Month: May 2005

Google web accelerator

Google have released a Web accelerator, otherwise known as smart caching software. Google Web Accelerator uses various strategies to make your web pages load faster, including:

  • Sending your page requests through Google machines dedicated to handling Google Web Accelerator traffic.
  • Storing copies of frequently looked at pages to make them quickly accessible.
  • Downloading only the updates if a web page has changed slightly since you last viewed it.
  • Prefetching certain pages onto your computer in advance.
  • Managing your Internet connection to reduce delays.
  • Compressing data before sending it to your computer

Doesn’t this sound like something that should be happening anyway?

I’ve been driving.

The local insurance agent finally bothered to return our phone calls this morning so we were able to get insured for me to drive the car. The cost was better than I thought it would be considering that I am on a learners permit. 300 dollars for 6 months. This afternoon I drove the car back from the library and it feels weird to be in a ”learner” situation again.Hopefully I can get a lot of practise in over the weekend and take my test early next week

The icecream man cometh

Kristen and I were sitting in the screened in porch when we could hear a tune sounding similar to a Nintendo- (or Ross playing his keyboard in Friends).After a few minutes it got louder and louder as the sound approached but the tune stayed the same. I thought it was a real shame that “It’s a small world after all” was true otherwise we wouldn’t have to listen to the annoying icecream van playing that tune! Now if anyone asks me if I miss anything from the UK, I’ll say “Yes,ice cream vans playing short tunes”

Startup process list

Bleeping computer startups (I’m not sure if it is the computer that is bleeping or someone swearing at the computer) has a list of known startup processes,what they do and whether they can be disabled or not. I’ve got rid of quite a few entries from the new machine and it was useful for some of the hp related utilities that I hadn’t come across. I like this site as it actually gives you useful information whereas something like seems to be vague and prompts you to purchase their utility to get more information.

New desktop

We purchased a new computer from shudder Compusa this morning. We got a very decently spec’ed HP Pavillion A1030N desktop with 512MB memory, 200GB hard disk, 3GHz Intel processor with HT (appears as 2 processors) technology,DVD writer (with lightscribe so I can pay a fortune and have my dvd labels laser engraved – ooooohhhh) and a dvdrom. We also purchased a Norwood Micro 17″ TFT screen to go with it, some speakers, blank dvd’s and a small UPS to power it all. I also got a USB2 wireless adapter so the pc can be set up in the basement (or anywhere we feel like) without being confined to the computer room. This is made by Hawking Technologies (who I’ve never heard of) so it was a bit of a risk buying it, but at $20 after rebates it was cheap enough and I could always return it – but it seems to be working fine.
The whole lot is way cheaper than buying it in the UK and the price gets better as the rebate checks come in (3 for this lot!)
After switching the machine on, going through the boot up procedure it was time to install the wireless adapter which went through without a hitch and connected to the wireless Lan a lot easier than other things I’ve connected. Then it was off to Windows Updates……
18 items and 19MB to download (and it then detects I have some GDI vulnerable programs). The machine also came bundled with some new antispyware software called SpySubtract which I must admit I’d never heard of. It had a 60 day trial so thats enough to let me see what its like.
The other bundled software includes Norton’s Internet protection suite (which will be uninstalled asap), Microsoft Works (useful for Word only), Microsoft Money (will be very handy for keeping track of our balances) and interestingly some WildTangent games. Now supposedly these games are not spyware, according to WildTangent’s support site but other spyware detection programs detect them as spyware as they report back pc specs and each user has a unique id. It will be interesting to see what spysubtract thinks of it. Personally I will remove it if SpySubtract doesn’t – I want to keep this machine as clean as possible.
Down points

  • Spysubtract keeps bugging me that it needs a new download to update it, even though the download program then says that the patch has already been applied
  • Adobe Reader 6 is installed not 7
  • WildTangent
  • HD has a recovery partition on it, but no instructions on how to use it (that I can see so far)

More updates as I carry on the installation of the machine.

New sober virus

Yesterday a new sober varient was discovered and last night the PIL had 4 copies of it in their inbox. Fortunately I had made sure the virus definitions were up to date as part of my reporting to symantec about the update problem (Fat lot of good the reporting did – their response was to just manually update as they didn’t have many pc’s that have been affected with this problem)
I can’t believe that people are STILL opening attachments with “their passwords” in them when they’ve not requested any passwords to be sent to them.

Norton Antivirus causes pc to freeze

The PIL computer has Norton Antivirus 2004 on it and in the past month and a half the machine has been hanging occasionally with the active task (logging, web browsing or emailing) coming up with the hour glass cursor. Killing the process goes through an endless loop of informing MS about the problem and being unable to kill the process. Over the past week and a half I’ve been trying to diagnose the problem by changing bits and pieces on the config and I think I’ve finally tracked it down. The problem is that we need to leave the pc unattended for a period of a day or so to ensure that the problem is fixed (as it often seems to have occured whilst we’ve been away at the computer). It turns out that Symantec have a kb article 2001101111334406 – Computer stops responding when Automatic LiveUpdate runs. Their workaround is to stop liveupdate running and getting the virus updates automatically (which kind of defeats the point of having av updates!) but it does seem to have worked. The computer has been stable for a day and a half and we have had an update warning pop up and the defs downloaded. What annoys me is that they have known about this problem since 2001 and have not fixed it yet.