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Mon, Jul 26, 2004 11:16 pm

CDisplay Comic Reader

A family member with a fairly extensive comic collection recently discovered files with a .cbr extension, which purportedly contained comics in an electronic format. After a little investigation I found that the CBR extension was listed on the File Extension Source as being associated with CDisplay RAR archived comic book files (see http://www.filext.com/detaillist.php?extdetail=CBR).

The CDisplay program, which can be used to read these files, has a webpage at http://www.geocities.com/davidayton/CDisplay. The program reads files that contain collections of comic book pages in JPEG, PNG, and static GIF formats. It can read images stored in zip, rar, ace, or tar archives without needing to extract the image files from the archive file first. You can use the arrow keys on your keyboard or the space bar to view the pages of the comic sequentially.

The software is free and can be downloaded from http://cdisplay.techknight.com/setup.zip via a link from the developer's website. The author provides the following files from the http://cdisplay.techknight.com/ website:

[/os/windows/software/comics] permanent link

Fri, Jul 23, 2004 10:20 pm

Norton AntiVirus 2000 Intelligent Updater Fails

I've found that whenever I try to update the virus definitions for Norton Antivirus 2000 using the x86 Intelligent Updater package available from http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/download/pages/US-N95.html, I receive a message indicating the subscription is expired, though it is not expired. The error message I receive is as follows:

Symantec Security Response Intelligent Updater

Your virus protection cannot be updated.

Your subscription has expired. You must renew your subscription to continue using Intelligent Updater. Run LiveUpdate from Norton AntiVirus to renew your subscription and then run Intelligent Updater again.

Yet if I select Help, then About Norton Antivirus, and then click on the Norton AntiVirus tab, I see "Your virus definitions subscription started on 2/17/2004, and will expire in 210 days." I've tried this on several different occasions with similar results.

However, if I use the i32 Intelligent Updater package, which is available from the same URL, that package will update Norton AntiVirus 2000.

The i32 Intelligent Updater package, which is a smaller file than the x86 Intelligent Updater package, cannot be used to update Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition 8.0 servers or Norton AntiVirus Corporate Edition 7.6 servers, but can be used to update Corporate Edition clients. The x86 Intelligent Updater package can be used to update Corporate Edition clients and servers.

[/security/antivirus/symantec] permanent link

Mon, Jul 19, 2004 8:47 pm

Allowing VPN Access for a User Under Windows Small Business Server 2003

First you must configure Windows Small Business Server 2003 to function as a VPN server, which you can do by running the Routing and Remote Access Server Setup Wizard. Once you have done that, you can modify the properites for a user's account to allow the user to connect using a VPN client on his or her computer. To do so, take the following steps:

  1. Click on Start
  2. Click on Administrative Tools
  3. Click on Server Management
  4. Click on Users
  5. Right-click on a username and select Properties
  6. Click on the Dial-in tab
  7. Click on Allow access
  8. Click on OK
  9. Click on File then Exit to exit Server Management

If the user doesn't have permission for VPN access, the user will see a window appear with the following error message when he or she attempts to establish a VPN connection:

Verifying username and password...

Error 649: The account does not have permission to dial in.

[/os/windows/server2003] permanent link

Thu, Jul 15, 2004 10:59 pm

Missing Hibernate Button

I didn't see a Hibernate option on a Gateway model 600YG2 laptop running Windows XP when I clicked on Start and selected Turn Off Computer. But when I looked under Power Options within the Control Panel, the "Enable Hibernation" checkbox under the Hibernation tab was checked.

The three buttons that appear when I select Start then Turn Off Computer are Stand By, Turn Off, and Restart.

It is still possible to place the system in hibernate mode, however, by hitting the shift key when you move the mouse to place the cursor over the Stand By button. The button will change from Stand By to Hibernate and you can click on the button then to put the system in Hibernate mode.

Microsoft covers the issue in Knowledge Base Article 291790

The difference between Hibernate and Standby mode is that in Standby mode the system goes into a low power mode saving information on the current state of the system and open applications in memory. In hibernate mode, the system stores that information on the hard disk in the hibernation file Hiberfil.sys. The system can return to its previous state quickly from standby mode, since accessing information in memory is very quick. It takes more time to restore the system from hibernate mode, since the system must read information from the hard disk for which access is much slower. But hibernate mode has the advantage of storing the information indefinitely even if the system is not connected to a power source. With a laptop in standby mode, if you don't have it plugged into a power source, eventually the battery will be drained and the contents of memory will be lost, since information only stays in memory if it is constantly refreshed. It doesn't take much power to keep the memory refreshed, so you may be able to stay in standby mode for many hours, but eventually the battery will be depleted and the information will be lost.

You can choose to have the system go into hibernate mode when you hit the power button, rather than powering off by the following steps:

  1. Click on Start
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Click on Performance and Maintenance. If you don't see Performance and Maintenance then you may have set the Control Panel display to "Classic" mode, in which case you can proceed to the next step.
  4. Click on Power Options
  5. Click on the Advanced tab
  6. Change the setting for When I press the power button on my computer to Hibernate
  7. Click on OK

[/os/windows/xp] permanent link

Thu, Jul 15, 2004 12:06 pm

Forwarding Email

If you are using a Unix or Linux system, you can redirect email sent to your account on that system to another account using a .forward file. You will need to create this file in your root directory, i.e. the one you are normally placed in when you log into the system.

You can create this file with any text editor or you can use the echo command to create the file as shown below.

echo 'liz-smith@starwars.com' > .forward

The above command will create a .forward file in the current directory. If you've placed it in your root directory, any email now sent to your account will instead be sent back out of the system to liz-smith@starwars.com.

Suppose you want to get the email in your inbox on the system, but also want it forwarded to another address. Let's assume your userid on the system is liz and you want the email to go to the same address as in the first example as well. You can then create the .forward file with the command below.

echo '\liz, liz-smith@starwars.com' > .forward

You need to put a "\" before the username, so that the system knows that it doesn't have to do any further forwarding for the account name you are placing after the "\". If you want messages to go to additional addresses, just add them onto the line with commas between the addresses.

When you use the ">" you are overwriting any existing .forward file, so, if you already have a .forward file and want to keep a copy of it, use a command such as the one below to copy it before issuing the echo command.

cp .forward .forward-old

If you want to stop forwarding, you need to remove the .forward file. If you want to stop forwarding, but want to keep the file available for future use, you can rename it as shown below.

mv .forward .forward-old

You may need to set appropriate permissions on the .forward file in order for the program processing email to be able to read your email file. Use the command below to make the .forward file "world-readable".

chmod 644 .forward

The six ensures that you can both read and alter the file, while the two fours ensure that the file is both group and world readable, but only you can delete or alter the file. Don't make the file group writeable, i.e. don't use chmod 664. If the file has group write permission set on it, sendmail won't use it and forwarding won't occur.

You can check the permissions on the file using the command ls -al .forward. Files that have a filename beginning with a period are considered hidden, so won't show up with just an ls command, so you need to use the -a option to show all files. You should see something like the following.

-rw-r--r--    1 liz      liz            29 Jul 14 23:06 /home/liz/.forward

If you have root access, you can check how sendmail will handle delivery of email to the liz account now by logging on as root and issuing the sendmail -bv command as below:

sendmail -bv liz
\liz... deliverable: mailer local, user \liz
liz-smith@starwars.com... deliverable: mailer esmtp, host starwars.com., user liz-smith@starwars.com

When you are forwarding email, you need to be careful to not create an infinite loop, e.g. where email is forwarded to an account that forwards it again to the orginal account.

References:

  1. Mail forwarding using .forward files

[/network/email/sendmail] permanent link

Tue, Jul 13, 2004 9:16 pm

Flash Support Detection

If you need to know whether a web browser supports Macromedia's Flash format, Colin Moock provides a script at http://moock.org/webdesign/flash/detection/moockfpi/, which you can use on your web server to determine whether a visitor to your site has Flash support in his or her browser and whether the version of Flash supported is the currently available version. As he notes on his website, Flash detection methods can't provide 100% certainty. He estimates that you may be able to reach a certainty of 90% to 97%.

I've included his code on a webpage at the link below that you can use to test whether a browser on a particular system has support for Flash.

Flash Support Test

[/network/web/browser] permanent link

Mon, Jul 12, 2004 5:17 pm

PowerPoint Viewer

For those who may need to view or print a PowerPoint presentation, but don't need the capability to create or edit PowerPoint presentations, Microsoft offers a free PowerPoint viewer.

Links to download viewers for other Office applications can be found at Microsoft Office Converters and Viewers.

Viewer: PowerPointViewer 97
Download Size: 2789 KB
Date Published: 2/20/2004
Version: 2000
Requirements:

Comments: for users who don't have Microsoft PowerPoint®; it allows them to view PowerPoint 95, 97, 2000, and 2002 presentations. This PowerPoint viewer supports all PowerPoint 95 and PowerPoint 97 features, but the following PowerPoint 2000 and 2002 features are not supported:

Viewer: PowerPoint 2003 Viewer
Download Size: 1911 KB
Date Published: 9/15/2003
Version: 1
Requirements: Windows 2000 Service Pack 3, Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows ME, Windows Server 2003, or Windows XP
Comments: The Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 Viewer lets you view full-featured presentations created in PowerPoint 97 and later versions. The PowerPoint 2003 Viewer also supports opening password-protected Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. This viewer doesn't suport the following features:


If you don't have Service Pack 3 or later on a Windows 2000 system, you should use the PowerPointViewer 97. You can check which service pack you have installed by clicking on Start, Run, and then typing Winmsd. The system summary will show you the OS Name and the Version. If you don't see Service Pack 3 or later listed next to the version for a Windows 2000 system, then use the earlier PowerPoint viewer.

[/os/windows/office/powerpoint] permanent link

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