Month: April 2010

McAfee False Positive Brings Down XP Machines

We recently had a computer come into the shop with what appeared to be some pesky malware.  It wouldn’t let you drag icons, the taskbar was minimized and unresponsive, and it kept auto-initiating shutdowns due to DCOM errors and the RPC Service stopping unexpectedly. These services required svchost.exe (along with a hundred other things in Windows) to be usable and located in the system32 directory.  It was missing, and after replacing just that file with a copy of the good one, it would still disappear after a minute or so! After searching in vain for some rogue process that might be causing this, it became clear that this machine was […]

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Adventures in VoIP

We recently transitioned to a full VoIP phone system, meaning there are no longer any dedicated phone lines running around our office.  All voice traffic is sent via the network, both internally and externally.  While many of the larger, proprietary systems are out of reach for small businesses, we’ve been experimenting with open source technologies that bring the power of a VoIP PBX to those on a tight budget. The Status Quo Most small businesses will use regular household analog phones, or even “business phones” (analog phones with multiple lines, the ability to transfer calls, etc).  These require a normal phone jack to operate, and generally don’t come with many […]

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Neat Install for a Kitchen Computer

Naturally, I have a computer in just about every room of the house.  The one in my kitchen has created quite an eyesore with speaker wires, network cables, wires keyboard and mouse, wired webcam, and power infrastructure, so last weekend it was time to tidy things up a bit. Right now we have the CPU, the mess of wires, speakers, and a 20″ LCD monitor all taking up space on a granite breakfast bar that could be better put to use.  What we want to do is mount the LCD to a wall mounted boom, mount the CPU, speakers, power and network connections underneath the granite, where they are out […]

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Lawyer’s Computer Virus Doesn’t Excuse Missed Dismissal Motion

A computer virus is no excuse for missed emails, at least in Federal Court. A federal appeals court has upheld dismissal of a wrongful termination case granted after the plaintiff’s lawyer experienced computer problems and never got e-mail notice of a motion for summary judgment. Lawyer Charles Everage of Charlotte, N.C., said his computer was afflicted by a malware virus and other problems. As a result he never learned of the motion and he didn’t respond to it. A trial judge dismissed the suit Everage had filed on behalf of a fired worker, and denied the lawyer’s motions to reinstate it. Full article here

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