Veteran IT journalist Guy Wright advises not to buy any more computer than you need. Wright was a prominent Commodore journalist, so he’s been thinking this way for literally decades. I grew up reading the magazines he edited in the 1980s and 1990s–yes, really–so it’s not surprising that I would agree with him.
I saw a couple of points worth clarifying.
Continue reading Buy as much computer as you need
I found this oldie but goodie Lifehacker article: When two computers are cheaper than one. It advocates buying a cheap laptop and building a desktop PC to meet your computing needs.
I think it makes a lot of sense. A few weeks ago, a coworker asked me what the most I would be willing to pay for a laptop. I hesitated, thought for a while, and said you might be able to convince me to spend $600. “Wow,” he said. “I’m considering a $3,500 laptop.”
I wouldn’t. Continue reading Don’t buy a “desktop replacement” laptop
In my day, I did plenty of hardware maintenance in the field. In fact, the only time one of my bosses ever saw me working, I was swapping out failed memory in a server.
“How’d you know it needed to be done?” he asked.
“It told me.” That’s why I always loved HP Proliant servers. My boss looked confused at my answer but didn’t ask me to elaborate.
But not all of my field maintenance always went quite so smoothly. Continue reading The wrong way to reboot a server
Don’t you feel like trying something new
Don’t you feel like breaking out
Or breaking us in two
You don’t do the things that I do
You want to do things I can’t do
Always something breaking us in two –Joe Jackson
After years of buying up companies, HP is splitting up. While that’s probably more prudent that exiting the desktop PC business, which is another idea they flirted with in the past, it’s anyone’s guess how this is going to work out.
But it’s what all the cool kids are doing, so it’s what the investors want, and that means HP is going to do it. Continue reading HP splits in two.
Last month, Rapid7’s Trey Ford appealed to security professionals:
You have an opportunity to be an ambassador. When you see XP out there, have an adult conversation, educate in terms that others will appreciate. Your actions and words reflect on the entire community.
As the family CIO/CSO – look for the smart investment. There are options that will make your life easier. A small investment is a lot easier to stomach than compromised shopping/banking/credit card credentials (or identity theft.)
Continue reading What I did for Mother’s Day
In the midst of Microsoft reminding everyone that Windows XP’s doomsday is less than a month away, Apple quietly announced that Mac OS 10.6’s doomsday was sometime last year, and no more security updates would be forthcoming for Snow Leopard.
That led to this piece about why anyone would still want to run Snow Leopard. Well, there are reasons for it–and for that matter, there are reasons why they would want/need to step back to 10.5 (Leopard). I don’t disagree with that part at all, but I do disagree with the point at the end, where he says that if you want a computer that lasts a long time, you have to buy a Mac.
Let me remind you that Microsoft is sending out reminders to people that it’s time to migrate off an operating system that hasn’t been generally available on new consumer PCs since 2007. Continue reading Macs aren’t the only computers that last forever
Articles like Top 10 collectibles for value, from the Post-Dispatch this week, frequently make me nervous, mostly because of statements like this one:
[D]id you know that computer parts can bring home cash, too?
Statements like that tend to get people’s hopes up way too high. I find the timing interesting though, seeing as a TRS-80 Model 1 sold at a St. Louis estate sale this past weekend. The estate seller’s reaction? “Normally you can’t give that stuff away.”
Continue reading The Post-Dispatch may be giving the wrong idea about the dollar value of vintage computers
Lifehacker posted a controversial computer manufacturer ranking this week. I’m not sure how you can rank anything with Apple, HP, and Dell in it and not be controversial–someone’s going to be offended that their favorite isn’t at the top and their least favorite isn’t dead last–and while I agree with it more than I disagree with it, there are at least three problems with it.
So, let’s go. Continue reading The problem with Lifehacker’s computer manufacturer ranking
A friend asked me a favor in church one Sunday: He had a computer he wanted to clean off so he could donate it, but since it had financial data on it, he wanted to make sure it was cleaned up securely. I recommended Darik’s Boot and Nuke, which I’ve recommended before, but he wasn’t able to get it working for whatever reason. So he asked if I would clean it if he dropped it off. I agreed.
Rather than burn a DBAN disc, I just took the hard drive out and put it in a Linux box and wiped it with that. It was easier than trying to find a blank CD.
Continue reading Cleaning a hard drive with Linux
After talking with another former classmate/newsroom-mate, I wanted to bring out the highlight from yesterday. I’m not saying this would have saved Brian, but it was life-changing for me, and I’d say there’s probably a 10% chance it can be life-changing for you, too. If you’re one of the 90%, it’s more likely to be merely helpful.
The problem is the word “should.” And while I generally think striking words from the English language is a bad idea because language control is thought control, this is one instance where I don’t think thought control is a bad thing. “Should” is a club that we use to beat ourselves up with far too often. Continue reading Forget the word “should.”