Computers

We had a power outage the other day.  Not for very long. Only about ten minutes. Fortunately, I run my equipment off an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) so my computer didn’t go down and I didn’t lose my work. My optical network terminal (fibre) and wifi router are on their own UPS so we didn’t lose internet connectivity even with the power out.

Digital amnesia grows daily in our lives. Once upon a time, I could remember every single person’s phone number that I knew. Now I can barely remember my phone number. Once I put a phone number into my phone, I promptly forget it.

This is a minor problem, but it highlights that there are some phone numbers that I do need at my fingertips that I use rarely and so am unlikely to remember. I’m speaking here of things like emergency numbers.

To be fair, some of the threats have lessened to a degree. If you have an iPhone and turned on iCloud backup then you at least have two copies of your photos and possibly other files on your phone. The challenge with iCloud that I keep seeing is that people run out of free space and then start deleting things rather than create more space or look for an alternative backup.

WiFi is broadcast in a torus (doughnut) shape from your antenna. This means that the signal is strongest with the furthest reach along a perpendicular axis from the antenna. So, ideally, you have your WiFi router in the centre of the house about computer high and that should get most of it. Of course, not every house is configured that way. And that’s why we sometimes need a WiFi repeater or extender.

Twice in the last couple of weeks, I’ve had friends ask me about getting emails off of Google. Having everything up on Google seems pretty secure. Google’s not going down anytime soon. But there are issues with having all your email, documents, photos, etc. up there and not anywhere else.
 

I recently had a friend call me up about a network connectivity problem in their house. Their second bedroom/ occasional office upstairs has terrible WiFi connectivity and no ethernet port. Consequently, the office wasn’t nearly as useful as it could have been.

I recently had a friend contact me about a disturbing email they’d received. The writer of the email purported to have compromised my friend’s account. That they had access to their computer, their email, and their webcam.

What is it and why do you want it?

The tool used to stop unwanted traffic into (or sometimes out of) a network is called a firewall. This is a term borrowed from its original meaning which was literally a wall built to stop a fire.

It’s a new year and optimism is in the air. Don’t let that optimistic air get knocked out of you by a bad boot. Remember the Boy Scout’s motto: “be prepared.”