mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
There's a story here, I'll try to sum up quickly:

A friend of ours recently committed suicide, leaving a wife and five year old daughter. As a part of his decline to that act, he went through a paranoid stage and installed a keylogger called (we think) Spectre on his wife's computer. Now that she is a single mom, she needs to work from home but the software interferes with the functioning of her scanner, network connection, fax, etc.

I have Googled and Bing'd till I'm blue in the fingers, but the two reputable guides I found for removing it (websites that didn't just try to sell me more software) didn't do me any good. The registry keys and dll files they suggested weren't there, but when I hit the login access keys (ALT+CTRL+SHIFT+S), the login screen came up, so I KNOW it's there.

I've installed a HOSTS file with a suspected domain shit-canned.

I've installed WinPatrol, but it doesn't list any processes or startup entries that look suspicious.

I've installed and run SuperAntiSpyware, but it found nothing.

Question: Is there a freeware tool for Windows that allows me to identify a window - the login screen, for instance - and identify its parent process?

Question: Is there a freeware tool for Windows XP that monitors and logs outgoing TCP/IP traffic? This software phones home periodically with screenshots and captured data, so there is definitely outgoing traffic. I need, at the very least, to kill those packets.

Question: any other helpful advice?

Worse come to worst, I can slam the harddrive and reinstall the OS, assuming she can find her original install disc. I've got a "borrowed" copy of XP, but no idea if it actually works or not, or if it does if she'd be able to get security updates, etc.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
There's a story here, I'll try to sum up quickly:

A friend of ours recently committed suicide, leaving a wife and five year old daughter. As a part of his decline to that act, he went through a paranoid stage and installed a keylogger called (we think) Spectre on his wife's computer. Now that she is a single mom, she needs to work from home but the software interferes with the functioning of her scanner, network connection, fax, etc.

I have Googled and Bing'd till I'm blue in the fingers, but the two reputable guides I found for removing it (websites that didn't just try to sell me more software) didn't do me any good. The registry keys and dll files they suggested weren't there, but when I hit the login access keys (ALT+CTRL+SHIFT+S), the login screen came up, so I KNOW it's there.

I've installed a HOSTS file with a suspected domain shit-canned.

I've installed WinPatrol, but it doesn't list any processes or startup entries that look suspicious.

I've installed and run SuperAntiSpyware, but it found nothing.

Question: Is there a freeware tool for Windows that allows me to identify a window - the login screen, for instance - and identify its parent process?

Question: Is there a freeware tool for Windows XP that monitors and logs outgoing TCP/IP traffic? This software phones home periodically with screenshots and captured data, so there is definitely outgoing traffic. I need, at the very least, to kill those packets.

Question: any other helpful advice?

Worse come to worst, I can slam the harddrive and reinstall the OS, assuming she can find her original install disc. I've got a "borrowed" copy of XP, but no idea if it actually works or not, or if it does if she'd be able to get security updates, etc.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
This is more for [livejournal.com profile] purpledumbass  than anyone else, but you're welcome to read along it you like.

It was recently suggested in your journal that you try out Gimp on your new(ly upgraded) Mac. PDA, you already own a copy of Photoshop CS4 if I remember right.

You indicated in your journal that you had no compelling reason to switch. Good.

In many books on the subject, the claim is made that Harland & Wolff describes the Titanic as "unsinkable." This claim is not true. They touted the double-hull construction, and then the media of the time took that ball and ran with it: it was the press that called the great ship "unsinkable."

Likewise, the Gimp team has never suggested that The Gimp is a Photoshop replacement. Bloggers and the rest of the open source community did that for them.

They're wrong, in any case.

I like the idea of open source software, but, taking Gimp as our example (and, by extension, Inkscape), its single biggest advantage is that it is free. That's where the Yellow Brick Road ends.

So, as I said, Gimp is marketed - as much as anything open source is marketed - as a Photoshop replacement. Let's accept that, then, midguided as it is, and look at a few key areas where such an assertion is patently wrong.

If you do a Google search on "gimp vs. photoshop" you'll get more than seven million results. Of those, let's say half are legit and/or not repeats. Of those, let's say that just over three-quarters are whining about how the interface is different. Well, no shit. Different software, different interface. Let's get qualitative:

1. You can't nest layers, so organizing your graphic is pretty tough. No, scratch that. In real practical terms, it's impossible.

2. Adjustment layers. One of Photoshop's most powerful features. Gimp doesn't have them.

3. Stroked paths that curve, pixelate and do weird shit with the stroke width.  Gimp can make Web2.0 style buttons and frames, but only if you're willing to put up with awkward looking corners.

4. Text rendering is sloppy, with similar symptoms as issue #3: curves pixelate. You can get around this somewhat by creating your text huge and scaling it down, but that's a real pain in the ass. You can also drop into Inkscape* to do any work with curves, but then you have to deal with differences in scaling between the two applications, likewise a real pain in the ass.

These are HUGE failings that Gimp is going to have to overcome before it will ever seriously compete with PS.

...which it isn't officially trying to do anyway.

* Inkscape is also a serious memory hog, and if you have anything visual going on - hulu.com in another window, for instance - the Inkscape interface just stops refreshing. Maybe that would go away with a better video card, though it irks me that I'd have to upgrade what's already a higher-than-baseline PC.


mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
This is more for [livejournal.com profile] purpledumbass  than anyone else, but you're welcome to read along it you like.

It was recently suggested in your journal that you try out Gimp on your new(ly upgraded) Mac. PDA, you already own a copy of Photoshop CS4 if I remember right.

You indicated in your journal that you had no compelling reason to switch. Good.

In many books on the subject, the claim is made that Harland & Wolff describes the Titanic as "unsinkable." This claim is not true. They touted the double-hull construction, and then the media of the time took that ball and ran with it: it was the press that called the great ship "unsinkable."

Likewise, the Gimp team has never suggested that The Gimp is a Photoshop replacement. Bloggers and the rest of the open source community did that for them.

They're wrong, in any case.

I like the idea of open source software, but, taking Gimp as our example (and, by extension, Inkscape), its single biggest advantage is that it is free. That's where the Yellow Brick Road ends.

So, as I said, Gimp is marketed - as much as anything open source is marketed - as a Photoshop replacement. Let's accept that, then, midguided as it is, and look at a few key areas where such an assertion is patently wrong.

If you do a Google search on "gimp vs. photoshop" you'll get more than seven million results. Of those, let's say half are legit and/or not repeats. Of those, let's say that just over three-quarters are whining about how the interface is different. Well, no shit. Different software, different interface. Let's get qualitative:

1. You can't nest layers, so organizing your graphic is pretty tough. No, scratch that. In real practical terms, it's impossible.

2. Adjustment layers. One of Photoshop's most powerful features. Gimp doesn't have them.

3. Stroked paths that curve, pixelate and do weird shit with the stroke width.  Gimp can make Web2.0 style buttons and frames, but only if you're willing to put up with awkward looking corners.

4. Text rendering is sloppy, with similar symptoms as issue #3: curves pixelate. You can get around this somewhat by creating your text huge and scaling it down, but that's a real pain in the ass. You can also drop into Inkscape* to do any work with curves, but then you have to deal with differences in scaling between the two applications, likewise a real pain in the ass.

These are HUGE failings that Gimp is going to have to overcome before it will ever seriously compete with PS.

...which it isn't officially trying to do anyway.

* Inkscape is also a serious memory hog, and if you have anything visual going on - hulu.com in another window, for instance - the Inkscape interface just stops refreshing. Maybe that would go away with a better video card, though it irks me that I'd have to upgrade what's already a higher-than-baseline PC.


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