"Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"

The Answer Guy

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

The original message referred to was sent by Steve Wornham.

(?)"Good Times" are Spread to the "Great Unwashed"

From Tim Gray on 03 May 1998

Thank you for your section on hoaxes, I printed it out and posted it on the bulliten board at work to educate the masses there... but there is an interesting twist there.....

(!) That's exactly what I'd hoped for.

(?) My company (that I work for not my own) uses microsoft outlook for email, which wants to default to using microsoft word for email reading! Another perfect example of a big company not thinking! read the email- get a word macro virus! It is almost comical (From a developer piont of view) but a nightmare for commercial users.

(!) I thought I covered that. There is supposed to be some way to disable that "autoexec" macro in Word. Does that not work in the way that Outlook calls Word (using OLE methods)?

Meanwhile its just another way to keep up the sales of McAfee (now Network Associates, Inc) Anti-Virus and WebShield products. [disclaimer: this is handy for me since I still own some stock in them --- and handy for all my readers since my sales of that stock has allowed me to be very lackadaisacal about charging for my services]. BTW: Linux versions of some NAI AV products are available (for environments where you want to use Linux server packages to help protect your Windows and MS/PC-DOS clients).

There are many other AV products that available to help prevent the propagation of PC virus' --- including the propagation of Word, Excel, and Access macro virus'. Ultimately the issue may become so prevalent that it pushes more users to the relative security of Linux and other Unix based client solutions.

KDE, Gnome, GNUStep, and LyX (among the free products) and Applixware, Star Office, Corel WordPerfect for Linux, etc. should make that a much easier pill to swallow (for typical PC users).

(?) Hmm, can we patch pine to su it's self and run binary attchments so that linux can be as "good" as microsoft products? <-- very bad joke I admit... :-)

(!) As I've pointed out in the past --- Unix has had these sorts of problems in the past (with the autostart macros for 'vi' and 'emacs' that were supported in the distant past).

(?) Just a little bit of info, you probably already know it ..

(!) Most of it. It never ceases to amaze me how many organizations are willing to force their employees to use Outlook and Exchange when Eudora and Pegasus are freely available and practically any kind of server can support a decent POP services.

These simple methods (SMTP/POP on the servers and let users use the client of their choice) have a proven scalability and robustness that is unmatched. (As for choices of features --- that's a matter for client software).

(?) Thanks for a great column in the Gazzette!

(!) I'm glad you like it.

(?)Timothy Replied...

From Timothy D. Gray on 4 May 1998

Thanks for your email, it was very informative. Again thanks for what you do for the Linux community, without it it would be a darker place.

Copyright © 1998, James T. Dennis
Published in Linux Gazette Issue 29 June 1998

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