Virtualization Benefits for Small Business
Coalescing a few links I’ve been keeping up with for further reading:
Just a quick note. I will be moving my focus to putting posts up on my company web site at www.sterlingideas.com. Any really technical items will still end up here, but I am going to make a new effort to post regular content over on the company site, particularly items of interest to my clients.
Be sure to add http://www.sterlingideas.com/feed/rss/ to your feed reader.
Someone from a school I work with pointed this out to me recently, and I want to make certain I can find it again in the near future.
Interactive Whiteboard with a Wiimote
The second point and second video on the page go over using the Nintendo Wii remote and an infrared pen to create interactive whiteboards or surfaces. I’ve been very impressed with the Wii as it was designed, but this kind of application is even more impressive.
I hope to give this a try in the future.
In late October, Microsoft released a software patch to address a problem in Windows operating systems. Every month Microsoft releases new software patches on the second Tuesday of the month, aka Patch Tuesday. For most companies Patch Tuesday is followed by Reboot Wednesday which is when the most important of these updates are installed and systems rebooted. In larger companies, Patch Tuesday is the beginning of a process to prioritize, test, and stage these updates as needed.
So what’s the big deal about October? Microsoft released an out-of-cycle patch (MS08-067) for Windows on October 23rd, nine days after Patch Tuesday. Typically patches are queued up until the next second Tuesday, but this one was so important that Microsoft released it immediately. The urgency about this patch was directly related to the potential damage that could be caused by the flaw it fixes. In theory the flaw could be exploited by a worm that would blow through networks like wildfire, causing severe damage along the way.
To be fair, Microsoft’s mistake was the flaw in Windows; their handling of the situation has been very good.
How can you benefit from this? It’s now over a month past the release of this patch, and it’s time to look at how your business handled the situation. You can use this event as one method to evaluate your overall IT posture. If you are in management, this may require digging in with the technical folks to get the details. Specifically, look at the following areas:
- When – When did your organization first become aware this out-of-cycle patch had been released? Was it within hours, days, a week, or more?
- How – This is important. How did your company learn about this? Was it picked up from active reading of email, blogs, news? Was it just luck that someone noticed it, or do you have an active process to stay informed?
- Did this event garner the proper amount of attention from the proper people? If awareness was high, but the appropriate people were so busy “putting out fires” that they didn’t get to it for a week, you have a problem.
- How quickly was this patch applied? Given the unplanned nature of it, did this patch take longer than normal to go from awareness to actually being installed?
- Has the installation of this patch been audited? You need to know that the patch was actually installed. Setting a patch management system to deploy the patch isn’t enough. You must be able to verify that computers have actually installed the patch, and have a plan to deal with any problems.
Take a look at how your business responded. Use this opportunity to identify any shortcomings and work to fix them. Oh, and if you look around and see that this was handled well, give your IT people the credit they deserve.
Commentary, Other, Security, Windows
Basically these are items I’ve flagged over the last few days. This list is so I don’t forget anything.
Here we are on the dawn of another new year. It’s hard to believe 2007 has come and gone, but alas it has. I hope 2008 finds you pursuing you passions and enjoying the process.
As for me, 2008 has a great deal of promise. This year I hope to move back to more project type work, as over the last few years I have done more long term maintenance work. Also, I will begin to produce original content for publication, beginning with blogging on an at least weekly schedule. Last year I decided to get Cisco certified, and I plan to follow it up this year with more personal enrichment, like the CISSP and a trip to ShmooCon. We’ll see where it goes from there.
Have a happy new year in 2008!
I would just like to take a moment to note that as of today my company Sterling Ideas is celebrating 8 full years in business. We incorporated in the summer of 1999, and so far we’re still going strong.
Thank you to our customers and to my friends. It’s been fun, and I look forward to many more years.
Binary Marble Adding Machine
This showed up in my feed reader today, and I wasn’t sure at first which site posted it. I subscribe to many tech feeds and also a few woodworking feeds. This could have come from either.
As it turns out, it came from a woodworking site, but I think there’s as much geek as wood in this binary marble adding machine. If you have a minute, watch the video at the end of the attached page.