VALIDATER FOR DOWNLOADED
Viruses and individuals with
other malicious intents are so prevalent these days that it has gotten
to the point that we can't trust anything that we download from the interet.
To give you a little more peace of mind I have written a small program
for the Solar Data Plotter that will verify that what you have on your
system is what I compiled and distributed. If you got the files from
this web site, they have been scanned with McAfee Virus Scan and are clean.
If you got them from somewhere else you cannot always be certain that they
are clean or have not otherwise been tampered with.
can download the file validater (11,246 bytes) from this link.
Once you have downloaded
it, you will need to "Unzip" the file. You will find one file in
it named VALIDATE.EXE. The current version is (1.0.12) 24,064 bytes
in size and will check version 3.11 through 3.13 files.
To use the validater, follow
the steps on the main dialog:
What happens at this point depends
on several things. If you selected the option to check the executable
program, and the appropriate registry key is still in your system registry,
then the validater knows where to find the file it needs. Otherwise
you will be prompted to select the file using a normal File / Open dialog
box. Navigate to the directory on your computer that has the file
in it, and then click [OK].
Select the version that you
want to check (this is important because they are all different!)
Select either the executable
program (named SOL30W.EXE by default) or the distribution Zip file (named
SOL3xxW.ZIP be default).
Click the [Check Selected Files]
It is VERY important to insure that you select the proper file! The
files all have different checksum values, file sizes, and dates.
If you select the wrong file, I guarantee that it will fail the checks!
Once you select the file,
it will be checked by the validater. This checks three things:
If one or more of the items
fails, don't get hysterical or lose control! It may be something
It creates a checksum value
based on the contents of every byte of data in the file. I did the
same thing when I created the files, so the values should be exactly the
same. If they are not then something has changed the file that you
It checks the actual size of
the files. If a virus has attached itself to the file, or if someone
else has modified them, then the file sizes will be different from what
It checks the file creation
and modification dates of the files. If the files have been changed
they may have gotten a different date.
One more word ... ALWAYS download
the latest version of this program FROM THIS WEB SITE. The files
here are the ones that I created and they are the ones that I distribute.
They have been scanned for viruses and are clean. It is possible
for someone to decompile this program and change the values to compensate
for an infected file, so if you get this validater from somewhere else
there is always the possibility that it has been tampered with (unlikely,
but possible). If you get it from this site it is clean.
Verify that you have set the
version on the main dialog to the version that you have installed on your
computer. If you installed one version and checked a different version,
they WILL fail!
Verify that you checked the
file you intended to. If you told the program to check the executable
file and then you actually selected the Zip file, it will fail. If
you had a previous version of the plotting software on your computer, it
may have picked that one up instead.
If the date is the only thing
that failed, and you were checking the distribution Zip file, then someone
may have just rebuilt the Zip file. There is nothing wrong with this,
and I have no objections to it other than the fact that this check will
probably fail on it.
Also, if you were checking the
distribution Zip file, and only the date failed, it may have picked up
the date that I uploaded it to my server or you downloaded it to your computer.
If the file size and checksum are correct the file is still OK.
If you are certain that you
have the correct file selected and the checksum or file size fails, and
if you are checking the executable program file, I would be very hesitant
to run it without first checking it with a good virus scanner. Viruses
normally apend themselves to executable files, and this would cause both
the checksum and file size tests to fail.