Sunday, January 04, 2009

AVG Antivirus Accidentally Kills Windows

Saw this on OSNews.Com. Users of AVG Anti-Virus beware:

Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish users of the popular anti-virus software AVG have discovered a nasty surprise. AVG has mistakenly identified a core Windows system file, user32.dll, as a Trojan, and summarily deletes it, b0rking Windows. AVG has announced they're working on a fix.
Interestingly, I cannot find this on AVG's website, neither in the News or Updates section. So judge for yourself.

The Brains and Bones of my NAS

I've just found this article on AnalogZone featuring the custom ASIC (IT3107) of my Netgear ReadyNAS Duo, which contains a SPARC-based core along wth integrated NAS circuitry. Apparently the IT3107 supports 4 SATA controllers (argh, I should have gotten a 4-bay NAS instead, but the cost would be prohibitive at this stage).

Here is an excerpt from the article on some of its major features (I didn't know this before):

Infrant's basic concept is to integrate all the functions required to support a small RAID array with the electronics required to put the data on a 10/100/1000BaseT network, and to throw in a print server function for good measure. They've already rolled out a product to address the higher-priced SMB-level market which supports up to eight SATA drives. They're now introducing the ExpandaNAS IT3107, a consumer-grade device with half the SATA drives for the SoHo and consumer market. Depending on what works best for your needs, Infrant will happily sell you either the raw chip or a complete OEM-able board that only requires a case, power supply and disks. And power won't be too much of a problem since power consumption for the IT307 is only 5 W.

Powered by a 32-bit SPARC-based RISC core (with several extensions that we'll look at shortly) the chip supports RAID 0/1/5 operation for up to four SATA drives. Its network connection is a single Gbit Ethernet port. A PCI host interface and a pair of USB interfaces for supporting peripherals such as printers complete the I/O complement.

Rather than pass disc data through the CPU, its disc interface bypasses the PCI bus and uses DMA to shove blocks of data from the drives to the on-chip 64 bit DRAM controller. This leaves most of the SPARC's processing power available to manage the disks, handle the print serve tasks, and support its GbE connection at full rate. Infrant has also enhanced the chip's performance by beefing up the SPARC processor's instruction set. While its instruction set is still SPARC v8-compatible, the processor has had the way it executes several instructions optimized to keep critical segments in the fast lane. They also equipped the CPU with additional hardware logic including a hardware table walk-through for lookups, a lock-down cache, and a 3DES encryption core.

For Sale - Asus Pundit-R Barebone

I'm letting go of my Asus Pundit-R barebone of 3 years (see the specs on the right).

It is basically working, but intermittently does not POST (I found that taking out the cover helps), probably due to a loose SDRAM chip or slot.

Make me a reasonable offer (my reserved price is SGD$150), and I will include a ViewSonic 15" CRT monitor (needs 5mins to warm up), Western Digital Jumbo Buffer (8MB) 60GB and Pioneer DVD Rewritable into the bundle. Make me a good offer and I will throw in my Canon D646ex flatbed scanner.

Note, there is no bundled Windows OS. I can install and update Ubuntu for you if you like. I have been running the machine as my Linux workhorse.

Please leave a comment or email me privately at cohawk (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Run Multiple Versions of Internet Explorer AT THE SAME TIME

Anyone who has been a web developer for any amount of time would understand how tricky it is to get web pages to render correctly on different browsers, especially when the user base has a varied installation of browsers.

Installing a new version of IE replaces the previous version, so this is not encouraging at all for the adventurous (of which developers by nature are) who like to install cutting edge versions of software to test drive.

I've just thought about this problem myself, and viola, it turns out that I am too late! The problem has already been solved.

Here's a quote from TredoSoft:
Ever wanted to test your website in various versions of Internet Explorer?

It is possible to run Internet Explorer in standalone mode without having to over-write previous versions thanks to Joe Maddalone who came up with a way of achieving that in November 2003. Basically, Internet Explorer is run by exploiting a known workaround to DLL hell - which was introduced in Windows 2000 and later versions - called DLL redirection.

Get the Multiple IE installer.