Welcome to my blog. In here I hope to share with you tips, tricks, hacks and code that will make your life easier as a network administrator or general computer user. I come with a background in computer engineering and have worked for the past 12 years in the Library world as Manager of Library Systems. Even though some of my posts may be Library specific, most will be of use to all computer users.

If you have a tip that you wish to share with the group, please feel free send me your tip via email at my address rkisch@kischtech.com and I will include it here and give credit where credit is do.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Test your passwords to see if it can be guessed by Microsoft's Telepathwords

A group of researchers at Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon have created a tool that guesses passwords in real time by predicting the next characters in your password. Microsoft has created this program as a way of helping users select better sequences of numbers, letters and special characters to protect their computers.  The system, called Telepathwords, works in the same way as a real attacker would by using its knowledge of common passwords or phrases used in security breaches and search queries. The system behaves like a search engine with predictive text, in that it will try to guess each character in your password before you type it or to complete your entire password by predicting the rest of the characters. 

The only weakness to Telepathwords is that it can not act like an attacker who knows more about you, so it can't try a password based on your birthday, a childs name or some other piece of information that could be gleaned from social engineering or dumpster diving. To protect you the contents of what you type in on the Telepathwords website are not kept and are encrypted on your browser.

So give it a try here and if it guesses your password, change it to something stronger by choosing a password with a combination of lower-case and upper-case letters, at least one number and at least one special character (!@#$%*) and have a lenght of at least 8 characters.


Friday, October 18, 2013

iOS 7 is Tracking your frequently visited locations and how do you disable this feature.

Apple's new iOS 7 adds plenty of new useful features to your iPhone, but one new feature has gotten a lot of attention lately because of how it tracks your frequently visited locations. The "frequent locations" is used to "learned" places you frequently visit in order to provide useful location-related information to you (probably via iAds). But the fact that this service comes turned on without your knowledge, is of concern to users and even Ontario's Privacy Commissioner, Ann Cavoukian is warning people to disable this feature on their iPhones.

To remove this feature, you have to dig deep into the iPhone settings by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > scroll to the bottom > System Services  > scroll to the bottom>  Frequent Locations > switch the option to off. 

On Apple's support page (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5594) they explain that this service will keep track of places you have recently been, as well as how often and when you visited them, in order to learn places that are significant to you. This data is kept solely on your device and won't be sent to Apple without your consent.

One thing that I did find while comparing the iPhone 5C with iOS 7 upgrade and an iPad 2 with the iOS7 upgrade was that, oddly enough, the iPad doesn't have this Frequent Locations feature. So please check your devices to be sure that this feature is not enabled, and if enabled, disable this feature.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Ultimate Windows and Browser short-cuts Guide.

Keyboard short-cuts will make your life easier when using a Windows computer or with using your favourite web browser. Here are some of my favourite ones along with some that will make you say "how did I ever live without these".

Essential key combinations:
There are certain short-cuts I use every day. They work with almost all programs are the basic ones that you will love use.
  • Copy a selected item: Ctrl+C
  • Cut a selected item: Ctrl+X
  • Paste a selected item: Ctrl+V
  • Undo an action: Ctrl+Z
  • Redo that thing I just undid: Ctrl+Y
  • Select everything: Ctrl+A
  • Print: Ctrl+P
  • Bold selection: Ctrl+B 
  • Underline selection: Ctrl+U
  • Italic selection  Ctrl+I
  • Switch between open windows: ALT+TAB
  • Clear away everything and show desktop: Windows Logo Key + D
  • Work with multiple monitors: Windows Logo Key+Shift+Right Arrow or Left Arrow
  • Open task manager: Ctrl+Shift+Esc
  • Use Windows Magnifier: Windows Logo Key+PLUS Key or MINUS Key
  • Minimize a Window: Windows Logo Key+Down Arrow Key 
  • Maximize a Window: Windows Logo Key+Up Arrow Key 
  • Lock your computer: Windows Logo Key+L
  • Select Presentation Mode (awesome if you are doing a presentation with a laptop)Windows Logo Key+P
  • Help: F1
  • Quit a program: ALT+F4
  • Open start menu: CTRL+ESC or 
  • Run command: Windows Logo Key+R

Calculator keyboard commands:
Not too many people realize just how powerful MS Calculator can be. With these short-cuts you turn calculator into a powerhouse.
  • Switch calculator to stand mode: Alt+1
  • Switch calculator to Scientific mode: Alt+2
  • Switch calculator to Programmer mode: Alt+3
  • Switch calculator to Statistics mode: Alt+4
  • Open date calculations: Alt+E
  • Turn calculator history on/off: Alt+H
  • Open unit conversion: Ctrl+U
  • Calculate or solve date calculations: Alt+C

Just really cool, hardly known keyboard shortcuts:
  • To switch your monitor from landscape view to portrait: Ctrl+Alt+Up Arrow
  • To get to the Windows system properties: Windows Logo Key+PAUSE
  • Quickly shut down Windows: Windows Logo Key (don't hold)+U+U
  • Open up Windows Explorer in one step: Windows Logo Key+E
  • Open each program in your taskbar (from left to right): Windows Logo Key+1,2,3,etc.
  • Open the jump list for each program in your taskbar: Windows Logo Key+Alt+1,2,3,etc.
  • To select the system tray: Windows Logo Key+B
  • Permanently delete s file without it going to recycle bin: Ctrl+Del
  • Rename a file or folder: F2
  • Open Explorer and select search bar: F3
  • Open file properties: Alt+Enter
  • Press and hold down the SHIFT key while you insert a CD-ROM to bypass the automatic-run feature

Other commands:

  • Starts Windows Help: F1 
  • Activates menu bar options: F10 
  • Opens a shortcut menu for the selected item: SHIFT+F10 
  • Opens the Start menu (use the ARROW keys to select an item): CTRL+ESC
  • Selects the Start button: CTRL+ESC 
  • Opens Windows Task Manager: CTRL+SHIFT+ESC 
  • Opens a drop-down list box: ALT+DOWN ARROW 
  • Displays the main window's System
 menu: ALT+SPACE
  • Displays the Multiple Document Interface (MDI): ALT+- 
  • Switch to the next child window of a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) program: CTRL+TAB
  • Closes the current Multiple Document Interface (MDI) window: CTRL+F4: 
  • Switch between multiple windows in the same program: ALT+F6

    Accessibility short-cuts:

    • Toggles StickyKeys on and off: Press SHIFT five times 
    • Toggles FilterKeys on and off: Press down and hold the right SHIFT key for eight seconds
    • Toggles ToggleKeys on and off: Press down and hold the NUM LOCK key for five seconds 
    • Toggles MouseKeys on and off: Left ALT+left SHIFT+NUM LOCK 
    • Toggles high contrast on and off: Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN

    Browser short-cuts (work in most browsers):

    • Switch to the specified tab, counting from the left: Ctrl+1-8
    • Switch to the last tab: Ctrl+9
    • Switch to the next tab: Ctrl+Tab
    • Switch to previous tab: Ctrl+Shift+tab
    • Close selected tab: Ctrl+W
    • Reopen last closed tab: Ctrl+Shift+tab
    • Open new tab: Ctrl+T
    • Open new browser window: Ctrl+N
    • Reload current tab: F5
    • Reload current tab and skip cache: Ctrl+F5
    • Zoom in: Ctrl and +
    • Zoom out: Ctrl and -
    • Default zoom size: Ctrl+0
    • Full screen browsing: F11
    • Scroll down a frame: Space or Page Down
    • Scroll up a frame: Shift+space or Page up
    • Go to the top of the page: Home
    • Goto the bottom of the page: End
    • Scroll with your mouse: Middle click scroll wheel
    Address bar:
    • Focus on address bar: Ctrl+L
    • Prefix WWW. and append .COM: Ctrl+Enter
    • Open location in address bar: Alt+Enter
    • Focus the browser's search box: Ctrl+K or Ctrl+E
    • Perform a search from search box: Alt+Enter
    • Open search box on current page: Ctrl+F or F3
    • Find next match of searched text: Ctrl+G or F3
    • Find previous match of searched text: Ctrl+Shift+G or Shift+F3
    • Open browser history: Ctrl+H
    • Open download history: Ctrl+J
    • Bookmark current page: Ctrl+D
    • Open and clear browsing history: Ctrl+Shift+Del
    Other useful functions:
    • Print: Ctrl+P
    • Save current page: Ctrl+S
    • Open a file from your computer: Ctrl+O
    • Open current pages source code: Ctrl+U
    • Open developer tools: F12