Monday, December 26, 2005

Firefox 1.5

Well Mozilla Firefox 1.5 has been out for a while and is probably worth upgrading to.

For me its always about the smoothest and easiest upgrade path and I would have to say that this is the best firefox release so far in that regard.

Of course for a vanilla install of previous versions, upgrading is no problem, but as soon as you add in third party extensions to any application there is the potential that these applications will not be supported in a new kernel.

However where previous upgrades (actually re-installing the app by running the new install exe) have simply either added a second vanilla version of the browser (pre V1.0) or replaced the current version (V 1.0x) this version works a little differently. The application is replaced completely but the existing profiles are maintained and equally importantly the extensions are retained. Now most of the extensions then need upgrading to work with the new version, but this has also benn smartened up. Where you needed to individually check extensions for upgrades, now clicking the upgrade button will check all extensions and provide the new install file for download and install if you desire.
I did have some extensions that were no longer supported. Specifically SyncMarks and Bookmarks Synchroniser but also Google PageRank Status. This is a pity as I used to synchronise my bookmarks to an xml file on my webserver and be able to access it from clients.
Good News - I found a rewrite for SyncMarks so it works again.
However I mostly use Windows Favorites now (thanks to the extension called PlainOldFavorites) and these synchronise with my SBS server (or could be backed up manually if you have just a single PC).
Firefox now installs with a single extension already installed called Talkback.

Firefox also have a nice new central page that opens on install with links to extensions, media plug-ins such as flash, shockwave and java etc.

Well done Firefox!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Microsoft has released two new security bulletins

Microsoft has released two new security bulletins, one rated as critical and the other as important on the company's security rating scale.

The critical bulletin (MS05-054) includes a patch for Internet Explorer that addresses the 'zero day exploit' that has been discussed in the media over the last few weeks. Visiting malicious websites without this patch could allow attackers to take complete control of your computer. The MS05-054 patch addresses this issue, helps prevent three other new vulnerabilities, and also protects against the Sony rootkit vulnerability. Shavlik recommends installing this patch on all affected systems as soon as possible.

Microsoft's second bulletin, rated important, addresses a vulnerability in the Windows Kernel that could allow elevation of privileges on an affected system.

Below is more detail regarding the new Microsoft Security Bulletins:

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-054 (Critical) Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (905915)

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-055 (Important) Vulnerability in Windows Kernel Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (908523)

Additional information about these Security Bulletins can be found at Microsoft's TechNet Web site:

Further details on this security patch can also be found at the Shavlik Website:

Shavlik recommends installation of these security patches as soon as possible in order to ensure networks are secure. Deployment is simple with Shavlik NetChk(TM) Protect, our new integrated patch and spyware management product. Handle two of the most persistent network problems through one console! For more information about Shavlik NetChk Protect, or to watch a live demo, click

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Super Fast DVD Rewinder

Courtesy of Dougs Unofficial Office Stuff Blog

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