I got tired of my Windows 2003 automatic installation of security updates (and restart) when they are released, so I decided to go digging around to find a way to stop that. A quick Google search got me this site, whose step 2 did the trick. Here are the steps for my configuration:

  1. Go to Start->Run, and type ‘gpedit.msc ‘ without the quotes and hit OK.
  2. Browse down to Local Computer Policy->Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->Windows Components->Windows Update.
  3. The settings which I changed are:
    • Enabled ‘Configure Automatic Updates‘ and set it to ‘3 – Auto download and notify for install’
    • Enabled ‘No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Updates installations
    • Disabled ‘Allow Automatic Updates immediate installation
    • Enabled ‘Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installations‘ and set it to 1440 minutes

Screenshot of my Group Policy Object Editor:

Group Policy Object Editor - Windows Update

As far as I know, Windows XP does not install updates automatically by default, so that might only be a default for Windows Server 2003 which I’m using. However, I believe the restart prompt is defaulted to 10mins for XP and 2003.

I’m sure kern will be up in arms for my proper spelling of humour, but anyway came across this today..


via xkcd

I read this article last week and thought it was quite an impressive piece of advertisement and propaganda by Symantec. This quote especially was sweet:

An antivirus program is not enough, said Symantec. Users need a security solution that combines antivirus, firewall and intrusion detection capabilities.

The proper thing to say would’ve been to have every copy of Windows updated with all the security patches from Microsoft. Or use another operating system of course, but that would be defeatist since I don’t think Symantec products run on any other operating system apart from Windows.

Another reason is the widespread use of pirated software by local PC users, said the Symantec survey.

It said copies of pirated software sometimes contained trojans and other hidden malicious programs, and these are surrepticiously planted into computer systems when users installed the software.

Rest assured, you don’t even need to get to the stage of installing pirated software as a computer with an unpatched Windows can easily get those just by connecting to the internet. However, home routers nowadays do quite a decent job in protecting the computer(s) plugged into it.

As for the part on zombie machines, I might be wrong on this, but I believe it can be greatly reduced if the ISP blocks off the common ports used such as port 25, 80 and allow users to unblock it if they know what they’re doing. This seems to be a common practice among ISPs in Australia.

PC users are also advised not to view, open or execute any e-mail attachment unless it is expected or its purpose known to the recipient.

I’m not going to find fault with that. :D

I’ve stopped using Symantec security software since a few years back as every new version that got released increased the bloat and resource usage to a ridiculous level.

Ah, it’s been awhile since I wrote something..

Been a long time since I posted something, so here’s a post of my setup at work which was recently enriched with a very neat LCD. :D

workplace rig

A relatively dated Acer Aspire Pentium-M laptop, Acer AL2016W 20″ wide screen LCD, Logitech MX400 mouse, Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 keyboard and a.. kiwi soft toy (a gift from my colleague who went to NZ for a holiday some time back). The LCD’s 1680×1050 is simply awesome. :D Now if only I could replace the 17″ LCD I have in my room with that..

Hopefully I’ll have time soon to write more posts.. have been busy with shifting last week, followed by cleaning and clearing up the apartment to a habitable state. Hopefully ck will stop complaining once I start writing again.. soon. :P

Happy Chinese New Year (or Happy ‘Lunar New Year’ as how my Vietnamese friends would refer to it :)) to everyone who are celebrating it! Unfortunately, this will be the first time I won’t be back in Malaysia for it due to unavoidable circumstances. :( I guess I won’t be putting on weight this time around. :P

Anyway, wherever you are, have a good celebration! :D