Dr. John

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About Dr. John

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    New Member
  • Birthday 01/15/1932

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    California, USA
  • Interests
    Everything <G>
    Biology, ecology, ethology, evolution, genetics
    Physics and mathematics
    Music, Art, Architecture
    Anthropology, ethnology, archaeology
    Languages and cultures
    Hunting, falconry, horsemanship
    Canine genetics, dog breeding, working dogs
    Gastronomy, fine wines and food of all cultures
  1. Compaq Presario SR1055CL, Athlon XP processor @ 2.16 GHz, 512 MB DDR SDRAM, Windows XP Home SP3, Windows firewall, Windows Defender, Avast! Free antivirus. I scan from time to time for malware using Ad-Aware or A-Squared Free (always fully updated). Last night A-Squared found the following suspect items: Trace.Registry.Spyware Striker Pro HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{17F912DA-24EB-458D-ABAA-387B2DFF}\InprocServer32 -->ThreadingModel HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{17F912DA-24EB-458D-ABAA-387B2DFF}\InprocServer32 -->ThreadingModel Adware.Win32.Webhancer.x C:\WINDOWS\Web\Wallpaper\welcome\AWhelper.dll Question arising: are these false positives, or are they real threats which should be removed? A-Squared offered to remove or quarantine them. I suspect that the AWhelper.dll is part of the original Compaq installation (which had quite a panoply of "extras") but don't know about the "Spyware Striker Pro" entries. I did inform myself about both these items, and verified the existence and location of the AWhelper.dll file. What I don't know without further research is whether those registry keys actually do pertain to Spyware Striker Pro. Spyware Striker Pro does not appear, and AFAIK has never appeared, in the Add/Remove Programs list. I have certainly never installed it. None of the above items appear in the HJT log. There is nothing in the behavior of the computer that would lead me to think it is affected by malware. So should I remove those items, quarantine them, or ignore them for the time being? Thanks for enlightenment, Dr. John
  2. This evening I had the following occur: I asked for web update. The size was reasonable (around 900+ KB, I don't remember exactly). It was called "Additional signatures". Without further input from me it then continued with another "Additional signatures" to the tune of 50+ MB. I cancelled. After at least 3 or 4 cancellations of the 50+ MB download, I got a more reasonable one (900+ MB) which went to completion. It said "Update successfully completed". I then scanned the system, with the usual results (a tracking cookie or two). I am rather tempted to conclude from this experience that the update manager's ability to recognize what is and what is not already installed on the client computer is a bit, er, unpredictable. My principal claim to fame as a software developer (my primary occupation for about 10 years) was "build a better mousetrap" - i.e. if the software doesn't do what the client needs done, relatively painlessly, then no matter how elegant the code, it is bad software. Because my apps were designed for use by municipal employees, and later by truck scale operators (etc.), I became (against my will <G>) rather expert at the trapping of input errors (validate, validate, validate, against clean databases - because otherwise you are going to sit up all night(s!) fixing databases that the users have screwed up, and which you cannot tinker with during working hours because they are in constant use <G>). Being a mathematical physicist by early training, I have a certain weakness for elegant and economical code, but ... <G> I still love the a-squared software, but it would be nice to have this fixed <G>. BTW I am polyglot, as much at home in German as in English (8 years of Max Planck Institut as a scientific "Gastforscher"). Thanks for enlightenment John
  3. I was about to congratulate you on finally having solved the "gigantic update download" problem ... because my last two updates (after respectively about one week and two days absence) were of reasonable size. This evening, however, the following happened: I updated as usual, for a reasonable download of about 900 KB. At the end, got a notification that the Ikarus signatures could not be updated, the update server was temporarily unavailable, try again in a few minutes. I did other things and in half an hour or so tried again. Got a 57 MB download (about four hours at 45.2 kbps, the only connection available out here in boonie land). I canceled. Tried again in five minutes and got a reasonable download (don't remember, but less than 500 KB) after which it said "Update successfully completed" and I went ahead and scanned the system (finding nothing). So the detection of what is and what is not installed on the target computer is still a bit shaky? I can live with this (and really like your software) but it would be nice to fix it <G>. Dr. John
  4. Today I tried after several days lapse to update my copy of Asquared Free. I was presented with a download of nearly 57 MB. I went ahead and downloaded it - which on my nominal 56K dialup connection (nothing else available where I live, on a farm in a tiny village, the actual connection speed never exceeds 45.2K) took more than four hours. The download stopped at 95% completion, and then after a while said I need to restart Asquared to load the new modules. When I tried that, it said some file signatures did not match, did I want to update. I said yes. This time the download was only about 5 MB, which seemed reasonable for that situation (the first pass download not quite complete). After finishing that download, I got the "Ikarus signatures not updated" message saying the update server was not available, try again in a few minutes. I tried again in a few minutes, and was presented with a new "Additional signatures" download of nearly 48 MB. I said "Cancel" and tried again several times during the ensuing two hours, always with the same result. I cannot afford to have my computer, and my only telephone landline, tied up for eight hours almost daily, trying to update one piece of software. We discussed this problem previously several weeks ago. If others are having a similar experience, this will drive customers and potential customers away (it is driving me away - I am at this moment of course not a paying customer, but this experience would discourage me very strongly from becoming one <G>). I have been a software developer myself and understand very well how important it is that software be useful, and not awkward, for the end user. It seems to me that here is a real problem needing someone's attention. I suppose it has something to do with how your update system recognizes what modules are already installed on the client's computer. Can this PLEASE be fixed? I don't know any other software product which demands this kind of massive update on a frequent basis (indeed, in this case, twice in the same day). You have a very nice product but this is IMHO a serious blemish ... especially of course if the paid versions behave the same way ... Thanks, Dr. John