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Archive for September 2006

Needing more than task managing

Thursday, 28th September 2006 8:56pm
There is this tool that I have been using for quite some time now called Process Explorer. Basically it is an enhanced version of Task Manager and its open source.

It shows all the processes running on a machine just like you can also see in Task Manager but what I find very useful with this tool is that it shows the company name as well as the user name plus other options that you can add on depending on what you are trying to investigate. When I look in Task Manager I can see the process names but more often than not I cannot tell much from some of the names and this is where I like the Process Explorer. It shows the company name for example and if the name doesn't sound familiar then its probably a trojan and then you can then try to find out more info about that process.

You can also select between handle and DLL mode if you would like to see for example processes that certain handles or DLLs have opened or you can utilise the search facility.

Information about CPU usage and memory can be found through the System Information window and again you get more information than you would get through Task Manager's Performance tab.

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Category: Windows | Comments : 0

Recovering from a Windows XP crash

Tuesday, 19th September 2006 9:18pm
Over the weekend my Windows XP install crashed and it wouldn't boot but just stopped with an error message and would not even boot to Safe mode. At first I thought it would be a case of just using the fixmbr and fixboot commands from the Windows Recovery Console through the XP install CD but this didn't work.

The error message went something like this:
We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this. If your computer stopped responding...

There had not been any hardware or software changes or power failure in the days prior. So I knew this was a totally new problem that I had never experienced before.

I managed to get XP working again by following the excellent instructions on the website Windows XP Crashed? Here's Help.

delicious delicious | digg digg

Category: Windows | Comments : 0

Some handy Firefox extensions

Sunday, 10th September 2006 8:47pm
I tend to keep the number of my Firefox extensions at a minimum only keeping those I think I need at that time. Today I was just reviewing my Firefox extensions and I am now just left with three which are Link Alert, TrustWatch Search and Colorful Tabs.

I find Link Alert useful because it alerts me about the type of link I am about to click, say for example a new window/tab or a e-mail link and so on. This is useful especially when the link doesn't show that its going to open your e-mail client, for example or that the link opens a pdf file.

The TrustWatch Search extension rates the search results when using the top three search engines, Google, Yahoo! and MSN. If you want to be pro-active you can report sites that look suspicious but I haven't done that so far. Its another thing to verify whether the ratings are actually accurate but at least you get some sort of indication.

I like the Colorful Tabs extension because it adds some colour to the tabs. It just gives a good looking interface especially if you have a few tabs open. Also this extension works with the Mozilla browser because the other two only work with Firefox.

delicious delicious | digg digg

Category: Browsers | Comments : 11

In comes Browzar privacy

Friday, 1st September 2006 9:16pm
I have just been testing the new browser named Browzar . Its a lightweight browser with a 264 KB download.

Its main feature is that it doesn't save browsing history, stored files, or cookies. The Browzar also doesn't support auto-complete. The whole idea is to protect user privacy by not retaining details of their web surfing.

The beta version 1.2.0 comes with a very simple menu and there is no configuration of any sort. The default homepage is the Browzar search page and cannot be changed and this is in line with the policy of not storing details on the client computer.

I would use this browser on a public computer say at an Internet Cafe or in a library because you can run the browzar executable from a memory stick as long as you can get permission from the firewall.

delicious delicious | digg digg

Category: Browsers | Comments : 0