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Like an old friend…

If you have been missing “the Blue Screen of Death,” and you also missed it at the Beijing Olympics, you may have another chance! Even better, the “Blue Screen of Death” can be triggered remotely, according to Electronista, something that had not been possible since 1999.

The UPDATED Electronista article states that Windows Vista still allows remote blue screen attacks and cites this article about the vulnerability. Microsoft states in an advisory that the finished (“released to manufacturing” [RTM]) versions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are not affected by the vulnerability, but that Windows Vista (Note added October 20, 2009: …and Windows Server 2008) remain compromised. The earlier “release candidate” version of Windows 7 WAS vulnerable, but the defect was fixed in the RTM version.

Microsoft has offered inexpensive versions of Windows 7 for students, starting October 1, and for a limited time. Details are in this CNET article.

I guess the defect in Vista might be one way to get people to move to Windows 7, but the defect does not exist in Windows 2000 or Windows XP, according to the Microsoft advisiory above. I have noticed a heckuva lot of people who are still running XP (shudder!). :-) I was forced to use Windows 2000 and Windows XP (on “company machines”) when I worked for a couple of high-tech companies. Ideology is not a very good basis for choosing an operating system.

As for me, my MacOS X Snow Leopard shipment arrived today, and it was also very affordable ($29 plus tax and shipping), not just for students, but for EVERYONE.

And, as the Electronista article states, MacOS X has not typically been vulnerable to remote attacks that disable the system and has gotten more secure with the latest release, the 64-bit memory space of which prevents certain kinds of memory attacks from working….

For you younger folks, the following haiku was once written about the Blue Screen of Death on Windows NT. I guess that you could substitute “Vista” for “NT” and still retain the correct number of syllables for a haiku. :-)

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

– Peter Rothman

“The more things change, the more they remain the same.”

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