Friday, December 26, 2008

Installing Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Beta

Since I've a lot of free disk space on Lenovo IdeaPad S10, I installed this beta and it took 1 hour 40 minutes to complete.

It will show Service Pack 2, v.113 as shown and Windows Vista Evaluation copy Build 6002 on the desktop.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Personal Computer World February 2009

Features
  1. 101 Free Windows Programs
  2. Mobile Broadband Supertest
Cover CD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Panda Internet Security 2009 (90-day licence)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Running Vista on Lenovo IdeaPad S10

Similarly to Acer Aspire One, you need to download the latest driver to run Aero. The score for graphics and gaming graphics are lower than AOA110 even though they're using the same driver and have the same amount of video memory allocated. But, the score for disk is higher than AOA110.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Comparing Lenovo IdeaPad S10 with Acer Aspire One AOA110



S10
  1. 10.2" 1024 x 600 LED backlit non-glossy screen
  2. 160GB 5400 rpm SATA HDD (Ultra DMA Mode 5) - easy to upgrade without warranty void
  3. 1GB DDR2 667MHz PC 5300 RAM - easy to upgrade without warranty void
  4. Video memory 64MB in XP/Vista
  5. 6-cell Li-ion battery
  6. Windows XP Home Edition SP3
AOA110
  1. 8.9" 1024 x 600 LED backlit glossy screen
  2. 8GB MLC SSD (Ultra DMA Mode 4) - hard to upgrade with warranty void
  3. 1GB DDR2 667MHz PC 5300 RAM - hard to upgrade with warranty void
  4. Video memory 224MB in XP, 64MB in Vista
  5. 3-cell Li-ion battery
  6. Linpus Linux Lite

Monday, December 22, 2008

Lenovo IdeaPad S10

I upgraded my Acer Aspire One AOA110 to Lenovo S10. It comes with Windows XP SP3. Removed Norton Internet Security & Adobe Acrobat Reader, configured settings and did a image backup using CyberLink OneKey Recovery. Created a recovery DVD from the backup image and tested the recovery. It takes less than 30 minutes to restore Windows XP. This Intel netbook comes with a bigger 10.2" screen at 1024 x 600 and bigger 160GB HDD.

The Lenovo supplied 6-cell 52Wh Li-Ion battery takes 2 hours 45 mins to fully charge while not in use and 3 hours 30 mins to fully charge while in use. It lasted almost 4 hours with the brightness set to the lowest, performance mode, wireless disabled and surfing with 3G modem.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Australian APC Magazine January 2009

Features
  1. GPS: Road Tested
  2. Build the Ultimate Connected Home

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Computer Shopper February 2009

Features
  1. Recovery Channels
  2. Protect Your Old Photos
  3. Computers: The Next Generation
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Paragon Hard Disk Manager 8.5
  2. Eset Smart Security (101-day license)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mozilla Firefox 3.0.5

The latest release fixed several security issues:

MFSA 2008-60 Crashes with evidence of memory corruption (rv:1.9.0.5/1.8.1.19)

MFSA 2008-63 User tracking via XUL persist attribute

MFSA 2008-64 XMLHttpRequest 302 response disclosure

MFSA 2008-65 Cross-domain data theft via script redirect error message

MFSA 2008-66 Errors parsing URLs with leading whitespace and control characters

MFSA 2008-67 Escaped null characters ignored by CSS parser

MFSA 2008-68 XSS and JavaScript privilege escalation

MFSA 2008-69 XSS vulnerabilities in SessionStore

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lenovo IdeaPad S9/S10 Netbook

Specifications

Intel Atom Processor N270 (1.60GHz, 533MHz FSB, 512KB L2 Cache)
Windows XP Home (Utility provided to create recovery discs)
1 GB DDR2 SDRAM
160GB SATA HDD
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
8.9" (S9) or 10.2" (S10) WSVGA
3-cell (S9) or 6-cell (S10) Li-ion Battery
1-year Regional Carry-in Warranty (Malaysia, Singapore etc)
Free Sleeve Case
Free additional 1-year Carry-in Warranty
RM1,499 (S9) or RM1,699 (S10)

Drivers

S9 Windows XP
S10 Windows XP

Monday, December 15, 2008

PC Pro February 2009

Features
  1. Take your TV everywhere
  2. The best 30 features of Windows 7
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Macrium Reflect
  2. Serif PagePlus 9

Friday, December 12, 2008

Turning Off Disk Defragmentation On SSD

By default in Windows Vista, Disk Defragmenter is set to run on a schedule.

It's advisable to turn off this feature to prolong the life of the SSD. You can click on Start -> Type disk on Search and select Disk Defragmenter.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Paragon Software Drive Backup 9.0 Express

This software can be downloaded free for personal and non-commercial use.

You can create and restore image for recovery. A bootable flash memory drive can also be created. But you can't add some files or folders to the flash memory drive using Advanced option unlike CD/DVD.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Beta


The download is 388.3MB and you'll need at least 3GB of free disk space to install. You can't install this update on a 4GB SSD.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Australian PC User January 2009

Features
  1. Rescue Guide
  2. New Gear and Games

Monday, December 8, 2008

PC Advisor February 2009

Features
  1. The 50 Best Windows Programs
  2. Is the Internet in Meltdown?
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Ashampoo Photo Optimizer 2

Friday, December 5, 2008

Australian PC Authority January 2009

Features
  1. The Best & Worst Tech
  2. Windows 7 Preview
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Paragon Partition Manager 9 SE

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Personal Computer World January 2009

Features
  1. Get started on home networking
  2. Security suites
Cover CD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. PC Tools File Recover 7
  2. Ashampoo Photo Commander 6

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Running Windows 7 on Netbooks

Minimum System Requirements
  1. Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz
  2. 1GB RAM
  3. 16GB SSD or HDD
Systems Tested (Windows Experience Index)
  1. Lenovo S10
  2. MSI Wind U100
  3. Dell Mini 9

Huawei E169 3G USB Modem

Got this modem when I sign up for mobile broadband. It's slow to install on Acer Aspire One with MLC SSD but in the end it works.

You just have to make sure all the drivers are installed first. If there is any prompts about New Hardware Found messages, just ignore them until all the drivers are installed. After installation, check Device Manager as shown to ensure you can see Huawei modem.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Is Mozilla Firefox Spying On You?


Every time I open Mozilla Firefox or Mozilla Firefox Portable Edition on my computers, I notice that Firefox is trying to connect to avgff.applicationstat.com instead of my home page. If you check that website, it shows a statistics reports website.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Comparing Acer Aspire One AOA110 with Dell Inspiron Mini 9/12

A110 has Intel Atom Processor N270, 1GB RAM, Intel GMA 950 and 8GB SSD whereas Mini 12 has Intel Atom Processor Z530, 1GB RAM, Intel GMA 500 and 80GB 4200rpm HDD.

* 1GB + 2GB # SSD @ HDD
Netbook
Acer Aspire One
AOA110

Dell Inspiron
Mini 9/12

Processor
3.0
3.0/3.0
Memory (RAM)
4.5*
4.5+/4.4*
Graphics 4.2
4.1/2.9
Gaming graphics
2.8
2.7/2.9
Primary hard disk
4.8#
5.9#/4.3@
Windows Experience Index Base Score
2.8
2.7/2.9

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Telstra Next G Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband

In Australia, you can purchase a Telstra Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband Starter pack for $149 which includes everything you need to get connected including a USB Modem and $10 included credit (equivalent to 75MB) with 30 day expiry. The modem can be unlocked by paying a network unlocking fee.
  1. Buy the starter pack at Telstra shop
  2. Call 125 8880 to activate
  3. Manage account online
  4. Re-charge using re-charge card available from Woolworths.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

3 Mobile Broadband Prepaid

In Australia, you can purchase a minimum AUD$15 voucher with 3 SIM card for mobile broadband if you already have a Huawei E220 USB modem or you can buy 3 Internet Key E160G modem at AUD$129. This modem can be unlocked by paying a fee of AUD$99.
  1. Buy the voucher at 3, Woolworths, Coles, Kmart, Target, Big W or Dick Smith store
  2. Activate service online
  3. Manage account online
  4. Re-charge online using voucher

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hakin9 November - December 2008

Features
  1. Simple WiFi Hacking with Eee PC
  2. Registry Analysis
Cover CD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Ashampoo Antivirus

Monday, November 24, 2008

Australian APC Magazine December 2008

Features
  1. Revenge of the PC
  2. How to do an easy dual-boot
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Kaspersky Business Space Security (6 months)
  2. Cyberlink Power2Go 5.5 LE

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Computer Shopper January 2009

Features
  1. Fix your PC in 15 minutes
  2. Pranks for nothing
  3. Could your data put you in jail?
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Serif PagePlus 9

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

PC Advisor January 2009

Features
  1. Ultimate buyers guide
  2. Clickjacking: should you be worried?
  3. Easy PC projects
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Paragon Disk Wiper 7.0 SE

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Australian PC User December 2008

Features
  1. Next-gen burning tricks
  2. Digital video guide
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Paragon Hard Disk Manager 8.5 SE

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mozilla Firefox Portable Edition 3.0.4

The latest release fixed several security issues:

MFSA 2008-58 Parsing error in E4X default namespace

MFSA 2008-57 -moz-binding property bypasses security checks on codebase principals

MFSA 2008-56 nsXMLHttpRequest::NotifyEventListeners() same-origin violation

MFSA 2008-55 Crash and remote code execution in nsFrameManager

MFSA 2008-54 Buffer overflow in http-index-format parser

MFSA 2008-53 XSS and JavaScript privilege escalation via session restore

MFSA 2008-52 Crashes with evidence of memory corruption (rv:1.9.0.4/1.8.1.18)

MFSA 2008-51 file: URIs inherit chrome privileges when opened from chrome

MFSA 2008-47 Information stealing via local shortcut files

Thursday, November 13, 2008

PrimoPDF 4.1.0.9

I'm unable to print to XPS today on a Windows Vista SP1 computer using IE 7 which worked previously.

Since there is a new release of PrimoPDF, I installed it. But during printing, it gave an unhandled exception error as shown.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Toshiba NB100 Netbook

Intel Atom™ N270 (1.6GHz, 533MHz FSB, 512KB L2 Cache)
Windows XP Home Edition (Toshiba recovery DVD)
8.9" WSVGA 1024 x 600
1GB DDR2 (533MHz)
120GB HDD (5400rpm) SATA
10/100Mbps LAN
Atheros WLAN (802.11b/g)
3 x USB 2.0
VGA out
4-in-1 card reader
Bluetooth
VGA webcam
4 cell 5000mAh lithium-ion battery
225 x 190.5 x 29.5/33 (mm)
1.05kg
1 year limited international parts and labour warranty
A$599 (after A$100 cashback valid until Nov 21, 2008)
Windows XP drivers

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Changes to Optus Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband

From November 24, 2008, the changes are as shown. Instead of getting 2GB data when you purchase a $30 pre-paid SIM starter kit with your own USB modem, you'll get 1GB data only.

You'll need to configure APN as internet which is the same as SingTel.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Multiple Online Malware Scanners

The online malware scanners mentioned previously allow you to scan your computer for malware on demand. But this will take time and only one malware engine can be active at one time. If you only need to scan certain files, you can use the following free services:
  1. VirusTotal
  2. Virus Org
These services are powered by the engines of multiple antimalware companies which can help you to determine any false positive if only one vendor finds it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Reverse DNS

It's best to select an ISP which provides no reverse DNS for your internet connection. You can check online.

It's important to select a router or modem which can stealth the common ports and all service ports. You can perform the ShieldsUP test by clicking Proceed after checking whether your internet connection has reverse DNS.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Australian PC Authority December 2008

Features
  1. Luxury Laptops
  2. Google Chrome
  3. Gadget Gift Guide
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Symantec Norton Internet Security 2009 (90-day trial)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Personal Computer World Christmas 2008

Features
  1. Join the Linux revolution
  2. Liberate your PC from Windows
Cover CD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. PC Tools Registry Mechanic 7
  2. Paragon Partition Manager 9 SE

Friday, October 31, 2008

Antimalware Software

I've been evaluating antivirus software regularly. All come bundled with antispyware even if they are called antivirus. They should change their names to antimalware software instead. According to toptenreviews.com, the following software are ICSA certified, VB100% certified, W. C. L Level 1 Certified and W. C. L Level 2 Certified. You can download a free trial without submitting personal details such as e-mail address.
  1. BitDefender Antivirus 2009
  2. Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2009
  3. Eset NOD32 3.0 Antivirus
  4. AVG Anti-Virus 8
  5. Trend Micro AntiVirus plus AntiSpyware 2008 (won't install with PC Tools Spyware Doctor 6 already installed)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

HP Mini 1000 Netbook

Genuine Windows(R) XP Home with Service Pack 3
8.9" diagonal WSVGA LED BrightView Widescreen Display (1024 x 600)
512MB DDR2 System Memory (1 Dimm)
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
Intel Atom Processor N270 (1.60GHz)
8GB (Solid State Drive Flash Module)
HP Mini Webcam with HP Imprint Finish (Swirl)
HP Color Matching Keyboard
Wireless-G Card
3 Cell Lithium Polymer Battery
Integrated 10/100BASE-T Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 connector)
HP Mini Webcam
2 USB Ports
2-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader
Built-in Stereo speakers
30W AC Adapter
1-year limited H/W warranty
US$399.99

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Putting Ultimate Boot CD for Windows on USB Flash Drive

If you've a netbook but don't have access to an external CD/DVD drive, you can put Ultimate Boot CD for Windows on a USB flash drive. You'll need at least a 1GB USB flash drive and it will be formatted. The files occupied for a default installation for Ultimate Boot CD for Windows 3.2.0 is 692MB.

PeToUSB allows you to make your USB flash drive bootable with Ultimate Boot CD for Windows.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Building Ultimate Boot CD for Windows

Ulimate Boot CD for Windows allows you to boot up from a CD into a Windows XP environment. This CD can be used to back up your important files from FAT, FAT32 or NTFS partitions to USB flash drive or an external USB hard disk under the following situations:
  1. computer is unable to boot
  2. computer is bootable but unable to use
  3. unable to access safe mode using F8
You can also use the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows to remove any malware in your computer without installation.

The CD is quite similar to live Windows XP CD but with many more tools pre-installed. You can follow the steps to create the bootable CD on a Windows XP SP2/3 or Vista SP1 computer.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Issues with Java SE 6 Update 10 on Vista SP1

On my computer running Windows Vista SP1, I encountered the following issues:
  1. Each time I open IE 7 or open a new tab or window in IE 7, User Account Control will be activated to ask me about ssvagent. Disabling the add-ons do not help.
2. I can't disable the option to Check for Updates Automatically as shown.

I don't have such issues in Jave SE 6 Update 7.

In fact, Java SE 6 Update 10 does not contain any new fixes for security vulnerabilities to its previous release, Java SE 6 Update 7. Users who have Java SE 6 Update 7 have the latest security fixes and do not need to upgrade to this release to be current on security fixes. I decided to revert back to Java SE 6 Update 7.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Vulnerability in Server Service Could Allow Remote Code Execution (958644)

Microsoft has released a security bulletin MS08-067 which is critical for Windows XP and important for Windows Vista.

It was installed successfully on a computer running Windows XP SP3 and another computer running Windows Vista SP1.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Java Runtime Environment (JRE) Version 6 Update 10

Sun has updated the version of JRE from Version 6 Update 7 to Version 6 Update 10. There is no mention of the changes and the sudden jump from 7 to 10. The only thing mentioned during installation is JavaFX.

During installation on a computer running Windows XP SP3, it encountered the error as shown. This is puzzling as there is no other installation going on at the same time. But, it worked on another computer running Windows Vista SP1.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Australian APC Magazine November 2008

Features
  1. gPhone vs iPhone
  2. Networking: go beyond the manual

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

PC Advisor December 2008

Features
  1. Google Chrome
  2. Welcome to Windows 7
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Ashampoo WinOptimizer Advanced 2009
  2. StuffIt Standard 11 Windows

Monday, October 20, 2008

PC Pro December 2008

Features
  1. Google Chrome: The complete guide
  2. How to land a top tech job
  3. My life with Linux
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Ashampoo Burning Studio 2009

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Updating Adobe Flash Player

Version 10.0.12.36 of Adobe Flash Player has been released with clickjacking fix. I've no problem updating twice on a computer running Windows XP SP3 with IE 6 and Mozilla Firefox 3.0.3. The update can be applied over the existing Adobe Flash Player 9.0.124.0.

But, on another computer running Windows Vista SP1 with IE 7, it failed as shown. Uninstalling the older version of Adobe Flash Player 9.0.124.0 as advised online also did not work. In the end, I've to download the new update manually and install.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Disk Wiping Software

A bootable CD can be created from all software and the free Darik's Boot & Nuke can even be booted from a USB flash drive. After wiping, the disks can be recycled or reused.

Software
Darik's Boot & Nuke
1.0.7

Iolo DriveScrubber
3.0

Paragon Disk Wiper
7.0
Data Wiping Methods
1, 3, 7, 8 or 35 passes

1, 7 or 35 passes

Paragon's algorithm or create own mask & pass

Wipe options
Verify
Verify
Wipe from start to end
Verify
Status
Show %, runtime & remaining
Show progress bar with % & time remaining
Show progress bar, time elapsed & time to finish
Supported disks
IDE/SATA HDD
SLC/MLC SSD
IDE/SATA HDD
SLC/MLC SSD
IDE/SATA HDD
SLC SSD
Speed - time to wipe 20GB IDE HDD with 1 pass & no verify
12 mins
13 mins 50 mins

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mobile Broadband Modem

All modems are white in color.

Model
Huawei
E169
Huawei
E180
ZTE
MF628

Size
72.15 x 25.70 x 12.20mm
less than 40g
80 x 26 x 10mm

69 x 27 x 12mm

Speed
Download up to 7.2Mbps
Download up to 7.2Mbps
Upload up to 5.76Mbps
Download up to 7.2Mbps
Upload up to 384kbps
Download Firmware
Yes
No
No
Built-in MicroSD
No
Yes
Yes
OS Support
Windows
2000/XP/Vista
Mac OS X 10.3/10.4/10.5
Windows 2000/XP/Vista
Mac OS X 10.5
Windows 2000/XP/Vista
Mac OS X 10.5

Monday, October 13, 2008

Acer LCD Monitors

The response time of P194W and P223W is 5ms whereas P244W is 2ms. All LCD monitors have analog/DVI with HDCP interface.

Model
P194W (19")
P223W (22")
P244W (24")
Resolution
1440 x 900
1680 x 1050 1920 x 1200
Brightness (cd/sq m)
300
300 400
High Contrast Ratio
10,000:1
2500:1 20,000:1
Price
$349
$429
$699
Trade-in Price with old monitor/LCD
$209
$309 $429

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Australian PC User November 2008

Features
  1. Rip and Go
  2. Huge Gadget Guide
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Serif WebPlus 8

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Preventing Clickjacking in Adobe Flash Player

Adobe has published a security advisory regarding "Clickjacking" issue in Adobe Flash Player.

You can check your version and apply the workaround as shown.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Personal Computer World December 2008

Features
  1. Fix your laptop
  2. Clone your PC
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Serif PagePlus 9
  2. Paragon Drive Backup Express Pro 9

Friday, October 3, 2008

Australian PC Authority November 2008

Features
  1. Mobile Broadband
  2. Computers in Space
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Paragon Hard Disk Manager 8.5 SE
  2. Iolo DriveSrubber 3.5

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Optus Pre-Paid Wireless Broadband

In Australia, you can purchase a minimum AUD$30 voucher with Optus SIM card for pre-paid wireless broadband if you already have Huawei E169 or E220 USB modem. Alternatively, you can buy the pre-paid bundled starter pack for AUD$199 and receive an Optus E169 USB modem, SIM card and 1GB of data.
  1. Buy the voucher at Optus, Woolworths, Coles or Dick Smith store
  2. Activate service online
  3. Check your available data balance and remaining SMS by sending the word ‘balance’ via SMS to 9999. You will receive a replay SMS confirming your available data allowance and how many free standard SMS you have remaining.
  4. Re-charge online using voucher
Your first 30MB of usage per day will be charged at 10MB. The downside is that usage after this will be counted in 10MB increments or part thereof and includes both uploads and downloads.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mozilla Firefox 3.0.2 Crashed

Today, I can't use Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition 3.0.2 after switching on my computer. It crashed for no reason. Choosing the option to Quit Firefox or Restart Firefox does not help.

Since Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition 3.0.3 is released, I upgraded the browser and the problem is resolved.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Australian APC Magazine October 2008

Features
  1. Affordable Mobile Broadband
  2. Hiding Files from Prying Eyes
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. AVG Internet Security 8.0 (90 days)
  2. BB FlashBack Express 2

Monday, September 29, 2008

Opening Word Mobile Documents

I found that the Word Mobile on my LG KS20 PDA phone saves documents in docx format by default. Even saving as doc, rtf or txt on the PDA won't change the docx format. So, I can't open these files on my computer without Microsoft Office 2007. The Notes application will saves files as pwi format which also cannot be opened on a computer. In fact, there is no text editor on the PDA without resorting to third party utility.

Since there is no Word Viewer 2007 available, you've to download the following:
  1. Word Viewer 2003
  2. Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats
  3. Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack Service Pack 1
Why does Microsoft make it so complicated?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mozilla Firefox Portable Edition 3.0.2

You can download the latest portable edition now. Before upgrading to this version, remember to backup your bookmarks and copy all your extensions if any.
  • Bookmarks
In old browser, select Bookmarks -> Organize Bookmarks -> Import and Backup -> Backup

In new browser, select Bookmarks -> Organize Bookmarks -> Import and Backup -> Restore -> Choose File
  • Extensions
Copy the contents of the following to the new browser location : \FirefoxPortable\Data\profile\extensions

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Acer LCD Monitors

They come with both analog and DVI with HDCP interface. Only P203W and P223W have Acer CrystalBrite screen with response time of 5ms but P244W has a response time of 2ms.

Model
P203W (20")
P223W (22")
P244W (24")
Resolution
1680 x 1050
1680 x 1050 1920 x 1200
Brightness (cd/sq m)
300
300 300
High Contrast Ratio
2500:1
2500:1 20,000:1
Viewing Angle (degree)
160 (H), 160 (V)
170 (H), 160 (V) 170 (H), 160 (V)
Price
$279
$329 $499

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

SanDisk Cruzer Titanium USB Flash Drive

The price of SanDisk Cruzer Titanium 1GB is equivalent to Kingston microSD 1GB. I bought the former as it comes with Avast! Antivirus U3 Edition and CruzerSync. The latter U3 software allows users to easily and securely (AES 128-bit encryption) access, edit and restore ALL their personal files (productivity documents, audio and video files, bookmarks etc.) and Outlook data (emails, attachments, calendar, contacts, notes, tasks) at anytime from any computer in the world.

There is no need to install any software as it is already installed on the flash drive. You'll need a computer running Windows 2000 or XP to use the U3 software. After updating online, the trial license for Avast! Antivirus is 2 months only.

However, you can also download free license of Cruzer PocketCache for Titanium and CruzerLock 2 from SanDisk. Cruzer PocketCache enables you to perform regular and repeated backup of PC files and directories, typically for months, onto a single Titanium flash drive. CruzerLock is a security application designed to protect your personal data files. Your individual files can be encrypted / decrypted to prevent unauthorized viewing.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Firewall Challenge

The results of Firewall Challenge were published but may not be the latest versions tested. Also, the tests were performed on Windows XP Service Pack 2 and may not be relevant to Windows Vista. As of now, the latest versions are as follows:
  1. Outpost Firewall Pro 2009 6.5.2358.316.0607 released on July 15, 2008
  2. Online Armor Personal Firewall 2.1.0.131
  3. Comodo Firewall Pro 3.0.25.378 released on May 30, 2008
  4. Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 8.0.0.454
  5. PC Tools Firewall Plus 4.0.0.45 released on August 14, 2008
  6. Jetico Personal Firewall 2.0.2.6 released on August 25, 2008
  7. System Safety Monitor 2.3.0.612 released on January 29, 2007

Friday, September 19, 2008

PC Pro November 2008

Features
  1. Windows 7
  2. Rise of the robots
  3. Memory stripped bare
  4. Technology you can bet on
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Carrara 5 Professional

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Computer Shopper November 2008

Features
  1. Bring your old kit back to life
  2. Play to win
  3. Science fiction: Light years ahead of fact
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Kaspersky Internet Security 2009
  2. Iolo System Mechanic

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hakin9 September - October 2008

Features
  1. Kernel Hacking & Anti-forensics: Evading Memory Analysis
  2. Threats are in the Air!
Cover CD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Filseclab Twister Anti-TrojanVirus V7 R3 (Windows XP/Vista)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

PC Advisor November 2008

Features
  1. Blacklisted: Blocking known malware sites
  2. Google: fact or fiction
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. StuffIt Standard 11.0

Monday, September 15, 2008

Using VIPRE Antivirus + Antispyware

There is a useful tool in VIPRE called PC Explorer which determines whether your running process is safe, unknown, suspicious or hazardous. But on a computer running Windows Vista SP1, it was unable to check its own running process "sbamsvc.exe".

Another tool History Cleaner can only clean history in IE 7 SP1. You've to clean cookies, passwords, form data and temporary internet files yourself.



Saturday, September 13, 2008

Choosing A Mobile Broadband Plan or 3G/3.5G Phone

The highest data speed achievable for HSDPA or 3.5G is 7.2Mbps. I'm using a Huawei Modem E220 which supports speed up to 3.6Mbps and LG KS20 3.5G phone also supports maximum speed of 3.6Mbps. Since my mobile broadband plan is only 1Mbps, there is no point to pay more for a device which can support 7.2Mbps.

Similarly, if you've a iPhone 3G which supports speed up to 1.4Mbps, it is not worthwhile to subscribe to a mobile broadband plan with speed greater than 1Mbps. The data bandwidth is limited either by the device or the mobile broadband plan.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Extended Trial of Eset NOD32 Antivirus

Today, I notice that the NOD32 system tray icon has changed back to green. Upon opening, it shows that the license will be valid until October 15 2008.

For whatever reason, the trial has been extended. Kudos to Eset.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sunbelt VIPRE Antivirus + Antispyware

You can download a 15 day trial from Sunbelt Software. After installation, the computer was very slow. I found that it is incompatible with PC Tools Spyware Doctor 6. Due to the slow response, the only way to uninstall Spyware Doctor 6 is booting into safe mode.

The update is automatic and it only passed Eicar tests for eicar.com but all Spycar tests on a Windows Vista SP1 computer.

It also bundles with Secure File Eraser, History Cleaner and PC Explorer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Using LG KS20 Phone

  • Phone
Do not set any password to lock the device if unused otherwise your bluetooth headset won't pick up any incoming calls.
  • Torchlight
In power save mode, hold volume down until flash light is on. Press any hardware button to turn flash light off.
  • Internet
To be alerted when programs try to access Internet so as not to incur unnecessary GPRS/HSDPA charges, tap Start > Settings > Sounds & Notifications > Notifications tab
Select Connection established
Tick Play sound & select Alarm 5
Tick Display message on screen
Tick Vibrate
Tap ok

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Personal Computer World November 2008

Features
  1. Make XP last longer
  2. Add a server to your home network
  3. Cheaper computing
  4. The paperless home
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Paragon Hard Disk Manager 8.5 SE
  2. Iolo DriveScrubber 3.5
  3. Titan Backup 1.5

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Trial of Eset NOD32 Antivirus

Yesterday, the Eset NOD32 icon at the system tray changed from the usual green to orange and there was a pop-up message. When I clicked on it, it showed that maximum protection is not ensured.

I installed the trial before August 31 and it has not ended. Automatic update and real-time protection are still working but just the annoying pop-up message each time you start up the computer.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Australian PC Authority October 2008

Features
  1. Virus Myths Busted
  2. Wireless Routers
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. BB FlashBack Express 2
  2. iolo System Mechanic 8
  3. iolo Search and Recover 5
  4. Ashampoo UnInstaller Platinum 2

Friday, September 5, 2008

AhnLab V3 Internet Security 2007 Platinum for USB

This Korean software is bundled with either 1GB or 2GB USB thumbdrive for a reason. After installation from the software on the thumbdrive, you still need the thumbdrive connected on the computer in order to open the software interface or perform any virus or spyware scan from Windows Explorer. This applies to real-time protection from virus and spyware as well.

The update is automatic and it only passed Eicar tests for eicar.com but all Spycar tests on a Windows Vista SP1 computer. Unlike Avast! Antivirus U3 Edition or McAfee VirusScan USB, this software does real-time protection the host computer from virus and spyware.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Australian PC User October 2008

Features
  1. IT Careers
  2. Ultimate Connected Home
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Serif PagePlus 8 PDF Edition
  2. Agenda At Once 2.3
  3. Ashampoo AntiVirus 1.61 (180 days of free updates)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

PC Answers September 2008

Features
  1. Healthcheck your PC
  2. Help me buy a powerline network kit

Monday, September 1, 2008

Online Malware Scanners

It is advisable not to install more than one antivirus software with real-time on-access protection on a computer. It may conflict with each other. But sometimes, your antivirus software may give a false positive. So, how can you be sure? You can always check using online malware scanners.
  1. Trend Micro HouseCall - will detect and remove malware; works with both IE and Firefox.
  2. Kaspersky - will detect malware but doesn't remove it; works with IE and Firefox.
  3. Eset - will detect and remove malware; requires IE.
  4. BitDefender - will detect and remove malware; requires IE.
  5. F-Secure - will detect and remove malware; requires IE.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Eset NOD32 Antivirus

Installed a trial version of this software on a Windows Vista SP1 computer. The antivirus and antispyware consist of real-time file system protection, email protection and web access protection.

Automatic updates can be set and it will inform you when finish. It supports scanning a file or folder in Windows Explorer.

For antivirus, it passed Eicar anti-malware tests except downloading eicar.com.txt, eicar_com.zip & eicarcom2.zip via https. For antispyware, it passed all Spycar tests.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Using Windows Mobile 6 LG KS20 Phone

  • Check software version
Tap Start > Settings > System tab > About
  • Check firmware version
Tap Start > Settings > System tab > System information > Version info
  • Check ROM & RAM
Tap Start > Settings > System tab > System information > Memory

As with all Windows devices, they are prone to programs still running in memory even after exiting and programs hanging. You need to do a soft reset.
  • Perform Soft/Normal Reset - clears all active program memory and shuts down all active programs
  1. If the phone doesn't hung, press the Power button to turn off and on phone
  2. If the phone hangs, re-attach the battery and press the Power button to turn on phone
  • Perform Hard/Full Reset - restores to its default settings, any programs installed, data entered and settings will be lost
  1. Press the POWER button to turn off phone
  2. Press and hold both buttons (Send + Volume down) and at the same time, press the Power button.
  3. Hold all buttons until the blue LED light comes on & off.

Friday, August 29, 2008

LG KS20 Phone

I bought this 3.5G phone running Windows Mobile 6 Professional because the offer is too hard to resist with free desktop charger, additional battery & bluetooth headset and the technical specifications are just great. The 2MP camera supports autofocus and flash.

My package comes with phone, battery, USB data cable, 1GB microSD card, leather case as well as headset. It supports HSDPA which is faster than the Qtek 9100 using GPRS otherwise you can also use the built-in Wi-fi connection. The 2 buttons on the right side can be customised to open any programs or activate functions. LG has customised the Today screen with a toolbar at the bottom of the screen. The toolbar allows quicker access to programs, phone, messaging and internet explorer.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Connecting to Internet Using GPRS/HSDPA

To configure the settings manually on Qtek 9100 & Nokia E51 to mobile network:

APN
SingTel/Optus - internet
M1 - sunsurf
StarHub - shinternet or shwap

Qtek 9100 (Windows Mobile 5 Professional) - GPRS
  1. Tap Start > Settings > Connections tab > Connections
  2. Select Add a new modem connection under My ISP
  3. Enter any name for the name for the connection
  4. Select Cellular Line (GPRS)
  5. Tap Next
  6. Enter the above correct APN as the Access point name & tap Next
  7. Leave User name & password as blank and tap Finish
  8. Tap Advanced tab > Select Networks
  9. Under Programs that automatically connect to the Internet should connect using:, select My ISP
  10. Tap ok
Once connected, you can monitor connection time by tapping on the GPRS icon at the top of the screen.

Nokia E51 (Symbian OS 9.2) - HSDPA
  1. Select Menu, Tools > Settings > Connection > Access points > Options > New access point
  2. Enter any name for Connection name
  3. Change Data bearer to Packet data
  4. Enter the above correct APN for Access point name
  5. Leave User name as None
  6. Leave Prompt password as No
  7. Leave Password as blank
  8. Change Authentication to Normal
  9. Leave Homepage as None
When you open browser, choose your connection name as the access point. You can check your usage by selecting Menu, Connectivity > Conn. mgr. > Active data connections

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Comparing Opera Mobile Browser With Nokia S60 Browser

I tested Opera Mobile browser version 8.65 on my Qtek 9100 running Windows Mobile 5 Professional and Nokia browser on my Nokia E51 running Symbian OS 9.2 S60 Release 3.1. Both browsers do not support Sun Java Runtime Environment and Adobe Flash Player which is a pity.

Opera Mobile browser
  1. Can clear history, cookies & cache
  2. Can switch between portrait and landscape screen
  3. Enable JavaScript
  4. Block pop-ups
  5. Enable security protocols SSL 2, SSL 3 & TLS 1
  6. Support drag and scroll
  7. Can be installed in memory card
Nokia browser
  1. Can clear privacy data such as cache, cookies, history & form/password data
  2. Can rotate screen
  3. Support Java/ECMA script
  4. Block pop-ups
  5. Turn on mini map for faster browsing

Monday, August 25, 2008

Using Symbian Series 60 Phone

  • Check firmware version
Enter *#0000# in the standby mode
  • Check IMEI
Enter *#06# in the standby mode
  • Check Bluetooth MAC address
Enter *#2820# in the standby mode
  • Check WLAN MAC address
Enter *#62209526# in the standby mode
  • Perform soft reset to restore all original phone settings. (It's safer to remove SIM and memory cards first. For Symbian OS 9.1, programs installed will be deleted but contacts, messages, country, date, time & connection settings won't be deleted. For Symbian OS 9.2, programs installed, contacts, messages, country, date, time & connection settings won't be deleted. )
Enter *#7780# in the standby mode
Enter 12345 as the default Lock Code

or for Symbian OS 9.2 & above only

Press Menu, Tools > Settings > General > Factory Settings
Enter 12345 as the default Lock Code
  • Perform hard reset (Backup your contacts to SIM or memory card and messages to memory card and remove them first. Programs installed, country, date, time & connection settings, contacts, messages will be deleted)
Enter *#7370# in the standby mode
Enter 12345 as the default Lock Code

or for N-series only

Turn off phone. Press and hold *, 3 & multimedia keys and turn on phone. Release when Nokia logo appears.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Nokia E51

I've returned my Nokia N78 running the latest Symbian OS 9.3 S60 Release 3.2 because the camera flash is on permanently even when the flash setting is off otherwise the 3.15MP camera with autofocus will be very suitable for my travel and I don't have to carry another camera for places that disallow flash photography.

Also, I found that bookmarks created in the Nokia browser cannot be open even after the latest firmware update.

Next on the list is Nokia N81 which is cheaper but when it was delivered, it is DOA (Dead On Arrival). After turning on, I can hear the starting sound but no display.

With the bad experiences on N series, I decided to go back to E series ie Nokia E51 running the more stable Symbian OS 9.2 S60 Release 3.1. The camera is only 2.0MP without autofocus and flash. So far, I did not encounter any issues and bookmarks created in the Nokia browser can be open.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Australian APC Magazine September 2008

Features
  1. Supercharge Vista & XP
  2. Search Engine Optimisation
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Titan Backup 2.0

Friday, August 22, 2008

Personal Computer World October 2008

Features
  1. Convert VHS to DVD
  2. Wireless home network streamers
Cover CD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Iolo Search and Recover 5
  2. Paragon Total Defrag 2009
  3. BB Flashback Express 2
  4. Ashampoo UnInstaller Platinum 2
  5. Iolo System Mechanic 8

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

PC Advisor October 2008

Features
  1. The complete Windows wish list
  2. Meet tomorrow's mobile phones
  3. Organise your life online
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Serif MediaPlus 2.0
  2. BullGuard Backup 8.0 (6-month licence)
  3. Ashampoo Burning Studio 2008 Advanced
  4. Serif ImpactPlus 4.0

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nokia N78



After a year of using Nokia E65, it's time to change. With the positive experience, I've decided to stick to mobile phones running Symbian OS instead of Windows Mobile. I chose Nokia N78 rather than the more expensive Nokia E66 which is a replacement for E65.

After testing, Phone, SMS, E-mail, Wi-Fi and GPS are working well except that I'm unable to open saved bookmarks in Nokia browser. The latest firmware available is 12.046 and mine is 10.136. There are 2 ways to use OTA for the upgrade as follows:
  1. Key *#0000#
  2. Options > Check for updates
or
  1. Menu, Tools > Utilities > Dev. mgr.
  2. Options > Check for updates
Since both methods showed no updates, I downloaded Nokia Software Updater. It took at least an hour to install and upgrade the firmware on a Windows Vista SP1 computer. You need to use the provided USB data cable in PC suite mode for upgrade. A SIM card is required but not the memory card. During upgrade, I even answered a call without affecting the upgrade. After upgrade, your phone records in SIM card are still there. You can confirm the upgrade is successful with *#0000#. But sad to say the bookmarks problem still exist.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Australian PC User September 2008

Features
  1. Security Software
  2. Peer-to-peer Mega Guide
  3. Gone But Not Forgotten
Cover DVD (Free Paid Full Version)
  1. Ashampoo Burning Studio 2008
  2. Serif ImpactPlus 4
  3. Zoner Photo Studio 10 Xpress
  4. Kaspersky Business Space Security 5 users

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Using ZoneAlarm ForceField

ZoneAlarm ForceField from Check Point features a Private Browser where it claims that nothing from the browsing session is recorded. Also, the Site Status provides information on the websites you visit. The Protection Activity shows amount of possibly harmful data prevented from reaching your PC, number of threats stopped and number of downloads scanned.





Friday, August 15, 2008

Keeping Safe from Malicious Websites

Nowadays, it is easy to get infected by just visiting malicious websites which you don't know. How do you keep yourself safe?
  1. McAfee SiteAdvisor - the free plug-in works with Internet Explorer 6 & 7 and Mozilla Firefox 2 & 3 in Windows Vista SP1 & XP SP3. But if you've Internet Explorer 7 running in Protected Mode in Windows Vista, you'll have to purchase SiteAdvisor Plus. You can check websites manually online without installing.

  2. AVG LinkScanner - the free LinkScanner Lite plug-in works with Internet Explorer 6 & 7 and Mozilla Firefox 2 & 3 in Windows Vista SP1 & XP SP3. You can check websites manually online without installing.

  3. ZoneAlarm ForceField - the paid software works with Internet Explorer 6 & 7 and Mozilla Firefox 1 & 2 in Windows Vista SP1 & XP SP3. As of now, the latest version of Mozilla Firefox 3 is still not supported. You can't check websites manually online without installing.
  4. Norton Safe Web - this is still in beta and there is no plug-in available. You've to check websites manually online.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Recursive DNS

Besides the tests mentioned before to check whether your ISP has patched their DNS servers, you should also do a cross-pollination check if you own a website.

Ensure that your DNS servers are authoritative and not recursive as shown.