Archive for August 20, 2009


10 Fast and Free Security Enhancements

Before you spend a dime on security, there are many precautions you can take that will protect you against the most common threats.

1. Check Windows Update and Office Update regularly (_http://office.microsoft.com/productupdates); have your Office CD ready. Windows Me, 2000, and XP users can configure automatic updates. Click on the Automatic Updates tab in the System control panel and choose the appropriate options.

2. Install a personal firewall. Both SyGate (_www.sygate.com) and ZoneAlarm (_www.zonelabs.com) offer free versions.

3. Install a free spyware blocker. Our Editors’ Choice (“Spyware,” April 22) was SpyBot Search & Destroy (_http://security.kolla.de). SpyBot is also paranoid and ruthless in hunting out tracking cookies.

4. Block pop-up spam messages in Windows NT, 2000, or XP by disabling the Windows Messenger service (this is unrelated to the instant messaging program). Open Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Services and you’ll see Messenger. Right-click and go to Properties. Set Start-up Type to Disabled and press the Stop button. Bye-bye, spam pop-ups! Any good firewall will also stop them.

5. Use strong passwords and change them periodically. Passwords should have at least seven characters; use letters and numbers and have at least one symbol. A decent example would be f8izKro@l. This will make it much harder for anyone to gain access to your accounts.

6. If you’re using Outlook or Outlook Express, use the current version or one with the Outlook Security Update installed. The update and current versions patch numerous vulnerabilities.

7. Buy antivirus software and keep it up to date. If you’re not willing to pay, try Grisoft AVG Free Edition (Grisoft Inc., w*w.grisoft.com). And doublecheck your AV with the free, online-only scanners available at w*w.pandasoftware.com/activescan and _http://housecall.trendmicro.com.

8. If you have a wireless network, turn on the security features: Use MAC filtering, turn off SSID broadcast, and even use WEP with the biggest key you can get. For more, check out our wireless section or see the expanded coverage in Your Unwired World in our next issue.

9. Join a respectable e-mail security list, such as the one found at our own Security Supersite at _http://security.ziffdavis.com, so that you learn about emerging threats quickly and can take proper precautions.

10. Be skeptical of things on the Internet. Don’t assume that e-mail “From:” a particular person is actually from that person until you have further reason to believe it’s that person. Don’t assume that an attachment is what it says it is. Don’t give out your password to anyone, even if that person claims to be from “support.”

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Bit Torrent Tutorials

Posted: August 20, 2009 in Internet


Bit Torrent Tutorials

The first things you need to know about using Bit Torrent:

— Bit Torrent is aimed at broadband users (or any connection better than dialup).

— Sharing is highly appreciated, and sharing is what keeps bit torrent alive.

— A bit torrent file (*.torrent) contains information about the piece structure of the download (more on this later)

— The method of downloading is not your conventional type of download. Since downloads do not come in as one

big chunk, you are able to download from many people at once, increasing your download speeds. There may be

100 “pieces” to a file, or 20,000+ pieces, all depending on what you’re downloading. Pieces are usually small (under 200kb)

— The speeds are based upon people sharing as they download, and seeders. Seeders are people who constantly

share in order to keep torrents alive. Usually seeders are on fast connections (10mb or higher).

In this tutorial, I will be describing it all using a bit torrent client called Azureus. This client is used to decode the .torrent files into a useable format to download from other peers. From here on out, I will refer to Bit Torrent as BT.

Which BT client you use, is purely up to you. I have tried them all, and my personal favorite is Azureus for many reasons. A big problem with most BT clients out there, is that they are extremely CPU intensive, usually using 100% of your cpu power during the whole process. This is the number one reason I use Azureus. Another, is a recently released plug-in that enables you to browse all current files listed on suprnova.org (the #1 source for torrent downloads).

Before you use the plug-in, take a look at /http://www.suprnova.org, and browse the files. Hold your mouse over the links, and you’ll notice every file ends in .torrent. This is the BT file extension. Usually, .torrent files are very small, under 200kb. They contain a wealth of information about the file you want to download. A .torrent file can contain just 1 single file, or a a directory full of files and more directories. But regardless, every download is split up into hundreds or thousands of pieces. The pieces make it much easier to download at higher speeds. Back to suprnova.org. Look at the columns:

Added | Name | Filesize | Seeds | DLs (and a few more which aren’t very useful.)

I’ll break this down.

Added: Self explanitory, its the date the torrent was added.

Name: Also self explanitory.

Filesize: Duh

Seeds: This is how many people are strictly UPLOADING, or sharing. These people are the ones that keep .torrent files alive. By “alive”, I mean, if there’s no one sharing the .torrent file, no one can download.

DLs: This is how many people currently downloading that particular torrent. They also help keep the torrent alive as they share while they download.

It’s always best to download using a torrent that has a decent amount of seeders and downloaders, this way you can be assured there’s a good chance your download will finish. The more the better.

Now that you should understand how torrent files work, and how to use them, on to Azureus!

First, get JAVA! You need this to run Azureus, as java is what powers it. Get Java here: /http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/download.html

Next, get Azureus at: /http://azureus.sourceforge.net

Next, get the Suprnovalister plugin from /http://s93732957.onlinehome.us/storage/suprnovalister.jar

Install Java JRE before you do ANYTHING.

Install Azureus, and then in the installation folder, create 2 more folders. ./Plugins/suprnovalister (For example, if you installed Azureus to C:\PROGRAM FILES\AZUREUS, create C:\PROGRAM FILES\AZUREUS\PLUGINS\SUPRNOVALISTER). Next, put the suprnovalister.jar file that you downloaded, in that folder.

Load up Azureus, and if you want, go through the settings and personalize it.

The tab labeled “My Torrents” is the section of Azureus you need the most often. That lists all your transfers, uploads and downloads. It shows every bit of information you could possibly want to know about torrents you download.

In the menu bar, go to View > Plugins > Suprnova Lister. This will open up a new tab in Azureus. Click on “Update Mirror”. This will get a mirror site of suprnova.org containing all current torrent files available. Once a mirror is grabbed, choose a category from the drop-down box to the left and click “Update”. Wah-lah, all the available downloads appear in the main chart above. Just double click a download you want, and bang its starting to download. Open the “My Torrents” tab again to view and make sure your download started.

After your download has finished, be nice, and leave the torrent transferring. So people can get pieces of the file from you, just as you got pieces from other people.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to use the plugin… you can just head to suprnova.org and download files to any folder. Then go to File > Open > .torrent File in Azureus.

This should about wrap it up for the Bit Torrent Tutorial. If you guys think of anything I should add, or whatnot, just let me know and I’ll check into it.


As the size of hardrives increase, more people are using partitions to seperate and store groups of files.

XP uses the C:\Program Files directory as the default base directory into which new programs are installed. However, you can change the default installation drive and/ or directory by using a Registry hack.

Run the Registry Editor (regedit)and go to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

Look for the value named ProgramFilesDir. by default,this value will be C:\Program Files. Edit the value to any valid drive or folder and XP will use that new location as the default installation directory for new programs.

Computer Acronyms

Posted: August 20, 2009 in System Basics, System Information


ADSL – Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line

AGP – Accelerated Graphics Port

ALI – Acer Labs, Incorporated

ALU – Arithmetic Logic Unit

AMD – Advanced Micro Devices

APC – American Power Conversion

ASCII – American Standard Code for Information Interchange

ASIC – Application Specific Integrated Circuit

ASPI – Advanced SCSI Programming Interface

AT – Advanced Technology

ATI – ATI Technologies Inc.

ATX – Advanced Technology Extended

— B —

BFG – BFG Technologies

BIOS – Basic Input Output System

BNC – Barrel Nut Connector

— C —

CAS – Column Address Signal

CD – Compact Disk

CDR – Compact Disk Recorder

CDRW – Compact Disk Re-Writer

CD-ROM – Compact Disk – Read Only Memory

CFM – Cubic Feet per Minute (ft�/min)

CMOS – Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor

CPU – Central Processing Unit

CTX – CTX Technology Corporation (Commited to Excellence)

— D —

DDR – Double Data Rate

DDR-SDRAM – Double Data Rate – Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory

DFI – DFI Inc. (Design for Innovation)

DIMM – Dual Inline Memory Module

DRAM – Dynamic Random Access Memory

DPI – Dots Per Inch

DSL – See ASDL

DVD – Digital Versatile Disc

DVD-RAM – Digital Versatile Disk – Random Access Memory

— E —

ECC – Error Correction Code

ECS – Elitegroup Computer Systems

EDO – Extended Data Out

EEPROM – Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory

EPROM – Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory

EVGA – EVGA Corporation

— F —

FC-PGA – Flip Chip Pin Grid Array

FDC – Floppy Disk Controller

FDD – Floppy Disk Drive

FPS – Frame Per Second

FPU – Floating Point Unit

FSAA – Full Screen Anti-Aliasing

FS – For Sale

FSB – Front Side Bus

— G —

GB – Gigabytes

GBps – Gigabytes per second or Gigabits per second

GDI – Graphical Device Interface

GHz – GigaHertz

— H —

HDD – Hard Disk Drive

HIS – Hightech Information System Limited

HP – Hewlett-Packard Development Company

HSF – Heatsink-Fan

— I —

IBM – International Business Machines Corporation

IC – Integrated Circuit

IDE – Integrated Drive Electronics

IFS- Item for Sale

IRQ – Interrupt Request

ISA – Industry Standard Architecture

ISO – International Standards Organization

— J —

JBL – JBL (Jame B. Lansing) Speakers

JVC – JVC Company of America

– K —

Kbps – Kilobits Per Second

KBps – KiloBytes per second

— L —

LG – LG Electronics

LAN – Local Are Network

LCD – Liquid Crystal Display

LDT – Lightning Data Transport

LED – Light Emitting Diode

— M —

MAC – Media Access Control

MB � MotherBoard or Megabyte

MBps – Megabytes Per Second

Mbps – Megabits Per Second or Megabits Per Second

MHz – MegaHertz

MIPS – Million Instructions Per Second

MMX – Multi-Media Extensions

MSI – Micro Star International

— N —

NAS – Network Attached Storage

NAT – Network Address Translation

NEC – NEC Corporation

NIC – Network Interface Card

— O —

OC – Overclock (Over Clock)

OCZ – OCZ Technology

OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer

— P —

PC – Personal Computer

PCB – Printed Circuit Board

PCI – Peripheral Component Interconnect

PDA – Personal Digital Assistant

PCMCIA – Peripheral Component Microchannel Interconnect Architecture

PGA – Professional Graphics Array

PLD – Programmable Logic Device

PM – Private Message / Private Messaging

PnP – Plug ‘n Play

PNY – PNY Technology

POST – Power On Self Test

PPPoA – Point-to-Point Protocol over ATM

PPPoE – Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet

PQI – PQI Corporation

PSU – Power Supply Unit

— R —

RAID – Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks

RAM – Random Access Memory

RAMDAC – Random Access Memory Digital Analog Convertor

RDRAM – Rambus Dynamic Random Access Memory

ROM – Read Only Memory

RPM – Revolutions Per Minute

— S —

SASID – Self-scanned Amorphous Silicon Integrated Display

SCA – SCSI Configured Automatically

SCSI – Small Computer System Interface

SDRAM – Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory

SECC – Single Edge Contact Connector

SODIMM – Small Outline Dual Inline Memory Module

SPARC – Scalable Processor ArChitecture

SOHO – Small Office Home Office

SRAM – Static Random Access Memory

SSE – Streaming SIMD Extensions

SVGA – Super Video Graphics Array

S/PDIF – Sony/Philips Digital Interface

— T —

TB – Terabytes

TBps – Terabytes per second

Tbps – Terabits per second

TDK – TDK Electronics

TEC – Thermoelectric Cooler

TPC – TipidPC

TWAIN – Technology Without An Important Name

— U —

UART – Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter

USB – Universal Serial Bus

UTP – Unshieled Twisted Pair

— V —

VCD – Video CD

VPN – Virtual Private Network

— W —

WAN – Wide Area Network

WTB – Want to Buy

WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get

— X —

XGA – Extended Graphics Array

XFX – XFX Graphics, a Division of Pine

XMS – Extended Memory Specification

XT – Extended Technology


Create One-Click Shutdown and Reboot Shortcuts:

First, create a shortcut on your desktop by right-clicking on the desktop, choosing New, and then choosing Shortcut. The Create Shortcut Wizard appears. In the box asking for the location of the shortcut, type shutdown. After you create the shortcut, double-clicking on it will shut down your PC.

But you can do much more with a shutdown shortcut than merely shut down your PC. You can add any combination of several switches to do extra duty, like this:

shutdown -r -t 01 -c “Rebooting your PC”

Double-clicking on that shortcut will reboot your PC after a one-second delay and display the message “Rebooting your PC.” The shutdown command includes a variety of switches you can use to customize it. Table 1-3 lists all of them and describes their use.

I use this technique to create two shutdown shortcuts on my desktop—one for turning off my PC, and one for rebooting. Here are the ones I use:

shutdown -s -t 03 -c “Bye Bye m8!”

shutdown -r -t 03 -c “Ill be back m8 ;)!”

Switch

What it does

-s

Shuts down the PC.

-l

Logs off the current user.

-t nn

Indicates the duration of delay, in seconds, before performing the action.

-c “messagetext”

Displays a message in the System Shutdown window. A maximum of 127 characters can be used. The message must be enclosed in quotation marks.

-f

Forces any running applications to shut down.

-r

Reboots the PC.

How to Backup the Registry.

Posted: August 20, 2009 in Registry, System Basics
Tags:


Before you edit the registry, export the keys in the registry that you plan to edit, or back up the whole registry. If a problem occurs, you can then follow the steps how-to restore the registry to its previous state.

How to Export Registry Keys

Click Start, and then click Run.

In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.

On the File menu, click Export.

In the Save in box, select the boxs at the bottom the bottom according to weather you want to export all or only selected branches of the registry.

Next select a location in which to save the backup .reg file. In the File name box, type a file name, and then click Save.

How to Restore the Registry

To restore registry keys that you exported, double-click the .reg file that you saved.


How To Convert File System, fat – fat32 to ntfs

open a dos prompt and give the command

convert d: /fs:ntfs

this command would convert your d: drive to ntfs.

if the system cannot lock the drive, you will be prompted to convert it during next reboot.

Normally you should select yes.

Conversion from fat/fat32 to ntfs is non-destructive, your data on the drive will NOT be lost.

Be aware that converting to ntfs will make that partition of your

drive unreadable under dos unless you have ntfs utilites to do so.


Keep Folders Hidden

first create a new folder somewhere on your hard drive

when you name it hold down “Alt” and press “0160” this will create and invisible space so it will apper as if it has no name.

then right click in and select “Properties” select the tab “coustimize” and select “change icon” scroll along and you should a few blanc spaces click on any one and click ok when you hav saved the settings the folder will be invisible to hide all your personal files

Remote Shutdown

Posted: August 20, 2009 in System Tricks, Tricks, Windows XP


XP PRO has a lot of fun utilities. One of the most useful ones I have found to date is the ability to remotely reboot a PC. There are 2 ways of doing this. You will need to have admin access to the PC to preform these actions. That being said, here is the first way to do it:

Right click my computer, choose manage.

Highlight the Computer Management (Local) then click on Action, choose connect to another computer.

In the window that opens fill in the machine name of the PC you want to connect to and click ok.

Once connected right click on Computer Management (Remote machine name) and choose properties.

Go to the “Advanced” tab and click the Settings button under Start up and recovery.

Click on the Shutdown button.

Under action choose what you want to do (you can log off current user, shut down, restart, or power down. you can also choose if you want to force all applications to close, close hung apps, or wait for all apps to close by themselves).

The second way… Remember dos… that good old thing. Open up a command prompt and enter in the following:

%windir%\System32\shutdown.exe -r -m \\Machinename. The command prompt has more switches and options. I highly suggest using shutdown.exe /? to see all the posibilities.


1. Start, Run, ‘Regedit’.

2. Press ‘Ctrl’+’F’ to open find box and type ‘Recycle Bin’ to search.

3. Change any value data with ‘Recycle Bin’ to whatever name you want to give it ( ie, like ‘Trash Can’ or ‘Dump’ etc).

4. Press F3 to continue searching for ‘Recycle Bin’ and change wherever you come across ‘Recycle Bin’ to new its new name.

5. Repeat step 4 until you have finished with searching and changed all values to its new name.

6. Close regedit and hit F5 on desktop to see the new name on screen.

Note: As a good practice, always backup your registry before changing anything although changing ‘Recycle Bin’ name is a simple tweak and doesnt affect anything else.