Archive for September, 2014

The Automatic Log-in Conundrum In Linux

September 30, 2014

Automatic log in option during Linux installation

During the Linux installation process, users are given the option to either log-in automatically or to require a user name and password when the system boots up.  Which one you choose depends largely on how you use your system.

Requiring a password:

If your computer is being used regularly by other members of your household or business staff, then you will want to create a multi-user environment in which each user has a unique user name and password.  You may also want to assign these other user accounts as limited users with no root access.

The limited user account allows users to access and run programs, but not modify or install new software packages.  This sets restricted permissions and helps prevent against user errors that could potentially render your system inoperable.

Or for security reasons, you may simply want to deny anyone else access to your system.

Automatic log-in:

Convenience is the primary reason for enabling automatic log-in.  You can turn on your computer and instantly boot to the desktop environment.

As the only user, the required password you created during installation gives you full administrative rights.

You may also want to give a thief access to your system in the event that your computer is ever stolen if you have anti-theft software installed. Prey Project offers free anti-theft tracking software that can be used to trace stolen computer equipment once it connects to the Internet.  But the thief must be able to load the operating system.

The Prey software is available for Linux, Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices.  The free version is limited by comparison to the paid version, but it is sufficient to recover stolen property.  You can protect up to three devices per email address.

Encrypt my home folder:

Unless you are an experienced Linux user, please don’t.  It sounds tempting, but it can lock you out of your own files if your system crashes or becomes corrupted.  Just a word to the wise.

The choice is yours:

You can opt to automatically log-in or not.  Linux is highly customizable, so if you change your mind you can always alter these settings within the operating system after installation.

It’s up to you.



It’s The Internet Economy, Stupid!

September 8, 2014

Recent headlines scream the news:

Best Buy announces list of 50 stores closing in 2012

Staples to close 140 stores as online rivals take sales away

RadioShack to close up to 1,100 stores

Sears to close 35 more stores as it boosts online presence

We’re all doomed!

Don't Panic!

It’s just the Internet economy.

We used to complain about the large brick and mortar corporations, like Walmart, putting the locally owned mom and pop shops out of business.  But now we get all bent out of shape when we read about the large corporate stores falling to Internet-based retailers like Amazon.

The failure and closing of these stores is their own fault.

They failed to recognize that advancements in technology has radically changed the marketplace.  Your nearest competitor is no longer the store down the street.  The big chain stores need to come to terms with the fact that consumers now carry the Internet in their pocket.

Shoppers can compare prices from a brick and mortar store by simply using their smart phone.  Not only can they compare prices, they can order that exact item from an Internet seller while standing in someone else’s store.

I recently needed a fresh supply of blank DVD discs.  I checked my local brick and mortar retailer:

Local price for Memorex 100-pack blank DVD-R

And then I checked my online Internet retailer:

Online price for Memorex 100-pack blank DVD-R

Same exact product.  Huge price difference.

Given the choice, which one would you buy?

I could drive twenty miles up, pay local sales tax and drive twenty miles back.  Or I could stay home, save my gas, save a bundle of money and pay no tax.

Buy local and go bankrupt.  It’s a buyer’s market.

Your local mom and pop shops that attempt to compete by posting an e-commerce website will fail.  They don’t have the purchasing power to buy in bulk volume to qualify for the discounts offered to large national retailers.  Plus their website gets buried by search engines, relegating them to obscurity.

Yes.  Jobs will be lost in one sector, but more jobs will be created in other industries.  This is a natural progression of our willingness to adapt to changing technologies.

It’s the Internet economy, stupid!  Deal with it.