Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Anbefalt antivirus 2013

20.06.2013 10:04

Ganske nylig slapp AV-Comparatives en oversikt over hvor godt mange av antivirus-løsningene for Windows beskytter din maskin (tall for mai 2013), og jeg vil gjerne gjengi topp 5 fra denne oversikten og hva disse koster for de fleste av oss. Prisene er oppgitt i norske kroner (evt. konvertert fra amerikanske dollar) for 1 enkelt PC i 1 år, og lisensen må fornyes hvert år (de fleste av disse har mulighet til å kjøpe lisens for 2 år eller mer av gangen til en rabatt). Med mindre noe annet er oppgitt, er norsk versjon av programvaren tilgjengelig.

Samtlige av disse har også en 30 dagers gratis prøveversjon du kan laste ned.

1. Kaspersky Internet Security 2013

  • Resultat: 100% blokkert
  • Pris: 499 kr per år

2. Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security

  • Resultat: 100% blokkert
  • Pris: 379 kr per år

3. BitDefender Internet Security 2013 (kun engelsk)

  • Resultat: 99,8% blokkert – 0,2% ikke blokkert
  • Pris: ca. 383 kr per år (49,95 Euro per år)

4. Emsisoft Anti-Malware 7.0 (kun engelsk)

  • Resultat: 99,6% blokkert – 0,2% avhenger av brukeren – 0,2% ble ikke blokkert
  • Pris: 244,62 kr per år (opplyst i norske kroner, men kan variere etter valutakurs)

5. F-Secure Internet Security 2013

  • Resultat: 99,5% blokkert – 0,5% av truslene avhenger av brukeren
  • Pris: 392 kr per år

De tidligere favorittene avast! og AVG kom henholdsvis på en 6. plass og en 20. plass (nest sist), og Norton (eller andre Symantec-løsninger) var ikke med i oversikten denne gang.

Netbooks go bye-bye

02.01.2013 14:58

In more recent tech news, it has been predicted that netbooks (amongst other things) won’t last through this coming year. And honestly, I can’t say I’m very surprised.

In case you haven’t noticed, a “netbook” is a small laptop PC (usually with a 10 inch screen) with a complete operating system (usually Windows XP, Windows 7 Starter or some Linux variant), aimed at those who don’t want a “complete” laptop PC, yet still want most features of such a laptop.

As I saw it when they came on the market, they filled a temporary need for something more portable that a regular laptop, and might be good enough when on vacation (or other travels) for quick-and-easy Internet access on the go. This market need was replaced soon after with tablets, such as Galaxy Tab and iPad, since they were even more portable, and had the same type of operating system as several brands of smartphones. And with the growth of cloud storage services (Dropbox, Box, and later, iCloud, SkyDrive, Google Drive, and others), you can have access to all your files from anywhere, across all devices.

At first, I saw these netbooks as an alternative to bringing my larger laptop while on vacation, but I held off on purchasing one until it was actually time to go on vacation. Eventually, when that time came, I decided against purchasing one, as I would only need it once a year (on my annual vacation trip), and it’d be left unused the rest of the year. Basically, it was an unnecessary investment in my case. And given the fact that it had a full-featured operating system, you’d have to go through a complete start-up sequence every time you were going to use it.

With the introduction of tablet computers, where iPad and Galaxy Tab have become the most successful ones, you could be always-on, with no long boot sequence necessary before using it. Just unlock the screen and start using it right away. This was something that I could use when on vacation, and still be able to use the rest of the year (or not – if that’s what I wanted).

I had also held off on getting a tablet myself, since I had a quite advanced smartphone at this point (HTC HD2 aka. HTC Leo, which was a Windows-based phone). Later, I switched to an Android device – HTC Desire HD (aka. HTC Ace) – which was also one of the most advanced smartphones at the time.

Then, at the end of 2011, I got an iPad 2 (with 64 GB storage and 3G network) from work, as a “thank you for the hard effort” from earlier that year, and I’ve been using this quite often this past year. I’ve divided my time spent on both my iPad and my smartphone quite a bit, where I previously only used my smartphone. The iPad comes in handy when doing longer visits to one or more websites, searching for something on Google and viewing videos, compared to the smartphone screen, and I’d have to admit I’m quite happy with my iPad, even though some of the limitations annoy me at times. Granted, if I had to buy a tablet with my own money, I might’ve gone for a Galaxy Tab instead, but since it was my employer’s money (and he was the one who wanted to get me an iPad, and the most feature-complete version, including mobile broadband paid for by my employer), I accepted the iPad.

On my last vacation, the only computer devices I had with me, were my iPad and my Galaxy S III smartphone, and this went as smoothly as expected (even though I realized I should’ve brought along more than one charger plug, so I could charge more than one device at a time).

All in all, I don’t think we’ll miss netbooks that much. Basically, if you want something small for some basic web surfing and e-mail reading, you can get a tablet device. Or if you want a full-featured laptop that’s light-weight and designed for travels (either on business or vacation travels), you can get an ultrabook (which is a smaller laptop, without comprimising on performance, which netbooks often did).

Or, just stick to a cheap and basic laptop.

How does this happen?

15.11.2012 14:23

Some of you may know that I work as a system administrator, and this includes checking up on servers to make sure everything is running fine, and that nothing is blocking legitimate traffic. This also means that I need to check on the message queue on our primary e-mail server to make sure neither inbound or outbound e-mail is being blocked.

One of the e-mails that are stuck in the queue at the moment, is to a Gmail account, and includes the following error message (reason for not being delivered):

host[] said: 452-4.2.2 The email account that you tried to reach is over quota. Please direct 452-4.2.2 the recipient to 452 4.2.2 ab5si15456916obc.116 (in reply to RCPT TO command)

Just to summarize, the message (which, according to the message queue software, is around 15 kB) is not being delivered, because the Gmail account has run out of storage space. Let me repeat that: his Gmail account has no storage space left!

Thing is, each Gmail user has 10 GB of free storage space available in their account. This means that the Gmail user above has 10 GB of e-mails in his account. And it has been like that for several days. Originally, I wasn’t about to make a post of this, but I’ve seen this message stuck in the queue for several days in a row, and I just felt like venting.

Two things come to mind: One, the e-mails in his account has to have some hefty attachments on them. Two, doesn’t this guy check is Gmail account every once in a while? I mean, Gmail is bound to show a warning when he logs in to see his inbox, and tell him to either upgrade his account space or delete some unneeded e-mails, right? Besides, if he absolutely has to have all of these e-mails in his account, upgrading the account should be a small price to pay (upgrading to 25 GB costs $2.49 per month, while the upgrade to 100 GB costs only $4.99 per month – there are also larger upgrades available). Is it really that hard?

Anyway, that’s it for today’s work-related rant. I do have other pains related to work this week, but I’ll keep those to myself for now (to avoid breaking client confidentiality – the pains are more specifically related to a major site launch early this week for a client, and that’s all I can say, really).

The history of instant messaging

06.11.2012 14:55

Some of the more perceptive of you may have caught the news that Microsoft bought Skype last year, and today, it became clear that Windows Live Messenger will be phased out in favor of Skype. It wasn’t that much of a surprise to me, and it rather seems like a logical choice when thinking about it.  I use Skype as an instant messaging service on a daily basis, and in my opinion, Skype has a far more superior and secure instant messaging system than Live Messenger.

My instant messaging days started over 10 years ago, when I started using something called ICQ (I’m guessing early 2001, without being entirely sure). I later signed up for Yahoo! Messenger to be on more than one instant messaging network, and I also signed up for AOL Instant Messanger (AIM) as well. At some point, I used my Microsoft Passport account (as it was known back then – now known as “Windows Live”) for my Hotmail address to sign up for MSN Messenger (yes, I’m that old). When I started on my current job, I also registered a second MSN Messenger account on a different e-mail address, just to make sure I had a different MSN Messenger ID just for work-related purposes. Later, some time in 2004, I also signed up for Skype, which at that time was still an independent company.

Since then, Skype was bought by eBay, and later by Microsoft.

I still connect to my old instant messaging accounts (ICQ, Yahoo!, AIM and secondary Windows Live Messenger account) using a multi-protocol client called Trillian, just in case someone on those networks still wants to get in touch with me.

I’ve been riding along with several instant messaging for a long time now, and it’s nice to see that my favorite (Skype) is being preferred, even by “competing” services.

What was the first instant messaging service you used? And do you still have or use that account?

Apple updates everything

04.10.2012 17:05

Lunch comic by Børge Lund, translated from Norwegian to English by me, no permissions whatsoever, as usual

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last week or so, Apple has released their new iPhone 5, alongside the big update iOS 6 for older iPhones and iPads. And from what I hear, although the new iPhone is quite a bit better hardware-wise compared to the older iPhones, the software has quite a few disappointments. The dedicated YouTube app is gone, and the builtin map app no longer uses Google Maps, but rather their own Apple Maps solution.

And boy, what a disappointment new the Apple Maps is. I haven’t tried it first hand myself, but given all the problems I’ve heard in the tech news lately, Apple has made one of their biggest mis-steps of recent times (not counting the lawsuits, that is). Even if only less than half of the problems reported in the news are true, it’s a huge mistake, brinking on a scandal (if it isn’t already). Google Maps has taken Google years to perfect, and Apple Maps seems more like something that was slapped together last minute, which is very unlike Apple to do. Also, this big change in the maps app was as surprising to Google as it was for the rest of us, considering the news has reported that Apple had over a year left on their license agreement for Google Maps.

These particular changes are the two main reasons I’ve postponed upgrading my iPad to iOS 6, and I won’t be doing that until Google has officially finished up and released native iPad apps for both YouTube and Google Maps. I’ll just have to deal without the other improvements until such a time comes.

I still won’t consider buying an iPhone 5, though. As I mentioned before, I recently got the Samsung Galaxy S3, and after living with it for a few months, I’m still happy about the upgrade. I’m not too thrilled with the attack ads I’ve seen from Samsung and Nokia related to the iPhone 5 release, though, but that’s more related to how they attack Apple and their customers.

If you managed to get ahold of the iPhone 5, or you’ve downloaded iOS 6 to your existing iDevice, what do you think of it?

The war on piracy continues

14.06.2012 13:35

Early last month, we were told that the DVD piracy warning was being updated. And not for the better, mind you. Now, consumers are still being called criminals, even before they’ve done anything wrong.

The new FBI anti-piracy warning

With such a warning, I still feel just as violated, and I still have to sit through DVD content I can’t skip past, making the wait even longer before I can actually start watching the film itself. Not only that, from what I understand, you will now have to sit through two warnings; one from the FBI, and one from the National Intellectual Property Center.

The new National Intellectual Property Center warning

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

I understand that piracy is a crime, but I don’t need to be reminded of it every time I want to watch a DVD that I bought through legal channels. I feel like these organizations are basically punishing consumers for doing the legal thing.

Here’s a thought, though:

The illegal version of watching a movie: Download from an pirated source, watch the film immediately.

The legal version of watching a movie: Go buy a DVD and put it in the DVD player, watch the FBI notice, watch the anti-piracy movie (they’ll probably have that, too), watch the previews (trailers for other movies and/or special features, such as a commercial for Blu-ray), get to the DVD menu (wait for it to settle on or show the menu items), hit “play movie”. If you’re lucky, the film starts at this point. If you’re unlucky, you have to sit through yet another warning about piracy and public screenings of the DVD.

I mean, what’s the point? Just let us watch the film, already! When movie pirates copy a DVD, they don’t copy these warnings, they only copy the film itself, without all the extra junk (although, they usually don’t include the special features and extra material that some of us want to see).

I’ve also seen warnings that include street vendors who sell pirated DVDs. I mean, the majority of the movie, music and software piracy “industry” happen online these days. The people who rip a DVD for downloading are usually people who are sick and tired of having their cash flow through an outdated corporate scheme.

Those in the industry claim that piracy is the direct cause of monetary losses, but in my opinion, that’s only half true. If you’re going to account for losses, do they also account for how much money they’re wasting on lawyers, lawsuits against individuals (grandmothers, single mothers, and such) and torrent sites, and various DRM schemes?

I’m not saying they shouldn’t fight piracy, but I’m criticizing their current methods of fightin it. I feel that they should rather fight piracy with awareness campaigns, where they focus on why the legal path is good, and showing why you should support the industry. Plain and simple, make people make good about themselves when they spend their money on a DVD, Blu-ray, CD, legal download, books, merchandise, etc. And on the side, they can keep on with lawsuits against those who make large profits from piracy.

Last time I saw one of the few well-made “anti-piracy” warnings out there, was when I bought and fired up my DVD for The Adjustment Bureau. I had originally downloaded this movie illegally, which I usually do when I’m uncertain about the movie’s quality (in terms of story, directing and acting, that is). After seeing it as a pirated download version, I thought it was so good, I got the real version (I had it on my wishlist, and if I hadn’t gotten it for Christmas, I would’ve bought it myself). I’ve ripped the warning from my DVD here and put it up here (unlisted on YouTube, in case you wanted to go searching for it), just so you can see what I mean:

Short, simple, and it made me feel good about myself for buying the DVD and supporting the people who are in this business. This is the type of anti-piracy warning I want to see. With this, I feel like I’m contributing to the good part of the business, and not feeling like I should expect a lawsuit whenever possible.


Side note: The anti-piracy warning video is probably copyrighted, and I’m assuming Universal Studios has something to do with it, given that they’re the publisher of the DVD I got this from. I copied it from there for illustration purposes; please don’t sue me. If you’re reading this, and own the copyright to this, please either grant me a non-exclusive license to use this, or point me to some existing version of it online, so I can link to or embed it from my blog. I’ll put up a proper copyright notice if you want me to.

New version of Experts Exchange

13.03.2012 14:22

Most of you might’ve caught that I’m a techie by now. In my day job, I work with computers and computer networks; my daily tasks consist of both system administration and project management (on a few software development projects in our company). Any way to find solutions to tasks I’m involved with does me a bit of good. I’m mostly partial to Google, but quite often, a site called Experts Exchange comes up in the search results.

Experts Exchange is a site where experts can get help from other experts with tech problems (and earn points for helping others), and I’m actually one of those who have asked for help and found it useful.

Recently, I discovered that they had given their site a major overhaul, and I have to admit that it looks even better now (it did look good before the upgrade, too).

If you’re in the computer tech industry, you might find it helpful as well. If you haven’t already give ’em a try. If you have, check out their new upgraded look.

The New Experts Exchange is Here! Experience EE v.10!

A leap ahead

29.02.2012 18:39

As most of you know, today’s a leap day, and I figured it was about time I updated the few readers I have with what’s been going on since my last update. Since before the cross-over into the new year, I’ve had a few things happen in my life.

iPad and external harddriveMy last update was back in late December, and that same week, I got the iPad 2 I was promised from my office (“day job”, so to speak), as a thanks for the big effort (and late working days) earlier in the year. I’ve previously mentioned my disgust for Apple, and that I wouldn’t go out and buy their products based on their policies and how the appear to treat customers and software developers on their platforms. That said, I wouldn’t pass up the chance of getting one of their products as a gift, which I did just before the new year arrived. It was especially appreciated that the iPad 2 I got was the 3G+WiFi edition with 64 GB storage. And during our annual dinner (with all of the colleagues), we all received an external 2 TB USB drive each, as a belated Christmas gift from our workplace (since this dinner was in mid-January).

Since that time, I’ve noticed that I’ve used my laptop and smartphone less, and transferred some of that time over to my new iPad. With it, I’ve played games, managed servers at work, read e-mail, looked up information I was looking for, viewed videos and updated myself on social media. This, to a much greater extent than what I found possible with my small smartphone screen. I noticed that I would do much of the same whether I got an iPad or an Android tablet device, as this fills a small need for having information on the go. With the iPad, I’ve also been promised a SIM card for mobile broadband (which I’m still waiting for), so I won’t be locked down to having a WiFi network nearby.

I also notice that this will be the perfect device to bring with me on vacation, instead of lugging around on a laptop.

Also new this year, I’ve started on a weight loss program back in January. This first round of 8 weekly meetings wrapped this past Monday, and I’m already enrolled in the next round, starting Monday next week. This particular program, called Roedemetoden (named after the founder, Grete Roede), focuses on losing weight slowly (to avoid health problems underway), and eating right (and healthy). It’s not only about how much you eat, but also about how you spread your meals across the day, and regular exercise (even a long walk counts as proper exercising). After doing some quick research, I suppose it’s similar to Weight Watchers (although not quite the same).

Over the last 8 weeks, I’ve lost a total of 8.5 kg (roughly 18.7 pounds), which is something I can live with. Since my BMI is still over 60 at this time, I’ve already come to grips with the fact that this will take time. Based on my current progress, calculations suggest that I would reach the goal of a normal weight at the end of next year.

And, almost two weeks ago, I turned 32. I had family over for dinner and dessert, and that was about it. It may not seem much, but it’s all I need, honestly. I’m just not that much of a party person, really.

All in all, I now have a much brighter outlook on life.

Upgrade complete (well, sort of)

02.11.2011 02:42

When I got home from work on Friday, I basically did all I needed to get done before taking a long break. After all, once I shut it down, I wouldn’t be able to use it properly for at least 12 hours. And honestly, installing a computer from scratch takes time, especially when you’re supposed to transfer old data and settings to the fresh install.

Let me just guide you through my experience, shall we?

Components to install:

Installation media (all from the Microsoft Partner Network):

  • Microsoft Windows 7 Professional, 32-bit, DVD
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010, DVD
  • Microsoft Visio Professional 2010, DVD
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, DVD (only used to install the client software)
  • Microsoft Project Professional 2010

In addition, I had downloaded an installation file for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional. The day before, I had received full license keys from my boss, who had to fetch them from the Microsoft Partner Network website (using his login). You know, so it’s all official, and not pirated.

Tools used:

  • Philips head screwdriver, long (for the smallest screws)
  • Philips head screwdriver, wider (for the slightly larger screws)
  • Flat head screwdriver (to pry open the lid after unscrewing)
  • Kama Connect IDE/SATA-to-USB adapter (to transfer data out from the old harddrive)
  • Small soft towel (to minimize pressure on the laptop screen while pushing down to screw/unscrew)

And, of course, plenty of lights and patience. Speaking of which, additional supplies:

  • Lethal Weapon 1-4 on DVD (to pass time while everything is being installed)

From the time I started clearing my workspace (read: desk) so I could replace the hardware properly, and until Windows 7 and Office 2010 was installed, including all updates from Windows Update, about 6 hours had passed. And since I started about half an hour past midnight, I was going strong-ish until about 7am Saturday morning. On any given Saturday morning, I’m usually asleep at this time, but I stayed up all night on this one. Most of Saturday was spent transferring documents, pictures, music and web files (local copies of websites I’m working on), but these could be left pretty much unattended, so I was able to have a little social time with my family.

I did snap a few photos during the Friday night upgrade (hardware and base software install) using my phone camera, and they’re all up on my Flickr account, in their own photo set.

IMAG0152 IMAG0173 IMAG0177 IMAG0178

Even closer to the upgrade…

28.10.2011 01:55

So I was able to pick up my package today, although it was a little smaller than I imagined. Then again, I don’t think I’ve ever replaced a harddrive in a laptop before, so the fact that this was considerably smaller than what I’m used to when thinking about “harddrives” probably had something to do with it.

Also, by the time I got to the office, I had received an e-mail from my boss with the license keys I had requested. The upgrade is on for this weekend!

When I left the office today, I made sure to make a print-out of the license keys and take the installation DVDs/CDs with me home, just in case I had the time and the urge to perform the upgrade already today. Needless to say, I never got the time to do something about it today.

I did, however, do a test disassembly of my laptop after I got home, just to get a complete overview of where the components were located, and what screws to unscrew when the time finally comes (and, of course, to be even more sure that I had the right components and equipment to get through the upgrade).

Then again, I was able to perform a backup of all the games and software I can’t get anywhere else before I went to bed, just to be even more prepared.

I’m looking even more forward to get started on Saturday.