Showing posts from March, 2009

Disabling AutoPlay in Windows

By default in Windows, AutoPlay kicks in when one inserts a CD-ROM, DVD, or USB drive containing some content - e.g. documents, images, music, or video.  Depending on your version of Windows and the content on the device, Windows may auto-run an installer (e.g. an Office install CD) or ask you what to do (e.g. open a folder to view files, play the music files with Media Player). Some people find this feature annoying.  Another, more important issue is that the Conficker worm uses the feature to automatically jump from an infected USB drive onto the host PC. To turn of the feature please follow one of the two methods... Windows XP: Download TweakUI.exe... Install TweakUI.exe and then run the application Expand (click +) "My Computer", then expand "AutoPlay" Click on the "Types" option on the left and un-tick all boxes Also, click on the "Drives" option on the left and un-tick al

Patching against the Conficker worm

The Win32Conficker worm takes advantage of a vulnerability in the Server service of pretty much all versions of Windows and allows a remote attacker to take control of the infected computer. According to Microsoft "Most anti-virus software could detect and block the Conficker worm, so if you have updated anti-virus software on your computer, you are at a much lower risk of being infected by the Conficker worm." However, it is also recommended to ensure your Windows OS is patched so that you are not vulnerable to the threat.  In order to ensure you are patched against this nasty piece of work please follow the steps below... 1. Find out what version of Windows you are running Hold down the Winlogo button (looks like the Windows icon) and tap once on R Type "winver" and hit Enter You will be able to read off what version of Windows you have, e.g. in the image below I can tell that I have Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3. 2. Download

What version of Office do I have?

Prior to Microsoft Office 2007, finding out what version you were running was very straightforward.  You clicked on the “Help” menu bar item and then on “About”.  Generally you would do this to find out not just what version you were running (i.e. Office 2003) but what Service Packs had been installed (e.g. Service Pack 1). Recently I needed to quickly find out whether a customer’s Office 2007 installation had been upgraded with Service Pack 1.  I was stumped for a short while!  Where on earth was one to find the equivalent? To save you the hassle, here’s the answer… Click on the new “Office Button”, choose the relevant “Options” button at the very bottom of the menu, e.g. if you’re in Excel it will be “Excel Options”.  Then click “Resources”, and finally “About” – in fact you can probably see all you need to know at the bottom of the “Resources” screen without having to click “About”. I’m sure they could have buried it a little more if they really put their minds to it!

Zoho Writer

Online document editors of some sort or another seem to be flavour of the month.  While many will automatically hop on the Google Docs bus, I heartily recommend taking a look at Zoho Writer. Although technically in beta stage, in it's latest incarnation Zoho Writer 2.0 is a rather appealing proposition.  Zoho Writer is one of a suite of productivity and business tools.  There is also a spreadsheet application (Zoho Sheet), a PowerPoint-like application (Zoho Show), and loads more.   Zoho Writer allows you to create, edit, preview, and print new documents from scratch.  If required, your document can be exported to a variety of file formats including: .doc, .docx, .pdf, .odf, .rtf, .txt, .sxw, and .html. If the document you need to work on is already in Word, or some other format that's just fine.  Zoho Writer can import files in a variety of formats, similar to those it can export.  There is an upload file size limit of 10MB which may pose a problem for very large doc

ESET Smart Security v4.0 and NOD32 v4.0

ESET Smart Security v4.0 and NOD32 v4.0 are being released shortly. artifact is a reseller of ESET security products. If you would like to know more please contact us via our website . The changes that have been made are: General Added support for SSL under Microsoft Windows 2000 Improved support for Microsoft Windows Live Mail v4 (beta) Added import and export of root SSL certificates for Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Opera Software Opera web browsers Added ability to edit user-defined servers for threat signature updates Added "Smart Filtering" of logs to provide improved view of data Antivirus & Antispyware Exclusions now supported for mapped network drives Added "Smart Scan" option for quick and effective scans ESET Personal Firewall Added support for UAC under Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Added 1863/TCP for Windows Live Messenger/MSN Messenger for Rules unde

3 Mobile Broadband

Just noticed that 3 have increased the monthly download cap of their basic mobile broadband service to 15GB.  This will set you back €19.99 inc. VAT per month. I must say I’ve been rather impressed by the service I get from my 3 mobile broadband dongle thingie.  The coverage in Navan and Dublin has never failed me and it even works on the delightful 109 bus between those two points! It wouldn’t even give a sniff of a signal anywhere I went in Wexford, however, and roaming broadband in Berlin proved unsuccessful but overall it’s a very good service. I don’t depend on the service on a daily basis, I use it when I’m stuck, travelling, or out at a customer’s site.  E.g. I only used about 7MB out of the 15GB allowance last month!  Perhaps if I had to depend on it I mightn’t have such a glowing report but, such as it has been for me, I give it a hearty thumbs up.

Rotating your screen

The other day I was messing around with my laptop and inadvertently hit a combination of keys that rotated my screen right by 90 degrees.  I had seen this facility a long time ago and I had forgotten what the keystrokes were. Inevitably what followed was a rapid googling of the appropriate keyboard shortcut to restore normality.  The shortcuts are simple, fairly logical, and I include them here for your convenience.  You never know, you might actually need to rotate your screen around one day… CTRL + ALT + Up Arrow – Normal View CTRL + ALT + Down Arrow – Rotate by 180 degrees (upside down) CTRL + ALT + Left Arrow – Rotate Left by 90 degrees CTRL + ALT + Right Arrow – Rotate right by 90 degrees Note: apparently the shortcuts can vary and depend on your graphics card manufacturer, some seem to respond to CTRL + SHIFT + R.