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When will this virus crap end?

Who in his or her right mind believes the customer is always right? Not I. I’ve seen too many customers who hadn’t a clue about what they wanted, or worse, who deliberately fibbed when the nice survey taker with the clipboard asked them what they’d like: “Mrs. Ferguson, would you like your next car better if it had a heated cup holder?”
The Mrs. (and Mr.) Fergusons of our great land always want a better cup holder, gearshift, trunk, rearview mirror, hood ornament–whatever it might be. We didn’t get to be a consumer society by not consuming everything we could lay our hands on, and in ever bigger, ever better shapes and sizes.

— Robert A. Lutz, Guts

And that, my friends, is why you can’t get anything done with your computers anymore because they’re virus breeding grounds. Microsoft or Adobe come along and ask if you’d like some useless feature, like being able to script inside Outlook or Acrobat, and of course the clueless embeciles say, sure! I might need that feature someday! More likely, that feature will be used against you someday. But we just don’t know how to say no. We gotta have the newest, the slickest, the most feature-filled. Never mind we never touch 90% of the feature bloat, and we complain that it’s too complicated, and the only people who ever use most of the capabilities on the machines on our desks are the virus writers.

BeOS sure has a lot of appeal to me right now–a no-frills OS that’s just an OS, nothing more, nothing less, with simple apps that just get the job done. And all at blazing speed. So the company’s about to go under. BFD. I stuck with my Amiga through Commodore’s troubles, and even for a couple of years after the company evaporated. If the machine works, I don’t really care who else is running the same stuff I’m running. What about support? It’s not like Microsoft fixes its bugs either, so if I’m gonna run an OS that isn’t going to be fixed, it might as well be one that started off good in the first place.

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9 thoughts on “When will this virus crap end?”

  1. Actually, Be is nice.

    With a copy of Be OS 5 Pro, the latest OS updates and a copy of GoBe Productive (for Office compatibility), you’re cooking with gas, as they used to say on Sesame Street.

    Actually, you can use the free edition to create dedicated Be partitions and have about 95% of the functionality of the full version. That’s if you’re cheap like me.

  2. bring back dos.

    Wordstar, lotus 123, dbase II, harvard graphics.

    My life was simplier then, only had to worry about boot sector viruses. "your computer is now stoned" wow, it too 🙂


  3. Ahhh. DOS.

    I remember the old days of getting DOS games to work. Much hacking of config.sys files and autoexec.bat files. But the sense of accomplishment when stuff worked!

    I probably still have a pirate version of 123 still floating around on a 3.5 diskette somewhere.

    Viruses still sucked, though.

    Nothing stops you from using DOS these days, though.

    Go by and pick up a copy of DR DOS 7.03 (I think)

    If you look around, MS has a working FULL UNCRIPPLED version of Word 5.5 for DOS on their site (save your stuff as RTF). Find a word.pif file, stick it in the directory and you’re good to go. Runs fine in Windows 98.

    I think that Dev’s site ( )can give you a lot of pointers to some good old stuff. The links work fine, for the most part.

    Or you can put some fire in your belly and install Linux. 🙂

  4. There is another great alternative to BeOS and that is QNX. Very fast and very enjoyable to use. It is also free. I sure hope that BeOS will be placed under GNU before the company goes under…..

    Dave T.

  5. "Clueless embeciles", No, I do not think so. Clueless yes, embeciles no, I think at one time we can all say we were clueless. However, what makes a person not clueless? Education is the key. If one is educated about a product, a fact based intelligent decision can be accomplished. I blame the charlatans who manufacture bum products and deceive the general populace into thinking it will perform as advertised.
    Look at the propaganda, errs, commercials on TV. Gee, very seldom is quality mentioned it is usually the feature-laden product that promotes itself. Ever watch a movie trailer? Did it ever state what the movie was really about. I mean with all the explosions.
    If the movie really explained what it was about you may not go see it. Therefore, as with other products, it is charlatans who use deception to wrongly influence a person to purchase.
    I for one had a limited knowledge when I first bought my computer. I speak for myself here, usually I find out about a product before I purchase. Even then I somethimes get burned, but I learn.
    As a first time buyer do I really have a choice on OS? I did not even consider Apple; the cost was way to high and the product line looked as if it was going to dive.
    Even now, what do I the end user have as options without taking a college course to learn the particular OS?
    What about product availability? I go to the local department store and 99.9% of the products are windows. Hmmm, I did see RedHat once but when I read about compatibility for my system, sorry not there. If someone really made another stable good OS with the ease or better than windows with the manufactures support for drivers. Then watch the fireworks but until then. I’m still looking!
    It was not through reading and hard lessons that I learned (tech support is anything but). However, I want the computer as a tool – not to run my life. Sometimes I’m ready to trash the whole thing. AAt times I think my Tandy 1000ex ran better. AND no one told me when I first bought my computer to turn off the anti-virus when I installed programs.
    However, I find to make the thing work it consumes time and sometimes lots of it. After all, I had other interests in life too. In addtion to further my knowledge, I did purchase your book to make the thing run better!
    What is my point? In products, people’s personalities, manufacturer motives, are involved and education are the keys. Clueless embeciles, no. Clueless yes, embeciles no. Maybe even deceived!

  6. A little unfair to the clueless users (shades of blaming the victim) who often enough are users but not buyers. Certainly there has been ample discussion of checkbox marketing of features to corporate buyers to suggest other reasons for feature bloat – first Windows made it easier to find things on the menus then the menus started to flow so I can’t find things. Finally the customer may be a fool but if the customer walks away with his money, maybe the supplier is a bigger fool. There is no utopia.

  7. I used to think the very same way, Dave. When I was still running the now defunct Campus Computers, I had a very negative perception of my customers.

    Mind you, I didn’t hate them. I just hated their less-than-willing attitude about computer education. If a customer would enter my store and tell me that his computer wasn’t working correctly then I would invite them into the back room to show them how I was fixing it. Most of the time, they would decline the offer because "it’s all so confusing." It will *remain* confusing until you try to learn it, nitwit!

    But now I realize (with the help of my wife) that people don’t want to learn. You may remember me rambling about a broken cycle in my journal. As a society, Americans no longer work to learn. We just work. Ah… read my archives.

    By the way, my mom is using the Mac LCII that I had. It’s doing everything that she needed it to running System 6.0.1, a good word processor, and an SSH terminal to log into my server for ICQ, mail, WWW, etc. It’s a good machine. I’ve already started work on a graphical web browser using MOPS (a FORTH compiler). An e-mail client is coming next.

    She uses the computer as a tool (just like the previous poster), and as long as she can get her work done with minimal fuss then she doesn’t need anything better. I think Americans (the world, even) sometimes forget that feature-bloat makes us get our work done *slower* rather than faster. A lean, mean, fighting machine is much better than a fat, lazy, sleeping machine…

  8. You’re on the right track with your thoughts on BeOS. The only thing that keeps me from using it almost exclusively for day-to-day computing is the lack of a fairly modern web browser, and even this is close to being there with BeZilla (BeOS port of Mozilla).

    BeOS combines the best parts of the integration & ease of use of the Mac with all the buzzword-enabled power of OSes like Unix (true multithreaded, multitasking, protected memory, and a robust journaled filesystem). Just be sure to pay attention to what hardware is supported and you’ll have an extremely pleasant computing experience.

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