Chris J Powell

Upgrading Krispy's Tech

Here we are into April already and I sit here plotting the upgrades in my life as I always seem to do this time of the year.  So far this year I have done a couple upgrades already with a new phone (upgraded my LG G3 to the new Huawei Nova Plus) and a new Tablet.  The phone upgrade was really because it was time, I did an early upgrade as the battery on my G3 was more than a little flakey.  The tablet though…may seem like a strange choice in a world that is constantly looking to be bigger and better as I got myself a diminutive Acer Iconia One Android Tablet that is not much bigger than my phone…but acts primarily as a ebook reader. In the coming weeks and months though, I am really looking at doing a monster upgrade of the tech and services that I am connected to. The first upgrade will be happening in a couple of weeks with a massive step up to a new ISP (Internet Service Provider) with some monster upgrades … Read more

Living La Vida Streaming

Recently I posted about my installation of Kodi and the configuring of the successor to Xbox Media Center to enable me to watch my favorite (and forgotten) TV Shows without the need to have a Cable Subscription.  For years I had been downloading those shows, renaming the files and configuring them into folders that in effect had consumed more than 2.5 TB of storage within my home network.  With my lightning fast Internet Connection this meant that I could grab my favorite shows the morning after they aired and then watch them when I got home from work. This concept has suited me just fine, for a long time and I probably would have continued to do this, but the reality is, the time it takes to source out the different shows that I like to watch, download, sort and get everything just so…well it starts to get time consuming and while I have plenty of time on my hands these days, I can’t help but think that there is a better way of doing things. And there is. The … Read more

Keeping Passwords Safe, Secure and Memorable

The digital reset that I recently went through had me logging into many sites that I had not been to in quite some time.  The number of Password Resets that I had to do was not only alarming, it was down right scary.  In this era of cloud security breaches and the use of “password and 123456” as the most common passwords out there it is no wonder that IT Leaders everywhere cringe a little bit when they think about the end user and how to build a better mouse trap. I was surprised to learn that my own bank has a limit of only 6 characters that is right no more, no less and no special characters allowed when logging into my banking system…that goes well outside my own naming convention that has 12 to 14 characters with Special Characters like $ and & interspersed in the key phrase that I typically use to log on to the services that keep my online life going. So if as end users, we are the collective weak point in the security … Read more

The Cloud Price War…Will You Win?

To say that the Cloud is becoming crowded is an understatement.  For every installable application created there seems to be a dozen options that are Mobile Ready and living in the Cloud so with the Cloud Price War that was started by Google when they dropped the price of Google Drive is set into motion a future that is not only price conscious but also very focused on a real dig your heels in and not give an inch philosophy of corporate battles. Amazon and its AWS services may have pioneered the world of flexible computing and storage but there are many others nipping at their heels, not the least of which is Google and Microsoft looking to score a piece of the IaaS and PaaS puzzle.  The Cloud as we know it today will be radically different in the coming years as collectively we really start to move away from the need for storing anything ourselves. I have experienced the benefits of this in two major ways myself: Chromebook I took advantage of an amazing deal on a Chromebook … Read more

Cloud Computing and the Heartbleed Bug

There has been much talk about the Heartbleed Bug lately.  Everything from the Canada Revenue Agency having to shut down its Income Tax website to to Blackberry needing to patch its BBM service.  It has been a scary time indeed for those of us who rely on the Interwebz for our data.  Within days of the announcement though, I started receiving emails from some of my Cloud Service Providers advising me of how they patched the Bug and that all was right with the world…for now. While I was concerned enough to change every password to every website that I subscribe to, I am surprised as to how many companies did not bother to notify me directly that they were taking actions to protect me.  There were major sites all over the globe that were affected by this security hole…and progressive companies should have no problem with telling their customers that they were aware of the issue and had taken actions to protect their customers information! I received this email from on April 9: Hi all, Just letting you … Read more

The Wild, Wild Web – Personal Security in the Internet Age

This week it was revealed that there is a major flaw out there on the Interwebz that potentially affects 2/3 of all web sites.  That seems like a big deal and it is, according to there are over 938,000,000 websites so the Heartbleed Bug could affect over 600 Million web sites and that includes the world of Google, Yahoo, eBay, Internet Banking, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and basically any other website that uses the LAMP Stack and leverages the OpenSSL standard for generating security certificates. I generally never really took much stock in increasing my Security Posture when it came to my online life.  I reset my passwords on a regular basis and tend not to surf to unreliable sites or download things that are questionable but this latest flaw had me really really thinking and after listening to This Week in Google on T.W.I.T TV last night before bed I took some precautions to protect myself and the things that are important to me: Installed LastPass – a Password Manager that lets me tie all my passwords to an encrypted … Read more

Building a Personal Cloud

For those who know me, I am a cheap bastard when it comes to day to day services and building a personal cloud for me is the same way.  Sure Google is now offering outrageous pricing on its Storage and I am sure that Dropbox, Box and SkyDrive will have no choice to follow suit but in this price averse world…FREE is always better.  So what is a cheap guy supposed to do? I stumbled across a relatively new service called Tonido that is completely free for building a personal cloud so that the only charge that I incur is for bandwidth which means if I use a file, I pay for it.  No uploading, no negotiating usage, no worrying about going over any caps…this is a very good thing. So what does one have to do… Simply go to, it is a free Windows, Linux or Mac download that creates a secure connection from your primary computer (which becomes a file server).  The relatively small 30 MB download then connects you to their encrypted servers and your username … Read more

When Risk Outweighs Reward – A Cloud Model

In all my time as a Sales Professional, I have been honest with my customers about the features and benefits of the products and services that I sell.  I try to hide nothing and I put all my cards on the table, it has what has made me successful in sales…but when I take a step back and look at the things around me.  The products and the services that are peddled every day…to the companies and the things that they do in the pursuit of the all mighty dollar…I take a step back and wonder…is the Risk worth the Reward? This is the first part of a series of looks at Risk vs Reward for different Technologies. One of the first things that every company and business leader needs to do is understand what their Risk Tolerance Level is.  We do it when making financial investments.  We sit down with our Advisers and make a solid short term, mid term and long term plan and then revisit it either annually or semi-annually and this is a good thing…but I … Read more

Infographic – Is the Cloud Really Safe?

Over the past couple of years there has been a mass migration of information and data that is no longer “here” which by all definitions really is what the Cloud is.  But is it really the right way or are we just getting lazy about how we are managing our Data and collectively wanting to just Consume rather than create? Thanks to Sage, an interesting Infographic on the State of Accounting Solutions in the Cloud is now upon us. This means that we are porting our Customer Data to companies like and SAP but now there is move to put company financials into the cloud??? This infographic was produced by Sage Accountants’ Division UK Cheers, Krispy