Posts filed under ‘how to’

Conficker Test

http://www.confickerworkinggroup.org/wiki/

And that most likely does it for the day.  I’m sick.

–Glenn

April 10, 2009 at 3:45 pm Leave a comment

Student Pad, a New (Freeware) Browser

You’ll note I haven’t provided any links.  I had intended to cover this piece of freeware–offered in CNET, no less, how I heard of it.  So I did a bit of sleuthing.  “Haxbro” could be a user-name.  Let’s note that, first, and that the name of the “company” (stated in the fine print to be basically one person; there’s enough information to lead to a search…which leads to a blog on dangerous site) is that user-name.  That dangerous site parenthetically mentioned is a threat of a click-jack; I ended up having to do a shutdown in order to avoid copying something (presumably an exe file of some sort) to my desktop.  [That’s one of the reasons you don’t shut off things like User Access Control, because the very thing that makes it a pain in the butt makes it the occasional butt-saver.]

Better than that, I used an alternate e-mail address to contact [him?] the author with no reply.

Don’t use Student Pad.

–Glenn

April 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

PC Hell

PC Hell is the name  of a website maintained by a local computer professional that can be of help in, well…PC Hell.

–Glenn

Full Disclosure:  I live about 60 miles away.  Don’t know him.

April 9, 2009 at 1:11 pm Leave a comment

Games, Performance Enhancement (Computer), Freeware

Game Booster is the real thing.  If you play games that use anything much, this shuts down on non-essentials while you’re doing it; it does it visibly; it won’t allow you to shut down the program while it has processes shut down.  It is a beta; I’ve been using it now for a couple of weeks (the updated beta, version 3, to which you have the link, is improved) and never had any problem.  Bit Defender has another version of the same thing, more or less, which seems to amount to a spotty AV protection.  I didn’t read through the whole description.  Any disablement of protective functions needs to be visible–in fact, in needs to be “in your face” as Game Booster is.

–Glenn

April 6, 2009 at 4:53 pm Leave a comment

Mainly a link: Who/What Does Microsoft Blame for an XP Error?

Go here for the answer.

–Glenn

April 2, 2009 at 9:24 pm Leave a comment

Garbo: Social Networking for the Anti-Social

Social networking for folks like me!  The only thing I don’t get–how do I join?

–Glenn

[2nd April Fool’s joke.  The Garbo bit is at least supposedly real, though.]

April 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm Leave a comment

Freeware Password Managers

First of all, we’ve got the S10 Password Vault.  This is from FreewareFiles.com, which is (so far) an excellent source of freeware.  It has a master password (yes, just one), and it will fill in forms without c&p (copy and paste).  To some extent that’s dangerous.  However, we’ve still got that damned “barber” problem–Russell’s paradox, though I’ve seen attribution to Italy and quite a lot earlier.  You have to have a password…in order to remember the password.

Comodo i-Vault is the next.  This piece of freeware has been heavily recommended through a lot of years.  256-bit AES encryption is used as well as protection against keyloggers.  It also allows transmission of sensitive data directly from the program into a web application.  You might have guessed I’m not totally in favor of that.  Oddly enough you have to have a master password.  I’m definitely allergic to storing things like bank account numbers or credit card numbers in such an application.  However, this particular company has an excellent reputation.

Then we have My Security Vault 3.0.  This isn’t just a form-filler and storage for passwords; it helps you guard against sensitive information inadvertently left on your computer.  This also allows encryption of files (I personally have tended to use EncryptOnClick; I also managed to screw up recently on the passwords to a number of files…to which I actually knew I had unencrypted backups).  This used to be used by commercial and government entities.  [One of the advantages you have of reading my blog at times is that I’ve gone places I don’t advise you to go.  There are other programs advertised than My Security Vault, and I’d advise you to ignore them.]

Acerose Password Vault, mind you, specifies Windows XP.  I doubt that Vista will cause a problem here.  I’m going to get just a little bit off the subject and say that–as long as a program doesn’t use a lot of fancy graphics, call on some characteristics of the older Direct-X versions that actually are fairly ancient or–and this really is something you can’t expect even out of a legacy-compatible system–actually require what amounts to a DOS environment–it will generally run on Vista if it did on XP.  They have made a real attempt at random number generation.  The real advantage is that this will actually run in a server-type situation (multiple “personalities” i.e. multiple passwords) and extra steps are taken to preserve the data.  Besides, you can probably use the other program to figure out how to shoot something if your passwords don’t work out.

And we have Cybervault.  This is pretty small, notice; half a meg.  This is cutting things down to essentials, like Oubliette (notice I’ve just sent you to Tranglos because Mr. Jedlinski–no, I’ll not swear I have the name right–has a lot of very cooool software there most particularly including keynote, which I am currently using) does.  Note too that EncryptOnClick can be used quite easily as a password vault, because you can encode the whole document.  I’ve been known to use a *.wps file out of laziness; most word processors can’t begin to handle it.

Let us take another detour through the woods.  In point of fact, the only code I know of that’s unbreakable is the book code in some form.  That means you refer to the physical placement of words and/or characters within a book to transmit a message or in this case to store it.  A common method of making passwords less obvious is to take a word–I like “password”.  Just have this fondness for it, mind.  First of all:  Password.  So our first letter is capitalized.  Make the s’s 5’s (or one of them); could make the “o” a zero.  Mind you, I would not under any circumstances use any variation of the word “password” as a password, since it is absolutely the most common to ever have been used.

I forgot to mention most of the vaults mentioned thus far will happily and quietly produce passwords for you.  I actually don’t have any advice for you should you just lose “it”, the password, and access to files.  Well, except for the advice I took when I lived in Spokane as a kid, right across the mountains from the nuclear testing (and knew about it).  I think that translates into something like “Bend over and kiss” something “goodbye”.

And on.

And now we come to mini-Trezor.  I suppose someone had just had his mouth broken the day before and couldn’t pronounce “treasure”.  One-user, 0ne-computer application, although several storage devices may be used (discs, that is, although things like pens and pencils still do actually work).

The next search result I have is from Tucows, and I strongly advise against visiting that site any more.  I did some investigating, and what made my “mind” up was this; of their top ten recommended downloads…every one of them resolved via whois to the same domain in Russa/UK (oops, Ukraine) [like ISP] that had the scamware (badware that will solve all your problems, most particularly including “finallyfast.com”.  One program I began downloading did make me a gift of a Trojan; ZLob, I believe.  So I would give Tucows a firm miss.  This is not a sudden happening; I’ve watched it progress over quite a few years.  So:  FWIW.  I certainly am no guru.  I did have fun removing that Trojan.

…Okay.  I can’t go any more.  My back is really killing me.

This only leaves fifty or so freeware password programs.  The major reason I’m doing this is because almost all have password generation utilities (even though I’ve not mentioned that) and there’s simply no reason for not keeping strong, up-to-date passwords.  There never was, but this is presenting it on silver platter and all.  What I’ve presented thus far is only a small part (though some will doubtless be repetition) from one search engine—desktop–that everyone has pretty well forgotten about.  I have another one.

–Glenn

March 31, 2009 at 11:16 pm 1 comment

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