jacob's blog

The importance of complex passwords

An incident at the popular web service called Twitter has brought to light the importance of complex passwords. A hacker decided to try to break into a popular user's account at the service. He did so by writing an automated tool that used what's called a dictionary attack to try and guess the user's password. He went to bed and let the tool run all night. The next morning, he found he had broken into the user's account, finding the user's password was set to the word "happiness."

Microsoft, Windows 7, and Linux

I read an article on Slashdot detailing an announcement by Microsoft. This announcement states that Windows XP will be available to OEMs, or computer system builders, until May 2009.

Vista was supposed to replace Windows XP on new computers in January of this year. However, sales of Windows Vista and a public outcry persuaded the company to extend the sales of OEM copies of Windows XP through 2010.

Stealing homes

A story caught my eye on msnbc.com with the headline "activist moves homeless into foreclosures."

Expecting a real human interest story, I was appalled at the spin introduced in this story. Essentially, a man by the name of Max Rameau is helping homeless people break into and occupy foreclosed, vacant homes. And I guess he's not alone.

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The matrix runs on Windows

"I'm going to learn Ubuntu?" =)

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Online backup for Linux: SpiderOak

I have been looking for an online backup solution for Linux for quite some time. There are many solutions out there, but as far as I have found, they are all written for Windows or Mac. I had been using duplicity with a remote server, but to purchase my own server for this use would be cost prohibitive compared to the solution I found.

I then read a post on an Ubuntu forum recommending SpiderOak as an online backup solution for Ubuntu.

Linux Tip: Compiling using multiple cores

Compiling software can be very time consuming. To speed things up, and utilize what you paid for, you can use the -j switch for make. So make -j4 bootstrap will cause make to run four jobs at one time. This speeds things up drastically and will utilize four cores.

Linux tip: making a directory with parents

Making a directory is no big deal:

$ mkdir ~/temp

But what if you have to make a bunch of directories nested? So what if I had to make ~/temp/temp1/temp2/temp3/temp4 ? Using the -p switch, for parents, the utility will create the structure for you.

$ mkdir -p ~/temp/temp1/temp2/temp3/temp4

This command will create all the directories leading down to temp4.

What I can't stand about windows

It's some of the simple things, some of the items the developers obviously cut corners on that ruin my experience with Windows. It is also the lock down, the "hand holding," the obfuscation and hiding of system configuration and administration behind easy to use GUIs.

Not that GUIs are bad, but few things are more frusturating when a GUI is the only method of configuration, and the developer of the GUI has decided that you, the administrator, does not need to change.

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Internet kiosk using Ubuntu part 1

A work order had come through at my work several weeks ago stating that one of our public kiosks was prompting for credit card information via the browser whenever a user attempted to use it. This was supposed to be an "internet only" kiosk, which turned out not to be, but was definitely supposed to be a locked down machine.

T-Mobile's G1 - Android

I pre-ordered the T-Mobile G1, the first phone offering Google's Android operating system, Wednesday, as soon as I had heard it was available.

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