Tuesday 21 June 2011

Vista Internet Security 2012

A couple of days ago, one of my PCs became infected with "Windows Vista Internet Security 2012". I'm not sure how it happened, but Firefox was running and hotmail was being checked - but no attachments were opened and no dubious emails were present.

Vista Internet Security 2012 installs itself on the task bar and as a startup program. Every time you attempt to access the internet or run certain programs, the dialog appears, tells you you've been infected with lots of problems and prompts you to register for the full version of the program. Your computer is unusable because even if you dismiss the box it reappears as soon as you attempt to do anything.

The machine was fully protected using up to date McAfee software, so you'd have thought this shouldn't have happened. However, McAfee did help me to get rid of the problem.

Here's how I dealt with it.

1) CTRL ALT DEL to bring up the task manager.
2) Found multiple instances of a process called "pfw", each one of which was one of the dialog boxes that had appeared on the screen. I killed them all, kept the task manager open and killed any new instances that subsequently appeared.
3) Fortunately I was able to use McAfee, so I got it to do a quick scan - this achieved nothing, so I ran a full scan. This found four problems, but was only able to delete three of them. It identifed the fourth as "corrupt-AG12SE802287FB7".
4) Stopped the computer, unplugged it from the network and restarted it.
5) Logged in as an adminstrator and rands a McAfee full scan. This found and allowed me to "quarantine" the problem item "corrupt-AG12SE802287FB7" that it had earlier been unable to disable.
6) Stopped, reconnected to network, restarted and logged in as the non adminstrator user under which the problem first appeared.
7) McAfee then reported that it had identified but was unable to delete the problem program "pfw.exe" and requested that I restart the computer.
8) Restarted and everything OK again.

See precisesecurity.com for further details of the problem

Monday 20 June 2011

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4 Memory Card Error

I recently dropped my Pansonic Lumix DMC-TZ4 and caused a problem whereby the camera would do nothing other than display "Memory Card Error - Please Check Card". If I removed the SDHC card from the camera, the camera worked fine and would take and display pictures using the built-in memory.

Having checked the SDHC card in another device and furthermore tried another known working card, I concluded that the camera was faulty. I then looked around to see where I could get it repaired. Not good news, I'm afraid, all I could do was send it off for an estimate which was pretty much guaranteed to be at least £75 plus courier charges.

At this point I decided that I'd rather buy a new camera than pay such fees, so I'd take a chance and open the camera up and take a peek inside. Having removed the battery, SD card and observed static precautions, I removed small screws from the base and sides of the camera and carefully prised off the back of the camera, taking care not to stretch or dislodge the ribbon cables that hold the back of the camera (including the display) to the body of the camera.

I found two PCBs sandwiched together on the side of the camera where the SDHC card is inserted. Dropping the camera had caused the connection between them to be loosened, thus meaning no signal connection to the SD card slot. I ensured that the plug and slot were aligned and squeezed the two boards together, reassembled the camera and lo and behold, one fixed camera!

Thursday 25 February 2010

Packard Bell TJ67-AU-051UK

You can get a great price for the Packard Bell TJ67-AU-051UK laptop if you act quickly.

Both Comet and Laskys offer discount vouchers for this superb 15.6" Easynote TJ Series Notebook computer.

The computer comes with Windows 7 Home Premium, Intel Pentium Dual Core T4400 2.2Ghz processor, 3GB RAM and 25GB Hard Drive.

Vouchers expire soon so read about the Packard Bell TJ67-AU-051UK and TJ65-AU-054UK or visit the Packard Bell TJ67-AU-051UK Product Page

Monday 8 February 2010

LG GWL227HBQA American Style Fridge Freezer

The price cuts page of www.keenpricefinder.com for today showed a small reduction in the price of this superb LG Fridge Freezer. On examining the price history on the product page, it's possible to judge that the new price is a very good one. Despite the fact that VAT has recently been restored to 17.5%, the new price is still lower than it was when VAT stood at 15%


Friday 5 February 2010

Product Price History

There's more than a year of product price history in the database now. See the Price History Database article on the www.keenpricefinder.com site.

To see some data from the database have a look at the price history for the BOSCH WAA24270GB Washing Machine. As you can see, there's been quite a lot of variation in the price during the last year. If you look at the prices in November, December and January respectively you can see that the three current suppliers were selling for about £300, then a little under £400 and then around about £280 for the early part of January. If you'd been shopping in December for a washing machine you'd have liked to know that the price of this one had just gone up dramatically!

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Points Mean Pounds

One sunny Sunday back in October 2006, I enjoyed a nice drive along empty dual carriageways running parallel to, but a few miles away from, the very congested M6. My journey was over much more quickly than usual and I arrived home relaxed and and cheerful instead of stressed, tired and irritable. I'm not sure, but I think I probably then had a glass of wine or two to round off the day.

A few days later, the postman delivered my NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution for those of you that are fortunate enough not to know). That's right, the nice quiet dual carriageway out in the countryside had a 50 mph speed limit and I'd been doing 57; silly me - oh well, 3 points on my licence and a £60 fine.

A few more days later and believe it or not, another NIP flops onto my doormat. Same day, same journey, different dual carriageway. Speed limit 40 this time and I'm doing 51. Another £60 and another 3 points on my licence. After all those years of driving without an accident or a speeding ticket, I'd been careless enough a) not to notice the drop in speed limit and b) not to spot the camera vans waiting to collect the fines and points from myself and countless other motorists.

That's what prompted me to invest in my Road Angel. Not only does it give me an audible warning of where fixed and mobile cameras are sited, it also tells me the speed limit so I know immediately if I need to slow down.

It's not just points on your licence and the fines that cost you. Points can mean pounds on your insurance. Make sure you shop around - see the car insurance posting.

Car Insurance - Complacency Costs Money

When I first started driving, I bought my car insurance from the same company that my Dad used. Then I cottoned on that it was pretty expensive compared to the amount some of my friends were paying, so I started to use a broker. The broker saved me a lot of money initially, but then I found that each year the premium would creep up and they wouldn't be recommending a change of insurer. I found myself phoning around various brokers and insurance companies to try to get the best deal.

Life's much easier now. All I have to do is visit moneysupermarket.com and let them do the hard work for me.

Why not try them? All you need to do is to answer some questions about yourself and your vehicle and they'll come up with a list of quotes for you - then simply click through to the insurer of your choice and decide whether you want to proceed.