TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Back to Being a Luddite (Oh Well)

Re: Back to Being a Luddite (Oh Well)

Gene S. Berkowitz (
Thu, 13 Jul 2006 00:02:48 -0400

In article <>,

> In article <>, Gene S. Berkowitz
> <> wrote:

>> I don't run a virus checker; I do run a software firewall, and my 5
>> PCs are behind a router. I have zero infections on any of the PCs I
>> have running at home.

> If you don't run a virus checker, how do you know?

Because my systems operate the same as when I initially set them up, I
periodically monitor my ethernet traffic for unusual activity, and I
don't have crashes, pop-ups, or other trouble.

> That's not just foolish, it's stupid. There are free AV products out
> there, some of them very good. I use Avast! on all of my home PC's.

Honestly, when was the last time you ACTUALLY had a virus infect or
try to infect your system? The virus threat is vastly over-reported,
with the big numbers coming from single strains infecting large
corporate networks.

>> That said, I don't download from sites I don't
>> trust, I don't use IE or Outlook, and I delete "Hey, Take a Look at
>> This" emails. Basically, the precautions that anyone should take
>> (don't eat found food, don't have unprotected sex with multiple
>> partners, don't leave your keys in the ignition) metaphorically apply
>> to the internet.

> And you don't use IM?

No, I don't, except over my company's VPN, then using a secure client
that does not support remote execution of code.

> Hopefully you at least keep your OS and apps
> updated with the latest patches.

I'd say I'm more conscientious than most in that regard.

> Even Mozilla/Firefox has had it's
> problems, and some exploits were independent of the browser used.

> Even only visiting sites you trust isn't good enough -- there have
> been several reputable sites responsible for spreading infections
> because the site serving their banner ads got compromised, and they
> were serving infected content with the ads.

Which pales in comparison to the amount of damage done by similar
companies who put their client's or employee's data on unsecured, easily
stolen laptops.

>> An ATA-100 hard drive has a 100 megaBYTE per second transfer rate;
>> you'd have to be supremely lucky to have a DSL line that exceeds 3
>> megaBITS/s, or 0.3% of the maximum hard drive transfer rate. Even a
>> high end FIOS line can only supply 35 megabits/sec, or 3.5% of the
>> hard drive transfer rate.

> You know, there's really nothing to relate Internet activity with disk
> activity. And hard drive performance has almost nothing to do with the
> performance or capability of a system.

I was trying to point out that wire speed is probably the slowest
interface remaining for a typical PC.

>> The real performance killers are not evil spyware; it's cluttering up
>> your PC with "trusted" conveniences like RealPlayer, QuickTime, and
>> CD- recorder "helpers" that sit in your system tray consuming memory
>> and CPU cycles waiting for you to finally play a stream or burn a CD.

> While I agree that they're unnecessary and mostly pointless, the
> system tray apps don't consume cycles. They do consume memory,
> however. Removing them helps, but "modern" OSes consume enough that
> taking that step isn't much by itself. Memory is currently cheap. You
> can significantly improve performance just by adding memory. I
> wouldn't even try to run XP with less than 512M of RAM, and generally
> prefer 1GB.

Excuse me, but throwing RAM at a problem caused by poorly written crap
simply leads to more poorly written crap. In 3 years, you'd be writing
"I wouldn't even try to run Vista 2010 Pro with less than 128GB of RAM,
and generally prefer 1TB."

>> It's operating systems that require 50 separate processes "just in
>> case" you find the need to perform remote program loads from a server
>> that encodes all its pages in Mandarin.

> They don't consume cycles, but they do take memory. Most service
> processes live in a constant blocked state until they're actually
> needed.

But not all, and they get more pernicious all the time, what with the
"need" for animation, status reporting, and other nonsense.


[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Well Gene, I do not know how often
_YOU_ get viruses, but I get a dozen or more each day. Fortunatly,
most of them are caught in the virus trap operated for customers of where I am a high-speed subscriber. Viruses which
are addressed to me -- regardless of whatever phony name they were
sent from -- fall into a special 'mailbox' in my name set up by
Cable One in red with warning flags all over it. So I can pick through
them if I wish to examine them closer, or most of the time I just
bash them. Often times they get 'sent by' ptownson, (either with the
massis address or or whoever. A dozen each day ... I
suggest the problem is worse than you admit. And I am sort of
concientous also; in addition to that virus trap I also run three
scanners, AVG, Ad-Aware, SpyBot Smash and Destroy. PAT]

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: "Re: Back to Being a Luddite (Oh Well)"
Go to Previous message: "Sorry For Being Stupid, but I'm Not a Regular User of Usenet"
May be in reply to: "Back to Being a Luddite (Oh Well)"
Next in thread: "Re: Back to Being a Luddite (Oh Well)"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page