PC Update

Yammer Highlights December 2019

Chit Chat

While having a cleanout of his shed Greg came across the instructions he’d been sent by Melb PC some time in the mid 90s when floppy drives and 28.8k modems ruled! As Windows 3.1 didn’t have dial-up capability Melb PC supplied a two floppy “Slipkit” including Trumpet Winsock which was downloadable from the BBS or it could be ordered from the office for $9.

Memories of the original Melb PC Internet services being run from loungerooms and bedrooms, Lynx, Gopher, arcane FTP commands, and the Green Guide being essential reading.


Computer Help

Replacing the hard drive in an older laptop or computer is an excellent and relatively cheap way to give it a new lease of life – going from being a donkey to a racehorse, at least it will feel that way! Frank was seeking help with picking an SSD for his old HP laptop. Given you can buy a 250GB SSD for around $50 skimping on size to save a few dollars probably isn’t worth the pain of trying to cope with a small drive. He learnt there are a variety to SSD forms, not all of which are suitable for an older laptop – wisely he was making use of the excellent resources of Yammer.


NBN Questions and Comments

Julie mentioned the interesting case of a friend with health issues who lives alone and refuses to get a mobile phone for emergency use during a power failure. Fortunately her provider was going to supply some form of battery back-up for her newly installed NBN modem so her “landline” phone would still be available during a power outage.

It did highlight a lack of understanding on the behaviour of the various NBN technologies during a power failure – FTTP and FTTN would both work provided your modem, router, computer and phone were powered by a UPS. HFC and FTTC won’t because equipment in the street doesn’t have battery back-up.

It’s worth noting that some providers supply a modem with 4G mobile back-up, so provided your equipment is powered your connection will work regardless of the NBN technology used.


Security, Scams and Phishing

While phishing e-mails are generally obvious and hopefully most of us are savvy enough to spot them for what they are, David provided a salutary reminder that none of us is invulnerable and are all just a click away from being phished.

He’d been working on administering a PayPal account when, with impeccable timing, an e-mail arrived advising “you are in violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy”. He was only saved by deciding to consult with other relevant parties rather than simply actioning it himself, but the reason for doing so was purely administrative, not because he was wanted a second opinion as to the validity of the e-mail.

A very good, and thankfully fruitless, demonstration that given the right circumstances any one of us is susceptible to the social engineering tricks used in phishing e-mails. Even the most cautious of us can succumb in a moment of distracted weakness.



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