On Monday, March 13 at approximately 10:30 AM CST, I will be appearing on KFUO Radio’s Faith and Family program to discuss home computer security with host Andy Bates. One of the questions he’s planning to ask: How can I know how secure my home computer is? Or, to put his question another way, how safe is my computer from hackers?
I’m going to use this space to elaborate ahead of time on some of the things we are going to talk about. We could talk for an hour on any of the questions he’s going to ask, and he gave me three questions and 25 minutes. This is my workaround.
Now that Windows 10 is out, the questions I see most frequently are why someone should upgrade, or what benefits they get if they upgrade, or if there indeed is such thing as advantages to Windows 10.
While I understand the skepticism, and I think most people probably should wait a few months before upgrading a Windows 7 machine that’s working well, there are a number of compelling things Windows 10 has to offer.
I’ve been hearing the same new idea at work for about 10 years. The idea is pretty straightforward: Since my home PC updates itself whenever it wants and I don’t have problems, why don’t we do the same thing at work so we won’t need expensive update deployment tools?
Jim, one of the longest-running of my longtime readers, wrote in last week about his experiences getting a venerable HP Laserjet 1100 working between two dissimilar Windows machines. Network printers with mismatched Windows versions always present a challenge.
Not only that, as time wears on, new challenges rise up to replace any old ones that don’t exist anymore. I’ll let Jim share, then add my own experience.
FTDI is a company that makes computer chips for USB peripherals. Their chips are frequently cloned, which is an issue they have a right to deal with. But they have to be careful.
Breaking suspected cloned chips that consumers bought in good faith is the wrong answer. If I did that, it would be called hacking, and I would be sitting in jail right now, and probably would be facing a quarter-century in prison. Read more
I’ve been hearing predictions for a year that after Windows XP went out of support, it would only be a matter of time before people started backporting patches to it.
As it turns out, they don’t have to. Windows XP has a close relative, Windows Embedded, that doesn’t go out of support until 2019. The people who are fretting over XP-based ATMs and cash registers don’t realize many of those devices–those built in 2009 or later–are running Windows Embedded. It looks just like XP, works just like XP, and installs a lot like XP, but it’s still supported. The bigger question is whether the people running it are patching it, but that problem has existed ever since Microsoft released Windows Update.
I need a Windows box, so I figured I’d experiment with Windows 8.1. I know it’s terrible, but I want to see just how much less terrible I can make it.
The first thing I wanted to do was figure out how to slipstream updates into it. I recommend slipstreaming because you get a faster performing system, you get the system up and running a lot sooner, and you save a lot of unnecessary writes to your SSD. It’s very similar to slipstreaming Windows 7, but not quite identical.