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  1. #1
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    Windows 10 will be a problem for some!

    I wonder if anyone has any suggestions re the following.

    My one person consulting business requires long term OS stability to meet aviation software regulations. By “long term” I mean several years with no more than security updates. This suggests the win 10 Long Term branch, but I doubt my business can afford Enterprise level – and I don’t need all the other stuff that goes with Enterprise. So I have been looking at alternatives – please suggest at this level!

    One possibility is to have an iStick (or similar) for each project and plugging in whichever is the one for the project I am working on. But this means isolating the iStick(s) from Windows updates. Clearly I can just shut down WiFi on the iStick but this shuts it off from my LAN – which means that all communication with my client / printing / etc. has to go via a thumb drive to an internet connected pc – clumsy at best - and presenting a major back up issue (I have to keep on site and off site (currently by cloud) backups.)

    So I thought maybe I can shut off Microsoft via the firewall, but the Windows firewall does not list Windows Update or Microsoft as “Allowed” so I guess they are ‘built in’. Could I use a third party firewall as well as or instead of Windows firewall to block off MS?

    Or am I going down the wrong path and there is a better direction to go in? Is there any way I could connect the iStick(s) directly to a networked pc to do file transfers – but still isolate the iStick from the Internet and hence from MS updates? I also considered using a VM for each project – would that allow file transfer but enable blocking updates? However I doubt that is a cost effective solution since I am already used to the speed of having my OS on SSD, and an SSD to accommodate several VMs running slightly differing versions of win 10 as well as the native OS would need to be quite large / expensive.

    Regards,
    Peter

    PS I thought I had posted this before - but I cannot find it anywhere!

  2. #2
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    Why don't you stick with whatever you currently have? That is what I intend to do unless there is a compelling reason, which I doubt.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Why don't you stick with whatever you currently have? That is what I intend to do unless there is a compelling reason, which I doubt.

    cheers, Paul
    Unfortunately that route will stop being open to me. If I develop or test sw for a client then by aviation regulation I have to do that on the "same OS" as my client has. And this to a fairly precise level - "Windows" is not acceptable, and in many cases "Windows 7" or "Windows 10" is not acceptable. For the last few years "Windows 7 SP1" has been acceptable. Hence my original comment about needing stability. So whilst it likely won't happen for a while - when I get a Win 10 based customer I have no option but to shift.

  4. #4
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    Peter,

    Ok so you have to develop you software on the SAME configuration as your client. So you have 10 clients using Win 7 SP-1. How do you insure that your machine has exactly the SAME configuration as each individual client? This seems like a nightmare to me unless you use a separate machine for each client that is a clone of that client's environment. Am I missing some important clue here?
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  5. #5
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    The regulations are silent on this point. It really comes down to 'a generally accepted level of confidence'. Note I never said "same configuration", I said "same OS". These rules have been in place for a long time now and there is a broad worldwide consensus on what is acceptable - give or take. My concern is that Win 10's update model breaks that consensus unless steps along the lines of my original post are put in place.

  6. #6
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    Is it practical to stand up a Win2012 server with WSUS? Unfortunately, Microsoft has not being clear at all about business options.

    Joe

  7. #7
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    Joe,
    Please see my replies to PaulT and RetiredGeek. I have never heard of anyone doing their development on something like a Win12 server. So as I have to match the OS they are using, I cannot use it either. All my clients to date have run win 2000, XP or 7.

  8. #8
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    I think a VM will be your best option. Then you can lock the configuration at any point you require by removing network access.
    You will need plenty of space, preferably on an SSD, and you can backup the VM easily to a large HDD.

    cheers, Paul

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  10. #9
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    Windows 10 may be a problem for some?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    I think a VM will be your best option. Then you can lock the configuration at any point you require by removing network access.
    You will need plenty of space, preferably on an SSD, and you can backup the VM easily to a large HDD.

    cheers, Paul
    My own thoughts are trending in that direction - but I have no prior experience with VMs so I was cautious. I have installed VMBox on a spare SSD and this took up less space than I thought - 35 G with win 10 installed. Since I don't need to install my 'mainstream' set of programs, only those things needed for the client work, this aspect may be much less of a problem than I had anticipated. Also I gather VMBox has a portable via thumb drive option. However I am still working on the file transfer side, so I am not fully convinced yet.

    Anyone think there is a better alternative to using a VM?
    Last edited by petermat; 2015-07-06 at 12:58.

  11. #10
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    I use VMware Player because that's what I've always used. Never had a problem.
    https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/fre...are_player/7_0

    Oracle Virtualbox gets good press.
    https://www.virtualbox.org/

    cheers, Paul

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  13. #11
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    I was talking about using WSUS to manage Microsoft update distribution. You don't say how many client PCs are involved. With WSUS you get to approve which updates are distributed. Not sure going forward how all this will work but worth looking into if you really need to avoid updates.

    Joe

  14. #12
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    Windows 10 will be a problem for some!

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    I was talking about using WSUS to manage Microsoft update distribution. You don't say how many client PCs are involved. With WSUS you get to approve which updates are distributed. Not sure going forward how all this will work but worth looking into if you really need to avoid updates. Joe
    Joe - agreed I did not say how many client pcs - but I did say this is a one person business. So the answer is, at any one time one, max two client pc for which the 'don't update' stricture applies, and two or three others for which updates on the Pro model are OK. My (miss?)understanding is that WSUS, whilst free, is only for enterprise users. I cannot get any cost out of MS for enterprise - but suspect it's more than I can justify.

    Peter

  15. #13
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry to much about this Windows update thing.
    If it turns out to be the "pain in the *ss" I think it will be, there'll be a hack created to mitigate it.
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  16. #14
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    Peter - WSUS is a free server application to control the download and distribution of patches. I believe with server 2012 WSUS is a server role that is activated through the management console. It is generally used with Pro or Enterprise SKUs of Windows clients. It is not really an enterprise level application. System Center is the enterprise tool.

    WSUS gives you a central place to approve the patches you want distributed. Even so, that may be more than what you want to get into.

    Joe

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  18. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    I wouldn't worry to much about this Windows update thing.
    If it turns out to be the "pain in the *ss" I think it will be, there'll be a hack created to mitigate it.
    CLiNT,
    I am sure you are correct - but I work as part of a regulatory authority responsible for the safety of airline passengers. Any "hack" would have to be declared in formal documentation, tested and shown to work and the testing documented. My client would have to adopt the same hack on all pc's used for that project, and like the rest of the work, maintain that in a usable form for the life of the aircraft embodying that software - generally reckoned to be a minimum of 30 years. Fortunately for me I only have to provide a stable OS for the duration of the development program - typically 2 - 3 years then I hand it all over to the client.

    So there are reasons to think about this sort of issue in advance!

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