Looking for a new WebHost

April 21, 2010 1 comment

After all the issues with the Datacenter, since the server crash, my Web Host has decided he will stop offering hosting. He tells me that once the server is back up he will keep things going for about a month, and then he is going to close shop. This whole experience has just kind of “soured” him to it all.

So, this brings me to the topic at hand: Looking for a new host. I have looked at several host over the years, and I have just never really found one that seemed to fit, as much as my current host does. Since I no longer have a choice but to find someone else, here goes the search.


BlueHost.com was suggested by a good friend of mine. He has been using them for the last few years and has been very happy with their service.

Our professional Web Hosting plans include all the features you are looking for at the best possible price.

UNLIMITED Hosting Space (NEW!)
UNLIMITED File Transfer (NEW!)
web hostingHost UNLIMITED Domains!!!
2,500 POP/Imap Email Accounts
SSH (Secure Shell), SSL, FTP, Stats
CGI, Ruby (RoR), Perl, PHP, MySQL
2000/2002 Front Page Extensions
Free Domain Forever!
Free Site Builder (NEW)
24/7 Superb/Responsive Sales/Support

A more complete listing of features can be found here.
$6.95 per month is a pretty good price, but I think I would want to upgrade to their Pro Package, which runs about $14.95 per month. Also, BlueHost.com requires payment in 12 month chunks.
The Pro Package adds, 1 Dedicated IP, 1 PositiveSSL Certificate, 3 Domain Name Registrations, and 10 Postini Email Filtering accounts. I am looking at this package because of the SSL Cert and the Postini Filtering.

The other main host I am looking at currently is GoDaddy.
I currently use GoDaddy for all of my domains, so I am already pretty familiar with their support and options.

  • 24×7 FTP access
  • World-Class Data Centers
  • Daily Backups
  • Best-of-Breed Routers, Firewalls and Servers
  • Web site statistics
  • FREE Email Addresses
  • Google® Webmaster Tools
  • Ad Credits from MySpace®, Google® and Facebook®
  • Key Technical Features

A more complete listing of features can be found here.
I already get free hosting with GoDaddy, if I want to use their Economy Plan, but I am looking more at the Unlimited Plan. This plan runs $14.99 per month, but they have discounts for paying 12, 24 or 36 months at a time.

I guess I just really need to weigh the options and the costs. Due to GoDaddy offering a discount when paying for several months, they come out to be less expensive in the long run ($12 vs $15 per month). However, if I don’t need the Pro Package with BlueHost.com, then they are considerably less expensive ($7 vs $12 per month).

Decisions decisions…

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Categories: Server Tags:

Anti-Virus

April 20, 2010 2 comments

You are running some sort of Anti-Virus program right? I hope you are.
Are you having to pay for updates every year? You don’t have to!

I briefly wrote about Anti-Malware / Anti-Spy where earlier, now I think I should give a little information about Anti-Virus. Everyone should be running some form of Anti-Virus & Anti-Malware program(s). If you are not, then please, for the love of your computer and files, get one (or two) installed! There are a bunch or options available, both as Freeware and Commercial. I am going to touch on the a couple of each here; McAfee, Panda, avast! & ClamAV.

Free Products:

avast!

I use avast! Home Edition on all of my personal computers. I have been running this for a few years now, and I have always been very impressed with this product. If you want Ant-Spyware you will need to use an additional program, or purchase one of the avast! Commercial Products.

ClamAV

I have only just recently started using ClamAV on my Home Server and so far, I am liking it. It looks to run without hogging up a ton of system resources, and seems to be rather unobtrusive. I have not run this long enough to get a complete feel for how well it is, but there does appear to be a rather large following for it. It was only recently released for Windows. I am not aware if it will scan & detect Malware or not.

Commercial Products:

McAfee

McAfee’s AntiVirus Plus product does a really good job of protecting your computer against viruses & malware. If you currently have McAfee and you are happy with it, then I would not go through a huge hassle to switch brands. Persoanlly, I think all the commercial products are way over-priced, but hey, it’s just my opinion.

Panda

Panda Antivirus Pro is an excellent product, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get a commercially available product. Panda’s Support is always top notch and they get updates out quickly. If you happen to come across a virus which their product cannot clean. You have the option to send the infected file(s) to their support team, and they will get a fix and update out PDQ.


Still not sure what you want to use? Then visit AV-Comparatives.org

On this site you will find independent comparatives of Anti-Virus software. All products listed in our comparatives are already a selection of some very good anti-virus products. In order to get included in our main tests, vendors must fulfill various conditions and minimum requirements.

The following products are tested in the current main comparatives:
avast! Free Antivirus 5.0
AVG Anti-Virus 9.0
AVIRA AntiVir Premium 9
BitDefender Antivirus 2010
eScan Anti-Virus 10
ESET NOD32 Anti-Virus 4.0
F-Secure Anti-Virus 2010
G DATA AntiVirus 2010
K7 TotalSecurity 10.0 (new)
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2010
Kingsoft Antivirus 2010
McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2010
Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0
Norman Antivirus & Anti-Spyware 7.30
Panda Antivirus Pro 2010 (new)
PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AV 7.0 (new)
Sophos Anti-Virus 9.0
Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 2010
Trend Micro AntiVirus plus AntiSpyware 2010 (new)
TrustPort Antivirus 2010

Look into the Comparatives section to find out additional tests and reviews. If you plan to buy an Anti-Virus, please visit the vendor’s site and evaluate their software by downloading a trial version, as there are also many other features (e.g. firewall, HIPS, behaviorblocker, etc.) and important things (e.g. price, graphical user interface, compatibility, etc.) for an Anti-Virus that you should evaluate by yourself. Even if quite important, the data provided in the test reports on this site are just some aspects that you should consider when buying Anti-Virus software

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Vista AntiMalware

April 19, 2010 Leave a comment

This thing is a PITA and is actually Malware, NOT Anti-Malware! If you happen to get this little bugger on your computer, this is the best way to remove it (for free even). I highly recommend the following link and instructions, and just as an added caution, I would perform Method 1 & 2.

Vista Antimalware 2010 is a rogue antispyware program, which is a fresh clone of Vista Antispyware 2010. Like other rogues, the program simulates a system scan and reports false system security threats or infections to make you think your computer is infected with worms, trojans, adware, spyware and other malicious software. As before, nothing new here, Vista Antimalware 2010 is distributed with the help of trojans. When the trojan is initialized, it will download and install core component of the rogue onto your computer without your permission and knowledge. The same trojan will also register Vista Antimalware 2010 in the Windows registry to run automatically every time when you start any program, which have “exe” extension.

When Vista Antimalware 2010 is started, the rogue will start the imitation of scanning your machine, whose result is the discovery of the set of trojans, viruses and other malicious programs. Do not rely on these results, as they are, and besides, the scanning process – it is a fake. Purpose they have one, to force you to believe that your computer is infected. So you can safety ignore all that this fake antispyware will show you. Last but not least, the rogue will also hijack Internet Explorer and Firefox, so it will display fake warnings when you opening any web site.

As stated above, obviously, Vista Antimalware 2010 is scam, which designed with one purpose to scare you into thinking that your computer in danger as a method to trick you into purchasing the full version of the program. If your computer is infected with this malware, then most importantly, do not purchase it! Uninstall the rogue from your PC as soon as possible. Use the removal guide below to remove Vista Antimalware 2010 from your computer for free.

The instructions are located here – http://www.myantispyware.com/20…-instructions/

The MalwareBytes Anti-malware tool is a great little piece of software to keep around. I also recommend you keep a current copy of HijackThis around, just in case you get something which the 1st tool does not recognize.

These are both very good, and free tools.

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Categories: Personal Computer, Security Tags: ,

A walk in the park

April 19, 2010 1 comment

I took the girlfriend to the park this past weekend. We went to Sweetwater Creek State Park.

Sweetwater Creek is a peaceful tract of wilderness only minutes from bustling downtown Atlanta. The most popular trail (red) follows the free-flowing stream to the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company, a textile mill burned during the Civil War. Beyond the mill, the trail climbs rocky bluffs to provide views of the beautiful mile-long stretch of white-water rapids below. The 215-acre George Sparks Reservoir is popular with anglers and provides a pretty setting for feeding ducks and canoeing. Fishing supplies are available in the park’s bait shop, while wildlife and history displays, trail maps, snacks and gift items may be found in the Visitor Center — the most environmentally responsible building in Georgia (LEED-NC PLATINUM).

We didn’t quite make it all the way to the ruins, but it was a pretty nice park, with some good scenery. I think we will find our way back to it again in the future. I did manage to get a few pictures though, below are a couple examples:

BTW, that 2nd picture is Infrared, converted to Black & White.

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My Home Server

April 19, 2010 Leave a comment

My home server was in dire need of a rebuild. So, after doing a ton of searching and reading, I decided I was ready to under take the task of rebuilding my server and getting all of my data restored.

I started by removing my USB (Universal Serial Bus) Drive from the storage pool, to get all of my files onto the main drive and the 1TB drive left in the pool. I then followed this procedure, to get as much of the data onto the 1TB drive and off the primary drive, as possible. I also took one of the spare drives from my main Desktop system, to use as the new Primary drive for the server. This would allow me to maintain the original storage pool drives, while still reinstalling the WHS (Windows Home Server) OS (Operating System).

Once I got the OS installed and patched, up to Power Pack 1, I started the task of moving my data and shares from the old drives to the new one. I knew there would not be enough space on the primary drive, so I added the USB drive back into the pool at this point. Checking out the wiki post on We Got Served this seemed like it would be a pretty straight forward and relatively simple thing to do. Of course, with my luck, this was not to be so.

I got everything copied over from the 1TB drive and it was looking good (this only took about 16 hours to complete), but once I did a comparison of the pointers on the old primary drive, I found that a LOT of files were missing. After about 3 days of searching, I think I found all of my data. While not too difficult, it was a PITA, due to the way WHS handles the files on the storage pool. I had to search through the backup folders in order to find everything. At least I know how to do this, if I ever have to again. I think I am going to get a couple of extra drives just to use for data backups

All in All, it wasn’t to terribly bad. I did get a bunch of new website resources and I also found several new WHS Add-Ins. At least my computers will start getting back ups again.

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Categories: Server, WHS Tags: ,

My home away from home…

April 19, 2010 Leave a comment

On April 5th, my main web server crashed. The Company who hosts the server is being extremely slow and unresponsive in getting a replacement server up and running, and my data restored, from backups. Due to this,  my customers and I  are unable to reach our Websites, E-Mail, Image Galleries, etc.

Because of this, I have decided to create this site. I think I will keep this site, even once my Domains are back up and working. I will use this as just my personal blog about anything and everything.

So, welcome to my little “home away from home”.

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Categories: Uncategorized