May 032012

I just found The Tao of Backup, an amusing but useful perspective on backups.

The story is slightly dated with its reference to using tape for backup and use of Veracity, a now obsolete product for detecting file changes.  (There are other methods that address the risk of undetected, creeping changes to files better than Veracity.)

It’s a good read and addresses many of the risks that backups address.

May 022012

So you have, or want, a web site? And your web consultant starts talking about web hosting accounts, domain names, and other strange stuff. There’s an account for this, and an account for that, and on seemingly forever. What does it all mean? Like a house, you may just want the result, and not have to understand all of the internal construction details about 2×4’s, subflooring, and utility hookups.

Mar 012012

In late February, someone attempted to deface the Port Townsend Sangha web site.  The attempt was only partly successful–the site lost its formatting but the hacker’s graphic message was not displayed.  Since the damage was relatively minor, I spent a day investigating exactly what changes they made and tried to determine how they gained access to the site.

Nov 142011

I’ve been working hard converting a client’s network from Windows Server 2003 SBS with Windows XP workstations to Windows Server 2008 R2 with Windows 7 workstations, and dealing with all the various issues that came up.  Upgrading hardware and operating system were easy.  It’s dealing with the diddly details that takes time—more on those later. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’m suddenly plagued with a raft of equipment problems:

Aug 182011

I rely greatly on backups of my computer hard drive. They have saved me uncounted hours of work by allowing me to simply restore something rather than fix it.

They could have saved my clients money–restores are often quicker and cheaper than repairs. They could have restored their computer to a previous state themselves and not needed my help to remove a virus. Continue reading

Aug 142011

Have you wondered why people would write viruses and spyware that infect your computer? The answer is simple: they are trying to rob you. There’s a good article about the history and current trends of hacking titled Why hackers write computer viruses on The most common infections I have seen recently are fake anti-virus and anti-spyware products. Their goal is to extort cash from you by frightening you about many viruses on your computer and asking you to pay for their anti-virus program to remove themselves.  These programs lie–they report infections that are not present and may block running Continue reading →

Aug 102011

I mostly use WordPress for website development, primarily because of the rich supply of plugins. In two recent jobs, I’ve used the Twenty Ten and Twenty Eleven themes. A great virtue of both of those themes is the wealth of support available on the internet. For my current project I decided to extend my experience by using a new theme. But how to decide which theme to use? If you search the internet for sites reviewing or recommending themes, you find lots of rave reviews for this theme or that. But can you trust those reviews? When I looked closely, Continue reading →