OT - Better Late Than Never

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Doug Winterburn wrote:

Keep encouraging people to use something other than Windows and maybe something else will become popular enough to become an attractive target, at which point you'll have screwed all the Mac, Unix, Linux, BSD, OS/2, Plan 9, BeOS, or whatever users out there who get caught by the resulting flood of malware.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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On Mon, 03 Jan 2005 14:24:13 -0500, J. Clarke wrote:

This is the standard Windows advocate response but it's not likely, at least to the same degree and for many reasons. The folks who do make the switch are inclined to and must learn more than the plug & play of Windows - things such as not to run everything with root/administrator priviliges, the importance of properly configured and operating firewalls, never auto-opening attachments, running spam/virus filters, etc. Having upgraded windows machines that auto reboot / freeze up for no reason, many times I have found they run without problems after installing linux, bsd, etc. which speaks to the quality/reliability of the software. Of the 5 machines that are currently in use in my house, one is a new Dell XP for my wife and the other four are ex Windows boxes that had the reboot/blue-screen/freeze-up syndromes that having been reloaded with linux/bsd have never suffered any of these afflictions. I'm hoping the the new XP machine with all it's service packs/critical upgrades is an improvement over previous experiences, and for it's one weeks worth of use, it hasn't had to be rebooted or done it on its own. At least I've been able to start the weaning process of getting my wife off the never ending Windows costs by opting for OpenOffice rather than the $495 MS Office Professional suite. That would have doubled the cost of the new Dell! So far, she has no problems with OpenOffice and there are some bucks for the shop/wood available that wouldn't have been otherwise.
- Doug
--

To escape criticism--do nothing, say nothing, be nothing." (Elbert Hubbard)


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Relax, the Mac is a niche product. In the graphic arts, Mac users aren't "elite", because they all use Macs. Not because they're better, but because they've always used Macs, and why switch now?
It's a nice machine, but it's Unix underneath, and Linux has improved a lot lately (check out http://www.mepis.org /)
Apart from popularity, there are two other reasons why Windows gets hit with more viruses:
The first is that when MS does release patches, a lot of people don't install them, for whatever reason. There have been virus outbreaks where the patches already existed.
The other is that since MS got hit first, the other guys have had time to get their houses in order. The old MacOS was said to be very insecure, the current one is much less so. Many linux distributions used to be insecure by default, but now they're not.

Outlook can be replaced...
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On Tue, 04 Jan 2005 04:39:49 -0000, snipped-for-privacy@shell.core.com (Ron Bean) wrote:

THere have been attacks of various sorts since before MS was invented and various "other guys" got their houses in order a long time ago. The number one problem is that MS has always treated its operating systems as cash cows, siphoning off money that should have been spent on straightening them out to do little things like be reasonably secure, multitasking reasonably well, etc.
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Upscale wrote:

Why not look at it as if someone was saying there maybe something that makes a better dado than a wobble?
Microsoft DID make decisions years ago that continue to negatively affect the reliability and security of their products. Security at MS is job 1.1.

In some important ways, Microsoft is the "Craftsman" brand of software, complete with "features" analogus to the notorious C*man router random height adjustment.
They're getting better with some products. A year and a half ago I bought two new Dell desktops. The computers are almost identical. WinXP Pro is on one and Windows Server 2003 is on the other. The server box has run flawlessly. It boots nearly as quick as my TV. I'm quite impressed with WinServer 2003. The WinXP box, OTOH, has required a lot of my time to keep functional as the "family" PC. For example Windows Update no longer works automatically; I have muck around a bit to make it work.
I got interested in programming in 1976 and have more or less grown up with the PC industry. Here's my really short version of why much MS software has problems: MS PC software started as a "toy" or "hobbiest" level product. PC-DOS 1.0 and MS-DOS 1.0 were for single user, unsecured computers. Most early PCs only had 2 floppies, but I spent about $2k to get a 10 MB hard drive. ("10 Megabytes? My god, what will you do with all that space?") There was no security in MSDOS 1.0. I could access any bit of memory anytime.
By contrast, the mainframe and minicomputers of the area were designed with security in mind. Multiple people used them at the same time, and problems like making sure one person's printout was finished before starting the next person's job had been solved for years.
As MSDOS and later Windows needed to do more and more, like security and networking, these features were "bolted on." To use the Craftsman analogy, they started with a bare-bones 1/2 HP direct-drive bench saw and added cast iron wings, 1.5" dado capability, both left and right tilt, and a sliding cutoff table. They also hung a 2 HP motor below the 1/2 motor and rigged some belts to help the 1/2 HP motor spin the blade. (Not far from the literal truth. <g>)
Win NT 4.0, Win 2000 and Win Server 2003 I've had good results with. But Win 3.x, 95, 95B, 98, 98 SR2, ME and to some extent XP I've had problems with. Before .NET, it was really, really, *really* hard to write install programs for non-trivial software that would work on Win 95 to 2000. *Really* difficult, nearing impossibility, if you had to mess with MDAC (Microsoft Data Access Confusion.)
I like MS's .NET. It's a whale of a product. Security was designed in, not bolted on.
I'm glad MS works for you. Be sure to keep the patches & virus definitions current. I've started running spyware/malware protection as well as hosts file blocking on all my machines. If that's a "Huh?" for anyone I recommend setting your newsreader to news.grc.com and have a look, especially in grc.security, grc.security.software and grc.spyware. That's where I learned what to do and what to avoid.
-- Mark
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news:%8qCd.23886

Because the attitude is different. Craftsman, Canadian Tire, Princess Auto, whatever tools are out there, people here will mostly say they don't like them, but they don't launch into a tirade of everything that's wrong with them. Instead people offer suggestions for a different improved product or model. That doesn't happen when someone is putting down Windows. It's all about that it's crap and person is a clueless idiot for using it. I don't criticise someone for using Craftsman, more power to them. By the same token, I don't go after someone solely because they don't use Windows. The reverse is not true.

See? Now that's a friendly comment and not at all personal. The way it was phrased doesn't bother me at all. That's not the way it was with all the other Windows putdown comments in this thread.
The only thing I can assume is that all the non-Windows users out there feel putdown somehow. They believe they have a superior product, but for some reason, Windows still holds the majority of the market. Even if it's only because of superior marketing that makes Windows the most popular OS, it still in some way belittles all the other OS's out there. Whatever reason, they're product is less in some way. That's the attitude that prevails when they attack Windows users and I'm sick to death of it.
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Hmm. I'm a "non-Windows user" and don't feel put down at all. I don't typically respond to anti-Mac rants, nor do I make anti-Windows slags.
I'm sincerely glad that you feel totally satisfied with your platform choice.
I'm totally satisfied with my choice as well.
WTF it has to do with woodworking, I'll leave to someone else to explain.
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On Tue, 04 Jan 2005 23:50:22 -0600, Dave Balderstone

OOh! I know this one! I'll take "nothing at all" for 200, Dave.
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