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About Metrogirl

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    Resistance is futile...

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    http://Seems like this was cancelled...

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    United States (Originally from UK)
  1. Hey everybody! Many of the old timers here might remember me ... I was in at the start of OSX86Project.org and was a global moderator for several years. Sometime after Mash sold the site I was involved in a lot of 'real' work which meant travelling around the world and I couldn't check in very much; rather disappointingly when I was back home again I discovered that I had been demoted to a regular user and then 'retired'. Well, I had a lot of friends here and I guess I miss you guys. I still spend a lot of time with OSX and doing rather unusual things with PCs (keep your thoughts clean, please) and I think that perhaps I still have something to offer the community. Not sure I'll return to the heady days of checking every morning for new posts but I believe I can make a contribution. But before I launch headlong into resuming my love affair with this site, I thought I'd canvass some opinion. Does anyone out there actually remember me? Would anyone be happy if I came back? (Or unhappy...) Would anyone really care or is it a big yawn all round? Tell me, I'm a big girl (again, keep your thoughts clean) and I can take a hint... Anyway, to all my friends - Hello again! - and to everyone else - Hi! -Sarah PS that avatar really is what I look like. OK, I'm ten years older now, or is it eleven - but not much has changed! PPS if you are an old friend, feel free to PM me.
  2. Windows 7 Lag

    ... or you can just run a virtual machine in VMWare and roll back to a snapshot after installing anything dubious. I used to swear by Kerio/Sunbelt firewall which has great application-level and web control functionality, but they haven't released a W7 version yet. For W7 they force you to install their full Vipre product which has the firewall bundled with an anti-virus suite. That's probably quite a good AV but I am p*d off with them because there's no excuse for not releasing just the firewall. It obviously exists within the bundle. Their salespeople have triumphed over the wishes of the user. FWIW the antivirus, like so many others, is plagued by false positives. In my line of work, there are many things on my computer which AV software doesn't like and which get quarantined or zapped if I'm not careful. Because of this I don't run AV, I rely on running stuff in virtual machines. I also use Thinstalled apps wherever possible in Windows, avoiding permanent installs. + to the recommendations of Malwarebytes, it's good.
  3. You are probably right, looks like spam to me too. A keylogger is not a good method of parental control ... you might see what the kids have been doing but by then it's too late. Link squashed and thread closed.
  4. Macdrive woes!

    I tested this on a W7 installation and you are quite right. I think it's to do with the way W7 handles 'network' drives and that's how MacDrive appears to the system. Not sure if there's an answer yet; maybe if there's an incompatibility the MacDrive people will address it in an update. If I spot an answer I'll let you know. Of course you could grab the Windows HFS+ drivers Apple is supposed to be including with 10.6 (Quote from the web: "Apple has released read-only HFS+ drivers for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 with the Mac OS X 10.6 developer preview") and see if they solve your problem.
  5. Copying the HD on a recent purchase

    That should work, I've done it myself, but nowadays I invariably take an Acronis TrueImage copy of any new installation; you boot with the Acronis CD and make a full image of the HD onto an external USB drive. With compression the image isn't very big. If you ever want to restore, you boot again with the Acronis CD and use the external image to rewrite the HD. Acronis isn't free (about $30) but it's very good and it's never let me down yet. Generally I make the image after installing Windows with the current updates and after all those little customisations I like. Saves a lot of time. The restored image boots just like it did when you took it. You can do the same with other products like Norton Ghost; I just happen to like Acronis. Incidentally a lot of manufacturer's restore discs use a product like Norton 'under the covers' to do their stuff. Just be aware that if you are using an OEM version of Windows, i.e. the one that came pre-installed, you are in for trouble if you try restoring to a different machine (wrong drivers, no longer activated etc.)! See also the other recent post in this section for more endorsements of Acronis - it's excellent software.
  6. How Windows Can Be Fixed

    Those are great ideas. For a long time I've been using a sandbox program to control what new installations throw onto the system. Everthing the installer writes to the drive gets stuffed in a logical directory structure within the sandbox and all registry changes/additions go into a logical registry structure too - not the live registry. Running the freshly-installed program from within the sandbox (you can set it so it always runs within the sandbox) makes sure it can see all its stuff, and if you don't like it you can delete the sandbox and it's gone, no mess, no left-overs and no hassle. OK, so MS could have offered this, but they didn't, and the sandbox program does it all. This solution is perfect for installing or running stuff you've downloaded from the internet and it will catch things you don't want on the system such as trojans which get added to some distributions. After installation you just scan the virtual registry and the virtual directories for things that shouldn't be there. I use 'Sandboxie' - Google for it - that's an endorsement, not a plug because there are several out there, but Sandboxie does everything I need in this respect.
  7. Windows xp?

    Booting with the XP disk will set you on the right track... For details, admittedly on reinstalling XP rather than moving from Vista, I put a fairly comprehensive guide on my site under "installing XP" - sixth link down on the main index page. Site link under my sig below. Beware that if the XP disk came with a different computer it might be expecting the same BIOS for an embedded licence key to work. You may have to mess around with product keys and reactivate.
  8. Vista is one of those things that make evangelists out of ordinary people. You either hate it or love it, and as with most things in life, the haters tend to be the more vocal. Windows 7 will go the same way. I think Vista was the first big step for Windows into the world of "you don't need to know what's going on under the hood". Up till then the operating system had kept its components accessible and you could tinker and fiddle to your heart's content. Vista took a lot of control away from the user - quite rightly so in many cases, because people will always screw things up - but of course that didn't please the techies and those who knew how to tailor things to their own taste. In that sense Vista was more like OSX but "MS knows best" came as a shock to the corporate world and Vista's poor sales outside the home market stem from this perception. There's already a growing subculture intent on keeping XP alive for as long as possible; grafting-in Vista drivers and updating it to support newer technologies and I predict this fanbase will allow XP to last for several more years than Microsoft would like. The fact is that for all Vista's pretty interface many technical users don't want what they see as clutter and obfuscation. For the same reason a lot of technical people don't care much for OSX. Control is what it's all about for them and these new super-graphical operating systems have taken control away from the user. So it all depends on what you know and want to do. If it's just runing a spreadsheet, browsing the web or sending email - particularly if you don't want to know much about computers - you should go for OSX, Vista or W7 when it's live. You'll get impressive stability, reliability and the OS will save you from making mistakes. But if you want ultimate control, customisation and flexibility, XP will still be your friend for a long time yet.
  9. Pirate Bay Sunk

    Today "The Pirate Bay", the torrent site for which there has been a whole timber-shivering treasure-chest-full of euphemisms in these pages, was raided by Swedish police and the entire server farm carted away in trucks, along with the arrest of two of the operators. The Pirate Bay had long enjoyed a relative immunity from prosecution under Swedish law due to the inability of legislation to prove that hosting links and not illegal software per se was actually a contravention of statute. However it appears that management of the torrent swarm was finally considered enough to cause the action on the grounds that the servers were 'Assisting Breach of Copyright Law'. It will be a tough fight for prosecutors; the legality of indirect linking has never been tested in Swedish law and there is no concept of torrent mechanism, swarm management or the relevant protocol in existing legislation. The entertainment industry is already crowing about this 'victory for the paying public'. A spokesman is alleged to have said that the police investigation will take considerable time, and the servers will not be released until the case is closed. Without their servers, piratebay.org will effectively be unable to continue, but their ISP has allowed them to retain a news page with scant details and links to more information on Slyck, Slashdot and other news sites. In related action, police also took servers hosting Piratbyran, a public information site which has been supporting the argument for legality of torrent hosting in Sweden. The most worrying aspect of this appears to be that the Swedish police themselves could not say whether a crime had been committed or not; they appear to have the power to seize computers to establish whether a crime exists. In many jurisdictions, such action would be unthinkable. If a warrant can be issued without clear evidence of an identified transgression, the future looks bleak indeed. More detail is on Slyck.
  10. Apple Online store hacked

    Silicon.com reported yesterday on this week's hack of Apple's Korean online store. According to the article here the hacker managed to get admin rights on a Mac OSX server running Apache. Although Apple have infuriated the public by refusing to comment, there is no suggestion that customer data may have been compromised or fraudulent transactions processed. In other reports, speculation about security vulnerabilities in OSX server, Apache, and Apple's trading model, which is apparently consistent across the world, have sparked renewed interest in Apple's 'holier than thou' policy. Particularly interesting is the company's almost proprietary response to incidents like this, pretending that nothing has happened and everything is as clean and white as the glossy plastic machines they sell. As one commentator states, "Mud sticks, but it's particularly obvious on a white surface". Although the hacker has not given details of the vulnerability which gave him access to deface the server, there is a good possibility that the same issue faces all Apple's web stores. Doubtless armies of Apple staff are fixing it even as you read this.
  11. DMCA is policed by RoboLawyer

    In today's Security Focus article by Mark Rasch, it is revealed that Takedown Notices served under the hated DMCA are increasingly being generated by automated systems, or "Lawyerbots". The article, although written in a light-hearted style, carries a sinister message. Lawyerbots abound. They trawl the internet on the behalf of copyright owners, searching for any potential infringement, and they issue Takedown Notices whenever they find one. The problems are obvious. They don't always get it right. They don't stop until the perceived infringement disappears (remember the Terminator?). If it comes back, so do they. They create all the correct legal language, complete with dire threats, which can prompt an ISP into taking action out of proportion to the real issue. The DMCA is very clear on Takedown Notices. The ISP has to notify the alleged content owner of the notice, and if no response is received by a certain time, the content must be removed. Some ISPs will remove the content immediately to avoid problems, awaiting a complaint or explanation from the person responsible. Suspending that person's account is common. Naturally, the Lawyerbots don't need wages, they don't get tired and they don't go home at night. It is trivial to set one up and sit back while it generates thousands of Takedown Notices. What usually happens when litigation is threatened by a big company in the US? Joe Public can't afford to pursue true justice, so he packs up and gives in to the lawyers. Once again innovation and creativity are stifled by a law which has gone way beyond its original intent. As for OSx86, you can be certain that Apple is not in the dark about Lawyerbot technology. To date their Takedown Notices have apparently originated from real men and women in real offices, but who can be certain?
  12. Internet Jackass Day

    Internet Jackass Day April the 1st is almost upon us. This forum hasn't been around quite long enough to have experienced the lunacy that tends to go on on All Fools' Day, particularly on the internet. Yet. CNET News has a timely warning in today's article by Daniel Terdiman, detailing some of the more - and less - amusing goings on with the internet on this great day for jokers, pranksters and those with less benevolent motives. The author of Waxy.org, a popular technology culture blog, dubs it "Internet Jackass Day" It's all fun, of course, and most people can spot a spoof, but I'd like to add an extra note of caution which wasn't in the article. The malware authors, pharmers and phishers never miss any opportunity to catch more victims, and links to 'amusing spoof stories' will probably abound. Be extra vigilant in what you read tomorrow, and for the next few days, since propagation is not always instant. I'm sure none of our worthy members will be posting bogus stories here, will they? If you're tempted to post a spoof, you might want to stop to consider the impact on some of our newer users. BBC Stories Used as Bait. In another breaking story on CNET today, a concerted effort to exploit an unpatched Internet Explorer vulnerability using BBC News stories as an enticement to click on a link to a site dropping trojans or Phishing for personal information. Aren't you glad you're using Safari?
  13. Interesting NY Times Vista/OSX comparison

    Today's New York Times carries an article entitled "Windows is So Slow, but Why?". The article compares the development of Vista and MS' insistence on maintaining backwards compatibility, against Apple's strategy. As XP has remained largely unchanged (bugfixes excepted) in five years, and Apple have exponentially added features to their OS, MS strategy has come into question. In those five years, Apple Computer has turned out four new versions of its Macintosh operating system, beating Microsoft to market with features that will be in Vista, like desktop search, advanced 3-D graphics and "widgets," an array of small, single-purpose programs like news tickers, traffic reports and weather maps. So what's wrong with Microsoft? There is, after all, no shortage of smart software engineers working at the corporate campus in Redmond, Wash. The problem, it seems, is largely that Microsoft's past success and its bundling strategy have become a weakness. The article goes on to question the bloat that will inevitably become incorporated into Vista. Although it's written in NYT's typical journalese, it raises some interesting questions.
  14. Apple gets security lecture from Microsoft

    In a classic flipping of the script, a Microsoft program manager who regularly serves as the public face of the software maker's security response process rapped Apple for the way it handles security guidance to customers. "Here's the reality, for the next couple of years the Mac OS will experience increasing security threats and mark my words, the company will have to seek outside expertise in the form of a head of security communications in the next 12 months," said Stephen Toulouse in his public blog on Stepto.com. Stepto also carries an entry entitled "Apple, State of Fear, Good night and Good ..." which starts off berating Apple's lack of RSS feed for security advisories. The full article in this morning's eWeek can be read here.
  15. French copyright law hits Apple

    "French lawmakers approved an online copyright bill that would require Apple to break open the exclusive format behind its market-leading iTunes music store and iPod players." After several months' legal wrangling, draft French legislation was passed yesterday which, among other things, will either force Apple to change DRM mechanisms in iTunes, or abandon the service in France. "Lawmakers in the National Assembly, France's lower house, voted 296-193 Tuesday to approve the bill. The legislation now has to be debated and voted by the Senate -- a process expected to begin in May. Apple has so far refused to comment on the bill or on analysts' suggestions that the Cupertino, California-based company might choose to withdraw from the French online music market rather than share the proprietary technology at the heart of its business model. Representatives for Apple France did not return calls Tuesday. Under the bill, companies would be required to reveal the secrets of hitherto-exclusive copy-protection technologies such as Apple's FairPlay format and the ATRAC3 code used by Sony's Connect store and Walkman players. That would permit consumers for the first time to download music directly to their iPods from stores other than iTunes, or to rival music players from iTunes France. Apple has most to lose because of its phenomenal penetration of the digital music market, according to analysts. Critics of the French move say legislators have no business forcing Apple to share its proprietary format -- arguing that customers know its limitations when they choose to buy an iPod." Other aspects of the bill reduce penalties and loosen constraints on file-sharing while making some provisions more restrictive including definitive 30-150 euro fines who break copyright for personal use. Read the full article here or pre-vote background here.