August 31, 2003

Eclipse: an Open Source general-purpose IDE

From their FAQ:

Eclipse is an open source software development project dedicated to providing a robust, full-featured, commercial-quality, industry platform for the development of highly integrated tools.

Posted by tony at 08:05 AM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2003

Little red X's in IE instead of pictures

Today's Lockergnome Windows Daily pointed me to this article on tek-tips.com describing one possible solution for the problem. Down near the end of the article it tells you what registry keys to delete. I've only checked this out on one of my machines but the ftp and http keys were present and I've deleted them.

Posted by tony at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2003

"Fix" for MS03-032 w/ ASP.NET and IIS

This fix (or this one for Windows 2003 Server) for the "ohmygawd" security issue detailed in TechNet article MS03-032 (MSKB 822925) apparently breaks applications that run on an IIS installation that also has ASP.NET 1.0 installed. Fortunately there's a workaround, detailed here which deletes and recreates the ASP.NET account. According to the ASP.NET web page, the problem only affects Windows XP Professional installations.

Couple of NBs:

* the TechNet article listed above contains a lot of extra information about the original flaw and the fix.
* this is a cumulative IE patch so it fixes several other problems and should bring your version of Internet Explorer up-to-date.

Posted by tony at 07:12 AM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2003

Free anonymizer.com alternatives

FreePublicProxies is just what the name implies: a list of free public proxy servers. Some of them I wouldn't trust (you wanna use an anonymous proxy server that's accessible only by IP address?) but there's also a list of top free proxies. Perfect when you want to surf secretly.

Posted by tony at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

Cool tools ar ArsWare.org

bCheck over at ArsWare.org (the same group of folks that brought you CoolMon) has a bunch of neat, free tools available! Hoekey is a hotkey tool, Purrint lets you configure your Print Screen key and wherzit will sohw hidden windows. These things are all small (wherzit is only 4K) and dang useful.

Posted by tony at 01:31 PM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2003

My only RSS reader : Bloglines

I've just finished uninstalling the last of the client-based RSS readers: FeedDemon. I haven't used anything other than Bloglines for a couple of weeks now and there's really no reason to clog up my hard disk with software that I'm not gonna use.

Don't let me down, Mark! :)

Posted by tony at 08:36 AM | Comments (0)

Back to Tiny Firewall

I've gone back to the Tiny V5 beta. After changing networks 3 or 4 times and having to either reboot or remove my wireless card each time to regain network access, I finally pitched the ZA Pro trial. Too bad, too, cause I really wanted to like it -- a friend of mine works there and it would've been mighty neighborly of me to use it. But the thing doesn't even have an active ports display!

Next question is: is Tiny worth the price?

Posted by tony at 07:57 AM | Comments (0)

TikiWiki : PHP-based Open Source portal

It's been another busy week! While searching for some portal software for a friend of mine I ran across tikiwiki.org, a SourceForge project. Talk about ambition! And it looks like they've done a pretty good job of implementing it. It includes weblogs, wikis, forums (fora?), articles, group permissions, RSS feeds for nearly everything, email notification and incorporation of email into discussions, per user customizations and more.

Posted by tony at 07:52 AM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2003

Oxymoron: Wireless security

Think MAC address filtering on your WAP makes your wireless network secure? -- I did. Well, think again! The author of this article enabled WEP and MAC address filtering and turned off SSID broadcast and still managed to break into his own network in less than 2 hours. Course, for home networking, the question is how far do you need to go? Or maybe the question is what do you have on your home network that you wouldn't mind sharing with a casual hacker?

Posted by tony at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

Truer words ...

Today's horoscope from MyWay. How could anyone ever doubt the veracity of astrologers? :))

Libra

You'd like to think of yourself as the answer person, but you'll settle for being the resident idea generator. Brilliant thoughts flow through you as naturally as breathing. Idle words fall from your mouth with the ringing declaration of truth. If friends and associates are wise, they'll harness your brainpower to drive engines of commerce or education. You deserve a lot more than you're currently getting. Maybe this is the moment to renegotiate your contract. Popularity catches on like a trend or a rumor. What they're saying is all true, though. Sometimes you even impress yourself.

Posted by tony at 09:05 AM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2003

Free network diagramming tool: Network Notepad

Pretty geeky but, then, who else would need to diagram a network? Developer's page is here.

Posted by tony at 08:37 AM | Comments (1)

August 18, 2003

Analysis of C#

Windows::Developer Network magazine's published an analysis of C# in an article titled "Does C# Measure Up?". They compare it against C, C++, D and Java. Article info is here and the comparison is here.

Posted by tony at 08:10 PM | Comments (0)

New Elf Bowling games

From Nstorm, the guys that brought you Elf Bowling, they've now got Elf Bowling 2 and Elf Bowling 3! These things are a real hoot. In the first game, Santa shoots his nasty little elves out of a very large bra (!) at some targets painted on nearby mountains. 2 and 3 continue the rather sick (but funny) tradition.

Posted by tony at 08:44 AM | Comments (0)

Wi-Fi shootout: 35 miles on 802.11b!

From Rootsecure.net comes this link to the details of an Oklahoma City contest. Too bad 802.11b is only 11Mbps!

Posted by tony at 08:27 AM | Comments (0)

Free tools to recover NT-based passwords

Happened across this in a LangaLetter. It's supposed to work for any NT-based system (NT, XP, Win2K).

Offline NT Password & Registry Editor, Bootdisk. Note that it can/will screw things up if Encrypted File System (EFS) is used insofar as the encrypted files will be unreadable until you recall the original password.

Also listed: Trinity Rescue Kit - a Linux-based toolset which includes networking support and tools to make use of the network and it supports NTFS.

Check out the article ... it's got more tools (application-level password tools, for instance) as well as links to other sites and searches for more.

Posted by tony at 08:18 AM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2003

Dan Gillmor is on the RSS bandwagon

Here's a link to his column in today's Mercury News. Some good links in it and some good information, too :)

Posted by tony at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)

Where've I been?

Sorry, been mostly offline for the better part of the last week. Lots of stuff going on -- home, work and play -- and just not enough time to do it all.

My Archos Jukebox Studio 10 arrived on Friday (pretty good as I took the free shipping and Amazon estimated it would arrive anywhere from the 19th to the 21st). Charged it overnight and loaded it up with about 50 of my CDs on Saturday. I back up my CDs to MP3 at a fairly high bit rate -- generally VBR with a min of 160 -- but they only took up about half of the 10G I have available.

Just about the best part, though, is Rockbox -- an Open Source replacement for the firmware for most of the Archos line. I didn't know about Rockbox when I bought the thing so that wasn't a part of the reason I bought it, but the firmware adds a lot of function and the support from that group of people is just phenomenal. If you're thinking about buying a portable MP3 player/recorder, I'd suggest you seriously consider Archos! It's not the best or sexiest or coolest hardware around but you can't beat the support. Maybe there are similar things around for some of the other hardware like Creative, I dunno, but Rockbox is aces in my opinion.

And to think, I just kind of happened across it while looking for information about the jukebox online. Sometimes the Internet is a wunnerful thaing!

Posted by tony at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2003

Portables review site: GoodStereoToGo

Ran across this when I was tyring to find reviews of the Archos Studio I bought. No reviews of what I bought but it's a good informational site.

Posted by tony at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

OurNotePad.com and OnlineHomeBase.com

Found a note about OurNotePad.com in one of the ASP.NET weblogs. Another interesting idea: an free online notepad that can be shared amongst users. Not too sure of the utility of this particular idea but I haven't had a chance to play with it much yet. I think you've already grasped the basic concept. It's simple, yes, it's not as fancy as a weblog or a forum ... and that may be its beauty. The interface is a little cluttered for me and I can't get to the notepad sheets themselves without using the mouse but I'll diddle with it and we'll see.

Another free service: OnlineHomeBase.com. This actually predates OurNotePad, I think. It's OurNotePad.com on steroids in that it provides a calendar along with a notepad organized in to "sheets" wrapped up with notification capabilities (email and cell phone) and collaboration. It has free-form text entry and it (supposedly) figures out what's what (reminders and such) based on context.

Hmm ... am I gonna have enough time to explore this stuff?

Posted by tony at 08:34 AM | Comments (0)

RSSJobs update

I got my confirmation mail from RSSJobs and am not impressed! Below is a copy of the headers. Note the from line, that it comes from an Earthlink account (64.203.48.190), that the IP address sending it to Earthlink is an unroutable one (probably a NAT firewall at home) and there's no host/domain name in the SMTP chat. The service is probably legit but it looks like it was thrown together by someone with the germ of a good idea and no real experience. Nothing wrong with that, I guess. We'll see.

From: "nobody@."
Apparently-From: webmaster@rssjobs.com
Received: from unknown (HELO 192.168.1.2) (64.203.48.190)
Received: from localhost [127.0.0.1] by 192.168.1.2 (AppleMailServer 10.2.3.0) id 3213 via TCP with SMTP; Sun, 10 Aug 2003 07:55:06 -0700

Posted by tony at 07:48 AM | Comments (0)

Just bought an Archos Studio 10 Jukebox

It's a 10GB unit that serves as a removable external hard disk (USB 1.1) but its primary function, for me anyway, is as an MP3 player. It normally sells for $149 on Amazon but they've got a $50 Amazon mail-in rebate which brings it down to $99 and at that price it's not a bad deal. Powered by 4 AA NiMH batteries, it can play for up to 10 hours on a single charge and there's an Open Source software project that's been pretty active for quite a while now called Rockbox.

The way it works is you simply plug it in to your PCs USB port and it appears as a removable drive (just like a USB thumbdrive thingy) and you can copy files in and out at well. Later, in your car, for instance, when you want to play something, you use the controls built on to the player and treat it like you would any Walkman or stand-alone CD player. If you wanna store regular files on it, fine ... obviously they won't play but you can do it if you like.

There are larger players but with the $50 mail-in rebate, I just couldn't beat it.

Posted by tony at 05:51 AM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2003

Job searches delivered by RSS

And for those who are looking for a new opportunity, RSSJobs will search on 4 sites: Monster, Dice, HotJobs and UCSD Job Link (a job board at UC San Diego).

I dunno that I'd go giving them money yet, though. The domain was registered on July 13 of this year (by a guy in (gasp!) San Diego) and it looks like the searches go directly to the standard search facilities of the 4 boards. I'm curious whether the guy that's started the service has gotten the OK from the targets. Also, there are only 4 boards, there's no company information (the contact page simply let's you enter a comment/email) and, on top of everything else, the service is pretty restrictive. For $5/month you only get 10 saved searches, each delivering up to 25 results. For free you get 5 saved searches, each delivering a maximum of 10 results.

Posted by tony at 08:06 AM | Comments (0)

August 09, 2003

Microsoft's weblog intentions

Dan Gillmor reports this response he got from Microsoft when he asked them what they were gonna do with/about weblogs.

Posted by tony at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

Lockergnome's RSS Resource

Pirillo's really hard at it! He just released this RSS reference site.

Posted by tony at 08:57 AM | Comments (0)

Differences: Pocket PC 2002 to Pocket PC 2003

Actually called "Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PC," this article from the O'Reilly Network is a good overview of the differences between the 2003 release and the 2002 version.

Posted by tony at 08:50 AM | Comments (0)

Another .NET weblogging engine: DasBlog.net

Found DasBlog.net from the ASP.NET weblogs, too. It's another weblog engine written in C# using the .NET framework.

Posted by tony at 08:46 AM | Comments (0)

Preparing to move my weblog

Just another warning: bloki.com has got their act together on their weblogs so I'll be moving my weblog soon. I'll post the new link soon.

Posted by tony at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

Transform XML into RSS

Good how-to article here on transforming XML into RSS. Got this from the ASP.NET weblogs.

Posted by tony at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)

August 07, 2003

More JSPs running on Windows that Solaris!?!

Netcraft reports in this article that 26% of the sites running Java Server Pages run Windows while only 17% run Solaris. Linux is the clear winner, though, with 40%.

Posted by tony at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)

August 06, 2003

Convert Win2K3 Server to a Workstation/DLLs by product

Another good set of info from today's Lockergnome Tech Specialist. First, this link to a procedure to "convert" your Windows 2003 Server to a Workstation and then a link to the Microsoft Help DLL database where you can look up which DLLs are installed and used by which products.

Posted by tony at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

WinXP Services

Along with Black Viper's Windows XP Services page and his Example Configurations, this page of startup applications at Pacman's Portal comes in very handy identifying what's running. PC Magazine has its new TaskPower utility that might be helpful but their utilities cost money now so I can't tell for sure.

Posted by tony at 07:24 AM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2003

ASP.NET .Text weblog system

Written in C# and ASP.NET, you can download it here. It's a piece of work by Scott Watermasysk.

(Found this is the ASP.NET weblogs.)

Posted by tony at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)

Google's got a synonym operator!?!

Yeah, that's what I hear. Supposedly if you precede a word with a tilde (~), Google will use that word and synonyms for that word in its search (at least according to this).

Posted by tony at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

Clean RSS 2.0

Chad's got another good post about the travails of trying to get a "good" RSS 2.0 feed out (here) along with this link to his un-funky 2.0 template.

Posted by tony at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

August 04, 2003

Combating SPAM

Chad discusses SPAM in this weblog entry and lists a couple of pretty good services to help block SPAM. I HATE getting SPAM and I've tried just about every service out there and, while SPAM blocking is certainly one element of a successful crusade, I find that separation of email addresses is crucial -- i.e. discardable email addresses. There are many services that allow you to create discardable addresses and I've tried quite a few. The one that I swear by is Mailshell. I've been using this service for 2 years now, 1 as a user of the free service and 1 where I'm actually paying for it.

The idea behind Mailshell is that you "own" a subdomain and can create and "delete" addresses at will (I put delete in quotes because deleting an address doesn't actually delete it but causes the service to bounce mail back to the sender). So, you could sign up for, say, ts-links and you would get ts-links.mailshell.com. When you sign up for a newsletter from ZDNet and they ask you for an email address you can give them zdnet@ts-links.mailshell.com. Mail comes in to that address and you can send email originating from that address. If someone else uses that email address to communicate with you, BANG! -- you know where they got it. Naming follows whatever standard you want cause you pick each and every address you want to use. Make 'em meaningless if you want or as meaningful as you care to get. Me, I try to use the name of the service it's related to so, yes, I have a zdnet and a cnet and a blogger.com.

Mailshell also has a great feature called "remote compose". With this feature you can compose email on your "home" account (AT&T, AOL, MSN, whatever) and send it through your ISP to Mailshell. When the service receives the message it throws away all the mail headers and creates a brand new set that only reference mailshell servers -- et voila! -- no indication that the message originated anywhere other than Mailshell. And if you own your own domain they will, for an additional fee, be your mail exchanger (MX records for the DNS literate).

Posted by tony at 07:58 AM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2003

Cheap PDF creation

PC Magazine has a review of 12 PDF creation tools, at least one of which is free.

Posted by tony at 09:23 AM | Comments (0)

Mailblocks now supports PINE's IMAP

I got a Mailblocks account back during the introduction when they were $10 for 3 years. At that time their IMAP server couldn't handle requests from my favorite text-mode mail user-agent (MUA) Pine. I sent their technical support folks several messagea about it but never got anything even remotely satisfying from them. Well, the challenge/response model has lost some of its sparkle and I just kinda let it lie. They relaunched a week or two ago with a new version of their system and apparently they fixed their IMAP server, too, cause now it works just fine with Pine.

Posted by tony at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)

Free PHP-based web content management system

MajorGeeks brings you this update on the Esselbach Storyteller CMS System V1.2, a free PHP-based web content management system which is actually used by MajorGeeks to manage their site. Only 114KB and it can support up to 99 web sites.

Posted by tony at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

Shut down DCOM!

This article in CNet shows that hackers are actively exploiting the DCOM hole that everyone was talking about last week (Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-026). I strongly recommend that you make sure your people know about the fix. You
should also consider recommending that they shut off DCOM altogether, especially if there's ANY chance they'll be connecting to the Internet away from home or if they don't have a firewall at home.

Posted by tony at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)

August 02, 2003

Getting ready to move to Bloki.com

Bloki.com now has weblog import working!

Ok, to review:

* they provide free web pages -- and NO banners
* you can select from several templates and modify them as you desire
* they have a full-featured HTML editor
* each account has forums
* each account has a weblog
* each weblog has comment capability
* each weblog has an XML feed

What's the downside? Uhh ... I don't care for the overall look -- kinda 50's bowling-shirt retro. But, hey, their feature list is great and they actually listen to their users. They have a Yahoo! group and a discussion forum on their web site, both of which they monitor and respond to. I'm preparing to move my weblog over there if I can master their HTML editor -- I gotta admit, though, blogger.com's weblog editor is extremely easy to use ... it'll take some effort for me to abandon it.

Posted by tony at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)

Careful with that Word doc, Eugene!

From Woody's Office Watch of August 1, 2003. There's a wealth of information that can be stored in a Word document that you might never see. Witness this story on ComputerBytesMan that discusses some interesting information stored in a UK government Word document dossier on Iraq. Fascinating reading!

If you just wanna cut to the chase, in Word 2002, go to Tools -> Options -> Security and check the box labelled "Remove Personal Information From This File On Save" and then save the document. According to Woody's investigations, this information is not recorded in any easily retrievable form in Word 2002 nor Word 2003 documents; it's only present in Word 97 and Word 2000 files.

Posted by tony at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)

New TweakUI tips

From this entry in Jeff Key's ASP.NET weblog. I fancy myself a bit of a tip-fiend but there were about a dozen which I'd never heard of.

Posted by tony at 09:03 AM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2003

Who's using your network shares?

From the 7/30 Lockergnome Windows Daily comes this handy tool:

ShareWatch lets you continuously monitor who's using your network shares via a small system tray app.

Posted by tony at 08:24 AM | Comments (0)

Microsoft's LDAP that runs as a user service

ADAM (Active Directory Application Mode) is an LDAP directory service that can run on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 but runs as a user-level service as opposed to a system-level service. The download is here.

Posted by tony at 08:14 AM | Comments (0)

Securing Internet Explorer

SecureIE from Winferno Software can supposedly help lock down IE and help keep you from the nasties out there.

Lesse ... I found this link from this article on RootSecure.net which is actually a link to this PC World article.

Posted by tony at 08:10 AM | Comments (0)

How to disable DCOM

Found this in kbAlertz: MSKB article 825750 tells you how to disable DCOM. Why would you want to do that? It obviates the recently identified and hyped and over-hyped problem where a bad guy can take over your machine (discussed in MS03-026 and supposedly addressed in MSKB 823980).

Posted by tony at 07:55 AM | Comments (0)

ZoneAlarm Pro died yesterday

And, of course, it happened at the worst time and I didn't take the time to record the error information. Oh well, I'm sure it'll happen again. In the 30 days or so that I ran Tiny I never had a problem like that. Hmm ... just another data point.

Posted by tony at 07:37 AM | Comments (0)