Curtis Johnstone Curtis Johnstone's Personal Blog

January 18, 2010

Microsoft Windows Encypting File System (EFS)

The Microsoft Windows Encypting File System (EFS) is a native feature that can be used to encrypt and decrypt data.

You can see this feature in the Advnaced properties on any file or folder. The attractive aspect of this feature is that you can natively (no additional software) encrypt and decrypt your data on the fly directly in Windows Explorer with no seperate password. You you are logged into your computer you will be able to read the data, but anyone else will not.

There are some serious caveats to using this feature though.

Your data is encrypted with X.509 Cetificate stores in the local Windows Certificate Store.  That certificate contains your private key used to encrypt and decrypt the data. That key is tied to your Windows credentials, so loose your Windows credentials and you’ve lost the ability to access your data!

If you use this feature, it is critical that you export your certificate (and private key) to removable media and store it securely. This Microsoft Knowledge base article (Best practices for the Encrypting File System) explains how to do that.

Feature Notes

  • When you create a new file in an encrypted folder, that file is automatically encrypted.
  • Unauthorized users can still view the contents of the folder (i.e. the directory listing).

Key Feature Notes

  • Only available in the Professional versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista.
  • Only available on NTFS file systems.
  • You can encrypte files so that multiple users have access to them. Support for multiple users is not supported on Windows 2000 or Windows XP.

December 31, 2009

Microsoft Web Platform Installer Tools

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:10 pm

Notable Tools in the Microsoft Platform Installer

Drupal – Content Management System (by Acquia)

Build great social Content Management Systems (CMS) Web Sites.
– Tempate Themes
– Community forums and threaded discussions
– Supports integration with JQuery
– Single and multi-user Blogs, Ratings, Wikis
– Multi-user authoring


– Content Management System that enables feature rich web sites and online applications
– Can do advanced stuff like inventory control, integrated e-commerce, reservations systems, etc…
– Based on MySQL and PHP

Kentico CMS
– Content Management System for easy development of web sites, on-line stores, etc… on the ASP.NET platform.

ScrewTurn Wiki
– “Is a fast and easy-to-use Wiki engine. It allows creating knowledge bases and wikis without the need for a database”.
– supports versioning
– supports Theming
– simple user account system

– CRM system
– manages customer interactions accross lines of business

– a fully customized e-commerce shopping cart
– easy to use for new online businesses

December 13, 2009

How To Protect Your iPhone if Lost or Stolen

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — admin @ 1:54 pm

Here are some tips I have read on protecting the data and services on your iPhone if you lose it or if it get’s stolen.

1) Password Protect Your iPhone with Erase Data Option

The most obvious first-step protection mechanisms.  Go to General | Setting | Password Lock to set a Passcode.

I nice added feautre is the “Erase Data” option. All data will be erased after 10 failed passcode attempts. Turn this on and don’t forget your passcode!

2) Tract Your Phone Where It Goes With Google Latitude

Through Google Latitude you can tract your iPhone whereever it goes.  Throught the iGoogle (Google’s Personalized portal page), you can add your iPhone as a ‘friend’ and see where it goes through the Google Latitide Gadget (a little UI widget that you can place on your Google’s personalized web page). Be sure the enable your Locations Services (in General | Settings) first.

3) Download Some Theft Protection Applications

Innovative iPhone applications that help with the theft problem are being released all the time. One such application mimics a fake “Bank Info” application that looks inviting to crooks but is cabable of sending the GPS coordinates of your iPhone when it is accessed.

4) Backup Your Data Often

Synchronize all your data with your computer often to minimize the impact of losing your data.

December 3, 2009

Gaining Control (move, delete, copy) of a System File in Vista & Windows 7

Don’t do this unless a) you have a REALLY good reason to do so (and believe me, everyone on this planet will challenge you on this), and b) you known what you are doing.

But, let’s say you are trying to get to the bottom of an error with a Beta piece of Microsoft software on a test machine. :-).

Assuming you have Administrator priviledges on the computer, use can use these three steps:

1) Run the Command Shell (cmd.exe) with Adminstrator priviledges.
Located cmd.exe in Windows Explorer
Right-click and “Run as administrator”

2) Take Ownership of the File
Run c:\windows\system32\takeown.exe /F <file name>

3) Grant Yourself Full Access on the File
c:\windows\system32\cacls.exe <file name> /grant <user-id>:F
The “F” means “full access”

Enjoy and play safe.

September 16, 2009

Canadian Paediatric Society changes recommendations for treating ear infection

Filed under: Children,Uncategorized — admin @ 3:27 pm

In case you missed it –

Canadian Paediatric Society changes recommendations for treating ear infection

August 13, 2009

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:13 am

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