Are you backed up?

Just a quick post to remind everyone of the importance of BACKUPS! Toward that end, I put together state-of-the-art backup hard drives from the highest-rated bare hard drives which I put in a slick external enclosure that includes four connection options (USB2, FireWire400, FireWire800, and eSATA). The latest iteration are 640GB in size, and I sell them for $150 [image above]. FYI, this price is my cost for the parts, plus about a miniscule amount for my time putting everything together.

I also have just a couple portable (not needing an external power supply) hard drives for you road warriors out there. Call for details on these models...

If you're interested in getting one of these, please email or give me a call (970-417-8434). Don't let yourself get caught without a backup!

BCMUG meeting presentation; March 11th, 2010

I presented the topic of password management at our local Mac User Group last night. Here are a bunch of links to things we covered:

• To download a stand-alone version of the Apple's built-in "Password Assistant" tool, visit CodePoetry.

• Next, a link to the website for my preferred password management program, 1Password.

• Here are a scant handful of links to sites discussing the difference between 'passwords' and 'passphrases', in the interest of giving folks a new take of the painful task of creating secure logins:
- First, the Wikipedia entry on the topic.
- Next, an interesting semi-random blog post...
- From the folks who created 1Password, another blog post, in a similar vein.
- Lastly, another blog post, this one describing a unique technique for "Creating and Remembering Complex Passwords"

Oh, almost forgot... Here's a link to the site that provides very enlightening information about the relative strength of passwords, depending on length and variation in characters. This site is where I gleaned my recommendation that a secure password should be at least 8 characters long, and always contain at least one capital letter, one punctuation character (!@#$%^&*()[]?<>) and one number.

I hope everyone who attended the presentation got something out of it; it's a pretty dry subject, but a critical one more than ever!

Until next time, here's to safe secure browsing!


Mac classes - March '10

March is here; Spring can't be far off! Hooray!

Mac class news for the month:

 This month, the regular FREE "Overview of Mac OS X" class will again take place on the last Wednesday of the month, Wednesday, March 31st from 5-7 p.m. These overview classes are held in the computer lab at the Ridgway Library. There are only eight seats available, and the Library has asked that I handle the sign ups, so give me a call at 970-417-8434 (or drop me an email) if you'd like to attend. (Be aware that first-timers take priority over anyone who has taken the class before, but there are often openings for repeaters).

There are six Macs in the computer lab, so only two of the eight attendees need their own laptops. This class is beginner-oriented, but we cover some different things every month; repeat attendees are encouraged (when there's room)!

I'm offering two other classes every month through May. I've settled on the second and fourth Saturday morning of each month.

On Saturday, March 13th, from 10 a.m. to noon, I will be covering that venerable behemoth of word-processing programs: Microsoft Word. There will undoubtably be something for everyone in this class!

On Saturday, March 27th, from 10 a.m. to noon, due to popular demand, I'll be revisiting iPhoto. If you've missed it in the past, or simply want to refresh your skills, then I hope this is a timely class for you!

These classes are always held in the small meeting room at Ridgway Town Hall, and carry a fee of $20 for the two-hour session.

Both of these classes are open to drop-ins, with no sign-up necessary...

Let me know if there's something else you'd like me to consider covering in these Saturday sessions.