[SLED] Desktop recommendations please

Larry Havenstein lhavenst at ksu.edu
Mon Apr 12 12:03:34 PDT 2010

Thank you Tim.  

I too have used both Macs and Windows machines and agree with your assment. 

I have both on my desk right now  even.    Probably the biggest problem with Windows machines that makes 
Macintoshes look good is the average person is also clueless and buys the cheapest thing they can.  A bad 
windows machine purchase.   But even then the better windows machines if you buy the better, tend to cost 
less than equal Macs, and that's probably mainly due to sales volume differences.

My comment about security and the Mac is more along the lines that the Mac users have been told for years 
they are safer so they don't think about the issues.   One of my hats is being computer security officer for the 
college of Agriculture at my university.   Macintosh users have plenty of security blunders.

We tend to see larger numbers of Mac users fall for the phishing schemes.  Phishing schemes are something 
that it makes no difference what type of computer or OS you use.  I can give numbers to back it up.   Why do 
they fall for it?  Many say "I use a Mac so I am safe".    I spend a good deal of time trying to point out to people 
through training and notices that anyone is open to being exploited.  

About the OS being exploited,  its only a matter of the hackers bothering to do so.  All opperating systems can 
be exploited in some form.  Its not that hard to make apps for any and offer some enticement to have the user 
install it.  Most modern exploits have the user doing something as part of the exploit happening,   

As you said its the Users that make a computer secure.

Apple does need to quit broadcasting they are safer as its giving many users false security.   But that's another 

On 12 Apr 2010 at 13:45, Tim Allen wrote:

> You're somewhat right in some of these points (I won't tell you you're
> flat out wrong <grin>) - and Macs have very many great features, and
> work incredibly well for a lot of applications - however, consider the
> following points which I'll try to present free of hyperbole.
> - You always pay a premium for good hardware. Mac does not give a
> choice. With other machines (whether running Windows or Linux, or
> hell, Solaris!) you can choose hardware worse than Mac (Gateway),
> about on par (Dell), or far superior to Mac (Vigor Gaming, Falcon
> Northwest, Alienware, Sun, NetApp). Choice versus lock-in.
> - Operating system is a matter of preference as to which is superior.
> I used to run dual boot Ubuntu and Windows XP. Since switching to Win
> 7, I really don't use Ubuntu (as a GUI, still use it a lot command
> line / server) much any more. I prefer both Ubuntu and 7 to Snow
> Leopard, however, I do prefer Snow Leopard to Win XP. YMMV, but let's
> be real: it is a preference, not anything you can call out as a fact.
> - Let's not even get into the silly security argument about "who's the
> bigger target" versus "who has more exploits." The biggest security
> flaw with any computer is the human using it.
> - Your claim that the root of all Linux and Windows is Unix is flawed
> in so many ways, I can't tell what your root source for the
> information is. Mac OS/X is actually the closest to Linux, as
> Wikipedia states:
>     Mac OS X, whose "X" represents the Roman numeral for "10" and is a
>     prominent part of its brand identity, is a Unix-based graphical
>     operating system,[7] built on technologies developed at NeXT
>     between the second half of the 1980s and Apple's purchase of the
>     company in late 1996. From its sixth release Mac OS X v10.5
>     "Leopard" and onwards, every release of Mac OS X gained UNIX 03
>     certification while running on Intel processors.[3][4]
>     The NT family of Windows systems was fashioned and marketed for
>     higher reliability business use. The first release was MS Windows
>     NT 3.1 (1993), numbered "3.1" to match the consumer Windows
>     version, which was followed by NT 3.5 (1994), NT 3.51 (1995), NT
>     4.0 (1996), and Windows 2000 (2000). 2000 is the last NT-based
>     Windows release which does not include Microsoft Product
>     Activation. NT 4.0 was the first in this line to implement the
>     "Windows 95" user interface (and the first to include Windows
>     95´s built-in 32-bit runtimes). Microsoft then moved to combine
>     their consumer and business operating systems with Windows XP,
>     coming in both home and professional versions (and later niche
>     market versions for tablet PCs and media centers); they also
>     diverged release schedules for server operating systems. Windows
>     Server 2003, released a year and a half after Windows XP, brought
>     Windows Server up to date with MS Windows XP. After a lengthy
>     development process, Windows Vista was released toward the end of
>     2006, and its server counterpart, Windows Server 2008 was released
>     in early 2008. On July 22, 2009, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008
>     R2 were released as RTM (release to manufacturing). Windows 7 was
>     released on October 22, 2009.
> Also please consider that GNU, the project launched into 1984 to
> develop a Unix-like operating system which is free (Linux), is an
> acronym for "GNU's Not Unix."
> - Apple products often need far more support. Just ask anyone who's
> tried to replace a battery. Or tried to fix or upgrade an iMac.
> Be less evangelical and more agnostic... hyperbole just gets in the
> way of the facts. :)
> Regards,
> -Tim / FlipperPA
> On Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 1:25 PM, Jonathan Greenlee
> <jonathangreenlee at yahoo.com> wrote: You are WRONG! Security is only
> the third or fourth major advantage of Apple Mac systems over
> windows-based systems. The first major advantage is Hardware, the
> second major advantage is operating system.
> The hardware used in Apple systems, besides being of superior quality,
> is actually designed to work togeather. That is why you have a limited
> number of hardware configurations to choose from. Windows-based
> systems are slopped togeather from whatever is cheapest or popular.
> One reason DELL computers were the best of the Windows bunch was
> because DOMS used a table of configurations which DELL had tested and
> would not sell an untested configuration. Due to the defection of IT
> exec's from DELL to HP I expect HP now does this too. If you can't
> afford the superior quality of MAc then I suggest you look at DELL or
> HP for this reason.
> The root code of Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows-since-NT, all spring
> from the same source (a version of UNIX). Steve Jobs' obsession with
> CONTROL resulted in OS X taking a different route than Windows. The
> benefit of this is that Mac OS X does not have the problems inherent
> in the Windows approach. These problems create the many Windows
> crashes and freezes and other heterogeneous problems. Max OS X has
> been designed to actually work easily and avoid those problems.
> Only thirdly, and based on the Superior design of the Mac OS X
> operating system, Apple Mac systems are not open to the same security
> attacks and Malware that Windows operating system is subject to. I do
> not wish to provide any clues to hackers, so I will speak generically:
> The way Memory is handled and the way permissions are handled are
> different from Windows and prevent the easy exploits hackers use to
> compromise Windows systems. Hackers wishing to compromise Mac systems
> must use an entirely different, non-technical approach (which I will
> not mention.)
> Apple systems require less support because they simply work and do not
> have the endless problems Windows systems have with their Hardware,
> Operating system, and security.
> If you are forced to used Windows software, I suggest you buy a Mac
> and install Bootcamp which will let you install Windows. You will then
> enjoy the advantage of superior Hardware quality and configuration and
> only have to worry about Windows inherent instability and security
> problems.
> If you are a professional Artist you already have noticed that
> everyone uses Mac. It is so pervasively known that Movies and TV use
> it as a que in their plots. Artist's professional credibility on
> screen is created by having them use clearly Apple-logo'ed Mac's. The
> evil CIA agent uses Windows, the good one uses Apple. The undercover
> cop is the drug dealer using Apple while the other drug dealers use
> Windows. MI-5 uses Mac, telling you that they are being presented as
> good and sympathetic rather than evil. (in one movie (The Recruit)
> they further differenciated the good guy by having him use OPERA
> browser while the evil agents used IE.)
> --- On Mon, 4/12/10, Larry Havenstein <lhavenst at ksu.edu> wrote:
> From: Larry Havenstein <lhavenst at ksu.edu>
> Subject: Re: [SLED] Desktop recommendations please
> To: "SL Educators TThe SLED List"" <educators at lists.secondlife.com>
> Date: Monday, April 12, 2010, 9:38 AM
> The only real advantage a Mac has currently is the fact they are less
> of a target for Malware than Windows machines. Otherwise hardware and
> software wise its a wash if you are talking new machines. 
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 Larry Havenstein 
  System Engineer & KSRE/COA Computer Security Officer
  Information & Educational Technology
  Department of Communications
  K-State Research & Extension
  Kansas State University      
   (785) 532-6270
  Lhavenst at ksu.edu                         

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