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Random thoughts
Sunday, 11 September 2005
Random thought(s)
I wanted a cool title for my blog. I could not think of one. So I named it 'random thoughts' and made a mental note that I would rename it when I found a cool sounding name. :-P

With just one post and just one thought in the blog, the title is not justified. Hence this post! :-D

I have been working on bugs recently - one where the fs forgets to flush pages to disk and then reads stuff from the disk... The only problem was that someone else was working on it and doing a good job. Then for reasons that are beyond me, it came to my plate. Fortunately there were enough details in the bug report, I just had to be a code monkey. :-)

I don't mind being a code monkey... Honest. As long as that is not the only thing I do.

Another bug that has been of interest is a performance regression. Client is seeing it. If I also see it, then I am all set to start some real investigation. :))

I have not been finding the right state of mind to work on a deadlock bug. The folks above (tech lead/manager) are not asking for a fix. But it is an interesting bug and I want to fix it. Let me see if I can find the drive to fix it sometime soon...

I don't see why anyone would want to read my blog. I have only bugs to discuss and nothing interesting. Have no clue why I am writing this. Maybe because it is cool to write a blog. Whatever... O:-)

It is time for lunch. Ciao!

PS: I think this post does justify the title... :))))

Posted by freesourcecodes at 2:02 PM
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Sunday, 28 August 2005
(Not) Running as Administrator

A huge majority of Windows users login with an userid that has administrator privileges. This is very strongly discouraged in the Linux world. But unfortunately, not so in the windows world! It is a pity but I have seen even IT savvy folks saying "why not" and looking puzzled!

Why not?

Running as an administrator means you have the rights to trash the system. So what? You wouldn't do that would you? Here is why not. 1. You could trash your system accidently. 2. Any malicious program that gets to run on your system, runs as administrator. It has all the rights to trash the system.

Do NOT do it. But in the windows world, that is easier said than done...

Many programs require you to be and administrator - setup programs, Nero Ahead (CD writing software), and many many others. Many simply do not require it. But insist on it anyway.

So what do I do??

Since you cannot refuse to do all these, what should you do? Login in as admin whenever you need to? Naaaa! Here is what I do.

Create a 'restricted user' account for yourself. ALWAYS use it for logging in. If you need to install a piece of software or write a CD or run one of those programs that insist on being Administrator, use the run-as option. Here is how you do it.

Run As

Say, you want to run the program setup.exe. Hold down the shift key and right-click on the executable (in explorer). You should see an option 'Run as...' (usually the second in the context menu). Choose 'Run as...'. You should be given a dialog box to type in your administrator password. Type it in. Now the setup program proceeds with Administrator privileges.

Explore As...

I usually like to run explorer to browse the files using the privileges of another user (often the administrator). But in many configurations, if you want to run explorer as another user, it does not work off the box. Here is the glitch. Each instance of explorer is by default, configured to not create a new process. So if you try to launch it as another user, it gets confused and does nothing.

So here is what you need to do. This is a one time activity.
1. Log in as the user who you want to run as (say Administrator).
2. Launch Explorer.
3. Go to menu: Tools->Folder options->View (tab).
4. Select 'launch explorer window as a separate process'.
5. Click OK.
6. Logout.
7. Login as yourself.
8. Create a shortcut on your desktop for 'explorer.exe'. Name the shortcut 'Explore As...'
9. Right click on the shortcut and select 'properties'.
10. You should see a check box 'run as'. Select it and click 'Ok'.

You are set. When you want to run a program or fiddle with the control panel as an administrator, use this shortcut. It automatically pops up the dialog box to ask you for the user name and password. Go ahead and fill them in and click ok. This instance of Explorer has the privilege of the user that you just typed it.

Remember it is MUCH safer to run just select applications with admin privileges.

There are some cases where running as another user does not suffice. In such cases (and ONLY in such cases) login as administrator. Fortunately once the system is configured, these are rare.

Also read the guest editorial at sysinternals' newsletter (You will have to login and subscribe to the yahoo group sysinternals.)

Posted by freesourcecodes at 9:44 PM
Updated: Sunday, 28 August 2005 9:54 PM
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