Body Enterprise

What if your body were like the Starship Enterprise? Would it go something like this…

Captain’s log, stardate 090125.81, … Smelly Feet … have sent Enterprise … to the outer edge … of the solar system … in order to test … the newly enriched … Habenero3Pizza fuel cell, … which is to eventually replace … the Habenero1Pizza cell, … in the hopes of stronger … methane warp fields. First Orifice Sprocket and … Chief Intestine Montgomery Rott … are coordinating bowel movements.

Captain, the H3P fuel has been delivered and successfully consumed. However, probability of compatibility with our systems is estimated at 3. 1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 8214808651 3282306647 0938446095 5058223172 5359408128 4811174502 8410270193 8521105559 6446229489 5493038196 4428810975 6659334461 2847564823 3786783165 2712019091 4564856692 3460348610 4543266482 1339360726 0249141273 7245870066 0631558817 4881520920 9628292540 9171536436 7892590360 0113305305 4882046652 1384146951 9415116094 3305727036 5759591953 0921861173 8193261179 3105118548 0744623799 6274956735 1885752724 8912279381 8301194912 9833673362 4406566430 8602139494 6395224737 1907021798 6094370277 0539217176 2931767523 8467481846 7669405132 0005681271 4526356082 7785771342 7577896091 7363717872 1468440901 2249534301 4654958537 1050792279 6892589235 4201995611 2129021960 8640344181 5981362977 4771309960 5187072113 4999999837 2978049951 0597317328 1609631859 5024459455 3469083026 4252230825 3344685035 2619311881 7101000313 7838752886 5875332083 8142061717 7669147303 5982534904 2875546873 1159562863 8823537875 9375195778 1857780532 1712268066 1300192787 6611195909 2164201989. . . to 1 against.

Thank you First Orifice. Hmm. Only that much? You sure of your figures?

Yes Sir. I checked them against Lt. Randy’s original figures and there was no discrepancy between our two curves.

Very well, you may proceed.

> some time later <

Mr. Rott to Capt'n Dirk!

Yes ... ... Rotty?

The H3P appears to be combusting! Internal temperature is up by 15% and climbing. I’ve adjusted the environmental controls to compensate. There appear to be some impurities in the H3P mix.

Sprocket! … Analysis … quick.

> click, rumble, gurgle, wiz, more gurgle <

Captain. There appears to have been lower grade hot peppers in the base pizza fuel. The net affect when combined with the H3 enrichment would be that of H4. The methane warp field is destabilising.

Aye Capt’n! I’ve had to open the anti-matter full injectors to full and vent the methane plasma to space! No buddy light a match.

Captain! Look!

What is it … now … Mr. Silhouette?

Clingons around Uranus!

Red Alert! All hands, brace for hardware interrupt!

How Daydreaming Leads to Abuse

[10:14:51] AH: Was daydreaming while walking Baka, he pissed on somebody’s step ladder, they got miffed about a little waste water, ground is wet from rain.
[10:15:13] AH: People seem to get all upset about dogs pissing on their car tires, but happily ignore the mud and shit they drive through.
image002-640x480[10:15:28] SF: (chuckle)
[10:15:39] SF: That’s pretty funny
[10:16:12] AH: It is actually. The French seem to take great offence about anything of theirs being pissed on.
[10:16:49] SF: Hehehehe – that’s given me the giggles just thinking about it.
[10:17:39] SF: I have a mental image of a typical Frechman going about his work on a stepladder smoking a Disque Blu cigarette and silently cursing under his breath.
[10:18:40] SF: Then you walk down the road idly looking into the middle distance, one foot going in front of the other automatically – the familiar pull and wiggle on the lead as Baka walks along.
[10:20:01] SF: You instinctively stop as you feel Baka stop – then get a torrent of abuse from the frenchman as you notice Baka has cocked his leg and is pissing carefully up the steps of the guys ladder ……. ROFL….!

Windows System Tools

I’ve been having some trouble with my Windows XP SP3 machine the past 72 hours. Suspect either a bad update to either Windows, the anti-virus scanner, or something more sinister. @n3wjack pointed me at some of the tools he recommends and figured I should share my favourites too:

  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – the best malware detection tool I’ve used to date that works! Will catch things that an up to date AV, adware, and spyware scanners fail to find. If you suspect you have a problem, get this tool, update it, and do a quick scan. Odds are this tool will save you from a tedious system wipe and rebuild.
  • Avast! Home Edition – free for private and personal use. This has been the one I’ve been using for a couple of years now. See AV Comparitives.
  • NOD32 – commercial AV with free trial, not yet tried this, but I’m told by a fellow sys.admin. friend that swears it is the fastest, least resource consuming. See AV Comparitives.
  • Vipre – another colleague suggested last night this AV scanner, but it appears to be completely unknown underdog. But I trust the source of the suggestion.
  • ClamAV for Windows – free open source anti-virus scanner; however it lacks an on-access scanner, which is essential for being alerted to problems quickly. Have tried to find add-on on-access scanners for ClamWin, but not yet found a suitable one. ClamWin is great for whole disk scanning though, but with modern disk being so big, how often do you bother to scan a whole disk or individual files.
  • System Internals Tools – bought out by Microsoft, they have a superior Process Explorer, and many many other neat power user / admin. tools.
  • Tweak UI – part of the Microsoft Power Toys suite and essential for customising Windows behaviour, like turning off the annoying “Ballon Tips” or disabling CD/DVD autorun to prevent installation of the evil PC Friendly (causes nothing but grief) or other potential nasties the studios try to slip onto a machine, like DRM root kits.
  • Registry Guide – formerly regedit.com and winguides.com, they used to provide a Windows helpfile download showing many many handy registry keys, but now it’s only available online (grrr). Documents much of what you can change using TweakUI or regedit.exe. Handy information for locking down a Windows computer. Here’s an out of date copy of the last free Registry Guide downloadable.
  • SiSoftware Sandra Lite – everything you wanted to know about your computer hardware.
  • Memory Testing – A comprehensive free memory testing tool.
  • SpeedTest – a handy bandwidth testing web site. BTW it helps if you know where your network provider’s “peering” is done in order to compute favourable results.
  • Ranish Partition Manager – a free tool for resizing and managing primary & extendied disk partitions. Handy if you want to setup dual boot systems.
  • Admin. Password Reset Tool – have you ever forgotten the admin. password for your Windows system or have you ever had to service someone’s machine to remove virii and needed admin. access.
  • Treesize Free – handy tool for seeing what the size of directories are and where you might be wasting disk space. Also handy for estimating CD/DVD backup sizes. I have a copy of the older TreeSize Pro 2.4 which is just brill.

When it comes to AV tools, I’ve given up on Symantec and McAfee. I think they’re past their heyday. Symantec Norton Anti-Virus is a resource pig that can slow a Windows machine down at least (I estimate) 20%, certainly noticeable; the user interface is slow; and frankly it misses catching virus, trojans, spyware, etc. In my humble opinion its rubbish. As for McAfee, I stopped using it some where around Windows 98, when it just stopped being as affective in identifying malware. At the time I switched to Norton AV and was happy for a long time until Windows XP and performance problems started appearing. I’ve not revisited McAfee since, but frankly if I’m going to pay for an AV, I’m going to trying something different, like NOD32.

Forget about installing adware or spyware detection tools; remove them if you have. Frankly I do not trust these tools to not be the actual source of adware and spyware themselves. This should be the job of a good and well known anti-virus scanner. The only tool I’ve come to trust that I’ve seen catch stuff that an AV scanner have missed has been Malwarebytes. I recommend running this even if you have an AV scanner.

The above are just some of the handy tools I’ve kept booked marked for emergencies or use on a daily basis. I have others I could probably mention, but for Windows sys.admin. and field support the above is a good place to start and should keep you calm enough to get the job done. You’ll still curse Windows as rubbish, but at least it you might be able to fix it enough to tolerate it longer.

Update 2009-10-07:

  • Avira AntiVir Personal – free for personal use. I’ve been using this for the past 10 months as I’ve found it to be less resource intensive (aka faster) than Avast! and just as good. It lacks many of the extra features of Avast!, such as SMTP, POP, IMAP, P2P, IM, and web scanning, but then for power users who are aware of the pitfalls, use secure channels, and use tools already adapted to their situation, like Firefox web browser, then Avira’s light weight nature compared to Avast! will be better. Still for the average joe unfamiliar with internet security, Avast! Home Edition will probably be a more comprehensive solution.

The Diet Of Man

I was watching Pathfinder last night. A grand and brutally graphic adventure film about when cultures collided in the time of the Vikings. Thought this small snippet of dialogue between Starfire and Ghost best explained both the film and man:

BarricadeMX 2.2

Today my partners, FSL, and I announced the release of BarricadeMX 2.2, the latest version of my comprehensive anti-spam software for POSIX mail servers, in particular Linux, OpenBSD, and FreeBSD. In addition versions for Windows and Mac OS X have been ported and are currently being tested.

Along with the usual plethora of speed, accuracy, and bug fixes that are part of any major release, are several new features and enhancements:

Enhanced Message-ID for Email Watermark (EMEW) Version 2
Improved outbound message “water-marking” reduces the threat of Denial of Service due to “bounce message” floods. With EMEW it is now possible to selectively apply different secrets by individual sender, sender domain, or sender account for outbound tagging and validation of of inbound non-delivery reports or content white listing of replies. This allows an ISP to apply EMEW only for those domains known to use the ISP outbound mail servers exclusively and exclude those domains that might use a mixed mail server model.
Attachment Reject Policies
Using simple file name patterns, deny attachments based on attachment
name, content-type, and/or file names found in .zip and .rar compressed
archives.
Time limited recipient addresses
Easily generate safe and disposable time limited email addresses as part of user’s regular mail address. Intended for use by users who want to supply short lived addresses to questionable web sites registration forms or mailing lists.
Digest DNS Blacklist Support
Originally intended for use with the Malware Hash Registry, it can be used with other similar blacklists. Support for other distributed hashes, such as Vipul’s Razor, Pyzor, and DCC is being considered.
Sophos AV Support
Sophos AV has been added to the already supported AV engines: Avast, ClamAV, F-Prot.
More RFC Supprot
RFC 1652 8BITMIME simple pass-through support now advertised with EHLO capabilities list.

RFC 1870 SMTP SIZE parameter extension supported and can be used in conjunction with the existing access-map size limitation tags length-connect:, length-from:, and length-to: for rejections based on SIZE at RCPT TO: command instead of end of message.

DNS, URI, and NS BL Additions
Now possible to check IP addresses and URI found within selected headers against blacklists. Also experimental options to check URI name servers against specialised NS blacklists now available.

Technical questions concerning the software or documentation, please contact me via SnertSoft directly. Otherwise to arrange for demos, discuss pricing, speciality needs, or other POSIX based platforms please contact my partners FSL.