Monday, February 19, 2007

Windows Vista: Not Welcome in Nursing Homes

A customer showed me a letter from IVANS today, dated 1-Jan-07. Here's the body of the message:

To: IVANS Customers Using AT&T Global Network Client
From: Paul Tuten, Director, Product Management
Re: T&T GNC Support of Vista

The current versions (5.x.x, 6.x.x) of the AT&T Global Networki Clients are not supported by IVANS/AT&T on Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system. As such, IVANS does not recommend that you upgrade to the new operating system if you use the GNC until AT&T has released a version that supports the operating system.

AT&T plans to release a new version, 7.0 of the AT&T Global Network Client at the end of the 2nd quarter of 2007, which will provide limited support of the Windows Vista operating system. The specific limitations with 7.0 are that the following features will not be avaialble/will not work in Windows Vista:

  • Managed Personal Firewall
  • Network Logon Extensions (GINA or PLAP)
  • 64-bit operating systems

IVANS will post the General Available (GA) release of AT&T Global Network Client 7.0 to our website when available.

If you are required to migrate to the new operating system before the General Available (GA) release of 7.0 version of the client, we may have a workaround for you. Please contact our helpdesk at 1-800-548-2675 to discuss your options.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Vista Listens Real Good (Hack, Hack)

I was browsing (a personal favorite, but typically only interesting to network security geeks) and found this nifty article. Apparantly, Vista includes the ability to act on voice commands - a function my Mac has done for ages, but I've never bothered to use.

Someone apparantly asked the question, can "Vista listen to itself?" and the answer is apparantly, "yes." An intrepid hacker, er, erhem, I'm sorry, "Security Researcher," recorded himself issuing voice commands to his Vista computer, then played them back on his Vista PC - lo and behold, it took only minor tweaking to get it to work, including Vista opening a command prompt, and visiting a web site - uh oh, better turn off the voice command if you're using a sensitive machine.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Windows Vista Editions

This new Vista thing has my interest - right now, however, it is purely academic, and I can't truthfully say that I've played with it. This will change soon, I'm sure. In the meantime, I'll tell you why I've not run out and bought Vista:

  • It requires too much horsepower. If your computer is less than 2 years old, then you should be fine. The BIOS dates on my three desktop PC's are: 2003 (2.4G Intel laptop currently running SUSE Enterprise Desktop 10.1 and XP Pro), 2002 (1.8G desktop currently running OpenSUSE 10.0), and 1999 (750 MHz PIII desktop running XP Pro) - I'm pretty happy with all three's performance and can't see a reason to upgrade . However, a Macbook Pro 2.16G is about to join my herd, and I will be buying a copy of Vista Ultimate to go on it.
  • Currently no software that runs exclusively on Vista, and many current softwares (like iTunes) may have problems on Vista.
  • It's too new. Like any OS, the best time to get it is after the 1st service pack comes out.
  • No free stuff and no MS Mega-Promotions, just saw a totally disappointing interview of Bill Gates by John Stewart on the Daily Show, after which, Bill hustled out, not sitting and chatting like typical guests. When XP came out, I got as a premium for running out and buying XP on its release day: a 256MB DIMM, an MP3 player, and a cool mouse pad. What gives this time around?
So you have Windows 9x or 2000? Your computer is likely too lame to run Vista. On top of that, there is no in-place upgrade, you must start fresh if you have 9x or 2000, and if you have Pro Edition and want to move to the home edition, you also have to wipe out your current OS and start over. Still thinking about upgrading? Then use the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor that Microsoft has so thoughtfully provided.