Vonage / Xten X-Pro Softphone on Mac

June 29, 2004

Vonage now offers the Xten X-Pro Softphone for Mac OS X.  In some brief playing around, this seems to work quite a bit better than the X-Lite phone I mentioned here.  Setup is also much simpler, of course—insert your Vonage-provided softphone number and password, do a quick audio calibration, and it’s ready to roll.

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Welcome to Day Zero

June 25, 2004

A “Zero Day Exploit” is essentially an attack on a computer that comes before a patch or other remedy could have been installed to fix it.  In other words, it can’t be put down to a lack of prevention, not keeping the OS updated, not keeping antivirus software up-to-date, etc. 

It just happens.

I was at a client’s office the other day, and one of their workstations showed massive signs of infection; I tried a few quick cleanup things on it, with no great luck, and ended up working on the machine back at my office.

What I found, and what I learned, wasn’t pretty—it was a piece of “malware” (malicious software—whether it’s spyware, a virus, a trojan or whatever else) that nothing seemed able to remove…

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R.I.P. The Screen Savers

June 17, 2004

Years ago, I used to enjoy playing with screen savers.  Back in the day, if my machine was otherwise idle, fireworks, or squadrons of flying toasters or mazes of pipes used to bang or flutter or extrude their way across my monitor.  After awhile I got tired of it—the noise if I forgot to turn the monitor down, the excess system resources used, memory leaks, etc.  Since then, I’ve just set my screen to a quiet, boring peaceful “off” when it isn’t in use.

For the past couple of years, I’ve watched TechTV’s “The Screen Savers.” I even enjoyed it a lot more than flying toasters—up until recently…

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Paper CLIE Cradle

June 15, 2004

This is entirely too cool… A fold-it-yourself functional origami cradle for a Sony CLIE…  Assuming you can get past the bablefish translation and are handy with scissors, anyway…

(via BoingBoing)

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…napalm in the morning

June 15, 2004

It’s another wonderful day on the ‘net!

Unless, of course, your DNS is at Akamai or your blog is at

But hey, at least your phone doesn’t have a virus


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Belkin OmniView SOHO DVI/USB KVM Switch Review

June 15, 2004

Belkin OmniView SOHO DVI/USB KVM 2 Port SwitchWell, there’s a mouthful of acronyms for you.  For those unfamiliar, a KVM switch is a device to switch a Keyboard, Video monitor, and Mouse between several computers.  DVI in this case stands for “Digital Visual Interface”, a standard for connecting computers to (mostly) LCD monitors, and of course USB is Universal Serial Bus and SOHO stands for “Small Office – Home Office”.

Regular readers may recall that a short time back I ended up replacing a dying old Viewsonic 19” CRT with the excellent Princeton VL1916 19” LCD monitor.  Well, of course one thing leads to another, and I decided that it’d be convenient to be able to use this with both my desktop and my PowerBook.

I’ve used KVM switches in the past, but those were the dark days of the technology—not-too-bright mainly mechanical switches, usually with a lot of quality loss on the VGA signal. They were annoying, but handy under certain circumstances.

Times have changed…

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Send in the clones.

June 13, 2004

Checking in from the other side of the playground for a moment, I’ve had a little time to upgrade the old “Pismo” PowerBook I mentioned the other day.

Sticking fresh RAM and a hard drive in it couldn’t have been much simpler.  The keyboard lifts up, and there are five screws to remove to get the processor daughter board out, and remove the drive carrier.  Another four screws and slide the new drive into the carrier, put everything back in, and fire it up.

That’s where the really amazing part started…

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Spyware and You.

June 13, 2004

Just to follow-up yesterday’s post about Spyware and Viruses

There are a few little rules to anti-spyware programs that may not be terribly obvious until you’ve used them for awhile.

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No. More. Excuses.

June 12, 2004

Reports last week suggested that 80% of spam was coming from zombied Windows boxes—boxes taken over by viruses and other malware that are acting as spam senders, probably without their owners having a clue that it’s happening.

Now granted, no fine folks reading this are liable to be part of the problem, but damn betcha somebody you know is.  It’s time to hit ‘em over the head with a clue…

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More MP3s

June 12, 2004

The fine folks at Neuromantics / Bunker have put up a dandy new mix tape, in a zipped collection of MP3s—you can download it here

Looking for more blogs with downloadable MP3s? Here’s a good place to start… 

(Via Neuromantics/Bunker)

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