Friday, May 27, 2011

Microsoft activation

Microsoft server activation sucks when it doesn't work.  2 hours on the phone today so far.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Samsung Transform is a laggy piece of shit.

Samsung Transform Android Phone (Sprint)
Piece of Shit
Well, my cellphone, a Samsung Transform, started acting up enough today for me to do a factory reset on it.  This thing is the laggiest, buggiest, piece of shit phone that I've ever owned, and I once owned an Audiovox phone.  I called and complained too, but of course that was basically wasting my breath.  If anyone has any ideas how I can get a better Sprint phone without it costing me a fortune, I'm all ears.

In other news, Air Control is the amazon free app of the day.  I've played the free version, and it's pretty alright.

Shit.  My Majesty savegame didn't survive.  DAMMIT.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

How to keep your passwords secure

Well, now that there are reports of PSN passwords being exploited on other services (Blizzard, Paypal, etc.) I thought a followup to one of my earlier blog posts was in order.

Everyone knows that you should use secure passwords everywhere, and that you should use different passwords at each place.  "But Ed", you say, "How can I remember all that?  I'm not a computer!".  Well, I'm glad you asked.  This system is what works for me:

Step 1, Download and install Dropbox.  Dropbox works like a folder on your computer that is synchronized to the internet.  If your computer gets lost or stolen, the contents of your Dropbox folder are still accessible.  A 2GB account is free (and each of us gets another 250MB if you use that link), and plenty of space for what we're using it for.  You should be ok keeping the defaults during the installation.  Use a new password, at least 12 characters, with letters and numbers.  It's ok to write this one down for now.

Step 2, Download and install Keepass.  Choose the latest 2.xx version.  Keepass is a password manager.  There are others that can do the job too, but Keepass is free and open source.  From the Keepass website:

  • Today you need to remember many passwords. You need a password for the Windows network logon, your e-mail account, your website's FTP password, online passwords (like website member account), etc. etc. etc. The list is endless. Also, you should use different passwords for each account. Because if you use only one password everywhere and someone gets this password you have a problem... A serious problem. He would have access to your e-mail account, website, etc. Unimaginable.  But who can remember all those passwords? Nobody, but KeePass can. KeePass is a free, open source, light-weight and easy-to-use password manager for Windows.

Step 3, Run Keepass.  Have it setup a new database (just using a master password, not a key file or a windows account), and save the database in your Dropbox folder.  To test it out, create a new entry (the icon with a green arrow pointing to a gold key) and put in your dropbox username and password.  There!  You have a secure Dropbox account, with a good unique password, that you don't have to remember!

If you have more than one computer, just install Dropbox and Keepass on them too, and Dropbox will keep your password file in sync across your computers.  Also, Dropbox and Keepass both have versions for ipad/iphone/ipod, Android, and Blackberry.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Technology deal of the day

Enterprise Network Testing: Testing Throughout the Network Lifecycle to Maximize Availability and Performance (Networking Technology)Today's technology deal that you should know about is at Cisco Press.  Every day they select one book and sell the electronic edition of it for $9.99.  Lately they've been rotating between the certification books needed to earn your CCNP (ROUTE, SWITCH, and TSHOOT).  Today is a bit of a changeup.  Enterprise Network Testing is the deal of the day right now.

When they first started the promotion, some of the books had some DRM bullshit, but now they're just watermarked PDF's, perfect for copying to your Kindle or smartphone.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bin Laden reported killed

It's some kind of irony that Bin Laden hated us fat, lazy Americans, so we killed him with a remote controlled weapon.

-- Edit, early reports were wrong, it wasn't missiles from drones, it was 4 helicopters and a bunch of guys with guns.  Go team!


I went Geocaching today for the first time in a looooong time.  The last time I went, standard operating procedure was a printout of the caches to check out, and coordinates punched into a standalone GPS like a Garmin.  Now, there are several Android apps that can do all of that.  Yet another example of technology that we have at our fingertips now that wasn't available (or was a pain in the butt to use) only a few years ago.