I must confess I’ve only recently read the details about Cyberlocker. How cunning it is in terms of detecting your country and choosing to encrypt your files or not. What I’ve only just realised is that should it enter your PC by what ever means , it will encrypt not only your main C: drive or equivalent but any attached USB drives. I’ve historically used a USB drive as a simple backup system for the main data on my PC. I leave it powered and connected all of the time my PC is powered on.

Well I’ve now changed my mind about this. In fact the best way to protect one self of course is to back up and then disconnect your USB drive. Friends have been suggesting this for years but it’s just too dam impractical for me. So I’ve bought one of these remote controlled mains sockets. See image below. I can simply now only turn the drive on when I wish to make a backup then quickly turn it off without almost lifting a finger (well apart from pressing the button). These are readily available in the UK for <£7 on the likes of ebay etc. I reckon this is £7 well spent. Of course there are other brands that I’m sure work just as well. If you want to understand more about Cyberlocker there are plenty of good links to explain more about it for example


Thunderbird updated for me and many others yesterday to Version 38.1.0 . Unfortunately there seem to be some problems with this new update. For me the reply stopped working or worse inserted the addressee in the earlier email ! As a quick fix I’ve reverted to an earlier version of Thunderbird which seems to be working as before. To do this  removed  the current version from the Control Panel (Windows) and then installed the earlier version. Earlier versions of Thunderbird can be found here:

You may also wish disable the updates see this link

Hope this is of help to my readers

Well I’ve been chasing this for ages. Sort of embarrassed that I hadn’t chased a stuck ‘Esc’ key message that Total Commander flags up. Usually pressing the escape key fixes it! Damn it, it’s a generic Windows 7 problem !!!!!!!!! So if you find you can’t ‘drag and drop’ with Windows 7 , just try toggling your escape key a couple of times. It works for me 😉 Thanks once more to NickP for the diagnostics… Check this link

Just installed the latest build 3.5 .  It’s now got ‘face detection’ in it’s armoury. As I write this it’s matching images of friends and family in a rather an uncanny manner. You don’t have to use but guess it might help if looking for a specific photo.  Download from here:

Also downloaded Google Maps on my Nokia E71 phone today, another new version 😉 It’s added layers so you can look up information via Wiki for example . Check it out

Just installed Windows 7 RC available here:

Surprisingly it seems quite ‘nippy’ on a relatively modest PC. I’ve installed it on my ‘benchtop’ machine using a spare 20G hard drive in order to keep separate from my working XP install. It’s only a 2GHz Athlon with a 1G of RAM. Doesn’t seem particularly sluggish by any means. Only have the base installation running without any other applications apart from Firefox and an antivirus program. Still all very impressive and will have to spend a bit more time using it. Be aware that the RC will expire in March of next year.

I’ve mentioned this  before, but things are changing. I’ve been playing with on line backup just to get a feel of how it works – offer 2Gbytes of free online secure storage. You load a small application on to your computer and point it that folders you want to backup. That’s it! The benefits are clear, it’s off site and will survive in the event of a fire/flood/robbery… Negatives: It’s relatively slow as in the first instance you have to back up all of your files. You’ve also got to trust them too, typically the data is encrypted before it’s sent. Remember upload speeds on broadband are much lower than download. Typically 256k bit/s . But once you’ve uploaded the program only stores changes. Mozy have a commercial offering if you want to save more and their are other well known players like of which people seem to speak highly of. I’ve even stumbled across a ‘peer to peer’ type solution where you use disk space from trusted friends, that’s neat. Check out I haven’t tried yet, but I’m tempted. The next phase is to take the plunge in order that I can store my 10G of photos , well I guess that’s another article. There’s also the media streaming project! How to find the time…

Just purchased a small digital photo frame to display some of our holiday pictures. But struggled for an hour or so trying to get my images on to the SD Card. At first I thought perhaps a faulty card, I got some way through the copying then it jus stopped. Perhaps a faulty memory writer/reader , it is a new PC after all.

No , none of these. The card was formatted by default as FAT. A 512 file limit for those of us who can’t remember. Formatted with FAT32 and all was well 🙂 Still it caught me out and bet others too. Normally you insert into say a camera and device gets formatted with the system of choice. By I just had a fresh device and hadn’t given the format a second glance. Don’t say you’ve not been warned.

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