Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Linux not more secure when Joe pushes the buttons

Joe sez:

"Might I please kindly request in advance that you do not suggest using Linux instead of Windows 2003. Yes, I concede that Linux is "more secure," but not when I'm the one pushing the buttons. Last time a flaw was discovered in SSH, it took me four hours of compiling and messing around to patch it."

Well, it took me an "apt-get update ; apt-get upgrade". And I use Red Hat. http://apt4rpm.sourceforge.net is your friend.

Now, seriously: maybe it's a good idea to have at least one Linux wiz in your staff. Wanna hire me? ;)

Klodd the Insensitive
Tuesday, November 11, 2003

What the...? The 'l' in 'Joel' got dropped halfway between brain and fingers. Geez, I wish there was an Edit link here.

Klodd the Insensitive
Tuesday, November 11, 2003

I feel like "put the keyboard down and no one will get hurt."

How silly would people have thought it sounded if I said:
"Don't tell me "yourOShere" is easier to use, when I am at the buttons.  I know nothing about how to administer it and it took me four hours to get WinFoo to work."

It speaks more to the person (or their expectations) than the OS.

MSHack
Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Actually, the notion of "someone pushing buttons" rather scares me. 

So, I've got my nephew living with me these days, and the comunal "kids computer" has had some spyware downloaded to it (again).  Popups galore.  I'm interrogating the usual suspects "who the hell put this shit on the computer??"

Nephew replies, well its secure see, pulls up a dialog box and illustrates his point that "ActiveX" control downloads turned off.

NOW I feel much BETTER.  He earned an MSCE cert of some sort - not that I give a tinker's damn.  Holy crap, we got a button pusher who thinks they are a sysadmin.

For the record, I'm a developer, not a sysadmin.  I've got enough brains to know the difference and that I'm not skilled in the art.  Also got enough brains to know when someone else is not skilled in the art too.

hoser
Tuesday, November 11, 2003

A person's expectations or abilities are irrelavant.

Good software design hinges on good UI design.  Good UI design means usability.  If we programmers consider ourselves the smartest people on Earth (which we are), then we should have the easiest time assimilating a new UI.

If a programmer can't assimilate a UI without external training, it stands to reason that the UI lacks usability.  If it lacks enough usability for a programmer, then it must lack much more for the common idiot.

You have to hand it to others like MS or Apple, who have invested millions to have people sit behind a keyboard and tell them how a program should work.  Because of that, Joe Idiot can sit at his machine and have a web server running in 10 minutes (30 if he doesn't want it hacked).  I believe that Linux should steal their research by mimicing their UI designs, but the LinuxNazis hold the axiom "Because MS does it, we refuse to do it".

This is why I don't advocate Linux for mainstream PC use.  In order to be proficient in it, it takes a substantial investment of time and/or training.  I find it a wonderful OS for servers and such, until I have to use it.

Walt
Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Oh no -- slashdot.org hijacked the Joel forums!

Seriously, though, the statement was a simple "the tool we use is XYZ so please don't recommend a different tool", and then gave a self-deprecating comment about why switching tools isn't appropriate right now (probably intended as a method of repetence before the self-proclaimed open source gods -- trying to quell that nonsensical line before it starts).

Having said that, SQL Server replication is a bitch.

Dennis Forbes
Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Hoser sounds like a kind, loving, positive force in his Nephew's life.

sarcastic
Tuesday, November 11, 2003

I think there's already far too much button pushing going on in this forum as it is.

Don't Push Mine
Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Wasn't there a character in a comic once called something like "Axel Pushbutton"? Push his button and he would flip out. Or is that just a flashback to a bad acid trip or something?


Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Nameless: looks a lot like a Dilbert strip.

Klodd the Insensitive
Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Walt: Linux DID steal UI design. Look at any KDE or GNOME desktop. And yes, as you said, this is a good thing. Now please put down that "LinuxNazi" straw man.

Klodd the Insensitive
Wednesday, November 12, 2003

No. If it ever existed the bloke had a huge chooper, and that isn't Dilbert style at all. At least, what he did with it wasn't. If it helps it could be the same comic where I first came across (no pun intended)  the phrase "Hubba! Hubba!" which was spouted by an egg shaped (?) alien when it was trying to get perverse with human females. Actually this is starting to sound more and more like a bad acid trip.


Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I just imagined a Dilbert strip then:

PHB: Dilbert, this is Axel Pushbutton. You can induct a murderous rage in him just by pronouncing the word M-a-c-i-n-t-o-s-h.

Klodd the Insensitive
Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Joel pushing whose buttons?

me_in_the_corner
Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Just to make a brief foray back on topic: the original poster, Klodd the something, said:

"Well, it took me an "apt-get update ; apt-get upgrade"."

Uh, sorry Klodd, your computer is not secure. The software may be up to date, but if that's all you've done then you're probably running several servers in somewhat unsecure configurations.

I think that the secure configuration of the various servers that ship with the operating system (be it Linux or Windows) was more Joel's point than just keeping the software patched (which, as Klodd points out is just as easy under Linux or Windows).

Bill Tomlinson
Wednesday, November 12, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home