windows (Windows Vista is supported).

Floola supports all common used iPod features including artwork, podcasts and smart playlists! It's also able to convert audio or video incompatible with the iPod so that you can copy almost any file to it. It even allows adding youtube and myspace videos just entering the page url!

For additional iTunes replacements (fee/$) check out this page: - The BIG list of iTunes alternatives

MiTeC Tools

While working on another issue, I ended up on the MiTeC Homepage.

MiTeC has a great collection of small and useful utilities.

All well worth looking into.

Here's a sampler

DirList 1.1.0 - (freeware) - "This application allows to browse all connected disks like explorer and select folders and files for listing. Files can be listed by content too. Result listing can be saved to CSV file or as HTML with defined layout with preview."

Windows File Analyzer 1.0.0 - (freeware) - "This application decodes and analyzes some special files used by Windows OS. In these files is interesting information for forensic analysis.
Every analysis results can be printed in user-friendly form.  Here are described individual analyzers: Thumbnail Database Analyzer, This analyzer reads Thumbs.db file and displays its content with stored data include image preview.  Prefetch Analyzer It reads files stored usually in Prefetch folder and digs out stored information.  Shortcut Analyzer This tool reads all shortcut files in specified folder and displays data stored in them.  Index.DAT Analyzer This analyzer reads specified Index.Dat file and displays its content. Index.Dat files store usually data of Internet Explorer cookies, temporary files or history. Recycle Bin Analyzer This analyzer decodes and displays Info2 files that hold recycle bin content information."

Windows Registry Recovery 1.3.2 - (freeware) - "This application allows to read files containing Windows 9x,NT,2K,XP,2K3 registry hives. It extracts many useful information about configuration and windows installation settings of host machine. Registry hive can be exported into REGEDIT4 format.  Every topic data can be saved to CSV. Here are described individual explorers: File Information In this explorer you can see basic file properties and checksums. Security Record Explorer Displays all security records used in registry. Usage counter, owner SID, group SID, list of affected keys and list of SACL and DACL is displayed for every record with flags and permissions enumerated. This explorer is available only for NT based system registry hives. SAM Displays Machine SID and part of SYSKEY. Enumerates local user and group accounts and some of their properties. This explorer is available only for NT based system registry SAM hive. Windows Installation Displays Windows name, ID and key, install date and user registration info. Enumerates installed software with descriptions and install date and list of installed hotfixes with description. This explorer is available only SOFTWARE registry hive (Product ID and key are extracted in SYSTEM hive too).  Control Set Displays all configured devices that worked on host machine. They are displayed in "like Device Manager" tree with some properties. This explorer is available for SYSTEM registry hive. User Data Displays user and machine name and tree based Start menu for selected USER hive. This explorer is available for USER registry hive. Startup Applications Enumerates applications that are registered to be run after startup. This explorer is available for SOFTWARE registry hive.  Services and Drivers Enumerates all installed services and drivers with properties. This explorer is available only for NT based system registry SYSTEM hive. Network Configuration Displays all installed network clients, protocols and services. Enumerates all defined network connections with its TCP/IP configuration. This explorer is available only for NT based system registry SYSTEM hive.  Environment Displays all environment variables. This explorer is available only for NT based system registry SYSTEM hive. Shell Folders
Displays shell folders (folders known to system). This explorer is available only for NT based system registry SYSTEM hive.  Raw Data This explorer displays whole registry in known tree format. Contains powerful searching and data interpreter."

Network Meter 1.0.0 - (freeware) - "This application scans for network interfaces and adapters installed in system and their monitoring. Detailed info for every interface is provided.  Every interface monitor has simple statistics view and graphic display with time history."

Network Scanner 1.0.0 - (freeware) - "It is a free multi-threaded IP, NetBIOS and SNMP scanner with many advanced features. It is intended for both system administrators and general users who are interested in computer security. The program performs ping sweep, scans for opened TCP and UDP ports, resource shares and services.  For devices with SNMP capability available interfaces are detected and basic properties displayed. In addition you have to edit results, save/load results to/from CSV and print network device list. It can also resolve host names and auto-detect your local IP range."

HexEdit 4.2.0 - (freeware) - "HexEdit is powerful hexadecimal editor with following features: MDI interface, Data Inspector, Calculator, File Compare, Memory Dumper, Disk Dumper (NT only) ."

PhotoView 1.2.0 - (freeware) - "Image viewer with thumbnail band for fast navigation. Provides EXIF information (based on MiTeC EXIF Reader), RGB/I histogram and some basic image processing tools. It can display [multiple] image formats.  Image can be rotated, flipped, inverted, grayscaled and equalized. Special Magnifier tool is available.

MiTeC PE Reader - (freeware) - "...based on TObject class and contains complete interface for reading It reads and displays executable file properties and structure. It is compatible with PE32 (Portable Executable), PE32+ (64bit), NE (Windows 3.x New Executable) and VxD (Windows 9x Virtual Device Driver) file types. .NET executables are supported too.  It enumerates introduced classes, used units and forms for files compiled by Borland compilers."

EXE Explorer 1.0.0 - (freeware) - "...based on MiTeC Portable Executable Reader. It reads and displays executable file properties and structure. It is compatible with PE32 (Portable Executable), PE32+ (64bit), NE (Windows 3.x New Executable) and VxD (Windows 9x Virtual Device Driver) file types. .NET executables are supported too. It enumerates introduced classes, used units and forms for files compiled by Borland compilers. It contains powerful Resource Viewer that is able to analyze and display al basic resource types and some extra ones as JPEG, AVI, REGISTRY. It contains excellent Type Library viewer that enumerates all objects and creates import interface unit in Object Pascal language. Every type of resource can be saved to file. EXE Explorer produces text report with all important information about selected file. Searching capability is also available. It searches all resources that can be interpreted as text.

InfoDesk - (freeware) - Don't let the Czech language fool you.  An English translation is build into the download application.  Info desk provide a really nice micro-toolbar.  Displayed is the system up-time, CPU utilization rate, Memory utilization rate, a calendar/reminder, and a clock.  However the real "juice" to this tool lies on the right-click menu.  Right-click on the bar and you will be able to quick-launch up to three custom applications, a calculator, a calendar, the Windows Explorer, a notepad, the clipboard history, the event viewer, system information, a Net meter, a CLI console window, a notepad, a Coder Tools utility, and the CPU monitor.  Really handy things!

Additional MiTeC applications are available from the homepage and some more "unlisted" ones from the MiTec direct download page.

All seem to be USB portable in my tests. Small, light and sweet.

Hello Miss Identify!

Harlan pointed me to this useful freeware tool: Miss Identify

It is a program that scans your target system for Win32 executable files.

Normally that would simply mean doing a search for files that end in exe, dll, com, sys, cpl, hxs, hxi, olb, rll, or tlb.

But what if malware (or a user) has changed the file extension to something else?  How can you quickly locate it on a system?

Miss Identify can!

Download the utility and copy to your USB drive (for scans on a target system).

Here are some basic search commands from the developer's site:

Searching for mislabeled executables

C:\> missidentify *

Searching for all executables

C:\> missidentify -a *

Searching for all executables in an unusual place

C:\> missidentify -ar c:\windows\system32

For more information and tips, see The Miss Identify manual page.

This one is going on my sysadmin USB stick immediately!

Mega Anti-Malware Tools

I still use and recommend Spybot Search & Destroy 1.5.2 and LavaSoft Ad-Aware 2007 Free for freeware anti-malware scanning and removal.  Both have long and trusted track-history in the malware-busting circles.

I like Malware Destroyer - (freeware) - from EMCO.  But it does seem to have a few false-positives.

A-Squared Free is a good anti-malware scanner as is AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5, also freeware.

Spyware Terminator - (freeware) - is a good scanner.  It does add a service to your system, however, which I tend to not like for "portability" reasons.  The use of a "whitelist" to help prevent false-positives and speed scans is a nice touch.  It is gaining in popularity.

However, I find that I am turning to two relatively new freeware products for my anti-malware scanning needs.  Both are very full featured, provide frequent updates, and seem to do very thorough scans.

SUPERAntiSpyware - (freeware) - Handles minimal, full, and custom scan configurations, full detection and removal of malware, keyloggers, trojans, rootkits, and other baddies, doesn't use much memory, able to repair damaged internet connections (LSP), real-time protection is supported, and can run micro scans at system bootup and/or shutdown.  The interface is nice and it is easy to view and review scan findings and elements.

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware - (freeware) - I really like this one as well.  Developed by the "RougeRemover" crew, this very new product is a very amazing product.  It is being updated frequently. Quick and full scans are available, real-time protection available in the "paid" version, items can be quarantined for safety before final deletion from the system (just in case something breaks), generated logs are very good in detail, you can set ignore lists, and as an added bonus, FileASSASSIN has been incorporated with the program to delete "locked" files.

Check out Malwarebytes' full line of malware-busting products, most all are free.

Web-mail MouseTrap

MakeUseOf has a clever method to set up your web-mail account to see if someone uses it unauthorized.

Are you Sure your Email isn’t being Hacked? |

Clever and simple tip.



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