Windows XP Freeware recovery solution

Rollback XP is a freeware instant system restore software for Windows XP that has come out of beta testing. According to its makers, Horizon Datasys, it will be released as early as next week.

This comes after the recent Windows XP LockdownThis has caused a series of responses from the IT and computer industries – many are in a dilemma of whether to upgrade to newer operating systems or sticking with XP and suffering the consequences of no longer receiving support from Microsoft.

The Windows XP end of life issue may cause harm to their systems and the software that they use. Certain organizations still use legacy software, or software that does not work for newer OS. There is now a great need for third party assistance in protecting Windows XP, and Horizon DataSys’s RollBack XP aims to do just that.

This freeware will allow users to stay on their current OS.  It is the premier alternative in the field of Windows XP Support, and is a huge benefit to the approximately 1-billion users currently running Windows XP. Previous freeware software such as Reboot Restore RX was very successful as a SteadyState alternative. RollBack XP hopes to assist users by providing free and accessible restore software where there is no longer support present.

Many XP machines are also being used in net cafes and public-access environments. XP works great for kiosks, so it’s important to have a kiosk computer recovery solution to match. Rollback XP would be a preferred recovery solution for these users, who cannot afford to upgrade all of their machines.  Therefore, having a kiosk computer recovery solution is important for XP users, many who use them in public access environment such as cafes and kiosks.

But, how does it Rollback XP work?

RollBack XP comes with a sub-os built in that installs beneath Windows, allowing the user to access the program’s features before Windows boots up.  This means that it does not deal with Windows at the file level.  This allows users to take snapshots, RollBack to a previous snapshot, or uninstall RollBack XP if necessary. Unlike to traditional re-imaging which may require a minimum of 30 minutes to complete, Rollback XP does this in seconds. Just like Rollback RX, the Recover Files and Explore Snapshot functionalities will be available.

This freeware will be able to take 5 snapshots. This limitation on the number snapshots is due to the fact that it is a freeware product. For those who wish to upgrade to a paid version with unlimited snapshots, there will be an option to do so.

So basically, RollBack XP will solve many of the issues that affect users of Windows XP such as malware, viruses or security threats. Thus, having an anti-virus won’t be necessary. Taking a snapshot every day will make up for that.

 

iOS 8: Third-party keyboards supported

Apple is finally coming into the 21st century. Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco that kickstarted today, June 2, is bringing a lot of new developments. One is that of iOS 8.

Apple has finally announced that it will support third-party keyboards to iOS. Inside iOS 8, keyboards like Swiftkey and Swype, which have enjoyed huge usage on Android, will have system-wide access to all apps and services on your iPhone and iPad. Swiftkey has confirmed it’s on board, but if you don’t fancy that, you’ll still able to enjoy Apple’s new QuickType keyboard. The company says the improved keyboard learns from the way you type and text, offering a pick of suggestions for your next word based on the content of your message or the person you’re conversing with. Planning a meal with your friend or loved one? The keyboard will auto-populate words like “dinner” or “eat” as you type. At launch, QuickType will support 14 regions including the US, UK, Canada, Australian English, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (that includes Hong Kong and Taiwan), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Thai.

Post from Engadget

How to keep your Windows XP secure

By now it is old news that Microsoft has issued a Windows XP support lockdown. They will no longer offer support for users with Windows XP: no more bug fixes, no more security patches and no more Windows Updates. If you remember a couple of weeks back, Microsoft had to issue an out-of-band security update to fix the problem with Internet Explorer. This will not be very common in the future however.

This is actually a big issue for Microsoft given the number of individuals who still rely on Windows XP. Net Applications, a web analytics company that is dedicated to, among other things, determining operating system usage, has released their 2014 figures. The results for April 2014 are surprising. Windows XP has 27% of the total market share while Windows 8 only has 12%.

This leaves a question: What will millions of these Windows XP users do when their computer faces a security threat? A lot of corporate users on this operating system face losing billions of dollars with their information at the mercy of hackers. Is there an alternative recovery software for Windows XP? Is switching to Windows 8 their only choice?

Thankfully, no.

Software to protect one’s computer against the Windows XP lockdown is out there. Rollback XP is one example. And there always will be. If I remember correctly, when Microsoft discontinued their SteadyState, substitutes quickly surged as a replacement for it. Reboot Restore RX is an example of a SteadyState alternative. It received lot of downloads from users who needed a simple thing such as a restore upon reboot functionality.

Like I mentioned previously, given the high number of users who are still on Windows XP, a software like this will most definitely be needed.

Private clouds, public clouds, hybrid clouds

note: I did not write this. This article is from mspmentor.net


Private, public or hybrid? For MSPs, this has probably been a question for quite some time. For some clients, the answer is private. Others will need a hybrid, while fewer businesses more concerned about security and compliance will opt for a public, consumer-geared cloud.

So how can you make the right decision for your clients? In order to do that, they’ll need to know the benefits and drawbacks of each option. ITProPortal recently addressed this issue, so in today’s post, we’ll take a closer look at their reasoning.

Data & Application Centered

The private cloud is centered on the needs of an individual in-house company – including those regarding data and applications that are required in order to function efficiently and effectively.

For example, if an organization has strict rules regarding the privacy of information, then the private cloud is important to them because they can mold the data and applications within it to fit these specific needs – instead of adhering to the standard needs that the public cloud provides.

Such organizations that find the private cloud specifically helpful in adhering to a strict code of privacy regulations are such companies in the financial services or health industries, which have strict rules regarding the control and security of data.

Security

A private cloud is typically more secure than the public cloud because the organization is the only one that uses it – no other company has its data stored in the same space, so there is a less likely breach of security within said cloud.

The information within the private cloud can be managed by the company’s own IT staff and can additionally sit within the network boundaries of the business that is using the private cloud.   Having the option to have the private cloud on company grounds could possibly put an organization at ease since they know the physical security of their cloud.

More for Your Money

Although private clouds can be more expensive than a public cloud, the return on investment is typically greater.

“Private clouds allow organizations to have the greater flexibility to shift workloads among those servers as they see spikes in usage or when they deploy new applications. Unlike with public clouds, they don’t have to ask a cloud service provider first before they make any changes.”

Placing a private cloud on site can save a company time, in addition to providing the opportunity for the cloud to be more accurately molded to fit an organization’s needs. A public cloud cannot necessarily guarantee service levels or workload flexibilities that a business may need in order to succeed.

The private and public cloud debate often drills down to the preference of the organization: do they wish to share their space with other companies to save cost, or is their information sensitive and they need more security?

In addition to placing a businesses’ mind at ease involving the security of their information, the private cloud allows the business to mold its use to fit the sole needs of the organization so that they can perform at their best level. Of course, that does come at a price.

Learn how to code

“When you learn to read, you can then read to learn. And it’s the same thing with coding: If you learn to code, you can code to learn”
                         – Mitchel Resnick

I was cleaning out my bookmarks tab this morning and came across this TED Talk from Mitchel “Mitch” Resnick, Director of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT Media Lab.

He makes the case that coding is for everyone, and that kids should learn how to code.

I Couldn’t agree with him more.

Check out his Ted Talk here:

So you might not be a kid, but you can still learn.  This article lists 10 sites where one can learn how to code:

http://blog.ted.com/2013/01/29/10-places-where-anyone-can-learn-to-code/

Its never too late to learn.

Codeanywhere – literally

As a developer, it can be quite irritating to not have access to your code anywhere, and have to resort to carrying your laptop with you everywhere.

Codeanywhere expects to challenge this. It is a multi-platform, cloud based editor that allows for one to edit, share and collaborate their code on any device. It supports Android and iOS and integrates with Dropbox, Github among others.

This simply means is that you can code from your browser and save your work onto the cloud. More than one person can access and work on the same code at the same time.

Now, I know this is not new. There are several cloud-based platforms out there like Cloud9 and Koding. However, the more, the better. After all, the future of development is online, on a cloud.

Windows 7 & Vista at more risk than XP: Microsoft

(Article taken from technotification)
Computers running either Windows7 or Windows Vista operating systems are more likely to be infected by malware than Windows XP machines, according toa recent report by Microsoft.

The company’s biannual Security Intelligence Report (SIR) included figures showing that in the last quarter of 2013, Windows XP computers had an infection rate of 2.42%, compared to 3.24% for Windows Vista and 2.59% for Windows 7.

Microsoft said the data had been “normalized” to account for the different numbers of computers running each version of the operating system, with Windows 8 machines showing a 1.73% infection rate and Windows 8.1 (the latest version) just 0.08%.

The software giant credited the apparent insecurity of Windows 7 and Vista with a new threat from ‘Rotbrow’ malware targeting internet browsers, but security experts say this doesn’t mean that XP is more secure than more recent operating systems.

Speaking to The Independent, Graham Cluley pointed out that users of more modern versions of Windows could be exposing themselves to greater risks simply by using the internet more.

We’re hopeful that the number of Windows XP computers is rapidly diminishing, and that fewer and fewer of them are being used to regularly access the internet,” said Mr Cluley.

“If you think about it, if you have an old creaky computer still running Windows XP and a Windows 7 computer – which one are you more likely to be using regularly?”

Mr Cluley also notes that the statistics from Microsoft’s report cover a time period when Windows XP was still receiving regular security updates – fixes that Microsoft stopped issuing at the beginning of April this year.

Microsoft is also soon to issue its latest release of security patches on May 13 (an event referred to as Patch Tuesday) which, for the first time, will no longer include updates to Windows XP but will highlight vulnerabilities to the operating system.

Users of more recent Windows operating systems are recommended to download Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) to block malware and, if still running Windows XP, to upgrade as soon as possible.