I’m back and soon to have a CISSP

“We like to call this voluntary hanging”. Not really what you want to hear the night before you sit down to do a six hour, 250 question exam. That said, it’s probably an accurate description. Yes, the reason I haven’t been around lately is that between working 50-60 hours a week in my day job, I have also been studying for my CISSP. This culminated the other week in a pass, which means that I supposedly know something about information security! For the uninitiated, the CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) qualification is considered to be the baseline for a…
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Why everybody should be using HTTPS

Using HTTPS on a website has historically been a pain, and therefore reserved only for e-commerce sites. In order to use HTTPS you would need to first purchase certificates which had a cost associated; then you would need them installing, which your hosting provider would need to support. As a result adoption of HTTPS for ‘regular websites’ was low. Last week, I took the opportunity to secure this website. The best part was doing so cost nothing, and it took just 10 minutes! This led to the conclusion – there’s no excuse not to use HTTPS. What is HTTPS? When using…
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The Cheapest PC: July 2016

To date, the trend has been for the cost of the cheapest PC to fall. However, following the vote to leave the European Union, what has the adjustment in the value of the dollar done to the price of your computer in July? Using scan.co.uk, who are my goto place for computer supplies, I decided to find out.  As we did back in May, we’ll look at what the cheapest PC you can build is, then look at what you can get from eBay on the used market. Case and Power Supply The CiT1021 is no longer on sale, so instead…
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The Cheapest PC: May 2016

In March I wrote about the cheapest PC I could build, it came to just under £195. Now it’s the end of May, another two months have passed, new products come onto the market, and older ones are discontinued and retired. Surely though, not much can have changed since March? Using scan.co.uk, who are my goto place for computer supplies, I decided to find out. Last time I specified two machines – the first being the very cheapest thing you could build, the next being something that you could possibly live with. What we’ll do this time is attempt to duplicate these setups,…
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WordPress Security: Some useful tools

Look to the right of the page and you’ll see the effect various personal issues have had on my free time. Couple that with needing to do a load of work on the house, and my capacity for looking after this website has become near zero. The problem is that administrative overhead didn’t go away – comments still needed to be moderated, and the number of failed login attempts was starting to become a worry. So one lunchtime at work I decided to look at some WordPress security tools. Ultimately I came up with two plugins and a useful website…
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The PC Builder Series

  What is the absolute minimum you can build a new PC for, and should you? This is a regular series that looks at the market for new PC parts. From May 2016, we’ll also look at what’s on the used market for the same price.July 2016May 2016March 2016January 2016 These are a series of one-off articles that look at different things to consider about the PCs and the PC market.Another way to do it: Buying 2nd hand PCs

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The cheapest PC – Another way

In the previous articles on building the cheapest PC, the premise has always been that it’d be nice to have an Intel machine, but they’re too expensive, so lets go for AMD instead. While it’s not a bad argument, the result is always going to be disappointing or underwhelming. Fortunately there is another way, and I actually put my money where my mouth is on this one. That is to buy a used PC from a site like eBay. Here we’ll talk about what to look for, how that fits into the wider scheme of building a new computer, and…
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Speaker Cable Sizing – By the numbers

During a recent reshuffle of all the rooms of the house, I found myself going through the laborious process of moving my office, and all the equipment therein. Part of this meant rewiring my monitor speakers. While I was doing this, I didn’t have enough speaker cable, it was too late to go out and get some, and I was too impatient to order some on the internet and wait for it to arrive. What to do? I went into my store cupboard and grabbed myself a length of 1.5mm2 flexible cable, and hooked the speaker up using it. Having plugged in…
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WordPress: Looking at the Activity Log

When I last wrote about the site at the end of January, I mentioned that I’d installed an activity monitor. Logging is not a standard feature of WordPress, so you’ll need a plugin. The one I chose is the Aryo Activity Log. It’s now been running for two months, and I have drawn a number of conclusions. The information below uses data gathered since January 31st 2016. The conclusions are: Updates are frequent, so don’t ignore them In two months there have been two core updates, and 16 plugin updates. If we extrapolate that out to cover a three year period,…
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