Monday, March 12, 2007

I Had No Idea

This morning shortly after I got to my office, Firefox crashed. Well, froze, and then crashed, but you know how it goes. So I blithely restarted it, and ... some default Firefox page came up instead of my homepage. And the bookmarks on the toolbar were all default instead of, you know, mine. This was clearly unacceptable. Turns out, Firefox had managed to forget all about who I am and what I like and where I've been; I learned in the ensuing hours that I apparently know very few of my passwords, and I get confused without little buttons to click on pre-coffee. I had no idea I needed these features so much. I was completely lost... I kept wanting to search for something or look something up or check something, and I suddenly had no idea how to use the internet. And, apparently, internet browsers have gotten more complicated since Netscape 4.78; I had to get our tech guy to tell Firefox where all of my stuff was. But, luckily, the files were just hiding and I was able to quit pulling my hair out and start crawling the web again.


Josh said...

That's happened to me before as well on the university computer. It's very frustrating, but luckily there is a nightly backup of my harddrive, so I could just restore!

Stephen said...

Computer people, that's me, try very hard (sometimes with miserable results) to make software allow people to do things easily. That sometimes makes it easy for people to do things unreliably. If you don't know what you're doing, you still don't know what you're doing.

Security is one of those things you simply have to know. My advise: write all your passwords down on sticky notes and put them on your monitor. Sure, from a security standpoint, this is terrible. Anyone looking over your shoulder could get into anything you can. But at least you'd know what you're doing.

I mean, are you really going to do what i do? I keep my passwords encrypted on my Palm Pilot. Not only is my Palm backed up, but i have an identical Palm that i periodically restore to. If the Palm is lost, no one will be able to get my passwords. If my Palm breaks (computers are not immortal, and portable computers are particularly mortal), then i can use my backup unit. If both are lost, i can buy a new one, restore to it, and get back on the air. If my backup computer is stolen, i can buy a new computer, restore from my off site backup, buy a Palm, restore to it, and i'm back on the air. When the Universe (Murphy) is out to get you, paranoid is just good sense.