Why Do We Need Passwords?

May 13, 2009

The same question could be phrased “why do we need locks on the doors of our house?” or “Why do we need locks on our cars?”
If some one fails to see the need for locks then have them remove the locks from their home and car.
Quickly the need will be self evident, all though costly.
In this computer age we need security and passwords are that lock to keep the outsiders out side!

Weak or substandard locks are worthless. Would you lock the front door of your house with a luggage lock?

luggagelock
The best they can do to a malicious person is be a nuisance. They will not hinder or stop him.

They are better than nothing right?

Low hanging fruit are always the first fruit taken from a tree. But once they are all gone then more effort is required to get the rest of the fruit. So it is with those with with no passwords at all and those with weak passwords. Those with weak passwords aren’t the first to be taken but they are definitely next!

Your computer has about 256 entry points called ports which are like doors  and it takes less than three seconds to knock on all the doors looking for a response from the computer of  “user name and password”.
Once there is a response then what is used is a dictionary attack where every word in the dictionary is used. This can be done in minutes. Next is the hackers list of most commonly used passwords. Comments on this list can be found at http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/120554 
 

while the list itself can be found at

 

What is a strong password?
It should be at least 8 characters long with a mixture of numbers and letters with one or two special characters.
No, swordfish will not do. 🙂

So how do you remember a password that has number and letters with special characters?

For me special characters mean either at home or at work or at some other location. For instance the special character “$” would be for my computer at work. Then if I am opening a Windows OS then I just use the first four characters of Windows and it would be $Wind. Now interweave the last four digits of your personal phone number at work or your employee ID into it or any other familiar numeric string. Like this $W4i2n4d9. What if you were logging into your Quick books at work? What should the password be? $Q4u2i4c9k. When I am at home the stars are out. Guess what special symbol I use at home? Right, the “*” special character. So logging on to my home computer which has Windows it would be merged with a numeric string at home, perhaps the last four of the home phone *W9i7n5d5. 

This method makes for  stonewall passwords! What is even better they are easy to remember! (well almost 🙂 )

Remember it is not a person that is attacking your computer but a program that is written so that one program can be at thousands of places at one time, knocking on your or other’s computer’s or router’s doors.

Should you share your passwords with anyone? Maybe one; Groucho Marx! 🙂

We are here for you, if you need help give us a call at IBEX 619-464-4249


The Wrong Place At The Right Time

April 8, 2009

andromeda_moo

There always seems to be tremendous laughter over the ancient concept that the earth does not move and the heaven planets and stars orbit around the earth.

image001

Yet postulations and scientific projection based on that ancient misconception continue to prevail in our dreams and science fiction. What is more than amusing is that everyone takes it so seriously throwing out the scientific discoveries of the last 400 years and returning to the belief that the earth does not move and the heaven, stars and planets revolve around the earth!

What am I talking about?  TIME TRAVEL.

Remember the first mention of a “time machine” was H.G.Wells’ novel “Time Machine” written in 1895. Then came the movie in 1960.timemachine Then more movies and television shows like Terminator and Sarah Connor Chronicles keep coming.

timebubleWhere clothes are not an option for time travel but tooth fillings, tattoo’s and makeup are. 🙂

Remember Back to the Future? Remember the speed the DeLorean had to go to jump time? 

future460 But the best of all was the Star Trek episodes where generally it was a very advanced civilization that could do it or a freak occurrence in the “space time continuum”.

tos_city-on-the-edgest_tng_1x124_001st-tng_timescape 

  I   have no real problem with bending, warping, or punching a hole in the fabric of time BUT the resulting location can be detrimental to the time traveler’s health!

Why do I say that? Because the earth is rotating, IT IS NOT STANDING STILL!  How fast is it rotating? At 1,070 miles per hour! What that means is every second you are approximately 1569.2 feet from where you were the second before! Now for more complication; how fast are we orbiting the sun? Ready? Depending on the year anywhere between 66,000 and 67,000 mile an hour! Is there more? Yes! Our wonderful solar system rotates around the center of an average spiral Galaxy called the Milky Way at a speed of , are you ready for this? ; 45,000 miles an hour!  Soooo in that direction after 1 second you are 12 miles away from where you were the second before. But the Galaxy isn’t moving is it? Yes it is! Our galaxy is traveling as our solar system orbits around it’s black hole at a speed of  684, 000 mile per hour! That means in the direction of the galaxies speed in one second you are 190 miles from where you were! So you see  Time Travel has nothing to do with where you are on earth but where you are in the UNIVERSE ! Going back in time could put you in the middle of a star or bury you in a planet. Even going back one second in time would have a mountain or building slamming into you at 1,070 mph. How do you match the velocity and course of a target location going  1,070 mph one way and 67,000 mph another way and 45,000 mph a different way and 684,000 mph another different direction?

You see the concept of Time Travel is quite unrealistic. But in the operation of your computer it is not.

If you are in Windows and you make an error, no matter what program, hold down the CTRL key and press the letter “z”  press it again and you go further back in time, to go forward, hold down the CTRL key and press the letter “y” .  What if you just want to change the conditions or undo the consequences of a decision or action? In a computer that is very do-able for the operating system with restore points. What is a restore point? Well in theory if you were to go back in time, the future would no longer exist as you know it because your very presence changed the course of the time line thus all your memories from the future would no longer exist. Which would make no sense going back in time if you didn’t know why you were there when you got there. BUT in the computer, using the restore points, you keep all your personal stuff, only the operating system (the world inside your computer) would go back in time. ONLY in the computer world do you have perfect time travel !

If you go to Start then Programs then Accessories then System Tools, there you will find System Restore. It is in this program that you can set a restore point to get back to “in the future” or take your computer back in time to any restore point listed and not loose your personal things that you remember you have. 

So is time travel possible? Yes but only in the perfect world of computers!

Isn’t that moving? 🙂


Raising your Computer’s IQ

March 26, 2009

computer_glowMany have given names to their computers.

Speaking of them as if Computer was their last name. For example, have you ever heard some one address their computer as that Stupid Computer or that Damn Computer or that Dumb Computer?  Most people never really consider giving their computer a real name because there is no intelligence to the computer. Would you give a name to a typewriter or filing cabinet or radio or television or cell phone?  Of course not, names are give to something possessing intelligence. For example like your bird, pet fish, your dog or cat but never a computer because it does not have intelligence, or does it?

What is Intelligence? Isn’t it a  term used to describe a property of the mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn?

When it comes to simple addition of multiple numbers who do you trust for the answer your bird,your dog, your fish, your self or your computer? How about multiplication, division or square root?

Who can schedule  appointments years in advance, remind you and tell you the date and time anytime they are asked?   It’s not your fish, cat, dog or bird; the best they can tell you is when it is time to feed them!  That just leaves you or your computer and who do you trust to plan the date and remember it?

OK, now how about your taxes?  You would never trust the guidance of your pets for that one, the consequences are too dire so you only trust your self to do them right?  No way, you trust your computer to do your taxes. Do you check the results to see if the computer did them right?

Now for the pièce de résistance,when you write a letter to an important official, who is the one who checks your spelling and grammar?

NO I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT WHETHER A COMPUTER IS ALIVE OR NOT!

I am talking about intelligence!

tlb_0079268_largeWhen it comes to the need to dig and move earth what would you prefer a shovel or a tractor with backhoe and bucket?  

The tractor multiplies our arms and strength.

I can see !

I can see !

 

 When you have to see a great distance what do binoculars or a telescope do for you?

They multiply your eyes ability and vision.

What if you had to address 300 people in a room could you speak loud enough for them to hear you?

micnspeakers

I think not.

But I do not think there would be any problem if you had a microphone and speakers; that is unless you forgot to plug them in. 🙂 What does a microphone and speakers do? They multiply your voice !

When we come to the computer what is being multiplied?  YOUR BRAIN!

Intelligence is to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn.

Which of these is missing from your computer?  The use of language and to learn.  You just need to give the computer ears and start teaching it.  What do the ears look like?  The ears for the computer goes on your head not on the computer. 🙂  

headset_micCan a tractor do it’s job for you with a missing tire?  Sure but not as good as it could.

What greater things could your computer do if it could understand your words and learn what you wanted it to do?  Which is faster for you to talk what you want or to type it?  Wouldn’t it be easier for you just to talk and have the computer do what you ask, even do your typing?  How about having the computer read it back to you in a voice that you choose.  EVERY THING YOU CAN DO WITH THE MOUSE AND KEYBOARD CAN BE DONE WITH YOUR SPEECH!

To learn more about speech recognition in your Windows click start then help and support and type in speech recognition.

What is my computers name?

Well if you ask her she will tell you her name is Ima;

Ima Computer 🙂

 


Wilted Flowers, Crumpled Giftwrapping and Tempfiles

March 15, 2009

wilted-flower

 

Do people really value and save wilted flowers or used crumpled gift wrapping or their computer temp-files? Yes.

How do I know?; because I am one such person.

The flowers that I have saved are not just any flowers, they are flowers whos’ petals have been moistened by my tears or who carry within their fragrance the echos of a moment of great  joy and laughter.

The same is for the few gift wrappings I keep. The wrappings were handmade to represent the gift from the heart of that little girl who gave the present to me. The wrappings could no more be thrown out then the gift could be.  

No I am not saying I have any emotional attachment to temp-files.

No. Wait a minute.

Is anger an emotion? How about frustration? Exasperation? Well then maybe I do 🙂

Temp-files or rather temporary files are rather strange creatures lurking on your hard drive. They are not really bad but then again they are not really good either.

What are temp-files and how did they get there?

They are the gift wrapping of your files or like fresh flowers given on and for Valentines day.  

Rather then go into allot of techno-babel I will illustrate temp-files with a familiar simile.

Remember a certain Christmas day in your childhood when you awoke from sleep to run to the front room where the Christmas tree was, and how you  stopped when you entered the room and stared  at the wonder of all the beautifully wrapped presents and decorations? Then with a squeal of joy dove into the pile of presents looking for your name on them.

Then when all the presents had been divided up and you sat amongst the mountain of presents, you got the go ahead to open them and all mayhem broke loose! If you had 7 other brothers and sisters like I had you know it was crazy! Within minutes the floor could not be seen, hiden under the thick carpet of gift wrappings.temporary

Then the worst thing happened!

One of the toys is missing batteries. Remember the old adage of a “needle in a haystack” well here is the another “a toy part amongst the gift wrappings”  Every wrapping is lifted up and examined to find the batteries until they are found. THIS TAKES TIME!

Imagine if the the wrappings were never picked up and then the next Christmas came and doubled the amount of wrappings on the floor and now you had to hunt for the batteries.

Temporary files are just like the wrappings, valuable once then no longer.

Well this is what makes temp-files (temporary files) a problem. You see when you or I begin using a program or  install programs or update the operating system or browse the Internet; temporary files are created. The are extremely important at that moment when they are madefor the function of the install or operation or usage but of no real value when that function, installation or operation is completed. Usually once that function, installation or operation is completed the temp-files are deleted, just like the Valentine’s day flowers after 5 days or the gift wrapping after Christmas day, that is why they are called temorary files. Well what happens if there is a small problem or some other operating program interferes during the function, installation or operation? Well then the tempfiles are not erased. Then when you use that program, operation or function then the WHOLE GROUP OF TEMPFILES MUST BE SEARCHED BY YOUR COMPUTER!

THIS CAN TAKE A LOT OF TIME!

To speed up your computer delete the temp-files (temporary files). 

If you want to see the temporary files click start then run then type %temp% then press enter. Click on  the column heading “type”, which will place all the files in order of type. All the temp-files will have the extension of TMP. Don’t delete them now but close the window.  

Now remember all programs as well as the operating system has temp files and its a bear to search them all out to delete them sooooo to get them all at once go to Start them Programs then Accessories then System Tools then click on Disk Cleanup.

temporary12

 

Here you can see that there are 307 Meg of Internet temporary files and 5 meg of WebClient/Publisher temporary files. Place a check mark in the box by clicking it for all the titles that have the word temporary in it. Then click at the bottom of the window the word OK.

Now all the temporary files from all the installs and updates and downloads will be removed.

Believe me new flowers should not be placed in a vase with wilted nor should new gifts be placed in the pile of used crumpled gift wrapping.

With the temporary files removed your computer will not be spending time going though the trash trying to find a file.

Now your computer is ready for new flowers (updates) and wonderful new gifts (programs) now that the trash (Temporary Files) are dumped. 🙂


Small Think Not Yotta is!

February 22, 2009

yoda_hulk

 

Whoa! Yeah, I know the name of the little guy on the left is Yoda !

But Yotta is the subject of this post.

You have never heard of  yotta?  In the next 3 to 4 years you will hear it mentioned a lot. What is it? It  is an order of magnitude for data.

Was that an airplane that went over our heads? Ok bear with me here.

There are orders of magnitude for everything, liquid (quarts, gallon,barrels) weight (ounces, pounds, tones), but what about data?

How do you measure your memory and hard drive? in inches? feet? yards? Of course not! It is measured by a different standard of measurement that was designed just for data.  

To make everything simple I will assemble the orders of magnitude in powers of ten with examples.  So let’s start at the beginning shall we.

1 byte (8 bits) a single character

a

 

10 bytes a single wordspaghetti 

(hey I’m hungry 🙂 )

100 bytes  a telegram

732px-westernuniontelegram

 

 

 

1 Kilobyte (1000 bytes) the text from one of Aesop’s Fables

caxton-fables

 

 

 

2 kilobytes (2000 bytes) a fully typewritten page

800px-typehey, no laughing! I still got one of these, and I know how to use it! 🙂

 

 10 kilobytes (10,000 bytes) an encyclopedia page

621px-encyclopaedia_britannica_15_with_2002

 I got a set of these too!

 

 

100 kilobytes (100,000 bytes) a fax page

samfax

I do not have one of these!

I have two. 🙂

 

 1 Megabyte (1,000,000 bytes) a small novel or a 3.5 inch floppy disk

floppy_disk_300_dpi

Yep we got these too but I will not tell you how many 🙂

 

 

5 Megabytes (5,000,000 bytes) the complete works of  Shakespeare or 30 seconds of TV quality video.

shakespeare

I got this in book form, somehow it doesn’t seem right reading Shakespeare from a computer monitor.

 

 

10 Megabytes (10,000,000 bytes) a digital chest X-ray or 1 minute of high fidelity sound.

chest-xray1

No this is not me, I am much more beautiful on the inside 🙂

 

 

100 Megabytes (100,000,000 bytes) one meter of shelved books

shelvedbooks

I got more than a meter of shelved books.

Hey I’m a book freak!

 

500 Megabytes (500,000,000 bytes) the average size of the harddrive in a PC about 6 years ago.

500meghd1

Yes a few of our cutomers still have these in their computers and a 250 meg  YES,  I am encouraging them to upgrade! 

 

 

 1 Gigabyte (1,000,000,000 bytes) a pickup trucked filled with typed paper or a symphony in high-fidelity sound or a movie at TV quality.

casablanca433

 

Its still one of my favorites!

 

 2 Gigabytes 20 meters of shelved books

wallofbooks

 My wall of books looks better!

 

 

50 Gigabytes library floor of Book cases

libraryfloor

What my house would look like if it wasn’t for my wife!

 

500 Gigabytes the size of the PC computers hard drive for the Dual Core Processors 2008

500gigbytehd

I’m getting me one of these, maybe two!

 

 

1 Terabyte (1,000,000,000,000 bytes) all the X-ray films in a large technological hospital OR 50,000 trees made into paper and printed OR the Daily rateof NASA’s Earth Observation System data from all the sensors and satellites.

forest

 

this is the coolest thing about technology!

 

10 Terabytes (10,000,000,000,000 bytes) The printed collection of the U.S. Library of Congress

library_of_congress_reading

 

This is a WOW !!

 

750 Terabytes (750,000,000,000,000 bytes) 2 years of accumulated data from NASA’s Earth Observation System.

objects-low-earth-orbit

 

That IS allot !

 

 1 Petabyte (1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes) 3 years of accumulated data from NASA’s Earth Observation system.

2 Petabytes ALL the US academic research libraries

hmaddenlibrary

 

Ow ! I think I stretched a brain cell !

 

20 Petabytes Total accumulated storage for all hard drives produced in 1995

500gigbytehd

 

 

 

200 Petabytes ALL the printed material in existence!

mountain_of_books

 

Ow! there goes another brain cell!

 

1 Exabyte (1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes) is 50,000 years of DVD quality video

5 Exabytes (5,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes) ALL the words ever spoken by a human being in text.

 mouths1

 

 

9 Exabytes (9,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes) to store all the U.S. telephone calls each year!

cellphones

I don’t think that there is much in cell phone communication that is of value to record.

 

 

160 Exabytes (160,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes) of digital data was created, captured and replicated worldwide in 2006!

internet-trafic-eick

 

 

 

1.8 Zetabytes (1,800,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes) estimated by 2011 the total amount of electronic data in existence

42 Zetabytes (42,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes) ALL human speech ever spoken if digitized as 16 kHz 16-bit audio files

mouthslinda

 

 

 

1 Yotabyte (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes) total amount of on line data assessable for the year 2010 at the present rate of growth!

What is after that ?

That’s it. There is none greater than yotta!

The FORCE of the whole electronic storage and all data through out the world is in yotta! Yotta is the final the ultimate the master of data!

Master Yotta!

yoda


How Can You Tell if Your Computer is Leaking?

February 11, 2009

seatsNo, I’m not talking about  puddles of liquid under your computer!

If there was that type of leakage no one would have to tell you. Duh! But there is leakage in you computer memory especially when a program is written in the C+ or C++ language. Do you know what is written in the C language that is on your computer? Your Windows operating system. The term leakage is so strange in what it is describing because what is actually happening is that available memory gets smaller and smaller on your computer so as to appear as if it was leaking. But what is really happening is that data in memory is not being erased when the program is shut down. So that every time you call up a program and shut it down you have less and less available memory.

When a program is called into memory all the program’s parts like to sit together touching one another in memory, this is called contiguous. When the program is closed it leaves the pointers and references in the memory.

Picture if you will a movie theater and all the seats are memory locations. If your family is first into the theater then all five of you can sit together wherever you like to see the movie. But when you are in the end of the line to enter the theater then there is a problem for everyone to sit together. Because as you look at each row there will be one person and purse in the seat next to him and the next seat will have a coat and the next seat after that will have another coat in it. Though there is only one person, four seats are taken up. The coats and purses are not people they are markers or pointers or references that the seats are reserved. Now as it gets closer to the start of the movie you are trying desperately to find five seats together that are empty. Imagine that is what is happening  in your computer. That when you call up a program, which is five parts, it can’t find seating together when it  enters memory and has to wait. Why?Because most of the available memory has a coat or purse in it and the empty seats in between never total more than three so the program has to wait untill there are five completely empty seats. Sometimes the five contiguous seating never happens even when the next showing begins. Because people left their coats behind when they went home. 

This is memory leakage!   So what should you do? In the theater they close it down and clean it up then reopen it again!

What about Windows in the computer memory? Well, shut it down and start it up again and the programs will find contiguous seating without a problem.  With the memory leakage understood are you ready for the big question?

Should you turn off your computer at night and turn it on in the morning or should you just keep it running all the time?

Does the term slow as molasses in January mean anything to you?  How about frozen solid?!

What do the seats look like in a theater that has had 8 back to back showings? Would you want to sit in any of them?

Imagine what your computer memory locations look like after closing and opening programs for over three days!

So if you want me to join you to see the new Star Trek movie then we are either the first in line to enter the theater when it opens or no deal.  I don’t want to sit on candy wrappers and spilled soda! 🙂


Serving From a Table or From Your Plate!

February 3, 2009

7_lakeandpicnictableWe all have done it!

Remember when we were kids and we would stick our forks into the food on our brothers or sisters plate or they would snatch food from our plate. It was OK because sisters and brothers don’t have koodies! 🙂 

Even now when when our sweetheart says “Hey, let me try some of that.” We don’t think twice of leting them take from our plate. Or when your sweetheart takes the meat on her plate and dumps it onto yours.

sharing

 

 

This all is great until it comes to a big picnic.

If everybody has to stand around and share food from each others paper plate there is going to be people who will not share! Would you mind sharing what is on your plate with someone else or that you would have to take what you want from someone elses plate?

In fact most big picnics where everybody shares from the same paper plate usualy end up sharing their food in a most unusual way by throwing it into the face of  the other. Does the phrase “food fight” bring to mind any memories?

Sharing food

Sharing food

This is why there is the great invention called the picnic table!
Imagine everyone taking from the table what they need and not from each others plate.
They don’t have to hunt out everyone elses  plate to get what they want, they just go to the table to get what they want.
The most benifit of all there is no fight over the food.

What does this have to do with computers?

Well imagine that each computer at an office is a plate with what you want and need. If your networked and what you want is not on your plate  (your computer) then you have to go to someone elses to get what you need or have them take from their plate (computer) and give it to you.

What if some one has koodies?

Well then you get koodies too. 🙂

Sometimes this will work fine ( except for the koodies) but most of the time there will be problems as  both computers grab the food (data) at the same time, resulting in a food fight that ruins the food (data) and makes a mess out of everything!

So what is the solution to the problem?  The picnic table ! 

The problems ceases  once a Server (picnic table)  is placed in the network.

Isn’t a server just another computer? No! Its not just another plate (computer) its the picnic table (server)! If you compare the fork and spoon you eat with, with the spoon and fork and other utensils on the table there is a BIG differance.

These are for serving !

These are for serving !

  

 I know, I know I have seen people try and eat with the serving utensils and sometimes they can acually fit them into their mouths but usally its after a few to many beers!
So too, try and imagine serving people with a plastic teaspoon or a fork, talk about frustration!  The servering table (server) is designed to recieve and serve large quanities of food (data) onto many peoples plates (computers). 
So, when you network (picnic) more than two computers (plates) together its just makes life alot more easier if there is a server (picnic table) where everyone can get what they need quickly using the servers utensiles and if there are any koodies (viruses and spyware) it stays on their computer and no one else gets them! 🙂