FYI: Before you begin reading this piece, some of you need to know who Ray Taliaferro is: one of the most popular, longterm progressive talk show hosts in all of America. I've been listening to him for years, here at his home base station, Radio KGO. But he's considerably more than "just" a radio celebrity. Click on his image below, to access his KGO page, and learn of his many good works.
Hello again Ray (I called in twice in the past four years: gay activist Zeke). I totally enjoyed your righteous rant last night, against the evil Norton security and anti-virus services. You are quite correct as a savvy consumer: they are treating you like you're stupid, a fool, whose wallet is for the plucking. Your proposal to sue the heck out of them is a worthy cause...and about time PC consumers rise up in outrage. Meanwhile, I have a most effective and powerful solution to clean up your computer and have it purring like a kitten in no time...all for free. No jive, no strings attached.
Not only am I a gay activist, I am also a hacker advocate...but only in the best sense of that word, as in: "white hat hacker" (those who use their programming skills to legally assist people with computers, often dedicated to alternative non-Microsoft methods and systems.) Those of us in the know have religiously avoided any retail programs for years. For there are many excellent security and anti-malware applications available in the free software community. What it comes down to is this:
Install a small combination of free security and anti-malware applications. Not only do they cost *nothing* to use, they are also rated higher than any retail equivalent. For the sake of Windows users such as yourself, I have provided these free solutions in my blog entry from February:
Best PC security...at $0.00
Just follow the simple instructions, and your system will be as good as new...even better. I even give you a way to thoroughly clean up an already ravaged system...so I just don't deal with preventive measures, but curative as well.
I think you will be very pleased at the results; feel free to share with as many other Windows customers as possible, in order to fight this war against consumer ripoff. But as you know, there is another method to own a secure system: switch your operating system. You mentioned buying Macintosh. But hold on a moment:
That changeover requires an additional major expense. Why surrender a perfectly good system that you just bought, to the recycle bin...when you can simply replace the present operating system with one that is far more secure, virus free and user friendly...and costs nothing at all? That would be Linux, or more specifically, a Linux distribution called Ubuntu.
That is what I have finally done last October, and I haven't looked back. Ubuntu has all the capabilities of Windows programs, minus all the ugly hassles. To learn more about Ubuntu:
But if for some reason you are committed to certain Windows software, there are various and excellent *free* (or quite cheap) emulators that in most cases will run these applications in Linux. (And do you know *why* the Mac is so virus free? Because it is a Unix-derived system. As is Linux.)
There are also free "install fests" around the bay, via any number of Linux and Unix organizations. So you're not even stuck with installing Linux on your own. In fact, I am the founder of one such group: the Berkeley Unix User Group (first meeting: 13 Jan 2000). Our home page:
I am also a member of another user group just born this year: the Berkeley Linux User Group. Whose founder is a brillaint young man in possession of countless sparkling brain cells, Jack Deslippe. His page:
BUUG meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month (7-9 pm at Cafe Au Coquelot on University Ave. near Shattuck), while BerkeleyLUG meets on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month (noon-2 pm at Bobby G's Pizzeria same block).
You are most welcome to join us at either meeting, and ask all the questions you want. Bring your Toshiba if you'd like us to install Ubuntu...either alongside Windows in a dual-boot setup, or solo. (Note: you need to defrag your Windows system before installing Ubuntu, if you want to dual boot. Best done before you show up. Also, let us know a couple days ahead if you want to install Ubuntu, so we can prepare. And make damned sure all your valuable data is backed up to an external source, before proceeding! Better yet: two external sources, such as a DVD disc and remote online storage.)
When are the next meetings?
BerkeleyLUG: September 27 (Sunday), noon
BUUG: October 1 (Thursday), 7pm
Keep up the good fight, Ray...your *many* good fights. I'll be listening to you as always, on late night KGO radio, 810 on the AM dial. And maybe, some fine day, I'll have the immense pleasure to meet you in person.