Newsletter Archives

  • Apple announces new Mac products

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    ISSUE 20.05 • 2023-01-30

    APPLE NEWS

    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    The MacBook Pro and Mac mini are upgraded to new versions of Apple’s M2 system on a chip.

    All models became available last Tuesday.

    There’s not a lot of news here. The move to the M2 series of Apple silicon was inevitable and expected for both product lines, so the new products are not much of a surprise. But it’s important to keep up, because Apple silicon keeps evolving.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.05.0, 2023-01-30).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Thinking of moving to Apple?

    Now that Windows 7 is at it’s end of life, if you are thinking about moving to a different platform remember that if your data is filled full of basic stuff like Word documents, Excel files, music files, photos and what not all of this will be able to be viewed and opened on platforms like Apple or even Linux. But if you use the native apps in these platforms, remember to export or save as PDF or back to a Microsoft centric file format if you plan to share with others.

    Often the built in applications in these other platforms save in a file format that isn’t able to be natively opened on a Windows machine. So that person will need to find a converter or ask you to export it to a Microsoft format. Fortunately, this is pretty easy to do.

    I’ve done a video showcasing the Apple versions of Word and Excel as well as the native applications that can save in the .doc and .xls format.

  • Master Patch list updated as of January 10, 2023

    #PatchTuesday #DeadBodyWedneday #KeepaneyeoutforissuesThursday

    Consumers:  Defer updates at this time.

    I’ve updated the Master Patch List for Tuesday’s releases.

    It’s too soon at this time for consumers to be making recommendations, I’m still watching for issues.

    For businesses, the impact to look out for and keep an eye on are any Exchange on premises server you are still patching.

    As a reminder

    • Windows 11 22H2: Not recommended
    • Windows 11 21H2: If you have a Windows 11 PC, recommended
    • Windows 10 22H2: Recommended
    • Windows 10 21H2: Recommended (if a vendor won’t support 22H2)
    • Apple Ventura – tentative. Check with the applications you rely on if they recommend this release.

    As always, thank you all for supporting the cause! Remember a donation will give you access and if you donate $50 or more you’ll get a special code to enable text messages sent to your phone each time the Master Patch List gets updated and when I change the MS-DEFCON level.

  • Do you know the easy way to get into the boot menu?

    During last week’s video I recommended that you look for a backup software that adjusts the boot menu so you can easily get under the operating system and recover should something happen. Do you know the OTHER way to get under the operating system into the troubleshooting screen that’s just as easy? Watch it here!

    On Windows 10 and 11, Click the Windows Start menu, then the Power button. While pressing down the Shift key, click the Restart button. This will take you to the Windows Troubleshooting options, where you can reboot to BIOS.

    But wait there’s another way…. you can access Windows Settings by right clicking on the Start Menu. Then navigate to the Update and Security section then the Recovery section. In the Recovery settings, under the Advanced startup section, click Restart now.  Note that if you don’t see an option for UEFI as an extra option (like in the video) it’s because your system doesn’t support uefi boot or is in legacy mode.

    Then wait for the loading screen to complete and then click the Troubleshoot button. Tap the advanced button and then choose what you need to do – you can even boot into the bios settings from here.

    Now if your computer isn’t bootable, you can still get to these boot options menu via the Windows 10 USB installation drive.  Plug the USB drive into your usb drive on your computer. While booting, before Windows starts to load (and you’ll need to do this quickly) you need to continuously press F12 to enter your PC’s BIOS. Then select USB Drive as the boot device and Press Enter key.

    This has ALWAYS been annoying to me:  The keys to press, such as F12, F2, Delete, or Esc, differ on computers from different manufacturers.

    Got a Macintosh? Do you know it has similar firmware booting options?

    First is it the newer style with Apple silicon or older Intel based?

    If newer, turn on your Mac and continue to press and hold the power button as your Mac starts up. Release the power button when you see the startup options screen, which shows your startup disks and a gear icon labeled Options.

    If it’s the older Intel style, you can read this post for the various key combinations.

  • So when do you decide to update?

    So there’s a pending update. It has security components. Should you update immediately? Well if you are a regular AskWoody reader you’d know what that answer is. Tonight’s tip for the weekend is not about what you should do if you run Windows, rather it’s about what to do if you run the Apple platform.

    Unless you’ve set your machine to automatically install updates, you can see that you’ll be reminded/prompted that Ventura 13.1 is ready to be installed if you’ve already installed Ventura 13. But should you install Ventura in the first place?

    .

    First you need to ask yourself – do you have a backup? Should something happen with the update or should the hard drive fail for any reason, you want to make sure you have a backup. So first review if your backup has been working. On the Apple platform you can either use the built in time vault or use a third party program to back up your computer. Next no matter the platform I make sure I test how to restore at least a file. It may feel a bit extreme to test restore an entire machine, but at a minimum you should delete a few files and then test restoring those files.

    Ventura includes improvements to search in Messages, an option to play a sound in the Find My app to locate AirTags, AirPods Pro, and ‌Find My‌ network accessories, plus there are several bug fixes.

    Now just like in the Microsoft universe, there is no need to install major updates right away. Especially in business and University settings, some are still saying to hold off and not install Ventura on your Apple systems. And of course the more you hold back, the more the vendor puts back those items that they removed and people wanted back.

    Bottom line, no matter what the platform, have a backup. Don’t jump to a new release too quickly. Take the advice from this site no matter the platform and don’t be first in updating your system.

  • Master Patch List as of December 13, 2022

    MS-DEFCON 2

    #PatchTuesday

    Business patchers:  Microsoft has indicated that they fixed the memory issue with the LSASS patch but still waiting for community confirmation.

    Consumers:  Defer updates at this time.  The secure boot patch KB5012170 has been released to apply to Windows 10 and 11 22H2 so be sure to defer it as well.

    I’ve updated the Master Patch List for Tuesday’s releases.

    It’s too soon at this time for consumers to be making recommendations, I’m still watching for issues.

    For businesses, the impact to look out for and keep an eye on are the Kerberos related patches.  Microsoft has indicated that the memory leak issues introduced in last month’s Kerberos updates have been fixed but I am still waiting for community confirmation.

    As a reminder

    • Windows 11 22H2: Not recommended
    • Windows 11 21H2: If you have a Windows 11 PC, recommended
    • Windows 10 22H2: Recommended
    • Windows 10 21H2: Recommended (if a vendor won’t support 22H2)

    As always, thank you all for supporting the cause! Remember a donation will give you access and if you donate $50 or more you’ll get a special code to enable text messages sent to your phone each time the Master Patch List gets updated and when I change the MS-DEFCON level.

  • New updates out for iOS and iPadOS 16.1.1

    ⚒️ FIXED IN iOS and iPadOS 16.1.1 ⚒️

    New updates out for iOS and iPadOS today

    Both bugs from “Google project zero” researchers.  No details as to what is being fixed in the bugs.

  • Apple’s non-event fall event

    APPLE NEWS

    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    The company went into stealth mode.

    On October 18, Apple announced some new products. This fall announcement, coming as it does just before the Christmas season, is usually one of Apple’s Hollywood productions. Not this time. The announcements were so stealthy that I didn’t realize anything had happened until two days later.

    I wasn’t the only one. Other commentators expressed surprise over the handling of these announcements. I can only conclude that these new products were not as dramatically exciting as others, although I found at least one of them notable.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.45.0, 2022-11-07).

  • Master patch list updated for out of band

    Patch Lady Master patch list is being updated AGAIN for an “out of band” release for Windows 10 21H2 to fix an issue with OneDrive. KB5020953 for Windows 10 was released as an “out of band” to fix the issue.  It’s unclear if there will be additional out of band releases for the other platforms to fix this issue. It does not appear to be occuring on Windows 11 platform, only Windows 10.  You’ll need to go to the catalog site to find the exact version you’ll need for your Windows 10 versions.

    • It addresses an issue that causes Microsoft OneDrive to stop working. This occurs after you unlink your device, stop syncing, or sign out of your account.

    Also be aware of an issue that some might see in business deployments where you reuse computer accounts.  See KB5020276. Note this does NOT impact home users.

  • Got an older iPhone or iPad?

    If you are still running iOS 15.7 get ready for an update:

    iOS 15.7.1 and iPadOS 15.7.1

    iPhone 6s and later, iPad Pro (all models), iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation)

    27 Oct 2022

    Yet another zero day being patched. “Apple pushed additional updates for Kernel zero-day (CVE-2022-42827) that may have been actively exploited.”  This is where I REALLY wish all vendors were held to a standard of documentation and explanation.  “may have been actively exploited”  Uh folks it either is or it isn’t.  And if it was (apparently) used in attacks,  in order to determine risk I need to know the HOW of the attacks.  What mechanism was used?  Text messages?  Through an application I haven’t downloaded or don’t use? Through native email apps or third party?

    Again, I have yet to see us normal folks with an iPhone or iPad who do not jailbrake their device, who ignore scam text messages, who don’t open emails willy nilly….. you get the idea. So far all of the reports I’ve seen on these “may have been exploited” are targeted attacks against key individuals, journalists in high risk areas, and the latest target de jour, not you and I.  Bottom line, don’t panic.  Always ensure you have a backup first.

     

  • Master Patch List as of October 25, 2022

    #PatchTuesday

    I’ve updated the Master Patch List which now matches the guidance in the alert released today.

    You will note that I recommend that you defer at least temporarily the big releases that Apple came out with yesterday. You’ll want to hold off a bit and ensure there are no major issues.

    I have given the “install” for the major updates released on October 11.  I do not recommend either the Windows 10 22H2 (minor update) or Windows 11 22H2 (larger upgrade).

    As always, thank you all for supporting the cause! Remember a donation will give you access and if you donate $50 or more you’ll get a special code to enable text messages sent to your phone each time the Master Patch List gets updated and when I change the MS-DEFCON level.

  • Apple out with security fixes

    💻 macOS Ventura 13 – 112 bugs fixed
    📱 iOS and iPadOS 16.1 – 20 bugs fixed
    ⌚ watchOS 9.1 – 10 bugs fixed
    📺 tvOS 16.1 – 9 bugs fixed
    🌐 Safari 16.1 – 4 bugs fixed
    💻 macOS Big Sur 11.7.1 – 3 bugs fixed

    Ventura, the new release for Apple is out todayiPad 16 is also out today. But like EVERYTHING in patching, one does not install it on day one.  We will be watching and reporting on any side effects in next week’s newsletter.  Stay tuned.