Sunday
Jan132013

Java Sensationalism In The Wild - Should I Be Worried?

 I've had lots of folks asking me "Should I be worried about the Homeland Security warning concerning Java?" It's all over Twitter, Facebook and the news. If you haven't heard about it, you can find more information here: http://zd.net/11mWMZy

I hate to use the words Overblown or Sensationalism. It is a very real and serious threat to millions of computers, and it is currently unpatched—thus all of the hype. However, 90% of the consumer computers that come through our doors are not up to date with the current OS critical or recommend patches from Microsoft. 100% are not up to date with 3rd party patches such as Java, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player... etc. We still see Vista with no service packs and most people never realize that Java will leave old versions installed even when patching and that those should be removed.

The same can be said for business and enterprise workstations. The difference is that many developers will write code for specific versions of these third party applications and patching may break functionality. In the enterprise, patches and upgrades are thoroughly tested for several days before rolling out to the production environment. If there are issues, then the patches are not deployed. In those cases, productivity is preferred over security—which is most of the time. There are workarounds that tighten security and only allow access (for applications like Java) to only the necessary locations required for day to day operation. But that is not a real fix.

If you are worried about your computers safety because of the Homeland Security warning, the instructions for disabling Java in the browser are found on the Sun Java Website. Or, if you have no real need for Java, uninstall it. But don't forget about your OS and other software on your computer. You may already be vulnerable to worse.

So the next time someone asks "Should I be worried about Java?" The real answers should be "You should have already been worried about Java... and much more."

Saturday
Jan122013

Everyone Loves To Hate Windows

Windows 8 ScourgeI recently read a post by Paul Thurrott over at Windows IT Pro and it dawned on me that everyone loves to hate Windows. Even I love to hate Windows and it has been a part of my everyday life since the early 90's. There is some strange satisfaction in complaining about it. Water cooler talk about how I'm being pushed out of my comfort zone for no good apparent reason. I finally know where everything is in Windows 7 and now I'm forced upon Windows 8? The nerve!

I've been using Windows 8 for several weeks now, and you know what? I kind of like it. No -- I really like it! Sure, the UI takes a little time to adjust and I still miss the start button. But, I'm starting to see why it has been designed this way. Could all this Microsoft hate be me and my stubborn ways?

Microsoft has taken a bold step in the way we compute (and a huge gamble.) They have merged the tablet (iPad) with the computer (laptop and desktop.) Even innovative Apple has never tried to merge their PC's with the iPad. The Surface Pro will sell for a starting price of around $899 when it is released in the first quarter of 2013. Compared to what most consumers are currently purchasing: A sub-standard laptop from WalMart ($299) and a base iPad ($499.) For around the same price, you can have both devices in one package.

I love my iPad dearly, but I don't think I could accomplish everything that needs to be done on it. I can't wait to try the Microsoft Surface Pro. I will be able to log in locally with my personal account or log in to my Enterprise network to work. Combine that with Office 365 and I may have no need for any other device (desktop, laptop or tablet.) And as the apps continue to grow and I will have more and more choices for productivity and entertainment. I may even trade my beloved iPhone for one of the new Windows 8 phones and make it a complete package.

Changes are currently in motion that make IT guys like me giddy! Watch as history is made.

Saturday
Dec292012

Using Windows 8 Client Hyper-V Overview

Client Hyper-V® is the virtualization technology built into Windows® 8. Client Hyper-V is the same virtualization technology previously available only in Windows Server®. A similar functionality in Windows 7 is called Windows XP Mode. Client Hyper-V enables you to run more than one 32-bit or 64-bit x86 operating system at the same time on the same host computer. But instead of working directly with the computer’s hardware, the operating systems run inside a virtual machine (VM). Hyper-V enables developers and IT professionals to easily maintain multiple test environments and provides a simple mechanism to quickly switch between these environments.

The starter guide is now available for download at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36188

Wednesday
Dec262012

So... I Started A Blog

I think I told myself sometime in the near past, that I would never have time for a blog.  I simply have too much going on and if I tried writing about stuff that I find interesting or things that get under my skin, I might go nuts.  Well... here I go.

The idea came about slowly as I encountered a few things in my work that made me say to myself "You know, I should write about this."  Not that I'm any kind of writer... I'm a nerd.  But even nerds sometimes feel that they need to be heard.  In fact, most nerds always feel that they should be heard regardless of who wants to hear.  Some more than others, and usually about things that peak the interest of only a handful of other nerds.

But, for some reason I think that this might be fun. I hope that along the way, I can help some folks and people may even find something useful within these posts.

Thanks for stopping by and keep checking back.

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