Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

4/2/2021

Password Rules

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Fun,Geek Work,News and Current Events,Truth and Consequences — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Do you know those horrible password rules about adding random characters and numbers and stuff?

IT professionals hate them, too. Honest. I can say that because I am, in fact, an IT professional and have been for just shy of thirty years. (You can read more about my qualifications to call myself an IT pro at my other website, which includes Jim Hoffman’s CNE Resume, because, yes, I’ve been doing this so long I’m certified in things that no one really uses anymore.) I remember when the standard for passwords changed, requiring normal people to do things like including special characters or numbers and a mix of upper case and lower case letters. We were told that it would make the resulting passwords exponentially harder to guess. At the time, that may have been true, though I doubt it. It turns out, those rules were written by a government bureaucrat who used an out-of-date white paper to make his recommendations. And, now, even that bureaucrat regrets making those rules that only make your password harder to remember. Also, all that advice about translating a famous quote into a password by changing out words for symbols or letters? Essentially useless. With the computing power of moderns machines, the randomness of a short password really doesn’t matter at all. Length is the real key. So, having a password like “P@SSw0rd” isn’t significantly more secure than “password”, except, of course, that hackers are likely to guess the simple words first and “password” is actually one of the ten most popular passwords. So don’t use that. What’s better is to use a longer password, like an entire sentence without punctuation. And, if you have to include numbers and special characters, just tack them at the end or beginning. In other words, something more like “MyPasswordIsVerySecure@9”, because the length of that password IS exponentially harder to guess than “password”. Don’t believe me? Then just look at this infographic that shows how the length of your password is really the determining factor in how hard it is for hackers to crack.

How Long Would Your Password Last Against An Expert?

Of course, some systems limit the length of a password, unfortunately, but, until everyone else catches up to us, you have to work with what you’re given.
Come back next week to see what uncomfortable truths I have to share with you!

This post first appeared on Use Your Words!


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Shallow men believe in luck.... Strong men believe in cause and effect."
   --Emerson

9/2/2009

WordPress on the iPhone

Filed under: Adventures with iPods,Fun Work,Geek Work,GUI Center,Ooo, shiny...,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:56 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous


TwoAddictionsForThePriceOfOne

Originally uploaded by Network Geek

I bought an iPhone on Saturday.

Well, as I’m sure is no surprise to my regular readers, especially those who follow me on Twitter, I finally gave in Saturday and got myself an “upgrade” to the iPhone GS. My data plan won’t kick in until September 17th, when I’ll also have unlimited text messaging and slightly fewer actual voice minutes. The overall effect is to raise my monthly bill just $5, while ultimately giving me more services and, yes, more fun.

I actually debated for quite some time about getting the iPhone, a Blackberry or the new Palm Pre. I have to admit, I was really excited about the Pre, because I’ve been a Palm fan since way back. In fact, at one point I was such a fan of Palm, as a company and a platform, that I registered HavePalmWillTravel.com. Well, that and there was a little joke about an e-mail address and a technological “gun-for-hire”. In any case, I decided against the Pre for a number of reasons, not the least of which is they weren’t on AT&T, where virtually all my contacts are. Also, they’re still unproven in the current market and there still aren’t as many applications for the Pre as both of the other two smartphone choices.
One of the things I really needed my smartphone to be able to do is remotely manage my server or servers. Now, I know that there are remote communication and control apps for the Blackberry, but, frankly, the touchscreen Blackberry just isn’t all that great and the other Blackberry devices have rather, well, puny screens. If I’m going to manage a Windows server, I’m going to need a big screen to see everything and make it all work. So far, no Blackberry device has a screen that I think is big enough to make that happen. So, that left me with the iPhone.

So, within just a day or so of getting my new toy, I had found the free Mocha VNC Lite. Now, I suppose I should have taken a screen shot of that, but, frankly, I didn’t want the hassle of finding a clean, safe shot of my Windows server at the office, so I decided to go with a different shot. Again, since my data plan hasn’t kicked in yet, I haven’t tried the VNC client via the 3G network, but it works disturbingly well over my wifi network at home. When I do get that chance, though, I may do a full review of all the remote clients that I’m willing to actually load on my iPhone to try out.
But, there are other apps that I think I may just get addicted to and this shot shows one of them. Yes, that’s a WordPress client on the iPhone from the same people who bought you the WordPress software itself. If you look closely, you can see that I’ve already set it up for this blog and another one that’s in the works. So, yes, when the data plan is active, you can expect to see both posts and, possibly, even posts with pictures shot on the iPhone. Who knows, maybe even video!

So, as the marketing gurus say, watch this space for further developments!

1/14/2009

Network Geekery the right gig after all?

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Career Archive,Certification,Geek Work,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:27 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

It turns out, yes.

So, apparently, being a professional network geek is one of the sexy jobs to train for in 2009, according to an article on MSN Encarta. Which means that, as frustrating as my job can be some days, it’s apparently a good gig to have. Hunh, who knew?


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"If the minimum wasn't acceptable it wouldn't be called the minimum."

9/3/2002

In the begining…

Filed under: Geek Work — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:50 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Well, I’ve finally gotten a real blog set up. No more manual updates for me! Well, okay, that’s not really true. I mean, it’s not like I can just *think* the entries into the blog. But, at least I have a MySQL database keeping track of everything for me now. So, I guess I’ll keep the old, lamer-than-lame Diary of a Network Geek entries around in some form. For historical purposes. For posterity? Eh, just because I can’t bear to let them go.

Stay tuned for more *real* entries to the Diary of a Network Geek!


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