After dropping Macs, Henrico officials work to protect students’ new Dells from viruses

“Never in the history of Henrico County’s laptop program have the students’ Apple iBooks fallen victim to a fast-spreading virus or worm,” Olympia Meola reports for The Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Apples were not as prone to them, said Lloyd Brown, director of technology for the Henrico school system.”

MacDailyNews Note: “Apples,” or “Macs” to be correct (Apple is the company, the computer platform they make is called Macintosh), running Mac OS X as Henrico once had, have had zero cases of viruses or worms. To say Macs are “not as prone” to viruses or worms is disingenuous, to say the least.

Meola continues, “The school system has also had good luck with its Windows-based PCs, though a virus attacked Windows computer labs at three or four schools about two years ago, Brown recalled. But this school year could be a learning experience in many ways. The Henrico school system will distribute Dell laptops to high school students this year, a change from the past four years with iBooks. That also means a switch from a Macintosh to a Windows operating system that has been more prone to viruses.”

MacDailyNews Note: The Windows operating system has been “more prone” to viruses? Yeah, we guess you could say that, although hardly with a straight face – see related articles below.

Meola continues, “Student e-mail accounts, where many viruses spread, are not being used. Filters, anti-theft tags, a firewall and wireless updates will help stem problems. At least, that’s the plan. ‘There are so many layers we have to have to . . . be somewhat secure,’ Brown said. ‘I’m never going to tell you we’re 100 percent secure.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ever heard of the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t ‘fix’ it?” Well, Henrico County has “fixed” it now. You were 100 percent secure from viruses for the last four years with Apple Mac OS X, Mr. Brown. And now you’re not.

We have to wonder if we’ll ever know if things are going badly for Henrico or will any problems just be swept under the rug?

Apple’s “Profile in Success – Henrico County Public Schools” webpages are currently still online here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Woman wets herself to keep place in line for $50 Apple iBooks – August 16, 2005
Apple continues to lead in customer satisfaction, Dell loses more ground – August 16, 2005
Henrico citizens stampede for $50 Apple iBooks – August 16, 2005
Henrico closes $50 Apple iBook sale to general public; only Henrico residents can buy – August 03, 2005
Henrico moves $50 Apple iBook sale to Richmond International Raceway due overwhelming demand – July 28, 2005
Apple announces 30,000 iBooks deal with Florida’s Broward County Public Schools – July 27, 2005
Henrico residents object to public sale of Apple iBooks – July 26, 2005
Henrico County Public Schools to sell Apple 12-inch iBooks for $50 each on August 9th – July 25, 2005
Henrico blasted for choosing Dell laptops with Windows XP over Apple iBooks with Mac OS X Tiger – May 09, 2005
Henrico school officials on Apple to Dell switch: The logo will change, but the tool is the same – April 30, 2005
Henrico school board dumps Apple Macs, picks Dells with Windows – April 29, 2005
Henrico County Apple iBook plan in jeopardy? – April 02, 2005
Survey shows support for Henrico iBook program with ‘lukewarm support’ for Apple’s Mac OS X – March 07, 2005
Henrico poll finds students are using iBooks successfully – February 11, 2005
Henrico iBooks raise concerns among some parents – May 28, 2004
Henrico high school laptop program to continue, but will it still feature Apple Macs? – February 24, 2005
More schools experience Windows virus, worm problems while Macs just keep working – August 22, 2003
A tale of two school systems: Windows schools crippled while Mac schools unaffected – August 21, 2003

Windows worm halts production at 13 DaimlerChrysler U.S. plants – August 26, 2005
Windows users fall victim to huge ID theft ring, 50 banks in danger; Apple Mac users unaffected – August 25, 2005
Zotob Windows worm knocks out North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles – August 24, 2005
How to avoid viruses and malware? Dump your Windows PC and get an Apple Macintosh – August 22, 2005
The Seattle Times: Apple iBook ‘a great laptop for students’ (with no viruses or spyware) – August 22, 2005
Do Apple Mac OS X users need antivirus software? – August 22, 2005
ZDNet: How many Mac OS X users affected by the last 100 viruses? None, zero, not one, not ever – August 18, 2005
Quickly spreading Microsoft Windows worm affects CNN, ABC, NY Times; Apple Macintosh unaffected – August 16, 2005
‘Zotob’ worm rapidly infects Microsoft Windows; Macintosh unaffected – August 15, 2005
SecurityFocus: ‘Your Windows computer is not to be trusted; buy a Mac and slip under the radar’ – July 06, 2005
Security expert sums up first month with Mac: ‘much safer, more secure, more productive than Wintel’ – June 02, 2005
Windows PC security company’s switch to Apple Mac causes overwhelming reaction – May 28, 2005
Increasing numbers of Windows PC users switching to Apple Mac for improved stability and security – May 27, 2005
Intel CEO Otellini: If you want security now, buy a Macintosh instead of a Wintel PC – May 25, 2005
Microsoft Windows Sober.P worm shows ‘epidemic’ spread; Macintosh unaffected – May 03, 2005
Apple touts Mac OS X security advantages over Windows – April 13, 2005
New ‘highly critical’ Office flaw embarrasses Microsoft – April 13, 2005
97,467 Microsoft Windows viruses vs. zero for Apple Mac’s OS X – April 05, 2005
Apple’s Mac OS X is virus-free – March 18, 2005
68,736 Microsoft Windows viruses vs. zero for Apple Mac’s OS X – March 12, 2005
Microsoft tries to turn its own security flaw into commercial gain – February 25, 2005
Cybersecurity advisor Clarke questions why anybody would buy from Microsoft – February 18, 2005
Windows’ mounting security problems make some consumers eager to purchase Macs – January 03, 2005
Windows Media songs and videos found to carry Windows malware payloads – December 30, 2004
Anzae/Inzae worm affects all Windows versions after 3.1; Macintosh unaffected – December 28, 2004
Unlike Windows users, Mac OS X users surf the Internet without a care in the world – December 28, 2004
Multiple unpatched Windows holes crop up; Windows systems compromised within minutes in experiment – December 24, 2004
Windows spyware mess is out of control, get a Mac and surf with impunity – December 21, 2004
New Microsoft Internet Explorer exploit spoofs Web sites on fully patched Windows XP systems – December 17, 2004
Microsoft may charge extra for Windows spyware protection software – December 16, 2004
Detroit Free Press: Windows malware problem getting worse, it’s time to get a Mac instead – December 16, 2004
Sick of spyware, adware headaches? Get a Mac and surf the Internet freely – December 13, 2004
Mossberg: Windows PCs plagued with problems, Apple’s Mac is ‘rock solid, elegant and affordable’ – December 09, 2004
Security expert: Don’t use Microsoft Windows, Office, Outlook, Internet Explorer – December 09, 2004
Security test: Windows XP system easily compromised while Apple’s Mac OS X stands safe and secure – November 30, 2004
Sick of spyware, adware infecting your PC? Don’t fret, just get a Mac – November 01, 2004
Microsoft: The safest way to run Windows is on your Mac – October 08, 2004
Spyware plagues Windows users while Mac users surf Net with impunity – November 01, 2004
Ballmer blames Windows users for not upgrading systems as Microsoft’s biggest security problem – October 22, 2004
Windows users line up to pay for spyware removal; Mac users surf Web with impunity – October 18, 2004
Microsoft: The safest way to run Windows is on your Mac – October 08, 2004
Windows users’ security woes spark interest in Apple’s secure Mac OS X – October 06, 2004
Windows desktop monopoly threatened by secure, safe Apple Mac OS X – October 04, 2004
Even Bill Gates can’t avoid Windows malware; Mac users surf the Web freely – October 03, 2004
Cyber-security adviser uses Apple Macintosh to avoid Windows’ security woes – September 27, 2004
Information Security Investigator says switch from Windows to Mac OS X for security – September 24, 2004
Mossberg: Apple iMac G5 ‘powerful, affordable, virus-free with better, more modern OS than Windows XP’ – September 23, 2004
USA Today: people are switching from Windows to Mac because of security issues – September 21, 2004
Windows besieged by hackers; number of Windows viruses soars by more than 400% – September 20, 2004
USA Today columinst angry about Windows viruses, adware, spyware – September 15, 2004
University of Chicago recommends all students patch Windows at least once a day – September 14, 2004
Windows XP worm speaks to users as it deletes their files; Macintosh unaffected – September 13, 2004
Security is top priority in Apple’s Mac OS X – September 12, 2004
Millions of Windows PC’s hijacked by hackers, turned into zombies; Macintosh unaffected – September 08, 2004
Mossberg: Dump your Windows machine and get an Apple Macintosh to free yourself of spyware – August 25, 2004
Tired of patching patches to patch Windows patches? Writer suggests getting a Mac – August 03, 2004
Windows ‘Scob’ virus designed to steal financial data, passwords; Macintosh unaffected – June 26, 2004
Gartner: Worms jack up the total cost of Microsoft Windows – May 07, 2004
Spyware, adware plague Windows users online; Mac OS X users surf freely – April 19, 2004
SmartMoney: Long-suffering Windows users can only dare to dream of Mac’s ease-of-use – February 12, 2004
Mac OS X has no viruses; what’s wrong with Windows? – February 11, 2004
Gates: Windows ‘by far the most secure’ system; tries to use ‘Mac OS X secure through obscurity’ myth – January 27, 2004
Columnist tries the ‘security through obscurity’ myth to defend Windows vs. Macs on virus front – October 1, 2003
New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’ – September 18, 2003
Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg on making the switch from Windows to Mac – September 18, 2003
Fortune columnist: ‘get a Mac’ to thwart viruses; right answer for the wrong reasons – September 02, 2003
Shattering the Mac OS X ‘security through obscurity’ myth – August 28, 2003
Is Mac OS X really inherently more secure than Windows? – August 26, 2003
Chicago Sun-Times columnist: Windows ‘many holes in its security’ but ‘none of my Macs have ever been affected – August 26, 2003
Sick of worms and viruses? ‘Move to Mac OS X’ suggests Chicago Tribune columnist – August 25, 2003
Virus and worm problems not just due to market share; Windows inherently insecure vs. Mac OS X – August 24, 2003


  1. I’m guessing that Olympia Meola uses a Mac, and she will be keeping Mr. Brown’s feet to the accountability fire.

    It also sounds like they have already spent a ton of $$$ on keeping the Dells running… and they haven’t even been distributed yet. I hope those accountants are paying attention.

  2. I used to think that MDN was being too strict when pointing out the difference between “less prone to” and “no virus, no problems”

    With this story I am convinced of the URGENT need to clarify for everyone the huge difference, not only in terms of how many virus there are for Windows, but the effort and cost that it entails to be “somewhat protected”

  3. Brad. You may be a joker, but you sure can’t spell.

    >I mean, all Mac users OCCASSIONALLY get viruses, just like Windows users.

    Now, say after me, O-c-c-a-s-i-o-na-l-l-y. That’s better.

  4. “We have to wonder if we’ll ever know if things are going badly for Henrico or will any problems just be swept under the rug?” – MDN

    This is a real laugh! I thought it was too early for them to enjoy the rewards of the Zotob virus.

    The Henrico School District will do EVERYTHING possible to hide the results of their idiotic decision under the rug. Be assured that the lump under their carpet will grow to the point that they will need assortment of pitons, hooks, bolt hangers, and ropes to climb over it! With any luck, Olympia Meola will be an ever-present thorn in their sides. While the Henrico officials will attempt to hide the obvious, there will be others who will gladly leak the information out.

    Stay tuned…

  5. If they had gone with Macs as originally planned, (yes they would have been more expensive and that may have put them off), but they wouldn’t have the trouble they’re in now. A Mac pays for itself over time considering it always just keeps working (99% of the time). Yes PCs are cheaper first up, but by the time you buy your antivirus, and add up time spent making the PC work, oh and not to mention that $800 air conditioned graphics card you’ll need just to play Doom 3 etc, etc…..

    Still. Dosn’t bother me.

  6. Yawn. I’ve had a PC for 7 years – and a couple of Macs for just over a year. I installed a virus checker on the PC and a free spyware remover (Spybot) and have never had a single virus attack or spyware problem. Ever. I also installed the free ZoneAlarm firewall that provides the same application-specific port-blocking functionality as Little Snitch on the Mac – only you have to pay for Little Snitch.

    What MDN seems to completely fail to realise – or more realistically, fail to want to admit – is that it is perfectly possible to enjoy a virus, spyware and trojan free existance on Windows too – for about $30 a year. I’m not an apologist for Windows – I prefer the experience on the Mac – but this site does seem to get this issue *totally* out of proportion. Sure, it’s a downside of Windows – but there are plenty of downsides to owning a Mac too. The impact of these will vary from person to person, but those that I have specifically noticed myself include limited hardware support, limited software, poor gaming, inability to video chat with MSN Messenger users (ie. all my family & friends), expensive hardware, unreliable hardware (4 repairs in as many months on an iMac), slow performance compared with a 2 year old PC (iMac G5 1.8Ghz vs. 2.6GHz P4) on real-world applications like Photoshop. I have also had MacOS X freeze on me on a few occasions – something that has never happened to me with Windows XP. Why don’t MDN focus on some of these issues – this is, after all, a site about Macs rather than PC’s?

    When will MDN learn to give balanced reports? They’d do the Mac community a far better service by highlighting the very real issues of using a Mac and hence putting pressure on Apple to fix them, than beating the same old boring drum about Microsoft and viruses. I don’t think that really helps anyone – and most PC owners are well aware of the impact or otherwise of the problem. If it really were as bad as MDN suggest, and Mac was as perfect as suggested here, then perhaps Apple would have more than a declining 4% share of the computer market.

  7. Paul, could you please get in touch with all the IT departments of CNN, ABC, a number of DMVs in the country and explain those idiots how they could save Billions with your expertise. You see, they get infected with every major virus attack.

    As Seahawk well put here time ago, sure, a single Windows user may get through it safely but that means SHIT. The real information is in big samples and those show massive infection. Enjoy probability: it is the only one thing that is saving you, not those 30$. You simply happened to be in that tail of the distribution of non-infected Windows platforms. That does not mean you will not end up one day in the other side of the curve.

    Again, any Windows user here can come and post: “Hey, all BS, I protect myself 100% so you are all exaggerating.” Talk to an IT professional and it will state you the unbearable truth: 30$ are simply giving you a false sense of protection. What protects you is what saves zebras in the herd when attacked by lions: number: “I have never been eaten so far, so all these stories about lions killing us 100% of the time they spot us are surely exaggerate”

    Concerning other things, your mileage vary. It is your mileage. MSN is incompatible with the Mac: complain to Microsoft. OS X freeze: what happens? I had application ‘not responding’ but never the OS. Performance… have a dual G5 at work. Still have to come across a PC that does anything faster and they tried. On par yes, minimal difference plus and minus, yes, but nothing faster hands down. And there are Xeons here too.

  8. Paul is simply a Sputnik hiding! Nobody ever said the Macintosh was perfect how do you compare a computer that stays on for most of the year to a computer you have to shut off everyday because you are afraid someone might hi-jack it. I think it’s crazy that anybody using a computer should expect viruses and have to even spend an extra $30 to protect the tool so that it may perform it’s job! I mean that’s like buying a house and then having to buy an extra roof because the one you bought it with is built like swiss cheese. the Macintosh has parts that fail just like any other mass produced items but the key part of the whole syste( OS X) stays mainly trouble free compared to windows and doesn’t need a damn IT technician to make sure it remains that.

Reader Feedback

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