About Stephen Magladry

Stephen Magladry is a unique being in more ways than one. Two of these pieces fit together well for his client. The first is his technical competency. The second is he is able to take difficult technical information and make it approachable to common folk, whether that be with your Mac or other technical information. I see my job as imparting you with enough information and knowledge so that his clients can become more self-sufficient and the next time solve there problems with little or no assistance.

Good Luck-F*ceBo*k new Statement of Rights and Responsibilities

I find this kind of funny. F*ceBo*ok is asserting the rights to its trademarked words in there Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/03/facebook-asserts-trademark-on-word-book-in-new-user-agreement.ars. That means people of F*ceBo*k will me asked to not to used F*cebo*k’s Trademarked words. That means F*cebo*k uses will be asked to not use some of the following words: f*ce, bo*k, p*ke (that’s and O), w*ll (that’s an A), and l*ke (that’s an i).

 

Gotta say, Good luck!

The Choice is Your: Guilt or Shame

I watched Brené Brown’s TED Talk, Listening to Shame, a couple of days ago.

It dealt with many aspects of shame. One thing she talked about is the difference between guilt and shame. I paraphrase her here: Guilt is I did bad. Shame is I am bad.

Is it any wonder that children raised to value themselves as the gift to the world that they are, can stay away from shame. They learn just because they did bad doesn’t make them bad.

On the other hand, children raised to not value themselves, the jump from doing bad to being bad is so much easier to bridge. For them, it has been ingrained in their mind that they are bad, That doing something bad almost automatically triggers being bad. It’s what they know.

For those of us who fall in the second group, we are faced with an ongoing challenge; guilt or shame. Falling into the I am awful, horrible, bad, whatever negative is so easy to do. It is what I learned growing up. When I do I am snared in the trap of shame.

Just like any trap, the longer the time spend in the trap, the more damage that is done. The trick is to find a fast escape from the trap. How can that be done?

Just as I have learned to have a hair trigger reaction from doing to being bad, I can also teach myself to go the other way. When I fall in the trap of being bad, I challenge the thought. I ask myself why that is true? What happened to make me bad? I know I am a creature of God and worthy of being good. This feeling bad must be a ruse. I ask myself why I am feeling that way?

Most often it can be traced back to recent events. It is not hard to find where I haven’t lived up to my or some one else’s expectations. When I have done wrong, bad or maybe something worse. It is usually as plain as the nose on my face. That pathway has got turned around. It has gone from me doing wrong  to me being wrong, worthless, good for nothing, a loser.

I am left with the choice, guilt or shame. Do I stew in this horrible feeling or do I challenge it? If I stew in it, I choose shame. If I challenge it, challenge those feelings that have been a part of me since my youth. those beliefs that just because I made a mistake  makes me a mistake, I choose guilt and i am better off for that choice. I am closer to being that creature worthy of love that God wants me to be.

Believe me, that choice is not easy, Forty some years of learning is difficult to challenge. But, challenge it I must if I am to be one of God’s creatures, one worthy of love, not creature absent of love that has been too much a part of my life for to long.

PS. As a finish this, a realize that Catholic guilt, and any religious guilt for that matter, isn’t really  is guilt, but shame. It is most often a manipulation to make use feel bad. So don’t get the two confused.

My Path to Victory Over Shame

I just got done watching Brené Brown’s TED Talk, Listening to Shame, and have an urge to be vulnerable.

If you put shame in a petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgement. If you put the same amount of shame in the petri dish and dose it with empathy, it can’t survive. The two most powerful words when we are in struggle are, “me too.”

Brené Brown

As I read this again and again, I realize that it takes ME alone to mix the three ingredients in the first petri. Not only that, I can mix it into a great storm, without hardly any effort at all.  The three ingredients are a stair step leading me to the abyss of shame.

I fear exposing so many parts of my life. What if people knew the real me? I might not be accepted or worse yet. I might be rejected. I might not be loved. What ever it is, this part of me is so horrible, I must hide it; I must keep it a secret.

I have to keep this to myself. My lips are sealed. I can not tell a soul. Not a word to any one. Since I make a conscience decision to keep my secret, It is so easy to trip to the next step, It is the sound of silence.

And why stop, there? Let’s keep going. This secrecy, this silence is bad. I make the final dive into the abyss. I make a judgement. I am bad, I am worthless. I am not worthy of love, not from anyone, not even myself.

With no help from the outside world, I find myself in the stew of shame. As the pot roils, I am buffeted by the internal and external world. The simplest comment like, “what happened here?”, turns into a blunt instrument which I can use to further inflict pain on myself. It’s a crazy place, shame. It is no fun being there. And as much as I know that, I spend far to much of my life there.

If  I can only stop myself from going from one step to the next, anywhere along the way, it makes it much more difficult to bathe in the bone chilling waters that is shame.

Wouldn’t a shame free life be a wonderful place? Yes it would!  Over the last three months of my life, I have been somehow able to miraculously keep myself out of the stew of shame. I have to say, it is a great place to be. I might go as far to say that it is a nirvana, a little slice of heaven on earth.

I really have to make more of an effort to stay away from this dark lord. What are steps I can take to keep myself away from the dank abyss known as shame?

A wise man, once said lust hates the light. If I  expose my inner most thoughts, my inner most struggles to the light, I break the vow of secrecy. I expose a little bit more of who I am to my confidant. And in breaking that vow of secrecy, I am vulnerable.

And without the secrecy, the silence has no reason for being. What is the reason for silence if there is no secret to keep? Another step avoided.

And without the silence, the next step is that much harder to take. There are no judgements to be made. No sadness to feel. No shame to be felt.

To me, it seems my first step to shame, secrecy, holds the most power. By avoiding the whole secrecy thing, that makes the next two steps exponentially more difficult. A little vulnerability up front goes a long way in breaking my chain.

Paraphrasing the words of Mrs. Brown, vulnerability is not  a sign of weakness, it is the most accurate measure of courage. This reminds me of a magnet that my younger sister gave me that hangs in my bathroom, “Courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes it’s the little voice inside that says I’ll  try again tomorrow”.

So, for me to remain healthy, I must willingly force myself to be vulnerable. And in the vulnerability, I am courageous. I can be that little voice inside my head that says, “‘I’ll try again tomorrow.”  And shame will have no power over me!

If you have made it this far, I ask you to comment, even if it is just two words. I might suggest you use  the two most powerful words in a struggle, “me too.”

Making Your Passwords Secure

This article is a republish from my Biznik.com account, originally published on March 8, 2012.

I got a little scare this morning. Checking the strength of my passwords, I found my American Express password could be broken by a desktop PC in about 3 hours! Now in defense of myself, at one time American Express forced passwords to  be shorter than 9 character. That’s not very secure.

Do you wonder how secure your passwords are? There is no reason not to know. Check out howsecureismypassword.net. There, passwords can be entered and relative strengths of passwords can be determined. Don’t worry, this page runs as a javascript app and there is no communication between the webpage and their server once the webpage is loaded.

Want some ideas how to make a stronger, yet more memorable password?

Consider a passphrase instead of a password. Consider “Peter Piper picked a peck” compared to  “bfhewbbjkk”. Which is easier to crack? The Peter Piper pass phase can be cracked in, oh about 2 nonillion years, where the “bfhewbbjkk” can be cracked in about 6 days. Now tell me, which is easier to remember? Which is easier to type?

Consider special characters. While there isn’t much difference between “bfhewbbjkk” and “bfhewbbjk!”, they are the same length. The relative security on the second password shots up to a year. From 6 days to crack to a year just by making one letter a special character. That is a relatively big change.

Consider a password vault program. I use 1Password. This stores all your passwords in a secure file. The passwords can easily be recalled from just about any web browser for easy use. By the way, make that password super secure. My passcode for my password vault can be broken in about 1 trillion years. Additionally, with this, passwords don’t have to be written down all over the place. Would you get a sinking feeling it your day planner accidentally got left in a cab or someplace else? What passwords would you be giving away?

Some sites have bad password policies. 8 character passwords are pretty much useless. Some limit special characters. Some sites would not allow the Peter Piper pass phrase but by removing the spaces “PeterPiperpickedapeck”, the passcode still is secure for about 137 quintillion years. If they have overly restrictive passcode policies, consider how valuable is the information you enter on that site. I would never use a financial institution that did not allow for 16 character passwords.

Use different passwords. If someone gets one of your bank account pass codes somehow, would they be able to access all of your accounts? Even worse. If they got your Facebook password, would they be able to get into bank accounts? Even large corporations like Sony get caught with their pants down. Their servers got cracked and passwords were stored unencrypted. If a user had the same password in their Sony account as their bank account, it would be just a matter of finding the right institution and their account could be drained.

Avoid passwords found on any top list. Password crackers are going to start off searching for low hanging fruit. They are first going to try the top used passwords. If your password is on one of those list, your password will be cracked more quickly that a blink of an eye. howsecureismypassword.net will inform you if you are using a common password.

You may be saying, “Those are some pretty big numbers”, Stephen, “My password doesn’t need to be that secure.” Consider this. If someone is trying to steal your password, they are not going to be using one computer but thousands of computers. That makes for much shorter work. Here is a variation on my mantra,

“Only securely protect the information that is valuable to you.”

By the way, My new American Express password can now be broken in oh, about 47 trillion years. It would have been even longer, but American Express limits passwords to 20 characters.

Stephen Magladry, your iTechieGuy

Losing (Catholic) Guilt

How many of you have experienced this?

“Noooo its okay! I carried you for nine months then I raised you do be where you are today. If you don’t want to do that, that’s okaaaay!”

Sounds like a good ol’ serving of Catholic Guilt to me. And unfortunately, Catholics do not have a corner on that market. Guilt is used to universally.

After talking to a friend today, I recognized how much society is driven to good by making someone feel bad. Guilt is not a pick-me-up type emotion, yet it is manipulated for good. That to me seems broken. If the good is good, let it stand on it’s own.

What if our generation said no to guilt? Doing what is right for the sake of being right. Teaching our children to do what is good and just. Period. The generational chain could be broken and that would make the world a better place.

Jimmy In the Ring

Dad? Jimmy here, Could you take me to the ring? I so enjoy the ring. When dad announces we are going to the ring, I get all excited and start to jump up on him. There, I get to show off how well I conform to the breed standards; that is why it is call conformation.

You ought to see me strut in the ring. I move like a finely tuned German automobile. And why shouldn’t I? I have German Heritage!

You may be asking, what is conformation? I have never heard of that term before. Imagine the Westminster Dog Show. That’s when all the dogs strut around the ring showing there stuff. There is a judge in the ring, too. That judge has the unenviable task of deciding what dog most closely matches the breed standard.

Did you catch the Westminster Dog Show?  The Wired-Hair Dachshund won the Hound group. That means of all the hounds at the show, she most closely matched its breed.

I thing she got misjudged in the finals. I thought she was the best looking dog there. Then again, I might be  a little biased.

I hope to one day strut my stuff in the big ring at the Westminster Dog Show. I’ll show them how it is done!

Oh, The Places you’ll Go!

Can you imagine what it would be like to have Dr. Suess deliver a graduation speech? What would he say to mostly young, eager minds with there lifes out in front of them?

Well, wonder no more! Oh the Places You’ll Go!

I love this book, this poem! It is amazing to me how this writer of children’s books is able to boil down life to such a simple and elegant poem.

He talks of the highs.

You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

 How many of us haven’t been there before? I know I have. Oh what a place to be! What a high. Nothing seems to go wrong. If it does, it is just another challenge in life and you move on. Life seems to be laid out just for your success.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.

I been there, too. For too much of my life. This part of life sucks on so many different levels. It is a horrible place to be. It is not a fun place to be. It literally sucks the essence from the very being.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

 For me, the easiest way to fall into the waiting game is by falling into the roll of a victim. Woa, is me! I can’t do anything right! No body loves me. Those are all way of saying, “I can’t wait until life is right”. My advice to you? STOP! Waiting for life to be right; it is too long of a wait! Make life right, today! That’s the real challenge.

There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

 Unfortunately,  I been there, too. Who hasn’t? Life becomes over whelming. There seems to be no way out. The only or best solution at that time seems to be to give up. But DON”T. Find away through it. Life has to many great adventures waiting for you!

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahv_1IS7SiE

 

Stephen Magladry, your iTechieGuy

Dot to Dot

“You can not connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that some how the dots will connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road, will give you the confidence to follow your heart. even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.”

Steve Jobs

 

I have spent too many years of my life looking back at the dots I have left behind.

For the first time in my life, I am following my heart, that I will find my dots down the road. I recognize that I am straying off a well known worn; that is a known because I am a solperrneur. Few people really  succeed down that path. But I believe in myself! I trust in myself! And that will make all the difference.

 

Stephen Magladry, Your iTechieGuy