Sunday, December 17, 2006

Microsoft Patches Windows XP Wireless, Tells No One

As read from Yahoo.

This is one issue where I must say I am tied between a rock and a hard spot. As a consultant, looking out for my clients best interest is number one, and that typically means "security" and for that reason, any computer that has ever been across my work bench has been what I should be able to say is "professionally tweaked and optimized". This being said, it doesn't take a computer long (in some cases) to become quite compromised and that is not always because of the operator not being a whiz on the computer either. This article basically makes it sound like "oh great, Microsoft found a security problem and fixed it and not only that, but pushed this and installed it on all the computers that had their 'automatic updates' set. This is where, depending on usually the client's current computer configuration when I am optimizing the computer, it may or may not be set up to completely allow all updates...possibly just 'critical' updates, since many other updates can cause the computer to become unreliable, such as in the case of a video display driver patch. There are just so many reasons why one will ad a spam filter type program to their computer however is that also causing performance loss due to this new process running all the time? This is the case with Google as I am quite quickly learning by the different program choices I have been making to different computer configurations (on my own systems). Google as a service is wonderful and I am finding more and more ways I can run my own life through the use of the Google tools. But without going too far off course to the original issue of Microsoft's recent update, this places me at a spot where I must decide on how I envision my clients use of the computer. It is ultimately up to you to decide what you want to install on your computer, it is me however, that will be more then happy to give reasons as to why I may have uninstalled a certain 'spyware' type program. This is because I have probably done the tests on using it, and know the outcome is not good. This doesn't mean however, that such things like the Google Toolbar shouldn't be downloaded and installed, but what else are you installing? If you don't choose any options and just go with the clicking as you install this Google toolbar, you will probably also be installing the Google desktop search and that isn't a problem, if you know what it is. But once you start using it, if you do that is, you may find that you can't live without it. That is all fine and good, so long as you also know the repercussions of using this if you were a gamer (lets say). You don't want a lot of 'stuff' running all the time in the background if they are using a lot of system resources. As for desktop search I still think the Copernic Agent series is best as it uses way less resources. Thing is, now that Google is integrating so many of their tools together, so long as you are on the Internet that is good. This is where once again, a program like Copernic shines. Yes, you can have your computer working in 'offline' status but that just isn't the same thing since many other programs recognize the loss of Internet and/or working in offline mode.

Leaving your computer on becomes quite aparently necessary if you wish to take advantage of Microsofts automatic features, as well as your antivirus updates, and if your computer as been across my bench, then it would have other programs that perform maintenance typically around 3 or 4 am, as well, if you do have an issue where you wish for me to look at it, this will also usually be after you have finished using the computer for the day. So for all these reasons, it makes sense to leave your computer turned on.. If you don't have a good power source however, then you should be purchasing a good power bar and look no further then that APC UPS (for example) although Belkin also makes a good one, regardless a UPS is required.I will blog about this, if I haven't already, in the near future.

So to wrap this up (since Christmas is coming) Should you be allowing windows to install such patches? Yes, and no, best if you were to read my TIPS on many of these questions, or contact me if you aren't sure of something. If you cancel an update, don't worry, I am sure if it is microsoft related, it will be bugging you again soon enough. But with any sort of prompt that you are unsure of, never just agree to it because you see it is from "microsoft" which is windows.. that just doesn't fly!