USA Today columinst angry about Windows viruses, adware, spyware

“Now I’m really mad. A virus killed my family’s computer. Not just a little cough-cough I’m clogged with spyware and slowing down kind of thing. We’re talking a senseless, untimely death. I’m past denial. Deep into anger,” Kevin Maney writes for USA Today. “It was probably the Sasser virus, according to my new best friends on the Microsoft help desk.”

“Anger about this stuff is spreading as fast as the viruses. At our end-of-summer block party, I mentioned to a group of neighbors that a virus had crashed our PC. Instantly, every one of them launched into stories about unstoppable blitzes of adware (which throws pop-up ads on your screen, or worse) and spyware (which can find stuff on your PC and send it somewhere) and computers brought down by viruses,” Maney writes. “I found out the hard way that it’s a new world out there on the Internet. It feels like living in Mayberry RFD one minute and Blade Runner the next. We had been able to leave the doors unlocked, but suddenly we find ourselves installing bars on the windows and multiple alarm systems. It’s sick. And I’m still ticked off.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It is sick, Kevin. But, don’t get mad, get a Mac. For our Windows-only friends, information about how to smoothly add a secure Mac OS X machine to your computing arsenal can be found here. After all, in a world without fences and walls, who needs Gates and Windows?

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Is Mac OS X really inherently more secure than Windows? – August 26, 2003
BusinessWeek’s Haddad gets it wrong; thinks low market share spares Macs from viruses – August 28, 2003
Shattering the Mac OS X ‘security through obscurity’ myth – August 28, 2003
Fortune columnist: ‘get a Mac’ to thwart viruses; right answer for the wrong reasons – September 02, 2003
New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’ – September 18, 2003
Columnist tries the ‘security through obscurity’ myth to defend Windows vs. Macs on virus front – October 1, 2003
Gates: Windows ‘by far the most secure’ system; tries to use ‘Mac OS X secure through obscurity’ myth – January 27, 2004
Mac OS X has no viruses; what’s wrong with Windows? – February 11, 2004
Spyware, adware plague Windows users online; Mac OS X users surf freely – April 19, 2004
Gartner: Worms jack up the total cost of Microsoft Windows – May 07, 2004
Windows ‘Scob’ virus designed to steal financial data, passwords; Macintosh unaffected – June 26, 2004
Tired of patching patches to patch Windows patches? Writer suggests getting a Mac – August 03, 2004
Millions of Windows PC’s hijacked by hackers, turned into zombies; Macintosh unaffected – September 08, 2004
Security is top priority in Apple’s Mac OS X – September 12, 2004
Windows XP worm speaks to users as it deletes their files; Macintosh unaffected – September 13, 2004
University of Chicago recommends all students patch Windows at least once a day – September 14, 2004


  1. When will they learn? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” /> I have friends who have confessed the same thing, but many still reluctant to switch. They’re content wallowing in misery while their PC world is crashing around them (literally). What more will it take?

  2. I think what it is, all to familiar story, is software. Some people spent a lot of money on software on Windows that won’t work on Mac OSX.

    But with QuickTransit, people won’t be soo afraid of switching.


  3. You can’t help people that don’t want to be helped, and you can’t save the whole world. The best you can hope is to have some effect on your friends, family, and maybe some co-workers. Darwin got something terribly wrong.

  4. I really wonder about how many people really have spent a ton of money on Windows software.

    Nearly everyone I know who has a Windows machine goes with what was bundled with them machine when they bought it.

    (then most of them don’t use even half of that software. )

    It would be interesting to know what the real dollars are, and if it would make any difference anyway, since it may just be a convenient excuse.

  5. #1 – Was visiting my Mom last week and decided to get online and check my e-mail using her HP /2600+ AMD computer – Wholly crap! I couldn’t believe how slow it was!!! It took forever to do anything. I immediately thought something was amiss. So I ran a virus checker … after scanning all 200,000+ files on her system it found 18 viruses attached to some system file – the only way to fix it, reinstall Windows.

    The first thing I said, of course, “Should have bought a Mac.” Yes I’m sure that annoys the hell out of people, but it’s true. However her reason for not buying a Mac was the games they previously purchased for their grandkids.

    The irony of that is, they can’t play those games anyway, the darn system is too slow!!!

    #2 – posted by Next… “But with QuickTransit, people won’t be soo afraid of switching.”

    QuickTransit will not have any benefit for those wishing to run Windows apps. It is primarily intended for use when wanting to run the same standard Unix/Linux binaries on different hardware/*nix platforms.

    For example, someone has a command-line utility for x86 Red Hat Linux that they need to run under PowerPC Darwin. This is where QuickTransit would come into play … it only translates CPU instructions and standard unix library calls between different platforms, this does not include proprietary API’s such as Windows API’s or OS X API’s

    You would still need another layer to translate those proprietary function calls. Something similar to the way WINE works or the rumored “Red Box” API Apple has tucked away somewhere?

    However, Apple could stand to gain much from this technology anyway … Run any *nix software from any hardware under OS X. Imagine how many more applications become instantly compatible with OS X. To your average home user, it’s probably not a big deal. But to business, government and schools who might have custom apps built using standard Unix/Linux libraries, running on older PC hardware, a Mac running OS X becomes a viable upgrade path.

  6. Here’s what I sent:

    Please note that the state of affairs that you describe in your article does not apply to all computer platforms; only Microsoft Windows computers. That’s an important distinction. The Apple Macintosh suffers none of the viruses/adware/spyware that you describe in your article. Instead of simply complaining about the situation, you would do your readership a greater service by mentioning that there is a solution to the problem.



  7. These viruses and viruses are making me even more furious. People complain about their computers not working and ask me for advise, I say “should have bought a Mac”. PC users would often ignore the comment and just get me to fix it. Now I often hear, “how do I get a Mac” and “how much does it cost?” I answer their questions accordingly but the main reason people are reluctant to switching is they already invested hundreds of dollars on sub-standard computers

    I am starting my gorrilla marketing to help those frustrated PCers look more and more into Apple computers. I am taking my MacAddict magazines and placing them on my employee dining areas next to the newspapers. I’m looking for brochures to place at the waiting rooms of doctors and such.

    This whole deboggle of Windows and viruses is making me even angrier because my friends and family call upon me to help, I now just give them the info to get a mac. I’m tired of reformatting hard drives and re-installing windows. It’s a pain and the reason why I switched in the first place.

    I put most the blame on Windows corporation and will now take bigger steps to encourage switchers with gorrilla marketing.

  8. it is called guerilla marketing, which is quite a difference to “gorilla” marketing in meaning, but good on ya nonetheless. i mostly leave people alone. i only flood them with my personal mac-marketing-talk when they come to me with their pc problems. i say i can’t even remember how to work a pc and that i have no viruses at all while still being constantly on the weg w/o any virus-scanner on my mac =).


  9. A friend of mine us switching. He’s using my G4 400 and probably get an iMac 3 once they’re on rev B.

    So my technique is to invite a PC user to actually test run a mac for a while. How could they not switch if they’ve given it a good opportunity.

    I might lend it to they guy who spend �800 on specialist video hardware that took over a year to get configured correctly. He was busy fiddling with motherboards/cards/jumpers/bios etc while I was just using iMovie with zero config – just a firewire cable.

  10. Email from my sister just the other day:

    “Melanie…Please shut up about Macs already. I don’t have one & am never going to….As for Yahoo mail & such…I have had my Yahoo Mail account for over 10 years…I have “NEVER” had a spam problem…They have a very good Spam Guard, Anti-Spam Rescource Center and Address Block…It’s the places you are sending e-mail to that send you spam, Genius…Yahoo has absolutely nothing to do with�it.�

    As far as your preaching the virtues of Spybot….it keeps missing things that I am catching with Ad-aware. Spybot isn’t nearly as fantastic as you think it is.”

    People who write stuff like this to me don’t even hear their own words. Instead of directing their anger at the problem(makers), they misdirect their anger at those who suggest a better solution. They refuse to understand that there’s nothing on a Mac for either Ad-aware OR Spybot S&D to find, which is why Patrick Kolla emailed me that there was no need to write a version of Spybot for Mac OS X.

    I’ve got 3 different emails drafted as a response, but I haven’t bothered to send them. Some people are better off learning the hard way.

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