Technology Blog

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Symantec Rules of Engagement

You won’t read about this in CRN, or any other computer rag that takes millions in ad revenue from Symantec every year.  However today I received an Email entitled “Symantec Partner Rules of Engagement”.

it begins…

“At Symantec, we recognize the huge role our partners play in our success. ”

and goes on to say…

“Adherence is required, not voluntary”

and links to a PDF of all the rules, I consider this another Symantec EPIC FAIL.

Why would I or any partner for that matter want to be in any partnership with a company that arbitrarily says, hey if you want to be a party of this partnership, do what we say or beat it.

Of course this is like reason #187 not to ever sell or use Symantec, but it amazes me that they have any partners at all with that attitude.  Why not just sell your product direct only, then you won’t have to worry about your “partners”?

Malware Monday

Here is a brief explanation of whats going on…

below it are my thoughts…

Thousands of computer owners may find it impossible to reach the Internet on Monday despite an unprecedented campaign by a coalition of tech security groups and the online giants Google (GOOG) and Facebook, which have sought to warn people about the malicious software known as DNSChanger.

http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-57467164-12/what-the-dnschanger-malware-is-and-why-you-should-care-faq/?tag=FD.epic

you can check if you have it here…
http://www.dcwg.org/detect/

http://dns-ok.us/ will state if you are or are not infected

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If you have an active antivirus and don’t feel like anything weird is going on with your system then you are fine, but if you are not certain go the link above to make sure you have a green light.

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So the story is the FBI found these servers and rather then take them down they left them up because ‘thousands of people, including fortune 500 companies could be infected”.

This story is implausible for a variety of reasons, first what difference does it make if they took them down last year or now, secondly are we really supposed to believe that there are all of these fortune 500 companies infected with malware?  The truth is painfully obvious.

If the FBI leaves these servers up they have the opportunity to track all traffic from every user that is infected.  Information that is not readily available without a dns server sitting between these users and the internet.

“Update on March 12, 2012: To assist victims affected by the DNSChanger malicious software, the FBI obtained a court order authorizing the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) to deploy and maintain temporary clean DNS servers. This solution is temporary, providing additional time for victims to clean affected computers and restore their normal DNS settings. The clean DNS servers will be turned off on July 9, 2012, and computers still impacted by DNSChanger may lose Internet connectivity at that time.”

It should concern everyone that the FBI is able to just continue using the technology these hackers created.  The hackers need to be prosecuted, and the servers should have been taken down immediately!

 

Shutting down your computer properly

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-vista/Turning-off-your-computer-properly?SignedIn=1

When you’re done using your computer, it’s important to turn it off properly—not only to save energy, but also to ensure that your data is saved and to help keep your computer more secure. Best of all, your computer will start quickly the next time you use it.

I know this is obvious for most of you, but some people don’t realize that letting your battery die while in windows, or unplugging a computer with no battery power will do serious damage to windows.  Once corrupted usually you will have to do a repair install, or a complete install to get the OS running the way it should.

 

Microsoft Windows Intune

Checked out my free subscription to InTune today, looks pretty sweet, so I downloaded installed it, total of 5 different components.  I was happy becasue I am paying for Goto Manage, which is a great product, but if I could save some money buy using InTune I am all about it.

Alas, InTune doesn’t support any versions of Windows except Pro, waste of time.  Makes no sense, so I can support remote computer with it, as long as they have a professional OS installed.  That is ridiculious, why would I use a product with that limitation when every other product on the market has the capability to support all OS’s, GotoManage even supports android and WebOS.

This is typical of Microsoft, and why they have gone from the leader in the industry, to just trying to catch up to everyone else.  Years ago Microsoft would have developed something that could connect you to anything, anywhere, anytime, now they want to restrict you so you buy their products and only their high end products.  More bad boardroom decisions!

Download Windows XP Mode with Virtual PC

This comes in handy when trying to run those old programs in Windows 7…

Windows 7 has several built-in tools to help with program compatibility and Windows XP programs should be installed directly on Windows 7. Windows XP Mode runs many older Windows XP productivity programs and that are not natively compatible with Windows 7, thus helping realize cost savings and reduce possible operational downtime by extending the life of existing software. Visit the Windows 7 Compatibility Center to find software that works with Windows 7.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx

GoTo Manage

Remote access tools are amazing, still customers tell me how impressive it is that someone can sit somewhere else and control their entire system remotely.  I have tried many different options over the years providing remote support, but by far GoToManage  from Citrix is one of the best.

Easy to install on remote computers, you just send the customer to a url you provide and they are setup with unattended access.  You can reboot the machine in safe mode, run diagnostics, and connect anytime if the connection drops.

The backend is really what I like though, folders for all machines so they can be grouped by company or category.  You can send out a remote tool that will tell you if the device has no antivirus running.  Also, it handles all devices, tablets, servers, pc’s, interesting and very intuitive.

It’s not free, but it not expensive either, comes in at around $70.00 a month for 100 devices.  Makes it very affordable for small businesses and you can always add more devices.

 

Google Chrome is pretty amazing

So I fired up a new pc with windows 7, logged into google with chrome, and BAM all of my stuff from chrome, bookmarks, saved passwords, everything, was synced over to the new pc.  That is a nice feature, saved me alot of time moving everything over.  Plus google synced all my contacts, mail, everything automatically, can’t do that with outlook.

the cloud can sometimes be an amazing thing!

Norton is a system killer

Finally I am making the move to Windows 7 on my main office computer, a few years after I should have, I know, but I was busy and dreaded moving everything over from XP. The blue circle gives me nightmares from many years of working on pc’s with Vista on them, but 7 is a sleek OS though, I have been running it on a test box for over a year and am confident it will work out well.

I got an HP i3 with 8gb 64bit and of course i spent the first few hours removing all of the crapware that HP puts on the thing.  The worst being a 30 day free trial of Norton 360, so I removed it along with everything else and the system started running much better.

Funny thing is though until I actually ran the Norton removal tool after the fact I really didn’t realize how fast this thing is, and it really bothered me that Symantec has to bloat these brand new systems out with this crap, and the average consumer doesn’t even realize that a simple add/remove doesn’t do the trick with most antivirus products.  You have to use special removal tools to get all the excess garbage off after the fact.

So next time you have a system that seems clean, but is still a bit slow, take the time to run those removal tools, it will help you with productivity tremendously!