Gnome 3.24 is here

It has been several years since I have used Gnome regularly. Gnome 3 has always attracted me but I did not feel that it was ready to be my daily driver. With that said, the latest release of Gnome is here. Version 3.24, and I must say it is very nice and fast. The slowness that I remember is gone, and the minimalist approach allows me to make the most efficient use of my workspace.

Gnome 3.24 brings several new features, a few are:

  • Night Light
  • Recipes. An application literally full of recipes.
  • Builder – A powerful development IDE

You can see the official release here

I am test driving Gnome 3.24 on Ubuntu 17.04 beta, which comes standard with Gnome 3.24 and Kernel 4.10.

 

Does Automation == Lazy Developers?

I was speaking with a friend the other day about how lazy developers tend to be good developers because they will automate most of theirs tasks. While I understand the point being made (automating tasks is a good thing), but I do not agree that it makes the developer lazy. I began ranting to myself, and now I am ranting to you.

Put it this way, how many times a week do you perform the same task? If you spend 30 minutes a day performing a repetitive tasks, that is two and a half hours a week that could be spent elsewhere. If you automate these tasks, you can spend your new found time elsewhere, like those annoying meetings you have to go to every week. Two and three hours saved in a week may not seem like much, but most people under-estimate how much time they spend doing a manual process thCaptureat could be automated.

For example, I deploy 10-20 virtual machines a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. The process is very repetitive. Steps: Log into vSphere, create a virtual machine, define hardware provisions, boot to an ISO, install the OS, log into OS, assign static IP address, set A record on the local DNS, perform updates, install required software, configured software, hand off to the developer that requires the system and hope that you did not forget something. Just the other day I had a request for six virtual servers before 8am, all of them being identical. Imagine if I had to manually perform all of those steps on each server with no automation? My entire job would essentially be deploying virtual servers and nothing more. Fortunately we leverage automation technology to do these tasks for us. Is this laziness or simply being more efficient?

Automation tools have become popular in environments where new servers are provisioned and configured without the developer having to baby sit. One can simply kick off an automation script or tool and move on to something else while their virtual servers are built. The only downside to automating is the time spent developing and implementing the automation process. It takes a lot of time and dedication to write a Chef cookbook that installs and configures an oracle database on six different versions of Linux. It takes time to configure Foreman to integrate into your environment.

Lazy developers prefer easy repetitive tasks with no learning curve. Smart, dedicated, and hardworking developers will spend time automating repetitive tasks in order to spend their time doing more important work. Is your DevOps team automating tasks? How much time a week can your team free up?

 

Automation Tools

Foreman Provisioning

Chef Configuration Management

 

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Nearing the end of CryptoLocker

Source: MalwareBytes

CrytoLocker  Encryption was first released back in September 2013. CryptoLocker is classified as a Trojan horse virus that will go through a users computer and encrypt all office, Adobe, Pictures, and music files. CryptoLocker will encrypt these files with the utmost security and holds your files ransom. Typically there will be a file located on your desktop that gives the user instructions on how to unlock their files. It will ask for an amount of money in the form of bitcoin. If you pay in bitcoins, you have a 50% chance of them actually sending the correct key to unlock your files.

CryptoLocker was finally stopped in 2014 but other companies have taken  the name and created similar viruses. Software is available for users to download to de-crypt their files for FREE! Emisoft has released various versions of tools to help you get your files back. Depending on the file extension, you can pick which program will work for you.

To stay ahead of the game, MalwareBytes has created Anti-Ransomeware. This program runs on a users computer actively to intercept anything trying to encrypt your files without your permission.  Download this tool for free at www.bleepingcomputer.com (Anti-Malware Tool)

Do not pay for your files back without using these resources. Bit coins are only going up in price and it’s not worth paying for something you can get back for free. If you have any trouble using these tools give us a call here at Team I.T. Computes and we will be more than happy to assist you!

 

Google Reveals Un-patched Windows Kernel Vulnerability

Source: Google

Today (Oct 31, 2016), Google revealed a security flaw in the Windows kernel that they claim to be “actively exploited”. Google has a policy to make public vulnerabilities that are actively exploited within seven days of alerting the developer (Microsoft).

The vulnerability allows the attacker to “escape a security sandbox” by using local privilege escalation. Google recommends that users update Flash player, Chrome and apply all updates for Windows as soon as they are available.

Tom’s Hardware claims that Chrome is safe under Windows 10 due to “Win32k lockdown mitigation”, however, Windows updates should still be applied regularly.

Having Issues With Your Display?

broken_displaySuddenly one day your computer screen does not come on like it used to. 

Computer screens are very delicate and you must be cautious of how you close your laptop or where you have your monitor placed. It can be very frustrating when your getting a reflection of yourself in a black screen. Many people think that the computer is dead or worthless when they do not get a display.

The most common damage that happens to screens is physical damage. The physical damage happens more to tablets and phone screens. Typically cables don’t go bad and is a rare occasion when they do. Luckily for you, there are ways to tell if your computer if your screen is bad or if the problem is with the computer.

The Normal “Ware and Tear”

Often computers start to have parts going bad inside the computer after 3-5 years. We all wish computers would run forever but, unfortunately it’s just a matter of time before something fails. A common problem that can cause screens to go bad is the inverter. An inverter converts DC (direct current) electricity into AC (alternating current) electricity. This powers the back light of your screen. Without the back light, everything becomes very dim and hard to see. Unfortunately there’s not an easy way to test if the inverter fails, without replacing it with a new one.

Physical Damage to Screens

In this day and age, technology is becoming smaller, lighter, and thinner. When there is just a little bit of a bend or pressure applied to the screen it may break. Roughly when there is around 3-5 pounds of pressure applied to the screen it can crack or become defective. There are certain indications to look out for when your computer screen is physically damage. If there is any water that has been spilled on the screen, then there will be water stains left on the screen (where you missed wiping the water off at). Now if there was pressure applied to the screen then you will notice your screen being distorted or black spots on the screen. If you crack your screen, you will be able to clearly see the cracks. 

Indications your computer is working

If you are not sure your computer is working or not, here are some ways you can see if your computer is receiving power. One of the ways you can tell if your laptop is receiving power is by looking just below your track pad (aka mouse pad) where there is normally a row of lights with symbols indicating if it is receiving power. Another way is by looking at the power supply or the charger of your laptop are receiving power to provide for your computer or laptop. The last and most obvious indication is if you simply hit the power button and your computer/laptop will not turn on.

At Team I.T. Computers we are used to screen replacements, so we are able to diagnose the issue relatively fast. If you are ever in need of a screen replacement, and do not want to spend large amount of money on it, make sure to stop in at Team I.T. Computers and we will be able to get that issue resolved in a reasonable time frame and with a reasonable price!