Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Nerd Spouse = Involuntary Beta Tester

Beta testing a new product can be fun.  You get a chance to try out new web sites or browsers before they are released to the general public.  The problem with beta testing is that you are basically a guinea pig.  You're there so that the nerds can find the bugs and work them out.

The thing about being married to a Nerd is that I'm always beta testing things without knowing it.  Recently, he's updated the computers in the house to Windows 8 which is in Consumer Preview (aka Beta testing).  It didn't bother me too much because he couldn't update my tablet.  Then I wanted to use his computer and I had to figure out where everything is now.  I will say that I like the Windows 8 platform.  It's smooth and integrates a lot of the pros from the Windows Phone.  But enough about that.

Next thing I knew, the Nerd decided that some updates needed to be made to our server.  Don't ask me what updates, because I nodded off about 1/3 of the way into his explanation.  I knew that he was updating the server because our Internet connection kept crapping out when he did a reboot.  It was more than a little annoying.

Whenever a new program comes out, my Nerd gets excited and learns all he can about it.  I have to hear far more than I care to learn about said program and before I know it, he's got it loaded on one of the computers.  It's like I have to learn how to use the machine all over again.  Sometimes he has to revert back to older versions of software until the new one is bug free.  Other times, he's got to do a lot of research.  For example, with the upgrade to Windows 8, our scanner will not scan.  It's all about compatibility and I'm sure that he'll get it worked out.  In the mean time, I let him have his fun and hope to heaven that he doesn't break anything.

The trick to getting along with your Nerd is to be prepared for constant change to your system.  As soon as you are comfortable with using it, expect a new program or upgrade.  Remember, back up is your friend.  Even if the system goes FUBAR, if you have a back up, you can always go back.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Nerd Fun: Spam

Technically, spam is not funny.  Unless of course, you're a Monty Python fan, then you know just how funny spam can be.

I'll admit that I find spam slightly humourous.  I have gotten in the habit of checking my spam folders frequently because I've had important e-mails get redirected to my spam folder without warning.  Have you ever read the subject lines of the mail in your spam folder?  If you want to giggle, you should.  No, I'm not talking about penis enlargements or ads for Viagra and the like.  I'm talking about subjects like FedEx delivery notices, "Dear Beneficiary", contact your bank, etc.  I don't know why, but they crack me up.

It seems that the people who write this spam are going out of their way to make their stories as unbelievable as they can.  The sad thing is that they must be having some success at getting people to fall for their scams because they keep coming.  If they weren't making any profit from spam, they wouldn't go to the trouble of making it.

Don't get me wrong, some spam actually looks legitimate.  And that's where the problem comes in.  If it looks legitimate, some people may not look as carefully at it and open it or click on a bad link.  My Nerd had a client who had to call him back in to help him clean his computer only 2 weeks after he cleaned off the last viruses.

I recently had a spam e-mail show up in my in-box with my first and last name in the subject line.  Scary thing was that this e-mail account is the one I set up for "junk" mail and does not use my full name.  Apparently I'm not as careful as I thought I was when I surf on-line.  I'm sure I filled out something or signed up for something that wasn't quite right.

Sometimes spam looks legitimate, so it's hard to tell.  When in doubt, I'll visit the site directly by typing the address in the address bar.  I don't click on links in my e-mail unless I trust the source.

So, gotten any interesting spam lately?

SPAM Shrine