12.9.03

Windows vs. Linux……what a day !!!

Why o why? Every time I try to help Microsoft, they go ahead and mess themselves up. Just after the study from yesterday that claimed it was cheaper to keep existing Windows clients than migrate to Linux, I had a horrible ‘anti-Microsoft’ day!!

First of all, my computer was hit by the MSBlaster worm first thing in the morning. How can an IT guy’s system go down? Well, when the warning about MSBlaster came out, I managed to patch all the systems on my network……except mine, just a simple, but cruel oversight. So I spent an hour or so trying to figure out how to get rid of it. Luckily for me the Windows Update patch was on our network, or I’d have been in real trouble. Anyways, after doing that, I found this neat(and free!) scanning tool, that checks which systems on your network are vulnerable to infection by bugs such as MSBlaster.

So I scanned the network and found 11 PCs were still ‘unpatched’ and went through the motions of patching them all. After that it was 12 noon, time for lunch, right? No !! I get to my table and as soon as I wave my mouse, I am greeted by an email warning of a newly discovered vulnerability with Windows PCs, and the likelihood of Blaster-like worms coming up in a matter of days. This meant I had to re-“patch” every single PC on the network. So here we go again, downloaded all the relevant patches from Microsoft’s site and around 6pm, began patching all the systems again. I left the office at a few minutes to 8pm, but hey how else would people know I work in IT?

Just finished patching this morning, and guess what? September 11th (Yesterday) ‘memorial’ virus warnings!! ARGGGGHHH !!! This time, I composed a mail to all users on the network, the memory of cleaning up Sobig.F virus from a PC just yesterday fresh in my mind. Now, everyone is calling me “Mr. Virus”, but would you blame them?

Linux has none of these problems. No viruses, no worms, nothing. So what do I do award them a point in the ongoing battle? Not quite. For all these Microsoft problems, Linux has some ongoing problems of their own, in the form of the lawsuit mayhem I’m still trying to understand. So penalty points to both sides.

I'm still a little confused about the Microsft/Linux cost issue. Ernie Ball, the world's largest maker of guitar strings (endorsed by leading musicians including Eric Clapton and Metallica) had a run-in with Microsoft and decided to switch to Linux.(In one of my previous posts) Anyway, the CEO Sterling Ball has gained some popularity after the success of this, and he's invited to speak at Technology conferences. He claims that it's cheaper for them to run Linux. So who do we believe? A transcript of an interview he did with CNET.com is here. So, there is life after Microsoft after all.

The score is still tied…………..Linux 1 – Windows 1. But only just.

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