iliveisl

 

keep your world and your pc clean

10 comments

if you have a windows machine you might hear about how Apple doesn’t have many bugs but unfortunately, us on windows are exposed to all sorts of nasties =\

i get hit every now and then (like twice a year) with something that is just a pain in the butt to deal with. who wants to spend hours fixing something like a virus? ugh . . .

i use the paid version of Avira and also the paid version of Malwarebytes but i still get hit  =(

yesterday i was messing around and adding details to this and that in Enclave Harbour and pulled up the task manager and darn it if one of the cpu cores wasn’t maxed out again! last week i had this same issue and did a “deep” uninstall of all my viewers and only installed Imprudence 1.3.2 SSE and all seemed well . . .

so why was one core maxing out again?

i thought i better run Malwarebytes and lo and behold, i had two things (dunno what they are but anything in red must be bad) that it removed and then OCD me went and uninstalled 1.3.2 SSE. then i did a clean install and tested both the SSE and non-SSE version of Imprudence (non-SSE is on the sim-on-a-stick build).  the SSE consistently ran my CPU at about 65% with my “spin test” whereas the non-SSE version was about 55%. my spin test is done by setting the viewer to my “normal” settings which are max bandwidth, ultra graphics with a 512 draw distance, and 4x anti-alias. i then stand in the same place for a few minutes to let everything load and then spin. i look at viewer frame rate and the pc’s task manager. it’s not very scientific but it’s easy (see below)

i decided to stick with the non-SSE version of Imprudence 1.3.2 and when i went back to my in-world work, all was right with both of my worlds and the CPU was cool (literally, only 69 C)  =)

so keep it clean and run the free Malwarebytes every now and then  (i don’t see why i pay for it since it let’s stuff through that it only finds on a manual scan!)

bugs

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written by Ener Hax

May 31st, 2011 at 1:57 am

posted in OpenSim

tagged with ,

10 comments to 'keep your world and your pc clean'

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  1. “it let’s stuff through that it only finds on a manual scan!”

    I have found this too.

    Malwarebytes seems very good at finding and dealing with these modern scripted tojans.

    A saying is “a virus scanner is only as good as your last attack” and seems to be often true in my case.

    At work we run a known top rater for commecial virus scanners, and pay top dollar too).

    Much like Sim-om-a-stick, our IT guy carries malwarebytes-on-a-stick to deal with virus, specifically manager laptops that are carried home.

    Breen Whitman

    31 May 11 at 1:57 pm

  2. Not quite the subject of your post, but do you get any better frame rate with SSE? I’m just wondering if you might get more viewer performance with SSE, even if the CPU is about 10% busier.

    Micheil Merlin

    31 May 11 at 5:08 pm

  3. nice on the malwarebytes on a stick! at my work, most employees have laptops and it is surprising how many of them get viruses. they feel like those laptops are theirs to store music and photos on. meanwhile, i have two laptops that i bought. i guess when it is yours, yo take care of it

    good question Micheil and i was originally going to post the two vids together – i’ll try tonight to see if the frame rates are legible. basically they seemed about the same to me – maybe the non-SSE did not flail around as much but the CPU usage was noticeable in the Task Manager with non-SSE being about 10% less

    Ener Hax

    31 May 11 at 8:39 pm

  4. I think one of the main issues that remains is that the majority of software is NOT written to take advantage of multi-core CPU capabilities yet. Technology advances so quickly that it takes time for programmers to learn to catch up.

    Remember a few years ago when some Intel chips had a special “MMX” (MultiMedia eXtension) capability? It took years for programmers to embrace it… by which time it was probably phased out for newer and better things.

    If a programmer does not write specific code to take advantage of specific features available in multi-core CPUs, 64-bit processors, graphics cards, etc., then that app or game will run at a lower speed (or less efficiently) than it _could_ run.

    In writing the code for multi-core CPUs, the programmer has to address not only speed and memory issues, but parallel processing (and the problems it can create). Likewise, the differences between CPU brands (Intel vs. AMD etc.) or graphics cards (AMD vs. NVIDIA etc.) mean additional coding is often required.

    What programmers often create in the end is a compromise that works well on most systems, but is far from optimized.

    There are a few ways to speed things up for some programs/games, such as seeing if it has settings that optimize it for different CPUs or hardware setups.

    Another Windows trick on multi-core CPUs:

    (Do this only for games/programs, not for internal Windows processes):

    1. CTRL-ALT-Delete (and open Task Manager)
    2. Click [Processes] tab at top
    3. RIGHT mouse click a running app, select “Affinity”
    4. For multi-core CPUs, you can check/uncheck the running cores.

    Your setting takes affect almost immediately, but will be lost when you close the program or re-boot.

    You might do this, for example, to make Microsoft Word run ONLY on Core 4, or to select cores 1 & 3 (or all of them) for a certain game. I’m not saying you SHOULD, but that you COULD. However, Windows always “tries” to use the least busy cores automatically, so fooling around with the Affinity could make performance worse.

    On most programs running there, you can also right click and select “Priority” (normal/high/low/etc.). Results may vary, and some programs such as antivirus apps may not let you change their Priority.

    Also, setting a program to run under another mode (XP mode, for example, on a Vista machine), sometimes makes a difference in speed (better or worse!). Some older games, for example, might run better in XP mode than in native Vista/7. And some REALLY old games (simple or DOS ones from the 1980s) will only work in XP or Win 98 mode or older.

    RIGHT click the .exe file –> Properties –> [Compatiblity] –> “Run this program in compatibility mode for …. ”

    ———

    Here are some links that spell out some of the tips above in more detail, with step-by-step screenshots:

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/using-windows-vista-compatibility-mode/

    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/83632-processor-affinity-set-applications.html

    http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/how-to-set-processor-affinity-to-an-application-in-windows/

    http://www.windowsreference.com/windows-xp/how-to-set-priority-for-individual-programs-in-xp/

    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/taskman_change_priority.mspx?mfr=true

    T2 Corinthian

    1 Jun 11 at 2:42 pm

  5. My computer was taken over — despite bought-and-paid-for anti-virus software — by a nasty Trojan about a week ago. It popped a message every few minute that the computer was infected — and asked for money to fix (fix itself, that is). And all Internet browser was disabled — instead, you’d get just their page. After Googling it, it turned out that the fix was extremely time-consuming and unpleasant.

    It was on a computer that we only used to watch Hulu. My daughter came in and fixed it – by scrubbing Windows and installing Linux, instead.

    Now the only computer in the house that still runs Windows is my work computer. A lot of the virtual world plugins and virtual meeting software only runs on Windows, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will stay up and running for a while, or, at least, until the new HTML 5 technologies make plugins obsolete.

    — Maria

    Maria Korolov

    1 Jun 11 at 3:05 pm

  6. Thanks for the tips, Ener and everyone!

    I also use Malware Bytes Anti-malware, at least once a month! It catches some of the stuff that the antivirus programs don’t see as a threat yet.

    Super Antispyware Free edition also seems good, and sometimes finds things that Malware doesn’t, and vice-versa. Both programs (free versions) do NOT run all the time, so do manual scans with one or both occasionally. In Windows Safe mode if you want to thorough!

    Both are available at http://www.download.com

    Norton Internet Security 2011 is better than Avira, in my humble opinion. But I know Ener likes it, and it is one of the better rated FREE solutions.

    Norton IS 2011 is usually $30-39 on Amazcon.com (but $59+ at WalMart). I run Norton + Windows Defender for everyday protection (with Norton set to check EVERY file, not just common or executable files). Don’t confuse Norton INTERNET SECURITY with plain Norton AntiVirus; the latter is not as good. I’ve had maybe 2 minor spyware infections in 3 & 1/2 years.

    It also makes sense to block web sites with known malicious content:

    With Norton’s URL checking, along with OpenDNS checks, I get alerted to LOTS of malicious websites before I open them!

    http://www.opendns.com

    (you can sign up for a free account, or simply set OpenDNS as your DNS in either your router or your network settings)

    208.67.222.222 (resolver1.opendns.com)
    208.67.220.220 (resolver2.opendns.com)

    Google DNS is an alternative. It or OpenDNS are probably safer and faster than the default DNS your ISP is serving up!

    http://code.google.com/speed/public-dns/

    Finally, running Windows under a standard/limited account is MUCH safer than using an Administrator account!

    You can do most anything (surf, email, FaceBook, Twitter, word process, game, download stuff) as a standard user… but you can’t INSTALL stuff or make some changes to Windows. Thus it helps blocks installation of malware, and the changes it could make to your system.

    I won’t even get into the neat stuff like Firefox add-ons that block keyloggers, block ads, defeat web trackers, or hide your cookies. Lots of cool things for us paranoid peeps!

    DreamWalker McCallister

    1 Jun 11 at 3:05 pm

  7. Hee hee, good post Maria! I like your daughter’s style :)

    I think I spend 2% of my life, and maybe 20% of my computer time updating, scanning, defragging, or fixing problems. It’s life with Windows *sigh*.

    Using an Apple OS is a lot safer, but not foolproof. Linux is even safer probably. I figure either will still work during the coming Microsoft/Zombie Apocalypse.

    The safest thing is to unplug everything and go play Real Life.

    Well, maybe not; apparently there are viruses in RL as well. And adware in the form of meat avatars who knock on my door or call, trying to sell me something.

    DreamWalker McCallister

    1 Jun 11 at 3:13 pm

  8. no way McDreamy! Avira (the paid version, thank you very much) is soo better than Norton! Norton hears a who? exactly, it don’t hear nada! =p

    Avira is super light – that’s why i use it, it seems to be very low overhead (but it’s been years since i used sNortin) =)

    dang T2, i never knew what affinity was, that is pretty cool!

    so T2, since McDreamy is clearly clueless on anti-virus stuff, what are your thoughts on moving from XP to Win 7? i have an MSDN so can get it – do you think it’s worth the headache of reinstalling everything?

    Ener Hax

    1 Jun 11 at 7:37 pm

  9. Ah, Windows 7. I myself would not attempt to upgrade an existing XP machine to 7 unless my hardware was prety new.

    But Win 7 (and Vista) are definitely more malware-resistant than XP, and I urge everyone to flee XP as quickly as possible.

    Ener, I think you’d be much happier with a new machine that has Win 7 pre-installed, especially if your current machine is over 3 years old.

    I highly recommend http://velocitymicro.com (no, I don’t work for them) if you want an expertly built system that comes with every darn CD/Disc (OS, drivers, etc.) and printed manual that other manufacturers cheat you out of. You also get USA support staff. Ooops, you’re Canadian, right?

    Next best would be a “clean” installation of 7, assuming your existing PC hardware is compliant. See this page to check: http://windows.microsoft.com/upgradeadvisor

    In fact, I think a custom “clean” install of Win 7 may be the only option for existing XP users:

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/help/upgrading-from-windows-xp-to-windows-7

    Needless to say, back up your important files to an external drive first. The “upgrade” probably won’t be moving any user files or Windows user settings to the new machine, since it acutally does a clean install. It’s up to you to transfer all your anime videos and poutine recipes.

    As for the choice between 32-bit or 64-bit Win 7, that’s a personal choice. Do your research.

    Norton is not so bad, although it (deservedly) got a bad rap pre-2009 for slowing down some machines. Stay away from low-end Norton AV (not quite enough protection) or Norton SystemWorks (overkill for most people, but does the job). The Norton “Internet Security” version in the middle is juuuust right, if you’re into paid software and set your prefs for maximum effectiveness (“scan every damn thing”). DreamWalker is right on that much.

    Free versions of AVG, Avira, or Microsoft Security Essentials are somewhat acceptable. I’ve not tried the paid Avira version, so you know it better than I. I’m not a fan of Avast or McAfee any longer; I’ve seen too many infected machines.

    Amazing how you can read 5 different “professional” reviews of antimalware software and get 5 different winners. But the majority of good reviewers (pcmag.com, etc.) like Norton and Kapersky for as all-around solutions for the average computer user, at least for the last 2 years or so. Of course, 2012 could bring a new champion.

    Keep up that Malawarebytes, though. Like everyone has said, it’s a good tool.

    T2 Corinthian

    2 Jun 11 at 2:39 am

  10. ha ha ha on velocitymicro! their cheapest starting point is like $799! yikes!

    the machine i have been using was about $500 in 2007, so that is my budget! and it still runs pretty good so i guess i’ll be sticking with it a bit longer =)

    Ener Hax

    2 Jun 11 at 4:29 pm

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