Wednesday, March 21, 2012

IAQ Time

You've heard of Frequently Asked Questions, or FAQ's.  But an IAQ list is for Infrequently Asked Questions: The questions that are rarely asked.  That doesn't have any correlation with their importance, however.  It just means that they don't get asked as often.

Why run Active Directory at home?

There are a lot of good reasons actually.  Let me itemize just a few:

- Time and Computer Restriction

If you have kids, you can set their allowed logon and logoff times per day of the week, in one place and it applies wherever they use a computer on your home network.  If they like to sneak onto your other kids' computers, or those of you or your spouse, you can easily lock their accounts down to only one computer.

- Account Management

Rather than making a "Josh" account on three computers and leaving a stale password on all three, you can make one "Josh" account and turn on password policy to force them to change it on a set number of days, and force them to use a complex password.  Go ahead and laugh, but I've seen a lot of home computer hacked into because the users had stupid (or blank) passwords.

- Authentication

Tired of setting up a "Josh" account on three computers so your son Josh can play games on one, save pictures to another, and send print jobs to another?  Well, a single AD account and simple group features will take care of that and leave you plenty of time to do more exciting things, like mowing the lawn.

- Group Policy

Easier configuration management.

Why use WSUS at home?

Two reasons: Better Control, and it's FREE.  You can approve more types of updates for automatic installation than you can with Automatic Updates (aka "Windows Update", aka "Microsoft Update").  If you don't believe me, and you're still using Automatic Updates, and you believe your computers are patched up completely, visit the Microsoft Update site again, and check again.  You could have automatically approved and installed all of them in one place, for all of your home computers, and moved on.  Oh yeah, and it's free.

Why use a Router at home?

If you plug your computer directly into your cable modem, all I can say is "good luck!".  We did some testing in one our labs at an office I used to work at, where we plugged in an XP SP3 computer without a router/firewall, and it was hacked and owned within 45 seconds.  After three more tests, the average turned out to be 50 seconds.  Using Windows Vista, in default configuration, it took about 1 hour and 20 minutes on average.  We didn't test with Windows 7 because it wasn't out yet.  But you get the picture, hopefully.

Most modern home network routers provide a decent firewall capability out of the box.  Nothing is perfect, after all, hackers have penetrated firewalls of some of the biggest corporations, the U.S. military, and even the FBI and CIA web sites.  But then again, the stakes are much higher, so the appeal of hacking those is much higher than anyone wanting to hack YOUR home network (unless you're the CEO of a big company)

Whether you prefer Linksys, Cisco, Netgear, D-link, or whatever, most of the routers sold today offer a fairly good firewall and other features to help secure your network.  They're cheap too.  Use them.

What is the point of following politics?

Politics is an elaborate game designed to keep the public distracted from two main problems in our lives:  (1) Most people aren't happy and are bored, and (2) it makes them believe they have some influence on the outcome of elections, and therefore, some influence on government action.  Once they realize that (2) is false, they occupy that time with things like watching TV shows, sports, and regular consumption of drugs and/or alcohol.

Why doesn't Dave follow a franchise Sports Team like everyone else?

Because I've learned over the years that fans value the team about 10X more than the players do.  Dangle a better contract in front of any NFL, NBA or MLB player and they're gone like a dog chasing a stray chunk of lunch meat.  You can't buy fans away from their favorite teams, but the players, or rather "contractors" (let's face it, that's what they are), have no such allegiances.  The whole thing is disingenuous.  I watch games for pure entertainment value.  I don't give a flying crap who is getting traded to whom, or what so-and-so stats are.

Why does anyone read this blog?

I'm still trying to figure that out.
Post a Comment