USB device madness

April 14th, 2005

I'm amazed at the sorts of things that you can get nowadays that plug into USB ports. I'm not talking about run of the mill things like keyboards, mice, printers, digital cameras, card readers and USB flash [tag]memory[/tag], or even more exotic things like fingerprint readers or [tag]USB[/tag] security dongles, I'm talking about all the new and weird stuff out there.

Take a look at these:

  • A USB [tag]fan[/tag] (handy in summer!) - link
  • A USB [tag]light[/tag] - link
  • A USB [tag]cup warmer[/tag] (handy in winter!) - link
  • USB [tag]mini aquarium[/tag] (not real fish but real water) - link
  • A big tiki USB drive - link
  • USB humidifier - link
  • A USB ashtray (!) - link
  • A cigarette lighter - link

I'm not going to preach about smoking and the associated dangers but water and smoke around a PC is certainly not good for it so I'm surprised to see so many accessories promoting bad habits.

Another thought is - how long until a 127 USB devices is seen as limiting?

Hacking GPS

April 14th, 2005

I want to take a few minutes to give some exposure to a new book by Kathie Kingsley-Hughes (my significant other and my collaborator behind the scenes on "The PC Doctor's Fix It Yourself Guide" - almost all of the photos in there were taken by her - the remaining few were press shots - and a lot of the layout, presentation and coverage ideas came as a result of collaboration between us - without her, the book would not have been possible).

The book, "Hacking GPS" looks at a number of totally cool things that you can do with a GPS - from hardware and software hacking projects to building your own antennas and power packs.

For more details visit the Hacking GPS website at here and read her blog at here.

This is a superb book (I know, I'm biased but honestly, I think it's great) and if you have a GPS and an interest in getting more out of it, this book (and site) will be of great interest to you!

Few more things to do now …

April 14th, 2005

... and it can go fully live. Some tweaking to the front page graphics and a few things on the inside that I want to figure out and it's ready to go!

Patch time!

April 12th, 2005

It's the second Tuesday of the month and that can only mean one thing - Microsoft Patch Day! ūüôā

Critical Security Bulletins

MS05-019 - Vulnerabilities in TCP/IP Could Allow Remote Code Execution and Denial of Service (893066)

Affected Software:
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 3
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
- Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 1
- Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2
- Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Service Pack 1
(Itanium)
- Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Version 2003
(Itanium)
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based
Systems

Review the FAQ section of bulletin MS05-019 for information about these operating systems:
- Microsoft Windows 98
- Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE)
- Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (ME)

Impact: Remote Code Execution
- Version Number: 1.0

MS05-020 - Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (890923)

Affected Software
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 3
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
- Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 1
- Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2
- Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Service Pack 1 (Itanium)
- Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Version 2003 (Itanium)
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems

Review the FAQ section of bulletin MS05-020 for information about these operating systems:
- Microsoft Windows 98
- Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE)
- Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (ME)

Affected Components:
- Internet Explorer 5.01 Service Pack 3
- Internet Explorer 5.01 Service Pack 4
- Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2 on Microsoft Windows ME
- Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1
- Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 (64-Bit Edition)
- Internet Explorer 6 for Windows XP Service Pack 2
- Internet Explorer 6 for Windows Server 2003
- Internet Explorer 6 for Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems

Impact: Remote Code Execution
- Version Number: 1.0

MS05-021 - Vulnerability in Exchange Server Could Allow Remote Code Execution (894549)

Affected Software:
- Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Service Pack 3
- Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
- Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1

Impact: Remote Code Execution
- Version Number: 1.0

MS05-022 - Vulnerability in MSN Messenger Could Lead to Remote Code Execution (896597)

Affected Software:
- MSN Messenger 6.2

Impact: Remote Code Execution
- Version Number: 1.0

MS05-023 - Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Word May Lead to Remote Code Execution (890169)

Affected Software:
- Microsoft Word 2000
- Microsoft Word 2002
- Microsoft Word 2003
- Microsoft Works Suite 2001
- Microsoft Works Suite 2002
- Microsoft Works Suite 2003
- Microsoft Works Suite 2004

Impact: Remote Code Execution
- Version Number: 1.0

Important Security Bulletins

MS05-016 - Vulnerability in Windows Shell that Could Allow Remote Code Execution (893086)

Affected Software:
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 3
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
- Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 1
- Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2
- Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Service Pack 1 (Itanium)
- Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Version 2003 (Itanium)
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems

Review the FAQ section of bulletin MS05-016 for information about these operating systems:
- Microsoft Windows 98
- Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE)
- Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (ME)

Impact: Remote Code Execution
- Version Number: 1.0

MS05-017 - Vulnerability in MSMQ Could Allow Remote Code Execution (892944)

Affected Software:
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 3
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
- Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 1
- Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Service Pack 1 (Itanium)

Review the FAQ section of bulletin MS05-017 for information about these operating systems:
- Microsoft Windows 98
- Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE)

Impact: Remote Code Execution
- Version Number: 1.0

MS05-018 - Vulnerability in Windows Kernel Could Allow Elevation of Privilege and Denial of Service (890859)

Affected Software:
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 3
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
- Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 1
- Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2
- Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Service Pack 1 (Itanium)
- Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Version 2003 (Itanium)
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems

Review the FAQ section of bulletin MS05-018 for information about these operating systems:
- Microsoft Windows 98
- Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE)
- Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (ME)

Impact: Elevation of Privilege
- Version Number: 1.0

For more information visit Microsoft Security home page. To retrieve the updates run Windows Update.

Q&A about this site and me

April 7th, 2005

This is a quick Q&A about this site and me based on the most common questions that I've been asked (the ones that I remember anyway ...).

  • Who are you?
    My name is Adrian W Kingsley-Hughes.  I am a tech journalist, technical consultant and author based in the UK.  I have been around computers and the web for more than two decades.
    I live in the UK with my wife Kat (who is also an author and filmmaker) and my fantastic kids.
  • How did you get involved in writing?
    Around 17 years ago I became involved in IT training and wrote over 50 technical manuals used by a variety of training companies and Fortune 500, 100 and 50 companies.  One day, out of the blue, this lead to my first publishing contract with Wrox Press.  Things took off from there!
  • Are you writing now?
    Yes, and I'm working on some exciting things, however I moved away from the traditional dead-tree printed book format for a variety of reasons (the time it takes, the hassle, the cost, the delays, the slowness of updating material ... the list goes on and on) and doing much more on the web, self publishing, video blogs etc.
  • Do you write¬†elsewhere?
    Yes, I have a column over on ZDNet called Hardware 2.0.  I also wrote articles for Forbes and Datamation.
    I write regularly for our photography blog and produce web content for BitLabz.
  • What are your areas of expertise?
    My main areas of expertise include:
    - OSX
    - iOS
    - Android
    - Windows
    - PC hardware
    - Mobile devices
    - Programming (C++, Visual Basic)
    - Web development (ASP, PHP, scripting)
    - IT security
    - Apps
    - Productivity
    - Social media
    - Photography
    - Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere, After Effects, Adobe Creative Cloud
  • What systems do you run?
    I live in a very mixed ecosystem of Mac, Windows and Linux.  I don't get particularly worked up about any particular platform because I have a life ouside of tech.
  • Can I hire you?
    Maybe ... depends.  I'm pretty busy most of the time, but I might be able to accomodate.  Get in touch with me here.
  • I wrote you an email and didn't get a reply!
    Yeah, sorry about that.  I get a ton of email a day (and it's increasing weekly) and can't possibly respond to all of them individually.  I do read all the emails I receive and use many as the basis for posts on this site.  If you asked a question, check back soon - I might have answered it in a post!
  • Where did the "PC Doctor" name come from?
    It was a name that was applied to me about 12 years ago and at the time I thought it was kinda cute but nothing more.
    Then, a few years ago I wrote and then subsequently taught a class at Barnes & Noble University called "Be your own PC Doctor" (now renamed to "Caring for your PC") and afterwards wrote "The PC Doctor's Fit It Yourself Guide" and I got associated with "The PC Doctor" moniker and the name stuck.  Now I quite like it!
  • Do you draw the cartoon cards that appear on the site?
    Yep!  Guilty!  I find cartooning relaxing and fun! I also draw cartoons for Antrageous.
  • What are your hobbies?
    I enjoy the outdoors, photography, filmmaking, reading, computer games, playing the didgeridoo (yidaka) and taking things apart!
  • What's your favorite color?
    The color of money.
  • What's your favorite food?
    Pizza ...
  • What's your favorite game?
    Resident Evil 4 on the Wii (still)