Installing XP

March 26, 2008



Windows XPSteps to install Windows XP:

  1. Install XP itself.
  2. Run Windows Update. I want to secure this system quickly to avoid attack, so let’s initially go with the critical updates. What? There are 91 of them?
  3. Done installing. Have to reboot.
  4. Run Windows Update again. This time, get the recommended updates as well as any critical ones. Down to 15 of them.
  5. Done installing. Have to reboot again.
  6. Run Windows Update again. 10 updates this time.
  7. Done installing. Have to reboot, for the third time!
  8. Run Windows Update again. 1 update this time.
  9. Done installing. Thank God, I don’t have to reboot for this one.
  10. Download and install anti-virus software. Run it.
  11. Download and install anti-spyware software. Run it.

Um. How long have Windows users been putting up with this? I see Apple just issued a security update. It says, “Previous security updates have been incorporated into this security update.” Fancy that.



Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

11 responses to Installing XP

  1. I just got a new copy of Vista Ultimate w/ Service Pack 1 and Windows Live service I can give you if you want to punish yourself with it.

  2. Uh, thanks but no thanks. 🙂

  3. I just installed winows on a new mac for Ang. It tookme two day to mess with it andy I am still not sure it is working correctly.

  4. Rob, my condolences.

  5. See, if you actually want an OS that has software made for it, and not just some really hot brick, loaded with stuff from the same place that makes the hardware, you have to accept that everyone and their mother will be trying to hack it – which explains the security updates. When you have the overwhelming market share, this is the cost. If Apple ever gets to that point, believe me, you;ll be doing the same things as you are right now with your overheating pile of aluminum.
    *6 weeks working for Apple and all this stupid thing does is make me wish I had a PC. It’s hot, it makes my hands sweat, it is slow, it crashes more than my Windows machine ever did and I can’t run my favorite apps on it because nobody cares enough to make them for Mac. Yes, it is 3 years old. And if I had a 3 year old PC, I could swap select parts out to get it to go faster. Not so much with this thing, only RAM. Rating so far = lame.

  6. Ah, but you see, Apple has the sense to roll their updates together. You don’t get each individual update posted since Mac OS X was introduced.
    It’s true, “upgrading” a Mac usually means buying a new one. (Planned obsolescence?) But it also means the parts work together, rather than some random part you add from Fry’s that doesn’t have the right driver for it. At least, that’s the theory. You should get a new Mac, but being a contractor, you might be at the bottom of the food chain. 🙁

  7. Mac OS X relies on security by obscurity rather than an inherently more secure design. Although Mac OS X market share has risen from 2% of total desktop/laptop sales three or four years ago to about 6% today, the Mac doesn’t present enough of an appealing attack surface for sociopathic virus writers. Socipaths want to see their work propagate through a large population and Windows and Office provide such an attack surface because of its ubiquity.
    In other words, writing viruses to Windows is a much more satisfying effort than OS X because more people use it. Notoriety in the hax0r community comes from ubiquity as well as elegant small scale attacks.
    Some would say that OS X, being Unix-based, is a more secure kernel and has withstood the test of time. I would generally agree with this. However, the difference between OS X/Unix and Windows is its user-base. Unix users tend to be more scientific and experienced, while consumer OS’ have users of widely varying degrees of savviness.
    This is relevant because of the predominance of social engineering, where the intent of the virus writer is to get the user to run their virus for them. This circumvents many of the internal controls in the OS that are intended to protect the computer and the network.
    Security by obscurity and social engineering do not entirely indict OS X/Unix but I do believe they are relevant factors in the debate about a more secure OS. I have argued in the past that in some ways, Windows could be seen as a more secure OS because it has actually been rigorously attacked and vulnerabilities have been quickly dealt with.
    Ironically, one of the reasons why Windows boxes can remain vulnerable is that system admins at corporations can be lazy and not take security seriously. Many contemporary viruses can exploit vulnerabilities patched long ago because systems are not adequately maintained. This reality indicts the sys admin, not necessarily the OS.
    Finally, one has to ask why an OS X user has to apply security updates anyway. If the OS is inherently more secure, then why bother to update it? Isn’t applying OS X updates the equivalent of running virus protection on a platform that has little market penetration and therefore little appeal for sociopathic virus writers?
    Secunia has tracked security issues for several years. Check out these links that illustrate the quantity of security updates for Apple. Comparing the rates of updates to Windows will show that more updates are issues for Windows, but again, the question to ask is: Is this because Windows sucks so much or because it’s a more appealing attack surface?
    OS X Patches:
    http://secunia.com/product/96/?task=advisories

  8. Dave, this article supports your dissertion, and then some. Just because the OS is secure doesn’t mean the various apps are.
    But my beef remains: the user experience of securing a fresh install of XP is teh sux0r.

  9. Ahh Jon.. I SERIOUSLY WANT A MAC/GBOOK or anything that has that smiley box..
    :/
    Woe to the $$$. lol.

  10. BTW Jon, every *single* day since you have posted this, my G4 has asked me to update *something*. Whether it’s my software like BB edit or Apple connect or some ITunes BS. Just because the OS doesn’t flag you down for a couple of restarts when you first start up in life, doesn’t mean your computer doesn’t ask you to do something or other every damned day. And yes, I have had to restart the bugger every time.
    I reject your Apple superiority and assert that I could get this experience out of a PC for less money and with hands that do not have 2nd degree burns on them.

  11. Sorry to hear that, Noelle. Geesh, are you doing Apple internal updates?