I’m About To Perform The Great Linux Experiment On Helaine’s Laptop

Helaine’s laptop is infected again! Though I’ve removed most of the infection her browser is still being hijacked. Google results bring spammy non-Google ‘search’ sites. There’s surely stuff I can’t find. Other functions like sound are no longer reliable.

This virus is so good it managed to shut off Microsoft’s own Windows Security Essentials program! Thanks Bill.

This is not Helaine’s fault! Considering where I found most of the infected files it looks like she was fed an infected Java jar. It probably came from an otherwise trustworthy website via an infected ad.

A day after the infection Java posted one of their ‘too damn often’ security updates. Come to think of it Microsoft was in the midst of rolling out Security Essentials 2 then too. Coincidence? I think not.

I have two choices. I can reload Windows XP and take the chance of it happening again or just maybe I can switch her to the virtually virus free Ubuntu Linux.

She was at first skeptical. OK, she was skeptical at second too. Linux sounds geeky.

Certainly there will be a different look and different programs to use. Her browser will remain the same. Her email program will change.

Helaine is primarily a web browser. She doesn’t run very many discrete programs. Those she does use have native Linux versions or claim to run through WINE the Windows emulator.

Linux comes with a ‘live’ version allowing a quick try without committing to an installation. I loaded the CD and it works.

Tonight I’ll back up Helaine’s files and install Ubuntu. Wish me luck.

Better still wish Helaine luck.

5 Responses to “I’m About To Perform The Great Linux Experiment On Helaine’s Laptop”

  1. Tom says:

    How about an upgrade to Windows 7?

  2. Adam says:

    Have you considered setting up a virtual sandbox for her? It’s possible to install another copy of windows inside of a virtualization engine (virtualbox.org is free) and configure it so that when he closes it, all the changes that took place – like virii installing themselves – get undone and everything starts fresh again the next time. Just a thought….

  3. achernow says:

    What about something like JoliCloud if she just lives in the browser for everything?

  4. tony says:

    I’ve used gnu/linux for a decade now, and you couldn’t pay me to switch back to windows.

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