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Forum Thread: Requested Secunia PSI Features

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Jeff-Hook Requested Secunia PSI Features
Member 15th Jul, 2009 01:43
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Last edited on 15th Jul, 2009 02:45

I wonder if it would be possible to include these features in the next version of Secunia PSI:

1. An accurate and complete statement of the installed version number in a Help\About menu. (Yes, I can obtain this information from the Properties Sheet of the executable in C:\Program Files but this Help\About feature seems to be offered by most Windows applications. It's a convenience.)

2. An activity log which reports what the application has done.

3. A user control by which the display of the Systray "tray-balloon" could be retained in view indefinitely. The balloon is now only displayed for a few moments before it disappears. (I assume an activity log would include all information which is displayed in the "tray balloon" but I'd still like to have both features.)

4. Please explain if upgrade versions should be "installed over" prior versions (i.e. if prior versions should NOT be uninstalled before upgrades of Secunia PSI are installed) or if prior versions of Secunia PSI should be uninstalled first. **Why isn't this basic guidance provided in the Read Me file?!**

It's not enjoyable to be sent to the user forums in order to search for guidance which could easily be provided in the Read Me file!

Thanks,
Jeff Hook, NJ, USA

Anthony Wells RE: Requested Secunia PSI Features
Expert Contributor 15th Jul, 2009 12:21
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User Since: 19th Dec 2007
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Last edited on 15th Jul, 2009 12:41
Well Jeff ,

Where to start ??

I see Secunia as providing critical security info which people choose to use as they wish & it's free ; it helps you help yourself & you are not spoon/force fed . So many variables apply , that one size fits all isn't likely to work ; hence the Forum to help on specific problems while Secunia get on with the essentials ; of course they monitor the Forum & contribute/develop as they see it.

Sorry you feel forced to come here , but that' life , you have to deal with it.

Your1) bottom right PSI page is version N.
Top of this page->"vulnerability scanning"->PersonalPSI->changelog
2)I wouldn't pay for it
3)mouse over the tray icon tells you if there have been changes you need to look into - it might help if there was a change i appearance (colour ??) - I love balloons , at parties , hate them floating around my PC unnecessarily .
4)lots of threads/different problems - some ancient (one of the first versions had real claws) - it depends on you & your system . The latest versions do the uninstall/reinstall for you . Close PSI first - you should also get a prompt to do it , as well . If you are one of the unlucky ones , you come here & if you are lucky(!) someone may be able to help .

Good security needs effort & understanding.

Take care
Anthony

PS : Note where you are : Secunia Community Forum .

--


It always seems impossible until its done.
Nelson Mandela
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Jeff-Hook RE: Requested Secunia PSI Features
Member 15th Jul, 2009 17:03
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Ah yes. Anthony Wells.

Some computer users love on-line users' forums. Others aren't as enthusiastic.

Some forum enthusiasts may be retired, and forum participation may "give them something to do." They may never have been employed in the IT industry, so they may not have professional experience or expertise which they can offer in personal computing forums. They may even be novice users themselves but they may so greatly enjoy the social interaction which they can experience in personal computing forums that they may devote substantial time to this activity each day. These enthusiasts tend to "loom large" over time. They participate more extensively than other users. It might be wise for the enthusiasts to try to remain objective, but the development of a "positive feedback loop" may be an inevitable result of human nature: The enthusiasts may derive ever-greater gratification from their participation in the forums, they may "take more liberties" incrementally, asserting themselves more by degrees, and they may not realize that their overbearing "antics" may repel increasing numbers of potential participants who they never see.

Users who aren't enthusiastic about on-line users' forums may tend to think of these discussions as social interactions among inexpert users. Skeptical users may observe that "interpersonal dynamics" seem to influence the course of forum threads and that many users' own
psychological motivations seem clear. Users who don't wish to participate extensively in forums or who simply don't have the time may not wish to "wade through" pages upon pages of "the blind leading the blind," of pontification and self-aggrandizement by self-appointed "wise counselors" who may not know what they're talking about, of cloying exchanges of morale-boosting exhortations by neophytes who may seem
to be making "an awfully big deal out of nothing," etc.

I saw your name many times, Anthony, when I searched the forums and when I browsed multiple threads for information before I posted my inquiry. When I saw this "salutation" I knew I was "in for it":

++++++++++++

Well Jeff ,

Where to start ??

++++++++++++

I thought, "Here we go." I noticed you'd edited your message six times in twenty minutes.

You said:

++++++++++++

I see Secunia as providing critical security info which people choose to use as they wish & it's free ; it helps you help yourself & you are not spoon/force fed . So many variables apply , that one size fits all isn't likely to work ; hence the Forum to help on specific problems while Secunia get on with the essentials ; of course they monitor the Forum & contribute/develop as they see it.

++++++++++++

I wasn't asking for advice about the philosophy of on-line forums. I don't see the relevance of your response to my request for simple clarification in the Secunia PSI GUI or in the application's Read Me file. How are my requests seen as advocating a "one size fits all" approach or as "undermining" the admirable "self-sufficiency" of users who are willing to wade into the diffuse, sprawling user forums in order to search for information which most applications provide as I requested?

You also said:

++++++++++++

Sorry you feel forced to come here , but that' life , you have to deal with it.

++++++++++++

I asked for a few simple improvements of the application and I got a philosophy of life!

No, Anthony, I don't "have to deal with it." (You could have added an "S" after the apostrophe in "that'." That would have required you to edit your message for a seventh time...) I do have the option of "pushing back" and of touching a pin to the enormous over-inflated egos of those who try to turn on-line forums into their personal "living rooms" and who regard any expression of lack of enthusiasm for forums as personal offenses.

You're providing a good demonstration of why many users can't tolerate user forums. I don't see why any of this should be required simply to obtain the information which I thought should be provided in the Read Me file &/or in the GUI

You said:

++++++++++++

Your1)

bottom right PSI page is version N.

++++++++++++

That was helpful. Thank you. I failed to see that.

You said:

++++++++++++

I love balloons , at parties , hate them floating around my PC unnecessarily .

++++++++++++

I can understand your attempt to announce your personal preferences to all readers but I don't think you should expect other readers to be as interested in them as you are. Do you think your comment was "witty"? Think again.

++++++++++++

These closing comments seem to suggest that you think I'd benefit from your overall "wise counsel" about forums, and about self-sufficiency. You even seem to reproach me for failing to expend "effort" in order to gain "understanding." You seem to hold yourself out as an authority on "good security." I wonder what qualifications you have with respect to personal computer security. I'd laugh at your suggestion that wading through forums full of this type of text is every user's "responsibility" if it weren't so annoying:

++++++++++++

4)lots of threads/different problems - some ancient (one of the first versions had real claws) - it depends on you & your system . The latest versions do the uninstall/reinstall for you . Close PSI first - you should also get a prompt to do it , as well . If you are one of the unlucky ones , you come here & if you are lucky(!) someone may be able to help .

Good security needs effort & understanding...

...PS : Note where you are : Secunia Community Forum .

++++++++++++

Jeff Hook, NJ, USA
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Anthony Wells RE: Requested Secunia PSI Features
Expert Contributor 15th Jul, 2009 18:00
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Well Jeff , aren't you the lucky one , I have the time , so where to start :

Never assume it just makes an Ass of U (and me).

Having no typing skills , I need to edit for clarity & avoid misleading short cuts. Sorry I missed the "s" , hope it didn't mar your understanding too much ? Is English your mother tongue ? I'm laeving tis wun unedited , jus for U.

I would be interested to know which of "the forums" you searched came up with my name ; this is the only one to which I "contribute"
(apart from one other with about 3 comments). Hence all my comments refer to this Secunia website/Forum and not to any of the others sites you seem to enjoy wasting your precious time trolling.

I have a specific & personal reason for spending a little time on this "Community" Forum during the last 60 days - that free time is about up - my bad luck you popped up before I'm out of here.

I'm most grateful for your judgemental , pseudo-philosophical ,socio-demographic ,arrogant commentary. It certainly gave me a good laugh , for a moment there , I was worried (not really) that you didn't have a sense of humour. I try to respond to people as I read them , a useful asset which can become a danger in the wrong hands . If it doesn't work for you , that' life .

If I might suggest , why not write the Help file for Secunia and show them how to fit it into PSI .

Look forward to hearing from you again soon.

Take care
Anthony.



--


It always seems impossible until its done.
Nelson Mandela
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Franadora1 RE: Requested Secunia PSI Features
Member 16th Jul, 2009 05:51
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Last edited on 16th Jul, 2009 05:55
Anthony
I have to second Jeff-Hook's suggestion TO SECUNIA developers in at least one sense

Secunia is a Windows only application. Therefore, it is not irresponsible to ask that it follow some Windows conventions. One of which, is to have the Version number available in one of the menu items: About. Every other application I'm familiar with follows this basic, simple convention. That the Secunia application does not, is why many of us flounder not knowing whether we have the most recent version of Secunia installed.

Jeff's other suggestions have merit. Perhaps if they are implemented, some simple options may be created for people like you to continue without them. Perhaps not.

Also, I have yet to see a clear description - with recent version of Secunia scanner: uninstall before upgrade or upgrade over existing version. You ignored that question completely, but not being a SECUNIA developer, it is possibly outside your experience. Not a problem: I don't know suffices.

A simple link to the Readme file, perhaps on the Settings tab, would be most useful. Easy enough to ignore if you are not interested.
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Jeff-Hook RE: Requested Secunia PSI Features
Member 16th Jul, 2009 06:24
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Franadora1:

1. Following the Windows precedent of stating the version number of the installed version in the Help\About menu:

Anthony *was* correct in pointing out that the version number *is* displayed on the "right end of the bottom frame" of the GUI, in the vicinity of what's variously identified as the Windows System Tray, the Systray, the Notification Area, the System Clock Area, etc. But I don't think it would hurt for Secunia PSI also to follow the Windows precedent and to state this information in the usual location.

2. Stating in the Read Me file whether prior versions should be uninstalled when upgrades are installed:

Anthony was also correct in stating that the set-up programs of the current versions (at least 1.0.0.4 & 1.5.0.0) will automatically display "screens" which will guide the user about this. He was also correct in stating that these dialogs will explain that the set-up programs themselves will uninstall prior versions if the users authorize those uninstallations.

However, conscientious users may worry about this and, in the absence of any guidance (such as from the Read Me file) they might be reluctant to run the set-up programs for upgrades, because they might not have been able to learn whether they should uninstall prior versions "manually"! It's true that this point is almost moot with respect to the current versions, but some users might not discover that if they're reluctant to run the set-up programs in the first place!

I don't want to make a big deal out of this, but I think you and I (and probably most other users) agree that Secunia's developers could easily solve both of these minor problems as you suggested.

Jeff Hook, NJ, USA
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Maurice Joyce RE: Requested Secunia PSI Features
Handling Contributor 16th Jul, 2009 12:24
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@Anthony

I believe the suggestions raised by @Jeff & @ Franadora1 are hugely relevant.
I say that because I wrote a detailed letter to Secunia Support highlighting a few improvements to V 1.0.0.5 in particular to help (mainly) novice users "get into the swing" of using PSI (advanced). One of those suggestions was to include a new FAQ/Help tab to the interface.

I wrote in the full knowledge that Secunia allow us to use PSI free but caveat that use, in that PSI, is a clone of their highly successful CSI version which is produced for Corporate (professional) use.

Like it or not Microsoft (Windows) laid down many protocols years ago. One of those was a prominent Help link which, as a bare minimum, gave:
1. General help for users - PSI currently use a hard to find FAQ which is slightly outdated in content & does not cover the points raised by @Jeff.
2. A link to check for programme updates.
3. An About link which clearly states the full version number of the programme currently installed.

It is this bit that is missing (by protocol & factual) that makes the original post very pertinent.

As a throwaway comment, I received a very positive reply from Secunia. They merely emphasised that some of my madcap ideas were time consuming to implement and would have little impact on their core CSI programme.

They also stated that there is a large backlog of "home user only" programmes that they were trying to put on their database which gives some indication that they have our (free home users) interests at heart.

I believe @Jeff's suggestion is priority one in that it will help all of us, followed by the upload of the outstanding "home user only" programmes with the wish list (flashing tray icons/red boxes around insecure items to make them more prominent etc) that have been muted in other threads taking a final spot.

By the tone of this thread I believe it is now time for me to batten down the hatches, as I did in Iraq in 1991, in the vain attempt to deflect any incoming stray Tomahawk missiles & cannon shot from the awesome A10 Thunderbolt (tank buster) circling above!!!!




--
Maurice

Windows 7 SP1 64 Bit OS
HP Intel Pentium i7
IE 11 for Windows 7 SP1
16GB RAM
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eSKzHvZreJxktYLUd4jN1oy... RE: Requested Secunia PSI Features
Member 16th Jul, 2009 12:30
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User Since: 7th Dec 2009
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I think Jeff-Hook's suggestions for improvement of the PSI generally have a valid point. The question is, at what cost?

Every time you add a little extra feature, the program gets more complicated. And as we know, complexity is the enemy of security.

The more menus to navigate between, the more overwhelming the program will look for the less technical people. Should we try to reach the less technical people? Definitely yes, because they are the ones having all the problems on the internet. I'm sure Secunia know that and takes it into consideration when deciding whether to add a new feature or not. :-)
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Anthony Wells RE: Requested Secunia PSI Features
Expert Contributor 16th Jul, 2009 14:06
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Hello Everybody ,

A couple of points for my new friends from the USA :-

1)Comments and feedback to Secunia Developers can also be put in the "sticky" or whatever it is called at the top of this page :

http://secunia.com/community/forum/thread/show/212...

- in an "open" community thread one must expect a different "philosophy" and point of view. That's life . Of course , Secunia developers will be monitoring our every word - although they are probably at lunch , just now .

2)I neither know , nor care (in my case) , whether it is ignorance or arrogance that provokes people to use phrases such as "people like you" and "simple solutions" - I do know that they could be construed as racist !!

Thanks Jeff for translating my poorly explained points .

I don't seem to remember saying nor implying that any of Jeff's points were not valid , excuse me if I did , just that I would not want to pay for them - simple or complex -and as PSI is still a work in (major) progress am happy with workarounds & the "forum" whilst Secunia get on with what is essential .

Glad to have you back from Eyerack & Mars , Maurice , your comments are always to the point .
Fortunately for you I haven't found anything in your post that I would dramatically disagree upon - other than your wish list vs mine & judging my behaviour by yours - so nothing more devastating than advising you to keep your tin hat on as I am highly accurate throwing the only missiles I frequent , wine bottles - empty or full (depends on my mood):)(

Once again HBR and I are in total "philosophical" agreement :o); although whether it be few , many or all who would agree with whom , I have absolutely no idea .

"That's life" or more possibly "get a life" - you know who you are -

'Bye for now and take care
Anthony.



--


It always seems impossible until its done.
Nelson Mandela
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