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Archive for March, 2007

Code Syntax Highlighting in WordPress

March 22nd, 2007 Comments off

Since this blog is of a technical nature I plan to be posting more code snippets as time goes on. I obviously want the source code to appear pretty on my blog with all the syntax highlighting that one is used to in modern IDEs (including Visual Studio .NET 2003/2005). I run this blog using WordPress and I have just installed a plugin to take care of the Syntax highlighting called WP-dp.SyntaxHighlighter. It supports many languages and I’ll be interested mainly in the .NET languages. Below is an example of a code snippet in C#

using System; 

public class ReverseArraySort
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      string[] strings = {"beta", "alpha", "gamma"};
      Console.WriteLine ("Array elements: ");
      DisplayArray  (strings);
      Array.Sort    (strings); // Sort elements
      DisplayArray  (strings);
   }
 
   public static void DisplayArray (Array array)
   {
      foreach (object o in array)
      {
         Console.Write ("{0} ", o);
      }
      Console.WriteLine();
   }
}
Categories: .NET, Blogging, Wordpress Tags:

IE6 VPC Refresh Now Available

March 21st, 2007 Comments off

Microsoft released a Virtual PC Image a while back which had Internet Explorer 6 installed on it. This was required because
you can’t successfully (I have tried) run both IE7 and IE6 on a Windows PC at the same time. Microsoft put a time limit on the
Virtual PC image so that there wouldn’t be copies of Windows floating around that anybody could use without a license.
The expiry date for the original image was April 1 so they have now released a new Virtual PC image with an expiry date of July 23rd.
This allows web developers to test their apps with both browsers succesfully during testing.

From IEBlog:

IEBlog : IE6 VPC Refresh Now Available
IE6 VPC Refresh Now Available

In my original blog post about releasing the IE6 Virtual PC Image, we mentioned that it would expire on April 1st, 2007 (no, it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke), and that we’d be releasing a new VPC image to replace it sometime in March. Well, I’m happy to report that I propped the new VHD up on Monday morning. You can download the image here. Take note that a free download of Virtual PC 2007 is now available, replacing VPC2004.

I didn’t make any major changes to the image other than adding the latest security updates. I also managed to reduce the download size to just under 400 megs, shaving off almost 100 megs from the previous image size. This image is time-bombed to July 23rd , but we will continue to release these images as long as they are needed. They are time-bombed because you get them for free. If you want images without time-bombs, an MSDN subscription is the way to go.

Categories: .NET Tags:

Upgrading your PC’s RAM

March 20th, 2007 Comments off

I wanted to give my PC a bit of a boost so I decided to stick some more RAM in. The extra memory really helps out when you want to run VMWare images or Virtual PCs. So I wasn’t too sure which type of RAM I needed, there seems to be a ton of different questions/options when choosing RAM.

  • PC2700, PC3200, …
  • Parity or Non-Parity
  • Value of CL
  • How much RAM can I put in each slot ?
  • Do I have to keep the RAM chips balanced across slots ?

Even though I built the PC myself two years ago I still needed a bit of help when choosing the correct RAM chip.
Two resources which came in really handy were the following:

The Crucial System Scanner runs either in your browser (as an ActiveX) or as a downloadable exe and it scans your computer and gives you a report on what RAM that you need to buy. At least then you can be sure that what you buy will do the trick.

Categories: General, Windows Tags:

Securing your Wireless Network

March 19th, 2007 5 comments

I am setting up a Wifi network at home and this post details some of the security measures that I have taken. This is mainly advice that I have gotten from friends or just by googling. I am sure that I won’t mention everything you could do to secure your wifi network but it is at least a start. If you have any other tips then please leave a comment.

Change the default admin username/password
My router (Netopia) came with no login required so anyone on my home network could easier reconfigure my wireless router. This is an obvious security risk so you should ensure that credentials are required to change the router’s configuration and also ensure that you change the password to something other than the default.

Turn on Wireless Encryption
Any decent wireless router should come with this already turned on but you need to check this. My wireless router arrived with WEP enabled. Definitely better that no encryption at all but most wireless routers these days also support WPA which is actually more secure so you should change it to that to prevent someone from hacking your network.

MAC Address Filtering
Each network card is assigned a unique MAC address by the manufacturer. By enabling MAC address filtering you are only allowing computers with the preset MAC addresses access to the network. So in your router’s configuration you will need to add the MAC address of each device that you want to allow to access the network. Remember that if you friend calls around with their laptop then you will need to add their MAC address to the list. Apparently it is relatively easy to spoof a MAC address, a quick google told me how to change my MAC address in a matter of seconds. Still worth doing though

Static IP Addresses
For each device/computer to work correctly on the network it has to have a valid IP address. My wireless router was preconifgured to use DHCP (this is were the router dynamically assigns IP addresses to each computer that requests one). It is more secure to assign a Static IP address to each computer that requires access to the network. You will need to reconfigure your router to use static ip addressed instead of DHCP. Since a hacker is now not automatically assigned an IP address he/she would have to gain access to the router first to get an IP address.

Enable Firewalls
You should enable the in-built firewall in your wireless router and also ensure that you have a firewall on each device connected to your network. If you are running Windows that you can use either Windows Firewall or ZoneAlarm (free – I use this one).

These are by no means the only things that you can do to secure your network but it should be a good start. If you have any other ideas then please leave a comment.

Categories: security, Windows Tags:

Links for 2007-03-13

March 14th, 2007 Comments off
Categories: General Tags:

Links for 2007-03-09

March 10th, 2007 Comments off
Categories: General Tags:

Links for 2007-03-08

March 9th, 2007 Comments off
Categories: General Tags:

Links for 2007-03-07

March 8th, 2007 Comments off
Categories: General Tags:

Links for 2007-03-06

March 7th, 2007 Comments off
Categories: General Tags:

Links for 2007-03-05

March 6th, 2007 Comments off
Categories: General Tags: