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Monday, August 01, 2005

Poor D. is struggling with a popup virus that his antiviral software can't kill.

And he's upset that I explained that I can't help him, since I know very little about viruses, as I work on a Mac.

And of course he wonders how long I will stay on a Mac since it's such a tiny portion of the market.

Obviously I've been hearing this misery-loves-company whine for the past 15 years, but what I don't understand is why Windows users keep taking the abuse. Windows is crap. Windows XP is better crap. Windows continues to be virus-ridden spyware-infested buggy bloatware. OS X just gets better and better. The only time I had a serious crash/freeze issue, it turned out to be a bad hard drive. I have never had a virus in OS X, and Lord willing, don't expect to have one.

Guys: it doesn't matter if he says he loves you IF HE'S BEATING YOU! And if you won't leave him for your own sake, won't you at least do it for the kids?

What on Earth can you do on a Windows box that you can't do on a Mac? Aside from play some cool games.

At a minimum, D., dump your Outlook Explorer and IE and get Thunderbird and Firefox. They're no reason to hand the man the paddle to beat you with.

UPDATE Thanks to Erik for this superb article by John Gruber on why there aren't viruses on Macs. Short answer: OSX is vastly more secure, with few places for malware to hide AND Mac users haven't already been conditioned to a feeling of helplessness about their computers.


You shouldn't be trying to convince all of us windows users to go Mac, because when it reaches a high enough number of users, hackers and virus writers will begin targeting Mac users too. The main reason there aren't viruses that hit Macs is because the viruses are designed to hit the largest market.

By Blogger Fun Joel, at 11:41 AM  

Actually, most of it has to do with programming. Whenever Mac releases a new OS, it is just that, a NEW OS. Windows XP is really Windows NT with code added on. Mac starts fresh with every release, while Windows just tries to make corrections.

Oh, and by the way, I am a Windows user, but I use a Mac a work. So, I see both worlds on a daily basis, and they are world apart.


By Blogger Scott, at 11:59 AM  

Mac being a minority is only one reason. Hackers hating Windows is another. But the main reason there aren't Mac viruses is that the UNIX kernel, on which OSX is based, is largely open source and most of the holes have been identified and patched. Because Windows is proprietary and secret, only the virus writers really know its flaws.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 12:38 PM  

John Gruber has a nice op-ed piece on why Macs have less virus problems than Windows:

By Blogger Erik, at 3:32 PM  

Hi Alex,

"..the UNIX kernel, on which OSX is based, is largely open source"
This is a bit mixed up. The OS-X Kernel is based partly on Free-BSD. Free-BSD is an open source Unix-LIKE operating system. Apple got sued by the owners of the 'Unix' trademark over statements like yours! (Note how carefully avoids mentioning 'Unix'. As it should!)

As an aside, one of the reasons the PC has been very popular instead of the Macintosh is that while the Operating System might have been 'proprietary and secret', the hardware was very public and open. Anybody could make a card and use in their PC.

With the Macintosh, you couldn't - because the hardware was 'proprietary and secret' !!!

Unfortunately, hobby electronics is a dying art and is largely irrelevant now.

Ahhh, the good 'ol days...

By Blogger Mac, at 8:35 AM  

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