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Showing posts from 2010

Locked out of OpenDNS

I was just playing around with my OpenDNS and a few security settings that I was trying out rendered myself locked out of OpenDNS. Then slowly figured it out and then relaxed the security settings. Interestingly the high security settings block even webmail, facebook, twitter and blogger.

Windows 7 File Preview

Not sure if this feature exists in other versions of Windows but I love the image being previewed of its thumbnail directly from within its file icon itself. See Windows 7 desktop of an image file below.Way to go!

Smoking is injurious to health. And so is abnormal powering off the computer …

Smoking causes irreparable damages to heart and lungs. There is a statutory warning that is printed in every cigarette packet indicating this. Furthermore there is also an age-restriction on who can purchase cigarettes. Even otherwise considering the amount of passive smoking we are subject to it is always better to have annual heart checks. Besides smoking restricting the amount of cholestrol and other fatty substances would ensure a hale and healthy heart.Perhaps Windows adopts this custom. A few things for a hale and healthy Windows are:Routine and Regular UpdatesNon-Pirated Software. It just costs another buck a difference for the bona fide software but gives you peace of mind and a great sense of satisfaction that you helped another software developer to earn towards his daily bread.Updated Antivirus SoftwareClean habits of like graceful shutdown instead of just pulling the plug out. Windows does have corrective habits just in case you pull the plug out. See the screen from my We…

An Analysis of RememberMe.scr on my Virtual Box

Remember the discussion of Virus Bomb on Kala-Astami? I was just wondering if I could a little analysis using that file on my Weven Virtual Box. See the race between Windows Defender, Windows Explorer and Microsoft Security Essentials to cleanup that sh*tty infection:

The Saturday Cleanup

This Friday night was a scheduled maintenance day in my box. You would have observed from my recent posts that I also did some cleanup on Windows 7. Today I had to repeat this exercise from around 3 AM on my Windows XP box as well.Junk File Storage: 12 Giga BytesGoogle Chrome Cache Size: 6 Giga Bytes (I wonder why Google Chrome does not ship with an option to regulate and control Cache Size like in other browsers)I also periodically cleanup the Profile folder and refresh it because most of the junk applications cling to it. Again, Google Chrome has a bad habit of installing to the user data folder and got removed off. The Profile folder was around 1.3 Giga Bytes:

Unneeded Applications Removed. Significantly Windows Live Mail which was using 37 mega bytes.The other day I was using ISORecorder which left a junk VirtualScsi Control and locked the ISO file. To remove it I had to navigate to DeviceManager and uninstall the Virtual SCSI clients and then remove the ISO file. Around 300…

My Windows 7 speaks my language (Tamil)

Being a Friday afternoon whilst casually  playing with my Windows 7 stumbled upon a good language pack feature. Now my Windows 7 speaks Tamil.  Check out the explorer interface  below:

Bypass Heart Surgery on my Windows 7

Today my Windows 7 had a few issues because of some critical system settings change that I was experimenting yesterday. Had to run through a few System Restoration checks and processes. Operation Success. My Windows 7 is now hale and healthy.

A Sneak Preview of my Windows 7 Explorer Just After Installation

Just thought I would share an explorer view of my Windows 7 just after its installation.The disks are cleaner only for a few moments after installation. Once you download stuff and install from other media you slowly venture into the wild jungles. At least the navigation was a breeze and file searches were faster.

Simpler Timesheet for Personal and Business Records

Businesses worldwide use their own indigenous set of timesheet software to clock the time spent on various activities. When it comes to our own time management the following tools come in handy. Whilst our beloved Todolist helps monitor our activities when it comes to a reporting stuff it would be better to have a timesheet system.Check out this elegant opensource Timesheet system from TSheetX: by PHP and MySQL. It  has a variety of features likeDay-wise TrackingWeek-wise TrackingAuto-clockingTracking Time-Off Activities and much more …

Woo Hoo! Found a good way to liberate my Chrome out of Flash Shackles

Adobe Flash is the most abused and misused component these days on many websites. Particularly when you browse websites like and your web browser is strangulated and choked to death because of too many shocking shockwave movie files embedded and scattered throughout the website.I just came across an innovative FlashBlock AddOn for Chrome which is installable from here. Here is a view of Times of India rendered on my Chrome liberated from the demonical possession of Flash.

This day; Next Year (‘Day One in Year One’)

Today is 11/11/2010 (shortly written as 11/10/10). Next year the same date would be 11/11/2011 (shortly written as /11/11/11)All one day. Let this all one also make us stand won over the evil forces and come out triumph in all quarters.Let this all one also ensure peace and solidarity across the world.Just writing a stored procedure with date parsing and thought of this unique combination that would happen next year and hence sharing it out.

Visual Studio keeps blocking work

Not sure at least 4 out of 10 instances these days Visual Studio 2010 runs into the following messagebox:Tried a complete reinstallWiped and clear VSWebCacheRun As –> Administrator was only used.Only option left – Reinstall OS?

I need IIS Snapin to restrict to a single window

In the ‘I need …’ feature request series, the next proposition that I would go about suggesting is to have the IIS Snapin (inetmgr.exe) to be having an option to restrict to a single window. This is because if one window is already  and I open another one, I may inadvertently overwrite the settings between them.There should be at least an option to monitor existing windows of it and disallow new windows (or seamlessly target the existing windows) like that in WinZip.

I need ACID Transactional Support for File Move/Copy …

A while back we discussed about the merits of CTRL+C over CTRL+V. I just thought I would share another common and good feature request which could add value to the software.Acid Transactional Support for File Move/Copy in Windows Explorer

ACID stands for Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation and Durability and isolation the most commonly desired feature of transactions in RDBMS.
Just thought I would share this view too. I do admit that CTRL+X and CTRL+V has significantly improved with respect to file management in Windows Vista and higher where when a particular file is detected of sharing violation and/or access restriction then instead of throwing an error Windows offers a skip-ability of the file in error.

To Stop Ctrl+X in favor of CTRL+V

I normally have the habit of moving files to Recycle Bin and never ever get carried over in using the dangerous Shift+Delete option (which bypasses Recycle Bin). The reason being is that in the event of any file that is required in recent future (if not far though) we always stand to get an option to resurrect it from the recycle bin.However I do was having another paradoxical habit which long time back I have relinquished too. When some text or content or file need to be transitioned from one location to another I always resort to Ctrl+X instead of Ctrl+V. And many times including my during onsite system consultant experience at Sakshi (way back in 2001) this CTRL+X was bringing out a lot of issues in my software taking toll of about a day’s work rendered as a rework.Particularly when moving files across the network devices if CTRL+X fails then the state of the devices participating in the move transaction would be left in a zombie state involving a complex manual perusal and hercule…

I need CTRL+Z for …

CTRL+Z (keyboard accelerator for Undo) is by far the most commonly used feature in text editors of all breeds. Whilst the tab browsing environments have brought in ‘Undo Close Tabs’ as an option for some reason the specified menu item has not got attached the legendary CTRL+Z keyboard accelerator.Some more CTRL+Zs that are being aspired for:Windows desktop itself should have a more comprehensive CTRL+Z so that if we close any ([windows]explorer) window it can be resurrected with this option.There used to be an evergreen dialogue of Late Writer ‘Sujatha’ Rangarajan in the box-office hit movie ‘Mudhalvan’ which goes as below “வாழ்க்கையிலும் VCR-ல இருக்கறது மாதிரி ஒரு rewind button இருந்தா எவ்வளவு நல்லா இருக்கும்”

The rewind button is something similar to CTRL+Z (Undo) option in desktops.Whilst the first option is a feature request for Microsoft, the god of the software world, the second option is a feature request for Time and the Trinity, the universal lifeliners.

Habitual Crash-n-Start of Visual Studio 2008

Ever since I  have installed Visual Studio 2010, my VS 2008 had got into an habit of suiciding and starting after that. I keep receiving the following interesting message even as part of the splash screen:Not sure whether it a Visual Studio team’s initiative in enforcing ‘no-use’ of older versions forthwith?Or is it an easter’s egg of the VS 2008/VS 2010 splash screen itself?Nevertheless using any of the buttons it resumes and restores on its journey.

How many toolbars clinging to the browser?

Recently I had an opportunity to visit an Internet Kiosk. The number of toolbars that was loading in the web browser was really daunting. See the screenshot of the web browser display  itself below:I admit Internet Explorer is an extensible web browser but shouldn’t there be a tolerance limit instead of piggbybacking the browser with so much redundant features. For me, I have stopped using IE and FF long time back now. Google Chrome is the default web browser in my system. With a builtin search from the addressbar, integrated security (accompanied by AVG Security Alerts) is the safest and secure cruise through the internet.

Whoa! AVG Rocks!

I have been using AVG on my Virtual Box for a long time. Recently I came across the update AVG Antivirus 2011 which significantly updated and upgraded features. The interface is very seamless and something similar to Symantec too more compact and compressed. Some of the innovative features that I liked in this edition are:Scan Priorities (User, Medium, Low and High (System))
Comprehensive Virus VaultFeature-Rich ForumsBuiltin Antispyware.

More efficient time calculation in Windows Server 2008 R2

Unlike with versions till Windows XP, Windows Server 2008 R2 makes a major leapthrough in file download time calculations and recycle bin empty progress etc. Now it clearly shows how many items are remaining and how much time left to complete the task.Another good feature of Windows Explorer is that when you operate something bulk on a large number of files in a folder and a few of them are only preventing the operation not all would fail. Windows now offers an elegant ‘Skip’ ability.

AOL Mail alternates to ‘An Error …’ on every refresh

Interesting. AOL Mail and its suite of email services seems to be liking to have a user click ‘Try Again’ at least on each of its request. Navigate to Inbox and Sent Items. On every folder first load, you get a message like below:

“The Robot with Emotional Intelligence”–Chitti comes to reality

Hello World.I am ‘iTalk, the Robot’.I am created by a 17 year old Doon school student. I am powered by software from MIT. I am 2.5 feet tall.Just had an opportunity to view the article on iTalk Robot in ‘The Hindu’. Check out a quick screenshot here:In ‘Enthiran’ the only issue that was put on Chitti was that it was devoid of emotions. And this gap has been filled to some extent by iTalk Robot.

“Start” to search and Start to ‘Run’

For those who are like me obsessed to Windows Key + Run rather than clinging to mouse to click on the appropriate program menu entries, Windows 7’s new menu system might be a little shock. Even when you press the Start key a friendly menu like the one pops up. You can still persevere to press R to get your nostalgic ‘Run’ dialog. However, this new screen has more features. Say for example, you would need to launch ‘Live Writer’, in the earlier Start –> Run case you ought to remember the executable path of Live Writer to begin with. In the novel way you can just type ‘Live Writer’ and Windows would do some search and list over the blank space that is above ‘All Programs’.Be Aware – If your system is running low on memory such fancy gimmicks might take a little toll  on the CPU (and your patience too).The New Way:The Classic Way:

Ubuntu–An edge over Windows Time Icon

If Windows Server 2008 gives us an edge of multiple times, Ubuntu gives an edge in showing the weather at these places too. Check out a screenshot from Ubuntu 10 LTS.

Effects of ‘War on Terror’

Just thought I would share a few effects that the war on error still has on the system. Not sure if that is the cause or this was present before itself and just like there is a saying in Tamil காக்கா உட்கார பனம்பழம் விழுந்த கதை, I observed these.  MMC snapins extended tab shows an Active Scripting disabled warning.But the billion dollar question is that why does this throw the message two times always?

A Friendly Gesture Reminder regarding DST from my Windows Server 2008 R2

With just a few days left to turn off daylight savings in the time, Windows Server 2008 R2 calendar throws up a friendly reminder as below in its time applet:

ThunderBird does not seem like to my obsession to ALT+FS

I normally have an habit of heightened use of ALT+FS (even in preference to CTRL+S) so that the changes are captured instead of catapulting it.  A few recent observation and response from Thunderbird to this habit are:Not sure whether the save operation to the IMAP server was slow that my intervals between ALT+FS requests was overlapping?

FileZilla FTP Client plays Paramabada Shobanam game …

Today my FileZilla FTP Client seems to be little naughty. Irrespective of its PASV transfer mode and the number of outbound connections reaching to one it still continues to embarrass the server, waiting for 10 seconds before the next connection. For every sixth file, I see a failed file transfer being logged and I have to reset and enqueue the file  back to the server. I have tried with the most newest version of FileZilla as described below:FileZilla Client
----------------Version: information:
  Compiled for:   i586-pc-mingw32msvc
  Compiled on:    x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu
  Build date:     2010-08-16
  Compiled with:  i586-mingw32msvc-gcc (GCC) 4.2.1-sjlj (mingw32-2)
  Compiler flags: -g -O2 -Wall -g -fexceptionsLinked against:
  wxWidgets:      2.8.11
  GnuTLS:         2.8.3Operating system:
  Name:           Windows NT 6.1 (build 7600)
  Version:        6.1
  Platform:       64 bit systemInteresting anyway…

War on Terror :: Trojan Virus Killed

Browsing some Media Convertor utility and ended up downloading Trojan.FakeAlert (sshnas11.dll). I smelt fishy since WinPatrol started to give alerts of suspicious Windows services being installed on the system. A few minutes later PC Tools Spyware Doctor confirmed the infection and it wanted a reboot of the box to remove the infections. Nevertheless since I have not used Spyware Doctor comprehensively, I chose to reinstall Spyware Terminator from which bumped on a few more Trojans implanted in less than ten minutes of the infection.Windows was rebooted and just after Windows XP screen, Spyware Terminator chipped in and killed all the Trojans.

The risks with ‘Handshake’

In our earlier post we discussed about Handshake in a controversial way. A few people might have got confused on why is handshake being discussed in different ways. Though handshakes are accepted universally and predominantly western hemisphere, spiritually speaking, Handshakes carry negative vibrations.When an handshake is exchanged there are risks of subtle negative black energy that has affected one person to infect and conquer the other person too. Check out the Spiritual Research case study over here.Though we can not change the customs overnight let us make an endeavor to reduce the number of handshakes we are exposed to and support and encourage saatwik pranams that have been upheld in our scriptures.This blogger personally discourages handshake and I feel that people misuse handshakes in a number of ways. Check out earlier discussion on this over here.

A few tips for Success in Interview…

Fresh grads often express an emotion of lost confidence because of frequent ‘shown-the-door’ activity by interviewers. Since they haven’t been exposed to a professional working environment and amateur interviewers expecting a peer-exhibit from them consequently this look-out and look-ahead gap plays havoc between them in building a healthy rewarding relationship.Here are a few tips for a rewarding interview (applicable to both interviewer and interviewee):Punctuality: When a particular time is decided upon ensure the interview is scheduled and started exactly. Just because you are an interviewer you do not get any privilege with the time wheel. Also the interviewee should ensure he does not offer to quote lame excuses for delays.Maintain a calm and composed decorum. It is not a war-field and you are not going to confront any AK47s or the guillotines of French Revolution.Dress Code pays good and plays a significant role. In Tamil there is a saying “ஆள் பாதி ஆடை பாதி” indicating that th…

Powerful network testing tools from within Chrome

If you are ever wondering why a particular URL does not load and looking to see a a miniscule network diagnostics your Chrome addressbar can lend a valuable helping hand. Just type about:net-internals and you should be in a wild shock with the page that loads. Chrome brings with it a host of very powerful network diagnostics tool right in its address bar.Related Tool: about:dns (which gives you information on DNS prefetching etc)Source Courtesy: Wiki page on Chrome

Another innovation in Cloud Computing …

With a growing emphasis on Cloud Computing and storing on the clouds, the antivirus industry has caught this fever too. Panda Software has released a Cloud Antivirus solution with even a free version for home and not for profit organizations.You can check out the Cloud Antivirus and download it from here. Panda claims that the collective intelligence deployed from the cloud provides more stringent and secure protection down to 6 minutes from 48 hours for every update. Besides the PC need not be burdened with heavy and bloated updates as with other vendors.

Smart Context Menu from Spyware Doctor

Most of the current day antiviruses have a context menu option for the folders like ‘Scan with <AV Name>’. Even whilst a scan is in progress normally this menu option is not disturbed. However I just observed in the recent installation of Spyware Doctor that during a scan even this menu is updated to reflect its current state. See snapshot below:This is a way bit advantageous because even inadvertently you can not choose this option which might enqueue another unwarranted scanning job on the AV engine besides slowing down the PC performance. Let us hope that other AV vendors emulate this in their products too.

A few things about Chrome Cache…

Chrome is invariably and undoubtedly the fastest and the most secure browser of the planet. There are a few things about Chrome Cache which I found out:The default interface of the browser does not have a provision to configure the folder for the cache.The default interface of the browser does not also have a provision to regulate the amount of disk space  for the Cache. Hence if you have been using Chrome for a significant time you might encounter that the disk space has come down significantly.

For me after a few months of Chrome my disk space stood at 6 Giga bytes of cache usage.
Your Chrome Cache is located in your use profile folder which would roughly correspond to C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\ (Instead of Users try ‘Documents and Settings’ on Windows XP systems.Chrome Cache Viewer: Nirsoft has brought out a very good nifty little tool to manage and have a sneak preview of what is there in Chrome Cache. You can grab a copy of the tool from here.

Is my desktop always that clean?

Someone asked me in response to this post  whether my desktop is always this clean as illustrated in the post or did I clean it intentionally to capture the screenshot. My response was ‘It is always’. I don’t encourage the habit of saving files onto desktop for varied reasons. A few of them are:The desktop needs to be painted by Windows quite frequently and particularly during logon and hence is tedious and may be cumbersome.The desktop is a special folder located in the User Profile. And if your domain profile is particularly configured as a Roaming Profile then the download might be particular PITA for the router and your system.I normally encourage the habit of cleaning and resurrecting the profile folders in regular intervals. In those cases considering the safety of desktop folder, it is better not to save it there.The folders in the desktop have an increased vulnerability to Shoulder Surfing.Windows XP itself ships with a  small utility that moves unneeded desktop files into a f…

My PC is now protected with PCTools Spyware Doctor

The hellish bully Symantec is finally let scott free away from my system. Let those jokers now keep singing and swinging Tic-Tac Symantec on their own.After another belligerent annoying session with it, I chose to uninstall completely and go for Google Pack driven PCTools Spyware Doctor.Post installation when the application minimized to system tray it was indicating a status message as below.

XMLBar–A Nifty Little Video Downloader

I came across another nifty little video downloader called ‘XMLBar’ recently. Plus:This is a very small download (less than one mega byte). It previews the individual videos in the specified download URL and offers to download the segments. Once downloaded it also assembles the FLVs into one monolithic video.Has also provisions to control the bandwidth use and number of threads to use.Has an ability to turn off computer once the assigned task is complete.Has an ability to preview downloaded segments with its built-in FLV player either locally or online.Less amount of CPU use.Supports YouTube, YouKu, DailyMotion and a lot of more video websites.Minus:If the downloaded folder path has spaces it creates another directory path with spaces replaced with (+) When you particularly choose your desktop folder you can see one more directory structure created.You can check out more about the same from here.

Plethora of webmail services; Plenty of storage–A gamut of webmail services with diversified features

Gone are the days when email services offered you peanut storage like 2 mega bytes etc. Now the minimum attachment size that is decently allowed itself is 10 mega bytes (almost five times the storage capacity once it was). With these there is a new revolution creeping in – rhyming names. Yahoo has brought in a service called ‘YMail’ to rhyme with ‘GMail’. They have also rejuvenated their old ‘Rocketmail’ (which was the seed of Yahoo Mail) but then got shelved off in 1999.Google Mail (alternatively called as GMail outside Europe) brings with it a power of search and innovation from the search giant at Mountain View, CA.Windows Live Hotmail – though at times UI may make you look like drivels they are consistent in their offerings. Infinite storage with 10 mega byte attachments and 25 giga bytes from SkyDrive storage seems to be a good one for any individual. However a seamless interactivity of Skydrive and Webmail seems to be missing. Nevertheless Office Web Apps and Webmail has now got…

Microsoft Silverlight throws RedLight for over 20 mega bytes

Tall claims of fancy uploader in Windows SkyDrive just have turned out to be another hollow screams from Skydrive team. I just was figuring out the upload capability of Silverlight Uploader (which claimed support upto 50 mega bytes). But no sooner the file limit crossed 20 mega byte, it started to show gestures of memory leak and crash the browser

When running within the context of Internet Explorer the system itself was coming to a standstill. Silverlight plugin in non-IEs were terminated by the said browser virtual machines.

Windows Server 2008 R2 Printer Mystery

My Windows Server 2008 R2 seems to be having a unique syndrome. When I print an image directly from Microsoft Paint or other tool the printer would take close to the minute only to excuse with the message “Printer Memory is too low”. Whereas when I take the document onto a BullZip PDF print driver or piggyback it on a Microsoft Word and print it it goes without any demur. Who should I throw serve an allegation against?Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2HP All-In-One PrinterHP Universal Printer DriverGigabit EthernetSometimes Microsoft instead of making the software friendly ensure that we end looking like crazy jackasses.

Save your blogger templates with Live Writer

When you are trying to insert videos, flash movies or other active content into your blog, you should take particular care in ensuring that it does not jeopardize and/or break the template. This is particularly true when there are videos and it runs over the navigation bands.With LiveWriter there is a quick and easy way to resize the control at ease and then push the post to the blog.

Why not open any post in Live Writer?

Live Writer has a good new feature of opening published posts from the blog, making changes to the same and republishing it. However this retrieval and publishing allows only for the posts that were published from LiveWriter. I was wondering that why not LiveWriter incorporate a feature to retrieve any post on the blog, make changes locally and publish it back to the blog. That should make it a still more fool-proof and full-fledged blog editing platform.

Ease of deep nesting in Live Writer to Blogger

Try to have a deep nesting like below in Blogger editor and you would really observe it is a true PITA, unless you enter the HTML tab and tweak a few tags to get it.OneOne. OneOne.One.OneOne.One.TwoOne.TwoTwoTwo.OneWith Live Writer this shortcoming is overcome and you can elegantly type off the content and post it to blogger. Hopefully blogger addresses this issue with its HTML editor sooner.

Hello World from my Internet Explorer 9 Beta

Just had an opportunity to upgrade my Internet Explorer to IE 9 on Windows 7 box.Initial set of observations:Good to  have a seamless install after completing the updates. But the long black screen indicating ‘Applying updates …’ which appears frozen for a few moments makes one feel scary. A choice that is thrown to the user to allow disabling addOns alongwith indicating the time taken for addon looks positive and good. Missing Pieces: still does  not recognize IE9:

Too much affinity to Bing is not advisable. I still prefer to use Google for its reliability and its safe-searching results. I still don’t see a good spell checker integrated to IE 9.

Why is the step-motherly treatment to Google Blogger?

Windows Live Writer has an easy to start wizard to help you identify the blog websites and create profiles locally. But for some reason Microsoft wanted to brand Blogger, Typepad as a miscellany section. When sharepoint (intranet blogging) can be an individual attention, I am not sure what is causing world-famous and globe-preferred blogger to be put in the ‘Miscellany’ crowd.

Messenger Refuses; Writer Upholds

For me, Google Chrome is the default browser. I prefer Google Chrome for the following reasons:Speed of browsingFaster loading of the browserLesser Memory FootprintEnhanced SecurityHowever when the Live Messenger needs to open any hyperlinks it always prefers to kill Chrome with an allegation that ‘Chrome is not responding’. However the new Live Writer has an elegant policy of opening browser after publishing the post and it does without any demur.

The Office Ribbon encompasses Live Writer too …

The classic ‘Ribbon’ which had been encompassing all the Office Products (starting Office 2007) now seems to have infected Live Writer as well.The top menu account of Live Writer now adopts a ribbon as below:

Hello World from WL Essentials 2011

My Name is Windows Live Essentials 2011 (Live Writer)Speed 1 Tera HertzMemory 1 Zeta ByteHello WorldThis is a quick introductory post from Live Writer. Windows Live Essentials 2011 is definitely a giant leap in a number of online products. Live Writer seems to have a good number of improvements too.Anyways I love the improvements in Windows Live Messenger 2011. Without needing to  be signed on in FaceBook, I can now get the updates and chat with friends in FaceBook.Good luck to Windows Live team!

A Easy Spreadsheet for Community Credit Contribution Rewards Matrix

A Easy Spreadsheet for Community Credit Contribution Rewards Matrix

For those regular users of Community Credit you would have observed this page enumerating the rewards matrix as little scrolling and cumbersome to locate particular action item and reward points applicable for the same. I have prepared a simple spreadsheet and hosted courtesy Zoho for the benefit of Community Credit users.

You can also view the same from here.

<p><p><p><p> </p></p></p></p>

An easier resilient way to indicate errors and prepare tutorials

An easier resilient way to indicate errors and prepare tutorials

We had a recent experience that we reported an error condition in the website it could not be reproduced. Check out our narration  here. We can have these situations of re-work avoided quite easily. There is a freeware called 'BBFlashBack Express' which is downloadable from that helps record the screensession. It supports recording in a proprietary format (FBR) which is highly compressed. It does support export to SWF and AVI files too for portability (??) reasons but the filesizes may be little scary.

The interesting feature is that whilst your screen is being recorded you can also talk and the voice or video (from webcam) is captured. Remember to run it from a system equipped with good memory and exit all other applications other than the ones intended for recording.

Exiting other applications other than those participating in the recording is importa…

Yahoo Session Restore Feature

Yahoo Session Restore Feature

If you are Yahoo Mail user and have completed upgrade to the newer webmail interface then I would like to share with you there is a new feature that has been incorporated by Yahoo. If by an error, the tab or browser containing Yahoo sessions closes and the next logon shows up a session restore as below.

Interestingly the buttons don't work anyway for me either in Google Chrome or FF. I never use IE for security reasons. I am still not convinced with Internet Explorer 8 security architecture yet. As part of our VENS initiative this has been reported to Yahoo through their Help Central.

The watchdogs which hunt any illegitimate applications taking over your system

The watchdogs which hunt any illegitimate applications taking over your system

Google Chrome comes with a more choosy, cheesy, choicy and spicy module called 'Task Manager'. This along with its big brother (Task Manager) from Windows effectively ensures that your browsing experience is seamless and smooth without much speed breaker bumps and hurdles. Google Chrome should be the choice browser of the planet now.

See sample task managers from Chrome and Windows below.

You may be surprised that the processes are masked within the Task Manager. That was done by me as part of the image editing. Common Baby. Why do you want to sniff the arse of others' system BTW?

The Advantage of Virtual Box

The Advantage of Virtual Box

With VirtualBox, we can have more operating systems running within the same computer. One good utility in VirtualBox is that you can about six timezones configured and listed. My host box (Windows 7) has three timezones by default and the other VirtualBox could rope in three more.

Chrome even elegantly manages other applications' bugs

Chrome even elegantly manages other applications' bugs
Google Chrome is an enthusiastic young browser with novel features to bring a radical new sense of secure and high-spirited internet browsing. Just came across an interesting feature today of upload progress status in Zoho Mail through Google Chrome. There is a bug that was reported to Zoho Mail on the progress bar but not yet fixed. Interestingly when you browse it through Google Chrome the issue is elegantly taken care of.

Oracle stuffing crap into Java Setup?

Oracle stuffing crap into Java Setup?

Today my Windows 7 system tray prompted me that it had some updates for the Java that was installed. When I prompted yes, I had to encounter two dumb stuff from the Java setup. I hadn't had such bad experience with Java setup till it was with Sun.

Half way during the installation it bumped telling another installation was going and then it aborted. Not sure what caused it to prevent checking another installations in progress beforehand?Java installation now has Yahoo Toolbar for the browsers packed with it. Not sure what is causing Oracle to pack browser toolbars along with a generic language runtime.

Winner of Symantec Connect Gift Certificate (August 2010)

The quest for knowledge besides the passion to help the peers in Community forum besides the driving fire to excel helped another laurel for the month of August 2010 in the form of Gift Certificate from the Symantec security house. You can find the previous discussion over here and an update form Connect Rewards page here:

01 Aug 2010$15 US Certificateshipped03 Aug 2010Email

More Easier Internet Filtering -- At the DNS Level

More Easier Internet Filtering -- At the DNS Level

Sometime back we saw about 'Three Best Software' to filter out bad websites in our home networks. People who are wary about installing extra software can choose to use OpenDNS, a free DNS solution whilst accessing the Internet. The only thing required is to signup for an account and to route our system's nameserver requests through their nameservers. When a particular website is found to be a bad website their nameservers automatically routed to the blocked page. They even support customizing the blocked pages with our logo.

For businesses they have cost-effective and proven plans which could be explored too. An example block page is given below:

Now even if you type an incorrect URL their name servers would help you locate the correct URL.

Another victory with Symantec Connect Forums

A whilst back we have seen my first Symantec forum gift certificate. I am delighted to share with you that in less than a week my points soar up to 100 again bringing in laurels and achievements of the next gift certificate. Please find an update from Symantec Rewards Redemption page over here:

06 Jul 2010$15 US Certificateshipped06 Jul 2010Email

I appreciate Symantec for the healthy competitive spirit that they encourage amongst the forum users.

Todolist' Recurring Task hid in wild today

Todolist' Recurring Task hid in wild today

Today morning there was an interesting observation in my Todolist. I was wondering the mysterious missing of the 'recurring' attribute set in some of my tasks. After a little digging I found out that unless the Sort Recurring is selected from options the same does not get displayed in the control pane of the application too.

svchost.exe -- It is no more a Bermuda Triangle!

svchost.exe -- It is no more a Bermuda Triangle!

Next time you see in TaskManager a lot of svchost.exe processes taking toll on your CPU and avarciously gobbling up all your memory need not scare you any more. I just came across a small tool called SVCHost Process Analyser, a freeware from Neuber Software. I would like to thank Ajeetkumar for sharing the same in Symantec Connect.

You may need to run the tool as an administrator to ensure it is able to probe into all the svchost.exe to see what are the processes running (and or hiding) within the same.

Renewal of Microsoft MVP Award

Renewal of Microsoft MVP Award

It was a pleasant surprise today morning to receive an email from Microsoft MVPAward on their renewing my MVP for another year.

A few things to recall -- I have been MVP since 2003 respectively in the areas marked thereto:2003-04: .NET Framework 2004-05: C# 2006-07: ASP/ASP.NET2007-08: ASP/ASP.NET2008-09: ASP/ASP.NET2009-10: ASP/ASP.NET2010-11: ASP/ASP.NET
You can find my MVP Profile being linked to from the right navigation widget of this weblog.

Winner of Symantec Connect Gift Certificate

The newest forum that I have recently started participating is 'Symantec Connect'. Symantec Connect focusses on enterprise security products from the premier security products' house of Symantec. The forums is safe to browse and relatively more dependable because it is monitored round the clock by a vibrant team of moderators, admins, symantec employees and trusted advisors.

You can find my profile in Connect over here. I have crossed the first set of 100 points in the forum and hence was rewarded with a $15 Gift Certificate from Amazon. Webwiseone processed the gift certificate request in a day and sent me the same via email. Here is an update from Symantec Redemptions page:

29 Jun 2010$15 US Certificateshipped30 Jun 2010Email

Windows Title Bar Disparity with Google Chrome alone in Ubuntu

Windows Title Bar Disparity with Google Chrome alone in Ubuntu

I have been using Ubuntu for a while. Just had an interesting observation with respect to Google Chrome alone. With every other application having the system control menu on the left navigation side, Google Chrome alone puts the same on the right hand side on the Windows style. Even the About dialog box in the Nautilus File Manager has on the left hand side only.

Google proves that it is distinctively unique in more ways than one even on Linux platform. See the assorted collection of screenshots from different applications on Ubuntu as a single image below:

It is time Adobe reviews their quality of products ...

It is time Adobe reviews their quality of products ...
The most innovative and widely product of Adobe is Acrobat Reader. Currently it is in version 10.0. However for sometime there had been a steep obesity of Acrobat Reader and unwanted download of stuff on the pretext of security and curiosity. I damn really care about all those things other than if it is not able to meet its objective.
A few instances where Adobe fails:

whereas the same document can be easily viewed by applications like Google Docs, Zoho Viewer, FoxIt Reader and host of other PDF document readers in my Ubuntu. I would also like to share another classic instance of Adobe PDF Reader message. The VFS Interview Confirmation document which is sent as a PDF always throws the message "Expected a dict object" only in Acrobat PDF reader.

A Free Virtual CloneDrive to Mount and Play ISO Files

A Free Virtual CloneDrive to Mount and Play ISO Files

Nowadays we get a lot of software as ISO files (CD Images). We can mount them like virtual CDs in our system and access like CD. Sometime back there was a Microsoft VCD tool but I could not get it working on my latest Windows 7. Interestingly I got hold of another good freeware called Skysoft Virtual CloneDrive which is a free download from here.

This support upto 8 virtual drives with support of BIN, CCD and ISO files. You may just double click the file to mount it as a CDROM and access the applications with ease.

AVG blames Symantec

AVG blames Symantec

Sometime back we talked about how much Symantec is greedy in terms of its memory consumption and harassing the CPU to satisfy its bestial instincts of wild-goose threat scan when it is simply impotent to find the threat even after weeks.

Just thought I would share another instance when AVG installation spotted out an unneeded interference of Symantec software with it and the former requesting removal of the same. See the screenshot below:

Google homepage ushers in background image like Bing

Google homepage ushers in background image like Bing

Whilst browsing through Google homepage today, I just observed at the left bottom-most corner there is a link called 'Change Background Image' which offers to customize the Google homepage for us using the image of our choice. Perhaps this is quite similar to Bing homepage.

"Which is better?" can be a debated question and a controversial topic but each one has its own advantages.
Google offers to personalize the homepage to our own liking. However we are restricted to the images that we have and we know.Bing offers us different geographical, historical, scientific and travel collections as homepage backgrounds.
We should try using both so that we can gain a lot from both.

The Sweet Three Roses -- Necessary for any Computer

The Sweet Three Roses -- Necessary for any Computer

This is my followup post to "Tic Tac Symantec :: Go Away Buggers". Yesterday evening I was talking to my old friend with whom I shared this too. He was actually pi**ed with a lot of junk debris with his desktop too. Now he recommended me to try out AVG. After a bit of research my system is now powered by three little watchdogs:

Scotty (the WinPatrol)Zander (the K9 WatchDog)AVG WatchDog Service
Just thought I would make a small image of these three logos and share it with other readers:

Tic Tac Symantec :: Go Away Buggers

Tic Tac Symantec :: Go Away Buggers

My personal computer is now proudly powered by Ubuntu and the work horse is now dual booting into Vista and Fedora. Till Windows Live One Care or another reliable antivirus gains a more stronger foothold into corporate world, I believe we need to stick with that sick Symantec. But now the impact of Symantec on my productivity has been reduced to a meagre ten per cent. My Ubuntu and Fedora have enhanced and streamlined the various delivery mechanisms in more ways than one.
It is time for Symantec to either improve upon their workstyles or to down the shutters and run away than to eat the system memory and unleash a bestial feasting on our productivity. Go Back Symantec -- You guys don't respond to support incidents, sales calls or forum reports on various bugs. Neither it is proactive shield as well. I have been witnessing a particular file not able to be detected by SARC online scanning or Proactive EndPoint Security but VirusTotal showed me that…

Conflicting but Interesting Confirmation Dialog of Firefox on Ubuntu

Conflicting but Interesting Confirmation Dialog of Firefox on Ubuntu

I just observed a conflicting but an interesting confirmation dialog of Firefox on Ubuntu. The two points to note over there are:

Unlike Windows, The 'Cancel' button comes before 'OK' button.
Though the cancel button precedes the OK button the precedence or the default button behavior is still retained by OK button only.

Choice of Flash Players in Ubuntu Linux

Choice of Flash Players in Ubuntu Linux

Whenever we install a new Firefox browser and navigate to any website that contains flash movie plugins we would be prompted with a 'Missing Plugins' prompt and then the plugin finder webservice would help us locate the appropriate tools.

For Flash, the only tool that would returned by the webservice was Adobe Flash on Windows. In Ubuntu Linux, I just observed three flash movie players were offered to be installed in lieu of just Adobe. So I am no longer locked into a monopoly Adobe shop with respect to Flash movies.

Where is root in Ubuntu?

Where is root in Ubuntu?

The Unix and variants of the operating system are literally obsessed by one super power account called 'root'. Whilst I was playing with Ubuntu as many documentations showed me to use su but I didn't have the 'root' password. It was rather surprising. I was apprehensive of whether I messed up something with the installation but I was pretty sure that it did ask me a single username and password all through the installation process.

I did do a quick check of /etc/passwd file using

less /etc/passwd

and I found the root account there. So what is the password of 'root' account. After a little more digging into it, I found out that Ubuntu has more command called 'sudo' (similar to su (switch user)) which does the task. sudo prompts me the password for the username that I setup during the installation and the gap got filled up.

A Quick Date with Ubuntu Linux

A Quick Date with Ubuntu Linux

A client of mine wanted an enterprise application to be made specifically on Linux platform and specifically Ubuntu. With predominantly Windows exposure when I just searched the Internet for guidance with Ubuntu Linux, I came across a good Virtual Box tool from Sun (now Oracle) called VirtualBox. This is quite similar to Microsoft Virtual PC and the significant catch is that it is free. I just installed it and got Ubuntu Linux got up running. People sometimes say installing Unix/Linux is a true PITA however I think with the evolution of the operating systems and tools, the installation had been a real breeze.

Even this post I am drafting from within the Mozilla Firefox installed in Ubuntu. Please see the Help-About of Firefox for more details.

A Quick Peek Logout shows a false-positive message at Sify Mail

A Quick Peek Logout shows a false-positive message at Sify Mail

A while back we discussed about a weird combination of Sify Mail with Airtel Broadband. This is an interesting followup to the same. When you logon to Sify Mail and quickly do a logout it throws a false positive error message as below. I know I did logout and it was a graceful logout. Not sure what is causing this false-positive alarm to be triggered.

Bug in YahooGroups

Bug in YahooGroups

If you are subscribed to more than twenty to thirty yahoogroups and when you view them online by default it shows up in 'Expanded Mode'. When you select 'Edit Groups' and do changes like the 'delivery email' or the 'delivery frequency' for the first page displayed, it again reverts back to the Simple mode. Now you are in a batch edit mode, you would need to select '2' to locate page 2 and then again choose 'Edit Groups' tab. When I closely viewed what is happening, they are just missing out a querystring argument edit=1 between the server roundtrips. would open page 2 in edit mode. When you submit 'Page 2', you would see that 'edit=1' no longer appears. I believe Yahoo should come up with a Batch Update mode to address this usability issue.

Goosh -- The Unofficial Google Shell

Goosh -- The Unofficial Google Shell

Today whilst surfing the web I came across an innovative website called Goosh, which calls itself as 'The Unofficial Google Shell'. It presents a Unix type prompt and you key in Google searches as if entering into Unix/Windows command prompts. The results are displayed on pressing the carriage return.


Whatz up with Sify on Airtel?

Whatz up with Sify on Airtel? Using Sify Email on Airtel always seems to be throwing up a false-positive error message like below when you login for the first instance: A mail session already exists in your browser. Please close the window and try again I have also reported this to Sify CustomerCare but they are still working on or at least in their endeavor to figure out what is causing this anomaly on accessing Sify Email specifically on Airtel broaband connections. All other networks work fine and seamlessly. It looks like a specific cookie issue but why does this manifest on a specific ISP connection is the big question that bugs everyone's mind.

Phone Data Manager from Microsoft

Phone Data Manager from Microsoft

I recently came across a cool tool from Microsoft called Phone Data Manager which is a free download from here although in BETA. With mobile phones a constant 24x7 companion to us and we getting used to it like anything including saving confidential information and contact numbers, there is a dire need for a reliable backup of the same.

This service from Microsoft offers to fill this gap. The following two ways of backup are provided by the service:

Contacts in the phonebook are backed up to your associated Windows Live account.Media files and other contents are backed up to your local computer.The tool communicates with your PC (and hence the Internet) through a USB data cable or BlueTooth. I thought of sharing this tool with other readers as it would be an inevitable component for everyone to safeguard their data.

Microsoft Indic Language Input Tool

Microsoft Indic Language Input Tool

Similar to Google Transliterate, now you can find a similar web-based indic language input tools from the house of Microsoft too. You can locate this resource over here.

There are two versions available:

Web VersionDesktop Version(for each language supported)

I just thought of sharing the same with other interested readers.

A Tipoff to Kaspersky Labs about a new virus and a Letter of Confirmation from them

A Tipoff to Kaspersky Labs about a new virus and a Letter of Confirmation from them

Just thought of sharing the moment of joy in having participated in the 'detection-of-virus' mission. I had a similar email attachment described over here. But now even Kaspersky failed to detect it. Hence I wrote to Kaspersky Labs regarding my suspicion. On lab analysis, it was found that the file indeed was infected by a new breed of virus.

Please see my email report and response from Kaspersky Lab as a PDF note below.

Information to Kasperesky Labs and Thanks Appreciation Note from them

Kasperesky Internet Security 2010 -- An Effective Parental Control Solution

Kasperesky Internet Security 2010 -- An Effective Parental Control Solution

A whilst back we were discussing about an online file virus scanner utility published by Kaspersky. I just thought of sharing another product from Kaspersky which is called Internet Security 2010. It is part of the antivirus solution and is really aggressive against scanning the URLs that the web browser is requesting and verifying the safety of the system.

I just thought of sharing the same with the other interested readers.

NetSweeper -- Sweep off bad from the Internet on your desktop

NetSweeper -- Sweep off bad from the Internet on your desktop

A while back we were discussing about K9 Web Protection Parental Control. A couple of days back whilst browsing through and referred from the text advertisement on top of the compose window, I came to know about one more parental control software called 'Netsweeper'.

The homepage of this product is Unless K9 it does not seem to be any download but a centralized webservice to protect the desktops and it is a commercial software.

I just thought of sharing this URL with other interested readers for their benefit.

Quick Online File Virus Scanner

Quick Online File Virus Scanner

Recently I was in reciept of a suspicious email with the subject "UPS Tracking Number 9533844." and since the internet headers of the email did not match with the domain of UPS besides the fact that it was carrying an attachment like with an executable inside alongside my default virus scanner with did not flag anything harmful in that. I tried to download it in a separate sandbox folder in my system and have my Symantec Antivirus to scan it. It was indicating a long progress of scanning and then obediently reported as no threats found.

But the concept of an executable inside a zip file besides from an unknown source was still nagging my mind. A quick search of some file virus scanner got me Kaspersky URL where you can upload upto 1 mega byte file. This one reported Packed.Win32.Krap.x in the attachment. The Kaspersky engine showed that it was updated on 13-01-2010 and could spot this.

I just thought of submitti…