Why if it Works Don’t Fix it Isn’t Good for Computing

If it works don’t fix it.  How often have we heard that in our lives.  From the time we were kids our Mom and Dad would tell us this when as you geeks we would take something apart to figure out how it worked.  They’d say it worked before you took it apart!  Ahh yes it did but we learned!  We learned how to do it to a point and then we messed it up and learned not to do that again.  If it works don’t fix it.  Yet this is something that cleanly does not always apply to computers.  Why?  Well let me tell you a story first:

Went down to my parents house for the holidays and had a grand time, but on the first day I learned just how much my parents don’t really know.  I asked my Dad for the password for his wifi router so I could connect to it, but he did not know.  Now this is because Cisco/Linksys implemented Wifi Protected Setup.  My laptop and my wifes both had trouble connecting until I assigned a WPA password.  WPS attempted to make setup easy, but it actually made it harder than it should be.  Anyway, in resolving the solution, I discovered that my parents still had the default password for the router and one of their machines as being logged into only with the Administrator sign on and they had NO PASSWORD on the account!  When I attempted to explain to them how bad that is, they didn’t care.  They said: if it works don’t fix it and it works boy!  Leave it alone!

Now, you Linux people know why these things are bad.  Now I am going to attempt to explain why this is bad in layman terms.  If it works, don’t fix it doesn’t apply here.  Why?  Well not doing anything is just like not doing regular maintenance on your car.  If you don’t change the oil, your car might blow up.  If you don’t patch your router, some mischievous individual may make your computer a slave to his wishes, not yours.  They don’t even have to be in your house or even on your street.  they can be in your neighbors house or on the other side of the world.  This is why you must always do your maintenance.

What maintenance should home users do?  Well here’s what I suggest to do and when:

Monthly

1. Windows, Mac or Linux System Updates.

2. Antiviral or Spyware Updates.

3. Browser updates if you use something other than Internet Explorer or Safari on Mac OS X.

4. Other program updates.

Bi-Monthly

1. Visit your router’s website to see if a firmware update has been released.  If it has, update it.

Every 90 Days

1. Change Passwords.

Now I know what some will say, but these are my suggestions on how to stay safe.  Some of these might be scary for you, but after you’ve done it once, you whoudl feel more comfortable.  The most onerous one is probably the password changes since everything requires a password.  My suggestion isn’t to use an algorithm, but it helps.  If you just can’t seem to remember your password, I highly suggest writing them down if you are a home user.  In a corporate space, this is a nono, but at home you don’t have a choice unless you want to reset your router again.  Besides, if a stranger is in your home, you have a bigger problem than having your password discovered!  If you are afraid to write it down on paper, I suggest using Keepass which is a multi platform password storage program.

This is just an overview of what a every day Joe should do and it not meant to be a comprehensive guide.  If you or your parents aren’t capable of this, then I highly suggest getting them a iPad since it’s very easy to use and hard to mess up.

January 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Radically Finished, Scared and Full of Hope

To the Linux people, this is the last posting on the Radical Read-Along.  God bless you guys and I hope you read.

I was struggling with finishing this book.  Not because it was a hard read, but because God is bringing me and my family to the mat with a lot of things.

Chapter 8

The part that moved me a lot in this chapter was when the mission team was serving patients with HIV.  Would I risk getting pricked with a needle and contracting HIV for the Lord??  Would I go and pray for people who are infected with a deadly disease?  I am starting to believe that I could and I will get to more of that later in the wrap. (more…)

November 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm 3 comments

Ampache: Web Based Media Streamer that Kicks!

I have often wanted to toy around with setting up a home server of sorts.  While I have always had something in the last 2-3 years, I wouldn’t exactly have called it a server.  I was running a DLNA program on my NSLU2 and it worked, but I just didn’t have a good feeling for it to use it beyond the oh that’s cool stage.  Now with Ampache, I think I have found something I will use and maybe even my family.

The interface is wrote in PHP, primarily and it’s awesome.  You basically only need a web browser and a flash plugin to play music.  It also supports Icecast style streaming so you should also be able to use your favorite desktop player as well.

I would write more, but I would rather talk about it in depth on TLLTS.  So, just go check out Ampache and stay tuned to The Linux Link Tech Show for more.

November 3, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Radical Read Along Chapter 6 and 7: Depressed, but ended in Hope

This post is a part of my Radical Read Along series.  Linux people, be aware that there will probably only be two more posts at most in this series then it’s back to my normal weird schedule of not posting much! ;-)

As I read through these, I had many thoughts.  The first one was how much is enough??  I liked that Platt pointed to the story of the rich man in Matthew 10.  Jesus told this rich guy to sell everything he had and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and then told him to follow him.  Jesus exposed that this man was every attached to his riches and that he must be willing to give them all up to follow him.  Would we be willing to give up our creature comforts??  Would we be willing to go this far?

I don’t consider myself a rich man.  In fact, life is a constant struggle.  Even with the struggles I have, I have more than most people in the world will ever have.  Would I be willing to give up my house, my car, my cellphone, my family….my life?  I struggle with this.  It’s one area of my life that needs to improve.  I need to be more willing to go and lay it all on the line for Christ. (more…)

November 3, 2010 at 8:07 am 1 comment

Radical Read Along Chapter 5 – How Can I?

The following is for my radical read along group, but it can pertain to you to.  So if you are afraid of this kind of stuff, then wait and I will have another Linux post up soon after this one.  In fact this very post may just have some Linux content mixed with the gospel so here we go.

This chapter meant a lot to me, but it just wasn’t as deep as the others have been for me.  I think part of this is because I actually kind of get what Platt is saying.  Why?  Well if you have not read my blog before this or my other posts on geardiary.com or on Linux for Christians one thing that I love to work with (after God and my Family of course) is Linux and Open Source software.  One thing that I noticed once I had become more involved with Linux has been the word community.  Linux itself is a community of Linux users and software developers working towards making a better software.  We hold Linux fests, Install fests and other things in the local community to help “preach the gospel” of Linux and Open Source Software.  In many ways, this is exactly what Platt is talking about and I think it is something that the Linux community have down better than we Christians do because there is no Church of Linux.  There is no building that is dedicated to teaching Linux.  We have no choice but to go into the community and find a place to meet. (more…)

October 12, 2010 at 12:01 am 5 comments

Some Reviews I am working on…

I have a few reviews in the queue for on geardiary.com and on the tech show.

The first one I will be working on is the Sansa Fuze+ review.  Will the new version hold up to the old Fuze?  Stay tuned to the Linux Link Tech Show and geardiary.com to find out.

The second is the ZaReason Terra HD Netbook.  In fact, I am typing this post on it now.  So far, I like it!

There will be both audio and text reviews on both of these devices coming to geardiary.com and tllts.org.

October 11, 2010 at 11:11 pm

A word, then a post: My Top Ten Essential Admin Tools for Linux

This post comes from a post that Linc had shared via Facebook on someone’s top ten essential admin tools for Linux.  Linc and I as well do NOT totally agree with this writer.  Some of the things he suggest like Dropbox aren’t even for running on servers.  Sure you CAN run it on a server, but drop box is NOT a backup solution.  Also he ignores MANY of the tools that are really essential.  So, here is MY top ten essential admin tools for Linux: (more…)

October 5, 2010 at 10:10 am

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