Montana school district’s Windows computers offline due to worm; Macintosh computers unaffected

“The Helena School District was hit by a virus similar to the one that tied up the State of Montana last week, and District Technology Services Manager Joe Baechtel said it could be several days before all the schools are back on line,” reports Laura Tode for The Helena Independent Record. “The w32.welchia worm virus leaked into the school district


  1. Well, how ’bout that – hey teach’, plug that old Selectric in and break out the carbons and mimeograph fluid!

    (How many reading this right now even know what I’m talking about?)

    Sadly, this will only become more and more prevalent, given how poorly M$ has responded – this little infection has not gotten even half as much ink as the Blaster and SoBig attacks. However, the Welchia (or Nachi) worm is one of those attacks that could have EASILY been prevented, except for the one minor detail that M$ networks let that stuff run rampant because many pc programs simply WON’T WORK PROPERLY without the kind of network settings that clearly assist such worms in propagating. Very sad indeed.

    And, hmmm, why did the Macs that are on the same network not become infected? (I know, rhetorical question for some, but I just had to ask it…)

  2. Ho hum, another day, another network taken offline by a Windows virus. You can nearly set your watch by them now.

    Well, at least it should stop school districts from migrating to Windows.

  3. what’s strikes me as funny is that I went to Capital High (’91 grad) and when I was there the only windows machines were in the CAD lab in Mr. Duff’s office. And they were smoking machines, too, they were 486 @ 33 Mhz. Screaming machines for the time, doorstops by ’93, but hey. We still had selectrics because we still had a mandatory typing course (which I wouldn’t doubt that they still had) and I’m sure they are in the same storage space as all the gymnastics equipment that they don’t use anymore but couldn’t get rid of without peeving some Helenans.

    And I used the PCs in the CAD lab because AutoCAD wasn’t built for the Mac and the lab was donated by Boeing (I think… maybe… perhaps it was a grant, Duff would know) and the macs we had then were just ok, although the school’s paper and yearbook were both done on macs. I think it’s interesting that now, I couldn’t survive without my PowerBook, so I don’t know how students function without their own computer. I’m really hoping that parents will see fit to get an iBook for their kids for 7 – 12th grade. What you can do today is brilliant, and classes wouldn’t suck the way they did…

    of course, AutoCAD also needs to port to OS X.

    ah, the memories….

  4. Flashback:

    Trying to use that last old sheet of carbon paper that was thinner than tissue paper. Don’t forget 4-part forms: “Press hard”.

    And, OHHH the smell of the blue mimeograph quiz fresh off of the machine. Every time the teacher was late for class with a stack of paper in their arms, we knew it was because they printed something (often a quiz) on the slow mimeograph between classes. When the quiz was distributed, every kid lifted it to their nose to smell the fresh blue ink.

    Life was much simpler.

  5. It is unlikely that Apple will make ads showing the problems in the Windows world these days, but there is a lot of creativity in the Mac community. Perhaps someone should start a contest for the best ad showing why typewriters make a better business decision than going with Windows.

  6. “(How many reading this right now even know what I’m talking about?) “

    I DO!!! I DO!!!

    Yes, Aryugaetu, the smell of a freshly printed test on paper that for some odd reason always felt slightly cool… Ah the memories…

  7. Boy, I remember when a Selectric was unattainable – only rich folk or businesses had them. High tech during my college years was one of the low-end Brother electric typewriters. The only folks who got to use a computer were those guys who carried around stacks of punch cards (their principle aerobic exercise was chasing the cards during a windstorm).

  8. Schools keep saying they have to switch to Windows because it’s what they use in the business world. Well now they get to enjoy as much virus-ridden downtime as the business world.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.