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. I, too, am fed up with trying to get through to Wintel apologists. The same, 15 year old excuses are always used – “There’s no software available, Macs are too expensive, blah blah.”

    I’m all for a guerilla marketing campaign, but the sad fact remains that they will simply never understand or comprehend that computers do work without Microsoft, and 99.99% of the time they work BETTER without Micro$**t.

    Honestly, if I used a Windows PC today, I would not be connected to the internet. It’s too risky. And if Apple Computers didn’t exist I’d be using Red Hat or another Linux variant.

    Windows is dying. HURRAH!

  2. I am getting tired of hearing about security issues with PC�ers and the problems this causes; and the willing ignorance that PC�ers spew out to justify using Microsoft products.

    There are plenty of other sites where one may go to read about the sad state of Microsoft. I would rather read about what Apple is doing to provide Mac users with secure, useful, and elegant programming.

  3. For decades Schwinn was the dominate American bicycle company but major mistakes led to bankruptcy.

    While I am not foolish enough to think that MS will go bankrupt but I do think we are seeing the tide turning. Eventually we’ll be saying, “remember back in 2004 when most folks were using Windows? Can you imagine?”

  4. One thing to remember… most Wintel users have never used anything else. Viruses, popups and spyware are an integral part of their computing “experience”. Further that experience has been consistent whether they were using Dell, Compaq, Gateway or whatever.

    For these folks, a computer without such afflictions is inconceivable. To argue “there is a better way” sounds like hype to them. Hence the derogatory labels like “cult” and “fanatics”.

    Challenging that experience is an exercise in futility.

    It is far better to just report the facts — when was the last affliction you had? How long does a Mac go without such issues — e.g. my computer illiterate parents have had an iMac for 3 years that is heavily used (abused?) by 7 grandkids and has never been “rebuilt”.

  5. I wish I could say that this will make a difference, but alas, I have become quite cynical.

    Windows-drones will keep continuing to use the Windoze OS. They may be aware that there is a Mac out there, but they won’t seriously consider it.

    Did you notice that the article doesn’t once mention any alternative? It’s just another session of whining and moaning about the computing experience, with no action on changing it.

    Now, if there was a follow-up on this article about him purchasing a Mac…

  6. People don’t get it. Having a PC and getting viruses and complaining about it is a BADGE of Honor that allows all of these lemmings to feel part of a global community of PC-sufferers. Where would they be if they had a Mac that just worked? They’d be out of that club of self-pity. Heaven forbid.

  7. I wrote to Kevin. I sent him a nice short letter explaining that he should try a Mac rather than buying a new Wintel.

    He wrote me back asking why all Mac users feel the need to tell others to get a Mac. He likened it to a cult.

    I responed, telling him that it’s like when you tell a friend about a good restaurant you found, or telling someone about your favorite barber – you want your friends to have the good experience you did.

    As for a cult, I explained, it kind of is. You talk with other Mac users and laugh about the latest Wintel virus that talks to you as it deletes your data. You talk about the newest cool thing you found.

    I then asked him why people feel the need to be sheep. They choose Wintel because others chose it. They don’t do their due diligence to find the best.

    I then challenged him to try the Mac for 6 months rather than making his decision based upon info from others. Try it for 6 months and then come back and tell me that you don’t like it.


    In-the-know tech people these days constantly run three or four software programs such as Spybot Search & Destroy and Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware to keep the ads and spyware and other annoying stuff to a minimum. On top of that, they run firewall software on their PCs and don’t just rely on a router. They run at least one anti-virus program and make sure they get the automatic updates, which come in over the Internet and add protection against newly discovered viruses.


    “Constantly run? “No truer words were ever spoken. Does leave much time for much else. Bring back the lemmings commercial!

  9. This was my response to Kevin’s response to my email.

    From: “Maney, Kevin” <>
    Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 11:05:41 -0400
    To: “Beverly Martin” <>
    Subject: RE: Computer Infections

    Thanks, but I do know this already.

    It’s a funny thing — why do Mac users feel a need to tell others to get a Mac? It really seems cultish, like the Moonies or something.


    Kevin Maney
    703 854 3489


    Not telling, merely suggesting. The decision is yours. Us liberal Democrats aren�t usually pushy.

    Personally I don�t want the Mac to ever have equal or greater market share than Windows. If it did then people would exploit OS X as much as Windows is now. Harder but still possible.

    So now you�re going to compare us (Mac users) to some nutcase who claims to be God? Sun Myung Moon promises the moon and stars, Apple delivers a real live product. It�s called brand loyalty. I can�t speak for other Mac users but I use mine because it just simply works. I don�t have to spend a huge chunk of my time fighting an operating system. I can spend my time on the computer doing what I went there for in the fist place, being productive and doing it intuitively.

    You could have got a lot of writing done in the time you wasted trying to fix your system and on the phone at $XX.XX per minute. But you did get an article idea out of it. In the 15+ years I�ve been using my Mac I�ve had to call Apple 0 times and other software vendors 0 times. I did have to call HP once with an issue with my Color LaserJet but it turned out to be a hardware problem.

    Sorry I can�t send you a picture of my Mac but I read this morning that someone has figured out a way to attach a virus to jpg files to infect Windows. Wouldn�t want to worry you.

    Beverly Martin
    Cu Chi, 1968
    Editor, Washington State Vietnam Veteran

  10. Jimbo von Winskinheimer:

    See my previous post below yours.

    I cannot believe this guy wrote you back asking why all Mac users feel the need to tell others to get a Mac. Hell this guy is crying in his beer about Windows and he does not have enough sense to do anything about it.

    I guess there is not much that can be done for this guy. Kinda makes you wonder how he can rate a column in a national newspaper. My respect for Walt Mossburg has just escalated. Just send him of copy of Walt’s article. Maybe he will have a little more respect for your advice coming from a collegue.

  11. They will learn when they lose 3 years worth of family phots and movies!

    That is what happened to me and I vowed NEVER to use anything by Microsoft again!

    I now use mac and have happy and worryfree internet useage!

    If i ever got another windows pc the first thing i would throw away from the box would be the modem lead that connected it to the net!

    How many precious files, irreplacable family photos or documents have these guys got to lose before they learn to switch to Mac???

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