Backing up Trillian Contacts

Now, I usually always forget to backup something - especially when I format my machines. Yes, I know, the usual mantra of IT Consultants etc is to 'backup, backup, backup'. But how many of actually practice that? For one thing, it's just too damn time consuming. Anyone, I've just been poking through the Program Files for Trillian - looking for a way to move my (neatly organised) contact list from my desktop onto my laptop (where it's still a mess). And I've come across an XML file in C:\Program Files (x86)\Trillian\users\default\; buddies.xml to be precise :) For those of you that do not know what Trillian is, I strongly suggest you go and have a look at their website -

Rising cost of fuel

I've just found an old petrol receipt - dated 16 Sep 2002.  Can you believe it, unleaded was only 65.9p a litre ....

20-year old done for zombie net

Sophos Plc reports that a 20-year Californian kid has been collared for releasing a bug that has managed to infect a hospital full of computers - and caused massive downtime (and probably risking patients lives). However, reading through the article they put all the blame on the kid - who at the end of the day, could be just a script kiddie - nothing more. I'd be more concerned with the Hospital.

  1. They were running Windows machines, exposed (poor AV, poor spam filters, missing Critical Security Patches, etc)
  2. They didn't have their critical systems internally segregated - usually a split subnet, with a filtering firewall in between works wonders
  3. Where's their IT Policy? In all probability, someone opened the first email ...


Working with Mono

After encountering problems with my current installation of Mono, I decided it was time to do an update. So after duely removing the old modules, I dropped into the Mono Project website and downloaded the latest rpms. After unpacking, I issued the usual rpm -Uv *, and hit a small snag. I was missing a dependancy - sqlite. For those who are looking for it, you can grab it from here. After installing this, the installation went smoothly :) If, like me, you want to enable support for .aspx pages, you need to checkout the mod_mono documentation on enabling it in Apache.

Macrovision flexes it's muscle

Over the last few weeks I've come across mentions of Macrovision initiating (or threatening to) law suits. One of these targets, is a friend of mine - Sinan Karaca, the founder of InstallAware Corporation. I've been a supporter of InstallAware for over a year now, and have personally contributed a couple of plugins. I ended up choosing it over InstallShield, InstallAnywhere, Inno Setup and many others, simply because it allowed fexibility with the Microsoft MSI system whereas none of the others did (where they supported MSI).  Now Macrovision, the current owners of InstallShield (and now InstallAnywhere), are citing that the current InstallAware site is a rip off (down to the actual HTML and JavaScript) of the old ZeroG website (the previous owners of InstallAnywhere), and that customers (potential?) might get confused. For one thing, I don't see how people can get confused.  For one thing, the last time I looked at InstallAware it did not support Mac environments (as well as others) etc - something which is supposedly a key point with InstallAnywhere. The InstallAware team have even gone as far as asking for their customers response; see for yourself here: Today, I have also discovered that Macrovision filed suit against two other companies back in June last year - Sima and Interburn. This time it was with regards to DVD copy protection circumvention. What's going on? Surely Macrovision should be improving its products, not attempting to sue competitors? If flaws have been highlighted with their products (such as their copy protection schemes), surely they should improve them? It certainly makes me think in this Digital world; it seems everywhere we turn, we are breaking some law or other; does switching on those 'Disable Macrovision', or 'Region Free' functions on my DVD players mean I'm breaking a law? Probably. But if so, why are they there? Why are manufacturers providing their customers with the ability to switch off Copy Protection. Why does Macrovision's technical design of their copy protection ALLOW it to be disabled? (For those that don't know, a lot of Macrovision protection is implemented in a firmware solution - a video processor that adds a series of pulses to confuse most recording systems that feature gain correct circutry. A lot more info is available on the net, so I'm not going into specifics.).  Maybe Macrovision should stop buying up different technology companies, and start concentrating on its core business assets.  After all, who is going to want to use copy protection solutions from a company that doesn't fix its own bugs? Who would want to release their application to the wild using a product such as InstallShield, or InstallAnywhere, knowing their slack attitude? Can we be sure it’s bug free? Can we be sure it’s not going allow customers to switch off OUR DRM?  References:  

The death of Borland Delphi?

There has been a lot of speculation floating around today regarding Borland's decision to sell off their IDE range of products. Now, these are the products which have MADE Borland what they are today (until now, they have been a relatively thriving Software Development firm) - I say relatively, as Software Development firms always have a hard time staying alive! To me, a long term Delphi user this is a severe kick in the teeth. Am I SERIOUSLY looking at Visual Studio? I certainly am. And so far, I am impressed. Just need to find a project to start. [Openletter from the CEO of Borland]


Some stats for my roadtrip (well, the first day anyway) 693.4 miles 2 tanks of petrol 10 hours motorway driving 1 knackered back I've also made the interesting discovery; I don't want to move back into a major built up area :) Over the last year or so I have gotten used to the next to no traffic on these Scottish roads - bit of shock as you travel further South as you encounter traffic! The other oddity is it seemed to get warmer as you go - and there were less trees.. Speaking of oddities, anyone noticed the power station around the Leeds - Doncaster junctions on the A1 seems to interfere with GPS? It always goes haywire for 15 - 20 miles ... Good thing I haven't had to use either of the turnoffs there or I'd be hopelessly lost!

Delphi 2006 (BDS4) on el Reg

The new release of Borland's Visual Basic Killer, Delphi, has been mentioned on The Register.
As the article says, this has to be the most usable release since the days of Delphi 7 - I for one, and absolutly thrilled with it - long live Delphi!


UK ISP's ordered to cough up users details

The Register reports on FAST winning a court case in the UK, forcing ISP's to hand over details of users who are illegally downloading FAST protected / monitored programs. (Appears to only relate to Kazaa users though).
The interesting point is the 14 day period where they can ask for details. I assume this is so ISPs do not have to hold log files indefinatly.

[Full article here]