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Windows 17 year old security flaw to be fixed

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Tavis Ormandy, a security researcher a Google , discovered a security flaw in the Virtual DOS Machine that can allow a nefarious user to inject code into the kernal and possibly install malware.

Given that all modern versions of Windows still feature the Virtual DOS Machine, this is a vulnerability that still exists today.

Ormandy wrote:

"All 32bit x86 versions of Windows NT released since 27-Jul-1993 are believed to be affected, including but not limited to the following actively supported versions:

Microsoft will release an update for this  February 9th that will fix five vulnerabilities that allow attackers to hijack a Windows PC and run their own programs on it. Yet another good reason to have automatic updates enabled on your PC if you don't already!


Windows 3.1 on the Web

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Remember Windows 3.1? One of the first Windows operating systems? (Ok, Mac and Atari were there before that but for the sake of argument this was the first WINDOWS operating system). Well that clunky but lovable OS is out there on the internet if you have missed and and just have to see it again. Ahhh the memories....Floppy drive spinning, disks swapping, systems crashing....what were those buttons on the mouse for anyway??? Well here is a link to www.michaelv.org where you can see it again in all its glory.

The site is coded in Javascript and to quote them "The goal of this site is not to create an entirely complete mirror image of Windows 3.1, but rather keep the spirit and omit features when they are not justified by an effort to usability ratio. For example, Notepad lacks a find and replace feature because it is not worth the effort. Where features do exist, every effort is made to present them in exactly the manner that they existed in Windows 3.1."

It was interesting to go to the site and remember what it used to be like. It can also give you a taste of the old days (90s) for those of you who were not around when it was the hottest thing out there.


Why should you defragment your hard drive?

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What is defragmentation? Think of your desk and all the files you have in it. If you had papers in those files for a particular client for and you had 10 pieces of paper and you put all 10 in random folders and not together think about the added time it would take to gather all of those together when you needed them? Your computer is the same way. When you install software your computer tends to spread the file around (this is what we call fragmentation.) In real life you work more productively when you are organized and Have every thing together. The same is true with your computer. What defragment software does is it put files that are part of the same program or software together. The files are not placed close together and therefore it takes the hard drive longer to access them all when you need them and that slows your computer down. Defragmentation of your hard drive will shorten the time it takes the head which reads the data to move have and forth accessing your files, due to the fact it does not have to move so much. This results in a computer that runs faster and can actually extend the life of your hard drive. Remember that the hard drive is a mechanical device. We tend to forget that sometimes, but it is and all mechanical devices will eventually fail. The fact that it has to work less after it is defragmented results in it lasting longer. Hopefully delaying the time that it eventually fails and you loose all of your data due to the fact that you did not back it up... but that is the subject of another article.
Now don't think it is going to change the location your stuff, all that safe. Your folders will still be there, your files will look exactly the same. The only thing you will notice is the different in speed and the life of your hard drive. Here at PCModer we use Auslogics Disk Defrag. It is a fast alternative to the Default windows defragmenter (witch is one of the worst out there). If you want to use the Windows defrag it will work but you will have a long wait, especially if you have never defragged. You should defragment once a month to keep every thing running smoothly. You PC will still work if you don.t, it will just be slower. When you do run defrag you should stay off your PC while it is running but this is not a requirement. The format of your hard drive is also a factor in the need and frequency of defragmantation. If you are still running FAT 32 you will definitely see improved performance after a defrag. NTFS will improve as well but due to it.s nature it does suffer as much as a drive that is formatted to FAT 32. You have noting to loose by defragmenting you drive unless you enjoy shorter hard drive life and a slow computer. If you have never done it you need to for sure. If you are afraid of non-Windows software than use the default program but use something for sure, you won't be sorry.



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windows errors

When I hear those words it is usually not due to someone wanting some ventilation in the house it is due to someone’s computer locking up, I only wish it was someone wanting a breeze. Windows … Hmmmm the blessing of computing for the masses has resulted in the mental torment of the masses. Normal humans (not techno geeks like us….) gain enormous pleasure in getting the application of the week to run on their PC and call the kids, call the wife, girlfriend to see the results of their handiwork. We have all had it happen, the excitement of showing off the new software package dashed by a Windows crash. It did bring me a small level of satisfaction when Bill Gates was doing a Windows demo in front of a huge audience and got the infamous blue screen of death. When it happens to you it is less public but no less frustrating. The stability of Windows has always been it’s real Achilles heal and with the release of Windows 7 we are ever hopeful, yet again, that THIS version of Windows really IS stable. (Yes I am a dreamer). To put it in biblical terms Windows 95 begat Windows 98, and we saw that it was sort of good. Windows 98 begat Windows 2000 and we saw that it was good. Windows 2000 begat Windows CE Windows ME and Windows NT, and we saw that it was not so good. Windows CE ME NT begat Windows XP and we saw that it was good. Windows XP begat Windows Vista and we saw that it was BAD and immediately went back to XP! Windows Vista begat Windows 7 and we HOPE it is good!

PC Moder has been testing Windows 7 since the beta came out and yes PC Moders there is hope. So far we are impressed with the interface and the ease of installation. The systems seemed stable and at least as good as XP was…(isn’t it sad when we hope something is a good as an old version). So keep the faith PCModers, we have seen the Windows 7 Beta and now the release of Windows 7 and so far….it is good.

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