Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Return of the Penguin

I have been a Linux user for about 10 years now, primarily sticking with Red Hat and Fedora. However I have used Debian, Suse, Mandrake, Turbo Linux, Free BSD, and Slackware. However I have basically completely moved away from Linux for about the last 2 years to concentrate on learning and supporting Windows Vista and Server 08 (I like them both by the way).

However I have been hearing a lot of buzz about Ubuntu lately so I decided to go ahead and install it on both my laptops one 32 bit and one 64 bit. IT IS AWESOME! Tux I missed ya buddy. I think the folks over at Microsoft should be nervous, I think their is a great possibility for Ubuntu to be a windows replacement with the resistance to especially Vista.

The install was a breeze, all of my hardware works fine with no tweaking. Additional software is a snap to install, and perhaps best of all Ubuntu migrated my data from XP.

Here are the high points (Pros):
1. Great hardware support, it even found third party drivers for my hardware.
2. Synaptic package installer is awesome it makes it easy to find and install software
3. The OS fits on one cd and gets rid of 4 to 6 to 8 install cds.
4. Ubuntu offers long-term product support and updates.
5. Ubuntu is actively recruiting big name OEM's
6. Its free, all of its additional software is free, and support is free.
7. Linux GUI's (KDE, Gnome, etc.) have come a long way in the past few years.
8. Its great that they are supporting both 32 and 64 bit systems.
9. Its great that they are offering both a desktop and server version.
10. It has a decent base install that gives you what you need to get going immediately.

Some things I didn't like (Cons):

1. There is no repair option on the CD.
2. The basic visual themes are a little plain and boring.
3. It installs Firefox 3 beta 5 (still has some issues, I removed it in favor of Firefox 2).
4. The installer does not allow you to set the root password.


All in all I am a fan. I strongly recommend that you give it a shot. Another great feature is that it ships on a Live CD, meaning you can try before you install without making any changes to your current system.

Posted by:
Josh Nicholes
www.joshnicholes.com

Friday, April 25, 2008

Best Password Partices

I thought I would take a moment to share the way I develop easy to remember, secure, and complex passwords. Think of a phrase that contains six to eight words; like: "The best things in life are free!" Pick something that is easy to remember or has a meaning to you personally. Take the first letter in each word. SO: TBTILAF!, alternate capitals and lowercase like so: tBtIlAf!. It is also very useful to add in a number or special character if possible. Some suggestions are replace "to" with "2" or "at" with "@". In my case I am going to change the last word of the pharse to "three" instead of "free". So our password would be tBtIlA3! This password is 8 characters long, contains both capital and lowercase letters, it contains a number, and a special character, and is not a word in any dictionary.

This is the technique I have used for a long time to develop passwords, although the one above is not on of mine... sorry. If you must wirite it down then write out the entire pharse, people will think its just an insparational quote not your password.

Posted by:
Josh Nicholes
www.joshnicholes.com