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Bill Murmann
05-23-2007, 06:58 AM
Or switch to a Mac! ;)


Hmm--I think I read something on CNET about Macs. The author said that Macs have less security problems than PCs simply because there aren't enough Macs in service to make it worthwhile for the bad guys to bother much with them...<s>

--Bill

ktinkel
05-23-2007, 07:03 AM
Hmm--I think I read something on CNET about Macs. The author said that Macs have less security problems than PCs simply because there aren't enough Macs in service to make it worthwhile for the bad guys to bother much with them...<s>Actually, that is at least in part an error. The Mac OS is based on Unix, and it has more safeguards built in. But it also helps that the Mac is not a useful target for mass worm or virus spreaders (but there are Mac malefactors as well).

Doesn’t mean a Mac cannot be broken into, but it is much more difficult than in Windows (old Windows — have no idea about Vista).

Bill Murmann
05-23-2007, 03:44 PM
The Mac OS is based on Unix, and it has more safeguards built in.

Makes me wonder why Microsoft didn't do that...

--Bill

JVegVT
05-23-2007, 07:32 PM
The Mac OS is based on Unix, and it has more safeguards built in. But it also helps that the Mac is not a useful target for mass worm or virus spreaders (but there are Mac malefactors as well).

The same is true for Linux. The design of the system makes it much harder to do mischief unless someone is running as root when they shouldn't be.
--Judy M.

JVegVT
05-23-2007, 07:46 PM
Makes me wonder why Microsoft didn't do that...

Windows has always placed a high priority on backward compatibility. That makes it difficult to change the underpinnings of the system because things stop working and that makes Windows users angry.

Also, there is a tradeoff between convenience and security. The higher the level of security, the less convenient it is for users. Now that Vista is reserving more powers to the administrator and is putting up a warning when someone tries to do things that affect the whole system like installing or removing fonts, installing software, changing the system clock, etc., I'm hearing howls from Windows users who don't like being bothered. I'm a Linux user; we don't howl, we're glad that any old user can't do any old thing, even if it means giving passwords before we can do system-level things.

I haven't personally used Vista, so maybe UAC is badly implemented. But the idea is sound.
--Judy M.

Bill Murmann
05-24-2007, 07:19 AM
...I'm hearing howls from Windows users who don't like being bothered...


Wow! That would certainly bother me. Even though my new system is "Vista Premium Ready," I'm glad I decided to go with the last of the XP Pro systems being offered just after Christmas.

In hindsight, you have to wonder again--what was Microsoft thinking?

--Bill

ktinkel
05-24-2007, 07:34 AM
Makes me wonder why Microsoft didn't do that...Not for lack of opportunity, that’s for sure. It developed Xenix, around 1980, then sold it for a song after making the historic DOS deal with IBM. After that, the 386 chip wouldn’t run Unix, which after several years of what was essentially shared development got caught up in proprietary wars.

When Steve Jobs ran NeXt, he based the OS on Unix. Then he went back to Apple and rewrote its OS on Unix, and here we are. I hated the NeXt OS (can’t remember why, but I had a chance to play with it and test some apps — maybe it was just different), so was not happy when I heard that Apple was basically adopting the NeXt OS for the Mac, but OS X is great — I really like it.

You might say that Bill Gates made an error in judgment — but if so, it was understandable, because Unix needed more power than the computers Microsoft was programming for and I don’t think anyone foresaw how quickly the high-end workstations would be supplanted by mass-market desktop computers. Jobs did see this (probably had to, as he inherited a company that had developed both little Macs and high-end Lisas and could see it up close).

But I think Judy also has a point: Gates believes computers should “just run” without a lot of fuss and bother. The structure of Unix forces users to take some responsibility for — or at least to acknowledge — the way the OS works. It was difficult to make the switch at first — OS X is an interfering busybody compared to mellow old Mac software.

ktinkel
05-24-2007, 07:46 AM
The same is true for Linux. The design of the system makes it much harder to do mischief unless someone is running as root when they shouldn't be.Making the transition was difficult — I tried to do things the way I had always done them, and spent the first couple of months arm-wrestling with OS X. Then Tiger came out and I started out fresh and let the OS work the way it wants to. At that point I really began to appreciate what is a much more logical way of operating.

It would never occur to me to expose root that way. But I have also never seen a need to have more control than the OS gives me as it. But I am not an adventurer, either.

imatt
05-24-2007, 10:39 AM
That said, the Mac has 5% or less of the overall computer market share. If I were a virus writer with too much time on his hands, I surely want my "work" to spread as far and wide as possible.

The Mac's built in safeguards notwuthstanding, I am more likley to achieve my goals with Windows which has a 90%+ market share.

P.S. I use Vista 32bit and although the warnings via the UAC (User Account Controls) can be a little irritating, you get used to them.

P.P.S. Adobe CS3 Design Prem works great on Vista!!!

ktinkel
05-24-2007, 12:54 PM
That said, the Mac has 5% or less of the overall computer market share. If I were a virus writer with too much time on his hands, I surely want my "work" to spread as far and wide as possible.

The Mac's built in safeguards notwuthstanding, I am more likley to achieve my goals with Windows which has a 90%+ market share.Then you surely should stick with it.

This discussion often gets heated, but it really shouldn’t. I don’t think Macs and PCs aspire to the same market, and blanket measurement of sales of Macs (below 5% of the U.S. total) and Windows (most of the rest) makes little sense.

Here is an interesting discussion on Roughly Drafted (http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM.Tech.Q1.07/9E601E8E-2ACC-4866-A91B-3371D1688E00.html) (scroll down about a third to get to the PC/Mac discussion), which compares the markets for Mac vs PC and iPod vs Zune.

If I were doing CAD work, or needed to build huge data base systems, a PC would make sense. Software in those categories and others are severely limited — even unavailable altogether — for the Mac.

But as a writer and graphic designer, I have never had occasion to consider switching to the PC. I also drive a BMW and never feel like trading it in on some more popular brand of car, either — even though if I did I would have more choice of dealer, could get service all over, and so on.

iamback
05-25-2007, 12:57 AM
If I were doing CAD work, or needed to build huge data base systems, a PC would make sense. Software in those categories and others are severely limited — even unavailable altogether — for the Mac.Actually, for the really heavy work, a PC would not make sense - certainly not for building "huge database systems". Think workstation for CAD (the heavy stuff), something with Sun OS, for instance (a *nix); think heavy-lifting networked servers for implementation of huge database systems (like IBM's System i series (http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/i/migration/) which can run 5 OSs, 4 of them *nix, though - indirectly - Windows is also an option). The (development) tools exist, too. The really heavy stuff is not run on PCs at all (though part (a "client" part) of the design & development software might be), and security and stability considerations alone would make PCs a bad choice for really big commercial databases.

Then there are open-source development environments like Eclipse (http://www.eclipse.org/), which is Java-based and thus runs on a huge variety of platforms (including Windows, *nix and Macs); there are many free open-source plugins, but also commercial ones for (again) the heavy stuff; there is a large number of projects (http://www.eclipse.org/projects/), and more appearing all the time. But because the environment is Java-based, it will run on on any OS that has a Java runtime environment -- with software like this a PC stops being a logical or only choice, while a distributed team using quite different platforms can seamlessly work together. And look at the list of members (http://www.eclipse.org/membership/) - this is hardly a piece of software by and for a small group of enthusiasts.

Most of my heavy lifting is done inside Eclipse these days, and several other Wikka team members use it, too, one of them on a Mac... But I wouldn't dream of running what I build with it - and that's not even "heavy" stuff - on a PC or even a Windows server. ;)

imatt
05-25-2007, 01:27 AM
Actually, when I say I am more likley to acheive my goals with windows, I should qualify this statement. I do not mean that Windows is good and Mac OSX bad. No. I meant to say that I have invested a lot in Windows software and would have to spend extra in crossgrades. #

That said, I do like the Mac and uses them from time to time at the college I somethimes attend as part of my degree course. If I HAD to choose one platform or another then I'd have to toss a coin or have an unbiased person decide for me......

JVegVT
05-25-2007, 05:50 PM
Making the transition was difficult — I tried to do things the way I had always done them, and spent the first couple of months arm-wrestling with OS X. Then Tiger came out and I started out fresh and let the OS work the way it wants to. At that point I really began to appreciate what is a much more logical way of operating.


I first started to dabble with Linux six or seven years ago. It used to drive me crazy back then and I hated being unable to do system things without su-ing to root and giving my password. I'd finally get frustrated, give up, and remove Linux from my computer.

But like a moth to a flame, I'd keep coming back. I just couldn't resist. Over all these years, Linux has improved greatly in user friendliness and I also accepted that having plain users restricted in what they could do was actually A Good Thing. Linux has been my main operating system for a couple of years, though I still use Windows when I need a program that doesn't have a Linux equivalent or that does the job much better than a Linux program. I have no plans to stop using Windows entirely.
--Judy M.