Posts filed under ‘computers/tech’

An Update

Well, for the second time I’m reinstalling Windows on my ‘old’ Dell XPS 2720 One.  It’s the 3rd time for the machine, on this version of Windows.  The computer is about 2 years old, as I recall.

Should you have an XPS 2720 One whose C: drive has just expired, the easiest thing by far is (yes) replace the hard drive with its equivalent, which will be a Seagate of some size (500 Gig, 1 TB, 2TB)–I vastly prefer WD because of long experience with which tends to last longer.  Because it’s a Windows 8 machine ‘Restore’ won’t work [to bring it back to Win 10; that little recovery drive is for Windows 8] and there tend to be vast difficulties in activating it in Windows 10.  I’ve read and heard varying hypotheses.  The solution that worked was an improvement anyway; buy a new Win 10 Pro 64 bit. I’m throwing that in because it’s the only posted solution to that particular problem that worked.  I couldn’t find any because no one said it did, but MS did sort of indicate (in its peculiar way) that was probably the easiest solution.  Ex officio so to speak.


So, anyway, that happened.  My Acronis backup failed but my data backup didn’t.


I was gradually reloading software onto the machine (I had wanted it to be a clean install of Windows and nothing else, but my files were left on it, which made it quite a bit more complicated because they didn’t understand my methods, any more than my instructions–evidently–to JUST INSTALL WINDOWS) when suddenly all real time protection on the machine was turned off.  Windows Defender couldn’t be turned on.  It was time to abandon ship.


I did a refresh.  Now.  There may have been a rootkit planted.  If so, it evaded a lot of protective software.  [Something in System32–a Windows directory–started attempting to inject code into other software.  I found this out because Ashampoo Antivirus started catching it in the act.]  It evaded a scan by Ashampoo Antivirus and by Windows Defender and…not long ago, it turned off realtime detection.


There has been no ransomware involved as yet anyway.  This is merely an alert.  There’s something new out there, almost certainly gotten through the Yahoo! website in this case, that has evaded the software.  It’s botware.  It didn’t have much info to steal and I’m about to seal that one.


BE WARY.  I’m paranoid and I got caught.  I also sealed that potential leak.  Before I even completed this.


The online Windows Defender scan found nothing.  Now I’m doing an offline Windows Defender scan.  That’s a link to a MS resource.  Technically offline should be highlit too but frankly I’m stressing out a trifle on this one.  It’s been many years since I’ve been had like this and I was in places I won’t even name now.  [There are laws regarding “attractive nuisances”.]

July 1, 2017 at 6:51 pm Leave a comment

How to Keep a Neat Desktop Program List (All Windows Versions)

Some easy tricks with Windows that only started with the neat Program List.

Continue Reading October 31, 2015 at 1:28 am Leave a comment


My apologies for the title; I couldn’t resist*.  This is a rehash, because Mil Millington’s Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About actually started the whole deal, and was hysterically funny.  Yes, in fact, if nothing else I do expect you to follow the second link, or at least do the search on Google or whatever.  It is also a book.  The book is fictional.  The website is not, or not entirely.  I can assure you that both characters are well, characteristic of the breed.  I used to have an e-mail subscription to the site, so I assume Mil quit updating it.  I did communicate with him.  I think he might have been taken slightly aback by my bizarre sense of humor (nah, don’t ask).

The point is, too, that as the article actually points out “Tom Sawyer” used “this method” to plan out books.  “Mark Twain” (I’m sorry, I don’t remember his real name right off and I’m too lazy too research it) is more likely to be the subject, since Tom Sawyer was one of his characters, and he did write books based on the audience’s reaction to his travelling road show comedy gig.  We might just finally mention that the method itself wasn’t particularly new; it’s just that the writer was an American, and therefore automatically prejudiced (no matter the color involved–and the green dudes are really weird).


April 19, 2009 at 1:47 pm Leave a comment

LAN chats and file transfers (freeware)

LAN chats and file transfers
This can be a frustrating subject, particularly when working with two operating systems. Or like I did when one wireless technology was going out and the other phasing in (which come to think of it has been the rule–sort of like Google and everything they produce being forever in beta, like Chrome). To do an actual physical file transfer on a working network somehow adds insult to injury. The program I am going to recommend is in no way recommended for business use. For one thing, I haven’t used it for long enough, and from all I can tell there’s no separate log-in procedure. It could be argued that log-in to the network obviates that, but drive-by and the whole mentality negates that comfortable and easy assumption.

What I’m talking about is BORG chat. Easy search results. Small file, couple of megabytes. XP and Vista compatible, which means it’s compatible to Windows 2000 and will be to Windows 7. If you have anything older you’re asking for trouble. You can’t run some of the programs necessary to ensure your safety–pardon me, the safety of your data; we have indeed become cybernetic citizens willy-nilly.

Or Home page:
if you want to get picky about it.

(I just had to add the “social networking” bit with all the mis-use of the term going on currently.)

April 18, 2009 at 8:10 am Leave a comment

That’s a valid name, and the research says it’s valid.  It’s an established business in Klamath Falls, which is near the Rogue Valley.  This is not a sponsored support.  I cannot vouch for the quality of the software, although I assume I’ll be talking with this guy relatively soon.  That will allow me more judgment.  The first question of course will be about virus software, which in the short ad I saw was mentioned.


April 18, 2009 at 5:54 am Leave a comment

Alternate Browsers, Freeware, Orca

Orca bears a relationship to both Firefox and Google.  It’s had something like one security vulnerability in the last year, and it’s one of the least-used browsers, mainly because there are so many of them.  You could add that each and every one of them has its own little peculiarities, too.  Orca uses little RAM, is fast to load, and lacks a lot of the built-in supposed security features of (say) IE.  You can disable Pop-ups, Sounds, Videos, ActiveX, Scripts and Java Applets as usual; there are several tab options…and you can use some Mozilla add-ons.  It’s an attractive browser and a work-in-progress.  And I am thinking about switching away from Firefox now because it is targeting more and more attention from badware writers.


You can even import favorites and that sort of thing.  Perhaps I should have mentioned that.  As far as passwords go, I would not import that kind of file but build it from scratch, just in case.  However, I am actually certifiably paranoid (part of the PTSD package) so if you want you can discount that.

[I forgot to mention that I carefully posted that using Orca.  The rendering problems I reported on about 18 months ago were not at all evident, not just on the pages of WordPress.  That is a tremendous step forward, believe it or not.  I should have added too that disabling ActiveX and so on (which are not enabled by default, necessarily, on Orca) is very easy–and may end up with some web pages that can’t be navigated except by turning them on.  There are online gaming sites were some security controls aren’t even possible (I even play on one of them, and not as ‘oregonnerd’).]

April 17, 2009 at 3:21 pm Leave a comment

The Most Vulnerable Browser

Firefox, for now.


P.S.  Which is why I intended the review of browsers this week.  I haven’t forgotten.  I think I only have 8 installed.  The best was the freeware browser with the notepad…that led on a quick & easy search to the moniker for a hacker.  Incidentally, a recent scan turned up badware.  A trojan.  That was apparently installed courtesy of adware on the site he uses for his blog.  I was truly grateful.  I just hide it well.

April 16, 2009 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts Newer Posts