January 24th, 2013

marcus 2013

Possible virus problem

I just went to link to something on my web site and I'm getting a trojan alert and can't access the front pages. Not sure what's going on here, and won't be able to check things out until I get home tonight -I'd be grateful if someone who has good virus protection in place could take a look in the meantime and tell me if you spot anything weird going on.

Really hoping this is an error, not my hosting company getting hacked, as happened a couple of years ago - although they fixed it in a couple of hours then.

The links that do this are
I already know that I'm not getting this message on an HTML file somewhat below the top level, which is not called index.htm, so it's possible that someone has hacked the hosting company and replaced all the index.htm files, as happened last time.

Later - have a little more confirmation that there's a problem. Please DO NOT try to access the site!

Later still - as suspected, it was a wholesale replacement of index.htm across the site. I've replaced them all as a temporary measure, there will probably be a few bugs so please bear with me while I sort things out. Hopefully the immediate problem is sorted.

Using FTPS

It appears that Nativespace, the web hosting company I use, has as of yesterday warned everyone to use FTPS encryption, as in this security bulletin


What I can't figure out is now to configure FireFTP to do this - anyone know? And able to explain it in words I will actually understand? Damned if I can figure it out...

Is FTPS the same as SFTP? How do I create a private key? And what do I do to stop someone logging in using old-style FTP, which still appears to work?

If FireFTP really isn't suitable for this, which FTP program should I be looking at? Preferably reasonably idiot-proof.

Later - never mind, I'm using Filezilla instead, seems to work.
marcus 2013

An embarrassment of scanners

If my web site hadn't been hacked this would have probably been my main post of the evening, as it is it's more or less a footnote on the day.

Scanners - no, not the type that live in vain - are something I use fairly often, and I've picked up a proper book scanner at last, a Plustek OpticBook 3600; the scanning area starts a few mm from the edge of the scanner, so you don't have to flatten the book completely to scan a page. Got it on ebay last week, it arrived today and it's pretty good.


My plan at the moment is to use this for most OCR and keep the HP scanner with the clear top for awkward jobs - pages printed askew etc. - where the ability to see how the page is aligned is particularly important. If I don't seem to be using it I'll probably flog it sooner or later, but not quite yet.

My other scanner (yes, number three) is a Canoscan D1250U2 which hasn't been used in a couple of years and is definitely surplus to requirements - it's a fairly bog standard USB2 flatbed, about ten years old, and was working fine the last time I used it. I really doubt I need a 2nd backup. It probably isn't worth trying to sell it, so does anyone know of a fannish good cause or especially deserving case in the UK that can make use of it? E.g. an SF convention or something? It has a Windows driver disk and a power supply, I may be able to find a USB2 cable for it. I think you can get Mac and Linux drivers from Canon's web site.

later - a friend has asked for it, I'll post again if that falls through.