I hate it when I’m blocked using my VPN

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Like many IT people, I use a VPN when I’m surfing the internet.  Granted I post a ton of shit on my blog, twitter, and Facebook but sometimes you just want to go about your business without people logging you right and left.  There are literally tons of articles out there saying that in order to stay secure, you need to use a VPN to protect yourself from hackers and other unsavory people.  Recently I’ve started to get blocked on websites that I use quite frequently because they want to know that I’m not a hacker since hackers use VPN.  Umm no shit hackers use VPN, they don’t want to be traced either but that doesn’t mean that everyone that uses VPN is a hacker.

There are tons of ways to ensure security, one of the best ways is through 2 factor authentication which is what Google or Facebook uses for their sites.  I can surf them all day long using my VPN without a problem but places like hotel sites and banks are becoming restrictive.  If I’m using public wifi (which is very possible since I stay in a lot of hotels), theres shit to get done but I don’t want anyone snooping so I use a VPN but those sites don’t let me use a VPN.  I mean come on thats pretty freaking stupid.  I want to be secure in the transactions I make while staying safe but the vendors I use won’t let me use VPN because they think I’m a hacker.  Thats a pretty poor security policy right there.

Even when I’m at home I’m using my VPN and I even secure my my router so its hard to get into but I’m paranoid like that and want the extra protection.  There’s no reason for anyone to know where I’m surfing or what I’m doing online since thats my business.  SSL and HTTPS might be secure but if someone is snooping on the open internet, your credentials will get get stolen somehow.  I would love to change vendors but thats just way too much hassle.  What I do find interesting is that if I use VPN on my iPhone and use the app for my vendors they’re fine with it.  Seriously I don’t get it but I’m going to happily use my VPN to stay safe and to keep the bad people away.

Continued Windows 10 Update Frustrations

I’m writing this post on my daughters HP Stream 13 that my father bought her a couple of years ago and I’ve been trying to update it without success.  The problem is the need to have 5GB of free space on the drive which is something that I don’t have.  I think I’ve tried for the better part of a year trying to get the update installed with no luck.  I did go into the computer settings using my admin credentials and noticed that a ton of hard drive space is being taken up by recovery disks and stuff like that.  I tried to remove them but Windows 10 won’t let me which is a slight annoyance.

In this new age of computers with tiny ass hard drives, Microsoft needs to provide a better way to update the OS rather than just using the old C:\ drive to store everything for the update.  I’d be happy with just being able to use a flash drive or something.  I’ve read a few posts that says you might be able to do this but its way too involved and I’m just not that worried about security to bother with a 10 step process that “might” help update the HP Stream.

I’ve definitely learned my lesson regarding buying computers, I’m not going to get something with low memory like a Chromebook or a similarly speced out Windows computer.  I want at least 256GB on the hard drive, 1TB technically is what I want but a lot of computers don’t even come with that configuration option unless you’re willing to shell out mucho money.  My MacBook Pro that will no longer receive updates after this year has 1TB drive and that was an update from its 750GB hard drive.  I have plenty of space for apps, data, and OS updates.  I don’t put a ton of stuff in the cloud even though thats the way companies want you to go because you’re now subscribed and always paying for storage instead of paying for it just once.

I was really considering getting a new Surface Pro but these difficulties with Windows 10 might keep from actually doing it.  I want a touch screen with a pen but its more like a nice to have and not a must have.  On the other side of the equation, the lack of ports on the new Macs royally sucks, I still use my Mac to sync my phone, ipads, and tons of other stuff which requires a real USB port.  I don’t need thinner and lighter, I need something with a ton of ports, be semi thin, and have a huge ass hard drive (2TB would be ideal now).

Oh yeah, I also finished this blog post on my MacBook Pro, the HP Stream was pissing me off too much to keep using it so I switched to my more powerful machine.

Is my desktop dying? I can’t tell anymore

A few weeks ago my desktop tipped over again and fell on its side when it was running and anyone who knows computers knows, spinning disk hard drives don’t take to sudden drops and shocks very well.  Normally there might be s clicking sound starting or lots of errors coming up upon boot but I’m not experiencing any of that.  I did hear at one time a really nasty screech from the computer when I woke it up from sleep but other than that I haven’t heard a peep that sounded unusual.

In the old days of Windows XP and before, there were easier ways for me to figure out like running chkdsk and things like that since it was easy to get to DOS but in Windows 10 it’s a little harder.  I was able to get to chkdsk using the command prompt and forcing a reboot of my computer but I missed out on the summary since it rebooted before I could see it.  I don’t know if there are bad sectors or not.  I did use the regular scan disk tools and it says all is well but I’m not buying it. I suspect there might be something wrong since it’s rejecting apps I want to install and apps like MS Publisher and Adobe Photoshop won’t work anymore.  While not really show stoppers it is what my wife uses that desktop for most of the time.

I wanted to install a Ubuntu VM last night on the desktop to see if it would load but I couldn’t even get VirtualBox to install which is the first thing that I need before installing VM OS.  I’ll have to continue to monitor the desktop but since it says nothing is wrong I don’t know what to fix but clearly something is wrong since I can’t do some of the tasks I used to be able to do.  I almost wouldn’t mind if the desktop died, I would have a nice excuse to get a new computer while also reconfiguring the office so we can make better use of the TV.  Most people would be concerned with the data on their computers but since all my data is on my NAS now I don’t care if it dies suddenly.  

I am curious how much longer it will take for the desktop to die, its lasted over nine years so far which is pretty good in computer terms.

Hello 2017…..

Father Time has advanced another year and I still intend to blog a little here and a little there (140 characters is too little sometimes).  I definitely didn’t reach my annual goal of 100 posts in 2016 but that number has been in decline for years now. I’m still going to re-affirm that I’m going to try and hit that mark but it probably won’t happen but I’m going to give it the old college try!

The trouble is finding content to write that I haven’t already written about already.  This blog already covers 11 years so there isn’t much left that I could write about so I’m starting to repeat things from years past.  There might be more pictures that I take from my phone that I’ll post here, I have done something similar in the past but the free account with WordPress doesn’t afford a lot of upload space for all my pictures.

Just to use some space on WordPress, these are some pics from 2016 from my photo stream on my iPhone that depicts some of the places I’ve been to, stuff I bought or received as gifts, or things I’ve done with work or my family.