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Comment Re:Apple (Score 1) 427

Not utter bullshit - I'll have operated a Mac since in one model or another without AV since the early OS X days. The earlier Macs did have a few - not many virus issues - generally solved with an extension that was freely available.

I believe the Unix based OS was somewhat more secure in the ME-95-XP days. The bigger benefit was way magnified by relative numbers - i.e. if you work 25% harder to find the chink in Mac armor your payout in infected machines was 1/50th the payback of a Wintel virus or trojan. I would now say the Windows side has at least parity having a lot of MS hardening requiring great expertise to write exploits. That and the ratio being more like 5 to 1 with a more affluent base is definitely changing the game.

Apples' big advantage, with the smaller threat base and higher margin, they have always been willing to bundle the protection into OS system updates. MS does some of this but requires additional cost subscriptions to AV and Adware tools just to run online. I use a Wintel box too and I can tell you the free variants of AV generally do not work as well. Finally Apple is also working on improving at pawn2own - they came with updates just before the contest but were not allowed to install them the day before (which is fair - a week before would simulate the average time users get the auto updates). I really expect the two browsers that fell on day 1 2011 ( Apple's Safari and MS I.E. ) to make a better showing next year. I've always surfed with Firefox on Mac for just that reason - less popular attack vector made even better with noscript. I've started using Chrome too so I have an alternative depending to what's in the news.

Apples' big disadvantage is a large majority are open to social engineering as the most they understand in IT Security is doing their updates. What is great is ( after a misstep or two - I fully agree the initial response deserved a beat down... ) they are creating an auto updating monitor for those attacks too - no charge. The top brass at Apple understand they are only as good as the seamless user experience when they charge premium pricing.

If Apple can continue to save me time and money on AV tools and subscriptions (razor blades) and provide the nicest interface on top of a Unix engine I'm in. Even at a premium. There is no doubt things will get bumpy as most of the world trains their sights on a new target market. Still I have yet to have an issue - cross fingers....

Comment Re:"75% of business users" use Microsoft Applicati (Score 2) 645

As a Linux and Mac OS-X user, supporting a large group of RHEL users and XP users I definitely second this fellow.

If we leave aside the Ad Hominum attacks and AstroTurfing lets look at my experience with the three.

The RHEL systems are rock solid and enterprise manageable but have limited functionality that is very fine, stable, and secure for science, LAMP/Java serving, and custom applications. Very configurable and if you have top notch SA's the same can be done with CENTOS or other Linux so the lock in is not as bad as MS. Still some lock in exists because it costs a lot in house to replace and maintain the RH management pieces we need for compliance reasons. Good security with only our SA team having root and occasionally having to beat users for attempting go around our procedures. (Lightly) The security benefits from fair security in the latest distros, a small number of hardened configurations that we deploy, and of course from not being number one on the blackhat agenda.

Downside - We have tons of management and other users that MUST have Project, Visio, etc. Ek is dead right on need for legacy applications. Companies like VMWare may help virtualize our RHEL systems using unix underneath - but they want to run their management pieces on top of Windows. Even document and spreadsheets become problematic as docx types mean we have to upgrade any desktop unix to the latest Office substitutes and still only get 95% compatibility that gets complained about. So other then SA's unix or linux desktops just don't fly. Of course we also need trained unix SA's who generally don't fill in well on the Windows side and they aren't cheap. I will say they are worth it though and generally leverage their numbers to a much larger base of installed computers per SA.

MacOSX - Very usable, solid and configurable underneath. Cheaper to maintain for hardware and AV. We do our mail AV at the edge so the pass through argument doesn't much apply to adding separate AV costs.

Downside- generally not an option as management acceptance and higher initial cost are issues. Popular with admins ( and myself ) but not nearly as secure as we'd like given pawn2own results. ( Apple does seem to be improving there - realizing the yearly embarrassment kills a major Mac OS X selling point. ) However still a great deal better then the Windows desktops for security. Argue among yourselves about the reasons. ( Some will become obvious below )

Finally Windows. We have XP because we are large and the roll out of 7 is endlessly delayed. Various Windows servers as well for AD and other services. Very user friendly - because we have a helpdesk endless deploying tiered updates by night and blasting out images followed by quick restores from backup after problems. Beautiful support of MS's arcane formats and legacy products that are the lifeblood of an army of pointy haired types who keep the enterprise pumping.
MS support of this house o cards is excellent - they know it has to be. Like IBM back in the day - behind the product is an army of FE's and a mountain of documentation that is constantly changing.

Downside: Even our MSCE's don't really understand under the hood. Don't get me wrong they can tune, deploy, and configure but underneath they need canned rules and configurations and host of third party security products. This isn't a put down, frankly they are constantly in school and are heroic keeping the systems running. Also part of this is the management above not committing resources to get 7 out here. Where we have beta'd it, it's a definite improvement. Our XP desktops though are constantly suffering issues when the latest 0-day sweeps through. Part of that is the 'anything runs' on Windows. Yes indeed - Adobe pdf zero days, Flash zero days, backup software zero days, IE zero days, and god know what other new exploits that we constantly rush the AV fixes out for. This is on top of a 'secure' baseline that is always annoying to users - who we don't allow admin to. We encourage Firefox but many times the pointy haired just can't stretch to that strange territory. I do get that as number one in the OS world for business adoption and home use they get the big target painted on their back.

And cost - trust me not only does Microsoft get their licensing pounds of flesh for OS and apps, but then they make clear you must pay for an endless list of AV, anti spyware, monitoring, and other 'razor blade' services. At least the Unix like OS vendors and community start with a commitment to fix their own security holes rather then have AV and Antispyware as an 'add-on'. Then add license management software to keep track of all those lovely subscriptions leaching away at the IT budget.

If I was at a start up, I'd make everyone from the CEO down to the mailgirl pay a twenty percent penalty on their salary if they used MS on a desktop or server and run the remaining desktops and servers from the various Unix based OS's. I'd have a single pair of Windows systems ( so the current infection can be clean while the other runs ) for legacy support and conversion. Pay a base MSCE salary plus a piecemeal bonus for fast conversion or apps support. Have a second Windows SA to support the first and any desktop users. I know - just a dream - it would never work. You have to admire the MS model of patents and cruft support. "'Dia' can't print this 'network' diagram." "My excel fonts are off."

As the King of Siam would say: "Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!!!"

Comment Re:More history (Score 1) 161

So my Mac mini upgrade to 8GB should come to about $31 million - without adjusting for inflation...

Hey Apple's not that bad on ram upgrades !

Hey did you buy the upgrade for the membrane keyboard? Ah the Atari 400 - my first computer, plus you could fly it like a starfighter. If only my Mac came with Star Raiders....

Comment Re:I made a spreadsheet with cost of ownership (Score 1) 762

I own a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid. At 130k+ is still doing fine with original equipment including the battery pack, less belts, tires, and brakes. It looks like the catalytic converter is headed downhill from the onboard computer but that will be my first major repair in November or so and apparently not unique to the hybrid they tend to go on Civics early.

I easily made up the difference years ago in no state sales tax and federal rebate. I feel no guilt there as my tax dollars have been subsidizing big oil for many years who in turn push their agenda through a mountain of shills and paid 'institutes'. My carbon output is thousands of pounds less per year then a comparable civic which is already low.

This car will become my weekender for long trips. With a regular reduced diet of long but gentle weekend highway drives the HCH should serve for some years to come.

The bulk of my 20 mile commutes will be done by the new car I am in line for in Dec 2010 - a Nissan Leaf. With it I'm looking at no trips to Midas, no cat converter, no fuel injectors, no spark plugs, etc.etc... Given that, the lithium ion replacement someday will not seem quite so bad. With a little luck like my laptop the replacement batteries will be much better then the originals.

BTW you'll help pay for that one with tax breaks too grin. Green is just getting started.

It's all about putting money behind the right choices - there is plenty of demand and this time (unlike the EV1) big oil is not going to be able to stop it.

Comment The Atari 400/800 set my net worth back by half (Score 1) 104

Discovering this machine in my early twenties wasted so much great time.

Star Raiders - I first saw it in Erols playing on a 'big screen' (25" or so). I had to have one - up til then I had been saving for an Apple - now it all went to a 400 with tape machine, BASIC, one joy stick and Star Raiders.

Star Raiders - 3D first person stick controllable space warfare, a full set auxiliary systems that impacted gameplay - with great strategy to boot.

I hooked more friends on that game and sold a few Ataris.

I always thought the explosion 'slowdown' was to savor the moment grin - it was taxing the hardware.

In addition to excellent renditions of most fun arcade games the platform also came out with:

M.U.L.E. - Still never equaled beer & screw your neighbor game - If only the Wii had this.

Silent Service - Greatest sub sim for eight bits - sinking a carrier and surviving was incredible.

Eastern Front - Great Avalon Hill style wargame - again done in very small 8K.

Ballblazer - Very smooth 2 player hockey type action - limited strategy but again amzing on 8 bit 6502

and of course all the normal Zork and Space invaders type games.

Yep would be driving a Tesla instead of a Civic if it wasn't for that computer....

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