Tag Archives: download

How to pay off your landlord debt

Paying off debt involves some nasty math, which is why it’s so controversial. When I was in college, my university used this kind of math to weed students out, so it should come as no surprise that the lending industry booms, and so many hucksters make a fortune hawking questionable ways to get out of debt.

I have a better way, and you won’t pay me anything for the advice. Read on.

Continue reading How to pay off your landlord debt

Solve the NSIS error

nsis_errorI was trying to install some software last week and I got an NSIS error like the one to the right. The message certainly suggests corrupt downloads, but corrupt downloads are relatively rare, and when they happen, redownloading it ought to clear that up. Getting two of these failures in a row with different programs is really a freak occurrence, so I started looking for another problem.

Continue reading Solve the NSIS error

Double-check your security with Qualys Browser Check

In the past, I’ve recommended Secunia PSI as a way to keep your systems up to date. I know from my own experience that it helps, but I also know it doesn’t work 100 percent of the time.

When it comes to security, nothing is more critical than making sure your updates are applying correctly. That’s where my employer comes in, with Qualys Browser Check.

Continue reading Double-check your security with Qualys Browser Check

Linksys EA6200 DD-WRT installation

I picked up a couple of refurbished Linksys EA6200 routers this past weekend. For whatever reason, DD-WRT isn’t officially supported on them, though it does seem to be a popular DD-WRT router. A lot of people make the upgrade far more difficult than they need to. With some simple hacks, Linksys EA6200 DD-WRT installation is pretty straightforward.

I came up with an 18-step process that I simplified just as much as I could. Unlike some methods I’ve seen, I don’t have you editing any binary files or creating custom startup scripts.

Continue reading Linksys EA6200 DD-WRT installation

Download more RAM — Safe? Scam? Joke?

A software developer asked me today about a website called Download More RAM. I don’t think he heard my other coworkers snicker. He asked if it’s possible to download RAM, then asked if it was a security issue. I said it’s best not to visit it, and spared him the history lesson.

Yes, there’s some history to it.

Continue reading Download more RAM — Safe? Scam? Joke?

Use F.lux to help yourself sleep better

I was listening to a podcast when the talk went off on a tangent, to a utility called F.lux. Whoever was talking made it sound like it was just for one platform, so I went looking for an alternative for Windows, given that merely 90.53% of us use it. The answer was F.lux! F.lux is also available for Linux, for what it’s worth. So I downloaded it.

The concept is simple. The lighting on our screens can interfere with our sleep patterns, so F.lux adjusts the screen based on what time it is, so that it interferes less.

Continue reading Use F.lux to help yourself sleep better

Microsoft looks back at MS08-067

The most infamous Microsoft patch of all time, in security circles at least, is MS08-067. As the name suggests, it was the 67th security update that Microsoft released in 2008. Less obviously, it fixed a huge problem in a file called netapi32.dll. Of course, 2008 was a long time ago in computing circles, but not far enough. I still hear stories about production servers that are missing MS08-067.

Last week, Microsoft took a look back at MS08-067, sharing some of its own war stories, including how they uncovered the vulnerability, developed a fix, and deployed it quickly. It’s unclear who besides Microsoft knew about the problem at the time, but one must assume others were aware of it and using it. They certainly were after the fall of 2008.

Continue reading Microsoft looks back at MS08-067

Cleaning a PC when fdisk-format-reinstall isn’t an option

There are any number of pie-in-the-sky pundits who will tell you when a computer starts to get slow, to format the hard drive, reinstall Windows, and go on your merry way.

Unfortunately it’s not always realistic. I don’t clean up PCs all that often anymore, but here’s what I do when I need to.

Continue reading Cleaning a PC when fdisk-format-reinstall isn’t an option

The most valuable IT skill you can learn in 2015: Splunk

Whether you want to move to security or just get a lot of job security and raise potential while staying in infrastructure, probably the best thing you can do for your career is to learn Splunk.

What’s Splunk, you ask? Well, my t-shirt says “Weapon of a security warrior,” but it really does a lot more than that.

I think of it as a centralized logging and alerting system, but really, because it can log and alert and draw graphs, it can replace almost any piece of management infrastructure. I asked, only ten-percent joking, why a Splunk shop needs to run anything else to manage itself.

Stand up Splunk, let it collect your logs and your performance data, and when something goes wrong, you have one place to look for the data you need to figure out what happened.

Fortunately, unlike many enterprise tools, you can run Splunk at home for free. Splunk offers a well-written 200-page book for free in all of the common e-book formats that provides a good introduction and a set of data to play with, and you can download the software itself from Splunk’s front page. You can then pull your logs from all of your desktops, and if you run DD-WRT, you can pull those logs as well, then practice learning what you can from that data beyond what’s in the book.

You will undoubtedly find some things when you start poking around, so even if you’re not able to get going with Splunk in your current role, you’ll end up with the war stories you need to get a Splunk-related role for your next job. Even if all you do is catch HD Moore and Robert Graham scanning you, your interviewer will be interested in hearing how you saw it and managed to figure out it was them.

Advantages of Windows 10

Now that Windows 10 is out, the questions I see most frequently are why someone should upgrade, or what benefits they get if they upgrade, or if there indeed is such thing as advantages to Windows 10.

While I understand the skepticism, and I think most people probably should wait a few months before upgrading a Windows 7 machine that’s working well, there are a number of compelling things Windows 10 has to offer.

Continue reading Advantages of Windows 10