I wish I’d posted this last week, since many of us see one set of relatives at Thanksgiving and a different set at Christmas (and perhaps New Year’s). Here are things you can do as preventative maintenance for relatives whose computers could use a little help. Read the full post »
I’ve written before about using the hosts file to block domains that are hosting malware. The idea is pretty simple. There’s a known list of domains that are either hosting or controlling malware, so by blocking your computer from accessing those domains, you make it much harder to get infected in the first place, and in the event that you do get infected, at least you block access to the command and control servers.
The problem is that Windows doesn’t make this easy. Well, I found an easy way: Hostsman. You can have it up and running in minutes.
Are you putting off switching to Windows 8.1 because you don’t want to relearn everything from scratch that you’ve known since 1995? I saw Windows 8.1 on Thanksgiving, and you have to do some asinine downward swipe with the mouse to bring up Control Panel. Yeah, that’s easier.
But even though Microsoft insists on shooting itself in the foot with a nuclear missile, Classic Shell fixes what Microsoft refuses to fix. Want Windows 8 to act like Windows 7? No problem. Want it to look like XP? Yeah, you can even do that.
So I highly recommend it. Yes, Windows 8.1 with Classic Start. Here’s why. Read the full post »
I helped someone troubleshoot a Lionel ZW transformer this week, because my Lionel ZW transformer had exactly the same problem. It seems like it’s pretty common, so maybe others have the problem too.
The Lionel ZW, as you may know, has four pairs of posts on the back for power. You can use it to run four trains, but what many people do is use the inner posts to power accessories and fine-tune the voltage output. The problem with my ZW was that one of the pairs of posts didn’t work. Sometimes two of them might not work.
Here’s a slick trick to try, and if it works, the fix is super cheap and easy. Read the full post »
Ars Technica ran an aptly timed article today called How to talk your family out of bad consumer electronics purchases. It’s definitely worth a read.
There’s a great tip in the article. If a doorbuster item has a model number that isn’t available the rest of the year, you don’t want it. That’s a good rule.
Last night, Rob O’Hara made cookies. Then he wrote about it. Many of Rob’s projects turn out spectacular. His cookies? Well, nobody will mistake him for Martha Stewart. I quote:
I handed the tray to Susan and said “make these into cookies!” and she did by placing in the oven and later removing them.
You’ll have to read the rest over at Rob’s place.
Last night I saw reports that OCZ’s main creditor is forcing it to liquidate, and OCZ has an agreement to sell most of its assets to Toshiba. Its manufacturing plants and its Indilinx controller technology make Toshiba a good fit; Toshiba makes some controllers and they make flash memory, so this would allow them to expand their SSD business and/or compete with Sandforce by being able to sell a broader line of controllers and memory chips to companies like Kingston. Tuning Indilinx designs to match their own chips would likely improve both speed and reliability.
OCZ was an early contender and was one of the first companies to market a consumer SSD that had a reasonable mix of performance and affordability. The problem was that many of their designs were buggy and they had a poor reputation for customer service. They didn’t get a lot of repeat customers. I had a couple of 40 GB OCZ Vertex drives and they were OK. The problems with subsequent drives scared me away from buying any more.
It will be interesting to see what Toshiba plans to do with the acquisition.
I had a search query about getting started in regulatory compliance, which I’ve written about before, but more from an organizational perspective. That won’t help you much from a career perspective.
I think most any CISSP will answer that question similarly, so I’ll take a stab at it. Read the full post »
This week, the Consumerist recommends testing a Playstation 4 before gifting it. That’s always a good idea anyway, given that most failures happen very early in the life of an electronics gadget. If they survive the first 24 hours, they are much more likely to have a long life. It’s a good idea if you’re giving something other than a Playstation 4 too, like an Xbox One, or something slightly older.
It’s an especially good idea in the case of newly released electronics, because the new releases tend to be more glitchy than venerable products near the end of their retail life. The manufacturers have had six or seven years to work out the issues with previous generation consoles. They’re still learning how to make the current ones. Read the full post »