Computer researchers have recently found out that the main chip in most modern computers—the CPU—has a hardware bug. It’s really a design flaw in the hardware that has been there for years. This is a big deal because it affects almost every computer on networks, including workstation and servers.

This hardware bug allows malicious programs to steal data that is being processed in your computer memory. Normally, applications are not able to do that because they are isolated from each other and the operating system. This hardware bug breaks that isolation.

So, if the bad guys are able to get malicious software running on your computer, they may be able to get access to your passwords stored in a password manager or browser, your emails, instant messages, and documents.

The more severe vulnerability, Meltdown (CVE-2017-5754), appears isolated to Intel processors developed in the last 10 years. Spectre (CVE-2017-5715 and CVE-2017-5753) on the other hand, theoretically affects all processors that use speculative execution, including most modern processors manufactured by Intel, AMD, ARM and potentially more.

From a quick read of the many articles, mitigation will require OS patches and firmware updates from Intel, AMD, Arm, etc. For Microsoft, the patch is dependent on having an approved AV application running that sets a compatibility registry key that Microsoft updates will reference. Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials are of course approved and can be used if nothing else is available.

Below are links to information for Microsoft, VMware, Apple, and AWS.

Microsoft Information

Windows Clients Impacted and Will be Patched

  • Windows 10 (RTM, 1511, 1607, 1703, 1709)
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 7 SP1

Windows Servers Impacted and Will be Patched

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016

Apple

VMWare (5.5, 6.5)

AWS

Updated services detail has been added to Willow River Dynamics Windows and Linux administration and scripts.

Finally jumping into the fray and trying out Windows 10. I have build 9926 running as a VM in VMware Workstation 11.1. Installed with the following specifications for testing.  This build does not have Spartan installed but that will be my next task.

Windows 10 Pro Technical Preview (Build 9926)

  1. Firmware Type: BIOS
  2. Processors
    1. Number: 1
    2. Cores: 2
  3. Memory: 8192
  4. Network Type: Use bridged networking
  5. I/O Controller Type: LSI Logic SAS
  6. Disk Type: SCSI
  7. Disk: Create a new virtual disk
  8. Disk Capacity
    1. 60 GB
    2. Split virtual disk into multiple files
  9. Disk file: Windows 10 x64.vmdk

I am an old-school programmer whose job does not require development anymore. Still, I have a few websites, and am interested in new technologies and methodologies. With a database background and most days filled with ad-hoc query requests, reports, and integration between multiple systems, building a front-end users would save me and them a lot of time.

With a preference toward Microsoft technologies I have settled on the following development environment and have started with these resources.

Environment

  1. Windows 7 Pro
  2. Visual Studio 2013 Premium
  3. Microsoft WebMatrix 3
  4. Local SQL databases for initial learning and development
  5. Windows Azure and SQL 2014 for testing and deployment

Resources

  1. Microsoft SQL Server 2014: Query Tuning and Optimization
  2. Microsoft Azure SQL Database: Step by Step
  3. Introduction Microsoft SQL Server 2014: Technical Overview

This website has provided a great overview of C#, CSS, HTML5, Razor and connecting to databases.

Web Development Using WebMatrix

A new year and a change in direction.  When January rolled around, I made the decision to focus on a collection of poems and put the Stone Path Review journal on hold for a bit.  Well that focus lasted a couple of weeks.   In an effort to become more valuable in my day job, to stay current with data and technology, and to lay the ground work for BioconX, I am spending all of my free time studying and learning.

First goal is to become certified for ITIL Foundations, a framework for managing technology and ensuring it matches what the business needs and requires.

Second goal is to learn cloud technologies, including Windows Azure and SQL 2014, and build dynamic and data driven cloud-based applications.

Related to all of this is my technology specific blog at Bioconx Resources. I will be discussing all of these and related topics, trends, and some of the projects that come out of this.

I will share a lot of the information here and hope to post a poem or two when the timing is right.

No posting would be complete without the other focus of my time.  These two monsters:

Vinny and Leroy
Vinny and Leroy

While studying ITIL foundations, I have been thinking of an application to manage resources, specifically servers, and a service portfolio.  Any good application and design will need a database and I thought a Windows Azure and SQL 2014 account at Microsoft would be a great way to start.  I have not worked with either and there are some tools and requirements to get started.  So I now have Visual Studio 2013 Premium and SQL 2014 Express running locally and connected to my database in the cloud.  Let the fun begin.

The lead-up to decisions, where the result impacts many people and is one of those moments where life changes direction, and the person years from now may not recognize the person now, is the most gut-wrenching moment swirling in self-doubt, a search for reasons, and a forced self-reflection. So much responsibility that borders on a burden that can turn into anxiety if we let the outcome consume our being. Will time allow the mind and heart to return to a normal and balanced state? Or is this something that will be carried for the rest of this life?

The burden weighs heavily, and after so many years in this position, the mind is tired and the frequent headaches now become signs that a change is needed. That it is time to seek out and find a new direction, a new path, and push ahead through new challenges, furthering the distance and time from previous chapters.

Is it too much to ask for a new field to live this life upon? May I start over with the experiences but lose the burden?

I stand on the corner beneath the summer sun and there are cars passing slowly by. Windows are rolled down and music plays from a large truck and like the lyrics of country music, I wallow in despair at the state I find myself in. This is not what I wanted, but in one sense I allowed this to happen, but I have come so far that I have lost some of the drive and push from the earlier version of myself. So I continue to stand here on the corner and watch others pass by on their way to appointments, home, loved ones, or the bar down the road. Any of these destinations or purposes is better than just standing here as time is not kind to those who waste precious minutes, but I am afraid, scared, very comfortable in this position and when I look over the cliff, I no longer feel the excitement of childhood, but instead an intense fear and with some thought I do not have faith in myself.

Where did I go wrong? What moment in this life changed direction to such an extreme that in many ways I do not recognize that person, but that version has become the light I look up to, the person on the pedestal in the middle of grand and empty room with many doors and windows, that I find myself unable to open. No matter what other color I dream for the room, it returns to white, to the same state as when I awoke here. The subconscious knows the comfort state and will override the mind when it begins to see glimpses of a new direction.

How can I break this cycle? How can I awake in another room?

WOBSP-20061029 021