Showing posts from May, 2010

The Floppy Disk - one step closer to death

The old dinosaur of the tech world comes a little closer to finally popping its clogs.  Sony, pretty much the last company still manufacturing floppy disks will stop from March of next year. In various forms the old floppy disk drive (often abbreviated to FDD) has been around since around 1971.  It started then with IBM’s 8” disk/drive.  Shugart (who I think became Seagate?) brought out the 5.25” disk/drive around 1976. HP brought out the 3.5” disk/drive in 1982.  This format had the longest life and one still encounters them from time to time.  I recently had to use one to load a RAID driver onto a PC. In some respects the 3.5” disk was fantastic: light, small, fairly physically robust, cheap, decent storage capacity for the ‘80s.  However, in other respects it was diabolical: magnetically sensitive, sensitive to dust, it wore down over time, by the mid to late ‘90s it was annoyingly short on capacity. If you want to know more have a look at the Wikipedia entry here:  http:/

Security Shenanigans – May 2010

I’ve noticed a few irritating trends in the virus/spam/spyware world recently.  Here are some things to watch out for: Web Nasties Steer clear of downloading screensavers, they can often be infected with viruses Steer clear of apparently free tools that contain irritating adware, e.g. freeripmp3 which contains “Adware.ADON” Be very careful of Online Poker sites.  These often require the downloading of software or a browser add-on which could be infected. If you are browsing the web and are informed that your computer has a virus or infection treat this message with a healthy degree of scepticism.  Has the message popped up from your security software?  This should be fairly obvious. Here, for example is what a security pop-up from ESET Smart Security looks like: E.g. here is what a security pop-up from Norton Internet Security looks like: It’s very common for spyware to infiltrate your PC by pretending to be legitimate software