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Macs, PCs and Viruses

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: David, Spotswood, New Jersey. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Rush. It's a pleasure to talk with you.

RUSH: Thank you very much, sir.

CALLER: I'm a retired engineer. I've been working on Windows products for, well, back since the DOS days. I've also been fighting viruses. I'm now in retirement and servicing quite a few machines that friends and relatives have.

RUSH: Yeah?

CALLER: Many of them are touched by viruses. So I'm just wondering, what makes...?

RUSH: Do you really want to know?

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: You want to know why Windows is more vulnerable to viruses than Macintosh?

CALLER: That is my question.

RUSH: Okay, there's three things. Windows, in terms of security and the way it's written, is inferior to Macintosh.

CALLER: (laughing)

RUSH: Number two, Bill Gates is more despised than Steve Jobs.

CALLER: (laughing)

RUSH: Number three -- and for the longest time, this was the number one reason -- there aren't that many Macs to mess with. The hackers, even if they did succeed in infiltrating a Mac, still weren't affecting that many people as opposed to how many people's lives they could screw up with a Windows virus. Now, as the Mac market share has crept up, there have been far more attempts to attack the Mac.

The primary vulnerability for the Macintosh is via Java, and there have been a couple of Trojan horses and real problems in the Macintosh via Java and the Java applet for the past couple of months. But the Macintosh -- and I stand to be corrected. When I start talking about this, there are aficionados of both who really get ticked off if they hear something they think is wrong. So I'm not trying to be wrong about this.

But I've asked the same question you have to people who have infinitely more knowledge of operating systems than I do, and I have been told that it's just much tougher to penetrate the Mac system, the OS, than it is Windows. It's just harder. I think one of the reasons why is that there are fewer users. You gotta understand, there are so many people using Windows that don't even know what they're doing. They're creating vulnerabilities. They're not putting virus detectors on the systems; they maybe don't even know what they are. Windows has been vulnerable because it's so big and so massive.

CALLER: Mmm-hmm.

RUSH: But even given all that, I have been told that the Mac OS is just a little bit more secure.

CALLER: I see.

RUSH: And it has been less of a target.

CALLER: Yeah, I --

RUSH: But now that Jobs is gone, Apple is hated more than Gates, and so is being targeted for a whole lot of bad stuff.

CALLER: Mmm-hmm. The operating systems, I know... Well, I don't know if the Mac is easier to work with. I hear a lot about how its user interface may be more user friendly.

RUSH: Well, it's just that it's what you learned on. You learned on DOS.

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: So you learned on the command line.

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: Now, you can do command line on Mac if you want. They got a program called Terminal. If you want to operate it on the command line, you can. You know, Windows is a copy of Macintosh, which is a copy of Xerox.

CALLER: I see.

RUSH: It all depends what you learn on. I learned on a Macintosh. That's why I like the iPhone. Anything compatible. I had a BlackBerry once and I could never sync it. I could never sync the contacts and stuff. It just wouldn't sync with my desktop computer. But to each his own on this stuff. People have their loyalties to each. Once you learn either system, you'll swear by it. I just have found that Windows users who switch marvel at the intuitiveness of the Mac system that's not present in Windows.

But you sound like you've had enough experience that you shouldn't have any trouble switching over at all. I do think you could do both. You get a Macintosh now, by the way, and you can run Windows on it, on a separate desktop, on the same computer. You can run Windows two different ways, a virtual version called Parallels. You can get Boot Camp and run it straight off the processor. So if you get a Mac, you're covered. You can run both on the thing. It's something you might want to consider.

David, I appreciate the call. Thanks much.

END TRANSCRIPT

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