Archive for the 'Tech' Category

Microsoft Anti-Spyware

Thursday, January 13th, 2005

Not too long ago, I installed the Microsoft anti-spyware beta for giggles and while no spyware was found on my system (I usually use Firefox), I was damn surprised to discover that one of the components specifically gcasDtServ.exe, uses a whopping 9k of RAM. I like to run my machine lean and mean, and damn, that’s a bit much to have running in the background continually.

15-inch PowerBook G4 Display Repair Extension Program

Monday, September 27th, 2004

FAQ found here. And yup, my PowerBook has had a white spot ever since I got it, and today with a darkened desktop I noticed that there are a few more developing white spots.

My 1GHZ is covered by the program, but I dread sending it to Apple for repairs.

social networking software gone mad

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

Now this is an interesting concept…if only I went out.

Or, had friends who were hip with this text messaging thing.

xml to csv

Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

Does anyone know of an app that will convert XML files to CSV?

And no, I do not have access to the latest version of Microsoft Office. And Open Office could do it, but I’d be forced to create a filter by hand.

What were they thinking?

Friday, August 13th, 2004

For some reason, I don’t think it was the smartest move in the world for the Google founders to give an interview in Playboy. Not merely because the publication could taint their IPO, but what about branding?

Exposing P2P file sharing dangers

Wednesday, July 28th, 2004

Slashdot had a really intriguing posting this afternoon about a blog called See What You Share. The blog purportedly is exposing files made available to “share” with *anyone* on the popular file sharing networks via unchecked and unsecured P2P file sharing applications.

The problem here isn’t merely that one person’s private information might be shared (which is bad enough), but these P2P file sharing applications were found on computers belonging to the US Military and other critical organizations. If you take a quick look at the blog, you’ll see examples of US Military unit rosters, phone numbers for a Washington State rescue squad, and pictures of a dubious nature.

The author of the blog, under the pseudonym of Greg Wallace has stated that he tried contacting local authorities but nothing was done about it.

A few questions that immediately come to mind are…

1) If you are going to go with the arguement that it is not possible for the US Military, etc. to monitor each and every PC under it’s control, can’t we ask why isn’t the US Military blocking these P2P apps on the network level? The ports that these programs use are well known.

2) Do you think Greg Wallace will be charged for hacking for finding and publishing these files?

I dunno. This will be an interesting story to watch as it gets legs.

Bots configured badly

Wednesday, July 28th, 2004

While I was checking my Web site logs last night I noticed another strange “guest” username entry. So armed with my monthly Apache logs and the grep command, I found the offender and it is indeed a badly configured bot.
- guest
[25/Jul/2004:05:41:07 -0400]
“GET / HTTP/1.1″ 200 28287
“Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.01; Windows NT 5.0)”

Searching for the IP address on Google shows that this bot or crawler or whatever it is, has gotten around.

Utlities like this make me giggle

Tuesday, July 27th, 2004

Some of you may think I’m just a tad bit weird, but I squealed with delight this morning upon finding this About You page at

For my non-technical readers, visiting the About You page runs a simple script which reveals your IP address, your Web browser information, your Web proxy information, TCP/IP header info, and your DNS servers*. Pretty neat.

*I’m wondering if the DNS info would only appear if you are referred to that particular page via another Web page rather than just merely typing in the URL in the browser.

Office Depot/Hewlett Packard summer offer to recycle consumer electonics

Tuesday, July 13th, 2004

From USA Today, by Michelle Kessler

Consumers can take old computers and other electronics to Office Depot (ODP) stores for free recycling this summer, the retailer and its partner Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) are expected to announce Tuesday.

H-P already offers PC recycling via mail. But it charges about $35 for shipping and processing…

The offer includes all brands, not just those made by H-P. From Sunday [July 18th] to Sept. 6, Office Depot will accept computers, monitors and most other peripherals, digital cameras, copiers, fax machines, cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and TVs 27 inches or smaller. Customers can recycle one product per day. A PC and its peripherals count as a single item.

Just remember, electronics recyclers usually demand a fee, so this Office Depot/HP deal is a good thing for those of you who have consumer electronics just taking up space in the basement or garage. Ironically enough, they are runing the program during the back to school rush, good marketing guys.

For those of you who are motivated enough to finally get rid of the old 486 sitting in the basement, take a minute to remove the hard drive from the case. It’s fast, simple and you won’t have to worry about others finding your old data. (Although we all know that true geeks tend to “collect” equipment and then claim that when they hit it rich, they’ll someday open a computing museum.)

sjdif.exe trojan

Friday, July 2nd, 2004

Url: /sjdif.exe
Http Code : 403
Date: Jul 02 00:03:35
Http Version: HTTP/1.1″
Size in Bytes: 1010
Referer: -
Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; Q312462)

This exploit appears to be new and affecting Windows machines running Internet Explorer. As of this writing, Google only returned a few hits for the sjdif.exe file. According to this Sophos information page, the sjdif.exe file is a downloading component of the Troj/Ovedil-B Trojan.

The interesting part is that a client browser was hitting my site, apparently searching for a copy of the sjdif.exe file and the Sophos information page makes no mention of the infection being *spread* by client machines. Perhaps this is a new, distributed version of the trojan?

Update: An NTBugtraq message with details about the trojan.

OS X is so damn sexy, even Teddy Kennedy uses it…

Wednesday, June 16th, 2004

From Wired

Ngozi Pole is systems administrator for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts), whose office runs the only Mac operation on Capitol Hill. Pole administers about 60 Macs and a couple of PCs.

“(The Senate) got hit pretty hard by a worm recently,” he said. “When that happened they had to shut a lot of computers down to isolate the problem. Kennedy’s office was functioning normally during that time… OS X is just not as vulnerable as Windows.”

OS X Internet Sharing with Windows 2003

Tuesday, June 15th, 2004

I’m in the middle of a personal project using Windows Server 2003. The problem is that I have the lab machine I’m working on in a place that has no internet connectivity, so what I want to do is connect the lab machine to my PowerBook running Panther and use the oft talked about Internet Sharing feature.

After too much struggle cause I didn’t understand the System Preferences>Sharing>Internet window, I finally figured out that the “Share your connection from:” pulldown menu was supposed to indicate the PowerBook’s LAN connection. Whoops. I’m trying to share the PowerBook connection via Ethernet to the Windows 2003 box. In all actuality, the PowerBook is providing a NAT to the router supplied private IP address. Within this secondary NAT subnet, the IP addresses I’m dealing with are (the PB) and (the Win2003 box).

At this point, the Win2003 box can ping the Internet thru the PowerBook connection. However, I’m getting errors trying to use Internet Explorer. I tried setting the address as a gateway for the Windows 2003 box, but no dice.