Monday, February 14, 2011

A Personal Writing Challenge

In line with my recent belief that work-rate is almost everything, I've decided to challenge myself with a personal writing challenge. The goal is modest.

I'll write 100 words a day for 2011.

Therefore I'll end up with at least 36,500 words at the end of the year, if things work out. It doesn't matter if most of it is crap, as the goal is to increase the work-rate and sieve out the good stuff afterwards.

To keep track of my progress I'm including my current progress in my blog sidebar. This will be updated regularly, unless I fall seriously behind.

It'll be interesting to see how far this goes.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Trojans and Passwords

A few years ago my thumb-drive caught a Trojan from one of the computers in an undergraduate lab. It wasn't very sophisticated, and it's mechanism of action was quite simple to grasp; it simply copied itself to the thumb-drive and modified the autorun.inf such that the Trojan would run once inserted. Quite easy to remove, if you knew what to do.

Fast forward a few years, and now I'm teaching in the same lab. And my thumb-drive caught a Trojan again. It's quite probable that the source of infection is one (or more!) of the lab computers. Goes to show what happens to resources that are shared amongst many. I'm now thinking of getting a write-protected thumb-drive for special use.

The incident did make me more security conscious, though. I've changed all my online passwords. Pretty much time, anyway. The old one was left unchanged for too long. Wonder how long this one will last.