So another so-called virus raises its ugly (well, slightly less than better-looking) head.
And Mac users yawn…
And PC users scream…
And tech columnists spin tales of woe and doom…
The OSX.Desperation, (sorry OSX.Macerena) virus, stretches the definition of the term ‘virus’.
People use the word virus to describe all sorts of computer problems, in OSX.Macerena’s case they’re partially right, the program infects all files that reside in the same directory, it doesn’t actually damage the files however.
It can’t infect outside of the directory it’s in, so it is light years away from the kinds of viruses that infiltrate PC’s where just connecting via ethernet can infect your PC with all sorts of nasty stuff.
My views on viruses in regards as to how it affects my working life is one of careful indifference. I have ClamXAV installed on all the Mac’s in my studio, and I try to run them once a week or so, but this is more to keep the Windows IT Manager off my back than it is to actually search and destroy a theoretical Mac virus.
Let’s just imagine that we all wake up one morning to find a serious Mac virus has appeared and it’s infected a lot of Mac users. It’s the one we’ve all been waiting for (for various reasons).
The one that’s got all Mac users worried, all PC users happy (look Mac users, you get viruses as well – I haven’t made the wrong choice in dedicating my life to this pile of shit that is Windows!), all tech columnists extremely happy with their hit counts, and all anti-virus companies salivating with unbridled lust. What then is a Mac users next step?
By its very nature, it will only affect Mac networks, so Windows businesses have no worries. Only Mac users need to do something.
And what is that something? Download ClamXAV, or one of the dozens of freeware apps that will pop up the very next day to eradicate the virus, install the one of your choice, and run it. Virus gone, job done, back to productive work.
Why the potential threat of a virus necessitates the need to install anti-virus (at least one that costs money), is beyond me. Symantec anti-virus gobbles up at least 40% of your CPU even when it’s idle, so why should we install it?
No-one really asks the question however as to why? Why do people write these things in the first place?
Most of the time it’s to make money by turning your Windows PC into a zombie so that it can be used to send out spam, or it’s to install a keystroke logger so that they can find out your credit card details.
But in our case it’s different. These attempts are designed to wipe the smug smile off all Mac users faces, or in one case, to stub out a lit cigarette in our eyes.
What causes such hatred towards us, what have we done?
We’ve dared to got against the grain is what we’ve done. We’ve dared to suggest that the choice of computing platform that most IT people choose is the wrong one.
Most Windows IT people have extremely insecure personalities. Being nerdy, or a spod is something that has made them very unpopular since school. Used to a lonely life, and being picked on in their youth, they see IT as a way of grouping together with other like-minded individuals, and exercising some power for a change on all those people who ridiculed them. They might not be popular, have bad skin, smell and generally have zero social skills, but they can make you feel inferior in awe of their Windows IT skills.
And, by it’s very nature, when you use Windows, you need people like this. The whole Microsoft infrastructure makes them feel wanted, needed and superior. Whole careers, whole lives, even whole personalities are propped up by the Windows monopoly.
Then, along comes Apple and all their Mac users (and to a certain extent iPod users), with our different, fruity computers threatening all of this.
We have no respect for these people because we don’t need them. Free of the need of a geeky friend or spoddy IT support staff, we see them as they really are – sad, lonely nerds with no people skills and personalities moulded by spending far too much time fixing Windows, when they’d be far better off staring out of one for a change – this might actually stimulate an original thought.
Windows geeks, spods & nerds may not even realise this, and not admit it to themselves, but Mac users touch a very sensitive nerve that strikes at the very core of their being just by existing.
This raw, sensitive nerve is exposed every time a Windows IT Manager tries to shut down a Mac department, every time a Windows web designer ignores the Mac, every time a Windows colleague makes a jibe at the expense of Mac colleague, and every time a sad, lonely Windows geek in his bedroom, has another crack at that Mac virus he’s been working on for the past couple of years, and still can’t get to work properly.
In the Macarena code is a message from its author, it reads “so many problems for so little code”. Obviously this little statement illustrates that they are having difficulty in getting a Mac virus working.
It doesn’t occur to the author that the Mac OS is stable, well written and naturally secure from the ground up. Under ordinary circumstances any normal person, with a stable, well-functioning personality would switch platforms, or at least give the Mac some credit. But we’re not dealing with normal people, we’re dealing with people who have severe personality disorders, and they’re really pissed.
In order to vent their frustration, they’ll go back to their Dell PC in their bedroom and have another go. Best of luck.
I’ll still be here using a stable, productive, virus and problem free Mac-based network waiting for your next effort, just like the other 20 million plus Mac users out there.
It’ll be interesting to see what comes next, but only from a morbid fascination as to the motivations of people who’s lives operate like this, I won’t lose any sleep, nor will my Mac experience any downtime.