The life of a tech. lady. :P

So, I had the pleasure of being called upon to resurrect a friend’s PC from issues ranging from a missing graphics driver (how this got deleted, I have *no* idea), various Trojan flavors to dealing with an anemic hard disk drive (67MB of space left on a 30gb disk). I was eager to call upon my superior googling skills to solve the issue, but I faced just more than fixing a ‘sick’ computer. I was faced with the biggest problem of all: user apathy. You see, one of my biggest pet peeves is seeing a computer and its software go unpatched and/or un-updated. I kvetched to my hubby about how said friend should just move to a Mac if he couldn’t handle the responsibility of owning a PC and it got me thinking about how Microsoft could change the perception that PCs are a lot of headache. Seriously, the main reason from my limited view) about the plethora of virii available on the Windows platform is solely due to its popularity. By that theory, Macs will soon witness the same epidemic if people migrate to that platform in droves which they apparently are doing as Macs are gaining user share rather quickly. Anyway, I digress. Why I subscribe to the school of learning about my tools and being a proactive user, I can appreciate the fact that not everyone gets excited about learning how to protect their PCs and they would frankly rather NOT bother with running Microsoft Update if it didn’t know to update itself already. So, I guess the point of this little nugget of a post is: what can people who care about technology do to encourage technologically-challenged or plain disinterested people to ‘care’ about their PCs. To computer makers: what can YOU do to make the experience of caring about your PCs a better one for us, users?

Just a thought. 😛

Three reasons your Facebook account keeps sending me spam

So, I’ve always wanted to write a “best practices” style post for users of the popular social networking website, Facebook. The blast of fame that Facebook has experienced has expectedly drawn the lowest scum of the earth, spammers. Thankfully and for the most part, Facebook’s engineers have tried to combat that by actively encouraging users reporting of spammy profiles, etc. They also have a powerful ally in their privacy permissions which can be very daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, you might think it’s the next best thing since the the redesign. 😛

So, in my years of using Facebook, I’m very proud to say that I have NEVER been hacked/tricked into using a sketchy app or have my wall/profile hijacked. I’ll delve into the reasons why my account has been relatively secure so far, but here’s why I *think* your facebook account won’t stop spamming others:

  1. Number 1 is the biggest culprit of all: Facebook applications. Do you realize that enabling Facebook applications without tweaking certain privacy settings means the apps developer has access to a LOT of information about you? Don’t believe me. Take this quiz to see for yourself what Facebook apps know about you AND your friends, courtesy of the ACLU. There are a bunch of things that applications can do including posting to your profile. If you enabled a sketchy app, guess what it can do? Post all sorts of NSFW or embarassing links on your profile. Please if you are a serial quiz taker, you need to check your Applications Settings STAT and remove any apps you’re done with.
  2. Number 2 is one that’s not very publicized, but I suspect is a biggie based on what I’ve experienced: Friends from Hell. Not your true friends of course, but my rule of thumb is: if I don’t know you (by that I mean, interact with you either in person or online), I won’t approve you no matter how many friends we have in common. I almost wish I’d started a study of the number of suspicious friend requests I’ve had and taken note of the people he’s managed to friend in order to back up my big suspicion that a prevalent route of “infection” is through approving friends that aren’t really your friends. Then again, there’s a certain percentage of facebook users who aren’t very discerning about whom they friend. Remember that being online is partly about social networking so please interact with a hefty dose of suspicion.
  3. Number 3 is a newbie mistake and often rectified quickly: enabling Facebook to update all your friends with every update/sneeze/breakup/makeup that happens to you. For simplicity’s sake, if you’re on Facebook to reconnect with friends or family, all you really need to let everyone know about your business is: status updates, photos of you/you+friends/pets. Anything else: video, notes, external applications need to be scrutinized before you let them appear in your news feed.

These are the 3 biggest things (or pet peeves) about Facebook.com users and I hope that this post will, at least, cause any current offenders to re-think their ways. 😛

Making fun of your users

So, I use Twitter daily and am very thankful that Twitter has been a boon to some companies in terms of customer service. However, I’ve had my first sour experience. To give you some background, I purchased Acronis Disk Director back in 2007 and it worked fine on my Vista system. The last update to Disk Director (when I last checked) was in 2007 so when I saw that an update to Disk Director had occurred in September 2009, I got excited and assumed (wrongly as it turns out) that it would be compatible with Windows 7.

Turns out that was not the case so I thought I’d be helpful in tweeting to @acronis that Acronis Disk Director 10 would not install on Windows 7 x64 systems on the 28th of October and whomever was manning that account responded that they would look into the matter. Well, on the 2nd I got this reply:

please, read system requirements carefully http://bit.ly/4gHY1g

My first instinct was that I had just been b****slapped and I wanted to appeal to the baser side of me by starting a flame war. However, I restrained myself and simply chided @acronis.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/janetalkstech/status/5363954559″]

What’s the point of this post? I’m sorely disappointed that the ‘official’ twitter channel of Acronis would treat me that way. If we were buddies, I’d accept that as friendly ribbing. Acronis might’ve well said “f*** off” with that response. It’s not a biggie and I felt insulted. I *hope* that wasn’t the intention and even if it may not have been the intention, I felt insulted. Whaddaya gonna do? *shrug* I like to treat people fairly no matter their station in life. @acronis apparently felt I was a dumb user and felt the need to talk down to me.

In non-aggravating news, I’ve *finally* gotten around to editing photographs I took of Lauren and Chris’s wedding in Madison, GA. As you will see, I think I did justice to the ceremony. Enjoy the photographs in large glory here!