From: Deepak Jain (no email)
Date: Sun Aug 15 2004 - 14:12:01 EDT
>>Retina scan on something and some virus/worm got in and it took some
>>registry editting and safe mode work to get it removed - and I know what I
> As far as I know, there is no remotely exploitable hole in windows that
> doesn't have a patch for it, nothing majorly in the wild anyway. I run my
> fully patched XP laptop without firewall directly connected to the
> internet all the time and the above you mention doesn't happen to me.
I agree with Mikael here. If your box is fully patched you need not
worry about that much -- if you are still having problems, check your
assumptions. :) Windows 2003 Web Servers are up unfiltered out there,
there isn't a real reason why a Windows XP laptop wouldn't be [exploita
du jour excepted].
My only reason for liking a hw firewall for use with my laptop is that
the network chatter/probe attempts on cable internet keeps the thing
from staying asleep without it.
> A lot of the problems with windows that people complain about, isn't
> Microsoft caused apart from them designing a bad driver/library/registry
> model for how things are installed and ran. I usually run windows boxes
> for two-three years without reinstalling them, other people have to
> re-install every 3-6 months. Looking at their usage pattern and mine, they
> install games and other programs and de-install them all the time, whereas
> I usually stick to a fixed set of programs and rarely install new ones,
> and I always apply new patches when they're available via Windows Update.
> I can also run my machine for months without it crashing, which seems an
> unobtainable feat for a lot of other people. I see a pattern.
> Bad hardware and application software cause a lot more problems than
> the operating system itself.
This meshes for me too. A handful of utilities [NAV, putty, Mozilla,
etc] and the Office suite is about it. My laptop [with frequent
standbys, hibernates and the rest] doesn't need to be rebooted even
monthly. The Verizon BroadbandNow software is the only thing that
prefers a restarted machine with hardware changes [insert card/remove
card] --- hopefully they will fix that, but I'm not confident.
I find it interesting that those who claim their machines are soooo
important and soooo vital are the ones who spend many hours screwing
around with the reinstalls, the upgrades [without knowing what features
they are getting] and then being frustrated and uninstalling, etc.
Not all software vendors are equal, not all software packages from the
same vendor are equal. I think this is the key point. Symantec [IMO]
does fine with Windows, Microsoft's own stuff is pretty good, Mozilla is
improving, etc. Installing some random software, no matter how well
intentioned is usually the problem for most folks. One suggestion that
seems to help. When you buy a machine from scratch, uninstall or
forcibly remove all the unnecessary software the vendor puts on. Lots of
them install chatty support agents and self-diagnosis tools. I have
never seen anything but trouble from these. Purists would say just
install from fresh media and don't trust the uninstalls, ymmv.