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March 2009 - Ask the Geek Ask the Geek

Archive for March, 2009

IE8 Running Slow? Try This

Though I haven’t had any problems of my own, I know a couple of people who installed IE8 and then complained about it running very slowly, sometimes completely bogging down their systems. This type of behavior usually signals a problem with system resources, but thanks to Ed Bott over at ZDNet, there may be a simple fix. His article, “Is IE8 really fat and slow?” gives a simple command that may help (restart your computer after running the command):

regsvr32 actxprxy.dll

That re-registers the ActiveX Interface Marshaling Library, an obscure DLL that most people (even Microsoft experts) had never heard about. (Update: 27-Mar: Note that if you try this using Windows Vista, you must do this from an elevated Command Prompt window; type cmd in the Start menu Search box, right-click the Cmd.exe shortcut, and then choose Run As Administrator.)

According to Ed, when one of his colleagues did this, the results were stunning and IE8 was stable as well as performing faster.

Let me know if you’ve had any trouble and if this tweak helps.

The Geek


“psyb0t” Worm Infects Routers

Two router options, both of which I’ve said are security risks (see This Router Configuration Option Can Be Dangerous), can now be exploited to turn routers into zombie botnet members. My latest post at Security Corner, Worm Targets Home Networking Equipment, gives details and references to more news items. You can read those if you want, but for now, here’s what you should immediately do:

  1. Power cycle your router.
  2. Disable WAN-facing telnet, SSH or web-based configuration interfaces.
  3. Change the passwords to something unguessable (see this article).
  4. Upgrade to the latest firmware.

If you’re not sure how to handle this, find a geek who can. While the hacker who wrote this worm appears to have disabled the botnet’s control center, others will follow and it could get ugly.

You should also read and apply the Safe Computing Tips available as a free PDF download. Just click on the link to the right.

As always, I’m looking out for you.


The Geek


Win an Xbox for Asking & Answering IT Questions

Jenny Mackintosh over at the ITKE Community blog (the folks who host my Security Corner blog) announced a cool contest for anyone who wants to show their tech savvy. The only catch is that you have to register as a community member, but ITKE is reputable, so this isn’t a problem:

Now through the end of April, you can not only show off your IT skills by asking and answering questions on? ITKnowledgeExchange.com, but you can earn the chance to spend some quality time honing your bad-guy-vaporizing skills on your very own Xbox 360.

From today (March 18th) through April 30th, you have a chance to win one of three Xbox 360 consoles. The winners will be the top 3 community members who have the most Knowledge Points earned and have asked 5 IT-related questions (you still earn Knowledge points for asking questions) during the contest period. So tell your friends and co-workers to post their IT questions on? ITKnowledgeExchange.com so you can answer and rack up your Knowledge Points.

You can read my post about it here: http://cli.gs/WPeXGT.

Have fun and good luck!


Articles Released at EzineArticles Site

I’m now an expert author for EzineArticles.com. You can check out my public profile by clicking that Ezine@rticles icon over there, or you can click here. What is EzineArticles? you ask. Here’s what they do:

EzineArticles.com is a matching service — bringing real-world experts and ezine publishers together.

Expert Authors & Writers are able to post their articles to be featured within the site. Our searchable database of hundreds of thousands of quality original articles allows email newsletter publishers hungry for fresh content to find articles that they can use for inclusion within their next newsletter (up to 25 articles per year per our Publisher TOS).

My first two articles have just been published. If you’re a newsletter publisher or webmaster, check out the site and my articles and put them in your next project:

Do You Recognize the Four Early Warning Signs of Hard Disk Drive Failure? (Click the link to the right if you need data recovery services.)

Five Essential Steps to Online Security

Watch for many more to come.

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