Posts Tagged ‘Geek’

Many companies spend a fortune on Next Generation anti-virus and Machine Learning “AI” tools to halt the spread of ransomware and although I strongly believe that user education and training plays a key part in this Windows does can help in a massive way. Windows File Services Resource Manager (FSRM) a resource already built into Windows can halt the spread and quarantine accounts that are affected.

This solution utilises PowerShell and Windows File Services Resource Manager to automatically lockout a user account when ransomware activities are detected.

Installing FSRM
First and foremost, you will need to set up FSRM on your file servers. This feature is part of the File Services Role and can be installed with the following PowerShell command (all one line).

Install-WindowsFeature –Name FS-Resource-Manager
–IncludeManagementTool

Take note, FSRM is only available on Windows Server. If you’re interested in workstation mitigation, comment below and I’ll get to writing!

Get Email Alerts
In order to be emailed of the action our killswitch takes, we will need to set up the SMTP Server settings within FSRM. We don’t necessarily have to do this right now, but it saves us from seeing annoying prompts in the future steps.

Open up Server Manager > File and Storage Services > Right-click on your server > File Server Resource Manager (this can also be accessed through Administrative Tools). Once opened, right-click “File Server Resource Manager (Local)” in the left pane and select “Configure Options…” Go ahead and set up all your email settings, similar to below.

Set up Killswitch Directory
In your corporate file share(s), set up a directory that begins with an underscore. If the ransomware is encrypting alphabetically, this will ensure that it is tripped as soon as possible. Within that directory, we will place a text file called killswitch.txt.

Set Up the Killswitch
Many variants of ransomware look to find mapped drives and will begin encrypting data in alphabetical order. Because of this, our killswitch is going to be a directory placed in the file shares that begins with an underscore.

Create a new File Group under File Screening Management that will look at all files except our killswitch.txt.

Next, we will create a File Screen Template utilizing the File Group we created called “All File Types”.

We will want to configure email alerts, so on the E-Mail Message tab, fill out the pertinent information.

We also want to automate the removal of the offending user in order to stop the ransomware from encrypting our entire file server. We will do this with some PowerShell. Copy the following and save it to your preferred location. In this example, I’m just saving it to C:\kickuser.ps1.

param( [string]$username = “” ) Get-SmbShare -Special $false | ForEach-Object { Block-SmbShareAccess -Name $_.Name -AccountName “$username” -Force }

On the Command-Tab, check “Run this command or script:” and the following:

C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe

For the command arguments, insert the following:

-Command “& {C:\smbblock.ps1 -username ‘[Source Io Owner]’}”

Set it to run as Local System.

Apply the File Screen
From within FSRM, Select File Screening Management > File Screens and create a new File Screen. Set the path to your underscore directory and use the “Detect Ransomware” File Screen template that we created earlier.

kill_1

Testing
To test, I created a test account (test guy) and modified the file. I was instantly locked out of the share. The output of our PowerShell script, as well as the share permissions, show this:

testing 567

perm2

Wrapping Up
This methodology should help mitigate some risk around ransomware attacks. In the future, it may also be beneficial to make the following changes:

  1. Create a secondary killswitch in a ZZZ_Killswitch directory in case a ransomware-variant starts in reverse-alphabetical order.

I believe in using the resources we already have available to us in helping secure our organisations, and hopefully, this helps. Feel free to comment with any questions or suggestions.

 

tv-trekAt a convention full of nerds, a new mum got up and asked former “Star Trek: The Next Generation” cast member Wil Wheaton to offer her infant daughter some advice. He obliged. With SHOWMANSHIP. At 1:40, he just nails it.

 

 

Caintech.co.uk

We all have a geek friend that has tried to teach themselves how to read barcodes and the below quote will give them a lot of joy. Also if you have a geeky boy/girlfriend pick one out and email it to them, they will love it

Feel free to post your own geek quotes below.

 

#1. Roses are #FF0000, Violets are #0000FF. All my base Are belong to you  — someone on SlashDot

#2. There is no place like 127.0.0.1

#3. Girls are like Internet Domain names, the ones I like are already taken

#4. Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning

#5. Computers are incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination. — Albert Einstein

#6. There are 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who don’t.

#7. If at first you don’t succeed, call it version 1.0

#8. 1f u c4n r34d th1s u r34lly n33d t0 g37 l41d

#9. I’m not anti-social; I’m just not user friendly

#10. I would love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code

#11. My Software never has bugs. It just develops random features.

#12. The speed of sound is defined by the distance from door to computer divided by the time interval needed to close the media player and pull up your pants when your mom shouts “OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!

#13. The glass is neither half-full nor half-empty: it’s twice as big as it needs to be.

#14. Passwords are like underwear. You shouldn’t leave them out where people can see them. You should change them regularly. And you shouldn’t loan them out to strangers

#15. Enter any 11-digit prime number to continue…

#16. A Life? Cool! Where can I download one of those?

#17. I spent a minute looking at my own code by accident. I was thinking “What the hell is this guy doing?”

#18. Concept: On the keyboard of life, always keep one finger on the escape button.

#19. Alert! User Error. Please replace user and press any key to continue

#20. If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization. — Weinberg’s Second Law

Computational Engineers at the University of Southampton have built a supercomputer from 64 Raspberry Pi computers and Lego.

The machine, named “Iridis-Pi” after the University’s Iridis supercomputer, runs off a single 13 Amp mains socket and uses MPI (Message Passing Interface) to communicate between nodes using Ethernet.

The whole system cost under £2,500 (excluding switches) and has a total of 64 processors and 1Tb of memory (16Gb SD cards for each Raspberry Pi). Professor Cox uses the free plug-in ‘Python Tools for Visual Studio’ to develop code for the Raspberry Pi.

“The team wants to see this low-cost system as a starting point to inspire and enable students to apply high-performance computing and data handling to tackle complex engineering and scientific challenges as part of our on-going outreach activities,” says prof. James Cox.

If you want to build a Raspberry Pi Supercomputer yourself, see here.

 

http://www.raspberrypi.org

What is a Raspberry Pi?

 

 

So last week I finally got a Raspberry Pi motherboard and I have to say I am very impressed. I have a distro of Debian running at the moment called Raspbian “wheezy” which runs like a dream.

The only thing I was worried about is that the board comes with no case, this is of course to keep the price at £25 which is amazing in its self. So to give the board a little protection I thought I’d buy/make a case for it, and by the title of this post you can guess I found one and it is FREE \o/

The Punnet – a card case for you to print (for free)

https://i2.wp.com/www.raspberrypi.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Punnet.jpg

It’s any easy to create card case, its just up to you what card you use. Here is a link to a guy that printed his own case.

Here is an alternative case to print> Case.pdf

Here is a Visio version of the case so you can customise it to your hearts content> Caintech Visio Case

Send me in some of you pictures and I’ll post the best one

 

Believe it or not, there are several distributions of Linux intended for use by children as young as 3 years old. Child-oriented Linux distros tend to have a simplified interface with large, “chunky”, colorful icons and a specialized set of programs designed with kids in mind. Some of the better-known distributions aimed at children include:

  • Sugar, the operating system designed for the One Laptop Per Child project. Sugar is a radical departure from traditional desktops, with a strong emphasis on teaching programming skills, but is very strongly geared towards classroom use. Although I’m pretty comfortable using Linux, I’m afraid Sugar might be too different for me to help my nephew and niece make use of it.
  • Edubuntu is based on the popular Ubuntu distribution. Designed to be easy to install and very Windows-like in its operation, Edubuntu would be my first choice if I were using newer hardware. With its rich graphical interface, though, I worry that these years-old PCs, neither of which have graphic cards, will lag running Edubuntu. And given kids’ attention spans, I’m afraid that would be a major barrier to getting them to use it.
  • LinuxKidX uses a KDE-based desktop highly customized for children, and is based on the Slackware distro. The only drawback for me is that most of the support material is in Portuguese (although the distro I linked to is in English), making it hard for me to be confident about my ability to help if there are any problems.
  • Foresight for Kids is based on Foresight Linux, a distro distinguished by the use of the Conary package manager. Conary is intended to make updates and dependencies much easier to manage than other package managers – in English, it should be easier to install and update software.  On the other hand, finding software packaged for the Conary installer might be a challenge, though I expect the most popular programs are being adapted by the Foresight team.
  • Qimo is another system based on Ubuntu, but designed to be used by a single home user instead of in classroom instruction. The system requirements are fairly low, since it’s designed to be run on donated equipment which Qimo’s parent organization, QuinnCo, distributes to needy kids.

Given the low specs of the equipment I”m working with, Qimo seems idea for me, but since most of these will run from either a Live CD or a USB memory key, there’s no reason not to download them all and give each a try to see what you – and, more importantly, your kids – like best.

Linux Software for Kids

In addition to the kid-friendly interface, all of the distributions above come with an assortment of software that’s either designed especially for kids or has special appeal for kids. This includes specifically educational software intended to teach math, typing, art, or even computer programming; typical productivity applications like word processors and graphics programs; and, of course, games. Of course, Linux doesn’t have nearly the range of games that are available for Windows PCs, but my thinking is, the games are good enough for younger kids, and older kids will gravitate towards consoles (my brother and sister-in-law have a Wii).

Some of the software available for kids includes:

  • GCompris, a set of over 100 educational games intended to teach everything from basic computer use to reading, art history, telling time, and vector drawing.
  • Childsplay is another collection of games, with an emphasis on memory skills.
  • TuxPaint, an amazing drawing program filled with fun sound effects and neat effects.
  • EToys is a scripting environment, more or less. The idea is that kids solve problems by breaking them down into pieces, scripting them, and running their scripts – the same way programmers do. But the goal doesn’t seem to be to teach programming but rather to provide an immersive learning environment in which kids learn foundational thinking skills.
  • SuperTux and Secret Maryo are Super Mario clones, because kids love Super Mario. You already know that.
  • TomBoy, a wiki-like note-taking program.
  • TuxTyping, a typing game intended to help develop basic typing skills.
  • Kalzium is a guide to the periodic table and a database of information about chemistry and the elements. Great for older students.
  • Atomix, a cool little game where kids build molecules out of atoms.
  • Tux of Math Command is an arcade game that helps develop math skills.

Not all distros come with all of these games, but they are easy enough to install from the online repositories if your chosen distro doesn’t come with one or more of them. Of course, most distros also come with standard Linux programs like OpenOffice.org (an Office-like suite of productivity apps), AbiWord (a Word-like word processor), GIMP (a powerful image editor), Pidgin (a multi-account IM client), and Firefox.

Linux is a complex operating system, but it’s also a highly customizable one – for kids, that means a system that can grow as they do and a powerful learning environment. Of course, children’s computer use should not be totally unsupervised – any kid can stumble across Web content that might be pretty uncomfortable for mom and dad to have to explain – but kids should have a chance to explore the possibilities of today’s technology and get their hands dirty, like kids do. And worst-case scenario – your 6-year old borks the operating system and you re-install. Wouldn’t you rather it was on the Edubuntu system, rather than on your mission-critical work PC? (Make sure you back up the /home directory regularly so you don’t lose all your kids’ drawings, poems, stories, or whatever.)

 

So Christmas is creeping up on us slowly but surly again and if you are stuck on what to but for the geek in your life I have compiled a list of some of the best geek/tech books around. All of the following books can are available on the new Amazon Kindle

Windows 7 Annoyances (Page 460)
by David A. Karp
Published 2010
O’Reilly Media, Inc
ISBN: 0596157622

IT Security Management (Page 238)
by Alberto Partida, Diego Andina
Published 2010
Springer
ISBN: 9048188814

Stealing the network: the complete series collector’s edition (Page 453)
By Ryan Russell, Johnny Long, Timothy Mullen
Published 2009
Syngress
ISBN: 159749299X

Security Awareness: Applying Practical Security in Your World (Page 66)
By Mark Ciampa
Published 2009
Cengage Learning
ISBN 1435454146

Security+ Guide to Network Security Fundamentals (Page 72)
by Mark Ciampa
Published 2008
Course Technology
ISBN: 1428340661

Kismet Hacking (Page 227)
by Brad Haines and Frank Thornton
Published 2008
Syngress
ISBN:1597491179

Security Power Tools (Page 100)
by Bryan Burns, Jennifer Granick, Jennifer Stisa Granick, Steve Manzuik, Paul Guersch, Dave Killion, Nicolas Beauchesne, Eric Moret, Julien Sobrier, Michael Lynn, Eric Markham, Chris Iezzoni, Philippe Biondi
Published 2007
O’Reilly
ISBN:0596009631

Windows Vista Annoyances (Page 371)
by David A. Karp
Published 2008
O’Reilly
ISBN:0596527624

Stealing the Network: How to Own a Shadow (Page 268)
by Johnny Long, Timothy Mullen, Ryan Russell, Scott Pinzon
Published 2007
Syngress
ISBN:1597490814

Z4ck (Page 187)
by Kevin Milne
Published 2004
PageFree Publishing, Inc
ISBN:1589613120

The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers (270 pages)
by Kevin D. Mitnick
Published 2005
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN:0764569597

CBS has just posted a new app to the Apple App Store that turns your iPhone into a Star Trek communicator. You can flip the communicator open by flipping the phone and it includes all sorts of Original Series sound effects. Even cooler there is a phone app included, which can access your contacts, so you can make calls right from the communicator.

Right now it’s a bit pricey at $1.99, but if you’re a hardcore Trekkie/Trekker with an iPhone and just can’t live without it; you can get it here.


Since your computer can access data in RAM faster than on a hard drive, moving cached data to RAM can improve your page load times. In Firefox, all you need to do to move your caches to RAM is open up about:config and make a few tweaks.

 

Once you get into about:config, type browser.cache into the filter bar at the top. Find browser.cache.disk.enable and set it to false by double clicking on it. You’ll then want to set browser.cache.memory.enable to true (mine seemed to already be set as such), and create a new preference by right clicking anywhere, hitting New, and choosing Integer. Call the preference browser.cache.memory.capacity and hit OK. In the next window, type in the number of kilobytes you want to assign to the cache (for example, typing 100000 would create a cache of 100,000 kilobytes or 100 megabytes). A value of -1 will tell Firefox to dynamically determine the cache size depending on how much RAM you have.

 

This tip isn’t brand new, but it is something we didn’t know about, so if you’re looking to eke a bit more speed out of Firefox (and who isn’t?) this should give your page loading speeds a little boost. You can check up on your memory cache activity by typing about:cache in the address bar. Hit the link for more information on this tweak, and if you try it out, let us know how it works for you in the comments.

tv-300x224

If you consider yourself a geek, or aspire to the honor of geekhood, here’s an essential checklist of must-have geek skills.

The term ‘geek’, once used to label a circus freak, has morphed in meaning over the years. What was once an unusual profession transferred into a word indicating social awkwardness. As time has gone on, the word has yet again morphed to indicate a new type of individual: someone who is obsessive over one (or more) particular subjects, whether it be science, photography, electronics, computers, media, or any other field. A geek is one who isn’t satisfied knowing only the surface facts, but instead has a visceral desire to learn everything possible about a particular subject.

A techie geek is usually one who knows a little about everything, and is thus the person family and friends turn to whenever they have a question. If you’re that type of person and are looking for a few extra skills to pick up, or if you’re a newbie aiming to get a handhold on the honor that is geekhood, read on to find out what skills you need to know.

1. The Meaning of Technical Acronyms

  • USB – Universal Serial Bus
  • GPU – Graphics Processing Unit
  • CPU – Central Processing Unit
  • SATA – Serial ATA
  • HTML – Hyper-text Markup Language
  • HTTP – Hypertext Transfer Protocol
  • FTP – File Transfer Protocol
  • P2P – Peer-to-peer sharing (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P2P)

2. How to Reset RAM

If you rolled your eyes here, that is a good thing. If not, you have many things to learn, young padawan. It’s amazing how few people know how to do this. If you’re unsure, hit up the link below to find out how:

http://www.ehow.com/how_4473936_reset-ram-computer.html

This tip is only really good for older machines running 9x based OS’s. However if you are running Windows Vista this can have a problem with RAM so here is how to create a desktop shortcut to free up RAM.

1. Right-click on your desktop and select New > Shortcut.
2. Copy/paste the following into the box: %windir%\system32\rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks
3. Click Next, name it ‘Clear Memory’, and click Finish.Give it asuitable icon so it looks nice.

3. Identify Keyloggers

hardware_keylogger_USB_PS2Internet cafes are the most likely place you’ll find them, followed by library, perhaps, and maybe even you own house if you’ve some unscrupulous friends/family. Identity theft groups warn about keyloggers and advocate checking out the keyboard yourself before continuing. Can you identify a keylogger, however, if one is plugged into the back of the system?

Here’s what one looks like:

Hit up this link for excellent info on keyloggers on public computers and how to protect yourself:

, http://www.ghacks.net/2007/06/28/how-to-defeat-most-keyloggers-on-public-computers/

4. Surf the Web Anonymously

We won’t make any assumptions about why you may need this particular skill, but the fact remains that every geek should know how to traverse the Internet with the highest amount of security possible.

Aside from the safest method–which is using a connection that is not yours–you will need the ultimate in proxies…Tor. Tor is an onion-routing system which makes it ‘impossible’ for someone to find out who you actually are.

5. Bypass a Computer Password on All Major Operating Systems

Obviously you shouldn’t use this to gain unlawful access to a computer. If you’re a geek, however, you’ll eventually end up in a situation where someone forgets their password, you acquire a machine with an operating system you cannot access, or similar situation.

See this tutorial for info on how to bypass the password on the three major operating systems: Windows, Mac, and Linux.

http://www.joetech.com/2009/01/29/how-to-crack-the-account-password-on-any-operating-system/

6. Find a Users IP Address on AIM

Knowing someones IP address is actually pretty useless in this case, but most people don’t realize that. If someone is harassing you via AIM and you can’t get them to stop, discovering their IP and sending it to them–with a nicely worded threat of law enforcement involvement should they not stop–is likely enough to send them scamping away with tail between legs.

http://www.elitehackers.info/forums/archive/index.php/t-2827.html

7. Hide a File Behind a JPEG

So you need a nice spot to hide your blackmail personal files. You could, of course, bury them deeply within a series of random, useless folders, but there’s always the chance of them being discovered. A password protected RAR is the best choice, but it’s a bit obvious despite the most boring title you could give it.

A sneaky person would hide the important file behind a completely random and boring family reunion photo, where no person in their right mind would shift through.

http://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/hide-file-in-picture/

8. Crack a Wifi Password

This is one of those things you don’t need to do (hopefully), but that you still need to know just for the sake of knowledge. A strong WPA password is very secure, but most people don’t want to bother learning a convoluted series of letters, numbers, and symbols, instead opting for random everyday words.

A good overall tutorial on wifi and cracking can be found here: Cracking_WEP_and_WPA_Wireless_Networks

9. Monitor Network Traffic

The Internet is a vast place with a bit of everything. Whether you’re curious about what your roommate is downloading, your kid is getting into, or any leeches living around you who’ve unscrupulously breached your wifi, knowing how to analyze network traffic is an invaluable skill.

Here is a list of dozens of network analyzers, as well as some general info to get you started: http://www.slac.stanford.edu/xorg/nmtf/nmtf-tools.html

10. Recover Master Boot Record

A virus or other problem can lead to an MBR error, which will make it impossible to access install. Many users would simply become frustrated and reinstall, but not you! Every geek should know how to recover the master book record.

Here is an excellent guide to get started: http://www.ntfs.com/mbr-damaged.htm

11. Retrieve Data off Hard Drive

There will come some point in your life when a hard drive craps out sans warning. It could be due to a number of reasons–physical damage, file corruption, etc. There are computer service centers that would be happy to extract the data for a (hefty) fee; a true geek would be the one working at center, not taking his or her drive there.

To find out how to retrieve data off a damaged hard drive, read here: http://www.ehow.com/list_7225818_5-off-crashed-hard-drive.html

12. Load Rockbox onto an MP3 Player

The firmware that comes on your average mp3 player is intended for those who are scared of advanced features; often, the only audio settings available are a few prearranged EQs. If you’re an audiophile–or simply frustrated with the lack of control over your music settings–Rockbox is the firmware for you. Open source and free, it can be installed on several different types of players and enables full control over what you listen to.

http://rockbox.org

13. Unbrick a Smartphone

No geek can resist the allure of flashing the newest beta firmware onto their shiny smartphone. The byproduct of that is sometimes a bricked phone, which would leave many sobbing into their pillow at night. To avoid rendering your $400 gadget into a door stopper, learn the fine art of unbricking and then flash away.

As the method used to fix a phone will vary, this is the best place to start looking for answers: http://www.howardforums.com/

14. Replace a Laptop Keyboard

Keyboards get gummy after awhile. If you use yours a lot (aka: all day), then you probably eat over it at some point. Crumbs get into the keys and things are sticking, and before you know it, you need a new keyboard.

http://www.refurbished-laptop-guide.com/how-to-remove-a-laptop-keyboard.html

15. Rip Streaming Videos

Streaming videos are officially in vogue. We’re not going to make any assumptions about what type of videos you are streaming and may want to keep, but no matter what it is, any geek could rip them while sipping a Red Bull and watching the latest episode of BSG.

Here’s a hint to get you started: http://applian.com/download-videos

or try this one http://www.downloadyoutubevideos.com

16. Strip Windows DRM

DRM is incredibly annoying. With many online stores now offering DRM-free mp3 audio files, it would seem it’s not as big of an issue as it used to be. That is not not the case, however, with all videos bearing a DRM as well as music of a higher-quality than MP3.

Stripping Windows DRM is not legal. If you’re a geek, your probably don’t care: http://undrm.info/remove-DRM-protection/FairUse4WM-freeware-DRM-removal-Windows-software-Strip-copy-protection-from-WMV-ASF-WMA-Windows-Media-Player.htm

17. Homebrew Hack Game Systems

Gaming consoles are notorious for having features you can’t use simply because the manufacturer decided to lock them down. As a geek, you can’t just be satisfied with the features they decided to give you. No, you have to crack that case open and take a peek inside. Every geek should know how to homebrew hack their system and unlock it’s full potential.

18. Find a Website IP Address Without Web/Command Prompt Access

Some school admins think they’re being sneaky when they lock down the command prompt and block all major IP search websites and block all the websites you actually want to visit. Of course, that is child’s play for any geek.

First, to get a new command prompt, open Notepad and type: command.com. Then, save as “cmd.bat”. You now have a command prompt.

Now, open the command prompt and type “ping http://www.website.com/” to find the IP address of that website.

Enter the website into the browser and you will officially have impressed all your friends.

19. Bypass School or Work Website Blocks

What is a horrific situation for an average computer user is a simple irritation for an everyday geek. To bypass a website block/filter, simply enter that websites IP address in instead of the actual site address.

20. Screw with Wifi Leeches

Nobody likes a wifi leech. At best, they’re simply using up your valuable bandwidth. At the worst–and far more likely, they’re stealing your identity and watching your activities. After watching your network and identifying the leech, use this trick to flip their browser upside down and let them know you don’t appreciate the intrusion.

http://tech.nocr.at/hacking-security/baffle-wifi-leeches-with-an-upside-down-ternet-2/

21. Hexadecimal and Binary Number Systems

Everyone knows the normal, everyday digit system used. It takes a special–possibly psychotic person–to also know hexadecimal and binary number systems.

Here is an excellent interactive tutorial on learning the two systems: http://www.wisc-online.com/objects/index_tj.asp?objID=DIG1102

22. How to Hot Wire a Car

If your family always turns to you any time their computer hiccups, their DVD player needs fixed, or their home security system doesn’t activate, it’s only a matter of time before someone asks you how to hot wire a car. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to answer them?

To learn this unique skill, read here: http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Hot_Wire_Your_Car

23. Increase Wifi Range

With so many small portable gadgets gaining more and more sophisticated web browsers, in addition to gaming systems like the PSP and DS, getting the most use out of your wifi is practically a geek necessity.

Here is a good guide on extending your wifi’s range: http://www.mavromatic.com/archives/000451

24. Carrying a Computer Cleaning Arsenal on Your USB Drive

A good geek prepares for their friends stupidity. No matter how many times you tell them to stop downloading porn, they keep doing it until their machine is so infected it can’t drag itself into a grave. An arsenal of portable malware cleaners, a portable task manager, anti-virus, etc, will make those impromptu purging sessions all the easier.

25. Running an Operating System from a USB Thumb Drive

Most people don’t even understand what the magical operating system is. As a geek, you should transcend that basic knowledge and have a small operating system on your thumb drive handy for those times you need computer access but don’t know the password to a nearby computer.

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/

26. Understand What “There’s no Place Like 127.0.0.1” Means

A lot of geeks wear this shirt as a short hand code for their computer finesse–or maybe just to screw with other people who stare but cannot figure out what it means. No matter the reason, if you’d like an answer, check out the link below.

http://www.tech-faq.com/127.0.0.1.shtml

27. Read 1337 At Normal Speed

Sure, everyone knows about it and it’s no longer cool, but if you’re going to proclaim yourself as a geek, you should be able to read it full speed. Who wants to choke in front of the wannabe that learned to read it full speed and flaunts it in your face?

http://www.wikihow.com/Read-and-Write-in-1337

28. At Least One Fictional Language

And not only should you know a fictional language, but you should use it to say something about yourself. Do you choose Klingon or Quenya?

Here’s a list of constructed languages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_constructed_languages

29. How to Survive in a Linux Argument

Linux is gaining an all around higher standing in the geeksphere, and it’s bound to enter a conversation at some point (which will invariably end up turning into an argument). If you want to keep up, you’ll need to understand the basic points of Linux, as well as the general info of all basic things.

Here’s a good place to read and gain a foothold: http://www.linux.com/articles/feature/

30. Identify Major Constellations

For those times you venture from the air-conditioned, computer filled basement of your parents house (or something like that), look up at the stars and have yourself a Galileo moment. The stars may just be dots to many people, but with the handy website below, you’ll be stopping man-belts and lions in no time.

http://www.sky-watch.com/astronomy-guide/major-constellations.html

31. Use a Camera in Manual Mode

Sure, you could just use auto mode like everyone else too afraid to learn what some letters and numbers mean, but then you wouldn’t be much of a geek, would you? The oft-ignored dial on a camera is the key that unleashes the best quality photos possible, and every geek should be a whiz at using one.

http://digital-photography-school.com/digital-camera-modes

32. Who Mulder and Scully Are

It seems that in the plethora of geek websites, there always appears a joke about Mulder and Scully, the two main characters from the X-Files. If you don’t know who they are, you’ll be left in the dark, alone, contemplating what exactly it was you were doing in the 90’s that you wouldn’t understand the joke.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulder_and_Scully_(song)

33. Javascript

HTML is running the world (not really). Everyone knows some HTML and it makes them feel empowered. As a geek, you want to transcend that basic knowledge others share and know a little more. JavaScript is the answer–it is easy to learn if you’re not actually interested in web programming, but simply curious, and it looks scary to anyone who doesn’t know it.

http://www.yourhtmlsource.com/javascript/basicjavascript.html

34. How to Unlock an iPhone

Sure, most geeks wouldn’t be caught dead with an iPhone, but what about your friends? You’re the smart techie, they’ll expect your to know how to unlock it.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/137223/how_to_unlock_an_iphone.html

35. How to Install Mac OS X on a PC

Just because you don’t want Mac on your PC doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know how to do it. Knowledge is power, right? Go ahead, use this to stump your friends and family.

http://dailyapps.net/2007/10/hack-attack-install-leopard-on-your-pc-in-3-easy-steps/

36. Build a PC

If you purchase a ready-made PC, you can be sure of one thing–you’re paying more than you should. Assembling your own PC isn’t too hard, and is the first thing you should be aiming to accomplish as a geek.

Here is a massive article on assembling your own PC: http://www.pcmech.com/byopc/

37. Tethering a Smartphone

Nothing like a little wifi on the move, eh? Tethering a smartphone means using the Internet on your laptop/netbook via your cell phone. Of course, the method to do this depends on your phone, but here’s an article to get your started:

http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/2276/smartphones_bb_treo_tether_modem_usa_carriers/

38. Wiring a Home Theater System

Home theater systems used to consist of a TV and a chair. Gone are those days of simplicity, however, and setting up a modern system can be pure mind-boggling horror. Where does the modulator go, why does the DVD player have no video and the cable box no sound?

Here’s a tutorial, including excellent diagrams, to show you how: http://www.prillaman.net/ht_info_8-wiring.html

39. Replacing a Laptop LCD

Laptop LCDs are vulnerable to many different mishaps: accidental pressure spots, shadows, airsoft pellets…. No matter, there will come a point when you need to swap your LCD for a new one. Now, as a geek, you probably don’t have an extended warranty. If that’s the case, here are some excellent pages and pictures on replacing the display:

http://www.fonerbooks.com/laptop_4.htm

40. Make a Laptop Cooling Pad

Can you believe these cost $50?! A geek will need one, because data crunching/DVD ripping/videos playing/rendering at the same times tends to cause excess heat. Instead of shelling out your hard earned dollars, make your own like so: http://www.instructables.com/id/Lazy-mans-laptop-cooler/

41. Unleash a Laser Pointer’s full potential

A normal person uses a laser pointer to drive their dog crazy. A geek uses it to melt butter for their grilled cheese sandwich. To unless a laser pointer’s full strength, crack open the case, fry the resistor with a hot soldering iron, then snap it back together and keep it away from flesh/eyes/airplanes. The pointer will burn out after a few hours, but what a fun few hours they will be.

Note: this is dangerous. Don’t do anything stupid.

42. Keyboard Shortcuts

This will depend on your operating system and the apps you use, so there’s no tutorial available. However, that is irrelevant–you’re a geek, you can find them yourself. Shortcuts are the difference between a slow computer user and a geek. The geek will always will out in a speed contest, because they do practically everything from their keyboard.

43. Soldering Glasses Together

Nerds use tape on broken glasses; geeks use solder. ‘Nuff said.

44. How to Execute a Shell Script

If you’re a true geek, you’ll need to do this at some point. Below are instructions on how to do so. Remember: always be cautious when running a script, you don’t want your computer to turn into a door stop, now do ya?

http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/unixhelp/scrpt/scrpt1.2.html

45. How to Hack a Pop Machine

Okay, so stealing isn’t cool. Still, hacking is simply a misunderstood art, right? So hacking a pop machine isn’t really stealing, because it’s not about the pop, it about the pleasure of getting your way. Or something like that. (Newsflash, it is illegal, don’t do it.) If you want to try your fingers at getting a free Coke, check out this link:

http://skattertech.com/soda-machine-hack/

46. Turn a Laptop into a Digital Picture Frame

So you want to show off pictures of your dog and that girl you once met, but you want to do it in an uber geeky way. Any schmuck can go to Walmart and buy a digital picture frame for a grossly inflated price. But you…oh, you’re too smart for that. No, instead you’ll find an old laptop on eBay for $5 and turn it into a true work of art.

http://repair4laptop.org/notebook_picture_frame.html

47. How to Mod a Flash Drive Case

All the geeks are doing it…. Whatever. The case your flash drive came in is probably weak and most certainly plain. Why not jazz it up with your own unique style?

Here’s one such case mod, and dozens of related projects: http://www.instructables.com/id/Metal-USB—Flash-drive-case-mod/

48. Do Cool Things to Altoids Tins

People are obsessed with these things. Altoids tins are durable, small, and just begging to be filled with LEDs, mp3 players, audio amps, and maybe some snuff. A good geek will find millions of uses for these little metal wonders. If you need a mental boost, however, here’s some interesting links:

http://www.squidoo.com/altoids-tins

49. Convert Cassette Tapes to Digital Audio Files

If your geekhood started in the 90’s, then you probably have a least a few (dozen) cassette tapes still sitting around. Why not breathe digital life into them before they fall ill to mortal fate?

http://lifehacker.com/software/mp3/alpha-geek-how-to-digitize-cassette-tapes-222394.php

50. Lock Your Computer with a USB Drive

You don’t want anyone getting into your files while you’re gone. A normal password would be enough to keep most people out, but what if you got super-secret X files on your computer? You can lock your machine down with a USB drive via these instructions:

http://lionjkt.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/how-to-lock-your-computer-with-usb-drive/

51. Run Your Own Ethernet Line

Wifi has taken the place of a wired connection in many homes, and with good reasons–you can go anywhere, no cables necessary. What about those…sensitive…activities that you’d rather the neighborhood script kiddie didn’t see on your wifi? An Ethernet cable is your solution.

To wire your own Ethernet, hit up this link: http://www.ertyu.org/steven_nikkel/ethernetcables.html

52. Set Up a Streaming Media Server

With digital files becoming the ultimate medium, many people have hundreds of gigabytes worth of music, videos, and pictures. You could keep them on a portable hard drive, but then you’re have to take it everywhere, and only one person could use it at a time. The solution is a streaming media server, something no geek can live without.

http://www.n00tz.net/2008/07/vlc-media-server-ubuntu-hardy/

53. Setting up a VPN

If you’re like most geeks, you can’t live without your computers. They store your life in some poetic fashion, holding files you feel a personal connection with…. Anyway, if you are at work and suddenly realize you left an important picture at home (or you need blackmail material pronto), having a VPN ready to go will save you big time.

http://www.computernetworkinghelp.com/content/view/41/1/

54. Turn Webcams into Security Cameras

Is someone stealing your Netflix DVDs? Do you suspect it is a fat hairy man in his boxers taking them each morning? If so, you can get your proof using a couple webcams and a bit of software.

http://www.simplehelp.net/2006/09/27/how-to-use-your-pc-and-webcam-as-a-motion-detecting-and-recording-security-camera/

55. Control Your House Lights with a Computer

Controlling the lights in your house via computer is a great way to freak out the neighborhood kids ding-dong-ditching (assuming you wire up a Halloween scream motion sensor, also). If you reasons are less nefarious, you simply use it to turn on and off lights without having to life ye butt from thy seat, which is a good reason in itself.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Control-lights-in-your-house-with-your-computer/

56. Play Retro Games without Retro Consoles

This applies to the geeks who enjoy gaming. Setting up an emulation PC on your TV is a great way to relive those games of old.

57. Put LEDs Inside a Lightbulb

The days of hot incandescent and mercury-laden fluorescent are gone, and in are the days of long lasting, low heat, low consumption LEDs. As any good geek, you want to be able to say “I was doing X long before it became mainstream.” Here’s your chance–the following link will show you how to put an LED inside a lightbulb, something sure to stump your friends the same way Grandpa’s ship-in-a-wine-bottle used to stump you.

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/06/make_a_led_bulb.html

58. Create Music with Keyboard

How awesome is KeyBored? This little app gives all of your QWERTY keys a piano note. When you type, it sounds like an infant monkey punching a keyboard. If you’ve got some musical chops, it won’t take you long to figure out the Star Wars theme or find a hidden musical message in Counter Strike control buttons.

http://thebatman.net/keybored/

59. Make Your Office Ergonomic

Face it–you spend a lot of time at your desk. You might even have a few extra pounds and pallid skin to show for it. While those things are temporary, far to common and more serious is the carpal tunnel, eye strain, and back problems you’ll develop from having a poor workspace.

Hit up this link to create a body-friendly workspace that will keep you limber and flexible: http://www.ergotron.com/tabid/305/language/en-US/default.aspx

60. Adding a Third Monitor

Studies show that dual monitor increase work productivity by 30%. As a geek, you’ll need a third monitor to equal the dual setup of a layman (if that makes sense). While any hack with a VGA port can add a second monitor, it takes a true geek to add a third (or more). This will vary based on graphics/OS, so hit up Google for a tutorial or two.

61. How to Convert a DVD to x264 (or XviD or DivX)

It might seem like child’s play to you, but many individuals do not understand the fine art of converting a DVD into a digital file, let alone the careful skills it takes to achieve a happy balance between size and quality.

Here is an excellent tutorial demonstrating how to rip a DVD with the multi-platform free software Handbrake: http://howto.diveintomark.org/ipod-dvd-ripping-guide/

62. Flash System BIOS

Ya gotta do it some time, so stop putting it off and man up. Flashing the BIOS on your laptop might seem scary (as it should–fear keeps you on your toes and prevents mistakes), but it’s not (actually, it is, but if you even understand why you need to do this, you’ve gotta have at least a few chops by now). Warning–you can seriously bork your computer doing this!

http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1605

63. How to Irrecoverably Protect Data

TrueCrypt, my friends. Learn to use TrueCrypt. If you have ask why, you don’t need it.

64. The Fastest way to Kill a Computer

It’s said that you have to get into a killers mind to understand their weaknesses, right? Same goes for the unfortunate boobs who always kill their laptops. Here’s a list of all the different ways you can accidentally kill a computer–arm your family and friends, and save yourself grief (because it’s surely you they will call when something goes horribly, horribly wrong).

http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1720