Wimminz – celebrating skank ho's everywhere

December 28, 2013

2013 / 2014 tech postbag

Filed under: Wimminz — Tags: , — wimminz @ 2:19 pm

Basically, *my* answers to a bunch of tech questions that have been in the postbag, in no particular order. YMMV etc.

  1. Intel socket 2011 / X79 is the only thing you should be building, unless the entire build budget is below 500 or some other technical design requirement such as size dictates otherwise.
  2. Xeon‘s are for dual (or more) socket mobos, if you only have one socket Xeon is not as good as i7 IMHO.
  3. Boot disks should always be SSD.
  4. Never stripe (RAID-0) anything, this goes double for SSD
  5. If you own three or more computing devices (smart-phone + laptop / PC) the third device should be a Windows home server NAS box, and the other two should do daily backups to it.
  6. Standardise all your spinning hard disks on one size / make  / model – make that a WD Green 2 TB
  7. Don’t buy bigger than 2TB disks, it violates rule 6, and that is just for starters.
  8. Gig-e Ethernet hubs/switches are the minimum, even for a wired home network now.
  9. I have no idea why anyone would run anything except a single cheap (HP) network colour laser printer on their network.
  10. Never buy multifunction devices, eg scanner / printer / copier.
  11. 1080p tellys with HDMI / RGB input make great cheap big monitors.
  12. Never buy cheap SDHC / mSDHC memory cards, always buy the best quality branded ones you can get, eg Samsung, eg from the MAKER, not a re-branded reseller like Kingston.
  13. See #5, backups are like parachutes, it’s too late to try to implement them at the point of need.
  14. If you have cable put the all in one cable modem device into modem only mode and fit a Draytek 28xx series router.
  15. If you have xDSL bin the supplied carrier dsl modem and fit a Draytek 28xx series router.
  16. Prior to doing any build go to ninite.com and select and download your own installer. Don’t forget places like oldversion.com either…
  17. On your NAS box, create a repository of copies of all the drivers and hardware CD‘s for all your hardware… and make sure data duplication is turned ON on your NAS box too
  18. Get a USB3 external disk drive caddy, and a USB3 card reader, and a SDHC/micro SDHC adapter.
  19. Android apps I use all the time;
    1. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sand.airdroid
    2. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dama.hardwareinfo
    3. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.zxing.client.android
    4. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=it.android.demi.elettronica.pro
    5. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.overlook.android.fing
    6. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cn.wps.moffice_eng
    7. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appdlab.magnify
    8. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.imsunny.android.mobilebiz.pro
    9. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.prowl.networkmapper
    10. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobilepcmonitor
    11. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.jsecurity.printbot
    12. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cloudycity.android.qrcontact
    13. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=la.droid.qr
    14. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.nickfines.RealCalc
    15. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zegoggles.smssync
    16. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bv.wifisync
    17. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.keramidas.TitaniumBackup
    18. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.farproc.wifi.analyzer
    19. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dooblou.WiFiFileExplorerPRO
  20. I don’t carry things like mobe charging cables around, I have one set that lives in the multiplug charger by the coffee table, I have one set that lives in the multiplug cigar charger in the car, I have a spare emergency set in the work / tote bag…. I do not use spare batteries for either mobile phone, I put them on charge.
  21. The ONE technical innovation in motor vehicles that actually kicks ass, FULL blue-tooth integration with your phone, of course it is hardly practical to suggest you all go out and buy a 2013 Merc to get this, but I wouldn’t go back to anything else now, I retrofit a kit if need be, but FULL blue-tooth, not just audio.
  22. an old / cheap 64/128 gig 2.5″ SSD in a portable external USB3 enclosure kicks ass, solid state so no worries about treating it like a USB stick, but read and write speeds a USB stick can only dream of.
  23. In my day job as the Cisco Kid, you’d be surprised how little kit I actually carry, apart from the usual basic set of tools and a bunnyphone and a buck knife, and some spare RJ45/11 patch leads, it’s a stinkpad, USB/RS232 adapter, some RS232 gender changers, and a console cable (RS232/RJ45) – that’s pretty much it… oh, and a network cable tester, which is mainly used to find the other end of cable x in the usual rats nest of a customer’s cabling system…. and a roll of masking tape to label shit… and heavy use of the smart-phone camera for record keeping…
  24. In my night job as general PC megahero, it’s pretty much the same kit, but also a wallet full of CD/DVD’s with shit on like all the winders install disks, a copy of suse, a copy of knoppix/mepis, BartPE bootable winders live CD, and a couple of disk and partition tools.
  25. As far as laptops are concerned, unless the laptop is less than 12 months old, or less than 24 months old and very high end, if the screen is dead or the mobo had been damaged by moving it while leaving plugs in, I walk away, just not worth it.
  26. You have HARDWARE, OS, and USER DATA, the first two you can always fix, the third you can never fix, once it is gone, it is gone, so treat all USER DATA as fucking sacrosanct, if necessary pull the HD and clone it before doing ANYTHING else, if you cannot abso-fucking-lutely guarantee 100% safety of 100% of user data no matter what, walk away.
  27. #26, this means USER DATA is always the first task and hurdle, if you cannot be sure of getting it for some technical reason, or, you could get it but the punter does not want to pony up for 4 hours for a disk clone operation then walk away.
  28. I never, under any circumstances, ever let anyone else ever use any of my hardware, sure, you can log into my wifi guest account, you can log into the guest space on the NAS, but that is it. You will never touch my computers or laptops or phones etc, attempt to do so and you get instantly evicted from my home and my life. Adopt this policy yourself.
  29. I have got a TON of other shit, regulated bench power supplies, oscilloscopes, heat guns, hot glue guns, cnc mills and lathe, which does once in a blue moon get used when someone wants a custom PC or mod of some sort, but honestly, you don’t need any of it, in 99.99% of cases it just is not required, the basic kit I tote in a small Targus rucksack will do it all…. so don’t get carried away with the tool porn, shit like PC ATX PSU tester modules etc…a ten buck multimeter will do the same job, and a whole bunch else besides.
  30. In my day job I take the GI approach, if the company wanted me to have tool X (even though I own said tool anyway) they would fucking issue it… this stops you getting trapped in mission creep, and stops you touching areas of the job that were never fucking assigned to you in the first place… whether or not you could actually fix the problem by straying off the reservation this way or not, you will always be in the wrong.
  31. In my night job I always ask pointedly and first about backups and user data and how important it is to them, and make a point of asking what if the only answer involves a complete system wipe and bare metal reinstall of the OS? Do they have, for example, the Office disks with CD key?
  32. Unless it is your own kit, assume you are being lied to about what happened, how it happened, who did it, who tried to fix it before you got there, how many extra problems THEY created, etc etc etc… in 95% of cases this will be what happens…. trust your eyes, not what you are told….. if all that happened was you dropped the netbook yesterday and now the hinge is sprung, how come there are three missing loctite’d in by the factory case screws, and one broken bit of ABS where there was a case screw hidden by the rubber foot, and what are these scratch marks all over the seams of the case?
  33. Oh yeah, the 400 ml cans of Servisol brand isopropyl alcohol and foam cleanser, (from Maplin) wouldn’t be without em.
  34. Break the securing lug off the end of an RJ45 cable that you KNOW is likely to get tugged at some point, better it falls out and you lose the connection than it rips the RJ45 socket out of the main-board on the laptop you are using etc… the DC lead wrap around the table leg so if someone walks into it it doesn’t jerk and break the laptop socket.
  35. Every Cisco Kid job I do I drag a pre-created template into my work folder for that month and rename it to the job details and date, inside that template are other directories, ready made and labelled… as soon as I start putty and before I connect the console end I start it logging, to the pre-made putty.log text file in said directory, I also photograph everything, sync to dropbox, at the end of the day drag and drop those pic to the pix folder, config and IOS files and other notes also have their own folders in this tree. Can you say Cover Your Ass.
  36. The last guy to walk out the door gets the blame for everything… see #35… at least 4 or 5 times a year I call on these records, they literally save my ass.
  37. This should be #1, not #37, if you fuck up, STOP, and admit it early and often to those who can help, again, #35 can provide those who help you out of the bind with exactly what you did, keypress by keypress… it is invaluable….
  38. Get EVERYTHING in “writing” in electronic format, and keep those records, it makes it easier for you to get data right, and covers your ass if the data supplied to you was wrong. This happens, more than you would like to believe.
  39. I am not a fool, I have been in IT since before there was a Microsoft, my daily job is working on internet connectivity for fortune 500 companies, I work on everything from the end of the private WAN at a retail outlet / franchise to the major Tier1 backbone switching and routing level, and yet at work I act like a fucking anal robot, especially when dealing with a remote tech, “I am ready to pull the CAT5 from port FE0/0 on device model device serial rack X, do I have a go to proceed?” I get a go, “Now pulled
  40. Everyone else is cutting corners, I go on site and the guys who want me to diagnose “their” router can tell me the make and model of the router, but not the serial number of the router, or the serial number of the fibre circuit it is connected to, it doesn’t have an asset tag, the rack doesn’t have one either, there is no network map (that looks right and up to date) attached to the rack, I refuse to do anything until I am given either the router serial or the fibre circuit serial, don’t ASSUME that is the only X on that site, or that the remote guy is looking at the right window, or the right spreadsheet, or the right line on that spreadsheet… eventually the fuckers will find the info to cover your ass, but only if YOU insist…


  1. Tempted to get a new computer case/SSD along with an NAS box, though my personal files are already backed up on an external drive. I could buy the SSD and a more closed-off/better cooled tower, but spend the rest of the weekend installing drivers/configuring software, etc. Things seem fine as they are. Thanks for the android suggestions. How does your phone not slow down completely with all those apps running?

    Comment by freeman — December 28, 2013 @ 10:54 pm

    • SGS3 running cyanogenmod, and note2 running stock, and note10.1 running another custom mod.

      Currently on amazon uk site
      HP G7 N54L 150W PS ProLiant Micro Server
      229 quid

      WD 2TB 6Gbps SATA III Hard Disk Drive – Green
      59 quid a pop, the box above will take 4 for 8 TB total storage but 4 tb with duplication turned on, which it should be, so any single disk can die, just pop a new one it and job’s done…

      Comment by wimminz — December 28, 2013 @ 11:16 pm

      • NERD! Oh well, at least I have no excuse now. I’ve been browsing through the archives on the site, and I’ve noticed something odd. Every time you mention the economy (or lack thereof) in a post, I instinctively pop open a new tab in chrome and put in zerohedge. Not that I’m expecting something major to change, but considering how things are today, it’s as if every day is spent expecting the worst to be around the corner tomorrow. I’ll be stocking up on bic lighters/berky filters/corned beef/22LR in the meantime.

        I know you mention that you’ll be on a ferry to somewhere in that circumstance, but I always wondered, to where? All the major world currencies are drowning in debt.

        Comment by freeman — December 29, 2013 @ 12:37 am

        • .22 LR in a silenced ruger, half the battle, the other half is hollowpoint .22lr and a dab of hot glue sealing in a toxin, frog / jellyfish should do, if you’re out to kill, do it properly.

          Ferry to where? who cares? just stay ahead of the breaking wave

          Comment by wimminz — December 29, 2013 @ 12:48 am

  2. Are you worried that being on the road, with no plan, heading towards unknown locations based on the direction of the wind might make you more vulnerable? To me it seems like a good idea to stock up on what you need, keep your head low, and weather the storm in the meantime. At least when the sun comes up you won’t stick out like a sore thumb, you’ll have a similar language/culture/whatever, and much of the crisis will have worked itself out, or eaten itself.

    Comment by freeman — December 29, 2013 @ 1:02 am

    • In my experience, possessions tie you down, the more you have, the less flexible you are, the slower you can respond or change your plans, the more committed you are to certain paths…

      Crucially, the the more lightweight, unencumbered and flexible you are, the less your daily requirements.

      In a *real* SHTF scenario, which I am not expecting in this locale, all movement = life = attracts attention, in a real SHTF scenario, all survivors will look alike.

      I’m not expecting a real SHTF scenario, in this locale, just the end of the age of buggy whip manufacturers and equine aromatherapists and live now pay later, and devaluation of currency / new currency when the winds blow the crap out of the current ones, which are stretched to bursting with bubbles.

      I’m the Cisco Kid, the real original one, the not very nice single guy, who can afford to work for less than anyone else, but who also does a better job than most of the others, when demand for my job vanishes, that is the end of the comms / data network, and that will take everything else with it, it really will be game over man.

      Any scenario where you are talking about >10% of the population dying, (and if the comms / data network goes out you’ll be looking at over >50% dying) it is all down to lady luck, you can’t prepare. Enjoy the ride.

      Comment by wimminz — December 29, 2013 @ 1:29 am

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