Obsolete best IT practices

Hardware

Instructions for terminating SCSI devices.

I was doing research into something – surprising though it may seem – and found this random Spiceworks thread. There are some goodies.

I’ve only been in the industry professionally for a decade, so my reach isn’t that great. But I’m sure if you looked back on the history of this blog you’d find most of these floating around:

  • Setting regular password rotation. All it does is encourages weaker passwords and insecure ingenuity.

  • Short, indecipherable passwords are secure. A longer password with plain words has more entropy, and is more likely to be used because people remember them.

  • Using FireWire 400 drives over USB 1.1 or 2. The transfer rate on the tin is slower than the latter, but it operates synchronously.

  • Regularly defragmenting drives. Especially counterproductive with SSDs and other solid state media.

  • RAID 5 and RAID Z. They get an unjustified bad rap now, but there are still better alternatives.

  • Using AVG or Avast with Spybot Search and Destroy to protect Windows boxes.

  • Setting Master/Slave jumpers on drives, because Cable Select is unreliable. And connect them with rounded ribbon cables for thermal efficiency! Except don’t do the latter, because those cables were non-standard and often introduced crosstalk.

  • Running 32 bit OSs on 64 bit hardware with less than 4 GiB of memory, to save system resources.

  • Recommending people use SyQuest ORB drives over Iomega Jaz, because it had more capacity for less.

  • Disabling HTTPS specifically for performance and resource use.

  • Disabling IPv6 if you “don’t need it.” Though turning it on still introduces privacy concerns you need to be aware of and mitigate.

  • Compiling your BSD and Gentoo ports from source, rather than using packages, to optimise performance. Better still, run overnight so you’re not waiting hours for KDE to finish.

  • Employing Web Safe Colours.

  • Always terminating your SCSI devices! Or a life hack, always use an Iomega drive or EPSON scanner as the last device because they self-terminate.

  • Using lighttpd over Apache, and MySQL over PostgreSQL, for performance and resource use.

  • Using data archives on anything other than FreeBSD/ZFS.

  • Writing with WordPress over Movable Type and Radio UserLand because its cleaner and lighter weight.

  • Have you heard of this thing called Exchange? It’s so much better than Notes!

And some things I was doing while still in school:

  • Using a Zip disk box with a padlock to secure data!

  • Using network hubs, and anything with an ISA interface, because network switches and PCI cards are more expensive.

  • Use 8.3 filenames on web servers, so old computers could still view your site assets.

  • RAMBUS that sucker! Okay, I could never afford that.

I’m sure Jim Kloss of XCHANGE and Whole Wheat Radio fame would have stories.

Author bio and support

Me!

Ruben Schade is a technical writer and IaaS engineer in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Wait, not BIOS… my brain should be EFI by now.

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