Michael "TheZorch" Haney thezorch at
Tue Jun 17 22:24:43 UTC 2008

Bart Silverstrim wrote:
> I can set my AV to update every half hour. Doesn't mean the signatures 
> are all that up-to-date, though. But if it gives you the warm fuzzies...
I've been burned by a lot of other AV programs, either they stop giving 
away free virus definition updates and make you pay for them, or they 
don't update often enough and you get caught off guard by some new 
infection, or etc. etc.   I've recommended Avast to a lot of people who 
use Windows and they've all been very happy with it.  I configured it 
for a person who is completely blind and has to rely on JAWS 
(proprietary text to speech software) to use their computer.  To have it 
automatically take care of tests like doing scheduled scans, virus 
definition updates and application updates really simplified things for 
that person.
> You should reword that "If you run Vista and install another program..."
LOL!!!!  Ain't that the frackin truth.  Well, on my Vista based laptop 
(wish this thing came with Vista) I've had to jump through hoops to get 
some programs to run without UAC throwing a major hissy fit.  To run 
Rocket Dock, a Mac OS X style Dock for Windows, at startup I had to 
create a Task in Task Scheduler and set it so the program ran with 
maximum privileges but didn't set a time for when it was to run.  I then 
created a shortcut which initiates the task and changed it icon.  I had 
to do that for Final Fantasy XI: Online (MMORPG for the PC, PS2/3 and 
Xbox 360) so UAC didn't get hyper when I tried to start the game.

Ubuntu asks for your password for some takes and to unlock certain 
configuration screen, but my Gods it doesn't bug you nearly half as much 
as UAC on Vista.  I only ever see it when I'm start up Synaptic or 
mounting my second hard drive.
> It's still there, though.
Any AV program has some impact on system resources.  Its just knowing 
which ones have the least impact.
> I'm not a gamer user, I'm not a performance nut, but I do find it 
> irritating in principal (principle? Too lazy to look it up at the 
> moment) to be coerced into running something that impacts my system's 
> memory and CPU usage just because the OS is crap.
I am a Gamer but I'm not really a Performance Nut though.  I do like my 
games to run well and most of my games are older ones.  The latest won't 
run on this desktop and the laptop I have which was a gift can BARELY 
run Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.  If I want to play something like Crysis 
I'd have to sell my soul for a computer powerful enough to get 30 fps at 
800x600 resolution.  I wouldn't say Windows users are "coerced" into 
using AV software, more often than not its the novice who hears about 
computer viruses on the news, sees warning ads on TV and the Web, or 
gets those bogus virus warning emails we all get from time to time, 
thenl freaks out and over reacts.  That's when they run out and buy a 
copy of Norton AV or McAfee which more often then not causes more 
problems rather than fixing any that weren't there to begin with.  
McAfee's incompatibility with certain types of software, primarily some 
CD and DVD burning software is legendary, and Norton is know to have all 
sorts of incompatibility issues too.
> That said I still run an AV on my one Windows system that is used solely 
> for supporting my iPod via iTunes.
Apple so needs to port iTunes to Linux.  I have a 2GB Sandisk Sansa Clip 
and Aramark is all I need.  I use iTunes on the Windows side for playing 
music when I need to be in Windows for some awful reason.
> The whole AV reactive model is a POS. :-)
True, but until some new technology is developed to combat royal jerks 
who like to write malicious software (Script Kiddies, not Hackers, get 
it right) we're stuck with this crapfest.
> If I weren't working on supporting about a thousand systems in seven 
> buildings, or had a couple years working support for an ISP, I could 
> probably say I didn't have problems either, or a DOA part from a vendor. 
> It's an odds game. As it is, in the trenches admins are on the front 
> line to exposure to these issues. AVG I've had no trouble with, but I 
> run it on family systems, not in a corporate rollout. McAfee I got 
> reports of secondhand enough that I avoid it. It's a travesty I heard 
> the number of reports I did for a paid-for subscription service. AVG for 
> home use is free...haven't had bad reports, and if I did, as long as 
> there weren't many I'd chalk it up to "pay a vendor for support, it 
> works for me".
I feel your pain, I worked in IT Support for over 10+ years.  I began as 
a tech answering support calls for HP Pavilion PCs running Windows 3.1 
and DOS!!!  I'm looking for work in the DC area now and I support my 
family's computers.  Most of my friends are all geeks like me (and Anime 
> Yeah, there's an anti-malware tool from grisoft too.
I stopped using AVG a long time ago so I never saw that feature in it.  
It was inevitable that they'd add it though since everyone else and 
their brother's second cousin is doing it too.
> I'm not speaking from recently googles myself but I'm sure there are 
> examples of "tests" from different sites that would rank Avast in 
> differently depending on the competition, time of year, test 
> environment, phase of the moon, etc. regarding effectiveness.
In other words "you're mileage my vary" is what you're trying to say 
here.  :)
> I still stand by my point that the entire AV/Anti-spyware/Anti-malware 
> industry is profiting from the broken architecture of Windows.
I totally 100% agree with you there.  I've never seen an OS with so many 
security vulnerability in my life and I've seen a lot of OSes (Unix, Sun 
Solaris, Linux, BSD, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, BeOS, NextStep, OS/2 Warp, all 
of the iterations of DOS, Netware, MVS and C/PM).  A multi-billion 
dollar industry sprang up literally overnight to fix a problem which 
Microsoft should have fixed a long time ago.  Remember the firestorm 
that Microsoft caused when they were going to make the API protocols 
which AV and system utility software would have to use Closed 
Protocols?  They had the AV software industry hoping mad, it would have 
been the end of their honey pot, an end to their endless stream of 
revenue as more and more brainwashed Windows users keep buying their 
crap.  The ONLY reason I keep XP and Vista around is because many of my 
games don't work in Wine (Final Fantasy XI is one of them which I play 

Michael "TheZorch" Haney
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