Sunday, February 24, 2013

Heads, butts, clouds and cyber security

It's been a busy few weeks with many allegations of hacking by the Chinese.  Indeed, I have noticed that my "Chinese" visitors outnumber my United States visitors in the past month.  Well I guess it would only make sense that hackers would go after the big three, Facebook, then Apple and then MyTurnQuips.  What I can't understand is why the most popular post for these visitors seems to be Yachting with G.  Is it my orange Crocs?  In all seriousness, I don't believe I was hacked, but would not be surprised if some of this traffic was generated from automated probes.  And for all my Chinese fans, if you like my posts, feel free to add a comment; I would love to hear that I have fans in China and not hackers.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Reflections of an (Ex) Landlord

It's been quite a few years since I was a landlord.  I don't miss it a bit.  All "hands on" landlords will have their share of tales to be told.  There was the time when I was faced with pursuing an eviction after a tenant failed to pay for several months and when the eviction hearing day came, the tenant called me up for ride to the eviction hearing.  And then there was the ex-Marine and his wife and kids who turned out to be my best tenants ever, despite their choice of pets - a couple of very large pythons... In fairness, they told me about these pets well in advance and after gathering their very favorable references, I proceeded despite my fair share of skepticism.  What can I say, they turned out to be honest hard working people, and I never, ever received a phone call complaining about a barking python keeping someone up all night or a python pooping in the neighbors yard...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Office 2013 - searching for gold among the clouds

Success is sometimes your worst enemy and such may be the case in the world of Microsoft and software.  Why upgrade to Windows 8, when Windows 7 is entirely satisfactory or for that matter, Windows XP?  Similarly, for many users, just about any version of Office from the past ten years would likely provide more than ample utility for home use or even for a small business.  I am fortunate that I am able to take advantage of the latest version of Office through my employer's Home Use Program (HUP).  I recently received a notice from the HUP program that Office 2013 is now available for the nominal download cost of $9.95.  You can also purchase the back up DVDs for an additional cost.  When I last purchased Office 2010 through HUP, I noticed that I could create my own back up DVD so I thought I would skip the additional cost of the back up DVDs.  As Murphy's Law would have it, this is where I spotted the first difference as upon purchase and clicking of the "download" link, Office 2013 installation was off and running.  On the bright side, the installation proceeded without need for intervention and successfully installed without incident.  That being said, I prefer more control over the install; for example, I particularly like to be able to specify what Office components get installed on my computer.  I don't like bloat.  I suspect (maybe hope) that the installation back up DVDs probably give you this control.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A step down towards equality

It continues to be my contention that when it comes to oppression of the sexes, it's us men who are the ones who are oppressed.  So it was with a mixture of amusement and sadness when I learned of the announcement that women will be allowed in combat positions in the armed forces.  As expected, such an announcement brings all of the talking heads out of the woodwork with the usual banter about upper body strength and defecating in the foxhole.  I find this debate boorish as I have little doubt that women can cope with combat as well as men.  I don't think it takes too much upper body strength to pull a trigger and given my bad back, I think a wounded "comrade" would probably have a better chance of being pulled off the battlefield by a woman than by me.  As far as a woman watching me take a poo, well, I'd prefer that nobody watches me take a poo (they probably would too), but if bullets are flying I'm thinking it probably wouldn't matter too much whether the observer was a male or a female.