Flowers

Close up.
Close up.
Flowers blooming
Flowers blooming
Flowers blooming.
Flowers blooming.

An excuse to test the media features of WordPress.  If only I can figure out how to use the Gallery feature.

Useful Free Applications

Freemind –  Mind map program.  Some schools encourage their students to use mind maps.   Requires Java JRE 1.6 and above.

RoyalTS – Terminal service program.  Enables you to simultaneous connect via RDP to multiple computers.  This was open source, from version 1.4.x it is closed sourced.  The free versions allows a maximum of 10 connections.  Also covered here.

Gimp –  Graphics editing program  This is a fully featured graphics editing software.  Can be quite intimidating with its functions and layers.  Once you familiarise with the user interface, it really rocks.

Sysinternals – System Internals of Windows.  Enough said.

Robocopy – Robust copy, part of Windows Resource kit.  A great live safer for file server migration.

Ghostscript – PDF converter.  It takes PS files and converts into PDF.   This is freeware, even for commercial use.  PDF995 engine is actually Ghostcript.

Update 16 Dec 09

Portable applications are programs that don’t require installation.  All the executables and libraries are placed in a folder of your choice.  Outside the system folder.  This can really save the day when you have computers that are locked down due to security policy and what you have can’t do the job.

Thunderbird POP3 email client
Freemind mind mapping beta version, 0.9 beta9
VLC Video LAN

1 Apr 10

Keepass An excellent password manager for all the network, forums and websites. A portable version enables you to put it on a USB stick. The database can be secured by master password and/or key file. If for some reason, you can still  view the original password.  There are two versions available.  The Classic Edition (1.17)which really lightweight requires nothing from the operating system comes with 2 types of encryption,   The Professional Edition (2.10) requires Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0, comes with more features but only 1 type of encryption.  link

Update 28 Jun 10

Truecrypt Personal data encryption.  Create a file of a predetermine size to be your virtual disk.  Put your stuff in. This is available in portable and installed version.

Western Union scam

I received this in my email.

Hi

I have been trying to reach you, but your lines are not working.
I have sent the  $42,000Usd,here are the payment information:
Sender’s First name——-James
Sender’s Last name—–Anderson
MTCN———-9708977073

And i will send same amount weekly until i complete
the $47,000usd. You can check the status of payment by visitting,
https://wumt.westernunion.com/asp/orderStatus.asp?

Please endeavour to pay $150Usd to the account officer so that your name
can be activated
with the Mtcn above to confirm your payment.
Without this they will not pay you. The $150 USD should be paid to, using
western union

money transfer

Receiver:
OSEI EMMANUEL
LAGOS-NIGERIA
After payment you are to send the understated details to the officer
E-mail  western.unionmoneypayconsultant@live.com
Tell  +234 8079 5447 96

Sender:
First Name:…………………….
Last Name:…………..
Adress/Country:…………………
Amount sent:..$150.00USD
MTCN:………………………….
Text Question: Relationship
Answer: Friend

Regards,
James Anderson.


This message has been scanned for viruses and
dangerous content by MailScanner, and is
believed to be clean.

The first thing that got my attention is the reference to Western Union. I don’t use them, I have nothing to do them, they have nothing to do with me.  With my mental alarm bells ringing, it is no wonder Mr Anderson is not getting any money from me. Nigerian scam.

SSL anywhere.

SSL secured access for public websites are growing.  This has been mainly restricted to banking and finance due to the extra CPU computation required.  With the rise of more computer power and determined hackers, more and more websites are now offering SSL secured access for casual use.

The downside is that you have to type it out yourself eg httpS: or use a bookmark.

No longer.

A Firefox extension called HTTPS Everywhere is now available.  You checked the websites that you want SSL encryption and you are ready to go.  Or you can use the defaults, select all for websites eg. Facebook, Google Search, Wikipedia, NYTimes etc.

Note SSL is not a magic bullet to solve all web related security.  It is designed to secure web traffic between the server and the user computer.  It also prevents hackers from using the back button to resume a logged off session.  It does not prevent keyboard sniffers or trojans from sniffing your passwords.

Link

A rare problem (hopefully).

This is something, one hopefully will never encounter.  A corrupted RAID  5 stripe.

RAID  5 works by storing data in logical stripes (64 or 128KB) with parity across the set of harddisks.  This is usually 3 to 6 disks.  If any of the disks were to fail, it can be replaced and data recreated from the parity bits.

It is also possible to have a corrupted logical stripe or punctured stripe as Dell calls it. This when the RAID controller does a hiccup. The only solution is to backup, wipe, re-create and restore.  Yes. Ouch.

Link Link

Edit: 1 Dec 15

Dell has released a utility to fix this.