Category Archives: Computers

Some Tips for Working From Home

Connecting to the office from home is easier than it ever has been before, and some of the security concerns we’ve had in the past just don’t apply any more. Some quick tips for those who are worried about the winter weather this year:

  • Get more bandwidth!  The better speed you have at home the better, BUT you may not have to pay for more bandwidth.  Most Internet providers for the home will give you more speed if you just ask for it.
  • If you’re using a MAC, use Back to My Mac.  Free with iCloud
  • On a PC, use
  • For meetings, use WebEx or Skype’s new group video chat feature.
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How to Protect Your Windows XP Investment Well Past Microsoft’s Drop Dead Date

My Windows XP Computer

Turns out that Windows XP is going to supported well into 2015 – but only if you’re talking about your internet browser. And we’re not talking about Microsoft Internet Explorer, either.

Google has announced that it is going to be supporting Google Chrome for Windows XP past Microsoft’s 2014 dropdead date. This means that people who are using windows XP should not only switch over to Google’s chrome browser immediately, but it should extend the life of your Windows XP for at least a year beyond what Microsoft is planning on doing.

For those of you who are looking for an even better solution for your Windows XP machines, you might consider putting a specialized firewall and filter in front of your XP machines. These devices allow you to filter all of the Internet traffic coming from and going to your Windows machine, and remove known viruses, aware, spyware, etc. These types of specialized firewalls and filters should extend Windows XP’s life far beyond 2015.

I’ve created just such  specialized firewall/filter for the Healthcare industry before. Using some of the technologies available in various BSD distributions of UNIX, I’ve been able to place filters such as Squid into the data stream and have been able to protect everything from VMS servers, old Windows, Solaris, Linux and UNIX machines, and even modern operating systems from hundreds of thousands of attacks.

As always it, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Otherwise, the implementation is left as an exercise to the reader. :-)

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Los Angeles County Students Override iPad Restrictions

English: Tenth Street School, Los Angeles CA E...

The Los Angeles Unified School District recently began rolling out a plan that would eventually provide iPads to every student in the LAUSD. However, within a week of handing out the first units, 300 students had figured out how to bypass school district restrictions that blocked sites including YouTube and Facebook.

The district has now put an end to home use of the devices, and district sources say the misbehavior may delay the rollout of the full program. The restrictions were put into place to keep students from accessing a number of sites and services, including Pandora and Twitter. Those restrictions — tied to a student profile on the iPad — were also in place for off-campus use, which led to student complaints.

LAUSD Police Chief Steven Zipperman reportedly suggested to senior staff that the district might want to delay distribution of the iPads elsewhere in the district until a way of keeping restrictions in place is implemented.


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Apple Release New iMac With No Fanfare


New iMacs are available today via Apple’s online store.  These are the fastest iMacs ever, and use Intel’s latest 4th generate quad-core processors, the fastest WiFi ever as well as high-speed PCIe flash storage.  I want one :-)

  • Processor: quad-core Intel Core i5 processors up to 3.4 GHz, optional quad-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 3.5 GHz
  • Display: 21.5-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 1,920 x 1,080 resolution or 27-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2,560 x 1,440 resolution
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Pro on base 21.5-inch model, NVIDIA GeForce GT 700 series graphics with up to 4GB of video memory
  • Memory: 8GB (two 4GB) of 1600MHz DDR3 memory, configurable up to 32 GB
  • Storage: 1TB (5,400-rpm) hard drive. Configurable to 3TB hard drive, 1TB or 3TB Fusion Drive; or 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of flash storage. Flash storage is PCIe.
  • Wireless: 802.11ac WiFi wireless networking that is IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n backwards-compatible; Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology


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