Monthly Archives: October 2006

Attention AVG Antivirus Users

FYI:

GRISOFT is announcing a new version of the AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition. This new 7.5 version with improved performance and user interface is available. Users that are using AVG Free 7.1 will be provided with a specific dialog, within the next few weeks, with the opportunity to choose the right option fulfilling their needs. AVG Free 7.1 version will be discontinued on 15th of Jan 2007.

I highly recommend this product. I have been using AVG antivirus on various machines for a few years now with zero problems. Glad to see they are continuing a free version, although I mis-read at first when I saw the discontinued notice…

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Firefox 2 Rocks

I just downloaded Firefox 2 on my Windows box at home that I use mostly for billing and the business and I have to say it makes it bearable again!

After using Linux for so many months full time, I can hardly stand Internet Explorer when I am forced to use it.

Thanks Firefox for a welcome view!

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Halloween Treat!

Happy Halloween everyone!

If you are looking for a good scare visit http://theshadowlands.net/places/ which will tell you where to find the un-dead in your area.

I have always enjoyed the commentary on this site.

Here are the places to look in my neck of the woods:

http://www.theshadowlands.net/places/northdakota.htm

I doubt we will be doing much ghost hunting tonight as we are trying to get our house project somewhat finished before we leave for Vegas the end of the week, but if your heart so drags you, be sure to get out there and get your share of treats!

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Microsoft Releases Accounting Software – for Free?

Microsoft has released an Office Accounting 2007 package that is free, no strings attached. Sure, now that I just purchased QuickBooks!

I just downloaded it (333MB) and am installing. Estimates that it will take approximately 997 MB of space (Microsoft alright!) I am installing on a Windows XP Pro Service Pack 2 machine with 512 MB of RAM (virtual machine in vmware).

The install went smoothly, and it places itself into the Office Start Menu group. It allows you to import data from Microsoft Money and QuickBooks which was a nice surprise.

It also offers PayPal and Equifax integration along with ADP Payroll integration which seems very mature for a new product. I have not tested these plug-ins, but did install them and plan to investigate further.

The user interface is very Office 2007 themed and seems responsive although install and the creation of the company data file seemed to take a while. Once up and running everything was smooth and was a cozy reminder of QuickBooks during most operations. Everything allowed me to create customers, products, services, etc on the fly.

When I tried to email an invoice it told me it requires MS Word which tells me that it attaches the invoice as a Word document rather than a PDF which is not my first choice… It does not look like it allows attachments as PDF’s as an option.

I could not figure out how to receive payment via paypal, but that may be due to the fact that I do not have Word installed. I will have to try this out later on a different machine, along with trying to import my QuickBooks file.

It looks to have pretty decent integration with eBay for selling online as well. I did not test these features but did notice their presence.

For a first version product, I would say Microsoft hit the mark and provided way more than I expected out of a free product.

Will I switch from QuickBooks? I will have to give it the 10 day test, more likely a month test with something like this, and find out.

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Google OS not far off

Google announced today that they have aquired JotSpot, which is a great little wiki service.

They also said they plan to make this part of thier hosted apps offering.

Seems to me Google is building and online office suite. Not many people would disagree. I wonder how long until everything we need in our day to day activities will be contained in their hosted apps suite?

I tell you Google OS is not far off…

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Great Article on Securing SSH

Not like SSH wasn’t pretty secure before, due to encryption, but every step towards security helps.

I took note to his advice on moving SSH to a non-standard port:

Security though obscurity you scoff? Perhaps. But it’s easy, causes no inconvenience, and might just reduce the number of attacks. That sounds like a winner to me.

I have also noticed that moving SSH to a non-standard port decreasing the amount of hacking activity against SSH by almost 100%.

Also it adds another benefit: the ability to expose SSH on multiple machines that may be natted on a network and sharing a single external IP such as on a cable or dsl modem. Just give each machine you want to expose a different non-standard port to run SSH on. I would recommend a VPN over exposing SSH to the Internet, but in some cases it may be necessary as some remote locations may not allow VPN traffic leaving their networks…

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Down with the Voting Machine Hackers!

Or not?

Would it be such a bad thing if the voting machines were hacked? In my books, anyone smart enought to hack such a machine should have more control of the figureheads leading this country than the average guy that votes based on the names he can pronounce or has heard more commercials of, completely unaware if the selected politian stands for any of before said “guy’s” issues or values.

In the words of Scott Adams:

I believe those worries are totally misplaced. Now don’t get me wrong – there’s a 100% chance that the voting machines will get hacked and all future elections will be rigged.  But that doesn’t mean we’ll get a worse government. It probably means that the choice of the next American president will be taken out of the hands of deep-pocket, autofellating, corporate shitbags and put it into the hands of some teenager in Finland. How is that not an improvement?

Statistically speaking, any hacker who is skilled enough to rig the elections will also be smart enough to select politicians that believe in . . . oh, let’s say for example, science. Compare that to the current method where big money interests buy political ads that confuse snake-dancing simpletons until they vote for the guy who scares them the least. Then during the period between the election and the impending Rapture, that traditionally elected President will get busy protecting the lives of stem cells while finding creative ways to blow the living crap out of anything that has the audacity to grow up and turn brownish.

Have a mentioned lately that Scott is one of the more rational individuals in America that can put just about anything into perspective and add comedy.

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