Tag Archives: server

Everyone is Linux and Gigastrand OS Ready

You know, we came out with that updated Gigastrand OS / linux readiness quiz and it got me thinking.

10+ years ago, we had to find the right fit for our customers to use a particular flavor of Linux. So, we developed a web app to help automate the process. For us and our purposes, Gigastrand OS has really made that process obsolete.

The reality is that many people use Linux already. It often takes the form of Android on their phone or tablet or Chrome OS on their Chromebooks. Many people use Android set-top boxes or smart TVs and may businesses host websites on Linux-based servers.

So, yes, Gigastrand OS is powerful enough to replace your computer’s operating system and robust enough to run full time. However, even if you do cannot switch over, standalone solutions like the Gigastrand NVR and the Gigastrand Media Center are ways you can run Gigastrand OS without converting over completely.

So, in reality, everyone can run Gigastrand OS in one form or another. This also means that we have done what we set out to do back in 2012: making a Linux for Everyone.

This month, the current concept of Gigastrand OS will be 4 years old. January 4th, 2017 marks 3 years since we released Gigastrand OS 1.0. We thank everyone for their support along the way.

 

Gigastrand OS: 10-Year Business Cost Analysis

The Gigastrand OS is software that has practical applications across many systems and is designed to completely replace the systems you currently use. This analysis is based on the real-world costs of purchasing and maintaining various environments. Below you will find our 10-year operational cost projection comparing 3 different environments.

With a Windows environment, the average expenditure to operate in this environment (including upgrades, downtime, and support) is approximately:

$844,233

With a Linux environment taking into account the same variables the cost of operating the same environment is approximately:

$653,000

That is a significant savings ($191,233 to be exact) but not really much of a secret. Many companies know about the savings of running Linux. A Mac OS environment operates slightly more at about $675,000.

Now, let’s shake things up a bit and assume that the PCs and Server are scalable and upgradeable Gigastrand Lifetime Warranty PCs running the Gigastrand Operating System. Operating this environment will cost approximately:

$366,735

That is a massive savings of $477,498 over a comparable Windows environment!

There are other benefits to running Gigastrand OS in your business that aren’t so easily measured. For example, when your technology runs better and more efficient, productivity goes up. Gigastrand OS was designed with business in mind. This analysis does a good job measuring the monetary benefits, but with the capability of Gigastrand OS and the reliability of Gigastrand PCs, money is not all you will save with Gigastrand.

Gigastrand OS Makes Its Local Television Debut

A little bit of earned media can go a long way and this is exactly what we are talking about – a teeny bit of television news media. About 3 seconds to be exact at 1:10 and 1:15 – but we’ll take it.

http://www.keloland.com/newsdetail.cfm/escape-605-/?id=189190

Gigastrand was called in to help a local startup – Escape 605 – with audio/video technology and displays for escape rooms. Gigastrand OS machines were used to run the displays and a Gigastrand Security DVR runs the audio and video feeds.

KELO TV did a story on Escape 605 and showed how some of the equipment worked. Briefly, the Gigastrand equipment was shown – including a shot of Gigastrand OS.

Because there was no blueprint, Gigastrand was able to design all of the systems from scratch. Using the Gigastrand OS was a natural fit for this application as it had all of the elements needed to run the room built-in.

The one problem we have is not everything can be run from Gigastrand OS. The DVR and Control PCs need to be Windows PCs (for now). Gigastrand is working on a port for the software.

Gigastrand is also working on some of the imagineering behind the rooms.

Gigastrand Security: Tornado caught on security cam

It is amazing what security cameras capture when no one is looking. A good security system is key to knowing what happens when no one is around to see what is going on.

When choosing a video security system, never settle for appliances you can’t upgrade with cheap cameras and inexperienced installers. These types of systems will cost you more in the long run.

A good system will pay for itself several times over during its lifetime. Gigastrand custom-builds video security solutions tailored to your security needs and your business. We know what it takes to capture high-quality video and, as technology experts, we can help you take full advantage of the system and all its features.

The video below is not from one of our systems but is pretty spectacular nonetheless.

 

Gigastrand OS: On Security

A quick disclaimer: Comments made in this post on Microsoft Windows as comparison/contrast to the Gigastrand OS for the purpose of educating the reader on computer OS security that may be misconstrued as a disparagement on Microsoft, Windows, or its users. It is not the intent of the author or Gigastrand International to make any such disparagements on these entities. 

“Gigastrand OS is a self-supporting PC operating system designed with superior cross-platform compatibility but is safer and less expensive to operate than other systems.”
What exactly does it mean that an OS is safer? Well, for a start, it isn’t Microsoft Windows which, historically, has a disastrous track record for PC security. There are many reasons for this – many of which are outside of Microsoft’s control.
So why is Windows that much less secure than any other operating system in the world? 
Well, for a start, it is a big target. Let’s say you could write a program to attack any computing device in the world. In the PC world, Windows is still the dominant desktop and laptop operating system. If you were aiming to make as big an impact as possible, Windows PCs are a good place to start.
Second, it is a relatively easy target to exploit. Windows has improved vastly over time in regards to vulnerabilities that could be exploited by virus programs in no small part to the efforts of Microsoft, however, its users often install spyware and malware on their computers in the pursuit of free software. In other words, users are installing virus-like programs willingly without knowing it to accomplish a specific task.
Third, programming for Windows is expensive. Far more than other OSes. So, good software tends to cost money which makes users tend to pursue, download, and install free software alternatives from less than trustworthy websites. This, of course, really has nothing to do with Windows at all. It is more about human nature than software faults.
Finally, Windows software tends to be closed-source. While there is nothing inherently wrong with closed-source software, it does not allow the review by programming peers that open source software does. Fewer eyes on the code, means fewer things get fixed in a timely manner. I could go on about the benefits of open source software (OSS) but that is a whole other blog. 
OK. What makes Gigastrand OS security that much better?
Gigastrand OS is a smaller target. Dropping a stone into a puddle doesn’t really have the effect of an asteroid dropping into the ocean. Often fewer users affected makes it not worth the time of someone looking to make headlines with their latest exploit.
Gigastrand OS does not run Windows programs natively. Therefore, Gigastrand OS is not affected by Windows-based malicious software. You can run some Windows software using the Windows compatibility layer or inside a Windows Virtual Box but if you break that part of the OS, you do not break the entire computer.
Gigastrand OS also has a package manager (think App Store) that you can search for free and guaranteed safe programs to install on your computer.
Gigastrand OS is less expensive all around. Much of the software available in Gigastrand OS is free and all programs from the package manager is free from malicious software.
Gigastrand OS is built primarily on open-source software. While some programs we include are closed source, much of the OS and its programs are open source.
What, if anything, am I still vulnerable to?
No security is absolute and while Gigastrand OS has much better security than some other OSes, ultimately, your security is only as good as your password and the security of the institutions you trust with your data. Phishing scams, spam, e-mail scams, and password hacking of large institutions are all things that users of ANY operating system can still be susceptible to. Using common-sense safe computing practices will help you stay safe.
MR GB

Gigastrand OS: The new computer security

Once upon a time, viruses were all about screwing up a computer in the worst way possible.

Not anymore

The new game is about stealthily acquiring information. Phishing is one example of this type of strategy and users of any operating system can fall victim of this. This method, though effective, is a primitive way to gather information.

The new game is to place a piece of software on your computer to watch you and what you do, gather passwords, and do so in a way that does not make you suspicious or interfere with your PC. It happens all the time and it is incredibly easy in Windows. 

Which, to be perfectly honest, surprises the hell out of me. Since Windows 95, Microsoft has had 18 years of patching vulnerabilities in Windows software, yet, Windows 7 and 8 still have issues with malicious code circumventing Windows security. This is such an issue that the very term “Windows security” has itself become an oxymoron.

To be fair, Microsoft has not sat idly by and let vulnerabilities in their code go. They have made and issue patches on a daily basis. They are also stuck with the demon of maintaining backwards compatibility or their customers are outraged. While none of these things are easy,  Windows itself really does need a page 1 rewrite. Asking the user to make decisions about PC security or blocking things the user wants to do just doesn’t cut it.

That is why I run Linux. I am not stuck with an OS that is outdated when some company decides it is nor do I worry about my PCs security. Linux puts the user in control of their own system – as it should be.

Now, Linux has its problems too – namely support. Lots of options, lots of security but not terribly friendly and not a lot of one-on-one support. Don’t get me wrong, desktop Linux is very friendly when it comes to simply running native programs, however, when it comes to doing anything more complicated, it can be difficult to say the least – and this is coming from someone who is creating a Linux OS.

The bottom line is that Gigastrand OS is attempting to solve all of the issues with Linux. Because it is Linux, you already have a baseline security. Gigastrand OS goes further by addressing one-on-one support, ease of access, and compatibility. We hope that this OS will be Linux people will be able to switch to to fix the Windows vulnerabilities permanently.

MR GB