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Got A Mac....Have A Few Questions

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by DreamWeaver88, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. DreamWeaver88

    DreamWeaver88 ...............

    Mar 10, 2001
    Southeast Michigan
    With my recent computer problems (not major problems mind you).....and my Jonesing for a new computer for the last few months, I ended up buying a Macbook Pro the other day and gave the Windows laptop to my brother.

    I really like the Macbook so far. I have a few questions though....

    Should I be running something like Zonealarm?.....or is the Firewall in Mac OS-X good enough?

    Should I get some kind of Anti-Virus software? Is it needed at all?

    Is there a good Usenet newsgroup reader available for Mac? I used Outlook Express on my old machine. I'd really like to stay away from web based, like Google Groups.

    That's about it....


  2. whitetiger7653

    whitetiger7653 NRA Life Member

    Apr 30, 2006
    Orlando, FL
    I've had mine for over a year now with no extra crap like that and I haven't got any viruses or anything. But I don't clicking stupid banners to spam websites like some people might do.

  3. BLiTzNicK

    BLiTzNicK Silent Member

    Jan 4, 2001
  4. kevbo

    kevbo Itchy Member CLM

    Jul 25, 2003
    I use Norton anti-virus with daily updates. Seems to work for me. I use a lot of Microsoft products and most of the yoyos who send me Word docs, URLs to 'those' sites etc most of the time send me stuf full of viruses and this keeps them out even if they won't infect Macs.

    At the office I have a server that uses Abaca spam filter on top of a firewall. Proguncali set me up and if he sees this he might wade in.

    All in all I am a Mac man and have been for the last 20 yrs. The only routine program I use that will not boot on the Mac is Microsoft Project. With the PowerBook Pro, all I do is boot up in Windows and I am good to go. Used to use Virtual PC which was a POS. The pc side of my Mac is a screamer. I can't tell I am on a Mac running Windows. Still, Windows is a very crappy OS
  5. passive101


    Nov 26, 2006
    I have a macbook running os x and windows xp right now in bootcamp.

    I use Neo Office (open office mac version) Opens ANY microsoft office file. It has worked fantastic for me for a word processor and spread sheets.

    I use adium for my instant messengers and Skype.

    Firefox is my browser of choice in os x.
  6. RickD

    RickD Pro-Open Curry Millennium Member

    Sep 26, 1999
    The purpose of anti-virus software on a Mac is to protect your friends with PCs as you might send them ("pass-through") an infected MS file that you got from another infected PC.

  7. LOL on that last post but it's 100% true.

    i haven't ran a virus checking on my last 2 macs or 3 linux workstations......

  8. DDALET2000


    Jul 26, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Rick is right. You don't have to worry about viruses as much. Try Entourage. I love my Macbook.
  9. kash2

    kash2 Millennium Member

    Dec 8, 1999
    Superior, CO, USA
  10. DreamWeaver88

    DreamWeaver88 ...............

    Mar 10, 2001
    Southeast Michigan
    Thanks a lot for the info, guys.

    Looks like I'll need some virus protection if I get bootcamp and run XP.

  11. freepatriot

    freepatriot Retired GT Mod Moderator Moderator

    Aug 8, 2002
    South FL
    +1 and good luck DW88
  12. no one special

    no one special

    Mar 15, 2006
    Portland, OR
    security through obscurity is no security at all.

    You don't assume you won't get a virus, no matter if it's Mac or Linux or whatever. Always run an anti-virus.
  13. stonehousemm


    Aug 1, 2006
    The Shadows
    Unison is the ultimate newsgroup reader for mac. well, for anything, but it's only available for mac.

    This thing actually sorts all files related to one and puts it in a folder for your browsing.

    Congrats on the switch.
  14. RickD

    RickD Pro-Open Curry Millennium Member

    Sep 26, 1999
    That's not the only reason. The Mac OS is just more secure. Folks have tried and failed. There are no viruses for the Mac. The closest they've come is writing code that still required that access to the kernal be given to the "hacker."

    Two years. No virus. No spamware. No nuthin.

    And furthermore, Iddd lke tu sy akt ltfjavv blee k delad m.waog

  15. NoloContendere

    NoloContendere OAF Lawyer

    Nov 15, 2006
  16. Murphy77

    Murphy77 English Member

    Dec 30, 2005

    These guys come highly recommended on the web for upgrades.

    I have bought RAM upgrades from them.
    They are even cheaper for me to ship parts from them to England for me.!! :shocked:
  17. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? Millennium Member CLM

    Feb 24, 1999
    This is a difficult issue - you're quite right, that walking around assuming that Macs are impervious is a terrible plan, because they're not.

    However, the way most anti-virus works is by comparing characteristics of known viruses against items found on the computer. This checking creates substantial overhead, and a drag on the entire system. It's a necessary evil on Windows.

    On Macs, this creates a problem. As there are ZERO viruses, malware, or trojan horses in the wild to compare signatures against, so it's all wasted effort.

    I'm a HUGE believer in cautious security, and I actually wish the state of Mac security were better than it is - I think that Apple has a ways to go in getting serious about security, as the latest mDNS hacks appear to show.

    However, I just can't honestly see running a virus checker that I KNOW isn't checking for anything, and in all liklihood won't stop a virus that does eventually come in, because it doesn't have a profile. Slowing down everything the computer does do defend against a non-existent threat just doesn't make sense to me.

    I do run ClamAV on my office e-mail server, to keep malware from passing through my Macs, and for the benefit of the Windows machines in the office, but I'll wait until the first OS X malware is found in the wild, and then go add anti-malware software on my Mac laptops and workstations.

    The major counter-argument to my approach is the idea that the 'behavioral' shields in anti-malware will catch unknown bad stuff, but the reality is that at least on the Windows side, even the best 'behavioral' filters do a lousy job of catching unknown malware in tests. I recognize this as a weakness, and have concluded that I'm willing to trade a 30% chance of catching unknown malware by behavior for faster operation in general, at least for now.

    Long story short, you're not wrong, but given the ZERO threat in the wild, I don't feel like the cost/benefit works out at the moment.
  18. DreamWeaver88

    DreamWeaver88 ...............

    Mar 10, 2001
    Southeast Michigan
    Great advice so far, guys.

    Now.......If I want to run Windows XP, what is the better way to do it.....Boot Camp, or Parallels?

    Pro's and Con's of each?


  19. BLiTzNicK

    BLiTzNicK Silent Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    I have one of the new MacBooks, running a Core 2 Duo @ 2.16ghz with 2GB of ram, and I run Windows XP via parallels. I allocate 1GB to XP when I run it, and it runs very well. My XP install is required so that I can manage AD. I also use Microsoft Expression Web to manage a website, as well as the Adobe CS2 suite of apps. I couldn't justify the purchase of the Mac version of these programs since I was already licensed for Windows. I experience no lag, and performance is good.

    The only con to Parallels is that while 3d acceleration is there, it's not really all that good. If you require the ability to run Windows games, or other 3d intensive apps, boot camp is the way to go.

    You can download a trial of Parallels, install XP in it, and try it out. If you don't like it, simply delete the Virtual Machine, uninstall Parallels, and use boot camp. I love parallels once I finally got it setup to suite me.
  20. graydj


    May 20, 2003
    So IL
    Congrats on your decision to buy the Glock of the computing world.

    I do not believe that there is a "ZoneAlarm" for the Mac. I used to run it on Windows and do not worry about not running something like it on my Mac.

    I have been running Mac OS X for 2 and a half years now with no AntiVirus and no problems. If you are really paranoid (like I am) you can waste your time buying a product from a company that creates viruses, but I don't worry about it.

    I use Thunderbird as a newgroup reader on my Mac...It is make by the same people that make Firefox and it is free. Unison is also good but you have to pay for it...