back to article The oracle knows all. Not THAT Oracle, of course

We’ve reached the end of an extended, hot, steamy and sweaty session that has been going on practically non-stop for several days – just me and four willing young women. One of them suddenly sits up, looks into my eyes and whispers those magic words: “I have a quick question.” Oh lordy, here we go. It’s almost five o’clock on …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't have been all bad

    …she wandered a way a happy ex-student and gave you a 10/10 for it.

    As for the advice: while McAffe and Nortons are absolute nightmares to deal with, I've never had a problem with either corporate or home versions of Kaspersky.

    That said, ultimately good computing hygiene will do better than almost any anti-virus package on the market and to my thinking, a "virus" by any other name is really just a security flaw in some application: get the application fixed or use due diligence and you generally don't have problems. Relying on a third-party piece of software to catch the nasties when they get in is akin to bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted in my opinion.

    Now if only we could get the general public to understand this. (I'm not volunteering to educate the masses.)

  2. chivo243 Silver badge

    Quick Questions are better than

    The person who always has one more question... one more question... one more question. There's no way to get a 10/10 from them.

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: Quick Questions are better than

      Or any way to escape them on a help desk at 5 minutes to 5pm on a Friday when they unload their collection of 'problems' on you from the week hence.

    2. K Silver badge

      Re: Quick Questions are better than

      OMG I am that person! I've lost count the number of times I wrote "One more quick question ..." to a supplier this week... why do I suddenly feel awkward.

      1. Cliff

        Re: Quick Questions are better than

        >>> I've lost count the number of times I wrote "One more quick question ..." to a supplier this week<<<

        To a SUPPLIER - ie the people whose salaries depend on keeping you happy. Ask away!

    3. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Quick Questions are better than

      Who were you training? Columbo?

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Quick Questions are better than

        No, the HR Director....

    4. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: Quick Questions are better than

      Don't knock Columbo!

  3. Martin Summers Silver badge

    Genuinely out of interest and because it's a bit too much of a general question for Google, what corporate AV software would Mr Dabbs be referring to that can only be purchased in the thousands of licences? Assuming that wasn't an exaggeration of course! (or at least he was near). I've seen how ESET performed with the Cryptolocker virus, just sat there shitting itself while the virus happily sat there munching shared files. The question of the very best AV seems to fox everyone including me and there is never a very objective conclusive answer from any discussion. Does it really exist? Or is it just as bad as asking "Why?".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You have to realize there is no spoon!

  4. jake Silver badge

    The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.

    Your question was: “What anti-virus utility should I get?”

    And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

    A clue.

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    What computer to buy?

    One that you can get from a shop near enough to take it back to (so I don't have to fix it for you).

  6. swampdog

    Adam Ant

    Bum. I thought it was the dandy highwayman before pressing play.

    Now I'm gonna have to go searching before sleep..

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Adam Ant

      What, you mean this? ... STAND AND DELIVER!

  7. Baggypants

    Curse you Dabs. I'm lucky if I train 4 women over the period of a year containing 450 IT professionals.

  8. Dr_N Silver badge

    Software Training

    Doing them in a French when all the material is in US English is fun.

    Did I say fun? I meant shizz.

    At least you don't have to lug around two bulky clip binders of OHP acetate slides anymore...

  9. Terry 6 Silver badge

    better than..

    At least the quick question shows they care, about something.

    Years ago I took over the job in my Local Authority of doing the training for schools' staff after the colleague who had done most of it left for a headship.

    At which point I discovered the sad truth that about half at least were either determined not to learn anything, because they knew that if they did they'd be lumbered with the job when they got back to their own schools, or just didn't want to touch a computer because they only taught music/knitting/3 year olds.

    And of the reminder a significant number were genuinely interested, but had no clue what they were doing there, or didn't have access to a computer, or were using Macs, whereas I and everyone else had the RM Windows PCs. that I was being paid a pittance by the LA to show them how to use.

    I loved the ones that had a quick question. Even if there was a quick answer I'd give them the detailed one. Even knowing that the queue at the pub was getting longer I'd transfix them with my beady eye while I detailed how to format their WORD document or copy the floppy disc if they only had one drive ( or something like that, it was a very long time ago)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm ...

    I much prefer, "Ask a stupid question, expect a punch in the face."

    Great article, as always.

    1. Maynard G. Krebs

      Re: Hmm ...

      In the immortal words of Mr. Garrison "Remember class. There areno stupid questions... Just stupid people..."

  11. Decade

    The best is a matter of opinion

    But we are in the post-PC era, Moore’s Law is as good as dead, and so on. The “best” computer is not just a matter of what is the most expensive.

    For example, if you decide that your user will really be better served with a Mac than a PC, then the most expensive Mac is a trash can with a bunch of wires on the back. And if they do lots of traveling, a phablet will provide much more amusement; unless they need to type a lot, in which case a no-port MacBook is less hassle. And if they just buy all the models, then they get to experience Apple’s non-solutions for synchronization.

    Even with low budgets, I would strongly advise a user to buy a slower CPU with SSD than a faster CPU with HDD. The difference in wasted human lifetime is just too much to ignore.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: The best is a matter of opinion

      The difference in wasted human lifetime is just too much to ignore.

      And when you're at work... it's all wasted lifetime.

  12. DougS Silver badge

    What AV to get is an easy answer

    Should have told her to download Microsoft's. It is free and should take care of most the stuff you're likely to run into. It isn't the best, but it is the path of least resistance and works well enough for 99% of us.

    Also importantly it doesn't nag or try to trick you into upgrading to a paid version like most of the other "free" ones, or try to quarantine OS files when they haven't adequate tested a new definition they've rushed out.

    1. John 110

      Re: What AV to get is an easy answer

      "it doesn't nag or try to trick you into upgrading to a paid version like most of the other "free" ones,"

      Ooh, Avast just popped up a nag screen as I read that comment... spooky

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What AV to get is an easy answer

      Very true.

      At work we have a corporate license to McAfee (for reasons that no one can adequately explain) but in our own department / sub-net we only have a couple of Windows machines & VMs for specific software (rest are Linux or the occasional Solaris box) so we elected to use either:

      1) Nothing at all (machine has no interactive use, auto-run, etc, is all disabled, and firewall on the machine and our sub-net should stop anything external)

      2) MS' own AV option, as it sucks less than McAfee in every measurable way.

      Sure some tests show MS' offering its not that great as an AV, but then none of them are and a lot seriously suck resources and get in the way.

      As most are in a VM that gives an added layer of "protection" against fancy malware that tries to evade analysis. Also our staff have more clue than most, and are willing to own up to anything dumb/suspicious they think they have done or seen, so it had worked pretty well for years.

      AC for obvious reasons about corporate choice!

  13. Mr Dogshit

    “What Mac should I buy?”

    The only Mac worth buying is a Big Mac.

    1. stucs201

      Re: “What Mac should I buy?”

      Or a coat to keep you dry in the rain. Of course if you eat a lot of burgers that may also need to be a big mac..

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