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#295349 - 03/21/20 07:29 PM Helping our ETS Community
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3311
Loc: USA
Do you need help with something while youíre sheltering in place? Iím honestly not sure what we as a group can actually do for any of our members besides providing companionship, expertise and advice, but I for one am willing to try.

Hereís an example of how we can communicate on this matter:

Needs: The Magnet family is fine, weíre a little cooped up and have some concerns about our security situation degrading, but currently itís not a big worry.

Wants: Ideas on how to get my teenagers to be less difficult. Weíre not doing too badly there overall.

How I can help others: Iím an IT and cybersecurity professional, long-time ham radio operator, reasonably good with electronics and small engines, and the lead trainer on preparedness topics for my local CERT and for my local training collective. Iím also a firearms instructor and have started providing basic familiarization training via FaceTime for new gun owners. There may be other things that I can do that it hasnít occurred to me to list here.


chaosmagnet

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#295350 - 03/21/20 09:09 PM Re: Helping our ETS Community [Re: chaosmagnet]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2816
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Chaos, a lot of people have kids at home now, needing onine school access and free games. I know several who have spare Win7 machines but are scared to turn the kids loose on them now that support has ended.

Any thoughts on locking down a Win7 box as much as possible to reduce the risk?

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#295352 - 03/21/20 09:28 PM Re: Helping our ETS Community [Re: chaosmagnet]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 839
Loc: wellington, fl
Raised 4 teenagers, had to sit out some road closure 3 day blizzards with them: I feel your pain.

Teens have the task of distancing themselves from the parental dependence of their earlier childhood, and establishing themselves as independent adults which involves firmly rejecting parental behavior and slavishly adopting peer group behavior.

It might be good for them to hear that this is not a trivial exercise in governmental or parental control designed merely to ruin their lives. We are under attack from a lethal pathogen. We need to ranger up and acknowledge that people we know will be very sick or dead as a result of this attack, and that our actions right now will determine how many are sick in three weeks.

Maybe they need what we all need, and what you have offered in your post: a chance to move away from self-absorption and into an orientation of helping others. They could work on contacting their friends and making sure that their heads are in an okay place. Maybe find a church youth group that is doing a live youtube chat group, or some other techno-magic beyond my poor power to imagine. Or a atheist/agnostic youth group, tho those are harder to find. Maybe a project around the homestead,or an exercise in cleaning all the firearms in the house.

Or maybe not. I wasn't all that good with my kids in the crunch. YMMV
_________________________
Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.

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#295356 - 03/22/20 12:46 AM Re: Helping our ETS Community [Re: chaosmagnet]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3311
Loc: USA
Good question, dougwalkabout. Unfortunately, home and corporate users should not use Windows 7 for any purpose moving forward. Windows 7 PCs need to be upgraded (if possible) or replaced without delay. I have customers with industrial control system software that cannot run on modern operating systems; while replacing that ICS software with something new is strongly preferred, if they totally airgap those networks and prohibit things USB flash drives and other mechanisms to move files, it can work as a stopgap. Note that Iran tried that kind of security for their nuclear material enrichment program and failed.

In my professional opinion one cannot lock down a Win7 PC enough to make it worthwhile in a home network.

Excellent observations, Nursemike. Our youngest, dramamagnet, is being rather more obstreperous than the others, but a 5mile bike ride seemed to take the edge off. Dramamagnet will be doing more of that tomorrow whether they want to or not.

For me, Iím improving my ham radio capability so that I can reach friends who are further away. We can exchange information if nothing else. Today I used a new mast with a 2M J-pole antenna and had surprisingly good results. My plan is to work on improving my HF skills soon. Two others in my household are also hams, but they donít seem to be as interested in working on that skill right now.

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#295357 - 03/22/20 01:22 AM Re: Helping our ETS Community [Re: chaosmagnet]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2082
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Sadly, the biggest thing on my mind lately involves home/personal protection from sudden, expected break-in ... and that steps outside forum rules. We are so removed from neighbors and assistance that even the wife thinks about it.

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#295358 - 03/22/20 01:26 AM Re: Helping our ETS Community [Re: chaosmagnet]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2082
Loc: NE Wisconsin
CM,
Can something like a Chromebook provide internet access with less concerns about nasties???

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#295359 - 03/22/20 02:02 AM Re: Helping our ETS Community [Re: chaosmagnet]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2816
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Chaos, thanks, that matches my understanding. (And don't get me started on ancient home routers ....)

So, the options are:

1) Dual boot with Linux, assuming they need files and offline access to installed Win7 software

2) Try the quietly still-available upgrade tool from Microsoft. I used this late last year on four systems. Two were compatible, and are now on Win10. Two were not compatible, but the current installer is quite intelligent and restored them to Win7. Very slick and capable, unlike the initial offering way back when.

for USA
https:// www. microsoft. com/en-us/software-download/windows10

for Canada
https:// www. microsoft. com/en-ca/software-download/windows10

3) Try the PC-to-Chromebook conversion. Said to work, but security is a question mark.

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#295361 - 03/22/20 08:09 AM Re: Helping our ETS Community [Re: KenK]
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 1065
Loc: Germany
If you can go with Linux and maybe burn media, Knoppix may be an option. It is free and runs entirely from a read only medium. That way you do not need to bother with potitial trouble form installing a dual boot system and your OS cannot be compromised by internet nasties.
If it does not run on your current machine, you still have your unchanged setup.
Should you really like it, it offers an option to install AFAIK. The installed version is not read only though.
_________________________
If it isnīt broken, it doesnīt have enough features yet.

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#295365 - 03/22/20 11:48 AM Re: Helping our ETS Community [Re: KenK]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3311
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: KenK
Sadly, the biggest thing on my mind lately involves home/personal protection from sudden, expected break-in ... and that steps outside forum rules. We are so removed from neighbors and assistance that even the wife thinks about it.


Discussion of the use of firearms and related self-defense topics is acceptable here. Discussion of firearms politics or unlawful activities would not be.



chaosmagnet

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#295366 - 03/22/20 11:57 AM Re: Helping our ETS Community [Re: chaosmagnet]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3311
Loc: USA
I should have said this earlier: Before making any changes, be sure that you have a current backup of anything you need on the laptop. Double and triple checking is not wrong.

ChromeOS (the PC to Chromebook option) is a good choice and itís rare to see them get compromised.

Upgrading to Win10, if your hardware supports it, is a good option. Iíve had mixed results with the free upgrade tool of late.

If you choose Linux, you may have some learning to do. Iíd suggest you pick a distribution thatís easy to use ó this article seems to give good advice: https://itsfoss.com/best-linux-beginners/.

I do not recommend dual boot to Win7 ó instead Iíd recommend backing up all the files you need twice and then copying them back onto the laptop after whatever change you make. Why twice? Well, letís just say that ďchaosmagnetĒ long predates my time here on ETS, and I donít think thereís a way to break a PC or lose data that I havenít seen (or caused!).

If you need access to data that can only be read by a Windows application and cannot upgrade to Win10 in place, you should probably consider buying a new laptop with Win10.

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