Archive for February, 2007

Gotta love google…

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Ok, I love google and its adsense. Especially the ebay ads on them. Heres one reason why…


Hehe. You used to be able to search for just about anything (ie, women, drugs, [other silly phrase to insert into ad]), and it would show it.

Reliable Windows spyware and virus removal mini-guide

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Someone at work asked me some advice about spyware removal, so heres some thoughts about how I remove spyware/viruses. I’ve been doing this for about 5 years, and the process I use removes all spyware/viruses about 90% of the time. Disclaimer: Use at your own risk. Don’t be stupid.

I use the following tools to scan computers, all of which can be downloaded free online. Run them in the order listed.

  • Process Explorer: (Download here) Use this to kill any processes that you don’t know what they are. Especially kill ones that don’t have a company name/description by them. You cant hurt anything by killing the wrong process, so kill away. If a process you kill causes another one to pop up, then thats definitely a bad thing, and typically is virus behavior. Usually you can kill it by “Killing Process Tree”. If that doesn’t work either, then I find that if you ‘suspend’ a process and its descendants, then you can kill it after that.
  • Autoruns: (Download here)This has an option to ‘Hide Microsoft Entries’ — use it. Deleting actual Microsoft programs is generally a bad idea, and shouldn’t be done unless you have a reason. The idea here is to kill anything (press the delete key, or uncheck it) that you don’t recognize, or something that doesn’t have a company name/description next to it. If you don’t recognize it, ask the computer owner/user whether or not they have heard of the program. If they don’t know what it is, then chances are its bad for the system. If in doubt, search for the item on google, and usually there will be some results with people saying whether it is good or not.
  • HijackThis: (Download here) This does the same thing as Autoruns, but gets stuff that it misses. Once again, kill anything that you don’t recognize. If it doesn’t list a company name, thats also a warning sign as well. Anything that is misspelled can be a warning sign (like Mircosoft instead of Microsoft, etc.. ). You could just delete everything on the list, because anything that shows up here is non-essential to your computer. However, don’t do that. Things like antivirus (which is useless anyways) and special keyboard programs will break.
  • Pocket Killbox: (Download here) This program is useful for a lot of things, but its primary usefulness if you don’t have any general needs is it can delete all tempory files. Its in one of the menu options, just select it, and run it. You’d be surprised at how many Windows bugs (especially Internet Exploiter) are caused by having too many temporary files. It also can signfically slow down your computer if you have too many of these. Pocket Killbox is useful for other things too, but chances are you’ll never use those capabilities. Just delete the temp files and you should be good.
  • WinsockFix: (Download here) If the person is having network connectivity issues, then many times WinsockFix can solve them. Just run it, and reboot. If they’re not having network issues, it generally won’t hurt if you run it anyways. Usually I don’t because then you have to wait for the system to reboot.

Well, thats my guide. If you have any questions, then post a comment or contact me and I’ll try to answer it. Good luck!

Charter is Hijacking DNS!

Monday, February 19th, 2007

Looks like my ISP, Charter Communications, is hijacking the *. domain similar to what Verisign did a few years ago..

I noticed it last night when I mistyped something and it redirected to their spammy useless search engine with gratuitious advertising. I’d say it was spyware, but I was running Linux at the time — last time I checked there was no spyware. Besides, it was redirecting me to a charter site, which would mean that they were the ones deploying the spyware.

I’m not sure if this is illegal or not, but its certainly not ethical, and its definitely very annoying. Looks like others are having this issue too:

Those money-grubbing bastards! I should get DSL…

A Better Linux On Screen Keyboard

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

I use Ubuntu Linux on my desktop, and Gentoo Linux on my server/router at home. Right now, I am in the process of installing a computer in my shiny new Grand Am (I’m going to add a few pages about that here soon), and I’ve bought a number of things for it and am in the process of installing the software for the computer. One of the items is a 7″ touchscreen.

Of course, with a touchscreen, having a nice on screen keyboard is critical. Gentoo didn’t really have anything nice, but the default keyboard installed for Ubuntu is pretty awesome! So, I’ve created a portage overlay for it, which you can download using this link here. Go to this page if you want more information on how to install packages using a portage overlay. I’ve also submitted the ebuilds to, and you can view that here.

If you use this, keep in mind that this is NOT an official package of any kind, so its not supported by anyone, including myself. I might help you if you’re nice, but I’m not obligated to. With that said, it should work just fine for you, it seems to be quite stable and has minimal dependencies.

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

You know, it seriously amazes me how much spam shows up in the moderation queue for this blog. You’d think that the spam programs would notice that ITS NOT WORKING, and quit. Assholes.

Windows Vista has turned into a MAC!!

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

Ok, I know theres a lot of things about Windows Vista that a lot of people have said are Mac-like… heres another one. I love this error message, definitely very user friendly.

Windows Vista Program Stopped Working

Stopped working? I guess thats concise… I think Windows Vista is going to be the beginning of the end for MS. Theres a lot of things about it that just dont sit right… I guess we shall see.