Nanoman.ca

Nanoman's Homepage

Welcome to the website of Nanoman's Company!

We use this website as a tool for supporting our customers. Please visit our Support page for more information.

Nanoman created this website to serve as an outlet for his musings. He still uses it as such, but on his own personal pages.

Thank you for visiting!

-- Nanoman's Company


News

Web Feed

Migration to OpenPGP for Protecting Email Messages

2020-12-19 00:00:00 -05:00 by Nanoman

Sending an email message is as risky as sending a postcard. Anybody can send a message that appears to come from your email address, and anybody can read and/or modify any message that you send if they can access anything that's used to relay it from you to your recipients.

If you and/or your correspondents need to be able to trust the authenticity of an email message, then the message should be "digitally" (cryptographically) signed. If the contents of an email message need to be secret, then the message should be encrypted.

For digitally signing and/or encrypting email messages, the two most popular standards are OpenPGP and S/MIME. We used and recommended S/MIME from 2006-07-02 until 2020-03-17 because Mozilla Thunderbird had built-in support for it, and we believed that it would be easier to deploy and support.

S/MIME itself worked very well for us and our customers, but there were external problems that severely diminished its practicality. By 2020-03-17, these external problems made S/MIME practically unusable for us, so we switched to OpenPGP, and we began to migrate all our S/MIME customers to OpenPGP.

On 2020-07-17, Mozilla Thunderbird version 78.0 was released with built-in support for OpenPGP. There were problems with this version that made Thunderbird's OpenPGP implementation unusable for our customers, and these problems persisted until the 2020-12-15 release of version 78.6.0. Thunderbird now supports the minimum requirements of our OpenPGP customers, and more improvements are being developed.

We've updated our Mozilla Thunderbird guide to include instructions for configuring it with OpenPGP. We've also created our OpenPGP page to introduce OpenPGP concepts to people who have never used it, and to describe how to use these in Thunderbird. We created these pages to better serve our customers, so please contact us if you're a customer of ours who has any problems with these guides.

All our S/MIME certificates are now expired, and we've revoked them too. If you're a customer or a supplier of ours who needs to verify the authenticity of something that claims to have been digitally signed by us, or if you need to email us something encrypted, please contact us to request a copy of our OpenPGP public key.

Ending Support for Apple Products

2018-10-06 00:00:00 -04:00 by Nanoman

Effective 2018-10-06, we've ended our support for Apple products that we haven't serviced previously. If you own an Apple product that we've serviced in the past, or if you think you'll need support from us for a new or different Apple product, then please read our "End of Support for Apple Products" page to learn why we made this decision and how this might affect you.

Nanoman's Company Official Sesquidecade

2017-05-17 00:00:00 -04:00 by Nanoman

Nanoman's Company was officially registered as a Canadian business fifteen years ago today. Nanoman first used the name "Nanoman's Company" in 1994, and Nanoman was first paid for his services that same year, but "Nanoman's Company" wasn't officially registered until 2002-05-17.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us through our first official sesquidecade, and a much bigger thank you to everyone who enabled us to start it!

Server Shuffle 2017

2017-04-18 00:00:00 -04:00 by Nanoman

We do virtually all of our software development and testing on older hardware. By using hardware that is much slower than what our customers use, bottlenecks become much more apparent. In our experience, being forced to keep software efficient on older hardware results in software that is remarkably faster on newer hardware.

Our old development server has had a series of hardware failures over the past few years, and our production server's hardware has reached end-of-life status. Fortunately, we've had a spare server on standby since early 2013, so after yet another failure of old hardware, we decided it was time for a server shuffle.

Today, we migrated our production server's data to our spare server. This represents a major hardware upgrade for our production server:

  • 1.6GHz single-core 32-bit CPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 7200RPM hard disk drives

Our former production server has become our replacement development server, which now sports these speedy specifications:

  • 500MHz single-core 32-bit CPU
  • 512MB RAM
  • 5400RPM hard disk drives

Along with these hardware upgrades, we've made a significant number of software improvements and upgrades. Two of these software upgrades are worth mentioning:

  1. IPv6 is finally supported. We intended to bring this online when it first became available to us in 2010, but we were too busy with other priorities to make this happen sooner. Our delay hasn't yet caused any problems for our customers, but we knew this would become a problem eventually.
  2. New certificate authority: Let's Encrypt. Certificates from Let's Encrypt are supported natively by every web browser used by our customers, and we have a high degree of confidence in the people running Let's Encrypt, so we decided it was time to change.

To get our company functioning the way that we've always intended, we still have a lot more work to do, but we're making progress. We'll continue to announce notable achievements on our News page.


Website Information

Standards Compliance:XHTML 5.0, CSS 3, and Atom 1.0
Created Using:FreeBSD with nvi, GIMP, and Inkscape
Tested with Web Browsers:Mozilla Firefox and Lynx
Homepage Created:1998-07-02
Moved to Nanoman.ca:2003-10-29