How-to: Travel in Safety with Technology

Laptop beach picture Creative Commons Photo by Giorgio Montersino on FlickrI find business trips bring on a whole Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that I don’t suffer at any other time. Stressful enough as train stations and airports are, what with trying to get somewhere on time, I develop a whole set of nervous ticks and anxieties; checking bags and pockets twice a minute, searching for ‘free wi-fi’ signs, mains electricity sockets, looking over the shoulder to see who’s eyeballing my phone or laptop. Neurotic? Probably. But so far I haven’t been hacked or suffered loss or theft whilst travelling so I must be doing something right. Right?

Holidays are just as bad, when you relax and switch off from your normal routine, you forget the potential hi-tech dangers that travelling and connecting online present. These are the things I recommend for staying safe as a hi-tech traveller. Continue reading

Opinion: Windows 7 on Netbooks

Dell Inspiron Mini 1011 Netbook with Windows 7Each time Microsoft upgrades the Windows operating system, there seems to be an accompanying jump in hardware requirements; faster processors, more memory, more storage, better graphics. Moreover, if you recall the launch of Windows Vista, you will remember how the re-architected code rendered a vast swathe of hardware obsolete overnight. Unsurprisingly, not everyone appreciated the technical benefits of Vista when half the kit in their PC’s stopped working. Not all of us had the cash to upgrade to newer, more powerful PC’s.

This time around, Windows 7 was overtaken in development by the emergence of the Netbook, a class of ultra-portable laptops in a budget price-range intended to bring mobile computing to the masses on the move. Windows Vista was a resource hog and wouldn’t run on them, and the cost of the license was prohibitive anyway.

Windows 7 had to be different… Continue reading

Review: Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) is a mature, but little-know product that has just been relaunched with the release of version 2.2. This is yet another is a free PC-security tool, intended for IT professionals working in small and medium-sized businesses, but the clear, graphical user interface makes it a very good security tool for personal use.

MBSA analyses the security status of local and networked Windows computers, with the aim of identifying security holes such as firewall and anti-virus states, but most usefully, missing program updates… Continue reading

Chromium-OS on Dell Mini-10

The good news is that there is a new build of Google’s Chrome OS for the Dell Mini 9 and 10, courtesy of Dell themselves. The better news is that the wireless connectivity now works on the live USB and Dell gives the plaudits to Broadcom for providing drivers.

I tried the old live USB release a while ago and determined to have another go now that the official Chrome-book laptops have been announced. If you go to the Dell site you can find an updated build from May 13th.

The verdict? It’s a Chrome web-browser…

Continue reading

Chromebook: A New Class of Risk

Announcing the Chromebook at Google I/O, the cloud-book computer concept to be built by Samsung and Acer around the Atom N750 processors, one might think that 2Gb of RAM and 16Gb of SSD storage is a ridiculously low-end specification. But as Google heavily promotes them, the web has more storage space than any computer.

Interestingly, Google’s promo claims “it doesn’t need virus protection…”

On the way, I will quote from a couple of articles on this topic: OS-News summarising Net-Security.org. Continue reading