our dumb computers

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  #1  
Old 10-11-15, 03:29 PM
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our dumb computers

Ok, we talked about how computers will someday be smart enough to do the driving for us, but how about today? Why can't we have a basic computer that refuses to be infected by any virus? Include a system that can check out any and all software we wish to use, right down to the last piece of code.

I realize all of this protection would slow things down, but many of us don't need galactic speeds, but do want a problem free connection to the internet.

Why has this been impossible so far?

Bud
 
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Old 10-11-15, 03:38 PM
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I thought that I had explained that many times before. Anti Virus depends on knowing the "virus signature". For simplification, let's call it a finger print. The "virus signature" can't be known until it's finger print is taken, just like a thief. We don't know who she is until we have her finger print. That's it, in a nutshell.
 
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Old 10-11-15, 04:32 PM
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Windows is the only OS I know of that uses a registry. It is like a vast forest where evil can hide and no one has a really accurate map of the forest. A great place for malware to hide and thrive. Before Windows 95 MS chose to use other methods that were probably safer certainly easier to understand. Why they continue to use a registry you would have to ask them.

There are OSes to use that are as easy or easier to use then Windows that for whatever reason have very little problems with viruses. So maybe part of the problem is choosing to use an OS that you know is prone to viruses.
 
  #4  
Old 10-11-15, 04:42 PM
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I use Windows and I don't get viruses or have a constantly scanning anti-virus. 99% of the time the user is the problem.
 
  #5  
Old 10-11-15, 06:05 PM
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I know I'm not asking my question correctly but I'll keep trying. I'm not looking for an anti-virus, although that technology might be part of what I want. I don't want to be the one to select the operating system, because I don't have that knowledge.

What I want is a gate keeper who protects me from ALL forms of evil, content and programming, and protects me from myself.

I've been close enough to advanced technology to know they are light years ahead of what I use but it my perception that they are choosing to NOT protect the internet and protect dummies like myself. I suspect it is due to their desire or necessity to try and be everything to all people, but in doing so they have left the door open for all kinds of chaos. How many computers in the world (by percentage) are infected with something? I suspect it is a scary number.

Bud
 
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Old 10-11-15, 06:34 PM
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What I want is a gate keeper who protects me from ALL forms of evil, content and programming, and protects me from myself.
You know why that won't work ? Because the gatekeeper can be bought. (or bought off)
 
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Old 10-11-15, 07:08 PM
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No matter what OS you use or who picked it, you have to be your own gatekeeper. A nerd joke is that one should practice safe hex. I know.....it wasn't funny.
 
  #8  
Old 10-11-15, 07:33 PM
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Years ago when memory was measured in mega bytes I told people that as soon as we had surplus memory and sufficient speed the computers would become smart enough for anyone to use them, EASILY. Wow, was I wrong. Today we have plenty of memory and speed and computers are more difficult than ever.

Now, boxes pop up and people (myself included) are scared to click on anything. Is that little X going to close this or launch me into never-never land. When a message suggests I need an update, how do I know that message came from Java. I can no longer trust anything on my computer and that's unacceptable.

The sad part is I'm going down hill as I age and my need to function with a computer is increasing. And, I don't think I'm alone.

Bud
 
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Old 10-11-15, 08:28 PM
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Sounds like it is time to check out Linux. I'd suggest PCLinuxOS KDE version. Burn a live CD and you can take it for a spin with out installing it. KDE Desktop ยป PCLinuxOS

Or take a look at their forum and ask any questions you want. They are very friendly. PCLinuxOS-Forums - Index

I have used PCLOS for seven years and including other Linux OSes Linux as my only OS for over ten years. Never missed not having Windows.
 
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Old 10-11-15, 08:49 PM
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I agree PCLinuxOS is the best of all of the Linux distributions but even it has problems like not being able to use the latest printer and some programs written for Windows that you might absolutely need to use will not run on Linux. Oh sure there are some super alternatives written just for Linux and that you can share with Windows users but not quite enough. I still will use PCLinuxOs though especially if all I want to do is surf the internet and use a laptop. I certainly like the log in better and no one can change your system but you, also no viruses either.
 
  #11  
Old 10-11-15, 10:00 PM
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Well, I love the advice, but where do I buy a new computer all set up as you suggest. This dinosaur can't jump. Burn a CD, never done that. I shake when I finally have to do an upgrade on something.

I will have to get a new computer soon and if it is brand new it will already be loaded with something, but not what you are suggesting I'm sure, maybe wrong.

Then, if anything misbehaves, who do I call? At 68 I'm struggling through. At 69 I'm not going to be better at this. Then 70 and so on. Visit any nursing home and see how many dinosaurs are enjoying their computers. I have visited and I didn't see any. Maybe the staff made them put them away during visiting hours. Or maybe the computers are just not user friendly enough.

I have some friends my age and older who I helped a few years ago get onto a computer and the internet. NONE were able to keep it up for long. The constant frustration was too much and that is a real shame. When we get too old to travel, we could at least visit all kinds of places over the internet, keep in touch with friends and relatives, and maybe so some shopping.

At this point the only hope I see is to find a reasonable computer shop and make friends with them.

Thanks for indulging me,
Bud
 
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Old 10-11-15, 10:39 PM
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Linux is great for older computers. I suggest you go to the PCLOS forums and tell them what you have.
 
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Old 10-11-15, 10:46 PM
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Bud9051 I am not a fan of Apple products and I am mainly a Windows guy who really likes Windows based programs. However unlike Linux which is Unix based like Apple but different in that Linux is open source and Apple is not, there are more programs written for Apple computers. As many programs as there are for Windows computers? Maybe and maybe not years ago one of the main reasons Windows became so popular is because it was based on IBM's clones being more open to programming.

Apple on the other hand wanted everything very secret so very few programs were written for the early Apple computers. Now though there has been somewhat of a changing of the guard so to speak. More programs are being written now on a cross platform basis so that they can run on Apple computers or Windows computers.

Apple though has a different way to add programs in a way I can't describe as I only glanced at an article about it briefly years ago. The differences though are not too vast though that I don't think you could handle it. Also Apple products are not as prone to viruses either. If you wanted portability you might want to look at Ipads and some of their apps are very handy too. But don't buy an Ipad mini buy a larger Ipad, I have a mini but I wish I had waited and received a larger Ipad. You might look into Android tablets too as some people like them and they are cheaper.

Bud9051 I should also add that you can buy pre-made PcLinuxOs disks the website Ray mentioned can guide you in how to obtain a pre-made disk. So the options are limitless out there and you can still have many of the same things you have with a Windows computer.
 

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  #14  
Old 10-12-15, 01:49 AM
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I'm still using the same computer I bought at least thirteen years ago, running Windows XP. I'll admit that I added a significant amount of RAM and also reloaded XP pro rather than the original home version but it still does everything I want and I haven't found any reason to change. I don't run massive spreadsheets, CAD programs, gaming or or any other such applications. I'm still using Word 2000 which I originally received with my first laptop that ran Win 98SE. I've had to download a few converter programs so I can read later versions of word but I haven't spent a dime on programs for a very long time. What I DO use it for primarily is the Internet, E-mail, light word processing and personal records. I also use it for on-line banking. I have NEVER had a problem with a virus, malware, worm or any other malicious garbage nor has my on-line banking ever been compromised.

I DO run a free anti-virus program and I occasionally run a free scan tool such as malware bytes or similar. The MOST any scan program has found is a few tracking cookies with a low threat level. One thing I do that I suspect is different than most people is that I have my Firefox browser set to dump all cookies when I shut down and I shut down most nights with a fresh boot the next morning. Of course this DOES mean that I have to log in to various sites most times and the computer does NOT remember the settings for my crossword puzzles but that is a minor inconvenience in my mind. Actually, there IS a work-around for remembering but I choose not to use it.

As for Apple...I bought a fully tricked out Macintosh G3 based upon all the people that stated the Mac was MUCH easier to use than a Windows-based computer. Well, that POS crashed just as often as did Win 3.11, was no easier to use, had alien (to me) commands, and generally was so bad that when I moved to my present house I didn't even bother to set it up. I ended up giving it a nerdy friend that wanted to do some video work and he was so frustrated (and after sinking another couple of hundred dollars into it) that he went back the Windows machines and never again considered Apple.
 
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Old 10-12-15, 06:57 AM
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I should add perhaps a disclaimer. I have used Linux so long I'm probably just use to it. To me KDE desktop for Linux was easy because it worked similar to Win 98 and Win 2K. If you are use to newer versions of Windows maybe a bigger difference. I just use my computer for general use mostly browsing the internet. As far as surfing the net except for IE you can use the same browsers you use in Windows and they work the same. I use Gmail so I can't say much about SMTP mail programs but again with the exception of Outlook they are the same Email programs you use in Windows and work the same way.
 
  #16  
Old 10-12-15, 08:11 AM
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Hello: Bud.

Plenty of suggestions and advice offered here. All of which is good.

My advice when you decide to buy a new computer, is to buy a new one from a smaller local retailer that can and will remove or exchange the existing never used (turned on) hard drive with all the preinstalled junk. Then have them install a new blank hard drive. Then they can install and upload all you want and leave out all that which you don't want, etc. Custom Install.

Large computer online manufacturers also allow such. While on their site they will customize the basic O/S and you buy only some of the optional selected programs.

However, one of the safest methods is to always buy a full version anti virus software with all the bells and whistles to clean, update, remove unused programs, clear registry, cookies and remove all the other tons of junk windows thinks everybody everywhere wants or needs!...:NO NO NO:

IMO it's not all that complicated nor difficult. Plan out what you want and need first. Once you decide avoid adding other browsers, programs etc. and or making too many changes. Unfortunately O/S choices are somewhat limited as is preinstalled with O/S but not program choices.

All to many times we are our own worst enemies. Windows works well IMO when we initially set it up and leave it alone. Trial and error or changes create some of our worst computer nightmares, frustrations and confusions.....

Many suggestions offered and plenty of advice offered. Mine may be ignored and some will disagree. That's fine. If all this is in vain then ignore it or soft delete it. I know what works for me and one is acceptance of what we can't easily change.....

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't function until it's OPEN!
 
  #17  
Old 10-12-15, 08:44 AM
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Thanks Tom and all. Tom I had mentioned, as you stated, possibly finding that local computer store and making friends. I'm sure I would not be the first to ask for something simple.

Another approach which has never materialized for me goes back to when i used to repair pcs, Windows 3.1. Because our customer had many locations with multiple computers at each and they were all supposed to have the same software, when one got really messed up we could erase it and load everything new. Once loaded we would add the security identification specific to each location. It took about one hour (20-3.5" diskettes) and they were just like new.

However, today it would take a new hard drive cloned from the start and then some way of isolating new work or emails so they could be safely accessed from the new drive. Even then I'm not sure all malicious programming resides on the hard drive or is not residing on the old emails or other information saved separately. Simplified it could be as easy as installing the clone hard drive and running a stick with the required extra information. It just seems the pc and software companies don't want this approach. Heck, they way sticks have advanced maybe it would be just a couple of them.

Bud
 
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Old 10-12-15, 09:34 AM
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Bud. I am not referring to cloning and or such. Starting all new all over again. All priors not to be installed on new O/S. Nothing carries over but what seems to be and may be important can be transferred over to an external hard drive. Then scanned of viruses etc.

When my old O/S crashed, (XP) I lost it all. Except what was saved on external drive. Thought the world ended! Thought all the photos, emails and other saved to documents where important. They where! Problem is only to me...

Around here and like applies to you as well as many others, all those saved photos nobody cares about any longer......except me and other assorted files and folders (junk) thought I needed I really didn't and don't need them! ...I determined best way to save docs is reverting back to the old system, long before computer contraptions, to paper copies saved in desk files. Nobody can hack nor corrupt hard copies in a desk file folders except me!!!....

A local shop might have an original XP install disk(s) and be willing to install it on your new H/D if that is what you want. Windows still has updates and patches but no customer help/advice call center. Despite what some say.

Don't take this wrong nor out of context Ray. Not implying anything negative toward you. Being in the industry as you once where, you know to much. All that works against you. You need a plan of what you want, forget cloning and saving stuff only you think you need but really don't. Nor saving on new drive and move progressively forward.

Bottom lines: My Two Cents to all.
Accept what we (you or I and many others) can't change. Except changing our expectations, methods and ways. Revert back to the old paper and photo filing methods of years ago and move onward. Install best anti virus system you can afford and use it. Be mindful of where you surf the web etc. Lot's of dangers & pit falls on-line!

Computers are HIGH maintenance machines. Require lots of $$$ in programs like anti viruses that include do all everything for every user everywhere. Having an on line company that fixes computers might be of help and be part of the maintenance costs. Not Cheap... nor fool proof!!! Some times they also create problems too!

Been there done that but never again...:NO NO NO:

Good Luck Bud.
Speaking of BUD...... Beer Time:...
 
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Old 10-12-15, 10:41 AM
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Ray. Not implying anything negative toward you. Being in the industry as you once where, you know to much.
Never in the industry. I know almost nada about computers. When they screw up I have to ask for help.
 
  #20  
Old 10-16-15, 09:44 PM
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Computers are HIGH maintenance machines. Require lots of $$$ in programs like anti viruses that include do all everything for every user everywhere. Having an on line company that fixes computers might be of help and be part of the maintenance costs. Not Cheap... nor fool proof!!! Some times they also create problems too!
I totally disagree. The computer I use the most (every day) I bought October 5, 2005 so I have been using it for a full ten years. After about a year or so I replaced the original Windows XP Home Edition with XP Pro. Maybe another year after that I added about two gigabytes of RAM since it originally had only 256 megabytes. Since then I have spent NOTHING on this computer.

I removed all the bloatware that had been originally installed. I loaded Word 2000 that I had from my first laptop, so old that it ran on Windows 98 SE. I added a few other Microsoft programs like Publisher and the spreadsheet program whose name I forget that I also already owned. I have never spent one single cent for any anti-virus or malware program but instead opting to use the free versions. I have never had any problem with a virus, worm, malware or any other malicious content. And yes, I DO occasionally visit "porn" sites.

My computer has never been in a shop unless you consider my opening the case every few years and vacuuming/blowing out the dust as equivalent to taking it to a shop. My friend, Bert, who spent hundreds of dollars on anti virus programs DID have to take his computer to a shop on average once a year. However, Bert was the type that downloaded every free program he saw on the Internet. He might delete the program later but he rarely used the "uninstall" command but simply deleted it. I checked a couple of times and he had over 100 programs running in the background. I have maybe forty on start-up that I often close manually down to about 28. Some day I will edit the registry (or whatever it is called) removing those silly programs that just seem to appear out of nowhere.

I am well aware that XP is no longer "supported" by Microsoft but I am still getting occasional updates from Microsoft, I suspect to the Internet Explorer program, which I do not use. My free anti-virus program still updates every day with a major update requiring a re-boot about a couple of times a month. To "upgrade" to a newer operating system would require me to buy a new computer and quite likely a new printer(s) and scanner as well plus having to learn the new system. I am not willing to do that until it is absolutely necessary and hopefully that day will never come for me.

I DO agree with you that IF you have data on your computer that is absolutely priceless and would cause great hardship if it were lost, that data should be printed out as a hard copy. Not just saved onto an external disc or drive but a PAPER copy if at all possible. How many have data on 5-1/4 inch floppies that is simply irretrievable? How many have data on 3-1/2 inch floppies, or even worse, SuperDisks? Or that other external drive whose name I forget? At least you CAN still buy a 3-1/2 inch disk drive but the others? How long before the CD is no longer supported? Can the DVD be much farther behind?
 
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