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People often approach me about IT problems (either at work, or friends/relatives outside work). However, sometimes I find out about these problems by chance: I’ll see something odd, and the person will say “Oh, yeah, that always happens”. I was chatting to someone recently, and while I was there I saw that they had a problem […]

RAM upgrade

I installed some extra memory in a PC this evening, which turned out to be a bit more interesting than I’d expected. The initial status was that it had 128Mb of RAM. I had a 256Mb chip, which would increase it to 384Mb. Windows XP was running very slowly, so I figured that tripling the […]

Anatomy of a hack: mail server

Today I’ve been fixing a problem with my mail server after someone “hacked” (cracked) it. I’m reconstructing the chain of events as best I can, but the causality wasn’t obvious at the time. Background: this machine is running Windows Server 2003 SP1 with Exchange Server 2003 SP2. A few weeks ago, someone gained unauthorised access […]