Skip to main content

Shields up, Mac users

I'm virus proof on my Mac! Oops...
Even though I am now a Mac user, I have to admit that, as a species, they have their problems. Specifically, they have always had a tendency to be smug. Infuriatingly so.

Perhaps the biggest example of this, bigger still than their certainty that their machines had more style and flair, or were better at arty things, was the assurance that computer viruses were not a problem for them. They sneered at the poor PC user, scrambling to update their anti-virus every year. They sniggered behind their hands as friends computers succumbed to worms and trojans. Because, on the whole, Macs were virus proof. Not because they were so technically sophisticated, but because they were simply too small a market to make it worth virus writers targeting them.

However, though Macs still have a relatively small market share, it has steadily grown. And guess what? Viruses are out there. What's more, since hardly any Macs are protected against them, they are easy pickings.

I've taken the plunge and installed AV software. I haven't done a scientific survey or anything, but I've gone for Sophos. There are a couple of reasons for this. I have an affection for the company as they helped me out free of charge a number of times in the early days of PCs at British Airways. Their software has never been the slickest, but it has always had an industrial strength feel to it. The other reason, frankly, is that it is free. Eat that, PC users.

How has the experience been? Pretty good. The initial scan was a bit of a nightmare - it ground to a halt a couple of times and I had to restart it, but eventually I got the 6 million files (gulp) scanned. But since then, in background mode it has been trundling away nicely, occasionally spotting nasties in my emails and generally being a good egg.

If you are a Mac user and want to give it a try you can find it here. I would recommend giving it a thought. The world, it is a-changeing.

I ought to stress there are other products, this isn't a comprehensive test and (sadly) Sophos are not paying me anything to say this.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Is 5x3 the same as 3x5?

The Internet has gone mildly bonkers over a child in America who was marked down in a test because when asked to work out 5x3 by repeated addition he/she used 5+5+5 instead of 3+3+3+3+3. Those who support the teacher say that 5x3 means 'five lots of 3' where the complainants say that 'times' is commutative (reversible) so the distinction is meaningless as 5x3 and 3x5 are indistinguishable. It's certainly true that not all mathematical operations are commutative. I think we are all comfortable that 5-3 is not the same as 3-5.  However. This not true of multiplication (of numbers). And so if there is to be any distinction, it has to be in the use of English to interpret the 'x' sign. Unfortunately, even here there is no logical way of coming up with a definitive answer. I suspect most primary school teachers would expands 'times' as 'lots of' as mentioned above. So we get 5 x 3 as '5 lots of 3'. Unfortunately that only wor

Why I hate opera

If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex

Mirror, mirror

A little while ago I had the pleasure of giving a talk at the Royal Institution in London - arguably the greatest location for science communication in the UK. At one point in the talk, I put this photograph on the screen, which for some reason caused some amusement in the audience. But the photo was illustrating a serious point: the odd nature of mirror reflections. I remember back at school being puzzled by a challenge from one of our teachers - why does a mirror swap left and right, but not top and bottom? Clearly there's nothing special about the mirror itself in that direction - if there were, rotating the mirror would change the image. The most immediately obvious 'special' thing about the horizontal direction is that the observer has two eyes oriented in that direction - but it's not as if things change if you close one eye. In reality, the distinction is much more interesting - we fool ourselves into thinking that the image behind the mirror is what's on ou