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Question

firwall

by tedtks / June 7, 2014 8:21 AM PDT

is there a non MS firewall avail for XP pro ?

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All Answers

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Answer
(NT) have you looked at Zone Alarm?
by James Denison / June 7, 2014 8:24 AM PDT
In reply to: firwall
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Answer
(NT) Most folk use a router. That's a firewall.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 7, 2014 8:26 AM PDT
In reply to: firwall
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Answer
What exactly is wrong with the XP firewall?
by Jimmy Greystone / June 7, 2014 11:20 PM PDT
In reply to: firwall

There's a lot of misinformation floating around about how it's an incoming-only firewall. Not only is that completely false, it wouldn't really matter since the primary thing the average person needs is something to fend off automated probes looking for people still exposing XP systems to the Internet.

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what is wrong
by tedtks / June 8, 2014 4:40 AM PDT

while reading an article on the NSA problems and such, and finding out how
MS was involved in data collection..... one of the things mentioned was that
ms could disable the firewall to allow nsa probe's... so .... the article was
keen on people useing a non ms firewall.
so thats why I was looking. then discovered that the new Avast had one
in their "security" add on so I am trying that now - will cost me hahahaha in
another 19 days hahaha

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Oh, that discussion?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 8, 2014 4:45 AM PDT
In reply to: what is wrong

Sorry but given how routers and more are tampered with, why do you think a firewall will help?

Before you come back to this, read "Why did Lavabit shutdown?"
Now that we know your ISP is wired up for data collection, and anyone that goes dark is put out of business, why are you on a computer at all?
Bob

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oh, that dicussion
by tedtks / June 8, 2014 6:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Oh, that discussion?

same as you Robert, same as you..
and you are more in tune that most,, since I dont work in the field any more,
I am a bit behind and just trying to keep up.

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The more I compare notes.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 8, 2014 8:07 AM PDT
In reply to: oh, that dicussion

The more I feel that we have become a surveillance society. Sad about Lavabit. The message is sends is a scary one.
Bob

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It won't matter
by Jimmy Greystone / June 8, 2014 6:49 AM PDT
In reply to: what is wrong

It won't matter. Seriously. One, I would find the article rather suspect just to begin with, but what's to say any other company wouldn't have the same basic back door mechanism? Not to mention the NSA doesn't really need to get past your firewall, the amount of data the average person shares on places like Facebook is generally more than they could ever get rifling through individual computers.

Plus, when you get down to it, if for some reason you attract the attention of the NSA, even assuming you could find a firewall that couldn't be breached by a sufficiently skilled and determined person, the NSA could simply get a warrant to seize your computer and then have direct access to it. Think about it for a second, companies like IBM spend more just on network security in a year than probably the four of us who've participated in this thread make combined. They still have people getting past their firewalls and other defenses. You really think some free bit of software like ZoneAlarm or whatever else? If you ever attract the attention of an actual human being to the point that they want to get into your computer, you're only defense will be disconnecting from the Internet entirely. That's just the cold, hard truth of it. The rest is just fending off automated probes from social malcontents who like to think they're some kind of "l33t" hacker, but really are completely and utterly dependent upon tools written by other people. If the NSA wants to know something about you, they have far more effective means of getting that info than breaking into your computer. They can issue subpoenas, complete with gag orders preventing anyone from even telling you they received the subpoena, if you have a facebook account odds are that's a treasure trove, your income tax returns are easily obtained, phone records, criminal history, Bob's point about your ISP having records of every single site you ever visit... All kinds of things that are generally public record or can be obtained easily enough by a subpoena are likely going to tell them far more about you than anything they could learn from the contents of your computer's HDD and if they are for some reason stymied by your firewall, they'll just seize the computer itself.

The article you read is nothing more than click-bait, plain and simple. Even if the author were being genuine, to say that they have a dubious understanding of computer security would be exceedingly generous. This is the kind of nonsense you'd expect from the self-proclaimed wannabe security expert Steve Gibson of grc.com. The number of times that guy has made some grandiose claim only to be proven that he has an amazing gag reflex for how far down his throat his foot must be.

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Script kiddies Jimmy.
by Dafydd Forum moderator / June 8, 2014 7:09 AM PDT
In reply to: It won't matter

Dafydd.

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wont matter - doesnt actually
by tedtks / June 8, 2014 8:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Script kiddies Jimmy.

you be correct. I dont worry about NSA unless they take things I say about obambam
too seriously hahahaha other than that I think they are correct in what they are
doing and the newsy people are just running it around in cirlcles to make is sound good
to get more readers hahaha
if we are going to live with phones, internet and the like - you have to know that
others will read what you say. the kids today forget that thinking they are within their
little group where they post - but those little groups are internationally open essentially
and I have to laugh when they get out of shape about it.
getting a non ms firewall is just an interim step to get away from ms altogether..
just dont have the time just now to jump into ubuntu and setting up a pc to run it.
I will prob use my #3 pc and rebuild it,, its getting way old and I am not playing the
older games on it much anymore.

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Then it doesn't matter
by Jimmy Greystone / June 8, 2014 9:48 AM PDT

Then it doesn't matter, if the plan is to switch to Linux or something that isn't Windows. Using a different firewall program doesn't do anything for that. Abstracting that functionality out into a router would certainly help, then you have something that is OS agnostic. It doesn't care what OS you're running, it just does its thing for any connected device. Using software that's cross platform like Firefox and Thunderbird or web mail setups like Gmail, which again abstracts the software from the OS to a large degree, will help ease the transition to another OS. Trading one Windows specific program for another will not help.

None of that will necessarily keep you from the all-seeing eye of the NSA. The NSA created something known as SELinux which basically hardens the Linux security model, but it also shows that the NSA has a very deep and thorough knowledge of Linux security. You can't gain that kind of knowledge without also knowing how to exploit it. You would probably also be a fool to put it past the NSA trying to conceal some kind of back door in SELinux. No matter where you go, they're going to find you if they want to know something about you. If you have other reasons for wanting to switch to Linux, then best of luck to you on that, but if the idea is to try and hide from the NSA, it's a bit like saying you've got a magic rock that keeps tigers away.

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its not that
by tedtks / June 8, 2014 10:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Then it doesn't matter

I dont care what NSA is doing hahaha I have no intention of doing anything against any
body - except maybe ms ! just want to get away from that ms engine that keeps
demanding that we pay them to be happy... hey... I am still running XP Pro w/2 - didnt bother
updating to 3. Its like I am a little kid,, my toys are MINE ! ! and I want to play with them
however I want. ms is like the bully that insists that I play with his rules, or will take
my toy away. Who's John Galt ! !
I am 69,, and have been in this business since 1968...
if anything we did back then was as bad as what is going on today - people would get
fired... " Patches " was not a word that pertained to computers.
If things were not 100% out the door - somebody got fired, or business's would fail, or
when I had them under me, maybe not fired but sure as hell they got talked to, or I
would lose customers if from nothing else than word of mouth.
these days its slower coming due to the immensity and lack of turning to other ways.
But,, things may change. just have to hope for the better direction ? :-p

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So how about TAILS?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 8, 2014 11:09 AM PDT
In reply to: its not that
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Not even close
by Jimmy Greystone / June 8, 2014 12:03 PM PDT
In reply to: its not that

Not even close. One of my favorite examples to demonstrate the logical fallacy of this, is you have people who will claim they bought some stereo system in 1975 and it still works great today. Of course when you look at it, you can see that this was a very high end system in 1975 and cost a pretty penny when you adjust for inflation. Meanwhile landfills all over the country, world even, were filling up with cheap transistor radios that were pieces of junk that lasted maybe 1-2 years, if that.

There were plenty of examples, no matter where you looked, of people producing cheap junk. The idea that people produced perfect code every time or the whole notion of someone being pressured to get a product out the door before it was ready is a new phenomenon is simply not true. You can look at the Y2K example of where developers knowingly and intentionally introduced a catastrophic bug into their code. At the same time, computer programs in the 1960s and 70s were extremely limited in functionality and were generally used by people who were very highly trained, possibly even the developers themselves.

I write a number of macros for automating some of the more tedious parts of my job. As the developer of said macros, I know where all the pitfalls are and the specific input this function is expecting, so I don't need any protections against my doing something stupid. Now if I decide to share these macros with my coworkers, I have to try and account for all kinds of things that I never would have thought of. A couple weeks ago one of my coworkers was saying my macros weren't working for her and upon investigation, it turned out she was trying to enter in letters to an input box tied to a function expecting only numbers. The vagaries of VBA means that it had to be a string variable, even though it's storing an integer value because of the manipulations I need to be able to manipulate it like a string. So now I've had to add checks for letters in that field and that complicates the code. I also have to make sure no one enters more than 12 numbers in that same field because it's a 12-digit internal tracking number and be able to handle things gracefully if they do. That adds complexity to my code. I have to try and anticipate every single stupid thing my coworkers could possibly do with these macros and devise some method of dealing with it. Probably about 1/3 of the couple hundred lines of code that is my macro suite is nothing but trying to anticipate the unintended ways someone might try and use any given part of any macro.

But don't expect Linux to be any different from Windows. Unless you're a rather accomplished programmer, it's not exactly the land of freedom it's often made out to be. You're just trading a bunch of people at Microsoft making decisions about how you should use your computer for a group of random, often changing, group of people from various parts of the world deciding how you should use your computer. Look into some of the history of the GNOME project and how they've annoyed users by trying to force something on them. Not just the new conceptual interface with GNOME 3, but even before that, when GNOME decided to keep plugging along with CORBA and then developed something akin to the Windows registry instead of the old Unix style configuration files. Even the Linux kernel isn't nearly as open as it might seem. Linus basically has final say over what does and doesn't make it into the kernel, when a particular kernel version is released, etc. Not too long ago he very publicly stated he wouldn't accept any more patches from a particular developer. So sure, the source code is there, but what good does it do you unless you have the requisite programming skills to develop the feature you personally want and not to mention the time and resources required to maintain your own parallel branch of the program if your patches are not accepted upstream to become part of the next version? If you want to pick up programming in your golden years, I commend you for it, but until you've done that, you're just trading the whims of Microsoft for the whims of the developer(s) for any given Linux program you may use. Even if you have the source code and are a reasonably skilled programmer, getting your head around tens of thousands of lines of code is no small task. I have a hard enough time sometimes maintaining my macro suite which is probably in the 100-200 lines of code if you don't count the comment blocks I put at the beginning of functions to explain what they do.

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not even close
by tedtks / June 8, 2014 3:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Not even close

hahaha welllll.... I used to be - what my first teacher said - a gifted programmer.
but now - ha! In the early 80's I wrote a .com in direct machine.. I was chatting
with a guy in canada on his billboard (remember those) and he wanted to see it.
I told him it was a sort that worked like lightning, and was about 20 lines of code.
the ***... published it in his book and wrote an article in Basic magazine on it
"as his own". My first wake up call to cyber crime. Happy
it was all good as I hadnt told him how to feed the routine and what he decided
it took was not exactly right Happy
come to think about it - does a .com even run in windows ? and is the program
that I used to create them still around. maybe I ought to reload w3.6 or whatever
to see if its still there - dont know what for hahahaha and yes,, I still have them
on diskettes. a bunch more stuff I probably should get rid of but it might be fun
some afternoon just to look back.

Now.. I am not able to remember the flags used for commands, much less the
commands. I was looking at some basic code I had done and could not follow
it like I used to. the old brain is just not functioning like it used to - loseing it.
have to make notes just to go to the store.
so if and when I do finally go to linux you would probably see me there with
a bunch of questions hahahaha

everything I wrote - I tested - then had non programmers/users test it.
only then would I release it and never had any callbacks. other than when
they wanted a change to a printout, did I have to re-do, or "patch" anything.
just normal biz.

you sound like you may be a good programmer.. thorough and picky. best quality ! !
Plus,, your comment on old things being better than todays - I have a sears 7 inch
saw that I bought in about 69 that I still use today - only had to replace the run trigger
switch. some time in the late 80's my wife came home and drove into the
garage while I was working and ran over my saw. went to sears and got a new
one - It lasted about 6 months and died - and sears had begun to not take returns
like they used to ! so I just straightened out the table and its fine today. got a
brad/stapler a couple years ago - It died before I even went thru a box of staples.
us oldies remember when things were made to last, and the new gen just accepts
that things will die and just get a new one. seems like that is the way they are
built. cant make zillions if what you manufacture runs forever hahaha

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update not even close
by tedtks / June 8, 2014 6:01 PM PDT
In reply to: not even close

I got curious if I still had the sort - ha - found it - I was off on the 20 lines of code.
it was 229 bytes long !
and right behind it was my conversion into a basic program setup.
still have all my notes. And my original write up for documentation.
Also discovered that in trying to read the basic program - hahahah did not
have a clue as to what was going on. its only been 30 years since I
did any codeing,,, I could probably figure it out, but dont know why
at this point unless I wanted to go back to one of my earlier operating systems.

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Just keep in mind
by Jimmy Greystone / June 8, 2014 11:26 PM PDT
In reply to: not even close

Just keep in mind that in large part Windows, Linux and any other OS you want to mention, is essentially the same. You are at the mercy of the whims of the people developing the software. With Linux, yes, you do have the option of modifying the source yourself, but the barrier to entry is quite steep. Even if you're a good programmer, trying to read and understand someone else's code is not a simple task.

I'm not trying to dissuade you from trying Linux, but just make sure you don't do it because of some half-wit claiming that because the source code is open somehow it's magically better and gives you more freedom to do what you want with the software. Like pretty much every kind of evangelist, there's a rather large caveat they're failing to mention. In this case, it's probably because said half-wit doesn't have the first clue about programming. If you make the switch to Linux, do it because you want to learn something new and/or just see what else is out there. Don't do it because you think somehow you'll be free of Microsoft's tyranny. All you will end up doing is replacing one petty dictator with another. If you make the switch looking to learn something new or just experiment a little to occupy your days, you will have a much easier time adapting. Of course with that kind of open minded mentality you can easily adapt to newer versions of Windows as well.

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Panasonic RF-504
by James Denison / June 8, 2014 12:45 PM PDT
In reply to: its not that

Still works, not in a dump yet. Lasted me in the 60's, a wife, 3 children who liked having it in the bathroom cabinet to listen to while bathing. All that humidity, but still works. My old Mattel football game from the 70's still works too, the youngest has it in her room while still living at home. Tubes, not so great for long life, but those old transistors seem to last forever.


Panasonic RF-504



This below died in Nov 2011, left over from when I had more hair in the 70's. Also passed down through a wife and 3 daughters, which the youngest finally killed it. How many of those made it 40 years and a lot of long hair I wonder?

Woolworth Label


Pro 1200

Yep, old stuff can just last and last, like us. Wink

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I wouldn't just toss in the towel
by James Denison / June 9, 2014 4:36 AM PDT
In reply to: what is wrong

It's like putting a fence up around your yard. It won't stop a determined neighbor's kid from jumping it, but does serve as a deterrent and is effective at keeping some animals out and yours in. Nothing in life is perfect, but we don't just shrug and give it up, we do what we can with the imperfect. In Linux, ecrypts does is more than that 4 ft fence, more like a 6 foot fence with barbed wire at the top. One in both Linux and Windows can use TrueCrypt for just the files they feel are of a sensitive nature. My biggest objection to encryption for home computer usage is toward those if I should die suddenly and them not have access to family files. One can leave passwords in a location for them to use later I suppose. My use of encryption is for certain file having to do with banking or stocks or identity items, most of that in a Linux on Flashdrive, used for laptop when away from home.

Different countries have differing laws on forcing one to divulge passwords, pass phrases, pass files, which will decrypt a computer, but then again, what's in one's mind can't be "seized" and can only be "coerced" and that means you have the ultimate control over it.

In Linux some run the entire drive encrypted, both system and home folders. It slows it down some. While it's true some unecrypted information will be left in system logs if one ONLY encrypts the home folders, it's really not necessary to do more than encrypting just the latter.

Linux uses a monolithic kernel unlike Microsoft and "mods" can be added or subtracted from it using commands like modprobe. So, it's possible with out being a programmer to customize a kernel for one's own personal system that is not exactly like another person's. That's mainly just adding or deleting driver capabilities in the kernel though.

You sound like someone who would find interest in playing around in it some. It can boot from LIVE DVD, but that's "read only" media, so all is done in RAM, so nothing persistent. It can be installed to a flashdrive to try out, but as a LIVE type or a FULL install. Some install into a virtual hard drive under windows to experiment with it.

There is a certain satisfaction about sitting on a fuller wallet, using an OS that's sufficient for one's needs, and smiling at Microsoft missing out on taking more of your money. One thing that NEVER happens in Linux is any messages about Activation or failing Genuine Advantage. Not having a huge Antivirus program running and touching everything leaves more for the operating system itself to use.

Linux is advertised as "free", but if you find something you like, it's good to make some small regular donations to the group providing the particular distro. I usually do $5 per month for the system I prefer. No obligation though. If everyone did such a small amount, Linux would be monetized enough to probably become a major if not THE major OS.

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When folk say Linux is not the major OS.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 9, 2014 5:04 AM PDT

I point out what Android is on top of. Given the near billion users and devices that are on Android and thus Linux, what does it take to be a major OS?

From the web, "Android consists of a kernel based on the Linux kernel long-term support (LTS) branch."
Bob

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Yes. The biggest problem
by James Denison / June 9, 2014 9:59 AM PDT

for linux in today's world is some way to monetize it which would further it's development. The concept of Free Open Source Software is OK, but Incentive actually works better. There are many methods of incentive available, but not all preferable. Munich has their own Linux, China has a Red Linux for govt, and Kylie aimed more for general population. Greece has been moving to Linux only schools. Of course these are all govt based incentives, which brings one back to the worries of NSA some have. It could work like free open broadcast TV, paid by advertisements, but then it's the chicken and the egg, which will come first? If enough use Linux then the advertising dollars will be there, so which must come first? Obviously advertisement revenues could provide adequate support once a following for a particular distro is established and grows, but it's not going to do much to start that growth. Android seems to have found a way to survive and grow.

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Don't forget
by Jimmy Greystone / June 9, 2014 10:58 AM PDT

Don't forget it's the foundation for all Amazon Kindle devices, be they e-ink or tablet. The e-ink Kindles are basically a very stripped down version of Linux with a Java based interface on top. Much like Android is a different GUI on top of a stripped down Linux system. Most routers use Linux as the core of their firmware. Of course to apply the same rule equally, every Mac and iOS device should count as a FreeBSD install, since Darwin, the core OS underneath the GUIs that make OS X and iOS unique, is basically FreeBSD. So FreeBSD is probably giving Linux a good run for its money on that front.

In the embedded space and the server space, Linux has made very significant inroads. In the desktop space it hasn't ever even really reached the status of also-ran. People have been proclaiming the year of Linux on the desktop for at least 20 years now and it hasn't happened. I won't say it will never happen, but short of Apple or Microsoft completely imploding, I wouldn't go holding my breath waiting for it to happen. It may well happen within our lifetimes. Apple is already showing the classic signs of a company in denial about the fact that the well of good ideas is dry and all they have left is to milk their current successes as long as possible. Most of the major iOS developments the past 2-3 versions have been stealing features pretty blatantly from Android and then taking them a step or two further. Which would be fine, if they weren't filing lawsuits against Android device sellers like Samsung claiming their products are so innovative and unique. So by 2020 we might actually see the second demise of Apple considering their profits are derived almost entirely from phone and tablet sales these days and there's no Steve Jobs for a third wind. Given how fickle consumers tend to be, it likely won't be long before Apple's a much smaller company subsisting largely off of producing chips for embedded devices, which Intel will likely acquire or maybe AMD to try and get into the ARM space. So, maybe next decade Linux has a chance if enough people within the core community can set aside their petty bickering and general infighting and present a united front. I highly doubt that will happen and Microsoft will be resurgent and probably even worse than they were in the 90s without even the nominal threat of Apple around.

The openness and individuality of Linux, which is its greatest appeal to some, is also the biggest obstacle to its success on a much broader scale.

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