Fixing and tweaking Vista Internet time synchronization

April 3rd, 2008

Question:  How do I get Vista’s Internet time synchronization to work (to the best of my knowledge it never has), and if I can get if fixed, is there a way to change the interval from weekly to daily?

Yes, a lot of people seem to have this problem.  It appears to come down to Microsoft’s time server.  The trick is to change the time server.  I’ve covered this before (and linked to a blog post by Ed Bott).

As to changing the interval between checks, this can be done, but you have to mess about in the Windows registry.

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. In the Start Search box, type regedit and press Enter.
  3. Click Continue to the UAC prompt.
  4. In the Registry Editor, navigate to:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services
    \w32time\TimeProviders\NtpClient
  5. In the right-hand pane, right-click on SpecialPollInterval and click Modify.
  6. Change the Base from Hexadecimal to Decimal.
  7. Type in how often you want it to update in seconds and click OK. The default time is every 604800 seconds (check every 7 days).  To check every day, enter 86400 seconds.  I would recommend that you don't set this value less than 21600 (6 hours).
  8. Close Registry Editor.

That’s all folks!

Sunbelt Software introduce home site license

April 2nd, 2008

Do you own more than one PC at home?  Do you feel the sting of having to buy a license for each system?  Sunbelt Software might have the answer -  a home site license which offers protection for unlimited PCs and includes one year of software updates and upgrades, any relevant threat definitions, and live US-based toll-free technical support.

When I first saw this press release yesterday I kinda half dismissed it as April Fools' Day BS, but it seems to be genuine.  This from the press release:

"Typical 'household' licenses offered for security software products limit the number of PCs protected to anywhere from three to five per household," said Alex Eckelberry, president of Sunbelt Software. "With our unlimited home site license, customers pay one low annual subscription price for the product of their choice for all the PCs in their home. We don't care if it's five, ten or 200 computers. One price covers all the computers located in that residence."

Excellent idea!

Prices are very competitive:

  • iHateSpam - $39.95
  • CounterSpy - $39.95
  • Sunbelt Personal Firewall - $39.95
  • VIPRE™ Antivirus + Antispyware - $49.95 (scheduled release Q2)

Here's how Alex Eckelberry, president of Sunbelt Software, describes the deal on the company blog:

This is an unlimited license — it works for as many computers as you have at home, whether 3, 10, 50 or 100 computers. No guilt, no BS. No limits.

Nice one!

For more information, trial downloads and purchase, visit the Sunbelt Software website.

No joke: Storm worm taking advantage of April Fools’ Day

March 31st, 2008

This is no joke.  The Storm worm is taking advantage of April Fools' Day to snare more victims.

Our friends at Sunbelt Software have provided some useful information.

Emails look like this:

April Fools Day

Subject test can be many and varied:

  • All Fools' Day
  • Doh! All's Fool.
  • Doh! April's Fool.
  • Gotcha!
  • Gotcha! All Fool!
  • Gotcha! April Fool!
  • Happy All Fool's Day.
  • Happy All Fools Day!
  • Happy All Fools!
  • Happy April Fool's Day.
  • Happy April Fools Day!
  • Happy Fools Day!
  • I am a Fool for your Love
  • Join the Laugh-A-Lot!
  • Just You
  • One who is sportively imposed upon by others on the first day of April
  • Surprise!
  • Surprise! The joke's on you.
  • Today You Can Officially Act Foolish
  • Today's Joke!

Here's an example of the websites that victims are encouraged to visit:

Foolsday0408_2

Download names also varied:

  • foolsday.exe
  • funny.exe
  • kickme.exe

Antivirus products seem to be a bit slow on the uptake so far, so don't rely on them to keep you safe.

More coverage:

 

 

Adobe Bridge is quad-core blind

March 30th, 2008

Yesterday I fired up Adobe Bridge in Photoshop CS3 for the first time (well, I wanted to see what all my money was spent on) and was greeted by this message:

Adobe Bridge
This application requires an Intel Pentium 4, Intel Celeron, Intel Core Duo or Intel Core 2 compatible processor.
The application may perform poorly.  Are you sure you want to continue?

This message appears on a system fitted with one of the fastest quad-core processors going.  Hmmm.

Adobe_bridge_quad-core

I'm taking this message to task for a couple of reasons:

  • First is that Adobe CS3 products are professional tools and are updated regularly.  This message should have been caught and eliminated by now been since Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Extreme processors aren't rare.
  • Second, the wording is poor.  Rather than saying that the processor is unidentified it offers a list and says that the CPU I have (the QX9650 is one of the fastest available) isn't up to the job and that the application may perform poorly.  Better wording would be something along the lines of unidentified or unknown processor

Kinda ironic!

March 28th, 2008

Kind of an ironic message, don't you agree?

Foxit Reader, Best Reader for Everyday Use! has stopped working

Just to be clear, I use Foxit Reader a lot and I rarely see any crashes, so I'm not making any point about Foxit being unreliable or anything.  In fact, it's far more robust and less complicated that Adobe Reader.

Foxit stopped working