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multilanguage support, and a bad virus experience

On Sun, Feb 01, 2004 at 09:27:54AM -0500, Jon maddog Hall wrote:
> Derek,
> While the Koreans are "English crazy", the other thing that might help you is
> the fact that so much of the Web and international correspondence is in
> English.  I think you might find the Korean distribution's handling of English
> (or at least ASCII characters) is much better than the non-Asian handling of
> Asian characters.

This is an excellent point, and as I said I may look into this.  But
my spare laptop is dead, so I have no machines to try out distros on
at the moment, but if/when I get it fixed or replaced, I may look at
this option more closely.  I've used debian before, so I already know
that if it did what I wanted, I wouldn't mind replacing RH9 on my main
laptop with it.  But for the moment, having just gotten most things
configured more-or-less the way I want them, and having just spent
about 6 hours cleaning up MS-worm hell on my Windows XP installation
on the same machine, I'm not feeling too inclined to experiment with
installing new distros at the moment...

I'm still looking into other options (i.e. configuring stuff more
optimally on my existing RH install).  Thanks to everyone who

On the virus front: To make a long story short, I installed XP on my
laptop, and connected it to a friend's broadband connection just long
enough to download a few pieces of software I normally use on Windows,
and then to /TRY/ to run Windows update.  The latter failed, owing to
the fact that in that short time, my windows XP install had become
infected with not one, but FIVE different worms.  

I have no virus scanning software, so I had to rely on various
vendors' on-line scanning tools.  I downloaded tools from Symantec to
remove the worms in question.  The tools failed to completely remove
all of the infected files, and so I had to remove them by hand.  It
turns out Symantec's on-line scan also failed to FIND all of the
infected files, so I had to run through the process again with
McAfee's on-line tools.  I again had to remove some files, and clean
up associated registry entries by hand.  Because of multiple failures
on symantec's part, this process took many iterations, plus one final
scan with both tools to make sure the system is clean.  It seems to be
running just fine now.  :)

Now, Ben would point out here that it's no less possible for Linux to
be infected with worms, and we have seen several of them already. 
Even still, it's hard not to blame Microsoft for all of this...  This
kind of thing would never happen to me on Linux, because it's a simple
matter to shut down all running services before connecting to the
Internet for the first time to get updates.

Now, Ben would  probably also point out that you can also shut down
network services on Windows machines; and I'm sure that's true.  So
perhaps technically in this area Linux is not inherently better than
Windows...  But I think that this does point out an aspect of Linux
security which /is/ inherently better than Microsoft's.

Linux is an open system, and all of the guts are exposed so you can
very easily get your hands dirty doing exactly this kind of work.
Most Linux distributions also come with very excellent manuals which
discuss the technical details of how to do this kind of thing.  If you
have Red Hat, for example, it comes with about a half-dozen manuals
which discus everything from how to log on to the system, to how to
complile and install your own custom kernel.

By contrast, Microsoft systems are closed and proprietary.  They also
take the attitute that the user is too stupid to handle any of this
technical work, and go to great pains to hide the technical details
from the user.  Finding information on how to do things on Microsoft
systems is often very difficult, tedious, and/or expensive...

This is, of course, only my opinion, which is based on my own personal
experience.  I am not an expert on Microsoft systems by any means; and
I would not be surprised to be proven wrong on any of those points.

Derek D. Martin
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