Will Chatham is the Security Assessment Engineer for Arbor Networks. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. He started as a web developer, moved into Linux system administration, and ultimately found his place as a security professional. Having most recently conquered the OSCP certification, Will continues to hack his way into various things in an effort to make them more secure.

Free Software Utilities Update

My favorite registry-cleaning tool EZCleaner is no longer free. Well, you now have to subscribe to their web site to download the ‘free’ software. However, I found a couple of great utilities that easily take its place. So without further ado, here is my updated list of free Windows utilities software that everyone should use:

  • CCleaner – cleans the registry, cleans up sloppy software.
  • WinASO RegDefrag 2.0 – Defragments the registry, compacts it and optimizes it. Run this after running CCleaner above.
  • WinPatrol – Let Scotty the watchdog monitor your system for applications trying to add themselves to your Startup. Works great.
  • AVG Antivirus – Free virus protection. Smooth, lean, and mean. Not bloated and slow like Norton or McAfee.
  • SpyBot Search & Destroy – Eliminate spyware.
  • 7-Zip – Like Winzip, but free and without annoying registration notices.
  • Foxit PDF Reader – We all know it takes Acrobat about 3 hours to launch, if it doesn’t lock up your system. Try Foxit instead.

Know of anything I missed? Leave your comments.

Top 10 Reasons Geeks Make Good Fathers

From this person’s site comes the Top 10 Reasons Geeks Make Good Fathers:

1. LEGOS. The Geek is really more of a Man-Child than an adult. In their minds, they are still 10. They freakin’ still love to play with their legos, and have never grown up. I have one friend, WHO WILL REMAIN NAMELESS, that still has legos in his room. He doesn’t have kids. Just legos. Of course, my children love legos and Steve will lovingly spend hours playing legos with them.

2. VIDEO GAMES. Due to the whole Man-Child thing as stated in #1, the Geek loves video games. And he’s good at them too. My husband is the hit of all the kids’ friends because not only can he talk video games, he plays them too. If my children get “stuck” while playing their Gameboys and bring it to me for assistance, all I can do is feebly hold it and say ” Mommy doesn’t know how to play this.” Daddy, however, can beat the game.

3. MATH. A huge plus here. No matter how old they get, Steve can still help with the math homework. My ability to be of assistance is going to last another few years before *I* end up throwing the math homework across the room in disgust.

4. SMART KIDS. Smart Geeks make smart children. Although for the most part, it’s great to have really intelligent children, when your just turned two year old is using the word PREPOSTEROUS correctly, it makes for some difficult times as they get older. I literally spend a large part of my time scheming to stay one step ahead of my oldest child.

5. UP ON TECHNOLOGY. The beautiful thing about having a Geek for a parent is that you aren’t wondering what your children are doing online. You *KNOW* what they are doing online and you can limit it if necessary.
It’s fabulous peace of mind.

6. SCIENCE FAIR PROJECTS. Children of the Geeks always have the coolest science fair projects. And you don’t have to cajole your Geek into helping. You’ll find him fiddling around with the science materials whether you asked him to help or not.

7. TOY ASSEMBLY. You will never, ever have to spend six hours of your life, that you will never get back, trying to assemble some 2,000 piece toy at 3 am on Christmas Eve again. The Geek can do it in minutes flat. Usually without the directions. Whereas I have tried to assemble toys and said “Mommy has to go to the bathroom” just so I could escape and scream into my pillow in frustration, if the Geek is around, he can take it right off your hands. I now just say “Daddy is really good at this, let’s wait until he gets home.”

8. GADGETS. Never again will you have to wonder what that new electronic toy is that all the kids have. In fact, your Geek will probably already own it. The problem arises when the Geek won’t share with the children. “Daddy, I want a digital camera.” After the child leaves the room: “I’m not spending hundreds of dollars on a digital camera for him, he’s too young.” I say “Let’s get him a cheap one.” Steve looks at me as if I just said Aliens are invited to dinner. ” To have it take crappy pictures?” He scoffs and walks away in disgust. No sub-par electronics in this house! How dare I suggest it.

9. SMART IS COOL. Having a Geek for a father instills the message into your children that smart is cool. They idolize Daddy. Hopefully, they’ll want to grow up to be just like him.

10. BEING IDOLIZED IS GOOD FOR YOUR GEEK. Course, you have to be careful that his head doesn’t get TOO BIG.

The Fall of the Roman Empire

I made the prediction a few months ago that the beginning of the end has already started for Microsoft. They have shot themselves in the foot too many times, and others are picking up the slack. Linux will only play a partial role. Google, Apple, Mozilla, and the open source movement are the driving factors behind the falling giant.

This article has a lot of good points as to why they have already started tumbling:

* Financial growth has slowed and its stock price remains flat
* It missed the trends in Internet search and music download
* It’s still fighting anti-trust in Europe and Asia
* AOL instant messaging continues to dominates the IM landscape
* The verb for searching on the Internet is Google
* Alternatives exist to Microsoft’s core business

Add to that the fact that Windows Vista won’t be debuted until the end of the year (if that), and we see ample time for the recent trends to develop. Google OS, anyone?