Merry Christmas 2013!

Have a blessed Christmas this year celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ!


Posted in Holiday

Are you ready for the future of the Internet? – Check Your IPv6

According to Wikipedia (quoted in red):

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is the latest revision of the Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet. IPv6 was developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to deal with the long-anticipated problem of IPv4 address exhaustion.

IPv6 is intended to replace IPv4, which still carries the vast majority of Internet traffic as of 2013. As of September 2013, the percentage of users reaching Google services over IPv6 surpassed 2% for the first time.

Every device on the Internet must be assigned an IP address in order to communicate with other devices. With the ever-increasing number of new devices being connected to the Internet, the need arose for more addresses than IPv4 is able to accommodate. IPv6 uses a 128-bit address, allowing 2128, or approximately 3.4×1038 addresses, or more than 7.9×1028 times as many as IPv4, which uses 32-bit addresses. IPv4 allows only approximately 4.3 billion addresses. The two protocols are not designed to be interoperable, complicating the transition to IPv6.

Source (as of 12-22-2013):

I don’t think IPv6 will be used exclusively for several years. However it is wise to plan ahead and get some sort-of IPv6 setup on your home/office network.

You can check to see if you have IPv6 setup by going here:

Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Operating Systems

11 Myths About GNU/Linux Operating System

Linux is a good operating system to use for servers. I use it for a router and my smartphone. However, there are many misconceptions about Linux, especially over the Internet where a lot of people are given false information about Linux. Please note that I mean no disrespect toward anyone.

Myth #1: Linux is secure…more secure than Windows!

This is one of the most ridiculous myths out there about Linux. How is Linux specifically “more secure” than Windows? There are too many variables to consider to be able to make a blanket statement like that! No self-respecting IT guy would ever say this out in public.

Look at:

Conclusion: Both Windows and Linux can be secure, if you know what you are doing.

Myth #2: Linux is more stable than Windows!

Another ridiculous claim! How is Linux “more stable” than Windows? One guy on WebHostingTalk (an online forum for web hosting companies, clients, IT people, IT enthusiasts, etc.) switched from Windows to Linux to fix his problem(s) he was having with his machine not being stable. Later on, he admitted that switching to Linux did NOT solve his problem (!

In my opinion, 99% of crashes on Windows are due to faulty hardware and/or drivers. However, both Windows (NT family) and Linux are stable operating systems, when using good, stable hardware and good, stable drivers.

Conclusion: Both Windows and Linux depend upon stable hardware and drivers to be any use to the user using them.

Myth #3: Linux protects your computer from malware.

Uh…if you really believe this Linux myth, please read this:

Linux does not protect you from malware. It just has less malware, in my opinion, due to Linux not having a large desktop market share, and , in my opinion, due to so many Linux distributions out there (still an intelligent hacker would make a virus to infect the most popular Linux distributions, which could potentially effect, in my opinion, 60% or so of all Linux users).

However it is still not wise to use a Linux workstation/server without having an anti-virus scanner on it.

Conclusion: Both Windows and Linux can get infected with malware. However, Windows is the larger target, but this does not mean that Windows is easier to infect, nor does it mean that you are guaranteed to get malware when using Windows.

Myth #4: Linux is free!

Well…true…Linux itself is free.

However, consider that more than likely you will be spending a lot of time setting up your Linux computer (finding drivers, getting printers to work, getting your scanner to work, getting your Windows only program to work in Wine, etc.)

“Time is money” as they say.

Conclusion: While economically Linux is free, Linux is not totally free, if you end up burning time (more like wasting time) trying to get things to work in Linux that worked fine in Windows. In a business environment with a Windows setup, switching to Linux would be no easy task, that is for sure!

Myth #5: Linux let’s you do whatever you want to do via the GPL license!

Linux is only ‘freedom’ to people who know how to modify it and use it. If you are a casual computer user, Linux would not really give you any more freedom than Windows would.

Also, realistically only computer programmers and techy people will really be able to modify Linux to suit their needs.  Non-programmers and non-techy people will still be at the mercy of the Linux programmers not to make “drastic, unfriendly” changes to the operating system.

Conclusion: Saying Linux gives you freedom via the GPL license is a fallacy, since you are still restricted in what you are allowed to do with Linux.

Myth #6: Linux gives you everything you need out-of-the-box!

This is one of the more stupid myths.  If everything came out-of-the-box that I need, then why do I have to setup specific software (that is not installed by default) on a Linux box when I set on up?

Conclusion: Too many variables to account for to make a blanket statement that Linux gives everything the user needs out-of-the-box.

Myth #7: With Linux you do not need to get drivers for your devices!

I had one wireless card that would absolutely not work with Linux out of the box, and printers usually do not work for me out-of-the-box on Linux either. Also, I would recommend using the manufacturer’s Linux drivers (if they have any for your device) in place of the drivers that came with the Linux distribution and/or updates.

Conclusion: Devices do not always work out-of-the-box with Linux. Same goes for Windows.

Myth #8: You can update *all* your Linux software at once using the built-in Linux updater!

What if you installed something via RPM or DEB manually (compiled from source or not)? How would you get the package manager to automatically update the manually installed software?

Conclusion: Not everything necessarily will be able to be automatically updated in Linux via the package manager.

Myth #9: You can find any type of software you need when using Linux!

What if someone needs to use a specific piece of software that is Windows-only? Using WINE to run Windows software on Linux is not a solution for everyone. WINE on Linux successfully running Windows software is hit and miss at best.

Conclusion: Linux may not have all the software that every computer user needs or even wants to use.

Myth #10: Linux does not have hard drive fragmentation!

When you delete files (on any file-system, NTFS, ext4, ext3, UFS, FAT32, FAT, ZFS, etc.), you leave gaps in the file-system. These gaps will be filled with other files, but you will also have files before and after the new file. So when the computer goes to access the data, it has to sift though all of the data to find the bits and pieces it needs to complete the task.

Linux does not magically have a “no fragmentation” problem. If someone ever tells you that Linux does not have a fragmentation problem, that person does not know what he/she is talking about.

Conclusion: The file-systems for Linux can get fragmentation.

Myth #11: Many eyes on open-source projects keep the projects secure.

If anything, there would be so much code (like in the Linux kernel) that no one could constantly go through all of the code to make sure that no “monkey wrenches” have been thrown into the works. 🙂

Also, you are really trusting competent strangers to make sure the code you use is “secure”.  Can they be trusted?  Maybe yes…maybe no.

Conclusion: Not only is this idea a myth, but it is illogical.

Posted in Operating Systems

Shared Hosting vs. VPS Hosting

Shared Hosting

Shared web-hosting is when you (as the customer) host your website(s) on a web-host’s server with possibly several other people at the same time. It is like a public fitness center. Everyone from all over come and use the fitness center’s services. You do not know who they are, and they do not know who you are. However, you all still come and use the public fitness center.

Quick Note: “AUP” is short for “Acceptable Use Policy”.

1) Disk Space

Several shared hosts give you massive amounts of disk space for your websites. However, you must be careful to read the web host’s AUP since they may prevent you from using all your disk space you are paying for.

Also, it is best to stay away from any web-hosts who claim to give you unlimited disk space. At best, you might get to use a few GB of hard drive space and possibly be limited to how many files you can put onto your web-hosting space. Please remember there is no such thing as an unlimited hard drive, and it still costs those web hosting companies lots of money to buy new ones for their servers.

2) CPU usage

Many shared hosting companies will limit your website(s) CPU usage. If your blog has several plugins that take up a lot of CPU, and you have several web visitors, you may find your account suspended for heavy CPU usage. Not a good thing if this is your company website.

3) Memory usage

Many shared hosting companies will limit your website(s) memory usage as well. If you decide to import your company’s 1,000 products into your online web store, you may find out that you cannot complete this task, since you ran out of allowed memory from the web host. Not a good thing for your company’s website.

4) Bandwidth

Many shared hosting companies will give you plenty of bandwidth for your website(s). This should not be a worry to you, unless you have large files and/or many website visitors.

It is also a good idea to stay away from any web-hosts who claim to give you unlimited bandwidth. If you use an excessive amount of bandwidth on a “unlimited bandwidth” web-host, there is a good chance your account will get suspended for “abuse”.

5) Security

On shared web-hosts, there will be several people hosting their website(s) on the same server as yours. Not all these people have good intentions. Some may even be on there just for the sake of hacking into other people’s websites.

While the shared web-host should have safe guards in-place to prevent one customer from viewing another customer’s files, this may not always be the case. If you are running a company website (especially an online e-commerce store), hosting the website on a shared web-hosting account is probably not a good idea.

6) Price

Usually shared web-hosts are not very pricey, but that is not always the case. You might even find one for $1.99 per month. Remember that the cheaper the web-host is, usually the cheaper the service is as well.

VPS Hosting

VPS web-hosting is when you (as the customer) host your website(s) on a virtual web-server on one of the web-host’s servers. The advantage to this is that you have much more control. You get your own hard drive space, memory, and control over what services to put on your web-server (as long as the web services do not go against the web-host’s AUP).

1) Disk Space

While you will not get as much disk space (as compared to shared web-hosting) without costing you a lot of money, you still can get a decent amount of hard drive space, at a not-too-high of cost.

2) CPU usage

Many VPS companies should give you some guaranteed CPU power. If your blog has several plugins that take up a lot of CPU, and you have several web visitors, the VPS host might temporarily increase your CPU power. However, always read the web-host’s AUP to see how they handle this issue.

3) Memory usage

Many VPS companies should give you some guaranteed RAM. If you decide to import your company’s 1,000 products into your online web store, and you use up all your guaranteed RAM, the VPS host might temporarily give you more RAM to complete the task. However, always read the web-host’s AUP to see how they handle this issue.

4) Bandwidth

Many VPS companies will give you plenty of bandwidth for your website(s). This should not be a worry to you, unless you have large files and/or many website visitors.

5) Security

On VPS, all virtual servers should be sand-boxed from each other (keep one VPS customer from prying into another VPS customer’s files and whatnot). If the VPS host does not sandbox the VPS accounts, do not use the VPS host. Find another one.

6) Price

VPS services are usually pricey. However, you might find one for $19.99 per month (or less). Remember that the cheaper the VPS host is, usually the cheaper the service is as well.

Posted in Internet and Servers