Just following up from last week’s article on the AWS WorkSpaces beta, I’m happy to see the product has gone live now.
(This is a link post — click the title of this article to get to the article it references).
At the beginning of the year, we were invited to participate in the beta for Amazon’s upcoming WorkSpaces product. We just had to demonstrate a “reason” to be in the beta and then they’d hook us up.
Our beta plan was to use ourselves as the primary users and address on-call engineer needs. We rotate on-call coverage but sometimes you don’t want to carry a laptop everywhere you go during your on-call week. Or sometimes you’re caught with just a tablet or smart phone. These days you can get a lot done with a mobile device, but it rarely can compare to what can be done with a proper computer.
We built a Workspaces machine for each engineer and then configured the WorkSpaces client for all of our various devices. There is support for Android, IOS, Windows and Mac. The client is lightweight and snappy and the Android client has some nice extra shortcuts and menu’ing to help you get more done without a keyboard. (I have to confess I haven’t seen the IOS client – presumably it has similar niceties).
On my Android tablet (an HP Slatebook X2) with the snap-on keyboard and touch pad dock, the experience is just like I’m using an ultraportable laptop – with far more powerful than my Slatbook. If I detach the keyboard it still works quite well though, Just not as “native” feeling, of course. Read more →
I just realized that I haven’t written anything about LogMeIn Hamachi² here. Just like the predecessor Hamachi, Hamachi² is a peer-to-peer VPN service. Free version for non-commercial use and reasonably priced for commercial. I’ve been a fan for years – great way to link my various computers together.
Hamachi² changed things a bit by moving all the network management to a central web site and giving some more options to configuration. For instance, you can now configure “Hub-and-spoke” networks in which the clients can only see the servers (or the “hub”). Not quite as simple to configure as the prior version but I do like the additional security and configuration options so I upgraded last year. Always meant to mention it here, just never got the round ‘tuit…
When V2 was initially released it was only for Windows. Very disappointing. Happily, I recently noticed Linux and Mac beta versions on the LogMeIn Labs page – command line only, but better than nothing (and no, I have no clue when they appeared. Been a long time since I had checked the labs page!).
I installed it on my little Ubuntu Netbook Eee last month and have had no issues running it. Just pop to a terminal window and type
hamachi –? to see your various options. It wasn’t too tough to sort out.
Today I discovered Haguichi. [hat tip to Web Upd8] A slick little graphical user interface for Hamachi2 on Linux that runs a lot like the original Hamachi for Windows UI but also supports Hamachi2 (as beta). I love it!
Start it up and it runs up in the notification area just like you’d expect. Single click and you get an easy to use interface to see your networks and their contents. Right click a machine and you’ll get some options. All very friendly.
I haven’t analyzed exactly how much space it uses… as a C# app built on the Mono framework there is bit of a footprint here. All I know for sure is I still have space left on the little 4GB SSD drive so I’m happy.
If you’re using this with Ubuntu Netbook Edition you’ll want to make one small change. By default, all apps are maximized when ran – that makes haguichi rather ugly… In a terminal window run
gconf-editor In the resulting application, navigate to Apps and then click on maximus. On the right pane, right-click on “exclude_class” and click “edit key.” Now click the add button and type in “Haguichi” (this is case-sensitive, be sure that’s a capital H). Log out and back in and no more maximizing.
It has been a while since I mentioned Microsoft’s Security Essentials antivirus application. This is what I’ve standardized on for the family and friend home machines that I “manage” for them. Simple, light-weight and has worked very well for us over the past year. Pretty easy to forget about it since it is definitely one of the least intrusive AV apps I’ve ever used.
And I’m OK with that.
This Beta version of Microsoft Security Essentials includes these new features and enhancements to better help protect your computer from threats:
- Windows® Firewall integration: Microsoft Security Essentials setup allows you to turn on Windows Firewall.
- Enhanced protection from web-based threats: Microsoft Security Essentials has enhanced integration with Internet Explorer® which helps prevent malicious scripts from running and provides improved protection against web based attacks.
- New and improved protection engine: The updated engine offers enhanced detection and cleanup capabilities and better performance.
I’ve only been running it a week and really haven’t noticed any major difference. As they say, it does just what it says on the tin.
I did run into one minor issue after I upgraded to the beta: The right-click “Scan with…” menu option was no longer there. Turns out that’s a known issue and the first listed workaround worked just fine for me. Problem solved.
If you’re looking for a Windows AV program and don’t mind getting it for free, MSE is one to try. No ads, no banners and no nags. Seems to have a small footprint as well.