6
   

Starting down the road of a Microsoft free life.

 
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 05:27 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
Also, am I batty or is the color pallette in a PC inferior to Macs?


Batty. For example, OS X doesn't have graphical superiority to Windows, but because Apple sells both the hardware and the software and can charge a premium they sell more powerful machines than most people buy with Windows software.

If you simply spend the money on the right hardware (e.g. a dedicated graphics card instead of the onboard ones most Window's machines ship with) you can have a much more powerful graphics platform than you can get on a Mac for the same price.

Don't believe me? Then read these benchmarks when they both run the same hardware:

XP's graphics thrashes Apple's OS X

Quote:
A benchmark test designed to compare graphics rendering systems in different operating systems has found that Mac OS X performs, on average, at about half the speed of Windows XP.


Quote:
"I’ve been surprised with the results so far between WinXP and OS X," Christmann said in a blog post. "On the same machine its very clear which vendors take more advantage of the underlying hardware."


So what you are seeing, is very likely to be better hardware, not better software. And if you spend the money, you can get the better hardware with any of the platforms.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 06:02 pm
@Robert Gentel,


But hey, this is all fantasy land. Do you know of any such back door in Windows? I've never heard of such a thing (other than conspiracy nuts making false claims) and I follow hacking news fairly regularly.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Let see the Security Now Guys did claimed that one security patch that Microsoft send out in responded to evil doers using a so call fault in metafiles could not had been a program error by Microsoft but instead look like a backdoor that others found and therefore needed to closed by them. See GRC web site for more details.

You are going to decompile Microsoft's millions of lines of code? The beta version of Window 7 was over a two G download and how many thousands of years would it take to try to understand the output of a decompiler on such an OS?

And yes I do have some problems with software aim at the Microsoft platform as little of it is open source unlike Linux. Zone alarm firewall is said to have been sending some form of unknown encipher data by way of DNS packages behind their users back to their servers.

Hell of a note to find that the very software that you had place on your system to protect it is itself sending some unknown type of information back home.

And yes I am of the opinion that open source is on it face more secure then closed source programs as many eyes are looking at the code to find possible problems before it bit the user in the rear end and there is almost no way to hide backdoors either.



farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 06:22 pm
@Robert Gentel,
SAorta like saying that a GM tranny runs better in a Xhevy than a Ford tranny. Adobe sells and markets to Microsoft. Im a user , nit a dveloper. I see graphics done of the boards at University science and art departments and Mac product always seems to look better to me.
Nick Ashley
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 10:12 pm
@BillRM,
I'm jumping into the convo late, so will only rebut recent statements.

Quote:
And yes I am of the opinion that open source is on it face more secure then closed source programs as many eyes are looking at the code to find possible problems before it bit the user in the rear end and there is almost no way to hide backdoors either.

Often times that is incorrect. Just because software is open doesn't mean more people look at it. It means theoretically more people CAN look at it. There are tons of open source applications with only a handful of people looking at source code.

Open source software also doesn't mean that its trustworthy. Heck, lots of hacking software is open source.

Here is a study showing Vista being the most secure OS: http://blogs.csoonline.com/node/218 thoughts?
0 Replies
 
Nick Ashley
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 10:31 pm
@BillRM,
forgot...

Quote:
And yes I do have some problems with software aim at the Microsoft platform as little of it is open source unlike Linux. Zone alarm firewall is said to have been sending some form of unknown encipher data by way of DNS packages behind their users back to their servers.


What type of software do you want for windows that isn't open source? Here is a short list I've compiled:
Open Source Antivirus
Open Source Firewall
Open Source Web browser
Open Source Image Editor
Open Source office suite

The difference is, with windows, on top of all the great open source applications, you also have the largest selection of commercial software. However, if there is some type of software that you can't find for windows, you can always write it, and keep it open source. That really has nothing to do with windows.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 11:08 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:
Let see the Security Now Guys did claimed that one security patch that Microsoft send out in responded to evil doers using a so call fault in metafiles could not had been a program error by Microsoft but instead look like a backdoor that others found and therefore needed to closed by them. See GRC web site for more details.


I don't need to, I am very familiar with this case and the claims that it's a backdoor are just plain idiotic. I've argued this directly with Steve Gibson himself somewhere on the internet (I'm thinking it was slashdot?) Just examine the facts.

It was an exploit that works like this: in image metadata you could put abort processing code for images that didn't load quickly. This was not a bug, it was a feature. So yes it was intentional, but not it was not made to be a "backdoor", that makes no sense. First of all, in order to use it as a backdoor you'd need the user to visit a webpage with the malicious image or somehow get the user to view the image. This is a pretty crappy "backdoor", as you need social engineering to make it work.

They don't need to do that, your operating system already trusts them and their code and if they really wanted to backdoor you they could do it much more easily through methods that don't require user interaction.

Don't you think it makes more sense to make a backdoor that lets you in without having to ring the bell? Any paranoid fool (like Steve Gibson) can claim that any exploit in Windows is an intentional backdoor, and then do as he did and claim that it can't be proven either way because you can't prove the "intent" of Microsoft.

That's fine if you like to imagine conspiracy theories, but if this is a backdoor it was about the stupidest way they could do it. They have the ability to do it silently and without needing you to be tricked into a step in the process, don't you think if their intention was to put a backdoor there that risks their whole business they'd make a more simple and useful one that didn't require your participation?

Quote:
You are going to decompile Microsoft's millions of lines of code?


No, but acquaintances of mine do, and the open source community does. Hell I'll even cherry pick and show an example from a group already mentioned in this thread: WINE.

WINE, Samba, ReactOS and almost any of those open source projects that have extensive interoperability with Windows decompile and look at Microsoft's code extensively. They do clean room reverse engineering in order to implement their own software that's compatible with the Windows API. Here's an example from ReactOS, go through that thread and you'll see proof that a ReactOS developer decompiled Windows code and copied it, it's not mentioned in the thread but after that incident they had to take their code offline and audit it for parts copied wholesale from Windows.

Furthermore, you don't need to decompile the code to figure out if it has a backdoor. You can see whether it's phoning home through network monitoring, you can probe its ports to see if it's listening, and you can send it packets trying to find ways in.

The security industry does this all the time, and they have discovered flaws in RPC that they did not need to look at code to discover and that also granted root access to the machine. There are hundreds of thousands of people trying to crack Windows and they are poring over it. If there is a backdoor and it's ever used it wouldn't be long before the information is public.

Quote:
The beta version of Window 7 was over a two G download and how many thousands of years would it take to try to understand the output of a decompiler on such an OS?


With hundreds of thousands of people doing it, it wouldn't take that long. Hundreds of thousands of people are probing Windows for vulnerabilities, some in the security industry and others in order to make money (do you realize how much money is spent finding ways to get control of Windows machines to use in botnets to send spam and launch hacking attacks?) but hey, ignore all that and think of one simple thing when you say it would take thousands of years: did it take Microsoft thousands of years to write it, test it and release it? No, so it's not going to take thousands of years to read.

Quote:
And yes I do have some problems with software aim at the Microsoft platform as little of it is open source unlike Linux. Zone alarm firewall is said to have been sending some form of unknown encipher data by way of DNS packages behind their users back to their servers.


Zone Alarm is garbage and has nothing to do with Microsoft. There are plenty of malicous pieces of software developed for Linux as well and what others decide to do with the platform doesn't reflect on the platform itself.

This, to take an argument Google recently used to defend Google Earth, is like criticizing car makers because some people use cars to make car bombs.

Quote:
Hell of a note to find that the very software that you had place on your system to protect it is itself sending some unknown type of information back home.


If you are using Zone Alarm, you shouldn't say anything about liking stability and security, even if it weren't garbage among software firewalls all software firewalls are inherently less secure and stable than a firmware firewall in your router.

Even if your software firewall works perfectly I can render your machine useless just through brute force because it would still be using your system resources to deal with the attack.

Quote:
And yes I am of the opinion that open source is on it face more secure then closed source programs as many eyes are looking at the code to find possible problems before it bit the user in the rear end and there is almost no way to hide backdoors either.


This is both a positive and a negative. Black hats can probe code and run zero-day exploits more easily, but white hats can report them as well.

Anywho, don't get me wrong, anyone who can get what they need done on Linux should, in my opinion, merely on the basis of the legal and financial freedom, but the claims of security benefits are greatly exaggerated. Linux fanboys tend to say Linux or open source is a silver bullet for security but that's just not true, and you'll have to keep patching your software.

Patching exists primarily because humans make mistakes or oversights that need fixing when they are discovered, not because of the software development model, in all models these mistakes happen.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 11:17 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
SAorta like saying that a GM tranny runs better in a Xhevy than a Ford tranny.


No, it's like comparing drivers in different cars. Microsoft doesn't make the hardware, so their partners can make underpowered machines. Apple controls their hardware so they don't sell underpowered machines.

Get a machine with the same power, and Apple's software is not better with graphics than Windows.

Quote:
I see graphics done of the boards at University science and art departments and Mac product always seems to look better to me.


I can't argue with that, if you think it looks better that's what you think. But the claim that Macs are better with graphics is just not true. Designers have long preferred Macs, but the main reason isn't because it's better at graphics but because Macs have a long history in the publishing world.

Likewise, Windows is no better for things like spreadsheets, but lots of people buy into the stereotypes and marketing of Macs being artistic and creative and Windows being corporate and boring and think each are better in the stereotypical tasks they are used for.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 09:16 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
And to take my own advice, I retract my claim that Windows is as stable as OS X.

I don't have any empirical evidence for a statement of fact like that. So here's my amended claim:

I have seen no empirical evidence that OS X is more stable than Windows and in my personal experience they have been equally stable.

I didn't mean to upset you Robert. I was only offering my opinion (based on experience) to Bill.

I spent most of my time on computers in the Unix world writing shell scripts with the VI editor on an amber console Smile But I also spent years managing corporate divisions with thousands of PC and Linux users and hundreds of Unix network Servers of various flavors (Solaris, HPUX, Aix, Irix, RedHat, Suse Linux) and I definitely prefer Unix to all other systems for stability and design, which is why I prefer the Unix Mach Kernel in OS X (also, I really like the design of the interface architecture they have built between the UI and the Kernel, it's a kind-of "structure matches function" layout which is very elegant).

For over five years I had dozens of support engineers working for me, and although I have no desire to relive the stress of running those operations to provide you with empirical data regarding our daily operations, I can certainly report my personal opinion based on my experiences.

So in my personal opinion, based on years of hands-on and management experience, Unix systems in general, and OS X systems in particular, are far more stable and reliable than similar Windows Systems. If Bill was paying me as a consultant to analyze his needs I would ask more questions and possibly recommend a different solution, but just in general, that's my recommendation.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 09:52 am
@Robert Gentel,
Well Bob I do not trust Microsoft and that may or may not be rational. and that is one of the driving force behind my desire to move to linux.

Handing out Cofee to police forces around the world not just to US base police forces to me is all the indicate that they care little about their customers security that I need.

And yes it is claimed that the USB contain nothing but common programs with a nice interface however it seem to show a mind set that I do not like at all.

For example why would anyone trust Microsoft not to had place a back door into their bit lock program for the benefit of governments when you have one hell of an open source program by the name of truecrpyt with no back door for sure in it?
Nick Ashley
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 02:44 pm
@BillRM,
As you said, COFEE is nothing but a set off the shelf tools (that Microsoft DIDN'T create), that runs from a script. Nothing new here, and no reason why it can't be handed out to anyone. It only provides access to unencrypted information, and anything else needs to be brute forced. You do realize that if I have physical access to a computer, then I have access to all unencrypted data on it, right? That is regardless of what operating system the computer was running.

I do find it odd that its only the fact that they gave it to non-US police forces that makes them "care little about their customers security"

About truecrypt: I think it is a great program. I have happily used it on both windows and ubuntu. Hope you enjoy linux. Do you know what distro you are going with? I'd recommend trying a few different flavors using a live cd, before deciding which you like best.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2009 03:31 am
@Nick Ashley,
Let see Bob first right now I had just installed Red HAT Linux 3 on my wife old computer with a dual boot system between Linux and window 98 to serve as a learning platform.

Next the reason I commented about non US police forces is that the court protection offer in even most European countries is not up to US standards in my opinion so a device such as COFEE is even more likely to be misused by non US police forces then US ones.

Next Dropmyrights is a very useful program as few if any home users run in an account with less then admin rights in windows XP.

I see little reason in fact to not so run except when dealing with the ‘evil internet’ for a home user with only one user or at least only completely trusted users on the machines.


0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2009 09:46 pm
A related thread Wink

0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 12:24 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

.........ALso,**** likeExcel is very unfriendly for equations that are too complex (Fast Fourier transfrms , or second order decay plots). Apples are so easy to wok that I was up and doing plots and ahit the very first hour afater I booted up,
.......


Farmerman - both Matlab and Mathematical have plenty of functions for Laplace / Fourier transforms and radioactive decay, and both have isomorphic transfers to Excel formats. I'd like to know what the difference is with Apple, since that, too, runs Excel? Not contradicting you by any means, genuinely wondering about interface support for specific functions and graphics on Apple. Tks.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 05:06 pm
@High Seas,
Lord am I jealous when I were face with that kind of math it was slide rulers, logs tables/adding machines and log-log graph paper. Oh and smith charts.

You might get some time with a main frame 370 after setting up a program on IBM cards using fortran 4. Frankly sometimes the errors messages was longer then the program at first run through.

I was away from heavy number crushing for five/seven years or so before even tools like the fine TI-59 calculator came onto the market.
0 Replies
 
 

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