Archive for September, 2009

Trojans Disguised as Fake Antivirus Programs

I work on client computers on a daily basis, on-site and remotely. A major problem in recent weeks is finding fake antivirus programs installed. Three that come to mind is Alpha Antivirus, Personal Antivirus, and System Protection Suite. They sound perfectly legitimate, but are actually cleverly disguised trojan horses. They infect computers, slow them down, can change computer settings and computer files, among other things. Every virus and trojan is different.

Again, the programs look totally legitimate, which is fooling people. They will even do scans and return results, which are complete lies.

The best way I’ve found to remove such programs is using the completely free program Malware Bytes that removes most (if not all) spyware, malware, and trojan horses. A lot of antivirus programs scan for spyware, malware, and trojans as well, but I’ve found Malware Bytes is better for detecting and removing spyware and trojans, and using an antivirus program for viruses.

There are many free legitimate and free antivirus programs available, including Avira, Avast, BitDefender, and AVG. Of course, you get what you paid for, in terms of reliabilty, ease of use, and detection and removal. I recommend NOD32, though Norton and McAfee are great, they can slow the system down. I only recommend the Antivirus versions of those products, not the All-In-One solutions.

Please, be careful of what you’re downloading. If a website asks you to download a program that you don’t recognize, save yourself some money, the time, and the headache, and ask your local computer geek if that program(s) is safe to download and use.

House – Season 6 Goodies (some spoilers)

I’m a big ‘House’ fan. I got hooked from watching season 5 with a good friend of mine. I also watched seasons 1-4 sparingly throughout the summer. I think the character of ‘House’ is exaggerated for entertainment, drama, and shock value. I think, sometimes, they over-do some of the scenes and dialogue, making House seem cruel, when I don’t think that’s the intent at all.

Through surfing the internet over recent weeks, I’ve come across some interesting interviews and videos promoting season 6 (which starts tonight at 8pm). Here’s what I’ve found:

I found a couple of interviews with Hugh Laurie and series creator David Shore a couple of weeks ago, but I didn’t bother to make note of the websites. So, here’s what I copy and pasted. If anyone knows the websites, I’m more than happy to give credit where it’s due.

"That’s part of my job, to make things as real and believable as they can be."
-Hugh Laurie

Q: what is your favorite episode of dr house?
Hugh Laurie: Not sure about episodes. I haven’t seen them all yet. But I have favourite moments…

Q: Any scoop on upcoming guest stars? And who would you like to guest?
Hugh Laurie: I will try and get ET. [Emma Thompson] She’s awful busy….

Q: Would you ever consider directing an episode of House?
Hugh Laurie: I’d love to direct, as the cliche goes, but then I’d lose any right to complain about how hard I work – and I do love my complaining…..

Q: hugh are you a huddy fan like many of us?
Hugh Laurie: If it’s done well, why not?

Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows? (other than your own, that is)
Hugh Laurie: Daily show

Q: Hi! do you think you would make friends with Gregory House?
Hugh Laurie: I think I wd like GH – friends, not so sure

Q: please tell the writers that we miss the clinic scenes, we would love to see them more often!
Hugh Laurie: I will tell them – I think they miss them too but struggle to fit them in sometimes

Q: How many hours a day are you on the set?
Hugh Laurie: Varies. we’re trying to keep it down to 12 a day, otherwise people burn out

Q: Does acting like House become easy for you by now?
Hugh Laurie: I never find acting easy. Always nervous. Every shot.

Q: Is it hard talking in the american accent?
Hugh Laurie: Yeah. Or is it yeeeaah, or yep?

Q: What has been the most difficult scene for you to shoot?
Hugh Laurie: Wilson on speed

Q: Do you have to practice being Dr. Crankypants or does it just come naturally for you?
Hugh Laurie: I am naturally cranky. It’s how they found me.

Q: What is the greatest challenge in playing House?
Hugh Laurie: Just getting it right. Getting it as good as the scripts deserve

TVG: Will Amber [Anne Dudek] be back?
DS: No.

TVG: Is Foreman taking over the day-to-day running of the team?
DS: In a way, yes. As with anything, though, we try to make it more complicated than that, but yeah.

Having him just coming out of an institution, we didn’t want to throw him into a relationship initially. We want to deal with his mental health a little bit. House is trying to be a more mature person. And failing more often than not.

TVG: Are Cameron and Chase coming back to their old jobs?
David Shore: They will be back in their old jobs, in a sense. After the House two-hour episode, we needed to give other people responsibilities, and we shook the team up a bit, and are having a little bit of fun with it. We’re bringing them up front and centre for a little bit, for a few episodes certainly. And we’re enjoying [what we’re doing with their characters] so far.

Primarily, what we’re trying to do at the beginning of this year is House’s search for change, and whether he can or wants to change. It’s fundamentally the same character, but he’s also just trying to make his life just a little bit better. And trying to take the high road.

Another Q&A with Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie season 6 interview

Mental Hospital set tour

Season 6 promo trailers

House official website

Windows Live Mail vs Windows Mail

I had a client a couple of weeks ago that could not access her Hotmail account through Windows Mail. I was instantly thrilled she wasn’t using Outlook Express. I quickly moved past that thought, and it occurred to me that Microsoft had released ‘Windows Live Mail’. I wasn’t sure what the difference was, so I decided to find out. Turns out, Windows Live Mail *does* support Hotmail. Ok, that by itself is just confusing!

Microsoft includes a free programs in Windows Vista called ‘Windows Mail’, which is the successor to Outlook Express. All in all, a simple, but usable program. The trouble is, it doesn’t support Microsoft’s own Hotmail.com. Yes, really. It does, however, import mail and settings from Outlook Express quite nicely. That topic is for an entirely different post altogether, though.

Despite the incredibly similar name, you can download Windows Live Mail from the Microsoft website, for free. It’s included in the Windows Live installer, which allows you to download one or all of Microsoft’s ‘Live’ products at once. Convenient, but be sure to uncheck anything you don’t want. No point having stuff on your system you’ll never use.

Once you download and install Windows Live Mail, start it up, use the import/export feature (under ‘File), and your emails and contacts will magically appear. Under the ‘Tools’ menu, choose ‘Accounts’, then click ‘Add’, then ‘E-Mail Account’.

Put in the basic information, and click ‘manually configure server settings for email account’, and put in your Hotmail account information, and be sure to change the server settings to ‘http’. Once the account is linked to it, close the wizard, and click ‘send/receive’.

If it asks you for your password, check ‘always remember’, enter your password, and click ‘ok’.

This process is obviously much more complicated than it needs to be, and for that, you can thank Microsoft. They don’t make it apparent anywhere that Hotmail will only connect to Windows Live Mail, and not Windows Mail. Also, why name both programs almost the same thing? That’s just confusing!

Why have two separate programs anyway? They’re both free!!

Geeks like me are happy to help people with these sort of problems, but honestly, it would be nice if the companies that made the products could make things a lot easier to understand. That would make our jobs a lot easier.


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