I am going to try and add useful information here for those forced to work with computers in their lives. I build world class computers and have been doing so since 1990. I find it very funny that Microsoft is advertising their new operating system so heavily. I have to quote Leo Laporte The Tech Guy “Windows 8 doesn’t work. If Leo can’t make it work it is broken.” This is not the first time that Microsoft has gone off the deep end in the introduction and promotion of a new operating system. Windows 95, the early release of Windows NT ( I told everyone that NT stood for Not Tested), Windows Millennium edition which seemed to last about 6 months, Vista and the latest insult to our intelligence Windows 8.

I have read posts to other technology articles obviously posted by Microsoft shills claiming that their old Windows XP machines ran faster with Windows 8. I am going to perform this exercise myself but I am already pretty sure that this claim is complete nonsense. I will issue an apology if my old P4 can even load windows 8 at all. Windows 8 looks like a good operating system for a phone but it leaves a lot to be desired in a supposedly multitasking desktop environment.

One other tech note Intel has announced that it will stop producing Intel branded motherboards in the near future. I will miss the ease of use and reliability of Intel motherboards and will have to look for another vendor. The only issue I ever had with Intel branded motherboards was the company’s insistence that  their desktop motherboards were unsuitable for server installations. This was a complete marketing ploy to sell more Inter Server motherboards as I have been installing server software on Intel Desktop Motherboards for years with great results including Novel, NT server, Server 2000, 2003 and 2008.

Emanuele

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I understand that Mac users and supporters will be irritated by the idea that the supposedly impervious operating system from Apple is detrimental to computer users on the internet. First of all there is no such thing as an operating system that can not be compromised by viruses and malware. The only reason that there are so few known threats targeting the various Mac operating systems is quite simple, there were too few computers to waste time writing viruses. The current Mac OS is based on a Unix shell what this means is that any threat that can infect a Unix system could be easily modified to work on Mac. The other thing is hardware, Mac users used to be able to claim that the Computer CPU in a Mac was superior to those used in Windows systems, easier to program and with a much better core program. Unfortunately all Macs use the same hardware that PCs are made from, this is why all Macs will run windows.

So why the hate? It has been recently demonstrated that a majority of Mac systems are infected with malicious windows software. This is not a problem for the Mac but if the user is spreading infections then they are part of the problem. If Mac users installed and used security software it would reduce the amount of threats passed from Macs to Windows.

The other gripe I have had for some time is a little known threat to the NTSF file system. Microsoft in trying to stay compatible with Mac file systems added something called alternate data streams, these secondary streams allow Mac users to access files. With a Mac the file contains a reference to the program that created it. In Windows this is achieved with the file extension. The part of the file name after the dot identifies the program that created it so you can click on a file and automatically launch the correct program.

Here where it gets dicey. The alternate data streams are hard to detect and can hide programs from the user. For example notepad.exe a small editing program could have the code for a malicious virus added to it and without forensic analysis there is no simple way to detect it. The files size does not change and just by starting notepad the other program will run as well.