If you buy a Mac because you think they can’t be infected…

Think again:

Two pieces of malicious software affecting Apple’s Mac OS X appeared this week: a Trojan horse with the ability to download and install malicious code of an attacker’s choice, and a hacker tool for creating backdoors, according to security vendors.

The Trojan — called ‘OSX.RSPlug.D’ by Intego, the Mac security specialist that discovered the threat — is a variant on an older piece of malicious code but with a new installer, Intego said.

Naturally, it targets users in a traditional way:

The Trojan is found on porn websites posing as a codec needed to play video files, a technique used to trick the user into downloading and installing it.

I find myself saying this a fair bit: Mac OS X is not necessarily more secure than any other OS. At the present time, given their lower market share, they’re just not as sweet a target as the Windows install base. As Macs reach a critical mass, they’ll become just as desirable to infect as any other computer.

DisplayLink wins PC Magazine award

PC Magazine just awarded DisplayLink a Technical Excellence Award for our DL-160 chip 🙂

DisplayLink DL-160

There are several technologies available today that can send a video signal through a computer’s USB port to a monitor or projector, but DisplayLink is by far the most impressive. The combination of software (to redirect video through the USB port), and hardware (in the form of a chip in the display device or external video adapter) lets you connect, and expand your desktop to cover, up to six monitors by way of a single USB port on your PC. With the DL-160 chip, DisplayLink adds support for monitors with up to 1,600-by-1,200 resolution, and it works with Windows XP, Vista, Vista 64-bit, and Vista Aero. There’s even a beta version of the software for Mac OS X.

Press Release

Pre-Beta, Win 7 gives 11% extra battery life over Vista

According to Engadget, even in a Pre-Beta state, Win 7 is making great progress

Windows 7 also manages wireless radios better allowing them to drop below 100% power draw while managing the connection. And by tweaking the OS kernel, the CPU can sometimes run at a lower frequency and stay idle longer. This results are a minimum of 11% better battery life for Windows 7 compared to Vista — and we’re still only talking about pre-Beta Windows 7 software, mind you. Nice. 

Nice, indeed 🙂

Backing up specific databases with Brian Knight’s SQL Express backup script

Just a follow up to my previous post, covering the Automation of SQL Express Backups

As Brian’s scripts are aimed at non-techies, he wisely coded them to backup all SQL databases on the host. If you’d prefer to back up just one specific SQL database, all you need to do is:

  1. Open up BackupExpress.sql in an editor.
  2. Find the line:


     
  3. Remove the exclamation mark, and replace tempdb with the name of your database, like so:


     

Nice and easy 🙂

If you’re wondering what the exclamation mark does, it means “exclude”. So Brian’s original script backed up every database except tempdb. By removing the exclamation mark, we’re explicitly choosing a database to backup, and excluding all others.

Automated Backups for MS SQL Express

If you’ve ever struggled with configuring automated, scheduled backups for a SQL Express server, then check out Brian Knight’s super handy scripts.

The script contains three files:

  • BackupExpress.sql – Does the bulk of the work, backing up every database on the instance other than tempdb.
  • BackupExpress.cmd – The batch file that executes the script. Must pass in the instance name.
  • ScheduleBackups.cmd – Schedules the job by using AT. Must pass in the instance name to schedule like ScheduleBackups.cmd .\SQLExpress.

To do this, make sure you have the Task Scheduler service started. Uncompress all three of the files into the root of your C drive and run the schedule file from the command prompt.

I tried to keep the solution simple since most people that have SQL Express on their workstation may not be technical. So with that said, there is very little configuration or options. The backup solution keeps 7 days of history and constantly overwrites the previous week’s backup.

Grab the scripts from the full blog post.

Don’t forget to add the Instance name of your SQL Express Server when you run ScheduleBackups.cmd from the command line, like so: