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Virus hell

2004-04-27 00:34:24.283118+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Aaauuugh! I came home to test some VPN stuff with a client that I was having trouble getting through our firewall, fired up the XP box for the first time since the vacation, and figured that before I tried to connect as a trusted machine to a client network I should check the process table... A few observations:

  1. The rat boys[Wiki] are banned from using my Windows XP computer until we come to some sort of agreement that involves years of indentured servitude.
  2. The true cost of Windows includes subscriptions to virus and adware cleaning applications.
  3. I don't care what people say, if a teenager can mess up a system this badly then Windows is not user friendly.

Screw it. I'm moving everyone I help set up a computer over to Linux, there's no longer any excuse to put up with this crappy excuse for an OS.

[ related topics: Free Software Children and growing up Microsoft virus broadband Open Source moron ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-27 04:12:08.765899+00 by: Stuartmm

Okay, Here is the challenge .... How do you do this ? I am, unfortunately :-) , the local source of computer and internet "wisdom" and although i have got people to install adaware/spybot/CWSshredder/virus checkers etc and run firefox etc, i do not know how to take the next step and basically make them a knoppix-like system to web browse and read email without knowing i am going to have questions about flash and quicktime etc. I know all about crossover and wine and use them myself but i do not think even lindows ( or whatever it is now called ) is enough. I would really like to help these people as they talk in terms of buying new machines to solve problems which are really OS/software problems ? Where do we go from here ?

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-27 13:14:34.103625+00 by: meuon

DOS 3.2

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-27 21:19:28.252563+00 by: flushy

I'm actually in progress of doing this at home. I say "in progress", because it really is a learning experience. I am still forced to use win2k on my laptop, because it is a sony, and sony loves hardware that was forged from the cold darkness of the overlord's furnace. Basically,

win2k = (firewire, sharp display, suspend, sleep, speed step, battery saving)

linux = (no firewire, not as nice display, no suspend, no sleep, no speed step - yes there are utils in linux - but this is sony remember?, and unstable power saving)

This isn't the fault of linux by any means. It's just that sony hasn't used the most popular hardware, and thus no one has attempted to reverse engineer the drivers.

My wife is using Fedora now. She's actually gotten pretty good at it. I don't use my laptop unless I'm at work, or when I want to run Neverwinter Nights as a dedicated server. I even use the Linux client for Neverwinter Nights. It even runs better than the windoze client. I quivered at the news that Microsoft was looking into buying Bioware (neverwinter nights maker). That means bye-bye linux client :(

The think you have to keep an eye out for is the office products. Everyone is so used to Excel and Word, that when you talk about spreadsheets and documents, you call them Excel and Word files. OpenOffice is nice, but I was also playing with Koffice (KDE). I haven't decided which one I like best.

Word is a little bit easier to use than OpenOffice. This is probably due to several things: (1) OpenOffice is relatively new - Word has been around long enough to steal ideas from others, and to fine tune it's interface, (2) I'm so used to Word that anything else is foreign.

Still, my wife has begun to use Fedora rather well. She uses it to copy files off our digital camera, to play our MP3's, and to edit her rich emails (read as HTML) that her company sends to it's mailing list (chugalug jab - heh).

A small gripe: OpenOffice's HTML template/parser/what-ever-it-is, sucks. It's hard coded to produce strict HTML 4.0 code. Uhm.. that's not what I want. I want really old HTML. I want old browers to be able to read it. Still, it's better than Word's HTML implementation - "hello world" in html is a 45k .html file.

One thing to notice when purchasing new equipment is interface. If you buy a printer, try to get a parallel interfacing printer rather than USB. You may find that the USB printer needs "extra" drivers. Digital Cameras, mp3 portables, and USB ram cards : make sure these can be seen as HARDDRIVES with out any special drivers. Some manufacturers send out half-ass USB implementations, and except the rest to be made up with drivers... Windows drivers.

Some helpful hardware tips from my own experience:

Scanners? I haven't had much work with USB scanners. I'm a SCSI man. I would guess that USB scanners would have the same issue as USB printers.

Network cards: intel ethernet express, most 3com, realtek (most on-board nics), maybe a linksys or d-link (modems work great, no idea on NICs). Name brand is the game - if you buy an off brand, chances are linux hasn't heard of it, and you might get lucky if the manufacturer used a popular chipset.

Video cards: ATI, nVidia, S3, Hercules, anything name brand. Stay away from Glide based cards (3dfx), there is a libGlide, but I doubt anyone is actively working on it. stick to OpenGL cards, and you'll be good to go.

Raid controllers: Mylex, Mylex, Mylex, and if you already have one laying around then Adaptec. I had icky experiences with the new I2O cards, got it to work, but I had icky experiences.

SCSI controllers: most anything I've thrown at linux, it has understood. Standard Adaptec SCSI controllers are hard to beat though... even if they are pricey.

Audio: sound blaster will be automagically detected. Anything else, and you may need to get drivers from the company. ASUS has nice, good, friendly drivers off their website for their onboard audio.

Video capture: I have no idea. :)

#Comment Re: made: 2004-04-28 13:47:05.393854+00 by: Dan Lyke

I've bought my last few bits of hardware for Linux compatibility, so I've had better luck than you. And I started Charlene out on OpenOffice.org, so we've had little switching difficulties there (I don't find it any better or worse than MSword, the crashes are just in different places...).

Laptop-wise, my Fujitsu sleeps just fine Linux, power saving as good as or better than XP, and it seems like the net drivers are actually more robust than with XP. There are a few things that I haven't set up as plug-n-play (I have scripts which manually handle network config), but that's mostly because I don't want 'em that way.

I've got Charlene running Debian "unstable" with the Gnome desktop, and with the addition of a "My Documents" folder she's taken to it as though it were just a more stable version of Windows. We use the awesome drivers for an HP Deskjet 960c printer and get as good output as we did on Windows, only the setup for secondary machines in the house sharing that printer is easier. mera shots). So I'm no longer scared of USB on Linux.

Video capture: Depends on what you want to do. For Firewire-DV camcorders, I think Kino is probably the place to start, none of the tools is complete and any newbie will probably want someone more technical to set up their workflow, but once it's in place that'll be fine. For cheap webcams, the Video4Linux drivers work just fine with the $19.95 CompUSA USB ball, but I haven't tried any of the clients which use that (just the programming API).

I ran across someplace someone who'd hacked hardware detection and boot system like Knoppix with the Debian package manager. I guess I'd probably use Knoppix[Wiki] to get a list of modules, then install Debian "unstable".