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Re: Dumb users spread viruses

  • From: Charles Sprickman
  • Date: Sun Feb 08 21:35:23 2004

On Sun, 8 Feb 2004, Sean Donelan wrote:

> Unfortunately, people want to install arbitrary software on their
> computers and are willing to bypass every control to do it.

Which is rather interesting...  As probably every person on this mailing
list does regularly, I end up sitting at a computer for some period of
time when visiting any relative's home.  I don't even run Windows myself,
but have still had to become familiar with "AdAware" and all the other
"cleaning tools".  It's truly amazing the amount of software people will
install in the course of a few months.  And almost all of it is the kind
of junk that wants to throw ads in the user's face during the normal
course of use.

You can even ask the owner of the PC "what software should I put on here?
what do you *need* to do on this PC?" and they'll give you a list, and you
seek out more "friendly" applications for weather reporting, browser bar
"helpers", etc.  The machine is "clean" and there is no nagware/adware.
Come back months later and WeatherBug is there, 5 different IE toolbars
that can't be turned off, etc.  Stunning, really.

The thing that really burns me is that my own "shiny pretty happy box" is
a Mac.  I tend to install gadgets for weather, stock trackers, you name
it.  For whatever reason, I'm more likely to find truly free applications
that have no ill side-effects to do the same things that the PC crowd
wants.  I mean, I have to *work hard* to find adware for the Mac.

Why is that?  I understand why that's so on *BSD/Linux, but the Mac really
does out-of-the-box work like a PC running Windows as far as functionality
is concerned, unlike *BSD/Linux.  So why the apparent lack of junkware?