University of Illinois still patching all Windows machines; Macintosh unaffected

“The University [of Illinois] continues to battle the recent worldwide computer viruses, which hit at an unfortunate time for University students returning to campus and needing to set up their computers,” reports Anne Gleason forThe Daily Illini.

“‘It’s just hitting universities particularly hard because this is the beginning of the year,’ said Terry Wilson, help desk manager for CITES, Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services. ‘It’s the worst possible time of the year for the viruses to hit (at the University),'” Gleason reports.

Gleason continues, “The University residence halls required that all students living in the dorms have their computers checked and patched by a network technician before they could access the Internet


  1. And then in another few weeks the next major worm will hit. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then another.

    And so on.

  2. ‘It’s absolutely recommended (to get patched),’ Wilson said. ‘Patches are to prevent problems. It’s like a motorcycle helmet � you wear it to prevent injury.’

    This statement illustrates the thought process of these minions of Microsoft. They’re saying that viruses are inevitable, like having a motorcycle accident, and you need this patch (helmet), so you don’t get hurt.

    BS. If the analogy is a motorbike (computer) on a road (PC), then the road is full of people digging it up, so your motorbike falls into theses holes, and these people are busy taking pot-shots at passing motorists. The police (Microsoft), should make sure that these people aren’t allowed anywhere near the road (PC), but they are nowhere in sight, they simply get their minions to provide helmets (patches) for the road users. Pathetic.

    “While many students have been checked, there are students still waiting to get the patches. Kirsten Ruby, assistant director of housing for marketing, said there are about 30 network technicians working to patch and check student computers in all the dorms.”

    This statement also illustrates the reason why IT people prefer Windows. 30 Network Technicians? Mmmm, Windows keeps them very busy. You can see why they all go white with fear when the Mac is mentioned….

  3. I get so sick of the line of argument that the WinTel dominance is due to IT people being afraid of macs. I support both platforms at work. We are a 98% mac house with a few PCs. Per computer, I spend way more time keeping our Macs humming with a near continuous stream of calls for DiskWarrior and repairing permissions, juggling memory requirements, etc. than I do telling the PC users (running XP) that it’s ok to let Norton Antivirus and Windows Update run automatically. We’re behind a decent firewall, we patch our systems when the little box pops up, and we keep Norton AntiVirus running. This is not rocket science. And those computers seem to get their work done just as well as the Macs do.

  4. If you have to do loads of upkeep on those macs, either you or the employees are doing something quite wrong, and whoever the offender is they need to be brought up to speed.

  5. Compudude – troll?
    “Continuous calls for DiskWarrior” – “repairing permissions”..
    You need to take a serious course in Maintaining Mac OS X networks and machines – on our setup, not a single call for any disk tool – repairing permissions are done automatically at night by the system.

    “patch when the little box pops up” – OK now I know what kind of an IT professional we are dealing with!

    “juggling memory requirements” – it was Loooooooooooooooooooooong over with Mac OS X – if you are trolling try to be a “smart” troll.

    “and those …..get their work done just….as the the Macs do”
    Work that’s primarily checking your e-mail, browsing the web ? Unfortunately on our Macs we have to USE Photoshop, FrameMaker, Lotus Notes, Virtual PC, Acrobat Production, X-Window to our Sun Pro-E CAD system and half a dozen other applications. No memory or disk problems here yet. We do get our work done without PC’s – and thats perhaps what the article was suggesting?

  6. compudude: you must do something fundamentally wrong

    Where I work there are some 80 Windows tech staff and 2 (!) for Macs. We have some 2000 Macs around. Techies are often seen at the cafeteria and enjoy long coffee pauses.

    There are some 10000 Wintels in here. Those 80 techies are busy as hell.

    LOL continuous running of DiskWarrior, memory requirements? Memory requirements on OS X? What are you talking about????

    Dude: I have had DW installed by my employer. I used once in 2 years, thank you.
    Maybe we should send you our two Mac techies. They are bored here anyway.

  7. Wintel dominance must not be due to IT people being afraid of Macs, it is due to IT people being ignorant. I met IT complaining about Mac OS features as old as System 7. AND THEY BELIEVE THEY KNOW THE PLATFORM. LOL

    Someone even say: sorry: “Macs are not fully Office compliant”, or “cannot print on IP-networked printers”, or even “Macs can’t do TCP/IP”.
    For the most, of all IT people (or so professed on the lists) they always come up with such attacks on the platform. Pretty much like: “juggling memory requirements”

  8. I wish we were on OSX… sometimes. Sadly, the publishing field is still very much quark 4-centric, necessitating the majority of our comps remain on OS9, where memory requirements and disk issues are a fact of daily life. (Yes, I know they aren’t supposed to be in OSX, but even that’s not 100% realistic… take this recent tip from an OSX support site: )
    Add in major driver issues with high-end (not off the shelf) printing systems and continuing bugs in the systems running OSX on a test basis (PS7 has a wonderful habit of quitting for no apparent reason when working with big files, for instance), and no, things are not as ripe as I would like for a company-wide OSX roll-out. Perhaps it’s not fair to compare OS9 to XP? That’s still a pretty sorry excuse considering the number of people out there still running OS9.

    I love Macs. Don’t get me wrong. But I’m not subject to the blinkers many seem to wear regarding their faults.

    Pop-up boxes re patches? Dude. Have you run XP lately? That’s how it works. Really. They can be dealt with in other ways if you’re running a big enough shop to justify AD servers and specialized push-based deployment tools, but when you’re not talking about that many systems, it’s overkill when the system can pull the down itself and notify the user they are ready to install.

    I’ll admit the PCs are running simpler configs than the Macs. A few 3D workstations, and some admin systems that rarely go outside of Office and IE, compared to Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark, In Design and others, not to mention the video editing workstation’s incredible array of software, but the point was that (a) PCs don’t have to be the unmanageable beast that many apple fanatics imply, (b) the unrealistic implication that macs are maintenance-free, and (c) the implication that all IT people who work with PCs are afraid of Macs because they’ll lose their jobs due to not enough work.

    Puh-leeze. Calling IT mac-ignorant ignores a large group of people (not by comparison to PC people, perhaps, but hardly non-existent) who make a living keeping Macs humming along despite their quirks. They can keep you just as busy as PCs can.

  9. (back to the article) Same thing at my school (small private college north of Boston). I’m new faculty and got stuck with piece of s*(& dell. On the upside – it really helps me appreciate my imac at home and it’s got me thinking about an emac for work. Why the hell not?

  10. compudude. It took guts to post after being claimed troll I have to give you kudos. Being a Mac IT myself I understand here you are going with your comments. If users are making you jump through hoops on a daily basis they are probably guilty of some very bad habits while you are not around. I am not taking a shot at you I know your pain. I recomemend a few things that when put in place will solve most if not all of your issues (if you can keep the kids out of the areas you have fixed). 1) check all your fonts, damaged fonts will sometimes never show their face, but will crucify you all the time. and act like other problems (I found fontagent to be very good but there are others). 2) set the machines and lock them down, people thinking they know best can really piss things up (we call this carbon unit error) or just tell them what they can touch. 3) Run techtool pro on each machine to see if after working your machine 24/7 for years a ram chip hasn’t gone bad or a hardrive didn’t develope a bad bit. Macs are overall just better, not perfect. Stuff still blows out in them, but my experience has been over the past decade but not even close to the same as the PC side.
    I don’t care what computers people use are tools, but it isn’t blinders that causes people to say ITs are afraid of Macs. I have heard it myself from ITs, and not in a naasty way either. One was fixing an old PC in the college my wife works at and somebody made a snide comment about Macs and The IT said “are you kidding me, if these were Macs I wouldn’t be having this problem, they rock”
    But on the other side, we need to back off of bashing PC users just because we don’t agree, relax, a few are probably looking around for options and if all we do is kick the shit out of them what is going to make them think we represent a cool OS?… cmon I feel good that I didn’t get the latest worm to, but I am not going to laugh at the poor bastard that got one just to say I am right, that is uncool. evnr if they have bashed you before, be better than that..


  11. “But I’m not subject to the blinkers many seem to wear regarding their faults.”

    Where can I get these “blinkers”? What are they? They sound good to me.

  12. I can’t see what memory requirements has to do with the Photoshop tip to reduce the size and number of history states. Memory requirements in OS 9 and less was about how much min memory was pre-allocated to an application and the increase chunk in case that was not enough. Sometimes this was creating crashes if one forced the machine to run too many applications at same time or an application to refuse to start because of lack of memory or crashing because of that.

    I have tens of applications running at same time on OS X. If they are not active they do not eat CPU (literally 0.0%) nor memory (few hundred Ks). Just run ‘top’ in a shell to verify that.

    Anyway, Quark for OS X has been released, in case that is the only reason not to move to OS X.

    There is no memory management in OS X they way older OS did. You can’t preallocate RAM to a particular application. You can re-nice an application so that it has priority but that has to do with CPU rather then RAM, and you can update prebinding of libraries but that affects launch time rather then execution.

    Not all IT are Mac-ignorant, granted, but I still have to find one who is truly versant or does not hold for true pre-OS X issues on OS X platforms.

    When corporates hire Windows graduate IT techs with practically little to no on-the-field Mac experience what do you expect?. They mostly rely on Mac users to solve problems when they arise and know pretty well that the kind of support required to support Macs is null wrt same installed base of Windows machines.

    Honestly I find their knowledge to be mostly hear-say. Only now – with OS X – they are starting to look at it. Before it was just silly remarks, FUDs and open hostility.

  13. Seahawk & Compudude: truly enough…

    Quark has released version 6 of XPress, but alas! there’s a major flaw in this last version regarding backward compatibility of files: XPress 6 can only save files back to version 5, and only version 5 can save back to 4…

    How is that a problem? In fact, there’s many reasons to it, at least here in Geneva, Switzerland, where reliancy on XPress on the Mac is very heavy in the publication and print businesses.

    Due to Quark’s XPress licence pricing scheme, very few companies have upgraded from version 4, which just plain works as long as you have invested some time in streamlining and working around potential glitches, and usually they have bought fonts and XTensions by the barrel, so there has not been a widespread migration to v.5. XPress 6 is not compatible with Mac OS 9, so that’s an incentive less to migrate to OS X, as there’s a lot of inertia to take account of. Man-hours and money have been invested in workable QXP and OS 9 configurations, as many IT’s at Mac-mostly companies know.

    Personally, I’ve been able to comfortably switch to the OS X/InDesign combo at work, but that’s in very small outfit so there’s not that much effort to migrate as in larger companies with multiple computers and countless licences to contend with…

    More to the topic: I guess the Macheads at dorms in virus-stricken universities across the world will set some buzz going, being able to use their Macs immediately, unlike their PC brethren who will have to see their own machines going through a screening process before getting to enjoy their computers…

    We shouldn’t make fun out of the recent malware outbreaks, but I cannot stop smirking while I’m writing this…

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