Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Website woes

The tranquility of my morning was disturbed by receiving an email "Disk Usage Warning" from the web hosting service for the g4ilo.com website.

This was worrying as I had not made any significant changes to the site for several months. I was concerned that hackers might have found a way to upload files to the server so that it was serving porn or some other equally objectional stuff.

After a look around using the disk management tools in cPanel the public_html directory seemed to be excessively large.

I FTP'ed in to the server with FileZilla  and found that the error_log file was astronomically large. I took a look at it and the file was full of warnings about a deprecated PHP function:

PHP Deprecated: Function split() is deprecated in /home/g4ilo/public_html/lib/classes/class.contentoperations.inc.php on line 881

A sI hadn't changed anything my suspicion was that the web host had changed some global PHP setting. When I submitted a support ticket they didn't admit to anything but with a bit of help I was able to turn error logging off. This seems to have solved the problem so I am crossing my fingers that 's  the end of it.

It was fine maintaining and supporting a website when my mind was sharp and my eyesight good. But I don't find messing with this kind of thing very easy nowadays and I could do without the hassle and stress of things like this.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Seasonal Greetings

It's that time of the year again, the season when digimode operators blow the dust off  their festive macro files in order to send seasonal greetings to those with whom they make contact.

At G4ILO it is no different.I  know some folk deprecate the use of macros, but with my eyes the way they are the ability to complete a contacxt just by clicking a few macro buttons is a godsend. I just can't type accurately enough now to send live in real time.

This year I have opted for a politically correct "happy holidays". Instead of a happy new year I will be wishing everyone good health in 2014. Without good health nothing else matters as mucxh. I'm sure you know where I am coming from. As Joni Mitchell once sang (albeit about something different) "you don't know what you've got till it's gone."

So happy holidays and good health in New Year 2014 to all my readers.

Monday, December 09, 2013

10m still lively

Still seeing plenty of transatlantic stations on 10m WSPR. I wonder how long it will last?

WSPR spots on 10m band at G4ILO

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Messages from space

Messages decoded from the FUNcube-1 satellite

Saturday, December 07, 2013

The lunatics have taken over the asylum

This is a repost  of a posting made in 2009. It is still as true today as it was then.

I received an email a couple of hours ago to tell me that the Windows setup file for VOAProp is reported as containing a trojan at VirusTotal, so I checked for myself. It's true. Thei nstaller is reported as containing a trojan by 8 out of 41 scanners none of which I have heard of or have any reason to take seriously.

I checked the original copy of the KComm setup file that I have here just in case my web site had been hacked and a trojan planted. But the result was the same. I also checked the downloads of a couple of other programs of mine including MorseGen and VOAProp. They produced virtually the same scan results as for KComm.

For years I have advised people that if they have downloaded a file from a source they would trust and their security software flags it as suspicious, they should scan it at VirusTotal to get a consensus of opinion as to whether the file really is a virus, a trojan or spyware, or just a false alarm. Unfortunately, VirusTotal has kept on adding new virus scanners to its armoury regardless of whether they are any good or not. The lunatics are taking over the asylum and as a result, VirusTotal has become useless as a tool for ordinary PC users to check whether a file is suspicious. I recommend jotti.org instead.

Some of my programs that are accused of containing a trojan were last updated several years ago. They have since been downloaded by hundreds or thousands of people. It is inconceivable that they could have contained a trojan that remained undetected all that time. The thing that all the programs have in common is that the installers were all created using the same setup generator. The likelihood is that somebody used the same setup generator to create an installer package for a trojan and the third rate scanners are picking up on something in the installer package that is not unique to the trojan.

I have no desire to waste my time contacting the developers of obscure anti-virus products to inform them about this false reporting of my programs. Nor do I have any plans to repackage all the programs using a different setup generator. I'm sorry, but third rate virus scanners are not my fault and I don't have the time or the inclination to deal with the problems they cause. If you choose to trust your virus scanner instead of me  I won't argue with you.

Some of the scanners are flagging the fact that the files have been compressed using UPX. This is a harmless tool used to make executable files smaller. It is not a malware. But I don't know how users of these scanners are supposed to know that.