Another data breach – why two factor authentication matters

Image source: Brian Klug

The Internet has become an indispensable tool for purchasing items and managing personal information. We trust vendors with our data and assume that they will safeguard it and prevent unauthorized access. Yet, the headlines are filled with news of data breaches and other hacks. The latest story is that Dropbox was hacked although the company says that it was not their servers. Regardless, users need to be more sensitive than ever to data breaches and one of the most important tools in the battle against hackers is two-factor authentication (TFA).

Continue reading Another data breach – why two factor authentication matters

Lotus 1-2-3, a walk down memory lane and lessons learned

Lotus123-smallI recently encountered this article over at The Register that discusses how the final version of Lotus 1-2-3 just reached end of life and so is effectively dead.  This is no surprise as the product has been in a long decline; however, I cannot help but feel a bit melancholy because Lotus 1-2-3 was a killer app in the day and it is sad to see it slide into obscurity and now cancellation.

In the early days of personal computing, users and vendors were struggling to justify the existence of the complex and powerful machines like the Apple 2 or IBM PC. Just to be clear, these machines were barely more powerful than today’s desktop calculators and lacked virtually all of the advanced technologies we take for granted today; however, at the time they were cutting edge.  Out of this chaos of technology and software development emerged Visicalc which was the first spreadsheet program and was the first killer application for personal computers.  It was instantly a best seller; however, it still had significant limitations. Continue reading Lotus 1-2-3, a walk down memory lane and lessons learned

Migrating WordPress from one host to another in seven easy steps

As a service to my readers and for my own future knowledge, I wanted to explain how to move a WordPress blog from one web host to another. As I wrote previously, I recently moved to a new web host. My strategy for migration is to bring up the blog on a subdomain for testing purposes. Once I have fully tested the site at its temporary location, I use DNS to point the active URL to the new site. Let’s walk through the steps: Continue reading Migrating WordPress from one host to another in seven easy steps

Migrating to a new web host

I have been hosting this blog on Blue Host for about three years and in general it has worked okay. However, recently some technical issues emerged that took much longer than I anticipated to resolve and so I decided to research other shared web hosting options. My needs are quite limited since this is a low volume site; however, that does not mean that I am willing to sacrifice on quality. With that said, let’s look at some of the options I considered.

First, when looking a web host review sites, it is clear that there are many supposed “review” sites out there that seem to be thinly veiled advertising ploys. I did find a couple of sites that I liked including WhoIsHostingThis, Web Hosting Talk and finally, I liked this one. As you go through, it quickly becomes obvious that there is a range of options and price points. The difficult thing is that the cost of entry to webhosting is minimal with anyone being able to hang out a web hosting shingle with little or no outlay. Hence, it is critical to choose a “real” provider that has experience and knows what they are doing.

In my case, I was looking for simple shared hosting account. There are many more expensive options, but my needs are limited. My one caveat is that I did want an account that would let me host multiple domains and blogs which can be a consideration since some sites only allow a single domain. You will also note that many providers offer big discounts upon sign-up, but these are short-lived and prices will go up upon renewal. I ignored any short-term discounts and only focused on actual long-term costs. (The one exception is StableHost which offered a 50% lifetime disount.) The other thing to keep in mind is that the prices advertised on websites are often misleading because they assume that you buy three years upfront. My focus is on a one year term and so the prices below reflect that. After lots of research, here is what I came up with: Continue reading Migrating to a new web host