[Dshield] FW: Microsoft Security Update

Kenneth Coney superc at visuallink.com
Thu Sep 4 17:30:24 GMT 2003

A little rant.

All agree a user should keep everything, box, stuffing, manuals and disks 
when buying software.  The reality is few do.  Simple storage space and 
fire hazard issues arise when storing empty boxes and associated papers 
whether it be in the basement or the garage.  Sadly I no longer have the 
original boxes nor even some of the manuals for my Vic 20, nor even the box 
for the SX 64, even though it is still operational and in use.

I think what we have is Microsoft (MS) displaying an attitude towards the 
buyers of used PCs which are often sold with software and no disk, and 
towards Joe Sixpack who is struggling to stay afloat with a $10 an hour job 
and 2.5 kids, et al.

I know several people who have never earned enough to buy a new computer 
and have only the computers others gave them, or which they bought second 
hand.  MS's attitude towards small home consumers has never been friendly 
if the consumer is too poor to buy the newest software, latest operating 
system or the newest bells and whistles.  I know people who only have a 3.1 
system.  I know one who is still stuck in DOS and WP 5.1 and who scrapes by 
with Net Tamer for the Internet.  I know many who use 95.  In my opinion, 
by the way MS designed the latest VBA overflow patches MS shows they don't 
like these people and obviously feel they are not deserving of patches.

When I finish with a PC (usually a Compaq as their usefulness is short) I 
usually give it away as is (sometimes Goodwill, sometimes to someone who I 
think should have one).  If I still have disks I give them, if I don't, I 
can't.  I know I am not the only one who knows poor people or who gives 
away PCs and which are sometimes missing an original disk or two.  I also 
know several stores that sell used PCs (sometimes acquired via mechanics 
lien, sometimes sold in pawn, and sometimes purchased for resale when 
companies go broke and are liquidated (lots of those in Tyson's Corner and 
Reston the last two years).  Those second hand stores sell the PCs as is. 
Often with installed software and no disks.  (Sometimes with interesting 
information on the hard drives too.)  Second hand is a good way for a first 
time user to be up and running for less than $400.  Nothing illegal or 
unethical about buying or using a second hand PC or a used car.  Nothing 
illegal or unethical in turning the used PC on and discovering you now 
legally own a copy of Office 2000 or Windows NT, XP, 95 et al.  Kind of 
like buying a second hand car as is and finding a bag of Krugerands in the 
trunk.  Guess what?  In most states the law says the Krugerands are now yours.

Given the absurd prices being asked for new Office 2000 disks at Staples 
and the ilk, I think MS is ethically wrong to design a patch that only the 
monied who can afford to run out to the store and buy a new disk can 
install.  It potentially hurts all of us when an unpatched machine enters 
the net.  In the past 24 hours MS has unveiled about 6 new areas needing 
patches.  Those PCs which remain unpatched will potentially be the source 
or carriers of new infections in years to come.  MS helps no one with a 
patch that requires the recipient of the patch run out and purchase a disk 
they can't afford.  It is analogous to not providing a Polio or Smallpox 
vaccine to those who can't afford the cost of the injection.

No doubt some at MS feel that the Joe Sixpack user should throw himself on 
his sword and say, "I can't afford the money for the new otherwise unneeded 
disk so I can spend 3 hours online getting softpack ver 1, so I can spend 
20 minutes downloading the new security patch, so therefore for the greater 
good of all I will delete myself from the Internet gene pool and never go 
on line again."

Not in this universe.  MS needs to redo their VBA and other patches so even 
a user without an original Office disk can apply them.  In my opinion MS 
places us all at risk of future infections by not doing so.

Subject:Re: [Dshield] FW: Microsoft Security Update
From:warpmedia <warpmedia at comcast.net>
Date:Thu, 04 Sep 2003 09:01:02 -0400
To:General DShield Discussion List <list at dshield.org>

Hehe, and in the mean time the people they are really are trying to foil 
have a warez copy. Same "insert cd" caveat is true if you want to remove 

This why new systems that come pre-installed should "waste" some of that 
vast HDD space to hold an image of the CD "just in case". Of course we see 
the warped side of that when that's ALL the vendor ships with the system.

At 22:46 9/3/2003, Kenneth Coney wrote:

 > The biggest problem I see with the new Office 2000 patches is MS has 
designed some of them so they won't work unless you have already installed 
the service packs, and service pack 1 won't install without the original 
software CD.  I mean really, who keeps those?  What home user in a house 
full of kids knows where an install disk/CD is 3 years later?  The result 
or requiring the original disk be on hand years later before a softpack 
update or VBA patch can be installed is a lot of home PCs (and maybe some 
office PCs) will never be patched.  How many Joe Sixpacks can even find the 
box with the little yellow sticker with the authentication code?  Many 
never installed the software themselves anyway and had Staples or Office 
Max install it for them.  Now you are telling them they were supposed to 
keep the disks and the box?  Pfui.  MS rides again.

Joshua MacCraw
warpmedia at comcast.net

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