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Passwords

November 25th, 2007
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. : : Currently listening to: Breaking Benjamin – Until The End : : .

I just saw a bulletin on MySpace that makes me want to rant here a little bit. It’s mostly dealing with passwords, but there are some other general PC security tips here as well.
First and foremost, create secure passwords. A good strong password will contain at least three of the following:

  • Upper Case Letters
  • Lower Case Letters
  • Numbers
  • Special Characters (such as & * % $, etc)

Sometimes system owners/administrators make it where special characters are not allowed. If the system will allow them, use them. It helps tremendously. There are also tips and tricks for creating passwords. For instance, never use part of your name, birthday, girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse/pet/children’s name or birthday. It also helps if you create some sort of sentence or phrase and use the letters of each word (and punctuation) to make your password. A good rule of thumb is to create at least an 8 character password as well. The longer the password, the harder it will be for someone to crack it.
Never store your passwords on shared PC’s/workstations. I know it’s very easy to just let the PC remember the password. But if it is a shared PC, then you’re asking for someone to come behind you and look at your info. Be mindful when storing passwords on non-shared PC’s as well. Remember, these PC’s can be stolen or hacked. This makes all your stored info vulnerable.
Never write your passwords down. If they are too complex to remember, then find another password. A password should never be too complex for the owner to remember. If you feel that you must write down the passwords, get a password storing program. Such programs encrypt the files that contain the passwords and require a password to open them. These types of programs are extremely helpful if one has lots of passwords to remember. I don’t have any experience with these programs. If you have any good info, please leave a comment.
Here are a few sites that contain good password creation tips/methods:
http://www.securitystats.com/tools/password.php
http://searchwindowssecurity.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid45_gci1044739,00.html
http://uit.tufts.edu/?pid=232
In addition, here are a couple of sites that will check the “strength” of a password:
http://www.securitystats.com/tools/password.php
http://www.microsoft.com/protect/yourself/password/checker.mspx
Please leave your comments if you have any other password ideas to share!

wyldrob PC Stuff, soapbox

Stepping On The Box Again

November 28th, 2005
: : : Currently listening to: Tone Loc – Wild Thing : : :

OK I am going to step up here and say something. If you fail to take a bath, do us a favor and do not get around others. This really irks me. If you have a job, or any sort of contact with others for that matter (even if it’s going out in public), you should take the time to wash yourself! There is probably nothing that more disgusting than someone who won’t bathe. I know someone is going to give examples here, but trust me, I can do without them.
I won’t go into detail about where I ran into this person. I doubt that person would ever read it on here anyway, but still. Just do everyone a favor and bathe. Brushing your teeth is also helpful!
OK, I am done now. You can go back to your daily life!

wyldrob soapbox

Richmond County’s Finest

November 16th, 2005
: : : Currently listening to: Garbage – Stupid Girl : : :

OK, here’s the story. I am on my way over to pick up Jason last night so we can go out to eat. I get stopped at the railroad crossing on Walton Way (at 12th St I believe) because the crossing guard rails were down. Well at this particular intersection it also causes the traffic lights to stay red in all directions. Well the sad part is that we sit here for a few minutes and wait. There is a Richmond County cop in the car next to me. After a few minutes, he drives over the curb and goes and gets out of his car. But does he direct traffic to go thru the crossing? Hell no! This dumb fucker starts walking up the railroad tracks!!! In the meantime traffic on the other side of the road starts coming thru the crossing. Well we have this fucking idiot in our lane who won’t budge. The lady in the car in front of me even got out and walked up to that car with no luck. Boy, she was pissed too when she got back to her car. I think she might have been late because she was wearing scrubs and had a UH parking permit on her car (later she turned into the employee parking area as well).
Well here’s something else. The people who were coming thru the crossing on the opposite of the road were sitting at the traffic light. I guess they were waiting on it to change. HELLO, it’s not going to! Well after sitting there a few minutes (and lots of horn honking) the people finally decide to go thru it. That’s when the genius in front of us decides that she can go as well.
So all in all it was a very frustrating few minutes. The guys who work at Johnson Motor Company thought so too. They kept saying how people should just go thru the crossing. I just don’t understand why one cop couldn’t radio for another to come up and direct traffic. I guess the radios don’t work anymore in the Richmond County cars…
OK, I am stepping down now….

wyldrob soapbox

Dumb ass People

February 18th, 2005
:: Currently listening to: Hanson – Weird (Desmond Child Mix) ::

Why oh why do people have to complain about a website when it is their problem? This totally annoys me. As a web designer I know I am liable to make mistakes in code and some things will not appear the same on some people’s computers. But why in the fuck would you ever think that I would have a website that would require some porno shit to be installed on your computer? I mean think about it, do any of my site promote porno? No, I don’t think so! Of course I am not talking about my site, but rather my mom’s site. She had some idiot woman asking why the site would require some porno stuff to be installed!
First off, if you are getting XXX pop ups or stuff from reputable web sites first thing you should do is check your computer for spy ware and viruses! And secondly, get rid of that stupid ass browser, Internet Explorer. You should switch to Mozilla Firefox Once you have gotten rid of all the spy ware from your computer, then and only then should you write the owner of the website and whine about getting pop ups!
OK, I am off my soapbox now! And remember to make the switch to Firefox today!

wyldrob soapbox

Overheating?

December 10th, 2004
:: Currently listening to: Amanda Marshall – Birmingham ::

Do you have a problem with your computer locking up? Have you tried everything you can think of to fix it and still are at wit’s end? Have you checked it for overheating? That’s what I should have done long ago when my sister said she was having some issues with her computer. She said that her temp alarm would go off every now and then. I have seen it (the temp monitor) give false alarms before, so it didn’t mean much to me. Because by the time I was there to look at the machine everything was back to within normal. However last night when I went over I noticed her computer was locked up and the alarm was on there saying her CPU temp was too high. I reset the machine and went into the BIOS and did find her CPU temp was too high. But more over I found that her CPU fan (which always looked normal before) was only going at like 1300 RPM. I thought it should be going faster. I opened the case and touched the heatsink. Needless to say it was pretty damn hot. I immediately told her that she needed a new fan or heatsink/fan combo. And being that the local computer superstore (which shall remain nameless, but I am sure you know who they are) didn’t have just a fan. They did have a new copper heatsink/fan for only $20 so that’s what she got.
I go over there today and of course the other fan is spinning at it’s normal range at about 4300 RPM. I told her I was not taking any chances with it as I am sure she doesn’t want to buy a new CPU at this point. I installed the new heatsink and so far so good. I can’t believe this tho – I get this new nice copper heatsink and it comes with that cheap-ass silicone-based (at least I think that’s right) heatsink compound. I would think that if you are going to provide this nice copper and nice fan you are going to supply some silver-thermal heatsink compound since it is much better. Anyway, I just tossed that old shit to the side and used some silver on there.
Why I should really kick myself in the ass is because I’ve seen overheating problems before and I should have known that is what it was. Of course while I was there last night, she did inform me that yes the computer was freezing – something she neglected to tell me before. But just take a look at this picture if you want to see how hot that fucker was getting! I was really surprised when I pulled that off! The little cushions that were on the CPU itself are even melted somewhat. Well at least one of them was.
I guess the moral of this story is this – keep an eye on your system fans and your system temperatures! You don’t want a meltdown for something as simple as a fan. And I believe that is a common problem with them not lasting. This particular fan is only about 1.5 years old. It does make me want to exchange a lot of my fans I have because they have molex connections and I can’t monitor them from my motherboards. So that is something I am going to be working on within the next few months. At least all my machines to have temperature monitors installed and can also monitor that CPU fan speed. Jason just had to replace a video card because of a bad fan. I think they need to have more sensors to monitor them on the motherboards. Most of the boards have only two fan connectors – one for the CPU and one for the case. That’s all my boards have IIRC. But with the higher speed machines, you got to keep an eye out on your temps. It won’t take long before your equipment will meltdown once a fan starts malfunctioning.
OK, so I got long-winded here. I think I needed that. I have not done it in a while! LOL

wyldrob personal, soapbox

Antec woes

November 15th, 2004
::Currently listening to: Green Day – Warning::

Who out there has Antec products? Please raise your hand! I am a fairly firm believer in the Antec line of cases, as I feel they are best made cases out there. I have seen some others that are pretty close, but I won’t discuss them right now. I used to think that Antec power supplies were among the best too. But after today, I am rethinking that. As of last night, my server was starting to give me some problems. After about an hour this afternoon of troubleshooting, I found the power supply is faulty. This wouldn’t consern me too much if I had not seen some other Antec p/s’ s gone out this year as well. Hell, Jason’s Antec p/s burned up two different fans this year! There was someone else that had an Antec supply go out on them this year too. I guess this might not bee too bad if they were really old or something. But these weren’t! I don’t think any of them were over two years old! I know mine was only in service about a year and a half. I’ve had some other stuff (cheaper ones) that have outlasted the Antecs. So maybe Antec isn’t the way to go anymore. I think it’s a good tihng that their cases can be ordered without power supplies these days! I will still use their cases for building high-end equipment, but I seriously doubt I use their power supplies anymore. What are your thoughts?
And now I step down from this soap box once again. Until next time anyway!

wyldrob soapbox