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29 Reasons to Not Get Vista

Microsoft Windows Vista hits (assaults) consumers on 30 January 2007. Starting with New Years Day that gives you twenty nine days to think about the big mistake you're about to make.

Every day of January 2007 until Microsoft Windows Vista is released you can read yet another good reason why it's not a good idea to get it.

16 January 2007 Reason #16: Scary Movie 4.

Anyone who is made to fully understand what's going on inside their Windows computer comes walking away terrified. No exception. Mafia gang wars - inside your own house! Aggressive warrior code from one gang fighting it out with another for supremacy - and 'ownership' of your computer.

A common reaction is turning pale and yelping 'that's going on inside my house?'

But every Windows user has seen a scary movie sooner or later. It's all too commonplace by now. What are not commonplace are the scary movies narrated by the PC technicians themselves - the Windows repair warriors who are supposed to have seen everything. Their stories are the real shocker.

Here's the fourth of many.

The girlfriend informed me about one of the PCs in her lab that is attached to a plate reader. So after a night out we went to her lab with my software archive in hand to investigate.

It was an old PIII with a 7 GB HDD and 384 MB RAM running XP. Not to mention a long-outdated subscription to NAV. Whoever installed it? What a genius.

It seemed that someone also attempted to install Ad-Aware on it at one point because the definitions were well over 500 days old.

I knew the thing was infected. It was slower than molasses and right-clicking on the desktop took about 30 seconds.

After about 4 hours of wrangling with the doggone thing...

- Removed all traces of NAV
- Installed ClamWin, Ad-Aware, Spybot S&D, Firefox, Thunderbird (all defaults reset to Mozilla of course), Privoxy, and a few other FOSS utilities
- Removed hundreds of spyware and adware, mostly from the use of IE. Someone actually fell for 'Windows Security Center' because the spyware had disabled AV, firewall, and other settings.
- Launched ClamWin but forgot to set the option to quarantine. When I left for the overnight scan to complete, it had already found several viruses.

I asked the girlfriend to help me finish by (1) identifying and removing the infected files and setting the preference to quarantine instead of report, (2) downloading Rootkit Revealer and hope that it comes back clean (not likely), (3) activate the Windows firewall (futile, I know) and (4) start the defragmentation. I didn't even have time to disable services.

The drive was in serious need of defragging. The problem? It's a high traffic machine with at least 8 different users. All of them have admin access and NONE of them are password protected! I explained to my girlfriend why she should have password-protected her account but gave me the excuse about a colleague almost losing an experiment because someone else had forgot to close out the plate reading program in their account.

And sure enough, her account was infested with adware from others logging into her account and using it.

Once the malware was removed, the PC's responsiveness noticeably improved.

Begs the question: How the hell are all of these Windows users putting up with this madness? Four programs to rid your machine of nasties and a handful more to stop them from coming in?

I had to perform at least SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLARS OF LABOR in cleaning up the box for free. And some of my girlfriend's colleagues couldn't understand what I was doing or why I was occasionally cursing at the machine when I couldn't get it to respond at first. After semi-fixing this machine I reached the obvious conclusion: the vast majority of computer users on Windows are idiots - not in the sense of having shit-for-brains but computer illiteracy. They don't understand basic maintenance routines or how to even protect themselves from malware. The ignorance combined with a fundamentally flawed OS is a ripe recipe for - well you know. And people are actually tossing out perfectly usable PCs for new ones because they can't fix Windows?

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