Site hosting news, tutorials, tips, How Tos and more

Archive for October, 2011

How to get a dog – New Microsoft commercial

Some new Microsoft commercials coming our way. Should inspire all kids on how to convince the parents to get you a dog.

Winhost (us!) and winhost.exe (not us!)


You know, when you’re naming a company you might think all you have to do is come up with an appropriate, catchy name, secure the .com and you’re all set. Funny thing is, you can do all those things and still have some unpleasant neighbors in search results.

Let’s take, oh, I don’t know, Winhost for example. For a company that specializes in Windows hosting like we do, it seems perfect. And it is perfect. But when you search for Winhost on any big search engine (meaning Google, but I’m trying to be fair to scrappy little upstart bing), the first things you’ll see is us, but also on that first page you’ll see listings for pages describing a nasty malware Trojan infecting people’s computers.

Yes, we share the name of a virus! Cool, isn’t it?


Yeah, I didn’t think so either.

Luckily winhost.exe is a relatively old piece of maliciousness, so it’s slowly fading from view. But I figured if we’re going to talk about it, I may as well tell you how to get rid of it! So if you’re suffering from this nasty old threat, here’s a solution:

First you want to delete the file itself. It’s commonly found in C:/Windows/System32. It can also be found in your startup directory, so be sure to check there. Also, perform a search on your System folder just in case the file has been copied to other locations.

Okay, here comes the fun part. Of course deleting the winhost.exe file from your hard drive is not enough. Once you have deleted the file(s), you also have to delete it from the registry.

Before you start modifying the registry it is a good idea to back it up. To backup your registry go to Start/Run and type regedit. Click File/Export and save the file.

You may also want to set a restore point on your computer (though you’d be restoring the virus too if you reverted), go to Start/Run and type RSTRUI and follow the wizard to create your restore point.

Now for the registry.

The fastest way to find and delete all of the winhost.exe entries in your registry is to go to Start/Run and type regedit. Make sure you are focused on the top level of the registry key which should be “Computer” so that it will search the entire registry tree. Go to Edit/Find and type winhost.exe. It will go through the registry and you can delete the winhost.exe records one by one. It is important to make sure all the entries are deleted, but the most important registry keys to be sure to clean up are:


Next, go to the refrigerator and have a cold drink. because you’re finished!

Hey mom, this iPad’s broken!

You knew it would happen. The young kids today will grow up in a world where touch devices are the norm.

One good apple

There have been about 849 million words written about Steve Jobs in the past five or six days, so why not add a few more, right?

It’s always sad to see a truly original character exit the scene, and Jobs was certainly that. A man who knew exactly what he wanted and never settled for less. That’s rare. It’s rare because it’s incredibly difficult to pull off. Perfectionists are difficult to work with or for, and there has been no shortage of stories about Jobs’ unrelenting drive and perfectionism.


But he was also a good salesman. In fact, that may have been his true gift and greatest contribution to the modern gadget scene. He wasn’t the nuts and bolts (or should I say soldering iron and resistor) guy after all, that was Wozniak. And when you think it about it, after they scrapped their original operating system and moved to a UNIX-based platform, all Apple was really selling was a different computer interface in a different box, and on the surface that’s a tough sell (ask Microsoft and IBM about O/S2).

You could get into an entire utilitarian-object-as-fetish-object thing when discussing Apple, but that discussion tends to make a lot of people who love Apple cranky. I’ll just say that it’s quite a feat to foster a club-like atmosphere for a consumer product and Jobs and Apple did that better than anyone else.

A great deal of that comes down to personality. If you gave Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer the first generation iPhone and told them to sell it to people, it wouldn’t have had the same impact. Because, let’s be honest, Gates and Ballmer are not cool. Larry Ellison is kind of cool, but I don’t necessarily think people would buy a phone from him either. He’s cool in a I’m-way-cooler-than-you-and-we-both-know-it kind of way, while Jobs had a knack for seeming like the coolest guy who could conceivably be your friend in the real world. You could probably find Ellison on an experimental Gulfstream G750 somewhere over a large ocean, drinking highballs with Hugh Hefner, Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu and Alec Baldwin while Jobs was in the Apple offices pacing up and down the hallways demanding more, better, faster. Rocking the non-ironic turtleneck all the while.

Admittedly, I have never bought an Apple product, so it might not come as a shock that I’m not convinced that things would be much different today if there were never a Steve Jobs. We would still have smartphones, notebook and tablet computers. But things would have almost certainly been a lot more boring. And my hat is off to anyone who makes the world a less boring place.