Ransomware? No problem

A cheap and effective way of beating the ransomware bandits

let’s look at this from the other end first. Imagine you run a small business , like I do. The phone rings.

It one of your people telling you that they can’t access any billing or client order information because all your files have been encrypted courtesy of a ransomware attack.

Even worse, there’s a message on the screen demanding a hefty payment to unlock your files again.

S**t barely begins to describe the situation.

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Three things I value: Part 2 – Worth paying a bit more for

In this post you will read about a device that costs low hundreds of pounds which only does he same basic job as a something costing about a third of that, but one which I still wouldn’t want to be without.

So, what is this device, and what makes it worth the money?

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Three things I value: Part 1 – the cheap but effective

Reading the post you will see why I value a device that cost less than thirty pounds, that at various points caused me to pull my hair out, but yet I wouldn’t want to be without.

So what’s the cheap but effective example, then?

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Three things I value – How it came about

I firmly subscribe to the idea that people and relationships are more important than material possessions, yet in a recent discussion I found myself defending the idea of possessions being important.

Subscribe or buy?

The context was a discussion with a group of friends on millennials increasingly buying rather than possessions, and opting for subscription services such as Spotify rather than physical ownership.

As a recent convert to Spotify, courtesy of remarkably generous upgrade offer from my mobile phone provider, I could see that attraction, but still felt that for some things physical ownership was the way to go.

The debate included what could politely be called a frank and open discussion ( It’s OK, my friends an I have been doing this for years) on ownership for ownership’s sake.

Possessions for possession’s sake?

I was clear on this: the stuff I own has to make my life better in some way, be that functional or decorative, and I have to feel that the benefits are worth the cost.

When I speak of value, I mean this idea of something being worth the cost, and in the discussion I gave three examples of things I own that value.

One cost tens of pounds, one hundreds of pounds and one tens of thousands of pounds, but I value each one in in its own way.

To my surprise there was a consensus that what I described was at least rational, even if not everybody agreed my choices, but that’s what makes friends fun.

Sharing with you

In my next three posts I will share with you what each of those possessions are, and why I value them, starting with the “tens of pounds” example.

As ever, there are no right or wrong answers here, just opinions and debate. If you’d like to contribute to the discussion just leave a comment below and I’ll respond.

Bob Windmill

Solving the right problem

And not the one you thought it was…

Have you ever wrestled with a problem, spending hours and days getting nowhere? Where what ever solution you come up with just wouldn’t work?

This post is about a recent example of my own making.

Happily the consequences were not serious but it was a sharp reminder of the need to troubleshoot systematically.


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Passwords – One or Many


A while back I wrote a post on techniques to generate strong but memorable passwords. This clearly struck a chord with a number of you  judging by the number of questions it sparked.

One of the most commonly asked questions was whether it is better to have a single very strong password and use this for every log-in or to have a separate password for each site.

And the answer is……

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Passwords – Strong or Memorable?


In our modern internet connected world we are constantly told that we need to use long complex passwords to keep out the bad people who want to steal our information and money.

We are encouraged to use strong passwords, that is ones avoiding everyday words but including upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation marks.

Some commentators also suggest using passwords up to 16 characters in length.

This is all good and proper, but then we are told we must never write down these strong passwords in case they get into the wrong hands.

I can’t speak for other people  but I have tried remembering and using 16 character passwords.

The kindest thing I can say is that it was an exercise in frustration with constant failures to remember and enter them correctly.

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