Month: January 2012

How to Make the Switch to Linux

Right out of the gate, let me make a disclaimer here. This is NOT an advertisement nor am I “recruiting” Linux users. Indeed, if you’re satisfied with Windows, or any other “non-Linux OS”, and have absolutely no reason to switch . . . fine.  You’re likely better off sticking with what you’re comfortable with. However . . . if, like I was about 3 years ago, you are seriously angry with Microsoft’s practices (a discussion of why I was angry with Microsoft is NOT pertinent to this article . . . don’t want to turn this into a Microsoft bashing exchange) or otherwise want to experiment and have the motivation to try Linux, here’s what you might expect to encounter during the transition. (Note:  I am writing this from a Windows user perspective . . . was a Windows user from the days of 3.11 up through XP.   What the transition would be like from any other OS, say MAC, I have absolutely no idea.) First of all, the common perception is that Linux is not user friendly.  Depending on what you’re switching from, that may be true and it may not.  If you are a refugee from Windows, I think it’s true (at least it was for me). If you’re used to manipulating Windows files, there’s a substantial difference in the way some file operations in Linux behave. ...

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The Evolution of Digital Storage

The information age, sometimes called the digital age, is the era of time characterized by very fast modes of data transference and access to information that was traditionally tough to come by, such as our access to tools like Google and amazingly broad knowledge databases like Wikipedia. Unbeknownst to many of us living in this age is that the actual term “digital” simply describes a method of transferring data as represented by discrete variables, nothing more. By this definition of digital, anything that represents something else in the form of a discrete variable such as a number, a letter, or any other symbol would be considered digital, including archaic devices such as the abacus, written text, or any other collection of variables which represent concepts. This may come as a surprise to most techies because when we hear the term “digital” in the age of computers we are usually thinking of devices that transfer and store information based on binary signals across on an infrastructure that isn’t mechanical. Despite the above meaning behind “digital,” it is safe to say that the working definition for this term is more important than the overly broad one found in dictionaries. Digital devices and methods for data storage have evolved tremendously just like the definition over the last decade, but many of us aren’t very sure as to the path these devices and...

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Microsoft Fix It Utility CAN Mislead

This is NOT the typical Microsoft bashing rant, nor is it intended to be.  Indeed, the 500 pound gorilla from Redmond, for all its faults and flaws, was instrumental in developing the tech revolution during the 70’s, 80’s, and early 90’s. That history has helped to give Microsoft the stellar rep that it currently enjoys with novices.  And that’s the problem I saw recently when a friend called me and said one of his add-ons was missing (it was WOT, a link trustworthiness checker.) So I fired up my team viewer RA and took a look at his problem. Come to find out the add-on had been disabled, and further that the Microsoft Fix It Center utility (http://fixitcenter.support.microsoft.com/Portal/GetStarted) recommended disabling it “to speed up IE”. Disclosure:  I’m a ‘nix kind of guy and not a Windows user and not a Windows fan, nevertheless as I said this is not intended to be a Microsoft bashing frenzy.  Browser wars and OS wars are a waste of time to debate.  The OS and browser you use is just a matter of personal preference.  I happen to prefer ‘nix and FF, but I’m not about to argue my preference is “better” than someone else’s. My main caution with Microsoft Fix It, and other utilities of that kind, is directed to novices.  Very often these utilities have a “recommended” remark, and novices take...

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Booking Your Next Cruise?

It’s the perfect time of year to book a cruise because many are deeply discounted during the winter and early spring. Unfortunately, scammers know this as well and they’re sending out spam in an attempt to lure victims into believing that they’re getting a great deal. If you receive an email like the one pictured below, it is a scam out to steal personal identifiable information to be used for unlawful activity. The email is purporting to be from valid travel agencies, claiming to save you money on your next cruise. Actual Email If you’re looking to book a cruise, it’s best to go to a well known agency in person, because they will be able to offer deep discounts on excursions, airfare and other bonuses. If you would like to book your cruise online here are some safe and reputable web sites; www.royalcaribbeanvoyages.com www.cruisesonly.com www.carnival.com cruise.expedia.com www.travelocity.com/Cruises You know the old saying? “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is” Be careful booking your cruise from unsolicited emails as these are likely to be...

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Ameritech Phishing Scam Alert

There’s an email purporting to be from Ameritech, claiming that due to congestion, all ameritech.net users that don’t verify their accounts will be removed from the system. This is a phishing scam out to steal user account information to be used for unlawful activity. If you receive such an email like the one below, ignore it and delete it immediately. Ameritech will never ask users to submit personal account credentials via email. Actual Email From: Ameritech © Mail Center <accjc@pacbell.net> Date: January 17, 2012 2:48:17 PM CST To: undisclosed recipients: Subject: Account Verification (Response Needed) Reply-To: s_team@aol.com Due to the congestion in all ameritech.net users and removal of all unused Accounts, ameritech.net would be shutting down all unused Accounts, You will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Information below after clicking the reply button, * Username: * Password: * Re- Confirm Password: * Date of Birth: * Country or Territory: *After following the instructions in the sheet, your account will not be interrupted and will continue as normal. Thanks for your attention to this request. We apologize for any inconveniences. Warning!!!: Account owner that refuses to update his/her account after two days of receiving this warning stands the risk of losing his or her account permanently. As you can see the email isn’t from Ameritech and they would never use an email account from another ISP. About: Ameritech...

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