Never let children use windows

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One of the problems of serving as the resident geek, is that people routinely bring computers running windows which are totally overrun with trojans, virii and other assorted adware. It does seem that the majority of the work, I have been getting of late is related to restoring WinXP machines to working order.
*Sigh*, if I could just educate and convince parents not to let kids use that crap..

I have already explained my reasons for not teaching children to use any variant of M$ software. People complain that children barely can clean and organize their rooms, how the hell can they be responsible enough to vigilantly monitor and thwart trojans, virii, and adware on their computers running windows operating system? Does not seem logical.

Recently, I was asked to rescue a machine running WinXP Home. The machine had 373 variants of adware which had corrupted the system registry. The machine was still running SP1, as the trojans prevented the software updates.

So, as customary, I grabbed Spy-Bot Search and Destroy, and began to methodically remove the crap from the system registry. I also ran the Windows Update, so that I could upgrade the machine to SP2. Bare in mind that had the system not been so-called M$ genuine, the service updates and patches would not be available for install through conventional means. Yet another reason, that I strongly discourage the use of this software. Because the machine was a shrinked wrapped variety, I also grabbed the 3rd party virus and adware protection package. It seems that M$ acquired a company to help it better manage adware attacks on its system registry.

Receiving these updates took nearly 4.5 hrs (constant reboots), I then removed the very annoying Norton Anti-virus software and replaced it with Clam-Win a GPL'd anti-virus software package for win32 platform.

At the end of this entire ordeal, there was still one very pesky adware program that was embedded in the registry. Even booting in safe mode and running Spy-Bot from DOS shell did not remove it. The job was actually a freebie, so I left it there. Simply did not wish to waste further time. It is clear that the cost to maintain a windows box is extremely high considering the constant effort to thwart attacks on the system registry. My expectation is that I'll see the machine again in 6mths - 1yr.

The Redmond woolly mammoth claims that the registry will be restricted from 3rd party software. We'll see. Until then keep your children away from this software, instead introduce then to FOSS programs.

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    This page contains a single entry by AG published on April 17, 2007 6:54 AM.

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