Updates, Windows XP, last oil and orders

On April 8'th 2014 Microsoft began distribute the last update for Windows XP (are they done?), If you're one of the recipients then be advised that it's high time to consider an alternative, a future platform, Windows or other. No danger yet, in fact you may still be safe for weeks, or even a couple of months. That is until the next major, or significant hole, bug of fault is discovered, and that not only on or regarding XP. This "Antique Windows" share code with newer Windows versions so in other words, a SNAFU detected on a newer one may backfire or expose your "Ex-Pee Kingdom".

I know, people .... well...many of us, occasionally.. or often (too often?) don't like change. And we don't like changing things that works, and works well...... ok, most of us don't. This however, is a change that needs to be done... soon(er).

Changes are a pain

Well.... not always BUT.... they can be. Oh yes SirMa'm they can! I've been a systems administrator for many many years. Enough years to have had my share of sleepless nights, when minutes felt like eons, either because something was wrong or because something was right and that in itself was suspect. Or because I could not go to sleep as the mind restlessly wandered, or rather scrolled through server logs, counting errors rather than sheep while thinking about all the other errors that could lurk in the Digital Mines of Moria. GoblinErrors ready to rise from the darkest byte-pits, and attack me in the morning.

Indeed, making changes to big company servers while they on top of everything else works a) ok, b)adequately, c) well, d) perfectly, e) astonishingly or (finally) f) surprisingly is... or rather can be, a painful exercise, a time consuming exercise. But, a needed exercise.

As with other forms or areas of responsibility one needs to learn to detach oneself emotionally, which isn't always easy. Less if you take your work seriously, and goes to greath length to deliver the best possible quality. Negative consequences of change therefore makes you want to resist change. You know that one day your alleged entry into the ditto alleged "Promised Land of Updates" is going to be a curse better forgotten quickly. And this way a previously ambitious, paradigm-shifting, far-sighted, nouveau tinkerer of an idealist may devolve (if partially/temporary) into a reactionary, reluctant, anti-nouveau thinking tinkerer.

Well not always... it's of course not quite that bad, but I have to create a little bit of blog drama, However.. and that said.....

I've lost could on how many times, despite rose-red promises and assurances from a vendor, an update have caused grief, pain and momentary panic. If you had a staging or pilot system, a replica of your production where you could run test to see IF in fact, the update or upgrade worked as intended, and it well that somtimes cannot fully emulate what will happen in your production envronment. Even with hardware and software that makes it 100% identical and you can simulate mass logons and what have we, that can only reproduce a little part of all the variables and instances going. 

Don't panic, things can be mitigated

...indeed they can. For a single PC client it might not be too difficult to deal with a change, a bad update. To get back to where you were before things went wrong, with the update, that the vendor say would be your blessing and problem solver. Faronics got a product to protect you from bad changes or updates, whether on a server or Mac/PC client. This product is called Deep Freeze, and it freezes your setup so that if things go wrong, all you got to do is to restart your machine, and you're right back to where you were before things went wrong.

Yes it works for XP too, windows version that's served man/woman-kind so well one estimates there are still some  30% of them around, and that's only those on the internet. Some liked it so much they even use XP as a webserver (something it wasn't really designed for) !

Well if you're reading this blog through the/a Window produced on an Windows XP machine, begin to consider to make a change now. Back up all your data, and hop on whatever else you consider the next thing. I am on Windows 7 64bit and it too works very well, in fact it works so well I have no plans to hop on Windows 8 just yet. Though I know that the day will inevitably come when these windows too will meet their maker's pre-decided fate. And the blessings (read updates) from its not-so-almighty maker stops coming in. By the way, some things don't change, updates and upgrades remains, occasionally, downgrades. Funny stuff happens that causes your computer to behave as entrenched in byte'ish syrup. But that's another story, maybe one for later.

Thank you for reading this blog. Now do your updates, if needed.. Cheers.

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