Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Windows Always Displays Italics - How to Fix Browser Always Displaying Italics - Windows Fonts Bug - Easy Fix.

An Easy Fix if your Browser is always displaying text in italics:

I recently had some problems with Windows 7 not displaying fonts correctly - i.e. fonts were always italicized in web pages (in Firefox, IE and Chrome - tried all three).

After some research I found a fix - copy and paste the following text (in between the dotted lines) into a new text document (e.g. in Notepad), save the file as fontfix.reg (or something similar). Right-click the file and choose Merge.

This works on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.

(NOTE: You must be logged in as an Administrator to perform this task.)


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts]
"Tahoma (TrueType)"="tahoma.ttf"
"Courier New (TrueType)"="cour.ttf"
"Verdana (TrueType)"="verdana.ttf"
"Arial (TrueType)"="arial.ttf"
"Arial Narrow (TrueType)"="arialn.ttf"
"Arial Bold (TrueType)"="arialbd.ttf"
"Lucida Console (TrueType)"="lucon.ttf"
"Trebuched MS (TrueType)"="trebuc.ttf"
"Times New Roman (TrueType)"="times.ttf"
"Marlett (TrueType)"="marlett.ttf"


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Monday, January 17, 2011

How to Always / Only Use VPN Connection and block ISP - Make Bittorrent only use VPN Connection

VPNs are great for added security when using the Internet - but what about when the VPN drops or disconnects? Unfortunately, if you use Windows (any version), any running application (for example, BitTorrent, your browser) will revert to using your ISP connection, exposing your IP address and opening you up to security and privacy issues. This is of particular concern when using a VPN to secure a public wi-fi spot. Windows will not prevent traffic in the event of a disconnect.

There are many guides found online to prevent this using third-party firewalls such as Comodo, or using a third-party applications such as VPNetMon or VPNCheck (neither of which I know anything about, and cannot speak to their reliability or safety).

This guide will show you how to configure Windows 7 Firewall to block any specified application (I have used Firefox as an example - but you can pick any application, e.g. utorrent or your preferred torrent client) from using your ISP connection, and permit it to connect the the Internet using only the VPN connection. Users who are unfamiliar with the basic aspects of Windows 7 Firewall may wish to consult this guide. Unfortunately, this will not work with the built-in firewall in Windows XP or Vista.

If the method described below does not work for you (or perhaps you don't want to mess with your firewall, or you use Windows XP / 2000 / Vista / Mac OS X), consider using a VPN that offers a client with IP Binding, which will prevent any selected application(s) from accessing the Internet in the event of an unexpected disconnection.

Buy VPN

privateinternetaccess.com features PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN options on a fast, secure (and P2P-friendly!) network and has Windows and OS X clients that prevent leaking in the event of unexpected VPN disconnection. privateinternetaccess takes anonymity seriously.



Preliminary Considerations:

1. If you use an antivirus program such as avast! that has a Web Shield / Filter that passes HTTP traffic through an antivirus/malware scan, you may want to consider this post.

2. The IPv6 functionality in Windows 7 can also leak IP information - you may wish to disable it - see the guide here.

3. After you complete the steps in this guide, you may want to consider adding a rule to block all traffic that does not match a rule to the Domain and Private profile. See the guide here.

4. If you want to create these rules for one user account, and maintain less strict rules for another user account, please see this post

5. If you are blocking a torrent application such as uTorrent, you'll want to disable uTP, DHT, UPnP, Local Peer Discovery and IPv6.

Steps:

1. Connect to your VPN as you normally would. 

2. Open the Network and Sharing Center - right-click on the Internet connection icon in the taskbar and choose "Open Network and Sharing Center" (see below)


3. You should see (at least) two networks listed under "View Your Active Networks" - your VPN connection and one called "Network" - a.k.a. your ISP Connection. Ensure that your VPN is a "Public Network", and your ISP connection is "Home Network". If you need to change either connection, click it and an option window will appear (see below).



4. Go to the Control Panel and click System and Security (see below).




5. In the resulting window, click Windows Firewall (see below).



6. In the Windows Firewall  window, click Advanced Settings on the left pane (see below).  
Note: You must be logged in as an Adminstrator to make changes to the Firewall Settings.




7. You should see a window titled Windows Firewall with Advanced Security. In this window, click Inbound Rules (see below).




8.  On the right pane, you will see an option for a New Rule. Click it (see below).



9.  In the New Inbound Rule Wizard (which should appear), do the following:

  •  Choose Program and click Next.


    •  Choose the program you wish to block all traffic to except on the VPN connection, and click next.

    •  Choose Block the Connection.

    •  Tick Domain and Private. Make sure Public is left unticked.

      10. Repeat Step 9 for Outbound Rules.

      When all of the above steps are complete, you should test the configuration. Run the application you made the rule for, and test that it is working when the VPN is connected. Start a download, and then disconnect from the VPN. If all is configured properly, the download should die immediately as the firewall will immediately block it from using your ISP-assigned IP address. If you wish to monitor traffic closely, use TCPView.


      How to Remove Windows Messenger from Windows XP

      On a fresh install of Windows XP or Windows 2000, frequently Windows Messenger will automatically run and cause all sorts of confusion. This isn't such a problem nowadays, but many people still use XP and upon doing a clean installation will run into this problem.

      Windows Messenger - not to be confused with  MSN Messenger or Windows Live Messenger - was an instant messaging program included with Windows XP (and possibly 2000 / Vista). It also has a habit of getting mixed up with Windows Live Messenger and automatically logging in upon a reboot.

      There is a solution proposed on the Microsoft Website here, however I always found the following worked a lot better:

      How to Remove Windows Messenger from XP:

      1. Click Start, and Run.

      2. Enter the following in the resulting field:   RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %windir%\INF\msmsgs.inf,BLC.Remove

      Now Windows Messenger is removed.

      (note: I took this from my old blog here)

      TVersity - How to get TVersity to work when a VPN is connected

      Some of you may run a VPN service on the same computer which also serves as your media server running TVersity.

      However, you may notice that when the VPN is connected, TVersity fails to show up on network devices (e.g. PS3, Wii). The VPN creates a tunnel through the router, causing TVersity to fail to announce properly on your local network or subnet (that's the simplest explanation I can think of!). Here's how you can avoid this problem.

      Instructions for running TVersity on a VPN-connected computer:

      1. Open the TVersity Interface, and click on the "Settings" tab.

      2.  On the left side of the interface you will see many options - click "General".

      3. Scroll down to the "Home Network" section - there should be a blank field, followed by a port number (typically 41952 on most default TVersity configurations). In the blank field enter the local IP address of your computer.
      • If you don't know the local IP address of your computer, run a command window and type "ipconfig" - when the VPN is active you will see two connections - the IP address you want is "Local Area Connection" - this will typically be an address beginning in 192.168.*.*.  If you don't know how to run a command window, click here.
      4. Save your changes by clicking the "Save" button at the bottom.

      That's it. Check out your device(s) to see if the Media Server is visible (You may have to scan for servers.).