Show of 8-11-2007

  • Forum Questions and Email
    • Forum Question from ccwang01: I have recently purchased a new computer with MS Vista Home Premium OS. However, when I used our office’s Outlook Webmail at home, I was unable to write a message in the mail body area for either composing or replying/forwarding a message.  I believe this may be a problem related to a certificate error. I will appreciate if any one can tell me how to fix the problem. Thanks
      • The security settings are probably too high for the site and you can’t activate the java program that controls the entry screen. The certificate problem will not cause this as soon as you agree to go to the website against Vista ‘s recommendations. Go to the lower bar in the browser and adjust the security setting for this site. Make it a trusted site.
    • Forum Question from ccwang01: The Windows XP OS of my four-year old Laptop recently clashed. I have a recovery CD came for the original purchased package. I’ll appreciate if someone can tell me how to rescue my 40 GB hard drive data before I reinstall the Windows XP home Operation. Thanks very much.
      • First of all don’t do a clean install because that would overwrite your data. If the problem is file corruption and not an actual hardware failure, you should have no trouble getting the data from the disk.
      • I would recommend downloading a bootable Linux distribution and booting from the CD. Then attach an external hard drive to the computer and copy your critical data. This will also give you a chance to learn a little about Linux. You could also backup data using a big USB thumb drive (1 G or bigger).
      • PLAC is a business card sized bootable cdrom running linux. It has network auditing, disk recovery, and forensic analysis tools. ISO will be avialable and scripts to roll you own cd. (http://sourceforge.net/projects/plac)
      • Another option is to remove the hard drive and connect to your desk top as a secondary disk. You will need to get the correct cable and the desk top will have to support your disk type.
      • Now use the recovery disk. You can take the repair option first to see if it works (assuming you have the XP installation CD and not simply the manufacturer’s recovery CD. I usually just do a clean install and spend less time tinkering. Make certain to get the security updates immediately.
  • Anatomy of an Internet Hoax
    • A neighbor recently received a warning about the Olympic Torch Virus
      • PLEASE FORWARD THIS WARNING AMONG FRIENDS, FAMILY AND CONTACTS:
      • Do not open any message with an attached filed called "Invitation" regardless of who sent it, It is a virus that opens an Olympic Torch which "burns" the whole hard disc C of your computer. This virus will be received from someone who has your e-mail address in his/her contact list, that is why you should send this e-mail to all your contacts. It is letter to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.
    • I immediately went to the CIAC hoaxbusters website
    • Another listing of hoaxes (www.hoaxbusters.org)
    • McAfee Virus Hoax listing (http://vil.mcafee.com/hoax.asp)
  • Profiles in IT: Dan Bricklin
    • Co-developer (with Bob Frankston) of Visicalc, the first spreadsheet.
    • His personal website: http://www.bricklin.com/
    • VisiCalc was the first computer spreadsheet program. It was released to the public in 1979, running on an Apple II computer.
    • While a masters student in business administration at Harvard Business School , Dan Bricklin joined up with Bob Frankston to help him write the programming for his new electronic spreadsheet.
    • The two started their own company, Software Arts Inc., to develop their product.
    • Companies invested time and money in doing financial projections with manually calculated spreadsheets, where changing a single number meant recalculating every single cell in the sheet. With VisiCalc, you could change any cell, and the entire sheet would be automatically recalculated.
    • It was considered a fourth generation software program.
    • By the fall of 1979, an Apple II version of VisiCalc was ready, and the team started writing versions for the Tandy TRS-80, Commodore PET and the Atari 800.
    • By October, VisiCalc was a fast seller on the shelves of computer stores at US $100.
    • VisiCalc was soon sold to Lotus Development Corporation, where it developed into the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet for the PC by 1983.
    • In November of 1981, Bricklin received the Grace Murray Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery in honor of his innovation.
    • Bricklin never received a patent for VisiCalc. It was not until after 1981 that software programs were made eligible for patents by the Supreme Court.
  • Boyfriend Cooks Laptop
    • From the blog at www.luckywhitegirl.com (Barb Howe)
    • Boyfriend cooks laptop in over at 300 degrees and it survives.
    • Case is melted, but the computer still works.
    • An interesting read. This entry was from 2005. However, Barb posted it to several sites this week.
  • Smiley Face Pillows
    • Website: http://www.zestuff.com/plush/other/109/
    • The six-piece set of emoticons designed as different color cushions is good for all children, age three to hundred year olds.
    • Pillows can be used for cushioning for a great night’s sleep or scattered on the desk, or put on a shelf below the rear window of a car.
    • A 5.3 inch (13.5 cm) broad smiley fits snugly in the palm of your hand or covers your face.
  • Tetris Magnet Set
    • Website: http://www.zestuff.com/toys/cubelife/570/
    • Now love the magnet set which has been adapted from the classic computer puzzle game that had us so addicted to conquering the never-ending stream of falling blocks back in the 1990s.
    • Tetris magnets stick to a fridge, an office whiteboard or any other metal surface. The set itself comprises seven different color blocks.
  • Molecular Expressions: Exploring the Worlds of Optics and Microscopy
    • Website Address: http://www.micro.magnet.fsu.edu/
    • Gallery of Many Images: DNA, Plants, even Cocktails
    • Exercises for Young Scientists using Intel QX5 Computer Microscope (about $110)
    • Microscope is a partnership of Intel and Mattel. It has magnification of up to 200X and uses a CMOS imaging sensor on a 1 ½? chip. USB output and power.
    • Software package provides an interface that is very nicely done with excellent graphics and audio clips.
    • Students are able to capture single images, make movies, and perform time-lapse investigations on a variety of specimens with a single click of the mouse.
  • Website of the Day: http://www.stumbleupon.com/
    • Channel surf the internet with the StumbleUpon toolbar to find great websites, videos, photos and more based on your interests.
    • StumbleUpon learns what you like and makes better recommendations.
    • Install tool bar and select interest categories and then begin stumbling.
    • Give thumbs up or thumbs down to sites to refine your selection.
    • Only look at sites that others have given thumbs up so its better than just Google.
    • I enjoy stumbling for Tech Talk
  • Second Website of the Day: http://enigmaco.de/index-enigma.html
    • History: The rotor machine "Enigma" was brought to this world in 1923 by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius.
    • During WW II, the German military used about 100,000 of these cryptosystems in order to scramble the messages they exchanged with each other.
    • The Enigma consists of the plugboard, the three rotors and the reflector which was meant to redirect the electrical current.
    • This flash program allows you see the electrical circuits and the rotors moving after each entry. Very interesting to watch. Hard to figure out.
  • DefCon Held This Week
    • DefCon (http://defcon.org/) is the largest underground hacking convention in the world.
    • More than 6,000 attended the three-day conference which ended last Sunday.
    • Games, contests and seminars at DefCon are devoted to breaching computers, Internet websites, software programs and real-world locks.
    • While hackers at DefCon socialized warmly with federal agents, two of whom got married on stage during an awards ceremony Sunday, many said online privacy trumps public safety worries.
  • Air Force Draws Weekend Cyberwarriors From Microsoft, Cisco
    • Air National Guard’s 262nd Information Warfare Aggressor Squadron has over 100 soldiers on its roster during its cyberwarfare weekends.
    • The 262nd, based at McChord Air Force Base outside Tacoma , Washington and was commissioned to carry out simulated cyberattacks within the Air Force.
    • It draws weekend reservists from Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Adobe Systems and other tech companies, in a recruitment model that senior military leadership is touting as vital to the Air Force’s expanded mission to achieve "dominance in cyberspace."
    • The Air Force’s determination to develop an offensive cyberwarfare capability has been well-known since December 2005, when the service formally revised its mission statement to announce that airmen and airwomen would henceforth "fly and fight in air, space and cyberspace."
    • Some countries — notably China — have voiced concerns that Microsoft might pack backdoors in its closed-source operating systems and applications.
    • In an effort to curb distrust, in 2003 Microsoft signed a pact with China, Russia, the United Kingdom, NATO and other nations to let them see the Windows source code.
  • Fun Read: Fake Steve Job Website
    • Web address: http://fakesteve.blogspot.com/
    • The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs or ?Dude, I invented the friggin iPhone. Have you heard of it?
    • The postings of ?Fake Steve,? as he is known, have attracted a plugged-in readership ? both the real Mr. Jobs and Bill Gates have acknowledged reading the blog.
    • For the last 14 months, high-tech insiders have tried to figure out who is the author of the Secret Diary of Steve Jobs.
    • Daniel Lyons, a senior editor at Forbes magazine who lives near Boston , has been writing the blog.
    • In October, Da Capo Press will publish his satirical novel written in the voice of the Fake Steve character, ?Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs, a Parody.?
    • Mr. Lyons said he invented the Fake Steve character last year, when a small group of chief executives turned bloggers attracted some media attention.
    • He noticed that they rarely spoke candidly. ?I thought, wouldn’t it be funny if a C.E.O. kept a blog that really told you what he thought? That was the gist of it.?