Month: February 2004

Blogroll takeover – will anyone notice?

I’m sure you’ve all heard that blogrolling has been brought out by Tucows, the repository of freeware and shareware. I must admit that I don’t tend to use Tucows as I tend to go to the authors directly, but when they are swamped with downloads then Tucows is a handy place to head to. Anyway, with nearly everyone’s blogging software providing rdf feeds, including the free blogger, is there really any need for a service like blogrolling? Ok, it provides a list on your page of which sites you read – but an opml list can do that, and it also gives a nice star or other symbol by sites that have recently updated (according to but getting the news from the site direct will also give you that knowledge *including* the content…..So what else does blogrolling give us? I must admit that although I have the list on my page its not updated very often and I don’t use it now to keep up to date with sites that have changed, which I used to before I had a decent RSS reader. I know Iconoblog uses blogrolling, but I’m glad he’s not asked me to explain RSS usage yet 🙂

NAV updates solution?

Seeing as though we were caught out with old definitions from Nav, despite running Liveupdate at 4am in the morning each day (which doesn’t detect if there are new NON-Liveupdate downloads) I wrote the following script to get the latest updates from Symantec at 6am, 12:30pm, 4.30pm and 9.30pm. Using wget it downloads the navup8.exe file (if its newer), runs it and then copies the .xdb files to the NAV directory. Hopefully by running it several times a day the traffic is light (as it only downloads if newer) and we shouldn’t be more then a few hours out of date and ahead of any virus infection is the idea. The only thing I can’t work out is how not to run the .exe file if the download didn’t actually happen. I guess I could log the download and search for a “file is same date” string and run the .exe on this condition…..thats next weeks project for when I’m in the office.

wget -N public/ english_us_canada/ antivirus_definitions/ norton_antivirus/ static/ navup8.exe
move *.xdb c:\progra~1\nav >>c:\scripts\symantec\log.txt

TabBrowser Extensions for Firefox

The TabBrowser Extension has been updated and no longer crashes Firefox. This is an almost essential addon as amongst other things its the only extension that provides a CTRL Click on a tab to close the tab. (It also provides functionality to open a link in a tab but this is available with other extensions). All the other ones rely on a middle click, and as I’m using a trackpoint mouse I don’t have a middle button and as I’m so used to having this facility it was a nightmare to not have it and to have to right click, then choose close on the tab.

MyDoom.F impact

Typical – the first recent virus that does damage to the users local files as opposed to just launching a DOS attack or act as a zombie (which the firewall would have prevented) and this is the one that the user gets infected with, AND with no backup of their data!
The cost to us was a days downtime whilst I had the users pc shipped to the office to work on, 5 hours of my time to hack the box to change the administrator password (as this was set by a previous company and I wasn’t bringing the machine online to change the password over the network!),run the av software check (which took about 3 hours to run), run adaware to remove the spyware (gator) on the machine and check for windows updates (remarkably uptodate!) I also had to run a complete network sweep which REALLY slowed everyone’s machine for about an hour – and all because updates were less than a day old and someone was daft enough to open a weirdly named attachment. In their defence the file did look a .txt file due to large amounts of spaces and changing the icon to look like a .txt file instead of a .exe file

Style Selector with Firefox

I tried to use Firefox at Movable Style with the really neat Modern Lines style sheet last night and it worked great – I really like the clean look for it (but shouldn’t it be called Movable Styles?). However for best effect the Style Selector plugin needs to be installed as you can then switch between styles from the icon in the bottom right of the statusbar (as well as from the drop down list on the web page). The annoying thing is that the styleselector extension has gone missing from the Firefox list of plugins. It does still work though as I’m using it right now.

Incidentally I tried using the EditCSS plugin to see what this page would look like with the Modern_lines style and the date text disappears which is annoying and it was too late last night to work out why (and too early right now to try again)

Jerry Kindall uses MT

I used to read Jerry Kindall a long time ago when I used blogrolling as my primary method of finding out when blogs were updated…then I discovered RSS readers and at the time he didn’t produce a feed. I checked out my blogrolling links this evening and saw he had recently updated so went across to take a look. Not only does he now use MovableType and therefore has a rss feed, he linked to a neat Animals on the underground website. I’m almost considering having an underground category as I’ve quite a few posts on the underground (Ok, not as many as I thought I did, but this might change!)


As Neil has reposted/boasted 🙂 about the link to his blog from one of MT’s authors on pinging various services, it prompted me to setup the pings on this blog. I’ve got most of them in there now so it will be interesting to see how long it takes to post an entry. I do wish there was a way to not ping hosts like if you’ve already pinged them as its annoying getting the error message in the logs and a “request timed out” from bloggar.