Today I was tasked with fixing my buddy Matt’s computer. Matt is what you would call the average computer user. He uses his computer to surf the web, communicate via email, chat with friends, play some games, listen to music, watch some movies (probably pr0n), and get infected with viruses.
After working on this computer today, I got really irritated with Windows XP, to the point that I was disgusted at just how poor not only the system security was, but also the anti-virus software that it was using. Because of this, I needed to take a break, head up to the local Best Buy, and choke the first salesman who offered me a Windows computer. OK, wasn’t going to choke, but I wanted to talk to their tech support crowd and see what kind of work was the most popular there.
After speaking with the Geek Squad, which only one or two really qualifiedto be considered a geek, I now know I am not the only one who was irritated. Both of the gentleman I spoke with were Apple users, and were disgusted with Windows. Don’t blame them after today. We spoke for a bit and then I asked, what type of tech support is your biggest ticket. Oddly enough, removing viruses from Windows PCs, and fixing Windows PCs that are thrashed by your so-called “average users.” That is more virus fixing than home entertainment installations, which really threw me. Both of them said that with the quality of a lot of today’s hardware, they rarely get in a system where something has gone wrong with the hardware, and if they do, it is typically a power supply.
After that, I went to the Apple store just to see what kind of support they did. After talking to some of the techs and salesman there, who are all super knowledgeable and pretty damn cool, I was amazed that on average, they only get about 1 issue a week that isn’t hardware related. Just 1, that is pretty damn good. It was there that one of the techs said that Linux was by far greater than Microsoft Windows could ever be. I like to think the same.
A lot of people say that Linux isn’t for “mom or dad, or the average user,” and after having worked on this Windows computer today, I would have to say the same about Windows. Most people go to the local shop and purchase their computer because it was cheap. They are told they get this and that, one of those being virus protection, so they think they are golden. Little do they know that in 90 days, more than likely this virus protection is mute, just like my buddy Matt found out, and go about their business until a week or so goes by and their computer is pure garbage.
Within just a few days of the virus protection expiring on this computer, the hhard drive went from 160GB of free space to less than 300 MB, to the point that once you logged in, it would pop up errors and all 400+ Trojans took off. YES! 400+ Trojans. I plugged the PC into my network to try and get to a site but shortly after my ISP totally blocked my Internet connection. There was no connection in my house, I reset the modem and routers, unplugging the infected system first, and everything was back to normal. OK, so I wasn’t going to be able to fix Windows from within Windows, so I did what every good geek does, and whipped out the latest Knoppix CD and went to work.
Booted up Knoppix, mounted the hard drivee (sda1) with NTFS read/write support, went into the directory containing a bunch of fluff and deleted it. From there I did a simple apt-get install f-prot, updated the virus definitions, and went to town on checking out the drive. 400+ viruses, all pretty muchTrojanss of some sort, weredisinfected or deleted. But it didn’t get all of them, but it did get me to the point to where I could now boot into Windows, plug back in the network, and get to downloading some enamelware fighting software. 6+ hours into this adventure, and it still isn’t done. Right now eScan has found 8 more Trojans and 13 errors (01:27:21 so far, and still not done).
Now I know you Windows people who are above average, ya, those of you who say “I don’t have virus software and I have never gotten a virus.” Your trusty little operating system isn’t any better than Linux, actually I would have to say it is much worse than Linux for “average,” or your mom and pop users. Everything this person does can be done with Linux, and if he would use Linux, we wouldn’t be in this predicament. I switched my brother over to Kubuntu about 3 months ago, and within 3 months the only time he called was when he tried to get his Nokia phone working with Kubuntu. It didn’t work all that great and at the same time it didn’t work any better in Windows.
The results are in, and after today, I am sorry, Windows loses. This is absolutely ridiculous considering the amount of work I had to put in just to get the computer Trojan free. So from this point on, I could never in my life recommend Windows for a user that doesn’t know any better. The security is poor, but the support for fighting viruses and figuring out what every app running is doing is great. I think this will definitely be my last “will you fix my Windows” support ever.
Just so everyone knows, you can totally alleviate all of your viruses in Windows in less than 30 minutes with a Kubuntu Live CD. Boot up the CD, and when you get to the desktop, simply click the install button and follow the instructions. Yes, within 30 minutes your virus head aches will be gone, and that crap called Windows will be gone as well.
/me goes for the largest bottle of Tequila in the house
PS: Posted this with KBlogger for KDE 4. Pretty impressive little application, just a bit buggy still though. The spell checking is a little off, so if you notice some weird words, it wasn’t my fault this time 🙂