During the first days of April, anniversaries for two genuine pieces of the operating systems’ history took place, two different evolutionary lines of what should have been a single product born from the partnership between two giants of the PC industry. IBM OS/2 and Microsoft Windows 3.1 were initially destined to be merged in the graphical interface-based operating system by Big Blue, afterward history went in a different way and OS/2 sunk while the competing OS turned into the dominant platform on the market.
July has been a noteworthy month for fans of the not so trivial arts of multiboot and hard disk data encryption, which have been able to profit by the release of updated versions for two of the best utility software out there: NeoSmart Technologies released version 2.0(.1) of the EasyBCD advanced bootloader, while the so called TrueCrypt Developers Association brought to 7 the version number of its powerful, open source encryption software.
The month of June started with a bad news for all the Windows systems power users and personalizations fans: X-Setup Pro, a long-history tweaking software with unique features, reached the end of its lifetime. Because of its financial problems, the company behind X-Setup interrupted the program’s development giving away the latest version with a serial code useful for its registration.
Some technologies are really die hard, but they can be celebrated in due time when they finally become history. It happened by chance that the twenty-second day of May 2010 fell the anniversary of two fundamental tech products, considered as milestones within their field so much that there is a “before” and an “after” their appearance on the market. And both products have no need for introduction, being no less than the first “star” of the video games history and the first Windows version to be successful among the vast user base of “IBM and compatible” PCs.
Technology old fogeys can rejoice: even though they have lost the chance to obtain new Windows for Workgroups 3.11 licences by now, the almost-defunct operating systems and storage devices that persist in not wanting to fade away surely aren’t lacking. A recently surfaced couple of news actually highlights as even in information technology, probably the most rapidly evolving technology field, there are users niches that really don’t want (or can’t) abandon an outdated standard to adopt a more modern one.
CCleaner, one of those tiny, precious must-have tools to keep the PC in good shape and safeguard one’s own privacy by a single click, has been downloaded more than 320 million times. Piriform developer states the numbers on the program homepage, and together with the announcement the company released the new CCleaner version implementing (among the other things) a better Windows 7 support and a user interface tidying up.
As security experts have already highlighted in this months and years, the trend of the most sophisticated malicious code is to be able to reach the lowest levels of the machine to infect, putting out of the game all the security mechanisms and gaining full control of the PC and the operating system. This trend embraces more and more the term “bootkit”, literally a bootable rootkit, on which the attentions of researchers and Assembly code enthusiasts have recently focused uncovering new, potential threats with an ancient heart and dangerous security flaws sold as malware-proof security measures.
Maybe the bolt from the blue of the Chrome launch didn’t brought an awful market share figure to the newcomer, but the convulsions and the undoubted evolutive acceleration set off by the release of the made-in-Google browser are reverberating with increasing strength on the new war to control the access port to the worldwide network. Currently numbers are still on Mozilla’s and its red panda side, but in future things will become more complicated when Google will have played one of its best cards to turn Chrome from an oddity for few into a conquering force for the mainstream market.
Trend Micro security enterprise has ranked the attack vectors exploited by the 100 most widespread malware from January to November 2008, and the results speak by themselves: among all the possible infection ways Internet is absolutely the most used (or better still abused) one by worms, trojans and other types of digital pathogenetic agents constantly hunting for victims and unprotected systems to compromise.
This new round up of sparse suggestions has heterogeneity as its distinctive mark. I mean, here we’re trying to keep together a zombiecon with the Hubble Space Telescope, the Google fiascos with the possible future ones by Microsoft, the usual crap on P2P and even the ostracism by Western Digital for the SSD technology! I need a 36 hours-long day, definitely
Announcements of network apocalypses come from Las Vegas, where the major security experts have met to discuss about the state of things of the modern computer platforms during the Black Hat conference held the last week. The message given describes just a dramatic scenery, where Internet structural flaws couple with those as much as fundamental of Windows Vista to provide the “good fella” with an entire new rack of attacks against users and assorted net services.
Flags halfway down for the old caryatids still relying on an operative system that calling historic isn’t enough: voices from within the Microsoft circle let us know that, with the mourning in its heart, the company will release no more Windows for Workgroups 3.11 licences to customers of the embedded channel starting from the 1st of November.