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  1. #26
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    Don't know if that is relevant? We use FF and it got a bit slower, especially on start up. It could take 5 or so minutes to start up!
    I got 'Spypot Search & Destroy' to run and all is good again it was free but i gave them a donation - maybe that helped?

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  2. #27
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    And this from Ripleys [Believe it or not]

    Five hundred tax file numbers hacked every day

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    Jobo, your trouble was Windows' basic design, as well as having FF insufficiently restricted. Keep up your protection.

    The collection of business data isn't surprising. In my experience small employer servers and many of their routers are only nominally secure. On my own gateway server, I log a probe or probe group every 5 to 10 minutes. Most are clumsy but some aren't. This morning it's nearly all telnet and mail probes, but over the day most are checking for various Windows services and a few are looking for listening VoIP. Any of these parasites if a weakness is spotted can be expected to attempt an attack.

  4. #29
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    SS, you are feeding my paranoia
    A geek helped me with getting into a gifted computer we didn't know the pass word for. Don't think it even took him minutes to open it all up.
    He also told me not to buy internet protection, just use the free ones because nothing is 100% secure anyway.

    Seems to me that not only small business has vulnerable systems. A friend working for Origin - a few years ago they hired a IT consultant (from one of the ex Russian states) who cracked all their pass words/security easily.

    BTW SS, is the Apple system more secure?
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  5. #30
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    Windows is insecure by design (eg the registry is unprotected), and requires oodles of extra stuff to get modest security. Cracking the password is not hard - there are Linux tools for the job. I have them. It's every online malware maker's target.

    Apple systems are much better, being based on the Berkeley Software Distribution, a form of Unix. Vulnerabilities aren't common, though they exist. Apple hardware and software is expensive.

    The tightest systems by default are distributions of Linux, which is essentially a rewrite of Unix, but with years of added research and development. It runs on the same hardware that runs Windows, and costs nothing for software. For home users I recommend Linux Mint, which has everything you are likely to need already included. https://linuxmint.com/ Mint doesn't need any extra security/protection and doesn't run any. The major servers and routers of the internet are Linux machines. So is your home modem-router.

    If you want your paranoia stoked to max, toddle over to https://www.kali.org/ where there is a free download of a Linux system entirely devoted to cracking tools. Imagine what someone can do with a laptop running this.
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  6. #31
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    Thank you SS. Why isn't everybody with an MS system running linuxmint then? Is it because they are ignorant like me?
    Another stupid question: Can both operating systems be on one computer and still avoid the vulnerability of MS when using Linux?
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  7. #32
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    Windows and it's MSDOS predecessor were the work of a brilliant salesman, now fabulously rich. It was already on a great many machines when the internet became available, and machines have been sold pre-installed ever since, sometimes with practices most of us would call sharp. A similar argument can be made concerning another great salesman, Jobs from Apple. Linux, a version of Unix, was not available in a form acceptable to many home users prior to about 2004. So you can see the head start of the commercial OSs. There is no profit to be made selling Linux - it is always free - so it is not in the major retailers.

    But, and it's a huge but, code and security and computer science developments over the last 20 years have been huge, and it has nearly all gone to Linux. Major corporations, like IBM, contribute, for example. It isn't a backyard operation, despite being open source. The web itself and the scientific computers depend on it. I share the common belief among programmers that no commercial OS will now ever catch up.

    The second question: You can run multiple operating systems on a computer. It takes special boot software such is provided by default with Linux distros. In this case you choose whichever you want to run, each with its own differing security. You can also install virtual machine software on most OSs, and then run another OS from within the logical machine. Obviously the "inner" system can't protect the "outer" one.

    Linux distributions suitable for home use, like Mint, all come as bootable images which can be placed on DVDs, USB sticks, etc, as long as the computer can boot from a choice of sources - modern machines can. The device may be slow, but you can run the system as a trial without disturbing the existing hard disc or Windows. These bootables can also be used to repair damaged Windows discs. System admins and crackers alike often keep a bootable USB drive in their pockets.

  8. #33
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    Thanks SS!
    Now, i just have to work up the enthusiasm to download and learn a bit.
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  9. #34
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    I use linux mint running as a VM under vmware on Win7 64 (mainly for it's Tor client)

    If you want to gain proficiency, as more than a "user", it will be a considerable learning curve.

    Mint will exist on windows networks, a bit painful to set up and get working 'tho.

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  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoBo View Post
    Thank you SS. Why isn't everybody with an MS system running linuxmint then? Is it because they are ignorant like me?
    :
    my thoughts on the issue.
    short answer:
    because linux requires considerable knowledge and work to set up, without any compelling benefits for a home user.

    long answer:
    you have to ask yourself what exactly you would be hoping to achieve by running linux instead of Windows or OSX? do you, for example, have Top Secret documents on your pc? or are you worried about russian hackers installing a keylogger and accessing your bank account? or maybe ransomware locking your precious photos of you children unless you a pay them $1m? if Yes to any of the above, then using linux will probably lower the chances, but any of these risks are simply addressed by other means. to wit:

    *have a HDD on your network and periodically back up all your user files to it. then switch if off till next time you backup.
    *dont click on links in emails
    *use a virus scanner
    *set your bank account to require sms verification when transferring money out. or opt for sms / email when a debit is made. fact is the bank bears the risk of any internet fraud. unless you do something like write you ATM PIN on your card etc, but who would?
    other than that, what exactly are you concerned about?

    advantages of using linux:
    *it saves you a couple of hundred $ every 5 years when you would otherwise need a new pay-for version of W or OSX
    *you get to feel very smug that you know about techie stuff most others dont.
    *if you are a real cheapskate and love hoarding aging computer equipment, particularly old laptops, linux runs much faster on them vs the two major OSs.

    disadvantages of using linux:
    *there are a number of different versions of linux and for each of those you can choose different GUIs. they all do exactly the same things, but you really wont have a clue which one to use
    *contrary to what you would think, NONE of them actually works straight out of 'the box'. you always need to do google searches to find out all the extra elements you need to download to make them really work.
    *example: Mint linux is pretty straightforward, but if, as rob noted, you want it to interface with your windows network (which of course you would), then you need to mess around with windows file sharing, then download samba on the linux computer, and configure that. you will of course have to do google searches for that, and you then find that it is rarely as straightforward as copying what said search suggests. i have Mint on an old laptop, and it is this minute trying to install Samba. "samba" didnt come up in the software search, but something a similar name did, so i am trying to install that, but if failed once and is now taking an awfully long time about it. previous experience is that trying to get linux connected to your windows network is best viewed as a hobby.
    *thousands of specialist software for all kinds of purposes only have W and OSX versions. you might be able to run them via linux using something called WINE (but maybe not), or you could read another book and get your head around VMware and run multiple operating systems. if you are going to that, however, why are you screwing around with linux?
    *there is no way of running iTunes directly with linux, so if you any iDevices, you will somehow definitely need to access W or OSX.
    *and if you think Android is any better, i dont think samsung Kies has a linux version either. (then again, Samsung dont have a Kies version for windows 10 as yet! unbelievable...) So if you want to backup any phone, it is back to one of the 2 major OSs.
    *there is no MS Office version for linux. while there are at least two good free alternatives, one thing you cannot reliable do is use your own coded macros, as VBA, which is used to create macros, is part of the proprietary MS code for Office. this is particularly a problem with Excel, as lots of spreadsheets have user written macros, and writing your own macros can be very handy indeed for all sorts of things.

    so if you have pretensions to becoming a geek, or like bamboozling your friends with your knowledge about this sort of stuff, or just enjoy knowing about stuff for the sake of it, AND have hours of free time to sit at your computer googling unix-like commands to run in the Terminal Window, to solve problems much more easily otherwise addressed, then linux is for you. that is not to say Dont; i have myself installed linux several times on old computers just to see how it works. you will of course understand, however, based on my AF presence, that i am a social misfit dabbler with no friends and no obvious ways to feel a sense of self worth other than being able to tell myself i have a minimal understanding of linux. Whatever you motivation, you need to realistic and honest about why you are bothering.

    OTOH, if you just want to use a computer without being drawn into a geek black hole, then just use the above simple, easily executed strategies, and stick with one of the 2 major OSs. you can be pretty sure there are some russian hackers who will work around your clever use of linux on your home pc, when they are trying to steal your cache of CIA classified documents.
    Last edited by alexander; 20th March 2017 at 11:18 PM.
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  11. #36
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    With all due respect linux mint is not all that bad to learn. It has a very straightforward and intuitive UI. Most windows users readily adapt.

    But when you get "under the hood" there is a steep learning curve required.

    When my wife's laptop hdd fails, which is going to be soon. I'll replace it and install Mint instead of windows 10 (she was "tricked" into upgrading from Win7)

    The only use of the laptop is to browse the web and read online news.

    I'm hoping mint supports the hardware however, especially the wifi hardware.

    FWIW the hardest thing with Vmware is understand conceptually how it works. And the concepts of host Os and guest Os. Once that is done it's all plain sailing, almost intuitive.

    And VMware is free for non commercial use and rock solid in it's reliability.

    In fact I'm running a second copy of Win 7/64 as a guest OS now. This removes the possibility of having
    my Host Win7 OS being exposed to the internet. And if the guest gets hacked I just dump it and run my spare copy of Win7 guest.
    Last edited by robmac; 20th March 2017 at 11:32 PM.
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  12. #37
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    i quite agree. it is straightforward and quite likeable, but i had a look at ubuntu and xubuntu as well, and concluded they all do exactly the same thing with mildly different GUIs. the sticky points are all the above noted disadvantages.

    if, however, there is ONE thing linux should do without further work, it is interface with your Windows network. it doesnt, and that alone would thwart the interest of pretty much anyone who wasnt significantly geekish already. so if you dont carry a selection of colored biros in your top pocket, linux is not really an option.

    not mentioning any names, of course...

  13. #38
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    My pocket is pen free. It is MS that chose to use and alter SMB to be different, and Linux machines communicate with it easily if the correct software is installed. A click of a menu gets it.

  14. #39
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    sounds easy, until you have to actually do it.
    i searched for Samba software. didnt find it in the Mint Software list. clicked on something which appears to be the right thing. installed it. and..... nothing.

    then, if you look at the Samba website, it isnt doesnt even tell you what it is!
    instead, you get this utter drivel:

    What is Samba?

    As the front page at samba.org says, "Samba is an Open Source/Free Software suite that provides seamless file and print services to SMB/CIFS clients." Samba is freely available, unlike other SMB/CIFS implementations, and allows for interoperability between Linux/Unix servers and Windows-based clients.
    um, thanks for nothing. still, you can go to the more extensive description of what Samba is... written in 2001!

    then another Mint help article says Samba is to allow a W user to see linux files, and Windows File Sharing allows linux users to see W files. which rather contradicts the above. now i have WFS turned On but i cant see my windows pc from the linux laptop.
    Last edited by alexander; 21st March 2017 at 01:35 AM.

  15. #40
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    Thanks guys!
    Main reason for looking to getting away from W is that i'm annoyed with people putting crap on my computer, slowing it down and other potential interference.
    I know the bank takes the risk but it is still a hassle - it happened to my daughter 2x.

    On the other hand, i'm not very motivated to spend time learning all that stuff. Suspect i'm asking for too much.
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  16. #41
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    Alexander, Windows share can be done with samba, which is old-style technology, with config file setup, although there is no shortage of How-Tos online. Probably because of its rapidly declining use the latest Mint dropped samba as a default installation, though other desktop distros still include it. You can still install it - synaptic will list it.

    My all-Liinux box network at home includes a local FTP server on wi-fi so that visiting Windows laptops and Android/Apple tablets can transfer files. Installing the vsftpd daemon to run that service is trivial. MTP over USB and Bluetooth are also available if needed, and these come with Mint 18 if you use that system.

  17. #42
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    It's almost an anomaly that networking is a strong point of linux os' yet when Windows networking comes into the equation Linux networking no longer shines.

    FWIW I intensely dislike Wifi Networks because they can always be infiltrated. Not so bad on a router with "guest networks functionality".
    However with single network Wifi routers it's a security disaster.

    All but one of our network Pcs are on cat 6 cables. Which long term is more reliable, more secure and a faster transfer rate connection.
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  18. #43
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    For those interesting in starting with Mint there are two introductions:
    Mate- https://linuxmint.com/documentation/user-guide/MATE/english_17.3.pdf
    Cinnamon- https://linuxmint.com/documentation/user-guide/Cinnamon/english_18.0.pdf

    They refer to two different desktop menu systems, Mate (pronounced mat-ay) and Cinnamon. The more traditional (te familiar), and the one I'd recommend is Mate. Version 18 is current, so the Mate book is a little bit out of date.

    Several books have been published on Mint as well. Mint itself comes from Ireland. It defaults to shades of green. Non-Irish can change that as desired.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post

    Which long term is more reliable, more secure and a faster transfer rate connection.
    and of absolutely no use to anyone with a laptop, an idevice, a phone, or a fridge.
    no doubt you still listen to music on a gramophone!

    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    Alexander, Windows share can be done with samba, which is old-style technology, with config file setup, although there is no shortage of How-Tos online. Probably because of its rapidly declining use the latest Mint dropped samba as a default installation, though other desktop distros still include it. You can still install it - synaptic will list it.

    My all-Liinux box network at home includes a local FTP server on wi-fi so that visiting Windows laptops and Android/Apple tablets can transfer files. Installing the vsftpd daemon to run that service is trivial. MTP over USB and Bluetooth are also available if needed, and these come with Mint 18 if you use that system.
    no doubt that is all true, but it is also a fine example of technoblab.
    the important point is that my laptop running Mint, cant see my desktop running W7, nor the other way around. so without further effort and google searching for solutions, Mint is challenging for anyone running a home network, or who might even want to network the pc on which it resides. that would include most people.

    i am sure i can get it working - the question is why would you bother, as canvassed in the earlier post.

    i note that the Mint user guide in the link above fails to cover the issue of getting the pc up and running on a Windows network! 'Sorry, you'll just have to do some google searches. we couldnt be arsed sorting that out'.
    Last edited by alexander; 21st March 2017 at 11:29 PM.

  20. #45
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    and of absolutely no use to anyone with a laptop, an idevice, a phone, or a fridge.
    no doubt you still listen to music on a gramophone!
    I didn't say our house was without a wifi network. It does have that infrastructure. And yes my wife's and daughter's Iphone and Ipad are allowed to connect. So is our laptop (which I previously mentioned).

    But the Wifi network is on a Vlan and securely separated from the hardwired network to which our desktop Pcs are connected.

    I'm using VNC to connect to my windows machines from mint (cinnamon). It's easier than trying to unravel networking credentials issues between mint and windows.

    If you need to transfer data between windows and Mint. A network drive is a good method-and easy to set up on both.


    FWIW if you paid more attention to the "technoblab", you may be in better place to use the Mint OS far more effectively.
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  21. #46
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    alexander, researching comes second nature to you, so look into some technoblab. All that samba needs is a couple of lines filled out in smb.conf, and you can use the Connect to Server feature built in to the file manager and the main menu to go straight to the other machine. It accepts bookmarks.

    Mint, and Linux generally, run completely standard networking. Your router is already controlling a Linux network. It is MS that has chosen to be different, and Apple and other OS users use software to fix Windows connections too. Mint in any case included both samba and instructions up to release 17, before deciding use had declined.

    Rob and I have described other ways to share files between systems that we use. They work well and are common.

    One tiny hangup if doing transfers will be the lack of permissions on Win files (inherited from MSDOS); permissions will be lost when transferred from the Linux machine, and data files may finish up marked for everything when they are transferred from Win. Ticks in the file manager will fix that.
    Last edited by seasink; 22nd March 2017 at 12:13 PM. Reason: sp - capitalised alexander

  22. #47
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    oh c'mon guys! sometimes i think you two are both deliberately obtuse as a joke.

    i am not asking either of you how to connect a linux mint laptop to my network. i dont doubt it can be done, and if i an be bothered, will sit here and do enough searches till i figure out how. that, however, takes time and some level of comfort with technoblab. you will note that nothing either of you have said, tells me anything useful at all. your posts merely say 'this can be done', and dont even come close to 'describing other ways to share files between systems'. further, if you show posts like #45 and #46 to the vast majority of home users, they will say "um, what?".

    the point is that using linux either stand alone, or connecting to an existing network is not a trivial matter, involves fundamental challenges for typical home users, and achieves nothing from a security point of view, which cannot be easily addressed in other ways.
    so, all said, you are doing it for the pleasure of being geekish. which is fine - i get that - but you need to be realistic about your motivations.

    anyway, here is a challenge for both of you, IF it amuses you:
    *i have W7 on my pc
    *i have xubuntu 16.04 on my laptop (nb: i tried several distros some months back, of which Mint was one, but just realised that is not the one i installed on the laptop)
    *i installed something called smb4k on it
    *laptop is connected via wifi; pc is hardwired to router.

    so if it so easy, tell me, in a list of sequential steps, what i need to do to make these two computers see each others files.

  23. #48
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    so if it so easy, tell me, in a list of sequential steps, what i need to do to make these two computers see each others files.
    1) Install VNC on all computers.

    2) Set matching passwords.

    Use VNC via your network to access the computer on which you wish to ' see the files'
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  24. #49
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    ok fair enough and that is a workaround.
    what i was really asking is how to get the linux pc to connect to the windows network.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexander View Post
    ok fair enough and that is a workaround.
    what i was really asking is how to get the linux pc to connect to the windows network.
    How To Map A Windows Network Drive In Linux Mint | mixeduperic.com


    Obviously, you need to create a windows network (shared, without limitation) drive first.

    Win7,8, 10 tries it's best to prevent access to the desktop and user files. So a network shared drive is best option for file transfer.
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