Two-factor authentication – do it now.

The online world has become too dangerous for us to keep protecting ourselves with no more than a username and a password. Especially when most of us choose stupidly simple passwords. Even if you choose a good one – upper and lower case, special characters, letters and numbers – you now need such a long one that no human can remember it. Tools like LastPass are great, but only if you also use ridiculously long passwords. Pretty much the best protection you can give yourself is a simple thing called two factor authentication. It’s simple, it’s free, and it’s very effective.

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Good error messages

I recall our little team getting into trouble many moons ago. We were writing a creditor system, and one of the requirements was for comments to be attachable to individual invoice lines. In COBOL every data structure has to be predefined. One of us thought that surely, surely, 400 comment lines would be enough for any one invoice line. This turned out not to be the case. Continue reading

APC BR900GI UPS tips

As the proud owner of a Synology DS415+ NAS (network attached storage) device, I thought I had better protect the large amount of data accumulating on it by also becoming the proud owner of a suitable UPS (uninterruptible power supply). That way, when the power fluctuates or goes off unexpectedly (as is quite common in rural Australia, where I live) the NAS is protected and will have time to shut itself down in an orderly fashion. So I purchased a Schneider (APC) BR900GI UPS. This article is about how I set things up.

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