Archive for July, 2009

Free Disk Usage Graphical Tool – See Your Disk Space

I frequently get requests on how to clean up a hard-drive.  Its generally something like “Where’d my space go?”  or “Windows gave me a out of space error.”

WinDirStat at Sourceforge.

This tool gives two views that rock:  a tree view with each folder’s space taken next to its name, and a second graphical view that shows files in terms of size.  The graphical view is even clickable, such that it will take you to the file in the other view so that you can identify it and see if you want to delete it.  Folders get smartly color coded … seriously, try it out.

Its free from a sourceforge project, so there’s not a lot of downside.  Unless you’re the kind of person that’s quick on the delete key.  Then, its like pointing a loaded gun at your foot.  Foot … meet delete key.  Not good.

Anyways, try it out.  I like it and use it on my windows partition of my MacBook Pro.  With 40 GB, space is at a premium.

–Ben

Monitor Your Website for Hacks – PHP Code Gives a Hash

I’ve had some friends get their website hacked with a nefarious little code snippet that attempts to exploit the browser of visitors.  The site looks no different, but that’s the point.  Its difficult to tell that you’ve been hacked.Now, the fix I’ll suggest won’t work very well for dynamic websites.  It reads all of the website files and generates a hash.  That hash can be monitored by a desktop program.  I personally monitor my sites every 30 minutes.  Knock on wood that I won’t need to be informed.  However, I’ve set it up to email me in the case of hack where the hash doesn’t match.

  1.  Get the PHP hash generating code from WebsiteCDS (hosted by google code)
  2. Setup info is in the readme – however I suggest you change the email address and password before uploading it to the root of your website.
  3. Type in the websitecds.php location in your address bar with the password as required in the readme (READ the README)
  4. I liked the SiteUp website checker for windows, and use it to check for the hash.  In fact, I have it setup to run the websitecds.php script with the expected hash.  (Other die hards use cron and a script)
  5. Remember to update your hash everytime you change or add things to your website.  Otherwise you will be getting error messages and/or emails.
  6. Rest easy that you’ll know if you’re hacked.

Good luck.  And I hope your ISP is quick on the patches.
–Ben
References:
Webdigi – Web Development Company in London
Google Code – Website CDS (Change Detection System)
Xequte.com – SiteUp -Check if your website is up, even if you aren’t