It looks like Firefox 4 is going to have some very nice features, but they might be old news if you are an Apple fanboy.

To download Firefox 4 Beta (codenamed ‘Minefield’ hehe), go to this link.

Then, click on the OS version you are running (I clicked on tryserver-win32), and then download and run the appropriate ‘installer’ package.

I finished this post in the new version, so it seems to do the basics ok!

In order to have its content indexed, it seems that the website ‘Experts Exchange’ allows its paid content pages to be cached by Google.

Unfortunately (for them), this means you can access the content simply by clicking on the ‘cached’ button from a Google search.

When you get to the cached page, scroll down to the bottom of the page. All of the responses and solutions should be visible to you.

I’m very surprised that Experts Exchange and Google have not established a more ‘secure’ solution to this problem.

If there is a particular Experts Exchange page, and you would like to view the Google cache of that page, copy and paste the URL into a Google Search. This should expose the ‘cache’ link for that page.

I guess it proves that these ‘Experts’ + cutting edge technology (Google), doesn’t necessarily = smartness.

If you are interested in trying out the new, supposedly improved, beta of Microsoft Security Essentials, head over to this link and see if you can become part of the limited beta program.

There are 32 bit and 64 bit versions available. You will need to sign in with a Windows Live account.

I found out about this over at this post at Lifehacker. Check it out if you are interested in more details.

We run a Small Business Server box and it primarily provides our email via Exchange Server 2003.

Recently, our ISP indicated that our server was relaying or forwarding spam messages. I have tried a number of different things to correct this, and I would like to share a few of the steps of I have taken.

  1. Ensure that Exchange SMTP is not acting as an open relay. You can run a test at
  2. Use SMTP Authentication (if you are forwarding mail through an SMTP smart host).
  3. Enable Recipient Filtering on the SMTP Virtual Server. Link here. KB Article here.
  4. Enable SMTP Tarpit Time. Link here.
  5. Enable Connection Filtering on the SMTP Virtual Server. You might use something like the Spamhaus ZEN list to start with.
  6. Enable Message Logging (so that you can get an idea of where spam is coming from).
  7. Disable Non Delivery Reports (NDRs). How to here.
  8. Don’t allow anonymous access to your Default SMTP Server.
  9. Run trojan/virus scans on your server and on your Client PCs (including remote Clients).
  10. Install and run the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer.

On a slightly unrelated note, some nefarious characters kept trying to login to our server via Remote Desktop. I have defended against these attacks by using a program called 2x SecureRDP. This ‘filters’ incoming RDP connections and stops repetitive RDP attacks before they occure.

I hope some of this information has been useful to you.

So you have some electronic information that you really want to read, but you just can’t find the time?

You are madly Revit-ing away, and you have some PDF training files that might really help you, but you are just TOO BUSY to read them?

Then try out this free program. It basically uses inbuilt Windows text to speech tools to read any document. I use the SpeakComputer TTS Reader. Just select the text you want to read, and paste it into the box…

Then press Play! There are a few other options to do with speed of reading etc – just tweak these to suit yourself.

If you can’t find anything Revit related and interesting to read, head over to Scribd and search for Revit

PS – Hopefully Microsoft Anna doesn’t distract you too much from whatever work you are actually doing 🙂

I recently spent some time troubleshooting a netbook that was unceremoniously ‘dropped’, and I thought I would share the things that I found most helpful.

Basically, there was physical damage to many of the sectors on the hard disk, meaning that the system did not boot and had some serious issues.

After booting using a USB drive into a diagnostic version of ‘mini’ XP, I was able to run a program called HDTune. An Error Scan using the ‘quick’ option showed the area of the drive that was affected.

I then basically resized the partitions on the disk so that the ‘bad’ parts of the drive were in the unallocated space – hopefully meaning that it won’t cause any future problems.

I backed some of the necessary data, then formatted and I will now reinstall XP. Hopefully all is well!

PS – Try not to drop electronic devices.

Have you ever wanted to copy the text from a Windows Dialog, for use in training, blogging or other support related tasks? Then you should check out the free SysExporter. It is available in installable or ZIP standalone versions, and there is also a 64-bit version.

This program allows you to browse the text of dialog boxes from a vast range of windows. And as you can see in the image above, you can even extract information from Revit dialog boxes. I am sure that function could prove very useful for a lot of you.

For example, I quickly grabbed this list of worksets from SysExporter. I copied selected items using ‘Tab delimited’ format. Pasted to Excel and then copied into this window:
String Value
(Not Editable) EGRESS PATHS 10583
(Not Editable) FHR hose lengths etc 10807
(Not Editable) GRIDS AND SETOUT 8797
(Not Editable) HIDE Admin RVT link 10573
(Not Editable) HIDE Entourage People 19332
(Not Editable) HIDE Ext Main Ceiling Level 14103
(Not Editable) HIDE Furniture PRESENTATION 14727
(Not Editable) HIDE Internal Detail Elements Battens etc 17850
(Not Editable) HIDE K BLOCK LEVEL 9062
(Not Editable) HIDE Lower Basement Level 9995
(Not Editable) HIDE Main Audience Level 12393
(Not Editable) HIDE Main Entrance Level 11410
(Not Editable) HIDE Mechanical Kitchen Plans 17273
(Not Editable) HIDE Old Stairs for Removable Seating 11357
(Not Editable) HIDE Planting and Trees 11854
(Not Editable) LIGHTING 1 Workset 17893
(Not Editable) MASSES hidden by default 9993
(Not Editable) REMOVABLE SEATING 9791
(Not Editable) Room separation lines 5829
(Not Editable) Shared Levels and Grids 103
(Not Editable) Working HIDDEN 8934
(Not Editable) Workset1 0