quote: No one can have missed the commotion caused by Microsoft Windows of late. It began with the announcement by Google that they'd been hacked by China. Then the revelation that way too many Google computers were running Windows and way too many of them were running the intergalactically shunned IE6 web browser, bane of web designers and security consultants everywhere.
quote: Here's what's important to understand: if a Windows system bottoms out in a BSOD, then there's something very wrong at kernel level.
quote: Windows programmers like to talk about processor ring levels. Intel processors have different so-called rings. The Intel processors run code at different levels and keep track of where they are at all times. Apple computers of today use Intel processors too, so the concept is applicable on Mac OS X as well.
quote: Mac OS X is a variation on a vanilla Unix theme. All the important system files are locked away and out of bounds to ordinary users. Take a look yourself.
quote: So take the time now to pay a visit to the other side of town. See how the poor unfortunate live. The recent issues with Windows BSODs have to do with a rootkit that seems to have spread to a lot of computers. What's a rootkit?
quote: The most powerful file attribute in MS-DOS is the 'read-only' attribute. With this attribute set, applications can't write to files. But because MS-DOS is a single user system, anyone - any process - can remove this attribute on a whim.
quote: Unix systems have several ways to achieve this, such as su ('substitute user') and the even more effective sudo ('substitute user and do'). Users need not log in to Unix systems with the root account but can temporarily escalate to root status provided they are able to supply the proper credentials.
quote: Windows doesn't have a good way to do this. Windows doesn't have a secure way to do this. Windows doesn't have a viable counterpart at all.
quote: Watching those Windows fools panic everytime there's a catastrophe can be infuriating or frustrating or enervating. But sitting on a secure system where none of this ever applies has to elicit a smile. Slashdot had a huge thread on the topic the other day. Some of the quotes there are precious. Precious few contain any helpful insights. But they're all extraordinarily amusing.