Monday, April 11, 2011

Final Reflection: Computer Systems - How They Work

Looking back, I think I learned more in this course than I like to admit. Most of the topics were very familiar to me. Personally, I would have liked to learn more about networking because it is my weakest point in computer knowledge though I know networking is probably beyond the scope of this course and program.

The topic of security and disaster recovery made me think a little more about my personal computing and what I should do. I also learned a lot more about audio processing than I knew before. I wish I had time to get more into hobby recording and digital audio creation so I could use all the nice toys.

I was around when the first PC wars started but too young to pay real attention. I liked the video series a lot. Someday I'll probably be watching History Detectives on PBS and someone will have an old floppy disk that they claim was the first copy made of MS-DOS with Bill Gates' handwriting on the label. I'm sure it would be interesting if it happened.

Trying out some new OSs was fun. I actually tried about 10 or 12 different ones before I decided what to report on. I found a minimal variant of Ubuntu, JoliOS which manged to get the correct screen resolution for my monitor. It's really made for netbooks with a minimal installation and lightweight processing. I might try it out again and see if I can load it up with all the things I need and want for a desktop. I also tried without luck to install variants of BSD operating system. I'll be watching and playing around with the two I reported on, Sugar on a Stick, a desktop of the One Laptop Per Child Program and Haiku, a modern remake of BeOS operating system that is very quick but is still under development.

The part I'm going to like the least is the Building the Perfect Computer part. I settled for less than I desired with my new computer because the money wasn't there. Building my perfect system will just make me cry because It would be very nice to have the system I come up with.

It's been good working with my team, Rob Granger and Lawrence Mala, getting to know them a little better and I look forward to whenever we get new teams to get to know more of my classmates.

*******IDEA******* Here's an invite. I'll throw a BBQ sometime this summer on a Thursday and whoever is here we can do the class together, I've got WiFi and two computers we can sit around for class???

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Personal Computer Disaster Recovery

In the past I think I've only lost one hard drive due to failure of either the drive or the motherboard. I lost a bunch of pictures and a lot of graphics that I had been working on at the time. I've gotten over it now. I think we all are so used to collecting things that it just makes sense to collect digital files as well. Sometimes it's ok to get rid of some baggage like when you move to a new place and discover how much junk you really have when you are packing.

Yes, I want to keep my computer safe and clean because it's a hassle if it gets messed up. On the other hand, it doesn't really bother me too much to set things up from the start because I've done the process so many times that it's not a big deal. I don't have a lot of personal files that I would categorize as super important. I can write a resume again. Lost photos? Oh well, it's not the end of the world. The file I'd miss most is probably my freaky named, super secretly hidden away file with various website account and password information. I haven't gotten around yet to investigate the best password solution.

Yes, I have a mediocre antivirus running on my Linux and there is no real time scanning but at this point in time, it's not a big threat. And when I get to it I want to centralize my files on the various computers around the house. Maybe then I will have a comprehensive back up plan. Right now, I'd have to attach my USB hard drive to each of my three computers (the iBook is dying and on its way out) and do individual back ups.

I may be a bit complacent because I've never had a personal computer hooked up to the internet running Windows. I practice safe surfing and downloading and the threat to Linux is still minimal. I'm glad to have Windows 7 running on the other half of my new computer so I can learn it and run a few things that I haven't configured yet in Linux, but all the constant security popups annoy me. I'll stick with my Linux 85% of the time and back to a Mac when I have too much spare money again.