Introductions, OpenDNS, and Project Euler

Hello out there on the giant interweb. This is a smudge over due, but better late than never right?

I have no idea how I should start this off, but I’ll give it a shot. My name is Breland, and I’m a new blogger here on RyboMedia.com. I go to college with Rybo, and after meeting at a first year book experience of all things, we found out the we had some friends in common and that we were both pretty much computer geeks. I’ve been messing with computers since I was about five and my fascination with them has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several years. I’ve participated in programming competitions (FBLA) and won first place in nationals. My favorite programming language is probably PHP, only because I know it best, but I have experience in many others. My passion is building databases, so if you ever need any help with anything database related, shoot me an email, I’d be more than glad to help you out. And I think that about sums it up for me. Check me on facebook if you want to know more (Breland Miley).

And now for the fun part of blogging, the actual computer stuff 🙂

OpenDNS

If you’ve never heard of DNS then a simplified description would be the phonebook of the Internet. When you visit a website in your browser, your browser issues several requests for data about what ever site you are going to.

For example if I’m trying visit Google, we know the site is http://www.google.com. This address however to a computer,  holds no value. Now, there are some key factors to this URL (Uniform Resource Locator), starting with the http:// part. This tells the browser what protocol to use (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol to be specific). (HTML is transferred over HTTP-> cool huh?) After that we have the actual address of the site www.google.com. DNS is the system that allows us to take www.google.com and translate it to an IP address (209.85.171.100 for example). An IP address is what a computer needs to communicate between itself and the server.

So what is OpenDNS you ask? Well OpenDNS is another DNS service, but it comes with several added benefits. For example right now whether you know it or not you are (most likely) using your ISP’s DNS Server(s). And if you happen to have Windstream (like me) you might have noticed when you type in an address wrong, you get redirected to a “Windstream Branded” ad filled pop up laden search site. And, to say the least, that’s rather annoying. So to remedy this (not so small) problem, we just won’t use our ISP’s DNS servers. We’ll use the OpenDNS servers.

Now, a lot of times they [OpenDNS] will just correct the spelling of a site for you and send you on your way, which is nice, but there are a lot of other features that they have under the hood. You can setup your entire house to use OpenDNS and they will log requests for you, you can also block categories of websites [very useful for schools, churches, concerned parents… etc] including my favorite category Adware and Phishing. They keep an updated list about sites that are reported for phishing, so if you happen to get caught by a pop up or email or something, it won’t let you even get to the site. I have to say I actually feel safer using it… You can also set up individual site blocks which is nice. Overall, it’s a great service, and it offered at my favorite price of FREE. Check it out. They have instructions on how to setup your computers or houses to use their servers.

Project Euler

For those of you who absolutely love challenges and love math then I have something right up your alley. Enter Project Euler. This nifty little site contains (at the time of writing) exactly 234 mind blowing problems. Project Euler is a site of challenging math/analytical problems for those people who have far too much free time, and I’m one of those people. These problems range from ridiculously easy to atrociously hard, and they are all rather fun. Be advised however, these problems are highly addictive!

Be sure to check it out!

http://projecteuler.net/

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