Microsoft Security Advisory (912840)
Vulnerability in Graphics Rendering Engine Could Allow Remote Code Execution.
Microsoft has released an updated security bulletin, MS06-001, for this. You can download the x64 version at: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=3A1166E6-5E9E-4E73-BCD4-28ECA6ECE877&displaylang=en
Blog updated to reflect the released patch.
OK, this is a little bit off-topic here, but not completely.
Over the years, I’ve built most of the machines I use in my home office environment, except for a brief period when I tried buying Dell boxes. I’ve always used quality components when I could afford them, but often looked at the case as just a commodity item, to be chosen primarily by size and price. My current Windows Small Business Server 2003 machine was built with a generic, no-name, cheap case. Big mistake – as I started adding more RAM and hard drives to it, the internal temperature kept inching up till I started to have serious problems. Meanwhile, I’d bought a couple of Antec Sonata II cases for my x64 test machines and really liked them. Well built, quiet, and just a solid case.
But back to that SBS box – I needed to do something about it and quickly, before I fried my hard drives. So, since this box would need to be able to grow to handle lots of hard drives and be completely flexible, and since I already had an excellent power supply for it, I decided to try the new Antec P-180 enclosure to replace that cheap generic case I’d wasted my money on.
All I can say is “Wow”. What an outstanding case. Built like the proverbial brick you know what, with some serious attention to details and cooling, this is definitely the case of choice from here on out. It’s not cheap, but sometimes it’s just worth it to buy the best. I did that with the Ferrari laptop, and I haven’t regretted it for one moment. Well, this case is more of the same. Both beautiful and highly functional, it is already keeping my drives and motherboard noticeably cooler. And that will directly translate into better life, and a more stable computing environment.
The biggest plus, besides the cooling, is that this case is QUIET. Big 120mm fans that just loaf along, silicon grommits isolating each hard drive, silicon liner on the power supply cage, and everything fits solid and tight, so no annoying vibrations anywhere. What a joy.
Moving to a new platform is always painful. One of those pains is software that you’ve come to love and depend on not being available on the new platform, and not really finding a suitable replacement. I’ve had several of those since moving to x64 full time, and they’re slowly getting resolved. The first, and undoubtedly the most important, little utility I missed was Dave’s Quick Search Deskbar, my front end to the world in many ways. Fortunately, a fellow Microsoft MVP, Kim Gräsman, is the current maintainer for this great little piece of Open Source software, and he was able to whip up a 64–bit version of it for me, and I then created a crude but functional installer to get it onto my x64 machines. The next was WinZIP which is functionally impaired in x64 Edition. They appear to be in no hurry to fix the problem, but fortunately, WinRAR has a very able replacement that gives me all the functionality I need in x64 Edition.
The next piece of software I really missed was PerfectDisk from Raxco, easily the best of the file system defragmenters out there. I’ve been using it for years now, and I really started to notice the slowdown on my desktops after not being able to do effective defragmentation for several months. (Don’t get me started on the very minimalist defrag included in the OS, but a single word comes to mind — lame.) Well, I’m happy to say that Raxco has released a new build of PerfectDisk 7.0 (Build 46), that includes full support for Windows x64 Editions. I’ve already installed it and can report that it works almost as I would expect it to — does a flawless job and does it fast. The only anomaly that I’ve noticed is that the little taskbar notification icon that usually shows when it’s running isn’t there in x64 Edition. Oh well, hardly a major issue.
This build of PerfectDisk should be shipping now from Raxco if you order a disk from them, and definitely is the current downloadable version. Current owners will need to contact support for a download link, I believe.