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Why Windows Vista (SP1+) is Better Than Windows 7

You’ve been brainwashed. Brainwashed by clever marketing and the classic underpromise-and-overdeliver strategy employed by Microsoft to fix the mistakes they made with Vista.

I know, I know, everyone told you Vista was bad. You maybe even used Vista pre-SP1, on a “Vista Capable” machine way back when it launched and concluded that it was horrible. Or, maybe you heard all the bad press and skipped on it altogether? Stuck with XP, then switched straight to 7. Is that what you did?

Well, regardless, I am convinced that Vista is the superior operating system. So vastly superior, that I am going out of my way to ensure that it replaces all the systems that I have been tricked into installing Windows 7 on. At work, at home, and for my clients. I am going to make an argument in this article as to why I believe that Vista remains superior.

I challenge someone to list 7 reasons why Windows 7 is better than Windows Vista. Actual reasons. “Features” like Aero Snap, Jump Lists, and the new taskbar do not necessitate an entirely new operating system, so they don’t really count. Those could easily be implemented into Vista, if it were not abandoned in the wake of Windows 7 by the new CEO, Steve Ballmer. So, we begin with a mini history lesson:

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Is WPA/WPA2 Vulnerable to Brute Force?

Just for fun, I attempted to bruteforce my own WPA2 (“Wi-Fi Protected Access”) network using Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery. Since I had rather awful results in the past with *.PDFs, I thought, perhaps I would have better luck with WPA cracking. The PDF algorithm doesn’t work with GPUs, but it does work with WPA, so I thought that maybe I’d be in luck!

In order to bruteforce WPA/2, you have to capture a 4-way “handshake” (tutorial below). You can do this using BackTrack, or WireShark to listen and capture the packets to a file, specifically a *.CAP file. If you don’t capture it correctly, you won’t be able to even try cracking it. Not that this makes much of a difference…

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How-To: Make Use of UltraVNC SC (Single-Click)

What is UltraVNC SC? It’s a solution for fast remote-access to a client’s system. It’s free, too.

What’s the difference between UltraVNC and UltraVNC SC? UltraVNC SC takes all of the complexities of setting up a VNC server, and puts the burden on the admin, rather than the client side. Forwarding ports, installing services, setting up passwords, configuring firewalls — all of that is transparent to the client. All the client has to do is double-click a custom *.exe that you set up ahead of time by following this guide.

So, let’s get started.

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Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery Review

I’ve used a lot of different software in a tireless effort to brute force a password out of a single PDF. So far, Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery certainly helps to speed up the process dramatically, but is it enough to reasonably crack a standard 8 character password in a reasonable amount of time?

As it turns out, that depends on what type of file you are trying to recover the password on. For example, PDF files are unable to take advantage of GPU acceleration (such as NVIDIA’s CUDA), while WPA/WPA2 (.cap/.wph files) are supported. Either way, be prepared to wait a long time, or drop a lot of money on a lot of CPU/GPU power because once you get up to just a measily 8 characters, it can take years.

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Power Saver, Balanced, or High Performance?

Power settings matter a great deal, especially on notebooks. Many pre-built computers come with their own power settings built into the OS, usually called something like “Dell Recommended.” These settings are usually decent, but to be sure you’re getting the best power management it is advised to instead use Balanced which will likely do a better job of dynamically setting the CPU as necessary. There’s always more to power settings than meets the eye, however; for example in XP, power settings were curiously hidden in various names like “Home/Office Desk” and “Minimal Power Management” — and, what’s the difference between “Presentation” and “Always On”? Turns out, if you wanted XP to use full power you’d have to set it to “Home/Office Desk.”

In Windows Vista & 7, the power settings have been dramatically overhauled for the better. Here’s what’s different and noteworthy:

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Top 5 Free Online Storage Reviews

I’ve got a lot of data. For me, storage is critical. As I mentioned in my previous article on how to archive large files on SkyDrive, sometimes I want to move files to the cloud for an extended duration of time or permanent archive. It’s good practice to keep a copy of critical data off-site to prevent against theft, fire, earthquakes, human error, and whatever other paranoia you can come up with.

So, since you’re being cheap and searched for free online storage reviews, here are the current best 5 free five online storage services:

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