Archive for October, 2007

The Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” upgrade process

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Yesterday I bought my first Mac (a Mac mini) and over on ZDNet I've posted a gallery showing the Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" upgrade process.

The Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard upgrade process

Since the Mac mini came with Tiger pre-installed and with Leopard on a disc in the box, this was the perfect opportunity to go through the Mac upgrade process.  I've never done this before and I was expecting it to be complex.  As it turns out, it's a simple process.  The only downside is that it took at long time - over and hour - and much longer than it takes to install Windows XP or Vista.

Does anyone fall for this kind of crap?

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Seriously, does anyone fall for this kind of crap?  For example, this bozo (can some please show him where the CAPS LOCK key is please):

From: CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA

Subject: ATM CARD PAYMENT

FROM THE DESK OF THE DIRECTOR, SWIFT CARD PAYMENT. CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA(CBN) ATTN: SIR/MADAM. YOUR SWIFT CREDIT CARD PAYMENT AWAITING YOUR LEGAL CLAIM IT WAS RESOLVED BY THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT THROUGH THIS PAYING BANK (BANK OF CHINA) THAT YOUR PART PAYMENT CONTRACT/INHERITANCE FUNDS VALUED US$2,500,000.00 SHOULD BE RELEASED TO YOU ON A NEWLY APPROVED METHOD TAGGED "SWIFT CREDIT CARD? (ATM) YOU ARE HEREBY ADVISED TO RE-CONFIRM THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO THE PAYING BANK IN CHINA AS STATED BELOW: FULL NAME ADDRESS PHONE AGE OCCUPATION THEREFORE, YOU SHOULD SEND YOUR INFORMATION TO THE BANK IN CHINA. BANK NAME: BANK OF CHINA CONTACT PERSON: IKORODU EZEH TEL: +861376XXXXX40 EMAIL: pc78XXXXXXX EMAIL: [email protected] BE ADVISED THAT AS SOON AS YOU RESPOND TO THIS MAIL THE BANK WILL NOT HESITATES TO EDUCATE YOU ON THE IMMEDIATE DISPATCH OF YOUR "SWIFT CREDIT CARD" WHICH YOU HAVE TO TENDER TO YOUR BANK FOR EASY ASSESS TO YOUR FUNDS. IT IS YOUR LEGAL RIGHT TO ASK FOR ANOTHER MODE OF PAYMENT IF YOU DO NOT WANT US TO ISSUE YOU AN ATM SWIFT CARD AS WE CAN ALSO TRANSFER YOUR FUND DIRECTLY TO YOUR ACCOUNT OR ISSUE YOU A BANK DRAFT PAYABLE ONLY BY YOUR BANKERS. ON BEHALF OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA WE SAY CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU!! YOURS FAITHFULLY, MR. NORRIS AKABU DIRECTOR ON SWIFT CARD PAYMENT. CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN)

I've noticed a huge rise in the numbers of spam emails, especially phishing and pharmaceutical "enhancements" but the good thing is that all seem pretty obvious.  Still, it's worth keeping your eyes peeled - it only takes falling for one of these scam emails for it to cost you a bundle.

RealPlayer exploit

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

It seems that RealPlayer contains a pretty serious bug.  The vulnerability (which is unpatched at present) affects the latest versions of RealPlayer and RealPlayer 11 BETA and also possibly earlier versions.  To make matters worse an ActiveX object in the RealPlayer component ierpplug.dll is affected.

Since there's no patch, you need to be careful out there - be careful of being duped to visit a site.  If you're looking for protection you can set the kill bit on the following class identifier (CLSID) FDC7A535-4070-4B92-A0EA-D9994BCC0DC5 (information on how to do this appears here - since it involved mucking about the the Windows registry only do this if you feel confident).

In addition to setting the kill bit remember to update your antivirus software.

IntelliPoint on Windows Vista

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Looking for a reason to buy a Microsoft mouse for your Windows Vista PC?  The Windows Vista Team blog looks at some of the most compelling features of the IntelliPoint software.  Here are some of the killer features:

  • Magnifier
  • Instant Viewer
  • Precision Booster
  • Flip 3D support

I like the IntelliPoint software and have done so ever since I stopped buying Logitech hardware a few years back because of driver issues.  IntelliPoint has just the right amount of features without feeling like bloatware.

Latest Vista reliability, stability and compatibility pack

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Microsoft has released another reliability, stability and compatibility pack for Windows Vista.  Here's the deal with this update:

  • It extends the battery life for mobile devices. 
  • It improves the stability of portable computers and of desktop computers that use an uninterruptable power supply (UPS).
  • It improves the reliability of Windows Vista when you open the menu of a startup application.
  • It improves the stability of wireless network services.
  • It shortens the startup time of Windows Vista by using a better timing structure.
  • It shortens the recovery time after Windows Vista experiences a period of inactivity.
  • It shortens the recovery time when you try to exit the Photos screen saver.
  • It improves the stability of Windows PowerShell.

This update also resolves the following issues in Windows Vista:

  • A compatibility issue that affects some third-party antivirus software applications.
  • A reliability issue that occurs when a Windows Vista-based computer 

It's worth pointing out that there is a known issue with this update that could affect a small number of users:

This package has been updated to version 2. An issue was identified in which certain computers that have specific combinations of older AHCI USB chipsets and CD or DVD drives that use the SerialATA interconnection bus may not start after the installation of the original version of this package. Version 2 of this package has removed the fix that caused this problem. If you are using a computer that experienced this issue, you can restart the computer by using a bootable Windows Vista DVD and by selecting the Repair/System Recovery options. If your computer has already installed the original version of this update and has successfully restarted, you do not have to install version 2 of this update.

You can find the x86 (32-bit) download here and the x64 (64-bit) download here.