Bits & P.C.s: I get e-mail

I recently received the following e-mail:


I would like to point out something about your article. You are very narrow minded! You scare the common average computer user and give very basic solutions. If a person needs a computer for let’s say… to run MS Word, do e-mail, search the Web, digital photography and everyday computer needs. Give them an option that has zero viruses, zero! The Mac, yes, the Mac can do everything any other computer can do, except get a virus. If you do a lot of work at home and run proprietary software and/or connect up to your server at work with Win-based custom apps, stick with it. But the average Joe, now he won’t notice the difference with Win or Mac. Both will do what needs to be done plain and simple. But the Mac does not get viruses! One in 10 people own a Mac, the company make billions of dollars. So MS has 90+ percent of the OS market, divvy up that 90 percent with the 50+ major hardware makers, and Apple,s 10 percent of hardware and software looks pretty darn good. You should have mentioned that viruses are only a Windows thing and that the average person could just buy a Mac and save them a lot of trouble.


Hi Tom:

Thanks for your e-mail regarding my TRRT article.

The point of my article was, as you discovered, to scare the average computer user into realizing that they are not immune from viruses. Most people believe that because they only use the computer for e-mail or don’t use the Internet “that much,” they have nothing to worry about.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Over the past couple of months, I have had numerous calls from the casual Internet user telling me that their computer is not working right, it turns itself off or is running slowly. The majority of these people either have no or old anti-virus programs, are on cable or DSL and don’t have a firewall, the things that I feel are as important as the operating system itself.

As to the Macintosh being immune from viruses, this is not true. The following is from Symantec’s site: “Symantec’s Norton AntiVirus™ 9.0 for Macintosh® is the world’s most trusted AntiVirus solution for Macintosh systems. It automatically removes viruses from e-mail attachments, Internet downloads, and other sources without interrupting your work. Now it also finds and removes PC viruses to ensure that you don’t spread infections to friends and colleagues. Symantec’s exclusive LiveUpdate™ technology helps protect against the latest threats by automatically checking for new virus definitions and downloading them to your computer over the Internet. Don’t let viruses destroy your valuable data. Protect it today with Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh.”

Also, from the Apple site they offer Virex from McAfee. If the Mac is immune from viruses, it seems strange that at least two of the major AntiVirus companies would be offering a product that, from your e-mail, does not appear to have a market.

My column is aimed at the 98 percent of the market that has a Windows based PC. If you would like to write a column for the Mac, you should contact Frank at The Times … and I’d be more than willing to let you rotate a column with mine.

Thanks again for your comments.

Richard Heller

Hi Richard:

Sorry, but you are wrong. OS 9 is old and outdated and had 40 known viruses. OS X has zero, virus software on the Mac is to keep you from spreading them to your Windows friends. OS X has no known virus at all, zero. Even MS’s low-ball estimate is 7 percent market share for the Mac. In hardware terms that puts them in the top three for hardware sales. You should give people real choice; of the 93 percent, the majority would not notice any difference between Win and Mac. The true simplicity of the Mac OS, combined with the speed and stability of Unix, make it a better system. Hands down better, no one has ever argued that. They just argue the numbers percent thing. All I am saying is possibly in the future, mention the Mac as an option.



Richard Heller is an independent computer specialist who specializes in repairs, installation, upgrades, technical support, Internet sharing, data recovery and diagnostics. If you have any computer or service-related questions, please send them to The Rock River Times, e-mail, or call 243-1162.

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