zundel

Monday 15

Microsoft Server 8 deprecates Windows

Filed under: Computers — Tags: , — zundel @ pm

Windows Server 8: The Microsoft Server Fork

Maybe someone at Microsoft has paid attention to the various Linux servers they’ve had over the years. Or maybe they have looked over the shoulders of Linux sysadmins (explains the draft).

Digging through windows, and dialog boxes, and tabs is a damned slow and frustrating way to administer a system.

but the center-thrust of Windows Server administration was encouraged to be PowerShell-driven, rather than through the maze of administrative GUIs that have been the mainstay of Windows Server versions for nearly two decades.

Yup, a damned maze.

Linux sysadmins working at a command line with command completion, history, tech manuals, environmental variables, and sophisticated screen management (screen, wmii, i3) at our fingertips get at lot more done is less time with fewer errors.

I get frustrated every time I have to work on Windows (so I don’t).
I can’t just type a few quick queries. Check a few settings. Issue a few elegant one line commands. Then check with a few tests. And call it good.

I have today’s billing log at hand. Latest item: Read scheduler error report. Check settings. All the settings. (“grep — /etc/cron*” can tell you a lot.) Make modification. 8 minutes. Try that with Windows scheduler.

(Having spent most of the day working in the shell, I’m getting a bit frustrated typing the blog: I keep wanting to hit the tab key to complete the word I type.)

While seemingly radical for Microsoft, there is much pressure on operational efficiency, coupled to increasingly complex control options and infrastructure character of the operating system.

So what’s left? What’s Microsoft’s competitive advantage?
Windows Server was always for those that came to it a bit late or were a bit young and couldn’t type. Programmers (not cut & paste) have always hated that point and click shit in our working environment. (Can I get a shell for Tivo? Hmm, Android api… One day when I have a spare moment… February 2015?)

But if you have to type anyway (there is much fretting in basements across America) why would you use Windows? Unix, then Linux is designed for efficient typing. We’ve been perfecting it for forty years. And security.

It’s Official: The Windows Server GUI Is (Slowly) On the Way Out

(Sitting here waiting for that server’s cron to pop another error. Deliberately made only one change.)

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Tuesday 353

Windows critical vulnerability

Filed under: Security — Tags: , , , , , — zundel @ am

Highly critical zero day vulnerability in Windows discovered

Just when I had begun to think that Windows 7 didn’t suck.
My mistake in thinking gets corrected.
They still can’t write secure and reliable software.

If you value your time and security, stop using Microsoft software.

We thought the days of the Blue Screen of Death had passed. Hah.
Could we have a new and improved Windows that at least changes the color?

The bug is in Windows, not Safari.
It will crash the system.
And could allow serious security breaches.

Most of the internet runs on Linux.
The majority of business servers run Linux.
The computer in front of you can run Linux. Mine does.
Fast, secure, and easy to use.

Try these:
Kubuntu (lovely, capable, and easy desktop)
Debian (rock solid server and a nice desktop)
openSuSE (stable & up-to-date)

Saturday 70

Unpatched Internet Explorer

Filed under: Computers, Security — Tags: , , — zundel @ am

Switch to Chrome.

New Attacks Leverage Unpatched IE Flaw, Microsoft Warns

An Internet Explorer flaw made public by a Google security researcher two months ago is now being used in online attacks.

The flaw, which has not yet been patched, has been used in “limited, targeted attacks,” Microsoft said Friday

Public for two months, still not patched, and now exploited. So glad to see that they’ve started taking security seriously.
(more…)

Thursday 54

Security Recipes – A.1 – Hardening Windows XP

Microsoft makes operating systems — for botnets, malware, and spam.
Especially Windows XP.

Nothing can make Windows XP adequately secure.
If you must use Windows, upgrade to Windows 7. It has better but still flawed security.

If you must use Windows XP, do not connect the computer to the internet.

If you connect Windows to the internet, you must update.
(more…)

Saturday 49

Security Recipes – Introduction

Filed under: Security — Tags: , , , , , , , — zundel @ pm

Does the background rumble of geeks chortling at the screw-ups of HBGary make you consider doing something about the security of your computer?

But you won’t give up Windows ’til they pry it from your cold dead fingers?

There’s a lovely bit about that with Vincent D’Onofrio at the beginning of the first Men in Black movie. Go watch the video. (This is your bank account on Windows.) I can wait. You’ll come back in a better mood and better motivated.

We all laughed at that.
Except, this time, you’re the meat-puppet.

Malware hasn’t gotten that aggressive — yet.
But it’ll take your banking access, your email, and your identity.

Major banks have warned against using Windows to access your banking.

You have received embarrassing spam from your friends. You might have sent it.

Microsoft makes lovely operating systems — for botnets, malware, and spam.

Your computer could be taken over right now and sending out spam. Do you know that it isn’t?

Not much you can do about your bank’s security except choose a better bank.

But you can control your own computer.

Next:

  • Security Recipes – A.1 – Hardening Windows XP

Coming:

  • A.2 – Hardening Windows 7
  • B – Virtual Machines
  • C – Wubi
  • D – Dual boot
  • E – Encryption

Why? Just the latest.

Thursday 47

Pity Nokia developers

Filed under: Open source — Tags: , , , — zundel @ am

Symbian C++ to WP7 migration questions – 2011-02-12 05:1

This is going to suck.

Not on your phone

This is rather sad.

It started with Apple.

Apple’s operating systems are based on open source. Apple uses and contributes to open source. And you can install and use open source software on a Mac.
But not on an iPhone.

Microsoft uses and contributes to open source. You can install and use open source software on Windows.
But not on a Windows Phone.

Microsoft: Absolutely No (GPLv3-Or-Compat-Licensed) Free Software for Windows Phone and Xbox Apps

Microsoft chose to forgo a large base of established high quality software for their new platform.

This is about control.

Who gets to control what’s on your computer and phone? Them or you?

For instance, security:
Need to protect information on your mobile devices?
Want to use strong open source encryption?
Not on an iPhone or Windows Phone.
You’ll have to take the security they offer you. And trust them.
Good luck.

Microsoft had a chance with Windows Phone to create a mobile platform that met business needs with easier administration and more innovation than BlackBerry. They just blew it.

Everyone has seen Apple’s billions from consumer dollars. And now everyone chases those billions.

Balmer understands marketing and chases the money. He does not understand computing.
Microsoft has lost enterprise. They have a large installed base but it dwindles. Years of defective and outdated products lost the market. And Microsoft no longer has any advantage on the desktop. The lock-in they once had with Exchange has gone: open source can connect to and replace Exchange. As businesses further rely on open source for enterprise functions they will choose desktop and mobile products that work best with their open source services.

Perhaps Balmer tacitly concedes the business market and refocuses Microsoft to chase consumer dollars.

It looks like we’ll get a bifurcated computer market. Business will use Linux and any open system that can use the tools. Consumers will get media computers, media boxes, and mobile media devices; all closed and hard to control.

Sad.

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