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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Hackers and viruses abounding…

The acumen and insight of Bob Kirkpatrick unfolded.  (The Spokesman-Review)
The acumen and insight of Bob Kirkpatrick unfolded. (The Spokesman-Review)

Good morning, Netizens...

Before I begin this morning's rant, let me roll the calendar back a few decades to better demonstrate my personal perspective on that which our veteran cartoonist, Bob Kirkpatrick has spoken so well. The year was approximately the 1980's, and I was running a version of Microsoft DOS shortly before the appearance of Windows 3.0x. I acquired a computer virus, an innocuous little thing that did nothing more than announce that DOS had a virus. Once I had studied the problem, and analyzed how it came to infect my machine, I was able to quickly remove it, all without using one today's modern anti-virus applications. Of course, computer viruses were much less-complicated then.

However, from that time forward until today I have kept a copy of that particular virus in a safe place, and each time Microsoft releases yet another permutation of Windows, I have immediately put it to the test by infecting my own system with that antiquated virus. To date, including the latest releases of Vista, all versions of Windows have gleefully become infected. Each time I have forwarded an e-mail message to Microsoft announcing my findings. To date, I have yet to receive a reply.

Of course it should be said that shortly after my initial experiences involving viruses and Windows, I immediately began learning how to run Linux, which as it turned out, was quite similar to Unix with the exception that it was free of charge and Unix quite expensive in those days.

Today, nineteen years and counting, I have never had a virus, nor do I run anti-virus software excepting in those cases where Windows is running on the network somewhere. It seems too bad that the talking heads of our government haven't the brains to discern the nature of hackers and viruses. Of course, they are merely repeating what they have been told, which typically is a fallacy based upon a long history of deliberate misconception. Microsoft has a cash cow and they are riding that poor heifer despite the countless billions of dollars its has cost Windows users over the years.

It does seem a sad commentary on our lives when a free operating system can whip Microsoft in that most basic of tests, to see whether or not Windows can handle a simple text-based virus on its own.

Once again, Bob Kirkpatrick ( has it just about right.


Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.