Because of the enormous interest in this subject, I’ve put together a
mini-guide to steps you can take to stop worms like Blaster and
gain an adequate defense against evolving variants.
The problem I’m about to describe would have driven me nuts –
and driven you nuts, if it had happened to you, I’ll bet – so I’m
thankful that it’s been diagnosed a faithful reader instead.
Some of the best free software programs aren’t things you install on your PC,
but services that you can access over the Internet. Such an offering
has just become available, and it’s called Jiwire.com: a compendium of
A lowly egg rolls into your browser window on a smooth, azure-colored
background. The ovoid object kind of seems to be following your mouse
pointer around, but then…? It begins to have a life of its own, too.
As you watch, the egg takes on new shapes, grows legs, walks around,
turns into a cube, and more. You’re at Vector Park, a place where
a little Flash goes a long way. After you’ve tired of Eggy, click the
pointing hand icon and you’ll find plenty of other stuff to look at.
My favorite is Leaves, but it’s impossible to describe. You have to
see it for yourself.
Reader Larry Best nominated as this week’s wacky site a Web project that
he himself helped put together. It’s “Sherman P. Wright’s Celebration of
Political Moderation.” It’s billed as Republicans poking fun at the
“Big-C Conservatives” of their own party. But I found that the site takes a few
pot shots at liberals for good measure, too.
Steve Gibson, the developer of the SpinRite disk guardian,
is a respected security consultant who’s
made many tools available without charge over the years. I’d say he’s outdone
himself this time. He’s completed a major overhaul of his “ShieldsUP!”
diagnostic service plus releasing a completely new utility that’ll
solve your “messenger spam” problem for good.
I reported in my June 5 issue
that Microsoft’s Windows Update program can say that a PC requires no
updates when the machine, in fact, is in need of several. Reader
Jeremy Rosenblatt found that the system clock not being accurate can
trigger this behavior. Erroneous times are common when initially setting
up a PC.
W2K SP4 also won’t allow an updated version of the VM
to be installed, as advised the “critical” security bulletin
MS03-011, if the VM was never installed in the first place.
In my July 10 issue
of Brian’s Buzz, I reported that installing SP4 on Windows 2000
had various unexpected behaviors. My readers have added new findings of
previously unknown quirks.
TweakUI, a configuration utility that’s gone through many versions over
the years, has become one of the most popular downloads from Microsoft -
even though the Redmond company always officially denies that the program
is even supported.