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Windows XP. Can I keep using it?
vk4iu
#1 Posted : Thursday, February 27, 2014 4:56:56 PM(UTC)
VK4IU

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G'Day,

I have recently fielded several emails assisting members with using LOGic. For the benefit of all, restated here is much of the detail of those emails. I always answer all emails, but much prefer my assistance with LOGic be provided on this LOGic forum for the benefit of all members, minimising my effort.

Microsft's support for Windows XP ceases on April 8, 2014. What are the implications for my Amateur Radio PCs running Windows XP?

An answer depends on how you use them.

Many of us are still using Windows XP on older PCs, especially configured for Amateur Radio. Usually those with serial ports and parallel ports based on the original hardware designs.

Microsoft failed to successfully sell upgrades to Windows Vista when it was released. Microsoft added security features that changed the "behind the scenes" way programs worked, and totally confused the customer base - especially, corporate customers with thousands of PCs installed.

Microsoft responded by extending the support period for Windows XP - corporate users numbered in the hundreds of millions of copies - and later released Windows 7 with better success. Microsoft extended the "end of life" date for Windows XP to April 8, 2014.

On that date, Microsoft will cease to provided any updates to Windows XP - especially security updates.

The consequence of that fact, is that your Windows XP PC will be vulnerable to any new "security hole" discovered in Windows XP. Microsoft will not plug the hole. Knowing that, the bad guys, will be looking for such systems to exploit them.

If ....

Your Windows XP PC is isolated from the Internet, and is not connected to any other PC in your QTH, you need do nothing. Like an old truck it will keep on working until some vital part stops working, or more likely, some software component is updated to no longer function on Windows XP.

If ...

Your Windows XP PC is connected to the Internet, and by implication, to your shack Ethernet Network, you must ensure it is protected. By all means keep using the "dx cluster", use Telnet, draw data from places you know and trust, but do not surf the Internet in a general sense. Make sure the Windows firewall is enabled, to protect the PC from other systems on your network. Like an old truck it will keep on working until some vital part stops working, or more likely, some software component is updated to no longer function on Windows XP.

What amateur radio services do you trust? For me personally - none. In 2014 it is impossible to know whether or not any service I might use has been compromised or not. Small, under funded, and perhaps under skilled, systems on the Internet are most vulnerable to being compromised without the owner being aware of it.

For example, I use the QRZ XML subscription service on my Windows XP system, but I would not use the QRZ web pages from my Windows XP PCs. I surf the web and download files on other systems, systems with full security shielding, and then transfer the files to the Windows XP systems.

What is full security shielding - for me, the normal Microsoft Firewall, and Microsoft' Security Essentials. That's it. I periodically test my Internet gateway with GRCs "Shields Up"

To extend the life of the your system, upgrade to Windows Vista. End-of-life for Vista is April 11, 2017.

Crikey, you say - why would I want to shot my self in the foot!

Well, Windows Vista has been more about emotion, and uninformed comment and complaint, than any other system in the history of Microsoft Windows.

Simply turn off User Account Control, make your account an Administrator account, and you will be close enough to Windows XP that it does not matter. It works for me.
Peter VK4IU
You can help by posting images of any errors and including your Logic version.
1 user thanked vk4iu for this useful post.
WN4AZY on 3/11/2014(UTC)
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vk4iu
#2 Posted : Friday, June 20, 2014 8:10:17 PM(UTC)
VK4IU

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Moderator, Registered, Administrators
Posts: 404
Man
Location: Hodgleigh QLD

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Was thanked: 77 time(s) in 68 post(s)
G'Day,

I have returned to the forum from holidays and a few family issues. While catching up on my emails, I listened to back issues of the PC/Web Security Now podcast to which I subscribe.

If you want to keep using a network connected Windows XP based PC for Amateur Radio, the following is what you need to be aware of.

On the Security Now podcast SN446 Steve Gibson discusses what you should do to continue using Windows XP. Steve Gibson is an experienced, and well respected commentator on PC security issues. I trust his advice without question. For more background, you should listen to the first few minutes of the podcast.

The podcast is about 90 minutes long, but there is a transcript you can read to get to the main points. Load the link for SN446, and find "Microsoft Windows XP" on the page.

The start of the XP discussion is at 00:53:00 minutes into the podcast.

And, if you have ever wondered how secure your iPad or other Apple IOS device is when you are away from your QTH, Steve also discusses Apple device security. Keep listening beyond 1:03:00.

Part 2 on IOS security is in Security Now podcast SN447.

Peter VK4IU
You can help by posting images of any errors and including your Logic version.
1 user thanked vk4iu for this useful post.
WN4AZY on 9/3/2014(UTC)
vk4iu
#4 Posted : Monday, November 3, 2014 9:31:25 PM(UTC)
VK4IU

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Moderator, Registered, Administrators
Posts: 404
Man
Location: Hodgleigh QLD

Thanks: 6 times
Was thanked: 77 time(s) in 68 post(s)
G'Day,

I still run Windows XP for LOGic.

Microsoft is providing "signature updates" for Security Essentials in Windows XP.

And, if you have occasion to completely start from scratch, formatting the hard drive and re-installing, all the updates since Service Pack 3 are still available via Windows Update.

I have practical proof - the updates worked for my "virtual system" re-installation just completed.

Peter VK4IU
You can help by posting images of any errors and including your Logic version.
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