Patrick's blog

Paranoia Pays...


This summer I spent time searching for a file which had inadvertently been archived onto a DVD some time in the past. Since there was a brief description of what was burned onto many archive disks, it was possible to narrow down the number of possible disks to a handful. While searching for them, I spotted these suntanned DVD's- and was immediately intrigued as I had no recollection of ever having used gold coloured DVD blanks.

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Need another reason to backup? Think Cryptolocker...


As if we needed more reasons to backup our precious data, along came the dreaded CryptoLocker ransomware.

This 'nasty' encrypts all data files it is able to access, making them unusable unless and until a ransom is paid to get the decryption key. Since there is currently no way to decrypt files encrypted by this malware without paying the ransom, if your computer were to become infected, you're going to need that backup in order to get your files back after the infection is cleaned up. But wait, there's more...

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Email signatures - a great Infographic


Wondering what you should have in your email signature? Wonder no more...!

Infographic by

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Is it time to install an alternative PDF viewer?


We're all familiar with Adobe Reader - most of us probably use it daily to view PDF files - but it's very ubiquity has made it a prime target for hackers, and it's frequently in the tech news as a result, and it's often suggested that users consider using alternatives.

So, what alternatives have we? There are many options, but pundits suggest...

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What were you doing when Lotus-1-2-3 launched 30 years ago...?


26 January 2013 was the 30 anniversary of the launch of Mitch Kapor's Lotus 1-2-3, (a spreadsheet, for those young 'uns who've never heard of it!) That's pre- MS Excel, just so you know! 'So what?', you might ask. Well, this was not the first spreadsheet incarnation, but it was the one that changed the world, triggering a move to bigger and faster personal computers, and instantly becoming a must-have application.

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LinkedIn phishing


Given the frequency with which we receive bank related phishing emails, it probably should have been no surprise to happen upon an email purporting to come from LinkedIn. This one appeared in the e-mailbox recently, apparently a reminder of an open invitation to connect that was still pending. At first glance, it looked quite plausible.

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Taking a tablet to town...


Some time in the summer, we noted a report suggesting a developing trend toward ownership of "simple" phones and wifi only tablets. Viewed against the ongoing flood of new smart phone announcements, this hardly seemed credible (though perhaps cost has something to do with it, we thought!).

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Nexus 7 tablet


So this week saw the eagerly awaited delivery of the Google/Asus Nexus 7 tablet.

A lot has been written on the web already, but here are a few more impressions from the first few days, from someone new to Android tablets & phones!

First, the packaging - ever notice how small children sometimes have more fun with the packaging than with the gift inside...? Some videos have been posted to Youtube poking fun at the Nexus 7 packaging and the apparent difficulty opening the package!

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Website testing


So last night, the new web site went live for the first time, mainly to see how it looked to the outside world!

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