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Comment Encrypted Databases (Score 2) 445

I keep a KeePass database for each of my consulting clients and encrypt them with a unique master password for each client that gets shared with the client. Then, another KeePass database with all of the client's master passwords inside of it encrypted with yet another master password that gets shared with my fellow consultants. This lets me give my clients access to their password documentation without having to give them the master password for all of my clients' databases. It also ensures that my colleagues have access to my client's passwords should they need to cover for me. Or, if you want to spend some money on a commercial product, look at Secret Server.

Comment Ditch the WRT (Score 4, Informative) 159

WRT is great for tinkering and home users, but good god, please don't put it in a production network. Get something like a SonicWALL or a FortiGate, learn to use it, and thank me later. QoS will get you nothing, there is no such thing as QoS on the internet. However, bandwidth management and throttling could help a lot. Before you can prioritize traffic you need to be able to identify it, and this is where life becomes much easier with a UTM appliance. You can prioritize by device type (MAC address), source, destination, protocol, or application. With application awareness you can easily see what is sucking up the most bandwidth, and it classifies all the traffic for you automagically based on signatures ran against deep packet inspection. A caching proxy, as mentioned in other posts, would help speed up the internet and reduce bandwidth consumption. Something like Squid would work here, or you could go the appliance route. Bonus, with a UTM device you also get IDS/IPS, botnet filtering, gateway antivirus, spam filtering, RBL filter, content filtering, application control, SSL VPN, wireless controller, and more. They cost money, but you will not find these features for free, and if you do it is going to be a nightmare to manage.

Comment Nearline SAS (Score 1) 270

The major difference in "enterprise" NL-SAS drives versus consumer SATA drives is the native SAS command set making the drives more efficient and more compatible with RAID controllers and technologies like storage pools in Server 2012. Step up to true 10K and 15K SAS drives and you get significantly higher IOPS, slower than SSD but less expensive per GB.

Comment pfSense (Score 5, Informative) 193

pfSense is a great open source router distro and should have no problem running on your net book. However, Sophos UTM/Astaro Security Gateway is a commercial product that is free for personal use. I recommend it if you need any UTM features such as gateway AV, IPS/IDS, Spam Filtering, and centrally managed AV.

Comment A resounding YES! (Score 2) 271

I have owned several ThinkPads over the years and can attest to the declining quality over time, particularly right after Lenovo acquired the Think brand.

My first ThinkPad was an IBM T40p. The build quality was rock solid. It got me through college and I carried that thing on my back nearly every day for four years. As a sys admin I have deployed many IBM and Lenovo ThinkPads. The T4x was well built machine, and ran for a long time but tended to need repairs just after the warranty period. Since we had a fleet of identical machines I had plenty of systems to cannibalize. The decline in quality was hardly noticeable at this point.

I used a T420 for work for a while. It seemed nice. I had no complaints, but I didn’t get to keep it long since I didn’t stick around.

Now I have a new T530 and the build quality SUCKS! The chicklet/island style keyboard wouldn’t be bad, but the flex is terrible especially at the top edge by the F keys. I don’t like the new keyboard layout with the different bottom left corner (fn, ctrl, win, alt). The monitor/lid flexes a lot when opening and closing and there is a lot of play left in the monitor after the hinge has latched. Also, there is a gap at the back edge when closed. Picking up a closed laptop from the back edge will again flex the monitor. The battery is loose and rattles when locked in place. That is about everything I can remember about it right now. Oh, the power brick for it is huge, like a brick. One thing that good about it that I can say is that it is smoking fast, but I think I have Intel to thank for that.

While ThinkPad’s quality has been declining, Inspiron and Vostro quality has been improving. The thing I don’t like about their 15” is the 10 key. It forces you to have an offset keyboard, but overall it has a good build quality. Not as good as the old ThinkPads, but better than the new ThinkPads. If it weren’t for the 10 key I might have gotten a Dell instead of my rickety T530.

Comment Hidden SSID = Bad Juju (Score 5, Informative) 884

It is widely known by security professionals that hiding your SSID actually decreases security. For starters, it is easy enough to sniff a SSID out of the air. What is more concerning is that wireless clients configured to connect to a hidden network will constantly try to connect to any wireless network, essentially asking "Are you my network?" A malicious access point could say, "Yup, sure am!" At that point your wireless client will be more than happy to divulge your preshared key. There are even affordable retail products that accomplish this out of the box. Check out the Wi-Fi Pineapple.

Comment Take what you can get (Score 1) 467

IGT in Reno Nevada was one of the top recruiters for hardware and software engineers at my university. There is nothing wrong with working for them, but most graduating students had a bit of a stigma against it just because it was everybody's fallback plan. That, and working there is like a college reunion when half their employees are from the same school. I think the bottom line is, if it is the best offer you have then you should take it. Fresh graduates do not usually have the luxury to pick and choose their first job; you need experience before you can do that.

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