Archive for category Important Notices


I hope to see some of you there, I’m going as I do every year.

We’re not a sponsor, but we’ll still be there.

If you go, you better have a good gaming rig.

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Fragapalooza 2010

This year just like last I am going to Fragapalooza. I’m going under the handle t9999clint as always, and anyone wishing to say hi is welcome to. My plan is to take a few videos and post them up on here in the next few weeks.

Fragapalooza is an annual video game festival/LAN party that takes place in or near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This year it’s taking place in Leduc at the Leduc Recreation Center on the  Aug 5th to Aug 8th. Fragapalooza is primarily a B.Y.O.C. (Bring Your Own Computer) event where attendees bring their own computer and play PC or console games on their network.

My favorite thing to build is Gaming rigs and there are going to a lot of other enthusiasts like me there. I plan on having fun playing games with other people, talking to fellow system builders and seeing what crazy systems other people have made. There are no breaks between days as this is a all night long event. I don’t think I’m gonna try and stay up the entire time this year like I tried to do last year, as it didn’t go too well.

If you’re interested there’s still a little time left to register before the seats are full. For more information go to

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Please don't take away my Electronic Rights!!

Custom PC in no way supports Piracy and wishes that creators be rewarded for the things that they produce, however the new set of policies bring this idea WAY out of hand. These potential laws even prevent anyone from making valid backups of their legally purchased media. We suggest that if you value your rights as a consumer, you act immediately and make your representatives in government realize the mistake they may be making.

The Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights has updated its online letter writing wizard in light of recent developments in the Canadian copyright reform front. This update is intended to address the Government’s seeming willingness to ignore the voices of thousands of Canadians and proceed with the introduction of anti-consumer copyright reform legislation in as little as 6 weeks. Legislation that goes in a polar opposite direction of what Canadians demanded during the consultation process.

Send your letter now and share this tool with your friends, family and co-workers. It is essential that we all speak up now while we still have the opportunity.

read along for more information.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Speak out! Keep broadband competitive!!

As you may know, telephone companies like Bell Canada and Telus built networks over decades supported by federal rules which gave them monopolies over telephone service. This was a form of subsidy by taxpayers, guaranteeing that these companies would be profitable, so that the public could benefit from having telecommunications networks across the country.

Once these networks were built, and the telephone companies were very well established, the federal government put in rules to help create healthy competition. One of these rules was to require Bell and Telus to allow competitors to connect to their networks, at prices that were regulated by the CRTC. This allowed Canadians to have access to a choice of provider for telephone and eventually for Internet services too.

This type of competition has been good for Canadians, ensuring lower prices, more innovation, and better service than would be the case if you were captive to a single monopoly provider.

The CRTC’s recent decision would destroy this framework. It would allow companies like Bell and Telus to set whatever prices they choose for competitor access to their networks.

If this decision stands, we can all expect massive price increases designed to choke off competition. One way or another, we foresee higher prices, lower service standards, and little if any innovation.

Many I.T. businesses (including this one) may be threatened by the increase of the price of bandwidth and the reduction of allowed services that is sure to occur after this decision is passed. Speak out now to prevent such a disaster to happen to the Canadian Internet we’ve all become accustomed to!!


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Windows Vista Service Pack 2 is out on Windows Update.

Windows-Vista-Service-Pack-2_1I’ve posted about SP2 for Vista a few weeks ago in my last post, but today I just came across something that I thought I should share. Vista Service Pack 2 is now available through Windows Update. I highly suggest that anyone who has vista do this upgrade as soon as they are able to. This update will help protect against a number of insecurities in Vista and will help with the compatibility of programs and hardware.

There really isn’t any performance difference between SP1 and SP2 so you don’t have to worry about sp2 slowing anything down. So check your updates today and Upgrade Upgrade Upgrade!

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Rootkit Spree For Vista

As a tech who constantly battles against the surge of viruses, I loved Vista’s UAC and it’s ability to  fend off viruses like no tomorrow. Viruses normally programmed for XP had extreme difficulty even running at all in Vista (as well as many older video games). This made Vista immune to the large majority of viruses out there on the net. Recently however this has changed as virus programmers update their tools and find more security holes in Vista’s UAC armor.

Here are Seven things you can do to protect yourself against this newest spree of viruses.


First and most importantly… UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE!!!

Microsoft as well as many other developers are constantly programing updates for your software to help defend against such attacks. Due to modern viruses and their ability to attack the kernel and other low level areas of windows, if you don’t enable these updates your computer may get infected regardless of the Anti-Virus protection you have. An important Vista update is Service Pack 2 which is already on the Microsoft download site but not yet in the automatic updates. This update changes the kernel and many of these low level areas making them immune to certain rootkits, as well as some other types of attacks.

vista_tweaks_lSecond, make sure you are using protection before you use the Internet.

Just as you would use protection for other things…. seat-belts for instance, you should insure your anti-virus software is running and that the windows security center is running properly, before you surf the net.

If you do not have a anti-virus program here are a few $FREE$ programs that I recommend (only install one as most anti-virus programs interfere with each other).

  1. AVG Free by Grisoft (it’s what I use)
  2. Aviria AntiVir Personal (good results but a little quirky in my experience)
  3. Avast! Home Edition (2nd fav)


Third, Practice Safe Surfing

The best way to avoid viruses is by not getting them. Yes, I know this sounds ridiculous but most viruses get on to a system by the user INSTALLING them. Avoid toolbars, only install software from sources you trust, and most importantly If a pop-up says “YOU’RE INFECTED!! CLICK HERE TO REMOVE VIRUSES WITH OUR AWESOME POSSUM ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE!!!”, DO NOT INSTALL IT!!! No pop-up could ever possibly know that you have a virus on your system, and no legitimate Anti-virus Company would EVER advertise their software in such a manner. If you were to ever download anything from a pop-up it’s 99% certain it’s a virus. Just close that pop-up. A good adblocking software is adblock plus for Firefox.


Fake Warning Example

Fourth, Is your Anti-Virus Program REALLY an Anti-Virus Program???spyavg

This is another thing that sounds ridiculous, however I assure you there are A LOT of fake Anti-virus programs. Every week I come across a new one that some unsuspecting user has installed to get rid of the viruses already on their system. They’ll pose as a Microsoft Program, or a Norton Program and even AVG. Just remember not to download a program unless you’re certain it’s from the site that made the program.

Here are a few common expamples that I have come across. If you have any of these you have a VIRUS.


Fifth, SAY NO TO TEMPTATION! Most Pirated software is infected with Malware. STAY AWAY FROM PIRACY.

If someone was to ask me where most people get their viruses I would have to say Pirated music. If I see Limewire on a computer it’s almost certainly infected with malware. Limewire itself comes preinstalled with spyware!  If you’re downloading things for free off the internet that are normally very expensive, there’s a good chance that there’s a virus hidden somewhere in that download. Modern virus techniques use encrypted installers that most antivirus programs can’t see through. So even if you scan the file beforehand you won’t know there’s a virus there until it’s already infected your system. If you do however decide to ignore this warning, a lot of sites (like for instance) now have a comments and/or rating section. Be sure to check the comments before you download anything.

Sixth, If you’re not sure, ask.

There are several times when I myself don’t know the answer to the question “Is this a virus”, but I simply smile and say “wait a minute… I’ll go check”. There are over a billion people on the net nowadays so there’s a good chance someone else has run into the same existential quandary as you. So somewhere on this crazy net of ours, there is an answer. Here’s a list of sites I like to use to check if a certain program is a virus.

Finally, don’t worry. There’s hope for you yet!

If after everything here you still seem to be infected with every virus under the sun and no Antivirus program seems to work for you. Remember that you can always bring in the computer to us here at Custom PC Solutions. We’ll remove the viruses so you can be happy browsing once again!!


Canadian Copyright Consultations Launch

Custom PC in no way supports Piracy and wishes that creators be rewarded for the things that they produce, however the new set of policies bring this idea WAAAY out of hand. These potential laws even prevent anyone from making valid backups of their legally purchased media. We suggest that if you value your rights as a consumer, you act immediately and make your representatives in government realize the mistake they may be making. Just follow the link and read along, it’s a lot easier than you may think.

The following was copied directly from this link

As a consumer of digital media and electronics you stand to be greatly impacted by changes to Canada’s copyright regime. Fortunately, the Government wants to hear from consumers and creators alike so that the interests of all Canadians can be taken into account. Until September 13, 2009 you can participate in the recently launched government consultations on copyright by visiting and registering for an upcoming townhall meeting, webcast or by making a submission via email.

If we do not voice our concerns en masse we run the risk of having a draconian system of copyright rules imposed upon us.  Imagine living in a country where corporations dictate how you consume information and media and utilize technology.  Canadians need to speak out against such proposals and push for greater flexibility in the law to provide a balanced, fair approach on digital reforms.  To that end, Michael Geist has just launched The site is designed to inform and help foster greater participation by bringing together online discussion (ie. the Twitter #copycon stream), postings, videos, news reports, etc.

The Canadian Coalition for Electronic Rights has also updated its letter wizard allowing you to easily submit your concerns in both official languages directly to the government copyright consultations as well as those minsters responsible for modernizing Canada’s Copyright Act.


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Someone ought to get an award for this. We know the facts, but this brings perspective quickly, doesn’t it?

Each cube is a teaspoonful.

(So instead of 2 bananas, I can have 4 Oreos?)

Please visit for more information.

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Mac's Get Viruses Too!!

This is another post off of The How To Geek that I beilive should be shared with everyone…

“We’ve all seen the Mac vs PC ads mocking us, claiming that Macs never get viruses. If that were true, there wouldn’t be a botnet of infected Macs completely controlled by unknown hackers.

Sick Mac Computer

Botnet? Infected Macs? What?

Security researchers at Symantec recently discovered a group of thousands of Mac OS X computers infected with a trojan horse application embedded in pirated copies of iWork 09.

The infected users had installed the software without scanning it for viruses, no doubt in part because of Apple’s commercials implying that Mac users don’t need to worry about security.

Once the hacker managed to get his malware installed on these zombie Mac computers, the entire group was fully under his control – and he began to use them to attack web sites, but they could be used for other, more nefarious purposes: like sending spam!

Wait, a Mac can get a virus?

That’s exactly right: no operating system is immune to viruses, worms, trojans, or even spyware. To be fair, the vast majority of all malware targets Windows users, especially unpatched and horribly insecure Windows XP machines – but that doesn’t mean other platforms can’t or won’t get viruses, especially as Apple gains market share and attracts the notice of the hackers.

My problem with this whole story is that Mac users should be educated – you simply cannot download software from BitTorrent and start using it without doing a virus scan first, and Apple should stop mocking security in their commercials.

But this Hack Required User Intervention, it’s Not Apple’s Fault!

That’s quite true! This problem was caused by users downloading software illegally, entering their admin password, and installing it by choice. Hardly Apple’s fault.

But… this is part of a broader issue: Lying about security features will not keep the hackers away! Apple needs to take security more seriously, or else they will run into the same problem that Microsoft did with Windows XP: massive virus/worm infections across the board, and millions of zombie computers sending us spam.

Case in point: last month, a couple of hackers were able to crack a fully patched MacBook in a few seconds, requiring nothing more than clicking on a link using the built-in Safari web browser. If Mac users are conditioned into thinking that they don’t need to worry about security, these types of attacks could escalate in the future.

Perhaps it’s time to recommend security software to Mac users?”

[How To Geek]

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