Microsoft Patches All Windows

Microsoft swore it wasn’t going to update Windows XP, Windows 7, 8, practically anything below Windows 10, but it did it anyway. It was an unprecedented and rare move. This must have been one those vulnerabilities that affected the entire Windows ecosystem. The patch was necessary regardless of Microsoft’s business policy. Anyways, read more about it from an article in Tom’s Hardware.

Steam on Windows 10

Steam on Windows will progressively get worse over time according to Tim Sweeney, the co-founder of Epic Games.

From Slashdot.

Slowly, over the next five years, they will force-patch Windows 10 to make Steam progressively worse and more broken. They’ll never completely break it, but will continue to break it until, in five years, people are so fed up that Steam is buggy that the Windows Store seem like an ideal alternative. That’s exactly what they did to their previous competitors in other areas. Now they’re doing it to Steam. It’s only just starting to become visible. Microsoft might not be competent enough to succeed with their plan but they are certainly trying,” Sweeney said. He adds the outcome of this would be forcing every app and game to be sold through the Windows Store alone. “If they can succeed in doing that then it’s a small leap to forcing all apps and games to be distributed through the Windows store. Once we reach that point, the PC has become a closed platform. It won’t be that one day they flip a switch that will break your Steam library — what they’re trying to do is a series of sneaky manoeuvres. They make it more and more inconvenient to use the old apps, and, simultaneously, they try to become the only source for the new ones,” he claims.

The Transformation of Microsoft

Microsoft has been going through a transformation over the years. It has been slow, but the changes are dramatic if you haven’t been paying attention. Microsoft no longer makes a ton of money on the Windows platform. Far from it. Just take a look at the areas where Microsoft made the most money this past year based on revenue.

  1. Server and Cloud Services (Azure)
  2. Gaming (Xbox)
  3. Microsoft Office
  4. Windows OS

Windows OS is only 10% of Microsoft’s total revenue, and it grew a paltry 5% despite the Windows 10 release last year. Sales on Azure on the other end, grew a whopping 140% more than last year.

How I Became a Mac OS user

Years ago, I got tired of Windows for numerous reasons which I don’t have the time to elaborate in this post. Eventually, I switched to Linux. It was new, exciting, and the opportunity to learn something entirely different was fascinating to me. When Ubuntu Dapper Drake came along, I went all in. That was my desktop of choice for a very long time.

After each Ubuntu release, I worked hard to get everything working from the flash player, media, and just about every tool that I needed, just to get the desktop to function the way I wanted to. After several years of Ubuntu updates and fixing the desktop, I got tired of it. It was an exercise I really didn’t want to do every six months.

I switched to the Mac OS because it it’s based on BSD, a Unix variant, which is familiar to me. In some ways, I can get still get down and dirty using the Terminal if I wanted to. The Mac OS for the most part, is a very stable environment. And everything worked at get-go. I’ve been a Mac OS user ever since.

Use Nmap To Scan Your Network

The Nmap utility will scan devices connected to your network. Nmap is a free open-source utility used by network admins and anyone to explore, scan, secure and audit the network. For example, if your internal network is 10.10.10.0/24 network, you can use the following Nmap options to scan your network.

nmap -sP 10.10.10.0/24

The command above produces the following output:

As you can see, the nmap utility has found 8 devices connected to my network. It usually takes 30 seconds or so to scan the entire network. With the available data, I can now ping, ssh, or view the device via web browser if that service is available. Nmap makes troubleshooting the network that much more easier.

Just like most Linux utilities, nmap has a ton of options worth checking. Simply type -- help to read more options.

nmap --help

If you are a Windows user, the nmap utility is available for download.

For Ubuntu users, simply type the following to install

sudo apt-get install nmap

The Reasons Why I Dont Use Internet Explorer

Every now and then, I use Internet Explorer just to see how an application behaves with the dreaded browser from Microsoft. The results at times are surprising, to say the least. Using IE usually involves using Windows, which I don’t use that often. But, I have my old, trusty Windows XP, running in Virtualbox.

Inside Windows XP, I have a slightly older Internet Exporer 7. I want to upgrade to IE9, but there is a slight problem. When I headed over to Microsoft’s website, I learned that I can’t run IE9 on Windows XP. Microsoft suggests that I upgrade to Windows 7. No thanks. So, the best I can do with this Windows XP, is go with IE8. I guess I can do that, but I need another computer to test IE9.

In the meantime, I decided to blog just a little. I logged in to WordPress using IE7. Guess what? WordPress complained that I’m using an insecure browser the moment I logged in to the WordPress Dashboard. The message is right up there on top of the page, inside a bright red background. You can’t miss it.

So, I decided to write a quick blog, and then the unimaginable happened. The IE7 browser disappeared. It’s gone in a puff of smoke, right before my eyes. Where did it go? It crashed! It’s a good thing, I pressed ‘Save Draft’ just moments before its disappearance. So, now I’m using Google Chrome to complete this post.

Oh, what fun. And I still have to test that dreaded application with IE7, IE8 and IE9. I can’t wait what’s in store for me.

Multi Boot vs Virtual Machine

When I bought a 1TB hard drive last year, I had a decision to make. How would I slice up the new 1TB drive? I was running multiple operating systems on my computer desktop. I was using Linux 95% of the time and the other 5% on Windows, if at all.

So, I partitioned my drive and gave Windows 160GB. The rest went to Ubuntu. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t do it the way I did it. I would format all 1TB for the Linux partition. What about Windows? From hindsight, I could easily install Windows as a virtual machine instead of having a multi boot setup.

There are several advantages to using virtual machines over multi boot.

  1. You can easily launch a virtual machine without rebooting your computer.
  2. You can have both Linux and Windows running at the same time.
  3. You can clone as many instances of Windows.
  4. You can easily delete a virtual machine and free up the partition.

These are good enough reasons for me to prefer virtual machines over a multi boot setup. Knowing what I know, I would rather install Windows in a virtual machine using Virtualbox. So, if you’re at the same juncture of trying to make a decision whether to partition your drive. Don’t. Use virtual machines instead.

Apple Now Supports Windows

There is now overwhelming visual evidence that Apple supports Windows.

Click here to view.

I picked up this funny piece from Digg this morning. The link was entitled “Woke up this morning and found that my wife finally found a use for the Apple Laptop.” I found out while reading the comments section that the image originally appeared on Reddit 10 days ago.

Funny. I thought that was worth a share.

Apple Should Keep The Finder

I happen to like the Finder application on the MacOS. I use it a lot. There are rumors around Apple that they might drop the Finder application in exchange for an OS that is more intuitive. Working with file managers can be a daunting task, but it’s not that difficult. I can’t imagine an OS without a file manager. Every OS has their own version of a file manager. Windows has Explorer, Linux has Gnome’s Nautilus, and  the Mac has the Finder. So, Apple better not drop the Finder because it’s not intuitive enough, unless Apple has a better alternative for navigating the file system.

Securing Your Linux Desktop

Linux is secure. No doubt about it. Despite that widely accepted perception, if left unattended, it can be easily be as insecure as any other operating system, like, hmm, another OS which I will not mention. Yes, Linux out of the box still needs a room for improvement. There are some major things that can be performed to make Linux much more secure.

I just read a how-to tutorial on how to make your Linux Desktop secure from TechRadar.com. It’s an excellently written article with great invaluable points on how to make your Linux experience a secure and a pleasant one. The points are excellent. I agree with all, except one when it comes to upgrading every six months. I wouldn’t stop others from upgrading from one version to another every six months. Here’s the article.