©1995 United Artists Pictures
This article originally appeared in Issue #13 of The Dot Connector Magazine.
Whether it’s the “Iranian Cyber Army”, those darn “Chinese Hackers”, or just your average script kiddie, everyone is aware that there bad people out there who want to mess with your glorious internet surfing experience.
You probably have heard of things like DoS (Denial of Service) attacks, and you’ve most certainly heard about viruses, trojans, and worms. But there is one thing I’m betting you haven’t heard much about: DNS cache poisoning.
You’ll see why this is a very important type of attack to be aware of a bit later. First, I should probably cover a few basics in case you aren’t a techie nerd. Just for the record, nerds don’t wear coke bottle glasses anymore; they wear contacts. Junk food is out, and healthy eating is in. Flannel shirts? Yes. Pocket protectors? No. And contrary to popular belief, we are generally good-looking. It’s all part of Nerd 2.0.
But, I digress.
If you’ve ever installed multiple operating systems on your computer, you know what a severe pain it can be when something goes wrong. Even removing one of your multiple OSes can be a hassle when bootloaders get all screwed up.
For me, the answer to these problems is VirtualBox. VirtualBox is a simple, cross-platform virtualization solution that lets you set aside a chunk of hard disk space, give it a name, and then you just tell it, “I want to install linux here”, pop in your install disc (or whatever), and VirtualBox takes care of the rest. Voila, linux running in a window – inside Windows itself. It’s really handy!
Only one problem: Sometimes when VirtualBox is installed (but not even running), your Windows networking may get REEEEALLY slow. You may not even be able to see other machines on your local network.
Fortunately, there is a very quick and easy way to fix it!
There are many things to love about Windows 7. It truly is “Vista done right”, sad as that may be. But it ain’t perfect.
One of the most common problems, as I recently discovered, is that you tell Win 7 to share only your Public directories, but it doesn’t quite listen. Due to some apparent bug that is at least present in the Release Candidate build of Win 7, sometimes the OS will share your entire Users directory, which includes your Public files/folders. That means ALL your files are shown to the whole world on your LAN – not just the your public folders.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to fix this little problem once you know a few little bits of information…
Let’s say you have a network of more than ten Windows computers connected in a local workgroup without a domain controller. One of the computers has a printer connected to it, and more than ten machines in the workgroup need to print at the same time.
Well, you might say, “Dude, get a server!” or “Dude, get a print server!”
True, that would solve the problem… But sometimes, things like money and technical knowledge are limiting factors in such cases.
The good news: It’s actually really easy to increase the limit and get everybody printing/sharing files in a very short time!
Many people these days use a Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11) router, or they have a broadband modem with built-in wireless. It’s amazing to me that in this supposedly “high-tech” and “high-security” age, many people still are completely unaware just how wide open their home network really is.
With a Wi-Fi modem, usually your provider will be smart enough to lock down your wireless connection for you. But if you bought a wireless router or access point and set it up yourself, there are a few things you should know to keep others from “stealing” your connection and using it for nefarious purposes…
Here’s a little problem that drove me crazy: How do you determine the Master Browser in a Windows Workgroup?
First of all, lemme explain a bit about how a workgroup works. When you have a LAN set up running Windows machines, each machine can see all the others in Network Neighborhood (or just “Network” in Vista). If you want to see the files on another machine, you just go to Network Neighborhood, click, et voila!
The other method you can use is to open Windows Explorer (keyboard shortcut: Win-E) and in the location/address bar, type:
So, if you want to go to the computer called BALTHAZAR, you’d type:
And hit enter. This is handy to know if Network Neighborhood is not working. And a grumpy Network Neighborhood is exactly the reason why sometimes, you need to find out which computer is the Master Browser.