Google Operating System – Chrome

July 9, 2009

gchrome-660x427

I remember last year when Google Chrome was launched thinking it was only a matter of time before they followed suit with an operating system. Here are number of my favourite blogs on the subject.

It’s been an exciting nine months since we launched the Google Chrome browser. Already, over 30 million people use it regularly. We designed Google Chrome for people who live on the web — searching for information, checking email, catching up on the news, shopping or just staying in touch with friends. However, the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web. So today, we’re announcing a new project that’s a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It’s our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/introducing-google-chrome-os.html

Five Reasons Google Chrome OS Will Fail

Eleven Questions About Google’s Chrome OS

Chrome – living in a Google world?

5 Ways Microsoft Will Bring the Hurt to Google Chrome OS

3 reasons you’ll hate Chrome OS

Author: Support @ 1:28 am




Linux FTP Server with a Graphical User Interface (GUI)

March 27, 2008

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Linux is a great Operating System which can give small businesses access to enterprise quality products normally only available for the big boys. The downside to going down the Linux and Open Source route compare to a Windows based solution, is the configuration can be less user friendly. This was highlighted recently when I needed a FTP Server with a graphical user interface which a Windows end user would be happy using.

Don’t get me wrong the open source movement is improving all the time, you need only take a look at Ubuntu and compare it to Windows Vista or Mac OSX, you’d be surprised. Although most comments on Linux forums when this question is asked, is why do you need GUI for FTP Server?

Simple, not all businesses have an IT department and 99% of people would run scared if you showed them command shell, "I want Windows" would probably be the cry!

Back to the topic in hand, a Linux FTP Server with a graphical user interface (GUI). Well, I struggled to find any all in one solutions which seem to be abundant on the Windows platform, Xlightftpd, Cerberusftp, Filezilla Server etc. The solution so far seems to be add on programs that provide GUI to existing FTP software on the Linux platform. Which kind of makes sense given the maturity of FTP Server software on Linux, why re-invent the wheel?

The List

I’ve not had chance to test any as yet but will report back when I find a suitable solution, in the meantime he is what I have found so far…

GPROFTPD- Proftpd FTP server

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GPROFTPD is an easy to use GTK+ administration tool for the proftpd standalone server. GProftpd and Proftpd gives admins access to virtual hosting, 8 layers of security including chrooted users and encrypted transfers on both the data and/or control channels. It is ideal for both standard ftp serving and webhotels.

http://freshmeat.net/projects/gproftpd/

PureAdmin – Graphical FTP Server Management Utility

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PureAdmin is a graphical tool used to make the management of PureFTPd a little easier. It uses the GTK+2.x widgets for its GUI and thus are not dependent on a specific desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE. It is, however, designed with the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines in mind so it should integrate nicely with at least GNOME.

http://purify.sourceforge.net/index.php

KcmPureftpd – KDE Admin Pure-ftpd

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KcmPureftpd is an KDE KControl module for configuring pure-ftpd FTP server. The goal is to have medium users to configure their server securely and conveniently, without the burden of knowing tons of command line switches.

kproftpd – KDE Frontend for configuring ProFTPD

http://freshmeat.net/projects/kcmpureftpd/

Kproftpd is a graphical Qt and KDE libs based frontend to the ProFTPD ftp-server. The target is to build a easy to use application, to configure the proftpd. its designed with the help of KDevelop.

Webmin

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Webmin is browser based product that allows you to manage a wide range of services running on your Linux box, including FTP servers.

http://www.webmin.com/

ProMA – Web Based admin tool for ProFTPd

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ProMA is a PHP-based system for administrating a ProFTPd server that stores users in a MySQL database. Its features include support for multiple administrators, mail notifications when new users register and when accounts are approved, closing of accounts temporarily, and a notepad per user for the admins.

http://freshmeat.net/projects/proma/

JProftpd

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A very simple Java based admin tool for use with ProFTPd.

http://www.cli.di.unipi.it/~checchi/

PPMy – Web based ProFTPd Manager

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PPMy is a simple Web-based administration utility to administer users and groups to a ProFTPD server, storing users and groups in a MySQL database.

http://ppmy.sourceforge.net/

GADMIN-ProFTPd – Gnome Admin

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GAdmin-ProFTPD is a GTK+ frontend for the ProFTPD standalone server. It gives admins access to virtual hosting and eight layers of security, including chrooted users and encrypted transfers on both the data and/or control channels.

 http://mange.dynalias.org/linux.html

ProFTPd Admin – Another Web Base Admin Tool

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A web-based tool written in PHP aimed at managing users and groups for a ftp-server called "proFTPd".

http://proftpd-adm.sourceforge.net/

 

Others?

Missed any worth mentioning? Leave a comment and we’ll update the post.

Author: Support @ 11:56 pm




Setting up an FTP connecting using FileZilla

March 13, 2008

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FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a method for transferring files between two computers on a network. This can be between two computers on your local business network or a computer the other side of the world. Dating as far back as 1971, FTP is still widely used today from a web developer updating a website or company distributing files that are too large to be sent via email.

Back in the day using FTP was bit of chore. You needed to type in commands like FTP, BYE, MKDIR, GET, PUT, MPUT and MGET at the command line to navigate the file system. Far too geeky!

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Luckily you can use graphical user interface to make using FTP less of a chore. Windows users can simply need to open up Windows Explorer or My Computer, doesn’t matter which, just type in ftp://<IP address or computer> into the address bar. For example ftp://ftpservername.com or ftp://123.456.789.123. It will then prompt you for a username and password. Once logged in, click on the Folders icon on the address bar and simply use it as if you’re moving files around locally on your PC.

Mac people check out this page, Using FTP in Finder.

Power Users

If you use FTP on daily basis you will probably benefit from a dedicated FTP client. FTP clients like FileZilla provide a wealth of features from account management for handling multiple FTP logins, transfer resumes, intelligent file over writes and configurable speed limits.

So here is quick overview to getting started with FileZilla, an open source product (free) which is available for Windows, Mac and Linux users.

  1. Firstly head over to FileZilla website, download (client version) and install
  2. Once installed, load it up and click on Site Manager icon (above host)

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  3. This will launch Site Manager. Click on New Site > in the Host field enter the address of the web server and select Logontype as Normal > enter User and Password.

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  4. On the next tab labelled Advanced, click on Browse and select the local directory you typically transfer files to and from on your computer. If you know the directory on the FTP server you can also enter this under Default remote directory. Once finished, click on OK.

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  5. Now that FileZilla has your FTP login details, which are hopefully correct (double check them!) simply click on the drop icon next to the Site Icon you click on before. This will connect you to your FTP server. On the left hand side you have your local files and on the right the remote files on the FTP server. You can either drag and drop, double click on them or right click on them to transfer them between the two locations. image

Read more at Wikipedia File Transfer Protocol and Filezilla Wiki

Author: Support @ 9:00 am




21 Ways to Bullet Proof your IT infrastructure

January 23, 2008

bullet proof

If backups is about making sure your company data is safe, then building IT redundancy is making sure you have the infrastructure to read that information back. So how can you increase the resilience of your business infrastructure?

Increasing sales, number of clients and profit margins are top priorities for businesses. Building redundancy and fall over systems for the business are probably bottom of the pile. Why, simple because investing in such backup systems doesn’t increase sales, clients or profits. But, if your business does suffer a major disaster, then these redundancy systems have everything to do with profit margins.

image 1. Network and Desktop Protection – I think most people realise they need an anti-virus solution to guard against viruses, a firewall to protect their business network from the outside world. However, without sounding like an insurance sales man, sometimes this is not enough protection. On the desktop front, you need to consider malware, root kits, Trojans along with viruses. Many of the latest anti-viruses solutions guard against all these things. Depending on the size of your company, you might also consider additional protection for your network. This could include dedicated firewalls, internal firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), Spam, Malware and virus filters etc.

2. External Backup Email Address – Make sure you have a backup email address that can be used, should your primary address not be available. I would suggest a free email account from someone like Google or Yahoo. Make sure you check the account every so often, else it could be deactivated if it lies dormant for too long. Google Gmail can easily integrate into existing email clients such as Thunderbird or Outlook. You can also download the desktop notification program.

image 3. Online Backup Solution – Backup solutions can be a real pain in the backside. If you have tape solution, you probably need to change the tape on a daily basis and store the tapes in a different location for protection against fire. An online backup solution means your business data is stored offsite in a secure environment. Changes in your business data are automatically encrypted and transferred over the internet to secure location. I would recommend that businesses should have a local backup solution for full quick system recovery and an online backup to protect against complete loss of business premises.

4. Temporary Premises – What would you do tomorrow if you lost your office or factory space? This could be due to fire, flood, maintenance or temporary access to the internet. It maybe worth looking at what office space is available to rent at a moments notice in your area. You could consider a two way agreement with a neighbouring business for office space, or maybe just you’re local Starbucks for internet access!

5. Physical Security – One factor that is often over looked when it comes to protecting your IT infrastructure is physical security. Gaining access to your network, servers and backup tapes is often easily achieved by physically walking into a business premises. Think about quality locks, keypads, swipe cards, visitor badges, safes etc can restrict access to sensitive areas of your business.

I once did a weeks professional training course on hacking (very interesting) by ex-MoD expert, the last day he show us how easy it was to pick and spring padlocks, so make sure you buy quality locks that require the key to engage the lock.

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6. User Logon Profiles – Once your staffing levels reach around seven or more, your business could benefit from having a client-server environment. Typically, this will involve a server which authenticates user login details, desktop settings, user files and application settings. This means a user will be able to log in to any computer within the business and have access to their desktop. So next time a computer breaks down you can simply login to a spare machine.

7. File Synchronisation – If you run a business with a server that hosts your company files and documents, you should consider enabling offline file synchronisation. This means if your server or network is unavailable you can continue accessing your personal documents. Once the issue has been fixed, changes to your documents are synchronised back to the server. This is also handy for laptop users who are out and about on the road.

8. Make use of Redundant Hardware – Instead of throwing out that old machine why not install Linux operating system which requires a lot less memory, disk space and processing power compared to a Windows system. What’s more, Linux is free and has a wide range of freely available software you can use. For example your machine could run an as:-

– Intranet or CRM server
– Email Server
– Backup storage
– Network Monitoring System
– Snort (IDS)
– Additional Spam protection
– Firewall (SmoothFirewall)
– Internet access for the staff canteen or warehouse
– Public information point, coupled with a trendy flat screen!
– DNS, Proxy or DHCP server

9. Refreshing Hardware and Software – As the business grows, you should set aside money to replace existing hardware and software. You don’t want to upset the apple cart, but at the same time you don’t want the company to stay stuck in the dark ages. Refreshing parts of your IT infrastructure from time to time will not only give your workforce the best tools, but often additional redundancy features. As mentioned in tip 8, make use of redundant hardware and software as fall over systems to your new equipment.

image 10. Backup Internet Connection – This suggestion all depends on how much your business is dependent on internet access. Consider how much it costs your business per hour without an internet connection. If you are talking in the hundreds then it might be worth considering a backup internet connection. If possible choose an ISP that uses a different technology other than your primary supplier. For example, ADSL internet that uses a standard phone line and a backup connection that uses a cable modem from a cable provider. If you purchase the correct network equipment, you could utilise both connections for increase speed and bandwidth. You could also consider a two-way agreement with a neighbouring business to use their internet connection should yours be unavailable.

11. Knowledge Base System – There are many ways that your business can introduce systems to harvest the knowledge of your staff. This might be a company Wiki, Social Bookmarking, helpdesk or Customer Relationship Manager. Implementing such systems will not only have a positive affect, but also protect against loss of information when staff move on.

12. Software Drivers, Applications, Network Settings and Serial Keys – It is easy to think that once the business data is safely backed up, that the company is protected. However, if the business can’t rebuild the business platform (IT infrastructure) quickly, the company data starts to lose its value. Make sure you have access to driver disks (CDs), application software, router settings, application serial keys etc

13. Software Updates – Make sure you software is kept up-to-date with the latest security patches. This can include applications, operating systems, network devices and servers. A word of warning, sometimes updates can cause a few problems. So be careful when it comes to updating critical systems such as servers and network devices. Its why you need tip number 14!

image 14. IT Support Company – You might be or have a computer guru within your business and have no need for a day-to-day support from an IT company. Although what happens when the computer guru is off or leaves? You never know when disaster strikes and you end up over your head with IT problems. You panic and ringing the first IT support company you come across. Instead, shop around, talk about your current IT setup. Ask if they would be available to help should you land in hot water.

15. IT policy – Make sure your staff are aware and understand how they should use the IT infrastructure correctly. Although you might think it does not need spelling out. Having a company IT policy written down on paper and signed by staff will not only act as a preventative measure, but also keep you protected should you need to let a member of staff go.

16. Fire proof safe – We briefly mentioned this one before, but its worth considering a fireproof safe to secure backup’s, software and serial keys etc. Even if you can’t afford a fireproof safe, regular safe is better than nothing.

image 17. UPS and Surge Protection – Uninterrupted power supply (UPS) allows you protect your computer systems from power cuts. This is a absolute must for any servers in your business. Even if the power cut lasts longer that 20 minutes, the UPS will gracefully shutdown the computer.

18. Hardware Supplier – Another reason to have a relationship with a local computer support company. Typically, they can arrange the correct equipment to be ordered cheaper and quicker that businesses that don’t purchase hardware on a regular basis. More than likely, they will have spare equipment they can lend you.

19. Backup Backup Backup and Test – You can make sure all your bases are covered, but if you don’t have access to your company data, it can all be a complete waste of time. So make sure you have a backup solution or two! Also, unless you test your backup solutions, you can’t say with a 100% certainly that you’re covered.

20. Disaster Recovery Document – Have your IT support company produce a comprehensive imageand professional Disaster Recovery Document. Generally, the report should cover things like IT settings, a recovery plan and suggestions to increase protection. Make sure you have copy available outside the office, which is held securely, remember this is the keys to your business!

21. Come back stronger – If disaster does strike, before you start the recovery process it might be worth taking a step back and thinking how you would do things differently.

What measures do you take to protect your IT infrastructure?

I’m expecting 5 or more from our good friend, Jason!





Your Predictions for 2008

December 20, 2007

2008 predictions

At the begin of the month, I posted my technology predictions for 2008. But actually, it was your predictions that I was interested in. So here are couple from the blogsphere and Facebook

Jason Slater

– Microsoft Zune

– Budget Laptops

– Home Robots

– Mini Projectors

– Super/Ultra High Def Video

JasonSlater.co.uk technology predictions for 2008

Digital Agency

– Jaiku. Proximity/Geo Tag marketing

– Apple super portable/tablet gizmo?

– Facebook finally sells, and grows up and storms upward, even figures out advertising.

– Mike launches unique ad agency concept.

– Mike’s business is bought. To ‘get/own’ M

http://digitalagency.typepad.com/

Nev Stokes

– Contactless Cash

– Internet Explorer 8

– Financial hackers

– Efficient Hydrogen Storage

– Internet Traffic

What does 2008 hold in store?

Purazar

– Kindle v2 will be launched; taking into consideration all the uglyness from v1.
– Firefox 3 will help gain more users for the the ‘Firefox browser’.
Knol vs Wikipedia War
– We get our first look at some cool appliations of Android
– Microsoft dumps DRM across the board. (Vista, Zune…)

http://www.portfolioofpb.com/blog

More

8 Predictions for Macworld 2008

Innovation Predictions for 2008

Twelve Predictions for 2008

The shape of things to come – Guardian
Microsoft in 2008: 10 Predictions

If I’ve missed any give me a shout and I will update the post.

Author: Support @ 9:00 am
Category: Geeky Stuff




Top Five Technology Predictions for 2008

December 5, 2007

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Earlier in the week Jason Slater asked me what would be my top technology predictions for 2008. What an excellent idea for a blog post I thought. Not only that, next year I can look back and realise I know nothing about Information Technology! So, here are Terinea’s technology predictions for 2008!

Offline Mode for Online Applications

As more and more applications are available offline, expect to see the likes of Google Gears to support offline mode for Google Docs, Calendar and Gmail etc. Zoho already offers this feature along with Google Reader. Microsoft will probably also offer similar service soon for its Office Live range. I would also expect Google to add to its docs range, maybe a wiki or project management features.

Apple Marches On

iPhone will continue to make waves in the mobile market. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see details of the iPhone 2 released or even the phone itself. I’ve heard rumours of a digital cameras and graphics tablets in the pipeline, which will be met with the usual Apple hype.

Ultra Cheap Laptops

I’m not talking about the One Laptop Per Child Project, which has me confused to why I can’t purchase one? I’m talking about Asus Eee Laptop which costs £200 and is more than capable of doing the basics. Just last week, I noticed a Dell selling a laptop for £250 with Windows Vista. So next year I expect the £200 laptop market to hot up.

Social Networks

Google will push its OpenSocial to compete with Facebook. Social networks will see an increase adoption, a couple of hyped up media stories about privacy and increased integration with desktop applications, mainstream media and mobiles. I also feel these networks will need to start proving their valuation.

More Power, More Cores

Next year will see four core processors becoming a standard for desktop computers and maybe even feature in high end laptops. Four Core processors can often be found in most new servers, so I would expect to hear talk of 8 cores and maybe even see a release.

A better year for Microsoft

I did say five, but next year Microsoft needs to get a couple of things right. Windows Vista Service Pack 1 needs to be rolled out smoothly, same goes for Windows XP SP3 and not let Windows Server 2008 shipment date slip.

What are your predictions?

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To make this post a bit more interesting, I have tagged a couple of other tech related blogs…

Jason, Technibble, Nev, Britec IT Solutions – Tech Blog, One Tip A Day, Steve Clayton: Geek In Disguise

I would love to hear your technology predictions for 2008.

If you would like to join in, blog your predictions, leave a comment and I will post an update of everyone’s predictions before Christmas.

Cheers, Jamie

Author: Support @ 9:00 am
Category: Geeky Stuff




How to send sensitive data securely

November 22, 2007

missing discs

British Government has been in a bit of bother this week after losing two discs containing over 25 million records of personal details of parents who received child benefit. So when dealing with sensitive data what is the best way to transfer the information between offices?

At some point in business you might be tasked with sending large amounts of personal and sensitive data to another business or office. Without getting too technical, here are a couple suggestions and yet effective ways to send sensitive data.

1. Required Data Only – Think about why you are needing to send the data. Maybe only certain fields or records need to be sent, just an update file containing records that have changed. So if the worst happens and the data falls into the wrong hands only a partial picture can be painted.

2. Password Protect the File – Most desktop application have the ability to password protect the documents they create. Although the latest versions of Microsoft Office have vastly improved on security front, you need only do a search for “Microsoft Office Password” and see platter of software aimed at breaking password protected documents.

3. Encrypt the File – Once you have password protected the file. You need to encrypt the file using third party software such AxCrypt with an extremely long password phrase and industrial strength algorithm.

Does anyone else have suggestions for encryption software?

4. Split the File and Send Separately – Whatever means you decide to send the data it might be worth while splitting the file into two parts and sending it separately at different time periods. That way if you lose one part of the file in transit the data is still secure. To split the file you could use 7zip or HJ-Split.

5. Sending the Passwords – All your good work will be un-done if you don’t equally take care when sending the passwords. You should presume sending them via email is not a secure method.

6. Check eBay – You should check eBay if your discs do go missing.

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Courier Trouble

That wasn’t the only thing that the courier TNT apparently lost in October. Last month we ordered four rather expensive servers on a tight deadline and only one turned up! We are still sorting out the mess this has caused between them and Computer 2000 who made a complete mess of the whole affair.

Mr Darling told MPs: “Two password protected discs containing a full copy of HMRC’s entire data in relation to the payment of child benefit was sent to the NAO, by HMRC’s internal post system operated by the courier TNT.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7103566.stm

If you have any additional suggestions to sending sensitive data I would love to hear them.

Author: Support @ 9:00 am




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