When was the last time you backed up your data?
Today is the official yearly reminder to quit procrastinating and save all that precious electronic media that you can’t imagine living without… but haven’t backed up since… well, it’s been a few days… or weeks… or…
Because, seriously, if you can’t remember how long it’s been, it might as well have not happened since this time last year!
Let’s go and do it!
I’m a programmer.
In my family, there is a very defined line between capabilities.
On one side of the line, you have the logic-oriented programmers, and on the other side of the line you have the artists.
And, as my Dad and fellow-programmer often says, “I don’t do graphics”.
You would have to hear the emphasis and take in his posture during such a statement to truly understand the humor behind it — but he’s not joking.
I, too, have difficulties on the graphical-front, but have found it necessary, from time to time, to dip my toes into the image-related kiddie pool.
_ ____ ____ ___ ___ _ _
/ \ / ___| / ___|_ _|_ _| / \ _ __| |_
/ _ \ \___ \| | | | | | / _ \ | '__| __|
/ ___ \ ___) | |___ | | | | / ___ \| | | |_
/_/ \_\____/ \____|___|___| /_/ \_\_| \__|
Artwork that is made up of nothing more than carefully-arranged keyboard characters — 95 American Standard Code for Information Interchange characters, to be precise — is called ASCII art.
I have already shared a few examples of ASCII art, without going into detail about them being ASCII art, in my post about having fun with the Linux command line, where Asciiquarium, Banner, Cowsay, Figlet (which produced the above example), and Sl were all featured.
LTNS; HRU? GR8? G2K. ZUP?
Have you ever run across gibberish like this and wondered just what, exactly, it means?!?
This is an example of internet shorthand, or “text speak”, “chatspeak”, “cyber slang”, “chat acronyms”, “SMS texting language”, “netspeak”, etc.
As you can see, it is in no way confined to the internet, but is also extensively used when texting, and even pops up in our everyday spoken conversations.
Internet shorthand is little more than an attempt save time by reducing keystrokes, although there are cases in which it actually increases the number of keystrokes.
The concept primarily involves using acronyms for commonly-used phrases, and can result in absolute chaos for those of us unfamiliar with the language.
If you’ve used the internet, received text messages, or engaged in any other form of electronic communication, it’s highly likely that you’ve run across the existence of emoticons.
Emoticons started out as representations of facial expressions, making use of punctuation and alpha-numeric characters available on the common keyboard, and have since evolved into an extensive, varied collection of graphical representations of… just about everything, really.
Typography refers to the style and appearance of a written language, and/or the art and study of arranging and displaying a written language.
Let me just say (from the perspective of not being an artist) that typography is truly is an art-form that can add to or subtract from just about every language I’ve ever run across.
In this digital age, typography relies very heavily upon the usage of one main component: font.
Font is the graphical representation of text. Each font is a set of characters in a specific style, typeface, or design.
I have been asked if an internet connection is required, to be able to access “the cloud”.
I admit it gave me the giggles, which I (somewhat?) managed to suppress, enough to explain that — short answer — the cloud is the internet.
You didn’t think we were going to be talking about the big fluffy things, did you?
Passwords have long been a source of bafflement — and amusement — to me, and as often happens when confronted with a puzzle, I’ve been doing some research.
Some of it I already know: There are 26 letters in the (English) alphabet (52, if you consider case-sensitivity), 10 single-digit numbers, and approximately 32 punctuation characters on the standard English computer keyboard. That’s 94 characters all total.
Some of it requires a bit of math: Consider now a single character, that may be any one of those 94 characters, combined with another single character, that may also be any one of those 94 characters, and you even up with 8836 possible combinations of those two unknown characters.
Some of it gets a bit mind-boggling: Since a standard password is a minimum of 8 characters in length, you end up with 6,095,689,385,410,000 (that’s over 6 quadrillion) possible combinations of characters making up each 8-digit password. That’s not even taking longer passwords into consideration!
So which of those 6 quadrillion combinations of characters make the best — and worst — passwords?
And what makes a password secure — or insecure — in the first place?
The premise: A beautiful Saturday, with a cool breeze, a cloudless sky, and the outdoors calling my name.
The catch: I had work to do.
The problem: I turned on my computer to start working, and could barely even see the screen.
Now, one might automatically assume that I needed glasses (I don’t), or that the bright sun was reflecting on my screen (to taunt me), but this was not the case.
Go get me a tuna sandwich.
I must have been nine or ten when my dad first explained the client/server concept to me, using a simple analogy that started with that command.
His point? Of the two of us, which was the client, and which was the server?
It clicked. Do you know that “eureka!” moment of sudden brilliant illumination when it all makes perfect sense? (I love those moments!)