Something is Rank Here

This blog has been in Page Rank penalty for quite a while, making me even less inclined to post or upgrade than I might otherwise have been. I couldn’t figure out what I might have linked to get it down and keep it down so long.

Yesterday I found myself looking at some of the actual posts, since I didn’t think even the obsolete blogroll links could be a problem. Just a few posts back was one that linked to an article about malware causing a false accusation of something heinous, and I named that heinous thing with the two words it is known by, a normally innocent one followed by “the P word,” as well as repeatedly using the P word itself in my post.

Could that be it? Seems like a reasonable possibility. So I edited each instance of the P word to be spelled with a number replacing a letter, in hopes that would be enough. I may also update WordPress and the theme, but I’ll be watching to see what happens even with the one little change. If it’s stubborn, I’ll kill the post, which should not be necessary. It’s a good post and a good point about security.

Stay tuned. If I succeed, maybe you’ll see more here. Or I may go ahead and start a new tech blog as I’d been thinking I must.


Talk about feeling watched. No sooner did I remove the rogue links than they were replaced with similar ones off a different college URL.

I dropped everything to upgrade WordPress. Seems to be working so far.

Come to the Middleboro Craft Fair

You would never know it by the Middleboro PTA’s current online calendar, but there will be a craft fair this Saturday, December 1st, at the Burkland School cafeteria. The school is on Mayflower Avenue, which is right off the main drag of route 105, near the lights at route 28. actually does have mention of it buried here:

HOLLY DAYS CRAFT FAIR: Sponsored by the Middleboro Elementary P.T.A., 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Burkland School cafeteria. Proceeds from the fair and sales of the ornaments made by the children will be used to purchase books for the elementary schools libraries.

Deb will be in it, so if you’re local enough, you should go buy stuff from her there. Heck, you might see stuff you like at one of the other tables too. The proceeds they mention above are the table fees. We’d love to make back the table fee (which is an amusing term given that you have to supply your own table), though that shouldn’t be that hard.

If you’re not local, now is the time for Christmas shopping online. Deb has created the coolest snowmen to put in the shop, including so far Kris K. Snowperson and Monica Snowperson, with more to come. Including Jeremy Snowperson, who came to life while I was typing this post.

Bookmarks make great little gifts. So do her popular coasters. There are also dishcloths and towels, facecloths, creatures and aliens in addition to the snowpeople, coin purses and card wallets, and you can make a gift card extra special by using a gift card cozy (holder).

Deb has made a pile of awesome stuff you won’t see in the online shop unless it doesn’t sell in the fair, after which it will filter onto the site. Some of what is currently in the shop may be available at the fair.

It’s worth remembering that Deb does custom orders or variants on existing products. For instance, this tic-tac-toe game was inspired by the original. This drawstring pouch was inspired by this blue drawstring pouch and this small rainbow drawstring pouch. This custom set of eight coasters was inspired by other coasters done in sets of four. I know I’m showing you a lot of sold items, but they are great examples of what is possible.

So if you are in the area Saturday, come on by the fair and see some of Deb’s cool stuff in person, but otherwise check it out online.

Crossposted from Blogblivion.

Name Change!

For all this time, the business I’m working on has been planned to be Geek Practitioners, thus this associated blog name, which remains a cool one.

At the last minute I changed the name to match a tagline I had created a while back, then found to be available as a domain.

I’d already decided to answer the phone “Welcome to Help” and sloganize things with it. It’s always been questionable whether a name with “geek” in it would be – ahem – welcome, so why not do business as Welcome to Help?

Now for all the other details, while I await the arrival of my initial set of business cards.

Migrated Content

I used to write tech stuff at XTremeBlog. While that blog may stay up for years to come, it’s likely not to be updated, and it is more likely to go away at some point. To preserve it and beef up what’s here, I’m going to replicate my posts, at least where relevant, or modified to make them more relevant, over to this blog. I’ll date them accordingly.

In addition, I will be migrating posts by other authors from whom I have received permission.

Some of the content may not completely fit with what I otherwise expect to present here, but you don’t have to read what’s not of interest or would make your head spin.

I may also migrate or adapt content from my other blogs, past and present, to get appropriate stuff all in one place.

This and That

I’ll be away for the weekend, and don’t know whether I will get to post anything here. It’s possible, since I’ll have dialup on both my laptop and the “family tech support” computer there. If I don’t, perhaps some of the other contributors will have something to say.

For the server with the bad 1/3 of a RAID 5 array, I ordered a replacement server. It was time anyway. If I mess around with the old computer, or risk using it with a bad drive, there are completely non-critical uses to which it can be put. Meanwhile, the client gets a jump on upgrading I plan for the upcoming year. All the current server has to do is hold out until the weekend of the 4th.

Meanwhile, the same client uses e-mail gateway scanning by Sybari Antigen, but has declined to purchase antivirus software for the workstations. Tonight I found my first virus on a workstation since getting Sybari Antigen following the infamous Nimda and Code Red outbreaks. Three years ago? Something like that.

This was a variant of Bagle that runs an executable file called Wingo that is visible in processes. The virus made itself obvious by generating an error dialog consisting of a list of e-mail addresses. I cleaned it manually in the same way I would malware of the adware or spyware variety, though I noticed it didn’t bother to set the files it used as hidden, the way malware frequently does.

The virus can spread through network shares, apparently, so I am moderately worried about it being elsewhere in the building. On the other hand, there have been no obvious signs. In any event, it has to wait for my return from the extra long weekend. I also have to wonder how it got in. Did it sneak in via e-mail that went undetected through failure of the gateway scanner? Or before the scanner was updated with the definitions for that variant? Did it come in via the web? Via the network itself? I may never know, but it’s all the more to keep me busy.