Tag Archives: computer

To Err Is Human—To Really F*** Up, You Really Need a Computer

I admit that life demands a place over blogging. I admit that faith, family, friends, work, and keeping up with laundry, mowing, etc. get in the way, too. However, over the past few weeks, I have actually written a few blogs, but my computer would not let me post them, and then they disappeared.

Eventually, I realized the truth.

Whenever I arrive home—early, late, whatever—Louis (our dog) expects to eat. Whenever Adam, my son is gone, his cat demands attention from me—lots of attention—just so long as I don’t try to actually pick her up and hold her.

OMG*, my computers have developed similar traits. If I don’t pay them adequate attention, they act out—obvious passive aggressive actions.

First, it’s a slowing of all functions followed by lost files. Something like:

Me: “Open blog May 2, 2017”

Computer: “                                                                                        Huh?

Okay.”

Then the computer moves to:

“I can’t locate the file.

What application do you want to use to open the file?

The file is corrupted and cannot be opened.

Ooops! The dog ate my files—I mean file not located.”

I’ve been busy looking at new computers online—using the offending computer—but it has such an inflated opinion of itself, it doesn’t seem to care. It just might be in for a big surprise. Feel free to castigate my offensive hardware.

 

 

*Others May Question (my sanity)

 

Random Issues and Other Nonsense

Courtesy: NASA

Courtesy: NASA

Computer wonks professionals are always focused on security above all else. Of course, the most secure computer is the one that is not only disconnected from the internet, but also, unplugged, disassembled and the individual pieces mashed with a sledgehammer.

Therefore, it was no surprise that I received a computer peripheral for my “Home Cloud” that had seals on the cardboard box stating that opening the cardboard box would void the warranty.

My family used to have a tradition of passing an item – a cheap ceramic jar labeled as a “Penny Jar” so that each birthday, holiday, or whatever, it would show up. Sadly it eventually broke. However, with re-gifting now a common practice, there have to be items that keep getting passed along and never actually used; Christmas fruitcake doesn’t count.

Samantha Cristoforetti, an astronaut on the International Space Station is from Italy (and a ham radio operator who talks to kids in school by radio). The Italians have some of their priorities set right, and they designed an espresso machine specifically to work on the space station—the other astronauts drink instant coffee. It finally arrived after a launch mishap (explosion) of a supply rocket in January. If I were an executive with Starbucks, I would be soooooooooooo embarrassed that the Italians beat us to this milestone.

Finally, I have to wonder why certain otherwise normal people feel compelled to write blogs.

How to Keep Your Computer Safe

With all of the stolen identities, viruses, Trojans and other malware, here are the steps you need to keep your computer safe:

  1. Purchase a good quality anti-virus/firewall (AV/F) program.
  2. Install the AV/F program. DO NOT backup data before installing, since this will just save any malware already on your computer. If possible, boot from the AV/F disk and perform a complete system scan.
  3. Update your operating system and your AV/F program. Run a second complete system scan.
  4. Backup your data to a series of Blu-Ray, DVD or CD ROMS and store in a place that is safe from theft, fire, electromotive pulse damage, etc. Bank safety deposit boxes are ideal.
  5. Change your passwords. Do not use any word or combination of words in any language that could appear in a dictionary as these are vulnerable. The password should be at least 20 characters long and include 2 upper case and 2 lower case letters, 2 numbers, 2 special character (such as !@#$%%), 3 polynomials, an imaginary number, an augmented 7th chord, and a mathematical impossibility.
  6. DO NOT WRITE YOUR PASSWORD ANYWHERE!
  7. Remember, if you can remember your password, it is not safe.
  8. Change all your passwords again.
  9. Turn the computer off and remove the power cable.
  10. Remove all other cables attached to the computer.
  11. Remove the screws holding the cover on your desktop OR if you’re using a laptop, remove the battery and all the screws on the bottom of the computer.
  12. Remove the screws on all boards, modules and devices inside your computer. If possible, unsolder all components from the printed circuit boards.
  13. Take each of these items and hide or bury each in a different county/parish. If possible, different states or provinces. (Note: For a variety of reasons, it is advisable that you not cross international borders with your computer parts.)
  14. Consult a professional hypnotist and ask him/her to erase all memories of any passwords or portions of passwords from your subconscious. (Although equally effective, lobotomies have unwanted side effects.)

Congratulations! Your computer is now safe! Enjoy!

W.I.T.C.H.

You’ll have to go here to read the CNN article about a 61 year old computer that has been restored. Please note the picture.

While the technology of the computer has been eclipsed, what hasn’t changed is the way news photographers pose people for pictures. The W.I.T.C.H. computer used paper tape for input, and the photo shows two men – supposedly scientists, staring at the paper tape which has all of the information stored as holes punched into the paper.

Having used punched paper tape, I can tell you there’s nothing to be gained by a human looking at it.

However, I do recall that while I was in college an enterprising individual decided that the chads (remember chad from Florida?) – the little dots of paper punched out of the holes – would make great confetti. The teletype machines had a little plastic box into which all of the chads dropped, so he saved a bagful and took it to the next football game. Unlike plain paper the paper tape and its chads had some type of waxy coating, which meant that when it was tossed and ended up in people’s hair it would stick.

It took heavy duty shampoo, the 1970’s equivalent of a pressure washer and half a day to wash the chads out.

Wonder if someone at the museum will be tempted to try the chad confetti and have the same experience.