Check your FireFox plugins!

I noticed my PC (WinXP Pro) was acting up last night.  TweetDeck (a Adobe Flash based program and Twitter front end) wouldn’t start.  We’ll technically it would start but nothing would display on the screen.  Going into task manager I was able to see there was a “tweetdeck.exe” process.  I killed the two (i tried starting it twice), and then started trying to find out what it was that was zapping my system’s performance.

I received a plugin error so I suspected another Adobe Flash attack.  I did a Google search for “firefox plugin check”.  I was hoping for something that would display plugins and perhaps any scripts that were running, or at least loaded that I could hopefully delete.

What I found was this…  (click here to check your system…)

Basically this told me that my version of Flash was out of date and there were known vulnerabilities!

I installed the suggest version of Flash and my system performance returned, and GUESS WHAT?  Tweetdesk came up and ran correctly!  This was without a system reboot, just loading Flash!

Guys stay on top of these updates, especially if you are seeing slower than normal PC performance.

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Do you Drop Box?

Make sure there isn’t any thing breakable before you do!

I recently found out that DropBox, an online file storage and sharing site, has changed it’s policy…

According to GSN Magazine;

Complying with government searches approved by a court is less controversial for online services than those that have been performed without such approval. Such a case is currently being litigated in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, VA. In it, the U.S. Justice Department, probing the unauthorized release of sensitive government documents to the putative whistle blowing website WikiLeaks, obtained personal information about three Twitter users without judicial approval.

So if you were using the “FREE” or paid versions of this service to keep your critical files online, or available to multiple Internet devices including your smart phone and you were concerned that your data would stay safe from Government’s prying eyes, you’ll no longer have that piece of mind.

There is a simple solution however.  Just download and install TrueCrypt!   TrueCrypt is free and available for Windows, MAC, and Linux!  Now just encrypt your files and then copy (or drop) them to DropBox!

DropBox is a great service and an easy way to share files between your various computers, including your smart phone!  Just drag and drop!  Use this link to sign up for a FREE account (Up to 2GB of storage!)  Click Here

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Upgrade your Adobe Software Now!

I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last post!  I recently found out that the nasty people out there that like to hack your Windows based system are doing attacks via Adobe products.  Shockwave, Flash, and Reader (PDF).  The attacks in Shockwave and Flash can come via the ads that are displayed on your screen when you visit websites.  The ads do not actually “live” on those websites.  The website directs you to where they are located and through the magic of “Al Gores” Internet it displays on your screen making it look like it’s all coming from the same source, a trusted website.

On one of my Windows XP Pro systems, any video being played had an image refresh rate of about 1 frame ever 3 seconds!  Normal is 15 to 30 frames per second.  After updating Flash, Shockwave, and a reboot the videos (youtube, etc…) went back to normal and able to be watched and enjoyed!

So if you have been ignoring those Adobe update reminders on your taskbar, stop it.  Adobe releases patches to their security vulnerabilities a couple of weeks ago.  I have noticed some slow downs that I believe is due to the on going Adobe attacks, but at least now I’m not seeing the memory violations that these Adobe hacks are trying to create and exploit.

You don’t have to wait for a reminder to upgrade, just go to http://www.adobe.com/ and update.

I’m always interested in reading your comments.  Please feel free to post them here!

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PC Problems – Woe is me…

UPS

UPS

I just received a very nice e-mail asking me if I work on computers.  Well yes I do!  The e-mail explained that he has computer issues two to three times a year.  I use my computer(s) for months without issue.  Occasionally a hard drive will begin to show signs of wear and need to be replaced, but mainly my WinXP computer and LINUX servers stay fully operational for months.

I am still collecting information about the above mentioned individuals issues, but I thought a post with some basic computer things to do would be in order for my readers.

1. Get a UPS!  Uninteruptable Power Supply.  It’s a battery and a DC/AC converter.  It keeps your computer running when the electricity goes out.
You need this to protect the integrity of your computer’s data!  To help speed up your computer data is saved in memory and written to the disk at a later time.  If you lose power some of that data waiting to be written can be lost.  Power drop outs are not always just an off situation.  There would be a drop in voltage, or a spike in the voltage.  This can be especially true during a thunder storm.  If you think you can get by without a UPS, you’re wrong.

Continue reading

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Got an old IDE drive?

What’s an IDE drive you say?  :D

It’s easy to tell.  Look to see what kind of cable is connected to it.  If it is a flat wide cable chances are it is a IDE PATA drive.

If the data cable is more of a rectangular shape and about 1/2 of an inch wide, you probably have a SATA drive.

You may have bought a new computer but you would still like to use that old computer’s drive, or you have pictures etc… that you’d like to access.  Many of us buy a new computer when the old computer becomes unusable.  Windows dies, or the computer is infected with viruses and malware.

It IS possible to move those viruses/malware to your new system so BE CAREFUL/WARNED before accessing that old data.

Many of you have used USB flash drives to save/access data.  Well you can do the same thing with that old hard drive.  All you need is a IDE to USB drive enclosure.  Since IDE is an old technology you can get an enclosure for next to nothing.  I recently found this for a customer who’s system would not longer boot to Windows, and they didn’t want to spend the money to have it repaired.  They DID want to access several home movies that were still on the hard drive though.

A little research and I found this for them.

Rosewill RX234 Aluminum 2.5″ USB 2.0 External Enclosure

Newegg (at the time of this writing it was $9.99 plus $2.99 shipping!)

You simply install the IDE hard drive (2.5″) in the enclosure and then plug the enclosure into an available USB port on your functional PC.

Newegg.com also carries enclosures for the 3.5″ drives, like this one for $19.99 plus shipping click here.

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