Monthly Archives: August 2007

Sorry for not posting in a while

Hi everyone,

Its been a long while since I posted something. As you probably know, due to the recent passage of Hurricane Dean which severely impacted the Southern part of Manchester where I reside, I have been without electricity since August 19th. A lot of electricity poles have been badly damaged in the surrounding areas, so it will take some time before they are fixed and before power is restored. I am writing this now from an Internet cafe in Mandeville.

Cross Keys town square, South Manchester

Its rough, but I am thankful for life and that my family and friends are safe and sound, including my pets and live stock. I will be off line for a while until things get back to normal, but, I will come on every now and then just to keep in touch with close friends and family. I have uploaded some pictures of the damages, the one above is a picture of the town square of Cross Keys. As you can see, a building was destroyed where bars and shops once stood. You will also see the damages to my home and property. Its just the tip of the ice berg, many schools and churches not to mention houses were damaged badly. My roof is fixed, just waiting on the electricity, I wish the best for others who are not so lucky.

That’s all for now, I just want to say thanks to all my friends and readers for their constant prayers and support and I hope to be back in gear soon. Damn, its rough being without Internet for weeks! Until then, take care.

Andre

More Pictures here

 

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An update is available that improves the performance and reliability of Windows Vista

From Microsoft Downloads

This is a performance update. Install this update to improve the performance of Windows Vista in certain scenarios. Additional information about this update can be found in KB Article 938979. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer. This update is provided to you and licensed under the Windows Vista License Terms."

Download here

 

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An update is available that improves the compatibility and reliability of Windows Vista

From Microsoft Downloads

"This is a reliability update. Install this update to improve the reliability of Windows Vista in certain scenarios. Additional information about this update can be found in KB Article 938194. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer. This update is provided to you and licensed under the Windows Vista License Terms.

Download here

 

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ActiveWin.com: Microsoft Office Publisher 2007 – Review

From ActiveWin.com

"Brian has posted his review of Office Publisher 2007. Here is an excerpt:

Publisher first made it’s entry in 1991 as “Microsoft Publisher for Windows” (v1). Its debut consisted of 3 floppy disks, including clipart, totaling 4.32mb. Every other year there after, Microsoft released a new version of Publisher adding features (and size) based on feedback from home office workers and commercial printers. We are now on the 9th version of Microsoft Publisher (though technically Microsoft has given Publisher 2007 the v12 branding to be consistent with the rest of Microsoft Office), with a substantial number of improvements over the past few versions. Publisher is aimed at the home consumer as well as the small business market. Those looking for an all in one application that can produce their business brochures, letters, business cards, thank you notes, and mail merges from databases for sending out postcards will find Publisher the all in one solution. Publisher can hold your hand in designing your entire business portfolio of marketing material with thousands of combined wizards and templates. For the more ambitious, one can take full control of their designs from the ground up using Publisher. Starting with a blank page, a user can design a publication, save it as a template for future use, as well as share the design elements of that template with other custom templates to keep a consistent and more professional output."

Read the entire review here 

If you haven’t read my Office 2007 review, check it out here

 

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NVIDIA ForceWare 163.11 BETA (Windows Vista x86)

From nVidia via ActiveWin

Release Highlights:

  • Beta driver release.
  • This driver supports single GPU and NVIDIA SLI™ technology on DirectX 9, DirectX 10, and OpenGL for GeForce 6, 7, and 8 series GPUs.
  • Improved compatibility for World in Conflict.
  • Numerous game and application compatibility fixes. Please read the release notes for more information on product support, feature limitations, driver fixes and known compatibility issues.

Download here

 

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64-Bit News Round Up – x64 Driver Signing Update

From Windows Vista Security

Hi, it’s Scott Field, Windows Security Architect, again. Microsoft recently became aware of a third party kernel mode driver named “Atsiv” which provides a deliberate means of loading code that conflicts with the Kernel Mode Code Signing (KMCS) policy included in Windows Vista x64 editions. In Windows Vista x64 editions, the default KMCS policy is to only allow code to load into the kernel if it has been digitally signed with a valid code signing certificate.

The Atsiv driver also provides a means to load unsigned kernel mode code in a manner that is not visible through operating system provided API interfaces (such as the EnumDeviceDrivers() API), and this may allow the code to hide from view of commonly deployed tools. Installing the Atsiv driver requires administrative privileges, so there is no security vulnerability related to the default case in Windows Vista where users run with limited permissions through the User Account Control feature.

Microsoft is committed to protecting its customers from potential as well as actual security threa[t]s; accordingly, we are responding to this issue as follows:

  1. Windows Defender released a signature update on August 2, 2007 that allows detection, blocking, and removal of the current Atsiv driver. Classification of the Atsiv software was done in accordance with the objective criteria used by the Windows Defender team to assess the characteristics of potentially unwanted software.
  2. Certificate revocation has occurred as of August 2, 2007. Microsoft has worked with partners in the code signing certification authority ecosystem to assess the Atsiv issue. VeriSign has revoked the code signing key used to sign the Atsiv kernel driver, which means the code signing key will no longer be considered valid.
  3. The security team at Microsoft is investigating adding the revoked key to the kernel mode code signing revocation list, as an additional defense in depth measure. The kernel mode revocation mechanism requires a system reboot in order for the new revocation list to take effect, which is consistent with other Microsoft updates which require and subsequently trigger a reboot.

Read the rest here

64-Bit PCs: Drivers Wanted

"Now that they’re 64 (bits, that is), personal computers are still searching for developers to need them and feed them.

In 2003, Advanced Micro Devices released 64-bit chips for PCs in the form of the Athlon 64, and Intel followed suit in 2005. But the software needed to take advantage of those chips is harder to find than a Beatles song on iTunes."

Read the rest here

My say: Its not so much as lack of drivers, but the lack in quality of the drivers for 64-bit Windows that developers are giving customers. I have been running 64-Bit Windows since 2005 and all my hardware has worked just fine with OS. Stability continues to be the main issue and I am not sure shy its still such a sticky issue. Some factors come to mind such as demand and or complexity to write device drivers for the platform.

ActiveWin.com: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Processor – Review

"Byron has just posted his review of AMD’s Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Processor. Here is an excerpt:

AMD has been the king of 64-bit computing for some time now and no matter what Intel has attempted to throw in front of them, AMD have hurdled over it. With the release of the new AMD AM2 Motherboards and processors AMD are now not only pushing the envelope on the 64-bit and Dual Core front, they are reducing the amount of energy and power that the processors take up, thus producing quieter and cooler PC’s. The big question is, has the wait for the new AM2 processors and motherboards been worth it? Do we see any benefit from using DDR2 memory compared to the old DDR2 on the previous Socket 939 processors, read on and we’ll find out. This review will also concentrate on the future impact the processor will have when used with Windows Vista, we’ll be putting it through its paces on both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the new operating system to see what bearing they have on this chip."

 

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