Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Hackintosh

The spanking new version of Apple OS X, the Leopard, has been released this October 26, and already, it's been hacked to run on PCs

Leopard Hacked to Run on PCs

The newest version of Apple's OS X is not immune to hacks, as already it has been hacked to run on PCs. News that Leopard has been successfully installed on a Windows PC spread across the Internet, particularly in forums.

The OSx86 Scene forum released the instructions on how to install OS X to a Windows machine, along with the details on how to migrate from Windows to Apple new OS, without investing on new hardware. The forum also shows screenshots of the installation process.

However, not all features of Leopard is compatible with PCs. For example, the Wi Fi connection will not work. Also, don't be surprised if your sound and network is inoperable.

Apple's next move will likely be to track down and act against those who are behind the hack. This has been Apple's problem every time they release a new version of their operating system. People want their software, but not necessarily the hardware. Consumers want to be able to install any operating system they like on their machine.

Installing any Apple OS on any machine other than a licensed hardware is illegal and will violate the Apple's terms and conditions.

iPhones and iPods are also vulnerable to hacks. JailBreak Me is a hack that can be installed on an iPhone and iPod Touch to allow third-party software to be installed, as this was impossible without the hack. It also allows the user to choose other wireless carriers besides AT&T for the iPhone. Apple countered this move by releasing an update that disables any iPhones that was hacked. The update rendered the hacked phone inoperable, even if the sim card inserted was the original AT&T sim card.

Copyright 2007 Sonicsoft Corporation
All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Nintendo Mystery

The mysterious Totaka Song is a short, 19 note, looping tune, hidden in some titles of Nintendo games

The Totaka Song

Nintendo games are great, along with the music tracks and pieces that came with the game. It really pumps up its entertainment value. But did you know that there is a piece of music that is tucked away with many Nintendo titles? It's a short, 19-note, looping tune, hidden in some games that can only be played by waiting in a screen for some minutes or clicking an item. This piece of music is like an Easter egg. This was known as the Totaka song.

The Totaka song was first discovered in Mario Paint, released in 1992. Clicking the letter O in the end of MARIO will turn the letter into a bomb, and then exploding all the letters across the screen. The background music will stop, and the Totaka Song will start to play. This is why most people called it the 'Mario Paint Song', and was thought to be the first instance of the song. But after that, the song was actually discovered in a Japanese-only Game Boy game X, that was released long before Mario Paint was. X's contained a hidden bonus track that was the Mario Paint song, which later on was renamed to Totaka song. Other games include Zelda: Link's Awakening, Yoshi Touch & Go, Luigi's Mansion, and Animal Crossing.

The Totaka song also appeared in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. Lose all your lives to get to the Game Over screen. Wait in the screen for 2 minutes and 30 seconds, and the Totaka song will start to play. In Yoshi's Story, waiting in the Trial Mode screen will also cause the Totaka song to play after the background music stopped looping.

In some games, there seems to be no way of accessing the music. That means, waiting or pressing something won't play the music. Dumping the contents of the game's ROM would reveal the Totaka song, however.

As of February 2007, people are actively seeking for other games that included the Totaka song. Of course, the games are limited to those titles the person responsible for the song, worked on. These include Wave Race 64, Wii Sports, and the coming Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

The person responsible with this easter egg music was Kazumi Totaka. Totaka is a Japanese music composer and voice actor. He composed music for many major Nintendo games. He worked on every game that song appeared.

It's still fun to discover that these type of Easter eggs exists, and that people are actively hunting for them.

Copyright 2007 by Sonicsoft Corporation
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Vista Sales Hit the Mark

Despite the number of complaints and whines of consumers using Vista, the operating system's sales is growing

Microsoft Ships 88 Million Copies Windows Vista

Windows Vista came out not without its problems. Vista users complained the operating system was hard to use, and that many of their past software, and even hardware, are incompatible. Add to that the fact that the operating system required a meaty computer to run smoothly.

It may seem that consumers and enterprises doesn't like the new OS. However, this week, Microsoft announced that it has shipped 88 million copies of Windows Vista - that's double the number of Windows XP copies shipped at the same period. Vista hit its 60 million mark this late July.

Three-quarters of the sales were 'premium' versions of Windows Vista, compared to Windows XP's 59 percent sales.

The 88 million amount mostly includes computers with Vista preinstalled in them purchased by consumers and businesses. That number also includes those copies of Vista purchase online and in stores.

Business, who renewed their volume license with Windows that allowed them to upgrade to Vista, was up 27 percent.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Update: Apple Leopard

Apple releases its newest operating system today

Add a new Mac to your Mac

October 26 - The newest version of Mac OS X is now available. Apple says Mac OS X 10.5 or Leopard is their biggest upgrade in their operating system, with the new version containing 300+ new features. These includes improved security features, new interface, greatly improved backup system, and fixes from the previous operating system.

You can find more info in the Apple Leopard page at

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Excel Bug

Microsoft has acknowledged that there is indeed a display bug in Microsoft Office 2007

Microsoft Excel Math Problem

A bug in the new Office 2007 Excel causes a number to be displayed incorrectly. Microsoft said, that under certain specific circumstances, if a calculation yields the answer 65,535, the number will be displayed at 100,000. However, Microsoft said this is just a minor bug and only affects the display, not the actual value of the number itself. So, adding one to the answer will result to 65,536. Microsoft also said that Excel knows the real number, but shows the incorrect figure.

Well, good news: If your salary is exactly $65,535 and your company handles its payroll in Excel 2007, you may be in for a big raise! You can find more information and the patch at the Microsoft Excel team blog.

The Storm Worm Botnet

What's the most powerful computer in the world? The IBM's BlueGene/L supercomputer? Sort of.

The Storm of the Century
The world is abuzz with a new threat that's spreading over the Internet. The Storm Worm has infected more than a million computers and now created a vast network of computers, or botnet (robot network), with the power to dwarf the world's fastest supercomputer, the IBM BlueGene/L. With the power of millions of computer, amounting to a million CPUs and petabytes of RAM, the worm could knock could easily knock out a website or a server at the command of a single individual (bot herder).

The Storm worm infects computers by tricking the users into running the worm. It arrives as a harmless spam email attachment. However, the contents of the email message may contain a message that compels the user into opening the attachment. This is also why the worm was called the Storm worm. When the worm first appeared, the email message it contained was about a storm in Europe, with a 'video' attachment for the said event. The recipient of the email may open the attachment, hoping to see clips of the storm's devastation, but instead launching the virus.

Perhaps the most notable trait of the worm is that it changes the email message it sends. For example, the worm sent out email spams containing advertisements for a anonymous-surfing internet browser called Tor, which is a genuine web browser. The worm sent an email that used actual text and images from the actual Tor website. However, clicking the download link and installing the program downloaded (tor.exe) will install Storm. It also used to send fake e-greeting cards, and during the peak season of football, sent email containing the team's football scores as the attachment.

Once the Storm infected the computer, it defends itself. If the Storm is scanned or gets detected, it sends a message to some, or even all, of the botnet to send garbage to the victim. The stream of garbage is often enough to knock a website offline or take down the victim's internet connection. This is called DDoS, or Distributed Denial-of-Service attack. It's even sneaky when it does that, as the flood of garbage is sent not from within the network or the same IP address. That will make the attack look like it came from somewhere else.

The Storm became so popular it even has a video in YouTube. Comments from the site even said the worm came from aliens and extraterrestrial life.

My advice, always have a good antivirus and firewall installed in your computer. Also, refrain from using older software, like Internet Explorer, Adobe Reader, or even WinZip, as the worm exploits the vulnerabilities in these old programs.

Copyright 2007 Sonicsoft Corporation
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Sonicsoft!

My own company celebrates its 8th year of existence today, October 23, 2007

Sonicsoft Turns Eight!

Sonicsoft was founded October 23, 1999 when I started creating programs for my computer. My first programs were created in Microsoft QBasic, and was fairly simple. It doesn't sport any slick interface, as the only available interface to me was DOS. Now, Sonicsoft has expanded not only covering software, but also media such as short movies, websites, book reviews, and hardware. It's amazing how time changes everything.

I remember back in the days when my poor old computer was running Windows 3.11 and DOS. It was during that time that I tried to 'improve' my computer (since Windows 98 was already available at that time), and Sonicsoft was created.

Early Sonicsoft programs included an automatic checking of disk errors when Windows didn't shutdown properly. That feature was not available with Windows 3.11, and it seems a pretty good idea, so I created one. It ran ScanDisk whenever it detected that Windows was not exitted properly (with Windows 3.11, you don't shut-down, you exit to DOS).

Sonicsoft also created games in that era, ranging from the gamut of card games (Klondike solitaire, black jacks) to simulation (dice throwing, ball bouncing). Tic Tac Toe and Cheat were also developed.

In an attempt to run these application, Sonicsoft Vision was created, but was never finished. It was supposed to be the central starting point of all Sonicsoft programs - providing all the libraries and certain functionalities available to running programs.

Then, Sonicsoft went Windows, employing Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0. Programs created in this era now have user-friendly interface and runs on Windows. The range of Sonicsoft products broadened, now involving word processors and more games.

Sonicsoft then entered the business of systems development. It now produce entire database management systems for corporations. From Employee management system, to scheduling systems, Sonicsoft created programs that uses the power of databases.

Sonicsoft spanned the Microsoft Office suite itself, using Visual Basic for Applications.

Sonicsoft went online last year, creating online applications and websites for third party companies.

Now, as Sonicsoft turns 8, we are striving to create more software that follows the company's standard - to be user-friendly and effective at the same time. Web applications and systems are being entered into the market, to make a dent in the software business industry.

Happy birthday, Sonicsoft!

For more information about Sonicsoft, visit

Copyright 2007 by Sonicsoft Corporation
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A New Virus Infection Method

A new USB virus technique that could compromise your computer. This virus exploits the AUTORUN.INF vector attack.

USB Virus Get Sneaky

A new virus infection method just may well be the most ingenious way to fool people into running the virus. It rigs the default context-menu (right-click menu) to all point to the virus, thereby executing the infection no matter what menu choice you select.

Before this technique was utilized, a safe method to bypass a USB infector's execution is to right-click the USB drive, and select either Open or Explore, making sure both commands are spelled correctly. If either command is misspelled, like Explorer or 0pen with zero as the O, they are usually a sign of a virus infection.

However, the new virus infection method modifies the registry so that the honest-looking, Open and Explore themselves point to the virus execution. This renders the safe method above useless, as selecting any of the context-menu choices will trigger the virus.

Safely Open an Infected USB

To bypass this technique, we shall employ what people who know DOS say as a fastest technique to access a drive - typing the drive letter, followed by a semicolon, and pressing enter in the DOS prompt. Luckily, Windows still follows this tradition. To open a suspected USB drive:

  1. Of course, insert the USB drive. If an AutoPlay window pops up, this is usually a sign of a clean USB drive, but not always. On the AutoPlay window, select the option Open folder to view files using Windows Explorer. If this is the case, Windows opens the USB drive without triggering the infection.

  2. Otherwise, open My Computer without clicking anything. Look for the drive letter of your USB drive. It should look like, Removable Disk (D:). The D: is the drive letter. Type that in the Address bar. After that, press Enter

  3. Your USB drive contents will appear on your screen.
If the Address bar is not visible on My Computer, select Status Bar under the View menu.

With this technique, you will dodged the method of the virus infecting your system. Windows opens the USB drive without executing any other background commands. This is most effective if this is not your USB drive, since you will dodge the virus until you return the USB drive to the owner. Of course, it's your responsibility to alert the owner that the USB drive is infected. But if it is yours, you need to remove the virus from the drive itself, or the problem will persist and infection will spread. For more information on how to remove the virus, check out

The virus I encountered that used the new technique is called mveo.exe and jay.exe. This virus only changes the title of your Internet Explorer, as far as I know. And this virus infects the root directory of all your drives. This is a new kind of virus that Norton Antivirus doesn't detect yet at the time of my writing. See on how to remove the USB virus.

So my recommendation, don't insert your USB drive into any computer without examining the computer first. And should you need to use your USB drive on another computer, be sure to scan the drive for viruses when you insert it to your computer. You should also have a good antivirus protection, and make sure you update the virus definitions as often as possible.

Copyright 2007 Sonicsoft Corporation
All Rights Reserved

The New Internet Explorer 7

Microsoft released its newest web browser last year, but it was only available for only a limited users as it requires your Windows to pass the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA)

Microsoft Aims for Safe Computing

Microsoft released the newest Internet Explorer 7 last 2006, and it's the safest Internet Explorer to date, Microsoft said. It sports a cleaner interface, tabbed browsing, always available search box, built-in phishing security feature, pop up blocker, and dozens of new security features. Deleting history, cookies, and temporary files is also made easier with a single click of a button. And finally, Internet Explorer 7 supports transparency for PNG files - a feature supported by other browsers long before.

Internet Explorer 7 was a nice addition to the IE family, but was only available to users running genuine Windows. Before you can download the installer, your computer has to pass the WGA. Not only that, to protect it from being installed to computers running a non-genuine copy of Windows, the installer itself validates your computer before installation.

However, this October, Microsoft removed the validation requirement for Internet Explorer 7. This makes the new web browser available for all users running Windows XP SP2, even if they are running copies of Windows that do not pass the WGA. This will make IE available to a broader public.

While this may look like another attempt to monopolize the web browser business, Microsoft said this move was to increase the security of Windows and the computing world, as this was one of the aims of the company. With the new security features of Internet Explorer 7, surfing the web is safer than before.

You can download the latest version off the Microsoft site.

Copyright 2007 by Sonicsoft Corporation 2007
All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mac OS X Leopard

Apple will be releasing its new OS X version, version 10.5, or Leopard, and it comes with exciting new features

Apple Releases the Leopard

Apple will be releasing its newest operating system, OS X, this October 27. The Mac OS X Leopard will contain 300+ new features, and that's a lot. It includes the new Quick Look, which allows you to preview your files before actually opening them, the improved Time Machine, that backups your Mac in real-time, hourly, and on a daily basis, and new and improved Desktop, with sleeker Dashboard and transparent menus. Spotlight has been improved, too, allowing you to search files that matches multiple criterias with modifiers like AND, OR, and NOT. And improvements on Mac's web browser, the Safari.

One of the things I like about the new features is the Time Machine. It really helps backup your computer without user intervention. It backs everything up in the background. The neat thing is, you can go back in time with this little feature. You can see how your system looked in the past hour, or the past day, or the past week. Apple says that the Time Machine works a bit differently. By making applications send out data to the Time Machine when a file is modified, Time Machine knows when to update the copy on the backup. And Time Machine works seamlessly with Quick Look, so you can browse for the file, look at the contents, so you can decide if you want to restore it or not.

It looks like Apple is really bulking up against Vista, but knowing Apple, they may battle it out with their ads. Vista is good, but it looks like Mac OS X is better.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Windows XP Service Pack 3

Microsoft leaked out the news that Windows XP will have SP3, and possibly some features from Windows Vista

Microsoft Plans to Release Windows XP
Service Pack 3

It looks like Windows Vista isn't warming up to the audience, and still sales of Windows XP are noticeably higher than Windows Vista. In fact, several computer manufacturers like Dell are actually offering their customers a Windows XP rollback CD for systems that came with Vista preinstalled. This rollback CD allows users to install Windows XP with license in case they don't like the new Vista.

In fact, Windows XP sales are still soaring Microsoft intends to release a new Service Pack. Windows XP Service Pack 3 is still in development, and will contain several Windows XP fixes, and probably features from Windows Vista.

Clearly, Microsoft is trying to extend the life of the six-year-old operating system we know as Windows XP.

Service Pack 3 will be available in early 2008.

On other topic, Microsoft has released a Service Pack for Windows Vista, but it is sill in beta and are only available to businesses and corporate entities.