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March 04, 2006

Serenity, the film, and not so much in my life.

Just finished watching Serenity. Damn good film. Watch it, that's all I'm going to say on the matter.

This week is not going to be nice. Final year full project report is due in on Thursday so I'm bascially going to be sitting here writing until then. I guess I should be working now rather than watching films, but I've written enough today and can't log into anything in the CSC building so there is no hope of any work for a few days at least.

Last week on the other hand was brilliant. Wednesday I went down to London for a PhD interview at Imperial. It turned out to be not much of an interview and I just ended up wandering around the group talking to the various academics but that's fine with me since they're paying the train fair. Afterwards I had an hour or so to kill before meeting up with a friend so I took the underground to Westminster and looked at the Houses of Parliment, Big Ben and the London Eye like a proper lost tourist. After that we came back up here, met up with someone else and went to the Real Ale festival.

Thursday I did a little work, dropped the first friend off at the station and met up with a few more to go back to Real Ale on that night. This was great fun, slightly less cider to work my way through but singing along to the great over-patriotic songs played by the Brass Band was excellent. We all had plenty to drink though and there was a little rolling around in the snow afterwards.

Friday morning had a lecture but then returned and cooked a huge fry-up for everyone that was still here. Unfortunately this means I have no decent food as I used all the nice bacon and sausages and the last of the spuds. I do have the really really nice Stilton left though….mmmm…cheese.

Generally, a very hectic week but that's quite good occasionally. After having all these people staying on my floor and around all day and a lot going on, its a bit too quiet in the flat now but that's probably best since I've got so much work todo. Yea… work…

Also, I have no money. I really really have no money now. £100 over my overdraft limit. oops.

January 27, 2006

Symantec Antivirus (and Jetico personal firewall)

Symantec antivirus… Don't install this. Ever. Even at gun point.
(and yes, this is the AV software recommended to you by ITS)

I have tried to avoid heavily computing based blog entries so far but this has annoyed me enough to write something public on it. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a reviews section for software.

I have just installed it, and very rapidly decided to uninstall it. My reasons for hating it were:

  1. It doesnt ask you where to install it, it just puts in in 'Program Files' which is on the wrong drive on my system.
  2. It installs 7 services, all for virus protection, 2 is excessive for any one piece of software.
  3. It makes the system horrifically slow. This is usual for Anti-virus programs with resident protection mechanisms but in this case it was unusable even with everything disabled.
  4. It crashes if the firewall denies it internet access after saying 'your network is not correctly configured'.
  5. 5 of the 7 processes remained running after disabling everything, and were in the top 7 in the list processes sorted by CPU usage.
  6. It keeps givnig those stupid baloon pop-ups which irritate me. Especially when it is just to say "you have just disabled resident protection" YES I KNOW, I JUST CLICKED IT.
  7. Having decided within a few minutes to uninstall it, it took me a good ten minutes to regain enough control of my system (which has been stable for 2 years now) to remove it.
  8. When you uninstall it, it doesnt actually uninstall everything, you have to go and clean up after it (Find LiveUpdate and remove)

ITS used to use and give a license for Kaspersky AV, which is must better though still not perfect. I wish they still did.

Rant ends.

To balance this out, if you know what you're doing and you want a firewall program get Jetico Personal Firewall . This is the most rigidly and sensibly built piece of software I've seen in ages. It has every feature you could possibly want in a firewall and is infinitely configurable, it is just out right brilliance, a credit to Jetico and to the computing industry as a whole.

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