Tag Archives: viruses

Holiday Tech Support

Please note that all blog posts before 8 April 2007 were auto­mat­i­cally imported from LiveJournal.  To see the com­ments and any LiveJournal-specific extras such as polls and user icons, please find the source post­ing at http://brianenigma.livejournal.com/2005/12/

The Mac Mini + Bluetooth sit­u­a­tion is fuck­tarded.

8am — Discover 20+ dif­fer­ent viruses/spyware/malware are com­pet­ing for CPU time on my par­ents com­puter. Windows has changed enough from 2000 to XP for me to have no idea how to turn of the “you’re retarded so we won’t let you access the con­trol panel or filesys­tem directly with­out using wiz­zzzARDs” crap. Gave up.
9am — Go to Apple Store, pur­chase top of the line Mac Mini, Bluetooth key­board and mouse, video switch, Apple Pro Care so my par­ents can get sup­port and free classes, etc. The works. The Apple Store and mall are sur­pris­ingly quiet. They did not even have to use the rov­ing clerks that can ring up your pur­chase on a lit­tle wire­less PDA.
10am — Start work­ing on installing a wire­less hub so that I can get my lap­top on the inter­net with­out slow­ing to Bluetooth/cellphone speeds. Added bonus: the par­ents’ com­puter is no longer DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET and is behind a nice lit­tle NAT router.
Noon — After hav­ing set up the wire­less, Norton Antivirus, Ad-Aware, Firefox, and removed all traces of iexplore.exe, pro­ceed to unpack the Mini. Half-way through install process, can­not get key­board to rec­og­nize. A Knowledge Base arti­cle sug­gests that I need a USB key­board to set up the Mini before it will han­dle a Bluetooth wire­less key­board.
1pm — Return to mall. Discover park­ing sit­u­a­tion is much worse, but the gods of park­ing shine down upon me and grant a quick and easy space. Proceed to Apple Store. Wait in line of 30–40 peo­ple buy­ing iPods and iTunes gift cer­tifi­cates. Exchange key­board.
3pm (yes, two hours later) — Install key­board, use exist­ing USB mouse, Mini is installed and ready.

At this point, I no longer accept tech sup­port on Windows machines.

Posted in: Dear Diary

Broken “Windows”

Please note that all blog posts before 8 April 2007 were auto­mat­i­cally imported from LiveJournal.  To see the com­ments and any LiveJournal-specific extras such as polls and user icons, please find the source post­ing at http://brianenigma.livejournal.com/2005/09/

There is a not so recent arti­cle that does a great job of explain­ing why OS X is more secure than Windows. It uses the clas­sic “bro­ken win­dows” the­ory of urban decay, applied to the com­puter realm. The extreme secu­rity of the Mac has very lit­tle to do with mar­ket share. “Windows has more viruses than OS X because more peo­ple use it” just does not work. If that were the case, you would expect a rel­a­tive per­cent­age of viruses on OS X, but the num­ber of viruses, spy­ware, key­log­gers, and remote-controls is not pro­por­tional to the num­ber of com­put­ers run­ning OS X. No, it is effec­tively zero (when you sub­tract a cou­ple of laugh­able proof-of-concept “viruses” that antivirus com­pa­nies pro­duce and point to in order to drum up busi­ness.) The Mac com­mu­nity is pretty vocal and has zero tol­er­ance for these kinds of shenani­gans. On top of that, you can add the tech­ni­cal rea­sons: OS X has some good com­part­men­tal­ized secu­rity and really has no place for viruses to hide. There is no labyrinth of reg­istry trees. There is no way to sneak in a nefar­i­ous dri­ver. Heck, the Unix under­pin­nings even pre­vent one from open­ing a low-numbered port or writ­ing to the /bin or /etc fold­ers with­out explic­itly authen­ti­cat­ing as the root user. As OS X gets more mar­ket share (that’s not an “if” state­ment, but a “when”), I think we will con­tinue to see the virus/spyware/keylogger/DDoS-client count remain a con­stant zero.