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Re: Email virus protection
- From: JC Dill
- Date: Wed Aug 20 23:48:52 2003
Warning, this is an off-topic rant about client software and the state of
the world WRT Windows and Linux. There is zero operational content in this
At 06:07 PM 8/20/2003, Lou Katz wrote:
He needs to be able to automatically and easily move data between all his
programs. It's not at all unusual for him to scan a document with
PaperPort, then export it to Acrobat, then attach it to email and
send. Then he needs to automatically accept a fax and transfer it into
PaperPort, so incoming faxes come in with WinFaxPro. Then he needs to
transfer data from an email into Homeworks, or Promas. Then he needs to
type up a document in WordPerfect (grabbing the address data from his Palm
software), send attached to an email, also attaching a document just
received via fax or just scanned. Typically he has 6 or more programs all
open at once. We just upgraded the RAM so that his computer could handle
all this in native Windows2k.
On Wed, Aug 20, 2003 at 03:46:48PM -0700, JC Dill wrote:
> At 02:07 PM 8/20/2003, Karsten W. Rohrbach wrote:
> >There's quite a lot of usable stuff out there. Many Win32 users have
> >switched to Mozilla which seems to solve 100% of the Outlook-specific
> >attacks which account for... hmmm... 100% of the malicious email
> >messages of the last 6 months.
> Unfortunately, that's not true. My father has to use Windoze because
> several software programs for his industry (Real Estate, specifically
> managing rentals) only come in Windoze flavors. He stays away from M$
> client software whenever possible and was using Mozilla for email (until
> yesterday, I'm getting him started on Eudora). His email software doesn't
> automatically open attachments for him.
For some (but not all folks), you can run such software on a Windows
virtual machine (I use Win4Lin) under a Unix or Linux OS. That might
be an attractive and not very expensive solution for the above.
He (which means me, when he has problems) has enough trouble getting
everything working nice/nice under Windows. It would be impossible to get
it all working seamlessly with some of these applications in Windows inside
Linux and others inside Linux itself. If we aren't running at least 1/2 of
his applications under Linux itself, I don't see much purpose in running
Linux at all.
Is there a Linux program that does what WinFaxPro does (booting at startup,
automatically answering incoming faxes, saving in a format that can be
exported to Acrobat or PaperPort, automatically forwarding a copy of the
fax via email)? Is there a Linux program that does what PaperPort does
(scanning and filing all paperwork, then saving the file thru Acrobat or
Photoshop, transferring to email or fax or OCR and into WP)?
I'm quite sure that there aren't any Linux programs like Homeworks or
ListTrak or Promas (all Real Estate speciality programs required for his
So at most, he can use Linux with the Palm software (maybe), a browser
(he's already using Mozilla under Win2K, so this isn't a big gain) an email
client (he's using Eudora now, and I don't believe they have a Linux
version), and Star Office (maybe, if it doesn't crash) for a WordPerfect
solution. Except that he really needs to migrate *off* WP and onto Word
because he needs to send and receive docs in the format everyone else uses
(Word, unfortunately). In many cases he'd have to pay to buy new Linux
versions of software he has already purchased for Windows (like Acrobat,
Word, Norton Antivirus or the equivalent, with update license) even though
some equivalent applications can be had for free (Gimp for
Photoshop). Then there's the learning curve, I'm sure that Gimp doesn't
work *exactly* like Photoshop, he will have to learn to do things
differently. And this assumes all his RE software will run in a Win4Lin
environment. Can you say "the vendor doesn't support that" boys and
girls? :-( Yeah, I thought you could. A support tech drove from San Jose
to Monterey yesterday to install a ListTrak because they have problems
installing it on Win2K systems with SP4. There's NFW they would support
any of these programs if they were installed under Win4Lin or if we had
problems with them running under Win4Lin but they run fine in Windows2k itself.
Oh, and he needs to be able to print from all programs to the HP 3330,
which is directly connected to the desktop computer and accessed by the
laptop as a Windows network printer. Due to program driver weirdness
(particularly with Promas) he has two different instances of this printer
installed with two different drivers, he uses one version for some
programs, the other version for the others.
The there's the hardware. His desktop box is a el cheapo Compaq Presario
desktop computer with 2 different CD drives (one reads, one reads and
writes) with an internal zip drive and internal floppy. It also has a
modem (months ago I replaced the crappy win-modem with a real one so that
WinFaxPro would work) and NIC, has a palm cradle via a serial connection,
the HP3300 via USB, a mouse via USB, monitor, keyboard, and speakers.
And it needs to all work simply and easily for his non-technical bookkeeper
who comes in only 1 day a week to input the bills and payments. She scans
documents into PaperPort, enters data into Promas, makes deposits, cuts
checks, and then backsup all the day's data onto the Zip drive.
For some people, the applications needed simply dictate that they use
Windoze. My dad has been using WordPerfect since the DR-DOS days (and
before that it was Electric Pencil), so he's not a M$ fan by any stretch of
the imagination. He can no longer use his favorite scanner (which works
Win2k to use the latest versions of all his RE programs. He's pissed at M$
for their crappy software and at the vendors for the forced upgrades, but
he can't do without it because the alternatives are much more expensive and
less likely to work well together, if they actually work at all. And he
needs this to work every day.
So he's stuck between a rock and a hard place, and we just try to secure
his Windows system the best we can.