Fix computers remotely and make cash!

The Internet brings us technology almost at an instant. People around the world take their computers to places like Best Buy’s GeekSquad, CompUSA, and Circuit City to name a few. Here’s an idea- Put them out of business! I’ll present a few ideas to you below to help you earn a few bucks easily without even getting up.

Talk to your friends and family and let them know you can fix viruses and spyware. Tell them you can troubleshoot their issues without them having to pack up their PC. There are actually quite a few free services that provide remote access to another machine on the Internet at no fee to you or the end user.

Use a service like CrossLoop and connect to their PC.  Tell them that they don’t even need to stick around while you fix the PC. imageJust make sure not to reboot the computer until you’re sure you’ve done as much as you can to fix the issue (you may need them to re-initiate the connection after the reboot). Charge them by the hour and send them a money request with PayPal. That’s easy huh?

Many people have been doing this for quite some time now. I would say that you could help your family and friends (and even their friends) in your off-hours and make some extra revenue. This is a great way to get your name out there. Save your friends and family money while making you money. It’s a win-win situation.

Good Luck!

GeekSquad Confession – Child Porn

Well I must admit I worked at Best Buy. I worked there when I was in college to make my way through paying for books, housing and general expenses. While working there you tend to see it all.. people mad that Best Buy won’t cover their broken PDA screen to people who surfed porn all day and complained that their computer was slow and there were too many pop-ups. There were also a few notable things that came up while working there.

While working there in 2004 a person came in with his daughter (who looked to be around 16-17ish) and handed one of my co-workers their digital camera. The camera seemed to be a very nice SLR camera. The customer claimed that the camera was not taking pictures very well and that the quality was less than standard. We powered the camera on and proceeded to take a few pictures. We switched the camera to view mode and started to look at our pictures we had taken.

To our utter shock and dismay (I actually felt a little sick) we found some rather disturbing pictures. We found pictures of a nice little bedroom with pink everything, a nice bed table and what looked to be a full-size bed with a woman (actually more of a girl) completely nude perched on top. I quickly looked away and, having caught a glimpse of this girls face, looked back at the man and girl. The girl was the girl standing right next to him. This was very VERY disturbing. Multiple pictures were on this sick individual’s memory card and my coworkers and I had no idea what to do.

My coworker and I took the camera to the general manager on duty and reported the issue. The general manager reviewed the obscene content and said that there was nothing they could do. I persisted: "Why can’t we call the police? There has to be something we can do!" and he acted very calmly and added that there was nothing Best Buy could do.

Of course, the girl seemed to be happy and perhaps she was old enough but the disturbing pillow laying next to the bed (which was bright pink) said "Daddy’s little girl" and almost made me lose my food. I still feel very weird about the incident that day and I wish there was more I could do about it.

There have been many shady happenings at the Best Buy GeekSquad. This is one of the most offensive things I experienced in the two years I worked there.

Please feel free to leave a comment and maybe suggest how my coworker and I could have handled this issue better… There’s some really sick people in the world.

Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

It’s been three years since the last Chronicles of Narnia titled "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" released. This year we’re going to see a new (second) film titled "Prince Caspian" due to release on May 15, 2008. The last movie topped over $291 million in the box offices and I believe that the new movie will top or beat the previously earned amount.

This is a somewhat neutral review of how the movie looks, what technically seems better in the new movie coming from a person who has not previously viewed "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" released in 2005.

Many advanced in CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) have been made since 2005 and it really shows in the new trailers. Just compare the old trailer to the new trailer. The sheer smoothness of all computer generated graphics in newer movies amazes me. Wikipedia provides a nice timeline of CGI in film and television.

Nevertheless, the second Narnia really catches my eye; the previews and trailers beg me to watch. I’m definitely going to see this movie. Sure, call me a girl, but I really want to see this movie for the special effects and cutting-edge computer generated imagery.

Trailer

Four types of internet connectivity

Dial-access modems

The operation of the dial-in access is simple. You connect to an ISP (Internet Service Provider) via dial modem. When you dial in you connect to the ISP as another user on their network. You use their lines to connect to the internet. The maximum data rate is 56kbit/sec but is restricted by the FCC to only 53kbit/sec. There are virtually no distance limitations, wherever a clear voice can be heard on a phone line you can dial in. One advantage of this service is that it is versatile, widely available but the disadvantage is that it is very slow by today’s standards. This connection would suit someone doing occasional browsing and checking e-mail. The service cost is ~$9-20 dollars a month.

DSL

DSL is a technology used by many major phone companies to bring high speed internet to your home with the existing phone lines inside your home. The maximum data rate that can be achieved with DSL is 8mbits/sec with ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line.) However, with VDSL (Very high bit rate Digital Subscriber Line) you can achieve up to 55mbits/sec. The main advantage of DSL is you can use your existing phone line at the same time you are on the internet. The disadvantage is that the speed is directly limited by distance from a central office. The type of user that would benefit from DSL is a person who wants high speed browsing, relatively fast downloads but who also is close to a central office. Approximate monthly costs range from $27.00 to $40.00.

Cable Modems

Cable internet is very fast and stable. Basically the network is around most residential and business areas. The cable internet (e.g. Roadrunner®) infrastructure is already there – mostly fiber optics in this area. This allows for a massive amount of bandwidth to flow through the cable system. The maximum speed able to be obtained over cable is 10mbits/sec as determined by the cable modem and service providers. The main advantage is always on high speed internet. A major disadvantage, in areas where the network throughput overall is low, is slow speed because it is a shared network. The type of user that would benefit from this connection would be someone wanting to play online games with low ping times, and enjoy high speed downloads. The approximate monthly cost is $30-$50 depending on the provider.

Satellite-based Internet Access

Satellite internet is very interesting, I personally have used it and it is conceptually a very good idea but the latency of the satellite can bring the good idea to a screeching halt. When you connect you either use a dial up modem (receive only internet) where you dial to a separate ISP, then you send out a request via dialup then a tunnel is created to your satellite provider so your upstream can communicate with the provider so the received information can be beamed to your house from the satellite. This whole process takes up to 800 milli-seconds! This is very unacceptable for everyday browsing, but the advantages to some people make the service worth it. The main advantage is for users who have no access to higher speed internet. The downstream is about 512kbit/sec which isn’t too bad. (I’ve achieved 150-200kbyte/sec with it) but it is unacceptable for the ping times. The main disadvantage is the sheer space between the satellite and your home and the provider takes time to beam info back. The type of user who would benefit from this technology would be someone in the middle of nowhere. The cost of the service varies; usually you can lease the equipment for $99 dollars a month including service. Or you can buy the equipment for about $500-$600 dollars.

IPtables Port Redirection

Here’s the command-by-command reference of how to forward TCP port 80 on the local host to a remote host (10.1.21.21) on TCP port 8080.

# iptables -F
# iptables -X
# iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -d 10.1.21.21 -p tcp –dport 80 -j REDIRECT –to-ports 8080
# iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -d 10.1.21.21 -p tcp –dport 80 -j REDIRECT –to-ports 8080

# /etc/init.d/iptables save
# /etc/init.d/iptables restart
# chkconfig iptables on