May 29, 2011
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Something weird about Westie Central has been attracting apparently Indian or Pakistani telemareketting scammers like we’re the last target left before Rapture takes hold.
On a whim, I had the following conversation a few weeks ago:
(phone rings and I answer it)
Scammer: Oh, hello. I’m ringing about your Windows computer.
Westie: Which windows computer would that be?
Scammer: Our system shows you have a Windows XP computer which is infected with a trojan virus.
Westie: I don’t have a Windows computer, I have a Linux computer.
Scammer: (sounding like a child whose toy has been taken away) Oh. Sorry for the interruption….
When I get these phone calls, I know they are scammers (who want to install a trojan horse program onto your computer so they can eg illegally obtain your banking details) and it doesn’t really bother me. I know they have probably just got a sequence of phone numbers they ring and a script to read from.
I know that if my computer is infected with a trojan horse, I’d know about it before some random call-centre operator on the other side of the world (unless of course they are the ones who put it there).
Mrs Westie is a different matter and there have been a few anxious conversations about this issue, and while the spammers annoy me… I don’t let it last much past the phone call.
However, they have pushed me to squeeze Windows XP to one side. It’s old, it’s almost out of maintenance, it’s scammer heaven on a stick. We’re almost to a point where by running it, you’re inviting scammers to steal your personal details – either from your web traffic or directly from your PC!
So I downloaded Ubuntu Natty Narwhal, and while Bec was at a friends place… it somehow got itself installed on the PC.
I will make one main comment: I don’t like the “Unity” interface. And my google-fu tells me, I’m not alone (“how do I remove it” being the first result for googling “natty narwhal unity interface”).
Once I’d put it back to what I was already used to from my net-book though, it’s fantastic.
So: if you have a Windows XP PC that is in need of an overhaul, and a memory stick… download Ubuntu. Give it a go (straight off the memory stick on most PC’s). And if you really like it, install it!