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Author Topic: Computers, computing and software  (Read 877 times)
elisedance
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« on: December 02, 2009, 10:14:27 AM »

Odd we don't have (least I can't find one) a topic for the obvious.  Actually its astonishing to me how few of the students that join the lab actually know how a computer works!  I suppose its become like a TV, a box that just does....

My computer issue today was that as I was browsing the web suddenly a page came up that seemed to scan my compter and look for viruses, spyware and trojans and such - and it found a bunch.  it then offered to download a free scan software to rid the program - and it used a name that was actually real - except when I went to the web site of hte company there was no free download.  When I checked the url of hte download company I noticed that it was HTTP and not HTTPS (secure).  How could a computer security company use a non-secure file sharing page?

Well, it did prompt me to download a virus protection software (BitDefender this time) - which I just did - and it just completed a scan and found..... nothing.

That in itself is amazing since I have been using the notebook for almost a year without a virus protection software and is, I think, a testament to the success of online-companies to self-monitor.  In particular Yahoo which I use for my mail - I pay $20 a year for extra services and its spam and virus filter are superb.

Anyhow - any computer woes/advice to share?
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pruthe
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2009, 11:48:26 AM »

The scan that you saw was a simulated Windows PC virus scan. It is a scam to get people to click on link and go to where ever it goes. Maybe to get you to buy some virus software somewhere. Or maybe to infect your computer with a virus. Don't click on it. I get the same simulated Windows PC virus scan sometimes on my Mac. Looks kind of weird seeing a Windows PC kind of scan on my Mac, which cannot give this type of scan. FWIW, Mac does not have any viruses, so don't need any virus software. Not to say there won't be a Mac virus in future. But hasn't happened yet. :-)
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"It's not what you do, but how you do it."

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elisedance
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2009, 12:07:35 PM »

Thats amazing because Apple was, I bleive, where they were first created - it was RIFE with viruses.

They obviously did something right Smiley
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The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
pruthe
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2009, 12:52:01 PM »

I've been using Apple/Mac since early 80s. There were some viruses in systems prior to Mac OS X. But i don't think it was ever rife with viruses. The Windows PC is the one that is rife with viruses because historically, it has had the most users and virus writers wanted to write viruses that affected the most users. If Mac ever gets to have as many users as PC, then the virus writers might start looking at Mac.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 12:53:33 PM by pruthe » Logged

"It's not what you do, but how you do it."

"The Truth in Ballroom Dance is found in the Basic steps."

A.S.
elisedance
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2009, 03:00:40 PM »

Aha - this is what I remember ... (in bold)

Wiki:
The Creeper virus was first detected on ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet in the early 1970s.[3] Creeper was an experimental self-replicating program written by Bob Thomas at BBN in 1971.[4] Creeper used the ARPANET to infect DEC PDP-10 computers running the TENEX operating system. Creeper gained access via the ARPANET and copied itself to the remote system where the message, "I'm the creeper, catch me if you can!" was displayed. The Reaper program was created to delete Creeper.[5]

A program called "Rother J" was the first computer virus to appear "in the wild" — that is, outside the single computer or lab where it was created.[citation needed] Written in 1981 by Richard Skrenta, it attached itself to the Apple DOS 3.3 operating system and spread via floppy disk.[6] This virus, created as a practical joke when Skrenta was still in high school, was injected in a game on a floppy disk. On its 50th use the Elk Cloner virus would be activated, infecting the computer and displaying a short poem beginning "Elk Cloner: The program with a personality."
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SwingWaltz
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2009, 04:21:18 PM »

The computer is a devil box!!!  Roll Eyes

Oh...don't download those pop-up "ani-virus" programs!
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cornutt
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2009, 04:31:49 PM »

Odd we don't have (least I can't find one) a topic for the obvious.  Actually its astonishing to me how few of the students that join the lab actually know how a computer works!  I suppose its become like a TV, a box that just does....

Yeah, my old fogey rant on that is that in my day, a computer science education included building your own logic circuits (Karnaugh maps!)  and programming in assembly language.  We also got a lot of training on different types of processors and memory management setups, plus a theoretical math background in algorithms.  Oh, and technical writing too.  Nowdays, most schools seem satisfied if they teach them a couple of programming languages, and enough so that they can hack together some Visual Basic apps.  The really sharp coders are, for the most part, people who learned it on their own.
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elisedance
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2009, 09:47:34 PM »

I don't mean that - they don't know what a bit and a byte are or how a computer stores a memory... everyone knows its digital but no one knows hwat that means or why it creates accuracy and also limitations.... 
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
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