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Newspaper columns by Dave Moore, weekly columnist for the Norman Transcript since 2005.

Roll the dice for secure passwords

If you've followed this column for any length of time, you've read my rants, warnings and exhortations regarding passwords. In a nutshell, computer and Internet account passwords (email, Facebook, Twitter, banking, Amazon, etc.) need to be sufficiently complex to make...

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Memorable computer quotes

I work for many different people fixing a wide variety of computer problems. This week’s computer fix-it jobs brought to mind some technology-related quotes I’ve had stuck in my mind for years. Quotes like these can attain a proverb-like status, perfectly describing...

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AT&T covers up Yahoo crash

Most folks who pay AT&T to provide them with Internet service don't know that the email part of that service is actually handled by Yahoo. For nigh on 15 years, even though you may have been paying AT&T for Internet service, if your email address ended with att.net,...

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Stop! Don’t install that ridiculous software!

It’s called “crapware,” or, in more polite circles, “junkware.” Some varieties are called “bloatware,” but the root definition is always the same: useless, ridiculous, unnecessary and annoying software that somehow gets into your computer. Where does crapware come...

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Sometimes, honesty is not the best policy

Were you to set up a Facebook profile, would you use it to let your friends, family and others learn more about yourself? Would you talk about your personal history, likes, dislikes and other things that would let people get to know you better? Consider the following...

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davenewpic1 I was born an Army brat in 1954, with my family living in Kansas, Texas, Arkansas and New Mexico before landing in Norman, Oklahoma.  As a kid, I had many interests, including reading, writing, amateur sleuthing, microbiology, archeology, electronics and music.  If I wasn’t looking at pond water through a microscope or developing my musical abilities, I was probably tearing apart an old radio to convert it into a burglar alarm with fifty speakers.

As a lifelong electronics hobbyist, my career with computers began in about 1984, when I borrowed $1,200 to buy a complete Commodore 64 system.  One of my first computer modifications was to disassemble and drill a hole through the case of the C-64, adding an on/off switch for the expansion port.  I then added a homebrew computer clock synchronization port to my Emu Systems Drumulator drum machine (an early digital drum computer) by tapping into the clock circuit, so that I could synchronize the Drumulator, the Commodore 64 and the first Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) keyboard sold in Norman, the mighty (and, extinct) Prophet 600 synthesizer by Sequential Circuits.  These were the early days of popular electronic music.

It’s OK if you don’t know what all of those things mean – the important thing to know is that geeky electronics and computer activities such as these have brought me over the years to my current situation.

One of my more recent geeky accomplishments was inventing and hosting the Defcon WiFi Shootout Contest, which was a contest to see who could achieve the longest WiFi wireless networking connection.  I ran the contest for three years at the annual Defcon computer security conference in Las Vegas (www.defcon.org), and the contest and its World Record holders are listed on page 112 of the 2006 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.  During the second year of the contest, I began writing a computer/Internet-related column for The Norman Transcript, in Norman, Oklahoma.  I also do all sorts of computer service and consulting for a wide variety of clients in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, and greatly enjoy my work.  It is satisfying to know that my work and writings have helped countless people to have a safer and more enjoyable computing experience.  Feel free to contact me anytime that you like.