Thursday, December 21

ClamWin Free Antivirus. GNU GPL Free Software Open Source Virus and Spyware Scanner. Download Free Windows Antivirus. Stay Virus and Spyware Free with

ClamWin Free Antivirus. GNU GPL Free Software Open Source Virus and Spyware Scanner. Download Free Windows Antivirus. Stay Virus and Spyware Free with Free Software. - About ClamWin Free Antivirus: "ClamWin is a Free Antivirus for Microsoft Windows 98/Me/2000/XP and 2003.
ClamWin Free Antivirus comes with an easy installer and open source code. You may download and use it absolutely free of charge. It features:

* High detection rates for viruses and spyware;
* Scanning Scheduler;
* Automatic downloads of regularly updated Virus Database.
* Standalone virus scanner and right-click menu integration to Microsoft Windows Explorer;
* Addin to Microsoft Outlook to remove virus-infected attachments automatically.

The latest version of Clamwin Free Antivirus is 0.88.7
Please note that ClamWin Free Antivirus does not include an on-access real-time scanner. You need to manually scan a file in order to detect a virus or spyware."

Christophe Herreman » Are you sure you want to delete ‘Windows’ ?

Christophe Herreman » Are you sure you want to delete ‘Windows’ ?: "Are you sure you want to delete ‘Windows’ ?

May 27, 2006 at 10:07 am · Filed under General

Recycle bin

How about that for a Saturday morning. Although it was a very tough decission, I decided to go with the ”No” option.

The recycle bin icon showed up as if there was some content in the recycle bin, but when I opened it there was nothing inside. Trying to empty the bin resulted in this confirm box. Various posts on forums, found via Google, suggested all different things (reboot, safe mode, show hidden files, …). The error disappeared when I right clicked the recycle bin and called up its properties. For some mysterious reason, the error was gone and the icon returned to its normal “empty” state.

Oh man, this is a dear diary moment !"

WinXP Pro Recycle Bin always wants to delete 'Windows' - TechSpot Troubleshooting

WinXP Pro Recycle Bin always wants to delete 'Windows' - TechSpot Troubleshooting: "I have a strange problem with the Recycle Bin in Windows XP Pro. It often shows itself having files when it is empty. When I click 'Empty Recyle Bin' I am prompted with 'Are you sure you want to delete 'Windows'?' The byte count for the Recycle Bin folder shows 0 bytes. I've made sure that hidden and system files are set to be shown, but nothing is revealed in the folder. Clicking OK to delete 'Windows' clears the icon of its filled status and doesn't seem to hurt my system in any visible way, but it is remains an disconcerting irritation.

I've run spyware scans with Ad-aware v6.0 and anti-virus scans with NOD32, and no evidence of any malware was found.

Attached is a screen shot of my problem.

Any ideas on what my be causing this behavior and how to correct it?

Thanks in advance for any help on this!"

Has this ever happened to you? - TechSpot Troubleshooting

Has this ever happened to you? - TechSpot Troubleshooting: "On my machine a reboot did in fact not fix the problem.
I turned out to be a corrupt file in my Recycle Bin.
First you have to make visible all the files in Recycle Bin:

On NTFS disks
attrib -R -A -S -H /S /D

On FAT32 disks
cd \Recycled
attrib -R -A -S -H /S /D

As soon the corrupted file was visible I got a message from windows:

Found corrupt files in Recycled Bin
please run chkdsk, so I did

chkdsk /F /R /X

I emptied Recycled bin again, and voila empty."

Monday, December 4

Home Security Tips?

I'm all for home tips on safety and security. Home should be safe. Once the door is closed and the lights are on, there shouldn't be a feeling of wanting to have your pistol by your side while eating dinner and helping the kids with home work. Selling burglary safes and other security items, as well as helping clients find what they need at a good price is therefore a rather cool job as far as I'm concerned.

Then you read something like this, which to me was so blatantly funny I had to post a comment on it, after all, that's what weblogs are for right.

The article was posted on the Myrtle Beach news web site. Not sure if it was posted in their newspaper or not. Sure hope it wasn't, or that the editor has a large bottle of aspirin. Like I said, I'm all for helpful tips, and seek them out when ever I can, but these... well...let's just go through them

Deter thieves during holidays

One quarter of all home burglaries occur during the winter months, when homeowners are away for the holidays, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Aren't the "Winter Months" one quarter of the year? I wonder if the writer even bothered to call the FBI on this one. What we seem to be saying here is there are just as many burglaries during this quarter of the year as any other.

The S.C. Insurance News Service offered these tips to keep your home safe from burglars during the holidays:

Keep your home well-lit. Mount exterior lights and put indoor lights on a timer.

Okay, this one isn't bad. The timer of course is for when you are gone on holiday. Nothing worse than sitting in the den cleaning a shotgun when all the lights suddenly go out. I've never seen a real report on just how effective this is, but it sounds like a good idea.

Keep doors and windows locked. Deadbolt exterior doors.

Install a burglar alarm.

Nothing wrong with those two.

Keep shrubbery trimmed so thieves can't hide behind it.

The whole idea of a hedge and shrubbery is to "hide" things, or create foliage walls. So I'm not sure this is very practical advice. There are two types of security advice, those that sound logical, and those that are able to be accomplished in the real-world. Sure, we can ground down all the vegetation in the yard and build a bunker. That'll work. But that isn't real world. I don't want to live in a bunker, I want to live in a house. There are other things we can do with our shrubbery areas. Take some time, look at your house like a thief would and find some answers for your home which will deter the burglar, but keep the home.

Lock up important documents or store them in a location outside the home, such as a relative's home.

This is because your house isn't safe, but mom's is, right? I keep hearing this and I keep thinking the same thing -- that this advice is always given by insurance companies who I figure are trying to put the problem somewhere else. I have no backing for that, and it is pretty silly to think they spent time coming up with that reason, but not as silly as the advice.

Get a good safe, with a burglary rating, which also has a fire rating for your documents. A floor safe if you can, a good solid box safe if you can't. Back-up copies of your documents in a safe-deposit box is a good thing, but a relatives house? ... please...

Don't leave gifts under the tree, and store valuables out of sight.

Okay, now we are after Christmas. This is simply silly advice. You know that no one who has kids is going to follow this one. We might suggest that the presents/tree is not viewable from the outside, but that's not happening either in most homes.

Don't allow mail or newspapers to pile up. Have them stopped or picked up by a neighbor.

This is good. Why advertise that you aren't home?

Leaves blinds and curtains open in their usual position to make it appear you're home.

This one is sort of strange really. They might be right. But my thought is the risk factor vs. the payoff. If I'm going to break into a home, I would want to know that something is in there worth stealing. But I'm not a thief, so maybe they just go for what ever looks good. Seems to me that most blinds and windows are closed during the winter months anyway.

Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your property.

Don't broadcast your absence in a voice mail or e-mail.

Just going to skip these two.

Don't put your home address on luggage.

Ever try checking in a bag that didn't have this information? I get mine handed back to me, and they check my id with the tag as well. The Home Security program is rapidly changing all the time, because they don't know what they want to do either, but again, this one is pretty silly. I can't see many burglars sitting around airports these days going through the baggage. Not the place I would want to be.

Many people feel they don't need a safe, because they don't have anything really worth stealing that will fit into one. A friend of mine has some medication he has to take every day. Its fairly important to his continuing to live in this world. If a burglar got into his home, one of the items high on the list of re-sell are pills. From what I hear from police (real police, not the ones that say 1/4 of the burglaries happen during 1/4 of the year), burglars don't spend time checking labels. They get in, and they get out.

Security ratings are based on hassle factor. How much time does it take to open, break-into or gain access to an item being secured by a system? Time ratings are the key, because anything that slows the thief down is a good deterrent.

A simple wall safe will slow a thief down. It will take tools, and make noise to get into, and they aren't easy to hammer or cut through. Using one with a electronic or biometric lock, makes medication and jewelry storage accessible, and much safer than they are sitting on the counter.

Experts in security don't look at security problems as "how do I stop them," they ask, "how do I slow them down.." and they look at various points of entry, and exits. Having doors that automatically lock on closing, going at the garage entrance for example is a good idea. This slows the burglar down going both ways, and it may do it more than one time.

Cameras, placed in the garage, and over the outside doors are good as well. Doesn't matter if they are working or not. Its a deterrent. It advertises that you have given thought to security.

If you own a gun collection of any size, then a gun safe is a must. You know it, and so do I. I don't care if you get it from me or not, but get one. A thief coming through your door is going to leave those presents and bee-line straight for your collection.

Give some thought to security, but do it in a way that keeps your house livable. Have fun this Christmas, safe travels and warm hearths.

Dont' get a cheap safe

Safes come in all types and sizes. So do alarm systems for that matter, but if you want a safe that will actually stop (or at least slow down) a burglary, then get a good one. I just read an article on the TCPalm news web site which talked about a church that was burglarized for over $37,000.00

The money was taken from the church's vault, and Toth said all the systems had been correctly secured. "The vault was double-locked, the buildings were locked and the alarm system was set when the last person left Sunday night. The alarm was still on Monday morning."

The burglary was discovered by Deacon John Kucera at about 7:15 Monday morning, when he went to the vault and the money wasn't there.

Although Toth would not reveal exactly how the burglar or burglars gained entry to the building, he did say there are hatches in the roof that go into the equipment rooms.

I am not sure of all the details of this particular burglary, but it would seem to me that either the safe was not very good (they call it a vault, but who knows) or someone had the inside scoop on the combination. Some burgarly safe features are thought of by customers as simply up-sell items. Items the salesman is attempting to push you into, but this isn't really the case with most of the upgrades on a safe. For example, if the safe in this situation had an electronic lock, the priest, knowing that more than the average amount was going to be in that box for one evening, could have reset the combination very simply, to something only he knew, and then, once the money was back out and distributed, changed the combination back.

Doing this with a normal dial lock isn't very easy.

Safe ratings are important as well. U.L Burglary Ratings are something that should be on every safe you purchase. If it wasn't tested (or worse didn't pass the testing) then it really can't be relied on as anything more than an expensive metal box.

Fire Ratings are also something you should at least be aware of when purchasing a safe for your business. Most insurance companies give some fairly decent cuts for those that have fire rated burglary safes in their business.

A good fire rated, burglary safe can cost as little as $200.00. Not very big, but good enough for most personal needs. Just because it is a rated, well made safe from a professional maker such as AMSEC or Browning, doesn't mean that it is over the top in cost. Take some time to look around, and if you want some help, contact us, we would be happy to insure that you get the best safe for you money.

Tuesday, September 19

A Guide to Forest Seed Handling

A Guide to Forest Seed Handling: "In the seasonal wet and dry tropics, fire is a powerful natural factor in the removal of seedcoat dormancy. A fierce fire will kill the seeds but a light to moderate fire, such as those associated with controlled early burning, will reduce seedcoat impermeability and stimulate germination. Fire has been used in a number of countries to stimulate germination of Tectona (Laurie 1974). The fruits may be spread thickly on the ground and covered with grass which is burnt off, or they may be lightly scorched by a flame gun. Adjusting the heat of the fire to achieve the maximum effect on the pericarp without damaging the seed embryo requires experience. Similar treatment is used for Aleurites moluccana in the Philippines. The nuts are spread evenly on the ground and covered with a 3 cm thick layer of dry Imperata grass which is set on fire. As soon as the grass is burned, the seeds are placed in cold water. The quick change of temperature causes the nuts to crack and they are ready for sowing (Seeber and Agpaoa 1976). An alternative is to sow the nuts at correct spacing with only half their diameter in the soil. A layer of Imperata grass is spread over the seed bed and set on fire. After burning, the seedbed is sprinkled with water and the nuts are pushed 2 cm deep into the soil and watered thoroughly."

Saturday, August 26

Tips on buying Point of Sale systems

Point of Sale systems are a large investment, not only of money, but of time as well. As a systems administrator who has helped several businesses make the move from cash registers or smart registers, to real Point of Sale systems, I've picked up some tips that might help you in your purchase.

First of all, decide on the software first. While you may have an idea of the hardware you are most comfortable with (such as thermal printers, verses ribbon printers, or the use of barcode systems for inventory control), always make the decision on the software, before purchasing any hardware.

This use to be a hard and fast rule, but software systems are becoming more hardware friendly. Back in the late 90's POS systems were often designed to only work with a particular set of printers, cash drawers, scanners or card readers. Several companies designed their software to only work with their proprietary hardware. That seems to have been a less than perfect business decision on their part. While times have changed and POS systems are more open to the hardware they are able to use effectively, it is still a good idea to have the software decided on, and then look to purchasing the supported hardware.

Another item to consider is not all POS systems were designed equally. Some have features others do not, some support information sharing with external reporting software for example. You may find the perfect fit for your business, but discover it only works on Macintosh, or Linux. If you have already paid for a Windows 2003 server (with the huge costs of Windows licensing), it puts you in a rather difficult spot.

When looking for Point of Sale software, many business owners start out with a knowledgeable computer expert or a systems administrator like myself. While I dearly love the work, the basic fact is, I don't know anything about running a retail store or restaurant, and most computer experts don't either. We tend to know a great deal about things like... computers.

While the POS systems are software and computer related, if you are looking for advice on purchasing POS software, go to people who have used POS software, such as other business owners. There are many forums and other sources on the web where retail and restaurant owners share information. Also, search out reviews on the software packages you are looking for. A good search on Google for reviews would be formed like this:

+"Name of the Software" +Review

Searching like that will bring up software reviews, and other information regarding the package.

Also look for reviews and forum posts about the software company itself. The old saying about bad news traveling fast is even truer on the Internet. While you certainly don't what to take ever gripe and complaint at face value, if you see a reasonable trend of similar complaints, you might want to take them into consideration.

One of the basic things I look for is "Can we get our information out of the software?" ... this is such an important question I can't put enough emphasis on the word. If I was one of those that thought bolding with italics and multiple explanation points were not the signs of a very sick mind, I would do so with that question.

Many POS systems claim that they have export functionality. Many of these don't actually export all of your data, or export it in a format that can be worked into being able to import your data into another system. Why worry about this? Several reasons:

The POS software company goes out of business
You find a better software package
They raise the rates of support contracts outrageously
You purchase another store, which as a better system installed

You get the idea (I hope), and these situations I listed happen more often than I can count. POS software companies go out of business all the time. Let's face it, POS software is difficult to create, with various functions, long lists of "needs", and supporting the software is even worse (even just on the easy stuff). Training staff is always a long process, so you often have several weeks, with each new sale, of phone calls coming in from staff who are only partially trained because of scheduling and odd working hours. Its a mess!

If the software company isn't prepared for full onslaught that comes with POS software, they go under (and most of them do).

While that is certainly something you want to keep in mind, safeguarding your data is our main concern. Make sure that all of your data can be exported in a format that is usable.

Finding the features you want is also difficult. The best way I've seen this done is by getting with your staff first, and making lists of features you want, before going out to see what features are available. Never mind what you think is possible. Start making lists of what you need, and what you want.

What feature would increase your profits? What would speed up lines? What would add to the customer experience? What about spur of the moment sales, with extra change? Donations, Gift Cards, Promotion tracking?

Getting these down, and then searching for software will cut your time down, and increase your chances of finding the software your company will really benefit from.

If you are looking for more tips on Point of Sale systems, and Hardware, check out

Monday, May 22

My Latest AMV

This time we use Blood the Last Vampire and Godsmack's Vampire ... seems a little obvious, I know, but it makes a great driving train sequence.