[thelist] New Critical Security Patch for Windows....

Jason Handby jason_handby at illustraresearch.com
Fri Feb 13 04:16:06 CST 2004

> > As far as your "uninformed" comment, I've been using  computers for 
> >quite a long time. I taught myself BASIC  and 6502 assembler 
> language 
> >before I was out of  elementary school, and have studied computer 
> >network  security ever since getting my first dialup Internet
> > account back in 1996. I'm about as informed as they
> > come.

> it also puts you in the rarest percentage of overall internet 
> users. therefore, what works for you, is *highly* unlikely to 
> work for most in their day to day interaction with computers. 
>  face it, you're an uber-power-user in a world of neophytes.  
> you'll likely always be ahead of the curve and they'll always 
> be playing catchup.  so, because corporations desire to be 
> profitable, they're going to be catering to the majority.  
> the desires of that majority will drive what the corporations 
> focus on.  things that are lower priority won't get as much 
> funding.  i personally agree that security is an important 
> factor, but many less knowledgeable users do not. it isn't 
> even on the radar.

I taught myself BASIC and Z80 at school, have been using computers ever
since, programming, networks, databases, internet, etc. and would count
myself as pretty well-informed. And I do care about computer security.
And yet I don't hate Microsoft. And I don't think they are evil. Sure,
they're a bit annoying occasionally, but they have done great things for
the computer industry. They've united lots of manufacturers of hardware
and software around a de facto standard (Windows) that works well
enough. They've forced their competitors to raise their game enormously.
(Ximian Evolution wouldn't exist without Outlook. OpenOffice wouldn't be
as good as it is without Office to compete with. Do you think Linux
would be anywhere near as good as a desktop OS without pressure from
Windows?) Sure, Windows 3.11 was pretty rubbish, but does anyone here
remember how clunky and unfriendly X-Windows was at the time? or MacOS?
Things have moved on since then; and like it or loathe it, it's
Microsoft Windows that has been in large part responsible.

There will always be people who want to exploit security loopholes in
technology. At University I was one of the first generation to find
hacking into SunOS/Solaris servers entertaining, for some reason :-)
Now it's Windows that takes the brunt, because (a) most people have
Windows, and (b) the company at the top of the pile will always be
targeted. (It's human nature. Young men challenging the incumbent alpha
males, and all that.) If Windows didn't exist people would target
whatever was top -- maybe OS X (although actually OS X wouldn't exist
without the commercial pressure of Windows 2000 / XP).

So I have to run anti-virus software, and back up my data just in case
my PC / server gets trashed by a script kiddie. OK, I can live with


Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.580 / Virus Database: 367 - Release Date: 06/02/2004

More information about the thelist mailing list