PRIVACY-LINUX? UKRAINE? BITCOIN? Migration under Win10/11?

PRIVACY AND LINUX Introducing Kodachi! A linux BUILT for privacy and security!
I have had a NUMBER of customers asking – whats the most PRIVATE and SECURE system you can build? Well, for the last few weeks I’ve been playing with
an odd Linux Distribution – Kodachi and have some reports for you!
First of all Linux is probably familiar to most of you. Under the hood, its a unix-like operating system – very much like MacOS (I mean at the command line, not the desktop, mac commands are very similar to linux commands). Its OPEN SYSTEM. Anyone can look at the source for the kernel or the various components. This means that – well its hard to HIDE that backdoor letting the FBI come visit your computer! someone would NOTICE it. Linux exists in various flavors (‘distributions’) Mint is a popular one, aiming at a ‘good desktop experience’. Ie more like windows. Ubuntu is another very common one. I use CentOS in all my server systems – one that is NOT bleeding edge, VERY stable, and can be updated safely.
So – what the heck is Kodachi? Its a distribution that is built first – foremost – and almost entirely about privacy and security. EVERYTHING you do goes through a VPN to get to the internet. NOTHING is trackable or traceable. Amusingly I was showing Kodachi to a customer buying his first LINUX laptop (it installs on virtually anything of course, a nice Thinkpad in this case) – and the automatic VPN had us appearing to be in — I kid you not – Ukraine!. ALL of this is automatic. No VPN to buy. its built in. heck you probably could not disable the privacy/security if you wanted to! The browsers have modified versions of firefox (the original firefox is there – marked ‘unsafe’). And the Tor browser. If you dont know Tor its what folks use to navigate the ‘dark web’. it can go to normal IP addresses but also ones that do not exist in ‘normal’ internet space. Tor is inherently anonymous which is why you have to use it to pay off hackers in a ransomware attack (more below).
The kodachi desktop does NOT look like windows or mac os. the taskbar is on the left working downwards. But all your functionality is there.
Need data stored EXTRA securely??? Veracrypt comes with it that lets you make a super-super-secure file storage unit that is unbreakable and presents itself as a folder with your superimportant stuff in it – only after you give it the password. Until then not even the CIA could break it. (well, probably not).
Kodachi also comes with many hacking tools (and I mean this is a good way) – letting you determine the security of a site YOU want to talk to!
It comes with LibreOffice – which has its versions of Word Excel Powerpoint etc etc – all of which are file-interchangeable with Microsoft Office. You can modify or create word documents (.docx) files, as well as .odt files (the open document text format in more and more common use).
But how about other programs you need? A surprising number of Windows programs can be run under Linux. PlayonLinux (more HERE) lets you run many windows applications under Linux. A customer asked me if he could run the Adobe Creative Suite under Linux and answer turned out to be yes! Its often not ‘plug and play’ sometimes the procedure to get it to run is not effort-less. But I can report that there are few windows programs that definitively will NOT work. PlayonLinux actually gives you a BIG list of progams – microsoft office, many games – that you install with a simple click! Yes, THE microsoft office can run just fine under linux.
SO — if any of you want to play with it, we can build you your OWN Kodachi system!


UKRAINE? What does it mean for us?

Well – not getting into politics – it means high gas prices (jumped 60 cents in ONE day geez!) — AND MUCH GREATER CHANCE FOR RANSOMWARE ATTACKS
If this gets much uglier I expect to see some of YOU bitten by ransomware. Its a cyber attack, and the Russians are VERY good at it!!!
This is when you boot up and get a horrible shock when you try and open a word file and its no longer a word file – says ‘error’ on opening, and you discover that all your files & images have been encrypted. You find a note from the hackers saying ‘pay up (always in bitcoin) to get your files back!
We have helped various customers who have been bitten. sometimes, the ransomware itself has bugs – and we can decrypt WITHOUT paying. Sometimes you have to pay.
Sometimes you are STUBBORN and STUPID. Remember the Colonial pipeline ransomware attack that had us all with no gas recently??? They pipeline folks had their accounting computer hit by ransomware. They REFUSED to pay initially – and then shut down the pipeline because THEY COULD NOT BILL THE CUSTOMERS OR KNOW HOW MUCH GAS THEY GOT! Finally, after what a week-10 days? the gas was delivered again? its BECAUSE THEY PAID THE RANSOM and got the unlocking software. I saw an idiot on TV just recently mis-explaining this. The FBI didnt help them. THEY PAID THE MONEY. And – they COULD have paid on day ONE – and we would have had NO disruption. STUBBORN AND STUPID!
How to defend yourself? easy. BACKUP ALL YOUR FILES to an external drive (almost no ransomware will encrypt an external drive – it has to work VERY fast and it almost always just encrypts files on the BOOT drive (C usually). BACKUP DRIVES ARE CHEAP! Under $100. DO IT NOW before Ukraine causes YOU a pain!
Have a lot of data? is it VERY important? talk to me about a NAS box (network attached storage) – it stands on your network and is usually ignored by ransomware!

One sad note – one of my sources for great old Macintosh items and parts – whom I’ve dealt with for years – lives in the Russian Federation! He’s a very nice fellow – but now what of HIM? I bet his auction on ebay cant get him any sales anymore. And probably impossible to ship. This fellow was NOT political. Just collateral damage. Sure hope he keeps his mouth shut. Criticizing OUR administration can get you cancelled. Criticizing Putin I think can REALLY get you cancelled!

UKRAINE? What does it have to do with Bitcoin?
Immediately? not much – but consider for a second. Russia is being cut out of the international monetary system (SWIFT). What do you know that does NOT go through SWIFT? Hmmm…. lets see… BITCOIN! Russian hackers are probably right now exploiting blockchain flaws. You read the stories about folks STEALING Vast bitcoin fortunes? happens all the time! Read HERE and HERE
Now if someone has money in Bitcoin – there is an EXTRA incentive for the Russians to come get it! Think you are protected? your wallet safe? the blockchain secure? you serious? I have a bridge somewhere to sell you!
And a potential new scam? the ULM token! ‘Ukranian Lives Matter’ and you buy one to donate to worthy causes? A scam? Heck how can you tell these days??

CRYPTO? Is it BS? actually I think so! Look at the LetsGoBrandon coin and ask….
You read about the Lets GO Brandon Cryptocoin? Check it out HERE
What do I think? Well, folks are mighty upset when they bought $10,000 worth and find its worth $1.50 now. The coin (trying to capitalize on the LGB meme you have all seen) – was utterly pointless and stupid. Whatever your view of Brandon (or Biden) why would such a coin have any VALUE? It didnt.
Before anyone stops saying ‘yes CDB it was OBVIOUSLY stupid’ – let me ask you:
WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN the LGB coin and BitCoin?
Think…. more thinking … NOT A DANG THING! its just that more folks ‘believe’ in Bitcoin than the LGB coin. This whole Crypto business is nonsense in my view. Yes, lots of folks have made fortunes. But lots of folks made fortunes in the Madoff ponzi scheme, the AirPlane games, chain letters as well (primarily the scammers who STARTED those things). Seeing folks say ‘I made $$$ in bitcoin’ does not mean YOU are going to make anything in Bitcoin. If any of you have more power TO you, but maybe you should SELL it before people wake up and realize its really valueless. Shades of the Tulip Bulb insanity in the 1600s. Read HERE
My point? Folks back then traded their family fortunes and their estates – for 3 TULIP BULBS. The value of these bulbs was enormous. A year’s income bought one INFERIOR bulb. Then one day they woke up and realized they were just flowers. And the market collapsed. And the folks with 5 super expensive bulbs on the mantle-piece found out – their family fortunes now belonged to others. The only people profiting from it were the ones who had NO bulbs when the game of musical chairs stopped.
Same thing will happen to Bitcoin. And that’s even if no one DOES steal your bitcoin!
Now btw *I* have a fractional bitcoin. I helped a customer after a ransomware attack 10 years ago and after the transaction I had about .01 bitcoin left over! it was a few pennies back then now its worth about $500. anyone want to buy it?
Oh – and the silliest idea of all is the CryptoIRA – where you convert your retirement account into Bitcoin. Why silly? because YOU ARE REPORTING TO THE IRS WHAT YOU HAVE in crypto. Wait you say I’m not selling it? Just look at what the administration is talking about in their new tax plans – taxing UNREALIZED income to get the millionaires and billionaires who pay no INCOME tax – they are paid in stock options etc. if the IRS taxes these ‘unrealized’ assets (which many in congress want to do) then these people would pay taxes on stock ets that they hold but have not sold yet (hence unrealized). So – if you DECLARE your crypto in an IRA the IRS can come tax it – and you have to pay them REAL $$ right now. the IRS does not TAKE Bitcoin payments! And if your crypto goes down? Think the IRS is going to give you a refund? Now if the IRS does not know about your bitcoin (being untraceable and anonymous was one of the bit selling points remember) ….


WHEN YOU GET A NEW COMPUTER… how about your old SOFTWARE??? It used to be you could not ‘move’ it to the new computer! NO LONGER!
When you get a new computer (or one of our good used ones in preference <hint>) – people say you can copy your files/documents/music/pictures to the new computer, but all that EXPENSIVE SOFTWARE you installed? Quickbooks? Office? Adobe? that must be REINSTALLED they say. (they includes Microsoft by the way). This is because the system registry (hidden files that contain information about installed software as well as keys, serials etc) is indecipherable.
Also when your windows system gets tied into knots and cant boot or crashes, you are told to do a ‘clean’ install and then reinstall ALL your programs again!
WELL — we have been trying out a comparatively new software program – and it seems to REINSTALL your software during a migration to another computer – from the old registry files – and so far it has been rather successful! Sometimes you need to reinstall one piece of software, or reinstall your printer, but thats a HUGE improvement over reinstalling EVERYTHING YOU HAVE PUT ON THE SYSTEM over the years!


Come by next time you need your software ‘saved’ for another computer – we can very likely help!

TOPTECH REMOTE SUPPORT PLANS! AVAILABLE NOW! (give us your feedback!!)
We’ve had several customers ask about us doing service contracts for them. And these days, we can
easily do that and with Remote Support the price is reasonable!
With our Remote Support technician we can visit you anytime you run the program on your system – or
we can install (with your permission) a remote service that allows US to take over the computer anytime you wish!
We are pricing this at only $20 per month, to cover 3 remote support hours (normally $180), and THREE computers!
If anything cannot be resolved remotely, then we can pick up the system, and you will get a 1/2 hour discount off what work is needed back
at the shop!
There are scammers out there who charge considerably more than this – and RIP YOU OFF! This way we can check
your system from time to time. Call us with any questions you might have!
Want to sign up for our service? Call me at 7034013806 πŸ™‚

SUPPORT TOPTECH AND THE ELDEST GEEK! WE NEED IT! LOTS OF NEW ITEMS IN ADOPTION CORNER! GIFT CARDS! (?)
(hey I’m not too proud to beg). And any donations would be most welcome – ‘prepay’ your next need?
If you want a gift card of our services for a friend just ask! Happy to make up one!)

LIQUID SPILL REPAIRS
We are busy doing these for folks. if YOUR mac or pc is dead lets see if we can get it back on its
feet! Estimates no charge, 6 month warranty on repairs! Have been having GOOD luck with Macs AND PCs!

WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT
Need your website fixed up? Many don’t know that I do WEBSITES – and have done over 700 of them anywhere from $100 to $100k!
Recently have been bringing in some good Irish talent (I went to college in Ireland) and they have been helping do sites with me!
Need help?? Let me know! We also HOST sites on my servers for only $6-10 per month including emails and minor updates!

NEED HELP WITH GOLD/SILVER? Or Antiques? We have a LOT of expertise πŸ™‚
I’ve been a precious metals dealer for years – started in the Antique Center. And we buy gold/silver – we pay more than pawn shops or jewelers!
And if you have something you THINK is valuable I can find out what pretty much anything is worth!

SPRING ADOPTION CORNER:
here is the current adoption list – all are basically ebay prices but come with 6 month warranty and we do trade-ins and move-data as well πŸ™‚
And we are open to haggling!

CDB PCS

VERY nice DYNABOOK – Toshiba top of line ultrabook Tecra
Several 10th Gen laptops – 14,15 and 17 inch!
LENOVO 17in MOBILE WORKSTATION P73 i7 9th gen! 16gb. 256gbSSD + 2TB SSD! GREAT!!
**SOLD** HP Zbook 14u G6 1.6 Ghz i5 16Gb/256gb. ***SOLD***
**SOLD **Surface Pro 7 -2019 1.5 i5 8gb/256gb SOLD
Surface Pro 5 LTE (cellular modem) i5 8gb/256gb. ***SOLD***
MSI GE63 Raider RGB 85F – 2018 2.2 i7 32gb/1TB/512SSD Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070
HP Omen 2.6ghz 12gb 1TB/512SSD Geforce RTX
Sager 2.6 i7 16gb/1TB/500gbSSD GTX 1650
**SOLD** Dell XPS 2.3 i7 4gb/128gbSSD Geforce GTX 960M
Lenovo Thinkpad P52 2.7 Xeon 40gb ram 500gb SSD Quadro P2000 GPU
**SOLD** Dell Latitude E5450 2.3hz i5 8gb/500gb HDD Geforce 830M
MSI Titan MS-17A1 2.9 i7 16gb 1TBHD GTX 1080 GPU
Clevo Origin 4.2ghz i7 48gb ram 500gb SSD GTX 1060 GPU
Dell Inspiron 5759 2.5 i7 8gb/1TB SSD Radeon R5 M335
**SOLD** HP Pavilion Wave 600-a014 Desktop 3.2 i3 8gb/1TBHD

CDB MacBooks

>>>16″ Macbook Pro 2019 A2141 i7 2.6 6-core 16gb 500gb SSD. SIXTEEN INCH1
15″ Macbook Pro 2018 A1707 6 core i7 2.2ghz 500gb SSD NICE
15” MacBook Pro 2016 A1707 EMC 3072 2.6gb i7 16gb 500gb SSD Big Sur
15” MacBook Pro 2018 – Needs new battery 2.6Ghz 6-Core Intel Core i7 16gb/500gb SSD A1707 E3072
15″ Macbook Pro 2019 i7 1TB SSD! NICE!!
13” MacBook Pro Retina 2019 1.4 i5/8gb/128gb SSD Catalina A2159
13” Macbook Pro 2017 A1708 EMC 3164– Crack in plastic at bottom of screen 2.3Ghz i5 8gb/256gb SSD Mojave
13” MacBook Air 2012 1.8Ghz Intel Core i5/4gb 256gb SSD A1466
13” MacBook Air 2013 1.3 i5 4gb/128gb A1466 EMC 2632
13” MacBook Air 2017 1.8 i5 8gb/128gb/A1466 EM 3178
13” MacBook Air 2017 1.8Ghz Intel Core i5 8gb/500gb
11” MacBook Air 2015 1.6 i5 4gb/128gb A1465 EMC 2924
13” MacBook Air 2020 – 3.2Ghz 8 Core M1 8GB 256gb SSD A2337 EMC 3598