LUA part 2 (of 5): Setting up separate accounts

In part 1 of this series, I explained why it’s a good idea to have separate accounts on your computer: a standard account for day to day stuff (e.g. reading email), and an administrator account for making system changes (e.g. installing new software). In this part, I’m going to provide step by step instructions for …

LUA part 1 (of 5): Why you shouldn’t always log into Windows as an administrator

The German government have advised people to stop using Internet Explorer and switch to an alternate browser, as reported at the BBC and Mashable. Microsoft have published a security advisory about the problem, and they’ve discussed it on their Security Research & Defense blog. Personally, I’m using IE8 (Protected Mode) on Windows Vista with DEP …

Microsoft exams

Last August, I did a beta exam for Microsoft. I didn’t pay for it, but I didn’t get a score either; the idea was just to test out their new software for doing simulations in the exam (rather than multiple choice questions). As a “thank you”, Microsoft then sent me three vouchers, each one corresponding …

Exchange 2007 – firewall problems on Windows 2008

In Windows 2003, the local firewall was turned off by default. You could enable it, but you had to be careful about defining all your exceptions; unlike a PC running Windows XP, you presumably want people to be able to connect to your server! Finding a list of all the relevant ports/protocols could be difficult, …

MazeBot 1

Today, I have mostly been breeding robots… Back in my undergrad days, I learnt about “genetic algorithms”. The basic idea is that rather than designing a computer program yourself, you allow one to evolve: the equivalent of natural section. I’ve taken advantage of the break between Christmas and New Year to experiment with this; I’m …

SSL certificate errors

I’ve just been along to the PruHealth website. Unfortunately, it turns out that their SSL certificate expired last night, so I get a big warning message when I try to access the site. I’ve reported the problem to them, and they should be able to fix it fairly easily, i.e. renew the certificate. However, I’ve …

How to short-circuit a network…

Most modern networks use a star topology: each computer plugs into a separate port on a switch, either directly or via a patch panel, and larger networks will have multiple switches connected together. However, what happens if you plug both ends of a patch cable into the same switch? I’ve encountered this situation a couple …