Posted tagged ‘windows’

Windows Live Writer



Currently writing this blog post using a new tool I found called Windows Live Writer. It’s a program that combines the same WYSIWYG-type editing you’d find online, with all the benefits of a local program (Like pasting pictures and screenshots). I was a bit hesitant regarding their blog integration but the setup went smoothly, I just entered my account credentials and Writer took care of the rest.  – very neat. Unless I find some obvious flaw later on this will definitely be my new editor. The one WordPress uses is very good, but it’s heavy and tends to get slow when editing. (Adding pictures isn’t much fun.) I’ll leave you with a picture of the software and some cool shadow effects added on by Writer! 🙂


In other news…
Check this out if you’ve ever wondered about apostrophe rules. Helped me a lot! Dont use the’m incorrectly!

Why won’t OS X leave my thumb drive alone?


hermesThe result after copying a few files from a Mac onto my thumb drive.
I’m just waiting for the day when OS X comes with a “Don’t spam my drive
with an extravagant number of unnecessary files” checkbox.

If anyone else is interested in what these “._” files actually are and why you don’t need them you’ll find explanations here and here. In short they’re “fork files” that contain certain (unnecessary) settings and are a remainder from older days.

In other news…

61PKqcstHXL._SS500_Feer the deer.

If you’re in the market for some amazing stoner rock you can’t go wrong with Dozers album “Through the Eyes of Heathens”. I found this little diamond a little while ago and it’s been played a lot these past couple of week. It’s great for programming, inducuing a state of melacholia where the only thing that matters is you and your code.

Tinfoil Tom Series – Episode 1: Securing your web browser


f73603379ec11c4bdc493282f4b2d547p_510x270“What’cha lookin’ at?!”
(Thanks to Sarah for this beautiful depiction of paranoia!)

Hi and welcome to the “Tinfoil Tom” series that I intend on running on this very blog. This series of post will be dedicated to end-user computer security – for the slightly paranoid. So it seemed appropriate to start with what you’re doing at this very moment – that is, surfing the web! (Whatever else you were doing is but your own business, in the spirit of tinfoil hats, paranoia and all.)

This guide is first and foremost directed at power-users, but it is written in a way so that (hopefully) anyone can follow it without problems.

The web browser
Try asking someone about their web browser preference and you’ll notice that many people would rather bite your head off than consider an alternative one. That being said, according to me – the power-user browser is Firefox. Opera is not far behind and may very well excel in some categories, but with the grand focus on security, the enormous community and the perpetually growing add-on library that all Firefox users can enjoy, it’s simply unbeatable, and so it will be a prerequisite for this tutorial.

With its out-of-the-box configuration Firefox is one of the most secure browsers, but we won’t stop there! To make your experience even safer – read on for some useful add-ons.

Added security
Here are some great add-ons that will help in tightening your browsers security.

Adblock Plus

beforeafterBefore and after shot. Unfortunately, some of that heavily
appealing “bling-bling” disappears together with the ads.

Whilst not technically a security add-on, Adblock plus make practically all ads on pages disappear, and in such way makes you less targetable to third-party exploits such as XSS attacks, not to mention those bastard animated smileys. *shivers*

Using Ad blocking software has come under heavy fire lately, with many ad-financed sites expressing heavy criticism towards the users, some sites have even started to reject users with ad-blocking software. Luckily, the number of these sites so far is very small, and let us hope it doesn’t spread. One could probably spend a whole series of posts just discussing the moral aspects of ad blocking (Which according to me has heavy parallels to downloading or TiVo‘ing TV shows, effectively skipping the commercials.) but I’ll leave it for another day.

Get Adblock for Firefox here.


logoEvil script is evil.

Before you install this add-on, you should be aware of the fact that breaks almost all modern websites because it interferes (or rather completely shuts off) JavaScript support unless you specifically enable it on a per-site basis. But it also stops a lot of third-party homepages from running scripts and makes a lot of other security improvements under the hood. Although I don’t recommend this add-on for normal users, power users who often visit the same set of homepages may benefit greatly in terms of increased security – this add-on will truly make your browser an impenetrable fortress.

Get NoScript for Firefox here.


tor_stickerJust watching that onion makes my eyes tear up… with laughter!

TorButton is actually a quick proxy gateway to Tor, an online darknet-like anonymization effort, but because the Tor software acts as a standard HTTP proxy, we can use any proxy server in its place, and because the TorButton add-on features many security tweaks, some similar to NoScript, even running it through a transparent server on your own computers adds security, and as far as I have noticed, TorButton breaks much fewer websites and barely requires any user attention. The only problem might be the cumbersome task of properly setting up a proxy server, but for Windows I can recommend CCProxy which I use myself. (Demo version with some non-timebased restrictions, although works fine for our intentions.)

Get TorButton for Firefox here.

Coming up!
In the next episode of the Tinfoil Tom series we will be discussing laptop security, secure file deletion through wiping and file recovery.

In other news…
Randomly speaking of video game soundtracks – the classical Unreal Tournament Score is really such a pearl. Fantastic and surprisingly mellow soundscapes with a hint of almost organic roughness. I’m pretty certain it isn’t being sold anymore (I think it was only included in the special editions to begin with.) but I found a mirror, let’s hope it stays up!

Make any computer run faster – the cool way!


24360-vb_progress_bar_activex__ocx_-copy1Just wait until I try a multiplication!

Many people are familiar with the fact that their computer becomes more sluggish and less responsive over time, but few people know that this is caused by quarks (a sort of microscopic dust) gathering in the internal pathways of the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of the computer as shown in the image below. What happens when you reinstall your operating system is that the pathways are cleared during the first cold boot after reinstallation. Luckily, new research has found that there is another way of clearing the pathways, one that will make your computer feel pretty much as fast when you started it the very first time. Keep reading for instructions.

cpu_schematic2Some of the pathways most prone to clogging
include the 4-channel DMA bus.

Let’s do it – the cool way
The original research made by the HCDE university in Washington shows that the dust-quarks are highly susceptible to cold temperatures and fall apart into smaller particles when exposed for a prolonged amount of time. You might have felt this effect if you have a laptop and brought it in from a cold day outside, but cold itself is not the answer. Due to the way that a modern-day CPU is placed into a socket, the pathways become exposed only when the processor is put upside-down, which is why you  might not have felt a tremendous difference – the computer has to be placed so that the CPU is pointing downwards.

Testing time!
I was very interested in trying this out – here are the instructions:

  • Cover laptop in a plastic bag to avoid any moist from the freezer. (Optional, I had no problems without it)
  • Put laptop or stationary computer upside-down in  the freezer. I tried it for twenty minutes and got a fantastic  speed improvement!

I ran SuperPi both before and after, calculating pi to 1M decimals. The result:
Before: Calculation took 43 seconds
After: Calculation took 36 seconds

This is a fantastic increase (Seven seconds!) , and I urge you all to try this fantastic new find out! Go ahead and let me know how much you managed to improve in the comments!

In other news…
I’m gonna be making the “In other news” section a permanent addition to my posts. That’d be all, folks!

A final note…
In case you haven’t noticed yet, this was my April fool’s joke for 2009! Although putting your computer in the freezer for a few minutes probably won’t kill it, it won’t make it go very much faster either! Cheers everyone!

When I grow up, I want to be a search engine!



To the outside world, the Majestic12 website doesn’t look like much – it hardly even resembles a search engine.  But behind that plain-looking facade, Majestic12 is a living, breathing organism with thousands of participating computers who crawl the web for content and links . Majestic12 users donate their bandwidth to the project, and I’m trying to do my part. The actual search engine of the project is still after almost four years of crawling pretty much useless, and any of the larger search engines do a far better job, but the concept is intriguing and the thought is good. Another interesting idea is that you can create your own search algorithm, providing you are handy enough! All that is needed is to register on the search engine subsite and start tinkering with the priorities that you feel are important in search results.


I’ve got the power! Now if I just edit a random memory location anndd…

Of course, with putting the trust in the end users comes great responsibility – a user might have had his DNS records hijacked, rerouting sites incorrectly and possibly lowering the ranking of benevolent sites while improving that of malicious ones – or he might be a ill-natured hacker himself, possibly trying to employ SEO for his own or a contractors site,  requiring double- and triple-checking by independent other users of the project, as suggested in this forum post, which increases the load on web servers as each page has to be checked multiple times to ensure correctness. This hasn’t seemed to be a problem thus far, but as the search engine grows I hope that the programmers behind this extremely ambitious project are prepared for counter-measures. All I can do for now is to urge you to start your own node and help with this project. The crawling software runs under Windows, OSX and Linux.

Majestic12 is a great alternative to other causes like SETI@Home and it might very well be the future of search engines.

Majestic 12? That sounds familiar!
You weren’t the only one to think that! Majestic 12 is one of the most popular conspiracy theories of all times and is thought to be a secret committee consisting of scientists and government officials gathered by president Truman after the supposed UFO Crash in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. There is a huge amount of information on the topic, and I haven’t even had time to skim the surface, but it seems like a fascinating read.

In other news…

The b(a/ea)stard in action

Ever since Mattias showed me Bastard Tetris, he has (possibly) inadvertently killed a small part of my soul. This seemingly innocent Tetris clone uses a custom-built algorithm that instead of randomizing the tetrominos you get, tries to give you the worst piece computationally possible. It even mocks you by showing which piece it will absolutely not give you under any circumstance. Oh the pain. My current record after a few infuriating games is 250 points, which translates to a measly five cleared lines. This game should be available to all *NIX and Linux distributions, and is called bastet in packet managers around the planet. For anyone else who wishes to play this I found a clone made in flash, although the algorithm seemed nicer as I managed to clear six lines on my first attempt.