In a corporate environment its not usual to have to pass through a proxy server to get out to the net, this can often be a challenge when building apps/scripts etc. However – to make things slightly less complicated, you can use the VB snippet below to pass the details of the currently logged on user to the proxy.

You can also adjust the code to pass username and password if you wish, however best make it secure!



Thomson One of the drawbacks of using an internet service providers own router is that some of them such as the Thomson TG585′s web interface locks away the more advanced settings.  A good example of this is the ability to switch to a third party DNS service such as Google or OpenDNS.  These third party DNS providers can often be much faster then your service provider’s own DNS servers, so therefore offer a much better internet browsing experience.

Luckily the Thomson TG585 does have a little bit of a ‘back door’ that you can use to set up your preferred DNS settings.

All you need to do to make use of this ‘back door’ is:

  • Launch Terminal or Command prompt depending on your operating system,
  • In the terminal/command window type Telnet and press enter,
  • Type open and press enter,
  • The command prompt should now display the following (TO), type in the address of your Thomson and press enter (Default its 192.168.1.254)
  • When prompted enter your administrator login details (Default is admin and admin)
  • Carefully type dns server route list, this will return a list of information similar to the one below:
    DNS ServerSourceLabelMetricIntfState
    D 212.50.160.10010InternetUp
    D 213.249.130.10010InternetUp
  • Make note of the string under ‘Intf’ as you will need this bit later,
  • Carefully type dns server route flush and press enter this will clear out your current DNS server settings,
  • Type the following two commands:
    dns server route add dns=208.67.222.222 metric=0 intf=Internet and press enter (Replacing ‘internet’ with your Intf string)
    dns server route add dns=208.67.220.220 metric=0 intf=Internet and press enter (Replacing ‘internet’ with your Intf string)
  • Type dns server route list, check that the new table contains the correct IP addresses,
  • Type saveall and press enter.
  • That’s all there is to it, now all you need to do is head over to OpenDNS, logon to your dashboard and tweak your settings as you see fit.  Then sit back, relax and enjoy an OpenDNS powered internet experience.



    The Mac operating system comes with some pretty powerful tools out of the box. One of which, I am a big fan of. The Mac ‘Automator’ is a basic almost script editor which uses workflows to automate common tasks, and with all tools like this they can be manipulated to replace full blow applications.

    A long time ago applications which downloaded entire websites at the click of a button became very popular. However they lively hoods are now hanging in the balance.
    Using the automator tool you can replicate the way they used to work. I do often find myself browsing through galleries of images and needing to download all of them on the page. 
    To build up such a script all you need to do is launch the Automator application, from the templates window select the Workflow option:
     
    Now, using the options on the left hand side, highlight the Internet icon in the library. Then from the ‘actions’ pane double click the ‘Get Current Webpage from Safari’. You should find you will now have a new item in the workflow on the right hand side. This item does what it says on the tin, it will capture the URL of the webpage you are currently viewing in safari.
    Next you will need to double click the ‘Get Image URLs from Webpage’. This item will crawl the webpage and grab a list of URLs of any pictures included on the page.
    Now select the ‘Download URLs’ item from the list. It’s although worth noting at this stage you will need to specify a destination for your images to be downloaded to. As you can see below I rip my images to a folder aptly labelled ‘Rip’ inside my images folder. I use this as a temporary holding area.
    The next step in my workflow in a simple ‘Growl’ notification. This could be expanded on if you so wished, to include a script to email you on completion or something similar. Once done you should find your workflow looks something similar to the one below:
    To save you having to build this from scratch, click here to download the workflow.


    Internet banking is
    perhaps one of the most common practices on the internet in today’s hectic
    lifestyles. Behind social networking, and web based gaming of course. Which is
    why it’s not surprising that a large number of internet based nasty’s such as
    viruses and spy where etc are aimed at those of us who bank online.

    This has obviously
    been the catalyst for the birth of countless flavours of internet security
    applications. Each with their own benefits and pitfalls, most of which have
    huge overheads on both your PC’s CPU and Ram. Which, if you are a power user
    (as no doubt most of my readers will be) this can be a true pain!

    I have lost count
    of the amount of times less tech savvy users have visited me, with their shiny
    all singing all dancing internet protection packages which have all the bells
    and whistles and then some. Predictably each time this ends in the un-happy
    comments from the user as I either refuse to install it on the acer they got
    for a £10 with £5 shopping at Tesco, or even the £600 Dell. Or because they
    refused to back down, I installed it as per their request then they are back a
    week later stating their laptops ground to a halt.

    I have always wondered
    why browsers offer so little protection for the end user who hasn’t tweaked and
    tuned their browsers to within an inch of their lives. Don’t get me wrong, I am
    all for the new versions, IE8, Safari 4 and Firefox. However I still don’t
    think they go far enough! 

    This is where Trusteer’s Rapport steps in. This little browser based widget has
    been developed to support most browsers on the market, and Trusteer have been
    working closely with the worlds biggest banks in order to make this a success.

    The next time you
    attempt to logon to your bank’s website you may well be prompted to install
    Rapport. The installation is quick and painless, even on a Mac.  After a quick download process the
    widget will automatically install, and immediately start protecting your web
    based banking. It’s been cleverly designed and developed to detect and intercept
    attempts to compromise your security using the least possible overheads. In
    fact the only way you will know you are protected is by the coloured arrow in
    your browsers address bar. (Which is only visible when using secure web banking
    facilities)

    You can find more
    details about Rapport and Trusteer’s other service offerings on their
    website.

    If you do prefer to
    use installed antivirusfirewall products it’s imperative you ensure these are
    kept completely up to date, this is normal done by using the applications built
    in auto update wizard.



    A lot of time is spent waiting for webpages to load… Or so you think! One thing you might not know is some of that time is spent waiting for results to come back from your ISP’s DNS servers most people will never bother to change their DNS server settings therefore leaving some ISP’s servers with huge volumes of traffic which could impact the speed of your internet experience.

    Public DNS providers are becoming more and more common and more popular among speed hungry keyboard warriors, so it seems fair to suggest theres a need for an application to speed test these servers an provide you with the best possible combination based on your locationconnection.
    That’s where namebench comes in. “namebench hunts down the fastest DNS servers available for your computer to use. namebench runs a fair and thorough benchmark using your web browser history, tcpdump output, or standardized datasets in order to provide an individualized recommendation. namebench is completely free and does not modify your system in any way.”
    namebench is open source and is available for Mac, Linux and Windows
    NB: To implement namebench’s suggestions will require changing advanced system settings, or settings on your internet router which could render your internet connection useless. Make a note of the changes you make and where you make them in case you need to roll back the implementation.



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