Quick Tips

WPA Wireless Cracked!

Its been known for a while that WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is not secure for our wireless computing needs. This has led most companies and home offices to use WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) for some time now. Its been said that WPA is very safe and would take a long time for anyone to try and break. Up to now, there has not been any success in cracking WPA.

Recent news has been released that WPA has been cracked, using a new method, in a short amount of time. The security breach isn't in WPA directly, but a component of it. The TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) key is the component that has been broken, in only 12-15 minutes. This should cause some concern in the security field, but most of us are safe to continue using our current WPA networks. Afterall, the TKIP key can be easily obtained from a family member or company employee using social engineering. So, for now, most companies and home wireless networks are safe from prying eyes and hackers.

The news article referenced in this post is from Network World. Do you use wireless at home? Do you use WEP, WPA or WPA2? Do you feel safe using wireless?

Borderless Aterm

Aterm, The AfterStep Terminal Emulator, is a terminal emulator aka console application. I really like the fact that you can do transparent windows with aterm. I wanted to find a way to run aterm in Linux without borders. I wanted a self updating window such as that for top but for it to blend in with the background, a bit like embedding the app. I did a search on Google for "borderless aterm" and found an answer in an ubuntu thread the answer is to use aterm -tr +sb -bl. I think the -bl switch was a mistake, so I took that switch out to make aterm -tr +sb. Perhaps it would have worked in the version of aterm on Ubuntu, I not on Ubuntu, I was using DSL 4.4.6 with Fluxbox version 0.1.14.

Some tips for myself and others:
  • To get the version number of Fluxbox installed on your pc, type fluxbox -version at a terminal.
  • The switch aterm -trsb gives transparent scrollbars.

To truly get borderless windows, I would have to make the changes in the Window Manager. This would be Fluxbox at this point, I have found that you can edit the ~/.fluxbox/keys to include "Mod1 d :ToggleDecor" and you can hit ALT+d to toggle decorations on/off. I found a very helpful page about aterm config here.

My Purpose For FrugalTech

I'm starting this blog as a free resource for tech support for those who want personalized support, but don't want to pay a fortune. This page will be updated regularly, below are the things I'm focusing on doing with this blog. Posts will focus on the below topics, all posts and data within are free for you to use.
  • Free online technical support resources
  • Technical training
  • Internet use tips
  • Email tips
  • Help with personal blogs
  • Technical support
  • Software recommendations
  • Interesting websites
  • Multimedia applications
  • Tech related ramblings
  • and more...
Let me know if you find the topics helpful and what other tech related topics you would like covered. Feel free to browse through my posts here and at my FrugalNYC blog. You can email me directly at frugaltech@gmail.com for additional help or pricing on any services I offer.

5 Things Every System Administrator Should Know

I read a blog post called 5 Things Every Good Linux Administrator Knows on 11/4/08 and I agree with what the author says. However, I think its applicable to any system, whether its a windows or a free Linux system. Below are my opinion on the five things raised in that post.

  1. Users are a Necessary Evil - I agree, but without them, there will be no need for the system or sysadmin!
  2. The Biggest Security Risks are Internal - Internal security practices are the most important things to set. If your cubicle neighbor "Dilbert" has access to everything, once he's compromised, the business is compromised!
  3. Network Services are System Doorways - Totally true, and it is why you should minimize services running on any system, be it a server or a workstation. Scheduled maintenance is a must.
  4. Documentation is a Job Requirement - I couldn't agree with this more! I have see some superstar techies who can do the job better than nearly anyone out there, but their documentation skills are nil! When everything breaks and he/she is the only one who can fix it, the business can fail. Document everything possible, it leaves a lot more room to grow!
  5. System Uptime is Top Priority - Again, going back to number one, its there to serve the business. Without the business, there is no need for any system.
Do you Agree with my points?