?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Computer stuff - John C. Kirk

Oct. 15th, 2004

11:46 pm - Computer stuff

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

Some good news: I took another Microsoft exam this evening (70-272), which I passed with 89%. I'm taking 70-271 next Thursday, and if I pass that then I become an MCDST (Desktop Support Technician). As with the ECDL, this kind of thing isn't strictly necessary, since it's a lower qualification than the MCSD that I already have, but there is a perception that "you're an IT guy, you know this stuff", so it's good to live up to that. And extra qualifications might come in handy if I'm job-hunting again in the future. Actually, I think the DST exams are quite interesting - most of the exams are along the lines of "How do you do X?", whereas this one says "A user has done something wrong - what's the most likely explanation/fix?" In particular, that means that there are a lot of questions where all the answers are strictly correct, but you need to choose the one that's most suitable. A lot of that comes from experience, so it's a good counter to the "paper tiger" aspect of some certifications. On the flipside, there were also some answers that were so blatantly wrong that they were actually quite funny. Sadly I can't mention them here (I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement as an "anti brain-dump website" measure), so you'll just have to take my word for it.

More generally, I've been reading up on security issues lately (specifically Windows related). I've now come around to the idea that it's not a good idea to be logged in all the time with full admin rights - that way, if you get a virus or spyware, there's a limit to how much damage it can do. That's mainly a good guideline for "normal users" rather than experts, but as a developer it's a good idea to "eat my own dogfood" - the idea is that if I run my apps with limited permissions while I'm developing them then it means I know they work properly in that environment, rather than me releasing it and then saying "Hmm, weird, it worked fine for me..." QuickBooks is a prime offender here, since it requires you to have full admin rights over your PC. Anyway, one week later (at home and work), and so far so good - a couple of minor problems, but nothing major. I'll give periodic updates once I've been doing this for longer.

The other security-related thing is my new shiny thing: a biopod (fingerprint recognition as an alternative to typing a password). I haven't actually installed it yet, but I have high hopes for it.

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:billyabbott
Date:October 16th, 2004 02:57 am (UTC)
(Link)
If you do run a development environment with reduced privs then i wish you luck - one of our windows guys at work tried it for a bit, and wrote a day by day blog about it. His final reckoning was that windows is still not designed for a mixed privilege environment, and that most developer programs assume you will have full privs and will have problems without. Quite encouragingly though MS Dev Studio was the bit of his toolset that worked the best (although not entirely), so it does look as if MS are trying. I'll see if I can dig out any of his hints and tips from our newsgroups (if the paranoid lawyers haven;t imposed their "everything must be deleted from the newsgroups within 2 weeks to avoid litigation" on that group as well as a lot of the others).
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:johnckirk
Date:October 16th, 2004 04:44 am (UTC)
(Link)
I'm using Visual Studio .NET for my development, and I had to be a member of the "Debugger Users" local group for that to work (so that I could attach to a running process in order to debug it). There's also a "VS Developers" group for local website development. But beyond that, I don't need to be a Power User or Administrator, so I think it's a reasonable trade-off.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:billyabbott
Date:October 17th, 2004 12:09 am (UTC)
(Link)
that sounds pretty cool - let me know if it goes smoothly and i'll let the guys at work know. There might even be a pint in it for you :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)