Monday, August 31, 2009 back online was down from Tuesday Aug 26th evening all the way through Thursday Aug 27th evening - around 24 hours. It's back running now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 down for maintenance

The ISP hosting merged with another ISP so they decided to move the servers hosting us somewhere else. After several reschedulings, they decided to do this on Tuesday night Aug 25. Hopefully it will be complete soon, but while they do this our site is down. Doing this during the busiest time of week costs us money, so we will be reevaluating our relationship with this ISP.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

NetScanTools (TM) Pro 10.93 Published

The installed version and USB version of NetScanTools Pro 10.93 are both now available. If you have an active maintenance plan, you can upgrade today. Use Help/Check for New Version, then login.

The changes in this release range from the cosmetic (like adding our new registered trademark notation) to bug fixes to adding a minor new feature. The minor new feature was brought about by a customer suggestion and it was to provide the decimal representation of the input IP address on Subnet Calculator. Apparently our user sometimes hardcodes the IP address in a link and making it decimal makes it harder for bots to pick up the link.

Two of the bugs were seen during the August 12 webinar:

The first was when Laura was running a Continous Ping, then she pressed Stop and went into Setup. When she was talking about the various Ping options, the Continuous Ping started up again in the background results window. This was fixed.

The second thing I saw during the webinar was when Laura entered her favorite of the day hostname and it then went through and translated it to an IP address, then ran the IP address through the list of RBL servers. The problem was that the translated address was Actually what had happened was the host to IP didn't resolve because there was no A record for the hostname in DNS. Now if this happens, it stops and tells you that it couldn't resolve for an IP.

If you want the full list of changes, you can install 10.93, then click on the Welcome left panel control, then click on Welcome to NetScanTools Pro icon. This will show a completely revamped page including the list of changes since the last release (10.92). There are also a few helpful hints.

We will be doing additional testing on Windows 7 RTM soon to make sure everything works properly there. If you are on Windows 7 RTM and you see a problem, let us know the exact steps you are using to reproduce it -- remember, we can't fix what we can' duplicate here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

NetScanTools Webinar Recap

Well here I am a week later talking about the August 12 webinar. It was one of my busiest days ever. Laura did a great job -- even in the face of a couple of bugs that I saw and I'm sure she saw. Both were fixed in the 10.93 release. They were minor, but obvious to me.

Anyway, the webinar went well. We had about 25 people attend. I actually spoke using a mike which was kinda cool. Laura did 99% of the talking -- something she is far better than I at doing. She covered several parts of the program: the automated tools, ARP Scanning, ARP Ping, Graphical Ping, RBL checking, TCP Traceroute and TCP Ping. Even a bit of whois and quickly touching on DNS tools.

It's always interesting to watch someone else use a program you've designed because you see that they use it in a different way than you thought people should use it. That's why customer feedback and LISTENING to customer input is so important. Whenever a usability suggestion comes in, I try to add it to my 'to-do' list. Even if it's not practical - it may be someday.

I digress. Just as with Laura's Wireshark webinars, her presentation was polished and though there were few slides, the intent of the webinar was not to go through a slide presentation but rather to provide pointers that people may miss -- like right clicking in the results to see the popup list of other things you can do.

I took part in welcoming the group and I also spoke at the end about some plans for version 11 which I won't discuss here. We also touched on the Managed Switch Port Mapping tool ( -- Laura is interested in doing a webinar on it because not only do network admins have uses for it but it can also be used in the security arena.

Laura will be making an 'archived' version available to those who want to review the webinar. Sorry, but I don't think it will be free -- training is Laura's business so there will be a cost. I'll defer to Chappell Seminars on those points. Please visit for other webinars and the archived version of this one.

Great job Laura!

Monday, August 10, 2009

NetScanTools Webinar on Wednesday, Aug 12

Reminder: Laura Chappell (of Wireshark fame) is presenting the first NetScanTools Webinar on August 12, 2009 at 12noon PDT/GMT-7. The cost is $99. If you are an existing NetScanTools Pro customer, you can email sales or support and get a 50% off coupon.

Our current Summer Sale includes the webinar.

Here is a description of what will be covered in the webinar and you can also sign up on the same page.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Windows 7 RTM on MSDN

They posted it yesterday and I just confirmed it's there. Now the decision for my OS testing system: do I erase the Vista 64 that's on there now and replace it with Win7 x64? Should I try upgrading it? if I erase it all the Virtual machine OS's will be destroyed and I'll have to rebuild them -- or maybe not -- I can just save the virtual OS files onto a backup and reinstall Virtual PC and reload them. And does Microsoft's Virtual PC 2007 run on Windows 7? I know it can host it. Questions...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Security Update for Compiler broke our demo

One Tuesday night (July 28)/Wednesday morning a set of patches were pushed out through Windows Update. Specifically KB973923 and KB971090 which were updates to Visual C++ Service Pack 1.

On Wednesday July 29, I set about to rebuild our NetScanTools Pro demo in anticipation of Thursday's Laura Chappell Wireshark 101 Webinar sponsorship. I've done this frequently and tested it on computers here that had the compiler. All worked well and it was posted.

On Thursday July 30, the webinar was held and a number of people downloaded the demo.

On Friday July 31, I had two people call and email about the dreaded "C:\program files\nwps\NetScanTools Pro Demo\nstpro.exe This application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect. Reinstalling the application may fix this problem." (PANIC!) A quick Google search pointed to the Side by Side (SxS) DLL linkage being wrong. After a bit of checking I saw that the MFC and Visual C Runtime DLL dependencies had changed from 8.0.50727.762 to 8.0.50727.4053 (it was in the manifest file). (FRUSTRATION!) Almost no one trying the demo will have those later SxS DLLs. I found that MS had updated the vcredist_x86.exe so I sent it to one of those people and it fixed the demo. Now I had to quickly rebuild the demo installer to include the new 8.0.50727.4053 redistributable SxS installer and post it. I did that by 5pm Pacific Time.

Bottom line: if you downloaded the demo between 5pm Wednesday July 29 and 5pm Friday July 31, you need to discard that download and redownload it today. Use the same link, that has not changed.

So here's my rant. I admit Microsoft told us they were updating some security issues with ATL, but I was using MFC and it didn't seem like it applied to us. And yes, we should have tested the demo on a computer without a compiler on it.

But Microsoft should have said:
"LISTEN UP! if you are using MFC and or Runtime DLLs dynamically linked, anything you compile from now on will need to use the new redistributable we provided or your app might break!"

Something like this needs to be in the compiler and should be shown when the compiler first loads a dynamically linked application for the first time after they make an update such as this. What's so hard about that?

Oh and they also published similar patches for the 2008 compiler. We use that too and now we know. Needless to say non-starting demo programs probably = lost business.