Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
So I recently started a new job, and one of the requirements is to get your CISA certification within the first year. Luckily they pay for it, so I don’t have to worry about that part. I’ll be heading off to a CISA bootcamp in December, but decided that I want to study for it beforehand as well. I’ve been studying for the CISSP, but I’ll put that on hold for now and focus on the CISA since it is required.
I think overall the CISSP will help me out more, but whatever. The CISA is the certification these guys decided they want everyone to have, so that's the one I’ll get first.
% correct 56.25%
The incorrect by Chapter results are:
And the list of chapters are:
Chapter 1 Secrets of a Successful IS Auditor
Chapter 2 Audit Process
Chapter 3 IT Governance
Chapter 4 Networking Technology
Chapter 5 Life Cycle Management
Chapter 6 IT Service Delivery
Chapter 7 Information Asset Protection
Chapter 8 Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
As you can see, I’ve got some studying to do in order to pass. I’m not too worried though, I actually did better on the pretest then I thought I would. I’m not an auditor (as you can see), so those chapters will probably have the most new material for me.
As far as schedule goes, right now I’m thinking that I can probably read a chapter a week, which will put me finishing the book by end of September, leaving plenty of extra time before December to review and attend the bootcamp and take the test. I’ll be updating my progress here, along with chapter notes, tips tricks and other useful bits that I find along the way. If any recent CISA’s out there have anything to share as well, feel free to shout out in the comments!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Friday, December 19, 2008
Instead what they are doing is outsourcing the bullying to the ISP. Not exactly the huge step forward that I was hoping for. But, at least it is change. And with a system as flawed as the RIAA, any change is good change. One of the best comments I've read about the change is included here:
Funny. Nowhere in the article did I see the RIAA:
1) Promoting better artists to make CDs with more than one good song
2) Trimming production costs to lower music prices
3) Increasing support for music format options (OGGs, AACs, etc...)
4) Increasing music licensing options (transferal from person to person, etc...)
5) Improved CD and online music libraries
6) Enforcing music source (i.e. iTunes) and music player (i.e. Zune) interoperability
I'm just sayin'... - amanojaku(DailyTech)
For those interested in finding out more about the in's and outs of the RIAA's new stance, see the excellent post here at torrentfreak.
And one more awesome quote to finish things off:
RIAA is like the doctor in medical dramas who just won't stop trying to
revive the patient and eventualy has to be pulled off the corpse. - DarthWader(Lifehacker)
Merry Christmas everyone!
Note:Image above courtesy of Engadget
Friday, June 27, 2008
Here I will be testing some applications to make an image of your hard drive. Images are basically a snapshot of all the data on the hard drive, so that if something gets messed up down the road, you can simply restore the image and everything will be just like when you created the image. I just finished school, so I decided it was time to reinstall XP and test several image programs to see which would be the best choice for me.
The test environment consists of two computers: A dell latitude D620 that I just reinstalled Windows XP Pro on, along with the following programs that I want to have whenever I restore the image
MS Office 2007
Firefox 3 with Greasemonkey and Adblock Plus
XP and the above programs used up about 6 gigs of the 60 gig harddrive. The second system is my desktop, which will actually be running the imaging programs. It's a quad-core with 4gigs ram, 500 GB harddrive also running XP Pro. I don't think that the speed of the desktop really affects the speed of creating images, but I could be wrong there. Note that you do not actually need two computers to run many of these programs, I just found it to be easier to actually take my laptop drive out and stick it into an external drive instead of messing with the options to get it working some other way.
There are literally tons of programs that create images of your harddrive, so I decided to narrow down my selection some. I wanted something that would create a complete image, and put that on a different drive (not on a separate partition, but on a completely different physical drive). Because this is much easier in windows, I also only looked at programs that run in windows. This means no bootable cd's. I know that they are great, but I won't be reviewing any of those in this post. Possibly in another one though :-)
Macrium Reflect - Free Edition
Macrium is a solid product that has both free and pro flavors. I chose the free version to test, which has all the features I need anyway. The pro includes options for incremental and differential image backups, but I prefer do to a fresh full backup whenever I need to update. The fact that there is a paid version as well as a free has some positive aspects - it is much more likely that Macrium will still be around in a couple years so that you can restore the image you make if you don't keep the program installed on your computer. Some freeware can get abandoned without notice, leaving you up a creek if you don't have the original program still around. Macrium is a good product, with creation times just a bit longer that acronis, but still not long at all.
Some things that I especially liked about Macrium is that it offers some user-friendly options that none of the other products I tested had. The first was the option to validate the restore operation after it finished, which is nice. Restore operations should always work, but they can't be perfect, so it's a good practice to validate it. The other option that I really liked is that after validating, you can use Macrium to set the hard drive to run checkdisk next time it is booted up. This is a simple thing to do by yourself, but it's great that Macrium has the option for you to automatically set it if you want.
Image creation time: 4:47
Image size: 3.31 GB
Image restore time:4:22
SelfImage is the very first imaging program I used, a couple years ago. Unfortunatly, that seems to be the last time it was updated as well. The current version was released in 2005, and there hasn't been any updates since. It is, however, open source, so if anyone wants to download the source code and crank out some updates that would be great. Let me know if there are any newer versions, and I'll check them out.
I had a soft spot for selfimage just because it's been around for a long time, but unfortunately it turned out to be one of the worse programs that I tested. It seems that instead of checking which sections of the harddrive are in use, it backs up the entire disk, even if most of it is empty. This leads to much longer create and restore times, as well as larger file sizes. It is open source though, and that's a plus.
Image creation time: 38:37
Image size: 11 GB
Image restore time:**Unable to test this part, see the end of the post for full details
DriveImage XML was probably the biggest disappointment out of all the programs that I tested. I first read about it over at lifehacker, and most of the people there said it was just amazing. So I tried it out with very high hopes, which was not the best idea. It took as long as SelfImage to restore and backup, which is something that is hard for me to grasp. SelfImage was made in 2005, so it is understandable that it would be slow. What's the excuse here?
It's not all bad though, DriveImage does have some nice options, including "hot imaging" a drive. Basically this means making a backup of your drive while you are using it. I did not try this option, but I imagine that it would take a little bit longer, but not be as intrusive since it would be doing all the copying in the background. It also has a big plus in the fact that it is not proprietary at all. It gives you 2 files when the backup is done, a .dat which contains all the data, and a .xml which is a map of the data. So if something where to happen do the program, you should still be able to use the xml file to search the .dat file and restore what you need.
Image creation time: 38:21 (yes, the screenshot shows 31:38, but after that it creates the .xml file, which takes extra time)
Image size: 6.93 GB
Image restore time:59:22
Acronis True Image Home v.11
The first program that I tested was Acronis True Image Home v.11. I had heard many good things about acronis, so it was first on my list. It has a good user interface, allowing many options without making things too confusing. It was also the fastest program I tested, and had the smallest final image size which are two very important things. The major downside to acronis is that it is not free. When I checked, the price was around $50. Not too expensive for a good backup solution, but fifty bucks is a lot more than free.
Another option that I love about acronis is that in additon to being able to backup to an external drive, it also has the option to create a hidden partition and store the backup there. This is not that exciting by itself, the really cool part is that it can be set up to show an option at boot time to restore the image in this 'secure zone'. You can do the same thing with some linux live cd's, but I personally would rather stay in windows. Anyways, Acronis is a very solid program.
Image creation time: 3:28
Image size: 3.25 GB
Image restore time:2:59
Norton Ghost is one of the original disk imaging programs. Ghost is a program that comes loaded with a ton of features and options. Ghost has typically been used in big companies, which means it has many features that are very powerful, but won't really be used by home users. All the extra options to jack up the price as well, with a single license costing $70. Norton is part of Symantec, so if you happen to use antivirus by them, ghost will automatically be added to the symantec live update tool.
I am biased against pretty much all things Norton, so while ghost does a good job scheduling and performing backups, I personally don't like it very much. It auto loads a tray icon on windows startup, and there is no easy way to get rid of it. It also is popping up notices for every little thing. From the stats below you can see that the time it takes is very low, and it also provides a small sized backup file. However, I just don't like it. It does have some advanced options that I would never use, but others might love. There is a way to manage different backup schedules on different computers from a central console. If you have more than a few computers in your house, this could be a big time saver. Otherwise, the high price and annoying notifications would steer me away from this product.
Image creation time: 3:29
Image size: 3.47 GB
Image restore time:6:55
Overall, it was pretty fun to test out all of these different backup programs and run them through their paces. On the freeware side, Macrium is the product that I chose to use, because it has the speed and size of the commercial products while still being free. If I did decide to pay out some money I'd chose Acronis for its ease of use and the ability to restore an image at boot with a simple key press.
On a side note, you can see that I was unable to finish testing selfimage... The reason why is because during the processing of restoring and testin images, as I was taking my laptop harddrive out of the external enclosure to put back in my laptop and test, i accidentaly tripped on some cords and the drive came crashing down. Of course this caused some sectors to go bad on the drive, thus preventing me from writing data back to those sectors. So, backing up your hard drive to an external one has dangers of iits own, especially if you are clumsy ;-) Although, there is a positive outcome to this: I know have a subject for my next post - How to fix bad sectors on a harddrive
If you have any comments or want to see some other imaging programs tested once I have my HD fixed, let me know in the comments!