Everyone, try to get away from IE and Outlook

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Paul Bartlet, Aug 29, 2003.

  1. Paul Bartlet

    Paul Bartlet Stunt Coordinator

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    With all the Blaster and sobig virus stuff going on, everyone is nervous about mail/internet (and rightfully so). I've recently switched to Linux, more curious than anything really about it. I research alot into these types of things before I take the plunge. Doing so, I've learned a lot of whats wrong in the Microsoft world.
    I'm not gonna bash Mircosoft here, but what I am gonna say is, most would be better off "Not" using Internet Explorer and Outlook (express included). They are both nice programs, there fault is, they really are "part" of the Operating System. A lot of the exploits you read about are a cause from this. They have read/write access that no "browser/email" client should have. The exploits and fixes keep coming, but I myself see no end in sight. Only reason I say this is, they shouldn't have the permission to do the things some virus/exploits tell them to do.

    I'm no Linux expert, but what I do know of how different sorts of virus/exploit does not work in linux is like this -
    I'm user "Paul", Paul has new mail, I open it, double click it, and it turns out to be a virus. When this virus tries to modify/delete "Important" system files, it fails. As "Paul" does not have the "Rights" to these files. This keeps Linux safe.
    The problem with IE and Outlook is, Windows sees these programs as part of the Family. Sure, go ahead do this and do that, we're all family here. If a windows user were to be using "anything" other than these two programs, they wouldn't have the "access" that these two do (in some cases) In other cases, nothing keeps you safe.
    Will switching to something else keep you safe, well No. But will decrease the chances of vital system files being currupted.
    Read the Updates your getting from MircoSoft, most are for exploits for these two programs.
    There are many good Browser and Email clients that are Free, at least try them.

    my 2 cents :/
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Paul,

    As much as I agree, in theory- i really think that any future useful computing for "average users" will be very much in a hand-holding, self-contained and very integrated environment. As much as experienced users like you and I might hate it, my mom needs applications that can interface in a powerful way with the OS, and hadle some tasks...

    Granted there will be exploits, i think some of the ability for software to do more automated and meaningful tasks is the key to involving more people in computing. There has to be a happy medium somewhere.

    -Vince
     
  3. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    I've tried various alternative browsers and e-mail programs over the years, but the lack of some vital feature always sends me back to MS. Another alternative is to always keep your OS patched and up-to-date. It is not difficult to make a Monday morning routine:

    Update Virus Scan
    Update Firewall
    Check for Windows Patches
    Synchronize Clock, etc.

    Whenever a worm/virus/exploit makes national headlines, the patch has already been available for several weeks. Anyone who gets infected has no one to blame but himself.
     
  4. Paul Bartlet

    Paul Bartlet Stunt Coordinator

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    Vince, reading your post, I'm not to sure on how to answer really, no questions really asked.
    Never really thought of "Mom" when I posted. I think back to how many times telling Mom and Dad how you can tape one program while viewing another :b So I understand your meaning in that regard.

    Guess I'm hoping for one person tells another, and another and so on. Many of the free email/browser programs do work the same, just "look" different. Many get used to whats already there "IE and Outlook", and it's hard to get them to try something else.

    I guess the real problem is, MicroSoft has made an excellent Operating System in terms of ease of use. At the same time, so many have found ways of exploiting this "ease of use".
     
  5. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I'm old enuff to be somebody's dad, but I despise the witless enthusiasiam for speed and integration, I like stand-alone appplications, and sequential logic, rather than simultaneous opening of all doors, "just in case", that leaves me open to viruses, worms, whatever.

    Good fences make good neighbours and all that!

    As you can imagine, I find it very hard to find products or softwares for luddites like myself [​IMG]

    Books are still fairly safe, tho I know of people who developed serious diseases from mouldy books.
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Exactly.

    I work in PC support for a large office full of people with, on the majority, zero technical experience. When a new virus or worm makes the rounds and I have to run around patching or cleaning machines that didn't take broadcast patching- I'm always asked "Why does this stuff happen."

    And the answer is simple, the virus and worm element is a 100% trade off for ease of use. At any point a task or function is automated, there is some control lost- and an opening is made for that control to be seized by a rogue force.

    The solution would be to get away from the automation and from the simplicity, but is that a reasonable trade off? When I look around today and see LITERALLY every household I can think of with one, two, even three computers- I think of what a far cry that is from the late 80's and early-90's... and the reason this happened it really because of things like (as much as I hate to say it out loud) Windows and American Online.

    As much as most experienced users cringe at the prospect of paying $25 a month for dialup service through AOL, can you imagine setting your mother or grandmother up with anything else? The ease of use, and control and integration these services have offered open a very dangerous hole, certainly, but in the process open up a world of computing and communication to folks who might NEVER have tried otherwise.

    For the record, i use Eudora for email and switch between IE and Mozilla for browsing (depending on my mood and site compatibility)--- But I'm not able to close my eyes to the fact that a lot of the integration offered by IE and a system like WINDOWS UPDATE will continue to make computing usable for those people in my office who really have no desire to do anything but communicate and function... and in an ideal world the software and hardware would be transparent to this goal.

    To use an analogy famous around my office... they don't wanna know about how to bake bread, they don't wanna know about heating coil technology-- they just want a piece of toast.

    And unless you want to close the door to computing for those people, I think the idea of integration and software that can truly alter, adjust and update the OS is a must.

    -V
     
  7. Paul Bartlet

    Paul Bartlet Stunt Coordinator

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    Rob, this doesn't sound fair,
     
  8. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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  9. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    I run Win 2000 on 2 of my machines, Win Xp Home on another, Win XP Pro on yet another, and 98lite on yet another.

    I don't use any MS mail client on any of these (I use Pocomail, which I beleive Ron here highly recommended in one of the threads).

    I think what's relevant here is if anybody is really concerned with the MS bundling of IE and Outlook, try 98lite, which allows one to strip off almost everything, including the MS HMTL engine. I run my strip down 98lite with Opera (it has its own HTML engine) and Pocomail, a machine that's on a PII 300, 64MB and 4G runs faster than an XP machine (similar task) on a PIII 500, 384MB of memory. The best thing is the setup is easy to use, as I just loan my 98lite to a non tech friend of mine because of her system broke down, and she took the machine and just run with it.
     
  10. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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  11. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Paul,

     
  12. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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  13. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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  14. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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  15. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    Yes, I thought I had. But the point is that a new virus can spread very quickly, that an update may not have already been available for "several weeks", and that updating weekly may not be enough.

    //Ken
     
  16. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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  17. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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  18. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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  19. Masood Ali

    Masood Ali Supporting Actor

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    Linux is simply not an option for a majority of computer users. I'm not going to install Linux on my parent's PC because all they want is a simple GUI, plug & play support for all their hardware, and compatibility for major software.

    OS X offers that, but the current price/perfomance ratio of buying an OS X capable machine is much, much lower than that of a Windows capable machine. For example, even with one of my aging 1Ghz Athlon PCs, I can go to Fry's and drop $200 for a new motherboard, a fast Pentium 4, and some RAM, and have a competitively fast PC again for a fraction of the cost of a new Mac.

    The age old argument between Macs & PCs boils down to money in the bitter end. I think if I could run to Fry's and pick up a G5 motherboard and processor, I'd have no good reason not to run OS X. But to plunk down $1500 for a new G5 tower; that's not going to happen anytime soon.
     
  20. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    You do not need a G5 to run Mac OS X -- even if you limit your search to new Macs.

    An Apple eMac with FireWire, a DVD burner, AppleWorks, and the iApps goes for around $1,300 (17" CRT included). This is about $1,000 cheaper than a similar configuration based on an entry-level G5. But it is a very functional machine, especially with the addition of a multi-button mouse and a stick of quality third-party memory.

    It's nice that you could make your old machine faster with a new motherboard. But the new motherboard didn't make the hard disk any bigger, or the video card any faster, or the optical drive capable of reading/writing more formats. It is really apples and oranges to compare a motherboard to a new machine, especially when you're talking about such a major redesign as the one found in the G5.
     

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