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Comment Re:Virtualize the environment (Score 4, Informative) 953

If you can do a fresh install, this would be a good opportunity to do so:

1. Install XP from scratch, with all the latest fixes and whatnot. Get it nice and pristine with no crap milling about beyond the barebones stuff. Get the licensing happy.
2. SNAPSHOT
3. Get your custom software installed.
4. SNAPSHOT
5. BACK IT ALL UP.
6. Use gingerly :-)

Comment Re:Ummm Yes (Score 1) 953

Seconded. Either:

1. Run it on a hypervisor host and RDP into it or
2. Run it in a local VM using VirtualBox (which does surprisingly well running XP-on-7 as long as you have the VM tools instaled). Set the desktop to change size when its window does, auto-hide the toolbar, and it looks/behaves fairly similarly to a local app on W7.

I had a friend's business (which relied on an old map application whose DRM WOULD NOT run on W7) implement such a thing and it's worked great. Plus you get snapshots, which is enough of a reason for me to recommend just about all embedded/oddball apps run on a VM.

Comment Get a Firm/Contractor and Train Yourself Up (Score 1) 212

If marketing isn't one of your firm's core competencies, outsource. Either hire an outside agency or get a hired gun in as a contractor.

If someone is really motivated to become a partner, let him/her go through a trial period where they're essentially in that contractor role and you can evaluate results. But you're right--if you're worried about possibly underperforming partners (and don't have enough mojo to figure it out without hard numbers), then get some hard numbers first.

As you correctly surmised, you can't completely ignore marketing if you're a business owner. Get some training on the subject (even if just an online class or something, though no need to go completely nuts). This is, unfortunately, one blind spot you can't have forever--marketing can be expensive and you must know and maintain what works.

Comment Re:just use virtual machines (Score 5, Interesting) 464

Yes and no.

I did a bit of IT consulting a while back for a small company owned by a friend of mine that upgraded one of their (dead) machines to Win7 from XP. One of their pieces of software (that isn't supported by the vendor anymore, natch) had some copy protection on it that ABSOLUTELY REFUSED to run on Win7. As in "every single post I could find about it on Google said 'don't bother'" and no amount of backwards-compatibility junk would get Win7 to make it work, period (though admittedly this was Win7 Home Prem, so no built-in VM stuff).

The solution: VirtualBox, running a spare XP license, and just this one application. With the VBox tools installed, I set it to resize the desktop automatically when the window's resized, put the taskbar on autohide, and it works great (nice and snappy for an office-type app). When you click the close box on the window, VBox suspends the VM. When you open it back up again, it un-suspends. Plus you get snapshotting and portability of the environment.

They were not sophisticated enough to pull this off, but their local IT guy (me) was, and this is a little 5-person extermination company...

Submission + - Websites can detect what Chrome extensions you've installed (kotowicz.net)

dsinc writes: A Polish security researcher, Krzysztof Kotowicz makes an worrisome entry in his blog: with a few lines of Javascript, any web site could list the extensions installed in Chrome (and the other browsers of the Chromium family).

Proof of concept is provided here: http://koto.github.com/blog-kotowicz-net-examples/chrome-addons/enumerate.html

As there are addons which deal with very personal things like pregnancy or religion, the easiness of access to those very private elements of your life is really troubling.

Comment Re:Virgin Mobile & other pre-paid vendors (Score 1) 134

Second. I have VM service on my LG Optimus V that I occasionally use as a hotspot with my Linux laptop no problems. It's not teh awesum bandwidth, but it's usable.

Sprint's network (which VM piggybacks on in the US) is pretty good in the bay area and they're not nearly as price-gougy as VZW or AT&T.

$130 for the mifi, $50 for "unlimited" data (throttled after 2.5G) for a month. Resell the device on eBay if you want when you're done. VZW is at least 2x for the device...

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