John DeRosa's
Computer Web Page

Computer Related Documents
  • Passwords - Lots of places on the web will suggest how to make strong passwords. My advice is simple, it should make no sense!! (which may make no sense to you) That is, if some bad guy glanced at your password written on a piece of paper it would be very difficult to quickly remember it.

    Some examples;

    Bad Ideas - Don't use these they are too readable at a glance.

    • Words that are easily read - "mynameisjohn"
    • Sequential - "123456789" or "abcdefghi"
    • Repeating letters, numbers - "ababababab"
    • Reuse - Don't reuse passwords. Every new password should be unique and never seen before.

    Good Ideas - Don't use these either, at least not verbatum. Make up your own with the same ideas.

    • "mhallifwwas" - This is the first letter of each word in a commonly known nursery rhyme. But you should pick a phase that is unique to you.
    • "49382067382" - Nearly impossible to quickly memorize but it needs to make sense to you. Maybe members of your family's birthday days , heights, weights, IQs, etc, something people won't know.
    • Special Characters - Adding a $, %, ^, &, @, #, * to your passwords always helps. Substitute $ for an S, @ or an A, etc. Watch out for \ which can trip up some password systems. Placing it somewhere other than the first and last character is best.
    • New - Update your password often, but simply, by changing a few digits within it. Like adding a never-to-be-repeated current month+year (Oct 2011 = 1011) somewhere. Even better day+month+year.
    • Length - Longer is better. Period.
    • Account Specific - Each site should have its own password but how to remember them all? Maybe add "YH" to it for Yahoo, "AZ" for Amazon, "PP" for Paypal, etc.
    • Total Garbage - My password is really a mess ... and secure. It sprung from a short phrase special to me, then added a special character or two, then some never-to-be-repeated numbers, and made it site specific. Sure wish I could share it with you. ;-)

  • How I Build an Windows XP System - This is not how to install Windows. Rather, once Windows XP has been installed, this is how I like to set up the user interface. Plus how I like to set up the Office (2003) suite. You may pick up a few pointers.

  • Forever Email Account - I am appalled at how many people change their email accounts far too often. This disconnects you from all your friends, acquances and businesses. I also think that using your ISP's email system is a bad idea. Here is my suggestion on how to create a web based email account that you will NEVER have to change again including how to migrate from your old email system.

  • Cloning 101 - This describes how to upgrade your computer's hard drive, that is moving to a larger hard drive. After a clone, your computer will behave exactly how it did before, just with a larger hard drive. I have had great luck with Acronis which will not only move your data but increase/change the partition(s) size(s).

  • Stuck Pixel Testing - This PowerPoint document will help you find stuck pixels on your LCD screen by painting the screen with different colors.