Wednesday, January 16, 2013

UPS WorldShip purgatory

UPS WorldShip is the free software UPS provides it's customers to manage shipments. They use the free version of Microsoft SQL server to keep everything organized and running. For those of you running Windows XP I hope you have version 15.0 (2012) still around if you need to do a new installation because as of 16.0 you can only do upgrades on Windows XP machines. To install a fresh new copy of 16.0 you need Vista or above. That is just the beginning. If you are in a networked environment then you have to choose a machine to be the admin workstation which is basically a server. Every other networked copy of WorldShip will connect to the machine and update the database installed on that machine. When thing work they work well. Sometimes however they do things a certain way with no explanation of why. Take today's question for instance, "why isn't my machine printing shipment receipts?" There was nothing about this in the documentation. I had to call support and wait a while to get an answer. Come to find out the admin workstation (i.e. the server) can not print shipment receipts. How hard is it to document something that simple. I did not even find a reference to shipment receipts in the current documentation for the latest 16.0 of the software. There was at least a mention in the 15.0 documentation. So if you like me have to support this in your environment be sure to track things like this to share with the rest of the world. It works but it is quirky and poorly documented.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Some new thoughts

Wow, I was shocked when I noticed I had written nothing here in quite some time. That is about to change. In the days to come I will start writing some new articles. For now I'll mention Comodo Internet Security which is about the only truly free anti-virus program complete with a decent firewall and is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions. You can download it at Most free anti-virus programs are only free for use at home. Comodo on the other hand is truly free for all including business use. That's my small update for now; stay tuned for more to come.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thoughts on Security Software continued...

Alright I have finally had the opportunity to test CounterSpy Enterprise and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. It is indeed very low on resource usage, but even better it is quite easy to manage through many different network configurations. At work I use SBS 2003, but I still have an old NT4 SBS server hosting some legacy apps. This means not everyone is on the same domain which is not an easy thing for some security software, but Sunbelt has thought this out quite well. Also, each agent can be installed in a variety of ways. You can push it to the machine or create an installation package. Plus if you happen to have a machine with XP home you won't be unhappy because it will work there too. It works in workgroups, domains, Active Directory, Zen Works, etc... And when running a scan you can hard tell it's happening it's so lite on resource usage. That would not happen with F-Secure or most any other anti-virus program. Coming at the end of the year it will be certified as a full anti-virus program; not to mention the fact that right now it does as well and sometimes better at finding threats as the F-Secure software I have been using for the last 3 years. I think I can safely say I have the anti-malware system I plan to stick with for quite some time to come.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Some thoughts on Security software

In the small network I run I have 3 servers and about 35 workstations, and several remote users. I use the F-Secure Small Business Suite to keep it safe currently. I have been using F-Secure on our network since 2004. I had read many reviews of it which had been mainly positive. When you install it the first thing you will notice is many programs running in the background on your computer. If you aren't running a fairly powerful computer with plenty of RAM you will notice a major performance hit. I recently uninstalled it on a workstation and noticed after reboot I had gained about 120MB of free RAM. That's a pretty substantial hit to the resources of a computer without enough RAM installed. This brings me to some thoughts on security software in general. All users need security software (anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall) installed, the main question is one between finding the best protection and finding the software that does not make your computer feel unusable. F-Secure is a highly rated piece of software and rightly deserves it's rating. It uses multiple scanning engines of which Kaspersky is one. That is why when you read reviews you will find them close together. But using those multiple engines gives quite a hit to the resources. I also believe in layering your security software so if one layer misses another can kick in and find the problem before it causes any problems. F-Secure covers the basics with a anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall and the newly added anti-rootkit protection. Also when running the Suite you get HIPS (host intrusion protection system) which is another layer of protection. All of this works fairly well, but many of the workstations I have to support are not running full P4's but Celeron P4's with minimal RAM (512MB). On those machines they go from quite usable to very slow. Anyway, sorry to keep going on but now to the point. There has to be a balance in the protection, and that is what I am considering. I am going to be testing CounterSpy Enterprise in the coming weeks. This will have it's VB100 rating by the time I am ready to purchase. I have already done some testing on files F-Secure flagged and sure enough CounterSpy also found the same files (testing done via VirusTotal which uses CounterSpy as one of it's scanning engines). They totally redid their code base last year and early this year and it shows. They built it to serve both functions and soon it officially will. I find it amazing that Sunbelt software could do this, but I think it's just the sort of thing the anti-malware market needs. From everything I have read Sunbelt is quite responsive to all their customers needs; something that has been sorely lacking in the anti-malware market. I find many of the bigger companies are very slow to respond to customer problems with their software; I am hoping as I take the plunge with Sunbelt software this will be a thing of the past. As I start the testing of CounterSpy Enterprise I will share my findings here. That's it for now.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sunday of the Cross

I am an Orthodox Christian; this is known by many as Greek Orthodox or Russian Orthodox. This is the third Sunday in Great Lent known as the Sunday of the Cross. It marks the half way point through lent. It is a time to rededicate ourselves to the Lord; continue the course we set at the beginning of lent of preparing ourselves for the resurrection of Christ. If you pay attention to the references in the services you will notice they start to have references to the resurrection, yet still focusing on our souls and preparing them to see the resurrection.

Besides being an orthodox Christian I have the blessing of sharing little thoughts about orthodoxy and playing orthodox chants every Tuesday evening on a local community radio station in Chico, CA. The radio station is KZFR and you can tune in each Tuesday from 10PM to midnight either at 90.1FM or on the web at For a little blurb about the show look at

Well that's it for now. Mostly you will see posts bound up with something I am working on at the moment. This post is just to give a little more information about who I am.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


My name is Leland and I manage a small network of 30 computers tied together with a Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium. As time progresses I hope to share some of my thoughts and findings in running this network in hopes that some out there might find this information useful. The network includes Windows XP, 2000 and one 98SE machine. I use F-Secure Anti-Virus Small Business Suite to secure the network. Also, the Premium edition of SBS 2003 includes the ISA server for the firewall between the network and the web. It also includes the Exchange 2003 server, Sharepoint 2.0 and SQL server 2000.

On this network we used to run Small Business Server 5.5 with NT 4.0 as it's core. This machine served us well and continues to be of some use as we have some legacy apps hosted on it. As time has been moving on I have been relying on this server less and making greater use of the new server. It's funny because they tell you with SBS 2003 you can not have 2 domain controllers and that is true to a certain extent, but not entirely correct. The two domain controllers can not create a trust relationship, but if the administrator password is the same for all machines they can work together. If you want to full group policy, etc, you must login to the SBS 2003 server domain. However I still use the NT 4.0 domain to login to so that users don't get a login prompt when accessing the old server for legacy apps. Once some upgrades happen this year I will be able to get away from this. I would like to make this NT 4.0 machine a member server, but that would be a very involved process. First I would need to get all the clients logging into the active directory domain, and after that then I could try. I found some products that can supposedly demote a domain server but don't know if they are still supported. The Microsoft method for this would be to upgrade it to Windows 2000 or 2003 Server. The problem is the hardware is not fully supported and I am not sure I have all the drivers needed to perform a successful upgrade. I'll write more on that if I ever get there. Be sure to let me know if you have any ideas on the subject.

Until later...