[kwlug-disc] so ... what's your opinion on linux anti-virus software?

Raul Suarez rarsa at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 7 01:34:02 EST 2009

>From: unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca>

>People in general don't want to learn. Or to have that learning bound
>up in intuitive doing. I will not take a course or tutorial in using
>my toaster

You Keep comparing computers to toasters when a better analogy could be a Car. And I clarify: I say analogy because they are not equivalent, if you don't know how to drive a car you either walk, risk killing yourself, hire a driver ($$$) or learn. With the computer you don't die, but you either, don't use them, risk your identity stolen/data lost, have someone working for you ($$$) or learn. But the analogy is still there, both are complex machines with multidimensional freedom. The toaster is unidimensional.

> He doesn't care. About OS, about windows manager. Can I read my mail?
Oh, but they do, even if they don't know how it's called

>> He gets to better understand how the OS can protect him
>He doesn't care. It's not in his worldview.
Oh, but they do, that's why they ask for an antivirus.

>How many would notice if that toaster came with a non-polarized plug?

Toasters again? How many people would notice that the breaks are low? Not all, but most after driving for a while. The ones that haven't been driving for a while or that are clueless, will expect the car to work OK if they take it frequently to the mecanic.

> I expect FutureShop, GeekSquad or whatever, makes some bucks fixing
> users systems that have slowed to zero due to viruses. Most likely
> due to expired Symantec licenses.

> I turn on the new TV and get a picture. Life is good. Where's the
> game? (As in sports.)

I'm sure you know people that cannot manage the multifunction remote control. So, good analogy, but against your own argument

> Most will never talk to anyone. Certainly not them geeks from the LUG
Oh, but they do. Either the friend, the neighbor, or the guy from the store.

> Back to thread start. Basic point is, out of the box, 'virus'
> protection should be in place. Full time, on the fly.

Why? Maybe horse buggys always had hay for the horse. Just because people were used to that, should cars always have hay in the trunk?

Should they keep it just in case they find a horse that needs hay?

>Linux needs to do the same.
>It needs to be safe out of the box.
It is safe out of the box. The explanation provided is about 
1. "How to explain that Linux does not need antivirus" and 
2. "How not to do things that the OS or antivirus cannot protect you against". You are mixing two concepts.

The second point is so they don't get the false sense of security that the OS is secure and will protect them even against their own actions.

> He doesn't look at it as a new OS, he looks at it as not costing him
> anything.

That's why education is important.

> To the users, there's little difference. They clicked here or there
> and got a new computer toy to play with. 'Trusted source'? What's
> that? Isn't everything to be trusted ...

That's why information is important. They may choose to ignore it. That's their flying spaghetti monster given right.

> To the user, it's an appliance.
To the user it has to be viewed as a tool. If they see it as something that it is not, they will not be very successful.

> You mean it's complex? What do I know, or care? I move this mouse
> thingie, maybe, MAYBE, hit a few keys ...
> I'm not really too far over the top here.

Yes, you are over the top, you are asuming that new users don't find Windows complex and that's why they use it.

They fact is that the current users already went through the learning curve. Some people find Windows so complex that they don't use it at all. (my mom). With linux it can be configured to remove complexity and then they can use it (my mom)

>> and then expecting the ease of a single purpose tool.
>Yep. What's your point? ;-)

Maybe same as mine. If they expect a Bull to be a Cow and start milking it they may get a surprise. The computer is not a single purpose tool, If they expect that they will get a surprise.

> By 'anti-virus' I mean 'safe' here. Anti-virus is a
> component of that. I shouldn't get harmed, I shouldn't be able to harm
> others - it should just happen. I won't think about it.

But people think about it with constant reminders of updates in the task bar, annual reminders of licence renewal$$$ and slowdowns of the computer. They are. Honestly. Unless we know a completelly different category of people and the non technical, not computer literate users I know are very different than the ones you know.

Raul Suarez

Technology consultant
Software, Hardware and Practices
An eclectic collection of random thoughts

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