Safety behind Windows

October 14, 2010
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(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

I hope you’re all fit and well after Microsoft’s big security fix on Tuesday.

According to reports it was the company’s biggest-ever fix, with a whopping 16 patches addressing 49 problems in its products.

Yes, I can hear the anti-Microsoft brigade out there doing the boo-hiss thing as they nod smugly and pat themselves on the back for being clever enough to use their more fruity-themed machines.

But really, I don’t care. I’ve used Linux, Mac and Windows during the years and they all have their good and bad points. Sure, there are fewer known vulnerabilities in the other two but that’s probably because there are also fewer users: the morons out there who like to do nasty things to our computers will naturally aim for the biggest target.

I’d have more of a problem if Microsoft weren’t trying to address the problems. The security fixes have been coming thick and fast this year and while you could say that’s because Microsoft is full of holes, I reckon it’s more a case of its full of known holes – maybe the problem with other operating systems is they just haven’t been looked for yet.

Besides, at least they’re doing something proactive about it. And speaking of being proactive, let’s talk about my luggage woes. To the two people who have mentioned my stricken suitcase in recent emails after I wrote about my holiday a couple of weeks ago: I finally got a call from Air New Zealand.

This in itself was something of a shock because a couple of years ago when I returned from Aussie with not only a broken case but also broken jewellery inside that case (and some missing content) I went through the usual feedback channels for the airline but to this day haven’t had a response.

But I digress, back to yesterday’s phone call. Air New Zealand doesn’t cover for damage to things that “protrude” from luggage such as handles and wheels. I can, however, arrange to send my case to Christchurch where they will kindly send it off to the company they use to fix damaged luggage to have it fixed. At my own cost.

Isn’t that kind?

I guess there’s a lesson in all this: don’t use any sort of suitcase with all those unnecessary, ill-advise protruding bits like handles, stands, zips and so on. Next time I fly Air New Zealand I’ll be packing in either a cardboard box or a bin-liner.

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