Saturday, August 23, 2008

Trojan Blaster for Windows XP - Freeware Anti-malware and System Optimizer

Trojan Blaster is a simple, easy-to-use, automated malware removal tool for Windows XP done in AutoIt.

USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Files:

Trojan Blaster.exe - On-demand hard disk scanner
* Scans all existing hard drives for known malwares and move them to recycle bin. Detected malware in memory will be terminated and moved to recycle bin, locked files will be deleted on next reboot.
* Performs system optimization by removing temporary files, emptying recycle bin, and safe registry tweaks.

TBRemovable.exe - On-demand USB flashdrive scanner
* Scans all existing USB flashdrives for known malwares and move them to recycle bin. Detected malware in memory will be terminated and moved to recycle bin, locked files will be deleted on next reboot.

TBGuard.exe - Realtime protection
* Monitors the memory for known malwares and move them to recycle bin. Detected malware will be terminated
  and moved to recycle bin, locked files will be deleted on next reboot.

Process.ini - Custom/external definition
* Use with care!!! Aside from the built-in definition and light heuristic scanning, Trojan Blaster will also scan malwares based on the filenames entered in this definition. A Windows-critical file entered may render your system unusable. DO NOT EDIT THE DEFINITION, unless you are really sure that it's a malware.

Todo: (coming very soon)

A faster and smarter malware remover using experimental AI (Pattern-matching, Markov Modelling, Neural Network) using pure AutoIt routines.


Links:
Trojan Blaster v.1.0.4 installer
Trojan Blaster's Custom Definition Update

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Taste of Wine - Running Windows Applications on Linux

One of the reasons that hinder Microsoft Windows users from migrating to Linux is fear -- fear of not being able to run Spider Solitaire on it!

Well.. let's face it, Microsoft Windows became so popular that Linux's ability to look like Windows Vista or any other operating system on the planet is not enough to draw people into it. As far as Windows users are concerned, any Windows replacement should also run Windows programs... seamlessly.

But all that is about to change -- thanks to Wine, which is a software application that aims to allow Unix-like computer operating systems such as Linux to execute programs that were originally written for Microsoft Windows. Wine has been around since 1993 and is still continuously being developed to support a wider range of Windows applications. Wine can run -- among the applications that it supports -- Microsoft Office, Apple Safari for Windows, multi-media applications such as QuickTime and Windows Media Player, and even games such as Max Payne, World of Warcraft or The SIMS. Almost any other complex application can be made to run well given a bit of time. Each time a work is done to add one application to the list, many other applications benefit from this work and become usable too.

Benefits of Wine:
  • Wine makes it possible to take advantage of all the Unix strong points (stability, flexibility, remote administration) while still using the Windows applications you depend on.
  • Unix has always made it possible to write powerful scripts. Wine makes it possible to call Windows applications from scripts that can also leverage the Unix environment to its full extent.
  • Wine makes it possible to access Windows applications remotely, even if they are a few thousand miles away.
  • Wine makes it economical to use thin clients: simply install Wine on a Linux server, and voila, you can access these Windows applications from any X terminal.
  • Wine can also be used to make existing Windows applications available on the Web by using VNC and its Java client.
  • Wine is Open Source Software, so you can extend it to suit your needs or have one of many companies do it for you.

As of this writing, the latest version of Wine is 0.9.59.

Monday, April 14, 2008

What to Do When Emerald Theme Won't Update in Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

My neighbor, who just installed Emerald Theme Manager under Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron Beta, encountered a bit of a problem when changing themes - the theme won't update even after restarting the system.

For Hardy Heron users out there with the same problem, here's how to solve it:

1. Goto "System" -> "Preferences" -> "Sessions"

2. Click the "Add" button located on the right

3. A dialog box will appear. Enter the following data:
Name: Emerald
Command: emerald --replace
Comment: [you can leave this entry blank]

4. Restart the computer

Also, you may notice that Emerald themes are no longer available in Ubuntu Hardy Heron's repositories. You can download additional Emerald themes here.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The End of Broadband?

Internet up to 10,000 times faster deployed, may see consumer use within a year or two.

Art Comes to Life

Ready for the Hogwarts World? Where paintings come to life.


Watch this Reuters video showing South Korea's the "Alive Gallery" which transforms famous art masterpieces from 2-d images into life-like, 3-d characters. Visitors can now interact with Mona Lisa and Jesus and his disciples at the last supper.

How to Fix the "Unmountable Boot Volume" Error in Windows XP

You may experience the following error when starting up Windows XP:


"Unmountable Boot Volume..."

This is probably due to a damaged hard disk file system or a corrupted "boot.ini" file. 

To fix the problem, first make sure that your computer is set to boot from the CD-ROM drive then follow these steps:

1. Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer. 

Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted.
 
2. When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
 
3. If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the installation that you must access from the Recovery Console.
 
4. When you are prompted, type the Administrator password. If there's no administrator password, just press ENTER.
 
5. At the command prompt, type chkdsk /p , and then press ENTER. 

6. At the command prompt, type fixboot, and then press ENTER
 
7. At the command prompt, type exit , and then press ENTER to restart your computer. 

The system should now boot back into Windows.

Ubuntu Saves an Old Toshiba Dynabook A1/465CMC Laptop

While surfing on the net this morning, I came across this article about running Ubuntu on older hardware: 



The article reminded me of how I was able to put a very old laptop to good use.

Two months ago, while I was in China, my sister asked me to have a look at her laptop. The laptop was a six year-old Toshiba Dynabook A1/465CMC Satellite 2801 series, has a 650MHz Intel Celeron processor and a 64MB RAM. It was designed to run on Windows Millennium Edition, according to one of its sticker logos and the certificate of authenticity label at the bottom. A nasty virus infected her laptop and corrupted most of her files. She told me that she took the laptop to one of the Chinese computer service shops near her place for repair. The technician said that he couldn't remove the virus so has no choice but to reformat the hard drive and re-install its operating system. Unfortunately, the guy and Windows ME couldn't find the appropriate drivers for the darn laptop. After several frustrated attempts to search for drivers on the net, he decided to install Windows XP, but to do that, the memory had to be upgraded first. He put in an extra 128MB of RAM and installed Windows XP on it which took about three hours.

My sister was very disappointed on her laptop's performance after the repair that she never used it again and bought a desktop computer instead. It took three to five minutes for Windows to startup,  basic file management such as opening, copying, saving, and closing rendered the system unmanageable. The computer literally went into a crawl! Overall, the computer was close to useless under windows XP despite the added RAM.

Anyway, I always carry with me Ubuntu Feisty and Gutsy LiveCDs everywhere I travel in case I run into an opportunity of installing Linux. I first tried Ubuntu Feisty Fawn, which booted smoothly and completed the startup in about fifteen seconds! I continued the install procedure from the LiveCD and encountered no problem at all. The installation took two hours to complete including downloading the language packs and other installer updates. After installation, I set the login manager to automatic and restarted the system.

This time, the startup process took less than fifteen seconds. I played around with Nautilus (Ubuntu's file manager) a bit with very good results. copying and moving files from the hard drive to the USB flashdisk and vice versa was better than expected. Opening, saving and closing several MS Office documents using OpenOffice turned out alright without slowdowns. In fact, the file access on the old laptop turned out to be much faster than my Intel PIII laptop running Windows XP SP3.

After a month of satisfied use of my sister's laptop, I wanted to see if it could handle Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 Beta. Firstly, I upgraded to Gutsy, it tested okay, then finally upgraded to Hardy. The Hardy experience was sweet...

So sweet, in fact, that I was able to coerce my sister into giving her laptop to me as a "gift." :-)

Using it now to write articles for this blog, running Mozilla Firefox 3 Beta 4 under Ubuntu Hardy Heron!

Related articles:


Thursday, April 10, 2008

10 Most Wanted Cellphones of 2008

It comes every year. Mobile producers announce they are bringing a new phone out… people get exited and theres a big buzz in the mobile retail stores with questions about these highly anticipated phones. Here is a list of the top 10 voted mobile phones highly anticipated for the year of 2008!



Sony Ericsson W980iW980

Expected June/August

  • Quad Band
  • 8 GB Internal Memory
  • 3.2 MP Camera




Nokia N96N96

Expected June/August

  • Quad Band
  • 16GB Internal Memory
  • 5MP Camera
  • Built in SatNav
  • WiFi



Sony Ericsson G900iG900

Expected April/May

  1. Tri Band
  2. 160MB Internal Memory (Expandable)
  3. Touch Screen
  4. 5 MP Camera
  5. WiFi



Motorola Z6wZ6

Expected April/May

  • Quad Band
  • 64 MB Internal Memory (Expandable)
  • 2MP Camera




LG KF600KF600

No Release Date Yet

  • Tri Band
  • 64MB Internal Memory (Expandable)
  • Touch Sensitive Bottom Screen
  • 3.2 MP Camera



Samsung SoulSoul

Expected April

  • Tri Band
  • Expandable Memory
  • 5 MP Camera




Nokia N78N78

  • Expected Soon
  • Quad Band
  • 70MB Internal Memory
  • 96MB SDRAM Memory
  • WiFi
  • SatNav
  • 3.2 MP Camera



Sony Ericsson Z770i

Expected April

  • Tri Band
  • 32MB Internal Memory (Expandable)
  • 2MP Camera




LG KF700KF700

Expected Soon

  • Tri Band
  • Touch Screen
  • Expandable Memory
  • 3.2 MP Camera



Sony Ericsson C702i

Expected April

  • Quad Band
  • 160MB Internal Memory
  • 3.2 MP Camera
  • Built In SatNav

Wireless Power Anyone?

An MIT physicist is working toward a world of wireless electricity. Read the article...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Printer Sharing Problem Between Windows XP and Windows Vista Network

A friend of mine had a Windows XP PC attached to a printer which he wanted to share with his Windows Vista laptop through a wireless network. He was able to connect the two computers together and transferred huge amount of files without a glitch. However, he had a hard time when he tried to install the shared printer into his laptop. The laptop could see the printer but could not connect, and the "Add Printer Wizard" would not even find it. After two Paracetamols later, he gave up and called me.

The first thing I did was to take note of the Windows XP computer name and the shared printer name ("\\JUAN-DESKTOP\Printer"). Then I ran the "Add Printer Wizard" and chose "Add a local printer" (disable "Automatically detect..."). I selected "Create a new port" then clicked on "Next." A dialog box then asked me to enter a port name which was: "\\JUAN-DESKTOP\Printer." After a few seconds, the laptop managed to connect to the shared printer.

Well...sometimes we have to do things manually when dealing with Windows quirks.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Basic Computer Maintenance (Windows-based System)

A well maintained computer will provide you with better performance in terms of speed and stability. Time-wasting sluggish performance, frequent errors, and crashes indicate that your supposedly speedy computer is not being taken care of properly. You'll actually be surprised at how a simple system cleanup can breathe new life into your machine.

One cause of a poor computer performance is system file corruption, therefore we have to make sure that the system and data areas of the hard disk are in shape before going any further.

For WindowsXP:

Open "My Computer"


Right click on your system drive "Local Disk (C:)"


Left click "Properties" then select the "Tools" tab


Left click "Check Now..."


Left click on the first check disk option box: "Automatically fix file system errors"


Left click "Start" or press "ENTER" key


If a prompt pops up, choose "YES" then restart your computer


"Checkdisk" will automatically run in "Blue Screen" mode. It might take a while to complete.


For Windows 9x:


Click the "Start" menu; point to "Programs;" point to "Accessories;" point to "System Tools"


Click "ScanDisk"
Select "Autofix Errors" then click "Start"

After scanning the hard disk for file corruptions or errors, you are now ready to remove the junk or unneeded files from your computer. Windows has a built-in utility for the task, called "Disk Cleanup."

Click the "Start" menu; point to "Programs;" point to "Accessories;" point to "System Tools"

Click "Disk Cleanup"
Check all the boxes then click "OK"

File fragmentation is another cause of sluggish performance. Sometimes when you install a program or create a data file, the file ends up chopped up into chunks or fragments and stored in multiple locations (separated) on the disk. Fragmentation forces the hard disk to work harder (and thus slower) as the latter strives to reassemble the file fragments. You can prevent severe file fragmentation by running a defragment utility once a week. The utility reassembles the file chunks into an organized state, allowing the hard drive to work more efficiently and consequently start programs more quickly.

Click the "Start" menu; point to "Programs;" point to "Accessories;" point to "System Tools"

Click "Disk Defragmenter"

Select the drive you wish to defragment

For WindowsXP:

Click "Defragment"

For Windows 9x:

Click "Settings" and make sure there's a tick beside the two options in the section "When Defragmenting My Hard Drive," then click "OK" twice to begin.

Talk to Memnoch (A.I.)