SN 952 observations

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  • BootAble – FreeDOS boot testing freeware

    To obtain direct, low-level access to a system's mass storage drives, SpinRite runs under a GRC-customized version of FreeDOS which has been modified to add compatibility with all file systems. In order to run SpinRite it must first be possible to boot FreeDOS.

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Well-known member
Oct 1, 2020
Listening to the podcast now, and Steve and Leo are wondering about where those machines are that never get updated. My guess is that those machines are all associated with the following groups:

1 - Government departments, where they have little to no centralised IT that runs with a hard hand, being neutered by hundreds of little fiefdoms in offices that deny them anything, in either fear it might move an icon (very common, most staff being barely computer literate over the ability to follow instructions to the letter), or break some ancient software they have to have to work ( still with IE4.0 and ActiveX controls there for a "special task" they no longer know the developer of, or have source code any more) to do some function.

2 - Hospitals, because the same reasons, plus they "absolutely cannot" allow any downtime for any updates to be implemented, because they did it once, and they needed 10 hours for the machine running XP (before EOL) to catch up to current after a decade of no updates, so updates are forbidden forever on. If it breaks a new machine, current to this date, is brought in to replace it.

3 - Small business, large enough to have a few dozen computers, and possibly an IT service that is contracted to them, but where they refuse to pay for any updates, and also refuse to allow automatic updates, because "it takes too long to start in the morning" as excuse, along with them paying peanuts, and getting monkey service, of fixing only when totally broken. Note they also have likely no backups either, and also the passwords are a variation of "Password1", written to the post it note in the top drawer, because sticking it to the monitor, or under the keyboard, is not secure, but in a drawer is.

4 - SOHO users, where again the computer was bought as an appliance, connected to the wifi, and left like that, and updates were turned off, as "too annoying", and any anti malware was also removed, after the "first 6 months or 12 months FREE" period was over, again "too annoying", plus it interfered with the gambling and adult sites they are addicted to. Got a copy of Office with a crack or a keygen, and installed, and left it that way, because it works, and it now costs nothing to use.
I suspect you're correct about a lot of that, Sean. Also, unfortunately Microsoft has adopted the strategy of withholding all updates, security and feature, as an incentive to coerce the users of its software to upgrade. So once those older, yet still buggy, versions of Microsoft's software have fallen out of support, they will forever remain out of support... and vulnerable. It's an unfortunate consequence of the way the industry has developed. The problem is, old software still works.
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Yes, so now you can offload all that old ewaste onto the DOD, who are scouring fleabay and Aliexess for it, paying whatever price is demanded.