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  • Nowadays, there’s a computer in almost every house. Because of this, more and more people are trying to learn how to maintain their own computers to save themselves the hassle of having to bring it to the shop as well as the money they have to pay for labor. While computer components are not as sensitive as some people would believe, there are still a few things you need to keep in mind when opening up and doing maintenance on your PC. Here are a few tips to get you on the right track: Unplug the power supply when opening the pc This may seem obvious but I’ve seen quite a number of beginners and even intermediate to advanced users who keep the power supply plugged in. While this is fine if you know what you’re doing, it’s still best to err on the side of safety and completely unplug the power supply from the socket. Use anti-static wrist straps, an anti-static mat or simply ground yourself on the case Static electricity is the enemy of every computer component. A bad electrical discharge can fry ram chips, motherboards, video cards, and add-in boards such as sound cards. So if you plan on installing any components or even just popping your pc open to give it a good cleaning, be sure to wear an anti-static wrist strap or use an anti-static mat. In an emergency, you can simply plant your feet properly and just touch the casing to ground yourself before performing any maintenance on your system. Be sure to do this constantly to keep yourself grounded. Don’t force components into place This may seem funny right now but there are a lot of people who tend to just force the components into place. Each component was designed to fit in...
  • January 18, 2013

    Computer Hacking Then Versus Now

    In 1970, a 14-year-old boy named Bill Gates dialed into a nationwide computer network uploaded a virus he had written and caused the entire network to crash.  Five years later he and Paul Allen founded Microsoft. In 1973 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak went around college dorms in California selling blue boxes that let students bypass telephone-company restrictions and make long-distance calls for free.  In 1976 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak would found Apple. Kevin Mitnick first gained unauthorized access to a computer network in 1979, at 16, when a friend gave him the phone number for the Ark, the computer system Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) used for developing their RSTS/E operating system software. He broke into DEC’s computer network and copied their software.  He was sentenced to 12 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Kevin Poulsen is best known for his takeover of all of the telephone lines for Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM, guaranteeing that he would be the 102nd caller and win the prize of a Porsche 944 S2.  He was sentenced to 51 months in prison and ordered to pay $56,000 in restitution. At the time, it was the longest sentence ever given for cracking In 2010 Aaron Swartz, broke into a utility closet at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he hooked up a laptop to the campus network and downloaded 4 million academic journal articles, most of them in the public domain, from a paid archive to which he had a subscription.  He faced 50 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine. The difference between then and now is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986.  Which states in section 1030: “Unauthorized access into a protected network or computer a federal crime and permits harsh penalties for those...