Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm Still Here

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth. Been very busy the past few months.
Went back to school and got my computer certification.
Also started a new career with a company that has plenty of business and future potential. Very excited about this opportunity.

And check this out. They use Linux for some of their computer work!
I'm in heaven!!!

Also have built 2 custom computers for a customer.
Nice systems running the newest AMD Phenom Quad Cores with Nvidia 9800 video cards.
Both systems are housed in the very impressive Antec Nine Hundred case.
The only pitfall of these cases is that the power supply sits on the bottom and there is no wire trough or cable management system in these cases.
And a modular power supply is a must!

Then there are the usual computer repairs.
Had 2 last week that were as different as night and day.
One was a Linux based system and the other was an XP system.

The customer that had the Linux system said something happened that broke his network connection. He thought it may have been an update that was the problem.
He dropped it off and I checked it out. Hooked it up to my network and had a working connection.
So I call him up and ask if he has a second computer.
He tells me that he does. So I have him hook the second computer to the network cable that the Linux system was using.
No connection.
Turns out the network cable went bad.
Simple fix. All finished.

The XP system is another story.
The computer was totally infested.
Zango, WinFixer, Virtumonde, Codec Virus and numerous others.
Apparently the customer's children downloaded a mp3 file and when they tried to play it they got a pop up saying they needed to download a codec to play the song.
That was the beginning of the end.
The system downloaded a trojan.

Then they were online and a pop up appeared saying the system was infected and they could fix it by clicking on the button.
That pretty much ended the last bit of life in the computer.
It was the WinFixer virus.

Other stuff that was downloaded then proceeded to disable the firewall and antivirus software.
A check of the system logs showed that the Guest account became enabled and was given Admin permissions. It also changed group policies to deny the actual user access to msconfig, regedit, installer and other tools.
It also changed the host file, enabled remote desktop and added in a network redirect hook.

Took me several days using multiple tools to clean it all up and get it back to a normally operating XP system.
Even now I still have reservations as to whether I have all the permissions and policies back to where they should be.

I've joked numerous times about switching back to Windows.
Trust me, after going through all of the above to fix an infected XP system I can promise you that I will never use any Windows OS other then in a virtual environment.
And if I become insane enough to use Windows as a primary system just shoot me!

I also think I may be popping in at Spedman's house.
He is building a Mame arcade system based on an older AMD 750 Mhz CPU.
He called me the other night wanting to know why Puppy Linux wouldn't install properly. Rather it installed but the boot loader would always error out on a reboot with a "Drive Not Found" message.
So I guess I'll pop in one night and see what the menu.lst has in it.

And finally I will be doing a lot of self study so that I can continue on my certification journey.
Plan to take my Security+ and Linux Certification tests.
Will take the Linux test last as I have heard they are planning to update the test shortly. Will need to see what they plan to have in the new test. The current test is 5 years old and is pretty much out of date by today's Linux standards and features.

Hope to see some of my friends around the forums in the near future.
Right now my new career gets priority on my available time.

See ya around!