Who is fixing your computer?

If your answer was anything except for “me”, you might want to ask yourself a couple of questions:

1. Have I ever left my PC filled with personal information with somebody I don’t trust?

2. Have I ever left my PC filled with personal information with somebody I trust, but I shouldn’t?

3. Have I ever left my PC filled with personal information with somebody I trust, and I think I should? (you shouldn’t)

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, your data was (most probably) compromised. Yes, your chat logs, your pictures, your other kind of pictures, your web history, perhaps even passwords.

“BUT NO!”, you say! “I protected my files, they were in a secret folder somewhere. I also hid them.”

Sure, that could work. And for the most part could even be enough if your PC is being fixed by someone who’s fixing 100 computers per day and couldn’t be bothered. But if it’s your friend? They sure do have the time. They also know a lot more about computers than you because otherwise he wouldn’t be fixing yours. They probably know all of the usual “tricks”. Windows search dialog even has a “Search hidden files and folders” checkbox. You really don’t have to be a hacker to find “hidden” files on a PC.

I made a little anonymous poll asking this question: Would you go through personal files on a PC your friend gave you to fix?

Haven’t gotten many replies because I tried to avoid sites such as 4chan and this one because one is full of immoralfags, and the other is full of moralfags (don’t know what’s worse TBH), but the percentages remained the same from the 4th vote (now 34): 75% of people WOULD. Yup, that’s right. 3 out of 4 of your friends would suck your laptop dry looking for personal stuff.

And it’s such a perfect crime. You gave up your PC voluntarily. They’re actually HELPING you! You think your files are hidden and safe, or you just trust him\her and don’t worry. And if they’re intelligent enough to keep their mouth shut, you will never EVER find out that all of your personal everything has been compromised. Chat logs, diaries, pictures. And it can be used against you!

I wonder what would happen if your friendship with such a person fell apart. Or you earned a LOT of money. Blackmail? Posting your stuff on 4chan? Something worse?

The bottom line is: either give your PC to someone you completely trust (for example, someone who already DOES have access to your private “data”), or just learn how to properly back up and CLEAN\ENCRYPT your PC before giving it to someone shady (and everyone is). The best thing you could probably do is to learn how to fix your computer yourself.

Yup, that’s right. Learn how to back up data, how to install the OS of your choice, install drivers and all the applications you’re using. Why? Because you’ll self-improve by learning something new. Because you won’t depend on others. And because the only person fondling your stuff will be you.

Linux, Windows and Bluetooth

What do these three have in common, you’re wondering? Well, the third worked on the second, but not on the first, on my laptop. The answer just rolls off your tongue, I know.

My Dell Inspiron showed zero interest in allowing me to use Bluetooth under Linux. I never use Bluetooth, to be honest, but it bugged me that it works flawlessly under Windows.

And then IT happened. I booted into Windows months later (really never use them, just wanted to update the antiviral applications) and was playing around with bluetooth and LEFT IT TURNED ON before rebooting back to Linux (my occasional OCD usually makes me turn it off because… well, because!). To my surprise, Bluetooth was now working in Linux as well.

I’m not sure what exactly Windows do to Bluetooth when you turn the adaptor off, but it survives rebooting and also interferes with other operating systems.

There are many posts about this online so I won’t go into technical details, I just wanted to tell you my story because FUCK YOU WINDOWS. And yeah, maybe it helps someone who is desperate like me to prove that everything works just as well under Linux, although it’s never ever being used. Seriously, Bluetooth?

How Pocket changed my life

I spend a lot of time online. A LOT. But, at the same time, I don’t read many articles. My surfing is active and totally deficient of any orderly attention. I scroll through dozens and dozens of article titles and read none of them. It’s boring, I’d have to stop my random clicking and read? No wai!

This is where Pocket comes in. Formerly known as “Read it later”, Pocket is a small application for the Android platform (maybe for the iOS as well, but I don’t care for them so check it out yourselves), also available for the Firefox browser and it’s integrated into some other applications such as Lightread.

What does it do, you wonder? It’s simple, all it does is save pages of your choosing for reading later (thus the former name, duh!) and it presents them in an easy to read article mode.

So now I can browse through the articles like a maniac I usually am and casually mark the ones I actually would like to read if my scattered mind would allow it, then they get synced (not only synced, but DOWNLOADED so you can read offline if no interwebz are available) with my phone and are available for reading wherever and whenever I feel concentrated and smart.

But to be honest, that’s usually the toilet.

I give Pocket 5/5 generic rating measurements for allowing me to read again.

Bitching hour: MATE and Cinnamon

Everyone’s bitching about Unity and Gnome Shell, so I decided to take the road less travelled and shit on MATE and Cinnamon. Why? No reason!

Cinnamon sounds like a good idea. Let’s make an old thing shiny by using new technologies to make something we’ve already seen. Ok, it doesn’t sound that good, does it? Why recreate something that already exists? On top of it all, why fork the window manager and make your own which is EXACTLY THE SAME like the one you forked, except for the name. You know, that could cause some serious dependency issues down the road. But who cares, right? Let’s fork everything!

The reason I dislike MATE is basically the same, except that this is actually an old environment, not a new one that just looks old. But forking made it worse. If you’re a clicker, you’ll be fine. But if you try to run nautilus by typing the name, guess what? It’s not nautilus any more. Nor is it gedit. etc. All default apps are called differently. So much for the gnome2 experience. That gets a strong dislike for the minor inconvenience from me!

Installing both Cinnamon and MATE on a system that already has some kind of a desktop environment is a really cumbersome thing because you get a lot of things you don’t need and a lot of things you already have. Sure, you can perhaps use gedit and <mate equivalent of it> for different things, but they’re basically the same application. But hey, now you have both! One is gtk2 compatible, the other is gtk3 compatible. So there you go!

Linux desktops are becoming an increasingly confusing mess, stop fucking around, stop forking around, let the poor thing stabilise a bit. I remember when testing out desktop environments used to be fun. -.-

That is all.

Linux is not for everyone

Although free and very user friendly as of recently, Linux is not for everyone. Many enthusiastic Linux users will tell you that it’s easy to use, stable, fast, virus free and a great replacement for day to day use.

And they are right! Linux is AWESOME.

But what most Linux users won’t tell you that Linux does require you to WANT to use Linux. You know, invest yourself a bit. Be interested in it. Or at least - GET USED TO IT.

Linux is not Windows. It can have a Start menu, icons on the desktop, wallpaper, screensaver, Firefox, Chrome… It has a Winamp replacement, Word replacement, you can run VLC media player on it and many other things you are (most likely) used to in everyday life. But it still is NOT Windows.

If you are not ready to make some changes in your everyday habits, don’t use Linux. I, as a Linux user, personally despise people who try Linux because I suggested it to them and then behave like I owe them something everytime they break something that’s usually fixable by (tested many times) copying and pasting their EXACT question into Google. First result - SOLVED.

But people are lazy and brainwashed into thinking that one thing is better than another. Windows HAS to be better because everyone is using Windows. Your argument is an invalid. You have a cripple of an argument there, really. Sure, Windows get a lot more attention from hardware developers and game developers and if you game most of your time, stay on Windows.

If your daily routine is more web based, you write blogs, watch Youtube, surf the web, watch porn (be honest), give Linux a try. But be ready to invest yourself a bit. Linux, as much as it is dumbed down today, still takes some getting used to, and apparently most people are not ready for that.

No one owes you anything if you try Linux. Don’t be an asshole to random Linux users on forums, IRC, Facebook or anywhere if something doesn’t work. It can be fixed, but acting like a spoiled brat won’t help you. Try to solve your problem yourself. Realize what just happened - you SOLVED a problem on your own. And probably acquired some computer experience, maybe even leveled up. Linux does that - it gives you ultimate control over your PC, but with power comes that cliche quote about responsibility. You are responsible for your own actions. If you blindly copy commands somebody gave you online and break your whole system, it’s your fault, don’t blame Linux.

Bottom line is - Linux is great, but you have to be at least a little bit  interested to properly give it a chance. Otherwise, there are always pirated Windows out there, and you can return to your semiannual re-installations when everything goes to hell.

Hollywood Loves Linux

Disney/Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, Sony, ILM and other movie production studios from Hollywood are using Linux to produce their movies. I bet not many of you knew this (I didn’t until today) but practically every blockbuster movie you see in theaters today was created with Linux. Hollywood prefers to use Linux instead of other operating systems, like Windows or Macintosh, for three simple reasons: it’s better, faster and cheaper.


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