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Is there even a point to using OS X now that there are Mac viruses?


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#1
loybond

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For those of you that switched to Mac, what were your reasons? My main reason was stability/reliability. Throughout high school and university I had dealt with PC issues non stop, which often resulted in data loss, formatting etc. I was sick and tired of that, so I decided to get Macs. At one point we had four (two iMacs, new MBP, MB), and now we have a 24" iMac and MBA.

Well, we decided to try out CS4 and got hit with that bot virus. Yeah, I know, you're gonna say you should have just bought it... but if this is how easy it is to get a Mac virus onto your system, then potentially a lot of free apps etc. can also carry Mac viruses in the future. Let's just focus on the fact that there are Mac viruses now, and that they may increase in number.

The problem is, it's not just that the virus slows your system down. First, it corrupted my Windows install, then I couldn't even boot into Mac. Basically, I may have lost everything (I tried making an image of the hard drive, but the DMG appears to be messed up), so here we are again at the PC level. If it was running Windows, NOD32 or Kaspersky would actually be pretty good at catching it, and I probably wouldn't need to format and reinstall like I just did.

Since Mac market share is on the rise, we can probably expect more and more viruses, which means a need for antivirus may arise. And since we're using antivirus, why even use a Mac? We have to adapt to use Macs, try to find software that suits our needs, but we need to go into Windows for a ton of things. Even Word for Mac is a lot crappier than the Windows version. So why put up with all this, the added hardware cost, the crappier performance for the dollar, if it's just gonna be the same as Windows? If you're not a designer etc., and just have a Mac for everyday use... I dunno. I'm thinking about switching back.

#2
Danyel

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Hi Loybond:

This post probably belongs on General Discussion (not the Genius Bar).

I'm very happy with using Mac OS X on OSx86 Hardware (basically unsupported machines). I first started using Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.6) on custom-built MSI mPC 945 mini-Desktop in May 2006. Now I'm running Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.4) on my MSI Wind Book (U100 Series).

That being said, I've had zero viruses or adware on Tiger or Leopard over the past three (3) years. My Desktop PC (which acts as my own personal server) runs 24/7 and is always connected to the Internet. I've downloaded many Shareware and Open-Source software (and a few Commercial) titles without any viruses or adware.

Danyel ;)

#3
J.A

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For those of you that switched to Mac...


The news of Mac viruses in the wild is not new news, so your post has me wondering...Did you have any anti-virus software installed on your mac? ( ie. ClamXav, Sophos, etc...) Being a multi OS user (Win, OS X, Linux) I have learned, especially coming from the PC side, that anything I download should be scanned.

That being said, all of the OSes have some strengths and weaknesses, but since we are discussing OS X I’ll keep my post & comments aimed at it. I have never been an huge Apple Fan Boy & Flag Waver, but I do use the OS & it has some great advantages, one being the ease of use. So far no other OS comes close. To install an app all you do (for the most part) is drag the app to whatever folder you want to run it from, it does not get easier than that. Compare that to the app install process on Win. Also, based on what you said above (having to reformat your HD), think of the amount of time it takes to install any Win OS from the formatting stage to the point where everything is completely functional, don’t forget to include the time for installing all the drivers, patches, security updates and then installing all your Applications. Now compare that to the time spent doing the same (on the same machine) for OS X...honestly there is no comparison...OS X wins hands down. The stability of the OS is another huge plus, being Unix based makes the OS rock solid whether your running an iMac or a Hackintosh. Then add on the fact that there are not many viruses in the wild for OS X yet and you really have a system that’s hard to beat for everyday users. Another advantage is the "smoothness" and feel of the OS itself and the app for it. I have to disagree with you on Word for OS X, I think it is better than Win Word 07. Word 07 tries to be fluid and easy to use but it falls short.

Now for Win, we all know what it is capable of, including gaming where OS X falls flat on its face (Hooray for dual booting!) and the sheer amount of apps available. By default, it is for most of us, the OS of choice because of the simple fact that many of the applications that we need to use daily at work or school run on Win, it’s all about Market Share. But with that huge market share comes all of the viruses and exploits, if you were trying to cause major havoc on a system which would you target...unfortunately Windows wins this one.

For me the best solution is to have them both...Win for gaming and any apps that I cannot run from any other OS and OS X for my everyday use. My suggestion to you... Keep them both and make sure you scan from here on out!

#4
Doug the Impaler

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The biggest weakness of the Mac platform continues to be the user - no Mac virus to date has been able to do anything without some sort of social engineering. It has to be installed and to be installed it needs an admin password, so an admin user has to be fooled into thinking this app does something other than what it claims to do.

That said, I'll never switch back to Windows full-time. I tried very hard to wrap my head around using Sonar 8 with a friend's PC, but I kept just going back to the ease-of-use of Logic Express 8.

#5
mattrb

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Oh wow, less then 10 viruses on a mac and your crawling back to something that consists of millions of viruses. The only mac viruses are on Peer-to-Peer filing sharing sites and to even get infected you basically have to go out of your way to get bit by the bug.

If you dont like mac then go back to windows. Many people feel windows is better and you might be that person. Windows 7 does not have any viruses though, at least not the 64 edition.

#6
loybond

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Thanks for the detailed response! Until now, I liked the low maintenance of OS X too, even on my Hackintoshes. My concern is that viruses on the Mac are easily slipping through unnoticed, that Mac antivirus is underdeveloped and subpar, and that if viruses are going to be a problem, OS X's advantage becomes pretty small. Yes, it is easier to use, but I grew up on Windows, so I don't find it hard it any way. As far as stability goes, I recently built a gaming system that was as stable as the Mac. No issues whatsoever. I mentioned Word, because I run a large number of blogs, and I found out that Word for Windows allows publishing to a number of platforms, whereas Word for Mac doesn't have that (the office button functionality). It's also slow for an Intel app. The whole point I was trying to make was that software is widely available for the PC, yet it must be hunted down for the Mac, and often times, you give up something in functionality. Look at uTorrent for Mac vs. PC. The newgroup readers for Mac are pathetic too. Browsers are, at best, the same. So everything is equal at best, and unusable at worst... and I'm not even going after the obvious one - gaming.

Maybe I'm just annoyed that this happened and the virus took out both my Windows and Mac, but that was superseded by another issue - I created a backup of my Mac drive with pics and all, and the DMG is messed up (no mountable volumes) or something. Looked around for the issue, and it seems I'm not the only one.

The news of Mac viruses in the wild is not new news, so your post has me wondering...Did you have any anti-virus software installed on your mac? ( ie. ClamXav, Sophos, etc...) Being a multi OS user (Win, OS X, Linux) I have learned, especially coming from the PC side, that anything I download should be scanned.

That being said, all of the OSes have some strengths and weaknesses, but since we are discussing OS X Ill keep my post & comments aimed at it. I have never been an huge Apple Fan Boy & Flag Waver, but I do use the OS & it has some great advantages, one being the ease of use. So far no other OS comes close. To install an app all you do (for the most part) is drag the app to whatever folder you want to run it from, it does not get easier than that. Compare that to the app install process on Win. Also, based on what you said above (having to reformat your HD), think of the amount of time it takes to install any Win OS from the formatting stage to the point where everything is completely functional, dont forget to include the time for installing all the drivers, patches, security updates and then installing all your Applications. Now compare that to the time spent doing the same (on the same machine) for OS X...honestly there is no comparison...OS X wins hands down. The stability of the OS is another huge plus, being Unix based makes the OS rock solid whether your running an iMac or a Hackintosh. Then add on the fact that there are not many viruses in the wild for OS X yet and you really have a system thats hard to beat for everyday users. Another advantage is the "smoothness" and feel of the OS itself and the app for it. I have to disagree with you on Word for OS X, I think it is better than Win Word 07. Word 07 tries to be fluid and easy to use but it falls short.

Now for Win, we all know what it is capable of, including gaming where OS X falls flat on its face (Hooray for dual booting!) and the sheer amount of apps available. By default, it is for most of us, the OS of choice because of the simple fact that many of the applications that we need to use daily at work or school run on Win, its all about Market Share. But with that huge market share comes all of the viruses and exploits, if you were trying to cause major havoc on a system which would you target...unfortunately Windows wins this one.

For me the best solution is to have them both...Win for gaming and any apps that I cannot run from any other OS and OS X for my everyday use. My suggestion to you... Keep them both and make sure you scan from here on out!




Yeah, I'm sorry, I noticed the wrong section too late. I've had zero viruses too, until this point. Then it killed everything.


Hi Loybond:

This post probably belongs on General Discussion (not the Genius Bar).

I'm very happy with using Mac OS X on OSx86 Hardware (basically unsupported machines). I first started using Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.6) on custom-built MSI mPC 945 mini-Desktop in May 2006. Now I'm running Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.4) on my MSI Wind Book (U100 Series).

That being said, I've had zero viruses or adware on Tiger or Leopard over the past three (3) years. My Desktop PC (which acts as my own personal server) runs 24/7 and is always connected to the Internet. I've downloaded many Shareware and Open-Source software (and a few Commercial) titles without any viruses or adware.

Danyel :hysterical:





Not really, it's embedded in the CS4 and iLife 09 flying around on the net. It's not like it says "DANGEROUS VIRUS NEEDS YOUR PERMISSION TO CONTINUE." If you have use with certain programs like Logic, I understand that, but if you're not using those, and it's just an everyday computer to you... I'm questioning the benefit.

The biggest weakness of the Mac platform continues to be the user - no Mac virus to date has been able to do anything without some sort of social engineering. It has to be installed and to be installed it needs an admin password, so an admin user has to be fooled into thinking this app does something other than what it claims to do.

That said, I'll never switch back to Windows full-time. I tried very hard to wrap my head around using Sonar 8 with a friend's PC, but I kept just going back to the ease-of-use of Logic Express 8.



It's not about the number of viruses. On Windows, if you have good antivirus, the virus won't get far. On a Mac, no one expects viruses, so they slip by, under the radar. On Windows, it'll be eradicated before it causes damage (again, if you have good antivirus and it's updated), but on the Mac, it took out my Windows, then it took my Mac. I couldn't boot into either! Can you imagine how frustrating that is, considering that I switched so that this type of thing wouldn't happen?

Torrents are not "out of the way," millions of people use them, so I don't think that's correct. And it's not that I don't like Mac... I loved it up until the point where it screwed me over worse than Vista ever has. Neither is a clear-cut winner, and there are serious issues with both. However, the major benefit of Mac seems to be lost if viruses are gonna be more prevalent, can get in this unnoticed, and cause this amount of damage. That's why I'm having trouble deciding whether to keep the iMac - can't seem to decide if it is reliable or not. The only way it would be 100% reliable is if you don't download/install anything, and then, so would Windows.

Oh wow, less then 10 viruses on a mac and your crawling back to something that consists of millions of viruses. The only mac viruses are on Peer-to-Peer filing sharing sites and to even get infected you basically have to go out of your way to get bit by the bug.

If you dont like mac then go back to windows. Many people feel windows is better and you might be that person. Windows 7 does not have any viruses though, at least not the 64 edition.



#7
J.A

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Thanks for the detailed response! Until now, I liked the low maintenance of OS X too, even on my Hackintoshes. My concern is that viruses on the Mac are easily slipping through unnoticed, that Mac antivirus is underdeveloped and subpar, and that if viruses are going to be a problem, OS X's advantage becomes pretty small. Yes, it is easier to use, but I grew up on Windows, so I don't find it hard it any way. As far as stability goes, I recently built a gaming system that was as stable as the Mac. No issues whatsoever. I mentioned Word, because I run a large number of blogs, and I found out that Word for Windows allows publishing to a number of platforms, whereas Word for Mac doesn't have that (the office button functionality). It's also slow for an Intel app. The whole point I was trying to make was that software is widely available for the PC, yet it must be hunted down for the Mac, and often times, you give up something in functionality. Look at uTorrent for Mac vs. PC. The newgroup readers for Mac are pathetic too. Browsers are, at best, the same. So everything is equal at best, and unusable at worst... and I'm not even going after the obvious one - gaming.


Agreed, like I said earlier the sheer number of apps available for Win as opposed to OS X is ridiculous and it can sometimes be frustrating trying to track down an app & Gaming well its non existent. I do see your point about blog publishing though Word. Have you tried any other apps for your publishing on OS X? Also check out Transmission for OS X, imo it is better & faster than uTorrent (which I use on the Win side).

#8
loybond

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I usually just use Wordpress, but I had a whole bunch of info compiled in Word docs that I had to make posts of, and it would have been really annoying saving the pictures, renaming them, and making sure they go where they go etc. I googled "word to wordpress" and found out that the PC version can just upload to Wordpress directly - great! Went hunting for the same functionality and found Word for Mac not to have anything even close.

I use Transmission! I actually like it because it seems to be the fastest app yet, and it automatically maps ports using UPnP with my Airport Extreme.

Agreed, like I said earlier the sheer number of apps available for Win as opposed to OS X is ridiculous and it can sometimes be frustrating trying to track down an app & Gaming well its non existent. I do see your point about blog publishing though Word. Have you tried any other apps for your publishing on OS X? Also check out Transmission for OS X, imo it is better & faster than uTorrent (which I use on the Win side).







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