Windows

SmarterStats - excellent website stats program

Tags: 

Just a quick blurb to mention that this evening I installed SmarterStats on our website to give it a spin, and so far what I see I really like. The download lets you run stats for free for any one site which is perfect for personal sites or for doing a test run against your company's main site. The only requirement is that the .Net v1.1 runtime must be on your machine, but you don't have to install it on your server, you can instead put it on your desktop and just download the logfiles. Give it a spin!

Windows password changed?

Tags: 

Here's a weird situation for you. Yesterday one of my co-worker's had her PC go into locked mode (control-alt-delete then select Lock Computer) without her causing it, and when she tried to unlock it the password was different to what it had been earlier. I managed to reset her password from the server and get her in again, but its baffling me as to how this could have happened. I immediately installed Spybot Search & Destroy, did a quick update then scanned the system, during which a number of spywares were found. One in particular that I had not heard of before was called Zonemap.Ranges which turned out to be a trojan. She also had several IE plugins that were doing unknown damage, one added a web search box to her IE toolbar while others simply added more buttons on the toolbar. Given her position within the company its my constant concern that she would somehow get a key logger that would allow some git to run away with the company's bank accounts. Anyway, problem solved for the moment, and I asked her to contact me any time she sees anything strange start happening with IE again.

Laptop installation - Windows Wouldn't Work

Tags: 

In the continued saga, this week I got Windows 2000 Professional on and then after some hair pulling reformatted the drive. Why, you may ask? Drivers.

The laptop in question was build around the time that Windows 98 was coming out, before Windows 2000 Professional was released, and it was never officially supported under the latter. Despite that, after installing Windows 2000 Pro every minute piece of hardware was correctly identified, I didn't have to install any extra drivers to get it that far. There were, however, three problems remaining: the built-in video card wasn't working correctly (it defaulted to generic VGA) and the two PCMCIA/PC-Card slots refused to work - with my intentions of using a PCMCIA ethernet card, this was going to pose problems.

Long story short, it completely stumped me. Each device was giving a similar error in Device Manager that there were insufficient resources, but none of them gave detailed enough of an answer to pinpoint what was insufficient - IRQs, memory, etc. I suspect it may have been a memory issue, but it was kind of silly of them to write drivers that were hardcoded to memory above the 64mb limit for laptops that were released back when 32mb was a large amount. After several hours of searching for alternative drivers, disabling other devices to see if it was a problem of something else conflicting, it was just going utterly nowhere.

So last night I took my HD platters in my hand and wiped the drive. Then the real fun began, but that's for another time.

The best spam filter for Windows?

Tags: 

Junk email, aka spam, is a terrible problem for almost everyone these days. There is help at hand, though, for anyone using an email program on Windows. There's a completely free program called Spamihilator that will work with your email program to mark emails as spam. It looks like it should be really good, I'm going to give it a try both at work and at home to see how it fares. Note, however, that it will not work with web-based email clients, only ones like Thunderbird, Outlook, Eudora, etc, where the email is actually downloaded to your computer.

Also, one cool thing is that it seems to be under constant improvement and you can download beta versions (versions that aren't quite finished yet but should work fine) to try out, but I don't recommend non-geeks try this as it can lead to unexpected problems. Along with that they have a large number of plugins which you can use to improve the accuracy of the spam filtering. Lastly, there's also a support forum if you need help with it.

Pages

Subscribe to Windows