Archive for July, 2006

Help! My IDE cable keeps falling off the motherboard!

Monday, July 31st, 2006

"I wonder if you can help me with a problem I'm having - the IDE cable connecting my hard drive keeps falling off the motherboard.  Any ideas what I can do?"

There are two things that I can think of:

  • Buy a new cable and try it.  A simple solution that might avoid you having to take more dramatic action
  • Glue the cable into the IDE connector on the motherboard.  This is pretty drastic but I've had to do it once.  I used a small dot of hot glue on either end of the connector and it worked a treat.  Be careful no to get it everywhere though!

Google toolbar defends itself against other search engines

Monday, July 31st, 2006

Ionut Alex. Chitu has discovered an interesting new "feature" present in the latest Google Toolbar:

The latest version of Google Toolbar for IE has a strange new feature: keep Google as the default search engine. There's an exe that runs by default at the startup and monitors if another software (like MSN Toolbar) tries to change Google's settings.


Even if you disable ’Search with Google’ from the toolbar, and kill GoogleToolbarNotifier.exe, everytime you load IE, Google Toolbar launches GoogleToolbarNotifier.exe once again.

Google Toolbar

Hmmm ...  a bit evil I think, but nothing new nowadays.  Pretty much anything you install wants to make system changes for its own benefit.

(via Google Blogoscoped)

Countering iPod thefts

Monday, July 31st, 2006

[tag]Bruce Schneier[/tag] has some interesting thoughts on how to counter [tag]iPod thefts[/tag]:

"What to do about it? Basically, there's not much you can do except be careful. Muggings have long been a low-risk crime, so it makes sense that we're seeing an increase in them as the value of what people are carrying on their person goes up. And people carrying portable music players have an unmistakable indicator: those ubiquitous ear buds.

The economics of this crime are such that it will continue until one of three things happens. One, portable music players become much less valuable. Two, the costs of the crime become much higher. Three, society deals with its underclass and gives them a better career option than [tag]iPod[/tag] thief."

Another thing that could help is a registration scheme.  For example, users could register their iPod with Apple and if they report it stolen (say using a simple web-based form) the device could be banished from the [tag]iTunes[/tag] system for ever.  It's not a fool-proof system but it would make stolen iPods far less useful.

Dodgy Symantec update causes Norton AntiVirus 2006 problems

Monday, July 31st, 2006

I’m getting reports that over the weekend Symantec issued an update for Norton AntiVirus 2006 which is causing users to see the following message at reboot:

“Norton AntiVirus 2006 does not support the repair feature. Please uninstall and reinstall.”

Symantec has figured out a workaround for this problem and posted it on their website.  Unfortunately, the article wasn’t available when I checked for it so I’ll repeat the information here:

  1. Configure Windows to show file extensions:
    On the Windows desktop, click Start > Programs > Accessories > Windows Explorer. Click Tools > Folder Options.
    Click the View tab.
    Uncheck Hide extensions for known file types.
    If you see a warning, click Yes.
    Click Apply, and then click OK.
  2. Create tgctlsi.dll and tgctlsr.dll files
    In Windows Explorer window you opened, go to the following folder:
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared
    On a blank area in the right hand pane, click New > Text Document.
    Rename the file that you created to: tgctlsi.dll
    On a blank area in the right hand pane, click New > Text Document.
    Rename the second file that you created to: tgctlsr.dll
    Close the Windows Explorer window. 
    The message will no longer appear.

Seems like a clumsy fix to me and I hope that Symantec release a proper patch for this problem soon.

Security Fix also has coverage of this problem.

15-inch MacBook Pro – Battery exchange program

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

Important news for 15-inch [tag]MacBook Pro[/tag] owners:

"[tag]Apple[/tag] has initiated a worldwide [tag]battery exchange[/tag] program for certain rechargeable batteries that were sold for use with 15-inch MacBook Pro computer systems from February 2006 through May 2006.

We recently discovered that some 15-inch MacBook Pro batteries supplied to Apple do not meet our high standards for battery performance. To give our users the best experience possible, we will replace these batteries for customers free of charge.

The affected batteries have model number A1175 and a 12-digit serial number that ends with U7SA, U7SB or U7SC. To view the model and serial numbers located on the bottom of the battery, you must remove the battery from the computer. The battery serial number is located above the barcode."

15-inch MacBook Pro

For more details visit the Apple support site.