31 Oct 2006

Pink for October


New e-map Toys

Managed to pick up a couple of interesting digital maps at the 4x4 show on the weekend.

The first one is so new that I cannot find it on the Hema web site! All maps are in ECW format for use in OziExplorer and some maps in OZF2 format for OziExplorer CE (ozf2). These details are from the DVD cover;

HEMA - Australia 4WD Raster Map Collection (DVD)
Includes more than 30 Hema Regional Maps PLUS the entire 513-map Geoscience 1:250K Raster Series.
Includes these Hema maps: Cape York, East Gippsland, Fraser Island, Great Desert Tracks, Kimberly, Mid West WA, North Esat NSW, Pilbara & Coral Coast, Red Centre, Simpson Desert, South East NSW, Top End and Gulf and Tropical North Qld.

The second one is the Rooftop's Walhalla-Yarra Valley CD;

Rooftop's Walhalla-Yarra Valley CD
Includes Yarra Valley - West Gippsland Adventure Map; Gembrook - Noojee Forest Activities Map; Walhalla - Noojee Adventure Map; Walhalla - Licola Forest Activities Map.
View on your PC; Use in with OziExplorer; Cut, Paste and Print.
All maps are in jpg format registered for use in OziExplorer with map file as well as ozf2 format for use in OziExplorer CE with ozf map file.

Rooftop's Walhalla-Yarra Valley CD


Posted by DCR 2006-10-31


We're on the road to VISTA
(TOPIC::soe, windows, vista)

Windows VISTA was rumoured to go RTM around the 25-Oct-2006; Where did it go? So the big question is when will VISTA go 'Ready To Manufacture' (Gold)?

From Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows [1];

Next client versions of Windows, codenamed "Longhorn"
Expected RTM: October 25, 2006
Expected public release: January 30, 2007

Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott 1: The Road to RC1 [2]

Windows Weekly with Paul Thurrott 3: Vista's Enthusiastic License Agreement [2]

Licensing Changes to Windows Vista [6]
[..] Windows Vista Enterprise is a special case. With that version of Vista, which will be made available only to volume license customers, users will be able to install a single licensed copy of Vista on one physical PC and up to four VMs, simultaneously. Those four VMs, however, must all be installed on the same Vista Enterprise-based PC, and they must be used by the same user. "If customers need multiple virtual machines they should use Vista Enterprise," Microsoft's Scott Woodgate told me. "The intention is to be generous and enable whatever scenarios are customers may need." Sounds like a customer benefit to me. [...]

VISTA RC1 (Build 5600)

Some big questions about the CAUDIT licencing activation models (volume licensed - Windows Vista Enterprise). How will the enterprise licencing model work with WGA?
Is anyone in their right mind going to put in the Longhorn licence server in a production environment?


"One of the areas that Microsoft has asked testers to focus on with RC1 is the upgrade scenario. They'd like to see beta testers take their XP machines and upgrade them in-place to Windows Vista, and then let them know how it went.
Normally, I wouldn't get too excited about such a thing. After all, what kind of person would ruin a perfectly serviceable XP install by upgrading it? The way to go, clearly, is to install Vista by itself, or in a dual-boot situation. And when Vista is finalized, you're going to get the best experience by simply buying a new PC. This advice is as timeless as it is true. You just shouldn't upgrade from one major Windows version to another. Too many things can go wrong." [10]

Well given the what kind of person would ruin a perfectly serviceable XP install by upgrading it? challenge you know how I'm going to test things ;) I have upgraded XP-SP2 on a HP nx6320 laptop. This why we have Ghost images right?

You must make the following changes before installing Windows
Close Windows installation, go to Programs, and uninstall the following programs:

  • HP ProtectTools Security Manager
  • VirusScan 8
  • HP Credential Manager
The following applications/drivers are not supported in Windows Vista
Current versions of the following programs will not work with Windows Vista. After the installation is complete, get updated versions that are compatible with Windows Vista:
  • HP Backup and Recovery
  • Microsoft Powertoys for XP
  • Sonic MyDVD Plus
  • Sun Java Scheduler

I'm not too worried about the HP Security kit, but I need to have a working AntiVirus product. I know that McAfee are currently running a Beta program for VirusScan 8.5i that is built for Vista - quick sign onto the Beta program and we have some AntiVirus to trial.

I am not sure if is mentioned in the fine print, but I was soon to discover that VirusScan 8.5i Beta IV is not happy with the Office2007 installation ...

Another gotcha was the Synaptic Touchpad driver that was kindly updated via Windows Update never to be seen again ... bye bye touch pad, hello USB mouse :(

Office 2007 Beta
Testdrive MS Office 2007 Beta, only $1.50 a download

Office 2007 Pro - Word

Beta 2 Technical Refresh [9]
Discover the latest update to the 2007 Microsoft Office system Beta. We’ve listened carefully to your feedback and have developed this technical refresh with significant performance improvements and redesigns to address your needs and to enhance your user experience.
Take a look at the updated user interface, improved ribbon design, and better accessibility support. Be sure to check out the improved support for images in blog composition in Microsoft Office Word 2007 and a redesigned Trust Center in Microsoft Office Excel 2007. Please note that the Beta 2 Technical Refresh extends the life of the Beta 2, which you need to install first. The refresh is recommended if you’d like to use Beta 2 in combination with Windows Vista Release Candidate 1 (RC1). [...]


"In just the past two months since its launch, more than three million people have downloaded the 2007 Microsoft Office system beta 2," the company said in a statement sent via e-mail. "Given how dramatically the beta 2 downloads have exceeded our goals, we have made the business decision to implement a cost-recovery measure for downloading the beta." [9]

Remember the golden rule -- VirusScan 8.5i Beta IV *hates* the Office2007 installation ... boy did I waste some time on this one! The default 'Access Protection' settings will total the install somewhere near the end of the install period with a message about not finding a temp file the install will then roll-back. Turn off the 'Access Protection' during the install and things proceed just fine.


Posted by DCR 2006-10-27
Update by DCR 2006-10-30
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What we have here is failure to communicate!
(TOPIC::soe, firefox, internet explorer)

The first problem with FF2 and IE7 and it hits us from https://accounts.unimelb.edu.au/; in both Firefox 2.0 and IE 7 SSL2 is off by default in favour of the more secure SSL3 or TLS 1.0

Error from Firefox 2.0

Error from IE 7

The steps for the Firefox workaround is as follows:
  1. In the URL pane type about:config
  2. In the Filter pane (just below the URL pane) type security This will jump the window down to the section dealing with security
  3. Double click the line that says security.enable_ssl2
  4. Double click the line that says security.ssl2.des_ede3_192 This will change the value of these items from false to true and everything will now work.
-- Mat Hudson


SSL2 must be enabled in IE7 for it to work.
To enable, open IE7 go to Tools>Internet Options->Advanced->Check use SSL2.0

Change IE7 to allow ssl2

You will still get an error page from https://accounts.unimelb.edu.au/ as the page contains both secure and nonsecure items (mainly the images). Depending on your IE 7 settings it will also probably try to down load "accgen.exe" as a Win32 executable rather than treating it as a cgi ... I'll need to look at this a bit more closely as it may be the interaction of one of my download helpers.

Interesting reading from the IEBlog 22-Oct-2005;

Upcoming HTTPS Improvements in Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 [1]
IE7 follows the XPSP2 "secure by default" paradigm by defaulting to the secure behavior.
Most importantly, IE7 will block navigation to HTTPS sites that present a digital certificate that has any of the following problems:
* Certificate was issued to a hostname other than the current URL's hostname * Certificate was issued by an untrusted root * Certificate is expired * Certificate is revoked "
If your site requires SSLv2, please reconfigure it to permit SSLv3 or TLSv1 connections.

To confirm from the IEBlog 24-Aug-2006;

Internet Explorer 7 Release Candidate Now Available [2]
TLS1 ON, SSL2 OFF is correct for IE7. IE6 had the (less-secure) opposite settings

Time for Rubens to have an SSL upgrade! What will we find next? ;)


Posted by DCR 2006-10-25


Net Not Secure? II
(TOPIC:: )

After finding that visibleprocrastinations hit 33 times yesterday on searches for the 'werribee dvd' and various other search combo's I think that it is time to see how 'internet' is this thing? (I guess if people search for kiddie-porn, they are bound to search for this sort of material.)

How hard is it to track down the details, and 'who' is behind the DVD? Lots of postings on the topic, a bit of searching on the internet fills in the details such as the post at /dev/urandom [1] that outlines the schools involved and then links to the movie page on MySpace [2].

Following up via MySpace comments we start seeing a reaction; very surprising how many people view the DVD as a 'joke'.

Nat-Uh-Lee - 10/21/2006 4:15 PM [2]
fuck... 2 day 2 night... thats fair hectic guys... whats ganna happen?

MAGNAWOO - 10/24/2006 10:58 AM [2]

The MySpace comments become more revealing for the user Porto;

Katie - 10/24/2006 10:27 PM [3]
hey i dont no you..
but i no some of your friends that made the video thingy
hope your not in to much trouble..
i guess at the time you;s though it was fun
didnt expect it to become this popular?
well it all die down soon..
just hope your ok..
xoxo katie.


Free - 10/24/2006 6:20 PM [3]
What’s going on Porto? I am going to jump on the bandwagon and say I am behind you and the boys. You are good kids and it is this tabloid style sensationalist television reporting that has put you in this position. But what piss’s me off for you is that girl involved. It is obvious she consented to it. She is smiling, laughing and pardon the pun, loving it. Now she is too ashamed to admit to her parents, friends and the public about her actions, they are now turning around and saying she was forced and laying blame on you boys, destroying your images and identity in turn, just to save their own identity. Its pathetic this girl and her family are going to get away with blatantly lying to the police and more importantly the general concerned public and especially you.
I know you got some good kids up in Weribee and around to offer you support, but I am here if you need it mate. Keep strong and you know people in turn will help you too.

Following off an aside we can find other users on Youtube with the damancalldan Channel containing C**t The Movie clips.

Rape probe over sex attack DVD [6]
Police interviewing a group of youth who participated, produced and distributed a graphic DVD showing a teenage girl allegedly being assaulted today said it had become a rape investigation.
Detective Inspector Simon Clemence from the sexual crimes unit said up to 12 boys could be charged.
He said camera operators and distributors as well as those participating in the film could face charges.

As I said yesterday, this is NOT an internet problem it is a social problem. And the DVD is certainly NOT funny.


Posted by DCR 2006-10-25


Firefox 2 vs Internet Explorer 7
(TOPIC::geek, soe)

Mozilla Firefox 2.0 Final has been launched on the FTP sites a day before it is officially due for release.

But as the Mozilla release people say, please wait for the official 2.0 download;

The Anti-release [2]
1. No, we have. Not. Released. Firefox. 2. Yet.
2. When people link to bits directly on a random FTP mirror, they're doing a number of people harm including, quite possibly, themselves:
... So please... just remember: "Preed the Release Engineer says: friends don't let friends download Firefox before it's released."
We know everyone's excited for the 2.0 release. We are too. But give us 24 hours, so we can make sure that your first experience with Firefox 2.0 is befitting of everyone's hard work on this major release.
I promise it's worth the wait.

Oh well, having already obtained 'Firefox Setup 2.0.exe' and installed it, I'll accept a slap on the wrist and move onto the evaluation.


Extensions in Firefox 2 are now known as add-ons, and quite a few of them need updates to run in Firefox 2.0. By the 25-Oct-2006 11:45AEST only 'Bookmarks Syncronizer' and "Copy Plain Text' are not compatible with Firefox 2.0.

And having grabbed 'IE7-WindowsXP-x86-enu.exe' last week, it is time for a heads-to-head evaluation, or 'what did I just break?' session.


It does seem that I have managed to break a few things ;) I am currently back on a Firefox v1.5.0.7 using Portable Firefox. Firefox 2 is freezing to and extent that it is almost unusable for me. A bit of cleaning up and things are now back on track with FF2

Apart from that I have noticed PDF helper issues with both of the new browsers. I would expect to see an update from Adobe this week if other have this issue as well. (This seems to be intermittent)

Is it just me or are the IE7 Phishing Filter messages bl**dy annoying?

Web Site Firefox 2.0 Internet Explorer 7 Whos?
Equipment Register PASS PASS ed-IT
Certificate Error
Staff WebMail PASS PASS IS
Gartner IntraWeb PASS PASS Library
SAI Global PASS PASS Library

The Verdict: After a fair bit of playing with both browsers, I find that I prefer Firefox 2.0.


Posted by DCR 2006-10-24
Update by DCR 2006-10-25


Net Not Secure?
(TOPIC:: )

Well, the internet is copping a caning this morning!

We are seeing all over the media (TV, papers and radio) the story about - Film of girl set alight on sale at school for $5 [news.com.au]. "Why is this an internet problem and not a social problem?" I hear you ask, well it seems that the girl met up with the gang via MSN.

Abused DVD girl met attackers online
The Australian : October 24, 2006
A TEENAGE girl shown being degraded, sexually abused and set alight on a DVD being sold in Melbourne schools met the boys who did it in an online chatroom, her father said today.
The DVD shows up to 12 youths from the outer western suburb of Werribee attacking the girl, said to be intellectually impaired.
It shows members of the group urinating on the girl, setting fire to her hair and shows her performing lurid acts on the boys.
DVD copies of the video have been sold in schools in Melbourne's west for $5.
Other excerpts of the film, featuring the boys dropping flares on a homeless man, preparing chlorine-filled bombs to detonate in suburban streets and throwing eggs at taxi drivers.

Father, "Alan", tells ABC radio "it's a horrible, horrible thing that has happened to my daughter".

Dad's horror at attack DVD
The Age : October 24, 2006
He said his daughter had met the boys through internet chat service MSN and arranged to meet two of them at Werribee train station one Friday night after school. Upon arriving at the station, she was surrounded by a dozen boys who forced her down to nearby Werribee River, where the attack took place.

All this on the day that NetAlert, MSN and the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) launch their 'Think U Know'campaign.

Which the media is picking up with stories such as Parents 'must keep abreast' of new sites [The Age]

National E-Security Awareness Week 23-27 October 2006
Also today, the Australian Government has launched their Stay Smart Online initiative as part of National E-Security Awareness Week. ( Have a peek at the list of events )

" History will record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the vitriolic words and violent actions of the bad people, but the appalling silence and indifference of the good people. Our generation will have to repent not only for the words and acts of the Children of Darkness, but also for the fear and apathy of the Children of Light."
-- Martin Luther King

Food for thought:: This is NOT an internet problem, this is a social problem! In what context is this behavior perceived as being acceptable?


Posted by DCR 2006-10-24


This weeks links

Some AUDIO goodies for Halloween ...
The mythic, haunting history of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion will finally be told by voice talent Kat Cressida, the artist whose performance as the gothic "Black Widow Bride" was added in early 2006 to the Disneyland version of the Haunted Mansion attraction as part of park-wide enhancements made to the attractions during Disneyland's 50th anniversary festivities. [...] (File available beginnng October 31, 2006)
Nuptial Doom
Last week was vampire-laden, a couple of weeks ago had some werewolf in it, so this week's Halloween post is Frankenstein-themed - look for whatever novelty tunes I could find, as well as the 30s radio dramatization, the BBC version, a trailer and - a hoax? Curiouser and curiouser...
Halloween is meant to be scary, right? Year after year we dust off the old silly 1950s and 1960s novelty records. While they are fun, they not at all frightening. Oddio Overplay put the challenge to musical artists the world over to create Halloween music that is "frightening, damaging and disturbing." No "Monster Mash," instead creepy soundtracks to a fiendish Halloween. They succeeded with CALLING ALL FIENDS! Some of these pieces will creep you right out of your skin.
Calling All Fiends - Halloween at Oddio Overplay

TENACIOUS D - Jack Black on Piracy
No Cash = No Inspiration = No Rocket Sauce = No Kick-ass Rock 'N' Roll or Movies
TENACIOUS D - Jack Black on Piracy [YouTube]

The complete work of Charles Darwin
This site contains every Darwin publication as well as many of his handwritten manuscripts. All told there are more than 50,000 searchable text pages and 40,000 images. There is also the most comprehensive Darwin bibliography ever published and the largest manuscript catalogue ever assembled. More than 150 ancillary texts are also included, ranging from reference works to contemporary reviews, obituaries, descriptions of Darwin's Beagle specimens and important works for understanding Darwin's context. Free audio mp3 versions of his works are also available.

Posted by DCR 2006-10-23
Update by DCR 2006-10-26


JOTI 2006
(TOPIC::scouts, joti)

Jamboree-on-the-Internet & Jamboree-on-the-Air
21st - 22nd October, 2006

Wow, what a busy weekend. After getting home at about 8pm on Friday to set things up I though i was in for trouble but the venue was up and basically ready by about 11:30pm.

[ JOTI - JOTA 2006 ]

Eltham JOTI JOTA Base [1]
We went and found the Geocache Scoutin’ about to get out JOTA/JOTI badges. Rather than following pathways, our navigators this year chose to go a more direct route. This resulted in a bit of bushwalking (bushbashing) along the Diamond Creek. This also added about another 30minutes+ to the length of the activity.
A change for this year was that as well as carrying mobile UHF radios, we had a base station configured so we could talk to base the whole time we wer out on the walk. As we managed to be away longer than expected this was very handy.

Some stat's from Brad;

[...] When I left last night there'd been roughly 12700 (non-unique) connections from *.au hosts (that's without counting IP addresses that may resolve to *.au hosts) - a good 500 up from last year.
Globally, I think JOTI peaked somewhere between 4300 and 4500 simultaneous connnections - no-one knows exactly. The record (4630) was set in 2004, but that year idlers weren't killed off the servers. Last year and this year idlers have been killed, so it's a good sign that JOTI is growing.[...]


Posted by DCR 2006-10-22



Spread the word;

megagaltastic (mega - gall'-tastik) adj. first used in Gal's basement 2005.
1. characterised as having an extensive vocabulary



Posted by DCR 2006-10-20


Dell loses PC crown
(TOPIC::soe, dell, hp)


Dell loses PC crown [1]
HEWLETT-PACKARD has nudged Dell out as the leading seller of personal computers worldwide for the first time in nearly three years as growth in the overall market slowed, market research surveys showed.
A recent survey released by Gartner said that HP took 16.3 percent of the global market in the third quarter with 9.65 million units shipped. Dell meanwhile saw its market share slip to 16.1 percent with 9.54 million units.
A separate report by IDC showed the two companies nearly even with 17.3 percent of the global market, but HP marginally ahead in the number of units shipped.
Both surveys showed the overall market losing steam and growth fell from a double-digit level.


Posted by DCR 2006-10-20


IE v7 (Enter stage left)
(TOPIC::geek, soe, ie7)

Your two weeks starts now ...

New Internet Explorer and an old vulnerability [1]
As you probably know by now, Microsoft yesterday released the final version of Internet Explorer 7; if you want to install it on your machine you can download it from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.mspx. Microsoft also said that in couple of weeks this will be automatically pushed to all client machines through Windows Update, so if you still haven't tested your mission critical internal web applications with IE7, you better do it now.


Posted by DCR 2006-10-20
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What is a blog?

With a blog title of "Visible Procrastinations" you know that sometime you are in for some investigation of personal opinion, a bit like looking into the Pensieve from the Harry Potter books.

After some discussions during the last week or so todays question is "What is a blog?" Why this question? I have heard "That is not a blog because it doesnt have feature-X" a few times over the last fortnight. Personally, I don't think the blogging software defines the blog but makes blogging available to people who otherwise wouldn't/couldn't publish.

[...] In early 1999 Brigitte Eaton compiled a list of every weblog she knew about and created the Eatonweb Portal. Brig evaluated all submissions by a simple criterion: that the site consist of dated entries. Webloggers debated what was and what was not a weblog, but since the Eatonweb Portal was the most complete listing of weblogs available, Brig's inclusive definition prevailed. [...]
-- Rebecca Blood (2000) weblogs: a history and perspective [1]

Starting from the basics; a Blog = Web log

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [2]
A blog is a website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order.
Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. Most blogs are primarily textual although some focus on photographs (photoblog), videos (vlog), or audio (podcasting), and are part of a wider network of social media.
The term "blog" is a contraction of "Web log." "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Looking into some more semaintics;

  • Log = A journal file that reports connections to a server; A ships written record.
  • Log File = A file that records events
  • Web log = An online journal/written record.
  • Journal = A private journal is usually an elaborated diary.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia [5]
A journal (through French from late Latin diurnalis, daily) has several related meanings:
* a daily record of events or business; a private journal is usually referred to as a diary.

This would mean that a 'Blog' is an online diary, hence a daily written record of (usually personal) experiences and observations.

Note that at this point there is NO requirement for Movable Type, syndication (RSS), a comment system, permalinks, concentrator pinging, ranking systems, calendars, blog rolls, add_your_technical_requirement_here, or any other functions.

[...] The blogger, by virtue of simply writing down whatever is on his mind, will be confronted with his own thoughts and opinions. Blogging every day, he will become a more confident writer. A community of 100 or 20 or 3 people may spring up around the public record of his thoughts. Being met with friendly voices, he may gain more confidence in his view of the world; he may begin to experiment with longer forms of writing, to play with haiku, or to begin a creative project--one that he would have dismissed as being inconsequential or doubted he could complete only a few months before.
As he enunciates his opinions daily, this new awareness of his inner life may develop into a trust in his own perspective. His own reactions--to a poem, to other people, and, yes, to the media--will carry more weight with him. Accustomed to expressing his thoughts on his website, he will be able to more fully articulate his opinions to himself and others. He will become impatient with waiting to see what others think before he decides, and will begin to act in accordance with his inner voice instead. Ideally, he will become less reflexive and more reflective, and find his own opinions and ideas worthy of serious consideration. [...]
-- Rebecca Blood (2000) weblogs: a history and perspective [1]

I think a lot of opinion/definition of a Blog is actually a list of features available through modern blogging software. eg. Is a blog still a blog if it doesn't have comments? I would think an online diary without a comment feature is still a blog.

[...] Weblogs are unique in that only a weblog gives you a publication where your ideas can stand alone without interference. It gives the public writer a kind of relaxation not available in other forms. That might mean that in some sense the "quality" of the writing is different, but I would not say lower, assuming the purpose of writing is to inform, not to impress. I would choose a few spelling or grammatical errors over factual errors. [...]
-- Dave Winer (2003) What makes a weblog a weblog? [6]


Posted by DCR 2006-10-19
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HP nx6320 - Build phase

After sorting out our Ghost boot disks and imaging procedures to grab an 'as shipped' snapshot we can move on to building the soe. Our nx6320's ship with Windows XP Home so the first thing that we need to do is do an in place upgrade to WinXP-Pro-SP2 using our Select licence media .... that is reasonably painless. Now to patch ... and patch ... and patch ...

Software Build list:

    Win XP-SP2 modification;
    • * Microsoft Update
    • * Power Toys for WinXP (TweakUi, CMD here, Image Resizer, SyncToy 1.0)
    • * .NET Framework 2.0
    • * Direct X 9
    Productivity Applications;
    • * Microsoft Office 2003 Pro (No Outlook, No Share point)
    • * ENDNOTE v9.0.1
    • * PowerArchiver v6 + DLL updates
    • * Java2 (J2SE) Runtime 1.5.06 (*)
    • * THEMIS Oracle JInitiator v1.3.1.21 (oajinit)
    Security Applications;
    • * McAfee VirusScan v8.0i patch 13 (VirusScan config for EDFAC)
    • * BHO Demon 2.0
    • * CISCO VPN client v4.8.0.1 staff
    Internet Applications;
    • * AT&T Client v6.4.2
    • * FireFox v1.5.0.7
    • * Eudora v7.1.0.9
    • * Oracle Calendar Client v10.1.2
    • * PuTTY v0.58
    • * WinQVT Term v5.0.8 + UniMelb SSH setup
    • * TerraTerm SSH v2.3 + UniMelb SSH setup
    • * WinSCP v3.8.2
    • * WS FTP LE v5.08
    Graphics Applications;
    • * Irfan View v3.98
    • * Irfan View plugins v3.98
    Audio Applications;
    • * Audacity v1.2.3
    • * LAME v3.96.1 (C:\WINDOWS\System32\lame_enc.dll)
    Multimedia Applications;
    • * Adobe Flash Player/Plugin
    • * Adobe Shockwave Player/Plugin
    • # Windows Media Player 10
    • * iTunes v6 / QuickTime v7.1
    • * WinAmp v5.3
    • * RealPlayer 10.5
    • * DivX v6 Player
    PDF Applications;
    • * Acrobat Reader v7.0.8
    • * CutePDF Writer v2.6
    • * GhostScript v8.5.4 (used by CutePDF)
    • * GSView v4.8 (used by CutePDF)
    HP Applications;
    • # HP Backup & Recovery
    • # HP Software Update
    • # HP ProtectTools Security Manager [BIOS + Fingerprint]
    • # [HP] Intervideo WinDVD
    • # [HP] Sonic - myDVD Plus

Tweak Build list:

* Change WLAN behaviour, work around #3 [Jan-06 security advisory]
* Cleanup TCP/IP settings * Restrict Anon [REG file]


Posted by DCR 2006-10-18


I want my, I want my YouTube-V
(TOPIC::geek, youtube, video)
I want my, I want my MTV
I want my, I want my MTV

-- Dire Straits, Money for Nothing

I wanted to grab some YouTube video onto my laptop to review at a latter date. As I am not always at home where I can readily grab the video. I thought there must be some way to grab these FLV (FLash Video) files. Enter VideoDownloader v.1.1.1.

VideoDownloader Firefox Extension! (29-4-06)
Are you tired of copy&paste URLs to download a video? Now it's even easier !
VideoDownloader Firefox Extension add a small icon on the status bar at the bottom of your firefox window, and a toolbar button.
Just click that and download the video you are watching !

VideoDownloader adds a small icon on the status bar
at the bottom of your Firefox window

You can then watch the file using FLV player


Posted by DCR 2006-10-17
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GHOST boot disks for HP nx6320

Job #: 10490 - Time to play with the HP nx6320 to see if we can get it imaged and deployed this week. The nx6320 has an Integrated Broadcom NetLink Gigabit Ethernet PCI Controller (10/100/1000 NIC), this means that we can use the DELL D810 Ghost boot set with the Broadcom NetLink Universal driver set as the basis for our boot disk!

The BIOS needs to be tweaked to allow the laptop to boot from an external USB Floppy as the first drive. (For security this will be changed after I have finished playing)

I keep sets of my boot disks stored as IMG files created with RawWrite for Windows, this makes it a lot easier when it comes to modifying boot sets. OK, my default D810 Ghost boot disk is setup for DHCP so I need to convert to a static IP mapping. To do this I need to create a WATTCP.CFG file.

Step 7 - Configure Ghost's Wattcp.cfg file [1]
When the Wattcp.cfg file on the boot disk has not been configured, Ghost uses the default values. If the default values are not appropriate, Ghost cannot make a connection across the network.
For instance, if the network is not using DHCP, you must add the Ghost Client computer's IP address to the Wattcp.cfg file. The entry is in the form:
IP=<IP address>
A valid entry for a Class C address, for instance, might look like this:
If you are running the Ghost Client on several computers, each computer will have its own IP address. An easy way to handle this is to make copies of the Ghost boot disk, then edit the Wattcp.cfg file for the IP address of the computer it will be used on.

Note: If these computers are using DHCP, do not enter a value for the IP address, since Ghost will obtain this value from the network.

If Ghost cannot run or cannot make a connection over the network, adjusting the configuration of the Wattcp.cfg might resolve the problem. For information on the Wattcp.cfg file see Appendix B in the Ghost User's Guide.

A:\Ghost\WATTCP.CFG for a manually allocated IP is as follows;

IP = IP address
NETMASK = Netmask
GATEWAY = Gateway

Setting this up with our standard Ghost staff settings produces a working boot disk, I love the Broadcom Universal driver :)


Posted by DCR 2006-10-16
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This weeks links

No Virginia, there is no copyright exception for iPod use
[...] Unfortunately - several commentators to my blog - and a commentator on a recent post by Patry have pointed out - it would appear that the exception has been too narrowly drafted actually to allow people legally to use their iPods. If the law is enacted in its current form, we will have to call it the little iPod Inquiry that couldn't.
Why is that? Well, under the format-shifting exception in the Exposure Draft, if you own an article, embodying a copyright work, you can make a 'main copy', and that 'main copy' is not an infringement if you fulfil certain conditions. [...]

No Virginia, there is no copyright exception for iPod use (or, the little iPod Inquiry that Couldn't) [Weatherall's Law]

Wired in Second Life
... the launch of the Second Life Wired Offices
Wired in Second Life [Wired]
secondlife://Millions%20Of%20Us/202/227/23 [SecondLife]

A history of the PC in American life
One of the many perversely fascinating things about YouTube is that its users have uploaded a remarkable percentage of those ads to the site, including both famous and obscure examples. Watch enough of them, in the right order, and what you have is a history of the PC in American life.
A Brief History of Computers, As Seen in Old TV Ads [PC World]

This Page Requires Internet Explorer: Worst Offenders?
Some websites continue to live in the virtual dark ages, blocking any request from a browser that isn't made by Microsoft. Cast your vote for the worst offender. In Monkey Bites.
No Internet Explorer? You Lose! [Monkey Bites - WIRED]

Hard Drive Failure
Dead Hard Drive [YouTube]

Make your virtual and real worlds collide October 12-15, 2006
World-renowned virtual builder, Versu Richelieu, is creating a new masterpiece in the Second Life virtual landscape using the power and performance of an Intel® Centrino® Duo based laptop featuring the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor. The world's best mobile processors1. For 72 hours, Versu will eat, sleep, and live a completely digital life…all in a store window in New York City! Can she do it? Check out the live webcam and Second Life feeds below to see how she is doing! Or see the experiment in person at the Datavision Store on the corner of 5th Avenue and 39th Street in New York City.
Live without boundaries [Intel]


Posted by DCR 2006-10-16
Update by DCR 2006-10-19


Hmmm, the smell of toasted servers

A recent SANS post was a timely reminder about cooling capacity in server rooms. Max BTU/hr calculations are very good to ensure that you don't toast your servers in your server room.

	max BTU/hr = 3.412 * (max Watts)
	max Watts = Volts * max amperage


	max BTU/hr = 3.412 * Volts * max amperage


British Thermal Unit (BTU) where 1 BTU/hr = 0.29307107 watts

1 ton of cooling is equivalent to 12 thousand BTUs.

HP ML370-G1 Rack = BTU Rating 1,880 BTU/HR

HP ML370-G2 Rack = BTU Rating 2,732 BTU/HR

HP ML370-G3 Rack = BTU Rating 2,732 BTU/HR

HP ML370-G4 Rack = BTU Rating 3,420 BTU/HR

HP ML370-G5 Rack = BTU Rating 3,420 BTU/HR

1. Equipment BTU: Total wattage for servers, switches, routers 
   and ups units x 3.5
2. Lighting BTU: Total wattage x 4.25
3. Occupant BTU: Number of occupants x 400
4. Floor Area of Room: Length (m) x width (m) x 337
5. Window BTU: North facing - length (m) x width (m) x 870
   South facing - length (m) x width (m) x 165
   {Southern Hemisphere}

Total Heat Load = Room Area BTU + Windows BTU + Total Occupant BTU 
+ Equipment BTU + Lighting BTU


Based on [3]


Posted by DCR 2006-10-16
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Battlestar Galactica (1978)

I picked up the Battlestar Galactica (1978) 7 DVD box set.

I now have an overwhelming urge to use the phrases frak and felgercarb.


Posted by DCR 2006-10-14
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Friday the 13th

After having a true 'Friday the 13th' morning with the Pajero, I managed to get in late :( I still managed to catch a very interesting class in DM809 that I had been invited to sit in on. The lecture was given by John Pearce from Bellaire Primary school in Geelong. A session on - blogs, wikis, Podcasting, FURLing and more with examples from his grade three class.

Some of the comments on blogging finally prompted me to investigate WordPress, so Visible Procrastinations is trialling a stint on WordPress. This may be an exercise doomed to die a death of stagnation, but the auto RSS feed and comments may be worth the lack of access to the code base. Only time will tell.

Not all of the material from this blog will make it across to WordPress, such as the Patch Tuesday analysis ... but the more chatty items will be cross posted.


Posted by DCR 2006-10-13
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Eudora v7.1.0.9
(TOPIC::soe, eudora)

Qualcomm Open Sources Eudora and the price of the software is then reduced to US$19.95 with six months of support.

Eudora® email [...] delivers final commercial version -- Eudora 7.1 for Windows and 6.2.4 for Mac OSX. [1]

From the initial testing, Eudora v7.1 plays well with our current site licence when Eudora v7.0.1 is updated in situ.

The biggest change that you notice first is the change to the password prompt;
The Enter Password dialog was modified to show personality name, username, and server to give a better idea of which account the password is being asked for. Also, a checkbox to remember the password is now in the dialog. [3]

Eudora 7.1 New Features [4]
Welcome to Eudora® 7.1! This document describes the new features and functions in Eudora 7.1 for Windows.

  • Recent mailboxes - A virtual folder of recently used mailbox for conveniently getting to your most often used mailboxes
  • Expanded Media for Alert Sounds - Play a Sound functionality on New Mail arrival and filters has been expanded from .wav files to allow for other media files such as .mp3
  • Saved Searches - Save the search criteria of your Ultra Fast searches to use them again and again
  • Minimize to Windows System Tray - Manage Eudora tasks from in icon in the system tray
  • Insert Downloadable Picture - Include references to graphics stored on web servers


Posted by DCR 2006-10-12
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Eudora, here today - - - tomorrow?
(TOPIC::soe, FOSS)

Qualcomm Open Sources Eudora and the price of the software is then reduced to US$19.95 with six months of support.

Wow, I still remember playing with Eudora v1.x on Windows 3 systems! Will Eudora survive as OSS, or will it merge with Thunderbird and be remembered with Mosaic as relict software from the first days of "the internet with with a GUI"? This is a bit like seeing a family pet being sold off :(

The thing not to miss here is that Eudora has also been updated to version 7.1 for Windows and version 6.2.4 for Mac. [3]
(Need to check if our llicence allows for this ... watch this space)

Future Eudora Based on Thunderbird [1]
"Qualcomm announced that future versions of Eudora will be based upon the same technology platform as the open source Mozilla Thunderbird email program. Future versions of Eudora will be free and open source, while retaining Eudora's uniquely rich feature set and productivity enhancements. Qualcomm and Mozilla will each participate in, and continue to foster development communities based around the open source Mozilla project, with a view to enhancing the capabilities and ease of use of both Eudora and Thunderbird. [...] The open source version of Eudora is targeted to release during the first half of calendar year 2007. Once the open source version of Eudora is released, Qualcomm will cease to sell Eudora commercially."


Eudora® email moves to open source development and delivers final commercial version -- Eudora 7.1 for Windows and 6.2.4 for Mac OSX. [2]
The open source version of Eudora® is targeted to be released during the first half of calendar year 2007 and will be free of charge. Once the open source version of Eudora is released, QUALCOMM will cease to sell Eudora commercially. Until then, the current commercial versions are available for the reduced price of $19.95 with a six-month period of technical support. All prior technical support commitments continue to be honored.


What support will be available to site licensees? [3]
QUALCOMM will honor its twelve-month technical support obligation to existing licensees.


Posted by DCR 2006-10-12
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Firefox vs Iceweasel

An interesting bun fight between Mozilla.org and Debian that delves into the murky world of Open Source Software (OSS) politics. If Netscape is a fork from Mosaic AND Firefox is a fork from Netscape AND Iceweasel is a fork from Firefox ... is Iceweasel triple forked?

Mozilla, Trademarks and Debian [1]
First, let’s state the topic clearly. The question is: how much can Debian, or anyone else, change Firefox and still call it Firefox? The question is not how much Debian or anyone else can change the application – Debian and others can modify, delete and add features as they choose. The question is whether that different program can be distributed as "Firefox."


Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.
- Matt Groening "Life in Hell"

The Iceweasel name was coined by Nathanael Nerode as a parody of "Firefox": Fire to Ice and Fox to Weasel.

Iceweasel, a free-as-in-speech version of Firefox [2]
IceWeasel is a version of Firefox created for use in "free" operating systems like Debian (and its derivatives, such as Ubuntu), which eschew any element that can't be freely reused by anyone, for any reason. Iceweasel was developed because Firefox and the Firefox logo are trademarked, and because some of the default Firefox plugins can't be freely redistributed. Iceweasel will be synchronized with the current Firefox release, but without the non-free artwork and plugins.


Posted by DCR 2006-10-11
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Patch Tuesday Wednesday
(TOPIC::MS Patch, Geek)

10 October 2006 - Patch Tuesday
Welcome to another 'Patch Tuesday', this months show bag contains the following fun products; Critical (6) Important (1) Moderate (2) Low (1)

2006-10-11 10:00 AEST - Windows Update is currently *not a happy camper* and is refusing to serve us all of the joyful patchy-goodness.
2006-10-11 10:30 AEST - Use Express (not Custom) and you can now get access.
** This particular error (0x80244022) roughly translates to a http error code 503 (temporarily overloaded).


Bulletin KB number Description Severity Impact
MS06-057 923191 Vulnerability in Windows Shell Could Allow Remote Code Execution Critical Remote Code Execution
MS06-058 924163 Vulnerabilities in Microsoft PowerPoint Could Allow Remote Code Execution Critical Remote Code Execution
MS06-059 924164 Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Excel Could Allow Remote Code Execution Critical Remote Code Execution
MS06-060 924554 Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Word Could Allow Remote Code Execution Critical Remote Code Execution
MS06-061 924191 Vulnerabilities in Microsoft XML Core Services Could Allow Remote Code Execution Critical Remote Code Execution
MS06-062 922581 Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Could Allow Remote Code Execution Critical Remote Code Execution
MS06-063 923414 Vulnerability in Server Service Could Allow Denial of Service Important Denial of Service
MS06-056 922770 Vulnerability in ASP.NET Could Allow Information Disclosure Moderate Information Disclosure
MS06-065 924496 Vulnerability In Windows Object Packager Could Allow Remote Code Execution Moderate Remote Code Execution
MS06-064 922819 Vulnerabilities in TCP/IP Could Allow Denial of Service Low Denial of Service
  923095 Update for Outlook Junk Email Filter 2003   Update
  890830 Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool - October 2006   Update


In our environment:



IMPORTANT NOTE: There will be no more support for Windows XP Service Pack 1, after this month no patches will be released in support of that version. All of our machines should already be patched to SP2.

NOTE: Microsoft is discontinuing support for SUS on Dec. 6th, 2006 (before the December patch cycle). November 2006 will be the last patch cycle that SUS will be supported - time to upgrade to WSUS if the machine hasn't already been updated.




PATCH NOW: MS06-057 (Win 2000, Win XP), MS06-058 (Power Point)

PATCH SOON: MS06-059 (Excel), MS06-060 (Word), MS06-061 (Win 2000, Win XP), MS06-062 (Office 2000, XP, 2003)

On our SOE build the actual patching for Microsoft Office 2003 is;
        Security Update for Office 2003 (KB923272)
        Security Update for Word 2003 (KB923094)
        Update for Office 2003 (KB923097)
        Security Update for PowerPoint 2003 (KB923091)
        Security Update for Office 2003 (KB924424)
        Security Update for Excel 2003 (KB923088)


Posted by DCR 2006-10-11
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Patch Tuesday, a Heads Up.

A *heads up* for this months Patch Tuesday offerings from Microsoft;

Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification [1]
Updated: October 5, 2006
On 10 October 2006 Microsoft is planning to release:
Security Updates

  • Six Microsoft Security Bulletins affecting Microsoft Windows. The highest Maximum Severity rating for these is Critical. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer. Some of these updates will require a restart.
  • Four Microsoft Security Bulletins affecting Microsoft Office. The highest Maximum Severity rating for these is Critical. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer. These updates may require a restart.
  • One Microsoft Security Bulletin affecting Microsoft .NET Framework. The highest Maximum Severity rating for this is Moderate. These updates will be detectable using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and the Enterprise Scan Tool. These updates may require a restart.

    Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool
  • Microsoft will release an updated version of the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool on Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Windows Server Update Services and the Download Center.

  • Note that this tool will NOT be distributed using Software Update Services (SUS).
    Non-security High Priority updates on MU, WU, WSUS and SUS
  • Microsoft will release No NON-SECURITY High-Priority Updates for Windows on Windows Update (WU) and Software Update Services (SUS).

  • Microsoft will release two NON-SECURITY High-Priority Updates on Microsoft Update (MU) and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

  • ...


    This months Advance Bulletin is out. The breakdown is 6 Windows with critical(s), 4 Office with critical(s) and 1 .NET patch that's moderate. [3]

    Internet Explorer 7?
    An alarm bell ringer on SlashDot "Microsoft plans to push out Internet Explorer 7 as a 'high priority update' when it ships security patches tomorrow, according to Washingtonpost.com's Security Fix blog. [4] but luckily this is retracted Update: 10/09 21:26 GMT by kd : An anonymous reader points to this Microsoft blog posting where it is revealed that the article linked above is incorrect. IE7 will not be pushed tomorrow. [4].
    Thank goodness for that, *What do you mean you cannot access THEMIS? ....*

    But we still see the following on the IE Blog (MSDN) ...

    What if my organization is not going to be ready for IE7 in time? [5]
    Organizations that are using Automatic Updates in their environments can block the AU deployment of IE7. For more details check out the “Options for Blocking Automatic Delivery” section of our Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 7 article

    and the following (from July '06; why hasn't this been ringing alarm bells earlier?)

    IE7 to be distributed via Automatic Updates! [6]
    We are also providing a Blocker Toolkit for our enterprise customers who may want to block automatic delivery of IE7 in their organizations; this blocker has no expiration date. Enterprise customers can download the free Blocker Toolkit from the Microsoft Download Center today. We’ve also made additional information for IT administrators available at the Windows Update/Microsoft Update site on TechNet.

    The final release of IE7 is fast approaching … and I mean really fast … and will be delivered to customers via Automatic Updates a few weeks after it’s available for download. [5].
    So, we will probably have as little as a fortnight's *heads up* before IE7 hits us via AU


    Posted by DCR 2006-10-10
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    This weeks links

    Anatomy of a spam e-mail
    A daily chore of modern life for many is the morning trawl through a full inbox deleting spam email. But just where does it all come from and why do spammers use bizarre text, names and images in their emails? ...
    Anatomy of a spam e-mail [BBC NEWS]

    Whiteboard Image Capturing Software
    I'm not a fan of whiteboards with printers attached. They are expensive, black and white, and produce paper copies rather than easily distributed files (except for some newer ones, which have a USB memory slot and USB color printer connection). I prefer to have a whiteboard in every office, and simply use a digital camera to take snapshots of each screen. The only problem is that these photos can be large, low-contrast files. To fix this, I use Whiteboard Photo ...
    Whiteboard Image Capturing Software [BleedingEdge]

    Red Symonds reviews USB gadgets :) I want a USB rocket launcher !!!
    ITbit~2 [YouTube]

    Top 10 Web 2.0 Attack Vectors
    HNS is running a story about Web 2.0 and the new attack vectors it opens up. Worms of the Yamanner, Samy, and Spaceflash types are exploiting client-side AJAX frameworks, providing new avenues of attack and compromising confidential information. On the server side, XML-based Web services are providing distributed application access through Web services interfaces and opening up new vulnerabilities in the process.
    Top 10 Web 2.0 Attack Vectors [SlashDot]

    Sound & Lighting requirements
    As if you need another reason to love Iggy Pop, the veteran rocker (and his band The Stooges) have the single most entertaining concert rider TSG has ever obtained. The document--all 18 pages of which you'll find below--describes Iggy's requirements in terms of amplifiers, security, lighting, stage set up, and dressing rooms. But unlike most similar documents, Iggy's rider is written in a rollicking, stream-of-consciousness fashion that delivers multiple laughs per page
    Iggy Pop's concert rider funniest in rock history? [TheSmokingGun]


    Posted by DCR 2006-10-09
    Update by DCR 2006-10-12


    Now you're in trouble!

    A memorable quote from Doctor Who "Doomsday" (2006)

    Cyber Leader: Daleks, be warned. You have declared war upon the Cybermen.
    Dalek Leader: This is not war - this is pest control!
    Cyber Leader: We have five million Cybermen. How many are you?
    Dalek Leader: Four.
    Cyber Leader: You would destroy the Cybermen with four Daleks?
    Dalek Leader: We would destroy the Cybermen with one Dalek! You superior in only one respect.
    Cyber Leader: What is that?
    Dalek Leader: You are better at dying. Raise communications barrier!
    [video link with Cyber Leader cuts out]
    Dalek Leader: Wait!
    The Doctor: [in the same room as Cyber Leader, listening in through Rose's mobile phone] Lost her.
    Dalek #2: Rewind image by nine rels.
    [the image is rewound, and we see the Doctor in the background of the video link]
    Dalek #2: Identify grid Seven Gamma Flame. This male registers as enemy!
    Dalek Leader: The females heart rate has increased!
    Mickey Smith: Yeah, tell me about it.
    Dalek Leader: Identify him!
    Rose Tyler: All right then... if you really want to know. That's the Doctor.
    [all four Daleks recoil in apparent fear]
    Rose Tyler: Five million Cybermen, easy. One Doctor? NOW you're scared!


    Posted by DCR 2006-10-07


    Project management

    Well, just completed the three day "Project Management - Essential Techniques" Staff Development course. Pretty good stuff really.

    Project Management: Essential Techniques [1]
    This three-day workshop presents a project management approach that incorporates leading edge approaches to capturing the essential integrated information required to manage contemporary projects. Exploring structured processes for project justification, quality, risk, stakeholder analysis, strategies, estimation and scheduling, the workshop provides a comprehensive approach to the development of the project Business Case, life-cycle planning and management, change control and risk management.

    From the Tomsett web pages;

    The course can be summarised with a single diagram (ok, some text would make it better but you'll have to wait for that *chuckle*)

    10-20% Managerial
    80-90% Technical

    In the middle:

    Planning and Project Services Project Framework (UNIMELB)
    Alternatively, you can download the complete PPS Project Framework as a zip file. This complete set includes all the templates, in folders for each stage, plus optional extras and governance materials. Make a folder for your project and unzip it there. [2]


    Posted by DCR 2006-10-06


    Agatha Christie season

    All too soon the 2006 BBC7 Agatha Christie season (as discussed 2006-09-10) is now over. The list of shows broadcst is given below, in no particular order;

    • 4.50 From Paddington (Marple) - Elspeth McGillicuddy is down from Scotland for a holiday and boards the 4.50 train from Paddington Station to visit her friend, Miss Marple. During the journey, another train pulls alongside and through the window Mrs McGillicuddy witnesses a man strangling a woman. She reports what she's seen, yet no one takes any notice as there is no report of a murder. Only Miss Marple believes her and sets about first uncovering the murder, and then who did it.
    • A Caribbean Mystery (Marple) * - The tiny Caribbean island of St. Honoré is a tropical paradise. But for Miss Marple, enjoying a well earned rest from her busy life in the village of St. Mary Mead, it is a place where nothing ever seems to happen. Until old Major Palgrave tells her the strange story of a suspected double murderer. As rumours begin to circulate, the elderly sleuth is not alone in suspecting things are not as they seem. And when a death that is not indisputably murder occurs, Miss Marple finds an unlikely ally in the cantankerous Mr. Rafiel...
    • He was hardly more than five feet four inches but carried himself with great dignity. His head was exactly the shape of an egg, and he always perched it a little on one side. His moustache was very stiff and military. The neatness of his attire was almost incredible; I believe a speck of dust would have caused him more pain than a bullet wound.
      - Hastings first described Poirot in The Mysterious Affair at Styles
    • At Bertram's Hotel (Marple) * - Jane Marple, is being treated to a few days holiday by her niece, staying at Bertram's Hotel - a dignified, unostentatious establishment tucked away in a back street of busy Mayfair. It is a place where sedate upper-class ladies, retired military gentlemen and the higher echelons of the clergy can indulge in the comforts of a bygone age. But Miss Marple begins to feel uneasy. Something sinister lurks beneath the polished veneer. Why are so many major crimes associated in some way with the hotel or somehow implicate eminently respectable people staying there.
    • Five Little Pigs (Poroit) - A sixteen-year-old murder, with the apparent killer convicted and long dead, is a formidable challenge for the remarkable Poirot, especially with nothing to go on except five suspects who fit strangely into the pattern of a child's nursery rhyme..
    • Lord Edgeware Dies (Poroit) * - No sooner had Lady Edgware announced to Poirot that she just had to get rid of her husband, than his lordship was found dead in the library, stabbed in the neck. The case seemed cut and dried.
    • Murder at the Vicarage (Marple) * - Colonel Protheroe, local magistrate and overbearing landowner is the most detested man in the village. Everyone - even the vicar - wishes he were dead. And very soon he is - shot in the head in the vicar's own study. Faced with a surfeit of suspects, only the inscrutable Miss Marple can unravel the tangled web of clues that will lead to the unmasking of the killer.
    • Murder in Mesopotamia (Poroit) * - Amy Leatheran has never felt the lure of the mysterious East. But when she travels to an ancient site deep in the Iraqui desert to nurse the wife of a celebrated archaeologist, the situation proves stranger than she could ever have imagined. Bizarre visions & nervous terror culminate in murder.
    • Murder on the Orient Express (Poroit) * - An international cast of suspects in perhaps Agatha Christie's most famous story. A passenger is murdered (stabbed 12 times) on board the Orient Express train as it journeys through the snowy European landscape. Hercule Poirot must wade through the clues and red herrings to unravel this baffling case.
    • The ABC Murders (Poroit) - The arrival of an anonymous letter telling Hercule Poirot to look out for Andover on the 21st of the month and signed ``Yours ABC,'' spells the beginning of one of the Belgian sleuth's most enigmatic and disturbing cases.
    • The Body in the Library (Marple) - It's seven in the morning. The Bantry's wake to find the body pf a young woman in their library. She is wearing an evening dress and heavy make-up, which is smeared across her distorted cheeks. The respectable Bantry's invite Jane Marple to solve the mystery - before tongues start to wag.
    • The Moving Finger (Marple) - A recuperative stay in the quiet town of Lymstock holds more in store than Jerry Burton and his sister Joanna bargained for. When an anonymous letter arrives, accusing them of impropriety, they soon discover that a number of other town residents have been similarly harrassed. Suspicion is rife, and matters are brought to a head by the suicide of one of the letters' recipients. Can Miss Marple's arrival in Lymstock cast light on the unpleasant matter?
    • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Poroit) - Mrs Farrars died on Thursday September 16th, one year after the death of her husband. Village rumour has accused her of poisoning him, but no one is sure until a letter to the man she loved is discovered - a letter Roger Ackroyd never finishes reading, for he is next in the chain of death. The killer remains unsuspected until the retired resident of The Larches is called in - Hercule Poirot.
    • A Pocketful of Rye (Marple) - Wealthy financier Rex Fortescue is found dead with rye grain in his pocket followed in quick succession by a woman dying while eating bread and honey and a maid killed in her garden. Jane Marple senses the murderer is dispatching his victims on the basis of a children's nursery rhyme and finds herself enrneshed in one of the strangest cases of her life.
    • Appointment with Death (Poirot) - Through a hotel window in the Red Rose city of Petra, ominous words are heard, and their subject is soon murdered.
    • Murder on the Links (Poirot) - When Hercule Poirot arrives in France following an urgent appeal for help, he finds he is too late. His client, a mysterious millionaire, has been stabbed to death and his body flung carelessly into an open grave. Poirot knows all is not as it seems and as he starts to unravel this baffling murder he discovers that the clue to the killer's identity lies in a crime committed over twenty years before ...
    • Nemesis (Marple) * - Miss Marple is saddened to hear of the death of Mr Rafiel, the financier who had been her ally in solving a murder on the Caribbean island of St. Honoré. She is then surprised to be summoned by the dead man's solicitor with a strange request. Miss Marple is set a task, find out if a crime has been committed and if so, by whom.
    • One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (Poroit) * - Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot pays a visit to his dentist, but he can hardly anticipate the shocking chain of events which are to follow, and the buckle from a woman's shoe seems to point in the direction of the killer.
    • Peril at End House (Poirot) * - Poirot and Hastings are holidaying in the Cornish village of St. Loo. They meet Miss Nick Buckley, owner of the remote and lonely End House. She tells that she enjoys living there, despite the fact that she has had three near fatal accidents within a few days. When a fourth near fatal accident occurs in their presence, Poirot & Hastings become involved.
    • They Do It With Mirrors (Marple) * - Miss Marple is invited to stay with an old school friend at the manor house she runs with her husband as a school for delinquent boys. But it is not just a social visit.

    * = broadcast in five episodes


    Posted by DCR 2006-10-03
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    Going Pink For October

    Why is the background pink? Here's the background information ...

    Matthew Oliphant is inviting anyone and everyone to turn their Web sites pink during October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.


    Posted by DCR 2006-10-02


    Pink for October


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