More from: mouse

Windows XP expired: Now What?

tnt-bomb-gualtiero-boffi-300x300Microsoft Windows XP is set (again) to expire, this time we are told it is for certain. The date is April 2014. Their beloved 10 year old Windows computers will no longer get Microsoft Security updates and they will be open to hackers.  So what’s a business to do?

Well, there are several options on the table, some of which may not be obvious.

  • You can simply upgrade the RAM to two gigabytes and install a Windows 7 upgrade.You can keep all your old Microsoft software and stay at the Microsoft feeding trough for years to come. A computer re-cycling company in your community may be an aggressively cost-efficient way of getting such RAM upgrades — $1 a chip instead of $25-$50 a chip.
  • You can reevaluate your computer hardware choices in light of your current and projected future needs, and possibly buy new hardware of a different type than you now use.
  • You can also opt for purchasing new NetBooks such as the Google Chrome Book series of small computers, or maybe tablets with a few docks (such as the Microsoft Surface) would provide both the mobility that you want and a normal working keyboard, monitor, and mouse in the office.
  • You can also install any of several versions of Linux on your existing hardware, or even boot that hardware, unaltered, from a USB memory stick with Linux installed on the stick. This last option will leave your computers unaltered with full access to all their files in Linux and Windows XP. This will also let you try as many Linux Distributions as you like to find the “right” one for you, all without loosing your Windows XP!

 

Dead disk platters from Windows Server 2012R2

Dead disk platters from Windows Server 2012R2

This article in Network World discusses some Linux options. We have been dual booting between Microsoft and Linux for a decade now, and frankly, with the except of sparse cases where Microsoft Office is requisite, Linux has served us better with fewer headaches. We now reserve the Microsoft Windows for Office 2010 and on-line gaming: Linux does everything else with fewer concerns about viruses, updates, obsolescence, and reliability.


Do Not Call

mobile-phoneFederal Do Not Call List

The Federal Do Not Call list is available for all PERSONAL phone numbers: land line and mobile. All you need to do is go to the government web site, DoNotCall.gov, and click REGISTER A Phone Number , or call their number, 1-888-382-1222, FROM THE PHONE NUMBER TO BE REGISTERED. For more information see their FAQ at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0108-national-do-not-call-registry.

Note: this web site does not require Javascript. Most legitimate sites do not, although they may use javascript to make the site nicer, it is not usually required.

Official Government Web Sites

Government web sites end in the official .gov top level domain name (TLD). Persons outside the government cannot get a .gov TLD, at least not legally. There are scamming organizations pretending to represent the Do Not Call list, but they are scammers trying to trick you. The real Federal Do Not call list is run by the US Government Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Your number, once added to the list, remains there until you remove it, and this service is free. Telephone solicitors must avoid calling your phone number beginning 31 days after you register it, or they must pay a heavy fine for each time they call you — if I remember right they must pay you $10,000 for each illegal call. Public Charities making their own calls, not using a telemarketing company but making the calls themselves, are exempt. Tele-scammers located outside the US are not exempt, but they are harder to catch and extract your money.

Web Site Safety

When you are presented with a link to click, mouse over the link first and carefully read where it really goes. Try the links above in this post. A common phishing trick is to use a link that LOOKS SIMILAR to what they are representing themselves to be, for example FASFA.GOV (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/) when in fact their link goes to FASFA.COM — what I feel is a loan scamming organization that tricks students into giving them their private information and agreeing to borrow money from them at high interest rates and charging them a fee under the guise of being the US Government Department of Education FAFSA web site. I see now they do have a small disclaimer in the upper right corner of their page, but that was not always the case.

Sometimes the printed words you are to click in the link are not the same as the link they point to, for example mybank.com may be what you see to click on the screen, but it really goes to mybank.com.trickster.info. If you mouse over the link and do not click, FireFox and Chrome web browsers will display the real link so you can see it before you decide to click.

Be careful. Stay Safe.