Archived viruses, was Re: Reasonable price for a complete SOL-20 system?

Fred Cisin cisin at
Sun Oct 23 12:12:46 CDT 2016

>> But "Marketing" convinced the public that Macs were IMMUNE TO GETTING
>> VIRUSES!    :-)

On Sun, 23 Oct 2016, Liam Proven wrote:
> No no no -- hang on.
> Classic MacOS was appallingly vulnerable. It had no user-account
> security at all, and every disk had a tiny bit of code read and
> executed when it was mounted, AIUI, to customise the icon etc.
> Personal computer viruses more or less originated on the classic Mac.
> But OS X is effectively immune to all of them, and AFAIK there are no
> true viruses for OS X even now.

I can believe that.  It is not impossible to redesign an OS to be immune 
to boot sector viruses (especially if you aren't booting from the 
floppies!), and reasonably resistant to most executable file viruses.
"Social engineering" will always be a threat, and virtually impossible to 
counter, so long as there are college administrators.

But, I was explicitly referring to the time BEFORE OS-X!  (<1999?)
Assholes who proclaimed themselves to be "experts" kept pushing our 
college administration to SWITCH ALL of our our student computer labs from 
PC to Mac, mostly using the LIE that "Macs are immune to viruses".

But, we stuck to 80-90% PCs.
1) We had a dozen Macs (mostly SE?) and 5 dozen PCs.  We were getting 
higher incidence of viurses on the Macs than the PCs, due to student 

2) At the time, certain key pieces of software that we needed (such as 
COBOL and FORTRAN compilers) were not as readily available on Mac.

3) We had only needed a tiny handful of machines with performance.
PC-DOS, Win3.1, and Win95 on 386SX were PERFECTLY suited for homework of 
programming classes.  (small homework assignments, NOT all day 
production!)  Think about anybody who would claim to NEED performance to 
write "Hello, world".  And low performance created BETTER sort programs, 
by NOT giving the opportunity to "throw hardware at it".
Even the "remedial job training for the digital sweatshop" classes
(WordPervert, Lotus, dBase, Weird, Office) were well suited for a large 
number of 386SX machines.

4) At the time, one dozen Macs cost us as much as five dozen PCs! List 
prices for Macs might have been close to list prices of OEM PCs from IBM, 
but we were willing to run cheap generic clones, and assemble them 
ourselves.  THAT was significant, when you have a lab FULL of students 
(and rarely a waiting queue).

But, by about the time that OS-X came out, enough students had their own 
machines that we no longer needed as many.
Our administration ceased having the Computer Information Systems 
department run the labs for Business, Math, etc., and hired IT (mostly 
grossly incompetents from "trade schools").  They were no longer "our 
labs".  Machines started being down for a week or two for a bad floppy or 
need for Windoze reinstallation, waiting for IT to get around to them.

They hired an extremely expensive outside firm ("because they are 
experts", and because the college "IT" had no idea how to do it!) to run a 
public domain test program for Y2K compatibility, and dumpstered the few 
machines that would have had to have their date manually set [ONCE!] after 

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