Why do we need 128bit CPU architecture?

With some ‘leaked’ information about Microsoft’s plan to include brand new IA-128 computer processor architecture in their next version of Windows (8 & 9) it got me thinking about the need for 128-bit CPUs. What’s the point? Memory Addressing This is often cited as the reason for needing to increase the number of bits in a CPU. With a 32bit register you can address approximately 2^32 bytes of RAM, or about 4GiB system wide.

Security tip #3: public key cryptography & PGP

Public key cryptography is one of the most essential pieces to online security. It is at the root of what enables you to shop online, do secure online banking, and communicate securely. I will be focusing on the latter in this tip. But first a quick and simple refresher on what public key cryptography is and how it works. How public key cryptography works Or rather how you use it. Cryptography allows you can lock any data or information inside of a digital safe.

Setting up some Synergy

I just finished up a quick post over on The Linux Experiment about how to share one keyboard and mouse among multiple computers using software, in this case a Windows Vista desktop and a Fedora 11 laptop. Check it out here: Setting up some Synergy

One algorithm to rule them all?

In the world of computers interoperability is key. If I send you an e-mail from my machine I should hope that you’re e-mail client would be able to read it. This is why we have standards. Standards are a good thing. They allow people to focus on improving performance and driving down costs instead of splintering user base and polluting the world with… less than elegant designs. But what if relying on a single standard is not the correct way to do things either?
Happy two month birthday…

Happy two month birthday…

…to The Linux Experiment. That’s right, it seems like such a short time ago that our little experiment began and now it’s already celebrating it’s second month on the web! Please stop by and check us out and let us know just how crazy (or not) we are for committing to using Linux for four whole months!

Security tip #2: key lengths

In cryptography a key length refers to the digital size of the ‘key’ used to unlock the encryption algorithm. Over time the length of these keys has increased from DES’ modest 64 bit (really 56 bit) key size all the way to the new AES specified key lengths of 128 and 256 bit keys. Each bit increase in in the algorithm doubles the potential number of keys available to use, thus usually making it harder for an adversary to guess the right key.
The Linux Experiment

The Linux Experiment

Some friends and I have decided to give Linux a run for its money. Most of us are experienced Windows users so we figured making the transition to Linux would be 1) a good thing for the resumé and 2) a pretty easy switch. Boy were we ever wrong about #2… #1 is still debatable 😉 The basic premise is this: Is Linux really a practical desktop computer for the masses?

Security tip #1: disable JavaScript in PDF reader

I would like to start a series of non-regular posts related to basic computer security. Security and cryptography are two areas of computer science that I have a passion for and, unfortunately, are two areas that most computer users do a truly terrible job at. I will try to make these as straight forward as possible so anyone can follow along! For the record, the suggestions I will be making in these tips are simply things that I have found to work for me.

Hash Verifier

[Update: A new version has been released! Click here to go to the new software page] On the old version of this site I had provided a popular application called Hash Verifier which did, of all things, verify file hashes on Windows. I know some people are still trying to link to it’s old location so I figured I might as well include it somewhere in the new site. So here it is!