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Would Somebody Please Just Write a Mac Virus?

I have nothing against Macs, but I can’t stand their fan club.

You know what I’m talking about. The snobbish elitism. The contemptuous glares. That smug, self righteous attitude. For some reason, Mac users seem to think that they’re part of some secret club of elite super users. What’s worse is that they don’t seem to actually know much about their favorite OS. 90% of them never use the CLI, much less realize that OSX is just BSD with a shiny wrapper. They love to boast about how their ’superior’ operating system doesn’t need virus/spyware protection, but they really don’t seem to understand why. Here, I’ll help:

Short version: Nobody cares.

Long version: Why would anybody take the time to find an exploit in the Mac OS, and then write a virus for it? Mac users comprise such a tiny percentage of the desktop market share that there’s really no point in wasting your time.

You guys know why most viruses are created, right? Server infiltration. Backdoors, botnets, etc. Windows Server OSs are such nice targets because they’re so easy to setup that very few people actually take the time to secure them properly. Speaking of servers, let me tell you a joke that we have at my workplace. It’s just two words: “Mac Server”. Don’t understand? It’s funny because nobody uses the Mac OS for web servers, or nearly any kind of server for that matter (although Apple makes decent RAID arrays). Are you starting to understand? Mac is secure because it’s just not important. *cue the fanboys*

Here, let me explain the three primary OSs, and which one is right for you.

*nix

Unix, Linux, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Fedora, Debian, Solaris, there are hundreds of distros. Linux is great for servers because it’s open source, meaning that bugs are quickly caught and corrected. The downside is that some people find it difficult to setup and manage, and the command line interface takes some getting used to.

We don’t care about servers though, right? Let’s talk about Linux as a desktop OS. Ubuntu is the most popular, due to it’s ease of installation and PR campaign. If all you need a computer for is Internet, email, and word processing, Ubuntu is the right OS for you. It’s easy to setup, and as long as you stay out of the shell, hard to break. It’s free to use, and it comes pre-loaded with pretty much everything your basic computer user needs.

What about power users though? Linux is great for programmers and developers. If you know what you’re doing, you can make Linux do nearly anything you want.

I only recommend Linux for absolute beginners and pros. If you’re somewhere in the middle, chances are you’ll break something.

Mac

Mac OSX is fine if you don’t mind paying $2,000 for a computer. I recommend it to rich people and morons. Why morons? Because it’s hard to break. As I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t get infected with Windows viruses and spyware. You know what though? Those viruses and spyware are usually brought into the system by the user (moron) opening email attachments, downloading toolbars, and pretty much sucking at the Internet. If you like expensive shiny things and don’t have a shred of common sense, go with Mac.

(I will admit that Macs are great for graphic design, but that’s a very small percentage of overall users)

Windows

I bought a new computer last summer. I was torn between a Dell Inspiron desktop and an iMac. On one hand, the iMac would do practically everything I needed, but on the other hand, the Dell was half as expensive and had twice the hardware power. Looking back, I’m not sure why I had such a hard time deciding.

Windows is the middle ground between Mac and Linux. You have a lot more options in terms of hardware and software with Windows compared to Mac, at the cost of actually having to use your brain when deciding whether or not to click on a flashing banner online. Sure, IE sucks, but that’s what Firefox is for. Most importantly though, is that you can play games on Windows. Sure, Mac has a decent library, but Windows has 10x as many titles available. Hooray games.

Let me summarize that for you

Mac is for:

  • Artists
  • Rich people
  • Morons

Linux is for:

  • Coders
  • Power users
  • Poor people with old hardware

Windows is for:

  • Gamers
  • Businesses
  • Average users

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25 Responses to “Would Somebody Please Just Write a Mac Virus?”

  1. Rick Blythe Says:

    Yawn.

    This has been re-hashed so many times you’re gonna end up with a duplicate content penalty!

    What does this have to do with making money online anyway?

  2. Sabrina Says:

    I’ve never read anything like this rant, and I thought it was hilarious. I applaud the random post, especially the random ranting one…write on!

  3. Rick Blythe Says:

    Ok, maybe I was a bit harsh - I was saying that kind of with my tongue in my cheek, although the last point still stands.

    I agree there are a lot of Apple fanboys out there who can be really annoying.

    I’m quite OS savvy (I work at VMware), and I use all three OS’es.

  4. Tim Says:

    You can go ahead and move Coders and Power users under the Mac category.

    Like David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails: http://www.37signals.com/svn/posts/695-ask-37signals-why-os-x-and-not-linux

    And ‘DVD Jon’ Johansen. And the Twitter guys. And Kevin Rose (eek!). I could go on.

    Also, Boot Camp for when you must take time from being a baller with an expensive computer (that can run all three of the OSes you mentioned) in order to play games.

    Besides, if you want to run Windows on a laptop, the fastest one for the job is a Mac. http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,136649-page,3-c,notebooks/article.html

    You posted a while ago about how you talked your parents into getting an iMac. The next time you’re at their house you should sit down and really get to know it. I think it will grow on you. PC zealots come around eventually - I was one for 20+ years.

    Nice job on the linkbait, though. I can’t believe I just spent all this time responding to you…and I can’t believe that the PC/IE combination I’m forced to use at work didn’t die on me while I typed it.

  5. Tim Says:

    I realize that I proved your point, by the way. I’m a snobbish elitist in the same way that a Rolls-Royce owner is.

    Since the Mac is the Rolls-Royce of the computing world, I think it’s justifiably an apt comparison.

  6. Matt Says:

    Mac OSX is decent, but nothing beats my stripped down version of Debian 3.1.

    Now, the MacBook itself…. I love it simply because of its keyboard. Seriously, that small detail makes such a huge difference to me. I bought the macbook, tried out OSX for a couple hours, then removed it to put on my custom OS.

    Windows is for homos.

  7. Andreas from Xavier Media Says:

    I read somewhere that since Mac users are a such easy target (non of tehm hardly have any antivirus software) they’re soon gona get some viruses.

    /Andreas

  8. Some guy in Japan Says:

    I once touched a mac.

  9. C-Squared Says:

    Enjoy your Department of Homeland Security visit…

  10. Eric Says:

    “I only recommend Linux for absolute beginners and pros. If you’re somewhere in the middle, chances are you’ll break something.”

    that has got to be the best quote ever.

    Im a kind of a Linux Fanboy. Well, more of an “anti-microsoft” fanboy really.

    Though i’ve never really understood the hype about Mac. They are sure fun to look at, no one can deny that, but when it comes right down to it, its just a unix machine.

  11. Matt L Says:

    I’m a rich artistic moron using Windows - so this means I should switch to Mac like, yesterday?

  12. 88michael Says:

    There is actually a very cool Mac Virus. It brings gravity into your virtual life - http://www.michaeltalk.com/2008/technology-and-the-web/first-mac-os-x-virus-is-so-cool/

  13. JustChris Says:

    This reminds me of something somebody else said. “Mac gets almost zero viruses. They’re so unpopular compared to Windows that they can’t get NEGATIVE attention? That’s pathetic.” Not that I completely agree with that quote, but it sure fits this post very well.

  14. cb-analytics.com Says:

    I would actually rule out coders from linux audience… Well at least ones that want to get something useful done anyway. I consider myself a coder. I have 10+ years of industry experience and started coding for fun at age 10. My first computer had 16KB (that’s 0.016 megabytes) of RAM. So you would consider me a linux audience…
    Not a chance. Yea… linux has it’s niche. It can run the LAMP all right and scientists crunch their numbers on it (the stuff the calculate might be complex but the software they use is not). But anything more demanding than that would be more efficiently done on Windows.
    The linux stuff just doesn’t work reliably. Sure some zealots can say that I just didn’t compile it right or my config is wrong. I’ve tried using open-source solutions for some of the projects that I did and gave up. I’ve spent hours trying to get the free stuff to work and in the end it didn’t. Once I multiplied the amount of time by my hourly rate I realized that I would have been better off just buying the commercial software.
    After all in he end I want to make money and not spend my time digging through forums looking for peculiar piece of config or shell hack to make stuff work.
    If computers are your hobby - knock yourself out with linux. If you want to make money - go with Windows - you’ll get more stuff done.

  15. curtis Says:

    it sounds like you’ve got some knowledge about the subject. but you masked it well with some very weak sense of humor.
    i might have laughed months ago, but ever since i got this powerbook, i don’t think i’ll ever go back to windows again.
    this mac can do everything a pc running windows can do, can run all of the programs i need (ie: final cut, final draft, photoshop, protools). and it is so much cleaner.
    the real question is why would anyone want windows? because its cheaper?! hardly makes you sound like the knowledgeable person you seemed to be.
    i wasn’t a “fanboy” before getting this. and the only thing that could ever make me become one is someone like you who wants to be a windows/pc fanboy. if we all have to be in one camp, i’ll go mac and never go back.
    ps. God blessed me with mine. i admit it is hard to afford, but as a gift it was just the right price.

  16. kristiaan Says:

    there are software specifically made for windows, and some specifically made for mac. couldnt really argue with that

    call me cheap but i really like to be practical. hardware wise, i dont know why macs cost 2000 dollars for what some may consider, cheap hardware(compare to other notebooks)

    maintenance is also a bitch, it requires you to visit an apple center just to get your hardware fixed

    im no fan of any OS, but i am a fan of a hardware and that is whats important to me

    *well i still dont get it why i need to pay $100+ to upgrade a T5xx-T7xx processor on my windows based pc, and that i need to pay an extra $100 for a decent gpu (8600gt) well my laptop does have the one of the best price:power ratio compared to others, ohwell… capitalism is a bitch*

  17. Anon Says:

    Mac is Unix, you dolt…

  18. Anonymous Says:

    OS X: $109.99
    Windows Vista: $339.99

    Yep, Windows is cheaper. You’re right.

    If the definition of ‘moron’ is someone who doesn’t want to manually clean up every temporary file, registry key and folder/file from installations…then yes I’m a moron.

  19. manraj Says:

    One word HACKINTOSH runs native on pc hardware. That proves macs are just pcs with limited hardware that is over price.

  20. Bert Says:

    I had so many many Windows based computers in my life time it is ridiculous. I was like a bad relationship with a codependent spouse. I didn’t know what to do. Windows kept giving me the Blue Screen of Death, peripheral had problems connecting, drivers were extinct and the viruses where there, even with updated virus protection.

    I was like an abused spouse still lingering to a woman that I hoped will change her ways. But to no avail.

    Then I walked into a singles bar (Apple Store) and saw her.
    She was slim, bright, she knew what I wanted. She was powerful and was the best at what she does…putting everything back where it is supposed to be. Til this day she’s been faithful. Oh, my MacBook Pro, How I love thee.

    No more Blue Screen of Death or viruses.

    I’m not an artist, rich person, or a moron.

    I just had enough of the abuse by Windows, my ugly past.

  21. inya Says:

    yeah. well, ive just wanted 2 say that ive neva had a problem with windows. ive recently got windows 7 ultimate and it flies on my 1.8ghz c2d laptop, which has 2gb ram and a gma 965 mobo. ive had no blue screens or any crashes, and basically im neva gna turn 2 mac.
    cuz i dont need 1. all my games work perfect on my windows pcs, cod4, mw2, crossfire, most wanted unreal etc and therefore ill neva swap a windows 4 a mac :)
    cuz gaming is in the blud of windows and thats mainly wat i use my pc 4

  22. David Bowman Says:

    Mac is for

    Artists
    Rich people
    Morons
    Stylish folk
    the truly blessed
    the luckiest user in the world

    Linux is for:

    Coders
    Power users
    Poor people with old hardware
    dudes who dig the challenge
    Open Source believers who want to empower the world and remove money based economy

    Windows is for:
    Fucking retards who have spent their entire lives just following, without critical thinking, those who will shell out their incredibly hard earned money for a product that boasts nothing but trouble.

    Gamers - Crossover….simple and done.

    UBUNTU makes microsoft look like a bunch of spazoids, what ubuntu has accomplished in 3 years, took Multi National Microsoft almost 20.

    Microsoft continue to release out dated and unimaginative solution to problems they clearly have no understanding of.

    Microsoft continue to steel and pinch everything already out there, rather than actually being futurists in any way.

    P.S. you’re the kind of user that makes me sick.

  23. john Says:

    This is dumb! Mac is Built on Unix so it is for the power users. A mac server is $999. The argument of 10% market share not being enough incentive to write a virus is crap; 1) that’s a lot of cash, 2) 10% of viruses are not for Macs, 3) the unix kernel and the mac kernel would have to be attacked. Macs are cheaper and you can run all the os’s you need on them. They are for everybody… you’re just taking sides as if it were a game, and you happen to be on the losing side, and not educating yourself on the facts. Also, Macs are not just great for graphic designers, but musicians, film makers, scientists, and businesses… windows is great for people like yourself who play games and pretend you know what your talking about.

  24. Geoff Says:

    Haha, I see we have some passionate comments here. :)

    I know that macs are also coded in a way where it’s harder to run stuff in the background without the owner knowing, but still… I’m waiting for the day for a good virus to come around and see how someone can get creative.

    But having said that, since writing this post, I am warming up a little to macs …. f*ck …. did I just say that?

  25. scott Says:

    Market share, such a tired, weak, old argument.

    Let’s get rid of the emotion and try a bit of logic.

    Pre OS X there were hundreds of Mac viruses. At the time Apple market share was half of what it is today.

    So it was worthwhile writing viruses, a lot of them, for a smaller target, back then.

    But now, not even one in the wild.

    Makes perfect sense to me.

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