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Erm, I was 100% spyware / virus free when I used Windows, despite being a downloader myself... To make a more accurate statement, it might be said that people disable ...
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  1. #21
    Linux Guru Cabhan's Avatar
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    Erm, I was 100% spyware / virus free when I used Windows, despite being a downloader myself...

    To make a more accurate statement, it might be said that people disable security features, not knowing how to provide their own. I appluad Microsoft for including a firewall by default, but people who have already bought a commercial one just turn it off. But they turn off their own firewall "temporarily" or download attachments or don't practice safe usage.

    While I think that widespread acceptance and availability is a good thing, I do agree that no matter what an OS does, it won't be enough; people are frankly stupid. Not such a horrible thing, but in their stupidity, they will ignore things that will help a lot.

    I think I'm a good example: I play online games, I download stuff. I didn't use Windows Firewall (though I did use Windows Update all the time). But I used my own antivirus stuff, my own firewall, and I used Firefox.


    Maybe if, on the first bootup, you were offered a little course in computer security? That's really what's needed.

  2. #22
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabhan
    Erm, I was 100% spyware / virus free when I used Windows, despite being a downloader myself...

    I think I'm a good example: I play online games, I download stuff. I didn't use Windows Firewall (though I did use Windows Update all the time). But I used my own antivirus stuff, my own firewall, and I used Firefox.
    I actually was about the same with my XP install. I was constantly online, had no antivirus, downloaded things a lot and used Firefox. I checked for spyware regularly and made sure the OS was up to date and I had no real trouble for several years in college.

    The thing that got me to move off XP wasn't necessarily the problems with the OS, it was problems with the policies of Microsoft... mainly "Windows Product Activation".... but that's another story.
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  3. #23
    Linux Newbie deek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by techieMoe
    Quote Originally Posted by deek
    ...but as time goes on, it will be harder and harder to do with basically disposable computer systems being the norm!
    I think Bill Gates would agree with that vision for the future.
    Forbes Article
    Well, I will probably get flamed for this, but I do agree with Gates on that...I don't see why a PC should be any different than any other electronic device in its evolution. Especially when everything in society is pushing things to be smaller, faster, cheaper and better...
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  5. #24
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deek
    Well, I will probably get flamed for this, but I do agree with Gates on that...I don't see why a PC should be any different than any other electronic device in its evolution. Especially when everything in society is pushing things to be smaller, faster, cheaper and better...
    Well, you're welcome to that opinion and I'm sure there are folks out there that agree with that. I for one wouldn't mind a "disposable" computer as long as that didn't mean "proprietary", which is what Microsoft's agenda is. As long as I was still able to:

    1. build it myself with commodity parts for cheaper than I could buy it prebuilt
    2. put whatever operating system I liked on it and have it work

    That would be fine and dandy. The reason I'm against what Gates wants is that his vision is a world where all computers are controlled centrally by Microsoft.
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  6. #25
    Linux Enthusiast aysiu's Avatar
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    I agree with the analogies given so far (cars, hammers, TVs), but, truthfully, those analogies go only so far.

    Cars, believe it or not, are designed to hide everything from the driver, even more so than Windows or Mac. At least in Windows you'll get some kind of error message ("Fatal error" or "Missing .DLL"). In a car, if the vehicle breaks down, all you can do is describe to a mechanic what the car sounded like before it died. There are intricate computers inside of cars, but all they do is flash warning lights ("Service Engine Soon"). There's no DOS. There's no shell. There's no easy way for generally informed car drivers to hack into their cars.

    Same with TVs. When we get no reception, it's just fuzz. The box to the TV is usually sealed, and the only thing the remote control can do is change channels, adjust the sound, etc. You can't troubleshoot a TV without using a screwdriver (though, some people swear by just hitting the top of the television loudly).

    That said, even if someone doesn't know all the inner workings of a car, she can still know enough to take care of it. I had a friend who never did anything but fill up the gas in her car. Needless to say, I soon discovered she had almost no brake fluid, no engine oil, and no coolant. People shouldn't be expected to know all the inner workings of every electronic device and appliance they own, but they should enough to take care of the devices and appliances as much as they can. There are simple things you can do to take care of your car on your own (checking fluid levels), and the rest you probably have to take to a mechanic to fix (checking wheel alignment, tuning up the engine, etc.).

    There's also a practical difference as far as cars and computers go. If I mess around with the inner workings of my car, the car may explode or catch fire, leaving me permanently disfigured or dead. Even if I download a virus or render my computer unbootable, it's probably not going to blow up in my face.

    This leads to the next big difference. There's hardware, and there's software. Many computer users may consider themselves gurus when it comes to software, but the best they can do with hardware is replace some RAM or add a CD-ROM drive. Some can't even do that.

    I don't think a responsible/literate computer user should have to know how to do anything with a computer (or TV) that requires opening up the thing. However, there's basic maintenance. If you're on Windows, it's not a bad idea to know how to defragment and scandisk. You should know what attachments can and can't do and how to basically avoid phishing, spyware, and the like. It's a practical means of cyber-survival. If we are using the car analogy, using a computer without knowing how to protect yourself from malware is like driving a car recklessly. Not ejecting/unmounting a USB device before unplugging it is like switching to reverse to brake your car rather than hitting the brakes.

    There are basic skills computer users should have--it's not either all or nothing. You can know enough to keep your computer running well and not be a hacker, programmer, etc.

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by techieMoe
    Quote Originally Posted by chopin1810
    Computer companies could save oodles of cash by not having the tech support people, who after all of their certifications still don't have a clue.
    I'm sure we've all had our fair share of moronic tech support folks, but one place that has never given my family trouble is Apple Computer. I actually had someone I went to college with work in their tech support for several years and their entire department were very well-educated people who actually knew something about the products for which they were offering support. They may be the exception, but I just thought it necessary to point out that some companies out there have competent tech support.
    Unfortunatly, PC companies don't take after Apple. I wish they did, as their computers "just works" because the software is written exactly for the hardware. The same just cannot be said for PCs. Things would be much easier for all of us if companies started writing operating systems for their own computers.

  8. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by aysiu
    I agree with the analogies given so far (cars, hammers, TVs), but, truthfully, those analogies go only so far.

    Cars, believe it or not, are designed to hide everything from the driver, even more so than Windows or Mac. At least in Windows you'll get some kind of error message ("Fatal error" or "Missing .DLL"). In a car, if the vehicle breaks down, all you can do is describe to a mechanic what the car sounded like before it died. There are intricate computers inside of cars, but all they do is flash warning lights ("Service Engine Soon"). There's no DOS. There's no shell. There's no easy way for generally informed car drivers to hack into their cars.

    Same with TVs. When we get no reception, it's just fuzz. The box to the TV is usually sealed, and the only thing the remote control can do is change channels, adjust the sound, etc. You can't troubleshoot a TV without using a screwdriver (though, some people swear by just hitting the top of the television loudly).

    That said, even if someone doesn't know all the inner workings of a car, she can still know enough to take care of it. I had a friend who never did anything but fill up the gas in her car. Needless to say, I soon discovered she had almost no brake fluid, no engine oil, and no coolant. People shouldn't be expected to know all the inner workings of every electronic device and appliance they own, but they should enough to take care of the devices and appliances as much as they can. There are simple things you can do to take care of your car on your own (checking fluid levels), and the rest you probably have to take to a mechanic to fix (checking wheel alignment, tuning up the engine, etc.).

    There's also a practical difference as far as cars and computers go. If I mess around with the inner workings of my car, the car may explode or catch fire, leaving me permanently disfigured or dead. Even if I download a virus or render my computer unbootable, it's probably not going to blow up in my face.

    This leads to the next big difference. There's hardware, and there's software. Many computer users may consider themselves gurus when it comes to software, but the best they can do with hardware is replace some RAM or add a CD-ROM drive. Some can't even do that.

    I don't think a responsible/literate computer user should have to know how to do anything with a computer (or TV) that requires opening up the thing. However, there's basic maintenance. If you're on Windows, it's not a bad idea to know how to defragment and scandisk. You should know what attachments can and can't do and how to basically avoid phishing, spyware, and the like. It's a practical means of cyber-survival. If we are using the car analogy, using a computer without knowing how to protect yourself from malware is like driving a car recklessly. Not ejecting/unmounting a USB device before unplugging it is like switching to reverse to brake your car rather than hitting the brakes.

    There are basic skills computer users should have--it's not either all or nothing. You can know enough to keep your computer running well and not be a hacker, programmer, etc.
    Great point -- that's basically where I stand. Thing is that most users don't do that or even know how to do that.
    I don't think that the day will come where our computers just do everything right, like (almost) all TVs, and I don't think I want it to. Computers do tasks, and we like to change the way they do them, where as there's not too much to change on a TV and there's no reason to really change the way that it operates (unless it's broken). You just turn it on and flip channels. But with a computer, we like to change lots of stuff -- and I don't think that will ever change. It's just because of the tasks that they perform.

  9. #28
    Linux Newbie deek's Avatar
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    Moe, I am there with ya, bud. I would like to be able to build a PC with commodity parts for less than buying, but even today, that is hardly the case. Well, at least with entry level systems (which are probably not the kind of PCs most of this forums users are on, but is still a valid discussion point).

    Software (or OSs) are still going to be the sticking point, and I don't want MS to be the only player, so don't get me wrong there. I go back to the car analogy. Take a look at when cars were first out in the world. Many people built them on their own and heavily modded them. But, as the world changed and manufacturing matured, the products coming out really didn't keep things open to that type of thing.

    I think that computers are going down that path now...at least the hardware. And within a short timeframe, you are going to be seeing hardware that is pretty much narrowed down to a handful of vendors. That pretty much leaves building from scratch and doing any heavy modding to those hardcore types (which I consider myself one of them). And that number will SHRINK over time, not grow. I think that is just the nature of technology, to be frank.

    Software still has a long way to go on that front, but you will likely still have only a few, but big players in that market. Especially if you see the hardware becoming more and more "stable" and consistent.

    It is just an opinion, my opinion. I am not saying any of this is how I want it, but I do see this trend occuring today. I mean, why go out and spend $500 on parts when you can get something pre-built for $250? Even today, it is about impossible to build a sub-$1000 PC that matches most vendors...and as I stated, the more people use PCs, the more they are going to be marketing them as appliances and the cheaper they will become. For most of us, that means loss of control and ability to mod, at least on the hardware side, in the near future...

    Oh well...just some more thoughts:)
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  10. #29
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deek
    Software still has a long way to go on that front, but you will likely still have only a few, but big players in that market. Especially if you see the hardware becoming more and more "stable" and consistent.
    Well, if all software were commercial and proprietary, you'd have a point. However since Linux and GPL software in particular will never be controllable by one or two big players, I don't see software in general ever going this route without some very draconian laws getting passed that completely wipe out open-source software. Not to say that can't happen, but I don't think it will.


    I mean, why go out and spend $500 on parts when you can get something pre-built for $250? Even today, it is about impossible to build a sub-$1000 PC that matches most vendors...and as I stated, the more people use PCs, the more they are going to be marketing them as appliances and the cheaper they will become.
    Do I really need to answer this? My last PC was about $600USD and it beats the living crap out of the nicest $600 offering from Dell, Gateway, or HP. Given, I'm not the typical end-user, but don't tell me you can't build a viable and competitive PC that's better than a vendor's.
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  11. #30
    Linux Newbie deek's Avatar
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    Yeah, I have to watch my use of never, can't and always:) I don't think in those terms normally, although you did say never in your GPL comment:)

    I'll give you that (software not controlled by only big players). But you never know what wind of change will come in and shake things up. I mean, there are several distros already positioned to have larger market shares than others. Heck, what if BSD takes a huge shift and for one reason or another, the majority of non-MS, non-Apple users fall into that camp? I know, I am now just going into a bunch of what-ifs...good for discussion, but not necessarily doing much good for this thread.

    While I agree that software in general will probably never get wiped out (talking about open-source), I could see there being very minimal stuff out there with hardware specialization. Granted, I would like to see that shift the other way, that all these specialized hardwares will simply be open-source down the road and therefore EVERYTHING has to stay open and therefore we all get choices. Although, in a way, that means it is closed...meaning if everything was open, then all the closed stuff would go by the wayside and then the monopoly would be non-proprietary software and hardware, but all based on one/few standards...now I would like that!!!

    So, $600, with peripherals (including monitor)??? You will have to give me more detail on your $600 rig compared to Dell/Gateway/HP. Without monitor, I can see that, but without...I think that is tough. Obviously, software is out of the equation, as I am assuming open-source...(but on the flip side, there is no way you can build a $600 system with all the SAME licensing that you would get from an MS box, agreed?).

    I am still a believer that I can build a $1000 PC way better than buying one, but when that pricepoint gets close to $500, I can't compare...but maybe you will prove me wrong with the $600 Moe-rig:)
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