Monday, November 14, 2005


I've consciously avoided bringing the subject up for the most part, but it should be no surprise that I do not hold the common views of Microsoft software being virus-happy security nightmares. Luckily, someone has already put my thoughts to paper quite well, so I don't feel much of a need to rehash what he's said. So, pretend I wrote this:

Microsoft security is nothing to sneeze at

Agree with me (him) or not. I've grown weary over the years of arguing about it.

I think that the world has changed a lot in the past couple years, and people suddenly care about security. In the days before the internet, nobody cared too much. Computers were about letting people do whatever they wanted. Now they're about letting a few people do what they want, and everyone else not being able to do anything. I don't really blame anyone's insecure old products; there just wasn't any reason to favor security over functionality. I mean, the people who invented TCP/IP and the internet and all that jazz were pretty damned smart, and they weren't really thinking about these things either. It still boggles my mind how idiotic things like email are by today's standards, but at the time it must have seemed like a great design.


Anonymous said...

That is a good article. :-) I was surprised that he said “I like open source because it’s free, it often has features Windows doesn’t, and it's faster.”

I put Linux on my workstation at work for 6 months and I was glad to have Windows back. I don’t know if I can think of a program that ran faster on Linux vs. Windows. But then again, I don’t know as if I can compare that. Perhaps he says that because you have more control on what loads with Linux?

Travis said...

The file browser application always seemed quite a bit faster to me than Windows Explorer. Then again, I think I'd be willing to give that up to lose the 1000% increased startup time alone.

Luke said...

Not relevant to the article, but relevant to the comments: the thing most striking so far with my Linux desktop experiment is how much slicker it handles multimedia. Big videos don't bring the rest of the system to a crawl. And, indeed, photos load faster, as do their thumbnails in the browser. Just on the whole, the thing that was frustrating me about Windows was how interconnected everything felt when things started to drag, and in Linux, I really don't get that sensation. Things tend to stay independently speedy. And, with the powerful command line, some things (like massive file copies) I will just do from there, and it doesn't have to bother with the GUI. So far, very pleasant.

Travis said...

Odd. I've never had any problems with multimedia slowing down the system. I can play better-than-HDTV 1280-pixel videos in about 15% CPU usage even on my aging machine, and 7.1 sound barely touches the CPU. I've heard that the PCI bus can do horrible things to cheap sound cards, but I haven't experienced the troubles you've mentioned.

I do second your notion of everything slowing down when one thing does. Lord and Master Raymond Chen has discussed this in his blog; it's, as always, a matter of backwards compatibility. It's due to DDE and the ancient ways that the shell works so that old Windows 3.0 apps still run just fine. For most of the world, things would be better if you could turn all of that crap off, but you can't, and that's one decision that Microsoft has made that I definitely do not support.