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Thu, Dec 29, 2005 10:34 pm

Kerio Personal Firewall 2.1.5

I've been using Kerio Personal Firewall 2.1.5 from Kerio Technologies on a Windows 98 Second Edition (SE) system. I hadn't use the system for quite awhile. When I did so today, I checked on whether an update was available for the firewall software. I learned that the Kerio Personal Firewall software was acquired by Sunbelt Software. Sunbelt's rebranded version of the firewall doesn't run on Windows 98 according to Sunbelt's FAQ.
The Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall 4 requires 10 MB of disk space for installation and runs ONLY on desktop editions of Windows 2000 and XP. Kerio Personal Firewall 4 DOES NOT run on Windows 9x, Me, NT, 2000 Server and 2003 Server.
Sunbelt doesn't support nor offer for download the old 2.1.5 version, which was available for free from Kerio Technologies, but states in the FAQ that it can still be found at various sites on the Net for download by doing a Google search for "Kerio 2.1.5" and that technical support for the older version can still be obtained from the Kerio Forum at CastleCops.

[/os/windows/software/security/firewall] permanent link

Fri, Dec 23, 2005 5:06 pm

OS/2 Withdrawn From the Market

Though OS/2 has been in a comatose state for many years now, IBM didn't officially withdraw it from the marketplace until today. Microsoft developed OS/2 for IBM beginning in 1985, but the two companies divorced their development efforts in 1990. IBM continuted to develop OS/2 alone and Microsoft focused on its own Windows product, which quickly displaced OS/2 in the marketplace.

IBM will still provide standard support until December 31, 2006, but no one will be able to buy it from IBM now.

Some OS/2 users would like to see IBM release OS/2 as open source software now, but IBM has given no indication that it will do so, even though there is little profit the company can make from it now and even though the company has now embraced the open source Linux operating system.

References:

  1. IBM Withdraws OS/2
    By Sean Michael Kerner
    December 23, 2005

[/os/os2] permanent link

Sun, Dec 18, 2005 4:45 pm

System Stuck in Ghost Virtual Boot Partition

I started backing up client systems over the LAN to the disk drive on a Gateway 920 server using Norton Ghost 7.5, which I was running on the server. When I came in the next day the backup of two systems had completed successfully, but the backup of the other two systems had failed. Those latter two systems were displaying an updated timestamp every two minutes and twelve seconds followed by "192.168.0.x:1346 Polling for bound server Andy", with "x" matching the IP address of the client system, e.g. "192.168.0.5:1346" The server, andy, had crashed and was rebooting continually so was no longer available to respond to the polling systems. Rebooting the systems with Ctrl-Alt-Del did not return them to Windows XP, the operating system on them. They remained stuck in the Ghost client virtual boot partition.

14:27:14 192.168.0.5:1346 polling for bad server andy
14:29:26 192.168.0.5:1346 polling for bad server andy
14:31:38 192.168.0.5:1346 polling for bad server andy

To get the system to boot normally into Windows in such a situation, hit Ctrl-C or Ctrl-X, depending on whether ghost.exe or ngctdos.exe is running on the client system, to get to a DOS prompt. You should be in the Ghost directory on the system. If not, issue the command cd ghost and then type ngctdos -hide to "hide" the Ghost virtual boot partition and restart the system normally.

References:

  1. Recovering From a Stuck Symantec Ghost Virtual Boot Partition
    Cliff Under
    August 26, 2005
  2. Cannot exit from the Ghost Virtual Boot Partition
    Symantec
    January 5, 2005

[/os/windows/utilities/backup/ghost] permanent link

Sat, Dec 17, 2005 10:35 pm

Ghost 7.5 - Intel Pro/100 VE

If you need to use Symantec Ghost 7.5 to backup a system with an Intel Pro/100 VE NIC , then you may need to get updated DOS driver software from Intel and configure an appropriate template in Ghost in order to successfully access a system with this card over the network from the Ghost console.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/utilities/backup/ghost] permanent link

Sat, Dec 17, 2005 2:34 pm

Microsoft AntiSpyware and UltraVNC

Microsoft Antispyware will detect VNC server software, such as UltraVNC, as spyware. It will list it as only a "moderate" threat, but if you use UltraVNC to remotely manage a system you should instruct Microsoft AntiSpyware to always ignore UltraVNC, so that you don't get a false positive report that the system is infected every day, if Microsoft AntiSpyware is running on a daily basis. Also, if anyone else uses the system, he or she may instruct Microsoft AntiSpyware to remove UltraVNC, removing your remote control and diagnostic capability.

[ More Info ]

[/security/spyware/MS-Antispyware] permanent link

Fri, Dec 16, 2005 6:31 pm

Hiding an Account from the Welcome Screen

Sometimes you may not want to have an account listed on Windows XP's welcome screen (the screen you see after Windows starts). You can easily hide an account, i.e. remove it from the welcome screen list, by a simple registry change.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/xp] permanent link

Wed, Dec 14, 2005 6:54 pm

Wiping a File Under Solaris

If you need to securely erase a file under Solaris, packages are available for the wipe utility, which will erase a file in such a way that its contents can not be recovered from a disk.

[ More Info ]

[/os/unix/solaris] permanent link

Wed, Dec 14, 2005 12:58 am

Read Receipt For Messages Sent With Pine

I needed to know if a Microsoft Outlook user had read time critical email I was about to send from Pine, which is the email client I normally use. After a Google search and a little experimentation, I found that adding the facility to Pine to request read receipts that Outlook will understand is fairly simple.

When a user sends a message from Microsoft Outlook requesting a read receipt when the message is read, Outlook adds the header "Disposition-Notification-To:" to the message. You can add the same header to an outgoing email message from Pine. To do so, take the following steps (these steps were tested on Pine 4.44, but should work for other versions as well):

  1. From Pine's main menu, hit "S" for "Setup".
  2. Hit "C" for "Config".
  3. You can either use the cursor keys to move down through the configuration items to find "customized-hdrs" or you can hit "W" for "WhereIs" and search for "cutomized-hders" to find it more quickly.
  4. Hit "A" for "Add Value" and add Disposition-Notification-To:. If you already have another custom header, the new header will be inserted before it in the custom headers list (see Changing Pine "From" Address for adding a custom header to allow you to modify your "From" address). If you don't specify an email address after Disposition-Notitication-To:, then you can choose whether a particular message goes out with a read-receipt requested when you compose a message.
  5. After adding header, hit "E" to exit Setup.
  6. When asked to accept changes, answer "Y", which will return you to Pine's main menu.

Now you compose a message the way you normally would, but hit Ctrl-R while the cursor is in one of the message header fields, e.g. the "To" or "Subject" field, to get "Rich Headers". Before, I modified my personal Pine configuration settings, I would see the following "Rich Headers".

From    : John Doe <johndoe123@moonpoint.com>
To      :
Cc      :
Bcc     :
Newsgrps:
Fcc     : sent-mail
Lcc     :
Attchmnt:
Subject :
----- Message Text -----

But with the "Disposition-Notification-To:" header added, I now see the following:

From    : John Doe <johndoe123@moonpoint.com>
To      :
Cc      :
Bcc     :
Newsgrps:
Fcc     : sent-mail
Lcc     :
Attchmnt:
Subject :
Disposit:
----- Message Text -----

In the "Disposit:" field I can then type the address I want to receive the read receipt, e.g. johndoe123@moonpoint.com. I can then finish composing my message and send it as I normally would. When the Outlook user receives the message, he will be prompted as to whether he wishes to send the read receipt. If he chooses "yes" in Outlook, I will get a read receipt and know the time he read the message. If you don't need a read receipt for a particular message, you simply omit putting an email address in the "Disposit:" field.

References:

  1. Using Elm, Berkeley mail, or Pine, how do I know if my message has been delivered?
  2. Delivery and Read Receipts

[/network/email/clients/pine] permanent link

Sun, Dec 11, 2005 11:21 pm

Eudora Printing Cutoff Text

If Eudora is cutting off text on the left side of printouts when you print an email message within Eudora, you can adjust the page setup configuration to correct the problem.

[ More Info ]

[/network/email/clients/eudora] permanent link

Sat, Dec 10, 2005 11:30 pm

Backing Up Files to DVD with Sonic RecordNow!

A user needed to backup some of her files to DVDs. The files were on a Dell PC that came with Sonic's RecordNow! software for burning CDs and DVDs. I've written instructions for backing up files to DVDs using the software.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/software/utilities/cd-dvd/RecordNow] permanent link

Fri, Dec 02, 2005 7:15 am

Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design

I came across a webpage Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design that echoes many of my pet peeves regarding websites.
  1. Bad Search

    I appreciate it it when websites offer a means to search the site. Sometimes I've been looking for a paricular piece of information on a business site that has many webpages. I expect the information to be there, but would certainly prefer not to spend a lot of time clicking on various webpages trying to find it. But the site will offer no or very limited search capabilities, leaving me frustrated with the site. Fortunately, Google offers one a means to search a specific site, e.g. suppose one wishes to search for SomeCompany's phone number on their website. I could go to Google's site and enter "phone site:somecompany.com" to search for "phone" only on the somecompany.com website. But, of course, I won't be able to find any pages posted on the site subsequent to the Google search engine's last index of the site.
  2. PDF Files for Online Reading

    When I'm looking for a manual for a particular piece of hardware or software, I like to be able to download the manual in PDF format from a website, so that I can store it on my computer for easy reference later. But I find some sites use PDF files in what I consider to be inappropriate ways. For instance, I've gone to a website to get information on a particular piece of software I'm interested in buying. There's a link on the site to view what the company views as the main features of the software. The link points to a PDF file, which when opened shows a one-page list of the software's main features. Why didn't the company present that as a webpage? By presenting it as a PDF file, they've interrupted my perusal of their site. I have to wait for the PDF file to be downloaded and Adobe Acrobat Reader to be opened on my system to view it, slowing me down. Of course, I also want pricing information. I've got to download another PDF file to get the pricing. At this point I'm wondering if they considered usability in their software design.
  3. Not Changing the Color of Visited Links

    I also find it aggravating when visited links are displayed in the same color as ones I haven't visited. Why would a site designer make them the same. I'm slowed down when perusing a site, because I can't tell if I've already viewed a particular page while searching for information.
  4. Non-Scannable Text

    I've seen webpages where the entire page is just one blob of undifferentiated text, making it less attractive than it could be and making it harder to read. I don't get too aggravated by that, though, unless the webpage is not even broken up into manageable paragraphs.
  5. Fixed Font Size

    I've seen a number of websites where the text is presented in a tiny font that I can hardly read. This occurs on business sites as well as other sites. I'm not going to put my face up next to my monitor and squint to read the webpage. I quickly leave sites that have such webpages.
  6. Page Titles With Low Search Engine Visibility

    Put a descriptive title on your webpages. I often have many instances of Internet Explorer or other browsers open at once on a system. At the bottom of my Windows screen I see the Internet Explorer icon with the number of webpages I have open. I can click on that icon and see the titles for the pages. Some websites don't put descriptive titles on their webpages or put ones that make it difficult to determine which site the page is associated with or what information is contained on the page. For instance, right now, in my list is a webpage titled "Home". That happens to be the homepage for my credit union, but I've had these browser instances open for a couple of days now and when I look at the list it isn't immediately apparent that "Home" is the homepage of my credit union. After all, how many other websites my use the same description for their main page? And when I want to bookmark a page, I often have to change how it will be saved, because the webpage designer didn't put a title on the page that clearly describes it. Sometimes the problem is that the title is incredibly long, which I shorten when I bookmark the page, so that I won't have issues when I try to backup such a long file name to a CD when I backup my "favorites" list, since the name might otherwise exceed the allowable filename length.
  7. Anything That Looks Like an Advertisement

    I also tend to ignore things that look like banner ads and find that any flashing or blinking text tends to be annoying unless it is highlighting something that is truly critical. And I tend to close popup windows before their contents are even displayed when I suspect they will be advertisements.
  8. Violating Design Conventions

    Basically, users will get frustrated if things don't work the way they expect them to work.
  9. Opening New Browser Windows

    It can be annoying when your visiting a site and the site opens a lot of new windows on your system. You can't back up with the back button on your browser.
  10. Not Answering Users' Questions

    Jakob Nielson lists this as number 10 on his list of "Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design", but for me it would be much higher on the list. If I'm interested in a product, I want to know its price immediately. Yet many business sites don't list their pricing. You must get the prices by sending an email or calling someone. Do they think this will make me more likely to buy? Do they think "if you have to ask, you can't afford it?"

    In the case of some "enterprise" software packages, the pricing is geared for medium or large corporations, i.e. you are expected to buy a license that will gove 50 or more systems. Well, let me know that immediately. And if the minimum license is a 10-user license, let me know its price on the website, so I know immediately whether the product is suitable for a small business that may only be able to afford a couple of hundred dollars for the product.

    If I can't find pricing on a compable product elsewhere, I may come back to a site that doesn't offer pricing and get the phone number or email address, but the odds are I won't be back to the site and will be buying a competitor's product instead. One of the strong points of the Web is that you can get instant answers to questions at any time of the day or night, even on holidays. And most of my web surfing is done outside of normal business hours, so I'm not going to have to wait until the next business day just to find out if the price is reasonable for my requirements. So I find it very irritating when sites won't provide pricing on the site.

[/network/web/design] permanent link

Thu, Dec 01, 2005 1:40 pm

Transferring a PowerPoint Presentation with Music to Another PC

Someone who created a PowerPoint presentation with photos and music for a Christmas party told me that the music wasn't playing when she put her presentation on a CD and then transferred the CD to a laptop. I discovered first that the music would need to be inserted as sound files rather than by using "Play audio CD track" when inserting the music into the PowerPoint Presentation. Once I found a Windows Media Player playlist on her system that pointed to the relevant music files in WMA format under her My Documents\My Music folder, I was able to reinsert the music as sound files and then use PowerPoint's "Package for CD" feature to put the presentation on a CD with the music included, which allowed the presentation to work as intended from the laptop.

[ More Info ]

[/os/windows/office/powerpoint/package-cd] permanent link

Thu, Dec 01, 2005 12:04 am

Adding Firewall Rules to a Windows XP Professional System via the Command Line

I needed to test access to a website from another location. I had installed AnalogX's proxy server software, Proxy, on a Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 system at another location and had also installed OpenSSH for Windows on the same system. But I hadn't configured Windows XP's firewall software on that system to allow me to access the HTTP or Socks proxy services on the system from a remote location. So I could connect to the system via SSH, start the proxy software from the command line interface, but I couldn't access the Socks proxy service, which I had configured to listen on port 56080 nor the HTTP proxy service, which I had configured to listen on port 56588 (see AnalogX Proxy for information on how to configure AnalogX's proxy software to listen on alternative ports).

Fortunately, you can modify the Windows XP firewall configuration from the command line. I entered the following command to add a firewall opening for TCP port 56080 (you will see an "OK" when the command is completed). After "portopening", you specify the protocol, i.e. "TCP", "UDP", or "All" for both, then the port number, then a name of your choosing. Unless you specify otherwise, the port will be opened so that any IP address can access it, i.e. anyone in the world who can access the system can access the port. So you might want to add the "scope" parameter to the command as well. You can issue the command netsh firewall set portopening to see all of the options.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>netsh firewall set portopening TCP 56080 Proxy
Ok.

To specify that only certain IP addresses would be allowed access to the port, which is certainly desireable for any proxy services, you can use a command like the following instead.


netsh firewall set portopening protocol = TCP port = 56080 name = Proxy mode = ENABLE
          scope = CUSTOM addresses =
	            157.60.0.1,172.16.0.0/16,10.0.0.0/255.0.0.0,LocalSubnet

If the immediately above example was used, then 157.60.0.1 could access the port as could three specific subnets, the last of which is the subnet for any systems on the LAN.

After opening the appropriate firewall rule, I then started the proxy program from the command line.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>"\program files\proxy\proxy"

To verify that the system was actually listening on the port I expected I used the netstat and find commands.


C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>netstat -a | find "56080"
  TCP    HomeGarden:56080    HomeGarden:0        LISTENING

To verify the firewall rules have been updated appropriately as well, you can use the netsh firewall show portopening command.


C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>netsh firewall show portopening

Port configuration for Domain profile:
Port   Protocol  Mode     Name
-------------------------------------------------------------------
1900   UDP       Enable   SSDP Component of UPnP Framework
2869   TCP       Enable   UPnP Framework over TCP

Port configuration for Standard profile:
Port   Protocol  Mode     Name
-------------------------------------------------------------------
21599  TCP       Enable   SSH
56080  TCP       Enable   Proxy
1900   UDP       Enable   SSDP Component of UPnP Framework
2869   TCP       Enable   UPnP Framework over TCP
3389   TCP       Enable   Remote Desktop

When you want to disable the rule you can use the same command as the one you used to enable the firewall rule, but put "disable" at the end of it.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>netsh firewall set portopening TCP 56080 Proxy disable
Ok.

You can verify the rule is no longer there with the "show portopening" option again.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>netsh firewall show portopening

Port configuration for Domain profile:
Port   Protocol  Mode     Name
-------------------------------------------------------------------
1900   UDP       Enable   SSDP Component of UPnP Framework
2869   TCP       Enable   UPnP Framework over TCP

Port configuration for Standard profile:
Port   Protocol  Mode     Name
-------------------------------------------------------------------
21599  TCP       Enable   SSH
1900   UDP       Enable   SSDP Component of UPnP Framework
2869   TCP       Enable   UPnP Framework over TCP
3389   TCP       Enable   Remote Desktop

[/network/proxy] permanent link

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