Archive for April, 2006

XP’s Little-Known ‘Rebuild’ Command

April 30, 2006

Here's another handy tip that I found recently, there's a little-Known 'Rebuild' Command within Windows XP which can save you from errors like: "Missing HAL.DLL," "Invalid Boot.Ini," and several other fatal startup errors

Click here to read the article at InformationWeek


How to put on a plaster so that it lasts more than a day

April 28, 2006

This is a great video hosted on which demonstrates what to do with a plaster (elastoplast) to make it last longer than a day. If you can't see the embeded player, click here to see the video on The audio's in Japanese, but you should get the idea from the pictures. I tried the technique when I had a blister on my foot – the plaster stayed on more than 3 days!

Removing unused device drivers from Windows XP machines

April 28, 2006

Did you know that unless you uninstall a device driver on a Windows XP machine that it still may be sucking up valuable system resources?

I came across a great article that shows you how to display hidden hardware in your device manager – devices that you are probably not using anymore – once you can see them, you can remove them and free up the resources.

Click here to read the article: Removing unused device drivers from Windows XP machines

Top 15 Security/Hacking Tools & Utilities

April 17, 2006

I've just found a really useful article which reviews the top 15 security/hacking tools (all free). Some of them you may already be familiar with, but some of them will be added to my security toolkit today.

Here's a quick rundown on the utilities mentioned:

1. Nmap
2. Nessus Remote Security Scanner
3. John the Ripper
4. Nikto
5. SuperScan
6. p0f
7. Ethereal
8. Yersinia
9. Eraser
10. PuTTY
11. LCP
12. Cain and Abel
13. Kismet
14. NetStumbler
15. hping

These utilities are not only useful for hacking a system but for learning how to protect your own.

Take a look at the article, written by Darknet, here: Top 15 Security/Hacking Tools & Utilities

M1 Motorway – Junctions 21 to 30 Widening and Improvements

April 14, 2006

The highways agency wants to widen the M1 motorway between junctions 21 and 30. Here's the details on their proposed plan:

The M1 motorway is a heavily used strategic route linking London with the Midlands and the North. Up to 150,000 vehicles per day use this section of the M1.

We propose to improve approximately 50 miles of the length of the M1, between Leicester (J21) and Chesterfield (J30), by widening those sections that are currently three-lane, to four-lane motorway.

We also plan to improve this stretch of motorway to current highways standards by:

  • re-surfacing with low noise materials
  • reconstructing and/or improving bridges
  • improving all junctions
  • adding new improved exit signs
  • installing new technology (e.g. electronic messaging signs)
  • building new signal gantries at 1km intervals

The Need to Widen

The road was built in the 1960s and designed for use by 67,000 vehicles per day. Today, it carries up to 150,000 vehicles per day and it is significantly congested at peak times, during roadworks and incidents. This causes delays and increases the risk of accidents.

The scheme will:

  • ease congestion
  • improve journey times
  • improve journey time reliability
  • improve safety

You can see all the details on their page here (not Firefox friendly!):

Newsgator Notifier Firefox Extension

April 11, 2006

For some time I've been using a little-known extension for Firefox which acts as a notifier for new posts in my Newsgator account, called "Newsgator Toolkit"

You'll find some "design features" in it – such as clicking the icon doesn't open Newsgator and doesn't reset the unread post count, but I can live with that for such a useful extension.

It doesn't appear that the person who developed it has done any work to it recently but it does serve a useful purpose for me.

If you'd like to give it a try then visit the creators site here: Chinwags from Abu Dhabi: Newsgator Toolkit or download the extension here:

Vanishing WordPress Rich Text Editor…

April 11, 2006

I had a bit of a strange problem yesterday (no, not that itchy red rash again…) When I went to write a new post, none of the rich text editing buttons were available. Now there are many people who would recommend that you turn them off (for very valid reasons), but I'm quite a fan of them to simplify my posting – so I was rather confused at their disappearance.

After a bit of searching I came across this post on the WordPress forums: Icons have vanished on "write post" page which details the problem and solution perfectly. Basically all you need to do is keep hitting CTRL+F5 on the write post page until the buttons come back. It sounds like it's a caching problem after WordPress make any code changes to the controls.

Welcome to the Scene

April 10, 2006

NYU student Brian Sandro has a secret: he and his friends pirate
hunderds of millions of dollars of illicit Hollywood movies in their
spare time. They are revered, reviled, hunted, and admired. No one
knows who they are –at least, not as far as they know.

Welcome to the scene

Turn your Smartphone into a USB drive

April 9, 2006

Some clever developer has managed to write a free application for any Windows Mobile 5 Smartphones (like my Orange SPV C600) which basically turns the phone into a USB pen drive (no need to use Activesync to transfer files).

The authors description of the program is This program will export the flash memory card inside the smartphone as usual USB Mass Storage device (ordinary "usb disk") – effectively turning smartphone into flash reader (albeit USB 1.0 only, and not very fast)

I had to follow these instructions to get it to work as I was getting an "error 57":

Using a registry editor, within HKLM\Security\Policies\Policies create a new value "0000101b" with the value dword = 1

To download the application go here:

NDCS 3 peaks Challenge

April 9, 2006

In August myself and a group of friends – Martin Powley, Bev Parry, Chris Birch, Doug Hale, Jonathan Shaw, Paz Chauhan, Mark Woodfield, Chet Patel, Scott Hall will be attempting to climb the three highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales respectively within 24 hours.

We will be raising funds for The National Deaf Children's Society. We're attempting to raise £5000 – to help us along please sponsor us by visiting Justgiving – NDCS 3 peaks Challenge to pledge your money.