Archive for March, 2006

Vista, Principle of least privilege and rootkits

March 30, 2006

Still havn't managed to get any C++ done, Focusing more of my time on getting some assignments out of the way at the moment and doing some research for a possible project I might be doing, hoping to have that confirmed tomorow but it's looking good. I'm also going to make a personal website that I can use to promote myself once I complete a few sample projects of my work, I'll include a link to this site as well. I'll start with just a single page at first.  

Well I'm sure you have all heard Vista has been delayed again , From what I have seen of Vista it looks like is going to be a very good operating system and worth the wait. I must try some beta versions… Vista includes many security enhancements (which Windows badly needs) one of interest is their take on the Principle of Least Privilege. This overcomes the issues of users not being able to perform admin levels operations that are required when installing applications, The solution is often to simply give users admin access for their general accounts, The security risks of this are obvious!

A rootkit application is an application that uses techniques to hide themselves from anti virus and anti spyware scanners, here is a tool you can use to scan your computer for rootkits

I found this  when I was sorting my emails out yesterday, Interesting concept!

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General blogging

March 27, 2006

No tech based blogging today, I don’t really like copying news from other sites because too many other blogs do that, and I have been finishing assignments recently so havn’t had a chance to make any progress on projects or interesting stuff. I have been reading a book on operating systems design and am getting more familiar with the lower level concepts. Will take me a while to get through though!

Did anyone watch the show point pleasant? Was a pretty good show, sad to see it get canceled, but I think what really made it was Elisabeth Harnois (above) ๐Ÿ˜€

I may have an industry project (work experience type project) confirmed by the end of this week… fingers crossed!

Hello World!

March 25, 2006

I’ve been thinking of what area of programming I want to get into and the lower level programming seems to interest me more than the higher level business type appications, so I’ve decided to focus on getting a better understanding of C programming in a non graphical environment.
Links:
Hello World! Collection of “Hello world” programs from different programming languages and environments.
Atom and his package You’ll either love it or hate it I think ๐Ÿ™‚ , Summary from website:

“Hello, my name is Atom. I write songs on a few music sequencers and synthesizers (stupidly named ‘the package’ a long time ago) and the guitar. Enjoy. “

Enjoy!

Thursday…

March 22, 2006

I’ve been using google talk more and more now and I think the msn – GTalk transition is going quite well. Most of the people I talk to alot on msn have changed over, and I can still open up msn if I really have to. I’m going to do a review on the voice features of all the popular messenging programs, proberly in about a week. On the topic of my mini project I think I under estimated what would be involved, it will proberly take a week, I’ve been too busy to get started but will make a start tonight.

Also, if you have not heard of del.icio.us it is an online bookmarking service which allows you to save websites to a public profile. It also tells you how many other people have saved the same link and allows you to view their profiles. They have also just released a “do not share” feature which allows you to post up bookmarks that are not shown on your public profile. A very good feature.

And hello! to all the people viewing this blog through blog mad, feel free to vote for me ๐Ÿ˜‰ or post a comment!

Varb For Me

Links:

Think you are up to date with all the new Web 2.0 applications coming out?

An interesting post by Larry Osterman on why Microsoft “Time Bomb” its beta releases. Time Bombing is when a beta product stops functionality after a certain time, either by feature (such as not allowing further saving) or by removing all functionality. Its a pretty interesting read, although the comments at the end of the article seem to go quite off topic.

New to linux? TUX online magazine is a digital magazine for the new Linux user. I subscribed and downloaded issue 11 today and it was an interesting read, very beginner level.

Windows Defender, Disk wiping, and Power Point prototyping

March 21, 2006

Windows Defender (Beta 2) is the next version of the Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware tool. Windows Defender runs in the background and gives real time protection gainst spyware and removes existing spyware from your computer, and its free (requires genuine windows validation). I highly recommend this tool. Windows Defender (Beta 2) can be downloaded here.

Disk wiping using cipher, I didn’t know about this tool unitl today. cipher is availible for Windows 2000 + , but is not supported on Windows XP Home. cipher uses three stages to ensure data on the hard disk is completely erased. A good overview can be found here.

Jensen Harris, a lead program manager at Microsoft wrote this interesting article on prototyping with Power Point. He outlines some good techniques and it is interesting to see such simple methods of initial protoyping are used in the industry. I guess for initial prototypes you don’t need anything more complex, Although RAD tools such as Delphi and useful.

Time to get back to assignments …

Borland selling delphi

March 21, 2006

This was announced some time ago and I have not been following it too closely but today I had a look at the blog article: Borland plans separate company for Delphi, JBuilder, C++Builder, InterBase, JDataStore and other developer products.

I wonder who the buyer will be and what their plans for it are? I am a great fan of the object-pascal language and Delphi environment and will greately miss it if it is not picked up.

Having said that, what I primarily use Delphi for is quick RAD based development and do not require the lastest IDE adancements to get this done, I could carry on with Delphi 7 quite happily.

On the topic of Delphi, when I get some free time I’d like to try out Kylix for Linux as well.

And blogmad went live today!

Good news, everyone!

March 20, 2006

I just read over at Slashdot that 26 new episodes of futurama are going into production :D. Very good news!

Another interesting find, Google Windows apps coming to Linux. More good news!

I really want one of these cameras I love the fun/no rules/shoot from the hip approach to photography, and the unique images these cameras capture.

MSBOB and Google Talk

March 19, 2006

I have been playing with MS Bob a bit, The logo (Nerd Smile in MSN) still freaks me out a little though ๐Ÿ˜›

I downloaded Google Talk today, 876KB download which is the size a messenger program should be. Sadly I don’t think I will end up using it much as all my messenging contacts are on MSN and are very unlikely to change over, there isn’t much point in having two apps running when you can just use the one. I think people actually like all the bloat in MSN too (Winks?) haha!

This is how a messenging program should look! No ads! No Sidebar! No web search! And a simple design that does not take over the screen! The features that Google Talk lacks compared to MSN I don’t think I’d miss. Google Talk cannot do file transfer but MSN isn’t the best at that and Google Talk has seamless integration with GMail which does it perfectly.

GUIdebook goodies

March 18, 2006

I’ve spent a bit of time reading some articles over at GUIdebook. I followed a link off their trivia section to an article titled: The Windowsยฎ 95 User Interface: A Case Study in Usability Engineering. I enjoyed reading about their approach to the design and use of prototyping (in visual basic 3) . The article also includes some of the documentation forms that were used in the project. I think I will be able to use these in future projects of my own ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is a cool series of icons from GUIdebook. The top left was from Windows 3.0 shows how the icon was refreshed with each major release of the operating system.

The first band on the internet and User Interfaces

March 17, 2006

I’m not sure how I found it but I’ve had the LHC: The First Band on the Web in my bookmarks for a while. The page shows what they claim is the first image to be posted on a webpage. I have no reason to doubt this, and a 2 second google search semi-confirmed this, how true it is I do not know!

User interface design has always interested me , I have never made an application with an overly impressive GUI but believe a GUI should be as simple as possible while still providing a little eye candy. Proberly the best example of GUI design that I have seen would have to be Apple. Apple have produced guidelines for interfaces and kept them updated to suit each new release (LISA),(OS X). I think designers could learn alot from these!

While on the topic of user interfaces I need to decide what desktop environment I am going to use when I next install Linux, KDE vs GNOME. I have used KDE with Mandrake 10 so I am leaning more to GNOME… We shall see.