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Microsoft ends support for Windows XP

Windows-XP-Support-has-ended

Yes, the apocalypse is happening.  It’s April 9, 2014  and Microsoft has ended support for Windows XP.

The great news is that both your computer and your Office 2003 documents and Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook 2003 will continue to function just fine. The main drawback on this end of support is security vulnerabilities.

So, you have Windows XP and you’re wondering what this means to you, who still have Windows XP on your 10 year old laptop or desktop.

1. You can no longer call Microsoft Support if you have any Windows XP questions.

2. You will no longer get Windows updates every Tuesday, this includes updates to Internet Explorer versions that are supported on Windows XP. Internet Explorer 7 and 8 will no longer get updates.

Windows-XP-Support-ended-April-2014

3. Microsoft Security Essentials will no longer be updated. Many of you and definitely many of my clients use this as their primary protection against Viruses.

So, what to do?

1. Stop using Internet Explorer immediately on Windows XP.

2. Start using Firefox or Chrome. FYI – support for Chrome/Windows XP will end sometime in 2015. These browsers will continue to be supported.

3. Uninstall Microsoft Defender and Security Essentials.

4. Install a Windows XP compatible Anti-virus program. A few we recommend: Bit Defender Direct &  AVG Direct.

Ultimately, we recommend you get a new computer (which will often require a new printer, possibly a new monitor as well) with Windows 7 (support ends in 2020) or Windows 8 (support ends in 2023).

Office-2003-Support-has-ended-April-2014

 

Yes, in a sad/true story, the best Office Suite (in my opinion), Office 2003, has been “end of life’d” for support. This ended on 4/8/2014 as well. This Office Suite included Word 2003, Excel 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Outlook 2003, and Publisher 2003.  The product will still work beautifully, but won’t have any future security updates. Side Note: I’ve yet to see a direct security attack come through MS Office product.

Office-2003-Support-has-ended

 

Additional Resources

Windows XP Support – Official Page
Windows Life Cycle – Official Page
Microsoft Office End of Life Support – All versions of Office

My Computer has a Virus! Don’t Panic, ITM’s got you Covered

Oh no, my computer has a virus!

My Computer has a Virus! Don’t Panic, ITM’s got you Covered

We’ve all experienced that sinking feeling when we first suspect our computer’s been compromised. But don’t worry, ITM Computing can help. Be safe and ‘manage the damage’ by following these simple steps.

Here are a few simple steps to take immediately if you suspect your computer has been infected:

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Chat Freely, Simply.

Love chatting! It’s like a dirty little secret. Not many people of a certain age or older will own up to a lot of chatting but there’s a reason why so many interfaces – Yahoo IM, AIM, Messenger, Facebook, et cetera – exist. Someone out there is doing it. A lot of it. Thanks to internet 2.0 (soon to be 3.0!), we chatterers don’t have to confine ourselves to a single provider, or spread ourselves thin using several pop-outs at any given time.

We can use all of the chat operators we want with just one of any of these chatter boxes. And since everyone is at facebook, you might as well be able to chat with your friends, without even logging into facebook.

Digsby is the first 3rd party messenger to support facebook’s chat feature. It is a cross-platform messenger available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. No hacks or plugins are required. Just register for an Digsby account and login with it. Once you are logged in, click Add Account. Now in the Accounts tab, click Add IM Account and select Facebook Chat from the list

Pidgin is an opensource 3rd party IM that has a large user base but sadly till today there is no official support for facebook chat. The only way to connect with Facebook chat is through a plugin. Grab the Facebook Chat Plugin for Pidgin and with it you can log into the Facebook servers, grab the buddy list, send/receive messages, add/remove friends, receive notifications, search for Facebook friends and set your Facebook status.

Once you have installed this plugin, you will find Facebook listed among the supported IMs.

Adium is a free opensource IM for Mac OS X. The latest version(1.3.3) has a built-in support for facebook chat, just login with your facebook account and you are good to go.

If you are only interested in using the facebook chat and not all the other chat funcions, you can try the Facebook Chat Standalone.

If you’re looking for the app that does it all, look for Trillian. Chatty interoperability on just about every device I have (not the Atari, sadly).