Unexpected Road Trip!

Its so typical of the things that happen in life. They just spring up! Just like the road trip that we went on today. I took my bike to college today (Dad would normally not let me take it because of the traffic en route). After the first hour, we decided to bunk the rest of the day and go on a road trip! No petrol. Not much of cash. And yet, we leave! Four bikers (Pele, Virus, Kage and me) and four others (Hulee, Bottle, Baby and Piggy). We fill little petrol on the way, just in case.

Firstly, we reached the Hesarghatta lake — a lake which is no more. 😦 But the scenery was amazing! There was an old well, which we climbed down into and took snaps (on Kage’s mobile). Later, we went to a temple nearby. Then we decided to go to Nrityagram which is about 3.5 KM off the main road. We reached there to find it closed, and the watchman informed us that it will be open only from 6th May. We took a few more snaps there and headed back to the main road. Once we reached there, we stopped again to take a few pictures at a eucalyptus grove. There, we chose not go back to college (our lab was rescheduled to take place earlier that day; and even if we tried to return, we couldn’t have done so in time), instead, we went further to the Madhure temple (about 15 KM farther). The roads weren’t really ‘pleasant’ to drive on but we were all thrilled and it did not matter a thing! On the way, we also went to another temple — Veeranjaneya temple. Upon reaching the Madhure temple, it was about 1PM. We had the darshan of the deity and Virus had his bike worshiped. Everyone was dead hungry. I hadn’t eaten anything since morning!

From there, we decided to return via the highway through Nelamangala. On the way, we stopped at Jyothi Dhaba to have our lunch. The food wasn’t all that tasty but we hogged nicely. 🙂 The highway ride on the way back was amazing! Baby was riding pillion and we touched 108 KM/Hr on my bike! Hulee and Pele, (on Pele’s brother’s bike) also touched 107 KM/Hr. It was 4PM by the time I came back home. Totally spent, dirty, and sleepy! Mom scolded me when I told her about my speedy feat. 🙂 Its so nice to see my Mom all worked up and irritated with me when I end up doing silly things. The look on her face is priceless! 🙂

Too bad I couldn’t sleep then. Bluemistwar had called (and my cell had no network!) and I got his messages after I reached home. I headed to Kss’s place right then. I came back by around 6PM and slept till 8PM! 🙂

One amazing day! 🙂

Tips to take care of your PC against aliens (Viruses, Worms and Trojans)

What an alien does to your system can be pretty irritating. Disabling system functions, high memory usage, internet bandwidth stealing to name a few. Other times, it can be dangerous as well; stealing passwords or bank and credit card information.

The best way to avoid infecting your PC with these aliens is to block their source of entry into your PC. Usually, these aliens propagate through Pen Drives, EMail, Illegal downloads, Torrents, and other means of data transfer such as CDs and DVDs.

Basic security settings:

  • Use a good anti-virus software, update it regularly and scan your system frequently. This does 25% of the work. A good anti-virus software with a real time scanning ability will detect most of the infection before it occurs, thereby saving you the trouble even before it erupts.
  • Update your Windows OS with all the security releases from Microsoft. This is pretty essential, but I haven’t seen many high-priority updates since SP2. So, if you have SP2, I guess that’s update enough; but always update if you can.
  • Always watch the task manager. Be aware of the number of processes that your system usually runs. This could help you detect any unwanted processes running in the background.
  • Always scan any file that you download from the internet or your email inbox before executing it.

Safeguarding from infection through Pen Drives:

Aliens in pen drives rely upon autorun to affect your system. As soon as you insert an affected pen drive and double click on its icon in My Computer, be assured that your system is now infected. The best way (probably the only good way) to stop this is by disabling autorun. You can do this by manually editing the registry which is not always the best option. Instead, you could download TweakUI, released by Microsoft for tweaking the performance and related issues of Windows XP.

Using TweakUI (TweakUI is a PowerToy for Windows XP released by Microsoft):

  • Download it from Microsoft Download Center and install it. Pretty straight forward installation and shouldn’t be any problem. Run it.
  • Disable autoplay on all drives. (You may keep it on for your CD or DVD drives if you wish)

  • This will disable autoplay for all drives and hence, when you insert the device, your PC will not be infected. But it is not over yet.
  • As soon as you connect a device, always right click on its icon in My Computer and click on Open. Better yet, use Windows Explorer to view the contents. Enable option to view hidden files and folders.
  • Delete the ‘autorun.inf’ file if present and any suspicious ‘.exe’ files if found.
  • Your pen drive is now clean.

Follow these steps every time you use the pen drive. These steps are usually required if your anti-virus software fails to detect/resolve the threat.