Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Week 15 - Clear

Okay everything in this short week was very clear. This has been one of the clearest weeks. (And for me enjoyable that it had nothing to do with memory or storage!) I would have to say that the interviews were more interesting than what I expected. To get a little insight to each persons career was nice. So many times we don't have an understanding of all the things that occur in the IT department and that some people don't work directly with the IT department. It was interesting to see how they all felt that certification was not as necessary and knowledge but that it was good to have for more of backup reference. I also enjoyed how different they were or at least how some of them fell into their careers. Since this is our last blog I also wanted to say that I was pleasantly surprised with this course. In the beginning I was like why do we take this and WHY do I have to take this. I thought that the software knowledge I had was sufficient and why did I need to know more. I have learned more than I thought and many of the topics were quite interesting. I have to admit that I found having to keep up while working 50 hours a week and also taking 12 credits very daunting. If asked I will always tell future students to keep up from the beginning. Thanks for making this course interesting!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Project - Secure Email

In this project we learned to digitally sign an email and to encrypt email. Unfortunately I sent my encrypted email but with the wrong subject. I replied to the signed email and didn't change the subject so at the last minute I sent Professor Means another email hoping to get a reply but I do show that I did send two emails. (see pictures below) Another part of the project was to find an article about secure emails.

In this article (see link) it discusses how an employee of the NSA used secure emails to send information to a reporter. So it demonstrates how even when a company or the government agency has secured emails, that there are ways around it. The reporter and NSA source purchased premium Hushmail accounts that allowed the users to send and recieve emails without disclosing the sender or recipient's identity. The Justice Department states that the NSA employee volunteered to disclose classified information about the NSA that he was not authorized to possess or disclose. How does a company protect from this? The decision of the Obama's administration to prosecute might have an impact on whistleblowers but what kind of impact does it have on keeping information from "leaking" out.

If I receive a reply on the mistake I made I will update my blog. I thought it might be best to turn in the project and take a hit on a few points for having the wrong subject than taking 25% for being late.
To make it worse I fell asleep and just woke up at 12:35am!!!!

Week 14 - Muddy

This week left me totally CONFUSED!!!! I think this was on of the most difficult topics for me. Again (notice past blogs) I have confusion on storage and space and memory!!!!!! This week the discussion touched on RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks). (Yes it's like Chinese to me again...........) What I do know that its nothing like that red spray can........
I went on to look it up on the Internet to see if I got a better understanding of the concept but I think I am more perplexed than when I started the lectures this week. Wikepedia states that RAID distributes data across multiple disks, but the array is seen by the operating system and the user as one single disk. It also discussed "mirroring" which the writing of identical data to more than one disk (easy to understand... ). Another term was striping that is the splitting of data across more than one disk.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Week 13 - Clear

Prior to reading this chapter I thought that everyone who accessed computers illegally were hackers. That was an incorrect thought. A hacker is a person who breaks into a computer but does not intend harm. They usually do it for fun and curiosity. Unlike a hacker, the cracker, (sometimes called a black hat hacker) breaks into computers or networks to create havoc; destroy files, vandalism, credit card fraud, or other types of illegal activities. Another is script kiddie, they are usually the outcast of the hacker community, and they access network with prewritten hacking or cracking programs and they usually have little understanding and technical skills. The hacktivist uses website defacement to announce a political message. To the extreme hacktivism used for cyberterrorism.
So in the techie world there are social status also. I would say that hackers are on the top of the rung.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Assignment - Database project

Although I have used a Access based program that was created for my other company, this was the first time that I have used it from beginning to end for my own use. Everything we did was new to me. We had to create a table, import data, run queries and reports. In the system that we used all I ever had to do was to input information and run reports.
I can see the usefulness of Access over Excel. Due to prior experience I know that Access allows multiple users which for many companies is great. Access also allows for a larger data storage.
I found this project much harder than excel.

Week 12 - Clear

This week's subject was very clear to me. When starting my reading I was pretty clear and with the assigned reading and the lectures the topic became crystal clear. In my previous job I was the Executive Assistant to the CFO, VP of Finance and Administration. The Business Solutions and Analysis department fell under her realm. I was able to have first hand contact not only with our system analysts but with all project managers and developers. To watch as things were developed, tested and implemented was interesting. That I was able to be a tester for many of the systems that were put in place was another privilege since it enable me to be ahead of the pack when something was finally rolled out.

Extra Credit - Avatar

I had more fun than expected on this extra credit. When I first looked at which ones I would work on, "Create an Avatar" was not high on my list. I decided to open my horizons and try it out. I liked it so much that I actually went to a few of the sites to see what the avatars would look like. As you can see I like the ones that are more realistic. I found that you could get pretty close to your own look if you wanted to play more. I really did like that I was able to pick and choose the clothes on the avatar on the left. I was able to have the dog in the picture to represent my doxies (they are actually that same color). All in all this was an enjoyable task. The one on the right was my first attempt.