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4 Things You Must do When Taking a Proctored Exam

This was my proctored-exam transcript last night when I took the AWS Solutions Architect exam (SAA-C02) as part of my recertification because it expires every 3 years. This was a remote proctored exam through PSI and should have been easy because this wasn’t the first time I used their service. For whatever reason, last night’s experience was so bad  that an exam that started at 10:45pm didn’t finish until early morning 2:15am.  Some things that you could do to avoid what I went through: 1) Test your computer 24 hours before start time This was my fault and I should  tested sooner. I did start preparing foe the prerequisites as early as 8pm and thought I had enough time to complete everything as it was the same computer I used three years ago when I got certified with AWS. However, I found that since the last time I took this exam, my hardware changed (different web cam, different speakers) and I installed more software like Docker that the proctoring software (PSI Secure Browser) didn

Cleaning Code-Injection Malware on Thanksgiving Weekend

I just finished removing a code-injected malware that blacklisted a website with security providers like Google and Symantec, and it had to be on this Thanksgiving Long Weekend. Nothing makes me more sick that having to deal with this type of cleanup but it has to be done. Our whole household is already sick with cough and flu so this adds to the fun. I noticed the infection by constant emails from my service provider that my quota was getting exceeded. I know the site is popular but couldn’t be that popular. When I tried to get to the site using Google Chrome browser, I received a ominous red splash screen letting me know that there is malware on the site and that I should only continue if I understood the risks. Fortunately, I had the site registered with Google Webmaster Tools and was able to get a sample of the suspicious code injection. I also ran http://killmalware.com/, http://www.siteadvisor.com/sites/aminsolutions.com, and http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/ against the website to

What To Do When Web Reputation Filters Block Your Websites

I was surprised to see the pop-up message below when querying some of my websites at Best buy. The Web Reputation Filters used there says that my websites hosted on 10.179.104.111 are controlled by group or individual known to be malicious. I was blocked from opening my website. This isn’t good and I thought about doing the following to mitigate this serious outage. 1) Contact my web hosting provider to explain that their Web servers are on a bad block of IP addresses and let them sort it out with Web Reputation Filters. 2) Ask my web provider to move me to more reputed web servers on different IP blocks. 3) Contact Best buy support and ask them to unblock the IP or domain used by my provider, or have them fix the WBRS rating assigned to my provider ‘s domain. 4) Make immediate WordPress backups of my websites and start shopping around for different and reputable web hosting providers. I haven’t decided yet but am leaning towards option 4. Your thoughts?

IT Support, Do You Need It?

This is a guest post written by Muhammad Azam and he is known for his expertise in technology and IT support and solutions. If you are searching for reliable Manchester IT services or IT solutions for your business then read his blogs.   — Businesses always need better ways to reduce their operational costs, without compromising the effectiveness or quality of work that is being done. Businesses today are driven by profit and every decision that is made is for increasing the profits and to make better use of company’s resources. In this era, new and unique ways are being developed to help businesses overcome hurdles and reduce the running cost of the businesses. Outsourcing of operations is one of the most unique and most reliable ways to do so because with the help of this method, a business can easily reduce its work force and the cost associated with employing such a work force. Whether it is the finance department or the IT department, services are being outsourced to companies

Six iPhone Apps That Could Save You On Your Voice Plan

My friend recently told me about how he had to pay for overage fees on his iPhone 3G data plan in the past two months. He mentioned that because of this, he was going to try and save on both voice and 3G data plan by going offline whenever there is WIFI coverage. I thought it made perfect sense because in the normal course of a business week, he would have WIFI connectivity when he is in the office and when he gets home. Doing this would allow him to reduce his monthly limit from 1GB to 500MB. In addition to the 3G data plan savings, he also said he can further save on long distance voice plan charges. He downloaded a few iPhone apps that he could use without using up any airtime. As long as he has WIFI or is connected to 3G, these apps will allow him to avoid using precious phone airtime: MagicJack This app lets you call to any phone, as long as you already have the MagicJack hardware plugged in at home. Free calls in Canada and in the US. netTalk Can call anyone, including no

Joining A Toastmasters Club is a Must

I have started attending the Toastmasters club at the downtown S.U.C.C.E.S.S. office called “Talk for Success Toastmasters” as a guest. It was started by my neighbor Suddhodan and the sessions have been helpful so far. It is held on Wednesdays from noon to 1PM and I’m petrified everytime I attend. Stage fright is the hardest thing to conquer I think but I know I have to get over it. I have yet to take on some of the roles like time keeper, table topic evaluator, speaker, etc and to be honest, I’m not looking forward to it. Their membership benefits include books that clearly spell out the roles, etiquettes, and best practices. I have just attended two sessions and have already learned the following: – Do not apologize and never say ‘sorry’. In previous public speaking engagements, I would apologize in advance at the start of the speech because I wasn’t a skilled speaker. This is apparently a no-no. – Do not draw attention to your gap-fillers like ‘uhms’, ‘ahhs’, ‘you know’ , etc.

Using an external USB drive on your PS3 game console

I have just spent all day today trying to fix what could be mechanical issues on a 115GB Western Digital external USB drive. Every so often, I would hear that deathly clicking noise from the external hard drive and then lose connection to the contents of the drive. I fear that it’s life is numbered so I moved the contents to another location and low-level formatted the disk with hopes of getting more life out of it. In order to use a USB drive with a Sony PS3 game console, it has to be formatted with FAT32 file system. Using the utilities that come with Windows XP SP3, I cannot format the entire drive with FAT32 using “format /fs:fat32″ because of FAT32 file system limitations. I searched around for a utility and found freeware SwissKnife. This software let me format the entire 115GB capacity. After that, I tried to copy all the contents back to the extenal USB drive but I ran into roadblocks again. Using Windows Explorer, the copy would start but fail after a few minutes with an u

Completed a course at BCIT: Relational Database and SQL

Back in December 2011, I just completed a 12-week evening course COMP 1630 at BCIT in downtown Vancouver. This was a great course worth 5 credits, and delved into database design, architecture, a little systems analysis, and a lot of SQL syntax. We learned about Crow’s Foot Notation in building an initial requirements design before translating that into actual tables, columns, indices, contraints, etc. It helped strengthen what I already knew of database systems and look forward to taking database administrator-type courses this year.