For those who may be unaware, NAS is an acronym that stands
for Network Attached Storage device. A NAS is basically a
low-powered computer with a large hard drive, or perhaps several
large hard drives, that connects to a network, so that anyone on
the network may have access to the files on the drive(s). This
article addresses the advantages and disadvantages of owning a
NAS, so that you may better understand if owning one may be
worthwhile for you...
The internet has been in widespread, world-wide use for more than
twenty years, but we still lack adequate methods and systems for
verifying the identities of individuals on line. Many
have expressed their thoughts about the inadequacy of user-defined
passwords for identity verification. They point out that users
often create weak passwords. Users often lose passwords,
requiring a backup system which is itself inherently less secure
than a strong password and more prone to social engineering. And,
users often use the same password on multiple accounts. Experts
also point to numerous data breaches in recent years as proof of
the lack of sufficient security around the protection of users'
passwords on corporate and government servers...
Until recently, the conventional wisdom was that the internet
is beyond the control of governments. How naive the conventional
wisdom sometimes is. The thoughtlessness behind this position
is beginning to
be obvious to even the most naive as China becomes more successful
at using it's "Great Firewall" to isolate its people from any
website of which it does not approve and Russia experiments with
"shutting down its internet connection"...
For the past two-and-a-half years, I've been traveling a lot with
my laptop. Having spent many hours on line researching the best
approach, I can tell you that some of the advice I've found there
It is a sad fact of life that as a technology matures, enthusiasm
for it wains. People stop being interested in understanding the
technology and become simply "users" of it. In my opinion, this
began happening with computer technology almost three decades ago...
Many consumers are unaware of the critical importance of their
routers in protecting them from internet threats. A router
prevents hackers and bots from being able to see your computer
from the internet. If a hacker can't see your computer, he can't
hack your computer. Although router hacking is less common than
computer hacking, it's prevalence is rising, because it is both
harder to detect and harder to reverse...
As I have written before, the
laptop I use most these days was built in 2008. I bought it used
on Ebay for $55 in early 2016, and I haven't had any significant
trouble with it since. But, if I were to put aside my cheapskate
tendencies and buy a new laptop in 2019, this article covers what
I would be looking for as I shop...
I've now had my PirateBox up and running continuously for 17
months, so I think it's about time I wrote a review...
For decades we have been conditioned by computer hardware and
software vendors and computer salespeople to buy faster, more
expensive CPU's than we really need. One of the conditioning
techniques has been the incitement of fear through the threat
of obsolescence. Although Moore's Law was true for decades,
it is not true today.
The good news is that since Moore's Law no longer holds, the
threat of computer obsolescence is now a mostly an idle threat...
I'm not sure there is an official definition for the word
"technoaddiction", so I'll define it as a condition enabled by
technology that is severe enough to cause a person to compulsively
waste time and/or money to the point of significantly
negatively impacting his life. That's a pretty broad definition, so
I'll try to narrow it down for the purposes of this article...
A year or two ago, my brother-in-law's email account was stolen
and used to ask his friends for money. Three years ago, my mother
bought a mattress online, despite my warning, and had a very
difficult time actually getting what she paid for. I believe it
was only because she called her bank soon afterwards that she was
able to get the bank to take action. These are just two of a
vast number of anecdotes about scams that occur on the internet
every day... Read More
By now, almost all of us have heard the saying about services
provided over the internet, "If you don't have to pay for the
product, you are the product." We know that usually means
giving up information about ourselves that service providers can
use to make money. They usually make money by selling our
information to advertisers. For example, I think it's safe to say
by now that most Gmail users know that Google reads their emails
and sells the non-identifying information it finds to advertisers...
You don't need to spend a lot of money to get a useful,
multipurpose laptop. Back in early 2016, I gave myself the
challenge of finding the cheapest, usable, multipurpose laptop.
Cheap means used. But I wasn't looking for any old piece of junk.
I wanted a quality laptop, one that would last for at least a
couple of more years. My requirements for a multipurpose laptop
UEFI stands for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface. It is the
standard for the firmware that plays the role that the BIOS (Basic
Input/Output System) most often filled before about the year 2012
of interfacing your computer's operating system with it's firmware.
Firmware is the "software" in the chips (or microcontrollers) that
control each piece of hardware in your computer...
Namecheap is my domain name registrar for my website, a situation
which I am in the process of correcting. The problem with
Namecheap is that when I travel, use a proxy service, or a
VPN--anything that causes their computers to believe that I am in
a different physical location--I can't access my account without
a huge hassle...
The singularity point (also known a the infinity point) is the
point where computers become more intelligent that human beings.
Some say this will happen by the year 2045. Some say it will
never happen. Elon Musk and Steven Hawking think it will
bring about the end of mankind. I don't know what will ultimately
happen to mankind and when, but I do know this isn't the first
artificial intelligent "revolution" that we've been through...
This is my vision of what computers could look like in the
year 2029, because the technology most likely will be available
to support it. But my vision may never see the light of day,
because computer companies prioritize profits far above
Several years ago, I volunteered for a day to help out at a thrift
store run by the headquarters of a nationwide church organization.
That day, in addition to the many carloads of other things
donators provided, we accepted computers, monitors, and printers.
Among the computers were five or six nice-looking laptops. I was
told to take all the computer equipment and put it in a pile for
the computer recyclers to pick up later. I was also told that the
thrift store didn't really like people donating computer equipment,
because it had to pay the computer recyclers to take it away...
I have some theories about how laptop manufacturers decide which
features to incorporate into the laptops they design. Having some
hard data could either support or refute my theories, but either
way, hard data should be useful to help explain why laptop
manufacturers make the decisions they do. I would imagine that
I am not alone in wondering about this topic. So, if you would,
please use the survey form below to tell me which features you would
be willing to pay for, if you could find them, in your next laptop.
After enough of you have responded, I will share the results
in a later article...
My project for myself last week was to create a family website.
Although I'd been considering it for years, I had never gotten
around to it. Now that I have, I've found it to be an interesting
challenge, both technically and socially. I've found the two
biggest issues so far to be usability and security...
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Cheapskate's Guide to Computers and the Internet. All rights reserved.