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Author Topic: Bored and frustrated  (Read 2470 times)
nightflier
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« on: June 28, 2010, 12:41:14 pm »

<rant_mode>

I'm sitting here working on a Windows machine, cleaning out malware that bypassed the firewall and anti-virus protection. I suggested that the best thing would be to nuke the drive and do a fresh install, but no; "There may be something on there that I need || I don't have the install media/registration info/activation code for all the software || It has my passwords memorized".

Okay, so clean it out. This requires several reboots.. back and forth between Safe Mode and normal login. In typical Win fashion, each boot takes about five minutes. Then there are all the scans that need to complete. So I have plenty of time to make this post on the computer next to it, which I use to search for answers. What computer is that, you may ask.. why, it's a discarded and rescued P3 which now runs VL6 Light. And runs it significantly faster than windows runs the much more capable Pentium-M laptop.

One of the many freedoms that I enjoy since switching to Linux is that my work is no longer tied to any particular computer, OS or application. I can read and edit my documents on different platforms using various applications. If an application is not available on a machine, I can download it from the Internet free of charge. Upgrading or moving to a new computer is not a big deal.

People say that learning a new OS or application is too much work. They want to stick with what they know. Sounds reasonable, but then they go "OOOHHH.... SHINY!... GOTTA HAVE IT".. when they see the "New and improved" Windows or Office version. Or when they spend megabucks on that stylish Apple machine. Then they LOVE their new acquisition, which is sooo much better than the old one.  Roll Eyes

The cynical side of me wants to say "be happy about it, you're getting paid to do this", but that's just not me. I'd rather be building new machines and coming up with creative solutions than this endless drudgery which at best is maintaining status quo.

</rant_mode>
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M0E-lnx
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2010, 12:50:30 pm »

I know the feeling.

Ask me how I got into programming .... go ahead.
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Lyn
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2010, 01:30:49 pm »

Like many other Linux users I have run Windows machines, indeed before I discovered Linux my I ran Windows exclusively (now I don't have it on any machines).  I can honestly say I only contracted one virus, a word macro virus, caught sharing floppy disks with a health authority in Birmingham!    However most of my friends have had their machines completely screwed with viruses and assorted Trojans.  Now they never have to deal with this, they get me to help clean it up.  So for them Windows computing means every few months plying me with tea and spending half a day putting things right.  Many of us can use windows machines safely, but many more of us can't. 

Most of my friends using Windows is a given, they play the odd game and that is enough to stop them switching.  Plus the awful usb broadband modems that come with their internet package tend to make life difficult.  But I think the biggest issue is fear of change.  Windows is what the machine comes with.  Change means violating the terms and conditions and where is the support (well me, but I am not there all the time). 
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nightflier
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2010, 05:47:05 pm »

Still bitching and moaning.. my complaint was not just about having to clean out malware (and never quite knowing if you got rid of it all). Some people get so attached to a particular installation that they can't even stand the thought of a re-install. A friend had a desktop that was a good example. It was a prime candidate for a wipe and a new start, but no. He paid $350 to have his machine cleaned out at one of the large retail/service chains.

Then people tolerate these issues until the machine finally calls it quits, often taking out much of what they were trying to preserve. But that's okay, because that's "just the way things are". Another friend was quite pleased when I recovered years worth of pictures from her "dead" computer (easily resuscitated with Linux, btw) and transferred them to her new one. Seemed like she had just assumed that they were gone and nothing could be done.

In contrast, if I were to lose someone's bookmarks in a re-install I'd never hear the end of it.

Okay, I feel better now.  Grin

M0E, I'll bite. Wink What motivated you to get into programming?
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kc1di
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Morse Code Early digital mode. John 3:16


« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2010, 06:00:03 pm »

Nightflier,
Feels good to vent sometimes.  I've had the same thing here.. Had one lady who bought 3 machine, before she realized that her husband was going to free music sites and getting multiply viruses each time he downloaded the stuff.  I cleaned and saved a ton of family pictures from each machine.. but still could not get her to change to Linux or even reload windows ,Strange how attached some people get to store bought stuff.

Have a good evening/night
Dave
 Grin
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Dave
( Living Somewhere in Maine USA)
Registered Linux User #462608
tomh38
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2010, 06:07:48 pm »

Here's what this boils down to for me:

If you're careful, you can avoid most viruses and other malware on Windows.

Most people I know who use Windows aren't careful enough.  So they end up with a borked machine.  Sometimes these people get so frustrated with the machine that they put it in the garbage.  Whenever I see one of these, I grab it, put VL on it, and give it to somebody who can use it.  I've even given away a few machines that had better hardware than my current machine, since my current machine is plenty fast for me.

Guess what happens with about 1/2 of the machines I give away.

Yeah, that's right, people want to do something that they think can only be done with Windows (sometimes this is true, usually not) and instead of calling me for help, the get somebody to put Windows on it for them.  Before you know it, the thing is choked with viruses and spyware, and is either unbelievably slow or in some cases unbootable.

A lot of these folks call me for help with their ruined Windows.  I used to help them, but not anymore.  I know this sounds cold-hearted, but I'm tired of people taking a perfectly good computer and bricking it because they don't want to deal with something unfamiliar.

Now, the only people I help with Windows problems are my immediate family and a few very close friends.

nightflier, I know what you're talking about.  I know people who have their Windows setup "just the way they want it," all these customizations and stuff (just as most of us do with our Linux machines) they find it difficult to let go and start from scratch, knowing they'll never get it back the way it was. 

Check this out.  There's an Office Depot near where I live which "repairs and optimizes computers."  They're not very good at it.  Anyway, for $200 you can bring in your Windows PC and have all the trialware removed.  The thing I find funny about this is that this store also sells computers ... all of which are laden with lots of trialware.  I know the OEMs let take many from software companies to increase their profits and/or keep the costs of the machines down, but by doing what they do Office Depot is practically admitting that what they're selling is defective by design.

Strange world we live in.
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"I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones." - Linus Torvalds, April 1991
GrannyGeek
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2010, 06:13:30 pm »

Some people get so attached to a particular installation that they can't even stand the thought of a re-install. A friend had a desktop that was a good example. It was a prime candidate for a wipe and a new start, but no. He paid $350 to have his machine cleaned out at one of the large retail/service chains.

They could easily take care of this if they'd make an image file of their computer when they have it the way they want it. Get infected by malware? Restore the image and they're back at the point where the image was made, minus the malware. They can make another image when they do updates or make changes they don't want to lose. They can keep several generations of image files so that if they find out their last image wasn't as clean as they thought it was, they can restore an older one.

Seagate and Western Digital include OEM versions of Acronis TrueImage with the software that comes with retail drives, and you can also download it from their Web sites. I'm pretty sure there are other free image creation programs out there.

I find that having a proper backup system is one of the major areas where a lot of users are lacking. I just shake my head when I hear about people losing ALL their photos because their hard drive failed or their computer was damaged in a lightning strike. Likewise when someone loses the *only* copy of their almost-completed PhD dissertation or the family genealogy they worked on for five years because they didn't back up their files.

It's not a problem just for Windows users, either. Hard drives fail and computers die when they're running Linux, too. So make sure you back up anything you don't want to lose TODAY. Don't put it off. Sudden death isn't something that happens just to people.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
nightflier
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2010, 06:41:57 pm »

I find that having a proper backup system is one of the major areas where a lot of users are lacking.

Oh, I have some stories in that department too. Maybe I'll start another thread for that.

--  Actually, now that I think about it, maybe I should just simmer down. When it comes to resisting change, I am worse than most. My habits and preferences solidified during the last Millennium. It was not until I managed to closely emulate my W2K desktop under Linux, that I made a complete switch. I set it up with the same colors, custom keyboard shortcuts and button mapping on my trackball. My KDE3 still behaves much like W2K/W9x did. And I have maintained that same setup during every upgrade since VL5.0. It was one of the reasons why I insisted on the KDE-Classic release. I have already started preparing for setting it up in VL7. Okay, onward we go..
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 08:56:51 pm by nightflier » Logged
M0E-lnx
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2010, 04:41:25 am »


M0E, I'll bite. Wink What motivated you to get into programming?

Boredom and frustration.
I used to work at a small business where they had a win 2003 server installation running in a computer in a room, and everyone had thin clients. (I hate this kind of setup).

You log in via a tiny little box with a couple of USB ports and like 32K of RAM (not really 32K but it might as well be). It was so bad that at times, half my screen would go completely black, solid black, while the other half worked. To this day, I still cant explain why this happened. All I can say is those little thin clients were horrible, and windows CE (the os they ran) is even worse.

So one time, I went to a storage room and noticed this old compaq box the label said it had a PIII @ something like 750MHZ and 256MB Ram.
I pulled it out immediately and hooked it up to my monitor, and got the vl-light installation going. 10-15 minutes later, I was up and running on a full local desktop. No longer restrained by the little box.

Added some things I needed like tsclient and rdesktop to handle the connection to the win 2003 server and pull all the data used for work, and off I went.
I pretty much had the same reaction you did from people. My boss started asking me about open source solutions for his office, so I turned him to OOo.

I guess the only thing my  programming has to do with this is that this old box that came out of the storage closet is where the VL GUI installer was developed.
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tomh38
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2010, 07:04:43 am »

GrannyGeek: You hit the nail on the head.  If somebody is using a computer for the first time in his/her life, and nobody tells that person to make backups, and they lose everything, that I can understand.  What I can't understand (and have lost all patience for) is when I've told somebody to make a backup of everything they don't want to lose forever, and they don't, and then they get angry with me.  I've found this is less common with Linux users, but this is probably only because the average Linux user is somewhat more computer saavy than the average Windows user.

M0E-lnx:  Great story.  I know quite a few places where you would get fired for doing something creative like that.  Sounds like your boss at the time was more open-minded about IT stuff than most of the management people I've known.
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"I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones." - Linus Torvalds, April 1991
retired1af
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2010, 07:23:43 am »

Backups are a bit more complex now, especially under Windows. One can burn the files manually to a CD or DVD, but most backup programs want another hard drive to write to. This is a royal pain in the backside, especially if you want to set it and forget it and allow the system to do the backups automatically to a removable media.

I suppose one of these days I'll invest in another external drive and use it as a backup device, but until that day happens, I still want the ability to write to removable media, and most backup programs don't give you that ability.
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tomh38
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2010, 07:34:24 am »

retired1af:  One of my co-workers just told me he uses Macrium Reflect (http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp), which has a free edition, which has a scheduler, and lets you back up to removable media.  He says he's happy with it, and I trust his opinion.
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"I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones." - Linus Torvalds, April 1991
retired1af
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2010, 08:12:40 am »

That program is similar to others that I've seen where it wants to image the entire drive. I hate that. I just want to specify my data directories and leave it at that. I rarely need to reinstall from scratch, and usually do so every couple of years just to get rid of the bits and pieces of software that I've installed and later removed through the years.
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bigpaws
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2010, 08:58:53 am »

Cygwin and rsync can't be beat for backups.

Bigpaws
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Pita
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2010, 05:22:33 pm »

Since I am using Linux I have always made back-ups with cron and tar
to a second hard drive. I have never used a program. Certain directories
are backed-up daily, others weekly and some monthly.

Now that my home directory has become too large I will back it up to flash drive.
Cron will then tell me before the back-up to mount that drive.

How good my back-up system is was just tested after I had a sudden death of my
master HD. It was only that the home directory was somewhat corrupted therefore
some files went missing of which only one is of importance my .procmailrc.
Since mail, word, spreadsheet etc are separately back-up I had a new system running
on my second hard drive in no time (after I had overcome the initial shock)
installing VL6-Light-Live.
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