I’m cut off from a lot of my normal communications – I don’t have TV I can watch yet, I’m on a dialup so not browsing as much as usual, etc. There seems to be another e-mail virus amok. Across my various accounts, I must have gotten 20 different mails with some .pif attachment. Since I’m reading it all via web clients, it is easy to spot them. They have some vague subject (“Your Details”, “That Movie”) or are disguised as bounces with “more information in the attachment”. I guess this is a social engineering attempt to get even the people who don’t use Outlook or automatically invoke attachments to fire it off manually. I don’t even know what a .pif file is, but I’m in no danger right now of accidentally invoking one. The only impact is the filling up of my mail accounts with this 100k attachment over and over.

What I don’t understand is how many of these things it takes before people wake up to the fact that Microsoft products with their shoddy security are risky things. In the last month, I’ve lost at least 5 hours of productivity to patching OS and dealing with various MS virus issues and this is without ever getting infected, just in preventative measures. Multiply that by a few dozen million people, and just the recent fiascos mean that MS has cost billions in lost productivity. Their slogan should be “We cut the corners and pass the costs on to you!” The products suck, they have a high cost of ownership, they cost you much time just to keep them running, they put you at risk frequently, and people line up to buy them. Whatever. I have never bought an MS OS in my life. The two Windows machines I have were both provided by employers. My money either goes for Linux boxes or Macs. I really dig my used OS X box, and if/when my trusty Thinkpad wears out, I’m going with an Apple laptop all the way. I’ve always preferred Macs but with Linux desktops getting better and the existence of OS X, I see no reason to buy a Windows machine ever again.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.