A few days ago I received an email from someone that not only puts me in my place once in a while, they do so with style:

Hi Matt,

I helped develop Central Point Anti-virus which became the (in)famous Norton Anti-virus, so I guess I can be considered one of those guys who has a pretty good understanding of PCs. While I wouldn’t touch Norton with a 10 ft. pole (nor its wannabe, McAfee), there are several FREE excellent anti-virus programs that update constantly and do not hog resources. The only reason I see for getting rid of an anti-virus program is to free resources.

Of course, for the PCs in my home that are not connected to the internet – NO anti-virus! What’s the point of having it? Also for the PC that acts as FAX server and general Google update machine – why bother? It also has fewer resources to share.

BUT. There are going to be a bunch of people who don’t really appreciate what a virus infestation can do to your machine who will say, “Well, gee, Matt Hartley doesn’t use an anti-virus and he’s a guru and all so why should I bother with it?” Oops! I don’t think that’s what you had in mind when you brought up the subject.

You could also make the point that Firewalls are extraneous programs if you have a $20 NAT router. Which is true and which I have and have used being connected 24/7 for at least 10 years with 0 problems. No upgrades to worry about and firewalls are a major resource hog.

Come to think of it, why not just go back to plain old DOS and sneaker-ware? That’s safe, right? Wrong. I received a virus about 15 years ago from HP on an update diskette sent out to all their VARs for their laser printers. They had to recall all of them and reissue amidst much grumbling from the troops. That’s why anti-virus should be used for each new download, CD or diskette before running the program as well as for every email attachment.

Now if I can only remember my own advice……


As you can see, Gress reminds both myself and all of us that for every suggestion made, there is an equal consequence that must be considered.

But why did I feature this particular email? Two reasons: The first being that if Gress thinks I am wrong about something, I am going to hear about it. And secondly, more often than not, Gress has a nasty habit of being right. It’s called life experience, folks.

The point that I took from the emailed response was to consider the ‘real’ benefits of losing the use of an antivirus program on said PC. Short of gaining a performance increase on a Windows box, there really is none.

So maybe my thinking could use some adjusting? Perhaps instead, I will find myself adding this consideration to that ever-growing list of things that needed to be looked at? However I slice it, chances are I will end up eating my words as some nasty virus gobbles up my hard drives precious data. In all likelihood it would serve me right. I’ve been awful cocky lately (big smile).

[tags]hard drives,central point anti-virus,norton anti-virus,windows box,precious data,nat router[/tags]