December
30
Filed Under (Asides, Geekspeak) by Justin on 2005-12-30

SymNRT is a tool from Symantec to completely remove and cruft left over from previous Symantec product uninstalls. Works like a charm too.

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December
30
Filed Under (Geekspeak) by Justin on 2005-12-30

I’m doing a little cleanup work on a computer for a relative-who-shall-remain-nameless and I’d apparently forgotten just how incredibly crappy Windows Millenium Edition was. Insecure, unstable, and just cheap looking. Now, in defense of Microsoft and to prove that I’m not your typical Linux lover/M$ hater, I will say that back in the day, a computer-savvy person could make WinME quite a stable and usable OS. If my PC at home wasn’t down, I’d pull a screenshot off the hard drive for you as proof. I once kept a custom-built PC running WinME on 64MB of RAM up and running for about eight days I think it was without nary an error or crash. It took effort though, that’s for sure. Always watching what I was downloading/installing, not trying to do more than one thing at a time, and using Mozilla Phoenix all contributed to the stability of that system.

I don’t miss those days a bit. At any given moment, my WinXP system at work has eight or 10 windows open, a few other programs running in the system tray, and gobs and gobs of freeware utilities installed that I use once every blue moon.

Anyhow, back to the point – WinME. This PC is crawling with malware. I just installed AdAware and Spybot and their most recent definition updates.

AdAware SE 1.06

I always select “Use custom scanning options” and then begin the scan. Custom options by default does a “Deep-scan registry” which almost always uncovers something that the normal options don’t.
106 Critical Objects & 16 Negligible Objects
It’s important to note that AdAware’s progress bar froze at approximately 99.9% when trying to remove said objects. I realized System Restore was turned on, so I turned it off, rebooted, and then began my AdAware scan again. This time, 107 objects were found – I managed to pickup another one without even being connected to the net. Sweet! But again, the removal froze at what apppeared to be the 99.9% completed stage. At this point, I decided to try Spybot and then come back to AdAware once that was finished.

Spybot Search&Destroy 1.4

First of all – Spybot’s scanning engine is dramatically slower than AdAware. Spybot took almost twice as long to scan as AdAware. However, in the end, it was a good thing.
153 problems found
Unusually for Spybot, it was able to remedy all of those problems without a reboot and rescan. This may actually be the first time that’s ever happened in my many years of using Spybot S&D.

AdAware – Part Two

Well, after Spybot’s removal of 153 problems, I didn’t expect much when I scanned again with AdAware. Boy, was I ever wrong: 94 Critical objects still! AdAware was able to successully clean them this time. Guess there was just one item it kept tripping over that Spybot took care of.

Hijack This v1.99.1

I really, really like Hijack This. For someone as technically motivated as myself, it’s just a GREAT tool. I removed a few Browser Helper Objects (BHO) that were not really malware, but that I didn’t care for and rebooted again.

Final Scans

One last round with each program turned up zilch. I consider this a “W” in the column of Wins and Losses for The Good Guys.

Justin’s Final Thought

I’m betting there’s a group of people out there making darn good money doing this sort of thing for a living. I know for a fact that if my PC was acting bizarre and I didn’t know what to do myself, I’d gladly pay someone a reasonable fee ($25-50?) to perform such work. If the tech is willing to travel to homes or businesses, they wouldn’t have the expense of operating a brick-and-mortar store and could probably actually charge more since they’re making house-calls. Of course, it’s usually pretty important to me to have a fast net connection and a USB drive available on a secondary PC, so I think I could be much more productive in a brick-and-mortar shop for this type of work. Just thinking outloud – if anyone steals my idea though, I expect commission… 😉

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December
30
Filed Under (Geekspeak, Work) by Justin on 2005-12-30

If anyone out there uses D-Link DI-804HV or DI-808HV VPN routers, you should contact D-Link to receive the latest firmware – v1.41. They don’t list the upgrade on the site for some reason unknown to me, but it is available and does make a difference. NAT from differing WAN->LAN ports never worked with v1.40 – something that drove me absoultely bonkers when setting up NAT rules at our branch offices at work. But now, I can properly redirect any external ports to any internal ones. Thanks, D-Link. Now release the firmware publically. Morons.

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December
28
Filed Under (Geekspeak) by Justin on 2005-12-28

There’s a certain group of people out on the net that irritates the snot out of me. For lack of a better term, I’ll just call them “wannabes” for now. It’s the people who just don’t get the whole internet thing. You see, many years ago when the net was just getting started, there existed this term called “netiquette” – or net etiquette as you may have guessed. It wasn’t really a written set of rules as much as it was an unspoken sort of code about how to behave online. For example, it was definitely a NO NO TO TYPE IN ALL CAPS LIKE THIS or someone would think you were angry and shouting.

Anyhow, as the internet and related technologies have progressed, netiquette has all but disappeared. One thing I read a lot of is WordPress related blogs and one of the primary complaints of people who develop for and around WP is that morons use the comments on totally unrelated posts to make support requests. I’ve had that happen here a few times recently and its very annoying. Seriously, I don’t mind helping out anyone I can with technical things, but if I write a post about my dog, don’t leave a comment there asking for help with your website. See what I mean? The people who do this really just don’t get the whole blog thing. Keep things contextual folks. If you want me to help with something, email me. If you don’t have one of my eight email addresses, there’s this extremely easy to find link somewhere on this page that says “Contact” – ever wonder what that does? If you don’t have my email AND you don’t have enough common sense to see that huge button, I probably won’t bother helping.

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December
27
Filed Under (Life, Movies) by Justin on 2005-12-27

If I mysteriously disappear, just assume that I’ve been “unplugged” and am now in “The Real World.” I’ve got this terrible cold, maybe it’s even a sinus infection, and the Robitussin capsules I picked up at the drug store look uncannily like “the red pill” from The Matrix.

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December
19
Filed Under (Geekspeak, Humor) by Justin on 2005-12-19

This is wrong on every level of politically correctness, but true things are always the funniest.

Mujibar was trying to get a job in India. The Personnel Manager said, “Mujibar, you have passed all the tests, except one. Unless you pass it you cannot qualify for this job.” Mujibar said, “I am ready.”

The manager said, “Make a sentence using the words Yellow, Pink and Green.”

Mujibar thought for a few minutes and said, “Mister manager, I am ready.”
The manager said, “Go ahead.”

Mujibar said, “The telephone goes green, green, green, and I pink it up,and say, ‘Yellow, this is Mujibar.'”

Mujibar now works as a technican at a call center for computer problems. No doubt you have spoken to him.

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December
12
Filed Under (Geekspeak) by Justin on 2005-12-12

In case you didn’t know it already, Christmas is quickly approaching. For the past several years, I took the liberty of drafting the Ultimate Geek Christmas List over at GetOffTheComputer.com, but things have fizzled out over there, so I’m continuing that tradition here. As usual, I’ll start with the items that we’re all drooling over this Christmas season and spare no expense in doing so. However, if you’re on a more limited budget, stay tuned, because farther down the list you’ll see my Third Annual Top Ten Tech Toys for less than $50 (aka TTTT< =$50). So, without further adieu, let's get to the gifts. Read the rest of this entry »

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December
08
Filed Under (Sports) by Justin on 2005-12-08

Davis hands starting job over to Foster – Yahoo! Sports
After yet another stellar game on Sunday, it appears that DeShaun Foster will be starting for the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Stephen Davis is apparently not our average NFL star – he took the news quite well and seems very humble about the situation:

“If I’ve got to do something like lower my salary or something to keep him on the team, and I stay on the team and help the team win … I’m going to do it,” he said. “I’m not going to be a guy that my pride is so much that I’m not going to do that.”

That’s just a GREAT team attitude and is (IMHO) the reason the Panthers are doing so well this season.

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