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For XP Users, There’s Still a Safe Way Out

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bobjengr
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XP AND SAFE WAY OUT
bobjengr   6/25/2014 10:08:00 AM
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Good information Rob.  I got busy when Microsoft indicated XP would no longer be supported.  I tried Vista, Windows 8 and one other (can't remember) and decided I would stay with XP. Windows 8 is HORRIBLE. At first I thought it was my lack of understanding and comfort with XP relative to the other systems but came to realize even my "tech-savvy" friends had problems with other packages.  I'm not too sure "unplugging" from the Internet is a viable option for most users since being online is a way of life for most of us.  The amount of vendor research I do keeps me "looking" for two to three hours each day.  Excellent post Rob.  I'm going to give Belden a look. 

Charles Murray
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Re: Does it matter?
Charles Murray   6/16/2014 6:48:06 PM
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The story appears Tuesday morning, tekochip.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Does it matter?
Elizabeth M   6/16/2014 6:39:24 AM
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You make good points here, irishmuse. But I still think the Microsoft patches were somewhat worthwhile to customers. But still, there are definitely ways for companies to secure industrial networks without support from the vendor, you are certainly right about that. Linux and Unix are obvious choices; I'm not sure why anyone would've gone over to Windows anyway.

Charles Murray
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Re: Does it matter?
Charles Murray   6/13/2014 5:43:49 PM
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I refused to pay the ransom, tekochip. But as I understand it, many people pay up. A lot of the victims of this are small businesses, who desperately need their files. For them, $400 is s a small price to pay.

tekochip
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Re: Does it matter?
tekochip   6/13/2014 9:57:08 AM
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Great tease for the story Charles, I'll be looking forward to reading a first hand account.

 

That's scarry stuff.

vandamme
User Rank
Silver
Re: Does it matter?
vandamme   6/13/2014 9:15:44 AM
Your XP devices will run just fine if you unplug; they won't blow up. For your network analyzer or CNC controller, this might be a good option instead of replacing it for BIG bucks. But no, you can't check Facebook on them. If that's all you use a computer for, get a chromebook. They can run a real Linux, too, not the dumbed down Google version.

Running a VM with newer Windows would be a real resource hog, but many Linuxes are light enough so you can run them plus XP.  My newest PC is a 3 year old laptop that I edit movies on (it runs Linux Mint, probably the heaviest), and right now I'm running less than 1 GB; most of that is Firefox. 

I'm a retired vacuum tube engineer, and I always had problems with computers in general, but learning Linux was easier and more fun than fighting Microsoft. I assume most readers of this magazine are OK with following simple technical instructions, since we're engineers.

I never set up a VM (too geeky), just dual boot. But I only booted Windows to run updates (haven't in months). 

All my wordsmithing is done in LibreOffice, and I collaborate with Microsoft Office documents fine. I run one old Windows app in Wine (HP's RFSim99), all the rest are native Linux apps. Installing apps feels easier (and 100 times safer) in Linux than in Windows.

Yeah, I got a new Puppy. I run Puppy Linux on a ten year old laptop with 256MB memory. So keep those old dogs out of the landfill, and put them to use with Linux. When you get a new machine, don't pay the Microsoft Tax.

BTW when you get hit with the Cryptolocker, your files on your Linux ext4 formatted drive will be totally safe.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Does it matter?
Charles Murray   6/12/2014 8:32:22 PM
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It matters. In the next few days, I'll be writing about something that happened to me, not on an XP machine, but on a Windows 7 OS. In my case, it was "ransomware." It encrypted the files on my hard drive and demanded $400 from me in order to release the file encryptions. And the people who make ransomware are making millions of dollars off the concept. One form of ransomware -- CryptoWall -- recently took over the computer system of the police force in Durham, NH. I'll explain my experiences next week.

tekochip
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Platinum
Re: Third Party Support?
tekochip   6/12/2014 1:17:04 PM
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I think it would cost too much for a third party company.

 

Does Microsoft allow access to source code?

TheOldME
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Iron
Third Party Support?
TheOldME   6/12/2014 12:13:24 PM
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Why hasn't some IT security company stepped in with subscription support?  I think that many of the tens of millions of XP users out there would be willing to pay a nominal subscription fee to get continued update/security support.  For that matter, I do not understand why Microsoft doesn't just offer continued support  by subscription.  I know that they want to sell new OS but there must be a potentially profitable tradeoff.  Microsoft should make an effort to drive sales of new OS by offering a product that has clear user advantages over the old OS rather than forcing users to buy inferior upgrades by throwing their existing customers to the internet wolves.

MagFlux
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Iron
Re: Does it matter?
MagFlux   6/12/2014 11:31:49 AM
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XP ineeds to be left in peace to die. It has served us well and keeping it alive is cruel.

It's akin to keeping your 14 year old faithful dog around when he/she is suffering because you can't let go.

"Unplug your XP devices from the internet. No problem." No email, Facebook, weather forcast online or anything else you turn your computer for. Even if you are say, writing a book and think you don't need the internet, no online research.

"For those that need to be on the net, put XP in a virtual machine." VMs are a resource hog, I run one on a Quad core 3.0GHz, 8GM Ram. Does the user of a 14 year old OS have a machine anything like this? No, likely they have maybe a Pentium/Celeron CPU with 1 GB ram. Plus the "geek factor" is probably well above the user who just turns on their computer and never delves into the guts of the OS.

"For those apps that need XP, try Linux running Wine." The "geek factor" is x10 the requirement for just getting a  virtual machine(VM) running, see above.

Solution, get a new puppy, I mean computer. 2014 is calling and hopes you can join the rest of us before we set off for 2015.

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