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Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions


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#3326
JorgeA

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I'm one of those who used to defend Windows against attackers from the Linux side. No longer. My attitude now is, let them take all the hits that are coming to them.


I come from the other side. The concept of "desktop Linux" as it has existed virtually unchanged since the mid-90s has zero chance of success. It probably has the longest failure history of any tech product ever. Android succeeded because Google took what worked (the kernel), added in heavy modifications to make it work for what they wanted (which LKML whined about loudly), and replaced the entire user space. NeXT, which became the basis for Mac OS, did something similar by taking BSD and deprecating all the UNIX stuff until it was unrecognizable.

I think Google should simply put Android onto a laptop. I don't know why they're messing around with ChromeOS. They're doing the exact opposite thing Microsoft is doing, and, ironically, it's still wrong.

Yeah, although I'm warming up to Linux by experimenting with several different distros, there are definitely a number of UX aspects that could be made much more user-friendly. For example, hide all that opaque, uber-geeky lingo about "sda1" or whatever, and just already give easy-to-recognize labels to the various drives.

Also, I get the reason for the existence of software repositories: there are so many different flavors of Linux that you can't just go and -- unlike Windows -- be reasonably sure that you can download, from a given website, the version of the software that your particular distro needs. It's often impractical to offer versions of so many different possible OSs. But then, basic information at the repository is lacking. For example, I still don't know (and have never gotten around to investigating) what the heck a "multiverse" version is, or why I should or should not prefer it to a related but not "multiverse" selection.

It's this sort of thing that may make Linux veterans feel superior to the masses because they know all this arcana, but which then makes it more difficult to break the Windows monopoly that they decry.

--JorgeA


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#3327
HalloweenDocument12

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The reason for the repositories is due to the decision to make dependencies dynamically linked. Old-time Windows users know this problem as "DLL hell". The Linux ecosystem is so fragile that all software has to be compiled against each other simultaneously and provided as a snapshot. Mixing and matching binaries is virtually impossible and even source gets "stale" alarmingly quickly. Commercial vendors used to offer statically linked applications that would work on a variety of Linux systems, but the core developers became increasingly hostile to this over time because they do not want closed-source deployment to be viable. The fragility of Linux is, in effect, a design goal.

A parallel between the "Linux movement" and what Microsoft has become is an insular attitude that only the goals of the group matter and that serving the greater audience is not a priority. The Linux equivalent of #dealwithit is RTFM.

Fun fact, the "magic number" for the Linux kernel in Hyper-V was, until recently, "big boobs". Microsoft should feel lucky that it was not them implicated in "donglegate". They missed the storm only by a few months.

#3328
SIW2

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I have just installed 8.1 preview.

I am back in Linux Deepin posting this.

Maybe I will have another wrestle with 8.1 when I have the patience.

#3329
JorgeA

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The reason for the repositories is due to the decision to make dependencies dynamically linked. Old-time Windows users know this problem as "DLL hell". The Linux ecosystem is so fragile that all software has to be compiled against each other simultaneously and provided as a snapshot. Mixing and matching binaries is virtually impossible and even source gets "stale" alarmingly quickly. Commercial vendors used to offer statically linked applications that would work on a variety of Linux systems, but the core developers became increasingly hostile to this over time because they do not want closed-source deployment to be viable. The fragility of Linux is, in effect, a design goal.

I understand it better now, thanks. The reason is a bit more technical than I'd suspected. It sounds like, ironically, the desire to stay open-source has resulted in the limiting of user choice (practically speaking, you can only get software for your distro from its repository), rather than enhancing it.


A parallel between the "Linux movement" and what Microsoft has become is an insular attitude that only the goals of the group matter and that serving the greater audience is not a priority. The Linux equivalent of #dealwithit is RTFM.

Makes sense. That's not a surprising attitude when the creator (developer) doesn't depend on a paying customer for his/her living. Eliminating commercial considerations enables people to act even more egotistical and self-centered, as the give-and-take of trade is lacking. Microsoft is acting arrogantly now because they think they can afford to p*ss off a certain proportion of customers; but if they had acted like this all along they'd never have gotten off the ground. Would have been overrun in 1983 or thereabouts. And desktop Linux has remained deep in the woods of public consciousness because of its supporters' disdain for giving people what they want.


Fun fact, the "magic number" for the Linux kernel in Hyper-V was, until recently, "big boobs". Microsoft should feel lucky that it was not them implicated in "donglegate". They missed the storm only by a few months.

That was kind of funny in a pathetic sort of way...

--JorgeA

#3330
JorgeA

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I have just installed 8.1 preview.

I am back in Linux Deepin posting this.

Maybe I will have another wrestle with 8.1 when I have the patience.

Please share your experience with us, if you get the chance!

--JorgeA

#3331
CharlotteTheHarlot

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This isn't 8.1, this is the metro-theme of Start8. It's still far better than what Windows 8.1 brings though.

Fixed. Thanks for the catch. I hunted around and thought that site had the image. So I just grabbed it straight from the source. ( The one in the quote above will disappear eventually ). ...

This is like a sick, twisted April Fools Joke. :blink: Or some evil malware that is designed to drive the user insane. :angry:

Posted Image

Left-Click the Start Button and you get a gigantic kick in the nuts
( Image Source: Official Video )


Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 27 June 2013 - 12:08 AM.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#3332
jaclaz

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But I'm surprised the infamous Denon cable isn't at the top of the hall of fame:

You shouldn' t be :no: .

There are MUCH BETTER cables than the Denon :w00t: :
http://www.msfn.org/...f-usb-transfer/
the US $ 21,000 $14,049.75 new, $13,099.00 used for the Audioquest Everest say a lot ;) :
http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/B000J36XR2


Reviews on bad books are also a good source of entertainment.

Yes, but there was a scandal some time ago about bad reviews being written by other competing writers that took a lot of fun out of it.
http://www.forbes.co...ns-rotten-core/

jaclaz

#3333
HalloweenDocument12

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There are MUCH BETTER cables than the Denon :w00t: :
http://www.msfn.org/...f-usb-transfer/


Fascinating to flip the 1s upside down but they may be even more compressed by removing the tails, making it like the pipe character: |||||.

Yes, but there was a scandal some time ago about bad reviews being written by other competing writers that took a lot of fun out of it.
http://www.forbes.co...ns-rotten-core/


I've heard of that, and it makes sense. Some of the reviews are so well written that it's obvious the author is a professional writer.

#3334
JorgeA

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I just read about an alternative operating system that's intended (eventually) to run programs written for Windows. If this project takes off, it could potentially become a refuge for those of us who can't or won't put up with the annoyances and dysfunctions of Windows 8 and beyond. I could even see an adventurous investor or donor seeing the public reaction to Win8 and thinking about putting some money into this.

Anybody here have heard of it? What do you think?

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 27 June 2013 - 11:19 AM.


#3335
HalloweenDocument12

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ReactOS is based on Wine and has been around since the 90s. It hasn't accomplished enough to be taken seriously. It doesn't support .NET at all. Even that passage seems old and was probably written circa 2002 when .NET was new, which means they aren't taking documentation seriously. If developers are basically forced into dipping into this realm, they're probably best off working it out with Mono and/or winelib.

#3336
jaclaz

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Fascinating to flip the 1s upside down but they may be even more compressed by removing the tails, making it like the pipe character: |||||.

Naah, you missed the orignal reference:
http://www.911cd.net...pic=21827&st=23
http://www.911cd.net...ndpost&p=148472
AND the image attached.

Yes, though actually the "1" characters sent are shaped more like this:
1
As you can see, there is a horizontal trait at the base, that allows for better alignment of the 1's within the electronic pipe and to create a sort of barrier to avoid that subsequent 1's "arrow-like" point may get wedged.

With characters like the ones you sketched transmitting 255's, i.e. 11111111, would cause problems.


Numbers like 85 or 170 never cause problems. ;)


jaclaz

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#3337
Aero7x64

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I Just tried Windows 8.1 preview. There is nothing really interesting in it. Full Windows Aero is not back, start menu is not back. Boot to desktop is there and start button without start menu is there and good thing is that Aero animations are back after all. Microsoft hasn't yet lost enough of money, so this is in line what to expect before Windows 9 when some real changes will more likely happen.

Edited by Aero7x64, 27 June 2013 - 12:43 PM.

30226.png

 

pbb0R8v.png


#3338
vinifera

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don't have high hopes from 8.1
nothing big in Client came, they did more things in server R2 than Client (w 8.1)

for client, what they tweaked the start panel, they added flag button
and some few tweaks to file manager (explorer) with virtual folders
some more small tweaks to this metro thingy and nothing more

its just overall a patch to RTM, its not even an SP1
therefore its dog s*** again

there was presentation on YT uploaded, 2 and half hours of bull s***, and only server got most attention
If you want true Windows user experience
try Longhorn builds: 3718, 4029, 4066

#3339
CharlotteTheHarlot

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I just read about an alternative operating system that's intended (eventually) to run programs written for Windows. If this project takes off, it could potentially become a refuge for those of us who can't or won't put up with the annoyances and dysfunctions of Windows 8 and beyond. I could even see an adventurous investor or donor seeing the public reaction to Win8 and thinking about putting some money into this.

Anybody here have heard of it? What do you think?


ReactOS is based on Wine and has been around since the 90s. It hasn't accomplished enough to be taken seriously. It doesn't support .NET at all. Even that passage seems old and was probably written circa 2002 when .NET was new, which means they aren't taking documentation seriously. If developers are basically forced into dipping into this realm, they're probably best off working it out with Mono and/or winelib.


ReactOS, IIRC, has had a goal of being a cleanroom-style compatible clone of WinXP/2k3, carefully dodging the inevitable onslaught of legal attacks from MicroSharks. As the saying goes, this was never gonna be easy. As the target is end-users and not developers ( unless we count "legacy" x86 developer tools compiling native Windows apps on this team ) it will by definition be a niche group of fans. There is nothing to stop devs from compiling with winelib specifically but I would expect the bulk of ReactOS fans to be running "obsolete" native Windows programs. But with the coming "death" of WinXP and all that high-profile FUD that seen everywhere which makes Y2K pale in comparison, ( Y2K actually had some unknowns, but we certainly understand that the execution of WinXP just means Microsoft will stop patching up all the holes they made in the first place, and it will ironically serve to stabilize the WinXP codebase IMHO ), perhaps the WinXP end-of-life "apocalypse" will drum up some more interest. What it truly needs, ReactOS that is, is a deep-pocketed benefactor to get the thing rolling. I sure hope they are out there trying to secure funding to at least pay for the servers to store the project and some money for advertising. Maybe we can all help by mentioning it from time to time and adding links and images to taglines and such.

However, one big thing has changed since the beginning of this and similar projects and that is that a lot of people have shifted from seeking out a discrete new source of an OS ( ReactOS ) to virtualizing previous existing Microsoft Windows versions instead. As long as the user is somewhat competent and careful, they should be able to run whatever OS they prefer in perpetuity. My guess is that a combination of a fast flash-drive or SSD containing the OS ( or selection of OS's ) they feel like using, which can be wiped and reloaded from disc in the event of an infection makes really good sense. This scenario is good because you can make that particular instance of the OS completely expendable. If it has a problem just restore it. No need to run Anti-virus garbage either and no need to ever even worry about Windows updates ( as if there ever really were more than a couple of legitimate reasons anyway ).

The unforeseen problem with virtualization is that in almost conspiratorial fashion, it sure looks like Intel simply stopped pushing the performance bar higher in a Microsoft-authorized quest to work instead on power consumption for battery life ( even though PC's don't care about that, and many laptops spend their time plugged into the transformer ). It is really not in Microsoft's best interest for PC's to be powerful enough to virtualize or even emulate any software they desire ( and I suspect that government spy agencies will heartily agree ). So we are standing right at the point on consumer editions ( not the "e" Extreme releases ) where another jump in throughput, either higher frequency and/or more cores and/or better architecture and the virtualization experience would be equal to running native today. As it stands, virtualizing an older OS will lead to something being noticeably slower, probably game FPS and other things. With the right combination of SSD and CPU and RAM it can be very fast, but needs that final push. What I'm saying is that we are almost there, and they literally stopped all advancement in its tracks. Compounding the suspicious problem of an arbitrary frequency and core ceiling, Intel has also been playing games with leaving out VT-x on specific models of CPU in quasi-Microsoft fashion ( reserving next Direct-X for next OS, MSIE, etc ) to steer purchasers into certain CPUs, however from the latest articles I've seen, they appear to have included it across Haswell.

On the other hand, I personally I still use native installs for just about everything. If you have a bunch of HDDs ( and you should ), and a bunch of Motherboards/CPUs/RAM ( and you should get them and rescue them before they are all scrapped by fickle consumer MetroTards ), it is simple and fun to construct PCs at will and install a variety of operating systems on different HDDs and then just hook up the one you want to boot from ( or look into multi-booting which has proponents all over this forum ).

Either of these scenarios, virtualization or native completely mitigates dependence on Microsoft, Windows Update, Anti-virus and Malware propaganda, and other stuff. Unfortunately they both rely heavily on one thing - availability of drivers for later hardware on earlier operating systems. This is the ugly underbelly of the x86 universe, or more precisely the evil manifestation of planned obsolescence in the Microverse. The people can solve this by banding together with a movement to pressure OEM hardware manufacturers of everything from motherboards to printers to defy Microsoft and develop more generic device drivers that work in all versions of Windows. They should be asked politely at first ( because it is certainly in their best interest because it widens the potential customer pool ) but then pressured and even warned about not colluding with a known, convicted monopolist. This whole obsolete driver thing is the single point of failure that needs to be rectified IMHO.

On the subject of alternatives to the Microverse, today I saw this website mentioned somewhere ...

PRISM ⚡ Break

... a pretty good list ( well a good start anyway ) of proprietary versus free alternatives. Spread it around. Break the bonds of MicroSlavery. :lol:


EDIT: typos

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot, 28 June 2013 - 04:26 AM.

... Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number Of The Beast ...


#3340
dencorso

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While ReactOS is still a long way from being usable instead of XP, it can be very important in helping keep XP itself usable. They've officially adopted Alter's UNIATA project, for instance, and heve been of great help in testing and debugging it. Now, IMO, ATA and chipset drivers are of paramount importance for keeping XP alive indefinetely, while they are available, any motherboard can be used. All other resources, video included, can be addon boards, which allow for the deliberate selection of compatible hardware.

#3341
Tripredacus

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JFYI, we have a thread about ReactOS if anyone is interested.
http://www.msfn.org/...about-react-os/
MSFN RULES | GimageX HTA for PE 3-5 | lol probloms
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#3342
jaclaz

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JFYI, we have a thread about ReactOS if anyone is interested.
http://www.msfn.org/...about-react-os/

As a matter of fact that one is one among the many (pointless/lacking info) ones on it.

This one actually has some "contents" :yes: :
http://www.msfn.org/...ing-windows-9x/

The real issue being that in the last 5 (five) years :w00t: nothing much has changed :ph34r: .

jaclaz

#3343
JorgeA

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Wow, I'm glad I asked about ReactOS -- there's a lot of well-informed folks in here. :yes:

I've added their website to my bookmarks and will be checking in periodically to see if the glacial pace of their development has speeded up. A substantial monetary contribution on my part will, unfortunately, have to wait until I win the lottery. :} And then I would want to go in together with someone who possessed the technical knowledge necessary to make sure that they were actually doing something real with the money and not just pocketing it.

--JorgeA

#3344
JorgeA

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I Just tried Windows 8.1 preview. There is nothing really interesting in it. Full Windows Aero is not back, start menu is not back. Boot to desktop is there and start button without start menu is there and good thing is that Aero animations are back after all. Microsoft hasn't yet lost enough of money, so this is in line what to expect before Windows 9 when some real changes will more likely happen.

So it sounds like all the talk about Windows 8.1 was mostly hype and sloganeering. Thanks for letting us know.

LIke you said, they will need a bit more pain before they are persuaded to mend their ways...

--JorgeA

#3345
JorgeA

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However, one big thing has changed since the beginning of this and similar projects and that is that a lot of people have shifted from seeking out a discrete new source of an OS ( ReactOS ) to virtualizing previous existing Microsoft Windows versions instead. As long as the user is somewhat competent and careful, they should be able to run whatever OS they prefer in perpetuity. My guess is that a combination of a fast flash-drive or SSD containing the OS ( or selection of OS's ) they feel like using, which can be wiped and reloaded from disc in the event of an infection makes really good sense. This scenario is good because you can make that particular instance of the OS completely expendable. If it has a problem just restore it. No need to run Anti-virus garbage either and no need to ever even worry about Windows updates ( as if there ever really were more than a couple of legitimate reasons anyway ).

I've never used a VM, so I have no experience in this, but (possibly a bit OT) maybe you can address a conceptual question:

At some point, data downloaded/processed via the Internet (e-mail, websites, PDFs, etc.) will have to be stored permanently (otherwise we're just simulating work instead of actually working). Persumably this means storing it outside the VM. If the data thus downloaded or processed (and without malware scanning we don't necessarily know WHICH data is involved so that we can remove it) turns out to be infected with malware, then aren't we infecting the "real" machine anyway? OTOH, if the data is stored only within the VM and we wipe it out to start clean when the VM goes bonkers, then aren't we losing our work (which is the point of working on a computer)?

Maybe I don't understand the concept well enough, but it's always seemed to me that VMs -- like sandboxes -- are kind of pointless, at least from a security standpoint, because of these issues. You either save the stuff to permanent storage and thus you're vulnerable anyway, or else you don't save the stuff permanently and your work goes POOF when you need to start fresh.

Gentle, patient explanations befitting my abysmal ignorance will be appreciated. ;)

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 28 June 2013 - 10:18 AM.


#3346
jaclaz

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Maybe I don't understand the concept well enough, but it's always seemed to me that VMs -- like sandboxes -- are kind of pointless, at least from a security standpoint, because of these issues. You either save the stuff to permanent storage and thus you're vulnerable anyway, or else you don't save the stuff permanently and your work goes POOF when you need to start fresh.

Gentle, patient explanations befitting my abysmal ignorance will be appreciated. ;)

Yes, you are evidently NOT familiar with the concept.

A Virtual Machine resides on a Real Machine (Host).
A Virtual Machine (normally) uses a Virtual Disk Drive.
A Virtual Disk Drive (normally) resides on the Real Machine (usually in the form of a disk image, i.e. of a file, saved on the Real Machine, that represents a disk contents).
The Virtual Disk Drive Image (the file) can be accessed - through a Virtual Disk Driver - exactly if it was a Real Disk Drive from the Real Machine.

jaclaz

#3347
JorgeA

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Maybe I don't understand the concept well enough, but it's always seemed to me that VMs -- like sandboxes -- are kind of pointless, at least from a security standpoint, because of these issues. You either save the stuff to permanent storage and thus you're vulnerable anyway, or else you don't save the stuff permanently and your work goes POOF when you need to start fresh.

Gentle, patient explanations befitting my abysmal ignorance will be appreciated. ;)

Yes, you are evidently NOT familiar with the concept.

A Virtual Machine resides on a Real Machine (Host).
A Virtual Machine (normally) uses a Virtual Disk Drive.
A Virtual Disk Drive (normally) resides on the Real Machine (usually in the form of a disk image, i.e. of a file, saved on the Real Machine, that represents a disk contents).
The Virtual Disk Drive Image (the file) can be accessed - through a Virtual Disk Driver - exactly if it was a Real Disk Drive from the Real Machine.

Thanks, jaclaz. I had you in mind when I wrote the bit about providing "gentle, patient explanations." :)

I can follow what you wrote above. That matches pretty much my understanding of VMs.

I can also understand the usefulness of a VM if you need to run an older program that a current version of Windows can't handle. But I'm struggling to understand the benefits of a VM from a security standpoint, like I explained in my previous post:

At some point, data downloaded/processed via the Internet (e-mail, websites, PDFs, etc.) will have to be stored permanently (otherwise we're just simulating work instead of actually working). Persumably this means storing it outside the VM. If the data thus downloaded or processed (and without malware scanning we don't necessarily know WHICH data is involved so that we can remove it) turns out to be infected with malware, then aren't we infecting the "real" machine anyway? OTOH, if the data is stored only within the VM and we wipe it out to start clean when the VM goes bonkers, then aren't we losing our work (which is the point of working on a computer)?

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 28 June 2013 - 10:45 AM.


#3348
jaclaz

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But I'm struggling to understand the benefits of a VM from a security standpoint, like I explained in my previous post:

At some point, data downloaded/processed via the Internet (e-mail, websites, PDFs, etc.) will have to be stored permanently (otherwise we're just simulating work instead of actually working). Persumably this means storing it outside the VM. If the data thus downloaded or processed (and without malware scanning we don't necessarily know WHICH data is involved so that we can remove it) turns out to be infected with malware, then aren't we infecting the "real" machine anyway? OTOH, if the data is stored only within the VM and we wipe it out to start clean when the VM goes bonkers, then aren't we losing our work (which is the point of working on a computer)?

--JorgeA

Unless you actually access/mount (through a Virtual Disk Driver) the Virtual Disk it is simply a file (or if you prefer a container).

Does (say) a .zip file (a common form of compressed container) infect you machine only because it exists on your hard disk drive?

On the other hand, once the Virtual Disk Image has been mounted to a drive or mountpoint, it behaves EXACTLY as it was a "real" Disk drive, let's say (but there is not "autorun" provision for these) like if you insert in your machine a SD card or a USB stick.
Again - provided that you have not any of the stupid autorun settings - are the contents of the device "dangerous" because they exist?

But since this Virtual Disk Drive behaves like it was a "real" one, you can scan it with the same anti-virus/anti-malware solution you use for the real disks.

Of course if you are affected by dementia and start executing (double clicking) "random" .exe's, .bat's, .cmd's etc from the mounted image, and do this with the OS in the VM having no anti-virus protection and you do it before scanning the device contents fron the "Host" OS, then you have the SAME lack of security you would have if you do the same on your Real Machine.

Conversely, if you never access/mount the Virtual Disk Drive, it is like an infected SD card or USB stick that you NEVER connect to your machine (pretty much safe ;)).

http://www.theanswer...stion69979.html

I would say I am exactly like a ship carrying a cargo that will never reach any port. As long as I am alive, that ship will always be at sea, so to speak


jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 28 June 2013 - 11:19 AM.


#3349
HalloweenDocument12

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I don't think JorgeA was quite going here, but it's still a rider on the topic of VMs:

I feel the industry consensus, or at least what seems to be a consensus, is misguided on the topic of old operating systems and their vulnerabilities. The most common opinion I hear is that unsupported systems shouldn't be used at all due to potentially unpatched vulnerabilities. However, with obsolescence, interest in exploiting vulnerabilities goes with it. Furthermore, until the mid-2000s the primary attack vector was attacking machines attached directly to the Internet. Not only have personal routers mitigated much of the issue but the default mode of VM software is to run machines NAT-inside-NAT, which means that infections inside a VM are unlikely to spread via network.

The enduring popularity of XP may cause me to change my opinion after support ends, but I hypothesize that running behind a single NAT and avoiding IE8 will likely be enough to ensure a reasonable amount of safety with XP. Of course, XP is inferior to later systems when it comes to engaging in unsafe activity (e.g. warez), but I'm talking about "regular usage" (web browsing, word processing) and running well-established applications that may depend on XP.

Another facet of of VMs is that even with the overhead they allow a more advanced platform than would have been available at the time. Getting Windows 98 to run on anything beyond a Williamette P4 is challenging due to driver issues with chipsets, etc. but with a VM we basically get to pretend that Windows 98 supports a Core i-series platform.

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JorgeA

JorgeA

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Unless you actually access/mount (through a Virtual Disk Driver) the Virtual Disk it is simply a file (or if you prefer a container).
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Very good jaclaz, thanks very much for the extended explanation. It does match what I thought but wasn't certain of. (Hey, I actually understand some of this technical stuff! :D )

--JorgeA




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