How to Check if Your PC Is Protected Against Meltdown and Spectre (MS-Windows Only) . .

For all Windows users . . . in addition to the official MS patches, there are a second set of required actions to fix the Meltdown & Spectre security flaws.

Be careful as these updates are needed for the UEFI & BIOS firmware update & can brick your PC if done incorrectly!

See the link referenced below to pull up  the HTC blog article and the video link from ZDnet.

Link to HTC Blog Article . .

ZdNet Video

 

Meltdown & Spectre Security Flaws . .

 

This is the most “widespread” security issue affecting virtually all PC’s for past 10-15 years.   To date, no known infections – – but the potential is there.

ALL#  cpu architectures have a degree of vulnerability (even phones).

# But it’s been reported that Raspberry Pi PC’s are immune from these flaws!

Initial patch  target date is:  Tuesday January 9, 2018 (for all major OS’s).

Link to Meltdown/Spectre Security Article

Info on Ubuntu based Patches

More detailed explanation about the issue – what it is and why Intel is most affected (different design, faster processing of page calls).

Link to HTG article (very good synopsis)

Another good article link below:

CSO Article Link on Meltdown & Spectre . .

Here’s a more complete (technical) explanation:

Spectre & Meltdown explained . .

SoftMaker Suite . . Another Office Alternative

Thanks to Leo Martinez for sending a heads up email about the new version of SoftMaker Office Suite!! . . . a very capable and well supported alternative to MS-Office.  It comes with both paid and free (beta) versions.   The link below the graphic explains more.

Versions available for Mac, Windows, Linux/BSD and Android!

Softmaker article link (by Jack Germain)

 

Windows 10 . . . “Signature Edition”

Yes . . . amongst the many versions of Windows 10 that are available (home, pro, etc.), there is the little advertised clean (aka de-crapifiied) version of Windows which is available for a nominal fee (extra $$ needed to off-set adverts loss $$).

Win Signature Version – – What the hey is it???

With this version, your requirement for 3rd party extra software is reduced, so you may actually save some money  . . . . in the LONG run.

 

3 Laptop Makers disabling Intel ME . . (excellent!)

This is great news and kudos are due these 3 companies:

Dell

Purism

System76 . .

In case some club members are not aware, there are hidden PC’s within PC’s on Intel (and probably other CPU manufacturer’s also, that exclude users from fully controlling their own hardware).   This is a security risk because this is no fix for it . . . until now.

Link to article re 3 laptop makers and intel ME

 

System76 Cyber Monday – $155 to $910 off

IF , , , there are any remaining club members looking for new hardware (probably not as about a half-dozen of us have upgraded this year or the last couple years) but if still looking . . . savings of $155 (Meerkat) to $910 (Silverback) are pretty awesome!

Plus TCO (total cost of ownership) is generally less for Linux based systems – – especially for setup and update support.

Sys76 Sales