Saturday, September 10, 2016

Unrelated to technology and programming...

You should check out this fantastic band
Typing Stats
Words Per Minute (WPM): 86
Characters Per Minute (CPM): 432
Fastest Finger: Left Index
Slowest Finger: Left Ring
Word Accuracy: 100%
Language: English
Letter Casing: Mixed
Keyboard Layout: QWERTY
Test Duration: 30 Seconds
Stats From PAT or JK's Typing Speed Test

Average Finger Response Time
Left Pinky: 138 Milliseconds
Left Ring: 343 Milliseconds
Left Middle: 122 Milliseconds
Left Index: 112 Milliseconds
Right Index: 144 Milliseconds
Right Middle: 118 Milliseconds
Right Ring: 154 Milliseconds
Right Pinky: 177 Milliseconds
Thumb(s): 114 Milliseconds
Stats From PAT or JK's Typing Speed Test

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Cables are the fountain drinks of technology sales

I just took a trip to my local MicroCenter store to purchase a 6' USB 3.0 A Male to Micro B cable. I looked at BestBuy, Target and Walmart and not being able to find anything but overpriced USB 2.0 cables.  I knew that MicroCenter would have what I was looking for at a reasonable price.  I need the cable right away.

I did search on Amazon before I got in my car and found that Amazon's Basic brand had one for $5.99.  I expected to pay a little more at MicroCenter.

After finding the isle and staring at the USB cables for a while I found that the 6' cables were $27.99.  Yikes!  As I was standing in the isle, another couple looking at some other cables said loudly, "Wow, these are expensive!"

I found a sale associate and asked if they would price match online prices (as they are also an online retailer).  He said they would.  I showed him the item on Amazon and he said would have to be the exact brand.  I searched for the brand on my phone and matched the product number.  Bingo $5.50 + $1.10 shipping for the same exact cable at Amazon.  A 424% mark up!  He said we would need to speak to a manager.  I said, "Great, let's find one"

The manager says, "Is it sold my Amazon or a third party?".  Checking my phone I informed him that it was a third party.  He said that there is no guarantee that I would actually receive the item if I ordered from Amazon.  I shouldn't have to explain this to him (but I did) that Amazon does guarantee my purchase.  He would not go for the $5.50.

I ask if he would meet me half way at a reasonable price.  The answer was "No".

I dropped the item and turned and walked out.

So just remember, do not buy computer or AV cables in any retail stores. These items are marked up as much as 500%.  Just like how restaurants make a majority of their profits on fountain drinks.



Thursday, March 29, 2012

Slow Insert Hyperlink dialog in Office

When I am creating e-mails in Outlook or documents in Word and press Ctrl-K to insert a Hyperlink, the dialog would freeze for 5-10 seconds.  It was very annoying and I've been dealing with this for quite a while on my work laptop.

I turns out I had 8 shortcuts in the "My Documents" folder.  Once I deleted them, the Insert Hyperlink dialog opened with no delay.

Microsoft must have some issue with parsing shortcuts.  I hope this helps someone else if they encounter this issue.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Review your Event Logs

I was just browsing my event log and found the following entry in system:

Remote session from client name a exceeded the maximum allowed failed logon attempts. The session was forcibly terminated.

This normally would not be a concern except I've the message was logged every minute or so.  After further review I see that this has been going on for the last 3 months! (as far back as my event goes)

Clearly someone is trying to hack into my computer through the Remote Desktop Service.  I do have a forwarding rule in my ISP's router that forwards port 3389 to my desktop.  Being as 3389 is the default port for remote desktop, I guess I should not be surprised that this was happening.

So what did I do?  I changed the default RDP port.  Yes, that's right "Security by obscurity"  Not the preferred solution but it should slow down the attacks.

I updated the forwarding rule in the ISP router/firewall and updated my desktop RDP port using  The desktop computer firewall also had to modified to support the new port.  The firewall rule for RDP on port 3389 is locked  so I just created a new one for the new port.

I also changed the Local Security Policy's Account Lockout Policy to 3 attempts and 30 minutes to reset.    This should slow someone down as well.

Luckily I have a strong password according to


So I suggest you do take some time to review your event logs.  It's surprising what you might learn.